|WWF Classics (UK) by Ian Mowat
WWF CLASSICS RECAP
Originally aired December 1987.
The shiny WWF logo is the recognised symbol of excellence in sports entertainment. Until it becomes uncool, and they update it.
We are still in the Fort Lee Civic Centre in Fort Myers, Florida. There will be some events in said Centre, including Neil Sedaka. He's the only one I recognised. I guess the good people of Fort Myers won't get any quality entertainment.
Bobby w/neckbrace and Gorilla are our hosts.
It's the same starting montage as always.
This week: We have Hogan's response to the Million Dollar Man's attempt to buy the gold, Ted will be in action himself, and the Macho Man will also show us his stunning manager, and rubbish trunks. In addition to this we should see a sweet Islanders Vs British Bulldogs main event.
Our opening match will feature Strike Force Vs Rick Someone? and Terry Gibbs. I couldn't make out the first jobber's name, even with repeated viewings. So let's just call him 'Dave', eh? Gibbs begins with Tito. Tito goes straight for the armbar, turns it into a fireman's carry, and keeps the armbar on. Gibbs breaks with a knee, but is then hiptossed twice and put back in an armbar. Tito tags Martel in, and the duo land a double punch to the gut, and now its time for the Canadian armbar. Gibbs escapes with a forearm, and whips Martel to the other side of the ring. A blind charge by Gibbs leads to Martel giving him a head-scissors out of the ring. That was nice. A slingshot back in is followed by an armbar. A forearm stops this, and 'Dave' is tagged in, but he is quickly hiptossed, slammed and put in everyone's favourite-upper-limb-related-hold. Tito comes in, SF get a double back elbow, and Tito grabs the arm. 'Dave' escapes with an eye-rake, but his shoulder-charge is unsuccessful, and he is dropkicked. Martel is back in the fray, and he is walked to the jobber corner, whilst holding on to the armbar. Idiot. Gibbs comes in and gets Martel's head into the buckle, and then pulls out a backrake! Oh, that's funny! 'Dave' returns to legality, and whips Martel across the ring, but is caught by a Martel knee-lift. Tito is tagged back in, and he punches the crap out of both jobbers and produces the double noggin knocker! Jesus, this match is just full of pish offence. 'Dave' is hiptossed by Tito, and is then given an awful almost-powerslam, and taps when put in the Boston Crab. 0 for 1. This may be the first time I've failed to give a Strike Force match a point, but it was sloppy and sleep inducing.
Craig DeGeorge's special report is coming your way. Look out! Craig reports to us (specially) that the Million Dollar Man is in the Netherlands Antilles, and is not best pleased. Now we get to witness Hogan in mid-interview. The Hulkster says that the money offered to him for the World Title could secure his family, get him cars, and help the little spasticated Hulksters. Wait, he said disabled, not spasticated. Sorry. Despite all this Hogan doesn't just say no to the offer, he says OH, HELL NO! He wants DiBiase to bring it in the ring.
We cut back to Gorilla, and Heenan, the later of whom unsurprisingly thinks Hogan is dumb.
Making an expeditious return from the Netherlands Antilles it Ted DiBiase Vs Sivi Afi. They lock up and DiBiase lands a stiff kick to Afi's leg. Various strikes by MDM are followed by a whip to the corner, and a hiptoss. The hiptoss is attempted again, but this time Afi blocks, and gets one of his own. Rallying, Afi lands a slam and a dropkick. A second dropkick doesn't connect however, as Ted has become wise to the ploy. DiBiase then pulls off a back elbow, some stomps, and rams poor Mr Afi's head off the mat a couple of times. He does this, while simultaneously appearing with comments that he'll still get the World Title, by hook or by crook. Afi is whipped to the buckle, and is backdropped. DiBiase then follows up with a double axe handle off the second rope, some punches, and a chop. A whip to the buckle, and a clothesline later and Afi is in perfect position for DiBiase's second rope back elbow, which procures the victory. 1 for 2. Nothing great, but just about doing the business.
Rick Rude is backstage, arguing the toss with Craig DeGeorge. Craig thinks Rude's had a good year. Rude doesn't care. Rude then outlines his plan to be world champion, causing Craig to express surprise, and in turn, Rick to go ape shit. Craig then pulls off a damn stupid move by saying that no one in the Heenan family has a title, making Rude almost apoplectic. Rick signs off by telling us he will be world champion in 1988.
Back toward the square circle we head, as it's Jake Roberts Vs Steve 'At least let me go to the toilet first, Pat' Lombardi. Jake grabs an armbar, after a Lombardi headlock. The future Brawler then manages to throw Jake off. Jake reverses another Lombardi armbar, but again he is thrown off. That sequence is then repeated, but with the participants exchanging roles. Two slams by Jake are countered with a Lombardi kick, and a forearm. Jake then ducks a clothesline, hits a kneelift, and then stomps on Lombardi's hand. Lombardi retorts with an eye rake, but can't slam Jake. Roberts unloads with some lefts and a big right, followed by a side suplex. Jake gives the DDT sign, but suffers an eye rake. Lombardi goes as if to apply the DDT himself, but this is reversed, and Jake delivers. The win is inevitable, and post match Damian slithers about on Lombardi. 2 for 3. That rocked. Just about as good as a 2 minute 80's match could be.
Craig DeGeorge is backstage with Oliver Humperdink, and Bam Bam Bigelow. Humperdink says his charge is ready to fight anyone. Craig brings up One Man Gang, but Bigelow rather forcefully replies that he doesn't respect the Gang.
Our next match is Dino Bravo w/Frenchy Martin Vs Jerry Allen w/a name that's close to being that of two good wrestlers. Martin tells the crowd to shut up, but they ignore him, so he stops trying. Allen pushes off a headlock, but is shoulderblocked down. Hard. Allen succeeds with a leapfrog, but not the second time he tries it. Bravo lands an atomic drop, throws Allen's head off the turnbuckle, lays in with various strikes, and hits a sidewalk slam. The finish comes as Bravo connects with a side suplex, and the ref counts to three. 2 for 4. Short match. Dino is still looking mighty hard though.
Staying in the ring, its 'The Ragin' Racist' Don Muraco Vs Frank DeFalco. A collar and elbow tie-up gives us a clean break. Another however, ends with some DeFalco punches. He whips Muraco into the ropes, but Don gains control with a Russian Leg Sweep. Muraco then follows up with a flurry. A belly-to-belly suplex, a legdrop, a dropkick, an elbow, a snapmare, and a rolling-neck-snap-thing-that isn't-quite-a-snapmare. Poor Mr DeFalco is then slingshotted into the corner, and given a Tombstone to put him out of his misery. 2 for 5. Super-squashtastic! Sometime during this match, Slick warbled that the One Man Gang and Butch Reed are going to get Muraco. That'll teach him for calling Slick 'Monkey faced'.
Craig DeGeorge is out on the stage to interview Demolition and Mr Fuji. Fuji suggests that in '88 Demolition will demolish everybody, while Ax says that they are the best team in the world.
Sam Houston tells us to Just Say No. Sam seems a bit distracted, perhaps because of the zillion wrestlers off-screen who are giving him the Nescafe Handshake. Hypocrisy personified, as Monsoon's piss poor semantics would no doubt tell us.
We cut to Superstars to see the Islanders Vs the Bulldogs. Matilda wants Heenan before we start, and Bobby belies his advancing years in avoiding the dog. The Islanders and Heenan leg it, and say that there will be no match, unless Matilda is removed. They work back to the ring, and as Heenan distracts both Bulldogs, the Islanders jump them, and lay down a beating of the first order. With the Englishmen prone, the dudes from the South Pacific steal their dog. Davey Boy and Dynamite both give chase, and both fall on their arses. Gorilla describes this as the most despicable thing he's ever seen. Chill out dude, it's just a dog.
Jimmy Hart is backstage, and he's chuffed about the big article on the Honky Tonk Man in the new WWF magazine. Jimmy predicts Honky will be IC champion forever.
Our final match of the evening is Macho Man Randy Savage Vs Jerry Gray. A Savage headlock is pushed off, but he gets a shoulderblock and another headlock. Savage then whips Gray into the ropes and lands a back elbow. Gray goes outside, but he is snapmared back in. Gray does get a kneelift and a clothesline in, and then has the audacity to go for a cover. It gets a one count. Savage takes his opponents head to the buckle, and whips him to the buckle, where Gray tries a Flair Flip! He can't pull it off however. He is then thrown out of the ring, and drops the big double axe handle from the tope rope. Back in, and Savage slams Gray in position for the Big Elbow, which duly arrives, and gets the win. 3 for 6. Randy Savage, he's the man... for you.
Last interview segment is with Greg Valentine. Greg tells Craig DeGeorge that '88 will be a banner year for him, as he doesn't have any bad partners, or managers to hold him back.
Next week: It's 1987 in review.
We close with stills of incidents in the shows, ending with the moving image of Savages Big Elbow.
Overall: Good show this week, marred only by the Islanders/Bulldogs non-match. Despite nothing being great, this is only the second week that's had a 50% success rate. Next week we'll have the recap of the entire year, which could blow, but may well be fantastic, so join me for that. Join me.