Superstars of Wrestling – January 8, 1988 – DiBiase’s Latest Purchase

Superstars of Wrestling
Date: January 8, 1988
Location: Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jesse Ventura, Bruno Sammartino

Now a lot of you may have read some of my Superstars reviews from a few years ago, but in case you haven’t, here’s the basic idea: this is the A show of WWF at the time. Everything happened here and it was all that mattered. I have almost every show from January 88 – June of 88 and I’ll probably get a lot more so we’ll go through the first Rumble (which meant nothing), me being born, Hogan losing the title, Wrestlemania IV, and that’s about it since there were no PPVs between Mania and the debut of a new show called Summerslam. Let’s get to it.

Vince brags about Tampa for some reason and we get the opening sequence.

We’re going to get clips from SNME where Andre interfered in Hogan vs. Bundy.

Islanders vs. Jerry Grey/Lanny Poffo

Heenan has a dog leash with him which has no dog on it, which is a jab at the British Bulldogs. Poffo reads a poem before the match. Tama and Poffo start. The Bulldogs say they still can’t find Matilda. All they care about is if she’s ok. They want Tunney to do something about her missing. We can’t see half of the ring due to the window they’re in. Tama is back in and working on Grey. He dropkicks Grey down and Haku kicks Grey’s head off for the pin. Total squash. Expect to hear that a lot in these reviews.

Tunney says he’s going to take action because no one knows where Matilda is. Heenan warns him to stay calm. Tunney says until we know where Matilda is, the Islanders are suspended.

Willington Wilkins vs. Jake Roberts

Jake should kill him for such a horrible name. Vince and Jesse talk about the Islanders as Jake mauls Willington. Short clothesline and DDT end this quickl.

Time for the house show ads. This is for the MSG Show on January 25. Hogan/Bigelow vs. Virgil/DiBiase is the main event. Duggan comes in and says that he’s ready for Harley Race and the 2×4 will be there with him.

Dino Bravo vs. Scott Casey

Bravo is very strong and that’s about it. He’s also Canadian. Frenchy Martin in an inset says he speaks a lot of languages. Bravo runs over Casey and clotheslines him down. Casey gets a few moves in but Bravo hits his side suplex. Instead of pinning him with that, a belly to back suplex ends it. That was odd.

There’s a Boston Garden show later tonight and the main event is Rude vs. Hogan. Rude doesn’t care about the fans and says it’s about fighting and he’ll beat Hogan up for the title. He’s going to do a striptease around Hulk’s body. Hey if that’s what you’re into man. That match is on one of Hulk’s DVDs and Best of the WWF Volume 20. One of the dates is wrong also because that show was on the 9th and this was labeled as the 8th. It might be a syndication thing though.

Sam Houston vs. Terry Gibbs

Houston is Jake Robert’s real life half brother and likes to dance. Headlock takes Gibbs down. Gibbs was supposed to be a big deal (ok that’s a stretch but a deal of some sort) but he was never anything more than a jobber. Danny Davis says he’s waiting on Sam Houston. This was probably the high point of Davis’ singles career. He had more luck as a tag team guy. Gibbs comes back with a neckbreaker and a hard whip into the corner. A HHH knee takes Sam down but Gibbs gets slammed off the top and the bulldog (Sam’s finisher) ends it. This was more competitive than most Superstars matches but still too short to grade.

We get clips from SNME where Andre came in after a Hogan title defense and choked Hogan down again.

DiBiase and Virgil are in the arena and Ted says this isn’t over yet. He wants the WWF Title and he gets what he wants. DiBiase brings out the man that is going to bring him the WWF Title: Andre the Giant. Heenan is with him and DiBiase buys Andre’s contract for what I believe would be later revealed for $1 million. Now the interesting thing is that later on, Heenan bought Andre back for $100,000. See why he’s called the Brain? Heenan avoids a few years of beatings from Hulk and scores a $900,000 profit.

Sivi Afi vs. Butch Reed

JIVE SOUL BRO BABY!!! The announcers talk about Muraco saving Billy Graham from Reed and the One Man Gang. Out to the floor and Afi goes into the railing. Reed goes up and kills him with the flying tackle for the pin.

Demolition vs. Jim Evans/Mike Richards

This is heel Demolition with Fuji in their corner. Richards gets destroyed to start as Jesse recommends that Evans run. They take turns ramming Richards’ head into boots. A quick neck crank sets up a double Stun Gun and the Decapitator ends this quick. More squashing.

DiBiase talks about Andre and how he’ll get the title soon. As for Jake Roberts tonight, he’s cunning like Ted but DiBiase isn’t worried about him.

Overall Rating: D+. With these shows, you can never really go based on the wrestling because nothing is competitive but that was just the way things were back then. This was fine for the most part and we got a huge moment with Andre and DiBiase hooking up. This was huge because DiBiase was really just a guy talking before this but now he had a guy that can beat Hogan. This was huge.

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