WWF Meadowlands Arena – September 11th, 1988

September 11, 1988

From the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, NJ

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

Tonight’s top matches are Hulk Hogan vs. Bad News Brown and Jake Roberts vs. Rick Rude

 

Jim Brunzell vs. Curt Hennig

Ring announcer Mel Phillips did refer to Hennig as “Mr. Perfect.” Hennig has yet to make his TV debut. Brunzell is not wearing his Killer Bees gear and wearing long, tie-dye tights here. Brunzell takes Hennig down with a headscissors and works that on the mat for a bit. Superstar claims Brunzell can leap 7 feet in the air with his dropkick as he now works over Hennig’s leg. Hennig ducks outside for a breather then Brunzell takes him back down when he returns. Brunzell still works the leg until Hennig pushes him out to the floor. Hennig knocks Brunzell off of the apron a few times as he limps around the ring. Brunzell slingshots back in with a sunset flip for a nearfall but Hennig gets back up and hits a knee smash. Hennig works a chinlock for a while then knocks Brunzell down after he escaped. Brunzell fights back but Hennig gauges the eyes then starts raking the back. Hennig uses an abdominal stretch then starts beating on Brunzell in the corner. Brunzell fights back and tries a slam but Hennig falls on top for a two count. Hennig uses another chinlock but Brunzell escapes from that and starts hammering away. He knocks Hennig to the floor as the crowd finally starts to get into this match. Brunzell brings Hennig back inside but Hennig blocks a hip toss then starts pounding away. Hennig uses another chinlock then catches Brunzell in a sleeper until Brunzell runs him into the corner. Hennig uses a side headlock but Brunzell breaks that up with an atomic drop. Brunzell then kicks Hennig down and hits a monkey flip. He hits another atomic drop before getting two off of a slam. Dropkick gets two as Hennig was able to get his foot on the ropes. Brunzell then bounces off of the ropes but Hennig catches him with a powerslam as that gets the win (13:09) **. After the match, Hennig drops a few elbows on Brunzell as the crowd boos.

Thoughts: This started off as dreadfully boring but picked up a bit near the end. The crowd did not seem to know Hennig and were dead for a majority of the match. Hennig pretty much just used restholds here but did bump like a maniac for Brunzell’s comeback.

 

Bad News Brown comes out to the ring as the fans are booing like crazy. He then tells them their hero, Hulk Hogan, is going to get beat from pillar to post, just like the San Francisco 49ers did to the New York Giants earlier that day. This crowd hated Bad News, who was a damn good heel.

 

Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. “The Rock” Don Muraco

Superstar is urging the crowd to stand up and cheer for Muraco, who comes over and puts his arm around Superstar’s shoulder. Muraco starts by beating on Valentine. He chokes him out on the middle rope then Valentine gets scared when Superstar Graham stands up from the announcers table, which was right next to the ring. Muraco works the arm for a bit until Valentine retreats to the corner. Valentine takes Muraco down but misses an elbow drop as they face off again. Muraco shoves Valentine down then follows with a slam as Valentine rolls outside for a breather. They return with both guys knuckling up until Muraco rams Valentine in the corner. He catches Valentine with a bearhug as Valentine tries to fight out of that but Muraco cuts him off and hits a backbreaker for two. Muraco then puts Valentine in a Boston Crab but Valentine is able to make it to the ropes then roll outside for another breather. Back inside, Valentine cheap shots Muraco after a test-of-strength attempt. Muraco reverses an Irish Whip in the corner and starts stomping away. He uses a guillotine slingshot as Valentine does his flop after that. Muraco tries to take off Valentine’s shinguard but the referee stops him. Valentine limps around then breaks up an attack with an eye rake as he finally takes control of the match. He uses a top rope forearm smash to the back of the neck as he starts targeting that area for a while. He roughs up Muraco outside of the ring then brings him back in as he starts softening up the leg for the figure-four. Muraco stops a figure-four attempt then uses a small package for a nearfall. Valentines softens up the leg again but fails to apply the figure-four. Muraco hulks up and starts ramming Valentine into all four corners. He then hits a powerslam then finally removes Valentine’s shinguard. Muraco hits a swinging neckbreaker then signals for the Tombstone. He picks up Valentine and signals to Superstar and hits the move but the bell rung, signaling a time-limit draw (20:00) **1/2. After the match, Valentine knocks down Superstar and takes his shinguard as he sneak attacks Muraco from behind. Valentine locks on the figure-four but Graham crawls in the ring and starts hammering away as Valentine escapes with Muraco and Superstar celebrating.

Thoughts: I actually thought this was a solid match. It was paced well enough and while did blow up, it was while Valentine was on offense. The end also signals that they are going to stick to the feud a bit longer but Muraco ended up getting fired next month during the European tour, along with the Junkyard Dog.

 

Hercules vs. Junkyard Dog

They trade punches as JYD wins that battle. JYD attempts his crawling headbutts but Hercules is able to duck outside. Hercules is able to snap JYD’s neck off the top rope but misses an elbow as JYD hits a falling headbutt then misses a second as Hercules comes back with a clothesline. JYD fights back and hits a Russian leg sweep for two. JYD then hits one of the most pathetic clotheslines I have ever seen as he completely blown up here. He basically extended his arm and slowly fell into him. Hercules yanks JYD outside then targets the back. Hercules applies a bearhug as JYD eventually breaks out of that. JYD whips Hercules into the corner but runs into a knee smash as Hercules knocks him down for a nearfall. Hercules ducks his head for a backdrop but JYD headbutts him then hits another for a two count. JYD tries for a slam but Hercules grabs a hold of the ropes and slingshots himself on top of JYD and gets the win (9:38) -**.

Thoughts: This match was someone’s idea of a cruel joke. JYD was in no shape at all to go out and wrestle for one minute, never mind close to ten. I felt bad for Hercules around this time because he got saddled with a lot of stiffs.

 

Lord Alfred Hayes is with Hulk Hogan, who is sporting his war helmet. Hogan talks about how you can count down all of his victims on his way to the championship and wants the Hulkamaniacs to tell him how bad he should be. Hogan has been making it clear he wants the title, held by his friend Randy Savage.

 

Bad News Brown vs. Hulk Hogan

Hogan comes out with his War Bonnet and his license plate around his neck. Brown attacks Hogan before the bell and hammers away. Brown now chokes out Hogan with his own shirt. Hogan rolls away from a few elbow drops then hulks up and hammers away as Brown rolls outside. Hogan follows out and rams Brown’s face off of the ring apron. He slingshots Brown back inside to inflict more punishment. He drops a few elbows as the crowd is going nuts. Brown fights back with a headbutt then knocks Hogan down as he is back in control. Brown runs into a boot in the corner then Hogan follows with an atomic drop. Hogan misses an elbow drop as Brown goes back to hammering away. He chokes out Hogan on the mat then hits a slam as he drops the leg for only a one count. Brown lands some more shots in the corner following a leg sweep then hits a clothesline before taunting the crowd. He sets up for the Ghetto Blaster but Hogan ducks then hulks up as Brown does not know what to do. Hogan hits a high knee then hits a corner clothesline. Hogan ducks a clothesline as Brown accidentally hits the referee. Hogan tries to revive the referee as Brown grabs the war bonnet and uses it to hit Hogan in the ribs. Brown puts on the bonnet but Hogan fights back and takes it off as he puts it on and headbutts Brown before hitting the leg drop for the win (9:21) **1/4. After the match, Hogan celebrates and puts his license plate across his back and poses for the fans.

Thoughts: Decent match. On commentary, Mooney really sold Brown being undefeated and then he sold the loss how Hogan ending his streak, which would be considered as active on TV as they were building Brown up for the house show circuit as he would face Hogan then Savage.

 

Lord Alfred Hayes is backstage with Virgil and Ted DiBiase, who will be facing Hacksaw Jim Duggan tonight. DiBiase is sick and tired of the WWF putting roadblocks in his way but that he always gets what he wants. He calls Duggan the epitome of a big, dumb jock and tonight, he will get the wrestling clinic of his life. After that, he is with the Hart Foundation, who will be facing the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers tonight. Neidhart tells the Rougeaus no one wants them in their town as Bret calls them the “Ragu Brothers” and promises to wipe them off the face of the United States. Then, Rick Rude tells Hayes that Jake Roberts will not be able to sneak attack him from behind as he will face him man-to-man tonight. Hayes brings up Rude insulting Cheryl Roberts as Rude said all he wanted to do was give her what she wants and deserves. The Rougeaus then tell us there name is American and they want to represent and win their match for America. Jim Duggan is with Hayes and talks about DiBiase flashing around his wealth but that no one cares as he is going to beat him up.

 

Barry Horowitz vs. Blue Blazer

Blazer hits a few armdrags then starts working the arm, showing off his quickness and agility in the process as he wows the crowd. Blazer hits a slam then Horowitz retreats in the corner. Blazer goes back to the arm but ends up running into a thrust kick as Horowitz yells out how its now time for the Blazer to go to school. He guillotines Blazer on the bottom rope then knocks him down before getting two with a cradle. Double underhook suplex gets two. Backslide gets two. Blazer fights out of a chinlock but Horowitz knees him in the gut before using a front facelock. Blazer backs Horowitz into the corner then hits a crossbody for two. Small package gets two. Horowitz hits an uppercut then lays into Blazer some more before they fight over a test-of-strength. Blazer fights back but Horowitz got his knees up on a splash as Superstar astutely notes that can cause a hernia. Horowitz climbs up top but takes too long as Blazer slams him off then follows with a dropkick. Horowitz begs for mercy but Blazer hits a powerslam then heads up top with a splash for the win (11:15) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Good match. Blazer was so far ahead in the ring here that it made him seem out of place. The crowd did not know Blazer, who made his TV debut this day, but came away from this cheering him like crazy near the end.

 

“Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Duggan clears DiBiase from the ring with his 2×4 before the match as the referee finally has him put it down in the corner. Match starts with DiBiase firing away. Duggan ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own before laying into DiBiase in the corner. Duggan is firing away to the crowd’s delight as he sends DiBiase to the floor. Duggan slingshots DiBiase back into the ring then hits an atomic drop that sends DiBiase over the top rope. Duggan heads outside and uses the double noggin-knocker on DiBiase and Virgil. DiBiase re-enters as Duggan works the arm. He then blocks a sunset flip as the crowd is going crazy for Duggan. DiBiase rakes the eyes then Virgil trips up Duggan, who heads outside after him but that allows DiBiase to attack from behind. He rams Duggan’s head off of the table then into the guardrail. DiBiase taunts the fans before going back on the attack as the action is back in the ring. Duggan gets choked out in the corner as the crowd is getting behind Duggan, who fights back. DiBiase stops that with another eye rake before he chokes out Duggan once again. He follows a fist drop with a double axe handle but cannot put Duggan away. He hits another fist drop for a nearfall then Duggan almost puts him away with a small package. DiBiase is back up and tries a suplex but Duggan blocks that and hits one of his own as both men are down. DiBiase tries a turnbuckle smash but that gets blocked as Duggan beats on DiBiase before eating boot after a charge. DiBiase hits a slam and heads up top but jaws with the fans as Duggan slams him off. Duggan amps up as DiBiase backs up into the corner. Duggan sends DiBiase down with an elbow smash then uses mounted punches in the corner. DiBiase dumps Duggan, who is getting beaten down by Virgil as the ref is distracted. Duggan then grabs his 2×4 and chases Virgil inside of the ring and beats him down. He swings at DiBiase, who ducks down and escapes as the ref rings the bell for the DQ (12:03) ***1/4.

Thoughts: These two put on a clinic as far as working a crowd and it made for a good match. These two have always great chemistry together too, dating back to when they were together in Mid-South.

 

Hart Foundation vs. Fabulous Rougeau Brothers

A pair of rubber frogs were thrown into the ring at the Rougeaus before the match. Neidhart beats on Raymond as the Hart Foundation stay in control. Jacques tags as Bret hits him with an inverted atomic drop. Neidhart is in and applies a reverse chinlock then tags Bret, who eats boot on a charge. Raymond tags in as the Rougeaus are using all sorts of double-team moves on Bret, some of them even illegal. Neidhart has enough and runs in to save his partner but that ends up doing more harm than good as the Rougeaus cheat some more with the referee tied up. Bret elbows Raymond after the latter ducked his head attempting a backdrop then makes the tag as Neidhart runs wild. He decks Raymond off of the apron then beats on Jacques. Bret tags in and the match breaks down shortly after that. Bret hits Raymond with a piledriver but the ref is tied up then Jacques comes off of the top with a double axe handle and places Raymond on top for the win (12:17) **1/2.

Thoughts: The match was solid but more of a match designed to start a house show program than anything else. The Rougeaus were so much better as a heel act and this cannot be stated enough times.

 

Mel Phillips runs down the 9/29 Madison Square Garden show that features Dino Bravo vs. Brian Blair, King Haku vs. Junkyard Dog, Conquistadores vs. The Rockers, Bad News Brown vs. Tito Santana, Ron Bass vs. Brutus Beefcake, Honky Tonk Man vs. Ultimate Warrior and the main event WWF World Heavyweight Title Match between Randy Savage and Andre the Giant.

 

“Ravishing” Rick Rude vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts w/ Cheryl Roberts

Rude attacks Jake before the bell. He slams his face off of the mat a few times then stops a comeback attempt with a clothesline. The camera shows a concerned Cheryl as Rude whips Jake hard into the corner. Rude glances over at Cheryl then heads out after tying Jake up in the ropes. He gyrates in front of Cheryl until Jake broke free and ran out after him. He slams Rude’s face off of the table then tosses him back inside where Rude cheap shots him. Rude sends Jake outside then sneaks up and pulls him into the post. Jake rolls inside as Rude climbs up top then hits a fist drop. Rude works a hammerlock on the mat then knocks Jake down after he escaped and stomps in for a bit until applying an armbar. Rude yanks Jake down by the hair as Superstar yells about Rude intimidating him. Jake bites Rude’s face then runs into a knee smash in the corner. The camera shows Cheryl looking at the match stone-faced as Rude is back in control. Rude goes back to the hammerlock until Jake runs him out of the ring. Rude yanks Jake outside but Jake rams him into the ring post. Back inside, Jake starts firing away. He hits a backdrop then the short-armed clothesline then shows his wife what she did as she looks the same as before. Its quite possible she could be stoned here. Rude avoids a DDT and takes Jake down. He hits a fist drop then blows kisses at Cheryl while lying on the mat before he covers Jake for a two count. He makes another nonchalant cover after a piledriver then goes back to blow kisses at Cheryl but Jake sneaks up from behind and rolls him up for the win (11:50) **1/4. After the match, Rude bails after Damien gets dumped on the mat then Jake kisses his wife on the ring apron.

Thoughts: This match was alright but it told a good story of how Rude’s focus on Cheryl, the only woman who turns down his advances cost him the match as he is obsessed with getting her.

 

Final Thoughts: Overall, this was fine for a house show. The announcing, however, was not.  At least we had a few good matches and a decent amount of star power, as there were a minimal amount of matches containing just enhancement talents.

 

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

 

Saturday: Mid-South 1981 Year in Review Show

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/17/88

Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 9/18/88

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/24/88

Wednesday: PWG Prince 5/20/16

Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD

Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 9/25/88

 

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