SummerSlam 1988 Review

Hello everyone! Erik goes into the vault of the WWE Network to bring you a review of the first SummerSlam! This Pay-Per-View was held live at the Madison Square Garden on August 29, 1988.

The British Bulldogs vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers

The crowd is really hot for this opener. The official doesn’t care about the rules I suppose as the Rougeaus keep coming in and out without tagging. Bulldogs had majority of the offense in the beginning. Davey Boy Smith gets a tag to Dynamite Kid and comes in hot but the Rougeaus take over on offense. Dynamite Kid gets worked over for a long time. He’s able to get a small package roll up but the official was out of position to make the count. Dynamite Kid manages to tag in Davey Boy however the official decides now is a good time to enforce the rules and calls a no tag. One of my favorite planned spots in wrestling which we rarely see anymore. Dynamite Kid finally gets the hot tag to Davey Boy Smith but Jacques stalls his momentum. Jacques goes for the offense but Davey Boy powers him up for a gorilla slam, drops him on the top rope, and the crowd goes nuts. At this point all four men are in the ring. While the official’s back is turned the British Bulldogs hit a gorilla press assisted diving headbutt. With no count the bell mysteriously rings. Official word is this contest is a draw due to the time limit! The crowd is hot for more as all four men are in the ring. The Rougeaus extend their hands as a show of good sportsmanship and just when the British Bulldogs go to accept, the Rougeaus suckerpunch them in the gut! This doesn’t phase the Bulldogs and the Rougeaus exit the ring in fear.

Time Limit Draw

They announce that Brutus Beefcake cannot wrestle tonight after a vicious attack by the Outlaw Ron Bass.

Bad News Brown vs. Ken Patera

Bad News Brown cuts off Patera’s pre-match agulation and begins to lay in a beating. Patera looks in bad shape but hits a desperation clothesline from the corner. The comeback is short lived as Bad News Brown is back on offense. Superstar Billy Graham is on commentary and he is not happy Patera keeps going for a cover. Patera locks in the full Nelson twice but Brown keeps making it to the ropes. Patera Irish whips Brown from corner to corner but when Patera comes in Brown ducks and Patera goes into the post shoulder first. Bad News Brown hits the Ghetto Blaster and picks up the victory.

Winner: Bad News Brown 

Backstage Gene Okerlund conducts an interview with the Mega Powers and their secret weapon “The First Lady of Wrestling” Miss Elizabeth.

Rick Rude with Bobby Heenan vs. Junkyard Dog

Would you look at these….

The crowd is going bonkers for JYD hitting the dog headbutts on Rude. JYD goes for a stalling headbutt but misses. Rude gets on offense and slows the pace down. Rude begins to showboat which proves costly. JYD gets offense in but Bobby Heenan distracts him which allows Rude to gain control. He comes off the top but before he leaps he pulls his tights down! Don’t worry he has a second pair of tights underneath. This pair dons the airbrushed face of Jake “the Snake” Roberts wife! Rude lands on his feet and begins to do his trademark hip swivel. As he is posing Jake “the Snake” Roberts comes out of nowhere and begins attacking Rude! The referee calls for the bell as Roberts dumps Rude to the outside. The crowd is going crazy. JYD was hot Roberts cost him the match.

Winner: Rick Rude via disqualification

Backstage Okerlund is with the Intercontinental Champion the Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart. They’re pretty happy to not have to wrestle Brutus “the Barber” Beefcake however they do have a secret opponent. Honky Tonk Man wants to be surprised.

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

The Powers of Pain waste no time and hit the ring and begin to attack. They give up no offense on The Bolsheviks. Slick causes a distraction which allows the Bolsheviks to gain the upperhand. They do a great job of double teaming and keeping the Warlord in their corner. Nikolai throws the absolute worse roundhouse kick I have ever seen. He tags in Boris but they telegraph their move allowing Warlord to counter then tag in Barbarian who comes in and cleans house. A double shoulder block, running powerslam, and a diving headbutt put away Boris and the Powers of Pain get the win.

Winners: Powers of Pain

A Brother Love segment with his special guest Hacksaw Jim Duggan. The 80’s were a crazy time.

He loooooooooves yooooooooooouuuu.

What in the blue hell is on Billy Graham’s shirt?

The Honky Tonk Man (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Ultimate Warrior

Now if you remember, Honky Tonk Man did not want to know who his opponent would be tonight in substitution for Brutus Beefcake. I bet he regrets that decision. The  familiar music of the Ultimate Warrior hits and he out comes like a fire. He hits HTM like a Ferrari at full speed. This match  not only ended in like 30 seconds, it ended the longest Intercontinental Championship reigns in WWE history.

Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Ultimate Warrior

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

I wasn’t a fan of this match first time watching it but Muraco’s first burst of offense after two lock ups was pretty impressive. Muraco slows the pace down and whips Bravo from corner to corner. Muraco goes for another whip but Bravo reverses and takes over on offense. Bravo telegraphs and Muraco hits a desperation neck breaker. Frenchy hops on the apron and tries to distract Muraco and “The Rock”, as he was known back then, lays Frenchy out. Muraco turns right into a side slam from Dino and Dino Bravo picks up the victory! That damn Frenchy.

Winner: Dino Bravo

Demolition (c) (w/ Mr. Fuji and Jimmy Hart) vs. The Hart Foundation for the WWF Tag Team Championship

The match starts off with Ax showing off his power against a young Bret Hart. Starts off slow but Bret gets the crowd going by quickening the pace. Smash gets tagged in but gets caught with a melee of offense from Neidhart. Ax hits Neidhart with a boot from the outside and gets tagged in. Frequent tags from Demolition while keeping Neidhart in their corner. Ax telegraph too early and Neidhart catches him with a punch. “The Anvil” gets the tag to Bret who lays into both men of Demolition. While this is going on Jimmy Hart has the official distracted. Demolition double teams Bret with the official’s back turned and sends him hard into the corner where Mr. Fuji cracks his cane over Bret’s head! Neidhart chases off Jimmy Hart while Demolition works Bret’s arm and shoulder over good. This is classic tag team wrestling. Heel works the good guy over by isolating the good guy to their corner and targeting one body part. Bret ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own. He gets the tag to Neidhart but the referee doesn’t allow it because he doesn’t see it! Meanwhile as Neidhart is fuming at the referee, Demolition brings a depleted Bret back to their corner to inflict more damage. I say this all the time but the sequence where the good guy gets the hot tag after being pummeled for what seems to be an eternity, only for the referee not to allow it because he didn’t see it is one of my favorite tag spots ever. As a kid buying into all of this you’re freaking out because Bret is out there practically dying, he finally tags his partner, and the referee just goes, “nope”. Brilliant. Bret finally gets the tag to Neidhart who cleans house. The crowd is going bananas! Bret slingshots Neidhart over the top rope crashing into Smash. Neidhart rolls Smash back in the ring and hits him with a powerslam but that only gets a two count! Bret gets tagged and both he and Neidhart quickly double team Smash. Ax breaks up a pin which draws Neidhart in the ring. Mr. Fuji hops up on the apron distracting the referee. Neidhart goes over and lays Mr. Fuji out! While chaos has the referee’s attention, Jimmy Hart tosses his megaphone to Ax who uses it to crack Bret clean over the skull! Smash falls on Bret and gets the three count! What a robbery!

Winners and STILL WWF Tag Team Champions: Demolition

Honky Tonk Man is backstage with Gene Okerlund and he is pissed. Like, really mad. Wow.

Big Boss Man (w/ Slick) vs. Koko B. Ware

Hey look! A young Big Boss Man! Talk about taking me back to my childhood. Even better is Koko B. Ware and Frankie the Parrot. I loved that damn parrot. Ridiculous.

Anyway the match begins with Slick distracting Ware so Big Boss Man could strike early. He tosses Koko out of the ring. Ware quickly reenters and begins getting in some offense ending with a dropkick that sends Big Boss Man stumbling and getting trapped in the ropes. Koko hits him with a flying headbutt. He finally gets free and eventually overtakes the match. Superstar Billy Graham is hot at WWF President Jack Tunney for some reason. Big Boss Man really mugging Ware. False pin by Boss Man which comes back to bite him. This just seems to anger Boss Man who is right back on offense. Big Boss Man ascends to the top rope and leaps for an awkwards splash that he ends up missing. Funny thing is, Big Boss Man is up before Koko B. Ware. Boss Man misses a splash in the corner which allows Ware to tag him with jabs. Ware hits a monster missile dropkick from the top rope followed by a big splash. This only gets a two count as Boss Man kicks out with serious force. Boss Man hits a weird looking sidewalk slam and he gets the three count. Pretty decent match. Hey Frankie!

Winner: Big Boss Man

Ultimate Warrior said….something. That was crazy.

Hercules vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Action starts off hot going back and forth until Roberts looks to cash out early signaling for the DDT. Hercules is having none of that as he fights off and exits for a breather. Hercules enters the ring looking to tag Roberts who blocks about six punches and finishes with a showboat. Hercules misses a clothesline and gets bodyslammed. Hercules tries to mount a comeback but Roberts holds tight with a headlock. Roberts releases the headlock for some odd reason which allows Hercules to take over. Hercules keeps Roberts grounded with a snapmare into a chinlock. Roberts gets to his feet but gets taken out with a clothesline. Hercules locks in another chinlock into a long sleeper hold. After a while Roberts gets to his feet and puts in a hammerlock but catches an elbow to the face which sends him to the outside. Hercules pummels Roberts on the apron but Roberts creates separation but when he goes in to attack, Hercules catches him with a guillotine over the top rope. Hercules goes to reapply a chinlock but Roberts hits him with a jawbreaker. Roberts stinging Hercules with jabs. Roberts hit him with a short clothesline and signals for the DDT. He locks it in but Hercules senses it again and gets Roberts with a back body drop to create space. Roberts goes in for a kneelift but misses. Hercules gets some offense in Roberts hits a DDT “right out of nowhere” as Monsoon put it. Jake gets the win and out comes Damien.

Winner: Jake “The Snake” Roberts

The Mega Bucks (Andre The Giant and Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil and Bobby Heenan) vs. The Mega Powers (“Macho Man” Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan w/ Miss Elizabeth)

WWF President Jack Tunney has assigned Jesse “The Body” Ventura as the special guest referee. Mega Bucks think by threatening Ventura and paying him off they have this one in the bag.

The match starts off kind of weird. Ventura explains that he is the boss. He instructs all three managers to exit the ring to the floor. He then take the tag ropes from each neutral corner and switches them, for some strange reason. Hogan and Savage discuss who will start the match with Savage starting against Andre. Savage gets pushed back by Andre to the corner and tags in DiBiase who request that Hogan gets tagged in. Savage obliges and Hogan goes in taking over on offense. Savage gets tagged back in and Mega Powers hit a double back elbow followed by double elbows to Dibiase. Frequent tags from Mega Powers showing that they go together well as a team. DiBiase getting worked over good. Hogan goes to catch Andre but Andre blocks and hits Hogan with a headbutt. This draws out Savage which angers Ventura. Andre takes out Savage with a headbutt. Miss Elizabeth gets on the apron only to get scolded back down by Ventura. DiBiase tags in Andre who keeps squatting down on Hogan. Andre keeps digging his claws into Hogan’s traps which causes him to crumble. Andre raises Hogan to his feet then wraps his singlet strap over Hogan’s throat disguising it as a legal sleeper hold. Brilliant. DiBiase gets tagged in and works over Hogan good. Hogan eventually gets to his feet and gets some distance while Dibiase comes off the ropes. Both men had the same idea as they take each other out with a clothesline. Hogan finally gets the tag to Savage who comes in with a thunderous roar from the crowd. Savage begins hitting Dibiase with jabs. Savage on fire. He nails DiBiase with a double axe handle off the top. Dibiase gets a short burst of offense but the speed of Savage comes to play and he catches DiBiase with a cross body. DiBiase finally is able to make the tag to Andre after a quick shot which allows Andre to go in for the strike. Andre is just pounding away on Savage. DiBiase gets the tag back in and goes back to work on Savage. DiBiase goes for a falling back elbow off the second rope but misses. This allows Savage to get the tag to Hogan. He comes in on fire just completely taking out both men of the Mega Bucks. Savage looks to come off the top onto Andre but Andre catches Savage with a boot. Unbeknownst to Hogan who has a sleeper hold on DiBiase, Andre begins to attack Hogan. Andre dumps Hogan on the outside. Miss Elizabeth gets up on one end of the ring while Heenan and Virgil do the same on the opposite side. Everyone gets stopped dead in their tracks when Miss Elizabeth does the unthinkable. She removes her skirt to expose her skibbies! Her undergarments! Her unmentionables!

Ventura has no idea what to do. This idea proves genius as no one sees the Mega Powers enter the ring. Savage hits Andre with a double axe handle that sends him crashing to the outside. Hogan bodyslams DiBiase and Savage comes off the top with an elbow. Hogan follows up with the leg drop and this one is over, even with a delayed count from Ventura.

Winners: The Mega Powers

Overall I really enjoyed the show. Favorite match for me was Demolition vs. Hart Foundation. What was yours? Let us know by commenting below or reaching out to us on social media!



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