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WWF Superstars - September 24, 1994
by Scrooge McSuck
WWF Superstars of Wrestling – October 8th, 1988
- Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jesse "The Body" Ventura, taped from the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, IN, home of the "Main Event" special earlier in the year. Vince uncharacteristically promotes a Rod Stewart concert for October 11th and the Indiana Pacers hosting the Dallas Mavericks on October 25th. $20 says Vince has no idea what anything is that he just shilled. After the intro (which is forever burned into my memory as in-game music for "WWF WrestleMania" on the NES), Vince hypes what we'll see this week, including the Ultimate Warrior, Brother Love (hopefully not in action), Demolition, The Rockers, and The Junkyard Dog. TO RINGSIDE WE GO.
The Ultimate Warrior vs. Gene Ligons:
Warrior is the reigning Intercontinental Champion, having defeated the Honkytonk Man at SummerSlam on August 29th
from Madison Square Garden. I'm trying to find anything to say about Ligons (other than WWF adding an "S" to his name, since he worked as Gene Ligon everywhere else). He donned a mask working as one half of "The Thunderfoots", but that's a gimmick that was used over the years by various workers, so not much to say. At the end of the day, just a regional guy working a gig as enhancement talent. Warrior no-sells a clothesline, leap frogs Ligons, and gives him a sloppy body press onto the top rope. Was he trying to do that, or was that the world's worst Hot Shot? Warrior throws Ligons back in and hits a short clothesline. Vince plugs the latest issue of WWF Magazine, featuring Warrior on the cover. Warrior with a scoop slam, press slam (with nut-grabbing action), and splash for three at 1:48. I spent more than twice that trying to google information on Mr. Ligon.
- From the pages of the WWF Magazine, here's UPDATE with "Mean" Gene Okerlund. Last week on Superstars of Wrestling, Gene had the opportunity to interview Ted Dibiase about his newest purchase. We throw it to last week's interview, where Ted Dibiase reminds us all that everybody has a price. He's made the biggest purchase of his life, something nobody else has: A SLAVE. He hands Bobby Heenan a briefcase allegedly filled with cash and announces the slave he's purchased is none other than Hercules. Hercules doesn't take kindly to the news and throttles Heenan, allowing Dibiase to smack him upside the head with the briefcase. He yells at Hercules to learn his position and know his place as a slave. Dibiase slaps him around and puts the boots to him, then encourages Virgil to do more of the same. Hercules manages to get to his feet, knocks Virgil off the platform, and chases away Dibiase with his chain in hand. We get comments from Hercules, saying he refuses to be the slave for any man, and promises vengeance. The best feuds are the kind where someone higher on the card can bring someone to their level. Unfortunately, this feud did the opposite, with Hercules unable to get over at a level to justify the position on the card, making Dibiase look like a far cry from being a World Championship threat he was only a few months earlier.
Dino Bravo (w/ Frenchy Martin) vs. John Latu:
It wouldn't be a late 80's WWF recap without the token appearance of Dino Bravo. All these years, and I finally realized Martin's robe is a painter's smock, and the back is a logo made up of a palette. That's the most interesting thing I could think of when it comes to Bravo's spot on the card at this point. I can't find much on Latu, other than working primarily in the Carolina's in the mid 80's through mid-90's and using the name "John Savage" at times. Martin cuts a promo that I can't understand in the slightest. Lockup into the corner and Bravo with blows to the midsection. Latu reverses a whip and takes Bravo over with a hip toss, followed by a dropkick. Bravo with a boot to the midsection and an inverted atomic drop. Bravo cuts an inset promo, not only proud of being the world's strongest man, but waving the flag of Quebec, EVEN IN THE USA. OH BOY. Bravo with a jumping piledriver. Side Slam finishes at 1:41.
- Sean Mooney is standing by with the Event Center. He's still finding his voice here, trying too hard to be an anchorman and over-enunciating with his facials. We get promos from Akeem, who is someone that has undergone a dramatic change (that's an understatement), followed by Ken Patera. Yeah, with these being generics not intended for an upcoming event, of course we weren't going to waste valuable time from the A-list talent.
The Rockers vs. Rusty Riddle & Sandy Beach:
Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels are fairly newcomers to the WWF, having debuted on TV in the middle of June. Sandy Beach's closest level of fame came working regularly in Herb Abrams' UWF but was regularly used by the WWF as enhancement talent throughout 1988 and '89. Not much to say for Riddle, just local talent that never had much prestige. Most of his known work came in the late 80's and early 90's, but did work recently (2017) at a NWA Wildside reunion show, competing in a battle royal. Jannetty starts with Beach. Lockup and Beach shoves him off. The Rockers cut a generic inset promo as Jannetty takes Beach over with a pair of arm drags. Riddle runs in and the Rockers clean house with dropkicks. Jannetty with a Super-Kick, knocking Beach out of the ring again. Riddle in with strikes in the corner. Michaels flips over Riddle out of the corner and takes him over with a hip toss. Whip and the Rockers with a double-team flap jack. Whip and the Rockers with a double diving elbow. Michaels with a snap suplex and the flying fist drop. Jannetty hits a flying body press with Riddle perched on Michaels' shoulders for three at 3:27. I don't think they busted that finisher out too much. Not the strongest performance, to be honest.
- The Survivor Series returns to Pay-Per-View on November 24th.
Bad News Brown vs. Warren Bianchi:
Bad News has been on TV since the start of 1988 but hasn't had much as far as TV angles go. That's about to change in a hurry. I'm not finding much on Bianchi other than working as enhancement for the WWF from 1988 through 1992. Brown attacks before the Fink can have a chance to introduce him. He unloads with his signature offense of right hands. McMahon says Brown is ranked near the top of the contender's list in the WWF and reminds us he is undefeated. Whip to the ropes and Brown with a wild chop, followed by a fist drop. He positions Bianchi across the top rope and drives a fist into the midsection. Whip and Brown with a clothesline. Ghetto Blaster (enzuigiri) finishes at 2:09. Post-match, there's a "fan" taunts Brown with his Macho Madness hat and Brown tears it up in disgust. All these years later, I just don't see what everyone saw in Brown as a wasted talent. The matches stunk and his promos were mostly one-note spiels and corny.
- Event Center promos from Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake (targeting The Outlaw, Ron Bass) and King Haku and Bobby Heenan.
"The Rock" Don Muraco vs. Larry Stevens:
We're getting close to the end of the line for Muraco in the WWF. He's wearing the tie-dye t-shirts, but by this point, Superstar Billy Graham has stopped accompanying him to ringside. Stevens, like Bianchi, doesn't have any information available outside his work as enhancement talent for the WWF, mostly in the Summer and Fall of '88. Lockup, Muraco sends Stevens to the ropes and staggers him with a shoulder tackle. Muraco tosses Stevens into the corner as Greg Valentine and Jimmy Hart cut an inset promo on Muraco (Valentine physically assaulted Graham to write him off as Muraco's corner man). Stevens throws a few knees. Muraco comes out of the corner with an elbow, and the reverse Piledriver (Tombstone) finishes at 1:34. Muraco is looking so ridiculously bloated at this time, it's unbelievable.
- For the first time on Superstars of Wrestling, it's The Brother Love Show. For those unfamiliar, the segment debuted on Wrestling Challenge in the late Spring, with Bruce Prichard doing a TV evangelist gimmick. He welcomes Bobby Heenan to the stage. He's full of love, because there's been changes in the Heenan Family. In the weeks to come, he'll add new members and do his best to spread love. He's going to bring out the newest member of the family. He's limited when it comes to wrestling, size, and with the won-loss record, but he'll make him the next big superstar. His name is Terry Taylor. He's not big like Andre the Giant, he's not muscular like "Ravishing" Rick Rude, and doesn't have the martial arts skills like King Haku. With Heenan by his side, Taylor will become a great superstar. WHAT A GEEK INTRODUCTION.
The Junkyard Dog vs. Brian Costello:
I honestly don't remember the last meaningful program the JYD was part of in the WWF... possibly the feud with Harley Race that culminated at WrestleMania III? Costello is a familiar face for fans of the late 80's and early 90's. At one point he was randomly nicknamed "The Dublin Destroyer" despite being from Indiana. Costello tries to jump the gun, but the JYD fights him off. Whip to the ropes and JYD with a hip toss, followed by his signature headbutts. JYD with a short clothesline and more headbutts. Whip and JYD with another clothesline. The Powerslam finishes at 1:28. One of the final appearances for the JYD in the WWF, departing the company by the end of the month. JYD could be considered in OK shape compared to how he looked in WCW just 18-months later.
- Curt Hennig, the self-proclaimed "Mr. Perfect" throws a bullseye in darts. ABSOLUTELY PERFECT.
Demolition (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. Tommy Angel & DJ Peterson:
Demolition (Ax and Smash) are the reigning Tag Team Champions, having won the belts from Strike Force at WrestleMania IV
, but this is obviously a Non-Title Match. Angel is the owner of one of the sweetest mullets in professional wrestling, and worked a ton of southern promotions, mostly in enhancement roles. DJ Peterson would become a featured player in the dying days of the AWA, but unfortunately passed away at a young age in a motorcycle accident in 1993. Ax starts, pounding Peterson down to the canvas. He carries him into the corner and Smash joins in on the fun. Angel tags in and gets flattened by a Smash clothesline. The British Bulldogs cut an inset promo on Demolition, warning them that they're watching for mistakes. Ax plants Angel with a slam and sends him into the boot of Smash. Smash with a back breaker, and the Decapitation finishes at 2:22. Post-match, Ax dumps Peterson over the top rope and they continue to punish Angel. They give Angel a second Decapitation Elbow. Suddenly, the British Bulldogs
, Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith, rush out and get into a brawl with Demolition, clearing them from the ring. Nice of them to set up a program with Demolition and the Bulldogs, unfortunately the latter would be gone in a few weeks, and the Champions would turn babyface to feud with a Road Warriors clone.
- Event Center promos from "Dangerous" Danny Davis and Jimmy Hart (they were still giving Davis promo time?!) and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan.
- Next week, Jim Duggan will be a guest on the Brother Love Show, and we'll see The Hart Foundation, The Blue Blazer, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, and Hercules in action.
Surprisingly heavy on in-ring talent that were going to be shown the door sooner than later (The Bulldogs, JYD, and Muraco), as well as guys who were in-between feuds at the time (Brown and Bravo). They kicked off a program with Demolition and the British Bulldogs that is destined to go nowhere, are introducing Curt Henning in a series of vignettes performing tasks in a "perfect" manner, and debuted Terry Taylor as the biggest geek you could ever imagine. It feels like this week's Update, recapping an angle that took place LAST WEEK, was a bigger deal than anything else on the episode.
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