Look Back at SummerSlam: WWF SummerSlam 1988

Those of you who read my previous blog post, and are up to date with my news on twitter will be aware that I am looking back at all previous SummerSlams for the build up to the greatest summer event. Today I’ll be looking at the first SummerSlam from back in 1988 – I hope you guys enjoy, and stick around for my look back on SummerSlam 1989 tomorrow!

Date – August 29th 1988

Venue – Madison Square Gardens, New York City, New York

Attendance – 20,000

We entered the first SummerSlam with a total of 10 matches on the card, which included both the Intercontinental Championship, and the WWF Tag Team Championships being defended.

Special Mentions

The Honky Tonk Man vs Mystery Opponent for the WWF Intercontinental Championship


Before the start of this match, it was announced that Brutus Beefcake could not challenge for the IC title at SummerSlam, but The Honky Tonk Man would still defend it to a mystery opponent. Ultimate Warrior’s music played around the arena as he raced down to the ring. After a shoulder block and a clothesline, The Ultimate Warrior hit the Ultimate Splash to end the longest Intercontinental Championship reign.

Demolition vs The Hart Foundation of the WWF Tag Team Championships


We saw a fresh-faced Bret Hart in this match, alongside his brother-in-law, to try to gain the WWF Tag Team Championships from Ax and Smash of Demolition. Looking back on it, Ax and Smash did have a very weird ring attire. The Harts looked liked they were going to pick up the victory, with Bret slinging Jim over the top rope, onto Smash and then Neidhart hit a powerslam to get a near fall. However, Ax used Jimmy Hart’s speakerphone to hit Bret Hart when the referee was distracted to retain the WWF Tag Team Championships.

Main Event – The Mega Bucks (Andre the Giant and Ted DiBiase) with Bobby Heenan and Virgil vs The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage) with Miss Elizabeth with Jesse Ventura as a special guest referee


Before we kicked this one off, we saw a segment where The Million Dollar Man gave Ventura a bribe to make sure The Mega Bucks got the win. After one of the biggest matches in WrestleMania history (Andre the Giant vs Hulk Hogan), the two would meet again, but within a tag team match this time. The Mega Powers absolutely dominated Ted DiBiase in the early stages, with frequent tags and tag team moves. When Andre the Giant entered though, it all broke loose, and Jesse Ventura had to organise it all again.

Toward the end, Miss Elizabeth attempted to distract Jesse Ventura, and it clearly worked, as she took off the lower part of her dress. This helped Randy Savage hit an elbow from the top rope, and Hogan hit a leg drop on Ted DiBiase. Jesse Ventura reluctantly counted 3 to give The Mega Powers the win.

Overall it was an okay SummerSlam. It had a lot of matches on the card, but that was normal back in that day. It would’ve been nice to see the WWF Championship be defended, but it was still a pretty good main event for 1988! I hope you guys enjoyed reading this. Let me know on Twitter if you actually remember watching this live! Stay tuned tomorrow, for my look back on SummerSlam 89!

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