Written By: Matt Peddycord
WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event #14
January 2, 1988
(Taped on 12/7/1987)
The current WWF Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Hulk Hogan (1/23/1984)
Intercontinental Champion: Honky Tonk Man (6/2/1987)
World Tag Team Champions: Strike Force (10/27/1987)
Women’s Champion: Sensational Sherri (7/24/1987)
Jake Roberts and Damien are inviting Fuji and Sika to a NEW YEAR’S PARTY! Oh man, you know somebody’s getting drunk at that little shindig! Valentine’s gonna scramble some bird brains because he’s “The Hammer”! The Bolsheviks are communist Russian hippies! BUNDYMANIA gets a second shot at taking over the world, but HULKAMANIA stands in his way! It’s time for Saturday Night’s Main Event!
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Movie Star” Ventura!
Mean Gene wishes the Hulkster a happy new year, but he won’t have any of it! The only way he’ll be able to have a happy new year is if he gets his hands on that big, foul-smelling, rancid, reeking, stinking, grody, gross, icky, loathsome, repulsive, repugnant, rotten Andre the Giant! Yeah, I used thesaurus.com.
WWF World Tag Team Champions Strike Force vs. The Bolsheviks (w/Slick) – 2/3 Falls
Santana gets a slam on Zhukov to start and then Strike Force works on his arm. Zhukov fights out with an elbow and tags in Volkoff. Martel slips out of a press slam and gets a quick rollup for two. Martel catches Volkoff with another rollup for two, but Volkoff hammers him down and tags in Zhukov. Martel blocks a head to the buckle and returns the favor to break free and tag in Santana. Crossbody block from Santana gets two as Volkoff makes the save. That causes Martel to run in and the commies to do a little double-teaming on Santana. Once order is restored, Volkoff catches Santana with a clothesline for two. Volkoff follows that up with choking and stomping before tagging in Zhukov. He gives Santana a back suplex for 1-2-NO! Zhukov goes to the chinlock, but Santana elbows out and then avoids an elbow drop. He sidesteps Zhukov and makes the HOT TAG TO MARTEL! He goes crazy on Zhukov before hitting the backdrop to set up the QUEBEC CRAB! Santana runs in and prevents Volkoff from making the save. Zhukov submits to give Strike Force the first fall. (4:24) Martel celebrates like he just WON the tag titles! At the start of the second fall, Strike Force tries to put Zhukov away with a double-dropkick. Martel slams Zhukov down and goes for the QUEBEC CRAB again, but Volkoff breaks it up. There’s no tag, but the ref lets Volkoff become the legal man anyway. Volkoff hits Martel with a hotshot and then follows up with a gutwrench suplex for 1-2-NO! Volkoff hits the guerilla-press backbreaker for 1-2-NO! The Bolsheviks start to tag in and out and punish Martel with headbutts. At one point, Santana comes in the ring to cause Martel to eat a double-back elbow from the Bolsheviks for 1-2-NO! Martel comes back with a sunset flip for one, but then charges into a double-KO with Volkoff. HOT TAG TO SANTANA! He’s got a couple dropkicks for both Russians! FLYING JALAPENO for Zhukov, but Volkoff breaks up the pin. While the ref is making sure Martel returns to his corner, Volkoff grabs Slick’s cane to nail Santana, but Santana ducks and Volkoff hits Zhukov instead. Martel dropkicks Volkoff out to the floor while Santana covers Zhukov and gets the win. (7:57 total) Fun little “face-in-peril” match. **
Mean Gene is in the back with Mr. Fuji who’s holding a jar of mustard. You know how I know it’s a jar of mustard? It’s says MUSTARD right on the side of it. Sika pulls out some really long Italian bread because he’s ready to make a DAMIEN SAMMICH!
Sika (w/Mr. Fuji) vs. Jake Roberts (w/Damien the SNAKE!)
Vince tells us he doesn’t eat meat. Oh no, that means he’s probably going to be around for a LONG time. *sigh* Roberts works the arm a bit, but then Sika comes back with a backdrop and starts up the clawing and nerve-holding. Jake fights up and hits a knee-lift and connects on some left jabs before the big right. Sika misses a charge in the corner and gets rolled up for the 1-2-3! (3:34) After the match, Sika gets sent out to the floor so that Roberts can give Fuji a DDT! The coolest part is that Fuji never loses his hat! Damien slithers all over Fuji as the crowd goes wild! Terrible match, as you might expect. CRAP
Mean Gene points out that Bobby Heenan will not be at ringside with Bundy because that would be going against doctors’ orders. You see, Hogan hurt Heenan’s neck at the last SNME a month ago and he’s still wearing a neck brace. In his place tonight will be that big, foul-smelling, rancid, reeking, stinking, grody, gross, icky, loathsome, repulsive, repugnant, rotten Andre the Giant. Afterwards, Hogan cuts a crazy promo about Ronald Reagan.
WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy (w/Andre the Giant)
Because Heenan caused Hogan to lose to Bundy by countout at the last SNME, we get a Hogan/Bundy rematch which would basically be Bundy’s sendoff to Hollywood, as Ted DiBiase would take over as Andre’s partner-in-crime to help take the WWF Championship away from Hogan. Anybody remember Bundy in the Richard Pryor movie, “Moving”? Hogan slams Bundy’s head into three of the four corners and then Big Boots him out to ringside to start. Back in, Hogan hits a series of elbows and connects with a running clothesline. Bundy bails out again and talks strategy over with Andre. Back in, Hogan works Bundy’s arm with a not-so-painful looking wristlock. They’re really just holding hands. Bundy escapes and yanks Hogan down by the little hair he has to hook on an armbar. Now THAT looks somewhat painful. Hogan punches out but then runs into a back elbow. Bundy goes back to the arm, but applies another not-so-painful looking wristlock. Bundy pulls Hogan to the mat by his hair again for the armbar. Amazingly, Hogan punches out of it and slams Bundy to escape the hold! While he shouldn’t have even been able to pick Bundy up with the hurt arm, he at least sold it like it hurt to accomplish that. Bundy gets right back on top of Hogan, but then misses an elbow drop. Bundy reverses a corner-whip but then the ref AND Hogan takes the AVALANCHE! Bundy goes for the SPLASH, but Hogan avoids and punches Bundy out to ringside. Ref Dave Hebner comes down as the replacement referee and tells Hogan and Bundy to chill out while they get the injured ref out of the ring. That gives Bundy and Andre plenty of time to scheme on the Hulkster. Bundy gets back in and takes Hogan down with a clothesline. Bundy follows that up by chopping Hulk out to the floor to try and get another countout victory. Hogan finally gets back in the ring where he’s met with a rear chinlock from Bundy. After a minute or so of that, Bundy releases the hold and delivers the AVALANCHE to just Hogan this time! He delivers another AVALANCHE, but then he takes forever to cover because he’s too busy doing the 1-2-3 hand gestures. BIG SPLASH by Bundy gets 1-2-NO! Hogan begins to HULK UP! He runs Bundy into the corner and then hits the LEG DROP for the 1-2-3. (12:09) Andre gets up on the ring apron and Hogan freakin’ begs Andre to get in the ring with him. Andre uses his smarts and climbs back down from the apron to give Hulk a false sense of security. When Hogan starts posing and turns his back to Andre, that’s when the giant strikes and DESTROYS the champ. He chokes Hulk to the mat as the British Bulldogs run down for the save, but Andre no-sells and gives them a double noggin knocker and tosses them out to the floor. Andre goes back to choking Hulk as Jake Roberts, Junkyard Dog and Strike Force come down. Andre finally stops choking Hogan when Hacksaw Jim Duggan runs in and wallops him with the 2×4 a couple times. Andre even gets to pose with the belt while the faces take Hogan to the back. Match is just a sidenote to the great build towards Hogan/Andre II. ½*
Koko B. Ware (w/Frankie the PARROT!) vs. Greg Valentine (w/Jimmy Hart)
Koko catches Valentine with a shoulderblock to start, but then is slowed down by a hotshot. Valentine hammers Koko down and applies a rear chinlock. Valentine breaks the hold and sends Koko out to the floor. Back in, Valentine hits a clothesline for two. Valentine tries to get the pin out of a knucklelock as Brutus Beefcake makes his way down to ringside. This distracts the crap out of Valentine and allows Koko to get a bunch of near-falls. Valentine goes to the floor and demands that the ref send Beefcake out of here. Back to action, as Valentine whips Koko from pillar to post. He heads up top, but Koko meets him there and throws him down to the canvas. Koko wins a slugfest and comes off the middle rope with a fist drop for 1-2-NO! Koko grabs a headlock, but Valentine outsmarts him and gives Koko a shin breaker to set up the FIGURE-FOUR for the submission victory. (7:21) Pretty much a Superstars main event, if even that. Post-match, Valentine reapplies the FIGURE-FOUR to bring Beefcake back out for the save. Valentine bails and Jimmy Hart should have, but he hangs around to beg Beefcake off and gets some of his hair clipped. So why doesn’t he just leave? *
Before we go on to bed, we go to Andre to hear him gloat about how great it was to choke out Hogan. We would hear from Hulk, but his larynx hurts. Wuss.
Final Thoughts: This included a fun 2/3-falls match with Strike Force and the continuation of the Hogan/Andre feud. I have loved watching this feud unfold because I didn’t watch this stuff when it happened considering I was only 19 months old when this episode originally aired. The idea of “booking a feud and keeping physical contact down to a minimum until a match is necessary” seems to be a lost philosophy nowadays and plays a big part in why feuds aren’t built right anymore. These guys have been feuding for OVER a year, and the arena still goes crazy just because they are in the same ring together. Thumbs up for the show, if only for the Hogan/Andre stuff.