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WWF @ Maple Leaf Gardens- June 28, 1987
by Scrooge McSuck
Taped at the Maple Leaf Gardens, with Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan calling the action, unless otherwise noted. I can say with confidence this isn't a traditional broadcast version, with all the matches coming from different sources. All the matches excluding the Main Event were featured on WWF's package programming, and thankfully the Main Event was uploaded at some point to WWE's own YouTube channel.
Outback Jack vs. Johnny K-9:
What an outstanding match to open the show! So much can be said about Johnny K-9, but just know he's a miserable piece of crap and leave it there. As for Outback Jack, the man was hyped for MONTHS on syndication, and debuted as the biggest wet fart of 1987. The bell rings and K-9 immediately bails out. Heenan says Jack is from Humpty-Dumpty, Australia. Lockup into the ropes and Jack gives a clean break. They do it again and K-9 surprisingly isn't as kind. Jack returns fire, backing K-9 into the corner, begging off. Jack somehow blows the spot where he catches K-9's boot. He connects with an atomic drop and plants K-9 with a slam. K-9 avoids an elbow drop and takes it to Jack on the canvas. Whip to the ropes and K-9 with a knee to the midsection. K-9 climbs the ropes and misses a flying headbutt. Whip to the ropes and Jack with a back body-drop. He plants K-9 with a slam and comes off the ropes with a "sort-of bulldog" for three at 3:14. Jack looked bad doing everything. ZERO STARS
Hillbilly Jim vs. Steve Lombardi:
I'd make a joke about teaming a Hillbilly with a man from the Outback but guess what... that happened! AND FOR A TELEVISION AUDIENCE! Did you know he got his wrestling boots from Hulk Hogan? Monsoon reminds us, of course. Sounds like Heenan's headset is giving him issues. Jim offers a handshake, but Lombardi wants no part of it. Lockup and Jim sends Lombardi into the corner. Lombardi with a go behind into a full nelson, but he can't lock hands and Jim easily breaks free. Lombardi's next strategy is grabbing a hammerlock, but Jim powers out again. Jim toys around before locking up for a test-of-strength, and you can guess who holds the advantage. Lombardi with boots to the midsection to drop Jim to one knee. Jim returns fire and stomps on the hands, sending Lombardi to the floor for a breather. Back inside, Jim catches Lombardi off the ropes with a hip toss and unloads with right hands. Whip to the corner and Jim meets the turnbuckle. Lombardi aggressively rakes the eyes and takes Jim off his feet with a clothesline. Lombardi digs into his tights for the invisible weapon. Hey, this isn't Memphis. Learn to work Northeast style! Whip to the ropes and Lombardi with an elbow to the chest for a two-count. Whip to the corner and Lombardi meets a boot. Jim catches him in a head-scissors and whacks him on the head with his calf. Whip to the ropes and Jim with the big boot, followed by an elbow drop. Whip and Jim with the bearhug for the victory a 7:24. This was perfectly fine prelim stuff. Nothing flashy, but the crowd liked it, and everything was done competently. *½
The Killer Bees vs. The New Dream Team:
No Johnny Valiant at ringside, but he's in town and scheduled to appear later in the night. The New Dream Team is Greg Valentine and Dino Bravo, having ousted Brutus Beefcake from the group at WrestleMania III. Monsoon buries Jesse Ventura's role in Predator after Heenan tries giving Ventura the starring role credit. That turns into a story of Ventura calling Bravo "Dudley Do-Right." Brunzell and Valentine start. Lockup into the ropes and a clean break. Brunzell grabs a side headlock and comes off the ropes with a shoulder block. He slaps on a sleeper, but Valentine finds himself in the ropes. Valentine takes Brunzell off his feet, but Brunzell slaps on a body scissors and fights to his feet. Blair gets the tag and goes to work on the arm. Fireman's carry into a step-over wristlock. Whip to the ropes and the Bees with a double elbow for two. Crisscross and Valentine catches Brunzell with an inverted atomic drop. Bravo tags in and punishes the back. He takes Brunzell over with a gut-wrench suplex and drops a leg across the chest for two. Valentine dives off the top with a sledge for a two-count. Bravo misses an elbow drop, allowing Blair to get the tag. He runs wild with rights and lefts. Whip to the ropes and he nails Bravo with the High Bee Sting for two. Blair is too distracted by Valentine, allowing Bravo to nail him from behind. Valentine with a shoulder breaker for two. Front face-lock applied, and to my surprise, they don't do the false tag spot. Bravo with an inverted atomic drop while Monsoon makes fun of Bravo's dye job. Bravo cuts off a comeback attempt, nailing Blair coming off the ropes with an elbow. Valentine with a slam but he misses the wind-up forearm. Blair can't get to his corner and is planted with a side slam from the former Canadian Heavyweight Champion. Blair blocks a suplex and counters with his own. Brunzell with the tag, but the referee misses it. We get heel miscommunication and Brunzell nails Bravo from behind with a dropkick, allowing Blair to cover for three at 8:17. I'm surprised we didn't get a proper hot tag spot, but the match was fine without it. **½
Non-Title Match: The Hart Foundation vs. The Rougeau Brothers:
I'm guessing this is the intermission Main Event, based on what's left of the card. No Jimmy Hart or Danny Davis at ringside, so they're probably on a show with the Honkytonk Man if I had to make a blind guess (correction: there was a show in Battle Creek, MI with Honky and the Glamour Girls). No idea why this is non-title. Heenan claims Dino Bravo calls the Rougeau's a disgrace to Canada. Raymond and Bret start. Lockup and Raymond takes Bret to the canvas with a waist-lock. Bret with a cheap shot in the ropes. Whip to the ropes, Bret blocks a roll-up but gets sent over the top with a dropkick. Back inside, the Rougeau's take turns working the arm. Jaques comes off the ropes with a cross body press for two and goes back to the arm. Neidhart tags in and doesn't fare much better. Bret with a knee from the apron, allowing Neidhart to take control. He hangs Raymond up across the top rope and Bret gets more shots from the apron while the referee is distracted. Bret with a back breaker and Anvil adds an axe-handle from the second rope. Raymond gets dumped out, with Jacques coming to his rescue before Bret could do much damage. Back inside, Raymond with a sunset flip, but Bret gets the tag before he can complete taking Neidhart off his feet. Bret grabs a front face-lock, and the referee misses the tag. Neidhart misses a charge into the corner, allowing Jacques to get the hot tag. He runs wild with right hands and a DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER. Whip and he nails Bret with a diving elbow for two. Slam and knee drop but Neidhart saves. Heck breaks loose with all four men in the ring. Neidhart levels Jacques with a clothesline and Bret covers for three at 8:38. I don't think anyone would expect the Foundation winning like that in a non-title scenario. Another solid match, but nothing to get too excited for. **½
Cpl. Kirchner vs. King Kong Bundy:
This should be short. Kirchner fell to the lowest of lows in the Fall of ‘86 once his feud with Nikolai Volkoff (and by association, the Iron Sheik) was finally put to rest. He sucks up to the locals, carrying a Canadian flag with him. At least he's smarter than Jim Duggan (see WrestleMania VI for context). Monsoon tries to stir things up asking Heenan why he isn't in Bundy's corner for this match. Considering the announcer's table is right next to the ring, I don't think that's an issue. Kirchner tries using shoulder blocks, but they don't have much effect. He connects with a dropkick, and that briefly takes Bundy off his feet. Bundy misses an elbow drop and Kirchner hits him with a cross body press. Bundy unloads with rights and nails Kirchner coming off the ropes with a knee to the midsection. Snap mare out of the corner and Bundy drops a knee across the chest for two. Whip to the corner and Bundy misses the avalanche. Kirchner with a series of rights, followed by a clothesline and elbow drop for two. Whip to the corner, Bundy pops out with a clothesline and drops the elbow for three at 3:08. Short and to the point. *
Billy Jack Haynes vs. "The Outlaw" Ron Bass:
It feels like Haynes spent most of 1987 feuding with Hercules, while Bass spent most of the year just filling spots on the card. He was originally brought in to feud with Blackjack Mulligan, but that didn't go far. Bass with a lot of yelling at Monsoon. Lockup and neither man with the advantage, so Bass complains the hair was pulled. Lockup to the ropes and Bass drives a series of knees to the midsection. Whip is reversed and Haynes plants Bass with a pair of slams, sending him to the floor. Back inside, Haynes sends Bass to the corner and gives him another slam. Haynes grabs a side headlock and comes off the ropes with a sunset flip for two. Sounds like the crowd is chanting A-hole at the Outlaw. Haynes works the arm while Heenan makes fun of him having "Oregon" printed on the back of his trunks. Bass forces a break in the ropes and powders out again. He teases using the whip, but he's talked out of it. Whip to the corner and Bass pops out with a clothesline. He throws Haynes' throat-first into the middle rope. That looked a little reckless. Whip and Bass with a spinning elbow. He drives Haynes into the canvas with a slam and chokes him across the top rope. Bass dumps Haynes through the ropes and gives him a taste of the red guardrail. Back inside, Bass with the Greco-Roman biting. Haynes starts his comeback, working the body of Bass. Whip to the ropes and Haynes with an elbow, followed by a snap mare and elbow drop for two. He goes for the Full Nelson, but Bass fights to the ropes before the hold is fully applied. He nails Haynes in the throat and chokes him with Betsy for the disqualification at 11:37. I'm sorry, I can't buy that someone as directionless as Bass can't do a job. *½
Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake vs. Johnny Valiant:
This should be short. Beefcake was meant to run the house show loop with Adrian Adonis coming out of WrestleMania III, but Adonis was fired and Valiant is stuck taking a whooping and haircut every night. Thank goodness Beefcake traded in the traditional barber's smock for more colorful attire. Beefcake tries to intimidate Heenan, allowing Valiant to get the jump on him. Valiant puts the boots to Beefcake and chokes him with his own jacket. Beefcake shrugs everything off and gives Valiant a taste of the top turnbuckle. Valiant staggers across the ring and gets another ten shots to the turnbuckle. Beefcake sweeps the legs and straddles him on the post. The referee is doing a poor job making sure Beefcake follows the rules. Back inside, Beefcake with the mounted corner punches. Whip to the corner and Beefcake with a back body-drop. Now Valiant is given a taste of the canvas. Beefcake plants him with a slam and does some goofy dancing. Valiant rakes the eyes and this match won't end. Whip is reversed and Beefcake puts Valiant to sleep at 5:21. Beefcake does a light trimming and spray paints Valiant's hair a bright pink for further embarrassment. Poor Valiant had to endure this for months. ZERO STARS
$50,000 20-Man Battle Royal:
Participants: "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, Hillbilly Jim, King Kong Bundy, Outback Jack, "The Outlaw" Ron Bass, Jacques and Raymond Rougeau, The One Man Gang, Corporal Kirchner, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, Billy Jack Haynes, Bret "Hitman" Hart, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, Johnny Valiant, B. Brian Blair, "Jumping" Jim Brunzell, Dino Bravo, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, Kamala, and Kim-Chee
I guess the odds-on favorites are probably Orndorff, Bundy, and OMG if I had to make an educated guess. The bell rings and we get the laziest "go after each other" I've ever seen. Valiant hasn't bothered to wash off the pink spray paint. Monsoon says the ramp is not in bounds, you must hit the floor to be eliminated. Kim-Chee goes first, thanks to Jacques Rougeau at 1:51. Kamala and Bass work together to dump Mr. Humpty-Doo at 2:06. This is a quiet crowd for a Battle Royal. Bass gets tossed by the Rougeau's at 4:59, then Orndorff throws out Jacques at 5:03. HOT AND EXCITING ACTION. Orndorff sends Kirchner packing for Ft. Bragg at 5:38. Haynes eliminates Mr. Wonderful at 6:03. Bravo dumps his fellow Quebecer Jacques at 6:52. Bundy gets dumped by a group including Kamala, Hillbilly Jim and Billy Jack at 7:03. Kamala tosses Jim at 7:11. The Bees dispose of Bravo at 8:11. Valentine dumps Beefcake and Valiant (accidentally) at 8:29. They keep brawling, because the fans care so much for Beefcake and Johnny V. Bret Hart tosses Valentine at 10:00, then Haynes knocks Kamala out with a dropkick at 10:03. Haynes is gone next, courtesy of the Gang at 10:11, and then the Gang is gone from the hands of the Killer Bees at 10:19, leaving us the final four of the Killer Bees and Hart Foundation. The Bees put on their masks, because why the hell not. Blair/Bret and Brunzell/Neidhart pair off. Neidhart and Brunzell get knocked into each other. Or maybe it was Blair. The Foundation dump Blair at 12:06. Combo back breaker and elbow drop to Brunzell. We get a miscommunication and Brunzell dumps Neidhart at 13:09. Brunzell tries tossing Bret, but Neidhart saves. The referee gets distracted, turning his attention to Neidhart. Bret dumps Brunzell, but Blair slides in unseen and dropkicks Bret over and out for the victory at 13:25. A KILLER BEE WON A BATTLE ROYAL. Did Toronto love the Killer Bees to get this kind of treatment throughout 1987? Blah stuff until the final four, which was typical for the era.
Final Thoughts: Not much to say about this one. A couple of decent tag team matches, but we've seen better from all parties involved on countless occasions. Nothing was terrible, and most of the matches were short, so while nothing stands out as outstanding, it's a quick and easy 90-minutes to digest. As always in cases like this, if you're a fan of the era, you'll find some enjoyment, but I don't recommend going out of your way to find it (as of this review, it's available on an obvious streaming service).
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