May 21, 2011
WWF At The Spectrum
December 5, 1987
Source: WWE Classics On Demand
Dick Graham and Craig DeGeorge are the commentators. Not really looking forward to listening to them for a couple hours, but I suppose I can deal with it.
Match 1: Outback Jack def Barry Horowitz via pinfall at 8:08
Yes! It's the man, the myth, the legend: Outback Jack! Stallfest from Horowitz to begin which is probably the best thing for everyone. Barry gets Jack to make a small mistake and works over the Australian's left leg for a while with some strange stuff like legdrops, headbutts, and a few weak looking holds. A noticeable "Boooooring!" chant begins during this. The end comes when Barry heads to the top rope but is slammed off. A backdrop and terrible bulldog allows Outback Jack to pick up the victory. The supposed bulldog was more like a clothesline to the back of the head. That was not a fun 8 minutes right here. I will say Outback sells the leg even walking back to the locker room so good for him.
Match 2: Ultimate Warrior def "Iron" Mike Sharpe via pinfall at 7:49
I have a big soft spot for Iron Mike so this could be interesting. Before Warrior even comes out the match is entertaining because of Sharpe jawing with the fans, posing, trying to get ref Joey Marella to raise his hand in victory, and making the ring announcer call him Canada's Greatest Athlete. Obviously this a Warrior showcase, but Sharpe is funny throughout. He bails multiple times, never shuts up, and hilariously tries to get Warrior to submit after cheapshotting him in a test of strength. Yes, your normal Sharpe schtick, but it amuses me time after time. Warrior gets the upper hand eventually obviously and wins after a gorilla press slam at the second attempt. The first attempt was actually botched pretty badly and is booed heartily by the Philly crowd. I'm not sure whose fault it was. Nevertheless, this was a fun 8 minutes as opposed to our first bout. I can say without irony or sarcasm that I enjoyed a Warrior vs Mike Sharpe matchup. It was about 95% due to Iron Mike though.
Match 3: The British Bulldogs(w/ Matilda) def The Bolsheviks(w/ "The Doctor Of Style" Slick) when Davey Boy Smith pinned Boris Zhukov at 13:06
Matilda chases the heels out of the ring pre match which was amusing. Early part of the bout sees the Bulldogs tag in and out frequently and pick apart Zhukov with relative ease. The Bolsheviks eventually do take over on Dynamite Kid and work him over for an extended period of time. This was a very, very basic formula tag match. Nothing exceptional went on, but the formula gets the crowd to respond well enough so who am I too complain. Finish comes when Boris tries to slam Davey, but Dynamite sweeps the leg from outside the ring while the ref's back is turned. Smith falls on top of Zhukov for the 1-2-3. Eh, I can't hate on it too much. Dynamite probably should not have even been walking let alone wrestling at this point so him playing Ricky Morton was somewhat of a miracle, and he would do it for a couple more years.
Match 4: Dino Bravo(w/ Frenchy Martin) def Hillbilly Jim via pinfall at 9:27
Bad match on paper, and it certainly lives up(down?) to that. Being generous, I would say there was maybe thirty seconds of decent pro wrestling scattered somewhere in here. The best part was pre-match when Hillbilly danced and did a cartwheel. The finish comes when Jim is distracted by Frenchy Martin, and Bravo nails(or gingerly brushes) him with a knee to the back for the 1-2-3. Watching this made me wonder how amazing a Hillbilly Jim/Outback Jack tag team combo would've been. Anyone with me? No? Alright, let's just move on.
Match 5: Jake "The Snake" Roberts(w/ Damien) def Sika via pinfall at 3:39
The length of the bout indicates a squash, but it wasn't. It was a feeling out process like the first three minutes of a 15 minute match, and then they went directly to the finish. Jake tries a DDT but gets backdropped. Sika misses a charge into the corner gets rolled up for the pin. Post-match, Sika attacks Roberts, but takes off when Jake goes for Damien. It almost felt like a jobber getting a fluke victory which I don't understand as Sika didn't really mean anything by this point.
Match 6: WWF World Heavyweight Championship Match - champion Hulk Hogan def One Man Gang(w/ Slick) via pinfall at 11:13 to retain the title
Basically your typical 80s Hulk vs big fat guy match which is not necessarily a bad thing I suppose. Gang didn't really have to really do anything spectacular, and yet Hulk looks like he's on the verge of dying at times which was something Hogan was very good at. He even makes a bearhug look threatening which is no easy feat. Ending sequence is 747 splash. Kick out and Hulk Up. Hulk hits a few big right hands. Hogan whips OMG three times into the turnbuckles and follows the third with a clothesline. Body slam, legdrop, and we're out. Certainly not anything approaching a good bout, but it's the pro wrestling version of comfort food. One really cool little moment was Hogan bridging out of a pin attempt. Post match, Hulk gets a few shots in on Slick and poses for his fans. Andre The Giant comes about halfway down the aisle and stares down the Hulkster. Hogan invites him into the ring, but Andre just casually walks to the back.
Match 7: WWF World Tag Team Championship Match - champions Strike Force def The Islanders when Rick Martel pinned Tama at 13:29
Alright I'm looking forward to this. Really good, fast paced start finds Strike Force in control including Rick delivering a rather beautiful hurancanrana to Haku. The Islanders do take over with some cheap tactics eventually though, and Tito becomes the face in peril. Haku and Tama make frequent tags and beat down Santana. Tito puts in his typical good performance in taking the beatdown. Dick Graham keeps pronouncing Tama as Toe-MA. Martel eventually gets the hot tag and cleans house. I still associate Martel mostly with the arrogant jerk Model character so whenever I see him in fiery babyface mode, it's weird. Tito back in, and the ending sorta comes out of nowhere as Santana gets the figure four on Toe-MA. Haku tries to make the save, but Martel rushes in to help out. Haku tosses Rick to the outside. Ref Joey Marella ushers Haku out, and Martel flies back in to pin Toe-MA with a sunset flip. Rick was not the legal man referee! What a miscarriage of justice! Definitely a fun bout though. At this point, I feel safe predicting this will be the match of the night.
Match 8: Hercules def Junkyard Dog via countout at 5:53
Awful match with a crappy finish. After five or so minutes of terrible "action" they begin brawling on the floor. Hercules gets back in the ring before the ten count while JYD does not. Everything Dog did looked so bad from weak punches to some of the worst headbutts you're ever likely to see. I'd rather watch another Hillbilly Jim match than sit through this one again. I can't even say something nice like the crowd was really into it because they weren't at all. The ring announcer even messes up saying Herc won by DQ. Putrid stuff all around. In the interest of saying something positive JYD took one okay bump outside during the "brawling" portion.
Match 9: Bam Bam Bigelow de(w/ Sir Oliver Humperdink) def King Kong Bundy(w/ Andre The Giant) via pinfall at 4:48
For some reason Mel Phillips does the ring announcing for this one. Perhaps because the previous announcer messed up during the last match, I dunno. Bam Bam comes out to the Vince McMahon-sung rock n roll classic, Stand Back! The Hulkster comes down to ringside after Andre involves himself a little too much. Bundy gets distracted by Hogan, and Bigelow hits a flying headbutt for the 1-2-3. Short match but really showcased Bam Bam's agility and why he was a hot property around this time. For such a big man, he could really fly around back in the day. The bout was decent enough while it lasted. Bundy's first WWF stint would only last a couple more months.
Graham and DeGeorge close out the show.
Final Analysis: Well, the first thing I feel have to say is that Craig DeGeorge didn't annoy me nearly as much as I'd expected. He was more the color guy than play-by-play which seemed to suit him strangely enough. He tended to reel in the rather odd stylings of Dick Graham. The show itself was lackluster to put it mildly. There were no matches I would call really good, two I thought were fun and liked(Strike Force/Islanders, Warrior/Sharpe), three that were okay but didn't get my blood pumping(Bulldogs/Bolsheviks, Hogan/OMG, Bundy/Bigelow), and four that were just complete wastes of time. FOUR out of NINE. I wouldn't exactly try too hard to track down this one.