WWF Madison Square Garden – May 27th, 1988

May 27, 1988

From Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY

Your hosts are Rodger Kent and Superstar Billy Graham



S.D. Jones vs. The Conquistador

The Conquistador is Jose Luis Rivera and Graham thinks he might be from El Salvador. Jones hits a few hip tosses and a slam as the Conquistador retreats to the corner. The announcers are trying to put over Jones’ physique as something great as Graham claims he can bench press 500 lbs. The Conquistador breaks up an arm wringer with a clothesline then starts hammering away on the back. Jones fights back then catches the Conquistador with an atomic drop. Jones lays in a few shots but ducks his head and gets kicked in the face. The Conquistador now works a headlock but Jones picks him up and places him on top. However, the Conquistador rakes the eyes and comes off the top with a forearm smash. He now chokes out Jones, who fights back after blocking a kick. Jones tries to untie the mask then takes him down with a headbutt. He keeps going back to the mask while mixing in a few headbutts then hits a crossbody but the Conquistador rolls through and grabs a hold of the trunks for the win (9:13) *.

Thoughts: A boring, basic match. The end with Jones trying to unmask the Conquistador got old and no reaction from the crowd.



Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. George “The Animal” Steele

Steele attacks Valentine then bites him in the corner. The announcers put over Valentine’s shin guard as they do not buy his excuse of injured ligaments. Valentine beats a distracted Steele until Steele bites him on the thigh. Steele now tries to yank off the shin guard as Valentine starts booting him. He chokes out Steele with his boot then lands some clubbing forearms to the neck. Steele fights back with some of the weakest punches I have ever seen then starts biting Valentine’s wrist. Steele then pulls out a foreign object and hammers away on Valentine then shows the object to the crowd. Steele tries to yank off the shin guard but Valentine hammers away. He works a nerve hold in the corner then softens up the leg. Steele fights off Valentine then goes outside and grabs the hammer from the timekeeper and chases Valentine away then pushes the referee, who calls for the DQ (5:56) 1/2*.

Thoughts: Really just your typical Steele match but these two did not have much chemistry at all together. Steele was just about out of wrestling at this point as he’d leave the company a few months later.



Fabulous Rougeau Brothers vs. Young Stallions

The Rougeaus were booed here as they waved tiny American Flags. Powers and Raymond start things off with a nice reversal sequence that ends with Powers blocking a reverse rollup. They shake hands after that then Powers ends up getting shoved outside while attempting a reverse rollup himself. Roma and Jacques tags in as Jacques quickly lands a small package before going over to tap Powers on the shoulder. Roma comes back to take Raymond down with a monkey flip as Raymond eventually gets up and congratulates him. Roma gets taken down as the Rougeaus now work the leg as they are starting to show more aggression. Roma comes back with a drop toehold then tags out as Powers works the leg of Jacques. The Young Stallions work over the of Raymond then Roma works a Boston Crab. Raymond grabs the ropes then takes Roma down before tagging out. Jacques now has Roma in a Boston Crab in the middle of the ring. After a minute or two, Roma counters with a rollup. Raymond makes a blind tag and nails Roma with a forearm to the back from behind as the Rougeaus are now cutting off the ring. Roma gets his knees up on a splash then makes the tag. Powers clotheslines Jacques then hits a backdrop before applying a sleeper. Raymond runs in to break that up then does the same when Powers hits a powerslam. Roma runs in as the match breaks down. Powers hits a small package but Raymond reverses it behind the referee’s back and that gets the win (14:26) **1/4. After the match, the Rougeaus attempt to shake hands but get blown off.

Thoughts: An okay match. Both teams looked decent. The crowd was not in favor of the Rougeaus, who were getting a push before officially turning heel. The beginning was slow but once they established the Rougeaus as the “heel” team, the action picked up.



One Man Gang vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake

Beefcake fires away after a series of lockups. Gang is staggered then falls into the ropes as Beefcake hammers away again, this time with the crowd counting along. He then uses ten turnbuckle smashes in the corner before working the arm. Gang finally fights back and puts Beefcake in a bearhug. Gang then targets the back before going back to the bearhug. Beefcake almost fights out but that is stopped with a thumb to the eye as Gang once again targets the back. He heads up top for the 747 splash but Beefcake rolls out of the way. Beefcake is fired up as he eventually takes Gang down with a high knee. Beefcake jumps on Gang’s back and applies a sleeper. Gang walks over to the ropes as they both spill outside as the match ends in a double count out (10:20) *3/4. After the match, they fight in the ring as Beefcake then runs out to grab his scissors and tries to cut some hair but the referee steps in between. Beefcake managed to take off a little snip in the process as the Gang angrily heads up the aisle.

Thoughts: Decent enough, especially considering the competitors. It was slower paced but it had heat and it was built up well enough. The finish also protected both guys.



Haku & High Chief Afi & Bobby Heenan vs. Koko B. Ware & British Bulldogs

Afi replaced Tama, who was fired for repeatedly no-showing dates. Heenan stalls as Koko is in the ring, looking for revenge. Koko gets tired and lays on the mat waiting for Heenan to come over. Heenan circles then yells at the crowd as Koko gets up and fires away. Heenan bounces off of the turnbuckles after Koko shot him into the corner then ducks outside for a break. Dynamite and Afi tag in then after that the Bulldogs take control. Koko now works over the arm of Haku, who fights back. Haku and Koko battle in the corner then Koko hits a crossbody for two. The camera focuses on Heenan playing with the tag rope and shortly after that, Haku catches Dynamite with a backbreaker. The heels beat on Dynamite for a while until he fights back and is able to tag out. Koko runs wild and puts Afi in an abdominal stretch. Heenan breaks that up and the match breaks down as Heenan whacks Koko with a foriegn object then covers for the win (14:10) *.

Thoughts: I thought this was terrible. The match felt like it would never end. There was no heat and Afi was not over in the slightest. Even the babyfaces when on offense showed little fire.



Jerry Allen vs. Iron Mike Sharpe

Sharpe stalls on the apron as Kent compares Allen to a “golfer that concentrates on a putt.” What the fuck? Allen dodges a dropkick then Sharpe rolls back outside and continues to stall. Allen slingshots him back inside as Sharpe barely made it over. Allen hits an atomic drop but runs into a knee. Sharpe hammers away on the back then taunts the crowd.  Allen fights back and they go back-and-forth for a bit until Allen takes control. Allen hits a dropkick then a hip toss. Slam gets two. Sharpe is able to duck a crossbody then gets the win with an elbow drop (6:26) DUD.

Thoughts: This match was absolute garbage. The crowd was not into it at all and why should they be given the participants. It had no business being on an MSG card.



Bobby Heenan is in the ring and said since he is 2-0, he will sign a contract to fight anyone and does not care as he is now officially out of retirement.



WWF World Heavyweight Title Match: “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (c) w/ Elizabeth

Savage immediately attacks DiBiase. His cape is still on as he flies off of the top with a double axe handle. DiBiase gets dumped outside while the crowd goes nuts. Back inside, Savage catches DiBiase with an atomic drop before taking him out with a clothesline. Savage follows out and chases DiBiase around until he gets caught coming back inside. DiBiase then dumps Savage outside as Elizabeth checks in on him while DiBiase wipes the blood off of his nose. Savage rolls back inside as DiBiase stomps away as his nose is all bloodied. DiBiase continues to beat on Savage then hits a piledriver but Savage is able to kick out. DiBiase heads up top but Savage drills him in the gut as both men are down. Savage is up first and fires away. DiBiase begs for mercy but Savage boots him in the chest. He then works over DiBiase in the corner before snapping his neck off of the top rope. DiBiase takes Savage outside by using his momentum. DiBiase is back in control as he clotheslines Savage. He almost puts Savage away then the referee orders Elizabeth off of the apron as Savage sends DiBiase into the corner. Savage covers but Virgil breaks up the pin. Savage flips him over then hammers away until DiBiase attacks him from behind as the referee calls for the bell (11:55) ***1/4. Savage gets booted to the floor as DiBiase is screaming. Savage then grabs his belt and chases them off and after that he gets his hand raised and poses on the top rope. Savage then puts Elizabeth on his shoulder but DiBiase and Virgil attack Savage from behind. A few officials run out to separate things then Savage gets up and runs backstage.

Thoughts: Good match with a hot angle afterwards. These two had great chemistry together and this was no exception. And as we saw later on, the finish was done to set up the main event for the next MSG show.



Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart vs. Don “The Rock” Muraco w/ Superstar Billy Graham

Lord Alfred Hayes has replaced Graham on commentary. The match starts off with these two slugging it out. They try to knock each other off their feet then trade some power stuff. Muraco hits a crossbody then a dropkick that sends Neidhart into the corner as these two seem blown up. To be fair, they were going at a fast pace for them. Neidhart charges at Muraco in the corner, who counters with a sunset flip but Neidhart holds on to the ropes then sits on Muraco’s chest and grabs a hold of the trunks for the win (6:22) *. That finish was god-awful as Muraco lifted up for Neidhart to grab hold of the trunks during the count. After the match, Muraco goes after Neidhart as Graham complains to the referee.

Thoughts: These two went all out for the first few minutes but were gassed after that and the match completely fell apart. The finish was embarrassing on many levels too. Neidhart was still a heel at this point, despite his partner getting pushed as a face.



Dino Bravo w/ Frenchy Martin vs. Ken Patera

Patera hits Bravo with a backdrop then slams him as Bravo then rolls outside. Back inside, Patera catches Bravo with a back elbow smash then monkey flips him out of the corner. Bravo gets dumped outside again as the crowd does not care at all. Bravo retreats halfway up the aisle then finally heads back into the ring. Patera continues to destroy Bravo until ramming his shoulder into the post after a charge. Bravo hits a piledriver then poses to the crowd. Bravo works a nerve hold then dumps Patera outside, where Frenchy hits him. Patera heads back in and wins a slugfest, and a pathetic one at that, then slams him down. Patera gets a few nearfalls then signals for the full nelson but breaks when Frenchy jumps up on the apron then Bravo hits the side slam for the win (7:15) 1/2*.

Thoughts: Another bad match tonight. This feud never clicked and the fans really did not seem to care at all about either guy. And the distraction finish assures we will see them face off again.



Finkel tells us about the next show, on June 25th. Matches include Scott Casey vs. Big Boss Man (who had yet to debut on TV), Conquistadors vs. Fabulous Rougeau Brothers, Danny Davis vs. Don Muraco, Greg Valentine vs. George Steele in a No-DQ Match, Bad News Brown vs. Jim Neidhart, One Man Gang vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Andre the Giant vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, Bobby Heenan vs. Ultimate Warrior in a Weasel Suit Match, and Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase in a Steel Cage Match for the WWF Title. After Heenan was announced as facing the Ultimate Warrior, he comes storming out and tells us they cannot tell him who he faces and when he laid out the challenge, it was under his discretion. The crowd starts up a weasel chant then he leaves.



“The Outlaw” Ron Bass vs. Junkyard Dog

Bass attacks JYD as he entered the ring. JYD fights back and uses his chain, something Graham does not think is legal. He hangs Bass over the top rope then lets go as Bass yells at him to head outside. They head inside where JYD headbutts Bass then backs him into the corner with his crawling headbutts. Graham talks about all of the stuff JYD likes to headbutt while Kent thinks his head looks like a “Hub cap that hit the curb too many times.” Kent should be called Captain Analogy this point. They work a test of strength and that ends with more headbutts from JYD. Bass ducks outside and JYD tries to bring him up but Bass snaps his neck then beats down JYD. He works a surfboard then gets two with a clothesline. Bass now works a chinlock as you can actually see hoards of people in the crowd leaving. JYD fights out but runs into a clothesline. Bass hits a slam but JYD rolls through and ends up getting the win (8:15) 1/2*. This finishing looked just as embarrassing as the one in the Muraco/Neidhart match.

Thoughts: A bad match to cap off a generally awful night of wrestling. The fact you could see the crowd get up and leave just a few minutes into the match just about says it all. And, this finish was sad. Its almost unbelievable how two veterans can look like guys in their first day of wrestling school.



Final Thoughts: Oh man, this show was a stinker. Savage vs. DiBiase was cool but other than that, there is nothing at all to go out of your way to see. The show lacked star power in a major way, the crowd seemed done by the end, and most of the wrestlers seemed blown up. And the announcing was equally as bad. Whoever thought of a Rodger Kent/Superstar Graham duo would work was likely under the influence. I’d only recommend seeing Savage vs. DiBiase and they had better matches than this.



Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/28/88

Wednesday: PWG Bowie

Thursday: Kayfabe Commentaries 1997 WCW Timeline as told by Kevin Nash

Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 5/29/88

Saturday: Ring of Honor Main Event Spectacles 11/1/03

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 6/4/88

Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 6/5/88