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WWF Championship Wrestling- March 1, 1986
by Scrooge McSuck
- Hosted by Vince McMahon and Bruno Sammartino, taped on February 18th from the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY. For the sake of acknowledgement, at this taping cycle, the WWF taped a handful of squash matches featured exclusively on All-American Wrestling in the coming weeks, but nothing worth seeking out. This week, we'll see an update on Mr. T's training, as well as the likes of the Funk Brothers, Tito Santana, Ricky Steamboat, King Tonga, and The British Bulldogs. It only takes Vince about 6-minutes to rebrand "Dory Funk" as "Hoss."
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat & King Tonga vs. Terry Gibbs & A.J. Petruzzi:
The more we see of Steamboat and Tonga as a team, the more I see there's no big plans for the immediate future for either man. It was only a few weeks ago where the "Update" focused on Steamboat's feud with Muraco and Fuji, yet the program hasn't been mentioned in any matches featuring either Superstar since. Gibbs and Petruzzi attack before the bell, but Steamboat and Tonga quickly turn things around in their favor. Steamboat sends Petruzzi crashing out of the ring with a dropkick. Tonga with a diving body press on Gibbs for two. Petruzzi runs back in and Tonga takes him down before busting out some funky dance moves. Petruzzi goes for a headbutt, which goes as well for him as you'd expect. Tonga with a back suplex. Whip to the ropes and Steamboat and Tonga nail a double chop. Gibbs comes in to help but gets sent packing. Steamboat with a snap mare on Petruzzi and a flying body press finishes at 3:01. With all these wins, how come Steamboat and Tonga aren't in the discussion for future Tag Team Championship matches?
- Lord Alfred Hayes is standing by with this week's "Update". "Boxing" Bob Orton has taken down all challengers, but now he's going to have to deal with "the volatile A-Team star" Mr. T. Gene Okerlund interrupts T hitting the bag, and T yells at him like a complete heel. Okerlund incorrectly identifies Orton as "Battling Bob", and gets dismissed, with T giving the goofiest grunt, as if he was having an uncomfortable bowel movement. It's only a 30-second promo, but there didn't seem to be the same magic with Mr. T here as there was for hyping the first WrestleMania.
- Watch the Slammy's LIVE on MTV on Saturday, March 1st, at 7:30 PM ET. So, if you're keeping track, that's an episode of Championship Wrestling, The Slammy Awards, AND Saturday Night's Main Event, all in the same day.
Tito Santana vs. Joe Mirto:
Poor Tito looks naked without the Intercontinental Championship around his waist. Lockup and Santana struggles to overpower Mirto. Instead, he goes for an overhand wristlock, backing Mirto into the ropes. Santana avoids an overhand strike and unloads with right hands. Bruno eulogizes Santana's latest reign as Intercontinental Champion, noting this is his first match since losing the belt. I could've sworn we've seen him since then, but I might be mistaken. Vince all but admits he's not going to be immediately factored into the IC Title scene, questioning if maybe he'll fall back into the tag team division. Mirto misses a charge, allowing Santana to work the leg. The Figure-Four finishes at 3:16. If you were watching in 1986, and were a fan of Santana, I'm sorry, things aren't going to get much better for his singles career.
- The WWF returns to the Boston Garden on March 8th. Ricky Steamboat squares off with Bret(t) Hart and Randy Savage defends the Intercontinental Title against Tito Santana. Also, Terry and Dory Funk meet the Junkyard Dog and WWF Champion Hulk Hogan. Hogan comes in to cut a promo, sporting taped ribs. I guess we're supposed to ignore this.
The British Bulldogs (w/ Capt. Lou Albano) vs. Barry O & The Gladiator:
The Bulldogs are the #1 contenders for the Tag Team Titles and in hot pursuit of Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake. Vince lets us know the Bulldogs will challenge for the belts on Saturday Night's Main Event. Barry O gives Dynamite a slap. Dynamite comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle and takes Barry over with a sunset flip for a two-count. Gladiator with a side headlock and takeover on Davey Boy. Crisscross and Davey Boy with a back body-drop, followed by his signature delayed suplex. Whip and the Bulldogs with a double shoulder tackle. Dynamite drops a knee across the face and snaps Gladiator over with a suplex. Whip and Davey Boy with a sleeper. Barry O runs in and is knocked back out with a dropkick. Davey Bot with a Powerslam and assists Dynamite's diving headbutt via press slam for the three count at 2:43. This crowd loves the Bulldogs, but it's the same folks every time, much like the NXT audience today. Is it a true gauge of fan interest? Yes. Yes, it is.
- WrestleMania 2 is (still) coming!
- More hype for the WWF returning to Boston. What's this of a "beaten and battered" Heavyweight Champion?
Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Steve Gatorwolf & Michael Saxon:
Gatorwolf is your typical knock-off Chief Jay Strongbow, though he might not be Italian. Good to see the Moonwalking Trash-Talking Saxon back in action. I'll set the over/under at 87 seconds. Bruno calls Studd and Bundy "Mighty Joe Young" and "King Kong." Studd shrugs off a slam attempt from Gatorwolf and crushes him in the corner. Studd with a hip toss and an ugly elbow drop. Bundy sends Gatorwolf to the ropes and lays him out with an elbow. Saxon gets tagged in like a geek. Bundy clobbers him a bit before letting Studd get some shots in. Whip and Studd with a shoulder tackle, followed by a slam. Whip to the corner and Bundy finishes with an assisted Avalanche and splash at 2:34. Well, I got that wrong. Bundy demands a 5-count to add insult to injury. The segment is practically over when Vince informs us that King Kong Bundy will be in "individual action" on Saturday Night's Main Event.
- Roddy Piper is standing by in Piper's Pit, greeting King Kong Bundy like an old friend. He has a humanitarian award for Bundy. He congratulates Bundy for putting Hulk Hogan in the hospital and curing America of the epidemic. Then Bundy congratulates Piper for whooping Mr. T like a dog and leaving him laid out. WAIT, WHAT IS GOING ON?! It's as if they compiled this show with content for the Saturday viewers AND the limited markets who got the show on Sunday, because nothing has happened on TV (yet) to suggest any of this took place.
- "Mean" Gene Okerlund is standing by for some detailed spoilers for Saturday Night's Main Event. HOW CAN THEY PROMOTE MATCHES FOR SATURDAY NIGHT'S MAIN EVENT ALL SHOW LONG, THEN TALK ABOUT THE SHOW AS IF IT ALREADY TOOK PLACE?!
Terry & Hoss Funk (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. S.D. Jones & Nelson Veilleux:
My world is crumbling at the idea of such sloppy editing for this episode. This is our first look at Dory, a.k.a. Hoss, in action since coming to his brother's aid a few weeks ago (in another angle spoiled by the pre-tape promos). Terry teases starting the match, but quickly tags in "Hoss", as the game of partners swapping places continues in the opposite corner. Hoss with an easy takedown into a side headlock. Jones tags back in and Terry immediately tags back out. I don't know what Terry is doing, but I'm sure there's a purpose to it. Veilleux gets whipped to the ropes and I can only guess he's never ran the ropes in his life, because that looked terrible as he falls out of the ring. BOTCH-A-MANIA 1986 Edition. Back inside, the Funk Brothers with a whip and double clothesline. Terry pounds away with rights. Hoss with a double under-hook suplex. He misses a boot in the corner, trapping himself in the ropes. Jones comes in and cleans house, ILLEGALLY I MIGHT ADD. Terry and Hoss regroup on the floor. Back inside, Terry finally accepts having to square off with Jones and quickly hooks a sleeper. Jones fights free and rattles Terry with headbutts. Veilleux comes in and sucks so bad. Terry takes him down with a back suplex and Hoss finishes with a Cloverleaf at 5:36. Long for a squash, though they did give S.D. a little shine here and there.
- One more spot to hype the March 8th card in Boston.
- Next Week: Find out who won the "Slammy Awards"! A Special Midget Match featuring the Haiti Kid and Butch Cassidy! A VERY SPECIAL Update on WrestleMania (No Number Shown)! Mr. Wonderful! The Hart Foundation! Corporal Kirchner and Golden Boy Spivey! AND MORE!
Final Thoughts: I've got two talking points. We're fast approaching the latest edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, with WrestleMania about 5 weeks away, so we should expect something major to take place there to get the ball rolling. Unfortunately, the editing of this episode spliced in promos that SPOILED THE RESULTS of Saturday Night's Main Event, with other segments teasing the upcoming show. No, this wasn't a fan edited episode using multiple sources, it was sloppily put together and kind of takes the piss out of things.
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