WWF SummerSlam 88

August 29, 1988

From Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY

Your hosts are Superstar Billy Graham and Gorilla Monsoon

 

Fabulous Rougeau Brothers vs. British Bulldogs

The Rougeaus offer handshakes but the Bulldogs decline. Superstar is enamored with Davey’s physique as he hammers away on Jacques, who retreats to his corner. Raymond tags in and he locks up with Davey and ends up in the corner where he cheap shots him after a break. Davey blocks a monkey flip in the corner then tags out as Dynamite knocks down Raymond a few times. He grabs an armbar for a bit as Jacques starts up a “USA” chant. Funny. Davey tags and also works the arm for a bit. The Bulldogs stay in control for a bit until Jacques trips up Davey behind the referee’s back. Jacques tags and works the leg as the Rougeaus are cutting the ring in half. The Rougeaus continue to attack the leg as the crowd rallies behind Davey. Jacques cheap shots Dynamite as that ties up the referee, allowing the Rougeaus to illegally tag out. Davey manages to put Jacques in a small package for a nearfall but the Rougeaus immediately regain control afterwards. Davey manages to catch Raymond with a standing monkey flip and makes the tag as the crowd goes nuts for Dynamite, who hits Raymond with a few suplexes. He tosses Raymond to the floor where Jacques and Davey trade blows before Davey sends Raymond into the guardrail. Davey tags and hits Raymond with the powerslam but Jacques makes the save. Dynamite tags and attempts mounted punches in the corner but Jacques enters and kills him with a back suplex. Jacques tags and almost puts Dynamite away with a slam. The Rougeaus work Dynamite over in their corner then Davey runs in to break up an abdominal stretch. However, that allowed the Rougeaus to make the switch in the ring. Jacques gets a nearfall with a splash then uses a reverse chinlock. Dynamite powers out but Raymond runs in behind the ref’s back to knock him back down as Jacques re-applies the hold. Dynamite almost gets the win with a small package but the Rougeaus go back to cutting off the ring. Dynamite fights to get over to his corner and makes the tag but the referee did not see it take place and orders Davey back to the apron. Dynamite fights back then tags out but Jacques avoids a dropkick. However, Davey catches him with a press slam and drops him across the top rope. Raymond accidentally elbows his partner as the match breaks down. Davey launches Dynamite for a flying headbutt at Jacques but the bell rings signaling the time-limit draw (19:03) ***1/4. After the match, The Rougeaus sucker punch the Bulldogs, who chase them off.

Thoughts: Good match. They kept both teams relatively strong here with the time-limit draw although you could argue that the Rougeaus should have won here as they were the team getting the push. The Bulldogs left at the company before the end of the year but made it known beforehand they were leaving, although I am unsure if it was known this far ahead.

 

Gorilla alerts us that Brutus Beefcake will be unable to compete tonight in his Intercontinental Title match against the Honky Tonk Man after the attack by Ron Bass on this past episode of “Superstars of Wrestling.” We see a replay of that as Gorilla notes a match will take place tonight with Honky defending against the #1 contender.

 

Bad News Brown vs. Ken Patera

Bad News attacks Patera before the bell. Patera still has his jacket on as Bad News continues to hammer away. Patera comes back with a feeble clothesline out of the corner then takes off his jacket as he stomps away. Patera hits a back elbow smash and a slam but misses an elbow drop. Bad News chokes out Patera, who is out on the apron. He continues to beat him down and roughs him up but gets booted in the face after ducking his head. Patera hits a clothesline for a nearfall. Backbreaker gets two. Small package gets two. He applies a bearhug as Bad News breaks out of that. Bad News then breaks out of a full nelson but gets sent down. Patera puts the full nelson on again but Bad News reaches the ropes. Patera tries a backdrop but Bad News punches him as both men are down. They work some absolutely pathetic Irish whip reversal spot in the corner as the crowd boos then Patera misses a charge and rams his shoulder into the post as Bad News puts him and this match out of its misery with the Ghetto Blaster (6:33) 1/4*.

Thoughts: This match didnt exactly start off great but it was a disaster towards the end. Patera had no business in the ring here as even the crowd crapped on his effort, or lack of to be honest. Anyway, this was designed to keep Bad News’ undefeated streak going as they put him over a credible opponent.

 

We get an ad hyping up the Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Donny Lalonde PPV boxing match on November 7th. The first of many plugs for this fight as the WWF was handling the PPV promotion of that fight.

 

Gene Okerlund is with the Mega Powers. Hogan tells us they are the strongest force in the universe as Savage says they have their secret weapon, which is Elizabeth.

 

“Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Junkyard Dog

Before the match, Rude reveals his tights, which has JYD’s face on the front and back. Rude attacks JYD before the bell. JYD catches Rude with a backdrop then hits a pair of crawling headbutts as Rude rolls out to the floor to regroup with Heenan. Back inside, JYD hammers away but misses a falling headbutt as Rude takes control. Rude hits a double axe handle then works a chinlock. JYD fights out but eats boot in the corner then Rude goes back to the chinlock. Rude tries working the arm and ends up crotching himself as JYD punches away in the corner. Heenna distracts JYD as that allows Rude to attack from behind. Rude hits a Russian leg sweep then heads up top and pulls down his tights to reveal Cheryl Roberts’ tights. He starts to gyrate but Jake runs out and beats down Rude for the DQ (6:18) 1/2*. Rude escapes as Jake is livid.

Thoughts: Barely any action and this was just part of the Rude/Roberts storyline as they had hyped on TV a couple of weeks before the show that Rude was afraid to face off against Jake. Having them fight here would have been a lot more interesting but they ended up going another several weeks together around the house show circuit so I can see why they did this here.

 

Okerlund is backstage with the Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart, who are gloating over the fact Beefcake cannot wrestle tonight. Honky then tells the WWF to bring him anyone to face as Honky cuts off Okerlund after he was about to reveal his opponent, saying he wants it to be a surprise because he is the greatest the Intercontinental Champion of all-time. Okerlund did manage to say the opponent as “incredible power.” The story here was that Honky was so cocky about winning tonight he did not even care who is opponent was.

 

The Bolsheviks w/ Slick vs. Powers of Pain w/ Baron Von Raschke

This is the debut of the Baron alongside the Powers of Pain. He is announced just as “The Baron.” Both teams start trading punches before the bell. The Powers of Pain clear the ring with ease and celebrate as the fans applaud. The Powers of Pain take control early as the Bolsheviks regroup on the outside with Slick. Volkoff breaks up a pin as Zhukov briefly mounts some offense before the Barbarian destroys him. Warlord tags and also beats on Zhukov as Vokolff breaks up another pin attempt. Warlord hits a belly-to-belly suplex then Volkoff runs in to break it up. Slick distracts the Warlord as Volkoff uses a sneak attack. The Bolsheviks choke out Warlord for a bit in their corner. The Bolsheviks fail to knock down Warlord, who knocks them both down after a double back drop attempt then makes the tag as the Barbarian runs wild. The Powers of Pain then clear Volkoff from the ring before putting Zhukov away with the powerslam/diving headbutt combo (7:20) 1/2*.

Thoughts: This was a long squash designed to get over the Powers of Pain. However, Volkoff refuses to make his opponents look good and the match went on way longer than necessary. The Barbarian was the only person here with any talent. The Powers of Pain push is still struggling.

 

We get an ad telling us that the Survivor Series will once again take place on Thanksgiving Night.

 

Brother Love Show is next as we await the announcement of his special guest. This segment takes place in the ring. The crowd boos him loudly as he tells us this is a very special night. Brother Love then tells us his guest needs to learn a lesson of love then finally brings them out as it turns out to be Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who chants and tells Brother Love he is a phony. Brother Love tells him he needs to learn about love and how others like Dino Bravo know about love as Duggan he upset at Love for saying the people of Canada are proud of Bravo or that he questioned his own patriotism. Duggan gets more pissed as he goes back-and-forth with Brother Love until he chases him out of the ring with his 2×4. So, this appearance, hyped for months, was designed for the crowd to chant with Duggan and to plant the seeds for his feud against Dino Bravo. This went on forever and was a complete waste of time.

 

Another ad for the Leonard vs. Lalonde PPV fight.

 

The Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart come out gloating as we get to find out who will be facing Honky for the Intercontinental Title. The crowd is anxious then explodes as the Ultimate Warrior’s music hits as he runs down to the ring.

 

WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Honky Tonk Man (c) w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Ultimate Warrior

Warrior hammers away as the crowd is out of their minds. He then hits a flying shoulder tackle and follows that with a clothesline and a splash for the win as we have a new Intercontinental Champion (0:27).

Thoughts: This was a classic moment in wrestling history. The crowd response here was off the charts. And for those who feel bad for the Honky Tonk Man, he stated that this was his idea. He said that after Hercules told him you will get up dreading each day that you will have to work with the Warrior, he’d rather spend less time in the ring with him. Honky also said he got a $22,000 pay day for this match.

 

Regis Philbin is shown sitting in the crowd.

 

Another ad for the Survivor Series airs as we even get clips of last year’s event.

 

Gene Okerlund is in the crowd with Sugar Ray Leonard to hype us his fight against Lalonde in November. Okerlund runs down all of his credentials as Leonard tells us his kids could not be here tonight and that he will beat Lalonde with his speed. Leonard then thanks Titan Sports, Vince McMahon, and Jim Troy. Now, we get clips of Leonard’s fight against Marvin Hagler before we are shown clips of Lalonde, who then speaks about the fight. He speaks so slowly that it just about put me to sleep. This went on for far too long.

 

Bobby Heenan interrupts the announcers to give us a special report about the main event. He tells us that his sources are telling him the Mega Powers are scared and have put the dresser in front of their locker room door before Gorilla cuts him off for lying.

 

“The Rock” Don Muraco vs. Dino Bravo w/ Frenchy Martin

Heenan stays on commentary for this match as we hear Frenchy mumble in the ring as he is getting drowned out by Bravo’s theme music. They lockup then Muraco takes the advantage with a monkey flip and a hip toss as Bravo bails outside. Back inside, Muraco works the arm until Bravo backs him in the corner and starts hammering away. Muraco reverses an Irish whip then hits another hip toss and monkey flip before going back to the arm. The crowd starts up a “USA” chant as Bravo reverses a whip in the corner and takes control. He celebrates after hitting an inverted atomic drop then drops an elbow for two. Muraco comes back with a Russian leg sweep as both men are down. Muraco is up first and fires away. He hits a slam then signals for the tombstone but Frenchy distracts Muraco and shortly after that, Dino inadvertently kicks the ref and gets the win with a side slam (5:29) *.

Thoughts: Basic match as they give Bravo a win heading into his upcoming feud with Duggan. Seems like Muraco’s program with Valentine is on the backburner for now.

 

Sean Mooney is backstage with Jesse Ventura. Jesse tells us Jack Tunney’s decision to make him the referee is the only good decision he has ever made and that if someone wants to give him money, he will take it as he is not a fool.

 

WWF Tag Team Championship Match: Hart Foundation vs. Demolition (c) w/ Mr. Fuji & Jimmy Hart

This, I believe, is the debut of Hart’s tights that read “Hitman” on the back. Ax beats on Bret to start. Bret fires away after dodging an elbow drop as he is now in control. Bret gets two with a reverse rollup then Smash tags as Bret takes him down with an armdrag. Neidhart tags as the announcers talk about how he left pro football because it was not tough enough for him. Ax knees Neidhart in the back from the apron as Demolition is back in control. Neidhart boots Ax in the face after he ducked his head as Bret tags and runs wild until Smash whips him into the corner as Bret’s shoulder hits the post. Demolition works over the arm of Bret then dump him outside as the announcers scream about how Neidhart should run over and help him. Back inside, Bret comes back with a clothesline on Ax as both men are down. Bret crawls over and makes the tag but it was behind the referee’s back, thus not allowed. Bret then catches Smash with a knee on a corner charge as he then makes the tag to his partner. Neidhart runs wild, even hitting Smash with a pescado after Bret helped him with a slingshot. Back inside, Neidhart almost puts Smash away with a powerslam as the crowd is really into these nearfalls. Bret is back in as Ax breaks up a pin after a backbreaker as the match breaks down. Fuji gets decked but Ax takes the megaphone from Hart and whacks Bret as that gets the win (9:49) **1/2.

Thoughts: Decent match but I felt it was missing something. It was not that good when Demolition was on offense. Bret looked great here and the last couple of minutes were fun. The Hart Foundation vs. Jimmy Hart feud will continue.

 

Okerlund is in the locker room with Jimmy Hart and a pissed off Honky Tonk Man, saying the belt still belongs to him and the company has it out for him. He promises to get it back if its the last thing he does.

 

Big Bossman w/ Slick vs. Koko B. Ware

Bossman beats on Koko after Slick provides a distraction. He tosses Koko outside but Koko comes back and hammers away. Bossman gets tied up in the ropes after a dropkick as Koko hits a flying headbutt. The crowd is into Koko as he stays in control. Bossman overpowers Koko then hits a corner splash as he now stomps a mudhole in him. He hits a clothesline but pulls Koko up after a two count. Bossman now works a surfboard then after getting hit, drops his weight across Koko’s back as Slick laughs hysterically on the outside. Bossman hits a slam then heads up top but misses a splash. Well, he was supposed to but he still hit Koko on the back. Bossman then crotches himself after missing a charge as Koko fires away. Koko hits a missile dropkick but is unable to put Bossman away. Bossman catches a crossbody and dumps him outside before hitting the sidewalk slam for the win (5:57) *1/2.

Thoughts: Decent action for a squash match. Bossman looked impressive and Koko is as unselfish as a worker there is as he made Bossman look like a star.

 

Mooney is in the locker room with the Ultimate Warrior, who is celebrating with the Bulldogs and Jim Duggan among others. Warrior talks about rising to the challenge and how the Little Warriors and himself are not hard to find as they will be on the next spaceship to Parts Unknown.

 

Hercules vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Heenan is not with Hercules here, which puzzles the announcers. Jake sidesteps a sneak attack to start. They go back-and-forth briefly until Hercules avoids the DDT by ducking outside. Back inside, Jake hammers away then hits a slam. Hercules tries to break up a headlock with a back suplex but Jake is able to maintain the hold. Hercules takes control and drops a few elbows before applying a chinlock. Hercules maintains that hold for a while then dumps Jake out to the floor. Hercules beats on Jake, who is on the apron, until Jake yanks him outside. However, Hercules snaps Jake’s neck off of the top rope after that. Back inside, Jake takes control after a jawbreaker then tries for the DDT but Hercules breaks that up with a backdrop. Jake then whiffs on a knee lift as Hercules lands a stomp. Hercules hits a slam then drops an elbow for two. He yells at the referee and tries another slam but Jake floats over and hits the DDT for the win (10:06) *. After the match, Jake dumps Damien on top of Hercules.

Thoughts: This went on forever. Jake’s matches were extremely dull at this point but he was still over. He was fun to watch on TV squash matches but in longer ones like this, they were usually snoozefests.

 

We are now shown all of the events leading to the Mega Powers vs. Mega Bucks match.

 

Mega Bucks w/ Virgil & Bobby Heenan vs. Mega Powers w/ Elizabeth with Special Guest Referee Jesse Ventura

The Mega Powers are upset as Jesse makes them switch corners. Hogan then agrees to let Savage start against Andre. Savage gets tossed into the corner then tags DiBiase. Hogan is in and clotheslines DiBiase as the Mega Powers cut off the ring. Heenan and Virgil are on the apron screaming as the Powers maintain control using quick tags. They almost put DiBiase away with a double boot but Hogan gets caught trying to attack Andre. Jesse orders Elizabeth to the floor as DiBiase attacks Hogan. Andre tags and works a nerve hold for a bit. Jesse struggles to maintain order as DiBiase lands a few cheap shots before making the tag. DiBiase gets two with a fist drop before working a chinlock. Hogan powers out of that then they end up clotheslining each other as both men are down. Hogan tags first as Savage unloads on DiBiase. He hits the flying double axe handle but misses a charge in the corner as that allows DiBiase to tag out after he catches Savage with a clothesline. Andre tosses Savage into the corner and beats him down before tagging out. DiBiase hits a suplex for a nearfall then follows with a backbreaker. DiBiase heads up top but misses a falling back elbow drop as both men are down. Savage is up first and makes the tag as he beats on DiBiase in the corner. He hits a suplex then attacks Andre, who stepped into the ring. Savage is up top and Hogan orders him down. However, Savage climbs the other side of the ring as Andre gets his foot up. Andre then attacks Hogan from behind then tosses the Mega Powers to the floor. Elizabeth is on the apron then removes her skirt, to the delight of just about everyone. This distracts the Mega Bucks to the point it allows Savage to hit Andre from behind with a flying double axe handle. DiBiase is left standing as he gets slammed down. Savage then hits DiBiase with a flying elbow drop as Hogan hits his leg drop then Savage assists Jesse with the three crowd after he held up his hand for the win (13:57) **3/4. After the match, Elizabeth and the Mega Powers celebrate.

Thoughts: Fun match. They used a great formula for this and they did a fine job of building up to it on TV. The finish should not be a surprise since on the episode of “Superstars of Wrestling” the Mega Powers said there secret weapon would be Elizabeth taking off her skirt. Speaking of that, the Garden almost popped as much of that as they did the Ultimate Warrior beating Honky. A great way to close out a subpar show.

 

Final Thoughts: This was hyped as a one-match show heading in and coming out it was the same way. There were a few decent tag matches and the Warrior winning was awesome but the rest was either forgettable or terrible and the constant PPV hype for the Sugar Ray Leonard fight got to the point it was so overwhelming you’d never even consider ordering that fight. They really hyped November as a big PPV month with that and the Survivor Series. Overall, I’d check out the main event and Warrior winning and skip everything else.

 

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

Saturday: RoH The Conclusion 11/28/03

Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 9/4/88

Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/10/88

Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 9/11/88