December 20, 1987
From the Lee Civic Center in Fort Myers, FL
Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon
In action this week will be Rick Rude, Young Stallions, Bolsheviks, Ultimate Warrior, and the Honky Tonk Man
Young Stallions vs. Rick Renslow & Dave Wagner
The announcers talk about the Slammy Awards as the Stallions are in control of the match. Roma gets caught in the wrong corner but dodges an attack that sends Wagner off of the apron. Powers tags and works over Renslow, who is moving in slow motion. He takes Powers down but cannot follows up with anything and Roma tags and hits a sunset flip off of the top for the win (3:18).
Thoughts: The Stallions looked okay here and the fans seemed into them as well. I dont mention the job guys much but Renslow was just awful in the ring.
Special Report with Craig DeGeorge. This week’s topic is the Slammy Awards as DeGeorge runs down the show, which aired the day before this episode of Challenge. The Slammys were not shown in all markets, however.
“Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Outback Jack
Gorilla is now solo on commentary. They stopped using Johnny V. as a fill-in when Heenan left the booth to manage one of his guys. Johnny was wrestling, primarily jobbing, at house shows until leaving a couple of months later. Rude starts beating on Jack to start the match. Rude puts his head down for a backdrop and gets kicked in the face. Jack slugs away until walking into a boot then we get an insert promo from Rude himself, who tells us that all of the ladies will be watching him accept the “Jesse the Body” award at the Slammys. Rude catches Jack with a forearm smash then makes him submit to the backbreaker (1:32).
Thoughts: Rude dominates another opponent as his heel push continues with success. His act was pretty damn good.
Gene Okerlund is with the Hart Foundation and Jimmy Hart. Neidhart tells the children that they got robbed of the Tag Team titles, comparing it to Santa taking all of their presents from underneath the Christmas tree. Bret tells us that it will be a rotten Christmas for the Hart Foundation but they will rebound and get the belts back because they are the best in the world. Okerlund then informs us that the Hart Foundation have signed contracts to face Strike Force. A good, solid heel promo by the Hart Foundation. They were such an awesome team at this time.
Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. Barry Horowitz
Horowitz gets shoved into the corner as Gorilla plugs a photo of Beefcake in the latest issue of “WWF Magazine.” Horowitz gets pissed as Beefcake struts then catches him with a hiptoss. We get an insert promo from Greg Valentine and Jimmy Hart as they state Beefcake is hurt from the figure four and will hurt more when they meet again as Beefcake puts Horowitz away with a sleeper (1:36). After the match, Beefcake cuts Horowitz’s hair then spray paints a “B” on his chest
Thoughts: Beefcake is really over with the crowds and its no coincidence that he received a heavy push as a result. Even without being Hulk Hogan’s friend, he still would have had success with this gimmick.
Okerlund is with Ted DiBiase and Virgil. DiBiase talks about how wonderful it is to have money before saying how he climbed the ladder of the WWF in record time. He then talks about the pressure Hulk Hogan is facing due to the offer he made for his WWF World Heavyweight Title before laughing about how he caused the Stock Market to crash. DiBiase was a hateable character and definitely fit in with the time.
Koko B. Ware hypes up the Slammy Awards.
S.D. Jones & “Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs “The Natural” Butch Reed & One Man Gang w/ Slick
Poffo’s poem is about Superstar Billy Graham, putting him over while he is now retired. They are officially calling him retired now. We get an insert promo from Don Muraco talking about how Gang & Reed do not have pride and dignity, unlike Graham. S.D. headbutts Reed, who tags out. Gang is in as the faces work over his arm until Gang knocks down Poffo. Reed is back in and slams Poffo, who is able to escape and tag out. S.D. takes Reed down with a headbutt but gets shoved into Gang on the apron. Gang tags then gets the win with a front suplex (3:17).
Thoughts: They are still going with the Muraco vs. Gang/Reed feud, which seems to be one of the top feuds of the “B” shows at the moment.
DeGeorge is on the interview platform with Hacksaw Jim Duggan. He wishes Duggan a Happy Holidays as Duggan tells us Christmas is a time for family and how he likes to make snowmen and that Santa is keeping an eye on him so he better act good. He tries to sing “Holy Night” and it sounds awful. It was a promo putting over Christmas, aimed solely towards the young children watching.
The Bolsheviks w/ Slick vs. Mike Richards & Rick Hunter
The Bolsheviks get hit from behind with dropkicks as they sang the Russian National Anthem. The crowd goes nuts then Volkoff beats the piss out of Hunter. The Bolsheviks take turns beating on Richards until Volkoff puts him away with a backbreaker (1:17).
Thoughts: Without Volkoff singing the Russian National Anthem to get heat, this team had nothing. They were lousy in the ring and had very little in terms of chemistry.
Ultimate Warrior vs. Rex King
For those unaware, King would go on to become “Timothy Well” in the WWF years later as part of the electrifying Well Dunn team. Warrior beats him to start. He hits a slam and a chop before dropping King with a press slam for the win (1:16).
Thoughts: You could tell they had something special in the Ultimate Warrior. His look was like no other and his insane mannerisms inside of the ring connected with the fans, particularly the younger ones. At this point, he was really bad in the ring.
Scott Casey vs. Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart
Before the match, Honky introduces us all to his girlfriend, Peggy Sue. She comes out and they dance together in the ring. We get an insert of Honky talking about how he will win the “Best Music Video” Award at the Slammys as he knees Casey against the ropes. Honky taunts the fans after connecting with a fist drop but Casey fights back as the crowd cheers. Heenan immediately works the “He’s no slouch” line about Casey, who misses an elbow drop. Honky then picks Casey up and hits the Shake, Rattle, and Roll for the win (2:10).
Thoughts: This was the debut of Peggy Sue on TV in a non-pretaped interview role. Its weird because it wasnt like Honky needed another reason to get heel heat because he had that in spades. And he was always taunting and coming on to Elizabeth, which would not make a girlfriend happy.
Okerlund is with Greg Valentine, who says that 1987 was disappointing except for signing Jimmy Hart. He talks about Brutus Beefcake bringing him down and does not understand why the fans cheer him and no longer refer to him as “fruitcake.” Valentine then goes on to say how he taught Beefcake how to wrestle and while good, cannot beat him, before calling him a lousy barber. Valentine was solid on interviews and this was no exception.
Next week in action will be Randy Savage, Strike Force, and the British Bulldogs vs. Islanders match (It took place on the 12/26/87 edition of Superstars of Wrestling).
Final Thoughts: The show was fine. A lot of focus on the “B” feuds, like Muraco vs. Gang/Reed and Beefcake vs. Valentine, to go along with the Slammy Award hype. And next week those who missed or do not get Superstars get to see the Hogan’s answer to DiBiase’s offer of buying his WWF World Heavyweight Title.
Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:
Monday @ noon EST: PWG BOLA 2015, Stage Two
Tuesday @ 900pm EST: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/26/87
Thursday @ noon EST: Shoot Interview TBD
Friday @ 3pm EST: WWF Madison Square Garden 12/26/87
Sunday @ 830pm EST: WWF Wrestling Challenge 12/27/87