WWF Championship Wrestling July 26th, 1986

July 26, 1986

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

Tonight, we will see the Championship Wrestling debuts of The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers and “The Rebel” Dick Slater. Plus, “The Flower Shop” with guest Paul Orndorff and much more.

Tiger Chung Lee & A.J. Petruzzi vs. British Bulldogs w/ Capt. Lou Albano

The Bulldogs come out to theme music for the first time on television. Davey and Lee start things off by trading moves until Davey takes him down with an armdrag. He then dropkicks Lee to the floor and slingshots him back into the ring. Lee catches Davey with a punch after he knocked Petruzzi off of the apron. Petruzzi tags and roughs up Davey as Bruno talks about last week when Orndorff turned on Hogan due to jealousy. Dynamite tags and hits a snap suplex and a backbreaker. Davey tags and powerslams Petruzzi then catches Lee on his shoulders as he tried to break up the pin. He tags Dynamite who climbs up top and jumps of the back of Lee to hit the diving headbutt for the win (2:38).

Thoughts: Not much to this match but on commentary they kept pushing the depth of the tag team division.

Ken Resnick is with WWF President Jack Tunney, who says that suspending Andre the Giant was one of the toughest things he has done. Bobby Heenan interrupts and thanks Tunney then talks about how he has warned him about Andre. He then said that everyone knows that Giant Machine is Andre the Giant as Tunney tells him if he can prove that is in fact Andre, he will suspend Andre for life.

Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Mario Mancini

Muraco beats on Mancini as we are shown an insert promo from Lanny Poffo, reading a poem about Muraco rising to power with Mr. Fuji. Muraco tosses Mancini outside and drops him across the guardrail as the crowd starts a “beach bum” chant. Back in the ring, Muraco clotheslines Mancini before hitting him with the tombstone piledriver for the win (3:02).

Thoughts: They were trying to establish Muraco as a top threat again to the Heavyweight Championship. This did not last too long at all.

Resnick runs down the card of the August Boston Garden show then shows us a promo by Jake Roberts. He tells Steamboat that he has mastered the power of perception and that while Damien will take care of his flesh, he will take his soul. Really good stuff by Jake.

The Gladiator vs. “Rebel” Dick Slater

Slater runs down to the ring holding up the Confederate Flag as his theme song is in fact the Confederate Anthem. He also comes out to a scattering of boos. The match starts with both guys taking it to the mat in a nice little sequence. They trade shots in the corner and Slater gets the best of that then grabs a front facelock. Slater reverses an Irish whip that sends the Gladiator into the corner then come off the top with a forearm smash before getting the win with a side Russian legsweep (2:13). The crowd boos Slater after the match.

Thoughts: I have no idea why you would have Dick Slater as a babyface holding the Confederate Flag and think that it would get over in front of a card in upstate New York. Slater’s debut as a face was a disaster. The character was doomed as soon as he made his entrance. As a heel, this might have worked well but not at all as a face.

Resnick is with the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff, who will be facing the Hart Foundation in a number one contender’s match for the Tag Team Championship. No Blassie again this week. They say that while the Hart Foundation and Jimmy Hart are talented, they better get out of their way. Sheik then goes off on a tangent about not being responsible for the Iran hostage situation.

The Moondogs vs. Fabulous Rougeau Brothers

This match is joined in progress. The Rougeau’s clear the ring of the Moondogs with some nice double-team moves. The crowd gets into the Rougeau’s as they work over the arm of Rex. Spot cheapshots Ramon and they double-team him in the corner. Spot tags as the crowd rallies behind Ramon as Spot has him in a sleeper hold. Ramon escapes and hits a crossbody then tags Jacques as the places goes nuts. Seriously, I have ever seen a WWF crowd go this nuts for the Rougeau’s before. Jacques dropkicks both guys then the match breaks down. The Moondogs try a double noggin knocker but Ramon ducks and Jacques hits Spot with a crossbody for the win (3:27). Man, the crowd popped huge for the win.

Thoughts: It’s almost unreal how over the Rogeau’s were in this match. Hell, if they stayed taping in New York instead of going on the road, they might have gotten more of a push.

The Flower Shop with Adrian Adonis. His guest is Paul Orndorff, who comes out looking pissed off. He tells the crowd to shut up then slams down his robe. He then introduces us to his new manager, Bobby Heenan, who tells us that Mr. Wonderful will be the next Heavyweight Champion of the World. Orndorff then accuses the crowd of being just like Hulk Hogan because they do not listen.

Tom Tatri vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Roberts decks Tatri with a right hand. He slams him three times as the crowd chants for Steamboat. Roberts then takes Tatri down with a kneelift and roughs him up for a bit. Tatri reverses an Irish whip but Roberts comes back with a clothesline then finishes him off with a DDT (1:52). Roberts then dumps Damian on top of Tatri and lets it slither out of the ring, with the camera zooming in on the snake, before picking him up.

Thoughts: Roberts gets a bit of a face reaction when he wins as some fans want to see the snake. Speaking of Roberts, he looked good in the ring tonight.

Resnick is now with the Machines and Capt. Lou Albano. Resnick asks Giant Machine if he is Andre. Giant
Machine says that he is not. Super Machine talks about all of their training and how mind controls all.

Steve Lombardi & Mr. X & Rusty Brooks vs. Ricky Steamboat & King Tonga & Sivi Afi

Steamboat looks absolutely ridiculous carrying the cage and Afi does some tricks with fire that goes on for too long and is not particularly good. Vince lets us know that next week, we will hear from Hulk Hogan. Steamboat starts off the match with Lombardi and the face team makes quick tags, using a lot of body slams. Freddie Blassie joins the announcers and talks about the stock market and how he is selling half of the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff’s contracts. Steamboat gets trapped in the opposing corner but he eventually breaks free and tags Afi, to absolutely no reaction at all. He runs wild on Brooks then tags Tonga, who hits a dropkick. Steamboat tags and finishes off Brooks with a flying body press (3:30).

Thoughts: This was just a backdrop for other angles that were going on in the company. It was also remarkable to see how little Sivi Afi was over with the crowd.

Resnick is with Hulk Hogan, who says that he has been bending bars at the gym. He will be teaming with George Steele to face Adrian Adonis & Randy Savage in Boston. We are then shown Capt. Lou Albano with Steele as they cut a promo that is pretty funny. Those two had great chemistry and Albano was as insane as he usually was, probably due to him being drunk. They cut back to Hogan who says that Boston is going to get “Hulkarized” as Hulkamania runs wild on Adonis & Savage.

Bruno and Vince recap the show. Next week, Hulk Hogan will be here. Also, King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd, American Express, Hart Foundation, Billy Jack Haynes, and Harley Race.

Final Thoughts: Not a whole lot happened here tonight. The Rougeau’s got over big in their debut. The same cannot be said for Dick Slater. The Flower Shop wasn’t much as it was already a given that Orndorff was aligning with Heenan. The big news here was that Hogan would be appearing next week to address what Orndorff did to him last week. Another thing to note was change in the production values. All of the babyfaces came out to theme music, which wasnt always the case at this point. At the time, the WWF was losing it’s timeslot on some stations so Vince and the WWF made the call to amp up the production values in order to lure in the TV stations.

Here is a schedule of my upcoming reviews:

Saturday: RoH Crowning a Champion 7/27/02
Sunday: WWF Championship Wrestling 8/2/86
Tuesday: WWF Championship Wrestling 8/9/86
Thursday: TBD
Friday: WWF Championship Wrestling 8/16/86

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