WWF Superstars of Wrestling July 18th, 1987

July 18, 1987

From the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, IN

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

In action this week will be Brutus Beefcake, Demolition, One Man Gang, and the Junkyard Dog & Billy Jack Haynes & Hillbilly Jim vs. Cowboy Bob Orton & Don Muraco & Ron Bass

Cowboy Bob Orton & Don Muraco & “The Outlaw” Ron Bass vs. Junkyard Dog & Hillbilly Jim & Billy Jack Haynes

Bass beats on JYD to start as we see him in an insert promo with his bullwhip, Miss Betsy, and how you better show her some respect. JYD fights back and it looks terrible but Bass is able to tag Muraco before getting hit with the crawling headbutts. Haynes also tags in and eventually knocks him down. Orton tags in and slugs it out with Jim then gets sent outside with a big boot in a spot that definitely “exposed the business” so to speak. Amateur hour stuff. Muraco goes out to check on his partner but gets decked, as the announcers play up that Orton had no idea it was Muraco, then they have a shove each other and argue as the referee as counted out Orton (2:53). Muraco leaves his partner and Bass behind as the faces all dance in the ring.

Thoughts: This was all about the Muraco/Orton split as that intensifies this week. The other four in the match really didnt have anything going on at all.

WWF Update with Craig DeGeorge. This week’s subject is Ted DiBiase as we see him in a vignette telling us that “everyone has a price” and that he is also the most gifted and talented athlete the WWF will ever see. DiBiase and Virgil then enter a restaurant as DiBiase tells the host he does not wait for anything after being told it will be a half-hour wait as he has Virgil bribe him until he gets seated. Another patron asks him why he cannot wait like everyone else then Virgil stares him down, to show that DiBiase hides behind Virgil. DiBiase then gets seated as he tells us that everybody as a price. These introductory vignettes for DiBiase were as good as it gets.

One Man Gang w/ Slick vs. Sonny Rogers

Gang immediately attacks Rogers then puts him in the tree-of-woe as he get an insert promo from Slick that he will have Bam Bam Bigelow as the announcers are all confused as to who will be Bam Bam’s manager then Gang gets the win with a gordbuster (1:20).

Thoughts: Another segment to add drama on who will actually manage Bam Bam Bigelow.

Gene Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan, who will be facing Killer Khan at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. He asks him about his eyes (Khan sprayed him with mist that was shown in some markets on the “Snake Pit,” including the copy that I have as most markets saw Mr. T appear) as Hogan tells Khan and Fuji they made the biggest mistake of their lives.

Another clip of Jesse from “Predator.”

The Shadows vs. Rougeau Brothers

The Rougeaus send Shadow #1 to the floor with a double dropkick. Shadow #2 comes in as Jacques takes him down with a monkey flip. Shadow #1 holds #2 back as Jacques missed a dropkick as the Shadows take control of the match. Jacques comes back with a double dropkick then makes a tag to Raymond as he runs wild briefly until they hit #1 with the Rougeau Bomb (2:57).

Thoughts: Before the match Vince talked about the Rougeaus article from “WWF Magazine” that showed their goofy side and I guess that was a small attempt to push them as a team more personable than they came across on TV.

Okerlund is now with Billy Jack Haynes, who will be teaming with Ken Patera to face Demolition at the next Cow Palace show. Haynes puts over Patera for paying his dues in jail and tells the fans to support them as it will be a tough match.

The British Bulldogs are with Matilda as they plug over the WWF Ice Cream Bars. At the beginning, Vince actually said that the Bulldogs always take care of Matilda. Over the years we have learned that was not always the case.

Omar Atlas & Scott Casey vs. Demolition w/ Mr. Fuji

Ax beats on Casey to start the match as we see an insert promo from Fuji telling the other managers that they are crazy because he is the one who will manage Bam Bam Bigelow. Atlas tags in as Smash brushes away all his offense then shortly after that Demolition scores the win with the Decapitation (2:35).

Thoughts: Another dominant squash by Demolition and another manager (Mr. Fuji) claims that he will manage Bam Bam.

Snake Pit with guest Hulk Hogan. The crowd goes nuts for Hogan as he says he feels sorry for the next guy to step into the ring with him. Mr. Fuji and Killer Khan come out as Fuji asks Hogan if he wants to experience the dark side. Khan gets in Hogan’s face and they have a staredown that ends with Khan spraying mist into Hogan’s face. Jake wipes away the mist as Hogan, with his face covered with the mist, is in agony on the ground. We get a slo-mo replay of the mist at the end and it did look good at least. They did as good of a job as they were going to in building up this feud.

Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. Pete Sanchez

Jesse talks about how Mr. T, and how he was just on the Snake Pit, as like Beefcake, does not have a license for his practice. Sanchez rakes Beefcake’s eyes then lands some forearm smashes but gets caught with a powerslam and shortly after that Beefcake catches him with a sleeper for the win (1:06). After the match, Beefcake gives Sanchez a haircut then shows him the results as Sanchez flips out and runs away.

Thoughts: The barber gimmick continues to be a big hit among the fans in attendance.

We now get a “posing routine” from “The Natural” Butch Reed that is set to generic 80’s porn music. This was more fuel to the fire for his feud with Superstar Billy Graham, who had a similar posing routine that was shown last week. I am not really feeling this feud.

Jimmy Hart is shown as he tells all the other managers that he will manage Bam Bam Bigelow and shows us footage of him for the first time as the camera first zoomed in on the flames tattoo on his head as Bam Bam is then shown grunting and looking like a monster. Finally, we get to see Bigelow and it seems like we actually have a front-runner to manage him as well.

Mike Richards & Jerry Allen vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart 

Neidhart brushes away a dropkick from Allen then beats him down. The Hart Foundation beat on Richards as the announcers talk about Jimmy Hart having the inside track on signing Bam Bam Bigelow then the Hart Foundation put Richards away with the Hart Attack (1:20). After the match, the Hart Foundation toss Allen to the floor then beat up on Richards.

Thoughts: Brief squash to put over the Hart Foundation.

Okerlund is with Randy Savage and asks him about wanting to regain the Intercontinental Title. Savage says his sights are now set on Hulk Hogan and how he would rather die from exhaustion than starvation as he will go to the top and there is nothing Hogan can do to stop him. Okerlund asks about Elizabeth then about the Honky Tonk Man and if he is trying to “swerve” him about the Intercontinental Title. He even tells Savage he might have a shot at the IC title soon. They really set up the Savage face turn months before it happened, really as soon as Honky won the belt. Okerlund kept on goading Savage in interviews about going back after the title as Savage would dodge the question.

Next week in action will be Koko B. Ware, The Islanders, and more.

Final Thoughts: Solid show this week. They built up Hogan’s feud and showcased newer talents through vignettes. The action was so-so but they actually seem to have some traction going here as they try to get some feuds going again.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/19/87
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Greg Valentine
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/25/87
Saturday: RoH Glory By Honor II 9/20/03
Sunday: WWF Madison Square Garden 7/25/87

WWF Superstars of Wrestling April 18th, 1987

April 18th, 1987

From the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV. Fun fact: The “Missy’s Manor” segments were first filmed at this taping. For those unaware, it was a talk-show hosted by Missy Hyatt but they never made it to air.

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

In action tonight are the Can-Am Connection, King Harley Race, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Kamala & Sika, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Dusty Wolfe & Barry O. vs. Can-Am Connection

Wolfe attacks Zenk before the bell. The heels briefly take the advantage until Martel comes in to catch Zenk after a suplex then picks up Zenk, who kicks down both men. Zenk hits a German suplex for two as the Can-Ams are shown in an insert promo talking about going after the Tag Team Titles. Martel takes Barry down with a headscissors then uses his speed to frustrate Barry as the crowd applauds. Barry stunguns Martel then hits him with a suplex for a nearfall. Martel comes back with a dropkick then makes the tag to Zenk, who runs wild. Wolfe stops him briefly but Zenk whips him into Barry, who flies off of the apron. Zenk then catches Wolfe with a powerslam before sling-shotting Martel in for the splash as they get the win (3:59).

Thoughts: Good showcase for the Can-Ams as they were being tossed into the hat as potential challengers for the Hart Foundation. The crowd was going nuts for them and their in-ring work was fast-paced. Martel was excellent here.

WWF Update with Craig DeGeorge. This week’s topic is Brutus Beefcake as he is shown cutting a promo on Johnny V. and the New Dream Team as he challenges them all. Not a very good promo from Beefcake at all.

Outback Jack tells Hillbilly Jim about how much he is joining the United States then they compare their countries cuisine.

Alex Knight vs. “The Outlaw” Ron Bass

Bass destroys Knight to start as we get an insert promo from him talking about Blackjack Mulligan hiding from him as Jesse agrees. Bass chokes out then stomps Knight for a bit. He gets two with an elbow drop then challenges Knight to hit him and he does with his crappy punches but Bass knocks him right down then puts him away with a jumping back elbow smash (1:59).

Thoughts: The crowd couldnt have cared less about this match. Poor Bass was being built up for a feud that never happened.

Gene Okerlund is with the British Bulldogs, who will be facing the Hart Foundation on at the May 2nd Boston Garden Show. Danny Davis is “barred” from the building that night. They then cut a promo on the Hart Foundation that is as bad as you would think. Matilda barking would have been better than having listen to the Dynamite Kid speak.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Tiger Chung Lee

Duggan catches Lee with a clothesline then gets two off of a knee drop as we get an insert promo from the Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and Slick, who declares that no one will stop Volkoff from singing the Russian National Anthem. Duggan misses a corner charge but comes back quickly with a slam before putting him away with a running clothesline (2:40).

Thoughts: The Duggan super-push continues as the fans are buying into his blue-collar and patriotic act.

Hogan cuts a promo on Bobby Heenan and all of his men, including his opponent in Boston, Harley Race. Solid work from Hogan to hype his house show matches against Race.

Mr. Fuji is with Sika, Kamala, and Kimchee. He hands Sika a raw fish and he devours it as Kamala tries to go after it. A wacky 80’s segment.

Jesse Cortez & Jerry Allen vs. Kamala & Sika w/ Mr. Fuji & Kimchee

Allen tries to get in some offense but Sika stops that with an eye rake. Kamala tags and leapfrogs Allen before hitting him with a thrust kick in an impressive spot. Cortez tags in and gets brutalized until Kamal puts him away with a splash (2:05).

Thoughts: This did a fine job establishing the team as killers.

Craig DeGeorge is with Blackjack Mulligan at his ranch. He asks him about the comments Bass was making about him as he runs him down. Not much to see here.

Joe Mirto vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Roberts knocks down Mirto as we get an insert promo from the Honky Tonk Man pleading with the fans to get behind him as he tries to ban the DDT. Roberts works the arm as Vince plugs a six-man for next week featuring Sheik & Volkoff & Butch Reed vs. Sivi Afi & The Islanders. The fans go nuts just for Mirto being near the snake bag. Roberts hits his short-arm clothesline before putting him away with the DDT (4:25). Roberts then gets the snake as the fans go nuts and puts it on Mirto as we get a funny line by Jesse aimed at Vince: “You used to hate it but now you love it.”

Thoughts: This went on forever as the focus was on the ban the DDT gimmick from Hart and Honky.

The addressed to vote in the “Ban the DDT” movement is shown on-screen.

And now it’s Part Three of the “Ken Patera Story.” Okerlund tells us that Ken Patera was just looking for a burger at a fast food restaurant then when denied service allegedly threw an object, along with someone else, through a glass window and then when police arrived at the motel a melee took place. After being tried, Patera was sentenced to two years in prison as Okerlund notes some think a person who represented the U.S. in the Olympics should get a lesser sentence. We are then shown Patera in a cell as he accepts all responsibility for what happened, unlike Bobby Heenan who creates problems and walks away from them. Patera then said he will be back in the WWF to rid it of people like Heenan. This was pretty bad as they glossed over the actions that put Patera in jail in order to blame Heenan as why it happened so they could bring him back as a face. And they wondered why this push for Patera failed. Well, it would have failed anyway, but still.

Billy Anderson vs. King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan

Race catches Anderson with a knee as we get an insert promo from Heenan, who addresses Patera about blaming him for his actions that got him in jail and how he was the not the punk who did the crime, calling him garbage. Heenan yells at Race to pick up his opponent after a suplex as Race softens up Anderson a bit before putting him away with the cradle suplex (1:54).

Thoughts: A dominant squash match for Race to prepare him for Hogan.

Okerlund is with Jake Roberts and asks him about the Honky Tonk Man. Roberts cuts a solid promo against him but nothing memorable or anything.

Next week will be the featured six-man tag bout. Plus, Jim Duggan will be here in the front row as he apparently bought a ticket to the show. Also in action will be Tito Santana, Honky Tonk Man, Killer Bees and Demolition.

Final Thoughts: A decent show. Some of the stuff pushed like the Patera Story and the Bass/Mulligan feud was a waste but the Honky/Jake feud is solid and they are trying to push Beefcake as a face, which is something new at least. And the tag team division is starting to be pushed as ultra-competitive, which is a good thing. The letdown after WrestleMania was expected though and you can see it in the shows.

Here is my schedule for the next few days.

Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/19/87
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Percy Pringle (Paul Bearer)
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 4/25/87
Saturday: RoH Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies 8/16/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/26/87

WWF Superstars of Wrestling October 18th, 1986

October 18, 1986

From the Onandoga War Memorial in Syracuse, NY

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

In action this week are the Killer Bees, Hercules Hernandez, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, and “The Natural” Butch Reed. Also, we get footage of Hillbilly Jim visiting is granny’s home and more.

S.D. Jones vs. Hercules Hernandez w/ Slick

Hercules starts by attacking Jones from behind. We are then shown an insert promo from Mike Rotundo, who says that his partner, Danny Spivey, is recovering from knee surgery and will be back soon. It was a terrible promo as he tripped all over his lines. The crowd starts a boring chant as Hercules is stomping Jones. Hercules drops an elbow as Slick tells us that is what “Huck Hogan” is gonna get as Vince rags on Slick for not being able to say his name. Hercules puts Jones in a chinlock but Jones escapes and hits a few headbutts but Hercules catches him with a sideslam then makes him submit to the backbreaker (3:16).

Thoughts: Dominant win for Hercules. Usually a guy like SD would get in some offense but he got next to nothing. With this win, it seems like Hercules is in line for a sizable push.

WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week’s focus is on Bob Orton & Don Muraco as we see a clip of them at home watching clips of them destroying Piper. They are shown in an insert watching and reacting to the clips that we are seeing. Muraco was pretty funny here. Although his workrate was decreasing, Muraco was still delivering the goods in his promos.

Johnny Valiant is with his newest acquisition, Dino Bravo, who he proclaims he will reach the top of the “World Federation.” Bravo was in a suit and still had is natural hair color, which was black. Bravo did not seem like a huge deal here. He was actually part of the WWF briefly in late 1985 and the beginning of 1986 then came over along with Rick Martel and Tom Zenk at the time here as Vince plucked them from the struggling Lutte Internationale promotion. Martel & Zenk would make their debut in the coming weeks.

Tony Parks vs. Dino Bravo w/ Johnny Valiant

Ventura notes how Bravo was usually a good guy but now is aligned with Valiant. Bravo cheapshots Parks after a break then hits him with a gutwrench suplex and a leg drop. He drops Parks throat-first across the ropes then Parks flies through the ropes after getting hit with an atomic drop. Back inside, Parks fights back but gets turned inside out with a clothesline. Bravo hits him with a double underhok suplex then tosses him to the floor. Back inside, Bravo hits him with a dropkick then finishes off Parks with a back suplex (2:28). After the match, Bravo tosses Parks to the floor.

Thoughts: Bravo
looked decent here as this was before he got too jacked up and could barely move. He was also a babyface for many years although it did not seem like the crowd recognized that here. The announcers at least put that fact over with Ventura giving him high praise.

Ken Resnick runs down the November show in Boston and brings out Roddy Piper, who will be facing Don Muraco. Piper says the people in Boston are insane because they like him. Piper brings up how Muraco fought Snuka for a year but he was the one who put Snuka out of work, unlike himself. He closes by saying that he is Roddy Piper and Muraco is not. Good stuff by Piper

We are shown a clip of Brutus Beefcake telling us how he takes care of his body then we are shown a clip of his partner, Greg Valentine, getting massaged by his wife (who was hot) on “Tuesday Night Titans,” from almost two years ago. An odd way to put over the Dream Team.

Bob Bradley & Tiger Chung Lee vs. The Killer Bees

Lee is wearing boots here instead of going barefoot. The Bees work over the arm of Lee to start. Lee catches Brunzell with a throat thrust then tags Bradley, who hammers away. Brunzell knees him in the face then tags Blair, who hits a powerslam. The Bees use quick tags to work over Bradley as Ventura eggs on Vince for playing favorites when it comes to the wrestlers and referees. Bradley fights back but Blair gets his knees up on a splash attempt. Blair then hits an atomic drop and tags Brunzell, who puts Bradley away with a dropkick (2:36).

Thoughts: No mask confusion this time for the bees. Not a whole lot to add here besides that.

Resnick is with Randy Savage, who will be facing Ricky Steamboat in Boston. Savage reminds Steamboat that he failed to beat Don Muraco and Jake Roberts then tells him that he will never get the Intercontinental Title. They are starting the Steamboat/Savage feud

Rick Hunter vs. “The Natural” Butch Reed w/ Slick

These two start off on the mat and end in a stalemate with Hunter kipping up to showcase his atheltic ability. Pretty good for a flabby, middle-aged jobber. Reed switches to a headscissors on the mat after Hunter took him down with a side headlock. Reed then stomps Hunter on the mat and hits a slam. Reed grabs a chinlock that Hunter escapes from. Hunter takes Reed down with a shoulder block but eats a knee smash on a charge. Reed then gets on the middle turnbuckle and hits a flying clothesline for the win (3:07).

Thoughts: I thought Reed sold way too much for Hunter in this match, especially when you consider that they were giving Reed a big push upon his debut.

Piper’s Pit makes it return, with the crowd going nuts. He invites Jimmy Hart, who comes bearing gifts. Piper promises how he wants to hear what Hart as to say and will not attack him. Hart then gives gifts to Piper because his wrestling career is over and gives him a crutch, a Hawaiian Lei from Don Muraco, a pair of panties from Mr. Fuji to wear under his kilt, and a pink cowboy hat and a rope from Bob Orton, so Piper can hang himself. Piper laughs sarcastically and invites Hart to sit down because he has a present for him but first, he has to shut his eyes. Piper then ties Hart to the chair and gives back the Lei to Hart, saying its the only lay he is ever going to get. Piper then brings out mouthwash ad pours it down Hart’s throat then forces him to spit it in Orton’s hat before putting it on Hart’s head. A memorable segment that had the crowd going crazy.

And now, we see Hillbilly Jim at his granny’s house. Jim then plays some of her favorite songs on his guitar. Granny is almost in tears over this song as she is knitting. Jim then leaves and goes to put some wood in the stove as he shows us a workout routine he learned from his friend, Hulk Hogan. He is elbow dropping a mattress in a kitchen then puts granny’s dog in a headlock as granny is unhappy. Jim apologizes as Granny invites us all to her home because she cooked up a “whole mess of food.” This lasted too long and the old footage to promote guys who were becoming less popular in this show is puzzling.

Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

These two lockup to start then Steamboat gets caught with a slam after a pair of leapfrogs. Sharpe sends him into the corner with a forearm smash then drags him outside and slams him on the floor. The fans cheer for Steamboat, who sends Sharpe into the post. Steamboat hammers away as they head back into the ring. Steamboat hits a flying chop that gets two. Steamboat gets another nearfall with a chop. Sharpe comes back with a clothesline for two then they trade chops until Sharpe rakes the eyes. Steamboat fights back and chops down Sharpe then climbs up top and hits the flying body press for the win (3:03).

Thoughts: Decent action in this one. The fans were really into Steamboat too, who did not come out with his dragon tonight.

Resnick is with Don Muraco, who will be facing Piper in Boston. Muraco references their match from the “King of the Ring” tournament in Foxboro, MA from a few months prior and how that is when Piper got his first taste of magnificence. Muraco cut another great promo on Piper.

Next week in action will be Koko B. Ware, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and the featured matchup of the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff vs. Tito Santana & Pedro Morales.

Final Thoughts: A solid show. They have really went all out with the Piper feud, even with Adonis suspended from the company. The Machines angle also was just about finished with Andre away and Albano either fired or quitting the promotion and that was a good thing as the feud was a major flop. The potential Steamboat/Savage feud is very intriguing at this point and pushing newcomers and hyping up the tag division was keeping the product fresh.

WWF Championship Wrestling January 18th, 1986

January 18, 1986

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

Tonight, we will see the “Peace Match” between Corporal Kirchner and Nikolai Volkoff from “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”

Barry O. & Joe Mirto & Mr. X vs. King Tonga & Ricky Steamboat & Junkyard Dog

The faces take turns working the arm of Barry O. The heels then isolate Steamboat the corner, as Barry distracts the referee. JYD breaks that up but Mr. X takes control with a side headlock on Steamboat. The heels use quick tags and double-teams until Steamboat fights back. Tonga catches Mirto with a kick then Steamboat tags JYD, who pins Mirto with a headbutt (3:19). After the match, a few kids go in the ring and “juke” with JYD, which makes Vince happy.

Thoughts: The match wasnt much but it was strange to see Steamboat sell for about 75% of the match.

WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This is about George “The Animal” Steele and how he is infatuated with Elizabeth. Hayes wonders how Randy Savage feels about this.

A video clip is show of Ted Arcidi breaking the world bench pressing record by putting up 705 lbs. It took place at a rec center with the crowd going crazy for him.

Joe Williams vs. “World’s Strongest Man” Ted Arcidi

Bruno talks about how he put up 565lbs once and is in shock at Arcidi’s accomplishment. Arcidi uses clubbing forearms then hits a press slam. He uses a lifting choke then puts on a side headlock for a bit. Arcidi clotheslines Williams then finishes him off with a powerslam (2:27). The announcers wonder who will stop Arcidi. It was his complete lack of charisma and wrestling ability that stopped him by the way.

Thoughts: Arcidi was a complete bore in the ring and the crowd seemingly sat on their hands for this match. He needed more than a bench press record to get over with the crowd and he could not connect with them at all inside of a wrestling ring.

Gene Okerlund is with Roddy Piper, who rants about facing Bruno Sammartino on February 8th at the Boston Garden in a steel cage match, which according to Piper is 23 feet high. Same, typical ranting promo from Piper which were starting to get old around this time.

The “Peace Match” airs from SNME. Volkoff won after dropping Kirchner throat-first onto the ropes, thus breaking the rules of their match. The stipulation was terrible and the finish made Kirchner look like an even bigger joke than he already was.

Okerlund is with Elizabeth and Randy Savage, who is holding a green sack. He talks about how everything is sacred and how he will be the new Intercontinental Champion when he faces Tito Santana February 8th at the Boston Garden.

Another plug to vote for the “Slammy Awards” that features newer wrestlers on the ballot than the one that has been airing for the past three weeks.

Jim Powers vs. “Adorable” Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart

Adonis comes out to the ring for the first time while wearing flowers and acting very flamboyant, because Adrian wants to be himself instead of the tough guy he was portraying before. Powers takes him down but Adonis quickly strikes back. He hits a neckbreaker before putting him away with the DDT (2:03).

Thoughts: Adonis was dominant here as the new gimmick riled up the crowd.

Piper’s Pit with guests Freddie Blassie and Hercules, who wants to fight real opponents. The story here is that everyone is afraid to wrestle Hercules. Anyway, Hercules mentions that he wants to face Tito Santana, who Piper states is no match because he will be “filled with too many tacos.” Blassie puts over his strength and the segment ends with Hercules flipping over a table. I did not think this did a whole lot to put over Hercules as a legitimate contender, personally.

Brett Hart w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Don Driggers

Driggers hits an armdrag to start. Bret comes back with a knee smash then hits a leg drop. He sends Driggers flying through the ropes then slams him on the floor. He whips Driggers back inside and hits an elbow drop as the announcers talk about Stu Hart. Bret hits a backbreaker before finishing him off with an elbow drop from the second rope (2:29).

Thoughts: Brett looked great here in his first singles TV appearance as a heel.

Rick Hunter & Ron Shaw vs. Danny Spivey & Corporal Kirchner

Spivey and Shaw go back-and-forth for a bit. Spivey blows a dropkick then works the arm. Hunter tags and grounds Spivey briefly until he tags Kirchner. The Corporal hits a kneelift then tags Spivey, who puts him away with the bulldog (2:31).

Thoughts: Kirchner and Spivey were really bad in the ring here, especially Spivey who was not ready to be on TV at this point. They both lost the crowd once the match started.

Okerlund is with Bruno Sammartino, who promises to beat Piper all over the placce during their steel cage match. It was a long-winded to be honest.

Next week, we will see the match between Randy Savage and George Steele from SNME.

Final Thoughts: A skippable show this week. The Brett match was fun and the progression of the Adonis into the “Adorable” character worked well but everything else was filler. The has been a lack of Hogan for the past several weeks too and the top of the card needs newer feuds, as the ones that are going on are feeling stale.

WWF Championship Wrestling: May 18th, 1985

May 18, 1985

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

In action this week are Ken Patera & Big John Studd, Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik, and Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart. Plus, an edited version of the “Piper’s Pit” from the Nassau Coliseum. Again, they do not refer to it as “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”

Ken Patera & Big John Studd w/Bobby Heenan vs. Paul Roma & Jose Luis Rivera

Heenan has a briefcase with him that contains money. Rivera fails to slam Studd then stuns him with a dropkick. Studd easily slams him then tags Patera, who overpowers him for a bit. Roma tags and Patera takes him right down and hammers away. They take turns slamming Roma then Patera makes him submit with the swinging full nelson (2:18).

Thoughts: A quick squash. The heels looked dominant and it went fine. That is really all I can say about this.

McMahon is interviewing Heenan, Studd, and Patera on the podium. Heenan opens the briefcase that contains $25,000 and puts a bounty on the head of Paul Orndorff as whoever takes him out will get the money.

WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. The subject this week are the tag team champions, Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik. Hayes thinks it is unusual for a “Russian and an Arab” to team together and brings up how they have not given the ex-champs a title shot.

Aldo Marino vs. Don Muraco w/Mr. Fuji

Muraco looks flabbier than usual. This show was the first of a new taping cycle. He takes Marino down and works over the leg. He rams Marino’s leg against the ring post a few times as Fuji is seen laughing in the background. Muraco continues to work on the leg until he finally puts Marino out of his misery with a tombstone (2:51).

Thoughts: This dragged and at this point, there was a noticeable drop in quality of Muraco’s in-ring work. He was getting heavier and it made him lazy in the ring. There were still much worse than him but he wasnt the worker that he was two years prior.

An address pops up for you to write so you can get a free catalog. For those of you who do not know, that catalogue was how you got the WWF merchandise at that time. It wasnt readily available in stores like it is today. If it was, I couldnt even imagine how many shirts Hogan would have sold in the 1980’s.

Gene Okerlund is with Roddy Piper & Bob Orton. They are facing Hulk Hogan & Jimmy Snuka at the Boston Garden but Piper welcomes Fuji and Don Muraco, who will be taking their place. The heels area are all wearing “Saturday Night Main Event” shirts.

David Sammartino vs. Charlie Fulton

Sammartino gets taken down by a shoulderblock but catches Fulton with an armdrag immediately afterwards. He works the arm for a while until Fulton escapes and works over Sammartino in the corner. Fulton misses a corner charge and Sammartino catches him with a powerslam on the rebound for the win (3:00).

Thoughts: Dull stuff as Sammartino doesnt have any superstar qualities about him. Realistically, he should be on the same level as someone like Rick McGraw.

Okerlund is with Jimmy Hart and Greg Valentine, who will be facing the Junkyard Dog. Valentine calls JYD a “nasty black man” and says he can’t stand his theme song. He also says that they will get down and dirty and that JYD will in fact bite the dust tonight after he rubs his “nasty black face” right into the ring until there is only a big black spot left. One of many racist promos that Valentine cut on JYD during their feud in 1985.

Jim Young & Rick McGraw vs. Brett “The Hitman” Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart w/Jimmy Hart

Neidhart beats on McGraw to start. Brett tags but McGraw catches him with an atomic drop. He hits a dropkick then Young tags in and works the arm until Neidhart knocks him down from behind. Hart tosses Young to the floor, where he gets slammed by Neidhart. Young gets rolled back inside where he gets double-teamed then booted out of the ring again. McGraw chases Hart around the ring but Neidhart rams Young against the post and rolls him back inside. Brett hits a back suplex then they put him away with the Hart Attack (3:59). After the match, Brett stomps on Young and Neidhart rips up a fan’s sign then throws it into the crowd.

Thoughts: I thought this went on too long but the crowd was into it a little. Then again, they always seem to be into the first show of the taping cycle. The team of Hart & Neidhart are slowly climbing up the card and getting a lot of TV time but they still are a ways away from being a top team.

Piper’s Pit with Paul Orndorff. This was from “Saturday’s Night Main Event.” We are joined in progress here and only get the five minute version. If you missed it, Orndorff fought off both Orton and Piper until he got cheapshotted from behind. Mr. T then ran out to make the save on behalf of Orndorff.

Sal Gee & Mario Mancini vs. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff w/Freddie Blassie

The heels are drawing nuclear heat from this crowd. They are pelting them with trash. Sheik tosses around Mancini for a bit then taunts the crowd. Volkoff tags and drops Mancini throat-first on the top rope before hitting a double underhook suplex. Gee tags but Volkoff immediately hits him with the backbreaker then the Sheik tags and kills him with a back suplex before getting the win via submission with the Camel Clutch (3:21). After the match, the heels toss the jobbers to the floor.

Thoughts: The heels looked good here as they completely dominated their opponents. Mancini was one shitty wrestler too. The crowd hated the champs and they played up to it well.

Okerlund runs down the card at the Boston Garden before welcoming Tito Santana, who will be facing Brutus Beefcake. Santana continues to call him “Fruitcake” and says that he and Greg Valentine will go down tonight. Okerlund slips up and almost says “Fruitcake” before welcoming Hogan and Snuka. Snuka looks geeked as Hogan cuts one of his typical promos.

Next week, we will see highlights of the six-man tag from SNME. Plus, Junkyard Dog & Tito Santana, Greg Valentine, Pedro Morales, and Jimmy Snuka will be in action.

Final Thoughts:  Besides the bounty that was placed on Orndorff by Heenan, not much else of note happened on this show. Some of the tag squashes were fun but most of this was filler, except for the edited version of Piper’s Pit from SNME.

QOTD – July 18th, 2013


We’ve spoken a lot about dramas lately, so let’s look at the other side.

All time favorite sit-com?

Since I was a child, it’s been Married…With Children. It never had a bad season, and the character of Al Bundy is one of the all time greatest. I’ve been watching it for 20+ years, and I never tire of it. A close second is Seinfeld, and I could see it one day even taking the top spot. The early seasons are lacking, but they really hit their stride come season 4. The last two seasons are perhaps the finest written pieces of comedy of all time, and never cease to amaze me with just how GD brilliant they are.

How say you?

WWF Tuesday Night Titans December 18th, 1984

December 18, 1984
Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Vince McMahon
This week’s show is the wedding of Butcher Vachon. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first wrestling wedding ever shown on television. There would be many more to follow.

This week, Butcher Vachon gets married. Howard Finkel is in the ring, which is set up like an alter. There are wrestlers in both sides of the aisle, separated by heels and faces. Finkel introduces the attendee’s: Wild Samoans, Freddie Blassie, Jessie Ventura, Jose Luis Rivera, Mr & Mrs Executioner, David Schultz, and Capt. Lou Albano, who was a riot here, just blurting out stuff and cracking jokes.
The reverend is introduced. His name is Meyer Lipschitz. Mad Dog Vachon is the best man and the Fabulous Moolah is the maid of honor. Vince says this will be the 6th marriage for Butcher as Albano is screaming that he wants to make this a double wedding and marry Moolah. Jesse takes the flowers from the flower girl (Played by female midget wrestler Diamond Lil) and Sky Low Low is the ring bearer but Blassie whacks him with his cane and takes the ring. He inspects it then gives it back. The bride, Ophilia, is given away by George “The Animal” Steele. Some of this was pretty funny and stuff you would never see on WWE TV today as it is far from politically incorrect.
The ceremony takes place. Mad Dog interrupts to yell at those who came uninvited. The heels then yell at the reverend to hurry things up. Steele lifts up the bride’s veil and we see her wave around her green tongue, just like he does. Albano gets into the ring and the Vachon’s assure him that the bride is not a virgin. A clusterfuck but Albano was hilarious.
Back to the exchange of vows as Steele is eating the turnbuckles and taking apart the decorations. Just before Vachon kisses the bride, Schultz runs in and hits him with a slam. Chaos erupts as the bride is carried away.
We are with Vince and Hayes. They are standing in front of the ring with Jesse, discussing the wedding. Jesse says there should be violence in love. When asked why he ran into the ring, Jesse said it was to either kiss the bride or knock her out then states that anyone who marries Butcher Vachon should get knocked out. Jesse said he is itching to get back into the ring. His voice is really coarse here. We are then shown a clip of his match against Ivan Putski, four months prior in St. Louis. Jesse gives us commentary, accusing Putski of cheating. After the clips are shown, Jesse goes off about getting a blood clot in his lungs from being exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. He closes by saying he will sue everyone for what has happened to him.
The Wild Samoans join Hayes and Vince. Afa said “many fun and good time” at the reception. A house show clip of them facing Lee and Fuji at the Meadowlands is shown afterwards.
Capt. Lou Albano joins the hosts. He brings up supporting Multiple Sclerosis. He says that he and Cyndi Lauper are voted as the national chairmen for MS. Albano came off as a complete face.
We are now at the reception. Vachon opens up gifts. Albano gives him a lifetime supply of rubber bands, Jesse gives some hair coloring to the bride, Blassie gives a pair of glasses to inspect cheap diamonds, a fish from the Samoans, and someone then gives a gift that is too risqué to be shown on TV. Schultz is seen inspecting all of the gifts as they are being opened.
Clip of JYD squashing Vachon from Maple Leaf wrestling. The poor guy cant even be featured winning a match during his wedding ceremony.
George Steele tries to gives a toastm, but he cannot speak. Everyone starts cheering for him to do a toast then he finally speaks, saying “pumpernickel.” Others start to give their own toast, including Sky Low Low, who got threatened by Blassie. Finally, McMahon goes to Schultz, who goes on a tirade (that gets bleeped out) and says he will only toast himself and finishes by threatening McMahon.
Vachon and his wife have their first dance as Albano constantly runs over to McMahon so he can burp into his microphone. Albano then threatens to moon everyone. He was out of his mind during this show.
Barry Windham vs. Moondog Rex
This is the featured match this week and took place on the November 26th Madison Square Garden show. Rex shoves Windham off a lockup. They do it again and Windham gets a hiptoss and a dropkick. The crowd has certainly deflated since the last match. Windham works the arm. Rex comes back and grabs a headlock. Windham catches him with a slam then goes back to working the arm. The announcers are talking about everything else but this match as Windham now works a headlock. Rex goes to the apron but Windham drags him and Rex’s feet are on the ropes. Windham drops him down just before the five count and that actually gets the crowd to make noise. Rex lands a few punches then drops a knee. Rex throws some forearms before catching him with a knee. Windham fights back and punches Rex through the ropes. Rex then fights back then starts biting the forehead. Windham is sent to the floor with a shoulderblock. Back in the ring, Rex drops Windham neck first on the top rope then uses clubbing forearms. Backbreaker gets two. He rams him in the corner then grabs a lengthy bearhug until Windham escapes. Rex sends him down with an elbow smash then picks him up for a body breaker. Windham escapes and backdrops Rex as both men are down. They then trade punches but Rex hooks the ropes on a dropkick attempt. He gets two off an elbow drop but Windhm punches him in midair after an axe handle attempt. Rex shoves Windham in the corner but misses a splash and Windham hits the running bulldog for the win (12:11) **3/4.
Thoughts: This was a really solid match. It was put in a tough spot, following the Piper match, but these guys were able to bring the crowd back into the show. The Moondogs, the Rex & Spot version anyway, were a solid and underappreciated team. Windham looked good too and you could tell right away that he had everything it took to become a star. If Windham was focused for his entire career, he could have been one of the all-time greats.
Back to dance, as Sky Low Low cuts in between the newlyweds.  Alban then dances with Diamond Lil, which causes Blassie to laugh hysterically.  
The Samoans and Albano, I guess patching up their differences, start to sing Wooly Bully. The Samoans then hold up Sky Low Low then Albano pulls up shirt and dumps his drink all over him. Poor Sky Low Low got abused during this show.
Schultz interrupts the cutting of cake. Says he wants to know if the bride knows how to take care of man. Schultz berates her, yelling that when a man want something, you get it. He then says a woman should change a flat tire and get fire wood when necessary. Schultz yells at Vince then shoves cake in the bride’s face. Steele hits the reverend then Vince starts to laugh uncontrollably as Hayes gets cake shoved in his face. Schultz nails Vicne then the organ plays as a food fight breaks out. Mad Dog Vachon is seen throwing chairs all over the place.
The show closes with Vince and Hayes, covered with cake, saying goodbye. Vince then pulls a pie tin from Hayes’ jacket and starts to laugh as the credits start scrolling down.
Final Thoughts: This was long but some of this was hilarious and the type of stuff that you never get to see on television nowadays. Albano was a riot and Vince did a really good job at playing the straight man to all of the insanity that surrounded him. It did not advance any story lines, but did drop a small hint of an Albano face turn.

QOTD – June 18th, 2013

 I’ll be reviewing Payback for those who are waiting for one. I should
have it up by tomorrow. And to those who want to finally have something
worth putting on your resume by having your question seen here, simply
send it on in to [email protected]

Today’s question comes from member pbreathing, he asks…

do you justify following pro-wrestling to non-fans? We’ve all had to
put up with critics/sceptics telling you “It’s all fake, you know” or
“Really? The guys in the spandex?”, but what about people who are
indifferent/oblivious and just don’t see the attraction?

I know a popular line of argument is “it’s just like
watching a soap opera”, but I’ve never used that, purely because the
acting is terrible and the storylines are often insulting. I say two
things; one, I’m impressed with the athleticism/technique of certain
‘workrate’ guys (similar to ballet or street-dance fans, I guess) and
two, it’s like watching sports and waiting for your team to get the big
win, but because it’s all pre-determined those fairytale moments are
more guaranteed.

Another big reason for me watching as a smart fan is
to analyse the writing/pushes etc from a business POV, but that’s a
tough one to explain to an outsider.”
Good question. To explain the draw of wrestling to a non-believer can be a bit tough, simply because people tend to be stupid. They think that because the out-comes are pre-determined that it eliminates any entertainment. Even though every movie & TV show’s outcome is decided well in advance. Besides the obvious answer of what we see on TV being entertaining, for a lot of wrestling fans half of the fandom comes from staying up to date with the backstage going-ons. I find that often times that can be just as interesting. Really, nothing else offers up entertainment both in front of and behind the curtain. 
How say you?