Written by: Brian Bayless
October 16, 1987
Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon
Tonight, we will have a cage match between Superstar Billy Graham and Butch Reed. Plus, a posedown between Paul Orndorff and Rick Rude and more.
Jose Estrada vs. Outback Jack
Monsoon notes how several thousand fans were turned away outside the arena tonight. This show was a legitimate sellout. Estrada attacks Jack but gets caught with a slam. Jack hits another slam before applying a side headlock. He works that for a while as the crowd grows restless. The announcers are talking about everything else in the company as Jack catches Estrada with another slam before going back to the side headlock. Estrada ends up hitting Jack with a back elbow smash then comes off of the top with a forearm smash. Estrada targets the back then sends Jack to the floor and taunts the fans. Jack comes back in and corners Estrada but gets caught with a cheapshot. Estrada beats him down and stops a brief comeback with a kneelift. Estrada beats on Jack and tries a suplex but it gets reversed as both men are down. Estrada is busted open above the eyebrow now as Jack hammers away. He hits a backdrop then slams Estrada down for a nearfall. Estrada takes him down with a shoulderblock but gets caught with a powerslam and Jack gets the win (9:44) 3/4*. After the match, Heenan promises us that he has a surprise
Thoughts: It could have been worse but no one cared about Jack anymore and I’m pretty sure no one ever really cared about Estrada to begin with.
Heenan now yells at Howard Finkel, who runs down the times and shows airing on Saturday morning. Heenan then gets up and heads into the ring where he cuts off Finkel to tell us an important message. He then introduces us to the most “knowledgeable” man in pro wrestling, Nick Bockwinkel. Heenan walks Bockwinkel to the announcers table then leaves as we now have Monsoon and Bockwinkel for the rest of the show. And it was not that good.
Killer Bees vs. New Dream Team w/ Johnny V.
Match starts with Blair and Valentine. They go back-and-forth briefly until Blair works the arm. Brunzell tags and works the arm until Valentine counters with a headscissors before making the tag. Bravo stomps away as Monsoon and Bockwinkel are not clicking on commentary. Brunzell comes back with a hiptoss then works a side headlock on the mat. The Bees work the arm of Bravo until he tosses Brunzell into his corner. Valentine tags and beats down Brunzell. He chokes him out with his foot after a clothesline while Bockwinkel is far too soft-spoken on commentary. He’s putting me to sleep. Bravo tags and hits a gutwrench suplex then hits a leg drop as Blair breaks up the pin attempt. Valentine is back in the match as he works an abdominal stretch. Bravo is in and works a bearhug until Brunzell breaks it up with a bell clap. Valentine tags and tries the figure four after an atomic drop but gets shoved into the corner. Brunzell makes the tag but Bravo had the referee distracted and orders Blair back onto the apron as Brunzell gets tossed to the floor. Blair chases off Johnny V. then the Bees go underneath the ring and put on the masks. Blair is in now and fires away as the crowd wakes up. He hits an atomic drop before catching him with a sleeper. Bravo breaks that up as Valentine hits a back suplex. Both men are down and while the ref is tied up with Bravo, Brunzell sneaks in and plays dead before catching Valentine with a small package for a nearfall. The ref orders Bravo out again then Blair comes off of the top with a sunset flip for the win (10:57) *1/2.
Thoughts: Bland match. Bravo sucked the life out of this and the only time the crowd cared was during the masked confusion stuff.
Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Ivan Putski
Sharpe screams a lot and ridiculously oversells Putski’s strength. Sharpe cannot budge Putski then misses a dropkick and gets his fingers stomped after a test of strength. Sharpe re-enters the ring after taking a breather outside and tries to bring in a chair but gets stopped by the referee. Sharpe then sticks a thumb in Putski’s throat and chokes him out against the ropes. Sharpe beats on Putski in the corner until he misses a shoulder thrust. Putski then unloads with windmill punches before putting Sharpe away with the Polish Hammer (5:34) DUD.
Thoughts: This really sucked. It was short for a house show match though. It looked ridiculous to have Sharpe, who was like twice the size of Putski, comically oversell all of his offense like it was 1975.
Rick Rude and Heenan head down to the ring as Rude runs down the crowd. Paul Orndorff and Oliver Humperdink come out as Orndorff tells Rude he is sick and tired or talking about “it” and just wants to do it as he challenges him to a posedown and let the people judge who has the better body. Finkel lets the crowd know that they will be the judges of this posedown as Rude and Heenan disapprove. The crowd boos Rude and cheers Orndorff as this drags out. They do a series of three poses and it started to lose the crowd. No shock there. They finally start to have a match afterwards.
“Ravishing” Rick Rude w/ Bobby Heenan vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff w/ Oliver Humperdink
Rude tries to sneak attack Orndorff but that fails and he gets sent outside. Rude re-enters and offers a handshake but ends up getting attacked in the corner. Rude stops Orndorff with a thumb to the throat then hits a clothesline. Rude works a chinlock then takes Orndorff back down when he tried to power out. Rude hits a slam then follows with a top rope fist drop. Rude targets the neck until Orndorff comes back with a crossbody that looked awful. However, Rude is able to get right up and drop an elbow on Orndorff’s neck. Rude taunts him to get up as he goes back to work on the neck. Rude slaps on a reverse chinlock but Orndorff lifts Rude up and hits an electric chair drop. Orndorff misses an elbow and that allows Rude to go back on the attack. Orndorff comes back with a backdrop then pumps the crowd up before stomping a mudhole into Rude. He hits a corner clothesline then knocks him down after a series of punches. Orndorff hits a back suplex then follows with a fist and an elbow drop. Orndorff hits a clothesline then knocks Heenan off of the apron as the fans go nuts. Bockwinkle checks on Heenan as Orndorff hits a backdrop. Heenan then drags Rude outside for safety then Humperdink holds up Heenan for Orndorff but Rude attacks Orndorff from behind. The ref yells at Humperdink as Heenan whacks Orndorff a few times with a chair on the back. Orndorff was unable to beat the ten count as the match is ruled a countout (10:41) **. After the match, Orndorff grabs the house mic and warns Heenan that he will take him out, doing whatever it takes.
Thoughts: This started off really slow but became good until the lame finish. Orndorff fell inside of the ring before the ten count as Monsoon said he was counted out for not being on his feet. This feud will continue.
“The Rock” Don Muraco vs. Sika w/ Mr. Fuji
They fight over a lockup for a minute while the announcers talk about Muraco splitting from Bob Orton and Mr. Fuji. Well, Fuji stopped managing them a few months before the team disbanded. Sika attacks Muraco in the corner but misses a charge and gets caught with a sunset flip for a nearfall. Muraco works the leg of Sika for a while as a few “boring” chants break out. Sika is back in control as the camera shows Fuji nodding in approval. Sika hits a falling headbutt before applying a chinlock. Sika headbutts Muraco off of the apron then brings him back up only to knock him off again. Muraco backs away from Fuji and gets dragged up onto the apron once again and gets knocked off. He rolls back up and gets stomped repeatedly but fights it off and comes back with a shoulder thrust. He is back inside and fires away on Sika, eventually knocking him down. Muraco hits a dropkick then dodges a charge in the corner and ends up driving Sika to the mat after climbing up top and putting his knee on his face for the win (8:20) 1/4*.
Killer Khan w/ Mr. Fuji vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth
Khan attacks Savage from behind to start but Savage fights back. Khan ducks out for a breather then re-enters and beats on Savage against the ropes. Fuji chokes out Savage with his cane behind the referee’s back. Khan then beats on Savage for a while until he misses a charge in the corner. Savage chokes out Khan on the mat then beats on him in the corner, using a lot of illegal chokes. Savage grabs a chair and backs Fuji up the aisle as he tried to interfere but that allows Khan to attack him from behind. Back inside, Khan stomps on Savage. He puts him in the backbreaker and points at Elizabeth but takes too much time, allowing Savage to escape. Savage hits a flying double axe handle then follows that with a backdrop. Khan catches a charging Savage with a knee then hits a thrust kick. Khan tries for the mist but Savage blocks it with his hands then rubs it in Kan’s eyes as the crowd goes mental. Savage hits a slam then climbs up top and drops the elbow for the win (10:14) *1/2. After the match, Fuji tries to run in but Savage hits him with an atomic drop that sends the devious one through the ropes.
Thoughts: Not much of a match but the fans were crazy for Savage. This was also Khan’s last match at MSG as he would be done with the company very shortly.
Cage Match: “The Natural” Butch Reed vs. Superstar Billy Graham
This match is under escape rules. Slick is not present for this match. I believe he was with the One Man Gang in Pittsburgh for his title match against Hogan. Reed attacks Graham before he gets into the cage. The bell rings as they finally shut the door once Graham is fully inside of the ring. Reed rams Graham into the cage and chokes him out on the ropes. Reed taunts the crowd before stomping on Graham in the middle of the ring. Reed ties Graham’s bandana to the cage then hammers away. Graham gets his knees up then breaks free as he yanks off his bandana before choking out Reed with his shirt. Graham climbs up but Reed hooks his leg and brings him back down. They collide in an odd-looking spot then Reed gets up first and tries to climb out but Graham grabs his legs and eventually yanks him back inside as the door now shuts. Graham catches Reed with a sleeper but Reed runs him into the cage then targets the hip. Reed tries to climb out but Graham pulls him off as Reed crotches himself on the top rope. Reed fights back and goes back to work on the hip and tries to climb out again. Graham tries to stop him and gets kicked in the face but he perseveres and climbs up where he knocks Reed down with an elbow. Graham hits a few elbow smashes before catching Reed in a bearhug. Reed rams Graham into the cage and attempts to climb out yet again but Graham is eventually pulls him off after a few tries. Reed then reaches into his trunks and pulls out brass knuckles but misses a few fist drops then Graham ducks a swing and hits Reed with an atomic drop. Graham picks up the brass knuckles and decks Reed and after that he heads to the door and escapes for the win (10:59) **.
Thoughts: They made this enjoyable with all of Graham’s limitations and Reed worked hard tonight. Even still, the fans didn’t seem all that into the match. Their feud would in fact continue.
Nikolai Volkoff vs. Billy Jack Haynes
Haynes attacks Volkoff during his rendition of the Soviet National Anthem. Haynes wins a slugfest before Volkoff ducks outside. The crowd starts a loud “USA” chant as Volkoff looks displeased. Back inside, Haynes beats on Volkoff some more until the latter heads back to the floor. Haynes follows him out but ends up getting shoved into the post as Volkoff is now standing tall in the ring. The crowd starts up another “USA” chant as Haynes rolls back inside. Volkoff stomps away then bites Haynes on the forehead. Haynes fights back with chops then takes Volkoff down with a kneelift as the crowd is silent. Haynes drops an elbow for a nearfall then applies a front facelock. He hits a clothesline that looked like shit and goes for the full nelson but Volkoff reaches the ropes. Haynes hits more chops but gets caught with a right then Volkoff rolls him up with his feet on the ropes and thinks he has the win but the ref stops counting and as Volkoff yells at him, Haynes rolls him up for the win (5:27) -1/2*.
Thoughts: Wow. This was fucking terrible and easily the worst match of the night. Slow-paced and nothing but kicks and chops, all of which looked terrible.
Howard Finkel runs down the card for the 11/24 MSG show. He tells us the bad news, which is a slight increase in ticket prices but the good news is that we will see “one of the greatest cards ever presented in the garden.” Matches include: Jake Roberts vs. Danny Davis, Ted DiBiase vs. Ivan Putski, Jumping Bomb Angels vs. Glamour Girls, King Kong Bundy vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov vs. Killer Bees, Bob Orton vs. Ultimate Warrior (Orton was gone and replaced by Frenchy Martin), Rick Rude vs. Paul Orndorff, and Honky Tonk Man vs. Randy Savage for the IC Title. They had a lot of balls referring to that card as “one of the greatest.”
2/3 Falls Match: Islanders vs. Strike Force
Funny moment as the house mic stops working during the ring introductions. The Islanders bail when Strike Force comes to the ring. Match starts with Santana and Haku slugging it our. Strike Force hits a double clothesline before Martel hits a dropkick. Strike Force neutralize Haku as Santana nearly scores a pinfall with a Thesz Press. Martel uses his speed to his advantage but ends up getting caught with a back suplex. Tama tags in and hits a jumping back elbow smash as the Islanders are now in control of the match until Tama eats boot on a charge. Hot tag to Santana as he fires away on Tama then sets up for the figure four until Haku breaks that up as the match breaks down. Haku headbutts Santana through the ropes and roughs him up until getting run off by Martel. Back inside, Tama works over Santana’s leg then distracts the ref so Haku can ram it against the steel post. The Islanders continue to work over the leg of Santana as the crowd is hot for this match. Haku pulls Santana back as he tries to make a tag then as the ref orders Martel to the apron, the Islanders hit Santana with a double headbutt and get the pin (7:11). Fall two starts with Martel protecting his partner by standing over him as the Islanders are circling around. Another funny moment happens here as the ref trips and falls on top of Santana. Tama goes for the quick win with a small package but Martel sneaks in and reverses the move as Santana gets the win (8:07). Santana can barely stand as Haku beats the shit out of him. Santana manages to avoid a double jumping headbutt as the crowd goes insane for him to make a tag and he does. Martel really runs wild here as he was one of the best off of a hot tag in wrestling history. Haku breaks up a crossbody attempt then and holds up Martel for Tama but ends up getting hit with a running knee smash then Martel rolls up Tama as Santana drills Haku with a flying forearm and gets the win (10:27) ***.
Thoughts: Good stuff but the last two falls were extremely rushed. I assume its because they ran long as this show was almost 2.5 hours long on TV. The first fall was all action and great. These teams had wonderful chemistry.
Final Thoughts: Really not a whole lot to talk about here. Amazingly, this show sold out as the crowd was not really into the cage match, which was positioned as the main event. A lot of poor performances here dragged things down too, not to mention an overabundance of wash-ups and jobbers. I’d skip this one.
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.