WWF Superstars of Wrestling – September 3rd, 1988

September 3, 1988

From the Wheeling Civic Center in Wheeling, WV

Your hosts are Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Vince McMahon

In action this week are the Powers of Pain, Rick Rude, One Man Gang, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Plus, an interview with the new Intercontinental Champion, the Ultimate Warrior and an update on Brutus Beefcake.

 

Powers of Pain vs. Pete Sanchez & Al Kirkland

The Warlord takes care of his opponents as we hear from the Bolsheviks and Slick in an insert promo as they want a rematch. The Powers of Pain are in control as Jesse thinks they should use wrestling moves at times. The Barbarian shoves Sanchez over to his partner then the Powers of Pain destroy Kirkland until putting him away with the powerslam/diving headbutt combo (2:37).

Thoughts: The Powers of Pain were more over here than usual on TV. Weird to hear Jesse spend most of the match talking about how they needed to start using actual wrestling moves if they want to climb higher in the Tag Team Division. Wonder if that was some sort of message being sent to the team.

 

WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week, we are shown the events that led to last week’s attack on Brutus Beefcake by Ron Bass, who attacked Beefcake with his spur, leading to the giant red “X” coming across the screen. We hear from Bass and Beefcake, whose head is all taped up, as they promise to destroy each other.

 

Dino Bravo w/ Frenchy Martin vs. Don Driggers

We hear from Jim Duggan in an insert promo as he is sick and tired of Bravo bad-mouthing America as Bravo beats on his opponent. Jesse is disgusted that Duggan is representing America in a border war as Bravo hits a piledriver and a gutwrench suplex before getting the win with a side slam (2:03).

Thoughts: They are now going all in with a Bravo/Duggan program, giving Duggan another USA vs. evil foreigner feud.

 

Sean Mooney is in the Event Center as he hypes up the Tag Team Division. We hear from the Killer Bees, who talk about being together for three years and will never stay down as they will be “buzzing forever.” Oddly enough, these two had stopped teaming by the time this aired and were both gone before the end of November. After that, we hear from Jimmy Hart and Danny Davis, who puts Hart over as the smartest manager in the WWF and that Hart has also taken him to the top of the WWF.

 

Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Joe Cruz

Cruz gets in Duggan’s face but is sent down to the mat. The crowd is very much into Duggan’s chants as Cruz lands a few shots. Duggan blocks a turnbuckle smash then beats on Cruz before putting him away with the Three Point Stance (2:25).

Thoughts: Duggan is still extremely over with the TV crowds. Such a simple act got him amazingly popular.

 

We get an ad for the new 1989 WWF Calendar as the camera zooms in on a picture of Elizabeth.

 

Bad News Brown vs. Neal Rodgers

Bad News attacks Rodgers before the bell. He hits a backdrop as Rodgers does the 450 sell then Bad News is shown in an insert promo, saying he is undefeated because when he wants something, he takes it and that he was beating people up instead of going to school. Bad News then roughs up Rodgers in the corner before tossing him to the floor. Rodgers flew out like Superman there. Bad News rolls Rodgers back inside and destroys him with a clothesline before hitting the Ghetto Blaster for the win (2:47).

Thoughts: Right now they are going with the Bad News is undefeated story to build him up the card. So far, its working out. Bad News was a good promo and great at his character, even if his in-ring work was deteriorating.

 

Mooney is back in the Event Center. We hear from the Big Bossman and Slick as they promise bigger and better things are coming. After that, we hear from Elizabeth and Randy Savage, who mentions how there are so many people gunning after his title but that the “Madness” will back him up all the way.

 

The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers plug the WWF Ice Cream Bars. However, they do not think they are fabulous.

 

Reno Riggins vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude

Rude catches Riggins in a powerslam before gyrating to the crowd. He then hits a snap suplex and pulls Riggins up before hitting the Rude Awakening (1:20). After the match, Heenan brings out a hand-picked girl for Rude to kiss.

Thoughts: A quick win for Rude, who is still feuding with Jake Roberts.

 

Craig DeGeorge welcomes the Ultimate Warrior to the interview platform. Warrior screams to that if the Honky Tonk Man wants the belt, he can come and get it from him. Jimmy Hart comes out and screams at Warrior, allowing Honky to sneak from behind and beat on Warrior with his guitar until it is completely destroyed. Funny thing about this segment is that it was taped on August 3rd, almost four weeks before SummerSlam. At this taping, they had the Warrior steal the belt from Honky in an unaired segment, leading to this interview. The fans were out of their minds for the Warrior here and the decision to put the IC Title on him was brilliant.

 

One Man Gang w/ Slick vs. Tommy Angel

Gang beats on Angel as we hear an insert promo from Slick, promising that the Gang will get a brand new look coming soon. Gang uses a lifting choke before hitting the front suplex for the win (1:50).

Thoughts: The big story here was Slick telling us Gang was getting a new look. His beard was a lot bigger here than usual and his hair was slowly starting to grow out.

 

We are then shown an odd vignette of Steele sleeping on the floor of the locker room, which is a mess, as he wakes up and grabs his mine doll. Vince sure loved these Mine Doll segments.

 

Barry Horowitz vs. Paul Roma

Roma catches Horowitz with a hip toss after a fast-paced Irish whip sequence while the announcers talk about the Warrior winning the Intercontinental Title, with Jesse saying it was a conspiracy with Beefcake’s injury purposely allowing Warrior to win the belt at SummerSlam. Horowitz blocks a monkey flip with an inverted atomic drop as he is now in control of the match. Horowitz gets two with a backbreaker then Roma fights back and hits a missile dropkick for the win (3:52). Wow, Roma’s win got a really good pop from the crowd.

Thoughts: This was just a backdrop for the announcers to talk about the Ultimate Warrior. The announcers did not even acknowledge Roma here, who for some reason was wrestling in a singles match. I know that Roma himself did not want Powers as a partner, stating he was difficult and frequently intoxicated, but they were still not done yet as a team.

 

Mooney is back in the Event Center. The Junkyard Dog puts over all the great talent in the WWF as he promises to move back up the ladder by challenging anyone to a match. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers tell us about the great news, which is they finally realized they were not booing them because they were confusing them with Dino Bravo but rather they realized the crowd was booing their opponents. God, the Rougeaus were great here with this act. It was really ahead of its time.

 

Next week in action will be Tito Santana, Big Bossman, Hart Foundation, Ron Bass, and the British Bulldogs.

 

Final Thoughts: This show really pushed what the company wanted to do after SummerSlam, which was push the Warrior to the moon, push Bad News near the top of the card as a heel, have Bravo/Gang feud, and let us know Gang was getting a makeover. I liked the show and it felt refreshing after weeks of a poor SummerSlam build and show.

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

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

Wednesday: EVOLVE 63 6/11/16

Thursday: Kayfabe Commentaries YouShoot with Hornswoggle

Friday: WWF Meadowlands Arena 9/11/88

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