WWF House Show 3/12/1988
Written by: Colin Rinehart
WWF @ Philly Spectrum 3/12/88
March 12th, 1988
The Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
I needed a little break from puro, so I figured I’d watch an old house show from the 80s. Pretty good card tonight with Hulk Hogan taking on Ted DiBiase in a lumberjack match, Brutus Beefcake against Greg Valentine, and the Jumping Bomb Angels defending their WWF Women’s Tag Team titles against the Glamour Girls. Let’s get to it.
Your hosts are Dick Graham and Craig DeGeorge
SD Jones vs. Johnny Valiant
Jones was coming to the end of his usefulness at this point while Valiant was already far past it. Valiant immediately gets bodyslammed as the bell rings and he bails to the outside to catch his breath. Valiant then tosses Jones to the floor and knocks him off the apron a few times when he tries to return to the ring. Crowd is pretty dead here to start the show but it’s understandable considering the two guys in the ring and that it’s likely not everyone has arrived for the show yet, as there are alot of open seats. Valiant gets racked on the turnbuckle and tries to call for a time out. Jones leapfrogs over Valiant and then hits a weak headbutt for an extremely fast 3 count from the ref at 6:09. Just a nothing match to get the show started with, nothing to see here. ½*
WWF Women’s Tag Team Title Match
Jumping Bomb Angels (C) vs. Glamour Girls
The Glamour Girls are Leilani Kai and Judy Martin while the Jumping Bomb Angels are Noriyo Tateno and Itsuki Yamazaki, a tag team originally from All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling who became huge stars for the company and helped put joshi on the map. Vince brought them in for about a year in the hopes they’d take off like they did in Japan, but alas, no one in the US cared about women’s wrestling at this time. The Angels are practically identical down to their ring attire, so it’s going to be tough keeping track of who’s who, but I’ll try my best. Noriyo and Kai start us off with the Angels quickly dominating. Martin and Yamazaki tag in now and Martin gets a bodyslam for a two count. The Angels continue to dominate, trading quick tags and working on Martin’s arm. Martin tries for the tag but Kai wants none of the Angels. The Angels then both put abdominal stretches on each of the Glamour Girls, which the crowd loves. Tateno tries for a Tiger driver, but settles for a bodyslam for a near fall. Sunset flip gets Tateno a two, and she tags Yamazaki back in now. Tateno gets thrown across the ring by her hair, but Martin can’t get the pin and Tatenso starts laying in chops. Kai tags in now but gets a flying body press from Tateno for a quick two count. Yamazaki gets the tag but it’s behind the refs back, so he doesn’t allow it. Itsuka tries a pin on Kai, but Martin distracts the ref and he can’t count it. Tateno evades a double-clothesline and hits a double-dropkick on both Glamour Girls and then she gets the hot tag to Yamazaki who immediately cleans house and starts zipping around the ring. Double-underhook suplex by Yamazaki, but Kai breaks it up. Suddenly Yamazaki gets a victory roll on Martin for the 3 count to retain the titles at 8:01. Fun little match here as the Angels were always a blast to watch, but these two teams have already had and will go on to have even better matches with eachother down the road. **½
Koko B. Ware vs. Dino Bravo
When we return from the break Koko and Bravo are already wrestling and we’ve joined in progress. Bravo slams Koko and Frenchy Martin cheers Dino on from ringside. They both try for wristlocks and Koko tries for a monkey flip, but Bravo gives him an atomic drop instead and then follows it up with a piledriver. Bulldog gets Bravo a two count. Bravo applies a headlock for a bit now, and drives him down with a bulldog, never letting go of the headlock. A minor “Boring!” chant starts up as the Philly crowd is getting a bit restless with Bravo maintaining a rest hold for several minutes. Big flying body press by Koko, but Martin distracts the ref and Bravo kicks out at two. Bravo tries for another piledriver but Koko back-body drops him and starts to pump himself up. Martin distracts the ref and Koko momentarily though and Bravo gives Koko a side-suplex for the win at 8:34. Meh, pretty boring match here with no heat whatsoever. *
Bam Bam Bigelow/Don Muraco vs. One Man Gang/Butch Reed
Bam Bam was still pretty new to the WWF at the time, but he was already over big time because of his remarkable agility in the ring. Superstar Billy Graham and Oliver Humperdink are at ringside for Bigelow and Muraco. All four men immediately start going at it before the bell even rings. One Man Gang tries to take a breather, but Graham smacks him with his cane. Back inside Muraco and Reed start going at it. Both Reed and Gang bail though and consult with Slick, taking their time. Back inside Reed are having communication problems and Reed accidentally throws One Man Gang off the apron. Bigelow and Gang both tag in now and it’s the battle of the big bellys here. Body-splash gets Bam Bam a quick two count. Muraco and Reed both tag in now and Reed applies a lazy chinlock. The crowd starts to awaken now as Reed and Gang start double-teaming Muraco and choking him on the bottom ring rope. Gang throws on a sleeper of his own and the crowd starts to rally behind Muraco. Bam Bam gets the tag, but the ref never saw it so he can’t allow it. Finally Muraco gets the hot tag to Bam Bam, which the ref sees this time, and they both start clearing house. Gang and Reed clothesline Bam Bam up and over the ring though and get back to double-teaming on Muraco in the ring. Reed misses a big body-press and bounces off the top rope, and Muraco covers him for the win at 14:11. Not a bad formula tag match, the crowd was hot for all of it and Bam Bam looked impressive, but it was a bit too long and could have really benefited from shaving 5 minutes off. **
Killer Bees vs. Bolsheviks
Before the match Volkoff does his usual singing of the Russian national anthem for some cheap heat. The Bees start off hot, jumping around the ring and evading all of the Bolshevik’s offense and trading quick tags. They both try working armlocks on Volkoff, but he outpowers Blair easily and tags Zhukov back in. Blair starts getting double-teamed in the Bolshevik’s corner now with Zhukov choking Blair while Volkoff lays in big kicks. Zhukov tags back in now and gets a backbreaker for a two count. Zhukov slaps on a weak bearhug and then tags Volkoff back in who gives Blair an atomic drop for another close two count. Big backbreaker gets Volkoff another close two, this time broken up Brunzell. Big flying forearm from Blair. Brunzell tags in and then both Bees put on their Killer Bees mask, making an illegal switch in the ring. Sleeper on Zhukov gets broken up quickly, and then the other Bee slides into the ring and switches places with the other, rolling up Zhukov for the win at 10:42. Another fairly boring formula tag match, but the Bees antics were fun to watch. *¾
Brutus Beefcake vs. Greg Valentine
These two were former tag team champions together, known collectively as The Dream Team, but Beefcake had become a close friend of Hogan’s at this point and he was quickly given a big singles push after the split with Valentine. Lots of stalling from Valentine to start as he’s very concerned with the idea of Beefcake cutting his hair if he loses. Beefcake starts off with the upper hand, laying in shots to the Hammer’s mid-section. Beefcake starts slamming Valentine’s head into the mat now and this has been all Beefcake in the opening minutes here. Valentine does the old Flair flop bit of sellng after multiple shots in the corner, and both men wind-up outside the ring, brawling. Elbow drop only gets Valentine a one count as Beefcake’s foot reache the ropes. Big axe-handle of the top from Valentine and then he start laying in elbows on Beefcake, who’s draped over the apron at this point. Bodyslam gets Valenine a two count and it looks like that might have been botched because the ref just lays there with his hand paused, not counting to three while he stares at Beefcake, waiting for him to kick out. Shoulderblock and then a rollup gets Valentine another two and then he applies the figure four leglock on Beecake, who’s pounding the mat in pain. Back on their feet both men start trading blows and Beefcake slaps on his trademark sleeper! Valentine gets the rope break pretty quickly though and he brings Jimmy Hart in, which sends Hart’s megaphone flying. Valentine nails Beefcake with the megaphone in full view of the ref though, and he gets DQed at 10:42. Not bad here, definitely an improvement over most of tonight’s card. Valentine did the best he could with someone as limited in the ring as Beefcake was, so you can’t really complain about the end result. **
Hulk Hogan vs. Ted DiBiase
Your lumberjacks for this match are the Killer Bees, Virgil, Koko B. Ware, SD Jones, Johnny Valiant, Brutus Beefcake, Dino Bravo, Greg Valentine, Nikolai Volkoff, and Boris Zhukov. Andre the Giant has also been banned from ringside after having cost Hogan the WWF title recently. Hogan wastes no time for theatrics to start though and just starts tossing DiBiase around in the ring.DiBiase tries to escape but the lumberjacks toss him right back in and Hogan continues to dominate. He snapmares DiBiase back into the ring and then starts choking DiBiase with his own wrist-tape. Big boot sends DiBiase out to the floor again and to say this match has been all Hulk Hogan would be an understatement, as DiBiase hasn’t gotten a single offensive move in the match. Hogan exits the ring to chase DiBiase, but two men in Killer Bee’s masks start attacking him, revealing they aren’t the REAL Killer Bees under those masks. Finally DiBiase gets some offense in after that distraction, laying in chops and knees to Hogan’s stomach. Three big elbow drops from DiBiase, but Hogan kicks out at two and starts hulking up. Big boot and he goes for the legdrop, but one of the Bees trips Hogan up. DiBiase tries a top rope move but Hogan just launches him off and gives him the legdrop for the win at 6:05. Typical Hogan house show match, actually it was probably worse. DiBiase was basically squashed here by Hogan, which is pretty stupid when you think about the fact that DiBiase was going to be one of the main WWF title contenders in 1988. *½
After the match Hogan tries unmasking one of the people dressed as a Killer Bee, but he’s got another mask underneath his first one and he bails. Hogan puts on the Bees mask and does his usual post-match posing and that will do it for tonight’s show.
Quite the boring show for the most part, this was just the kind of typical B-Team efforts the WWF was known for sending out on the house show circuits that weren’t MSG or the Boston Garden. It’s not a particularly awful show, but there’s just nothing here that you might want or need to see. Thumbs Down.