Archive for the ‘1988’ Category

6th1k3

Alrighty! This year’s Royal Rumble will take place in a few weeks so I find it fitting to review every Royal Rumble event since it’s inception. Enjoy!

 

1. Rick Rude w/Bobby Heenan vs. Ricky Steamboat

This opener was really good and you can see why both competitors are highly regarded in the sport of professional wrestling. Not a big fan of the DQ finish but it’s a common practice at the time and it’s a safe play to keep both competitors strong.
Grade: B

 

Segment: Dino Bravo is going to attempt a new World Record in Benchpressing a total of 705 lbs. Mene Gene Okerlund is out there to get the scoop along with Jesse The Body Ventura who’s assigned as the spot man for Bravo. Frenchy Martin is also out there being nothing more than a pest. Bravo does warm ups in many weights before he attempts the record thus taking a lot of time and causing the crowd to boo. Finally when he does the attempt, Ventura helps him lift the heavy bar and proclaims Bravo’s attempt a success however McMahon on commentary had his doubts. Regardless of the controversy and what not, Bravo proved that he’s the real deal when it comes to weightlifting and looked mighty impressive.

 

2. WWF Women’s Tag Team Championship
2 0ut of 3 Falls
The Glamour Girls (Leilani Kai & Judy Martin) (c) w/Jimmy Hart vs. The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyoi Tateno & Itsuki Yamazaki)

WWF at the time had a women’s division but it actually meant something back in the day and had it’s fair share of competitors for many years till the 90’s kicked in and disappeared for the most part. I absolutely loved this match because the Angels were extremely skilled and quite ahead of their time in America. For those that can appreciate the ladies doing professional wrestling then I welcome you to watch this match.Grade: B-

 

Segment: Hulk Hogan & Andre the Giant had a legendary collision at WrestleMania III which will always be remembered as for the “Body Slam Heard Around the World”. Since then, Andre has been on an endless chase to get back at Hogan for the title and finally got him at the inaugural Survivor Series a few months before. Also to Hogan’s dismay, The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase has been causing waves in the WWF and wanted to buy the championship off of Hogan but obviously he refused. So Andre is hired by Dibiase to win the title and buy it off of him instead. The signing of the “Rematch of the Century”  took place in the ring with both parties going at each others throats. The match would take place on the February 5 edition of Saturday Night Main Event.

 

3. Royal Rumble Match
Participants: Bret Hart, Tito Santana, Butch Reed, Jim Neidhart, Jake Roberts, King Harley Race, Jim Brunzell, Sam Houston, Danny Davis, Boris Zhukov, Don Muraco, Nikolai Volkoff, Jim Duggan, Outlaw Ron Bass, Brian Blair, Hillbilly Jim, Dino Bravo, The Ultimate Warrior, The One Man Gang & The Junkyard Dog

The Inaugural Rumble match only had 20 participants and it consisted mostly of lower-mid card wrestlers which makes it a regular battle royal except for the time intervals between participants. These matches are always fun to watch no doubt about it and it was alright for what it was.
Grade: B-

 

4. 2 out of 3 Falls
The Islanders (Haku & Tama) w/Bobby The Brain Heenan vs. The Young Stallions (Paul Roma & Jim Powers)

It was a regular tag team match with little to no value. Not badly executed but it’s nothing we can sink our teeth into.
Grade: C-

 

Final Thoughts:

Pretty mediocre card to be honest and it was only four matches and two long segments for the show making it more or less a regular Monday Night Raw quality type show. However, this is the first step of a major milestone in the WWF/E’s legacy and it will always be cherished and remembered forever. I only recommend this show to everyone for the sole purpose of witnessing history. The only you can get this show is on the Royal Rumble Complete Anthology: Volume 1 so it’s always a good thing to have it in your collection.

Verdict: 5/10

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SummerSlam is one of the biggest professional wrestling events in history. In a couple of weeks, the event will celebrate it’s 25th anniversary and I see fitting to commemorate the anniversary with the reviews of the previous SummerSlams.

1. The British Bulldogs vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers w/Jimmy Hart

The popular tag team of Davey Boy & The Dynamite Kid take on the brotherly duo of Jacques & Raymond in a passable match that could have delivered more. I’m not a fan of non-finish matches but since it was the 80’s and it was a common serving in the menu, I understand it.
Grade: C

 

2. Bad News Brown vs. Ken Patera

One of the most underrated heels in professional wrestling, Bad News Brown, takes on Olympic wrestler Ken Patera in a very depressing squash. Patera was once considered to be the world heavyweight champion really let himself go and dragged this match that not even Ric Flair could save. Brown was clearly pissed throughout the match and we can tell easily why.
Grade: F

 

3. Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan vs. The Junkyard Dog

This was a pointless match that didn’t brought anything to the table. At the time, Rude was working on a spectacular feud with Jake the Snake Roberts and it would have made a lot more sense to pit them both against each other than have JYD in this mess. Even further to prove my point was the DQ finish that came with it.
Grade: D-

 

4. The Bolshevicks w/ Slick vs. The Powers of Pain w/ The Baron

The awkwardness of having the Powers playing babyfaces against a despised Bolshevick team. Extended Squash.
Grade: F

 

Segment: The Brother Love Show w/Hacksaw Jim Duggan

A concept that started with Roddy Piper, where he interviews fellow wrestlers to either praise or mock them. This concept ended up being a huge player in the angles the WWF ran during it’s Boom period and the legacy it created proved it’s worthiness.

 

5. Intercontinental Championship
The Honky Tonk Man (c)  w/ Jimmy Hart  vs. The Ultimate Warrior

Warrior steps in to replace injured Brutus the Barber Beefcake. In 32 seconds, history was made.
Grade: DUD

 

6. Don Muraco vs. Dino Bravo w/ Frenchy Martin

Two very solid performers in stunningly short and slow match. What does that tell you?
Grade: F+

 

7. Tag Team Championship
Demolition (c)  w/ Mr. Fuji vs. The Hart Foundation

Two of the greatest tag teams of all time square off in a very well received performance. The psychology used to get Bret a hot tag Ricky Morton style was a masterpiece.
Grade: C

 

8. Big Boss Man vs. Koko B. Ware

Another squash to the collection that dragged too long.
Grade: F

 

9. Jake the Snake Roberts vs. Hercules

My thoughts on this bout stands with the Rude/JYD encounter.
Grade: D-

 

10. The Mega Powers w/ Miss Elizabeth vs. The Mega Bucks w/ Virgil & Bobby Heenan
(Special Guest Referee: Jesse The Body Ventura

The super team of Hulk Hogan & then WWF champion Randy Savage take on the team of Andre the Giant and Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase in a feud that dates back to Wrestlemania 4. Ventura was hand picked by Savage to referee this match, not without controversy. The match was decent and got the crowd it’s money’s worth. Miss Elizabeth creates the highlight by taking one for the team (if you get my drift).
Grade: C

In conclusion, this event rated under my regular watch is terrible. But you have to keep in mind the following, this was 1988, the standard card would feature an average of 8 matches that ends in either squashes or non-finishes. The business wasn’t exposed till years later and this type of show made the crowd go nuts. There were many highlights in this show that some still to this day are remembered in full force. The wrestling is mediocre at best but the show overall was ok.

Verdict: 4/10