December 19, 1987
From the Sun Dome in Tampa, FL
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and Vince McMahon.
In action this week will be Ted DiBiase, Jake Roberts, Randy Savage, and the Hart Foundation. Plus, Hulk Hogan gives us his answer to DiBiase’s offer of purchasing the WWF World Heavyweight Championship and more!
“Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth vs. Steve Lombardi
The crowd goes nuts for Savage’s entrance. Vince fawns all over Elizabeth as Jesse tells him to “focus on wrestling for a change.” Match starts with Savage hitting an elbow smash then blocking a sunset flip. Lombardi tries to drag Savage outside but gets knocked down. Savage hits him with a flying double axe handle from the top rope then rolls Lombardi back in and hits it again. Savage snaps Lombardi’s neck off of the top rope then sets him up for the flying elbow drop and the win (2:24).
Thoughts: Savage was unbelievably over with the crowd. Guys today would kill to get a reaction like he was getting on a consistent basis from late 1987 through 1988.
WWF Update with Craig DeGeorge. This is about the “Slammy Awards” as we hear Vince doing the voiceover plug for the show which is “more grandiose than the Grammy’s, more elaborate than the Emmy’s, and more ostentatious than the Oscars.” The show aired the same day as this episode of Superstars.
We come back as Jesse tells us about the “Jesse the Body” award which will be given to one lucky wrestler.
“Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil vs. Rick Hunter
DiBiase beats on Hunter to start as the announcers talk about all the different residences he owns. Hunter comes back with a pair of slams but DiBiase catches Hunter with a back elbow smash. DiBiase chokes out Hunter then yells at the crowd and gets booed then puts Hunter away with a back elbow drop from the middle rope. (1:48). After the match, DiBiase grabs the mic and tells the crowd he has been telling them every week that everyone has a price and how later tonight, he will prove it to everyone that Hulk Hogan as a price for himself. A “Hogan” chant breaks out after that.
Thoughts: The crowd hated DiBiase, who was really starting to get heel heat at this time. He wasn’t immediately that over as a heel from the start. His mannerisms and post-match promo were well performed.
Gene Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan, who will be facing Rick Rude at the 1/9/88 show at the Boston Garden (This show will be recapped on the site). Hogan talks about heading over to Somerville, MA to the World’s Gym as he can check out the “female specimens” while he is “hanging and banging.” Hogan talks about Rude as Okerlund brings up the fact he is managed by Bobby Heenan as Hogan talks about briefly until he flexes and leaves. A zany promo by Hogan, who barely even mentioned his opponent.
“The Rock” Don Muraco vs. Dusty Wolfe
Muraco hits a few neckbreakers as we get an insert promo from the One Man Gang, Butch Reed, and Slick, who warns him about interfering in his business as Muraco puts Wolfe away with the Tombstone piledriver (1:18).
Thoughts: Looks like Muraco is now going to be feuding with all of Slick’s guys.
Okerlund is with Mr. Fuji and wishes him a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Fuji laughs and says his idea of a Merry Christmas is to make people suffer as he brings out Demolition, who tell Strike Force that 1988 is their year and they will corner them and get the Tag Team Titles. And they did.
We now hear from fans on the street as the talk about what they are looking forward to at the “Slammy Awards.” Nothing memorable happened here.
Omar Atlas & Outback Jack vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart
Neidhart and Jack slug it out as Neidhart wins that. Jack rolls away from an elbow drop then tags Atlas, who lands a few shots before running into a knee. We are shown an insert promo from Jimmy Hart, who tells us that for Christmas all he wants is for the Hart Foundation to regain the Tag Team Championships. Back to the match as the Hart Foundation beat on Atlas as the announcers put over each guy then they get pick up the win with the Hart Attack (2:58).
Thoughts: A dominant performance by the Hart Foundation. They were on fire at this time as a team and Bret was a treat to watch in the ring.
DeGeorge is on the interview platform as we await the appearance of Hulk Hogan. The Hulkster comes out and says he has been “kooky” from thinking about money twenty-four hours a day as he could get new cars and make sure his family is set for life. He could also helps out all of the “little Hulksters” with that money as well he said. Hogan then looks at his belt then says on behalf of the little Hulksters and himself, his answer to Ted DiBiase’s offer to buy the WWF World Heavyweight Title is……………………..HELL NO!!!!!!!!!! Hogan then tells DiBiase if he wants the title then he can try to take it from him. Good interview and the suspense they built leading up to his decision was excellent.
We see “highlights” from last week’s Sam Houston vs. Danny Davis match from Wrestling Challenge. They sure are using the word “highlight” liberally here.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Brian Costello
Match starts with Roberts sending Costello the floor. Back inside, Roberts hits a slam then fires away. Roberts works a chinlock as the fans chant for the DDT. Roberts drills Costello with a short-arm clothesline before playing up to the crowd and hitting the DDT for the win (2:22). After the match, Roberts dumps Damien on top of Costello as Jesse says, with disgust, that it might win the “Best Animal” award at the Slammy’s.
Thoughts: The crowd was jacked for Jake and really into seeing both the DDT and Damien.
Tio Samoa vs. “The Outlaw” Ron Bass
Bass beats down Samoa as Jesse plugs the newest edition of “WWF Magazine” which features an article on the Outlaw. Vince brings up how Bass should not be allowed to bring his whip, Miss Betsy, into the ring as Jesse asks if he feels the same way about Jim Duggan’s 2×4. Vince basically avoids the question. Bass slams Samoa then toys with him for a bit until he puts him away with a kneeling facebuster (1:58). After the match, Bass whips Samoa across the back.
Thoughts: The crowd didn’t seem to care about this and Bass was not a regularly seen on TV and still hasn’t had a feud.
Koko B. Ware vs. Raul Mato
Ware takes control of the match to start. We get an insert promo from Ware, who sings about the Slammy Awards, as Jesse makes some Buckwheat jokes. Mato misses a corner charge then shortly after that Ware puts him away with the Ghostbuster (1:58).
Thoughts: A quick win to put over Koko before he sings “Piledriver” later on tonight.
Okerlund brings out Rick Rude and asks him about his title shot against Hogan at the 1/9/88 show at the Boston Garden. Rude said that Hogan is the greatest champion of all-time but once he gets tired, he will make him quit in the backbreaker.
In action next week will be Bam Bam Bigelow, One Man Gang, Brutus Beefcake, and Rick Rude. Plus, the featured match will be the British Bulldogs vs. The Islanders.
Final Thoughts: A fun show. Hearing Hogan’s answer was great as that sets up a feud between DiBiase and himself. It also makes you want to hear DiBiase’s response to his decision. A lot of Slammy Award hype here too, which was to be expected. And a lot of big stars in action as well.
Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:
Thursday @ noon EST: Highspots Voices of World Class with Bill Mercer and Marc Lowrance
Friday @ 3pm EST: WWF 1987 Slammy Awards
Sunday @ 830pm EST: WWF Wrestling Challenge 12/20/87
Tuesday @ 900pm EST: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/26/87