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WWF Superstars of Wrestling May 16th, 1987

May 16, 1987

From the Centrum in Worcester, MA

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

Tonight's featured match is Ken Patera vs. Hercules. Also, we will see the Islanders vs. Demolition, Honky Tonk Man, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

The Islanders vs. Demolition w/ Mr. Fuji

Haku starts by hammering away on Ax. Tama tags and works the arm as the Islanders use quick tags to stay in control as we get an insert promo from Demolition, stating they will demolish anyone who stands in their way. Tama gets trapped in the wrong corner as Demolition beats on him for a bit. Smash and Haku slug it out briefly then the Islanders take control of the match. Tama climbs up top as the ref tries to separate Ax and Haku, allowing Fuji to trip him with his cane then Smash drops an elbow for the win (3:50).

Thoughts: The action here was okay but the main purpose was the Demolition push as they slowly went through the bottom of the Tag Team Division

WWF Update with Craig DeGeorge. This week's subject is King Harley Race. We get a clip of him beating the Junkyard Dog at WrestleMania III then Race talks about how everyone, including Hulk Hogan, will bow to him. Gotta sell the Hogan/Race main events across the house show circuit.

Ricky Steamboat hypes up the WWF Ice Cream Bars. This was very corny, much like 95% of Steamboat interviews in the 80's.

Dave Barbie vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Duggan beats on Barbie inside and outside of the ring as we are shown an insert of Slick singing the Russian National Anthem. Duggan hits a clothesline and drops a knee as he has the crowd chanting along with him. He then catches Barbie with a slam before finishing him off with a flying clothesline (2:49). After the match, Duggan calls out Volkoff, Sheik, and Slick before singing "America the Beautiful."

Thoughts: Duggan's mega push continues as the crowd chants along with everything he does and loves the pro-USA gimmick too.

Gene Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan, who has his head bandaged up selling the attack from Harley Race in Boston, who will be facing Race again in Boston in a Texas Death Match. Hogan sells us on the stipulations, which Hogan will retire if he loses the match.

Clips of the Honky Tonk Man, disguised as Kimchee, attack Jake Roberts on "Saturday Night's Main Event."

Joe Milano vs. Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart

Hart is still carrying his "Ban the DDT" sign around with him. Honky beats on Milano as the camera zooms on the back of Honky's guitar that also has a "Ban the DDT" sign. Honky maintains control then puts away Milano with the Shake, Rattle, and Roll (1:46). After the match, Honky dances and plays the guitar as Hart dances around with his sign.

Thoughts: Honky continues to draw a ton of heel heat. His pairing with Hart was perfect.

Okerlund is with George Steele and asks him about the card at the Boston Garden Show. Steele gives one word answers and does his usual schtick, which still works in small doses.

Rick Hunter vs. Killer Khan w/ Mr. Fuji

Khan attacks Hunter from behind then stomps away. Bob Orton & Don Muraco are shown in an insert promo putting over how dangerous Killer Khan is as he continues to beat on Hunter until he hits a top rope leg drop for the win (1:23).

Thoughts: Khan is getting pushed as a monster who will soon be fed to Hogan.

DeGeorge is with the New Dream Team, who warn Brutus Beefcake that he will pay for humiliating Johnny V.

Hercules w/ Bobby Heenan & King Harley Race vs. Ken Patera

Hercules ambushes Patera from behind. He stomps away as Jesse talks about Patera being away from wrestling too long to compete in this match. Hercules continues the assault but Patera comes back and looks awful as even Jesse flat out says he looks out of shape. Patera appears blown up already as Hercules hits a backbreaker. Patera escapes from a bearhug then comes back with a clothesline. He slams him down as the crowd wakes up. Patera slams Hercules again then puts on a bearhug but Race comes in and knees Patera in the back for the DQ (3:18). Both Hercules and Race beat on Patera until Billy Jack Haynes clears the ring. The fans go nuts for Haynes.

Thoughts: The match itself was awful as Patera was not in any sort of ring shape here. They did continue the Patera/Heenan family feud and with this segment they have a tag match to go with but Patera looked really bad in his TV return to the ring.

Okerlund is backstage with Patera, who tells Heenan to bring out all of his men as he will rid the WWF of all the scum, with Heenan at the top of the list.

The Shadows & Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Blackjack Mulligan & Tito Santana & Billy Jack Haynes

The Shadows are Randy Colley and Jose Luis Rivera wearing body suits and masks. Jesse tells us that he heard the Shadows go by "Light and Dark." This match starts out with a lot of weak brawling and restholds. Tito gets caught in the opposite corner as Vince tells us that next week we will see Bob Orton vs. Hulk Hogan. That's a pretty huge deal, actually. The heels beat on Tito behind the ref's back but he breaks free and tags Haynes, who beats on Sharpe. He also kicked the shit out of Sharpe in real life as well. Haynes then puts him in the full nelson for the win (4:40).

Thoughts: The match was completely boring but the news of Hogan appearing and in a match against a non-jobber was big as Hogan rarely ever wrestled TV matches.

We get promos from Orton and Hogan to hype their match next week. Hogan's promo is set to his theme song with fireworks in the background as Hogan proclaims he will beat Orton for the veterans on Memorial Day. Bit of an odd promo from the Hulkster here, with the background making it seem wacky.

Final Thoughts: Not a bad show. They are pushing all the top TV feuds but the momentum from WrestleMania III is waning. Patera ended up flopping as a babyface and Duggan blew his chance as he was fired ten days after this show aired after getting arrested with the Iron Sheik and charged with drinking and driving. Duggan really fucked up a huge push with that arrest. Other than that, the were relying on the likes of Blackjack Mulligan (who was gone from the company before this show aired) and a newly turned Brutus Beefcake, which were not all successes.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 5/17/87
Thursday: 1986 WWE Timeline as told by George Steele
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/23/87
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 5/24/87


  1. Things remain pretty quiet until Survivor Series.

  2. yeah, the Summer was bleak in 1987 WWF, although they did introduce new acts that would be stars.

  3. Is this the promo where Pantera mentions getting beaten like a redheaded stepson?

  4. Was this the Ken Patera promo where Mean Gene loses it?

  5. No, this one was pretty basic from Patera. Gene kept his composure, for once.

  6. What an amazing show. Not only did that racist Harley Race go back in time to beat himself at mania just so he wouldn't have to face a black man, but that part of Patera that always hated himself, morphed into it's own being to give the other Patera quit the licking.

  7. Patera was also at the very first house show I ever attended back in January of 1988. Still remember the card to this day.

    Sadly it lacked both Steamboat and Savage who were the two guys that first introduced me to wrestling.

    I'm seven years old at the time and fliping through channels one Saturday night and land on WOR which at the time was like TBS. Anyhow very first thing I see is some crazed dude about to drop this bell on this guys throat. Hooked ever since.

  8. There was a palpable sense of "okay, now what?" for awhile after the high of WM3. There was little else that could be done with Hogan--if Andre couldn't beat him, then Harley Race and Randy Savage sure as fuck weren't going to. Then Steamboat's IC title reign fizzled. And the clear babyface heirs apparent to the tag titles would soon fall apart as well.

  9. Babyface Ken Patera. Just mentioning it gives me chills up my spine. According to, they had to retape the Hercules/Patera match because the first time was so awful. Considering how bad the match that made it to air was how much worse could the first be?

  10. Guess that would explain how blown up Patera was here. It was a good angle (as far as someone standing up to Heenan & his men, not the "Ken Patera Story" stuff) but they picked the wrong wrestler.

  11. Yeah, Zenk leaving screwed over the tag team plans. And the face side of the roster was really shit. They were pushing Mulligan, Patera, Steele, Outback Jack, Beefcake, JYD, etc.

  12. Out of that list only Beefcake worked out in the long run. At least he wasn't over the hill, although he was about a year and a half away from being any good.

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  14. Ken Patera, Ricky Steamboat, Blackjack Mulligan, The Masked Superstar/Ax and Randy Poffo were all at the first house show that I attended in 1977.

  15. It is interesting that they already seem to be grooming Demolition for the straps before CanAm or Strike Force even won them.

    From reading these recaps it looks like the Demos were getting bigger wins.

  16. It seems like you've been saying Mulligan was gone from the company for quite a few shows. When did he actually leave and when were these shows taped? Did they tape 2 months of shows before WM3 or something?

  17. That was hilarious. ..almost as much as my phone changing his name to Pantera lol


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