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WWF Superstars of Wrestling April 4th, 1987

April 4, 1987

From the Hara Arena in Dayton, OH

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

Tonight, the featured matchup will have Hacksaw Jim Duggan go up against the Iron Sheik. Also in action will be Jake Roberts, King Harley Race, and Demolition. Plus, results from WrestleMania III and more.

Iron Sheik w/ Slick & Nikolai Volkoff vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Sheik attacks Duggan as he enters the ring. Duggan comes back with a shoulder block then slams him down. Sheik rolls outside as Duggan is shown in an insert promo talking about taking care of Sheik and Duggan. Duggan goes to work on Sheik until he gets booted as they had a major miscommunication there. Sheik rams Duggan into the corner then comes back with a clothesline that looked pitiful. Sheik boots Duggan after an eye rake  then tosses him to the floor. Sheik taunts the fans as Slick whacks Duggan with his cane then Volkoff breaks it over his head then destroys him until the ref rings the bell for the DQ (2:57). Its 3-1 against Duggan until the Killer Bees come out for the save. Duggan then regroups and leads the crowd into some patriotic chants as he then makes his way through the crowd.

Thoughts: This segment did exactly what it was intended to do and that was getting Duggan over huge. The action in the ring was pretty bad actually but the fans were digging the angle too much to care.

WWF Update with Craig DeGeorge, who has replaced Mean Gene in this role. This week's topic is Mr. Fuji, who has worked out a deal with the Wizard to manage Kamala & Sika. Thank the lord this was the end of the Wizard in the WWF.

We get a vignette of Outback Jack struggling to adapt to live in an American hotel room. He prefers the floor over the bed, apparently. That was all and its clear after weeks upon weeks of introductory vignettes then barely appearing at all on TV after his first match that the WWF scrapped any huge plans they had for the guy.

Iron Mike Sharpe & Jimmy Jack Funk vs. Killer Bees

After an eye rake, Brunzell catches Sharpe with a monkey flip and a slam. We are shown an insert promo from the Hart Foundation, claiming that the Bees are not worthy of a title shot. Blair works over Funk until Sharpe cheapshots him from the apron. The match breaks down then the heels collide. Blair hits Sharpe with an atomic drop then Brunzell dropkicks him for the win (2:55).

Thoughts: Decent action. Based off of the insert promo from the Hart Foundation it appears that they are doing a storyline in which they go through all the teams until they find the #1 contender.

Gene Okerlund makes some jokes about his friend in Cape Cod as he tells us the World Heavyweight Champion will face Harley Race in Boston. The camera cuts to Hogan as he tells Race that he does take him seriously but that in Boston they will find out who is the real king of the ring. Now those you missed out on WrestleMania know that Hogan retained the title.

Nikolai Volkoff w/ Slick & Iron Sheik vs. Rick Hunter

Hunter attacks Volkoff as he went to sing the National Anthem but ends up getting destroyed by both Volkoff and Sheik. They toss him out as Volkoff now sings the Russian National Anthem until Duggan runs out, with his head bandaged and covered in blood, and chases them off with a 2x4 as he tells them  that he will not quit until he rids them from the WWF. Match was rules a no-contest.

Thoughts: Duggan running out with his head bloodied, holding the 2x4 was a great visual. It was awesome.

Okerlund is with the Islanders. They put over America and their pride for their home country as they put over how they beat the Hart Foundation on TV. Looks like the WWF are trying to make us guess who are the #1 contenders to the Hart Foundation's Titles.

Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. The Raider

Jake gets attacked from behind to start the match. The Raider stays on the attack as we get an insert promo from the Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart as they will now be bringing their guitar to the ring. The camera then shows Jesse in the booth eating a WWF Ice Cream Bar as Jake continues to get destroyed. Jake slithers outside then outsmarts the Raider by hitting him with a knee lift before putting him away with the DDT (2:41). Jake then chases the ref out of the ring with Damien before putting him on the Raider as Vince is in all his glory.

Thoughts: Weird to see Jake sell for the majority of the match but at the end he won with his smarts and that was what his character was all about.

George Steele tells us that the WWF Ice Cream Bars are good. Really.

Brad Rheingans & Sivi Afi vs. Demolition w/ Johnny V.

Ax and Afi start off the match. Rheingans tags in completely fucks up a backdrop spot. He tags out after getting beat up as Smash immediately destroys Afi then they put him away with the Decapitation (1:34).

Thoughts: Very short match to put over Demolition, who look more impressive each time we see them.

Okerlund, "on location" from the Silverdome, runs down the results from WrestleMania III.

Now, we are shown Part One of the "Ken Patera Story," narrated by Okerlund. He runs down his weight lifting and amateur accomplishments then shows a clip of him on "Tuesday Night Titans" performing a few feats of strength. They also blame Bobby Heenan for being a bad influence as that will be addressed in Part Two. Not much of interest in this installment but it would get better as the saga continued.

Don Driggers vs. King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan

Race beats on Driggers as he is shown in an insert promo saying that everyone will have to bow and kneel after wrestling him then shortly after that puts Driggers away with the cradle suplex (1:16). After the match, Race beats on Driggers some more before leaving.

Thoughts: A quick win for Race, who would go on to challenge Hogan at house shows for the belt.

Final Thoughts: This was the last show from the tapings that took place a few weeks before WrestleMania III. And I thought this was really good show as it made Duggan a singles threat and the fans guess as to what team would take the belts away from the Hart Foundation. And these two things were not done or even addressed at WrestleMania III. The Duggan stuff was very well done and the highlight of the show.


  1. Jonathan MeisnerMarch 6, 2015 at 4:34 PM

    I had The Ken Patera Story on VHS. Found it at a flea market along with Crockett Cup '87. I remember Patera's debate with Heenan in the ring, and how he had the same retort for whatever Heenan said to him. Thought he was a geek.

  2. "This was the last show from the tapings that took place a few weeks before WrestleMania III."
    That's true, but it should be noted that shows that actual post-Mania matches will not begin airing until the first weekend of May. For some reason, instead of holding tapings in the days after Mania, WWE did a pair of very rare Saturday/Sunday tapings on March 21-22 to fill the rest of the April shows.

  3. The feud with Heenan was the peak of Ken Patera's third run in the WWF.

  4. Jonathan MeisnerMarch 6, 2015 at 4:49 PM

    Yeah, I was never impressed by him. Couldn't cut a promo, looked like someone's uncle who thought they could wrestle. Then, years later I saw him on some old Worlds Strongest Man competitions, and he was just as boring there.

  5. The Ghost of Faffner HallMarch 6, 2015 at 4:50 PM

    Agreed. It was ridiculous the way the WWF somehow tried to use Patera's real-life arrest to turn him babyface. I still remember Mean Gene trying to spin it: "The man was hungry and just wanted a hamburger! He's really the victim here!" is what it boiled down to.

  6. Jonathan MeisnerMarch 6, 2015 at 4:53 PM

    Lol "All I wanted was a hamburger and she wouldn't give it to me...INSTITUTIONALIZED!"

  7. Yea It's so weird I'm guess it was because it was now the mid 80's and Vince thought...Olympian...America...wait a second but to have a long time heel go to jail and when he comes out they hype the prison time (something they didn't even have to do in a pre internet era) and push him as a face...Then there is the fact that he some how was unwatchable in the ring after prison.

  8. Yep. Wont put up a fight with that one. Got me there.

  9. The problem with Ken Patera was that one, he was a career long heel who excelled in that role and had no idea how to play a face. Two, it was obvious that he was significantly older than the rest of the roster. He was 43 during this run. He set his records during the 1972 Olympics which was 15 years earlier. When strength is your calling card, relative youth matters. Compare to Harley Race who is the same age, at least Race was presented as a technician whose technical ability was displayed and he had his intelligence going for him. But Patera did not come off as any stronger than Hogan, Billy Jack Haynes, or any of the other power guys. Plus he did come off as a bully to Bobby Heenan. There's something wrong with when Heenan is supposed to be the heel and Patera the face.

  10. Who was the Wizard?

  11. Plus Patera came off as a madman. And judging from his shoot interviews, he is legitimately a madman.

  12. Jonathan MeisnerMarch 6, 2015 at 5:22 PM

    I haven't seen his shoots. How does come off as a madman there?

  13. Curtis Iaueka.

  14. He was tanked in his RF Video shoot

  15. Let's just say he has a unique view of the world and he is prone to losing his temper.

  16. Yeah, when Bruce Wilhelm and Dan Reinhardt have more charisma than you, it is time to pack it in.

  17. I'm kind of sad that Bruce Wilhelm didn't try wrestling. He had more personality than Ted Arcidi and Bill Kazmirer. He was no wrestler, but he a natural heel arrogance and false humility.

  18. This must be near the time when Duggan and the Sheik were arrested while traveling together.

  19. Virgil's Gimmick TableMarch 7, 2015 at 5:45 AM

    He won't get no sympy from me.

  20. James M. FabianoMarch 7, 2015 at 6:16 AM

    aka the Master of the Dungeon of Doom, my soooooooooooon.

  21. Well, Dana has no reason to help Vince out, but Lesnar is a name that gets MMA fans talking, so it benefits him to play coy about Lesnar maybe possibly negotiating a new contract to return to the UFC, even if he's bluffing.

    Lesnar, I think, could get licensed, but Lesnar's not dumb. He's got a concussion history, he's several years older now, putting his body back into MMA training mode risks aggravating his diverticulitis again... I mean, he can obviously do whatever he wants, but I think he's smart enough to let his MMA career be.

  22. The world demands the Ken Patera Story... that being his shoot. :P

  23. They got arrested on May 26th.

  24. Did they really try to spin Patera's actual arrest? I don't remember that at all. I thought they just used the justification that he was being influenced by the wrong people (Heenan). I don't recall the implication that Patera hadn't really done anything wrong.


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