WWF Superstars of Wrestling April 23rd, 1988

April 23, 1988

From the Show-Me Center in Cape Girardeau, MO

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

 

 

Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Chris Curtis

Curtis attempts to attack Jake from behind but is sent into the corner. Curtis boots Jake after he ducked his head but misses an elbow drop as Jake takes control. The announcer talk about the Rick Rude and how he will be here tonight looking for another woman to give the Rude Awakening. Jake works a chinlock then after that signals for the DDT and gets the win (2:02). After the match, Jake dumps Damien on top of Curtis as Vince is excited and disgusted.

Thoughts: The fans loved Jake and they briefly teased some tension between Rude and himself. Also on commentary, they certainly foreshadowed what we saw at the end of the show.

 

 

WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week’s subject is Hulk Hogan and is “warmth and his engaging personality” as he talks up the Hulkster after he won the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award for Male Athlete of the Year. We then hear from Hogan himself, assuring the Hulkamaniacs he will never let them down.

 

 

Outback Jack vs. “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil

DiBiase attacks Jack before the bell. Jack comes back with a clothesline and fires away but  ends up eating boot on a charge. DiBiase takes control as Jesse puts over his wrestling ability. The announcers talk about DiBiase’s article in “WWF Magazine” where he talks about wanting to change the WWF rulebook as DiBiase hits the Million Dollar Dream for the win (2:10). After the match, Jack gets a $100 bill stuffed in his mouth courtesy of DiBiase as we get a slo-mo replay of that.

Thoughts: The story here is that DiBiase is the #1 contender to Savage’s WWF Championship. At this point and time, DiBiase was in the zone as a worker.

 

 

Gene Okerlund is in the Event Center, sporting the new WWF hat as he showcases all the ways it can be worn. We hear from both the British Bulldogs and the Islanders with Bobby Heenan as they hype up their feud. Dynamite looked high as a kite here as he was barely able to keep his eyes open. This feud needs to end.

 

 

“Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. “The Outlaw” Ron Bass

Poffo’s prematch promo was about the Junkyard Dog getting revenge on Bass. The match starts with Bass beating on Poffo, who fights back. Bass takes a breather in the corner as Poffo takes him down with an armdrag. We hear from JYD in an insert talking about telling Bass he is going down as Bass is now in control of the match. The announcers talk about “Miss Betsy” and whether or not it should be outlawed as Jesse brings up how Vince does not have a problem with Duggan’s 2×4 as Bass gets the win with a gourdbuster (2:15).

Thoughts: The JYD/Bass feud continues as this segment continued in getting over Bass and his Miss Betsy gimmick. In fact, this whole show featured guys who had a post-match gimmick.

 

 

Okerlund is back at the Event Center as we see the same dueling promos from Bret Hart and Bad News Brown as we did on the 4/17/88 edition of “Wrestling Challenge.”

 

 

Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. Bob Bryant

Beefcake beats on Bryant as the fans approve. We hear an insert promo from Beefcake, warning the Honky Tonk Man he will not be so lucky next time and he will lose more hair than his manager as shortly after that, Beefcake puts Bryant away with a sleeper (1:49). After the match, Beefcake gives Bryant a haircut.

Thoughts: The Beefcake/Honky feud continues to heat up post-WrestleMania IV.

 

Craig DeGeorge welcomes Hacksaw Jim Duggan to the interview platform. Duggan tells us all he does not fear Andre, who he calls “small” in his eyes as we see a replay of him hitting Andre with his 2×4 while being choked out. They’ve done a great job building up the Andre/Duggan feud.

 

 

Jake Milliman vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan

The announcers make fun of Milliman’s haircut as Rude beats him down. Jesse refers to the resident of Cape Girardeau as “hammers” while Rude maintains control of the match. Rude keeps posing after each move as we see insert promos from women talking about wanting a chance to get the Rude Awakening as they gloat over his body then puts Milliman away with the Rude Awakening (1:43). After the match, Heenan and Rude search for a woman to give the Rude Awakening. Funny moment as Heenan tells a guy in the crowd “no way buddy” as Jesse wonders if “Patterson is in the building” as Vince plays dumb. We then see the camera shoot a lady in the crowd from behind as two kids are pointing at her to get selected. Rude selects her and we see her hang her head down and does not get up as the announcers play it up as her being embarrassed. Rude demands his music get cut off as he puts her over while Heenan says she is playing hard to get. Rude puts over her legs as he heads over the guardrail. She then tells Rude about not being there to see him as he’s in disbelief. Rude then asks her if he is the sexiest man in the WWF as she also says no to that. Rude then wants to know who she is here to see as she sad her husband, which Heenan jokes is one of the ushers. Rude then asks what her husband does as she tells him he is a professional wrestler and when Rude asks who that is she replies that he is Jake Roberts, as he is in disbelief. Rude then changes his tone and yells about how Jake is a piece of garbage and for her to hang with him makes her a lowlife as well. Rude then says her whole family is also garbage and gets slapped, prompting him to grab her then Jake runs down to break it up. Rude stomps Jake as officials run down to break it up but Jake goes after Rude and they brawl in the aisle. Several jobbers run down to break it up as Jesse blames Jake’s wife for letting this happen.

Thoughts: This was a great way to kick off the Roberts/Rude feud. The whole segment was superb, from Rude speaking to Jake’s wife and even Heenan making his comments throughout. And I give credit to Jake’s wife as she held up well in her role. I really loved the pull apart at the end as those were not all that often on WWF TV. With the Duggan/Andre feud and now this, they have kickstarted two major TV feuds with great angles.

 

 

Okerlund is back at the Event Center. We hear from the Honky Tonk Man as he calls him the greatest Intercontinental Champion and entertainer of all-time. He then tells Brutus Beefcake just because he cut Hart’s hair doesnt mean he will touch is as Okerlund tells us Hart will be banned from ringside for their matches. Now, we hear from Bobby Heenan and Andre the Giant, referring to Duggan as “cross-eyed” that this time it will be his turn to go down.

 

 

Final Thoughts: A fun show this week. We saw a great angle to kick off a feud and all of the segments had purposes. They are setting up the company with feuds now that WrestleMania IV ended and they do not have to waste time promoting the tournament every minute of TV.

 

Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/24/88

Thursday: YouShoot with Bob Holly

Friday: WWF Madison Square Garden 4/25/88

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 4/30/88