Coming to the end of July ’88 as the Midnight Express/Horsemen feud starts to really heat up.
Hosts are Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross and David Crockett.
Rock & Roll Express vs. Agent Steele and Gary Phelps
Boogie Woogie Street is actually left in rather than being overdubbed with the music that’s been used since they were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Steele takes a beating while Ricky blows a kiss at Phelps. Phelps comes in and get literally walked all over by Morton. They are actually using heel tactics while playing to the fans, which is fun. Double dropkick finishes. 1/1.
Interview with Ricky and Robert at ringside. They don’t care who wins between the MX and the Horsemen, they’ll just pick the bones of whoever’s left. If only. Ricky does all the talking while Robert just stands there.
Steve Williams vs. David Isley
Isley actually has the nerve to hit Doc while he’s working over him, so he gives him a stern glare. Camera and video quality of these episodes is excellent, with little details easy to pick out. JR talking about Williams’ youth (28) is funny when he permanently looked 45. Football tackle and Stampede finishes. 2/2.
Interview with Dr. Death regarding his recent history with Mike Rotunda, with him fumbling his lines from the beginning. He questions the Varsity Club’s varsity credentials after their recent attack on him, then just finishes and walks off.
Ron Garvin & Barry Windham vs. Dale Lapeyrouse & Tommy Angel
US tag team champs from ’87 reunited as heels. Garvin mauls the jobbers while JR recounts an imaginary conversation where he had to walk off from Ron because he was too money-obsessed. He must not talk to too many wrestlers, then. Windham powerslams Lapeyrouse and dumps him, then hits Angel while he waits for him to return. Superplex then sets up the knockout punch for Garvin to win. Windham made a good decision when he switched to that as his finisher rather than the claw. Garvin’s actually not happy with the precision of the first one, which doesn’t even touch, so gets him back up for a second one. 3/3.
Interview after the match with Barry, Ron and JJ Dillon, with David bringing up that their US tag team championship reign and annoying JJ, who pushes him off and takes over the interview himself. Even Garvin was amused by that! Gary Hart and Lou Perez show up late, with Gary ready to start knocking Dusty Rhodes before they cut to a prior interview where Rhodes returned to beat up Hart and send a message to Garvin.
The contracts have now been signed for the Midnight Express to face the Horsemen, so we get thrown to a match from the B-show.
The Midnight Express vs. Tommy Angel & Larry Stephens
Stan takes Stephens down with his hooking clothesline and then demonstrates his white guy karate on Angel. Assisted back elbow on Stephens. After a bump outside he tries a sunset flip in, but Bobby elbows him as he tries to spring in in a nice inversion of that and the Rocket Launcher, which Bobby almost overshoots, for the pinfall. 4/4.
Corny and the Express join Bob Caudle for a ringside interview, but JJ Dillon heads out before he can get into full funk, sarcastically talking about how benevolent it was of JJ to sign the contracts for the title match. JJ plays it off like a joke that’s gone just a little bit too far. Arn joins the conversation a bit more aggressively, telling them to stay in their own lane, which Stan responds to as offended. Tully cuts him off and starts making Bobby a whipping boy, shoving him and talking about how he can’t even talk properly, which Bobby finally gets pissed off with and tells him to keep his hands to himself (Tully: “SPEAK ENGLISH!”). Really good bit with everyone starting off nice and letting it devolve from there.
Interview with Ric Flair ahead of the rematches with Lex Luger. As the rest of the Horsemen join him, he recounts a story about how twenty girls late last night saw them walk in and went “The boys are back in town!”. An hour later: “Slow down, you’re moving TOO fast!”. Gotta love the Nature Boy! JJ can’t top that, so just talks about what he’s going to do with Corny’s tennis racket, making him look like a Watusi warrior. Arn cuts in with his gripes on Bobby, who he always had to bring girls to the table for because he had no sense to ask them himself, then cuts the classic line on Stan about how “He’s chased women so long that he’s become one of them!”.
Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs. Trent Knight & JC Wylde
Tully attacks both early, leaving Knight in the ring. Arn comes in and gets his stiff DDT on Knight again as a transition. Wylde tags in and goes out, so JJ rolls him back in. Arn gets the spinebuster and another DDT on JC. Tully finishes with the slingshot suplex. 5/5.
Interview with Lex Luger with the girls screaming and the guys booing. Lex talks about how the girls are all after Flair for his wallets, because his looks aren’t up to much. It’s not about the money for Lex, he says, as I almost do a spit-take.
Sting vs. Rick Allen
Been impressed with how Allen was a decent size and had a decent look. For reference, he’s not the same Rick Allen that became Sunny Beach in the UWF. Look aside, he’s a bit lifeless with his selling. Stinger Splash and Scorpion Deathlock finish quick, as soon as Allen has got the message to roll over with the Stinger. 5/6.
Interview with Sting, targeting Barry Windham and trying to get an impersonation in of Blackjack Mulligan and then howling as loudly in David Crockett’s ear as possible to wind him up.
The Fantastics vs. Mike Jackson & Larry Stephens
Handshakes between Bobby and Jackson to start. Jackson whiffs on a dropkick, with Bobby hitting his and Tommy joining him for a double headbutt. Stephens comes in and Rogers flips out of the way on a backdrop attempt, bringing Bobby back in to succeed on that front. Stephens, as the lowest man on the totem pole, takes the majority of the beating. JR shoehorns in the mandatory reference about how Jackson is the Alabama junior heavyweight champion. Assisted splash (gorilla press launch) finishes the match.
With a minute left, David speaks to Bobby and Tommy, with Bobby rushing in about teaming with the Rock & Roll Express to end the Horsemen. Tommy and his all over tan gives a shout out to the now deceased Dusty Hill.
The Meltdown: Things are getting a whole lot more tense between the Horsemen and the Midnights, pressing everyone to be on top of their promo game, with Arn being the one who’s spitting fire this week.