WWF Boston Garden August 15th, 1987

August 15, 1987


From the Boston Garden in Boston, MA. 
Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Jimmy Hart
Barry Horowitz vs. Dingo Warrior

For those who are unaware, Dingo Warrior would later go on to become the Ultimate Warrior. He had the same appearance but came out to “The Warrior” by Scandal and was billed from New York. He would not make his TV debut until a few months later. Match starts with Warrior shoving Horowitz around. He sends Horowitz through the ropes with a shoulderblock but the fans are not impressed as they chant “boring.” Horowtiz stalls for a bit then re-enters only to get knocked down again. Warrior hits a hiptoss then easily breaks out of a full nelson as he applies one of his own. Horowitz puts his feet on the top rope to break the hold so Warrior just drops him. Warrior then chops Horowitz in the corner but misses a corner splash as Horowitz beats on Warrior for a bit. Warrior fights right back and hits a slam but misses an elbow drop as Horowitz covers for a one count. My tape is fuzzy but I see that Horowitz misses a dropkick then gets clotheslined. Horowitz begs for mercy and hits Warrior low. However, Warrior catches Horowitz with a press slam then gets the win with a splash (4:41) 1/4*. 
Thoughts: Warrior looked impressive physically but was awful in the ring. He was even too bad to be featured on TV at this point. Horowitz was a true pro here and took some nice bumps to prevent it from being a disaster.



Nikolai Volkoff w/ Slick vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff

No Orndorff for Heenan here (Heenan was in Philadelphia for the show at the Spectrum) and he had not officially turned yet on television but was cheered loudly by the crowd in Boston. Volkoff attacks Orndorff with the flag then chokes him out against the ropes. Volkoff hammers away until Orndorff fights back and knocks him down. Orndorff takes Volkoff down with a kneelift then rakes the eyes as the referee backs him away. They go back and forth for a bit eventually fighting over a wristlock. Voloff grabs a side headlock and works the back until he misses a charge. Orndorff works the arm but whiffs on a clothesline and ends up in a bearhug that ends up looking like some sort of Kama Sutra position. Volkoff gets a nearfall with a rollup after using the ropes for leverage then puts Orndorff in a Boston Crab. Orndorff turns that into a rollup and lands a few strikes. Volkoff then wants a test of strength and they both fight over that for a minute as the fans start a “boring” chant. They brawl in the corner and Orndorff wins that. He then hits a dropkick and an elbow drop but misses a second attempt. Volkoff misses a charge as Orndorff hits an elbow smash from the top then gets the win with a clothesline (8:57) 1/2*. 
Thoughts: This match sucked. Orndorff still looked really hurt and Volkoff was just useless here. It was like he refused to bump or something as this match was all restholds and basic strikes. Both guys were really floundering in the WWF at this point but would get some use in the coming weeks.

Lord Alfred Hayes is backstage with Ted DiBiase and Virgil. DiBiase says he is the newest living legend in Boston and tells his opponent, Sivi Afi, that he looks like he “stepped out of a coconut tree” and that he is nothing more than a steppingstone. 




Sivi Afi vs. “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil

Slick has now replaced Hart on commentary. DiBiase is billed from Hyannisport here. Match starts with DiBiase cheapshotting Afi after a break. They then trade arm wringers until DiBiase retreats to the corner. DiBiase then comes back with a few armdrags and a hiptoss as some of the fans applaud (Boston had a small, vocal heel section at the shows) as some guy calls him an “asshole.” DiBiase is in complete control here as he hits another flurry of offense. Afi comes back with a crossbody for two but runs into a clothesline. DiBiase puts the boots to Afi then beats him up in the corner. He hits an elbow smash from the second rope then slams Afi’s head off of the mat. He now grabs a chinlock but misses an elbow drop as Afi fights back. Lord Alfred sells this comeback like the biggest moment in wrestling history. He tries a crossbody but DiBiase catches him with a powerslam then applies the Cobra Clutch and turns that into a legsweep to get the win (6:28) *1/4. After the match, DiBiase tells us that he seriously considered staying at his Summer home but being the gracious man that he is, he decided to come in order to not disappoint the fans. He then tells the fans that all the sports legends in Boston pale in comparison to himself. DiBiase then tells us he is rich and we are poor so he will be generous because everyone has a price as he offers $300 to a fan for kissing his foot. Virgil then takes off DiBiase’s boot as a woman all dressed up comes in the ring and kisses his foot for the money. 
Thoughts: A really long squash match. DiBiase looked good and got some cheers. The main thing though was that they got over his post match antics as building up his character was the most important thing and it worked on this show.

Hayes is with Jimmy Hart and the Honky Tonk Man, who is part of the six-man elimination tag match tonight. Honky promises to defeat Bruno Sammartino in the match. 




Elimination Match
Hart Foundation & Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Tito Santana & Jake “The Snake” Roberts & Bruno Sammartino

Johnny V. has now replaced Slick on commentary. Roberts clears the heels from the ring with Damien. The match finally gets underway with Bret and Santana as Honky refused to get into the ring with Bruno. Bret misses a charge in the corner then gets pummeled by the babyface side. Roberts tags and works the arm of Bret, who slips out of a DDT attempt and takes a breather outside. Neidhart tags in and grounds Roberts with a test of strength but Roberts kicks out. Roberts then gets trapped in the wrong corner as Neidhart holds up Roberts for Honky. The heels use quick tags in order to neutralize Roberts and that lasts for a few minutes until Honky gets hit with a kneelift then misses a charge. Roberts hammers away on Honky, who is begging for mercy. He flattens him with a clothesline then plays up to the crowd until Honky pulls the ropes on him. Jimmy Hart goes over to Roberts, who backs him up but Honky hits Roberts with the megaphone while the referee was distracted and he gets counted out for the first elimination (7:04). Bruno gets in as he gets trapped in the corner by all three heels until Santana makes the save. The ref orders him back to the apron as Bruno gets triple-teamed in the corner. Bruno dodges a charging Neidhart and makes the tag to Santana as the crowd erupts. He hits Bret with a crossbody that Neidhart breaks up then Bruno comes in as the match breaks down. The Hart Foundation try to double-team Tito, who ducks a double clothesline then hits Bret with a flying forearm as Bruno tripped up Neidhart and gets the pin (10:11) as the crowd goes nuts. Neidhart and Santana are in now as Neidhart takes control after a knee smash. Santana gets worked over in the corner and tries to escape. Neidhart tags back in and cuts him off to hit a slam but misses an elbow drop. Santana stomps away then hits a slam but Jimmy Hart trips him up then Neidhart covers for the pin (12:19). Neidhart and Honky try to ambush Bruno but he ends up destroying them both. However, Bruno gets outnumbered as Honky now takes control of the match. He tags in Neidhart and as Honky distracts the ref, Bruno ducks as Hart accidentally hits Neidhart with the megaphone then Bruno covers for the pin as it is down to Bruno and Honky (14:02). Honky immediately attacks Bruno and pounds away in the corner then stops to taunt the crowd. He hits a few kneedrops then they end up in a criss-cross as Bruno knees Honky in the face and gets the win (15:05) ***. After the match, Bruno chases Hart out of the ring as the crowd goes nuts for Bruno. 
Thoughts: Fun match that was all action and easily the best on the card. It did die down at the end and it would have been nice to see Honky and Bruno got a bit longer but still a good time. The Hart Foundation and Honky were really over as heels here.



Brady Boone vs. Iron Mike Sharpe

Slick is back on commentary to witness this classic. Sharpe works over the back of Boone to start. Boone comes back after dodging a charge then hitting a few armdrags. Sharpe ducks outside for a breather to rile up the fans. Back inside, Boone gets two off of a rollup as the announcers put over his agility. Boone bounces off of Sharpe but slides underneath him and hits a dropkick. Sharpe bails once again after getting hit with a few armdrags but comes back inside and knocks Boone down as Slick tells us the One Man Gang will beat Hulk Hogan as he puts over his offense. Boone manages a reverse rollup but Sharpe immediately attacks his back. He rams Boone into the corner a few times but gets caught with a monkey flip. Boone hits a pair of dropkicks but misses an elbow drop as Sharpe uses clubbing forearms on the back. Boone then takes Sharpe down and leg drops him in the nuts as Sharpe now begs for mercy. Sharpe hits another clubbing forearm after Boone ducked his head then tosses him to the floor. He knocks Boone off of the apron with another forearm smash then taunts the crowd. Boone comes in and hits a jumping back elbow smash and a few kicks that result in a nearfall. Dropkick gets two. The referee backed Boone out of the corner as he would not break and that allows Sharpe to load up his forearm sleeve and hit Boone for the win (9:43) *1/4. 
Thoughts: Man, this was dull. At least Boone did some athletic stuff but the crowd sat on their hands for this one. I’m pretty sure that 95% of Sharpe’s offense consisted of forearm smashes. Poor Boone couldn’t even beat Sharpe. The guy came along about 15 years too late as he was far too short to get a push but could work and very athletic.

Hayes is now with Little Beaver and Hillbilly Jim, who will be facing the One Man Gang tonight. Jim puts over Gang and says that if Slick tries to interfere, Little Beaver will prevent him. 




One Man Gang w/ Slick vs. Hillbilly Jim w/ Little Beaver

Johnny V. is back on commentary. Jim takes his time slapping hands with the fans as Johnny makes fun of Little Beaver. He actually said he looked like a dropout from Harvard University and that made me laugh for some reason. Beaver then goes inside and bites Slick in the ass as the crowd goes nuts. Jim then has Slick’s hat and teases tossing it into the crowd until he gives it back. Match starts with Gang shoving Jim around a few times. They collide a few times until Jim catches him with a boot. Gang then grabs a side headlock as Beaver heads into the ring but gets ordered back outside as he stands on the apron but he then comes back in and interferes as Gang is now pissed off. Back to the match as they battle over a test of strength for a long time as Beaver sneaks back in and whacks Gang in the ass with his moccasin. Jim then sends Gang into the corner as Beaver bites him in the ass. Jim hammers away but Gang fights back and knocks him down. Gang chokes him out against the ropes then distracts the ref as Slick interferes. Beaver comes back in after seeing this and that allows Gang and Slick to double-team Jim. Slick cheapshots Jim outside as Hayes is disgusted while Johnny brings up a perfectly valid point how he did not complain when Beaver did the same things. Gang misses a corner charge as Jim holds Gang’s legs up while Beaver comes in and hits a splash. The ref chases Beaver around then Jim runs into a big boot. Gang beats on Jim then Beaver comes back in to whack him in the ass. Slick chases around Beaver then gets decked by Jim as Gang comes after him. Jim rolls into the ring just before the ten count to get the win via countout (12:47) 1/4*. After the match, Gang tosses Jim then beats down Beaver before hitting him with a splash. Christ, that looked more painful than when Bundy dropped the elbow on him at WrestleMania III. Jim then rolls inside as Gang leaves with slick to check on his friend, who is not moving on the canvas. Jim then picks him up and carries him to the back. 
Thoughts: This was a garbage comedy match, featuring a guy that was being groomed to face Hogan on the house show circuit. Having a midget whack him in the ass with a moccasin, and be the focal point of this, was ridiculous. The fans were into it at the beginning but that died down soon. Gang did get some heat back at the end but why bother protecting Jim, who was barely on TV at this point?



Rougeau Brothers vs. Dino Bravo & Johnny V. 

Valentine was also at the Spectrum show, facing Brutus Beefcake. Before the match, Jacques tells us that Brutus Beefcake wants us to know that he has given Johnny a new name, which is “skinhead.” The crowd chants that at Johnny as the match is underway. Jacques dropkicks Johnny to the floor to start off the match. After some stalling, Bravo tags in as Raymond hits him with a crossbody for two after Johnny broke up the pin. Bravo yanks Raymond down by the hair and stomps away but is unaware a tag was made and eats a double dropkick. Jacques gets two with a splash but gets caught with an inverted atomic drop while attempting a monkey flip. Johnny tags and stomps away then distracts the ref as Bravo chokes Jacques out from behind. Jacques is getting double-teamed then Bravo grabs a bearhug as the fans rally behind him. Jacques eats a double elbow smash then the match breaks down after Raymond is sick of the cheating. The ref orders him back as Bravo hits Jacques with a side slam. Leg drop gets two. Jacques continues to get double-teamed as Bravo hits another side slam but misses an elbow drop as both men are down. He makes the tag to Raymond, who beats the crap out of Johnny V. Bravo breaks up a pin attempt then tries to break up another one but accidentally leg dropped Johnny. Jacques then dropkicks Bravo to the floor as Raymond covers Johnny for the win (8:47) *. 
Thoughts: Basic tag match that was even worse when Johnny V. was in the match. And having the crowd chant “skinhead” at Johnny seemed odd and for all I know an inside joke or sorts. Bobby Heenan said he was a despicable person so maybe he was racist too? Who knows that is just me throwing something out there. Anyway, the New Dream Team/Rougeaus feud has run its course.



Final Thoughts: Not a good show. The WWF had four shows this day, with Hogan vs. Savage the main event in both Fort Wayne, IN and Springfield, IL. So, as you saw here, the talent was spread on thin. Besides the elimination match and DiBiase, nothing was worth watching. I guess if you are curious to see the Ultimate Warrior before he made it to TV you can watch that but this card sucked as a whole. A lot of these matches were shown on the 8/31/87 edition of “Primetime Wrestling.”



Here is my schedule for the next several days: 
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Rey Mysterio (2015)
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/16/87
Saturday: RoH Tradition Continues 10/16/03
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/22/87
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/23/87

WWF Madison Square Garden July 25th, 1987

July 25, 1986


Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

Matches tonight include Ricky Steamboat vs. Honky Tonk Man for the Intercontinental Title and the Hart Foundation vs. British Bulldogs for the Tag Team Titles

Brady Boone vs. Dino Bravo w/ Johnny V. 


Bravo overpowers Boone to start. Bravo misses a charge then Boone does a few backflips before connecting with a dropkick. Bravo regroups with his manager then heads back inside and gets caught with an atomic drop. Boone hits another dropkick and fires away in the corner until Bravo catches him with an inverted atomic drop. Bravo grabs a front facelock before hitting a kneelift. Johnny V. joins on commentary and screams about Brutus Beefcake as Bravo stays in control of the match as he puts Boone in a bearhug. Bravo then tosses Boone to the floor a few times where Johnny V. roughs him up. Bravo works the back and neck of Boone, mostly using rest holds, until he misses a charge in the corner. Boone fights back until he misses a corner splash then Bravo gets the win with a side slam (10:46) *1/4.

Thoughts: Boone looked good when on offense but Bravo was a slug. Boone had yet to appear on TV at this point and was a jobber as soon as he appeared.






Tama w/ Haku vs. Rick Martel


Martel still has the Can-Am Connection jacket, despite the fact that Zenk has quit. The Islanders attack Martel before the bell. Martel comes back with a double clothesline as the fans go crazy while the Islanders are outside the ring. Tama finally re-enters the ring and tries to offer a handshake but Martel is not biting. Tama gets caught with a pair of armdrags then heads back outside to regroup. Tama comes back in and hammers away in the corner but misses an elbow drop as Martel now works the leg for a while. Tama pushes Martel through the ropes then shoves him into the post. Tama distracts the ref so Haku can beat on Martel. Back inside, Tama works a nerve hold. Martel fights out but Tama catches him with a knee then goes back to the hold. Martel gets tossed back outside after missing a crossbody where Haku beats him down. Tama suplexes him back inside for a two count then hammers away as the crowd rallies behind Martel, who comes back with a kneelift. Tama fights back and slams him down but misses a top rope splash as both men are down. The crowd rallies behind Martel, who hits a backdrop then fires away. Martel sends Tama to the floor with a back elbow smash. Martel beats on Tama inside then slingshots him into Haku, who was standing on the apron while yelling at fans. Tama then attacks Martel and comes off the top with a crossbody block but Martel uses the momentum and rolls on top of Tama for the win (19:47) **3/4

Thoughts: Fun match, although it had some dead spots. The Martel vs. Islanders feud still worked even with Zenk gone. The crowd was into it as well.






“The Natural” Butch Reed vs. Hillbilly Jim


Reed grabs a side headlock then tries and fails to knock down Jim. Reed jaws away them Jim knocks him down a few times. Reed bails and complains to the referee for a bit then when he comes back inside, Jim toys with him. They engage in a test of strength and battle over that for a while until Jim steps on his fingers as Reed once again heads outside. Reed then sneak attacks Jim then chokes him out on the mat. Reed sends Jim outside then slams him down. Reed stays on the attack until he runs into a big boot. Jim clotheslines Reed then both guys miss elbow drops. Reed connects with a high knee then perches on the top rope as he hits a flying clothesline for the win (10:58) *. After the match, Jim calls Reed back inside but he just heads back to the locker room.

Thoughts: Most of this was stalling but Jim was a limited worker and this type of match suited his talents. It was long for what it was but not too terrible or anything.






WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Honky Tonk Man (Champion) w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat


Steamboat immediately fires away on Honky. He chops and slams him down all before taking off his robe. He gets two with a crossbody block as Honky ducks out for a breather. Steamboat chases him around the ring and beats the crap out of him as the action then heads back inside, with Honky begging for mercy. Steamboat hits a few more chops and a backdrop before getting a nearfall with a small package. Honky tries to escape but Steamboat pulls him back in and almost regains the IC Title with a bridging back suplex. Honky finally gets in some offense as he catches Steamboat with a knee. However, Steamboat blocks a turnbuckle smash then takes him down with a snapmare. Honky blocks a suplex and hits one of his own then gets two with a top rope fist drop. Steamboat fights back but gets kicked after ducking his head as Honky beats on him in the corner. Steamboat comes back with an atomic drop and some chops but Honky rakes his eyes. Hart grabs Steamboat’s leg and gets chased around as Hart distracts the ref and that allows Honky to use the megaphone to attack Steamboat. Honky covers but only gets two as he is beside himself. Honky then wins a slugfest but Steamboat gets back up and chops him down. Honky gets his knees up on a splash attempt then puts on an abdominal stretch as the crowd chants like crazy for Steamboat. Honky dumps Steamboat to the floor then follows him out but Steamboat fights back. They are back in the ring where Steamboat hits several mounted punches. Steamboat fires away then sends him to the floor with a flying chop. Steamboat then tries to toss Honky back inside but he grabs a hold of the apron, while his body is in the ring, and the ref counts to ten as Steamboat gets the win via countout as Honky still retains (11:39) ***1/2. After the match, Steamboat beats on Honky then almost grabs a hold of Hart, who retreats with Honky.

Thoughts: Damn good match with a ton of heat. Originally, Jake Roberts was going to face Honky here but was still banged up I believe so Steamboat came back a bit earlier than planned to wrestle against Honky. Steamboat could play the pissed-off fiery babyface just as well as Honky played the chickenshit heel.






Monsoon is now with Steamboat, who is pissed. Steamboat calls out Honky for not being a fighting champion as he vows to get revenge.

Hart and Honky are then with Monsoon. Honky tells us that a win is a win, right or wrong, as he tells us that Steamboat will not get another shot and he will do anything to keep the IC Title.

Nikolai Volkoff vs. Tito Santana


Santana lands a few shots on Volkoff to start. He then works the arm until Volkoff steps between the ropes and cheapshots Santana. Volkoff uses a lifting choke before tossing Santana to the floor. Back inside, Volkoff stomps away then grabs a bearhug that Santana breaks but Volkoff puts him right back in the move as this match has been brutal to watch. Volkoff takes Santana down with a clothesline that looked pathetic then hit his backbreaker but Tito had his foot on the ropes. Volkoff argues with the ref then shortly after that gets hit with the flying forearm as Santana gets the win (8:21) 1/4*. After the match, Santana walks around and slaps hands with the fans until Ron Bass, who is wrestling next, comes out and blindsides him before choking him out with a cable. Outback Jack then comes down for the save.

Thoughts: Holy shit was this terrible. Volkoff was on offense the majority of the match and did nothing as they were protecting him somewhat for reasons I cannot fathom. However, the post-match stuff with Bass and Santana was something as those two finally seem to have a program now.






“The Outlaw” Ron Bass vs. Outback Jack


Jack hits Bass with a clothesline and a slam but Bass gets his knees up on a splash attempt. A few officials prevent Santana from going after Bass, who taunts him then turns around a gets decked. This match is apparently clipped as back from break, Bass is choking out Jack in the corner. Jack fights back and slams Bass down but plays up to the crowd and misses an elbow drop then Bass hits the gourdbuster for the win (6:00) 1/4*.

Thoughts: Jack was getting firmly establishes as nothing more than a lower card guy. He was a bust and could not wrestle, no matter how hard he tried.






Steamboat comes out and tells us how he won the IC Title at WrestleMania III and lost it to a coward like the Honky Tonk Man as he tells the crowd that next month he will face the Honky Tonk Man in a Lumberjack Match. The crowd liked that.

Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/ Johnny V. vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake


Beefcake uses the double noggin-knocker on Valentine and Johnny V. to start the match. Beefcake attacks Valentine then slams him down. Beefcake struts as the crowd applauds then dodges an attack before hammering on Valentine in the corner.Beefcake pulls down Valentine then crotches him against the ring posts repeatedly before booting him in the back of the head. Beefcake hits an atomic drop for a nearfall then shortly after that Valentine pulls Beefcake by the tights and into the ring post. Valentine beats on Beefcake, who is on the apron, as Johnny V. interferes behind the referee’s back. Valentine now has Beefcake in the center of the ring and applies a chinlock. Beefcake powers out but Valentine knees him down then rams him into the corner but Beefcake counters a piledriver with a backdrop as both men are down. They get up and slug it out but Valentine boots him down then follows with a headbutt to the groin. Valentine is now slapping Beefcake around then rams his head off of the mat as Johnny V. is yelling into the face of Beefcake, who is getting choked out by Valentine. The announcers talk about Mr. T as the special enforcer of the WWF as Valentine puts Beefcake in the figure four leg lock. Beefcake eventually makes it to the ropes. Valentine tries it again but Beefcake shoves him into the corner. Valentine then hits Beefcake with mounted punches but Beefcake reverses and hits some of his own. They fight over a suplex as Beefcake wins that battle then he pumps up and fires away. Beefcake takes him down with a clothesline then follows with the sleeper. Johnny V. runs in so Beefcake puts him in the sleeper instead then Dino Bravo runs in and assaults Beefcake for the DQ (13:11) *3/4. Valentine grabs the scissors as Bravo holds up Beefcake and attempts to cut some of his hair but the British Bulldogs run in for the save and chase off the New Dream Team.

Thoughts: Too slow-paced to be any good. The end seems like we are getting six-man matches between these guys and a possible New Dream Team/Bulldogs program. Beefcake’s signature spots got a good reaction but that was just about it here.






Jerry Allen vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude


This is the MSG debut for Rude, who had not even made his TV debut yet at this point. Gorilla notes that Rude is the newest protege of Bobby Heenan, who is not here tonight (Heenan was at the Baltimore show managing Paul Orndorff against Ken Patera in a strap match, a match that started the rift between Orndorff and Heenan). The announcers also note how Rude reminds them of Tom Selleck. Before the match, Rude demands the microphone get lowered as he wants the men to keep the noise down so the ladies can enjoy his body when he takes his robe off. Match finally starts as Rude backs Allen against the ropes then taunts the crowd. He shoves Allen then taunts him by flexing his muscles but Allen responds with a right hand that sends Rude to the floor. However, Rude comes back inside and fires away. Allen gets two with a sunset flip then works the arm until Rude retreats to the corner. Rude then beats on Allen and catches him with a backbreaker, followed by some more flexing. Rude gets two with a flying clothesline as he is stopping to taunt between each move. He hits a fist drop from the middle rope but pulls up on the three count then works a nerve hold as Gorilla notes that Sherri Martel has defeated the Fabulous Moolah for the WWF Women’s Championship in Houston (it occurred the previous day). Rude hits a pair of snap suplexes but Allen comes back with one of his own as both men are down. Allen tries an elbow drop but Rude rolls away. Rude comes back with a dropkick then tries another one that misses in a really bad spot that Allen was seemingly out of position for as Allen mounts a comeback. He tries a second monkey flip but Rude counters that with an inverted atomic drop then puts Allen in the backbreaker as he gets the win via submission (7:12) *1/2.

Thoughts: Far too long for a squash match and Rude did some impressive stuff. Rude tried hard to establish is character but the crowd didn’t care, with a few even chanting “boring.”






Howard Finkel tells us the curfew has been waived for the final match. He then runs down the next MSG show, which occurs on August 22nd. Matches announced are Jose Estrada vs. Chavo Guerrero (never happened as Lanny Poffo subbed for Chavo), Tama vs. Scott Casey, new WWF Women’s Champion Sherri Martel defends the belt against Velvet McIntyre, Ron Bass vs. Tito Santana, Haku vs. Rick Martel, Demolition vs. Junkyard Dog & George Steele, and the Honky Tonk Man vs. Ricky Steamboat in a Lumberjack Match for the IC Title. Also, Butch Reed will take on Superstar Billy Graham.

WWF Tag Team Title Match
Hart Foundation (Champions) w/ Jimmy Hart vs. British Bulldogs

Matilda chases Jimmy Hart out of the ring as Lord Alfred can barely contain his laughter. However, the Hart Foundation immediately attack Davey as the match is now underway. Davey avoids a double-team move as the Hart Foundation collide with each other and is able to make the tag. Dynamite his Bret with a snap suplex then tags back out as Davey comes in and grabs a headlock. Davey then gets two with a crucifix as Dynamite tags in and flattens Bret with a clothesline. Dynamite beats on Bret in the corner until Neidhart runs in to break it up. The Bulldogs regain control and get a few nearfalls until Bret knocks Dynamite down. Neidhart tags and roughs up Dynamite as the Hart Foundation are now in control of the match. Dynamite manages to fall on top of Bret on a slam attempt for two but Bret tags out as Neidhart goes on the attack. Dynamite fights back and tries to make the tag but Bret cuts him off. Dynamite dodges a charging Bret then dumps Neidhart as he makes the tag. Davey runs wild and hits all sorts of suplexes and flying moves on Bret. He then hits the running powerslam but Bret is able to get his foot on the ropes. Davey then presses Bret over his head and runs backwards and dumps him on the top rope. Davey tries to suplex Bret back into the ring but Neidhart sweeps his leg and Bret falls on top and gets the win (10:26) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Fun match, which is expected from these two teams. They had great chemistry. However, their feud with the Bulldogs has just about run its course.

Final Thoughts: This had three good matches and some crap so overall, by 80’s WWF house show standards, it was solid. I’d seek out Steamboat/Honky and the Bulldogs/Harts as well. For historical purposes, you can check out Rude before his TV debut too. If they went with the Honky/Steamboat feud a bit longer, they could have had something there.

Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Thursday: RoH Secrets of the Ring with Dusty Rhodes
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/26/87
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/1/87
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/2/87

WWF Madison Square Garden June 14th, 1987

June 14, 1987

From Madison Square Garden in New York, NY

Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

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

The Shadows vs. Can-Am Connection

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

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



Billy Jack Haynes vs. Hercules


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

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






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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jose Estrada vs. Outback Jack

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

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

WWF Boston Garden May 2nd, 1987

May 2, 1987

From the Boston Garden in Boston, MA

Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

Frenchy Martin vs. Nick Kiniski

They lockup and break when reaching the ropes as the crowd now boos Martin for ducking outside, with Hayes putting over Martin’s stalling abilities. Kiniski briefly works a headscissors then locks on an armbar. Kiniski continues to work the arm for a while as the announcers hype his potential before talking about his father, Gene. Kiniski then catches Martin with a monkey flip and a slam before going back to the arm. Martin pokes the eye of Kiniski then finally gets in some offense as he beats Kiniski in the corner. Kiniski misses a charge and sells his chest as Martin goes to work with his terrible offense. He works a nerve hold on the mat as the crowd chants “boring.” Martin sends Kiniski to the floor, who slingshots back inside with a sunset flip for a nearfall, then both men collide after an Irish whip sequence. Kiniski gets up and nails Martin with a dropkick then catches him with a slam for two. Martin begs for mercy in the corner then shortly after that Kiniski floats over and hits a German Suplex with a bridge for the win (11:31) *.

Thoughts: There was no reason on earth for this to last as long as it did. The last minute was okay as Kiniski hit a few decent moves but that was about all that happened. Martin could barely move and was way past the point of usefulness. Kiniski might have made it as a midcard white-meat babyface like five years prior but was unable to convey any emotion in the ring. He had a good look and some decent ability but that was all. He was gone from the company fairly shortly after this match.



The Islanders vs. Demolition w/ Mr. Fuji

Hayes calls the Islanders the most improved team this year, with exception of the Hart Foundation. Tama uses his speed and agility to elude Smash but gets caught with a shot to the face. Tama fights back and works the arm as Fuji is on commentary talking about his team making everyone suffer. Crossbody gets one then Tama tags Haku, who also works the arm. Smash pokes his eye then tags Ax, who catches Haku in a powerslam. Haku rolls away from an elbow drop then catches Ax with a thrust kick. Haku works the arm until Ax kills him with a clothesline. However, Haku goes right back to the arm. Tama tags and also works the arm until Smash knees him in the back from the apron. Fuji chokes Tama with his cane as the ref is distracted as Demolition is in control. Tama fights back until Ax attacks him from behind after a blind tag. Tama gets worked over in the corner then gets destroyed as he hangs by his foot on the ropes. Tama nails Smash with a flying clothesline then makes the tag as Haku runs wild. The match breaks down the Ax nails Tama with Fuji’s cane behind the ref’s back as Smash makes the cover for the win (9:32) **1/4.

Thoughts: A basic tag match here as Demolition’s strong push up the Tag Team Division ranks continues.



Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Sivi Afi

Sharpe attacks Afi before the bell. Afi comes back with a few armdrags that has Sharpe rolling outside for a breather. He grabs a headlock when he returns inside then blocks a hiptoss. Afi fights back as they fuck up a hiptoss spot that has Sharpe back to the outside. Sharpe goes for a test of strength as they fight over that briefly until Sharpe kicks him down. Afi now has the advantage as he brings Sharpe down and steps on his fingers. Sharpe heads up the aisle the finally comes back and catches Afi with a cheapshot before going to work. Afi no-sells a pair of turnbuckle smashes but misses a corner splash. Afi comes back with a slow-mo sunset flip for two but Sharpe gets up and chokes him out on the ropes. Sharpe gets a few nearfalls before Afi fights back and eventually bites Sharpe on the forehead. Afi hits a flying clothesline then hits a chop from the second rope for two. Afi then goes back up top for a crossbody but Sharpe rolls through the move and grabs a handful of tights for the pin (9:37) 3/4*.

Thoughts: This was pretty bad as it was all stalling mixed in with mediocre action. Afi was never over with the crowds as a face and wasn’t all that good at being one to begin with.

WWF World Heavyweight Championship Match
King Harley Race vs. Hulk Hogan (Champion)

Heenan is absent tonight as he sells the attack from Patera at the debate, which aired the day of this show. A female fan gets escorted back to her seat after she jumps in the aisle and heads near the ring with her “Hulkamania” sign. Race attacks Hogan to start, getting pissed off at the crowd chants. Hogan reverses an Irish whip then clotheslines the shit out of Race in the corner. He then clotheslines Race over the top rope and rolls him back in where begs for mercy. Hogan hammers away until Race headbutts Hogan in the gut. Hogan blocks a suplex and hits one of his own as he knocks Race around. Race then uses Hogan’s momentum to send him to the floor and takes control of the match. He gets a nearfall after a series of leg and elbow drops then stays on the attack. He follows Hogan outside and hits a falling headbutt then drops Hogan’s throat across the guardrail. Race tries a piledriver but Hogan counters that with a backdrop as both men are down on the floor. Back inside, Hogan fires away then hits a slam but misses an elbow drop as Race applies a sleeper. The crowd rallies behind Hogan as he drops to one knee. Hogan then hulks up just before his arm dropped for the third time as he hits a clothesline. Hogan drills Race with the Axe Bomber but gets headbutted in the corner. Race hits a few more headbutts that bust Hogan open. Race then heads up top for a diving headbutt but misses then Hogan rolls him up for the win (9:17) **1/2. A bloodied Hogan holds up the belt and chases Race away. However, after a minute of celebrating and posing, Race comes back with his crown to attack him from behind. Hogan is down as the mat is covered in blood. A few referees then help Hogan get back to his feet.

Thoughts: Solid match. Race’s over exaggerated selling looked way too goofy at times though. Even still, his bump when getting clotheslined looks cool. This was more about setting up for a blowoff of the feud in Boston than anything else.

Sika w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Pete Doherty

Doherty is the face here as he comes out awkwardly slapping hands with the fans. Sika uses back rakes and bites to attack Doherty. He hammers away until Dohery ducks a clothesline an dropkicks Sika onto the apron. Doherty briefly attacks Sika until that gets stopped with an eye rake. Sika chops him down then uses gauges and bites until he chops him up against the ropes. Doherty fights back using some of the illegal tactics that Sika used along with a lot of screaming. Sika misses a falling headbutt then Doherty stomps his feet but shortly after that Sika catches him with a Samoan Drop that looked like it killed him for the win (3:07) DUD.

Thoughts: This was awful unless you are a fan of biting and gauging in your matches. Sika was of little use to the WWF at this point and Doherty was just a wacky jobber.



Johnny V. vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake

Johnny’s sneak attack fails as Brutus hammers away. Johnny bails after getting slammed and heads up the aisle. Brutus slingshots him back in the ring then hammers away. Johnny comes back with a low blow then beats on Brutus in the corner until his Irish whip gets reversed and Brutus catches him in a sleeper for the win (3:24) 1/2*. Brutus signals for the scissors as he then starts cutting Johnny’s hair until the referee takes them away. Beefcake then starts asking for crowd support before attacking Johnny and follows that with a strut.

Thoughts: Brief and inoffensive. The good news here is that the crowd was responding well to the barber act. Johnny V. did not belong inside of a ring in 1987. Hell, even Lord Alfred Hayes was making fun of him.

Hogan comes out wearing jeans and holding the belt with blood still on his forehead. He tells the fans that all he wants is Race in a match with no rules and if he loses, he will quit wrestling forever.

Jake Roberts comes out for his scheduled match against the Honky Tonk Man dressed in street clothes with his arm in a sling, selling the beating from “Saturday Night’s Main Event.” Well, this show took place the day that show aired and this Boston Garden Show was shown on NESN a few week after it took place, meaning the fans in attendance had most likely had no idea about why he was injured. He then talks with a referee and a few other officials as Honky is taunting Jake about his injury as ring announcer Mel Phillips informs us that Jake will not be able to wrestle. However, Honky will be forced to wrestle Ken Patera, who comes out holding the snake bag as the crowd goes nuts as Hart and Honky try to protest the decision.

Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Ken Patera w/ Jake Roberts


Lots of stalling to start as Honky keeps going outside as Patera flexes his pecs. The announcers are putting over Patera’s physique a lot here. The ref steps between them as they lockup in the corner then after Honky misses a sneak attack, Patera slams him halfway across the ring as the crowd goes insane, pelting Honky and Hart with trash. Honky’s selling of that was a thing of beauty too. Patera slams him again as Honky rolls outside fora breather. Back in the ring, Patera beats on Honky as Hart joins the announcers table briefly screaming about how this is unfair and promising that Patera will get hurt as Gorilla asks him about injuring Roberts at “Saturday Night’s Main Event.” Honky takes advantage after booting Patera as he attempted a backdrop but Patera takes him down and works over the arm for a bit, even dragging him over near the snake bag as Honky panics. Patera misses a charge and rams his shoulder against the post as Honky focuses on that. Honky starts taunting the fans then slaps Patera, who is tied up in the ropes. Honky then heads over near Jake to taunt him but that allows Patera to get up and hit Honky with an atomic drop. Honky begs for mercy as Patera overpowers him but that fails as Patera hits a backbreaker for two. Patera then catches Honky in a bearhug as Hart jumps up on the apron. Honky escapes but Jake trips him up then Patera drops an elbow as the ref turns around and counts to three (9:22) **. After the match, Honky grabs the mic and yells about how Jake tripped him but Patera gets him from behind as Jake grabs the snake but Hart hits Patera from behind with the megaphone for the save.

Thoughts: Much better than I thought to be honest. Honky was one of the best chickenshit heels of his era and possibly of all time. You always wanted to see someone kick his ass and he kept the matches entertaining at all times, showing the fact you don’t need an arsenal of moves to whip the crowd into a frenzy. Patera didn’t really do anything besides body slams and forearm smashes as Honky was able to carry the match. I also liked the finish with Jake outsmarting Hart and Honky, getting some payback for his loss at WrestleMania III.





WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart vs. British Bulldogs


The Bulldogs go right after the Hart Foundation to start the match. The stipulation here is that Danny Davis was barred from the building. Well, he was facing Koko B. Ware at the Rosemont Horizon this same day as the WWE ran three shows. Davey gets a crucifix on Bret for a nearfall then tags Dynamite. Neidhart runs in and takes down Dynamite as the Hart Foundation uses quick tags to work over the back of Dynamite. Neidhart grabs a front facelock as Dynamite tries to make the tag but Neidhart pulls him back into his corner as the Harts go back to work. Dynamite finally makes the tag but the referee did not see it take place then Davey chases Bret around the ring and catches him inside but the ref orders him back to the apron. Dynamite ducks an attack as Neidhart takes Bret off of the apron then its the hot tag to Davey as he runs wild on both guys. Bret breaks up a pin attempt and a sleeper from Davey as the match breaks down. Davey hits Neidhart with a vertical suplex then Jimmy Hart comes in with the megaphone but Davey boots him down then hits Bret with it for the DQ (7:47) **. The Bulldogs have Jimmy in the ring then Davey presses him over the top rope and onto his team.

Thoughts: Dynamite could barely move as the Harts did not use any high impact moves on him at all. Davey looked awesome and the Harts made it entertaining so it wasn’t a terrible match or anything but far from the best these two teams have had.

Final Thoughts: Not a great show by any means. Hogan/Race was solid, Patera/Honky was entertaining, and the two tag matches were passable but everything else was dull. The roster was stretched thin as they had three shows this night: A “B” show in Chicago headlined by Steamboat/Savage in a cage and a “C” show in Clinton, NY that was headlined by Haynes/Hercules in a chain match. An interesting note about depth was that Curt Hennig had actually agreed to join the WWF at this time but the AWA finally agreed to give him the Heavyweight Title so he reconsidered. And a couple of weeks after this the WWF went out and signed Ted DiBiase, Bam Bam Bigelow, and the Dingo Warrior (Ultimate Warrior). About the show itself, I cannot really recommend this unless you are a huge, huge fan of Hogan.

Here is my schedule for the next several days

Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Bruno Sammartino
Friday: WWF Satruday Night’s Main Event 5/2/87
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 5/3/87
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/9/87


WWF Boston Garden March 7th, 1987

March 7, 1987

Your hosts are Jimmy Hart and Gorilla Monsoon

Tonight’s main event is an elimination match of Hulk Hogan & Roddy Piper & Billy Jack Haynes against Hercules & Adrian Adonis & Paul Orndorff

Jimmy Jack Funk vs. Pedro Morales

Morales gets a solid pop from the crowd during the introductions. Match starts with Funk stalling as Gorilla taunts Hart about being countered with Alice Cooper at WrestleMania. The announcers keep talking about WrestleMania as these two finally lockup almost three minutes after the bell rings. Funk complains to the ref about Morales using a closed fist. Funk cheapshots Morales then kicks him to the floor as Hart tells us how Danny Davis will surprise us with his wrestling ability. Morales fights back on the apron and beats on Funk in the corner until he gets hit with the cowbell as the referee missed that one. Funk grabs a chinlock to slow this match down even more. Funk then hits a slam then connects with a fist drop from the middle rope that gets two. Funk hits a shoulderbreaker then heads back up to the middle rope but misses an elbow drop then Morales fights back with a few shitty-looking punches and a backdrop before finishing with a backbreaker (7:26) 1/2*.

Thoughts: The crowd liked Pedro but this match was awful. Pedro was nothing more than a slug in the ring at this point as Funk was never any good.



Moondog Spot vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

Duggan has yet to appear in a match on TV during this run. Duggan was actually a jobber for the WWF in the early 80’s. He does all of his yelling as Hart tells us that women should not be allowed to referee matches. The crowd is into his act (Yelling “hooooooooo”) as he beats on Spot in the corner. Duggan hits a clothesline after a sloppy sequence then goes back to beating on Spot in the corner. Spot fights back and takes Duggan down with a knee lift. After a slam and an elbow drop, Spot puts Duggan in a chinlock as Gorilla teases Hart about Neidhart looking tired tonight. Duggan fights out then backs Spot into the corner but gets caught with an inverted atomic drop. Duggan slugs away but Spot stops that with an eye rake. Duggan comes back with a kick to the face then catches Spot with a slam. Knee drop gets two then Spot begs for mercy. Duggan knocks Spot down with a shoulder tackle then lines up in the Three Point Stance as he hits Spot with a running clothesline for the win (6:22) *1/4.

Thoughts: These two did not mesh well. Spot carried things decently when on offense but Duggan looked bad in the ring. The crowd played along with Duggan’s antics but did not react to his actual wrestling.



Cowboy Bob Orton & Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Jerry Allen & Danny Spivey

Heenan has replaced Hart on commentary. Allen was the replacement for Mike Rotundo, who had left the company a few weeks prior. Match starts with Spivey fighting out of the opposite corner as Fuji joins the booth. Spivey works the arm of Muraco as the announcers talk about Andre the Giant’s training methods. Allen tags and gets two with a crossbody block as he and Spivey are using quick tags to isolate Muraco. The faces now work over Orton until he catches Allen with a kneelift. Orton then hits a back suplex as Muraco tags and gets two with a Russian Leg Sweep. Muraco grabs a front facelock as Heenan rags on the Boston fans. Allen gets worked over for a bit as Orton even throws a dropkick that really pales in comparison to his son’s. Orton tries a Vader Bomb but Allen gets his knees up then makes the tag. Spivey cleans house as Heenan notes how Spivey has improved then jokes how it’s not much but still something. That’s basically a shoot comment. Spivey has Muraco in a headlock until that gets broken up as Muraco takes Spivey down with a knee lift. The heels now work over Spivey at a very slow pace. Muraco is caring less and less about this match too ,clearly not giving a fuck out there. Spivey mounts a comeback but Fuji trips him up. Spivey gets up as Muraco hits him with a double axe handle that knocks him right through the ropes but not before tagging his partner as Allen runs wild on Muraco. He gets two with a back elbow smash but Muraco catches him after a crossbody attempt then drops Allen throat-first on the ropes. They hit Allen with a double clothesline then Orton hits the superplex for the win that has Heenan all excited because they dedicated the move to him (11:46) *1/2. After the match they toss Spivey to the floor then Fuji comes in and whacks Allen with a cane. Spivey then comes back in and dropkicks Muraco into Orton and after that grabs the cane as the heels run away.

Thoughts: This match got a lot worse as it went on and the face team was really, really low on the totem pole so the crowd was not all that into the match. Getting fans to care about Jerry Allen is a tough, tough task. Spivey would team with Allen for a few more weeks until he got repackaged as a singles heel that wrestled on house shows in the opening matches until leaving the company in the Spring of 1988.

S.D. Jones vs. “The Outlaw” Ron Bass

Jones ducks a pair of clotheslines before getting two with a crossbody. Gorilla talks about how he wants to see Bass and Blackjack Mulligan face each other as Jones catches Bass in a powerslam. Bass takes a breather outside. The announcers talk about the midgets as Jones has Bass in a headlock. Sunset flip gets one then Jones goes back to the headlock. Bass escapes then starts beating on Jones before tossing him to the floor. Back in the ring, Bass chokes out Jones as female referee Rita Chatterton starts screaming at him to stop. Bass grabs a chinlock as a few in the crowd start a “boring” chant. Jones escapes and mounts a brief comeback that ends when he gets taken down with a kneelift. Bass then applies an abdominal stretch to really drive this match into second gear. Bass hammers away then avoids a charge. He slams Jones down on his arm then works on that for a bit. Jones comes back and hits a headbutt but ends up getting caught with a jumping back elbow smash for the win (10:59) *.

Thoughts:  Very dull match and no idea why this had to go 11 minutes. Bass had barely been featured on TV and this was to build him up for a feud with Blackjack Mulligan that never ended up taking place as Mulligan would be gone from the company a few weeks after this match.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Rougeau Brothers vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis

Davis joins the booth to tell us how the Hart Foundation are the best team today and that at WrestleMania, they will have a few surprises for the British Bulldogs and Tito Santana. Brett starts out the match by stalling as Heenan tells us that “Rougeau is French for “coward.” Brett and Jacques work a test of strength as Jacques gets the best of that. Both announcers then put over Brett has the most improved wrestler this year, which was said frequently during broadcasts this year. Neidhart and Raymond are in the ring as Raymond gets the best of him. The Rougeaus are now using quick tags to isolate Neidhart. Brett tags and blocks a reverse rollup but Raymond catches him with a kick as the Rougeaus are now using quick tags to work over the leg of Brett. Davis distracts Raymond and gets hit but that allows Neidhart to attack him from behind as the Hart Foundation takes control, using a lot of illegal double-team moves. Raymond manages to get a backslide for two but Brett beats him down. Jacques tries to get a chant going for his brother, who gets tossed to the floor. Heenan is pretty damn funny as he rips on the Rougeaus as Neidhart has Raymond in a bearhug. Brett tags and hits a backbreaker but eats a knee to the face on a charge as both men are down. Raymond makes the tag but the referee was distracted so he orders Jacques back on the apron. Neidhart holds up Raymond for Brett, who accidentally takes him out then Raymond makes the tag to Jacques as the crowd shows some life. Jacques beats on Brett then uses rolling forearm scissors until the match breaks down. The Hart Foundation collide then the Rougeau’s set up for the assisted senton and hit that but Neidhart breaks up the pin then the match breaks down again as Raymond has Brett in a small package but Davis sneaks in and reverses the hold then the referee counts to three as the Hart Foundation retain their belts (14:50) **1/2.

Thoughts: Solid match but nothing more than that. The Hart Foundation have easily had the most heat on the show at this point in the card and they were really hitting their stride as a team. The Rougeaus were too bland to really get behind as a team and with the Tag Team division stocked with depth, they were soon on their way down the card.



Monsoon is with Outback Jack, who tells us that he has no wrestling experience and was found by S.D. Jones and Arnold Skaaland in Australia then brought into the WWF. He then talks about his finisher, the Boomerang. God, this gimmick was a failure.

Jimmy Jack Funk vs. Outback Jack

Another Jimmy Jack Funk match! According to thehistoryofwwe.com, Jack was a replacement for Barry O. here. Jack had a long entrance and spent a lot of time with the fans. Funk attacks Jack from behind to start the match then stays on the attack as the crowd is silent. Jack reverses an Irish whip then catches Funk with a back elbow smash before putting him away with the Boomerang (0:58) DUD.

Thoughts: Jack failed to win over the crowd here and despite this being just under a minute long, the match was god-awful and Jack’s finisher looks ridiculous.



Monsoon asks Piper why he is retiring. Piper first thanks the WWF then pro wrestling for taking a poor kid from the streets and turning him into a star with a house and kids.

Elimination Match
Hercules & “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff & “Adorable” Adrian Adonis vs. Billy Jack Haynes & Roddy Piper & Hulk Hogan

Match starts out in a giant brawl that ends with the faces clearing the ring. The fans are chanting for Piper as the match starts with Hercules and Hogan. Hercules hits a knee lift but Hogan reverses an Irish whip before hitting a corner clothesline. Haynes tags and kicks the crap out of Hercules for a bit. Orndorff tags as Haynes knocks him down then gets two with a crossbody as Orndorff flips out on the referee by saying Haynes held his tights. Haynes and Orndorff take it to the mat briefly until Adonis tags himself into the match. He knocks down Haynes, who comes back with a backdrop then a slam before tagging Piper. Adonis runs to his corner and tags Orndorff then he and Piper fight over a test of strength as the faces all work over the arm of Orndorff. Adonis makes a blind tag and attacks Haynes from behind. Hercules then tags and puts the boots to Haynes. Hercules flattens Haynes with a clothesline then slams him down. Adonis tags and targets the knee of Haynes then knocks Piper off of the apron. Adonis hits a powerslam then has Haynes up for an atomic drop but does not realize that he tagged in Piper then turns around and gets destroyed as the crowd goes nuts. Adonis takes a bump in the corner and goes up and over the ropes as the match completely breaks down with everyone brawling outside as the bell rings. Piper is in the ring with a chair as we learn that both Adonis and Piper have been counted out and are now eliminated (11:25). Piper then sits in the middle of the ring and gets a chance for a standing ovation from the crowd in what was billed as his final match at the Boston Garden. Orndorff distracts Hogan with a chair from the apron and that allows Hercules to attack him from behind as the match continues. Orndorff tags but misses a pair of elbow drops as Hogan cleans house. Orndorff catches Hogan with a kneelift after he ducked his head then targets the ribs. Hercules holds up Hogan for Orndorff but gets accidentally hit with a clothesline then Hogan rolls up Orndorff for the pin (15:26). Haynes is beating the shit out of Hercules until he gets hit with a low blow then the ref gets knocked down as Orndorff and Hogan were brawling. The ref finally comes to as Hercules drops an elbow and gets the pin on Haynes (16:23). That was a lame sequence. Hercules targets the back of Hogan before putting him in the backbreaker rack. He drops Hogan down then covers but only gets two as Hogan is starting to Hulk up. Hogan rams Hercules into the corner repeatedly then hits a clothesline to set up the leg drop for the win (18:04) ***. Heenan runs into the ring after the match and Hogan tosses him to the floor. After that, Hogan poses

Thoughts: Good match that had a lot of heat and was a lot of fun but it did lose some steam after the count out spot. All three faces were crazy over here too. Piper also got a nice sendoff from the crowd. Haynes came off like a star here too.



Final Thoughts: The elimination and tag team matches were solid but everything else sucked. I’d seek out the elimination match but avoid everything else. And for some reason, NESN (The network that televised the house shows) gave us a “flashback” match of Pete Doherty and Mario Mancini from a show in 1985. In closing, this was a pretty crappy show.


WWF Madison Square Garden February 23, 1987

February 23, 1987


Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

Paul Roma vs. “Italian Stallion” Salvatore Bellomo


Bellomo comes to the ring in a yellow boxing robe and even throws some punches into the air as a fan pelts him with garbage. The stallion on the the back of his robe and attire look more like a donkey if you ask me, which is fitting for Bellomo. His attire is also as pathetic as his wrestling skills. Well Bellomo as a comedy heel is more suitable than a babyface. Lots of stalling and posing from Bellomo to start as Gorilla and Heenan talk about WrestleMania III. They have a fast-paced Irish whip sequence that ends with Roma getting a nearfall off of a reverse rollup. Bellomo then takes down Roma and works the arm for a long time as he screams and laughs. They fight over a key lock that Roma wins as he takes Bellomo down. Roma works  side headlock on the mat as this match is putting everyone to sleep. Bellomo then breaks up an arm wringer with an eye rake before taking Roma down with an European uppercut. Dropkick gets two then Bellomo applies a chinlock. Roma fights out and takes Bellomo down with a hiptoss then goes back to work on the arm. Bellomo fights back and takes Roma down with a snapmare then targets the back. Bellomo slows things down even further with another chinlock as a few fans are crapping on the match as the announcers talk about everything else going on in the company. Roma then hits a backdrop and dropkicks Bellomo, who takes a breather outside. He heads back in as Roma slams him then runs up to the second rope to deliver a fist drop. Roma whiffs on a crossbody attempt but shortly after that Roma gets the win with a powerslam (12:29) *.

Thoughts: Seeing Bellomo as a comedy heel of sorts was certainly something else. This only lasted for a few weeks until he left the company though. Roma was getting a minor singles push at the time and the announcers tried to sell this as an upset win. The match itself was way too slow and the last few minutes where clunky.






The Islanders vs. Demolition


No Johnny V. tonight for Demolition. Tama and Smash start off as Tama is overpowered but Haku comes in and they take him down with a double dropkick as Demolition regroups outside. Back in the ring, Ax and Haku are in and they go back and forth until Haku grabs an arm wringer. The Islanders work over Ax for a it. Ax then beats on Tama and tags out as Smash tosses Tama on the floor. Ax then knocks Tama over the guardrail as Haku brings him back over and helps him get into the ring where Demolition double-teams him. Tama gets tossed back to the floor after a pin attempt as Haku goes to check on him again as this match has slowed down an awful lot. Haku then slugs it out with Smash on the floor as Ax gets two with an elbow smash. Smash tags and drops Tama throat-first onto the top rope. Tama fights out of a bearhug but Smash is able to ground him with a leg lock then tags Ax, who gets kicked when he ducks his head on a backdrop. Tama makes the tag as Haku runs wild. Tama tags back into the match and gets two with a crossbody then the match breaks down and as the ref orders Haku back onto the apron, Demolition hits Tama with the Decapitation for the win (9:13) **1/4.

Thoughts: Decent enough match although it was really slow at the beginning. Demolition was slowly starting to get over as a menacing heel act with the crowd, who were in awe of their entrance gear and presence in the ring. The Islanders were over with the crowd a bit but near the bottom rung of the tag team ladder at the time.






Sika vs. Koko B. Ware


The Wizard is not here tonight. Sika starts by tossing Koko into the corner then he knocks him down. Koko tries to fight back but gets shoved back down then Sika rakes his back. Koko then goes outside and crawls underneath the ring and comes out from the other side to confuse Sika. Koko then dropkicks Sika in the back and rolls him up off of the rebound for the win (4:51) DUD. After the match, Sika attacks Koko and tosses him to the floor.

Thoughts: Sika was quite lazy here and this match was a total bore. The ending also did nothing to elevate either of these guys. Koko was treated like a joke in this match.






“The Natural” Butch Reed w/ Slick vs. Tito Santana


Reed starts the match of by stalling for a couple of minutes, which is the theme of the night so far. Tito hammers away for a bit until Reed ducks outside for a breather. He heads back in but gets sent back out after a pair of dropkicks. Reed then is able to choke out Tito with the middle rope from the apron then heads back into the ring. Tito boots down Reed after he ducked his head then grabs a front facelock as Slick joins on commentary complaining about the referee allowing Tito to cheat. Reed then breaks free and takes control of the match as he targets the throat of Tito. Slick is ecstatic as Reed has Tito in a chinlock for a while. Reed then gets two with a mat slam before he puts on another chinlock. Tito sends Reed into the corner then fires up as he beats on Reed. He uses mounted punches and gets two off of that but gets sent into the corner then clotheslined down. Reed takes Tito down with a kneelift then stomps away. Reed goes for an atomic drop but Tito blocks that and takes Reed down and goes for the figure four leg lock but Reed is able to reach the ropes. Reed then takes Tito down and distracts the referee as Slick heads inside with his cane but Koko B. Ware runs out and stops that as the ref signals for the bell. Koko and Tito then clear the ring as the match is ruled a double disqualification (12:10) *1/2. After the match, Slick struggles to hold Reed back.

Thoughts: Bland match.






WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Killer Bees vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis


Neidhart and Brunzell start off the match as Jimmy has joined the announcers to talk about Davis being a former Gold Gloves champion and a high school wrestler before leaving. Brett tags and he and Brunzell go back and forth for a bit. The Bees are now working over Brett’ arm then Blair slingshots Brett into Neidhart as the Hart Foundation regroup outside. Back inside, the Bees work over the arm of Brett but that doesnt last long as he knocks Blair into his corner then tags Neidhart. The Hart Foundation double-team Blair then toss him out to the floor. Back in the ring Blair manages a quick rollup but Brett immediately puts him in a front facelock. The Hart Foundation use some solid double-team moves then Blair sends Brett into the corner as both men are down. Blair is up first and manages a small package but Brett escapes then grounds Blair before tagging out. Neidhart put Blair in a bearhug then stops Blair from making the tag when he escapes. Brunzell tags but the ref did not see that then Brett tags in and puts on a chinlock but Blair breaks that up with an electric chair drop then tags Brunzell, who goes nuts on Brett in the corner. Brunzell then connects with a dropkick but Neidhart breaks up the pin as the bell is rung prematurely then Davis attacks Brunzell as he had Brett up for a slam and that gets turned into a small package as the Hart Foundation retains the gold (13:52) **3/4.

Thoughts: Solid match. The heat segment on Blair was the best part. They are establishing Davis as part of the act in order to hype the WrestleMania III match and to give the Hart Foundation an additional outside threat. The Bees were fine here and these two teams worked well together.






Gorilla is with Outback Jack, who will be making his MSG debut. Jack says that the competition is tough in the WWF but thinks he is prepared.

And Gorilla is now with Jake Roberts, who is defying doctor’s orders to face King Kong Bundy tonight. The story is that Roberts was concussed from the guitar shot he took from Honky at the last “Superstars of Wrestling” taping.

Jimmy Hart and the Honky Tonk Man are with Gorilla, who is disgusted over what he did to Jake Roberts. Honky says he feels good and is going to tap dance on the head of Pedro Morales. He also warns Roberts that if he hits him in the head again that he will not get up.

Randy Savage is with Bobby Heenan as Gorilla asks him about the elimination match main event. Savage promises that his team will win 3-0.



Barry O. vs. Outback Jack


Jack overpowers Barry to start. He hits a few slams and a hiptoss that sends Barry outside for a breather. The crowd is completely silent by the way. Back inside, Jack backs Barry into the corner but gets his eye poked as Barry takes control. He catches Jack with a kneelift then rams him into the corner. Jack reverses a whip and catches Barry with a backdrop. Jack gets two off of a splash but Barry yanks him into the corner. Jack ducks a swing and hits an atomic drop before hitting Barry with a boomerang for the win (3:33) 1/2*.

Thoughts: Jack was not over at all and based on this reaction and his TV debut, it was clear that this character was never going to get over to the extent they originally thought.






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


Jimmy Hart is on commentary for Heenan in this match. He is also petrified when the camera shows Damien trying to get out of his bag. Match starts with both guys fighting over a lockup as Jake wins that battle and knocks down Bundy. A loud “Bundy sucks” chant breaks out as he stalls on the apron. They try a test of strength that Bundy wins then but Jake grabs a hold of the ropes after an Irish whip as the crowd applauds. This is a pro-Jake crowd tonight. Jake ducks a clothesline but gets caught with a slam. Bundy gets two with an elbow drop then stops as he adjusts the straps of his singlet, which appear too big for him. Bundy puts Jake in a chinlock as both Heenan and Hart remain scared of the snake at ringside. Jake escapes and tries for a DDT but Bundy blocks that then misses an elbow drop. Jake falls outside as Bundy goes out and roughs him up before tossing him back in as the bell rings with Bundy getting counted out (9:17) 1/2*. After the match, Bundy misses an Avalanche then Jake grabs Damien and chases Bundy, Hart, and Heenan to the back.

Thoughts: Bad match. Bundy had to stop to adjust his straps throughout the match and moved very, very slowly as a result. The crowd liked Jake but this was a poor match with a bad finish.






Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Pedro Morales


Slick has joined on commentary to say that something needs to be done about wrestlers putting their hands on managers then promises that Butch Reed will destroy Koko at WrestleMania III. Honky starts the match by stalling as he keeps on ducking under the ropes then takes a breather outside. Gorilla threatens to grab Slick by the neck if he interferes as Pedro slams Honky twice. Honky heads back outside then goes back in as the crowd is all over him. Honky tries to fight out of an arm wringer but gets caught with an atomic drop instead as Honky yet again goes back outside, which is getting in some heel heat at least. Honky heads back in but Pedro punches him through the ropes as this match is getting quite repetitive. Back inside, Pedro grabs a side headlock but Honky is able to dump him outside and onto the Japanese announce table, which had been mentioned a few times throughout the show. Honky rams Pedro shoulder-first into the post from the apron then targets the back. Honky fires away then stomps on Pedro in the corner until he goes outside. Pedro walks over towards Jimmy Hart, who backs away, then yanks Honky outside where he rams him into the post and the guardrail. They head back in the ring where Honky takes control. Suplex gets two. He slams him down but misses an elbow drop from the second rope as both men are down. Pedro hammers in Honky, who is now begging for mercy in the corner. Pedro gets two with a small package then hits Honky with a backdrop before putting him in a Boston Crab but Hart jumps up on the apron and Pedro goes after him then after that Honky trips up Pedro and rolls him up, with his feet on the ropes for leverage, and gets the win (11:58) **.

Thoughts: Honky did about 90% of the work here and made it entertaining and a lot better than I expected. He really did a fantastic job as a heel, which suited the character a lot better than being a babyface. Morales was about as lazy and useless as you would expect. Pedro is not trying if he is booked to lose.






Elimination Match
“Adorable” Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart & King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan & Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Miss Elizabeth vs. Junkyard Dog & Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat & Roddy Piper


This is being billed as the final MSG appearance for Piper and the crowd goes nuts for him. Piper stares down Adonis but it is Savage who starts off the match for his team. Piper knocks down Race then runs around and tags Steamboat as Savage ducks outside. Savage comes back in to attack Steamboat but gets caught with an armdrag. JYD and Race tag in as Race bumps like a maniac for JYD’s offense. The crowd is jacked right now as Race flips over the top rope after a clothesline from JYD, who looks horrendous here, but Race is doing everything in his power to make him seem good. Slick insults JYD on commentary by saying he is unable to read. Race takes control briefly then tags Savage but JYD beats on him. Steamboat tags but Savage tags in Adonis then after that Piper tags as their is a six-man brawl inside of the ring. The ref finally maintains control then Adonis & Race hit Piper with a double suplex. Adonis catches Piper in a sleeper but gets rammed backwards into the turnbuckle and locks on a sleeper of his own. Savage and JYD are now the legal men as JYD slams him down. Savage takes control and tags Adonis, whose punches have no effect on JYD. Adonis then tackles JYD as they brawl outside then everyone else brawls as well. Piper chases Adonis up the aisle with a chair as JYD and Race duke it out. Back inside, Piper hits Race with a back suplex but the ref does not count as the bell rings as both Adonis and JYD have been counted out and have been eliminated (7:50). Piper gets worked over in the corner by Race and Savage as Slick continues to make fun of JYD on commentary. Piper tries to make a tag but Race stops that with an elbow drop. Savage then chokes out Piper against the ropes then misses a jumping attack but is able to tag Race. Piper counters a suplex with one of his own and makes the tag to Steamboat. He hits Race with a bunch of chops then he and Piper hit a double clothesline. Steamboat gets two off of a flying chop then gets Race in a small package but Savage reverses it behind the referee’s back and Race gets the pin (11:42). Steamboat pumps up Piper before leaving as he is at a 2-1 disadvantage. Piper beats on Race as Savage tries to interfere. He knocks Race outside then takes a chair away from Savage. Piper falls victim to the numbers game as Savage takes and chokes him out. Double axe handle from the top rope gets two. Piper fights off both guys now but Race hits him from behind. Powerslam from Race gets two. Piper reverses a gutwrench suplex with one of his own and get two as Savage breaks that up. Race signals for Savage to climb up top as he holds Piper in place but Piper escapes as Savage accidentally hits Race with a double axe handle then Piper covers and gets the pin (15:43). Piper bulldogs Savage then bites his fingers. Piper chases Savage around but fails to get him over on a sunset flip attempt. Savage clotheslines Piper for two then elbows him in the throat. Piper then fights back and unloads on Savage then both men collide as Savage flies through the ropes. Piper is playing possum in the ring as Savage climbs up top and misses the flying elbow smash then Piper puts Savage in a small package for the win (20:22) ****.

Thoughts: Fantastic match. Piper in particular was awesome here as Race and Savage also had on their working boots. JYD was pathetic but they were smart enough to get him out early. Tremendous fun as these elimination matches would main event house shows for the next few weeks. Also, I must say that Slick and Gorilla on commentary was entertaining. They should have let Slick done more on commentary.






Gorilla is backstage with Piper, congratulating him on his win. Piper says he always gave 110% then talks about the hair vs. hair stipulation match against Adonis at WrestleMania III. The end was Piper being his typical crazy self.

Final Thoughts: The main event was awesome but nothing else was all that great. Some of these matches just flat-out sucked as well. All in all, check out the main event, which was also part of the “WWE Top 50 Superstars of All Time” DVD but other than that, I cannot really recommend anything else that you should go out of your way to see. A majority of these matches were featured on the 3/9/87 edition of Prime Time Wrestling if you were wondering.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Thursday: 2008 WWE Blue Timeline as told by Brian Myers (Curt Hawkins)
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 2/28/87
Saturday: RoH Death Before Dishonor 7/19/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/1/87
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/7/87

WWF Boston Garden November 1st, 1986

November 1, 1986


Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

This is the WWE Network version of the show, which excludes the Women’s Tag Team Championship match between Leilani Kai & Judy Martin (Champions) and Penny Mitchell & Candice Pardue. Also, the order of the matches on the Network version has been switched around.

Billy Jack Haynes vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton w/Jimmy Hart


Orton comes out to Piper’s theme and he is wearing a kilt as well. Haynes shocks Orton with a shoulder block then wins a slugfest that has Orton retreating to the corner. Lots of stalling here for Orton, who the fans are booing like crazy. Speaking of the fans, lots of empty seats in the front row. Haynes hits three straight armdrags that has Orton ducking out for a breather. Back inside, Haynes hits Orton with an atomic drop then goes to work on the arm. Orton actually picks up Haynes with one hand while being put in a armlock but is unable to do anything. Haynes hits a rather sloppy looking crossbody for two then they both fight over a wristlock. Haynes wins that battle and works an armbar for a bit. Orton briefly takes control when he rams Haynes against the ropes but misses an elbow drop then Haynes goes back to working the arm. Orton breaks that up with an inverted atomic drop but Haynes grabs the ropes on a slam attempt and gets a cradle for two. They slug it out in the ring until Orton tosses Haynes to the floor. Haynes comes back in with a sunset flip for a nearfall but Orton goes to work. He hammers on Haynes in the corner then hits a modified backbreaker for two before applying a chinlock. Orton uses cheap heel tactics like back and eye rakes to soften up Haynes then gets two off of a clothesline. Atomic drop gets two then Orton applies a front facelock as the fans are getting behind Haynes, who manages to drop Orton throat-first across the top rope as both men are down. They slug it out in the corner until Haynes eats a knee off of a charge. Orton sets him up for the superplex but Haynes knocks him down then hits a pathetic excuse of a flying clothesline but it doesnt matter as the fans are getting fired up. Haynes catches Orton with a back elbow smash that sends him through the ropes. Haynes catches Orton with a kneelift then drops an elbow from the second ropes that gets two as Hayes is in disbelief that someone could kick out of that move. Orton uppercuts Haynes after he ducked his head then they trade haymakers near the ropes. Haynes chops him hard against the ropes then ties him up but the ref intervenes then Hart climbs up and gets him out. Orton knocks Haynes to the floor but gets sent into the post when Haynes reverses an Irish whip. Back inside, they tumble back to the floor as Orton had a sleeper hold locked on Haynes but Orton gets up first then Haynes chops him hard right on the chin so Orton drills him with a running knee smash. That looked like it hurt. Haynes lights up Orton wth another chop then gets two with a fist drop. They slug it out again but the bell rings as the time-limit has expired. The crowd boos as they wanted to see Haynes win (21:47) ***1/4. After the match, Haynes calls Orton back in the ring and almost puts him in the full nelson but Orton escapes as the fans give Haynes an ovation.

Thoughts: Good match. Orton was pretty awesome here and Haynes did a fine job himself outside of a few ugly moves. Orton was still working at a high level at this time as well. This match was really in the middle of the crowd and not the opener. The crowd was very much into this and hated Orton with a passion. The best match involving Haynes that I have seen.




The Moondogs vs. Raymond Rougeau & “Leaping” Lanny Poffo w/ Jacques Rougeau


Jacques is at ringside on crutches as he had broken toes at the time. Poffo’s pre-match promo is about the Rougeau family. Rex and Raymond start things off. Raymond hits a monkey flip then Poffo hits a dropkick then gets two with a senton. Spot comes in for the save but the Moondogs get hit with a double noggin-kinocker. Raymond floats over on a back suplex attempt then kicks Spot. Poffo tags and uses a flying headscissors and showcases his athletic ability but Spot is able to tag out. Poffo leaps on Rex’s shoulders but Spot runs over and knocks off Poffo as the Moondogs take control. Spot hits Poffo with a kneelift then works a chinlock. Spot then catches him with a backbreaker before tagging out as Jacques joins on commentary and talks about his injury. Rex has Poffo in a bearhug but Poffo fights out and manages a rollup but the Moondogs are able to keep Poffo isolated. Poffo makes the tag but the ref did not see it as he was ordering Spot back to the apron as Jacques abruptly leaves the announcers table. Poffo tries to fight back but Spot prevents him from making a tag. Rex tosses Poffo to the floor then Spot beats on Poffo when he re-enters. Poffo eats a double clothesline but kicks out and makes the tag in a weird spot as the ref did not react when the tag was made so the crowd did not buy it until Raymond entered and started beating on Spot without getting sent back to the apron. Raymond runs wild and gets a few nearfalls on Rex until Spot makes the save then the match breaks down. Poffo gets tossed as Raymond gets double-teamed but Raymond ducks a double clothesline then hits Rex with a crossbody as Jacques tripped Spot with his crutch and Spot is unable to break up the pin as Raymond gets the win (10:54) **1/2.

Thoughts: Solid match. This was the actual opener of the card. Watching these matches really makes me appreciate Moondog Spot, who might have been the most underrated wrestler of the 1980’s. He was a damn good worker.




Jimmy Jack Funk vs. Koko B. Ware


A bunch of fans in the front row give Koko the thumbs down as he dances around with Frankie. Koko works the arm as the crowd is silent. Funk ducks out after Koko took him down with an armdrag as the camera focuses on Frankie the bird. Funk teases a test of strength as the crowd boos him then mocks Koko as the crowd is now behind Koko. Funk takes Koko down with a test of strength but Koko powers up then breaks it up with a dropkick that has a pissed off Funk duck out for a quick breather. Back inside, Koko takes Funk down with a hammerlock and works the arm. Koko locks on an armbar but Funk breaks that up with an eye poke. Funk misses a charge and Koko takes him back down with an armdrag. Koko gets him in a backslide for two after a struggle then they trade arm wringers. Koko goes back to working the arm on the mat. Funk catches Koko with a powerslam for two then works then puts the boots to Koko. Funk drops Koko throat-first across the top rope before tossing him to the floor. Funk hits a slam but misses an elbow drop off of the middle rope. Koko punches away as Funk begs for mercy. Funk knocks down Koko then gets two with a powerslam. Koko gets a small package for two but Funk goes right back on offense. He then whips Koko with his ropes as the ref looks on like a dope until Funk tosses him down and he signals for a DQ (12:03) *1/2. Funk puts the lasso around Koko’s neck then drags him across the ring for a bit until the ref finally breaks it up.

Thoughts: Dull match. Funk did a lot of stalling here and was never very good in the ring to begin with but Koko tried and slowly won the crowd over.




WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Randy “Macho Man” Savage (Champion) w/ Elizabeth vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat


Savage starts off the match by stalling and running away from Steamboat,pissing off the crowd in the process. Back inside, Steamboat catches Savage with an armdrag. He then takes Savage down with a drop toehold before applying an armbar. Steamboat keeps on working the arm. He gets a corssbody for two then takes him down with another armdrag in a fast-paced sequence that the crowd loudly applauds. Steamboat goes back to working the arm. He then ties up Savage in the ropes and hammers away. They trade rollups then Steamboat catches him with a slam and another armdrag after an ever faster paced sequence that the crowd loves. Savage escapes to the apron and digs into his tights for something as the ref holds back Steamboat. Back inside, Savage uses the object to stun Steamboat then takes him down with a clothesline. Savage tries a top rope double axe handle but Steamboat catches him with a punch. However, Steamboat is too hurt to fight back so Savage tosses him outside then slams him to the floor. He tries to suplex Steamboat back inside but Steamboat falls on top of him and gets two. Savage then tries a piledriver but Steamboat stops that with a back drop and tries to fight back but Savage uses the foreign object again. Savage misses a running attack then Steamboat goes to work. He chops him down then gets nearfalls with a suplex and an atomic drop. He heads up top and gets the flying chop. He hits a running shoulder block but Savage uses his momentum to send Steamboat to the floor. Savage leaps off of the top for the double axe handle but misses and tweaks his knee when he lands then Steamboat rolls inside just before the ten count to get the win via coutnout (14:47) ***3/4. After the match, Steamboat attacks Savage and wants the belt but the ref says he did not win the title.

Thoughts: Fantastic stuff. A lot of moves and sequences here were used in their WrestleMania III match too. The crowd was super into this match too and has been active all show long and with good reason as this card has been really fun.




Salvatore Bellomo vs. Hercules


Hercules has dropped the Hernandez part from his name and has also trimmed his hair and beard along with ditching his entrance gear. Gorilla lets us know that Bobby Heenan has bought out the contract of Hercules from Slick. Herc tosses around Bellomo to start. Bellomo fights back and hits a dropkick but Hercules goes back to kicking his ass. He sends Bellomo down with a back elbow smash then catches him with a knee smash. He then slams Bellomo before making him submit to the backbreaker (3:41) 1/2*.

Thoughts: Although Heenan was not here, this was the beginning of Hercules’ transformation from a wild man with long hair to a jacked up dude with a chain. He was stuck in neutral with Blassie/Slick so it worked out well for him in the long run. Bellomo looks way out of place here with his dated look and the fans booed him and it was a riot watching him react to that.




Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper


Muraco also wears a kilt to the ring. Piper tosses his kilt at Muraco then hammers away. The fans are going crazy for Piper as he knocks down Muraco. He dropkicks Muraco who ends up laying across the ropes in the corner in a goofy spot then boots him to the floor. He roughs up Muraco some more then bites his forehead. Muraco is tied up in the ropes as Piper attacks him. Piper takes down Muraco with a bulldog. Muraco then fights back and sends Piper to the floor were Fuji attacks him with the cane. Muraco then rams Piper’s head into the post and yells at him from the ring as Piper is busted open. Piper goes nuts then dives at Muraco and hammers away. He bites Muraco again as both of their foreheads are covered in blood. They slug it out and Piper wins that then hits a suplex for two. Piper goes for a slam but Fuji whacks him with a cane and Muraco falls on top for two. Piper then pulls Fuji up on the apron and dodges a flying knee from Muraco that takes Fuji down and after that, Piper rolls him up for the win as the crowd goes nuts (7:23) ***.

Thoughts: Good brawling, not great, but this was super heated and fun to watch. Piper was awesome at working the crowd in the 80’s and Muraco could still go when motivated. The WWF did an excellent job at keeping the Adonis/Piper feud going when Adonis was off of television by adding Muraco and Orton to the mix. Those guys all being close friends in real life probably helped things too.



Scott McGhee vs. Sika w/ The Wizard


McGhee tries everything he can to beat on Sika but it fails and he ends up getting slammed. Sika catches McGhee with a back elbow smash then stomps away as the Wizard screams on commentary. Sika stays on the attack and chokes out McGhee. McGhee avoids a charge and takes down Sika with a dropkick but charges and gets caught with a Samoan Drop as Sika gets the win (4:39) 1/4*.

Thoughts: Nothing more than an extended squash match and a very boring one at that. Sika was old and really slow at this point. McGhee was a solid worker but too small for this era.




WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart vs. British Bulldogs (Champions)


Matilda goes after Hart a few times who scurries out of the ring as Hayes laughs uncontrollably. Brett and Dynamite start off the match. Dynamite gets trapped in the wrong corner but fights out as he beats the crap out of the Hart Foundation by himself. Davey tags and shoves Brett then the Anvil comes in and he eventually catches Davey with a powerslam. Brett slingshots in with a splash and hits a neckbreaker as the Hart Foundation use quick tags to isolate Davey. Bret nails Davey with a knee from the apron then slams him to the floor after the Anvil tossed him outside. The crowd rallies behind Davey as the Anvil has him in a chinlock. Davey tries to make the tag but the Hart Foundation cut off the ring with a lot of illegal double team moves including a sweet double DDT that gets two. Brett catches Davey with a sleeper but Davey is able to ram him into the corner as both men are down. Davey then manages to crotch Hart on the top rope with a press slam then makes the tag. Dynamite beats the shit out of the Hart’s. He hits Brett with a snap suplex then locks on a sleeper but the Anvil attacks everyone from behind and the ref is down. The Anvil tosses Davey then drags Brett on top of Dynamite and wakes up the ref, who counts unbelievably slowly as Dynamite kicks out at two. Anvil again tries to wake up the ref but Dynamite kicks out again. The Anvil grabs the ref then Davey runs in from behind and gets the pin with a reverse rollup (13:44) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Good match. Not their best but the chemistry these teams had between each other was top notch. The Hart Foundation were rocking more pink than usual too as they were starting to go further with that. The Hart’s were just about the most over heel team in the company here too.

Final Thoughts: An excellent house show. The hot crowd gave it a big show feel too. If you have the WWE Network, definitely give this a watch. Its just under two hours long and does not drag like most of the house shows from this era.

















WWF Madison Square Garden May 19th, 1986

May 19, 1986
Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

Tiger Chung Lee vs. “Leaping” Lanny Poffo
Lanny works the arm then shows off his agility before hitting a dropkick. Lanny goes back to working the arm for a while as Gorilla is impressed that all sorts of Asians are competing in the WWF. Lee chops down Poffo before hitting him with a pair of gutbusters. Lee lands some awful chops before hitting yet another gutbuster. Poffo fights back as Lee is on his knees begging for mercy. He is gassed too. Poffo hammers away on Lee in the corner for a bit. Lee comes back and beats on Poffo but misses a charge in the corner in a terrible looking spot as Lee paused before bumping. Poffo fights back then grabs a chinlock as the crowd starts to shit on this match. Lee is chopping Poffo against the ropes in the slowest manner possible until Poffo comes back with a mule kick. Lee comes back and beats on Poffo some more. Dropkick gets two. Lee then sends Poffo to the floor then brings him in and roughs him up for a bit. Poffo fights back and sends Lee upside down in the corner. Bcakdrop gets two. Poffo charges and Lee sends him to the floor. Back inside, Lee slams Poffo but ends up getting tossed off of the top rope. Poffo misses a splash but reverses an Irish whip and hits a hurricarana for the win (11:19) ¼*.
Thoughts: Oh, this was one shitty way to start off a show. Lee was blown up a few minutes into the match and everything he did look terrible. Lanny busting out the hurricarana was cool, especially for 1986, and really that was the only thing good about this match.
S.D. Jones vs. Brett “The Hitman” Hart
Gorilla tosses out the “this match can main event anywhere” line right off the bat. Match starts with Hart trying to psych out the referee and S.D. It’s the opposite of thrilling, really. Hart briefly works the arm then catches S.D. with an inverted atomic drop then taunts the crowd, showing some personality for basically the first time in the WWF. Hart then puts SD in a chinlock for a while as a few in the crowd chant “boring.” Hart takes down S.D. then kicks him out of the ring. Back inside, S.D. knocks down Hart with a headbutt but eats boot on a charge in a telegraphed spot. Hart drops an elbow from the second rope and that gets two. S.D. uses an eye poke as Hart begs for mercy in the corner. S.D. dances around before firing away at Hart. He then takes him out of the corner with a hiptoss and hits a shoulderblock. S.D. charges at Hart but gets caught with a backbreaker and Hart covers for the win (10:15) *1/2.
Thoughts: A must-see for fans of restholds. Brett showed a bit of personality here at least. I am almost positive that this was the result of B. Brian Blair’s injury, which had he been healthy would have at least given us the Killer Bees vs. Hart Foundation.
Sivi Afi vs. Hercules Hernandez w/ Freddie Blassie
Hercules shows off his power by shoving around Afi. Herc then stalls after Afi lands a few punches. Herc ducks outside then goes back in to work a headlock as Blassie is yelling to Monsoon. Afi comes back with dropkicks and armdrags but Herc kills him with a back suplex then distracts the ref so Blassie can ram Afi in the back with his cane. Herc drops Afi on the ropes then works a headlock on the mat. Afi fights out but runs into a clothesline and Herc covers for a nearfall then goes right back to the headlock. A loud “boring” chant breaks out then Afi fights out and gets two off of a sunset flip. Herc hammers away then uses a reverse chinlock. Again, Afi fights out then catches Hercules with an atomic drop and I am pretty sure Herc iced his balls immediately backstage due to that move. Afi uses the momentum of Hercules to take him outside then hits him with a crossbody off of the top rope that woke up the crowd and nearly gave Lord Alfred a heart attack. Back inside, Afi gets a nearfall with a falling headbutt as the crowd is still going nuts. Afi heads up top and hits Hercules with a crossbody but Herc rolls through the move and grabs onto the tights for the win (13:07) *1/4.
Thoughts: It picked up a bit at the end but everything else was dreadful. Afi wasn’t bad at all in the ring but he flopped so badly in his TV debut (if you think Adam Rose’s debut sucked, he has nothing on Afi, who was booed out of the building as the fans rejected him as a Snuka knock-off. The crowd went nuts for his crossbody to the floor spot.
The crowd shows New York Yankees stars Dave Winfield and Dave Righetti in the crowd.
Nikolai Volkoff w/ Freddie Blassie vs. Corporal Kirchner
Kirchner wins a slugfest to start. Small package gets two. Kirchner hits a dropkick but Nikolai rakes the eyes then beats on Kirchner in the corner. Blassie rams Kirchner with his cane then Nikolai goes back to work. Nikolai keeps working a bearhug then knocks Kirchner down with a shoulderblock. Kirchner manages a reverse rollup but Nikolai puts him in a bow and arrow lock. Kirchner fights back and hits an atomic drop before putting Nikolai in a Boston Crab. Kirchner whiffs on a dropkick and Nikolai goes right back to work. Double underhook suplex gets two. Gutwrench suplex gets two. Kirchner gets Nikolai over with a sunset flip then goes to work on the knee. The fans start a “USA” chant as the wrestlers stall for a bit, mostly because Nikolai is gassed. Nikolai hits Kirchner with a spin kick then headbutts him down. Kirchner dodges a charge in the corner and tries for a Samoan drop but Nikolai holds on to the ropes and escapes. Back elbow smash gets two for Kirchner. He charges but Nikolai puts up his knees then rolls up Kirchner while holding the ropes for leverage and gets the win (11:30) *1/4. After the match, Kirchner chokes out Nikolai then sends him over the top rope with a dropkick.
Thoughts: Kirchner tried but Nikolai was awful tonight. This feud continued, sadly.
Gorilla Monsoon is backstage with Dave Righetti and Dave Winfield. Righetti notes how Ron Darling is not here tonight as Bundy and Heenan come out, with Heenan joking that it’s Little League camp and forgets Dave Righetti’s name then some guy claiming that he is the manager for the baseball players and this ends with them challenging the American League East. Fun for Yankee’s fans.
Monsoon is with Ricky Steamboat. He says that Roberts taught him a lesson after he turned his back on him but that will be the only mistake that he will make.
Special Guest Referee: Bruno Sammartino
WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Elizabeth (Champion) vs. Tito Santana
The match starts with both guys jockeying for position then Savage bails as the crowd boos. Savage stalls outside then comes back in as Tito gains the upper hand then ducks back outside and uses Elizabeth as a shield. The crowd is jacked as Tito works the arm. Savage gets knocked to the floor with an elbow smash then takes his time getting back in the ring. They trade armdrags then Randy starts yelling at Bruno, who yells right back. Savage snaps Tito’s neck off of the middle rope then hits a double axe handle off of the top rope. Savage takes Tito back down with a running knee smash then covers for two. Tito tries to fight out of a headlock but Savage yanks him down by the hair. Savage gets pissed at Bruno for taking his time counting then puts Tito in a chinlock. Tito fights back but Savage tosses him to the floor and follows him out with a top rope double axe handle. Savage sneaks around the ring to knock and attacks Tito then takes the action back inside of the ring. Bruno takes his time counting as Savage made a pin attempt then both men are down after colliding. Savage is up first and goes for another double axe handle but Tito catches him with a shot in the midsection. He then sends Savage to the floor with a kneelift and shoves him back in the ring to inflict more punishment. Tito backdrops Savage and goes for the figure four but Savage frantically crawls to the ropes. Tito eats boot on a charge but comes back with a small package for two. Tito slugs away and takes him down with a forearm smash. Savage escapes another figure four attempt as this crowd really wants Tito to win this match. Savage comes back with a suplex for two. Tito blocks an atomic drop and turns it into a figure four as the crowd is going out of their minds but Adrian Adonis, wearing a blond wig, runs in and attacks Tito for the DQ (13:25) ***1/2. Adonis knocks down Bruno then goes to beat on Tito but walks into a slam by Bruno. Savage attacks Bruno from behind then he and Adonis attack Bruno until Tito chases them away with a chair.
Thoughts: Fun match. Savage was tremendous in working the crowd too. He put on a clinic and always saved his best stuff for the bigger shows. Tito remains a crowd favorite and MSG nearly erupted when he applied the figure four and would have gone crazier if he won. They even got a way to hype a big match for next month’s show too.
“Mr. USA” Tony Atlas vs. King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan
Atlas is sporting black tights tonight. Bundy shoves Atlas into the corner to start. Bundy then works a side headlock then they have a miscommunication spot as Atlas falls on top of Bundy. Atlas staggers Bundy with a headbutt and goes to work on the arm but ends up running into an elbow smash. Bundy beats on Atlas then slows things down further with a chinlock. Atlas finally escapes then avoids a splash as my tape loses audio. Bundy eats boot on a charge then Atlas takes him down with a flying headbutt. He goes for a splash but Bundy gets his knees up then puts Atlas away with an elbow drop (8:05) DUD.
Thoughts: Awful match. Atlas was just about done with the WWF at this point due to his drug habit and Bundy was really just a generic big guy. These two had zero chemistry together.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
The match starts with a brawl at ringside. Jake catches Steamboat with a kneelift as he enters the ring and goes to work. Steamboat escapes for a DDT attempt and hits a suplex then has to get pulled off of Roberts, which has the crowd and the announcers pissed. Roberts comes back in and catches Steamboat with a shot in the jaw after a fast paced sequence. Jake blocks a sunset flip attempt then hits an inverted atomic drop. Jake is talking to Steamboat as he hits him in the face then tells him to get up. Jake reaches for the snake but notices Steamboat getting up so he runs over and ends up getting his leg kicked out from underneath him. Steamboat hits a pair of swinging neckbreakers but Jake got his knees up on a splash attempt. Jake tosses Steamboat over the top rope, who lands on the apron before getting knocked down. Jake signals that he is going to DDT Steamboat on the floor again but Steamboat rams him into the apron then into the ceiling. In the ring, Steamboat busts open Jake with a flying chop then attacks the cut until the referee stops him. Jake beats on Steamboat in the corner then yells at the ref. Steamboat boots Jake down, who knocks over the ref in the process, and the ref calls for the bell as Steamboat is pounding on Jake (7:36) ***. All of the midcarders in the locker room come out to break up the fight and struggle to keep them separated and the brawling continues all the way to the locker room as the match is announced as a double disqualification. Steamboat then comes back to the ring to show the fans that he is okay and they applaud. 
Thoughts: Good stuff as they have made a hot, new midcard feud. In 1986, Jake looked so good in the ring, moving around fluidly and quick. That was not the case a few years later. Jake was really starting to get over with the crowds too.
Howard Finkel introduces Sammy Hagar to the crowd. He comes into the ring and struggles to roll inside then asks the crowd how they are doing. Sammy looked pretty fucked up here.
“Golden Boy” Danny Spivey vs. Paul Christy
Spivey works a headlock to start the match. They work a criss-cross spot that ends with Spivey stomping Christy. Spivey wrenches Christy’s neck then pie-faces him down. Christy comes back with some basic heel offense before tossing Spivey to the floor. He celebrates that achievement but Spivey comes in and goes to work. Elbow drop gets two then shortly after that, Spivey finishes him off with a bulldog (3:14) 1/4*.
Thoughts: A useless, but quick match. Spivey was floundering here and Christy was just a jobber but with this match, it seemed like they were trying to give Spivey a minor push.
Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart vs. “Jumping” Jim Brunzell
The announcers put over Brunzell’s dropkick. Anvil works a headlock for a bit. Brunzell takes the Anvil down and grapevines the legs. Anvil makes it to the ropes then ducks outside for a breather. He comes back inside and knocks Brunzell through the ropes with a forearm smash then knocks him off of the apron. Lots of “boring” chants in the crowd for this match. Brunzell drags Anvil outside and they slug it out until Brunzell sends him into the post. Back inside, Brunzell works a hammerlock and that does nothing to stop the boring chants. Brunzell hits a crossbody for two then goes back to the hammerlock as the announcers talk about the Anvil’s football career. Anvil catches Brunzell with an inverted atomic drop then starts to bite and gauge Brunzell, who is able to roll outside. Back inside, Brunzell gets a small package but Anvil immediately grabs a chinlock. The crowd is going restless as this is fucking dragging badly. Anvil catches Brunzell with a throat thrust after a leapfrog then goes back to the chinlock as the crowd is getting restless. Brunzell catches Anvil with a sleeper but gets rammed into the corner. Anvil works a front facelock but Brunzell escapes and goes to work on the leg. He rams the Anvil’s knee against the post then locks on a figure four. Brunzell breaks the hold and chokes out the Anvil in the corner but ends up running into a clothesline that gets two. The crowd actually booed when the match didn’t end. Both men collide and are down as the crowd just wants this to end. Brunzell tries to slam the Anvil but fails and Anvil covers for two. Brunzell dropkicks the Anvil and covers but the bell rings as the match has reached the 20 minute time-limit (20:00) ¾*.  
Thoughts: A painful match to watch. Anvil was terrible here and the crowd shit all over the match.
WWF Tag Team Title Match
British Bulldogs (Champions) w/ Capt. Lou Albano vs. The Dream Team w/ Johnny Valiant
Davey and Beefcake start off, with Davey getting the upper hand. He slams Brutus, who asks for time in the corner. Valiant is on commentary as the Bulldogs take turns working the arm of Beefcake. Valentine tags in and hits Davey with an elbow smash. Shoulderbreker gets two. Valentine works the arm then chops Davey in the corner but walks into a clothesline. Dynamite tags and he beats on Valentine for a bit. He tries for a snap suplex but Valentine blocks that and takes control of the match. The Dream Team uses quick tags to isolate Dynamite. Beefcake gets two off of a backbreaker then tags Valentine, who beats on Dynamite in the corner. Dynamite gets cut off as he tries to make the tag then Valentine knocks Davey off of the apron. Beefcake tags and hits a delayed vertical suplex but Beefcake also sells his neck and Dynamite makes the tag to Davey, who cleans house. He powerslams Beefcake but Valentine breaks up the pin then the match breaks down. Valentine tags and hits a suplex but misses a pair of elbow drops then Dynamite tags and unloads on Valentine. He gets nearfalls with a falling headbutt and a clothesline but Valentine shoves him into the corner. He puts Dynamite in the figure four but Davey breaks it up. Valentine drops an elbow and the ref counts to three as Valiant held Dynamite’s legs. The bell rings and Valentine thinks he has won the match then Dynamite rolls him up from behind and the ref counts to three for the win as he apparently waved off the first pin due to interference. (11:54) **1/2.
Thoughts: Solid match. Valentine did most of the work and that is a good thing .The finish was really, really lame though. Other than that, a fun way to send the crowd home happy.
Final Thoughts: A few decent matches but everything else was pretty much terrible. There was not a whole lot of feuds going on at this time but that would luckily change in a couple of months. I would check this out if you were a big fan of Savage but you could probably seek that out individually.

WWE Old School – Madison Square Garden – March 17, 1975

Thought I would try something different. This is the earliest footage on the Network as far as cards go. “Hey, Stranger, that stuff is too old. Most of us weren’t even born when this show happened, and we’re not interested.” SHUT UP! Read it, or GET OFF MY LAWN!

Match #1: Indian Jay Strongbow vs. Paul “Butcher” Vachon.

Our first politically incorrect sighting is the billing of the Chief as “Indian” Jay Strongbow. We start the match with a criss-cross, then Strongbow with some trash-talking. Vachon doesn’t want to lock up, as Strongbow is too much Indian for him, I guess. Finally, they lock up and trade chops. Now the crowd starts to “whoop” like Indians. Strongbow puts Vachon on his ass with a strong chop to the chest. Vachon with a kick to the gut, and a right hand puts Strongbow down. Vachon cinches in the nerve pinch. The crowd rallies behind Strongbow with more whoops. Strongbow powers out and slams Vachon a couple of times. Cover for the one as Vachon gets the ropes. Vachon gets a rear headlock that is bordering on a choke, then Vachon takes him to the corner. Vachon bites the back, then rakes the back. Strongbow trying to rally, he gets kneelifts aplenty, but meets Vachon’s boot in the corner. Vachon kicks him down and gets the 2, as he picks him up. Whip off the ropes, and Strongbow hits the Thesz Press and gets what I would call HOLYCRAPTHATTHREEWASFAST! *

WINNER: INDIAN Jay Strongbow. It’s 1975, what do you expect? Punch-kick-chop offense, with biting and raking thrown in, sprinkled with whoops and raindancing and ugly tights. Did it kill me? NO! I’m still here.

Match #2: Bruno Sammartino (w/ Arnold Skaaland) (c) vs. Spiros Arion (w/ Freddie Blassie) for the WWWF Heavyweight Championship in a Texas Death Match.

The ring announcer declares Blassie and Arion as “two great guys”, but Blassie gets a massive heel reaction from the crowd. In fact, the ring announcer thinks all of these guys are great. A ring announcer with a personality? Take notes Justin Roberts, you stupid mannequin. As was the custom back then, the managers are not permitted at ringside during the match. While the referee is patting down Bruno, Arion attacks! Right hand puts Bruno down, and now Arion gets in some stomps. Bruno comes back with rights and kicks, off the ropes, kick puts Arion down. A slam from Bruno gets 2. Bruno rams Arion into the corner a few times, then slaps on the bearhug. *sigh* Thankfully, Arion rakes the eyes to break the hold. Arion whips Bruno into the buckles hard, and Bruno is down. Arion continues with the stomping. Bruno on the ropes now, and Arion gets in some punches to the back. Stiff uppercut puts Bruno down for 2. Bruno comes back with some knees to the head. Bruno takes control with some rights, and Arion gets dropped to the floor. Bruno rams Arion’s head to the apron. Arion back in the ring now, and regains control. Low blow on a stomp draws boos from the crowd. Arion continues to kick Bruno while he’s down. Arion gets a slam for a 2 count. Bruno comes back again with a headlock and some rights. Arion is knocked to the floor again. Arion finally gets back in the ring after a minute or so, but Bruno continues to take it to him. A big boot puts Arion down. The crowd is hot for Bruno. Bruno slaps on the Camel Clutch, or maybe the Cannoli Clutch in this case. Both men are to their feet and slugging it out. Arion’s entire offense appears to be punch, kick, stomp, repeat. Wait a minute, Arion goes for an abdominal stretch but Bruno hip tosses out of it, and then slams him a couple of times. Bruno slams Arion again, and the referee counts 1…2…3! Arion’s foot was on the rope! *1/2

WINNER: And STILL WWWF Heavyweight Champion, Bruno Sammartino. Replay shows that yes, the referee missed Arions’ foot on the rope. I’ll bet they’ll have a rematch at Payback in June! It’s 1975, what did you expect? Bruno wasn’t flashy, but he always got the crowd into it. Arion was not good with a basic offense of punches and stomps. Vince was on commentary here and he stated that Texas Death meant no holds barred, but there wasn’t much here to see. Disappointing, even by this era’s standards.

(Note: a check of thehistoryofwwe.com shows that they would have rematch at the next MSG show in a Greek Death Match. I’m sure some feta cheese was involved.)

Match #3: Victor Rivera vs. Killer Kowalski (w/ The Grand Wizard).

The ring announcer states that The Grand Wizard needs no introduction, but introduces him anyway. Lock up and to the ropes and Kowalski…breaks clean? A second lock up, but this time Killer slaps Rivera. Then the tape cuts foward to Kowalski working on Rivera’s leg on the mat. A double sledge from Killer misses, and Rivera slaps on the arm lock. Killer manages to roll to the ropes to force a break. Killer goes to work on the leg again. Rivera attempts to come back, but Killer kicks him down. He’s basically applying a claw hold on the calf. Rivera comes back and puts on a wrist lock and takes Killer down with it. Now they trade punches, which Rivera gets the better of, until Killer takes him down again. APPLY THAT CLAW, KOWALSKI! A right hand from Rivera backs Killer off, but AGAIN, he takes Rivera down. Rivera takes Killer by the ears and backs him to the corner. Oh shit, now Killer claws the stomach. Rivera comes back with rights and whips Killer to the corner. A dropkick puts Killer down. Rivera punches the shoulder, but Killer takes him down once again. Some kicks to the gut, but Rivera is avoiding all the fucking claws. An uppercut knocks Killer out of his boots. Rivera jumps on Killer’s back with a sleeperhold. Killer makes the ropes for the break. Killer with a sledge to the back, but Rivera comes back and ties Killer up in the ropes, and he gets to punchin’. Rivera dives at Kowalski in the ropes. The referee helps undo Killer, but Rivera meets him with a right. Now they trade blows, which Rivera wins. But Kowalski bites the head, Rivera bites him back, but Killer bites again, and the referee calls for the bell! 1/2*

WINNER: By disqualification, Victor Rivera. It’s 1975, what did you expect? Clawholds, punching, biting, overselling, and fifteen minutes of that for a DQ finish. I watched the whole thing, and I did not die. I’m still here!

Match #4: Ivan Putski vs. The Wolfman.

The Wolfman is dressed more like a caveman. The ring announcer proclaims “Ladies and gentlemen, here is a classic”. The Wolfman is billed as being from the Wilds of the Canadian Yukon. I’m not from that part of Canada, but I hear strange things happen in them woods. Putski’s MSG debut here, apparently. He’s with a full beard here, ahead of his time. Headlock for Putski, and some rights. Shoulderblocks off the ropes, and the crowd loves the guy. Lock up, and a right for Wolfie. Wolfman tries a choke, but Putski breaks it and headbutts Wolfie down. Wolfman gouges and bites the back of Putski. Wolfie tries it again, but this time Putski counters with biting of his own. Bearhug attempt for Wolfman, which turns into a front facelock for Putski. Double sledge to the back for Putski. Wolfman counters with some biting. Wolfie gouges the face, which fires up Putski who whips him off the ropes and catches him a bearhug. Wolfman gives up! 1/2*

WINNER: Ivan Putski. After the match, he grabs a beer from ringside and shouts POLISH POWER and chugs it! That’s how you win fans. It’s 1975, what did you expect? Biting, gouging, bearhugs and another match that I lived through.

THE POST-GAME OPINION: You know how some classic rock from the 70’s can still stand up today? Well, wrestling is not like that at all. You have to be some nostalgic to appreciate this. The crowds had fun at these shows, showing that some of these guys had charisma, like Sammartino and Putski. It was a different time, and there wasn’t anything groundbreaking here. You younger guys who grew up in the Attitude Era or later would not be able to sit through this. Hell, the same probably holds for a lot of us older fans as well. We’ve just been reconditioned to follow a certain formula. Thanks for reading, now pull up your pants, you punk.

WWF Boston Garden March 8th, 1986

March 8, 1986
Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

Rene Goulet vs. Sivi Afi
They have dropped the whole “Superfly” deal with Afi, presumably after it was DOA when he made his TV debut. Afi shoves down Goulet, who complains about a hairpull. Goulet takes him down then they trade arm wringers until Goulet escapes to the apron. Afi works a side headlock for way too long as a few in the crowd start a boring chant. Goulet hits Afi then takes control for a bit, even choking him out on the mat. Goulet hits a clothesline for two then works a claw. This match blows by the way. Afi fights out but eats boot on a charge. Goulet gets a nearfall then goes back to the claw until Afi slams Goulet. Both men collide as the announcers hype up WrestleMania 2. Goulet is up first and lands a few punches then they trade chops. Afi rams his head off of the top turnbuckle ten times then hits an atomic drop. Afi does some sort of dance before hitting a backdrop and a flying headbutt for a nearfall. Crossbody gets two. Afi reverses an Irish whips Goulet into the corner before finishing him off with a flying body press, which looked awful (11:06) DUD.
Thoughts: Christ, this was dreadful. It was torture, actually. Two guys that no one gave a shit about in an eleven minute match is not the way to go.
Jose Luis Rivera vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Roberts plays around with Rivera then starts to laugh. He then goes after him and hits a gutbuster before taking him to the mat. Roberts works a side headlock as Gorilla hypes the battle royal at WrestleMania 2. Roberts takes him down with a spear-like move that Rivera takes a delayed bump for then goes back to the mat. Roberts works a headlock then hits a slam. Roberts misses a few elbow drops and that allows Rivera to work the arm. Rivera’s offense is awful. He was just a terrible wrestler. Crossbody gets two then Roberts rolls under the ropes for a breather. He then sits in the corner and keeps grabbing the ropes as Rivera has him in an arm wringer. Roberts then takes control and kills him with a short-arm clothesline. Roberts slams him then signals for a kneelift and connects. He works a sleeper for a while as the crowd starts up a boring chant. Rivera escapes then hits a clothesline. He fires away before hitting a backdrop. Roberts ducks outside and Rivera chases after him but ends up running into a kneelift then signals for and hits the DDT, getting the win (10:30) *. The crowd popped for the finish. Jake grabs his bag for the snake but the referee stopped him. The crowd wasn’t happy about that and it was a mixed reaction when they announced him as the winner.
Thoughts: Really dull stuff but the crowd was into Jake, who had yet to make his TV debut. They also wanted to see the snake. Rivera is like the Puerto Rican version of Tony Garea. He was terrible.
Donna Christiantello & Judy Martin vs. Crush Girls
The Crush Girls are Chigusa Nagayo and Lioness Asuka. Racist moment as Gorilla didn’t know which one was who then Hayes chimed in how they both looked the same to him anyway and expect to see a lot of karate. Gorilla finally gets clarification over their names as Nagayo starts out with Martin, who evades her opponent. She stalls some more then works a key lock. Nagayo kips up but gets tossed down. Christiantello tags and gets taken right down. The American girls are leery of getting into the ring and keep stalling. Asuka tags and backs off Martin with a high kick. Martin works an arm wringer but Asuka hits her with a few kicks and she bails. Martin re-enters and stalls some more, then cheapshots Asuka. She knocks her down but Asuka catches her with a sunset flip in the corner. Christiantello tags and choke out Asuka. Asuka tags out as Christiantello takes her down. They fight over a leg lock until Martin tags. She catches Nagayo off of a crossbody but Asuka dropkicks her down. Asuka then tags as Martin bails before tagging Christiantello. They trap Asuka in the corner then take turns roughing her up. Asuka fights back against Martin and takes her down. She tags Nagayo, who gets booted right down. Martin picks her up over her shoulders and drops her over the knee of Christiantello. The heels work over Nagayo until she trips up Christiantello and works a single leg crab. Martin breaks it up then they double-team Nagayo behind the backs of the referee. Martin cuts off a tag attempt in great fashion then taunts Asuka, using her partners hand. Nagayo fights back and makes the tag. Asuka runs wild on Martin. Nagayo hits an elbow drop from the second rope then locks on a sharpshooter. Martin finally makes the ropes then dodges a top rope attack by Asuka, who ends up hitting her own partner. Asuka then rips off Martin’s head with a clothesline then Martin gets double-teamed. Martin slaps down Asuka and tags Christiantello, who walks into a double dropkick. Asuka then puts Christiantello in a giant swing that would make Cesaro proud and tosses her for the win (15:33) **.
Thoughts: This was all stalling, really. It did get better at the end though.  Martin was pretty good in the ring and was a solid heel too. This match was a poor showcase of the Crush Girls, who were quite athletic in the ring. Christiantello was pretty useless.
Scott McGhee vs. Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart w/ Jimmy Hart
Neidhart shoves down McGhee a few times and gets cocky, allowing McGhee to sneak up from behind a roll him up for two. Neidhart backs him into the corner off of a test of strength but McGhee comes back with a sunset flip for two. McGhee bounces off of Anvil then gets tossed outside and on top of the table. Monsoon asks Hart why the Hart Foundation are working in singles competition as Hart said that he has to get through the Bulldogs for the belt as the Dream Team will not give them a shot. Neidhart tosses McGhee to the floor as Hart sets off the siren on his megaphone. In the ring, Neidhart overpowers McGhee, until he comes back with a suplex. McGhee hits a few European uppercuts but Neidhart catches him with a powerslam for the win (5:59) *1/4.
Thoughts: This was fine for what it was and McGhee was a solid hand in the ring and made Neidhart look good.
Brett “The Hitman” Hart w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Hayes said that Brett was the most improved wrestler of 1985. He then attacks Steamboat before the bell and beats him around the ring. Steamboat reverses an Irish whip and slams Brett off of turnbuckle then takes of his jacket. He chops Brett then goes towards Jimmy before hammering away on Brett. Steamboat works the arm for a few minutes as the fans chant his name. Steamboat slides underneath Brett twice then finishes off the fast-paced sequence with an armdrag. The fans loved that spot. Steamboat yells at Jimmy to shut up as he has Brett in an armbar. Brett escapes but eventually gets caught with a hiptoss and Steamboat goes back to the arm as Jimmy joins the announcers and said he is going to have a nervous breakdown due to Steamboat’s karate. Steamboat floats over on a suplex attempt then connects with a crescent kick. He then tries a backdrop but Hart turned it into a swinging neckbreaker then takes control of the match. Steamboat falls to the floor in a spot that would get booed out of the building today then after several punches, Brett brings him back into the ring with a suplex for a nearfall. Brett works a side headlock as the crowd is chanting for Steamboat. Scoop slam gets two. Steamboat comes back with a slam as both men are down. Steamboat tries a splash but Brett gets his knees up then roughs Steamboat up before sending him to the floor. Brett follows him out and slams him on the floor the goes back into the ring and taunts the fans, who boo loudly. The fans are really into this match by the way. Back inside, Brett almost puts him away with a running powerslam. He goes up top but Steamobat rolls away from an elbow drop as both men are down. Steamboat fights back, taking him down with a chop. Back suplex gets two. Steamboat hammers away on Brett in the corner and shoves the referee away when he attempts to intervene. Brett reverses an Irish whip and sends Steamboat into the referee, knocking him down. Brett then nails Steamboat with a clothesline and goes for the cover but the ref is down. He pulls him up and yells at him then after an Irish whip sequence, Hart hits a poor excuse of a crossbody on Steamboat, who uses the momentum to roll on top of Brett and get the win (15:08) ***1/2. The ending looked pretty bad.
Thoughts: Really good match with an ugly ending. Brett even showed some personality here and the crowd was really into this match. Of course, Bret was rewarded by getting passed over on a chance to wrestle Steamboat at WM2 by Hercules Hernandez. Easily the match of the night.
WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Tito Santana vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth
Tito is livid at Savage, who stalls outside of the ring. Savage then yells at the announcers that he is the best ever and leaves to taunt the crowd. Savage continues to stall then ends up running out of the ring. After a minute, Tito chases him out and all over the place before grabbing him by the legs as he tried to go back inside. Tito wails the piss out of him and ends up knocking Savage over the guardrail. Back inside, Tito works on the leg as the crowd chants for him. Savage ends up grabbing Tito’s tights and pulling him out of the ring. Savage attacks him outside then hits the double axe handle inside the ring for two. Savage hits him with a running knee strike and a clothesline for nearfalls until Tito fights back. Tito hammers away then stomps a mud hole into Savage. Tito kills Savage with a flying forearm then drops an elbow for two. He tries to lock on the figure four but Savage escapes outside. Tito goes out after him as Savage tries to run away by going into the ring. Tito grabs him as referee Danny Davis tries to break it up. Tito tosses him across the ring and the ref rings the bell for the DQ (7:17) **3/4.
Thoughts: The heat for this was off the charts and everything that Tito did on offense was intense. Tito was great with his fiery babyface comebacks and Savage was perfect in his role as the complete prick.
Dump Matsumoto & Bull Nakano vs. Velvet McIntyre & Dawn Marie
Matsumoto & Nakano were going by the name “Devils of Japan” while wrestling for All-Japan. Matsumoto has a cool look with her entrance gear. Hayes is cracking up because Matsumoto’s name is “Dump.” McIntyre works the arm of Nakano then tags Dawn, who gets destroyed. Matsumoto tags and shoves away Dawn as the announcers make fun of her weight. McIntyre tags and Matsumoto brushes away her dropkick then uses the hairpull snapmare before running her over. Nakano tags and chokes out McIntyre for a bit. McIntyre comes back with a crossbody but Nakano gets up and takes control as Matsumoto yells from the apron. Nakano yanks Dawn into the ring by her hair then tags Matsumoto, who stands on her. Matsumoto kicks her down then splashes her after a slam for two. Matsumoto works a few submission holds on Dawn before killing her with a clothesline. Dawn still makes the tag as Velvet runs wild on Matsumoto in a clunky sequence. Bull tags and runs her over as Matsumoto screams from the apron. McIntyre is sent into the corner but floats over and ends up on Nakano’s shoulders and gets the victory roll for the win (8:27) *.
Thoughts: This sucked. The match had no flow and all of the yelling from Matsumoto grew tiresome. The announcers took a lot of shots at the Devils of Japan weight. Speaking of this team, they were better off facing the other team from Japan. They might have actually entertained the crowd that way.
Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Corporal Kirchner
Sharpe attacks Kirchner to start. Kirchner reverses an Irish whip then monkey flips him out from the corner. Kirchner hits three dropkicks on Sharpe, who rolls outside and acts stunned. Back inside, Sharpe grabs a headlock as the announcers talk about WrestleMania 2. They briefly fight over a wristlock then Sharpe hits a few shoulderblocks but ends up missing a dropkick. Sharpe takes a breather after Kirchner held his legs, teasing a groin stomp then they fight over a test of strength. Kirchner wins that battle and stomps Sharpe’s fingers. Kirchner gets a nearfall with a suplex as Sharpe got his foot on the rope. Sharpe comes back with a clothesline then chops him hard. He rams Kirchner’s head off of the turnbuckle as a “USA” chant breaks out. Kirchner gets tossed outside where Sharpe sends him into the guardrail, which tips right over. Kirchner struggles to get to his feet then Sharpe picks him up only to knock him off of the apron. In the ring, Sharpe is bothered by the crowd and Kirchner gets two off of a crossbody. He clotheslines Sharpe then gets two with a small package. Sharpe adjusts his forearm padding and tries to hit Kirchner but it gets blocked and Kirchner ends up hitting Sharpe in the head with his own forearm for the win (9:56) *1/2.
Thoughts: Sloppy but energetic and fast-paced. Kirchner wasn’t known for his grace inside of the ring. Sharpe seems to be back as a performer and would be a mainstay for the rest of the decade.
Barry O. vs. Ted Arcidi
Arcidi receives a big pop after being billed from Boston. He shoves Barry across the ring to start. Barry bounces off of Arcidi a few times as the announcers hype up Arcidi’s appearance in the WrestleMania 2 Battle Royal. Arcidi ducks a cheapshot attempt by Barry then chases him outside of the ring but gets stomped as he came back inside. Barry hits a turnbuckle smash but Arcidi reverses an Irish whip and chops him a few times. Barry quickly escapes from a bearhug but gets clotheslined down before Arcidi catches him in another bearhug for the win (3:13) ¼*.
Thoughts: Barry did 95% of the work in this match. This was designed to build up Arcidi for the Battle Royal at Mania. Arcidi was void of charisma. He made Jose Luis Rivera look like the Fonz.
Hoss & Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Junkyard Dog & Hulk Hogan
The crowd goes apeshit for JYD and Hogan, who is still selling the attack from Bundy on last week’s SNME with his ribs. JYD chokes out Hoss with his chain as Hogan beats on Terry. Hoss gets sent outside as Hogan rams Funk off of JYD’s head. Hoss goes back in but Terry comes in with a branding iron, causing the referee to step in between them. Terry gets his head rammed off of the turnbuckle repeatedly by JYD. Hoss tags and JYD outsmarts him on a criss-cross spot as Terry picks up his brother. Hogan is in with Hoss, who whips him into the corner but JYD runs over and prevents Hogan from hitting the turnbuckles, earning a pat on the back. Funk starts kicking things around outside and  falls down after getting caught up in the wires. In the ring, Hoss fails to slam Hogan and that leads to a spot in which Hogan keeps slamming both Hoss and Terry. The Funk’s duck out for a breather as the fans are cheering. Funk then hits Hogan with a steel chair behind the ref’s back then jabs his branding iron into his ribs. Hoss attacks the injured ribs of Hogan then tags Terry .Hogan hulks up as Terry punches him then tags JYD. He clotheslines Terry but Hoss comes in and attacks JYD and is now the legal man. Hoss hits a few European uppercuts then Terry comes in and chokes out JYD. Funk tries to cut off a tag by hitting JYD with his crawling headbutt but that doesn’t work and Hogan tags and runs wild. He knocks Hoss off of the apron and tries to take Terry off top but Hoss attacks him from behind. Terry chokes out Hogan with a string behind the ref’s back. He manages to tag JYD but the ref didn’t see that either and the Funk’s are destroying Hogan. JYD drags Hart inside the ring and the ref goes after him, allowing Terry to hang JYD. Hogan then comes in and hits Terry with a lariat and the ref turns around and counts to three (11:32) **1/4. After the match, JYD and Hogan pose in the ring and JYD grabs an oversized Hulk mask from a kid in the crowd and puts it on, copying Hogan’s poses. JYD in whiteface got a loud pop.
Thoughts: Not much in terms of wrestling but it was entertaining, mostly due to Terry. Hogan had his fun moments here too. It was a nice way to send the crowd home happy.
Final Thoughts: Decent for a house show. The Steamboat/Hart match is definitely worth seeing and the IC Title and main event matches were good. The Japanese girls did not get a chance to impress, like the Jumping Bomb Angels would over a year from when this show took place. Nothing was terrible besides the opener. One thing to notice here is the constant mention of referee Danny Davis on commentary and how he kept screwing up. They said his name a lot on the show.

WWF Boston Garden February 8th, 1986

February 8, 1986
Your hosts are Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon
Tonight, the top matches include Don Muraco vs Ricky Steamboat in a “Martial Arts” match, Randy Savage vs. Tito Santana for the Intercontinental Title, and Roddy Piper vs. Bruno Sammartino in a cage match.

 

Paul Christy vs. “Leaping” Lanny Poffo
Christy wrestled with Poffo in Memphis for the ICW promotion that was run by Poffo’s dad. He was in the WWF for a brief time in the 80’s and was in his late 40’s here. Lanny tosses some poems out to the crowd then recites one that disses the “Piper’s Pit,” which the crowd approves. The match starts with both guys going back and forth. Christy works the arm for a bit as the fans start a boring chant and rightfully so. Poffo then gets a hiptoss after a criss-cross spot and he now works the arm of Christy. The announcers hype up WrestleMania 2 as this match is putting me to sleep. Christy kicks Poffo through the ropes as a few fans applaud as it was a move that finally didn’t involve working the arm. Christy does some generic heel taunts then slams Poffo’s head off of the turnbuckle before knocking him off the apron. Poffo snaps his neck off of the top rope but the referee steps in front of him. Poffo beats on Christy in the corner as the ref warns him not to use a closed fist. Christy bails as Poffo follows him with a springboard forearm smash. Back inside, Poffo hits a dropkick then puts him away with a moonsault (9:56) *.
Thoughts: The last minute or so was decent but everything else was a total bore. If you like armbars, this is the match for you.
Barry O. vs. Sivi Afi
Afi had not debuted on TV yet but was billed as being the cousin of Snuka during the episode of “Championship Wrestling” that aired earlier this day. He was wearing the same trunks as Snuka here and the announcers brought up Snuka but never mentioned that they were cousins.  Afi shows off his agility then works the arm. He hits a terrible looking dropkick before going back to the arm. Barry misses an elbow drop then Afi goes back to the arm. Barry catches Afi on a crossbody attempt and hits a backbreaker, which the crowd applauds. Barry rakes the eyes then gets a nearfall with a powerslam. He grabs a chinlock then tosses Afi outside as the crowd starts cheering for Barry! He pokes his eye then blocks a sunset flip attempt. Afi comes back with a suplex for a nearfall. Afi chops him down then tries and fails to pump up the crowd. He hits a slam but Barry got his knees up on a splash attempt. Barry goes up top but Afi tosses him off then finishes him off with a flying body press (7:41) *1/2. The crowd applauded the finish.
Thoughts: Boston actually had a heel section in the crowd back then, which was a bit odd to see. Afi was clearly a Snuka knockoff but had none of the charisma or wrestling ability. He wasn’t terrible in the ring but he wasn’t that great either. The match was fine for what it was though.
Tiger Chung Lee vs. George “The Animal” Steele
No Albano here tonight. Steele takes the kendo stick away from Lee and chases him out of the ring. He then rips the stick in half and tosses it away as Lee is pissed. They stall for a bit then Steele chases Lee out of the ring again. Lee attacks Steele then stomps away. Steele goes outside and tries to put the barricade into the ring. He re-enters but gets caught by Lee. Steele pulls something out of his tights and hits Lee in the throat. The referee looks for the object that Steele is able to put back away. He then slaps Lee with a slipper several times and tries to bite the turnbuckle but gets hit from behind. Steele knocks him down and goes back to the turnbuckle as the ref talks to Lee. He then rams Lee off of the exposed turnbuckle for the win (5:24) DUD.
Thoughts: This was pretty bad even for the low standards of a Steele match. It was entertaining for the first minute or so but went on for far too long. Lee came back to the WWF a few weeks prior and settled into his jobber role.
Big John Studd vs. Hillbilly Jim
No Heenan tonight, either. They trade chops then Jim attempts to slam Studd, who escapes then ducks outside for a breather. Back inside, they fight over an arm wringer as Gorilla said that Studd can bench press 700lbs. They are still fighting over the move then Studd puts on an armbar. Jim escapes by using forearm smashes but Studd hits him right back. He slams Jim then stomps away. He then rams him into the corner before putting on a bearhug. This match is heatless by the way. Jim breaks the hold but Studd headbutts him down. Studd gets caught with a shot to the gut coming off of the middle turnbuckle in a spot you could see coming a mile away. Jim hits a few headbutts but fails to slam Studd. They are now brawling outside then Jim rams Studd into the post and rolls inside as the bell rings, winning the match by count out (7:24) ½*. After the match, Jim said that he wants the $15,000 to slam Studd.
Thoughts: Really dull in-ring action, which you would expect from these two. However, this was a set up for a rematch the following month in Boston (which never took place)
WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Elizabeth vs. Tito Santana (Champion)
Tito shoves Savage off of a lockup to start. Savage then bails after reaching the ropes when Tito went behind him. Back inside, they take it to the mat and end in a standoff. Savage climbs up top for some heel heat then thumbs Santana in the eye before bailing yet again. Savage jaws at a fan but Tito attacks him from behind. Savage rams Tito into the post but gets caught coming off of the top rope. Santana slams Savage, who bails as Tito went for the flying forearm. Savage outsmarts Tito but Santana catches his leg and hits a back suplex for two. Savage rakes the eyes then gets a nearfalls with a double axe handle and a clothesline. Savage climbs up top and hits a double axe handle but that only gets two. The fans are buying all of these falls too. Santana fights back but Savage rakes the eyes again. He tosses Tito to the floor then follows him out with a double axe handle. He rolls back inside then pulls Tito back on the apron. Tito blocks a turnbuckle smash then hits a few forearm smashes. He stomps a mudhole into Savage then hits an elbow smash off of the middle turnbuckle for two. Tito unloads on Savage in the corner but runs into a knee on a charge as both men are down. Savage covers but only gets two as the referee gets hit in the process. Tito gets a small package for two. Savage hurts his knee after missing a knee drop then Tito targets that for a bit. He puts on the figure four in the middle of the ring but Savage is able to roll over and reach the ropes. Savage is on the apron and reaches into his tights but Santana suplexes him back into the ring. Savage blocks a figure four attempt then tries to escape as Tito is pulling his leg. The ref steps between Tito as Savage is on the apron with the camera showing him pull something out of his tights. Tito ducks a punch and tries to bring him back into the ring with a back suplex but Savage hits him with the object then covers for the win and the belt (10:29) ***1/2. Savage tosses the object outside and the camera shows the object on the ground. 
Thoughts: Really good match. The crowd was pro-Savage and popped for the finish but did not boo Tito during the match. The in-ring action was markedly more athletic than any other match up until this point. They focused on the referee, Danny Davis, during the match too which is something to keep in mind going forward. These two had awesome matches together.
Backstage, Gorilla and Jesse are with Savage. Gorilla asks him about cheating as Savage denies as he limps around. Savage says that Tito never hurt him once in a match as Jesse accuses of Gorilla of making up Watergate-like scandals about Savage.
Hart Foundation vs. Killer Bees
Jimmy Hart was not here either. He was in Philadelphia for the house show that was going on at the Spectrum this same day. Blair starts by backing Hart into the ropes. Gorilla plugs WrestleMania 2 and the Slammy Awards as Blair hiptosses Hart. Blair then uses his momentum to take Hart out of the ring as he had him in a hammerlock. Brunzell tags and puts Hart in an armbar. He makes the blind tag to Blair, who catches Hart with a small package that gets two. Blair works the arm but Hart escapes and makes the tag. Neidhart catches Blair with a knee then distracts the ref so Hart can attack him. Brunzell runs in and the ref yells at him, allowing the heels to double-team his partner. The Hart Foundation neutralize Blair in the corner with frequent quick tags and double-team moves. Neidhart puts Blair in a bearhug, who escapes, but ends up getting rammed into the corner. Blair pulls up on a dropkick attempt by Neidhart and maeks the tag. Brunzell goes wild on Neidhart. He hits an atomic drop and a dropkick then chases Hart away. The crowd applauds Bret when he knees Brunzell from the apron. The Hart Foundation then use the Demolition Decapitation move on Brunzell. Hart slams him then tags Neidhart, who tosses Brunzell to the floor. Hart slams him on the floor then gets run off by Blair. Back in the ring, Neidhart uses a front facelock to ground Brunzell, who gets drilled in the back with a drink that someone tossed from the stands. The Hart’s use more double teams behind the referee’s back. Blair breaks up a pin attempt then Brunzell comes back with a dropkick on Hart as both men are down. The match breaks down briefly as Neidhart places Bret on top behind the ref’s back but that only gets two. Brunzell gets two off of a sunset flip then Hart puts him in a front facelock. Brunzell makes the tag but the ref did not see it and orders Blair back on the apron. Brunzell gets whipped into the corner but avoids a charge then crawls through the legs of Neidhart and makes the tag. Blair beats on both guys. In a really cool spot, Blair whipped Neidhart against the ropes and that sent Hart flying off of the apron and into the guardrail, which ended up falling over. Blair then puts Neidhart in a sleeper hold as Hart eventually gets up and breaks up. Blair and Neidhart collide in an awkward spot as both men are down. Brunzell chases Hart away but ends up hitting Blair with an elbow drop as the ref was ordering Brunzell back into his corner then covers for the win, even though he was not the legal man (15:41) ***. Gorilla is upset that the Hart Foundation stole the match because of the referee’s inability to figure out who was the legal man.
Thoughts: Another good match. The Harts showed a lot of heel personality here without Hart at ringside. They came across like bigger stars than usual too. It was around this time that they became one of the better teams in wrestling but weren’t quite there yet. The Bees were always solid and this helped start a feud that produced a lot of quality matches.
Martial Arts Match
Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Both men have to wear judo jackets per the stipulations. Steamboat tosses the jacket at Muraco, who then tells Jesse that he is dedicating his piledriver to him. Steamboat chops Muraco, who ducks outside for a breather. Back inside, Muraco avoids Steamboat’s karate poses. Steamboat slides under his legs and hits an enziguiri that sends him to the floor. Muraco goes back in the ring and takes him down by the hair then ducks out to consult with Fuji. Muraco shoves down Steamboat when he re-enters then they have an Irish whip sequence that ends with Muraco getting chopped down. Steamboat uses a judo toss then slams Muraco as the fans go wild. Steamboat takes him over with a side headlock. Steamboat leap frogs Muraco but Fuji grabbed his leg. Still, Steamboat is able to slam Muraco and goes back to the side headlock. Muraco’s belt falls off and the ref tosses it outside. Steamboat works a chinlock now then uses Muraco’s jacket to choke him out, which Gorilla says is legal. Muraco comes back with a Samoan drop. They brawl outside as fans pelt Muraco with garbage. Fuji holds up a chair then Muraco slingshots Steamboat into it, which the crowd boos. Steamboat is bleeding from the forehead as Muraco suplexes him back into the ring. He then takes the belt off of Steamboat’s jacket and whips him in the back before choking him out as Steamboat’s arms are trapped in his jacket sleeves. The jacket is now off as Muraco drops a knee. He chokes out Steamboat, who desperately tries to fight out and does by raking the eyes. Muraco clotheslines Steamobat in the corner then chokes out Steamboat again, with the blood of Steamboat on his jacket sleeve. Steamboat eventually fights back with chops but walks into a vicious clothesline. Muraco points at Jesse and tries for the tombstone but Steamboat rings his bell with his feet while he was held up in the air. Steamboat chops him down then pumps up the crowd with his karate poses. He beats on Muraco in the corner then slams his head off of the mat. He heads up top and lands a chop to the head of Muraco. Steamboat charges and gets dumped over the top rope but is able to skin the cat. Muraco goes for a vertical suplex but Steamboat floats over then gets the win with a reverse rollup (17:16) ***1/2 After the match, Muraco beats the shit out of Steamboat with Fuji’s cane as the crowd is pelting him with garbage.
Thoughts: This was awesome. Steamboat’s selling was top notch as were Muraco’s heel mannerisms. This feud was still pretty hot too and the finish sets up for more matches in the future, which was a good thing.
Steel Cage Match
Bruno Sammartino vs. Roddy Piper
Piper gets instant heel heat by wearing a Chicago Bears Superbowl Champion shirt with the number “46” written on the back (that was the amount of points they scored against the Patriots in the Super Bowl) then puts up posters of William “Refridgerator” Perry and Jim McMahon in the cage. That is fucking awesome and I am from Boston. Bruno attacks Piper as soon as he enters the cage and they slug it out. He rams Piper into the cage repeatedly then slams his head off of the mat. Piper is already busted opened as Bruno attempts to stuff one of the posters in Piper’s mouth. He tears off Piper’s shirt and chokes him out as the crowd is going nuts. Bruno beats on Piper’s chest with forearm smashes as there is blood all over him. Bruno calls for the door to be opened but Piper hits him from behind with a low blow. Piper is up and gushing blood as he kicks Bruno several times. The crowd starts up a “Bruno” chant as Piper destroys him. He chokes out Bruno with his shirt then goes for the door but Bruno grabs his legs. Piper goes for the door again but Bruno grabs him. Piper tries to climb out but Bruno grabs his leg. Bruno punches away and goes for the door but Piper makes the save. Piper’s tights are pulled down halfway by Bruno, who then hits him with a barrage of punches. Bruno calls for the door but Piper pulls him back inside then hits him with mounted punches. He now bites Bruno then stomps away. Piper tries to climb out but Bruno hits him low. Bruno calls for the door and slowly crawls over and stops him but Bruno is able to grab a wooden chair and hits Piper a few times then escapes the cage for the win (8:40) ***1/4. Inside the cage, Piper, who is wearing a crimson mask, takes the chair and destroys it out of anger.
Thoughts: A bloody, intense brawl. The most heated match on the show, which is saying something. Bruno could still use a crazy brawling-style offense well, even at his age. This match was also Piper’s specialty and the two delivered. Even though the promos on TV were getting stale for this feud, the match was awesome and the crowd was nuts the entire time.
Final Thoughts: One of the better house shows from the 1980’s. The last half of this show was incredible and when the hour-long version of the show makes it to the network, make sure to watch it as it is really fun. To show you an idea of how much depth the WWF roster had at this time, they were running a second show this day in Philadelphia that had JYD vs. Terry Funk, Dream Team vs. British Bulldogs, and Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy. This was the better show if you ask me though. Again, if you get the chance to see this show, make sure to watch the last four matches.

MeekinOnMovies on….’Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare’

Game: Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Platform: Xbox One (among others)
Players: Upto 24 online, 4 player split-screen, too.  
The phenomenally successful Plants Vs. Zombies is a game I avoided until a girl I was dating withheld sex from me until I played it. It was pretty good. The game wasn’t bad either. Plants Vs. Zombies has a weird charm to it. With each advancing horde of the undead, you’d frantically try to upgrade the right plants, and stem the onslaught anyway you can. Particular credit goes to the A/V design – the moaning of the zombies and various plant sound effects created a unique multilayered and off-kilter soundtrack without any music to speak of, and the cartoon graphics presented a ribald charm that felt right at home with the most idiosyncratic of the Nickelodeon Nicktoon classics.

It’s essentially a stationary RTS. It was also wildly creative and wildly addicting, easy to find (appearing on over a dozen platforms), easy to get the hang of, but difficult to master.

On the flip side of that “easy to get the hang of” coin is the modern military multiplayer first person shooter, with a learning curve resembling a left facing U. Generally you get caught up in the hoopla of awesome graphics and destructible terrain, but eventually find yourself in a massive map running around trying to find anyone you can shoot because you’re not quite sure where to be going. Worse, when you do find someone to shoot, they’ll likely be better than you, shoot you first, and you have to start the whole ordeal over again. This is a real downer if you’re just starting out. By the time you think you’re making some real progress you run up against a server oopsie, a sniper shooting you from afar, or some other hiccup that puts you off the whole experience, unless you join a clan or have a bunch of friends to play with. The modern online FPS is as casually enjoyable as a snuff film.

If you ask EA, it seems the fix for this problem is a bit of Popcap fertilizer. The deft touch of a studio that refined Pachinko and honed match three color games to such a fine powder that you yearn to grind it up and rub all over your gums when not playing. Say what you will about ‘casual’ games, but they’re popular for a reason. They don’t waste your time. You’re there to match jewels, drop balls, shoot colored orbs out of a frog’s mouth, clash with clans, or settle the long-brewing war between Plants and Zombies – no cutscenes, no respawn wait, no insanely difficult learning curves, just good, clean, fun. Until you hit a paywall at least.

Which brings us to the not free to play Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, which attempts to bring the FPS to kids. Or rather, the poor kids whose parents won’t let them play Modern Warfare or Battlefield or even “Titan Fall”.

First impressions are interesting in that anyone over the age of 11 and below the age of say, 18, will probably blow it off as a ‘kiddie game’ and go back to listening to Miley Cyrus or something. In reality The Xbox One graphics are bright and colorful. Characters are nicely detailed and display sufficient personality on the surface – especially the whacked out zombies. This is only enhanced by various unlockable skills and class customization options.  

Class variety is good, with each ‘faction’ getting your standard scout / sniper / soldier / medic / mechanic classes, with a couple of differences. There’s a cool piranha plant class that essentially lets you burrow under ground and jump up and devour an enemy in one gulp, not unlike a certain Mario bad guy that likes to reside in big green tubes. Each class unlocks a few skills like rocket packs, friendly buffs, heals, barriers, and you’ll likely gravitate to whatever suits your particular play style. Overall, it looks and feels authentic and well crafted. That idiosyncratic charm is carried over,

But it’s harder to appreciate charm when an enemy is rushing at you guns blazing, as opposed to slowly shuffling through your defenses. You may also have trouble aiming at that enemy. It may be my controller or subtly degrading fine motor skills, but the controls feel a bit twitchy. Since the game runs at 60 FPS, characters are speedy as hell, and a small adjustment to your aim can send you wildly off course if you don’t have your skills trained from other shooters. Playing as the Cactus class, which is a sniper, I found myself doing that thing newbies do where they end up looking at the floor or the sky the entire time in order to ensure they’re lined up perfectly should a character walk into their frame of view.

An adjustment or two of an auto-aim setting and control stick sensitivity alleviated these problems somewhat, but for whatever reason the control didn’t feel as tight as I’d hope for a game aiming for a mass audiences of kids who may never have played a multiplayer shooter, or can’t-believe-they’re-adults that need a proverbial booster seat. It’d benefit quite a lot from a Grand Theft Auto V model, where you can lock on to a given character and adjust your aim within the confines of the lock on, instead of the standard free aim model they use now.

This would at the least help cut through all the chaos happening on screen at a given time. There’s explosions, beams, bullets, glowing orbs, pulsating statues, random AI controlled zombies, enemies on roofs, underground, and on jetpacks, and its difficult to settle on a target amidst the insanity. Thankfully when approaching battle you do get an enemy indicator icon on screen letting you know a bad guy (and what type of bad guy) is near by, which are just the training wheels new players, and players like me who just aren’t very good at honing my skill in this kind of thing appreciate.  

You’ll be (poorly) honing those skills across about four game modes and several maps – with the promise of completely free DLC in the future. You have your “Garden Ops” which is horde mode, your standard deathmatch, and variations on ‘plant the bomb’ ‘capture the flag’ and ‘control the rally point’ – all gussied up with lants Vs. Zombies charm. So the bomb you have to planet is strapped to a gnome’s back, the control points you defend or attack are graveyards, and so on. The environments are colorful and bright, and provide sufficient nooks, crannies, and hiding spots in which to unleash your mayhem. There’s also various spawner points in a map, and activating one unleashes one-or-two AI controlled teammates to serve as “Titan Fall”-esque canon fodder. There’s also a decided effort to streamline the whole thing, with fewer buttons and simpler mechanics. You’re not calling in air-strikes or toggling the fire mode from auto to semi-auto, for example.

Unfortunately on some of the larger maps there is a lot of back and forth walking from your spawn point to the battle, and once there the sheer insanity of it all makes it tricky to stay alive for an extended period of time unless a teammate revives you – which is standard for the genre, but continuously disengages you from the action.

So the question remains, what specifically is this game going for? Is it “Baby’s first first person shooter”? If so, that baby is better at games and more patient than I. It’s a $40 dollar game with a strange demographic, but perhaps the Plants Vs. Zombies brand is powerful enough to compel die hard fans to dig in.
Look, Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare Is a quality shooter for sure, and a ton of TLC went into the art design and aesthetic presentation to create something bright, colorful, and unique visually. But it doesn’t innovate or iterate on the genre – providing a coat of paint, toning down the complexity, and ultimately leaving a game that kinda sorta exposes the reasons why I’ve personally never been able to get into these kinds of games. There’s a lot of waiting. Everyone is likely better than you. Aiming requires precision, and confidence requires practice and sacrifice – toss in Kinect being the default mic and getting an awkward audio peak into the living room of other players, I can safely say this is a only game for fans of the genre or people who want their kids to be fans of the genre.

Simply put, whether you’re an American Soldier, Master Chief, or a giant, anthropomorphic sunflower, for a some of us, war is hell. But for millions of other gamers, war is a hell of a lot of fun. If you have kids and you’re itching to play something with them (and already bought “Lego Marvel Superheroes”), or you have a kid who is yearning for a Call of Duty game but you don’t want to relent, you can do a LOT worse than Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare. But if you’re not into this kind of thing, don’t expect the grass to be greener on the casual side of the fence. 

3.5 Stars

WWF Boston Garden December 7th, 1985

December 7, 1985
Your hosts are Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon

Paul Roma vs. Barry O.
The crowd boos Roma and that shocks the announcers. Barry shocks the announcers by breaking cleanly a few times against the ropes. They trade arm wringers then take it to the mat in a decent sequence. The crowd then starts to cheer when Barry cheapshots Roma as he takes control. Roma reverses an Irish whip then hits a backdrop and an arm drag. Barry ducks outside for a breather then comes in as Roma goes back to the arm. They then work a nice Irish whip sequence that ends with Barry whiffing on a clothesline then begging for mercy before rolling back outside. He comes back in and Roma clotheslines him then works a side headlock. Barry uses Roma’s momentum to toss him outside as the fans start a light cheer for Barry, who is posing in the ring. Barry headbutts Roma, hurting himself in the process, but is able to stop Roma’s sunset flip attempt. He heads up top and hits a double axe handle then runs Roma’s face across the top rope. The crowd starts a boring chant as Barry works a chinlock for a few minutes. He then gets two off of a powerslam then starts to hammer away before going back to the chinlock. Roma fights back and hits an atomic drop and a slam then gets two off of a leg drop. He then rams Barry’s shoulder into the post. Powerslam gets two. They collide in the middle of the ring in a clunky looking spot as the fans boo. Barry climbs up top but Roma slams him off. Barry begs for mercy but Roma fires away then hits a dropkick for one. Overhead suplex gets two. Barry comes back with an inverted atomic drop but Roma fights right back with a forearm smash. Vertical suplex gets two. Barry pulls Roma to the floor by his tights but gets pulled down himself and Roma rams his knee against the post. Both men are back in the ring as Roma gets a nearfall off of another powerslam then applies a figure four as the bell rings, signaling that the time-limit has been reached (18:06) **1/4.
Thoughts: The crowd shit on the match, probably because it was against two TV jobbers, but they put together a decent bout. The main drawback was that it went on for too long. Roma looked pretty good in the ring here and I think the only thing that held him back was his height as he could go in the ring. He looked pretty short next to Barry, who was billed at 6’1.
Moondog Spot vs. Tony Atlas
Atlas headbutts Spot and it looked awful. Atlas slams Spot then works the arm for a bit. Spot catches Atlas with a backbreaker then comes off the top with a forearm smash. Spot works a chinlock for a while. He tries to punch Atlas, who no-sells them and then gets hit with an atomic drop. Atlas knocks him down but runs into a knee on a charge. He then ducks underneath Spot and comes back with a flying headscissors then turns it into a cradle for the win (7:25) ½*.
Thoughts: Not much of a match at all. Atlas was abusing cocaine like it was going out of style at this point of his career. If he didn’t, he was in line for a push and at one point going to win the IC title but he ended up self-destructing. Spot was a really good worker that doesn’t get the credit he deserves but was a glorified jobber at this time.
Pedro Morales vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton
Orton runs away from Morales then attacks him on the floor. He slams him down then tries a suplex but Morales reversed it and both men are down. They head back inside as Pedro powers up and slugs away. He knocks Orton to the floor then follows him out and slams him into the guardrail. Orton tries to pick up a barricade and toss it inside but Morales knocks it down onto Orton’s head. Pedro fires away inside of the ring. He gets a nearfall off of a sunset flip then ducks a cast-shot and rolls up Orton with a small package for the win (6:25) ¾*. After the match, Orton attacks Morales with the cast.
Thoughts: Half of this was Orton stalling and running away. He really was not the worker he was at this point but some of that could have been due to his role, which made him a chickenshit heel. Jesse says Pedro’s win was an upset but Gorilla disagrees. Pedro wasn’t that bad here, probably because he was winning the match. He really dogged it when he was losing.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth vs. Ricky Steamboat
Jesse says that these are two of the best wrestlers in the world. Savage sneak attacks Steamboat but he gets sent into the corner then outside. Steamboat rams the arm of Savage into the post then continues to go to work on the arm. He stays on the arm for a long time then they really pick up the pace for a second before Steamboat goes back to work. Steamboat chases Savage outside of the ring and they end up back inside where Steamboat takes him down with a flying hammerlock. Savage outsmarts Steamboat by bailing after initiating a criss-cross then yells at a fan. Steamboat chases him back inside where he works the arm. Steamboat skins the cat but Savage sends him over the ropes with a forearm smash. He hits Steamboat with a double axe handle off of the top rope then sends him over the guardrail with a running knee smash. Back inside, Steamboat chops Savage but is unable to slam him as Savage falls on top. Savage climbs up top but Steamboat rolls away from the flying elbow smash. Steamboat hits Savage with an atomic drop but gets slammed off of the top rope. Savage slams Steamboat but gets caught with a shot to the mid-section as he came off of the top rope. Steamboat gets nearfalls with a suplex and a side kick. He uses his goofy martial arts chops then hits him while he is on the apron. The ref takes him away and Savage pulls a foreign object out of his trunks. Steamboat brings him back in with a suplex but Savage hits him in the head on the way down and Savage covers for the win (11:15) ***. After the match, Steamboat and Savage roll around the ring fighting over the object. Steamboat grabs it and chases Savage away.
Thoughts: Good match but not a classic or anything. It is actually part of the “Ultimate Randy Savage Collection” DVD. Lots of rest holds but that was understandable as they had another show in Philadelphia the same night, with Steamboat working against Don Muraco and Savage taking part of a tag match. A few months later, they used this same finish for when Savage beat Santana for the IC Title.
Bruno Sammartino vs. Roddy Piper
Both guys start brawling before the introductions, with Bruno getting the upper hand. They briefly fight outside then Bruno drags Piper back inside. Piper is bleeding from his forehead as Bruno is hammering away. He shoves the ref and apologizes and that allows Piper to take him down. Bruno’s comeback is stopped short with an eye poke then he takes Bruno outside. He rams his head off of the guardrail and goes back inside. Bruno fights right back and Piper tries to go up the aisle but he gets brought in and they repeat the spot again. Piper begs for mercy inside of the ring then tries to reach over and grab something from the announcers table but Bruno drags him in, showing his ass in the process. Piper complains about a low blow then Orton runs out but gets attacked as the ref calls for the DQ (5:05) **. After the match, they beat on Bruno then Piper decks the ref as he tried to intervene. They tie Bruno up in the ropes and slap him around.
Thoughts: Not much of a match but it was intense while it lasted. Bruno could still do these types of matches well. Piper & Orton did receive some cheers at the end, as there was a bit of a heel section at the Garden on this night.
WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Jesse “The Body” Ventura vs. Tito Santana (Champion)
Jesse cheapshots Tito against the ropes but Tito fights back and Jesse ducks outside. Back inside, Tito works the arm until Jesse breaks out then uses cheap heel tactics on Tito. He then catches him with a bearhug but Tito is able to escape. Tito fires away as Jesse wants to call a timeout. Tito then uses some of Jesse’s heel tactics then puts on the figure four. Jesse reaches for the ropes then yanks Tito to the floor by his tights. He tries to prevent Tito from coming back in but gets knocked down. Tito then flies in with a slingshot splash but the bell rang as Tito was unable to beat the ten count and as a result, Jesse won by countout (8:13) 1/4*. After the match, Jesse gets pissed that he did not win the belt and that vocal heel section was upset.
Thoughts: Typical Ventura match in that it was mostly stalling and other absurd spots. Ventura was really useless in the ring at this point. This crowd was not into Tito at all, which is shocking.
Scott McGhee vs. Hercules Hernandez
Blassie is not with Hercules, who overpowers McGhee to start. McGhee comes back with a few dropkicks and that has Hercules duck outside. Gorilla starts plugging the “Wrestling Album” and how it makes a great stocking stuffer as Hercules hits McGhee with a backbreaker. He tries it again but McGhee takes him down with a headscissors and hits another dropkick. Herc is moving at a snails pace, which has the crowd starting a boring chant. Herc goes back inside and hammers away, knocking McGhee to the floor. Back inside, Herc drops McGhee throat-first on the top rope then continues his assault. He elbows McGhee, who was in midair, then drops the elbow for two. He puts on a chinlock as the crowd is restless. McGhee fights back and gets a nearfall off of a crossbody. McGhee knocks him down then catches him in midair and hits an inverted atomic drop. He hits a top rope knee drop but misses a somersault senton from the top rope then Hercules dropped the elbow for the win (8:22) ½*.
Thoughts: Awful match, due to Hercules, but McGhee tried and looked good whenever he was on offense. He was a solid wrestler but built similarly to David Sammartino and Rick McGraw,and was never going to get much of a push.
“Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. “Adorable” Adrian Adonis
This is the first time I have heard Adonis billed as “Adorable.” He has died his hair blonde but still has his leather jacket. He takes his jacket off after attacking Poffo and is fatter than ever. Poffo fights back but Adonis regains control. He takes him down with an elbow smash but is sent into the corner on a bulldog attempt. Poffo fires away in the corner then hits a monkeyflip. Poffo comes off the top with a moonsault but Adonis got his knees up then he cradles Poffo for the win (2:51) *. After the match, Gorilla questions as to why they are calling Adonis “Adorable.”
Thoughts: Quick match. It was fine. Adonis wrestled the same way that he always had and nothing was different about him, besides the hair.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Killer Bees vs. The Dream Team (Champion)
No Valiant tonight. Jesse rejoins Gorilla at the booth and is unhappy he did not win the belt. Blair starts off against Valentine and takes care of him. Beefcake comes in and Blair goes after him too. The Dream Team regroup outside for a bit as the fans get on Beefcake. Back inside, Blair hits Valentine with a back suplex then tags Brunzell, who goes to work on the leg .The Bees use quick tags to isolate Valentine. Beefcake breaks up a figure four attempt by Blair and that allows Valentine to take control. The Dream Team takes turns beating the shit out of Blair. Valentine gets a nearfall with an elbow smash from the middle rope then softens up the leg. Blair fights back and goes for a slam but Valentine falls on top of him. Valentine then hits him with a gutbuster before tagging Brutus. Blair fights back then makes the tag to Brunzell with the crowd barely giving a shit. He takes care of both guys then gets a nearfall with a dropkick on Beefcake. The match breaks down then as Brunzell has Beefcake in a sleeper, Valentine hits him with a double axe handle from the top rope as the ref was ordering Blair back on the apron then he turns around as Beefcake covers him for the win (9:48) **3/4.
Thoughts: Solid match. Valentine looked great and everything he did to Blair looked like it killed him. The crowd did not like Beefcake but was quiet for this match and just about everything else on this card.
Final Thoughts: I would pass on this show. The card took place at 11:30am and these guys had another show in Philadelphia that evening so they were not going all out for that reason, among others. The early start time also seemed to have an effect on the crowd, who were not easily amused. It was funny to see that there was a heel section in the crowd, an uncommon occurrence for the WWF at this time. Starting the show with a twenty-minute time limit draw between two jobbers was a poor choice too. The first major match between Savage and Steamboat happened and the tag match was good too but you can pretty much pass on everything else.

WWF Madison Square Garden: November 25th, 1985

November 25, 1984
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura.

Danny Spivey vs. Terry Gibbs
Spivey had not made his TV debut yet. Jesse is not out at the table yet as he is backstage preparing for his match tonight against Barry O., so Gorilla is solo on commentary. Gibbs hits a shoulder block to start. Spivey comes back with an armdrag and works the arm as Gorilla tells us that he was drafted by the New York Jets at one point. Spivey hits a crossbody for one before going back to the arm. Gibbs escapes and beats on Spivey in the corner until Spivey catches him with an armdarg and goes back to work on the arm. Gibbs gets the upper hand and hits an atomic drop. Backbreaker gets two then he sends Spivey to the floor. Back inside, Spivey fails to get Gibbs over on a sunset flip. Elbow drop by Gibbs gets two then he puts Spivey in a bearhug until it is broken up with a bell clap. Spivey gets kicked in the face after dropping his head on a backdrop attempt then Gibbs gets a nearfall with a neckbreaker. Spivey is able to escape another bearhug but misses an elbow drop and Gibbs covers for two. Backdrop gets two. Spivey now catches Gibbs in a bearhug but that is broken up with an eye rake. Gibbs misses a charge then begs for mercy until Spivey fights back. He slams Gibbs then drops an elbow for two. Leg drop gets two then he hits the bulldog for the win (10:10) *3/4.  The fans popped for the finish.
Thoughts: Gibbs did a good job carrying things here. Spivey was not very good at this point in his career. The match had some slow spots but the crowd was into it a little and the psychology was there. As far as 80’s jobbers go, Gibbs was solid.
Mr. X vs. King Tonga
Mr. X works the arm of Tonga until he gets chopped down. Tonga catches him then sits him on the top turnbuckle and offers a handshake, which gets declined. Tonga gets chopped in the corner but fights back with kicks. Tonga works a nerve hold for a bit, setting it up with one of the worst looking snapmares you will ever see. He hits a slam but misses a senton the Mr. X takes control. He chokes out Tonga then goes for a chinlock. Leg drop gets two and he goes back to the chinlock. Tonga fights out and hits a shoulderblock but ends up running into a knee and X goes back to the chinlock. They end up trading blows as the crowd is absolutely dead. Tonga misses a corner charge as both men are down. Mr. X tries a turnbuckle smash but Tonga no-sells it and rams his own head repeatedly. Tonga takes him down with a headbutt then catches him with a thrust kick before putting him away with the falling headbutt (8:48) ½*.
Thoughts: Oh, this was pretty bad. It took Tonga a few years until people gave a shit about him. He did not have the charisma to pull off this type of babyface role. 
Barry O. vs. Jesse “The Body” Ventura
Jesse gets a face pop before the match. This was set up after the last MSG show, Barry called out Jesse for being a “has-been who hides behind a microphone.” Barry starts the match by working the arm until Jesse shakes him off. Jesse poses as the fans applaud. Weird seeing Jesse as a face. Barry lands a few shots then takes him down with an elbow smash. Kneedrop gets two and Jesse sends Barry to the floor as he kicks out. Jesse kicks Barry from the apron then struts around the ring. Barry snaps Jesse’s neck off of the rope then hits an elbow smash off of the top rope for two. He puts Jesse in a chinlock and Barry works that for a bit. Jesse fights back then rakes Barry’s eyes across the top rope. He hits a reverse atomic drop as the face pops for Jesse have just about disappeared. Barry fights back and hits a clothesline for two. Man, Jesse was basically afraid to bump out there. After the collide, Barry knocks him down and poses to the crowd. He misses a dropkick and Jesse targets the back before making Barry submit to the bodybreaker (10:21) ¼*.
Thoughts: Interesting to see Ventura wrestle as a face. However, he awful in the ring and essentially an announcer at this point. He was clearly hesistant to bump too and it made the match look even worse. 
Hercules Hernandez w/ Freddie Blassie vs. Cousin Junior
Hernandez would make his TV debut on the next episode of “Championship Wrestling.” Hernandez overpowers Junior to start. He jaws at him then pounds away after an Irish whip sequence. He continues to destroy Junior then catches him with a high knee. Hercules puts him in a chinlock then catches a charging Junior with another knee in a spot that actually looked really good. Hercules goes back to the chinlock as the fans start to cheer for Junior. He fights back but Hercules grabs Junior’s overalls and sends him to the floor. Herc gauges his eyes on the apron then kicks him down to the floor. Junior tries to take him over with a sunset flip but fails and Hercules hammers away before going back to the chinlock and it lasts for a long time. Junior gets up and tries a bearhug but Hercules sends him to the mat. Junior takes him down with a shoulder block then hammers away. Hercules catches him with a thrust kick then takes him down, and almost himself down too, with a shoulderblock. He slams Junior then heads up top but the ref stands in front of him. Hercules jumps anyway but misses and Junior fights back. He hits  a backdrop then the match completely falls apart after they badly botch three spots in a row and Hercules rolls up Junior while grabbing his overalls for leverage and gets the win (11:33) -*.
Thoughts: I have no idea who thought of the idea that these two should go this long in a match but they should have been fired on the spot. The first half as alright but the second half was as bad as it gets. 
WWF Women’s Championship Match
Spider Lady vs. Wendi Richter (Champion)
Jesse has arrived to the announcer’s table. Richter drives the Spider into the corner to start. She kicks her down and uses a snapmare before chasing her while the referee was between them. You can hear a “Moolah” chant from those at ringside. Richter tosses Spider back to the floor then chases her around the ring. Back inside, they fuck up a spot badly then Richter works on the leg. Spider escapes and chokes out Richter, who drives to rip off the mask. Richter gets booted to the floor but uses a shoulder thrust as she enters the ring. She hits a dropkick then blows a headscissors spot badly and Spider falls on her and gets two. Spider uses cheap heel tactics on Richter, who fights back. She hits a terrible looking clothesline that gets two. Spider comes back with a small package for what appeared to be a nearfall but both gals get up and the bell rings, with Spider raising her hand. Richter runs over and unmasks Spider, revealing her to be the Fabulous Moolah. She hits her with a backbreaker then tries to pin her as even the announcers are unable to understand what happened. Richter still hammers away then stops as the referee goes to present the belt to Moolah as Richter tries to grab it from him (6:38) -*. Richter grabs the belt then whips Moolah, who leaves and goes up the aisle, with Richter standing in the ring looking irate.
Thoughts: This match was terrible and the ending was all kinds of awful but important for historical purposes as we saw a screwjob take place. Richter stated that she was upset over her payouts but still under her original contract where as other reports state Richter’s deal was up and she refused to sign a new one. Either way, Richter’s departure basically killed the division, except for a few brief revivals in the late 1980’s. 
WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Pedro Morales & Tito Santana vs. The Dream Team w/ “Luscious” Johnny Valiant
Pedro tries to pump up the crowd as the heels stall and yell at the crowd. Valentine gets shoved into the corner to start. Pedro outsmarts Valentine, who accidentally hits Beefcake. Pedro blocks a slam then knocks Valentine down. He hits an atomic drop then tags Santana. Valentine goes after his knee but Tito shakes him off and tries to go after his leg. Tito works the arm as the crowd chants for Tito. Valentine hits a back elbow smash and tags Beefcake, who misses an elbow drop. Tito fires away and hits an atomic drop as Pedro even lands a few shots. The match breaks down as Tito and Pedro take control. Pedro punches Beefcake, who ducks out for a breather as the Dream Team regroup. Valiant seems tanked tonight, which isn’t a surprise, but more noticeable than usual. Back inside, the faces use quick tags to work the arm of Beefcake. Valentine tries to break things up but Tito chases him away. Beefcake ends up backing Pedro into the corner and tags Valentine, who kills him with forearm smashes. He sends Pedro to the floor then stomps him repeatedly when he re-enters. Beefcake tags and pisses off the crowd, who boo him loudly. He chokes Morales out then catches him in a sleeper. Looking back, it was funny to hear Jesse on commentary say that he had no idea Brutus used a sleeper hold. Pedro just beats the three count as the fans go nuts. Pedro crawls over to Tito with Beefcake on his back and makes the tag but Valentine had the referee distracted and Tito is ordered back on the apron. Pedro gets tossed over the top rope but is able to escape a figure-four attempt and make the tag to Tito, who beats on both guys. He hits Valentine with a flying forearm but Beefcake breaks up the pin as all four men are brawling. Tito then puts Brutus in a figure four as Valiant comes in the ring, only to get chased away by Pedro, but that allows Beefcake and Valentine to double-team Tito nonstop as the ref rings the bell for the DQ (15:17) **1/2. The heels escape
Thoughts: Basic stuff but all action and the fans were really into the match. Everyone involved played their role well. The more I watch the Dream Team, the more I appreciate them. They do not get enough recognition, in my opinion.




Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Muraco backs away from Steamboat and his goofy martial arts poses. Steamboat catches him with an enziguiri then chases Muraco outside of the ring. Back inside, Muraco beats on Steamboat in the corner. Steamboat fights back then snaps Muraco’s neck. He sends him to the corner with a bell clap then Muraco ducks outside for a breather. He then pleads for mercy as this match is crawling at a snails pace. Steamboat takes him over with a snapmare then works on the neck. He hits Muraco with a chop, who goes back outside again for a breather. Steamboat hits a few armdrags then applies a chinlock for a few minutes as the crowd is dead. Steamboat then grabs Muraco by the nose before applying a front facelock until Muraco finally breaks the hold with an inverted atomic drop. He works the neck of Steamboat then whips him into the corner as he takes a Slaughter bump on the post and comes up bleeding. Muraco bites the cut as Steamboat is pouring blood from his forehead. Muraco tosses him to the floor then kicks him in the face from the apron. The crowd starts to chant for Steamboat as Muraco slingshots him into the post. Muraco targets the cut but Steamboat fights back with chops. He hammers away on Muraco in the corner but has an Irish whip reversed and runs into a clothesline. Muraco targets the cut as Fuji tries to hit Steamboat with the cane. Steamboat takes it from Fuji then he and Muraco fight over it for a minute then the referee gets accidentally hit in the process. Muraco beats on Steamboat with the cane until Steamboat fights back and hits Muraco but the referee gets up and sees Steamboat use the cane and calls for the DQ (16:37) **. After the match, Steamboat busts open Muraco and drives a piece of the cane into his forehead. They then start to brawl in the ring and all over the floor, with Steamboat winning that battle. The fans are going nuts for Steamboat, who know is pointing at Fuji. Steamboat brings Muraco back in and destroys him as Muraco slides out of the ring.

Thoughts: Muraco was a total slug here as Steamboat did all of the heavy lifting. The match itself was plodding and slow. The post match brawl was awesome and worth checking out but the match itself was not.



Mr. Wrestling II vs. Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart
This match might have meant something in 1975. Mr. Wrestling II was in his 50’s at this point and it showed. Match starts with Mr. Wrestling outsmarting Funk. He takes Funk over with a sunset flip then taunts him as Funk gets pissed. Funk tosses him outside but fails to chase him. Back inside, Funk misses a few elbow drops then gets hit with a kneelift. Hart grabs MWII’s leg and gets chased for a second as this has been all stalling so far. Funk starts beating on MWII but gets caught in a small package for a nearfall. Funk gets pissed and goes over the guardrail as Hart calls him back. In the ring, Funk hammers away on MWII in the corner then tries a piledriver but MWII counters with a backdrop that sends Funk to the floor. MWII beats on Funk, who is hanging onto the ropes from the apron. He slingshots in with a sunset flip but MWII counters that for a nearfall. Funk tosses MWII outside then rams him against the guardrail as Hart cranks up his obnoxiousness to a whole new level on the megaphone. Hart distracts the ref as Funk chokes out MWII. He then puts him in a sleeper but MWII escapes. He takes him down with a kneelift then hits a slam for a nearfall. MWII then goes after Hart, who crawls under the ring. Funk attacks MWII from behind but fails to suplex him back inside and MWII falls on top for two. Suplex gets two and MWII hammers away in the corner but runs into a knee then Funk cradles him for the win (13:54) **1/4. Funk tries to brand MWII but fails and gets chased away by MWII, who grabbed a chair.


Thoughts: Mr. Wrestling II could still go in the ring at his age. Funk kept the match fun and it did not drag, which is more than I can say about every other match on the card. I wonder if he specifically asked to face Mr.Wrestling because he came over when they bought out Georgia Championship Wrestling but stayed on the smaller house shows and rarely ever did TV. 






Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy & Bobby Heenan vs. Hillbilly Jim & Andre the Giant & Capt. Lou Albano

Andre starts by putting Studd in a side headlock. He then chops Studd in the corner before tagging Jim. He headbutts him then goes for the slam but Heenan breaks that up as the $15,000 bodyslam challenge gimmick was still going on at the time. Bundy tags and roughs up Jim until he is able to tag Andre. The crowd goes nuts as Andre chokes Bundy with his straps. Bundy escapes and works a front facelock then Andre gets triple-teamed in the corner. Bundy grounds Andre with a front facelock, who eventually makes it to his feet. He fights back against Studd then tags Jim, who beats on him in the corner. Studd catches him with an elbow then slams him into the corner as he and Bundy neutralize him. Heenan tags and beats on Jim, who fights back and tags Andre, who fights off everyone and drags Heenan back inside then tags Albano. They have a shoving match then Albano gains the advantage and sends Heenan into the corner. Studd and Andre tag in but the referee says that Heenan needs to stay into the ring and make contact before tagging out, which even Gorilla says makes no sense and accuses the ref of making up his own rules. They lure Andre in the corner but he fights them off and rams all three guys at the same time. The match breaks down as Albano whips Heenan at Andre, who takes him down with a boot and gets the win (12:18) *1/4.


Thoughts: Not that bad considering the ability of the guys in the match. The fans loved seeing Heenan get pinned and the bout did a great job of sending the fans home happy. 






Final Thoughts: Not a good show at all but for historical purposes, I would check out the Women’s title match. Beyond that, there is nothing worth checking out. 








WWF Madison Square Garden July 13th, 1985

My copy of this show excluded some of the matches. It cut out half of the Rene Goulet vs. Pedro Morales match, which was awful from what I saw, and also cut out Adrian Adonis vs. Jose Luis Rivera, Junkyard Dog vs. Bob Orton, and Terry Funk vs. Lanny Poffo, which is on the “Best of the WWF Volume 6” tape.
July 13, 1985
Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

Moondog Spot vs. Ivan Putski
Putski works a side headlock for a long time. He keeps going back to the move as Gorilla puts over Putski’s recent tour of Japan. Spot briefly works on Putski in the corner but until he gets backdropped, allowing Putski to go back to the side headlock. Spot counters that with an atomic drop then goes to work. Flying chop gets two. They slug it out until Spot hits an inverted atomic drop. He grabs a chinlock for a bit then takes him down with a forearm smash. Backbreaker gets two. Spot goes back to the chinlock until Putski escapes and hits an atomic drop. He misses an elbow drop then Spot hits another flying chop for two. Spot hits a crescent kick then both men are down after colliding. Putski backs Spot in the corner, who is begging for mercy, then hammers away. Spot gets tied up in the ropes. He is able to escape after kicking Putski low. Spot leaps over Putski and taunts the crowd but ends up walking into the Polish Hammer (12:58) *1/2.
Thoughts: Spot made this watchable but Putski had no business going this long in the ring in 1985. And speaking of Putski, the crowd was less and less into him each time he went out, especially since the crowds got younger as the years went by. Spot is one of the more underrated workers in the history of wrestling, to be honest.
Rick McGraw vs. Missing Link w/Bobby Heenan
Heenan prevents Link from bringing a chair into the ring. McGraw fires away to start. He hits a dropkick but ends up getting elbowed in the head. Link hits another elbow then starts uses a headbutt. He hits a headbutt from the middle rope then goes out to grab the chair but Heenan prevents him again. In the ring, McGraw fights back but Link no-sells a turnbuckle smash then hammers away in the corner. McGraw runs into a headbutt then Link finishes him off with a springboard headbutt (2:25) ¼*. After the match, Link wants to smash his head off of the post but Heenan controls him
Thoughts: Great match for headbutt aficionados but to everyone else, it was a nothing match. At least it was short. Link was a bust in the WWF. His run was less than memorable to say the least.
Gorilla is backstage with Roddy Piper, who jokingly refers to Gorilla as the Good Humor man before mockingly calling him sexy. Piper blames Orndorff for losing the match at WrestleMania and in regards to the $25,000 bounty, Piper said that he would sell his grandma for that much money.
Roddy Piper vs. Paul Orndorff
The fans are going out of their fucking minds at the start of this match. Orndorff slugs away and knocks Piper to the floor. He follows him out then back in the ring, he hits an elbow smash from the top rope then works the arm as the crowd is still going insane. Piper smacks Orndorff and rams his head off of the turnbuckle but he still maintains the hold. Onrdorff runs into a knee on a charge. Piper hammers away but Orndorff manages to get a nearfall with a backslide. Piper rakes the eyes then stomps Orndorff through the ropes. The fans are all over Piper, who gets dragged off of the apron. After a brief slugfest, Piper whips Orndorff into the post. Back in the ring, Piper takes Orndorff down with a side headlock then both men go back and forth on the mat until Orndorff gets two off of a backslide. Orndorff wins a slugfest then drops an elbow. Orndorff goes for a crossbody block but both men spill outside. Orndorff drags Piper back into the ring and heads up top but Bob Orton comes out and shoves Orndorff off of the top rope for the DQ (8:47) ***. Orton and Piper continue to assault Orndorff until the British Bulldogs run out and eventually fight them off, as Orndorff is bloodied.
Thoughts: Good stuff. The brawling was intense and Piper’s selling was great at getting the crowd to react. Running out to aid Orndorff also shows that the WWF was starting to get behind the Bulldogs too, which would be more prevalent throughout the year.
Iron Sheik w/Freddie Blassie vs. Swede Hanson
Sheik attacks Hanson before the bell, choking him out with his headwear. He chokes him out in the corner and stomps away. A loud “U-S-A” chant breaks out as Hanson fights back with horrible looking punches. He slams the Sheik and drops a knee, which gets one. Hanson chops Sheik down and as the ref is distracted, the Sheik loads his boot. He kicks him in the face then puts him away with an elbow drop (2:24) DUD.
Thoughts: At least it was quick. Hanson was one of the worst wrestlers of all-time. He couldn’t move, had no charisma and everything he did looked bad. Again, at least it was short.
Nikolai Volkoff w/Freddie Blassie vs. George “The Animal” Steele w/Capt. Lou Albano
Steele interrupts Volkoff’s rendition of the Soviet National Anthem, to the delight of the crowd. Volkoff retreats and stalls to start things off. Volkoff kicks Steele after he was distracted by Blassie. Steele bites back but gets distracted and Volkoff puts the boots to Steele, who fights back then tears apart the turnbuckle. He throws the stuffing in Volkoff’s face then grabs a headlock. Both men slug it out and it looks terrible but Blassie hits Steele with the cane behind the ref’s back. Albano goes after Blassie but he also gets nailed with the cane. Steele comes out and no-sells a cane shot but ends up getting attacked from behind by Volkoff and this leads to a double countout (4:18) DUD.
Thoughts: Mostly stalling in this match, which was really all you could do against someone with Steele’s gimmick.
George Wells vs. Brutus Beefcake w/Johnny Valiant
Beefcake attacks Wells from behind after he was distracted by Valiant. He chokes him out with his foot then works a side headlock. Wells catches Beefcake with a crescent kick then takes him down with an armdrag. The crowd is silent as Wells has Beefcake in an armbar for a few minutes. Beefcake rakes the eyes then knocks Wells through the ropes. In the ring, Brutus works a front facelock but Wells backs him into the corner. Snapmare gets two then Wells goes back to the arm. Beefcake knocks him over the rope then Wells skins the cat, in the slowest manor possible and ends up taking Beefcake to the floor with a headscissors, drawing a pop from the crowd. Back in the ring,  Wells hits a few tackles but gets distracted by Valiant and that allows Beefcake to hit the jumping knee smash from behind for the win (7:26) ¾*.
Thoughts: Really dull stuff. The crowd still didn’t care enough about Beefcake at this time and unfortunately for Wells, they never connected with him. He was very bland in the ring so you cant really blame them for that.
  
Brett Hart & Jim Neidhart w/Jimmy Hart vs. British Bulldogs
Brett and Dynamite start things off. Dynamite hits a few armdrags as Hart is screaming on the megaphone. Dynamite sends Brett to the floor then ends up tagging out. The Anvil overpowers him for a bit but Dynamite kicks him down. Anvil gets hit with a double shoulder block then he and Davey use a test of strength. Davey hits a dropkick then Brett tags back as Hayes call him the most improved wrestler of 1985. Davey is getting beat on by both men, even getting hit with the Demolition Decapitation spot. Hart is pissing off the crowd by speaking through a megaphone as Davey continues to get assaulted. Davey flips out of a backbreaker attempt and hits a slam as both men are down. Bret prevents a tag from being made as a “bulldog” chant breaks out. Davey hits a crucifix but the Anvil breaks that up. Davey dodges an attack from Bret that sends Anvil off the apron then he makes the tag to Dynamite, who runs wild. He is going at a lightning quick pace that has the crowd going crazy. He takes out Brett with a missile dropkick then tags Davey, who hits a running powerslam that Neidhart breaks up at two. Small package gets two after the Anivl breaks that up. Davey tries a reverse rollup but Brett ducks and he flies out to the floor. The Anvil roughs him up then rolls him back inside, where Brett applies a Boston Crab that Dynamite breaks up. Neidhart tags and works a chinlock for a bit. Davey escapes and gets a backslide but Brett breaks that up. He and Davey then have a brief pinfall reversal sequence. Davey dropkicks Brett and tries to make the tag but the Anvil drags him into their corner. Davey tries for a sunset flip but the bell sounds, signaling the match has ended due to the curfew draw (13:12) ***1/4.
Thoughts: Good match. Dynamite was so fast and crisp in the ring that it made him stick out. The crowd loved it when he was in the ring. The not-yet-named Hart Foundation looked great and Brett was starting to show a little bit of personality. This match was featured on the “Bret Hart Story” DVD.
Final Thoughts: From what I saw, the show was okay, basically what you would expect from your average house show in this era. Most of the bad matches were kept short. Orndroff vs. Piper and the final tag match were both good. No champions were on this card, oddly enough. The next house show I will review is the August Philadelphia Spectrum show and until then I will post all of the Championship Wrestling shows and a TNT review leading up to that.

WWF Madison Square Garden: June 21st, 1985

June 21, 1985
Your hosts are Gene Okerlund and Gorilla Monsoon

Terry Gibbs vs. “Leaping” Lanny Poffo
The MSG debut for Poffo, who has not even made his TV debut. Gibbs hits a shoulderblock but Poffo kips up then shows off his quickness. He works the arm for a bit then gets two off of a crossbody block before going back to the arm. Gibbs yells at the ref about how Poffo is breaking his arm then backs Poffo into the corner. He misses a corner attack but cheapshots Poffo and stomps away. Elbow drop gets two. He tosses Poffo through the ropes. Gibbs follows him out and slams him on the floor. Back in the ring, Gibbs blocks a sunset flip then gets two off of a suplex. He grabs a bearhug but Poffo manages to take him over. Poffo whiffs on a senton and Gibbs covers for two. Poffo fights back and hip tosses Gibbs out of the corner. He then hits a dropkick before putting him away with the moonsault (6:34) **1/2.
Thoughts: Solid match that was all action and minimal restholds. The crowd popped for the moonsault but were quiet for everything else. Gibbs did a good job as a heel, easily the best I have seen from him. Poffo looked good in his debut and his perm was something else.
Tony Atlas vs. Matt Borne
Borne shoves Atlas off of a lockup then mocks him by flexing his arms. Atlas responds by shoving him away then hitting a few armdrags. He then sends him to the floor with a poor excuse of a dropkick. Borne goes back inside as Atlas outsmarts him before hitting an atomic drop. Borne works the arm the fires away when Atlas tries to power out. He works a chinlock then targets the back. Borne starts to punch Atlas in the face but he no-sells the attack. Borne tries to escape but Atlas drags him back in by his tights, exposing his ass in the process. Atlas beats on Borne then rams his head off all four corners of the ring. Back suplex gets two. Borne lands a few shots in the corner but misses an elbow drop from the middle rope and that allows Atlas to hit a press slam then put him away with a splash (7:03) *1/2. Borne attacks Atlas after the match but ends up getting tossed over the top rope.
Thoughts: Borne looked good and carried the whole thing. The match was designed to make Atlas look good and Borne did everything that he could to make that happen while Atlas basically did poses.
Jose Luis Rivera vs. The Missing Link w/Bobby Heenan
Link takes forever getting into the ring as he kept on running backstage. Heenan eventually gets him to go inside as some of the crowd taunts him but most really do not care. Rivera attacks him before the bell but ends up eating elbow off of a charge. Link then hits a headbutt from the second rope and uses a few more headbutts . Link hits a slam then another headbutt off of the middle rope for the win (1:43) ¼*. After the match, Heenan prevents Link from ramming his own head off of the post.
Thoughts: Fine for what it was I guess. The match probably would have been a lot worse if it had gone any longer. Link just did not get over at all in the WWF and I think that part of that was due to George Steele having the same gimmick.
Moondog Spot vs. “Jumping” Jim Brunzell
This is also the MSG debut for Brunzell, who is sporting the Killer Bees tights. Okerlund said it is about time that Brunzell got into the WWF and they both put over the Killer Bees team with Brian Blair. Spot works a leadlock but Brunzell escapes and uses a flying head scissors. Brunzell works a key lock before working using another head scissors. He works the arm some more as the camera shows a hot blond in the crowd that has Okerlund going out of his mind. Spot begs for mercy after a headbutt then Brunzell goes back to the arm. Brunzell leapfrogs Spot but ends up walking into a forearm. Spot hits a backbreaker then a fist drop. He then lands a kneelift before hammering away in the corner. Brunzell comes back with a bell clap but misses a corner charge and ends up getting booted out of the ring. Spot follows him out and rams his head off of the steps. Brunzell is able to pull Spot’s leg down after he went in the ring and rams it off of the post. Spot comes back with an inverted atomic drop, while selling the leg, then uses a chinlock. Spot kicks him repeatedly and gets two before going back to the chinlock. Brunzell comes back and works the leg but ends up getting clocked in the face.  Both men slug it out then end up colliding, which starts to wake up the crowd. Brunzell is up first and lands an uppercut. Spot begs for mercy in the corner then Brunzell ends up firing away. Atomic drop gets two. He ducks his head for a backdrop and gets elbowed but manages to duck down then plants Spot with a dropkick for the win (12:22) ***.
Thoughts: Really good match that the crowd didn’t seem to care about that much. Despite not being advertised on TV yet, the announcers put over the Killer Bees team on commentary. Okerlund was putting over Brunzell strong, likely due to their connection from the AWA.
Rick McGraw vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage
Before the match, Finkel refers to Savage as “wrestling’s number one free agent.” Savage yells at everyone before the match then orders that the camera lenses get cleaned. The announcers talk about how all of the managers have their eyes on Savage. Macho starts by stalling then both guys jockey for position. Savage ducks outside and picks up a chair then jumps on the guardrail to stir up the fans, getting hit with debris in the process. Savage continues to taunt the crowd, who already hate him. Savage finally goes into the ring and works an armbar. He pulls him back down by the hair then dumps McGraw throat-first onto the top rope after he attempted a head scissor takedown. McGraw manages to put Savage in the airplane spin but Savage is able to put his foot on the ropes. Savage boots him in the face after a backdrop attempt then fires away. McGraw blocks a turnbuckle smash then monkey flips Savage out of the corner. Backslide gets two. Savage ducks outside for a breather and chases the camera man up the aisle. He then yells at an old couple at ringside and taunts the crowd some more then attacks McGraw from the apron. Elbow drop gets two. Suplex gets two. He sends McGraw to the floor with an elbow smash then follows him out with a double axe handle off of the top rope. The crowd was amazed by that spot. He then suplexes McGraw on the floor as the crowd is pelting him with trash. Savage hits him with a running knee smash that sends him flying over the stairs. Back in the ring, Savage hits a flying attack on McGraw, who was hunched over the middle rope , but misses a second attempt. McGraw sends Savage into the corner, who ends up in the tree of woe. He works on Savage but gets clotheslined after he charged at him and that allows Savage to climb up top and hit the flying elbow drop for the win (12:52) ***.
Thoughts: Despite being somewhat of a glorified squash match, Savage put on an absolute clinic on how to be a heel. He went from being an unknown to loathed by the crowd in a matter of minutes. The wrestling was good too.
Adrian Adonis & Big John Studd & Bobby Heenan vs. Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham & George Steele w/Capt. Lou Albano
Adonis is back after five months, carrying more weight in his gut. Match starts with Steele chasing Heenan around the ring, which gets a big pop from the crowd. Adonis enters and Steele goes nuts but Windham calms him down and tags into the match. He takes down Adonis with a few armdrags. He then hits three straight slams as Adonis goes into the wrong corner and Steele rakes his eyes on the ropes. Adonis then tags Studd and heads up the aisle, eventually going back to the apron. Windham slugs away and almost slams Studd, who is able to grab the rope. Windham comes back with a crossbody block as the crowd is going insane. Studd comes back with a few elbow smashes then tosses Windham into the corner. Heenan tags but Windham reverses an Irish whip then beats on him in the corner. Heenan then takes a crazy bump over the rope and Steele catches up to him this time and rams his head against the guardrail as the fans go crazy. Albano settles down Steele then Rotundo and Studd tag into the match. Rotundo works the arm for a bit but gets overpowered. Adonis tags and stomps a mudhole into Rotundo. Adonis hits a jumping DDT and that gets two. The match breaks down after the heels beat on Rotundo in the corner. Steele grabs a chair then chases out the heels before hitting the referee, who then rules the match a DQ (9:59) **1/4.
Thoughts: Even though this had a good amount of stalling, it was still enjoyable. The crowd was more pumped for this match than anything else to be honest.
Desiree Peterson vs. Judy Martin
Okerlund makes a comment about Martin having the biggest set of eyes that he has seen on a woman. Martin uses a hairpull then hammers away. Petersen ducks a chop and hits a sitout atomic drop. Martin ducks outside after a punch to the mid-section then gets caught in an arm wringer when she returns. Petersen continues to work the arm until Martin chops away then throws her out of the ring as she lands awkwardly on the announcers table. Christ that looked painful. Martin then catches her with a reverse Death Valley Driver then throws some chops and kicks before tossing her outside. The bell keeps ringing for some reason. Martin rams Petersen against the post then roughs her up inside the ring. She places her in the tree of woe as the referee tries to intervene. Martin goes outside and pulls her hair then goes back in and places her on the ropes. She uses a mat slam on Petersen then gets two off of a chop before throwing her outside of the ring yet again. Martin stomps Petersen, who landed on the table, then continues to stomp her in and out of the ring as the announcers are yelling for the ref to disqualify Martin. Back inside, Martin powerbombs Petersen and that only gets two. She uses a chinlock for a minute then tosses her back outside. Back inside, Martin works a headlock then puts her between the ropes and kicks her to the floor. Petersen fights back then slams Martin’s head off of the table repeatedly. They go back inside as Petersen fires away. She tries a flying headscissors but Martin counters with a backdrop. Petersen is able to reverse an Irish whip then uses a reverse rollup with a bridge to get the win (16:05) **1/2. The win got a bog pop from the crowd.
Thoughts: A much better match than I ever would have thought. Although it didn’t need to last this long, it was well worked. Martin was really good here and was pretty underrated as a worker in general.
Tony Garea vs. King Kong Bundy w/Tony Garea
Garea bounces off of Bundy a few times. He the punches away at Bundy but it has minimal effect. Bundy catches Garea with an elbow but misses an elbow drop. Garea takes down Bundy and works the leg as Hart is going nuts on the megaphone. Bundy gets back up as Gorilla claims that Bundy is 500 lbs. Bundy chokes out Garea with his foot and the ropes. He pulls him up after an elbow drop then applies a chinlock. Garea comes back with a dropkick and punches away in the corner but Bundy reverses an Irish whip and finishes him with the Avalanche (6:17) ½*.
Thoughts: Dull match and there was no reason on earth for Bundy to sell this much for Garea.
Intercontinental Title Match
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Greg Valentine (Champion) w/Jimmy Hart
This was the first time I have heard Steamboat called “The Dragon” since joining the WWF. Steamboat looks absolutely ripped. Steamboat uses his poses and that angers Valentine. Steamboat takes over Valentine then chops away in the corner. Valentine bails as Hart is screaming “no karate” into his megaphone, with the fans going nuts. Back inside, Steamboat hits a barrage of chops before working on the neck. Steamboat catches him with a heel kick and Valentine retreats to the corner. Steamboat chops him down then uses a chinlock. Crossbody gets two. Valentine backs Steamboat into the corner then kills him with forearm smashes. Steamboat fights back from the apron then hits a chop from the top rope, which gets two. He hits a slam and goes for a splash but Valentine gets his knees up. Valentine stomps away then goes to work on the leg. Steamboat manages a small package but fails on a slam attempt then gets knocked to the floor, where he gets taunted by Hart. Valentine continuously kicks Steamboat off of the apron until both guys have an intense slugfest in the ring. Steamboat wins that as the fans are going crazy. Steamboat uses more of his “martial arts” then heads up top and hits the flying body press but Valentine is able to get his foot on the ropes. Valentine catches him with a back suplex and both men are down as the fans chant for Steamboat. Valentine gets two off of a pair of elbow drops then tries for the figure four but Steamboat sends him into the corner. He sends him to the floor with an enziguiri then the bell rings when Valentine enters the ring but both guys continue to slug it out until Steamboat chops him through the ropes, then it is announced that Steamboat won by countout (14:20) ***1/4.
Thoughts: Good, but certainly not great. Steamboat’s karate gimmick slightly hindered his in-ring work though and just made him look life a goof.
B. Brian Blair vs. Barry O.
Blair is rocking the Killer Bee trunks. Barry attacks him before the bell but Blair reverses an Irish whip and hits a backdrop. Barry bails and gets chased around until he runs into a punch. Blair works the arm then takes Barry down with a shoulder block. Barry catches him with a clothesline then gets two off of a backbreaker. He uses a chinlock then catches Blair with a running knee smash before tossing him outside. Barry attacks Blair then puts on another chinlock. Blair comes back with a crossbody but gets dumped outside. Blair goes back inside and fights back, knocking Barry to the floor. He drags him back inside and hits a clothesline. He then hits a top rope elbow smash and a series of punches but misses a charge in the corner. Blair goes behind Barry then locks on the sleeper and after the ref drops his hand three times, Blair gets the win (8:13) **1/2.
Thoughts: Good action. No one cared though. Blair could work but really had no personality to back it up.
Okerlund interview Don Muraco and Mr.Fuji in the locker room. They promise victory tonight.
Okerlund know interviews B. Brian Blair. He asks him about his new team with Jim Brunzell as Blair says that the Killer Bees were named after the Miami Dolphins defensive line. This interview was quite generic.
Okerlund is now with Hulk Hogan. He says that Hulkamania lives one day at a time and that steel cages are for animals but that this is the only way to win the war. He also says that he doesn’t care about fame, just the WWF title and that he has been training with “Rambo” and does not feel pain.
Steel Cage Match
WWF Heavyweight Title
Don Muraco vs. Hulk Hogan (Champion)
Fuji is not ringside with Muraco. Hogan tosses the belt at Muraco. He picks it up but Hogan ducks the shot then uses it to whip him as the ref grabs it then shuts the cage door. Both guys try to ram each other into the cage. Muraco hits a low blow then stomps away. He hits a kneelift then tries to go out of the door but Hogan stops him. Muraco hits several chops but Hogan hulks up and chops back. He drops an elbow then rams his head into the cage, busting him open. Hogan picks him up and launches him into the cage as Muraco is dripping blood. He charges but Muraco pushes him into the cage. He slingshots Hogan into the cage then tries to climb out but Hogan stops him. They fight on top of the cage as they are both covered in blood. Hogan gets booted down then Muraco slowly comes down and beats on Hogan, who is wearing a crimson mask. Muraco runs into a boot and ends up getting caught in the ropes and Hulk scrambles to the door and tries to go out but Muraco grabs his leg. Hogan manages to fight him off then steps outside for the win (9:05) **1/4.
Thoughts: Bloody match but they really didn’t do a whole lot in the ring. The outcome was never in doubt though and the crowd didn’t react a whole lot.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a very good house show. Most of the matches were fine and the MSG debut of Savage was great. One of the better house shows you will see in this time period.

WWF Madison Square Garden March 17th, 1985

March 17th,
1985

Your hosts are Gene Okerlund and Gorilla Monsoon.

This is the version of the show that was shown on WWE
Classics on Demand. It excludes the Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik vs. George
Wells and Bret Hart match.
 

 

Charlie Fulton vs.
Rocky Johnson

The announcers put over Rocky’s physique, which contains a
lot more weight in the mid-section than before. Fulton gets a rollup but Rocky
takes control with a headscissors. The Rock is already breathing heavy. Rocky
hits a few armdrags then Fulton takes a breather. Fulton works on Rocky in the
corner for a bit. Rocky dodges a few clotheslines and comes back with a sunset
flip for the win (3:35) ½*.

Thoughts: Not the most exciting way to start the show. Rocky
would be gone again within a couple of months and Fulton had to retire not too
long after this due to a heart ailment.

 

Rene Goulet vs. Barry
O.

Barry gets no reaction in his MSG debut. They take it to the
mat to start as the announcers hype WrestleMania. Neither man can gain an
advantage as the announcers talk about the WrestleMania main event. The crowd
is booing as they are bored out of their minds. Barry works the arm until
Goulet catches him with a knee. Goulet bites Barry’s forehead then backs him in
the corner. He now uses the claw for a while but Barry fights back. He hits a
backdrop and a slam, which gets two. Powerslam gets two. Goulet rakes the eyes
and works a side headlock on the mat as the crowd is getting restless, due to
the fact they are bored to death. Goulet hits a slam and drops a knee. Barry
fights back and hits an atomic drop but gets kneed off a charge. Goulet goes
for a suplex but Barry turns it into a small package for the win (8:50) *.

Thoughts: I never remembered Barry O as a face in the WWF.
It didn’t work at all here as he had no personality in the ring at all. No
wonder he remained a jobber. His tights were similar to the ones worn by the
Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. This went on for way too long.

 


Jim “The Anvil”
Neidhart w/Jimmy Hart vs. S.D. Jones

Okerlund talks about Jimmy Hart’s musical career while
Gorilla talks about Neidhart’s fictional NFL career. S.D. pisses of Neidhart by
pulling on his beard. Gorilla tells us that Andre said he will retire if he
fails to slam Studd at WrestleMania. S.D gets a hiptoss then stomps the Anvil
when he went for a monkey flip. S.D. works the arm until the Anvil drops him
throat-first across the top rope. He roughs up S.D, using a lot of chokes as we
see a row of photographers around the ring that are apparently there in
anticipation of WrsetleMania. Anvil works a chinlock but S.D. escapes and
fights back with a few punches that showed an awful lot of light. He headbutts
the Anvil twice but gets sent into the corner and the Anvil catches him with a
powerslam for the win (6:52) *.

Thoughts: Another match that no one cared about. S.D. was
worse than usual here too. Despite the new manager, Neidhart is not being
pushed as a singles.

 

Jose Luis Rivera vs.
King Kong Bundy w/Jimmy Hart

Okerlund jokes that Bundy resembles a young Gorilla Monsoon.
Bundy shoves around Rivera then knocks him down with a back elbow smash. He
slams him with one hand then drops a knee. Rivera hits a few dropkicks to
minimal effect then Bundy chops him in the corner and hits the Avalanche
followed by an elbow drop for the win after demanding a five count (2:31) ¾*.

Thoughts: Bundy looked impressive in this squash match,
which was all that needed to happen here.

 

Mean Gene interviews Mr. T and Hulk Hogan in the locker
room, who are wearing shirts that feature the WrestleMania logo. Hogan said
that people thought it was a joke when he picked Mr. T as a partner but now the
people have seen him train and that he is a bad dude. Mr. T says he feels sorry
for his opponents and that he doesn’t like interviews as he should be training.
Hogan says that they have the “Eye of the tiger” and need to leave in order to
train.

 

Roddy Piper and Bob Orton come out for their live “Piper’s
Pit” segment. Orton is holding a large briefcase. Piper said that no one wanted
to fight him and now he has to come out and talk. He mocks the Irish in the
crowd and makes fun of the Yankees for their shitty team before bringing out
Paul Orndorff. They all mock Mr. T., complete with Orndorff mimicking a monkey
as Piper calls out Mr. T. He comes out with Jimmy Snuka and Hogan as the crowd
erupts. Piper offers Mr. T a seat but he stands and tosses the chair aside.
Before they talk, they send the others in the corner. Piper said that Mr. T has
won boxing championships and “Tough Man” competitions but Piper will do him the
favor of letting him back out of their WrestleMania match, referring to it as
their “closed-circuit match.” Mr. T said he is not worried and is offering him
a chance to back out. Orton pulls out a picture from the briefcase which
reveals a painting of Mr. T wearing a sling and another one of him with a cast
on his leg. The last one is a painting of him in a body cast. Piper then goes
nuts and puts on a Mr. T wig. Both men then end up getting held back as Piper
leaves and Mr. T gets pissed, saying you don’t mess with his hairstyle. Mr. T
then breaks the paintings before telling the crowd that Piper will pay for what
he just did on March 31st as he ready to fight, using all possible
means. Decent segment that did a solid job hyping the WrestleMania match. Piper
was tremendous as a heel in 1985.

 

Matt Borne vs. David
Sammartino

Sammartino takes Borne down a few times but gets punched
afterwards. Borne hits a belly-to-belly suplex then grabs a side headlock. The
announcers talk about the buzz surrounding WrestleMania as Borne maintains the
hold. Sammartino fights back and knocks down Borne as the crowd stays silent.
He hits a backdrop then works a side headlock of his own. Borne escapes and
rams Sammartino into the corner. Borne rolls him up for two then grabs a
chinlock. Sammartino escapes by sending Borne into the corner then fires away
but Borne grabs a front facelock. They trade punches in the corner and
Sammartino wins that battle. Borne misses a charge in the corner and Sammartino
hits a suplex. He gets a slam and drops a knee before heading up top. Borne
cuts him off and slams him but that only gets two. Borne goes for a powerslam
but Sammartino hangs on and uses his momentum to reverse it into a cradle for
the win (8:36) **1/4.

Thoughts: Solid match. Borne looked impressive in the ring
and David wasn’t that bad but just lacked charisma and looked like a jobber.

 

Ken Patera &
Jesse Ventura & Big John Studd w/Bobby Heenan vs. Junkyard Dog & Jimmy
Snuka & Andre the Giant w/Capt. Lou Albano

The crowd is jacked for this. Albano goes towards Heenan but
Studd steps out and protects his manager. JYD and Patera slug it out to start.
JYD hits a backdrop then tags Andre. Studd comes in and Andre gives them a
double noggin-knocker. He boots down Patera and JYD gives him the crawling
headbutts. Patera bails and consoles with Heenan. Patera goes in the corner and
stalls before ducking out after Andre comes after him. Jesse chokes out JYD in
the corner then the match breaks down as Andre goes after Studd & Patera. Jesse
and JYD are the legal men and Jesse goes to work. JYD no-sells a few punches
then rams Ventura off the turnbuckle. Snuka tags and headbutts Jesse. He hits a
slam and hits a fist drop off the second rope. Jesse rakes the eyes and Patera
chokes out Snuka behind the ref’s back. The heels get heat on Snuka, using a
lot of restholds, until he breaks up a bearhug from Studd with a bell clap and
tags Andre. The crowd goes nuts as Andre attacks Studd in the corner. He beats
the shit out of him and goes for the slam but Patera breaks it up. Jesse tags
but Andre gets the upper hand. He boots down Jesse and Snuka hits the Superfly
Splash for the win (11:55) **1/2. After the match, the faces beat on the heels.

Thoughts: Fun match. They stuck to a basic formula and it
worked great. Andre was really laying into Studd with his offense.

 

Terry Gibbs vs. Ricky
Steamboat

Gibbs knees Steamboat as he offers a handshake. Steamboat
fights back with a backdrop and a slam as Gibbs retreats to the corner. Gibbs
stalls some more until Steamboat chops him down. Gibbs rakes the eyes and
tosses Steamboat to the floor. He pulls him back on the apron and hits him with
forearm strikes across the chest. Gibbs hits a slam and uses cheap heel tactics
to maintain control. Steamboat chops back and takes him down with an elbow
strike. He hits a chop from the second rope then wins the match with a top rope
crossbody block (4:36) ½*.

Thoughts: These two did not click in the ring. The crowd was
completely silent throughout the match too. It didn’t matter as this was before
the main event, which was the match everyone wanted to see.

 

Intercontinental
Title

Lumberjack Match

Greg “The Hammer”
Valentine (Champion) w/Jimmy Hart vs. Tito Santana

The crowd loves Tito. Valentine attacks him from behind to
start. Tito comes back with a clothesline then beats the piss out of Valentine in
the corner. He ducks out and Steamboat tosses him back inside. Tito hits an atomic
drop then follows that with a knee lift. The heels will not touch Valentine as
the faces all toss him back in the ring. Valentine comes back with an inverted
atomic drop then takes control. Tito fights back and stomps on Valentine in the
corner. He ducks out after Tito attempts a figure four then heads up the ramp
but a few of the faces toss him back inside. Tito hits him with a forearm off
the second rope for two. Valentine ducks out and tries to go through the crowd
but gets picked up and tossed back inside as the bell sounds for some reason.
Tito hammers away in the corner but ends up running into a knee and Valentine covers
for two. He gets a few nearfalls as the crowd is chanting for Tito. Valentine
works on the knee that he injured several months ago and attempts a single-leg
crab. Tito breaks away but sells his knee and Valentine knees him down. He goes
back to work on the knee and goes for the figure four but Tito turns that into
a small package. They slug it out until Valentine knocks him down with a
European uppercut. He drags Tito by the hair into the corner but Tito sends him
into the turnbuckle. Tito knocks him down and drags him back inside by his
tights. Suplex gets two as Tito sells the back of his head. Tito hits a few
stomps and goes for the figure four but Valentine kicks out. He attempts to
bail but the faces drag him back inside. Tito knocks him down with a forearm
then locks on the figure four as the building erupts. Hart distracts the ref as
Studd drags Valentine near the roes. Tito goes after Studd but Valentine attacks
from behind. They slug it out then both men end up colliding but Valentine
falls on top of Tito and gets the win (14:59) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Really good match. These two had awesome chemistry
together. The crowd was in love with Tito and really wanted to see him get his
revenge against Valentine. They also put over on commentary how Valentine was going after Steamboat when he was getting tossed back into the ring, which usually signals that they will face off or start to feud together. This match has been featured on multiple DVD’s,
including the “History of the Intercontinental Championship” and “Greatest
Wrestling Stars of the 80’s.”

 

Final Thoughts: The
show had a really good main event and a fun six-man tag so it wasn’t bad. It
lacked the star power of most MSG cards but with WrestleMania two weeks away,
they were holding back the big matches for that. It was a shorter card than
usual, which doesn’t get any complaints from me as these can last an eternity
at times.

WWF Madison Square Garden December 28th, 1984

December 28, 1984

Unfortunately, my copy of this show froze and I was unable to review the last three matches. Next week, I will be reviewing the debut episode of Primetime Wrestling then after that, I will be back to the Championship Wrestling shows. I should also mention that this is the show in which David Schultz slapped John Stossel backstage in a segment that was filmed for 20/20

Your hosts are Gene Okerlund and Gorilla Monsoon

Brutus Beefcake w/Luscious Johnny Valiant vs. S.D. Jones

Valiant stalls for a few minutes in the ring before the match begins. SD backs Brutus into the ropes, pissing him off. They engage in some chain wrestling as we see the Japanese Media at ringside, looking half asleep. Brutus cheap shots SD after a lockup and chokes him out. He grabs a chinlock then takes him down with a shoulderblock. Beefcake boots SD down and hits him with a poor excuse of a splash for two. Beefcake grabs a headlock as the announcers debate whether or not this is a choke. It lasts for a long time. SD catches Beefcake on a crossbody attempt but couldn’t hold him up. Beefcake struts then chokes him out before going back to another chinlock. Johnny is yelling at the ref as SD hits Brutus with an inverted atomic drop. SD knocks down Brutus after a second headbutt attempt. He gets two after a series of punches. Brutus rakes the eyes then after SD ducks a chop, Brutus hits him with a jumping  knee smash for the win (13:22) ½*.
Thoughts: Man, this was dull. Both guys had limited offense to begin with and couldn’t brawl well so they did a bunch of restholds to fill the match. No way should these guys have gotten this much time.  
Salvatore Bellomo vs. Johnny Rodz
Before the match, Howard Finkel introduces Bellomo’s parents to the audience. Bellomo takes down Rodz with a pair of shoulderblocks then grabs a headlock. Bellomo then cartwheels over Rodz and hits a dropkick. They engage in a brief amount of matwork then Rodz catches him with a knee and takes control. He knocks Bellomo to the floor then hits him with a baseball slide right as he comes back in the ring. Rodz gets two off a top rope elbow smash then complains to the ref about a slow count. He slams Bellomo but gets caught with a punch after coming off the top rope. Bellomo hits a backdrop and snapmare. Dropkick gets two. Rodz hits one awful powerslam but misses a flying headbutt and that allows Bellomo to hit a crossbody block, that came up way short, for the win (5:36) *1/2. The camera shows Mama Bellomo in the crowd on the verge of tears. Bellomo grabs the mic and thanks America before kissing the ground
Thoughts: Fine for what it was. Rodz was a solid worker, perhaps even underrated. Bellomo was his usual self.
“Dr. D” David Schultz vs. Antonio Inoki
Inoki is billed as the “World’s Martial Arts Champion.” Schultz gets into Inoki’s head and the two go right after each other. Schultz grounds him using a headscissor but Inoki escapes. Schultz attacks Inoki in the corner after a cheap shot. Schultz grabs a side headlock then both men trade arm wringers. Inoki backs Schultz against the ropes then chops him down. Schultz complains to the ref then they lockup. After a cheap shot from Schultz, Inoki kicks him down then chokes him out. Schultz hits a suplex then a slam. He goes up top but misses a flying elbow drop and that allows Inoki to hit him with an enziguri after he gets up for the win (5:16) *3/4.
Thoughts: Short, but decent action while it lasted. This would be the last match at MSG for both men. Schultz would get fired the following February for attempting to attack Mr. T.  
Paul Kelly vs. Junkyard Dog
Kelly had been playing the Masked Executioner during this time. JYD slams Kelly, who ducks outside. JYD grabs a chinlock as the announcers discuss philosophy. Kelly fights back but JYD murders him with a clothesline then hits the powerslam  but they messed up the count so the ref counted again and JYD gets the win (3:05) ¼*.
Thoughts: Not much here besides JYD stiffing the shit out of Kelly with a clothesline. The crowd is in love with JYD, as he is getting the best face reaction besides Hogan (Slaughter left the WWF a few weeks before this show over a dispute with Vince McMahon).
WWF Jr. Heavyweight Championship Match
The Cobra vs. Black Tiger
Finkel holds up the title in the ring, which was vacated when the Dynamite Kid jumped to All-Japan. The match starts with both guys trading moves. Tiger hits a clothesline then gets a senton for one. Cobra comes back with a backdrop and then grabs a chinlock. In a really sloppy sequence, Cobra comes off the top but they messed up a crossbody and he came back with a terrible spin kick. Cobra drops the knee then gets two off a suplex. He hits a gutbuster then puts Tiger in the Boston Crab and from that, he puts him in a surfboard. Tiger flips Cobra over and puts on a chinlock. Legdrop gets two. I should not that Gorilla is solo on commentary right now and he keeps talking the whole time. Tiger puts on a chinlock as the crowd is dead. After trading chops, Cobra misses a splash and Tiger works the legs. He gets two off an elbow drop then grabs a front facelock. Senton, called a flying cartwheel by Monsoon, gets two. Cobra fights back and gets two off a legdrop. He sends him to the floor with a dropkick as Okerlund comes back. Tiger slips while climbing the ropes as Cobra tosses him off. He uses a headscissors but Tiger escapes and hits a clothesline. Kneedrop gets two. Swinging neckbreaker gets two. Tiger hits a tombstone piledriver, which gets the crowd to pop, but misses a top rope elbow drop. Cobra gets two off a spinning heel kick as the crowd is now alive. Cobra dropkicks Tiger to the floor then flies out with a tope. In the ring, Tiger knocks down Cobra and hits a top rope splash. Suplex gets two. Tombstone gets two. He tries another tombstone but Cobra reverses and hits one of his own then goes up top and hits a senton for the win and the championship (12:29) **3/4. After the match, Cobra offers a handshake but Tiger attacks him. He tosses him outside but Cobra comes back with a chairshot. Both men return to the ring and the Cobra is handed the title.
Thoughts: The last few minutes were awesome but prior to that, it wasn’t much and really sloppy at points. Still, they did stuff that no one in the WWF was doing at this time and they did a faster pace than usual for the WWF, but it was slower than their Japanese matches.
“Cowboy” Bob Orton & “Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. Tonga Kid & Jimmy Snuka
The crowd goes crazy for Snuka and Piper. They chase of the heels, who then come in and try a sneak attack but that fails. Tonga and Piper are in the ring now. Tonga hits a crossbody for two and works the arm as Snuka is staring down Piper from the apron. Orton tags and Tonga catches him with a powerslam then works the arm. He tags Snuka, who works the arm. Snuka no-sells three punches and takes Orton down with a headbutt. Snuka tries to get Orton to tag Piper but he doesn’t extend his hand. Orton finally tags Piper, who at first refuses to enter. He then charges at Snuka but gets pummeled. Snuka takes out both men until Piper pokes his eye and tags Orton. He beats on Snuka but misses a Vader Bomb. Both men tag out and Tonga runs wild on Piper. Piper gets him in his corner and he and Orton double-team him behind the ref’s back. After a double clothesline, Roddy taunts Snuka then tags Orton. He beats on Tonga and the two make quick tags to neutralize Tonga. Roddy is just a joy to watch out here as he was one of the best heels in wrestling history. Tonga tries to make a tag but Orton runs in and knocks Snuka off the apron. Roddy has Tonga in a chinlock then tags Orton, who hits him with a forearm smash. Tonga manages to get two off a sunset flip but Orton comes back with mounted punches. He tries a cover but Snuka yanks him off. Piper goes in behind the ref’s back. He ducks his head and Tonga kicks him then heads to the wrong corner. Orton tags but Tonga fires away then goes through the legs of Orton and makes a tag. Snuka goes wild then shoves the referee, who was trying to control the match. Snuka sends Orton into the corner and makes the cover but the ref stops before the three count as he sees Tonga and Piper brawling nearby. Piper backdrops Tonga to the floor and Orton sets up Snuka for the superplex but gets shoved off and Snuka hits a crossbody. Piper breaks up the pin at two as Tonga is trying to get back into the ring. They throw Snuka to the floor as the announcers complain about how the referee is doing a terrible job. Orton goes up top but Snuka shoves him off, into Piper. The heels dump their opponents, who while stumbling around the ring, accidentally bump heads, causing them to power up and run back into the ring. All four men are brawling as the ref signals for the bell as he cannot maintain control. Piper accidentally hits Orton and the heels get dumped but then run in for a sneak attack. Tonga grabs a chair and chases away the heels as the ref rules the match as a double disqualification (14:58) ***1/4.
Thoughts: This match had tremendous heat. Tonga looked great and worked most of the match. Snuka didn’t do a whole lot at all but the crowd was jacked the entire time. Sadly, Tonga would only last a few more weeks as he left the promotion. I believe in an interview he said he couldn’t handle the pressure but he allegedly no-showed a bunch of dates and left, only to return 18 months later to form the Islanders with Haku.
Rene Goulet vs. Mike Rotundo
They lockup in the corner and Goulet complains of a hair pull. Goulet gets two off a reverse rollup, while holding the tights. Rotundo grounds Goulet with headscissors. He holds on to the arm after Goulet takes him over with a hiptoss and works the arm. He uses a front facelock for a bit then Goulet escapes and starts biting Rotundo in the corner. He grabs a chinlock as a fan is yelling “boring.” Goulet ends a comeback bid with a knee smash then tosses Rotundo to the floor. He bites Rotundo then gets two off a suplex. He locks on the iron claw as a few more fans join in on the boring chant. Rotundo misses a charge in the corner and Goulet locks on the claw from the top rope. Rotundo tosses him off and fires away as the crowd couldn’t care less. He sends Goulet upside down into the corner then hits him with an atomic drop. Rotundo works the leg but Goulet regains control and puts him in an abdominal stretch as the crowd is showing fans in the crowd wearing masks. Rotundo hits a backdrop then drops an elbow for two. He catches Goulet in an airplane spin then drops him for the win (10:38) ¾*.
Thoughts: Holy shit was this dull. The crowd couldn’t have cared less about either guy. I know it was tough to follow Snuka but this was atrocious.
WWF President Jack Tunney is in the ring. He introduces Wendi Richter and Hulk Hogan, who is carrying a trophy. He then introduces Dick Clark, who flew in from Los Angeles for this presentation. Finally, he introduces Cyndi Lauper, who is accompanied by David Wolfe. Clark awards Lauper with a special achievement award to her contribution to women’s wrestling. Hulk grabs the mic and the crowd goes ballistic as he puts over Lauper. She thanks everyone then presents the WWF a gold and platinum record then brings out Capt. Lou Albano, thanking him for raising four million for multiple sclerosis. Albano thanks everyone and says the award is an honor as Orton and Piper sneak in the ring and grab the mic. Piper grabs the mic, stating that he set up everything, then smashes the record over Albano’s head. Lauper dives at his legs but Piper kicks her off. He slams Wolfe then takes off as Hogan runs back out. The fans are spitting and tossing stuff all over Piper as he walks back up the aisle. Back in the ring, Hogan helps up Albano as Wolfe gets taken out on a stretcher as Lauper is crying. Now, that is how you start a feud. One hell of a segment and among the best in WWF history.
Well, my DVD kept freezing at the start of the tag-title match so I will run down the last three matches.
Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch retained the tag-titles against the Brisco Brothers when the match ended in a double count out. The match went (26:46) and after the bout, the Brisco’s had their opponents in the figure four. This match came to place when the Brisco’s beat the champs on TV after they went on Piper’s Pit, who got them a match with the champs, stating they owed him a favor. The Brisco’s would be gone from the WWF in a month.
Barry Windham beat Mr. Fuji with a bulldog in nineteen seconds. Nothing much to say about this.
Hulk Hogan retained the Heavyweight Title over the Iron Sheik in (3:31) with a legdrop.
Final Thoughts: A memorable show with some good matches, but what was bad really did suck. They turned Albano face after the attack by Piper and that set up the main event at Wrestlemania. The tag-title match was fun too. The undercard stuff was pretty dull and the Jr. Heavyweight match, while faster paced than most WWF stuff, was sloppy at points.

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.