wrestling / Video Reviews

411 Video Review: The Big Event (1986)

May 30, 2002 | Posted by Sydney Brown

Today we look at back at what once was the largest WWF crowd in history. A record that stood for about nine months before WM3 came around. We’re looking at The Big Event from the C.N.E. Stadium in Toronto, Canada in front of 65,000 people, and looking at the crowd, I won’t dispute the number. And keep in mind this was a HOUSE show. While a few of the matches did air on Prime Time Wrestling over time, this was basically a glorified house show. So in many ways, this show is kinda like a WWF version of an NWA Omni show.

Remember how I praised Blockbuster for having Coliseum vids a few columns ago? Well, I felt the same way about Suncoast when I found this tape there oh-so many years ago. I ended up working for them too, and managed to keep my attitude in check and not get canned that time.

Here we go….

To show just how BIG a show this is, Coliseum forgoes the initial intro for a special Gene Okerlund intro featuring highlights of the show, with each clip featuring the same canned audience reaction. A helicopter flies over the stadium, and there are so many people there, it took me a moment to figure out where the ring was.

Match #1

The Funks vs. The Killer Bees

This is Funks 2.0 by the way, Dory Funk Jr. and Jimmy Jack. And by Dory, of course, I mean “Hoss.” Quite an odd trio commentating, Gorilla Monsoon, Johnny Valiant, and Ernie Ladd. Blair and Dory start, and Blair sends him out of the ring. Hoss tries to get Jimmy Jack involved, but Blair beats them both up. Jimmy Jack gets tagged in, and Brunzell comes in, and Brunzell sends him out of the ring. So Dory gets tagged back in. Dory gets a few uppercuts in, but Brunzell hits a bodypress for a sloooow 2. Blair back in with a hammerlock. He turns it into an armbar. Ernie Ladd seems to be playing the Bruno role, talking once every five minutes. Dory tags Jimmy Jack back in, but Blair gets a quick fireman’s carry into the same armbar. Brunzell tags in and gets a sleeper, but Dory knees Brunzell in the back to break it up. Dory with an uppercut, and he throws him out of the ring. Apparently, Dory is now the legal man. Jimmy Jack attacks Brunzell on the floor, but Blair makes the save. So the Bees regroup and put their masks on. Blair rolls back in and destroys Jimmy Jack and Dory. He gets an atomic drop and clothesline on Dory, before going to the abdominal stretch. It only lasts four seconds, but that’s STILL enough time for Gorilla to point out how it’s not done properly. Jimmy Jack makes the save. Blair rolls out and Brunzell rolls in. Jimmy Hart screams to Jimmy Jack that it’s the wrong Bee, but he ignores him, and Brunzell small-packages him for the pin.

Okay opener, nothing of note here, though I admit I was a fan of the Killer Bees-mask-in-mid-match angle, because it seemed innovative for a face team to resort to heel tactics to win and still get pops for it. Seemed a little ahead of their time.

Match #2

King Tonga vs. ‘Magnificent’ Muraco

Muraco bows to the crowd, they boo, so he sticks his ass out instead. I always thought Muraco was a great heel, though he was kinda stuck in limbo around this time, sort of feuding with Roddy Piper, and sorta not. King Tonga was about to change his name to Haku and be teamed up with Tama (Tonga Kid) to form The Islanders, one of THE most underrated heel teams of the ‘80’s. Anyways, neither man had much going for him, so they were thrown together. Tonga gets two hiptosses and a slam, so Muraco bails. Muraco offers a handshake, and Tonga agrees but Muraco decides against it and hits Tonga, but Tonga hits a dropkick and Muraco flies out to the floor again. Ernie Ladd points out that King Tonga wants to be called Haku, so I guess the seeds are being planted here. Tonga with an armbar, and Muraco gets a nice monkeyflip out of it, but Tonga holds on. Muraco whips Tonga into the ropes and Fuji trips him. Gorilla claims Muraco lowblowed him. Huh? Muraco tosses Tonga, and Fuji whacks Tonga in the head with his cane. He then jabs him a few times. Muraco powerslams him back in, and hits a nerve hold. Coliseum cut as I guess this move lasted a while. I’m against clip jobs, but if it just involves restholds, then I’m all for it. Muraco has a HUGE wad of drool hanging out of his mouth. Tonga chops his way out and dropkicks Muraco into the corner. Blind charge into the corner, and Muraco stomps away at him. Muraco drags his leg out and rams it into the post twice. Gorilla: “Give me a break!” Johnny V: “That’s what he’s trying to give Tonga.” Bobby Heenan, he isn’t. Muraco goes to the work on the knee, first with a kneebreaker, then with a stepover-toehold. Muraco mockingly bows to Tonga, then headbutts him in the crotch. That’s what I mean about Muraco being a great heel. Two asshole moves in four seconds. Most heels today can’t do one in an entire match. The crotch shot according to Ladd is “one of Fuji’s favorites.” I’m not touching that one. Muraco hits a figure-four. Tonga reaches the bottom rope. Double shop to the throat. And Muraco spreads Tonga out for a crotchshot from the top rope, but Tonga tosses him. Tonga hits a few chops, and goes to the top immediately, and hits a bodypress but the time limit has expired. The match is a draw. Muraco carried the whole thing and made it a decent match, but the cop-out ending ruins it.

Match #3

Ted Arcidi vs. Tony Garea

I never figured out Ted Arcidi. I saw him wrestle maybe three times ever. And yet he got his own action figure. How did that happen? Hell, I even bought the thing for some reason. Apparently nobody else figured out Arcidi either, since he didn’t last long. Though I’m guessing like Bill Kazmier and Mark Henry it probably had something to do with lack of talent. Arcidi’s playing the heel here, and Garea’s on his last legs at this point. Arcidi shoves Garea around. Garea gets a headlock, but Arcidi shoves him off. Garea tries a shoulderblock and gets nothing. Arcidi screams. Garea goes back to the headlock, and something’s happening in the crowd, because now nobody’s watching the match. Arcidi blows a press slam on Garea. Arcidi’s the “strongest man in the world” and he can’t freakin’ PRESS SLAM Tony Garea? He poses to the crowd who’s still fixated on whatever’s happening in the crowd. Arcidi throws Garea into the turnbuckle. Garea responds with a dropkick to knock Arcidi down. He runs into the ropes, almost blows a leapfrog, and gets caught in a bearhug, which is always the finisher of choice among non-talented wrestlers. Garea submits.

Number of wrestling moves done by Ted Arcidi: 2

Number of wrestling moves done correctly by Ted Arcidi: 1

Horrible match, no crowd heat at all, hell, half the crowd wasn’t even watching the match.

DUD. This was the equivalent of watching Al Snow wrestle one of the Tough Enough rejects.

Interview: Jimmy Hart. Jimmy’s mad because Junkyard Dog keeps ripping his pants off, and he’s tired of it. Tonight he’ll get his revenge.

Match #4

“Adorable” Adrian Adonis vs. The Junkyard Dog

You can hate the gay gimmick of Adrian Adonis all you want, but it jumpstarted a sagging career, and helped make his feud with Roddy Piper into one of the best of the year. And hell, 1986 was a great year for feuds. The gimmick works on so many levels, and you end up hating him for so many reasons. Adonis sneakattacks JYD but the Dog hits him in the face with his chain to end that. He then hits him five more times, headbutts him, and throws him over the top to the floor, and then headbutts him again for good measure. Gorilla claims that Adonis is bleeding, but I think it’s just makeup. Dog drags him to the apron and headbutts him some more. The ref tries to intervene, but JYD shoves him, and while the ref is down, Jimmy Hart sprays Dog in the face with perfume, blinding the Dog. Adonis with a clothesline to the chest and a big kneedrop. Adonis goes to the second rope with an elbow for two. Adonis tosses the Dog. Jimmy Hart starts hitting JYD with the sprayer, but the Dog just gets pissed and goes after him. Adonis goes to the top rope for a bodypress to the floor, but before we can see that marvel, he slips and crotches himself on the top rope. He falls to the floor and they battle outside. Gee, can you guess what happens next? Actually, I’m proven wrong, both men beat the count, with the Dog rolling Adonis back in. Jimmy Hart’s back on the apron and Dog throws Adonis to him. The ref calls for the bell, and awards the bout to Junkyard Dog. On a DQ, right? No, on a countout. Despite the fact that Adonis got back in the ring first. Nice big cluster, as I guess JYD screwed the ending up by throwing Adonis in. That or the ref forgot who the winner was supposed to be. I really don’t believe in giving two DUDs in a row, and I enjoyed the first minute or so, I’ll be REALLY generous and go 1/2*.

Match #5

Dick Slater vs. “Iron” Mike Sharpe

Sharpe of course is Canada’s greatest athlete. He’s also Canada’s loudest athlete. Slater and Sharpe both get booed. Not a good sign. Slater gets a hammerlock, and Sharpe screams. The crowd screams along which I find pretty funny. Test of strength that Sharpe loses quickly and Slater stomps on his hands. Sharpe hits Slater with his loaded forearm. Coliseum cut with Sharpe begging off, which I fear meant Sharpe dominated this match. Slater with forearms to the corner. Slater hits a neckbreaker, but blows the elbowdrop. Sharpe goes for a slam, but Slater slips out and hits a Russian neckbreaker. He goes to the top rope and hits an elbowdrop. He rolls him up for 3. Just a Superstars squash. Nothing more, nothing less.

Interview: Bobby Heenan. Heenan claims that there wouldn’t be 65,000 here if it wasn’t for him and Orndorff. He’s got a point.

Match #6

Big Machine, Super Machine, and Capt. Lou Albano vs. ‘Big’ John Studd, King Kong Bundy, and Bobby Heenan

The Giant Machine is at ringside. Okay, Big Machine is Demolition Ax (Masked Superstar), and Super Machine is Blackjack Mulligan. The Giant Machine of course is Andre the Giant. And this was one idiotic angle. Even the WWF realized what a loser deal this was and responded by doing a joke angle on house shows later on where Big and Super were replaced by newcomers Hulk Machine and Piper Machine. Big and Studd start. Big goes for an easy Studd slam but Studd grabs the ropes. Studd shouldertackles Big down. Big hits two clotheslines to knock Studd down. Andre throws him back in. Bundy tags in, and Super comes in. Bundy gets the upperhand and tries for the avalanche, but misses and an elbow sends Bundy to the floor. Bundy back in, and he punches Super down, and tags Studd back in. Studd hits more forearms and elbows. And Heenan tags in. He runs in and starts taking Super’s mask off. Big punches Heenan in the back of the head, and he quickly tags Studd back in. Super tags Big, and Big attacks everybody. He pays for it too, and Studd elbows him back down. Bundy tags in and goes for a doubleteam but rams into Studd instead. Big gets some quick forearms in, but Studd knees him in the back to end that. Heenan tags back in, and tells Studd what he’s going to do, giving Big time to tag Albano in. Albano offers a free shot. So Heenan slaps him in the face. Albano throws Heenan around like a rag doll. He gets tossed upside down into the corner, and manages to get himself caught in the tree of woe. Albano kicks away but Heenan gets a quick eyerake and tags Studd in. Studd beats in Albano, and then attacks the other Machines single-handedly. Giant Machine’s had enough and he comes in and destroys everybody for the DQ. Andre headbutts Heenan to the floor, Albano throws Heenan back in, Andre headbutts Heenan again, Albano rolls him back in. Heenan decides to go the floor on the other side and he escapes. Heenan’s team are the winners. And they’re cheered when the announcement is made. That helped seal their fate right there. 1/2*, pretty bad match.

Match #7

Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Ricky Steamboat, Jake Roberts, Randy Savage. Put any two of those together, and you have one of the better WWF feuds. These three men KNEW what it took to get great psychology and great heat. Jake had only been in the WWF for about two months when he had a match with Steamboat on SNME. He attacked Steamboat before the bell, and DDT’d him on the concrete, and Steamboat legitimately got his head bounced. Roberts then dumped Damian on him, attempting to stick the snake in Steamboat’s mouth. It was an angle that had everybody at my school talking. And it was one if the angles that got me hooked on wrestling. Try finding an angle like that today. Anyways, they had a tremendous series of matches that got both men over, especially Jake, despite the fact that he lost most of them. And this is another in that series, a “Snake Pit” match. Basically, it’s no DQ, anything goes. Except use of the snake, who is surprisingly absent. Steamboat gets up on the apron to wave to the fans, and Jake tries to sneak attack him again, but Steamboat’s ready. The director is not, as he cuts to a crowd shot, not realizing the match has started. Quick shot back and the two are trading shots with Jake winning. He goes for the short-arm clothesline, but Steamboat ducks and hits a chop. Big backdrop and Jake leaves. Jake slithers in and Steamboat gets more chops for a two count. Armbar by the Dragon, and Steamboat picks him up by that arm and drops him on his back. He slings him in, gets a second vicious chop, for a two. This match is unsanctioned by the WWF, Gorilla tells us. Steamboat and Jake trade instructions, though at least Jake can see how close the camera is, so he covers his mouth while he talks. Jake misses a punch, Steamboat chops him more, and gives him a thrust kick to the gut, getting a groan from the crowd. Jake staggers out of the ring, and the Dragon goes after him. Jake hits a shoulderblock tackle to the gut in retaliation and both men are hurting. Jake slams Steamboat on the floor. He then knees him on the throat. Jake grabs a chair, but Steamboat chops it out of his hands, then hits him with the chair to the stomach, then pops him in the face with it. He throws Jake in, goes to the top rope, hits a huge chop to the forehead, but only gets two. He goes back to the armbar. A “Jake” chant starts. Definitely a good-sized heel crowd here tonight. Steamboat whips Jake into the corner, but Jake reverses it, throwing Steamboat over the top, to the floor, and Steamboat fails to see the ring steps on the way down, and awkwardly hits them on the way to the floor. Jake joins him out there, and slingshots him facefirst into the steel post. And Steamboat blades. I should point out that the ring area is on an elevated platform, so the fans can better see the ring. I say that now, because Steamboat wobbles around and falls off the ring area, a good two feet or so. Jake rams Steamboat’s throat into the railing. He keeps ramming Steamboat’s head into the floor, trying to make him bleed more. He throws Steamboat in and taunts him. He punches the wound, and begs Steamboat to hit him. He hits the short arm clothesline, and goes for the DDT, but Steamboat rams him into the corner. Jake hits a kneelift, but Steamboat hits a karate chop. Jake hits a reverse atomic drop followed by a stomachbreaker. Jake lays on Steamboat for a nonchalant cover, but Steamboat reverses it and gets the three. Ending came out of nowhere. This could have been a great match had it been given more time. And the fact is I’ve seen better matches between these two. But still, easily best match on the card so far, and considering what’s coming up, I don’t see much topping this.

Match #8

Billy Jack Haynes vs. Hercules Hernandez

For some reason, Gorilla Monsoon is revoicing this match. Several collar and elbow tie-ups lead to a Hercules clothesline leading into a bearhug. Haynes claps his hands to get out. Hercules gets a few shots in, and drops an elbow for two. Haynes reverses a whip into the corner and they both hit head to head. Haynes kicks Hercules in the stomach and several punches to the face and an elbow knocks Hercules down. He hits a backbreaker, and hits an axehandle from the second rope for two. Haynes goes for the full nelson, but Hercules low blows him to get out. He knees Haynes in the back of the head, and tosses him. Hercules suplexes him back in for two. He clotheslines Haynes and gets a two, but he thinks its a three. The fans don’t react either way. Haynes schoolboys him for two. Hercules goes for a neckbreaker, but Haynes reverses it into a backslide for the surprise three. Blah match, but okay ending, I won’t penalize it. Nothing to see here, move along. Of course, somebody saw something in this, since these guys would feud for about six months over who had the most boring submission hold.

Match #9

The Rougeaus vs. Valentine & Beefcake

The Canadian crowd are big on the Rougeaus. Valentine and Beefcake are quick on the attack, but the Rougeaus respond by tossing the Dream Team. Valentine in and Jacques gets a quick sunset flip for two. Jacques with a chop and a kneedrop to Valentine. Raymond back in with a mule kick to Valentine. Jacques back in with an abdominal stretch, Gorilla AGAIN tells us how the hold is done wrong, and Ernie Ladd talks for the first time in an hour. Valentine hiptosses his way out, and Beefcake comes in with a powerslam. Jacques gets a tag to Raymond, who gets a chop and then delivers a butt splash onto Beefcake for an incredibly slow one count. Beefcake tags Valentine who nails both Rougeaus. He slams Jacques for another slow one. Let me explain how slow the ref is. He walks over to the wrestlers, makes a dramatic flop to the canvas, checks to see if the shoulders are down, and THEN starts the count. So by the time he gets to one, most normal refs would be at four. Valentine misses a shot and Jacques tags Raymond and both hit a double dropkick. Valentine does the Flair flop, which is counterproductive when you’re dropkicked. Jacques goes for the pin, and thirty seconds later he gets a two count. This is REALLY aggravating. Valentine hits some NASTY chops on Jacques, and the two double slingshot Jacques into the corner which makes a wicked thud sound followed by Jacques screaming “OWWWW!” like an eight year old girl. Valentine hits an atomic drop. Beefcake gets a kick to the gut. And after each of these, Jacques makes that same whiny “OWWWW!” sound. Raymond gets tired of it, and runs in. And now all four men are in the ring. Jacques and Raymond throw the Dream Team into each other. Jacques slams Beefcake and they hit the “Bomb de Rougeau.” You know, that move where Raymond’s on the top rope, and Jacques helps somersault over into a senton. Valentine’s on the floor at this point. He manages to get in the ring, trip, regain himself, and elbow Jacques to break up the pin. The ref hadn’t even gotten to one yet. Beefcake tosses both Rougeaus, and Valentine attacks Raymond on the outside. Raymond constantly gets rammed back first into the apron. Jacques claps his hands trying to get the fans involved, so Beefcake cheapshots him. Beefcake pressslams Raymond into a backbreaker for two. Valentine back in, and Jacques wants the fans to chant “Go Ray Go!” What is this, World Class? Valentine does nothing of a note so Beefcake comes back in with his world famous “huge setup that just leads to a stomp to the head” move. Beefcake hits a suplex. God, Jacques won’t shut up. He’s worse than Sharpe. Valentine goes to a bearhug. He drops him and goes for the pin, but the ref takes so long that Valentine lifts him up before a one and goes back to the bearhug. Raymond manages to tag Jacques while IN THE HOLD, but since Jacques wasn’t holding the tag rope, it doesn’t count. This is the most ANAL referee I have EVER seen. So while Jacques gets led out, Beefcake hits a knee to the back for a two. Jacques screams “C’mon Raymond! Fight Back!” but Raymond can’t. The Dream Team stomp Raymond in the corner. Valentine winds up for an elbow but misses, and Raymond makes the tag. Jacques hits FOUR dropkicks on the Dream Team and slams Valentine. He slams Beefcake. Valentine gets in a slugfest with Jacques and wins. Doubleteam into the ropes but Jacques dropkicks them both. Jacques to the second rope and misses a kneedrop. Valentine slaps on the figure-four, but Jacques won’t quit. Raymond breaks it up, and Valentine hits him back. Beefcake in, and all four men are in it again. Valentine stomps on Jacques’ injured leg. The ref separates Beefcake and Raymond, and while Beefcake goes to the corner, Raymond sunset flips Valentine for a much faster three count. I won’t even start with how little sense the ending made. The crowd EXPLODES, and commentator Johnny Valiant throws a tantrum since his team lost. Very good tag match, MUCH better than their WM3 match.

Match #10

Pedro Morales vs. Harley Race

If this match had been made 12 years prior, it would be NWA World Champion vs. WWWF World Champion. Now it’s just a regular match. The sad truth here is the same guys fighting for the title 12 years ago are STILL fighting for it (Hogan and Undertaker) Sigh. Anyway, nobody of course, picks up the significance of this match. Hell, I’m expecting Monsoon to call Race a “youngster” or a “newcomer.” There is a slight backstory to this as Race had beaten Morales in the finals of the King of the Ring tourney in Massachusetts a month prior to this, hence Race being called “The King.” This is the rematch. This is also mercifully joined in progress. Morales pops Race in the face, and Race falls out of the ring. Race drags him out and elbows him in the throat, and goes hardcore by throwing him on the timekeeper’s table. It doesn’t break. He then drops a headbutt on the floor. Race continues to punch Morales and throws him face first into the post. Morales reverses a suplex. He gets a small package for two. Morales whips Race into the corner but Race reverses, blindcharges, Morales gets a sunset-flip for two. Morales blocks a Race punch and gets his own. The ref tries to block a punch to get Race out of the corner, so Morales shoves him, Race scoops him up, puts the feet on the ropes and gets the three. *1/2, pretty much nothing match. The fans were chanting “Orndorff” during this match to show just how much they cared.

Match #11

Hulk Hogan vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff

Say what you will, this was and has always been Hulk Hogan’s greatest feud. And I know I throw hyperbole around a lot in these columns, but this is one I’m not backing down on.

Not-so-quick backstory, and I’m sure you know it, but just indulge me on this. Orndorff turned face after Hogan and Mr. T befriended him after WrestleMania. That led to Orndorff being very popular, though nowhere near that of Hogan. Orndorff seemed fine with that, feuding with Studd, Piper, and generally being an upper-mid-card guy (ala Steamboat). But there were always signs that Orndorff could turn heel, such as his heel-like ways during a match with Tito Santana at the Wrestling Classic, a match where Tito was treated as the face. Or Jesse’s occasionally cryptic comments “I know the REAL “Mr. Wonderful.”

But with that on the backburner, in the early summer of 1986, Orndorff was a guest on The Flower Shop, where Adrian Adonis taunted Orndorff about his friendship with Hogan, claiming that Hogan was just using Orndorff and that they weren’t really friends. Orndorff took exception to it, and went to call Hogan to prove Adonis wrong. He called Hogan at his gym, but was told that Hogan was too busy to talk to him. Orndorff got pissed that his “friend” would snub him like that, and he threw a fit on Championship Wrestling (pre-cursor to Superstars of Wrestling). Hogan found out and tried to make amends, offering to tag with him against John Studd and King Kong Bundy. But Orndorff wanted a warm-up match with the Moondogs first. During that match, Orndorff dominated the entire thing, letting Hogan wrestle about thirty seconds, while he wrestled the whole time. Orndorff was trying to prove his worth and that he was Hogan’s equal, not his lackey. The fans didn’t seem too happy about it. And Hogan seemed a little uneasy about it as well.

Then came the big match. Hogan/Orndorff vs. Studd/Bundy. And back in 1986, this was BIG stuff. Hogan almost NEVER wrestled on the syndicated shows. During the pre-match, Hogan was trying to make ABSOLUTELY sure that Orndorff wasn’t upset about the phone call, but Orndorff said it was okay. During the match Orndorff again tried to dominate, but after blowing a slam of Studd, he tagged Hogan, who slammed Studd immediately, pissing Orndorff off that his friend would “show him up” like that. Studd and Bundy would take control of the match, beating Hogan mercilessly, and during one exchange, Hogan was shoved into Orndorff where Hogan’s elbow accidentally popped Orndorff in the mouth. The fans were screaming for Orndorff to help Hogan, but Orndorff was mad that no one cared that he was hurt. Finally after a few moments, Orndorff made the save, and Studd and Bundy a bit too quickly left the ring. Orndorff helped Hogan up, and the fans went crazy. Orndorff gives the “thumbs up” to Hogan, but there’s a bit of a sarcastic way that he’s doing it. Then just as suddenly…….Orndorff plants Hogan with a clothesline, picks him up, and delivers a nasty piledriver, leaving him a crumpled heap on the mat. He motions for Studd and Bundy to come in and finish the job, but the locker room empties and a few of the C-level faces come out to save Hogan. Orndorff goes back to the dressing room, where waiting for him is Adrian Adonis, who congratulates Paul, and we the audience, find out it was a set-up all along.

That right there is the makings of a great feud. But they kept going. Paul Orndorff starts coming out to Hulk Hogan’s music. He puts his hand to his ear, mocking Hogan. He hires Bobby Heenan as his manager. He starts claiming that Hogan was jealous of HIM, and that HE was the talented one of the pair. That he was sick of carrying Hogan. And Orndorff turns into one of the best asshole wrestlers ever. Simply because in every interview he gives, there’s a bit of truth in what he’s saying.

Now keep in mind, everything I just wrote was from memory. It happened 16 years ago, but the angle was SO well done, and it SO upset me as a child, I can remember the build-up and the matches moreso than anything that the WWF did 16 months ago, hell even 16 days ago. But before I start THAT tirade…..

This marked the first OFFICIAL meeting between these two since the incident. Now I’m sure there were house shows before this, but of course, if it doesn’t air, it doesn’t count.

The match…..

Paul Orndorff comes out to “Real American.” And rather than cue it back up, they just let the song continue as Hogan comes out. Heenan’s still in his wrestling gear, and I guess he forgot to put his pants back on. Hogan’s got his ear bandaged. A small “Won-der-ful” chant starts. Orndorff clotheslines Hogan immediately and starts punching away. But Hogan rolls him over and starts hitting him. The ref grabs some balls and grabs Hogan’s hair and pulls him off. Another slugfest starts and Hogan wins. Orndorff retreats to the floor. Orndorff sneaks back in, but Hogan sees him and elbows him to the floor. Orndorff grabs Hogan and pulls him out with him. They ram each other’s head into the mat. Back inside and Hogan hits a running clothesline, followed by a big elbow. Another running clothesline in the corner. Hogan starts to celebrate, so Orndorff lowblows him. Hogan leans his head down towards the ring ropes, and Bobby Heenan slaps him in the face. That apparently gets the blood away from the crotch as now Hogan’s pissed. He hits Orndorff and gets an atomic drop. And now Hogan goes after Heenan. Orndorff jumps Hogan with several kneedrops. Orndorff clotheslines Hogan through the ropes to the floor, and the crowd is giving both a “Hogan” and “Orndorff” chant. It’s roughly 2/1 for Hogan, but the fact that it’s THAT close is surprising. In fact when Hogan goes to the floor it gets a big pop. I guess there were even “smart” fans back then. Orndorff suplexes Hogan on the floor. Hogan crawls in and Orndorff stomps away. He pulls Hogan’s head out and starts elbowing Hogan’s throat. He then jumps off the apron and elbows Hogan to the floor. In a creative bit, someone throws a can into the ring, which Orndorff uses to bash Hogan in the head with. I can’t imagine that that idea was looked positively at. Orndorff hits Hogan in the throat, and the ref threatens to DQ him. Orndorff backs off, but hits a kneedrop for a slow two. Orndorff complains about the count and he’s got a point. Orndorff slams Hogan and hits an elbow. He goes to the top rope and hits a shot to the throat. He calls for the piledriver to a big pop. But Hogan backdrops him for an even bigger one. Orndorff responds with a vicious eye gouge. Orndorff bites Hogan, and jaws with the ref. Belly to back suplex for two, and Hogan Hulks up. Hogan knees Orndorff into the ref and they both go down. Hogan then decides to recreate the betrayal, by picking up Orndorff all “buddy buddy” and then viciously clotheslines him. He gives the sign for the piledriver. He picks him up for the move, but Heenan runs in and smacks Hogan in the head with a stool. Orndorff crawls on top of Hogan, and the ref slowly crawls over and taps Orndorff’s shoulder three times, and the crowd ACTUALLY THINKS Orndorff won. Trash just goes FLYING into the ring, Orndorff grabs the belt and starts celebrating, the bell rings, and the fans are going nuts. Some pissed, some happy. And Hogan’s still down. Finkel though tells us that Hogan wins on a DQ because Orndorff hit the ref, even though Hogan pushed Orndorff into him. Orndorff sees Hogan still down, and while wearing the belt, he kicks and stomps on Hogan. He tries to hit Hogan with the belt but Hogan recovers, punches Orndorff and with a big boot, sends Orndorff packing. Hogan starts to celebrate, but Orndorff runs in with a cheap shot from behind and then runs away. Hogan begs Orndorff to come back, but Orndorff leaves. Considering the hype, it was decent, and certainly NOT your typical Hogan match. But on the same note, not a GREAT match either.

Another reason the Orndorff feud was great: Hogan never pinned Orndorff in any of their televised matches. The only match Hogan outright WON was that double escape cage match from SNME. Maybe Hogan won on house shows, but I NEVER saw Hogan pin “Mr. Wonderful.”

I’m digressing. The credits are rolling. Thusly, it’s……

End of tape.

I’ll be honest as I always am. 1986 has a special place in my heart as a wrestling fan. That was the first year I watched it, and everything was new to me. So in that regard, this show is a great nostalgia trip, a chance to go back to my childhood briefly.

But you guys aren’t me, so I have to be unbiased. This is NOT a particularly good show. It’s a house show that a LOT of people went to. There are only three good matches (Hogan/Orndorff, Steamboat/Roberts, Rougeaus/DreamTeam) and of those you can find better matches that these guys had, save for the Rougeaus.

As pure nostalgia, I recommend it. I almost expected to see Heenan and Monsoon pop up with that video screen between them from the old Prime Time Wrestling days.


Thumb in the middle leaning ever-so-slightly down, take a pass, C.

-Sydney Brown


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Sydney Brown


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