December 25, 1988
From the Sun Dome in Tampa, FL
Your hosts are Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon
In action this week are the Ultimate Warrior, Big Bossman, Demolition, and Jake Roberts. Plus, an interview with Mr. Perfect and more!
Ultimate Warrior vs. John Latu
Warrior beats on Latu and tosses him on the ropes with a press slam before removing his belt. The announcers hype up the pose down at the Royal Rumble between Warrior and Rick Rude, who is shown in an insert promo telling Warrior he will bring him down to earth at the Royal Rumble as the people are the judge. Warrior then clotheslines Latu before putting him away with the press slam/splash combo (2:54).
Thoughts: They used this to put over the Royal Rumble pose down, which should at least be more entertaining than last year’s bench press segment with Dino Bravo.
WWF Special Report with Lord Alfred Hayes. This is on the Royal Rumble match as Hayes lists off the competitors.
Honky Tonk Man & Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/ Jimmy Hart vs. George South & Jose Luis Rivera
Rivera gets two with a sunset flip then hits a slam as Honky tags out. Valentine beats on Rivera then South tags in and works the arm but Valentine breaks out and hits a vertical suplex. Jimmy Hart is in an insert promo as he talks about Honky & Valentine coming after the Hart Foundation. Back to the match as Honky & Valentine remain in control until Honky hits the Shake, Rattle, and Roll on South then tags Valentine as he locks on the figure-four after turning his shinguard around and gets the win (3:30).
Thoughts: This is the second TV match with Honky & Valentine teaming up. Seeing how they do not have any singles feuds going on, it makes sense.
Sean Mooney is in the Event Center. We hear from Ron Bass, Koko B. Ware, The Rockers, and Greg Valentine hype up the Royal Rumble match.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Rusty Brooks
Heenan puts over how Jake is stupid for making Andre mad then states Andre is not afraid of snakes. We are then shown Heenan and Andre in an insert promo as Andre almost says the word snake and starts freaking out. Back to the match as Jake hits a knee lift and shortly after that puts Brooks away with the DDT (2:17). After the match, Jake puts Damien on Brooks’ face.
Thoughts: More hype for the Jake/Andre feud here.
Mario Mancini vs. Dino Bravo w/ Frenchy Martin
The crowd pisses off Bravo with “USA” chants. Bravo takes control early as we hear from him in an insert promo were he talks about 1988 being a great year and calls out Duggan. Bravo then hits a side slam but does not cover and hits it again for the win (1:39).
Thoughts: And we get more Duggan/Bravo feud hype here too.
Mooney is in the Event Center. We hear from both Ted DiBiase and Randy Savage as they talk about the Royal Rumble match.
Demolition vs. Danny Brazil & Rusty Riddle
Riddle is now sporting a surfer look. He starts off the match by getting his ass kicked. We hear from the Powers of Pain and Mr. Fuji, who tells Demolition that they are lost without him. Back to the match as Brazil gets beat down then put away with the Decapitation (2:08).
Thoughts: Demolition got a decent reaction from the crowd here as they are still feuding with the Powers of Pain.
A Royal Rumble ad airs.
Gene Okerlund welcomes Mr. Perfect to the interview platform. He puts over Mr. Perfect for surviving at the Survivor Series then calls him Curt Hennig and puts over his skills in golf, basketball, and bowling. Hennig then talks about the Royal Rumble and just like everything else in his life, the result will end perfectly for him. They are really trying to push the Mr. Perfect gimmick but its still not getting over as a heel act.
Jose Estrada & Iron Mike Sharpe vs. The Rockers
We get an insert promo from the Brainbusters as the match begins with Arn calling themselves the premiere cheap shot artists and to look out for them at the Royal Rumble. The Rockers take control with a few slick double-team moves but Marty is dragged into the opposing corner. Sharpe holds his own and catches Marty with a punch then tags Estrada, who hits a backdrop. Marty gets roughed up for a bit but ducks underneath and tags out. Shawn runs wild then Estrada runs into his partner as The Rockers put him away with the Rocker Plex (3:20).
Thoughts: After teasing a Brainbusters/Young Stallions feud, the Rockers are now the team gearing up for a feud with the Brainbusters.
We are shown the Bushwhackers segment with Okerlund as Santa Claus.
Big Bossman w/ Slick vs. David Heath
Heath is better known to most fans as Gangrel. Here, he is wearing a generic singlet out of the Bob Roop collection but Heath’s pair have long tights as well. Bossman destroys Heath right off the bat as we hear from Akeem in an insert promo as he tells Bossman if it comes down to them in the Rumble, he will win. Bossman then puts Heath out of his misery with a sidewalk slam (1:13). After the match, Bossman cuffs Heath then puts him around the post and roughs him up.
Thoughts: Dominating performance by Bossman as his feud with Hogan remains strong.
Mooney is back in the Event Center. We hear from Hercules and Mr. Perfect as they put over the Royal Rumble match. After that, the Hart Foundation and Jim Duggan call out the Rougeaus and Dino Bravo, their opponents at the Rumble, and yell at them for making fun of the American flag.
Final Thoughts: They maintained status quo here in hyping up the TV feuds and Royal Rumble PPV. Not much more to add other than that.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Monday: WWF Madison Square Garden 12/30/88
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 1/7/89
Wednesday: EVOLVE 67
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Santino
Friday: WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event 1/7/89
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 3/18/82
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/8/89