February 7, 1987
From the Sundome in Tampa, FL
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and Vince McMahon
Tonight, we will have both Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant on “Piper’s Pit.” Also, the British Bulldogs put their Tag Team Titles on the line against the Hart Foundation. Plus, the debut of Outback Jack and more.
David Gold vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Elizabeth
Savage backs Gold against the ropes to start. Gold shifts his weight on a slam and falls on top of Savage for two. Gold then slams him down but has an Irish whip reversed and gets caught with a clothesline. Gold gets tossed to the floor as Elizabeth is shown in an insert promo hoping that neither Savage or Ricky Steamboat get hurt. Gold gets tossed back inside and Savage finishes him off with the flying elbow smash and covers with one foot for the win (1:39). A good amount of cheers for Savage after the win.
Thoughts: Interesting to see Savage get that many cheers from the crowd in the midst of his feud with Steamboat.
WWF Update with Gene Okerlund, who reveals that the WWF has chosen the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit for the location of WrestleMania III. Okerlund tells us that it will accommodate 90,000 fans and “confident” that a new indoor attendance record will be broken. Okerlund really talked up the arena and how fans from all over the world will be at the event.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart vs. British Bulldogs (Champion)
Davey chases the Hart Foundation out of the ring by using Matilda but Hart sneaks up from behind and whacks Dynamite in the back of the head with his megaphone. In the ring, Davey fights off the Hart Foundation while Dynamite is out cold with referee Danny Davis checking on him. Vince is screaming about Davis allowing the Hart Foundation to both be in the ring at the same time. Davey hits Neidhart with the running powerslam but Davis is back on the floor checking on Dynamite. Davey drags Davis back in by the hair but gets attacked by Bret. Davis checks on Dynamite again as Davey gets drilled with a double DDT then finish him off with the Hart Attack for the win and the Tag Team Titles (2:57). The crowd is pissed as the Hart Foundation celebrate their victory as Vince calls this the biggest disgrace in officiating he has ever seen.
Thoughts: They had to get the belts off of the Bulldogs due to Dynamite’s injury. The original plan was for Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff to win the belts but Dynamite Kid said he would only drop them to the team that worked as hard as they did, which was the Hart Foundation. Creative match here as they worked around Dynamite’s injury with the Danny Davis angle.
Gene Okerlund is backstage with Randy Savage, who is facing Bruno Sammartino in a Lumberjack match tonight in Boston. Savage promises that Bruno’s legend will die tonight.
Hercules w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Buddy Blake
Hercules picks up Blake and drops him throat-first across the top rope before going to work. We get an insert promo from Billy Jack Haynes, challenging Hercules in a full nelson match. Hercules hits Blake with a backbreaker as Ventura goes on about Haynes being a lunatic. Hercules then grabs a front facelock for a while as the announcers hype up WrestleMania III, specifically the amount of fans that the arena holds. Hercules softens up Blake a bit more until he finally puts him away with the full nelson (3:06).
Thoughts: Way too long for this type of squash but Hercules looked good so I guess it worked out. Still, he was typically putting guys away in under a minute at this point.
Okerlund is backstage with Hercules and Bobby Heenan, who proclaims that the days of Billy Jack Haynes putting people away with his full nelson are over.
Hillbilly Jim is in the ring as he introduces us to Outback Jack, who will be making his debut tonight. Jack comes down the aisle and shakes hands with the fans.
Steve Lombardi vs. Outback Jack
Jack backs Lombardi against the ropes then breaks the hold as Vince plugs the Hulk Hogan/Andre the Giant confrontation that will be taking place on Piper’s Pit tonight then hints that Piper himself might be retiring soon. Jack catches Lombardi with a slam as Jesse makes fun of his looks. Lombardi lands a few shots then rake his eyes across the top rope. Jack blocks a slam attempt but Lombardi rakes his eyes as the fans are getting restless. Jack comes back with an atomic drop then hammers hits a terrible looking clothesline and follows that with a clothesline to the back of Lombardi’s head for the win (2:49). Holy shit that looked awful. Jack got a lukewarm pop from the fans at the end.
Thoughts: A terrible debut for Jack. Lombardi tried as hard as he could have and bumped around like a pinball but it was not enough to hide the fact that Jack did not belong in a WWF ring. After two months of vignettes, this was a massive disappointment.
Piper’s Pit with guest Jesse Ventura. Jesse asks Piper if he has Hogan, who comes out. Andre then comes out………..with Bobby Heenan by his side! Hogan looks devastated as the arena is shocked. Hogan pleads with Andre to tell him what is going on but Andre stares him down. Hogan talks up Andre some more and begs for him to leave Heenan, because he was the one who taught him how to respect the fans. Heenan cuts off Hogan and says that he used Andre and had to steal Andre’s moment when he received his trophy. Well, he does have a point. Hogan brings up how Andre poured champagne on his head when he won the belt as Heenan asks Hogan why he has not offered him a title match. Andre then pulls up Hogan’s head and demands he looks in his face when he is talking. Andre then says he is here for one reason: to get a Heavyweight Championship Match. He then rips off Hogan’s shirt before walking away. Hogan is on the ground as his chest is bleeding and appears to be on the verge of tears until Piper consoles him. An incredible segment. Heenan, Andre, and Hogan were all fantastic and with all of the mention on the Silverdome’s seating capacity throughout the show, its pretty clear to see this is how they planned to fill up the stadium. And it worked. A must-see segment for all wrestling fans.
Killer Bees vs. Al Navarro & Jimmy Jack Funk
Vince and Bruno are in complete shock over what happened on the Pit as the Bees work over Funk. Jesse believes that Hogan is a coward and will not face Andre as Navarro is now getting worked over by the Bees as the announcers hype up WrestleMania III as everyone is ignoring this match and after the previous segment, who could blame them. The Bees work over Navarro some more until Brunzell puts him away with a dropkick (5:29).
Thoughts: The ultimate cool off the crowd match here. No one gave a fuck about this. The Bees looked good though for what it’s worth.
David Stoudemire vs. “The Natural” Butch Reed w/ Slick
Reed is beating down Stoudemire as we get an insert promo from Koko B. Ware, who calls out Reed for not being Natural. Reed press slams Stoudemire then drops an elbow and makes the cover with his foot, getting the win (1:51). After the match, Slick grabs the mic and warns Tito Santana that the same thing will happen to him.
Thoughts: Reed got some heel heat here. And it looks like both Koko and Tito, who put his hands on Slick last week, are going after Reed.
Okerlund is with Billy Jack Haynes, who looks crazier than ever as he cuts a promo on Hercules. Steamboat comes out and says he gave Bruno is word he will only act as a lumberjack and that his time against Savage will come. Bruno comes out and cuts the same promo on Savage that he has been for the past month.
Next week, Hulk Hogan will give us his answer to Andre’s challenge. Plus, more matches announced for WrestleMania III and word about the possible retirement of Roddy Piper.
Final Thoughts: This was one great hour of television. The Piper’s Pit segment was a classic, the Hart Foundation winning the belt was another memorable moment as well. Sure, the Outback Jack debut sucked but the good far outweighed the bad and the boring here. The WWF really was producing awesome stuff at this time.