WWF Wrestling Challenge July 26th, 1987

July 26, 1987

From the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, NY

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action this week will be Ken Patera, George Steele, Demolition, Killer Khan, and the One Man Gang

Al Navarro vs. Ken Patera

Navarro got a haircut since the last set of tapings. Good for him. Navarro lands some truly horrendous offense into Patera, who then picks him up and places him on the apron. Patera knocks Navarro off then rams him into the stairs before the action heads inside. Patera tosses Navarro around before putting him away with the swinging neckbreaker (1:53). After the match, Patera points and stares at Heenan.

Thoughts: The Patera/Heenan Family feud has lost a lot of steam and at this point it is safe to say that Patera himself has failed in his new role.

Craig DeGeorge tells us that the Can-Am Connection is no more as Zenk quit. We are then shown Martel, who said his partner left because their feud against the Islanders was too tough for him. Heenan and the Islanders are shown as Heenan buries Zenk for being a coward and that Martel should follow suit and quit himself. They made sure to bury Zenk on TV.

Scott Casey & Steve Douglas vs. Demolition w/ Mr. Fuji

Casey lands a few shots on Ax but Smash comes in as Demolition takes control. We get an insert promo from Mr. Fuji talking about how he will manage Bam Bam Bigelow as Heenan says he is lying. Douglas tags as Demolition beat the crap out of him until they put him away with the Decapitation (3:11).

Thoughts: More of the Bam Bam stuff but with regards to Demolition, they really need a feud at this point instead of just destroying jobbers.

Gene Okerlund is with “Ravishing” Rick Rude. Okerlund asks him about his alignment with Heenan as Rude says it is about money, while referring to Okerlund as “Little Man.” Okerlund brings up Heenan’s past failed promises as Rude says that is all in the past as he is the future of wrestling. Rude is asked about Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage as Rude says both of them will go down. They are giving Rude a solid push from the start.

We get footage of the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase at a house show. He pays a woman $100 to wipe the sweat off of him after his match while he tells us everyone has a price.

The Gladiator vs. George “The Animal” Steele

Gladiator tries to attack Steele but ends up getting tossed outside. Steele heads back in and bites open a turnbuckle then tosses the stuffing at the Gladiator before trying to rip off his mask. He tosses the Gladiator back over the top rope again and works on the arm before putting him away with the flying hammerlock (2:32).

Thoughts: The crowds loved Steele but he was really just a side attraction at this point. He would be pitted against lower card workers at house shows but that role was just fine.

Okerlund is with Koko B. Ware, who is playing the harmonica. Koko tells us about his feuds with Danny Davis and the One Man Gang. Not much to this interview other than to show us that Koko had music ability, which would continue to be on display as the year continued.

We get a WWF Ice Cream Bar plug from Little Beaver, who said he eats one of these to cool off when he gets upset about what King Kong Bundy did to him at WrestleMania III.

Killer Khan w/ Mr. Fuji vs. David Stoudemire

Stoudemire looks like a slightly more toned version of Bo Dallas. Khan does some sumo rituals before attacking Stoudemire. He stays on the attack then sprays the mist in his face. Khan then hits a backbreaker before going up top and hitting the flying knee drop for the win ( 2:59).

Thoughts: They are making sure to put over the mist so they can sell Khan’s house show matches against Hogan.

Snake Pit with guest Mr. T. This was shown in most markets on the 7/18 edition of “Superstars of Wrestling.” Mr. T comes out and says that most referees do not know what they are doing so he is going to stand outside of the ring as the enforcer. Danny Davis comes out to interrupt and takes offense to Mr. T receiving his referee’s license. Mr. T says that Davis isnt much of a referee or a wrestler. Jake then talks for a little bit before scaring Davis with the snake. This feud ended just as soon as it started.

Steve Lombardi & Barry Horowitz vs. Jim Powers & Paul Roma

Powers works the arm of Lombardi to start. Roma tags and takes control until Lombardi blocks a monkey flip. Roma gets beaten down for a minute until Horowitz misses a leg drop from the second rope. Hot tag to Powers as one fan is screaming. His offense looks like shit as he works over Horowitz. Lombardi breaks up a pin attempt after a powerslam then the match breaks down until Roma tags himself in and jumps off the top rope with a sunset flip that puts away Horowitz (4:20).

Thoughts: Roma & Powers finally win a tag match. Roma looked like he just won the Powerball drawing. This win would lead to a mini-push for the duo.

DeGeorge is on the stage with Bobby Heenan, who brings out King Harley Race. But firsts, he tells the crowd to get up and bow to the king. Race comes out and says he tells, not asks, the crowd to get up and bow to him. He also says he is “the man in wrestling” today and that no one can beat him. Heenan closes by saying the one thing to top off his career will be the World Title as he guarantees that it will happen. I really didnt get the point of this at all as Race just lost a series of house show matches against Hogan, which drew poorly to begin with.

One Man Gang w/ Slick vs. Eric Cooper

Gang destroys Cooper as Slick is shown in an insert promo saying he is mad about the other managers saying Bam Bam will sign with them because “the brother is mine.” Gang continues his assault until he finishes Cooper off with the gordbuster (1:38).

Thoughts: A quick squash that also furthered along the Bam Bam angle.

Okerlund is with Jimmy Hart and the Hart Foundation. Neidhart tells us that since they won the Tag Team Championships, everyone has been jealous of them. The Hart Foundation then make fun of the other Tag Teams as they leave. The Honky Tonk Man comes in as he lists off the guys he has beat and says no one else can beat him. This was done to put over Hart and all of his guys.

In action next week will be Koko B. Ware, Jake Roberts, Hart Foundation, and more.

Final Thoughts: The show was okay this week. The Bam Bam story continues to dominate and they were pushing other soon-to-be debuting acts like DiBiase and Rude. The Mr. T and Danny Davis stuff went nowhere though. The WWF had some bad luck with feuds after WrestleMania III, with several of them ending abruptly.

Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/1/87
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Kevin Steen
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/2/87
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/8/87

WWF Wrestling Challenge April 26th, 1987

April 26, 1987

From the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, AZ

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

Tonight’s featured bout is the rare babyface vs. babyface between the Islanders and the Rougeau Brothers. Also in action will be George Steele, Billy Jack Haynes, Can-Am Connection, and the Hart Foundation.

Steve Lombardi & Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Can-Am Connection

Martel starts off getting the best of Lombardi. He then gets backed into the opposite corner and worked over briefly until he ducks an attack from Sharpe that nails Lombardi. Zenk then tags and flies halfway across the ring with a missile dropkick that gets two as we get an insert promo from Mr. Fuji telling the Can-Ams that Kamala & Sika are coming after them. Sharpe works over Zenk in the corner until he misses a charge. Lombardi then yanks Zenk by the hair as the heels regain control of the match. Sharpe and Zenk collide then Martel gets the hot-tag as he runs wild on both guys then puts Lombardi away with a slingshot splash after a powerslam from Zenk (3:11).

Thoughts: Good action from the very popular Can-Am Connection. The main goal here was to start a program with Kamala & Sika, which would progress as the show continued.

We get a repeat of the “Wrestler’s Rebuttal” by Brutus Beefcake from this past episode of “Superstars of Wrestling” in which he promises to go after Adrian Adonis. Oddly enough, Adonis was fired the day after this show aired at a house show in London, Ontario to what Dave Meltzer described as frequent dress code violations and being a slob in general.

Billy Jack Haynes vs. Tiger Chung Lee

Lee sidesteps a crossbody then roughs up Haynes as we get an insert promo from Hercules promising to use his chain on Haynes, who is now in control of the match. He backdrops Lee, who is too lazy to take the move correctly, then hits a suplex before using the full nelson for the win (1:56).

Thoughts: The Haynes/Hercules feud continues. That is really all I have to say here.

Gene Okerlund is with Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart, who is holding the “Ban the DDT” sign as they talk about that throughout the promo as Honky tells us everyone in the WWE wants him to sing and ask his fans for support in getting the DDT banned. Honky was truly great in this role.

Hillbilly Jim and Outback Jack are talking about the different animals they are accustom to in their homelands. Look likes they were trying to make a team here but these two were pretty low on the card and unable to be saved at this point anyway so making them a team wouldn’t have been the worst idea in the world.

Nick Kiniski & Joe Mirto vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis

Danny Davis is shown in an insert promo saying that he is at ringside to make sure the officials are doing there job. Kiniski gets the best of the Anvil then tags Mirto, who immediately gets slammed. Bret tags and beats on Mirto as the Hart Foundation are in full control of the match then put Mirto away with the Hart Attack (2:29). After the match, they let Danny Davis clear the ring of Kiniski and Mirto as they were already down on the mat.

Thoughts: Most of the focus here was on Davis as they further establish him as a chickenshit heel.

Okerlund is with Koko B. Ware and Frankie. Koko, wearing shades and an Adidas track suit, cuts a preacher-like promo on Danny Davis. He seemed coked out of his mind here. There feud seemingly lasted forever too and it was not good. The beginning of the end for Koko here as he became a curtain-jerker as the result of this feud.

The Islanders vs. Rougeau Brothers

Haku and Raymond start off the match with Raymond getting the upper hand. Jacques tags and grabs a headlock. Haku gets two off of a sunset flip then tags Tama, who goes to work on the arm. Jacques comes back with a monkey flip that saw Tama fly through the air as both guys tag out. Good action so far in this match by the way. Tama tags back in and works over the arm of Raymond as the Islanders are getting a bit more aggressive. Tama breaks up a sleeper by Raymond with a double axe handle then tags in as he hits a side slam. The Islanders get even more aggressive as Tama yanks Raymond down by the hair and goes for the cover but Jacques breaks it up. He then tags as he hammers away on Tama before catching him in an abdominal stretch. Haku breaks that up with a throat thrust then all four guys are inside as the action spills outside as they brawl until the match is ruled a double countout (6:10) **1/2. The teams fight until a few referees break up the melee.

Thoughts: Good match that was all action. This also planted the seed for the Islanders eventual heel turn as they wrestled aggressively and were doing heel tactics such as breaking up pins and pulling hair as well. Tama in particular looked great in this match. Oddly enough, the Rougeaus would turn heel about a year later after wrestling the Killer Bees in a babyface match on TV.

Snake Pit with guest Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Jake asks Duggan about why he came to the WWF as Duggan said he saw Sheik & Volkoff putting down America and was sick of it as they do not know what America is all about. Duggan said he does not go to “discotheques to read Zodiac signs” before saying that as long as he is alive, Volkoff will not sing the Russian National Anthem in this country again. Another well-received patriotic promo from Duggan.

Alex Knight & S.D. Jones vs. Kamala & Sika w/ Mr. Fuji & Kimchee

S.D. works the arm of Sika then lands a few shots until Sika rakes his eyes. Kamala tags in and destroys Knight as the Can-Am Connection issue a challenge to Kamala & Sika for a match next week as Kamala puts Knight away with a splash (1:21).

Thoughts: Quick match to make the team of Kamala & Sika look dominant in preparation for a probable match against the Can-Am Connection. Smart idea to build up a

Jesse Cortez vs. George “The Animal” Steele

Steele immediately bites the arm of Cortez then beats him down until he gets the win with a flying hammerlock (0:50). After the match, Steele takes down the referee and calls him nice before getting up and eating a turnbuckle.

Thoughts: The fans still loved Steele and quick TV matches like this were a great use of his talents.

Okerlund is with Johnny V and his snazzy new tights. The New Dream Team then come out as they call Beefcake the “weak link” of the team as the refer to him as “Fruitcake.” Bravo promises us that this is the most devastating team the WWF fans will ever see. Bravo was terrible here and in general when it came to wrestling.

Craig DeGeorge is in the locker room asking Mr. Fuji if he will accept the challenge from the Can-Am Connection and he does, saying that Kamala & Sika will rip off their faces. So our featured bout for next week is all set.

Next week’s featured bout will be Kamala & Sika vs. Can-Am Connection. Plus, Ricky Steamboat, King Harley Race, and Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff.

Final Thoughts: Solid show. Most of the focus was on the tag team division as they had a good TV match and built up next week’s featured bout well. The midcard was interesting at this time but unfortunately the top of the card as still murky post-WrestleMania III.

Schedule for the next several days:

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/2/87
Tuesday: WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event 5/2/87
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 5/3/87

WWF Wrestling Challenge October 26th, 1986

October 26, 1986

From the War Memorial in Rochester, NY

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight are Don Muraco & Bob Orton, Hillbilly Jim, Butch Reed, and Kamala. Plus, the “Snake Pit” with guest The Honkytonk Man.

Mike Kelly & Nick Kiniski vs. Don Muraco & Bob Orton w/ Mr. Fuji

The heels come out Piper’s theme music. Orton and Kiniski start off with a nice squence that ends with Kinski taking Orton down with an armdrag. Muraco tags as we get another insert promo from Mike Rotundo talking about how Danny Spivey will be back shortly from knee surgery. Muraco beats on Kiniski for a bit. Kelly tags and Orton immediately attacks him. Orton hits a suplex then tags Muraco, who puts him away with the tombstone that he dedicates to Heenan (2:12).

Thoughts: The heels coming out to the face’s music thing got played out here as Orndorff was doing it to Hogan, making it little reason for Muraco & Orton do copy that. Speaking of Muraco & Orton, they are just keeping the Piper/Adonis feud alive until Adonis returns.

We are shown a “Wrestler’s Rebuttal” from Harley Race and Bobby Heenan. They are upset that the “peasants” are not getting down on one knee when the King comes out to the ring. The King gimmick was not one of the best to be honest. Over time, Harley got a bit more comfortable with it but it was rough at the beginning.

Al Navarro vs. Hillbilly Jim

Heenan shows us an insert promo of Jim’s “fan club” which is a bunch of animals making noises. Jim starts the match by overpowering Navarro as Heenan rags on Jim the entire time. Navarro cheapshots Jim but misses a knee strike in the corner and Jim goes back on offense. Jim takes him down with a big boot then catches him with the bearhug for the win (2:32).

Thoughts: This match was terrible but the WWF was giving Jim another singles push her as Cousin Luke was cast aside.

Ken Resnick is with Jake Roberts, who says it does not matter who he wrestlers as he has no fans in this business and talks about becoming a champion and says that the Intercontinental Title is on his mind as once you have that, you are on the champion’s mind then calls out Randy Savage.

“The Natural” Butch Reed w/ Slick vs. Don Driggers

Slick cuts off ring announcer Mel Phillips so he can introduce Reed himself. We get an insert promo from JYD who says that there is nothing natural about Reed. At least that was the part I could actually understand. The match starts with Reed overpowering Driggers while stopping to flex on occasion. Driggers works the arm for a bit until Reed knocks him down. Reed roughs up Driggers then drops him throat-first on the top rope. Reed then catches Driggers with a slam before putting him away with a clothesline from the middle rope (2:42).

Thoughts: I liked Reed and his initial push was somewhat reminiscent of how Hercules was brought in but Reed was better in the ring and had a lot more charisma. He seemed to be his own worst enemy as to why he did not make it further in the company though.

Resnick is with the Honky Tonk Man, calling him a controversial figure. Honky cuts a promo about how talented the WWF is and that he’s glad to be here. Honky also says how some fans do not like when he wrestles because he struts too much. They are starting to have Honky mention the boos he is receiving but still trying to make him work as a face. At least they stopped that and went the heel route with much better results.

We are shown a video of the Machines trying to buy a compact car. The dealer tries to rip them off and they do not buy because the cars are too small. This was awful but luckily this gimmick was just about finished.

Dino Bravo w/ Johnny Valiant vs. Sivi Afi

Bravo starts by hitting an armdrag and a slam as we get an insert promo from both Bravo and Valiant, who declares that Bravo will be going to the top. Afi comes back with a pair of armdrags as Bravo takes a break so he can listen to Valiant. Bravo catches Afi with a clothesline then drops him throat-first on the ropes. Leg drop gets two. Knee drop gets two. Afi comes back with a crossbody then punches away at Bravo in the corner but misses a charge then gets hit with a back suplex and Bravo covers for the win (2:29).

Thoughts: The crowd was silent during this match as they didn’t care about these two. They always rejected Afi as a Snuka knockoff and Dino would not get over at all as a heel for another two years.

The Snake Pit with guest the Honkytonk Man. Roberts asks Honky if his mother got her wish when she asked for her son to become a strong and successful man. Honky asks Jake who made him the authority on what his mother thinks as Jake makes fun of him for being an Elvis impersonator and they go back and forth for a bit as the fans remain silent as they hated Honky and Jake was still a heel so the segment died in front of the crowd.

Moondog Spot & Jimmy Jack Funk vs. The Killer Bees

The Bees have brought their masks with them. Spot catches Blair with a knee then works the arm for a bit. Blair takes down Spot then tags out as we have shown an insert promo from referee Dave Hebner as he says it is a tough job being a referee but despite all of that he thinks Danny Davis should be up for review. The Bees work over Funk until he tags out and Spot beats on Blair. Backbreaker gets two. Funk tags and hits a shoulderbreaker then hits a fist drop. Spot tags but misses an elbow drop and Blair makes the tag as the crowd stays silent with the exception of a few boring chants. Brunzell roughs up Funk before Blair hits him with the Bee Sting, which looked awful. Spot breaks up the pin attempt and the match breaks down until the Bees use a double noggin-knocker then hit Funk with an atomic drop/dropkick combo (3:35).

Thoughts: Decent action but this crowd has had enough of this show, which has been subpar to say the least. The Bees seemed to wrestle on every show in 1986.

Ricky Steamboat delivers a PSA on saying no to drugs.

We are shown the clip from “Tuesday Night Titans” where Kamala “eats” the live chicken. Wow, this was about two years old and had Blassie as his manager too, making it odd for them to show the clip. They were using older clips to hype up the wrestlers at this time, mostly from “TNT” which had just been cancelled at this point but with an expanded audience, the clips are new if you haven’t seen them before.

Tony Nardo vs. Kamala w/ The Wizard & Kimchee

Kamala tosses Nardo around then hits him with several chops before slapping his own belly. Kamala hits more chops then hits Nardo with a big boot before putting him away with a splash (1:35). After the match, Kimchee prevents Kamala from hitting a second splash.

Thoughts: Not much to this match as Kamala continues to get the monster push before being fed to Hogan.

Resnick is with Ricky Steamboat, who talks about what it takes to become a champion today. He then talks about Savage and Elizabeth as George Steele comes out, because Steamboat mentioned Elizabeth by name, and talks about how Savage uses Elizabeth. Steele tells Steamboat that he can beat Savage as he will worry about Elizabeth as someone needs to take the belt and Elizabeth away from Savage. I found Steele entertaining in this role as a comedy guy, actually.

Next week’s featured match is for the Intercontinental Title as Savage defends the belt against Billy Jack Haynes.

Final Thoughts: Not much of a show. In fact, it was quite dull. There were no big angle advancements and the crowd was dead for a majority of the matches. Next week looks better at least as we get an Intercontinental Title match.

WWF Championship Wrestling July 26th, 1986

July 26, 1986

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

Tonight, we will see the Championship Wrestling debuts of The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers and “The Rebel” Dick Slater. Plus, “The Flower Shop” with guest Paul Orndorff and much more.

Tiger Chung Lee & A.J. Petruzzi vs. British Bulldogs w/ Capt. Lou Albano

The Bulldogs come out to theme music for the first time on television. Davey and Lee start things off by trading moves until Davey takes him down with an armdrag. He then dropkicks Lee to the floor and slingshots him back into the ring. Lee catches Davey with a punch after he knocked Petruzzi off of the apron. Petruzzi tags and roughs up Davey as Bruno talks about last week when Orndorff turned on Hogan due to jealousy. Dynamite tags and hits a snap suplex and a backbreaker. Davey tags and powerslams Petruzzi then catches Lee on his shoulders as he tried to break up the pin. He tags Dynamite who climbs up top and jumps of the back of Lee to hit the diving headbutt for the win (2:38).

Thoughts: Not much to this match but on commentary they kept pushing the depth of the tag team division.

Ken Resnick is with WWF President Jack Tunney, who says that suspending Andre the Giant was one of the toughest things he has done. Bobby Heenan interrupts and thanks Tunney then talks about how he has warned him about Andre. He then said that everyone knows that Giant Machine is Andre the Giant as Tunney tells him if he can prove that is in fact Andre, he will suspend Andre for life.

Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Mario Mancini

Muraco beats on Mancini as we are shown an insert promo from Lanny Poffo, reading a poem about Muraco rising to power with Mr. Fuji. Muraco tosses Mancini outside and drops him across the guardrail as the crowd starts a “beach bum” chant. Back in the ring, Muraco clotheslines Mancini before hitting him with the tombstone piledriver for the win (3:02).

Thoughts: They were trying to establish Muraco as a top threat again to the Heavyweight Championship. This did not last too long at all.

Resnick runs down the card of the August Boston Garden show then shows us a promo by Jake Roberts. He tells Steamboat that he has mastered the power of perception and that while Damien will take care of his flesh, he will take his soul. Really good stuff by Jake.

The Gladiator vs. “Rebel” Dick Slater

Slater runs down to the ring holding up the Confederate Flag as his theme song is in fact the Confederate Anthem. He also comes out to a scattering of boos. The match starts with both guys taking it to the mat in a nice little sequence. They trade shots in the corner and Slater gets the best of that then grabs a front facelock. Slater reverses an Irish whip that sends the Gladiator into the corner then come off the top with a forearm smash before getting the win with a side Russian legsweep (2:13). The crowd boos Slater after the match.

Thoughts: I have no idea why you would have Dick Slater as a babyface holding the Confederate Flag and think that it would get over in front of a card in upstate New York. Slater’s debut as a face was a disaster. The character was doomed as soon as he made his entrance. As a heel, this might have worked well but not at all as a face.

Resnick is with the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff, who will be facing the Hart Foundation in a number one contender’s match for the Tag Team Championship. No Blassie again this week. They say that while the Hart Foundation and Jimmy Hart are talented, they better get out of their way. Sheik then goes off on a tangent about not being responsible for the Iran hostage situation.

The Moondogs vs. Fabulous Rougeau Brothers

This match is joined in progress. The Rougeau’s clear the ring of the Moondogs with some nice double-team moves. The crowd gets into the Rougeau’s as they work over the arm of Rex. Spot cheapshots Ramon and they double-team him in the corner. Spot tags as the crowd rallies behind Ramon as Spot has him in a sleeper hold. Ramon escapes and hits a crossbody then tags Jacques as the places goes nuts. Seriously, I have ever seen a WWF crowd go this nuts for the Rougeau’s before. Jacques dropkicks both guys then the match breaks down. The Moondogs try a double noggin knocker but Ramon ducks and Jacques hits Spot with a crossbody for the win (3:27). Man, the crowd popped huge for the win.

Thoughts: It’s almost unreal how over the Rogeau’s were in this match. Hell, if they stayed taping in New York instead of going on the road, they might have gotten more of a push.

The Flower Shop with Adrian Adonis. His guest is Paul Orndorff, who comes out looking pissed off. He tells the crowd to shut up then slams down his robe. He then introduces us to his new manager, Bobby Heenan, who tells us that Mr. Wonderful will be the next Heavyweight Champion of the World. Orndorff then accuses the crowd of being just like Hulk Hogan because they do not listen.

Tom Tatri vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Roberts decks Tatri with a right hand. He slams him three times as the crowd chants for Steamboat. Roberts then takes Tatri down with a kneelift and roughs him up for a bit. Tatri reverses an Irish whip but Roberts comes back with a clothesline then finishes him off with a DDT (1:52). Roberts then dumps Damian on top of Tatri and lets it slither out of the ring, with the camera zooming in on the snake, before picking him up.

Thoughts: Roberts gets a bit of a face reaction when he wins as some fans want to see the snake. Speaking of Roberts, he looked good in the ring tonight.

Resnick is now with the Machines and Capt. Lou Albano. Resnick asks Giant Machine if he is Andre. Giant
Machine says that he is not. Super Machine talks about all of their training and how mind controls all.

Steve Lombardi & Mr. X & Rusty Brooks vs. Ricky Steamboat & King Tonga & Sivi Afi

Steamboat looks absolutely ridiculous carrying the cage and Afi does some tricks with fire that goes on for too long and is not particularly good. Vince lets us know that next week, we will hear from Hulk Hogan. Steamboat starts off the match with Lombardi and the face team makes quick tags, using a lot of body slams. Freddie Blassie joins the announcers and talks about the stock market and how he is selling half of the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff’s contracts. Steamboat gets trapped in the opposing corner but he eventually breaks free and tags Afi, to absolutely no reaction at all. He runs wild on Brooks then tags Tonga, who hits a dropkick. Steamboat tags and finishes off Brooks with a flying body press (3:30).

Thoughts: This was just a backdrop for other angles that were going on in the company. It was also remarkable to see how little Sivi Afi was over with the crowd.

Resnick is with Hulk Hogan, who says that he has been bending bars at the gym. He will be teaming with George Steele to face Adrian Adonis & Randy Savage in Boston. We are then shown Capt. Lou Albano with Steele as they cut a promo that is pretty funny. Those two had great chemistry and Albano was as insane as he usually was, probably due to him being drunk. They cut back to Hogan who says that Boston is going to get “Hulkarized” as Hulkamania runs wild on Adonis & Savage.

Bruno and Vince recap the show. Next week, Hulk Hogan will be here. Also, King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd, American Express, Hart Foundation, Billy Jack Haynes, and Harley Race.

Final Thoughts: Not a whole lot happened here tonight. The Rougeau’s got over big in their debut. The same cannot be said for Dick Slater. The Flower Shop wasn’t much as it was already a given that Orndorff was aligning with Heenan. The big news here was that Hogan would be appearing next week to address what Orndorff did to him last week. Another thing to note was change in the production values. All of the babyfaces came out to theme music, which wasnt always the case at this point. At the time, the WWF was losing it’s timeslot on some stations so Vince and the WWF made the call to amp up the production values in order to lure in the TV stations.

Here is a schedule of my upcoming reviews:

Saturday: RoH Crowning a Champion 7/27/02
Sunday: WWF Championship Wrestling 8/2/86
Tuesday: WWF Championship Wrestling 8/9/86
Thursday: TBD
Friday: WWF Championship Wrestling 8/16/86

Email me at [email protected] with any questions or feedback

Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/mrbayless1982

WWF Championship Wrestling April 26th, 1986

April 26, 1986

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

After last week, Andre the Giant selected as a partner to face Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy. Also in action are King Tonga & Ricky Steamboat, Hercules Hernandez, Tito Santana & Pedro Morales, George Steele & Junkyard Dog, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts.

The Gladiator & Steve Lombardi vs. King Tonga & Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

Tonga backdrops Lombardi then hits a pair of armdrags. He attacks the arm then tags Steamboat, who continues to work the arm. He gets a one count off of a crossbody then goes back to the arm. The Gladiator tags but Steamboat takes him down with a drop toehold. Tonga tags and hits a dropkick then uses the stump puller for a bit. They continue to beat on the Gladitor until Steamboat puts him away with the flying body press (3:26).

Thoughts: The match itself was fine but the crowd never cared for Tonga and this team was just slapped together for TV purposes and had no steam behind them.

WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. He claims that four million homes around the world and two million in closed circuit locations tuned into WrestleMania 2. Sure they did. They show a clip of William Perry being introduced in the Battle Royal. Hayes closes by saying it was the greatest extravaganza of all time.

Mario Mancini vs. Hercules Hernandez w/ Freddie Blassie

Herc clotheslines Mancini then follows it up with a slam and an elbow drop. Herc moves around so slowly by the way. He hits a suplex that Blassie approves the throws some punches at Mancini as he is draped over the rope. Herc hits some stomps then puts him away with the torture rack (2:50).

Thoughts: As usual, Herc was slow and plodding in the ring and was struggling to get any kind of heat, even with Blassie as his manager.  

Gene Okerlund hypes tonight’s Boston Garden House Show then brings out the British Bulldogs, without Albano. Dynamite cuts a horrendous promo, citing that they won the belts on April 27th, which would have been the day after this show aired. Gene shot him a look like he knew he was out of his mind.

Tito Santana & Pedro Morales vs. A.J. Petruzzi & Mr. X

Pedro slams Mr. X but gets his eyes raked. Mr. X hits Pedro with an atomic drop but Pedro made the tag as he was in the air. Pedro also sold the move by landing upright on his feet and walking away mind you as he was in his not giving a fuck mood tonight. Santana clears the ring then tags Pedro, who hits a few slams, before tagging back. Petruzzi beats on Tito briefly until he makes the tag then Pedro and Petruzzi work an awful sequence that was just clumsy and lazy until Tito tags and hits the flying forearm for the win (3:13).

Thoughts: Pedro was the laziest I have seen him at this point. This dude looked hungover as fuck too. The crowd went silent anytime he was in the ring. This pairing was killing Tito, who was far too good and over to be saddled with a wash-up like Morales.

Vince breaks the news that Andre is not here yet for his match.

Okerlund is with Hoss Funk and Jimmy Hart as they hype their 6-man tag match in Boston against Steamboat, JYD, and the Haiti Kid. No Terry here and he actually did not even end up at the show as he was replaced by Jimmy Jack Funk, who had not even made his TV debut yet.

King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Ted Arcidi & Hillbilly Jim

The crowd boos Arcidi and are pissed that Andre is not here. The announcers are confused as to why Andre is not here as the crowd is not happy. Arcidi starts out in the ring with Bundy as the crowd couldn’t care less about Arcidi. He tags Jim and Bundy beats him down until he misses an elbow drop and Jim takes control. Jim misses a charge then Studd tags into the match. Jim escapes then tags Arcidi, who picks up Studd but Bundy prevents an slam from taking place then knocks Jim off of the apron. They double-team Arcidi until they shove the referee and the ref rings the bell for the DQ (2:33).

Thoughts: The bait-and-switch with Andre did not get over with the crowd, at all. They hated Arcidi and Jim was declining in popularity but was still over at least where Arcidi never was.

Piper’s Pit with guests the Killer Bees. Piper makes fun of Brunzell’s broken arm then Orton calls him a cheater for wearing a cast then denies he ever wore one when asked. This leads to Brunzell demonstrating a hold on Orton and a shoving match ensues. Notable for being the last “Piper’s Pit” until the Fall as he went off to Hollywood.

Andre Malo vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

The crowd is still deflated from the last match. Jake ties Malo in the ropes as the announcers speculate as to what happened to Andre. Malo fights back and slams Jake, who retreats to the corner. Jake then boots Malo and hits a short-armed clothesline before working a headlock on the mat right in front of the snake bag. Jake roughs up Malo for a bit until he puts him away with the DDT (2:34). After the match, Jake dumps the snake on top of Malo and talks to the snake for a bit.

Thoughts: Jake was good but the crowd was only into the snake and they barely cared about that. The Andre no-show killed them dead.

Dave Barbie & Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Junkyard Dog & George Steele w/ Haiti Kid

The heels back Steele into the corner then Sharpe tags into the match. Steele bites his arm and tags JYD who takes out Sharpe and Barbie. Sharpe pulls down JYD and grabs his ankle but the Haiti Kid bites Sharpe in the ass and chases him around the ring as the match breaks down. In the ring, JYD hits a sorry excuse of a clothesline on Sharpe then works on Barbie. The heels beat on JYD briefly but he fights back and hits Barbie with a powerslam for the win (4:30). After the match, a couple of kids come into the ring to dance with the Haiti Kid and George Steele as Vince cackles like an idiot.  

Thoughts: The kids in the crowd really dug this stuff and it brought the crowd back to life. The match itself was filled wth comedy spots an awful wrestling from JYD, who was getting worse by the day.

Vince lets us know that next week’s featured matchup will be Tito Santana & Paul Orndorff vs. Randy Savage & Don Muraco. And one of those guys did not acutally take part in the match.

Mean Gene is with the Dream Team and Johnny Valiant, who blames the excessive amount of celebrities and syndicated columnists for distracting his team and allowing the Bulldogs to win the Tag Team Titles.

Next week, we will get an update on Andre the Giant

Final Thoughts: The bait and switch with Andre just about killed this show dead. They at least built some intrigue by saying they will have an update on him next week but being promised Andre and getting Ted Arcidi instead is terrible. Other than that, they have little going in the company except for the Dream Team/Bulldogs feud.

WWF Championship Wrestling October 26th, 1985

October 26, 1985

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

Tonight’s main event is the Hart Foundation & Barry O. vs. Killer Bees & Paul Orndorff. Also, Tito Santana and David Sammartino will be teaming up.

Mr. X & John Rizzo vs. Cousin Junior & Uncle Elmer w/Hillbilly Jim

As the announcers play up the size of Elmer, Junior stomps Mr. X then wiggles his butt at him. X goes for a kick but misses and falls and we all have a good laugh as a result. Rizzo tags in and bounces off of Elmer then Junior tags back in and gets the win with a sitout splash (2:13).

Thoughts: Typical stuff from the Hillbillies, meaning lots of dancing before and after the match and pandering to the crowd.

WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. Once again, the subject is the upcoming “Wrestling Classic” PPV. He runs down the list of competitors and that was all.

Ron Dee vs. Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart

Dee slams Funk to start the match then decides to chase around Hart until Funk nails him from behind. Funk stomps on the back of Dee’s head then runs over to a fan that threw a drink on him. Funk goes back to assaulting Dee then hits a clothesline before finishing him off with an elbow drop (1:50). After the match, Funk brands Dee then starts beating the shit out of him, prompting the referee to change the decision and award Dee the match. Funk and Hart are irate at the decision

Thoughts: Funk was awesome in the WWF. Just an incredible heel. Too bad he didnt stick around longer though.

Gene Okerlund is with “Leaping” Lanny Poffo. He reads us a poem about Okerlund, who then asks Lanny if he has found a tag-team partner yet and he said he is still looking.

Moondog Spot & Dave Barbie vs. David Sammartino & Tito Santana

The crowd loves Tito. Sammartino backdrops Spot then hits Barbie with a German suplex. They use quick tags to isolate Barbie until he is able to tag out. Spot hits Sammartino with a kneelift then tags Barbie, who gets beat on by Tito and shortly after that, Sammartino catches Barbie with a powerslam for the win (3:02).

Thoughts: Eh, not much happened here but Sammartino looked more animated in the ring than usual. Speaking of Sammartino, he would be gone in a few weeks after the “phantom submission” match in Philadelphia against Ron Shaw.

Okerlund is with the Dream Team. Valiant is obnoxious as usual as the others talk about their fans that follow the around wherever they go because they are the champs.

Paul Roma & Scott McGhee vs. The Dream Team w/ “Luscious” Johnny Valiant

Valentine shoves Roma into the corner then takes him down with a drop toehold. Roma comes back with an armdrag and a dropkick but misses his second attempt. Valentine drops a few elbows then he and Beefcake rough up Roma some more. McGhee tags and hits several European uppercuts but Valentine suplexes him. Both men tag out as Beefcake beats on Roma. They isolate Roma using quick tags then Valentine gets the win with a figure four leg lock (3:22).

Thoughts: The Dream Team worked really well as a team. Roma looked solid too in his brief amount of offense. McGhee just came over at this time from Florida but never made any sort of impact in the WWF and as gone before the end of 1986.

Piper’s Pit with guest Rick McGraw. Piper insults McGraw by calling him a mediocre wrestler as McGraw, looking like a mess, makes a skirt joke, causing Piper to go off by calling McGraw a “loser” and a “geek” before calling him trash. McGraw asks Piper why he doesnt wrestle on TV as Piper sarcastically challenges him to a match then gets slapped by McGraw, causing Piper to flip out and toss chairs saying he will fight him whenever.

Rusty Brooks vs. King Tonga

Tonga bounces off of Brooks before getting hip-tossed. Tonga dodges an elbow drop and comes back with a dropkick and a crossbody block, getting two. They trade shots and Tonga wins that battle. He lays into Brooks with chops and headbutts the hits him with a super kick. He slams Brooks then heads up top and hits a flying body press for the win (2:20).

Thoughts: The fans weren’t that much into King Tonga in the beginning. He moved around quickly at the beginning as he was built like a cruiserweight.

Killer Bees & Paul Orndorff vs. Hart Foundation & Barry O. w/ Jimmy Hart

Hart and Blair start off the match with some mat work. Hart then tags Barry after gettting monkey-flipped out of the corner. Orndorff tags and works the arm of Barry as the fans go nuts. Blair tags and gets two with an elbow smash from the middle rope. Brunzell works the arm but gets caught in the wrong corner. The match then breaks down as Jimmy Hart scurries underneath the ring. The ref regains order as Brunzell is in trouble. Barry is the legal man but Brunzell makes the tag to Orndorff, who runs wild. He holds up Barry as Brunzell hits him with a dropkick and that gets the win (4:20).

Thoughts: Fun match that was all action. I think it was obvious that Barry O. would be the one taking the fall though. Brunzell’s dropkick at the end was awesome too. He got up there pretty damn high.

Okerlund is with Randy Savage, who talks about Tito Santana then brings out a plastic trash container and calls Santana garbage and that he will be lucky to escape with the Intercontinental Title. Funny stuff from Savage.

Next week, Roddy Piper will face Rick McGraw. Also in action include the Junkyard Dog, Randy Savage, and Don Muraco.

Final Thoughts: Not a bad show at all. The six-man match was entertaining and Piper’s Pit was memorable too. Also, the push for the “Wrestling Classic” continues and guys like Terry Funk and Randy Savage continue to entertain whenever they appear on TV.

QOTD – August 26th, 2013

Greetings, hububaloohs.

Today’s question is an interesting one, from a Mr. Steven Jones.

Hey Calibre,

Love what you bring to Keiths blog.  You are great.  A Top Ten Guy in my book.

I had a good idea for QOTD.  Remember Blossom, and “On a very special episode of Blossom…”

What if the WWE did that?  On a very special episode of
Monday Night RAW?  Could be some funny stuff.  Thought I would throw
that out to you and the blog.

Keep it real

Thanks Culiber.

First off, Steven, it’s Calibray. 

You know, people always talk about the “very special episodes” from the late 80’s, early 90’s, but I really only remember two. The Family Matter’s episode about gun violence, where someone was shot over a pair of shoes, and the Full House where Stephanie’s friend was beat by his dad. Then at one point Danny comes up and is all “Steph, you didn’t take out the trash”, to which Stephanie replies later “Oh man, I’m in big trouble” and her friend tells her to think of a funny movie like Home Alone or something when it happens. Then after the episode, Jesse & Steph talked to us about abuse. I’m sure wxnymcneal can tell us the date it aired, the production number, and the real names of everyone who appeared in that episode. 

Raw doing that would be pretty funny. Would it be about some low-on-the-totem Diva trying to hide the fact that Randy Orton’s touching made her uncomfortable? Or the new, hip celebrity, Johnny Dakota hosts Raw, and tries to get Kofi & Zack Ryder to try pot. “Oh look, Johnny, Kofi’s “just saying no”‘. Now, that’s a Raw I’d actually watch.

How say you?

WWF Championship Wrestling January 26th, 1985

January 26th, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
This week, Hillbilly Jim makes his in-ring debut, with Hulk Hogan in his corner. Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo (called the American Express by Vince) will be in action as well. Plus, George Wells makes his Championship Wrestling debut.

Gino Carabello & AJ Petruzzi vs. Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo
The camera shows a guy in the crowd who looks just like Matthew McConaughey’s character from “Dazed and Confused.” Petruzzi gets one off a hiptoss then gets dropkicked by Rotundo. Windham tags and gets two off a back elbow smash. Carabello tags and gets knocked down. Windham hits a vertical suplex then drops the elbow. Rotundo tags and hits a dropkick before working a hammerlock. They use a few quick tags before Windham hits the bulldog for the win (3:45).
Thoughts: Although not mentioned here, Windham and Rotundo actually were the tag-team champions when this match aired. They defeated Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch at a house show in Hartford, CT. The crowd wasn’t that into this match but seeing as this was the 4th and final show of the taping, you cant blame for being tired. Anyway, its clear that Windham and Rotundo are being pushed as the top bayface team and it has gotten off to a promising start.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. He lets us know that they will show us thestill photos of what happened at the December 28th MSG show between Piper and Albano as soon as they are available. Some update this was.
Dave Barbie & Rusty Brooks vs. Tonga Kid & Jimmy Snuka
Snuka can barely move here. Brooks school-boys Tonga for one before getting put in a headlock. Snuka tags and gets shoved in the corner. Tonga tags and slams Barbie then Snuka hits the Superfly Splash for the win (2:29).
Thoughts: Tonga did all the work and Snuka hit a splash for the win. Snuka was really broke down at this point and Tonga was no-showing all the shows at this time, including the recent MSG show, and was gone from the company within days of this match airing. Had Tonga, who admitted that he lefty because of the pressure from being on top, stuck around, he definitely would have been involved in WrestleMania and had a prominent role in the company during the 1980’s. He did come back at the end of 1986 to form the Islanders with Haku but was never able to capture the momentum that he had here.
Gene Okerlund runs down the card for the February 2nd show at the Boston Garden. Big John Studd comes out, with his bag containing Andre the Giant’s hair, plugging his Texas Tornado tag with Ken Patera against Andre & Junkyard Dog. He puts himself over for being strong enough to bench 700lbs and clip Andre’s hair. Studd really needed Heenan to help him out on interviews.
S.D. Jones & Aldo Marino vs. Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik w/Freddie Blassie
As Volkoff sings the Russian national anthem, Windham & Rotundo appear ringside waving the American flag, upsetting the heels. The crowd erupts in a “USA” chant. SD headbutts the Sheik then tags Marino. Sheik kicks him and tags Volkoff, who puts him in a backbreaker. Sheik tags and hits a suplex before making him submit to the Camel Clutch (2:04). After the match, the heels toss their opponents to the floor.
Thoughts: The match was forgettable but they found their next tag feud, even if it was a bit contrived. Its nice to see the tag division get built up again as it was awful during 1984.
Okerlund is with Andre, who is also plugging the tag-match at the Boston Garden. He mumbled lot here and nothing of note happened.
George Wells vs. Paul Kelly
This is the Championship Wrestling debut for Wells, who left Mid-South to come here several weeks prior. He starts with a crescent kick off an Irish whip spot. He takes Kelly down with a headscissors then an armdrag. Kelly throws some forearms in the corner but Wells comes back with another headscissors then works the arm. Kelly doesn’t break cleanly then takes Wells down with a kneelift. Wells hits a European uppercut then finishes Kelly with a diving shoulder block (2:05)
Thoughts: An action packed two minute match that was sloppy at times. The crowd gave Wells a nice ovation after he one and they seemed to respond favorably to him. His run in the WWF was mostly forgettable, with his most famous moment jobbing to Jake the Snake Roberts at WrestleMania II, while foaming at the mouth from selling the effects of Damien.  
Piper’s Pit with guest Blackjack Mulligan. Piper mocks Blackjack, who comes out with a bag with chewing tobacco. He tells him that he doesn’t have the qualifications to interview anyone and tells him that he stinks. Piper also tells him he is not afraid of him then introduces him to his bodyguard, Bob Orton. Blackjack lets the people decide who makes the better host then they cut to commercial. Piper spoke for 95% of the segment, which didn’t really click at all to be honest.
The Moondogs vs. Steve Lombardi & Jim Young
Spot hits Lombardi with a thrust kick the Rex chops him against the ropes. The Moondogs continue their assault on Lombardi as Vince plugs Hillbilly Jim’s debut, which will be coming up next. Young tags in but Rex powerslams him then they hit their finisher (backbreaker/elbow drop combo) for the win (2:48).
Thoughts: The Moondogs, a very underrated team, looked really good in this match.
Another vignette of Don Muraco and Mr. Fuji in Hawaii. Muraco says that Hawaii is not for “comic book hulks” or “moron, retarded superflies” then says he will be back to the WWF shortly as Fuji is laughing in the background.
Terry Gibbs vs. Hillbilly Jim w/Hulk Hogan
They come out to “Eye of the Tiger” as the crowd goes nuts. Vince is cackling like a moron during all of Hillbilly Jim’s antics. The match starts as Jim breaks out of a full nelson. He sits Gibbs on the top rope and pats him on the chest. Gibbs bounces off Hillbilly a few times before getting caught with a slam. Gibbs rakes the eyes and lands several shots but is unable to take him down. Jim blocks a slam and hits one of his own before catching Gibbs in a bearhug for the win (2:58). After the match, Jim poses with Hogan as Vince is in all his glory.
Thoughts: Gibbs did all of the work in the ring but that did not stop Jim from getting over big with the crowd. Vince was also enamored with Jim, doing anything he can on commentary to put him over.
Gene Okerlund is with Paul Orndorff, who faces Ivan Putski at the next Boston Garden show. Orndorff looks glum and talks about how sad it is to be so wonderful. I cant do this interview justice but Okerlund was awesome here in playing off Orndorff. At the end, Orndorff sheds his robe and calls Putski a “turtle head” who will cower up and never be seen again after their match.
Bruno and Vince praise Hillbilly Jim at the end of the show. Next week, Don Muraco and Andre the Giant will be here.
Final Thoughts: Not a bad show. The debuted Jim and started a new tag feud so that was good. The matches were all shorter than usual too. The crowd was cold for most of this but next week will be the first show from the new taping so that usually means a more energetic crowd. The WWF continues to shape up their feuds too as they are dragging out the process of showing us what happened to Albano at MSG so you know there will be a big feud as a result of that. Plus, Muraco will be coming back to presumably feud with Hogan, seeing as he has been insulting him in all his vignettes.

QOTD – Jul 26th, 2013


Today I thought we’d harken back to the days of yesteryear. As a kid, what was your favorite TV show? Not counting wrestling.

For me, it’s a tough call between GI Joe and Saved By The Bell. Although I’d probably have to go with The Bell because my love of GI Joe stemmed more from the action figures than it did the actual TV show. I mean, was there a cooler dude than Zack? Or a hotter chick than Kelly? What other group of kids on TV were saving homeless people, and having murder mystery weekends? None. That’s who.

How say you?

Also, over at wcwin2000.wordpress.com, I recently updated with a review of what is hands down the worst single episode of wrestling programming I, or anyone has ever seen.

QOTD – June 26th, 2013

Greetings, Superfriends. Today we have a daily double. The first is from Jeff Bailey:

“Looking back on Dusty Rhodes’ stint as booker, does the knowledge that
Ric Flair is such a gigantic cock alter your perspective on it?”

Well, not really. I’ve never really heard a bad-word about Flair during that era. It was only when he started to look like a piece of beef jerky with bleached strands of hair coming out of the top that he became a prick. I’ve often wondered what would happen if Triple H from 2003 and Dusty Rhodes from 1988 were in the same company. It would have to implode. Like in Time Cop when two beings take up the same space. 

Second question comes from QOTD Hall of Famer, Mr. Gavin Lee.

"Not a wrestling question today but with the impending release of Star Wars ep7  
What do you want to see or what storyline should they follow? There's rumours 
there bringing back the original cast Luke han leia etc I'm unsure if I could
 belive a 70yr old (!) mark hamill pulling Jedi shit any more hopefully JJ won't 
make a Star Trek clone."

It's no longer rumors, as I believe most of the original cast is returning. I have
no problem believing in older Jedis being able to bring the goods. Look at 
The Emperor. He looks older than dirt and he's the biggest bad ass of them all. Yoda
is ancient, about 2 feet tall and he's feared completely. The Jedi only get stronger as they
get older. 

I always thought they'd just film the Heir To The Empire books, which I read a few
years ago and are great. I'm all about bringing The Emperor back, as he's my favorite
character. There's so much material to work with it's ridiculous. Not only are there
100's of books, but 1000's of comics. There is honestly to excuse for fucking
this film up. There are tried & true stories that are great, and that fans want 
to see. 

I apologize for the font, blogger is a piece of crap and believes letting you
choose your format is something of an antiquated notion. 

WWF Madison Square Garden: November 26th, 1984

November 26, 1984
Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

Charlie Fulton vs. SD Jones
According to thehistoryofwwe.com, Fulton replaced Samula in this match. SD backs Fulton into the corner. SD goes for an armdrag but falls, then takes down Fulton. Gorilla mentions how Fulton was in Vietnam as both men counter their moves as the crowd is bored. SD works a side headlock as the announcers talk about tonight’s Tonga Kid vs. Roddy Piper match. Fulton catches SD with a clothesline and grabs a chinlock. He hits a legdrop before going back to the chinlock for a long time. The crowd starts chanting for SD and he catches Fulton but falls down and Fulton goes back to the chinlock. SD picks him up and hits an inverted atomic drop. He hits another atomic drop and punches away. SD kicks him down then gets two off a headbutt. SD hits several more headbutts and knocks him down with a left. They trade punches until Fulton rakes the eyes. He misses a charge in the corner and SD hits a headbutt for the win (10:40) *1/2.  
Thoughts: Bland match but pretty much what you expected out of these two. Despite his status, SD was quite over with the crowds. Too bad his offense consisted of headbutts and punches. Fulton was always a solid worker and went on to train guys like Raven, Chris Harris and Johnny Swinger.  
Jose Luis Rivera vs. Moondog Spot
Rivera is subbing for Billy Jack, who left before his debut. Gorilla and Hayes talk about how ridiculous it is that someone can be announced from parts unknown. Spot doesn’t break cleanly and Rivera is pissed. He works the arm after Spot misses an elbow drop. They do that spot again as Rivera works the arm forever. He gets two off a sunset flip before going back to the arm. Spot misses a corner charge and Rivera goes back to the armbar, again. God, does Rivera suck. Spot breaks and ducks his head but Rivera kicks him, getting two. Even the announcers make fun of Rivera for going back to the armbar. Rivera charges but Spot kills him with a superkick. He gets a kneesmash then a splash from the second rope. Rivera gets tossed in the corner and Spot destroys him. Shoulderbreaker gets two as Spot pulls him up, so he can put him in a chinlock. Press slam by Spot and he hits the splash from the second rope but pulls him up and tosses him to the floor. Rivera fights back from the apron. He hits a dropkick and attacks Spot in the corner. He eats boot on a charge and Spot hits a clothesline from the middle rope for the win (9:16) *1/2.
Thoughts: Rivera was terrible and this match could have been better if Rivera could do anything besides punching or applying an armbar. Spot was a good worker and the match was better when he was on offense.
Salvatore Bellomo vs. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Both men shake hands to start. Heenan yells at the crowd then both men lockup. Heenan punches Bellomo then ducks between the ropes. Bellomo punches him back and slams his head off the turnbuckle. Heenan gets whipped in the corner and goes upside down. He ducks outside. Back in the ring, they fight over a wristlock. Bellomo dropkciks Heena,n, who is sprawled across the ropes as the crowd is going nuts. Bellomo stomps away and Heenan goes outside. In the ring, Heenan grabs a chinlock. He hits a backdrop then drops the knee. He yells at Bellomo to get up and they proceed to pull of the single worst double collision spot I have ever seen. Bellomo is up first and fires away in the corner, to the delight of the crowd. Heenan dumps Bellomo to the floor then knocks him off the apron. Bellomo tries a sunset flip but Heenan punches him and covers for the win (8:56) *.
Thoughts: Heenan was bad in the ring but at least he knew that the fans were dying to see him get his ass kicked so he put himself in positions that would get them to go nuts when he was attacked. Bellomo was the same as usual
Mr. Fuji vs. Angelo “King Kong” Mosca
Fuji does his pre-match ceremony to start. Fuji asks for a clean break and gets that but chops Mosca, who chops him back. Mosca uses a single leg takedown then fires away. Fuji is pissed off in the corner then loses a test of strength. Fuji kicks down Mosca then headbutts the groin. Mosca chops back but Fuji work a nerve hold. Mosca hulks up and take down Fuji with a shoulder block but gets chopped down. Fuji goes back to the nerve hold and Mosca escapes. He beats on Fuji in the corner and hits a shoulder thrust. Fuji pulls a salt package from his trunks but Mosca takes that and dumps it on the ring. Fuji begs for mercy as Mosca catches him with a sleeper. Fuji reaches down his tights and pulls out another salt package and throws it in Mosca’s face for the DQ (8:01) ½*.
Thoughts: Fuji was really struggling to get around at this point but this wasn’t as bad as you would think. Mosca was a tiny bit better in the ring than he was on commentary.
“Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. Swede Hanson
Swede puts Orton in a bearhug then a wristlock. Swede puts on a headlock as Orton is unable to escape. The announcers put over Orton as the bodyguard for Piper as he takes control. Swede counters a neck vice with a front facelock and headbutts Orton in the corner. He puts Orton in a chinlock as this match is really dragging. Orton fights out and floats over Swede. He punches away in the corner as we see a replay of the float over. Orton continues to punch away but Swede continues to walk towards Orton then chops him in the corner. He gets a scoop slam and goes up top but Orton got a knee up and hits the Vader Bomb for the win (8:51) DUD.
Thoughts: Orton tried hard but wrestling against Swede is like wrestling a wall. Swede would do a few matches here and there but was not with the WWF in a full-time capacity.
Tonga Kid w/Jimmy Snuka vs. Roddy Piper w/Bob Orton
The crowd goes apeshit when Snuka comes out, causing Piper to go mental. He heads towards the locker room then goes back to the ring. Snuka is wearing a shirt that reads “I Want Piper.” Tonga and Piper have a stare down. Tonga no-sells three slaps then hits Piper. Piper calls for time and attempts a cheap shot but Tonga was ready and fires away. The crowd is berserk as Tonga is firing away on Piper, who is on the apron. Tonga drags him back in the ring by the hair and continues his assault. Piper chops Tonga after a leapfrog then taunts Snuka but takes his eyes off Tonga, who fires away. Piper gets a back suplex then tosses him out of the ring a few times. He calls Tonga then gets two off a throat thrust. Kneelift gets two as Piper is using arrogant pin attempts. He catches Tonga in a sleeper and drops him to the ground. Tonga hulks up then elbows out. He sends Piper into the ropes but Piper regains control. Tonga no-sells a few turnbuckle smashes then fires away. He tries a crossbody block but Piper catches him and dumps him over the ropes. Orton runs over and decks Snuka then attacks Tonga. Piper goes out and grabs a chair but Snuka pulls it away. Snuka is getting double teamed by Orton and Piper until Tonga makes the save. The match breaks down as the ref rings the bell for the DQ. The heels get dumped and retreat as the crowd is still going insane as the match is ruled a double disqualification (7:03) ***1/4. After the match, Snuka grabs the mic and challenges Piper.
Thoughts: Good stuff. The crowd was loving the feud between these men. Tonga did great and this looks to set up for a tag match in the future. Its amazing how this feud elevated Tonga from a lower mid-card guy to a star seemingly overnight.
Barry Windham is backstage by himself. He says that Madison Square Garden is the big time and is making his MSG debut against Moondog Rex. He states he will show Rex what its like to be a wrestler.
Moondog Rex vs. Barry Windham
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.
Tony Atlas vs. The Executioner
The Executioner attacks Atlas before the bell and pounds him in the corner. They then do a slow-motion Irish whip spot that ends with Atlas getting a dropkick. He hits another dropkick and stomps away. Atlas gets the fans going then hits the press slam and finishes him off with the splash (1:48) ¼*. After the match, Atlas tries to take off the mask of the Executioner, who manages to escape.
Thoughts: A quick win to build up Atlas. He was heavily into drugs at this time and wasn’t really around the WWF all that much after this match. There was a rumor that he was going to win the IC title when he came back but that never happened and probably for the best.
Rocky Johnson vs. David Schultz
Schultz tries to bait Rocky with a handshake but he isn’t having that. Schultz then does some more stalling tactics as Rocky is getting pissed. This is starting to really get old as Schultz will gesture towards Rocky then retreat and this spot gets repeated constantly. We are now four minutes into this match and no contact has been made. Finally, the two men lockup and Schultz knocks Rocky down after refusing to break cleanly. Rocky fights back but Schultz retreats. More stalling ensues as the crowd is chanting for Rocky. Schultz boots Rocky after going for a test of strength. Rocky escapes but Schultz retreats and the ref steps between them. Schultz hits Rocky from behind then the ref steps between them again. The fans are throwing trash into the ring at this point. Rocky fights back and knocks Schultz down with a pair of rights. Rocky goes for a slam but Schultz turns it into a rollup for the win (9:25) -***.
Thoughts: One of the worst matches I have seen, unless you are a diehard fan of stalling for the entire match, only to win by rollup. In regards to this match, Meltzer wrote in the observer that you could “burn more calories by sipping coffee” than Schultz did in this match. I felt that to be an accurate statement. It made you never want to see these two wrestle again instead of seeing Rocky getting his revenge, which I assume was the intention.
Bruno Sammartino is backstage, stating it is great to be back at MSG. He will be in the corner of his son, David.
Ken Patera w/Capt. Lou Albano vs. David Sammartino w/Bruno Sammartino
Patera overpowers Sammartino then starts taunting him. Sammartino picks up Patera and places him on the turnbuckle, which as Albano irate. He catches Patera with a press slam, which has the crowd going crazy. Patera ducks outside for a breather then re-enters the ring. Sammartino fires away but Patera backs him into the ropes and chops him across the chest. He chokes out Sammartino in the corner then uses a mix of brawling and matwork but Sammartino fights back. He knocks down Patera and beats on him in the corner. Patera begs for mercy and catches Sammartino off guard. He boots him outside then slams him on the floor. Patera beats on Sammartino, who is on the apron, then targets the back after he crawls into the ring. Patera tosses him halfway across the ring before hitting a suplex. Sammartino escapes from a bearhug but Patera goes right back to work on the back. Sammartino uses a bell clap to get out of another bearhug as the camera shows Bruno watching from ringside. Sammartino starts hammering away but the crowd isn’t responding to the comeback. He hits an atomic drop then gets two after dropping the knee. Sammartino gets nearfalls off a small package and a sunset flip but misses a charge in the corner, allowing Patera to hammer away. Samamrtino catches the foot off Patera but Albano trips him up. Bruno chases Albano into the ring and the ref rings the bell for the DQ, in favor of Sammartino (12:24) ***.
Thoughts: Good match that was all action. Patera was still solid in the ring at this point. He had nothing left after coming out of prison though. David Sammartino really wasn’t bad in the ring at all but he was not clicking with the crowds and lacked any characteristic that could have made him a star. Too bad, because if he even had a decent amount of charisma, he could have been a lot bigger than he was, seeing that he was Bruno’ son.
Finkel plugs the MSG show on December 28th. Announced matches are Cobra vs. Black Tiger, Tony Garea vs. Nikolai Volkoff, David Schultz vs. Antonio Inoki, Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch defend the titles against the Brisco Brothers, and Bob Orton & Roddy Piper vs. Tonga Kid & Jimmy Snuka. Cyndi Lauper will be presented with a special award.
Intercontinental Title Match
Tito Santana vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (Champion)
Albano is not with Valentine. Match starts with Tito chasing after Valentine. After some stalling, they trade shots until Santana takes him down with a clothesline. Tito roughs him up in the corner then grabs a front facelock. He works that for a few minutes then breaks so he can ram his head off the mat. He grabs another front facelock but Valentine escapes then beats on Tito. He drags him outside but Tito fights back and rams Valentine’s head off a chair, prompting Hayes to proclaim that it was “vintage” Santana. Now we know where Michael Cole got that from. Back in the ring, Tito knocks Valenitne down with a forearm and slugs away. He goes for the figure four but Valentine reaches the ropes. He doesn’t break cleanly and takes control. He hits a shoulder breaker then drops a knee. He tries to put away Tito, who keeps kicking out. Valentine drops an elbow and wipes the mat with Tito’s face. He goes to work on the knee for a bit. Gutbuster gets two. Kneedrop gets two. Tito escapes from a figure four attempt then hits a flying forearm. Tito rams Valentine’s leg off the ringpost then uses a chair. The crowd is jacked as Tito goes to work on the leg. He tries a figure-four but Valentine yanks him down and attacks. He hits a suplex and puts on a chinlock as the fans are behind Tito. Valentine rams Tito in the corner but gets sent into the post after a charge. Santana boots him in the face and he is now bleeding from his forehead. Santana rams his head off the mat repeatedly then hits the flying forearm but that only gets two. Valentine tries to duck out but Tito pulls him back and hits an atomic drop. He gets two after a headbutt to the groin then both men brawl on the mat. Tito gets a few nearfalls then works on the leg. Valentine ducks out on the apron but Tito brings him back in with a suplex. He ducks his head but Valentine boots him then goes to work on the leg. He takes off Tito’s kneepad but he fights back and gets two off a small package. Valentine ducks outside and Tito pulls him back in by the hair. He puts on an abdominal stretch but the curfew bell rings and the match is ruled a draw (22:23) ***1/2. After the match, the ref holds Tito back as the fans are tossing garbage at Valentine.
Thoughts: Really good match. There was a fair amount of stalling at the beginning but this built up nicely and the crowd wanted Tito to destroy Valentine. This was not as good as their match from the June show, but it was close. This feud, along with Piper/Snuka, is starting to heat up and have been built up wonderfully. Valentine was one of the best workers in the promotion and Tito was really the only face they had who could contend for the IC belt.
Final Thoughts: The first half of the show was forgettable but the second half was pretty damn good. The tag match between Piper/Orton and Tonga/Snuka next month should be great too. Its weird not seeing Hogan on these shows, as he was the champ, but he was all over the place in 1984 and really didn’t wrestle all that much. I will be reviewing the December show in two weeks and next week, will review the December 18th TNT show, which was the Butcher Vachon wedding.