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WWF Superstars of Wrestling November 29th, 1986

November 29, 1986

From the Joyce Athletic & Convocation Center in South Bend, IN

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, and Vince McMahon

Tonight's featured match will be the Hart Foundation vs. British Bulldogs in a non-title bout. Also, Danny Spivey returns from injury and will be in action with Mike Rotundo. Plus, Butch Reed is here and we will get an update on the condition of Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat.

First, we get a special interview via satellite from London, England. Its conducted by some guy named Gary Davie who informs us that WWF President Jack Tunney as overturned the suspension of Andre the Giant. Andre himself comes out and says that he will be back and is happy to return. Andre said that he would not say what he has been doing during his suspension.

King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan vs. "Leaping" Lanny Poffo

Poffo gets two off of a crossbody then takes Race down with an armdrag. Race catches Poffo with a high knee smash then hits a belly-to-belly suplex as Jesse cannot believe that Andre is back. Race then hits Poffo with the cradle suplex for the win (1:32).

Thoughts: Despite the push, it was still sad to see the legendary Race flop in this role. Not even Heenan could get this gimmick over.

WWF Update with Gene Okerlund, who looks incredibly hungover. The guy appears to be in complete and utter agony here. He then talks about Ricky Steamboat's injury and talks with his wife over the phone. She hints at her husband possibly having to retire due to the injuries and how he is not handling the fact that he is unable to speak. Okerlund promises that we will get an update from doctors about Steamboat's condition later in the show.

Jesse is backstage with Mike Rotundo, who welcomes back Danny Spivey. They challenge Jesse, who thought that Spivey would never be able to return to action.

U.S. Express vs. Dave Wagner & Rick Renslow

Renslow catches Rotundo with a hiptoss but misses an elbow drop and Rotundo takes control. Spivey tags and gets a small reaction as he elbows Renslow in the face. He slams him down then follows with a slingshot splash for two. They hit Renslow with a double dropkick then Wagner tags and he gets double-teamed briefly until Spivey finishes him off with a bulldog (2:15). The crowd gave them a big ovation after the win.

Thoughts: The crowd was really into Spivey returning. They played it up a bit for the past several weeks too and it paid off.

Ken Resnick is with Hulk Hogan who is pumping up while talking about Kamala and how he is squashing little guys and an "Ugandan Creep" and a "Dark Giant." He then says when they meet at the Boston Garden, they will be in his jungle.

The Honkytonk Man talks about how he went to "fat" Jack Tunney's office and counted the votes and even after kissing dirty babies and shaking sweaty hands the fans still did not appreciate him. He then tells the fans that he is no longer doing that and will slap babies, hit women, and do a tap dance on the heads of guys he drags into the mean then promises a special announcement for next week. And that is how the Honkytonk Man turned heel.

Bob Boyer vs. Kamala w/ Grand Wizard & Kimchee

Boyer was an old-timer who wrestled in Indianapolis for Dick The Bruiser's WWA territory under the name "Bobby Bold Eagle." You can actually see some of his stuff on YouTube filmed in black-and-white footage. Boyer bounces off of Kamala a few times then gets caught with a chop. Kamala slams him down then hits a splash before climbing up top for another splash and gets the win (0:55). After the match, Boyer is taken out on a stretcher as Kamala is stopped by his handler's from hitting another splash.

Thoughts: Kamala's opponents would all do stretcher jobs after the match to lead up to his house show run with Hogan, who was finishing up against Orndorff.

Resnick is with the Junkyard Dog, who will be facing Paul Orndorff in Boston. JYD talks about Kamala being the biggest man he has ever seen then runs down the card.

Slick is with the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff. Slick goes off on the British Bulldogs and Matilda as he broke his arm. Vince says that is hilarious while Jesse asks him how he thinks breaking an arm is funny.

Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart vs. British Bulldogs

This is a non-title match. Also, this is the debut of the all pink tights here for the Hart Foundation as the have a thin black stripe on the sides. Vince is way too excited to see Matilda. The fans go nuts as Matilda chases Jimmy Hart up the top rope then Vince points out how Danny Davis is the referee for this match. Davey catches Brett with a monkey flip after an Irish whip sequence. Anvil tags and they collide a few times until Davey takes him down with a drop toehold. Dynamite tags and takes both of the Hart's down with a headlock/leg scissors combo as the fans are really into this match. Brett catches Davey with a knee from the apron. The Hart Foundation use quick tags and double-team moves to neutralize Davey until he comes back with a slam on Brett then makes the tag. Dynamite runs wild and nails Brett with a clothesline but Davis was yelling at Hart on the apron then the Anvil comes in and tosses Davey to the floor then the Hart Foundation hit Dynamite with the Hart Attack for the surprise win (4:32).

Thoughts: Fun match that propelled the Hart Foundation right to the #1 contender slot. The result was a mild upset at the time too and it cemented the Hart's as a legitimate threat.

Piper's Pit with Jimmy Hart, who comes out instead of George Steele. Hart says that he took care of Steele by giving him a poster of Elizabeth then rants and raves at Piper about demanding respect. Piper then mocks Hart by calling him a "Federette" then Hart keeps poking Piper then slaps him a few times as Piper no-sells it then puts him in a lifting chokehold until he is attacked by Adrian Adonis from behind with a crutch. Adonis puts him in the sleeper as Hart yells in Piper's face then Adonis declares that he is back and dumps flowers into Piper's mouth.

We get another video of Outback Jack and this time he speaks. He is shown taking a shower outdoors while singing what would be his theme song (Tie Me Kangaroo Down). It's amazing that someone thought this would get over.

Now we get clips of Randy Savage injuring Ricky Steamboat last week. From that, we get Gene Okerlund with the WWF doctor. The doc talks about Steamboat receiving a crushed larynx and does not have his voice and might require speech therapy later on and says that his career is in jeopardy.

Blackjack Mulligan is shown at his ranch in Texas and says that he is tougher and meaner than ever and warns King Kong Bundy that he better watch out. This run would be very short lived.

"The Natural" Butch Reed vs. Max Blue

Reed beats on Blue then catches him with a kneelift. He then hits a swinging neckbreaker and catches him with a slam before hitting a flying clothesline for the win (0:55).

Thoughts: Total domination here as Reed's debut push continues.

Resnick is with the Wizard. Kimchee and Kamala come out as the Wizard cuts one of his awful screaming promos on Hogan to hype their match at the Boston Garden.

Next week in action will be Randy Savage, Koko B. Ware, Adrian Adonis, and the featured match of The Dream Team & Dino Bravo vs. The Rougeau Brothers & Billy Jack Haynes.

Final Thoughts: Decent show. The tag match was fun and the Steamboat/Savage stuff continued. The Davis stuff continued too. In the Observer at this time, Dave Meltzer reported that he heard a rumor from someone in the company that they were planning on a Vince & Bruno vs. Jesse & Davis match that Meltzer himself completely dismissed it at the time but said they way the TV had been going it seemed like there was actually a chance it could happen.

I am taking a break and these reviews will continue the beginning of November with the 11/29/86 episode of "Saturday Night's Main Event."


  1. If Outback Jack was any good in the ring they might have been able to salvage the gimmick.

  2. Cole calls everything like it's a golf tournament, JR called things like his life and the life of the people in the ring depended on it, that's the difference. Plus, Cole's rapport with the other announcers sucks. JR always seemed like he was legitimately pissed when the King or Heyman or Ventura said something stupid or obnoxious. Cole just fake laughs it off, or annoyingly comments on how old their references are.

  3. The Ghost of Faffner HallOctober 17, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    I don't why some people still claim that HTM turned heel on the Snake Pit, as part of a "double turn." Clearly it wasn't. Also, is there video of this episode available somewhere? I'd love to see a hungover Mean Gene. :)

  4. "Here comes the cast from Of Mice and Men...."


  6. I agree. Michael Cole was effective as the nerdy announcer that the Rock and others teased. Cole was bearable as Smackdown's lead announcer. But he is just awful as the "voice of the WWE."

  7. 5 Worst commentators ever...I'm obviously leaving a ton of "worthy" individuals off of this list.
    1. Heel Michael Cole
    2. Mark Madden
    3. Mike Adamle
    4. Mongo McMichael
    5. Face Michael Cole

    JBL gets a pass for right now since he was good for a short period of time. Jerry Lawler is someone I've never enjoyed as an announcer, but he doesn't quite make the "worst" list. Mike Tenay, Taz, and Don West (for his early days) also come close. There are too many others to list...

  8. John Bradshaw "Hey, I'm not going to be the next Justin Roberts" Layfield has ass-kissed, er, spoken.

  9. Current Cole is just terrible, just awful.
    But that's not all him, it's his handlers. I did enjoy he and Taz for a few years on Smackdown.

  10. Biff Kensington IIIOctober 17, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    There are three ways to call a wrestling match as a lead announcer. The 'dignified sportscaster' method, aka your Gordon Solie. There's the 'passionate legend' route, with Jim Ross or your Gorilla Monsoon standing out here. Then there's the dumbass ignorant mold of Michael Cole.

  11. Great scenes. I thought of the drumming scene as soon as I read the post. But you're missing the best one. "Jeffery, Break out Lucille."

  12. Biff Kensington IIIOctober 17, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    I watched Renee commentate earlier on NXT, and you're definitely on to something there; she has that innocent fan-style where she's unabashedly a homer for the good guys, but in a clear and non-smarmy way. Now I wouldn't advocate taking it to David Crockett levels, who was damn near an orgasm on commentary sometimes, but someone that gives a shit about the product would be nice.

  13. Gunther the Nasty LoserOctober 17, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Oooooh, good one!

  14. So this is really weird. In my class, I was making a point to my students about new jobs and money, and to have some fun I ran the Cosby/Theo scene from the pilot. What a weird coincidence.

  15. My favorite Ross call might be Austin-Foley from Over the Edge 98. He's just awesome for the whole thing.

  16. This was a clear heel turn here. Slapping babies and women is not something a face in 1986 would ever say

  17. Biff Kensington IIIOctober 17, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Will we be getting a Friday Night thread this evening?

  18. For the greatest color commentator of all time I have to go with Bobby Heenan. The King was great during the attitude era but his work over the last few years, basically since JR left, has tarnished that legacy, simply because I have to wonder what the hell happened to him, he's like a shell of his attitude era self. Ventura was also pretty awesome. I have never liked JBL on commentary even during his Smackdown days. He hypes everything way too much and the hyperbole just gets to a ridiculous point. Plus, a lot of the times his arguments are just illogical. The one thing about Ventura, his arguments always had a certain logic to them. I thought Heyman was pretty good, but he's much better as a manager. Dusty and Mongo fall into the category of, yes, just viewing it on the surface they were pretty terrible, but you could hear their passion for being there and calling matches, plus they always made me laugh and that's an underrated quality too.

  19. If Outback Jack was decent in the ring he'd be a WWE HOFer today and on the cast of Legends House season 2.

  20. Honestly, the gimmick in a vacuum isn't terrible. Australian culture was a big US thing at the time and it's just an '80s update of the hillbilly gimmick that's as old as wrestling itself. If Jack could even slightly present himself as an asskicker, or come off as likable as Hillbilly Jim, it'd have been a perfectly cromulent way to fill out the mid-card.

  21. Keller reported a while back that Magnus constantly pisses off everyone in the locker room. That probably did him in

  22. "It's amazing that someone thought this would get over."

    In hindsight, I liked the idea of a brawling Australian -- but I kind of like Australians for some reason. The guy debuts as a major newcomer and within a week he's jobbing to Killer Khan. By the middle of 1988, he ain't even a JTTS anymore and just a jobber. Pretty sad, because I really thought the gimmick had legs.

  23. Honky turned heel here, although Jake doesn't turn face until the guitar shot I guess. Jake was a total heel and then he kind of goes tweener, but he doesn't really turn face until the guitar shot per se.

  24. The gimmick had promise, just didn't have the right worker - I guess.

  25. Question: When does Jake turn face? Does he start to do it when he turns tweener in a November and wrestles Savage or was it not really a event until he picks on Honky and gets beaten down? Because after Honk, he's a full fledged babyface until he turns in the middle of 1991.

    Question #2: Same with Macho? He is a full fledge heel, even with the face pops as late as August 1987. Heel Savage even endorses Honky winning the title in July. Then out of nowhere Honky bad mouths Savage and Savage grabs Hart and all of a sudden - face turn - although the mega powers handshake kind of sealed the deal.

    Question #3: Same with Piper. Piper clearly turns face upon his return but still has issues with the guys had issues with before. Hogan and Piper still had issues in storylines as late as Feb 87 - when the two have a confrontation concerning Piper vouching for Hogan and Piper then weaseling into Hogan's locker room after the fact.


  27. The problem with Outback Jack is that in the days before developmental, wrestlers coming to the WWF were well-established, experienced wrestlers who cut their teeth in the territories. However Outback Jack hardly had any experience and it showed. A more experienced Australian wrestler would have been successful with the gimmick but Outback Jack was not ready for the WWF at the time of his debut.

  28. It was the same thing as the hillbilly gimmicks, which were not over anymore. After Jack was shown to be a horrendous wrestler, it was DOA.

  29. Jake was turned face after he was cheered against Hogan at a few house shows then they did the Snake Pit angle and gave him a reason to turn.

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