(Written for and published by gerweck.net)
As the WWE celebrates the 25th anniversary of their summertime extravaganza, a trip down memory lane seemed appropriate. 1988 was not only the first installment of this popular yearly event but the first pay-per-view event I ever watched.
August 29th of that year was only the second day of my wrestling fandom. An episode of “The Superstars of Wrestling” the night before sucked me in as the “Mega Powers,” comprised of Hulk Hogan & Macho Man Randy Savage, hyped their tag team match against Andre the Giant and The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, the “Mega Bucks.”
We didn’t have cable TV, so it was up to my friend Billy to provide a VHS tape of the event. The next day came, and unfortunately, his parents wouldn’t let him bring it over until the day after next, which was my 8th birthday. Billy was very informative and gave me a crash course on all of the storylines going into the event. He tried converting me into a wrestling fan two years earlier, but his attempts had fallen on deaf ears.
The event emanated from Madison Square Garden in New York City and consisted of eleven matches. The opening match featuring the British Bulldogs vs. The Rougeau Bros went to a time limit draw. The second match saw Bad News Brown Ghetto Blast Ken Patera to victory.
‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude vs. Junkyard Dog was next, and even though this was my first event, I knew who JYD was and was excited to see him in action finally. He lost via DQ when Jake Roberts interfered in response to Rude pulling down his pants to reveal a picture of Jake’s wife Cheryl on his crotch.
Three matches later, and we get to the Intercontinental championship. The Honky Tonk Man would no longer defend against the injured Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake but a mystery partner. Honky said he would fight any man, but he never said he would fight a warrior, certainly not the Ultimate Warrior. He was run over in thirty-one seconds to end the longest IC title reign in history.
A little Don Muraco here, and a little Demolition there, and we arrive at the main event of the evening. All eyes were on the special guest referee, Jesse Ventura, as everyone assumed he was bought and paid for by Ted DiBiase.
What everyone wound up watching was Miss Elizabeth as she paraded up and down the apron and took off her dress. Next, Liz throws the dress at a shell-shocked DiBiase, which gives the Mega Powers the opening they need. Savage nails DiBiase with the flying elbow drop, Hogan follows up with the leg drop, and Savage forces Ventura’s hand down for the three count as the fans go crazy in the Garden.