December 27, 1986
From the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, AZ
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and Vince McMahon.
In action tonight will be Randy Savage, Adrian Adonis, and a six-man tag featuring the Dream Team & Dino Bravo vs. Hillbilly Jim & Tito Santana & Pedro Morales plus a look at the career of Andre the Giant.
Nick Kiniski vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Elizabeth
Kiniski starts the match by taking Savage down with an arm drag then grounds him with a headscissors. Danny Davis is shown in an insert promo saying he doesn’t care about the fans and only pays attention to the action in the ring. Kiniski hits a Thesz Press for then Savage rolls outside for a breather. Back in the ring, Kiniski backdrops Savage then fires away in the corner. Dropkick gets just one then Davis stops him from beating on Savage. Kiniski tries a crossbody but Savage ducks that then boots Kiniski out of the ring after kicking out of a small package. Savage rolls Kiniski back inside and slams him down before putting him away with the flying elbow drop (3:28).
Thoughts: Kiniski got a lot of offense here. He had a good look and was passable in the ring but lacked charisma thus never rising above jobber status. The fans weren’t even into him as much as you think they would be. The announcers talked about Steamboat at the beginning of the match but that was all.
WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week’s subject is the Steamboat/Savage feud as we get a clip of Savage injuring Steamboat then we hear from Steamboat at home as he struggles to speak. Steamboat’s acting was very, very bad.
Jesse Ventura interviews B. Brian Blair as he show a video clip of him running his wrestling academy for kids that is associated with the police department in Tampa. Ventura then tells him he should teach kids important things in live such as dressing like himself.
Dream Team & Dino Bravo w/ Johnny V. vs. Hillbilly Jim & Tito Santana & Pedro Morales
Valentine and Jim trade shots in the corner to start. Jim catches Valentine with a headscissors then the face team makes a few quick tags. Valentine ducks outside after Tito attempted a figure-four then Beefcake tags and gets beat on for a minute. Valentine and Tito are slugging it out in a nice sequence until Valentine ducks a flying forearm attempt. He tries a figure four but Tito stops that then makes the hot tag to Pedro, who beats on Bravo. Then, in a terribly contrived spot, Pedro uses a double noggin-knocker on Bravo and Johnny V then Bravo just ducks through the ropes and stands on the apron as Pedro attempts to suplex him back inside but Johnny V pulls the leg of Pedro and Bravo falls on top and gets the win (3:49).
Thoughts: These six-man tags between these guys were going nowhere. The fans still loved Tito and went nuts seeing him face off against Valentine as their feud was still fresh on their minds, despite ending two years ago.
Ken Resnick is with the British Bulldogs. They promise that 1987 will be even better than 1986 and welcome all challengers for their Tag Team Titles.
Another Blackjack Mulligan vignette from his ranch. The same its been for the past two months.
Lord Alfred Hayes narrates a review of Andre the Giant’s career as we get clips of him from various matches and interviews. Hayes also talks about how Andre was recently reinstated into the WWF and we are shown the interview he had with Jesse Ventura. The segment ran about 5 minutes long as was a nice recap of his career as he was about to re-enter the WWF.
Resnick is with Randy Savage and asks him how promoters think he has gone too far for what he did to Steamboat. He then talks about his opponent in Boston, Bruno Sammartino, and how he is a punk and that he will end his career once and for all.
A replay of Jesse Ventura trying to intimidate the Can-Am Express but they just laugh at him.
“Adorable” Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart vs. David Gold
Adonis knocks down Gold then picks him up and puts him away with the Good Night Irene (Sleeper) as he gets the win (0:35). Adonis roughs up Gold after the match.
Thoughts: Very quick win for Adonis, who looked like a major threat here and not a joke.
Piper’s Pit with guests Bobby Heenan and Hercules. Heenan tries to tell Piper that Hercules made Hulk Hogan tap on “Saturday Night’s Main Event” then puts over his strength and how he can tear down anything so Piper asks Hercules to tear off his chain but Heenan stops him.
Moondog Spot & Tim Patterson vs. U.S. Express
Before the match we get an insert promo from Don Muraco & Bob Orton who are not impressed with the U.S. Express. They are stuck feuding with the lower ranked tag teams now. Spot and Rotundo trade arm wringers to start. Spivey tags and he goes to work on the arm of Spot as Vince disses Jesse for being unable to get any information about Andre the Giant. Patterson tags as Spivey catches him with a dropkick then a slam. Rotundo tags as Jesse promises he will get the information out of Andre next week then Rotundo catches Patterson with an airplane spin for the win (1:37).
Thoughts: Just time filler here as the U.S. Express were an afterthought.
Ventura asks WWF President Jack Tunney if he will ban Kamala from coming off of the top rope. Tunney said he would like to but then would have to ban everyone else who comes off of the top so he will not be banning him, much to Jesse’s delight.
Another vignette of Outback Jack in the swamp as he says the only place left for him to go his the WWF.
Sivi Afi vs. King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan
Before the match we get an insert promo from Junkyard Dog who says that this is a free country and he does not have to bow down to anyone. Race avoids a crossbody from Afi then drops a pair of elbows before getting the win with the cradle suplex (0:37).
Thoughts: They teased a feud between JYD and Race with an insert promo but that was the only thing you could take away from the match.
Resnick is with Lanny Poffo, who comes out wearing a full suit of armor. He wore that for the Bunkhouse Battle Royal that was featured on a Coliseum Video Tape. Dick Slater comes out and rambles on about driving up to the “Northern land” in his pickup truck so he can take home the $50,000 prize. Blackjack Mulligan comes out and talks about how his grandfather started the first bunkhouse match in 1887 and promises to win. Well, he did.
Next week is the 1986 Year in Review show. I will not be reviewing that episode.
Final Thoughts: Not much of a show this week. They did a great job treating Andre’s eventual return as a huge deal and teased a new feud between JYD and Race but that was really all that happened. At least the company has some good feuds heading into the new year as the road to WrestleMania III was slowly starting to heat up.