May 1st, 1988
From the Springfield Civic Center in Springfield, MA. This show is also the debut of Mike McGuirk as the ring announcer, replacing Mel Phillips. Also, since “Saturday Night’s Main Event” took place at this same taping, all of the SNME banners and ring aprons are still up.
Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon
In action this week will be Rick Rude, Bam Bam Bigelow, and the Honky Tonk Man.
Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Oliver Humperdink vs. Iron Mike Sharpe
Bigelow shoves Humperdink into the corner as we hear an insert promo from Slick, warning Bigelow he will need “hospitalization insurance” if he ever fought the One Man Gang again. Back to the match as Sharpe misses a charge and Bigelow puts him away with a slingshot splash (1:43).
Thoughts: The Gang/Bigelow feud continues. Also continuing is the decreased push of Bigelow, who is being featured less and less at this time.
WWF Special Report with Lord Alfred Hayes. We hear from WWF President Jack Tunney as he declared the gear Bobby Heenan wore at WrestleMania IV illegal and he has to adhere to the same guidelines as other wrestlers. We are then shown a clip of Heenan pinning Koko B. Ware at WrestleMania IV and the post-match antics with Matilda on top of him. Heenan is then shown yelling about having a dog waiting to tear the flesh off of him when he wrestles.
Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Jose Luis Rivera
Rivera blocks a hiptoss and hits one of his own. Honky bails after getting hit with a slam then returns as Rivera works his arm. Honky attacks Rivera from behind after Hart provided a distraction. He the works over Rivera for a bit until putting him away with the Shake, Rattle, and Roll (2:02).
Thoughts: A quick win for Honky, whose IC Title seems to be in danger at this point. Well, at least that is the story they are going with.
Gene Okerlund is back in the Event Center. We hear from both Demolition and Strike Force as they hype up their match May 7th in Boston. We also hear from Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who knew when Andre was choking him he could use his trusty 2×4 and end up standing tall.
Bret Hart vs. Barry Horowitz
Hart hammers away on Horowitz. He hits a backbreaker then boots down Horowitz, who rolls outside for a breather. Hart slingshots him back in but Horowitz pokes his eye then stomps his back. Hart catches Horowitz with an inverted atomic drop as we get an insert promo from Bad News Brown, who promises to knock Hart upside his “marshmallow head.” Hart poses to the crowd after beating on Horowitz before hitting an elbow drop from the middle rope. He hits a slam and drops another elbow before raking his face. The announcers put over the Stu Hart dungeon and how rough that was as Hart puts Horowitz away with a piledriver (3:47).
Thoughts: Hart received cheers but was still using heel tactics in the ring, despite facing a heel wrestler. On commentary, they were starting to portray him as a face, even though he has not officially turned.
Okerlund is back in the Event Center. We hear from Ron Bass then JYD, who is absolutely pouring sweat while appearing to have lockjaw as he is obviously under the influence. Holy shit. We also hear Hercules cutting a promo on the Ultimate Warrior. According to the Honky Tonk Man in his shoot interview, Hercules told him that you will dread waking up in the morning knowing you will have to wrestle against the Ultimate Warrior.
Superstar Billy Graham plugs the WWF Ice Cream Bars.
Chris Duffy & Joe Milano vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers
Heenan is shocked over Rougeaus referring to themselves as “fabulous.” Milano quickly tags out as we get the Rougeaus in an insert promo as they talk about 15-20% of the audience boo them and they think that is due to Dino Bravo, because they are also from Montreal as they assure us they love America. Back to the match as the Rougeaus are in control then put Milano away with the Doomsday Device (1:32). After the match, they hit Duffy with the Rougeau Bomb.
Thoughts: While the comments from the Rougeaus come out of left field and seem manufactured (I’ve never heard them get booed at this point) it seemed clear they were positioning them for a heel turn as they came across as insincere and even attacked their opponent after winning the match. And I even think they tried to push the fact that Bravo was so hated we, the fans, would dislike anyone from the same country as him. They never did let up on that Bravo push in 1988.
Craig DeGeorge is on the interview platform with Virgil and Ted DiBiase, who yells about not being the champion. DiBiase then laughs at Savage for having Elizabeth as his inspiration while he has money and by getting the belt, he can get even more money as he always gets what he wants and will be the next champion. This was to show that a DiBiase/Savage feud is going to happen.
We are shown the full confrontation between Rick Rude and Jake Roberts from the 4/23/88 edition of WWF Superstars of Wrestling.
Okerlund is back in the Event Center. We hear from Heenan and Rude, who tell Roberts if he is not man enough to put his woman in place then he will do it for him. Roberts speaks now and tells Rude that he is not going to go away unscathed for what he did. Good promos by both.
Next week, we will see the Ultimate Warrior, Demolition and the Hercules vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Brutus Beefcake vs. Danny Davis matches from “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”
Final Thoughts: The show was fine. They continue to promote their top TV feuds and new pushes for Bret Hart and the Rougeau Brothers. Other than that, I have nothing else to add.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Wednesday: PWG Lemmy 1/2/16 @ noon EST
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Jacqueline @ noon EST
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/7/88 @ 2pm EST
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 5/8/88 @ noon EST
Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/14/88 @ noon EST
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 5/15/88 @ 8pm EST
Also, follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mrbayless1982