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WWF @ Paris, Fance- October 23, 1987
by Scrooge McSuck
- Presented on Canal+ from the Bercy Stadium, it's one of the earliest attempts at the WWF's global expansion. In the modern era, the company runs international tours all the time. Heck, even in the mid 90's, when business was at its worst, the WWF ran overseas for some of their best drawing tours of the period. Mid-to-late 80's, not so much. When you think of a tour, you imagine at least a week or so of shows across multiple countries, but the WWF ran Paris here and Milan the next day and that was it, and as we'll see, they didn't send the most loaded lineup possible. Most of the matches were recycled for either Prime-Time Wrestling or Coliseum Video.
"Special Delivery" Jones vs. Sika
Jones comes out to "Piledriver", the title song from the 2nd Wrestling Album, and the theme song of Koko B. Ware. In my own twisted mind, I assume Vince didn't think anyone in attendance would know the difference. I'm going to hell for that, I'm sorry. Lockup into the ropes. Jones avoids a cheap shot and throws a left hand. Jones works the arm with a wrist-lock and the crowd pops. Boy, these people are starved for WWF content, aren't they? Sika fights free and chokes. He claws at Jones' face and grabs a nerve hold. Jones quickly escapes with elbows to the midsection. Jones actually hurts Sika with a headbutt. Sika with more clawing and clubbering. Whip to the ropes and Sika with an elbow. Jones fights out of another nerve hold and throws more left hands. Whip to the ropes and Jones with a sunset flip for three at 4:04. So, in the same calendar month (of TV), Sika did a pin-fall loss to the WWF Champion and SPECIAL DELIVERY JONES. Match was absolutely nothing, but Jones hooked the arms on the sunset flip, so bonus points for that. ¼*
WWF Women's Championship Match: The Sensational Sherri (c) vs. Velvet McIntyre
Sherri took the title from the Fabulous Moolah on July 24th in Houston, TX and established her "Sensational" nickname on syndication a few weeks later. Velvet surprises Sherri with a running knee strike, followed by a monkey flip and dropkick, sending the Champion out of the ring. Velvet snap mares Sherri back in from the apron and sends her flying with a sling shot. They lockup for a test-of-strength but Velvet surprises Sherri with a dropkick. Sherri is really milking her unwillingness to lockup. They lockup again, with Velvet gaining control and taking her over into a cover for two. Lockup to the ropes, Sherri pulls the hair and gets decked for it. Whip to the ropes and Velvet with a charging elbow. She plants Sherri with a slam, but it only gets a one-count. Rolling takeover into another cover. Sherri with a hair mare to escape a chin-lock. She uses the top rope to send Velvet backwards and nails her coming off the ropes with a dropkick. Velvet fights back from her knees, sweeps the legs, and briefly applies a Boston Crab before switching to blatant hair-grabs and slamming Sherri's face into the canvas. Velvet controls with a body-scissors and the crowd loves it. Sherri finally turns around and pulls Velvet off the canvas by the hair to break the hold. Sherri with a leg drop, followed by a knee to the chest. She scoops Velvet up and traps her in a tree of woe. Interesting spot where Sherri pulls the hair and let's go, making Velvet swing back into the corner. Velvet with a surprise sunset flip for two. Velvet with a pair of shoulder tackles and forearm strikes. Sherri cuts her off with a rake of the eyes. Whip and Sherri with a one-woman flapjack. Whip to the corner and Sherri botches something, trying to mask it with a knee. Velvet ducks a clothesline and goes for a sunset flip but Sherri blocks with a knee across the throat. Velvet reverses a whip and staggers Sherri with a right hand. Whip and Velvet with a spinning heel kick, followed by a kick to the chest. GIANT SWING and splash for two. Inside cradle for two. Sherri reverses a whip and avoids a blind body press. Whip and Velvet with a body press, but Sherri rolls through for three at 14:38. I didn't expect to enjoy the match as much as I did. A little rough at times, but Velvet McIntyre really showed a lot of talent here. ***
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. The Iron Sheik
WOAH, WAIT A MINUTE. Where did THIS come from? Duggan and the Sheik were famously arrested on May 26th for drug possession. We're still in the kayfabe era, and two rivals riding together seemed unbelievable. Both men were fired immediately. Duggan would reclaim his job based on his work at the Paul Boesch Retirement Show on August 28th, while the Sheik would get a brief return in 1988 that only lasted a few weeks. Duggan comes out to "Stars and Stripes Forever." Duggan doesn't waste time slugging it out with the Sheik. Whip to the ropes and he clotheslines Sheik with his head-dress. Duggan with an atomic drop, sending Sheiky-Baby over the top rope. Back inside, Sheik boots him low and spits on him. Duggan teases a comeback, but Sheik cuts him off with a rake of the eyes. Duggan fights out of a chin-lock but runs into a clothesline. Duggan with a hip toss to escape an abdominal stretch but misses an elbow drop. Sheik with a gut-wrench suplex for two. Duggan blocks a suplex and takes Sheik over with his own. Whip to the ropes and Duggan an elbow, followed by a knee drop for two. Sheik begs for mercy, but Duggan isn't having it. Whip is reversed and Duggan hits a diving forearm, then finishes with the running clothesline at 5:51. Short back-and-forth without much substance. *
The Junkyard Dog vs. King Harley Race
Andre the Giant
is our special referee and gets a babyface reaction coming to the ring. Yay, the original bizarro world. Andre was only making sporadic appearances at this point, taking a sabbatical from in-ring competition until Survivor Series. Andre holds the ropes open for Race (a fellow member of the Heenan Family) and helps remove his robe to remind us of his obvious bias. Meanwhile, he barks orders at the JYD and forces him to remove his chain immediately. Lockup to the ropes, JYD blocks a cheap shot and throws a right hand, which is quickly admonished. Whip to the corner is reversed, sending Race tumbling over the top rope. Back inside, Race takes the Dog down with a gut-wrench suplex but misses a headbutt. JYD grabs a side headlock, but Race backs into the ropes, forcing a break. Race with a blatant cheap shot in the corner. JYD fires back, but Andre holds the arm, allowing Race to get a clean shot in. JYD fights out of a chin-lock but Andre accuses him of hair-pulling, forcing a hammer-lock broken. JYD works the body and gets yelled at again. We get it, Andre is going to screw the JYD. They take things to the outside, with JYD no-selling having his head rammed into stuff. Andre with a quick count to get JYD back in the ring. Race uses another distraction from Andre to his advantage. JYD grabs a sleeper, and if you don't know what happens next, just skip to the next match. Race with a piledriver, completely no-sold. Race works in his see-saw selling to try and get something out of the Dog. JYD with a Russian leg sweep and Andre ignores a pin attempt. Are you going to argue with a 500+ pound giant? Race with a clothesline and elbow drops. JYD fights out of a chin-lock and they meet in the middle on a collision. Race remains in control and JYD continues to no-sell. Andre saves Race for the 75th time. JYD with the THUMP Powerslam and Andre won't count the fall. Race with a belly-to-belly suplex and a headbutt. He hurts himself giving the Dog another headbutt. JYD with his signature headbutt. Andre interrupts a second with a kick to the midsection, then calls for a Disqualification at 14:32, awarding the match to Race. Wow, this SUCKED. Who booked JYD to go 15-minutes in any era, let alone 1987? The charm of Andre's officiating wore off quickly, and they beat a dead horse. This might be the worst match I've ever seen from Harley Race, and that includes working with the Ultimate Warrior the following year. -**
Cowboy Lang vs. Lord Littlebrook
Lots of stalling to start. Lockup and Littlebrook does a comedy sell in the ropes. Lang works the arm, with over-the-top vocal selling from the Lord. He's got quite a gut on him. Littlebrook was pushing 60 at this point. SERIOUSLY? Littlebrook works the arm, yanking the hair to gain the advantage. Lang grabs a full nelson, but Littlebrook breaks with ease. Littlebrook dares him to apply it again and this time the escape doesn't work. Whip and Lang stomps on Littlebrook's hand. Lang bites the butt until the referee has to pull him off, then it's the referee getting bit. Lang comes off the ropes with a seated splash, and now it's the spot where the referee catches Lang and throws him on top of Littlebrook for repeated pin attempts. AND THE CROWD CHEERS. They do the same spot, roles reversed, and the referee tosses Littlebrook to the side. The crowd pops every time Littlebrook goes "Aye-aye-aye!" Lang blocks a boot and connects with an atomic drop. Crisscross and Lang cradles Littlebrook for three at 11:36. I don't know why I wasted my time watching this dreck. I don't hate midget matches as a rule, but they shouldn't go more than 5-6 minutes. The crowd liked spots, but the problem was that when they didn't pop for a comedy spot, they were dead quiet. The midgets weren't regularly featured by 1988 and would only make a handful of appearances throughout the year before the WWF stopped booking them for the better part of 5 years.
Outback Jack vs. Nikolai Volkoff
OK, the French actually PAID to see this show? Duggan comes out to chase the Iron Sheik from ringside, because the poor guy can't go anywhere without Duggan (*rimshot*). Outback Jack was introduced to the WWF audience in the Summer of 1986 with a ton of hype, then just filled a spot on the card, working mostly prelims. Volkoff attacks from behind with clubbering blows. Whip to the ropes and he rams a knee into the midsection. Another whip and this time Volkoff hits him with an elbow. Jack gets thrown through the ropes and goes crashing into the guardrail. Jack fights back with a flurry of right hands. Whip to the corner and he hits a butt-ugly charging elbow. Volkoff blocks a suplex (Volkoff… bump?!) but is OK with taking a clothesline. He pops right up and pounds on Jack some more. Jack with a whip and knee to the midsection. Volkoff cuts the comeback off with more boots and hits a gut-wrench suplex for two. Whip and Volkoff with a back body-drop. Duggan trips him up, and Jack drops an elbow for three at 4:29. OUTBACK JACK WON? At least it was short. ½*
The Rougeau Brothers vs. Greg Valentine & Dino Bravo
Okay, I know the Rougeau Brothers and Dino Bravo spoke French, but they were from Quebec, it's not the same thing. Oh well, same thing to Vince McMahon, I guess. Unfortunately, the only version of the match I have is from the Best of the WWF Vol. 16 video released by Coliseum Video, which cuts out half the match, so forgiveness on not having every match complete for this recap. We're joined in progress as noted, with Valentine and Bravo doing the double-up on Raymond behind the referee's back. Valentine with a shoulder breaker for a two. Valentine tries to pin the shoulders down and gets caught with a pair of knees in a questionable area. Bravo tags in and pounds on Raymond. Whip to the ropes and he slaps on his patented bearhug. Valentine in with a snap mare. He goes for the Figure-Four but Raymond counters with an inside cradle. Valentine cuts him off with a front face-lock. Raymond fights to the corner but the referee won't allow the tag because Jacques didn't have his feet on the apron. Wow, what a jerk. That's a spot usually reserved to screw over the heels, not babyfaces, unless Andre is officiating the match. Raymond continues to take punishment, and it's just so BORING, like there's not much effort into giving a crap. Raymond surprises Valentine with a back slide for two. Valentine wins a slugfest and tags in Bravo, who is immediately taken over with a sunset flip for two. Bravo pops up first and hits Raymond with the side slam, but misses an elbow drop. Jacques gets the hot tag and hammers away on the Hammer (pun intended). Jacques with a back body-drop and dropkick to Bravo, followed by a dropkick to Valentine. Jacques with a slam and flying forearm on Valentine for two. All four men start slugging it out. Bravo nails Jacques from behind and they hit a double slam, but Raymond surprises everyone and takes Valentine over with a sunset flip for three at 9:36 (of 22:00). I can only imagine what the first half of the match was like, but this felt long and dull. *1/2
Real people paid real money to watch this real pile of crap. Sherri vs. McIntyre might be worth a watch, but everything else can rot away in obscurity for the rest of time.
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