Today In Pro Wrestling History (Feb 5): A Shocking Title Loss On NBC

Today In Pro Wrestling History: On February 5th, 1988, the World Wrestling Federation produced “The Main Event” at the Market Square Arena, a prime-time special on NBC following the immense success of WrestleMania III.

This event featured a rematch of the iconic WrestleMania III main event between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, aiming to capitalize on their previous monumental encounter. The show was a massive success, achieving a 15.2 Nielsen rating and attracting 33 million viewers, setting enduring records in American televised wrestling.

Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan.
Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan.

Andre the Giant Vs Hulk Hogan

In a stunning outcome, Andre defeated Hogan amid significant controversy. The assigned referee, Dave Hebner, was replaced by his real-life twin brother, Earl Hebner, as part of a plot orchestrated by Ted DiBiase to dethrone Hogan. Earl counted Hogan out, despite his shoulder being off the mat, leading to Andre’s victory and immediate attempt to surrender the title to DiBiase.

WWF President Jack Tunney intervened, declaring that the title could only change hands via pin or submission. He ruled that Andre’s action of surrendering the title meant he had vacated it. This led to a tournament at WrestleMania IV, where Andre and Hogan would eliminate each other, paving the way for Randy Savage to become the new WWF champion.

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