WWF CLASSICS RECAP
I'm guessing that the post WM wave of Hogan nostalgia will have my readership ballooning into three figures. How good was that match? I know, that as a match, and if you watched it with the sound down, it would have been mediocre at best, but my God. The sheer outpouring of emotion was amazing. The match was a reward for all wrestling fans of a certain age. A fifteen-year cycle comes to a close. Even as a kid I was never the biggest Hogan fan, but you can't deny the effect he had on the business, and that's the send off he deserved, rather than being hated by gradually more and more people over the years. I realise it won't make money, so it won't be done, but Hogan should retire right at the start of Raw, and be remembered for Toronto, because I guarantee that in two months time we'll all hate his lazy self-serving arse again.
Also, and I only mention it here because they don't in the show, 1987's Survivor Series went off without a hitch. Andre was the sole survivor in the main event, but I'm sure they'll mention the rest next week. Now lets GO!
Originally aired late November 1987.
Damn that symbol of excellence in sports entertainment! Damn it's WWF logo soul!
We've moved arenas this week. Bye bye Rochester! Today we're in the Omaha Civic Auditorium, in Omaha, Nebraska. Home town foolishness starts, as Gorilla tells us that the Auditorium will host The Cars (didn't the open Live Aid? Wembley, not Philly. 'Who's gonna drive you home, tonight? Who's gonna pay attention to your dreams?' That's them, right?) Expo '87 featuring Oprah Winfrey!?! and the always appalling Def Leppard.
Gorilla and Bobby are the hosts.
It's the same opening montage. Yup.
This week, we can see the British Bulldogs, Ted DiBiase, Jim Duggan, Butch Reed, and The Ullllllllllllltamatewarrior. (Copyright V. K. McMahon).
We start with, The Bulldogs Vs The Conquistadors. Oh my God! Edge and... no, wait. It's the real ones. And no, I have no idea who's under the masks. Perhaps our uber-smart Webmaster will give us the answer here. (Can't help ya, chief. Sorry. - CRZ) Or maybe not. Matilda hassles the heels to start. You know, the first thing that came into my mind when I saw Lucy was 'Matilda's let herself go a bit.' I'm not going to differentiate between the Conquistadors for the good of my sanity, as they're similarly built. One of the Cons powers out of a Davey Boy headlock, and then a full nelson. He hits a shoulder charge, but then tries a crossbody, and is thrown onto his partner. The Kid comes in, but gets shoulder blocked. He fights back with 3 armdrags, a shoulder block of his own, and a patented snap suplex. Davey comes in, and he and the Con fight over an armdrag, but Davey gets the worst flying head scissors EVER. He was never very Lucha, was he? The Con hits a drop toehold, tags, and we get some stomping and punching. DBS tags out, and the Bulldogs hit a double shoulder charge. Dynamite now comes in a delivers a headbutt, rams a Con head off of two different buckles, and unloads with a Flair chop. The Con fights back with a knee and a kick. The other comes in with a knee, and a running elbow, which gets a two count with a BIG kickout. The Cons then gets a double backdrop for another 2, as Bobby and Gorilla discuss the pros and cons of wearing masks. I don't know why, but that's just cool. More kicking and punching is stopped by a Kid side suplex. He gets the hot tag and a clothesline, which is sold WAY too early. A vertical suplex and a powerslam gets the three. But wait. The shoulder came up. Bobby and Gorilla argue about whether it was up before or after the 3 count (it clearly was before). Just because the ref's your son, Monsoon. 1 for 1. Nice and long, and made the Cons look like a bit of a threat, which I think was the point.
It's after the first match, so it must be time for the Craig DeGeorge special update. He's out of his 'December' studio this week. Craig tells us the Slammy awards are just around the corner. He then lists a bunch of stupid categories, including 'best personal hygiene'. The awards, which will allegedly be the 37th annual, (mmmm, itchy chin) will also feature songs from Koko B. Ware and the Honky Tonk Man. Can't wait.
To the ring, where its Ted DiBiase Vs Sonny Rogers. Sonny is a jobber of the young and smiley variety. A collar and elbow tie-up starts us off, and Sonny gets a headlock from this. He is pushed off onto the ropes, but gets behind Ted, pushes him off the ropes and follows through with a roll-up that gets 2. Oops, no more offence for you Sonny. DiBiase with a knee, a stomp, a head to the buckle, some punches and two chops. A whip to the corner is followed up with a backdrop, and an elbow off the 2nd rope. Next is a clothesline and a back elbowdrop off the 2nd rope, which surprisingly gets 3. No Million Dollar Dream then? 1 for 2. That was shorter than an Undertaker/Giant Gonzales highlight reel. Interestingly, during pre-taped comments, Ted said even the guy at the top of the WWF has a price for him. I think this leads to him offering Hogan $1million for the belt in a couple of weeks.
Mean Gene interviews 'The Outlaw' Ron Bass backstage. Bass cracks his whip and says he calls it Miss Betsy because it's as mean as a woman. Ronny goes on to tell us that he's so tough people cross the road to avoid him, and that the upper card is yellow, and that's why they're avoiding him. No, it's cos you're a JTTS Ron.
Now we get a recap of the oh-so-exciting Harley Race/Jim Duggan feud.
They won't get out of each other's way!
Duggan hits Race with the 2x4!
Duggan hits a chair Race is holding with the 2x4!
Race beats Duggan down with the 2x4!
Well at least it's better than shampoo.
Helpfully, this leads to Jim Duggan Vs The Greatest Jobber Of All Time BARRY HOROWITZ. Barry wears gold brac... I mean suspenders. Thanks to CRZ for changing my Oxford into Webster's last week. Separated by a common language, eh. And a sense of decorum (see Ryder Cup 1999). Anyway, possibly for the first time on WWF TV Barry pats himself on the back! The announcers shill Duggan Vs Hercules on SNME as we get underway. Barry ducks two clotheslines, but gets caught trying a crossbody. Duggan lands a slam, an elbow, a knee, a head to the buckle, and a forearm (moveset!) before Barry rakes the eye. Three Horowitz punches are no sold, Barry then tries to beg off some Duggan punches, but to no avail. Three Duggan kicks are followed by a whip to the buckle and an armdrag. A whip to the ropes sees Barry leapfrog Jim, but then get planted with a clothesline. Duggan goes into a three-point stance and lands his big clothesline for the win. Depressingly Duggan is very over. 1 for 3.
More Gene interviewing. This time it's Dino Bravo. Dino tells us 1988 will be his year and that he wants to face the best and take Hogan's belt off him. This interview was actually fairly intense and impressive. Why don't they do this nowadays? Dino looks more credible, by saying he wants the world title, so why wouldn't a modern equivalent, say Test?
The Slammys are coming! December 19.
Aw, hell it's Killer Kahn w/ Mr Fuji Vs Mike Richards. In case anyone does not remember Kahn he's an awful wrestler, who tries to act insane and has a Sumo gimmick. Nothing too unusual for 80's WWF then. Except they announce him as coming from Mongolia. They don't do Sumo in Mongolia. It's hundreds and hundreds of miles from Japan, even at its nearest point. Still it's the wrestling that's most offensive. Kahn starts with a knee, some clubs, and a whip into the ropes leads to a double knife-edge chop. Then Kahn runs his forearm over Richards's eyes a la Undertaker. Richards head is rammed off two different buckles, and then his punches are no sold. Chopping, kicking, and punching are precursors to Kahn spitting out the Green Mist. He's from Asia, so it's the law. A backbreaker and a knee from the second rope (that looked like it killed Richards) gets the win. 1 for 4. That's still my favourite Kahn match ever.
Craig DeGeorge is on the stage, and he introduces Slick and Butch Reed, who in turn dance like morons to Jive Soul Bro. Slick says the music is because it's time to party and Reed says they're partying because he put Billy Graham out the other week. We then get to see said beatdown. Reed freaks out a bit when Don Muraco's name is mentioned, but then says he'll get him too. More Jive Soul Bro? More dancing? Yes. Gorilla says Graham will be here next week with a big announcement. Heenan thinks it'll be his retirement.
The Honky Tonk Man shills his win over Savage, and the WWF's magazine report on it. He then introduces his video from the Piledriver album. The tune is pretty poor, and while it talks about a pink Cadillac, Honky is driving a beige one. Some women swoon as he sings and fakes playing the guitar. At the end we are told that everyone in the video was paid by the Honky Tonk Man. Heh.
More ring action. Not in the homosexual way. It's the Ultimate Warrior Vs Brian Costello. Warrior runs a little and has his kick arse music for the first time. Choke and a chop start for the Warrior and then the match is clipped. A chop and a whip are followed with a shoulder block and a back elbow. Following the evening's pattern Warrior no sells some punches. He then hits a vertical suplex, astounding Heenan that he knows a hold. A BIG clothesline and a Gorilla Press finishes it. This was short and clipped so no point, but Warrior had star written all over him. 1 for 5.
We stay in the squared circle for Ken Patera and Billy Jack Haynes Vs 'The Generic Jobbers' Dave Wagner and Rick Renslow. Renslow gets a headlock to start, but gets pushed off, armdraged and slammed. Patera tags and gets in a kick to the gut before BJ plants a knee lift. A double fistdrop follows and Wagner is dropkicked out of the ring by BJ, while Patera drops an elbow on his partner. The faces then pull off a simultaneous sidewalk slam/elbowdrop combo before this match is also clipped. When we get back Patera slams Renslow back to his corner so Wagner can come in. Big Dave is promptly whipped to the buckle and hit with a knee. BJ then comes in, wallops Wagner with a clothesline, and ends things with his full nelson. That might have been good, but I get the feeling a decent sized chunk was clipped. 1 for 6.
It's backstage Okerlund action once more. Don Muraco is his guest. Calls Butch Reed 'Bruce' as its his real name, and asks why he has to pick on a man with plastic hips. Claims he'd wallop 'Bruce' in the ring. Calling people by their real names rules. Remember that time where Vince was reminding Rocky of all he had to thank him for, and he called him Dwayne. Everyone in the audience let out an 'Ooohhhh!' at that one. Also, at one point in the interview Muraco's referred to Slick as 'Monkey Faced'. Uh, dude, that's not PC.
Next week we'll see highlights of the Superstars match between Valentine and Beefcake, as the Dream Team EXPLODES! Also in action, Jake Roberts, Rick Rude, The Hart Foundation, 'The Ragin' Racist' Don Muraco, and Ted DiBiase.
We see an interview with the Harts, where Bret hypes his SNME match with Savage. Ahhhhrrrrrrggggggghhh. They are just taunting me with ace matches I can't see.
Gorilla and Bobby say goodbye, and we get our montage again, as we go away.
Overall: 1 for 6 doesn't sound good, but it was all watchable, even Killer Kahn. The clipping was odd, especially as it couldn't have been for time, due to the montage repeat. What I learned from this show is that Butch Reed and Dino Bravo are cooler than I remembered. Next week looks like it could be good, with many fine wrestlers on show. I hope you'll join me to watch them. Join me.
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