Yearly Review: WWF August 1988

SummerSlam 1988 is upon us. What happens on the show and a new wrestler begins to work for the WWF on the house shows.
WWF World Championship Scene: (currently held by Randy Savage)
Before SummerSlam, Savage retained the championship against Ted DiBiase
and Andre the Giant in various singles matches. Savage would only beat
Andre by count-out while he would trade off DQ wins against DiBiase with
pin fall wins. The highlight of the defenses saw Savage defeat Ted
DiBiase in a cage match on the August 7th Maple Leaf Gardens house show.

At SummerSlam, Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan were able to defeat Andre
the Giant and Ted DiBiase when Hogan pinned DiBiase following a leg drop
and after Savage connected with a top rope elbow drop. This marked
Hogan’s first televised match in three months.

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

Honky Tonk Man lost the championship to the Ultimate Warrior at the
August 3rd taping of WWF Superstars in a bout that was not taped for
television. However, Jack Tunney would reverse the decision later on in
the evening.

Brutus Beefcake was viciously attacked by Ron Bass at the same August
3rd taping. Bass busted Beefcake open with his spurs. The attacked
caused Beefcake to be removed from his match against Honky Tonk Man at
SummerSlam 1988.

At SummerSlam, the Ultimate Warrior defeated Honky Tonk Man to win
the championship and end Honky’s record long title reign. The match
lasted only a few seconds.

At the August 3rd taping of WWF Superstars, several weeks before the
actual title win, an angle was shot where Warrior was attacked by Honky
Tonk Man. Honky would smash Warrior over the head with a guitar. You
read that correctly, they taped this angle before the actual title win
by Warrior at SummerSlam.

WWF World Tag Team Championships Scene: (currently held by Demolition)

At SummerSlam, Demolition was able to retain the championships by
defeating the Hart Foundation. There wasn’t any other story line
advancement heading into the match. Jimmy Hart came back to ringside for
the closing moments of the contest after being sent to the backstage
area at the beginning of the match.

Prior to the event, Demolition competed against the British Bulldogs several times on the house show market.

Other Happenings:

– Despite having been feuding for the past several months Rick Rude and
Jake Roberts did not wrestle each other at Summer Slam. Instead, Rude
defeated Junkyard Dog by disqualification and Roberts pinned Hercules.

– Also, Don Muraco lost to Dino Bravo at SummerSlam. Surprisingly,
Greg Valentine was not featured on the show despite having been involved
in several altercations with Muraco.

– Bad News Brown continued his winning ways by defeating Ken Patera at SummerSlam.

– The British Bulldogs fought the Rougeau Brothers to a twenty minute draw.

– The Big Bossman maintained his undefeated recorded by beating Koko B. Ware at SummerSlam.

– Lastly, the Powers of Pain defeated the Bolsheviks.

– Curt Hennig (Mr. Perfect) arrived in the WWF during the month.
Hennig wins a few matches over Terry Taylor and SD Jones throughout the
month.

SummerSlam 1988 Buy-Rate: 4.5

Bob’s Reaction: 
There wasn’t anything really going on at the television tapings, thus this is lacking updates. That tends to happen during a major pay per view month for the WWF. I was quite surprised that Roberts and Rude didn’t have a blow off of their feud at SummerSlam. They had been feuding for several months and the their feud would actually continue for a time longer. It seemed like a missed opportunity to make a stronger card for SummerSlam since the main event was a tag bout.

Big Bossman has been built up rather strong and could be a fresh face in the main event scene to add some depth to the heel side. Considering Hogan and Savage have worked with most of the heels, Bossman could provide some fresh matches for them.

Mr. Perfect made his debut, but not on television at this point in time. From what I have seen at this time on the house shows, Perfect was rather bland and wasn’t showing the personality that he would later be known for. 

Personally, I wasn’t interested in seeing Brutus Beefcake as a champion let alone in a top match at SummerSlam. So, thanks to Ron Bass for preventing that from happening. Instead, we get the quick rise of the Ultimate Warrior. Instead of getting crickets of a response, Warrior would be making the crowd go nuts in just a matter of time.

Feel free to share any memories of the WWF at this time below!

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