The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School – Boston Garden 09.06.86
Taped from Boston
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred
Sivi Afi v. Pete Doherty
Gorilla notes that King Tonga would now like to be called Haku, and Afi wants to be known as Tama. So I guess they were originally going in a different direction with the Islanders! Afi does his Jimmy Snuka Jr. offense to start, and he’s blatantly wearing the same gear and growing his hair out. He sends Doherty running away with a series of dropkicks and chops. Back in, Afi works a headlock while Hayes treats us to a scientific reasoning of the Pacific island wresting tradition: All the kids out there just hang out on the beaches all day and wrestle each other. Sounds legit. Duke tries a headlock, but Afi puts him down with a headbutt for two and goes to the dreaded nerve pinch. And more stuff happens and Afi finishes with a flying bodypress at 7:00. YOU WILL CHEER SIVI AFI BECAUSE HE’S KIND OF LIKE JIMMY SNUKA, DAMMIT. *
The Hart Foundation v. The US Express
Spivey and Rotunda are now reduced to using John Phillip Sousa for their entrance, which always makes me think of Mr. Show: https://youtu.be/GsTZ0eFJMLY The Harts are wearing the rare blue gear tonight, which always seemed wrong to me. Bret goes after Rotunda to start, but he gets catapulted into the corner and Spivey grabs a headlock. Bret bails and it’s over to Neidhart, as we get a power battle with Spivey and Anvil also ends up bumping around in the babyface corner. Alfred is very impressed by the teamwork of the “youngsters” in the US Express. I’m pretty sure Mike Rotunda was born at age 35. The Express switches off on a leglock illegally, so the ref just asks them if they tagged and Gorilla is OFFENDED. Sadly, karma proves to be too much for the babyfaces, as the Harts quickly cheat and take over, with Spivey getting choked out by the tag rope while the ref checks on Rotunda. I’m just waiting for Gorilla to lobby for two referees in every tag match so I can take a drink.
Hot tag Rotunda , but he misses a blind charge and it’s back to the offense for the Harts. Demolition elbow gets two for two. The Harts cut off the ring wonderfully as Bret antagonizes Spivey until he finally just chases Bret around the ring in frustration while Neidhart chokes Rotunda out the entire time. How stupid IS Spivey? Bret might as well have been running around with a neon sign saying “Distraction”. Rotunda fights for the tag, so Bret just comes in and hits him from behind to cut it off, since the ref isn’t DOING HIS JOB as Gorilla would say. They toss Rotunda again and finally Spivey can take no more, heading over to beat on Bret on the floor. Back in, Rotunda fights back with a sunset flip on Anvil for two, but Neidhart dives over and facelocks him to cut off a tag. Great bit of positioning there as Neidhart makes sure to put himself between Rotunda and Spivey. And Rotunda makes the dramatic comeback, fights up..and Bret comes in to distract the ref again. Awesome. Bret comes in and misses his own charge, taking the corner bump, and Rotunda finally runs the heels together…but again the ref is distracted while Spivey gets the hot tag. So he just allows it anyway. That’s disappointing, they were really building to an incredible hot tag there and we lost the moment. Spivey bulldogs Bret for two and the bell rings at 18:30, so I guess it’s a 20:00 draw. This was pretty great tag team wrestling before it fizzled out at the end, and Bret terrorizing Spivey was a master class. ***1/2
Intercontinental title: Randy Savage v. George Steele
Savage attacks and gets thrown out and we get the stall-o-rama until Savage takes over with a foreign object, which George no-sells. Savage grabs a chair and Steele ignores that as well, and they brawl outside, where Savage just starts throwing chairs in the ring until Steele uses one of them for the DQ at 5:30. And then Savage is immediately like “F--- it, I’m out” and walks away. Nothing to this one. DUD
Rene Goulet v. Pedro Morales
Big stall to start and Pedro grabs a headlock and that goes on for a while, until Pedro gets a sunset flip for two. “Lightning fast!” notes Gorilla. That’s a very generous assessment on Gorilla’s part. Finally Goulet gets a cheapshot and works Pedro over on the floor to take over. He chokes away on the apron while Gorilla is excited about seeing the dreaded SCORPIO CLAWHOLD from Goulet. He had a FINISHER? Goulet actually teases the claw, then stops and drops an elbow instead before going to a nerve hold. Gorilla, who is now just actively being wacky, declares that it’s the dreaded FRENCH CROISSANT while calling it completely straight. Sadly, we never see the claw because Pedro makes the comeback while Goulet bumps all over until a rollup finishes at 10:40. Gorilla going so over-the-top with his call made this somewhat watchable. ½*
King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd v. The Machines
I’m not sure what music the Machines were using, but it’s overdubbed with something generic and vaguely Japanese. Big Machine immediately slams Studd and they chase Bundy out of the ring. Back in, Studd gets double-teamed, and Bundy misses the Avalanche on Big. Finally Bundy elbows Big down, but Super Machine comes in and throws elbows on both heels until running into an elbow from Studd. The heels collide, but work through their personal differences and Studd gets a cheapshot on Super Machine to take over. Finally it’s hot tag Big Machine and he elbows Studd down, but Bobby runs in for the DQ at 9:13. This was a whole lot of nothing, although the Heenan family was drawing incredible heel heat. DUD Bobby challenges them to “find another Machine” and next time in Boston, he’ll put on the trunks himself. I feel like that will backfire on him.
King Harley Race v. Corporal Kirchner
So this is like some kind of bizarre socio-political allegory with the military and the monarchy or something, I guess? Again I must ask: Who could seriously buy crazy-eyed serial killer-looking Mike Kirchner as any kind of a babyface? This dude was SERIOUSLY miscast in 1986. The Corporal works the arm and gets some slams on the King, but Race tosses him and drops the headbutt on the floor. He then follows with a goddamn brainbuster on the concrete and Kirchner barely even sells it. COME ON. Suplex back in and Race goes up and misses a diving headbutt. Kirchner comes back with his own headbutts to put Race on the floor. COME ON. Harley Race has to sell headbutts from someone? Question: What is the tactical advantage of wearing camouflage gear in a bright blue ring? Race fights back in with more headbutts of his own, but Kirchner slams him off the top rope, then misses his own diving headbutt. Kirchner keeps pounding him on the ropes and it’s like “Sell for f------ Harley Race already, you dick!” and then he blocks a Race suplex and gets his own for two. Kirchner with a sleeper, but Race goes low to break and bounces him off the mat with a piledriver, which gets two. COME ON. They fight to the floor and Kirchner wins that battle. Back in the ring, Race finally just clobbers him with a clothesline and drops an elbow for two. And then Kirchner makes ANOTHER comeback, but a splash hits the knees and they both end up on the floor. Kirchner goes up with a flying bodypress and Race rolls through for the pin at 13:44. I don’t know why Race gave him so much offense, but it was pretty infuriating watching Kirchner constantly come back from all of Race’s stuff and never sell any of it. And then even after losing he still gets in Race’s face, and Harley has to put him down with a chair! Thankfully they cut Kirchner loose for good soon after. *1/2
Cowboy Bob Orton v. Cousin Luke
Luke was the go-to Hillbilly while Jim had the broken leg, and he’s pretty awful. He grabs a bearhug right away and Orton slugs him down, and then Luke randomly makes another comeback and throws Orton around, then runs into a knee in the corner and gets pinned at 4:04. DUD Orton didn’t even bother cheating for that one.
WWF tag team titles: The British Bulldogs v. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff
The crowd actually pelts the ring with garbage during the heel introductions as Sheik gets visibly pissed at the ref about it. And then he goes with it and starts yelling at the crowd to draw even more heat. The amount of garbage in the ring is actually really dangerous at this point so they have to cleverly maneuver around the ring clearing it out while pretending to do the initial lockups. Finally the match starts properly and the Bulldogs double-team Sheik in the corner, but Kid gets caught in the foreign corner and double-teamed while the idiot fans throw MORE garbage in the ring. Volkoff blocks a sunset flip and puts Kid in the body vice, then follows with a press backbreaker for two. Slick stops the commentary table and lets Gorilla know that he’s old, ugly and fat. And then Gorilla is SEETHING on commentary afterwards, telling Slick “Unless you want a fatter lip than you’ve got now, get out of here” and then straight up promises to punch Slick in the face if he says anything else to him. OK then! Kid gets tossed by Sheik, and back in for a Sheik backdrop that gets two. Finally Kid goes under Volkoff and makes the hot tag to Davey Boy, who bearhugs both heels, but Sheik hits him from behind and gets the camel clutch right in the middle. Dynamite breaks it up and it’s BONZO GONZO, and they do the finish where Smith gets the small package on Shiek, Volkoff rolls them over, and then Kid rolls them over again to put Smith on top for the pin at 10:55. And then on the way out, some kid at ringside is yelling at Slick and he WHACKS the kid with the cane! Well that was crazy. Match was s--- but the heat was off the charts. **
Next time: The Machines find their third man in Scotland!