Rock Star Gary reflects on…Saturday Night’s Main Event XIV

Taped from Landover, MD

Airdate: January 2, 1988 (taped 12/7)

Attendance:  11,000

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

To begin the show, Roberts welcomes us to 1988 and cuts a promo on Sika.

Afterward, Valentine and Hart tell Koko B. Ware jokes.

In case you didn’t know them, here’s a quick snippet by the tag champs.

Slick then speaks up for his Bolsheviks.

Next, Heenan, in a neck brace, informs us that André will be in Bundy’s corner for tonight’s title match.

In response, Hogan, sans fringe, shoots down Bundymania.

Opening montage.

Vince and Ventura welcome us to the show and wish us a Happy New Year.

Backstage, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews an exercising Hogan who’s “pumped up.” Insert steroid joke here.

In another part of backstage, Okerlund interviews the Bolsheviks with Slick. In an effort to create peace, Slick claims that Soviet czar Mikhail Gorbachev flew in to meet with him rather than President Reagan. HA!

Prior to the first match, we revisit the tag title victory by Strike Force.

After the challengers make their entrance, Okerlund interviews the tag champs.

Match 1 for the WWF tag team titles (2 out of 3 falls): Strike Force (champions) versus the Bolsheviks (w/ Slick)

Highlights:

First fall:

  • Upon the challengers’ entrance, Volkoff sang the Soviet national anthem to nuclear heat.
  • Martel attempted a rollup on Volkoff but only got 2.
  • Next, he tried an inside cradle and got another 2.
  • Shortly after, Santana hit a cross body block on Zhukov but only got 2 thanks to a save by Volkoff.
  • While Martel distracted Ventura’s favorite referee, Joey Marella, the Bolsheviks put the boots to Santana.
  • Volkoff then followed with a clothesline for 2.
  • While Volkoff distracted Marella, Zhukov choked Santana with his boot.
  • Zhukov then delivered a belly-to-back suplex and got 2.
  • After a slam, Zhukov missed an elbow drop.
  • Hot tag Martel.
  • Upon giving Zhukov a hip toss, Martel nailed Volkoff on the apron.
  • Martel then hooked a Boston crab on Zkukov as Santana stopped Volkoff from interfering.
  • Zhukov submitted.

 

Second fall:

  • The second fall began after a commercial break.
  • As the bell rang, Santana delivered a dropkick sending Volkoff over the top rope to the floor.
  • Strike Force then gave Zhukov a double dropkick.
  • Martel cinched in the Boston crab again, but Volkoff made the save this time.
  • Volkoff then guillotined Martel using the top rope.
  • He then gave Martel a gutwrench suplex for 2.
  • Next, Volkoff military-pressed Martel into a backbreaker for another 2 thanks to a save by Santana.
  • While Santana distracted Marella, the Bolsheviks gave Martel a double back elbow.
  • A subsequent knee drop by Volkoff only got 2.
  • Afterward, a sunset flip by Martel got 2.
  • Following that, a shoulder block by Martel put both men down on the mat.
  • Hot tag Santana.
  • After delivering a pair of dropkicks to each Bolshevik, Santana hit the flying forearm on Zhukov, but Volkoff made another save.
  • All four men were in the ring.
  • With Marella occupied by putting Martel back in his corner, Volkoff, trying to hit Santana, nailed Zhukov by mistake with Slick’s cane.
  • As Martel dropkicked Volkoff outside the ring, Santana got the pin.
  • Strike Force retained.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  Capitalism wins in our nation’s capital! Perhaps the Soviet Union will take a tremendous economic decline based upon this loss.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Mr. Fuji who stirs a jar of mustard. Sika then brings in a LONG French roll as Fuji claims that Damien will be dinner for Sika “like a hot snake.”

As Sika and Mr. Fuji make their entrance, Okerlund interviews Roberts who threatens to tie Fuji up like a pretzel and put him in the mustard.

Match 2: Jake “The Snake” Roberts versus Sika (w/ Mr. Fuji)

Highlights:

  • After giving Roberts a back drop, Sika distracted the anonymous referee as Fuji rammed his cane into Roberts’ ribs.
  • Shortly after, Roberts countered a back drop with a knee lift.
  • Sika came back with a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Instantly, Roberts converted it into a rollup for the pin.

Rating: DUD

Summary: Since when does skill matter when it comes to national TV exposure?

After the match, Roberts brings the bag containing Damien to the center of the ring. When Sika charges, he gets backdropped over the top rope to the floor. Afterward, Roberts gives Fuji the DDT then dumps Damien atop him. Finally, Sika rescues his manager from becoming Damian’s midnight snack.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Bundy with André and Heenan. They’re ready to kill Hulkamania TONIGHT.

We then revisit SNME XIII when Hogan gave Heenan a standing choke causing neck damage. Of course, they show how Heenan helped Bundy achieve a countout victory, but does that constitute causing neck damage? You make the call!

After Bundy and André make their entrance, Okerlund interviews Hogan who notes that President Ronald Reagan is a Hulkamaniac.

Match 3 for the WWF title: Hulk Hogan (champion) versus King Kong Bundy (w/ André the Giant)

Highlights:

  • After delivering a chop, Hogan gave Bundy a big boot sending him between the ropes to the floor.
  • Upon giving Bundy a series of elbow smashes, Hogan delivered a clothesline.
  • After a pair of shoulder blocks couldn’t knock Bundy off his feet, Hogan tried again, but Bundy gave him a back elbow.
  • While I nap during a elongated arm bar session from Bundy, Hogan came back with a slam but hurt his shoulder.
  • He then missed an elbow drop using his injured arm.
  • Bundy then slammed Hogan but missed a pair of elbow drops.
  • Afterward, Hogan came back with a cross-corner whip and corner clothesline.
  • Subsequently, another cross-corner whip by Hogan was reversed. When anonymous referee #2 checked on him, Bundy delivered an avalanche SQUISHING the referee. That’s quite the bump.
  • Hogan baited Bundy so that he would miss a splash.
  • Meanwhile, the referee is OUT COLD.
  • After an Axe Bomber, Hogan nailed Bundy sending him to the floor.
  • As Dave Hebner took over as the official, medical personnel removed the original official via stretcher.
  • After a commercial break, Bundy gave Hogan a clothesline and a knee drop for 2.
  • Next, a chop by Bundy sent Hogan over the top rope to the floor.
  • Back in the ring, a shoulder block by Bundy got another 2.
  • After a cross-corner whip by Bundy, he hit avalanche #2.
  • Do we have a new champion?
  • Another cross-corner whip resulted in avalanche #3. It could be curtains for Hogan!
  • After demonstrating to Hebner that he wanted a five-count, Bundy hit the splash but only got 2.
  • Hulk-up time!
  • Hogan reversed a cross-corner whip that led to a shoulder-first bump in the corner by Bundy.
  • He then hit the leg drop.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Hogan retained.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  This was infinitely better than their match at SNME XIII. But what was really the point behind having André here?

A-ha! After the match, André gets up on the apron so Hogan challenges him. Much to the DC faithful’s chagrin, André backs away. But when Hogan poses, André comes in, grabs Hogan by the hair, and headbutts him. He then chokes Hogan until the British Bulldogs come to Hogan’s aid. After they both nail André in the back, André gives them a double noggin knocker then tosses them over the top rope to the floor.

When he returns to choking Hogan, the babyface locker room empties for the WWF champion’s sake. Finally, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan arrives and nails André with the 2×4 allowing the babyfaces to remove Hogan from the ring and carry him back to the locker room. I wonder what will happen in the next chapter of this feud.

After a commercial break, Ventura interviews Valentine with Hart. Valentine praises Hart while dismissing his former partner, Brutus Beefcake.

In another part of backstage, Okerlund interviews a happy Ware who sings his responses. Give it up, Koko. You aren’t Prince.

Match 4: Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Koko. B. Ware

Highlights:

  • After giving Valentine a shoulder block, Ware came off the ropes only to eat a stungun.
  • Shortly after, Valentine mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered a double axe handle.
  • Afterward, an elbow drop by Valentine got 2.
  • Upon tossing Ware outside the ring, Valentine gave Ware an elbow to the sternum.
  • Next, he delivered a clothesline for 2.
  • Suddenly, Beefcake came to the ring with his hedge clippers.
  • Aware of the distraction, Ware rolled up Valentine for 2.
  • A subsequent inside cradle got another 2 for Ware.
  • He then hooked a backslide but only got 1.
  • Valentine exited the ring to regroup while protesting Beefcake’s presence at ringside.
  • As Referee Joey Marella asked Beefcake to leave, Beefcake relented.
  • After a commercial break, Valentine gave Ware a pair of cross-corner whips followed by a back drop.
  • Elbow drop #2 got 2.
  • Valentine then got crotched trying to pin Ware.
  • After a slam, Valentine mounted the top turnbuckle but got caught and slammed down to the mat.
  • Upon delivering a dropkick, Ware gave Valentine a head butt sending him to the mat.
  • He then mounted the second turnbuckle, hit a fist drop, and got 2.
  • Valentine then countered a side headlock with a knee crusher.
  • Ultimately, he hooked the figure-four leg lock and got the submission.

Rating: *1/2

Summary:  Showcase match for Valentine as a singles competitor.

After the match, Valentine reapplies the figure-four leg lock until Beefcake returns to chase Valentine from the ring. Meanwhile, Ware grabs Hart by the ankle as Beefcake re-enters the ring to cut Hart’s hair with the clippers.

After a commercial break, we revisit Andre’s attack of Hogan earlier tonight.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews André with Heenan. According to Heenan, there will be a new WWF champion in 1988. He’s quite the prognosticator.

After another commercial break, Okerlund interviews Ventura back in the locker room and informs us that Hogan is breathing on his own but has sustained damage to his windpipe.

Conclusion:  As you are aware, the motive behind SNME has been to set the table for bigger things down the road. While this show accomplished that goal with the Hogan-Andre and Beefcake-Valentine feuds, the wrestling was below par. Let’s hope this new show coming later this month tops this bomb.

Stay tuned for WWF Royal Rumble ‘88!

Rating: unknown

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