WWF Superstars of Wrestling September 19th, 1987

September 19, 1987

From the Convention Center in Fresno, CA

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and Vince McMahon

In action tonight will be Paul Orndorff, Jake Roberts, Ted DiBiase, Brutus Beefcake, and the One Man Gang

Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. Ricky Ataki

Ataki is a short and pudgy Japanese jobber. Match starts with Beefcake toying with Ataki. He slips out of a hammerlock and applies a full nelson as we get an insert promo from Beefcake, telling us he will strut all the way to the record store to buy the “Piledriver” album on Monday. Beefcake hits Ataki with a backdrop then was supposed to catch Ataki with a sleeper but the jobber fucked it up and sold it like a lariat then Beefcake picks him up and puts him in the hold for the win (2:19). After the match, Beefcake gives Ataki a haircut then spray paints a giant “B” on his chest.

Thoughts: For all the shit people give Beefcake about getting his spot from Hogan, he really did get this gimmick over with the crowds. They loved the haircut stuff after the match.

 

Craig DeGeorge is on the interview platform with Demolition and Mr. Fuji. Ax talks about the “Piledriver” album, specifically their theme song. Ax even referred to Rick Derringer as the #1 “rockstar” in the world today. I bet. Smash tells us that Fuji has taught them to destroy and says they are here to demolish everyone. More a plug of the “Piledriver” album than an interview to put over Demolition.
“Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil vs. S.D. Jones

DiBiase takes S.D. down with a hiptoss and an armdrag. He slams S.D. as we get an insert promo from DiBiase, who covers his face with a fan of $100 bills then lowers it to tells us everyone has a price. Back to the match as DiBiase bails after getting caught with a pair of slams. He returns and is able to avoid a charge in the corner then stomps a mudhole in S.D. He heads to the middle rope and hits an elbow smash then follows with an elbow drop for two. S.D. fights out of a headlock then fires away but gets caught with a powerslam then DiBiase climbs to the second rope and falls backwards with an elbow drop for the win (4:16).

Thoughts: DiBiase looked good in the ring here. And his heel character is starting to gain traction.

 

Gene Okerlund runs down the card for the October 3rd Boston Garden show before welcoming out Randy Savage, who will be facing Hercules on that show. He tells us this show takes place 28 days before Halloween then whispers into Okerlund’s ear about what he is going to do to Hercules, as Okerlund deadpans that as only he can. Not bad.

 

Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Terry Gibbs

Roberts takes Gibbs down with a kneelift before working the arm. We then get an insert promo from Danny Davis, saying if Jack Tunney will not do something about Damien then he will. Roberts hits a pair of slams then goes back to working the arm. Gibbs fights back as the camera zooms in on the snake bag moving around. Gibbs chokes out Roberts on the middle rope as the announcers talk up Gibbs as being underrated, with Jesse giving Roberts credit for facing a guy like him on TV as you can put your winning streak on the line. Gibbs dodges a charge but Roberts catches him with the short-arm clothesline then puts Gibbs away with the DDT (4:14). After the match, Davis walks down and steals the bag, casually walking up the aisle, but drops it when Roberts runs after him. Roberts takes the bag and heads back into the ring where he puts the snake on top of Gibbs.

Thoughts: This was Jake’s last TV match for about two months. According to Dave Meltzer, he was suspended very shortly after these tapings. That put the kibosh on the Davis/Roberts feud and pretty much ended the singles career of Davis, who ended up jobbing to bigger stars for the rest of his run.

 

Okerlund is with Strike Force, who will be facing the Islanders at the 9/21 MSG show. I will be recapping that one Tuesday. Martel warns the Islanders that they will “feel the force…..of the strike.” These Strike Force promos were pure garbage by the way but man were they get pushed hard here.

 

WWF Update with Craig DeGeorge. This week we get a recap of the Bam Bam Bigelow saga, with Oliver Humperdink becoming his manager and Bigelow defeating Nikolai Volkoff on the 9/12 edition of “Superstars of Wrestling.” It ends with comments from Bigelow and Humperdink issuing a vague challenge to the One Man Gang.

 

One Man Gang w/ Slick vs. Jesse Cortez

Gang immediately attacks Cortez. He hammers away in the corner for a bit until putting Cortez away with the front suplex (0:50). After the match we are shown Slick in an insert promo talking about his “Jive Soul Bro” song from the “Piledriver” album.

Thoughts: Still keeping Gang strong for his house run against Hogan.

 

Okerlund is once again with Strike Force, who will also be facing the Islanders at the October 3rd Boston Garden show. Martel credits Santana for being there when his partner abandoned him as Santana talks about having good things happen to him at the Boston Garden. Strike Force with their second promo on the show. That’s shows how hard they were trying to get them over.

 

The Islanders w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Scott Casey & “Leaping” Lanny Poffo

Poffo’s poem tells the Islanders to beware of Strike Force. Tama and Casey go back and forth for a bit. We now get an insert promo from Heenan, plugging his cover shot on the “WWF Magazine” as Haku is beating on Poffo. The Islanders beat on Poffo until Tama misses a splash. Csey tags in and has a brief run until Tama pulls up short on a dropkick attempt. Tama hits a side slam then the Islanders put Casey away with stereo diving headbutts (4:22).

Thoughts: The Islanders looked good here. This was a talented team but here they were just used at this time to put over Strike Force for the most part.

 

We get to hear from Tommy Nast, producer of “Power Cuts,” who is impressed by the album. He even said that Slick does some “mean rapping” and that this album is heading to the top of the charts. You tell ’em, Tommy!

 

“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff w/ Oliver Humperdink vs. Barry Horowitz

Nice reaction for Orndorff here. Orndorff works the arm as we get an insert promo from Rick Rude, with the camera focused on his abs, saying this is the “shape” of things to come. The action heads outside where Orndorff whips Horowitz into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Orndorff hits a top rope elbow drop. Jesse and Vince talk about physiques as Orndorff uses eye rakes and knee smashes. He catches Horowitz with a clothesline before getting the win with a piledriver (3:16).

Thoughts: Orndorff always wrestled like a total heel, even as a face. The fans were really into him here as well.

 

Okerlund is with the Islanders and asks them about Bobby Heenan. Haku says that Heenan trusts them then laughs at the fact Martel thinks Santana will scare them. The promo got cut off.

 

Next week in action will be Bam Bam Bigelow, Randy Savage, The Islanders and more.

 

Final Thoughts: They are continuing to push newer characters and feuds. There were a ton of plugs for the “Piledriver” on this show as that album was being released in a couple of days. The company was building the foundation for the rest of the decade, shaping up feuds and developing characters.

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Saturday: PTBN Podcast #172 with Kevin Kelly discussing 1997 WWF, Part One

Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 9/20/87

Tuesday: WWF Madison Square Garden 9/21/87

Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Bret Hart, Volume 2

Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/26/87