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WWF At Maple Leaf Gardens (Toronto)
March 15, 1987

by Scrooge McSuck

Killer Bees

Taped at the Maple Leaf Gardens, with Gorilla Monsoon, Jimmy Hart and Johnny Valiant calling the action, unless otherwise noted. This card features a one-night tag team tournament dubbed the Frank Tunney Sr. Memorial Tournament, with the winning team awarded a Championship Match against the Hart Foundation at the end of the night. That seems a little unfair. I remember this being one of those popular shows to obtain in tape trades because of the tournament gimmick. We'll see if that reputation was justified.

The Killer Bees vs. Kamala & Sika (w/ Kim-Chee):

I won't bother mentioning every match being a tournament match, so just expect an update at appropriate times. Kamala went from challenging Hogan around the horn to teaming with a washed-up Sika. Valiant and Hart relentlessly make fun of the Bees. Brunzell and Sika start. What's with the sneakers and tube socks look of the Bees?! Brunzell grabs a side headlock. Whip and Sika drops Brunzell to a knee with a shoulder block. The Bees take turns working the arm. Kamala tags in and has a hard time getting hold of Blair. Blair unwisely attempts to slam the Ugandan giant and pays for it. Kamala plants Blair with a slam but misses the splash. Brunzell tags in and they put Kamala on the mat with a double slam. Kamala fights out of a wristlock and sends Blair to the turnbuckle. Sika with a whip and blow to the throat. Blair fights out of the corner with a flurry of rights and lefts, but Sika cuts him off with a rake of the eyes. Kamala with a double choke-lift and throw. Whip to the ropes, Blair ducks a clothesline but is caught in a front face-lock for my favorite spot. We get miscommunication, allowing Brunzell to get the blind tag. He surprises Sika off the ropes with a dropkick and covers for three at 7:34. What you'd expect from this combo. *¼

The Can-Am Connection vs. Danny Spivey & Jerry Allen:

I'm going to wager Allen is filling in for Mike Rotundo, who left the company towards the end of February. Yes, face-vs-face, which seems like an odd choice when there's also a heel-vs-heel match in the opening round. Martel and Zenk came in with huge expectations, but stuff happens and Zenk was soon replaced by Tito Santana to form Strike Force. Zenk and Allen start. Lockup to the ropes and a clean break. Zenk with an arm bar into a flying head-scissors. Lockup and Allen surprises Zenk with a roll-up. They battle for control with a top wristlock, with Zenk getting the advantage. Allen with a side headlock, followed by a shoulder block. They botch a leapfrog and Zenk goes to work on the arm. Monsoon buries Bravo for his recent actions (turning heel), suggesting if he doesn't watch himself, he'll be at the bottom of Lake Ontario. Martel in to pick up where Zenk left off. Spivey tags in for the first time and he too works the arm. Jimmy Hart lists off his musical hits to counter Monsoon ruffling his feathers about Alice Cooper. Whip to the ropes and Martel with a cross body press for two. Spivey takes Martel down with a back suplex. He grabs a side headlock and Martel delivers his own back suplex. Whip to the ropes and Martel counters a hip toss with a back-slide for two. We get another battle of top wristlocks, but Spivey has a bit more advantage with the height. Whip is reversed and Spivey with a sunset flip for two. Spivey starts losing his cool, shoving Martel away from the ropes. Finally. Martel ducks a clothesline and gets a sunset flip for two. Spivey throws a few punches and plants Martel with a slam. Allen with a delayed vertical suplex for two. Martel fights out of a bearhug but gets caught in the corner. Spivey goes for an abdominal stretch, but Martel ends up in the ropes. Heck breaks loose with all four men throwing hands, finally waking up the crowd. Spivey and Allen try to whip the Can-Am together, but Martel avoids Zenk and hits Allen with a cross body press for three at 11:13. This needed to be trimmed or a stronger heel/face dynamic. *½

The British Bulldogs vs. Demolition (w/ Johnny Valiant):

The Dynamite Kid only returned to action about a week earlier, and they've kept the matches short, so I don't expect this to go too long. For those confused by the history of Smash, Barry Darsow took over the gimmick at their second set of TV tapings at the end of January, and his hair is still growing out. The Bulldogs have Matilda with them, wearing a Bulldogs shirt. Demolition attack before the bell, dumping Davey Boy over the ropes and pummeling Dynamite. Ax puts the boots to Dynamite, who is using the Randy from “A Christmas Story” strategy: laying there like a slug. Smash tags in and applies a seated chin-lock. Ax changes it up, slapping on a bearhug. If it wasn't obvious Dynamite couldn't do anything, this match is great proof of that. More clobbering and now Smash grabs a bearhug. They do the spot where the referee misses the tag, and the crowd loses it. Dynamite with a headbutt to break a bearhug and hot tag to Davey Boy. He nails both men with dropkicks and plants them with the running powerslam. DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER. Valiant trips up Davey Boy, then Smash misses the elbow drop. Dynamite throws in a chair and Davey Boy whacks everyone with it for the Disqualification at 4:42. Dynamite Kid has no business being near a ring at this point. ¾*

King Kong Bundy & Paul Orndorff vs. The Magnificent Muraco & Bob Orton (w/ Mr. Fuji):

This is quite the random match. It's also the last match of the 1st Round. I should note at no point does anyone mention the brackets, so who knows what we're getting in the Semi-Finals (spoilers: I obviously know, I'm just playing along). Orndorff and Muraco start. Lockup to the ropes and Muraco gives a clean break. They do it again, with Orndorff doing the same honors. Muraco takes the cheap shot on the next attempt, and they trade blows. Orndorff slips out of a lockup, causing Orton and Muraco to smack heads. The crowd pops big for Bundy getting the tag. He lays out Orton with a shoulder block and has him begging off in the corner. Bundy sends Orton to the corner and the Ace runs for his life before Bundy could think about giving him an Avalanche. Orndorff tags back in and gets caught in the wrong corner, where Orton works him over with some Greco-Roman choking. Muraco slaps on a bearhug while Monsoon gives his scouting report for Hogan/Andre at WrestleMania III. Orndorff smacks the ears to escape and tags in Bundy. Again, the crowd pops. He sends Muraco to the corner and follows in with an Avalanche. Orton rakes the eyes and tags in. He takes Bundy off his feet and drops a knee across the face. Bundy kicks out with ease and tags in Orndorff. He runs wild on Orton with right hands and connects with an atomic drop for two. Heck breaks loose with all four men in the ring. Muraco accidentally wallops Orton with the cane and Orndorff covers for three at 6:22. Weird to see Bundy and Orndorff working as the faces, and the crowd was into them, too! **

The Can-Am Connection vs. Demolition (w/ Johnny Valiant):

Semi-Finals Match #1. I'd say the field is wide open, with the WWF already delivering one face vs face and one heel vs heel match. We see Monsoon and Hart sitting at ringside, further frustrating me about the broadcast history of these Toronto events. The Can-Am and referee make a big deal about the studded masks of Demolition. They literally just had a match where it was a non-issue. Zenk and Smash start. Lockup and Smash with a knee to the midsection, followed by a pair of rights. Whip to the ropes and Smash with a shoulder block. Zenk leapfrogs a back body-drop and the Can-Am's hit both members of Demolition with double dropkicks. Smash misses a charge into the corner and has the arm worked over. Ax gets the tag. He grabs a chin-lock, but Martel counters into a hammerlock. Zenk comes off the ropes with an elbow and continues to work on the arm. Ax tries to grab another chin-lock, with the same result. Ax gives Martel a taste of the bottom of Smash's boot and dumps him to the floor. Smash gets some shots in while the referee is distracted. Back inside, Martel throws a series of rights and lefts but gets sent to the floor again. Martel with a sunset flip on Smash, but Ax gets the tag on the way down. Martel comes out of the corner, dropping Ax with a forearm, but Ax cuts off the tag and sends him back to the corner. Smash grabs a front face-lock and you know the spot. Ax plants Martel with a slam but misses a headbutt. Zenk with the hot tag, running wild with right hands. DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER. Zenk dumps Ax over the ropes and follows to continue the assault. Ax sends Zenk into the post and rolls back in for the cheap count-out victory at 9:25. Standard affair here. Demolition advances to the Finals with two cop-out finishes. **¼

The Killer Bees vs. King Kong Bundy & Paul Orndorff:

Semi-Finals Match #2. Bundy snags the microphone and brags that this is a waste of time, and they should be given the titles right now. Is that supposed to be him heeling again? Orndorff makes fun of their gear. "Do they want to play basketball or WRASSLE", says Jimmy Hart. The Bees put the masks on BEFORE THE BELL. OK. Orndorff and Blair start. Lockup into the corner and Orndorff unloads with forearms. Whip across the ring, Blair avoids the charging attack and goes to work on the arm. They make quick tags, taking turns with a wristlock. Whip to the ropes and they stagger Orndorff with a double elbow. Whip and Orndorff hangs back to avoid a dropkick. Bundy tags in, putting the boots to Brunzell. I'll assume it was him based on the height of the dropkick. Whip and Bundy with an elbow to the chest. Hart claims Jim Neidhart has the best dropkick in the WWF. Bundy and Orndorff are using every dirty move they can after playing it straight earlier. Brunzell tries a sunset flip but Orndorff blocks. Whip and Bundy throws another elbow. How about mixing things up? Blair comes to his partner's aid and gets leveled. Whip to the corner and Bundy hits the Avalanche. He hotdogs, allowing the Bees to switch places. Orndorff tags in, signaling the piledriver. Blair knocks Orndorff into Bundy on the apron and rolls him up for three at 4:22. PAUL ORNDORFF DID A PIN-FALL JOB TO BRIAN BLAIR. Probably a Tampa thing. Decent, if incredibly short. **

Sivi Afi vs. The Red Demon:

I guess we should've expected some padding so that the teams had a few minutes to relax between matches. The Red Demon is everyone's favorite JTTS, Jose Luis Rivera. Lockup to the ropes and the Demon throws some rights. Whip is reversed and Afi sends the Demon out of the ring with a dropkick. He teases a dive to the floor but thinks better of it. Sivi with a side headlock and shoulder block. Demon takes him over with a hip toss but misses an elbow drop. Sivi comes off the ropes and meets the knees attempting a splash. The Demon teases loading his mask. I swear that camouflage mask has been passed around with other prelim masked men. I don't think much of Rivera to begin with, but he's even worse when trying to work heel under a mask. Afi makes his comeback, coming off the ropes with a diving shoulder block. He takes the Demon off his feet and drops a headbutt across the lower abdomen. Afi with a suplex, followed by a headbutt from the second rope. Whip is reversed, Demon misses a charge. Afi plants him with a powerslam and finishes with a flying body press at 4:46. The Demon was awful, but it was short, so that's always a positive. ½*

The Killer Bees vs. Demolition (w/ Johnny Valiant):

Tournament Finals. Will we see a decisive finish from Demolition tonight? Jimmy Hart says there should be a compromise if the Bees wear their masks, Demolition should have theirs on as well. Blair and Ax start. Lockup and Ax wastes no time with the clubbing blows. Blair throws some rights of his own, backing Ax up for a moment before tagging in Smash. Blair grabs a side headlock but can't budge Smash with a shoulder block. Crisscross and Blair with a drop toe hold. He drags Smash to the corner and the Bees go to work on the left leg. Brunzell chops him down and we get a double wishbone. Blair continues to work the leg and applies a Figure-Four, but Ax quickly breaks it up by dropping an elbow. Ax back in, giving Blair a taste of the turnbuckle. Blair trades blows with him until Ax goes to the midsection and grabs a front face-lock. Smash drops Blair across the top rope and works the body in the corner. Ax dumps Blair to the floor, allowing Valiant to take a cheap shot. Back inside, Ax plants Blair with a slam for a two-count. Smash with a front face-lock and you know the drill. When you do seven tag matches on one card, you should cut down the number of times that spot is used. Demolition with a double elbow, knocking Blair out of the ring. This gives the Bees the opportunity to don the masks and pull a switch. Brunzell unloads on Ax and connects with his signature dropkick but Smash saves. The referee tries to restore order, allowing Blair to surprise Ax with a flying sunset flip and that's three at 6:18. Good match. At this point I can't complain about the match length. **½

Hillbilly Jim vs. Dino Bravo (w/ Johnny Valiant):

GOD HAVE MERCY ON ME. Valiant is getting all the work tonight. I don't know what's worse: the anticipated quality of this match or the awful, dubbed music for Hillbilly Jim. Monsoon can't wait to talk about the boots gifted to Jim from the WWF Champion. Lockup and Bravo complains about a phantom hair pull. Bravo is already looking a little more bloated than he did back in January. Jim grabs a side headlock and comes off the ropes with a shoulder block. Jim tricks Bravo on a crisscross and plants him with a slam. The crowd pops for the Hillbilly Cartwheel. Now Bravo complains that Jim used the tights. Bravo lays into Jim with right hands, backing him to the corner. Whip across the ring and Jim catches Bravo charging in with a head-scissors and calf-slap across the top of the head. Bravo offers a handshake, but even Jim isn't dumb enough. In fact, he's a poor enough sport to spit on Bravo's hand! Bravo muscles Jim up and gives him an inverted atomic drop. He puts the boots to the Hillbilly and drops a leg across the chest for two. Bravo with the (yet to be) patented side slam and elbow drop for two. Whip is reversed and Hillbilly with a clothesline. He unloads on Bravo with rights and headbutts. The referee gets too close to the action and gets whacked by Bravo, accidentally on purpose. Valiant sneaks in to put the boots to Jim before checking on the referee. He demands Bravo be declared the winner, but the referee rejects the suggestion and awards it to Hillbilly Jim at 5:37. I didn't hate this until the finish. *¼

WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
The Hart Foundation (w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis) vs. The Killer Bees:

The Bees come to the ring with their masks on. Can't blame them, they've taken punishment from three different teams throughout the night while the Champions are fresh and well represented at ringside. The Foundation attempt to protest the masks and are successful in having the Bees remove them! GEEKS. Blair and Neidhart start. Lockup and Neidhart shoves Blair into the ropes. He pulls down the straps to show his toned gut. They do it again and this time Blair bounces back with a forearm, knocking Neidhart to the canvas. Brunzell tags in and the Bees take turns working the arm (and beard). Whip to the ropes, Brunzell blocks a kick from the apron from the Hitman but gets whacked from behind by the Anvil. Whip to the ropes and Bret with a boot to the midsection. Brunzell gets choked across the top rope while the referee yells at Blair to get back to his corner. Jumping Jim throws some rights but Bret cuts him off with an inverted atomic drop. More double-team work in the corner while the referee plays dumb, and then a fan hops the rail and tries to get in the ring, but he's quickly taken care of. Neidhart and Brunzell smack heads for a double-down. Brunzell attempts a slam but Bret dropkicks Neidhart on top, only for Brunzell to roll through for a near-fall. Bret in with a dropkick and back breaker for two. Brunzell gets dumped, which might be terrible strategy based on their tendency to wear the masks. We get the front face-lock false tag spot for the millionth time on this card. We get heel miscommunication, allowing Blair to get the tag. He runs wild on Bret with rights and lefts. Whip to the ropes and Blair with a back body-drop, followed by a powerslam. Neidhart runs in and gets taken out with a clothesline. DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER. Bret and Anvil get whipped into each other and knocked out of the ring. The Bees put on the masks and the crowd is losing it! Back inside, the Bees grab a pair of sleepers. Davis hops on the apron and gets decked. This allows Neidhart to save Bret. Brunzell with a small package, but Davis sneaks in to turn it over with Bret on top and the Foundation retains at 9:01. Quite the energetic match considering this was the Bees' fourth match. ***

Final Thoughts: The star ratings might not say so, but this was a fun show to sit through. Just a bunch of short tag team matches, with only one standing out from the bunch that didn't do much for me. I wish the non-tournament matches had better representation than what we received, but that's a minor nitpick. You could say, as far as the television audience goes, this was the best the Killer Bees were ever allowed to look, winning three matches with various means and even taking the Champions to the limit.

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