Chris' Blog

WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event #16 – April 30, 1988

WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event #16 – April 30, 1988

Tonight’s episode of SNME comes to us four weeks after Wrestlemania IV, and we have a new World Champion. Randy “Macho Man” Savage survived a grueling, for him and the viewers, fourteen man tournament to win the title. Randy defeated Butch Reed, Greg Valentine, One Man Gang and finally “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase to win the tournament. In the opening round Ted DiBiase fought Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and won with assistance from Andre the Giant, tonight Duggan goes for revenge against Heenan Family member Hercules. Andre’s contract was sold back to Bobby Heenan after Wrestlemania, thus he is once again a member of the Heenan Family, Also at Wrestlemania One Man Gang beat Bam-Bam Bigelow via countout and in the most bizarre of decisions Jake Roberts and Rick Rude went to a time limit draw. Why they took out the favorite, Bigelow, and two of the most talented, Jake & Rude in the first round I still don’t understand twenty two years later. Honky Tonk Man was able to retain his IC title from Brutus Beefcake with a little chicanery, as Honky get himself disqualified to keep the title. However this did not prevent Beefcake from doing some haircutting as he got a hold of Jimmy Hart and gave him a nice spring trim. Tonight Hart goes for revenge and sends Danny Davis after the Barber. Finally also at Wrestlemania the Tag Titles changed hands as the team of Strike Force, Tito Santana and Rick Martel, were defeated by Mr. Fuji nefarious duo of Ax and Smash, The Demolition. This was not without a little cheating as well, as Demolition used Fuji’s cane on Martel to score the win. So with the scene set, that brings us to tonight, as we begin the sixteenth episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event.

We open with the classic interviews starting with Hacksaw Jim Duggan who says tonight will be a clean sweep. Then it’s over to Hercules, Bobby Heenan and Andre the Giant, Heenan mentions Andre being attacked by Hacksaw, and promises that tonight there will be missing pieces to Duggan. Slick says One Man Gang was robbed at Wrestlemania IV, but he doesn’t get mad, he gets bad. Slick says Macho Man will be introduced to his royal badness, One Man Gang. Randy Savage says this is his first title defense on TV, and everyone can feel the madness and it will surround the Gang! That takes us to our opening video, as Hulk’s photo has been replaced by Randy Savage and Elizabeth.

Vince McMahon welcomes us to Springfield, Massachusetts and introduces Jesse Ventura. They then go over tonight’s card, as we get footage of Hacksaw Jim Duggan knocking out the Giant with a 2X4. Jesse calls it felonious assault, and Vince says it has nothing to do with tonight’s match, to which Jesse says he talked to Heenan and tells Vince don’t be so sure. We now go to Gene with Hercules, Andre and Heenan, as Heenan calls Gene a jerk and a cowpie. Heenan says when you cross the family, you face the whole family. Hercules says the family never forgets, and Andre yells out Duggan’s Ho! Heenan leads his troops to the ring and says we got work to do. Andre looks like Hell trying to walk to the ring, so sad. Gene is back with Jim Duggan now, and advises him that Andre will be at ringside. Duggan says if the Giant is hungry he will get more of Duggan’s high fiber diet and says Andre cost him the title. Duggan says he will keep one eye on Herc and one on Heenan and Andre.

1. Hercules v. Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Jesse calls Duggan a wounded water Buffalo in heat, I love that line. Vince yells out Ho, and Jesse says he knew Ed McMahon was Vince’s illegitimate son, as the bell rings. The lock up, and Hacksaw powers out, surprising Hercules. Hercules with a stiff kick, and hammers Duggan, then tries to ram Duggan to the corner but reversed. An Irish whip to the corner reversed, and Duggan nails a clothesline, as Hercules goes to Andre for advice. Herc misses a roundhouse, and Hacksaw with an atomic drop and an elbow, then stares at Andre, as Herc rolls outside. Hacksaw pulls Hercules back in by the hair, and slings him in the hard way. Hacksaw with a whip and a slow backdrop, then goes for a kneedrop, but Herc rolls out of the way. Herc wisely goes after the knee, as we hear the Weasel chant and Heenan calls the fans morons; meanwhile Herc rakes the face of Duggan. Hacksaw fires back with a big right hand and then Duggan whips Herc in the corner, but misses the corner charge and drives his shoulder into the buckle. Hercules chokes Hacksaw on the ropes; Hacksaw punches Herc, who pulls Hacksaw out of the ring. Hacksaw slowly gets in the ring, and Herc whips him in but misses the clothesline, however he gets him with a back elbow, and Duggan is down. As the ref is busy with Herc, Heenan nails Duggan; Duggan grabs the board and goes after everyone. The ref tries to get the 2X4 from Duggan as we go to commercial, we come back and Herc catches Duggan from behind with a big knee. Hercules opens up on Jim Duggan now in the corner, and Hercules pulls him out and hammers the back of Duggan, as Andre looks on. Duggan and Herc now slug it out, and Duggan rams Herc in the buckle, but Herc back with a thumb to the eye. Hercules with a bear hug as Jesse describes the hold nicely, and Hacksaw fights out but gets nailed with a big knee. Hercules completely in control at this point, but gets caught on the Irish whip, as Duggan unloads a series of right hands, and now the mount/punch combo in the corner. Hacksaw whips Duggan to the opposite corner, and does a nice hiptoss. Hacksaw nails the flying tackle, but Heenan dives in and gets his man disqualified. 2.75/5 basically just a brawl, but a good brawl none the less, although a pin would’ve been a better end. After the match Hacksaw goes after Heenan but forgets that Andre is there, and Andre catches Hacksaw from behind. Andre with a big headbutt, and now they triple team Duggan, but here comes Ultimate Warrior to the rescue. Warrior grabs the 2X4 and chases of the Heenan family, as Hacksaw and Warrior stand tall in the ring. We now go back to Wrestlemania IV and see Jimmy Hart’s haircut from Brutus Beefcake, as Gene is with Jimmy Hart and Danny Davis. Jimmy is wearing a stupid beret, as Jimmy threatens Gene, and calls Brutus a butcher. Davis is holding a gym bag, to which Jimmy pulls out shears, scissors and a fake razor, as they promise to cut the hair of Brutus. They head down the aisle, as Jimmy is holding the giant shears, and we go back to Brutus and Gene. Brutus says it takes more than tools, it takes technique. Brutus says all work and no play, gives Brutus a dull blade, he promises to trim Jimmy and give Davis the full treatment. Brutus pulls out a wig that’s supposed to be Jimmy’s hair and asks Gene if he wants it.
2. Danny Davis v. Brutus Beefcake. Brutus quickly chases Davis and Hart from the ring with the shears as we go to commercial. We come back and Brutus is knocking down Davis, as Jesse says they look two candy canes in the ring, as both have striped tights. Davis with a right hand on Brutus, which does nothing, so Davis hides in the corner. Brutus rams Davis in the corner and hiptosses him down hard, as Davis hides in the corner again. Brutus comes in, and the ref gets in between and Davis with a cheap shot. Davis starts to hammer Brutus down, and then chokes him on the bottom rope. Jimmy gets too close with the scissors, and Davis nails Brutus from behind, then whips him in, but reversed, and that looked like a botch as neither guy was sure what to do. Brutus caught him with a knee as Davis went down low, and that looked bad. Brutus slams Davis, and Jimmy pulls him out. Brutus quickly pulls him back in, and whips Davis in and locks the sleeper on Davis, as Jimmy frantically tries to stop it. Davis is out cold, and Jimmy is going insane around the ring. 2/5 a very short match, but I think the botched knee knocked Davis for a loop and they had to go to the finish. If not this was pretty bad then. After the match Brutus does a little strutting, and goes for his barber tools. Brutus cuts the hair of Danny Davis, as Jimmy Hart is unable to do anything, as Davis gets shorn like a sheep. Brutus now has some silver spray paint, and paints the head of Davis, matching the stripes on his outfit. Brutus wakes up Davis and holds up the mirror, Davis turns around and Brutus drops the mirror and hammers Davis. Davis finally gets out of the ring, as the crowd is going insane, Brutus holds up the hair of Davis, the crowd chants Beefcake. We once again go back to Wrestlemania and see highlights of One Man Gang v. Randy Savage, where Gang got disqualified for using Slick’s cane, as we go to Gene with Slick and Gang. Slick says Gene must be blind or stupid as he says Gang was defending him, and Elizabeth had the ref out of position. Slick says the greatness of the Gang will shine for his millions of fans; Slick was always hilarious to listen to. Gene asks who’s going to laugh last, and Slick says the One Man Gang beat Savage once and will do it again. How Gang is number one contender is beyond me, as he lost in the semi-finals, shouldn’t the man who lost in the finals be number one contender? Just saying is all. Slick dances his way to the ring, as Gene is now with the World Champion, Randy Savage and Elizabeth. Gene congratulates Elizabeth on being the first woman to lead a man to a championship, and Savage calls her his inspiration that led him to the top of the mountain. Savage says he’s going past the danger zone, to the wide world of the Madness, and it will surround the Gang. Savage calls Slick just another manager and he’s not just one man, but the Macho Man, and Elizabeth will inspire him to victory tonight. Oh yeah!
3. Randy Savage. One Man Gang. Jesse says he’s his own inspiration, as Slick starts to advance on Elizabeth. Savage quickly comes over and chases the Slickster down the aisle to the locker room, as we go to commercial. We come back and the Gang misses a charge, but the Gang catches Savage and pushes him in the corner. Gang misses a punch, and now Savage comes back with punches, but Gang whips Savage in and goes for a slam, but Savage gets the Gang off balance and gets a near fall. Gang kicks him off sending Savage to the floor; Savage quickly scales the ropes and hits a cross body, but Gang kicks out. Savage with the vintage rope clothesline, but the Gang finally catches Savage in the corner and starts to hammer Macho Man. That was a quick start, as Savage just moves so quickly. Gang slows it down and chokes and punches Savage, then distracts the ref and Slick uses the cane on Savage. Gang whips him in, but misses the clothesline and Savage dives out and goes after Slick. Slick leads Savage around the ring and back in, right to the Gang who drops on top of Savage and once again continues to punish the champ. Slick says “Don’t put your hands on my clothes or I’ll knock you out”. Elizabeth looking on concerned, as the Gang drops his weight on Savage and gets a near fall, as Gang whips Savage in the corner but misses the charge. Savage with a series of elbows to the head, and clotheslines Gang out of the ring. Savage climbs the ropes, and drops the double ax handle on the floor, knocking Gang on top of a cameraman. Savage back in, climbs the ropes, as Gang rolls in and Savage goes for another ax handle, but Gang catches him with a right hand. Gang slams Savage and now Gang climbs the ropes and goes for the 747 splash, but Savage rolls out of the way. Slick now accosts Elizabeth outside the ring, but Savage lunges for Slick, which gives Gang a chance to nail Savage, and now chokes Savage. As the ref checks on Elizabeth, Gang holds Savage as Slick rears back with the cane, however Savage ducks and the Gang gets knocked cold by the cane. What are these canes made of lead or something, seriously between Fuji’s and Slick’s, these things knock people out constantly. Savage quickly climbs the ropes and drops the big elbow for the victory. 3.5/5 a really good, quick paced match. Very impressive considering it’s the Gang, but a very impressive match. Savage and Elizabeth soak in the adulation of the crowd, and Savage holds the ropes for Elizabeth. Gene is with the British Bulldogs who promise to protect Matilda at any cost. That dog basically ruined the Bulldogs, as even Dynamite said he hated the idea in his book. Now Jesse is with Mr. Fuji & new tag champions Demolition, as Jesse congratulates Demolition and calls them a good example to the kids. Jesse asks Fuji if the face paint helped win the title, and Fuji says he guessed the secret. Ax says when they stare across the ring they say the face of pain laughing at him. Smash says the Bulldogs will feel the pain tonight. They promise to dip Matilda in chrome and use her as a hood ornament on Fuji’s Winnebago.
4. British Bulldogs v. Demolition. Demolition had the best music, just suited the characters perfectly. Smash and Davey start out, and Smash hammers Davey down quickly, then whips him in and doesn’t see a tag, as Dynamite clotheslines Smash quickly. Smash goes for a slam, countered to a roll up, but Smash goes for an elbow and misses, so he tags in Ax. Dynamite winds the arm and tags Davey. Davey continues to works the arm, and tags Dynamite back in. Dynamite goes for the snap Suplex, but Smash nails him in the back, and Ax tags in Smash, who nails a backbreaker on Kid. Smash with a bearhug now, as he squeezes Kid, Kid able to fight his way out. Smash holds Kid’s legs and tags in Ax, who pummels Kid and tags Smash back in. Smash rams Kid in the corner, then whips him in the far corner, but catches a boot to the face. Smith tagged in and slams both members of Demolition, then dropkicks Ax out, and tags Kid back in. Smash nails a shoulderblock and tosses Kid to the floor, where Fuji stomps Kid, but Davey has Matilda chase Fuji down the aisle, and the Bulldogs chase Fuji to the dressing room. Demolition tries to head to the dressing room, but the refs stop them and try to send them to the ring. The Bulldogs come charging from the back and hammer the Demolition back to the ring, and Bulldogs have parts of Fuji’s cane. They hammer Demolition with the remnants of the cane, and the ref gets taken down as the bell rings. 2.75/5 way too short, and not a good way to start what would be the longest tag title reign in the history of WWF, a record that stands today at 478 days. The Bulldogs were so broken down at this point, this was the most they could do. We now go back to Gene, with Don “The Rock” Muraco and Billy Graham. Graham says the Superstar believes in fighting fire with fire, Ted may be the Million Dollar Man but Muraco has the million dollar body. Don Muraco was the original Rock, and in my opinion the better one, he’s one man who should’ve had a run at the top, Hell he was the first guy I’d seen use a tombstone piledriver. Gene is now with Ted DiBiase & Virgil, as Gene asks Ted if it’s back to square one after Wrestlemania. Ted says he is the champion as he was robbed twice, as Gene reminds him Savage is the champion and Ted is the challenger and must beat Muraco. Ted says he will get Savage anyway he can, and if that means beating Muraco consider it done.
5. Don Muraco v. Ted DiBiase. Ted quickly chops the Rock in the corner, as he was distracted but Virgil. Ted hammers Don and whips him in, but reversed and Don with a back drop, as Ted begs off, but Muraco just tosses him the buckle. Ted slides out of the ring, and slowly gets in the ring, Don with a side headlock, shoved to the ropes and comes back with a shoulderblock. Don off the ropes again, but Ted with a hiptoss, but misses the elbow and Don comes back with a clothesline. Muraco with a powerslam, and gets a near fall, but Virgil puts Ted’s foot on the rope. Graham goes after Virgil, and the distraction costs Don as Ted nails a clothesline and follows with a vertical Suplex for a near fall. This crowd has been loud all night long, and that just makes the matches so much more exciting. Ted hits a side Suplex, then whips Don in, but gets caught as Don nails a side legsweep. Muraco kicks Ted in the ribs and whips Ted in and nails a big back elbow. Muraco lifts up Ted and powerslams the Million Dollar Man for a near fall, Muraco goes after Ted, but Ted gets a shot in and slams Muraco down for a pin. Don gets a foot on the ropes, but Virgil knocks it off before the ref sees, and the ref counts 3. 2.75/5 another short match, but they did well with they had. Muraco was extremely underrated back then, and Ted is another who should’ve got a run at the top. Graham argues with the ref, as Ted and Virgil celebrate the victory outside the ring. Gene is with Savage and Elizabeth, as Gene mentions Ted is the number one contender. Savage says earlier tonight we saw Macho Madness and it’s meaner than ever, and he says Elizabeth is the inspiration. Savage says the Million Dollar Man may end up bankrupt if he goes after Savage.
6. Rick Rude v. Koko B. Ware. Sad for Koko, comes in with all the hype and quickly became a jobber. Rude was an amazing athlete as well, two of the best Iron Man matches I’ve seen were with Rick, as he faced Dustin Rhodes and Ricky Steamboat from WCW. With only four minutes left, this is either a quick squash or my copy cuts off, I guess squash! We go to commercial as Koko comes out, and when we come back Rude is pounding on Koko on the apron, and Koko fires back. Koko finally in the ring hammers Rude, but Rude whips him in, and Koko jumps over. Rude poses and Koko hits a nice dropkick sending Rick to the corner. Koko fires up the crowd, as Rude sends Koko in the corner, but Koko comes back, and Rude gets a cheap shot, and then hammers the Birdman. Rick works over the lower back now, and will not let up on Koko as he beats Koko down, then hits a Suplex. Rude climbs the rope and drops the fist on the head of the Birdman, then leans into the camera and blows a kiss. Rick chokes Koko on the ropes, as Heenan looks on happily. Koko whipped in, and Rude hits a perfect looking dropkick and follows up with another pose. Jesse says Rude reminds him of himself, as Rude misses a second dropkick and now Koko has an opportunity. Koko whips Rude in and backdrops Rick, ouch, Rick flipped too far and came down on his knee. That had to hurt badly, that’s right up there with Davis/Brutus and the knee to the face earlier. Rude pulls himself up on the ropes, as Koko charges in Rude drops down and Koko lands throat first on the rope. Rude pulls him up and nails the Rude Awakening for the win. 2.5/5 basically a squash, as Rude dominated most of the match. My copy ends right as the bell rings, so that finishes that episode!

Match Recap

1. Jim Duggan beat Hercules by DQ in 8:00 2.75/5
2. Brutus Beefcake beat Danny Davis in 3:10 2/5
3. Randy Savage pinned One Man Gang in 6:03 3.5/5
4. Demolition beat the Bulldogs by DQ in 5:00 2.75/5
5. Ted DiBiase pinned Don Muraco in 4:12 2.75/5
6. Rick Rude squashed Koko B. Ware in 3:44 2.5/5

Not the best episode of SNME, as the only good match was Savage and One Man Gang. Savage just moved so quickly and I was always a fan of OMG. The other matches were way to short, that’s the problem with six matches in a little over an hour. That and I think the Davis/Brutus match ended quick due to injury, as the knee to the head may have knocked Davis into next week. The strangest part of this episode of SNME was the lack of Hulk Hogan; this was the first one without the Hulkster. Not even a mention of Hulk in the whole show, as he was off becoming a dad for the first time, as Linda was pregnant with Brooke.







Bonus: The Original announcement of the Wrestlemania IV tournament. Check out the different brackets!


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