August 25, 1990
From the Providence Civic Center in Providence, RI
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Roddy Piper, making his debut as color commentator.
This week, Hulk Hogan will be the guest on the “Brother Love Show.” Also in action are Rick Rude, Dusty Rhodes, Demolition, and the Texas Tornado.
Dusty Rhodes w/ Sapphire vs. Dale Wolfe
Sapphire comes out wearing her fur coat and jewelry as Roddy says there are rumors that Marion Barry is getting her these gifts. Jesus Christ. Wolfe rakes the eyes as Vince says we will have an update on Tugboat after this match. Dusty fights back then we hear from Sapphire in an insert promo as she says the best gift of all will come Monday night at SummerSlam. Dusty takes Wolfe down as the announcers want to know what Sapphire just meant then Dusty drops the Bionic Elbow for the win (1:57).
Thoughts: Most of this was the announcers talking about Sapphire and the gifts she has been receiving. However, right off the bat the show is missing something significant without Jesse in the booth. Sure, new commentary teams take time to develop but
WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. We see the clip from last week where Tugboat was attacked from behind during his match by Dino Bravo & Earthquake until the Big Bossman made the save. Tugboat was also taken out on a stretcher. Now, we hear from Bravo, Earthquake, and Jimmy Hart as they gloat over their attack while Earthquake tells Hogan he will be by himself with no one to save him and he likes that. Okerlund says we will hear more about this on the SummerSlam Report. The news seemed like a given after the ending of last week’s show. The reason behind the scenes for this is interesting in that no one seems to have a definitive answer. The rumblings at the time was that Tugboat was developing an ego and this was a way to knock him down do not seem true if you ask me since I’ve never heard anyone say this was the case. And after listening to Tugboat and how he pokes fun at himself for the Shockmaster gimmick I do not think the guy is one to act in that manner. Another reason was they tried to use this as a way to heat him up for a feud against Earthquake. That makes more sense since Tugboat was not really getting over in this role.
Mario Mancini & George Skaaland vs. Demolition
Ax & Crush are the ones wrestling here. Skaaland tries to mount some offense but Ax beats him down as the crowd cheers. Crush tags in and busts out a dropkick after Piper was babbling on about something inconsequential. Ax is back in and hammers away as Piper says he likes Demolition. Mancini is in now and Crush takes him down then they hit the Decapitation for the win (2:42).
Thoughts: Another win for Demolition as they gear up for their title defense at SummerSlam. Piper was brutal on commentary here.
SummerSlam Report with Gene Okerlund. They showed Demolition attacking Jim Neidhart from the “SummerSlam Fever” show and we also learn that Rick Martel vs. Tito Santana will not take place due to Martel having a previous modeling gig in Paris. However, The Warlord will be taking Martel’s place. The reason for this was Martel was still injured and unable to compete.
Mike Pocari vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan
Rude destroys Pocari as we hear from kids giving their predictions on the WWF World Heavyweight Title match at SummerSlam, with the kids picking Warrior to win, then Rude puts Pocari away with the Rude Awakening (1:03).
Thoughts: There has never been a WWF World Heavyweight Title PPV match, up until this point, that was this cold. No one is buying Rude as a threat and the Warrior is not getting over to the degree needed. And it certainly did not live up to the co-main event status.
Brother Love Show with guest Hulk Hogan. Heenan has joined Vince on commentary. Brother Love says Hogan will be like the Lone Ranger at SummerSlam because no one will be in his corner. He then talks about Tugboat getting injured like he did and like Hogan, will never be the same man again. Hogan tells Brother Love that everyone knows he is back and has something to say. He talks about the sneak attack on Tugboat but was away at the gym. And despite Tugboat being out for SummerSlam but will be back just a couple of days later. Hogan then talks about thinking back to when he was in the hospital where Tugboat brought him positive thoughts while putting over the strength of Hulkamania. Hogan says there will be thousands of Hulkamaniacs in his corner but there will be one huge Hulkamaniac in his corner and that is no other than the Big Bossman, who comes out as Heenan wants to know if this has been cleared with Jack Tunney. Heenan also says Hogan should have gotten Bossman’s mother because she is bigger and uglier. Hogan now promises victory at SummerSlam and will prove that Hulkamania is the strongest force in the universe. The promo was fine and it was easy to piece together Bossman would take Hogan’s place based off of what we saw last week. They added Heenan here to get another dig at Bossman’s mom to set up a feud that we will see post-SummerSlam.
An ad to order SummerSlam on PPV airs.
Bob Bradley vs. “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich
Kerry takes control early as we hear from Heenan & Mr. Perfect in an insert promo as they promise to take care of Kerry at SummerSlam. Bradley lands a few shots but Kerry takes him over with a hip toss. Kerry follows with a slam then hits the discus punch for the win (1:59).
Thoughts: Kerry gets another dominating win. They are really trying to get over the discus punch, a finish Kerry & Vince came up with as Vince felt the claw was too dated.
In action next week are Jim Duggan, The Warlord, The Bushwhackers, Earthquake, Legion of Doom, and Sgt. Slaughter.
Final Thoughts: The last-minute SummerSlam hype was expected but the biggest news happened on commentary. Jesse’s departure on the show left a huge void and Piper failed in his first show. He came across as a guy not paying attention to the product and he tried to tell jokes but they fell flat. He was a rambling mess, which became status quo as the decade continued. Prichard said he recommended him after his work in Portland but saw it was a disaster when he was nothing more than a comedy character. Big Bossman also became Tugboat’s replacement as the corner man for Hogan in a lengthy segment but the rest of the show tried to get you to order SummerSlam if you had not yet made up your mind.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/26/90
Wednesday: PWG 2017 Battle of Los Angeles, Final Stage
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Matt Borne
Friday: WWF 1990 SummerSlam
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 3/10/83
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/1/90
Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 9/2/90