Written by: Erick Von Erich from Da Wrestling Site
A half-assed review, since I kinda’ slept through parts of this show and didn’t take notes! I’m going strictly by memory, so the order of things might be all discombobulated.
Hello again, it’s Gorilla Monsoon…and your host, Bobby “the Brain” Heenan, here to look at the lastest action in the WWF! As soon as the introduction concludes, “Mean” Gene Okerlund runs past the host desk, catching a football. Gene completely ignores Heenan, while enthusiastically talking about the Cleveland Browns (who were on their way to second straight AFC Championship embarassment that season. Earnest Byner can tell you all about it). Gene works in a plug for his own show, by inviting Gorilla to drop by the set of “All-American Wrestling”. Heenan is all upset about the usual lack of respect, but with so much going on in the World Wrestling Federation, let’s get down to ringside for…
Match 1: “The Rock” Magnificent Muraco vs. “Outlaw” Ron Bass
They’re still not comfortable with his ring name, as he’s half “Rock”, half “Magnificent”. Commentators are Bruce Prichard and Mike McGuirk. If you think people were hard on Mike Adamle on ECW, they would absolutely skewer this duo. Muraco tries his best to work the match, but Bass keeps ducking out to the floor. Muraco would’ve been able to carry this match, but Bass is probably a little too physically thick for him to work with, adequately. They fight outside and both guys east ringpost. Back inside, they keep brawling, bulldozing the referee between them. It’s a double disqualification decision. Bass leaves quickly, cracking Miss Betsy (his bullwhip) down the aisle. McGuirk wets her pants, wanting to see Muraco take on Miss Betsy. Umm…okay. A slow, plodding match with very little outside of punchy/kicky/clothesline. But I was always a Muraco mark and that’s only increased since I’ve gotten WWE 24/7.
Back in the studio, Heenan brags about being on the cover of the new WWF Magazine. Gorilla says that Heenan looks like he did when Paul Orndorf fired him. Gorilla mentions the Heenan Family, so Heenan goes into a roll call…which he flubs by needing cue cards (kayfabe) to remember “Ravishing” Rick Rude.
From the pages of the World Wrestling Federation Magazine…here’s UPDATE with Craig DeGeorge! Over the past few months, the heel managers of the WWF have been salivating over the prospect of signing Bam Bam Bigelow. Every week, one manager was eliminated until only the Doctor of Style, Slick, was left. Cut to a confident Slick in the locker room, bragging about his pending deal. Then cut to a Very Special Craig DeGeorge Podium Interview, where Bam Bam Bigelow (backed up by Lord Oliver Humperdink) told Slick (and Nikolai Volkoff) to talk a walk! Bigelow pummels Volkoff to clear the podium and send the bad guys packing. Final cut sequence, as we get a studio promo from Humperdink and Bigelow, who throw a challenge to all the bad guys of the WWF.
At the Prime Time desk, Heenan claims that he was never interested in Bigelow. He was just messing with the other managers. As Heenan tries to explain, Gorilla throws it to…
SPECIAL REPORT with Craig DeGeorge. The subject: “who IS the Greatest Intercontinental Champioon of All Time”? The current champ, the Honky Tonk Man claims he is, but that doesn’t sit well with “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Cut to a sequence where Macho attacks Jimmy Hart in the dressing room, with a message for Honky. They also sandwich in a short promo from Miss Elizabeth, who politely denies Honky’s claim. Now, you may ask: why wasn’t Don Muraco, the REAL Greatest IC Champ of All-Time, offended about this stuff?! Cuz’ Muraco’s too frickin’ cool to care!
Match 2: Sivi Afi vs. Steve Lombardi
Hmm, here’s where I fell asleep. Hey, I had just eaten dinner and topped it off with one of those Kroger Ice Cream/Cookie Sandwiches. Those fuckers are a guaranteed Sugar Coma. Anyways, this match was from Boston Garden and I’m pretty sure Lombardi won after Afi missed a splash. Shortly after the outset of the match, Pete “Duke of Dorchester” Doherty came down to the announcing table and claimed to be better than commentators Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes.
A Very Special Mean Gene Studio Interview
Gene is in front of the big WWF wall and brings in the newly-formed Strike Force of Rick Martel and Tito Santana. Both guys deliver rocky promos, but the gist is that they’re best buddies now and are out to take care of the Islanders. They slip in the obligatory comment about eventually working up to the Tag Team Championship.
Match 3: Scott Casey & S.D Jones vs. The Shadows
Back to Boston again, with Gorilla and Hayes on commentary. Casey works out of an armbar by clumsily grabbing the ref’s shoulder and somersaulting over. Casey works most of the match and while rather stiff in his movements, he does manage a good variety of offense. While talking about the continuity of the “Casey/Jones” team, Gorilla compares them to “Task Force”, Santana and Martel. See, even the beloved Gorilla had his miscues. “Task Force” is worse than calling someone “Sheldon Benjamin”. Match conclusion has Shadow #1 rolled up off the ropes by S.D. Jones for the pin. Yes, S.D. Jones pinned someone and it’s post-1984! Up next for S.D: “Iron” Mike Sharpe! They should’ve kept these guys teamed together, billed as “Casey/Jones”. That name would’ve appealed to stoners, nerds and regular people alike.
Match 4: Pete Doherty vs. “Leaping” Lanny Poffo
More from Boston Garden. Before the match, Gorilla mentioned that this is Doherty’s final match, as he’s retiring. Doherty controls most of it with punchy/kicky/clothesline. Leap makes a comeback and charges out of the corner with flipping somersault back-splash for a two count. He follows up with his second-rope moonsault, but Doherty gets his knees up to block. Doherty drops two axehandles, then a big elbow to get the pin! Commentators sell a “broken rib” on Poffo’s part. Doherty’s pretty wacky, and I honestly think he could’ve done allright as a commentator, given more time. He had a very quacky, distinctive voice. He would’ve AT LEAST been as good as Tazz.
Match 6: Hercules, “King” Harley Race, “Ravishing” Rick Rude & King Kong Bundy (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. S.D. Jones, Rudy Ryder, Dusty Wolfe & Some Jobber Whom I Forget
WWF was doing a few of these mass tag-team matches at the time. Sort of a slow build-up for the upcoming Survivor Series gimmick. From “Wrestling Challenge” with Gorilla and “Luscious” Johnny V on the call. V is all over Rudy Ryder, a rather scrawny dude with long hair, beard and a loose singlet. In-set promo airs from Andre the Giant, who simply sez; “I am pwoud of da’ Hee-an Fam-a-wee”. Yup, that was it. As expected, this is a long, drawn-out squash, with most of the guys getting their signature offense. Race performs a vertical suplex and Rude comes off the top with a fist-drop. Bundy finishes it up with an Avalanche, then dropping an elbow for the 3 count pin.
As the Heenan Family leaves, Craig DeGorge fires up a podium interview with his guest, Ken Patera. Patera shows off the new cast on his right arm, now dubbed “The Weasel Whacker”. Kayfabed, it was caused by the Heenan Family. Patera shouts Figthin’ Words as the Heenan Family heckles him on the way to the lockerroom. Just a way to remind the fans that Patera was still around… despite his angle starting out red-hot in May 1987, it lost steam around August, as did Patera’s WWF career.
Match 7: George “The Animal” Steele vs. “King” Harley Race
Sugar coma returned, as I dozed off after the opening bell. But Steele appeared to be a bit more active than usual in this match, landing a few charging clotheslines. After roughly four minutes of punchy/kicky (including Race doing his trademark rope-bobble), Hercules runs in to trigger a disqualification. Rick Rude and Bundy follow, shortly. Babyfaces arrive to save, as well, as we get Scott Casey and Lanny Poffo. They don’t fare much better, so the Young Stallions team of Paul Roma and Jim Powers arrive. Yeah…not much help, either. But then Bam Bam Bigelow arrives and the heels instantly depart! Bam Bam looks a little amused, as he didn’t have to touch anybody. He motions to Roma and Powers as if to say: “dude, I’m here…and they left! Heh”. All the good guys share hugs, as Steele eats a turnbuckle. Complete garbage, but the multiple run-ins spiced it up. The Heenan Family seemed to do these mass run-ins for the next few months (most memorable being another on “Wrestling Challenge” after a match between Rick Rude and Ricky Steamboat, sometime in January 1988).
Gorilla and the Brain wrap it up. Someone, off-camera, tosses a football at the Brain, hitting his phone.
Why’d You Tape This? The first half-hour is entertaining, with the two special reports, Muraco/Bass and the banter between Gorilla and the Brain. But after that, it’s all downhill. Unless you’re a Pete Doherty fan, this show’s 100% skippable. Ice-Cream/Cookie Sandwich-Induced Sugar Comas are an essential survival tactic.