WWF House Show 7/15/1988
Written by: Brian Bayless
July 15, 1988
From the Los Angeles Sports Arena in Los Angeles, CA
Your hosts are Superstar Billy Graham, Sean Mooney and Gorilla Monsoon
This was the first house show televised on the Z Network
Scott Casey vs. Big Bossman
Graham thinks it is a travesty that someone who is supposed to be protecting the law is a rule breaker. They do the post-match deal where the referee refuses to start the match until Bossman removes his badge as Bossman begrudgingly takes it off. Casey works the arm to start as Graham goes off about his condition and “suntan.” Bossman shoves Casey away but he skinned-the-cat then goes back to working the arm. Bossman takes control after catching Casey with a backbreaker as he starts targeting the back. He takes Casey down with a bearhug then covers but Casey got his foot on the ropes. Bossman takes Casey down with a headbutt before applying another bearhug. Casey escapes after biting Bossman but ends up getting tossed out to the floor. Back inside, Bossman eats boot on a charge as Casey fires away with Polish Hammers. Casey gets whipped and ducks a clothesline but ends up getting caught with a sidewalk slam as Bossman gets the win (7:21) *1/2. After the match, Bossman handcuffs Casey to the ropes and hammers away with the nightstick.
Thoughts: This was better than their match at MSG last month at least. Bossman won in a virtual squash, which is the right call, but his finisher still looked like garbage here as Casey was about two inches off of the ground. Bossman’s post-match gimmick continues to get over.
The Conquistadores vs. The Rockers
For some reason, the Rockers come out to the Ultimate Warrior’s theme music. The match starts with Marty getting the best of #1, who grows increasingly frustrated. Marty takes #1 down with a headlock after a crossbody as Mooney tells us the Rockers have moves that will astound everyone. The Conquistadores catch Marty’s crossbody attempt but Shawn comes in with a dropkick as the Rockers have now cleared the ring. Shawn is now the legal man as the match breaks down again. The Rockers take the Conquistadores out with a double dropkick that was completely mistimed but end up taking them out on the floor with stereo pescados as the crowd goes nuts. The crowd then cheers louder as we see Jesse Ventura walk over to the announcers table as he joins on commentary. The Rockers take control as the announcers all talk over each other. Jesse talks about the Rockers being “pretty boys” and that Demolition already took out another pair in Strike Force. The Rockers hit a double back elbow smash for a nearfall as Jesse tells Mooney is does not like his suit and tie. #2 blocks a leapfrog attempt by Shawn as the Conquistadores have finally taken control of the match. Shawn gets sent upside-down into the corner as #2 gets a nearfall off of that. The Conquistadores stay in control and land a few nearfalls, even pulling off a double switch behind the referee’s back. Shawn finally makes the tag but it was behind the referee’s back and Marty is ordered back onto the apron. The Conquistadores continue to work over Shawn in their corner. Shawn finally comes back with a dropkick then makes the tag as the crowd goes nuts. Marty is a house of fire as he takes out both of the Conquistadores. The match then breaks down as Shawn hits a flying fist drop on #1 as Marty covers for the win (14:37) **1/4.
Thoughts: The Rockers looked really good but this was really dull when the Conquistadores were on offense. The Rockers are rapidly becoming fan-favorites.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Andre the Giant
Heenan is not at ringside because he is getting ready for his Weasel Suit match against the Ultimate Warrior. A loud “Andre sucks” chant breaks out before the match. Duggan gives Graham is 2×4 and wants him to keep it safe as there is a lot of stalling going on before the bell. The match finally starts as Andre attacks Duggan from behind and chokes him out. He takes Duggan out with a headbutt then Duggan starts pacing around outside. Andre chokes him out with one hand when he returns. He then chops him down as Duggan rolls out to the floor but again he gets back up and starts pacing around. Duggan heads back in and is caught in a standing chinlock. The crowd rallies behind Duggan, who gets his thumb up in the air but Andre starts biting it as Duggan is in pain. Andre rams Duggan in the corner but Duggan is able to escape. Andre hurt himself ramming into the corner then Duggan starts hammering away with mounted punches. However, Andre stops that and applies a bearhug. Duggan eventually breaks out after biting Andre’s face after a barrage of punches and headbutts failed. Duggan now hammers away in the corner. He staggers Andre after a few shoulder blocks then sets up for the Three Point Stance as he sends Andre down into the corner. Duggan hits the move again as Andre eventually drops down while the crowd goes nuts. Duggan tries an elbow drop but Andre punches him in the face from the mat. Duggan sets up for another Three Point Stance but eats boot then Andre covers and puts his feet on the ropes for leverage and gets the win (13:03) *1/2. After the match, Andre denies that he cheated after Duggan objected. Duggan then grabs his 2×4 and hits Andre from behind as Andre eventually bails and holds his back while heading up the aisle.
Thoughts: Probably about the best match these two could have together. It told a good story in that Duggan refuses to back down, which fits the narrative of their story. They also leave open a possibility of a rematch at the next show.
Weasel Suit Match: Bobby “The Brain” Heenan vs. Ultimate Warrior
The rules of the match are that the loser has to wear the suit. Heenan bails during Warrior’s entrance and refuses to get into the ring. H gets closer to Warrior, who grabs Heenan’s arm and runs him into the post. The match finally starts as Heenan bails once again. Warrior chases him around and ducks down and eventually catches up and decks him from behind. He dumps Heenan on the floor after a lifting choke then rolls him into the ring. Warrior hits Heenan with ten turnbuckle smashes. Heenan manages to pull out a foreign object and hits Warrior in the throat. The ref searches Heenan’s tights but he put the object in the back of his boot. Warrior is clutching his throat as Heenan is in control. Warrior comes back to block a punch as the ref picks up the object. Warrior beats on Heenan, who is taking all sorts of crazy bumps, then locks on a sleeper for the win (7:25) 1/2*. After the match, Warrior puts the suit on Heenan, who eventually wakes up and starts flopping around.
Thoughts: The same as their MSG match from June. Heenan took a few crazy bumps but the rest of this was shit and did not have the same amount of heat as their other match.
Bad News Brown vs. Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart
Before the match, Brown runs down the crowd but Neidhart runs in and fires away. He hits a dropkick as Brown bails and heads up the aisle. He heads back inside as Neidhart works a chinlock. Neidhart stays in control and gets a nearfall with a shoulder tackle. Neidhart chokes out Brown on the lower rope before hitting a slam. However, he misses a double axe handle from the top and crashes to the mat. Brown hammers away and gets a nearfall with a leg drop. Neidhart gets up but Brown takes him backdown with a clothesline. Brown drapes Neidhart over the apron and lands a few forearm smashes to the chest until Neidhart falls to the floor. Back inside, Neidhart pumps up after Brown grabbed his goatee. Neidhart lowers his strap and starts firing away. He charges but Brown sidesteps him and tosses him to the floor. Brown tries to run Neidhart into the turnbuckle as he was on the apron but that gets blocked. However, Brown headbutts Neidhart down then stars ramming his own head into the turnbuckle. Brown then hits a fist drop before choking Neidhart down on the mat. Neidhart ducks a clothesline then applies a bearhug but Brown breaks out of that. Brown then hits a slam but misses a top rope fist drop. Neidhart hammers away and hits a dropkick. He then knocks Brown through the ropes with a shoulder tackle. Brown pulls Neidhart outside but ends up getting run into the post. Neidhart rolls inside and thinks he won the match via countout but Brown hits him from behind with the Ghetto Blaster for the win (12:40) **1/2.
Thoughts: Solid, back-and-forth match between these two. The ending made Neidhart look like a complete moron though.
“Ravishing” Rick Rude vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Rude runs down the crowd before the match as the camera pans to the crowd, who are flipping him off. Rude starts taking off his robe but Roberts ends up running down the aisle and fires away. Roberts hits a gutbuster as Rude rolls outside but the referee holds him back as he tried to go outside. Rude returns and almost attacks Roberts from behind but immediately retreated when Roberts turned around. Rude ends up hammering away on Roberts but gets caught with a knee lift after ducking his head. Rude bails after Roberts attempted a DDT. Roberts chases him around but gets attacked when he re-entered the ring. Rude applies a chinlock that gets escapes from but is able to come back with a clothesline. Rude stands on top of Roberts and begins to gyrate to further piss off the crowd. Rude targets the neck and back as he now gyrates while working a neck vise. He goes back to the chinlock and he maintains that hold for a while. Rude breaks and hits a fist drop for two then repeatedly slams Roberts face off of the mat. He stops to gyrate again before working yet another chinlock. Roberts escapes and charges in the corner but runs into a knee smash. Rude snaps Roberts head off of the top rope then gyrates on the top rope before hitting a fist drop. He covers Roberts while flexing but Roberts turns that into a rollup for two. Rude goes back to his fourth chinlock of the match as he incorporates more theatrics. Roberts breaks that up with a stunner but Rude is able to get up first and boot him into the ribs. Rude hammers away but Roberts is egging him on then they start brawling. Rude knocks Roberts down with a forearm smash and heads up top but Roberts cuts him off as both men are down. Roberts ends up hitting Rude with a backdrop as the crowd goes nuts. Rude blocks a DDT by hanging on to the ropes but ends up getting hit with a knee lift. Roberts then hits a short-armed clothesline and yells at Rude to get up. Roberts sets up for the DDT but Rude pulls the referee towards him. Roberts then ends up clotheslining Rude to the floor as Rude heads up the aisle. Roberts heads out and fires away. They head back towards the ring as Roberts trips over his snake bag as Rude rolls in to beat the ten count and gets the win (17:46) **1/2. After the match, Roberts wraps Damien around Rude’ neck until he is able to escape and run back to the dressing room.
Thoughts: This match had a ton of heat. Rude still relied heavily on chinlocks but he really cranked up his heel antics for this and it made for a fun watch. The end was also a little goofy but it sets up these two for another match.
After the match, Gorilla interviews Roberts, who tells us he is not satisfied. Gorilla asks him about Rude countering the DDT as Roberts talks about in life, you have to pay consequences as Gorilla brings up the possibility of a rematch clause as Roberts tells Rude he is an easy man to find.
Final Thoughts: It wasnt bad for an 80’s televised house show but there is nothing I would go out of my way to see here. Two top TV feuds were featured here as well. There was a Terry Taylor vs. Iron Sheik match that took place on the card but was not televised during the Sheik’s short-lived comeback.