WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event – November 26th, 1988

November 26, 1988

From the Arco Arena in Sacramento, CA

Your hosts are Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Vince McMahon

Tonight, the Ultimate Warrior defends his Intercontinental Title against the Super Ninja, Randy Savage defends the WWF World Heavyweight Title against Andre the Giant, Hercules goes up against Virgil, and Hulk Hogan will be the guest of the “Brother Love Show.”


WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Super Ninja w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Ultimate Warrior (c)

The ninja is journeyman wrestler Rip Oliver under a mask. Ninja chops Warrior to start but they have no effect. Warrior boots Ninja then flips him on his head before booting him to the floor. Warrior throws Ninja back inside and roughs him up some more before putting him away with the press slam/splash combo (2:11) DUD.

Thoughts: The match itself was terrible but the idea of Warrior completely squashing this mysterious man, managed by Fuji to come off as having some credibility, was decent, IMO. Warrior seemed a bit reckless with the Ninja. Oliver worked as himself for several weeks in 1987 and actually worked against the Warrior at a televised house show in Houston.


We are shown the clip of Bobby Heenan selling Hercules into slavery to Ted DiBiase. Hercules then makes his way to the ring as we get this exchange from the announcers:

Jesse: You tell me he doesnt look like Kunta Kinte

Vince: Kunta Kinte?

Jesse: Yeah.

Vince: This isn’t Roots, this is Saturday Night’s Main Event, Jesse!

Jesse: And you know what I always say McMahon, if the chain fits, wear it.

Imagine that getting on air today.


Virgil w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Hercules

The story here is that Hercules will become DiBiase’s slave if he loses and that DiBiase himself did not want to get his hands dirty by wrestling his slave. The match started after the break as DiBiase and Virgil attack Hercules from behind. Hercules comes back with a double clothesline then sends Virgil to the floor. Hercules goes after DiBiase then backdrops Virgil and follow with a few jabs. Hercules drops an elbow as he stays in control before getting the win with a running powerslam (3:20) 1/4*. After the match, Hercules tosses Virgil to the floor on top of DiBiase, who then starts screaming at Virgil as they head up the aisle.

Thoughts: The crowd was really into Hercules getting revenge but the match was also terrible. The feud is actually getting over and a lot of that is due to DiBiase, who the crowd absolutely loathes.


We get the clip from the last “Saturday Night’s Main Event” that showed us Andre the Giant was afraid to snakes.


WWF World Heavyweight Title Match: Andre the Giant w/ Bobby Heenan vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (c) w/ Elizabeth

Savage tries to attack Andre but gets trapped in the corner. Savage escapes and fights back but gets knocked down then Andre applies a front facelock. Andre now beats on Savage in the corner as Savage manages to escape but cannot overcome the power and strength of Andre, who is choking Savage out with his strap as Heenan distracts the referee while Elizabeth is upset. Andre continues to wear Savage down as he chokes Savage against the ropes. Savage breaks up a hold with a jawbreaker as he is now firing away in the corner but he gets shoved and choked out again. Savage once again fights back as he stuns Andre and gets him on one knee as the crowd is going mental. Jake Roberts is now at ringside as Andre gets back up and chokes out Savage. Andre and Heenan are flipping out that Jake is here as Jake carefully placed Damien underneath the ring. Andre and Heenan huddle as Jake talks to Savage, who wants him to leave as we head to break. The match returns with Savage beating on Andre while Heenan is searching for Damien as Andre is preoccupied with that. Heenan finally finds the bag but Jake is now ringside as they head in and brawl as the match is ruled a DQ (8:51) *1/2. Savage knocks Heenan into Andre, who is now tied in the ropes. Savage tosses Heenan to the floor as the crowd goes mental. Savage now invites Jake into the ring as Damien is in the ring. Andre is just able to get free as he flees up the aisle.

Thoughts: The finish was designed to keep both guys strong and get over the Andre is afraid of snakes angle. However, the match did not make Savage seem like he was on Andre’s level and while it had a heat and was laid out to accommodate Andre’s lack of mobility, the focus was still on Andre/Jake and not the WWF World Heavyweight Title.


Flag Match: Boris Zhukov vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Jesse lets us know he has a big scoop regarding the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers and Jimmy Hart. Duggan takes control early as he sends Zhukov to the floor. Back inside, Duggan dodges a dropkick but misses an elbow drop as Zhukov bites him in the corner. Duggan comes back with a clothesline and a slam before putting him away with the Three Point Stance (2:27) DUD. After the match, the American flag is raised as Duggan salutes the flag.

Thoughts: Zhukov was atrocious and really one of the worst on the roster. His promos and in-ring ability sucked.


Brother Love Show is up next. However, instead of scheduled guest Hulk Hogan, Brother Love brings out Slick. We then cut backstage to Gene Okerlund and Hogan, who is irate as Slick walks down the aisle as we head to break. The show returns as Brother Love wants Slick to stay here as he brings out Hogan. Brother Love gets in Hogan’s face and asks how it felt when Bossman beat him while handcuffed then pulls the mic away and answers for him by saying it felt good as Slick tells Hogan he has the face of a criminal. Slick and Brother Love mock Hogan, who slaps Brother Love and tells him to shut up and he will learn about the school of hard knocks, Hulkamania style. Hogan then asks Slick if he actually thinks he is the only person in the world wit handcuffs as Brother Love tells him he will bring Bossman out again to control him as Hogan tosses Slick over the top rope. Brother Love hits Hogan with his microphone as Hogan finally grabs him and slams Love down. Hogan then cuffs Love and tosses him over the top rope as he ends this segment by posing to the fans. Long segment designed for Hogan to get some revenge from when the Big Bossman attacked him one month ago. It was okay but really was too long for what they accomplished.


Young Stallions vs. Fabulous Rougeau Brothers w/ Jimmy Hart

Before the match, The Rougeaus and Jimmy tell us the Rougeaus now live in Memphis, TN. Match starts with Jacques getting the best of Powers. Jimmy nails Powers with the megaphone as he was using mounted punches in the corner as the Rougeaus double-team Powers. Roma tags in after Powers dodged an attack as he runs wild. Roma gets two with a missile dropkick then the match breaks down as the Rougeaus hit the Rougeau Bomb behind the referee’s back as that gets the win (3:05) *.

Thoughts: This was fine for what it was. The Rougeaus were getting the push and needed the win and got one here while getting over their heel act. We also learn that the Rougeaus moved to Memphis, TN as that will also play into their act.


Jesse is with Andre and Heenan. Andre grabs Jesse and yells that he is not afraid of snakes as he then calls out Jake to fight him like a man as he still freaks out over the word “snake” even being mentioned. After that, Okerlund is with Jake and asks him about Andre’s fear of snakes. Jake said Damien and himself will not stop until they consume a giant.


Hogan is with Okerlund. He calls out the Big Bossman and asks him what he’s gonna do when judge Hogan presides over him. A basic hype promo to prolong the Bossman/Hogan feud.


Final Thoughts: Overall, I felt this was a weak offering for a SNME. It did have a World Title match but it didnt really feel all that important. It focused more on the key feuds rather than marquee action but the action tonight was poor. At least they are showing direction post-Survivor Series as they are trying to build up some momentum.


Here is my schedule for the next several days:


Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 3/11/82

Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 11/27/88

Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling  12/3/88

Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 12/4/88

Wednesday: EVOLVE 66 8/19/16

Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD

Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/10/88