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WWF Championship Wrestling May 17th, 1986

May 17, 1986

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

Tonight, the featured match will be the British Bulldogs vs. King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd in a non-title match.

King Tonga & Ted Arcidi vs. Dave Barbie & The Gladiator

Vince puts over Arcidi's bench press record of 705 lbs. Arcidi no-sells forearm smashes to the chest from Barbie then knocks him down. Arcidi then press slams Barbie then hits a clothesline. The Gladiator tags and hurts himself after hitting Arcidi in the chest. Tonga tags and takes down the Gladiator then after an Irish whip sequence, takes him down with a flying knee smash. Barbie tags back into the match but Tonga suplexes him around then tags Arcidi, who catches him in a bearhug and gets the win via submission (4:24). 

Thoughts: Man, this was painfully dull. Arcidi was terrible but the WWF did a terrible job with him as they brought him up as a heel then just decided to make him a face but never gave you a reason to cheer him so the crowd either say silent or booed him. Tonga was alright but really lacked the charisma to pull off the babyface role they made him play. 

WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week, we get a package that led to the Jake Roberts/Ricky Steamboat confrontation from "Saturday Night's Main Event." 

Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Don Driggers & "Leaping" Lanny Poffo

Poffo's pre-match poem is about how the Hart Foundation as no brains. The Hart's attack Poffo, who comes back with a reverse rollup on Bret. Driggers tags but Bret hits him with an inverted atomic drop. the Harts take turns destroying Driggers as Vince mentions that a hearing has been scheduled regarding Andre the Giant and his whereabouts then the Hart's hit Driggers with the Hart Attack for the win as Jimmy says "How about that Lanny?" into the megaphone in response to the victory (2:09). 

Thoughts: The Hart Foundation was still just a middle of the road team, with Bundy & Studd, Sheik & Volkoff, and the Dream Team in front of them in the pecking order. They looked good in the ring tonight though.

Ken Resnick makes his WWF debut by interviewing Hulk Hogan about his match against Randy Savage at the Boston Garden. Hogan calls Resnick "Killer Ken" then runs down both Elizabeth and Savage and that he even has a surprise for Savage called "Hulkamania." This was pretty much the template that Hogan used for the majority of his interviews this decade. 

Moondog Spot & Cyclone Capone vs. Pedro Morales & Hillbilly Jim

Pedro looks like his usual miserable self tonight. He beats on Spot to start then gets a rollup for two. Spot thinks he outsmarted Pedro and taunts Jim but turns around and walks into a slam. Both men tag out as Jim places Capone on the top turnbuckle then chops him down. Jim slams Capone then drops the elbow. Bruno makes a comment about Cyclone being reduced to a little breeze as Vince laughs way too hard at that line then Jim finishes Capone off with a big boot (2:13). After the match, Pedro and Jim dance, much to Vince's delight. 

Thoughts: The crowds have really cooled on Hillbilly Jim and has the company, seeing that his entourage is no more. Just two guys randomly thrown together here because they had nothing else going on in the company.

Resnick is with Corporal Kirchner, who hypes his match against Nikolai Volkoff at the Boston Garden. They are still trying to play off the idiotic angle involving Blassie's cane from WrestleMania 2, when Blassie clearly threw it at Kirchner because Volkoff was nowhere around him. Kirchner tried but just didnt have the talent to pull this off. 

Mike Saxon vs. Hercules Hernandez w/ Freddie Blassie

Ernie Ladd joins Bruno and Vince on commentary for this match and stays on for the rest of the show. He talks about how the WWF attracts the greatest athletes in the world, specifically football players. Hercules beats on Saxon as the announcers talk about tonight's main event. Hercules clotheslines Saxon then uses a suplex before making him submit to the backbreaker (3:07). 

Thoughts: To say that Hercules wrestled at a methodical pace is an understatement. He moved only slightly quicker than Arcidi does in the ring. Hercules is another wrestler tonight who had nothing at all going on at this point. He was wrestling third from the card against guys like SD Jones and Sivi Afi on house shows too.

Flower Shop with host Adrian Adonis. His guests are Elizabeth and Randy Savage. Not much of an interview that ends with Adonis giving Elizabeth flowers. The Flower Shop has been pretty bad so far, actually.

Paul Christy & Steve Lombardi vs. Tito Santana & "Golden Boy" Danny Spivey

Spivey and Lombardi engage in a very long Irish whip sequence that turns into a criss-cross, ending with Spivey catching Lombardi with a slam. Christy tags and the faces take turns working over his arm. Lombardi tags and the heels eventually work over Spivey in their corner as Ladd nearly puts me to sleep talking about Santana, comparing his knee injury to that of Marcus Dupree. Spivey escapes and manages to tag Tito, who beats on Christy, then tags Spivey who puts him away with the bulldog (3:20). 

Thoughts: Poor Tito got saddled with Spivey in another team that was slapped together at the last minute. Spivey at least looked better than he usually does but he really had no business wrestling in the WWF at this point. He was not good enough. Ladd on commentary was brutal by the way. He kept on talking about football, which is fine, but it was mostly rambling that took too long to get to the point.  

British Bulldogs vs. Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan

The Bulldogs use their speed and take down Studd with a sunset flip. Davey hammers away on Studd then the Bulldogs knock Studd down again with a double dropkick. Davey covers but Studd pushes him off at one. Bundy tags and knocks down Davey but misses an elbow dropkick. The Bulldogs hit Bundy with a double dropkick but Bundy comes back and beats on Davey. The heels take turns beating on Davey as Vince once again reminds us that action will be taken against Andre for not appearing three weeks ago. Dynamite runs in and jumps on Studd's back and locks in a sleeper hold but Bundy knocks him off. The referee tries to regain order but Studd tosses the referee down and the ref rings the bell for the DQ (4:55). After the match, Davey escapes an Avalanche from Bundy, who then argues with Studd for costing them the match. They shove each other as Heenan separates both guys. 

Thoughts: This was basically a squash. The teased tension between Studd and Bundy was new. You can say that it was odd for Bundy to get pissed about a loss in a non-title match I suppose but it didnt really matter.

Resnick is with Randy Savage and Elizabeth. Savage talks about how he beat Tito Santana in the Boston Garden for the Intercontinental Title and will take the belt from Hogan at the next show. Funny moment as Savage asks Resnick is name and introduces Elizabeth to him but yells at Resnick after he tries to shake her hand. Savage then said that Hogan would have been the greatest but he has to live in the same era as himself. 

Next week's featured match is the Killer Bees vs. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff. 

Final Thoughts: This show was totally skippable. Most of it was promoting the Savage/Hogan house show matches and they did further along the Andre the Giant storyline but everything else was dull. A lot of tag teams that were slapped together like Arcidi & Tonga and Pedro & Hillbilly Jim that no one is going to get behind. They did undergo some changes as far as announcers and interviews were concerned as Ken Resnick replaced Okerlund on interviews. At this time, Jack Reynolds, who announced the "B" show (All Star Wrestling), left the company. Okerlund went on to host "Tuesday Night Titans" until it got cancelled. Ladd did some comentary on house shows but did not stay with the company all that long.