March 27, 1988
From the Viking Hall in Bristol, TN
Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon
In action this week will be Rick Rude, Brutus Beefcake, Jim Duggan, and Strike Force. Plus, an interview with Hulk Hogan and the WrestleMania IV Special Report.
Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. Dave Wagner
Beefcake struts around after knocking Wagner down. We get an insert promo from Jimmy Hart and the Honky Tonk Man, who tells Beefcake he will never touch his hair. Back inside, Beefcake uses a boot scrape then signals for the sleeper and locks that on for the win (2:33). After the match, Beefcake gives Wagner a haircut.
Thoughts: They are revolving the Beefcake/Honky feud around Honky’s hair. Sounds ridiculous but Beefcake was really over and the fans dug his gimmick.
“Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan
Gorilla is now solo in the booth. Poffo’s pre-match promo was about WrestleMania IV. Rude no-sells a few punches to his abs then Poffo decided to just hit him in the face, which Rude sells. Rude catches Poffo with a knee then follows that with a fist drop from the top rope. Rude starts gyrating as we get an insert promo from Jake Roberts, who tells Rude that there is no “body contest” at WrestleMania then right after that Rude hits the Rude Awakening for the win (1:35).
Thoughts: Just a win to give Rude momentum heading into WrestleMania IV.
Gene Okerlund is with Koko B. Ware and the British Bulldogs. They cut a generic promo hyping their match at WrestleMania against Heenan and the Islanders then we get a brief music video on the saga of Matilda.
Terry Gibbs & Barry Horowitz vs. Strike Force
Gorilla is still solo on commentary. Strike Force starts by working the arm of Gibbs. Demolition cuts an insert promo telling Strike Force at WrestleMania they are going to have a war and its not going to be long. The heels work of Martel until he dodges a charge and catches Horowitz with a hiptoss. Gibbs is in and lands a few shots as the crowd rallies loudly behind Tito, who fights back and makes the tag. Martel runs wild briefly then tags Tito back in as he puts Gibbs away with the flying forearm (2:43).
Thoughts: Strike Force was really over with this crowd, who probably were not happy with the result of their WrestleMania IV match.
Okerlund is with the Islanders and Heenan, who is upset over Matilda getting a sentimental video package earlier in the show because he is nothing but an attack dog and warns what will happen if Matilda or even Frankie attacks him.
“The Rock” Don Muraco w/ Superstar Billy Graham vs. Bill Newkirk
Heenan is back on commentary. He suggests that the only reason Superstar and Muraco are together is due to the fact no one else can stand them. Muraco takes control early as Gorilla puts over Muraco for saving Graham from Butch Reed and the One Man Gang. We get a promo from Frenchy Martin and Dino Bravo, who tells Muraco that no one is going to stop him when they face each other at WrestleMania. Back to the match as Muraco signals for the tombstone and hits that for the win (1:35).
Thoughts: A win for Muraco heading into WrestleMania as they also hype up his match against Dino Bravo
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Brady Boone
Boone dodges a charge in the corner then does a pair of backflips. Valentine is not amused as he clotheslines Boone, who sells with a 360. Ricky Steamboat cuts a lame promo about Valentine “stepping into his lair” at WrestleMania as Valentine hits a suplex. The announcers argue about who will win the tournament at WrestleMania IV as Valentine stays in control of the match. He hits Boone with a forearm from the top then puts him away with the figure-four leg lock (3:22).
Thoughts: They finally hyped up the Valentine/Steamboat match, which has easily been the least hyped out of the entire first-round.
DeGeorge welcomes Hulk Hogan to the interview platform. Hogan tells Ted DiBiase the one thing he cannot buy is destiny. Hogan talks about saying his prayers and taking his vitamins while putting over how he slammed Andre and will do it again so hard we will feel it up and down the coast. He ends the interview with posing.
The same WrestleMania IV report from the 3/26/88 edition of WWF Superstars of Wrestling airs.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Brian Costello
Costello attempts to attacks Duggan from behind but that fails. Duggan hits a slam as Heenan makes fun of Duggan, asking Gorilla if he would let him “do his taxes.” We get an insert promo from Duggan, telling DiBiase not to overlook him in the tournament. Back to the match as Duggan roughs up Costello before getting the win with his Three Point Stance (1:42).
Thoughts: They are putting Duggan over as a serious threat to DiBiase. They’ve actually done fine in that regard.
DeGeorge is with DiBiase, Virgil, and Andre the Giant. They all talk about Hogan and how he will not leave WrestleMania IV as the champ.
In action next week will be the Junkyard Dog, Ron Bass, and King Harley Race. Plus, the results from WrestleMania IV and an interview with Don Muraco and Superstar Billy Graham.
Final Thoughts: Finally, the end of all the WrestleMania IV hype. This show aired the day of the event. At this point, they hyped up everything ad nausem and I’m just ready for the PPV to happen.