March 14, 1987
From the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI
Your hosts are Jesse Ventura and Vince McMahon
The hosts put over the fact that both Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan will be in the 20-Man Battle Royal.
Gene Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan, who doesn’t care how many men are in this battle royal because he is coming after Andre the Giant. Good promo from Hogan.
Recap of George Steele taking Elizabeth away during the last episode of SNME.
Okerlund is with Elizabeth and Savage, who says he is “psyched up” and will hurt Steele real bad as the camera zooms in on Elizabeth, who is worried. Per the rules of the Savage/Steele match, Elizabeth enters the match last as the winner leaves with her as their manager. Savage heads to the ring as Steele comes in and says he will win Elizabeth.
WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. George “The Animal” Steele
Elizabeth comes out with security as Jesse accuses Okerlund of being a “pervert” for checking her out as she walked away. She sits on a lifeguards chair as Savage hits Steele from behind with a double axe handle then takes her to the back but Ricky Steamboat’s music hits as he comes down as Savage retreats. He goes in the ring as he looks at Steamboat but that allows Steele to attack him from behind. Steele roughs up Savage then goes over and bites open the turnbuckle but takes too long as that allows Savage to hit him with a running knee smash from behind. He slams him down and heads up top connecting with a double axe handle. Steele fights back then bites Savage on the arm before using a lifting chokehold. Steele bites open another turnbuckle and throws the stuffing into the face of Savage. Steele heads outside and helps Elizabeth off of the chair but Savage attacks him from behind then slams the chair on him and rolls back inside to get the win via countout (4:30) *. After the match, Steele comes in the ring and hits Savage with the chair before tossing him to the floor. Steele then puts the Intercontinental Title over his shoulder then opens up a poster of Elizabeth.
Thoughts: Not bad for what it was, which was a match filled with smoke and mirrors to further along the Elizabeth/Steele and the Steamboat/Savage stories heading into WrestleMania. It succeeded in doing just that.
An insert promo of Hogan pumping iron yelling out Andre’s name along with others.
20 Man Battle Royal
Hillbilly Jim, “The Outlaw” Ron Bass, Sika, The Islanders, “Leaping” Lanny Poffo, Hercules, “The Natural” Butch Reed, Paul Orndorff, Billy Jack Haynes, Koko B. Ware, Nikolai Volkoff, Blackjack Mulligan, Demolition, The Honky Tonk Man, Killer Bees, Andre the Giant, and Hulk Hogan
Andre blocks Hogan from entering the ring as Hogan shows him the belt. He then finally enters as he tears off his shirt and eggs on Andre but Orndorff attacks him from behind as the match begins. Honky is out first and Hogan dumps him over the top rope. Andre then dumps Sika and fights off Mulligan and Hillbilly before tossing Haku out of the ring. He then drags Poffo by the hair as he tosses him over the top rope. Hogan is halfway out as Ax and Reed work him over. The camera shows Poffo busted open on the floor after Andre headbutted him then they take him away on a stretcher with blood all over his face. Back to the match as Hogan backdrops Bass to the floor then Andre takes out Mulligan with a hip toss as Andre and Hogan have accounted for all of the eliminations so far. Volkoff is gone courtesy of Hogan then Blair gets tossed by Andre. Hogan and Orndorff are going at it as Andre chokes out Koko with his foot. Hercules and Orndorff are now double-teaming Hogan but fail to get him out. Hogan gets whipped into Andre as they have a stare down. They then trade punches but Orndorff attacks Hogan then Demolition beats on him too. Hogan eventually fights out and dumps Orndorff but Andre hits him then headbutts him down before eliminating Hogan as Jesse is ecstatic on commentary. Andre then does a “brush away” gesture as he looks at Hogan on the floor. Several referees take Hogan to the back as we go to commercial. Back from break as Andre tosses Brunzell to the floor then everyone else besides Hercules, who failed to stop, dump Andre over the top rope. Smash then eliminates Hillbilly in sloppy fashion then Koko ducks an attack before sending Reed over the top rope with a dropkick. The final four are now set: Hercules, Billy Jack Haynes, Smash, and Koko. Haynes makes the save for Koko but Hercules is able to dump him after that. Hercules and Smash double-team Haynes, who comes back and takes out Smash. Hercules and Haynes start brawling until Heenan jumps up onto the apron. Haynes chases im away but that allowed Hercules to eliminate him and win the Battle Royal (11:16) **.
Thoughts: This told a good story with Hogan and Andre taking turns tossing guys out in order to be in the ring alone with each other. It also left doubt that Hogan could beat Andre, who eliminated him from the match. Their confrontation was fun though and a good tease for their WrestleMania III match. As for this match, it was pretty standard as far as battle royal’s are concerned but it really died off once Andre got eliminated and understandably so as no one else in the match could follow the Andre/Hogan dynamic.
Okerlund is with Andre the Giant, who said that it took 8 wrestlers to get him out of the ring but it only takes one giant to get rid of Hogan. Heenan then comes in and gloats over the fact that Andre took out Hogan, accusing him of hiding during the match. Heenan then says that Andre will remain undefeated and become the next Heavyweight Champion.
Now, Okerlund is with Jake Roberts, who will be facing King Kong Bundy. Roberts says that both he and Damien are ready for King Kong Bundy. He leaves before saying that its time for both of them to satisfy their hunger.
A quick insert promo from the Hart Foundation and Jimmy Hart about how they are defending their titles for the first time. At least they are on television.
King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Roberts uses his quickness to elude Bundy, who is afraid of Damien. Bundy gets increasingly frustrated before taking down Roberts with a test of strength. He holds him down on the mat until Roberts fights out. Bundy beats on Roberts in the corner then grabs a front facelock as the fans are behind Roberts. Bundy ducks his head for a backdrop but gets caught with a knee lift. Roberts knocks Bundy down with a punch then Heenan runs off with the snake bag, causing Roberts to chase him. Back from break as Roberts is walking down the aisle with the bag but Bundy attacks him as he re-enters the ring. Clothesline by Bundy who then runs him over with a shoulder block a few times. Bundy charges at Roberts in the corner but misses as both men are down. Roberts gets up first and fires away then goes to grab the snake but the ref intervenes. Roberts then knees the referee, who signals for the DQ (6:14) 1/2*. Bundy tries to attack Roberts, who fights back as Vince weirdly defends Roberts for hitting the referee, saying that he should not have interfered. Bundy goes for an elbow drop but misses and after that Roberts hits the DDT as the fans go nuts. Heenan runs out as Roberts goes after him and Bundy with the snake but the ref trips up Roberts, who then chases him out with the snake as Vince is pissed because he did not get to see the snake on top of somebody.
Thoughts: Bad match. This was all about hyping Jake here as Vince was really trying to get over the snake and even defending him for attacking the referee. A year after headlining WrestleMania 2 Bundy had nothing at all going on here.
We get a goofy promo from Steamboat about how will be “breathing fire” before making some odd “karate” noise. 80’s WWF Steamboat promos were usually so bad they were funny.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Tito Santana & Danny Spivey vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis
Match starts with Spivey getting two off of a crossbody. Neidhart works him over for a bit but Spivey catches him with an atomic drop before tagging Tito. Bret and Tito work a nice sequence then Spivey tags back and gets two off of a shoulder block as Neidhart broke up the pin. The Hart Foundation are now beating on Spivey as they neutralize him in their corner. Neidhart gets two with a slingshot splash that looked sweet then Brett chokes him out against the ropes. Spivey tries and fails to fight out of the corner then gets attacked from behind as the ref orders Tito back on the apron. Tito gets tagged behind the referee’s back but as he goes back to the apron, Spivey ducks an attack that knocks Neidhart off of the apron. Tito cleans house and even knocks Davis off of the apron. he hits Brett with the flying forearm then applies the figure four but as Spivey and Neidhart fight, Davis sneaks in and whacks Tito off of the head with the megaphone and Brett covers for the win (5:31) *1/2.
Thoughts: Decent action. This was the end of Spivey as a tag team wrestler as he was taken off of TV then became a singles heel wrestler that never got past the opening match level at house shows. He beat the likes of Lanny Poffo and Sam Houston for a year until leaving the company in 1988.
Okerlund is with Steamboat, who claims that he is 100%. Steamboat also says that he breathes fires and it gets hotter and hotter as he knows that everyone is going after his throat. Better than the promo right before this as he got over the injured throat storyline.
Iron Sheik w/ Slick vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Savage comes out on the apron to distract Steamboat, allowing Sheik to attack him from behind. Savage then joins on commentary as Vince yells at him. Savage then tells us that Steamboat can’t even tie his shoes and that he does not have what it takes to win. Steamboat skins the cat then hits Sheik with a back suplex as Savage tells us that neither guy is in his class. Steamboat hits a shoulder block and a hiptoss before grabbing a chinlock. Sheik goes on the attack then suplexes Steamboat back into the ring for two. Sheik rakes the eyes then uses an abdominal stretch but Steamboat breaks that up with a hiptoss as Savage promises that will not happen to him. Steamboat then slams Sheik and heads up top with a flying chop for the win (3:29) *. Savage then screams about how Steamboat cannot do that to him as Steamboat waves him on but Savage grabs a chair as Steamboat attempts to hop the guardrail to get to Savage but the referee prevents him.
Thoughts: Basic action but the confrontation between Savage and Steamboat here was excellent as that feud remained red hot heading into WrestleMania III
Okerlund is with Hogan and asks him about Heenan’s comments on Andre staying undefeated. Hogan then questions Andre if he cheated to get everyone of his wins and that his whole life has been a gigantic lie. Hogan says that now the whole world knows about Andre attacking people from behind.
Roddy Piper is now with Okerlund, who introduces him before his tribute. Piper thanks the fans and the WWF before saying that he always gave 110% and will do the same as he gives Hollywood a try. The video is then shown, set to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” as all of his WWF career highlights are shown. Great video. The 80’s WWF music videos were done to perfection.
Final Thoughts: As a stand-alone show this was nothing special but in the grand scheme of things it did a fine job hyping up WrestleMania III. There was not any memorable matches or anything but the battle royal was fine leading up to the Hulk/Andre confrontation and they kept the Savage/Steamboat feud really strong and that was really all they needed to do here.