WWF Championship Wrestling July 12th, 1986

July 12, 1986
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon.
Tonight, Hulk Hogan & Paul Orndorff will team up to face the Moondogs. Also in action will be Ricky Steamboat, Tito Santana & Pedro Morales, and Harley Race.

Les Thornton vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Steamboat holds a cage containing a lizard on his way to the ring. He starts off the match by showcasing his agility but gets caught with a backbreaker. Thornton beats on Steamboat as we get an insert promo from Jake Roberts about Steamboat. Thornton falls on top of Steamboat on a slam attempt and that gets two. Steamboat comes back with an atomic drop and then a dropkick that sends Thornton to the floor. He suplexes Thornton back inside from the apron then puts him away with the flying body press (3:00).
Thoughts: Steamboat looked ridiculous when holding the giant cage containing the lizard down to the ring. Its like he was the WWF’s version of Joan Embery walking down to the ring. But more importantly, his feud with Jake Roberts was getting him over big with the audience.
WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week, Okerlund is on location at the Boston Garden and talks about the Hart Foundation and how they could be the ones to win the belt from the British Bulldogs. This would be the start of the Hart Foundation push.
Dream Team w/ Johnny Valiant vs. Serge Jodoin & Rick Hunter
Hunter starts by shoving Valentine then grabs a side headlock. Hunter lands on his feet after a backdrop, although he nearly fell, then hits a pair of armdrags. Valentine is shocked but ends up backing Hunter into the corner then laying into him with forearm smashes. Beefcake tags and backs Hunter into the corner. Jodoin tags and Brutus suplexes him before catching him with a knee. He then hits a running powerslam and works a neck vise. Valentine tags and finishes off Jodoin with a figure-four leg lock (3:04).
Thoughts: The Dream Team would soon be finished with their feud against the Bulldogs and would soon be replaced by the Hart Foundation as the number #1 contender’s for the Tag Team Titles. The Dream Team would then kick around until breaking up at WrestleMania III.
Ken Resnick is with the British Bulldogs and Capt. Lou Albano, who will be defending their tag team titles against the Dream Team at the King of the Ring show. Not much new from these three.
Roger Kirby & Terry Gibbs vs. Pedro Morales & Tito Santana
Morales tries for a backslide but Kirby breaks up the pin. Kirby enters on a blind tag but Pedro catches him with a small package that Gibbs breaks up. Tag to Tito and cleans house. The faces use quick tags until Kirby beats on Tito in the corner but Tito makes the tag and Pedro hammers away then finishes him off with a backbreaker (3:15).
Thoughts: The Santana & Morales pairing was unmemorable and really only used on TV. Thank god for Tito that they broke him away from Morales shortly after this.
Resnick is with Paul Orndorff, who will face the Junkyard Dog in the first round of the “King of the Ring” tournament. He says that he will win by any means necessary while wearing a hat that reads “Mr. Wonderful #1” then closes the interview by flexing his muscles. Orndorff was cockier and more arrogant than usual here.
Harley Race w/Bobby Heenan vs. Steve Johnson
Johnson is a big dude. He starts by slamming Race, who rolls outside. They repeat the same spot again. Race then dropkicks Johnson and follows that with an elbow drop as we are shown an insert promo of Lanny Poffo reciting a poem about Race. Race tosses Johnson outside then follows him out and roughs him up then back inside, Race puts away Johnson with a cradle suplex (3:33).
Thoughts: The fans barely reacted to the match except for some mild booing at the end. Race could still go in the ring at this point and looked solid but at the same time, just did not fit in with what the WWF was going for at this time.  
The Flower Shop with guests Capt. Lou Albano and the British Bulldogs. Adonis taunts Albano by calling him “rubber band man” then calls the Bulldogs “puppies” as Albano closes the segment by hinting that the Bulldogs will mistake Adonis for a fire hydrant. Terrible segment.
Vince is with Bobby Heenan, King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd before he introduces us to another segment involving Gene Okerlund and the Machines. The Giant Machine tells Gene that he is not Andre the Giant and that he will be coming to the United States and will be managed by Capt. Lou Albano. This segment really dragged and Bill Eadie pretending to be Japanese is so bad. I get that it made sense for Andre but for the Masked Superstar? No one cared about him when he left in 1984.
The Moondogs vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff & Hulk Hogan
Orndorff seems to be avoiding Hogan as they make their entrance. Hogan slams the Moondogs then tags Orndorff. He floats over on a slam then nails Rex with a forearm smash. Orndorff hits a few armdrags on Spot, who tags out. Orndorff stomps on Rex and has no interest in tagging out of the match. Orndorff fights off the Moondogs as the crowd starts a “we want Hulk” chant. Rex suplexes Onrdorff as the Moondogs are now using quick tags. Spot holds up Orndorff for Rex but he ends up hitting his partner instead then Orndorff gets the win with a piledriver (3:48). After the match, Orndorff poses as does Hogan, but Orndorff continues to avoid Hogan.  
Thoughts: The rift between Orndorff and Hogan grew bigger in this match as Orndorff refused to tag out, winning the match by himself and basking in the glory after the finish. Hogan played it cool and praised Orndorff, who didn’t seem to care.
Resnick is with Harley Race, who will be facing George Steele in the first round of the “King of the Ring” tournament. Race cuts a pretty bad promo but declares that he is the “king.” And Race did end up winning the tournament and went by the “King” nickname after that in the WWF. After that, the Dream Team come out behind the steel fence and cut a brief promo on the Bulldogs.
Heenan interrupts Bruno and Vince, who hypes next week’s main event of Hogan & Orndorff vs. Studd & Bundy. He claims that both men are afraid of his team.
Final Thoughts: The Orndorff/Hogan stuff was great and they continued the Machines angle but besides that, nothing else was really going on during this show. Then again, next week’s show was being built up strong and for good reason as it featured a huge main event. Speaking of next week’s show, it was one of the most memorable in WWE history.