wrestling / Video Reviews

The Name on the Marquee: The 37th Annual WWF Slammy Awards (1987)

July 24, 2012 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
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The Name on the Marquee: The 37th Annual WWF Slammy Awards (1987)  

-The Channel 5 Movie Club will not be airing tonight, so that we can instead bring you a special presentation…

-Daniel Bryan’s entrance music blares as Mean Gene Okerlund’s helicopter soars over Atlantic City, and then crashes into a hotel. Well, that’s one way to open an awards show.

-The tune that would become the theme to “Saturday Night’s Main Event” plays over the red carpet entrances. Cute comedy touch, with the wrestlers arriving in ambulances instead of limousines for the most part. Hulk arrives on a Harley, the Heenan family arrives in a Rolls Royce, and the Bolsheviks arrive on mules. And Ted DiBiase & Fabulous Moolah arrive together. George Steele arrives on a bicycle. Ultimate Warrior and the Killer Bees share a flatbed truck covered in bails of hay.

-There’s a gigantic continuity error in the red carpet arrivals, too. The Bulldogs arrive with Matilda at their side, even though Matilda was dognapped by the Islanders at this point.

-Vince McMahon welcomes us to Circus Maximus and does a perfectly bizarre introduction, channeling a televangelist as he declares the show “a lovefest and celebration of human potential.” The trophy, he says, is “a tribute to blood, sweat, and tears.” I’d like to present Vince with the first Slammy Award for keeping his black tuxedo totally clean and free of powdery residue.

-Vince throws things over to the official hosts of the Slammys, Mean Gene and Jesse Ventura. Jesse rips Mean Gene a new one, again to a thunderous pop from the live audience. And then we truly get some high concept comedy, as Mean Gene introduces the man who tabulated all the votes, “the president of the World Wrestling Federation Academy of Sports and Sciences,” or WWFASS. It’s Jack Tunney, who Jesse refers to as “Jack from ASS.” I bet he’s a superhero in training, too!

-Your nominees are Damien, Frankie, Matilda who again shouldn’t be here, and George “The Animal” Steele. Audience shots during the introduction of the nominees give us a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse of Outback Jack in a tux.

-George Steele wins and immediately celebrates by disrobing and getting lost on his way from his seat to the stage. Hillbilly Jim steers him to the stage, and George celebrates by eating one of the decorative turnbuckles adorning the stage. A lovely model tries to hand him a Slammy, and George reacts by chasing her offstage…there’s 80 more minutes of this.

-Mean Gene introduces “The Honky Tonk Man doing The Honky Tonk Man,” which is the most-oddly specific niche for gay porn I can imagine. Honky sings his entrance theme live while picketers march in front of the stage with a “We Love Elvis” sign. Jesse Lee Ventura “plays the piano” to another big pop. Super insane twist to the number includes the Hart Foundation emerging onstage and dancing with each other. I have to admit, I rather like the idea of an insomniac stumbling to the TV at 11:45 p.m., turning this on, and wondering what the hell he’s looking at.

-Honky and Jimmy Hart make their way to the podium to present the next award. The model holding the trophy has at least thirty pounds of hair on her head and is wearing a dress that looks like it was designed to survive a hurricane. God bless the 1980s.

-Your nominees are Sensational Sherri, Dolly Parton (an impersonator), Fabulous Moolah (who gets booed even though she worked face at Survivor Series and Honky insults her), Yoko Ono (another impersonator, and not a convincing one), and Elizabeth.

-”The Lonely Elizabeth” is your big winner. Honky won’t even let her get to the microphone without putting the moves on her, so Savage chases him offstage.

-Dear God, original commercials, yes! Super cool dude Michael Martin is ignoring that plain looking girl, but now she’s drinking milk, and before long, he’ll be begging her for a date and she’ll say no. Gotta love that logic. I can’t get laid, so I’ll work on becoming more attractive so I can refuse to put out.

-Wow, a commercial for Piledriver!

-Jim Duggan arrives onstage wearing glasses, which makes him look like a shop teacher. His 2×4 is adorned with a bowtie in a nice added touch.

-Your nominees are Demolition, Randy Savage, Honky Tonk Man, King Harley Race, and the British Bulldogs. Demolition actually deserves this one, wearing badass formal versions of their usual entrance gear.

-Your winner is King Harley Race, who struts to the stage wearing the always tasteful combo of a bowtie, shirt, cape, and no pants. Bobby Heenan delivers the speech on behalf of the king, thanking the low-life 8-to-5 humanoids. He demands that Hacksaw Jim do a better job of presenting the trophy, specifically by bowing down. Hacksaw refuses, and a brawl erupts between Hacksaw and the King that spills backstage.

-Gorilla Monsoon makes his way onstage and sees the brawl erupting, so he sprints across the stage at a speed you wouldn’t think was possible for a nine-toed 400-pounder. He grabs a microphone and calls the action. They brawl at the make-up table, terrifying the gay make-up artist. Heenan gets knocked into a garbage can in the fracas. The brawl continues and the men use crates filled with live chickens as weapons. Gorilla admits he can’t think of a logical reason that those would be present. Heenan gets knocked on the floor near a Bolshevik’s donkey, giving us our second “ass” pun of the night.

-As they continue brawling against a fence and inside a utility area, Gorilla explains that the show is continuing onstage, with Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake presenting the award for Best Head, which I imagine is being presented by the Terry Garvin Academy of Self-Defense and Sciences, or Terry Garvin ASS. Ha! I’m clever.

-We keep watching the brawl while Gorilla announces that Best Head is a tie, with Bam-Bam Bigelow and Mean Gene sharing the honor. Harley misses a dive and goes through a table, apparently knocking himself out and ending the brawl.

-Is it possible to masturbate through song? Yes. And here to prove it is Vince McMahon singing “Stand Back.” Hulk Hogan is on bass guitar, George Steele is banging the tambourine, and the Killer Bees, JYD, Randy Savage, Brutus Beefcake, and Jake Roberts make up the horn section. To be honest, the instrumentation is better than the actual album release.

-Vince does a truly obnoxious performance, surrounded by a bevy of babes, looking weirdly angry through the whole thing, and proclaiming that he’s heading for the top and you’re going to see a lot of men drop.

-Hulk presents the award to Superstar Billy Graham, who poses to thunderous applause, formally ending his career and being one of the few professional wrestlers to get a genuine retirement ceremony. Of course, seeing a retirement ceremony for Superstar is hindered by what we now know about…well, damn near everything, really.

-I’m embarrassed to say I enjoy the commercials as much as anything else on this show. Captain Power: the toy that you put together yourself.

-In an era where absolutely nothing older than three months old was acknowledged, this is probably the most famous award ever given, because Jesse absolutely would not let us forget that Rude won the Jesse the Body Award. I started watching in 1989 and I can remember wondering over and over again “What’s a Jesse the Body Award?”

-Your nominees are Ravishing Rick Rude, “The Natural” Butch Reed, Ultimate Warrior, Sensational Sherri, and Hercules. Rude wins and does a wildly racy striptease, stripping down to briefs, pointing to his junk, and then getting dangerously close to letting his roided raisin fall out before Gene Okerlund runs onstage and covers him with a towel, just in time. Rude responds by pulling the briefs completely off and rubbing them across Gene’s face. It took 15 years and a Scott Steiner-HHH feud for wrestling to approach this level of gay again.

-We get a 1987 year-in-review montage, set to “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” Congratulations to the WWF’s crack production crew for somehow leaving Wrestlemania III out of a montage celebrating 1987.

-The Duggan/Race brawl spills onstage and Gorilla Monsoon breaks it up long enough for Mean Gene and Jesse to announce the next award.

-Your nominees are Andre the Giant eliminating Hulk Hogan in a battle royal, Hacksaw Jim Duggan knocking out Harley Race with a 2×4, Honky Tonk Man’s guitar shot on Randy Savage, Strike Force winning the tag team title, and Bam-Bam Bigelow’s slingshot splash on Hercules.

-Your winner is Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who emerges from backstage soaking wet and offers a “Hoooooo!”

-Drink Bolla Wine. Not to be confused with Bollea Wine, which causes balding, tinting of the skin, and a tendency to exaggerate in situations where it’s unnecessary.

-Gorilla Monsoon announces the nominees: Slick (wearing a gold tuxedo that makes him look like something from “The Wiz”), Jimmy Hart, Mr. Fuji, and Bobby Heenan. The gag is that every manager mistakes their nomination for a win, even after Gorilla’s repeated instructions to go back to their seats. Gorilla announces that the winner of the award is “None of the Above,” which I think means that the award will go to Richard Pryor.

-Koko B. Ware performs “Piledriver.” Bam-Bam Bigelow fakes playing the sax for this one while a bunch of other faces play construction workers. The live performance gives way to a music video depicting Koko on a date…Okay, see, this is what I’ve been doing wrong. I need to come to the restaurant in a sequined jacket and put a bird next to the table. Chicks apparently dig that.

-Brian Bosworth endorses a paintball gun. Yup.

-Mean Gene calls it the oldest and most coveted of all trophies offered at the Slammys. Your nominees are Sika, Hillbilly Jim (for his invention of “Suey Scent” cologne), George “The Animal” Steele, the Bolsheviks (for their method of sharing a toothbrush), and King Kong Bundy (introduced with a clip of himself taking a shit).

-Your winners are the Bolsheviks. Slick accepts the award for all the Russian people from Nicaragua to Afghanistan.

-Wolfman Jack endorses the Eye of the Storm ball. I swear to God, it’s like they actively sat down and mapped out which sponsors would make this show the best possible time capsule for 1987.

-Jimmy Hart sings “Girls in Cars” while models roller skate around the stage wearing cardboard cars around their torsos. Strike Force arrives onstage on motorcycles and all the girls immediately leave Jimmy and focus their attention on Strike Force…except for one. A fat chick wearing a school bus yanks Jimmy off stage.

-Randy Savage and Elizabeth present the award. The nominees are Junkyard Dog’s growl, One Man Gang’s “Dyoooooo,” Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s “Hoooooo,” Jimmy Hart’s megaphone screaming, and George Steele’s…whatever.

-Your winner is Hacksaw Jim Duggan, beating Owen Hart to the honor of two-time Slammy Award winner.

-Chevrolet presents the 1988 Beretta, the car that fades into obscurity and kills its wife.

-At Burger King, you can get a stuffed reindeer for $1.99…Oh my god, that’s what my parents have had all these years. We had one of these reindeer in my house and my parents still put it out every year when they decorate for the holidays. A careful study of this commercial has determined that I grew up with…hmm…Rodney.

-The entire roster makes their way onstage to finish out the night with “If You Only Knew.” They lip-synch this one straight from the album and it sounds like it’s inside a barrel.

-Mean Gene and Jesse Ventura tries to close out the night by reading the announcing the award for Best Song, but Sika eats the envelope.

The 411: Can you even call it "car wreck appeal" when it's obviously being done that way on purpose? This was such a bizarre use of 90 minutes that I don't even know how to react to it. It was tacky, silly, stupid, and cheesy...but they did it that way on purpose. How do you review that?
Final Score:  5.0   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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