From the WWE Network: The Best of Old School House Shows Vol.5

MSG October 1986

Gorilla Monsoon, Mean Gene and Lord Alfred Hayes call the action.

B.Brian Blair vs. Brutus Beefcake

One half of two teams collide. Basic stuff to start as they trade armbars and wristlocks. A test of strength is turned into a back suplex by Blair and Beefer takes a walk. Brutus pokes the eyes and starts to drop forearms and punches onto Blair. Beefcake works the rest holds until a slugfest breaks out. Beefcake rolls thru on a crossbody and yanks Blair’s tights for the win. Just a warm up for the crowd.

Tama vs. Moondog Rex

Tama does Jimmy Snuka’s moves to start- reverse leap frog, chop to the gut, headbutt. Rex is too big to be grounded and he batters Tama with some big haymakers. Tama fights back, Rex is tied in the ropes and he eats some big chops. Tama charges in and ends up splattered on the cement. Rex hammers away. He flings Tama off his shoulder and into the turnbuckle. Rex locks in a bear hug. Tama escapes and hits the flying crossbody for the win. Nice little match.

Super Machine vs. King Kong Bundy

Super Machine is Bill Eadie AKA Masked Superstar AKA Demolition Ax. Machine uses his speed, of all things, to send Bundy off kilter. Bundy uses obesity to make his comeback. Bundy hammers down the forearms and catches him with the avalache corner splash that GETS THE PIN? Whoa that was unexpected. Quick paced and short match, hats off to Eadie for making this watchable.

Dynamite Kid vs. Jim Neidhart

The announcers try and claim Matilda weighs almost 100 pounds. Probably only overstating that by 70 pounds. Neidhart wins a test of strength via shenanigans. Kid escapes and sends Neidhart fleeing to the floor. Kid hits a gorgeous single leg takedown (lightning quick!) but his bull-like opponent is able to get back up and continue pounding away on the Kid. Dynamite splats on the cement and Anvil slams him on the concrete for good measure. Jim misses a splash and Kid hits a top rope dropkick. Kid misses a charge but flips himself over the ropes and rolls up Neidhart for the pin. Another brisk match.

Jacques Rougeau vs. Iron Sheik

Pearl Harbor job by Sheiky baby before the match. Rougeau is rocked but managed a surprise crossbody to take control. A near fall off a sitdown splash is enough to make Sheik take a breather. Rougeau’s luck continues til he catches Sheik’s pointed boot in the throat. Sheik locks on an abdominal stretch and of course Monsoon says its locked on wrong. Gut wrench suplex hits but a vertical suplex attempt is reversed. Rougeau is tossed to the floor but Jacques rolls him up on the way back in for the duke. This was the most over I’ve ever seen a babyface Rougeau. Match was a better than expected.

“Piper’s Pit”

Piper says that despite the cheers he’s still a no good S.O.B. He calls Adrian Adonis a homosexual slur to raucous applause. He invites Paul Orndorff and Bobby Heenan to join him. Heenan comes down sans Paul. Piper and Heenan go toe to toe with verbal arguments. They have to share a mic so it’s not as smooth as possible. Seems uncharacteristic for Heenan to hand Piper the mic for retorts. Orndorff joins us. They immediately tear their clothes off and nearly brawl. The insults and barbs continue. A tag match is discussed but Heenan can’t come up with a partner for Mr.Wonderful. That’s a stretch since he has a whole stable of men. After several minutes of discussion Heenan comes up with Harley Race. Piper mimes talking to his invisible manager and then brings Vladimir the Superfan up from the crowd who tells Piper to pick “Hulk Hogan” and the crowd explodes.

Jim Brunzell vs. Mike Rotunda

Babyfaces collide. They work a mat based feeling out process and both men lock in wear down holds. The crowd chants boring. Rotunda takes the subtle heel role. They semi-botch a abdominal stretch spot as Mike fights it and it ends up locked on wonky. Rotunda tries a fireman’s carry and both men spill to the floor for a double count out. Solid, but dull outing.

Davey Boy Smith vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine

They go back and forth with technical wrestling basics. Hammer starts to grind away on Bulldog. Valentine stretches away at Davey’s leg muscles until Davey hits a enziguiri. Smith locks in a Sharpshooter(!) and Greg has to fight to the ropes. Davey hits some suplex variations and a powerslam for a 2 count. Greg bails and runs around the ring and rooks the Bulldog into chasing him. Smith is attacked on the way back in and locked in the figure four. They yank on each others hair and Valentine gets a TERRIBLE looking roll up for the win. Nice match – both guys tried hard.

SD Jones vs. Moondog Spot

Spot scratches his fleas. SD no sells some head shots and does a jig. SD and Spot run around the ring and Spot takes control by jumping him. Spot works on the headlock while the announces opine why Spot is getting fatter. SD no sells more head shots but a back breaker hurts him. Spot clubs away. “Boring” chants ring out. They collide on a goofy looking double shoulder block. Spot misses an elbow and hits a headbutt for the pin. Terrible match that was given far too much time.

Haku vs. Nikolai Volkoff

Haku interrupts the Soviet National Anthem and sends Volkoff to the floor. The Commie rakes control with his usual clubbering (TM The American Dream). Haku rallies but a international object slows Haku down. Haku gets a very sloppy roll up for the win. Another stinker.

Raymond Rougeau vs. Bret Hart

Ray stomps on Bret’s glasses to start. Technical based feeling out process starts us off but Bret takes control with some big punches. Ray is sent to the floor and back in Bret works in several of his usual big moves such as the back breaker. Headlock is applied and the crowd is too restless for that kind of stuff this late in the card. Ray gets free and drives Bret into the mat with a piledriver and sends him flying with a atomic drop. Hart gets a roll up with his feet on the ropes for the cheap win. Technically sound, kind of dull.

Tag Team Battle Royal: Rougeau Brothers, Moondogs, Jay Strongbow and Steve Gatorwolf, Hart Foundation, SD Jones and Mike Rotondo, Islanders, Volkoff and Sheik, The Killer Bees, The Machines, King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd and finally The British Bulldogs

The announcers make light of Strongbow working this match. Moondogs fly out right away. Usual battle royal mess to start. Jones and Rotunda go next. The Indians fly next. Volkoff and Sheik, The Harts and the Bulldogs all take the loser’s walk. If anything noteworthy was happening action wise, I’d tell you. The Bees buzz off. The Rougeaus and the Dream Team head to the local speakeasy. The Machines head to the mechanics. The final two teams are Bundy and Studd vs. The Islanders. Haku fends off Studd well but Tama is squashed by Bundy. Haku is held by Studd and Bundy charges in and accidentally hits Studd. This propels Studd to the floor!! The crowd goes bonkers and I smile. Glad to see the youngsters get the chance to shine.

MSG October 1988

Rod Trongard, Lord Alfred Hayes and Superstar Billy Graham call the action – Rod and Billy are competing to see who can look the most like they belong in the previous decade it would seem.

Paul Roma vs. Danny Davis

Davis’ juice as a heel was long since spent – Roma is still half of a low card tag team, so this is just a match to warm the crowd up. Roma is shredded and its pretty amazing that Vince didn’t find a reason to push Roma hard at this point since the roster was starting to thin out.

Davis gets a slam and struts. Graham is drooling all over Roma’s body. Davis is hiptossed and stalls. It proves to be a ruse and Roma is sneak attacked. Davis stomps and chokes away. Danny hits a weak looking forearm from the 2nd rope and locks in a headlock. Al Hayes and Graham start to bash Roma for his lack of stamina, although Hayes notes Paul just came back from overseas. Roma stays trapped for too long but finally breaks free and nails a flying dropkick for the win. As dull as you can imagine.

Koko B. Ware vs. Big Boss Man

Koko lures Bossman in to a corner and jukes away and allows the Bossman to smash the turnbuckle with his fists. Koko avoids him again and dances. Bossman had enough to this and just starts pounding the tar out of Ware. He chucks Koko to the floor and then slugs him back down when Ware attempts to ascend back in. Bissman attempts a headbutt and hurts himself, but he just sits on Koko to regain control. Bearhug locked on. Koko escapes and rallies with punches. That doesn’t last long as he runs right into the Bossman slam. Short enough to not be a bore. Koko is beat with the nightstick after the match.

The Rockers vs. Demolition

Ax shoves Shawn to the mat. Graham is excited that the Rockers are roiding up. Ax catches Michaels on a cross body attempt and is slammed hard into the mat. Smash comes in and grinds down Marty with double ax handles. Both Rockers take turn drop kicking him and it takes 3 to knock Smash over. The Rockers trade off back and forth at wrenching away at Smash’s arm. Ax tags in and faces the same fate. Ax headbutts Marty to stop that fray.

Ax slams Marty roughly but Smash tags in and eats an elbow that allows Jannetty to make the tag. Shawn comes in like a house of fire but Ax yanks down the ropes as Shawn flies toward them and Michaels crashes to the cement. Both Demos wear into Shawn until he catches Smash with a crescent kick. Marty tags in and a four way melee breaks out. The Dems are tossed together and both eat dropkicks.

Smash is down and Marty hits the big splash that the crowd totally buys as the title change. Ax saves the titles by breaking up the pin. Smash catches Marty and Ax clotheslines him and that’s enough to get the duke. Good fun.

Hercules vs. Virgil

This match is due to Dibiase buying Herc’s contract and Hercules refusing to be a “slave”. The Million Dollar Man talks some trash on the house mic until Hercules charges the ring and attacks him. Ted is backdropped, as is Virgil. I was a pretty big Hercules fan during this period. Herc chucks Virgil from pillar to post and nails the powerslam. Herc locks on the full nelson and Virgil is choked out from the hold. Herc doesn’t let it go and Dibiase attacks him from behind. Herc no sells a forearm and a chair shot, so Ted grabs Hecules’ chain and wraps it around his throat. Herc no sells that too and just chucks Dibiase and scares him off with the chain! If you wanted to make a star, this was a Hell of way to go about it!

Blue Blazer vs. Steve Lombardi

Poor Owen had very few people who could work his style at this point. Blazer grabs Lombardi’s arm, leaps up on the ropes and drops and bounces off, whipping himself in a circle and twisting Lombardi’s arm along the way. Owen then hits a hurricanrana, which was NOT a move the WWF roid freaks were busting out very often. Blazer is almost tossed over the top rope but just flips over it and busts out a moonsault! Since those moves didn’t earn the pin, Graham suggests Owen stop with the fancy moves and hit a high impact move. Lombardi clotheslines Blazer to the floor and suplexes him back in. Owen kips up and slams Lombardi off the top rope. Owen hits a flying dropkick from the top and an impressive belly to belly suplex. Blazer hits a moonsault for the pin. Good exhibition of what smaller guys could offer.

World Champion Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. Andre The Giant

Savage can lose the title via count out per the match stipulations. Savage comes out first for some reason. Graham notes Andre smells bad – that’s probably a shoot comment. Pat Patterson makes Heenan sit on a chair. Randy runs right into a choke and a headbutt sends him to the floor.

Andre chokes away back in the ring. Savage hits a series of punches but Andre just swats him away. The Giant chops away and locks Savage in a modified surfboard type maneuver. Andre headbutts and forearms away at Macho Man’s back. Savage gets another flurry of punches and rakes at Andre’s face. Andre falls into the ropes and falls down for the first time. A flying double axehandle sends Andre down but Savage misses the big elbow. Andre rolls to the floor and eats another double ax handle. Andre falls over on the cement. Heenan trips Savage for the lame DQ. Andre misses a follow up elbow and Savage celebrates his win by carrying Liz to the locker room. Andre knocks over all the announcer’s stuff in a fit of rage after all that. Way way way more entertaining than I was expecting from this match.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Dino Bravo

Duggan gets into a flag waving contest with Frenchy Martin and is attacked from behind for his efforts. Dino is back dropped and bails. Bravo is atomic dropped and bails again. Martin grabs Hacksaw’s foot and that allows Bravo to attack him from behind again. Bravo gets a headlock and chokes away. Duggan flips out of a piledriver and smashes forearms into Bravo. He tries his 3 point stance clothesline but Bravo is knocked to the floor from the impact. Duggan sends Dino into the post and chases Martin, which allows Bravo to sneak in for the count out win. Duggan abuses Frenchy with the 2X4 afterwards in order to seek some revenge. Watchable – not exactly good, but watchable.

The Hart Foundation vs. The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers

Anvil wins a poorly thought out test of strength proposed by Raymond. Bret and Jacques come in and Rougeau flips over Bret and celebrates and then hops in circles around Bret. Bret drops an elbow on him and the Rougeaus decide it’s time to take a siesta.

The Harts corner Jacques and choke him behind the refs back. Anvil slams a number of fists into Jacques jaw and locks in a bearhug. Anvil finds himself in the wrong corner and is choked by the tag rope. Bret tags in and nails both Brothers with a reverse atomic drop and then knocks their noggins together. Jacques trips him up and the Rougeaus take advantage again.

Bret absorbs a chinlock, gut buster and an abdominal stretch as the Rougeaus manage to keep the ref busy whenever Bret gets close to making a tag. Jacques finally misses a splash and that lets Bret make the tag.

The fresh Neidhart works over both Brothers and then Bret tags back in for the Demolition Decapitation, and then hit the Hart Attack. Raymond rings the bell and the ref buys that as a time limit draw. After several minutes of stalling, Pat Patterson comes out and says the match has 3 minutes left. Bret unloads on Jacques and Anvil adds a dropkick. Jim is double teamed and he just no sells and the Rougeaus flee. The Rougeaus stall long enough for the time limit to expire for real. Solid formulaic stuff.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude

The rules state that this is DDT vs. Rude Awakening. Cheryl Roberts is at ringside. Jake tries to strip Rude before the bell. Jake jumps Rude and cranks on a wristlock. They claw at each other’s eyes and Rude feels the effect of some short jabs. Rude short clotheslines the Snake and ties him in the ropes so he can chase down Cheryl. Jake pursues Rick and ends up eating the ring post for his trouble. Jake is loopy and punching blindly.

Roberts ends up trapped in a headlock. The Snake scratches Rude’s back to escape. Rude drops Jake’s neck across the top rope but the Rude Awakening is blocked by Jake chewing on Rude’s hand. Rick tries to send Jake into the post again but Roberts blocks it and posts him. He slams Rude on the cement and sets up for the DDT in the ring but Rick grabs the ropes to block it. Jake yanks down Rude’s tight and hits a short clothesline.

The DDT is blocked by shoving Jake into the turnbuckle. Rude hits the flying fist drop and gets in Cheryl’s face. Jake recovers and drops Rude with the DDT for the pin. This might be the first “good” match I’ve seen from these two I think, as most of their matches were rather dull.

Top to bottom this was the best house show the Network has uploaded so far!

MSG March 1990

Gorilla Monsoon, Lord Alfred Hayes and HILLBILLY JIM on the call. Oh Boy!

This is taking place 2 weeks before Wrestlemania 6.

Jim Powers vs. “Iron” Mike Sharpe

Powers is about to lose Paul Roma as a partner, and after almost 5 years in the WWF he’s still just an opening match jabroni. Poor feller. Sharpe clubs away and hits a chop that makes the audience “awww” in pain. Sharpe is dropkicked to the floor. Monsoon encourages the fans to not have Wrestlemania parties and order at their own homes so they can sit in their underwear and pick their noses while the show is on. That’s seriously a direct quote! While the guys stall, Jim tells us the delicacy of eating possum. They trade basic stuff and go way too long considering their position on the card. Powers wins via a powerslam after 10 minutes or so.

Hercules vs. Black Bart

Bart has one of the all time best shoots if you enjoy complete fabrications by the interviewee. Among the lies he told that he was suppose to star in a FOX sitcom based on the Desperados gimmick and that he was the first choice to play The Undertaker.

Herc out powers Bart in multiple fashions and Bart just keeps finding new ways to try and out muscle Hercules. Bart chokes and clubs away. Herc takes so much abuse that Hayes starts to wonder how Herc will deal with Earthquake if he can’t even deal with a jobber like Bart.

Bart locks on a super loose headlock and that allows Herc to garner some adrenaline. Herc escapes 3 times and Bart keeps going back to the headlock as I wish I didn’t have the personal rule to not fast forward thru the garbage. Monsoon talks to Hayes about his recent visit to the Terry Garvin School of Self Defense and notes it takes $800 to pass the course. Great now I’m picturing Hayes being sodomized. Herc finally nails some punches and wins via the torture rack. That was an appropriate finish because that match was TORTURE.

Demolition vs. The Orient Express

Demolition’s theme is edited off. Smash sends Tanaka head over heels with a clothesline and both Demos drop the hammer blows on him. Sato has similar success with Ax. Tanaka is back in and the Demos continue to dominate. Pat is hacked into mush and Smash tries to wrench his head off his body. The Express finally catch Smash in their corner and are able to double team him to finally slow down the assault. Fuji whacks Smash with his cane. Smash finally is able to catch Tanaka with a big clothesline and tag Ax in and he tears thru Tanaka until a Demolition decapitation is interrupted by Fuji and Ax chases him. Fuji sets up an ambush and Ax is blinded by salt and counted out. Decent match considering the styles clash.

Koko B. Ware vs. Frenchy Martin

They try and put Martin over as a cagey vet, but the WWF audience knows him as a manager. Martin uses an armlock and a nerve pinch. Koko escapes and Martin reapplies the hold. Ware is tossed to the floor and goes back to the nerve pinch. Sigh. Wikipedia tells me Martin wasn’t even 40 here but he looks weathered. Martin drops clubs as Koko has gotten nothing so far. Ware misses a charge and Martin chokes away. Crowd tries to start a “boring” chant but too many people are snoozing for it to gain momentum. Back to the nerve hold. Koko nails a dropkick, a headbutt and a brain buster to end the pain after 13 absolutely insomnia curing minutes.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Earthquake

The bulls shove each other and Quake eats a series of rapid punches. Quake no sells a clothesline and attacks Duggan from behind when Jimmy Hart distracts him. Quake misses a charge and flies over the top rope. Dugan tries to take advantage but Quake sends him into the ringpost. Duggan is squashed in the ring corner and locked in a bearhug. Duggan gnaws on Quake’s face to escape. Earthquake wobbles on some clotheslines and a few haymakers finally drop him. A 3 point stance clothesline rocks Quake. A second attempt sees Hart distract Duggan and Quake nails a corner splash and a elbow drop for the pin. Duggan chases the heels off with the 2X4 after the match.

Bret Hart vs. “The Model” Rick Martel

Martel makes his way to the ropes several times to escape Bret’s early attempts at showing technical dominance. Martel gets too cute and Bret clotheslines him and Martel heads to the floor.

Bret grabs a wristlock and hits some nice looking forearms into Martel’s arm and transfers it right into a hammerlock. Bret keeps him grounded wih an armlock and Martel becomes so flustered with his inability to escape that he hurts himself in the corner while trying to get out. Bret goes back to the arm. Martel dumps Bret to the floor with a leverage move and Martel drives his back into the ring edge. Martel continues to work over the small of Bret’s back and then locks in an abdominal stretch. Martel runs into the corner shoulder first but keeps control. The Model tries a Boston crab but Bret avoids it. Martel meets Bret’s knees on a splash and the men collide heads on a charge. Bret nails a suplex, second rope elbow, Russian leg sweep and a back breaker. Martel tries to run and Bret gives chase. The twenty minute time limit expires as they are on the floor. Bret wins the post match scuffle. Solid match.

Brutus Beefcake vs. Dino Bravo

Beefer wins a slugfest and Bravo takes a breather. We get a long test of strength battle and Monsoon takes the time to mock Greg Valentine and mimic Jim Barnett’s “my boy”. Bravo nails the reverse atomic drop and locks in a bearhug. That goes on forever too. Beefcake finally escapes and manages to trap Bravo in the sleeper. Hart distracts the ref and Earthquake yanks Beefcake to the floor and drives him into the ringpost. That’s enough for the count out win. Absolutely terrible match.

Tugboat vs. Pez Whatley

Crowd audibly groans at the jobber match this late in the card. Tugboat had been around for over 6 months before this goofy gimmick was finally decided on. Tugboat chucks Whatley around and locks in a bearhug. Tugboat misses a charge at Whatley and is hit by a flying headbutt. Whatley then dances. Pez is caught on the top rope and slammed. Pez bounces off the corner and is splashed for the mercy kill.

The Ultimate Warrior vs. Mr. Perfect

Warrior starts running around so Perfect starts to zig to his zag and ends up clotheslined to the floor. Warrior chucks Perfect to the corner and Hennig takes a walk. Warrior yanks Perfect around by the hair and then face plants him. Perfect is chucked across the ring and he backs into the ringpost and then is clotheslined to the floor. Warrior drives Perfect’s spine into the mat and tries a splash that lands on Hennig’s knees. Curt dodges a wild swing and downs Warrior with a leg sweep. Hennig abuses him on the floor, catches him with a standing dropkick and traps him in a chinlock. Warrior fights out and starts to shake the ropes. Perfect is nailed with a clothesline and Warrior drops him with the press slam and splash for the pin. Some fun bumps from Perfect but by the numbers stuff otherwise.

Dear WWF Network, I need more house show content!! Until next time…


Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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