July 25, 1986
Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon
Matches tonight include Ricky Steamboat vs. Honky Tonk Man for the Intercontinental Title and the Hart Foundation vs. British Bulldogs for the Tag Team Titles
Brady Boone vs. Dino Bravo w/ Johnny V.
Bravo overpowers Boone to start. Bravo misses a charge then Boone does a few backflips before connecting with a dropkick. Bravo regroups with his manager then heads back inside and gets caught with an atomic drop. Boone hits another dropkick and fires away in the corner until Bravo catches him with an inverted atomic drop. Bravo grabs a front facelock before hitting a kneelift. Johnny V. joins on commentary and screams about Brutus Beefcake as Bravo stays in control of the match as he puts Boone in a bearhug. Bravo then tosses Boone to the floor a few times where Johnny V. roughs him up. Bravo works the back and neck of Boone, mostly using rest holds, until he misses a charge in the corner. Boone fights back until he misses a corner splash then Bravo gets the win with a side slam (10:46) *1/4.
Thoughts: Boone looked good when on offense but Bravo was a slug. Boone had yet to appear on TV at this point and was a jobber as soon as he appeared.
Tama w/ Haku vs. Rick Martel
Martel still has the Can-Am Connection jacket, despite the fact that Zenk has quit. The Islanders attack Martel before the bell. Martel comes back with a double clothesline as the fans go crazy while the Islanders are outside the ring. Tama finally re-enters the ring and tries to offer a handshake but Martel is not biting. Tama gets caught with a pair of armdrags then heads back outside to regroup. Tama comes back in and hammers away in the corner but misses an elbow drop as Martel now works the leg for a while. Tama pushes Martel through the ropes then shoves him into the post. Tama distracts the ref so Haku can beat on Martel. Back inside, Tama works a nerve hold. Martel fights out but Tama catches him with a knee then goes back to the hold. Martel gets tossed back outside after missing a crossbody where Haku beats him down. Tama suplexes him back inside for a two count then hammers away as the crowd rallies behind Martel, who comes back with a kneelift. Tama fights back and slams him down but misses a top rope splash as both men are down. The crowd rallies behind Martel, who hits a backdrop then fires away. Martel sends Tama to the floor with a back elbow smash. Martel beats on Tama inside then slingshots him into Haku, who was standing on the apron while yelling at fans. Tama then attacks Martel and comes off the top with a crossbody block but Martel uses the momentum and rolls on top of Tama for the win (19:47) **3/4
Thoughts: Fun match, although it had some dead spots. The Martel vs. Islanders feud still worked even with Zenk gone. The crowd was into it as well.
“The Natural” Butch Reed vs. Hillbilly Jim
Reed grabs a side headlock then tries and fails to knock down Jim. Reed jaws away them Jim knocks him down a few times. Reed bails and complains to the referee for a bit then when he comes back inside, Jim toys with him. They engage in a test of strength and battle over that for a while until Jim steps on his fingers as Reed once again heads outside. Reed then sneak attacks Jim then chokes him out on the mat. Reed sends Jim outside then slams him down. Reed stays on the attack until he runs into a big boot. Jim clotheslines Reed then both guys miss elbow drops. Reed connects with a high knee then perches on the top rope as he hits a flying clothesline for the win (10:58) *. After the match, Jim calls Reed back inside but he just heads back to the locker room.
Thoughts: Most of this was stalling but Jim was a limited worker and this type of match suited his talents. It was long for what it was but not too terrible or anything.
WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Honky Tonk Man (Champion) w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Steamboat immediately fires away on Honky. He chops and slams him down all before taking off his robe. He gets two with a crossbody block as Honky ducks out for a breather. Steamboat chases him around the ring and beats the crap out of him as the action then heads back inside, with Honky begging for mercy. Steamboat hits a few more chops and a backdrop before getting a nearfall with a small package. Honky tries to escape but Steamboat pulls him back in and almost regains the IC Title with a bridging back suplex. Honky finally gets in some offense as he catches Steamboat with a knee. However, Steamboat blocks a turnbuckle smash then takes him down with a snapmare. Honky blocks a suplex and hits one of his own then gets two with a top rope fist drop. Steamboat fights back but gets kicked after ducking his head as Honky beats on him in the corner. Steamboat comes back with an atomic drop and some chops but Honky rakes his eyes. Hart grabs Steamboat’s leg and gets chased around as Hart distracts the ref and that allows Honky to use the megaphone to attack Steamboat. Honky covers but only gets two as he is beside himself. Honky then wins a slugfest but Steamboat gets back up and chops him down. Honky gets his knees up on a splash attempt then puts on an abdominal stretch as the crowd chants like crazy for Steamboat. Honky dumps Steamboat to the floor then follows him out but Steamboat fights back. They are back in the ring where Steamboat hits several mounted punches. Steamboat fires away then sends him to the floor with a flying chop. Steamboat then tries to toss Honky back inside but he grabs a hold of the apron, while his body is in the ring, and the ref counts to ten as Steamboat gets the win via countout as Honky still retains (11:39) ***1/2. After the match, Steamboat beats on Honky then almost grabs a hold of Hart, who retreats with Honky.
Thoughts: Damn good match with a ton of heat. Originally, Jake Roberts was going to face Honky here but was still banged up I believe so Steamboat came back a bit earlier than planned to wrestle against Honky. Steamboat could play the pissed-off fiery babyface just as well as Honky played the chickenshit heel.
Monsoon is now with Steamboat, who is pissed. Steamboat calls out Honky for not being a fighting champion as he vows to get revenge.
Hart and Honky are then with Monsoon. Honky tells us that a win is a win, right or wrong, as he tells us that Steamboat will not get another shot and he will do anything to keep the IC Title.
Nikolai Volkoff vs. Tito Santana
Santana lands a few shots on Volkoff to start. He then works the arm until Volkoff steps between the ropes and cheapshots Santana. Volkoff uses a lifting choke before tossing Santana to the floor. Back inside, Volkoff stomps away then grabs a bearhug that Santana breaks but Volkoff puts him right back in the move as this match has been brutal to watch. Volkoff takes Santana down with a clothesline that looked pathetic then hit his backbreaker but Tito had his foot on the ropes. Volkoff argues with the ref then shortly after that gets hit with the flying forearm as Santana gets the win (8:21) 1/4*. After the match, Santana walks around and slaps hands with the fans until Ron Bass, who is wrestling next, comes out and blindsides him before choking him out with a cable. Outback Jack then comes down for the save.
Thoughts: Holy shit was this terrible. Volkoff was on offense the majority of the match and did nothing as they were protecting him somewhat for reasons I cannot fathom. However, the post-match stuff with Bass and Santana was something as those two finally seem to have a program now.
“The Outlaw” Ron Bass vs. Outback Jack
Jack hits Bass with a clothesline and a slam but Bass gets his knees up on a splash attempt. A few officials prevent Santana from going after Bass, who taunts him then turns around a gets decked. This match is apparently clipped as back from break, Bass is choking out Jack in the corner. Jack fights back and slams Bass down but plays up to the crowd and misses an elbow drop then Bass hits the gourdbuster for the win (6:00) 1/4*.
Thoughts: Jack was getting firmly establishes as nothing more than a lower card guy. He was a bust and could not wrestle, no matter how hard he tried.
Steamboat comes out and tells us how he won the IC Title at WrestleMania III and lost it to a coward like the Honky Tonk Man as he tells the crowd that next month he will face the Honky Tonk Man in a Lumberjack Match. The crowd liked that.
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/ Johnny V. vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
Beefcake uses the double noggin-knocker on Valentine and Johnny V. to start the match. Beefcake attacks Valentine then slams him down. Beefcake struts as the crowd applauds then dodges an attack before hammering on Valentine in the corner.Beefcake pulls down Valentine then crotches him against the ring posts repeatedly before booting him in the back of the head. Beefcake hits an atomic drop for a nearfall then shortly after that Valentine pulls Beefcake by the tights and into the ring post. Valentine beats on Beefcake, who is on the apron, as Johnny V. interferes behind the referee’s back. Valentine now has Beefcake in the center of the ring and applies a chinlock. Beefcake powers out but Valentine knees him down then rams him into the corner but Beefcake counters a piledriver with a backdrop as both men are down. They get up and slug it out but Valentine boots him down then follows with a headbutt to the groin. Valentine is now slapping Beefcake around then rams his head off of the mat as Johnny V. is yelling into the face of Beefcake, who is getting choked out by Valentine. The announcers talk about Mr. T as the special enforcer of the WWF as Valentine puts Beefcake in the figure four leg lock. Beefcake eventually makes it to the ropes. Valentine tries it again but Beefcake shoves him into the corner. Valentine then hits Beefcake with mounted punches but Beefcake reverses and hits some of his own. They fight over a suplex as Beefcake wins that battle then he pumps up and fires away. Beefcake takes him down with a clothesline then follows with the sleeper. Johnny V. runs in so Beefcake puts him in the sleeper instead then Dino Bravo runs in and assaults Beefcake for the DQ (13:11) *3/4. Valentine grabs the scissors as Bravo holds up Beefcake and attempts to cut some of his hair but the British Bulldogs run in for the save and chase off the New Dream Team.
Thoughts: Too slow-paced to be any good. The end seems like we are getting six-man matches between these guys and a possible New Dream Team/Bulldogs program. Beefcake’s signature spots got a good reaction but that was just about it here.
Jerry Allen vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude
This is the MSG debut for Rude, who had not even made his TV debut yet at this point. Gorilla notes that Rude is the newest protege of Bobby Heenan, who is not here tonight (Heenan was at the Baltimore show managing Paul Orndorff against Ken Patera in a strap match, a match that started the rift between Orndorff and Heenan). The announcers also note how Rude reminds them of Tom Selleck. Before the match, Rude demands the microphone get lowered as he wants the men to keep the noise down so the ladies can enjoy his body when he takes his robe off. Match finally starts as Rude backs Allen against the ropes then taunts the crowd. He shoves Allen then taunts him by flexing his muscles but Allen responds with a right hand that sends Rude to the floor. However, Rude comes back inside and fires away. Allen gets two with a sunset flip then works the arm until Rude retreats to the corner. Rude then beats on Allen and catches him with a backbreaker, followed by some more flexing. Rude gets two with a flying clothesline as he is stopping to taunt between each move. He hits a fist drop from the middle rope but pulls up on the three count then works a nerve hold as Gorilla notes that Sherri Martel has defeated the Fabulous Moolah for the WWF Women’s Championship in Houston (it occurred the previous day). Rude hits a pair of snap suplexes but Allen comes back with one of his own as both men are down. Allen tries an elbow drop but Rude rolls away. Rude comes back with a dropkick then tries another one that misses in a really bad spot that Allen was seemingly out of position for as Allen mounts a comeback. He tries a second monkey flip but Rude counters that with an inverted atomic drop then puts Allen in the backbreaker as he gets the win via submission (7:12) *1/2.
Thoughts: Far too long for a squash match and Rude did some impressive stuff. Rude tried hard to establish is character but the crowd didn’t care, with a few even chanting “boring.”
Howard Finkel tells us the curfew has been waived for the final match. He then runs down the next MSG show, which occurs on August 22nd. Matches announced are Jose Estrada vs. Chavo Guerrero (never happened as Lanny Poffo subbed for Chavo), Tama vs. Scott Casey, new WWF Women’s Champion Sherri Martel defends the belt against Velvet McIntyre, Ron Bass vs. Tito Santana, Haku vs. Rick Martel, Demolition vs. Junkyard Dog & George Steele, and the Honky Tonk Man vs. Ricky Steamboat in a Lumberjack Match for the IC Title. Also, Butch Reed will take on Superstar Billy Graham.
WWF Tag Team Title Match
Hart Foundation (Champions) w/ Jimmy Hart vs. British Bulldogs
Matilda chases Jimmy Hart out of the ring as Lord Alfred can barely contain his laughter. However, the Hart Foundation immediately attack Davey as the match is now underway. Davey avoids a double-team move as the Hart Foundation collide with each other and is able to make the tag. Dynamite his Bret with a snap suplex then tags back out as Davey comes in and grabs a headlock. Davey then gets two with a crucifix as Dynamite tags in and flattens Bret with a clothesline. Dynamite beats on Bret in the corner until Neidhart runs in to break it up. The Bulldogs regain control and get a few nearfalls until Bret knocks Dynamite down. Neidhart tags and roughs up Dynamite as the Hart Foundation are now in control of the match. Dynamite manages to fall on top of Bret on a slam attempt for two but Bret tags out as Neidhart goes on the attack. Dynamite fights back and tries to make the tag but Bret cuts him off. Dynamite dodges a charging Bret then dumps Neidhart as he makes the tag. Davey runs wild and hits all sorts of suplexes and flying moves on Bret. He then hits the running powerslam but Bret is able to get his foot on the ropes. Davey then presses Bret over his head and runs backwards and dumps him on the top rope. Davey tries to suplex Bret back into the ring but Neidhart sweeps his leg and Bret falls on top and gets the win (10:26) ***1/4.
Thoughts: Fun match, which is expected from these two teams. They had great chemistry. However, their feud with the Bulldogs has just about run its course.
Final Thoughts: This had three good matches and some crap so overall, by 80’s WWF house show standards, it was solid. I’d seek out Steamboat/Honky and the Bulldogs/Harts as well. For historical purposes, you can check out Rude before his TV debut too. If they went with the Honky/Steamboat feud a bit longer, they could have had something there.
Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:
Thursday: RoH Secrets of the Ring with Dusty Rhodes
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/26/87
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/1/87
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/2/87