January 4, 1986
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura
The show begins with Hulk Hogan and Gene Okerlund near the beach as Hogan is mixing his "Python Protein Drink." He gives Okerlund a sip and he starts convulsing then begins to flex. We are then shown Roddy Piper and Jesse Ventura laying on the beach with a dozen or so girls behind them as they look at the Hillbillies in the water. Piper calls Uncle Elmer "Moby Dick with feet" and they promise to beat them tonight. They had a beach theme for the show as it was filmed in Tampa, on December 19th.
As Vince runs down the show, Jesse Ventura interrupts and yells at Vince then tells him that he has found a replacement for him in the booth during his match and brings out Bobby Heenan.
Roddy Piper & "Cowboy" Bob Orton & Jesse Ventura vs. Hillbilly Jim & Uncle Elmer & Cousin Luke
Jesse Starts by beating on Elmer, who fights right back. He tags Jim, who grabs a side headlock. Jesse catches him with a knee and tags Roddy. Luke tags in as Piper offers a handshake and he accepts then kicks him a few. Piper backs Luke into the corner and he gets triple-teamed for a bit. The heels take turns beating on Luke, who tries to fight back. He makes the tag to Jim but the referee did not see it and the heels go back to beating on Luke until he finally escapes and tags Elmer. He and Piper slug it out as Elmer wins that and puts him in a bearhug. Orton breaks that up and the match breaks down as the crowd goes nuts. The match settles down as Jim headbutts Piper. He works the arm but Piper is able to bring him into his corner and the heels go to work on Jim briefly until he escapes and tags Luke, who runs wild. Piper floats over and puts Luke in a sleeper hold as the match breaks down again. Orton sneaks behind the ref and whacks Luke with the cast as Piper then reapplies the sleeper and the ref turns around and drops Luke's arm three times giving the heels the victory (8:00) *1/2.
Thoughts: Not the greatest match but it was better than expected and all action too. I don't think that Luke had made his debut on TV when this show was taped and the crowd wasn't into him all that much, but crazy for Jim and Elmer.
Okerlund brings us to Venture Park for the waterslide competition between Jimmy Hart and the Junkyard Dog. Hart says he knows that he can beat JYD in this contest and prove that he is the better man. JYD then proceeds to cut a incoherent promo about god knows what. Jesse says that he saw Hart got an unfair start then talks to Terry Funk, who says that "Sports Illustrated" better put him on their front cover after he beats Hulk Hogan or he will burn him and the magazine with his iron. Your typical 80's WWF wackiness.
WWF World Heavyweight Championship Match
Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Hulk Hogan (Champion) w/ Junkyard Dog
Hogan is wearing powder blue trunks for this match. The crowd goes apeshit as he enters. Hogan reverses an Irish whip and clotheslines Funk in the corner, who ducks outside. Funk goes back in and ends up getting clotheslined to the floor. They start a criss-cross sequence but Hulk continuosly runs over Funk's back then he regroups outside again. Hulk sits in a chair and waves Funk inside. Eventually, Funk comes back inside and chops Hogan in the corner. Hulk fights back and whips Funk into the corner, who takes a Flair bump. Hogan yanks him back in the ring but Funk gains the upper hand by kicking him low. He heads up top but Hogan shakes the ropes and he falls. Hogan hits an atomic drop and a headbutt. He takes his head off with a clothesline then drops the elbow. Hart grabs Hogan's leg and JYD chases him which has Hart go underneath the ring. As the ref checks that out, Funk chokes out Hogan with his wrist tape then switches to a chinlock. He gets two off of a piledriver as Ventura yells that the referee counted slow. The crowd chants for Hogan, who hulks up and begins to fire away at Funk. He sends him outside with a big boot then tries to suplex him back inside but Hart hits him with the branding iron. Hogan gets his foot on the ropes and as Funk yells at the ref he turns around and walks into a clothesline and Hogan covers for the win (8:30) **3/4. After the match, Funk takes the referee outside then starts to toss chairs into the ring. For the first time on TV that I recall, "Real American" plays as Hogan celebrates.
Thoughts: A really fun match. Funk was great and sold like a champ and Hogan held up on his end of the match too.
Okerlund is with George Steele and Capt. Lou Albano, who assures Gene that Steele will be 100% mentally and physically tonight. The segment ends with George holding a rubber ducky in the water.
Ventura is with Savage and Elizabeth. Savage tells Jesse that he is not afraid of an animal then tells him that his goal for today is to teach Elizabeth how to swim then he proceeds to toss her into the water, which has Jesse crack up and that pisses of Vince. Funny stuff.
George "The Animal" Steele w/ Capt. Lou Albano vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth
Fun fact: Dean Malenko was the referee for this match. Before the match starts, Savage gets pissed at Elizabeth when she held the ropes open and Steele came over and touched her. Steele chases Savage outside a few times then after they finally lock up, Steele tosses him over the top rope and chases him outside but stops and looks over at Elizabeth. Back inside, Steele fires away but Savage ducks out and drags him outside. Steele chases him again as Savage hides behind Elizabeth. Thy go back inside and Steele eats the turnbuckle then tosses the stuffing at Savage as he charges. Steele gets distracted by Elizabeth and that allows Savage to hit a flying axe handle for the win (4:06) 1/4*. Savage then puts Elizabeth over his shoulder and heads up the aisle.
Thoughts: This match set up the whole deal with Steele being in love with Elizabeth that lasted for the entire year of 1986. The fans dug Steele so the angle turned out to be quite popular at first. At this time, it did feel like Savage should be involved in bigger feuds though. The actual match wasn't much at all.
Okerlund and Hogan introduced the 1985 Year in Review Video set to Billy Ocean's "When the Going Gets Tough..." I always loved this video.
Corporal Kirchner vs. Nikolai Volkoff w/ Freddie Blassie & Iron Sheik
The "Peace" part of the match meant that both competitors would not cheat and work a scientific match. Kirchner breaks cleanly against the ropes to start then they take it to the mat. They work a test of strength as the crowd chants for Kirchner. After a reverse rollup, Kirchner works a side headlock then after that, both guys shake hands. Volkoff avoids a monkey flip with a cartwheel but Kirchner side steps him and works on the arm. Small package gets two. Volkoff backs Kirchner against the ropes but for the first time all match does not break cleanly. Volkoff drops him thorat-first on the ropes then puts him away with a kneedrop (4:32) *. After the match, Kirchner goes berzerk and clears the ring of both Shiek and Volkoff.
Thoughts: The ending was certainly anti-climatic. The renewed Kirchner push still didnt register with the crowd. They hated the evil foreigners a lot more than they liked Kirchner here. The match wasnt that bad but they are prolonging the feud over a match that ended with a kneedrop for a clean pin after a heel didnt break cleanly. For 1986 that seemed really lame.
Don Muraco & Mr. Fuji vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat & Junkyard Dog
Muraco seemed baked during his pre-match interview. Muraco is really big here and lazily stomps JYD on the mat. JYD hits a backdrop but misses a falling headbutt. Fuji tags and chops down JYD, who fights back and slams him down. Fuji's offense looks incredibly weak. Muraco tags and JYD slams him down. Steamboat takes a shot at Muraco then JYD goes back on the attack. Fuji tags and hits some kicks and chops before tagging Muraco. JYD hits a backdrop as both men are down. Fuji cuts off a tag attempt by JYD and the heels use quick tags to isolate JYD. Muraco misses a charge in the corner and that allows JYD to tag Steamboat, who chops Muraco repeatedly. He hits an enziguiri then slingshots him right into Mr. Fuji. Steamboat heads up top and hits the flying body press on Muraco but Fuji breaks up the pin. Steamboat tags JYD and he kicks Fuji then headbutts him for the win (5:19) 3/4*. After the match, Steamboat and JYD continue their assault until he heels flee.
Thoughts: The match itself was not very good as Muraco was very, very lazy and Fuji could barely move. Plus, JYD was involved and spent a lot of time selling, which meant he was on his back a lot not moving around. Seems like this feud between Muraco and Steamboat is winding down.
Final Thoughts: This was a very enjoyable show. The Hogan vs. Funk match was the only one worth going out of your way to see but just about everything else involved major players and not guys like Lanny Poffo and Tony Garea. The Savage/Steele feud began and the Kirchner/Volkoff feud heated up.