May 21, 1988
From the Entertainment Convention Center in Duluth, MN
Your hosts are Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Vince McMahon
This week, our featured bout will have Randy Savage against Virgil. Also in action will be Demolition, Don Muraco, Rick Rude, and Koko B. Ware.
Virgil w/ “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth
Good reaction for Savage here. Virgil shoves a distracted Savage but gets chased out of the ring after Savage grabbed the belt. Virgil sneak attacks Savage after DiBiase provided a distraction. Virgil uses some turnbuckle smashes and Irish whips as DiBiase lands a few cheap shots on Savage. Virgil hits a slam but misses a top rope splash as the fans go insane. Savage hits a flying double ax handle and a slam but again, DiBiase distracts him as he attempted to climb up top. Savage hops outside. He heads towards DiBiase, who grabs Elizabeth and uses her as a shield as that allows Virgil to attack him from behind. Back inside, Virgil hits a back elbow smash as the camera focuses on the worried look on Elizabeth’s face. DiBiase shows Elizabeth a wad of money and heads towards her but Savage comes off of the top to take out Virgil then clotheslines DiBiase. In the ring, Savage slams Virgil throat-first on the top rope before putting him away with the flying elbow drop (5:32). After the match, DiBiase runs in and attacks Savage. Virgil eventually gets up and holds Savage so DiBiase can cram a $100 in his mouth. DiBiase then charges for a clothesline but Savage ducks as Virgil gets decked. The fans go nuts as a bunch of wrestlers separate Savage and DiBiase. The heels backed off DiBiase and the faces, including Bret Hart, separated Savage. However, Savage sneaks away and runs on the apron and climbs up top to hit Virgil with a double ax handle as Savage is finally dragged outside.
Thoughts: The match itself was filled with a lot of smoke-and-mirrors and that made it okay. Virgil was absolutely horrible in the ring but this match was still entertaining enough and the post-match antics were fantastic as they have really kicked off the Savage/DiBiase feud.
Jim Evans vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/ Jimmy Hart
Valentine grounds Evans as Vince points out his shin guard. Jesse said he might be injured but Vince denies hearing such a thing. Valentine beats on Evans as Jesse puts over Valentine’s article in “WWF Magazine,” which points out how he is the master of the figure four leg lock. Back to the match as Hart yells at Valentine to use the figure four and he does as Evans immediately taps out and clutches his knees (2:16). After the match, Vince thinks that Valentine might be using the shin guard to his advantage.
Thoughts: They have now given Valentine a shinguard gimmick as Vince kept saying that he thinks it will work to his advantage when applying a figure four. Valentine had nothing else going on at this point so its something for him at least.
Steve Lombardi vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart
Lots of cheers for Bret. Right after the bell, Jimmy Hart runs out to cheer for Bret, who then yells at him to go back to the locker room as Jesse is in disbelief. Lombardi takes advantage as Jesse points out how Jimmy owns Bret’s partner. We get an insert promo from Jim Neidhart, stating that no one pushes around his partner and that Bad News is in trouble as Bret puts Lombardi away with a nasty piledriver (1:48).
Thoughts: Now, Bret is officially a face as he got rid of Jimmy Hart. Also, they made Neidhart appear as a face here too during his insert promo as he vows to stick up for his partner. Bret turning helps too as they needed to fill Steamboat’s void as the athletic, smooth-working babyface.
Gene Okerlund is in the Event Center hyping up the June 4th Boston Garden show. We hear from Rick Rude, running down Jake Roberts and his wife to hype that match. We also get Demolition and Mr. Fuji, hyping up their six-man tag against Strike Force and the Ultimate Warrior.
The Bolsheviks and Slick hype the WWF Ice Cream Bars. It was pretty funny, actually.
“The Rock” Don Muraco w/ Superstar Billy Graham vs. Billy Anderson
Muraco beats on Anderson as we get an insert promo from Graham, putting over Muraco’s physique. Muraco stays in control and quickly gets the win with a Tombstone (1:25).
Thoughts: Muraco was getting pushed as they emphasized his chemically-enhanced physique. My lord he was huge here.
Back in the Event Center, Okerlund runs down the 6/4/88 Boston Garden show. We hear from Jim Duggan as well as Bobby Heenan & Andre the Giant as they hype up their match. Bad News Brown and Bret Hart put over their 30 minute time-limit match. That was the result of their first run of matches ending in a draw after 20 minutes.
“Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Scott Casey
Rude hammers away after a break to start. Casey ducks a clothesline and gets nearfalls with a reverse rollup and a crossbody before Rude catches him with a powerslam. Rude crawls over to the ropes and blows kisses to the women then poses for them as they scream with delight before putting Casey away with the Rude Awakening (1:37). After the match, Rude and Heenan pick a lady out of the crowd as Jesse jokingly yells at Vince to stop raising his hand. Heenan then asks a blond girl in the crowd if she is not a harlot, like Jake Roberts’ wife then brings her into the ring. She is quite attractive, actually. Rude kisses her as she falls to the mat afterwards.
Thoughts: Rude wasn’t quite there yet in the ring but my god his character was awesome. He cut good promos and his taunting and overall heeling was top-notch stuff.
Craig DeGeorge welcomes Brutus Beefcake to the interview platform. Beefcake talks about cutting Jimmy Hart’s hair and cannot wait to do the same to Honky. Jimmy Hart comes out and yells as Beefcake is pissed but that allows the Honky Tonk Man to sneak up from behind and whack him with the guitar as that sent Beefcake off of the platform. Beefcake is shaking on the ground as Honky tells us this is the only way he knows how to tune up his guitar. Beefcake is helped up by agents Rene Goulet, Tony Garea, and Arnold Skaaland as we see Beefcake “bleeding” from the back of his head. Decent segment to heat up their feud, which really wasn’t all that over with this crowd. And the crowds were usually jacked for Beefcake at this time.
Demolition w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Buck Zumhoffe & Warren Bianchi
Zumhoffe is truly one of the most vile men ever involved in the wrestling business. Match starts with Demolition destroying Zumhoffe. Bianchi tags as Jesse reminds the kids not to try any of these moves as they are done by trained professionals. Bianchi gets beaten down briefly until Demolition puts him away with the Decapitation (1:47).
Thoughts: A quick squash to continue with the story that Demolition is unstoppable.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week’s subject is on Hulkamania as we see clips of him beating Boris Zhukov last week. This segment closes with Hayes telling us that Hulkamania is bigger than ever.
DeGeorge is in the locker room with Beefcake, who is screaming about the Honky Tonk Man and promises to tear him from limb to limb.
Koko B. Ware vs. Terry Gibbs
Koko uses his speed to his advantage as we get an insert promo from Heenan, telling Koko he has something in store for him. Gibbs get his knees up on a splash and heads up top but Koko slams him off then hits the Ghostbuster for the win (2:00).
Thoughts: A win for Koko really just to keep him on TV while he feuds with Heenan.
Okerlund is back in the Event Center for another plug of the 6/4/88 Boston Garden show. We hear from the Ultimate Warrior and Strike Force as they run down Demolition and Mr. Fuji. Jake Roberts cuts a promo on Rick Rude, mocking him for grabbing his wife and promises to take what he wants from him.
Next week in action will be Jake Roberts, Bad News Brown, Strike Force, Honky Tonk Man, Junkyard Dog, and the Jim Duggan vs. Hercules match from the 4/30/88 “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”
Final Thoughts: This was an action-packed show. The opening match was a hot angle, we saw Bret Hart tell off his manager, and the IC Title feud was kept strong. I have no complaints this week about the show.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Wednesday: EVOLVE 59
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Ken Anderson, Disc One
Friday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Ken Anderson, Disc Two
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 5/22/88
Monday: WWF Madison Square Garden 5/27/88
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/28/88