WWF Championship Wrestling August 16th,1986

August 16th, 1986

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

Tonight, the Machines will make their WWF debut. Also in action are the Killer Bees, Hart Foundation, and Tony Atlas vs. Hercules Hernandez.

Steve Lombardi & Rusty Brooks vs. Killer Bees

The Bees have on their masks for the entrance but no theme music this time. Blair and Lombardi trade hammerlocks until Blair escapes and hits an armdrag. Brunzell tags and they get a nearfall with a double elbow smash. Brunzell works the arm for a bit then Brooks tags and the Bees hit him with a double backdrop as Vince keeps mentioning how Brooks is fat. The Bees use quick tags as they neutralize Brooks until Brunzell puts him away with a dropkick (3:04). Brooks oversell of the dropkick was kinda funny.

Thoughts: The match was fine. The WWF continued to present several teams, with the Bees being one of them, as legitimate threats to the Tag Team Titles. They were doing a really strong job as promoting the division as a whole too.

Vince talks about how he will be hearing from Superstar Billy Graham and newcomer, the Honky Tonk Man, later on tonight.

WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week’s subject is the feud between Hulk Hogan and Paul Orndorff. We are shown a clip of Hogan calling Orndorff a sellout while cutting a passionate interview. This feud continues to heat up and they have been holding off on these two confronting each other on television, which makes you really want to see them when they actually do wrestle each other.

Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Terry Morgan & Jim Powers

Powers leapfrogs Brett twice then takes him down with an armdrag. He works the arm for a bit as we get an insert promo from Superstar Billy Graham, who says that he is coming back to the WWF and going after the Iron Sheik. Morgan tags and the Hart Foundation destroy him until finally putting him away with the Hart Attack (3:05).

Thoughts: Another showcase for the Hart Foundation, who are really clicking as a team right now. I also forgot to mention that last week, they debuted the pink stripe look in their tights. The stripe was really thin but different than the red and blue they usually sported. The WWF tag-team division was really strong at this point.

Ken Resnick is with Capt. Lou Albano, who talks about how Bobby Heenan is upset about the Machines coming into the WWF. Pretty subdued for an Albano promo, actually.

Ivan MacDonald vs. Super Machine w/ Capt. Lou Albano & Giant Machine

The crowd popped a bit for the entrance of the Machines. Vince says that he is not sure if Giant Machine is in fact Andre the Giant. MacDonald bounces off of Super Machine twice before he gets beaten down. Super Machine puts on a chinlock as Bobby Heenan is shown in the aisle taking photos of the Giant Machine. Also, there is one fan who has been screaming the entire time while everyone else has been quiet. Albano sees Heenan and chases him away. MacDonald completely botches a clothesline spot as he fell before the move was performed so Super Machine really hit him hard when he got up then put him away with a swinging neckbreaker (2:45).

Thoughts: This whole segment flopped. First, no one cares about the Super Machine to begin with. Andre is the selling point of the angle and having this as their first TV appearance was a horrible way to start off the angle. Even with that being said, the whole mystique as to who was under the mask was non-existent and yes the fans did want to see Andre and for him to get his revenge on Heenan and his guys but the whole Machines gimmick was so ridiculous that no one was buying it at all.

Resnick is with Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff, who will be facing the British Bulldogs after beating the Hart Foundation in Boston to get a Tag Team title shot. Sheiky Baby was zonked out of his mind as he went on his usual tangent about how Volkoff, Iran, and himself are all number one.

Dream Team w/ Johnny Valiant vs. Mario Mancini & Jose Luis Rivera

The Dream Team take turns destroying Rivera to start the match. Rivera fights back and is able to tag Mancini, who immediately gets pummeled by Beefcake. Valentine tags and hits a shoulderbreaker before Beefcake tags and hits his flying knee smash but Beefcake pulls up Mancini before the three count and tags Valentine, who gets the win via submission with the figure four (2:51).

Thoughts: It seems like the Dream Team wrestle every week on these shows. They usually have fun squash matches. However, since their feud with the British Bulldogs ended, they have been put on the backburner as far as the top heel teams are concerned.

The Flower Shop with Adrian Adonis. He says that Don Muraco will be his guest but instead Roddy Piper comes out, who says that he is here to take his show back after thanking Adonis for filling in for him. Adonis tells Piper that he is here to stay and that it is not 1985 then brings out Bob Orton, who is wearing a pink cowboy hat. Orton tells Piper that he was getting paid peanuts before as Piper offers Orton a choice of staying or leaving with him. Piper then puts a flower in Orton’s hat and says that if he does stay with Adonis, we will have a case of “birds of a feather, flock together.” The fans cheered Piper a bit as he walked away.
The surprise return of Piper did not get much of an initial reaction, as I think they were in complete shock to be honest, but this was when they first planted the seeds of a Piper face turn and the segment itself was well done.

George Leech & Joe Mirto & Terry Gibbs vs. Sivi Afi & King Tonga & Tonga Kid

The Tonga Kid got a pretty good reaction in his return to the WWF. This guy should have been a star as he had everything it took. He also has 100x more charisma than Afi & King Tonga combined. King Tonga starts by overpowering Leech then tags the Tonga Kid, who does Snuka’s double leapfrog spot with Gibbs and tags Afi then plays to the crowd. Poffo is shown in an insert promo putting over the babyface team as King Tonga beats on Leech. He slams him then tags the Tonga Kid, who puts him away with a splash off of the top rope (2:32).

Thoughts: The Tonga Kid really got the crowd into this match and it was a decent six-man. His presence in the ring was huge, especially considering King Tonga and Afi lacked that in a big way.

Hercules Hernandez w/ Slick vs. Tony Atlas

Vince tells us that Slick bought half of Hercules’ contract too. Atlas takes down Hercules with an armdrag then slams him down as we are shown an insert promo from the Honky Tonk Man, wearing a gold suit, talking about how Hogan called him up and asked if he could come to the WWF to restore order. He closed by saying “woo mercy.” What an awful idea for a babyface character. Back to the match as Hercules hits Atlas with an inverted atomic drop. Atlas powers up soon after and uses some truly terrible offense consisting of headbutts and punches. He sends Hercules to the floor then tries to bring him back into the ring with a suplex but Slick whacks Atlas in the knee then Hercules covers for the win (3:36). After the match, Atlas chases Hercules out of the ring.

Thoughts: This might have been the last TV appearance of Atlas in the WWF until he returned as Saba Simba in the early 1990’s. Speaking of Atlas, he looked horrible in the ring and was rumored to be heavy into drug use too. The match also did not do a whole lot to elevate Hercules, either.

Ken Resnick runs down the September 6th show at the Boston Garden. He brings out Bobby Heenan, who will have his men, John Studd & King Kong Bundy face the Machines. Heenan says that he will prove that Andre is under the mask then wonders who is partner could be, joking that it could be Red Sox pitcher Oil Can Boyd or former Celtic Dave Cowens. Studd & Bundy come out and reference when they cut his hair almost a year and a half ago before promising victory in Boston.

Bruno and Vince run down the show and say that next week, Roddy Piper will be in action. Also, in action will be the British Bulldogs, King Kong Bundy & John Studd, Rougeau Brothers, Don Muraco, and Tito Santana & Pedro Morales.

Final Thoughts: A memoralbe show for sure. The return of Piper was a huge surprise this week as they set up a feud for him with Adonis. A basic, logical feud that features two capable performers can go a long way you know. However, the heaviest promoted segment of the past week was the debut of the Machines and that ended up flopping.  Besides that, most of the show featured the tag team division and they kept the Orndorff/Hogan program hot with the WWF Update segment. We also got word that Superstar Billy Graham was returning and saw our first glimpse of the Honky Tonk Man as well. It is nice to see that the WWF has started to develop new feuds and introduce new characters, even if they all didnt work out, as the promotion had been getting stale after WrestleMania 2.

Here is the schedule of my reviews for the next week

Saturday: RoH Honor Invades Boston (8/24/02)
Sunday: WWF Championship Wrestling (8/23/02)
Tuesday: WWF The Big Event (8/28/86)
Thursday:1992 WWE Timeline as told by Bret Hart
Friday: WWF Championship Wrestling (8/30/86, Final Episode)

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