WWF WrestleFest 1988

 

To get the complete card, I got matches not shown on the Coliseum release from other compilations and even “Prime Time Wrestling.”

July 31, 1988

From Milwaukee County Stadium in Milwakue, WI

Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes, Superstar Billy Graham, and Sean Mooney

Tonight, we will have Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant in a steel cage match. Plus, Rick Rude vs. Jake Roberts and Randy Savage defending the WWF World Heavyweight Title against Ted DiBiase

 

 

Scott Casey vs. Big Bossman

Bossman shoves Casey to start. Casey then avoids Bossman a few times then they start trading arm wringers. Casey skins-the-cat then goes back to another arm wringer. Bossman catches Casey with a backbreaker then beats on Casey against the ropes. Bossman then catches Casey with a bearhug that Casey finally breaks after biting him. Casey jumps on Bossman’s back for a sleeper as they mess up that spot a bit. Casey lands a few shots but ends up getting caught in a sidewalk slam as the Bossman picks up the win (4:15) *1/4. After the match, Bossman attacks Casey with his nightstick.

Thoughts: Fine for what it was, which was an abbreviated version of the house show matches these two were having at this time. It was all done to get the Bossman over.

 

 

Hercules vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake

Since this match aired only on “Prime Time Wrestling,” we get Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan on commentary. They yell at each other before locking up. Beefcake then works a really light side headlock then they start trading punches as Beefcake wins that battle by sending Hercules out of the ring. The crowd is fully behind Beefcake as Hercules returns to the ring. Beefcake uses ten turnbuckle smashes then follows that with an atomic drop. Beefcake hammers away until Hercules grabs the tights to toss Beefcake to the floor. Hercules follows out and tosses Beefcake back inside as he is now in control of the match. Hercules now grabs a chinlock after we came back from break. Beefcake powers out but Hercules sends him down with a knee lift. Hercules gets two off of an elbow drop then tries a few more covers until grabbing another side headlock as Heenan is yelling at Hercules on commentary. Beefcake finally breaks out of the chinlock and starts firing away. Beefcake hits an elbow smash in the corner then follows with a clothesline as the crowd goes nuts for Beefcake as he signals for the sleeper. Beefcake lands some more punches in the corner until Hercules yanks him into the turnbuckle. Hercules applies a full nelson but Beefcake breaks the hold and puts on the sleeper. Hercules tries to break the hold but he shoves Hercules in the corner then rolls him up for the win (9:37) 3/4*. After the match, Hercules tries and fails to attack Beefcake with his chain.

Thoughts: Bad match. Beefcake’s offense looked particularly awful and Hercules barely did anything at all. On commentary, you could get the sense that Heenan was a bit irritated with Hercules.

 

 

Killer Bees vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers

The Bees are sporting long tights here. Brunzell and Raymond start off but all four men enter and start jawing with each other. Brunzell and Raymond are going back-and-forth on the mat as Lord Alfred is obsessing over the extra “body weight” the Bees have added. Jacques and Blair are in now as Blair works the arm. Jacques kips-up after taking Blair down with a monkey flip then offers a handshake but that gets denied. Jacques brags after rolling over Blair but gets caught with a clothesline as the Rougeaus regroup while Graham is now obsessing over the Bees body weight. Brunzell and Raymond are back in as the Rougeaus are in control briefly until Brunzell kicks Raymond in the face after he ducked his head. Blair tags and starts working over the leg of Raymond. The Bees stay focused on the leg until Raymond tagged out after escaping from a Boston Crab. Jacques starts stretching Raymond out but Blair rolls him up for a nearfall. Jacques comes back with a drop toehold but Blair ends up returning the favor as the Bees are now back in control. Blair puts on a Boston Crab but Raymond ends up pushing on the bottom rope to make it easier for Jacques to grab. Jacques tags out and sets a pick as Raymond runs in to take Blair down and apply a Boston Crab. Blair counters and locks on a full nelson after they trade rollups but the Rougeaus use a sneak attack to maintain control. Raymond gets two with a kick to the ribs then applies a reverse chinlock. Blair powers out and ends up hitting Raymond with a Manhattan Drop as both men are down. Blair makes the tag as Brunzell runs wild. He puts Jacques in a figure-four for a bit then hits a dropkick but Raymond braeks up the pin. The match breaks down then Raymond boots Brunzell, who had Jacques up for a slam, and punches him in the face as Jacques falls on top for the win (14:00) **1/4.

Thoughts: The match itself was just okay. This was really just to get the Rougeaus over as heels with another win due to cheating. The Bees were such a stale act at this point. Also, this was one of the last matches for the Bees as a team in the WWF.

 

 

Bad News Brown vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart

Bad News stalls to yell at the crowd before the match. They lockup then Bad News starts hammering away as they wound up against the ropes. Hart floats over in the corner then starts fighting back. He slams Bad News and drops an elbow before posing to the crowd. Hart stays in control until he eats boot on a charge. Bad News climbs up top but Hart slams him off then drops an elbow from the second rope for a nearfall. Hart follows with a snap suplex then a leg drop for two. Hart tries for a backbreaker but Bad News rakes the eyes then starts punching away. Bad News hits a clothesline then tries the Ghetto Blaster but Hart ducked the move. Hart then avoids a charge in the corner before backdropping Bad News to the floor. Hart flies out with a pescado then the action heads back inside as Hart stays in control. Hart gets nearfalls with a crossbody and a sunset flip. Backbreaker gets two. Hart uses a reverse rollup but Bad News once again rakes the eyes then reverses the move by grabbing a hold of the tights and gets the win (6:26) ***. After the match, Jim Neidhart runs out and beats on Bad News until he escaped.

Thoughts: Good, action-packed match all due to Bret. He was wrestling at least twice as fast as anyone else on the card and the crowd was really into him here. It seems like they were planning on continuing the feud with this finish.

 

 

Gene Okerlund is with Jimmy Hart and the Honky Tonk Man. Okerlund asks them about Honky’s Intercontinental Title defense tonight against Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Hart said that Honky will prove again tonight why he is the greatest Intercontinental Title of all-time as Honky promises to sing and dance for all of his fans then walks off with Hart.

 

 

WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Honky Tonk Man (c) w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Honky stalls as he tries to avoid Duggan but gets caught after being chased around. Duggan hammers away then hits a clothesline as Honky regroups outside. Duggan then uses a double noggin-knocker and rolls Honky back in the ring but yells at Hart and ends up getting attacked when he heads back in the ring. Honky chokes out Duggan and lands some more punches until Duggan fights back. Duggan sets up for the Three Point Stance but Hart grabs his leg as the ref rings the bell for the DQ (4:38) 1/2*. After the match, Honky tries to attack Duggan with his guitar but that fails. Duggan grabs his 2×4 then chases Hart up the aisle and brings him back inside. Honky sneaks in and tries to hit Duggan with his guitar but fails as Duggan whipped Hart, who nearly got hit with the guitar. They bail as Duggan is in the ring with the guitar then smashes it with his 2×4.

Thoughts: The match itself was nothing and appeared more like the start of a feud than anything else. Basically, something you would see as a Superstars “featured match” or something on “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”

 

 

The Bolsheviks vs. Powers of Pain

The Powers of Pain immediately start attacking the Bolsheviks as soon as they hit the ring. The match settles down as the Barbarian overpowers Volkoff. Zhukov tags and Barbarian catches him with a powerslam shortly after that as Volkoff breaks up the pin as he regroups with his partner. Volkoff tags himself back in then battles over a test-of-strength as the Bolsheviks try to cheat to gain the advantage but it ends up failing as Zhukov accidentally hits his own partner coming off of the top. The Barbarian tags in but misses a charge in the corner as the Bolsheviks beat on him. The Barbarian comes back with a double clothesline then tags the Warlord, who runs wild. The match then breaks down as Volkoff gets tossed and the Powers of Pain put Zhukov away with the powerslam/diving headbutt combo (6:47) 3/4*.

Thoughts: The Bolsheviks, Volkoff in particular, were horrible. The Barbarian looked good here but this match stunk as the Powers of Pain struggle to gain acceptance from the fanbase.

 

 

Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart vs. “Leaping” Lanny Poffo

Poffo’s pre-match promo consisted of him sucking up to the home crowd and putting over this event. Poffo boots Neidhart down to start after a potential sneak attack but he misses a moonsault as Neidhart got his knees up. Neidhart then destroys Poffo for a bit until missing a charge in the corner. Poffo lands a few shots then tries a crossbody but Neidhart catches him and turns that into a powerslam for the win (2:34) 1/2*.

Thoughts: Neidhart pretty much wrestled like a heel here, which was odd considering he was a face in helping out his partner earlier in the show. Fine for what it was.

 

 

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

Savage runs out to back Virgil away from Elizabeth but that allowed DiBiase to attack him from behind. Back inside, DiBiase knocks down Savage but misses a clothesline as Savage returns the favor. Savage hits a few elbow smashes then takes DiBiase to the floor with a knee smash. DiBiase regroups outside He returns but Savage sends him over the top rope with an atomic drop as DiBiase once again regroups outside. DiBiase enters a lands a few shots but Savage blocks a sunset flip. Savage hits a clothesline as DiBiase begs for mercy but DiBiase ends up pulling Savage through the ropes by his tights. DiBiase follows outside and rams Savage’s head off of the timekeeper’s table. Back inside, Savage tries a comeback but DiBiase stops that with a boot to the face. DiBiase stays on the attack and gets two with a top rope elbow smash. Backbreaker gets two. He tries for a suplex but Savage blocks that and hits one of his own as both men are down. They start trading punches from their knees, as Mooney calls that a “midget boxing match” before Savage gets two off of a crossbody. DiBiase is able to apply a chinlock as the crowd rallies behind Savage. DiBiase starts landing some knee smashes while applying the hold but Savage eventually gets to his feet and runs DiBiase into the corner. DiBiase gets up first and hits a chop before avoiding a corner attack. Savage shoves DiBiase off as he tried a spinning toe hold. DiBiase tries it again as Savage shoves him off as DiBiase heads over the top rope. DiBiase then climbs up to and tries a double axe handle but Savage catches him with a punch to the gut. They slug it out briefly until Savage gains the advantage. Savage snaps DiBiase’s neck off of the top rope then follows with a double axe handle. He heads up top again but Virgil jumps on the apron and Savage attacks him. DiBiase tries to break it up with a knee smash but Savage avoids that and rolls him up for two. DiBiase boots Savage in the face after he ducked his head then tries to apply the Million Dollar Dream. The ref tells DiBiase to break the hold then Virgil whacks Savage with a chair behind the referee’s back but that only gets two. DiBiase then brings Savage up again but Savage puts him in a small package as that gets the win (14:59) ***1/2. After the match, Virgil and DiBiase beat on Savage then celebrate in the ring until Savage tosses a chair, that hit Virgil, as they leave while Savage celebrates by holding up his belt as he is limping around.

Thoughts: Good match. These two had better around the house show circuit but this was easily the match of the night here. Their feud will continue.

 

 

Curt Hennig vs. Terry Taylor

This match was on the “Life and Times of Mr. Perfect” DVD. Michael Cole and Mick Foley are the announcers here. Hennig hits a few armdrags to start. Taylor ends up sending Hennig to the floor with a dropkick after that as Hennig takes a breather. Back inside, they do a bit of mat work until Taylor works a side headlock. Hennig ends up hitting a back suplex then continues to target the back. Taylor gets two with a backslide but Hennig fights back and knocks Taylor down with a knee lift. Hennig then catches Taylor with a sleeper. Taylor breaks up and gets two with a crossbody then fires away in the corner but Hennig comes right back with a forearm smash to the head as that gets the win (4:52) **.

Thoughts: Just under five minutes but this was all-action. Both guys looked good but the crowd was dead as their roles were not defined here. It was Hennig’s return after nearly five years.

 

 

“Ravishing” Rick Rude vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Jake runs out to attack Rude during his introduction. Jake fires away then his a gutbuster as Rude rolls out to the floor. Rude ends up taking control for a bit until Jake floats over on a slam attempt then tries a DDT but Rude was able to escape. Rude catches Jake as he enters the ring then grabs a chinlock. Rude now works the arm then eventually goes back to the chinlock which lasts for a long time. Jake finally breaks free but runs into a knee in the corner as both men are down. Rude snaps Jake’s neck off of the top rope then heads up top and hits a knee drop before taunting the crowd. He covers nonchalantly as Jake turns that into a rollup for a nearfall. Rude immediately beats on Jake as he slams his face off of the mat. Rude taunts Jake to get up but Jake also tells him to bring it as he gets up and they trade punches until Rude knocks him down with a forearm. Rude heads up top but Jake cut him off as he is rolling around in pain on the mat. Jake us up now with Rude begging for mercy on the mat. Jake lands a few punches before catching Rude with a knee lift. Jake gets the crowd going after signaling for the DDT but Rude holds on to the ropes. Jake pulls Rude off of the ropes by his tights as we see Rude’s ass then Jake knocks him down and starts mocking Rude. Jake then hits a DDT but Rude had tossed the referee down and ends up falling on top of him. The ref finally gets up as Jake sends Rude to the floor with a clothesline. Rude then heads up the aisle but Jake follows and knocks him down. Jake slams Rude on the floor and starts beating on him but gets sent into the ring post as the bell has rung, signaling a double countout (15:44) **. After the match, Rude celebrates in the ring, thinking he has won, but that allows Jake to attack from behind and wrap Damien around his neck as Rude is freaking out on the mat until he is able to get Damien off before fleeing up the aisle.

Thoughts: The middle of this match stunk but the beginning was fun and it got exciting at the end. The finish also allows them to continue the feud, which still had legs. The crowd was rabid for Jake here.

 

 

Sam Houston vs. King Haku

Houston was a substitute for the Junkyard Dog here. Haku attacks Houston before the bell. Houston comes back with a crossbody then hits a pair of armdrags before Haku bails. Haku heads back inside as Houston starts working the arm. Haku ends up tossing Houston on the ropes before he beats him down. He kills Houston with a clothesline then takes him to his knees with a test-of-strength. Houston dodges an elbow drop and lands a few punches before getting a nearfall with a clothesline but ends up walking into a roundhouse kick that drilled him in the back of the head before Haku puts him away with a falling headbutt (5:04) *1/2.

Thoughts: Decent action. Poor Houston look liked he got killed with that roundhouse kick from Haku though. The King Haku push was still very much a work in-progress here.

 

 

Weasel Suit Match: Bobby “The Brain” Heenan vs. Ultimate Warrior

The crowd is all over Heenan as he refuses to get into the ring. Warrior then reaches out to grab Heenan’s arms and runs him into the ring post. Warrior chases Heenan around for a bit then ends up ducking behind the ring and catching Heenan from behind. Warrior rolls Heenan inside and rams him into the turnbuckle. Heenan reaches into his tights and pulls out a foreign object he uses to attack the Warrior. The camera pans to a fan in the crowd with a fan that reads “WWF, The Only True Sport” as we return to the ring with Warrior in control then puts Heenan away with a sleeper (4:59) 1/4*. Heenan is out cold as Warrior puts him in the Weasel Suit. Heenan then wakes up and starts spazzing around in the suit, to the delight of the crowd and Lord Alfred Hayes.

Thoughts: The exact same as every other Weasel Suit match they were having across the house show circuit.

 

 

WWF Tag Team Championship Match: British Bulldogs vs. Demolition (c) w/ Mr. Fuji 

I couldnt hear the ring announcer but I believe this was a title match. Matilda is not with the Bulldogs here. Smash and Davey go back-and-forth to start. Dynamite tags but he ends up getting beaten down quickly by Ax. Dynamite headbutts Ax after he ducked his head but Ax tosses him in the air on the kickout. Dynamite works an armbar but gets caught with a slam after that as Demolition start beating him down as they target the back. Dynamite manages to get a nearfall with a small package but Smash immediately beats him down after that and tosses him out to the floor. Dynamite then catches a charging Ax with an elbow and ends up making the tag. Davey hammers away on both guys then tags Dynamite back in as he hits a snap suplex for a nearfall. Davey then launches Dynamite at Smash for a headbutt but Ax runs in to break up the pin then the match breaks down Fuji hands Ax his cane and he whacks Dynamite as Smash then covers for the win (7:08) *1/2.

Thoughts: Disappointing match. The Bulldogs looked really slow and tired here and it made for a dull match. Demolition still does not have a clear-cut #1 contender for their titles.

 

 

Dino Bravo vs. Ken Patera

Patera immediately attacks Bravo then tosses him across the ring. Patera chokes out Bravo with his jacket then hammers away until he ducks his head on a back drop and gets kicked in the face. Bravo hits an inverted atomic drop then chokes out Patera following an elbow drop. Patera gets dumped outside then is able to mount a comeback when he returns and gets a few nearfalls but misses charge and gets clotheslined before Bravo picks up the win with a side slam (3:20) *.

Thoughts: Thankfully it was short but not bad considering it was with these two guys. Bravo’s clean win pretty much ended the program they were having as Patera was getting phased out while Bravo getting pushed even stronger.

 

 

Steel Cage Match: Andre the Giant w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Hulk Hogan

Andre starts off by choking out Hogan with his own shirt. Hogan finally breaks free and starts hammering away then tries to climb out on top of Andre but is brought back down. Andre chokes out Hogan again with his shirt then tries to hang Hogan on the cage with his shirt as he starts chopping away. Andre attempts to leave the cage but Hogan breaks free from the cage and prevents Andre from leaving. Hogan stomps away then tries to climb out but Andre knocks him down then drops an elbow. Andre tries to leave through the door again but Hogan cuts him off. Andre beats Hogan down as Hogan is now busted open. Andre continues to destory Hogan as Lord Alfred points out that it seems like Andre would rather beat on Hogan than win the match. Andre finally tries to leave the cage again but Hogan holds on to his leg. Hogan comes back with a clothesline then chops Andre against the ropes. Hogan takes Andre down with a clothesline then hits a leg drop. Hogan climbs up the cage until Heenan runs in to cut him off. Hogan stops climbing and beats on Heenan then pulls Andre down the cage and hits Andre with Heenan’s foreign object as he is tied up in the ropes. Hogan tosses Heenan into the cage after that as Hogan climbs out and gets the win (10:03) 1/2*.

Thoughts: It had some heat, although not as much as you would think, but the work was really, really slow here.

 

 

The announcers then talk about the cage match and Roberts vs. Rude as we end the show.

 

 

Final Thoughts: Considering the card, this was a disappointing show. Although, it did at least paint a decent picture of what was going on at the company during this time. The title match was good, as was Hart vs. Bad News but everything else was forgettable for the most part. Seeing Hennig return is more of historical purposes than anything else as he was in a random match here with Taylor. If your version excludes Savage vs. DiBiase, then I’d strongly consider skipping this altogether.

 

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days

 

Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/6/88

Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/7/88

Wednesday: EVOLVE 60 5/6/16

Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Joanie “Chyna” Laurer

Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/13/88

Saturday: Ring of Honor: The Conclusion 11/28/03

Sunday: WWF Los Angeles Sports Arena 8/13/88