Man, did the first WWF SummerSlam have some sucky matches

I remember being giddy back in 1988 when the original WWF SummerSlam rolled around, because for the first time I was able to order the show on pay-per-view on my cable system (shout out to the old Continental Cable in the Boston area).

I certainly remember Ultimate Warrior steamrolling Honky Tonk Man to win the Intercontinental Title, as well as Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage beating Andre the Giant and Ted DiBiase after Miss Elizabeth whipped her skirt off.

But now in 2010, 22 years later, I couldn’t remember any of the other matches and looked them up. And now I know why I couldn’t recall them: Most of the other bouts sucked.

Let’s go through some of these yawners:

  • Ken Patera vs. Bad News Brown—Patera was on his last legs in the WWF at this point, but by 1989 Brown would be challenging Savage in WWF Title matches, which at that point were rare heel vs. heel main events after Savage turned on Hogan. By the way, Brown gets points in my book for having one of the greatest names for a finisher, the “ghetto blaster,” which was basically an enziguri and which finished off Patera this night.
  • Ravishing Rick Rude vs. Junkyard Dog—The match was actually a backdrop to allow Rude to showcase trunks spray painted with an image of Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ wife on them, which of course prompted the Snake to attack Rude for the disqualification. The idea of Rude and JYD fighting wasn’t pretty, however.
  • The Powers of Pain vs. the Bolsheviks—I’m quite sure I don’t need to say more, considering the collective ability of these four wrestlers at the time. The Powers of Pain won.
  • Dino Bravo vs. Don Muraco—I love Muraco, but this wasn’t the great heel Magnificent Muraco, this was the roided up babyface Don “The Rock” Muraco. Bravo won, and luckily all of us got a much better Rock to cheer about 10 years later.

I paid to see those matches in 1988. I wouldn’t pay to see them today in the WWE. Apparently my love for 1980s WWF wrestling even extended to my wallet.


  1. Pingback: Has the Barclays Center shoved Madison Square Garden aside for wrestling? | Boston Garden Balcony
  2. Scotty G

    I have to agree here. I was never a fan of Patera when he tried to be a babyface. I have to laugh thinking about the Powers of Pain, because so many of my friends swore up and down that they were the Road Warriors in different face paint. I used to wonder how you could watch the two teams and even compare them?

    Back then the shows were built around two, possibly three matches on the card and the rest were fillers. I did, however, love the opening match of the Bulldogs and Rougeaus. That was a classic.

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