December 20, 1986
From the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, AZ
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse Ventura, and Vince McMahon
In action tonight will be Kamala, King Kong Bundy, Killer Bees and the featured match of Cowboy Bob Orton & Don Muraco vs. The Islanders.
Cowboy Bob Orton & Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. The Islanders
Both teams start brawling as soon as they get into the ring. Haku then gets double-teamed but comes back with a clothesline on Orton and makes the tag to Tama, who is a house of fire. Muraco knees Tama in the back from the apron and hits a swinging neckbreaker. Orton tags but misses a top rope move and Tama is able to make the tag. Haku beats on Orton then hits a sunset flip that gets broken up by Muraco as the mach breaks down. Haku takes out Orton with a flying body press but Muraco hits him with a flying knee drop and tries to roll Orton on top of him then the referee rings the bell as the Islanders win the match via DQ (2:54). After the match, both teams brawl on the way back to the dressing room.
Thoughts: Looks like these teams will be feuding now, which at least gives them something to do. Orton & Muraco did not have on the kilts to mock Piper as they are now seemingly out of that feud.
WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week’s topic is Ricky Steamboat as they show the clip of Savage crushing his throat with the timekeeper’s bell. Then after that they show the infamous clip of him trying to speak again but being unable to as he gets frustrated and pounds on the desk. The Steamer wasn’t much in the acting department, that’s for sure.
Pedro Gonzales vs. Kamala w/ Kimchee & The Wizard
Before the match we are shown a promo from Jack Kruger, the jobber that Kamala squashed last week. He actually cuts a pretty damn good promo about how devastating Kamala’s splash is and that he will never step into the ring against Kamala ever again. Well, he wasnt always a WWF jobber and wrestled as Sheik Ali Kassan and held tag titles in the Central States territory. Back to the match as Kamala has Gonzales in a lifting chokehold then slams him into the mat. Kamala slams Gonzales then hits him with a splash before climbing up top and hitting another splash for the win (0:56).
Thoughts: They did a great job at making Kamala look like an unstoppable monster and Kruger cut one hell of a promo too.
Ken Resnick is Randy Savage, who will be facing Bruno Sammartino at the Boston Garden on Jauary 3rd. Savage says that he is number one now and if he was around back when Bruno was active, he’d been #1 too.
Gonzales is shown being carried out on a stretcher.
Yet another vignette of Blackjack Mulligan at his ranch. Its been several weeks of the same exact thing. The re-introductory vignettes might have lasted longer than the comeback itself.
Jose Luis Rivera vs. Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart
The debut of Jimmy Hart as Honky’s manager. Honky knocks down Rivera as Jesse is asked about Andre the Giant’s reinstatement and he claims he is unable to track down any information on how the hearing went down. Honky shows a lot of arrogance as he taunts the crowd. Honky then hits him with a clothesline before putting him away with the Shake, Rattle, and Roll (1:30). After the match, Honky gets on the mic and taunts the fans and gets a lot of heel heat in the process.
Thoughts: The fans still hate Honky. He didn’t need Hart to get heel heat but they made it work as Hart’s obnoxiousness went well with Honky’s taunts and mannerisms. They really were one hatable duo.
Resnick is with Jim Neidhart and asks him about the Bunkhouse Battle Royal in Boston. He mocks the other wrestlers about what they might wear to the ring then laughs as he says what he is wearing will be different. Neidhart is insane and this promo is proof of that.
Savage cuts a promo on Steamboat and makes fun of him for not being able to speak. Vince is outraged on commentary.
King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Steve Gatorwolf
Bundy squashed Gatorwolf several months prior on “Saturday Night’s Main Event” in a match that was taped at this very same building. Gatorwolf starts off the match hitting a few chops but Bundy tosses him in the corner and roughs him up then hits the Avalanche for the win after asking the referee to count until five (1:21).
Thoughts: Bundy is back on TV for the first time since the Machines gimmick finished but he never got near the top of the card again. Gatorwolf was a shitty wrestler and a far worse human being.
Piper’s Pit with guests the Hart Foundation and Jimmy Hart. Piper refers to them as the #1 contenders for the Tag Team Titles then has a few dog toys on the table that he uses to mock them. Piper asks them if Danny Davis is in fact part of the Hart Foundation and the deny the allegation. Not much of a segment here.
“The Natural” Butch Reed w/ Slick vs. Jerry Monti
Before the match, we get an isert promo from Reed and Slick where Reed tells us how mean he is then has Slick spell it out mean for us a “R-E-E-D.” Reed beats down Monti then rams him into the corner. Reed slams Monti off of the mat as all the announcers talk about his abilities then finishes Monti off with a flying clothesline from the middle turnbuckle (1:17).
Thoughts: Reed is now acting more aggressively than before as he has toned down the posing and taunting but he still was struggling to get over as a heel. He did have all the tools to be a star though.
We get a replay of Heenan blowing off Ventura when he asked about what took place at the Andre the Giant reinstatement meeting. The Andre stuff was great as you were pretty sure that Heenan was the one who got Andre’s suspension lifted but they still made you have some doubts. They milked this all to perfection.
Hogan cuts a promo telling us to wear our seatbelts, saying its the most important belt you can put around your waist.
Another Outback Jack promo as he hangs out with some local Aborigines. This lasted about 30 seconds long.
Buddy Ryder & Mike Lucca & Dennis Stamp vs. Koko B. Ware & Killer Bees
Oddly enough, Koko got his entrance by himself as the Bees were already in the ring with everyone. Well, the entrance was over. Koko even comes out wearing a Bee mask too, much to Vince’s delight. The Bees work over Stamp then tag Koko. He backdrops Stamp then knock Lucca off of the apron. Stamp continues to get worked over then his teammates make the save during a pin attempt. Ryder tags and Koko hits him with a thump as Lucca tags into the match. Brunzell also tag and gets two with a dropkick as Stamp & Ryder make the save then the match breaks down as Koko tries to sneak a cover but the referee stopped him as Jesse mentions how even Hebner can’t be that stupid to fall for that. Then as Hebner orders Koko back to the apron, Blair comes in and catches Lucca with a kneelift and gets the win (2:59). After the match, Koko teaches the Bees how to do the bird as Vince screams “GIT DOWN WITH THE BIRD!”
Thoughts: The main focus here was on Koko, who was still in the midst of a minor push and getting over too. The fans really dug him and Vince put over the dancing like crazy on commentary.
Resnick is backstage with Bruno Sammartino and asks him about his match against Randy Savage in Boston. They then show the clip of Bruno backstage after Savage attacked Steamboat as Savage himself mocked Steamboat, prompting Bruno to attack him. Sammartino then says that Savage will regret when he gets into the ring with him and is only out to expose him for the punk that he is and not for his IC Title. Good stuff from Bruno.
Next week we will get a special tribute to Andre the Giant. In action will be Randy Savage, Adrian Adonis and our main event of Dino Bravo & Dream Team vs. Hillbilly Jim & Tito Santana & Pedro Morales
Final Thoughts: The main angles are still going strong as we have another productive episode of “Superstars of Wrestling.” The only knitpick so to say are that these vignettes for Mulligan and Jack are getting tiresome. But other than that, they are giving the Steamboat/Savage feud a ton of airtime as they have been dominating the TV shows for the past month. And for historical purposes, the singles heel run for Honky with Jimmy Hart started on this show. The WWF was doing a solid job at TV.