March 7, 1987
From the Coliseum in New Haven, CT
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse Ventura, and Vince McMahon.
In action tonight will be the Junkyard Dog, Ricky Steamboat, and the Hart Foundation. Plus, an appearance by Andre the Giant and another “WrestleMania Report.”
Mary Hart tells us that she is ready for her timekeeper’s role at WrestleMania III and promises to have a lot of fun. This was fine and like Bob Uecker, she was a good sport in these segments.
Pete Doherty vs. Junkyard Dog
JYD starts by hitting Doherty with a backdrop. Slam gets two. JYD no-sells some punches to the head then tosses Doherty around. The match briefly goes back and forth until JYD catches him with a powerslam for the win (2:27).
Thoughts: This match felt like it lasted for an hour. JYD moved around slower than any other time in his WWF run at this point. JYD’s act is starting to die down a bit with the crowds too.
WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week’s focus is on the WrestleMania III match between Jake Roberts and the Honky Tonk Man. Roberts is shown sitting on a couch with Alice Cooper cutting a promo on Honky, with Cooper saying that they are not imitations, like Honky and Jimmy Hart. Jake was great, Cooper was passable here. He did not appear as enthused as the other celebrities.
Replay of Adrian Adonis accidentally cutting the hair of Brutus Beefcake from their match last week.
Demolition w/ Johnny V. vs. Mike Lucca & Tommy Sharpe
Demolition came out to theme music for the first time. This was the theme they would use for their run in the company. Johnny V. is shown in an insert promo saying that Beefcake is alright as Vince says how he would be pissed if he was Beefcake. Both guys take turns destroying Sharpe. Lucca tags in and gets tossed outside where Smash tosses him into the guardrail. Ax then comes out and slams Lucca to the mat. Back inside, Ax tags and slingshots Lucca as Smash clotheslines him down then covers for the win (1:45). That finished looked awful as it was quite mistimed.
Thoughts: Demolition looked awesome except for their finisher, which was terrible. Thank god they stuck with the Decapitation. And the music really made their entrance special, IMO.
Okerlund is with Adrian Adonis and Hercules to hype up the elimination match in Boston. Heenan makes fun of Piper by saying he will be parking cars in Hollywood as the other two cut basic promos about their opponents. Those elimination matches at house shows were fun.
Bob Uecker and Mary Hart are backstage doing a comedy bit about how they are going to date each other. The end had Uecker buy a fur coat for Mary to wear then gets reminded by her that the show is held indoors. Not bad at all.
Terry Gibbs vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Gibbs rakes the eyes of Steamboat then hammers away. Randy Savage is shown in an insert promo telling us how George Steele will be a non-factor in their match and that he get the win. Steamboat takes control of the match by working the arm. He then hits an armdrag after an Irish whip sequence as Jesse is on commentary saying that Steamboat should retire. Steamboat slams Gibbs before going back to the arm. Gibbs tosses Steamboat over the ropes then stands there like an idiot as Steamboat skins-the-cat back into the ring before punching him in the face. Steamboat gets booted after ducking his head as Gibbs climbs up top and misses an attack. Steamboat then hits a pair of dropkicks before hitting a flying body press for the win (3:27).
Thoughts: Okay-ish action. For some reason, these two did not have good chemistry in the ring. The main point of this though was the announcers putting over the importance of Steamboat/Savage at WrestleMania III with Jesse talking about how he should retire as this match might end his career, leaving doubt in the fans minds that he has a shot in this match and even suggesting it might end his career.
Okerlund is with Uecker as they talk about the midget match. Uecker said he wants to see this match and that he loves the “little beaver” as Gene quipped how he got the impression he did. Gene then asked if he knew him personally as Uecker said not yet then they both laughed before we get shown the places to watch on closed-circuit TV. Hilarious stuff as these two were clearly enjoying themselves. Fun to see that happen instead of reading scripted junk that lacks passion.
Now, Okerlund is with Bob Orton & Don Muraco. He asks them about the Can-Am Connection as Orton said they are now a machine after working together for several months. Muraco talks about how everyone will be excited in a rather tame promo.
A Hacksaw Jim Duggan vignette is shown of him getting out of his truck calling out Nikolai Volkoff and how this is his America as he bangs a 2×4 against the bed of the truck. This vignette was not very impressive but this character was different from his most-known persona as here he was more of an “everyman” while the other was more gimmicky with the 2×4 and catchphrases.
Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff w/ Slick vs. S.D. Jones & Brad Rheingans
Sheik and Rheingans start off the match going back and forth. Rheingans gets two off of a suplex as the Killer Bees are shown in an insert promo using all sorts of lame bee puns to hype their match at WrestleMania III. Sheik takes control of the match then tags Volkoff as Jesse talks about Rheingans amateur wrestling background. Rheingans dodges an attack and tags Jones, who knocks down Volkoff with a headbutt. He then hits an atomic drop but misses a charge in the corner. Volkoff then hits a backbreaker before tagging Sheik, who gets the win with a Camel Clutch (3:05).
Thoughts: Dull and the parts with Volkoff and S.D. going at it were abysmal. Rheingans did a few house show matches (mostly openers) and TV jobs in his brief WWF run.
Piper’s Pit with guests Andre the Giant and Bobby Heenan, who was uninvited. Heenan tells Piper that he talks to him as he handles all of Andre’s matters. Heenan then accuses Piper, the fans, and Hogan of “using” Andre as Capt. Lou Albano comes out to plead with Andre, asking him why he has let down his fans and disgraced his family by aligning with Heenan. Albano then said that he hopes Hulk “whips his butt” as Andre then chases Albano off of the set. The camera then zooms in on Andre’s face as the segment ends, with Andre just starring angrily at the fans. Another good segment that established how Andre was unable to be swayed to leave Heenan and has officially turned his back on the fans.
Another replay of the contract signing between Hogan and Andre. Again, great stuff.
Jim Powers & Jerry Allen vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis
The fans hated the Hart Foundation here. Match starts with Brett booting down Powers as Davis cuts an insert promo on his opponents for WrestleMania III. Neidhart is now in as he slams Allen before tossing him into the corner. The Hart Foundation then use quick tags to isolate Allen until they put him away with the Hart Attack (1:48).
Thoughts: The Hart Foundation looked great here in the ring and were firing on all cylinders at this time.
Okerlund is now with Hogan and Piper as the hype up the elimination match in Boston. They are all friendly with each other and both seem high as a kite. This promo is all kinds of wonderful as they run down their opponents. I have included it below for all of you to see for yourselves. Pure 80’s WWF insanity here.
Next week in action will be the Killer Bees, Hercules, and Randy Savage. Plus, “Piper’s Pit” with guest Hulk Hogan and another WrestleMania Report.
Final Thoughts: Although not as memorable as the past several weeks, this was still a solid show. WrestleMania III has been promoted brilliantly and the top feuds are still going strong, making this time period must-see TV for wrestling fans.