WWF House Show 3/5/1988
Written by: Scrooge McSuck from Dawrestlingsite.com
– Originally broadcasted on NESN (and for this edition, broadcasted on WWE Classics On Demand), with Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes calling all the action, unless otherwise noted. We’re only a few weeks away from WrestleMania IV, and in the immortal words of Monsoon, I’m sure it is going to be a happening, featuring a Championship Tournament to crown a new, Unidpisuted WWF Champion, among other things.
“Special Delivery” Jones vs. Steve Lombardi:
I could complain, but it’s an opening match on a house show, so I’m just going to suck it up, shut the hell up, and look forward to match #2 of the night and push on through. Lockup, Jones grabs a hammerlock, and Lombardi grabs the ropes. Jones takes him over with a hip toss and goes to work on the arm. Whip to the ropes, Jones with a scoop slam, hip toss, and back drop to send Lombardi to the floor for a breather. Back inside, Lombardi unloads with a series of rights and lays Jones out with a clothesline. He slaps on a chinlock, but Jones powers out and sets Lombardi across the top rope, only to have it bite him in the ass. Lombardi remains in control, doing the bare minimum. Eye pokes and choking! Yay! He throws in a clothesline for a two count, then goes back to the chinlock. Whip to the ropes, and a criss-cross ends with Lombardi landing a boot to the chest. Boring! They trade rakes of the eyes and Jones no-sells being rammed to the buckle. Jones with the comeback, doing little of note. Jones comes off the ropes with a sunset flip for a two count. Whip to the ropes, and Lombardi cradles him for three at 8:05. And to the next match we go…
Sam Houston vs. “Dangerous” Danny Davis (w/ Jimmy Hart):
Okay, maybe we’ll look forward to Match #3. It’s the match that electrified Wrestling Challenge viewers for all of 1988. The combined weight of the two wrestlers and the manager doesn’t equal a King Kong Bundy. Davis stalls to kick things off, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s ever watched a match featuring him. Houston brings him into the ring with a sling shot and immediately hooks an armbar. Davis yanks the hair to escape, but Houston goes right back to work on the arm. This is making me long for a rematch between Jones and Lombardi. Davis tries to hip toss his way free, but Houston hangs on. How has this Boston crowd not boo’ed the match out of the building, yet? Davis with a clothesline for two, and finally takes control of the action. Jimmy Hart gets some mid-match comments at the commentary table to make up for this match sucking. Whip to the ropes and a clothesline gets two. Snapmare and an elbow drop gets two. Whip to the corner, Houston misses a charge. Davis with a swinging neck breaker, practically ripping off Honkytonk Man’s finisher for a transition move against a JTTS. Houston with a clothesine, followed by rights. Whip to the ropes, Davis ties himself up, and Houston practically throws himself to the floor. Smart move by Davis, actually. Suplex from the apron, and Davis gets three at 9:27. Danny Davis pinned someone, CLEAN! Highest praise for the rarity, but the match blew.
The Rougeau Brothers vs. Demolition (w/ Mr. Fuji):
(Jacques & Raymond vs. Ax & Smash)
Demolition are scheduled to face Strike Force at WrestleMania IV, and the Rougeaus… they aren’t winning here. Yay, I guess this is from a month where the WWE lost the rights to Demolition’s theme music. Smash and Jacques start. Lockup, Smash with knees to the midsection, and Ax tags in to pound him into jelly. Raymond tries to intervene, and takes a whooping, too. Raymond comes back with a clothesline to Ax, and the Rougeau’s with a double chop on Smash. He takes a pair of boots to the face, and the Rougeau’s take turns working on the arm. Whip to the corner, and taken over with an arm drag. Jacques with a body press for a one count. Ax in with his clubbering blows, takes Jacques over with a snapmare, and grabs a front facelock. Jacques elbows free and starts kicking away at the bandaged leg of Ax. Raymond tags in for some whis-bone action, drops a series of knees across the leg, and slaps on a standing toe hold. Ax with a roundhouse kick to escape and plants him with a slam. Headbutt misses, allowing Raymond to remain in control.
Whip to the corner, a monkey flip is blocked (in what looks to be a blown spot), and it’s time for him to play face-in-peril. He gets thrown to the floor, giving Fuji is obligatory cheap shot of the night. Back inside, Smash with a snapmare and chinlock. Ax tags in with the same. Whip to the ropes, Raymond with a sunset flip, but Ax gets the tag and clubs him from behind with an axehandle. Suplex attempt is blocked and countered. Smash misses an elbow drop, and here comes Jacques with the “hot” tag. Whip to the ropes and a chop, followed by a slam. Double noggin’ knocker! Diving elbow connects, but the referee is out of position. He sweeps the legs and applies a Boston Crab, but Ax boots him square in the face to break. Double clothesline from the Demo’s, and Smash covers for three at 8:16. High energy from start to finish and tons of fun.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. “The Outlaw” Ron Bass:
Lockup to start, and Bass grabs a headlock. Roberts fights free, but Bass yanks the hair to put the preasure back on. Irish whip, and a shoulder block goes to the advantage of the Outlaw. Bass continues with headlocks and shoulder tackles. Jake rolls out of the ring to catch a breather, very unlike a babyface. Jake motions for Bass to come out of the ring after him. Bass takes the bait, and eats a knee lift coming back into the ring. DDT attempt, but Bass rolls out of the ring to escape. Back in the ring, and Jakes works the arm. Irish whip to escape, but Jake puts the breaks on and gives Bass an unfriendly hand gesture. Pissed off Texans = Not Fun. Lockup into the corner, and Bass hammers away. Roberts rolls out of a slam attempt, and Bass runs outside after an encounter with the ominous bag at ringside. Monsoon makes a Michael Spinks remark, and we all know that story… if you have a mild knowledge of boxing. Roberts tries working the arm, but gets nailed with a clothesline for his troubles. Bass whips Roberts back-and-forth to the buckles, with gusto, then stomps him out of the ring. I think I fell a sleep and this match is STILL going on. Roberts avoids an elbow drop and connects with his signature short-arm clothesline, but the crowd seems really out of it. Bass counters another DDT attempt, and a weird shoulder block spot sees Bass fall on top of Roberts for a two count. Roberts tries a slam, but again, Bass lands on top for a cheap two count. Whip to the corner is reversed, but Roberts charges into a knee. Bass man-handles the referee, and gets nailed with a knee lift for his troubles, with the momentum sending him out of the ring. The end result, a count-out at 10:54 in favor of Jake Roberts. After the bell, Bass attacks and goes for Miss Betsy, but Jake manages to whip Damian out and wrap it around the neck of Bass. Incredibly boring.
Women’s Tag Team Championship Match:
The Jumping Bomb Angels © vs. The Glamour Girls (w/ Jimmy Hart):
(Itsuki Yamazaki & Noriyo Tateno vs. Leilani Kai & Judy Martin)
This is a guaranteed good match, based on track record, alone. Martin with a sneak attack on Tateno to start. Tateno comes back with a dropkick and hair-pull monkey flip, followed by a slam for two. Yamazaki with a hair snapmare across the ring. Kai tags in and gets her arm worked over. Yamazaki with a running dropkick, followed by a slam. Tateno works the arm and takes Kai over with a short-arm scissors. Kai fights free and takes Yamazaki down with a drop toe hold. Snapmare into the corner, and Martin with a slam for two. Yazamaki with a fancy bridge to escape the pin, and backslides Martin for another two count. Tatano catches Martin coming off the ropes with a diving forearm and dropkick for a two count. Martin counters a chinlock with an Airplane Spin, but Tateno fights out and slaps on an abdominall stretch. Kai breaks it up, but Tateno remains in control and drops Martin with a modified powerbomb for a two count. Yamazaki off the top with a knee across the chest for two.
Whip to the ropes, Martin with a shoulder tackle. Kai sends Yamazaki to the corner and starts putting the boots to her. Tateno tags in, and suffers the same fate trying to shoulder tackle Kai. Martin tags in and flings her across the ring by the hair, slamming her on her face in the process. Kai and Martin take turns choking her when the referee isn’t looking. Tateno offers a comeback, but a boot to the face puts her down for a two count. More choking, this time with the tag rope. Whip to the ropes, Tateno with a body press for two. Kai tags in and connects with a dropkick for two. False hot tag to Yamazaki, allowing the Glamour Girls to double team. Tateno ducks under a clothesline and lays them both out with her own. Another hot tag attempt is cut short. Kai with a slam, but Martin misses an elbow drop. Yamazaki finally tags in and lays into both Glamour Girls with running high-knees. Scoop slam and diving body press for two. Yamazaki misses another body press, but Tateno comes in illegally with a missile dropkick. All four women brawl in the ring until Yamazaki takes Kai over with a back slide for the three count at 11:52. The Glamour Girls offense didn’t light the world on fire, but held their own well enough to keep up with the Bomb Angels working their asses off.
The Ultimate Warrior vs. King Harley Race:
Wow, this has trainwreck quality written all over it. Warrior’s lack of anything interesting from his television debut until Summerslam ’88 is a classic case of having a unique character and having no idea what to use him for. When his program with Hercules is his only notable angle before winning the IC Title, you know you’ve really done nothing. Lockup, Race with a knee and clothesline. Warrior no-sells and connects with a clothesline of his own. Whip to the corner, and Race takes his signature bump to the floor. He tries to cheap shot Warrior from the apron, unsuccessfully, and takes a comedic bump down the ring steps. Back inside, Race comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle and accidentally drops a headbutt on the Little Warrior’s. Race with a Piledriver, and surprisingly, Warrior sells it. Whip to the ropes, Race side-steps his oncoming opponent, and throws him to the floor. He tries for a suplex from the apron, but Warrior counters and rolls him up for three at 4:57. That wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Always weird to see Warrior work almost like a normal person.
David Sammartino vs. Dino Bravo (w/ Frenchie Martin):
Woah, woah, woah… DAVID SAMMARTINO?! Did they really dig him out of the cave he was living in? He looks to be in decent shape and is sporting blonde hair. Looks like Lex Luger shrunk. Lockup, and Bravo shoves him into the ropes. Sammartino grabs a headlock and comes off with a shoulder tackle, barely budging the Canadian Strongman. Sammartino with an arm drag, but he doesn’t follow it up with anything. Whip to the corner, Sammartino with more arm drags, sending Bravo to the floor for a breather. Bravo counters a monkey flip with an inverted atomic drop and plants him with a piledriver for two. Bravo with a slam and elbow drop for another two count, then slaps on a chinlock. Whip and Sammartino surprises him with a sunset flip for two. Bravo with a slam, but an elbow drop doesn’t hit the mark this time around. Whip to the ropes, boot to the midsection, and a small package gets two. Sammartino with a slam and knee drop for two. Whip is reversed, and Bravo casually hits the Side Suplex for the three count at 5:41. Watchable, thanks to being kept short. Sammartino’s “return” was very short-lived. I don’t recall him making any other television appearances.
Steel Cage Match: Strike Force & Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth) vs. The Hart Foundation & The Honkytonk Man (w/ Jimmy Hart):
Interesting main event… Strike Force are the reigning Tag Team Champions and Honky is the reigning Intercontinental Champion, but we’ve got a super-sized main event rather than splitting things up for seperate Championship matches. I guess with WrestleMania IV coming up, pointless title matches don’t sell well, so a Cage match gimmick makes up the difference. I’m guessing pinfalls only here, other than getting three people to escape would be quite a chore. Gorilla shoots that theory down pretty fast, as escape is allowed. Lots of choking and punching from the heels to start. Martel returns the favor on the Hitman, using his Strike Force shirt, and of course Randy Savage is no stranger to underhanded tactics. Honky tries climbing out, but Santana quickly pulls him back. Savage and Honky pair up and Bret with an unsuccessful escape attempt. Martel with a flurry of lefts on Honky, while Santana makes his way out the door, through the greasy fingers of Neidhart. Neidhart easily walks out the door, too.
Bret from the second rope with an axehandle across the back of Martel. Whip to the ropes, and Martel sends Bret face first into the cage. Martel starts climbing, but Bret keeps him from going over. Honky and Savage continue to struggle near the ropes, doing very little. Bret and Honky get whipped into each other, allowing an escape attempt, but only Martel manages to climb out. Savage with a series of jabs on Honky until Bret comes up from behind. Honky to the second rope with a double axehandle. Bret from the top rope with a forearm. Whip to the ropes and they connect with a double elbow. Bret walks out the door with ease, but Honky stays behind like an idiot. He drops an elbow and plays to the crowd to the point even Hulk Hogan would say “dammit, stop playing to the crowd.” Savage comes back to life and slams Honky into the cage to a big pop. Savage pulls him back from escape and crotches him across the top rope, then casually completes the climb, giving Savage and Strike Force the victory at 8:20. Very underwhelming, with mostly punchy-kicky stuff. I guess this was back when Cage matches meant taking it easy for the night.
Final Thoughts: Disappointing main event aside, a surprisingly solid show from start to finish. The Bomb Angels vs. Glamour Girls stands out as the best match of the card, with Demolition and the Rougeau Brothers also putting on a solid effort. Honestly, other than the matches between Houston and Davis, and Roberts and Bass, everything was fine. Even those weren’t unwatchably bad, just boring. Good show to track down for an enjoyable two-hour waste, with some decent rarities, like the 6-Man Cage, the random appearance of David Sammartino, and Harley Race working with the Warrior.