Originally aired early Nov 1987.
Some pretty swanky graphics (for 1987) inform us that the WWF is the
recognised symbol of excellence in Sports Entertainment.
We get a nice shot of the Rochester War Memorial arena as Gorilla tells
us that we're in Rochester N.Y. and rather bizarrely that the residents of
our host town will be able to enjoy family fun with the Icecapades, and
cheer on their Rochester Americans in the AHL Hockey League this fall. Now
I consider myself a bit of a US sport buff, for a European, and I've never
heard of the AHL so I imagine that its pretty bush league. The camera
eventually shows us inside and Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan welcome us
to the show and promise it'll be good. It's a good job that Gorilla said
that last bit 'cos if the 80's WWF taught me anything its that Heenan is a
liar. That and Jimmy Hart will get a serious kicking at every PPV.
On with the shows official opening. Now, the intros to Raw and Smackdown
show us who are important in the WWF today, so lets see what we can read
into who gets featured here.
Two excited fans with Hogan merchandise
Kid imitating Hogan
Koko B. Ware w/Frankie
Someone who I can't make out, maybe Jimmy Snuka, hitting a cross-body on
King Kong Bundy
Someone Tombstoning someone else really quickly
Insert slamming for Tombstoning in the second last sentence
Junk Yard Dog executing a slam
The Hart Foundation hoisting Jimmy Hart on their shoulders
And finally George the Animal Steele eating some turnbuckle, as was his want
That would seem to be pretty accurate, although Reed seems a bit out of place.
Rundown of what's coming up. Bam Bam Bigelow. The Ultimate Warrior. The
British Bulldogs against the Dream Team. Honky Tonk Man. And, from
Superstars Strike Force challenge the Harts for the Tag Titles.
To the ring, as Bam Bam comes out with his super lame face manager Oliver
Humperdink, some pretty cool music, and a so-so pop. Awaiting him is Terry
Gibbs a fairly well put together, but boring looking jobber. The Bammer
kicks off with a slam, a cartwheel, just about the worst leapfrog I've ever
seen and a nice dropkick in quick succession. Young Mr Gibbs rolls to the
apron while Bobby tells us that Bigelow will injure himself doing those
sort of things at his weight, suggesting that he must have got in the Big
Show's ear at some point. Bam Bam slingshots Gibbs back in and waits for
him to arise before aiming a kick at his gut that is caught so Bigelow can
hit an ensuguri, which he badly misses. The jobber punches Bam Bam, which
he gleefully no sells. The end comes as Bam Bam slams Gibbs and then
slingshots himself back in with a splash and gets the three. Short and
sloppy, but also entertaining. That's good enough for a point from me, as
I'm in a good mood. 1 for 1.
Now it's time for a special report with Craig De George! Oh boy! I have
absolutely zero memory of De George but he's an identikit Sean Mooney if
that helps anyone else who's struggling. Craig says both Ken Patera and
Billy Jack Haynes believe in the American Way. Good for them. We cut to
tape of Demolition beating up jobber and, I believe I'm correct in saying,
future WCW official, Brady Boone. Boone is apparently Haynes cousin so
Billy comes out to help, but the Demos batter him too. For unexplained
reasons Ken Patera makes his way down, but he too feels the strength of
Demolition, as they work his injured arm. We now get a Demolition
interview where they rather sensibly point out that since Patera and Haynes
couldn't beat them snaking up on them, they didn't have much of a chance in
a fair fight. A different bit of video has Patera standing beside Haynes,
who is screaming that family will prevail in the WWF. Sorry Billy, your
hat and dog collar saying 'Portland' makes you look unbelievable. And a
tool. My money's on the S and M guys.
Back to the ring we go, and there are neither entrances for the greatest
jobber of all time, Barry Horowitz, or future world champ the Ultimate
Warrior, who debuted not but two weeks ago. Warrior gives Bad Barry a
shoulder block out of the ring, and Horowitz proceeds to call the crowd
rednecks. Umm, it's New York, Barry. Anyway Barry tries some bodyshots,
which have no effect because the Warrior has ABS OF STEEL! Warrior woks
Horowitz over in the corner as that staple of 80's WWF TV appears, a box in
the top corner containing a pre-taped interview. The Warrior gives his
usual incoherent interview and screams loudly as the end to boot. He does,
unfortunately, neglect to use my personal favourite word of his -
'DESTRUICITY' - oh well. Back in the ring the Warrior has got the Gorilla
press going on and hold it for about twenty seconds. This, of course, gets
the three. Monsoon states that the Warrior is 'something else' while Jim
Helliwig shows he's got at least part of the character down already by
shaking the ropes. Despite Barry's involvement, I can't give that crap a
point. 1 for 2.
Backstage we go as Mean Gene shills for Survivor Series, which is just a
few weeks away, and is then joined by Randy Savage. Macho gives a decent
interview about wanting revenge on Honky at SS, as HTM hit Elizabeth at a
recent Saturday Night's Main Event. As I say, decent interview, but Savage
was unleashing some amazing stuff around this time, so it was a bit of a
Monsoon tells us we can't have the promised George Steele/Ted DiBiase
match, as the Animal isn't there. We then get about 10 seconds of DiBiase
telling us he's rich and Virgil waving around some serious green.
Again no entrances (must be a packed show) as we get the British Bulldogs
Vs The New Dream Team w/Johnny V. The New is because Dino Bravo has
replaced the face turned Brutus Beefcake as Greg Valentine's partner. The
Bulldog's, uh, bulldog, Matilda, runs at Dino for a big pop before we get
underway. Davey Boy starts with Dino and wins their battle with some
armdrags. They both tag out and the Dynamite Kid takes out Valentine with
his patented snap suplex. Davey comes back in and is tripped by Greg. The
Dream Team hold control for a wee while, even when Dynamite comes back in,
but Valentine misses a couple of elbows and the Kid pushes off his figure
four attempt. Both men crawl to their corners and tag out. Davey
backdrops Bravo and punches Valentine. He turns his attention back to
Bravo and gives him a powerslam. He then proceeds to lift Dynamite above
his head to drop him on Dino. Johnny V doesn't like this and hits Davey,
getting his team DQ'd. The Bulldogs clear the ring of the Dream Team with
Davey and Matilda chasing them to the back. Davey returns and Johnny V is
outnumbered. Davey hits possibly the worst suplex EVER; I mean it just
looked like poo. Dynamite then lifted the unfortunate Mr. V to the top
rope and gave him a nasty looking side superplex. In a funny bit, Davey
then makes Matilda pin Johnny. The dog is WAY over. That was pretty good.
2 for 3.
Mean Gene is backstage again and is surrounded by Hogan and his SS team,
Ken Patera, Billy Graham, Bam Bam Bigelow and Paul Orndorf. Gene sucks up
to Hogan, talking about his 24" guns. Hogan then highlights the advantages
of having these guys on his team. Everyone else gets to say a couple of
lines, but it's all pretty unremarkable except for Bam Bam looking scared
of the camera and Orndorf not making any sense. Hogan rounds of this
Hulkacrap, (thanks Rocky) by suggesting his team will run wild at Survivor
To the ring once more we go, for the Islanders (Tama and Haku) against
jobber Jerry Allen and upper level jobber S. D. Jones. Hammerlock reversal
bit between Allen and Tama actually leads to control for Allen, but he
makes the mistake of tagging in S.D. who manages to get an appalling throw
come hiptoss thing in before having a splash hit the knees. The magic of
videotape allows the Young Stallions to yammer on about Survivor Series for
a bit, while S. D. oversells a Haku punch to the stomach by flipping over
and landing on his head. Haku then hits a legdrop, and holds Jones for a
Tama double axe handle off the top rope. However, one missed Haku elbow
later, Allen is tagged back in. His Irish whip is reversed and he tries to
do the jump on the second rope and come off with a cross-body thing, but
ballses up badly and has to have a second go at it. Thankfully for Haku he
isn't made to look like a complete choade as he ducks the manoeuvre. In
short order he then hits a shoulderbreaker and Tama comes off the top rope
with a damn nice splash to finish. Fine performances from the Islanders
here, but the jobbers were atrocious. 2 for 4.
Off to a platform in the arena now, as Craig De George and his super hold
hair-do interview the Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart. Jimmy has Savage and
Steamboat stretch dolls with him. Honky says his team will take care of
Savage's at SS, and Jimmy mangles the Steamer doll to illustrate this. HTM
also says he'll hit Elizabeth again if she interferes, and brags about what
he'll do to Savage. Jimmy then stretches the Macho Man doll by the arms
and Honky creams it with his guitar while Jimmy puts on a high-pitched
voice saying 'Please don't hit me!' and other such stuff. Pretty funny
In order to shill the WWF CD (Record?) Piledriver, we get to see Slick's
video, Jive Soul Bro. I'm biased against this from the start, as I'll
forever hate the Slickster for his Rev. Slick run. The whole point of the
song and video is that Slick tries it on with women, but gets nowhere as
they think he's a liar. Or to use the street lingo, a Jive Soul Bro. The
tune could have been worse.
Our final 'exclusive to Challenge' match tonight is 'The Natural' Butch
Reed against jobber Omar Atlas. Atlas is up against it right from the
start as Reed hits a face buster, rams his head off a turnbuckle, and
stomps away. Omar tries a brief and uneventful comeback that gets stopped
by Butch sticking his backside in Omar's face. Gorilla calls it 'a high
knee and hip', but that's one hell of a stretch. Reed hits the Gorilla
Press slam and then goes up top for the Air Kane clothesline, only Butch
does it about a million times better, and that's good enough for the pin.
Because Slick is Reed's manager, we get to hear Jive Soul Bro again. Not
quite good enough for the point, but it doesn't smell bad or anything. 2
We now head over to Superstars for our main event, as the Hart Foundation
defend their tag belts against Strike Force. In case some of you are
unaware, Strike Force are Rick Martel and Tito Santana. The Hart
Foundation and already in the ring, with Bret looking like a teenager
despite being 30. The commentators here are Vince 'Whatamanoeuver'
McMahon, Jesse 'The Body' Ventura, and Pat 'Profanity' Patterson. Actually
I only think the third man is Patterson, as he is never ID'd, but who else
sounds like him? Anyway it's fairly immaterial, as he says virtually
nothing the whole match. The most 80's sounding tune possible hits, and SF
make their way down to the ring to a very impressive pop. The match begins
with Bret clubbing Martel, but Rick gets a leapfrog off the ropes and then
hits Bret with two quality dropkicks. He follows this up with an armdrag
into an armbar. Martel drags Bret over to his corner where he tags in Tito
and they hit a stereo flying elbow on Bret. Tito goes back to an armbar,
but the Hitman gets out of this and then holds onto the ropes as Tito goes
for a roll-up. This gives Hart enough time to tag in Neidhart. The
Anvil's elbowdrop misses however, and Tito goes back to his trusty armbar.
This degenerates into a slugfest, which Tito wins, but Bret knees him in
the back as he goes off the ropes, to allow the Anvil to take over.
Neidhart chokes Tito with his knee, as the crowd start to get behind the
face-in-peril. Anvil distracts the ref, so Bret elbows Tito. Incensed at
this Martel comes in which just allows Bret to choke Santana with impunity.
Bret holds Tito for an Anvil kick that misses by a mile, but Tito sells
anyway. Anvil tries another that works better, and celebrates by throwing
Tito outside, where Bret nails him with a double axe handle. Bret
continues to work on Tito outside while Martel decides to chase Jimmy Hart
a bit, but then gives up. When Tito is finally rolled back in Martel
breaks up the pin. With the Anvil incapacitated Tito crawls for the tag,
with the crowd willing him on all the way, but Bret runs across the ring
and nails Martel to stop it. The Anvil slams Tito's head off the mat a few
times and the hold him in the backbreaker position, while Bret hits an
elbow off the middle rope. That gets 2 _. Bret hits a slam, but misses an
elbow, and the crowd get worked up again, as they think Tito might make the
tag. Bret gets up and cuts this off because he did only miss an elbow.
That's not going to keep him down you stupid fans. He does tag Neidhart
in, and he works Tito over while Vince and Jesse argue over the
pronunciation of Tito/Chico's name. Martel stupidly distracts the ref once
more to allow more double-teaming in the form of choking and eye-gouging,
and the crowd chant Tito's name again. The fans get what they want as Tito
reverses an Irish whip and Bret goes sternum first into the turnbuckle, as
he would in every match for the next thirteen years. Tito finally manages
the hot tag to Martel to a big pop. Martel wins a slugfest with the Anvil,
and then dropkicks him. He nails Bret on the apron, but Neidhart whips him
toward the turnbuckle. However, Martel jumps to the second rope and hits a
cross-body that gets 2, before Bret breaks the count. Tito then comes in
and throws Bret out of the ring, and helps Martel do a half suplex, half
slam move on the Anvil. Martel sticks on the Boston Crab and Neidhart taps
in about five seconds. The roof is coming off the place as Strike Force
celebrate and are handed the titles as the super 80's music kicks in again.
Well the match wasn't great, but it was damn good for being on free weekly
TV at the time. I don't know when I'm next going to recap a match of this
standard. Easy point. 3 for 6.
The goodness continues as we get our second Demolition interview of the
night. They wonder why the Harts should be captains of their team at the
Survivor Series and basically state that they're out for themselves. Ax
also calls Mean Gene, 'Howard'. Heh.
Monsoon informs us next week's main event will be Jake Roberts against
Nikolai Volkov, and that we get to hear from them both now. Slick speaks
for Nikolai and says that Nikolai's tag partner Zukov will nullify the
threat of the snake. Jake's bizarre counterpoint is ' Touch the snake and
watch him grow. He's more than you wanna handle.' He also says they can't
get the job done.
Bobby and Gorilla bid us farewell, and tell us what's on next weeks show.
Jim Duggan, Rick Rude, Ken Patera and Billy Jack Haynes, as well as the
Roberts/Volkov main event.
Copyright notice is up, and we're clear.
Overall: This was a quality show. One very good long match, two other
fine matches, and the stuff that wasn't good wasn't horrible, except for
the Warrior match, but that's at least interesting. The out of ring stuff
was generally good too, especially the Honky Tonk Man interview. All that
said, I don't hold too much hope for next week's show, with what's been
announced, but I hope you'll join me to find out. Join me.
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