July 19, 2006
WWF @ Madison Square Garden
New York City, New York, July 25th 1987
Madison Square Garden Network presents…The World Wrestling Federation!
Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes are at the commentary table for tonight’s show, which means the commentary may not be all that entertaining. Nonetheless, big title matches tonight, as Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat looks to get his WWF Intercontinental title back from The Honky Tonk Man. Also, The Hart Foundation will defend the WWF Tag Team titles against the #1 contenders The British Bulldogs. A lot of scores to settle on tonight’s card as well as Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake is out for revenge on former partner Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and Rick Martel will find himself at odds with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan’s Islanders. All that and a whole lot more coming up!
*Dino Bravo vs. Brady Boone
Dino Bravo is wearing his Canadian trunks and is with manager Luscious Johnny V. This was when Bravo was part of The New Dream Team with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. Tonight he is in singles competition though against young newcomer Brady Boone. Bravo’s right leg is heavily wrapped here and Monsoon alludes to a hamstring injury, claiming it could be a disadvantage. The two lock up and Dino obviously gets the upper hand in the strength department. Both men exchange series of arm ringers but Dino Bravo resorts to a hair pull and stomps a mud hole in Brady. Bravo corners Boone and hammers away before going for an Irish whip. Dino misses a corner charge and Boone shows off some back flips before landing a drop kick. Bravo bails to the outside to regroup. Johnny V gives the referee flak as Dino gets back into the ring. Brady Boone slaps on a side headlock but Bravo gets out of it in a hurry. Unfortunately for Dino he can’t follow it up with anything and he ends up on the receiving end of an atomic drop and another drop kick. Boone hammers away in the corner but gets caught with an inverted atomic drop. Bravo clotheslines Boone on the top rope and begins to wear him down with a headlock. Dino Bravo continues to dominate over Brady Boone but can only get a two count. Bravo slaps on a reverse chin lock as Johnny V walks by the commentators’ table for a few words. Gorilla Monsoon cracks on Johnny V’s strange haircut, courtesy of Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, and Johnny V throws a huge hissy fit about it. Luscious goes on to bitch about Brady Boone’s “carnival type” maneuvers and he asks if Boone is “some cheap wine out of California.” Gotta love Johnny V!
Dino Bravo continues to work over Boone with a bear hug. Brady breaks the hold but he misses a cross body by a mile and Dino continues to lower the boom on him. Brady is sent to the floor where Johnny V slams him on the concrete behind the referee’s back. Boone is hurt as he tries to get back in the ring. Dino chops away on him but Brady manages to counter an Irish whip with a vain sunset flip. Dino again tosses Brady to the outside where Johnny V rams him into the commentators’ table while the ref is diverted by Bravo. Boone struggles to his feet but Bravo measures him with a backdrop but only gets two. Dino goes back to the chin lock then executes a snap mare before driving a knee into Brady’s neck. Ouch! Boone counters a second snap mare with a back slide but only gets two. An angry Dino stomps away on Boone but misses a corner charge. Brady Boone makes a come back using his speed and plants Bravo with a flying elbow. He misses a monkey flip attempt though and pays for it as Bravo finishes off Brady Boone with his patented side suplex for the win. **
Match Analysis: Not a bad opener. I always thought Brady Boone was extremely underrated and he puts on a good match here with Bravo. That being said Dino Bravo dictated the majority of the bout. Nothing too special about this match as it is essentially a squash for Bravo, but thanks to Johnny V’s antics it’s enjoyable.
*Rick Martel vs. Tama
Originally when this match was scheduled last month at MSG it was to be The Can-Am Connection vs. The Islanders. However, Tom Zenk quit the WWF on the spot at the end of June; thus, screwing this match (and many others that were booked) over. Zenk’s abrupt departure also meant that The Can-Am Connection were no longer the logical contenders for the tag titles. As a result this match is now Rick Martel against Tama of The Islanders (who I assume won a coin toss over Haku to face Martel). The Islanders’ manager Bobby Heenan is absent for tonight’s bout but Tama is being accompanied to the ring by Haku. This immediately places Rick Martel at a disadvantage as he has worry about Haku as well as Tama. Tama motions for the crowd to kiss his ass and Lord Alfred dubs it a “South Pacific ritual dance.” Okay…Anyway, Martel enters to a nice reception and Lord Alfred claims that someone is going to write a book about him someday. Man, Lord Alfred Hayes is making some really lame comments here!
Both Islanders jump Martel before the bell rings and it seems as if the referee isn’t doing much to stop their onslaught. Tama and Haku go for a double clothesline but Martel ducks out of the way and counters with one of his own. He follows up by giving both Haku and Tama a drop kick to clear them from the ring. Both Islanders are pissed as they stall on the outside. Tama gets back in and tries to keep his distance. He then goes for the old handshake bit and surprisingly suckers Martel in, then begins to chop away on him. Martel uses his agility to out maneuver Tama on a corner charge and he fires back at The Islander with a hip toss and body slam that prompt him to bail to the outside. Gorilla points out the absence of The Islanders’ manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and figures he’s out wining and dining Bam Bam Bigelow, a wrestler many of the WWF managers were trying to sign around this time. Tama locks up with Martel and surprisingly breaks clean. A second lock up but this time Tama drives his leg into Martel’s breadbasket. Tama scoops slams Martel but misses the follow up leg drop.
Martel immediately begins to go to work on Tama’s left leg. Tama kicks him off and gives him a surfboard maneuver. Martel kicks off Tama and fires back with a dropkick before going back to work on his leg by driving some elbows into his knee joint. Tama attempts to kick Martel off again but this time Martel cartwheels around Tama’s surfboard attempt and goes right back to work on the leg with a grapevine. Tama goes for a hair pull so Rick levels him with a right. Tama finally breaks out of the hold by driving some forearms into Martel’s sternum. Back on his feet, Tama is selling the leg injury but he goes right to work on Martel. Martel regains control easily by giving Tama’s injured left knee an atomic drop. After tossing Tama around for a bit he goes back to work on the left leg. Martel applies a spinning toehold but Tama kicks him off and he spills onto the concrete floor.
Tama attacks Martel as he gets back into the apron and rams him into the steel post really hard. Rick Martel is hurt. Tama ties up the referee while Haku stomps away on Martel on the outside. An Irish whip and Tama drops Martel with a flying elbow, but he is still selling the leg and only gets two. Tama hammers away on Rick before slapping on the Tonga death grip. The crowd rallies behind Martel as he tries to fight his way out of the hold. Martel breaks the hold with an elbow, but runs right into Tama’s knee. A diving head butt only gets a two count. Tama goes back to work on the trapezius muscles but Martel toughs it out. Martel breaks the hold and lands a sunset flip, but he doesn’t have the leverage to take Tama down and The Islander gives him a karate thrust to the throat. Tama plays up to the crowd before landing a short-armed clothesline that only gets a two count. Tama goes back to the same hold and Martel still fights it. He breaks the hold by ramming Tama head first into the turnbuckle. An Irish whip but Tama reverses it. Martel tries to counter with a cross body but Tama ducks out of the way and Rick is sent crashing to the mat. Tama celebrates before going for a nonchalant cover. He only gets two again so he responds by stomping a mud hole in Martel. Tama continues to lower the boom and Martel spills to the outside again. Martel’s face is rammed into the apron. Tama distracts the ref long enough for Haku to come around and ram Martel into the steel barricade. Tama suplexes Martel back in from the apron and goes for another pin but cannot put Rick Martel away.
Tama relentlessly batters away on Martel, but he misses a clothesline and Rick catches him with a knee lift when he puts his head down. Martel is still stunned and Tama continues to hammer away. With a burst of energy, Martel floors Tama with a forearm but still can’t follow it u with anything. Tama slams Rick Martel and goes to the second rope for his patented flying head butt. He misses though and Martel mounts a comeback. Martel elevates Tama with a backdrop then lands a flying elbow that sends Tama careening over the top rope and onto the floor. Martel goes out after him and rams his head into the apron. Tama is slingshot back into the ring and lands head first on the mat. Ouch! Tama gets tied in the ropes and Martel hammers away before giving The Islander a spear tackle. Haku frees Tama from Tama from the ropes and he goes after Martel with a clothesline. Martel ducks out of the way and counters wit a slingshot maneuver that cause Tama to collide with Haku, who is still on the apron. Martel goes for the pin but only gets two and a half. Whew! That was close! Another Irish whip but Martel puts his head down and Tama catches him. Tama heads to the top rope for his trademark splash. He lands it but the momentum causes Martel to roll through and be placed on top for the three count! Great bout! **** Rick Martel celebrates the victory but The Islanders are not finished as they start double teaming Martel and then they land a vicious double head butt. They continue to pound away on Martel until officials hit the ring to make the save. The Islanders then play up to the crowd before leaving ringside.
Match Analysis: This was a tremendous match. The wrestling was solid and the ring psychology was first rate. Having Rick Martel being at odds with The Islanders told a really good story and helped further a feud that could’ve died because of Tom Zenk’s abrupt departure. Also, this match was given a real nice chunk of time (approximately 21 minutes) and it’s a nice little forgotten gem.
*“The Natural” Butch Reed vs. Hillbilly Jim
I can’t say I’m excited about this match. After the great match that Rick Martel and Tama put on, we are now subjected to this crap. Hillbilly Jim is still coasting along here doing nothing of note. As for Butch Reed, well his days of being pushed are numbered as he supposedly no-showed a TV taping where he was supposed to win the Intercontinental title. Instead, The Honky Tonk Man took his place. Whether this story is true or not, it was all down hill from here for Reed in his WWF tenure. It also doesn’t help that his manager Slick is not with him at ringside tonight. Hillbilly Jim extends a handshake but Butch Reed brushes him off and starts jawing away at him. We get a lame pose down and lots of stalling before the two men lock-up. Reed breaks clean on the first tie up but slaps on a side headlock on the second. Hillbilly counters it with an Irish whip and Reed attempts to drop with a shoulder block to no avail. The Natural invites him to try the shoulder tackle, but Hillbilly has other plans and he blindsides Reed with a sucker punch. Hillbilly goes to work on The Natural but makes the mistake of putting his head down and Reed catches him with a kick. Butch misses a follow up knee drop and Hillbilly clears him from the ring. Reed bitches to the referee while on the outside as Hillbilly plays up to the crowd. Back in, Reed continues to stall so Hillbilly Jim starts cracking on Butch’s “natural” blond hair. Butch Reed asks for a test of strength but Hillbilly continues to piss him off. When they finally lock knuckles Hillbilly dominates but Reed changes that with a kick to the stomach. Hillbilly fights back in vain but Butch keeps the hold applied. Hillbilly rises to his feet again and blocks Butch’s attempts to get in a kick. He then kicks The Natural himself to break the hold and stomps on his hands for good measure. The Natural goes to the outside again and complains some more, before jumping Hillbilly and going to work on him. Reed rams Hillbilly’s head into the turnbuckle. An Irish whip and Butch lands an elbow before resorting to choking Hillbilly Jim while he’s down. Reed tosses Hillbilly to the outside and plays up to the crowd. The Natural continues to assault Hillbilly while he’s on the apron. Back in, Reed continues to stomp away before planting the 300-pound Hillbilly with a body slam. Butch rakes Hillbilly’s eyes across the top rope then corners him and starts to unload. He gives Hillbilly an Irish whip, but charges right into his big boot. Reed is dazed as Hillbilly drops with a clothesline. A follow elbow is missed but Reed also misses with an elbow. Hillbilly runs through some slow offense but Reed catches him with a high knee and heads to the second rope. He lands a flying clothesline and gets the pin fall win using Hillbilly’s overalls for leverage. DUD Butch Reed starts to leave ringside, uttering threats directed towards Superstar Billy Graham (whom he was feuding with at the time). Hillbilly gets on the house mic, complains about a pull of the tights, and challenges Reed to come back and fight but Reed thankfully ignores him and leaves ringside.
Match Analysis: Definite crap. Anyone who thinks booking Butch Reed vs. Hillbilly Jim is a good idea should be fired. However, having the match clock around 11 minutes is downright ridiculous. This match had no flow and no chemistry.
*WWF Intercontinental Championship Match: (Champion) The Honky Tonk Man vs. (Challenger) Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat (sub. for Jake “The Snake” Roberts)
The Honky Tonk Man is making his first MSG appearance as Intercontinental Champion. Originally Jake “The Snake” Roberts was scheduled to challenge Honky for the belt tonight, but for whatever reason Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat has taken his place. “The Colonel” Jimmy Hart is in Honky’s corner tonight as well. As you all know, The Honky Tonk Man defeated Ricky Steamboat on the June 13th Superstars to win the IC title in what many consider was a major upset. Steamboat enters the Garden to a huge ovation, which really makes you wonder. Honky tries to jump The Dragon as he enters but Steamboat literally beats him to the punch. Steamboat uses his quickness to out maneuver Honky and he drops with a stiff chop. Honky is sent flying with a hip toss and a slam. Steamboat continues to clean Honky’s clock and then lands a cross body for two. Honky Tonk Man bails to the outside as The Dragon finally gets his gear off. Steamboat won’t let Honky catch his breath as he chases out after him. Honky nearly collides with The Colonel and turns around right into a Ricky Steamboat karate chop. Steamboat rams Honky head first into the apron before tossing him back into the ring. Honky begs off Steamboat, but The Dragon doesn’t buy it and lands a few fists. Steamboat nails Honky Tonk Man with an inverted atomic drop and begins to drive his knees into Honky’s back. Honky tries to take a powder but Steamboat gives him a backdrop. A small package only gets two. Honky tries to get away but Steamboat catches him with a back suplex and holds a bridge pinning combination. Referee counts two but hesitates on three for some strange reason. Steamboat thinks he won it and starts arguing with the ref only to be blindsided by Honky.
Honky Tonk Man begins to hammer away and lands a running knee into Steamboat’s mid-section. Honky rams Steamboat’s head into the turnbuckle once, but on the second attempt Steamboat counters it. The Dragon gives Honky a snap mare and begins to go to work on Honky’s neck. Steamboat goes for a vertical suplex but Honky blocks it and lands his own. Honky plants a fist drop from the second turnbuckle but only gets a two count on the pin fall attempt. Steamboat fights back on instinct and gains control with an Irish whip but loses it when he puts his head down and gets caught. Honky corners Steamboat and gives him a battering ram. The Dragon staggers about as Honky stalks him relentlessly and continues to inflict blows. Honky gives him an Irish whip but he misses the corner charge and goes crashing into the post knees first. The Dragon fires back with an Irish whip of his own and he lands an elbow to the gut before dropping him with a karate chop. Steamboat goes for the pin but only gets two. Honky rakes The Dragon’s eyes and begins to jab away at him, but Steamboat blocks Honky’s punches and starts dishing out some of his own.
Honky shoves off The Dragon and Jimmy Hart tries to trip him up as he goes off the ropes. Ricky Steamboat heads to the outside and starts to chase The Colonel around the ring. The Mouth Of South is chased into the ring, where he drops the megaphone. The referee doesn’t see it as he is tied up with Jimmy Hart and The Dragon. Honky Tonk Man grabs the megaphone and nails Steamboat with it twice while the ref’s back is turned. Jimmy Hart conceals the megaphone as Honky goes for the pin on The Dragon. 1…2…Whoa! Steamboat kicked out! I thought for sure he was done. A frustrated Honky Tonk Man tries to continue his offense but Steamboat won’t go down with a fight and a slugfest ensues, which Honky gets the upper hand in and The Dragon is down and out. Honky celebrates though and Steamboat is on his feet again to deliver a thunderous chop. Steamboat goes for a splash but comes crashing down on Honky’s knees. Honky Tonk Man slaps on an abdominal stretch. The crowd is really rallying behind Steamboat here! The Dragon tries to reverse the hold with an abdominal stretch of his own, but Honky hip tosses him onto the concrete floor. Honky heads out after him and begins to assault Steamboat on the floor. The Dragon responds by nailing Honky with a soft drink cup, which blinds the reigning Intercontinental Champion. Back in, Steamboat snaps and begins to beat the crap out of an incapacitated Honky Tonk Man. Honky gets caught in between the ropes and plays seesaw until Steamboat rings his bell. The Dragon heads upstairs and lands at karate thrust from the top. Honky tries to bail but Steamboat stops him. However, as The Dragon tries to pull Honky Tonk back in but Honky holds onto the apron and the referee counts him out. *** Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat wins the match by count out but he doesn’t win the title. Honky Tonk Man loses the match but is still holds onto the belt. This was the first of what would be many tainted title defenses for The Honky Tonk Man during his long reign as Intercontinental Champion. In the post-match, Steamboat takes his frustrations out on Honky and then chases away The Colonel when he sticks his nose in his business.
Match Analysis: If you want heat this match has got it! The crowd is hyped throughout and they really wanted to see Ricky Steamboat beat the crap out of The Honky Tonk Man. That being said, Steamboat manages to carry Honky through a pretty good match as the action was fast and furious and the bout was seesaw back and forth. The screw job ending was lame, but it added heat to the cowardly heel Honky Tonk Man and also set the tone for what his lengthy Intercontinental run would represent.
Gorilla Monsoon is in the locker room with a frustrated Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, who accuses The Honky Tonk Man of being cowardly for holding onto the Intercontinental bout by having himself be counted out. Steamboat goes on to say every other champion in the past stood tall and fought including Randy Savage. He then says in a few moments he’ll be out at ringside to make a public announcement.
Gorilla Monsoon is backstage with The Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart. Honky brags about being the winner and when Monsoon informs him that Steamboat is going to issue another challenge, he simply blows it off saying Steamboat had his chance and won’t get another. Jimmy Hart dubs Honky “the peoples’ champion” and Monsoon calls him “a fountain of misinformation.”
Lord Alfred Hayes gives us his two cents on the upcoming Tag Team Title match before sending it to Monsoon back in the locker room.
Gorilla Monsoon is in the locker room area with Tito Santana, who discusses his upcoming match with Nikolai Volkoff.
*Tito Santana vs. Nikolai Volkoff
The whole reason for this match was that Tito Santana had an issue with Nikolai Volkoff’s manager Slick. Unfortunately Slick is not present in Volkoff’s corner tonight so it sort of defeats any interest in this match. Nikolai gets on the mic and runs through his usual singing of the Soviet National Anthem. Santana and Volkoff lock up and Nikolai dominates in the strength department. A slugfest breaks out but Santana fires back with a flurry of fists. Nikolai backs off and the crowd gets on his case. Tito locks up with him again and goes right to work on the arm. Volkoff resorts a rope break on several occasion and gives Santana a sucker punch when the referee is preoccupied. Nikolai goes for a blatant chokehold then tosses Santana to the floor. Tito is hurt as Volkoff stomps away on him as he makes his way onto the apron. Back in, Nikolai gives Santana an Irish whip and drives a knee into his stomach. Volkoff continues to lower the boom and resorts to more choking. The referee admonishes him and the crowd is dead. Tito tries to fight back but Volkoff catches him in a bear hug. Santana fights his way out of the hold by ringing the Russian’s bell. Nikolai Volkoff is slightly dazed but goes right back to the bear hug. Tito toughs it out and breaks the hold with an elbow smash. Volkoff catches him with a clothesline but only gets two. Nikolai executes a back breaker but Santana gets the rope break when Volkoff goes for the pin. Nikolai gives the referee static and Santana tries to fire back to no avail. Volkoff gives him an Irish whip but Santana catches him with the flying jalapeno and gets the pin fall win. 1/2* Dull match. Tito Santana begins to leave ringside but is jumped by “The Outlaw” Ron Bass, who is entering ringside for the next match. Why Bass is attacking Santana is beyond me since I don’t recall them ever having much of an issue. However, Bass is a mean heel and he does a number on Santana whipping him with Miss Betsy and then choking him out. Outback Jack, who The Outlaw is booked against, races down the aisle and makes the save. Some officials try to restrain Tito from hitting the ring but Ron Bass has his hands full with Outback Jack as we cut to the commercial.
Match Analysis: Dull match dictated by Nikolai Volkoff’s slow plodding offense. Tito Santana really didn’t get to call this one, which is unfortunate because he might have been able to carry Volkoff to a decent bout. Unfortunately, we get this snoozer.
*“Outlaw” Ron Bass vs. Outback Jack
Since this match already started prior to the commercial break we have skipped ring introduction. “Outlaw” Ron Bass is laying out Outhouse Jack by resorting to chokeholds. Bass goes crazy and starts challenging everyone at ringside. Jerk…Outback Jack is in trouble as Bass relentlessly beats on him. Outback fights fire with fire as he uses an eye gouge. Outback Jack goes for a clothesline but The Outlaw regains control by giving him a kick downstairs. Bass gives him an Irish whip but Outback reverses it. The Outlaw goes crashing into the corner and walks right into a scoop slam. Outback Jack wastes time as he looks for fan approval and as a result he misses a back elbow drop. “Outlaw” Ron Bass responds with The Texas Gourd Buster (pedigree) to hand Outback Jack his first loss in MSG. 1/4*
Match Analysis: Thankfully this was kept short otherwise it would’ve been DUD material. I always thought “Outlaw” Ron Bass was a hell of a heel though.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat comes to ringside to make a public announcement. Steamboat cuts a great promo about winning the Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania III and about not letting his two-week-old son down in regaining that title. The Dragon then challenges The Honky Tonk Man to a lumberjack match next month at MSG.
*Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
We have a bitter feud here. Brutus Beefcake was a former member of The Dream Team until Johnny V and Greg Valentine kicked him out in place of Dino Bravo. Brutus swore revenge and in May of 1987 took on “The Barber” moniker. In his first match against former manager Johnny V, Bruti put him in a sleeper and gave him the ugly haircut he has here. Beefcake has been feuding with The New Dream Team all summer and tonight he faces his former tag team partner Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. The MSG crowd gives Bruti a nice reception upon his entrance. Beefcake stalls a lot threatening Valentine with his barber shears.
Valentine and Johnny V let their guard down and Brutus surprises them with a double noggin’ knocker to get things started. The Barber gives The Hammer some rough turnbuckle treatment, before landing a hard right. Valentine is on rubber legs as Bruti measures him by ramming his face into the canvas and then slamming him. Beefcake continues to lower the boom before playing up to the crowd. He gives Valentine an Irish whip but The Hammer reverses it only to miss a running elbow into the corner. Bruti continues to unload on Greg, who does another Flair-flop. Valentine tries to bail but finds himself with his legs caught between the post. Beefcake capitalizes on it by sacking him on it. Back in, Brutus stomps Valentine on the head. Valentine begs for mercy then tries to kick Bruti but gets caught. The Barber swings him around and lands an atomic drop before going for the pin. He only gets two so he executes a pedigree-like move before going to work on Valentine’s abdomen. The crowd is going wild.
Greg Valentine uses Beefer’s tights for leverage and tosses him shoulder first into the post. Bruti is hurt as The Hammer stomps away on him. As the referee is tied up with Valentine, Luscious Johnny V gets in some cheap shots on the outside. The Hammer continues to hammer away on Beefcake on the apron. Once again Johnny V cheap shots Bruti as the referee is admonishing Greg. Valentine drops Beefcake with a forearm and elbows away on him. The Hammer applies a chin lock and Bruti tries to power his way out of it. Valentine drives a knee into Beefer’s back and The Barber is hurt. The Hammer goes for an inverted atomic drop but instead rams Beefcake into the corner. An Irish whip sends Bruti crashing into the opposite corner. Valentine goes for a piledriver but Brutus backdrops out of it. The Barber and The Hammer slug it out but Valentine remains in control. Valentine lands a head butt in the abdominal area and ten slaps Beefcake in the face. The Hammer chokes Beefer on the ropes as Johnny V jaws away at The Barber. Valentine goes to work on the leg setting up for the figure-four leg lock. He locks it in and Bruti fights the pain.
Beefcake gets the rope break but is clearly hurt. Valentine goes for the figure-four again but Bruti kicks him off into the turnbuckle. The Hammer tries to fight back but Brutus slugs away on him. Both men go for a suplex but Beefcake manages to execute it first. Another slugfest breaks out and this time Brutus gets the upper hand. He drops Valentine with a clothesline and slaps on his sleeper finisher. Johnny V tries to interfere and Bruti puts him in the sleeper hold. Dino Bravo hits the ring and jumps Beefcake, prompting the referee to DQ Valentine. The New Dream Team viciously triple teams Beefcake and then Valentine begins to cut his hair with the scissors. The British Bulldogs make the save on behalf of Bruti and clear the ring. **1/2
Match Analysis: Valentine and Beefcake put on a surprisingly solid bout. The crowd was really into it and that certainly helped. However, both men really did put on a good show. This is a surprise coming from Brutus Beefcake, who wasn’t much of a worker at all at this point. The finish was a downer but it helped further the Beefcake/Dream Team feud regardless.
*“Ravishing” Rick Rude vs. Jerry Allen
This is “Ravishing” Rick Rude’s MSG debut. Rude had jumped to the WWF from the NWA in June. He had yet to make his debut on national TV and this match would air on Prime Time Wrestling two days after his TV debut on the August 1st Superstars. Monsoon tells us Rude is the latest protégé of Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, but The Brain is not in his corner tonight as he faces Jerry Allen. Monsoon goes on to say Rude reminds him of actor Tom Selleck. Funny, I always felt Jake Roberts resembled Tom Selleck more. Rude asks for the house mic to be lowered and he goes on to run through his usual bit of telling people to keep the noise down and he poses for the ladies.
Rude and Allen lock up and The Ravishing one surprisingly breaks clean. A second lock up but this time Rude gives Jerry a shove then flexes. Jerry Allen returns the shove. Rude charges with a clothesline but Allen ducks out of the way and The Ravishing one takes an ugly spill over the top rope and onto the floor. Back in, Rude gains control with a kick to the mid-section, but Allen counters with a sunset flip that only gets two. Allen follows up with a nice arm drag but Rude’s backs off in a hurry. Rick suckers Allen in with another kick and begins to hammer away. An Irish whip and Jerry Allen tries to counter with a high cross body. Rude catches him in mid-air and executes a back breaker. Rick Rude wastes time flexing for the crowd before landing a flying clothesline. Rude goes for the pin but stops before the referee lands a three count. Clearly, “Ravishing” Rick Rude isn’t done with Jerry Allen yet. Rude deposits Allen on the mat with a scoop slam before heading to the top and landing a flying fist drop. Rude goes for the pin but once again confidently lifts before the three. Rude applies pressure to the trapezius muscles of Jerry Allen, but Allen tries to fight out of it. Allen breaks the hold but Rude remains in control with a driving knee to the mid-section. Rude executes two snap suplexes but on the third Jerry Allen blocks it and lands his own. Allen goes for an elbow but misses his mark. Rude lands a beautiful drop kick but misses a second one. Jerry Allen makes a comeback, sending Rude flying with a hip toss and landing a drop kick of his own. Allen executes a monkey flip but he goes to the well once to often and tries for it again. Rude counters with an inverted atomic drop and applies a back breaker submission for the win. **
Match Analysis: Basically a squash match to put over Rick Rude as a heel threat. Jerry Allen got in little offense as Rude ran through his arsenal, which was very impressive. That being said that match didn’t tell much of a story (it was a squash after all), but it is noteworthy since it is Rick Rude’s MSG debut.
Howard Finkel announces the curfew has been waived (whatever that means) and tells us the next MSG show is scheduled for Saturday, August 22nd. On the card, Jose Estrada faces Chavo Guerrero. Islander Tama will face Scott Casey. The New WWF Ladies’ Champion Sherri Martel will defend against Velvet McIntyre. “The Outlaw” Ron Bass will take on Tito Santana. Islander Haku will face Rick Martel. In tag team action, Demolition goes head to head with The Junkyard Dog & George “The Animal” Steele. The main event will pit the reigning Intercontinental Champion The Honky Tonk Man in a return bout against Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat under lumberjack rules. Also, a bonus attraction match as “The Natural” Butch Reed will wrestle “Superstar” Billy Graham.
*WWF Tag Team Championship Match: (Champions) The Hart Foundation vs. (Challengers) The British Bulldogs
In the final match of the night the WWF Tag Team Champions The Hart Foundation face their arch rivals The British Bulldogs. Any card that finishes off with a Harts/Bulldogs match is bound to send the fans home happy. Sure enough the crowd seems HYPED for this match as the heel Hart Foundation is booed out of the arena as they are announced. The British Bulldogs enter to a huge pop with Matilda and clear Jimmy Hart from the ring. The Harts jump Davey Boy Smith in the melee and begin to double-team him. The Hart Foundation keeps Davey Boy in their corner and works him over. Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart hammers away and applies a chokehold. The referee gets on is case about it, which allows Bret to choke out Davey with the tag rope on the apron. Bret “Hitman” Hart tags in and unloads on Davey. The Harts go for a double team but end up colliding with each other.
Davey Boy makes the hot tag to The Dynamite Kid, who gives The Harts a double noggin’ knocker before going to work on Bret Hart. Dynamite executes his patented snap suplex but only gets two. Dynamite rams The Hitman’s head into Davey Boy’s boot and The Bulldogs start fast tagging over Bret. Davey Boy slaps on a reverse chin lock but Bret counters with an Irish whip. The Hitman goes for a clothesline but Davey Boy catches him with a crucifix move for a pin that only gets a two count. Davey Boy rams Bret into Dynamite boots and then tags in his partner. Dynamite floors Bret with a short clothesline, but he only gets a two count. Dynamite corners Bret and unloads on him with some heavy artillery. Bret catches him with an eye rake but The Bulldogs stay in control as they keep Bret in their corner with a double head butt. Davey Boy executes a fishermen’s suplex but Bret manages to kick out the back door. Dynamite tags back in and gives Bret a mean uppercut. He measures The Hitman with a lethal head butt before giving him some knee drops. Bret Hart fires back with a forearm and then makes the tag to The Anvil.
Jim Neidhart hammers away on Dynamite who is in trouble. Dynamite falls to the outside where The Hitman attacks him and rams him face-first into the steel barricade. Bret tosses Dynamite back in to Neidhart and then yells at a fan, “shut up and sit down you little jerk!” Ha! Neidhart resorts to biting and continues to stomp away on Dynamite, who plays face in peril. The Hart Foundation executes their own version of the Demolition decapitation, but Dynamite Kid manages to kick out the back door when Bret goes for the pin. Bret measures Dynamite with an elbow before delivering some European upper cuts. Bret goes for a slam but Dynamite squirms enough to turn it into a cross body for a two count. The Hitman gives Dynamite a leg drop on the back of his head before tagging out to The Anvil. Neidhart picks up where Bret left off but he makes the mistake of butting heads with Dynamite. The Dynamite Kid fires back with another vicious head butt that drops The Anvil. Neidhart tags out to Bret, who keeps Dynamite from making the hot tag. A hot tag is made but the referee doesn’t see it and pushes Davey Boy out of the ring. In doing so, he allows The Hart Foundation to attempt a double-team maneuver. Neidhart Irish whips Bret into Dynamite but The Kid manages to get out of the way, so Hart goes crashing into the post. The Anvil tries to intervene but is back dropped over the top by Dynamite.
A hot tag is finally made to Davey Boy Smith, who cleans Bret Hart’s clock with a running clothesline. A monkey flip sends Bret soaring in the air and Davey Boy drops a knee from the second rope for two. Davey Boy executes his patented vertical suplex but still only gets a two count on the pin fall attempt. Davey Boy Smith gives Bret a running power slam but The Hitman is too close to the ropes and manages to snag the rope break. Davey Boy sets up another running power slam but Bret slips out of it and slaps on a sleeper. Dynamite hits the ring and gives Bret a head butt to the back of the head. Ouch! Davey Boy goes for a press slam but drops Bret onto the tope rope where he crotches himself. Double ouch! The referee argues with Jimmy Hart as Davey Boy tries to suplex Bret from the apron. Jim Neidhart (who has been down and out on the outside) trips up Davey Boy as he has Bret in mid-air and The Hitman falls on him and picks up the pin fall win. **** The British Bulldogs aren’t finished though as they attack The Harts in the post match and press slam Jimmy Hart onto The Anvil. The crowd loves every minute of it as The Bulldogs clear the ring of The Hart Foundation and Jimmy Hart.
Match Analysis: For a match that only clocked around the 10 minute-mark this rating may seem a little high. However, this was an awesome match and had it been given an extra five to ten minutes to develop further it would’ve been an absolute classic. The Harts and Bulldogs were always capable of putting on an excellent match and this one is no exception. Still, the match had a one-hour time limit so this one definitely seems rushed ending at around ten minutes. Nonetheless, an excellent way to close this MSG show as The Hart Foundation sneaks away with the titles once again but The British Bulldogs send the fans home happy by beating the crap out of Jimmy Hart.
Jinsell’s Bottom Line: Compared to last month’s surprisingly consistent card, we get a bit of a mixed bag with this MSG show. Most of the headlining bouts are really good but an under card stretch of three lousy matches definitely hurts this show. Despite that, the good matches are excellent especially when two of them are arguably in the four star range. Rick Martel and Tama put on a great dramatic bout and The Hart Foundation facing The British Bulldogs is always a treat. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat carries The Honky Tonk Man in a decent main event that is an improvement over their first match on Superstars. Even Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake wrestled a better match than I expected. The two inoffensive squashes (one that introduced us to Rick Rude) were fine, but Butch Reed vs. Hillbilly was a DUD, Tito Santana vs. Nikolai Volkoff was boring, and Outlaw vs. Outback was a mess. Despite the three crappy matches in the middle of the card, the good stuff (which is great for the most part) still overshadows the bad. If you can fast forward through those matches then this MSG show is definitely recommended.