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WWF Championship Wrestling- February 15, 1986
by Scrooge McSuck
- Hosted by Vince McMahon and Bruno Sammartino, taped on January 28th from the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY. This week, The Junkyard Dog takes on Terry Funk (no way that match goes down without something important happening). Also, someone answers the special "Boxing challenge" from "Boxing" Bob Orton, and Superfly Jimmy Snuka's cousin, Superfly Afi, will make his Federation Debut™.
Superfly Afi vs. The Gladiator:
I guess we're not wasting time getting into this one. Afi comes out to what sounds like a left-over disco track from Friday the 13th Part III. AND THE CROWD HATES HIM IMMEDIATELY because he's just a knock-off Jimmy Snuka, and the crowd, which is full of regular attendees, aren't buying it. Lockup and Afi manages to lose a fight over a waist-lock. I guess Vince didn't know what crowd dubbing was, because this wouldn't fly just a couple of years later. Unlike Snuka, who chopped people and did a lot of running around, Afi is just wrestling like an average schmo. Why, in a debut match, is the "star" going 50/50 on offense with enhancement talent as low as a masked geek? Whip and the crowd cheers Gladiator hitting a shoulder tackle. Crisscross and Afi with a double chop, followed by a crappy looking diving headbutt to more jeers. He plants Gladiator with a slam and finally finishes with the splash at 3:48, without any of the elevation Snuka was known for. If you wanted to see someone's career die immediately, here you go. Afi doesn't even wait around for the announcement before departing for the locker room.
- Lord Alfred Hayes is standing by with this week's "Update." We see highlights of the British Bulldogs victory over Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake from two weeks ago on Championship Wrestling. Is the day far away for the Bulldogs to get their hands on the Tag Team Championship?
- Nominees for the "Best Personality" on Land of a Thousand Dances include Vince McMahon (YES!), "Mean" Gene Okerlund, and Jesse "The Body" Ventura. Voting ends in about a week, so send in those postcards.
King Tonga & Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. Rusty Brooks & Steve Lombardi:
Tonga and Steamboat come out "Also Sprach Zarathustra", best associated in professional wrestling with Ric Flair. Odd choice, I don't think they've ever used it before or after this. McMahon calls Tonga and Steamboat a "seasoned team." I guess 3-4 matches as a team counts as seasoned in his mind. Steamboat starts, locking up into the corner with Lombardi. The Dragon grabs a side headlock and comes off the ropes with a diving body press for two. Tonga comes off the ropes with a chop across the elbow and grabs a wristlock. Whip to the corner, Lombardi misses a charge and fails to tag out despite hitting his own corner's turnbuckle. Whip and a double chop from Steamboat and Tonga. Whip and Tonga with a Super-Kick followed by a jumping headbutt for three at 2:25. Rusty has taken over as laziest worker at these tapings.
- The WWF returns to the Boston Garden on March 8th. "Macho Man" Randy Savage defends his newly won Intercontinental Title against the former Champion, Tito Santana. Santana shows off the weapon that Savage used to knock him out and steal the belt.
The Hart Foundation (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. "Leaping" Lanny Poffo & Tony Stetson:
The WWF surprisingly used footage from this match for the previous day's episode of TNT
when showcasing Poffo's poetry skills. Did you know that Poffo is the WWF's Poet Laureate? Poffo reads a poem running down Jimmy Hart and insinuating a "physical" relationship with his protégé, Adrian Adonis. Poffo and Neidhart start. Lockup to the ropes and Neidhart with a cheap shot. Crisscross and he plants Poffo with a slam. Poffo avoids a fist drop, nips up, and hits both Neidhart and the Hitman with dropkicks. Stetson comes in and is quickly overpowered, being whipped into the corner where he meets the boot of Hart. Combination elbow drop and back breaker from the Foundation. Brett works the body and connects with a solo back breaker. The Hart Attack finishes at 1:52. Post-match, they give Poffo a receipt for his pre-match poem. I don't think they found Poffo's poem very funny. Good method to light a fire under a team, I suppose. Short but entertaining.
- WrestleMania 2: What the WORLD is coming to!
- Gene Okerlund hypes the Boston Garden card on March 8th. The Junkyard Dog and WWF HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION Hulk Hogan take on Terry Funk and... DORY FUNK? Wait, WHAT? Where the hell did that come from? Read on to find out, in what seems like sloppy production.
The Killer Bees vs. Iron Mike Sharpe & Joe Mirto:
Even in squash matches, Sharpe claims to be Canada's Greatest Athlete™. Brunzell has shaved his beard since the last taping cycle. Blair starts, grabbing a side headlock on Sharpe. They trade hammerlocks until Blair takes Sharpe over with a fireman's carry. Sharpe backs him into the corner and hits an elbow. Whip is reversed and Blair brings him down with a flying head-scissors. Mirto rushes in and gets planted with a forward powerslam. Back inside, Blair continues to work on the arm of Sharpe. Brunzell comes in and uses his own head-scissors before picking up where Blair left off. Blair flaps his arms and comes off the ropes with an elbow. Sharpe backs him into the corner and finally tags out. Mirto with a slam but misses an elbow drop. Whip to the ropes and the Bees with a double elbow. Whip and Brunzell with a dropkick to the chest for three at 3:01. I don't think he intended to hit it that low, but it didn't look awful since Mirto came in too hard leaping over Blair.
- Saturday Night's Main Event returns with the premiere of Hulk Hogan's music video for "Real American."
- Piper's Pit with Jose Luis Rivera. He's accepted the challenge of Bob Orton. Seeing two men in wrestling trunks and boxing gloves feels more like softcore pornography than a legitimate contest. Piper mocks Rivera for his broken English. Rivera is confident, but Piper's having too good of a time making fun of his accent.
Boxing Match: "Boxing" Bob Orton (w/ Roddy Piper) vs. Jose Luis Rivera:
The Fink THANKFULLY lets us know this is scheduled for 5 rounds, with 2-minute rounds of "Boxing." I don't even know how to comment on this stuff. They throw some decent jabs until Orton starts throwing the worked punches. Rivera fires back with pro wrestling punches and suddenly Orton starts using punches and techniques that are no way legalized in Boxing. Orton lands a roundhouse right that floors Rivera and it's a KO at 1:35 of the 1st Round. Post-match, Orton decks Rivera as he regains consciousness. This was ugly to look at, and hopefully the endgame comes quick, because I can't imagine sitting through many of these "boxing matches" with someone who clearly has no history in Boxing.
- Vote for Best Singles Performance on The Wrestling Album.
The Junkyard Dog vs. Terry Funk (w/ Jimmy Hart):
It wasn't common to see a legit Main Event caliber match on syndication, and if you think either man is laying down here, you must be dreaming. Funk attacks the JYD as he enters and tosses him to the floor. The Dog gets the better of the slugfest and nails Funk with a headbutt. They make it into the ring, with JYD taking Funk over with a back body-drop. He plants Funk with a slam and hits him with his signature headbutts, sending him out of the ring. Back inside, Funk gets a taste of the turnbuckle. Unfortunately, I wasn't counting, so I'd expect each corner he did it 10 times. Hart pulls at the ankle of the JYD and leads him around ringside for a game of cat and mouse. Funk surprises the Dog coming back in the ring but is quickly laid out with a clothesline for two. JYD blocks being hit with the branding iron and flings Hart into the corner. JYD teases using the branding iron on Funk until DORY FUNK JR
whacks him with a cowboy boot, drawing the obvious Disqualification at 3:12. Post-match, Terry and Dory do a 2-on-1 beatdown on the Dog. Even Jimmy Hart gets in some shots, needlessly ripping off his shirt in the process. The save is finally made as a group of low-level babyfaces bum rush the ring. Dory's debut would've been a surprise had it not been spoiled earlier in the show for the sake of promoting a card at the Garden three weeks from this broadcast date. That seems like a very sloppy "Because WCW" moment before that was such a thing.
- More hype for March 7th at the Boston Garden.
- Next Week: WWF Champion Hulk Hogan will be on the program! "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff will be in action, and we'll have highlights of Tito Santana vs. Randy Savage from the Boston Garden.
Final Thoughts: It only took one week for Orton's boxing gimmick to completely die, so we can only hope they put it out of its misery sooner than later (play along, we know where it's going). Speaking of death, I can't recall many debuts like Superfly Afi from this era where the crowd completely dumped on it within seconds. The big angle at the end is the unexpected debut of Dory, Terry Funk's brother, to add fuel to the fire with his feud with the Junkyard Dog. With the promise of Hulk Hogan on next week's episode, we should expect something significant to take place.
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