November 1, 1986
From the Onandoga War Memorial in Syracuse, NY
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and Vince McMahon
In action tonight are Randy Savage, Junkyard Dog, Kamala, Harley Race, and the featured match of Roddy Piper vs. Mr. Fuji
Sivi Afi vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Elizabeth
We get an insert promo from Billy Jack Haynes talking about how he wants a rematch after Savage kicked the referee in order to escape from his full nelson, costing Haynes a chance at the title. Savage and Afi fight on the mat to start. Afi hits a crossbody and a dropkick for nearfalls then Savage ducks outside to boss around Elizabeth but Afi hits him from behind and rolls him back inside. Afi hits a slam but Savage gets his knees up on a splash attempt. Savages tosses Afi to the floor and follows out with a top rope double axe handle then drops him throat-first on the guardrail. He then rolls Afi inside and hits the flying elbow smash for the win (2:45).
Thoughts: Without a feud, Savage was getting challenged by virtually every midcard babyface on the roster for the Intercontinental Title through insert promos during his matches. The WWF lacked quality midcard babyface depth at the time as most of the big names were all on the downsides of their careers.
WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week’s focus is on Hulk Hogan and his nutritional tips. WE are shown an old clip from Hogan on “Tuesday Night Titans” as we demonstrates how to make a smoothie consisting of fruit, whole eggs, “python powder” and water, because the Hulkster says milk is for babies.
Moondog Rex vs. Junkyard Dog
Rex takes JYD down with a shoulder block to start. JYD then catches Rex with a hiptoss and sends him outside after several crawling headbutts. Back in the ring, JYD gets two with a headbutt but gets elbowed off of a charge. Both men then collide as the fans are yelling for JYD, who fights back then hits Rex with a powerslam for the win (2:08). After the match, JYD dances with a few kids in the ring a Vince screams “GRAB THEM CAKES.”
Thoughts: The fans loved JYD tonight, who after an insert promo from Orndorff, seems to be moving on to a feud with him instead of teaming with Steele.
Ken Resnick is with Ricky Steamboat, who will be facing Randy Savage at the next Boston Garden show (I will be reviewing that show on Friday). Steamboat does not say much other than Savage won the IC title in a disgraceful manner. Steamboat was not known for his promo skills, that’s for sure .
King Harley Race is reading commandments to everyone as how everyone shall bow to him and rise when he leaves the ring victoriously.
Jose Luis Rivera vs. King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan
Rivera catches Race with a dropkick but misses a second one as Race goes on the attack. Race works on the back of Rivera and hits a delayed vertical suplex before putting him away with a cradle suplex (1:31).
Thoughts: Heenan went all out trying to get the king gimmick over here and it worked somewhat. Race is starting to get a bit more comfortable in his role.
Ken Resnick is with the Hart Foundation, who will be facing the British Bulldogs in Boston. Neidhart goes out of his mind when he rants about how the afterparty that Jimmy Hart has lined up for them cannot be matched and promises that everything from “A to Z” will be there, causing Brett to chuckle. For those who do not know, the A-Z line is from the Iron Sheik, who uses that when describing all of the drugs he is willing to take when he parties. Brett then talks about how his girl in Boston was talking to him and he told her that the only thing he is missing is the belts but tonight they will get the belts and rule for a long, long time. Neidhart was absolutely terrific here. His insane promos are what helped take this team to the next level as they instantly gave them character.
We are shown a clip of the signing for a match between the Machines and Studd & Bundy that takes place in a meeting room. Lots of arguing takes place. This feud was basically over as the blowoff match happened a few weeks later in Studd’s last televised match for about three years.
Al Navarro vs. The Honkytonk Man
The fans are booing Honky as he goes to work on Navarro. The crowd boos Honky as he tries to pump them up. Honky clotheslines Navarro then puts him away with the swinging neckbreaker, called the Shake, Rattle, and Roll for the first time (1:37).
Thoughts: Vince was still desperately trying to get Honky over as a face here but even he finally realized that it was never going to work as they planted the seeds for a Honky turn with the “Confidence Poll” that would take place in a couple of weeks. Honky was booed the entire time.
Now, we are shown George “The Animal” Steele at the zoo as he refers to the animals as different wrestlers. For instance, the turtle was Harley Race because he is slow. Not bad for a comedy segment but it went on for a bit too long.
Don Driggers vs. Kamala w/ Kimchee
No Wizard this week. Kamala chops Driggers down. Driggers briefly fights back but bounces off of Kamala, who comes back with a leapfrog and a thrust kick before putting Driggers away with a splash (0:50).
Thoughts: Too brief to amount to anything but they are still pushing Kamala as a monster.
Mr. Fuji vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper
Piper uses a crutch to get to the ring as the crowd goes nuts for him. Piper then takes the bandage off of his knee and tosses it into the crowd. Piper hits Fuji with all sorts of chops and even shoves referee Danny Davis when he tries to intervene. Fuji hits a low blow then goes up top but misses a leg drop. Piper climbs on top of Fuji and hammers away as the ref is having trouble controlling Piper. Don Muraco, Bob Orton, and Jimmy Hart are at ringside. Orton and Muraco double-team Piper until he fights back and cleans house as he wildly swung his crutch then Davis disqualifies him for using his crutch (3:51). Piper chases off Davis with his crutch.
Thoughts: This match proved that Piper could still go in the ring despite his hurt leg. He looked pretty badass here in clearing the ring. The WWF did a great job at keeping the Piper/Adonis feud hot while Adonis was out of action.
Resnick is backstage with Piper, who is going mental. He tells Muraco, his opponent in Boston, that he does not play games and has not missed “one damn fight.” He also does not care about winning or losing anymore and how Muraco was scared when Piper swung the crutch in the last match.
Next week’s featured match will have the Killer Bees take on the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff. Also in action will be Butch Reed and we will see some “Bad, Bad Boys” (It was a music video set to highlights from heel wrestlers to the tune Bad Boys by Gloria Estefan)
Final Thoughts: Decent show this week. The Piper stuff was well done and they have hyped this upcoming Boston Garden house show very well too. Watching Honky’s face run essentially die tonight was something to see as well. Not everything was working in the WWF here but the top feuds were awesome and some of the older guys were in the process of being phased out.