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Dark Pegasus Video Review: The Summerslam Anthology — Summerslam ’88

August 16, 2009 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: The Summerslam Anthology — Summerslam ’88  

Summerslam ’88

by J.D. Dunn

Reprinted from 2007ish

We’re deep into the summer of ’88. Savage won the title at WrestleMania and spent the rest of the summer fending off challenges from Ted Dibiase. Meanwhile, the WWF roster was undergoing an overhaul with all of the refugees from dying federations like the UWF, WCCW, and the AWA coming in.

  • August 29, 1988
  • Live from New York, N.Y..
  • Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Superstar Billy Graham.

  • Opening Match: The British Bulldogs vs. The Rougeau Bros.
    The Rougeaux had just turned heel in an odd way – they were pro-American. Dynamite was slowed considerably at this point, but he still looks great by the standards of the day. The Bulldogs absolutely rip the Rougeaus apart while the Rougeaus show how natural they are at playing cowardly heels. Jacques sneaks in and hits a backdrop suplex, and the Rougeaus take over. They work an abdominal stretch and generate a lot of heat with their antics. Raymond hits Dynamite behind the ref’s back. Dynamite small packages Jacques, but the ref is tied up with Davey Boy. They work in a false tag before getting it for real a few minutes later. The Bulldogs hit their press slam/headbutt on Jacques, but time expires at 20:00 before the ref can count. Good match, but the following year would have an even better opener. The Coliseum version is clipped down to around 12 minutes, which is more brisk, but I prefer the full PPV version. ***1/2

  • Recap of Ron Bass attacking Brutus Beefcake and injuring him, costing him the Intercontinental Title shot.
  • Ken Patera vs. Bad News Brown.
    Boring match to put Bad News over. Patera was way over the hill here, and his perm made him look like Donna’s dad from “That 70’s Show.” Bad News attacks and tries to rip out Patera’s gullet. Patera comes back with some boring 1970’s-era moves. Patera gets the Full Nelson, but Bad News is in the ropes. Patera posts himself, and Bad News ends with the Ghetto Blaster at 6:37. Bad News looked like a badass. 1/4*

  • Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. The Junkyard Dog.
    JYD was just as washed up as Patera at this point, but at least he’s over. Rude, on the other hand, was starting to show signs of being a decent wrestler and not just a gym rat with good mic skills. This is a nothing match as Rude gets his ass kicked, allowing him to work in his usual spots. He hits his fistdrop off the top and stops to take down his tights to reveal a second pair with Cheryl Roberts’ face air-brushed on them. That brings out Jake Roberts to attack Rude for the DQ at 6:20. Rude had picked Jake’s wife out of the crowd to kiss a few months earlier, but she refused, creating an instant feud wherein Rude implied he was giving it to Cheryl daily, nightly and ever so rightly. Internet canon used to say that Rude and Cheryl really were getting it on. Even I mentioned it in my original review, but Jake has since cleared things up by saying it’s not true (or at least not to his knowledge, and therefore not the cause of their divorce). In retrospect, someone as career-conscious as Rude would know better than to shit where you eat, especially when he could throw a rock and hit a more attractive ringrat. 1/4*

  • The Powers of Pain (w/The Baron) vs. The Bolshevik (w/Slick).
    [sarcasm]Wow, what a natural pairing the Bolsheviks and Slick are.[/sarcasm] The POP were NWA ripoffs of the Road Warriors, but they didn’t particularly want to work a scaffold match, so they jumped to the WWF where Vince decided to feud them with his Road Warrior rip-offs, Demolition. The problem was that Demolition were more over as babyfaces than the Powers of Pain, despite the fact that Demolition were heels. This is just a squash to introduce the Powers to the mainstream audience. Warlord hits Boris with the powerslam, and Barbarian finishes with the diving headbutt at 5:27. Just a squash to put the POP over, and it worked. 1/2*

  • The Brother Love Show:
    In one of those, “Oh, what if…” moments, there was some thought of debuting The Four Horsemen here, because Tully and Arn were already under contract, and Flair and Windham were feeling disenfranchised with the NWA. Flair was loyal to Crockett at that point, though, and Vince didn’t want to bring Barry Windham in for such a high profile role after Barry flaked on him in 1985. Just think if they could have put it together, though, with Bobby Heenan managing.

  • Intercontinental Title: Honky Tonk Man (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. A Mystery Opponent.
    Brutus Beefcake was supposed to get the title here, but he’s injured of course, so Honky calls for “anyone in the locker room” to come out and fight, and he doesn’t care who it is. The Ultimate Warrior answers the call and finishes off Honky with a clothesline and splash at 0:30. This was all apparently at the suggestion of the Honky Tonk Man who wanted to work with a guy who could actually draw money since Hogan was focusing on movies. 1/4*

  • Don “The Rock” Muraco vs. Dino Bravo (w/Frenchie Martin).
    This is a rematch from the WrestleMania IV tournament. Muraco picks Bravo up for a slam, but the ref gets bumped, messing up Muraco in mid-move. Dino slips out and hits the sideslam for the win at 5:27. I should note that the clipped version seamlessly makes it look like an 80-second match – which still sucked. 1/2*

  • WWF Tag Titles: Demolition (w/Mr. Fuji & Jimmy Hart) vs. The Hart Foundation.
    Jimmy had been screwing the Harts over, so they dumped him. He still owns their contracts, so he retains the right to be at ringside. Ax batters Bret around the ring but gets rolled up for two. Smash tags in and works over Bret’s shoulder. Bret gets caught in the wrong corner for a while before blocking Smash’s charge. Anvil gets the hot tag and steamrolls over both of the Demos. Bret slingshots Anvil onto Smash. The Harts try some doubleteams, but that just causes a bunch of confusion, allowing Jimmy Hart to toss the megaphone to Ax, who nails an unsuspecting Bret with it to pick up the win at 9:50. Solid match thanks to formula and effort. **1/2

  • The Big Boss Man (w/Slick) vs. Koko B. Ware.
    With the UWF going under, it was a given that “Big Bubba Rogers” would return to the NWA, but Ray fooled them all by signing with the WWF – a move that pissed off Dusty Rhodes good and proper. Koko dropkicks Boss Man, tying him up in the ropes. He adds a splash, but Boss Man just gets angry and avalanches him. Koko gets one brief flash of offense with a missile dropkick, but Boss Man catches him with the Boss Man Slam at 6:06. Pretty good for a squash. Koko was such a spunky little Gobot. *1/4

  • Hercules vs. Jake Roberts.
    Jake goes for the DDT early, but Herc bails out. Jake headlocks him for what seems like an eternity, but eternity ain’t seen nothin’ on the chinlock that Hercules uses. Jake finally counters to a jawbreaker and hits the short clothesline set-up for the DDT. Herc backdrops out of it and goes for a bodyslam, but Jake slips over his shoulder and finally DDTs him at 10:09. Felt like 90:01. Brutally boring. 1/4*

  • Randy Savage & Hulk Hogan (w/Elizabeth) vs. Andre the Giant & Ted Dibiase (w/Virgil & Bobby Heenan).
    Resident Hogan-hater Jesse Ventura is your special guest referee. Jesse rearranges the tag ropes so they are in the adjacent corners, which really freaks me out because the WWE never has the teams in the lower-left and upper-right. This pairing of the two top babyfaces and the two top heels would become a staple for the Summerslam in the early years. Dibiase gets knocked back and forth between Hogan and Savage to start. Heenan objects to doubleteaming, but the beating continues. Hogan decides to go after Andre and pays for it as Andre chokes him down. Savage gets the hot tag but misses a charge. A crossbody gets two, but Andre tags in for a bit. Hogan grabs a sleeper on Dibiase, but Andre blocks Savage’s elbow. The heels clear the ring, and Jesse starts a fast count, leading the Megapowers to unveil their master plan – Elizabeth’s underwear! See, they rip off her skirt, exposing her bikini underwear, and everyone is so shocked that they’re able to knock Andre out of the ring and finish with the elbowdrop and legdrop. Jesse refuses to count, but Savage forces his hand down for the final count at 14:48. Mostly remembered for the underwear strategy, which isn’t all that scandalous today. The match was okay thanks to Savage and Dibiase carrying a lot of the load. **1/4
  • The 411: The main event was okay, and there was an incredibly hot crowd. Virtually everything else was an introductory squash, though, and most of the matches didn't even have feuds behind them. Despite some fondly remembered moments, like the Honky Tonk Man loss and Elizabeth's skirt, this is a total dog. Thumbs way down.
    Final Score:  4.0   [ Poor ]  legend

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