SummerSlam 1988 was the first annual SummerSlam professional wrestling pay-per-view event. It was produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and took place on August 29, 1988 in Madison Square Garden, located in New York City, New York. The pay-per-view was created to help the company compete against rival promotion World Championship Wrestling (formerly Jim Crockett Promotions). It was one of the first four annual pay-per-view events produced by the WWF, along with WrestleMania, the Royal Rumble, and Survivor Series. Reviews for the event were mixed.
The main feud heading into Survivor Series pitted The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan and WWF Champion Randy Savage), Hercules, Koko B. Ware, and Hillbilly Jim against The Twin Towers (Akeem and Big Bossman), Ted DiBiase, Haku, and The Red Rooster. Hogan and Savage formed this alliance at WrestleMania IV in March 1988 after Hogan helped Savage in defeating DiBiase in the tournament final for the vacant WWF Championship. DiBiase and André the Giant faced Hogan and Savage at the inaugural SummerSlam in August where the Mega Powers won. DiBiase had bought the contract of André from Heenan at the inaugural Royal Rumble in January. In late 1988, DiBiase bought another contract from Heenan of Hercules, who was a powerful force in the WWF. Hercules refused to become DiBiase's slave and turned babyface and started feuding with DiBiase. DiBiase and other heel wrestlers joined Twin Towers against Mega Powers and other babyface wrestlers. Another major feud pitted Jake "the Snake" Roberts against André the Giant. The storyline began when Roberts exposed André's extreme fear of snakes on a recent edition of Saturday Night's Main Event. Roberts had thrown his snake, Damien, on the frightened André, who suffered a mild (kayfabe) heart attack. André vowed revenge, but Roberts constantly used Damien—either in their matches or by coming to the ring with a sack containing the snake during André's matches against other wrestlers—to gain a psychological edge. The major tag team feud pitted WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition against the Powers of Pain, two teams known for their use of face paint and power brawling style of wrestling. The other main feud pitted WWF Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior vs. The Honky Tonk Man, the former champion who was determined to regain his title.
The event began with a match between The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid) and The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques and Raymond). As soon as the bell rang to signify that the match had begun, Smith attacked Jacques. The two teams traded blows until The Rougeaus flipped the Dynamite Kid over their heads so that he fell on his back to the mat. Dynamite Kid escaped another offensive maneuver before tagging in his partner, Smith, and The British Bulldogs performed a double-team maneuver on Jacques. Despite having the upper hand, The Bulldogs failed to pin Jacques in time, and the match ended in a twenty-minute time draw. The next match was between Bad News Brown (Allen Coage) and Ken Patera. Before the bell rang, however, Brown attacked Patera, who retaliated by performing a clothesline from the corner. Brown then slipped both of his arms underneath Patera's armpits and locked his hands behind his neck, using a submission move known as a full nelson. At the end of the match, Brown defeated Patera by striking him in the back of the head with his finishing move, the Ghetto Blaster.
After the second match ended, Rick Rude and The Junkyard Dog made their way to the ring. Their match began as Rude attacked Junkyard Dog from behind, who retaliated by headbutting Rude several times. Subsequently, Rude climbed to the wrestling ring's top rope and pulled down his tights to reveal another pair of tights with a picture of Cheryl Roberts on them. As a result, Jake Roberts, Cheryl Roberts' husband, ran to the ring and attacked Rude, forcing the referee to disqualify Junkyard Dog. The next match was a tag team match between the Powers of Pain (The Barbarian and The Warlord), who were accompanied by The Baron (James Raschke), and The Bolsheviks (Boris Zhukov and Nikolai Volkoff), who were accompanied by Slick. Immediately, The Powers of Pain chased The Bolsheviks from the ring. Slick, however, distracted The Powers of Pain long enough to give The Bolsheviks an advantage. Zhukov was then slammed to the mat back-first and headbutted from the top rope, which allowed The Barbarian to pin him.
The fifth match of the event was an Intercontinental Championship match between The Ultimate Warrior and the reigning champion The Honky Tonk Man, who was accompanied by Jimmy Hart. The Ultimate Warrior had the advantage from the beginning, attacking The Honky Tonk Man, who was still in his entrance attire. After press-slamming him to the mat, The Ultimate Warrior bounded to the ropes and landed stomach-first on The Honky Tonk Man using his signature move, the Warrior Splash. The Ultimate Warrior then pinned The Honky Tonk Man after only thirty seconds to win the title.
The following contest was a re-match from WrestleMania IV between Dino Bravo and Don Muraco. Muraco, the crowd favorite, was in control for most of the match. Frenchy Martin (Jean Gagné), who accompanied Bravo to the ring, distracted Muraco, allowing Bravo to slam him to the mat from an elevated position and pin him for the win.
The seventh match of the night was for the WWF Tag Team Championship. Reigning champions Demolition (Ax and Smash), accompanied by both Mr. Fuji and Jimmy Hart, were challenged by The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart). As soon as the bell sounded, The Hart Foundation attacked both members of Demolition. Their control was brief, as Demolition then gained the advantage over Neidhart. As Bret Hart was tagged into the match, Neidhart chased Jimmy Hart from ringside and returned to tag back into the match. When all four men began fighting inside the ring, Neidhart attacked Mr. Fuji, who was on the ring apron. At the end of the match, Bret Hart attempted a piledriver, a move where the offensive wrestler turns his opponent upside down and drives his head into the mat, but Ax hit him with Jimmy Hart's trademark megaphone. Smash then pinned Bret Hart for the win.
The next match-up was between The Big Boss Man (Ray Traylor), accompanied by Slick, and Koko B. Ware (James Ware). With Slick as a distraction, The Big Boss Man took the early advantage in the match. After crushing Ware in between himself and the turnbuckle, Boss Man refused to pin him and finish the match. Instead, he attempted to climb to the top rope and land on Ware stomach-first, but missed. Ware then retaliated by performing several dropkicks and attempted a pin. Boss Man got his shoulder up to save himself from being pinned, and he slammed his opponent into the mat, allowing him to pin Ware for the win. The second to last match of the night was between Jake Roberts and Hercules (Ray Fernandez). When Roberts attempted to slam his opponent's head on to the mat with a DDT, Hercules was able to escape the maneuver and take control of the match. As Hercules attempted to slam Roberts to the mat, Roberts reversed the move into a DDT, enabling him to pin Hercules for the win.
The last match of the night was the main event between The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage), accompanied by Miss Elizabeth, and The Mega Bucks (Ted DiBiase and André the Giant), accompanied by Bobby Heenan and Virgil (Mike Jones). Jesse Ventura was the special guest referee. The Mega Powers took the early advantage over DiBiase. After Hogan attacked André the Giant, who was on the ring apron, The Mega Bucks were able to regain control. After a while, all four men began brawling, and André knocked The Mega Powers out of the ring. Subsequently, as part of the scripted ending to the match, Miss Elizabeth began arguing with Ventura, the referee, and ripped off her skirt to reveal her underwear. While Ventura was distracted, Savage climbed to the top rope and jumped at DiBiase, hitting him with his elbow. Hogan followed the maneuver by jumping next to DiBiase and landing with his leg across DiBiase's body. As Hogan pinned DiBiase, Ventura, a villainous character aligned with The Mega Bucks, began an obviously slow three-count. As a result, Savage slammed Ventura's arm down for the third time, indicating that Hogan and Savage had won the match.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) fought The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacque and Raymond) to a time limit draw (20:00)
- Bad News Brown defeated Ken Patera (6:33)
- Rick Rude defeated The Junkyard Dog (6:18)
- The Powers of Pain (The Barbarian and The Warlord) (w/ The Baron) defeated The Bolsheviks (Boris Zhukov and Nikolai Volkoff) (w/ Slick)
- Brother Love Show with guest Jim Duggan
- The Ultimate Warrior defeated The Honky Tonk Man (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart) to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship (0:31)
- Dino Bravo (w/ Frenchie Martin) defeated Don Muraco(5:28)
- Demolition (Smash and Ax) (c) (w/ Mr. Fuji and Jimmy Hart) defeated The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) to retain the WWF World Tag Team Championship (9:29)
- The Big Boss Man (w/ Slick) defeated Koko B. Ware (5:57)
- Jake Roberts defeated Hercules (10:06)
- The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage) (w/ Miss Elizabeth) defeated The Mega Bucks (Ted DiBiase & André the Giant) (w/ Bobby Heenan and Virgil) (w/ Jesse Ventura as Special Guest Referee) (13:57)
Other on-screen talent
- Originally, Brutus Beefcake was going to fight The Honky Tonk Man for the Intercontinental Championship, but he was injured by Ron Bass on "WWF Superstars of Wrestling". He was replaced by The Ultimate Warrior
DVD & Video Releases
- Summerslam (Official Website)
- SummerSlam 1988 on WWE Network
- Summerslam 1988 at CAGEMATCH.NET
- SummerSlam 1988 at Online World of Wrestling
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|1988 World Wrestling Federation pay-per-views|
|Royal Rumble • WrestleMania • SummerSlam • Survivor Series|