The SmarK 24/7 Rant for Boston Garden Show – August 6 1988
– Taped from the Boston Garden.
– Your hosts are Sean Mooney, Lord Al Hayes & Superstar Graham. This should prove entertaining.
“Outlaw” Ron Bass v. Koko B. Ware
Entrance music update: Koko is using “Piledriver” here. You know it’s the 80s because a guy at ringside has a Watchmen t-shirt. And a mullet. This is an oddly star-powered opener, since most of the house show openers at this point were of the Les Thornton v. Steve Lombardi variety. Bass gets some knees off a lockup to start, but Koko dropkicks him down and follows with a flying headscissors to put him on the floor. Bass comes back in and pounds away in the corner, but Koko rolls him up for two. Koko goes to work on the arm, so Bass hammers him to escape, but Koko out-thinks him with a double axehandle out of the corner to send Bass running away again. Back in the ring, Koko unleashes the headbutt for two, and goes back to the arm again. Bass again overpowers him to escape and throws a knee for two. Since the knees are working, he drops another one and gets two. Bass starts working over the midsection, punting him on the mat and then dropping knees on it for two. Backbreaker gets two. Koko gets all uppity and fights back with a dropkick and fistdrop for two, however. He slugs away in the corner, but Bass grabs his bullrope and spears him in the throat, and that finishes.
(Ron Bass d. Koko B. Ware, bullrope — pin, 8:54, **) Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling.
The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers v. The Hart Foundation
This was during the rather brilliant double-turn of these teams, with the Harts firing Jimmy Hart only to see him going with the Rougeaus and half of their contracts. Neidhart hammerlocks Ray to start, but he flips out of it and celebrates out of proportion to his accomplishment. Ray tries knocking Anvil down, but that goes about as well as you’d expect, so he switches to a headlock instead and then dropkicks him down. Anvil, however, fires back with his own, and the Rougeaus regroup on the floor. Over to Bret, looking extra-greasy tonight, but Jacques wants a handshake. Bret takes it and whips him as a result, but Jacques flips over him and celebrates. Bret grabs a headlock and they criss-cross, but Bret drops an elbow on him and Ray comes back in again. Sunset flip is blocked by Bret and they trap Ray in the corner, giving him a beating and some well-received cheating. That’s why I think the Hart Foundation was able to endure for so long — they always had that edge, even as babyfaces. Jacques trips up Bret, however, and they Rougeaus go to work on him. Ray drives a knee into the back and Jacques adds a forearm shot and goes to a rear chinlock, and they switch off without a tag. Well, really, the Harts can’t complain about that considering their own tactics earlier. Ray drops Bret onto Jacques’ knee, and that gets two. Abdominal stretch and superkick from Ray gets two. Ray follows with a monkey flip attempt, but Bret blocks with an atomic drop and it’s HOT tag Neidhart. He fires away with forearms on Jacques and dropkicks Ray, and the heels collide. Back elbow gets two on Jacques. Demolition Decapitation gets two for two. Bret suckers Jacques in and grabs a sleeper, but Jimmy Hart distracts the ref and Ray clobbers Bret from behind, and Jacques falls on top.
(The Rougeaus d. The Hart Foundation, Jacques pin Bret, 12:04, ***) Not quite as fun as their later, over-the-top goofball tag matches with Brother Love and Jimmy Hart all stacking the deck, but quite solid.
DJ Peterson v. Leaping Lanny Poffo
DJ’s WWF run couldn’t have lasted too long. He was mostly a territorial star in the Central States promotions, and ended up in the AWA as it met the bitter end, winning (and retiring) the AWA tag titles with The Trooper (Del Wilkes) before dying in a bike accident in 1993. DJ had a good look, kind of a Magnum TA type of guy, but never had anything in the ring to back it up. They trade armdrags to start and Poffo takes him down with a headscissors, but Peterson gets a suplex for two. He pounds away and snapmares him, but misses a dropkick as the crowd is just not into this one. Poffo fights back and goes up with a springboard senton for two. Poffo goes for a slam, but Peterson does the Steamboat reversal to finish.
(DJ Peterson d. Lanny Poffo, small package — pin, 5:54, 1/2*) No chemistry at all here.
Intercontinental title: The Honky Tonk Man v. Brutus Beefcake
Honky has “Peggy Sue” with him, obviously Jimmy Hart in drag. The end was near for Honky’s title reign, as his uppance would come at Summerslam 88 a month after this. Brutus has “Georgia” with him, and she’s kind of an Animal, if you know what I mean. So you can tell the kind of match this going to be right away, I hope. Given all the men in drag, I’m sure Lord Alfred thought this was the funniest thing ever. Even Georgia’s stuffed animal Mine is in drag tonight, as there’s some seriously ambiguous sexuality going on here given that Brutus comes from San Francisco and is unnaturally loyal to Hulk Hogan. Hope you’re not late for an appointment or anything, because it feels like the Big Stall is coming. Shockingly, after only 2:30 of stalling, Honky attacks Brutus from behind and we proceed right to Brutus kicking his ass. Atomic drop and Brutus drops an elbow, then gives him the WINDMILL PUNCH OF DOOM to send Honky sprawling. Georgia bites him from the outside, and Brutus pounds away in the corner, and when Honky staggers over to the next corner, Brutus casually follows him and repeats the ten punches. Honky is pretty much done, and Brutus drops elbows and goes to finish with the sleeper, but no one is buying it, as indeed “Peggy Sue” runs in and distracts the ref, allowing Honky to grab the megaphone and knock Brutus out.
(Honky Tonk Man d. Brutus Beefcake, megaphone — pin, 6:00, DUD) A rare pinfall victory for Honky over Brutus, or ANYONE for that matter. Total one-sided squash for Brutus, which makes sense considering that he was doing a job here. Brutus beats him up again and steals the belt afterwards.
Demolition v. The British Bulldogs (non-title)
Entrance music update: The Demos have their music in all its glory. Smash pounds on Davey Boy in the corner to start, but gets rolled up for two. Smash goes to the arm and Davey does the acrobat reversal and switches off with Dynamite, as we get an awesome moment in the background: A sign on the LED board in the background declares that “WWF Merchandise Is On Sale”, and they blur the “F” in WWF. Now that’s attention to details that no one cares about. Ax beats on the Kid to stop the armbar, but the Bulldogs switch off behind the ref’s back to foil him and then confuse Smash with more of their sneaky British tactics. Smith tries a hiptoss but can’t ovepower him,so he goes with a headscissors instead. Smash counters by putting him on the top rope, so Davey comes off with an elbow for two. Powerslam and Kid comes off the middle rope with a headbutt for two. Ax, tired of subtlety, comes in and beats on Kid and chokes him out with the straps of his tights, and Smash gets a backbreaker. Ax, with his straps pulled down, comes in with a neck vice. Ax without the straps looks kind of…wrong. Smash smashes and Fuji adds a shot to the ribs with the cane, and Smash suplexes Kid in from the apron. Ax hits the chinlock, but Kid escapes with a jawbreaker and makes the hot tag to Smith. He fights off both Demos and slams them both, then adds clotheslines for both. That gets two on Ax. Crossbody gets two. Ax catches him with his head down, but Smash misses an elbow and it’s back to Dynamite, who is clearly pissed and hits Smash with a snap suplex for two. It’s BONZO GONZO and Smith takes out Fuji while Dynamite uses the Octopus hold on Smash, but Ax nails him with an axehandle and that’s all.
(Demolition d. The Bulldogs, Smash pin Dynamite Kid, 9:07, **1/2) Not sure why this was a non-title match, but it was pretty good. Demolition didn’t really take off as workers until they turned face, though.
WWF World title: Randy Savage v. Ted Dibiase
Savage doesn’t even disrobe before attacking Dibiase, and hits him with the belt to send him out of the ring. Dibiase stalls, so Savage slingshots him back into the ring and rams him into the mat a few times. Dibiase bails again, so Savage stops to cut a promo, but sadly the mic doesn’t work and we’ll never know what pearls of wisdom he had. Dibiase fights his way back in and gets a boot up to block a charge, but misses an elbow. Savage charges again and misses again, thus messing up his knee, and Dibiase doesn’t have to be asked twice to go to work on it. Savage fights back with fisticuffs, but Dibiase takes him down and drops a knee, then works on the leg with a standing toehold. Savage flips him to break, and then shoves him into the corner on another try, but Dibiase slugs him down. Spinning toehold this time, but Savage kicks him right out of the ring. Dibiase comes back in via the top rope, but Savage catches him with a shot to the gut and fires away with the punches. Clothesline and he dumps Dibiase with another one, but Virgil gets involved and Dibiase sends him into the post as a result. Savage fires back with an atomic drop to send Dibiase into the other post, and he beats the count back in.
(Randy Savage d. Ted Dibiase, countout, 6:48, **1/2) Highest I can go given the extremely shortened nature of the match and cheap finish, but they were gunning for a classic given another 10-15 minutes. Dibiase attacks Elizabeth to vent his frustrations and twists on her ankle, thus showing that she can’t sell the anklelock.
Lumberjack match: Andre The Giant v. Hacksaw Duggan
I don’t give the crew of tag teams and jobbers at ringside much chance of getting Andre back in the ring, but Bad News Brown might have a shot if the stories about their confrontation around this time are true. For those who didn’t read it in the Observer obituary for Brown, supposedly Andre, being a guy who was from the VERY old school and who was used to speaking his mind, let slip a very bad racial epitaph when referring to Brown while they were getting on a tour bus one day. Bad News threatened to do very bad things to him, and Andre backed off from a fight and never gave him grief again (or spoke another word to him, apparently), which was the first time anyone could remember someone backing down the Giant. Anyway, Andre pounds on Duggan and chokes away in the corner, and the lumberjacks toss Duggan back in when he falls out. Back in, more choking, and Andre slugs him down and headbutts him out of the ring. Duggan tries to retreat, but he gets tossed back in again and Andre sits on him. Simple but effective. Andre’s pretty funny here, giving a “Hoooo” before each buttdrop. Duggan fights back and it’s the famous Andre rope spot, which allows Duggan to bite him attempt a headbutt. That proves as stupid as it sounds, giving Andre the chance to undo the turnbuckle and add another headbutt. Duggan goes into the STEEL corner, but Andre misses a headbutt and knocks himself out on it, which is a pretty clever spot. Duggan sends him into the steel again and sets up for the three-point stance, but Andre won’t go down. Duggan hits him with the 2×4 and Andre bails, but of course none of the babyfaces can actually get him back in, and he just beats on them and then decides to head back in when he’s good and ready. Duggan charges for another clothesline, but Andre has had enough of this shit and pounds him down, and into the steel again to finish.
(Andre the Giant d. Jim Duggan, elbowdrop — pin, 7:51, **1/2) Andre was FEELING IT here, showing a ton of fire and generally wrestling at a fast enough pace to make for a very entertaining match, even if the outcome was never in doubt. It just goes to show — when Andre was physically able to, he could make you look as good as he wanted to.
Well worth a look for 24/7 subscribers. Nothing really bad, as even the Beefcake-Honky match is merely stupid and not offensively bad. And if you’re not a 24/7 subscriber, well, sucks to be you.