Taped from Nashville, TN
Airdate: March 12, 1988 (taped 3/7)
Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura
This reflection is brought to you by 5-hour Energy and the Usos.
Now that Hulk Hogan isn’t the WWF champion anymore, what happens next in the WWF?
Savage opens the show with Elizabeth and cuts a promo on DiBiase.
In turn, DiBiase responds by discussing fiscal responsibility.
Meanwhile, Beefcake is on the “cutting edge” and promotes his match against Valentine.
Not to be outdone, One Man Gang and Slick disparage American Olympic athletes with respect to Ken Patera.
Incredulously, Race and Heenan are prepared to humble Hogan once again.
Not so surprisingly, however, Hogan responds by wanting to crown the King in a different fashion.
Of course, we revisit the Main Event when André “upset” Hogan to win the WWF title as it was the talk of the wrestling world at the time. Quite the WWF debut for Earl Hebner, no?
Prior to the first match, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Valentine with Hart. Valentine’s ready to “tenderize that meathead.” Where’s Rob Reiner when you need him?
After Valentine makes his entrance, Okerlund interviews Beefcake who tries to be punny.
Match 1: Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
- Earl Hebner was the referee for this match. Will he screw over Beefcake too?
- After ducking a clothesline, Beefcake delivered a high knee sending Valentine down to the mat.
- Beefcake then gave Valentine a slam and a big boot resulting in a Valentine flop.
- Upon giving Valentine a pair of atomic drops, Beefcake delivered an elbow smash followed by a somersault rollup for 2.
- He then gave Valentine the ten-punch count-along resulting in Valentine flop #2.
- Valentine came back, mounted the top turnbuckle, and delivered an elbow smash to Beefcake’s head.
- Following that, a forearm smash got 2 for Valentine.
- He then hooked the figure-four leg lock, but Hebner caught Valentine using the ropes for leverage.
- All of a sudden, Honkytonk Man came to the ring, grabbed the microphone, and ran down Beefcake to promote their match for the Intercontinental title at WrestleMania IV.
- Shortly afterward, officials came out to remove him from ringside.
- After a commercial break, Valentine slammed Beefcake then delivered a head butt to the midsection.
- Next, Valentine tried figure-four leg lock #2, but Beefcake pulled him off by the tights. In doing so, he caused Valentine to shine a third quarter moon over Nashville.
- Subsequently, figure-four leg lock #3 was attempted by Valentine, but Beefcake kicked him sternum-first into the turnbuckle.
- Beefcake came back with a back elbow then hooked the sleeper.
- Both men fell through the ropes breaking the hold.
- While Valentine distracted Hebner, Hart nailed Beefcake from behind.
- After a chase ensued, Valentine gave Beefcake a belly-to-back suplex.
- Both wrestlers’ shoulders were down until Beefcake lifted his right shoulder up before three.
- Beefcake won.
Summary: That was a sneaky way to get Beefcake a win over the veteran Valentine, but it worked.
After the match, Beefcake crawls over to the timekeeper’s table, takes some scissors, and cuts some of Valentine’s hair off. How dastardly! And he’s a FACE! He then grabs his hedge clippers, and Valentine backs off.
Backstage, Okerlund interviews Race with Heenan.
After the King makes his entrance, Okerlund interviews Hogan who uses a Humpty-Dumpty reference for Race.
Match 2: Hulk Hogan versus King Harley Race
- A former WWF champion against a former NWA champion…Wow! Shouldn’t this be 2 out of 3 falls?
- Prior to the commercial break, Hogan chased Heenan away from ringside.
- Hogan then no-sold the attack from Race as “Real American” continued to play.
- As Hogan stood over Race, he ripped his t-shirt off to a HUGE ovation.
- After a pair of clotheslines, Hogan clotheslined Race over the top rope. Race landed on the timekeeper’s table rather than the floor. OUCH!
- Hogan joined him and rammed him face-first into the apron.
- He then rammed Race shoulder-first into the ring post.
- As Heenan distracted Hogan, Race nailed Hogan from behind with a double axe handle.
- Next, Race tried to piledrive Hogan on the floor, but Hogan countered with a back drop.
- Following that, he gave Race an atomic drop then rammed him face-first into the ring post.
- After breaking the count, Hogan slammed Race on the floor then tossed him back in.
- An aggressive Hogan then removed some tape from his right hand and choked Race with it. Do I smell a heel turn?
- Regardless, he then gave Race a clothesline followed by a choke. Methinks I should start booing this guy.
- As Hogan choked Race on the ropes, Heenan grabbed Hogan by the knee pad. Subsequently, Hogan grabbed Heenan and choked him until Race nailed Hogan with another double axe handle.
- After a pair of head butts and a knee drop, Race gave Hogan a belly-to-belly suplex.
- He followed with another knee drop and piledriver.
- After he tossed Hogan outside the ring. Race joined him and laid Hogan on the timekeeper’s table.
- Race then jumped up on the apron, attempted a diving head butt, and broke the table in two. He’s hardcore! So hardcore, in fact, that Race suffered peritonitis and a bacterial infection Yikes! While Race didn’t immediately retire, his retirement was certainly imminent.
- Nonetheless, back in the ring, Race mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a diving head butt for 2 with a HUGE kick-out from Hogan.
- It’s Hulk-up time!
- After a cross corner whip, Hogan delivered a corner clothesline.
- Following another clothesline, Hogan gave Race the leg drop and got the pin.
Summary: Most of that rating is thanks to Race despite the edgier Hogan character.
After the match, Heenan comes into the ring and nails Hogan. Since it doesn’t faze the Hulkster, Hogan chases him out of the ring then poses to close the segment.
Backstage, Okerlund interviews DiBiase with Virgil. DiBiase laughs about Hogan’s not being champion any longer and calls his own lack of championship status “politics.” He then cuts a promo on Savage while Okerlund hinted at a sizable corner man.
Next, we revisit the Main Event after Savage won by countout, he hoisted Elizabeth on his shoulder in the ring.
After DiBiase makes his entrance, Okerlund interviews Savage without Elizabeth. Savage cuts a promo on DiBiase then brings in his “platinum doll.” Aw.
Match 3: “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth) versus the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (w/ Virgil)
- After Savage made his entrance, André the Giant came to the ring to second DiBiase. That’s quite the sizable corner man!
- Before Savage and DiBiase locked up, Savage got between Virgil and Elizabeth outside the ring.
- After Savage slapped Virgil, DiBiase attacked Savage from behind and rammed him face-first into the apron.
- A subsequent back elbow by DiBiase was followed by shoulder blocks in the corner.
- He then mounted the second turnbuckle and gave Savage an elbow smash.
- As Savage rolled to the apron, André shoved him back toward the center of the ring. He must not have been “vintage” yet.
- Nevertheless, Savage came back by reversing a cross-corner whip and delivering a back elbow.
- Next, he put a knee into the middle of DiBiase’s back sending him to the floor.
- Following that, Savage joined him and tossed him back in.
- He then mounted the top turnbuckle and gave DiBiase a double axe handle to the head.
- When DiBiase tried to kick Savage in the midsection, Savage caught the foot, spun DiBiase around, and clotheslined him for 2.
- He then guillotined DiBiase using the top rope.
- After an elbow smash, DiBiase exited the ring to regroup.
- Upon returning to the ring, DiBiase gave Savage a series of elbow drops.
- He then gave Savage a cross-corner whip but ate knees on his follow-through.
- Afterward, an elbow drop by Savage got 2.
- Upon slamming DiBiase, Savage missed a knee drop.
- DiBiase then applied a pair of spinning toe holds until Savage kicked him over the top rope to the floor.
- DiBiase then pulled Savage outside the ring but fell victim to a face full of apron. Please pass the ketchup!
- Savage then attempted to suplex DiBiase on the floor, but André distracted him so that Virgil could nail Savage from behind.
- As you would expect, referee Dave Hebner then ejected Virgil.
- After a commercial break, DiBiase mounted the second turnbuckle and gave Savage a double axe handle to the head and an elbow drop for 2.
- LONG reverse chin lock by DiBiase culminated with elbows to the midsection by Savage.
- He then delivered a clothesline, an elbow smash, and a back drop.
- Upon escaping a side headlock, DiBiase ran Hebner over like a Mack truck.
- With Hebner OUT COLD, Savage tossed DiBiase over the top rope to the floor.
- He then mounted the top turnbuckle and gave DiBiase a double axe handle on the floor.
- André then grabbed Savage by the hair and gave him a head butt.
- He then rammed Savage shoulder-first into the ring post. How dastardly!
- Having seen enough chicanery, Elizabeth ran backstage to seek further assistance.
- André then gave Savage a series of chops as DiBiase shielded Hebner.
- As a result, Savage was counted out.
Summary: Drama-filled match with a crappy finish. I hope these guys tangle again soon. What happened to Elizabeth?
After the match, Virgil returns to outnumber and clobber Savage. As DiBiase tosses Hebner out of the ring, Hogan returns with a steel chair to chase off the heels as Elizabeth follows him to the ring to check on her protégé. Hogan helps Savage to his feet and backstage as “Pomp and Circumstance” plays in the background.
Following a commercial break, Ventura interviews Heenan, wearing a beekeeper’s mask, and the Islanders.
Match 4: The Islanders (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) versus the Killer Bees
- Quickly, Brunzell delivered a leg drop to Tama and got 2.
- Blair tagged in, mounted the second turnbuckle, and gave Tama’s left arm an elbow smash.
- He then rolled up Tama for 2.
- Shortly after, Brunzell missed his patented dropkick.
- Tama then gave Brunzell a vertical suplex for 2.
- Haku tagged in and gave Brunzell a dropkick for another 2.
- Brunzell came back with an inverted atomic drop to Tama.
- Afterward, a double clothesline put both Brunzell and Haku down on the mat.
- Blair tagged in and gave Tama an atomic drop.
- After slamming both Islanders, Blair rolled up Tama, but both Brunzell and Haku came into the ring.
- As Brunzell distracted the anonymous referee, Haku clotheslined Blair and covered him for the pin.
- This was a 2 out of 3 falls match, but only the first fall was shown. While the Bees won the second fall, ultimately the Islanders won the third and deciding fall.
Summary: Extremely-rushed tag match that made the Bees look like jobbers on TV.
Backstage, Okerlund interviews One Man Gang with Slick. While Slick runs down US Olympians and equates them to the second-place New York Yankees, One Man Gang absorbs my whole screen with his presence.
Match 5: One Man Gang (w/ Slick) versus Ken Patera
- Before Patera could remove his sweatpants, Gang ambushed him then choked him with them.
- Patera came back with a cross-corner whip followed by a bear hug.
- To escape, Gang raked the eyes but fell victim to a full nelson. Shortly after, Gang made the ropes.
- Patera followed with shoulder blocks in the corner and the ten-punch count-along.
- He then tried a clothesline, but Gang bowled him over and pinned him.
Summary: Showcase match for Gang who SQUISHED Patera like a bug.
After the match, Patera mounts the second turnbuckle and hammers Gang with a right. He then tries to slam Gang, but Slick nails Patera with the cane.
After a commercial break, Okerlund interviews a hysterical Hogan. Did LGN ever make one of those?
Conclusion: While it barely shilled WrestleMania IV, the show otherwise showcased the WWF’s top talent prompting people to order WWF’s annual spectacular. As far as a recommendation goes, the Hogan-Race and Savage-DiBiase matches are definite must-see matches.
See you for WWF WrestleMania IV!