April 30, 1988
From the Springfield Civic Center in Springfield, MA
Your hosts are Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Vince McMahon
Matches tonight include Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Hercules, One Man Gang vs. Randy Savage for the WWF World Heavyweight Title, and more!
Hercules w/ Bobby Heenan & Andre the Giant vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Andre was funny during the pre-match promo in mocking Duggan’s chant. They also debuted the logos for the wrestlers here. Hercules beats on Duggan, who fights right back. Hercules consults with his guys but walks into an atomic drop. Duggan stares down Andre then pulls Hercules back into the ring. He hits a really slow backdrop but misses a knee drop and starts limping. Hercules targets the knee as the crowd starts up a “weasel” chant. Duggan hammers away but Hercules breaks that up with an eye rake. Duggan keeps yelling and fighting back until he misses a charge in the corner. Hercules chokes out Duggan against the ropes. Duggan fights back until Hercules tosses him to the floor. Back inside, Hercules catches Duggan with an elbow smash then stomps away. Heenan lands a cheapshot outside but Duggan grabs his 2×4 and chases Heenan before swinging it around in the ring as we head to commercial break. The match returns with Hercules wailing away on Duggan, who fights back. Hercules uses another eye rake then applies a bearhug. Duggan breaks that up but runs into a high knee. Hercules chokes out Duggan but drops his head as Duggan boots him in the face. Duggan runs wild then hits the Three Point Stance. He goes for the cover but Heenan breaks it up for the DQ (8:00) *1/2. Duggan gets beaten down 3 to 1 until the Ultimate Warrior runs in for the save, even grabbing the 2×4. Jesse goes off about Duggan always being saved with his 2×4 as the crowd is jacked for the Warrior.
Thoughts: Hercules was game but Duggan was really slow and dragged down the quality of the match. Anyway, the match had heat from the crowd and the Warrior got a damn good response for making the save.
“Dangerous” Danny Davis w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
Hart has brought his own shears to the ring. In his pre-match promo, Beefcake told us that “All work and no play gives Brutus a dull blade” while sweating profusely. A wacky segment. The match started after the break. Beefcake no-sells a shot to the face then rams Davis against the turnbuckle. Davis lands a cheap shot then chokes him out against the bottom rope while Hart nearly cuts Beefcake’s hair. Back to the match as they botch what appeared to be Beefcake’s high knee spot. Davis rolls outside as Beefcake signaled for the sleeper but Davis gets tossed back inside and caught with the sleeper. Hart runs around like a lunatic but Beefcake puts his man away (3:10) 1/4*. After the match, Beefcake cuts Davis’ hair as Hart looks on from the outside. Beefcake then spraypaints a “B” on Davis’s chest. Beefcake then shows Davis his new haircut with his mirror before beating him down some more.
Thoughts: The match itself was completely forgettable but it did further along the Beefcake/Honky feud and put over Beefcake strong as the challenger to the Intercontinental Title.
WWF World Heavyweight Title Match: One Man Gang w/ Slick vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (c) w/ Elizabeth
They really put over Savage/Elizabeth as a couple in their pre-match promo. Savage constantly referred to Elizabeth as his inspiration. Before the match, Savage chases Slick to the back after he was harassing Elizabeth. The match starts after the break with Savage using his speed to elude Gang. Savage struggle after getting caught with a crossbody and ends up falling on top of Gang, who kicks out and in the process sends Savage to the floor. Savage runs up the top rope to hit a flying crossbody for two then snaps Gang’s neck off of the top rope. Gang backs Savage into the corner then hammers away. He chokes out Savage, who also gets choked out by Slick and his cane behind the referee’s back. Savage chases Slick outside of the ring but runs into Gang while coming back inside. Gang chokes out Savage again before targeting his back. Gang almost puts Savage away with an elbow drop then misses a charge in the corner. Savage swings away then clotheslines Gang over the top rope. He flies out with a flying double axe handle but Gang catches him coming off the top inside of the ring. Gang slams Savage but misses the 747 splash as both men are down. Once again, Slick starts to harass Elizabeth but Savage runs over and yanks off his hat. Gang then attacks Savage from behind and holds him up for Slick behind the referee’s back but Slick accidentally hits Gang as Savage climbs up top for the flying elbow drop and gets the win (6:03) **. Vince declares what we just saw as “Macho Madness” as Jesse yells at Vince for being late to get on the Savage bandwagon.
Thoughts: The match was fine for what it was and better than their Tournament semifinal match at WrestleMania IV at least. However, Gang was not really featured all that strongly at the time and for his first National TV title defense, it was not the greatest showcase for Savage.
British Bulldogs vs. Demolition w/ Mr. Fuji
This is a non-title match. Match starts with Smash beating down Davey Boy. Dynamite makes a blind tag and hits a clothesline. Ax tags in but the Bulldogs work over his arm. Ax shoves Davey into the corner as Smash lands a cheapshot. Smash tags in and covers for two before applying a bearhug. Davey breaks out of that with a headbutt but Ax is able to tag in and knocks Dynamite off of the apron as the champs are cutting off the ring. Smash eats boot on a charge then the Buldogs take control. Dynamite is tossed to the floor where Fuji starts kicking him. Davey runs over with Matilda and chases Fuji to the back while Dynamite trailing behind. Demolition also walk up the aisle but several officials stop them. The Bulldogs run out with Fuji’s cane and start beating on Demolition as the referee finally rings the bell as Demolition wins via DQ (5:00) **.
Thoughts: Good action while it lasted. Based off of the finish, it would appear that the Bulldogs are also in line for future title shots, perhaps once Demolition finishes feuding with Strike Force.
Don “The Rock” Muraco w/ Superstar Billy Graham vs. “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase
Before the match, DiBiase screams about how he was the champion and will be so again. The match starts after the break. DiBiase hammers away after Virgil provided a distraction. Muraco reverses an Irish whip then hits a backdrop as he is in control. DiBiase bails after begging for mercy as he is now yelling at the fans. Back inside, DiBiase misses an elbow drop and Muraco follows with a clothesline. He hits a powerslam but Virgil puts DiBiase’s foot on the ropes to break the pin. Graham backs Virgil off with his cane then DiBiase comes back with a clothesline for a nearfall. Suplex gets two. DiBiase ducks his head a Muraco hits a Russian leg sweep as both men are down. Muraco hits another powerslam for a nearfall then DiBiase begs for mercy but lands a cheapshot. DiBiase then covers after hitting a slam as the ref does not see Muraco’s foot on the ropes and counts to three (4:12) *1/2.
Thoughts: Solid action. They also wanted to protect Muraco with the finished they used as his Superstar Graham-lite gimmick is being featured as a solid midcard act.
Okerlund is backstage with Elizabeth and Savage, who mentions a few times that Elizabeth is his inspiration. They are very, very strongly putting over the relationship between Savage and Elizabeth.
“Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Koko B. Ware
This match is joined-in-progress after the break. Koko lands a few shots then dropkicks Rude after a leapfrog. Koko gets the crowd behind him but Rude lands a cheapshot then goes to work on the back and neck of Koko. Rude stays in control, stopping to taunt the crowd periodically, until Koko avoids a dropkick. Koko hits a backdrop but misses a crossbody then Rude hits the Rude Awakening for the win (3:44) *.
Thoughts: Really just a squash match win for Rude, whose stock is soaring in the company. And Koko’s stock continues to plummet.
Final Thoughts: For a SNME show, this was lackluster. There was no memorable matches and the lack of Hogan was noticeable. Besides the Duggan/Hercules match, there was no other angle advancement. The main goal of this show was to put over the new Savage/Elizabeth dynamic, with Savage constantly putting over Elizabeth as his inspiration. You could tell how much Vince wanted Elizabeth to be a star here. Overall, not a terrible show but it was forgettable for the most part.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 5/1/88 @ 8pm EST
Wednesday: PWG Lemmy 1/2/16 @ noon EST
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Jacqueline @ noon EST
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/7/88 @ 2pm EST
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 5/8/88 @ noon EST
Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/14/88 @ noon EST
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