Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #18

The SmarK 24/7 Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event – November 26 1988 – Are you KIDDING me? They just happen to show the one SNME that I don’t have a copy of and have never reviewed? (Unfortunately they aired probably the worst one of all time.)  Seriously, this channel is like Christmas every single day. – Taped from Sacramento, CA. – Your hosts are Vince & Jesse. WWF Intercontinental title: Ultimate Warrior v. Super Ninja. Some dumbass on Wikipedia keeps posting that Ninja was Keiji Mutoh, although I’ve always heard it was Rip Oliver doing a quick job. Mutoh did have a stint in Florida as “Super Ninja”, but this guy is clearly way bigger than Mutoh was in 1988. The Ninja tries a lame superkick to start and Warrior totally no-sells it and tosses him on his head, then boots him out of the ring. Back in, Warrior elbows him down and then hits him with a super-stiff clothesline, then finishes with the gorilla press and splash at 2:08. Ninja might as well have been a mannequin out there. DUD  (Seriously, what was the point of starting with a Warrior squash when he was hot off winning the IC title?)  – Let us take you back to Ted Dibiase buying Hercules as a slave, which didn’t work out very well for anyone involved. Where’s Abe Lincoln when you need him?  Hercules v. Virgil. Odd that a black man would be fighting for his rich boss’s right to buy slaves. Ah, irony. Hercules notes in his pre-match promo that each link in his chain represents a victory in the ring. Geez, he’d been wrestling for like 8 years at that point, so that’s not really something to be proud of. (Sounds about right, though.)  Dibiase attacks to start, but Hercules cleans house and totally ignores Virgil, going after Ted instead. Back in, Herc slugs away on Virgil and elbows him down, then drops an elbow and pounds away on the mat. Back to Dibiase again as Herc keeps getting distracted, but he goes back to Virgil and kneelifts him. He throws clotheslines as poor Virgil bumps all over the place with no offense, and Herc no-sells his brief comeback. Running powerslam finishes clean at 3:22. Another total squash. 1/2* Hercules was pretty over thanks to sympathy heat, but they overplayed their hand and tried to push him at a level he wasn’t ready for as a babyface, and it ruined him.  (And speaking of Hercules, I was reading the Observer from 11/94 trying to figure out if there was something weird around the Kid-Backlund match at the time, and one of the tidbits that I had forgotten about was that Hercules was being brought in to play Razor Ramon’s old Cuban gangbanger friend who would now be his rival, presumably because he sold out to the man or something.  That’s…not bad, actually.)  WWF World title: Randy Savage v. Andre the Giant. Ugly pea-soup green tights for Macho tonight, my least favourite variant. Savage tries the boxing in the corner, but Andre boots him down and grabs a facelock in the corner. Andre rams him in the corner, but Savage hits him with a knee to the back before Andre goes back to his facelock again. Andre switches to the choking with the strap and headbutts him, but Savage keeps fighting in the corner. Andre headbutts him again and goes back to choking, but Randy uses a jawjacker to break free. He slugs away in the corner, but Andre chokes him down again. Savage goes up with the double axehandle as Jake Roberts joins us to further that ridiculous feud. So the match grinds to a halt as the ref kicks Roberts out and we take a break. Back with Savage jumping Andre from behind while Bobby searches for the snake. Andre smacks Savage down and gets all worked up about the snake while Heenan tears ringside apart. Savage uses the distraction to keep on the attack, but he can’t take Andre off his feet. Savage chases after Heenan and gets attacked by Andre again as a result, and finally Bobby finds Damian. And it turns into a big schmoz at 8:42 with everyone running in. Decent enough, but it didn’t actually lead to a finish and Savage looked really weak selling like a jobber for Andre at that point in both of their careers. ** Savage, the World champion, got no significant offense in, which would have been fine if it lead to him getting the big come-from-behind win, but it didn’t.  (They had a much better match on a couple of the house shows taped for TV airing, actually.)  Flag Match: Hacksaw Duggan v. Boris Zhukov. Slugfest to start and Duggan gets the atomic drop, sending Boris to the floor. Boris comes back with a boot and drops an elbow, but Duggan sidesteps him, only to miss his own elbow. Boris slugs away in the corner, but Duggan follows with a clothesline coming out and slams him to set up the three-point clothesline to finish at 2:49. Yeah. 1/4* – Brother Love interviews Slick (with Jive Soul Bro sadly omitted again) and Hulk Hogan, so they can debate the recent attack by Big Bossman. Love asking questions and then cutting Hulk off is really funny stuff. Hogan cutting off Love is less funny. But then I’m biased anyway. And then of course Hulk the sportsman beats up little Slick and little Brother Love because he’s a big man and Bossman isn’t around to stop him. The Young Stallions v. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers. The Rougeaus announce their American citizenship before the match, which sadly means no theme song yet. We’ve got limited time left so this should be squashtastic as well. Jacques overpowers Powers to start and dropkicks him, but Powers hammers away in the corner. Jimmy Hart hits him in the leg with the megaphone to break that up, and the Rougeaus take over in the corner with the abdominal stretch and superkick combo. Raymond works on the back and Jacques gets a back elbow for two. He misses a crossbody, however, and it’s hot jobber tag to Roma. He powerslams Jacques and goes up with a missile dropkick on Raymond for two, and it’s BONZO GONZO. La Bombe De Les Rougeaus finishes at 3:07, however. Quick and not particularly interesting. *1/2 – We wrap things up with angry words from Andre, menacing words from Jake Roberts, and Hulk Hogan saying “brother” and “man” a lot. The Pulse: I won’t go so far as to call this the worst SNME I’ve ever seen, but it’s close enough that I can definitely call it a strong recommendation to avoid at all costs.  (I’d call it one of the worst, although crap like the 1990 ones with the depleted roster really gave this one a run for its money.)