home | wrestling | flashback_reviews | wwe | house_shows

WWF At Maple Leaf Gardens (Toronto)
January 11, 1987

by Scrooge McSuck


Taped at the Maple Leaf Gardens, this version is from the Classics on Demand PPV service (originally 24/7 On Demand), so if there's any licensed music floating around, you can bet your fern that it's dubbed over with something crappy. Gorilla Monsoon and Johnny Valiant are calling the action, unless otherwise noted.

Jose Luis Rivera vs. Terry Gibbs:

Quite the exciting opener. At least it isn't Jim Powers vs Iron Mike Sharpe. Gibbs doesn't waste time with stalling. Lockup into the ropes and Gibbs throws a shot over the shoulder of the referee. Whip to the ropes, Rivera ducks a clothesline and hits a cross body press for two. Rivera controls with a side headlock while Monsoon ruffles Valiant's feathers. Rivera sends Gibbs into the corner with an atomic drop and sweeps him away from the ropes. Crisscross and Rivera trips over Gibbs, stumbling into the ropes. Gibbs with a back breaker for two. Rivera reverses a whip to the corner but misses a charging elbow. Gibbs dumps him out and plants him on the floor with a slam. Back inside, Gibbs blocks a sunset flip and drops an elbow for two. He connects with a hangman's neck breaker and hotdogs before attempting another cover. Gibbs with an inverted atomic drop and elbow drop for two. Rivera mounts his comeback, throwing right hands. The referee cuts him off and acts like a goof. Rivera remains in control, planting Gibbs with a slam for two. Inside cradle for two. Rivera counters a hip toss with a back-slide for two. Whip to the corner and Rivera with a sunset flip for three at 7:58. Standard prelim stuff. *

Koko B. Ware vs. The Magnificent Muraco:

Muraco doesn't have Fuji with him, while Koko has Frankie. I don't know, I'm still putting the odds in Muraco's favor. Koko comes out to "Piledriver", even though that song is months from debuting. I'm guessing it's dubbed over Morris Day's "The Bird". Monsoon credits Muraco with the record of sending the most men to the hospital in 1986. Muraco charges at Koko and meets the turnbuckle. They tease a knuckle-lock until Koko snaps Muraco over with an arm drag. Lockup to the corner and Muraco buries a knee to the midsection. Whip to the ropes, Koko ducks a clothesline and hits Muraco with a dropkick. Koko drops an elbow on Muraco during a crisscross and slaps on a side headlock. Muraco forces a break in the corner, driving a series of shoulders to the midsection. Whip across the ring and Koko surprises him with a sunset flip for two. Muraco tries to show some good sportsmanship but take that with a grain of Fuji's salt. Crisscross and Muraco dumps Koko out of the ring. Back inside, Muraco comes off the middle rope with the Asian spike. I'm surprised it wasn't called "Oriental." Muraco with a rolling snap mare before clamping on a nerve hold. This lasts THREE MINUTES. Koko with blows to the body to break the hold, but Muraco cuts him off with a clothesline. Muraco comes off the turnbuckle to drive a knee into the sternum and goes back to the nerve hold. They dare to repeat the same sequence as before! This time Koko cuts Muraco off as he climbs the ropes and slams him down. Koko unloads with rights and flips Muraco upside down in the corner. Koko takes advantage of Muraco trapped in the tree of woe, disregarding the referee's orders. He unloads on Muraco with a series of headbutts and takes him over with a suplex. Koko connects with a missile dropkick, knocking Muraco into the ropes. Koko slaps on a Boston Crab, but gives up the hold, confusing everyone. Muraco tries a headbutt and pays for it. They trade blows, with Koko getting the better of the exchange. He unloads with jabs and the bell suddenly rings at 20:00 for the lamest time limit draw I've ever seen. They didn't even do a false finish first! It was obvious they were going long, with the stalling and lengthy rest holds. I didn't have high hopes, but I expected a little better. *½

Mike Rotundo & Danny Spivey vs. The Dream Team (w/ Johnny Valiant):

Billy Red Lyons sits in with Monsoon whenever Valiant's men are in action. Rotundo would be gone in about a month, putting an abrupt end to the weak attempt at recreating the U.S. Express. Spivey and Valentine start. Lockup to the corner and Valentine gives a clean break. Spivey blocks a cheap shot in the corner and hits an atomic drop, complete with over-sell. Spivey with a rolling cover for two. Monsoon isn't shy calling out the awful execution of Spivey. Valentine with a slam, but he misses the wind-up forearm. Whip and the Express with a double spinning elbow. Crisscross and Rotundo with a hip toss, followed by a deep arm drag into a hammerlock. Beefcake with the tag, but the referee denies the tag because he wasn't holding the tag rope. Beefcake tags in immediately afterwards and gets caught in the corner of Rotundo and Spivey. Beefcake sends Spivey to the corner but misses the charging shoulder. Rotundo catches Beefcake off the ropes with a spinning arm drag and works the arm. Spivey looks lost in the ring, with a lot of standing around waiting to do something. Beefcake works him over with right hands. Valentine teases the Figure-Four, but Spivey sends him to the corner. Rotundo with a dropkick, followed by an elbow drop for two. Rotundo puts on the brakes during a crisscross and sits across the back of Valentine with a chin-lock. Whip and Valentine drops Rotundo with a chop. Beefcake with a slam for two. He taunts Spivey, opening the door for a double-team behind the back of the referee. Rotundo fights out of a chin-lock, only for Valentine to take a shot at him from the apron. Beefcake tries using mounted leverage and straddles the knees of Rotundo. Valentine keeps Rotundo in the ring, taking him over with a suplex. Spivey sneaks in to clobber Valentine, but we're still not getting the hot tag. Beefcake with a front face-lock, and you know the routine. Double slam from the Dream Team, followed by a Valentine elbow for two. OH GOD, THEY DID THE BLIND HOT TAG SPOT TWICE. Valentine applies the Figure-Four on Rotundo, but Spivey saves, practically whiffing the elbow drop. Spivey FINALLY gets the hot tag, running wild with left hands. Russian leg sweep on Beefcake but Valentine saves. Whip to the corner, Spivey charges in with a clothesline and hits the bulldog. Heck breaks loose, Valentine drops an axe-handle on Spivey, and Beefcake covers for three at 17:22. Another match that underperformed and went way too long. Yes, I expected more from a match that has Brutus Beefcake and a green Danny Spivey. *¼

George "The Animal" Steele vs. Johnny Valiant (w/ The Honkytonk Man):

This was scheduled as Steele vs The Honkytonk Man, but the latter is selling a serious injury, with his arm not only bandaged, but in a sling. OH, THE HUMANITY. The match was going to stink either way, but now we subbed out a heel on the rise with an old manager. Yay. Valiant attacks from behind and chokes Steele with his own shirt. Steele fights him off, sending Valiant out of the ring for a powder. Valiant does all the old heel shtick, and it's awful, even by 1987 standards. Steele plants Valiant with a slam and works Valiant over, so Honky removes his bandage and attacks Steele for the disqualification at 2:00. They do a 2-on-1 attack while the crowd chants for the Junkyard Dog. Imagine JYD and Steele vs. Honky and Valiant! Steele makes his own comeback and chows down on a turnbuckle. What a waste of time. -*

Scott McGhee vs. Dino Bravo (w/ Johnny Valiant):

JUST WHAT WE NEEDED. MORE VALIANT. AND DINO BRAVO! He's not juiced to the gills for another year or so, so maybe this will be decent. Bravo plants a boot to the midsection and grabs a side headlock. Monsoon mentions Demolition, which means this must've made it to broadcast weeks after the date of the event, because they don't appear on TV for a couple of weeks, nor were they being hyped beforehand (or maybe Monsoon went into business himself and exposed results of a TV taping). Whip and McGhee with a hip toss. McGhee grabs a side headlock, but Bravo backs him into the corner for a break. Whip across the ring and Bravo counters a monkey flip with an inverted atomic drop. Whip to the ropes and Bravo dumps McGhee over the top rope. Bravo follows, slamming McGhee on the ramp. Back inside, Bravo connects with a gut-wrench suplex for a two-count. Whip and McGhee surprises Bravo with a cross body press for two. McGhee unloads with forearm uppercuts and takes Bravo over with a suplex for two. Bravo ducks under a second cross body press and hits a back suplex for three at 5:55. A couple of decent moments in an otherwise nothing match. *

Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs. King Kong Bundy:

Roberts gets the face reaction, but I honestly don't remember a specific moment of him clearly being babyface until he gets whacked by Honkytonk Man's guitar a month or so later. Talk about a seamless transition. Lockup to the ropes and Bundy whiffs on an overhand right. Who is he, King Kong Bundy or King Hippo? Lockup to the corner and Bundy freaks out about being near the snake. Roberts drives a shoulder to the midsection and unloads with his signature jabs. He bounces off the ropes with a roundhouse right, toppling the massive Bundy. Whip to the ropes and Roberts hangs back to avoid a shoulder block. They lock knuckles for a test-of-strength, which seems like a poor decision on Roberts' behalf. Roberts chops at Bundy's legs to break free. Another whip to the ropes and Bundy plants Roberts with a series of slams. Roberts counters a back body-drop with a knee lift. Bundy counters the DDT attempt, ramming Roberts into the corner and sending him to the floor. Roberts goes for the snake, but Bundy cuts him off. Oh God, BABYFACE FORMULA ROBERTS. They fight on the floor and it's a double count-out at 6:45. The action continues, with Bundy sending Roberts back in the ring. The avalanche misses and Roberts scares Bundy out of the ring with Damian. Match was OK until the abrupt finish. *¾

Paul Roma vs. Barry O:

We're getting the cream of the crop on this card. That's no disrespect to the abilities of either man, just the lack of star power. They waste little time doing a crisscross sequence. Roma pops him with a dropkick and sends him out of the ring following an arm drag. Back inside, Barry O with a sucker blow to take control. He sends Roma to the turnbuckle and snaps him over with a suplex. Roma tries fighting out of a chin-lock, but Barry grabs the hair to regain control. Roma with elbows to the body. They flub something with Roma coming off the ropes. Barry wins the suplex battle, hitting Roma with the slingshot variant for a two-count. Roma fights out of another chin-lock and comes off the ropes with a shoulder block. He tries it again and Barry dumps him out of the ring. Roma comes back in with a sunset flip but Barry blocks. O connects with a sloppy shoulder breaker for two. Whip to the corner, Roma brings up the knees and pounds away with rights. This crowd is sleeping. Whip and Roma with a clothesline, followed by a suplex for two. Inside cradle for two. Back-slide and O ends up in the ropes. Barry goes to the eyes. Whip to the ropes, Roma leapfrogs Barry O and plants him with a powerslam for three at 6:28. Match was heatless and sloppy. *

Davey Boy Smith & The Junkyard Dog vs. The Hart Foundation:

The Dynamite Kid wrecked his back in Hamilton a few weeks earlier and would miss in-ring action for most of the first quarter of 1987. Nice to see them find a Dog to team with Davey Boy in the interim. Danny Davis is the referee, so expect shenanigans. He doesn't waste time giving the Junkyard Bulldogs the business. Bret and Davey Boy start. Lockup to the ropes and Bret complains about a hair pull. Bret grabs a front face-lock, but Smith carries him to the corner and slaps him after the break. Neidhart comes off the ropes with a shoulder block and doesn't budge Smith. He tries it again and gets taken to the mat with a drop toe hold. Now Neidhart complains about a phantom hair pull. JYD tags in, slowly coming through the ropes before working the arm. Neidhart goes for the hair, but that isn't going to work on the Dog. JYD avoids getting trapped in the corner of the Foundation and sends Neidhart to the floor. Back inside, Davis gets in the way of JYD throwing rights, allowing Neidhart to get a free shot. Bret throws right hands, but JYD isn't fazed. Bret finds himself in the wrong corner and gets worked over despite the admonishment from Davis. Neidhart attacks from behind to turn things back in favor of the Foundation. Whip to the ropes, Davey Boy ducks a clothesline but gets caught with a knee to the back from the Hitman. Davey Boy surprises Bret with a crucifix cradle but Davis is slow making a count. Neidhart cuts off the ring, slapping on a bearhug. Davis turns his back to more double-team antics. Whip and Hart launches Davey Boy with a back body-drop. Davey Boy fights out of a sleeper, back peddling into the corner. Davey Boy catches Bret with a overhead press and straddles him across the top rope. JYD with the hot tag, running wild with rights and headbutts. DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER. He plants Bret with a sloppy powerslam, but Neidhart saves. Bret with a cradle, but Davey Boy turns it over and Davis accidentally fast-counts Bret at 14:45. Post-match, a bunch of children celebrate with the Dog, triggering the security to restore order. Another match that underperformed, though in this case, I didn't expect too much with JYD involved. *½

WWF Championship; Steel Cage Match:
Hulk Hogan (c) vs. Kamala (w/ The Wizard & Kim-Chee):

Main Event and final match of the card. Hogan has the war paint on to show he means business. Kamala attacks as soon as Hogan passes through the door and whacks him across the back with his own Championship belt. Hogan ducks under a clothesline with the belt and unloads with right hands. Both men are unsuccessful in making their opponent taste the steel. Whip to the corner and Hogan charges in with a boot. Kamala goes for the door, but Hogan blasts him with the belt and gnaws at his forehead. Hogan prevents another escape attempt and shows off the back rake of doom. Kamala cuts Hogan off, sending him face-first into the steel and following with a splash. Kim-Chee tries helping Kamala through the door, bur Hogan grabs onto his leg to cut him off. Hogan is showing some color to give the crowd what they want. Kamala with a slam and splash, triggering the Hulk-Up. He sees the crimson red and goes to work on Kamala with right hands and a double chop. Kamala finally tastes the steel. Hogan sends him from one side of the ring to the other, plants the big man with a slam and comes off the ropes with a leg drop. Kim-Chee takes out the referee on the ramp and tries to keep Hogan from escaping, but Hogan doesn't sell for managers or jobbers, brother. Hogan with an atomic drop, knocking Kamala into the Wizard. Kim-Chee tastes the steel, and Hogan triumphantly exits the cage to retain at 6:20. "Escape the cage" matches are a mileage may vary gimmick match. This was fine and kept short, so that makes me happy. **¼

Final Thoughts: Not the strongest card, with lackluster performances across the board. Hogan/Kamala is the best match, and only generously so. At least it was a suitable main event to make up for the weak lineup. I could usually find a hidden gem or a quality match on a given house show, but this one is just boring, and not worth the time seeking out.

Sound Off!
Comment about this article on Da' Wrestling Boards!

back to Index