From right around the time of "The Big Event", it's the WWF's monthly MSG show, hosted by Gorilla Monsoon along with his esteemed colleague and long-time friend, Lord Alfred Hayes. This show has the MSG debut of the famed "Machines" angle which; despite what Crappy Sites that talk about Wrestling may tell you; was actually kinda' fun. But the biggest angle at the time was Paul "Mr. Wonderful" Orndorff's return to the dark side as he had attacked his supposed buddy, Hulk Hogan, about a month before this show. In the process, he gained the nickname: "Benedict Arnold of the WWF". Which, technically, isn't accurate...since he wasn't providing intel to the opposing side (say, the NWA). But with so much going on in the World Wrestling Federation, let's get down to ringside for...
Jake is without his at-the-time-unnamed mascot/green bag Damien for this match. Afi starts off by targeting Jake's arm; good strategy as it could prevent Jake's patented short-arm clothesline. Afi gets and arm-wringer, then holds on to it as he walks the top rope. Afi tumbles forward, causing Jake to flip out the ring. Jake thinks about "pulling an Ernie Ladd" by walking down the aisle, but returns to the ring. Afi goes for a roll-up, but Jake grabs the rope. just as Jake points to his head in the universal "ain't I smart" move, Afi chops him, lands a dropkick, then bounces off the ropes with a high cross-body for 2. Afi goes back to the arm, settling into a reverse chinlock. Jake drops to the mat to break, hits his kneelift, then drops several shots to the abs for a 1 count. Jake whips Afi to the ropes for a shitty clothesline, then works the crowd a bit. Jake hits a reverse atomic drop, but his casual cover is countered by Avi into a 2 count. Jake slows it down with his own reverse chinlock, as Afi's arm drops 2.5 times. Afi fights back to a vertical base, but Jake kicks him in the tummy and tosses him out between the ropes. Afi ties a sunset flip on his way back in, but Jake grabs the top rope. Jake hooks a sleeper and pulls Afi's tights to bring it to the mat. Jake mugs for the camera to also work the TV audience. Afi pokes Jake's peepers to break the hold, but Jake then tries to smash him into the turnbuckle. Afi, being a Samoan has the Mandatory HARD HEAD and no-sells! Jake responds quickly with a slam, then misses a reverse diving elbow drop from the second rope. Afi chops, dances and headbutts Jake out of the ring. Afi chases him out, headbutts him again and throws the Snake back in. Jake is prone in the middle of the ring, so Afi goes up top for the Superfly...errrr, Afi-Fly Splash. Jake gets his KNEES up to screw with Afi's plans. Jake prowls around and hits the DDT! Jake lays on his back as he covers Afi for the easy 3 count. Match had good heat and was much better than I expected. Can't believe I actually enjoyed a Sivi Afi match!
But wait..what's this?! Both guys want five minutes more..and the ref seemingly agrees! Herc stomps away for a bit, buy Haynes gets fired up and gets the upper hand. He tries to lock the full nelson, but Herc makes the ropes and Slick pulls him out. The heels bail and the ref counts them out, awarding the match to Billy Jack. Gorilla and Al wonder if it's a legitimate decision...I guess it is.
Back in the ring, Orndorff hits the turnbuckle hard, as Kirchner follows up with a hip-toss and two drop-kicks to send him packing. Outside the ring, Orndorff does Hogan's cupped ear motions, then hops back in to fight over an overhead wristlock. Orndorff goes all punchy/kicky, the suplexes Kirchner to set up...a reverse chinlock! Criss-cross (jump! jump!) the ropes as Kirchner flies off with a high cross-body press for a quick 1 count. Orndorff is ticked, tosses Kirchner out and slams him on the rail. Back in, Orndorff misses a drop-kick as Kirchner grabs the ropes. Kirchner deploys his forces with a headbutt and an atomic drop, then goes into his Airborne training by climbing up top. Kirchner makes an unsuccessful jump and eats canvas. Orndorff moves in and applies the PILEDRIVER (it's doomsday for the skull) and gets the 3 count. Orndorff then gets the house mic and calls out Hulk Hogan...in case we had forgotten that he was now Hulk's Arch Enemy. Match was pretty much just a heat vehicle for Orndorff, as it lacked substantial offense from each guy.
Super and Studd start off by brawling, and Super almost slams Studd. Studd tries besting Super with a series of charging shoulder-blocks, but Super responds with a series of clotheslines to send him out to the floor. He runs into Giant Machine on the outside, who thumps him on the apron and rolls him back in. This time, Big almost slams Studd! Tag off to Bundy, who doesn't fare much better, as he misses an avalanche and walks right into a Big elbow. They go into a lock-up, as the heels take over thanks to some kidney shots from Bundy. Studd whips Big for an attempted backdrop, but gets a boot to the head. Super returns and unloads on Studd. he gets distracted by Bundy and eats a Studd elbow. Bundy drops a knee and gets a quick 2. Studd holds Super on the rope and sets him up for a Bundy avalanche. Of course, Super escapes, so Bundy and Studd accidentally crash into each other and begin arguing. Fans go into a mini-tizzy as the two "BO-hemoths" go face-to-face. Heenan restores order, but the Machine steal the heels' last maneuver and try it on Bundy. But the Machines actually STOP when Bundy escapes. Super starts pounding away, but Studd gets in a cheapshot from the apron. Studd and Bundy tag in an out and double-team Super in their corner. Bundy covers after a snapmare and fistdrop, but Big Machine makes the save.
Bundy misses a charging elbowdrop, which allows Super to rollaway and tag in the GIANT Machine. Giant chops away an chokes Bundy in the corner. Studd tries to make the save, but instead gets tossed in the corner for a double-team shoulder-smash/rugby scrum from both Machines. Giant fights off both guys, as Bundy gets a double clothesline from Super and Big. Giant and Super then double clothesline Studd. Giant makes the cover and the bell sounds. The ref apparently realized all the confusion and made a decision. But the Machines want more,a s they isolate Studd in the ring and beat the tar out him. As the Machines celebrate in the ring, Howard Finkel announces the official decision: Studd and Bundy have won by disqualification.
Intermission time with the usual pre-recorded interviews lined up. Up first is Slick and Freddy Blassie with the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff. Gorilla asks Slick where he got all this money to become a manager, but Slick refuses to tell. "Macho Man" Randy Savage is next, as he runs down his upcoming opponent, Pedro Morales. Macho threatens Hulk Hogan and promises to make an example out of a former Grand Slam champ Morales. Lou Albano and the British Bulldogs also make an appearance.
The scheduled entrants arrive, and of course Comrade Volkoff asks that we all rise for the Soviet National Anthem. Finkel announces the faces as the "US Express", no "new" or anything. Sheik and Rotundo start off, fighting over a waistlock. Sheik gets a fireman's slam, but Rotundo counters into a head scissors. Lock-up again and Rotundo wins with a hiptoss. Mini-brawl, which segues into the usual criss-cross (jump! jump!) scenario and Rotundo reversing a hiptoss. Slam by Rotundo, then Spivey comes in to apply a headlock, atomic drop, then works the legs with a step over toehold. Sheik manages to tag Nikolai who lowers the boom on Spivey with some shoulderblocks and... a cartwheel. Nikolai bounces off the ropes and eats an reverse elbow smash and two elbowdrops from Spivey. But he hits the turnbuckle, allowing Nikolai to decapitate him with a sickle. Spivey manages a sleeper, but Sheik makes the save. Spivey fights back and gets a small package for 2. Rotundo returns to apply an abdominal stretch, but ends up in the wrong corner as Sheik chokes him with the tag rope. Sheik comes in with a backdrop and a LOOGIE! Sheik whips Rotundo to the ropes and catches him with a forearm to the throat, the tries his own ab stretcher. As usual, it's gut-wrench suplex time followed by the Camel Clutch. Rotundo is about to give up, but Spivey makes the save. The ref gets distracted and misses a legal tag to Spivey, so the bad guys keep double-teaming Rotundo. Rotundo lands a sunset flip, but the ref is occupied discussing international relations with the Sheik and misses what could've been a 10 count. Press-slam./back breaker from Nik only gets 1. More thumping and Rotundo's neck gets dropped on the top rope. Rotundo reverses a suplex attempt from Sheik, then makes the hot tag to Spivey. He cleans house, the hits a drop-kick, slam and an elbowdrop on Sheik. Spivey hits a ...bulldog from the corner (sayyyy...who used to do that?!), but Nikolai makes the save. All four guys enter the ring and in the confusion, Nikolai gets Slick's cane and blasts Spivey in the back of the noggin. Sheik makes then makes the easy 3 count to pick up the victory. Rotundo gets the cane and makes the obligatory BabyFace Clearing of the Ring. Match was pretty much just a way to get Sheik & Volkoff back together as a team and give them some momentum.
Why'd You Tape This??
This card basically had everything but Hulk Hogan on it. Two title matches and a big "feature match" tag battle featuring Andre and the main event heels. The in-ring work isn't too bad on this thing..but aside from the Machines bout, you do not get that feeling of "who's gonna' win this". The Morales-Savage decision may look surprising to you, but losing by countout or DQ was Savage's schtick at this time. Heck, I think he even lost by countout to a newly-arrived Honky Tonk Man back then. I know the Machines get labelled as "crap", but it was a fun and kinda' cool angle. Until they made it a complete comedy act with stuff like "Piper Machine" or "Animal Machine". There's nothing AMAZING on this card, but it does make for a surprisingly well-stocked and entertaining show. Some of the WWF house shows from this period stink like central Nebraska, but this one turns in a solid performance.