Through the Years: WWF SummerSlam 1988

 

The inaugural SummerSlam! The card is not so great, but the main event is big and it pretty much ties off all the stories of the last two years…at least until Randy Savage eventually is challenged by Andre the Giant. Enough of that though, let’s believe the marketing! Jesse Ventura as a referee was a stroke of genius from my perspective. Before I had ever watched this show, I was intrigued by the two tag team matches. The Rougeau Brothers against the British Bulldogs sounded good. Hart Foundation vs. Demolition sounded even better. This card took place as the company’s monthly MSG card, but it’s bigger, you know?

 

– August 29th, 1988, from Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York

Nice intro. Gorilla Monsoon and Superstar Billy Graham are on commentary for this one, and we have another intro, but I don’t have the video for that one. It was pretty weird. Oddly enough, they missed the cue to have the crowd cheering to open the card. Here comes our first match!

 

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

Pre-Match Thoughts: Our new AMERICAN ROUGEAU BROTHERS! As said previously, the first time I watched this card, I was very much looking forward to this match. Big pop for the Bulldogs, no less than they deserve. The Rougeaus have a lot of heat for a mid-level tag team act. The team with the American flags gets booed, the one wearing the British flag gets cheered. I thought it was interesting how the PPV broadcast flowed into this match.

Match Review: The Rougeaus offer handshakes, as they tend to do. The Bulldogs aren’t interested, as is made clear when Davey attacks Jacques. After ramming his head into the turnbuckle 6 times, they go to the other corner and do it again 6 times. Raymond makes the tag in, and hugs his brother to get some heat. He clocks Davey, and gives him a monkey flip that Davey flips through. Davey fires off an arm drag, and Dynamite tags in for a double headbutt. After a shoulderblock, DK gives Raymond an arm drag, just like his partner did. Raymond wants to try a monkey flip again, but Dynamite stops and headbutts him. Davey tags in, and lands an elbow from the top. He tries a sunset flip, it gets 2. He gives Raymond another arm drag, and the Bulldogs do an illegal switch. The referee is cool with that, and Dynamite rips Raymond with a clothesline. Davey comes back in, and he gets sunset flipped for 2. He tags back out, and Dynamite goes to work on Raymond’s left arm. Davey comes back in, and they give a double shoulderblock to Raymond for 2. Finally the Rougeaus take control, with Jacques tripping Davey as he runs the ropes. Jacques tags in, and stomps on that thigh area. He also puts a toe-hold on Davey, and tags back out. Nice wishbone thing the Rougeaus do, and Jacques tags back in and jumps onto Davey’s leg. They distract the referee to do the wishbone again, and Raymond puts the toe-hold on. Davey kicks free, and Raymond backdrops him. Jacques is back in, and uses a…SPINNING TOE-HOLD. Davey grabs him and rolls him up for 2, then Raymond makes another entrance. Davey monkey flips him, and Dynamite tags in. He gives Raymond a snap suplex, and an elbow drop. Falling headbutt follows, and it gets 2. Dynamite gives Raymond a back suplex for 2, and tosses him to the floor. Jacques and Davey fight a little on the floor, as Davey tosses Raymond into the railing. Finally the Rougeaus are ready to continue the match, and Davey tags in to deal with Raymond. He gives Raymond the RUNNING POWERSLAM, but Jacques breaks the cover. Dynamite sets Raymond up for a monkey flip, so Jacques runs in and gives him a back suplex. That looked like it HURT. Jacques makes an official tag in, and follows with a bodyslam. He drops a knee, and covers for a 2 count. Raymond tags in, drops Dynamite on Jacques’ knee, and tags back out. Jacques puts Dynamite in an abdominal stretch, which is a set up for one of the best spots…THE RAYMOND SAVATE KICK! Unfortunately, that part never happens, and Raymond puts an abdominal stretch on Dynamite after Jacques leaves the ring. Dynamite reverses to a hip toss, but Raymond is able to tag out. He gives Dynamite an inverted atomic drop, Jacques follows with a big splash, it gets 2. To the chinlock now, and Dynamite winds up picking Jacques up on his shoulders. Naturally, Raymond runs in to punch him, and the chinlock stays on. Raymond tags in and keeps it on, and Dynamite stands up again. He drives Raymond into the corner, but is cut off from making the tag by Jacques. Jacques draws Davey into the ring, and Dynamite pulls off a small package, but the referee had to usher Davey out of the ring. Jacques goes back to the abdominal stretch, and this time Raymond does…THE SAVATE KICK! It gets a 2 count, and Jacques has to distract the ref from seeing Dynamite make a tag out. Jacques covers for 2, and Dynamite finally makes his way out after a chop.

Davey tags in, and misses a dropkick. He picks Jacques up for a press slam, and drops him on the rop rope, crotching him. That was excellent, and he then causes Raymond to elbow drop his own brother. Davey picks Dynamite up, and drops him down with a flying headbutt on Jacques. Over to cover, and the bell rings at 20:00 for a time limit draw. After the match, the Bulldogs are upset, so they bum rush the Rougeau Brothers and chase them out of the ring. Superstar is sure to say something hilarious…”FINISH IT IN THE SHOWERS IF YOU HAVE TO BROTHER.” How can you top that?

My Thoughts: That finish confuses the hell out of me seeing as I don’t recall the time limit being announced. I listened specifically for it. As for the match, it was a tale of two halves. The first half was really hot, the guys were busting out big moves, and there was no resting. The second half was more about gaining heat, which is strange because that’s not exactly what happened. They actually lost heat. I think they also mis-timed the hot tag to some degree. That’s too bad, but I enjoyed the match enough anyway. Everyone knows the state of Dynamite’s back, but if they had been able to keep the match going after the first half, they would have put on one of the best matches in the WWF all year. **3/4.

 

After that bit of wisdom from Superstar, we have an announcement. The announcement is that after Brutus Beefcake was attacked by Ron Bass, Beefcake will NOT be able to wrestle for the Intercontinental Championship. BAIT AND SWITCH, THAT’S A BAIT AND SWITCH RIGHT THERE. I feel bad for anyone who paid for the show with their sole reason for doing so watching Beefcake face the Honky Tonk Man again, but realistically, I doubt very many people did. If you did, you’re an idiot. No offense. See my last WWF article if you want a video of the attack, or watch this show on WWE Network and go to the time stamp at the conclusion of the last match and let it roll. Simple as that! I’m still surprised that they did this angle, as even with the censored portion of the screen, you can see Beefcake’s blood all over the place. THINK OF THE KIDS! Monsoon informs us that somebody will face the Honky Tonk Man for his title, but they don’t know, or rather, they don’t want to say.

 

Bad News Brown vs. Ken Patera

Pre-Match Thoughts: I’m actually surprised to see Patera on the show here. He hasn’t done much at all over the last few months. They did that program with Dino Bravo that probably put a lot of asses in seats, but other than that memorable feud, there hasn’t been much. I don’t remember what happens in this match, so I expect Bad News to win clean here. If Bravo can get a clean win at WrestleFest, Bad News can on PPV. I like the way Bad News tells someone to sit their ass down. Patera enters to “Bugler’s Dream”! At least the WWF knows how to present a true American hero!

Match Review: Brown attacks his opponent immediately, and bodyslams him after knocking him around the ring. Brown drops an elbow, but misses a charge into the corner and Patera clotheslines him. Patera looks like an old man here. He gives Brown a back elbow, and a bodyslam of his own. Patera misses an elbow drop, and Bad News goes to work. He rams Patera into the turnbuckle, and knocks him down with a chop. After choking Patera, Patera blocks a backdrop with a kick. Patera covers for 1, and follows with a clothesline and elbow drop for 2. Patera gives Brown a backbreaker for 2, and tries a small package, which gets 1. Patera’s offense is hilarious to me. Brown gets put in a BEAR HUG, and breaks it with a finger to the eye. Patera tries a full nelson, but Bad News reaches the ropes. He tries it again, and the same thing happens. Bad News blocks a backdrop, they do a terrible charge to the turnbuckle spot, and decide to repeat it. Patera misses a charge, gets popped with the GHETTO BLASTER, and that’s a win for Brown at 6:33.

My Thoughts: Alright, this was bad. Both guys clearly worked hard, but I don’t think that mattered in the scheme of things. They didn’t put together a match that the people in the crowd wanted to watch, and they made some mistakes that made it hard for me to be interested. Patera in particular was just terrible. I’m going to be nice and go with a DUD. I’m glad that Patera did a clean job, not only because babyfaces doing clean jobs rarely happens in the WWF, but because he wasn’t any good anymore.

 

I’m surprised they left this in! It’s a Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Donny Lalonde preview! The WWF had went into the business of selling this PPV. I’ll have more notes on that in the future.

In the back, we have a promo with the MEGA POWERS. As has been advertised, they have a secret weapon, it’s Elizabeth.¬†They do a good job selling their match later on.

 

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

Pre-Match Thoughts: Wow, I find it hard to believe that JYD is still around. He hasn’t done anything for quite a while. Rude gets a mixed reaction, part of which can be described as a minimal face pop. I would have cheered this guy. This time when he does his routine, his pants have a picture of JYD on them. Those are funny as hell. JYD is still over, even though he’s ballooned up to at least 300 something pounds.

Match Review: Rude attacks to start the match, and JYD gives him a huge backdrop. The Dog follows that with headbutts, and does his own hip swivel. Superstar’s commentary about those headbutts was terrible. JYD pulls Rude back into the ring, and misses a diving headbutt. Rude clotheslines him, and heads up top for a double axehandle. After that lands, Rude goes to a chinlock. JYD fights his way out, and runs into Rude’s boot for 2. Back to the chinlock, and Rude eventually tries to work on the arm, only to accidentally give himself a low blow. JYD starts hitting Rude with headbutts, but he gets distracted by Heenan. Rude gives JYD a Russian leg sweep, and heads up top again. Before jumping down, Rude reveals tights with Cheryl Roberts’ face on them. Oh boy. After he comes down with a fist drop, JAKE ROBERTS runs down to the ring, and deals with that problem, clotheslining Rude over the top rope. THAT’S HIS WIFE, BROTHER…YOU DON’T PUT HER FACE ON YOUR PANTS. Rude wins by disqualification at 6:18, but who cares? Nobody should feel bad for JYD.

My Thoughts: This match was bad as or arguably worse than the last one. That was too bad, but look at the participants. Rude is good with the right guy and JYD is bad with the best guys. That makes for a bad mix. I did like the finish, but that brought it up from negative territory to another DUD. I guess we’re 1 for 3 match wise, but if I was a paying customer, I would have been pleased with 2 of the 3. Jake running in was a nice thing to associate something good with this match.

 

In the back, we have the Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart! They’re ready for the challenge that HTM will be facing, even though they don’t know who it is. HTM doesn’t want to know. Don’t tell him! This is wrestling 101, when a wrestler doesn’t want to know about a surprise, they face somebody they can’t beat.

 

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

Pre-Match Thoughts: The Baron is the new manager of the Powers of Pain, and of course, he’s Baron von Raschke. It takes a bit away from how intimidating this team is because they have a manager. They needed one because neither guy could talk, in the modern era they’d be able to work around it, but not here. Wrestlers used to have to be able to sell themselves. Of course, the Powers interrupt Volkoff’s anthem.

Match Review: The Powers rush the ring, and we’re underway. They knock the Bolsheviks down, and Barbarian poses in the corner. Volkoff trips him, and Zhukov tries an elbow drop that he misses. They hit Zhukov with a double clothesline, and it’s Volkoff’s turn, he gets hit in the throat by Barbarian. Things normalize and Zhukov is in there with Barbarian, who nails him with a double chop for 1. Zhukov comes back with a lot of nothing, and they blow a series of spots. What a disaster. Warlord tags in, and rams Zhukov into a few of the turnbuckles. He drops a fist, and covers for 2. Warlord gives out a belly to belly suplex as well, and his cover gets broken up by Volkoff. Volkoff tags in, and attacks him from behind. Zhukov chokes Warlord with the tag rope, and Warlord fights his way out of the corner, only to wind up trapped there again. This match stinks. Zhukov finally goes to a chinlock, after a few minutes of HORRENDOUS control offense. He lets go, and that control offense happens again. This is so boring. Warlord finally hits both Bolsheviks, and makes his exit. Barbarian is a house of fire and all that, and he gives Volkoff a bodyslam. Nice savate kick to Zhukov, and a clothesline for Volkoff. He gives Zhukov a big boot, and one to Volkoff that sends him over the top. Warlord tags in, and they give Zhukov a double shoulderblock. Warlord gives Zhukov a big running powerslam, and Barbarian flies off the top with a diving headbutt for the win at 5:27.

My Thoughts: That match was terrible until Barbarian tagged in. I think he had the ability to be a pretty good worker, and in this match he did well. The other three were really poor. The Bolsheviks are one of the worst tag teams the WWF ever had, and the Warlord looked clueless. I enjoyed the finish, so for that, I’m giving 1/2*. The crowd didn’t respond well until Barbarian came in, so maybe he should have been allowed to go nuts like that a little more often.

 

After the match, we have a few things going on. First is a promo for Survivor Series 1988. Excellent!

Next up is one of my least favorite things…it’s THE BROTHER LOVE SHOW. He is supposed to have a special guest, and in the first place it was advertised that his guest would be someone who had never appeared in the WWF. It turned out that his guest was Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Brother Love repeatedly berated Duggan about having a lack of love, and this was just terrible. I’m glad that Duggan chases that clown out of the ring, and even happier that this is over. After another Leonard vs. Lalonde promotional piece, we move on to the next thing.

 

???? vs. Honky Tonk Man (w/Jimmy Hart) for the WWF Intercontinental Championship

I miss Peggy Sue. As everyone knows, HTM is facing a mystery opponent, and he has been Intercontinental Champion forever. It’s time for his run to be over, and with Beefcake out of the equation, certainly it will be. The opponent is…

 

THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR! The pop for his entrance was enormous. Warrior runs into the ring, accidentally pushes Finkel off the apron, and here we go. Warrior slams HTM, hits him with a flying shoulderblock, and lands a clothesline too. Over to the ropes, big splash, 1-2-3 after 27 seconds! Honky couldn’t even take his suit off! Before this PPV, they taped TV for the following few weeks, and did a thing much like this as a dark match. They taped their squash matches where Warrior had the title, and Jack Tunney gave the title back to the Honky Tonk Man after these shows were over. That’s one way to get around TV taping. No rating for this, but of course I loved it. HTM’s reign of doom is over!

 

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

Pre-Match Thoughts: Graham has been horrible on commentary during this show, and sadly he isn’t leaving the booth to manage Muraco. That’s too bad. Before this match, everyone talked about Leonard vs. Lalonde again, but that was cut out of this version of the show. I’m thankful for that. Heenan is going to be part of the commentary team for this match. That’s good too. This has been such a sorry slate of matches that I’ll enjoy those little bonuses like Heenan on commentary. Frenchy has a sign that says “USA IS NOT OK.” Good for him. This is probably the worst WrestleMania IV tournament rematch that they could do.

Match Review: These two behemoths lock up, and eventually Muraco blocks a monkey flip attempt. After a hip toss, Muraco bodyslams him too. He takes Bravo down with an arm drag, and Bravo takes a break outside the ring. Back inside, Bravo hits Muraco with some chops, only to be taken down with another hip toss. Muraco uses a monkey flip, and takes Bravo down with another arm drag. These two guys look blown up already. They get back to their feet, and Bravo throws Muraco into the buckle. He gives Muraco an inverted atomic drop, and follows that by dropping the elbow for 2. Bravo tries a backdrop, but Muraco reverses it into a Russian leg sweep. Bravo tries another elbow drop, and misses this time. Muraco gives him a backdrop, knocks Martin off the apron, and picks Bravo up. He knocks the referee down on accident, and Bravo capitalizes with his side suplex for 3 at 5:28.

My Thoughts: Strange finish there. I don’t understand the WWF sometimes, but they did the right thing here. It was time to get Muraco out of there, and this was part of jobbing him out along the way. The match was poor, but it did have a semi-clean finish. I believe I’m fine with that. 3/4*.

 

In the back, we have Sean Mooney with tonight’s special referee, Jesse Ventura! He accepted money from Ted DiBiase, so the integrity of this match has already been called into question. Ventura said he wouldn’t turn down anyone’s money, so you can’t read a lot into that. Okay.

 

The Hart Foundation vs. Demolition (w/Mr. Fuji & Jimmy Hart) for the WWF Tag Team Championships

Pre-Match Thoughts: The Foundation gets a jobber entrance for this. Yeah, they certainly have a chance of winning this one. I can’t recall any title change in the WWF where the challenger(s) was given that entrance. I’ll be sure to pay attention to that going forward. Hart is with Demolition because the Foundation has rejected his services. Simple enough, right? This is probably the biggest tag team match they can do at this time, with who they have in the company and all that.

Match Review: Bret and Ax will kick things off, and Bret gets shoved back into the ropes. Ax winds up clobbering him, and giving him a bodyslam. He misses an elbow drop, and Bret comes back with a cradle for 2. Smash tags in, and Bret arm drags him a few times. Neidhart switches in, and he gives Smash a big right hand. After a few more, the Anvil gives Smash a shoulderblock. Ax hits him with a knee to the back, and tags in. After some punishment, Smash comes back in and continues it. They tag again, Neidhart hits Ax with another right hand, and gets out of the ring. Bret heads in, and he gives Smash a dropkick. Smash throws him into the corner at full speed, and Fuji’s cane was set up. Bret breaks it with his shoulder, and now that’s the part of the body Demolition will target. They tie Bret up in the ropes and deal out a ton of punches to the arm, and throw him shoulder-first into the turnbuckle as well. Ax continues to stomp on the Hitman, and eventually tags out. Smash gives Bret a shoulder breaker, and Ax tags back in. He wrenches on that left arm for quite a while, and when Bret tumbles to the outside, Smash rams his shoulder into the post. On the inside, Bret comes back with a clothesline, using his other arm, and maybe he’ll be able to tag out. He does, but the referee was distracted. Smash switches in illegally, and the referee allows that. He misses a charge to the corner, and this time Bret is able to really tag out. Neidhart comes in with a dropkick, bodyslams to each guy, and he throws them into each other. He clotheslines Smash to the floor, and flies out there with a plancha! That was great. Neidhart throws Smash into the ring, and gives him a running powerslam for 2. The crowd totally bought that being the finish. Bret tags back in, and throws Neidhart into Smash for another 2 count. Bret gives Smash a backbreaker, and this time Ax breaks up the cover. Neidhart goes to deal with Ax, and Fuji gets on the apron. Neidhart beats him up, as Bret picks up Smash for a piledriver. Hart tosses his megaphone to Ax, and Ax clobbers Bret with it. Over for the cover, and Demolition retains their titles at 9:49.

My Thoughts: I was really into this, but that could just be my natural Hart Foundation bias kicking in. Bret did a good job as a face in peril. The sequence started with a move that looked legitimate, and moved from there. I like when face in peril bits start off like that. The crowd popped for Neidhart, and that started off a really good run of moves. The match looked disjointed, but in reality everything went as it appeared to be planned. I’m gonna give this ***1/4, it was the best match on the show to this point, and in the end it probably will be too.

 

Honky Tonk Man is really upset about losing his title, and doesn’t want to hear anything from the other heels on the roster. They can get out of his face. He says he didn’t agree to wrestle the Warrior, but he did say he’d wrestle anyone. He lost, end of story.

 

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

Pre-Match Thoughts: Is there any question about what’s going to happen here? Even the markiest of marks couldn’t possibly buy into Koko winning this match. Boss Man is looking huge, but that just adds to his “it” factor. He definitely has that, especially in comparison to many of the guys on the undercard of this show.

Match Review: Slick distracts Koko, which allows Boss Man to get in some big shots. He throws Koko through the ropes, down to the floor, and celebrates in the ring. Koko ducks a clothesline, and hits Boss Man with a dropkick that ties him up in the ropes. Koko lands a big splash up against the ropes, I’ll call it the BIRD MAN SPLASH. Superstar points out that Boss Man still has his handcuffs, which I had not noticed. Boss Man hits Koko with a huge splash in the corner, and follows that with a big clothesline for 2, as Boss Man picks up his opponent. What a dick! He hits Koko with a leapfrog body guillotine, this guy is getting ruined. Boss Man gives Koko a bodyslam, and signals that it’s going to be the end. He heads up top and comes down with a super splash, but misses it. That’s too bad. He’s not even hurt, but he misses a charge to the corner anyway. Koko goes up to the top, and knocks Boss Man down with a massive missile dropkick. The crowd popped so big for that. He follows that with a big splash, and it gets 2. Boss Man catches Koko after that, and dumps him to the apron. Back inside, he hits Koko with the BOSS MAN SLAM, and pins him at 5:57.

Boss Man nails Koko with the nightstick, which knocks him out of the ring. He should have handcuffed him first!

My Thoughts: This was the best of these stupid singles matches. They didn’t quite get everything right, but it was a very entertaining match and the crowd was into it. I’m a bit surprised at how the crowd has reacted to such a poor show. They’ve stayed loud throughout, and I guess they really want to see the main event. I’ll give this ** for the entertainment value. The rest of the show has been so bad that perhaps I overrated the last two matches. Whatever.

 

Here’s the ULTIMATE WARRIOR. AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH. PARTS UNKNOWN, SPACESHIPS, ROCKETS, MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, LITTLE ULTIMATE WARRIORS, CONQUERED THROUGH THE DARKNESS, on and on it goes.

 

Hercules vs. Jake Roberts

Pre-Match Thoughts: This is the last singles match on the card. Easy to see the logic here. Jake is super over, you charge the crowd up, and things go from there. Heenan is not at ringside with Hercules. Wonder what’s going on there. Hercules gets a jobber entrance, but many of the heels on this show have won from that position, including in the last match. Does he have a chance? Look at his arms, of course he does.

Match Review: Roberts is out for the second time tonight, and he starts the match by evading a charge, only to miss his own charge. That was interesting. Superstar goes crazy about Herc’s muscles, as Roberts gives Hercules a knee lift. Jake goes for the DDT, but Hercules takes a break. When he’s done, Jake gives him a bodyslam. Hercules comes back with a back suplex, but Roberts maintains control of his headlock. Gorilla and Superstar go through their general commentary about the Rude-Roberts feud, which is a decent touch, however…it reminds me that they aren’t facing each other here. That makes me feel bad for people who paid for this. Eventually Hercules lands a few punches, and a few elbow drops. He puts a chinlock on Roberts, and when Roberts reaches his feet, Hercules gives him a powerful clothesline for 2. Back to the chinlock, and Hercules holds onto it until I get extremely bored. The commentary has to carry a viewer through these moments, and I suppose it is. It is so bad that I am unable to tune out. Roberts reaches his feet again, and gets elbowed to the floor. He gets to the apron and pulls Hercules to the otuside, which gives Roberts the advantage. Herc climbs back into the ring, uses the rope to take Roberts out, and goes back to the chinlock. Roberts reverses that into a jawbreaker, and knocks Herc down with a right hand. He nails Hercules with a short clothesline, and signals for the DDT. Hercules reverses it into a backdrop, and Roberts tries a charge to the corner, only to be dumped on his head. Herc gives Jake a bodyslam, and follows with an elbow drop for 2. He complains to the referee about the count, and tries another bodyslam. Roberts floats over, and plants Hercules with the DDT. 1-2-3, it’s over at 10:06! Jake breaks out the snake, and rubs it all over Hercules. How disgusting.

My Thoughts: It’s very weird to see Jake go over clean in a big match, but that’s the case here. The crowd wasn’t really into this one, but they popped big for the finish. It was another grueling match. I don’t know what’s going on here, but I’m glad that infusion of talent has arrived and continues to grow. They desperately needed a change of pace for some of these matches. I was bored by this one, so I’ll give it *. The best rated singles match on this card was ** and it was completely one-sided. Make of that what you will.

 

The Mega Bucks (w/Virgil & Bobby Heenan) vs. The Mega Powers (w/Elizabeth) with JESSE VENTURA as the special guest referee

Pre-Match Thoughts: Well, this is the match that put people in the building. These guys have been intertwined for 8 months at this point. In the video package before the match, they show Savage being knocked off the stage by DiBiase, and him being choked by Andre the Giant. Savage made a challenge for a tag team match at SummerSlam, and when he picked his partner it was…HULK HOGAN! On the Brother Love Show, that man stated that Jesse Ventura was deathly afraid of Andre the Giant. Ventura denied that claim, but the Mega Bucks showed up on set. Andre told Ventura that he better pay attention to his partner. DiBiase grabbed some money, and put it in Ventura’s jacket pocket. Interesting. The build for this match, and the video package beforehand, were perfect. Once again, it was advertised on TV that Elizabeth would be doing something during this match. Jesse got a big face pop for his entrance here, which wasn’t exactly a surprise. The heel announcer who says cool shit always gets a positive reaction. This was Hogan’s first appearance on TV in 3 months, by the way.

Match Review: To start things off, Jesse kicks the three managers out of the ring. He moves the tag ropes into different corners, and at one point screams at Hogan about Hogan touching him. Savage and Andre get things going, and Andre drags him over to his corner for a tag. DiBiase wants to face Hogan, and Savage agrees to that. DiBiase and Hogan lock up, and Hogan gives him an atomic drop. DiBiase pinballs back and forth between his opponents, and takes a huge running elbow from Hogan. Savage tags in, and the Mega Powers give DiBiase a double back elbow, and a double elbow drop. Hogan tags back in, and rams DiBiase into the turnbuckles. Back out, and Savage comes off the top with a double axehandle onto DiBiase. He drops a knee, and goes for a cover, which was counted very slowly. Hogan tags back in, and they give DiBiase a double big boot for 2. Hogan slams DiBiase, follows that with a few elbow drops, and winds up getting headbutted by Andre. Andre comes in, headbutts Savage for good measure, and has to usher Elizabeth off the apron. DiBiase now takes control over Hogan, and Andre heads in to sit on Hogan multiple times. He chokes Hogan repeatedly, with Ventura not really caring whether it’s legal or not. Eventually he turns it into a nerve hold, then starts choking Hogan with the strap of his singlet. DiBiase tags in, and gives Hogan a clothesline for 2. DiBiase hits Hogan with a few fist drops, they also get 2. To the chinlock, which Superstar and Gorilla keep complaining about. It’s a choke according to them, but nobody seems to care. DiBiase and Hogan sit in this hold for quite a while, but eventually Hogan is ready to go. He fights his way out, and he and DiBiase both nail each other with a clothesline.

Savage finally makes the tag in, hits DiBiase with a back elbow, and follows with a backdrop. He uses his leaping rope clothesline move, and heads up top for a double axehandle, which he lands. Savage lines DiBiase up for a charge to the corner, and DiBiase gets out of the way. Savage comes back with a cross body for 2, only to be given a clothesline. Andre makes a tag in, and squashes Savage in the corner. He sits on his head, and makes his exit. DiBiase gives Savage a suplex, it gets 2. He also gives Savage a backbreaker, and goes up to the second rope for an elbow drop that he misses. Savage kicks him away, and makes the tag out. With Hogan in, I expect us to be nearing the end of the match. He gives DiBiase a clothesline in the corner, and follows that with a suplex. Andre enters the ring, and Hogan takes him down with a clothesline. Savage goes up top, and Andre hits him with his boot on the way down. Hogan had DiBiase in a sleeper, but Andre comes from behind and dumps him to the outside. Ventura begins to count the Mega Powers out, and Elizabeth gets on the apron. She rips off her skirt, revealing a bikini bottom. Oh dear. Everyone can’t help but stare, and the Mega Powers take advantage of that to attack the Mega Bucks from behind. Savage knocks Virgil and Heenan off the apron, and Hogan slams DiBiase. Savage flies off the top with the ELBOW, Hogan lands the leg drop, and Ventura has to count. He counts two, but hesitates, so Savage has to push Jesse’s arm down for the 3 count at 13:57.

After the match, Hogan picks up Elizabeth and Savage gives Hogan a dirty look. That’s such subtle build towards Hogan vs. Savage that you wouldn’t really get it until someone pointed it out to you. End of show!

My Thoughts: This was a solid show closer. All four guys worked really hard, and they came up with a finish that a lot of fans would have wanted to see. It’s just a fact, people wanted to see Liz shed some clothing. That’s the kind of society that we live in. I’m glad there wasn’t much in terms of a dead period here. They built up heat, sparingly used Andre, and DiBiase put on a great performance. The commentary was poor during the rest of the show, but I didn’t notice it here. The finish was really silly, but that was to be expected. The idea that five men would be distracted by a woman in not very revealing underwear was amusing at the least. They did give the people what they wanted to see, with how the match was won and how it finished, so credit is given for that. *** for this one, and with it being the end of the feuds between Andre and Hogan, and DiBiase and Savage, I suppose I’d recommend it.

 

Before getting into what I think of the show as a whole, it’s time for some numbers. The PPV was priced at either $15 or $20. The WWF claimed that 800,000 homes purchased this show. In reality, it was around half. According to the WON, that would mean the WWF raked in between $2.1 and $2.5 million. The profit margin on that was probably slim. As for what I thought of this, I thought it was bordering on brutal. The singles matches on offer were a joke. No feuds were settled, nothing was fast paced, and some of them were squash matches. The tag matches saved the show from being a complete bust. The worst of them was the Powers of Pain/Bolsheviks match, but even that one introduced a new, exciting team. It was solid promotional strategy to put this show together in the way that they did. They gave the fans one match that everyone wanted to see, that they knew people would pay for. Then to keep business strong around the house circuit they gave them almost nothing else. The Ultimate Warrior winning the Intercontinental Title is something that would have furthered their house show business, so it was very smart. They put on a below average show, but with the main event they made people happy and kept them willing to buy more WWF PPV’s. They need to get a few of these guys out of the company, though. Patera, Muraco, JYD, the Bolsheviks, and Dino Bravo are a complete drain on the show. One thing that I bet was far worse than it seemed was the advertising for Leonard vs. Lalonde. They kept part of it in this version, and it was annoying as hell.

Wrestling Time: 1:24:02. There was less wrestling on this than the NWA card taking place a month previously. No surprise there!

Best: The Hart Foundation vs. Demolition. Best match, which isn’t saying a lot.

Worst: Bad News Brown vs. Ken Patera. This was pathetic.

Card Rating: 4/10. Just a little better than WrestleMania.

 

Written by Sage Cortez

Sage is a boisterous Los Angeles sports fan. Unsurprisingly, like many other loudmouth LA fans, he also likes the Raiders and a range of combat sports.

One Comment

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  1. Demos/Harts practiced their end sequence for a long ass time before the show to get the timing down,

    Something went wrong in the Koko/Bossman match and Koko was going nuts in the locker room after.

    I had the VHS clip job of this show as a kid and wouldn’t be shocked if I watched it a 100 times.

    I accidentally taped over the Honky squash with something called “Owl TV” and my brother was super pissed at me!

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