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WWF @ The Sam Houston Coliseum - December 10th, 1987
by Scrooge McSuck

- Courtesy of the (then known as) WWE 24/7 On Demand service. The S.H. Coliseum shows never seemed to highlight the "A-List" cards like the Boston Garden or Madison Square Garden, but you never know what kind of nuggety treasure you'll find on these shows.

We're about two weeks removed from the inaugural Survivor Series, and for the life of me, I can't remember what was going on at this time frame storylines wise, so maybe the card presented will give a little insight to that question.

- Tonight's broadcast team consists of Bruce Prichard, Mike McGuirk, and "The Duke of Dorchester" Pete Doherty. Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel here. Doherty might possibly be the WORST color man in the history of wrestling, and I've listened to a lot of bad broadcasts.

- Sam Houston vs. Dusty Wolfe:
I can see we're already off to an amazing start, and what's with Sam Houston being named after the arena? I never quite understood that one. Prichard reminds everyone that Houston was having issues with former referee "Dangerous" Danny Davis at the time, proving that even bottom-feeders were given something to do, back in the day. Lockup to start, and Houston takes Wolfe over with an arm drag. Lockup #2, with the same result. Lockup #3 goes into the ropes, and Wolfe takes Houston over with a hip toss, but misses an elbow drop, and Houston takes Wolfe over into an arm bar. Houston works a wristlock before going back to the armbar. Wolfe takes control for a brief moment, but Houston goes back to working the arm. Wolfe counters with a head scissors, and Houston counters back into the arm bar. Wolfe escapes again, and applies a hammerlock. There's a whole lot of hair pulling going on. Houston returns the favor of pulling hair, and Wolfe rolls out of the ring for a breather. Houston leap frogs the referee to nail Wolfe, who was hiding on the apron at the time, and drags him back in the ring for more low-level quality punishment. Wolfe works over Houston with rights and elbows, but Houston isn't going down easy, and floors Wolfe with his own punches. Irish whip, and Houston with a crappy back elbow. Whip to the corner is reversed, and we get a horribly blown spot, as Wolfe appears to get a mouthful of Houston's butt. Houston goes to the finish anyway, and a running bulldog ends Wolfe's night at 8:38. 1/2* I know it wasn't that long of a match, but when all my exposure to Wolfe is as a weekend show Jobber getting squashed in 90-seconds, this just seemed like an eternity to me.

- Junkyard Dog vs. Hercules:
Come on, why must I be forsaken with a match between these two on every damn house show I watch from the later-half of '87 through the end of Hercules heel run in '88? These two had NO chemistry, JYD was way past his prime, and Hercules just sucked. Sorry if I slack off from this match, too, but come on, no one can stand watching these two "wrestle." Hercules tries a bum rush with the chain, but JYD moves out of the way and sends Herc' running following a headbutt. We get some trash talking, then the two exchange roundhouse rights. JYD, inspired by the Karate Kid, "waxes the floor" and "paints the fence" to block Herc's blows, and now Hercules runs outside again. If you like stalling, this is the match for you! Hercules with a knee to the midsection, followed by rights. Irish whip is reversed, and JYD takes Hercules over with a hip toss, and Hercules rolls out of the ring, once more. JYD wants a test-of-strength as I pray for this match to end. They lockup, and the crowd is NOT into this match at all. Hercules has the early advantage, but JYD rams Herc' with a headbutt on the knee, forcing Hercules to roll out AGAIN! Lockup in the corner, and Hercules rakes the eyes. Hercules with clubbering blows, and that finally puts the Dog down, but only for a two count. JYD gets a head stomping, but he's black, so it doesn't bother him, so Hercules applies the Full Nelson. Hercules doesn't have the fingers locked, but JYD uses the turnbuckle to escape the hold, instead of just over-powering him. They trade weak blows again, and a double clothesline puts both men down. JYD with a snapmare, but he misses a headbutt. Hercules misses a jumping elbow in return. JYD headbutts Hercules into the corner, and these blows look as believable as the plot in Jaws the Revenge. Whip into the corner, but Hercules sweeps the legs out from under the JYD, and rolls him up (with feet on the ropes) for the three count at 8:15. -** Terrible. Just terrible.

- Billy Jack Haynes & Brady Boone (w/ Ken Patera) vs. Demolition (w/ Mr. Fuji):
Now here's something I can enjoy. I'm trying to remember, but I think that Billy Jack saved Boone, his "cousin", from a vicious Demolition beating on an episode of Superstars, and that's all I know from this minor blip of a feud. No idea why Patera's involved, unless he's from Oregon too, and it's just a regional teaming to give him something to do. I think I recapped this one a LONG time ago, but it's been so long, so here's a fresher, cleaner version. Everyone brawls to start. Haynes pounds on Ax, then tosses Boone on top of Smash for a two count. Boone with a wristlock on Smash, followed by pounding of the arm. Haynes tags in, takes Smash over with a hip toss, then applies an armbar. Boone tags back in, and works a wristlock. Haynes is back in to continue working the arm. Smash escapes and tags to Ax, who is quickly taken down with arm drags. Irish whip, and Haynes works in his 45th arm drag of the match, then goes back to the armbar. Smash tags back in and walks into a scoop slam. Irish whip, and Ax nails Haynes from the apron. Smash drops a series of elbows across the neck of Haynes, then dumps him out of the ring, where Fuji gets in a cheap shot with his cane. Back in the ring, and Smash floors Haynes with a clothesline for a two count. Ax tags in and hammers away on Haynes, takes him over with a snapmare, and applies a chinlock. Haynes gets introduced to the boot of Smash, but counters a suplex with one of his own. Ax tags back in, and misses an elbow drop. Boone tags in and is quickly bulldozed by a shoulder tackle by Ax. Smash tags in and lays a stomping in on Boone. Demolition maintains control, working Boone over with their usual offense. Irish whip, and Ax kills Boone with a clothesline, but Boone comes back to life at the count of two. Irish whip, and Boone tries for a sunset flip, but Smash gets the tag in and boots Boone for his troubles. Boone tries a roll up, but Smash holds on to the ropes, then goes to a chinlock. Haynes eventually gets the hot tag, and cleans house of Demolition. Haynes scoops Smash up and plants him with a powerslam, but Ax breaks the pinfall attempt. Boone takes Ax into the corner and the lack of chemistry between Boone and Haynes as a team is obvious. Double clotheslines to everyone. Boone to the top rope, but they botch something, with what looked like a powerslam attempt from Smash. Irish whip, and Smash drops Boone throat-first across the top rope, and that's enough for the three count at 9:33. 1/2* Ugly match. Everyone seemed to have it in cruise-control, the lack of chemistry from Haynes and Boone during the "bonzo-gonzo" stuff was just horribly to watch, and the finish is botched for the second match of the night. Oh, and what was the point of Patera being out there? He never even factored into anything. Post-match, I notice Demolition carrying their own gear back to the ring. Wow, they couldn't even bring someone to take the wardrobes back to the locker-room after the introductions?

- "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff vs. "Ravishing" Rick Rude:
Finally, something I can work with, only because this was an upper-level feud at the time. Work wise, Rude was incredibly not-good at this point, and babyface Orndorff wasn't exactly lighting the ring on fire, but the crowd being hot could give this a boost. I'm not 100% sure, but this is stemming from Orndorff firing Heenan as his manager (again), as well as Rude claiming to having the best body in the Heenan Family, back when Orndorff was still apart of that stable. Orndorff goes after Rude before the bell, and introduces him to the turnbuckles. Irish whip, fist to the midsection, and Orndorff dumps Rude out of the ring. Orndorff uses the microphone cord to choke Rude, then stomps away. I have a feeling the PBP was added in post-production, because a smart eye at ringside sees no one but the time keeper and ring announcer. Back in, and Rude offers a left-handed hand-shake. Orndorff pulls him in and drops Rude with a short-arm clothesline, then follows with several elbows across the back of the neck. Orndorff with an atomic drop, followed by a roundhouse right that puts Rude on his bottom. Rude with a rake of the eyes, followed by clubbering blows. Irish whip, and Orndorff struggles to eventually get a sunset flip, but only for a two count. Rude maintains control, doing not much of note. We head outside the ring, and Rude rams Orndorff face-first onto the table. Back in the ring, Rude takes Orndorff over with a snapmare and applies a nerve pinch. Orndorff escapes with elbows to the midsection and takes Rude over with a hip toss, but misses an elbow drop. Irish whip is reversed, and Orndorff back drops Rude about ten feet into the air. Orndorff with a series of blows in the corner, followed by a running dropkick. Orndorff dumps Rude out of the ring, where he rams him into the security rail. Back inside, Orndorff sunset flips in from the apron, but Rude uses the ropes for leverage and makes the cover for the cheap three count at 9:01. * Orndorff seemed somewhat into it, but Rude was just NOT fun to watch at this point of his career, pointing out, most especially, a three minute long rest-hold that seemed like a waste of time rather than leading to anything.

- Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake vs. One Man Gang (w/ Slick):
Well here is an interesting match. I don't recall the Gang and Beefcake having an angle at the time, so maybe it's just one of those "we've got two upper card guys with nothing to do so let's pair them together" kind of deals. Beefcake still hadn't transitioned into his feud with the Honkytonk Man, and did the Gang have anything of significance going on, television wise? I know he toured against Hogan for a while, but that wasn't something for the home television viewers. Gang wants a test-of-strength right out of the gate, but Beefcake plays cat-and-mouser instead. Lockup into the corner, and we get a clean break. Lockup #2 and this time Beefcake unloads on the Gang, following a sucker-punch attempt. Beefcake continues to pound on the Gang, then whips him hard to the corner. Beefcake works the arm with a wristlock, as well as jerking the arm across his own shoulder. Beefcake remains in control, doing nothing more than punching. Gang fights back with a knee to the midsection, followed by some eye raking. Clubbering blows from the Gang, as this matc just continues to drag. Gang sweeps the leg from under Beefcake and applies the laziest leg lock in the history of man. Whip to the corner, and the Gang misses a charge. Beefcake with a series of elbows to the side of the head, followed by some big rights and a running high knee. Slick trips up Beefcake, and gets nailed for his troubles. Gang nails Beefcake from behind, and drops a big elbow for the three count at 9:20. -* Just awful, but sligtly better than the garbage between JYD and Hercules (that's not saying much). A bit surprised Beefcake did a pinfall job, too. Post-match, Gang and Slick try to cut Beefcake's hair, but Beefcake comes back to life and clears the ring of the Gang, then threatens to cut Slick's hair. Sadly, the Gang pulls Slick from out of the ring, saving him from any embarrasment.

- WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Strike Force vs. The Hart Foundation:
(Tito Santana & Rick Martel vs. Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart)

Finally, something I can enjoy. Strike Force comes out to "Girls In Cars", the worst theme music ever if you ever get to listen to the version with lyrics. The Foundation attacks before the bell, but Strike Force takes control and clears the ring with dropkicks and clotheslines. Things take forever to get underway, with the Foundation stalling to get the match going. Bret and Martel finally get things going. Lockup into the corner, and Bret hammers away, Irish whip, and Martel cartwheels away and comes back with a cross body for a two count. Martel comes off the ropes with a sunset flip, but Bret blocks it, and is eventually taken over for another two count. Bret rolls out of the ring, but quickly returns and gets locked up with a wristlock by Martel, who then works in the move of the night, the armbar. Santana tags in and goes to work on the arm as well. Irish whip to escape, and Santana puts Bret down with a shoulder block. Bret tries a leap frog, but Santana stomps his dace and covers for two, before going back to the armbar. Martel tags back in and works the arm s'more. Bret counters for a moment, but Martel remains in control. Irish whip and double fist to the midsection of the Hitman, and Santana goes back to work on the arm. Irish whip is reversed, and Santana nails the flying forearm, but Neidhart breaks the count at two, then chokes away on Santana, switching out with Bret behind the referee's back. Neidhart rams Santana face-first into the canvas, and grinds a knee into the back of the neck. Bret with boots to the head from the apron, followed by some choking. Neidhart clubs Santana across the chest, then ties him up in the ropes, creating another opprotunity for more punishment. Bret tags back in and hammers away on Santana. Bret snuffs out a comeback attempt, and drops an elbow across the back of the head. Into the corner, and Bret chokes away, as does Neidhart as soon as the referee turns his back. Classic double teaming from the Foundation has Santana in trouble, but he gets a foot on the rope. Bret tags in and connects with a side back breaker for a two count. Scoop slam by Hart, but he misses an elbow drop. Neidhart cuts off a tag attempt by applying a front facelock. Bret tags back in, and a collision knocks both men out. Martel runs in for whatever reason, allowing Neidhart to put Bret on top of Santana, but that's only enough for a two count. Whip to the corner is reversed, with classic Bret sell job on the impact. Neidhart cuts off the tag once again, but Santana battles into the corner... until Bret nails Martel, causing us to get a cat-and-mouse game. Bret accidentally nails Neidhart with a high knee, and Martel FINALLY gets the hot tag. Martel hammers away on Hart in the corner, and takes him over with a monkey flip. Irish whip, and Martel with a dropkick, followed by another to Neidhart, knocking him off the apron. Martel with a scoop slam, and it's Boston crab time. Santana prevents Neidhart from breaking the hold, but Neidhart sneaks back in and nails Martel with the tag title belt. Santana clears the ring with the belt in hand, and the bell rings for a Disqualification at the 16:00 mark, giving the match to... Strike Force? Wow, they didn't give it to the Foundation, cheaply? Oh well... **1/4 A little slow for my taste, but it was the best match on the show, so far, and that's got to count for something, right?

- The Ultimate Warrior vs. Iron Mike Sharpe:
It's always a very odd thing to see, when the Warrior is not only in one of the bottom-of-the-card type of matches, but he comes to the ring like a normal person, not running at 100 mph, shaking the ropes violently for about ten minutes, and just being a total maniac. How'd he survive long enough doing none of that over-the-top stuff is beyond me. Oh wait, he had "the look." Lockup, and Sharpe applies a headlock. Warrior escapes by scooping Sharpe up and resting him on the top turnbuckle. Shoulder block time, and the Warrior stands his ground. Sharpe misses the ugliest dropkick this side of Erik Watts, and the Warrior comes back with a clothesline. Doherty with the shoot comment of all shoot comments, declaring having a great physique doesn't mean you can wrestle. Back to the match, Sharpe is pounding away. Irish whip is reversed, and the Warrior takes him over with a powerslam, then follows with another clothesline. Sharpe begs him off and then wants a test-of-strength. Warrior has no trouble winning, so Sharpe cheats to take control. Warrior uses boots to take control and chops away on Sharpe. Whip to the corner, but Warrior misses a charge. Warrior starts no selling and rams Sharpe into the turnbuckle a bunch of times. Warrior with a diving shoulder block, followed by a wind up clothesline. Warrior with a gorilla press slam, and that's he needs to pick up the three count at 5:33. DUD We'll just say Warrior has no right wrestling a normal match with jobbers and leave it at that.

- Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. Outlaw Ron Bass:
We're almost at the end of the card, and for once, I'm not looking forward to a match featuring the Dragon. He quickly grabs a chair to counter Bass' whip. Bass with a knee to the midsection, but the Dragon uses his speed before surprising Bass with a sunset flip for a two count. Bass tries dumping Steamboat over the top rope, but he skins the cat back in and takes Bass over with a hurracanrana, forcing him out of the ring for a breather. Bass pulls Steamboat out of the ring, and introduces him to the ring post. Back in the ring, and Bass knocks Steamboat down with a clothesline. Steamboat comes back with a weird enziguri type move, knocking Bass out of the ring. Back in the ring, and Steamboat applies a wristlock. Bass rakes the eyes and whips Dragon to the corner, but misses a charge and the Dragon goes back to work on the arm. Irish whip, and Bass drops Dragon throat first across the top rope, then follows up with a piledriver, but Steamboat is in the ropes on a cover attempt. Bass works Steamboat over, but I'm just losing interest, fast. Bass, once again, drops Steamboat across the top rope, but only for a two count. The crowd is just dead, and has been for a while now. Irish whip, and Bass floors Steamboat with a back elbow. Irish whip, and Bass with a boot to the face. Bass connects with a swinging neck breaker, but that only gets a two count. Bass slams Steamboat face-first into the canvas for another two count, then applies a rear chinlock. Steamboat finally mounts a comeback, then comes off the top rope with a signature chop to the top of the head. Steamboat rams Bass into the turnbuckle ten times, but Bass charges back out of the corner with a clothesline. Whip to the corner, and the Dragon comes back with a cross boy for the three count at 9:57. *1/2 Not a terrible match, but pretty slow and heatless, so that really knocks it down a peg. The finish seemed to come out of nowhere, as well, as all the higher card matches seem to be finishing in at just under ten-minutes each.

- Greg "The Hammer" Valentine vs. Ken Johnson:
What the hell is this? Johnson is billed as being from San Antonio, TX, but couldn't they find a more well "known" Jobber to be used to feed to Valentine? I can expect this to be shorter than any other match featured on the card. Lockup into the corner, and it's a clean break. Johnson applies a headlock, and Valentine quickly counters with a back suplex. Lockup, and Valentine with chops. Snapmare by the Hammer, then he applies a chinlock. Valentine drops a headbutt to the midsection, followed by an elbow drop across the back of the head. Valentine throws Johnson down to the canvas, and quickly floors him again with another chop. Valentine with a double under-hook suplex, followed by a wind-up elbow drop. Valentine applies the Figure-Four, and that gets the submission at 3:05. DUD Well, at least it was short. Just a squash match, so the rating has no importance here.

- WWF Championship Match:
Hulk Hogan vs. "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase (w/ Virgil & Andre The Giant):

Dibiase is billed from Bel Air, CA, for those obsessed with all the different places he's been introduced from. I've never really reviewed a singles match between these two, so this is a fresh pairing up for me. Hogan quickly clears Dibiase from the ring and plays to the crowd. The crowd looks into it, but the audio for them is just terrible for this broadcast. Hogan hammers away on Dibiase to start, and floors him with a clothesline. Hogan with an atomic drop, sending Dibiase flying over the top rope, to the floor. Hogan follows out and rams Dibiase and Virgil into each other. Hogan snapmares Dibiase back in from the apron, then does the same to Virgil. Irish whip, and a big boot to Dibiase, and another to Virgil, sending both of them back to the floor. Hogan wants some of Andre, but that ain't gonna happen. We finally get everything settled down, and Hogan quickly grabs a headlock. Hogan with a drop toe hold, then goes to a front facelock. Dibiase escapes with shoulders into the midsection, knocking Hogan out of the ring. Dibiase follows out, and rams him several times onto the ring apron. Dibiase boots Hogan in the face, as Virgil taunts him with a handful of cash. Back in the ring, and Dibiase continues to work him over with a series of boots to the chest, followed by some choking. Irish whip is reversed, and Hogan nails Dibiase with a roundhouse to the back of the head. Hogan with a scoop slam, followed by some basic aerobics. Hogan runs the ropes and gets tripped up by Andre, and it's... a DQ? Wait, no, the referee is just throwing Andre the Giant out from ringside. You got to love it when the announcer screws up the referee's "orders." Oh, and he's fined $2,000, because it's always important to fine people. Dibiase attacks from behind, unloading on Hogan with a series of rights, followed by some jumping elbow drops. Dibiase heads up the ropes and connects with an elbow to the head for a two count. Irish whip, and Dibiase drops Hogan with a clothesline, then follows up with his signature fist drops. Hogan starts Hulking Up from the pinfall attempt, and it's time to no-sell the blows from Dibiase. Finger wagging time! Hogan with a series of rights. Irish whip, and Hogan connects with a big boot. Hoga grabs Virgil, and heel miscomunnication sees Dibiase ram his own bodyguard. Hogan rolls Dibiase up, and that's enough for the three count at 9:33. ** I'm going to be generous, as the match had some energy to it, wasn't too boring, and had a hot crowd. On the other hand, the finish was weak, and the involvmenet of Andre was pointless. Still, I'm a Hogan and Dibiase fan, so I'm just a little bias.

Final Thoughts: An incredibly under-whelming show. Only a few matches were of quality and the rest is trash. The matches that are what I would generously call good can be found on many other shows from this time period, especially between Strike Force and the Hart Foundation, and with far better quality performances, as well. Nothing to see on this show. Don't even consider popping it in your DVD player if someone offers it to you.

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