#144 – Rick Rude vs Jake Roberts, October 29th, 1988, Saturday Night’s Main Event

On this week’s episode Dre and the Black Cat discuss a classic WWF angle from the late 80s involving Rick Rude and Jake Roberts and the big match from Saturday Night’s Main Event from October 1988. Please support the Old School Wrestling Podcast by visiting oldschoolwrestlingpodcast.com where you can find links to all of our great products. We now offer all of our box sets and bonus episodes from all three seasons on our premium digital download site. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you…..at the matches!


  1. Joe From Big Bean says:

    Correction about “ECW It Ain’t Seinfeld” it was NOT from the world famous ECW Arena, but it was at the Elks Lodge in Queens, New York City! Also the same night as Taz proclaim himself the FTW World Heavyweight Champion.

  2. left handed cigarette says:

    I was watching the crapburger known as WWE Fast Lane while listening to the podcast when I realized I’d rather listen to two knuckleheads-no offense-talk about old wrestling than watch the current product. Theres no fair comparison from then to now but the art of storytelling has turned into the art of selling Mountain Dew or whatever product is proudly bringing us this short attention span theater.

  3. left handed cigarette says:

    I meant knucklehead in the best way possible like the Academy award winning film Knucklehead starring noted thespian Paul The Big Show Wight.

  4. left handed cigarette says:

    Quick 1,2,3: Santino Marella the Milan Miracle,ECW invades Raw-Sandman,Dreamer,Tazz interfere in a Savio Vega-Davey Boy Smith match and more,Mad Dog Vachon gets his artificial leg pulled off by Diesel at In Your House 7.

  5. Dan Rackley says:

    What you guys said about certain wrestlers being able to invoke a reaction brought back a memory from when I was younger. My grandfather on my dad’s side of the family lived in North Carolina and we would go visit for weeks at a time during the summer. Knowing I was a wrestling fan, he would sit down and watch the syndicated WWF shows with me.

    Anyway, this was a man in his seventies who by that point had to know that everything was a work. He would regularly tell me about how guys like the Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Snuka really planned their matches out and how they would sit and eat with each other backstage. He would take watching the matches no different than if he was watching any other television show.

    However, when Rick Rude would come on the screen no matter where the remote control was in the living room he would scramble for it to hit the mute button. When I would ask him why he would hit the mute button he would tell me, “Dan that’s the one of these guys I hate for real.” All because of what he said. He didn’t mind it when he wrestled, just when he grabbed for the microphone you could see the old man want to reach through the television and strangle the shit out of Rick Rude.

  6. Earthdog says:

    I am looking forward to the OSWP all pro wrestler adaption of Glengarry Glen Ross. I would pay to see that as a stage show.

    • Siskey says:

      I think its impossible because it would require a young Flair to play the Alec Baldwin part while simultaneously an old Flair played the Jack Lemmon role. It could be done using David as a stand in but we have all suffered enough from his appearances to suffer again.

  7. Siskey says:

    Guys, this is why I am a enormous OSWP fan. I have listened to every episode and have even bought 2 gimmicks (in a Stone Cold voice) from you.

    I am 36 years old and became a wrestling fan at a very young age watching every week on Channel 17 (TBS) here in Georgia. As I got older and cable came to our town I became a huge fan. Catching TBS every Saturday night and WWF on USA on Wednesdays. I slowly aged out of wrestling as “Doink” and “Yokozuna” replaced the prior generation of WWF stars and as I became aware that practice wrestling on my trampoline was not going to help me get any dates to any dances.

    I got back into wrestling during the “Attitude” era and NWO days in the late 90s. I have not watched RAW or Smackdown in their entirety since 2000-2001 but I listen to your podcast to remind me of how awesome I once thought it was. I am also very into hearing people discuss something/ anything with enthusiasm and you two are the best at imparting your enthusiasm about old wrestling shows and wrestlers. It is great to hear and please keep it up.

    I know that you have talked about Muta vs Arn Anderson a little before as it pertained to a Clash or WCW pay-per-view but I would really enjoy a more detailed discussion of the run they had for the TV belt in 1989-1990. I remember these matches as being the best thing WCW was doing in these days and I can almost see my old 13″ tv and Bo Jackson poster as I recall.

    Keep up the great work and look forward to the next one.

  8. Brutus the Turtle Cheesecake says:

    Great episode for a great match. Two observations –

    1. It was a bold choice to open a prime time show, geared toward children, with an extreme close up of Rick Rude’s girating airbrushed crotch.

    2. Apparently Bobby Heenan can leap over the top rope like star-trunked era Macho Man when needed.

  9. Baron von Rashy says:

    Excellent observations about Jake Roberts and him being just as popular without a belt as with it.

    80s WWF Jake Roberts is in my opinion the most fascinating character that wrestling has ever seen. Every wrestling character needs to have a reason for existing. Most wrestlers want to win titles. Some heels want a legal way to hurt and cripple people. Some have a political agenda like Volkoff or Iron Sheik. Ted DiBiase was the embodiment of unbridled 80s greed. Hogan the the embodiment of 80s jingoistic American sentiment.

    But while holding a title would be the ultimate vindication for, say, Volkoff’s espousal of communism, Roberts seemed to exist on an entirely different level. I would go as far to say putting a belt on Roberts would have hurt his character and by extension, his career.

    Roberts’ WWF character struck me as a fallen angel, banished to the Earth, his only companion a snake, a biblical metaphor for the devil. He is evil but overcomes that and atones for his wrongdoing by battling the wrestling embodiment of various sins. Rick Rude as lust. Andre the Giant as envy (Andre’s heel turn was due to his jealousy of Hogan’s success). Ted DiBiase as greed. While most wrestlers shouted their promos into the camera, Roberts had a world-weary and measured response to his opponents, as if he already knew the outcome. Titles would not have mattered to this guy as it seemed he was fighting for something far more important.

    As the real Jake Roberts was battling his share of personal demons, I wonder how much that played into this character?

  10. Captain Lou's Rubber Bands says:

    Best Plants: How about Hillbilly Jim, who became the Hulkster’s buddy?

  11. RingRIder says:

    Hey guys,

    Loved this episode– great feud!

    Listening to your list of Jake Robert’s feuds, you missed a key one with Rick “The Model” Martel. In case you don’t recall the story:

    Martel blinded Roberts with his personally scented cologne: Arrogance. Arrogance was awesome because he used this giant spray can/wand thing.

    Anyway, the feud culminated at Wrestlemania 7 in a rather infamous “Blindfold” match which Jake calls the easiest match of his career because of it’s total lack of bumps. Ha! I’d love to hear you guys break that one down sometime.

  12. davetro223 says:

    Another big Jake feud that was forgotten about before his heel turn was the Earthquake feud. Earthquake squashed Damian and forced Jake to get the snake that would become known as Lucifer.

  13. It’s been mentioned in a post above, but one of my favorite feuds of my childhood was Jake vs Rick The Model Martel. Martel sprayed Jake in the eyes with his Arrogance cologne (which came in the type of container normally used to spray for bugs in a shitty apartment), culminating in an epic blindfold match at WrestleMania. That was one of my favorite matches as a kid.

    Martel was so good as “The Model”. I would love to hear your guys’ opinions of him in this role. Obviously he was not so great as white-meat babyface Rick Martel. Was it Martel who famously called some jabroni (possibly Chico Santana) a “Loose – er”?

    One comment on Rick Rude. In some of his early WWF stuff, most notably with Warrior, he looked so dangerously, grossly skinny, despite being so jacked. Somehow when he went to WCW it looked like his body widened somehow, and he looked a lot healthier. Maybe it was the giant perm that dwarfed his body and made him look like a jacked Angelina Love, but I always thought he looked anorexic while still being all roided up. Maybe it’s just me.

  14. jamey says:

    Great job guys, I was listening to the roddy piper podcast which is my 2nd favorite behind yours. He was talking about midget throwing and it reminded me of a great match for you guys to use on your show. Its a midget match between Little Tokyo & Lord Littlebrook vs. Karate Kid & Pepe Gomez. it can be found on the best of the wwf vol 11 but I was able to google it and find it online. You guys will not disapointed.

  15. SpecialGuestReferee says:

    Can we all just agree that during the intro music when the laser noises kick in, we’re all faking shooting a gun with our thumb and index finger.

  16. Bobby's Brainscan (Formerly IanEvs79) says:

    Is it just me, or is Hulk Hogan starting to sound like a mix between The Macho Claus and Stone Cold? 😉

    • Bobby's Brainscan (Formerly IanEvs79) says:

      Doh. This was supposed to go on the WWWF Madison Square Garden thread!

  17. Bobby's Brainscan (Formerly IanEvs79) says:

    One rivalry that I can remember, which you didn’t mention was between Jake and Rik Martel, which of course included the infamous blindfold match. That was another set of matches that got over quite well.

    I was in the US on holiday when the Seinfeld finale aired, and I just remember that everyone was talking about it. In the UK, it hardly registered and never really became popular (It normally aired 6 months after the US at about 11pm at night. The Larry Sanders show then followed it). I loved the show, but as I was on holiday, I didn’t get to watch it when I was there (I think I had a meal in Planet Hollywood).

    Great show guys 🙂