The SmarK Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #13– 11.28.87
It’s another gooder!
Taped 11.07.87 from Seattle, WA, drawing 16,000 and an unknown rating. For those keeping track, this was taped before Survivor Series but aired two days afterwards, and that show is never mentioned here, even a little bit.
So last time, Honky Tonk Man shoved down Elizabeth and now Randy Savage is PISSED. Also, BUND-A-MANIA is running wild!
George Steele v. Dangerous Danny Davis
This one stems from a random angle months earlier where Danny hit Steele with the ringbell, setting up a house show run between them. Steele attacks and chases Davis out of the ring, actually managing to outsmart him and keep him on the floor. Davis tries sneaking in and Steele takes him down with a DROP TOEHOLD out of the corner as my jaw hits the floor, but Danny runs away and George tries to bring a chair into the ring, unsuccessfully. Finally Danny uses a foreign object on Steele, which is ironic considering George spent decades doing the same shtick as a heel, and he works Steele over in the corner until finally George just grabs him in the flying hammerlock and Davis kicks the ref for the DQ at 3:45. Well at least there was one wrestling move. ¼*
Meanwhile, Mean Gene is SICKENED by the villainy practiced by the Hart Foundation. “Well, practice makes perfect” quips Bret Hart. BOOM. That was an all-timer and even Bret is cracking up at his own line.
Randy Savage v. Bret Hart
So this one had a great anecdote in Bret’s book, as Vince told Bret to go do match based on working the leg and Bret protested that he’d never done a whole match like that and wasn’t sure how to do it. Vince then told him “Well, you’re the master technician, figure it out.” So he did. We take a break first and return with Brian Bosworth joining us at ringside and Honky doing an inset promo, wanting Bret to save a piece of the Macho Man (and Elizabeth) for him. Savage immediately runs Bret into the post and we get an iconic pose from Macho on the top rope, dominant over Bret and pointing down in fury at him. That is POETIC. They used to be so great at this stuff. Bret gets a cheapshot and chokes away in the corner, but Savage puts him down with an elbow and then takes him to the apron and sends him flying into the railing. Anvil and Jimmy try to storm the ring, but Savage rings their bell and then makes a blind dive onto Bret, who nails him with the megaphone on the way down. Oh that’s some quality cheating. Back in the ring, Bret pounds on him and stops to put the moves on Elizabeth, and then hangs Savage in the Tree of Woe and beats on him. Piledriver gets two. Man, why didn’t he do that more often later on? He had a great piledriver. Bret misses a blind charge and hits the post, and then Savage sends him into the other post for good measure, and then goes up with the double axehandle for two. Bret goes up with the middle rope elbow, but that misses and Macho gives him the necksnap for two. Savage ties him in the ropes and the incompetent ref physically pushes him off, so a frustrated Savage charges and Bret backdrops him over the top rope, blowing out Macho’s ankle in the process.
We take a break as Liz tends to him, and return with Savage taking off his boot to try and relieve the pressure. Back in the ring, Macho is hopping around on one leg, so Bret goes after the exposed ankle and wrapping it around the post. Bret drops a knee on it and then goes to work with a spinning toehold, but Macho necksnaps him for two. Bret goes right back to the leg with a toehold and then switches to a half-crab, but Macho makes the ropes. Too bad Bret doesn’t have some kind of devastating submission hold he can pull out! Savage bails to the apron, so Bret tries to suplex him into the ring and Savage reverses to an inside cradle for the pin at 14:00. Great stuff that really put Bret on the map as a potential singles threat for the first time. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Bobby Heenan promises that tonight is the end for Hulkamania.
WWF title: Hulk Hogan v. King Kong Bundy
Andre the Giant is at ringside to back up Bundy, as they begin the build to the rematch. Hogan’s pre-match promo is suitably bonkers, as he talks about having a backup power pack installed behind his heart that will kick in and enlarge his arteries if he gets in trouble. Is that what killed Eddie Guerrero? I mean, that doesn’t sound healthy at all. Hogan grabs a headlock to start and works on that, but Bundy fights out of it and misses a splash. Hulk puts him down with the clothesline and drops elbows on him for two, but puts his head down and gets clobbered. Bundy drops a knee on him for two off that and goes to a chinlock. Hulk fights up after a while and hits the big boot, but takes forever setting up the legdrop and Andre casually trips him up for the apparent DQ at 4:45. But instead, THIS MATCH MUST CONTINUE as Andre gets tossed by the ref. Are YOU gonna tell him that? Finally the heel side convinces him to go because otherwise Bundy loses, so Andre shoves down the cameraman and kicks him on the way by, which is another great visual from the perspective of the cameraman.
We take a break and return with the continuation of the situation, which is basically a restart. Bundy pounds away in the corner, but Hulk fires back with a corner clothesline and runs him into all four corners before beating on him with chops. Bundy pounds him down again and then steps on his back before going to the bearhug. Hulk fights out, but Bundy pounds the back again and then whips him into the corner for the Avalanche and big splash for two, but Hulk makes the comeback. Hulk slams him pretty easily and Bundy bails to the floor to escape, but Hulk chases him out and they brawl out there, but Hulk sends him back in and Bobby Heenan hangs onto Hulk’s ankle until he’s counted out at 14:45. Poor Bobby of course pays the price for this, and Jesse rightly points out the horrible show of sportsmanship by Hogan there. Bobby sacrificing himself for the cause makes him the true hero. Also this was a really good match. ***
Bam Bam Bigelow v. Hercules Hernandez
Herc flexes on Bigelow but is unable to win a test of strength, and Bam Bam beats on him in the corner before running into an elbow. Herc clotheslines him to the floor, however, and then tries to beat on him with forearms on the apron, but Bigelow snapmares him to the floor and they brawl out there for a double countout at 3:13. But Bam Bam didn’t come all the way to [insert shithole city here] for a double countout! So if [Midcard Heel] has any guts, they’ll finish it! Man I wonder who the first wrestler to use that Mad Lib was? So we take a break and return with Bam Bam beating on Hercules further, but he misses a dropkick and Herc drops an elbow on him and follows up with a knee, but fails to make the cover. He decides to go to the top for some reason and gets caught in a press slam, and Bam Bam finishes with the slingshot splash at 9:10. That was a bad finisher for Bigelow and I’m glad he dumped it after this failed run. *1/2
Meanwhile, King Kong Bundy and Andre chat with Mean Gene, and Bundy is going to DEMAND a rematch with Hogan, with Andre in his corner next time. And so we have our main event for the January episode set up.
I know the last two matches had goofy non-finish restart endings, but I thought this episode was GREAT. Macho wins in a great match and Hogan loses? That’s gold, Jerry, gold.