Savage/Honky/Dibiase Wrestlemania deal?

Savage/Honky/Dibiase Wrestlemania deal?

Postby MeanMike » Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:07 am

What the big deal with this Honky/Savage/Dibiase feud? I remember reading something about Honky vs Savage at mania 4. Ted was due to beat Hogan in the finals. Honky refused to put Randy over and when he heard about Savage going to shoot in the match if Macho didnt win Honky would take the belt to WCW. Upon hearing this Vince put Randy in the tournament to win the WWF belt as a peace offering and Honky got put in a match with Beefcake. Good thing Ted wasent pissed about anything.

Now how much of this is truth and how much is BS as wouldnt mind knowing about the real story. Considering the Honky/Savage feud was around nov time could their be truth to the feud ending at wrestlemania.

Personally if it had been me id of booked Steamboat to go over Valentine and then lose to Savage in a classic 30 min Wrestlemania quarter final match.
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Re: Savage/Honky/Dibiase Wrestlemania deal?

Postby CarpetCrawler » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:17 am

I still don't buy the story completely for the sole fact that... would Vince honestly end WrestleMania at that point with a heel going over? I know he'd change his tune in the future, but in 1988? No, I don't buy Vince ending WrestleMania on a negative note like that.

The Honky and Savage bit, for the record, was to have occurred at The Main Event on NBC. Apparently Vince wanted fans to have one happy thing to see, so he had planned to have Savage go over Honky for the gold, but Honky had a fit and apparently threatened Vince that he would leave the WWF and enter the NWA with the title belt. In hindsight, sometimes I feel like the way Honky jobbed out his entire career for the next few years after that was punishment from Vince, but to be honest, a character like that was never meant to win too many matches without stooging in the first place.
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Re: Savage/Honky/Dibiase Wrestlemania deal?

Postby MeanMike » Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:26 pm

This I dont get either because if they had gone ahead and put the belt on Savage during the main event no way would Randy of won the world title a month later.

As for a heel going over at wrestlemania in the main event I think it might of happenned because having Hogan win the belt back after dropping it a month earlier to end a 4 year reign would of been pointless.
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Re: Savage/Honky/Dibiase Wrestlemania deal?

Postby Lee » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:52 am

OK, the reason for the title change was because Hogan was leaving for most of the summer to shoot No Holds Barred and they needed someone else as champion who could draw on top at house shows. The original choice was DiBiase to set up a DiBiase-Hogan title match down the line (possibly SummerSlam or likely WrestleMania V.)

The tournament format was set up to allow DiBiase to get the belt without having to beat Hogan directly, to save that match and allow Hogan to be pushed as a guy who unjustly lost his title, and because Hogan vs. Andre was a bigger match for The Main Event than Hogan vs. DiBiase.

With Hogan getting screwed out of the title on the NBC special, and Demolition on course to win the tag team titles (Vince had a philosophy of not having all three titles controlled by all heels or all faces) he made the call to put Savage over Honky Tonk Man, giving the Intercontinental Title story and Savage-HTM feud some closure.

The problems started when Honky was at Vince's house to discuss booking plans, and Vince all but ignored HTM. Lavishing praise on Savage (who was also there) and constantly talking about future plans for Randy, Honky was treated as an afterthought every time he enquired about where he would go after dropping the title. Honky, on the hot streak of a lifetime and making more money than he ever had (or likely ever would) felt insulted by Vince's pandering to Savage and refusal to offer HTM any sort of compensation for giving up his spot, called up Jim Crockett and cut a deal to go work for the NWA, promising to take the title with him. If I recall, Honky didn't want to go but felt it was the best way to get Vince's attention.

Acquiescing to Honky's viewpoint (and not wanting his secondary champion showing up on opposition television), Vince was instead faced with the dilemma of breaking the news to Savage, who was understandably upset over the promise Vince was now breaking. Savage (I think) threatened to shoot on HTM on the live show, so Vince instead offered up a make-good solution - Honky would keep the IC title, Savage would win the WWF title at WrestleMania, and DiBiase would take the strap from Savage at SummerSlam to keep the DiBiase-Hogan program on course. Fate intervened, as Savage on top began drawing just as strongly as Hogan had done, and ultimately there was no point in taking the strap off Savage under those circumstances.

By the summer, Honky, realising the time was right, did everything in his power to put Ultimate Warrior over as a superstar, whilst a new story was devised built around the Mega Power Meltdown, leading to WrestleMania V breaking the all-time pro wrestling pay-per-view buys record, a record which stood for years. DiBiase had a good run on top that summer but for the second time in his career, was an also-ran when it came to being world champion (he was under consideration for the NWA title at one point before it went to Flair who had stronger connections with the majority of promoters on the NWA board) until he was placated somewhat with the creation of the Million Dollar Belt (because why wouldn't a guy with that much money just buy his own championship?)

The only contentious issue after all of that was the belief in some quarters that Savage should have won at WrestleMania V, the proof coming after Hogan had won the belt back. At that point, the WWF would run A and B (and sometimes C) house shows. Hogan as champion had headlined the A shows and drawn the biggest houses, whilst Savage would headline the b-shows as IC champion and drew good numbers but less than Hogan. As WWF champion, regardless of his status as a heel or a face, Savage was drawing the same (sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less, usually equal) numbers as Hogan. Even a heel Savage vs. heel Bad News was drawing well on top, and some called for Savage to beat Hogan to build up a rematch and keep house show numbers strong with both guys headlining separate shows. If it worked, they'd have two groups on the road drawing A show numbers, if it didn't, Savage could drop the belt to Hogan at SummerSlam but Vince made the call to restore the status quo and make Hogan champion again, as had been the original plan.

After WrestleMania, Hogan and Savage hit the road for rematches and drew well, but Savage's power as Hogan's equal at the box office was gone, vindicating those who called for Savage to retain the belt. From that point on, it was back to just one touring brand doing Hogan-level numbers, as the b-shows fell to where they'd been prior to Savage's ascension.
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Re: Savage/Honky/Dibiase Wrestlemania deal?

Postby RCS1988 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:01 pm

This is very interesting info. I always heard that Honky just flat out refused to job to Savage out of ego. This story explains why he had to do to get Vince's attention. So if Savage wasn't drawing, then Dibiase would of won at Summerslam to set up Dibiase Hogan for Mania 5. The next thing would be why Honky didn't want to drop the IC title to Beefcake at Summerslam? Another thing is what if Steamboat didn't want time off, who would have been the guy to beat Steamboat? Would it still be Honky. I also read that Jake Roberts was supposed to beat Honky for the IC title to end their feud, but because Jake was having drug and neck issues, it never happened, and 1 last thing, if they would of went with Dibiase Hogan for Mania 5, would Savage be turned heel or stay face for the rest of 1989?
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Re: Savage/Honky/Dibiase Wrestlemania deal?

Postby MeanMike » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:07 am

Their are some things to me that havent been mentioned.

Why did they do a injury angle with Beefcake unable to wrestle after Bass attacked him. Was their something deep in this why the match never happenned?

Why did Vince rush the Bad News/ Randy Savage feud after all the work they put into it. Same with the Hogan/Bossman feud it just seemed too rushed as well as the Mega powers were supposed to feud with Twin Towers.
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Re: Savage/Honky/Dibiase Wrestlemania deal?

Postby Auph10imitated » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:24 am

I think Bad News/Savage and Bossman/Hogan were just to keep things ticking over until Wrestlemania, just more cogs in the wheel really to have it play out in the Feb Main Event.
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Re: Savage/Honky/Dibiase Wrestlemania deal?

Postby Lee » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:31 pm

I don't think it was ever a case of Honky refusing to drop the strap to Beefcake, the plan was always for Warrior to win the title at SummerSlam. Beefcake was on course to get it at WrestleMania IV but Honky was still drawing and making money and only wanted to lose the belt when the time was right, which he did. Beefcake-HTM might have been advertised for SummerSlam, but as far as I know, was never intended to take place in order to put more heat on the Ron Bass angle and get Warrior over as an (almost) overnight superstar.

The Mega Powers vs. Twin Towers feud did happen, I'm not sure what else you think was 'supposed' to happen there but the Survivor Series and SNME singles matches were pretty much the whole deal, with The Main Event being the blow-off, which split off into Hogan vs. Boss Man singles and cage matches. The Bad News feud was relatively quick because they needed someone to work with Savage on house shows (while Hogan worked with Boss Man in other towns) and then Savage turned heel in February to set up Savage vs. Hogan, at which point they weren't about to promote too many heel vs. heel matches on top. They few that did happen were announced ahead of time to throw people off the scent I guess, it might have been a giveaway to announce Savage defending the title against, say, Ultimate Warrior BEFORE Savage had turned.

I don't know if there were ever any plans for who would beat Steamboat for the IC title. I know that after he came back he'd suggested losing to Savage at WrestleMania IV to repay Savage but was turned down. I never heard about Jake getting it, but I have read and heard about Butch Reed not making the TV tapings the night Vince decided to get the belt off Steamboat when Reed was the original choice, with Hogan then going to bat for Honky Tonk. Not sure if that's all hearsay repeated as fact, I think Honky might have confirmed it but I can't recall.

I don't think they would have thought that far ahead as far as Savage turning heel in 1989, I doubt he would have done if they were pushing DiBiase as the top heel.
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Re: Savage/Honky/Dibiase Wrestlemania deal?

Postby RCS1988 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:42 pm

Reed was at the taping congratulating Honky backstage, so probably Reed missed house shows and could not get a hold of him, so when Reed did come around the decision stayed to put the title on Honky. Another thing that boggles me is from the first Main Event, the last match was the Tag Team title match, but ran out of time, what I don't get is why they didn't show the conclusion or the match in full on PTW. I don't think they mentioned who won. Obviously the champions retained, but there wasn't much detail on the match, like maybe the Hart Foundation started to have problems teasing a Bret Hart face turn.
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Re: Savage/Honky/Dibiase Wrestlemania deal?

Postby Lee » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:03 pm

Yeah, that seems like something that would have aired as a special treat although it probably couldn't air immediately because some PTW episodes that aired after The Main Event were pre-recorded, hence the 'blackout' on discussing the show (as in, Vince didn't want the finish leaking.) But it never aired later on, and it never made it to Coliseum Video which was a shame.
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