July 5, 1986
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
This week, Hulk Hogan and Paul Orndorff will be guests in the “Flower Shop” and Gene Okerlund will have a special report from Japan.
Gino Carabello & Steve Lombardi vs. Junkyard Dog & George “The Animal” Steele w/ Capt. Lou Albano
Steele clears the ring before the match. Lombardi bounces off of JYD then gets backdropped. He slams Lombardi then uses the crawling headbutts. Carabello comes in and JYD knocks him to the floor. Steele tags and tosses Carabello outside a few times as the crowd is loving this. Steele smushes the turnbuckle stuffing in Carabello’s face then tags JYD who catches him with a powerslam for the win (3:33). After the match, JYD grabs some kids to dance with him as Vince yells for them to “GIT DOWN.” Steele then tells one of the kids to bite the turnbuckle open.
Thoughts: The crowd was red-hot for Steele & JYD here. This could have been because it was the first match of the taping but these two were over and JYD had been gone for several weeks and the pop might have been for that. But both guys were not doing a whole lot here as Steele’s program with Savage has been put on the backburner and JYD was rapidly deteriorating.
WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week’s topic is Randy Savage as they show him cut a promo on Hulk Hogan.
Mario Mancini & S.D. Jones & Don Driggers vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton & Hoss Funk & Jimmy Jack Funk w/ Jimmy Hart
Match starts with S.D. getting the better of Hoss. Jimmy Jack gets slammed as he runs in then Orton comes in only to back off as the heels regroup. Mancini tags and Hoss takes him down with a back suplex and the heels take turns tossing Mancini around. Hoss tosses Mancini to the floor, where Jimmy Jack sends him into the guardrail. The crowd chants for JYD as Driggers tags into the match. Jimmy Jack tags and pins Driggers with a powerslam (2:30). After the match, the Funk’s hogtie Driggers then drag him around the ring as the fans continue to chant for JYD.
Thoughts: The team of Hoss & Jimmy Jack actually got some heat, which is a sign that this is indeed a rabid crowd. Poor Orton was stuck in limbo when Piper left for Hollywood as teaming with these two is considered a step down.
Ken Resnick plugs the “King of the Ring” tournament in Foxboro, MA is with Bruno Sammartino, who talks about Boston area sports radio personality, Eddie Andelman. This was a “feud” to promote the local show as Andelman promised to have a wrestler to take care of Bruno.
Rusty Brooks vs. Billy Jack Haynes
Haynes sends Brooks outside with a kneelift but falls for a cheapshot when he re-enters the ring. We get an insert promo from Muraco in which he wonders who is Billy Jack Haynes. Muraco was pretty funny here. Back to the match as Billy Jack regains control as Vince makes fun of Brooks for being fat. Billy Jack uses another kneelift then hits an inverted atomic drop, setting him up for the full nelson and the win (3:12).
Thoughts: Crowd cooled off during this match except when they taunted Brooks. I never realized how bad Billy Jack was in the ring until I started watching the beginning of his WWF run. He was pretty bad.
Resnick is with Don Muraco as the King of the Ring trophy stands in the background. He asks Muraco about his match against Roddy Piper at the tournament. Muraco said it is a conspiracy that they have to face each other but says that he is the King of the Ring and in the ring, all of the past will be behind them. Piper has yet to be re-introduced on television and has been away for the past two months. Muraco did a good job here.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Eric Cooper
Cooper was a job guy in the Texas territories throughout the 80’s. Jake was getting some cheers here but mostly boos from the crowd. He takes down Cooper with a pair of armdrags but ends up walking into a slam after not paying attention. The crowd chants for Steamboat as Jake beats on Cooper in the corner. He hits a gutbuster as Lanny Poffo is shown in an insert promo reciting a promo about Jake. After a few slams, Jake slaps around Cooper but ducks his head and gets kicked. Cooper fights back but runs into a clothesline then gets hit with a DDT as Jake scores the win (3:06). After the match, Jake dumps the snake on top of Cooper
Thoughts: The snake spot is getting over big right now, with fans either gasping or cheering when it happened. Jake was really awesome in 1986.
The Flower Shop with guests Hulk Hogan and Paul Orndorff. They appear to respond to Bobby Heenan’s challenge to face King Kong Bundy and John Studd. Adonis grills Hogan about not picking up Orndorff’s phone call as Hogan tells him not to stir up any trouble. Hogan accepts the challenge but Orndorff cuts him off and said that they will face Studd & Bundy in two weeks but next week, they will face the Moondogs to show everyone how they can work together as a team. Hogan says he likes that idea as Orndorff says he will show everyone what Mr. Wonderful is all about. Great stuff and the whole angle was a masterpiece.
Vince is Bobby Heenan, who gloats about having Andre the Giant suspended from wrestling then makes fun of Albano for saying that he will take it up with the courts. Vince then introduces us to a video of Okerlund in Japan as he is with the Super Machine and the Giant Machine. its very obvious that the Giant Machine is Andre the Giant. Super Machine is the Masked Superstar (Bill Eadie) who talks about how it is an honor that they will be coming to America. Super Machine says that their advisor in Japan has spoken with Capt. Lou Albano and he will take care of them. Gene points out that Giant Machine’s voice sounds familiar. This was an unbelievably corny segment. When they come back from the video, Heenan is enraged and yells that is Andre the Giant and how he is not an idiot and will not be made to look like a fool. That was an attempt to salvage the segment but the whole presentation of the Machines, like Eadie pretending to speak English like he was a foreigner, came off terribly and it was obvious to everyone that was Andre the Giant.
Jack Kruger & Roger Kirby vs. Killer Bees
The Bees have new music but do not come out wearing the masks. Brunzell starts out with Kruger and counters a monkey flip attempt with a bridge then works the arm. Vince says that next week the Moondogs will face Orndorff & Hogan and notes how Hogan seemed surprised by Orndorff’s actions. Blair monkey flips Kirby out from the corner and the Bees take turns working on Kirby as the announcers talk about how Andre the Giant seemed like he was the Giant Machine. Kruger tags and takes down Blair with a dropkick. Kriby tags back into the match and ends up sending Blair to the floor. Kruger boots Blair from the apron then the Bees duck underneath the ring and put on masks as their opponents are confused. All four men are in the ring and the Bees put Kirby away with a dropkick after an atomic drop (5:14).
Thoughts: Long but solid match but more of a backdrop for the announcers to put over the Machines and Hogan/Orndorff angles. The “masked confusion” gimmick by the Bees got over a bit and the fact that they had similar builds helped. As far as jobbers are concerned, Kruger was a solid worker. In fact, both Kruger and Kirby used to team as “The Sheiks” in the Central States territory and even held the belts on a few occasions. Kruger would go on to become a referee in the WWF and I believe after that he drove the truck’s for the company until leaving.
Resnick is with the Dream Team who cut a promo behind a steel fence to hype their steel cage match against the British Bulldogs at the “King of the Ring” show. Beefcake demonstrates what he will do to the Bulldogs by grinding a cabbage head against the fence.
Next week, Hogan & Orndorff will face the Moondogs. Also, Okerlund will have another special report from Japan as the announcers speculate that the Giant Machine could be Giant Baba (yeah, right).
Final Thoughts: This was one of the most eventful editions in the history of Champion Wrestling. The Flower Shop segment was classic and even though the Machines angle ended up flopping, it was still big news at the time. We got to see Jake Roberts and the return of JYD too, which depending on your taste, is either a good or a bad thing. The fans who got to sit through this taping, which was this show and the next two, got to witness one of the better heel turns in wrestling history.