August 29, 2004
Louis Izzo

Madison Square Garden
2/22/88

- Live~! From Madison Square Garden in NEW YORK CITY BABY! Taped on February 22nd, 1988, barely two weeks removed from the infamous Andre/Hogan incident on The Main Event. Commentary duties from Gorilla Monsoon & Lord Alfred Hayes. Later on Bobby Heenan joins the team for commentary, which erases Hayes' suck, and adds some awesome. The Video Quality of the tape isn't too great, but it's decent enough for me to sit through for 2.5 hours, especially when I'm recording it for someone else, so I can't fast forward through the crap. (Damn!) The bell is really hard to hear for some reason, so excuse a few errors in Time.

- The Rougeau Brothers vs. "King" Harley Race & Iron Mike Sharpe (w/ Bobby Heenan):
Unique pairing here. I think Sharpe is an 11th hour replacement for Hercules, or some other member of the Heenan Family. Jacques and Race lockup. Irish whip and Jacques with a dropkick, followed by a double dropkick. Arm drag to Race and Jacques with an armbar. Raymond in and he applies his own armbar. Race with a scoop slam, but Raymond hangs on with the hold. Race with an elbow to the face and Sharpe comes in and walks into a drop toe hold. Jacques tags in and sit down splashes the leg knee of Sharpe. Sharpe is seriously the loudest jobber I've ever heard. Raymond tags back in and they wish bone Canada's Greatest Athlete. Raymond with a modified ankle lock. I'd call it a spinning toe hold, but that requires use of the legs from the person applying the hold. The Rougeaus drag Sharpe to their own and Jacques comes in to go back to the toe hold. Race comes in and hammers Jacques with rights, but Sharpe sucks and the Rougeaus keep the pressure on. Raymond tags back in and we get another wish bone. Unique sit down splash across the chest of Sharpe for two and Raymond goes back to the ankle. Jacques comes in with a stomp to the chest and goes right back out. Sharpe takes the eyes and Race tags in to take control. Race connects with a clothesline followed by an elbow drop for two. Race with a piledriver and a knee across the eyes gets another two count. Sharpe tags back in and slaps Raymond across the chest and rams him to the buckle. Oops, that’s Jacques, my bad. Race and Sharpe double team Jacques while Raymond comes in and accidentally distracts the referee. Race with a swinging neck breaker for a two count. Irish whip and Race connects with a clothesline. Sharpe is in again and back drops Jacques for two. Irish whip and Jacques with a sunset flip for two. Sharpe with a knee to the head and he chokes Jacques across the top rope. Snapmare by Sharpe and he applies a reverse chinlock. Race gets the tag in and hammers on Jacques with lefts and plants Jacques with a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Sharpe in and he slams Jacques hard, but misses an elbow drop. Raymond gets the hot tag and he hammers away on Sharpe. A Dropkick to both men and Raymond with a back drop to Sharpe. Irish whip and Raymond applies a sleeper hold. Race comes in to break it and pounds on Jacques. Double corner Irish whip is reversed and the heels collide. Clotheslines send Race out and the Rougeau Bomb puts Sharpe away at 9:26. **3/4 A Good wrestling match, although it was quite on the slow side.

- George "The Animal" Steele vs. Sika:
This one is NOT going to be pretty, I can tell you that. Sika is about 5 years past being useful, and George always sucked when it comes to actually wrestling. Sika prevents Steele from entering the ring several times. More punching by Sika keeps Steele from getting into the ring. Steele comes in and pounds away at Sika and bites his face, sending him outside. Sika drags Steele outside and rams him into a padded chair. More of keep the Animal out of the ring. Steele throws in one of the chairs...and takes more of them and tosses in two more. Sika misses a chair shot and hits himself, and Steele covers for three at 2:49. -* Really bad, but at least it was kept short. Steele afterwards steals Lord Alfred’s headset...and ends up destroying it in a act of rage.

- Ken Patera vs. Demolition Ax (w/ Mr. Fuji):
Heenan joins the crew for Color Commentary....Thank God. This is probably the ONLY singles match of Bill Eadie as Ax that I have ever seen in the WWF. We find out that recently the tag title Match for Wrestlemania IV has been set between Demolition and Strike Force. Lockup and we get a semi-clean break. Lockup #2 and Ax shoves Patera off. Lockup Part III and Patera hammers away on Ax and nails him with an elbow, sending Ax outside. Lockup and Patera with a wrist lock and elbows to where the shoulder meets the neck. Ax reverses with a hip toss, but Paters holds on and drives a series of knees into the elbow. Both men back to their feet and Patera re-applies the wrist lock. Patera puts Ax back down to the canvas and drives his knee into Ax's shoulder and turns it into a cross armbar. Patera lets go and chases after Fuji, so Ax sledges him from behind and rams Patera's face into the apron. Patera comes back and rams Ax's face into the steel post and then into the security railing. Patera to the top rope by a forearm across the back of the neck. Patera goes heel and starts to choke Ax. Irish whip to the corner and Patera meets the boots of Ax. Ax stomps away at the elbow of Patera that has some kind of cast on it. Fuji gets in a few cheap shots with his cane behind the referee's back. Irish whip and Ax with a back elbow, but misses a headbutt. Patera pounds away and whips Ax to the corner and nails him with a clothesline. Patera rams Ax into the turnbuckle ten times and puts him down with a clothesline. Patera signals for the end and actually applies the Full Nelson. Here comes Fuji to break it, but that doesn't work and Patera puts it back on. Smash comes out now, so Ax clotheslines Patera from behind and rolls him up at 7:27. *1/2 Decent Match, but it really had no good flow like the opening match. Double teaming occurs, but Junkyard Dog makes the save. Patera evil man he is, stomps on Mr. Fuji's derby hat.

- Junkyard Dog vs. Demolition Smash (w/ Mr. Fuji):
We obviously don't get any ring entrances since both men came out during and after the previous match. Both men have the previous competitors in their corners. This also doesn't have much promise to be good either. Lockup and Smash with a side headlock, but they quicky turn it into a slugfest, which Smash wins. Smash with a series of rights to the midsection, but an Irish whip is reversed and JYD with an arm drag followed by a headbutt. Patera threatens Smash, so Smash grabs a chair to back him off. Stick it to the conman! A Patera/Boss Man feud would've been a natural says I. Lockup and Smash with a series of rights in the corner followed by some chokes. JYD reverses an Irish whip to the corner and connects with a clothesline that missed by a mile. Irish whip again, but JYD misses a charge. Smash connects with his own clothesline and drops a series of forearms across the chest. Smash with a scoop slam to the Dog followed by an elbow drop for two. Smash with a modified chinlock, except JYD is almost facing him. Irish whip and we get a double clothesline spot. JYD with a headbutt, so Ax trips him up. Patera returns the favor to Smash, and JYD clotheslines Smash with his chain and covers for three at 3:44. 3/4* Could've been worse, but anything below 1-star isn't something to be proud of.

- Intermission Time! We have some promos, conducted by Craig DeGeorge. First up, "Canadas Strongest Man" Dino Bravo and his manager Frenchy Martin. They conduct a promo in French for most of it. Next up we get a Jake "The Snake" Roberts promo. Roberts, everyone should know, is the king of the promos. He runs down Bravo and his strategy and puts over his DDT as the deadliest move of all time. Now we get an interview with Bam Bam Bigelow, the 1988 answer to blue chipper, along with his manager Sir Oliver Humperdink. Whenever I read that name I think of the evil dude from the Princess Bride. Now we get Hacksaw Jim Duggan, king of suck. DeGeorge calls him "the Ho Man". So is that like an early version of The Godfather? Speaking of the Godfather, next up is the Doctor of Style Slick who has Butch Reed in the Main Event of the card. End of Intermission....Thank God.

- Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. Dino Bravo (w/ Frenchy Martin):
Imagine if THIS ended up being the Finals of the World Title Tournament at Wrestlemania IV! Blech, Jake Roberts rules, but I really dislike Bravo since he really, really sucks, especially when he's really jakked up on the steroids. We are reminded of Bravo setting the bench press record at the first Royal Rumble, which was fairly NEW at the time, unlike in 1990 when it was still debated. Someone at ringside has an original sign: DDT BRAVO. Lockup and Bravo sends Roberts to the corner and celebrates. Lockup #2 and Roberts forces Bravo down on his face in a nice spot. Lockup and Roberts with a side headlock into an armbar, but Bravo reverses with an arm drag and celebrates again. Roberts with an armbar and he turns it into a wristlock. Bravo tries another counter but Roberts holds on and wrings the arm. Roberts puts Bravo in a hammerlock and knees the elbow for a ten count twice. Roberts re-applies the hammerlock as the crowd chants "D-D-T". Bravo with a yank of the hair several times, but Roberts holds and throws Bravo down by the hair himself, so Bravo has a fit. Lockup and Bravo with a wristlock. Roberts reverses so Bravo with a series of chops. Irish whip and Roberts with a running knee lift. DDT attempt is blocked and Bravo runs to the outside. Back inside the ring and Roberts goes back to work with a wristlock. Bravo with an elbow to the face followed by an Irish whip, but Roberts holds onto the ropes to piss of Bravo. Bravo with a boot to the midsection followed by a series of left jabs puts Roberts down. Roberts blocks a slam and comes back with his own jabs, and Bravo drops next to the ominous green bag, scaring him to the outside. Lockup and Bravo takes Roberts over to the corner and drives a forearm into the midsection of Roberts. Irish whip to the corner is blocked and Roberts comes out with rights and tries for the DDT again to no avail. Lots of stalling outside throughout the match here as we come close to the ten minute mark of the match. Roberts goes after Martin, but catches Bravo sneaking up on him and beats him back into the ring. Bravo catches Roberts coming in and floors him. Bravo with a jumping piledriver connects for a two count as Roberts gets his foot on the bottom rope. Bravo drags Roberts to the middle of the ring and applies a modified sleeper hold and turns it into a chinlock. Roberts waastes no time getting back up and reverses to a hammerlock, but Bravo elbows him in the face and drops an elbow across the back of the head. Bravo applies a head scissors and drives the face of Roberts into the canvas several times in a cute spot for a two count. Irish whip to the corner and Bravo sends him back the other way hard. Bravo chokes Roberts from under the bottom rope as Martins slapping the mat becomes annoying. Bravo drags Roberts out of the corner and drops a headbutt across the chest for two as Roberts grabs the bottom rope again, so Bravo applies the chinlock again. We are reaching the fifteen minute mark of the match...Whoops, I gave away the result. Bravo comes off the second rope with a double axe-handle for a two count, and AGAIN Roberts was able to get his foot on the ropes. Bravo runs out of things to do, so he re-applies the chinlock. Roberts starts to "Snake-Up", but Bravo keeps the hold on tight. Roberts goes down again and Bravo puts the pressure while on his stomach. Bravo with a jumping elbow drop gets another two count and he slaps back on the chinlock. Roberts is out, or so we think, so Bravo covers for two. Roberts comes back with a jaw-breaker and a series of left jabs from out of the corner. Irish whip and Roberts with a fist to the midsection followed by the short-arm clothesline. Roberts tries the DDT, but Jake is hooked by Martin and is tripped up. Roberts with more jabs puts Bravo back down. Irish whip is reversed and Roberts with a sunset flip for two and the bell sounds at 19:23 for a Time Limit Draw. Well...they were off by 37 seconds. After the match Roberts ties Bravo into the ropes and unleashes Damian on Frenchy. Bravo tries saving but is chased off. *** I can't believe I said that, but both men worked a very good mat-wrestling match. Sure, they did nothing flashy or anything, and Bravo generally stinks, but it went fine with some creative moments in between the rest-holds. Too bad we didn't get to see anyone eat the DDT :(.

- Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Oliver Humperdink) vs. "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase (w/ Virgil):
Another potential Wrestlemania IV Tournament Final, and one that COULD'VE actually happened if the chain of events before the event took place. That is if Bigelow’s push wasn't halted, Honky Tonk Man didn't pull his shit at the Main Event, and Dibiase were to have won like originally planned. Dibiase cuts a pre-match promo and is #459 of 60969 in saying Hulkamania is dead from 1983-Current Time. Bigelow attacks from behind and rams Dibiase into all four top turnbuckles and connects with a delayed atomic drop, sending Dibiase over the top rope to the outside. Lockup and Bigelow takes a rake to the eyes. Dibiase with a series of chops in the ropes, but Bigelow is able to bounce back with a clothesline. Bigelow with a series of forearms followed by a shoulder block. Irish whip and Bigelow sends Dibiase out with a back elbow. Dibiase with a LOT of stalling so far...I hope we don't get another TLD. Lockup and Dibiase with a knee to the midsection and he pounds away at Bigelow in the corner. Bigelow fights back with elbows but a rake of the eyes stops him. Irish whip to the corner is reversed and Dibiase is put down with a shoulder block. Bigelow catches a boot of Dibiase and connects with another atomic drop. Irish whip to the corner is reversed but Dibiase runs into the boot of Triple B. Bigelow hammers on Dibiase and slams him hard. Virgil trips Bigelow up near the ropes, continuing the trend tonight. Dibiase rams Bigelow’s head into the canvas and begins to choke away. Irish whip and Dibiase with a clothesline, followed by some posing. Dibiase comes off the top rope with a single arm sledge and stomps the face of Bigelow. Irish whip and Bigelow is knocked over the top rope with a single punch. Back inside they go. Bigelow is put back down with a knee lift for a two count and Dibiase goes to the reverse chinlock. Bigelow fights to his feet and elbows Dibiase in the midsection, but Dibiase rakes the eyes and takes Bigelow back down. Bigelow's second attempt for a comeback is halted for a few moments, but he ends up ramming Dibiase’s face into the turnbuckle about 12 times. Monsoon says Dibiase probably has an Excedrin Headache #35. Irish whip to the corner and Bigelow with a series of shoulder blocks. Bigelow with a scoop slam and he goes for the slingshot splash, but Virgil stops him. Outside they battle and Dibiase rams Bigelow into the post, and beats the count into the ring for the Count-Out Victory at 11:04. ** Nothing bad here, but I expected better from these two, especially when Bigelow was in his prime here. I hate cheap finishes like these, but at least it wasn't as weak as Bigelow’s WM IV loss.

- "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. "Outlaw" Ron Bass:
This one is going to suck. Maybe if this were their pre-WWF Days, it would've been a cool brawl but this is under normal WWF Rules, so expect punch punch kick, kick punch. Last match before we go to the "Main Event" of the show. Bass attacks in the corner and punches Duggan down. Duggan avoids an elbow drop and slams Bass down. The 3-point stance clothesline is attempted but Bass runs. The two go ugly nose to nose and exchange blows. Duggan with an atomic drop followed by a clothesline sends Bass back out of the ring. Bass tosses a chair in, but Duggan catches it to a pop and he sits down on it to wait for Bass. Had to take a break to visit the vomit bowl, but I come back and they STILL are doing nothing with a big helping of nothing salad. Duggan with a wristlock and jerks the arm of Bass. Bass sends Duggan outside and he lands in the land of 1000 chairs. Bass rams Duggan into the security railing. Duggan, nasty man he is, has SLOBBER in his beard. Bass hammers on Duggan and connects with a piledriver for two. Irish whip and Duggan fucks up a sunset flip for a two count. Choking across the middle rope by Bass and this match is just DRAGGING. Irish whip and Bass with a clothesline and we get some more brawling. Abdominal stretch by Bass and he uses the ropes for leverage. Duggan with a hip toss but he misses an elbow drop. Duggan with a small package gets a two count. I noticed Heenan has left the area for this match, I guess because he got sick too. Duggan doesn't even bother to sell in a chinlock while the camera is panning his face. Duggan "Retards Up" and pummels Bass with a series of lefts and rights. Duggan with a shoulder block for a two count and he applies a chinlock. Duggan fucks up spilling to the outside and they brawl around the ring. Back inside and this match WON'T END! Nothing but punches for the last minute or so. Irish whip is reversed and Duggan connects with a clothesline. Bass does something to Duggan and covers for two. Bass chokes Duggan with his bull whip so Duggan grabs the 2x4 and whacks Bass with it in the head. WHERE IS THE DQ?! Outside Bass goes and Duggan follows, so we get a double count-out at 15:16. WHO GAVE THESE TWO FIFTEEN MINUTES?! -** Really, Really, REALLY Bad...90% of it was punching and kicking.

- In another Intermission Type session, The Fink runs down the card for Wrestlemania IV, which is only about five weeks away from when this show occurred. Seemed like the whole card has been set except for the Ultimate Warrior vs. Hercules match, of course, it was a meaningless match, so either it wasn't announced yet, or no one cared to mention it on this show.

- Main Event Tag Team Match:
The Ultimate Warrior & "The Rock" Don Muraco vs. "The Natural" Butch Reed & King Kong Bundy (w/ Slick)
:
Well this is a fine "Main Event"...Midcarders runnin' wild! Warrior isn't really over yet, Muraco is a horrible babyface, Bundy is on his way out of the promotion, and Reed at this point was doing nothing, not liking it, and was on the verge of heading to the NWA where he became Hacksaw again and was no longer a blonde. At least we get to hear "Jive Soul Bro" play in Madison Square Garden. Muraco pulls a Warrior and runs to the ring like a moron too. Warrior and Bundy brawl while Muraco rams Reed to the buckle. Double bulldog sends the heels into each other and Muraco drops an elbow on Reed. Muraco sling shots Reed back into the ring and the good guys with a double clothes floors the Natural. Reed and Muraco OFFICIALLY start the match for their teams and lockup. Reed with a standing side headlock. Irish whip and Reed runs into the fist of Warrior. Muraco with an atomic drop to Reed and Warrior rams him into the buckle. Bundy tags in and he's Heenan-less it seems. While Slick rants outside the ring, Bundy accidentally is rammed into Reed, knocking him off the apron. Warrior tags in and works the arm of Bundy with a wristlock. Warrior switches it to an armbar (wow!) and well...that’s all that is happening. Bundy hammers Warrior in the corner, but that lasts not too long and Warrior nails him with a clothesline. Muraco tags in and comes off the second rope with an elbow to the shoulder of Bundy. Reed tags back into the match and knees Muraco in the midsection. Muraco blocks going into the buckle and rams Reed into it ten times. Muraco with a knee drop gets a two count. The Rock (that sounds odd calling Muraco that) applies a wristlock as it seems the heels are really getting squashed. Reed hammers on Muraco in the corner, but is whipped to the corner. Reed catches Muraco with a boot to the face followed by a snapmare and applies a reverse chinlock. Muraco is sent to the buckle and Bundy tags in to pummel Muraco with his massive everything. Irish whip to the corner and Bundy with a snapmare and elbow drop for a two count. We reach the ten-minute mark as Bundy applies a reverse chinlock. Reed gets the tag back in and nails a double axehandle to Muraco followed by a sloppy swinging neck breaker for two. Reed goes back to the move of the night, the reverse chinlock. Snapmare by Reed and he drops an elbow for two. Irish whip and Muraco with a boot to the face of Reed. Bundy tags in and chokes down Muraco. Reed comes back in and we get a double shoulder block spot, which really doesn't seem as effective as a clothesline. We get a false hot tag and Warrior beats the crap out of Reed. Muraco hammers on Bundy and the heels whip the faces into each other. Irish whip and Warrior with a cross body on Bundy who trips over Muraco and that gives Warrior & Muraco the win at 14:48. **1/4 Match picked up pretty nicely after the first five minutes, but for a MSG Main Event it definitely wasn't as good of a match that you could expect.

Final Thoughts: Well, overall, the show wasn't that great. Big names like Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, Randy Savage, Honky Tonk Man, and Brutus Beefcake weren't present. Neither were the Tag Team Champions Strike Force. However, only two matches reached the point of suck, while everything else was either very good to at least entertaining enough to not need a dreaded press of the Fast Forward button. I'd call this a Thumbs Up Recommendation since it's rare and entertaining show, outside of 20 minutes.

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