February 6, 2017
The Main Event, February 5, 1988 at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana.
This is by far the most famous shows with one of the most famous endings in company history, brother. The main focus here is Hogan vs. Andre the rematch. The main idea here is that Hogan might have gotten pinned at Mania and there might have been a slow count. This is still the highest rated wrestling program in the history of televised wrestling, drawing a 15.2 rating and 33 MILLION viewers on national television on a Friday night. In other words, over 10% of the entire country was watching this. Let that sink in for a bit. It was only an hour long but let me tell ya something, brother, it was amazing.
So yeah, this is the biggest match ever on television and still is to this day. Again: it got a FIFTEEN in ratings. To put that in perspective, Jay Leno gets about a three. Hogan says there was no controversy in the count and that he’s beaten Andre once and can again. He also says that he’s invested into his fans. Good promo as you can tell Hogan thrives in this kind of environment.
The crowd is electric as they do a masterful job of letting the tension build. Hogan has finally waited long enough and drills into the heels and cleans house. He hammers away early as you can definitely see a faster pace here than they had last time. Granted that might be due to Hogan needing to do more here as Andre is getting very bad very fast.
ALL Hogan here but Hogan can’t do much here other than strike. DiBiase is counting money so Hogan stomps on his hand for the fun of it. Big wind up punch and Andre WILL NOT GO DOWN. Hogan like an idiot tries to go up and gets the Flair treatment for his luck. Andre tries a diving headbutt and just misses completely. He chokes away and other than that and basic strikes he has nothing.
The idea here is that Andre’s offense is very limited but his size and power plus great selling by Hogan makes him seem like a killer. Andre gets a big boot to Hogan’s chest and falls down too. He chokes with the strap on his singlet and Hogan is in trouble. Hogan breaks a choke and it’s on all over again. A middle rope clothesline finally drops the Giant.
Hogan gets the legdrop but Virgil grabs the referee. Andre gets up and drills some headbutts and hits a suplex kind of move which was his finisher. Hogan clearly gets his shoulder well off the mat at about one and a half and the referee keeps counting anyway, getting to three and declaring Andre as the winner. And let the controversy begin.
A show that draws over ten percent of the entire country can be described as nothing else but a massive success. The ending is iconic and one of the most brilliant ideas of all time. This show worked like a charm and set up the tournament at Mania.
DiBiase would appear at some house shows over the weekend as champion and would defend against Bigelow as well as having some tag matches with Andre against Hogan and Bigelow. Great match and the biggest ratings draw in American wrestling history. Just an insane rating and some incredibly dramatic television makes this an undeniable success.