WWF Superstars of Wrestling April 2nd, 1988

April 2, 1988

From the Winston-Salem Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, NC

Your announcers are Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Vince McMahon

This week, the “Undisputed WWF Champion” Randy Savage will be here. In action will be Andre the Giant, Don Muraco, Bad News Brown, and Rick Rude. At the time in the “Wrestling Observer Newsletter,” Dave Meltzer noted that the WWF wanted to refer to Savage as the Undisputed Champion rather than the Heavyweight Champion.


The show starts with a video highlight package of Randy Savage’s WrestleMania IV Tournament run. It was about nine minutes long. Based on what they showed, you would have thought the show was awesome and had a hot crowd. Regardless, this was a great way to put over Savage as the champion.



“Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Eric Cooper

Rude targets the back of Cooper as we get an insert promo from Heenan, telling us that next week women will line up in the ring for a chance to get a kiss from Rude. Back to the match as Rude hits a fist drop from the top rope before putting Cooper away with the Rude Awakening (1:52).

Thoughts: A quick win for Rude, who will now have a new gimmick of picking out ladies from the crowd to kiss.



Gene Okerlund is now in the “WWF Event Center.” This is the same exact set he used for “WWF Update.” Anyway, Okerlund lets us know we will be hearing about what went on at WrestleMania IV throughout the show. We get comments from both Hercules and the Ultimate Warrior before their match at WrestleMania IV. They’ve really done a great job at showing what happened at WrestleMania for those who did not get to see the show.



WrestleMania IV Report with Gene Okerlund. This was filmed at Trump Plaza I presume as it featured the same backstage set. We see that Demolition defeated Strike Force for the Tag Team Titles. We also saw how Andre the Giant tripped then punched Jim Duggan, which cost Duggan the match. Duggan is shown in an interview pissed off at Andre and wants revenge.



“The Rock” Don Muraco w/ Superstar Billy Graham vs. George Petraski

Muraco takes control early. He dodges a corner splash then hits a powerslam as the announcers put over Savage’s title win. We then get an insert promo from Vanna White, who said she had a great time at WrestleMania IV as Jesse said he had an “X-rated” Saturday night with her as Vince said Vanna is too much of a lady to do that as Muraco hits the Tombstone for the win (1:49).

Thoughts: They are re-establishing the Muraco/Graham relationship now. A lot of the commentary was regarding Vanna White though, which doesnt bode to well for the Rock. Muraco himself said that he never wanted to be a babyface and that the “rock” nickname was given to him by Pat Patterson as a rib.



Craig DeGeorge is on the interview platform with the Bolsheviks and Slick, who puts over his team for being the finest athletes in Russia, who won more medals than any other country at the Olympics. The Bolsheviks close by singing the Russian National Anthem. Just a lousy team using cheap heel heat tactics.



Bad News Brown vs. Phil Newkirk

Brown attacks Newkirk before the bell. The announcers put over the fact that he won the WrestleMania IV Battle Royal as he stays in control. We get an insert promo from Bret Hart, who promises to get even with Bad News after getting screwed out of winning the Battle Royal. The announcers put over a Bad News/Bret match as Bad News gets the win with an enziguiri (2:06). After the match, Newkirk gets slapped around.

Thoughts: The announcers put over Bad News a lot here. They also hyped up a potential feud with Bret Hart, which was odd to see as both guys were heels and that was a rarity in 80’s WWF.



The address to write letters inquiring about WWF Fundraisers flashes on the screen.



Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Oliver Humperdink vs. Conquistador #1

Bigelow cartwheels over the Conquistador and hits a dropkick. We get an insert promo from Bob Uecker, claiming that WrestleMania IV was even bigger than WrestleMania III or any other sporting event. Jesse tells Vince that he is just like Uecker while he wants Jesse to apologize for his comments about Vanna then Bigelow gets the win with a slingshot splash (1:26). After the match, Jesse apologizes to Vanna then laughs as Vince asks him why he’s blowing kisses.

Thoughts: This was taped before Bigelow’s knee injury so he was moving around fine here. However, he was barely pushed on commentary and nothing at all about his WrestleMania match or past involvements with the One Man Gang were even mentioned.



Okerlund is back in the Event Center. We get to hear from Demolition and Mr. Fuji gloat over their title win at WrestleMania IV. We also get comments from Strike Force, pissed off at Mr. Fuji cheating by allowing his cane to be used and vowing to regain the belts.



Andre the Giant vs. Brian Costello

Andre headbutts Costello twice before tossing him outside before the bell. All of a sudden, Hacksaw Jim Duggan runs out to the ring, holding his 2×4, and confronts Andre. He tells him that he’s not afraid of him and that he wants a match. Andre turns around and laughs then chokes out Duggan, who drops to one knee. Andre then chokes him out with his singlet strap and starts to hit him with headbutts. Duggan is then able to pick up his 2×4 and whacks Andre on the head as they both fall down. Duggan is able to unhook himself from Andre’s strap as the fans go nuts while Vince said its the first time Andre has been knocked out while Duggan poses with his 2X4 while bleeding from his lip. The match was a no-contest.

Thoughts: This was a tremendous segment. Duggan himself said this made him an instant main-event guy (he went on to main event house shows against Andre throughout the Spring). With Hogan gone for a few months, the company had to push and elevate talents in the case of Duggan. Andre being laid out on the mat like that had never been seen before. Also, Duggan said that the reason he was bleeding was due to the fact that Andre accidentally jabbed his thumb into his lip.



Okerlund is back in the Event Center. We get comments from Ted DiBiase, who promises he will be the WWF Champion. Savage tells DiBiase he is a spoiled brat and challenges him to try and take away the belt. Savage also put over Elizabeth strongly here. Its clear these two will be feuding going forward.



We get a replay of Duggan hitting Andre with a 2×4. Jesse rants about Duggan using a weapon. They cut back to the ring as several officials tend to Andre, who finally gets up. Andre then starts swinging and cleans house, even decking the camera man. We saw agents such as Bruce Prichard, Tony Garea, and Jerry Brisco here. Andre clears the ring, even stepping on the head of some medical staff member as he was getting pulled out of the ring. This really was one hell of an angle. Andre legitimately looked like he was going to kill someone. The spot where the medical guy was pulled to safety just at the nick of time was impressive.



In action next week will be the Islanders, Strike Force, One Man Gang, Ultimate Warrior, Ted DiBiase, and the Junkyard Dog.



Final Thoughts: The angle to close the show was just incredible. It was really something else. Besides that, a majority of the show recapped what happened at WrestleMania IV, including some highlights. I give credit to the WWF for making this a lot more exciting than it was. They also teased a Bad News/Bret feud and gave Rude a new gimmick as the company can now start building up feuds and other guys now that the tournament is over with. No Savage this week in any live appearances and that would continue for another three episodes as the next batch from the new tapings (this particular show was the last episode of the taping cycle) also took place prior to WrestleMania IV.


Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/3/88 @8pm EST

Wednesday: PWG All Star Weekend XI, Night One @ 11am EST

Thursday: Highspots Developmentally Speaking Shoot Interview (Kenny Omega, Sami Callihan, and Kevin Matthews) @noon EST

Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 4/9/88 @3pm EST

Saturday: PWG All Star Weekend XI, Night Two @noon EST

Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/10/88 @8pm EST


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