Rock Star Gary reflects on Saturday Night’s Main Event XVII

WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XVII

Taped from Baltimore, MD

Airdate: October 29, 1988 (taped 10/25)

Attendance:  unknown

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

We open tonight’s program with Jake and Cheryl Roberts sharing a kiss. Jake then cuts a promo with Damian wrapped around his shoulders. According to Cheryl, Rude’s pain will be their “pleasure.”

With Cheryl’s face airbrushed on his tights, Rude and Heenan answer the Snake.

Afterward, Slick, dressed for Halloween like a leprechaun in his green suit, unveils the Big Boss Man who reads Powers his Miranda rights.

Meanwhile, the Hart Foundation vow to regain the WWF tag team titles.

Eerily, Jimmy Hart and Mr. Fuji accompany WWF tag team champions Demolition as Fuji makes me hungry mentioning pudding.

Hogan then cuts a promo on King Haku. During which, Elizabeth joins him as arm candy. I wonder how Savage feels about that.

Prior to the first match, we revisit how Rude tried to woo Cheryl. Included is the disrobing of Rude when he wore the airbrushed tights one time too many (aired 9/10, taped 8/23).

Backstage, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews Rude with Heenan. Rude informs Okerlund that Roberts and Damian “couldn’t beat (him) in a three-legged race.” How gauche!

After Rude makes his entrance, Okerlund interviews Roberts with his wife and Damien. According to Jake, “Rude and his tights will go down.” Yikes! To add insult to injury, Cheryl brought a fig leaf for “little Rick.” HA!

Match 1: Jake “The Snake” Roberts (w/ Cheryl Roberts) versus “Ravishing” Rick Rude (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)


  • Ventura referred to Cheryl Roberts as Robin Givens. Oh my!
  • To counter a shoulder block in the corner, Roberts gave Rude a knee lift.
  • After a leap frog by Rude, Roberts hammered him in the midsection.
  • DDT attempt #1 was then thwarted by Rude as he exited the ring.
  • Roberts grabbed him by the perm but received an eye rake for his troubles.
  • Although Roberts missed a short-arm clothesline, Rude didn’t miss his clothesline.
  • After delivering a forearm smash, Rude taunted Cheryl.
  • He then gave Roberts a cross-corner whip, but after a second one, he ate a clothesline.
  • Next, Roberts delivered a knee to the midsection followed by a face plant.
  • As Roberts held Rude by the arms, Cheryl slapped the taste out of Rude’s mouth.
  • Referee Joey Marella subsequently ejected her from ringside.
  • After a commercial break, Rude shoved Roberts into the ring post.
  • He then rammed Roberts’ shoulder into the ring post twice.
  • After a back drop, Roberts made DDT attempt #2 but received a back drop instead.
  • Following that, Rude mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered a flying knee drop for 2.
  • He then attempted the Rude Awakening, but Roberts bit his arm to counter. Has he been taking wrestling lessons from George Steele?
  • Upon psyching out Rude a couple of times, Roberts hit the DDT.
  • Suddenly, Heenan climbed the turnbuckles closest to the aisle and signaled for the cavalry.
  • When Roberts tried to remove Rude’s tights, Heenan came in and put the shoes to Roberts.
  • Marella called for the bell disqualifying Rude.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  This couldn’t possibly be the blow-off to their months-long feud, could it?

After the match, André the Giant comes to the ring and nails Roberts. In retaliation, Roberts opens the bag and scares the bejesus out of André with Damian. As Roberts tosses Damian atop him, André passes out in fear. Heenan comes to André’s rescue and worries about Andre’s health. After a commercial break, a rattled Andre searches under the ring for Damian.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews the Hart Foundation. Neidhart offers this zinger: “The only way Jimmy Hart can hurt someone is to manage (him).” HA!

Also backstage, Ventura, dressed like a Sharp Dressed Man, interviews Demolition with Hart and Fuji. When Ventura mentions the Rougeaus, Hart notes they’ll be around to observe.

Match 2 for the WWF tag team titles: Demolition (champions w/ Mr. Fuji & Jimmy Hart) versus the Hart Foundation


  • Smash attempted a vertical suplex, but Neidhart countered with one of his own for 2.
  • Bret tagged in, gave Smash a boot to the midsection, and then dropkicked him.
  • He then mounted the second turnbuckle, hit a flying elbow smash, but only got 1.
  • To counter an arm bar by Bret, Smash leveled him with a clothesline.
  • He then gave Bret a whip into the corner resulting in a sternum-first bump.
  • As Neidhart distracted referee Joey Marella, Fuji choked Bret with his cane. How dastardly!
  • After Ax guillotined Bret using the top rope, Smash tagged in but received a clothesline.
  • Hot tag Neidhart.
  • After giving each member of Demolition a dropkick, Neidhart clotheslined both of them.
  • He then gave Smash a powerslam but only got 2 thanks to a save by Ax.
  • All four men were in the ring.
  • The Hart Foundation then whipped Demolition into one another.
  • While Marella was occupied with Bret and Ax, Neidhart got a false pin on Smash.
  • Meanwhile, the Rougeaus observed the match from the aisle.
  • When Fuji got up on the apron, Bret nailed him.
  • As Raymond Rougeau distracted Neidhart, Jacques Rougeau tossed the megaphone to Smash who WALLOPED Neidhart into the middle of 1989.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The champs retained.

Rating: *

Summary: A bit of variation from the finish at Summerslam. The feud between the Hart Foundation and Jimmy Hart continues.

After a commercial break, we revisit SNME XV when Race suffered a severe injury limiting his career going forward. Race subsequently bequeathed the crown to Haku.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews King Haku with Heenan.

After King Haku makes his entrance on his throne, Okerlund interviews Hogan who mentions the Big Boss Man. In the meantime, Elizabeth drags Hogan away for a “date with royalty.” Could Hogan have been messing around with Princess Diana back in ’88? Call the National Enquirer to find out!

Match 3: Hulk Hogan (w/ Elizabeth) versus King Haku (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)


  • After Hogan gave King Haku a clothesline, he delivered an elbow drop.
  • As he came off the ropes, Heenan grabbed him by the ankle.
  • King Haku then applied a nerve hold, but Hogan escaped.
  • After Hogan reversed an Irish whip, he ate a double chop to the trapezius muscles.
  • King Haku then delivered a superkick knocking Hogan out of the ring down to the floor.
  • He then tried to deliver a chop from the apron but hit Heenan instead of Hogan.
  • Hogan then grabbed King Haku’s crown and put it on his head. Egomaniac? Megalomaniac? You make the call!
  • Officials assisted Heenan back to the locker room prior to a commercial break.
  • Afterward, Hogan gave King Haku a cross-corner whip but ate a clothesline.
  • Upon giving Hogan a diving head butt, King Haku hooked a vertical suplex for 2.
  • Hulk-up time!
  • After a big boot, he hit the leg drop for the pin.
  • Hogan won.

Rating: **

Summary:  Standard Hogan match. Moving along…

After the match, Elizabeth assists Hogan with his posing. Hogan then hoists Elizabeth onto his right shoulder. I wonder how Savage feels about that.

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Bravo with Martin.

After Bravo makes his entrance, Okerlund interviews Patera.

Match 4: Dino Bravo (w/ Frenchy Martin) versus Ken Patera


  • After a back drop, Patera slammed Bravo.
  • Shortly after, he reversed a cross-corner whip and delivered a back elbow.
  • He then gave Bravo the ten-punch count-along.
  • After another slam, Patera attempted the full nelson, but Bravo got to the ropes prior to its application.
  • Patera then gave Bravo a cross-corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
  • Bravo then delivered an inverted atomic drop followed by the sidewalk slam.
  • 1-2-3.

Rating: ½*

Summary:  Showcase match for Bravo. That 90-day clause for Patera couldn’t drag out much more, could it?

Backstage, Okerlund interviews the Big Boss Man with Slick.

Match 5: The Big Boss Man (w/ Slick) versus Jim Powers


  • Early on, Powers hooked a sleeper, but Boss Man SQUISHED him in the corner to escape. Under the uniform, Traylor still resembled Big Bubba if you catch my drift.
  • Regardless, he then gave Powers a cross-corner whip followed by an avalanche.
  • After a knee lift, Boss Man delivered a head butt.
  • As Boss Man yelled for Hogan, he gave Powers a running guillotine.
  • Upon hooking a bear hug and dropping Powers, Boss Man ate a pair of dropkicks.
  • He then gave Powers the Boss Man Slam for the pin.

Rating: DUD

Summary:  Showcase match for the Big Boss Man.

After the match, Boss Man handcuffs Powers to the ropes. While Slick occupied the anonymous referee’s attention, Boss Man nails Powers with the nightstick.

After a commercial break, we revisit Superstars when the Big Boss Man attacked Hogan on the Brother Love show (aired 10/22, taped 10/5).

Backstage, Okerlund interviews Hogan again. This time, they discuss the Big Boss Man.

In the locker room, Ventura interviews André the Giant with Heenan. When Ventura asks him about snakes, André acts incredibly defensive.

Conclusion:  While entertaining, this show does not hold any historical value unless you count Andre’s ophidiophobia.

See you for WWF Survivor Series ‘88!

Rating: 8.70

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