Saturday 3 August 2019

WWF Summerslam 1988 Review

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Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that brings people down more than Jim Cornette talking about the current product! It’s WWF Summerslam 1988: The Mega-Powers vs The Mega-Bucks! Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan have come together to thwart the evil Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant. We also have The Honky Tonk Man defending his WWF intercontinental Championship, Rick Rude vs JYD and much much more. Can the WWF come back strong after an exhausting Wrestlemania IV? Let’s find out!

The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers vs The British Bulldogs W/ Matilda

Two premier tag teams of the WWF, The Rougeaus have turned heel since the last time we have seen them, The Bulldogs want to tear the duo apart. Davey Boy starts with Jacque, turnbuckle smash by Davey Boy. Davey Boy wants Raymond, the two Rougeau Brothers take a breather. Lock-up, Raymond takes a cheap shot at Davey Boy. Rights by Raymond, monkey flip does not work for Raymond. Armdrag by Davey Boy, tag to Dynamite and we have a double headbutt. Arm-drag by Dynamite, Raymond drops down off an Irish whip but is met with a headbutt by Dynamite. Arm-drag and wrench by Dynamite, tag to Davey Boy.

Sunset flip and arm-drag by Davey Boy, tag to Dynamite who applies a similar hold to the arm. Irish whip and clothesline by Dynamite, tag to Davey Boy. Raymond sunset flips Davey Boy for two before Davey Boy regains control, tag to Dynamite. Arm-wrench from Dynamite, tag to Davey Boy. Shoulder block from The Bulldogs, sleeper hold from Davey Boy. Headlock from Davey Boy, Raymond shoves off Davey Boy and Jacque trips Davey Boy, allowing Raymond to tag out to his fresh brother. Jacque wrenches on the leg of Davey Boy, driving the leg into the mat.

Jacque works the leg and tags Raymond for a wish-bone split, quick tag to Jacque who drops all his weight on the leg of Davey Boy. Jacque cheap shots Dynamite which allows another wish-bone split by the heels, Raymond is now the legal man. Davey Boy kicks off Raymond but Raymond scores with a big back body drop. Tag to Jacque, toe hold from The Rougeau Brother. Small package reversal by Davey Boy, just two for Davey Boy. Jacque drags Davey Boy to his corner, in comes Raymond. More foot holds, monkey flip from Davey Boy. In comes Dynamite, clothesline, snap suplex and falling headbutt for two.

Back suplex, Raymond places his foot on the ropes. Raymond is thrown to the floor, Davey Boy nails Jacque and throws Raymond into the guard rail. Dynamite tags in Davey Boy, Running Powerslam by Davey Boy. Jacque saves Raymond, tag to Dynamite from Davey Boy. Jacque enters illegally and back suplexes Dynamite, Raymond tags Jacque. Scoop slam and knee drop for a two count, Davey Boy argues with the referee as The Rougeau Brothers batter Dynamite. Assisted gutbuster by The Rougeau Brothers, abdominal stretch by Jacque. Davey Boy breaks the submission, The Rougeau Brothers trade places and attack Dynamite.

Splash by Jacque for two and a half, Jacque applies a camel clutch. Raymond interferes to punch Dynamite right in the mouth. Elbow to the head from Jacque, tag to Raymond. Dynamite is sent hurling into the corner, snapmare and camel clutch from Raymond. Dynamite stands up with Raymond on his back, Raymond meets the corner hard. Raymond rolls over to his corner, tagging Jacque. Cheap shot to Davey Boy, Dynamite rolls up Jacque for a two but the referee was with Davey Boy, The Bulldogs could have had the match won right there. Tag to Raymond, superkick to the ribs. Two for Raymond, Raymond applies a front chancery.

Jacque distracts the referee who misses the hot-tag to Davey Boy. Jacque covers Dynamite for two, headbutt from Dynamite and finally we have Davey Boy in the match. Davey Boy misses a dropkick but nails a gorilla press slam, Jacque is crotched on that top rope. Raymond elbows Jacque by accident, noggin-knocker from The Bulldogs. Davey Boy launches Dynamite for an assisted diving headbutt but the bell rings, we have a draw.

A draw might not be the most exciting way to kick off a pay per view but this was quite the opening match. The crowd were red-hot throughout the match, so loud and into everything which makes this match a lot better, adding to my overall enjoyment of this match. Jacque and Raymond work over Dynamite for the majority of the match, Dynamite being the smaller man sells his ass off for The Rougeau Brothers, the build to the hot-tag is tremendous even if the hot-tag itself was lacklustre. Overall, an enjoyable tag team opening match, would have preferred a clean winner in the match.

Time Limit Draw!

Outlaw Ron Bass Assaults Brutus The Barber Beefcake

On WWF Superstars, Ron Bass uses the spur of his boot to cut the forehead of Brutus Beefcake, cutting open the forward of The Barber. Beefcake is unable to compete for the Intercontinental Championship following this vicious assault.

Bad News Brown vs Ken Patera

Patera is jumped entering the ring, rights and a scoop slam by Brown. Elbow to the face, right hand in the corner. Irish whip to the corner, Patera explodes out of the corner with a clothesline. Stomps by Patera, Irish whip and elbow by Patera. Foot rake by Patera, scoop slam but elbow drop misses, Brown is back in control. Headbutt by Brown, Patera is rocked to the apron with a right hand. Choke from Brown, Patera has not been able to do much in this match. Patera is sent back into the turnbuckle, more right hands. Irish whip and chop by Brown, big right to the throat. More choking from Brown, Irish whip but Patera kicks Brown down off the Irish whip. Elbows to the head, DDT but Brown powers out of the pin.

Clothesline from Patera, elbow drop for two. Rib-breaker and small package for two, bearhug from Patera in the middle of the ring. Brown is in a lot of discomfort, eye rake from Brown. Patera has the full-nelson but Brown is in the ropes. Patera clubs down Brown, second full-nelson attempt but Brown is in the ropes once more. Irish whip by Patera, Patera lowers the head and Brown takes control with a smash to the back. Patera unloads with forearm shots, Irish whip to the corner and shoulder thrusts from Patera. Patera Irish whips Brown to the opposite corner, Brown dodges the incoming Patera. Patera hits the ring-post hard, Ghetto Blaster and Bad News Brown is your winner.

Definitely, a slow down from the last match. In my opinion, went a little too long, I liked the offence of Brown who showed a lot of character, a mean-streak worthy of being a heel. Patera looks comical with his selling and a mis-step here and there do not help the match. However, we got there in the end and that is what matters when all is said and done.

Winner: Bad News Brown over Ken Patera via Ghetto Blaster!

Ravishing Rick Rude W/ Bobby Heenan vs The Junkyard Dog

Rude jumps JYD to start the match, Irish whip reversal from JYD. Back drop and Dogbutts here we go, Rude is out on the floor already. JYD is on fire, Heenan consoles Rude who is holding his forehead. JYD pulls Rude into the ring, punch to the guts from JYD. Rude is floored once more, Rude dodges a falling headbutt though. Clothesline from Rude, Rude nails a double axe handle from the top rope. Elbows to the back of the head of JYD from Rude, the crowd comes alive for JYD but Rude continues the onslaught of elbows. Elbows and rights to JYD, JYD is still on his feet though. Snap-mare into a reverse chin-lock from Rude, choke from Rude as Heenan distracts the referee. Nice touch, great use of Heenan.

Weasel chants fill the arena, JYD is back to his feet. Rights and lefts from JYD, Irish whip to the corner. Rude blocks JYD with a boot to the face, elbow from Rude for two. Reverse chin-lock from Rude, JYD battles out of the hold. Rights to Rude, wind-up headbutt that rocks Rude. Heenan distracts JYD, Russian legsweep from Rude. Rude nails a diving fist drop, Rude reveals that his pants have Jake Roberts’ wife airbrushed on them. An irate Roberts comes to ringside and pummels Rude for the DQ.

Fun match while it lasted, JYD with the right opponent is a tremendous babyface, the crowd rallies towards JYD with such ease. Rude is on fire as of late in the WWF, Rude is such a heel, every movement inside of the ring screams heel, arrogance and egotistical maniac, I am in love with Rude at the moment if you cannot tell, Heenan is perfect as always and now, more gasoline has been poured on the fire for the feud of Roberts vs Rude.

Winner: Rick Rude over Junkyard Dog via DQ!

Honky Tonk Man/Mega-Powers Interviews

Mean Gene interviews Hogan & Savage who have a secret weapon against The Mega-Bucks, who could it be? Well, it is none other than Ms. Elizabeth. Like Mean Gene, we, the audience are perplexed by this announcement. What could Elizabeth do to The Mega-Bucks? Also Honky Tonk Man has issued an open challenge for his championship with Beefcake being out of action. Mean Gene knows the man who will face Honky Tonk Man but the champion does not care who the challenger is, the match will end the same with a Shake, Rattle & Roll.

The Bolsheviks W/ Slick vs The Powers Of Pain W/ Baron

Powers Of Pain rush the ring and take down The Bolsheviks, Boris is in trouble on the floor. In comes Volkoff, Warlord & Barbarian throat thrust Volkoff. Zhukov re-enters the ring, side headlock. Shoulder block does not move Barbarian, axe handle by Barbarian but Volkoff makes the save. Zhukov is whipped to the corner, Barbarian rallies and tags in Warlord. Elbow to the throat, Volkoff saves Zhukov. Powerslam by Warlord, Volkoff distracts the referee.

Slick is on the apron, Warlord is distracted. Here comes Volkoff, right hands and Warlord is rammed into the turnbuckle. Zhukov chokes Warlord from the apron, Warlord headbutts his way out of the corner. Zhukov nails a cheap shot before being tagged in, Warlord is raked across the top rope. The Bolsheviks take turns beating down Warlord. Slick and The Baron have a face-off, Warlord continues to take a beating at the hands of The Bolsheviks. Roundhouse kick and clubbing blows by Volkoff, tag to Zhukov. Double back drop is blocked by an axe handle smash by Warlord, tag to Barbarian. Throat thrust to Zhukov, scoop slam to Volkoff. Thrust kick to Zhukov, boot to Zhukov. Volkoff eats a boot to the floor, tag to Warlord. Double Shoulder Block by The Powers Of Pain, running powerslam and diving headbutt combination for the win.

That was slow at times, the crowd stayed with the match to give them credit but I tuned out once Warlord was battered in the corner for what seemed like an eternity. Finish was good though, great visual and looks impressive too.

Winners: Powers Of Pain over The Bolsheviks via Diving Headbutt!

Brother Love Segment

The Evangelist parody that is Brother Love, that mullet is hideous and that red face too, Bruce Prichard is one ugly son of a gun. Brother Love has a special guest, who could it be? Hacksaw Jim Duggan! Duggan lacks love, Brother Love mocks and belittles Duggan, not such a good idea on the part of Brother Love. Duggan scares off Brother Love and the segment comes to an end.

(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) Honky Tonk Man © W/ Jimmy Hart vs ?????

This was legendary, a moment that sparked the rise of one wrestler, you know what is coming but what is masterful here is Honky’s cockiness in the interview before the match, showing a complete disdain for his competition by not even wishing to know who his opponent was going to be for the match. Honky is so full of himself, it is tremendous. It ends in a flash, The Ultimate Warrior sprints to the ring with lightening speed, a few shoulder blocks and a splash later, we have a new Intercontinental Champion. The crowd reaction justifies this title reign in itself, Honky flips and sells like a boss for the new star, The Ultimate Warrior has arrived in the WWF. Awesome moment, awesome match, how could you hate this segment?

Winner: Ultimate Warrior over Honky Tonk Man via Ultimate Splash!

The Rock Don Muraco vs Dino Bravo

Bravo, self-proclaimed World’s Strongest Man squares up to Muraco. Lock-up, neither man gains control, clean break from Muraco. Bravo eats a shoulder block, Muraco steps on the face of Bravo. Hiptoss and scoop slam, arm-drag with Bravo running for the outside. Elbows by Muraco, Bravo pushes Muraco to the corner. Shoulder thrusts, Irish whip by Bravo. Muraco reverses and nails a hiptoss, monkey flip from the corner. Arm-drag by Muraco, Bravo gains control with an inverted atomic drop, stomps to the head. Leg drop for one, Muraco stops a back body drop with a neckbreaker. Bravo misses an elbow drop, back drop from Muraco.

Muraco nails Bravo’s manager, Bravo tries to take control of the match but Muraco tries for a scoop slam but Bravo sneaks out the back of the hold. Muraco is too slow for Bravo as Bravo nails his signature Sidewalk Slam for the win, Dino Bravo is on the rise in the WWF.

This was another slow match on this card between big guys, it is starting to weigh me down with all the big men on the card. What you need for this kind of match is big personalities and we do not have that in this match. As a result, it is slow and takes forever to get to the end despite the short length of the match.

Winner: Dino Bravo over Don Muraco via Sidewalk Slam!

(WWF Tag Team Championship Match) Demolition © W/ Jimmy Hart & Mr. Fuji vs The Hart Foundation

With Jimmy Hart switching his allegiance, the advantage goes to Demolition who will have the knowledge of how The Hart Foundation works together. Ax & Bret begin the match, Ax shoves away Bret. Clubbing blows from Ax, big scoop slam from Ax. Ax misses an elbow and here comes Bret, massive right hands, one for Smash too. Shot to the ribs, O’Connor roll from Bret for two. Smash tags in off Ax, Smash runs in to an arm-drag. Tag to Neidhart, Irish whip from Smash. Neidhart ducks and nails a series of right hands, Neidhart eats a boot to the back from Ax, illegally from the apron. Ax receives the tag and beats down Neidhart, quick tag to Smash who dishes out the axe handles.

Irish whip but Ax puts his head down, big smash from Neidhartt. Tag to Bret, Ax begs off from Bret. Bret takes down Ax and dropkicks Smash, Irish whip from the corner. Bret hits the ring-post hard, the shoulder of Bret has been damaged badly. Smash tags Ax, Ax goes to work on the arm. Bret’s arm is wrenched over the ropes, Smash illegally attacks the arm from the apron behind the referee’s back. Demolition destroy Bret’s arm, shoulder first goes Bret into the top turnbuckle. Stomps to the shoulder from Ax, Ax tags Smash into the match. Shoulder-breaker from Smash, arm-wrench from Smash.

Tag to Ax, Ax stomps the arm and begins wrenching the arm some more. Ax distracts the referee as Smash wrenches Bret’s arm from the apron. Smash hurls Bret’s shoulder into the ring-post, Bret struggles to make it to his feet on the outside. Right hand from Smash, Smash tags in Ax. Irish whip, Bret ducks the clothesline of Ax and nails a clothesline of his own. Smash distracts the referee so the referee misses the tag, Smash rams Bret into multiple turnbuckles. Irish whip to the corner, Bret kicks away Smash and tags Neidhart. Dropkicks and scoop slams, Nedihart is running wild brother!

Smash is clotheslined to the floor, Neidhart slingshots onto Smash. Bret knocks Ax off the apron, Neidhart nails a Powerslam. 1…2.. Ax kicks out of the powerslam. Tag to Bret, Neidhart spears Smash in the corner. Two for Bret, backbreaker by Bret. Ax pulls Bret off Smash, the match breaks down. Fuji is on the apron, Nedihart decks Fuji but Jimmy Hart hands Ax the megaphone, Bret never saw it coming and Demolition retain their tag team championships.

A very fun tag team championship match, The Hart Foundation are very popular in their roles as babyfaces, the crowd have livened up for this match after a run of lengthy big man singles matches. Fuji and Jimmy Hart like any manager during this era are heat magnets which make for a very easy watch. Bret is tremendous selling his arm, Bret sells and sells which builds the sympathy, the best match on the card so far!

Winners: Demolition over The Hart Foundation via Megaphone To The Back Of The Head!

The Big Bossman W/ Slick vs Koko B Ware W/ Frankie

The Birdman vs The Bossman, Bossman’s first pay per view appearance in the WWF. Bossman clubs Koko from behind, Koko is flung to the floor. Koko Irish whips Bossman, dropkick from Koko. Bossman is stuck in the ropes, splash from Koko. Rights from Koko, Bossman is not a happy camper. Koko dodges and nails Bossman, Bossman catches Koko. Massive shot to the back from Bossman, headbutt from Bossman. Irish whip to the corner, big splash from Bossman. Knees to the spine from Bossman, kick to the lower back. Clothesline by Bossman, Bossman pulls Koko up off the mat.

Stretch from Bossman, Koko kicks off Bossman. Bossman drops his leg across Koko who is draped across the middle rope. Bossman nails a massive right hand, scoop slam from Bossman. Bossman is climbing to the top rope, Bossman misses a splash. Irish whip to the corner, Bossman misses a corner splash. Rights and lefts from Koko, they stagger Bossman. Missile dropkick, big splash but Bossman kicks out at two. Bossman flattens Koko with his Bossman Slam for the win.

I am caught in two minds about this pay per view, I feel the WWF felt obligated to put on competitive matches when many of these matches should have been simple squash matches. So when you see a card with DQs and time limit draws, matches like this where Bossman should have steamrolled Koko yet the match goes on and on, it just makes the pay per view drag at times. So, it was fine, Bossman looked good but this match went on far too long for what should have been a squash.

Winner: Big Bossman over Koko B. Ware via Bossman Slam!

Hercules vs Jake The Snake Roberts

Hercules tries to jump Roberts, it does not work at first but Roberts eats a boot off an Irish whip to the corner. Hercules gains control, knee lift from Roberts. DDT time but Hercules slips out to the floor. Roberts blocks Hercules’ punches, scoop slam by Roberts. Side headlock, Hercules cannot escape the hold. Back suplex but Roberts holds on to the hold, Hercules breaks free with a shoulder block. Snap-mare into a reverse chin-lock, Roberts stands but a hair-pull brings down The Snake. Clothesline by Hercules for two, reverse chin-lock once more from Hercules. Roberts wriggles free before an elbow sends Roberts tumbling to the floor, Roberts is on the apron, eating clubbing blows from Hercules before Hercules’ cockiness allows Roberts to thrown Hercules to the floor.

Hercules is not happy, Hercules hot-shots Roberts with the top rope. Hercules pummels Roberts, reverse chin-lock for the third time but Roberts jawbreakers his way out of the hold. Big right hand floors Hercules, short-arm clothesline. DDT is countered for a back drop, Hercules dodges a knee lift. Elbow drop from Hercules for two, Hercules attempts a scoop slam but Roberts sneaks out the back, DDT and Jake Roberts wins the match.

I found myself hoping for this match to end sooner than later, poor Hercules sat in one of the chin-locks for at least two minutes, it was never-ending at times. That DDT though was gorgeous and I am excited for Jake Roberts vs Rick Rude so all this filler is just not for me especially when this is on pay per view.

Winner: Jake The Snake Roberts over Hercules via DDT!

The Mega-Powers W/ Ms. Elizabeth vs The Mega-Bucks W/ Virgil & Bobby Heenan

So how did we get here? Randy Savage won the WWF Championship at Wrestlemania IV thanks to a helping hand from Hulk Hogan and a steel chair. Dibiase and Andre The Giant assaulted Savage on WWF Superstars, leading to Savage issuing the challenge to Dibiase and The Giant for a tag team match. Jesse Ventura was announced as the special guest referee and Randy Savage announced that his partner was none other than Hulk Hogan. Jesse Ventura appeared on the Brother Love show being bribed by The Mega-Bucks but would Ventura call this match right down the middle?

Savage and Andre begin the match, Andre chokes and chops Savage to start the match. Tag to Dibiase, Dibiase wants Hogan. Hogan is in the ring, eye rake by Dibiase. Hogan blocks a boot, atomic drop into a punch from Savage, Dibiase is pin-balled between the two. Axe Bomber from Hogan, tag to Savage. Elbow from The Mega-Powers, Heenan is not happy. Dibiase meets the turnbuckle multiple times, tag to Hogan. Dibiase is rammed into Savage’s boot, axe handle and knee drop from Savage. Two for Savage, tag to Hogan. Double boot, two for Hogan. Scoop slam and elbow drop from Hogan, make it three. Hogan gets caught by Andre, headbutt by Andre. Andre knocks down Savage too, Elizabeth is on the apron.

Dibiase drops a knee on Hogan, Andre drops his weight down on Hogan. Rope choke from Andre, Savage watches on as Hogan takes a beating. Andre chokes the life out of Hogan, Hogan is fading fast. Andre chokes Hogan with the strap of his singlet, Dibiase cheap shots Hogan with Ventura dealing with Savage. Running boot from Dibiase, chop from Andre. Dibiase is the legal man, Irish whip and clothesline from Dibiase for two. Fist drops from Dibiase, two for Dibiase. Reverse chin-lock from Dibiase, Hogan Hulks up and pummels Dibiase. Big knockdown in the middle of the ring, Savage gets the hot-tag in the middle of the ring.

Back drop for Dibiase, hot-shot for Dibiase. Diving axe handle by Savage, elbow to the head. Savage misses a knee in the corner, Dibiase nails a right hand. Savage Irish whips Dibiase, reversal from Dibiase but Savage nails a crossbody for two. Dibiase nails a clothesline tag to Andre. Shoulder thrusts and butt bumps from Andre, Andre is crushed in the corner. Tag to Dibiase, suplex from Dibiase. Dibiase misses a middle rope elbow drop, Savage kicks off a chasing Dibiase. Tag to Hogan, Dibiase wants no part of The Hulkster.

Corner clothesline for Dibiase, Hogan scores with a suplex. Hogan clotheslines Andre down, the crowd loses their mind. Savage is on the top rope, Andre blocks the elbow from Savage with a boot. Hogan has Dibiase in a sleeper, Andre headbutts Hogan, Hogan is tossed to the floor. Ventura begins counting out The Mega-Powers, Elizabeth is on the apron. Elizabeth takes off her skirt, distracting Ventura and Heenan and Dibiase, the secret weapon has been revealed, The Mega-Powers  are back on their feet. Savage nails an axe handle on Andre, Andre tumbles to the floor. Dibiase eats an Elbow Drop and Atomic Leg Drop, The Mega-Powers stand tall at Summerslam!

Well, it was all built around this one match wasn’t it? It’s the reason the fans packed into the building, the reason why everyone ordered Summerslam. So, while a struggled through much of the pay per view, this match brought everything to the table. Crowd excitement check, drama check, the secret weapon spoke about earlier check, Hogan & Savage thwarting the evil Dibiase & Andre check. I must point out that Dibiase has been a joy since joining the WWF, his selling and arrogance only topped by perhaps Rick Rude on the WWF roster, Savage continues to be a speed demon compared to everyone else inside of that ring, just the right amount of energy I needed, the crowd were all into this match. It was a magical team that delivered a magical performance on this night.

Winners: The Mega-Powers over The Mega-Bucks via Atomic Leg Drop!

That was WWF’s Summerslam 1988, a tough slog of a pay per view at times but it delivered a main event that made up from what I had to sit through for 2 hours of the show. DQ finishes and time limit draws are not the worst finishes in the world, when executed correctly they can add another layer to a story or more drama to a match but when they are followed by slow plodding big man singles matches, it can kill off a crowd very easily. This is what we got for the first half of this show. As good as Bulldogs vs Rougeau Brothers was, it was followed by Dino Bravo vs Hercules or Rick Rude vs JYD. The Hart Foundation vs Demolition was a solid tag team match, really enjoyed Bret’s selling and the finish with the megaphone, very good match. Honky Tonk losing the intercontinental championship is an iconic moment and of course, The Mega-Powers vs The Mega-Bucks was everything you could have hoped for, watch this pay per view for that match alone and Ultimate Warrior’s rise because there is nothing else you are missing on the rest of the show, thanks for reading and remember: There’s always another night!

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