Yearly Review: WWF July 1988

Hulk Hogan makes his return to television. Plus, Rick Rude continues to get under Jake Roberts skin.

WWF World Championship scene: (currently held by: Randy Savage)

At the July 13th taping of Superstars, Randy Savage revealed that Hulk
Hogan would be his tag partner for the big tag match against Ted DiBiase
and Andre the Giant at Summer Slam. Hogan made his return to television
and announced that Miss Elizabeth would be managing them for the bout.

Savage would seemingly end his singles feud with Ted DiBiase by
defeating DiBiase at WrestleFest ’88 on July 31st. Savage had defeated
DiBiase countless times on the house show market as well. Can Savage and
Hogan coexist and defeat DiBiase and Andre? We will find out next

WWF Intercontinental Championship scene: (currently held by Honky Tonk Man)

At the July 13th taping of WWF Superstars, Honky Tonk Man announced that
Brutus Beefcake would have his final chance to win the WWF
Intercontinental Championship at Summer Slam.

Throughout the month, they
continued to have matches with each man picking up wins or in
Beefcake’s case disqualification wins.

Can Beefcake finally win the WWF Intercontinental Championship at Summer Slam?

WWF World Tag Team Championship scene: (currently held by Demolition)

At the July 13th taping of WWF Superstars, an alliance between
Demolition and Jimmy Hart was announced. Hart revealed that he would be
in Demolition’s corner as they compete against the Hart Foundation at
Summer Slam.

Demolition wouldn’t wrestle the Hart Foundation on the house show
market during the month. Instead, they competed against the Powers of
Pain and the British Bulldogs. They lost several matches against the
Powers Pain but luckily for them they were non-title bouts.

Other Happenings:
– Greg Valentine and Don Muraco continued to feud. At the July 14th
taping of Wrestling Challenge, Muraco tried to use Valentine’s shin
guard while putting on the figure four, but failed after Jimmy Hart made
the save for Valentine. After wrestling to a time limit draw on the
July 25th MSG show, Valentine attacked Superstar Billy Graham until
Muraco made the save. Valentine would normally win their house show
matches throughout the month.

– Rick Rude continued to get under Jake Roberts skin. Rude wore
wrestling tights with Roberts’s wife Cheryl’s face painted on them. They
would continue to have matches on the house show market, with each man
picking up wins either by pin fall or by disqualification. Roberts would
get some measure of revenge a few times by putting Damien on Rude.

– The Rockers lost their first match of their WWF careers to the
Rougeau Brothers at the July 25th MSG show. Before the lost, the Rockers
had a brief undefeated streak lasting around a month.

– Big Bossman continued his winning ways picking up several wins over
Sam Houston. Bossman continued to handcuff his opponents after the
matches and beat them senseless with his nightstick.

– The Ultimate Warrior continued his winning ways with victories over
Bobby Heenan, Dino Bravo and Hercules throughout the month. Warrior has
yet to lose during his WWF career.

– Jim Duggan and Andre the Giant continued to feud throughout the
month. Andre would win most of their bouts. They also competed in
several lumberjack matches with Andre still coming out on top.

Bob’s Reaction: 
Considering Andre is on his last legs when it comes to in-ring performing, I’m rather surprised that Duggan wasn’t able to have more success against Andre. Duggan was always a popular guy for the WWF, and winning a feud against Andre could have propelled him up the card further.

The feud between Rick Rude and Jake Roberts continues to be a bright spot as well for the WWF. Rude is an incredible heel and knows how to rile up a crowd.

It’s understandable that DiBiase failed to win the championship, but I found his feud with Savage to be entertaining and didn’t feel like it dragged along. The matches on the house shows were also nicely done.

Warrior and Bossman both appear to be rising up the card pretty quickly. Both men would have major roles in the WWF in just a few months.

What are your memories of the WWF at this time? Feel free to share them below.

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