March 19, 1988
From the Winston-Salem Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, NC
Your announcers are Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Vince McMahon
This week, we will hear from Hulk Hogan. In action will be Ted DiBiase, Strike Force, Honky Tonk Man, and Ricky Steamboat
Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Jim Evans
The announcers talk about the possibility of Honky losing the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania. Honky taunts Evans as we get an insert promo from Brutus Beefcake, telling us that Honky will be singing the blues when he takes away the Intercontinental Title. Back to the match as Honky hits a clothesline then puts Evans away with the Shake, Rattle, and Roll (1:31). After the match, Honky demands that his music get turned back on then we see Beefcake on the interview platform, telling Honky he turned off his music and is just one week away from taking his title and cutting his hair.
Thoughts: They are accelerating this feud and in the process, really putting over Beefcake strong as a contender. Besides Hogan/Andre, this is probably the hottest feud in the company.
WWF Update with Craig DeGeorge. He runs down the WrestleMania IV card as we get some brief promos of the competitors. We also get Robin Leach, from “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame, telling us he will be there to present the WWF World Heavyweight Title to the winner of the Tournament. I mean there is only so much of the same tournament hype you can take.
John Ziegler & Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Strike Force
Jesse gets a dig in at Sharpe’s reported OCD, saying others call him a dirty wrestler but he knows that Sharpe showers 3-4 times a day. Strike Force start off the match working the arm of Sharpe as we hear from Demolition, referring to themselves as “monsters” and that they will get the Tag Team Titles. The announcers talk about the Tag Title match at WrestleMania. Ziegler tags in and shortly after that Santana puts him away with a flying forearm (2:28). After the match, Jesse wants to know if Santana learned that move in the “Mexican Football League.”
Thoughts: The story here is that Strike Force, despite being the champions, are underdogs as most do not think they will be able to overcome the power of Demolition.
Gene Okerlund is with Virgil, Andre the Giant, and Ted DiBiase, who will be facing Jim Duggan at WrestleMania IV. DiBiase tells Duggan he is a buffoon who is standing in his way of the WWF World Heavyweight Title. Andre then tells Hogan he will not make it past the second round of the Tournament and is a loser who will remain ex-champion.
Vanna White tells us all she will be at WrestleMania IV.
Koko B. Ware w/ British Bulldogs vs. Pete Sanchez
The Bulldogs are at ringside to protect Koko’s bird, Frankie. Sanchez almost kills himself while getting backdropped as the announcers talk about the six-man tag at WrestleMania IV. Koko hits a missile dropkick then finishes off Sanchez with the Ghostbuster (1:51).
Thoughts: Quick match to give Koko a win heading into WrestleMania.
Okerlund is the Islanders and Bobby Heenan, saying that having Matilda and Frankie at ringside puts them at a disadvantage. We then get a clip of Heenan trying to kidnap Frankie as Heenan tells us there is no place for animals or women in a wrestling ring.
Jake Roberts is with Bob Uecker, instructing him how to hold Damien. Uecker tries his best not to look scared but fails. Once again, Uecker was a total pro here. A fun, harmless comedy segment to promote WrestleMania.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Dave Wagner
Wagner attacks Steamboat to start. Steamboat fights back as we get an insert promo from Jimmy Hart and Greg Valentine, who states he will beat Steamboat in their first-round match. Steamboat hits a diving chop then puts Wagner away with a flying body press (1:28).
Thoughts: This is Steamboat’s first TV squash match in a few months. He’s been featured less than any other competitor in the WWF World Heavyweight Title Tournament too. He’ll be gone soon enough.
Rick Hunter vs. One Man Gang w/ Slick
Gang destroys Hunter as we get an insert prom from Bam Bam Bigelow, telling Gang he is going down at WrestleMania. Vince tells us we can only see WrestleMania on Closed-Circuit TV or on Pay-Per View as Gang gets the win with a front suplex (1:19).
Thoughts: Besides facing off in the first round, Gang and Bigelow have been teasing a feud as well, making their WrestleMania match a bit more interesting.
DeGeorge is on the interview platform with Hulk Hogan and asks him about the “status of Hulkamania.” Hogan tells us it is stronger than ever and knew how Andre was paid off but then saw it in the referee’s eyes and sees the truth, which is Andre never beat him and that DiBiase does not have a chance as the little Hulksters will grow up to eat their vitamins and say the prayers so when they grow up, Hulkamania will live forever. The crowd dug Hogan’s tangent.
WrestleMania IV Report with Gene Okerlund. We get a clip of Gladys Knight and the Pips signing as they will be singing “America the Beautiful.” After that, Okerlund runs down the other celebrities and matches on the card.
“Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase w/ Andre the Giant & Virgil vs. Scott Casey
DiBiase gets the best of Casey as Jesse taunts Vince about not being able to see the show since Gorilla Monsoon is doing commentary and he does not have a ticket, because the event is sold out. Casey hits a pair of slams as Duggan is shown in an insert promo telling DiBiase he is looking for him. DiBiase fights back and takes Casey down with a clothesline. He then hits a slam before putting him away with a back elbow drop from the middle rope (2:12). After the match, DiBiase stuffs a $100 bill in Casey’s mouth, I believe for the first time on TV. Vince was disgusted by this.
Thoughts: Decent action while it lasted. Pissed off DiBiase was fun to watch in the ring at this time. Jesse was funny on commentary in teasing Vince too.
DeGeorge is with Jimmy Hart and the Honky Tonk Man, who calls Beefcake out and says that he will never cut his hair or take his Intercontinental Title.
In action next week will be Jim Duggan, Demolition, British Bulldogs & Koko B. Ware, and Randy Savage. Plus, an interview with Andre the Giant and more.
Final Thoughts: Like the past month or shows, its all WrestleMania IV type. Some of it is getting tiresome but the show is just eight days away then after that we can get back to actual feuds on TV.