WWF World Heavyweight Champion Randy Savage vs Ted DiBiase - WWF MSG 4/25/88
I made the statement that Jumping Bomb Angels vs Glamor Girls from Boston 3/5/88 was the match of the year for WWF in 1988. I realized I don't think it is even close and really thought there is no real standard classics for WWF in 1988. I think Survivor Series ten-team tag and Savage/DiBiase matches are the most likely candidates. I do remember a great Valentine/Santana match from a random MSG show.
For as well-loved Savage is, there is not much talk about his one year reign as WWF champion and that really speaks to the forgettableness of 1988 WWF. He was mostly programmed with DiBiase then Andre before the MegaPowers Explosion angle. I think Savage/DiBiase is not as well remembered because it is not accompanied by a classic angle. It was just trotted out as a hot babyface and hot heel having great matches for title. I think an angle would have made the series more fondly remembered. It was just the classic three matches at the Garden that Vince Sr would run.
I thought this was a pretty good first match in the series. Knowing Savage's fondness for long heat segments when he is a babyface I thought we were not even going to get a shine when he chases Virgil and DiBiase attacks from behind. Savage does manage to push DiBiase off into the post. Savage gets in a great shine. Tons of energy with a focus on arm work. Awesome bumping by DiBiase. Over the top, but really fun. I like it that way. DiBiase uses the trunks to send the Macho Man crashing to the outside. Good stuff at first with DiBiase using the railing and choking. Hell, he two moves off the middle rope! Then it look chinlock-y and kinda meandered. DiBiase misses the Tenryu elbow and here comes the Macho Man. Love the energy. Always dug the spot where he snaps the opponent's neck on the top rope as he jumps to outside...HUGE BUMP bu the Million Dollar Man. Gets the double axe handle, but ref ends up bumped. He goes for the flying elbow, but in a wicked bump that the camera kinda misses, Virgil shakes the rope and Savage jumps straddles himself and crashes to floor. Cant believe the WCW-level shoddy camerawork because that looked like an all-time bump.
Great beginning and ending. Savage supplied great energy and DiBiase great bumping. DiBiase's heat segment dragged. Good start. ***