February 27, 1988
From the Kansas Coliseum in Wichita, KS
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino (His last taping as a WWF commentator), Jesse “The Body” Ventura (As Vince claims this was were Jesse wrestled his first match) and Vince McMahon.
This week, we will get a special live interview with Hulk Hogan. In action will be the Honky Tonk Man, Jake Roberts, Ted DiBiase, and Strike Force. Plus a Special Report on WrestleMania IV and more.
Strike Force vs. Tom Stone & Dusty Wolfe
Vince now corrects himself from earlier to say that Jesse did not wrestle in this arena as it was not erected yet as the announcers make fun of Jesse for being old. Match starts with Strike Force working over Stone. Wolfe tags in as Martel hits him with a few arm drags. Santana dropkicks Wolfe after Martel escaped from a hammerlock then the heels work over Martel after trapping him against the ropes. Jesse notes how Strike Force are the Tag Team Champions, for now, as he states you can beat them by roughing them up. After that, Martel puts Stone in the Boston Crab for the win (2:55).
Thoughts: The fans were into Strike Force here but its pretty clear that Demolition will be the champs soon.
WrestleMania IV Special Report with Craig DeGeorge, who runs through the Tournament. DeGeorge focuses on Randy Savage and how he has momentum after beating the Honky Tonk Man by countout on the “Main Event” primetime special. We then get a promo from Savage, stating he will climb the mountain until he becomes the next WWF World Heavyweight Champion. Elizabeth is shown, stating she hopes to stand by her man like always as she wears a black evening gown. They really pushed Savage as a threat here.
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Lance Allen
Allen is a jacked up guy who was balding. Allen gets shoved but comes back with a leapfrog and a dropkick. That seemed like slow-motion. Valentine knocks Allen down as he ducked his head for a backdrop. Hart is shown in an insert promo stating that Valentine will become the next Champion. Back to the match as Valentine drops a few elbows before getting the win with a figure-four (1:43).
Thoughts: They lightly promoted Valentine’s first-round match against Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania IV here but that was all.
DeGeorge is once again standing on one side of a chain-link fence as the Hart Foundation and the Honky Tonk Man are on the other. Neidhart said that he will “slice and dice” Strike Force like he is using a Veg-o-Matic as Hart wants to know what will happen when they kick their teeth down their throat. Honky tells us that they want to put a cage around him to prevent what he does best: dance and play guitar.
We get a WrestleMania IV with Bob Uecker as Brutus Beefcake is trimming his hair. Uecker said he looks as good as he does because of how Beefcake takes care of him. Uecker really was awesome when doing anything with the WWF. He looked to be having a blast too.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Pete Sanchez
Roberts works an arm wringer as the announcers put over the match he will have against Rick Rude at WrestleMania. Rude is then shown in an insert promo telling Roberts he is in for a “rude awakening” and that the next World Heavyweight Champion will be the “sexiest man alive.” Back to the match as Roberts outsmarts Sanchez. He then hits the short-arm clothesline before getting the win with a DDT (1:48). After the match, Roberts dumps Damien on top of Sanchez.
Thoughts: Lots of hype for the Rude/Roberts first-round match at WrestleMania IV. Roberts, like usual, was over big with the crowd.
“The Outlaw” Ron Bass vs. Gary Jackson
Bass attacks Jackson to start. He misses an elbow drop but counters a headlock with a back suplex. Bass slams Jackson and chokes him out with the ropes. Bass lands a few shots in the corner then gets the win with a Gourdbuster (2:12). After the match, Bass chokes out Jackson with Miss Betsy.
Thoughts: They are starting to really push the Miss Betsy gimmick on TV but Bass has been here for a year and a half without a feud.
We get a recap of the British Bulldogs/Islanders feud as DeGeorge then interviews the Bulldogs and Koko to hype up their match against the Islanders and Heenan at WrestleMania IV.
Fans are asked about who they think will win the tournament at WrestleMania IV. Savage, Hogan, and Rude were all choices.
Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil vs. John Stewart
Stewart wrestled in the AWA during its dying days as “The Illustrious One” Jonnie Stewart. DiBiase beats the crap out of Stewart to start. Jesse is pissed over WWF President Jack Tunney stripping the title off of DiBiase then we get an insert promo from Jim Duggan, telling DiBiase not to overlook him in their first-round match. DiBiase continues to destroy Stewart as he tosses him over the top rope then drags him inside and hits a powerslam for the win (2:00).
Thoughts: DiBiase was ultra aggressive here in squashing Stewart as he remains pissed off over being stripped of the WWF World Heavyweight Title.
DeGeorge is on the interview platform where he welcomes out Hulk Hogan. Funny moment as when he cut to the segment, Vince referred to Hogan as the champ and got corrected by Jesse. Vince then came back by saying “well, he will be.” Back to the interview as Hogan is asked about his first-round bye and match against Andre the Giant. He says that the third time is a charm and promises to “mow down” anyone who stands in his way and hopes to face DiBiase in the semifinals.
WrestleMania IV Report with Craig DeGeorge. We get a clip of Donald Trump talking up the event and the great demand for tickets. After that, we learn that two more matches have been announced for the show: Ultimate Warrior vs. Hercules and Demolition vs. Strike Force for the Tag Team Titles. We get clips of the Warrior/Hercules feud, complete with a psychotic Warrior promo as he yells about “nightmares being the best part of his day.” Strike Force and Demolition cut generic promos to hype their match. The Strike Force promo was quite lame, actually. Also, Vanna White is shown talking about being a guest timekeeper at WrestleMania IV.
Omar Atlas & Jerry Allen & “Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. Hart Foundation & Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart
Match starts with Atlas getting beaten down as Jimmy tells Lanny that he “better leap in there and help.” The heels distract the ref to inflict more punishment on Atlas as the announcers hype up the Beefcake/Honky match at WrestleMania IV then Honky hits the Shake, Rattle, and Roll for the win (2:37).
Thoughts: Good showcase for the heels. The announcers also started to talk up the Beefcake/Honky match.
DeGeorge is now with Strike Force and Randy Savage, who asks his partners if they are ready. Luckily, Savage carried this promo as the other two were not too good on the mic to hype their steel cage match at the 3/5/88 Boston Garden show.
Next week in action will be Don Muraco, Demolition, British Bulldogs, and Randy Savage. Plus, more updates on WrestleMania IV and an interview with Bobby Heenan and the Islanders.
Thoughts: The focus is all on WrestleMania IV as they continue to build up the tournament and rest of the card. This did not have a “featured match” like the past week but the action was fine for what it was here and WrestleMania IV is shaping up well, for now anyway.