Classic Wrestling Review: SummerSlam ’88

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)


August 29, 1988

Madison Square Garden

New York City, New York

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With the significant success that Vince McMahon saw from his Pay Per Views, he decided to add a 4th to the lineup. So, he created SummerSlam, which remains a summer tradition to this day. The primary storyline going into this PPV was the feud between the Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage) and the Mega Bucks (Ted DiBiase & Andre the Giant). After WrestleMania IV, Hulk Hogan left to film the absolute masterpiece No Holds Barred. While he was gone, Savage continued his feud with DiBiase and Andre, which resulted in them attacking him during an interview. Savage challenged the two men to a tag team match and said he would introduce his partner at a later date. He would reveal that it was none other than the returning Hulk Hogan, so a tag team match was set up for SummerSlam.

The show opens with aerial shots of New York City and Madison Square Garden. Then, we get what looks like an old full-motion video from a 90s video game, which includes shots of both the Mega Powers and the Mega Bucks.

The commentators, Gorilla Monsoon and Superstar Billy Graham, welcome everyone to the show. Graham is filling in because Jesse Ventura is the special referee for the main event. Graham says that the only thing that overshadows Jesse being the ref is the return of Hulk Hogan. Billy calls Hulk his best friend and talks about Hogan’s “bionic biceps”. Graham spends half the night trying to make that phrase into a thing. The two men then talk about the rest of the show, but they’re interrupted by the crowd booing the arrival of the Rougeau brothers.

The British Bulldogs (w/ Matilda) vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers

The Fink introduces the Rougeaus and says they are from Montreal, but they’re relocating soon to the United States. This draws boos from the crowd. The Bulldogs come out next with Matilda and chase the Rougeaus out of the ring. They return once the dog is on the outside and try to offer a handshake to the Bulldogs, but they are having none of it.

Davey quickly gets the better of Jacques and rams him into the corners. He tags out to Raymond, but not before getting a hug first. Raymond gets a cheap shot and attempts a monkey flip, but Davey cartwheels out of it and tags in Dynamite. The Bulldogs do some double teaming and try an armbar, but Raymond fights back and attempts another monkey flip. This time, Dynamite stops short and drops a headbutt onto him. Jacques tries to get a “USA” chant going, but the crowd boo. The Bulldogs end up using a ref distraction to switch places, which the ref oddly allows. They utilize some more double teaming, but Davey gets tripped up by Jacques while running the ropes. The Rougeaus then go after Davey’s leg and ankle and use ref distractions and frequent tags to maintain control. Davey tries a couple of times in vain to fight back and eventually succeeds with a monkey flip. He makes the hot tag to Dynamite, who hits a headbutt, snap suplex, and a falling headbutt for a 2 count. He then hits a back suplex, but Raymond gets a foot on the ropes. Dynamite tosses Raymond outside and Davey fights off Jacques so he can ram Raymond into the guardrail. Jacques helps his partner back into the ring and Bulldog manages to hit the running powerslam, but Jacques breaks up the pin. Dynamite comes in and the Rougeaus take back control with another ref distraction and start wearing him down with abdominal stretches and reverse chinlocks. Dynamite tries to fight back and even reaches his feet with Jacques on his back, but the Rougeaus use more cheating to squash his comeback. The ref distractions cause the ref to miss a roll-up attempt by Dynamite and the Rougeaus take him to their corner to work him over for a while. He finally powers his way through a front facelock and makes the tag to Davey, who ends up press slamming Jacques crotch-first onto the top rope. Raymond then accidentally elbow drops his brother, and both Bulldogs enter the ring. Davey press slams Dynamite into a flying headbutt, but the bell rings to signal that the time has expired.

The match was decent enough, but it was a bit slow at times. As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of time limit draws. The WWF was also never good about playing up the drama of a time limit draw. The timekeeper never announced the remaining time to heighten the tension, like they did in the NWA. The bell simply rang and left the fans confused until the announcement.

Winners: Time Limit Draw

The Bulldogs ask the ref for more time, but they don’t get their wish. While they’re complaining, the Rougeaus decide to take a cheap shot and then run to the back. Billy Graham says that they should continue the fight in the showers if they have to. I guess Graham taught JBL everything he knows about that sort of behavior.

Next, Gorilla informs everyone that Brutus Beefcake will not be able to compete in the Intercontinental Title Match tonight. They show a clip from Superstars of Ron Bass attacking Beefcake. He chokes him with his bullwhip and then proceeds to cut him with his boot spur. A comically large red X is placed over the screen to censor the blood. Monsoon says that there still will be an Intercontinental Title Match, but the Honky Tonk Man’s opponent is to be announced.

Bad News Brown vs. Ken Patera

Brown is already in the ring, and is arguing with some fans while Fink introduces him. Ken Patera makes his way out next and his theme has been dubbed over with what sounds like a knock-off of the American Gladiators theme.

Bad News jumps Patera as he’s getting into the ring. Ken doesn’t even have a chance to take off his jacket. He slams him and drops an elbow, but Patera catches him with a clothesline. Ken finally takes off his jacket and hits Brown with elbows, but he misses an elbow drop. Brown punches and headbutts Ken out to the apron and then chokes him, while the ref makes a count. He then brings him back in the ring and beats on him until Patera takes an exaggeratedly slow bump. However, Brown ducks for a back drop and gets kicked and then sloppily rolled up for a 2 count. Patera answers back with a clothesline and Brown does his own slow bump to the mat. He then hits Brown with a backbreaker and another roll-up for a couple of 2 counts. Then, he locks in a long bear hug. Bad News eventually breaks out of the hold with an eye rake. Patera then tries a full nelson, but Brown keeps getting to the ropes on his attempts. The two of them fight back and forth and continue bumping as softly as they can until Brown sends Patera shoulder-first into the post. Bad News finally brings the match to a close with a Ghetto Blaster for a 3 count.

This was a bad match. The two men looked like they had no desire to take a full bump for anything. This was the very definition of simply collecting a paycheck.

Winner: Bad News Brown

Mean Gene is backstage with the Mega Powers and Elizabeth. At least, I think he is. They’re in front of a green screen, so they could be anywhere. They use these green screen promos all night and they never look good. Hogan says that the fans have already made a believer out of him because he can feel them rumbling. He knows what he and Macho feel like and they’re the strongest force in the universe. He then says that Savage is going into this match with a clear conscience. Savage says that he’s never felt so much electricity and says that they have a secret weapon. He beckons Elizabeth forward and she awkwardly blows a kiss to the camera. Gene is skeptical that Elizabeth could be a secret weapon. I’m skeptical too because they just told everyone, so it’s no longer a secret! Hogan says that the last thing the Mega Bucks will see is the kiss of death and Elizabeth blows another kiss, as the Mega Powers do their exaggerated handshake.

Ravishing Rick Rude (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. The Junkyard Dog

This match, and one later, is a bit of an anomaly. At the time, Rude was feuding with Jake Roberts, so I’m not sure why they didn’t have a match on this PPV. The feud started because of Rude made a pass at Jake’s wife, Cheryl. Rude had this tradition of calling a woman out of the crowd so he could give her a kiss, which he called a “Rude Awakening” (not to be confused with his finisher, which had the same name). On one episode of Superstars, Rude picked a woman from the crowd, but she refused. He asked her why and she said she was there to see her husband. Rude asked who her husband was and she said, “Jake Roberts.” Rude became annoyed and started insulting her, which brought out Jake Roberts to attack him.

Rude comes out to his dubbed theme and gyrates for the fans. Billy Graham says that Rude is from outer space, possibly Neptune. Rick then gets a mic and tells all the “fat, ugly, inner-city sweat hogs” to keep the noise down while he takes off his robe and shows the ladies what a real man looks like. He removes his robe to reveal airbrushed tights that have pictures of JYD on them. JYD is out next, but Rude jumps him before the bell. Gorilla calls it a “Pearl Harbor job”.

JYD fights back from the attack and gives Rude a back body drop. Rick over-rotates and lands square on his butt before JYD hits him with some crawling headbutts. Rude is knocked to the floor, as Billy Graham claims that JYD would headbutt a car or a building. JYD pulls Rude back into the ring and punches him, but he misses a headbutt. Rude hits a clothesline and then a flying axehandle off the top. He then measures JYD and hits some elbow drops and a snap mare, before going for a headlock. Bobby Heenan distracts the ref, and Rude turns it into a choke, but he goes back to the headlock when the ref turns around again. JYD elbows his way out of the hold, but Rude gets his feet up on a corner charge. He then goes back to the headlock. Soon, he turns it into a wristlock, so he can gyrate for the fans. He tries to jump onto JYD’s arm but gets nailed in the crotch. Rude begs off into the corner, but JYD headbutts him. However, Heenan distracts JYD and Rude hits a Russian leg sweep. He then goes up to the top rope and pulls down his outer tights to reveal a second pair that has Cheryl Roberts’ face airbrushed on them. Rude dives off the top with a fist drop and starts gyrating so the camera can see his tights. Unfortunately for him, this brings out Jake Roberts, who attacks Rude. The ref calls for the bell and awards the match to Rude by DQ.

It was an okay match, but it existed as a backdrop for the Rude/Roberts feud. I really wish they had gone with a match between the two. At the time, house shows were still the primary money maker, and PPVs were a special attraction, so they tended to blow-off big feuds on the road.

Winner: Rick Rude (by DQ)

After the match, Rude runs to the back and Fink announces the result. Roberts begins apologizing to JYD for costing him the match. JYD seems annoyed, but he accepts the apology.

Gene is in the green screen room with the Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart. Gene talks about the shocking news that Beefcake won’t be competing. Jimmy says that Beefcake is smart because he realizes that Honky is the greatest intercontinental champ of all time. Honky then says that he knew this would happen, but being the humanitarian that he is, he will take on anyone. Gene says rumors are going around that a formidable man will answer the challenge, but Honky tells him not to spoil the surprise. He says that he can Shake, Rattle, & Roll anyone in the WWF. Gene asks him if he likes surprises and Honky says that he loves them.

The Powers of Pain (w/ The Baron) vs. The Bolsheviks (w/ Slick)

Slick and the Bolsheviks are already in the ring. Fink introduces them, and Slick takes his mic. He says that he can see that they have a congregation of illiterate people in attendance. He then asks those people to stand as Nikolai sings the Soviet national anthem. Volkoff nearly makes it through the song before getting cut off by the Powers of Pain’s theme. This is the team of the Barbarian and the Warlord, who jumped ship from JCP. They surprisingly kept their gimmicks and team name from the NWA. They make their way to the ring with The Baron, who is Baron von Raschke in a hooded robe and wearing face paint. I’m not sure why he’s their manager. It’s a rather odd fit.

The Powers of Pain slide into the ring and immediately start brawling with the Bolsheviks. Boris and Nikolai are knocked out of the ring and they regroup. Barbarian and Boris end up starting the match when order is restored. The Powers hit him with a double clothesline and Boris bails outside again. Nikolai tags in and gets caught in a full nelson, while Barbarian chops him in the throat. They bail once more and then Boris reenters the ring. Boris and Barbarian try to shoulder block each other, but neither budges. Barbarian then chops him down and goes for a cover, but Nikolai breaks up the pin. The two men then fight back and forth and into the corners, but Boris ends up ducking for a back drop. Barbarian grabs him and starts choking Boris with his singlet strap, before tagging in the Warlord. He rams Boris into the turnbuckles and drops a forearm on him, but Nikolai breaks up another pin attempt. Warlord hits a back suplex, but the Bolsheviks take advantage of some distractions to take control. They choke Warlord with the tag rope and double team him in their corner, while the Baron threatens Slick on the outside. Both of the Bolsheviks end up in the ring and try a double back drop, but Warlord clubs them and tags in Barbarian. He comes in and slams Volkoff and hits Boris with a thrust kick. He then kicks Volkoff out of the ring and the Powers hit a double shoulder tackle. Warlord hits a powerslam and Barbarian hits a diving headbutt off the top for the 3 count.

This was an okay match, but I don’t think the Powers of Pain really fit as babyfaces. They work better as monster heels and pairing them against the slow plodding Russians made for a mediocre match.

Winners: The Powers of Pain

Up next, the red carpet is rolled out in the ring for an episode of The Brother Love Show. Brother Love is a new gimmick, which is played by Bruce Prichard. The gimmick is that of a red-faced televangelist. This was around the time of the Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker controversy, so I’m sure it was meant to be a parody of that. Brother Love makes his way to the ring to his gospel music theme, which plays throughout the segment. He tells everyone that he loves them and says it’s a special night not only because he’s there but because the WWF promised him a special guest. He says that the only thing that makes him special is being a guest on the show. He says that the guest needs to learn a lesson of love and that guest is Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Duggan joins him in the ring and says he’s there for two reasons. He wants to share his “HOOOOOOO” with the crowd and he wants to tell Brother Love that he’s a phony. Love calls him “Doogan” and says that he has no love in his heart. Duggan turns while he says this and nearly hits him with his 2×4. Love then says that there are men in the WWF who know about love, such as Dino Bravo. Bravo loves his country of Canada. Duggan replies that Canada isn’t proud of Bravo and then tells Love never to question Duggan’s patriotism. Love says that when he looks at Duggan, he sees a man carrying a weapon and that doesn’t show him love. He accuses Duggan of attacking people with the 2×4, so Duggan tells him to get out of his face. The WWF isn’t Sunday school and if it needs policing, then Duggan will do it. Love says that he doesn’t see a badge on Duggan’s chest and Jim says his 2×4 is the only badge he needs. He then gives Love a count of 5 to leave the ring or he’ll hit him with it. Love pleads with him and tells him he’s a man of love. He also points out that he’s wearing glasses. Duggan gets to a count of 4 before Love makes a run for it. This was a long and pointless segment. I didn’t care much for it.

Intercontinental Title Match: The Honky Tonk Man (c) vs. ????

The Honky Tonk Man had now held the title for over a year, which was one of the longest reigns in the belt’s history. He had held onto it through shortcuts and sheer luck, so the fans were rabid to see him lose it. Beefcake wasn’t actually injured for this match. Vince had just lost faith in pushing him and decided to go in a different direction. Honky makes his way to the ring and dances for a bit. Fink then goes on to announce the opponent, but he shrugs his shoulders instead of saying a name. Honky takes the mic and says to send anybody out there. He doesn’t care who it is. There’s a long pause and then music starts to play. Gorilla doesn’t recognize it, but Graham and the fans do. Graham says, “That’s familiar music, bruddah!”

The Ultimate Warrior runs to the ring and immediately starts attacking Honky. He hasn’t even removed his jumpsuit. Warrior slams him, hits a flying shoulder tackle, and then clotheslines him. He then runs the ropes, as Honky visibly moves into position, and hits the running splash to get a 3 count.

This wasn’t long enough to really call a match. However, it is an iconic moment. This is one of the main things this show is remembered for. The fans went crazy for Warrior ending Honky’s long reign. It was a good example of the WWF using clever booking to hide the Warrior’s flaws in the ring.

Winner: The Ultimate Warrior (New Champion)

The show then goes to intermission and they show the low frame rate video of the Mega Powers and Mega Bucks from the beginning of the show. Then, Bobby Heenan joins the commentators in their booth. Graham threatens to send Bobby over the edge, as Heenan says he’s going to tell everyone what the Mega Powers and Mega Bucks are up to. Heenan says Andre is in the locker room reading the Wall Street Journal and DiBiase is counting his money. Graham plays like he’s going to push Heenan, so Bobby yells at him. Heenan then says that the Mega Powers have barricaded themselves in their locker room because they’re scared. Gorilla has had enough and tells Heenan to leave, but he stays to do commentary on the next match.

Dino Bravo (w/ Frenchy Martin) vs. Don Muraco

Heenan has stayed in the booth and almost immediately starts arguing with Billy Graham. He taunts Billy for not being able to be ringside with Muraco. Sadly, the arguing continues throughout the match. Martin and Bravo are in the ring and Frenchy is carrying a sign that says, “USA is not OK.” He gets a mic and says something in French, but Gorilla speaks over him.

Bravo and Muraco lock-up a couple of times for a stalemate. Then, they try a little criss-cross, but Muraco stomps Dino and hip tosses him. He then slams him a few times, so Dino bails to the outside. They fight into a corner and Dino clubs Muraco, but Don hip tosses and monkey flips him before going for an armbar. He ends up whipping Bravo corner to corner, but Bravo reverses it and hits an inverted atomic drop and an elbow drop for a 2 count. Bravo eventually ducks for a back drop, so Muraco hits a Russian leg sweep. He also hits a back body drop, but Frenchy gets on the apron to distract him. Muraco punches him and then goes to slam Dino, but the ref gets clipped. This gives Bravo an opening to hit his side slam and get a 3 count.

It wasn’t much of a match. I know these two are capable of having a better match than this. Also, the arguing between Heenan and Graham made it worse. I wish that Heenan had simply replaced Graham on commentary for the rest of the night.

Winner: Dino Bravo

A new interviewer, Sean Mooney, is backstage with Jesse Ventura. Sean talks about how Jack Tunney hand-picked Ventura as the special ref for the main event, but he says there’s some controversy around the pick. Jesse accepted money from Ted DiBiase. Ventura says that picking him was the first good decision Tunney ever made because he’s the only man who could take care of a match of this magnitude. He then calls Mooney a fool. DiBiase stuffed money into Jesse’s pocket and he kept it because he’s no fool.

Tag Team Title Match: Demolition (c) (w/ Mr. Fuji & Jimmy Hart) vs. The Hart Foundation

The big story going into this match is that the Hart Foundation has turned babyface. They finally got tired of Jimmy Hart and ditched him as their manager, so he joined up with Demolition to spite them. The Hart Foundation is already in the ring, as they don’t have their iconic theme music yet. Demolition, on the other hand, have their awesome theme. They make their way to the ring with both Mr. Fuji and Jimmy Hart in tow.

Bret and Ax start the match and Ax immediately shoves Bret into the ropes. Jimmy Hart calls it a beautiful move. Ax knees, clubs, and slams Bret to the mat, but he misses an elbow drop. Bret punches both members of Demolition and then rolls up Ax for a 2 count. Smash tags in, but he gets arm dragged and Bret tags Anvil. Neidhart and Smash fight back and forth and Anvil hits a shoulder block, but Ax kicks him in the back of the head. Ax comes in and Demolition double team Neidhart in their corner. However, Ax ducks for a back drop and gets punched. Bret comes in and knocks Ax out of the ring, so Smash comes in without tagging and sends Bret shoulder-first into the post. On the outside, Anvil chases Jimmy Hart away from ringside and to the back. Neidhart returns to his corner, thinking that Hart was gone. Ax is back in and he works over Bret’s arm. Smash manages to tie Bret’s arm up in the ropes and the two of them attack. They send him shoulder-first into the turnbuckles and into Smash’s boot and then Smash hits a shoulderbreaker. They even send Bret outside and ram his shoulder into the post. Bret eventually fights back and hits a clothesline, but it hurts his shoulder. He finally makes a tag to Anvil, but the ref was distracted and didn’t see it. Then, Smash takes Bret from corner to corner, but Bret gets a foot up on a charge and manages to tag Anvil. Neidhart hits a dropkick and a couple of slams, before sending Smash out of the ring with a clothesline. Bret then slingshots Neidhart over the top rope and onto Smash. They head back inside and Anvil hits a powerslam, but it only gets a 2 count. Bret tags in and whips Neidhart into the corner, where he drives a shoulder into Smash’s stomach. Then, Bret hits a backbreaker, but Ax breaks up the pin attempt. Fuji gets onto the apron to try and distract them, but they punch him. However, this opens the door for Jimmy Hart to run back to ringside and hand Ax the megaphone. Ax hits Bret with it and Smash covers him for the 3 count.

I was kind of disappointed by this match. It wasn’t bad, but I was expecting better from these two teams. It’s nice to see the Hart Foundation enter their babyface run, as I always enjoyed it more, but this match was decent at best.

Winners: Demolition

Mean Gene is in the locker room with an angry Honky Tonk Man. Wrestlers are trying to calm him down, but he tells everyone to leave him alone. He says that he’s been ripped off and robbed. The WWF has been trying to do this to him since he got there. He says they jumped him and beat him up with some warrior. He’d wrestle anybody, but he didn’t say he’d wrestle the Warrior. He says that it’s his belt and it belongs to him. He will get it back if it’s the last thing he does. He then starts throwing furniture around, as Gene accuses him of being overconfident.

Big Boss Man (w/ Slick) vs. Koko B. Ware (w/ Frankie)

The Big Boss Man is the former Big Bubba Rogers from JCP. He left the promotion after having a falling out with Crockett about his pay for Starrcade ‘87. He came to the WWF and they gave him the gimmick of a corrupt prison guard, which plays off of his former real-life career. Boss Man and Slick are already in the ring. Fink introduces Slick first and then Boss Man, as they show a fan’s sign that says Boss Man needs to go to the gym. I’m sure Vince got a good laugh about that. Koko is out next to the song “Piledriver”, which is an odd entrance theme. It’s supposed to be a romantic song.

Boss Man attacks Koko immediately and tosses him to the floor. They fight back and forth and Koko dropkicks Boss Man, causing him to get tied up in the ropes. Koko attacks, but the ref makes him back away so Boss Man can escape. Koko then tries to outmaneuver him, but Boss Man catches him in a front facelock. He clubs him and hits a running splash in the corner, before locking him in a bow and arrow stretch. Then, he drapes Koko on the ropes and hits his running knee attack. He slams Koko and goes up top for a flying splash, but Koko moves. Boss Man half-way lands on his feet, so he’s up first. Boss Man then misses a corner charge, so Koko starts sticking and moving. He hits Boss Man with a dropkick and a splash, but Boss Man powers out of the pin attempt. Koko attempts a running corner splash, but Boss Man dumps him over the top rope. Koko manages to get back into the ring but gets caught in the Boss Man Slam for a 3 count.

This was basically an extended squash to put over Boss Man. It served its purpose well enough. I’ve always been a fan of Boss Man, so it’s nice to see him in the WWF now.

Winner: Big Boss Man

After the match, Boss Man retrieves his nightstick and handcuffs. He nails Koko with the stick, which sends him out of the ring. The commentators complain that something needs to be done about Boss Man’s behavior.

Sean Mooney is backstage with The Ultimate Warrior, who is celebrating with some other wrestlers. Warrior says that Honky thought this was something out of a comic book, but this is real life. He then proceeds to start talking about sitting in Parts Unknown waiting for a spaceship to higher planes. He says that lightning struck and voices told him to get to Madison Square Garden. He says that the little warriors rose to the challenge and conquered it. Then, he says that if Honky wants a rematch, he’s not hard to find. He’s waiting for the next spaceship to Parts Unknown. The camera pans back to show that all the other wrestlers have left. I’m guessing that they were off screen, laughing hysterically.

Jake the Snake Roberts vs. Hercules

Hercules is already in the ring and Graham points out that Heenan isn’t with him. The commentators speculate that Bobby is probably with the Mega Bucks. Jake comes out next and he has his theme song now. Gorilla points out that it’s second duty for Jake because he attacked Rude earlier. Jake gets into the ring and Hercules poses for him, but Roberts isn’t impressed. Herc then complains about the snake bag and Jake goes to move it, so Herc jumps him.

The two men fight back and forth, as Billy Graham gushes about Hercules’ body. Jake fights back and signals for the DDT, so Hercules scrambles out of the ring. He comes back in and both men dare each other to bring it. Herc attempts some punches, but Jake blocks every one and then gets a side headlock. Herc has trouble fighting out of it and even a back suplex doesn’t break the hold. He finally makes it to the ropes. Herc headbutts Jake in the gut and drops some elbows before getting a side headlock of his own. Jake fights back but gets pulled down by the hair and clotheslined for a 2 count. Herc then goes back to the headlock and the ref eventually checks Jake’s arm. He keeps it up on the 3rd drop and elbows his way out of the hold, but Herc fights back and sends Jake to the floor. They fight back and forth at the ropes and then Herc goes for another headlock, but Jake hits a jawbreaker. Jake then punches him and hits the short-arm clothesline, so the crowd gets excited for the DDT. He goes for it, but Herc back body drops him. Jake goes for a knee lift, but Herc sweeps his feet out from under him. Hercules hits an elbow drop for a 2 count and then goes to slam Roberts. However, Jake fights out and hits a DDT for a 3 count.

For a shorter match, this wasn’t bad. I was fully expecting Rude to interfere, but that never happened. If they were using these two matches tonight to further the Rude/Roberts feud, then I’m confused as to why Rude didn’t appear here.

Winner: Jake Roberts

Jake opens up the snake bag and drapes Damien on top of Hercules after the match. The camera gets a close-up shot of the snake slithering around, which is used in Jake’s entrance video over the years.

Next, they recap the Mega Powers/Mega Bucks feud. They show Andre distracting Savage so that DiBiase can attack him from behind. He knocks Savage off the interview podium and the two of them attack, while Virgil holds back a screaming Elizabeth. Craig DeGeorge then says that Savage has challenged Andre and DiBiase to a tag team match, but he will reveal his partner later. Heenan accepts the match and DeGeorge tells him that Jesse Ventura has been appointed as special ref. This makes DiBiase smile and he holds up a wad of cash. Next, they show a clip of Savage announcing that Hulk Hogan will be his tag team partner. Then, they show a clip from The Brother Love Show where Ventura is a guest. Love accuses Ventura of being afraid of Andre, so Jesse shows him his fist. Jesse says he could step into the ring tomorrow and become world champ, so he’s not afraid of anyone. Heenan, DiBiase, and Andre arrive and Andre tells Ventura to pay attention. DiBiase then walks over and stuffs some money into Jesse’s jacket pocket and tells him that when you pay attention to the Million Dollar Man, it always pays off.

The Mega Powers (w/ Miss Elizabeth) vs. The Mega Bucks (w/ Virgil & Bobby Heenan)

Fink introduces special guest referee, Jesse Ventura. He comes out to a mixed reaction and is wearing a tasseled jacket. Gorilla asks what kind of referee outfit is that. Fink then introduces the Mega Bucks and DiBiase still doesn’t have his theme song. Andre and DiBiase come out with both Virgil and Heenan. The Mega Powers are out next and they enter to Savage’s theme song, which is a good touch because Savage is champion. They’re all wearing matching red and yellow outfits. Ventura gives instructions to both teams, orders the managers to the floor, and then moves the tag ropes to different corners, for some reason. Then, Savage and Hogan appear to have a small disagreement over who will start the match.

Savage and Andre start and Andre backs him into a corner. He then tags DiBiase, who says he wants Hogan. So, Savage tags out and Hogan and DiBiase lock-up. Ted tries to rake the eyes, but Hogan hits him with an atomic drop and the Mega Powers punch him back and forth like a pinball. They start double teaming DiBiase, while Ventura yells at them. They hit a double back elbow, double elbow drop, and even a double big boot. Hogan then hits three elbow drops, but he wastes time going after Andre and pays for it. Ventura becomes preoccupied with telling Elizabeth to stay in her corner, so the Mega Bucks double team Hogan. Andre comes in and sits on Hogan and chokes him with his boot. He then grabs a double nerve hold that Gorilla thinks might be a choke. Hogan tries to fight back, but Andre starts choking him with his singlet strap. He covers for this by also doing a headlock to block it from view. DiBiase comes in and Hogan is in trouble. Ted hits a clothesline and a couple of fist drops for some 2 counts and then grabs a headlock. The commentators complain that it’s a choke and Ventura isn’t checking it. Jesse does check Hogan’s arm, but he keeps it up on a 3rd drop and starts fighting back. He eventually makes a hot tag to Savage, who hits a back elbow, back body drop, and flying axehandle on DiBiase. They fight back and forth and Savage hits a cross body for a 2 count. DiBiase answers with a backbreaker, but he misses a falling elbow off the second turnbuckle. Hogan tags in and fights into the corner with DiBiase and then hits a suplex. Andre tries to interfere but gets knocked down. Hogan grabs a sleeper hold, while Savage tries to hit the elbow drop on Andre, but Andre gets his boot up into Savage’s face. Andre starts headbutting Hogan in the back of the head and tosses him outside. Both of the Mega Powers are out on the floor and Jesse starts counting them out, so Elizabeth gets up on the apron to distract them. She takes off her skirt, which leaves the Mega Bucks and Jesse dumbfounded and the crowd is delighted. The Mega Powers do their ridiculous handshake on the outside as if to say it was a plan well done. Savage comes in and knocks Andre out of the ring, while Hogan slams DiBiase. He then holds Ted down, while Savage hits the flying elbow. Hogan hits the leg drop and covers, but Jesse is hesitant to make the 3 count. So, Savage has to force his hand down for the final count.

This was a fun main event. I was rather surprised by the use of Elizabeth. It was kind of out of place for the PG-rated Hogan Era. Also, it seems like the Mega Powers might have been a bit slow on their cue because everyone had to stand around awkwardly after she removed her skirt.

Winners: The Mega Powers

Hogan and Savage celebrate in the ring and Hogan starts twirling Elizabeth’s skirt around like a rally towel. The two men pose, as Graham tries again to get his “bionic biceps” phrase over. Savage lifts Elizabeth onto his shoulder and Hogan places a hand on her backside to steady her. Remember that because it might come into play, down the line. Just saying. Both men continue their posing and celebrating as Gorilla Monsoon says goodnight.

Final thoughts:

This show was a mixed bag. There were some memorable moments and decent stuff, but I think the show kind of fell flat, overall. I think it would have benefited with a Roberts/Rude match and less filler.

Thank you for reading. As always, you can check out the Facebook page for my blogs by clicking here. You can leave a comment in the comment section below the article links. Also, you can follow me on Twitter @PaulDMatthews78.

My next review will be Survivor Series ‘88.


Written by Paul Matthews

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