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Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #11

– Taped from South Bend, IN.

– Your hosts are Vince & Jesse.   (Another one from a 4-in-1 rant, so it’s point system again.)   

– Jake Roberts v. Kamala.   The pre-match interview establishes that, in fact, Kamala is deathly afraid of snakes. Jake clears the ring with the snake, but gets jumped by Kamala. He overpowers Roberts and grabs a bearhug. Jake steps on his toes to break the hold – a truly innovative strategy – and keeps doing it to keep him off guard. Kamala knocks him over and chokes away. That goes on for a while. Jake fights back, but gets headbutted. Jake goes after Kim Chee and lets Kamala chase him, and then catches him with a kneelift coming into the ring. Fuji distracts the referee, however, allowing Kim Chee to get sweet, sweet revenge and nail Roberts. Kamala finishes with the BIG FAT SPLASH OF DEATH at 4:20. (What was with Jake doing all those jobs in ‘87?)  Boring match, but afterwards Kim Chee unmasks to reveal Honky Tonk Man, engaging in a bit of subterfuge. A beatdown results. Good angle to save the segment. 1 for 1.

Lumberjack match: Randy Savage v. George Steele.   This is billed as the end of the feud, and I believe it was. The usual cast of characters from the time are your lumberjacks. Steamboat uses pantomime to explain the rules of the match to George, while Savage cuts an awesome, high-strung, pissed-off promo backstage. “VENGEANCE IS MINE, YEAH!” Gotta love heel Savage in his prime. Hercules and Steamboat nearly get into a brawl right away, setting up their match later on. Steele pays Liz some attention, so Savage snaps and attacks, but Steele chases him out into the heel side of the ringside area, where they gently coax him back in. Savage then tries bailing to the babyface side and gets tossed back in. Steele bites at him, but gets elbowed. Steele keeps hammering away, but Savage sends him into the turnbuckles to take over. He works him over in the corner, but Steele fights back. Savage goes up with the flying axehandle and tosses George to the wolves, where the heels beat him down. Jim Duggan comes to the rescue, but gets tossed by the referees for his troubles. Back from a break, George is choking Savage out and munching on turnbuckle stuffing. Savage sells the gruesome FOAM OF DOOM, but kicks away. He gets a suplex and kneedrop and tosses Steele again, but gets dumped out himself in turn. Suddenly, a huge brawl erupts after Steamboat attacks Savage, and Danny Davis sneaks in to nail Steele with the ringbell. Savage finishes with the big elbow at 6:38. A giant battle royale erupts and Jake gets revenge on the real Kim Chee by covering him with the snake. 1 for 2.

– Bobby Heenan and Andre review footage of the False Three Count from Wrestlemania III, which would eventually lead to them getting a rematch in Feb. 88.

– WWF Tag title match, 2/3 falls: The Hart Foundation v. The British Bulldogs.   I remember being quite stoked for this one back in the day. Bret starts with Davey Boy and they do a cool Stampedeish wristlock sequence. Davey works the arm, but Bret kips up and reverses to a headlock. Davey monkeyflips out of it and gets a crucifix for two. Bret uses the knee to turn the tide and Anvil hairtosses Davey to make him face in peril. The Harts cheat like nuts and work him over in the corner. Bret gets a backbreaker for two. Bret gets a legdrop, but misses a charge and Smith gets the hot tag to Dynamite. He hairtosses Bret and hits a nasty stiff clothesline for two. Snap suplex gets two. Falling headbutt, but all hell breaks loose and it’s BONZO GONZO. Finally the ref disqualifies the Harts for double-teaming at 4:46. Second fall begins as Dynamite gets pounded in the heel corner. Demolition Decapitation gets two. The Kid fights out, but Bret prevents the tag by holding onto the leg. Smith chases him around the ring while Anvil uses the opportunity to choke Dynamite out. His nose is just gushing blood – I’m sure Vince was just thrilled to see that. Bret ties him in the ropes, but misses a dive at him and it’s hot tag Davey Boy. He dropkicks Neidhart and a clothesline gets two. Suplex gets two. Anvil cheapshots him, but the Harts have that old heel miscommunication problem and Smith presses Dynamite onto Neidhart for the win in two straight falls at 9:14. The place just comes completely unglued, thinking that there’s been a title change, but Jesse has the last laugh as he gleefully points out that titles can’t change when there’s a DQ in one of the falls. Two years later, that rule would be ignored and buried when the Brainbusters won the tag titles from Demolition with one fall being a DQ. Really good match. 2 for 3.  (Now THIS would be a “hidden gem” on the Network.  Also, Jesse’s cackle of delight for the titles not changing hands on a DQ was glorious.) 

– Hogan offers his side of the WM3 controversy.

Intercontinental title match: Ricky Steamboat v. Hercules.   Savage is watching in the back, because he wants Steamboat to win so he can take the title himself. Herc and Dragon slug it out, and Herc wins. Ricky dropkicks him and chops away, and he bails. Steamboat chases him and gets an atomic drop, and back in we go. Hercules cheapshots him to take over. He kicks away, and a clothesline and elbowdrop get two as Savage cheers on Steamboat in the back. Steamboat fights back, but Hercules goes low. Steamboat sends him to the turnbuckles and gets a neckbreaker to come back. Hercules goes to the eyes again, and hooks the FULL-NELSON OF AGONY, so Savage takes action and runs in, pulling Hercules into the ropes to break the hold. We go to commercial and return with Herc coming off the top and missing. Elbow misses. Charge misses. Man, he ain’t very godlike tonight. Steamboat makes the comeback, working on the ribs. Herc chokes him out with the chain for the DQ at 6:14. Now, the interesting part, as Savage is standing around at ringside watching Hercules beat on Steamboat forever, and the crowd is READY to just cheer their heads off if he makes the save. But he doesn’t, which pisses them off more. Finally, Hercules leaves and Savage goes in to check on Steamboat, and AGAIN the fans are just waiting for the face turn…but Savage suddenly bolts to the top and drops a big elbow to crush that hope. I think this may have been where the WWF realized the potential they had in a babyface Savage. Match was duller than dishwater, though. 2 for 4.

– Mean Gene introduces us to Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who’s at ringside with a “ticket” that looks like one of those cheap ones you get at the carnival, and he’s going to prevent Volkoff from singing tonight.

The Can-Am Connection v. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff.   And indeed, as advertised, Nikolai pays tribute to his homeland and Duggan storms in and takes care of business, because America is the land of the free and no commies should be able to sing their anthem. Jesse points out the inherent hypocrisy there, bless his heart. Can-Ams double-team Sheik, but he nails Zenk with his curly boot and gets a side salto for two. Vertical suplex gets two. Volkoff stomps away and they work Zenk over. Belly to belly gets two for Sheik. He goes to the abdominal stretch, but Zenk hiptosses out. Sheik tosses him, and Martel for good measure, and they pound on Zenk right in front of Duggan. Duggan has had enough, and goes after Volkoff long enough for a distracted Sheik to get rolled up by Martel for the pin at 4:45. Nothing here. 2 for 5.

– The usual gabbing wraps things up.

The Bottom Line: Bulldogs/Harts is quite entertaining, although not even up to the standards of a RAW main event these day, the rest is the usual post-WM doldrums. Take a pass.