Live from Indianapolis, IN
Airdate: February 5, 1988
Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura
In lieu of being in the late Saturday night slot, this show aired on NBC in prime time on a Friday night.
To begin the show, Savage, with Elizabeth, cuts a promo on the Honkytonk Man.
Afterward, Honkytonk Man rebuts alongside Jimmy Hart as we revisit the guitar shot he gave to Savage back at SNME XII.
Following that, DiBiase, with Andre, cuts a promo on Hogan as we revisit Andre’s attack of Hogan at SNME XIV.
For those who require both sides of the story, Hogan rebuts by saying that Hulkamania “will never die!” Famous last words…
Wow! This is a HOT crowd! Meanwhile, Ventura predicts that Hogan will lose. I wonder if he made a stop in Vegas on his way to Indy from Hollywood.
We then see a Hogan training video set to Jake Roberts’ entrance music for some peculiar reason.
Backstage, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Honkytonk Man who calls Gene “Green Bean.” He vows to steal Elizabeth away from Savage and quotes Elvis Presley lyrics.
After Honkytonk Man makes his entrance, Okerlund interviews Savage with Elizabeth. While Savage cuts his promo, Honkytonk Man’s music continues to play.
Match 1 for the Intercontinental title: The Honkytonk Man (champion w/ Jimmy Hart & Peggy Sue) versus “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth)
Summary: This match has an interesting backstory as Savage was penciled in to regain the Intercontinental title here, but Honkytonk Man, while trying to preserve his character on TV, refused the job. I wonder what the WWF plans to do with Savage in the near future.
After the match, Honkytonk Man grabs his guitar and threatens to nail Savage with it. From behind, Hart hammers Savage with the megaphone. Elizabeth then comes into the ring to check on Savage, and Honkytonk Man almost knocks her into the middle of 1994 with it. When Honkytonk Man tries again, Savage catches the guitar and takes it away from the scurrying Honkytonk Man. He then smashes it against the ring post to a big ovation. Afterward, Savage finally acts like a gentleman and opens the ropes for Elizabeth. Aw. To finish the segment, he hoists her upon his shoulder.
After a commercial break, we revisit WrestleMania III when Andre fell atop Hogan and almost won the title. Next, we revisit SNME XIV when Andre attacked Hogan post-match followed by the contract signing at the Royal Rumble.
Backstage, Okerlund interviews DiBiase and Andre with Virgil.
After Andre makes his entrance, Okerlund interviews Hogan.
Match 2 for the WWF title: Hulk Hogan (champion) versus Andre the Giant (w/ the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase & Virgil)
Summary: This is an extremely historical match as Hogan’s four-year reign as WWF champion comes to an end.
After the match, Hebner grabs the championship belt and awards it to Andre much to Hogan’s chagrin. As Okerlund gets up on the apron to interview Andre, he surrenders the title to DiBiase. In an effort to get to Andre, Hogan moves Hebner out of the way, but the heels flee. While he jaws with the heels, a second referee comes in to speak with Hebner.
Wait a minute! There were TWO Hebners! In fact, the WWF hired EARL Hebner shortly after his last appearance at NWA Bunkhouse Stampede. I knew I smelled shenanigans!
Nevertheless, Hogan grabs each by the throat, but his anguish gets the best of him. Afterward, the Hebners begin to shove one another until Earl punches his brother down and kicks him out of the ring. Since Hogan sees the whole thing, he figures out that Earl took money to screw him. That wouldn’t be the only time Earl screwed over a wrestler.
Regardless, Earl tries to leave, but Hogan grabs him by the belt. Much to the crowd’s delight, Hogan gorilla-press-slams him then vaults him over the top rope onto the heels.
After a commercial break, Okerlund interviews the former champion backstage. A distraught Hogan complains about plastic surgery and being ripped off by Earl Hebner.
Match 3 for the WWF tag team titles: Strike Force (champions) versus the Hart Foundation (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Summary: This was only here to fill the rest of the program.
Conclusion: If this show isn’t THE best of the Main Event series, it certainly ranks near the top. Due to the historical title change/switch, this show sets the foundation for WrestleMania IV on March 27 and is a must-see for ANY wrestling fan. I would even recommend to those who have seen it to watch it again.
See you for WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XV!
Rating: 15.2 (Wow! HISTORIC rating for wrestling!)
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