wrestling / Columns

The Best Of Times 2.07.08: November 1987

February 7, 2008 | Posted by Matt Adamson

Hello readers, and welcome. This is the 4th ever edition of The Best Of Times and I hope you enjoy it. I’ve been working on some reviews for this site, but damn am I having trouble getting through Starrcade ’93. When the time comes you’ll have to check out my review of that show, as well as all the other Starrcade events I’ve been working on. It’s just that the 1993 show is so top loaded that sitting through the first 2.5 hours is worse than a trip to the doctor when he/she has to stick their fingers where the sun don’t shine. I need to be put out of my misery.

If you are a new reader of The Best Of Times, let me explain things before we get going. If you are not, skip this paragraph as I’m sure you’ve already read it before. The Best of Times is a column in which I will be evaluating several wrestling promotions during a selected month from the past. I’ll take anywhere from 3-5 promotions that were thriving during the period I’m covering and go over what went down in each promotion during that month including results of big shows and major angles going on at the time. I’ll give my opinion of each and then choose the best wrestler, tag team, match, feud, show and promotion of the month. I hope to give this is slight old school kayfabe feel with a lot of modern analysis. Well, on with the show!

November 1987

Not all months in time are filled with great things, and not all can be all positive and November 1987 was certainly not a positive month in 1987. On November 17th the Gulf of Alaska was hit hard by a Tsunami, while on the 25th, the Philippines were hit by a powerful Typhoon that killed over 1,000 people. Also in November 1987, Ronald Reagan is blamed for the Iran-Contra affair, Korean Air flight 858 is blown up killing over 100, and this happened in professional wrestling…


The 26th of December would be a day that would go down in history. The WWF had spent much of the fall preparing for a coup of sorts against the NWA and the running of its first PPV, Starrcade 1987. So, in response to that, the WWF decided to run one up against their effort with the first Survivor Series. November would be dedicated to the build for this show, which would feature elimination style matches between teams of 5 or 10. The show went incredibly well and buried much of the audience that the NWA was expecting for Starrcade. Here are the results from that show…

1. Randy Savage, Jim Duggan, Ricky Steamboat, Jake Roberts, Brutus Beefcake def. Honky Tonk Man, Hercules, Harley Race, Danny Davis, Ron Bass.
2. The Fabulous Moolah, Rockin’ Robin, Velvet McIntyre, Noriyoi Tateno, Itsuki Yamazaki def. Sensational Sherri, Lailani Kai, Judy Martin, Dawn Marie, Donna Christanello
3. British Bulldogs, Rougeau Brothers, Young Stallions, Killer Bees, Strike Force def. Demolition, Hart Foundation, Bolsheviks, Islanders, Dream Team II
4. Hulk Hogan, Bam Bam Bigelow, Ken Patera, Don Muraco, Paul Orndorff def. Andre the Giant, One Man Gang, Rick Rude, Butch Reed, King Kong Bundy

The Hogan vs. Andre feud was still hot, but it was the tag team match that simply stole the show. The concept won over the crowd and the wrestling world and Survivor Series would be a staple for the WWF in November, even today. That wasn’t it for Vince McMahon and company as they would air another show (this one recorded before Survivor Series) on November 28th, just two days after the big Survivor Series coup. It would be Saturday Night’s Main Event, which would be from Seattle. Here are the results of that show…

1. George “The Animal” Steele def. Danny Davis
2. Randy Savage def. Bret Hart
3. WWF Championship: King Kong Bundy def. Hulk Hogan © by count out. Hogan retained the title.
4. Bam Bam Bigelow def. Hercules

NWA – Jim Crocket Promotions

November 1987 was supposed to be one of the biggest months in the history of the NWA with their first Pay Per View, but the WWF stole all their thunder by going up head to head with them on Thanksgiving. November itself wasn’t exactly full of awesome for the NWA, as the main program would feature Ron Garvin who was not prepared to be the top dog for the oldest promotion in the world. Things were falling apart in the Mid-South Territory (called the UWF at this point) and the NWA’s Jim Crocket came to their rescue and featured them on Starrcade 1987. Here are the results from that show…

1. Sting, Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin fought Eddie Gilbert, Rick Steiner and Larry Zbysko to a 15 minute time limit draw
2. UWF Championship: Steve Williams © def. Barry Windham
3. Scaffold Match: The Rock and Roll Express def. The Midnight Express
4. NWA/UWF TV Title Unification Match: Nikita Koloff def. Terry Taylor to win the UWF TV title.
5. World Tag Team Championship: The Road Warriors def. Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard by DQ. Anderson and Blanchard retain the titles.
6. United States Championship/Steel Cage Match: Dusty Rhodes def. Lex Luger © to win the title.
7. World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair def. Ronnie Garvin © to win the title.

While the show didn’t set the world on fire, it did take care of the Garvin mistake. However, while they fixed one mistake, they made another. Not giving the Road Warriors the title win in their hometown at the biggest show of the year just might be one of the stupidest things that company did before Eric Bischoff took over in 1993. Things would get better for the NWA, but Starrcade was not the end of the struggle with the WWF.

World Class

It might seem strange that I mention World Class as late as the end of 1987, but they were still rolling, and while things were pretty much beyond repair, they had a decent show every week. Strangely, with Starrcade and Survivor Series on the 26th, World Class thought it would be a great idea to run their annual Thanksgiving Star Wars show from the Reunion Arena. If you think the WWF killed Starrcade, they REALLY killed this show, as very few people showed up and the show has gone down as a completely meaningless and confusing show that featured far too much Kerry Von Erich. Here are the results from that show…

1. Tim Brooks def. Vic Steamboat
2. Kerry Von Erich def. The Thing
3. Frankie Lancaster def. Al Madril
4. The Spoiler def. Tony Falk
5. Chris Adams and Matt Borne def. The Iron Sheik and The Thing by DQ
6. Light Heavyweight Championship: Shaun Simpson def. Eric Embry © to win the title
7. Texas Death Match: Kevin Von Erich def. Al Perez
8. Kerry Von Erich def. Brian Adias
9. Kerry Von Erich def. Al Perez

Three matches featuring Kerry Von Erich and two featuring The Thing is an indication that things in World Class were indeed dire. By this point World Class was struggling to even get people to show up to the Sportatorium, which was sad to see.

The Best of Times: November 1987

Best Wrestler: Ric Flair (NWA)

It’s hard to pinpoint one single wrestler to call the best wrestler of November 1987. The 10 man tag was fantastic and just about everybody in that match deserves this, but Ric Flair was the one who shined the most from both a quality and kayfabe perspective.

Best Tag Team: Killer Bees (WWF)

This is another tough one as there are easily 10 teams that deserve to be in this spot, but coupled with the result of the Survivor Series match and the quality they put forth in the ring during that match, Brunzell and that no good Michael Jordan, I mean Jackson B. Brian Blair get this one.

Best Match: British Bulldogs, Rougeau Brothers, Young Stallions, Killer Bees, Strike Force def. Demolition, Hart Foundation, Bolsheviks, Islanders, Dream Team II (WWF)

Amazing match from bell to bell. The best part is that it was just PACKED with action, yet still easy to follow in the ring. It’s a shame that this idea hasn’t happened in the last 19 years, but then again, the WWE doesn’t exactly have the tag team division to pull something like this off nowadays.

Best Feud: The Road Warriors vs. Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson (NWA)

I love how this feud went. The Road Warriors were approaching the big Starrcade event in their home town, and that’s what everything centered around, despite the NWA dropping the ball and not putting the title on Hawk and Animal at that show, it was still fantastic.

Best Show: Survivor Series (WWF)

The crap booking of Starrcade is the only reason that this show takes the award here. The talent was firmly in two places, the big tag match on this show and on Starrcade. The difference is that Survivor Series meant more and produced one awesome match. It’s amazing how Survivor Series always maintained it’s greatness, which every copycat version that WCW came out with was a flop.

Best Wrestling Promotion: WWF

It is 1987 after all, and not only is the WWF the best promotion around, they are als the smartest. Not only did they put on the show of the month, but they outsmarted their competition and took their audience. Everybody cared about Hulk Hogan, so the choice was clear when having to decide between him and Andre, Ric Flair and Ronnie Garvin or an overload of Kerry Von Erich.


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Matt Adamson

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