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WWF House Show 2/23/1987

Written by: Bob Colling

World Wrestling Federation House Show
Date: 2/23/1987
From: New York, NY

Opening Contest: Salvatore Bellomo vs. Paul Roma: Early on, they shove each other and pose for the crowd where the fans cheer for Roma. Bellomo shoulder blocks Roma and does a cartwheel. Roma nearly wins with a rollup and Bellomo backs off to the corner to regroup. Bellomo controls Roma’s left arm on the mat and keeps Roma on the mat by grabbing Roma’s hair. Roma is able to break free and drop toe holds Bellomo to the mat along with a side headlock. Roma gets wrist control on Bellomo for a few moments until an eye rake stops Roma’s momentum. Bellomo decks Roma with an uppercut and a standing dropkick for a two count. Roma backs Bellomo into a corner and hits an arm drag causing Bellomo to beg off in the corner. Roma leg drops Bellomo’s left arm followed by a few knee drops. Bellomo regains control with several strikes. Bellomo keeps Roma on the mat with a sleeper hold. Roma tosses Bellomo with a backdrop and a standing dropkick. Bellomo bails to the floor to regroup. Bellomo wants to shake hands but the fans are warning Roma to not do it. Roma ducks a right hand and delivers a scoop slam. Roma hits a middle rope fist drop followed by a running clothesline. Roma misses a splash in the corner, but hits a second attempt. Roma misses a springboard twisting crossbody off the middle rope. Roma plants Bellomo with a snap powerslam to win the match. (*3/4. It got a little clunky towards the end, but for the most part this wasn’t too bad of an opening match compared to what I’ve seen for WWF house shows. Bellomo came across as being a solid heel and showed off some solid moves. Roma came across green and inexperienced.)

Second Contest: The Islanders (Haku & Tama) vs. Demolition (Ax & Smash): Smash and Tama kickoff the tag match. Tama circles around the ring before locking up and that annoys Smash. Smash delivers a knee lift against the ropes and doesn’t budge on a shoulder block attempt. Tama comes off the ropes and gets knocked down. Smash is met with a double dropkick and Ax enters only to me sent to the floor following a double team strike. Haku enters and beats on Ax with several strikes and a headbutt. Tama delivers a strike from the apron and Haku keeps control of the arm. Tama comes off the top to axe handle Ax on the arm. Tama keeps Ax on the mat with a hammerlock. Haku tags in and elbows Ax to the mat. Haku stomps on Ax in the lower midsection area before keeping control of Ax’s ankle. Haku kicks Ax to the mat and Tama enters to splash Ax’s leg. Haku tries to get a submission, but Ax refuses to give in. Ax rams Tama into Smash’s knee in the corner and Smash tosses Tama to the floor. Smash sends Tama over the railing into the crowd. Tama is helped back into the ring by Haku and Smash chokes Tama by lifting Tama into the air by his neck. Ax tags in and Tama is driven back first into the corner.

Tama is knocked to the floor again and Ax taunts the crowd. Smash stops Tama from entering the ring and trades strikes with Haku, which Haku wins at. Ax nearly pins Tama after a forearm strike. Tama is sent face first into Smash’s face in the corner. Smash drops Tama throat first over the top rope. Smash keeps control with a bearhug in the middle of the ring. Tama fights out with a few strikes and tries to make the tag, but is stopped by Ax delivering an axe handle. Tama kicks Smash to avoid a backdrop and Haku gets the hot tag. Hakui cleans house with strikes and a standing dropkick to knock Smash down. Haku connects with a savant kick and Tama enters to hit a double headbutt off the ropes. Tama hits a top rope crossbody, but Ax breaks up the cover. Haku goes after Ax with strikes while Smash clotheslined Tama. Demolition hits their backbreaker/middle rope elbow drop combo to pickup the clean win. (**1/2. I thought this was a a rather solid tag match and far exceeded my expectations. I dug the Islanders as a face team, which is something I didn’t even realize was a thing. They had some excellent big spots against Demolition that kept the match competitive. I’d consider this a worthwhile undercard match for the event.)

Third Contest: Sika vs. Koko B. Ware: Sika shows his power advantage by shoving Ware to the mat early on. Ware avoids Sika in the corner to showcase his speed advantage. Sika misses another strike in the corner. Sika knocks Ware to the mat following a few strikes to the chest. Sika nails Ware with a headbutt and scratches Koko’s back. Sika gouges at Koko’s mouth, but doesn’t get a submission. Sika dumps Ware through the ropes to the floor. Ware decides to go under the ring and comes out the other side. Ware rolls into the ring from behind and dropkicks Sika from behind leading to a rollup to pickup the win. After the match, Sika attacks Ware and sends Ware to the floor. Sika walks off frustrated. (*1/4. The finish wasn’t too bad, really. They didn’t do all that much realistically, but Koko is over with the crowd and they were able to get through the match without having to be overly entertaining.)

Fourth Contest: Tito Santana vs. Butch Reed: They stall early on with neither man throwing a punch for a few moments. Santana knocks Reed to the floor causing Reed to regroup with Slick. Santana dropkicks Reed a couple of times sending Reed over the top to the floor. Reed stops Santana with a punch from the floor and chokes Santana over the middle rope. Reed rams Santana face first into the top turnbuckle before returning to the ring. Santana blocks a backdrop with a kick to the chest. Santana controls Reed with a front face lock, but Reed is able to break free by ramming Santana into the corner. Reed catapults Santana throat first into the bottom rope. Reed connects with a standing fist drop and puts a sleeper on Santana. Santana struggles to his feet and is taken back down to the mat. Santana prevents his arm from falling down three times and fights his way out of the hold. Reed stops Santana with a knee lift to the midsection to regain control of the contest. Reed drives Santana face first down to the mat managing to get a two count. Reed keeps Santana on the mat with a chin lock.

Santana blocks an axe handle off the middle rope with a strike to the midsection followed by stomps. Santana drives Reed face first down to the mat and continues with right hands. Reed sends Santana chest first into the corner followed by a clothesline. Santana locks in a figure four, but Reed quickly reaches the ropes. Slick gets into the ring and tries to hit Santana with a cane, but Koko B. Ware runs into the ring and saves Santana. Reed is met with a double dropkick by Ware and Santana! The match ends in a double disqualification. (*1/4. Prior to the finish the match was just going along and there wasn’t much substance to it. They were seemingly just going through the motions to get to the finish.)

Fifth Contest: WWF Tag Team Champions Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart vs. Jim Brunzell & B.Brian Blair: Neidhart and Brunzell start off the title match. Brunzell gets arm control on Neidhart for a few moments. Hart gets tagged in to try his luck. Hart works over Brunzell with right hands against the ropes. Brunzell nearly wins with a rollup and keeps Hart on the mat with control of the left arm. Blair enters to deliver an elbow strike to the arm. Hart stops Blair with a headbutt but Blair manages to tie Hart into the ropes and delivers a shoulder ram. Blair catapults Hart into Neidhart on the apron. Neidhart manages to pull Hart to the floor. Brunzell enters and keeps arm control on Hart. Hart comes off the ropes and is met with a double back elbow strike. Hart beats on Blair before tagging in Neidhart, who continues to deliver strikes. Blair is choked by Hart in the corner while the referee is distracted. Neidhart drops Blair over the top rope throat first. Hart atomic drops Blair and gets a two count. Hart tosses Blair to the floor where Neidhart delivers a few strikes on the apron. Blair counters a suplex and nearly pins Hart with a rollup.

Blair is double teamed in the corner by the champs and Brunzell tries to help, but is stopped by the referee. Neidhart slams Blair to the mat and tags in Hart to hit a slingshot splash from the apron for a two count as Brunzell broke up the pin. Blair sends Hart chest first into the corner. Blair lands onto Hart on a slam attempt after Neidhart helped Hart and nearly wins the match. Blair gets met with a knee by Hart on the apron to allow Neidhart to keep the advantage. Blair tries to get to the corner to make a tag, but Hart distracts the referee and Brunzell can’t enter the match. Hart enters and puts a chin lock on Blair. Blair drops Hart to the mat to break the hold and finally tags in Brunzell. Brunzell gets a good pop and backdrops Hart followed by a right hand to Neidhart. Brunzell atomic drops Hart into Blair on the apron and follows up with a dropkick, but Neidhart gets in the ring to breakup the pain. The bell rings, but that wasn’t supposed to happen. Danny Davis enters to deck Brunzell and that allows Hart to win the match with an inside cradle. (**1/2. A formula tag match but they worked the match fairly well. The interference finish was the most obvious outcome. Brunzell got a good reception on his heat segment and makes me think that the Killer Bees may have a connection with the crowd.)

Backstage, Gorilla Monsoon interviews Outback Jack, who is making his MSG debut. Jack compares MSG to a place back in Australia. He talks about his history in wrestling alligators, but the whole promo makes very little sense to me.

Backstage, Gorilla Monsoon interviews Jake Roberts, who is refusing doctors orders and is wrestling tonight. Roberts says that he suffered a concussion thanks to Honkytonk Man. Roberts promises to not bother Honky tonight because he’s a patient man. Roberts has never been a man to take the easy way out. Roberts wanted the hard things in life because they are the best in life. Roberts says that Bundy will be lucky to not have his head go through the mat tonight.

Backstage, Gorilla Monsoon interviews Honkytonk Man and Jimmy Hart. Hart talks about Roberts having a little headache. Honky isn’t worried about Roberts and hopes he has knocked some sense into Roberts, but he hasn’t. Honky will hit Roberts harder the next time they meet. Honky says he’s moving up the ladder and he’s coming after WWF World Champion, Hulk Hogan.

Backstage, WWF Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage was interviewed by Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan. Savage thinks having the belt with him is a great way to express himself. Heenan notes that Ricky Steamboat could be by himself in the ring with Savage and Heenan promises that his men would backoff to allow Savage to have his way with Steamboat. Savage is honored to be associated with Heenan tonight in the six man tag elimination match. Savage wonders if he would get three straight victories.

Sixth Contest: Outback Jack vs. Barry O: Jack doesn’t budge on a shoulder block and proceeds to slam Barry to the mat. They both miss elbow drops and Jack scoop slams Barry causing Barry to roll to the floor. Jack slingshots Barry from the apron back into the ring. Barry eye pokes Jack in the corner and follows up with right hands. Barry comes off the ropes to stomp Jack followed by a knee lift. Barry shoulder blocks Jack in the corner followed by shoulder rams. Jack backdrops Barry and delivers a back elbow followed by a splash for a two count. Barry sends Jack chest first into the corner leading to a near fall. Jack atomic drops Barry and delivers a couple of clotheslines for the win. (1/2*. I wasn’t all that impressed by Jack at all here. The crowd felt dead, but they popped for whenever he was announced.)

Seventh Contest: Jake Roberts vs. King Kong Bundy: Bundy misses a wild right against the ropes. Roberts shoulder rams Bundy in the corner followed by right hands. Roberts jabs Bundy several times and drops Bundy with a right hand coming off the ropes. Bundy controls Roberts with a test of strength and keeps Roberts on the mat. Roberts kicks his way up to his feet. Roberts holds onto the ropes to avoid a right hand and Bundy gets frustrated. Roberts runs the ropes and is met with a powerslam and elbow drop for a two count. Bundy back elbows Roberts to the mat. Damien, Jake’s snake, has been trying to get out of his bag and thus scaring Jimmy Hart and Bobby Heenan at ringside. Roberts fights out of a chin lock with an eye rake. Roberts knee lifts Bundy and tries for a DDT, but Bundy hits a backdrop. Bundy misses an elbow drop and Roberts is rammed back first into the corner. Roberts crashes to the floor and tries to recover. Roberts has grabbed his bag, but Bundy attacks to prevent Damien being used. The bell sounds and it appears a count-out has taken place. After the match, Roberts avoids a splash and gets his snake, but Bundy bails to the floor. Bobby Heenan gets in the ring and then bails to the floor as does Jimmy Hart. (*1/4. There wasn’t much going on here, folks. There was a lot of rest holds and as a result the match just kind of dragged along.)

Eighth Contest: Honkytonk Man vs. Pedro Morales: Honky goes to the floor to stall for a bit by yelling at some fans. Morales slams Honky a few times to start the action. Honky bails to the floor and complains of hair pulling. Honky gets wrist control, but Morales counters quickly. Morales atomic drops Honky followed by a right hand to send Honky to the floor again. Honky misses a splash in the corner hitting the turnbuckle shoulder first. Morales decks Honky to the floor with a right hand. Morales decks Honky with a right hand a few times. Honky knee lifts Morales to the floor and delivers a stomp on the apron. Honky rams Morales into the post head first on the apron. Morales stalks towards Hart on the floor, but Honky comes over and is pulled to the floor. Morales rams Honky into the railing and ring post face first. Morales rams Honky into the post again. Honky eye rakes Morales before hitting a vertical suplex for a two count. Honky misses a middle rope elbow drop. Morales decks Honky with a right hand and is fired up. Honky misses a clothesline and Morales nearly wins with an inside cradle. Morales backdrops Honky and locks in a Boston Crab. Jimmy Hart causes a distraction, and Honky gets up. Honky takes Morales down and puts his feet on the ropes to win the match. (*. As I expected, this was rather boring and repetitive. Honky isn’t very good in the ring and works best when just doing character work.) After the match, Morales drives Honky down with a backbreaker and Honky bails to the backstage area.

Main Event: WWF Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage, Adrian Adonis & King Harley Race vs. Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat & Junkyard Dog in an elimination match: Steamboat and Piper clear the ring of the heels as Dog stayed on the apron. Steamboat wants a piece of Savage, but Savage is staying on the apron. Steamboat arm drags Savage and hammers away on Race. Steamboat rams Race into Doig on the apron. Dog decks Race and delivers several headbutts on the mat. Dog hammers away on Race to knock Race over the top to the floor. Race headbutts Dog and hits a belly to belly suplex. Savage enters and chokes Dog on the mat followed by a knee drop. Savage heads to the top rope and gets distracted by Steamboat and is met with a right hand. Steamboat tags in and chops Savage as Dog held Savage. Savage kicks Steamboat and tags in Adonis. Adonis plants Steamboat with a back suplex. Steamboat kicks Adonis and tags in Piper. Adonis quickly gets out of the ring and tagged in Savage. Piper pulls Adonis back in and gets several strikes in. All six men are going at it right now. Savage tosses Steamboat over the top to the floor. Race and Adonis hit a double vertical suplex on Piper.

Steamboat breaks up the cover to save Piper. Steamboat decks Savage off the apron and Piper sends Adonis into the corner. Adonis has a sleeper on Piper, but Piper breaks free and puts a sleeper on Adonis for a moment until Race enters and delivers a shot from behind. Dog slams Savage and gets a two count as Race breaks up the cover. Adonis beats on Dog with strikes, but Dog isn’t affected by them. Dog fights back with right hands but Adonis avoids a shoulder and Dog goes to the floor. Piper brawls with Adonis on the floor while Dog and Race trade strikes and now Steamboat is brawling with Savage. Adonis and Piper are brawling up the aisle way. Dog rams Savage and Race into each other. Piper hits a back suplex on Race, but Savage breaks up the cover attempt. The bell is ringing at this point…

Adrian Adonis and Junkyard Dog have been counted out. Race works over Piper with strikes and a clothesline. Savage holds Piper in the corner to allow Race to get a shot in. Savage tags in and jabs Piper several times in the corner. Savage tries for a vertical suplex and settles for a kick to the midsection. Piper rams Savage back first into the corner. Piper is stopped by an elbow drop from Race. Savage chokes Piper over the top rope. Savage misses a splash and hits the middle rope. Race tags in to stop Piper from tagging out. Piper hits a vertical suplex and tags in Steamboat. Steamboat chops Race several times. Race comes out of the corner and is met with another strike. Steamboat slides through Race’s legs to deliver another chop for a two count. Piper enters and Race is met with a double clothesline. Steamboat hammers away on Savage before coming off the top to hit an axe handle on Race for a two count due to Savage breaking up the cover. Savage rolls Race onto Steamboat and that gets a pin on Steamboat!

Piper is left all by himself now. The crowd is rallying behind Piper knowing this is going to be a tough battle. Piper hammers away on Race with right hands and sends Race back first into the corner. Savage decks Piper from behind to help his partner. Piper fights back with right hands on Race and punches Race over the top to the floor. Race sits down on a chair at ringside. Piper blocks a chair shot and decks Savage on the floor. Race punches Savage again. Savage heads to the top and axe handles Piper for a two count. Piper hammers away on both Race and Savage. Race hits a powerslam on Piper for a near fall. Piper hits a gut wrench suplex for a near fall but Savage got involved. Savage misses an axe handle and hit Race on accident. Piper manages to pin Race for the elimination.

Savage is sent into Race on the apron and Piper plants Savage with a running bulldog! Piper bites Savage’s hand in the corner. Savage spits at Piper in the corner, which pisses off Piper. Savage punches Piper coming back into the ring and tries for a sunset flip, but Savage blocks it with a right hand. Savage clotheslines Piper for a two count. Savage strikes Piper from the apron and nearly wins the match. Savage tries for a slam, but Piper lands on top for a near fall. Piper lifts Savage into the air by his throat and pummels Savage with right hands. Savage shoulder blocks Piper and rolls to the floor. Piper is playing possum as Savage gets to the top rope. Savage misses an elbow drop! Piper grabs Savage and wins the match with an inside cradle! (***1/2. The crowd was fired up and the wrestlers seemed to be motivated as a result. I really enjoyed this action as it came across as a wild brawl in moments and there wasn’t much order. The clean finish was a pleasant surprise, as well. This delivered as the main event, no doubt about that.)

Final Thoughts:
I’ll consider this an average house show for the WWF as there are three matches that have quality wrestling attached to them. The main event was a lot of fun and the crowd as most invested in that.

Thanks for reading.

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