August 30, 2004
Louis Izzo

Madison Square Garden
4/25/88

- Live From Madison Square Garden in New York City, taped on April 25th, 1988, a few weeks removed from WrestleMania IV. Once again, Gorilla Monsoon & Lord Alfred Hayes are on commentary duties and we quickly go into our first match of the evening.

- Brady Boone vs. Steve Lombardi:
Well this is definitely a weird opening match for Madison Square Garden. First time I've ever seen Pre-Brooklyn Brawler Lombardi. Lockup and Lombardi with a scoop slam. Monsoon mentions Pat Patterson has been "helping" Lombardi out. I hope everyone knows the story so I don't have to tell it myself. Lockup into the ropes and Lombardi with a series of shoulder thrusts to the midsection followed by forearms to the side of the face. Irish whip is reversed and Boone with an arm drag followed by a backdrop, sending Lombardi outside the ring. Boone with a drop toe hold and he applies an armbar then turns it into a wristlock. Irish whip and Lombardi with a slam, but he misses an elbow drop. Boone with an arm drag and he goes back to the armbar. Lombardi reverses into a hammerlock, but Boone turns it into his own. Arm drag by Boone and he crucifix pins Lombardi for two. Boone works the arm and drops a leg across the extended elbow. More reversals and Boone leg trips Lombardi and works the wristlock some more. Lombardi works Boone over in the ropes and presses Boone up into the air. Lombardi with a clothesline sends Boone spilling over the top rope to the floor. Boone spends some time outside before being slingshot back inside. Lombardi chokes with his foot and does...nothing much else. Lombardi with a back breaker gets a two count. Small Package by Lombardi gets another two count, and he applies a reverse chinlock. This lasts long enough that I can type up the introduction sentence or two to put before the match. Boone fights free and slams Lombardi. Boone off the ropes and he splashes the knees of Lombardi, so he gets choked down s'more. Boone tries another come back with a victory roll type hold, but it only gets two. Both men trade blows in the corner until Lombardi rakes the eyes. Irish whip to the corner and Boone misses something on a charge and is dumped outside again. Back inside and Lombardi with a clothesline for a two count. Boone reverses a suplex with one of his own and both men are down. Off the ropes goes Boone and he connects with a forearm to the face. Spinning heel kick followed by running knee lift by Boone. Irish whip is reversed and Boone connects with a diving elbow. Boone pounds on Lombardi in the corner and rams him into the buckle ten times. Boone connects with a Dynamite Kid snap suplex and heads upstairs, but Lombardi suplexes him off. This match WON'T END! Irish whip to the corner and Boone gets the boot in Lombardiís face. Boone goes upstairs again and goes for a moonsault, but Lombardi moves. A lock of missed charges and Boone with a German suplex for the pinfall at 14:56. * Way too long and boring to warrant a good rating. I don't see the point of giving two Jobbers 15 minutes, especially when neither was getting any form of push yet. (Boone got a little push earlier with Billy Jack Haynes, but that ended and Lombardi didn't become the Brawler for another year).

- Arm Wrestling Match:
Ken Patera vs. Dino Bravo:

Goody Goody Gumdrops. Ken Patera by now is a JTTS, and Dino Bravo is actually getting a slight push, but nothing major. Looks like Frenchy Martin isn't here. If you couldn't have guessed, Dino plays the delay game, breaking grips before the arm wrestling begins. Bravo should naturally win since Patera has almost no muscle while Bravo is roided up like he's Davey Boy Smith in 1991. If you couldn't guess whatís next, the babyface wins, so Bravo complains Patera cheated so we get a second go. Patera ends up getting his ass handed to him and Bravo slams him with the table. This piece of crap lasted about 10 minutes, which is really a waste of time. I'd rather see a match between the two, believe it or not. Obviously I don't rate Arm Wrestling contests, otherwise I'd be into another sport. Dino Bravo is announced as the winner.

- Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Bad News Brown:
This has a good chance to be entertaining, considering these two's history dating back to Stampede Wrestling. This is stemming off of the WrestleMania IV Battle Royale, where Brown and Hart formed a pact to win, but Brown double crossed the Hitman (insert Montreal joke here) and dumped him out to win. Bret then destroyed Browns trophy, turning face in the process. This is the first of aborted singles pushes for the Hitman, and everyone knew Brown was going over because he was being pushed into the upper-midcard/main events by the summer. Brown attacks Hart before the bell with hard rights to the back of the head. Irish whip and Brown with an arm drag and some posing. Irish whip and Bret reverses with his own arm drag followed by a scoop slam. Irish whip and Hart with a back elbow sends Brown out, who teases leaving the ringside area. Brown catches Bret with a heel kick in the corner and rams Hart hard into the buckle. Irish whip to the corner and Bret comes out with a rake of the eyes and a series of roundhouse rights. Bret with an arm drag followed by a scoop slam and elbow drop. Brown charges and Bret dumps him over the top rope to the floor, where Brown again teases leaving. Bret with a sling shot back in on Brown and Brown wants a truce. Bret doesn't fall for it an scores with an atomic drop and a series of European uppercuts in the corner. Irish whip to the corner and Brown boots Bret hard in the face. Brown goes up top, but Bret recovers to slam BNB off. Bret with a stomp to the midsection followed by an inverted atomic drop. Bret with a leg drop and comes off the second rope with a forearm to the chest. Bret rakes the eyes of Bad News and goes for a back breaker but Brown thumbs him in the eye. Brown charges out of the corner with a stiff clothesline and connects with an elbow drop. Brown hammers on Hart with a series of rights and drops a knee across the throat. Brown chokes Hart on the top rope and sling shots him back to the center of the ring. Brown with a scoop slam followed by a running fist drop and some choking. Brown drags Hart to the edge of the apron and drops an elbow across the chest. Back outside the ring and Brown with a scoop slam onto the floor followed by ramming the back of Hart into the steel post. On the apron and Brown with forearms across the chest of Hart, who tumbles back into the ring. Irish whip to the corner and Bret takes it chest first hard. Irish whip to the corner is reversed and Brown takes the chest first bump. Bret to the second rope and comes off missing an elbow drop. Brown drives a fist to the chest of Hart several times and connects with a knife edge chop off an Irish whip. Brown with a leg drop gets a two count for the first pin attempt of the match. Brown rakes the eyes of Hart and puts him down with a series of headbutts which gets a two count. Brown with a scoop slam and he jives to the corner and comes off the second rope missing a swan dive headbutt. I love camera angles where you don't know they miss until the person lands. Bret with a series of rights to the back of the head followed by a back drop. Bret with mounted punches on the fallen brown and connects with an elbow drop. Bret with a side back breaker for a two count. Bret throws Brown outside through the ropes and comes off the apron with a forearm to the back of the neck. Scoop slam by Hart on the outside and it appears he's having a bad hair day. Brown struggles to get back inside so Bret helps by connecting with a suplex from the apron to the middle of the ring. Hart with an elbow drop and he covers for a hot two count. Bret with a standing dropkick and stomps the midsection of Brown. Snapmare by Hart and he misses a snap elbow drop. Brown now in control with roundhouse rights. Irish whip is reversed and Bret connects with a monkey flip for two. Irish whip and Hart with a boot to the midsection. Brawling in the ropes and Brown dumps Hart over and out of the ring. Brown tries a piledriver outside but Bret back drops free of it. Back into the ring they go and Hart connects with a jumping piledriver for two. The referee didn't count for some reason, and we get a Time Limit Draw at 18:35?! Bret doesn't care and bitch slaps Browns bald head like it was a hooker who owed him money. If not for the really crappy finish, I would've gone 4-star, but I'll settle for ***3/4. VERY, VERY good, entertaining, with non stop action and ZERO REST HOLDS! These two really mesh well, and they were able to put on a good match that the crowd cared for. But that finish just sucked major ass.

- Bam Bam Bigelow vs. One Man Gang:
A WrestleMania IV rematch, and boy did that match suck, with a horrible finish where Bigelow was counted out on THE APRON. Thatís never a count-out, but for some reason it was. No managers for some reason are at ringside. Bigelow does some tumbling to avoid the fat of the Gang. My, we go from 4-star potential match to THIS. Lockup in the corner and the fat man circle jerk around the ropes. Bigelow with a standing side headlock, and we get a shoulder block budging no one. Bigelow with another shoulder block and Bigelow connects with a series of headbutts to the side of the torso of Gang. Wristlock by Bigelow takes Gang down and drops a leg across the arm and applies an arm stretcher. This is already better than the WM IV Match. This hold lasts FOREVER, thus taking away the last comment IO made. Bigelow with a series of diving headbutts to the elbow of Gang and applies an armbar. Irish whip and Bigelow tries a sunset flip, but Gang is too fat and squashes Bigelow like a doughnut. Gang boots Bigelow in the head and chokes him on the bottom rope. Gang with some squashing in the corner to Bam Bam and this match past being good. Bigelow fights back with rights but Bigelow eats a thumb to the eye and the Gang chokes him in the corner. Irish whip and Gang connects with a clothesline. Vulcan nerve hold by Gang stalls for some time, and we some close ups of Gang making ugly faces but just straining. Bigelow with a series of elbows to the midsection and the two trade blows. Irish whip is reversed but Bigelow boots Gang in the face and nails a diving clothesline. Bigelow puts Gang down with a shoulder block, but goes to the well too many times and spills to the floor. Bigelow comes back by ramming Gangs head into the buckle like 40 times and we get a DISQUALIFICATION at 9:09 because Bigelow kept ramming Gang into the buckle. ARE THESE TWO ALLERGIC TO REALISTIC FINISHES?! Afterwards we get fat man cat fight. 1/2* Blech, started good but just dragged on and on and had a retarded finish....the SECOND in two shows between these guys. Afterwards Bigelow slams Gang and does some cartwheels.

- WWF-World Championship Match:
"Macho Man" Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth) (c) vs. "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase (w/ Virgil):

Well this can erase the bad taste of the last match from my mouth, but WHY is the World Title Match in the middle of the show? No, they didn't have a title change since Dibiase never was a recognized World Champion. We finally get to see some managers. Save goes after Virgil when the match starts so Dibiase comes off the apron with a double axe-handle and hammers away at Savage on the outside. Dibiase rams Savage's face into the apron, so Savage returns the favor by sending Dibiase into the ring post. Savage rams Dibiase into the ring apron this time and they finally go inside the ring. Savage catches a boot from Dibiase and connects with an atomic drop, sending Dibiase over the top rope. Savage to the top rope, but Virgil is blocking the path to Dibiase. Savage drags Dibiase onto the apron and jerks his arm across the top rope. Savage heads back outside and rams the elbow of Dibiase into the steel post and tosses the M$M back inside. Stomp in the corner by Savage and he applies a wristlock. Irish whip and Savage with a shoulder block followed by a running elbow to the head and goes back to the wristlock. Dibiase rams Savage into the buckle and whips him across the ring but ends up hitting nothing but buckle on a charge. Savage stomps away at Dibiase and chokes him in the corner. Dibiase is able to use the tights for leverage, sending Savage out of the ring. Dibiase rams Savage into the security rail and tosses him back into the ring. Dibiase to the second rope and he connects with an elbow to the top of the head for a two count. Choking by Dibiase and he introduces Savage to the buckle. Irish whip and Dibiase connects with a clothesline for two. Savage mounts a comeback and connects with an elbow to the head but Dibiase boots him to the midsection and connects with a suplex for two. Savage is on his feet and applies a small package for two of his own. Dibiase stomps away at Savage and chokes him under the middle rope. Irish whip is reversed and Dibiase goes for a sunset flip, but Savage blocks and punches him in the face. Dibiase with a weak kick drops Savage and he tries another suplex, but Savage blocks and connects with his own. Dibiase comes off the second rope and connects with an elbow to the back of the head. Snapmare and Dibiase applies a reverse chinlock. Savage battles back to his feet but Dibiase takes him down with a yank of the hair. Savage is up again and rams Dibiase into the buckle to break the hold. Dibiase with a scoop slam and he goes to the second rope, and obviously misses the reverse elbow drop. Savage rams Dibiase to the buckle and whips him across the ring, connecting with a back elbow. Savage hot shots Dibiae across the top rope and goes to the top rope and connects with a double axe-handle. Savage misses a charge and we get a referee bump. Savage with a clothesline and he goes upstairs again but Virgil takes out the knee of Savage, causing him to spill onto the floor. Savage is out cold and is counted-out at 11:59, giving Dibiase the win, but obviously not the title. **3/4 Not as good as I anticipated, but still an enjoyable match with a hot crowd, unlike the WM IV Match. Savage chases off the bad guys with a chair, who thought they...er...Dibiase won the World Title. For some reason Savage celebrates keeping the title, despite losing the match. Only in Wrestling...

- Jose-Luis Rivera vs. Barry Horowitz:
I can't help but chuckle whenever Finkel announces Rivera. Rivera would go on to be a member of Los Conquistadors along with Jose Estrada Jr., but don't know if he became a member of The Shadows. Barry Horowitz would not win a match until 1995 apparently, but I think that's farfetched considering he's fighting a fellow jobber. Lockup and we have a jobber break. Horowitz with an Irish whip but itís reversed and Rivera with a back drop. Irish whip is reversed to the corner and Rivera with a series of arm drags and he applies a wristlock. Lockup and Rivera with a wristlock and turns it into a hammerlock. Irish whip and Rivera with another series of arm drags and applies an armbar. Irish whip again and Rivera with a dropkick followed by an arm drag into an armbar. Shit happens and Horowitz takes control by stomping Rivera in the head. Horowitz with a European uppercut and he rams Rivera into the buckle. Really boring match, so excuse me being lazy, since I don't like doing Jobber vs. Jobber. Horowitz with a gutwrench suplex gets a two count. 3/4 Nelson by Horowitz gets another two count and he moves onto a front facelock. Rivera fights free and back slides Horowitz for two. Horowitz rakes the eyes of Rivera across the top rope and snapmares him, followed by a Japanese head scissors. Both men are back up and Rivera with a small package for two. Horowitz with a victory roll pin for a two count of his own. Irish whip and Horowitz catches Rivera with a back breaker. Rivera is up and slams Horowitz off the top rope. Irish whip and Rivera with a back drop followed by a suplex and knee drop for two. Standing dropkick by Rivera sends Horowitz out of the ring. Irish whip to the corner and Horowitz with an elbow to the midsection. Rivera with a double leg sweep and sling shots Horowitz into the corner. Irish whip and Rivera misses a dropkick. Horowitz connects with a Russian leg sweep for three at 10:40. Horowitz wins! Horowitz wins! Horowitz wins! 3/4* Too boring, much like the opener. These JTTS' have no character, thus have no means of being able to have fans care about them. It would be like throwing me and someone else in a ring and be told to have a 10-minute match.

- WWF Womenís Championship Match:
The Sensation Sherri (c) vs. Desiree Peterson:

It's the MSG Show From Hell! Two Jobber Clashes, an Arm Wrestling Match, and now a Womenís Title Match! Oh well, at least three matches on this show has promise, and two already delivered. I'm begging for something short. Peterson is from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The neck strap of her wrestling gear broke, so she's risking losing her top (covers eyes). Lockup and Sherri gives her a clean break! That boosts it about a quarter-of-a-star. Handshake offering and Sherri pulls Peterson in, but she controls and connects with a cross body for two. Wristlock by Peterson and she connects with a leg drop across the arm and works an armbar. Sherri throws Peterson down by the hair and hides in the ropes. Sherri with a sledge to the back but Peterson fights back. Irish whip and Peterson with a backdrop followed by a scoop slam for a one count. Peterson applies a wristlock and throws Sherri into the middle of the ring and applies an arm stretch. Cat Fight! Peterson with an overhead takeover into a pin, but Sherri kicks out. Sherri fights up and puts Peterson down with a slap to the chest. Sherri rams Petersonís face into the canvas, so she comes back with a roll up for two. Irish whip and Peterson connects with a sloppy dropkick for two. Sherri wraps the arm of Desiree around the top rope and connects with a shoulder block. Crisscross and Peterson with a reverse monkey flip followed by a scoop slam for two. Sloppy shoulder block and Sherri rams the head of Peterson to the buckle. Sherri dumps Peterson out of the ring and stalls for time. Irish whip inside and we get a double clothesline. Peterson tries a comeback but Sherri slams her face into the canvas by the hair to get the three count at 7:32. *1/2 I've seen worse tonight, but it felt a little too slow with the rest holds considering the shortness of the match.

- The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hercules:
ANOTHER WrestleMania rematch. Too bad it was a match no one wanted to see again. Warrior steals Hercules chain and swings it around like the idiot he is. Face-to-Face we go to see whoís done more steroids leading up to this show. Shoving contest and Warrior poses. Lockup and we get a clean break. Lockup #2 and a Hercules shove-off doesn't really work. They go again and Hercules with an overhead wirstlock, but Warrior no sells and starts putting the pressure on Hercules, who in return throws Warrior down by the hair. Lockup and we get another battle of overhead wristlocks. I seriously hope they keep this one short....please! Hey, did I just see that Vladimir guy? After a shitload of stalling Hercules is dragged in and Warrior drops him with a chop. Irish whip is reversed and both men block the others punches and Warrior tosses Hercules down by the foot. NASTY chops by Warrior pops the crowd. Irish whip to the corner and Hercules with a clothesline, but Warrior no-sells. Hercules tries whipping Warrior to the corner, but no go and Warrior connects with his own clothesline. Hercules uses the tights of Warrior to send him outside the ring. Hercules brings the pain to Warrior outside and controls him in a test-of-strength knuckle lock. Warrior morons up and pounds on Hercules in the corner, so Hercules with a MAJOR rake of the eyes. Jesus these two suck, no wonder Hercules hated working with Warrior. Hercules applies a bearhug and that kills another two years. Warrior breaks free but ends up down again on a clothesline and Hercules covers for two. Snapmare and Hercules with a jumping elbow drop for two. Irish whip and a double shoulder block has Warrior fall on top for a 2.998 count. Hercules floors Warrior with a clothesline and covers for two. Warrior catches Hercules off the ropes with a powerslam for a two count. Warrior starts to have a fit and hammers on Hercules with roundhouse rights. Irish whip and Warrior with a clothesline. Gorilla Press Slam by the Warrior is enough for three at 12:47. -* Who thought Warrior/Hercules going longer than 5 minutes was a good idea? Kinda ruins Warriors image having a long battle with a midcarder while he's been slaughtering jobbers in mere seconds.

- Howard Finkel hypes a card on May 27th back here in Madison Square Garden. He runs down how to get tickets etc. etc. On the card the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers battle The Young Stallions. Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart faces "The Rock" Don Muraco. I guess he didn't turn face yet (Neidhart). "Outlaw" Ron Bass squares off with The Junkyard Dog. And a match that was suppose to happen tonight, Canadaís Strongest Man Dino Bravo faces Ken Patera. The One Man Gang will face Brutus "the Barber" Beefcake. In a Six-Man Tag Team Match, The Islanders & Bobby Heenan go against The British Bulldogs & Koko B. Ware in a WrestleMania rematch. In a rematch from tonight, Randy Savage will defend against Ted Dibiase.

- WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Demolition (c) (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. Strike Force:

This is the final match of the show, and it has a chance to be good. This is Demolitions first title defense at Madison Square Garden. Final WrestleMania rematch of the Night of course. All four men go at it in the ring. Martel kills Ax and they double team Smash. Double clotheslines around and Martel with a Boston Crab to Ax already! Santana prevents Smash from saving but it doesn't last forever and Smash sledges Martel to the back of the neck. Smash misses a snap elbow drop and Martel with a wristlock. Santana tags in and connects with a running elbow to the back of the head. Santana with a wristlock. Irish whip and Santana reverses an arm drag and keeps the hold on. Martel comes back in but is taken to the Champions corner where Ax hammers away on Martwl with powerful blows to the back. Martel comes back with a wristlock and drops a leg across the arm of Ax. Wristlock by Martel and Santana tags in for a double fist to the midsection and Santana rams his face into the canvas for a one count. Ax rakes the eyes of Santana and Smash comes in and walks into an arm drag. Martel tags back in and applies the wristlock. Irish whip and Ax clotheslines Martel to the back of the head. Double sledge to Martel by Demolition and Ax comes in with a reverse chinlock. Ax rams Martel into the boot of Smash and we get some double-teaming. Smash with a back breaker for a two count. Double sledges to the back of Martel by Smash and Ax tags back in with a fist to the midsection. Scoop slam by Ax and he covers for a two count. Ax pounds on Martel some more with heavy blows and the crowd loves it. Ax dumps Martel outside the ring and Smash rams Martels back into the ring apron. Smash tags back in and whips Martel to the ropes. Martel comes off with a sunset flip but Ax makes the tag in and kicks Martel in the head. Front facelock and Smash tags in and rams Martel into the buckle. Martel comes back with a series of lefts and boots Smash in the face on a charge attempt. Santana gets the fake hot tag, allowing Ax to pummel Martel some more. Irish whip and Martel connects with a diving back elbow. Santana gets the REAL hot tag and whips Ax to the corner, connecting ith a clothesline. Smash takes a whooping and Santana goes back to Ax. Santana whips Smash into Ax and connects with the flying forearm. Pier Six Brawl as Santana goes for the figure four, but Fuji canes Santana in the throat and Smash covers for three at 7:29 to retain the Tag Titles. *** Action packed match with almost no resting. Much better than the WM IV match and featured a hot crowd. Too bad they didn't work this match instead of the slow boring match we got at the PPV.

Final Thoughts: A Mixed bag here really. Only five of the matches featured Superstar vs. Superstar, all of which were either a WrestleMania IV rematch or direct from a WrestleMania IV Incident. The two Jobber vs. Jobber matches were kinda boring and a waste of a half hour, and the Womenís match was blah. On the other hand though the three matches that I had an expectation came through with three very good matches which really cancels out all the bad. I wouldn't have minded seeing Hogan here, but Savage is a fair trade considering he was the World Champion. Thumbs Up, but beware of the evil Jobber matches!

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