Wrestling Observer Flashback–03.23.87

Happy MURICA Day!  Have you called out a godless commie today? 

This week, it’s a celebration of tag team tournaments, because TOURNAMENTS ARE https://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2016/07/03/wrestling-observer-flashback-03-16-87/

– So tag team tournament news dominates this week.  Synchronicity! 

– The WWF held the first annual (and only annual as it turned out) Frank Tunney tag team tournament in Toronto, drawing a sellout of 18,000.  The results:

1. The Killer Bees beat Sika & Kamala in a comedy match because Kamala doesn’t understand the concept of tag teaming, and the Bees pinned Sika after a mask switch.

2. The Can-Am Connection beat Dan Spivey & Jerry Allen when Martel pinned Allen.

3.  King Kong Bundy & Paul Orndorff beat Muraco & Orton in a heel v. heel match when Fuji’s interference backfired and Orton got pinned.  (This was setting up their split later on)

4.  Demolition beat the British Bulldogs by DQ in a short bad match when the Bulldogs used a chair on Ax.

5.  Demolition beat the Can-Ams by countout

6.  The Bees beat Orndorff & Bundy due to another mask switch when Orndorff was setting up for a piledriver.

7.  The Bees beat Demolition in the finals to get a title shot

8.  The Hart Foundation retained the tag titles when Danny Davis pushed Bret Hart over while in a small package, putting him on top of a Bee for the pin. 

(Not sure why they didn’t have the Rougeaus and Islanders in there too, because DAMN would that be a great tournament if they were part of it!) 

– They did another tournament the week before in the Meadowlands, drawing only 5000 people, this time with the Can-Ams winning the title shot, but the exact same finish with Davis pushing over a small package to allow the Harts to retain.

– Crockett announced all the teams for the Crockett Cup this year, and without the cooperation of other promotions like last year it’s pretty much a giant field of jobbers once you get past the first 12 or so teams.  The Fabulous Ones are scheduled to team up “one last time” before Keirn retires.  (That plan sure changed)

– Wrestlemania’s ticket sales continue to be impressive, sitting currently at 78,000 with two weeks left.  If it does get to a sellout with 87,000 people, it’ll likely be a record for attendance that’s untouched by anything in the world for a long time because there’s just stadiums big enough to hold more people.  Dave thinks that the midget match is going to be ruined for the live crowd because they’ll look like “specks of dust” to most of the people in the crowd.  Closed circuit is struggling again, but Dave isn’t worried since they’ll be grossing $2 million on the live gate anyway and PPV is way up this year.  Plus they’re not wasting money on celebs this year.  And no surprise, cities in Ontario are all sold out for closed circuit, as Dave notes that the province is “inexplicably bananas for this stuff”. 

– The SNME with the battle royale finally aired on 3/14, and it ended up being a decent show thanks to editing.  Andre is now wearing the black Machines outfit fulltime to hide his back brace. 

– Jim Neidhart was detained by US Marshalls after the 3/15 show in Toronto, and brought back to the US for his trial after allegedly hitting a stewardess.  If convicted, he’ll get up to 20 years in prison.

– To Crockett, where the GODLESS RUSSIAN COMMIE TRAITORS Ivan Koloff & Dick Murdoch won the US tag team titles from Ron Garvin & Barry Windham on the TBS show 3/14.  It took Petrov and the Midnight Express combined to put Garvin down for the pin in what Dave calls “the usual Dusty Finish”. 

– Ricky Morton, Manny Fernandez and Mike Rotundo all took digs at the WWF on that show as well, although Dave isn’t 100% sure of what Manny was saying so he’s just assuming.

– They still can’t draw in Memphis, sending Jimmy Valiant and the Rock N Roll Express to headline and only getting 2500 people.

– To Florida, where the new era began with Mike Rotundo winning the Florida title from Ed Gantner, so he’ll be the top guy moving forward. 

– Crockett will be bringing the New Breed to the main roster, but pretty much everyone else (including Bad News Allen) is fired.  Anyone remaining (like Scott Hall) is now a Crockett employee and can’t work indy shows any longer.

– To Memphis, where Dave notes that this new guy playing Lord Humongous is not actually Mike Stark OR Jeff Van Camp, but some other rookie who’s really bad.  (Poor Sid, Dave doesn’t even know who he is yet and he’s already getting slagged in the Observer.) 

– Tommy Rich has been fantastic as a heel in the main events, doing four star matches as a team with Austin Idol against Lawler & Bigelow. 

– In the UWF, Bill Watts has stepped aside from day-to-day operations, leaving Eddie Gilbert to book while Jim Ross does the business end.

– Bill’s son Erik is going to start in the fall as a quarterback prospect at the University of Louisville. 

– To the WWF, where Jim Neidhart’s trial has now been postponed until April. 

– Samantha Fox was supposed to present the crown to the winner of the Race-JYD match, but she’s cancelled and now it looks like Dog is history after the match anyway. 

– Titan’s ratings are actually getting threatened by GLOW, which is taking huge chunks out of them in major markets.

– The SNME show ended up drawing a 10.9 rating with a 30 share, which is gigantic. 

– The post-WM tapings didn’t have much going on aside from trying to get Duggan over as a top babyface who loves MURICA.

– Dave is amazed that they actually re-shot a botched finish in a Hart Foundation v. Roma & Powers match, redoing the match completely so they could get the finish right.  The show had a pretty hostile crowd, who didn’t realize they’d be sitting through 4 hours of squash matches apparently. 

– CNN is reporting that Andre will turn on Heenan and retire after doing the job to Hogan at Wrestlemania.  Dave is skeptical of their journalism on that one.

– Tom Magee is still doing dark matches, said to “have a better body than Lex Luger”, although it depends on which part of the cycle he’s on at the time according to Dave. 

– In World Class, Dave rips the lid off kayfabe by revealing that Red River Jack is in fact Bruiser Brody. 

– He does concede that Dingo Warrior is getting better.

– The NWA plan to invade Canada died on the vine when Angelo Mosca announced that he’s no longer involved with Crockett, resulting in all future NWA dates being cancelled and no TV deal. 

– With Dick Murdoch going back to Japan, the US tag titles will likely be defended by Uncle Ivan & Vladimir Petrov in a Freebird rules type of deal.  (So why put the belts on Ivan & Murdoch in the first place?) 

– Bill Watts actually set off fireworks in St. Louis, as he went to the media and accused the Kiel Auditorium of “restraint of trade” and basically shutting him out of the city unlawfully. 

– And finally, Kerry Von Erich will definitely not be making his Japan tour, and in fact will likely not be doing wrestling of any sort ever again.  (In a manner of speaking, I guess?)

Have a happy Fourth and go slap a communist!