Chris' Blog


WWF Main Event #1 – February 5, 1988

WWF Main Event #1 – February 5, 1988

This was the first prime-time network special from the WWF, and aired live from Indianapolis, Indiana. Last month we had the very first ever Royal Rumble, which took place on January 24th, and was aired live on the USA network, not on PPV. This show featured Ricky Steamboat beating Rick Rude by disqualification, The Jumping Bomb Angels beat the Glamour Girls to win the Women’s Tag Titles, The Islanders beat the Young Stallions, Hacksaw Jim Duggan win the first ever, 20 man Royal Rumble. Also on the show Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan signed a contract for the rematch from Wrestlemania III, which would take place on this show, live on NBC. This would become the biggest rating for a wrestling match ever, a record still held today, and had one of the most controversial endings in WWF history. So let’s get to the show!

Vince McMahon welcomes us to the largest audience in WWF history and a sold out Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana. Vince introduces Jesse Ventura, who has the worst hat in the history of the world. Jesse says the fact is Andre has waited a year to get his hands on Hogan, and the champ goes down tonight. Jesse also says the Hart’s will regain the tag belts and Honky Tonk will retain the IC title, and what Honky does with Elizabeth, even Jesse doesn’t know. Vince sends it to a video of Hogan training, as Jesse mocks it. We see more of Hulk then we really needed to see, as he works out for this match. Jesse says Hulk is in for the fight of his life tonight, as Vince sends it to Gene with Honky and Jimmy Hart. Jimmy says Elizabeth wants the Honky Tonk Man, and HTM says he will oblige her, as he has the title, he has the belt and tonight he will get the woman. Honky says he will take her down lonely street to Heartbreak hotel, but he won’t be cruel, as she wants him to love her tender, and they head down the aisle.

1. Honky Tonk Man v. Randy Savage. Honky comes out with not just Jimmy Hart, but girlfriend Peggy Sue, who was played by Sensational Sherri. We go the Gene who’s with Randy Savage and Elizabeth, as they have audio issues as Gene mic is not working. They get it working, but it’s so low it’s hard to hear over Honky’s music. Gene asks about Honky’s claims, and Savage says its fuel for the fire, and vengeance is his, as Savage sends Elizabeth down the aisle. Savage quickly chases Honky Tonk out of the ring, and then goes after Jimmy as Honky dances for Elizabeth, and Savage goes after him and Honky bails. The bell rings and Savage chases Honky outside the ring, and elbows him in the head, before rolling Honky in the ring. Savage with the vintage rope clothesline and series of elbows to the head, as Honky rolls out. Savage cracks Honky and Jimmy’s heads together, and Savage throws Honky back in and warns Jimmy. Jimmy grabs Savage’s ankle coming in, and Honky get the cheap shot in. Honky whips Savage in, reversed into a backdrop, but Honky goes for the sunset flip, however Savage drops a fist. Savage whips Honky in the corner, but misses the charge in and now Honky with a snapmare but misses the elbow drop. Savage chases after Hart now, and Jimmy slides through the ring, and while the ref is with Hart, Honky grabs the megaphone and nails Savage. Honky gets a near fall, and follows up with a rear chinlock. Savage fights his way up, but Honky gets a knee in and Savage to the floor. Honky follows and throws Savage back in, as Honky is sensing victory now. Honky dances to Elizabeth, and then picks up Savage and pops him one, then stomps the Macho Man. While Honky has the ref, Jimmy chokes Savage, and Honky goes back to the stomps. Honky keeps turning his attention to Elizabeth, as Jimmy gets cheapshots in on Savage. Honky with a series of right hands, but Savage blocks and comes back with elbows and jabs, but HTM back with a clothesline and drops a pair of elbows. Elizabeth looks on worried, and Honky comes out of the ring and goes towards Elizabeth, as Jimmy blocks the other side. Savage from behind rams Honky into the ring post and tosses him in the ring. HTM begs off, and Savage has none of it and pounds Honky out of the ring, then dives from the top rope to the floor on HTM. Savage slams Honky down, and climbs the ropes and connects with the double ax handle. Savage gets a near fall, and pulls Jimmy in the ring, and Honky from behind, but Savage moves and Honky nails Jimmy with a high knee. Savage locks in a sleeper, but Peggy goes after Elizabeth and Savage to the rescue. Honky goes after Savage now, but Savage catches him and rams him in the post and rolls back in for the countout victory. 3.75/5 a very good match and the crowd heat on Honky was amazing and made the match. No one could anger a crowd like HTM could, making any match impressive. Honky has the guitar and comes in, Savage stands in front of Honky. As Savage keeps an eye on Honky, Jimmy from behind cracks Savage in the head with the megaphone. Savage crumples to the mat in the corner and Elizabeth in to check on her man, as Honky looks out to the crowd. Honky turns around and goes to crack Savage with the guitar, but stops short of nailing Elizabeth. Honky rears back and swings the guitar, but Savage catches it in the air and chases Honky out of the ring. Savage smashes the guitar on the ringpost. This crowd is insanely loud, as Elizabeth starts to come in the ring, Savage stops her and Savage holds the ropes for her this time. Savage put her on his shoulder, as she cries and we go to commercial. We come back to Vince and Jesse talking about the Hulk/Andre feud, as we see highlights from Wrestlemania III and last month’s SNME. Gene is standing by with Andre and new manager Ted DiBiase. Ted says tonight Virgil will keep an eye on the ref, and Hogan is a coward who ran from Andre for over a year. Ted says Andre has had the finest training money can buy, and calls Hogan small change who’s account is overdrawn. Andre says once he gets his hands around Hogan’s throat he won’t stop squeezing. Just a quick recap, Ted DiBiase tried to buy the world title from Hogan, to which Hogan the following week responded with “Hell No”. So Ted DiBiase then bought the contract of Andre the Giant, and made the agreement with Andre that if he wins he gives the title to DiBiase. All of this brings us to tonight. Andre, Ted and bodyguard Virgil come to the ring, and Andre blocks the entire camera with his back, as we go to Gene with Hogan. Gene says Andre has millions of reasons to win the title, and Hulk says he reviewed the Wrestlemania footage and he was only down for two. Hulk says he has invested his three assets into the Hulk-a-maniacs and tonight will prove he can beat Andre, as Hulk-a-mania will live forever.

2. Hulk Hogan v. Andre the Giant. Hulk comes out and the place just erupts, that’s what you call a real pop! Hulk quickly slides in the ring, and goes after Andre, but the ref stops him, as Andre doesn’t look fazed. Ted DiBiase points at Hogan, and Hogan points back, as Jesse says he is glad to see Dave Hebner refereeing this match and not Marella. Hulk calls Andre in the ring, as he, Ted and Virgil have been on the apron while Hulk’s been posing. Hulk draws the line, as the bell rings; Andre is taking his time getting in the ring, but finally does. Andre goes to DiBiase and Hulk attacks Andre, and rams Ted and Virgil’s heads together and pulls them in. Ted and Virgil each get a big boot and now Hulk pounds the head of Andre. Hulk chops Andre, but he doesn’t fall, and Hulk continues to hammer Andre and rams his head into the turnbuckle. Andre is reeling now, as Hulk continues to chop and hammer Andre, but Andre still on his feet. Hulk with a running clothesline, but Andre still up. Hulk steps on DiBiase’s hand sending money flying, and Hulk back on the challenger, and hits a corner clothesline and Andre still on his feet. Hogan rakes the eyes, and climbs the ropes, but Andre catches him and slams Hogan down hard. Andre misses the diving headbutt, and Hulk goes for the cover, but Andre catches Hogan and chokes him. Andre goes back to the chokehold, as he has the Hulkster down now, and Andre lifts Hulk up and punches him. Andre whips Hulk in the opposite buckle, and Hulk crumples down, and Andre scoops and slams Hogan, then kicks the champion. Jesse says he feels it, the champion is going down. Andre backs Hogan in the corner and chops Hogan down, and nails a big headbutt, as Andre goes back to the chokehold. Andre whips Hulk in and nails Hogan with the big boot, sending him to the floor, and Virgil tosses Hulk back in. While the ref is with Virgil, Andre back to the choke, as DiBiase looks on proud of the challenger. Andre goes back to the choke, but Hulk starts to fight back up, and Hogan breaks the choke. Hogan chops Andre in the corner, and climbs the ropes again, but this time hits a diving lariat. Hulk goes for the legdrop and Virgil grabs the ankle. The ref goes after Virgil as Hulk hits the legdrop and covers the Giant, but the ref is still with Virgil. Hulk goes after the ref, and Andre gets Hulk from behind with a pair of big headbutts. Andre nails a poor butterfly Suplex for the cover, and Hulk gets the shoulder up at two, but the ref keeps counting. 2/5 the match was horrible, but the after match more than makes up for it. The ref goes outside to get the title, as Hulk is arguing with the ref; Hebner gives the title to Andre. Vince is almost in tears at this point, as he calls it a stupid mistake, as Finkel announces Andre the Giant as the new World Champion! Hulk is beside himself, as Jesse says the myth of Hulk-a-mania is over, Gene comes over to Andre. Andre says this is no surprise; he calls it the “World Tag Team Championship” twice, and surrenders the title to Ted DiBiase. Hulk grabs the ref, as Ted, Virgil and Andre bail out. Vince is crying that this isn’t legal, and Jesse says they have to wait for Jack Tunney to make a decision, as Hogan is still trying to get Andre, Ted and Virgil who are outside the ring. Hogan turns around, as we suddenly have two Dave Hebners in the ring, and Hogan is in shock, as is the crowd! Hulk grabs both Hebners and is screaming at them, as the crowd is going bananas, as Gorilla Monsoon would say. Hulk throws them aside, and goes to the corner, as the Hebners shove each other, and one slaps and kicks the other sending him out. The Hebner in the ring is caught by Hulk, who drops to his knees, and Hulk lifts him over his head and tosses his down the aisle to the arms of DiBiase and Virgil as we go to commercial. We come back as Strike Force is in the ring, but we go to Gene with Hogan backstage. Vince screws up and says Mene Gene is standing by with Mene Gene! Hulk, much like Vince, is on the verge of tears as Gene says its chaos and an investigation will be taken into what happened. Hulk asks how much they spent on the plastic surgery, and never in his wildest dreams did he think he would get ripped off like this. We see the replay of the pin, as Hulk is distraught and screaming. We join the tag title match in progress, as we run out of time and never see the match, as Vince says goodbye from Indianapolis.

Match Recap:

1. Randy Savage beat Honky Tonk Man by countout in 8:20 3.75/5
2. Andre the Giant pinned Hulk Hogan to win the world title in 9:05 2/5

The Hulk/Andre match was horrible, but the historical significance of it makes up for the match quality. No one expected Hulk to lose the title on this night and not like this, this was an amazing moment, and was watched by more people than any other wrestling show ever. 33 million people watched this show, a number that has never been and never will be touched again. I only wish they could’ve gotten two hours instead so we could see the whole show, as the dark matches would’ve been interesting. We had Demolition beat Billy Jack Haynes & Ken Patera, Ron Bass pin Koko B. Ware, British Bulldogs beat Islanders, Jim Duggan over One Man Gang, Warrior pinned Sika. As for the tag match that got cut off, Strike Force beat the Hart Foundation. This show leads us to Wrestlemania IV, and the long drawn out title tournament. I’ll have more on that in the next recap. Thanks for reading.

Opening

HTM/Savage

Hulk/Andre

Strike Force/Harts (What little they showed)

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