WWF The Main Event #1 2/5/1988
Written By: Matt Peddycord
WWF The Main Event #1
February 5, 1988
Market Square Arena
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)
To this day, this is the highest-rated television show in the history of North American professional wrestling. Just to show you what that means exactly is that this show drew over a third of the Super Bowl XXII crowd from a week before. I mean, EVERYBODY watches the Super Bowl!
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and “Hollywood” Jesse Ventura!
They show us a Hulk Hogan workout video which strangely resembles Sable’s workout video ten years later. The only difference really is Sable’s humongous breasts.
WWF Intercontinental Champion Honky Tonk Man (w/Jimmy Hart & Peggy Sue) vs. Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth)
This was basically the on-screen end of the Savage/HTM feud as Savage would be getting ready for his arguably premature World title run and feud with DiBiase and Andre. By premature, I mean that he had no longer been a face for six months after being a top mid-card heel for over two years in the WWF, and he was already gunning for the World title as a main event face. In hindsight, it may have been a better idea to let DiBiase win the belt at ‘Mania and have Savage chase the belt and win it at SummerSlam. But hey, those early WrestleMania days were all about the good guys leaving victorious, so we got what we have. Honky gets caught dancing for Elizabeth and pays for it. By the way, Peggy Sue is Sensational Sherri with a blond wig and spider-frame sunglasses. Honky bails and gets a DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER with Jimmy Hart! Back in, Savage gets nailed by Honky with some assistance from Jimmy Hart out on the floor. Savage punches out of a sunset flip attempt, but then misses a charge in the corner. Honky hits the canvas off an elbow drop, so Jimmy hops up on the apron to distract Savage out to the floor. The megaphone gets dropped in the ring and Honky Tonk nails Savage with it in the gut once the ref wasn’t looking. Honky covers for 1-2-NO! Honky hooks on a neck wrench, but Savage quickly elbows out. Honky catches Savage coming off the ropes with a knee to the gut to regain control. At every chance he gets, he looks over and smiles at Elizabeth. Honky gets in some more of his choke-punch offense. Savage makes a mild comeback, but then Honky puts him back down with a clothesline and a series of elbow drops. Since he thinks he has Savage incapacitated, he heads out to go after Elizabeth. She’s caught between Honky and Jimmy too! Savage finally gets up and floors Honky Tonk from behind. Back in, Honky begs Savage off, but gets thrown out for the top-rope double ax on the floor. Back in again, Savage hits another double-ax handle for 1-2-NO! Jimmy Hart is on the apron and he gets tossed in the ring. Savage grabs him, but moves out of the way and lets Honky knock him out to ringside with a running knee. Savage applies a sleeper hold, but lets go of the hold when he sees Peggy Sue is about to slap the crap out of Elizabeth. He saves her and then catches Honky coming off the apron with a shot to the gut. Savage runs him into the ringpost and rolls back in the ring to let Honky get counted out. (8:24) Honky Tonk brings his guitar in the ring and corners Savage, but Elizabeth gets in the way to save her man. Honky swings anyway, but Savage stands up and blocks the impact. He kicks Honky Tonk out of the ring and breaks the guitar. HIT MACHO’S MUSIC! Savage holds the rope down for Elizabeth to come in and he lifts her up on his shoulders to make all the women swoon. **
WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant (w/”Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase & Virgil)
DiBiase had bought Andre’s contract from Bobby Heenan for a MILLION dollars a few weeks prior to this match, which is why you won’t see Bobby Heenan here. Hogan goes NUTS on everyone to start. He pulls DiBiase and Virgil in off the apron and Big Boots them both out to ringside. Hulk staggers Andre, but can’t put the giant down. Hogan nails DiBiase and Virgil again and then charges into the corner to give Andre a clothesline. Hogan rakes the eyes and heads up top like an idiot and gets slammed down to the mat. Andre tries to fall on him with a headbutt, but Hogan rolls out of the way. Hogan goes to cover, but Andre GOOZLES Hogan! What a great counter! Andre chokes Hogan back down the mat after the ref’s five-count. Andre controls with his usual offense before returning to a blatant choke. Andre hits Hogan with a big boot that sends Hulk out to the floor and makes him fall as well. Virgil throws Hulk back in to avoid the countout and Andre chokes on Hogan some more this time with his tights strap. More choking occurs as Hogan begins to HULK UP! Hogan fires back and then comes off the middle-rope with a clothesline to take Andre off his feet (by Hogan’s own skill) for the first time in the match. Virgil grabs Hulk’s ankle as he goes for the LEG DROP on the first attempt, but then hits it on the second try. Ref Earl “Dave” Hebner is busy arguing with Virgil and doesn’t get over for the count. Hogan gets up and turns the ref around to complain. Andre gets to his feet and grabs Hulk from behind and drills him with a couple headbutts before spinning Hulk around and delivering the DOUBLE-UNDERHOOK SUPLEX. Andre covers and Hulk’s left shoulder is up at one, but Hebner counts three anyways to give Andre the belt and ending the third-longest single WWF World title reign ever of 1474 days. Had it been a week later, he would’ve tied with Bob Backlund’s second-longest reign of 1481 days. (7:52) Ha, Vince calls Hebner’s mistake a STUPID mistake and that it should be overruled by Jack Tunney, but Ventura says that this isn’t football and we don’t go by replays. Regardless of the fact that Andre got this rematch based on a replay of what happened in his match at WrestleMania III. Andre is champion for no more than a minute when he’s hands the belt over to DiBiase. The heels wave at Hogan as they leave because they’ve accomplished their goal. Once they leave, we see that there are TWO Dave Hebners in the ring! Dave Hebner is obviously a heavier-set man and Earl Hebner is thinner, which makes everyone who can’t tell the difference a moron; including Hulk Hogan. Earl ends up kicking Dave out to ringside, tipping off to Hogan who the real Hebner is. He presses Earl up and THROWS him out on top of DiBiase, Virgil and Andre who just happens to still be at ringside! In my opinion, this match is just as historically significant as their WrestleMania match. Because of the shenanigans, WWF President Jack Tunney declares the title vacant by the following weekend and the 14-man WWF World title tournament is set for WrestleMania IV. ½*
Hogan cries to Mean Gene in the back because he wonders how much money was spent on the plastic surgery. WHO CARES?! YOU JUST LOST YOUR TITLE!
Final Thoughts: There was supposed to be a Strike Force/Hart Foundation match attached to the end of this card, but it got cut due to time constraints. Since this show is SO hard to find, just grab the “History of the WWF Championship” DVD and watch Hogan/Andre II on it. This show as you can see is just two matches and HTM/Savage isn’t necessarily a must-see.