The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School–Houston 10.19.86

The SmarK Rant for WWF Old School – Houston 10.19.86

(Originally written 04.25.18)

Taped from Houston, TX, drawing a paltry 1700 people to the Summit. YIKES. No wonder the arena is darker than a DC Universe movie.

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Ken Resnick

SD Jones v. Brutus Beefcake

This is the one hour edited version of the show, and yet this STILL makes the cut? Big stall from Brutus to start, but SD sends him to the floor with an atomic drop. Back in, Brutus stomps away to take over and gets a slam for two. SD slugs back, but misses a charge and Brutus comes off the middle rope with a half-assed forearm for two. SD fights back again, but Beefcake finishes him off with the high knee at 5:23. DUD

Greg Valentine v. Steve Gatorwolf

They zoom out on the arena a bit and literally the entire building is darkened past the ringside seats. Hammer wrestles Gatorwolf down and chops him into an armbar, but he does a wardance to come back. Funny story: Gatorwolf was supposed to be the replacement for Chief Jay Strongbow, but in his debut match on WWF TV he forgot to do the wardance as instructed and was immediately turned into a jobber. Less funny story: Gatorwolf was convicted of raping a girl and died in prison last year, so good riddance. Anyway, Hammer keeps chopping him and working the arm and Gatorwolf fights back with chops from the apron and does at least remember the wardance this time, and his big highspot is a bodyslam for two. Chop gets two. Valentine bails to escape the onslaught of suck, and they brawl on the outside until Valentine catches him with a boot to the head on the way into the ring and gets the figure-four. Amazingly, this geek is allowed to get the ropes, so Greg goes up and misses an elbow off the middle rope. Gatorwolf makes one last comeback and then Valentine finishes him with a goddamned vertical suplex at 8:36. FUCK THIS MATCH. -**

The Iron Sheik v. Davey Boy Smith

Sheik immediately attacks Davey, robbing us of the Russian national anthem. I’m sure Trump has to sing it every morning as a part of his deal with Putin anyway. Sheik tosses Davey, but Smith comes back with a slam and goes to work on the arm. Sheik stomps him down and works the back in response, but Davey gets a rollup for two. Sheik with the abdominal stretch and Gorilla immediately jumps all over the sloppy execution, because no one in history has ever applied an abdominal stretch that can meet Gorilla’s standards. Davey escapes with a suplex for two and grabs a sleeper, but Sheik reverses to a gut wrench that sets up the camel clutch. Davey quickly makes the ropes to escape, and then hits the powerslam for two. Volkoff hooks the leg and that’s a DQ and a heel beatdown at 6:00. Dynamite makes the save, which kind of makes you wonder why he wasn’t at ringside in the first place. No wonder they hated each other later on. Best match of the show thus far, in that it wasn’t a total steaming pile of horseshit like the other two, even if Davey looked like he had popped 10 Oxycontin before the match judging by how slow he was moving. *1/2

WWF title: Hulk Hogan v. Paul Orndorff

Jesus, Hogan v. Orndorff only drew 1700? Rare white tights for Hulk tonight and a strange variation on the Hulkamania shirt. Paul attacks to start and Bobby gives Hulk a chair, hoping he’ll use it, but Hulk tosses it away and Orndorff attacks him from behind again. To the floor, and Paul lays him out with a chair behind the ref’s back and stomps him down to take over. Backbreaker gets two and Hulk immediately comes back and hulks up, drops the leg, and then grabs a chair and goes after Heenan. Bobby protests to the ref, so Hulk hits Paul with the chair behind the ref’s back and takes the cheap countout win at 6:08. WHAT A FUCKING HERO. They were wrestling like they wanted to get out of town and see their dealer by 10:00PM. ½* Gorilla notes that the fans are on their feet in celebration, but I’ll have to take his word for it because you literally can’t see any of them in the darkness.

$50,000 Tag Team Battle Royal

So we’ve got the Hart Foundation, the Moondogs, the British Bulldogs, Sheik & Volkoff, the Dream Team, King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd, the Machines (Big & Super), the Rougeau Brothers, the Islanders, Steve Gatorwolf & Jay Strongbow, the Killer Bees and of course, SD Jones & Mike Rotundo. May I just say, HOLY SHIT what a tag team division and how could not put a decent card together given they had all these teams in the building?!? Studd gets dumped immediately, so they’re out. As usual, Gorilla is worried about the ring being reinforced. Man, those matches where Big Show got suplexed and broke the ring would have haunted his nightmares. I’m kind of relieved he didn’t live to see them. With 24 guys in there it’s just a bunch of nothing and guys laying on the ropes. SD Jones is shockingly tossed out at 3:06, costing bettors everywhere hundreds, if not thousands, of pesos. This is why I’ve gotta stop putting money on these. Gatorwolf is thrown out at 3:53, and then Bret Hart and Jacques Rougeau eliminate each other at 4:17. Big Machine is out at 4:53 as the VHS tracking starts to go, so clearly this wasn’t sourced from a high quality master. Honestly, I’m not sure why they bothered even putting this one on there. Brunzell tries to put out a Moondog, but the Sheik HUMBLES HIM at 5:40 and both teams are out. Finally this leaves things a bit more cleared out, with Bulldogs, Islanders, Sheik & Volkoff and the Dream Team left. Beefcake gets thrown out by the Bulldogs at 7:09. Sheik humbles Tama at 7:18, leaving us with the Bulldogs v. Sheik & Volkoff to pay off the angle from earlier in the night. The Bulldogs half-ass double-team them, but Davey tries to slam the Sheik, and Volkoff knees him over the top rope to win the match at 9:20. Completely lazy main event.

So yeah, this was a completely insulting waste of everyone’s time, but the very next night they were in MSG with a much bigger crowd and probably some happy juice from George Zahorian. And in fact, that show is the next one on the Network, so tomorrow we’ll check THAT one out and see if everyone’s mood has improved.