|WWF Classics (UK) by Ian Mowat
WWF CLASSICS RECAP
Originally aired December 1987
'Hey Ian.' 'Yeah?' 'Are you having difficulty thinking of new and interesting ways to say that the show begins with a shiny WWF logo?' 'Now you mention it, I am having problems. Do you have any ideas?' 'No, sorry.' 'Bollocks.'
This week we have moved away from Omaha, and toward the Lee Civic Centre in Fort Myers, Florida. A new arena must mean a new manager telling us how pleased he is to have the WWF at his venue. Despite this being the stupidest thing ever, this particular instalment is saved by the fact that the manager is Norman Jones, who, going by his accent, is the only Scottish person ever to appear on WWF TV, aside from the guy sitting right behind the commentators, wearing an Aberdeen football shirt, at Wrestlemania XVII. He is my hero. Anyway, way to represent, Norm! If anyone can think of any other Scot in the WWF please e-mail me. Note: Roddy Piper was NOT Scottish.
Gorilla and Bobby are once again the men with the mics, but only Bobby is the man with the neckbrace.
Montage stays the same.
On this show: Rick Rude, The Young Stallions, The Bolsheviks, The Ultimate Warrior, and Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion of the, er, Continents, The Honky Tonk Man. A quick check of last weeks recap says this isn't what was promised, but this selection doesn't have One Man Gang, so lets just stay quiet.
First up it's the Young Stallions Vs 'The generic jobbers' Dave Wagner and Rick Renslow. The Stallions tune sounds like a Poison imitation, or for you people who aren't living in the late 80's, an Andrew WK knock off. Jim Powers starts with Wagner and quickly gets a headlock, and moves to a hammerlock. Wagner breaks this with an elbow, and some knees to the gut. He then unfortunately has his whip reversed and is backdropped. Renslow comes in but gets armbarred. Wow, they REALLY want to be Strike Force, eh? Paul Roma is tagged in, and he drops an elbow after a Powers drop toehold. An armbar, another quick tag, and the faces hit a double back elbow, which gets two for Powers. Roma comes down on the arm from the top rope, and grabs another armbar, but gets raked in the eye. Wagner holds Roma while Renslow tries the Stinger Splash, but Roma obviously moves, and the jobbers head groundward. Powers comes in with a backdrop, a dropkick, a back elbow and an armbar. Another dropkick fails, when Renslow holds on to the ropes. Renslow then goes for some kind of leg hold, but is kicked off. He tries again, but the tag to Roma has already been made, and Paul comes off the top rope with a textbook Sunset Flip, for the 3. That Flip was great. 1 for 1. They're not quite Strike Force, but The Stallions kept me interested.
Item number two is Craig DeGeorge's Special Report. Craig tells us to watch the Slammys this weekend. (That'll be why they didn't give us the results yet.) We then see the say gay promo we did last week, only now its got some boring clips and Vinnie Mac doing the voiceover.
The second match is Rick Rude Vs Outback Jack. Ahh, Outback Jack - Wrestlecrap legend. The gimmick is basically a Crocodile Dundee rip-off, and you don't need me, or Evan Conover, to tell you how well that worked. God Bless Phil Hartman. The Simpsons has never recovered. Anyway, Rude comes down and gives the 'Lizard looking men' a good cussing, and the women a few poses. The match begins with the crowd totally on Heenan, who is at ringside. Rude goes at it with a kick, a chop, and a bunch of forearms. He whips Jack into the ropes, but puts his head down, and gets hoofed. Jake comes with the punches, and the crowd ERUPT. Seriously. Rude is whipped to the corner, but raises his boot to turn the tide. He slams Jack's face to the mat twice, as he also appears with comments that he's going to win the best body Slammy. Jake gets an eye rake and some more punches, but his whip is reversed, and he quickly has to give up, due to being put in the 90 degree Torture Rack. 1 for 2. Despite the advantage of the big heat from the first week of a taping, the match still blew like the cold north wind.
Backstage, Jimmy Hart and the Hart Foundation chat with Mean Gene. Jimmy whines that they're not whining about losing the tag titles. Anvil says it's like having your Christmas presents stolen, while Bret calmly says its OK, and they'll beat the Strike Force next time. Jimmy then waves the rematch contracts, which will be fulfilled soon. Bret staying calm whilst everyone else whines? Never has irony been so ironically ironic.
More squared circle antics as Brutus Beefcake takes on The Greatest Jobber Of All Time BARRY HOROWITZ. Barry still has the gold suspenders, and remembers to pat himself on the back. The match starts with a Collar and Elbow tie up, resulting in Barry being pushed back. He tries again, and this time knees Beefcake in the gut. Brutus is whipped to the rope, and holds on, to avoid a Bad Barry Clothesline. Barry charges, but is leapfrogged, then hiptossed, then slammed. Brutus chokes away in the corner, as Greg Valentine boasts about how he injured Beefcake's leg, thanks to some pre-recorded comments. Barry frees himself with an eye poke. He then lands some punches, but Brutus ducks a clothesline. Barry does get a kick in however, and tries a slam. Beefcake works out of the attempt though, and sticks Horowitz in the sleeper for the win. Brutus then threatens to cut some of Barry's nice perm off prompting Heenan to state 'He'd better not cut Horowitz's hair. He's got a lot of pull and a lot of power around here.' HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAH! Despite the dire consequences of such a move, Brutus does snip Barry a bit, and then spray-paints a big B on him. Not sure what that's about. Barry is woken up and freaks when he sees a mirror, despite only the back being touched, and not much of it at that. 1 for 3. The match was pretty boring, but you've gotta love Heenan.
Mean Gene is now with Ted DiBiase and Virgil. Ted says Virgil looks after his money because 'He's a very good man.' and quite tough too. He says not even a fool would turn down the offer he's made to Hogan, and the stock market crash didn't bother him, because he caused it.
Koko B. Ware babbles about singing at the Slammys in a loud and annoying voice. I wonder if Frankie went deaf eventually?
Next up it's S.D. Jones and Leapin' Lanny Poffo Vs Butch Reed and The One Man Gang. Oh no! Gang IS on the show. I thought I told you lot to keep it quiet. The commentators reveal that Billy Graham is out of wrestling forever, and Poffo's rubbish poem is about how much he liked the Superstar. Poffo begins with a backflip, and then locks up with Reed. Reed wins the strength test, and does so again, when Lanny tries it one more time. Poffo does get a headlock, whips Reed off the ropes, ducks a clothesline, blocks a hiptoss, and gets a backslide for two. Jones is tagged in, and Reed knees him in the gut, then clubs his back. Jones does duck a clothesline and get a patented headbutt in. Reed now tags the Gang in. Jones tries to shoulderblock the Gang, but no sale. Less stupidly, Jones then runs around Gang, and an armbar is his reward. Poffo comes back in, and supplements an armbar with a boot against the face. The Ragin' Racist Don Muraco appears with comments that he'll get Reed and Gang for what they did to Graham. Back in the ring, Gang clubs Poffo down, and tags Reed in. Butch gets a snapmare, followed by fistdrop. A whip to the ropes leads to a knee to the gut. A second whip lets Poffo scramble through Reed's legs and tag. SD gets some punches, a headbutt, and a shoulderblock in, before he is pushed into the Gang, who is on the apron. Gang is tagged in, and straight away gets the dominator for the victory. 1 for 4. Not awful, but not good either. Oddly enough, it was Butch Reed, and not the faces that was made to look like the JTTS here. Weird.
Craig DeGeorge talks to 'Hacksaw' Jim Duggan on stage. The point of this interview seemed to be to stress that Duggan really likes Christmas. I don't. I don't like Duggan either. How serendipitous.
Back to the ring, where The Bolsheviks take on ? Richards and ? Hunter. The jobbers don't get ID'd as they do a double dropkick as Nikolai sings the Soviet anthem. Nikolai starts with Hunter, kicking him, and ramming his head to the buckle. Zukhov comes in and gets a kick and a hiptoss before Richards is tagged in. Richards gets the treatment too, as he is clubbed and backdropped, before Zukhov tags out. Nikolai hits his bad-ass butterfly suplex, and tags out. More quick taggery as Zukhov goes straight out after performing a side Russian leg sweep. How appropriate. Nikolai lands a sort of backbreaker, which is surprisingly enough for the pin. The replay confirms my suspicion that the backbreaker did not connect. 1 for 5. Short and sloppy.
Next it's The Ultimate Warrior Vs Rex King. King is very skinny (for a wrestler), and should put 'Regal' in front of his name to make it better. I mean if you're going to go for the comedy name, you may as well go all out. Warrior begins by pushing King down and beating his chest. He repeats this, and then King runs into a powerslam. Warrior then lands a BIG chop in the corner, and goes for the Gorilla Press Slam to get the win. He held King up FOREVER there. 1 for 6. Nothing happened to make it a match, but The Warrior still looked the business.
Three matches in a row? Oh yeah baby. This one is Scott Casey Vs The Honky Tonk Man. HTM grabs the mic and introduces his girlfriend, Peggy Sue. Peggy is bedecked 50's style, to no-one's surprise. A collar and elbow tie-up takes us to the ropes, and Honky gives a clean break. Again a tie-up goes to the ropes, but this time HTM pulls off a quick knee, elbow, and punch combo. Next he gets in a snapmare followed by a fistdrop and the ramming of Casey's head to the buckle. Casey is then able to reverse an armbar, but Honky breaks this with an eye poke. Pre-recorded HTM comments inform us that he's going to perform live at the Slammys. Back in the ring Casey punches, ducks a back elbow, and hits an elbow of his own. He then goes for an elbowdrop, but misses, allowing Honky to pick him up for the Shake, Rattle, and Roll. Of course this gets the win. Post match, Honky thanks the audience and dances with Peggy Sue. 1 for 7. That could have been good if given some time.
Final interview time. Gene is with Greg Valentine who says that apart from signing with Jimmy Hart, 1987 has been a disappointing year for him. He calls Beefcake 'Fruitcake' and says that while Brutus is good, he is better.
Overall: They crammed an extra match in this week, meaning the bouts were even shorter. Not a good thing. With the exception of the decent opener the matches were boring, and there weren't even any good interviews this week. Still, Heenan claiming Horowitz had power had me rolling about. Next week Hogan answering DiBiase should be interesting as I can actually remember most of it from the first time around. This is particularly amazing when you consider the only other things I remember before this, excluding big PPV matches, were the Million Dollar Man introduction skits, and Rock 'n' Roll Express matches from the NWA. Even if that isn't any good, and the rest of the card sucks, The Bulldogs Vs The Islanders can't miss. I've been waiting for a match like that for a while now. Join me for that one show. Join me.