WWF Wrestling Challenge – August 21st, 1988

August 21, 1988

From the Hara Arena in Dayton, OH

Your hosts are Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action this week will be the Honky Tonk Man, Brutus Beefcake, Dino Bravo, and the Hart Foundation. Plus, the Brother Love Show with guest Jesse Ventura and more.

 

Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart vs. George South

We are shown Hart and Honky in an insert promo, hyping up the “last encounter” between Brutus Beefcake and himself at SummerSlam. Match starts with South firing away. He misses a dropkick then Honky takes over as the announcers talk about some of the other matches at SummerSlam. Honky stays in control until he puts South away with the Shake, Rattle, and Roll (3:24). After the match, Honky grabs the mic and thanks the fans.

Thoughts: They hyped up the Honky/Beefcake match at SummerSlam but also spent a lot of time talking about some of the other top matches on the card. You can really tell by the commentators that Honky’s act is getting phased out even before dropping the title.

 

Brother Love Show with guest Jesse Ventura. After some babbling, Jesse comes out as Brother Love asks him if his relationship with former tag team partner Randy Savage will play a role in this match as he denies that is the case. He is then asked if he has a price for DiBiase but Jesse says at a time, he might have needed DiBiase’s money but after his run in Hollywood, he is all set. Love asks him if his jealously towards Hogan will play a factor as Jesse notes he is a movie star while Hogan is just a wrestler. Jesse then gets pissed when asked if he is afraid of Andre the Giant as he makes a fist and says that he can become the champion if he wanted to today. DiBiase, Virgil, Heenan, and Andre come out to the set. Andre grabs Jesse’s jacket collar and says he better pay good attention while DiBiase shoves a $100 bill in the inside of his jacket then walks away laughing. Jesse closes by saying it will be his pleasure to raise the hand, promising there will definitely be a winner and a loser, with the real payoff that will happen is someone winning. I thought this was an excellent segment. After weeks of Jesse being all but accused by certain WWF personalities of getting paid off by DiBiase, they flipped the script and had Jesse go out and stand up for himself, promising that the match will have a winner and a loser. Jesse was great here as we finally had a good Brother Love segment.

 

The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers vs.  Tommy Angel & Rusty Riddle

Raymond catches Angel with a monkey flip after an Irish whip sequence then applauds himself as we are shown the Rougeaus in an insert promo, stating the Bulldogs are not the team they used to be and laugh over the fact they have a dog as their managers. The Rougeaus beat on Riddle as Heenan tells us Matilda is really the sister of the Dynamite Kid. Angel tags as Raymond dropkicks him then the Rougeaus put Angel away with the Rougeau Bomb (3:21).

Thoughts: The Rougeaus looked good here as they are being built up heading into SummerSlam.

 

Sean Mooney is in the Event Center to hype up SummerSlam. We hear from the Bolsheviks and Slick as they make fun of the Powers of Pain for hiding their face and refusing to say where they come from. After that, we hear from the Powers of Pain as they warn Slick what will happen if he attempts to get into the ring.

 

Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. Brian Costello

Beefcake catches Costello with a high knee as Gorilla plugs Beefcake’s cover of “WWF Magazine.” Beefcake then slams Costello a few times before putting him away with the sleeper (2:01). After the match, Beefcake gives Costello a haircut.

Thoughts: This crowd loved Beefcake but oddly enough did not talk about his match against Honky at SummerSlam here.

 

Mooney is back in the Event Center. We hear from the Mega Powers as they give us some more insanity as they talk about beating the Mega Bucks at SummerSlam. This stuff is so nutty but its a lot more interesting than what we get today.

 

Hercules w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Gene Ligon

Gorilla is solo on commentary. Hercules rams Ligon into the corner as we hear from Jake Roberts in a promo, saying he will enjoy the “strong, stiff” challenge Hercules will give him at SummerSlam. Back to the match as Hercules clotheslines Ligon before submitting him with the backbreaker (2:09).

Thoughts: Hercules looked dominating here as he gets his first TV appearance in several weeks.

 

Hart Foundation vs. Bob Bryant & Al Kirkland

Bret starts off and takes care of both guys. Neidhart hits an assisted slingshot splash as we hear from the Hart Foundation in an insert promo as they promise to win back the Tag Team Titles. The Hart Foundation soften up Kirkland until they put him away with the Hart Attack (2:48).

Thoughts: The Hart Foundation face turn as being a success so far. The fans love them.

 

SummerSlam Report with Gene Okerlund. We hear from fans giving their opinions on the show. A bunch of them talk about how they ordered it on PPV as the company really wanted you to order this in advance.

 

Dino Bravo w/ Frenchy Martin vs. Neal Rodgers

Bravo catches Rodgers with a poor excuse of a clothesline to start. He follows with an inverted atomic drop as we hear from Bravo in an insert promo, with Frenchy rubbing his shoulders, telling Don Muraco he still has one week to bail before their match at SummerSlam. Bravo tosses Rodgers to the floor as the crowd starts up a “USA” chant. Bravo drags him back in and puts the poor guy away with a side slam (2:25).

Thoughts: The Dino Bravo push is still in full effect. Why, I don’t know.

 

Mooney is back in the Event Center. We hear from Rick Rude and the Junkyard Dog as they hype up their match at SummerSlam. Basic stuff from both guys.

 

Next week in action will be the Junkyard Dog, Rick Rude, Powers of Pain, and the Ultimate Warrior. Plus, the Brother Love Show with the Mega Bucks and more.

 

Final Thoughts: They continue the hard sell for SummerSlam, with a great segment for the Brother Love show for the main event and basic stuff for the other matches. They are trying but the show still feels like a one-match show.

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/27/88

Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/28/88

Tuesday: WWF SummerSlam 1988

Wednesday: EVOLVE 62 6/10/16

Thursday: Developmentally Speaking with Matt Stryker, Shelton Benjamin, and Karlee Perez

Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/3/88

 

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