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WWF Championship Wrestling- July 12, 1986
by Scrooge McSuck
Hosted by Vince McMahon and Bruno Sammartino, taped on June 24th, 1986, from the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY. This week, Hulk Hogan and Paul Orndorff take on the Moondogs in a warm-up match. We'll also see Tito Santana, Pedro Morales, Ricky Steamboat, and many more WWF Superstars. PLUS, MORE ON THE GREAT TAG TEAM DUO FROM JAPAN.
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. Les Thornton:
Hearing "Sirius" has become so uncommon, it feels wrong now. Thanks a lot, cheap WWE production department! Steamboat comes to the ring with a large reptile inside a cage. Lockup and Thornton grabs a side headlock. Crisscross and Steamboat with a hip toss. Steamboat avoids Thornton charging into the corner and takes him over with a deep arm drag. Thornton counters with a back breaker and puts the boots to the Dragon. Thornton with a suplex as we cut to a pre-tape from Jake Roberts. Steamboat teases a comeback but collapses underneath a slam attempt. Steamboat quickly regains control, sending Thornton to the floor with a dropkick. He brings Thornton back in with a suplex and finishes with a flying body press at 2:59. Maybe it's weird of me to note, but there was a clear lack of cohesiveness between them.
"Mean" Gene Okerlund standing by with "Update" courtesy of the WWF Magazine. He's on location at the Boston Garden. There's an article focusing on the tag team division, which brings us to the subject of the Hart Foundation, Bret(t) Hart and Jim Neidhart, managed by the Mouth of the South, Jimmy Hart. Okerlund says they're ran like a Fortune 500 company where the only thing that matters is the bottom line. We segue with "No Easy Way Out" to commercial.
Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake (w/ Johnny Valiant) vs. Serge Jodoin & Rick Hunter:
We get a good shot of fans holding up their LJN figures of Valiant's Dream Team. They seemed confused by what to do with them. Valentine starts. Hunter grabs a side headlock. He lands on his feet to avoid a back body-drop and takes Valentine over with a pair of arm drags. HE'S KILLING THE BUSINESS! Lockup to the corner and Valentine with no hesitation throwing some cheap shots. Whip is reversed and Valentine pops out of the corner with an elbow to the back of the head. Beefcake has trouble himself, but Hunter tags out to Jodoin to give up the advantage. Beefcake hits him with a suplex an comes off the ropes with a stomp across the chest. Whip to the ropes and Beefcake with a boot to the midsection. He plants Jodoin with a powerslam and pulls him up at two. Whip and a double elbow. Figure-Four Leg Lock finishes at 3:03. I know Hunter was often used as enhancement, but I didn't expect Valentine to give him that kind of shine.
Ken Resnick is standing by to promote the upcoming event in Foxboro, MA, featuring the 2nd annual King of the Ring Tournament, a Tag Team Title defense inside a Steel Cage, and Bruno Sammartino featured in a gimmick match against local personality Eddie Andelmann's "DH."
Tito Santana & Pedro Morales vs. Roger Kirby & Terry Gibbs:
I'm going to wager that Mr. Kirby is doing business for this one. Santana and Morales was such a waste of Santana. If not for certain circumstances in 1987, it really was a slippery slope down the card for him. Morales starts, grabbing a side headlock on Gibbs. He comes off the ropes with a shoulder block and hooks a back-slide for two. Kirby with the blin tag, but it doesn't matter, as Morales cradles him for two. Kirby misses an elbow drop, allowing Santana to get the tag. He sends Kirby to the corner and nails him with a right hand between the eyes. Gibbs' interference backfires and Santana hooks a chin-lock. WHY A CHIN-LOCK IN A SQUASH?! Gibbs back in, getting hit with a cross body press for two. Kirby goes to the eyes and sends Tito to the turnbuckle. Santana fights to his corner, tagging in Morales. He sends Kirby to the corner and takes him over with a back body-drop. Back breaker connects and Kirby is done at 3:15. I won imaginary money from myself. A WINNER IS ME. Tito and Morales had no chemistry, especially squashing people.
More hype for the show on July 14th from Foxboro, MA. I'm sure we'll have details on the results in the coming weeks. Why does Resnick look like he's constantly reading from prompt cards? "Mr. Wonderful" cuts a promo to hype his 1st Round Match with the Junkyard Dog. Does he have his head on right? Yes. He'll treat JYD like anyone else, whether it's Bob Orton, King Kong Bundy, or Tito Santana.
"Handsome" Harley Race (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Steve Johnson:
How weird is it seeing Race as just a guy filling out the WWF roster? The man is wrestling royalty and now he's an average schmuck. Johnson wastes no time, scooping up and slamming Race, sending him to the floor for quick consultation with the Brain. Back inside and Johnson with another slam. Race grabs a side headlock and comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle that has little effect. Race throws a dropkick to take Johnson off his feet and follows with a knee across the forehead. Pre-tape remarks from Lanny Poffo via poem. Wait, Race is the self-proclaimed King of Wrestling? OK. Race with a swinging neck breaker. Blatant spot calling as Race sends Johnson to the ropes and nails him with a clothesline. Johnson gets dumped to the floor, with Race following to give him a taste of the guardrail. Race brings the big Johnson in from the apron with a slam and finishes with a fisherman brain buster at 3:32. Race, even at this point of his career against a geek, was still fun to watch.
Adrian Adonis is standing by with this week's edition of the Flower Shop. His guests are Captain Lou and the British Bulldogs. Adonis accuses the Bulldogs of ducking everyone, leaving the contracts unsigned. Albano says they're willing to face anyone in the World-Wide Wrestling Federation. Adonis asks what is a bulldog? An animal that eats of a dish that smells and is lazy. Wow, that's something to be proud of. Adonis refuses to let either of the Bulldogs speak. Albano threatens to have them lift their legs near a big fat red fire hydrant (Adonis is wearing a red blouse).
Bobby Heenan is standing by with King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd to get another look at the mysterious, yet world famous Machines. Vince is still pushing the idea the larger of the men might be Baba. Super Machine does most of the talking, mentioning it is their duty to make the trip to the United States. Okerlund says he sounds familiar, cutting himself off from saying Masked Superstar. *WINK WINK* Giant Machine denies being Andre the Giant despite cutting a lengthy promo in Marble-Mouth-English. Heenan and Company lose their minds at how obvious that it's Andre. I can't wait to see some tag team matches between the Machines and Heenan's Family.
Hulk Hogan & "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff vs. The Moondogs:
I don't have a complete list of matches, but this is I believe only Hogan's second appearance in 1986 wrestling on Championship Wrestling. Hogan and Spot start. Spot goes for a shoulder block. That doesn't work well and Hogan plants him with a slam. Rex walks into a hip toss and is treated with a body slam. Orndorff tags in, grabbing a side headlock. He comes off the ropes with a forearm and gives Rex another slam. Spot walks into a series of arm drags as Orndorff is clearly trying to out-work his partner. Rex gets sent to the corner and Orndorff puts the boot to the face. Hogan wants a tag, but Orndorff is paying him no attention. Hogan calls for it, but Orndorff waves him off. Whip to the ropes and Orndorff with a cross body press for two. Loud "We Want Hulk" chant as Orndorff cleans house by himself. Spot with a knee to the back and Rex follows with a suplex. The Moondogs have a miscommunication, allowing Orndorff to finish Rex with the piledriver at 4:02. Orndorff continues to ignore Hogan's existence as he plays to the crowd. I'm sure he's happy about hearing "Real American" and Hogan trying to pose with him. EVERYTHING IS FINE, NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.
Ken Resnick standing by for one last shill of the Foxboro lineup. There's a couple of replacements to the King of the Ring Tournament that takes the wind out of the sails of the opening round, especially when the guys inserted into the matches were enhancement geeks. We get promos from Harley Race and Johnny Valiant's Dream Team to wrap things up.
NEXT WEEK: Hulk Hogan & Paul Orndorff vs Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy!
Final Thoughts: The WWF is going full steam ahead with the crumbling friendship of Hulk Hogan and Paul Orndorff. After weeks of teasing, we'll finally get the big showdown next week against the Heenan Family. Elsewhere, the Machines continue to be a mixed bag for me, as I've never been in love with the gimmick of "masked person is obviously so-and-so", but I'm not 100% against it either. Will we have details on the results of the King of the Ring Tournament? Probably not. What are the odds anything will come of that for the television audience?
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