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HEBNER BROTHERS - FAQ

Please could you run through the storyline involving the Hebner Brothers and I think Andre The Giant and something to do with the WWF Championship Belt. I think the plot involved the Hebner's tricking someone as no one knew they were twins? This may have happened just before I started watching the WWF in 1988.
Yes it was Andre The Giant vs. Hulk Hogan for the WWF title, in 1988. Instead of writing a huge paragraph about it, I found an article which explains in details the whole match written out and the information you need. The article is written by Leonard 'The Deacon' Hayhurst. I used to link it to his site, but his site closed down, therefore I have pasted the article on here with full credit to him.

This article was written by Leonard 'The Deacon' Hayhurst (wrestlingdeacon@yahoo.com) - Full credit goes to him.

WWF WORLD TITLE MATCH: HULK HOGAN VS ANDRE THE GIANT

Combatants- You get most of the Andre/Hogan feud in the package described above. The only other pertinent info is that Dibiase bought Andre's contract from Bobby "The Brain" Heenan for the sole purpose of having the Giant win the WWF title for him. That becomes important later. Hogan was the new wave of the eighties and Andre was the living legend that defined the WWF in the seventies, although he never won the world title. If you are unaware of this match, strap yourself in for a bumpy ride.

The Match- Jesse states that he feels good about Dave Hebner reffing the match instead of Joey Marella who had the honors at Wrestlemania III, very prophetic words there. Hogan showboats for a few hours; Andre just stands on the apron lost in thought and contract negotiations for the Princess Bride. Andre leans over to get some helpful household tips from Dibiase and Hogan attacks. He knocks Dibiase and Virgil's heads together and then slingshots them into the ring. A big boot for Virgil and Dibiase send them to the floor and the Hulkster unloads with some right hands on Andre. The audience is full goose bozo. Hogan works the chops and punches, but the Giant won't go down. Andre stands there like a bull moose being pestered by a fly. Hogan rams Andre's head to the turnbuckle a few times, nails him with a couple clotheslines and Andre appears to be somewhere between annoyed and inconvenienced. Virgil tries to interfere and Hogan knocks him out, Dibiase collects the loose money Virgil was carrying and Hogan stomps on his hand to send the bills flying all over the place again. Hogan is the socialist's friend battling the evil capitalist. Eye rake by Hogan, running clothesline, big punch, eye rake; it's like watching Bret Hart vs. Lou Thesz in a dream match. Hulk climbs up top, which he never does, and the Giant slams him off. Falling headbutt misses. Hogan tries to cover, but Andre chokes him out.

Andre in control now, the crowd does a Hogan chant. Whip into the corner is followed by a bodyslam. Andre lays in the kicks and headbutts. Hogan is in the early stages of his need for Rogaine. More of that scientific choking. Big boot by Andre and Hulk rolls to the outside. Virgil tosses him back in and Andre chokes Hogan with the strap of his tights. Vince and Jesse talk about the ref, never a good sign. It's hulk up time. Chops and punches, punches and chops. Hulk nails a clothesline from the second rope. Virgil grabs Hogan's ankle and then distracts Hebner from making the three count after the leg drop. The Giant mounts a comeback with two headbutts to the back of Hogan's noggin and the worst looking butterfly suplex you will ever see anywhere. Andre covers and although Hulk clearly has his shoulder up, the ref keeps counting and awards the match to Andre. Hogan is perplexed to say the least. Hogan pleads his case with Hebner, but he hands Andre the belt, who in turn gives it to Dibiase. The fans have no idea what to make of events. Hogan cleans out the ring and another ref enters, who looks just like the first one! There are two Dave Hebners! Hulk interrogates both and the twin refs have a shoving match, with one knocking the other out of the ring. Hulk picks up the Hebner left and tosses him out onto Dibiase and Virgil. Hogan then discovers that he's married to his long dead sister and his son has amnesia and is working as a longshoreman in Amsterdam. In reality, Dave and Earl Hebner are twin brothers and both work as referees for the WWF. I am so surprised that they never ran the evil twin ref angle before this. ***** for historical reasons, * otherwise.

This ends Hogan's nearly four-year reign as world champion. WWF prez Jack Tunney would strip Dibiase of the title due to all of the chicanery that went on in this match and hold it up in a tournament for Wrestlemania IV. Dibiase was booked to win the title clean there and Savage was supposed to regain the Intercontinental strap from the Honky Tonk Man, but HTM balked at the title switch, so Savage won the World Title for compensation and the Million Dollar Man had to settle for being the other finalist in the tournament and a brief main event run with Savage. Randy would eventually turn heel and feud with Hogan and Hulk would win the strap back at Wrestlemania V, such is history.

Okerlund does a post-match interview with Hulk Hogan. Hogan is on the verge of tears. He wants to know how much Dibiase spent on plastic surgery for the referee. I wished Piper had started his "reality check" gimmick here.

We get a snippet of a WWF tag team title match between Strike Force and the Heart Foundation, but T.V. time runs out and the home audience misses out on what was probably the best match of the night.

For only being an hour long, The Main Event is one of the WWF's most historical shows of the eighties, not only delivering the first blow to Hulkamania but setting up Randy Savage for his run as world champion and a main event draw. ***** for the show as a whole in retrospect, but if you're simply looking for a good example of old school wrestling of the day, I'd go elsewhere.

Leonard 'The Deacon' Hayhurst
wrestlingdeacon@yahoo.com


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