The Way Too Long Review of the Best of Saturday Night’s Main Event

This is the longest review I’ve ever written.  So stop right here if you don’t want to read the wrestling review version of War & Peace.  That said, a lot of the material is not about the actual matches but rather the weird builds and angles that were going on at the time of each show.  It’s a long read, but a fun one.  Heck, print it out and take it to the bathroom the next time you have to shit.  According to about 20% of my readers, you should be wiping your ass with it anyway.

And once again, a reminder: under my scoring system, three stars represents 60% of the of the total possible score and thus the match gets a passing grade.   There will be a lot of three-star matches in this set.  That’s the nature of a fast-paced, well choreographed wrestling show.  And that’s what Saturday Night’s Main Event was.  NBC even gave the WWE guidelines on what kind of stuff they wanted wrestlers to avoid in matches, such as excessive rest-holds and stalling.  The results speak for themselves.


Match #1: WWE Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Bob Orton
5/11/85 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Hogan gets a seriously amazing face pop and needs police escorts to get to the ring.  In a very weird, homoerotic moment, Mr. T (in Hogan’s corner) rips off Hogan’s shirt for him, and vice versa.  Considering Mr. T isn’t even in the match, that struck me as very odd.  Fans pop for it, and Vince McMahon marks out on commentary.  I’ll let you guys write your own jokes.  Orton’s got his arm in a cast, of course.  They slug it out to start, with Hogan getting the best of him and Orton bailing.  Hogan gives chase so Orton returns to the ring and Hulk stumbles getting back in.  Hogan catches Orton with a backdrop and three scoopslams, leading to Orton bailing again.  Back in, Orton misses a charge into the corner, and Hogan being the good sport that he is goes after Orton’s casted arm.  He throws shots and it and rings it around.  Not content with simply exploiting a person’s debilitating injury, he bites Orton in the face.  Pray, Vitamins, Cheating.  Jesse Ventura is aghast on commentary, while Vince McMahon ignores this blatant lack of sportsmanship.  Hogan then snaps it off the ropes, then rings it on the post.  In theory, Orton should be crippled but he hits a very awesome flying knee (that looks like a dropkick) to Hogan to take control.  He ignores selling the arm altogether.  He brawls Hogan around with various punches and an atomic drop for two.  Kneedrop that looked quite wussy, then a face-slam on the canvas.  Pace is slowed to a crawl while Piper and Mr. T jaw at ringside.  More punches by Orton while the camera crew clearly doesn’t have their shit together, showing some awful angles where the action is mostly being missed, while at the same time being exposing to the business.  Hogan begs off like a bitch, then Hulks Up.  Three big punches, high clothesline and an elbow for two.  Headbutt by Hogan and a shoot to the corner for a ten punch.  Orton turns it into an atomic drop.  Orton sets up for the superplex, which is his finisher.  Fan attempts to stop him and all the security guards catch him before he even makes it over the guardrail.  You can’t see anything, just the guards moving into position.  Anyway, Hogan fights off and hits an elbow off the second rope.  Legdrop would get the pin but Piper reaches in and hits Hogan for a DQ before the ref counted three.

Why even bother with the DQ finish?  He hit the legdrop, the fans know Orton had jobbed, so just let the pinfall happen and let Piper attack Hogan afterwards.  I mean come on, this was the first Saturday Night’s Main Event.  A clean pinfall would have made the fans and viewers happy and presumably they would continue watching.
** for the match, it was just your typical, by the numbers Hogan match with nothing different at all about it.

After the match, Paul Orndorff makes the save, making him over like Jesus and setting up one of the biggest drawing heel turns in wrestling history.

-Uncle Elmer’s Wedding from 10/5/85 is next.  Believe it or not, this was a legitimate wedding, and despite doing a storyline with Piper, he did marry his longtime girlfriend Joyce Stazko.  They stayed married until his death from diabetes in 1992.  Jesse Ventura cracks wise during the ceremony and totally buries the whole thing.  Piper’s interference isn’t much more then saying the segment sucks.  During the reception, Hogan throws Ventura into a cake.

Match #2
Paul Orndorff vs. Roddy Piper
10/5/85 Saturday Night’s Main Event

This was the start of Orndorff’s run as a face, which led to his run as a record-drawing heel turn against Hogan.  Slugoff to start, fans going crazy as Paul Orndorff kills Piper.  Roddy fights off with a clothesline and a big kick.  Piper rams Orndorff into the canvas.  They roll around, trying to kill each other.  DDT (!) by Piper and a running stomp.  To the outside, where Piper tries to smash Orndorff with a chair but misses.  Piper throws the chair in the ring, but gets smashed with an elbow.  Backdrop suplex by Orndorff, but Piper pokes the eyes to take advantage.  Shoot off the ropes and double shoulderblock knocks both guys down.  Piper goes for a splash but Orndorff gets the knees up.  Crossbody sends both guys to the outside.  Slugoff starts and both guys get counted out.  They fight under the announce table, then to the dressing room, where the cameras follow them.  This is 1985, mind you, a good decade before these types of things weren’t a regular occurrence.  Piper gets into room and locks himself in.  That’s that.
** Stiff ass brawl, didn’t really lead anywhere.

-A Trip to the Zoo 10/5/85 is up.  Mean Gene takes a trip to the zoo to search for George “The Animal” Steele.  He finds him hanging out with camels.  Steele takes Gene to the Elephant, and does a quick impression of one, trying to keep a straight face.  He calls a lemur “Heenan” and a hippo “Bundy.”  Lame segment.  Should have ended with someone shooting him with a tranquilizer and putting him in a cage or something.  Skip it.

Halloween Costumes from 11/2/85.  Much like the Simpsons these days, the WWE celebrates Halloween after it’s already over and people are sick of it.  Iron Sheik is Batman.  Tito Santana is the Lone Ranger.  Mean Gene is the Grand Wizard.  King Kong Bundy is Abe Lincoln.  Hogan is Caesar.  Piper is Superman.  Savage & Liz are Tarzan & Jane.  They have a pie eating contest, bob for apples, pumpkin pass, and trick-or-treating tips from Roddy Piper.  He seems to be on speed during this segment.  After fucking around with some kids by dropping bowling balls in their bags (causing the them to break and the candy to go everywhere) they trick him into eating a chocolate covered red pepper.  He brilliantly oversells this.

Match #3: WWE Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Terry Funk
1/4/86 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Junkyard Dog is in Hogan’s corner, and he quickly puts Jimmy Hart in his place.  Lockup, and they reverse each other a bunch.  Hogan wins out and knocks Funk out of the ring.  They’re billing Funk as “middle aged and crazy.”  In 1998 they billed him as that.  Hell, in 2006 they billed him as that.  How many 120 year old guys do you know?  Funk gets back in only to get punked out again and tossed to the outside.  Funk gets knocked down and Hulk keeps running over him.  Cool visual.  Funk throws a chair in the ring at Hogan so Hulk sits down on it.  Funk gets back in and slugs away, but Hulk quickly shrugs him off and beats him down, then sends him head-over-heels into the corner.  Hulk sling Funk into the ring and gives him a backdrop suplex for two.  Funk goes low to take advantage, but it’s short lived as Hulk catches him climbing and shake the ropes.  Funk gets crotched, and Hogan follows it up with an atomic drop.  Clothesline by Hogan and an elbow drop.  Funk shoots Hogan off the ropes and Jimmy Hart tries to trip him up, so Hulk chases him.  Hart hides under the ring.  Back in, Funk chokes Hogan with some tape.  Piledriver for two.  Mounted punches by Funk and a foot rake.  Hulk up time.  Three punches, backelbow, and a big boot sends Funk out of the ring.  Jimmy Hart grabs a branding iron and whacks Hogan with it and Funk covers for two as Hulk gets his foot on the ropes.  Hulk drops Hart then clotheslines Funk for the pin and the victory.
*** Fun, comedyish match.

-Randy Orton talks about his father’s match with Hulk Hogan from the first SNME.  Um… that was three matches ago.  I didn’t get the point of this segment, but then we cut to Hogan tricking Roddy Piper into signing to face Mr. T in a boxing match.  As a warm up, Bob Orton faces Mr. T on Saturday Night’s Main Event.

Match #4: Boxing Match
Bob Orton vs. Mr. T
3/1/86 Saturday Night’s Main Even

Pretty sure I never watched this one.  I didn’t get into boxing until I got Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! for the NES the following year.  T has Hogan with him, while Piper is with Orton.  Orton jumps Mr. T from behind to start the match.

Round One: Shots look stiff and solid to start, then quickly end up looking like shit.  To their credit, it actually looks like a boxing match.  They use liberal use of long shots and wide shots so you can’t see how bad the punches look.  I’m guessing this is what led to them having Piper and Mr. T start their match at Wrestlemania as a shoot.  Of course, they didn’t expect Piper to knock Mr. T goofy right off the bat either.  Anyway, Orton thumbs the eye of T and all the trainers check on him but he’s good to go.  The first round ending and the ref breaks them up, so Orton throws a cheapshot, which of course would be a DQ in a real boxing match, especially since he made contact with the ref as well.

Round Two: Orton showboats a bit while Mr. T looks bored.  T starts to hit some punches so Piper distracts the ref and Orton hits a knee and a sledge while T is down on all fours.  T fights back, knocks Piper off the apron, then punches Orton out of the ring, leading to him winning by count out.  Seriously, they couldn’t even do a clean finish to build to his match with Piper at Wrestlemania?   After the match, Piper challenges T to a bare knuckle boxing match, but Orton jumps him from behind and they both kick the crap out of him.  After the heels think they’ve done enough, they both leave the ring.  T then no-sells the beating and gets back up.  Ugh, horrible.
No Rating, but a pretty dull segment overall and not well put together.

And we’re four matches in and have one clean finish.  Yea?

-Meanwhile, Mean Gene points out that most TV matches before SNME came along were squash matches designed for the stars to show off their big moves against jobbers.  Saturday Night’s Main Event was the first time they pushed competitive matches between big stars on free TV.  This leads to highlights of what set up the Jake Roberts/Ricky Steamboat feud.  Namely the sickest bump in wrestling history, Jake’s DDT to Steamboat on the concrete.   If you haven’t seen it, it’s included here.  If you want to count the cobra bite that Randy Savage got from Jake Roberts as a bump, it would rank #2.   I actually met Jake Roberts a few years back and asked him why all the biggest bumps taken from that period were given by him.  He says he tried to talk both Steamboat and Savage out of the respect bumps he gave them.  He said he was given that spot because he could carry a feud as the only person talking while the babyfaces were off to sell the injuries.  Makes sense.

Mach #5: Snake Pit Match
Jake Roberts vs. Ricky Steamboat
10/4/86 Saturday Night’s Main Event

The WWE had been running exact clones of this match all around the country, including at the Big Event in Toronto about five weeks prior to this show.  All that was needed to set this up was have Steamboat take an unprotected DDT on an actual concrete floor.  Nothing big.  We get a recap of the whole feud at this point, including the result of the Big Event, which Steamboat won.  Interesting.  It’s no DQ as Steamboat chops away and gets an overhead wristlock takedown for two.  Armdrag and an armbar by Steamboat, who has some seriously ugly tights tonight.  Body drop by Steamboat and Jake bails.  Back in the ring, Steamboat gets another armdrag into an armbar.  Jake inches over towards the bag Steamboat too to the ring with him, and it moves.  Jake gets all scared.  Jake misses a charge and eats the turnbuckle.  Slingshot into the turnbuckle and then a diving chop while Jake falls.  Didn’t look to hot.  Steamer climbs and goes for a big splash but Jake gets his knees up.  Jake goes for his bag, so Steamboat goes for his.  Jake panics and goes after Ricky to give him a gutbuster for two.  Shoot off and a punch to the gut, which Steamboat sells kind of comically bad.  He must not have been feeling it tonight.  Jake slugs away while Steamboat continues to oversell the gut shot.  Clothesline for two, and the ref sucks so bad that even Vince McMahon, the babyface announcer here, is bitching about the heel getting the shaft.  Jake knees him in the guts and fires off a blatant choke.  Steamboat tries to fight back, but Jake no sells it and hits a kneelift.  Steamboat returns the favor by no-selling it.  Jake hits him in the neck, then hits a snapmare for two.  Atomic drop by Jake.  Shoot off and Steamboat gets a crucifix… for the three?  Well that’s fucked up, yo.  After the match, Jake brings out his snake to cover Steamboat with him, but Steamboat recovers and pulls out a baby alligator, called a ‘dragon’ by Vince McMahon.  Jake bails, the end.
* They couldn’t seem to find a rhythm.

-Jake Roberts talks about feud with Steamboat, the one we just watched.  The structure to this DVD is very weird.  We then move on to his feud with Randy Savage.  Apparently Jake’s matches on SNME up to this point had been met with low ratings, so Dick Ebersol told Jake if his segment bombed this time, he wouldn’t be allowed on NBC again.  Jake calls it one of the best matches of his career, and says that Randy Savage’s father told him it was the best match of Randy’s career.

Match #6: Intercontinental Championship
(c) Randy Savage vs. Jake Roberts
11/29/86 Saturday Night’s Main Events

Jake was not working out as a heel so they set the wheels in motion to turn him here.  Technically they’re both heels here.  Snake pulls out Damien, so Savage backs away like a little bitch and uses Elizabeth as a human shield.  Both guys try to jump each other behind their backs to start, but that goes nowhere.  They finally lockup and both guys take turns cheating on each other, yanking their hair.  Lockup and a headlock by Jake gets taken down to the canvas where both guys continue to pull the hair.  They break it up and Jake goes for a DDT so Savage bails.  Back in the ring, Jake catches a charge with a boot and goes for the DDT but Savage rams him into the corner.  Jake shoots him into the other corner but Savage gets a foot up for two.  Face first slam on the canvas gets two.  Stomp to the back of the head gets two.  Snapmare and a kneedrop gets two.  Jake tries to fight back but Randy hits him in the head with an elbow, then drops an elbow for two.  Jake chokes him on the top rope then slings him off for two as Jake gets a foot on the rope.  Savage pulls him away from the ropes and covers for two.  Sledge to the back of the head gets one, then another one.  Jake fights back but Savage stops him again and ties him in the ropes, then grabs the bag with the snake in it and puts it under the ring.  Jake escapes and catches Macho Man with a knee to the face as he gets back in the ring.  Jake grabs Damien and puts him back in the corner.  Short-arm clothesline gets two.  Jake fires off a pancake suplex for two.  Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura mark out for it on commentary, as that move was not common back then.  Jake punches Savage and shoots him off, but lowers his head into a kick.  Savage misses a bunch and Jake goes for the DDT, but Savage grabs at the ropes.  Savage bails and again uses Miss Elizabeth as a human shield.  Jake charges but gets tossed into the ring post.  Savage climbs the ropes and drops a sledge on Jake on the outside.  Back in the ring, Savage drops another sledge for two.  He climbs and goes for a third sledge but Jake punches him coming down.  Jake puts up his dukes and slugs it out, but Savage knees him in the gut and to the floor.  Jake pulls Savage out to punch him.  Savage back in and he stomps at Jake getting back in the ring.  Both guys take turns shoving the referee because he won’t let them fight, and the match is scrubbed.  Savage grabs a chair so Jake grabs Damien, causing Savage to bail and Jake’s face turn to begin properly.
**** Very fun, fast paced match.  This is one of the few times I’ve seen the heel-heel dynamic work right, with both guys acting like villains and cheating through-out.  I’m suddenly doubtful anything on this set will top this one.

-To the Hogan/Orndorff feud, with Mean Gene explaining that cage matches are special draws for wrestling.  Thanks, didn’t know that.

Match #7: WWE Championship Steel Cage Match
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff
1/3/87 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Orndorff whips Hogan with the championship belt to start.  He goes for the door but Hogan saves.  Elbow drop by Paul, then back to the door, but Hogan dives for the save.  more elbow drops, and now Orndorff climbs the cage and gets out, but Hogan barely saves, grabbing his hair.  Jesse Ventura notes that Hogan would not be the champ if Orndorff was bald.  Heh.  Hogan gets Paul back into the cage and he chokes away with his headband.  Orndorff stops Hogan from escaping the cage and stomps away on Hogan’s face.  Orndorff misses a couple elbows and Hogan is up, throwing some big punches that knock Paul down.  Hogan goes for the door but Bobby Heenan locks the door.  Good stuff there.  Orndorff fights Hogan off the door, then headbutts Hulk on the mat.  Orndorff tries to ram Hogan into the cage, but Hulk blocks and throws Paul into the cage.  Both guys get up and climb opposite sides of the cage, hitting the floor at the same time.  Pretty original finish that hasn’t been done before or since, to the best of my knowledge.  Orndorff sneaks up and attacks Hogan on the outside, while the announcers speculate on what the finish was.  The referee declares it a tie, and since cage matches can’t end in ties, the match is restarted.  We go to a commercial.  Back, and now Orndorff hits a stomp off the top of rope.  Orndorff drops a couple knees and fists.  Short clothesline by Paul.  Fist drop.  But now Hogan is hulking up.  Three big punches, chops, rams into the cage, big punch, ram into the cage, backbreaker, legdrop.  Hogan starts to climb, but Bobby Heenan makes the save.  Orndorff tries to escape, so Hogan beats on Paul, KOs Heenan, and climbs out the cage before Orndorff makes it to the door to win the match.
*** Pretty good, with one of the most memorable false-finishes in wrestling history.

-We move on to discussion about Andre the Giant and his feud with Hulk Hogan.

Match #8: Battle Royal
Participants: Andre the Giant, Ron Bass, Demolition (Ax & Smash), Bill Jack Haynes, Hillbilly Jim, Hulk Hogan, Honky Tonk Man, Hercules, The Islanders (Haku & Tama), The Killer Bees (Brian Blair & Jim Brunzell), Blackjack Mulligan, Paul Orndorff, Lanny Poffo, Butch Reed, Sika, Nikolai Volkoff, and Koko B. Ware
3/14/87 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Never seen this one funny enough.  This I assume is the hard-sell for Wrestlemania 3.  Weird camera angle as Andre the Giant makes his way to the ring makes him look as tall as Bobby Heenan.  Andre the Giant blocks Hogan’s entrance to heat the match, while everyone else backs off.  Suddenly the bells rings, with all the faces jumping Andre and all the heels jumping Hogan.  Hogan fights them off and dumps Honky Tonk Man.  Andre dumps Sika.  Mulligan and Hillbilly Jim double team Andre but get noggin-knocked.  Haku gets dumped as well.  Headbutt to a pre-Genius Lanny causes him to blade and he gets dumped.  I’m shocked someone bled during this, as I figured NBC would make that a no-no.  It’s a mighty blade job by Poffo too and he gets a stretcher job.  Haynes gets dumped by Hogan.  Ax and Smash try to dump Jim while Mulligan gets dumped by Andre with a hiptoss.  Hogan dumps Volkoff.  Blair gets dumped by Andre.  I have to admit, this is a good way to solidify why Hogan and Andre are the top two guys in the company, using only them to dump everyone else.  Orndorff and Hercules whip Hogan into Andre to set up the big confrontation. The fans start to buzz… maybe.  The actual crowd shots show people not even moving, smiling, or anything.  I know that most of the audience reaction is SNME was edited in after the show, but come on.  Hogan punches Andre about but it lasts maybe three seconds before Orndorff and Ax cut him off.  Hogan dumps Orndorff, but this distraction is enough for Andre to headbutt Hogan and push him out of the match.  Well, this leaves little doubt to the ending.  Andre motions to Hogan like it was nothing.  Hogan bitches and points at Andre, who tells him to bring it while he casually swats away at everyone who tries to touch them, like they were flies or something.  Cool stuff.  Brunzell tries to body-press Andre and he causally gets tossed.  Suddenly everyone teams up on Andre, heels and faces.  He fights them for a while but they do manage to dump him.  What the fuck?  Are you serious?  The big show before Wrestlemania and they job out both guys in the main event in a battle royal with nothing but scrubs left in the ring?  Man, I hope that doesn’t hurt the buyrate or the aura of the Hogan/Andre match.  Hercules dumps Tama, while Hillbilly Jim dumps Ax.  He tries for Smash but gets dumped instead.  Butch Reed gets knocked out by Koko.

FINAL FOUR: Smash, Hercules, Koko B. Ware, and Billy Jack Haynes.  Well that fucking blows.  I mean it’s cool that it’s unpredictable, but still.  Hercules fights off Koko and dumps him.  Smash and Hercules team up and beat up Mr. Oregon Billy Jack Haynes, the best drug mule in professional wrestling.  Or so the legend goes.  Hercules tells Smash he wants to do the damage.  Haynes ends up dumping Smash.  Bobby Heenan gets on the apron to distract Haynes, which allows Hercules to dump him and win the battle royal.  Well that was unexpected.
1/2* I think they should have just had Hogan and Andre throw out everyone else and have Hogan get dumped clean at the end by Andre to really put the doubt in people’s minds that Hogan could beat him at Wrestlemania.  Not that it seemed to hurt the buyrate or anything.  Still… Hercules?  Really?  I mean, if this led to a post-Wrestlemania feud for Hogan I could see it.  They actually used the ending to springboard a Haynes/Hercules match at Wrestlemania 3 and even then didn’t use it as a blow off, as the match ended in a shitty double countout.  So what was the point here?  Very strange booking.  Almost random it would seem.  Anyway, battle royals suck and this one was only slightly better then the average one.

-We talk about the Hard Foundation/Bulldog Feud.  Natalya Neidhart talks about how cool it was to watch.  I know she’s third generation so it shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I just want to say how refreshing it is to see one of the Divas talk about being a fan of wrestling back in the day as opposed to something that pays you for the sake of being a nice looking girl who is willing to pretend fight someone else.

Match #9: World Tag Team Championship: 2 out of 3 Falls
(c) The Hart Foundation vs. The British Bulldogs
5/2/87 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Well, this could be awesome.  First Fall: Davey starts with Bret.  Davey flips around a wristlock and takes Bret down with it, then works the arm with kneedrops.  Bret counters it with a headlock.  Dynamite looks like absolute shit on the apron.  Very unhealthy.  Bret shoots Davey off but Smith grabs a crucifix for two.  Kitchen sink kneelift by Bret and a tag to Neidhart who whips Davey Boy by his hair.  Clubbing blows by the Anvil, then he takes Davey to the Hart corner so they can cheat.  Neidhart slugs away and tags to Bret, who fires off a backbreaker for two.  Legdrop by Bret, then a shoot to the corner but Davey gets a foot up and tags Dynamite who seems to have loss some mobility.  He slings Bret by the hair and clotheslines him for two.  Snap suplex gets two.  Diving headbutt but Neidhart breaks up the pinfall, then Bret and Neidhart double team him while Danny Davis goes after Dynamite.  Tito Santana is in the Bulldog’s corner and he saves, while the referee disqualifies the Hart Foundation for the first fall.

Second fall and Dynamite is still trashed from the beatdown he got, making him the face in peril.  Neidhart beats up on him and puts a front facelock on.  Tag to Bret who hits a second rope elbowdrop on Dynamite off Neidhart’s knee for two.  Dynamite fights back with a headbutt and some punches, but Bret holds a leg to stop the tag and reaches Neidhart for one of his own.  Neidhart cuts off Dynamite, who appears to have a broken nose.  Bret runs into draw Davey Boy away from the tag.  Davey chases Bret around while Neidhart holds a blatant chokehold.  Neidhart slugs it out and tags Bret, who punches away at the gut.  Bret ties Dynamite in the ropes, but misses a charge and wipes out into the ropes very hard in what is a truly sick bump if you know how much those ropes hurt.  Dynamite makes the tag.  Dropkicks for all.  Clothesline to Neidhart for two.  Delayed suplex gets two.  Davey Boy lowers his head after shooting off Neidhart, allowing the heels to double team him.  Neidhart misses a charge and knocks Bret off the apron.  Then Tito runs in the ring and clotheslines Danny Davis off the apron.  Tag to Dynamite, then Davey press-slams him into Hart for the pin… but not the titles because the first fall was a DQ.  Vince sulks and admits he’s right.  Of course, the deciding fall was by pinfall and that’s all that should matter, but logic rarely interferes with lazy booking.  Oh well.
***1/2 I don’t think it’s possible for these teams to have had a bad match.  Even today, with Dynamite in a wheel chair, Bret not too far behind him, and Davey Boy dead, I’m sure they would somehow pull it together and make at least **1/2.  This was fairly punchy-kicky but still well paced and pretty fun to watch.

Match #10: Intercontinental Championship
(c) The Honky Tonk Man vs. Randy Savage
10/3/87 Saturday Night’s Main Event

No, this is NOT the match that caused the breakdown of all long-term planning the WWE had been doing to this point.  That would come later.  Long lockup to start, with Honk Tonk punching the nose to break it up.  Shoot off but Honky lowers his head into a kick.  Diving hangman by Savage, who takes control.  Back in, snapmare and a kneedrop come from Savage, followed by what looks like a blatant choke in the corner.  Backelbow by Savage while Jimmy Hart threaten Elizabeth.  Savage goes to stop him, leading to Honky Tonk hitting a sledge from behind.  His comeback doesn’t last as Savage hits a running elbow in the ring, then some left jabs.  Elbowdrop misses and Honky Tonk takes advantage with a few axehandles.  Snapmare and a fist drop off the second rope, but Honky Tonk bails to hit on Liz instead.  Savage comes to live and beats on Honky Tonk, then drops a sledge off the top rope and to the floor.  Small Package gets two as Jimmy Hart puts a foot on the rope.  Back suplex gets two as Jimmy Hart gets in the way again.  Sledge off the top rope gets two again with Jimmy Hart interference.  Savage has enough and drags in Hart to knock him out with a punch.  Honky goes for a sunset flip but can’t turn Savage over.  Honky Tonk bails to check on Savage, and the Hart Foundation comes out to follow.  Savage drags him back in and chokes away.  Savage punches him out of the ring but that doesn’t help as Honky bails on the match to help Jimmy Hart back to the ring.  Honky Tonk tells him to wait in the ring, he’ll be back.

Well that’s an interesting way for a commercial break.  When we come back, Honky returns and gets smacked around by Savage.  Savage misses a charge in the corner, and eats a backdrop.  Double leg takedown by Savage gets two.  Not sure that spot was intentional.  Honky punches him down and goes for a ten punch.  Snapmare and Honky climbs to the second rope but misses a fist drop.  Huge overselling follows.  Big elbows by Savage and a backdrop.  Honky begs off, but Savage hears none of it and punches away in the corner.  Shoot off and a backelbow gets two.  Vertical suplex gets two.  Honky rakes the eyes and tosses Savage out to the Harts for them to double team him while Honky distracts the ref.  They toss him back in and Honky casually drops an elbow… for two.  Savage hulks up with a scoopslam and hits the flying elbow, but Bret breaks up the pinfall to draw the DQ.  Triple teaming follows, with Elizabeth crying at ringside.  She keeps looking at the entrance ramp, as if she wants someone to come and help.  Honky loads up his guitar but Elizabeth gives on someone else saving and gets in the ring to make the save.  Honky almost hits her with the guitar, but instead jaws with her.  Honky shoves Elizabeth out of the way to draw huge heat, some of which is piped in for no good reason.  Elizabeth runs backstage in tears, Savage is still out apparently, so the Hart Foundation holds him, Honky teases, teases, then teases some more.  I’m waiting for the run in to start, but instead Honky does break the guitar over his head.  After Savage has already eaten the guitar, Elizabeth drags Hulk Hogan to ringside to make the save.  He does, and the faces clean house, then shake hands.  And the Mega Powers are born.
***1/4 Much better then I thought it would be, and the big moment at the end was pretty cool, if a little too late.

And you get the piledriver music video.

Match #11
Randy Savage vs. Bret Hart
11/28/87 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Savage bails to start to protect Elizabeth from Jim Neidhart and Jimmy Hart.  Savage chases the Hart Foundation off then elbows Bret and tosses him into the corner.  Hart catches a breather while Savage is in the ring.  Bret returns only to get elbowed in the face and choked in the corner.  They trade whip reversals with Bret winning out and sending Savage into the corner where he brawls him and grabs a blatant choke.  Snapmare and an elbowdrop.  Shoot off but Savage hits a backelbow followed by a running elbow.  Savage pulls at Bret’s hair on the apron, but the ref pulls him off.  So Savage decides to ram Bret off the apron and into the guardrail in one of Bret’s favorite and most suicidal spots.  Neidhart stalls for Bret who might be legitimately injured.  Jimmy Hart gets on the apron too so Savage throws them into each other.  He climbs and goes for a sledge off the top but Bret stops him with a punch to the gut.  Neidhart tosses Savage into the ring for Bret.  Shoot off and a kick by Bret.  He stalls a bit then drops a meager leg.  Bret puts Savage in the tree of woe and kicks away at him.  Piledriver gets two.  Elbow but Bret misses a charge and eats the corner.  Savage picks him up and throws him shoulder first into the opposite turnbuckle.  Snapmare and the sledge off the top gets two.  Punch to the gut by Bret and a backbreaker, but the elbow off the second rope misses.  Knee to the face by Savage and the diving hangman gets two.  Bret backdrops Savage over the top rope, and Randy starts to sell the ankle.  Elizabeth checks on him.  After a long stall, Bret comes over to attack but the ref stops him and we cut to a commercial.

We’re back and instead of counting out Savage, the ref lets it continue.  Bret gets cocky and celebrates early while Savage hobbles around the ring.  Bret finally attacks after what seems like forever and starts to attack the injured ankle.  Savage’s boot isn’t even on when Bret rings his foot around the ringpost.  Spinning toehold by Bret but he only does two turns before Savage kicks him off then snaps Bret off the ropes for two in a fairly weak move to take over with.  Bret continues to work the foot like a bastard and slaps on a half crab.  Snapmare by Bret but Savage starts to rake the face.  He crawls to the apron where he gets snatched up by Bret.  Bret tries to slam him back into the ring but Savage rolls through it… for the pin.  Well that was out of nowhere.  Heels all try to kill Savage but he grabs the megaphone from Jimmy Hart and the heels bail.
***3/4 Hated the abrupt ending, but loved the entire ankle injury segment.  This was close to greatness but Bret wasn’t quite at a level to make this special on his own yet.


Why bonus matches in a DVD I’ve already paid for?  What makes them bonuses?

Match #12
Ricky Steamboat, Barry Windham, & Mike Rotundo vs. Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, & George Steele
5/11/85 Saturday Nights’ Main Event

This is the first ever SNME match.  And let the record show that the change from what the WWE’s previous production standards were to this were something of a revelation at the time.  I wasn’t quite yet four-years-old when this originally aired, but I still have very vague memories of this being like a second Christmas, and the anticipation for this was awesome.  Sheik starts with Windham.  Lockup and they get tied in the ropes.  Windham blocks a cheapshot and slugs it out.  Windham reverses a hiptoss and hits one of his own.  Sheik to the wrong corner, then walks into a scoopslam.  Tag to Rotundo, then a tag to Steamboat for some double team stuff.  Steamboat starts to work the arm of course.  Rotundo and pairs up with Steamboat for a double elbow.  Scoopslam gets two.  Rotundo does nothing for a bit then tags in Steamboat who goes to the arm.  Shoot off and the Sheik gets an abdominal stretch out of nowhere, but Steamboat turns it into a hiptoss.  The other heels run in and instead of armdragging them, Steamboat fires off a couple more hiptosses and the heels bail.  It’s commercial time.

We’re back with Steamboat hitting a powerslam on Sheik and climbing for a missile dropkick that looks crazy stiff and sick.  Crossbody off the top gets two.  Volkoff saves, and Windham kills him for it.  Volkoff tags in only to be tossed into the babyfaces.  Windham tags in and Nikolai eats a double dropkick.  Tag to Rotundo and this time Nikolai eats a double elbow.  A pair of legdrops hit but Steele tosses him off.  Rotundo turns his eye off the ball and Nikolai is free to punch him, but gets rolled up for two instead.  Backslide gets two for Rotundo.  They get tied up in the corner on a third pinfall and have to break.  Tag to Windham who brawls it out.  Shoot off and Nikolai misses a clothesline and Windham gets a sunset flip for… nothing as they’re too close to the ropes again.  Steele finally tags in to a huge pop.  Windham is a house of fire on him, so he goes to tag out.  Sheik and Volkoff bail on him to complete Steele’s face turn, but Windham still rolls him up for the pin.  After the match, the heels beat on Steele, and the babyface team doesn’t even attempt to save him.  Hell, he doesn’t need it, and fights off the tag champs himself.  Lou Albano talks him out of his rage.  He then jumps the heels in the middle of their interview.
** Total squash for the babyfaces, but still somewhat entertaining.

-We get the (kind of surreal) music video for Real American.

-We also get highlights of Junkyard Dog celebrating mother’s day with his mother, Bertha.

Jesus Christ, I’m only one disc in?  Yeesh.


-Hulk Hogan jobs via countout to King Kong Bundy two months previous on Saturday Night’s Main Event.  Bobby Heenan demands a rematch.  And this time, he has Andre the Giant with him.

Match #13: WWE Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy
1/2/88 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Good visual having Andre trail Bundy to the ring and show how damn big he is.  Hogan cuts a crazy, sweaty, maniacal promo before the match and talks about how Ronald Reagan is a Hulkamaniac.  Later in life, Reagan moved on to believing he really was Hulk Hogan.  The amount of sweat on him was insane.  It’s like he spent three hours before this jerking off.  But then in a rare (ha) bit of WWE lacking continuity, Hogan is NOT sweating when he comes out seconds later.  Horrible edit.  We start with a big lockup.  Hogan shoves off right off the bat, then side-steps a charge and beats Bundy from pillar to post.  Shoot off and a big boot sends Bundy to the outside.  Andre comes over to give him advice.  Unless that advice was “When he starts Hulk Up, don’t just keep punching him.  That only makes it worse” then it’s not going to be helpful.  Bundy comes back in only to get killed again, this time with a clothesline.  I guess Andre wasn’t very helpful.  Fans don’t heat up on Bundy’s stalling, which tells me this was likely around the period that it stopped being effect.  Continuity from my Judgment Day 2009 review.  Andre offers more advice, but it proves even worse as Hogan takes him down in the center of the ring with some punches, then grabs a wristlock.  Hogan doesn’t then check for the time, so I guess Lou Thesz was wrong about him not knowing the difference between a wristlock and a wrist watch.  He elbows at the arm, but then Bundy reverses it and yanks Hogan down by what’s left of his hair.  This is weird to watch these guys actually wrestle.  Hogan gets to his feet and fights out of the hold with a shoulderblock.  Another one hits but Bundy still doesn’t go down.  Another one by Hogan but he runs into an awesome backelbow, which Hogan bumps pretty good off of.  You know, this ain’t bad.  Bundy sends Hogan to the corner, then goes back to the wristlock.  Hogan bitches at the referee about how Bundy pulls his hair, which distracts the referee and allows Bundy to pull him down by the hair.  Irony.  Bundy turns this into an armbar.  By the way, worth mentioning the fans are seemingly nuts over this match, though the WWE would often pipe in noise during Saturday Night’s Main Event.  Even if that’s true, it’s effective.  Nothing worse for me then recapping a match that is dead silent.  Someone asked me what was the most boring match I ever recapped.  Easy answer that usually surprises people: the Luchador match from the 1997 Royal Rumble.  60,000 fans announced in attendance and they go over ten minutes without making a single sound.  It was actually kind of impressive on their part.  Even during Eddie Guerrero and Owen Hart’s ten bell salute you would occasionally hear someone scream out something to break up the silence.  Anyway, my point is I will take canned crowd reactions to silence.  Sorry for the tangent, back to the match.

Hogan fights off the armbar and scoopslams Bundy.  He still sells the arm injury, then misses an elbowdrop using the injured arm.  Scoopslam by Bundy who then misses a few elbowdrops.  Hogan sadly ends the coolness of this match by ignoring the arm injury and hitting a clothesline in the corner.  Whip reversal by Bundy sends Hogan leapfrogging over the referee and into the corner.  The ref goes to tell Hogan he’s okay, only for Bundy to avalanche them both in the corner.  Bundy misses his big splash, while the referee appears to have passed away.  Hogan punches Bundy out of the ring and knocks him out, while another referee comes out and calls a timeout to get the other referee out.  Jesse Ventura, sensitive guy that he is, says “This will work out for Bundy while they scrape that guy’s carcass out of the ring, he gets a time out.”  Hilarious how casual he said that.  Commercial while they start to plan the funeral.

We’re back and the ref starts to quickly count out Bundy on the outside.  He comes back in and starts to kill Hogan with a series of punches and a clothesline.  Big splash hits for two.  Hard chop sends Hogan to the floor.  He gets up on the apron but gets chopped down again.  He finally lets Hogan back in, only to stand on him while pushing down on the ropes.  Shoot off and a big shoulderblock.  Lazy fist drop/kneedrop thing but Bundy gets two, then he goes to a chinlock.  I will say this about Bundy, he had a good looking chinlock.  And Hogan was good at selling them.  Of course he was.  He took enough of them.  Andre bitches at the ref saying he heard Hogan quit.  Bundy lets go and sends Hogan into the corner to hit the avalanche.  He’s not satisfied, so he hits another.  Bundy demands the referee give him a five count, while Jesse Ventura cries on commentary that his shoe is touching Hogan’s shoe and that should count as a pin attempt.  After stalling like a fucktard, Bundy finally covers… for two.  And it’s Hulk Up Time~!  Punch, no-sell, punch, no-sell, punch, no-sell, whip reversal sends Bundy to the corner, legdrop, pinfall.  After the match, Andre refuses to attack Hogan, then somehow sneaks up on Hulk while he’s posing and slaps a blatant choke.  BUT WAIT~!  Here come the British Bulldogs to try and save Hogan.  He gets rid of them both.  And thus the rest of the babyfaces come out to make the save.  Andre celebrates with the championship belt while they haul Hogan to the back.  Andre’s hand is so big it looks like he’s holding up a championship belt you would put on an action figure.
***1/2 Shocker of shockers, this match was pretty good.  Well paced, good psychology, neat change ups to go against Hogan’s formula, and really good (possibly phony) heat.  Worth your time.  And way, way better then the Wrestlemania 2 main event.

-This leads to what is allegedly still the most watched match in wrestling history.  Televised on a Friday, thirty-three million viewers tuned in to watch this one.

Match #14: WWE Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant
2/5/88 The Main Event

The most shocking match of the 80s.  Dave Hebner is the referee.  Hogan kills Ted DiBiase and Virgil to start.  Then he goes after Andre, who can barely move at this point.  Hogan throws Andre into the corner and rams his head a couple times.  Running elbow, big punches, running elbow, but Andre won’t go down.  Hogan gets pissed and stomps DiBiase’s hand, which sends money flying.  Funny.  Running kick and Andre is still on his feet.  Big windup punch and Andre won’t go down.  Hogan rakes the eyes, then climbs the ropes (!), but Andre catches him and throws him off the top.  Headbutt misses and Andre is out.  Ventura screams “It took Andre to knock himself down!”  Andre grabs a chokehold, while referee Dave Hebner yells at him.  Andre stomps Hogan’s hand and bodyslams him.  Headbutt, and a chop.  Andre needs to hold onto the ring ropes to prevent himself from falling over.  BIG punch and a chop, then a headbutt.  Andre grabs a blatant chokehold, which the referee breaks up.  Andre gets a big boot on Hogan, falling over himself when doing it.  Andre then takes his over-the-shoulder strap and chokes Hogan with it.  Well, that’s resourceful.  More blatant choking by Andre, but Hogan is feeling it.  He hulks up.  Knee to the gut, chops, eye-rake, clothesline off the second rope (!), legdrop but the referee is jawing with Virgil.  Andre is up and he gives Hogan a headbutt and a horrible suplex thingy that was his finisher if I’m not mistaken for a one count… which the referee turns into a three count, giving Andre the championship.  This was the most shocking finish ever for a wrestling match.  Vince McMahon is besides himself, saying what a stupid mistake it was.  He raises Andre’s hands and gives him the belt.  Mean Gene goes to interview the new Champ, and he surrenders the belt to Ted Dibiase.  Hogan is crying like a total baby.  Meanwhile, even Jesse Ventura concedes that giving the title away like that might not be legal.  I always thought this angle made Andre and DiBiase look like idiots.  Why not just wait for DiBiase to get a match with Andre and do a fingerpoke or something.  That seems to have worked for WCW.

At this point another referee comes down to yell at Dave Hebner.  That referee was… Dave Hebner!  What the fuck?  Well, the referee of the match was actually Dave’s twin brother Earl, who it seems has a talent for ringing the bell a little too early.  Hogan ends up destroying one of them, even if he can’t tell if he’s beating up the good referee or the evil one, and tosses him into the heels.  The storyline was that Ted Dibiase found some guy and gave him plastic surgery to make him look like Dave Hebner.  Because evil twin brothers is SO 1970s.  Soon after, WWE President Jack Tunney ruled the following.  One, the referee’s decision is final… even if that referee was an imposter and presumably not employed by the company… so Andre beat Hogan for the Championship.  Two, the champion can give up the title at anytime, so Andre was no longer the champion.  Three, championships can’t be awarded from one champion to another, so Dibiase was NOT the champ.  This set up the Wrestlemania IV tournament which was won by Randy Savage.
** for the match.  It honestly wasn’t that bad, and considering the ending, it’s pretty significant.

-Ted DiBiase Jr. talks about how cool it was to watch his dad get handed the championship.  Of course, he didn’t really get to keep it, so he made his own championship belt.  Junior remembers asking how much the Million Dollar Championship belt cost.  “More then our house and cars combined.”  He plans on bringing it back someday.

Match #15
Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase
3/12/88 Saturday Night’s Main Event

This match was a test-run of sorts to see if these two really should be in the main event of Wrestlemania IV together, and especially if Savage should be the champion.  There were actually still doubts about Savage, as the bookers perceived DiBiase to be Hogan’s foil.  McMahon had cut a deal with Savage to give him the championship at Wrestlemania, but was having a case of buyer’s remorse.  Savage was popular, but not really a traditional ‘sympathetic’ babyface.  He was drawing good reactions from the crowds but there were also issues about his ability to draw ratings and house shows.  The WWE was on a huge roll, and although they knew the Hogan train was losing some steam here, changing the championship to Savage was a huge risk.  I don’t know what the plan was if they decided to abort after this match, or even if they had a plan, but presumably they were at least cautious enough to entertain the possibility that Savage would walk from the company if they changed their minds.  Man, this DVD is awesome for all the weird stuff associated with the industry.

To the match, where Savage jaws with Virgil and gets kicked in the back of the head.  DiBiase takes him into the ring and beats him in the corner, then slings him off the ropes.  Shoot off and a back elbow.  Stomp to the face and some ramming in the turnbuckle.  Shoulderblocks now and DiBiase is proving to be insanely aggressive.  DiBiase pauses to jaw with the crowd, then sledges Savage off the second rope.  More jawing with the fans, and let me say that Ted DiBiase had insane heat with the crowd.  Blatant choke by Savage, while Ventura worries about referee Dave Hebner.  McMahon assures him they’re using finger prints to confirm it.  Slam into the turnbuckle by DiBiase, but Savage reverses a whip and hits a backelbow.  Another whip and DiBiase lowers his head into a kneelift.  Flying knee to the back sends Ted to the outside.  Savage tosses him back in, then sledges him off the top.  DiBiase is so good at bumping for the faces.  He’s very unsung for his ability to make the heroes look good.  Diving hangman by Savage, sold only like DiBiase is capable of doing, then a kick to the chest and a running elbow which sends DiBiase outside.  He tries to catch a breath, and Savage actually holds the ropes for him to get back in.  He takes a powder instead.  Back in, DiBiase takes out Savage and drops a few fists to huge heat.  Chops and a sling to the corner, but Savage gets his feet up and then lays down on the top rope, all in one motion.  Elbowdrop gets two.  Slam into the turnbuckle and a scoopslam.  Kneedrop misses for him and DiBiase slaps on a spinning toehold.  Savage quickly kicks him off of it and through the ropes.  One of my biggest gripes with Savage is his timing was always off on submission holds, as he never allowed the heel a proper amount of time to heat the match up with such moves.  He always countered, or in this case, made his comeback off of them too quickly.  Savage goes to catch his breath but DiBiase pulls him to the outside.  Savage fights off his attack and slams him into the turnbuckle.  Savage loads up a suplex but Andre the Giant scares him off the move, then Virgil jumps Macho.  The referee ejects him as we go to commercial.

We’re back with DiBiase climbing to the second rope and hitting a sledge.  Running elbowdrop, another move that DiBiase did so beautifully that it should be studied in wrestling schools.  It gets two.  Chinlock now, with Ventura telling McMahon “since you’ve never been in the ring, you wouldn’t understand why this move is used, so I’ll explain it to you.”  Years later, Vince McMahon would hold both the WWE Championship and later the ECW Championship.  Makes you want to cry, no?  Anyway, DiBiase works the hold instead of just laying there like he’s taking a nap, then yanks Savage down by the hair to cut off his comeback.  Ventura mocks the referee for asking DiBiase if he pulled the hair.  “Oh yeah right, like he’s going to say ‘yes I did’.  Yeah right.”  I miss Ventura on commentary.  Then again, these days he would likely bitch about ‘inside jobs’ and various other bullshit.  Chinlock goes on for a bit, Savage fights back with a backelbow and a sickly stiff clothesline.  Whip to the corner, then Savage seems to change his mind on doing a spot there, so he shoots DiBiase off for a backdrop.  DiBiase fights back but ends up shoulderblocking the referee.  Savage dumps Ted to the floor then hits the sledge off the top and too the floor.  Having just watched Savage’s DVD, I did notice that he usually pulled that move off a little too early in his matches.  His timing in doing it this match was spot on perfect.  Sadly he didn’t stick to it.  Anyway, Savage goes to toss DiBiase back in the ring, but Andre the Giant comes over and beats up Savage.  He whips him into the ring post.  Elizabeth freaks out and bails to the back.  Andre continues his assault while DiBiase distracts the ref.  Once Andre is done, DiBiase tells him to start counting.  It works, and Randy gets counted out.  Huge heat.  DiBiase continues the assault, and Virgil returns to help with it.  BUT WAIT~!  Here comes Hulk Hogan, armed with a chair, to chase the heels off.  Makes you wonder why everyone was so shocked weeks later when Elizabeth fetched Hogan at Wrestlemania IV.  Also makes you wonder why Hogan didn’t come out with Savage in the first place during the championship finals.  Oh well.
****1/4 This now tops Roberts/Savage as the highlight of the set so far.  Awesome, extremely peppy match.  Aside from the chinlock, they kept up a fast pace through out.  Savage cemented his spot here as the guy to carry the belt, and he deserved it.  And Ted DiBiase is a total savant and making guys look godly in the ring.  Major props here, this was awesome.  Sure, the ending wasn’t clean or anything, but it set up the storyline for Wrestlemania perfectly.  And I never score against an ending that is out of the control of the wrestlers.  You have to feel bad for the two guys though, as they set a standard here they could have never lived up to at Wrestlemania with the time constraints, horrible venue, and the toll the previous matches they wrestled had taken.  Anyone who watched this then had to have been let down during the actual big show.

-From later in the same show, Andre shows his amazing ability to make his facial hair grow in record time.  Actually it’s not the same show, but the supreme fuck-ups that write the WWE DVD inserts these days couldn’t be bothered to double check something simple, like a date a match happened, and just said it’s the same show.  Actually, the date is October 29, 1988.  Here, Jake Roberts threatens Andre the Giant with his snake.  Andre gets scared shitless.  Jake tosses the snake at Andre, who sells it like he’s Superman and just had a hunk of Kryptonite thrown at him.  Andre ends up fainting.  It’s the first time Andrew was shown to be threatened by something.  Other then bodyslams and legdrops I guess.

Match #16
Hulk Hogan vs. Harley Race
3/12/88 Saturday Night’s Main Event

If the WWE hadn’t fucked up so bad with Harley, this could have been quite the dream match.  But Race got saddled with a horrible gimmick.  Hogan chases Bobby Heenan away to start.  Race catches some elbowdrops as Hogan gets back in the ring, but Hogan no-sells them.  He hits a few headbutts.  They haven’t even cut Hogan’s music yet.  Three punches knocks Race down.  Clothesline.  A second clothesline sends Race over the top rope and onto a table.  Man, that looked sick.  Hogan picks up Race and throws him into the ring post.  Bobby is back, so Hogan chases him.  Race goes for a piledriver on the outside but Hulk backdrops out of it.  Atomic drop on the outside.  Hogan breaks the ref’s count, then slams Race on the outside.  Hogan chops at Race then clotheslines him.  Hogan chokes with some tape.  Jesse Ventura is freaking out on commentary and McMahon denies any cheating.  It’s disturbing how the babyface announcers always justified or outright denied Hogan’s horrible sportsmanship.  I guess “Train, say your prayers, take your vitamins, and cheat and deny” doesn’t sound good on a Wheaties box. Hogan goes after Heenan again, so Race takes control with some headbutts.  Belly to belly suplex and a kneedrop.  Piledriver and some stomps.  Race sets Hogan on a table, but misses a splash through it.  The table breaks a little.  Wow.  This is 1988, mind you.  Race doesn’t really sell it and throws Hulk back in the ring.  Diving headbutt off the top rope for two as it’s Hulk up time.  Three punches, whip to the corner, clothesline, clothesline, legdrop, see ya.
*** Typical Hogan match from the period.  Race bumped like a madman to make it worth watching.

Match #17: WWE Championship
(c) Randy Savage vs. Andre the Giant
11/26/88 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Savage tries to jump Andre to start, but it doesn’t work, and Andre smacks away at him.  Savage goes all nuts and slugs it out and fires off elbows, but Andre fights him off and grabs a front chancery.  Knees and a shoulderblock, then the big butt ramming in the corner.  You know, I need another name for that.  It sounds like a something that would take place in a wrestling match in Oz or something.  Savage smiles over how easy it is to manhandle Savage, then he again no-sells Randy’s comeback attempt and grabs a front facelock.  To a headlock now, and the referee gets distracted by Bobby Heenan while Andre chokes away at him with the strap of his singlet.  More brawling, but Savage somehow maneuvers Andre to the corner and throws some shoulderblocks.  That too is no-sold.  Man, Andre must have been pissy on this day or something.  Savage grabs at some hair, but it doesn’t work.  Big headbutt by Andre, then a blatant choke.  He slings Savage off the ropes, then grabs a traphold.  Savage tries to fight back so he turns it into a clutch hold.  Savage thrusts his head into Andre in what I guess is technically a jawbreaker.  Andre sells this temporarily, likely because it really did hurt, and Savage starts to slug it out.  Andre starts to no-sell again and grabs a blatant choke.  Vince McMahon speculates on commentary that Andre might have swallowed a few teeth.  Eh, no worries.  Even if he did he still has, like, 194 left.  Savage goes to fight back and hits a running elbow, then a ram into the turnbuckle.  Sledge off the second rope by Savage sends Andre to his knees.  More attacking by Savage and the fans are fucking NUTS over this.  Or maybe it’s because Jake Roberts is out with Damien.  The ref tells Jake to leave, then Savage and Roberts talk it over while we go to a commercial.

We’re back, and Savage is beating on Andre, who’s more concerned with Damien’s location then fighting back.  Andre chops Savage down, then rams him in the head.  Another headbutt takes Savage down.  He sits on Randy’s face, then asks Heenan if he’s found Damien yet.  Jesus, why’s it so hard to find the snake?  We saw Jake come out with it, we saw exactly where he stashed the bag with it.  It’s not like he walked all the way around the ring.  Horrible idea.  Meanwhile, Andre slaps Savage back in the ring, but Savage’s boot catches Andre while he flips over the ropes, legit knocking him goofy.  It doesn’t matter, as Heenan finds the snake.  Heenan comes in the ring and the match is scrubbed.  Andre is bleeding where Savage’s boot caught him.  Andre gets tied into the ropes, then Jake returns and pulls out the snake to scare Andre some more.  The ref and Bobby Heenan free Andre and he bails.
DUD Horrible match.  Andre really stuck around as an active wrestler too long.  He should have just been a bodyguard at the end of his career.  Anyway, after looking over the remaining match listing, I think there is only one match in the set that is likely to suck more then this did, but for the most part the worst is over.

-Hacksaw talks about how cool it was to wrestle on NBC.  We get highlights of his flag match with Boris Zuckoff.  Thankfully, it’s just highlights.

Match #18: Intercontinental Championship
(c) The Ultimate Warrior vs. The Honky Tonk Man
1/7/89 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Jesse Ventura predicts a totally different result from the Summerslam match.  Honky bails to start, but the Warrior catches him and press-slams him back into the ring.  Big boot by Warrior, then Jimmy Hart gets on the apron to offer some sage advice, presumable “try not to get hit.”  It doesn’t work, as Warrior gives them a noggin knocker.  Shoot off and a backelbow.  Double choke into a throw, then a ten-punch.  Running shoulderblock into the corner.  Shoot to the corner and Warrior misses a stinger splash.  Hart passes Honky the megaphone, then distracts the referee while he beats Warrior with it.  Punches and stomps, then some choking from Hart.  Punches and kicks in the corner, but Warrior feels the power.  Scoopslam hits but an elbowdrop doesn’t.  Honky tries to ram him into the turnbuckle, but Warrior turns it into a ten-ram.  Clothesline and Warrior goes for the splash but Honky Tonk gets his knees up.  He covers but Warrior power kicks out at two.  Clothesline by the Warrior, then Honky misses a clothesline and Warrior hits a flying shoulderblock for the pin.  That really should have been his standard finisher as his big splash looked like shit.
1/2* Not good.  Makes you appreciate what they did at Summerslam.

-Highlights of Brutus Beefcake’s feud with Ron Bass, which ended with hair match that Beefcake won.  For no damn reason, we don’t get to see the final result of the haircut.  I get that this was a semi-famous moment and thus warranted mentioning, even if the match was horrible, but without showing the finished haircut there was no point in having this on here.

-Meanwhile, the Mega Powers were pretty over.  But then, they ended up facing the Twin Towers, Akeem and the Big Bossman.

Match #19
Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage vs. The Big Bossman & Akeem
2/3/89 Saturday Night’s Main Event

By this point, both the bookers and the two wrestlers had bungled several attempts to heat up the Mega Powers angle and start to tease a riff.  Some very minor things had been done, and then the first major incident at the Royal Rumble was handled horribly.  It seems like relatively simple booking.  Put Hogan and Savage in the Rumble, have Savage do something underhanded to eliminate Hogan, or have Hogan eliminate Savage and then have Savage get pissed and come back to cost Hogan the match later.  Easy right?

Wrong.  The WWE has Hogan, who was always portrayed as the more virtuous member of the team, dump Savage who was occupied with Bad News Brown.  Despite numerous instances of poor sportsmanship, fans still bought Hogan as the heroic do-gooder of the WWE and to dump Savage the way he did made him look like a coward, even in the ‘everyman for himself’ environment of the Rumble.  They did have Savage jaw with Hogan over his fair and square elimination, which the announcers played off like sour grapes.  But then it all goes to hell.  With nobody left in the match to have his back, Hogan gets double teamed by the Twin Towers and dumped fair and square by them.  No sarcasm there.  They just double teamed him, splashed him, and then casually tossed him out like any other wrestler.  To this, Hogan acted like a spoiled child.  He cheated and attacked the Towers, then whined to the referee that he should be let back into the match up.  Even worse is that babyface announcer Gorilla Monsoon agreed with him and argued for it on commentary, despite the fact that he was talking about what a baby Savage was earlier.

How on Earth was this supposed to get Hogan over as the babyface and Savage over as the heel at going into Wrestlemania?  The WWE has treated fans like morons before, but it was never more blatantly obvious then that day.  And despite the fact that wrestling fans are in general pretty stupid, even some very dense marks didn’t buy into this.  What was the result?  Instead of the fans choosing sides (preferably Hogan), everything remained in stasis for the angle.  Even though the announcers tried a hard sell on a growing riff between the two, the fans didn’t go along with it.  Why should they?  Hogan and Savage were so much alike, they were made for each other.  And a minor backlash was some fans turned on both guys, necessitating the WWE to actually censor fan attempts at bringing signs to the arena that said “Mega Whiners” among other things.  It got to the point where the WWE was dropping the audio when the Twin Towers were making their entrance, because they were getting decent pops.  And why not?  Despite having the still-hated Bobby Heenan as a manager, they won their matches fair and square (can’t say the same about Hogan & Savage) and eliminated the biggest star in the company fair and square, after which he reacted like a child.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that the fans were booing the Mega Powers and cheering the Twin Towers.  But a minority did take notice.  That minority grew into what is today the smart mark.  But the WWE never really concedes defeat.  Just look at John Cena, who should have been turned heel years ago.  Imagine if Hogan was the champion in today’s environment and pulled the kind of stunts he did at the ’89 and ’92 Royal Rumble.  It would put the negative heat Cena gets to shame.

So anyway, after fucking up the Mega Power tear that was supposed to start way back in August of 1988, Wrestlemania V was closing in fast, the WWE had already advertised the match even if it wasn’t announced officially yet, but there had been practically no progress in development because it was one giant fuck up after another.  This match was to be the ‘let’s get it right this time’ moment.  Let’s get on with it already.

They get it right from the get go with Savage telling Hogan in a crazy, wide-eyed manner that he can handle starting the match.  Good, good.  He starts with the Bossman, who wants Hogan.  And then Savage does let Hogan start.  One step forward, two steps backwards.  Bossman rakes the eyes, but Hogan takes him out and clears the ring of the heels all by himself.  Unbelievable.  Then Savage runs in and gives Hogan a big hug.  I’m seriously looking into cutting now.  The heels regroup and the Bossman starts to slug it out.  Hogan blocks a ram into the corner and starts to ten-ram him, then rams him in the opposite corner.  Bossman bails, only for Savage to ram him into the stairs.  Bossman beats the count in at eight.  Tag to Akeem while Ventura bitches that Savage hasn’t gotten a tag because Hogan is a glory hog.  McMahon says that Hogan doesn’t need to make a tag… … … right now.  Nice save, Vinnie.  Hogan gets Akeem into his corner and the faces take turns punching him.  Tag to Savage who drops a sledge off the top onto him.  Akeem won’t drop.  Ram to Hogan’s foot and tag to Hulk, who drops a sledge off the second rope.  Akeem clubs Hogan in the back some more, but Bossman gets the tag and takes Hogan out with a clothesline.  He then doesn’t waste anytime firing off a piledriver, and a nasty looking one at that.  Tag to Akeem who sledges at Hogan while doing his silly white guy jiving like a black guy shtick.  Bossman back in, only to get backdropped over the ropes by Hogan.  On the outside, Hogan rams Bossman into the stairs.  Back in, Slick grabs Hogan’s leg, which allows the heels to take control.  Shoot off the ropes and Bossman hits a nice spinebuster for two.  Hebner counts slow, it’s obvious, Ventura calls him on it, and Vince McMahon denies it.  No wonder Ventura is a truther these days.  After dealing with the delusional babyface announcers in the WWE, I’m not shocked that he’s seeing conspiracies everywhere.  Akeem in to hold Hogan for some free shots, but Hogan ducks and Bossman punches his partner.  Savage in to hit the diving hangman and a sledge off the top rope for two as the Bossman saves.  Referee gets distracted and slick hits Savage in the back with a club.  Tag to the Bossman who smacks Savage around.  Tag to Akeem and the heels hit a double elbow.  Brawling by Akeem, who then dumps Savage over the top and to the floor in what was a really decent bump by Savage.  Elizabeth goes to see if he’s okay, but he ends up back in the ring, where Akeem again dumps him, this time through the ropes… and into Elizabeth.  And this is ain’t no sissy, glances off of her thing.  It’s straight into her.  Huge bump for both Savage and Elizabeth, drawing a huge gasp from the crowd.  Elizabeth is out cold and the fans are going crazy.  Savage recovers while Hogan attends to Elizabeth.  And now they finally start to do something with this angle, as Savage gets pissed that Hogan’s attending to Elizabeth.  Not that he’s jealous, but that Hogan is not paying attention to the match.  And thus they begin to turn Savage into a cold-hearted ass who’s only concern is winning no matter who gets hurt in the process.  It somewhat makes up for the six months of botched pushes, but the desperation hard-sell of it all still kind of sticks out like a sore thumb.  Savage continues bitching at Hogan, then gets dragged back into the ring and destroyed by the heels, including a double team suplex, but they miss a double elbowdrop.  Savage rams the heels into each other while a tearful Hogan carries Elizabeth to a stretcher and bails on the match.  And now the shittiness continues, as we don’t get enough time to see Savage rage at Hogan for bailing, and instead cut to Hogan following the stretcher to the back and begging for someone to help.  We see Elizabeth hooked up to the IVs while Hogan prays over her body.  “Randy didn’t mean it, I swear he didn’t!”  Well no shit, she was standing right there and saw Akeem fling him into her.  Besides, she’s out cold.  We cut to a commercial.

We’re back, and Savage is all alone and getting killed by the heels.  But we cut to the back where Elizabeth is awake and tells him she’s okay, and to go back and help Randy.  Back in the ring, Savage is choked on the ropes, then slung off.  Bossman in with some mounted punches.  Akeem in with some punches.  Then Bossman in with some punches.  Double backbreaker, but the Hogan low-bridges Akeem and Bossman misses a splash.  Sledge off the top, but Savage won’t tag.  Instead he dumps the heels, then bitches at Hogan.  He then bitchslaps Hogan.  I guess it technically counts as a tag, so Bossman slings him into the ring and beats on him with some punches.  Savage starts to bail on the match, jawing with fans while he’s at it.  The heels miss a double splash in the corner, then Hogan rams them into each other.  He then starts to yell at Savage, who grabs the championship belt and bails.  Meanwhile, Akeem splashes Hogan, but it’s hulk up time.  Oh dear.  No sell, no sell, no sell, punch punch punch, big boot to Akeem, punch to Bossman, legdrop to Akeem and it gets the pinfall.  Jesus, this match really called for Hogan to job.  Bossman jumps Hogan, who fights him off and handcuffs him to Slick.

After the match, we see Savage talk with Liz about Hogan being jealous of him.  History would later seem to prove him correct, given all the times Hogan showed up to usurper Randy’s big moments.  Anyway, then Hogan shows up and the crazy stupid shit really begins, as Hogan says “you knocked her down Randy.  I know it wasn’t your fault but…”  and I’m thinking to myself, what the fuck was Savage supposed to do?  He was thrown into her by a guy twice as big as him.  Was he supposed to defy gravity and float away from Elizabeth?  Savage then tells Hogan that Macho Madness is getting bigger then Hulkamaniac, and that he’s number one.  Hogan starts to build a quiet rage over this, while Savage continues to tear him down, saying that Hogan never asked for a title shot against him because he’s scared.  Savage then challenges Hogan to a title match, basically telling him to bring it.  Then it gets really nutty.  Hogan tells Elizabeth to talk some sense into Savage.  What does he expect her to tell him?  “Randy, I know we’re an item and everything, but you have to admit, you’re nowhere near as big as Hulkamania.  And you know if you give Hogan a title shot, you’ll lose.  So stop being a twit and just keep riding coattails.”  Savage loses it over the ‘talk sense’ comment and nails Hogan with the title belt.  So then Elizabeth goes to check on Hogan.  Savage tells her “I’m going to splatter you right onto him.”  She still doesn’t move, so he enters full abusive husband mode and slings her all the way across the room in brutal fashion.  Amazing they let this shit on NBC, when the WWE was supposed to be a family show at this point.  Very unnerving stuff, and not just the insane logic of it all.  Brutus Beefcake makes the save and the segment ends.

DUD For the actual match.  I actually wasn’t going to rate this, given that so much attention was focused on the angle. but the truth is what wrestling was here was dogshit and that deserves to be DUDerized.  As for the angle, hooray for hard sells I guess.  And while what was here was in fact quite epic (if demented), the stink of desperation is all over it.  It reminds me of the week after the infamous “Tacoma Raw/Smackdown” where the WWE botched the WCW Invasion angle so bad that the next week they ended up blowing months work of twists and turns in a single episode of Raw just because they had fucked up so bad it was time to totally shift gears.  In this case, they had Savage go from 0 to 200mph so fast by time the segment was over he was wearing his own asshole around his neck.  Sure, it got things going in time for Wrestlemania, but apparently, from my understanding, they previously didn’t intend to go as far as they did here with Savage.  Because of all the previous missteps, they had to basically shoot their wad with him right here.  And although they finally progressed the Mega Powers angle, I think they ruined Savage’s overall run as a heel.  The character they created for him here just didn’t fit in with the overall product, and for the next two years it really was kind of painful watching them try to shoehorn him into feuds.  It wasn’t until the angle with the Ultimate Warrior that he recovered, and he ended up turning face as soon as that was over with.  Anyway, this thing was worth checking out, if for no other reason to try and wrap your head around how bad things must have been for them condense what should have been a carefully planned slow-burn into a twenty minute segment.

Match #20: WWE Championship, Steel Cage Match
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. The Big Bossman
5/27/89 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Apparently people still talk about this match like it’s the stuff of legends or something.  I’m not holding my breath.  Bossman has Zeus with him, who clubs Hogan with some really horrible punches.  Just think, that tool would go on to play a small but very important role in the second biggest blockbuster movie of all time, The Dark Knight.  Anyway, Hogan is dead and thus we take a commercial.

We’re back and Bossman is all arrogant and evil in the ring.  He drags Hogan in and rips off Hogan’s shirt, then chokes him with it.  Oh come on, it’s a tear-away shirt.  Whip to the corner, which Hogan barely touches but sells like death.  Headbutt and a rake of the back by the Bossman.  Hogan reverses a whip and clotheslines him, and the Bossman bumps terribly off it.  Attempt at ramming by Hogan, but the Bossman blocks.  Hogan rakes the eyes and shoots off for a big boot.  He climbs but Bossman catches him and pulls him off.  Scoopslam and a big splash, then Bossman slowly strolls for the door, but Hogan lunges and grabs a foot.  Shoot off and the Bossman hits a spinebuster.  Bossman climbs and ends up on the other side of the cage and almost all the way down, but instead of dropping down he waits for Hogan like a douche.  Hogan catches him, drags him back in the ring, then superplexes him off the top of the cage in what in all honesty was likely the biggest bump in Hogan’s career.  Huge pop for this.  Both guys appear to be dead.  The referee comes in and starts to count both guys.  Hogan actually gets up on the count of eight, so the ref bails again.  Hogan crawls for the door but the Bossman catches him.  Hogan rakes the eyes, but the Bossman throws Hogan’s timing off then clotheslines him.  Slick tosses Bossman a chain, who then begins to choke Hogan with it.  Instead of waiting for Hogan to pass out, he lets it go and wraps it around his hand. Hogan stops him from punching him with it and both guys ram each other into the cage.  Bossman lands closer to the door and starts to climb, but Hogan stops him and rams him into the turnbuckle.  He grabs the chain and punches the Bossman out with it.  He picks him up and hits him again.  Bossman blades a bit off this, then gets slammed into the cage three times.  Legdrop hits and Hogan starts to climb, so Slick takes out the referee and stops Hogan from climbing.  Bossman starts to climb but Hogan crotches him on the ropes.  Hogan cuffs the Bossman to the top rope, then starts to climb out.  Slick has the handcuff key and tries to free the Bossman, but Hogan escapes to win.
**1/4 This is the big, stinky, legendary SNME cage match that some people still talk about?  Yeah right.  Wow, standards were low in the 80s.

Match #21: Best 2-out-of-3 Falls
The Rockers vs. Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson
11/25/89 Saturday Night’s Main Event

This could be sweet.  Tully and Marty start.  Lockup by Marty, shot off by Tully.  Marty blocks a hiptoss and scoopslams him, then dropkicks him and armdrags Tully into an armbar.  Tully keeps yanking him down by the hair but Marty springs back up and hits a back elbow and goes back to the armbar.  Now a front chancery.  Jannetty knocks Anderson off the apron, then Tully takes him down.  Blanchard misses a couple elbows and Marty goes for a sunset flip.  Arn holds Tully to prevent Marty from turning him, but Shawn comes in and kicks them apart.  Marty turns him over and gets the pin.  Well, that was quick.  Bobby Heenan bitches at the Brainbusters after the fall.

Second fall and the Heenan is still bitching at the heels, so the Rockers both roll them up for two.  Double dropkicks and the Busters bail, which causes Bobby Heenan to quit.  Anderson and Michaels are in the ring now and brawling in the corner.  Shoot to the corner by Anderson but Michaels back flips over him.  Armdrag to Arn, then a rana and mounted punches to Tully.  Double dropkicks to both guys again and the heels take another powder.  Back in, Shawn tags Marty and they double armdrag Anderson, then both drop elbows on him.  Tully tags in only to get atomic dropped, then reversed and punched about.  Tag to Shawn, who hits a kneelift for two.  Hiptoss by Shawn, but the heels double up and hit a hot-shot on Michaels for the second pin.  Commercial time.

Third fall and Shawn is still hurt, so Tully mounts some punches and sends him to Arn, who tags in.  Shoot off and the spinebuster by Arn gets two as Jannetty saves.  Knucklelock pin by Anderson gets two.  Shawn catches Arn in a body scissor, but Arn turns it into a catapult for two.  Tag to Tully who draws the official in.  Doesn’t really get him any free shots and he only manages to dump Shawn.  Back in, Shawn hits a crossbody off the top for two.  Shawn reaches for the tag but Anderson cuts him off.  Front chancery gives Shawn a chance to muscle for the tag.  Anderson goes to smack Jannetty off the ropes and gets punched himself.  He ends up overselling the move and injuring Michaels in the process.  Shawn is legitimately knocked goofy by this, so he makes the hot tag.  Punches for all.  Scoopslams for all.  Dropkick to Tully, then things break down.  Michaels pulls Tully out of the ring but gets sent into the post.  Anderson goes for a piledriver on Marty but Shawn comes off the top rope and gets a crossbody for the pin.
***1/4 Basically a quick version of all their previous matches.  Still hot, but in a fast-food kind of way.


-Hogan ends up losing to the Genius via countout, which was a catalyst for Mr. Perfect’s feud with him… and likely Randy Savage’s current mental state.  Man, that’s got to sting.  You become famous for jobbing to Hulk Hogan every time you match up on TV, then your jobber brother gets a win over him on NBC.  Anyway, this leads to the promo where Mr. Perfect and Lanny take a hammer to the WWE Championship belt, which would allegedly go on to become the Hardcore Championship.  Not sure what purpose this served.  I mean, it’s not like the belt couldn’t be replaced.  Besides, Mr. Perfect wanted the belt, so why would he break it?  Anyway, the WWE ends up putting ALL the promos for this one here.  I have no idea why they did this, but it eats up about six minutes that could have been used for another match or a more entertaining skit, because as far as promos rank, these are pretty boring ones.

Match #22
Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior vs. The Genius & Mr. Perfect
1/27/90 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Back story: the WWE kind of, sort of knew from around the Summer of 1989 that they were going to go with the Ultimate Warrior as the new champion starting with Wrestlemania VI.  They didn’t have 100% faith in him, but they knew Hogan was leaving to film more movies and rest his aching knees.  There was slim-pickings on the babyface side of the table, and the Warrior was the only choice that was over enough to justify getting the title but also was still in the mold of Hulk Hogan.  The WWE wanted to figure out a way to get the title off of Hogan to set up someone for Wrestlemania VI to challenge Warrior, and it sure looked like it was going to be Mr. Perfect.  Perfect amazingly over as a heel and it made sense to have the main event be a traditional face/heel scenario.  So they began building the Hogan/Perfect feud for a few months.  It didn’t work.  The fans weren’t buzzing over it the way the WWE hoped, and live gates went down.  Finally, a Perfect/Hogan main event failed to draw a sellout at Madison Square Garden and the WWE hit the panic button.  Then Pat Patterson allegedly said “Well, why not just have Hogan drop it to him?”  The WWE wanted to see if the fans would choose sides so they did a tease during the 1990 Royal Rumble to see what kind of reaction they would get.  When the fans split 50/50, Perfect was out, and Hogan was in.  But they still had Hogan and Perfect feuding and had invested a lot of time, effort, hammers, and title belts into it and didn’t want to just drop it like a hot rock.  Plus they had to build up the Warrior and Hogan in a way that would keep the fans equally divided.  This was new territory for them and one wrong step could fuck everything up.

To the match.  Hogan starts with Perfect, presumably to give the Warrior a chance to get his wind back from his entrance.  You know, someone should have told him to stop running to the ring.  He actually was a decent wrestler as long as he wasn’t gassed.  Anyway, Perfect stalls forever, then locks up and gets hiptossed.  The Genius runs in and it’s scoopslams for all, leading to the heels bailing.  Hogan tags Warrior to give chase.  Noggin knocker and a ram into the turnbuckle for the bad guys.  Back in, the Genius gets shoulderblocked and then Perfect gets slung into the ring and whipped into Lanny.  Warrior then dumps Perfect with a clothesline.  Hogan gets the tag and Perfect returns to the ring.  Perfect punches away at Hogan on the outside and chops away.  Big back elbow sends Perfect to the floor, where Hogan whips him into the guardrail.  Meanwhile, the Genius grabs his pen and a notebook to write a poem on the ring apron.  Multi-tasking makes it’s wrestling debut.  Hogan whips Perfect into the corner and then clotheslines him down.  Ram into the corner by Hogan, which Perfect oversells with insane gusto.  Scoopslam and some elbowdrops by Hogan, then a mounted punch.  Shoot off and Hogan big boots Perfect out of the ring.  Lanny passes Perfect the metal clipboard that he was writing the poetry on, which Perfect uses to smash Hogan with.  Attempted murder with a chair doesn’t work but Hogan is still out of it and gets sent in the ring.  Stompery follows, but a scoopslam gets countered by Hogan into a small package for one.  More stomping and some chopping, then a clothesline.  Neck-snap and a tag to the Genius for some kicking, then a tag to Perfect who hits a sledge off the second rope.  Perfect stomps away while the Genius prances around on the ring apron to piss the Warrior off.  Perfect fires off the Perfectplex, but lets go himself at two so he can tag in the Genius for the pinfall.  Genius climbs but misses a second rope moonsault (in 1990 WWE!) when Hogan gets his knees up.  Perfect climbs to hit something but Hogan gets his foot up on him.  Hot tag to Warrior.  Genius gets killed with some punches, then Perfect, then Genius again, then a kneelift to Perfect.  Clothesline sets up the press-slam.  Warrior goes for the big splash but Hogan makes the blind tag.  Perfect knocks out the Warrior but Hogan is the legal man and hits the legdrop for the pin.  After the match, the Warrior fights off both the heels, then accidentally clotheslines Hogan.  When Hogan comes to, he’s pissed and shoves Warrior off.  They get nose-to-nose and start jawing with each other, then pushing again.
*** Good tag match, pretty much what I expected in terms of structure.  I think they might have played it a little too safe building the feud and shouldn’t have saved all the other stuff for after the match.

-Jerry Lawler laughs and admits that he enjoyed watching Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura ride in on their high horses during Saturday Night’s Main Event.  Another weird choice.

Match #23
Mr. Perfect vs. Hulk Hogan
4/28/90 Saturday Night’s Main Event

And this would be the blow off to the feud, roughly a month after Hogan dropped the belt to the Warrior at Wrestlemania.  Hogan cuts a down-right tame (by his standards) promo before the match.  Lockup to start, and Hogan shoves Perfect into the corner.  Perfect just flies into it, like he was shot by a cannonball.  Lockup and Perfect gets a hiptoss.  Hogan is all shocked.  They lockup again and Hogan gets a hiptoss, followed by a pair of scoopslams and Perfect bails.  Back in, Perfect slugs it out and hits a hard whip on Hogan into the corner.  Shoot off is reversed and Hogan goes for the big boot, but Perfect sees it coming and bails.  Hogan gives chase and brawls Perfect on the floor, then whips him into the post.  Back in, Hogan slugs it out.  Clothesline in the corner by Hulk, then more brawling.  Running forearm by Hogan, then a running elbow in the corner sends Perfect up and over to the floor.  Hogan gives chase and beats on Perfect, then fights off the Genius.  Lanny ends up in the ring to distract the ref, which gives Perfect a chance to hit Hogan with the scroll and beat him up on the floor.  We get a commercial.

We’re back and Hogan gets kicked around on the floor.  Back in, Perfect stomps away then hits a snapmare into a neck-snap.  He grinds Hogan against the top rope, then slings Hogan off it.  Elbowdrops by Perfect, but he uses too many and Hogan rolls out of the way.  Whip to the corner and a clothesline by Hogan.  Shoot off but Hulk lowers his head into a kick and a clothesline.  Perfect loads up the Perfectplex and hits it for two.  It’s Hulk Up time.  No-sell, no-sell, no-sell, crazy dance, finger wag, punch, punch, punch, big boot, legdrop, see ya.
***1/2 Realistically I could have copied my review of the Hogan/Perfect match from Madison Square Garden off of my Mr. Perfect DVD review, pasted it here, and then changed the ending to Hogan hitting the legdrop and getting the pin instead of hitting the big boot and then getting counted out via cheating.  So same match, same rating, but if you like your falls to be clean, this is the one to go with.

-The ad for Rick Martel’s ‘Arrogance’ is shown.  Oy, this set’s choices for skits and promos has fallen apart during the third disc.

Match #24
The Rockers vs. The Hart Foundation
4/28/90 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Awesome.  Both teams are babyfaces here.  Sounds like the winner gets a shot at Demolition for the tag belts.  Marty and Bret start.  Lockup, shoot off, and trading lead to Bret getting a hiptoss, but Marty taking control with a kick and a tag to Shawn.  Crossbody off the top is rolled-through by Bret for two.  Tag to Marty and a weak double knee by the Rockers, then a double Russian-legsweep.  Neidhart can’t watch so he comes in and clotheslines them both.  Tag to Neidhart, who gets a big shoulderblock on Jannetty that sends him flying into the ropes.  Shoot off and Jannetty gets a drop-toehold.  Tag to Shawn who gets a shoulderblock that doesn’t work.  Jim blocks a slam only to get dropkicked.  Neidhart catches Shawn bouncing off the ropes and slams him.  Tag to Bret who hits an atomic drop and a clothesline.  Stomp between the legs and a tag to Neidhart.  Shoot off and Bret gets a knee to the back when the ref isn’t looking.  Shoot off and a backdrop by Neidhart.  Tag to Bret who hits a snapmare and an elbowdrop.  Hard whip to the turnbuckle and a tag to Neidhart who clubs away.  Shoulderblocks in the corner and a tag to Bret.  Bret whips Neidhart into Shawn for two.  Wasn’t Bret tagged in there?  Bret gets tagged, this time presumably for real, but Shawn gets a sunset flip for two.  BUT WAIT~! because here comes Demolition to watch the match.  Thus we watch them instead of the match.  Backbreaker by Bret, who then gets distracted by them.  Shawn dropkicks Bret over the ropes and into them as we cut to a commercial.

We’re back with Bret pounding on Shawn.  Demolition is allowed to stay as long as they don’t interfere.  Bret slugs out Shawn in the corner, but we’re busy looking at the backs of Demolition.  Elbowdrop off the second rope misses for Bret.  Hot tag by Shawn.  Jannetty slugs it out and hits a big back-elbow to Bret.  Powerslam to Bret and a superkick gets two.  Bret reverses a whip and sends Marty to the corner, but eats a sunset flip for two.  Jannetty lowers his head into a neckbreaker and Bret makes his hot tag to Neidhart.  Bret slings Neidhart over the ropes, but misses Jannetty.  Tag to Shawn who eats a huge shoulderblock for two.  Shoot off and Shawn counters a backdrop by… I’m not exactly sure how he did it, but he hits a back-elbow afterwards for two.  That might have been a botch.  Shawn springs off the ropes but gets caught by Neidhart.  He wiggles his way into tripping Neidhart down for two.  Power-kickout sends Shawn to the floor where Demolition pick him up.  Jannetty gets pissed and attacks Demolition, and their fight spills into the ring where we have a big clusterfuck brawl.  Match gets scrubbed.
***1/2 I loved everything about it until the shitty ending.  The problem is they never even got to a real finishing sequence.  It’s like they ran out of time and had to cut short all the false-finishes before the double DQ.  That sucks, because both teams had a real good rhythm going.  I wanted way more.

Match #25: Intercontinental Championship
(c) Mr. Perfect vs. Tito Santana
6/28/90 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Apparently the WWE is now censoring it’s old style WWF logo as well as the attitude era’s scratch logo.  Weird.  Lockup and Tito is a house of fire right from the start.  He reverses a whip and gets a hiplock, armdrag, then a dropkick that sends Perfect to the floor.  Tito gives chase and chops Perfect on the floor, then back in they trade wristlocks.  Shoot off but Tito lowers his head into a kick and a nasty clothesline.  Kneelift by Perfect, some brawling and a dropkick.  Neck vise now by Perfect, and then Bobby Heenan distracts the referee so Perfect can turn it into a choke.  Huge heat for this.  Nice spot, due for a comeback.  Tito grabs at the hair to fight off.  To their feet where Perfect chops away.  Whip to the corner but Tito gets a foot up on a charge and clotheslines Perfect down.  Windup punches by Tito causes Perfect to land on the referee, who hurts his leg.  Tito takes out Perfect’s feet, then slaps on the figure-four.  Perfect gives it up, but the referee is injured.  Tito holds onto it forever, while Perfect screams in agony.  Tito lets go to check on the referee, then hits the flying forearm.  He covers and the referee is slow to recover and only gets to two.  Fans are SUPER DUPER HOT for Tito.  It’s insane.  Santana climbs and hits a clothesline off the ropes but again the referee is nursing his broken leg and doesn’t count until Perfect is safe and it gets two.  Tito gets pissed at the referee and asks for another.  A new one comes down and we cut to a commercial.

We’re back just in time to see Perfect fight back and beat up Tito.  Clothesline misses for Perfect and Santana hits a crossbody for two.  Perfect slugs it out and snapmares Tito into the neck-snap.  Stompery, then some punching, but Tito fights back.  Thrust kick to the face by Perfect, then the thigh master by Perfect.  Silly move, but I sort of miss it.  Tito fights back and hits some piston punches that sends Perfect to the floor.  Tito to the floor for a big chop, then back in the ring he slings Perfect down by his hair.  Perfect tries to bail out of the ring and ends up crotching himself on the post.  Oopsie.  Actually a good cover for Perfect not sliding far enough on the whip by the hair.  Atomic drop from the front, then the back and a clothesline for two.  Shoot off and Tito lowers his head into the Perfectplex, but he counters it with a small package for two, but Perfect rolls it over and gets the three.
**** Awesome match, especially if you consider what they accomplished in a relatively small amount of time.  And this is proof that when you have a really, really hot crowd that guys can make magic happen even if under considerable time pressure.  Great stuff.  This set continues to surprise me by pulling out some really remarkable short but fun matches.

-We celebrate Oktoberfest on Saturday Night’s Main Event.  The Genius presides over a sausage stuffing contest.  They can’t determine a winner, so everyone wins.  Except Pat Patterson, who was disqualified because he misunderstood the point.  Then a big food fight breaks out.  Surreal.

Match #26: 20 Man Battle Royal
Participants: Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Marty Jannetty, Earthquake, Tugboat, Kerry Von Erich, Big Bossman, Jim Duggan, Greg Valentine, Jake Roberts, Haku, Mr. Perfect, Davey Boy Smith, Kato, Paul Roma, Warlord, Tanaka, Jimmy Snuka, Hercules, & Barbarian
4/27/91 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Big brawl to start.  I suck at recapping Battle Royals but will give it the old college try.  Hogan brawls Quake to the corner, then Jake Roberts joins him to get revenge for Damien.  Jannetty eliminates Roma, who then pulls Marty out with him.  Then more random brawling that goes on forever.  Davey Boy gets dumped by the Warlord of all people.  Tanaka gets dumped by someone, then Snuka gets dumped.  Jake gets dumped by Quake.  Then everyone teams up Quake, then Jake puts his new snake, Lucifer, into the ring.  This causes the ref to call a break.  Commercial time.

We’re back, after missing nothing.  Tugboat and Hogan have a moment and they start to attack each other.  I’m guessing this set up the formation of the Natural Disasters.  Hogan dumps the Warlord.  Von Erich.  Quake dumps Duggan.  Hogan dumps Earthquake.  Hogan dumps Kato, then Tugboat dumps Hogan.  Wow, didn’t see that coming.  Hogan cries like a bitch, of course.  Shawn Michaels dumps Tugboat.  Hercules somehow falls over the top rope as well.  Bossman fights it out with everyone but Perfect dropkicks him out.  Perfect and Haku go off on Michaels but Shawn escapes and dropkicks Haku out.
FINAL FOUR: Shawn Michaels, Mr. Perfect, Greg Valentine, and Barbarian.  Shawn almost dumps Perfect, then dropkicks him.  Shawn gets sent to the apron and eliminated with a back elbow.  Barbarian and Perfect double team on the currently-babyface Valentine.  Valentine tries to dump Perfect but can’t do it and the heels end up double teaming him.  Perfect misses a dropkick on Valentine and ends up hitting Barbarian, who then gets dumped by Valentine.  Hennig starts to chop away on Greg in the corner, but Valentine reverses and chops away.  Shoot off and a big chop, then an atomic drop and a standing elbow.  Big elbowdrops by Valentine, which is how he got his nickname.  Valentine goes to dump Perfect, but only gets him to the apron, then back in.  Valentine gets back on him and keeps pushing on him, leading to both guys going over the top, but only Greg falls to the floor, and Perfect wins.
DUD A very mildly peppy final four could not save what is a typical battle royal, or as I like to call them, “Nothingness Exhibitions.”

Match #27
Ted DiBiase vs. Bret Hart
4/27/91 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Not the same match as the one featured on Bret’s DVD.  This is the start of Bret’s singles push, after a couple years worth of delays and false-starts.  Lockup to start, then a clean break on the rope is not so clean and DiBiase slugs it out.  Shoot to the corner is reversed by Bret, who fires off a hiptoss and a pair of clotheslines.  A third one sends DiBiase to the floor.  Plancha by Bret, then some mounted punches on the floor.  Bret scares Sherri Martel off, then sends DiBiase back in the ring.  Headlock-takeover gets two, then DiBiase shifts his weight and gets two on Bret.  Shoot off and Bret gets a shoulderblock.  Sherri tries to trip up Bret, so Bret goes after her and drags her to the apron.  DiBiase charges but misses and knocks her off the apron, and Bret gets a rollup for two.  Shoulderblock by Bret, then he gets caught charging and DiBiase turns it into a hotshot.  Piledriver by DiBiase gets two.  Bret goes for another rollup but DiBiase shifts his momentum and sends him to the floor.  On the outside, DiBiase slams Bret into the stairs, then ties up the ref to serve up Bret for Sherri.  Back in, DiBiase stomps and chokes away.  Sherri gets her own choking in, then DiBiase goes back to it.  He ties up the referee again so that Sherri can punch Bret in the throat.  DiBiase sends Bret to the corner, then hooks in the Million Dollar Dream.  Bret backs him into the corner to escape, then catches Ted coming off the ropes with a punch to the gut.  Bret slugs it out with him, then moves into the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM~!!  Atomic drop and a back-elbow gets two.  Russian legsweep gets two.  Backbreaker and an elbow off the second rope gets two.  DiBiase fights back and Sherri tries to trip up Bret again.  Bret bails to chase her around, giving DiBiase a chance to drop a sledge off the apron on him.  BUT WAIT~!! because Roddy Piper bails on commentary to go after Sherri.  Meanwhile, Bret gives DiBiase a face-buster.  We don’t get to see anything else because the focus is now on Piper chasing Martel around the ring.  He grabs a broom from under the ring, swats her away with it, then rides it around at her.  It looks like he’s chasing her with a large, erect, red penis.  She bails to the locker room.  DiBiase and Bret end up fighting in the aisle and the referee counts both guys out.
***1/2 Bret proved here that he was ready for the big singles push that had been promised and denied to him a few times starting in 1988.  All the roughness of his previous singles matches was gone, replaced by a crisp, steady workrate and pace.  It’s proof that fools rush in, and the WWE should remember Bret when it comes to giving guys like John Morrison a big push before they are totally ready for it.

NBC cancels Saturday Night’s Main Event because the ratings had bottomed out. Saturday Night’s Main Event was a hot commodity and thus the WWE leaves NBC by it’s own free will and signs on with Fox.

Match #28
Hulk Hogan & Sid Justice vs. Undertaker & Ric Flair
2/8/92 Saturday Night’s Main Event

This match holds a special place in my heart.  As many people know, I’m a Sid mark.  I can’t really help it.  It’s like a psychological condition.  I was ten-years-old when this match aired, and all my friends were big Hulk Hogan fans.  Not me.  I’ve been a ‘smart fan’ since I was really young, long before the internet came around, and I had just about grown sick of Hulk Hogan.  The town I grew up in had just gotten it’s first Fox affiliate right on time to see this, so I had some friends stay over to watch it.  It was pretty cool.  Anyway, my friends were pretty pissed at me by time this match was over.

Sid starts with Flair, who doesn’t want to lock up and bails to the ropes.  Lockup and Flair rakes the eyes, but gets send to the corner and backdropped.  Hiptoss by Sid and Flair bails.  Tag to Hogan.  Backdrop to Flair, then a hiptoss.  Taker comes in and gets slammed, then rammed into Sid’s foot.  Tag to Sid, and I guess Undertaker is now the legal man somehow.  Taker tries to slam Sid but gets reversed and slammed.  Just think, you have the main events for Wrestlemania VIII and XIII in this match.  And it’s the two worst main events ever.  Tag to Hogan.  Slams for all.  Clotheslines for all.  Tag to Sid, who gets a free shot on Taker.  Shoot of but Sid lowers his head into a punch.  Flair tags in and the heels hit a double clothesline for two as Hogan saves.  Double atomic-drop to Sid and Taker covers for two, with Hogan saving again.  Flair and Taker go for another double team, but Hogan comes in to stop it and the faces clean house, both hitting big boots to Flair, then dumping Taker with a clothesline.  Hogan starts to pose like a tool and it pisses Sid off.  Commercial.

We’re back as Undertaker goes to town on Sid, taking him to the corner.  Tag to Flair who chops away.  Flair ties up the referee so Taker can choke at Sid.  Tag to Taker who drops a chop off the top rope.  Taker smacks away at Sid, then draws Hogan in to tie up the referee.  The referee actually catches them, but it doesn’t matter because Sid turns it into a noggin-knocker.  Tag to Hogan.  Punches for all, but Perfect trips him up and Flair hits a knee cruncher into the figure four.  Hogan escapes and tries to tag in Sid, but Sid won’t have it.  The fans ‘boo’ this, when in fact the boos were piped in.  Hogan catches Flair climbing and tosses him off the top.  He again crawls to Sid, who doesn’t reach for the tag.  Blatant choke by Flair, then some chops in the corner, but Hogan starts to no-sell it.  The heels whip Hogan to the corner but he explodes out of it with a clothesline.  Hogan again crawls for the tag, and this time Sid fakes interest and then bails on the match.  Brutus Beefcake gets pissy with this, but his face is all mangled due to his boat accident and thus can’t get into it with Sid.  The heels double team on Hogan, then Flair shoves the referee to get a DQ.  Well that was a fucking lame cop-out.  Even lamer, Hogan then manages to take out the heels single handedly.  I wouldn’t want Hogan to seem vulnerable or anything.
** Not a great match, but I was marking out for Sid’s heel turn then and I still love it now.  I still hate how the WWE never allowed Hogan to seem like he was in real danger.

-The Mountie goes around zapping everyone with a cattle prod.  This leads to highlights of the Mountie/Piper match, where Piper wore a ‘shock proof’ life vest.  Horrible.

Match #29: Intercontinental Championship
(c) Davey Boy Smith vs. Shawn Michaels
11/14/92 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Circle, lockup, and Bulldog shoves off.  Another lockup and another shove off.  Fans are hot for this.  Headlock by Shawn, shoot off and a shoulderblock by Davey.  Shawn tries to knock Davey down but can’t so he dives between Davey’s leg and slugs away.  Hiptoss fight, but Shawn rakes the eyes, headscissors takedown and then a short-arm scissors.  Shawn has Davey grapevined in a very strange way, having his entire body wrapped around Bulldog’s arm to the point that it makes Shawn look much smaller then he is.  Crazy!  Davey ends up lifting Shawn like a weight and slamming him down.  Shawn gets up and gets dumped to the floor.  Shawn gets back in and locks it up.  To the corner where Shawn slugs away.  Davey ends up getting some leg-lace takedowns that look awful and an armdrag into an armbar.  Davey turns it into a wristlock ringer but Shawn slugs out and elbows away in the corner.  Shoulderblock by Davey to pump up the crowd but Shawn would sidestep a charge and dump Davey through the ropes.  Shawn exposes the turnbuckle, and it takes a while.  Commercial.  When we come back, Shawn is still adjusting the turnbuckle pad.  Snapmare and a kick with a delayed sell by Davey.  Knees to the back and stomping.  Abdominal stretch by Shawn.  Davey hiptosses out of it but misses an elbow drop.  Shawn covers for two.  Shawn slugs away on the back.  Stomp to Davey’s knee, shoot off the ropes and another abdominal stretch.  Davey powers out of it after a couple minutes and this time hits the elbow drop.  Face buster on the canvas and then he sends Shawn hard into the turnbuckle.  Clothesline and a catapult into the turnbuckle (not the exposed one) and another clothesline for a close two.  Delayed suplex for two.  Shawn reverses and Davey lands back first into the exposed turnbuckle.  Davey uses the ropes to get up but he’s still got a bad back.  Shawn ends up on the top rope and Davey goes for a superplex but his back gives out and Shawn wins his first IC title.  Crowd is pissed.
***1/2 Really good if you consider that Davey did pretty much nothing, just like what happened with Bret Hart at Summerslam of 1992.  Shawn didn’t have the time to build to a match of that caliber, but if he had been given it, he would have.

-And that’s it for Saturday Night’s Main Event, until NBC fell off it’s nut and decided to bring it back in 2006.

Match #30: Street Fight
Shawn Michaels vs. Shane McMahon
3/18/06 Saturday Night’s Main Event

Can Shawn Michaels drag a good match out of Shane?  I’ve never seen this one as I completely ignored all the modern SNME shows.  Brawl next to the entrance to start.  To the ramp where Shawn shrugs off Shane’s embarrassing punches and takes him down some more.  Shawn grabs a chair and smacks Shane with it, then preps slowly preps a table.  Shawn goes to drag Shane over to it, but gets thrown into the post.  Shane grabs a ladder and slugs away at Shawn, then picks him up and rams him into ring post some more.  He goes into the ring and sets up a ladder, then Vince places Shawn on the tables.  Shawn fights off and climbs the ladder to stop Shane.  He fights off Vince and then superplexes Shane off the ladder, over the ropes, through two tables and to the floor.  Double knock out follows, which leads to a commercial break.

We’re back with Shawn clotheslining Shane down.  Shawn’s back is killing him, but he still throws a scoopslam.  He preps the ladder and climbs it.  He gets ready for the elbow but Vince comes in with a kendo stick to beat Shawn in the back and make him fall off of the ladder.  Long double KO follows, with multiple replays of the table spot shown.  Shane grabs a ladder and smacks Shawn in the back with it a few times and covers for two.  Battering ram with the ladder gets two.  Elbowdrop to the back and a surfboard by Shane.  Shawn tries to stand up but eats a knee to the back.  Shawn finally fights back and turns it into his own windmill, but he takes his eye off the ball and goes after Vince.  He turns around and eats a DDT from Shane for two.  Steel chair to Shawn’s head and Shane sets up for the Van Terminator.  Shawn moves out of the way, and this somehow kills Shane.  Not sure how it would make a difference whether or not he hits it, as he’s landing the same way.  Wrestling logic!  Shawn hulks up and moves into the FIVE AND A HALF MOVES OF DOOM~!  Flying forearm, nip-up, atomic drop, clotheslines, a scoopslam, and the flying elbow off the top hit.  Shawn tunes up the band and hits Sweet Chin Music, but Vince yanks the referee out at two.  So Shawn tosses Vince into the ring.  The power of Christ compels Shawn to kill Vince, but Shane fires off a low blow and then hooks in a sharpshooter so Vince can ring the fucking bell.  Ooooh, how edgy.
** Which might be good enough to make it Shane’s best or second best match.

-Randy Orton feuds with Hulk Hogan, and this leads to… nothing.  According to the DVD insert, this was supposed to be the segment where Orton gets his freak on with Brooke Hogan, but it’s not shown.  In fact, Brooke Hogan isn’t even mentioned.  Good job, production fuckwits.

Match #31: 5 on 2 Handicap Elimination Match
Shawn Michaels & Triple H vs. The Spirit Squad
7/15/06 Saturday Night’s Main Event
Special Stipulation: When you eliminate someone, they have to be placed in a holding cage.

The Squad are the tag champions here, but naturally their titles are not on the line.  Shawn starts with Mikey.  The Squad has Shawn in their corner so Mikey stomps away, then tags in Mitch.  Things break down and Shawn ends up taking out everyone with a megaphone.  So the Squad all bails for a conference, where Trips honks an air horn in their faces.  Mitch comes in and eats a superkick for the pin and we go to a commercial.

When we get back, DX is still dominating.  Spinebuster to Johnny causes him to get pinned.  Kenny actually gets some offense on Shawn, then bails when it looks like Shawn might fight back.  Shawn gives chase and takes him up to the stage, but Vince McMahon comes out of nowhere and chairs him.  Kenny brings Shawn back to the ring, then tags Nicky, who is known these days as Dolph Ziggler.  Flying forearm to Shawn gets two.  Headlock by Nicky but Shawn turns it into a back suplex.  Nicky tags Kenny who goes for the guillotine legdrop but misses.  Tag to Trips.  Punches for all and the flying knee to Mikey.  Facebuster to Nicky, then the spinebuster.  KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! is broken up by Mikey, but both guys gets clotheslined and Nicky eats the KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! for the pin.  Sweet chin music to Mikey and he’s gone.  Scoopslam to Kenny and the flying elbow by Shawn. Shawn tunes up the band and hits the DX SPECIAL EDITION SUPERKICK~! on Kenny.  It’s named as such because instead of dropping someone, it makes them stagger into Triple H who is free to hit the pedigree.  Sure enough, he does and it gets the win.  After the match, DX buries the tag champs some more.
1/2* You know, these team had a really, really good match at Vengeance in 2006.  I don’t get why after that they had to continue to bury them after that.  This served no real point and wasn’t even structured to be like a match or anything.  Bad choice for the set.

Match #32: WWE Championship
(c) Edge vs. John Cena
7/15/06 Saturday Night’s Main Event

We’re finally at the final match of the set.  This fucker was a monster.  Edge tries to bail to start but Cena catches him and tries to brawl him.  Thumb to the eye by Edge, but Cena hangs him up as he gets in the ring.  Cena charges but gets low-bridged and stumbles out of the ring as we already cut to a commercial.

We’re back with Edge catching Cena with a clothesline.  Brawling leads to Edge setting up for a superplex.  He then proceeds to botch it.  Awesome.  Man, this set just went completely to hell once the classic shows were dropped in favor of the modern stuff.  This leads to a double knock out.  Both guys are up and Edge gets a clothesline and a kick to the face for two.  Slug out follows, with the fans doing the ‘yea-boo’ stuff.  Guess who gets the boos.  Hulk up by Cena.  Clotheslines, shoulderblock, protoplex, five knuckle shuffle, and the FU.  It gets two as Lita yanks the referee out of the ring, injuring him in the process.  Cena gets butt hurt by this and shoots Lita a nasty look.  Cena side-steps the spear and slaps on the STFU.  The ref goes to climb back in the ring and so Lita yanks him down and bitch slaps him.  The ref gets back in the ring, sees Edge tapping out, and then calls for the bell and DQs Edge.  Worst ending I’ve ever seen on free television.  So if the referee is pissed at Edge and his bitch, why would he not want to award the title to Cena, especially when he sees Edge tapping out?  Just stupid and insulting.  After the match, Cena kills Edge with some monitors and FUs him off the stairs and through the announce table.
1/2* Horrible match structure.  This was given no time and was just a cop-out from start to finish.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Alfred Hayes & Mean Gene go on Safari, Shawn Michaels talks about winning his first title, and Matt Hardy talks about boxing Evander Holyfield.  I’m guessing they’re saving that last one for the inevitable ‘celebrity wrestling’ set.

BOTTOM LINE: Easy thumbs up.  You get your value here and then some, with lots of fun, fast paced matches and some real lost classics throw into the mix.  I think some choices were questionable but otherwise this set is one of the better, more comprehensive ones the WWE has ever put out.  Get it and get it now.

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