WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event #16 Review 04.30.1988

Welcome everyone to the review of what was the first edition of SNME after WrestleMania IV.

Enjoy the review!

Before starting, here is the list of champions at the time:

  • WWF Champion: Randy Savage
  • Intercontinental Champion: Honky Tonk Man
  • Tag Team Champions: Demolition (Ax & Smash)
  • Women’s Champion: Sensational Sherri

The hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura

Match #1: ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan vs. Hercules(w/ Bobby Heenan & Andre the Giant)

Duggan is feuding with Andre, having knocked the giant out with his 2×4 on TV after Andre helped Ted DiBiase eliminate him in the tournament’s first round at WrestleMania IV. Therefore, he’s facing Heenan family member Hercules here.

Hacksaw starts in control, with Herc wasting no time in leaving the ring to talk strategy with Andre. Back in with Duggan still running wild, until he eventually misses a charge and Hercules chokes away. Duggan gets the 2×4 to clear everyone out of the ring, and we take a break.

We return with Hercules going after the eyes and putting him in a bearhug. He chokes some more, before Duggan finally escapes and hits the Three Point Stance, with Heenan running in to break up the pin and cause the DQ. The heels then beat up Duggan for a while, until The Ultimate Warrior runs in and cleans house. This was what it was. 1/4*

Match #2: Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake vs. ‘Dangerous’ Danny Davis(w/ Jimmy Hart)

Similar situation here, as Beefcake is feuding with IC Champion The Honky Tonk Man, and is facing another one of Jimmy Hart’s wrestlers here to continue that feud. This is why stables are so important and there should be more of them, because that way we don’t need to see the same match three times in the same month.

Beefcake runs wild to start, tossing Davis around for fun. Davis eventually gets some offense in, only for Brutus to catch him in the sleeper. Absolute squash here, with Beefcake cutting Davis’ hair afterwards. DUD

Match #3: ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage(w/ Miss Elizabeth) vs. One Man Gang(w/ Slick) – WWF Championship

This is Savage’s first televised defense of the world’s championship. One Man Gang was the only wrestler Savage could not pin in the tournament at WrestleMania, with ‘Macho Man’ eliminating him in the semis via DQ – hence him being the first challenger.

Gang dominates early on, overpowering the champion to keep him down. Savage connects with a bodypress for two. A slam off the top gets an even closer two, as does a stungun, before Gang squashes him like a bug to cut him off.

An elbowdrop gets two but Gang misses a charge and Savage connects with an elbow of his own. Savage hits the double axehandle only to get caught on a second attempt, but Gang misses the 747. Slick goes after Liz on the outside, distracting Savage, but a shot with the cane turns Gang’s lights out instead and the Macho Elbow is academic.

For a basic five-minute TV match, this was certainly acceptable. Savage is on fire as the WWF Champion, bringing the goods no matter the situation and, most importantly, having the crowd in the palm of his hands. *1/2

Match #4: Demolition (Ax & Smash)(w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. The British Bulldogs (Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith)

This is a non-title match, which makes me wonder why this is happening in the first place. Smash beats up Davey Boy to start, being only stopped by a Dynamite clothesline. Ax gets in, only to get double-teamed by the babyfaces, until a cheapshot turns things back around for the Demos.

Smash backbreaker on The Kid gets two. A bearhug follows, with Dynamite eventually escaping and getting out of the way of a Smash charge. Hot tag Davey and he’s running wild, but eventually Matilda runs after Fuji as we take a break. We return with a mega brawl-for-all for the lame no-contest finish. Ughh.

There was no story in this one, so there’s not much to say. The action was going just fine, but the match was super short and the finish was beyond stupid. *3/4

Match #5: ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase(w/ Virgil) vs. ‘The Rock’ Don Muraco(w/ ‘Superstar’ Billy Graham)

Another rematch from WrestleMania, where DiBiase defeated in the second round of the tournament in a hot match in which Muraco actually looked quite good.

DiBiase pounds away to start and he’s all cocky, only to get backdropped and immediately bail. Back in, Muraco is a house of fire, hitting a clothesline and a powerslam for two.

A clothesline kills The Rock’s comeback, though, and DiBiase gets a couple of nearfalls with a clothesline and a suplex. He walks right into a Muraco powerslam for two, but a suckerpunch and a cover full of ropes is enough to give DiBiase the chickenshit heel win. Another brief yet exciting match between these two, with everything looking good. **1/4

Main-event: ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude(w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Koko B. Ware

Rude is in a personal feud with Jake Roberts, while Koko was pinned by Bobby Heenan himself at WrestleMania… if that doesn’t tell you who’s going over here, I don’t know what will!

Koko runs wild to start, but that unsurprisingly goes nowhere. Rude poses and eats a dropkick, which only works in pissing off Rude. Rude hits a dropkick but misses a second one. A Koko pseudo-comeback again goes nowhere, and the Rude Awakening is more than enough to end it.

Rude is getting more and more over as a cocky heel, oozing charisma and feeding Koko’s comebacks like a true pro. *, all thanks to Rick Rude and his greatness.

Overall, this was watchable but suffered from being nothing more than RematchMania. This edition of SNME gets a three out of ten.

SNME now takes a break, with the next edition only taking place in October of that year. Don’t miss my review of the very first SummerSlam next.

Here are the points for this show:

  • Randy Savage: 1.5 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win + 1 for successfully retaining a title = 3.5 points;
  • Ted DiBiase: 2.25 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win = 3.25 points;
  • Rick Rude: 1 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win + 1 for main-eventing = 3 points;
  • Ax, Smash, Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith: 1.75 points (for star rating);
  • Don Muraco: 2.25 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss = 1.25 points;
  • Brutus Beefcake: 1 point (for submission win);
  • Koko B. Ware: 1 for star rating + 1 for main-eventing – 1 for pinfall loss = 1 point;
  • Jim Duggan: 0.25 for star rating + 0.5 for DQ win = 0.75 points;
  • One Man Gang: 1.5 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss = 0.5 points;
  • Hercules: 0.25 for star rating – 0.5 for DQ loss = -0.25 points;
  • Danny Davis: -1 point (for submission loss)