Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only

20 Years Ago - WON 09/12/88


Loss
 Share

Recommended Posts

WWF

-- "JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO WATCH WRESTLING ON PAY-PER-VIEW ... MORE BRUTAL THAN THE BUNKHOUSE ... I'm not sure what can be said about Summer Slam '88 other than it was everything the lineup promised it would be, and less." Dave called this the most forgettable PPV so far. The biggest complaint Dave has heard is that they spent way too much time, as in about 30 minutes of air time, hyping the Sugar Ray Leonard fight. "You can't mix wrestling announcers with boxers, it comes off like a clown show -- at least WWF wrestling announcers. You can't put boxing interviews on a wrestling show -- wrestlers are professional interviewers (at least they are supposed to be tho a few in Titan certainly aren't) and they make the boxers, who are professional fighters, come off as stiff and stupid." Dave also says the announcing was worse than any major wrestling show he can ever recall seeing. Many were also upset at the sexist nature of the main event finish with Liz stripping down to a bikini, since young girls tend to look at her as a role model. Dave also says, surprisingly, the production values weren't great and even looked sort of bush league, especially during replays, which looked like 5th generation VCR tapes. On the show:

 

* British Bulldogs vs Demolition: Perfectly fine opener. **1/2

 

* Bad News Brown vs Ken Patera: Both tried, but could not get any heat, and they eventually gave up and started missing moves. Patera is too old for the WWF. *1/4

 

* Rick Rude vs Junkyard Dog: Terrible, and Rude deserves none of the blame. Dave says the Jake Roberts run-in was done really well. DUD

 

* Powers of Pain vs Bolsheviks: No heat, lots of clumsy offense, and the Powers of Pain are no longer really that over. Dave says Barbarian is talented, but not so much that he can save a bad match. Dave says the POP really need to wrestle smaller, more athletic teams to get over their size and make them look good. 1/2*

 

* Brother Love with Hacksaw Duggan: Duggan of course had only been away from MSG for about four weeks. Dave says Bruce Prichard is great at Brother Love, but that the gimmick has already run its course and is a channel changer. Dave says it was obvious Vince planned this segment for someone different, because it really seemed thrown together at the last minute.

 

* Ultimate Warrior vs Honky Tonk Man: From a booking standpoint, Dave calls this the best thing on the show. Dave thought Warrior was going to blow up so bad that he'd give birth, which he goes into a spiel about how he wonders if it would be possible since artificial male hormones make the body produce female hormones. (My note: Woooowww ...) But still, this worked perfectly, keeping Warrior in a short match that they knew would pop the crowd. Warrior did an interview later in the show thanking his little Warriors, which Dave was annoyed by, because he feels like Warrior is copying too much from Hulk Hogan.

 

* Dino Bravo vs Don Muraco: Pathetic match with no heat. DUD

 

* Demolition vs Hart Foundation: These guys worked for 90 minutes before the show on getting the sequence of events in the last 1:20 of this match down perfectly, which Dave says paid off because it was a great sequence, and all the confusion was well-timed and well-executed with nothing being lost. But everything else about the match was terribly boring. *1/2

 

* Big Boss Man vs Koko B. Ware: Far and away the best "squash" of the night, although Koko was really upset at some of the miscues and was punching walls in the locker room after the match.

 

* Jake Roberts vs Hercules: Well executed, but very slow and dull. Dave doesn't understand how Jake Roberts gets over.

 

* Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage vs Andre the Giant & Ted DiBiase: Too many restholds and tons of stalling, although Savage and DiBiase had about 90 seconds of great action. "It appears our heroes will be counted out of the ring. Not so fast. Here comes Liz to the apron, and she takes off her dress, reealing a bikini bottom. Poor Jesse is so distracted he stops the count, forgetting to count Hulk & Savage out. Andre & Ted are so distracted they turn their back, forgetting they are in the main event of a national PPV show. I'm so distracted I call up the pizza man and tell him to rush over because the show is just about over and I'm hungry." DiBiase carried the whole match, but Savage was okay. Hogan wasn't much, and Andre -- the less said, the better. They just barely teased Hogan/Savage dissension in the post-match. Dave says DiBiase was squashed pretty bad here, and it was obvious his time in the sun is about to end. **3/4

 

-- Before the show, the WWF was projecting a 6.0 buyrate. Dave thinks the WWF has their work cut out in promoting Survivor Series because their last two PPVs have been so bad, and the Survivor Series is a novelty gimmick that may only work once.

 

-- For the week of 8/7, the WWF had a 9.4 rating in 258 markets cleared.

 

-- 8/24 in St. Joseph, MO drew 1,200 fans headlined by Beefcake vs Hercules. 8/29 in Manchester, NH drew 900 fans headlined by Duggan vs DiBiase.

 

NWA

-- The rumor mill has been out of control all week, with rumors ranging from half the roster quitting to join the WWF to the NWA folding. Dave says both should have been easy for wrestlers to confirm with a simple phone call, but the rumors flew all week. The sale is not complete, nor have negotiations fallen apart. TBS is frustrated, because they really want to run a wrestling company, and they wanted to have this done before starting TNT. There have been "what ifs" thrown around about the deal falling apart, but TBS is determined to get into wrestling, with or without Crockett, and if they just started up a company with JCP remaining in existence, JCP would lose TBS and basically be useless. Ole Anderson has been in touch with TBS telling them to just start a company, saying all the talent can be had and that way, they don't have to pay the Crockett family millions of dollars. Dave says the disadvantage to this would be that they'd have to build up their own syndicated network, and their own fanbase, and the Crockett fan base, in spite of everything, is loyal, even if it's smaller than it used to be. Dave says doing so would also result in a Black Saturday-like backlash from the NWA fans who want to see NWA stars on TBS. Those who have a shot at running the wrestling side of the company include Jim Crockett, Jim Barnett, and Ole Anderson, although the company will in the end be run by Jack Petrik of TBS. The decision is ultimately in his hands and no one has a lock on it. He will also determine the style of wrestling, who the booker is, and who does and doesn't get pushed. Any reports of Dusty being fired as booker are premature. TBS has talked about working with the AWA, WCCW and other groups to make a 1960s-style NWA, but Dave advises against this. "For a major league wrestling promotion to succeed in the long run, it has to be able to produce profitable PPV events and be able to market its wrestlers nationally. To do that, you need to promote nationally, need television in the major markets and need to be more 'over' in the key markets, New York and Los Angeles -- which is the key weakness of Crockett's promotion right now. As several recent events have shown me first hand of late, exposure in either the New York or Los Angeles media is tons more beneficial for a national organization than all the Rome, GA's and Columbus, Ohio's combined." Later in the issue, Dave updates that they are back to square one on a deal. Jim Crockett wants to accept, but David and Frances are against it because they will be pushed out while Jim will still have a role.

 

-- For the week of 8/7, the NWA had a 6.1 rating in 163 markets.

 

-- The plan is for the 12/26 PPV to be something other than Starrcade and for the NWA to instead run "Starrcade week" in November on closed circuit with no closed circuit or PPV available, but major house shows in five key cities. They also have a Clash for 12/7.

 

-- The recent angle with Kevin Sullivan breaking a cinderblock on Jimmy Garvin's leg came off well. Garvin needs surgery.

 

-- 8/27 in Charlotte drew 16,000 headlined by Flair vs Luger. 9/4 in Detroit drew 7,500 headlined by Flair vs Luger. Nikita Koloff, Ricky Morton, Al Perez, Tim Horner, and Ron Garvin all no-showed the Detroit show, but they have quit. The Sheik also no-showed, claiming he was promised $10,000 for his last show, which Dave says sounds suspicious.

 

-- Ric Flair will be working his first non-NWA date in a long time on 9/20 for Don Owen in Portland.

 

-- Jack Victory is headed in and will probably debut at the Clash.

 

-- Flair/Windham vs Luger/Sting drew a near sellout, this time in Columbus, GA.

 

WCCW

-- Dave raves about the Irv Muchnick piece in Penthouse, calling it the most well-researched piece on wrestling in the national media yet. Dave says the original before editing was even better. The Von Erichs should be breathing easy because what was taken out was more damaging than what was left in. The main focus of the story was that David Von Erich died from a drug overdose, not food poisoning, a heart attack, or anything else.

 

-- The city is threatening to shut down the Sportatorium unless the building is repaired.

 

-- Kevin Von Erich is President of WCCW, but Skandor Akbar and Frank Dusek are running things. Ken Mantell has fallen off the face of the planet. Speaking of Kevin, he was recently hospitalized for concussions and headaches.

 

-- Cards had to be cancelled in Pensacola, Chicago, and Hammond, IN, due to low advances.

 

MEMPHIS

-- Austin Idol no-showed the main event teaming with Rich against Lawler & Kerry, so Buddy Landell took his place. Idol told them on Thursday he wouldn't be there, but they still pushed him heavily on the Saturday TV. Landell was flown in to replace him from Puerto Rico.

 

CONTINENTAL

-- Tommy Rich is being replaced by Austin Idol in the Road To Birmingham tournament. Rich no-showed 9/3 in Chattanooga, and Eddie Gilbert blasted him on the air for it, calling him an alcoholic, just like his grandmother. This brought out Johnny Rich, who said he could insult Tommy, but not Grandma Rich.

 

-- Bam Bam Bigelow also missed a recent date because New Japan wanted him in early to promote the Vader match.

 

-- Ron Garvin worked one show and was wildly cheered, with fans talking about how much they liked what he did to Dusty Rhodes. It was probably just for one show, but Tim Horner will likely be a regular.

 

-- Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong left over a money dispute. They were offered a good deal from Inoki to work New Japan, and are content to just work Japan for a while.

 

-- 9/4 TV in Montgomery was a near sellout.

 

-- Doug Furnas is headed to Japan, where Dave said he will either do great because of his athletic ability, or terrible because he has no grasp of ring psychology.

 

SOUTHERN

-- Tommy Rich finally turned heel in Georgia after being a babyface for a decade.

 

NEW JAPAN

-- NJ has brought Hisashi Shinma back into the fold. He is well regarded for his creativity and was the brains behind New Japan's success earlier in the decade. Dave goes through the history of Shinma running NJ briefly, crediting him for Tiger Mask and the group's massive success in 1982/1983. But Antonio Inoki was losing money in a Brazilian company and the wrestlers were being forced to finance his losses against their will, which led to a revolt with Shinma being forced out of the company.

 

ALL JAPAN

-- The Brody memorial drew 14,200 fans. In terms of dollars, it was the biggest gate in All Japan history, and the highest paid attendance since 1978. This was the sixth largest live gate in pro wrestling history due to high-priced tickets.

 

OTHER

-- Chigusa Nagayo still wants to work the U.S. in fall, and is only asking for a $75 guarantee to appear on shows, and even then, she is having difficulty finding work.

 

-- Baseball Magazine did their half-year awards for 1988.

 

Wrestler of the Year: (1) Fujinami (2) Maeda (3) Tenryu

Best foreign wrestler: (1) Brody (2) Hansen/Norman Smiley (tie) (3) Owen Hart

Male match of the half year: (1) Choshu vs Fujinami 6/24/88 (2) Maeda vs Yamazaki 5/12/88 (3) Brody vs Jumbo 3/27/88

Best tag match: (1) Tsuruta/Yatsu vs Tenryu/Hara 6/4/88 (2) Hansen/Gordy vs Tenryu/Hara 3/5/88 (3) Choshu/Saito vs Fujinami/Kimura 6/10/88 (4) Footloose vs Inoue/Ishikawa 3/9/88 (5) Road Warriors vs Jumbo/Yatsu 6/10/88

Best women's match: (1) Nagayo vs Omori 1/15/88 (2) Masami vs Sawai 5/29/88

Best women's tag: (1) Crush Girls vs Dump/Omori 2/25/88 (2) Crush Girls vs Jumping Bomb Angels 5/15/88 (3) Jumping Bomb Angels vs Glamour Girls 6/8/88 (4) Jumping Bomb Angels vs Fire Jets 4/2/88 (5) Ogura/Nagahori vs Uno/Hotta 1/28/88

 

-- Dustin Runnels will be making his wrestling debut for Florida Championship Wrestling. He was trained by Skandor Akbar, who is really high on his potential. Dave gives Dusty credit for not bringing him and immediately pushing him like has happened with so many other promoter's sons.

 

-- They are doing an angle on Global Wrestling in Georgia where Reverend Johnson purchased the group and said only black wrestlers can wrestle there, and it will now be called the BWA (Black Wrestling Alliance).

 

-- Joe Malenko was offered a UWF match, but Baba offered him and brother Dean more money to turn it down. Dave says Joe Malenko is tailor made to the UWF, but Baba will be around forever.

 

-- Butch Reed is competing on the rodeo circuit as a bulldogger since leaving the WWF.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WCCW

-- Dave raves about the Irv Muchnick piece in Penthouse, calling it the most well-researched piece on wrestling in the national media yet. Dave says the original before editing was even better. The Von Erichs should be breathing easy because what was taken out was more damaging than what was left in. The main focus of the story was that David Von Erich died from a drug overdose, not food poisoning, a heart attack, or anything else.

Did Irv put up the "original" version on his website, or the published version? It would be interesting for one of those who is in a little contact with Irv to see if he has the original, extended, writers cut of the piece.

 

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

-- Before the show, the WWF was projecting a 6.0 buyrate. Dave thinks the WWF has their work cut out in promoting Survivor Series because their last two PPVs have been so bad, and the Survivor Series is a novelty gimmick that may only work once.

Ultimately, did this really even matter? I mean, I can't picture most fans being so knowledgeable about workrate that it would affect their decision to buy future PPVs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know that you have to be knowledgeable about workrate to know the difference between Clash I and Wrestlemania IV, for example. You're right that if the show is well promoted, that's what matters most of all, but Summerslam and WM IV were both pretty terrible, with little heat, excitement, intrigue, or good wrestling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know WM IV is a terrible show but I just can't hate it. It was during the peak of my fandom as a kid and we were absolutely going crazy about the tournament in school. I'll admit the next day we were kind of bummed about all the byes, DQs and draws because we weren't expecting stuff like that.

 

if the show was in a different venue it probably would have added a little to the atmosphere and surely there could have been better match finishes

 

I don't know if the quality of WM 4 and Summerslam 88 would have turned off the typical WWF fan at the time though. Remember a Hogan singles match was not the focus of either show which meant a lot at the time. He was barely around for the build up to Summerslam that year either. 1988 was a strange year in the initial boom period because for the first time in over 4 years Hogan was at least somewhat de-emphasized

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

I know WM IV is a terrible show but I just can't hate it. It was during the peak of my fandom as a kid and we were absolutely going crazy about the tournament in school. I'll admit the next day we were kind of bummed about all the byes, DQs and draws because we weren't expecting stuff like that.

Ditto. The Wrestlemania IV tourney was huge the 9 and 10 year old minds of me and my friends in 1988. I remember renting it when it came out on VHS and absolutely going bonkers when Hogan whacked Dibiase withe chair in the last match.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...