WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 3/12/88
Rapid fire promos from Macho, Ted DiBiase, Brutus Beefcake, One Man Gang, Harley Race, and Hulk Hogan.
It's the last stop before Wrestlemania! Madness meets millions, a king meets a hulk, and we'll find if scissors can cut a hammer. A little over a month ago, Andre The Giant dethroned Hulk Hogan, but controversy led to the title being vacated, with a new champion to be crowned at Wrestlemania.
TO THE MEAN GENE. Jimmy Hart and Greg Valentine talk about Brutus Beefcake. Lots of meat references.
He then caught up with Brutus, who only speaks in barber puns.
Brutus Beefcake vs Greg Valentine
THE DREAM TEAM EXPLODES! Brutus hits the hiney very early on, but it was yet to be a finisher for him. He follows that with a big boot that missed by 8 inches. Speaking of hineys, much of Bruti's offense is focused on Greg's taintal region. Greg has an...interesting way of selling atomic drops. A cheap shot gets Hammer in control, then HTM comes down to shit talk Brutus. Beefcake gets his shoulder up last second after a back suplex, getting the win.
TO THE MEAN GENE. Bobby Heenan and King Harley Race talk about Hulk Hogan. Brain is largely responsible for Hulk Hogan no longer being champion, and tonight, Hulk is going to be humbled once again.
TO THE MEAN BROTHERJACKDUDE. HULKAMANIA WILL NEVER DIE, BROTHER.
Harley Race vs Hulk Hogan
A WWF vs NWA dream match, although neither are champion of their respective organization anymore. Kind of interesting that Harley and Flair pretty much had the same gimmick upon coming into the WWF. If Harley was NWA champ and had posession of the title, he probalby would have been the REAL world's champion instead of a king. Hulk is pretty pissy tonight and comes in with a taped fist, which he uses very liberally. Harley pin balls all around for him as best he could at this stage of his career. Bumping too much for him, really. Harley didn't need to be taking multiple floor bumps, or recklessly dropped into the ring post. Harley's only offense comes after Brain sacrificed himself. Harley puts Hulk on one of those metal reinforced tables and tries a diving headbutt off the apron. He misses and splats on the table. The edge gave him a hernia that required surgery and pretty much ended his career as a full time competitor. He stayed wrestling for a few more years, but as a lower card guy on a limited schedule. Hulk was so hot he fired up instead of Hulked up, then won with an axe bomber/leg drop combo. He had a real edge to him in this match.
TO THE MEAN GENE. Ted DiBiase claims sleazy politics are to blame for why he doesn't have the title. He'll have something or someone in his corner worth its weight in gold.
Elsewhere, Gene spoke with Macho Man who seems like he was not into the coke like he was at the last show.
Randy Savage vs Ted DiBiase
Unsurprisingly, Ted's big surprise is Andre The Giant. Not only was Andre out there causing problems, but Virgil was offering money at Liz, which as you can imagine did not make Randy Savage very happy. Jesse calls out Vince for his hypocrisy towards Macho, because Jesse always did and still does think Randy is a tremendous wrestler, while Vince hated Randy until recently. I always liked that if Jesse liked a guy, he liked them regardless if they were a heel or face. Quite a few momentum shifts in this. Not really back and forth in a "you do a move, I do a move" way, but each getting multiple heat segments and time to work. Virgil attacked Macho, but instead of the match ending, a HEBNER brother just sends him to the back. Of course, being a Hebner, he's bumped right as a face was building momentum to win. Andre attacks Randy. Liz runs to the back. Ted wins by count out, and Virgil returns. Then HULK HOGAN comes running out with a chair and chases the heels away. Curious how similar all of this is to the ending of Wrestlemania. Almost like it is FORESHADOWING. For such a relatively long match with multiple heat segments, nothing really happened. It was kind of weird in that way.
TO THE BODY. Jesse spoke with Brain and the Islanders, who were about to face the Killer Bees.
Killer Bees vs Islanders
The Islanders quickly won with a roll up OUTTA NOWHERE. This was said to be a 2/3 falls match, but only the 1st fall aired.
TO THE MEAN GENE. Slick and OMG had some choice words for the US Olympic team. They're LOSERS. It just happens that Gene's son was on the hockey team.
One Man Gang vs Ken Patera
Gang literally catches Patera with his pants down. Patera tried to win with a bear hug and full nelson. To a 350 pound dude 6 inches taller than him. OMG hit a terrible lariat and won in a very short match. Ken tried to slam OMG after the match, but Slick broke it up.
TO THE MEAN BROTHERJACKDUDE. Hulk starts the promo laughing, then gets very serious, then goes back to laughing. Gene points out his maniacal behavior. It's obviousy coke, Gene.
Considering this was the biggest show before WM, they didn't do a good job of hyping it at all. Vince mentioned it at the end of the show, but I don't think the tournament was actually mentioned. Certainly none of the brackets were shown. Even though they specifically got the title off of Hogan at February's show so he could start production on No Holds Barred and so they could get the title onto Randy Savage, Hogan is ALL OVER this fucking show. Three promos, a match, and saving they day in Randy's match. The only thing hyped for WM is Hogan getting his hands on Andre.
It all seems like a wasted opportunity to me. WM is two weeks away, this is the biggest national audience the WWF will have before then. DO SOMETHING to hype the show. Instead, they essentially gave away the WM main event on free TV, complete with extremely similar finish and post match stuff. Now, I assume the thought was you'd be extra hyped when they both made it to the finals, but it's basically the same match they're going to headline the biggest show of the year with in two weeks and you've already seen it. All while Hogan is the only one the WWF seems to care about making sure you know will be at WM. Very strange.