WWF Madison Square Garden May 19th, 1986

May 19, 1986
Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

Tiger Chung Lee vs. “Leaping” Lanny Poffo
Lanny works the arm then shows off his agility before hitting a dropkick. Lanny goes back to working the arm for a while as Gorilla is impressed that all sorts of Asians are competing in the WWF. Lee chops down Poffo before hitting him with a pair of gutbusters. Lee lands some awful chops before hitting yet another gutbuster. Poffo fights back as Lee is on his knees begging for mercy. He is gassed too. Poffo hammers away on Lee in the corner for a bit. Lee comes back and beats on Poffo but misses a charge in the corner in a terrible looking spot as Lee paused before bumping. Poffo fights back then grabs a chinlock as the crowd starts to shit on this match. Lee is chopping Poffo against the ropes in the slowest manner possible until Poffo comes back with a mule kick. Lee comes back and beats on Poffo some more. Dropkick gets two. Lee then sends Poffo to the floor then brings him in and roughs him up for a bit. Poffo fights back and sends Lee upside down in the corner. Bcakdrop gets two. Poffo charges and Lee sends him to the floor. Back inside, Lee slams Poffo but ends up getting tossed off of the top rope. Poffo misses a splash but reverses an Irish whip and hits a hurricarana for the win (11:19) ¼*.
Thoughts: Oh, this was one shitty way to start off a show. Lee was blown up a few minutes into the match and everything he did look terrible. Lanny busting out the hurricarana was cool, especially for 1986, and really that was the only thing good about this match.
S.D. Jones vs. Brett “The Hitman” Hart
Gorilla tosses out the “this match can main event anywhere” line right off the bat. Match starts with Hart trying to psych out the referee and S.D. It’s the opposite of thrilling, really. Hart briefly works the arm then catches S.D. with an inverted atomic drop then taunts the crowd, showing some personality for basically the first time in the WWF. Hart then puts SD in a chinlock for a while as a few in the crowd chant “boring.” Hart takes down S.D. then kicks him out of the ring. Back inside, S.D. knocks down Hart with a headbutt but eats boot on a charge in a telegraphed spot. Hart drops an elbow from the second rope and that gets two. S.D. uses an eye poke as Hart begs for mercy in the corner. S.D. dances around before firing away at Hart. He then takes him out of the corner with a hiptoss and hits a shoulderblock. S.D. charges at Hart but gets caught with a backbreaker and Hart covers for the win (10:15) *1/2.
Thoughts: A must-see for fans of restholds. Brett showed a bit of personality here at least. I am almost positive that this was the result of B. Brian Blair’s injury, which had he been healthy would have at least given us the Killer Bees vs. Hart Foundation.
Sivi Afi vs. Hercules Hernandez w/ Freddie Blassie
Hercules shows off his power by shoving around Afi. Herc then stalls after Afi lands a few punches. Herc ducks outside then goes back in to work a headlock as Blassie is yelling to Monsoon. Afi comes back with dropkicks and armdrags but Herc kills him with a back suplex then distracts the ref so Blassie can ram Afi in the back with his cane. Herc drops Afi on the ropes then works a headlock on the mat. Afi fights out but runs into a clothesline and Herc covers for a nearfall then goes right back to the headlock. A loud “boring” chant breaks out then Afi fights out and gets two off of a sunset flip. Herc hammers away then uses a reverse chinlock. Again, Afi fights out then catches Hercules with an atomic drop and I am pretty sure Herc iced his balls immediately backstage due to that move. Afi uses the momentum of Hercules to take him outside then hits him with a crossbody off of the top rope that woke up the crowd and nearly gave Lord Alfred a heart attack. Back inside, Afi gets a nearfall with a falling headbutt as the crowd is still going nuts. Afi heads up top and hits Hercules with a crossbody but Herc rolls through the move and grabs onto the tights for the win (13:07) *1/4.
Thoughts: It picked up a bit at the end but everything else was dreadful. Afi wasn’t bad at all in the ring but he flopped so badly in his TV debut (if you think Adam Rose’s debut sucked, he has nothing on Afi, who was booed out of the building as the fans rejected him as a Snuka knock-off. The crowd went nuts for his crossbody to the floor spot.
The crowd shows New York Yankees stars Dave Winfield and Dave Righetti in the crowd.
Nikolai Volkoff w/ Freddie Blassie vs. Corporal Kirchner
Kirchner wins a slugfest to start. Small package gets two. Kirchner hits a dropkick but Nikolai rakes the eyes then beats on Kirchner in the corner. Blassie rams Kirchner with his cane then Nikolai goes back to work. Nikolai keeps working a bearhug then knocks Kirchner down with a shoulderblock. Kirchner manages a reverse rollup but Nikolai puts him in a bow and arrow lock. Kirchner fights back and hits an atomic drop before putting Nikolai in a Boston Crab. Kirchner whiffs on a dropkick and Nikolai goes right back to work. Double underhook suplex gets two. Gutwrench suplex gets two. Kirchner gets Nikolai over with a sunset flip then goes to work on the knee. The fans start a “USA” chant as the wrestlers stall for a bit, mostly because Nikolai is gassed. Nikolai hits Kirchner with a spin kick then headbutts him down. Kirchner dodges a charge in the corner and tries for a Samoan drop but Nikolai holds on to the ropes and escapes. Back elbow smash gets two for Kirchner. He charges but Nikolai puts up his knees then rolls up Kirchner while holding the ropes for leverage and gets the win (11:30) *1/4. After the match, Kirchner chokes out Nikolai then sends him over the top rope with a dropkick.
Thoughts: Kirchner tried but Nikolai was awful tonight. This feud continued, sadly.
Gorilla Monsoon is backstage with Dave Righetti and Dave Winfield. Righetti notes how Ron Darling is not here tonight as Bundy and Heenan come out, with Heenan joking that it’s Little League camp and forgets Dave Righetti’s name then some guy claiming that he is the manager for the baseball players and this ends with them challenging the American League East. Fun for Yankee’s fans.
Monsoon is with Ricky Steamboat. He says that Roberts taught him a lesson after he turned his back on him but that will be the only mistake that he will make.
Special Guest Referee: Bruno Sammartino
WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Elizabeth (Champion) vs. Tito Santana
The match starts with both guys jockeying for position then Savage bails as the crowd boos. Savage stalls outside then comes back in as Tito gains the upper hand then ducks back outside and uses Elizabeth as a shield. The crowd is jacked as Tito works the arm. Savage gets knocked to the floor with an elbow smash then takes his time getting back in the ring. They trade armdrags then Randy starts yelling at Bruno, who yells right back. Savage snaps Tito’s neck off of the middle rope then hits a double axe handle off of the top rope. Savage takes Tito back down with a running knee smash then covers for two. Tito tries to fight out of a headlock but Savage yanks him down by the hair. Savage gets pissed at Bruno for taking his time counting then puts Tito in a chinlock. Tito fights back but Savage tosses him to the floor and follows him out with a top rope double axe handle. Savage sneaks around the ring to knock and attacks Tito then takes the action back inside of the ring. Bruno takes his time counting as Savage made a pin attempt then both men are down after colliding. Savage is up first and goes for another double axe handle but Tito catches him with a shot in the midsection. He then sends Savage to the floor with a kneelift and shoves him back in the ring to inflict more punishment. Tito backdrops Savage and goes for the figure four but Savage frantically crawls to the ropes. Tito eats boot on a charge but comes back with a small package for two. Tito slugs away and takes him down with a forearm smash. Savage escapes another figure four attempt as this crowd really wants Tito to win this match. Savage comes back with a suplex for two. Tito blocks an atomic drop and turns it into a figure four as the crowd is going out of their minds but Adrian Adonis, wearing a blond wig, runs in and attacks Tito for the DQ (13:25) ***1/2. Adonis knocks down Bruno then goes to beat on Tito but walks into a slam by Bruno. Savage attacks Bruno from behind then he and Adonis attack Bruno until Tito chases them away with a chair.
Thoughts: Fun match. Savage was tremendous in working the crowd too. He put on a clinic and always saved his best stuff for the bigger shows. Tito remains a crowd favorite and MSG nearly erupted when he applied the figure four and would have gone crazier if he won. They even got a way to hype a big match for next month’s show too.
“Mr. USA” Tony Atlas vs. King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan
Atlas is sporting black tights tonight. Bundy shoves Atlas into the corner to start. Bundy then works a side headlock then they have a miscommunication spot as Atlas falls on top of Bundy. Atlas staggers Bundy with a headbutt and goes to work on the arm but ends up running into an elbow smash. Bundy beats on Atlas then slows things down further with a chinlock. Atlas finally escapes then avoids a splash as my tape loses audio. Bundy eats boot on a charge then Atlas takes him down with a flying headbutt. He goes for a splash but Bundy gets his knees up then puts Atlas away with an elbow drop (8:05) DUD.
Thoughts: Awful match. Atlas was just about done with the WWF at this point due to his drug habit and Bundy was really just a generic big guy. These two had zero chemistry together.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
The match starts with a brawl at ringside. Jake catches Steamboat with a kneelift as he enters the ring and goes to work. Steamboat escapes for a DDT attempt and hits a suplex then has to get pulled off of Roberts, which has the crowd and the announcers pissed. Roberts comes back in and catches Steamboat with a shot in the jaw after a fast paced sequence. Jake blocks a sunset flip attempt then hits an inverted atomic drop. Jake is talking to Steamboat as he hits him in the face then tells him to get up. Jake reaches for the snake but notices Steamboat getting up so he runs over and ends up getting his leg kicked out from underneath him. Steamboat hits a pair of swinging neckbreakers but Jake got his knees up on a splash attempt. Jake tosses Steamboat over the top rope, who lands on the apron before getting knocked down. Jake signals that he is going to DDT Steamboat on the floor again but Steamboat rams him into the apron then into the ceiling. In the ring, Steamboat busts open Jake with a flying chop then attacks the cut until the referee stops him. Jake beats on Steamboat in the corner then yells at the ref. Steamboat boots Jake down, who knocks over the ref in the process, and the ref calls for the bell as Steamboat is pounding on Jake (7:36) ***. All of the midcarders in the locker room come out to break up the fight and struggle to keep them separated and the brawling continues all the way to the locker room as the match is announced as a double disqualification. Steamboat then comes back to the ring to show the fans that he is okay and they applaud. 
Thoughts: Good stuff as they have made a hot, new midcard feud. In 1986, Jake looked so good in the ring, moving around fluidly and quick. That was not the case a few years later. Jake was really starting to get over with the crowds too.
Howard Finkel introduces Sammy Hagar to the crowd. He comes into the ring and struggles to roll inside then asks the crowd how they are doing. Sammy looked pretty fucked up here.
“Golden Boy” Danny Spivey vs. Paul Christy
Spivey works a headlock to start the match. They work a criss-cross spot that ends with Spivey stomping Christy. Spivey wrenches Christy’s neck then pie-faces him down. Christy comes back with some basic heel offense before tossing Spivey to the floor. He celebrates that achievement but Spivey comes in and goes to work. Elbow drop gets two then shortly after that, Spivey finishes him off with a bulldog (3:14) 1/4*.
Thoughts: A useless, but quick match. Spivey was floundering here and Christy was just a jobber but with this match, it seemed like they were trying to give Spivey a minor push.
Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart vs. “Jumping” Jim Brunzell
The announcers put over Brunzell’s dropkick. Anvil works a headlock for a bit. Brunzell takes the Anvil down and grapevines the legs. Anvil makes it to the ropes then ducks outside for a breather. He comes back inside and knocks Brunzell through the ropes with a forearm smash then knocks him off of the apron. Lots of “boring” chants in the crowd for this match. Brunzell drags Anvil outside and they slug it out until Brunzell sends him into the post. Back inside, Brunzell works a hammerlock and that does nothing to stop the boring chants. Brunzell hits a crossbody for two then goes back to the hammerlock as the announcers talk about the Anvil’s football career. Anvil catches Brunzell with an inverted atomic drop then starts to bite and gauge Brunzell, who is able to roll outside. Back inside, Brunzell gets a small package but Anvil immediately grabs a chinlock. The crowd is going restless as this is fucking dragging badly. Anvil catches Brunzell with a throat thrust after a leapfrog then goes back to the chinlock as the crowd is getting restless. Brunzell catches Anvil with a sleeper but gets rammed into the corner. Anvil works a front facelock but Brunzell escapes and goes to work on the leg. He rams the Anvil’s knee against the post then locks on a figure four. Brunzell breaks the hold and chokes out the Anvil in the corner but ends up running into a clothesline that gets two. The crowd actually booed when the match didn’t end. Both men collide and are down as the crowd just wants this to end. Brunzell tries to slam the Anvil but fails and Anvil covers for two. Brunzell dropkicks the Anvil and covers but the bell rings as the match has reached the 20 minute time-limit (20:00) ¾*.  
Thoughts: A painful match to watch. Anvil was terrible here and the crowd shit all over the match.
WWF Tag Team Title Match
British Bulldogs (Champions) w/ Capt. Lou Albano vs. The Dream Team w/ Johnny Valiant
Davey and Beefcake start off, with Davey getting the upper hand. He slams Brutus, who asks for time in the corner. Valiant is on commentary as the Bulldogs take turns working the arm of Beefcake. Valentine tags in and hits Davey with an elbow smash. Shoulderbreker gets two. Valentine works the arm then chops Davey in the corner but walks into a clothesline. Dynamite tags and he beats on Valentine for a bit. He tries for a snap suplex but Valentine blocks that and takes control of the match. The Dream Team uses quick tags to isolate Dynamite. Beefcake gets two off of a backbreaker then tags Valentine, who beats on Dynamite in the corner. Dynamite gets cut off as he tries to make the tag then Valentine knocks Davey off of the apron. Beefcake tags and hits a delayed vertical suplex but Beefcake also sells his neck and Dynamite makes the tag to Davey, who cleans house. He powerslams Beefcake but Valentine breaks up the pin then the match breaks down. Valentine tags and hits a suplex but misses a pair of elbow drops then Dynamite tags and unloads on Valentine. He gets nearfalls with a falling headbutt and a clothesline but Valentine shoves him into the corner. He puts Dynamite in the figure four but Davey breaks it up. Valentine drops an elbow and the ref counts to three as Valiant held Dynamite’s legs. The bell rings and Valentine thinks he has won the match then Dynamite rolls him up from behind and the ref counts to three for the win as he apparently waved off the first pin due to interference. (11:54) **1/2.
Thoughts: Solid match. Valentine did most of the work and that is a good thing .The finish was really, really lame though. Other than that, a fun way to send the crowd home happy.
Final Thoughts: A few decent matches but everything else was pretty much terrible. There was not a whole lot of feuds going on at this time but that would luckily change in a couple of months. I would check this out if you were a big fan of Savage but you could probably seek that out individually.