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WWF Frank Tunney Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament: March 15th, 1987

March 15, 1987

Your hosts are Jimmy Hart, Johnny V, and Gorilla Monsoon

At this time, the WWE were doing tag team tournaments at house shows with the winner getting a title shot. This was one of those shows and it was televised due to it taking place at the Maple Leaf Gardens.

There were also two other matches on this card: Sivi Afi vs. Red Demon and Hillbilly Jim vs. Dino Bravo that were not on this broadcast but featured on future episodes of Prime Time Wrestling.


Opening Round
Kamala & Sika w/Kimchee vs. Killer Bees

I think the Wizard as gone at this point, which is a relief. Brunzell grabs Sika in a side headlock to start. Sika breaks then runs him over as this match is been wrestled at a snails pace so far. Kamala is in the corner and is struggling to grasp the rules of a tag team match. Blair tags and works the arm but that doesnt last long as Sika regains control. Kamala tags and beats on Blair, who is trapped in the opposing corner. Johnny V. seems absolutely tanked on commentary as the heels are neutralizing Blair. Sika holds up Blair but he avoids a charging Kamala as the heels collide. Blair makes the tag as Sika had him in a headlock ten Brunzell dropkicks Sika for the win (7:32) 1/2*.

Thoughts: This match sucked and the ending looked awful. The Bees tried here but Sika was just a slug at this point yet worked a majority of the match.



Opening Round "Golden Boy" Danny Spivey & Jerry Allen vs. Can-Am Connection

The crowd loves the Can-Ams. They gave Allen & Spivey a light smattering of boos. Spivey and Martel start off the match. Martel hits a crossbody for two then tags out. Spivey and Zenk trade suplexes then end in a stalemate. Zenk gets two off of a backslide as Johnny talks up Spivey on commentary. They both get into a shoving match as Spivey is showing a bit more aggression than usual and has Jimmy Hart cheering for him on commentary. Spivey takes control as he drops an elbow for two. Backbreaker gets two then he puts Zenk in a bearhug. Allen tags in and gets two off if a suplex then locks on a bearhug of his own. Zenk fights back but Spivey tags then they completely botch an abdominal stretch spot. Martel makes the save after a double-team move then the match breaks down. Spivey tries to whip Zenk into Martel but he ducks and ends up hitting Allen with a crossbody for the win as Martel trapped Spivey in the corner (10:31) *1/2.

Thoughts: A lot of the focus was on Spivey as they hinted at a heel turn with him here with Johnny V and Jimmy Hart openly cheering for him on commentary and due to him taking control of the match and acting a bit more aggressive than usual. The problem with Spivey was that he just sucked at this point in his career and was not ready for any sort of push at all. The match itself was too long.



Opening Round Demolition w/ Johnny V. vs. British Bulldogs

Demolition attacks the Bulldog from behind to start the match. Demolition works over Dynamite with a few restholds as Dynamite still appeared to be in a tremendous amount of pain. Ax grabs a bearhug as this match is a bore. Dynamite makes the tag but the referee did not see that and orders Davey back as Smash grabs a bearhug. Dynamite breaks free after a couple of headbutts then make the tag as Davey runs wild. Davey looks great out there as he hits them both with the running powerslam. Johnny V. trips him up and that causes Jimmy Hart to laugh hysterically. Davey avoids an elbow drop then uses the chair that Dynamite slid into the ring as he takes out Demolition, causing the referee to ring the bell for the DQ as Demolition gets the win (4:50) 3/4*.

Thoughts: Davey looked great after the hot tag but due to Dynamite's physical condition Demolition only used restholds and it made for a really boring match.



Opening Round
Don Muraco & Cowboy Bob Orton vs. "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff & King Kong Bundy

No Heenan tonight. Match starts with Orndorff and Bundy beating on Orton. Bundy sets up for the Avalanche but Orton is able to duck outside. Muraco sneaks in and rakes the eyes of Bundy, who tags Orndorff. Muraco tags and distracts the ref so Orton can choke out Orndorff. Muraco and Orton isolate Orndorff in their corner until Muraco locks on a bearhug. Orndorff breaks free and tags Bundy, who cleans house. He hits Muraco with the Avalanche but Orton punches Bundy to prevent a pin attempt. Muraco drops a few elbows then tags Orton but Bundy makes the tag as Orndorff runs wild. The match breaks down as Fuji slips Muraco the cane. He swings but Orndorff ducks and he accidentally hits his partner as Bundy takes Muraco out as Orndorff covers for the win (6:20) 1/2*.

Thoughts: Neither of these guys seemed to give a fuck out there as the match was disjointed. This is the first time they have teased any sort of tension between Muraco and Orton.



Semifinals
Can-Am Connection vs. Demolition w/ Johnny V. 

Demolition beat on Martel to start the match. That lasts for a while and it is quite boring. He tries to make the tag but the ref did not see that as Demolition double-team Martel behind the referee's back. Martel dodges an attack and finally makes the tag as Zenk runs wild. The match then breaks down as outside of the ring, Ax rams Zenk into the post then rolls back inside just to beat the ten count as Demolition gets the win (9:21) *.

Thoughts: This was pretty bad and sleep inducing as well. Demolition is not really doing much in the ring tonight to impress. And the end was a lame way for a team to win.



Semifinals Paul Orndorff & King Kong Bundy vs. Killer Bees

The Bees put on their masks before the match as Johnny V is screaming about that from the apron then when he rejoins the booth. Orndorff misses a charge as the Bees use quick tags to work the arm. Orndorff puts on the brakes as Brunzell tried a dropkick then tags out as Bundy knocks around Brunzell. Orndorff tags in again as Hart proclaims that Jim Neidhart throws the best dropkick in wrestling. The heels work over Brunzell in the corner as Johnny V repeatedly ask if the Bees get "stingers." Bundy hits Brunzell with the Avalanche then taunts the crowd for the piledriver as the heels get distracted then Blair rolls himself in and plays possum as he catches Orndorff with a rollup for the win (4:22) *.

Thoughts: Messy but it was mostly action and at this point of the show that was a huge plus. Bundy was never a great worker by any means but he was putrid in this tournament.



Finals Killer Bees vs. Demolition w/ Johnny V.

Ax and Blair go back and forth in a slugfest to start. Ax knees Blair and grabs a front facelock then tags Smash, who tosses Blair through the ropes. Johnny V. cheapshots Blair, who is trapped in the opposing corner. Ax distracts the ref is Blair makes the tag then Smash knocks him through the ropes. The Bees are on the mat as they put on their masks while out on the floor. Brunzell is in as he dropkicks Ax for two as Smash made the save. The ref orders Smash on the apron then Blair heads up top and gets a sunset flip on Ax for the win (6:21) *1/4.

Thoughts: If you think the finishers are lame today then watch this tournament. It will seem like Eddie Graham booked RAW last night by comparison. The Bees won this unimpressive tournament and get a title shot. This match was alright compared to the other garbage we have seen.



WWF Tag Team Championship Match Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis vs. Killer Bees

The Bees come out with their masks as the Hart Foundation head up the ramp. They do come back when the Bees remove them as they break huddle in the ring before starting the match. Neidhart and Brunzell run into each other to start as they are both down on the mat. Brunzell has Anvil up for a slam but Bret sneaks in ehind the referee's back and dropkicks him down but Brunzell rolls through and gets a nearfall. Bret tags and hits a backbreaker for two then slaps Blair across the face before tagging out. Bret tags back in and has a front facelock but Neidhart distracts the ref so he missed the tag. Bret then accidentally knocks Neidhart off of the apron as Brunzell makes the tag. Blair runs wild then the match breaks down as the Bees clear the ring. The Bees put the masks on as Jimmy is screaming as the Bees use stereo sleeper holds on the Hart Foundation. Davis jumps up on the apron as Blair knocks him off then the ref struggles to maintain control as Blair has Bret in a small package, Davis runs in and reverses the move then the ref finally notices and counts to three as the Hart Foundation retains (4:20) **1/2.

Thoughts: All action and good but very short. No idea why they didn't have matches this short for the rest of the tournament. Bret was phenomenal in this match and might have been the best in-ring technician the company had at this point. He was definitely top 3.



Final Thoughts: Man, this tournament sucked. Just about everyone involved was uninspired in the ring and the matches all seemed to have the same spots and pacing. The crowd even seemed burned out by the end. While the six-man tag elimination matches were a hit on the house show circuit, the tag tournaments were the exact opposite. Strong recommendation to avoid.



Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Thursday: RF Video Shoot interview with Blue Meanie and Jasmin St. Claire
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/21/87
Saturday: RoH Wrath of the Racket 8/9/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/22/87
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/29/87

Comments

  1. "Sika was just a slug at this point yet worked a majority of the match."

    How dare you say such blasphemy about the man that created the Charismatic Big Dog, the Juggernaut Roman Reigns???????

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  2. Scary to think this was the first live card I ever attended

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  3. You have to see Sika in person to appreciate what a dynamic wrestler he is.

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  4. Sivi Afi vs Red Demon?!? Main event in any arena in the world.

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  5. I wonder if he has hands the size of frying pans too

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  6. Well........sufferin' succotash son! Why didn't you tell me earlier?

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  7. Not the most impressive show but I bet you had fun though. Or had a lot of bathroom breaks

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  8. Gee, I wonder if this was the "C" show that night...

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  9. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©February 10, 2015 at 6:59 PM

    I wouldn't be opposed to Owens killing Ziggler.

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  10. I will literally shoot my dick off in rage.

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  11. Scouting ahead of time for March Madness pools?

    Eh, I'm with ya on this one.

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  12. I was actually looking for my recording of this, this past weekend (seriously), and found it about 5 seconds before Insaw this review. Awesome. Although, now after reading the review, it might be the cure for insomnia. But....Tournaments Rule!!!

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  13. Red Demon would later change colors and become the NWA World Heavyweight Champion!

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  14. I always loved when someone would sneak a line in like that for someone involved in one of the top matches. It was like a secret-code for "yeah, this show sucks, and yes, we're seriously asking fans to come see it based entirely around a fat guy or freak show."

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  15. Further proof that Vince hates Canada.

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  16. CruelConnectionNumber2February 10, 2015 at 10:23 PM

    Bayless rules. I was just reading an Observer recap of this. WWF also did an even shittier version a week or so later at the Meadowlands NJ with Can-Ams winning. Let me see if there's any cool notes.

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  17. CruelConnectionNumber2February 10, 2015 at 10:28 PM

    This show did a sellout 18,000 in Toronto. It's the "Frank Tunney Memorial" because, according to the WWF, Frank Tunney brought Tag Team Wrestling to North America over from Australia where it originated. Uh no. Dynamite Kid was basically crippled here. There two other matches on the card. Sivi Afi over Red Demon (Jose Luis Rivera in one of 100 masked gimmicks he did that year) and Hillbilly Jim over Dino Bravo.

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  18. It certainly feels like they book it

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  19. The notion of John Cena's wife leaving him because he lost to the Rock will never stop sending me into extreme fits of giggling

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  20. vince better get a game plan because the fans are getting tired of this b.s. Were pushing reigns... no wait now bryan. no wait lets make them look stupid compared to a 46 year old semi retired coo.because that makes money. I dont get how bryans over and they ignored it til recentley. its like bret and diesel all over bret/bryan fans love and respect them reigns/diesel big tall nice hair not ready for the belt

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  21. CruelConnectionNumber2February 10, 2015 at 10:35 PM

    Daniel Bryan is wearing BLACK t-shirts and acting sorta pricky. He's about half as over as last year. I really, really hope Mania ends with a SHIELD REUNION and Rollins as champ, Heyman as manager, and Reigns and Ambrose destroying Bryan, Brock, HHH. Anything but this shit.

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  22. Would that foreign heel schtick really get any play in this day and age? I mean, people were already getting tired of it circa WMVII, when the Sgt Slaughter as Iraqi sympathiser angle tanked so badly they had to switch from the 100,000 seat LA Memorial Coliseum to the 20,000 seat Sports Arena just so they could get a full house.
    The Russians haven't been "commies" for some time now. And Rusev is Bulgarian, not Russian. Calling a Bulgarian a Russian is like calling a Canadian an American. Besides which, Bulgaria is a US ally and they're none too keen on the Russians. I'm just sayin'.
    I'm not saying the direction they're going in with this angle is the best they could be doing, but I'm not convinced that going all retrograde Reagan era and playing up the xenophobia is an effective way to go either. Audiences are not as dumb as they were in the eighties, when you could have a big idiot like Jim Duggan stand on the apron and draw massive pops just by starting a "U - S - A" chant.
    I'd like to BELIEVE they're not that dumb anyways.

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  23. Adam "Colorado" CurryFebruary 10, 2015 at 10:38 PM

    Wasn't he already a face? Sorry, when a guy has turned like 38 times I lost track, mainly because I long ago stopped caring.

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  24. There has to be a statute of limitations on this rematch clause business


    Otherwise, I expect Chico Santana to show up any day now to go over BNB

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  25. "Heard a rumour." No fucking kidding Cole, you generally get title shots for beating the champs in non-title bouts for three goddamn weeks straight. I heard a rumour that the winner of that Patriots/Colts game was going to play in the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, too.

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  26. Up until he faced grizzled veteran Cena, Russev's whole push was based on being the evil Russian and he was able to get a nice amount of heat playing that role.

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  27. No they don't but it is a fact that nearly every other country in the world was opposed to the Iraq war and the overly patriotic troop specials that were basically a glowing endorsement of George W. Bush's military policies could be seen as offensive and insulting to most if not all other countries outside of the U.S.

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  28. He doesn't count because he got several shots at Randy Savage after he lost the I-C belt to him plus he and Rick Martel did get a few rematches with Demolition after they dropped the tag belts to that team before Martel got injured.

    Although technically, JBL could go after BNB because he never got a rematch after he lost the I-C title and he already got out of retirement for the Royal Rumble last year so it's not like retirement would get in the way.

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  29. No, he didn't. It sounds like the person misinterpreted what happened and he accidentally knocked out Kane

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  30. And also, isn't long hair forbidden in Russia? That alone kills the gimmick.

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  31. "But instead the heat is supposed to be because John Cena, who is 5 years or so younger than the average age of the RAW viewership, is the grizzled old veteran who is too old and beat up to face the young lion. "


    Honestly, I find that way more interesting than the xenophobia angle. Just shows there's all types, I guess.

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  32. This face turn (a mere 38th turn for Paul Wight! ) only work if he starts using his old "Ahhhh! Chokeslam!" phrase from his WCW days.

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  33. Mid card heat is not the same as main event heat. The xenophobia angle has not worked as a main event attraction since the eighties.
    In case anybody failed to notice, "US Express" Lex Luger vs the "Evil Japanese" (by way of a Samoan proxy) Yokozuna was a dismal flop in the nineties. As was the attempt to package Tony Halme as the "Evil Fin" Ludvig Borga. So in this case I don't think Scott is correct. This stuff hasn't "worked for 60 years." In fact, it has flopped every time they tried to do it in the last quarter of a century. Does anybody seriously believe that working an "evil Russian" angle is going to draw in 2015? Really?
    Rusev has potential as a monster heel / killer, an archetype which - unlike the xenophobia angle - doesn't actually get old. I think it's fine to keep the pro-Russian stuff there as a character detail (as inherently daft as it is to push a Bulgarian as a Russian nationalist) but giving it primacy as a story idea will ensure that Rusev never breaks fully into the main event picture. It's too retrograde and wrestling fans do not buy into that kind of stuff like they once did. It's one step removed from dressing a black wrestler up in leopard skins and calling him The Jungle Warrior.

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  34. Clearly, the answer is more Authority. Can't wait.

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  35. My least favorite part of this era of Raw is that the roster is so thin that the stars have to make multiple appearances and entrances. Roman, Bryan, HHH, Ryback, Rollins had two entrances. Those guys, minus Ryback and plus Kane/Show wrestled twice. Wyatt had a pre-taped promo and a multi-segment match.

    By the end of the show people are just done reacting to the stars. It's not that Bryan's pops late in the show are tepid but imagine how much bigger they'd be if you had to wait until 10:45 to see him.

    Maybe it's just me but if they limited each guy to 1 big entrance per show it would make the guys they have seem more special. But what do I know.

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  36. Daniel Bryan/CM Punk weren't 'ratings' either.

    Reigns isn't the solution, but he's not the problem. Ratings have been shite for years.

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  37. Why? You can watch it on Amazon for much less.

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  38. Axing Steph and Hunter as on screen characters would free up about forty minutes of time a week. That's good. Those forty minutes would likely involve Big Show and Kane walrusing around in the ring and squashing young guys. That's bad.

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  39. "Big Show and Kane contain potassium benzoate."


    "......"


    "That's bad."


    "Can I go now?"

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  40. He is? You sure it wasn't just a shitty crowd?

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  41. Wyatt hits Sister Abigail for the pin.

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  42. Wrong guy pally!

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  43. I hope it succeeds so much that they'll have to cut off that last hour.

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  44. BTW, best thing so far about the show is all the mystery.

    What's up with that black and white?

    Why isn't that guy at the firm any more?

    Why is Jimmy taking care of him?

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  45. I brought up in another thread how I thought he never seemed to age.

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  46. Kane vs Big Show for Fast Lane


    For the andre the giant battle royale, can Kane knock out Show? that's main question.


    SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY

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  47. i don't think there is a Bryan backlash

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  48. I've seen sentiments like the following online this week from a variety of super pro Bryan sources:

    "There was a part of me that delighted in Reigns' taking action the way he did, perhaps because of those very fans. To my eyes and ears, Bryan's theme hitting didn't garner much reaction at all, certainly nothing like Roman's. Then he dipped and did the "YES" chant and suddenly the entire building was right there with him. It's hard not to get swept up in the tide, whether you're with the movement or not. It can feel a little too phony. Reigns is now actively having to fight against that.

    I find myself almost pulling for the guy.

    ...

    ...

    ...

    Shit, they got me, didn't they?"

    http://www.cagesideseats.com/wwe-raw/2015/2/10/8010409/wwe-raw-results-recap-reactions-feb-9-2015-roman-reigns-turns-heel-daniel-bryan



    That's partially what I'm basing this on, but if there isn't a backlash I guess we'll see in the next few weeks...

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  49. Whew. Almost lost the dream of Kane and Big Show getting the tag titles again before Wrestlemania.

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  50. Eh not so much. Ratings were down with bryan in the main in August-december 2013, went up during mania season and right back down again.

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  51. The crowds popped for Jack Fucking Swagger when he played the loyal American feuding with Rusev. So yeah, the "evil Russian" shtick still has legs when you do it right.

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  52. MaffewOfBotchamaniaFebruary 11, 2015 at 6:20 AM

    http://botchamania.com/botchamania265and266/

    Here you go. And SidaMania will happen eventually.

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  53. A little movie called ROCKY IV disagrees with your entire premise.

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  54. Umm... you do realise Rocky IV was released in 1985, right?

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  55. Was fairly young back then. I remember rooting for Orndorff and Bundy, hating Demolition and a lot of the crowd turning on the Killer Bees. Dad, as always cheered for Muraco, as he eerily resembled him. Hell the old wrestling figure looked exactly like dad then it did Muraco.

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  56. I dunno, it might have been the "B" because it did have the top tag teams plus the second tier of heels like Kamala, Bundy and Orndorff... I'm not sure if there even were three shows that night given the number of guys on this one.

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  57. You should have looked it up on Sikapedia.

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  58. His head was as hard as one.

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  59. "Since's been back".


    Learn to read, that doesn't mean when they first put him in as a main eventer in a DEAD PERIOD.

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  60. Ratings are shit, mainly because television itself is in an existential crisis. WWE programming remains one of the most successful programs in a dying format, and short of catch ing hold of a cultural zeitgeist like the walking dead did, I don't see how they're ever going to improve

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  61. He was a Phenom last year. He's a popular guythisyear it's a big difference.

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  62. C-Show headliner: Koko B. Ware vs. Butch Reed... (checks to make sure that isn't true. I totally made it up) History of WWE has a show in Richfield, OH and Sussex, NJ the same day, but the latter didn't have a card listing.

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  63. Well a guy on wrestlingclassics posted this card for Sussex on 3/25/87 so maybe he just labeled it wrong? If so, dear God it's worse than we imagined:

    WWF @ Sussex, NJ - March 25, 1983
    Johnny Rodz defeated Barry Hart
    Swede Hanson defeated Pete Sanchez
    Iron Mike Sharpe defeated SD Jones
    Jimmy Snuka defeated Ray Stevens
    Chief Jay & Jules Strongbow defeated WWF Tag Team Champion Afa & Capt. Lou Albano (sub. for Sika) via count-out

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  64. Thanks man. Yeah, I had a copy of this show and it was in poor condition. You can find the title match on YouTube. I try to include as much house shows as I can with my timelines.

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  65. Just pointing out when bryan is in a main event position ratings tend to trend down. Sorry if this upsets you, but it's true. It might be the writings fault or something else who knows

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  66. Can't blame them. Their schedule was already hellacious.

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  67. I always loved the concept of a one-night tournament, but the real-world applications are basically guys resting or doing quickie matches to make up for being physically bagged (which is understandable). Even Savage had better matches with all of his WrestleMania opponents in separate matches outside of the WMIV tournament.

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  68. Um, only once they did. Since Bryan has been back, in a main event position, ratings have been up. This is the first time ratings have gone down.

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  69. "I think the Wizard as gone at this point"


    He'd been dead for three and a half years, so you think right.

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  70. CruelConnectionNumber2February 11, 2015 at 5:29 PM

    No, The Wizard (Curtis Iaukea) had just recently left for Hawaii and his men transferred to Mr Fuji.

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  71. CruelConnectionNumber2February 11, 2015 at 5:31 PM

    Great stuff. WWF hits a WALL after Mania, though. Ken Patera is the #2 babyface with Steamboat leaving, Jake injured with shoulder/neck surgery, and Duggan getting caught stoned with Sheik. They have no choice but to turn Savage end of summer. Crockett, on the other hand, has its best period ever with tons of Bash sellouts that summer.

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  72. No argument here on the schedule, but it sucks for paying customers. As much as I'm nostalgic for the late 80's, the quality of wrestling was usually sub-par, and guys working 30-35 days straight, sometimes twice a day, is a strong reason to point to.

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  73. youre the man.thank you ive been watching botchamania for years.is macho man youre favorite i ask because of all the promos you used as introductions for the older botchamanias

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  74. Of course! My bad. Too many wizards running around in dem olden days grumble grumble...

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  75. Yeah, after Mania they hit a rough patch until the Andre/Hogan SNME match

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  76. Survivor Series 1987 was awesome!

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  77. I'll have to check my history of wwe on that one.

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