The SmarK 24/7 Rant for MSG Show – August 22 1987
– I think most of this was rebroadcast as a part of the Primetime Wrestling shows that are currently airing, but we’ll see what we’ve got here.
– Taped from New York
– Your hosts are Gorilla, Alfred and Duke Doherty. Oh man, the producers found another show with him on commentary.
Islander Tama v. Scott Casey
Kind of a weird one. Stalling from Tama to start so everyone knows who the heel is, and then he goes into a whole routine about having his hair pulled. Oh, this will be a classic, I can tell. Tama grabs a headlock, but gets dropkicked to the floor. And again he protests about having his hair pulled. That would just defy physics, actually. Back in, Tama hides in the corner and then hits Casey in the nuts to take over. Ah, strategy. Headbutt and he pounds him in the corner, but misses a blind charge and hits the post. Casey gets a shoulderbreaker and yanks him out of the corner by the feet, a move that Gorilla calls "London Bridge". That’s actually perfect and I’ll have to use that from now on. Tama throws chops in the corner, but Casey boots him down in return and starts to work on the arm. Tama headbutts him down again and hits the chinlock, then tosses him when he’s called on using the ropes. Back in, it’s back to the chinlock, but Casey fights out and pounds Tama down. Piledriver gets two, but Casey took too much time. Casey misses a blind charge and Tama goes up with the flying splash to finish at 11:23. Not terrible, but just a bunch of chinlocks and punching. **
Tito Santana v. Ron Bass
Man, Tito’s pissed for some reason. He slugs Bass down and they fight on the floor, but Bass gets his whip and Tito backs off and gets a chair. I’m still betting on the whip, but this scares Bass off enough to run away. So now Tito gets the whip and the referee takes it away from both of them if they can’t play nice with it. And now Tito won’t let Bass into the ring, stomping him in the head on the way in and chasing him back again. Bass begs for mercy, so Tito knees him in the face and slugs away. Geez, did Bass kill his mother or something? Tito goes up and hits a forearm, then slugs Bass on the mat for two. Bass gets tied in the ropes and Tito the sadist is all over that, pulling on his MOUSTACHE and then dropping him on his tailbone. Bass wisely bails again and this time grabs a foreign object from the floor, which finally allows him to gain the advantage. Bass then goes up for some dumb reason, and Tito slams him off and drops a knee for two. Way to waste a perfectly good object. Tito hits a Perfect necksnap and going to a facelock on the mat. Bass dumps him and rams him into the post, then crotches him on the railing and headbutts him to finally take over. Back in, Bass pounds him down for two and follows with a suplex for two. Man, the floor is FILTHY tonight because they’re both covered in soot or something. Bass piledrives him, but Tito’s in the ropes. Bass tries another suplex, but Tito reverses this time. Bass headbutts him down again and rams him into the mat, then goes to a chinlock, which he turns into a headscissor on the mat instead. Unfortunately this slows things down to a crawl as Bass works that move. Tito wrestles his way out of it, but Bass rams him into the top turnbuckle and chokes him out in the corner. Tito comes back with a forearm shot off the ropes, and makes the comeback. Blind charge misses by a mile, however, and Bass goes back to the chinlock. Tito slugs out and Bass hits the floor, so Tito follows and brings him in again. Backdrop and it’s figure-four time, but Bass kicks out of it and bails again. Tito chases him out and attacks from behind, and they brawl on the floor, but Tito gets sent into the post. Back in, Tito catches a fluke flying forearm in a nice spot, and Bass falls to the floor for the draw at 20:00. You wouldn’t expect it from these two, but this was a hell of a fight and Tito was good and fired up here. ***3/4 With a finish, it’s an easy **** match.
Women’s title: Sensational Sherri Martell v. Velvet McIntyre
Velvet attacks to start and chases Sherri out of the ring, and back in for a big boot that gets two. Sherri is rocking the Big Brother catsuit here, I should note. Velvet works an armbar on the mat, but Sherri complains about hairpulling enough to distract the ref…while she pulls the hair to escape. Ah, strategy. Velvet takes her right back down with that armbar and works the arm, but Sherri clubs her down and we get the mandated hairpulling. Velvet takes her down quickly and gets two, then does some hairpulling of her own, using a "she pulled my hair first" argument with the ref that doesn’t appear to work. Back to the arm, and she throws some VICIOUS high kicks while holding a wristlock, putting Sherri down on the mat. Uh oh, PMS. Sherri gets a cheapshot and chokes her out to take over. Velvet comes back with a bodypress for two and goes up with a sunset flip for two. Sherri yanks at the hair again and chinlocks her, then adds a slam and puts her on the top before yanking Velvet down by the hair. Velvet wisely bails and regroups, but Sherri necksnaps her on the way back in. Velvet fights back with a dropkick out of the corner, and Sherri takes a powder this time. Back in, Velvet wrestles her down and puts her in the bodyscissors, then rolls around the mat with her for two. Sherri slams out of it as they go all UFC and then follows by blatantly choking her out on the ropes. Velvet fights back and throws forearms on the ropes, then follows with the dreaded Giant Swing. A splash gets two. Gorilla always marks out for the Giant Swing, which is pretty funny. Velvet tries a bodypress out of the corner, but Sherri ducks it and goes up. Velvet slams her off and gets two. Velvet argues the point with the ref, and gets caught with a backdrop suplex that finishes at 14:20. See, kids, don’t argue with the ref. ***
Haku v. Rick Martel.
The Islanders won’t let Martel into the ring, so he runs back to the dressing room and fetches Tito Santana to even it up. The ref sends the partners back to the dressing room, and Martel gets a quick bodypress for two to start. They criss-cross and Haku chops him in the gut to put him down, then follows with some choking and Polynesian martial arts. Martel cartwheels to evade him and puts him down with a rana, then drops a knee for two. Martel charges in blindly and hits foot, allowing Haku to choke him down and get a legdrop for two. Gutwrench suplex and Haku goes to a rear chinlock. Martel fights out and throws forearms, but Haku slugs back, so Martel goes with a bodypress out of the corner for two. Haku uses the old faithful thumb to the eye and tosses Rick, then pounds away on the apron. Suplex back in gets two. Haku pounds away with chops, but Martel gets pissed and pounds him in the corner, only to walk into a clothesline. Haku goes up and misses a flying headbutt, then makes the comeback. Dropkick and kneelift put Haku into the corner, and Martel monkey-flips him out again. Another rana is countered with a stungun into the turnbuckle (awesome!) and Haku gets a headbutt for two. Haku chokes him down on the ropes, and Tama pops out from under the ring and hits Martel with a chair to give Haku the pin at 9:17. Gorilla is OUTRAGED. Nice finish, though. I never got why they took someone who was such a natural babyface like Martel and kept him heel for forever and a day. I mean, I can understand trying it for a while, but by 1992 it was clearly not doing anything for him any longer. 1987 Martel was quite the worker, though. ***1/4
Intercontinental title, Lumberjack match: Honky Tonk Man v. Ricky Steamboat
Big stall from Honk to start, but Steamboat tosses him right away and back in he goes. To the floor again, but this time it’s into the heels so he’s safe for the moment, until Dragon personally chases him back in. Steamboat chops him down and Honky does the most over-the-top selling of it possible. Dragon pounds away and Honky runs again, but the faces toss him back in before he even hits the floor. Steamboat gets an elbow for two and follows with the ten shots to the turnbuckle…then repeats it for two. Man, TWENTY times into the turnbuckle? Don’t they execute guys in Texas like that? Honky comes back with a snapmare for two and chokes him out on the top rope, and then the Islanders trip Steamboat up. But the faces trip Honky up and Steamboat rolls him up for two. Chop to the head gets two. Honky tries to run and the faces again stop him, allowing Ricky to get a delayed backdrop suplex for two. Honky blocks a monkey-flip and slugs away to take over, then goes up with a fistdrop for two. They slug it out and Honky tackles him into the corner and pounds away, but Steamboat brings him out with an atomic drop. Honky tosses him and drops knees after he gets hauled in, and we hit the chinlock. Steamboat gets a quick crossbody for two, but Honky slugs him down again right away and goes up. Steamboat hits him coming down and follows with a catapult into the corner, and it’s time to finish and regain that title! Steamboat goes up with the flying chop, but the ref is wrapped up with Jimmy Hart, so George Steele comes in and counts three. Well, that’s not legal, so Honky hits Steamboat with the megaphone and pins him to regain at 11:37. Hard to fathom that Honky would hold the belt for another YEAR after this and lose it in this very arena. Steamboat always wins a selling contest, of course. **1/2
Butch Reed v. Superstar Billy Graham
"Jesus Christ Superstar" is overdubbed here, as is Finkel’s original introduction. Reed tries to attack, but Graham fights him off and gets a sleeper. Reed makes the ropes and gets a foreign object from Slick, which allows him to break the hold and take over. He chokes Graham out with his own t-shirt. TIE DYE KILLS! Reed pounds away on the ropes and Slick adds a shot with the cane, and more choking follows. Reed starts working on the bad hip, as any sane person would, then goes to a chinlock. Graham powers out of it, but Reed hits him in the hip to put him down again. Graham slugs back, but puts his head down and gets caught. Graham keeps punching, looking like a crazy old man in the process, and throws knees in the corner, setting up the bearhug. And that draws in Slick for the DQ at 8:41. Incredibly dull, as Graham had nothing left in the tank by this point. * However, Graham keeps the move on Reed after the bell until the Usual Gang of Idiots run out to drag him off, and he keeps holding on until Gorilla himself leaves the announce position to help out. Slick gets in his face, so Gorilla LAYS HIM OUT, and barely even blinks while doing so. BAD-ASS.
Jose Estrada v. Leaping Lanny Poffo
Jose attacks and quickly gets a forearm from the middle rope, then hits a kneelift and stomps him down. To the top for an elbow and he chokes Poffo out on the ropes. Nice dropkick gets two, and poor Lanny still can’t get his jacket off. Poffo comes back with a boot and gets the jacket off, then slugs away on the ropes, but Estrada gets a cheapshot and tosses him. Back in, Jose gets an avalanche while the boring chants start. Kneedrop misses and Poffo gets a superkick for two, but Estrada pounds him down again. Poffo with a sunset flip for two, but Estrada rakes the eyes and stomps away. Poffo comes back and chokes him out in the corner, then takes him down with a headscissors off a handstand, ala Trish Stratus. Jose knees him down again, however, as Gorilla critiques the refereeing job. Poffo fights back and misses a moonsault, as Jose was playing possum. Estrada misses a blind charge, however, and Poffo goes up again and this time finishes with a senton bomb at 7:42. Well, he’s almost as manly as Jeff Hardy, I guess. Pretty dull but not actively bad or anything. *
Demolition v. Junkyard Dog & George Steele.
"Grab Them Cakes" survives intact here, for those who keep track. Like me. This has the potential to be a major, MAJOR trainwreck. Ax pounds on JYD to start, but gets bitten by George when he ventures to the face corner. Smash comes in, as does the Animal, and the Demos quickly take advantage of him and double-team. He comes back by biting Smash’s arm to block a clothesline, and JYD slugs Smash down for two. Dog gets double-teamed with nothing too fancy and Dog & Smash clothesline each other so badly that I actually hang my head in embarrassment for everyone in the ring. JYD was just beyond awful at this point, and he’d get worse. Steele comes in to avenge his partner, but the Demos toss him and Animal hits Smash with a chair in response, prompting the DQ at 6:10. Just awful, as the faces wouldn’t sell for Demolition and obviously no one wanted to do the job. DUD
Too many draws and DQs here, but most of the first half was well worth checking out, especially the Tito v. Bass match.