WWF at the Boston Garden- Feburary 8, 1986
by Erick Von Erich
What the HECK?/Intro-
Hello again, everyone. Coming to from NESN, it's Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse "The Body" Ventura. This is a fairly famous card featuring two high-profile matches. In fact, Gorilla assures us that it's a sold-out crowd and that they're "hanging from the rafters". But with so much going on in the World Wrestling Federation, let's get down to ringside for...
Match 1: "Leaping" Lanny Poffo vs. Paul Christy
Christy was a journeyman veteran who had seen better days by this point. He's still in decent ring shape, considering he's in his mid-40's. Before the match, Poffo gets the mouse mic and cuts a goofy poem, demanding that "Piper's Pit" be taken off the air. It actually gets a small chorus of boo-birds. Bell rings, as Christy works an arm-wringer for about 5 minutes. Poffo keeps trying to escape, with a series of bridges and flips. Christy tosses Leap outside, but the latter retaliates by catching him on the top rope, then flying off the top turnbuckle with a forearm to the outside. Back inside, Poffo leapfrogs over Christy, lands a drop-kick, then ascends to the corner for his back-flip/moonsault finisher. Lanny Poffo scores the pin in a boring match.
Match 2: Sivi Afi vs. Barry O
That's "Barry O, from FABULOUS Las Vegas", for those scoring at home. They swap waistlocks, until Barry cinches a hammerlock. Afi escapes by flipping into the air over O's shoulders. Afi with an arm-wringer, irish whip, dropkick and an armbar. Jesse compares Afi to "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka... who was persona non grata in the WWF at the time. Afi was brought int to take Snuka's place, but he looks more like a Samoan Richard Simmons. Afi bounces off the ropes for a high cross-body press, but O catches him and turns it into a back-breaker. O threatens to go off the top rope, but settles for some punchin' and slammin'. O tosses Afi outside, then greets him on the apron and tries to smash him into the turnbuckle. Luckily, Afi is from the Pacific Islands, which means he's IMMUNE TO TURNBUCKLE HEAD-SHOTS. Afi fights back with a couple of shots, then a slam. He tries a splash off the ropes, but O counters by getting his knees up. Barry tries to go Air-O by coming off the top, but Afi is up to catch him. Afi then hops up top and flies into O with a high cross-body press to score the 3 count. Not a bad match, but completely worthless considering it fetaured two jobbers who never went anywhere. Well, O did have some talkshow appearances in the early 90's...and Afi got more tatoos as the Third Islander in 1988. But those weren't great destinations.
Match 3: George "The Animal" Steele vs. Tiger Chung Lee
George arrives into the ring and goes HARDCORE-- by stealing Lee's kendo stick and breaking it into pieces. George flails his arms and does his usual mind-blowing offense, until he hops outside and decides to pick up the entire 12 foot wooden barricade! George gets it into the ring somewhat, but Lee tosses him into it. George then goes into his usual "foreign object" routine, where he hides it in his mouth and climbs the corner. Out of nowhere, George suddenly gets a shoe and slaps Lee with it. He wanders over to the second turnbuckle and begins twisting the pad around. He tosses Lee into the exposed buckle, then covers for the 3 count. Goofy comedy match and a weird finish, involving the second turnbuckle.
Match 4: Hillbilly Jim vs. Big John Studd
Now this is weird: the last house show recap I did (June 1989 from Naussau Coliseum) also featured HBJ in the fourth match... but against Andre the Giant, who was usually Studd's opposite number. HBJ starts with a series of punches, then tries a slam. Studd was still offering $15,000 to anybody who could slam him, so he grabs the top ropes and hops outside. This is enough for HBJ to do a happy dance and perform a cartwheel. Studd returns to pound away on HBJ, slams him, stomps away, then crushes him in the corner. Studd clamps a bearhug, then tries a flying blow from the second rope. HBJ blasts him in the tummy and they begin brawling. HBJ tries the slam, again, but Studd escapes to ringside once more. HBJ follows him out for more brawling. Studd is sent into the ringpost, but Hillbilly Jim rolls in at the last second to win the match by count-out. Jesse wonders what Jim would've done with 15K...and speculates that he would've bought a truckload of pigs' feet. Gorilla starts cracking up, as they go to a break.
Match 5: WWF Intercontinental Championship:
Tito Santana (c) vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth)
Mixed reaction for Tito, as he enters. Collar-to-elbow tie-up goes for three rounds, followed by the Penultimate Waistlock Challenge. Macho sends Chico down with a hiptoss, but Chico counters with a head-scissors. They roll outisde for a quick brawl, but Macho suckers Chico in once they re-enter the ring. Macho tries the top rope, but Chico nails him, delivers a slam, then tirs his own top-rope manuever. Macho bails for a quick timeout. Back inside, it's Chico with an atomic drop, but Macho makes the ropes, then delivers a Thumb the the Eye ("it'll stop anyone"). Macho with a charging doubel axe-handle and a wicked clothesline for a near 3 count. Macho flies off the top with another double ax, but only gets 2. They fight on the apron, with Chico gaining the upper hand. Chico lands a flying elbow off the second rope, but Macho makes the ropes. Macho is Irish-whipped into the corner, but gets his knees up to defend. The ref (future "Evil Ref" Danny Davis) gets bumped, as Chico cinches a small package for 2. Macho misses a kneedrop, whihc allows Chico to work the legs for a potential figure four submission. Chico hooks the hold eventually, but Macho quickly rolls over and reverses it. Macho escapes to the apron and appears to go for his tights, but Chico suplexes him back in and continues to go after the leg. Macho escapes once more, and this time clearly pulls out a mini-dumbell instrument from his tights. Chico is over and hooks a belly-to-back suplex to bring him in. As he's being lfited, Macho blasts Chico in the dome with the object, covers him and becomes the NEW Intercontinental Champion! The crowd seems to approve. The camera shows a clear shot of the foreign object Macho tossed out of the ring.
A Very Special Locker Room Interview
Gorilla and Jesse are in the back with the new champ. Gorilla calls him out on the use of the foreign object, but Macho quickly glosses over than and mentions: "there is no glory without pain". He throws out a challenge to Hulk Hogan, and concludes by asking: "how do you say 'goodbye' in Spanish?"
Match 6: Killer Bees vs. Hart Foundation
"Jumping" Jim Brunzell & B. Brian Blair vs. Bret "Hitman" Hart & Jim "the Anvil" Neidhart
Yup...along with the Rougeaus and the Bulldogs in the mix, at least two of these teams seemed to be on every WWF houseshow from 1986 to 1988. Blair and Hart begin with some grappling. Blair circles around and sends the Hitman to the outside. Hitman returns to meet a Blair dorp toe-hold, then an armbar and a standing monkeylfip from Brunzell. Anvil comes in and immediately removes his straps. Surprisingly, this gets a few wolf-whistles from the crowd. Ha!The Harts work over Blair for a bit, including a Hitman back-breaker and second-rope elbowsmash for a 2 count. Brunzell keeps enterting to protest, and each time the Harts work behind the ref's back to perform a doubleteam. Blair escapes an Anvil bearhug and tags in Brunzell. He performs an atomic drop and a drop-kick on Anvil, but gets knee'd in the back by the Hitman when he bounces off the ropes. Harts go into doubleteam mode again, this time with a "demolition decapitation" move. Brunzell is tossed outside, where Hitman slams him on the floor. Back in the ring, the Harts perform their doubleteam Irish whip slingshot, as Anvil crashes into Brunzell in the corner. Hitman gets a standing drop-kick and a 2 count. Brunzell reverses an Irish whip attempt and lands his own (desparation) drop-kick for 2. The harts go for their doubleteam slingshot again, but this time Brunzell dodges and Hitman eats turnbuckle. Hot tag to Blair who cleans house and knocks the Hitman off the apron and into the ringside barrier. Blair works over Anvil, but Brunzell tries ot enter. As the ref is distracted by Brunzell, Hitman blasts Blair with an illegal elbow from the second rope. Hitman, while not the legal man in the ring, covers Blair and scores the 3 count.
Match 7: Martial Arts Match:
Ricky "the Dragon" Steamboat vs. Magnificent Muraco (w/Mr. Fuji)
One of the blow-off matches for their feud that had started in August 1985 or so. In this case, all martial arts moves are legal and each man has to wear a karate jacket. But in Muraco's case, it looks more like a hotel bathrobe. Muraco whips Steamer to the ropes, but Steamer ducks a clothesline and kicks him in the head. Muraco tries it again, and this time spreads his arms so Steamer can't duck--- but he simply slides between Muraco's legs and kicks him in the noggin, once more. Steamboat takes over with a series of chops and a flying side headlock takedown for 2. They trade blows and headlocks for awhile as a "boring" chant seems to seep up from the crowd. Since the jackets are legal, Steamboat uses his to choke Muraco a bit. Muraco powers up with a fireman's carry and lands a Samoan drop on Steamboat. Steamboat is tossed ouside, where Muraco works him over, then catapults him into a steel chair held by Fuji. Muraco shoves him into the ringpost, as Steambaot blades. Muraco suplxes him into the ring and chokes him out with his robe's belt. Steamboat chops his way up, but Muraco decaptiates him with a clothesline. He sets up Steamboat for his reverse piledriver, but Steamboat knocks Muraco in the head with his knees. Steamboat goes into a series of martial arts chops to send Muraco packing. Steamboat gets sent outside again, but does his usual "skin the cat" manuever, but not before delivering a leg smash to Mr. Fuji. Muraco tries a suplex, but Steamboat flips out of it, then rolls up Muraco off the ropes for the 3 count win. Afterwards, Muraco and Fuji beat the crap out of Steamer with the always lethal FUJI-CANE! Match sucked in the early going, but turned into something entertaining after Muraco's Samoan drop.
Match 8: Steel Cage Match:
Bruno Sammartino vs. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper
I reviewed this match for an old column, so it's cut n' paste time! But this is still a fun, entertaining tilt. Gorilla drops in his old line about Bruno being a "monument of physical conditioning". Piper and his flunky, "Cowboy" Bob Orton, had been bothering Bruno for a few months, and this is the blow-off. Piper comes out wearing a Chicago Bears Super Bowl champs t-shirt and hangs up posters of William "The Refrigerator" Perry and Jim McMahon in the cage! This was shortly after the Bears had trounced the Patriots in SuperBowl XX, and the fans are pissed. Piper removes his Bears t-shirt and has his regular "Hot Rod" shirt, with "46" spray-painted on the back-- a nod to Buddy Ryan's defensive scheme and the 46 points the Bears ran up on the Pats. Bruno comes in and delivers an outright ass-kicking to Piper! He tosses him into the cage and Piper does the blade job. Bruno rips off Piper's shirt, chokes him with it, then rams the Fridge poster down his throat. Bruno rips down the McMahon poster and shoves it into Piper's trunks. Piper comes back with a Shemp Stooge eye-boink and kicks Bruno's midsection. Most of the climb n' tug shenanigans are centered around the cage door. Bruno tries escaping, and Piper counters with a low-blow. Both guys brawl in between escape attempts. Piper sends Bruno to the mat with a charging clothesline, then tries to climb. Bruno delivers his own low-blow and begins crawling through the door. Piper grabs Bruno's leg, but Bruno managers to grab onto the ring apron. Bruno reaches out, grabs a wooden chair and gently taps Piper's head with it. But wait, this is BRUNO! He KNEW the first shot was weak, so he makes sure to wind up deliver a second, more convincing blow. Bruno rules! Bruno pulls himself through the door and wins! A rare non-DQ/countout loss for Piper. Fun match and great to see two guys selling and beating the crap out of each other.
Why'd You Tape This??
The two big matches-- Tito/Macho and Bruno/Piper have been included on other compliations. But when you fill in the rest of the card, this is a very satisfying show from top to bottom. The first 3 matches stink, but they're all kept short and served their purpose. Hillbilly Jim and Big John Studd were fairly big stars at this time, so to have them on the card bumps up its "Star power" a bit. Steamboat/Muraco picks up towards the end, and the Harts/Bees match is good old school tag-teamin'. Usually, these shows are only worth watching if you're in for nostalgia, but I'd give this one a solid recommendation.