The SmarK Rant for the WWF Slammy Awards – 12.17.87
The 37th Annual awards to be specific!
Oh man, this is a very specific piece of my childhood here. I honestly have no idea who would have aired in Canada at the time, unless it was on one of the local stations in a rebroadcast deal ala Saturday Night’s Main Event.
Taped from Atlantic City, NJ
Hosted by Vince McMahon, Jesse Ventura & Mean Gene.
The entrance vignettes cut into the credits are worth the price of admission alone. King Kong Bundy in his wrestling trunks and a top hat is awesome. And really, Vince would kill to have the kind of star power on display here these days. Hogan, Warrior, Savage, Honky Tonk, Dibiase, Rude, Roberts, Bigelow, The Hart Foundation, The Bulldogs, Demolition, Beefcake…pretty staggering actually.
So the conceit here is that this is an actual awards show, as opposed to whatever it became later.
Award #1: Best Performance By An Animal
Nominees are Damian, Frankie, Matilda and George Steele. The winner of course is Steele and he gets lost on the way to the podium before Hillbilly Jim saves him. And the poor prop turnbuckle doesn’t even survive the first award.
Song of the Year Nominee: Honky Tonk Man sings his own theme song and does a pretty good job at it. Clearly he’s not actually playing the guitar, but he’s still one up on Jeff Jarrett. Also, the Hart Foundation provides backup dancing, so that’s awesome. You have to be a terrible person not to love this a little bit.
Award #2: Woman of the Year
Nominees are Sherri, “Dolly Parton”, Fabulous Moolah, “Yoko Ono” and Elizabeth. Obviously a couple of these are joke nominees. Honky is pretty funny burying all the nominees (“Even the Million Dollar Man’s Moolah can’t buy the award for that battleaxe.”) and of course Liz wins. Randy Savage immediately chases Honky off, and if there’s anything classier than a silver wrestling outfit with bib, I don’t know what that might be.
Hacksaw Duggan (with tuxudo shirt) presents Award #3: Best Ring Apparel.
Nominees are Demolition, Randy Savage (pretty sure you can see a very young Jerry Seinfeld sitting behind him), King Harley Race, Honky Tonk Man and the Bulldogs. The King wins the award (and Bobby has a bowtie on his neck brace), but Duggan refuses to show proper respect in presenting the award, and the BRAWL IS ON. Thankfully Gorilla Monsoon is on hand to grab a headset and do play by play. First stop: The makeup room, as they batter each other with wigs and face powder and there’s a donkey and a bunch of chickens around. THESE CHICKENS ARE RAW, YOU DONKEY!!!! Meanwhile, they fight into the electrical room as we learn that Bam Bam Bigelow and Mean Gene have tied for the Best Head award. Shit, I had money on that one.
Song of the Year Nominee: VINCE MCMAHON WANTS US TO STAND BACK!
Long before Chris Jericho made it a running joke in 2004, this was a real thing that happened. Jake Roberts, Randy Savage and Brutus Beefcake “playing” the trumpets! Vince doing choreographed dance moves with showgirls! HULK HOGAN BASS SOLO! Vince McMahon basically telling Jim Crockett and Verne Gagne that he’s going to destroy their territories…in MUSICAL FORM!
Meanwhile, in the back, the brawl continues while a llama wanders through. We take a break and Heenan rescues Race and locks Hacksaw in the room, where he still lives to this day. No, wait, he escapes and shoves a giant pile of cardboard boxes onto them, allowing them to continue into the dressing rooms. Poor Bobby gets beat up by an old lady to end this segment.
Hulk Hogan presents Award #4: The Hulk Hogan Real American Award.
If this was 1995 WCW he’d present it to himself. But since we’ve got storylines to advance, instead it goes to Superstar Billy Graham. For some reason Graham gets a knockoff of The Final Countdown as his music.
Meanwhile, the brawl moves into the catering room and Gorilla declares that they’ve “made a shambles of the 37th Annual Slammy Awards!” Duggan puts poor Bobby into the carrot cake with an atomic drop, and Gorilla is upset that there will be no Christmas party this year as a result.
Jesse The Body presents the most prestigious award of the evening…the JESSE THE BODY AWARD.
As if you even need to guess who wins this one. Seriously, tell me you didn’t say it out loud as soon as I gave the name of the award. Nominees are Rick Rude (duh), Butch Reed, Ultimate Warrior, Sherri, and Hercules. And of course, Rick Rude is the only one who could possibly win. Rude opts for a full-on stripping routine before Mean Gene saves things with a towel. Rude steals the big-haired awards girl and leaves the towel. This was kind of a weird bit for Rude because he was more goofy heel than hard-edged asshole like he would soon become. But it was tremendous no less.
Sadly, the “Greatest Hits of 1987” award is interrupted by Race and Duggan bursting through the video screen, but Finkel apologizes for the interruption and we continue.
Award #5: Greatest Hits of the Year
Nominees are Andre the Giant, Strike Force, Honky Tonk Man, Bam Bam Bigelow and Hacksaw Duggan. And Duggan wins to pay off the brawl.
Gorilla Monsoon presents Award #6: Manager of the Year
Nominees are Slick (in a gold Flavor Flav tuxedo!), Jimmy Hart, Mr. Fuji, Bobby Heenan…and the winner is “None of the above”. Now that’s a funny gag. Everyone is outraged but Gorilla sends them all packing.
Song of the Year Nominee: Piledriver.
So this gives us Bigelow on saxophone and poor Ultimate Warrior dressed as a construction worker standing there with no idea what to do.
Mean Gene presents Award #6: Best Personal Hygiene
Nominees are Sika, Hillbilly Jim, George Steele, The Bolsheviks and King Kong Bundy (giving us the first toilet joke of the night, kind of a shock actually). The Russians win and trip on the way up the stage.
Song of the Year Nominee: Jimmy Hart sings about Girls In Cars
This is another weird one because of course Strike Force had already stolen the song for themselves, even though Jimmy does a good version here. Sadly, Strike Force steals all of his backup dancers and Jimmy gets kidnapped and presumably raped by the school bus lady. Weak sauce.
Randy Savage presents Award #7: Best Vocal Performance
Nominees are JYD’s growl, One Man Gang’s bellow, Hacksaw Duggan’s ho, Jimmy Hart’s megaphone and George Steele’s wail. Duggan wins his second award of the night, running away with things. I think this awards show might not be entirely on the level.
Song of the Year Nominee: If You Only Knew
This is the one featuring everyone on the roster doing a group number. The highlight is Virgil keep character by standing there scowling while everyone else does their bits and claps along. Sadly, Sika eats the envelope that reveals who actually won Best Song, but I’d like to think it was Honky Tonk Man because his was awesome. And we wrap it up, which is good because the show actually ran out of good ideas at the end of the Race-Duggan brawl.
There’s only about 40 minutes of good entertainment here, so stop after the giant brawl finishes, but otherwise it’s some hilarious classic cheese from the glory days of the WWF. Highly recommended.