May 14, 1988
From the New Haven Coliseum in New Haven, CT
Your hosts are Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Vince McMahon
This week, Hulk Hogan will make an appearance as he goes up against Boris Zhkuov. Also in action is Ron Bass, Brutus Beefcake, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Chris Duffy
Man, the crowd is going mental for Duggan. He sends Duffy into the corner with an atomic drop to start. The announcers talk about Duggan’s feud with Andre the Giant as they come to the conclusion he has more guts than brains. The fans continue eat up all of Duggan’s antics as he catches Duffy with a slam before getting the win with a Three Point Stance (1:50).
Thoughts: Duggan remains wildly over with the fans as his feud with Andre the Giant continues.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week’s focus is Demolition and if they can be stopped. We hear from all the tag teams in the WWF as they believe they can be the ones to stop them. We then hear from Demolition as they talk about having Mr. Fuji in the corner and that helps make them the best in the world.
Carmine Surace vs. Bad News Brown
Bad News beats on Surace as Jesse puts over his article in the “WWF Magazine,” which highlights his toughness. He tosses Surace outside and roughs him up some more until the action heads back inside where Bad News puts him away with the Ghetto Blaster (1:41). After the match, Bad News slaps Surace around.
Thoughts: They are really starting to push the Bad News character. Its clear they have something planned for him in the future.
Bam Bam Bigelow w/ Oliver Humperdink vs. Barry Horowitz
Horowitz attacks Bigelow before the bell. He goes to work in the corner until Bigelow reverses a whip then hits a clothesline. We get an insert promo of Humperdink eating a WWF Ice Cream bar as Jesse makes fun of him for that then Bigelow hits a suplex before putting Horowitz away with a slingshot splash (1:45).
Thoughts: Again, no mention of the Bigelow/Gang feud as Bigelow continues to be treated like an afterthought.
The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers vs. Rick Gantner & Tony Leone
Vince puts over the “tag team coordination” of the Rougeaus. The match starts with the Rougeaus working over Gantner. We get an insert promo of the Rougeaus assuring the fans they are nothing like Dino Bravo and that they love the United States. Vince mentions how the fans have been booing the Rougeaus a bit and agrees with their sentiment that its because they are from Montreal, like Bravo. Back to the match as Leone is in and gets put away with the Rougeau Bomb (2:26). The Rougeaus then hit Gantner with the same move as that shocks Jesse.
Thoughts: The Rougeaus are acting more heelish with increased aggression and insincerity during their promos. And for the first time in their two years in the company are showing personality.
Woody Lee vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
This is certainly a pro-Beefcake crowd. He overpowers Lee and catches him with a powerslam. He maintains control then catches Lee with a sleeper for the win (2:13). After the match, Beefcake gives Lee a haircut.
Thoughts: The Beefer was over like mad with this crowd as they build him up for his feud against the Honky Tonk Man.
We see highlights from Rick Rude harassing the wife of Jake Roberts on the 4/23/88 edition of “Superstars of Wrestling.” Roberts ends up running out as the two brawl until they are finally separated.
Craig DeGeorge welcomes Bobby Heenan and Rick Rude to the interview platform. Rude tells him when he stood in the ring and took off her robe, she saw the gleam in the eyes of Jake’s wife and had to step out of the ring to give her the thrill of a lifetime. He then said that she was playing hard to get and just went along with her little game. After telling Jake that his woman wants him, Heenan invites a woman on stage and as Rude kisses her, Heenan tells Jake that his wife wishes she was in Rude’s arms. We then see a slo-mo replay of Rude kissing her, ending with a freeze frame shot of his backside to highlight his tights, that have hands across his butt. An excellent interview segment to get Rude over as a sleazy heel in his feud against Jake.
Boris Zhukov w/ Slick & Nikolai Volkoff vs. Hulk Hogan
The Bolsheviks attack Hogan as soon as he entered the ring. However, Hogan fights back and creams Zhukov with a clothesline. Zhukov fights back and chokes out Hogan on the mat as the crowd loudly chants for Hogan, who is now hulking up. He hammers away on Zhukov then hits the big boot and a slam before putting him away with a leg drop (1:59). After the match, Hogan grabs a hold of Slick and sends him out of the ring with an atomic drop. Hogan starts posing and that last for a bit until he starts waving the American flag.
Thoughts: The crowd was mental for Hogan here. According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, Hogan being here was a surprise as he was set to be filming “No Holds Barred” at this time. It was his last TV appearance until August.
“The Outlaw” Ron Bass vs. Bert Centeni
Vince is screaming about Hulkamania running wild more than ever before as Jesse says he is tired of hearing that. Bass beats on Centeni, who comes back with a pair of dropkicks. Bass comes back and knocks Centeni off of the top rope and to the floor. He rolls Centeni inside and puts him away with the Pedigree as Vince tells us that next week, Virgil will face Randy Savage (2:02). After the match, Bass chokes out Centeni with Miss Betsy.
Thoughts: A “cool down” match as the crowd was worn out after Hogan and it was the last match of the TV taping. However, the big news here was on commentary when the announcers let us know that Randy Savage was facing Virgil next week.
Final Thoughts: A decent show this week. Seeing Hogan wrestle on regular TV shows was a rarity and they are doing a great job with the Jake vs. Rude feud. Also, they continue to set up feuds post-WrestleMania and push new characters, which were desperately needed.
Here is my schedule for the next several days
Saturday: Ring of Honor Empire State Showdown 10/25/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 5/15/88
Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/21/88
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/22/88
Wednesday: EVOLVE 59
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Ken Anderson
Friday: WWF Madison Square Garden 5/27/88
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