March 12, 1988
From the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, TN
Your hosts are Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Vince McMahon
Tonight, we will get Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase, Brutus Beefcake vs. Greg Valentine, One Man Gang vs. Ken Patera, and King Harley Race vs. Hulk Hogan
We are shown a replay of the “Main Event ” show where Hulk Hogan was screwed out of the WWF World Heavyweight Title.
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Brutus
Before the match, Beefcake cut a promo containing a lot of hair-cutting puns. The action starts out back-and-forth until Beefcake hits a high knee. Valentine begs for mercy but ends up getting booted down then hit with a pair of atomic drops. Beefcake gets two with a bridge then uses mounted punches in the corner. The ref steps between them in the corner and that allows Valentine to land a cheap shot. He hits a flying elbow smash then drops a forearm for two. Valentine locks on the figure four as they were in the ropes. Beefcake rolls outside as the Honky Tonk Man comes out with a mic and starts to taunt Beefcake until he gets tossed by a few officials as we head to break. The match returns with Valentine elbowing Beefcake on the head. He hits a slam then headbutts his groin after teasing the figure four. Valentine works the leg but gets yanked down by the trunks. Valentine gets up and tries to slap on the figure four but gets shoved then Beefcake gets up and fires away. Beefcake signals for the sleeper then locks it on in the center of the ring. Valentine moves towards the ropes and they both dump outside. Beefcake fires away on the floor but Hart grabs his leg as he climbs back inside. Beefcake gets caught chasing Hart around then Valentine hits a bridging back suplex but Beefcake gets his shoulder up before the three count and gets the win (9:48) **3/4. Valentine and Hart are beside themselves then Beefcake sneaks up from behind and reaches through the ropes to snip off some of his hair. Beefcake then chases Hart around with his shears and ends up ripping off his jacket.
Thoughts: Solid match that was all action. The finish, although a bit lame, still did give Beefcake, the number one contender to the Intercontinental Champion, a big win heading into WrestleMania. Plus, it furthered along his feud with the Honky Tonk Man. Also, even in defeat, it kept Valentine fairly strong for the tournament at the PPV.
King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Hulk Hogan
Race elbow drops Hogan, who gets up and no-sells the move. Race comes back with some headbutts as that also has no effect. Hogan knocks Race down then stands over his body and tears off his shirt. Race gets clothesline a few times, ending up going over the top rope and landing on the table. Hogan picks Race up and rams him into the post then chases after Heenan. Race attacks Hogan from behind and goes for a piledriver but Hogan counters that with a backdrop. Hogan then hits an atomic drop then rolls in and out of the ring to break the ten count before hitting a slam. Back inside, Hogan chops Race down before firing away. Hogan takes off his wrist tape and chokes out Race as Jesse is all over Hogan for being a cheater. Hogan chokes out Race but Heenan grabs his leg. Race attacks Hogan from behind then hits a falling headbutt. He hits a belly-to-belly suplex then a piledriver before tossing him outside. Race follows out and places Hogan across the table. Race then gets up on the apron and attempts a falling headbutt but misses and crashes through the table. Race rolls Hogan inside and lands a few shots before climbing up top where he connects with a diving headbutt as that gets two. Hogan immediately hulks up then hammers away. He clotheslines Race down before hitting a leg drop for the win (7:26) ***1/4. After the match, Hogan chases Heenan away before posing to the fans.
Thoughts: I liked this match a lot. Hogan was pissed off over losing the title and taking it out on Race, who took some insane bumps here. Race falling through the table ended up costing him several months of action as he needed a foot of his intestines removed after the metal edge from the table jabbed up into his abdomen, resulting in a hernia.
“Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil & Andre the Giant vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth
Savage gets distracted by Virgil, allowing DiBiase to attack him from behind. DiBiase roughs up Savage then yells at Elizabeth before going back to work. DiBiase hits an elbow smash off of the second rope then chokes out Savage on the mat. Andre cheapshots Savage behind the referee’s back as Jesse taunts Vince as to whether or not this is the real Dave Hebner. Savage comes back with an elbow smash then sends DiBiase over the top rope with a knee to the back. Back inside, Savage hits a flying double axe handle. He gets two with a clothesline and follows that with a neck snap. DiBiase rolls outside then Savage taunts him by holding the ropes open. DiBiase re-enters and fires away but runs into a knee in the corner. Savage takes control and gets two with an elbow drop. He hits a slam but misses a knee drop as DiBiase now targets the knee. Savage ends up catapulting DiBiase over the top rope but gets dragged outside. The two brawl outside until Andre approaches, allowing Virgil to attack Savage from behind. The referee then tosses Virgil as we head to break. The match returns with DiBiase hitting a flying double axe handle for a nearfall. Savage eventually breaks out of a chinlock then hits a clothesline. Savage follows up with a backdrop then DiBiase inadvertently runs into the referee. DiBiase rolls outside as Savage flies out with a double axe handle. Andre then headbutts Savage from behind before shoving him into the post. Elizabeth looks on in horror as she runs to the back. Andre destroys Savage on the outside while the referee remains out. DiBiase approaches Hebner, who is now standing, in order to shield him away from Andre. Hebner then sees Savage out on the floor and counts him out (11:42) ****1/4. After the match, Virgil comes back out as its 3 on 1 against Savage until Hogan runs out with a chair to chase them away. Hogan and Elizabeth help Savage to his feet.
Thoughts: Excellent match. Both wrestlers in the match were spectacular. Plus, the outside stuff involving Andre and Virgil did a great job at setting up DiBiase as one of the favorites in the tournament due to all his outside help. It also painted Savage as the underdog and with the bracket rearrangement that took place, you could easily see a Savage/DiBiase finals in the WrestleMania IV Tournament. Also, with Hogan running in for the save, it brought flashbacks to “Saturday Night’s Main Event” from late 1987 where the two dubbed themselves the “Mega Powers.”
The Islanders w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Killer Bees
Heenan comes out to the ring wearing a beekeeper’s mask. Match starts with Brunzell beating on Tama. The Bees maintain control as they use quick tags to isolate Tama. Brunzell whiffs on a dropkick then Tama takes control. He hits a suplex for a nearfall but Brunzell comes back with an inverted atomic drop. Haku tags in and we have a double clothesline spot. Hot tag to Blair as he runs wild on the Islanders. Blair has Tama in a reverse rollup but the ref stops counting to order Brunzell back on the apron, allowing Haku to hit a clothesline then Tama covers for the win (3:38) *.
Thoughts: Basic stuff here. This was a 2/3 Falls Match at the taping but only the first fall made it to TV. The Bees had nothing much of note going on at the time and a heel turn was discussed for the Bees, with Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter noting that the Bees attacked Hogan in his Lumberjack Match against Ted DiBiase at the Philadelphia Spectrum the day this match aired, but it never came to fruition and shortly after that they planted the seeds for a Rougeau Brothers heel turn. Honestly, that was for the best as I do not think the Bees had the charisma to pull off a heel act.
One Man Gang w/ Slick vs. Ken Patera
The match starts after the break. Gang attacks Patera from behind and chokes him out with his own coat. They are now slugging it out then Patera catches Gang with a poor excuse of a bearhug. Gang breaks free with an eye rake then goes back on the attack. Patera puts on a full nelson but is unable to lock his fingers and Gang breaks it up by going into the ropes. Patera whips Gang into the corner and runs in with a knee. He fires away with mounted punches but ends up getting clotheslined as Gang falls on top and gets the win (3:00) 1/2*. After the match, Patera attacked Gang and had him up for a slam but Slick runs in to hit him with his cane.
Thoughts: Bad match. Patera was washed up and his offense looked terrible. Speaking of terrible, the finish here was incredibly lame. Just a quick win for Gang as Patera had nothing going on here anyways.
Gene Okerlund is with Hogan, who cuts a wacky promo against DiBiase and Andre.
The announcers recap the show. Jesse believes Hogan has snapped and thinks it will work against him in WrestleMania.
Final Thoughts: This was an excellent show. The first three matches were all good, especially Savage/DiBiase which was PPV main event material. They hyped up all the key players involved in WrestleMania IV well and besides Gang/Patera, nothing else felt like a waste of time. I recommend this show and to seek out Savage/DiBiase, specifically.