Written By: Matt Peddycord
WWF WrestleFest 1988
July 31, 1988
Milwaukee County Stadium
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)
Matches that do not appear on the Coliseum Home Video tape:
Big Bossman pinned Scott Casey (4:15) after a Bossman Slam.
Brutus Beefcake pinned Hercules (9:37) with a rollup.
WWF World Champion Randy Savage pinned Ted DiBiase (14:52) with a small package.
Curt Hennig pinned Terry Taylor.
Haku pinned Sam Houston (5:04) with a Diving Headbutt.
Thanks Mr. Cawthon! At least half of that actually sounded pretty good.
Your hosts are Sean Mooney, Superstar Billy Graham and Lord Alfred Hayes. Worst announce team ever?
The Killer Bees vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers
This might be the only match I’ve ever seen the Bees wearing long tights. As for the Rougeaus, this was really early in their heel run as the “All-American Boys”. Since it’s so soon in the Rougeaus heel run, they’re being as cowardly as possible. They tag a lot and massage each other’s body parts that the Bees were working on before the tag. Raymond pairs with Brunzell, Jacques with Blair. Both teams deliver some SERIOUS double-team wishbones and the crowd eats it up. No wonder the young kids today can’t appreciate the classics when it takes some insane death-defying spot to get them excited these days. Raymond helps Jacques escape a Boston crab by pushing the bottom rope forward with his foot so he can get a break. The Rougeaus deliver the ab stretch/savate kick combo. Blair blocks a monkey flip out of the corner and brings Raymond to the center of the ring for an atomic drop. HOT TAG TO BRUNZELL! DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER to the Rougeaus! FIGURE-FOUR to Jacques! Raymond breaks up the hold. Brunzell delivers his patented dropkick as Jacques comes off the ropes for 1-1-2-NO! Ahh, the days when a standard dropkick to a charging opponent sent a crowd into a frenzy. Can’t tell if Raymond had some taped knux or what, but he punches Brunzell down when he tries to slam Jacques for 1-2-3. (13:59) Some fun tag team hijinks. ***
Bret Hart vs. Bad News Brown
Bret gets another run as a singles wrestler by rekindling his old Stampede feud with Bad News Brown at WrestleMania IV after Bad News played dirty to win the 20-man battle royal. Bad News really is a bad muthatrucka for real. He punches Bret around and doesn’t even listen to the ref’s reprimands. Bret plays possum and slams Bad News off the top rope. He hits the flying elbow and a suplex, but Bad News claws Bret in the face to prevent the backbreaker. Bad News goes for the GHETTO BLASTER, but Bret ducks and backdrops him to the floor. Bret follows out with a pescado. Back in, Bret hits a crossbody for 1-2-NO! He gets the backbreaker after all for two. Bret rolls Bad News up off the ropes for a nearfall. Bad News yanks the tights and rolls Bret over for 1-2-3. (6:27) Neidhart runs down and Bad News gets punched around for cheating. I liked this one. Bret worked really fast and Bad News was game for it all. ***¼
WWF Intercontinental Champion Honky Tonk Man (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Jim Duggan
I think Honky Tonk was beyond hated at this point and everyone collectively said enough already once SummerSlam rolled around in another month. Honky Tonk Man stalls a lot to start. Once he does hook up with Duggan, it’s merely punches and turnbuckle smashes. Honky Tonk leads Duggan around the ring into a barrage of more punches. Duggan HOES UP and goes for the THREE-POINT STANCE, but Jimmy Hart trips Duggan up for the DQ. (4:40) Afterwards, Duggan chases HTM and Jimmy Hart away so he can smash their guitar with his 2×4. ½*
The Powers of Pain vs. The Bolsheviks
The POP had been on TV for only about two weeks according to my buddy Graham Cawthon and there was already talk of a Demos/POP face-off. Barbarian can’t be taken down by a shoulderblock to start. When Warlord starts winning a test of strength on Volkoff, Zhukov comes off the top with a sledge. Warlord goes down to his knees and comes back up. Zhukov flies again, but Warlord sidesteps him and Volkoff gets nailed. Barbarian runs his shoulder into the ringpost, but ducks a double-clothesline and runs the Bolsheviks down. The POP get rid of Volkoff and puts Zhukov away with the Running Powerslam/Flying Headbutt combo. (6:49) Just a match to get the Powers of Pain over. *
Jim Neidhart vs. Lanny Poffo
Poffo slams Neidhart down and his moonsault hits knees. It’s all down hill from there for Leapin’ Lanny as Neidhart works pretty stiff here for a babyface. Neidhart wins quickly with a powerslam. (2:35) Guess Neidhart’s not a poetry fan. ¼*
Jake Roberts (w/Damien the SNAKE~!) vs. Rick Rude
Roberts thinks he’s mad tonight – just wait until Rude stencils in Jake’s wife’s face on his tights across his crotch! Roberts sneak-attacks during Rude’s introduction and gives him a gutbuster. Rude takes a walk. Back in, Jake tries for the DDT, but Rude slips away. Rude grabs Damien for the distraction and nails Roberts. Rude takes over with a chinlock. Let’s face it – he wasn’t the same wrestler he became several years later. Rude is merely punches, hip-swiveling, and chinlocks. Roberts breaks free, but eats a knee out of the corner. Rude delivers the Flying Fist Drop and poses over Roberts for a pin attempt. Roberts hooks the arms with his legs and gets two. Roberts fails with the rope-a-dope, but crotches Rude up on the top rope. The crowd wants the DDT, so Roberts hits a knee-lift and the Short Arm Clothesline. Instead of gyrating over Rude, Roberts decides to *hump* instead. During the DDT, Rude knocks the ref down on the mat and lands on top of him. While Jake revives the ref, Rude heads for the locker room. Jake goes out to bring him back into the ring and they both wind up being counted out. (15:46) After the bell, Jake gets shot off into the ringpost. Rude thinks he’s won and gets the Damien Treatment. A great feud, but Rude still wasn’t ready to go fifteen minutes with his reliance on the chinlock. **
Ultimate Warrior vs. Bobby Heenan – Weasel Suit Match
Sounds silly, doesn’t it? This was originally an AWA gimmick, which is a rare occasion where Vince actually uses an idea from another promotion. If you’ve ever heard Bobby Heenan say anything about the Warrior, it was always how bad and careless of a worker he was. Bobby’s got some balls though. He suffered from a neck injury for twelve years until he finally received health insurance when he joined WCW. Hence, he had to work with a careless roughneck like the Warrior with a BROKEN FREAKIN’ NECK. This rivalry stems from the Warrior’s feud with Hercules who Heenan was managing at the time. It’s funny – Bobby Heenan is wearing single strap black tights and black boots, which is exactly what Andre wears. It’s like he used some sort of shrinking device on Andre’s wrestling gear. Made a call to Dr. Reducto, perhaps? Nah, that’s even sillier than this match. Heenan tries using an international object, but the Warrior comes back and wins with a sleeper hold. What the…? (5:00) Yes, a sleeper hold. It does make it easier to slip on the suit even if it goes against every thing Warrior is as a wrestler. Heenan’s stuck in the suit and everybody laughs. CRAP
WWF World Tag Team Champions Demolition (w/Mr. Fuji) vs. The British Bulldogs
Davey Boy gets a quick Jack Brisco rollup on Smash for two. The Bulldogs go to work on the arm as Smash powers Dynamite back into his corner. Demolition smashes and axes Dynamite to the mat as they work the back. DBS breaks up a bearhug, but that allows a Demolition double-team. Dynamite avoids a corner charge from Ax. HOT TAG TO DAVEY BOY! He takes care of the Demos and tags Dynamite back in for a SNAP SUPLEX on Smash. Cover, 1-2-NO! The Bulldogs deliver the Press Slam/Flying Headbutt combo on Smash for 1-2-NO! Dynamite breaks out an Octopus Stretch hold on Smash as Fuji gets nailed on the apron by DBS. Fuji’s cane conveniently falls into the ring. Ax breaks up the Octopus with a cane shot to Dynamite’s back. Smash covers and gets three. (7:10) Basically an SNME match. **½
Ken Patera vs. Dino Bravo
Looks like filler to me. Patera starts out hot and heavy to start, but Bravo cuts him off with an inverted atomic drop. Patera regroups out on the floor for a good while. Back in, Patera hits a clothesline or two. Bravo avoids a corner charge and hits the SIDE SUPLEX for the win. (3:29) Yeah, complete filler. ¼*
Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant (w/Bobby Heenan) – Cage Match
This needs no introduction. Lots of choking with Hulk’s shirt to start. Andre ties Hogan’s neck to the cage using the shirt and starts to walk out, but ripping shirts is Hulk’s specialty. Hulk breaks free and prevents Andre from escaping the cage. Andre stops Hogan from climbing out and drops an elbow for good measure. Hogan keeps Andre from walking out the cage door, but can’t keep Andre from pulling off the turnbuckle pad. Superstar Graham asks a perfectly logical question: why do you need to expose the turnbuckle to hurt your opponent when you’re surrounded by steel already? Andre finally gets it off while fighting off Hogan at the same time. Hogan gets his head rammed into the exposed buckle, thus calling for a blade job. Andre headbutts and smashes Hulk’s cut forehead on the steel bars. Hulk stops Andre from walking out the door again and easily sidesteps a big boot to come back with a clothesline. Hogan beats the Giant down and hits a LEGDROP. Meanwhile on the floor, Bobby Heenan KO’s the ref and gets inside the cage to keep Hulk from climbing out, but it’s no use. Heenan gets nailed, Hogan grabs Heenan’s taped knux from his jacket, KO’s Andre, tosses Heenan into the cage wall, and climbs out because climbing out is the spectacular way to win a cage match as opposed to just walking through the door. Yeah, Hulk’s all about the RAZZLE DAZZLE! He wakes up the ref Joey Marella to signal for the bell. (10:03) Aside from the SummerSlam main event, this was the end as far as big time matches go with Hogan vs. Andre headlining the card. After SummerSlam, Andre went on to feud with Jake Roberts and turned face at WrestleMania 6 before wrapping up his career. ½*
Final Thoughts: I wish they had just cut out a ton of crap on here and gave us Savage/DiBiase instead, because there is a lot of crap on this tape. I really wanted to see that match too. Anyways, nothing to see here. The first two matches were decent, but nothing worth going out of your way to see. Everything here has been done better elsewhere. Thumbs down for Wrestlefest 1988.