July 14, 2006
WWF @ Madison Square Garden
New York City, New York, June 14th 1987
Madison Square Garden Network presents…The World Wrestling Federation!
Tonight’s commentators are Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes. The last time the WWF was at MSG “The King” Harley Race viciously assaulted WWF Champion Hulk Hogan after their title match in which Hogan was victorious. Now Hogan is out for payback and has challenged Race to a Texas Death Match. If Harley can defeat Hogan and win the WWF title then Hogan will retire from pro-wrestling. There is a lot at stake in that one but also on the card Hercules and Billy Jack Haynes hope to settle their blood feud in a rematch from Wrestlemania III. In six-man tag team action, The British Bulldogs have enlisted Koko B. Ware in hopes to finally crack The Hart Foundation & Danny Davis. All that and a whole lot more coming up!
*The Can-Am Connection vs. The Shadows
Not much of a story behind this opener. The Can-Am Connection are being pushed up the tag team ladder whereas The Shadows are basically two masked unknowns that nobody cares about. The good news is Bobby “The Brain” Heenan has joined us for commentary, as he is scouting the Can-Am Connection, a team his Islanders defeated a few weeks back on the May 30th Superstars Of Wrestling. Heenan is still wearing his neck brace here and Monsoon and Hayes accuse him of goldbricking. Lord Alfred puts over The Can-Am Connection big time, dubbing them the logical #1 contenders for The Hart Foundation’s tag titles. Heenan asks Alfred, “Haven’t you been observing The Islanders?” Alfred responds, “Who are they?” The Brain shoots back, “Well…it’s not the lousy hockey team from around here!” Ha! Classic!
Rick Martel and the larger of The Shadows (Shadow #1) start off with a lock up. The Shadows gain control by illegal means but it doesn’t last long as Martel uses his speed and agility to out maneuver Shadow #1. A second lock up and Shadow #1 slaps on a hammerlock, but Martel counters by making the tag to Tom Zenk and flipping out in time for Zenk to land a drop kick. Shadow #1 corners Tom Zenk and begins to unload with the heavy artillery. An Irish whip but Martel blocks the impact for his partner and Zenk clears the ring of Shadow #1. The Shadows regroup on the outside before Shadow #2 tags in and chases after Zenk. A lock up and Zenk breaks clean but Shadow #2 complains about a mask pull. Monsoon points out that there is a rumour floating around that The Islanders are not happy with the way The Brain splits up their paycheck. Heenan bitches about it and claims he earns his percentage.
Shadow #2 stalls way too much so Zenk unleashes so deep arm drags on him. Martel tags in and The Can-Ams double-team Shadow #2. Martel applies an arm bar and suplexes Shadow #2 from that position for good measure. Tag is finally made to Shadow #1, who asks for a test of strength. Shadow #1 suckers him in and works Martel over. He puts his head down and Martel ends up dropping kicking him out of the ring. Then Martel follows up with a drop kick on Shadow #2 just to even things up. Shadow #2 illegally enters and tries to sucker Martel into their corner. The Can-Ams complain about there being no tag made so referee forces Shadow #1 back in so he can make the legal tag. Shadow #1 enters and is immediately sent crashing into The Can-Am Connection’s corner. Zenk slaps on a headlock and drop kicks Shadow #2 when he tries to interfere. Martel tags in and hammers away. He slaps on a headlock but as The Shadows try to double team he takes them both down with a headlock/leg scissors combo. Shadows have shown no offense thus far.
Tom Zenk gets caught in the wrong corner and The Shadows finally gain some control. Shadow #2 resorts to choking out Zenk with some foreign object. Shadow #1 tags in and deposits Zenk throat first on the top rope. The Shadows rely on the ropes to choke out Zenk and the referee does very little to stop it. Shadow #1 drops an elbow but only gets a two count. Shadow #1 slaps on a reverse chin lock to wear down Zenk. Tom Zenk tries to fight out of it but Shadows #2 tags in and maintains control. Zenk plays face in peril while caught in The Shadows corner. He manages to land a forearm out of nowhere and a hot tag is teased, Shadow #1 stops him. Zenk manages to tag but the referee doesn’t see it. The Shadows do some double-teaming while the referees is tied up with Martel and Zenk is sent to the outside. Shadow #1 suplexes Zenk back in from the apron, but only gets a two. Shadow #1 goes for a splash from the second rope but lands on Zenk’s knees. The hot tag is teased again but Shadow #2 makes the save. Shadow #1 tries to suplex Zenk but he blocks it and executes his own. A hot tag is finally made to Rick Martel who cleans house on both Shadows. All four men are in the ring and Shadow #1 accidentally Irish whips Martel right into Shadow #2. Martel lands a cross body on Shadow #2 and picks up the pin fall win! **3/4 After the bout, Bobby Heenan gets on the mic and starts to taunt Martel and Zenk, saying they’re lucky that they are not facing The Islanders. Martel gets on the house mic and fires back saying they’ll take on The Islanders right now. Sure enough, The Islanders race down the aisle and try to get into the ring to fight but the officials stop them and escort them back to the dressing room. Martel gets on the mic and issues a challenge to The Islanders.
Match Analysis: Not a bad tag match at all. It was a bit of a spot-fest for The Can-Am Connection and it didn’t help that they were against a no-name team like The Shadows. Nonetheless, an entertaining match overall and the post-match showdown with the Islanders was certainly noteworthy.
We’re back and Bobby Heenan has left the broadcast booth. Damn! Looks like we’ll have to listen to a whole lot more of Lord Alfred Hayes instead tonight.
*Hercules vs. Billy Jack Haynes
This appears to be a rematch from Wrestlemania III, where Hercules and Billy Jack Haynes battled to a double count out. It’s clear this feud is still raging on because Hercules spits in Billy Jack’s face and a bitter fistfight breaks out. Haynes drops Herc with a stiff chop and Hercules bails to the outside to regroup. Back in, Hercules teases a tie-up and suckers Billy Jack in before lowering the boom on him. Herc works over Haynes but when he tries to ram his head into the turnbuckle Billy Jack counters it by ramming Hercules head instead. Billy Jack goes to work on Herc and floors him with a body check. A criss-cross sequence ensues and ends with BJH dropping Herc with a roundhouse right and a slam. Billy Jack goes for the Full Nelson but Hercules rushes for the rope break and manages to escape to the outside. Hercules stalls on the outside before getting back in and stalling some more. Hercules again tries to go to the outside but Billy Jack catapults him back in the hard way. Short-armed clothesline and Herc is down and out. A vertical suplex and an elbow drop and Herc is in trouble. BJH executes a back breaker but misses his follow up head butt from the second rope.
The tide turns as Hercules catches Haynes with a running clothesline. Billy Jack sells the move as Hercules stomps a mud hole in him. Hercules sets up the Full Nelson but instead nails him in the lower back area. The match goes to the outside and Hercules drops an axe handle from the apron. He then rams Billy Jack Haynes into the steel barricade and BJH is hurt. Back in, Hercules continues to stomp away on Billy Jack before zeroing in on BJH throat with his knee. Herc measures BJH with some jabs before dropping him with an uppercut that is all too close to the throat. Hercules continues his assault ramming BJH’s head into the turnbuckle. An Irish whip sends Billy Jack careening into the turnbuckle and hitting the back of his head on it. Ouch! Hercules plays up to the crowd and a chorus of boos follow. BJH tries to fight back but Herc stops that nonsense but rearranging his face. Hercules continues to work on the kidney area and wards off any retaliation from BJH. He executes a vicious back breaker of his own and goes for the pin. I just noticed there hasn’t been too many pin fall attempts in this match thus far. BJH tries to mount a comeback but Hercules responds with a suplex. Herc only gets a two count so he uses his loose wrist tape to choke out Billy Jack. A snap mare and Hercules makes use of the tape again. The referee forces BJH to release the hold but the damage is already done. Billy Jack tries to turn things around in vain with a knee. Hercules is dazed and BJH plants him with his two feet.
Billy Jack Haynes finally makes somewhat of a comeback but Hercules counters the momentum with a press slam. Hercules motions for the Full Nelson and applies it but he doesn’t have the fingers locked. BJH tries to fight it but Hercules tightens his grip. BJH toughs out the hold and starts to make a comeback. Hercules stops it with a well-placed forearm. Haynes is really out of it, but manages to counter with a clothesline. Both men really sucking for air, but BJH makes a comeback. He gets a hold of Herc’s loose wrist tape and starts to choke him out with it before tossing him across the ring. BJH plants a mule kick. A backdrop sends Herc in orbit and BJH follows up with a back breaker. An elbow gets two. Hercules gives BJH a low blow but it doesn’t affect BJH for long. Another fistfight breaks out and Haynes gets the upper hand. Both guys are tied up and Haynes chops away. Hercules is down and out but he uses a leverage move to send BJH to the outside. The two brawl on the floor. Back in, BJH hits a snap mare but misses a diving head butt. BJH is still in control but the bell rings and we have a 20-minute time limit draw. What a battle! ***
Match Analysis: This was actually a really good match. It was definitely better than their Wrestlemania III encounter (apart from the fact no one bladed here). The moves were stiff, the ring psychology was well developed, and I give both Herc and Billy Jack credit for going the distance without resorting to any 5-minute rest holds. That being said the match did start to die towards the end, but the majority of the bout was entertaining, which was a pleasant surprise. I question another non-finish between these two though. At Wrestlemania III we got a double count-out and here we get a time limit draw. That doesn’t make sense, especially when this feud was never really resolved. This is one of those programs that was really intense then just sort of died out without any rhyme or reason.
Gorilla Monsoon is with Hulk Hogan, who is psyched for his Texas Death Match with “The King” Harley Race later tonight.
*The Islanders vs. Paul Roma & Jim Powers
This is The Islanders’ first MSG appearance with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan as their manager. It should be noted that on the May 30th Superstars Of Wrestling, The Islanders turned heel in a match against The Can-Am Connection when it was revealed that Heenan had become their manager. This explains The Islanders/Can-Ams confrontation at the end of the first match on this card. The heel turn has done Haku and Tama well as when they were baby faces, they were just coasting along with no direction and taking a back seat to more established baby face teams like The British Bulldogs, The Killer Bees, and The Can-Am Connection. Now as heels, The Islanders are going places and are one of the top three heel teams on the roster. Tonight they face young up-and-comers Paul Roma and Jim Powers, who in their last appearance at MSG got an upset win over Cowboy Bob Orton Jr. and “The Magnificent” Muraco.
The crowd gets on The Islanders’ case prior to bell ringing. Tama argues with some fans in the crowd. Paul Roma starts off with him and Tama does some stalling by arguing with the crowd again. They lock up and Tama slaps on a wristlock but Roma reverse it into a hammerlock. Tama gets the rope break and goes ape shit when the referee doesn’t have Roma break the hold. Roma and Tama lock up again and Paul tires to apply an arm ringer, but Tama stops it by hitting him with several roundhouse rights. An Irish whip and Roma tries to reverse it but a shoulder block from Tama knocks him down. Roma counters Tama’s speed with a leapfrog (which he almost botches) and follows it up with a hip toss. A scoop slam and a drop kick send Tama reeling into the wrong corner where Jim Powers nails him. A frustrated Tama rolls to the outside where he tries to regroup. For some strange reason Tama removes his elbow pads before getting back into the ring. Back in, Tama goes for the old handshake routine and Roma buys into it. However, Roma is quick enough not to get caught by the sucker kick and Paul gives Tama an atomic drop. Tama tags in Haku, who locks up and surprisingly breaks clean. Another lock up and a couple of shoulder blocks budge neither man. Haku tries to counter the third but Roma catches him and stomps him in the face.
Paul Roma finally makes the tag to Jim Powers, who counters a hip lock with one of his own. Powers slaps on a side headlock, but he doesn’t do much with it so Haku tags Tama. Tama rushes in and gets caught by a nice deep arm drag by Jimmy Powers. Tama whips Powers into the ropes but gets ran over by a shoulder tackle. Tama tries to counter the second time but Powers outsmarts him and lands a nice drop kick that sends him to the outside to regroup once again. Tama motions for a time-out, but Powers ignores it and starts to go to work on his arm. Paul Roma tags in and follows suit. Powers and Roma nail Tama with a double drop kick but the referee is out of position when Powers tries to go for the pin. Jim Powers continues to work over the arm but gets caught in the wrong corner. The Islanders try to double team but Tama ends up nailing Haku off the apron. In the confusion, Tama walks right back into a deep arm drag from Jim Powers. Nice move! A rake of the eyes turns things in Tama’s favour but he misses a corner charge and Roma and Powers continue to fast tag over Tama. Paul Roma gets caught in the wrong part of town and Haku tags in and wears him down. An Irish whip and Haku lands a beautiful drop kick right into Roma’s face. He misses the follow up leg drop, which slows him down but Haku maintains control with an eye rake.
Haku plants Roma with a slam but misses a diving head butt. Roma goes off the ropes but gets tripped up by Tama and Haku continues to lower the boom. Tama tags back in and nails Roma with a forearm from the top rope. Paul Roma plays face in peril as The Islanders work him over. While the referee is tied up with Jim Powers, The Islanders relentlessly double-team Roma and Haku is back in without legally tagging. Roma catches Haku out of nowhere with a sunset flip, but he doesn’t have the leverage to get Haku down. Haku executes an inverted atomic drop and tags in Tama, who resorts to choking while the referees back is turned. Haku slaps on the Tonga death grip and Roma is down and out. Tama goes for a vertical suplex but Roma blocks it and executes one of his own. The Islanders still manage to cut the ring in half and keep Roma from making the hot tag. Roma fights back on Haku and tries to make the hot tag by slipping through his legs. Haku catches him though and carries him to The Islanders’ corner where Tama nails him with a devastating high knee. Tama goes for the pin but only gets two. He slaps on the Tonga death grip but Roma fights his way out of it, only to collide with a flying elbow from Tama.
Tama tags Haku, who connects with an awesome crescent kick. Haku goes for a backdrop but puts his head down and gets caught with a kick. The hot tag is teased but Haku still dominates. Roma tries to force his way back to his corner by The Islanders continue to thwart his attempts. More Islanders double-teaming as the referee has his back turned. Haku slams Roma again but misses his follow up somersault splash and both men are down! Roma finally makes the hot tag to Powers who is a house of fire on both Islanders with a series of drop kicks. Jim Powers gives Tama a backdrop but ends up wrenching his back in the process. Tama capitalizes on the injury with a slam but Roma makes the save before he can pin him. A pier six brawl erupts with all four men in the ring, but the referee clears Paul Roma out. This gives the Islanders time to finish off Powers with a vicious double-team. Haku executes a back breaker and Tama follows up with a splash from the top rope for the pin fall win. The Islanders are victorious in a great tag match! ***3/4
Match Analysis: Really, really good tag bout that was far more enjoyable than the edited version that appeared on The Best Of The WWF Volume 13 Coliseum Video. It was academic that the newly heeled turned Islanders would go over in this match, but both teams put on an excellent showing nonetheless. Paul Roma and Jim Powers were proving to be a more polished tag team through improved wrestling and tag continuity (by the end of the summer they would be taking on the Young Stallions name). It’s amazing how a simple heel turn has improved The Islanders so much. They were a good team before but now they’re a great team.
*“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. The Junkyard Dog
Gorilla Monsoon tells us this is a classic main event anywhere in the country. Somehow I doubt that as Junkyard Dog was pretty useless by this point and it’s highly unlikely Paul Orndorff is inspired enough to carry him to a great match. Neither of these guys were doing much in their WWF tenure at this point. Orndorff was only a couple of months away from a meaningless baby face turn. Lord Alfred Hayes tells us JYD had a short vacation after Wrestlemania III but is now back in action. Orndorff stalls a lot complaining about JYD’s chain. They lock up but nothing really happens so Heenan wanders over to the commentators’ table for a few words to make things interesting.
JYD applies a side headlock but Orndorff manages to get out of it but gets on the receiving end of a shoulder block. Mr. Wonderful goes for a hip toss but JYD counters with one of his own. He misses a follow up diving head butt though and Orndorff misses an elbow. JYD gets on all fours for his head butt combo but Mr. Wonderful bails to the outside for a breather. Back in, JYD remains in control with an arm ringer.
Mr. Wonderful gets out of the hold with a single leg trip, but is nearly on the receiving end of a JYD head butt again. Orndorff quickly bails to the outside again. Back in, JYD locks up with Orndorff again and goes right back to work on the left arm. Orndorff reverses it but JYD returns the favour. Mr. Wonderful tries to breaks the hold but JYD catches him in a head scissors. Orndorff gets the rope break and JYD backs off. Mr. Wonderful attempts to sucker JYD into the corner and then uses the referee to blindside him.
Paul Orndorff starts to hammer away on the JYD and the tide turns. Mr. Wonderful works on the wrong part of the body as he zeros in on JYD’s head. He drives JYD’s head into the mat and the Dog starts no selling everything Wonderful dishes out at him. JYD fires back with punches but Mr. Wonderful tries to break his momentum with a small package. JYD tries to go off the ropes but The Brain scoops up his leg from the outside. The referee saw it and JYD responds by grabbing Heenan by the neck and pulling him into the ring. Orndorff jumps JYD from behind with a high knee, but only gets a two count. JYD starts to measure Wonderful with his head butts. JYD charges at Mr. Wonderful, but Orndorff catches him and drops him throat first on the top rope. The stun gun move is enough to put JYD away and Orndorff picks up the win. *1/2
Match Analysis: Much better than I thought it would be, but after three solid matches you expected this one to be a clunker. Both Orndorff and JYD worked a decent bout to say the least and coming from JYD that’s a big surprise.
Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes are backstage with The Hart Foundation & Danny Davis. Jimmy Hart is absent but Davis tells us he’s busy with the new Intercontinental Champion The Honky Tonk Man.
Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes are in the locker room area with Outback Jack.
Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes are ringside with Major League Baseball player Dave Winfield, who at this point in his career was playing for the New York Yankees. It sounds like the Yankees are having a rough season the way Winfield tells us, but he seems to be having a good time in the Garden nonetheless.
*WWF World Championship Texas Death Match: (Champion) Hulk Hogan vs. (Challenger) “The King” Harley Race
Howard Finkel tells us that tonight’s WWF World Championship match is being contested under Texas Death rules, which means it is a no holds barred match with no count out, no DQ, no time limit, and no stopping the match for any reason. The Fink also warns the people at ringside to vacate the area immediately or “stay at your own peril.” As mentioned earlier, Hulk Hogan was victorious over Harley Race in their last encounter at MSG on May 18th. During Hogan’s post match celebration, Race viciously attacked the Champion. Later in the night, a bandaged Hogan came to ringside and demanded another title match with no holds barred rules to take place between him and The King. The Hulkster also added that if he cannot be Race, he would quit professional wrestling. As you can see, there is a lot riding on this match.
“The King” Harley Race enters with his manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, who gets on the mic and demands that the crowd to bow for The King. Surprise, surprise, no one in the crowd seems to oblige. Hogan is wearing his “American Made” shirt and wearing white tights instead of his usual yellow! Guess Hogan felt he had to kick it old school. Race doesn’t seem impressed as he jumps Hogan on the apron before the bell rings. The Hulk responds by back dropping him out of the ring onto the concrete floor. Ouch! Hogan heads to the outside and begins to unload on The King with a flurry of fists. The match goes up the entrance aisle as Hulkster rams Race into the steel barricade. Back in side the ring, Hogan drops Race with a clothesline using his torn up t-shirt. He then proceeds to strangle Harley with it. The crowd is going WILD! Hogan is so psyched he shoves the referee. What a role model! Hulkster nails Race again and The King is to the outside. Hogan follows him out and strangles him again with the shirt before ramming his head square into the telephone on the broadcast table. Ouch again! Hogan takes a chair and breaks it (yes I said BREAKS IT!) over the head of Race. Harley still has the remains of the chair around his neck as Hogan resorts to biting. Hogan rams Race’s head into the apron again but gets caught by a low blow.
Now it’s Race’s turn to dish out some punishment. The King begins to measure Hulk with some blows before driving his knee in the throat area. Race plants Hogan with a piledriver but only gets a two count. A snap mare followed by a diving head butt sends Hogan reeling into the corner. Race stalks Hogan and executes a gut-wrench suplex but only gets two again. Hogan’s head gets rammed into the turnbuckle before Race Irish whips him. Hogan manages to reverse it and it sends Race spilling over the top rope and onto the floor. Heenan tries to help Race up but Hogan chases after the Weasel. Just as Hulk is about to trap the Weasel, Harley jumps him. The King rams a steel chair into Hogan’s throat. Race continues to measure Hogan outside with a few chairs shots and a few punches. Hogan is down and out. Harley Race goes for a diving head butt, but Hogan gets out of the way and The King’s head meets with the concrete. Ouch!
Hogan comes back with an elbow to the head. Back in the ring, Hogan lands a big boot, which topples Race. An atomic drop followed by a running clothesline sends Race to the floor again. Hogan follows him out and nails him face first into the steel post. Race tries to bail but Hogan nails him with a chair. Race catches the Champ with another piledriver, but this time it’s on the concrete! Hogan is really hurt as Harley tosses him back in. Heenan hands the WWF World title to Race prematurely and The King nails Hogan with it. The King goes upstairs for a flying head butt but lands face first on the WWF belt! Owwww! Race is now busted open (finally!) Hogan grabs the title and waffles Harley Race with before going for the pin and getting the victory! What a bout! ***3/4 Hogan celebrates by waffling both The King and The Brain with the belt.
Match Analysis: A really great match that was very uncharacteristic for the WWF to book at the time. Probably the best match Harley Race had during his WWF tenure. This match blows their previous match at MSG out of the water and that one was fairly solid. This bout was a brutal, vicious, hardcore brawl and an impressive title defense for Hulk Hogan. I don’t doubt this match had some influence on ECW.
Gorilla Monsoon is with The Can-Am Connection, who tells us they have signed for a tag team match with The Islanders the next time the WWF comes to MSG on July 25th. Unfortunately, this match would never take place and we’ll explain why in our next review.
*Outback Jack vs. Jose Estrada
After an intense bout like the previous headliner, one would expect the worst match of the night to be placed here. It is. Outback Jack is making his second MSG appearance and is hoping to add another win to his undefeated record in the Garden. Outback Jack offers a friendly handshake to Jose Estrada, who responds by jumping him. Outback gains control with a big backdrop. Estrada takes advantage of Outback’s inexperience and continues to pummel away on him. It’s been all punching and kicking thus far. Outback fights fire with fire using an eye gouge. Estrada tries to take Outback down to the mat but is having trouble. Jose Estrada stays in control though by doing a number on him. Outback picks Estrada up by the ears twice and tosses him like yesterday’s garbage. A body slam and elbow get two. Estrada nails Outback in the breadbasket before planting him with a double axe handle from the top, which only gets two. Estrada continues to lower the boom but Outback Jack catches him with a slam and backdrop before finishing him with his boomerang clothesline finisher. Dull match. 1/4* Outback Jack wins a fistfight in the post-match activity.
Match Analysis: Boring match but it was a match for fans to catch their breaths between the World title match and the upcoming Six-Man Tag. So I didn’t really expect this to tear the house down.
Howard Finkel tells us about the next MSG show scheduled for July 25th. He announces some of the matches that have already been signed including Dino Bravo in singles competition, Nikolai Volkoff will face Tito Santana, The WWF Tag Team Champions The Hart Foundation will defend their titles against The British Bulldogs (this announcement got a huge pop), Greg “The Hammer” Valentine will battle Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, and in the main event the new Intercontinental Champion The Honky Tonk Man will make his first MSG title defense against Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Also, in a match that was just signed The Islanders will take on The Can-Am Connection. Sounds like pretty good card.
*Six-Man Tag Team Match: The Hart Foundation & Danny Davis vs. The British Bulldogs & Billy Jack Haynes (sub. for Koko B. Ware)
This six-man tag match is essentially a rematch from Wrestlemania III only The British Bulldogs have enlisted the help of Koko B. Ware instead of Tito Santana. The British Bulldogs hit the ring before their opponents are even announced and immediately clear the ring. Koko B. Ware must have no-showed this event or something because The British Bulldogs’ partner is Billy Jack Haynes, whom we saw fight Hercules to a 20-minute time limit draw earlier. The announcers fail to even mention Koko B. Ware so I assume BJH was a last minute replacement.
The Hart Foundation stalls on the outside before Bret Hart starts off with Davey Boy Smith. The Hitman does some heel stalling before finally locking up with Davey Boy. Hart gives Smith an Irish whip and leapfrogs over him but ends up getting run over by a shoulder block. Neidhart and Davis check on Bret on the outside but Bret gets back in and slaps on an arm ringer on the Bulldog. Davey Boy counters it with some flips and slaps on his own arm ringer. Bret Hart does a kip up but gets slammed by the arm onto the canvas. Davey Boy drives the Hitman face first into Dynamite’s boots before tagging in Billy Jack Haynes, who rings the Hitman’s bell. Dynamite slaps Bret back to reality with a thunderous head butt on the apron. Snap mare by BJH and he slaps on a chin lock before resorting to some forearms to the head. The Bulldogs keep Bret in their corner as Dynamite tags in and drops Hart with a short-armed clothesline. He only gets two though so he resorts to grabbing Bret by the hair and slamming him to the mat. Ouch! Dynamite applies an arm bar and tags in Davey who drops an elbow on Bret’s arm.
The British Bulldogs continue to work over the arm but Davey Boy goes for a crucifix move and Bret counters with a Samoan drop. Tag is made to Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, who misses an elbow. Davey Boy grabs The Anvil by the goatee and bitch slaps him. BJH tags in and goes to work on Neidhart’s arm. Dynamite tags in but Neidhart rakes his eyes. The referee admonishes him for it, which gives Bret the opportunity to attack Dynamite Kid while the ref’s back is turned. Neidhart continues to punish a hurt Dynamite then he tags in Danny Davis, who gives the Bulldog a few cheap shots while he is down and out. Davis wastes time by mocking Dynamite, so Dynamite responds with a few punches but there isn’t much behind them. Davis tags back in Neidhart who measures the Kid with a few more blows. The Hitman tags in and delivers a series of European uppercuts. The Harts keep Dynamite in their corner and continue to work him over. Anyone else notice that the Dynamite Kid always played face in peril? I mean at this point he’s still recovering from a serious back injury and yet he is the one who is taking the brunt of the punishment here! With a burst of energy Dynamite tries to catch The Anvil with his patented snap suplex, but Neidhart stops him with a kidney shot and tags in Davis again. Danny Davis runs through some slow and weak offense before tagging in Bret, who lands a leg drop. Man, I hate Danny Davis! I guess that’s what the WWF wanted me to do though.
The Harts slingshot Davis in onto Dynamite, but he comes crashing down hard on The Kid’s knees. Dynamite makes the hot tag to Billy Jack Haynes who unloads on everybody before press slamming Danny Davis. Davis is dazed as BJH clamps on the Full Nelson, but Bret Hart makes the save before Davis can submit. A tag is made and The Hitman comes in to measure BJH with a back breaker that only gets two. The Anvil comes in to inflict more damage. BJH is caught in the wrong corner and worked over. Neidhart tosses him to the outside where Bret smacks BJH’s head into the apron. Danny Davis hammers away on BJH but it lacks effect so The Hitman comes in to take over. An inverted atomic drop gets two. BJH counters with a sunset slip but is still unable to make the hot tag. Neidhart misses a clothesline but Bret catches BJH on the ropes with a knee. BJH is hurt as The Anvil drops him neck first on the top rope. Bret Hart resorts to choke holds.
Tag made to Davis again who runs through his usual crummy offense. BJ fights back so The Anvil is tagged in to regain control. Neidhart slaps on a reverse chin lock but BJH fights his way out of it. Bret Hart maintains control but when he goes to slam BJH, Haynes manages to slip out of it and go for a roll up. Hart manages to block the roll up attempt but gets on the receiving end of a drop kick that sends him flying into the ropes. The hot tag is teased but Hart prevents it from being made. The tag is then made but the ref doesn’t see it and The Harts take advantage while the ref is tied up with The Bulldogs.
The Hart Foundation goes to double clothesline BJH but accidentally clock Davis instead. The crowd loved that one! Billy Jack makes the hot tag to Davey Boy Smith, who soars through the air with a drop kick on Neidhart before giving Bret Hart a vertical suplex, which only gets two. Davey Boy continues to measure Bret with head butts before going for a small package. Neidhart breaks up the pin so Davey Boy drops Hart with a clothesline before going for another pin. The Anvil gets involved again so Dynamite responds by giving him a head butt out of the ring. BJH clears the ring of Danny Davis as The British Bulldogs finish off Bret with their patented finisher. Davey Boy press slams Dynamite onto Bret and The Bulldogs pick up the three count. Entertaining six-man tag match and not a bad way to close this show. ***3/4
Match Analysis: This was very similar to the Wrestlemania III match with only an extra ten minutes tacked on to give it more time to develop. Anything with The Hart Foundation battling The British Bulldogs is a definite thumbs up in the first place. That being said this match wasn’t flawless. Danny Davis tended to make things go slow but it wasn’t enough to ruin the match. Also, having Billy Jack Haynes subbing for Koko B. Ware was just weird considering that he went the distance with Hercules earlier on. BJH certainly earned his paycheck tonight as he wrestled for just under 40-minutes! Either way, the match was a solid Six-Man Tag that sent the fans home happy and added heat to the upcoming Hart Foundation/British Bulldogs tag title match on July 25th.
Jinsell’s Bottom Line: Can’t complain here. Seven matches on the card with only two being below average, was exceptional (and unheard of) for the WWF at the time. The World Title Texas Death Match was an obvious highlight of the night and was arguably Hulk Hogan’s most impressive WWF Title defense of 1987. The tag team match between The Islanders and Paul Roma & Jim Powers was another “match of the night” candidate because of the excellent wrestling it showcased. As I’ve said before, anything involving The Hart Foundation and The British Bulldogs deserves a thumbs up and this Six-Man Tag match is no exception. The rest of the card was solid and well worked for the most part (both Billy Jack Haynes and Hercules deserve credit for going 20-minutes and not boring me with rest holds). It’s a shame the WWF didn’t endeavor to book more solid house shows like this back in the day. A definite improvement over the last MSG show from May 18th 1987 and if you can pick up this show by all means go for it (it aired on WWE 24/7 this past June). Highly recommended!