February 11, 2006
Matt Peddycord

WWF The Big Event
August 28, 1986
Toronto, ON, CA
CNE Stadium

The current WWF Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Hulk Hogan (1/23/1984)
Intercontinental Champion: Randy Savage (2/8/1986)
World Tag Team Champions: The British Bulldogs (4/7/1986)
Women’s Champion: The Fabulous Moolah (7/9/1986)

It just goes to show that uncreative names for events do NOT affect the attendance rate. This show had a crowd of 64,000 and the reason for it is simple: Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff.

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon, the babbling “Luscious” Johnny V, and the incoherent Ernie Ladd.

The Killer Bees vs. Jimmy Jack Funk & Dory Funk Jr. (w/Jimmy Hart)

Jimmy Jack Funk, or Jesse Barr as they know him in Florida, replaced Terry Funk for the rest of this team’s tenure which ends on this night. Dory left the WWF until ’96 for a brief return and Jimmy Jack stayed around doing a whole lot of nothing until the summer of ’87. The match starts off with the Funks getting slammed a lot and bailing out to the floor. After they get that out of their systems, the Bees control Dory for a bit while working on the arm. He tags out, but Jimmy Jack faces the same fate. Brunzell gets a SLEEPER on him, but Hoss (or Dory) breaks it up from behind. Dory tags in and tosses Brunzell out for Jimmy Jack to put the boots to him. We clip to the Bees slipping on their masks down on the floor, as Blair rolls in with Dory. He goes crazy on the Funks. He puts Dory in the abdominal stretch, but Jimmy Jack breaks that up. Brunzell switches with Blair when the ref is busy with Jimmy Jack. He gets a tag and just as Jimmy Hart screams at him that he’s got the wrong man, (which now actually is the legal man) Brunzell rolls Jimmy up for the 1-2-3. (6:43 shown) Gah-lee, who KNOWS how long that went on? Nothing tag match. However, you get to see a sample of the Killer Bees doings in the ‘80s. *

King Tonga vs. Don Muraco (w/Mr. Fuji)

King Tonga is better known as Haku, who is better known as Meng. It’s kind of weird seeing Tonga play the face since he was known as a sadistic Polynesian guy for SO long thereafter. Tonga works the arm to start until Fuji trips him up for Muraco to take over. After Fuji gets in some cane shots down on the floor, Muraco applies a nerve hold. Haku (which Monsoon starts calling him in mid-match) chops back, but then misses a charge in the corner. Muraco posts Haku’s leg and starts dismantling it to set up a figure-four. Haku makes the ropes and then slams Muraco off the top. He calls for the ASIAN SPIKE, but Haku fights back and connects with a crossbody block as the time limit expires. (11:23 shown) Real boring stuff. ½*

Ted Arcidi vs. Tony Garea

In case you did not know, Arcidi is a big body builder guy. Garea is nothing more than a jobber at this point in his career. He tries to use power moves on Arcidi to start, but that goes nowhere. Arcidi ducks low off a whip and actually goes down to a dropkick. Garea charges at him again, but runs right into a BEARHUG for the submission. (2:41) Squashhhhh. CRAP

Junkyard Dog vs. Adrian Adonis (w/Jimmy Hart)

The ongoing JYD/Hart’s stable feud continues. JYD controls with the usual on Adonis until Jimmy Hart sprays him in the eyes with the spray can. Adonis delivers a bunch of diving forearms and then tosses JYD out. The ref gets nailed by Adonis, allowing Jimmy to try and hit JYD with the spray can down on the floor. JYD no-sells it and crotches Adrian on the top rope. They brawl on the floor and appeared to have both got back in the ring before the ten-count. Adonis and Jimmy collide and fall back out to the floor as the bell sounds. (4:12) JYD apparently has won by countout. Whatever. CRAP

“The Rebel” Dick Slater vs. “Iron” Mike Sharpe

The most notable aspect of Mike Sharpe is that he’s LOUD. He’ll go, “AHHH AHHH AHHH!” for a whole match. He’s a jobber, by the way. He bails a whole lot, as we clip to Slater delivering a swinging neckbreaker. A Russian legsweep sets up an elbow from the top by Slater for 1-2-3. (2:46 shown) Let’s move on, shall we? ½*

Super Machine, Big Machine & Captain Lou Albano (w/Giant Machine) vs. King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd & Bobby Heenan

The Machines are a rip-off of the New Japan character “Super Strong Machine”, where they wear all masks. Super Machine is pre-Demolition Ax, Big Machine is Blackjack Mulligan, and Giant Machine is obviously Andre. Studd gets dominated by the Machines to start, but avoids a slam like always. Bundy tags in and misses an AVALANCHE and takes a back elbow. The heels finally get one of the Machines in their corner for a pounding. Studd eventually ducks low off a whip for the fresh Machine to come in and take over, but then that guy walks into an elbow to put the match back into the favor of the Heenan family. Heenan gets a tag once they’ve beat the Machine up real good. With Heenan’s back turned, Albano tags in. These two brawl for a bit, as it’s probably the most interesting part of the whole match. Studd tags and fights off the other Machines while Heenan and Bundy double-team Albano. That brings in the Giant Machine from the floor into the ring for the save and the DQ. (7:49) Heenan and Albano save this from being totally worthless. ½*

Ricky Steamboat vs. Jake Roberts – “Snake Pit” Match

It’s essentially a no-DQ match. The original plan for the match was to have a KOMODO DRAGON and a SNAKE in opposite corners, but that of course was not going to happen. Steamboat wants revenge for Roberts putting him in the hospital after a DDT on the concrete floor on SNME back in May. Roberts attacks before the bell, but Steamboat comes back with a backdrop and some chops for 1-2-NO! Steamboat wrenches the arm for a bit. Roberts breaks free, but goes down to another chop for 1-2-NO! Back to the arm, Steamboat applies a hammerlock. Roberts stands up out of it, but then gets nailed with a back kick to the gut. Roberts fights back down on the floor, but then Steamboat nails him with a chair! Back in, Steamboat comes off the top with the JUDO CHOP for 1-2-NO! Since that didn’t work, he goes back to work on the arm. Steamboat takes Roberts to the corner for a ten-count corner CHOP. Then out of nowhere, Roberts reverses a whip that sends Steamboat out to the floor. Roberts follows him out and catapults him into the ringpost. BLADE JOB! Back in, Roberts jabs away at the cut on Steamboat’s forehead and then calls for the DDT. He hits the Short Arm-Clothesline, but Steamboat blocks the DDT. He comes back with a chop, but Roberts nails him with a quick inverted atomic drop to stop him. Roberts delivers a gutbuster, but a casual cover gets him rolled up for 1-2-3! (10:21) Once in a while, you find a good ‘80s WWF match mixed in with a lot of crap. This match was one of the good ones. ***½

Billy Jack Haynes vs. Hercules Hernandez

Monsoon calls this one by himself, which makes it all the more boring. Back and forth power match to start. Hercules applies a bearhug within the first minute, but Haynes escapes. They do a double-KO spot. Billy Jack delivers a backbreaker and follows up with a middle-rope fist drop for two. FULL NELSON attempt by Billy Jack, but Herc low blows out of it and dumps him out to the floor. Hercules gives Billy Jack a suplex back in for a one-count. Eventually, Hercules goes for a reverse neckbreaker, but Billy Jack counters it into a backslide for 1-2-3. (6:08) Well, that finish is sure rare. I still liked their WrestleMania III match better. ½*

The Rougeau Brothers vs. The Dream Team

The Dream Team does a SNEAK ATTACK on the Rougeaus, but that gets turned around in a hurry. Jacques gets a near-fall off a sunset flip on Valentine as order is restored. The Rougeaus control the first several minutes, while doing all four combinations with nothing happening of note. At about the four minute mark, Jacques gets caught in the Dream Team corner as they go to work on his back. A big brawl erupts, which leads to Beefcake receiving LE BOMBE DE ROUGEAU for 1-2-NO! Valentine makes the save. Soon after, Raymond gets his back rammed into the apron several times. Back in, Beefcake delivers a guerilla press backbreaker for two. The Dream Team trade tags while working on the weakened back. They do a false-tag spot that leads to some double-teaming from the heels for two. All of a sudden, Valentine begins to miss a bunch of elbow drops that leads to a HOT TAG TO JACQUES! He’s got a couple of dropkicks for everybody! Valentine fires back, but Jacques hits him AND Beefcake with another dropkick. He comes off the middle rope with a fist drop, but Valentine moves out of the way. Jacques kicks away one FIGURE-FOUR attempt, but he can’t the second one. Raymond runs in and breaks it up. Valentine now has to re-apply the hold, but he gets surprised with a sunset flip from Raymond for 1-2-3! (14:55) Solid formula tag match with a great finish. ***

Harley Race vs. Pedro Morales

In 1973, Race was the NWA World Champion and Morales was the WWWF World Champion. Thirteen years later, both men look like they can’t take a hint that its time to RETIRE. This is a rematch from the ’86 King of the Ring tournament finals. Morales pounds Race out to the floor. Race trips him up and brings Morales out with him and throws him into the timekeeper’s table. Race then gives him a Diving Headbutt and sends him face-first into the ringpost! Back in, Morales reverses a suplex into one of his own. Small package by Morales gets two. Morales delivers a Jack Brisco rollup for another two. Hah, could this be ANY MORE ‘70s? Race trips Morales up in the corner for the Ric Flair pin for 1-2-3. (4:24) Totally heatless from start to finish. CRAP

WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff (w/Bobby Heenan)

This is what everyone came to see. So much credit is given to Andre and the Ultimate Warrior for drawing HUGE crowds for their blowoff matches with Hogan, but I don’t think enough credit is given to Orndorff for this one. Besides Hogan’s own heel turn in 1996, Orndorff’s heel turn is possibly the second most talked about heel turn of all-time, with Andre at a close third. Orndorff’s heel turn was the result of a portion of the WWF audience beginning to hate the immortality of the Hulkster. He was a guy who once was Hogan’s best bud, and then WHAM! One clothesline changed it all. I can hear “Wonderful” chants! While the ref is checking Hogan’s boots, Orndorff BLASTS him with a clothesline! Orndorff gets in some stomps, but Hulk comes right back and beats him out to ringside. Back in, Hogan hits a bunch of clotheslines, but Orndorff goes low on him. Hulk sticks his head through the ropes and gets slapped by Heenan! Hogan turns around and gives Orndorff an atomic drop before heading out after Heenan. He chases Heenan in through the ring, which makes him easy pickings for Orndorff to lower the BOOM on him. They head out to the floor again where Orndorff delivers a suplex! After that, Orndorff heads back in for some showboating. Orndorff drapes Hulk across the apron and gives him a couple elbows. Back in, Orndorff gives him a throat thrust and a knee drop for 1-2-NO! Orndorff gives him a few more elbows and then calls for the PILEDRIVER, (crowd goes nuts for it, too) but Hogan backdrops out of it. Hogan grabs a headlock, but Orndorff counters into a back suplex. Hogan HULKS UP and knocks Orndorff into the ref with a high knee. Hogan then picks Orndorff up and raises his hand just like what was done to him, and then knocks him back down with a clothesline. Oh, real mature, Hulk. Now Hogan calls for the PILEDRIVER, but then Heenan runs in and nails Hogan with a wooden stool (a wooden stool?! Where’d he get that?) Orndorff rolls over for the cover as the ref SLOWLY crawls towards the two and taps Orndorff on the shoulder three times and calls for the bell. (11:05) Heenan gives Orndorff the belt because this calls for a celebration, right? Wrong. Once the ref finally comes to, he tells Howard Finkel that Hogan has won by DQ when he got knocked down by Orndorff, regardless of the fact that it was Hogan’s fault that Orndorff ran into him anyway. Good for a Hogan match, even with the bad finish. ***

Final Thoughts: Only the ‘80s WWF could put on ten matches and fill up a 2-HR tape. I don’t know, maybe the AWA could. I don’t know enough about them to know really. But anyways, like most WWF shows from this era, it’s hit or miss wrestling-wise. In this day and age of compilation DVDs, finding shows like this one for only certain matches especially when it’s hard to find is kind of crazy to bother with when you can run down to your local Best Buy or Wal-Mart and pick up the good stuff that’s on this show without sitting through all the crap in between. The Roberts/Steamboat match is on the Jake Roberts DVD, and Hogan/Orndorff is on both of the Hogan DVDs. The Rougeaus/Dream Team match isn’t must-see or anything either. But if you do find this show, it’s not going to hurt you to have it in your wrestling tape collection. Thumbs in the middle for The Big Event!

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