Written by: Brian Bayless
December 11, 1987
From the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston, TX
Your hosts are Mike McGuirk, Pete Doherty, and Bruce Prichard
Dusty Wolfe vs. Sam Houston
Houston two-steps down the aisle while slapping hands with the fans. This poor guy got saddled with one of the more pathetic gimmicks I have ever seen. Doherty does not approve of his dancing either. Match starts with Wolfe stalling, which Doherty refers to as “testing is waters” in his ever-so soothing voice. Houston takes Wolfe down with an armdrag. Wolfe comes back with a hiptoss but misses an elbow drop as Houston goes back to work on the arm for a while after a two-step. Wolfe grabs Houston by the hair then works a headscissors on the mat as these two are going back and forth as Houston tries to pull the hair, drawing the ire of Doherty. Wolfe continues to use hairpulls for leverage as Doherty comments about Houston’s “presperation” as Wolfe is “nice and dry.” Doherty is just too much on commentary. Houston is back to working the arm until Wolfe rakes his eyes then hammers away in the corner. Houston fights back and knocks Wolfe down. He hits a back elbow smash then goes to work in the corner. Wolfe reverses a whip in the corner as Houston goes to the second rope, presumably for a crossbody, but Wolfe botches things by running directly into his ass, then Houston gets the win with a bulldog (8:36) *.
Thoughts: Boring match and Doherty was exhausting on commentary. He makes Johnny V. seem subtle.
Hercules vs. Junkyard Dog
Doherty points out the “flab” on JYD s Prichard pretends that it is muscle. It is definitely flab. Hercules tries to attack JYD before the bell but misses a charge in the corner as JYD goes to work. JYD goes for the crawling headbutts as Hercules ducks outside. He heads back inside as they jaw it out before trading punches. JYD blocks a series of punches and kicks before taking Hercules down with another headbutt as Hercules retreats to the floor. He takes his time before heading back inside then hits JYD with a knee to the gut. JYD reverses an Irish whip and teases more headbutts but Hercules ducks outside yet again. Doherty once again points out JYD’s gut, attributing it to eating a lot of “dog chow” as they are now battling over a test of strength. JYD is on his knees then headbutts Hercules in his knees as Doherty calls JYD a “sadist” for enjoying that move. Hercules ducks out, yet again, briefly as JYD is sucking wind. Back inside, they fight over a lockup until Hercules rakes the eyes. Hercules fires away and knocks JYD down for a two count. Hercules stomps away but JYD no-sells them. Hercules tries for the full nelson but cannot lock his fingers. They slug it out again before clotheslining each other in one ugly spot, all due to JYD. A faint JYD chant breaks out as JYD goes for a falling headbutt that misses. Hercules misses an elbow drop then JYD comes back with a few headbutts until Hercules comes back with a high knee then uses the ropes for leverage and gets the win (8:15) – *.
Thoughts: My god this was brutal to watch. The crowd grew restless near the end and JYD was in such bad shape Hercules had to keep stalling throughout the match by rolling outside of the ring. JYD seemed in no condition to perform here.
Brady Boone & Billy Jack Haynes w/ Ken Patera vs. Demolition w/ Mr. Fuji
Patera is at ringside wearing a sling. Both teams immediately start brawling inside of the ring. The match settles down as Boone works the arm of Smash. The announcers continuosly stress Boone’s size here as the only thing holding him back. Haynes works over the arm of Smash now until he gets kneed in the back from Ax, who was standing on the apron. Smash distracts the ref so Fuji can hit Haynes with the cane as Ax rolls him back into the ring. Ax tags in and destroys Haynes, who manages to escapes and tags Boone. Ax comes back quickly with a shoulder tackle as Demolition takes turns beating down Boone for a while. Smash sets up for a backdrop but Boone springs off of him and makes the tag. Haynes runs wild then hits Smash with a powerslam as Ax breaks up the pin. The match breaks down as Smash gets hit with a double clothesline. Ax and Haynes are slugging it out on the floor as Boone and Smash really mess up a flying crossbody spot as Smash went over, appearing to slam him off, but dropped Boone on top of him as that went for a nearfall then Smash gets up and hits a stungun for the win (10:22) *1/2.
Thoughts: Below average match. The heat segment on Haynes was a total bore and the ending looked awful. At least it served a purpose by getting Demolition a win as their strong push continues.
“Ravishing” Rick Rude vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Orndorff immediately attacks Rude to start the match. He tosses Rude to the floor and follows him out to inflict more punishment. Rude heads back in and tries to offer a handshake as Orndorff considers then takes him down with a clothesline. Rude tries to escape but Orndorff prevents that and hits an atomic drop. Orndorff now offers a handshake, prompting Doherty to say that he has gone “goofy” but Rude fights back shortly after that. Rude stomps Orndorff but fails trying to block a sunset flip. Rude does go right back on offense and ends up booting Orndorff to the floor. Rude slams Orndorff’s head off of the timekeeper’s table then hedas back inside to work a nerve hold for a bit. The fans start to rally behind Orndorff, who is starting to get up and eventually breaks free. Orndorff reverses an Irish whip and hits a hip toss but misses an elbow drop. However, he comes right back with a backdrop then hammers away in the corner. Orndorff hits a dropkick then sends Rude back outside where he follows him out and slams his head off of the guardrail. Orndorff slingshots back inside of the ring with a sunset flip but Rude blocks the move then holds the ropes for leverage and gets the win (8:59) *3/4. After the match, Orndorff tells the ref that Rude used the ropes to no avail.
Thoughts: This was really intense at the beginning but like everything else tonight slowed down way too much and the fans lost interest in the middle of the match. Orndorff seemed to be in a world of pain here and this was one of his last few matches in the WWF.
One Man Gang w/ Slick vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
Doherty tells us that he is excited for the One Man Gang to turn Beefcake into “chopped liver.” Beefcake tries to elude Gang before getting backed into the corner. Beefcake climbs up top and cocks his fist while Gang backs off. Gang then backs up Beefcake again and tries to cheapshot him after a break but that gets blocked as Beefcake fires away. He knocks Gang down as Slick is now huddling with his client outside of the ring. Gang re-enters and nails Beefcake with a right. They trade arm wringers until Beefcake takes control as he wraps Gang’s arm around the ropes. Beefcake starts firing away and knocks Gang into the ropes. Gang fires back and now works over Beefcake’s leg. Gang tries a top rope splash but Beefcakes moves out of the way then starts hammering away. Slick jumps up on the apron and Beefcake decks him but that allows Gang to attack from behind then puts him away with an elbow drop (9:17) *1/4. After the match, Gang drops another elbow then grabs the scissors but Beefcake takes them and has Slick trapped in the ring but he bails and retreats with Gang.
Thoughts: This was all restholds but the fans dug Beefcake and the post-match antics.
WWF Tag Team Title Match: Hart Foundation vs. Strike Force (Champions)
The Hart Foundation immediately attack Strike Force as they enter the ring. Strike Force comes back with stereo dropkicks to clear the Hart Foundation from the ring as Doherty proclaims the Hart Foundation will win tonight as Prichard notes that Jimmy Hart is conspicuous by his absence. Keep an eye on that going forward as the other managers were not here tonight either and that was never said about them. The Hart Foundation take their time before finally starting the match. Bret and Martel start things off Bert goes to work in the corner. Martel sidesteps Bret with a cartwheel before getting two with a crossbody. Bret bails after Martel reverses a rollup then reenters as Strike Force take turns working over his arm. Doherty will not shut up about both members of Strike Force being in the ring at the same time. Santana hits the flying forearm but Neidhart breaks up the pin then chokes Santana behind the referee’s back. Despite not tagging in, the referee asks Neidhart, who motioned that he did, and he is now the legal man. Oh boy. The Hart Foundation continue to cheat behind the incompetent referee’s back as Bret tags back into the match. The crowd tries to rally behind Santana as Bret hammers away. Martel has enough and uses a double noggin-knocker but Neidhart is able to prevent Santana from making a tag. Bret misses an elbow drop after a scoop slam but tags out as Neidhart once again stops Santana from tagging out. The Hart Foundation continue to cut off the ring until Bret collides with Santana. Neidhart places Bret on top of Tito behind the ref’s back but that only gets a two count as Doherty is beside himself. Bret tries a corner charge but Santana moves out of the way and once again, Neidhart tags and prevents a tag. Bret runs in to kick Martel off of the apron as the Hart Foundation cut off the ring once again but Santana avoids a charging Bret, who knocks his partner off of the apron. Martel finally tags in and goes wild. He takes Neidhart off of the apron with a dropkick then puts Bret in the Boston Crab. Neidhart tries to make the save but Santana stops him. The ref orders Santana back on the apron, allowing Neidhart to grab a belt and whack Martel. Santana flips out and attacks Neidhart as the referee rings the bell as we find out that Strike Force are awarded the match via DQ (16:11) **.
Thoughts: What a disappointment. The beginning was all stalling and the heat sequences were boring. Plus, the referee came off as being completely incompetent to the point it took away from the match. Asking the guy if he made a tag and allowing it to stand is just moronic wrestling logic. I’ve seen a lot better from both teams.
Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Ultimate Warrior
Warrior places Sharpe on the turnbuckle then Sharpe hops off and heads outside. Warrior no-sells a shoulder block and beats his chest then sidesteps a dropkick. Warrior hits a clothesline that has Sharpe bailing outside. Doherty notes that having a good physique does not mean you can wrestle as Warrior overpowers Sharpe, who bails yet again. Sharpe gets back in and offers a test of strength and he boots them as they engage. Warrior fights back and chops Sharpe in the corner but misses a charge. Sharpe lands a few shots but Warrior uses turnbuckle smashes before hitting a flying shoulder tackle. Warrior then signals up and drops Sharpe with a press slam for the win (5:31) 1/4*.
Thoughts: The fans were slowly getting into the Warrior as the match went along but this was not good at all.
“Outlaw” Ron Bass vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Steamboat uses his speed to his advantage and takes down Bass after skinning-the-cat. Bass takes a breather then gets kicked out again when he enters. Steamboat works the arm until Bass rakes the eyes. Steamboat manages to avoid a charge and goes back to the arm until Bass hits him with a stungun. Bass gets two with a piledriver as Steamboat was able to get his foot on the rope. Bass gets another nearfall as Doherty wants Steamboat to “take it like a man” instead of breaking up pinfalls by putting his foot on the rope. Steamboat tries to fight back with chops but Bass puts an end to that with a thumb to the throat. Bass hits a back elbow smash for a nearfall. Swinging neckbreaker gets two then Bass works a chinlock. Steamboat breaks free and chops Bass down. He climbs up top for a flying chop then hits ten turnbuckle smashes in the corner. Steamboat charges but walks into a clothesline. Bass whips Steamboat into the corner but Steamboat jumps to the second rope and over Bass then hits him in the gut before getting the win with a crossbody block in an awkward sequence (9:26) **1/2.
Thoughts: Match of the night. Steamboat was easily the most motivated guy here and made it a fun match.
Ken Johnson vs. Greg Valentine
Johnson wrestled primarily for Stampede Wrestling and was trained by Bruce & Keith Hart. Valentine backs Johnson up into the corner. Johnson works a side headlock that Valentine breaks up with a back suplex. Valentine works a chinlock for a bit then softens up the legs. He chops Johnson down before yelling for Beefcake then hits Johnson with a double underhook suplex. Valentine drops an elbow then applies the figure four leg lock and gets the win (3:04) 1/4*.
Thoughts: This was basically a TV squash match as Valentine gets a new singles push.
WWF World Heavyweight Title Match: “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil & Andre the Giant vs. Hulk Hogan (Champion)
Hogan clotheslines DiBiase then sends him over the top rope with an atomic drop. Hogan follows out and rams DiBiase and Virgil into each other. Hogan tosses them both into the ring so he can boot them both to the floor. Hogan then points at Andre to get into the ring as the crowd goes nuts for his poses. DiBiase reenters and backs Hogan against the ropes before sending him to the floor. He follows Hogan outside and smashes his head off of the apron. Back inside, DiBiase is beating on Hogan. He chokes out the champ but Hogan reverses an Irish whip and comes back with a forearm smash. Hogan hits a scoop slam then walks over DiBiase a few times until Andre trips him up. The referee calls for the bell and orders Andre to the dressing room and announces he has been fined $2,000. The match restarts as DiBiase nails Hogan in the face. He connects with an elbow smash from the middle rope for a nearfall. DiBiase fires away but Hogan hulks up and shakes them off. Hogan returns the favor and hits the big boot. Virgil stands on the apron as Hogan chokes him out. DiBiase tries to attack Hogan from behind but fails and knocks Virgil off as Hogan then rolls up DiBiase for the win (9:30) **. After the match, Hogan taunts DiBiase to get back into the ring. DiBiase tosses in a chair as Hogan grabs it and sits down with the belt, egging on DiBiase to come back inside. They leave as Hogan poses to the crowd.
Thoughts: The match itself was subpar but enough was going on where it never felt dull or anything. They also continued the tension between Hogan and Andre. And the angle of DiBiase trying to buy the title from Hogan was not mentioned on commentary.
Final Thoughts: A very disappointing show. Everyone seemed either exhausted and unmotivated and given the strenuous schedule these guys worked it was probably the former. On paper, it seemed like a solid show but these matches really underwhelmed. And the commentary was atrocious. Doherty talked over everyone and to say it was grating would be a compliment.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.