Hulk Hogan and Tugboat vs. Earthquake and Dino Bravo (w/ “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart)
Coming out of the Rumble and as we continue the build to Wrestlemania, we have what has become a year stop on the road and that is the Main Event which we are up to the fifth edition. The last three years have seen some big things happen on this show including Andre beating Hogan and giving the WWF Title to Dibiase, the breakup of the Mega Powers, and last year the continuing build to Hogan and Warrior. By this year however, it did start to feel like the shine was starting to dull on the Main Event and on Saturday Night’s Main Event in general which we will get to later in the year, but we do have one more Main Event showcased as we have some quick loose ends to tie up. It was pretty clear that Hogan was preparing to be the next challenger for Sgt. Slaughter, but he still had this lingering issue with Earthquake going so that gets wrapped up here as Hogan teams with his buddy Tugboat to face Earthquake and Bravo.
This feud has been going strong since last year when Earthquake put Hogan on the shelf with the Earthquake Splashes, and as we now they faced off at Summerslam with Hogan defeated Earthquake by countout. They would continue to feud on the house shows and on TV with Hogan’s team defeating Earthquake’s team at Survivor Series, and at the Rumble Hogan last eliminated Earthquake to win the match. It was announced that Hogan would team with Tugboat here to face Earthquake and Dino Bravo to finally settle this feud, and with the announcement that Jack Tunney would announce who would challenge Slaughter at Wrestlemania made it clear this feud needed to finally end.
Hogan and Tugboat get a big pop from the crowd while Earthquake and Bravo had solid heat as heels, and it was smart to have this match open the show. Hogan starts off the match with Bravo and they lock up with Bravo shoving Hogan into the corner, and they lock up again with Hogan blocking a shove from Bravo as he shoves him into the corner. Hogan hits a backdrop on Bravo as Jimmy gets on the apron and Hogan knocks him to the floor before getting a shot in on Earthquake, and he hits an atomic drop on Bravo as Tugboat gets a shot in from the apron and Hogan knocks him down. Tugboat tags in and works on Bravo’s arm as he takes him to the mat and then he backs him into the corner, and he pounds on Bravo and whips him into the other corner only for Bravo to catch him with a knee to the face. He hits an atomic drop on Tugboat and tags Earthquake who misses the elbow and Hogan tags in, and he pounds on Earthquake as Bravo comes in and Hogan hits a slam on him before hitting a slam on Earthquake. Tugboat gets a shot in from the apron and Hogan pounds on Earthquake before whipping him into the corner and splashing him, and he pounds on Earthquake in the corner and bites him on the face before tagging Tugboat and they hit a double big boot on Earthquake. Earthquake catches Tugboat with a boot to the face and he kicks him to the mat before pounding on him, and he chokes Tugboat on the ropes and tags Bravo who kicks at Tugboat and pounds on him. Earthquake chokes Tugboat in the corner with the tag rope as Bravo stomps on him and Earthquake rams the knee into Tugboat, and he hits a headbutt on Tugboat and hits a snapmare before dropping an elbow on Tugboat for a two count as Hogan breaks the pin up. Bravo tags in and pounds on Tugboat before dropping a series of elbows on him and he spits on Hogan, and Earthquake comes in and they hit a double clothesline on Tugboat as Earthquake stomps on Tugboat and then steps on him. He chokes Tugboat on the ropes and hooks a bearhug on before hitting a headbutt only for Tugboat to reverse a whip into the corner, and he splashes Earthquake and hits a clothesline as Jimmy distracts the ref and Bravo hits Tugboat in the back of the head with the megaphone. Hogan goes over and checks on Tugboat as we go to a commercial break and when we come back from the break, he helps Tugboat back into the ring as Earthquake pounds on him and knocks him down for a two count. Bravo tags in and he kicks at Tugboat as Earthquake chokes Tugboat on the ropes from the floor, and Bravo hooks a headlock as Tugboat fights to his corner and tags Hogan though the ref misses it and forces him out. Earthquake and Bravo hit a double slam on Tugboat and Earthquake looks for the Earthquake Splash only for Hogan to come in and hit a clothesline on Earthquake, and Hogan gets the hot tag and he fires up on Bravo before hitting a big boot and he hooks a rollup which gets the three and wins the match for his team. Later in the night, Hogan would accompany Jim Duggan to the ring for his match and later would try to save him from an attack, but he would be beaten down by Slaughter and Adnan with a chair. Shortly after, Jack Tunney officially announced that Hogan would challenge Slaughter for the WWF Title at Wrestlemania and Hogan would cut a passionate promo as he vowed to become champion for the USA.
The match itself was decent as both teams worked hard and put on a pretty solid tag match for TV. It was pretty clear by this point that the Hogan/Earthquake feud had run its course though it had a really good run especially at this time, and this was the perfect place to end it as Hogan was ready to move onto another feud. It made sense that they did a tag match here as Tugboat and Bravo have also been a heavy part of this feud, and all four men still had good chemistry as Tugboat takes a beating before Hogan comes in and gets the win pretty quickly. It was also fine that Bravo took the pin so Earthquake could stay strong though it was weird that Hogan pinned Bravo with a rollup and not the legdrop as it felt weird to keep Bravo somewhat protected. You did wonder too what would happen to Earthquake as he had been really hot for this whole feud, but now the question would be where he would go and that he wouldn’t be too directionless after this. The crowd was pretty hot for the match and popped big for Hogan and Tugboat when they won. Hogan and Tugboat get the win over Earthquake and Bravo as both teams finally move on and Hogan looks ahead to Wrestlemania.
Final Grade: **1/2