WWF Madison Square Garden June 14th, 1987

June 14, 1987

From Madison Square Garden in New York, NY

Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight we have Hulk Hogan defending the World Heavyweight Title against King Harley Race in a Texas Death Match. Plus, Hercules vs. Billy Jack Haynes and Paul Orndorff vs. Junkyard Dog.

The Shadows vs. Can-Am Connection

Bobby Heenan has joined the announcers table. The Shadows were Randy Colley (Moondog Rex) and Jose Luis Rivera wearing masks and bodysuits. They go by #1 and #2 here, respectively. Match starts with Martel using his speed to elude #1. Zenk tags and dropkicks #1 as both teams take a break in their corners. Martel stops Zenk as he gets whipped into the corner then the Shadows take a break due to frustration. Back inside, the heel stall as Heenan and Gorilla go back and forth over Gorilla’s claim that he is not paying his talent well. #2 keeps on complaining about non-existent hair pulls then Zenk grabs a hold of his arm and works on that for a bit. #2 goes low on Martel but ends up getting dropkicked to the floor. Martel dropkicks #1 off of the apron then starts high-stepping and pumping his fist in the air. Back inside, the Can-Ams take turns neutralizing #1, mostly using headlocks. #2 fucks up a leapfrog spot and falls down when he was supposed to bounce off of the ropes, then gets caught with a reverse rollup but #1 makes the save then hits Zenk in the back of the head. The Shadows double-team Zenk behind the ref’s back while Martel is frustrated. #1 puts Zenk in a chinlock as Heenan talks up the Islanders and how much better they are than the Can-Ams. Zenk tries to make the tag and does but the ref did not see it take place. Martel breaks up a pin attempt after #2 interfered then Zenk gets tossed to the floor. #1 suplexes him back inside for a nearfall but misses on a splash attempt as Zenk got his knees up. #2 tags in and knees Zenk in the mid-section. He tries a suplex but that gets blocked and Zenk hits one of his own as both men are down. Zenk finally makes the tag as Martel cleans house by himself. The match breaks down as the heels try a double noggin-knocker but Zenk ducks as Martel flies over him and hits #2 with a crossbody (18:56) *1/2. After the match, Heenan grabs the mic and calls them lucky because the Islanders would have beaten them a long time ago. Martel then tells them that they should bring the Islanders to the ring and wrestle right now. The Islanders come out as the crowd goes nuts but several officials hold them back as Heenan tells them they are lucky.

Thoughts: The match was a bore but the antics afterwards were entertaining as they did a fine job of pushing along the Islanders/Can-Am Connection feud.

Billy Jack Haynes vs. Hercules

Hercules spits at Haynes, who goes nuts and starts hammering away. Hercules ducks outside then re-enters and stalls for a bit, pissing off the crowd in the process. Haynes clotheslines him then hits a vertical suplex and a backbreaker as he is overpowering Hercules. He heads up top but missed a fist drop as Hercules catches his breath in the corner before nailing Haynes with a clothesline. Hercules puts the boots to Haynes then knocks him outside where he hits a forearm smash from the apron. Haynes gets whipped into the guardrail then re-enters the ring and taunts the crowd. The action heads back inside where Hercules chokes out Haynes before working over the neck for a while. Haynes tries to mount a comeback but that is stopped short as Hercules maintains control of the match. Hercules gets nearfalls with a backbreaker and a suplex but is unable to put Haynes away. He chokes out Haynes with his wrist tape for a bit then hammers away as Haynes is fighting back. Hercules wins that slugfest then grabs a bearhug that Haynes easily escapes from with an eye rake as both men are down. Haynes boots down Hercules but is unable to capitalize on that as Hercules takes control then puts on the full nelson. Haynes tries to escape as Hercules does not have his fingers locked. He manages to break free after a struggle then clotheslines Hercules as both men are down. Haynes starts firing away then chokes out Hercules with his wrist tape for a bit. He backdrops Hercules then hits a side slam. Elbow drop gets two. They are now slugging it out, laying into each other with stiff chops, until Haynes hits a back elbow smash. He heads over to Hercules, who is able to pull him by the tights as Haynes crashes to the floor. Both guys are now brawling outside and make it in before the ten count. They slug it out again in the ring until the bell rings, signaling a time-limit draw (22:05) ***.

Thoughts: Good match. These two worked a hard, physical style. The finish also signals that a return bout is looming. Haynes and Hercules had always had solid chemistry together.

Gorilla is with Hulk Hogan, who talks about beating Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III and how he will retire if he loses to King Harley Race tonight in their Texas Death Match. That was the stipulation for Hogan title matches a lot of the time in 1987.

Jim Powers & Paul Roma vs. The Islanders w/ Bobby Heenan

Tama yells at the crowd then struts around the ring before the match. Man, he was an awesome heel. Match starts with Roma working a hammerlock on Tama, who runs to the ropes then complains to the referee. Roma comes back with a slam and a dropkick as Tama ducks outside to huddle with his partner and manager. Tama tries to trick Roma with a handshake but Roma catches his foot after he attempted a kick then hits an atomic drop. Powers tags and works over Haku briefly until Tama tags back into the match. Powers works the arm for a bit then hits a dropkick after Tama believed he had outsmarted him. Roma & Powers take turns working the arm of Tama for a few minutes. Roma gets backed into the Islanders corner as Haku tags and roughs up Roma. He hits a dropkick then hammers away. He misses a move but Tama trips up Roma from outside the ring as the Islanders are in complete control as they work over Roma for a few minutes. Roma reverses a suplex on Tama but was unable to capitalize as the Islanders go back on the attack. Roma tries to make the tag but Tama cuts him off each time. Haku slams Roma down but misses a flipping senton as both men are down. Powers tags and fires away on both members of the Islanders. The match breaks down as Haku goes behind the ref’s back and hits a backbreaker then Tama comes off of the top with a splash for the win (19:02) **1/2.

Thoughts: Solid match. Tama did a fantastic job here getting heat and was the glue here. Too bad he let himself go because he should have been a much bigger star. Roma & Powers got in a healthy amount of offense in the loss as their small push continues.

“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Junkyard Dog

Gorilla says that this match could main event any arena in the country. Two years prior it could have. The size difference between Orndorff’s arms is very noticeable here. Match starts with Orndorff stalling for a bit until they fight over a lockup. Orndorff bails before JYD can hit him with the crawling headbutts. Back inside, JYD works the arm then a headscissors as this match boasts very little action. Orndorff now is in control and hits a few elbow drops. Orndorff now slams JYD’s head off of the mat but that has no effect as JYD fights back. He gets a nearfall with a small package then Heenan trips up JYD, who drags him up on the apron. Orndorff hits JYD from behind but its not enough to put him away. JYD charges but gets caught in one of the most pathetic looking stunguns I have ever seen as that is enough to get Orndorff the win (9:47) 1/4*.

Thoughts: Awful match between two guys whose star power was rapidly fading away. JYD was essentially immobile as Orndorff was far too hurt to be working the match. The biggest highspot of the match was a fucked-up looking hiptoss. Fans were not into this either. As a matter of fact, they were not all that into the show altogether.

Gorilla and Hayes are with Outback Jack, who will be facing Jose Estrada tonight. He says a whole lot of nothing here as his push continues to bomb.

Dave Winfield joins the announcers. He tells them they (Yankees) are three games back and not happy about that. Winfield seemed to be enjoying himself.

WWF World Title
Texas Death Match
King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Hulk Hogan

Race tries to attack Hogan as he entered the ring but ends up getting backdropped to the floor. Hogan beats on Race halfway up the aisle then remains in control as the action heads back into the ring. Hogan is going berserk as he hammers away on Race. He chops him through the middle rope then outside the ring smashes a chair over his head as it ends up around Race’s head. Race finally gets in some offense after a low kick as he hits a piledriver for a nearfall. Race hits a falling headbutt that sends Hogan tumbling across the ring. Gutwrench suplex gets two. Hogan reverses an Irish whip into the corner that sends Race to the floor as he took a wild bump. Hogan then chases after Heenan but that allows Race to attack him from behind. Race rams the end of the chair into Hogan’s throat then hammers away but misses a falling headbutt as his head whacks the concrete. Hogan powers up and takes the action back inside where he hits the big boot. Hogan then hits an atomic drop before taking him to the floor with a running clothesline as Race falls into the chairs set up in front of the guardrail. Hogan chases Race up the aisle but ends up getting piledrived onto the floor. Back in the ring, Heenan hands Race the title belt as he uses it to attack Hogan. He leaves the belt next to him then climbs up top for a diving headbutt but ends up hitting the belt instead. Hogan gets up and grabs the belt and whacks Race in the head and that is good enough for the win (9:56) ***1/4.  After the match, Hogan rids Race from the ring then holds the belt up like a baseball bat, begging Race to re-enter the ring.

Thoughts: Good match. Race sold like a champ here too. He was awesome. Hogan now needs a new opponent for the house show circuit.

Hayes is with the Can-Am Connection tell us that they have signed the contract to face the Islanders at MSG on July 25th. Well, that never took place as Zenk quit the company before it took place. Instead we got Rick Martel vs. Tama. You can tell the WWF really wanted to put over this feud and the Can-Ams.

Jose Estrada vs. Outback Jack

Talk about your crowd-cooling match. Jack gets a backdrop to start the match. Estrada uses an eye rake then they engage in a terrible brawling sequence in which Jack was way out of position. Jack then keeps kicking Estrada away after getting taken down as that happens a few times. Estrada uses another eye rake then hammers away as the crowd looks to be sitting on their hands. Jack fights back and hits a slam then drops an elbow for a nearfall. Estrada headbutts Jack in the groin and heads up top to deliver a forearm smash that gets two. Estrada roughs up Jack a bit more until he gets caught with a slam then Jack hits the Boomerang for the win (4:47) DUD.

Thoughts: Estrada tried but Jack was just terrible. And the crowd did not respond to Jack at all. He was soon-to-be a TV jobber.

Hart Foundation & Danny Davis vs. British Bulldogs & Billy Jack Haynes

Haynes pulls double-duty here as Koko B. Ware, the scheduled partner for the Bulldogs, did not appear. Jimmy Hart was not here for the match as he was with the Honky Tonk Man, who was headlining the “B” show in Tuscon, AZ. The Bulldogs & Haynes attack their opponents before the match as the Hart Foundation and Davis regroup outside for a minute. Hart and Davey start off the match. Hart sells a shoulderblock by rolling all the way to the floor/ Davey then works the arm before tagging Haynes, who uses a bell clap. Dynamite then knocks Hart down from the apron before Haynes grabs a chinlock. Davey tags back in the match but Hart coutners a crucifix with a Samoan Drop. Neidhart tags but misses a fist drop as the faces regain control of the match for a bit until Neidhart rakes the eyes of Dynamite. The heels work over Dynamite for a while, with Davis acting as cocky as ever as he kicks Dynamite while he is down. Davis gets brought in with a slingshot splash but Dynamite got his knees up then makes the tag to Haynes, who runs wild. Haynes hits Davis with a press slam then locks on the full nelson but that gets broken up by the Hart Foundation, who are now in control of the match. Haynes takes a beating but is able to kick out of a few pin attempts. The Hart Foundation and Davis use all sorts of illegal tactics as Haynes takes a beating for several minutes until he comes back with a double clothesline on the Hart Foundation then makes the tag to Davey. who runs wild. He hits Hart with a delayed vertical suplex then gets a small package for two. The match breaks down as the faces clear the ring until only Hart is left. Hart gets whipped into the buckle then Davey launches Dynamite at Bret for a headbutt as that gets the win (18:08) ***. Dynamite appeared in a lot of pain after that.

Thoughts: Fun match to close the show. Hart worked his ass off here too. He was bumping like a maniac for his opponents. 

Final Thoughts: I thought the show was solid for a house show. However, this drew the lowest attendance for a show headlined by Hogan as a champ at MSG at this point. His feud with Race was not selling at the box office and the low attendance can also be attributed to the product, which was ice cold at the time. Still, there were for quality matches but also a few stinkers. I’d recommend this show for the good matches while you can skip over the rest.

Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Thursday: 1989 WCW Timeline as told by Jim Cornette
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 6/20/87
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 6/21/87
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 6/27/87

WWF Wrestling Challenge June 14th, 1987

June 14, 1987

From the War Memorial in Rochester, NY. This was the TV taping in which the Rockers showed up to and got fired a few days afterwards.

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action this week will be Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, Killer Khan, Junkyard Dog, and the Ricky Steamboat vs. Honky Tonk Man match from the 6/13/87 edition of “Superstars of Wrestling.”

Don Driggers & Mario Mancini vs. Sika & Kamala w/ Mr. Fuji & Kimchee

Mancini has shaved off his trademark mustache this week in an attempt to look younger but it fails as Sika kicks his ass. Kamala tags and beats him down some more. Driggers tags in and gets kicked down a few times and tags Sika, who catches Driggers with a Samoan Drop then tags Kamala, who gets the pin with a splash (2:21).

Thoughts: Kamala & Sika weren’t really doing much here other than TV squash matches. They were not set up for any feuds or even being discussed in the Tag Team Title picture.

Wrestler’s Rebuttal with Craig DeGeorge, who is with the Can-Am Connection. They are still pissed off at the Islanders for turning on them. Their promos were not good at all.

Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. Dusty Wolfe

Beefcake frustrates Wolfe by strutting around as we get an insert promo from the Rougeaus as they talk about haircuts. It went nowhere and was terrible. Back to the match as Wolfe lands a few shots but Beefcake struts around then catches him in a powerslam before putting him away with a sleeper (2:29). After the match, Beefcake puts on his smock and cuts the hair of Wolfe.

Thoughts: Beefcake started to do his signature taunts (Strut, go to sleep motion) and this was good in that the crowd was responsive to him. The haircutting after the match is also catching on with the crowd. All important things when pushing a new character.

Gene Okerlund is with the Killer Bees. They talk about the WWF Tag Team Division as Blair tells us a story about talking to Hogan as he gets lamer and lamer until it eventually ends. As talented in the ring as the babyface teams of the 80’s, they were the exact opposite on the mic.

Killer Khan vs. Eric Cooper

Khan beats on Cooper while screaming like a lunatic. He hits a Russian leg sweep, which Gorilla calls a “suplex” then shortly after that he puts him away with a top rope knee drop (1:56).

Thoughts: They continue to build up Khan as a possible threat to the World Title.

Okerlund is with Slick and puts him over for bringing in the One Man Gang, who eventually enters the interview. Slick said the ultimate goal in wrestling is the World Title and he is convinced the One Man Gang can bring it home. They are building up another monster heel as a possible World Title threat.

Steve Lombardi vs. Junkyard Dog

Match starts with JYD tossing Lombardi around. We get an insert promo from Slick and Nikolai Volkoff as they both tell him he will be sent back across the tracks. JYD works the arm then hits a few headbutts and an atomic drop before getting the win with a powerslam (2:11).

Thoughts: JYD really looks awful at this point and as a result, spent the rest of his run putting guys over or winning over lower card guys but never involved in any major storylines.

DeGeorge is with Ron Bass, who does not attack people from behind but rather looks them in the eye. He then calls out Hulk Hogan and a few other babyfaces as he promises to bring in his whip “Miss Betsy.” They are trying to get over Bass and his whip.

A replay of the Superstar Billy Graham recovery piece.

The replay of the Honky Tonk Man vs. Ricky Steamboat match from the 6/13/87 edition of Superstars is shown.

Iron Mike Sharpe & Cowboy Bob Orton & Don Muraco vs. Hillbilly Jim & S.D. Jones & Billy Jack Haynes

Orton hip tosses Haynes then celebrates. Haynes comes back with one of his own then hits a few more. He then takes down Muraco as he runs in while Heenan calls him a “show off.”The announcers talk about the Honky Tonk Man winning the IC Title as Gorilla wonders if Heenan is jealous of Hart for managing the IC and Tag Team Champions. The match breaks down as all the faces ram the heels in the corner. S.D. headbutts Muraco a few times but gets caught with a powerslam. Muraco is dazed and tags in Sharpe as Orton is pissed. Muraco and Orton argue on the apron then Muraco tries to clothesline S.D. from the second rope behind the referee’s back but he ends up hitting Sharpe by accident then S.D. covers for the pin (3:25). After the match, Muraco and Orton argue in the aisle as the faces celebrate.

Thoughts: This is the beginning of the split between Orton and Muraco. The way in which it happened was not all that exciting. It’s shocking to see S.D. score the pin here too.

Okerlund is with Jimmy Hart, who is gloating about the Honky Tonk Man’s win. The Hart Foundation walk in and say there is not stopping them and that Danny Davis will be Hulk Hogan to win the World Title. The Foundation then turns their attention to the Killer Bees and call them cheaters, wondering how they can even sleep at night. Neidhart says that they do not have to hide their faces under masks then talk about the other teams. Great interview here.

We are shown the heel locker room celebration as the Honky Tonk Man enters after winning the IC Title. Randy Savage was the first person to congratulate him.

Next week in action will be the Honky Tonk Man, Ken Patera, The Islanders, Koko B. Ware, and Demolition.

Final Thoughts: Not that much going on here, unless you missed the title change on Superstars. They focused on the Tag Team Division and focused on building up some of the midcard guys but beyond that it was forgettable. Its clear the WWF was struggling at this time due to firings, injuries, and pushing stale talent. It was a real down time until the end of the year.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Saturday: RoH Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies 8/16/03
Tuesday: WWF Madison Square Garden 6/14/87
Thursday: 1989 WCW Timeline as told by Jim Cornette
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 6/20/87

WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event March 14th, 1987

March 14, 1987

From the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI

Your hosts are Jesse Ventura and Vince McMahon

The hosts put over the fact that both Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan will be in the 20-Man Battle Royal.

Gene Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan, who doesn’t care how many men are in this battle royal because he is coming after Andre the Giant. Good promo from Hogan.

Recap of George Steele taking Elizabeth away during the last episode of SNME.

Okerlund is with Elizabeth and Savage, who says he is “psyched up” and will hurt Steele real bad as the camera zooms in on Elizabeth, who is worried. Per the rules of the Savage/Steele match, Elizabeth enters the match last as the winner leaves with her as their manager. Savage heads to the ring as Steele comes in and says he will win Elizabeth.

WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. George “The Animal” Steele

Elizabeth comes out with security as Jesse accuses Okerlund of being a “pervert” for checking her out as she walked away. She sits on a lifeguards chair as Savage hits Steele from behind with a double axe handle then takes her to the back but Ricky Steamboat’s music hits as he comes down as Savage retreats. He goes in the ring as he looks at Steamboat but that allows Steele to attack him from behind. Steele roughs up Savage then goes over and bites open the turnbuckle but takes too long as that allows Savage to hit him with a running knee smash from behind. He slams him down and heads up top connecting with a double axe handle. Steele fights back then bites Savage on the arm before using a lifting chokehold. Steele bites open another turnbuckle and throws the stuffing into the face of Savage. Steele heads outside and helps Elizabeth off of the chair but Savage attacks him from behind then slams the chair on him and rolls back inside to get the win via countout (4:30) *. After the match, Steele comes in the ring and hits Savage with the chair before tossing him to the floor. Steele then puts the Intercontinental Title over his shoulder then opens up a poster of Elizabeth.

Thoughts: Not bad for what it was, which was a match filled with smoke and mirrors to further along the Elizabeth/Steele and the Steamboat/Savage stories heading into WrestleMania. It succeeded in doing just that.

An insert promo of Hogan pumping iron yelling out Andre’s name along with others.

20 Man Battle Royal
Hillbilly Jim, “The Outlaw” Ron Bass, Sika, The Islanders, “Leaping” Lanny Poffo, Hercules, “The Natural” Butch Reed, Paul Orndorff, Billy Jack Haynes, Koko B. Ware, Nikolai Volkoff, Blackjack Mulligan, Demolition, The Honky Tonk Man, Killer Bees, Andre the Giant, and Hulk Hogan

Andre blocks Hogan from entering the ring as Hogan shows him the belt. He then finally enters as he tears off his shirt and eggs on Andre but Orndorff attacks him from behind as the match begins. Honky is out first and Hogan dumps him over the top rope. Andre then dumps Sika and fights off Mulligan and Hillbilly before tossing Haku out of the ring. He then drags Poffo by the hair as he tosses him over the top rope. Hogan is halfway out as Ax and Reed work him over. The camera shows Poffo busted open on the floor after Andre headbutted him then they take him away on a stretcher with blood all over his face. Back to the match as Hogan backdrops Bass to the floor then Andre takes out Mulligan with a hip toss as Andre and Hogan have accounted for all of the eliminations so far. Volkoff is gone courtesy of Hogan then Blair gets tossed by Andre. Hogan and Orndorff are going at it as Andre chokes out Koko with his foot. Hercules and Orndorff are now double-teaming Hogan but fail to get him out. Hogan gets whipped into Andre as they have a stare down. They then trade punches but Orndorff attacks Hogan then Demolition beats on him too. Hogan eventually fights out and dumps Orndorff but Andre hits him then headbutts him down before eliminating Hogan as Jesse is ecstatic on commentary. Andre then does a “brush away” gesture as he looks at Hogan on the floor. Several referees take Hogan to the back as we go to commercial. Back from break as Andre tosses Brunzell to the floor then everyone else besides Hercules, who failed to stop, dump Andre over the top rope. Smash then eliminates Hillbilly in sloppy fashion then Koko ducks an attack before sending Reed over the top rope with a dropkick. The final four are now set: Hercules, Billy Jack Haynes, Smash, and Koko. Haynes makes the save for Koko  but Hercules is able to dump him after that. Hercules and Smash double-team Haynes, who comes back and takes out Smash. Hercules and Haynes start brawling until Heenan jumps up onto the apron. Haynes chases im away but that allowed Hercules to eliminate him and win the Battle Royal (11:16) **.

Thoughts: This told a good story with Hogan and Andre taking turns tossing guys out in order to be in the ring alone with each other. It also left doubt that Hogan could beat Andre, who eliminated him from the match. Their confrontation was fun though and a good tease for their WrestleMania III match. As for this match, it was pretty standard as far as battle royal’s are concerned but it really died off once Andre got eliminated and understandably so as no one else in the match could follow the Andre/Hogan dynamic.

Okerlund is with Andre the Giant, who said that it took 8 wrestlers to get him out of the ring but it only takes one giant to get rid of Hogan. Heenan then comes in and gloats over the fact that Andre took out Hogan, accusing him of hiding during the match. Heenan then says that Andre will remain undefeated and become the next Heavyweight Champion.

Now, Okerlund is with Jake Roberts, who will be facing King Kong Bundy. Roberts says that both he and Damien are ready for King Kong Bundy. He leaves before saying that its time for both of them to satisfy their hunger.

A quick insert promo from the Hart Foundation and Jimmy Hart about how they are defending their titles for the first time. At least they are on television.

King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Roberts uses his quickness to elude Bundy, who is afraid of Damien. Bundy gets increasingly frustrated before taking down Roberts with a test of strength. He holds him down on the mat until Roberts fights out. Bundy beats on Roberts in the corner then grabs a front facelock as the fans are behind Roberts. Bundy ducks his head for a backdrop but gets caught with a knee lift. Roberts knocks Bundy down with a punch then Heenan runs off with the snake bag, causing Roberts to chase him. Back from break as Roberts is walking down the aisle with the bag but Bundy attacks him as he re-enters the ring. Clothesline by Bundy who then runs him over with a shoulder block a few times. Bundy charges at Roberts in the corner but misses as both men are down. Roberts gets up first and fires away then goes to grab the snake but the ref intervenes. Roberts then knees the referee, who signals for the DQ (6:14) 1/2*. Bundy tries to attack Roberts, who fights back as Vince weirdly defends Roberts for hitting the referee, saying that he should not have interfered. Bundy goes for an elbow drop but misses and after that Roberts hits the DDT as the fans go nuts. Heenan runs out as Roberts goes after him and Bundy with the snake but the ref trips up Roberts, who then chases him out with the snake as Vince is pissed because he did not get to see the snake on top of somebody.

Thoughts: Bad match. This was all about hyping Jake here as Vince was really trying to get over the snake and even defending him for attacking the referee. A year after headlining WrestleMania 2 Bundy had nothing at all going on here.

We get a goofy promo from Steamboat about how will be “breathing fire” before making some odd “karate” noise. 80’s WWF Steamboat promos were usually so bad they were funny.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Tito Santana & Danny Spivey vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis

Match starts with Spivey getting two off of a crossbody. Neidhart works him over for a bit but Spivey catches him with an atomic drop before tagging Tito. Bret and Tito work a nice sequence then Spivey tags back and gets two off of a shoulder block as Neidhart broke up the pin. The Hart Foundation are now beating on Spivey as they neutralize him in their corner. Neidhart gets two with a slingshot splash that looked sweet then Brett chokes him out against the ropes. Spivey tries and fails to fight out of the corner then gets attacked from behind as the ref orders Tito back on the apron. Tito gets tagged behind the referee’s back but as he goes back to the apron, Spivey ducks an attack that knocks Neidhart off of the apron. Tito cleans house and even knocks Davis off of the apron. he hits Brett with the flying forearm then applies the figure four but as Spivey and Neidhart fight, Davis sneaks in and whacks Tito off of the head with the megaphone and Brett  covers for the win (5:31) *1/2.

Thoughts: Decent action. This was the end of Spivey as a tag team wrestler as he was taken off of TV then became a singles heel wrestler that never got past the opening match level at house shows. He beat the likes of Lanny Poffo and Sam Houston for a year until leaving the company in 1988.

Okerlund is with Steamboat, who claims that he is 100%. Steamboat also says that he breathes fires and it gets hotter and hotter as he knows that everyone is going after his throat. Better than the promo right before this as he got over the injured throat storyline.

Iron Sheik w/ Slick vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

Savage comes out on the apron to distract Steamboat, allowing Sheik to attack him from behind. Savage then joins on commentary as Vince yells at him. Savage then tells us that Steamboat can’t even tie his shoes and that he does not have what it takes to win. Steamboat skins the cat then hits Sheik with a back suplex as Savage tells us that neither guy is in his class. Steamboat hits a shoulder block and a hiptoss before grabbing a chinlock. Sheik goes on the attack then suplexes Steamboat back into the ring for two. Sheik rakes the eyes then uses an abdominal stretch but Steamboat breaks that up with a hiptoss as Savage promises that will not happen to him. Steamboat then slams Sheik and heads up top with a flying chop for the win (3:29) *. Savage then screams about how Steamboat cannot do that to him as Steamboat waves him on but Savage grabs a chair as Steamboat attempts to hop the guardrail to get to Savage but the referee prevents him.

Thoughts: Basic action but the confrontation between Savage and Steamboat here was excellent as that feud remained red hot heading into WrestleMania III

Okerlund is with Hogan and asks him about Heenan’s comments on Andre staying undefeated. Hogan then questions Andre if he cheated to get everyone of his wins and that his whole life has been a gigantic lie. Hogan says that now the whole world knows about Andre attacking people from behind.

Roddy Piper is now with Okerlund, who introduces him before his tribute. Piper thanks the fans and the WWF before saying that he always gave 110% and will do the same as he gives Hollywood a try. The video is then shown, set to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” as all of his WWF career highlights are shown. Great video. The 80’s WWF music videos were done to perfection.

Final Thoughts: As a stand-alone show this was nothing special but in the grand scheme of things it did a fine job hyping up WrestleMania III. There was not any memorable matches or anything but the battle royal was fine leading up to the Hulk/Andre confrontation and they kept the Savage/Steamboat feud really strong and that was really all they needed to do here.

WWF Superstars of Wrestling March 14th, 1987

March 14, 1987

From the Civic Center in New Haven, CT

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

In action this week are the Killer Bees, Hercules, and Randy Savage. Plus, “Piper’s Pit” with guest Hulk Hogan and another WrestleMania III report.

Tiger Chung Lee & Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Killer Bees

Ventura makes fun of the Bees new tights, comparing them to ballet dancers. We get an insert promo from the Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and Slick hyping their match at WrestleMania III as Blair works over Sharpe. Brunzell tags and makes Sharpe scream with an arm wringer. Sharpe finally breaks free and tags Lee, who beats on Brunzell. He catches him with a powerslam then Brunzell comes back with an armdrag but gets caught in the opposite corner after that as Jesse and Vince talk about Bob Uecker. The heels double-team Brunzell behind the referee’s back as this match is dragging. Brunzell finally makes the tag as Blair hits Sharpe with the Bee Sting then tags Brunzell who hits Lee with a dropkick for the win (4:48).

Thoughts: Too long for a squash as the announcers touched upon the other matches and celebrities that will be at WrestleMania III after the Bees/Sheik & Volkoff match was hyped. And the bees new trunks were atrocious.

WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week’s update is on the WWF World Heavyweight Title match as we get the tale of the tape for both men. Lots of exaggerations here but it was all in good fun.

Don Driggers vs. King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan

We get an insert promo from Bob Uecker hyping WrestleMania III before the match. God, he was great. Match starts with a criss-cross spot that ends with Driggers dropkicking Race. He then misses a second attempt as the Junkyard Dog is shown watching the match backstage on a monitor who then says he has seen enough and walks away. Back to the match as Race hits a clothesline then hits a kneedrop before putting him away with the cradle suplex (1:45).

Thoughts: The bit with JYD monitor took up a majority of this match, which was a typical snoozefest from Race. This feud is losing steam.

Okerlund is with the Can-Am Connection. Martel promises that they will be ready for WrestleMania III as Zenk agrees and warns Mr. Fuji that they will be ready for him if he tries to interfere. The Can-Am Connection were not known for the mic skills.

Butch Reed and Slick are shown talking about Koko B. Ware. Reed ends the interview by dropping feathers all over the place saying he will make soup out of Frankie. Fine for what it was.

Barry O. vs. Koko B. Ware

Vince goes mental over Koko’s dancing as Jesse refers to him as “Buckwheat.” Koko gets the crowd going as he reverses an Irish whip then catches Barry with a slam. Tito Santana is shown in an insert promo warning Koko to keep an eye out on Slick during his match against Reed. Barry sends Koko to the floor then stomps him as he lays on the apron. Still on the apron, Koko blocks a turnbuckle smash then drills Barry with a missile dropkick before hitting the Ghostuster for the win (2:43).

Thoughts: Solid action as the crowd still loved Koko. This was about the peak of his career in the WWF though.

Okerlund is with Aretha Franklin. He asks her about a few of the performers as she calls Jimmy Hart a “one-hit wonder.” Not a bad segment.

Now, Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan, who doesn’t care what people are saying as he wants to live forever and that the prayers, vitamins, and Hulkamania will live forever. He then said Andre will feel the power of Hulkamania in front of the whole world at WrestleMania III. Good promo from Hogan.

Uecker is with Andre the Giant. He asks him about meeting Andre in Europe and how they are est friends but Andre comes out and puts his hand on Uecker’s shoulder and makes a fist as Uecker laughs nervously. I’ll say it again, Uecker was great in all of these segments and this was no exception.

Hercules w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Mario Mancini

Hercules beats on Mancini as we get an insert promo from Billy Jack Haynes screaming about how we will see who is the master of the full nelson. Hercules continues his assault on Mancini until he puts him away with the full nelson (1:20).

Thoughts: The psychotic screaming promos from Billy Jack Haynes are a favorite of mine. Hercules was getting a nice push here and starting to get over well as a singles act.

Piper’s Pit with guest Hulk Hogan. Piper first tells us that Adonis will be the ugliest thing you will see after he cuts his hair after their match at WrestleMania III. Hogan then comes out as the crowd goes mental. Hogan is intense as he first tells Piper that he knows there is no way he will let a “fat boy” put him away with the sleeper as Piper says that he knows they will have to bury him six feet under in order to get the belt off of him. Piper asks Hogan about all of the doubters that say he cannot beat Andre as Hogan is unsure if he can pick him up but he will try no matter what before telling Andre he will get him back for tearing the heart out of the “Little Hulksters” as the segment ends with both guys shaking hands then walking off together. Awesome stuff and the crowd was crazy the whole time.

The WrestleMania III report is next. Uecker is shown with Jimmy Hart asking him about the hair vs hair match between Piper and Adonis. Hart promises Piper that he will be bald when he heads off to Hollywood. Mary Hart is then shown with Bobby Heenan and Andre the Giant, who tells her that she talks too much when asked why he has a manager and Hulk Hogan does not. Okerlund then runs down the card. We get some promos mixed in between as Haynes tells us he has been doing wrist curls and that Dino Bravo will be present when the Dream Team wrestles the Rougeaus so he can them lose. The highlight was a wacky promo from the Anvil, calling Tito Santana a “burrito brother” and asking why he has a problem.

Sivi Afi vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Elizabeth

Lots of cheers for Savage as Vince tries to spin it as they are all for Elizabeth. Afi sends Savage to the floor with a dropkick then heads back inside as he headbutts him down. He then hits a slam but Savage gets his knees up on a splash attempt. Savage then hits a clothesline then on the floor hits him with a running knee smash to the back. In the ring, Savage slams Afi down then puts him away with a flying elbow smash (1:37). Savage then gets cheered after the win.

Thoughts: Savage was just awesome at this point and started to get cheered by the crowds as a result, no matter how big of a heel he was.

Okerlund is with Bobby Heenan and Hercules. Okerlund taunts Heenan about the “weasel” name as Heenan said that he has proven himself as a brain as he puts over his stable of wrestlers. Hercules then runs down Haynes and leaves as Heenan comes back but they are out of time as Heenan is now pissed.

Next week in action will be Jake Roberts, Honky Tonk Man, and the featured bout of Jim Duggan vs. Iron Sheik. Plus, highlights from the Battle Royal that takes place at the 3/14/87 edition of
“Saturday Night’s Main Event.”

Final Thoughts: Another show that did a superb job at promoting WrestleMania III, which is just fifteen days away. Piper’s Pit was a great segment and the celebrity involvement, especially Uecker, was cool to see. Not much else to say other than this company was on a roll heading up to WrestleMania III.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Thursday: Highspots Shoot Interview with Ernie Ladd
Friday: WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event 3/14/87
Saturday: RoH Death Before Dishonor 7/19/03 (Finally!)
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/15/87
Tuesday: WWF Frank Tunney Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament 3/15/87

WWF Superstars of Wrestling February 14th, 1987

February 14, 1987

From the Sundome in Tampa, FL

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse Ventura, and Vince McMahon.

Tonight, we will find out if Hulk Hogan has accepted the challenge from Andre the Giant for a match at WrestleMania. Plus, the Can-Am Connection, Junkyard Dog, and Demolition will be in action. Also, we will find out about the other matches that have been signed for WrestleMania.

Clips of the Hart Foundation winning the Tag Team Titles last week from the British Bulldogs.

Craig DeGeorge is backstage with Jack Tunney, who has an announcement to make about Danny Davis, who runs by on his way to the ring. Tunney chases after him as Davis goes into the ring and shoves the other official down. Tito Santana, who is in the ring for a match, almost comes to blows with Davis but Jack Tunney then grabs the mic and announces that Danny Davis has been suspended for life. The crowd goes nuts then Jimmy Hart runs out and takes Davis with him.

Terry Gibbs vs. Tito Santana

Gibbs attacks Tito right after the bell but Tito comes right back and puts him away with the flying forearm (0:20).

Thoughts: Crowd was still jacked after the match as they were still high on the news of Davis getting suspended.

WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week’s subject is WrestleMania III and how the Pontiac Silverdome won a bidding war to host the event. Gene says that the indoor attendance will be broken for this show.

Cowboy Bob Orton & Don Muraco vs. Leo Strohein & “Leaping” Lanny Poffo

Poffo’s pre match promo is about the Andre/Hogan saga as Jesse believes that Hogan will duck Andre. Orton looks pissed after a miscommunication spot when Strohein went for an armdrag as Orton ran through him. Strohein gets destroyed in the corner as Orton & Muraco maintain control of the match. Muraco no-sells a few punches as Vince tells us that Roddy Piper has a lot of movie offers from Hollywood then we get an insert promo from Hillbilly Jim playing the guitar before saying how Hogan will accept the challenge from Andre and win the match too. Orton hits a suplex then Muraco puts away Strohein with a tombstone piledriver (3:23). After the match, Orton and Muraco destroy their opponents some more.

Thoughts: Orton & Muraco looked good here but they no longer had the heel heat they once had and fans didn’t seem to care.

Okerlund is with Hogan and asks him about Andre the Giant. Hogan says that those who doubt his chances against Andre will be in for a surprise then talks about the 6-man elimination match in Boston where he will be teaming with Piper & Billy Jack Haynes up against Paul Orndorff & Hercules & Adrian Adonis. Hogan says this is the tune-up he needs for WrestleMania III. Hogan all but said he was facing Andre at WrestleMania here so that about clears up whether or not he will accept Andre’s challenge. I will be reviewing that Boston show on the blog.

Adonis said that he heard from “Crazy Larry” that Piper will be retiring as he cannot take the punishment like he can. Adonis compares himself to a Veg-o-Matic as he will slice and dice Piper. After ignoring that feud on TV for the past few weeks, they are going back to pushing it on TV.

John Valkower vs. Junkyard Dog

Valkower is billed at 420 lbs. That seems about 50lbs too many. Lots of stalling to start. Valkower pushes JYD against the ropes then backs off as Vince and Jesse hype WrestleMania. JYD headbutts Valkower, who bumps like he got hit by a mack truck. JYD hits some sorry excuse for a shoulder tackle as Valkower bumps around like he is Dolph Ziggler. An insert promo from the U.S. Express is shown as Rotundo thinks Hogan will accept Andre’s challenge but Spivey does not believe that he will. JYD then picks up Valkower and hits the powerslam for the win (2:03).

Thoughts: Man, for a big fat guy Valkower could bump like a motherfucker. That is really the only thing to take away from this match.

Okerlund is with the Rougeau Brothers, who will be facing the Hart Foundation in Boston for the Tag Team Titles. Jacques says that they deserve the titles and since they beat them the last time they wrestled in Boston that they will indeed win the belts. This was a bad babyface promo, actually. They came off as a couple of lame-ass losers.

Mario Mancini & Sivi Afi vs. Demolition w/ Johnny V.

Barry Darsow is in the Smash role permanently now after debuting on the 2/8/87 edition of “Wrestling Challenge.” The face paint of Demolition still looks terrible though. Afi bounces off of Smash a few times before getting caught with an inverted atomic drop. Mancini tags and Ax beats him down. Demolition uses quick tags to destroy Mancini until they finish him off with the Decapitation (1:19).

Thoughts: Darsow was so much better than Culley and it made Demolition look even more badass. They completely dominated the match.

Piper’s Pit with guest Hulk Hogan. Before Hogan comes out Piper recaps the past few weeks of what happened between Hogan and Andre on the Pit. As Piper talks, Hogan comes out, looking dejected and holding onto his shirt in one hand and his cross in the other. Piper asks him what is going on between him and Andre. Hogan said that he doesn’t understand as he worshipped Andre and thought he was his best friend. even patterned his life after him because of how good he was in and out of the ring. Hogan said that they used to fight for the same things but that Heenan got into Andre’s head and when he tore off his shirt and cross, he really tore out his heart. Piper then asks Hogan point blank if he will fight Andre at WrestleMania III for the title and he screams “yes” as he crowd goes nuts. Another tremendous segment, although Hogan’s interview with Okerlund from earlier pretty much confirmed he was accepting the match.

Jimmy Hart is with Danny Davis. Hart says that Davis is now a wrestler and the newest member of the Hart Foundation. Hart says that he can team with the Hart Foundation, wrestle in a tag team, or even in singles competition. And this was the climax of the Davis evil referee storyline. It ended well.

Hollywood Laxton vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

Hollywood is some pudgy jabroni billed from Tennessee. Ventura takes offense at Laxton for calling himself “Hollywood.” He takes over Steamboat with a headlock then grabs a front facelock. Steamboat fights back with chops as we get an insert promo from George Steele on how he likes Steamboat then says some other stuff that no one can figure out. We will learn just exactly what was said later on in this show. Laxton knocks down Steamboat but misses a crossbody and falls outside. Steamboat then follows out with a flying body press then rolls Laxton inside and hits a flying chop for the win (2:02).

Thoughts: The Steamer sold a lot here but the real story here was what Steele said and the announcers were trying to figure out what he meant.

We get a vignette of Jimmy Hart and the Honky Tonk Man looking at one of Elvis’ old planes. Honky says that he will be flying around in a 747, unlike this old piece of junk.

Can-Am Connection vs. Tiger Chung Lee & The Gladiator

Zenk works over Lee as Vince breaks the news that Ricky Steamboat will be facing Randy Savage at WrestleMania III and will have George Steele in his corner. Jesse thinks that Steamboat has made a mistake taking that match. The CAC use quick tags to beat on Lee as we get another insert from Don Muraco & Bob Orton making fun of Zenk & Martel and how they will beat them at WrestleMania III. Gladiator pulls down the top rope on Martel as he crashes outside then beats on him for a bit. Martel gets his knees up on a charge then makes the tag. Zenk runs wild on both guys then catches The Gladiator with a powerslam and takes Martel, who gets the win with a slingshot splash (3:19).

Thoughts: The action was okay but the big news was that they announced two matches that would take place at WrestleMania III.

Okerlund is with Bobby Heenan and Hercules. He asks him about the six-man elimination match in Boston. He calls Haynes “Billy Jerk” several times throughout the interview. Hercules then talks about Haynes going crazy and attacking Heenan so he had to hurt him.

Next week, we will find out whether or not Roddy Piper is going to retire. Plus, the Hart Foundation will defend the Tag Team Titles against the Islanders. Also in action will be King Harley Race, Koko B. Ware, and Billy Jack Haynes. And we will find out what other matches have been added to the WrestleMania III card as well.

Final Thoughts: Another good show. The official announcement of both Hogan and Andre and Steamboat vs. Savage taking place at WrestleMania III was big news. Also, Davis getting suspended for life as a referee ended that several month long storyline too. Nothing else here sucked as the WWF still continues to produce awesome shows leading up to WrestleMania III.

Ring of Honor Night of the Grudges June 14th, 2003

June 14, 2003

From the National Guard Armory in Cambridge, MA

Your hosts are Chris Levy and Ray Murrow

Paul London is backstage and recalls his classic matches against Michael Shane and Bryan Danielson as he tells AJ Styles that he can beat him and will tonight in their #1 Contender’s match.

AJ Styles is backstage with Alexis Laree. AJ shows off the NWA-TNA World Title that he just won as well as his RoH Tag Team Championship. He tells London that he will beat him then add the RoH World Title to his collection.

Christopher St. Connection w/ Ariel vs. Carnage Crew

Buff E insists that he start out the match against Loc and hits him a few times. Buff E does a lot of comedy spots here including kissing Loc on the forehead as part of a double-team move. Mace tags and gooses DeVito then rides him around the ring before engaging in more homoerotic comedy spots. DeVito comes back with a clothesline as the Carnage Crew take control of the match. DeVito gets a nearfall with a dropkick then chokes out Mace in the corner. He beats on Mace with crossfaces as Buff E starts jawing with the Carnage Crew. Mace grabs Loc’s nuts as he was on top but DeVito stops that as this leads to more homoerotic stuff from the CSC. Mace comes back with a swinging DDT as both he and Loc are down. Hot tag made to Buff E as he cleans house while prancing around. Mace hits DeVito with a Bronco Buster then makes out with Buff E then hit Loc with the Gay Basher. DeVito breaks up the pin and tosses Mace to the floor and the Carnage Crew go for the spike piledriver but Mace breaks that up. Mace gets tossed back outside as Loc hits Buff E with a neckbreaker then DeVito gets the win with a moonsault (8:42) *. After the match, the Carnage Crew hit Ariel with a spike piledriver that looked like it killed her. The fans liked seeing that and actually chant “one more time.”

Thoughts: Way too long for a comedy match. Buff E looked awful in the ring too as he moved at a snails pace. The characters are natural enemies and it makes sense for it to happen but it was given too much time.

Chance Beckett vs. Matt Stryker

Beckett tells us that he is all the way from Canada. Wow, what a rarity in wrestling. Anyway, he got a shot here after impressing in the 2003 ECWA “Super 8” Tournament. He didnt have much of a look either as he was pale with an average physique. Match starts with the “pure wrestling” typical back and forth matwork. Beckett goes to work on the leg and works a single leg crab but Stryker reaches the ropes. They go back and forth again briefly until Stryker works a neck vise. Beckett stops that with a neckbreaker then puts on a Dragon Sleeper but Stryker again is able to reach the ropes. They now battle over a test of strength and Beckett ends up hitting another neckbreaker after that. Stryker reverses an Irish whip that sends Beckett right into the tree of woe position in the corner then follows that with a dropkick. Both men collide and are down but Beckett covers first and gets two before applying a chinlock. Stryker breaks and hits a clothesline then hammers away. Leg Lariat gets two. Beckett blocks the Stryker Lock and puts on a Reverse Cloverleaf. Stryker then reverses that and is able to put on the Stryker Lock (11:16) **1/2.

Thoughts: Bland match. Although techincally sound neither guy showed much of anything in terms of personality. The “pure wrestling” format basically consisted of matches revolving around matwork that featured a lot of counters. At least it did here anyway.

As the introductions for the next match takes place, Justin Credible takes out Angel Dust with a super kick and entered himself in his place as the give him a favorable reaction and the token “ECW” chant. This was his

John Walters vs. Justin Credible vs. Chris Sabin vs. Homicide

This is Sabin’s RoH debut. At the time he was the NWA-TNA X Division Champion and only 21 years old as well. Match starts with Walters and Homicide exchanging holds and moves. Homicide chops Walters against the ropes but Walters comes back with a dropkick that sends Homicide to the floor. Walters has a bit of crowd support here as he is from Massachusetts. Inside, Homicide sends Walters in the corner with a butterfly suplex as Julius Smokes comes out. Walters fights back and hits a lungblower then puts him in a bow-and-arrow lock. Walters now has him in a modified Camel Clutch but Homicide reaches the ropes. Sabin is in and snaps off a hurricarana on Walters. Credible tags and gets a good pop before hitting Sabin with a tornado DDT that looked sloppy. He stomps Sabin in the corner then gets two with a powerbomb. Lots of quick tags take place now as Homicide gets two with a sitout powerbomb from the second rope. Sabin catches Homicide then turns that into a catatonic backbreaker for two Homicide comes back with a belly-to-belly suplex for two then Walters tags in and hits a tornado armbreaker for two then attacks the arm some more. Sabin comes back with an enziguiri for two then he and Credible take turns beating on Walters. The match breaks down as Credible takes out Homicide with a pescado and that ends with Homicide taking everyone out with a tope con hilo In the ring, everyone trades off big moves until Homicide powerbombs Walters then makes him tap out to the STF (12:54) **1/2.

Thoughts: The action was decent but it was hardly memorable or anything. Credible was a bit out of place style-wise with the other three but did okay for himself. Sabin didn’t get a chance to really show off here as Walters got some time to shine as did Homicide.

After the match, Homicide and Smokes head backstage to see the rest of his “empire” as Low Ki tells Homicide that he doesn’t need to associate himself with those thugs then walks away as Homicide is conflicted. They have been doing a great job with Homicide’s character by the way.

Punk cuts a promo about being an outcast because he is straight edge, even comparing himself to Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Raven the cuts a promo about he was in a good mood when he got here tonight then welcomes Punk to his  House of Fun.

Raven’s Rules Match
Colt Cabana & CM Punk vs. BJ Whitmer

“Raven’s Rules” means it is basically a no-DQ match. This starts with Punk stomping on Raven in the corner. Raven fights back and catches Punk with a knee then a super kick. Cabana and Whitmer are in now as the story here is that Punk questions the heart of Whitmer after their match when Whitmer suffered a concussion. Cabana fucks around then Punk whacks Whitmer on the head with a chair. Raven counters by taking out Cabana with a chair then circles around with Punk, who bails and heads out back. Raven chases him and they come back out with Raven beating on Punk with a trash can. Punk is busted open as he continues to get hit. Punk’s face is covered in blood as Raven is destroying him. Raven slams Punk’s head off of the wall as we see Cabana and Whitmer spill outside and now everyone is brawling outside. Raven and Whitmer hit their opponents with drop toeholds into the chair. Punk comes back and crotches Raven on the guardrail as Cabana takes care of Whitmer in the ring. Punk yells at Cabana for wanting to fuck around as the match heads back into the ring. Whitmer is getting destroyed as Punk & Cabana are in control. Whitmer dodges Punk, who accidentally takes Cabana down with a rana as Whitmer makes the tag to Raven, who is a house of fire. Whitmer hits Punk with a flying headbutt then Cabana yanks the referee outside. Whitmer then takes Cabana from the apron and hits the Exploder but the referee is not around to count then Punk runs in with a chair and drills Whitmer with a Shining Wizard and puts Cabana on top then rolls the referee back inside. Whitmer was able to kick out but Cabana hits the Colt 45 for the win (16:50) **3/4. After the match, Punk & Cabana destroy their opponents some more.

Thoughts: This match had its moments but it went on longer than it should have and the last few minutes were not all that great. Punk was starting to become a better worker as this match had a lot more psychology than his usual stuff.

Gary Michael Cappetta is with Matt Stryker, who cuts a generic babyface promo putting over his opponents and talking about being in the Top 5 title ratings. Why on earth this guy was getting a push is beyond me. He is the definition of a vanilla midget. Prince Nana then comes in as Stryker leaves and says he is back in RoH and has a partner that will take out who comes in his way.

Diablo Santiago vs. Prince Nana

Santiago hits a back suplex then chops away before getting two with a neckbreaker. Nana comes back and chops Santiago in the corner. Santiago comes back with a neck snap and some more chops but Nana clotheslines him in the corner then hits a running thump before finishing off Santiago with an elevated DDT (2:15) 1/4*. Tortuga comes in and Nana beats him down as well.

Thoughts: Nana is back and getting a bit of a push. The character wasn’t too bad but he sucked in the ring.

Spanish Announce Team vs. Mikey Whipwreck & Dixie w/ Special K

Match starts with Joel and Whipwreck in a sloppy sequence that included a botched tilt-a-whirl headscissors spot. Dixie gets hit with a double team move as the match breaks down. The SAT’s put Whipwreck in the Taffy Machine as this match seems to be under tornado rules. Whipwreck & Dixie are now in control and hitting all sorts of double team moves as the crowd is out of this match. And with good reason. The crowd wakes up with Joel hits Dixie with the Maximo Explosion onto the apron that looked brutal. Whipwreck takes everyone out with a senton then the action goes back inside as Joel hits Dixie with four powerbombs as the crowd is numb to this match. The match breaks down again then Jose hits a swinging DDT on Dixie, who was on Joel’s shoulders, then covers for the win (10:38) *1/4.

Thoughts: Just way too many big moves without a shred of psychology. Plus, a lot of the moves looked awful.

After the match, Special K takes out the SAT’s. Then the Carnage Crew run in and beat down Whipwreck, who fights back, but ends up eating a super kick from Justin Credible. After that, DeVito grabs the mic and announces that Credible is the newest member of the Carnage Crew.

Paul London vs. AJ Styles w/ Alexis Laree

These two start trading stuff on the mat as the fans are doing the duel chant bit. They fight over a test of strength then after that London offers a handshake that AJ declines. They now have a fast-paced sequence that ends in a standoff as the fans applaud. AJ hits a springboard dropkick but misses a pescado. London takes AJ down with a baseball slide but AJ sends him into the guardrail. London stops short of the guardrail then sends a charging AJ into it with a drop toehold then acts heelish as he uses boot scrapes. AJ leaps over the guardrail on a Irish whip but London blocks a super kick then slams AJs leg off of the guardrail. AJ then blocks London after he tried to springboard and takes it into the ring as London sells his shoulder. In the ring, AJ gets two with a neckbreaker as he is selling his own leg. London gets drilled with an enziguiri but London held on to AJ’s other leg and refused to let go then took him down with a vicious Dragon Screw. London works the injured leg of AJ, who comes back and hits London with a brainbuster after a reversal sequence. London gets up and starts viciously attacking AJ’s leg. He slingshots in with a leg drop onto AJ’s leg for two then applies a leg lock. They get up and slug it out until AJ murders London with a clothesline. My god that was brutal. AJ gets two with a powerbomb but London goes back to work on the leg. AJ ducks a diving attack then hits London with the Phenomenon for two. He gets up and limps before placing London on top. Both men are fighting on top until London takes AJ off with a gordbuster then hits the London Calling right on the leg of AJ. London tries a figure four but AJ turns that into a small package. London successfully puts on the hold this time as AJ struggles but eventually reaches the ropes. London places AJ up top but gets shoved off. London hits AJ and goes up again but gets knocked back down. Again, London heads up top and gets knocked down and tries and fails to take AJ off with a headscissors then gets taken down with a sunset powerbomb. AJ hits the Styles Clash but London was able to kick out. AJ then tries a German Suplex and the referee counts to three but then we learn that each guy had both of their shoulders on the mat and the match is ruled a draw (24:23) ****1/2. The crowd starts a “five more minutes” chant as after each guy stands they stare at each other for a few minutes before shaking hands.

Thoughts: A MOTYC for sure. These two were some of the best in America at this point and this match did not disappoint. The finish was a bit lame and a time limit draw would have seemed better I think but the commentators made sense of it by saying how AJ’s leg gave up because of the abuse he took during the match. Another thing is that AJ was not going to lose cleanly as the NWA-TNA Champion and London needed to be the #1 Contender.

Samoa Joe & Michael Shane & CW Anderson vs. Christopher Daniels & Donovan Morgan & Danny Maff

The stipulation here is that the losing team must disband. Shane and Daniels start off the match going back and forth and that ends in a standoff. Maff and Anderson trade chops for a while then end in a stalemate, only to have a slap battle. Joe and Morgan are in as Joe works the neck. Daniels and Shane are in as Daniels beats on him in the corner as the Prophecy neutralize Shane. Joe makes the tag and beats on Morgan then has Anderson come in so they can use double-team moves. Anderson is in and hits an armbreaker as he targets that for a while. Morgan comes back with a powerbomb and tags Maff, who cleans house. The crowd has no idea who to cheer for so they are quiet. To be fair to them, this feud has not been very well built and part of that is most of these guys are in Japan or wrestling elsewhere. Hell, Corino is the leader and not even here. Shane hits a tornado DDT for a nearfall on Maff after a top rope X Factor. Maff dodges a corner attack then hits Shane with a cannonball but Anderson takes him out with a super kick. Joe takes Maff outside as the ref is distracted and sits him down as he hits a running knee strike. Maff takes a beating then comes back with an German suplex on Shane that gets the crowd into the match. Maff tags Daniels, who runs wild as the crowd is into him a lot here. Daniels hits Anderson with an STO then gets two with the Best Moonsault Ever. Anderson comes back with a left hand then tags Joe who gets a nearfall. Morgan tags and Joe gets the best of him for a bit. Anderson tags and hits Morgan with a superplex then Shane comes off of the top with an elbow drop but Daniels comes off the top and hits Anderson then they make double covers until Joe and Maff make the save. The match completely break down as Daniels and Shane go back and forth which leads to a lot of big moves that result in nearfalls as people keep running in for the save. Maff and Joe are in the ring as they escape from each other’s finishers then Maff cradles Joe and gets the upset win (20:51) ***.

Thoughts: Solid action but the finish came out of nowhere. Plus, this feud was not that hot as the leader of the Group, Corino, barely appeared in RoH at this time and was not even present here. This was the last of Shane, Morgan, and Anderson in RoH too.

Backstage, the Prophecy are gloating as Daniels tells the Group that they dropped the ball. After that, Raven tries to recruit Daniels as his partner to face Punk & Cabana. Daniels appreciates Raven compliments then agrees to be his partner.

Joe is backstage as he tells Maff that he has his shot against the champion on 6/28.

Special K demands the lighting guy turn off the lights so they can party and he says no until Slugger intimidates him. As they party, the Carnage Crew toss them around and say that they will be more angry and violent and as a result, will kick more ass. Credible then yells about using two years of anger from being “held back” as motivation kick ass.

Final Thoughts: Not a bad show. You had a MOTYC and the Raven/Punk feud is still going well. The Group/Prophecy feud kinda sucked and now that it ended they can focus on something else. The only complaints are the constant scramble matches that are getting tiresome to watch and the pure wrestling stuff is not exciting at all. But overall, the company is going in the right direction.

WWF Wrestling Challenge December 14th,1986

December 14, 1986

From the Metro Centre in Rockford, IL

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight will be Randy Savage, Butch Reed, U.S. Express, and Adrian Adonis.

Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Elizabeth vs. Mario Mancini

Mancini surprises Savage by taking him down. He then backs Savage into the corner as the announcers talk about what Savage did to Steamboat as Heenan makes a joke about Steamboat being unable to help out his wife with the housework. Mancini eats a knee on a charge then gets tossed to the floor. Savage follows him out with a top rope double axe handle then rolls Mancini inside to hit another one as we get an insert promo from Savage dissing Steamboat then he gets the win with a flying elbow smash (1:24).

Thoughts: They really kept the Steamboat/Savage storyline going strong even with Steamboat off of TV. This feud was red hot.

We get a “Wrestler’s Rebuttal” from Kamala and the Wizard, who screams about Kamala not being in the lastest issue of WWF Magazine. Enough of the Wizard.

Jack Tunney lets us know that Andre the Giant has been reinstated into the WWF and only tells us how Andre no-showed the meeting and Bobby Heenan was there. You could easily tell that something fishy was going on about Andre’s suspension being lifted and the WWF did a great job at keeping the fans in suspense.

Bobby Colt & Steve Lombardi vs. U.S. Express

Gorilla asks Heenan about Andre and he just dodges the question. Lombardi and Rotundo briefly go back and forth until Rotundo takes him down with a flying headscissors. He hits an atomic drop then tags Spivey, who also hits an atomic drop. Colt tags but Spivey takes them both down with a crossbody block. The announcers talk about how referee Danny Davis’ license expires in April as Colt takes a beating before getting put away with the bulldog (2:20).

Thoughts: The U.S. Express fell by the wayside at this point as their were a lot of teams better than them and the fans were not all that crazy for the duo either. It seemed like they still saw Spivey as a Barry Windham knockoff.

Ken Resnick is with Johnny V. and Dino Bravo. Johnny talks about how Bravo has agreed to listen to everything he says as he can trust him and is able to go all the way to the top. Bravo says that playing Mr. Nice Guy got him nowhere and that Johnny showed him the light. A segment designed to show everyone how these two were on the same page.

Another vignette from Blackjack Mulligan on his ranch. He talks about all he has been doing and calls out King Kong Bundy. Oddly enough, Bundy kept on getting called out but had not been on TV for several weeks.

Paul Roma vs. King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan

Johnny V. has replaced Heenan on commentary for this match. Heenan demands that everyone give Race a standing ovation and they boo mildly. Roma leapfrogs Race then sends him over the top rope with a dropkick. Roma then goes outside and puts on Race’s crown. Race then rams him into the post and rolls him back inside where he drops a pair of elbows before putting him away with the cradle suplex (1:50).

Thoughts: Nice of them to give Roma a bit of offense here. Race was still struggling to get over as he never looked comfortable with the King gimmick. If Roma was six inches taller, he would have been a star. His height held him back a lot.

A replay of the Honkytonk Man revealing Jimmy Hart as his manager is shown.

“Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. “The Natural” Butch Reed w/ Slick

Once again, Heenan dodges Gorilla’s question about Andre the Giant’s hearing. Poffo floats over Reed and gets two with a rollup. Reed gets cocky after a leapfrog and ends up walking into a dropkick. Reed comes back with a dropkick of his own that sends Poffo to the floor then goes outside and exposes the concrete and slams him down. Back in the ring, Reed knocks down Poffo and slams him him down before getting the win with a flying clothesline (2:09).

Thoughts: The Natural’s push continues but he really wasn’t getting all that much heel heat. He needs a feud.

The Snake Pit with guest Roddy Piper. Roberts insults Piper before inviting him out then asks him about Adonis coming on the Pit last week and declaring that Piper’s time is up. Piper  looks focused and pissed off and only talks about how Adonis is wrestling next as Jake gets upset. Piper then  declares that Adonis’ time is up. Interesting segment with a lot of foreshadowing here.

S.D. Jones vs. “Adorable” Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart

Adonis puts his robe over the head of Jones then hammers away. The crowd starts to go crazy as Piper comes out to the ring. Adonis gets distracted as Jones takes control. Adonis keeps looking and Piper and struggling to maintain control in the ring. Jones gets two off of a rollup but Adonis tossing him outside then Piper runs into the ring to attack Adonis as the ref rings the bell for the DQ (2:13). Piper unloads on Adonis until half of the locker room comes out to break it up. Adonis tries to escape but Piper follows him out and chases him up the ramp.

Thoughts: Decent pull apart brawl. It might have looked tame by today’s standards but these two were in the midst of a hot feud so any action between the two was great, especially seeing Piper getting the upper hand on Adonis.

Jesse Ventura is with the Can-Am Connection. He tells the duo that he is impressed by them and tries to intimidate them with his body as they laugh at him. They are already giving the Can-Am Connection a strong push.

Sika w/ The Wizard vs. Bob Boyer

Sika catches Boyer with a back elbow smash then slams him down as Heenan continues to avoid Gorilla’s questions about the reinstatement of Andre the Giant. Sika roughs up Boyer for a bit until he puts him away with the Samoan Drop (1:01).

Thoughts: Sika still looked as scary as anyone else on the roster but he was washed up in 1984 and even more deteriorated here.

We get a promo from Hulk Hogan who tells Randy Savage that he will throw the title aside in order to wrap his 24 inch pythons around his neck for what he did to Ricky Steamboat. With Hogan endorsing how much he wants to hurt Savage for what he did and even put the title aside, you know the WWF was serious about making Steamboat/Savage a top feud.

Next week in action will be the Honkytonk Man and Hercules plus an update on the condition of Ricky Steamboat.

Final Thoughts: A much better episode of Challenge than the previous few weeks. They advanced angles instead of just showing replays of “Superstars of Wrestling.” The show long theme on commentary of Heenan ignoring Gorilla’s questions about Andre was well done. The WWF was doing a great job of keeping their top feuds hot at this time.

WWF Wrestling Challenge September 14th, 1986

September 14th, 1986

From The Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, CT

Your hosts are Ernie Ladd, Johnny Valiant, and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight are Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff & Hercules Hernandez, Ricky Steamboat, Hillbilly Jim & Cousin Luke, Kamala, and Junkyard Dog & George Steele vs. The Funks. Plus, the “Snake Pit” with guest Hillbilly Jim and more.

Hoss & Jimmy Jack Funk w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Junkyard Dog & George “The Animal” Steele w/ Capt. Lou Albano

Valiant belives that the face team needs psychiatric care. JYD slams both of the Funks as the referee maintains order. Albano is then shown in an insert promo talking about his team as Jimmy Jack accidentally clotheslines Hoss to the floor. Steele is getting beat on in the corner until Steele escapes and tags JYD, who hits Jimmy Jack with crawling headbutts. Hoss trips up JYD  then attempts to tie him up but Steele runs him off with a chair then JYD puts Jimmy Jack away with a back suplex (2:20).

Thoughts: I made a mistake from a few weeks ago as this was the last WWF TV appearance for Hoss Funk. Jimmy would go on to become a jobber and that lasted for about a year.

And now we get a “Wrestler’s Rebuttal” from the Hart Foundation, who do not care for the fans calling them names as Bret does the “Best there is..” line for possibly the first time ever before saying that we are looking at the next Tag Team champions.

Mario Mancini vs. Kamala w/ The Wizard & Kimchee

King Curtis Iaueka was known as “The Wizard” at this point. Mancini got himself a new vinyl jacket with his name on the back. Good for him. Kamala chops down Mancini then rakes his eyes as we get an insert promo from King Curtis, which is getting to be grating. Kamala chops down Mancini again before putting him away with a splash (1:49).

Thoughts: Kamala continues to get the monster push en route to a future feud with Hogan.

Ken Resnick is with Capt. Lou Albano and talks about how he has done a great job in giving George Steele psychiatric help. Albano says that Steele has the heart of a lion and knows every move their is but since they corrected his speech problems, he has been able to help him fight MS and everything else. Steele closes by telling Savage that he is going to be vicious in their match.

Joe Mirto & Jack Kruger vs. Cousin Luke & Hillbilly Jim

The Hillbillies get jumped before the bell but quickly take control of the match. Jim hiptosses Mirto as we get an insert promo from Jimmy Hart who says that he hates the Hillbillies and that his teams will come get them. Luke slams Mirto but misses an elbow drop. Kruger tags and dropkicks Luke. He takes him over with a snapmare but Luke blocks a hiptoss then hits one of his own. Jim tags and they hit Kruger with a double slam then Jim catches Kruger in a bearhug for the win (2:39).

Thoughts: This was the end of the Cousin Luke/Hillbilly Jim team. Jim would go on to feud with Mr. Fuji then Randy Savage as Luke wrestled on house show openers against jobbers until leaving the company at the beginning on 1987.

Resnick runs down the depth of the Tag Team Division before bringing out the Rougeau Brothers, talking about how they have been undefeated since arriving to the WWF. Raymond says that they love competition as Jacques talks about how he loves his brother and how they keep each other motivated.

We are now shown a promo from the Honky Tonk Man, who throws out every Elvis cliche there is before declaring that he will be arriving to the WWF shortly.

Roger Kirby vs. Ricky Steamboat

Kirby gets a hiptoss and a slam but Steamboat comes back with a dropkick. Steamboat works the arm as Gorilla puts over his feud against Jake Roberts. Kirby comes back with an inverted atomic drop then fires away as Ladd and Valiant yell at each other in an excruciating bit. Kirby stays on the attack but Steamboat makes a comeback then finishes off Kirby with a flying body press (4:32).

Thoughts: The commentators really pushed Steamboat’s feud with Roberts heavily in this segment so that will still continue for a little while.

The Snake Pit with Jake Roberts. He welcomes Hillbilly Jim and tells him that it is not the size of the wand but rather the magic you can perform. They then match philosophies in a bit that went absolutely nowhere. A waste of time.

Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy vs. Paul Roma & Billy Jack Haynes

Studd and Haynes fight over a hammerlock as we get an insert promo from Harley Race about how he will rule wrestling with an iron hand. Bundy tags and rams Haynes into the corner but misses an Avalanche attempt and Roma tags. He dropkicks Bundy in the corner but ends up getting hit with an Avalanche and gets the win (2:36).

Thoughts: Not a whole lot to this match. The WWF really gave Race a strong push with the King gimmick as that was the biggest takeaway here.

Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff & Hercules Hernandez w/ Freddie Blassie & Slick vs. Corporal Kirchner & Jim Powers & Salvatore Bellomo

The faces clear the ring to start. The match settles down as Sheik backdrops Bellomo. Powers and Hercules tag in as Herc beats down Powers. Volkoff tags as the heels take turns destroying Powers. The ring is still filled with trash that was thrown at Volkoff during his rendition of the National Anthem. We get an insert promo from Superstar Billy Graham hyping his return to the WWF as Hercules submits Powers with the backbreaker (2:59).

Thoughts: Haven’t seen Bellomo in a while, who would hang around to the beginning of 1987. He even turned heel in a move that no one cared about. It’s clear that the WWF has given up on Kirchner as he would stick around as an opening match guy for another year or so.

Resnick is with Jimmy Hart and the Hart Foundation. Neidhart acts all sad because the fans are referring to the Hart Foundation as “Nasty Boys” and tells Hart that there is something very wrong with that in a funny bit. Brett says that there is nothing nasty about the way they win and how they do not need to cheat to win becuase they are strength and skills then run down the face teams. The Hart Foundation finally got to show a lot of personality here and it was funny, mainly due to Neidhart.

Next week in action are the Killer Bees, Sika, The Dream Team, “Rebel” Dick Slater, Randy Savage and the Machines. Plus, the Snake Pit with guest Paul Orndorff and the featured match, the Hart Foundation vs. The Islanders.

Final Thoughts: Not too much happened here but the Hart Foundation interview was nice. Also, it is clear that they are pushing Kamala and also look to be giving Hillbilly Jim another push.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/20/86
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Christopher Daniels (2014)
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 9/21/86
Saturday: RoH All Star Extravaganza 11/9/02
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/27/86

Email me at [email protected]

Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/mrbayless1982

WWF Championship Wrestling December 14th, 1985

December 14, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
This week, Junkyard Dog & George “The Animal” Steele will team up. Also, The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff and “Adorable” Adrian Adonis (The first time Adonis has been called “Adorable” on TV)

Steve Lombardi & Dave Barbie vs. Junkyard Dog & George “The Animal” Steele w/ Capt. Lou Albano
The match starts with all four men going after each other. The action was really slow too. The ref takes control as JYD beats on Lombardi, who tags Barbie. Steele tags and bites Barbie in the corner then tosses him aside so he can bite the turnbuckle then he tags JYD who gets the win with a powerslam (2:58). After the match, JYD and Albano teach Steele to dance as Vince yells at the Animal to “GIT DOWN.”
Thoughts: A really bad match in the ring and the crowd was not into it nearly as much as they usually are for JYD. That is a not a good sign for the first match at the taping.
“Adorable” Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Michael Saxon
They have no begun the “Adorable” gimmick on TV for Adonis. Vince plugs the benefit show for Rick McGraw as they announced his passing for the first time. Adonis beats on Saxon and tosses him outside. He slams Saxon to the floor then brings him back inside and beats him up all over the ring. He hits a neckbreaker before putting him away with a jumping DDT (2:30). After the match, Adonis blows a kiss to the crowd then drops an elbow on Saxon.
Thoughts: Adonis was not very flamboyant at all during the infancy of his new gimmick. His weight was getting out of control at this point and his ring work would deteriorate rapidly.
Gene Okerlund is with Bruno Sammartino, who tells him that he destroyed Piper just like he said in Boston last week. He then says that he and Paul Orndorff are going to destroy both Piper and Orndorff in Boston on January 11th. Bruno could still cut a decent promo.
Vince McMahon plugs the “Slammy Awards” and shows us a clip of “Land of 1,000 Dances” and tells us we can vote for the best personality in the video by sending in a postcard.
The Gladiator & Mr. X vs. Corporal Kirchner & Scott McGhee
Some miscommunication here as Finkel was not given the updated information and announced Tony Atlas as Kirchner’s partner instead of McGhee, which looked even odder because the graphic before going to break read that McGhee was teaming with Kirchner. Match starts with Kirchner working on the arm of Mr. X. Both men tag out as McGhee suplexes The Gladiator then tags Kirchner, who catches him with a Samoan Drop for the win (1:30).
Thoughts: They seem to be pushing Kirchner again, although nowhere nearly as strong as before. McGhee could go in the ring but was never going to amount to anything in the WWF.
Mean Gene is with Lanny Poffo. He recites a poem about Bobby Heenan that Okerlund appreciated.
Ted Grippley & Mr. Wrestling II vs. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff
As Volkoff signs the Russian National Anthem, Kirchner comes out with the American flag as the crowd goes crazy, allowing Grippley and Wrestling II to attack. MWII and Sheik start things out. MWII lands a few shots before tagging out. Sheik destroys Grippley and hits a suplex before putting him away with the Camel Clutch (1:30).
Thoughts: Short match and Volkoff did not tag in once. Now they appear to be setting up a feud between Kirchner and the team of Sheik & Volkoff. I believe had Tony Atlas not been such a major fuck-up around this time, he was going to team with Kirchner to feud with Sheik & Volkoff.
Piper’s Pit with guest Hillbilly Jim. Roddy mocks Jim by speaking very slowly then asks him if he is nervous to face him in the ring. Jim isn’t nervous then when Piper insults Uncle Elmer, he has Jim stand up so Orton can lay down behind him. The segment ends before we can see if Piper pushed Jim down.
Footage of the Fabulous Moolah, as the Spider Lady, beating Wendi Richter for the Women’s Title at Madison Square Garden.
Another Slammy award category is announced. It is for the best single on the “Wrestling Album.”
Moondog Spot & John Rizzo vs. Killer Bees
Blair and Spot start off going back and forth. Brunzell tags and hits a monkey flip before going to work on the arm. Spot catches him with a backbreaker then slams him down before tagging Rizzo. Brunzell gets away and tags Blair who slams Rizzo in an awkward spot. He then hits a clothesline before putting him away with an elbow drop (2:44). I don’t think that was supposed to be the finish as Blair looked pissed afterwards and Vince even said that the move didn’t look like it was enough to put him away.
Thoughts: The end was definitely screwed up as the Bees looked upset at the end. Rizzo was a short, fat jobber who had no skills at all. The Bees are getting over with the TV audience.
Piper cuts a promo starting with a Piper LJN figure on a chair before plopping himself down. Orton is behind him as Piper talks about how he beat on Bruno in Boston, pressing his fingers against his nose to mock Bruno. Piper then goes on a tangent about Bruno & Orndorff not being man enough to approach them for a fight. Piper then says that he is the “Legend Killer” and warns Orndorff to not risk his career by aligning with Bruno. Typical Piper promo but it was still good.
In action next week are Ricky Steamboat & King Tonga, Terry Funk, Randy Savage, The Dream Team, Hillbilly Jim & Cousin Junior, and the World’s Strongest Man, Ted Arcidi.
Final Thoughts: A big show in that it showed the Women’s title change and also announced the “Slammy Awards.” They continued the Piper vs. Sammartino feud, which would last until the beginning of 1986 through the house show circuit. They also debuted the “Adorable” character on TV for the first time too.

QOTD – August 14th, 2013


Today’s question is one of my own.

What’s a trend that you got caught up in that you now look back on and think “WTF” ? Could be when you were younger, or 2 weeks ago. Whenever. And the fad could be pertaining to anything. Music, movies, fashion, TV, stupid Livestrong bracelets.

For me, it was when I was 13. This was the peak of me being obsessed with hip-hop and LA culture. I wore only JNCO jeans. Do you guys remember those? For those that don’t, they were expensive jeans [$60-90 a pair] that were extremely baggy. Most pants have an opening of 14 or 15 inches, I believe. But JNCO were often 25-30. I use to have to safety pin them to the back of my shoes so they wouldn’t drag. I loved’em at the time, and they were insanely popular at my school, but of course looking back. Yikes.

How say you?

QOTD – June 14th, 2013

Alrighty, since you guys were receptive to the idea of the QOTD being more than about wrestling, we’re gonna open it up to truly whatever.

So, I thought I’d start off with a pretty great question that I heard on the World’s greatest podcast, and my future home of employment, The Adam Carolla Show.

Instead of a birthday, what’s your worthday? Instead of celebrating your birth, you celebrate the day you truly did something you’re proud of. Something you want to be remembered for. For some of us, we probably haven’t had that major, defining moment, so what’s closest? Or, what would you like that day to be?

For me, there’s so much I want to achieve. However, if I died tomorrow, I’d like my Worthday to be when a few years ago, a Marine who I’d never met, or ever talked to before emailed me out of the blue to say that a song I’d written got him through an entire year in Iraq. He said without it, he’s not sure if he could have dealt with everything. That felt incredible. As a musician, that’s what you strive for. To help people. To reach people. It sounds corny, but it’s the truth. So, for someone I’d never met or talked to before to have heard my music, and for it to have effected him so much is pretty fucking cool.

So, how say you?

Anyone who has a question they’d like to see in the big, bright lights of the BoD, send’em on to [email protected]

WWF World Championship Wrestling on TBS: July 14th, 1984

July 14, 1984
This is the infamous “Black Saturday” show. In 1984, Georgia Championship Wrestling occupied this exact timeslot on WTBS. Vince bought the stock of the company from the Brisco Brothers (Jack & Gerald). In fact, the Brisco’s briefly teamed together in WWF later in the year. On this date, many fans tuned in expecting their regular NWA action but were shocked when Vince McMahon and his WWF showed up on the screen. Viewers were largely unhappy and I believe around 500 called into WTBS and complained. This was a major move in Vince’s plan to make the WWF a national promotion. In the end, the move to WBTS failed and several months later, NWA programming returned to that timeslot. I wish I knew more about the history behind this but I do not.
Freddie Miller welcomes us to the WTBS studio and then introduces Vince McMahon. He promises us that we will see the greatest superstars in wrestling and then names off the wrestlers we will be seeing tonight, making a point to emphasize how big and muscular they all were. Vince hosted the show from the studio but the matches were not taped here.

Nick DeCarlo & S.D. Jones vs. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch
This match features McMahon and Tony Garea on commentary. Garea is as exciting on color as he is in the ring. This match took place in Canada during the “Maple Leaf Wrestling” tapings. That was what “All-Star Wrestling” became. SD and Murdoch start things off. Murdoch keeps on ducking out as SD approaches to get some cheap heel heat. Murdoch manages to tag out while being placed in a headlock and Adonis comes in and grabs a hammerlock. SD reverses that but Adonis escapes and hits a shoulderblock. Adonis charges but gets caught in a slam. He wanders into the wrong corner and DeCarlo hits him with a forearm. Adonis tags out and SD dances as Murdoch enters. Murdoch misses an elbow in the corner and SD hits a headbutt that Murdoch sells forever before tagging Adonis. SD works the arm before tagging out to DeCarlo, who goes to work on the arm. Adonis yanks him down by the hair and tags Murdoch. DeCarlo hits him with an armdrag but Murdoch gets up and beats him in the corner. He whips him into the boot of Adonis and they double team DeCarlo for a bit. Adonis drops the elbow and gets two. He puts him in an abdominal stretch but SD comes in and breaks that up with a headbutt. Murdoch tags back in and beats on DeCarlo for a while. He eventually fights back and crawls under Murdoch’s legs and makes the tag. The crowd is actually going crazy right now as SD runs wild. Adonis hits him from behind and Murdoch works on SD until he escapes and tags DeCarlo. The crowd goes silent as DeCarlo gets in a few punches before eating an elbow off of a charge. Tag to Adonis and they hit their finisher, which had Murdoch lift DeCarlo up in the back suplex position and Adonis came off the top with an elbow, and they get the win (6:11). If anyone actually knows the name of their finisher and could let me know, that would be great.
Thoughts: Dull match but the crowd was really into SD Jones for some reason. I’m not so sure about showing this off as the first match to the Georgia Championship Wrestling audience though. Adonis is rapidly gaining weight. He is not nearly as big as he was during his “Adorable” phase but heavier than he was before.  
Gene Okerlund is with Mr. Fuji and his newest acquisition, George Steele. Fuji rambles for a bit as George is rubbing his chest and tongue, acting like a savage. Fuji then yells at Okerlund for interrupting him then attempts to get Steele to speak. Steele struggles to speak until he finally blurts out “Fuji,” who then does his maniacal laugh as Okerlund then tries to comprehend what he just witnessed. Fuji was okay here and Okerlund did a great job reacting to the craziness around him. He was so much better in that role than he was at color commentary.
Chris Curtis vs. Jesse “The Body” Ventura
This match is from the show at the Met Centre from June 17th. Before the match, Jesse points and yells at an audience member. Okerlund and Monsoon let us know that he was yelling at Minnesota Viking All-Pro linebacker Scott Studwell. He was never shown on camera. Jesse backs Curtis in the corner then slams him into the turnbuckle. He yells some more at Studwell before knocking Curtis back down. Jesse beats on Curtis some more, stopping to yell some more at Studwell. Slam by Jesse but he misses an elbow drop. Curtis lands a few punches but runs into a knee and Jesse regains control. He knocks him down with a throat thrust and yells at Curtis to get up, referring to him as Studwell. The crowd then starts a “We Want Studwell” chant as Jesse picks up Curtis for the Bodybreaker and he taps out (4:19).
Thoughts: This was more tolerable than most Ventura squash matches. The Scott Studwell stuff was fun. I have no idea if he really was even in attendance but again, the crowd loved it and it gave Jesse a lot of heat.
Gene Okerlund is with B. Brian Blair. Oh boy, this ought to be exciting. He tells Okerlund that he has been teaming with Spike Huber and has his goals set on the tag-titles. Those two havent even been teaming on TV yet and Huber was only briefly with the WWF. He runs down the competition, mentioning the Moondogs twice then Okerlund cuts him off and thanks him for joining. Blair is awful on the mic, as expected and why on earth did they choose him to interview for their debuting show on a new network?
Immediately after that, Alexis Smirnoff joins Okerlund. He was primarily used as a jobber in the WWF but did stuff with Ivan Koloff in the 70’s. Okerlund mentions the Soviet Union not being in the Olympics and Smirnoff says that the Americans can finally win something. He then proceeds to cut a horrendous promo, which I can barely understand. WWF was 0-2 with these back-to-back interview segments.
WWF Magazine Plug
Ron Hutchinson vs. Iron Sheik w/Freddie Blassie
This is also from the Canadian TV tapings. Shiek starts his pro-Iran stuff to piss off the crowd and they respond with an “Iron Sheik sucks” chant that the announcers are afraid to repeat. Sheik takes Hutchinson down with a fireman’s carry to start. Backdrop by Sheik is followed by a gutbuster as the crowd starts a “We Want Slaughter” chant. Sheik hits  aback suplex then locks on the Camel Clutch for the win (2:11). After the match, Sheik grabs the mic and refers to Slaughter as a “Fat Soldier” then tosses the jobber over the ropes.
Thoughts: Decent enough squash match and finally a segment worth showing to a new audience. Sheik was good in the ring and his feud with Slaughter was great and could be over enough with just about every type of wrestling fan.
Big John Studd vs. Bobo Brazil
As ring announcer Mel Phillips lists off Studd’s height and weight, Studd interrupts and says he is seven feet tall and over 400 lbs. This match is from the Philadelphia Spectrum. Bobo is a few months away from his 60th birthday here. They start out by trading punches and it looks horrible. Bobo can barely move and Studd is a terrible wrestler to begin with. Studd gets an elbow smash and puts Bobo in a bearhug. Bobo reverses the bearhug but Studd rakes his eyes. Bobo also rakes the eyes and knocks down Studd with a headbutt. Studd takes a breather and comes back in and chokes out Bobo. They then engage in the single worst shoulderblock spot I have ever seen. It was like two people in slow motion bumping into each other in the hallway. Studd gets a headlock for a bit. They run into each other twice and Bobo gets a jumping headbutt after that. He backs Studd in the corner and takes him down with another headbutt but misses a leg drop and Studd covers for the win (5:44) -***
Thoughts: Oh my, this was the worst match I’ve seen from 1984 WWF so far. There wasn’t a single thing in this match that looked even remotely believable. Having Studd do the work for an immobile Brazil is not a smart move.
Next week, Vince promises that Hulk Hogan will be here.
Final Thoughts: This was about as bad as it gets in terms of introducing a product to a new audience. The show was filled with bad matches and interview segments. They didn’t showcase their top talents and this came off as a “B” show. It wasn’t hard to see how this failed to get over with the NWA audience. The ratings for this show declined sharply when WWF took over.