SummerSlam ’88

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Arnold Furious: 1988 was a landmark year for Vince McMahon. Having run off the majority of his rivals over the previous four years, ’88 was the year Jim Crockett called it quits. JCP (Jim Crockett Promotions) had effectively been hobbled by Vince. The WWF had got into PPV first and cornered the market before destroying the JCP PPV’s with counterprogramming. The only time Crockett fought back was scheduling Clash of the Champions the same night as WrestleMania IV. But Vince already had the market. He had the demand and he had the title tournament. So WMIV was a big success and Crockett was essentially finished. Incapable of competing with Vince. To truly compete with Vince McMahon you would need deep pockets. Because Vince was all in, with phenomenal business sense and a huge set of balls. So Crockett was on the verge and looking for a buyer. With the PPV business creating big money for the WWF, Vince expanded his income by creating SummerSlam, a PPV to sit between his existing two PPV events (WrestleMania in spring and Survivor Series at Thanksgiving) and an opportunity to blow off some of his big post-Mania feuds. We’re in Madison Square Garden, New York City. Hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Superstar Billy Graham. Ventura is refereeing the main event so is unable to do double duty. Graham isn’t Ventura and I’d rather they’d got Bobby Heenan to do it, but he’s equally busy.

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