Yearly Review: WWF January 1988

The first installment of Yearly Review starts with January 1988. This is the starting point for the World Wrestling Federation and will continue to present day. It will be a long journey, but that’s the goal. That’s the same mission for several other companies such as WCW, TNA, ROH, ECW and many others.

If I neglected to add something in, let me know in the comments section. Thanks!



WWF World Championship Scene: (held by Hulk Hogan)
WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan had to deal with a giant competitor to
start of 1988. The challenger wasn’t a stranger to Hogan as it was the
mighty Andre the Giant. Andre had lost to Hogan for the first time in
his career at Wrestle Mania III. Andre managed to earn another title
shot after being the final survivor at the Survivor Series 1987 main
event, which saw a team captained by Andre and another by Hogan. Andre
had promised Ted DiBiase, who was obsessed over getting the WWF World
Championship, that he would give DiBiase the Title when he defeated Hulk
Hogan, adding controversy to the pending bout with Hulk Hogan. However,
before Hogan could wrestle Andre, Hogan had to deal with another former
rival, King Kong Bundy. Hogan lost to Bundy by count-out at Saturday
Night Main Event #13 and as a result defended the championship against
Bundy at Saturday Night Main Event #14 on January 2nd, 1988. The odds
were stacked against Hogan as Andre would be in Bundy’s corner for the
match.

Hogan was able to pin Bundy at the event but afterwards was brutally
attacked by Andre. Andre choked Hogan until Hogan was saved by several
baby faces, mostly thanks to Jim Duggan who used a 2×4 on Andre a couple
of times. Heading into Andre vs. Hogan II, Andre seemingly had all the
momentum and looked prime to take the championship from Hogan which was
to take place on February 5th, 1988 at the Main Event.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Scene: (held by the Honky Tonk Man)

Honky Tonk Man has held the WWF Intercontinental Championship since June
1987 where HTM pinned Ricky Steamboat on WWF Superstars. Honky’s
constant statements of being the greatest WWF Intercontinental Champion
caused a new rival for Honky. A newly baby face Randy Savage would
challenge Honky for the championship on several occasions to prove that
he is the greatest champion of all time. The feud’s turning point
occurred on the SNME on October 3rd, 1987. After the Hart Foundation
helped Honky retain the title by DQ, Honky shoved Miss Elizabeth to the
floor before smashing a guitar over Savage’s head. Honky would continue
to push Savage’s buttons by making advances towards Elizabeth, most
notably at the 1987 Slammy Awards.

The climax of Honky vs. Savage would occur at the Main Event on February 5th, 1988.

WWF World Tag Team Championship Scene: (held by Strike Force)

Tito Santana and Rick Martel have held the Tag Team Championships since
October 1987 where they defeated the Hart Foundation on a edition of WWF
Superstars in an upset win. Strike Force’s first challenger to deal
with were the Bolsheviks as they would have a best two out of three
falls contest at SNME #14 on January 2nd. Strike Force were able to
retain the titles winning both falls in under eight minutes. Everything
seemed to be going well for the tag team in the early stages of 1988.

Other Happenings:

– Hacksaw Jim Duggan won the 1988 Royal Rumble last eliminating One Man
Gang, who had the most eliminations of the Royal Rumble with five.

– Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine continued their feud which had
been going on for almost a year. Beefcake saved Koko B. Ware from a post
match beat down on SNME #14 and managed to cut some of Valentine’s
hair. These two would feud until March 1988.

– The Islanders returned from suspension after kidnapping the British
Bulldog’s mascot Matilda. Bulldogs would threaten Heenan on several
instances and attacked the Islanders with dog collars on more than one
occasion.

– At the Royal Rumble, Dino Bravo set the unofficial record in weight
lighting by lifting 615lbs, although Jesse Ventura had allegedly helped
Bravo lift the bar.

– Bad News Brown made his return to television after several years hiatus on the January 30th edition of WWF Superstars.

– Ultimate Warrior began to feud with King Harley Race and Hercules.
Hercules ended up choking Warrior with his chain, viciously kicking off
their feud.

– Ted DiBiase kept busy by feuding with Jake Roberts. DiBiase would
manage to get a few victories over Roberts but Roberts would get a
measure of payback by stalking DiBiase with his snake, Damien. Virgil,
DiBiase’s bodyguard, would help DiBiase get the upper hand on Roberts
and put the snake on Roberts, adding insult to defeat at a house show
that took place on January 9th.

Ratings/Buy-rates:
The rating for Saturday Night’s Main Event XIV is unknown.
Royal Rumble 1988 drew a 8.2 rating on the USA Network.

First off, I just wanted to thank everyone for the success of the first article I posted. I’m glad to see that is sparked up a conversation. That’s the ultimate goal for these. It seemed like, for the most part, everyone enjoyed the article. Thank you.

As I post more on here, I just wanted to give a brief introduction of myself. I’ve been a wrestling fan since the mid 1990s. My first exposure to wrestling was in the spring of 1994 when Bunkhouse Buck bloodied Dustin Rhodes on one of the syndicated shows. I don’t know why that kept my interest.

Throughout the years, I’ve gone back and watched stuff as early as 1986. For the most part, anything prior to that, I can’t get into.

Anyway, for the past two and a half years I’ve been writing on my own blog, Wrestling Recaps. The name really sums up the main point of the blog. Myself and several other people have written show reviews of over 3,300 shows and have them all in one place. I suppose I always thought it would be neat to have an in-depth site that had a variety of reviews. If anyone goes there to check it out, tell me what you think.

The point of Yearly Review for myself was to go back and look back at how everything developed over time. Sometimes, I would find stuff that I never knew about or remembered. I hope that his series will do the same and will spark memories below for the time period.

Thank you for reading.