Tuesday, May 8, 2012

SUPER CHALLENGE: WWF Primetime 1-4-1988

I'm trying something different and going through my enormous backlog of DVDs. I figured I'd attempt to make it all the way through WWF Primtetime 1988. We'll see how long this lasts, with me watching, writing, and screen capping each episode. Let's start with January 4, 1988 and Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan v. Sika

Before the match, Heenan said Duggan was so dumb, when he was in Atlantic City, he spent his entire family fortune playing a parking meter. They're in MSG for this one and Duggan is pretty over and Sika made him look good here. Duggan actually started by wrestling Sika with some arm bars and all Sika did the entire match was illegal stuff like eye rakes, back rakes, etc. Whenever Sika deviated from that plan, Duggan would regain control. Duggan's striking was more dangerous as Sika sold a few of his shots like being hit with a cannon ball. Duggan even hit a sunset flip in this one. Duggan won with his three-point stance clothesline except he leaped for this one. As a kid, I don't remember him leaping for the clothesline and this look nice. Pretty average match with nothing really notable to be seen.

Gorilla went over how 1988 will be a good year in the WWF and then started talking about Ted Dibiase's attempts to buy the WWF Title.

Hillbilly Jim v. Dino Bravo

Boy, was this a dull match. Frenchy Martin had just become Dino's manager. Bravo was on top building towards Hillbilly's comeback and that ended up being boring as shit. Jim did hit a monkey flip here but that wasn't enough to save this match. Frenchy got on the apron to distract Hillbilly and Bravo came up from behind, hit a flying knee to the back, and pinned him. Finally, this one was over.

We have a WWF Update on the angle where Heenan and the Islanders kidnapped Matilda. 

Above is an example of the crack reporting of Craig DeGeorge, covering a kidnapping of a bulldog.  His family must be proud!  

This whole segment was so bogus and funny. Heenan said that they didn't know where Matilda was at. He said that when they got her to the back and put her down, she was frothing at the mouth and they started running away from her and that's the last they saw of her. Heenan played it cool while the Bulldogs cut a promo pleading with him to return Matilda. Then, President Jack Tunney issued a statement saying that if Matilda was not returned further actions would be taken against Heenan and the Islanders. Gorilla went on to specify those actions as fines, which had to really spook Heenan and the Islanders!

The Rougeaus v. The Conquistadores

Now, this was a much better match than the last two. The Rougeaus were pretty over in MSG and they looked great in this match, giving a ton of fast offense out. In the beginning, it was all Rougeaus and they were working like a heel tag team, isolating one of the Conquistadores. They were hitting big, quick moves like dropkicks and outsmarting their opponents. 

The best spot of the match was when one of the Conquistadores went for a crossbody onto Jacques but missed and ended flying over the top-rope onto his partner on the floor. The crowd popped big for that one and there's a pic above from the spot. The Conquistadores finally gained the advantage and started isolating Jacques but he ended up making the tag to Raymond, who came and cleaned house. He was hot here and looked great with fiery shots and spinning kicks. The Rougeaus won after doing there double team top-rope cannon ball move. That's the one where one of them goes to the top and the other grabs his hand and guides him along into a somersault. The Quebecers used that move as their finisher too. Great, fun match here. Heenan had a funny line afterwards, calling them the Ragu Brothers.

Sensational Sherri v. Velvet Mcintyre-WWF Women's Title Match
This was a surprisingly good match and loads better than any of the Divas matches of the last decade. Sherri gave a lot to Velvet and Velvet was very quick and got the crowd into everything. 

Velvet locked in a bodyscissors and used her power to hoist Sherri up and drop her down. I've never seen something like before. 

Sherri got out of the move by turning around and then grabbing Velvet's hair, picking her up, and slamming her down, a little reminiscent of the Silva/Rampage powerbomb from PRIDE. Sherri got control for a little bit, botched a corner move, and re-did it. Velvet started a comeback and hit a nasty boot to Sherri's sternum like she was a power wrestler. She hit a giant swing but then missed a springboard crossbody. She then tried for a second one and went for a pin but Sherri rolled through and got the win. Great match, about as good as the tag match from this episode. Sherri sold a lot and worked from the bottom and made Velvet look like a million bucks.

“Mean” Gene was plugging the upcoming Royal Rumble and brought out “Outlaw” Ron Bass and Miss Betsy, his whip and he cut a promo on the Rumble.

S.D. Jones v. “Iron” Mike Sharpe
Nothing match here, even though "Iron" Mike is always entertaining and Jones never seemed to capitalize any time he had the advantage. 

Sharpe got locked in the ropes and Jones just stood around and wasted time. Mike missed a clothesline and immediately clobbered Jones with a second attempt and pinned him.

Bam Bam Bigelow v. King Kong Bundy
Here's the main event and Bammer was hot as this was during his little push he had from 1987. Jesse Ventura bet that there would be no hair pulling in this match. Bundy hit a nasty clothesline and knocked Bammer outside and kept him there for a while. Once he got back in, Bundy tried for a big splash but Bam Bam rolled away and hit his own splash for the win. 

Very short nothing match here but it was better than the Jones/Sharpe match at least.

Finally, Bobby Heenan did a Bruno Sammartino impression and Gorilla started cracking up.

Pretty hit and miss here with this episode but it did have the great tag match and the women's match, the latter of which I wasn't expecting much from. On to week 2 probably next week after I cover the ROH and CZW shows this weekend, thanks for reading!

Steve Viglio
@stevesgraps on Twitter

All photos are not property of me but of the WWE, please don't distribute them

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