Chris' Blog


WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event #17 – October 29, 1988

WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event #17 – October 29, 1988

It’s been a little while since the last SNME, both here and on TV. Tonight episode is six months after the last one, and a few things have changed. The WWF debuted a new PPV idea, Summerslam, on August 29, 1988 and had the Megapowers, Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage defeat the Megabucks, Andre the Giant & Ted DiBiase in the main event. Brutus Beefcake was scheduled to face IC Champion, The Honky Tonk Man and would probably have won the belt. However this was not to be as Outlaw Ron Bass took offense to Brutus cutting his hat and whip, and ripped apart Brutus’ head with his spurs. This was at the time very graphic for TV, and I still remember the big red X across the screen during it. This caused Brutus to be pulled from the card, and Honky made the vintage mistake of issuing the open challenge. Out came The Ultimate Warrior who quickly decimated the longest reigning IC champion and won the title in about thirty seconds. The other extremely hot feud at the time involved Ravishing Rick Rude and Jake Roberts, as Rick Rude had taken to kissing woman at ringside after his matches. After one match he approached a young lady who rebuffed Rude and said she was married to a wrestler, that wrestler being Jake Roberts. Rude got rough with her and Jake came to the rescue. This feud also consisted of Rick Rude wearing Cheryl Roberts, Jake’s wife, face on his tights, and Jake promising to rip them off. One week, Rude pulled down the tights he had on to reveal tights underneath with Cheryl’s face. Jake made good on his promise by running down to the ring, and stripping Rude of his tights. Viewers at home were treated to a censor box over Rude’s crotch, to make us think he was nude in the ring. Other major events during the summer of 1988 included the debuts of Big Boss Man and the Powers of Pain, along with the face turn of the Hart Foundation who fired long time manager Jimmy Hart. Dino Bravo got a new manager in Frenchy Martin, as Johnny V decided it was time to retire. So, with the stage set, let’s go to SNME episode 17, from Baltimore, Maryland.

We open with the classic mini interviews, first is Jake and Cheryl Roberts, who talk about pleasure and pain. Jake says Rude won’t learn about pleasure tonight but will have to take pain like a man. Bobby Heenan says Cheryl’s pleasure is to be with Rude, and Rude says Damien will be around Jake’s neck and Cheryl around his. Slick introduces the Big Boss Man, who will enforce the law of the land and he will read people rights. Bret Hart says they were tag champs before and will be again, Jim Neidhart says this time without Jimmy Hart. Neidhart continues by saying tonight Demolition, the Hart Foundation is hell bent on reconstruction. Smash says when Demolition finishes there will be nothing left, Jimmy Hart is with Demolition tonight. Hulk Hogan tells King Haku tonight they will find out who is the true king of the ring. Hulk introduces his manager for tonight, Miss Elizabeth, and promises to knock Haku off his throne. From there we go to the opening video, which includes the aforementioned stripping of Rick Rude, classic.

Vince welcomes us to Baltimore and introduces Jesse Ventura, who makes fun of Dan Quayle. Vince says the presidency will be determined next week, tonight we find out who is the true king of the ring. They then go over the matches for tonight, we then get the recap of the Rick Rude/Jake Roberts feud, and they then send it to Mene Gene who’s with Rick Rude and Bobby Heenan. Gene asks why he wears the tights, which he has on again, and tells him he could be exposed again. Rude says he’s never embarrassed of his body and would win a three legged race against Jake. Bobby Heenan makes a nice little racial slur about snake charmers, classy. Rude and Heenan make their way to the ring, and Jake and Cheryl Roberts are now with Mene Gene. Jake says Rude won’t be wearing those tights for long, and says to insult the man you have to beat the man. Gene asks if Rude has a psychological advantage, Jake calls the Heenan family flies and he has the DDT. Jake says Rude and his tights will come down tonight, and Cheryl brought something for Rude to wear tonight, as she pulls out a small fig leaf.

1. Rick Rude v. Jake Roberts. Rude taunting Jake as he comes down the aisle, Jake calmly leads Cheryl to a chair at ringside. Jake now quickly jumps in the ring, but gets caught in the corner, however he comes back with a knee and goes for the tights. Rude avoids and Jake goes to a wristlock, as Cheryl cheers on her man. Rude tries to escape and Jake yanks him back in the hard way. Rude with a whip in, and leaps over Jake, but turns into a right hand. Jake goes for DDT, but Rude escapes to the arms of Heenan. Jake grabs Rude by the hair to pull him in but Rude rakes the eyes and misses a punch. Jake misses the short arm clothesline and Rude now opens up on the Snake. Rude rams Jake into the buckle now and hammers Jake down, then follows up with an elbow drop. Rude walks over the Cheryl and poses in front of her, then goes right back to working over Jake. Rude hammers Jake in the corner, but gets distracted by Cheryl and Jake nails a clothesline on Rude. Jake with a nice gutbuster on Rude, and holds him in the corner so Cheryl can wind up and slap Rude in the face. Jesse screams that should be a disqualification, as Vince says Rude must have said something. The ref is now sending Cheryl backstage for the interference, as we go to commercial. We come back as Jake gets tossed into the ringpost hard, and Rude follows up by driving Jake’s shoulder into the post two more times. Rude rolls back in and poses in the middle of the ring, Jake slowly rolls back in the ring. Jake catches Rude with a series of rights and lefts, as Jake starts to fire himself up. Jake whips Rude in and nails a backdrop and signals for the DDT, but Rude counters into a backdrop of his own. Rude climbs the ropes and drops a fist to the face of Jake for a near fall, as Jesse say’s if he hooked the leg he would’ve had it, as Rude did a cocky pin. Rude now goes for the Rude Awakening, and Jake bites his way out of it. Rude whips him in, but Jake catches him with his head down and hits the DDT. Jake starts to strip Rude and Bobby Heenan jumps in the ring drawing the DQ. 4/5 a great match, that would’ve only been better with a clean ending. Heenan was calling someone before jumping on Roberts, and now we see who, as Andre makes his way to the ring. Heenan stomps Jake, but Jake has his ankle now, as Andre comes in and hammers Jake. Andre nails a huge headbutt, sending Jake to the floor. Andre and Heenan check on Rude, as Jake gets Damien and comes back in. Heenan quickly bails out, and Andre is alone with Damien. Andre is frozen in fear, and begs off as he is scared of snakes. Andre keeps looking at Bobby for help, as Jake advances and tosses the snake on Andre. Andre flailing wildly in the ring clutches his chest and drops to the mat as Jake pulls Damien back on top of the Giant. Jake holds Damien over his head as Andre is out cold in the ring. Jake leaves as Heenan runs over to check on Andre and screaming for help. We come back from commercial as medics are helping Andre, who’s slowly stirring now. Andre sits up and rolls out of the ring, and begins looking under the ring for the snake.

2. Hart Foundation v Demolition. Demolition comes out with Mr. Fuji and Jimmy Hart for this title defense. Neidhart and Ax start out, and the hammer each other and Neidhart gets trapped in the corner where Demolition double team Anvil. Smash tagged in, and Neidhart counters the Suplex and gets a quick near fall, then tags in Bret. Bret with a nice dropkick then drops an elbow from the second rope. Bret winds up the arm, but Smash pulls the hair taking Bret down, then whips Bret in the corner, where he does vintage Bret. Ax tagged in, and he rams Bret into Smash’s boot then chokes Bret in the corner. As the ref is distracted Demolition double team Bret in the corner, and even Fuji gets involved. Smash tagged in and he smashes Bret down in the corner. Smash with a snapmare into a reverse chinlock, then stomps and chokes Bret Hart before tagging Ax back in. Smash holds Bret and Ax clobbers Bret, the chokes Bret on the ropes. Ax taunts Neidhart then tags Smash back in, and more double teaming from the champions. Demolition was such an awesome tag team, well right up to when Crush joined the team, then it all fall apart. Ax & Smash did such an amazing job with the characters and just dominated the tag teams for almost two years, a title reign that will never be duplicated. Bret finally starts to fight back, but Smash hammers Bret back down. Smash continues to overpower the Hitman, but Smash misses a clothesline and Bret hits one of his own, as both men are down. Neidhart gets tagged in, and he takes over on both men, and hits an impressive pair of dropkicks, then clotheslines both members of Demolition. Anvil powerslams Smash down and gets a near fall, but Ax breaks it up and all four men in the ring. The Hart Foundation whip Demolition into each other as we see the Rougeaus come down the aisle. The Rougeaus had just turned heel and joined forces with Jimmy Hart. Fuji gets on the apron and Bret takes him down, Neidhart grabs Jimmy Hart, as Jacques passes the megaphone to Smash, who nails Neidhart. Smash covers Neidhart and scores the win, thanks to help from the Rougeaus. 3.5/5 a great little tag match, as the Hart’s got screwed again, just like at Summerslam. At Summerslam Ax pinned Bret after nailing him with the megaphone. We now see what happened to Harley Race, where he went through the table. Bobby Heenan then searched for a new king, and King Haku was crowned.

3. Hulk Hogan v King Haku. Hulk comes out with Miss Elizabeth, and while the ref checks Hogan Haku takes a cheap shot. Haku with a side kicks then a series of chops and bites. Haku rams Hulk into the turnbuckle, then another chop to the throat, but misses the elbow. Hulk fights back and knocks down the King, and then rakes the back. Hulk whips in Haku and takes him down with a big clothesline as Elizabeth looks on approvingly. Hulk drops a pair of elbows and picks up the King, then chops him down. Hulk goes for the legdrop but Heenan grabs the ankle, and Hulk goes after him. Heenan’s reactions were always priceless, as Hulk goes after him the distraction costs him and Haku catches Hogan coming back in. Ventura says that’s the advantage to having Heenan out there instead of Elizabeth, as Haku has a nerve hold on Hogan, who fights his way up. Haku rakes the eyes and whips in Hogan, then hits a double chop then Sweet Chin Music sends Hogan to the floor. Heenan stands over Hogan and yells at him, as Elizabeth is concerned. Haku is on the ring apron and dives down to Hulk, who pulls Heenan in front of him. Haku checks on his manager, as Hogan grabs the crown and wears it in the ring. The ref gets the crown, as Heenan is helped to the back while we go to commercial. We come back and Hogan hammers Haku and opens up on him in the corner. Hulk whips him in the corner, but Haku comes out with a big clothesline then drops the headbutt. Haku now stomps the former champion, and nails a nice snap Suplex on the Hulkster for a near fall. Hulk begins the Hulking Up routine, and nails Haku with three right hands, whip in, big boot, legdrop and the win. 3/5 not a bad match, but just your basic Hulk Hogan win. Nothing major to see other then Heenan getting nailed by Haku. Hulk brings in Elizabeth and poses as Elizabeth applauds, then does the vintage Hulk Hogan hand to the ear.

4. Dino Bravo v Ken Patera. Dino Bravo was doing a bench press gimmick, where he supposedly set a record at the Royal Rumble. Of course he cheated as Jesse Ventura helped him on the final lift. Ken Patera is a former IC champion, who made a comeback about a year earlier and really did nothing major. We come back from commercial as Dino has a side headlock on Patera, who whips him in and they collide and neither man moves. Dino off the rope misses a clothesline, but Ken connects and hammers Bravo then nails a backdrop. Patera with a big scoop slam sending Bravo to the floor. Dino slides back in the ring and then kicks Ken Patera, as Bravo sends him to the corner and hammers the Olympian. Bravo rams Ken into the turnbuckle and works over the back of Ken. Bravo chokes Patera in the corner, and whips him in the opposite corner but eats a big elbow. Patera mounts and punches Bravo, then begins to stomp Dino and hits a big shoulderblock. Patera goes for the Full Nelson, but Bravo in the corner. Patera runs into Bravo’s big boot, and Bravo follows up with the reverse atomic drop. Dino nails the side slam for the win. . 5/5 not a good match, but given who was in it what can you expect. Patera was never a good wrestler, and Bravo could only do well when in the ring with the right guys.

5. Big Boss Man v Jim Powers. This is going to be a classic match between two of the best, ok maybe not. This is your final match of the night, which of course means this is our squash match. Boss Man quickly overpowers Jim and hammers him down. Boss Man whips Jim in and Jim slides under him and goes for a sleeper, but Boss Man rams him in the corner. Boss Man whips him in the opposite corner and hits the big Avalanche. Boss Man with a big headbutt, as he’s already covered in sweat. Vintage Big Boss Man with the legdrop while Jim is on the ropes. Jim Powers has had no offense in this match, as Boss Man has squished him. Boss Man whips him in and locks a bearhug, then just drops Powers down. Boss Man whips him in and misses a clothesline, Jim with a pair of dropkicks and comes off the ropes. Boss Man catches him in the Boss Man Slam for three. DUD just a basic squash, as Powers had little offense. After the match while Slick has the ref distracted, Boss Man handcuffs Powers to the ropes and beats him with the nightstick. We see the highlights from last week of Big Boss Man doing the same thing to Hulk Hogan. Gene is with Hogan, and says we saw what he did to Jim Powers and he was screaming for Hogan. Hulk says he’s still wearing the handcuffs; he didn’t have that on during his match. Maybe Elizabeth put the cuffs on him? If not maybe it was Gene? Jesse is now with Bobby Heenan and Andre the Giant. Jesse asks if he’s afraid of snakes, and Andre grabs Jesse and don’t say that. Heenan says there is no place for snakes in the ring, as Jesse agrees with Heenan and says Jack Tunney needs to ban it. After a final commercial, Vince and Jesse close the show, as we hear Jake’s music as we see Andre’s heart attack in the ring from earlier.

Match Recap

1. Jake Roberts beat Rick Rude by DQ in 7:22 4/5
2. Demolition beat Hart Foundation in 5:58 3.5/5
3. Hulk Hogan pinned King Haku in 6:16 3/5
4. Dino Bravo beat Ken Patera in 3:03 .5/5
5. Big Boss Man squished Jim Powers in 2:34 DUD

This was an alright episode, if you leave out the last two matches. I can understand Boss Man’s match, as it was his first SNME appearance, but the Patera/Bravo match was a waste of time. Yes I gave it a higher rating, but only because it was semi-competitive, as opposed to Boss Man’s squash match. Patera reminds me of Chris Masters, as he was there, left and then came back and sucked worse than the first time around. I have no idea why they brought Patera back in 87, or why Master’s returned last year. Neither guy brings anything useful to a match, and both are just horrible in the ring. The Jake/Rude match was really good, and the snake angle with Andre was classic. The tag match was good, and the Hulk match was vintage Hogan. Not a bad show, and our next show takes place right after the second annual Survivor Series.

Here’s the matches

Jake/Rude

Demos/Harts

Hulk/Haku

Patera/Bravo

Powers/Boss Man

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