Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #13

The SmarK Retro Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #13 – November 1987 (So yeah, the Network randomly stops here with the SNMEs, so we’ll finish this one off and take a break until they finally upload the rest.)  – Taped from Seattle, WA, as evidenced by Brian Bosworth sitting ringside and making a jackass of himself. – Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura. – George “The Animal” Steele v. Danny Davis. Davis’s heel stock was quickly falling, which is too bad, because if he had anything in the ring to back up his great character, he could have been something pretty big in the midcard. Steele does some biting and choking to start, and Davis wisely runs away. Davis loses a slugfest. Several times. Steele even slips in a drop toehold, and we get another chase. Davis hits him with a foreign object, however, and we get some tiresome and repetitive Jerry Lawler schtick out of that in the corner. Steele finally puts him in the flying hammerlock to get rid of him, and Davis kicks the ref to escape. (Steele d. Davis, DQ, 3:52, DUD) Total nothing match. – Randy Savage v. Bret Hart. This was Bret’s coming-out party as a potential single, as Vince basically challenged him to show him that he could work the leg and be a featured guy. So he did. Savage attacks Bret on the floor and sends him into the post, because he’s PISSED about the whole “Liz getting shoved” thing. Into the ring, he pounds away in the corner, but misses a charge and Bret stomps him. Bret drops an elbow, but puts his head down and gets elbowed to the apron. Savage tries to drag him in, then slingshots him into the railing instead, a later signature Bret spot. Jimmy & Anvil stall for time with Savage, so Randy gets rid of them and goes after Bret with a flying axehandle to the floor, but he meets megaphone on the way down. Back in, Bret knees him down and drops a leg. Savage gets hung in the Tree of Woe and stomped, and Bret follows with a piledriver for two. He misses a charge and hits post, and Savage sends him into the other post for good measure. Savage goes up and gets the flying axehandle for two. Bret comes back with the backbreaker, but misses the second rope elbow. Savage necksnaps him for two, and normally this would mark the finish of an SNME match, but this time Savage charges and gets backdropped to the floor, twisting his ankle in the process. Liz desperately pulls Savage’s boot off as we take a break, thus relieving the swelling. The image of Savage in his sock would become iconic of this match later on and proved a memorable hook. Savage hops back into the ring, unable to use the bad foot, and Bret immediately takes him down and goes after the ankle. He wraps it around the post and drops a knee on it, but gets kicked into the post. Savage hops up again and necksnaps him for two. Bret goes back to the foot again, getting a half-crab, but Savage makes the ropes. He crawls to the apron, but Bret slams him in, and Savage quickly reverses for the pin. (Savage d. Hart, rollup — pin, 11:58, ***3/4) This match basically laid out the later formula for PPV main events, and in fact the heat segment on the leg was relatively short compared to what we would be used to seeing later on. I think it was actually too short for ****, even by 1987’s standards, but Savage’s selling was impeccable and it was a memorable match for good reason.  (I was losing my shit watching this in 1987.  I thought Bret was no match for Macho and then I was terrified that Savage was going to lose to this tag team wrestler before he finally pulled it out.  It was great stuff.)  WWF title: Hulk Hogan v. King Kong Bundy. It’s BUNDYMANIA running wild in Seattle. The crowd is throwing a LOT of garbage into the ring, a rarity for the relatively well-behaved crowds attracted by the 80s WWF. Shoving match and Hulk grabs a headlock, but Bundy overpowers him. Hulk takes him down for two, but tries a slam and Bundy falls on top of him for two. Choking follows. He misses a splash, however, and Hulk fights back with the clothesline and elbows for two. Hulk slugs away but puts his head down, and gets clobbered. We hit the chinlock. Hulk fights out and gets the big boot, but Andre trips him up and the bell rings. BUT WAIT. In fact, the ref is only tossing him out, and we restart after a break. Back with Bundy pounding on Hulk in the corner, but Hulk gets the corner clothesline and rams him into all four corners. High knee, but Hulk misses an elbow, and Bundy pounds him down for two. Bundy, amateur chiropractor by night, walks on Hulk’s back and gives him a massage in the form of a bearhug. Hulk escapes, but runs into an elbow, and it’s Avalanche season. Sadly, it’s also Hulk Up Season, so Bundy gets the hell out of there. They brawl on the floor, and Bobby sneakily grabs hold of Hulk’s leg. (Bundy d. Hogan, COR, 10:21, **1/2) Surprisingly good power match, actually. – Hercules v. Bam Bam Bigelow. They trade power to start, getting nowhere in either case, so Herc throws knees, but misses a charge. He fights on and clotheslines Bammer out, then pounds him on the apron. Bigelow snapmares Hercules to the floor and they brawl outside. (Hercules DCOR Bigelow, 3:04, 1/4*) Well, that certainly went nowhere. But (babyface) didn’t come all the way to (city) for (screwjob)! If (heel) has the (synonym for bravery), he’ll get into the ring RIGHT NOW! – Hercules v. Bam Bam Bigelow. Take two, as Bam Bam’s mad libs were enough to convince him during the break. They try the power stuff again to no effect, and Bigelow knocks him down for some ground and pound. Dropkick misses and Herc drops an elbow, and a knee. He stalls too long, however, and when he goes up, he lands in a press slam. Slingshot splash ends it. (Bigelow d. Hercules, splash — pin, 2:36, 1/4*) That wasn’t much better. The Pulse: Certainly get the Hart-Savage match (searching YouTube is a good start), and maybe Hogan-Bundy if you’re a completist, but the rest is a definite pass.