January 4, 2009
Superstars of Wrestling
November 22, 1986, Taped October 28, 1986, Broome County Arena, Binghamton, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon, Bruno Sammartino, Jesse Ventura
So we're on to the new era of TV as the name has changed, the show's been taken on the road, and they're in an actual arena now.
Opening Match, Intercontinental Title Match: Macho Man Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
This is, of course, a pretty famous match, and would go on to set up an even more famous match. Danny Davis and Dave Hebner start out arguing over who will referee the match. Davis leaves after much discussion as this was during the buildup to his heel turn. Lockup and the ref steps between them on the ropes as they won’t back down from each other. Steamboat gets an armdrag and holds an armbar until Savage backs him to the corner and rams him to the buckle. Corner whip, but Steamboat climbs and comes off the 2nd rope, which Savage avoids. Steamboat gets a slam anyways for a 2 count, followed by an armdrag, and back to the armbar. Savage makes the ropes and elbows him. Savage hits a couple of shoulderblocks and then hey go into an off the ropes reversal sequence until Steamboat gets back on the arm again with the armdrag, and moves it to a wristlock. Savage backs him to the corner and rams him to the buckle to escape. Snapmare and kneedrop setup Savage to head up, and he drops a double axhandle for 2. Steamboat fires back and whips Savage to the corner, but Savage climbs the ropes and comes off with a flying bodypress, but Steamboat rolls through for 2. Steamboat wins a slugfest and whips Savage to the corner, but Savage gets the boot up on the charge. Steamboat blocks the attempt to ram him to the buckle and rams savage instead. Steamboat up top, and he hits a flying chop. Savage is able to recover and toss Steamboat. Steamboat tries a sunset flip back in, but can’t quite get it and Savage is able to toss him again, but this time Steamboat skins the cat and gets a rollup for 2. Ref gets bumped and Steamboat goes up for the flying bodypress. It hits, but there’s no ref. Finally Hebner makes it to count, but now Davis runs in and stops the count. I know they want to get him heel heat, but come on, that’s just stupid. Steamboat argues this point, but that allows Savage to knee him from behind. He gets Steamboat outside and drops him on the rail, and then sets him on the rail throat first and drops the double axhandle from the top. Steamboat is seemingly counted out at this point as the ref is heard to count 10 and the bell rings at 7:03, but no official decision is ever announced. Steamboat sells the throat injury huge, but that’s not enough for Savage who gets him in the ring and drops the ring bell on his throat as well. Hebner is able to prevent Savage from doing it a second time. Steamboat is stretchered out, even falling off a couple of times on the way. Great angle and it sets up one of the greatest matches of all time. This match, even though it was meant to be more storyline than anything else, was going along really well too before the angle took over. **1/2
Update with Gene Okerlund. He discusses Paul Orndorff’s position as number one contender to Hulk Hogan’s Title.
The Junkyard Dog vs. Al Navarro
Dog hits a few headbutts and the Thump powerslam for 3 at 0:36. This is the definition of a DUD right here.
Superstar Billy Graham promo from the desert where he claims to be coming back. I don’t think he made it for more than a couple matches at most.
Dino Bravo (w/Johnny V) vs. Kurt Kauffman
Bravo hits a side slam, legdrop, press slam, clothesline, and back suplex to get the pin at 0:56. He worked slightly harder than JYD. DUD
“The Rebel” Dick Slater vs. Jimmy Jack Funk
Funk attacks right off the bat but Slater fights back. Corner whip and elbow hit and he goes up, but Funk catches him and slams him off. Bodyslam and he drops Slater on the ropes. Funk rams his head to the buckle, but Slater comes back with punches and knocks Funk down. Neckbreaker hits, but funk catches him with a boot to the gut. Irish whip but Slater ducks and nails an elbow. He tries a spinning toehold, but Funk rakes the eyes to escape. Slater sends him to the buckle, and then goes up top and nails an elbow. Second elbow is dropped and that gets the pin at 2:12. From the way Funk was working, he must have believed that he was actually something more than a jobber. ¼*
Piper’s Pit with guests Kamala, Kimchee and The Wizard. Piper spends the whole time mocking the group while Wizard rambles on. Wouldn’t call it one of the better Pits, that’s for sure.
Billy Jack Haynes vs. Mr. Vance
My copy of the show isn’t the greatest and I can’t make out Mr. Vance’s first name, but it’s not like it matters anyways. Vance starts with a side headlock, but Haynes back suplexes out. Haynes works him over with some shots and the full nelson gets the submission at 1:08. It was short, but there was still enough time for the crowd to start a “boring” chant, and I fully concur with them. DUD
Results of the Honky Tonk Man vote of confidence are given by Jesse Ventura. Apparently the fans don’t like him after all.
Hillbilly Jim, Tito Santana, & Pedro Morales vs. Greg Valentine, Brutus Beefcake, & Johnny Valiant
Danny Davis is the ref, so expect more nonsense. Jim and Valentine start out with Valentine grabbing a headlock, but he gets sent off and runs into a big boot. Tag to Morales who starts arguing with Davis immediately. Valentine takes him down with a snapmare and tags Valiant who nails a couple of kicks and tags Beefcake. He gets a side headlock, but Morales sends him off the ropes and gets a backdrop. Tag to Santana who catches Beefcake’s boot, and whips The Dream Team into each other. Beefcake is rammed to Jim’s boot and Jim gets the tag. Jim gets a hiptoss, but Beefcake comes back with some elbows and tags Valentine. He gets some elbows as well before tagging Valiant, who works over Jim with kicks and eye rakes. Jim comes back with a headbutt and tags Santana. Santana gets the flying forearm and gets the figure four. Valentine makes the save, and soon all six guys are fighting in the ring. Davis calls for the bell, and awards the match to The Dream Team by disqualification at 3:04. You see, Valentine clearly instigated the brawl, so Davis should have disqualified his team. Davis is one evil motherfucker, no doubt about it. ¼*
Well, Savage/Steamboat makes this an easy winner, in spite of the piss poor quality of the squashes and too much of the Davis angle. I was going to suggest that they should have done the six-man angle on Challenge for the sake of spreading this out, but a quick check of the Challenge results for this weekend reveals that they already had yet another Davis angle on that show. Man, that’s just overkill. Anyway, as I said, in spite of those nitpicks, thumbs up.