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The Name on the Marquee: Madison Square Garden Presents the WWF (10.20.1986)

November 8, 2015 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
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The Name on the Marquee: Madison Square Garden Presents the WWF (10.20.1986)  

-This is from WWE Network, which has the entire card in the vault.

-Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon, Mean Gene Okerlund, and Lord Alfred Hayes.

-Fireman’s carry takedown by Blair as we go straight to the mat for this one. Blair goes from armbar to backdrop to wristlock without letting go of Beefcake. Beefcake tries a forearm, but misses and Blair goes straight back to the arm. Beefcake tries to bodyslam his way out, but Blair holds on still and won’t let go of the arm. Blair rolls him up for two. Beefcake and rolls out of the ring just to finally get the hell away from Blair.

-Back in, Brutus gets aggressive with elbows and forearms to take control. Blair is on the mat and Brutus lays a boot across his neck and holds onto Blair’s leg so Blair’s own body creates extra leverage while he’s being choked. Cool.

-Camel clutch by Beefcake, with his fingers going into Blair’s mouth and pulling on his mustache instead of goinf around the jaw. Inverted atomic drop by Beefcake gets two. He goes back to the camel clutch, but he doesn’t have the arms secured, so Blair is able to fight out and it’s a slugfest.

-Blair is pissed off and he targets the eyes. Atomic drop has Beefcake begging for mercy. Blair gives him a clothesline and an elbow right to the nose for two. Bodypress by Blair, but Beefcake rolls through and gets a handful of tights for three. 1 for 1. Pretty basic but fun stuff.

-The 300-pound Rex is taken off his feet by a single chop. Tama follows with a headbutt and clamps on the chinlock. Bodypress gets two. Sudden thought that comes to mind: I have never seen the Moondogs hike up their jeans during a match, and to give & take bumps while wearing jeans, which are secured with a rope instead of a belt, is actually a pretty impressive feat.

-Rex gets tangled in the ropes and Tama goes for a bodypress, but Rex was luring him in and ducks, and Tama hits the concrete and a row of chairs. Rex suplexes him back in for two. Rex works the back with a series of knees and rams him into the corner. Bearhug applied by the Dog, which is just flagrant false advertising.

-Tama claps his hands to get free. Slugfest erupts again, except with chops, and Tama wins that battle. He goes upstairs and connects with the bodypress for three. 2 for 2. Pretty good energy from both men.

-Kneelift by Bundy and he tries for the avalanche right away, but Super meets him with a clothesline, and a bodypress takes Bundy off his feet for two. Bundy clubs him again but misses an elbow. Super tries the bodypress since it worked before, but this time Bundy is ready and catches him with a backbreaker.

-Bundy chokes out Super. Super floors him with a single clothesline and then tries to Irish whip him, but Bundy reverses and connects with the avalanche for three. 2 for 3. What’s funny is Bundy had impressive heat with the fans but they weren’t really into Super Machine. The fans hated Bundy more than they liked his opponent.

DYNAMITE KID (with Matilda) vs. JIM “The Anvil” NEIDHART
-The pre-match commentary alone is a keeper for anyone familiar with Gorilla’s regular routine of second-guessing the weight announcements, as the camera gets a tight shot of Matilda and Gorilla says with a straight face that Matilda looks close to that 100-pound mark.

-Bodypress, which is shaping up to be Most Valuable Move at tonight’s event, by Dynamite gets an early two-count, and Anvil goes outside for a breather. They trade shoulderblocks and Dynamite suckers Anvil into trying another one, and then drops to the mat faster than the speed of gravity to catch him with a drop toehold on impact.

-Anvil’s not happy, so he gets two big handfuls of hairs and uses them to slam Dynamite a few times. He sends Dynamite out of the ring and onto the floor (with Dynamite visibly making an effort to avoid landing in a puddle of spilled soda) and Neidhart comes out to capitalize by slamming him on the floor, while making it a point to slam him on a dry spot. When you’re on the road 300 days a year, your physical condition takes a backseat to your ability to do laundry in a convenient fashion.

-Dynamite bounces back with a headbutt that causes Anvil to reel back into the ropes. Dynamite charges, Anvil ducks, and Dynamite gets caught in the ropes. Anvil thinks that Dynamite crotched himself and uses the opportunity to take a breather, but Dynamite actually had a totally painless impact with the ropes on the back of the thigh, so he bounces right back and rolls up Anvil for three. 3 for 4. This match was just starting to get fun.

JACQUES ROUGEAU vs. IRON SHEIK (with Nikolai Volkoff)
-Sheik awesomely cuts a promo until he notices Jacques is taking off his robe, then dashes away to attack him from behind. Sheik chokes him out and sends him into the corner, but Jacques reaches the second rope and bodypresses him for a sudden two-count. Jacques sits on him for another two.

-They go off the ropes for a bit until Jacques hiptosses Sheik. Jacques goes for a backdrop but gets a pointy boot to the chest, and he goes right out to the floor. Back in, Sheik backdrops Jacques and spits on him to celebrate his sudden good fortune in this bout. Poorly applied abdominal stretch by Sheik, and Gene can’t help noting that the execution of this particular hold appears to be “catawampus.”

-Gutwrench suplex by Sheik gets two. Regular old suplex is countered by Jacques for two. Sheik gets desperate and throws him out to the floor, but Jacques launches himself back in with a sunset flip for three, and you’d swear there was a belt on the line from the way the crowd reacts to that. 4 for 5. Decent.

-A “live” Pit from MSG and possibly the all-time greatest Pit. It’s Piper’s first appearance as a face in MSG, and he tells the fans straight up, “I’m not running for president and I’m still the same no-good son of a bitch I’ve always been. Piper throws a few homophobic slurs at Adrian Adonis and wishes the Mets good luck in the World Series, and then brings out his guests, Paul Orndorff and Bobby Heenan.

-“The last time I saw you in MSG, you were laying on your back with your ass in the air.” Orndorff is ready to throw down right away. Piper wonders how Orndorff’s career will ever get anywhere now that he’s proven that he can’t be trusted. But since Piper JUST turned face, that really is the pot calling the kettle black and Heenan basically points that out.

-So the segment turns into a challenge for a tag team match, and Heenan says there are a hundred wrestlers who would be Paul Orndorff’s partner. “Name one,” says Piper. Heenan FREEZES. He tries to save it by saying “It doesn’t matter who his partner is because in a tag team match, Orndorff does 99% of the wrestling.” Piper, speaking from experience, replies, “He also does 100% of the losing.”

-Orndorff and Heenan have a long conversation in the corner, trying to think of ONE wrestler that Orndorff doesn’t have issues with. They finally come up with the name King Harley Race. They demand to know Piper’s tag team partner, and Piper says he needs to talk it over with his manager. He turns to the front row and waves Vladimir the superfan into the ring. They have a conversation and Piper announces that his manager has come up with a tag team partner for him. Vladimir triumphantly shouts “HULK HOGAN!” and Orndorff throws a tantrum. Match on. 5 for 6.

-This is going to be a tremendous scientific match, which means both men will be carefully examining stem cells and moon dust during the rest holds.

-Rotundo applies a side headlock. Brunzell gets free and they dual for a hiptoss, with both men countering until they wind up in the ropes. Brunzell applies flying headscissors as the crowd just instantly doesn’t care about this.

-Rotundo with a bow-and-arrow while we get an update on the injured Danny Spivey. Brunzell with a toehold. These guys have all the moves, they just aren’t putting them together in an interesting way.

-Rotundo shows the first whiff of aggression with a forearm and an atomic drop for two. Brunzell reacts with uppercuts and a legdrop for two. Rotundo monkeyflips Brunzell. Brunzell tries a sunset flip but Rotundo punches out of that. Brunzell cradles him for two. Brunzell throws uppercuts and applies a huntthewumpus abdominal stretch. Rotundo reverses it to a katzenjammer abdominal stretch, but Brunzell hiptosses out. They collide on a double shoulderblock and both men are out.

-Sleeper by Brunzell. Rotundo breaks, and they trade attempts at an atomic drop. The fight spills over the top rope, and they don’t even brawl. They’re both too tired to get back into the ring, and it’s a double countout. 5 for 7. A weird match. Like I said, they had the moves, they had a story (they try to “play nice” but both men want to win and get aggressive), but they couldn’t put it together for some reason. Eh. Everyone has an off night.

DAVEY BOY SMITH (with Matilda) vs. GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE
-Davey Boy gets the early advantage with headbutts. Arm wringer is locked on. Valentine reverses, Davey Boy reverses back, Valentine turns it into a backbreaker for two. Valentine goes to work on the back from there, applying a bearhug, but Davey Boy claps his way out…I want to see somebody try that in UFC just once.

-Series of forearms by Valentine and he sends Davey Boy out to the floor. Back in, a shoulderbreaker gets two. Suplex gets another two. Valentine goes for the figure four, but Davey Boy turns it into a cradle for two. That fires up Greg so he starts targeting the leg with a series of different moves so Davey Boy can’t do it. Something amazing is happening in this match. I won’t say what; I’m just going to keep seeing how this match plays out because I don’t want to jinx it.

-Davey Boy mounts a comeback with an enziguiri and a sharpshooter(!) Valentine makes the ropes for the break. Suplex by Davey gets two. Running powerslam gets two. Valentine goes out for a breather, but Davey Boy follows him out and lays a beating on him. Valentine suckers Davey Boy into chasing him and pounces when Davey Boy gets back in the ring. Snapmare and an elbow by the Hammer.

-Valentine locks on the figure four. Davey Boy makes the ropes. Davey Boy gets fired up with right hands and a dropkick. Valentine sweeps Davey Boy’s legs and gets the pin with one hand on the top rope. 6 for 8. Gorilla Monsoon just went through an entire Greg Valentine match without once saying that it usually takes Valentine 15 minutes to get warmed up.

-Kneelift by Spot. He tries ramming SD into the turnbuckle, but lol black and SD works the arm and slams him. Alfred incredibly says it usually takes a few minutes for Moondog Spot to get warmed up.

-Spot clothesline Jones and comes off the second rope with a knee. Spot applies a chinlock while the commentators observe the “strange haircut” of SD Jones and wonder what it’s called. A flat top.

-Right hands by Spot and an inverted atomic drop. He throws SD out to the floor and that soda puddle is STILL THERE. There’s not one paper towel anywhere in MSG?

-Back in, SD reverses a suplex but SD goes right back to work with an Irish whip and right hands. Double shoulderblock and both men are out of it, as is the entire MSG crowd, and the commentators are so entertained that they begin talking about Gorilla’s daughter’s upcoming wedding. Oh, Bobby Heenan talks about that wedding in one of his books. He stayed at the reception too long and missed his flight for a Hogan/Orndorff match, and I guess it was one where Heenan figured into the finish and Vince absolutely fined the shit out of him for no-showing.

-SD finishes with a sudden headbutt and the crowd wakes up and applauds politely. 6 for 9. Bleh.

-Haku dropkicks Nikolai in mid-anthem and sends him out of the ring. Nikolai comes back in with guns blazing and beheads Haku with a clothesline. Haku fights back with chops. Nikolai with another clothesline and he tosses Haku out to the floor.

-Back in, he gives Haku a hard knee, but rams him into the turnbuckle, and that’s like spinach for Haku. Nikolai panics and pulls out a foreign object, taking Haku back down with it. He misses a corner charge, and Haku instantly rolls him up for three. 6 for 10. Commentators correctly point out that Volkoff’s shoulders weren’t down.

-Brett is really funny before the match, acting like a total dick about the weapons check and taking off his elbow pads and jiggling the kneepads back and forth. Raymond snatches the sunglasses right off Brett’s face and stomps on them and aww shit it’s ON.

-Brett goes out to the floor and audibly yells “Fuck you!”, still throwing a tantrum about his shades. Totally forgotten when discussing Brett’s legacy is that he could be funny as hell when he was playing heel. Brett actually stalls quite a bit in the early going before sending Raymond into the ropes and trying for a monkeyflip. Raymond stomps his face instead.

-Brett’s mad now and gets mega-aggressive with kicks and punches. He throws Raymond out to the floor while the commentators mention what a disappointment Brett is to his father.

-Backbreaker by Brett gets two. Chinlock is clamped on and he gets into a funny argument with the referee. “I don’t need to pull hair! I’m a great wrestler!”

-Raymond gets a sudden sunset flip for two. Brett gets aggressive again but Raymond meets him with a dropkick for another two. Piledriver by Raymond gets two more. He sends Brett into the turnbuckles and follows with an atomic drop. He pounds away at Brett in the corner, but Brett gets a Flair pin for the sudden three. 7 for 11. I had fun.

-When a wrestler is eliminated, so is the partner. Your participants are: The Moondogs, Rougeau Brothers, Dream Team, The Indians (Steve Gatorwolf & Chief Jay Strongbow), Hart Foundation, Mike Rotundo & SD Jones, The Islanders, Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik, Killer Bees, The Machines, King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd, and the British Bulldogs.

-Rex is eliminated in seconds. Dynamite and Haku are having a really tight looking battle in one corner and Studd clubbers Super Machine. Bundy is nearly dumped but Big John saves him. SD Jones gets dumped off camera. So does Steve Gatorwolf.

-Super Machine eliminates Iron Sheik and apparently Sheik is bleeding like a mofo when he lands. Dynamite and Brett eliminate each other. Everybody tries to dump Bundy, but Studd makes the save again. Islanders double-team Big Machine. Brutus eliminates Jim Brunzell to a surprising pop. Studd eliminates Jacques.

-Final Four: Dream Team, Islanders, Machines, Studd & Bundy. Beefcake charges at Super Machine and gets tossed immediately. Big Machine tries to slam Studd, but Bundy clotheslines him out. Studd & Bundy crack up at their opponents. Haku chops Studd down to size while Bundy avalanches Tama. Studd holds Haku in place for a clothesline, and Bundy accidentally clotheslines his partner over the top to give it to the Islanders. 8 for 12. I like battle royals, generally, and this one was pretty entertaining.

The final score: review Average
The 411
The whole card was a nice change of pace, and a bunch of matches delivered. Thumbs up!

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WWF, Adam Nedeff