November 1985 Maple Leaf Gardens
Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura are on the call
Andre the Giant and Hillbilly Jim vs. Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy
The above attack by Studd and Bundy on Andre led to this tag bout. The heels are routed before the match can even start, then they bail. Announcing Studd as un-slamable seems silly since Andre did it in front of a world wide audience the prior March. Andre shoves Studd in the corner and tries to squash him but after a few butt slams Studd gets his knees up. Studd and Bundy take turns battering Andre but Bundy’s corner splash attempt ends up with him eating a face full of boot. Studd tags in and walks right into a bear hug and eventually a slam. Bundy tries to work over Andre but ends up in a choke. Bundy locks in a front face lock and I ponder Andre being a face in peril. Jim tags in and unloads on Bundy. Studd tags in and tries to pound away on Jim but Hillbilly catches him in a standing chinlock. Andre tags in and the heels are able to again wear him down. Andre finally makes his comeback but he ends up knocked to the floor and battered with a table. Andre collapses to the ground and is hurt. The heels are DQ’d obviously. The fans are in a quiet lull as Andre is not moving for like 10 minutes. Workrate wise this was a DUD but I bet that finish led to a big house for the rematch. I looked it up and the rematch took place in the same arena only two weeks later! After such a major injury angle, I’m shocked that they had Andre back so fast and that the blow off match took place so quickly thereafter.
Cousin Junior vs. Moondog Spot
Oh god, this should be brutal. They work an armbar and Monsoon is bored right away and starts to ask Jesse about his interviews and the WWF Album. Spot clubs away and we learn the ref has the slowest count in history. Maybe he’s just going along with the guys workrate? Spot elbows, chokes and headlocks away. Let’s sum up the next 8 minutes with the word “CLUBBERING”. Spot tries a slam and is rolled up for the pin. Dreadfully dull.
Dino Bravo vs. Nikolai Volkoff
My hopes are low for this one too. Bravo has a mountie themed ring jacket. They toss forearms and haymakers at each other. Volkoff locks in a side headlock and a chinlock. Nikolai jams his shoulder into Bravo in the corner but he misses the follow up charge. Bravo locks in an armbar but ends up being stomped down again until Volkoff misses another corner charge. Volkoff with a low blow and a bear hug. Volfoff drops a slew of double axe handles to wear down Bravo. Volkoff hits a German suplex but Bravo gets his shoulder up and Nikolai accidentally pins himself. Another stinker.
The Network edited off: Jose Luis Rivera vs. Tiger Jeet Singh, Tony Parisi vs. Ron Shaw, Haku vs. Terry Gibbs, and Tony Atlas/Ivan Putzki vs. The Hart Foundation. Sounds like we missed nothing.
October 1986, Boston Garden
Monsoon and Lord Al Hayes on the call. A ton of visible empty seats –maybe the fans are still filing in?
Billy Jack Haynes vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton
Orton is wearing a kilt to mock Roddy Piper, who he recently injured. A shoulder block and some punches rattle Orton right off. Haynes controls with extensive arm work. Orton goes low and begins to grind away at Haynes. Headlocks, elbows and other basic moves keep Haynes at bay for several minutes. Orton tries for a superplex but Billy fights him off. He nails Bob with a series of chops and an elbow nearly sends Orton to the floor. A slugfest ends with Orton tangled in the ropes. Orton tries a sleeper but Haynes sends them both flying out of the ring. Orton catches him with a big knee back inside. They putter about until the “20” minute time limit expired. Orton and Haynes go at it after the bell and Orton bails. Perfectly acceptable wrestling.
Raymond Rougeau and Lanny Poffo vs. Moondogs (Rex and Spot)
Jacques is injured so Lanny replaces him. Rex is befuddled by their acrobatic attacks and the Moondogs take a break to regroup. Lanny sends Spot head over heels with a flying head scissors and Rex meets the same fate. They double team Lanny to take control. Spot whips Lanny from pillar to post and batters him with a suplex and a back breaker. The Moondogs take turns working over Lanny until he can finally tag in Raymond, who comes in and wipes out both heels. We end with all 4 going at it – Lanny is tossed. The Moondogs try a double team move but Jacques trips Spot as Raymond hits a crossbody on Rex for the win, Formulaic but watchable.
Koko B. Ware vs. Jesse James Funk
They trade arm work as the announcers discuss Funk wearing his mask everywhere and possible facial deformities. Koko drop kicks out of a test of strength. Koko wears on JJ’s arm with a hammerlock around his leg. Koko is dropped on his throat over the ropes and tossed to the floor. JJ misses a follow up fist drop. Koko dances while punching away. Funk catches him with a knee and gets a powerslam. JJ starts to whip Koko with the noose Funk brought to the ring. Ref allows it. JJ shoves the ref – still no DQ. Another shove finally earns him the DQ. Koko makes his own save. Another decent encounter.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage
Crowd buzzes for Savage’s entrance. Lord Al suggests Elizabeth is secretly sinister. Savage takes a walk to start. Steamboat leap frogs Savage several times and goes to work on Macho’s arm with a hammerlock and half nelson. Savage tries to escape and is chucked with a deep armdrag. Savage is caught in the ropes and Steamboat chops away. Savage digs something out of his tights and grinds it into Steamboat’s eyes. Savage knocks Steamboat to the floor and slams him on the wood. Back in, Steamboat back drops out of a piledriver and Savage grinds the object across his eyes again. Savage misses a follow up charge and he eats a suplex and atomic drop. Flying chop from the top. Ricky charges and gets dumped to the floor. Savage jumps at Steamboat off the top rope and hits nothing. Ricky rolls back in for the count out win. Savage sells a knee injury. Steamboat fights with the ref over the title. He drags Savage into the ring and drops a chop to his head and counts his own pin. Fun match – of course. A few weeks later, these two would tape their infamous injury angle to set up Wrestlemania 3.
Sal Bellomo vs. Hercules Hernandez
Crowd boos Sal, and that makes me laugh for some reason. Sal is built like an insurance agent, so Herc tosses him around at will. Crowd shits on this match almost right away. Herc stays on his feet after a dropkick and rakes Sal’s face. Forearms from Herc and he withstands another dropkick. Backbreaker ends it. Mercifully short.
Roddy Piper vs. Magnificent Muraco
Don has a beard I don’t recall him ever having. Muraco is wearing a kilt and using Piper’s music. Piper works over Muraco right away. Piper slugs away, pokes his eye and field goal kicks him. Roddy chews on Don’s face and slugs away as Muraco is wrapped in the ropes. Piper hits a bulldog but Roddy wastes time and ends up being sent to the floor and launched into the steel post. Fuji jabs him with his cane for good measure. Piper with a double leg take down and then he bites Muraco until Don is bleeding. Piper is also bleeding from the post shot. Fuji tries to cheat but he and Muraco collide and Don is rolled up for the pin! This is pro wrestling mother fuckers!!! Brisk and violent!
Scott McGee vs. Sika
McGee was a former minor star in Florida, having held their top belts and getting to work with Harley Race and Ric Flair in NWA World title matches. Here he’s just another cog in the clogged lower mid card. Sika chokes him and drives him into the mat. The Wizard walks around and stares at the sky. Sika chops away and head butts him down. He follows with a nasty slam and more choking. McGee dodges a charge and gets a drop kick. Sika just Samoan drops him for the pin right after. DUD.
World tag Team Championship:The British Bulldogs vs. The Hart Foundation
They harass Jimmy Hart with Matilda. Dynamite is trapped early on and double teamed, but he just fights his way out himself and sends the heels to the floor. Davey Boy and Bret trade moves. Bret decides Davey’s too strong and tags the Anvil in. They try a shoulder block contest and when that goes no where Jim just slams him and flings Bret on him. Anvil drives Davey into the mat and Bret sneaks in for some cheap shots. Demolition decapitation earns a near fall. Neidhart is sling shotted into Davey’s guts. They wear Davey down further with quick tags. Bret locks in a sleeper but Bret is driven into the turnbuckles. Davey then presses Bret and drops him crotch first on the top rope. Kid is tagged in and explodes on both heels. Snap suplex and diving head butt on Bret. Kid locks on a sleeper and Anvil clubs him from the ropes but hits the ref too. Anvil drives Kid into the mat and Bret gets a near fall. Davey Boy sneaks in and rolls up Neidhart for the pin – despite both not being the legal men. Fun stuff.
Nice card overall, well worth checking out. I’m kind of surprised that a Piper/Muraco – Savage/Steamboat and Harts/Bulldogs line up on top led to so many visible empty seats.
Boston Garden, February 1987
Gorilla Monsoon and “Killer” Ken Resnick are the commentators.
Billy Jack Haynes vs. Hercules
Herc looks like he had the whole locker room’s supply of steroids. Bobby Heenan invites Paul Orndorff to come down to the ring. He does and he and Heenan pose and Paul leaves. WTF? Haynes unloads right away with punches and Hercules is knocked loopy. They slug it out and Haynes wins again. Herc gets a desperation clothesline to buy himself some time. Herc grinds away with knees, stomps, punches and forearms. Heenan joins the announcers and builds up Andre vs. Hogan at Wrestlemania 3. Herc with a bearhug and a big suplex. Heenan pretends to give Herc orders via hand signals. Nice subtle touch of realism. Double clothesline. Hercules misses a pair of elbows and Haynes drops Herc with one of his own. Haynes press slames him and punches Heenan down off the mat. Haynes locks in the full nelson but Orndorff returns and hits Haynes from behind and that’s enough for the win. Standard power guy vs, roid monkey stuff.
World Tag Champions: The Hart Foundation vs. The Rougeau Brothers
The fans sort of boo the Rougeaus. Hart stalls after an alleged hair pull from Raymond. Ray and Bret then trade arm work. Jacques tries to slam Anvil but Jim’s too fat. Jacques is slammed himself but he rebounds with a botched looking powerslam that looked like it could have ended bad for Jim’s neck. Neidhart drops Jacques throat first on the top rope and let’s Bret work him over. Ray tags in and doesn’t have much better luck. Ray tries a roll up so Bret grabs the rope which ends with Ray dropkicking him to the floor. Jacques tags in and dropkicks both heels and knocks there heads together. The Brothers toss the Hart Foundation together and hit the senton flip on Bret for the 1-2-3. Titles were not on the line. Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling.
Ricky Steamboat vs. Sika
Sika attacks before the bell. Steamboat retaliates with chops but Ricky ends up being dumped to the floor. Steamboat kicks and chops away but Sika keeps aiming for the throat area that Randy Savage injured. Steamboat is selling each blow like death. Ricky finally hits Sika with a chop to the throat and avoids a charge to set up a roll up win. As bad as a Steamboat match can be.
SD Jones vs. Dino Bravo
SD goes after Johnny V to set up a Bravo sneak attack. SD gets a series of slams and Bravo bails. Valiant claims he found Demolition after taking out an ad in the USA Today. SD controls as V babbles on with the commentary team. Bravo gets a reverse atomic drop and dumps SD to the floor. V slams him on the floor and kicks away. Suplex, gut wrench suplex, and Boston crab from Bravo. SD slugs away but misses a charge and is side slammed for the pin. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…
Lumberjack match: “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Bruno Sammartino
Steamboat and Savage trade words before the match. This stems from Bruno attacking Savage on the same show that Macho Man injured Steamboat. Savage was gloating and Bruno was disgusted that a man would brag about hurting another man in such a brutal manner.
Savage attacks Bruno at the start and tries a flying double axe handle. Bruno batters Savage and Randy tries to bail 3 times. Bruno chucks him in the corner but Savage acquires a international object and rubs it in Bruno’s eye. Savage hits a double axe from a LONG way away. Bruno’s looking old here and it’s not surprising he retired 5 months later. They collide on a shoulder block and Bruno falls to the floor. Bruno slugs away at the heels and gets back in to pound on Savage and toss him to Ricky on the floor. Bearhug by Bruno but King Kong Bundy charges in and everyone pours in for a brief brawl. Bruno wins by DQ and gets a nice pop. Brisk and entertaining.
Let’s see what the Network edited off: Tama vs. Frenchy Martin, Koko B. Ware vs. The Red Demon, Haku vs. Terry Gibbs and King Kong Bundy vs. Pete Doherty…total crap and they still drew 16,000 fans! Go Bruno!
MSG June 1991
Gorilla Monsoon, Jim Neidhart and Bobby Heenan on the call.
“The Dragon” vs. Demolition Smash
Smash is looking chunky and balding. Steamboat no longer has a “real” name and is just “The Dragon”. They do a terrible job of camera work while Ricky’s doing his fire spitting spot – the camera is right in a spotlight and it dulls the effect. They trade blows until Smash tries to toss Ricky, who skins the cat back in and dumps Smash. Steamboat hits some chops to the head that the camera shows miss fairly clearly. Smash hits a choke slam and a back suplex. The Dragon is dumped to the floor and Smash pounds away and posts him. Ricky is sling shotted back in. Steamer chops away but ends up in a sleeper. A lazy one at that. Ricky’s arm drops 3 times but the ref lets it go. Suplex by Smash. Smash misses a charge and is cross body pressed from the top for the pin. Too long and rather dull for a foregone conclusion.
Koko B. Ware vs.The Warlord
I wonder if any other lower card workers had as many themes as Koko did in the WWF? – He had at least 4 that I can remember. Koko escapes and evades as best he can but Warlord is too big to do anything to. Bearhug. Can I fast forward? Crowd is dead. Bearhug goes on forever. Augh. Koko gets a few punches, but Warlord just tosses him to the floor. Flying dropkick gets 2 but Warlord hits the stun gun right after for the pin. DUD. Dear God this was a bore.
Hacksaw Duggan vs. Col. Mustafa
Sheiky Baby slugs away but eats a pair of clotheslines. Duggan blocks Mustafa’s punches and drops him with his own. The Colonel hacks away at Duggan and chokes him with the ropes. Duggan blocks a suplex and hits his own. Hacksaw tries the 3 point stance but Gen. Adnan trips him and Duggan chases after him. He chases Adnan all the way to the back and Sergeant Slaughter jumps Duggan and beats him down with the 2X4. Sheik wins via count out. Another stinker.
Bret Hart vs. The Barbarian
Mr. Fuji is in the corner of The Barbarian since Heenan is commentating. Barbarian nearly shoulder blocks Hart right out of the ring. Bret slugs away and Barbarian bails. Hart works away on Barbarian’s arm. Bret is sent to the floor and Barbie jams his back into the steel post twice. Barbarian whips Bret into the turnbuckle very roughly. Hart bites his way out of a bear hug. Barbarian misses a second rope elbow drop and Bret explodes with punches and a reverse atomic drop. Second rope elbow and Russian leg sweep by Bret. Barbarian dumps him to the floor. Fuji trips Bret back in the ring. Fuji then tries hit Bret with his cane and he hits Barbarian instead and that’s enough for the pin. Heenan charges the ring irate and he and Fuji have a confrontation that is more entertaining than any of the matches so far tonight. Barbarian gets up and Fuji runs away. Disappointing match between two good workers. They never seemed to go past the bare minimum basic stuff.
Jimmy Snuka vs. Bob Bradley
Oh good a jobber squash. What a card so far. Snuka is trying to hide his advanced age by roiding to the gills. Bradley runs from the threat of a chop. Chops do end up sending Bradley flying. Snuka no sells some token offense. Snuka sends him flying again on another chop. Backbreaker leads to the Superfly leap. Next please.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Earthquake
Jake tries a sneak attack but Quake is too big to hurt. A knee lift forces Quake to back pedal. Jake hits and moves and keeps attacking Quake’s sides. Quake gets a hold of Jake and he chokes away but Jake gets a knee to Earthquake’s guts. A DDT attempt goes nowhere and Jake is sent to the floor. Quake goes after Damien and Roberts attacks him. Quake charges at Jake and eats the ring post. Back in Jake hits another knee lift and a short clothesline. The DDT is blocked as Roberts is crushed in the corner. Jake slithers to the floor and Quake teases a leap from the top rope that gets the fans to their feet. Jake is whipped around and Quake mocks him. Roberts clings to Quake’s boot and leg. Jake is able to avoid a clothesline and drops Quake with a blow to the back of his neck. Another DDT is blocked. Quake drops an elbow on Jake’s leg but the drop reinjures the ribs Jake had abused earlier. Jake rolls out of the ring to avoid the Quake splash. Quake tries a Quake splash on the snake but Jake trips him up. The snake is freed by Jake and Roberts is DQ’d. Psychologically strong match.
Cavalcade of promos with Bossman, Slaughter, Fuji and Hogan. Hogan warns the fans that Sarge may have put napalm in the stands at MSG. He refers to Sarge as a “commie”. LOL.
Big Bossman vs. The Mountie
Bossman sends Mountie rolling with some huge punches and then makes him eat the turnbuckle well over 10 times. Bossman drops Mountie with a big powerslam. Mountie tries to bail and Bossman gives chase and slugs him again. Mountie is dropped with more punches until Bossman hits his own throat on the ropes. Bossman is knocked to the floor and he takes a nasty bump. They slug away in the ring and Mountie is knocked to the pavement. Bossman shoves the ref and The Mountie grabs the shock stick and jolts Bossman for the pin. Monsoon seems to have missed the finish. Bossman is jolted again after the bell for an extensive period and Bossman ends up frothing at the mouth. This had an intense pace and was a fun watch.
Road Warrior Animal vs. Paul Roma
Power and Glory flip a coin to determine who would face Animal. Roma unloads with punches in bunches but Animal drops him with a clothesline and a nut shot. Roma tosses Animal to the floor with leverage. No word on where Hawk is. Roma hits a drop kick and wastes time posing. I was expecting Animal to hop up and jump him but no dice. Animal is given several back breakers and a piledriver. Animal starts to no sell and barrels over Roma. Ref is bumped. Flying tackle to Roma but no ref to count. Hercules helps Roma jump Animal but Roma hits Herc by accident and a powerslam wins it for Animal. This was short and they kept a good pace – match was nothing much to see though.
“Desert Storm Rules”: Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter
The only rule is that there are no rules. Hogan is wearing a silly mask that is too small for him. He tosses powder in Sarge’s eyes right away. Monsoon says it was “tear gas”. Hogan batters Sarge with his own helmet and then whips Sarge with the riding crop. Hogan then chucks him to the floor. Hogan strangles him with a pro-war flag. Hogan drives Sarge into the TV monitor and Sarge is bloody. Axe bomber! Hogan hammers away at Sarge’s wound. Slaughter is sling shotted into the post. Hogan no sells a kick but a few punches rock him. Sarge drives a canteen into Hogan’s head twice and Hogan is down and hurt.
Hulk is whipped with a belt and then has it wrapped around his throat. Both men sell like they are dead. Slaughter tries a chair shot but falls over from exhaustion. He gets back up though & Hulk endures a chair shot to the back and Sarge gets a half ass camel clutch. Hogan escapes and shoves Sarge into the post. Sarge calls in the air force as he climbs to the top rope. Sarge just falls off from exhaustion. Slaughter climbs back up anyway and Hogan slams him off. Double clothesline.
Sarge tries to hit Hogan with his boot but Hogan tosses fire(!) at him. Hogan rips his own camo off open and locks on a camel clutch. Gen. Adnan tosses in the towel. Adnan tries a sneak attack but he ends up with a face full of powder. Hogan then tosses both heels out of the ring. Sarge tries to crawl back in but he can barely walk. A fan seems to get in the ring. Hogan lets him carry the title. This was a good, hate-filled brawl. I feel Sarge’s selling may have been a bit over the top though. After that whooping, it’s surpring that the WWF ran with the same heels vs. Hogan and Warrior from MSG only 2 months later at Summerslam. This felt every bit like a blow off match.