|WWF Classics (UK) by Ian Mowat
WWF CLASSICS RECAP
Originally aired late November 1987.
Survivor Series is right around the corner, so this show should rule. Oh wait, it wasn't like that then. Anyway...
If I were looking for the recognised symbol of excellence in sports entertainment, what would it be? Why, the shiny WWF logo of course! That logo always reminds me of Transformers (robots in disguise) for some reason. On the subject of logos, the WWF ident in the corner has gotten smaller and less garish, which is nice.
Mr. Monsoon and Mr Heenan tell us we're still in Rochester N.Y. and this week's increasingly weird bit about Rochester tells us that photography and photocopying were invented here, and appropriately the HQ of Kodak is here. The photography thing I know for a fact to be a falsehood, as it was invented during the renascence. That's what the Turin Shroud is. Rochester is living a lie. Susan B. Anthony was also born here. She was kind of like an American Emily Pankhurst, right?
The opening montage reveals absolutely nothing new.
This week we're told we'll see Strike Force, One Man Gang, Bam Bam Bigelow, Demolition, and Brutus Beefcake Vs Danny Davis.
The opening match sees Strike Force take on Terry Gibbs and The Greatest Jobber Of All Time BARRY HOROWITZ. Barry is wearing rainbow braces (That's "suspenders" for you stupid Americans - CRZ), which he remembers to remove before we commence. When SF come out they get a big pop, and an even bigger one when they raise their belts for fanly inspection. Martel and Gibbs start with a collar and elbow tie-up that leads to a Martel headlock, which soon gets broken, and Martel comes of the ropes, and does a cartwheel. I don't remember that, but hey, its what my notes say that count. Another tie-up means another Martel headlock, which is made more interesting by Rick running up the corner and flipping back to the middle of the ring, whilst keeping the move on. A tag to Tito just means someone else doing a headlock. Changing things up, Tito hits Gibbs head off two buckles, and tags Martel in for a... headlock! Gibbs powers out of this, and gets an armbar, which is doubled when Barry comes in and takes the other arm. Martel spins round in between them, breaking the move. That looked cool. He gets a double noggin knocker on the jobbers, but there is an eye rake, and Barry is tagged in. Of course he gets no offence, as he is hiptossed twice, and headlocked. Tag. Tito. Guess. Tag. Martel. Guess. While he is in this headlock Barry wanders back to his corner and Gibbs clubs Martel from behind. Gibbs comes in legally and gets some punches, a head to the buckle and an Irish whip in, before missing the blind charge and letting Martel tag out. Tito does a backdrop, slingshots Barry in and then dropkicks him out of the ring. He then tags Martel in and he hits a spinebuster, which is then turned into a Boston Crab, kind of like Rocky does with his crappy Sharpshooter. Mr Gibbs taps in short order. Despite the headlock fest, I enjoyed that. Someone must have told SF that they couldn't use an armbar tonight. 1 for 1.
If it's Craig DeGeorge, then it must be a special report. Craig still has his new studio, and it still stupidly says December behind him. He takes us to Superstars when we see Butch Reed give some weak chair shots to Billy Graham's fake hip, and then One Man Gang splashes the mechanical joint. Craig says that Graham's career may be over, and he's obviously out of SS. His replacement will be Don Muroco, who I haven't seen for months on here, but who I'm fairly sure was a heel when last on TV. He has a tie-dye T-shirt with him, and tells us that word came down from the profit to take Billy's place.
Gorilla says that the Survivor Series will be the biggest wrestling event of 1987 (uh, WM III?), and here are some fans to yak about it. One fan backs Strike Force to take it all; another says all his family will enjoy watching it. Lastly we see a kid, who says he nagged his 'mom' to get it, and she gave in. A fine example to any children, whose parents have disposable incomes, watching.
In the ring it's the One Man Gang Vs Carmine Surace. That's a pretty gay name. OMG delivers some clubs, punches, and a head to the buckle to start. He then whips Surace to the buckle and delivers some hard forearms to the torso, along with some elbows to the head. Muroco is in the comments box, and he blathers about Graham's power being passed on to him. Fine. Gang kicks the jobber some, and then picks him up and hits the move which would become the Dominator, and that gets him three. Well, that was short. 1 for 2. But wait, Gorilla says we'll have the Macho Man next!
Craig DeGeorge interviews Strike Force. Martel says that its good to win the belts, but he knows they'll be tough to keep. Tito then unsurprisingly talks gibberish for a while, before getting to the point, that the face SS team is united, while the heel one is just a group of individuals. Arriba!
To the ring, as its Demolition Vs Pete Luccin and Omar Atlas. Where's Savage? You are a filthy liar, Monsoon! Even Demolition's super cool entrance music cannot quell my rage! Well, maybe a bit. Smash and Atlas go at it first with some Smash punches and double axe handles to the back. Smash take time out of his busy pummelling schedule, to wallop Luccin on the apron, and tag in Ax, who does a running elbow, and two slams before tagging out. Smash in with a gutshot, a backbreaker, and a slam to the jobber corner, so Luccin can tag in. Pete has some punches, which are no sold. Instead, Smash takes Luccin's head, and rams it into Ax's boot. Ax then comes in, and lays down some double axe handles, and two slams. The second of which was at Fuji's request. Smash is tagged in and he performs the Bossman rope choke. Atlas tries to break this up, but receives short shrift. A hard, hard clothesline on Luccin is followed by the Demolition Decapitation, to finish. That would have gotten a point, but I wanted Savage. 1 for 3.
Now we interview Hogan's SS team. This must have been recorded separately from all of the other interviews tonight, as Mean Gene's doing it. Hogan is ultra oily here. Similar in style to last weeks interview where Hogan compliments all his team, and they say how much they love him. The main difference this week is that the Hulkster is absolutely mad. He wanders about from side to side, off camera, stares mentally at the camera and, at one point, blocks the view of everything with his back. He was either really pumped up for this match or on lots and lots of narcotics. I know which I'm betting on.
It's Bam Bam Bigelow Vs Jose Estrada. Bam Bam showcases his cartwheel to start. Estrada uses speed to stick and move, and even gets a dropkick. Bam Bam only sells this a little bit, and superkicks Estrada out of the ring. Estrada is suplexed back in, and hiptossed. Jose fights back with a thumb to the eye, two actually, and a punch. He whips Bam Bam to the ropes, but gets caught with a clothesline. Bam Bam goes to work with an elbow, a headbutt, and then a slam, which is almost one handed, and looks impressive. An elbow and another slam set up the slingshot splash, and that gets three. That was OK, but not quite worth the point. 1 for 4.
Craig DeGeorge stands on the stage with Andre, Bobby Heenan, and Slick, as I guess we're getting an interview. If it's a match, DeGeorge is dead. Basically they re-work last weeks interview, about everyone getting a limb of Hogan, and Andre taking the neck. Only this time they're assisted with the Hogan stretch doll. It still works well.
More fans talk of the series that involves survival, and I get the feeling they've been told what to say. One man says he can treat his whole family without his wallet taking a bodyslam. Uh-huh.
More in-ring fun, as the Bolsheviks take on Leapin' Lanny Poffo and the fantastically named Van Van Horn. Nikolai sings the anthem. He's got a pretty good voice you know. Lanny's poem this week concerns the size of Zukhov's head. Not like that you filthy man! Boris and Poffo start, and Lanny gets pummelled, has his head rammed of the buckle and is whipped into the ropes. Lanny gets a kick in, and grabs a headlock, which he combines with punches. Stupidly, he then dropkicks Nikolai off the apron, allowing Boris to take control once more. A missed elbow lets Poffo escape, do a kip up, and make the tag. Horn begins by having his head rammed into Nikolai's boot. Nikolai is then tagged in, and he follows up a headbutt with a SWEET butterfly suplex. I love that move. Stomping, kicking, punching, and elbowing precede Horn being thrown out of the ring, where he gets slammed. Zukhov hits a big clothesline off the ropes, and he pulls the jobber up at 2. Nikolai comes in and the Russians land a running double elbow. Nikolai produces a nice gut wrench suplex, followed by a backbreaker. He then tags in his partner, who plants a running headbutt with his massive head, and picks up the victory. That was pretty good, and that suplex puts it over the edge. 2 for 5.
Some weird synth music over a graphic lets us know its Beefcake Vs Davis...next!
Indeed, Dangerous Danny Davis is in the ring alongside Jimmy Hart, and Brutus Beefcake soon joins them. They start with a collar and elbow tie-up. Brutus wins a slugfest, lands a slam and Davis begs off. Sam Houston appears in the corner, and lets us know he'd like to fight Danny. Not sure why. An atomic drop by Beefcake leads to the setting up for a Shattered Dreams kick, but that just sort of fizzles out and Davis takes over with a head to the buckle, but his whip to the corner is reversed and Bruti (copyright G. Monsoon) does a 10 punch count along. Brutus gets a hiptoss, and twice rams Davis' head into the buckle. He then executes a weird head-between-the-legs-stomp thing, and chucks our former official over the rope. Jimmy Hart consoles and advises his charge, and Davis prevaricates about coming back in. Brutus ends this dilemma with a slingshot in and then sticking on the sleeper. Hart legs it to the top rope and Brutus lets go of Davis to pick up the Colonel. He then throws Hart onto Davis, removes the manager and gets the three. Unsportingly Brutus puts a sleeper on Hart, as Heenan protests that Hart is a 130lb man, which incidentally is the same as X-Pac without the beard, or indeed the beard without X-Pac. With Hart out Brutus goes to get the scissors, but Davis carries him away. Not bad, but not worth a point. 2 for 6.
Craig DeGeorge is again backstage. He introduces the Islanders, who are going to talk. Tama informs us that they can survive in woods, or on streets. In a running joke he, like Dino Bravo, pisses himself laughing when the Young Stallions name is mentioned. Haku, with awful English, says the Islanders can win the SS match on their own.
Before he tells us what's on next week, Monsoon stretches a Bundy doll, and tells Heenan that that is what'll happen on Thursday. Eventually, we find out that next week we get Killer Kahn (oh dear God), Jim Duggan, a Honky Tonk Man Music Video, Ted DiBiase, and the British Bulldogs.
We go out with clips of various Survivor Series participants, ending, of course, with Hogan. And that's your lot.
Overall: It was Ok this week. Not boring, but then again, nothing remarkable either. Bigelow is great, and Nikolai Volkov was a very underrated wrestler. I wish I could see the Survivor Series and recap it, but it won't be on, so I can't. I'm sure we'll get the results next week, but if your really excited I'd like to recommend Scott Keith's recap on the Smarks, but since he doesn't get on with the big man I won't. So together we find out next week, and praise DiBiase as well. Join me for that. Join me.