WWE Vintage Collection Report: 27th July 2008
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Welcome aboard. With SummerSlam on the horizon, this week’s show takes a look back at the inaugural SummerSlam from August 29th, 1988, at Madison Square Garden. Five matches are on hand so let’s get started. The commentators are Gorilla Monsoon and Superstar Billy Graham.
The British Bulldogs vs The Fabulous Rougeaus
These teams were feuding outside of the ring, just as much as they were inside. Backstage ribs by Dynamite Kid led to Jacques Rougeau punching out Dynamite’s front teeth. Not long after this, the Bulldogs gave notice and left the WWF to return to Japan and Stampede Wrestling. This match is joined in progress and Dynamite is being worked over with a series of camel clutches. With the referee distracted, Dynamite gets a small package, but can only get a nearfall. Jacques cinches in an abdominal stretch. Raymond acrobatically flips into the ring to deliver a kick to the gut, before applying a front facelock. Dynamite makes a tag, but the referee doesn’t see it. Jacques rolls up Dynamite for a nearfall. Dynamite uses a headbutt and chop to buy the time he needs to tag out. Jacques immediately averts Davey Boy’s dropkick attempt by holding onto the ropes. Davey Boy comes back by press slamming Jacques, who gets crotched on the ropes. All four men go at it. The Bulldogs deliver a double noggin knocker, before Davey Boy hoists Dynamite up to drop a headbutt onto Jacques. The Bulldogs have it won, but the bell goes to signal the time limit has expired. The result is a draw. The Rougeaus extend their hands before sucker punching the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs shake this off and give chase, as the Rougeaus bail. Solid opener. This was the bout that actually opened SummerSlam as well. Here Are Your Winners: DRAW.
Tag Team Titles
Demolition w/Mr Fuji & Jimmy Hart vs The Hart Foundation
The story here was of the Harts’ bitter ex-manager Jimmy Hart telling Demolition all of the Harts’ weaknesses, to give the champions the advantage. Ax starts with a shove, double axehandles and a slam on Bret. Bret dodges an elbow drop and explodes with a series of punches. Bret rolls up Ax for a nearfall, before delivering armdrags to Smash. Anvil lands a shoulder tackle, before Ax kicks Anvil in the back of the head, while coming off the ropes. Demolition go to work with lots of double axehandles to Anvil’s back. Anvil counters a backbodydrop to escape. Bret hits Smash with a standing dropkick, but Smash reverses an Irish whip and Bret goes shoulder first into the ringpost. While the Anvil runs Jimmy Hart off to the back, Demolition attack Bret’s shoulder, trapping it in the ropes, and beating away on it. Smash delivers a shoulderbreaker, while Ax presses his boot into Bret’s shoulder. Outside, Smash drives Bret into the ringpost. Back inside, Bret uses his good arm to deliver a clothesline. Bret tags out, but the referee doesn’t see it, allowing Smash to keep working over the shoulder. Bret finally tags out after thwarting a Smash charge from an Irish whip. Anvil comes in to deliver a dropkick and some slams. Smash gets whipped into Ax and the crowd rises to its feet, when, Bret slingshots Anvil over the top rope onto Smash. Anvil tosses Smash back in and gets a nearfall off of a powerslam. The Harts hit a battering ram on Smash in the corner, before Bret delivers a backbreaker. Ax breaks up a pin attempt. Anvil nails Mr Fuji on the apron which distracts the referee. Bret readies for a piledriver on Smash, Jimmy Hart runs back down, tosses Ax his megaphone and Ax cracks Bret in the back of the head with it. Smash covers the unconscious Bret and gets the 1-2-3. Demolition retain. After the match, Mr Fuji smuggles the headphone to the back, as Anvil leans over Bret to check on him. Very good match. Here Are Your Winners: DEMOLITION.
Ravishing Rick Rude w/Bobby Heenan vs Junkyard Dog
Before the bout, Okerlund said that Rick Rude was an antagonist who always loved to stir the pot. At this time, Rude was embroiled in a feud with Jake The Snake Roberts over Rude’s advances to Roberts’ then-wife Cheryl. More on that in a bit. Joined in progress, Rude is working over Dog with chinlocks and throttles on the mat. The cocky Rude takes time to gyrate, before going to work on the arm. However, Dog catches Rude with a ball crusher to cut short Rude’s celebrating. Dog lands a massive headbutt, before making the mistake of going after Heenan. Rude takes advantage with a side russian legsweep. Rude goes to the top rope and pulls down his tights to reveal a second pair, with a picture of Cheryl Roberts on. Rude hits a fistdrop from the top rope then gyrates some more. At that moment, Jake Roberts runs in to pummel Rude and clothesline him over the top rope. An irate Jake is restrained as Rude beats a hasty retreat. Jake then turns his attention to apologize to the miffed Dog, as he realizes his actions have gotten the Dog disqualified. This was quite boring and was used as filler, to hype up the next match. Here is Your Winner via DQ: RAVISHING RICK RUDE.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts w/Damien vs Hercules
We stay on the subject of Jake as we pick up his match. Jake elbows out of a chinlock, then reverses into a hammerlock. Hercules elbows Jake out of the ring. Hercules punishes Jake on the ring apron, until Jake pulls Hercules over the top rope. Hercules hangs Jake up on the top rope then goes back to the chinlock. Jake immediately escapes with a jawbreaker. Jake hits punches then a short-arm clothesline. The crowd sense a DDT, but so does Hercules, as he counters Jake with a backbodydrop. Jake misses a running kneelift and hits the mat. Hercules stomps, slams and drops an elbow. Hercules goes to slam again, Jake slips behind, hits a DDT and rolls into a cover. 1-2-3. After the match, Jake drapes Damien all over Hercules. Not much of the match was shown but from what was, the action was decent. I always enjoyed watching Jake work as he was the master of ring psychology, be it face or heel. I see lots of similarities between him and Raven. Two great minds who should have gone a lot further than they did in the business, and probably would have, without the politics and personal demons, stemming from years of substance abuse. Here is Your Winner: JAKE “THE SNAKE” ROBERTS.
Special Referee: Jesse “The Body” Ventura
The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan & Macho Man Randy Savage) w/Miss Elizabeth
vs The Mega Bucks (Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase & Andre The Giant) w/Virgil & Bobby Heenan
Just weeks before, the Million Dollar Man had seemingly bought Ventura to favour the Mega Bucks. We were all kept guessing, just like Hogan and Savage. Andre corners Savage who manages to escape. DiBiase wants Hogan so Savage obliges. Like a ping-pong ball, DiBiase bounces off Savage and Hogan, as both clean his clock with punches. The Mega Powers keep up the early advantage with a double backelbow, and double elbow drops to DiBiase. DiBiase’s head meets the corner then Savage’s boot, as the Mega Powers do well to keep Andre out. Savage hits a double axehandle from the top rope onto DiBiase. Ventura slow counts a pin attempt. DiBiase gets a double big boot, before Hogan drops three elbows. Hogan stupidly goes after Andre, who catches him with a headbutt. Andre turns the tide as he sits on Hogan then chokes him with his boot. Back from a commercial break, Savage is in the ring, missing a charge at DiBiase in the corner. Savage comes back with a cross body, before DiBiase levels him with a clothesline. Andre delivers shoulder rams in the corner, before backing into Savage and sitting on his head. Andre headbutts Savage, DiBiase suplexes then misses a blind dive from the second rope. Hogan gets the hot tag and runs wild on DiBiase with an Irish whip, clothesline and suplex. Hogan drops Andre with a clothesline and the crowd pops big time. Hogan puts DiBiase in a sleeper. Savage attempts a top rope elbow on Andre, but Andre gets his boot up to kick Savage outside. Andre headbutts Hogan from behind to put him outside also. Elizabeth gets on the apron and removes her skirt to distract the Mega Bucks. While that would be nothing nowadays, back then this was considered big. Even Ventura stops counting out the Mega Powers to admire the view. The Mega Powers do a secret handshake on the outside, before Savage sends Andre out of the ring with a double axehandle from the top rope. Savage then knocks Virgil and Heenan out of contention, while Hogan slams DiBiase. Savage lands a top rope elbow, Hogan drops a leg and Savage makes sure a hesitant Ventura counts the 1-2-3. Great nostalgia. The Mega Powers celebrate as Elizabeth hugs Hogan then Savage. Here Are Your Winners: THE MEGA POWERS.
Okerlund wraps things up to end the show.
Best match: Demolition vs The Hart Foundation.
Worst match: Ravishing Rick Rude vs Junkyard Dog.
Show verdict: Thumbs up. Classic action. In truth, nearly all the best bits from SummerSlam 1988 were squeezed into today’s show. The only part missing was Ultimate Warrior beating Honky Tonk Man inside of a minute. I hope they can repeat this format if another SummerSlam is featured next week. I wouldn’t mind seeing SummerSlam 1991 again. See you next weekend.
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