Hello everyone, and welcome to what will be the final review of 1988. Before we move on to 1989, I will write an extra year-end article, looking back at some of the best matches in 1988 as well as the big reveal of who was the winner of the ‘WWF wrestler of the year’ award. The winner will obviously be the one who had the most points throughout all the reviews. Also, NWA coming up in 1989 as well…
Before starting, here are the champions at this time:
- WWF Champion – Randy Savage
- Intercontinental Champion – The Ultimate Warrior
- Tag Team Champions – Demolition (Ax & Smash)
- The hosts are Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura
WWF Intercontinental Championship: The Ultimate Warrior(c) vs. Super Ninja(w/ Mr. Fuji)
The announcers and Mr. Fuji hype Super Ninja as a big deal and a spectacular athlete, thus making it quite obvious what’s about to happen. Warrior no-sells a superkick to start, before catching the poor guy’s leg and tossing him ON HIS HEAD. Ouch. Warrior dumps Ninja to the floor, beats him up for a while, and back in it’s clothesline (with extra mustard), gorilla press slam, splash and we’re out at 2:11. Nothing but a squash for the title. Effective for what it was, but if I have to throw a rating at it, it can’t be anything but a DUD.
Hercules vs. Virgil(w/ Ted DiBiase)
DiBiase attacks Hercules just as the match starts, and the pursuit is on. Back in, Herc takes control of Virgil, despite all the distractions. A kneelift is followed by multiple clotheslines. Virgil tries to make a comeback, but Herc quickly kills it dead and finishes with a running powerslam at 3:20.
Another squash between the babyface and the heel’s bodyguard. DiBiase abusing Virgil post-match totally steals the show, putting sympathy on Virgil and teasing a future rivalry between the two down the road. DiBiase is fantastic. This match, not so much. 1/4*
Meanwhile, Randy Savage talks about how you have to beat Andre in order to be a great champion, just like his great friend Hulk Hogan did. We’ll talk about this in a while.
WWF Championship: Randy Savage(c)(w/ Miss Elizabeth) vs. Andre the Giant(w/ Bobby Heenan)
Savage tries to slug it out to start, which obviously works against him. Andre pounds him in the corner, and not even Savage’s knee to the back allows him to escape the giant, as Andre puts him in a facelock. Andre chokes away with his strap and throws some headbutts. Savage tries to fight back, but Andre keeps on choking and headbutting. A jawbreaker finally allows Savage to escape, followed by the flying double axehandle. Jake Roberts joins us at this point for some reason, putting Damien under the ring as we take a break. God do I hate this Andre-Roberts feud…
We return with Andre in control, but he’s worried about the snake being at ringside as is Heenan. Savage uses the psychological advantage to take it to Andre, who still doesn’t go down. Meanwhile, Heenan finally finds the snake, and everyone gets into a big fight for the sportz entertainment finish at 8:51. Watchable match, stupid finish. *1/2
Now pay attention to that pre-match promo by Savage himself. You have to beat Andre in order to be a great champion, just like Hogan did. He goes out there and beats Andre? No. So basically Hogan great champion, Savage rubbish champion. Politics in wrestling rule, brother!
Flag Match: Jim Duggan vs. Boris Zhukov
A slugfest is won by Duggan to start, who hits an atomic drop and dumps him. Zhukov takes control back in with a kick and an elbow, and Duggan misses an elbow of his own. Zhukov slugs away in the corner, only for Duggan to clothesline him out and finish with the three-point clothesline at 02:27. And then Vince gets emotional on commentary while Duggan celebrates AMERICA, with Ventura rightfully making fun of him. 1/4*
Hulk Hogan & Slick on the Brother Love Show
Brother Love and Slick mock Hogan and cut him off just as he’s about to answer the questions, which is pretty funny. Hogan then steals the mic, does the same to the heels and abuses the heels to close the segment. Nice little segment as this Hogan-Bossman feud continues to build nicely.
Main event: The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques & Raymond) vs. The Young Stallions (Paul Roma & Jim Powers)
The Rougeaus announce they are finally Americans before the match. This act is quite stupid, in a good way, and it’s getting them over. They were just around as babyfaces, kinda like their opponents here. Jacques starts in control over Powers, overpowering him and hitting a dropkick. Powers turns the tables for a while, but Jimmy quickly cuts him off with a megaphone shot to the leg from the outside, allowing the Rougeaus to take over. Abdominal stretch is followed by a brief superkick party, and a back elbow by Jacques gets two. Crossbody misses, though, and it’s hot tag Roma. A missile dropkick gets two, but not long after that IT’S BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA, and the Rougeaus take advantage of it to finish with La Bombe de Rougeau at 03:05. Another quick squash, but easily the best of the night. *1/4
Some stories and characters are growing well, but this was still quite easily the worst SNME I’ve seen since I’ve been doing the reviews. Skip this and you will miss nothing. 2/10
And finally, and also for the last time when it comes to 1988, the points:
- Raymond Rougeau: 3.75 points (1.25 for star rating + 1 for main-eventing + 1 for pinfall win + 0.5 for winning the fall)
- Jacques Rougeau: 3.25 points (1.25 for star rating + 1 for main-eventing + 1 for pinfall win)
- Randy Savage: 2.5 points (1.5 for star rating + 1 for successfully defending a title)
- The Ultimate Warrior: 2 points (1 for pinfall win + 1 for successfully defending a title)
- Andre the Giant: 1.5 point (for star rating)
- Jim Duggan: 1.25 point (1 for pinfall win + 0.25 for star rating)
- Hercules: 1.25 point (1 for pinfall win + 0.25 for star rating)
- Jim Powers: 1.25 point (1.25 for star rating + 1 for main-eventing – 1 for pinfall loss)
- Paul Roma: 0.75 points (1.25 for star rating + 1 for main-eventing – 1 for pinfall loss – 0.5 for losing the fall)
- Boris Zhukov: -0.75 points (0.25 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss)
- Virgil: -0.75 points (0.25 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss)
- Super Ninja: -1 point (for pinfall loss)
As always, thank you so much for your time. I’ll see you next time for a special article about 1988, where I’ll be looking back at some of the best matches as well as revealing who was the WWF wrestler of the year. And don’t forget, coming up in 1989, you’ll get NWA too!