WWF Madison Square Garden September 21st, 1987

September 21, 1987

From Madison Square Garden in New York, NY

Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

Tonight’s matches include One Man Gang vs. Hulk Hogan for the WWF World Heavyweight Title, Strike Force vs. The Islanders, and Randy Savage vs. Honky Tonk Man in a non-title match


Steve Lombardi vs. Scott Casey

Bobby Heenan has joined on commentary. Gorilla and Heenan trade barbs as Casey catches Lombardi with a hiptoss after a criss-cross. Casey drops an elbow after Lombardi went down for a monkey flip then takes him back down with an armdrag. Casey works the arm until Lombardi breaks that up with an eye poke. Lombardi shoves Casey to the floor as the announcers mention how Lombardi graduated from the “Terry Garvin School of Self Defense” and is under the tutelage of Pat Patterson. Man, they were hammering Lombardi on commentary. Back to the match as Lombardi grabs a chinlock while the announcers talk about the “Piledriver” album. The crowd chants “boring” and with good reason as this match has been garbage. Casey finally breaks free but runs into a clothesline as Lombardi gets two off of a stomp. Small package gets two then Lombardi grabs a front facelock. Casey powers out and catches Lombardi with an airplane spin but Lombardi is able to come back and land a few elbow smashes. They go back and forth a bit until Lombardi wins that battle. Casey reverses an Irish whip then catches Lombardi with an abdominal stretch, that Lombardi counters with a hip toss. Casey is able to catch Lombardi with a sleeper but that gets reversed as Lombardi takes Casey down. Casey misses a charge in the corner after escaping the sleeper then gets hit with a backbreaker for a nearfall. Lombardi goes up top but Casey slams in off then hits him with a piledriver as the crowd wakes up. Casey gets two off of that. Lombardi swings and misses then Casey takes him down with a bulldog for the win (11:32) *.

Thoughts: This match sucked but the commentary was gold. Worth watching for that reason alone. And you can see this on the 10/8/87 edition of “Prime Time Wrestling” as well.


Cowboy Bob Orton vs. Don Muraco

Orton attacks Muraco before the bell and chokes him out with his vest. Orton hits a shoulderbreaker then smashes Muraco’s arm against the ring post. Orton hammers away then goes back to working the arm, while slapping Muraco on the back of the head. Orton works a short arm scissors and as Muraco tries to power out, yanks him back down by the hair. Muraco starts to hulk up as he breaks free then knocks Orton through the ropes with a clothesline. Orton heads back in as Muraco chokes him out with his t-shirt. Muraco is in control as the fans are solidly behind him. Muraco now repeatedly whacks Orton’s leg against the post. He works a spinning toe hold then the bell rings inadvertently as he still works the hold. Orton gets back in control after a thumb to the eye of Muraco. He gets two with a delayed vertical suplex and heads up top but Muraco got his knees up on a Vader Bomb. Muraco hits a gutbuster for a nearfall then takes Orton down with a kneelift. Orton grabs Muraco by the tights and sends him to the floor. He follows him out and roughs up Muraco, even hitting him the back with a chair. Orton then tries for the superplex, dedicating it to Heenan, but Muraco blocks that as they start brawling. Orton manages to hit Muraco with a powerslam as that gets two. Orton tries a piledriver but Muraco blocks that then Orton bridges up and manages to get Muraco up for the hold again but Muraco reverses it then gets the win. The camera showed that Orton’s shoulder was up but the announcers said the referee was unable to see it due to his position (11:42) **1/2.

Thoughts: Solid match. Orton looked really good here and Muraco did okay for himself as well. Probably the last decent singles match of Muraco’s career.


The Islanders w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Strike Force

“Girls in Cars” is played here. Match starts as Strike Force run in and clear the ring of the Islanders. Martel and Tama are in as Martel dropkicks Tama out of the ring after a flurry of offense. He heads back in and misses a swing as Martel fires away. Santana tags and works the arm of Tama after knocking Haku off of the apron. Santana gets two off of a flying clothesline as Haku broke up the pin. Tama comes back with a slam and tags Haku, who misses a splash. Martel takes Haku down with a deep armdrag and works the arm. He gets two with a clothesline. Santana wins a battle over a backslide with Haku and gets two off of that. Santana runs over Haku and hits an armdrag. Haku backs him up against the rooes then distracts the ref as Tama comes off of the top with a forearm to the back of Santana. Haku works over the back of Santana then the Islanders start using illegal double team moves. Tama taunts the crowd while Haku works a front facelock. Santana manages to make the tag but the ref did not see it happen and orders Martel back on the apron. Tama works a nerve hold and Santana powers out but Tama is able to make the tag. Haku nearly decapitates Santana with a thrust kick but misses a senton as both men are now down. Haku tags but so does Santana as Martel runs wild on Tama. Crossbody gets two. Haku makes the save and the match breaks down. Martel gets Tama in a reverse rollup but Haku knocks him down behind the referee’s back. Haku stomps Martel then Tama tries and misses a diving headbutt as both men are down. Haku distracts the ref from seeing Martel make the tag then hits Martel with a diving headbutt then rolls Tama outside and covers for the pin (13:58) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Good match and more importantly, kept this feud strong as you wanted to see Strike Force get their revenge. Martel was in the zone here. Possibly the best in-ring guy the WWF had in the Summer of 1987. He was that good.


Brad Rheingans vs. Tiger Chung Lee

Rheigans applies an armbar as the announcers put over his amateur career, even mentioning how he probably would have medaled in the 1980 Olympics had not the U.S. boycotted the games. Rheingans continues to work the arm as a fan starts a “boring” chant. Rheingans slams Lee after ducking a clothesline as the bell inadvertently rings yet again. Lee backs Rheingans against the ropes and lays into him with forearm smashes. Lee knees down Rheingans before getting a nearfall with a gutbuster. Rheingans fights back then misses an elbow drop but reverses an Irish whip that sends Lee into the corner. Gutwrench suplex gets two. Lee catches Rheingans with a clothesline then hits a shoulderbreaker for the win (5:01) **1/4.

Thoughts: Shockingly enough, this was a solid match that was all action. The crowd didn’t care but these two guys did not dog it at all. Rheingans unremarkable WWF career ended like a week after this match.


WWF World Heavyweight Title Match: One Man Gang w/ Slick vs. Hulk Hogan (Champion)

Gang overpowers Hogan at the start of the match. Hogan takes Gang down with a knee smash but fails on a slam attempt as Gang falls on top for a nearfall. Gang targets the back then knocks Hogan through the ropes and onto the floor where he roughs him up some more. The crowd chants for Hogan as he mounts a comeback. Hogan does ten turnbuckle smashes in the corner then bounces off of the ropes where Slick grabs his leg. Hogan grabs him and chokes him out until Gang attacks the Hulkster from behind. Gang works a nerve hold then stops short a brief comeback by Hogan with a big boot. Gang works a bearhug now and that last for a while until Hogan keeps his hand raised after the third time then hammers away. He tries a shoulderblock but runs into a clothesline then Gang hits a splash but Hogan kicks out at two then hulks up and fires away. He keeps ramming Gang into the corner and follows with a clothesline. Hogan then hits a slam and then the leg drop but Slick breaks up the pin attempt. Gang hits Hogan from behind and they brawl outside where Hogan whacks Gang with a chair as the bell was ringing. They head back inside where Hogan ends up backdropping Gang over the top rope as the match was ruled a double countout (9:07) **1/2. After the match, Hogan poses to the delight of the fans as the announcers bring up Andre and what he thinks about Hogan as he has an interview tonight.

Thoughts: Decent match, as they followed the big-man formula Hogan primarily used during this time but the heat was not there as Gang just did not reach the level needed to be considered a legitimate threat.


Monsoon is with Hillbilly Jim, who is facing King Harley Race tonight. Jim says he is going to test himself tonight with this match and that Race is not his king. Monsoon wishes him good luck.


Craig DeGeorge is with Andre the Giant and Bobby Heenan, who has an announcement to make. Heenan tells us to watch the beginning of Andre’s WrestleMania III match and see Andre get robbed as he had Hogan pinned. Heenan then warns Hogan to stay alert as he is up “something big.” Andre tells us he is more angry than ever and says what happened to him at WMIII will never happen again then warns Hogan he will challenge him in every arena across the country.


DeGeorge is now with the One Man Gang and Slick, who says Hogan cannot defeat Gang and demands a rematch. Gang then screams at Hogan about being a man and giving him the rematch.


Monsoon is with Randy Savage, who will be facing the Honky Tonk Man in a non-title match. Savage says he is in the major leagues of wrestling while Honky is not and promises to beat him tonight.


Rougeau Brothers vs. New Dream Team w/ Johnny V.

Match starts with Bravo continuously ducking underneath the ropes. Speaking of Bravo, his physique has noticeably changed over the past couple of months. Raymond beats on Bravo with a double dropkick then Jacques gets the best of Valentine as a few in the crowd chant “boring” and toss trash into the ring. Back to the match as the New Dream Team beat down Raymond, until he fights back. Bravo gets hit with a double dropkick then use the wishbone. Raymond applies a Boston Crab but Valentine breaks that up and tags in to hit a shoulderbreaker for a nearfall. The New Dream Team neutralize Raymond, using illegal-double team moves at times, while Jacques grows increasingly frustrated. Johnny V. and his awful wig join the commentators as he tries to pass it off as his real hair and just screams a bunch of nonsense. Raymond finally makes the tag as Jacques runs wild for a bit until Bravo breaks up his sleeper hold. The match breaks down as Valentine puts Jacques in the figure four as the bell rings…………to signal a time-limit draw (17:07) **.

Thoughts: Below average match with a really lame finish. This feud had lasted far longer than necessary and their matches lacked heat. Even the WWF realized the New Dream Team stunk as they would split up in a couple of months.


Sika w/ Mr. Fuji & Kimchee vs. George “The Animal” Steele

Sika screams into the house mic after being introduced. Steele barges into the ring but Sika attacks him from behind. Sika chokes out Steele in the softest way possible as Fuji pokes Steele with his cane. More choking by Sika then Steele pulls something out of his tights and uses the foreign object as a weapon a few times. Steele gets tripped up by Kimchee and chases him around. Steele tosses a chair into the ring but Sika whacks him in the back for the DQ (3:00) -*. After the match, Steele chased Sika up the aisle with a chair, hitting him a few times. More like bunting than swinging.

Thoughts: Good god this was awful. Not a single move that was performed looked like it would cause the slightest amount of pain. These two had no business in the ring at this point.


King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Hillbilly Jim

The announcers mention how Jim is wearing the boots that Hogan gave him that took place in a segment that aired almost three years before this match. Match starts with Jim hitting a clothesline. He then blocks a suplex attempt from Race and hits one of his own but misses an elbow drop as Race takes control. He sends Jim over the top rope then follows him put but end up getting shoved into the post. Race shakes off the cobwebs then heads inside where he no-sells a pair of headbutts before getting knocked down by a punch. They head outside where Race piledrives Jim to the concrete floor as that almost looked like it hurt Race more than Jim. Race misses a falling headbutt as both men are down on the floor. Jim is up first and rolls inside as Race follows just before the ten count. Jim locks on a sleeper as Heenan screams that it is a choke, even going on commentary briefly to say just that. Race escapes as Monsoon makes fun of the King’s crown, implying it cost $6.95 and was stolen. Back to the match as Race gets nearfalls with an elbow and a knee drop. Race hits a clothesline then follows with a pair of falling headbutts but still cannot put Jim away. Jim counters a slam attempt with a small package but Race comes back with a kneelift. Jim fights back and hammers away on Race in the corner. He catches Race with a boot in a terrible looking spot then misses a splash as Race gets on the middle rope and hits a diving headbutt for the win (8:37) *1/4. After the match, Heenan introduces Andre the Giant to the crowd as Race calls him the World Heavyweight Champion as the fans loudly boo him. Heenan gets on the house mic to demand the crowd respect Andre while Race goes on commentary to tell us once again that Andre is the World Champion, implying he had the match won at WrestleMania III.

Thoughts: Race tried but Jim was a slug and this went on for far too long. The methodical pace took the crowd right out of the match as well. The end was instrumental in putting over Andre’s return and how he should be the champion. Now you have your way to have his rematch against Hogan.


Finkel runs down the card for the 10/16 MSG show. It includes Killer Khan, Nikolai Volkoff vs. Billy Jack Haynes, New Dream Team vs. Killer Bees, Sika vs. Don Muraco, and the triple main event that has Rick Rude vs. Paul Orndorff, Islanders vs. Strike Force in a 2/3 falls match, and Superstar Billy Graham vs. Butch Reed in a cage match. Not much of a card to be honest.


Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth

This is a non-title match. Honky bails after Savage charges at him but gets chased around where Savage catches him then fires away. Back inside, Honky hits a double sledgehammer then fires away. Savage kicks Honky, who ducked his head, then snaps his neck off of the top rope. Savage yanks Honky from the apron then smashes his face against the turnbuckle. Savage gets two off of a back elbow smash then runs after Hart, who was intimidating Elizabeth. Honky sneaks out and attacks Savage before bringing him back inside. Hart holds Savage from the apron then gets accidentally knocked off by Honky. Savage comes back with a few elbow smashes while Hart is holding his head on the floor. Savage misses a charge in the corner then Honky kicks him to the floor. Savage is now caught in the ropes as Honky puts the boots to him, stopping to taunt the crowd. Honky gets two with a fist drop then heads out towards Elizabeth but took too long as Savage was able to attack him. Back inside, Savage ties Honky up in the ropes then fires away. Hart jumps up on the apron and gets yanked into the ring by Savage then escapes. Savage chases after Hart but Honky hits him from behind with the megaphone then throws him into a chair. Back inside, Savage ducks a clohtesline and comes back with a crossbody. They go back-and-forth in the corner until Honky headbuts him in the stomach. Honky gets two with a fist drop from the middle rope. He then clotheslines Savage and tries the Shake, Rattle, and Roll but that gets countered with a backdrop. Savage then blocks a turnbuckle smash and fires away. He hits a double axe handle from the middle rope then flies outside from the top where he hits it again. Savage rolls Honky back inside and slams him down before climbing up top and hitting the flying elbow drop for the win (11:56) ***. The crowd goes nuts for the finish as Savage celebrates with the IC Title belt then takes it with him back into the locker room.

Thoughts: Fun match. Savage was over like a motherfucker and now should be in line for a title shot and the belt. However, the 10/3 edition of “Saturday Night’s Main Event” happened and changed the course of wrestling history.


Final Thoughts: Good house show. You had a few good matches and a couple of other solid ones with minimal crap. The Honky/Savage feud is working well and the Strike Force/Islanders feud remains strong and with Andre back and looking for the belt, Hogan can finally get a credible challenger.


Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Thursday: KC Timeline Series: 1984 WWE as told by Roddy Piper

Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/26/87

Saturday: Highspots Brickhouse TV: Season One, Episodes 3 & 4

Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 9/27/87

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 10/3/87