The SmarK Retro Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #14 – January 1988


– Back to the reposts again as we blow through 1988.

– Taped from Landover, MD

– Your hosts are Vince & Jesse.

– WWF tag title match, 2/3 falls: Strike Force v. The Bolsheviks. Oddly enough, both teams here were formed on the heels of one member of a more well-known team being fired – in this case, Tom Zenk and Iron Sheik were fired and replaced with Tito Santana & Boris Zhukov, respectively. Tito starts off with Boris and uses speed to keep him off-guard. They work on the arm in tandem and Tito rolls up Volkoff for two. Small package gets two. Bolsheviks hammer on Martel, but Tito comes in with a bodypress for two. Bolsheviks double-team for two. Much choking is evident. Zukhov gets a backdrop suplex for two as Jesse praises the technical acumen of the Russians. Boris hits the chinlock, but Santana makes the tag to Martel, who gets a hiptoss, backdrop, and quickly finishes the first fall via the Boston Crab at 4:26. Second fall: Santana dumps Volkoff and Strike Force double-teams Boris into another Crab. It’s a donnybrook, and Martel gets dropped on the top rope by Volkoff. Side salto gets two. Backbreaker gets two. Boris works the back, as does Volkoff. Double-elbow gets two. Martel gets a sunset flip for two, and everyone tags. Santana gets the hot tag and it’s BONZO GONZO. Flying Jalapeno gets two. The heels miscommunicate and Tito gets the pin on Boris at 7:56 for two straight falls. Longish but passable. 1 for 1.

– Jake Roberts v. Samoan Sika. In the human Escher painting that is the samoan family tree, I believe Sika is the father of the guys currently working in OVW as the Island Boyz, and is Rikishi’s uncle. But god knows I’m probably wrong because I have about as much luck with samoan relations as I do trying to remember anything from high school calculus. I think my life would be much easier if they all started wearing nametags listing immediate family. Jake works the arm to start and dodges a clothesline. He keeps punching, but gets backdropped. Fuji gets a cheapshot in, and Sika takes over. He goes to that old samoan standby, the VULCAN NERVE PINCH OF DOOM, and that lasts a while. Jake slugs back, but Mr. Fuji trips him up. Sika charges, but Jake dodges and rolls him up for the weak pin at 3:30. Fuji takes the DDT afterwards, but it fails to dislodge his hat. I’m tempted to give a point just for that, but it wouldn’t be fair to those who have worked for their points. 1 for 2.

– WWF title match: Hulk Hogan v. King Kong Bundy. Andre the Giant is acting as Bundy’s manager tonight. Hogan overpowers Bundy to start and runs him into the turnbuckles. Bundy bails and confers with Andre. Back in, Hogan gets a clothesline, Bundy bails again. Back in, Hogan slugs away and works the arm. Bundy actually reverses to his own armbar, albeit via a hairpull, but it’s still sort of like something resembling wrestling. An elbow puts Hogan down, and Bundy keeps on the arm. Hulk responds with a mini-version of the hulking up, and slams Bundy with ease, but hurts his arm. Psychology? HERE??? Bundy slams him back, but misses an elbowdrop. Hogan comes back and the poor ref gets creamed by Bundy in the corner and he’s legally dead. Hogan slugs away as a replacement joins us. Bundy bails as the dead ref gets stretchered out, and we take a commercial break. We return with Bundy pounding away. Clothesline and kneedrop get two. He dumps Hogan and won’t let him back in. Finally, he chokes away and splashes Hogan for two, then hits the chinlock. Two Avalanches and a big splash”¦get two. Hulk up, you know the rest at 12:04. Andre sneaks in (as much as Andre could sneak anywhere) and kicks the shit out of Hogan during the posedown. He chokes him down for a good five minutes and a brigade of midcarders storm out to pull him off and save Hogan. Spoilsports. Match was looking to be okay at the beginning, but turned into standard issue Hogan. 1 for 3.

– Koko B. Ware v. Greg Valentine. Oooo, we’re into the REALLY high-quality portion of the show, I see. The last half-hour of SNME was generally like, well, the last half-hour of SNL. Koko overpowers him, but gets hotshotted, and Greg drops an elbow for two. Valentine tries to work the leg, but doesn’t get anywhere. He stomps Koko down and gets an axehandle for two, however. We hit the chinlock and Koko gets dumped like Vince Russo from a job. Back in, clothesline gets two. Brutus Beefcake joins us at ringside, allowing Koko a pair of cradles for two. Backslide gets two. Valentine bails to regroup as the ref sends Beefcake back. Back from a break as Hammer chops away. Backdrop and elbow get two as even Jesse and Vince are commenting on how little offense Koko is getting here. Valentine goes up, but gets slammed off and Koko comes back with his token jobber offense before Valentine catches a kneebreaker and finishes with the figure-four at 7:28. Pretty much a glorified (and boring) squash. 1 for 4.

– Blah blah blah, usual filler crap to wrap things up.

The Bottom Line: Strike Force v. Bolsheviks may have been a point, but it’s hardly anything I’d bother going out of my way to see. Throw this one on the scrap heap.