July 2, 1988
From the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, CA
Your hosts are Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Vince McMahon
In action this week will be Hacksaw Jim Duggan, George “The Animal” Steele, Rick Rude, and Don Muraco. Plus, the featured match between the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers and the Killer Bees and more
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Tom Stone
The crowd loves Duggan. Stone attacks him from behind but ends up getting caught with a clothesline. We then hear an insert promo from Andre the Giant, who tells Duggan he will rip him apart as he tears up the newest edition of “WWF Magazine” that features an article on Duggan. Back to the match as Duggan hits a knee drop before finishing Stone with the Three Point Stance (1:46).
Thoughts: Another quick win to put over Duggan in his feud against Andre the Giant. He was incredibly over at this time.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week’s subject is Bobby Heenan’s search to replace Harley Race as the King of the WWF. We also learn that Race’s surgery has completed. This was a weird bit as every time Race’s name was mentioned on TV, a graphic of his head in the clouds who appear in the lower right corner. We then hear from Heenan, who tells us that next week, he will crown a new king.
George “The Animal” Steele vs. The Intruder
Steele beats on the Intruder then shoves the Mine doll in his face. Steele ties Mine on the ropes and hits a slam before tossing the Intruder to the floor. Steele runs over to Mine then boots the Intruder before putting him away with the flying hammerlock (1:01). After the match, Steele shoves Mine in the Intruder’s face then has the referee raise Mine’s hand in victory.
Thoughts: Again, the purpose of this renewed Steele push is to get over the Mine doll. So far, they’ve done a decent enough job.
Dino Bravo w/ Frenchy Martin vs. Bill Johnson
Before the match, Frenchy mumbles while holding his “USA is not OK” sign. What a heel. We hear from Ken Patera in an insert promo putting over how the 4th of July weekend is very special to him and he’d like nothing better than to beat Bravo. Back to the match as Bravo hits a gutwrench suplex then drops an elbow as Vince reminds Jesse he helped Bravo cheat in the World Bench Press record segment at the Royal Rumble. Johnson counters a piledriver but gets knocked down then put away with a side slam (1:58).
Thoughts: They are still doing the Patera/Bravo feud but that has been winding down. Its amazing how much mileage they got out of that bench press segment at the Royal Rumble.
Sean Mooney is in the Event Center running down the card for the July 9th show at the Boston Garden. We hear from Ted DiBiase as he talks about how he has done everything to Savage exceptt take the World Heavyweight Title away from him. After that, we hear from Don Muraco as he tells Valentine instead of going after Graham, a man with one leg, to go up against himself.
Hart Foundation vs. S.D. Jones & Brady Boone
Jesse notes that the only reason the crowd is cheering for the Hart Foundation is due to the fact that Jim Neidhart used to play for the Oakland Raiders. Bret fakes an ankle injury that allows Neidhart to attack S.D. from behind. The Hart Foundation are aggressive as we hear from Jimmy Hart in an insert promo as he reminds the Hart Foundation that they are still under his contract. Boone tags as the Hart Foundation beat him down too until they put him away with the Hart Attack (4:41).
Thoughts: The new story here is that despite the Hart Foundation wanting nothing to do with Jimmy Hart, they are still under his contract. The crowd cheered the Hart Foundation before the match but they wrestled as heels and the crowd died as a result.
We see the Big Bossman outside of the prison telling us what’s behind those walls makes him laugh.
“The Rock” Don Muraco vs. Darryl Nichols
Muraco overpowers Nichols as we hear an insert promo from Greg Valentine running down Muraco and laughing about putting Superstar Graham at the announcer’s table. Muraco then puts Nichols away with a tombstone shortly after that (1:58).
Thoughts: Quick win for Muraco as they are pushing his feud against Valentine. Muraco’s physique was something else here.
Craig DeGeorge welcomes the Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart to the interview platform. DeGeorge asks about the Honky Tonk Man calling himself the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all-time. Honky talks about a conspiracy against him because they are trying to bar Jimmy Hart and Peggy Sue from his matches then said no one will ever take away his music, because that is what his fans want. Honky then sings for us but Hart tells us not to because his throat hurts as Honky said he will sing for us some other time. This was just the Honky Tonk Man going through the motions with his act as even here, you could tell it has about run its course as one of the top heel acts. Also, there was no mention of his feud against Brutus Beefcake.
The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers vs. Killer Bees
The Rougeaus go over to the Bees and shake their hands before the match. Raymond and Brunzell go back-and-forth to start. Blair tags but Jacques takes him down with a drop toe hold after a blind tag. Blair returns the favor then tags out as Jacques pulls his hand back after a hand shake. Brunzell rolls him up from behind for two then gets pissed after Brunzell extends out his hand. Jacques tags back inside and takes Blair out with a forearm as we hear an insert promo from the Rougeaus, who want to dedicate their match to all of their American fans on “Memorial Day weekend.” The Rougeaus rough up Blair until he fights back and tags Brunzell. He locks on a sleeper as Raymond runs in to break that up. The Bees get more aggressive as well then Raymond breaks up another pinfall. Raymond trips up Brunzell from the apron then Blair runs in to break up that pin but as the ref orders him from the apron, Raymond hit Brunzell with a forearm from the middle rope then Jacques covered for the win (5:45). After the match, the Rougeaus offer a handshake but the Bees decline.
Thoughts: Solid, back-and-forth match. The Rougeaus win would signal that they are pretty much all but heels but the crowd did not react that way. Another factor in that was how the Bees were not over at this point. They’ve run their course with that act as its been over three years.
Referee Joey Marella plugs the WWF Ice Cream Bars
“Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Jose Luis Rivera
Rude gyrates after taking Rivera down with a snapmare as Jesse refers to Cheryl Roberts as a tramp. We then hear from Rude in an insert promo as he tells us the only woman that comes to his mind is Cheryl Roberts, because she “likes to look at what she likes.” Back to the match as Rude takes control as the announcers hype up next week’s King Coronation ceremony. Back to the match as Rude rakes the eyes then hits Rivera with the Rude Awakening (2:23). After the match, Rude gives the Rude Awakening to some lady from the crowd, who looks shorter than 5-feet tall.
Thoughts: They kept the Rude/Roberts feud strong here. Rude was at the top of his game here with regards to the gimmick.
Mooney is back in the Event Center to run down the card for the July 25th MSG show. We hear from Elizabeth and Randy Savage, who promises we will see Macho Madness and that DiBiase will never want to see him again.
Next week we will see the new King Coronation ceremony plus a special interview with Randy Savage.
Final Thoughts: The show was okay I suppose. We got a competitive match and it set up new storylines and continued those in progress. Not all of them were exciting but there was at least direction. I will say that there are some stale acts that were on display, some of which were past the point of rehabilitation. As the Summer progressed, more talent would come in as some of the old guard went away as things are still a few months away from heating up.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/3/88
Wednesday: RoH Supercard of Honor X, Night Two 4/2/16
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/9/88
Saturday: RoH Main Event Spectacles 11/1/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/10/88
Monday: WWF Los Angeles Sports Arena 7/15/88