August 13, 1988
From the LaCrosse Center in LaCrosse, WI
Your hosts are Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Vince McMahon
In action this week will be Randy Savage, Rick Rude, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and the British Bulldogs. Plus, a special interview with Demolition.
The Conquistador vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth & Hulk Hogan
After Savage and Elizabeth come out, the camera zooms in on the curtain as Hulk Hogan peeks out with then comes out to accompany Savage. Jesse refers to himself as the “Mega Ref” with regards to the main event at SummerSlam. The Conquistador briefly attacks Savage in the corner but ends up getting backdropped. Savage hits a suplex as Jesse runs down all of the referees in the WWF. The Conquistador rakes Savage across the face but Savage blocks a turnbuckle smash and hits one of his own. Savage flies out to hit the Conquistador with a double axe handle then rolls him back inside and hits the flying elbow drop for the win (2:05). After the match, Savage and Hogan pose together in the ring as Elizabeth even does Hogan’s hand over the ear move to a great reaction.
Thoughts: This was really done to present Hogan & Savage as a united front and to help hype up their match at SummerSlam against the Mega Bucks. It certainly worked out here. Back then, it was a treat for Hogan to appear on TV to begin with and the crowd went nuts for the Mega Powers here.
WWF Special Report with Gene Okerlund. This is all about SummerSlam as Okerlund runs down the card.
Buck Zumhofe vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan
Rude slams Zumhoff as Vince is disgusted over Rude having Cheryl Roberts’ face airbrushed on the crotch of his tights. We hear from Rude in an insert promo as he puts himself over as the sexiest and most devastating man in the WWF before telling us to check out his tights then Rude puts Zumhoff away with the Rude Awakening (1:33). After the match, Heenan brings in a woman from the crowd, who is quite hot, as Rude makes out with her.
Thoughts: I can’t put over Rude’s act enough at this time. And those tights were fantastic. The only thing that can be said about Zumhofe is that he is a complete piece of s---.
Sean Mooney is in the Event Center to hype up the September 10th show at the Boston Garden. We hear from Ted DiBiase with Virgil as he runs down Hulk Hogan to hype up their match. Really good promo from DiBiase. We also hear from the Hart Foundation as they tell Jimmy Hart he will not make a difference in their match and that they will beat the Rougeaus.
British Bulldogs vs. Tom Burton & Chris Curtis
The Bulldogs toss around Curtis to start. We hear from the Rougeaus in an insert promo as they hype up their match at SummerSlam by saying they’ve been undefeated for 90 days and will win this match for all of their American fans. Burton tags in and lands a few shots on Davey but misses an attack in the corner. Davey places Burton on top and tags Dynamite, who hits a superplex for the win (2:16).
Thoughts: More hype for the Rougeaus/Bulldogs SummerSlam match here.
Kim Yates vs. Bad News Brown
Bad News attacks Yates before the bell. He hammers away in the corner and hits a slam as we hear from Ken Patera in an insert promo, hyping up their match and running down Bad News, saying that he will be slammed in a rambling promo as even Jesse points out you do not win a match with a slam. Back to the match as Bad News continues to punish Yates until putting him out of his misery with the Ghetto Blaster (2:22).
Thoughts: Bad News is getting more over as a heel, establishing his act each week on TV. They’ve handled his initial push well.
Mooney is back in the Event Center to hype the SummerSlam main event as we hear from the Mega Bucks. DiBiase tells Hogan all of the Hulakmaniacs are starting to come around how money is everything and he will not be able to hold it together. Heenan then tells Elizabeth she does not know how to manage and can only buy cheap dresses as she would be better served working in a diner.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. George Petraski
Petraski lands a few shoulder thrusts then mocks Duggan’s chant but that allowed Duggan to get up and start beating him down. Duggan catches Petraski with a back elbow smash then puts him away with the Three Point Stance (1:12).
Thoughts: Duggan’s act, while simple, really got over with the crowds. Good for him.
Craig DeGeorge welcomes Demolition, Mr. Fuji, and Jimmy Hart to the platform. DeGeorge asks Hart why he is out here as Hart tells us he was the one who brought the Hart Foundation to glory and now they have humiliated him. Hart said he then called his friend, Mr. Fuji, and told him he knows their strong points and many weaknesses as he will make sure the Hart Foundation never become the Tag Team Champions ever again. We then hear from Demolition as they tell us how they will destroy the Hart Foundation. This was more about the Jimmy Hart vs. Hart Foundation angle, as the Mouth of the South is now set on making life hell for his former team, than the title match at SummerSlam.
The Rockers shill the WWF Ice Cream Bars.
Dino Bravo w/ Frenchy Martin vs. Chris Zarnoff
Bravo overpowers Zarnoff as we hear from Don Muraco in an insert as he hypes up his match against Bravo at SummerSlam. Back to the match as Bravo celebrates after hitting a back suplex then puts him away with a side slam (1:18).
Thoughts: On commentary, the announcers pushed the Bravo vs. Muraco match at SummerSlam as an even match that is too close to call at the moment.
Powers of Pain vs. Rick Gantner & Frank DeFalco
Gantner & DeFalco try a sneak attack but that ends up failing miserably. The Powers of Pain hit stereo slams as the crowd is silent. We hear an insert promo from the Bolsheviks and Slick, who thinks the Powers of Pain are embarrassed about where they come from and use “parts unknown” as Jesse laughs and jokes that “Parts Unknown” is located in Wyoming. The Powers of Pains stay in control until putting DeFalco away with the powerslam/diving headbutt finisher.
Thoughts: They appeared to add crowd sweetener to the Powers of Pain’s entrance and when their music hit after the match because the crowd was dead and sat down the entire time. Then again, this was the last match of the TV taping and by that point, I can only imagine how burned out the fans in attendance were.
Mooney is in the Event Center to hype up the September 10th Boston Garden show. We hear from Hulk Hogan, blaming Ted DiBiase for why he lost the title then tells DiBiase he is lucky Savage did not rip his throat out for putting his hands on Elizabeth at the last Boston Garden show then starts flexing and grunting like a psycho. Hogan’s promos since his return after filming “No Holds Barred” have been even more bizarre than in the past.
In action next week will be the Junkyard Dog, King Haku, Ultimate Warrior, and the Big Bossman.
Final Thoughts: Despite all of the SummerSlam hype, it still just feels like a one-match show. At least the build to that match has been superb, right down to the guest referee storyline wth everyone questioning Jesse’s integrity. They are trying to build up the undercard but a lot of those matches are underwhelming. Its tough to hype a show in which you announce the matches then hype them up and start the feuds afterwards. It’s a tough way to get the fans invested.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 12/23/81
Sunday: WWF Los Angeles Sports Arena 8/13/88
Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/14/88
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/20/88
Wednesday: EVOLVE 61 5/7/16
Thursday: Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1986 WCW as told by the Rock & Roll Express
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/21/88