January 17, 1987
From the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, NJ
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, and Vince McMahon
Tonight, Ricky Steamboat makes his return to the ring. Also in action will be Kamala, Hercules, and the Junkyard Dog vs. Harley Race match from "Saturday Night's Main Event."
Barry O. vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
The fans are going nuts for Steamboat's return. Steamboat ducks a crossbody then slams Barry down. He works the arm and does not let go when Barry goes outside. In the ring, Barry catches Steamboat with a powerslam for two but Steamboat comes right back with an atomic drop as we get an insert promo from Randy Savage about he will not watch Steamboat on TV because he already beat him when he was at 100%. Barry targets the throat of Steamboat and tries to drop him throat first on the top rope but that gets blocked and Steamboat fires away. He then heads up top and puts Barry away with the flying body press (2:37).
Thoughts: Steamboat's reaction was off the charts and this matched proved that he is back and seeking revenge.
WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week's subject is a match between Billy Jack Haynes and Harley Race from a Superstars taping as Haynes went after Heenan when he interfered and tried to put him in the full nelson. After that we get a promo from Heenan saying that he has someone to go after Haynes. And that is how the Haynes/Hercules feud started.
George Steele is flipping through the WWF magazine and slams it down when he sees Savage and screams "bad."
Don Driggers vs. Kamala w/ Kimchee
Kamala tosses Driggers down and beats on him until he hits a splash. Kamala then goes up top and hits another splash for the win (0:33). After the match, Kamala goes up again but Kimchee yells at him to get down.
Thoughts: The squash matches are starting lose it's appeal as Kamala has not beaten anyone with a shred of star power on TV.
Ken Resnick is with Bruno Sammartino,who will be facing Randy Savage in a Lumberjack Match in Boston. Sammartino calls Savage a coward for running away during their last match and promises that will not be able to happen this time.
We see Driggers getting taken out of the ring on a stretcher.
Resnick is with Raymond Rougeau, who will be facing the Hart Foundation at the Boston Garden. Raymond says that the Hart Foundation are in their way of getting another title shot. Generic babyface promo from Raymond.
Another vignette of Outback Jack. This time he is drinking at a bar and tells us that he works hard and plays hard and is tough enough for the WWF.
Salvatore Bellomo & Mario Mancini vs. Demolition w/ Johnny V.
This is the debut of Demolition, who were the new team that Johnny V. had for the WWF. Smash is played by Randy Culley (Moondog Rex) while Ax is Bill Eadie. The face painting they have looks like shit and definitely improved over the months. Ax starts by beating the shit out of Bellomo, which is always a good time. Smash tags and continues the assault as we get an insert promo from Johnny V. putting over his two teams. Mancini is in the ring and he also gets destroyed until Demolition finally puts him away with not-yet named Decapitation (2:22).
Thoughts: Solid debut, even if Culley was not much of a worker. The jobber team did not land one single offensive move and they looked unstoppable. The crowd didnt react much either way to the team but seemed to be in awe of their domination.
Piper's Pit with guest Jack Tunney. There is a giant trophy on the set. Tunney says that this trophy is to honor Hulk Hogan, for being a WWF Champion for three years and for basically popularizing the WWF. Hogan comes out and raises the trophy and gives a speech as we see the clips of his career. Hogan is ecstatic and says that the Hulkamaniacs and himself will only go to higher places. Andre the Giant comes out as the fans go nuts. Piper asks him if he has something to say as Andre says that three years to be a champion is a long time. He turns and smirks at Hogan while shaking his hand very firmly then he walks off as Hogan seems surprised at what Andre did but goes back to celebrating with his trophy. One in a series of famous editions of "Piper's Pit" leading up to WrestleMania III. And the brilliant story leading to Andre's heel turn continued as he showed a tiny bit more attitude with each appearance.
Jim Parks vs. Hercules w/ Bobby Heenan
Hercules rams Parks in the corner as Jesse talks about Andre on the Pit. Hercules slams Parks down and drops an elbow then hits a vertical suplex. Hercules then puts Parks in the full nelson and gets the win via submission (1:27). After the match, Heenan grabs the mic and dares any wrestler, including Billy Jack Haynes, to try and get out of the full nelson. Haynes then comes out to the ring and dares Hercules to put on the hold but Heenan says no then distracts him enough so Hercules and can attack him from behind. Hercules then locks on the full nelson as Haynes almost gets out but Heenan boots him down as the fans loudly boo the heels.
Thoughts: Well, this answers the question as to who Heenan had in mind to go after Haynes. And this angle would kick off their feud that led to their WrestleMania III match.
A graphic airs that says WrestleMania III will be on March 29th.
Terry Gibbs & Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Killer Bees
The Bees are wearing their masks as Davis warns them about cheating. Match starts with the Bees taking turns beating on Gibbs. Brunzell gets caught in the wrong corner as we get an insert promo from Jimmy Hart and the Hart Foundation talking about how the masks are illegal. The Bees are now working over Sharpe's leg but Brunzell is again caught in the wrong corner and Davis lets him get double-teamed in the corner as Vince lets us know that Davis' Referee's License expires at the end of March. Jesse talks about WrestleMania and says that Davis has earned a position on the show as Brunzell continues to get double-teamed. The match breaks down as Davis refused to count for Blair's cradle. The Bees yank off their own masks then Brunzell puts Gibbs away with a dropkick after he got hit with an atomic drop (5:23).
Thoughts: Average match at best but this was more about Danny Davis than the teams in the ring. The Bees were just used as fodder for the Davis evil referee story.
Resnick is with the Hart Foundation. Neidhart is whacked out even more than usual as he harasses Resnick and compares what they will do to the Rougeau's in Boston to what a Biology student does to a frog. Savage then comes out and tries to out-crazy Neidhart as he gives a warning to Sammartino that he will be done for good.
Next week in action will be Paul Orndorff, Koko B. Ware, Randy Savage and the featured match of the Can-Am Connection vs. Don Muraco & Bob Orton.
Final Thoughts: Awesome show. Every segment served a purpose and they started off segments that led to WrestleMania III. The WWF was firing on all cylinders at this time and it would only get better as the months went on leading up to the big show.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/18/87
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Chris Kanyon
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 1/24/87
Saturday: RoH Night of the Grudges 6/14/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/25/87