Brett Mix’s- WWF Royal Rumble 1988 Review:
“Hey Andre! Put the finishing stamp on that Contract signing…..Hahahaha….” -Ted Dibiase
-WWF Royal Rumble 1988 took place on Sunday, January 24th, 1988 at the Copps Colliseum in Hamilton, Ontario Canada in front of a Sold Out crowd of 18, 000 fans.
-During this event a Contract signing took place between Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant who had The Million Dollar man with him. It ended with Andre slamming Hogan’s head into a table as this took place before the February 5th match that would of course lead to the title being vacated for an inevitable title tournament at Wrestlemania 4.
-Also during this event Hulk Hogan cut an angry promo a few segments after the contract signing, and earlier in the show Dino Bravo attempted to break “THE WORLD” bench-press record of 705 pounds and “DID” with help from Jesse “The Body” Ventura.
-This was the 1st Annual WWF Royal Rumble event. However this is the only one to not be ON PPV and luckily they don’t go to commercial between matches, just after segments or falls.
-This Royal Rumble has 20 individuals rather then 30.
-Pat Patterson was the one who invented the idea of the Royal Rumble match. The rules of this match were that each superstar had to choose a number between 1 to 30. The #1 and #2 entrants would start the match while the other entrants would join the match after two minutes. It was originally a special on the USA Network.
-Vince McMahon and Jesse “THE BODY” Ventura do commentary for the event.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- “Ravishing” Rick Rude vs Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
What a great opener.
The match ran over 15 minutes, I wasn’t bored once for a slower paced match, which is of course always a good sign of a good match.
Rick Rude was fairly new so he wasn’t very over but still generated some good heal heat. Ricky Steamboat was ALREADY a big name player in the wrestling industry and the two worked very well together.
Rude’s physique versus the stamina and speed of Mr. Arm Drag.
Rude’s forearms caught Steamboat early until The Dragon found an opening when The Ravishing one charged at him and Steamboat then back body dropped him over the top rope to the outside. Steamboat then skinned the Cat and posed as Rude would in the middle of the ring. The fans ate it up.
Rick Rude then tried to test strength with Ricky Steamboat and the two tied up in mid-ring and then Rude got the upperhand as Steamboat dropped to his knees, and then he pushed his way up and Steamboat twisted Rude’s arm around and then he caught him in an armbar. Ricky Steamboat tried to rely on his quickness and technique to counter the strength of Rick Rude. Steamboat then began to wrestle an intelligent match by taking away one of Rude’s arms, and the reason it works wonderfully here is because these two are such good story tellers given their allignment during the match.
Rude is a brilliant heel. Steamboat is a brilliant babyface and together they mesh and form a believable bond, naturally combining in the ring.
The psychology of Rude was overtaken by Steamboat’s armbar and the reason this worked good because Steamboat loved doing it, but it made so much sense when he did it against a guy who nees his arms like Rude who loves to slap on sleepers or hard forearms. (Afterall Rude was about mostly his strength)
Steamboat then stomped on the canvas for more leverage and then after about 30 seconds Rude punches back with his other arm out of desperation until Steamboat reversed the irishwhips by Rude and then he gave him a thunderous chop!
Steamboat then dropped an elbow to Rude’s shoulder/arm area before slapping on an armbar to Rude’s damaged leftarm on the canvas as Ricky Steamboat then goes down and applies a wristlock into a modified armbar while down there and inbetween the drops, he elbow’s on Rude’s arm.
Rick Rude then with the point of his boot to the abdominal area of the Dragon until he hits Steamboat with some forearms and then with his right hand, irishwhipped Ricky The Dragon to the far side and came off with a reverse elbow. Rude then hit him with some punches roughening things up and then slammed Steamboat’s head into the topturnbuckle a couple of times. Rude then rakes the face and continued to hammer away at Steamboat with his one good hand.
Steamboat came off the far side and ducked Rude twice as he was tiny enough to fit inbetween Rude’s legs and as he bounced off the ropes Steamboat then slapped on an arm drag takedown like only HE can. Steamboat kept it locked in down on one knee then jammed his knee right into the shoulder socket of Rick Rude to weaken the joint even further.
Rick Rude with another irishwhip from the power of his one good arm throws Steamboat to the ropes and he comes off with a reverse elbow. An uppercut then a hard forearm to the head of Steamboat. Ravishing Rick Rude now was in control of things and the two exchanged blows, Steamboat even punched Rude in the stomach out of desperation. A gutshot then nothing behind it.
Rude irish whipped Steamboat and ducked two of Ricky Steamboat’s jumps and then he cleverly kneed Steamboat in the abdomen until he fell to the outside. Rude followed up on that and further damaged The Dragon’s abdomen by driving his lower back into the apron before slamming him hard on the mat.
Rude then went to the center of the ring and did The 10 year before Val Venis pose.
Rude suplexes Steamboat back into the ring from the apron over the top rope and scored a near fall. Rude then with a Camel Clutch. McMahon forgets what this move is called and likely someone in the back told him as he comes five seconds later with …. “A Camel Clutch.”
Rude then choked the air out of The Dragon while Hamilton cheered him back on. Steamboat tried to get to his feet and then Rude dropped his mid-section to Steamboat’s lower back furthering up the damage and then went back into the Camel Clutch. High intensity by both guys all throughout the match and there body language/facial expressions tell the whole story if the moves in the match don’t, which they infact do.
Steamboat’s hand was lifted by the ref twice until the third one he stopped in mid-air. (Didn’t see that one coming…..)
The Dragon got out of the Camel Clutch and showed his power by elevating Rude into the air with Rude sitting on top of his shoulders and then he hit a backdrop to Rude. Steamboat came off the side of the ropes with an aerial move and then Rude wisely lifted both knees up catching Steamboat in the abdomen. Rick Rude then hits an atomic drop and Steamboat went down. Rude got a nearfall and then went back into a camel-clutch like hold, a reverse chinlock.
Steamboat then tried to get himself up and pounded his hand on the canvas until sending Rude into the corner ringpost. Steamboat then slammed Rude’s head into the top turnbuckle ten times as the crowd chanted along. Ventura calls McMahon out on his bias for Steamboat, Ricky The Dragon then with a snapmare and then a chop. Rude hits a kick to the abdominal area and then hits a sideheadlock takedown, Steamboat counters into a headscissors, Rude flips over and then Steamboat bridges out of the pinning predicament and then hits a roll-up on Rude a couple of times getting a nearfall.
Steamboat then leaped over and got a nearfall again with a roll-up chance and then Rude rolled up Steamboat with an inside cradle but only got a two.
Amazing climax moments here.
Rude with a hard forearm and then a bigger clothesline however when Steamboat got up he hit a big time vertical suplex to Rick Rude.
They both paced themselves wonderfully for this match but both of there stamina levels were in great condition so it was almost second nature.
Rude then almost got hit off the top by Steamboat but Ricky The Dragon bumped into the referee from mid-air.
Rude then slaps on the abdominal stretch and the bell rings. Rude thinks he has won and his music plays as he walks to the back until the ring announcer (The Fink) announced Steamboat the winner. Rude charged back to the ring area a little angry.
So in the end Rick Rude is dq’d at 16:40 when he pushed the Ref in front of him when Steamboat went for a cross body off the top rope.
This match was extremely back and forth.
The two style’s both men had helped compliment one another. Great stuff here.
Sort of a forgotten gem.
2) The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Tateno and Itsuki Yamazaki) vs The Glamour Girls (Judy Martin and Leilani Kai) (c) (w/Jimmy Hart) in a Two out of Three falls match for the WWF Women’s Tag Team Championship
The Women in this match were not used for eye candy obviously and could probably out perform 85% of today’s MALE talent.
Funny how McMahon doesen’t even know the Jumping Bomb Angel’s names and Jesse calls him on it. So what does Vince do? He calls them “Red Angel” and “Pink Angel” because of there respective colors. Jesse says “That’s original” God I love Jesse.
I’m sure the Bomb Angels appreciated that treatment from Vince who has treated the likes of The Gooker and TL Hopper (Dirty White Boy from SMW) better then that.
Both Bomb Angels begin the match with a double dropkick.
Leilani Kai then with a knee to the back of Pink Angel (Hey, how am I supposed to know which Angel is Tateno and Yamazaki when even the announcer AND Chairman doesen’t) and she viciously gets them grounded until tagging in Judy Martin.
Judy then got caught by the Pink Angel up entering and she rolled her up for a two count. The Pink Angel then tagged in the Red one and then she went for a Piledriver and she held her in the air for about seven seconds showing her power and then dropped back. She stood up and in the mean time Judy Marin missed an elbow attempt and then the Pink Angel lifted her knees to the chest area. Pink tagged in Red and she hit her with a clothesline and then a dropkick followed by a forearm. Red goes for a two count but Judy kicked out. Leilani Kai was hesitating trying to tag in due to the intimidating speed of the Angels.
Both Jumping Bomb Angels then hit a double figure four in the middle of the ring and then Jimmy Hart was yelling on the outside.
Red Angel then lifted up Leilani Kai’s legs and dropped her leg inbetween Leilani Kai’s legs. The Pink Angel then did a great job at at keeping Leilani Kai grounded and in her corner preventing her from tagging in Judy Martin and then she tagged in the Red Angel and applied a leglock. Leilani Kai tried her best to tag in Judy Martin and then did illegally but it still bought Leilani Kai some time. She dropped her body on the Pink Angel and McMahon called her the larger of the two Women and once again Jesse cleverly calls him out on how it’s NOT a compliment when saying that about a Women.
Judy Martin got tagged back in and hit a reverse powerbomb to the Red Angel and got the three count for the first fall and then the three girls celebrate.
They take a break.
The rules in these matches are that the last two people in the match start the next fall.
Judy Martin then hit a scoop slam on the Red Angel after she bridged out of a pinning attempt. The Pink Angel with a wonderful clothesline and then a crossbody, then the Glamour Girls clotheslined each other and the crowd erupted after a double team move went wrong.
Vince all of the sudden KNOWS the ladies names after the commercial break. Hmmmm, wonder if anyone told him.
The Red Angel before even the two minute mark hits a sunset flip on Judy Martin and the Bomb Angels even the contest at a fall a piece.
Another commercial break but at least we don’t miss any of the action as that is likely why there was so many 2/3 fall matches on this night.
This is the third and deciding fall in the Ladies Tag Team Championship Match.
The Bomb Angels with a double team clothesline to Judy Martin twice and for some reason Joey Marella allowed it. Martin then got to Leilani Kai. She got tagged in and hit the Red Angel with a forearm and then went for a cradle suplex. Leilani Kai then took down the Pink Angel and catapolted her high in the air with her head hitting face first.
Judy Martin tagged in and stomped on The Pink Angel and then Judy Martin with a tremendous suplex and got a nearfall.
The Glamour Girls got an advantage when Judy Martin held an armbar on Pink Angel while biting, Jesse and Vince argue if it was a bite or not.
Red Angel tagged in but Martin has her cornered now into The Glamour Girl’s corner.
Leilani Kai tags in and then both ram her back into the corner with a lot of velocity.
A Snapmare takedown by Leilani Kai to Red Angel and then she hits an irish-whip until Yamazaki who we now known as The Red Angel in this match hits an atomic drop and then a splash before scoring a nearfall.
Leilani Kai then gets thrown in the corner before Yamazaki slams her down before Tateno hits a knee from the top. Tateno then with another slam to Leilani Kai and then another near fall. A tremendously hit vertical suplex with a bridge to boot and only a two count.
Tag is made to Judy Martin but Tateno hits a big clothesline on her. Yamazaki jumped off the top and then Judy Martin moved out of the way and Yamazaki only got a two count despite missing the move, she was still able to cover. Tateno with a cross body from the top rope and then both ladies go to the top and fly off with a double dropkick.
I guess that’s why they’re CALLED THE “JUMPING BOMB ANGELS”!
In the end of yet another back and forth match, the Jumping Bomb Angels finally win the match by a score of 2-1.
So it was Tateno pinned Martin after a Double Missile Dropkick at 15:21.
As said, was a lot of fun throughout. A well wrestled match for sure, highly entertaining. I could even go higher on it before going lower to be honest…
These matches are always hit or miss and this was a pretty big hit.
Vince McMahon, if he’s going to make someone champions in his company (and back then you had to be almost always REALLY good to hold a title) …. maybe next time he could learn there names first.
3) The 1988 “20 Man” Royal Rumble Match
They explain the rules longer because after all it is the first one.
The first two guys ever to start in a Rumble match are Bret Hart and Tito Santana.
Tito Santana was ALSO the first guy to ever wrestle a Wrestlemania match.
Both men are announced by the Fink while standing to the right and left of him with no entrances although Bret did have Jimmy Hart with him and the pop Bret got was quite surprising because he was a HEEL. It was PROBABLY because the event took place in Canada and even in the late 80’s he was famous and even if that wasn’t the reason he’d still have fans because he was just THAT TALENTED.
Bret begins to work on Santana in the corner of the ring. Bret hammers away on him in the corner with a collection of rights and forearms before smacking Santana’s head on the top of the turnbuckle, however Tito Santana battled out and slammed Bret’s head on the top then Santana leaped over Bret and he ran into Santana’s right hand. Tito Santana then attempted to throw Bret over the top rope but he stopped Tito cornering him with an abdomen shot then hit an inverted atomic drop. Bret then jumped from the corner and dropped the elbow to Tito Santana before picking up his legs and stomping his boot deep in his mid-section.
Then the first person to ever enter a Royal Rumble Match (while it’s already underway anyway) is “The Natural” Butch Reed. Butch then goes for Tito Santana being that he is also a heel although McMahon reminds us there ARE NO FRIENDS in this match. Tito Santana fights back and he slams Bret down and then slammed Butch Reed’s head to the mat. Butch Reed and Bret Hart had both had success before joining the WWF in the 1980’s and here we see them double team Tito Santana and they both hit a reverse elbow on him.
All of the sudden out runs Neidhart and you hear the buzz in the air as well as the WEASEL type laugh of the Hart Foundation’s manager, Jimmy Hart. Tito Santana is now being triple teamed over double teamed and then Jim and Butch hold Tito on his back on there knees setting him up for Bret to hit an elbow drop from the top. All three men applaud each other’s efforts and clap hands together. Now they’re just toying with Tito Santana with punishment as it becomes apparent they could have already eliminated him but didn’t. All three guys then go to eliminate Tito Santana.
Tito Santana was hanging on as all three heels were trying to eliminate him but out runs Jake The Snake to a huge pop. Roberts throws out Butch Reed as he is the first Elimination in Rumble History. With Butch out and Sanatana in a corner Jake Roberts whipped Bret into Neidhart as the two tag members bumped and then the babyfaces worked over both heels by irishwhipping them into each other and hitting the HART ATTACK to the Hart Foundation as the crowd roared in excitement. Jake set up the DDT on Bret but The Anvil caught him with a clothesline and Bret at the same time hit a piledriver on Tito Santana.
Harley Race then is next and he enters the ring while The Hart Foundation are beating on Tito Santana and Jake the Snake. Race hits three elbow’s to Robert’s head and then Bret pounds on Santana in the other corner. Neidhart and Race choke out Jake Roberts on the top rope and its amazing hearing the crowd roar for a POSSIBLE ELIMINATION. Some ACTUAL ELIMINATIONS these days don’t even get a reaction. Ventura calls this concept to the match, INTERESTING. It really was and that’s why it’s been around for over twenty years.
One of the Killer Bees runs out, it’s Jumping Jim Brunzell! Jim to the rescue….it’s 3-3 says Ventura who clearly knows the HEEL-Face Scenario and loved showing it off. Bret went through the middle of the ropes despite not hitting the floor McMahon wanted to point out that it still wouldn’t of counted as an elimination. Crowd chanted DDT even though Roberts was being choked out by Neidhart in the corner.
7 men of the 20 had entered, Butch Reed had been the only elimination by Jake Roberts and Sam Houston was then the next man out, the 8th entrant. Houston then went to work on Harley Race who was working over a Killer Bee in the corner. The Crowd chanted for a DDT more and more as Roberts delivered a hard blow to Bret Hart in the corner of the ring. Harley Race was being double teamed in the corner by Houston and Jumping Jim. The Hart Foundation then eliminated Tito Santana who had been in there from the beginning as they both threw him out.
Six men remain and now the 9th entrant comes out and it’s Dangerous Danny Davis in his referee pants and he gets probably the most heat of anyone who had entered on the night, including RICK RUDE! Houston works on Davis on the corner while Jake Roberts nearly eliminated The King. (And I’m talking about Harley Race as he was THE KING during this time) Roberts with a side suplex to Davis and it gets a loud responce. Fans asked for the DDT but Davis weasled out by grabbing onto the bottom rope out of desperation. Bret Hart and Harley Race tried to eliminate Jumping Jim.
Boris the Russian comes out mid-way through the match as the 10th entrant and goes right for Sam Houston. He was favored due to his size and back then you actually thought it was legit as no Rey Mysterio had ever won the Rumble obvioussly. The Hart Foundation double team Jake The Snake. Houston almost eliminated by Boris and Harley Race then head butts him. Every man for himself was kind of shown here as heels attacked heels and faces attacked faces during this two minutes of action. Ventura points out how Bret Hart is still in there and how amazing it is. We saw a lot of moments like this with other wrestlers in most Rumble’s, there usually is at least ONE stand out performance and in the first one it was Bret Hart.
The Rock then comes out next. No, no, not the teenager Dwayne Johnson, he’d of been in school, I’m talking about Don Muraco. He walked out with Nikolai Volkoff and Volkoff who went in the ring was thrown out. The Legal man Muraco stayed in. Then Boris was thrown out of the ring. Seven men still in this match and eight more remain. Houston attempted to throw out Harley Race while Muraco tried to throw out The Anvil. Muraco then got interupted by Harley Race. Bret was showing signs of fatigue by this point in the match.
The next entrant was Volkoff. Volkoff was NOW LEGAL and then Don Muraco and Bret Hart eliminated Harley Race to a loud pop. Muraco then held off both members of the Hart Foundation.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan was the next entrant. Duggan then got a loud ovation as he brawled with all the guys in the ring. Eight men left in the ring as the fans asked for a DDT.
The Outlaw Ron came out next and went to work on The Rock in the corner. Jumping Jim was eliminated while Roberts came off with a shoulder block to the Anvil.
Just as one Killer Bee was eliminated the other one came out and then he picked on Bret Hart who had been on the longest. Vince said that the Killer Bee had no idea Bret started it when Jesse called him out on it then Ventura made McMahon look like an absolute IDIOT, AGAIN. Haha, more greatness from the Body and more of a reason he is the greatest color commentator OF ALL TIME. He might not have been the funniest (Heenan was) but he was definitely the best overall and still could be funny. Speaking of FUNNY, it was Funny how the crowd had chanted for a DDT the` ENTIRE match and still hadn’t seen one.
Hillbilly Jim ran out and then he eliminated Neidhart with a backbody drop to a loud responce. Hillbilly Jim chokes out Dangerous Danny Davis in the corner and McMahon brings up a good point about wondering how well Bret would now be in the ring.
Dino Bravo ran out and then Sam Houston was eliminated by The Outlaw. Bravo with right hands to Muraco in the corner and Roberts stood fatigued in the ring. Bret then cornered The Snake and he had been out there till the eighteenth entrant. Amazing.
The Ultimate Warrior is #18 but he wasn’t over as insanely as he’d become over in the next year or two. He was still over though as the crowd cheered, but then again they cheered for jobbers in this match as well. Bret the Hitman Hart was then finally eliminated by Don Muraco as he grabbed a head of hair and tossed him over the top rope. Bret lasted from # 1 to almost the 2nd last entrant.
The One Man Gang was the next guy out at #19 and had to be considered the favourite. Killer Bees are all out, The Gang eliminates Roberts, and McMahon asks why he picked on Jake, and ventura responds “Because he’s a Snake.” Hilarious and simple.
20th and final entrant is the JYD. The Junkyard Dog runs to the ring and there is ten men left in the ring after all twenty entrants have entered.
Who will win the 1988 Royal Rumble? It’s down to the JYD, The Outlaw, Davis, The Warrior, Volkoff, Hillbilly Jim, Duggan, Muraco, Bravo and The One Man Gang who was the 19th entrant.
Hillbilly Jim was then eliminated by The One Man Gang after Hacksaw Jim Duggan eliminated Volkoff. Warrior was eliminated by two men, The Dogg was eliminated, Davis was eliminated.
The Final Four were Hacksaw, Bravo, The Gang and Muraco.
One Man Gang crushed Hacksaw in the corner and then The Rock tried to keep away from Muraco and Bravo, but then Don Muraco attacked Bravo. Muraco drop kicked Frenchie off the apron and then Bravo stomped on him while Muraco was on the canvas. Bravo then held Muraco up and he got clotheslined by The One Man Gang who eliminated him with a simple clothesline and Muraco fell ever so slowly out of the ring.
Two on one now with the final three.
Duggan attacked and was beaten on by Bravo and Gang as they hit him with a bunch of blows and then a double clothesline. One Man Gang goes to hit a clothesline on Hacksaw Jim Duggan but he ducks and Bravo is eliminated with a clothesline.
Gang then is attacked by Hacksaw as the fans cheer but Gang comes off the side ropes with a splashing forearm to the back of Hacksaw. Gang chokes out Duggan on the top rope but the fans chant for Duggan, god knows why. I never liked Duggan. Ever.
Gang charged towards Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Hacksaw lifted the top rope down so The One Man Gang would stumble over the top rope and to the outside which he did. A very intelligent and believable/unique elimination for Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan won the Royal Rumble at 33:02.
Was this Rumble match GREAT? No. It wasn’t bad either, and it was pretty good as we saw a lot of unique concepts for the first time and reviewing it made it seem much better then I remembered it being before in all honesty.
My feelings on who won the match couldn’t have been stated better then by Jesse “The Body” Ventura and they were….. “OF all the guys to win this match, It’s HIM?” The pure disgust when Jesse says the two words “It’s HIM!?” Is golden. I love it.
4) Main Event- The Islanders (Haku and Tama) VS The Young Stallions (Paul Roma and Jim Powers) in a Two out of three falls tag team match
Don’t ask me why this STANDARD tag match between two mediocre tag teams went on last.
Tama then with a rake to the face of Powers until he turns the tide and hits some forearms to Tama. Marella held back Powers and then Tama and Powers circled around each other and then Tama asked for a handshake, even went to the point of getting on his knees asking for Powers to shake hands but he didn’t, then Tama went and argued with the crowd for more heel heat.
Vince calls the Dino Bravo Bench Press from earlier in the night both DULL and BORING.
Jesse Ventura says if they would of been up there reading Poetry he would of been ecstatic. Again, Ventura is hilarious.
Haku and Roma are tagged in and then Haku hits a shoulder block to Roma. Roma then got an armdrag takedown which was botched but Haku’s strength made up for it. Roma though went back to work on Haku’s arm and then tagged in Powers. Powers and Roma double irishwhipped Haku and hit him with a double team Reverse Elbow. Powers then went back to the arm after a near fall.
With the first fall in The Stallion’s favor Haku was able to tag in Tama. Tama had the speed, Haku had the power. Both Islanders got back in the match quite easily as Tama took the pace away from Roma.
Haku came in and delivered some impact to Powers who had recently been tagged in. The Islanders tried to ground the Stallions.
Paul Roma got tagged in and started cleaning house to re-gain control of the match.
A dropkick to the side of the head by Roma as he caught Haku. Islander Tama came in and then he kicked Roma to the outside in dirty fashion behind the officials back. He sold the knee hard as the crowd booed.
Paul Roma was counted out at 7:00 to give the first fall to The Islanders. Roma was out for almost a minute on the floor and Ventura said that Joey Marella had to use his toes to count to ten. Good stuff.
The Second fall began after Ted Dibiase cut a PROMO to give both men a break and for them to rest Roma’s knee.
The left knee of Roma was taped up and then Islander Haku utilized his strength in smart fashion by taking down his leg. Roma was forced to start this fall because he was in the deciding fall despite being hurt.
Powers though after a minute of punishment was tagged in and SOME fans cheered which is GOOD…I guess.
A nice backbody drop by Powers to Haku and it’s weird seeing Haku without all that hair. I had almost forgot. Powers with a dropkick to Haku and then got a near fall. Powers then hit a vertical suplex to Haku and then the fourth pinning attempt on Haku by Powers goes wrong as he kicks out at two.
Powers with a drop kick and then A FIFTH pinning attempt didn’t work as Haku then slammed Powers down. Haku slapped Powers head to the mat and then slapped him in the head which got a good responce. Tama then beat on the head of Powers some more and then he tagged in Haku again. Quick, frequent tags by the Islanders and they double headbut him.
Powers was beaten down to his knee by Haku and then Haku hit a back bodydrop to Powers.
Haku with a slam to the back of Powers and then Tama was tagged in and he hit Roma with a spinning heelkick.
Tama then tagged in Haku and he went back to Powers and hit a standing dropkick. Haku hit a dominating powerbomb and then he put Powers into the Abdominal Stretch. McMahon said it wasn’t over till it was over but Powers looked beaten until he reversed the abdominal stretch, because Roma was also on the apron but with a injured left leg.
Powers looked beaten and then crawled to Roma but Haku with a double axehandle to the back of Powers. Powers then sustained some heavy blows on the back, and then Haku with a heavy chop to Powers. Haku missed a dropkick and Powers then tagged in Roma!
Roma comes in the ring.
Roma then is in there with Haku and they brawl it out despite Roma limping it out.
Only a matter of time till Haku focused on the leg and kicked his leg out of his leg Owen Hart style. Haku tagged in TAMA and he hit Roma’s leg from the top of the ropes with a big splash. Haku then with a halfcrab.
In the end Haku forced Roma to submit with a Single Leg Boston Crab at 14:00 of the match, so the Islanders won the match 2-0 after Haku utilized Roma’s knee injury and made him submit.
Approximately seven minutes for each fall.
Decent story telling with some good moves by The Islanders but they pretty much dominated the match and it was certainly nothing special and SHOULD NOT HAVE CLOSED OUT THE SHOW.
Final Rating for WWF Royal Rumble 1988 = 7/10
This show while only having four matches had the first ever Royal Rumble match which was quite good due to how fun the concept became.
There’s a reason this hour of excitement is still saved for once a year on an annual basis even today. Every other match was GREAT if not fantastic next to the main event but even that was pretty good. If I was to score this PPV out of four matches it would be a 9/10, but looking at it Segment for segment, match for match, and as a PPV or RUMBLE overall, I can’t really justify giving it over a 7, but it was still a GOOD, GOOD event with a lot of quality everywhere you look.
Decent outing for there first time out.