November 12, 2007
Matt Peddycord

WWF SummerSlam 1988
August 29, 1988
New York City, NY
Madison Square Garden

The current WWF Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Randy Savage (3/27/1988)
Intercontinental Champion: Honky Tonk Man (6/2/1987)
World Tag Team Champions: Demolition (3/27/1988)
Women’s Champion: Sensational Sherri (7/24/1987)

If you enjoy my WWF recaps and you’re also an NWA fan from way back when or have been converted thanks to the power of wonderful internet video sites such as Youtube and Dailymotion (heck, even WWE 24/7 for that matter), then I would like to inform you that I have old school NWA show recaps on my blog at http://wcwrules4lyf.wordpress.com! There’s still more old school NWA recaps to come, so be on the lookout!

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Superstar Billy Graham! Jesse Ventura has refereeing duties tonight.

The British Bulldogs vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers

This would be the Bulldogs last major PPV match together outside of the huge Survivor Series match three months later. Davey Boy controls the Rougeaus to start until Raymond sneaks in a cheapshot. Davey Boy cartwheels out of a monkey flip and tags in Dynamite. Jacques ends up saving Raymond from a ten-count corner punch with a back suplex to cause Dynamite to get in a bit of trouble. The Rougeaus double-team him for a while and trade off on an ab stretch. They do the same with a reverse chinlock, but Dynamite stands up and drives Raymond into the corner for the break. The hot tag is cut off and Dynamite gets a delayed inside cradle for two. False tag spot occurs, but then Dynamite headbutts Jacques away and makes the tag. Davey Boy presses Jacques and crotches him on the ropes! OUCH! The Bulldogs deliver a DOUBLE-NOGGIN KNOCKER and then Davey Boy presses Dynamite up for the Swandive Headbutt as the 20-minute time-limit expires. (11:19 shown) Hot formula tag action with the Rougeaus being awesome douche bags. If that’s possible. ***¼

Looks like there won’t be any struttin’ and cuttin’ on that Honky Tonk Man tonight. Brutus Beefcake got his head chopped off by Ron Bass and his spurs! Actually, Bass just cut up his forehead a bit, but cutting Beefcake’s head clean off is a much more exciting story.

Ken Patera vs. Bad News Brown

‘70S US OLYMPIANS EXPLODE! Talk about a de-push for Patera. The guy was hanging and banging with the Hulkster a year ago and look at him now. Patera tries to wrestle Bad News and works the back when he’s not missing elbow drops. He tries for the FULL NELSON, but Bad News avoids it like a black man avoids paying bills. By that, I mean he avoids it a lot. JOKE! Patera misses a charge in the corner and takes a GHETTO BLASTER (enziguri) to put an end to the match. (6:33) Apparently, judo > weight lifting. *

Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Junkyard Dog

An odd match considering Rude was feuding heavily with Jake Roberts at the time over whether or not he was boning Jake’s wife. As for JYD, this would be his last WWF PPV match as he had deteriorated to the point that the only company that would continue to pay him to wrestle was WCW. It’s the usual from the JYD until he misses a falling headbutt. Heenan distracts JYD, so Rude gives him a Russian legsweep from behind. He climbs up top and pulls down his trunks to reveal another pair of trunks with Cheryl Roberts face on them! That brings Jake down to get him some of Rude for the DQ. (3:55) Why they didn’t just have Rude/Roberts here is beyond me. CRAP

The Powers of Pain (w/The Baron) vs. The Bolsheviks (w/Slick)

This was pretty early in the PoP’s WWF run back when they were over as faces. The Baron is Baron Von Raschke under a hooded cloak. It’s so weird seeing a crowd respond to Barbarian. Total squash for the Powers. Barbarian goes crazy with the KICKS OF FEAR and then the Pain put Zhukov down with the Jumping Double Shoulderblock. POWERSLAM+FLYING HEADBUTT wins! (4:43) Again, a Demolition/PoP match would’ve worked fine here. *

It’s time for the Brother Love Show! Tonight’s guest is “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. Mr. Love questions Duggan why he doesn’t seem to have any love in his heart, so Duggan responds with HOOOOOOS and threats. Just an excuse to have Duggan on the show.

WWF Intercontinental Champion Honky Tonk Man (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. ???

Since Ron Bass did us all a favor and took Beefcake out of action for a while, Honky Tonk gets cocky and sends out an open challenge. Big mistake, pal. America’s hero Ultimate Warrior channels the spirit of Ronald Reagan and storms the ring. Before Honky even knows what the heck is happening to him, Warrior delivers the WARRIOR SPLASH and gets the three-count. (0:31) Thus ends the longest IC title reign to date of 454 days. After taking countout losses, DQ losses and cheating like a mad man to win every title defense, the luck of the Honky Tonk Man finally runs out. Honky’s career would never peak again after this night. He would go back to what he was originally known for: jobbing. As for Warrior, a star was born and he instantly became the third most popular guy in the company outside of Hogan and Savage. Hardly what you would call a match, yet it was a standout moment in wrestling history. ½*

Heenan raids the announcers booth to tell us that the Mega Powers are freakin’ out, man. They want out! Bobby sticks around for this next match.

Don Muraco vs. Dino Bravo (w/Frenchie Martin)

Why no Valentine/Muraco blow-off? Frenchie brings a “USA is not OK” picket sign with him to the ring. Match goes quickly as Bravo slips out of a slam and drops Muraco with the SIDE SUPLEX for the 1-2-3. (1:16) Last WWF PPV match for Muraco. CRAP

WWF World Tag Team Champions Demolition (w/Mr. Fuji & Jimmy Hart) vs. The Hart Foundation

Jimmy’s just out here to patronize his former employees. The Harts control early on until Bret runs shoulder-first into the ringpost and becomes face-in-peril. The Demos work on the shoulder until Smash runs into a boot in the corner and Neidhart gets the hot tag. He goes nuts on the champs and clotheslines Smash out for a slingshot pescado with a little help from Bret! NICE! Back in, STANDING POWERSLAM gets 1-2-NO! Bret tags and whips Anvil into Smash for 1-2-NO! Ax gets back on the apron and a pier-six brawl erupts. During all the chaos, Jimmy tosses Ax the megaphone and Bret gets blasted. Smash covers for the 1-2-3. (8:13 shown) Good enough. **½

Big Bossman (w/Slick) vs. Koko B. Ware (w/Frankie the PARROT~!)

Bossman’s another guy who’s fairly new to the WWF. He throws Koko around a bit to start, but then Koko surprises him with a dropkick that gets Bossman tied up in the ropes. Bossman comes back and pounds Koko down on the mat. Bossman Straddle follows, but then he misses a flying splash. Bossman misses a corner splash and crotches himself. Koko jabs away and delivers a beautiful Missile Dropkick that pops the crowd big time. Running splash gets 1-2-NO! Koko charges at Bossman, but he gets caught in mid-air for the BOSSMAN SLAM. That’ll do it. (5:58) Energetic little squash. *½

Jake Roberts (w/Damien the SNAKE~!) vs. Hercules

I feel like I’ve seen these two go at it before, but I can’t quite remember the event. Jake goes for the DDT early, but Hercules won’t let that happen just yet. Never fear, because Jake has a plan B: the headlock! Herc makes the ropes and drops some elbows before he applies the chinlock. Jake finally escapes with a jawbreaker and hits the Short-Arm Clothesline. Oh man, you know what that means! DDT? NO! Hercules backdrops out. Running knee lift from Jake fails and he gets sent off into the corner. Don’t worry though, because Jake slips out of a slam and hits the DDT! Cover, 1-2-3. (10:10) Not exactly an epic encounter by any means, but not unwatchable either. Herc gets the Damien Treatment afterwards. *

Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Ted DiBiase & Andre the Giant (w/Virgil & Bobby Heenan) – Special Referee: Jesse Ventura

Aww, look at the Mega Powers. They’re compromising! They come out in Hogan’s colors, but with Savage’s music. Of course, which is the one people will remember more? Colors, or music they heard way back in the beginning of the match? Savage STILL got shafted! The big question in this match is though, did Ted DiBiase pay off Ventura or not? Andre headbutts Savage into his corner and tags in DiBiase to do all the heavy labor. Holy Snap! Now people are whipping out the bull horns! Are we in England? Hogan wants a tag and gets it. DiBiase gets PWNED by the Mega Powers who make surprisingly frequent tags. Hogan gets cocky and decides to nail Andre on the apron, but he blocks and kills Hogan with a headbutt. Now Andre tags and grabs the 24” traps of the Hulkster. Who would’ve thought that Hogan would be the face in peril? I love it! Andre chokes on Hogan with his singlet and that draws Savage in for some heel double-teaming. DiBiase tags in and delivers the Million Dollar Fist Drops for two. Chinlock applied, but Hogan HULKS OUT into a double-clothesline. HOT TAG TO SAVAGE! Backdrop! Running hotshot! Flying double-sledge! But then he misses a charge in the corner. DiBiase misses a clothesline and Savage comes off the ropes for a crossbody for 1-2-NO! Andre tags and proceeds to squash Savage like a bug. DiBiase tags back in and hits a suplex. He misses an elbow drop off the second rope and makes the tag to Hulk. Hogan gives DiBiase a suplex and then STIFFS Andre with a clothesline that puts him down! Savage goes for the MACHO ELBOW on Andre while Hogan has DiBiase in a sleeper, but Andre gets his boot up! Andre breaks up the sleeper with, you guessed it, a headbutt and dumps Hogan out with Savage. The Mega Bucks want a countout win. Meanwhile, all the managers are up on the apron bothering Jesse! Of course, none of them get the attention of Jesse Ventura quite like Elizabeth, who has pulled off her skirt so those legs can breathe! The Mega Powers now decide to strike. Those cheaters! Andre gets knocked out to the floor and DiBiase is left to the lions. MACHO ELBOW DROP + HOGAN LEG DROP = 1-2-3. (14:50) I don’t know why the WWE decided to put the SummerSlam ’89 main event tag match on the Hogan DVDs instead of this one. This was way better and Hogan still got the pin fall. Who thinks it has something to do with Hogan actually working most the match instead of standing on the apron for ten minutes? I do. I actually enjoyed this match a lot and it really had very little to do with Elizabeth. ***½

Final Thoughts: Considering most everyone in the undercard was involved in other storylines, the whole show suffered tremendously. Not sure what Vince was thinking there, honestly. On the other hand, you’ve got a good opener and an even better main event, which is sometimes all you can expect from the ‘80s WWF. So from that perspective, the show succeeded. So I’ll just go with a slight thumbs in the middle for SummerSlam ‘88. Recommended, but not required viewing by any means.

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