The Chrononaut Chronicles: Saturday Night’s Main Event – November 28, 1987

Celebrate the holidays with the Thanksgiving edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event! Hulk Hogan defends the WWF Championship against King Kong Bundy, and the Macho Man takes on Bret Hart!

The Chrononaut Chronicles – WWE 24/7: WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event – Saturday, November 28, 1987

– The WWE 24/7 Rewind clip prior to the feature presentation is the infamous referee switch involving the Hebners from February 5, 1988, allowing Andre the Giant to win the WWF Championship from Hulk Hogan on The Main Event. Afterwards, Andre surrenders the title to Ted DiBiase. Brilliant angle to set up the WrestleMania IV tournament and push the Million Dollar Man character, but I bet it pissed off purists at the time.

– The big match tonight is King Kong Bundy challenging Hulk Hogan for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, so our point/counterpoint show-opening promos feature Bobby Heenan promising that “Bundymania” will be born tonight while the Hulkster warns that King Kong won’t be able to survive the “24-gun salute” of Hulkamania.

– Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura welcome us to the traditional Thanksgiving edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event from Seattle, Washington, and they run down the lineup we will see tonight.

– After we see footage from Spring 1987 of Danny Davis clobbering George Steele with the ringbell, Gene Okerlund interviews the Animal as he plays with a Miss Elizabeth doll. It’s amazing how much mileage they got out of that angle, since it began almost two years prior.

– Taped Earlier, Jesse interviews Danny Davis, who states that he rang George’s bell once and he’ll do it again.

– “Dangerous” Danny Davis vs. George “The Animal” Steele

No Jimmy Hart, as George storms the ring and bites Dangerous Danny, who bails out while the Animal does his monkeyman routine to scare the referee away. Davis keeps trying to blindside Steele, but George no-sells his blows and knocks him back to the floor each time. The Animal outsmarts the Dangerous One with a nicely-executed drop-toehold (!) and Jesse claims that’s the first wrestling maneuver he’s seen from George in five years. Steele chases Davis around ringside and tries to bring in a chair, but the referee takes the chair away and Davis strikes with a hidden foreign object while the ref is busy. Davis mauls Steele with the object for a bit until George grabs the arm and lifts Danny in the flying hammerlock, but Davis kicks the ref and gets disqualified at 3:49 despite McMahon insisting that Davis submitted. I’m sure there’s a tired old Montreal ’97 joke in there somewhere. Afterwards, George eats a turnbuckle and chases Dangerous Danny back to the dressing room. -* Nothing here, as Davis had outlived whatever usefulness he had and Steele could only do so much.

– We go back to the last Saturday Night’s Main Event in October, when Randy Savage dropped the flying elbow on the Honky Tonk Man and covered him, but Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart interfered to cause a DQ, allowing Honky to retain the Intercontinental Championship.

– Mean Gene interviews the Hart Foundation and Jimmy Hart as they laugh about what they’ve done to the Macho Man and Elizabeth.

– After the Harts head out and make their entrance, Mean Gene interviews Randy Savage in the “Danger Zone” as he vows revenge.

– Bret “Hit Man” Hart (w/Jimmy Hart & Jim Neidhart) vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/Miss Elizabeth)

The Macho Man is escorted out by Miss Elizabeth, but he decides not to allow her in the ring due to the inherent danger and goes right after Bret in the squared circle. Meanwhile, the Anvil and Jimmy Hart corner Elizabeth at ringside, so Savage valiantly leaps out to defend her and they back off as we go to break. When we come back, Brian Bosworth of the Seattle Seahawks randomly wanders around ringside and we get an inset promo from the Honky Tonk Man, who claims that he asked Bret to leave him a bit of Savage and adds that he’s not done with Elizabeth yet. God, I love that guy. Savage chases the Hart Foundation around ringside and posts Bret’s shoulder before continuing his attack in the ring, but Bret reverses an Irish-whip into the corner to take control as Jesse puts Bret over as a “mechanic”. Now that I think about it, I’m surprised that with all the garbagemen, plumbers, dentists, accountants, etc. moonlighting as wrestlers that the WWF never had an actual mechanic as a wrestler. He could wrestle in grimy coveralls and hit his opponents with wrenches and carjacks – that’s MONEY, baby! Anyway, Bret pounds away and ducks his head for a back-bodydrop, but Savage kicks him in the face and strikes with some elbowsmashes, as Hart crawls out to the apron and Savage knocks him off down into the guardrail. After attending to the Hit Man at ringside, the Mouth of the South and the Anvil hop up on the apron and Savage cracks their heads together before diving off the top turnbuckle with the flying double-axhandle to the floor, but Bret catches him on the way down with the megaphone to the midsection. Elizabeth tries to tend to her fallen man, but the Anvil scares her off and throws Savage back inside. Bret punishes Savage and piledrives him for a near-fall, but Savage dodges a charge in the corner and throws Bret’s shoulder into the ringpost.

Savage lands the flying axhandle off the top for a two-count, but Bret drops him with a backbreaker and goes to the middle turnbuckle. Savage is able to avoid the elbowdrop and snaps Bret’s throat across the top rope for a near-fall, but Bret back-bodydrops Savage over the top and the Macho Man “lands wrong” on his ankle to set up the real meat of the match, as Savage limps around ringside and the Harts cackle at their good fortune. Elizabeth helps Randy remove his boot and the Harts menace her as we go to break, and when we come back, Savage is wearing just a sock on his injured foot while Bret keeps raising his hand in victory. On commentary, Jesse advises Savage to quit and live to fight another day. Like a shark sensing blood, Bret zeroes in on Savage’s ankle and wraps it around the ringpost; too bad he hadn’t yet developed the ultra-cool ringpost figure-four we all know and love because that would have been perfect here. Bret continues his precise attack on the ankle in the ring and applies a spinning toehold, but Savage kicks him off into the corner and Hart posts his shoulder again as the Macho Man snaps the Hit Man off the ropes for two. However, Savage can’t follow up the advantage and Bret works over the ankle again until Savage counters a bodyslam with a small package for the three-count at 12:03. Afterwards, Savage kicks the Anvil off through the ropes when he tries a postmatch assault, but Bret holds Savage as Jimmy Hart charges with the megaphone. Of course, unless you just started watching wrestling yesterday, you know that Savage ducks and the Mouth of the South accidentally clobbers the Hit Man with it. The Harts flee the scene while Elizabeth tends to Randy and both commentators put over Savage’s gutsy performance. **** A great match that showcased what Bret could do in a singles situation as both men did what they do best: Bret working over an injured bodypart and Savage selling it like a motherfucker. I just wish it could have been longer, but it was still pretty lengthy for a SNME match.

– Mean Gene interviews King Kong Bundy and Bobby Heenan, who reiterates that “Bundymania” will be born tonight and promises a “huge surprise” for Hulk Hogan. Okerlund, McMahon, and Ventura all wonder what it could be, but it’s pretty obvious and the announcers look like clueless tools for not even making the obvious guess. I hate that.

– Bundy and Heenan head to the ring and the Brain confirms my suspicions by introducing Andre the Giant to stand with him in King Kong’s corner. Then we go back to Mean Gene with the Hulkster, who appears to be on the greatest acid trip ever as he claims his skin has a blue tinge because there are hoses and four-lane highways coursing throughout his body to provide a “Secondary Survival System” in case Bundy & Andre pound his heart until it stops. Hogan explains that he has a “Power Pack” full of “love, training, and vitamins” behind his left ventricle for just such an occasion and it will make the hoses and the blue tinge flare up so he can destroy Bundy, Andre, and Heenan.

…wow. I’ll have what he’s having.

– WWF Title: King Kong Bundy (w/Bobby Heenan & Andre the Giant) vs. Hulk Hogan ©

The Hulkster gets the expected massive reaction from the fans and rips off his shirt before we go to break. When we come back, Hogan is unsuccessful in his feeble attempts to knock Bundy down with shoulderblocks, so he switches to a HHH-like high kneelift off the ropes and Bundy goes down (Fucking HHH!) for a two-count. Hogan scoops up Bundy for a bodyslam, but apparently the Power Pack hasn’t been activated yet as Hogan’s back gives out and Bundy crashes down on top for two. Bundy works over Hogan’s back, but misses a splash and Hogan mounts a comeback as he slugs away and levels Bundy with a huge clothesline. Three elbowdrops only get two and Hogan ducks his head for a back-bodydrop, but Bundy hammers him across the back and drops a knee for two. The Walking Condominium grabs a chinlock on the mat for several minutes and the referee drops the Hulkster’s arm twice, but it looks like the Secondary Survival System has kicked in as Hogan fights out of the chinlock and nails Bundy with the big boot. However, when Hogan runs off the ropes, Andre trips him up and the ref calls for the bell as Hogan dodges Bundy’s sneak attack and knocks the 460-pounder to the floor. Ring announcer Howard “The Fink” Finkel announces that if Andre doesn’t leave ringside, the victory will be awarded to Hogan via disqualification, so Heenan convinces Andre to head back to the locker room and the Giant assaults a cameraman on his way up the aisle as we go to break.

When we come back, the match is officially restarted and Bundy pounds away, but Hogan comes back with a clothesline in the corner and rams his head into all four top turnbuckles. However, Bundy avoids an elbowdrop and relentlessly works over Hogan’s back again as he squeezes the WWF Champion in a bearhug, but Hogan battles out of it and Bundy puts him right back down with a back-elbow. Avalanche, followed by a big splash across the back, gets two for Bundy and Hogan Hulks-up as he no-sells Bundy’s punches and successfully bodyslams the big guy, who rolls out to the floor. Hogan follows his challenger to slug it out at ringside and he rolls Humpty Dumpty back in the ring as the ref administers the 10-count, but Heenan holds Hogan’s leg so he can’t climb back in and the ref awards the countout victory to Bundy in 13:45. Jesse, who had been ragging on referee Joey Marella the whole match since he was the ref that “saved” Hogan’s belt at WrestleMania III, claims that Marella made the right call. He actually should have noted that Marella saved Hogan again since the countout means he retains the WWF Heavyweight Championship. Afterwards, the Hulkster throws a temper tantrum as he knocks Bundy to the floor and ragdolls Heenan. What a hero! **3/4 This was surprisingly good, with Bundy focusing on the back and Hogan selling it until the requisite Hulk-up near the end.

– Mean Gene interviews Hercules, who points out the hypocrisy of everybody calling the Heenan Family thugs and assassins when they do something wrong, but when Hogan does the same thing, he’s an angel. Yeah, Herc, that was my problem with Hogan as well and probably why I started cheering the heels, because at least they didn’t pretend to be something they weren’t. Herc promises to squeeze Bam Bam Bigelow with the full nelson to turn his face red and make his eyes bug out so Bam Bam will look just like his manager, Sir Oliver Humperdink.

– After Hercules makes his entrance to the ring, Mean Gene interviews Sir Oliver and Bam Bam, who states that the Mighty One will have one less link in his chain after tonight.

– Hercules vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (w/Sir Oliver Humperdink)

Hercules is on his own, since Bobby Heenan is still recovering from the thrashing he took, while Humperdink accompanies Bam Bam as Jesse refers to the Hump as a “red-headed troll”. Tough to argue with that one, which is why it was a monumentally stupid decision to bring him in as a babyface manager and pair him with a hot young up-and-comer like Bam Bam. I’ll keep harping on that until I get an explanation as to why Vince did it. After a break, Bigelow is unimpressed by Herc’s muscles and can’t be knocked down as Jesse points out that Herc is used to winning matches with his size and power, but will have to alter his strategy against BBB. Almost on cue, Hercules sneaks in a knee to the gut and clotheslines Bam Bam over the top rope after a few more shots. Herc pounds Bigelow on the apron, but Bigelow impressively snapmares the Mighty One over the top and they slug it out on the floor as the referee counts them both out. However, Bam Bam states that he didn’t come to Seattle for a double-countout and challenges Hercules to get back in and continue the match as we go to break. When we come back, the bell rings to restart the bout and both men go into a three-point stance before colliding in mid-ring, but neither man goes down and McMahon calls Hercules “stupid” for trying it. Herc convinces Bigelow to do it again and tries to go low, but Bam Bam is too smart and cartwheels over him. Nice! Herc avoids a dropkick (!) and takes the advantage, but doesn’t cover Bam Bam as Jesse believes he should. He turns out to be right, as Herc foolishly goes to the top turnbuckle and Bigelow catches him in a press slam before crushing Hercules with the awesome slingshot splash for the three-count at around 7:00. ** Solid power match that told a story, and it’s always great to see Bam Bam doing things that no 360-pound man should be able to do.

– After the commercial break, Mean Gene announces that Bobby Heenan suffered some type of neck injury and interviews Andre and Bundy, who demands a rematch against Hogan but this time with Andre in his corner. Jesse arrives in the locker room to congratulate King Kong on his victory and predicts that he will be the WWF Heavyweight Champion of the World next time.

– Following yet another break, Mean Gene interviews Hulk Hogan, who states that he wants a rematch even more than Bundy does and hopes that Andre will be in Bundy’s corner so he can give them both a dose of Hulkamania like he did to Heenan.

– McMahon, Okerlund, and Ventura wrap things up to close the show as Jesse mouths along with Vince. I guess that’s why he never had any big speaking roles in his movies.

Afterthoughts: A pretty damn good edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event with the excellent Savage/Hart match and the really solid WWF Title bout as the highlights here, not to mention the crazy drugged-out prematch promo from Hogan. That promo alone is worth searching out, as is the Savage/Hart match. Thumbs-up from me.

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