[PPV Recap] ‘WWF SummerSlam 1988’ – Mega Powers vs. Mega Powers, A Warrior Emerges

 Date: August 29, 1988
Venue: Madison Square Garden (Manhattan, NY)
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon & ‘Superstar’ Billy Graham

The first-ever SummerSlam features a tag team main event, as The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage) take on The Mega Bucks (Ted DiBiase & Andre The Giant) with the SUPER IMPARTIAL Jesse Ventura as the special guest referee. Also on the show The Hart Foundation challenge Demolition for the Tag Team Championship, The Honky Tonk Man’s record-setting reign as Intercontinental Champion meets its ULTIMATE end, and…Ken Patera takes on Bad News Brown? If that last match doesn’t sell you on this show I’m not sure what will.

Champion Roll-Call

  • WWF Champion: ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage
  • WWF Intercontinental Champion: The Honky Tonk Man
  • WWF Tag Team Champions: Demolition (Ax & Smash)

The Lineup

  • The British Bulldogs vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (**3/4)
  • Ken Patera vs. Bad News Brown (1/2*)
  • The Junkyard Dog vs. Rick Rude (1/4*)
  • The Powers of Pain vs. The Bolsheviks (*)
  • The Honky Tonk Man [c] vs. ??? for the WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP (NR)
  • Don Muraco vs. Dino Bravo (1/4*)
  • Demolition [c] vs. The Hart Foundation for the WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (**1/2)
  • Koko B. Ware vs. The Big Boss Man (*1/2)
  • Jake Roberts vs. Hercules (**)
  • Special Guest Referee – Jesse Ventura: The Mega Powers vs. The Mega Bucks (**)

*****

Gorilla Monsoon welcomes the home audience as we get shots of the NYC skyline and Madison Square Garden. This leads into the opening video, which uses what would become the theme song of the Royal Rumble.

-Monsoon and ‘Superstar’ Billy Graham talk about the ‘happening’ that is SummerSlam 1988 while Finkel revs up the crowd inside the Garden. Lotsa hype for the Mega Powers/Mega Bucks main event.

The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & The Dynamite Kid) [w/ Matilda] vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (Jacques & Raymond Rougeau)

The Rougeaus enter the ring waving tiny American flags, their HEEL gimmick being Canadians emigrating to the states. They don’t have their all-time pantheon entrance theme yet but it’s coming. This is the Bulldogs’ last high-profile match as a tag team in the states; they would leave the WWF following Survivor Series in November, with Dynamite never to return due in part to a real-life altercation between he and Jacques Rougeau that resulted in the former’s teeth getting knocked out of his skull by the latter.

Rougeaus offer a handshake, but the Bulldogs do not believe in the Code of Honor. Smith immediately lays into Jacques with a series of buckle shots. Raymond tags in and hugs his ailing brother, which the crowd BOOS because men don’t show emotions other than anger and lust. Raymond cheap shots Smith during a ref break but Smith cartwheels out of a monkey flip attempt and the Bulldogs are back in control. Dynamite tags in and slows things down with an armbar in the center of the ring. Raymond tries a monkey flip, Dynamite counters with a falling headbutt and goes back to the armbar. Jacques tries to start a ‘USA’ chant but the crowd doesn’t buy his sincerity. The Bulldogs continue dominating the early minutes, taking turns on working Raymond’s left arm, until Jacques trips up Smith from the apron to turn the tide. The Rougeaus focus their attack on Smith’s left leg, weakening it with toeholds and leglocks. Jacques chops Dynamite to goad him into the ring so they can double-team Smith behind the ref’s back and make a ‘phantom tag’ which is one of the stupid things in pro wrestling that drive me nuts. Smith counters a toehold into a small package but Jacques kicks out and immediately clubs him to keep control for his team.

Smith counters a leglock into a monkey flip and Dynamite gets the hot tag, hitting a whole host of moves in lightning-quick fashion on Raymond for a two-count. Dynamite tosses Raymond out to the floor and Smith throws him into the steel barricade, which the commentators are cool with because they’re supposedly the good guys. Smith tags in and hits the Running Powerslam, but Jacques breaks up the count before it can even start. Dynamite goes for some corner mount rights but Jacques sneaks in and stops it with a belly-to-back suplex. The Rougeaus take the fight to Dynamite but can’t keep him down for a three-count so Jacques tries to wear him down with an abdominal stretch. Smith has enough and breaks it up, Raymond phantom tags in and applies an abdominal stretch of his own. More double-teaming by The Rougeaus, complete with phantom tags and overhead chinlocks. Dynamite rolls Jacques up with a small package behind the ref’s back; by the time he’s back in position Jacques has enough momentum to kick out. Smith gets the tag but THE REF DOESN’T ALLOW IT despite the fact he let the Rougeaus phantom tag all damn match. This is why I hate this dumb trope. Smith finally gets the legal tag and drops Jacques crotch-first on the top rope. Raymond breaks up the pinfall attempt and all four men are in the ring. Smith launches Dynamite into a flying headbutt on Jacques and Dynamite covers for the…NEVERMIND IT’S A TIME LIMIT DRAW?

The British Bulldogs and The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers fought to a time-limit draw (19:05)

  • Apparently this match had a 19:05 time limit, who knew? Good opening match between two of the better teams in the WWF, but they wrestled without much urgency in order to pad the contest leading into the draw. That’s how it felt to me anyway. (**3/4)

The Rougeau Brothers celebrate after the match like they’ve somehow won, while The Bulldogs are understandably disappointed and want more time. The Rougeaus sucker punch them instead and get chased to the back by The Bulldogs. I hope someone made sure Matilda’s okay!

-Video plays of Ron Bass’ bloody attack on Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake on an episode of Superstars. Because of this Beefcake cannot challenge The Honky Tonk Man for the Intercontinental Championship as originally scheduled, his place taken by a mystery opponent.

Ken Patera vs. Bad News Brown

Patera returned to the WWF with his natural hair color and a new babyface outlook on things following spending some time in jail for throwing a brick through a McDonald’s window and assaulting the responding police officers a few years prior. Brown made his WWF PPV debut earlier in the year at WrestleMania IV by winning the opening battle royal and being the catalyst in the babyface turn of The Hart Foundation. His gimmick is that he hates everybody no matter if they’re babyfaces or heels, and only looks out for himself.

Brown attacks Patera immediately during the latter’s entrance and remains in control for the opening minutes until Patera counters a backdrop with a kick. Patera buries a couple of elbows into the bridge of Brown’s nose and connects with a clothesline which Brown sells by falling like a bowling pin. Patera tries a series of covers but Brown continually kicks out. Patera slaps on a bear hug in the center of the ring, Brown almost fades but escapes by raking the eyes. Patera goes for the Full Nelson, Brown immediately tangles himself in the ropes to force a break. Patera slowly whips Brown into the corner, Patera goes EVEN SLOWER in charging in. Miscommunication? They do the spot again at a quicker pace, Patera missing a splash and going shoulder-first into the post, leaving him open to a Ghetto Blaster and the 1…2…3.

Bad News Brown defeated Ken Patera via pinfall with the Ghetto Blaster (6:36)

  • I remember liking this match the first time I reviewed this show on one of my many abandoned blogs, but this time around not so much. Wooooooof. Both men were real sluggish here, Patera especially felt like a relic. Not much nice to say about this one other than it was short. (1/2*)

‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is standing by backstage with The Mega Powers (Randy Savage & Hulk Hogan) and Miss Elizabeth. Hogan says The Mega Powers are the strongest force in the universe, Savage says they have a ‘secret weapon’ OOOOOH YEAH…which is Elizabeth so I guess it’s not a secret anymore.

The Junkyard Dog vs. ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude [w/ Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan]

The WWE Network edit of Rude’s entrance music is heartbreaking, but to be fair it’s one of the better dubs. Rude does his pre-match posing FOR THE LAAAAADIES and reveals his JYD-specific airbrushed tights. Easily my favorite psyche-out move in pro wrestling, more people should make custom tights for specific opponents. JYD, much like a lot of others on this show, is making his final PPV appearance for the WWF and would leave the company soon after this for the NWA/WCW and various independents.

Rude gets sick of hearing ‘Grab Them Cakes’ and attacks JYD before the bell, but JYD quickly rebounds and sends him scurrying to the floor after a series of headbutts. JYD belts Rude with a right hand but misses a falling headbutt and Rude regains control. JYD reverses an Irish whip but Rude gets his boot up during the follow-up splash and goes back on the attack (jack) with a rear chinlock. EVERY SINGLE TIME Rude hits JYD in the skull Graham reminds us that it won’t do anything because of how hard his head is. No joke, EVERY. DAMN. TIME. JYD mounts a comeback using, what else, headbutts, but Heenan distracts him long enough for Rude to attack from behind. Rude climbs to the top and pulls down his tights, revealing the airbushed face of Cheryl Roberts right on the crotch. He lands his shot but IMMEDIATELY Roberts’ husband, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, runs out and attacks Rude causing a DQ.

Rick Rude defeated The Junkyard Dog via DQ when Jake Roberts interfered (5:30)

  • By the numbers dull match that killed time before Rude goaded Roberts out to the ring. Bleh, what a way for JYD’s WWF run to end. He was never GREAT in the ring or anything, at least by the time he made it to the WWF, but he was better than this. This show is full of WWF boom period mainstays making their final appearances. (1/4*)

Roberts checks on JYD while Howard Finkel makes the result official. JYD is understandably upset, Roberts apologizes and inaudibly explains why he did what he did. I get it and I’m sure JYD gets it too, but I would ask for part of Roberts’ money for the night as compensation since he didn’t get the winner’s purse. WRESTLING IS REAL.

-‘Mean’ Gene is backstage with WWF Intercontinental Champion The Honky Tonk Man and ‘The Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart. Honky still wants to defend his title tonight and does not want to know who is opponent is going to be because he doesn’t care. Famous last words, my dude.

The Powers of Pain (Warlord & The Barbarian) [w/ The Baron] vs. The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov) [w/ ‘The Doctor of Style’ Slick]

The Powers of Pain left the NWA earlier in the year mid-feud with The Road Warriors to come to the WWF and, well, continue being a clone of The Road Warriors I guess. They even came in as babyfaces, which is something neither Warlord and Barbarian could ever really pull off successfully (which isn’t an insult, they’re just natural heels). The Baron, their mysterious manager, is AWA legend Baron von Raschke, finally leaving Minnesota behind to make some real money for a few months before being returning to the embrace of the Gagne family. Zhukov is also an AWA defector, and has come to the WWF to combine his Russian shtick with Volkoff’s longstanding Russian shtick into a tag team I’ve never seen win a match on any WWF show I’ve seen from this time period. Oh, uh, spoiler alert I guess.

Graham orgasms at the mass of The Powers of Pain, who charge the ring and immediately attack the evil Soviets. Props to Slick for the matching red hat in solidarity with The Bolsheviks. Barbarian gets an early pinfall which Volkoff breaks up. Zhukov waits forever for a backdrop and Barbarian grabs his singlet and…does nothing, really. Warlord, the bigger of the two, tags in and drops a fist on Zhukov but once again Volkoff breaks it up. Warlord lands an awkward belly-to-belly suplex, Volkoff attacks Warlord from behind while Slick distracts him. The Bolsheviks work Warlord over with various chokes and cheap shots behind the ref’s back. I don’t understand what the point of The Baron is. Warlord counters a double backdrop with double forearms to the back and Barbarian gets the hot tag. Throat chops, thrust kicks, big boots. Volkoff gets sent to the floor, The Powers of Pain finish Zhukov off with a scoop slam from Warlord followed by a flying headbutt by Barbarian for the 1…2…3.

The Powers of Pain defeated The Bolsheviks when The Barbarian pinned Boris Zhukov following a flying headbutt (7:21)

  • This is all conspiracy talk but it seems like the WWF wanted The Road Warriors to challenge Demolition for the WWF Tag Team Championship, but they wouldn’t leave their NWA deals so they scooped up the faux version instead. I know Demolition gets a lot of flack for being Road Warriors knock-offs but The Powers of Pain were straight up carbon copies, right down to their tights and the hairstyles. This is Master Blasters-level mimicry, which might have been the point in the NWA for their feud? I’m not well-versed on 80s JCP. Oh also this match was bad, by the way. Neither team were particularly good at this point, with The Powers of Pain woefully miscast as babyfaces (they would get better once the heel turn came later in the year) and The Bolsheviks existing to be joke fodder, really. This show is kinda bad, but this was at least more watchable than the last two matches. (*)

In-Ring Segment: The Brother Love Show

It’s time for Brother Love to make his WWF PPV debut. No pun intended, but I love this character so much it’s obscene. Love’s guest is ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan, complete with his own shirt available now at the merch stand. Duggan calls Brother Love a phony, Love calls him ‘Brother Doo-gin’ which has to be a reference to the way Duggan’s name was pronounced back in the Mid-South days. I want to believe that anyway. Love puts over Dino Bravo’s love of his home country and says Duggan doesn’t have the same for his, and Duggan gets REAL MAD about getting his patriotism called into question HOOOOOOOO. Love angrily pokes Duggan in the chest, Duggan tells him to back off and threatens to stick his 2×4 where the sun doesn’t shine (HE MEANS HIS BUTT). Duggan gives Love a count of five to leave the ring, Love protests by saying he’s a man of God who’s wearing glasses, but Duggan doesn’t listen so Love quickly bails the ring and runs to the back, leaving Duggan to celebrate with the crowd.

  • Uhhh anyway.

The Honky Tonk Man makes his entrance for the next contest, as cocky as ever, and calls out anybody to come wrestle him. His opponent is revealed to be…THE ULLLLLLLLLTIMATE WAAAAAARRRRIYAH. Honky’s confidence drains from his body.

WWF Intercontinental Championship
The Honky Tonk Man [c] [w/ ‘Colonel’ Jimmy Hart] vs. The Ultimate Warrior

Warrior rushes the ring and makes short work of Honky for the win and the championship.

The Ultimate Warrior defeated The Honky Tonk Man [c] via pinfall with the Running Splash to win the WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP (0:32)

  • The first legendary moment in SummerSlam Warrior was OVER, BROTHER and this is the beginning of his rapid ascension atop the WWF ladder. Honky’s record-setting reign being ended in quick fashion like this was a helluva way to establish Warrior, though I’ll admit I’m a little disappointed he didn’t get a better way to go out. People wanted to see him get his comeuppance though and his comeuppance he got. (NR)

-Monsoon and Graham welcome everyone back from intermission and are almost immediately interrupted by Heenan, who’s here to tell all on what The Mega Powers and The Mega Bucks are up to right now. It’s nothing interesting.

‘The Rock’ Don Muraco vs. ‘Canada’s Strongest Man’ Dino Bravo [w/ Frenchy Martin]

This is a WrestleMania IV rematch as the two faced off in the WWF Championship tournament a few months prior. I’m sure the fans back then were waiting with baited breath for these two to tangle again. Heenan, still in the booth, mocks Graham for not being able to be at Muraco’s side like he usually is. This is Muraco’s final WWF PPV appearance I believe as he’s ALSO on his way out of the company. Lots of bloodletting in the WWF roster this year.

Muraco is in control at the start, forcing Bravo to stop his momentum by bailing to the floor. Bravo traps Muraco in the corner and lays into him with headbutts, Muraco reverses an Irish whip and comes back with a hip toss followed by a monkey flip. Bravo launches at Muraco, Muraco catches him on the way down with an armdrag into an armbar. Bravo drops Muraco with an inverted atomic drop and drops an elbow but only gets a one-count. Graham and Heenan focus most of their commentary on Bravo’s weightlifting demonstration, where he got his ‘Canada’s Strongest Man’ nickname, which Graham says isn’t valid because Jesse Ventura was not a legal spotter or whatever. Muraco mounts a comeback but it’s brief and Bravo gets the win after counting a suplex with his patented side slam for the 1…2…3.

Dino Bravo defeated Don Muraco via pinfall with a side slam (5:30)

  • A dull match featuring two dudes bigger than they should be hitting weak-ass basic offense at each other until the finish. Not a fan. At least the commentary was fun though; listening to Heenan run circles around Graham, one of pro wrestling’s all-time promo men, was delightful so at least there was something positive to glean from this. (1/4*)

Sean Mooney is backstage with Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura, the special guest referee for tonight’s Mega Powers/Mega Bucks main event. Mooney calls this decision controversial, made worse by the fact that Ventura has TAKEN MONEY from The Mega Bucks. Ventura says it doesn’t mean anything since it was stuffed in his jacket and he’s not a fool who refuses money. Agreed, I would take the money too.

WWF Tag Team Championship
Demolition (Ax & Smash) [w/ Mr. Fuji & ‘The Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart] [c] vs. The Hart Foundation (Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart & Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart)

The Hart Foundation, arguably WWF’s best tag team, turned face following WrestleMania IV and fired Jimmy Hart as their manager, sending The Mouth of the South on a crusade to make his former clients pay for their betrayal. He’s announced as the ‘advisor’ of Demolition for this match and I WONDER IF HE’LL COME INTO PLAY AT SOME POINT. Demolition won the Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania IV, ending the reign of Strike Force, are in the midst of their record-setting reign.

Ax plays with Hart to start and The Hitman makes him pay with a series of right hands and an O’Connor Roll that Ax only barely kicks out of. Smash tags in and The Foundation focus on his left arm. Neidhart overpowers Smash, Ax kicks him in the back of the head and Demolition take over on offense. Lots of jumping double axhandles, as you would expect. Neidhart counters a backdrop from Ax, Hart gets the tag and takes it to both Demo members, including a nice dropkick to Smash. Smash reverses an Irish whip and Hart goes shoulder-first into the steel post. Demolition take turns weakening Hart’s right arm with various strikes and submissions, Smash sending him shoulder-first into the post on the floor behind the ref’s back. Hart catches Ax with a clothesline and makes the tag but Smash distracts the ref so it’s not legal. Boooo. Hart catches a charging Smash with a knee and this time Neidhart gets the tag FOR REAL. Dropkicks and scoop slams and Irish whips oh my. Neidhart belts Smash out of the ring and follows up with a slingshot shoulderblock to the floor! NICE. Neidhart connects with a powerslam for the 1…2…Smash gets his shoulder up and the crowd boos. Hart tags in and whips Neidhart into Smash, then covers for the 1…2…SMASH KICKS OUT AGAIN. Ax breaks up another pinfall attempt, bringing Neidhart back into the ring and now it’s CHAOS. Fuji distracts both the ref and Neidhart, Jimmy Hart tosses the megaphone to Ax and he hits Hart in the back of the head with it, Smash covering for the 1…2…3.

Demolition [c] defeated The Hart Foundation to retain the WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP when Smash pinned Bret Hart following a megaphone shot from Ax (10:47)

  • FINALLY A GOOD MATCH. The Hart Foundation were always on another level in the WWF and this was no different, Neidhart’s slingshot shoulderblock to the outside being the highlight. No surprise that Jimmy Hart cost his former team the belts though, that was telegraphed a mile away when he was chased to the back a few minutes in (something I forgot about because the commentators didn’t even mention it, really). I’ll take it though, especially after the crap I’ve been sitting through for the past hour. Felt like an oasis. (**1/2)

-‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is in the heel locker room, an irate Honky Tonk Man calling shenanigans and vowing to get his Intercontinental Championship back.

‘The Birdman’ Koko B. Ware vs. The Big Boss Man [w/ ‘The Doctor of Style’ Slick]

AHHHH WWE NETWORK LEFT ‘PILEDRIVER’ IN-TACT FOR WARE’S ENTRANCE, YESSSSS! I unironically love that song, actually the whole album if we’re being honest. Boss Man is a JCP refugee, having left his ‘Big Bubba Rogers’ persona behind a few months earlier for the greener (read: money) pastures of the WWF. A heel cop in 1988 worked, but could you imagine one nowadays? NUCLEAR HEAT.

Boss Man attacks Ware from behind thanks to a distraction from Slick, but Ware uses his speed to mount a string of offense of his own including a flying headbutt while Boss Man is tangled in the ropes. Yikes that was a long sentence, sorry. Ware tries to stick and move but gets caught in a front facelock and clobbered to the mat. Boss Man plants Ware with a slam but misses the follow-up top rope splash. Ware mounts a mini-comeback with a series of jabs and a Missile Dropkick into a splash for the 1…2…Boss Man throws him off. Boss Man rebounds quickly and hits the Boss Man Slam for the 1…2…3.

The Big Boss Man defeated Koko B. Ware via pinfall with the Boss Man Slam (5:56)

  • Koko’s main purpose in the WWF was to make people look good, and this match was no different. Squash win for the Boss Man to establish himself as a new threat in the WWF. Can’t hate it on this too much, it did what it needed to do. (*1/2)

Boss Man adds insult to injury by clearing Ware from the ring with a shot from his nightstick. WHAT A JERK.

-Sean Mooney is in the locker room with new Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior, who is being congratulated by other babyfaces. Warrior says if anyone wants a shot at him he won’t be hard to find as he’ll be on a spaceship to PARTS UNKNOOOOOOOWN. This is pretty coherent for The Warrior, to be honest.

Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts vs. ‘The Mighty’ Hercules

Hercules’ manager, Bobby Heenan, is nowhere to be found at his client’s side as he’s got bigger fish to fry with The Mega Bucks next. Or maybe he’s afraid of snakes. Or maybe he’s taking a nap. WHO KNOWS!

Roberts hits Herc with a kneelift and tries for the DDT, but Herc slips out and immediately bails to the floor to stop his momentum. Herc tries to escape a side headlock with an Irish whip and belly-to-back suplex but Roberts keeps him wrapped up in a, uh, snake-like fashion. The offense shifts to Herc after a headbutt to the bread basket, and Herc lays into The Snake with a host of power moves. Herc traps Roberts in an extended rear-chinlock spot, time enough to make a sandwich. It was delicious by the way, in case you’re wondering. Roberts finally counters out with a reverse hammerlock but Herc quickly makes him pay for it with a back elbow to the jaw that sends him flying out to the floor. Roberts pulls Herc out to the floor, Herc makes him pay with a neck snap over the top rope. He applies another chinlock, Roberts quickly escapes via jawbreaker and mounts his comeback with a series of jabs and a short-arm clothesline. Roberts signals for the DDT, Herc counters with a back bodydrop and dodges a kneelift, sending Roberts crashing to the mat. Herc goes for a bodyslam, Roberts slithers out and FINALLY connects with the DDT for the 1…2…3.

Jake Roberts defeated Hercules via pinfall with the DDT (10:08)

  • A decent match that went on a few minutes longer than I think it needed to, but I’m not complaining. Roberts is a joy to watch in matches, every move he makes has a logic to it that is a lot more rare in pro wrestling than it should be. Even something simple as breaking a headlock on Herc after a rope break; he released the hold and made sure to roll as far away from Herc as possible to avoid a potential cheapshot. Beautiful. Herc is one of my favorite guys from the 80s WWF, something I say EVERY TIME a match of his comes up, and he more than held his own as well. I’m surprised Rude didn’t do a run-in to pay Roberts back for the earlier assault, but hey I’ll take a clean win. (**)

Roberts releases Damien from the bag and introduces him to new best friend Hercules.

-Video recap of The Mega Powers/Mega Bucks feud. Lots of hints that special guest ref Jesse Ventura may not be as impartial as he should be.

Special Guest Referee: Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura
The Mega Powers (‘The Macho Man’ Randy Savage & Hulk Hogan) [w/ Miss Elizabeth] vs. The Mega Bucks (‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase & Andre The Giant) [w/ Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan & Virgil]

The Mega Powers show a united front, wearing matching colors and coming out to Savage’s music as he’s the WWF Champion. Hogan being the second guy in a tag team is weird, especially for 1988. Ventura isn’t even trying with the whole ref thing, wearing a Prince-style fluffy shirt tucked into his jeans AND a bandana on his head. Ventura doesn’t like where the tag ropes are for some reason and moves them into opposite corners before finally calling for the bell. Okay then.

Andre belts Savage with a couple of rights then quickly tags out to DiBiase, who wants Hogan. Savage is happy to oblige and in comes the Hulkster. Hogan and Savage ping pong DiBiase with right hands and a double back elbow. Heenan and Virgil both climb the apron but The Mega Powers don’t fall for it as they continue to wear down The Million Dollar Man. Hogan drops a series of elbows but Andre stops him dead in his tracks with a headbutt. Savage runs in, Andre dispatches him with a headbutt as well while Ventura is preoccupied with yelling at Miss Elizabeth for no reason. Andre tags in and after some squashy stuff he settles into a double nervehold on the traps, boooooo. The Mega Bucks continue the assault, but Hogan kicks out of the pinfall attempts rather easily. Hogan escapes a long chinlock from DiBiase and both men crash to the ground via double clothesline.

Savage gets the tag and unloads on DiBiase, but DiBiase stops the momentum with a clothesline after kicking out of a crossbody. Andre gets the tag and, honestly, he does what he can given his physical condition at this point. According to the HBO doc on Andre he did not care for Savage whatsoever so I can’t help but wince every time he gets squashed or punched. DiBiase tags back in and connects with a snap suplex for the 1…2…Savage kicks out. Savage dodges a middle buckle move from DiBiase and this time it’s Hogan who gets the HOT TAG. Hogan suplexes DiBiase and clotheslines Andre, dropping him to the mat. Hogan applies a sleeper on DiBiase while Andre counters a top rope move from Savage with a big ol’ boot. Andre headbutts Hogan in the back of the head and tosses him out to the floor, almost falling over himself. The Mega Bucks want a countout win but Ventura gets distracted with Elizabeth, Virgil, and Heenan all on the apron. Elizabeth then removes the bottom of her dress and distracts EVERYBODY with her red panties. Lots of boys became men on this night. The Mega Powers recover and Savage clears the ring of Andre, the apron of Heenan and Virgil, and delivers a Flying Elbowdrop to DiBiase. Hogan follows up with the Big Legdrop and covers for the 1…2…Ventura teases not finishing the count so Savage slams his hand down…3!

The Mega Powers defeated The Mega Bucks when Hulk Hogan pinned Ted DiBiase following the Big Legdrop (14:50)

  • I love The Mega Powers as a team; the charisma and intensity level of Hogan and Savage as a team is off the charts. That being said this match was…not that interesting, to be honest. Andre couldn’t do much so DiBiase wrestled most of the match but honestly it never felt like they had a shot at winning. Miss Elizabeth stripping down felt completely pointless as well, even if I liked it on a superficial/creepy dude level, and the finish with Ventura almost not making the count made no sense given he called the entire thing down the middle the whole time. The crowd ate it up though which is ultimately the most important part of any wrestling match so I can’t hate on it too much but for me it didn’t have much going on that I was particularly interested in. Also I did watch this THIRTY YEARS after it first aired, so that could be it too. (**)

The Mega Powers celebrate their win, posing for the fans as Hogan’s music plays. Unfortunately Miss Elizabeth doesn’t join in, robbing us of what would have been an all-time hilarious moment. Monsoon and Graham sign off and that’s the show!

*****

Overall Thoughts: Much like the first WrestleMania, the inaugural edition of SummerSlam is only really worth checking out for historical purposes (and Warrior’s first title win, witnessing a fair amount of the WWF’s roster of the 80s making their final appearance) and that’s about it. Don’t come into this one expecting a standout match or anything, because in all honesty they’re all either just okay or painful to sit through. But hey I’m glad I watched it, and now you don’t have to, so weeeee. Professional writers say ‘weeee’ in their reviews, right?

  • Match of the Night: The British Bulldogs vs. The Fabulous Rougeaus
  • Moment of the Night: The Ultimate Warrior mercs Honky Tonk Man and begins his meteoric rise to the top of the WWF.
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