November 29, 1986
From the Joyce Athletic & Convocation Center in South Bend, IN
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and Vince McMahon
Tonight’s featured match will be the Hart Foundation vs. British Bulldogs in a non-title bout. Also, Danny Spivey returns from injury and will be in action with Mike Rotundo. Plus, Butch Reed is here and we will get an update on the condition of Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat.
First, we get a special interview via satellite from London, England. Its conducted by some guy named Gary Davie who informs us that WWF President Jack Tunney as overturned the suspension of Andre the Giant. Andre himself comes out and says that he will be back and is happy to return. Andre said that he would not say what he has been doing during his suspension.
King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan vs. “Leaping” Lanny Poffo
Poffo gets two off of a crossbody then takes Race down with an armdrag. Race catches Poffo with a high knee smash then hits a belly-to-belly suplex as Jesse cannot believe that Andre is back. Race then hits Poffo with the cradle suplex for the win (1:32).
Thoughts: Despite the push, it was still sad to see the legendary Race flop in this role. Not even Heenan could get this gimmick over.
WWF Update with Gene Okerlund, who looks incredibly hungover. The guy appears to be in complete and utter agony here. He then talks about Ricky Steamboat’s injury and talks with his wife over the phone. She hints at her husband possibly having to retire due to the injuries and how he is not handling the fact that he is unable to speak. Okerlund promises that we will get an update from doctors about Steamboat’s condition later in the show.
Jesse is backstage with Mike Rotundo, who welcomes back Danny Spivey. They challenge Jesse, who thought that Spivey would never be able to return to action.
U.S. Express vs. Dave Wagner & Rick Renslow
Renslow catches Rotundo with a hiptoss but misses an elbow drop and Rotundo takes control. Spivey tags and gets a small reaction as he elbows Renslow in the face. He slams him down then follows with a slingshot splash for two. They hit Renslow with a double dropkick then Wagner tags and he gets double-teamed briefly until Spivey finishes him off with a bulldog (2:15). The crowd gave them a big ovation after the win.
Thoughts: The crowd was really into Spivey returning. They played it up a bit for the past several weeks too and it paid off.
Ken Resnick is with Hulk Hogan who is pumping up while talking about Kamala and how he is squashing little guys and an “Ugandan Creep” and a “Dark Giant.” He then says when they meet at the Boston Garden, they will be in his jungle.
The Honkytonk Man talks about how he went to “fat” Jack Tunney’s office and counted the votes and even after kissing dirty babies and shaking sweaty hands the fans still did not appreciate him. He then tells the fans that he is no longer doing that and will slap babies, hit women, and do a tap dance on the heads of guys he drags into the mean then promises a special announcement for next week. And that is how the Honkytonk Man turned heel.
Bob Boyer vs. Kamala w/ Grand Wizard & Kimchee
Boyer was an old-timer who wrestled in Indianapolis for Dick The Bruiser’s WWA territory under the name “Bobby Bold Eagle.” You can actually see some of his stuff on YouTube filmed in black-and-white footage. Boyer bounces off of Kamala a few times then gets caught with a chop. Kamala slams him down then hits a splash before climbing up top for another splash and gets the win (0:55). After the match, Boyer is taken out on a stretcher as Kamala is stopped by his handler’s from hitting another splash.
Thoughts: Kamala’s opponents would all do stretcher jobs after the match to lead up to his house show run with Hogan, who was finishing up against Orndorff.
Resnick is with the Junkyard Dog, who will be facing Paul Orndorff in Boston. JYD talks about Kamala being the biggest man he has ever seen then runs down the card.
Slick is with the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff. Slick goes off on the British Bulldogs and Matilda as he broke his arm. Vince says that is hilarious while Jesse asks him how he thinks breaking an arm is funny.
Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart vs. British Bulldogs
This is a non-title match. Also, this is the debut of the all pink tights here for the Hart Foundation as the have a thin black stripe on the sides. Vince is way too excited to see Matilda. The fans go nuts as Matilda chases Jimmy Hart up the top rope then Vince points out how Danny Davis is the referee for this match. Davey catches Brett with a monkey flip after an Irish whip sequence. Anvil tags and they collide a few times until Davey takes him down with a drop toehold. Dynamite tags and takes both of the Hart’s down with a headlock/leg scissors combo as the fans are really into this match. Brett catches Davey with a knee from the apron. The Hart Foundation use quick tags and double-team moves to neutralize Davey until he comes back with a slam on Brett then makes the tag. Dynamite runs wild and nails Brett with a clothesline but Davis was yelling at Hart on the apron then the Anvil comes in and tosses Davey to the floor then the Hart Foundation hit Dynamite with the Hart Attack for the surprise win (4:32).
Thoughts: Fun match that propelled the Hart Foundation right to the #1 contender slot. The result was a mild upset at the time too and it cemented the Hart’s as a legitimate threat.
Piper’s Pit with Jimmy Hart, who comes out instead of George Steele. Hart says that he took care of Steele by giving him a poster of Elizabeth then rants and raves at Piper about demanding respect. Piper then mocks Hart by calling him a “Federette” then Hart keeps poking Piper then slaps him a few times as Piper no-sells it then puts him in a lifting chokehold until he is attacked by Adrian Adonis from behind with a crutch. Adonis puts him in the sleeper as Hart yells in Piper’s face then Adonis declares that he is back and dumps flowers into Piper’s mouth.
We get another video of Outback Jack and this time he speaks. He is shown taking a shower outdoors while singing what would be his theme song (Tie Me Kangaroo Down). It’s amazing that someone thought this would get over.
Now we get clips of Randy Savage injuring Ricky Steamboat last week. From that, we get Gene Okerlund with the WWF doctor. The doc talks about Steamboat receiving a crushed larynx and does not have his voice and might require speech therapy later on and says that his career is in jeopardy.
Blackjack Mulligan is shown at his ranch in Texas and says that he is tougher and meaner than ever and warns King Kong Bundy that he better watch out. This run would be very short lived.
“The Natural” Butch Reed vs. Max Blue
Reed beats on Blue then catches him with a kneelift. He then hits a swinging neckbreaker and catches him with a slam before hitting a flying clothesline for the win (0:55).
Thoughts: Total domination here as Reed’s debut push continues.
Resnick is with the Wizard. Kimchee and Kamala come out as the Wizard cuts one of his awful screaming promos on Hogan to hype their match at the Boston Garden.
Next week in action will be Randy Savage, Koko B. Ware, Adrian Adonis, and the featured match of The Dream Team & Dino Bravo vs. The Rougeau Brothers & Billy Jack Haynes.
Final Thoughts: Decent show. The tag match was fun and the Steamboat/Savage stuff continued. The Davis stuff continued too. In the Observer at this time, Dave Meltzer reported that he heard a rumor from someone in the company that they were planning on a Vince & Bruno vs. Jesse & Davis match that Meltzer himself completely dismissed it at the time but said they way the TV had been going it seemed like there was actually a chance it could happen.
I am taking a break and these reviews will continue the beginning of November with the 11/29/86 episode of “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”