October 29, 1988
From the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, MD
Your hosts are Jesse Ventura and Vince McMahon
Tonight, we will see Jake Roberts vs. Rick Rude, Hart Foundation vs. Demolition for the WWF Tag Team Titles and Hulk Hogan vs. King Haku
“Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts w/ Cheryl
These two lockup immediately as Jake tries to rip off Rude’s tights, which feature Cheryl on the front and back. Jake then works the arm for a while until Rude cheap shots Jake after a break against the ropes. Rude ducks a short-armed clothesline then hits a clothesline of his own as he now takes control of the match. Rude harasses Cheryl but it takes up too much of his time as Jake comes back with a clothesline. Jake hits a gutbuster as he is beating on Rude. Jake holds up Rude in a surfboard as Rude’s head is sticking through the ropes so Cheryl can slap him in the face as both Heenan and Jesse, on commentary, are livid that Cheryl is still out here and that Jake has not been disqualified. Cheryl then ends up leaving as Jake escorts her back as we head to break. The action returns with Rude ramming Jake into the ring post. Rude steps inside and gyrates as Jake heads in too and fights back. Jake hits a backdrop then signals for the DDT but Rude is able to slam Jake then heads up top and hits a fist drop for a two count. Rude tries for the Rude Awakening but Jake escapes. Rude then sets up for a backdrop but Jake stops and hits him with the DDT. Jake then starts attempting to rip off Rude’s tights while Heenan is up on the turnbuckle screaming then Heenan runs in to attack Jake for the DQ (7:22) **1/2. After the match, Jake tries to beat on Heenan but Andre the Giant comes out for the save. They check on Rude as Jake grabs Damien and holds it up as Andre looks petrified. Andre sticks out his hand as Jake points Damien towards him then Jake throws Damien at Andre as he starts freaking out. Andre finally gets the snake off of him but Jake places it back on top as Vince is screaming how Andre is terrified of the snake. Damien is shown slithering all over Andre, who is out cold, as Jake stands over him holding up Damien as the crowd goes nuts. He leaves as Heenan runs in and starts pounding on Andre’s chest in order to wake him up while Jesse is joking on commentary for Heenan to give mouth-to-mouth then medics finally appear.
Thoughts: Solid TV match. This was the end of the Jake/Rude feud as they milked that for six months with great results. Plus, they seamlessly moved Jake right into a feud with Andre to keep his momentum going. Between the video package recapping the feud, the match, and post-match angle with Andre, it lasted over 20 minutes long. At least it was entertaining. It was also, I believe, the end of Cheryl’s brief WWF run.
After the break, Andre is shown slowly getting up in the ring as Vince says who knew that Andre was this petrified of snakes. Andre is still in shock as Heenan is able to calm him down a bit outside of the ring.
WWF World Tag Team Title Match: Hart Foundation vs. Demolition (c) w/ Mr. Fuji & Jimmy Hart
They are playing off of the storyline leading up to SummerSlam where Jimmy Hart told Demolition and Mr. Fuji all of the secrets about the Hart Foundation. Neidhart starts off by attacking but gets outnumbered in the corner. Neidhart fights back and tags Bret, who takes Smash down with a dropkick. Smash then sends Bret into the corner and hammers away as Fuji chokes out Bret as the referee is distracted. Ax tags and beats on Bret then chokes him out against the ropes. Demolition stays on the attack until Bret comes back to hit Smash with a clothesline then makes the tag as Neidhart runs wild. He hits Smash with a powerslam but Ax breaks up the pin. The match breaks down as the Hart Foundation are in control but we see the Rougeau Brothers in the aisle. Bret decks Fuji as Neidhart chokes Jimmy but Raymond distracts Neidhart as Jacques tosses the megaphone to Smash, who uses it to whack Neidhart as the referee was distracted then Smash covers and gets the win (5:58) **1/4.
Thoughts: Good action while it lasted. More than anything else, this was designed to further along the feud between the Hart Foundation and Jimmy Hart & The Rougeaus. The crowd was really into the Hart Foundation here.
King Haku w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Hulk Hogan w/ Elizabeth
Jesse thinks it is peculiar that Elizabeth is here alone with Hogan. Match starts with Haku attacking Hogan from behind. He rakes the back then beats on Hogan in the corner. Hogan fights back and returns the favor. He hits a clothesline then rakes the eyes as Jesse is disgusted with Hogan cheating. Heenan distracts Hogan as that allows Haku to attack the Hulkster. Haku works a nerve hold then after that sends Hogan to the floor with a kick to the head. Heenan is yelling at Hogan, who is between him and Elizabeth. Haku is on the apron and tries a flying chop but Hogan pulls Heenan in front of him as Haku takes out his manager. Hogan then takes the crown and heads in the ring as a few referees takes Heenan to the back as we head to break. The match returns with Hogan beating on Haku, who catches Hogan with a clothesline. Haku stays on the attack until Hogan hulks up and hits the big boot then a leg drop for the win (6:16) *1/4. After the match, Elizabeth gets in the ring and celebrates with Hogan, who carries Elizabeth on his shoulder.
Thoughts: This match itself was not very good at all but the outside stuff from Heenan kept things entertaining at least. Jesse was great on commentary though as he ripped on Hogan for cheating and why he came out with Elizabeth.
Dino Bravo w/ Frenchy Martin vs. Ken Patera
These two try and knock each other off their feet to start. Patera then lands a few punches and hits a slam as bravo bails. Bravo heads back inside and boots Patera in the gut before hammering away. Patera fights back and hits another slam then sets up for the full nelson but Bravo reaches the ropes. Patera then eats boot on a charge as Bravo hits an inverted atomic drop before hitting a side slam for the win (3:03) 3/4*.
Thoughts: This was an energetic in the first minute but Patera was completely blown up by the end. This match was designed to put Bravo over as he was in his feud with Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Patera was on his way out of the company, with Survivor Series being his last major appearance with the company.
Big Bossman w/ Slick vs. Jim Powers
In the pre-match interview, Okerlund said that the Big Bossman makes “Dirty Harry look like Regis Philbin.” Bossman beats down Powers right off the bat. Powers slides underneath Bossman’s legs and jumps on his back for a sleeper but Bossman rams him into the corner. Bossman stays on the attack and taunts Powers before using a bearhug. Powers comes back to hit a pair of dropkicks but runs into a sidewalk slam as Bossman gets the win (2:34) 1/2*. After the match, Bossman cuffs Powers to the ropes and beats him with the nightstick, even choking him out with his foot, as Slick distracts the refere.
Thoughts: Good squash match to put over Bossman as a major threat. On commentary, Vince brought up Bossman’s attack on Hogan during the “Brother Love Show” as they are starting up that feud, which will be the main event of Survivor Series.
We then hear from Hogan, who tells the Big Bossman sooner or later the WWF will put them together as Bossman will be brought to trial by the Hulkamaniacs. Hogan’s eyes were bugging out of his head as he appeared to be under the influence. Hogan’s nonsensical promo aside, this told us to expect a Bossman vs. Hogan match soon. These two also started to go around the house show circuit at this time, including the 11/12/88 Philadelphia Spectrum show, which I will be reviewing next week.
Jesse Ventura, wearing a suit and a hat, as he is with Andre the Giant and Bobby Heenan. Jesse brings up how Andre is afraid of snakes as Andre flips out and grabs his tie. Heenan then yells at Jesse for even saying the word “snake” as they all talk about how the snake should be banned from ringside. They really established Andre’s fear of snakes on this show, setting him up for his feud with Jake Roberts.
Final Thoughts: The first two matches were decent enough and they did a lot of storyline advancement here, making it a watchable show. The main thing here was the Andre angle, which took up much of the show. They also teased a future Bossman vs. Hogan match and ramped up the Hart Foundation vs. Jimmy & Rougeaus feud. No mention of Survivor Series here but some of what happened ties in nicely to the show.
Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 11/12/88
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 2/4/82
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 10/30/88
Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 11/5/88
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 11/6/88
Wednesday: EVOLVE 65 7/17/16