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[1988-02-05-WWF-The Main Event] Hulk Hogan vs Andre The Giant


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Possibly the biggest rematch in history. Also one of the most watched matches in history. It's been a little under a year since Hogan and Andre had their encounter at Wrestlemania 3. Since then, Andre and Brain had claimed that Hogan was ducking Andre, refusing to give him a rematch after a match they believe to have fairly won in the early minutes anyway.

Hogan would end 1987 losing to King Kong Bundy via count out at SNME, which saw Bobby Heenan hold Hogan's leg so he couldn't make the count. Hogan was incensed and attacked Brain, leaving him too injured to accompany Bundy for his rematch at January's SNME. In his place, Andre The Giant would be in the corner of Bundy. Hogan was victorious, but after the match, Andre would viciously choke him out for minutes. It took almost all of the significant faces in the company to get Andre off of Hogan, and he really only broke it because Jim Duggan's 2x4 annoyed him. Weeks later, at the inaugural Royal Rumble, Andre and Hogan would have a contract signing. Hogan was obviously nervous, and with good reason, as he was again left lying in the ring after the encounter. Shortly after, Bobby Heenan would sell the contract of Andre The Giant to Ted DiBiase.

It all built up to the first ever The Main Event, a SNME spin off held on Friday. Now, the match itself was pretty bad. Andre was in pretty terrible shape at WM 3, and not even a year later, he'd declined quite a bit, as he was barely mobile and spent almost the entire match leaning on the ropes or Hogan. He took one bump, and at one point actually lost his balance and fell over while attempting a big boot. It was a bummer to watch. It's really the angle here that is so big. In one of the first overt screw job angles that I can recall in WWE, Dave Hebner's twin brother Earl would be paid off by Ted DiBiase to count Hogan's shoulders down when they were clearly up. Andre would end Hogan's nearly 1500 day reign, but then immediately sold his title off to Ted DiBiase. Hogan's reaction of thinking Ted must have paid someone off to get plastic surgery is the most hilariously coke fueled paranoia response possible.

But the angle itself served so many purposes. It got the title off of Hogan while protecting him in a controversial loss, established Ted DiBiase as the top heel in the company, set up the tournament for WM 4, allowed Vince to get the title on Savage without having to turn him or Hogan, gave Hogan time off to start No Holds Barred, got Andre his gold watch, and set up the main event for WM 5. In a round about way, it also set up the main event for WM 6, since Randy's ascension to the main events allowed Warrior to rise up the cards and explode in popularity. I don't think it is a stretch to say that it is the single most important WWF angle since Hogan won the title 3 years prior.

As a bonus, here is the weirdly ominous training montage set to Jake Roberts' future theme that aired at the start of the show:


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