Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #17

The SmarK Retro Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #17 – October 1988 – Taped from Baltimore, MD – Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura Jake Roberts v. Rick Rude. This was the big blowoff for the B-show main event feud, triggered by Rude hitting on Jake’s wife Cheryl. These days the big twist in the storyline would be Cheryl leaving Jake for Rude, but in those days it was merely Rude losing his pants on national TV. Different times, I guess. Funny bit of commentating between Vince and Jesse, as Vince puts down Jesse’s outfit and Jesse retorts that Vince wouldn’t know anything about Wall Street anyway. Well, not THEN, certainly. (Apparently not now, either.)  Cheryl and her 80s cougar hair are at ringside to inspire Jake. Lockup to start and they slug it out, and Jake starts working the arm with a long wristlock. Rude bails to escape the DDT. Back in, Rude counters the short-arm with his own to take over, pounding away in the corner. He stops to hit on Jake’s wife, however, alternating between beating on Jake and posing at Cheryl. Jake finally clotheslines him and slugs him down, and allows Cheryl to slap him. Jesse calls for a DQ, but the ref tosses her instead, and we take a break. We return as they brawl outside, and Jake gets posted. Back in, he makes the comeback with a backdrop, but Rude blocks the DDT and drops an elbow. To the top for a fistdrop, and that gets two. Jake does a slick dodge of a backdrop, kick wham DDT, but Heenan runs in for the DQ. (Roberts d. Rude, DQ, 7:37, **1/2) Going pretty good before the lame finish. Andre the Giant comes out to attack, but we learn his secret shame — fear of snakes. Sadly, they go all the way with the angle, as Andre has a “heart attack” out of fright, thus kicking off the low point of his career up until then. – WWF tag titles: Demolition v. The Hart Foundation. The Harts had just turned face, and Demolition was practically there. Still, Jimmy Hart is joining Fuji in the heel corner tonight to further the Harts-Rougeaus feud. Ax and Neidhart slug it out to start, but Anvil gets tripped in the corner and pounded. The Harts return the favor on Smash and Bret dropkicks him into an elbowdrop for two. Smash sends him into the corner, and Ax comes in to choke him out. That goes pretty well for the champs. Smash smashes and goes to the chinlock. Double-team smashing in the corner, but Bret smashes back. OK, enough of that. Hot tag Anvil and he cleans house. Powerslam gets two. It’s BONZO GONZO and the Demos collide, but there’s a million managers and sneaking a megaphone in is pretty easy in the chaos. (Demolition d. Hart Foundation, Smash megaphone — pin Neidhart, 5:56, **) This was more about hammering home the Hart v. Harts feud than anything else. – Hulk Hogan v. King Haku. Hulk has Liz with him tonight. No wonder Savage was insanely jealous. Haku attacks during the ref’s inspection and pounds away in the corner. Hulk quickly slugs him down, however, and unleashes the Knives of Eternity. (That would be a Remo Williams reference.) He drops the elbows and chops him down, but stops to chase the Brain and gets caught with a choke by Haku. The Vulcan Nerve Pinch of Doom follows, and the superkick puts Hulk on the floor. Haku tries to follow with a chop of the apron, but Hulk pulls Heenan in the ring and then steals Haku’s crown. What a poor sport. Heenan heads to the back and we take a break. Back with Hogan slugging away, but he runs into a clothesline. Haku stomps him down and suplexes him for two. You know the rest. (Hogan d. Haku, legdrop — pin, 6:20, *) – Ken Patera v. Dino Bravo. Without even seeing the match, I shall use my powers to predict that Patera misses a blind charge and gets pinned after the sideslam. Let’s see. Patera slugs away to start and backdrops him, so Bravo bails. Back in, Bravo pounds him in the corner, but Bravo escapes the full nelson. It’s no Masterlock. Blind charge misses, and the sideslam finishes. SPOOKY. Or just repetitive booking. (Bravo d. Patera, sideslam — pin, 3:03, 1/2*) – Big Bossman v. Jim Powers. Bossman’s SNME debut as a big star, and Powers is a jobber. You do the math. (Bossman d. Powers, Bossman slam — pin, 2:30, DUD) The Pulse: Not much here.  (Indeed not.)