Vintage Vault Pre-Viewing: Saturday Night’s Main Event 16

“Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth) vs. the One Man Gang (w/ “The Doctor of Style” Slick) for the WWF Championship

As we head into the first Saturday Night’s Main Event coming out of Wrestlemania IV, it would be interesting to see how it would play out since it was going to be the first one to not feature Hulk Hogan on the show in any capacity. Needless to say, this was going to be a challenge for the new WWF Champion Randy Savage as he now has the show all to himself and prove that he could be the guy to fill Hogan’s shoes. We have seen him put on great matches on the last several SNMEs in building up to this moment and now the spotlight is on him to be the top guy in the company. His first title defense would be a unique one as he would face one of the men he defeated the tournament to become champion and that is the One Man Gang, who by this point had cooled off a bit since his house show feud with Hogan. It was pretty weird to see him propped right back up and get a title shot when he wasn’t as hot as he was when he debuted, but it made sense since it played off their match at WM and Gang could lay claim to a title shot. It also made sense in a way since they obviously wanted to keep Savage and Ted Dibiase apart even though that was the hot feud right now, but since they faced off at the last SNME and at WM it was fine to keep them apart on TV for the time being and let someone else step in to face Savage.

Since they fought in the semifinals of the tournament at WM, Savage would continue his feud with Dibiase on the house shows while Gang would continue his feud with Bam Bam Bigelow, and on TV they would cut promos on each other after it was announced that Gang would get the title shot. As mentioned, I’m sure that it threw some people for a loop that Gang was given the title shot against Savage on such a big stage though again it made sense to call back on their WM match and it would be interesting to see if they would be able to put on a solid title match.

Both men give solid promos before the match and Gang did still pretty solid heat as a heel, and Savage gets a big pop from the crowd as he looks like the star he was supposed to be and looked pretty good with the title around his waist. Slick tries to stalk Elizabeth before the match begins and Savage ends up chasing him to the back as we go to commercial break, and back from the break Savage avoids Gang to start the match and they lock up with Gang backing Savage into the corner. The two men jockey for position as Gang keeps backing Savage into the corners only for Savage to avoid a shot and he hits a back elbow, and he pounds on Gang in the corner and drives the elbow into his face only for Gang to reverse a whip. He catches Savage only for Savage to shift momentum and fall on top of Gang for a two count as Gang sends Savage through the ropes to the outside, and Savage recovers first as he goes up top and hits a crossbody on Gang for a two count. Savage grabs Gang by the beard and hotshots him on the top rope for a two count as Gang rakes the eyes, and Slick comes back down to ringside as Savage hooks a front facelock only for Gang to escape by ramming him into the corner. He pounds on Savage in the corner and hoists him up in a choke before slamming him to the mat, and he stomps on Savage and chokes him on the mat with his boot as Slick chokes Savage with the cane from the outside. Gang stomps on Savage only for Savage to duck a shot as he slides outside and chases Slick around the ring, and he grabs Slick as they slide in the ring only for Gang to drop an elbow on Savage and he chokes Savage on the mat. He tears at Savage’s face and pounds on him as Savage gets a kick in only for Gang to continue to pound on him in the corner, and he drives the elbow into the back of Savage’s head and drops an elbow on him for a two count. He whips Savage into the corner only to miss a charge and Savage drives the elbow into him repeatedly before hitting a clothesline that sends Gang over the top to the floor, and Savage goes up top and hits an axehandle on Gang before sliding back in the ring. Gang rolls back into the ring as Savage goes up top again only for Gang to nail him coming in, and Gang hits a slam on Savage goes up to the middle rope only to miss the 747 Splash. Slick stalks Elizabeth on the outside and Savage swats at him only for Gang to nail him from behind, and Slick continues to yell at Elizabeth as Gang hoists Savage up in a choke and slams him to the mat. Slick gets on the apron as Gang holds Savage only for Savage to move and Slick nails Gang with the cane by mistake, and Savage goes up top and hits the flying elbow which gets the three and he retains the title.

The match itself was decent as both men worked hard and put on a solid title match even though they could’ve used a few more minutes to make it even better. Obviously, this was going to be miles better than their match at WM since Savage wasn’t on his third match and they were able to tell a better story with this match. I’m fairly certain that many didn’t think Gang would win the title as he was pretty tepid and Savage wasn’t going to lose the title this quickly, but they did a decent job making Gang look like a credible threat and they also made the right decision by having Savage beat him clean as opposed to the crappy DQ finish at WM. As mentioned, this was a good showcase for Savage to have his own stage with Hogan taking time off and I thought Savage held his own, but it would be interesting to see going forward if he can keep the momentum going especially as he continues the feud with Dibiase. The crowd was into the match and popped big for Savage when he won. Savage gets a clean title defense here over Gang and both men move on.

Final Grade: **

Author: Steve Riddle

I have been a wrestling fan since 1993 and that is probably my biggest love, with movies being a close second due in part to being employed at a movie theater for over 9 years.