Classic Era Network w/ Kace: WWF The Big Event (1986)

Welcome to Clip City. This card took place at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. Gorilla Monsoon, Johnny Valiant, and Ernie Ladd handle the commentary. This was not a Pay-Per-View broadcast, but was something taped for a home video release later on. This is the home release version of the event and most of the matches are clipped through.

It appears Terry Funk has left by this point and he’s replaced by Lance Von… wait, hold on. Oh, Jimmy Jack Funk to team with Dory “Hoss” Funk Jr. against the Killer Bees. The Bees win using Bee Magic. I never liked when they pulled that shit.

Bee Magic is when the Bees suddenly put masks on so they can pull illegal switches behind the referee’s back.

Don Muraco and King Tonga/Haku fight to a time limit draw. Haku is referred to by both names as this was during his transition from one name to the other.

Ted Arcidi sends Tony Garea into retirement for the most part and in quick fashion with the bearhug. Arcidi kinda resembles a bulked up Lyle Alzado.

I’m starting to wonder if Junkyard Dog and Jimmy Hart had some Jimmy Valiant/Paul Jones level of angst towards each other as it seems like JYD’s always in a match where the opposition’s managed by Hart. Dog wins by count out over Adrian Adonis and whatever.

We now come to a match between Mike Sharpe and Dick Slater. Slater is nicknamed “the Rebel” and wears a Confederate States battle flag to the ring, prompting me to think that Slater was taking that breakup with Dark Journey real hard. Slater wins, which isn’t surprising as Sharpe was getting to that point in his career where wins were starting to get hard to come by.

Next up, it’s two of Lou Albano’s Machines, referred to by commentary as “1” and “2” with “3” standing at ringside to take on Bobby Heenan, King Kong Bundy, and John Studd. The whole Machines thing was a comedic mess. The two competing here are Big and Super Machine. Big Machine was the former Masked Superstar and Super Machine was Blackjack Mulligan. Machine #3 or Giant Machine was Andre the Giant and really it couldn’t be anyone else.

A quick note about Giant Machine. Andre the Giant had been suspended from the WWF by President Jack Tunney and coincidentally Giant Machine shows up during Andre’s time away. I guess he could have also been called Midnight Rider Machine. Giant Machine gets involved in the match, entering the ring and going off on the opposition, prompting a DQ result with the Heenan Family winning.

The highlight of the card is Jake Roberts versus Ricky Steamboat. Roberts is sans Damien and Steamboat wasn’t allowed to bring his komodo dragon to the ring. So far, this is the only instance on the Network where Steamboat gets to enter to “Sirius” by the Alan Parsons Project. Roberts refers to Steamboat as a “son of a bitch” during a scuffle outside the ring. Steamboat gets the win. Not a bad match between them here.

Hercules Hernadez and Billy Jack Haynes do battle with Haynes getting the win. The rivalry between these two is just getting started and will lead to a rematch at WrestleMania III.

Johnny Valiant stays up top in the commentary booth instead of being at ringside with his Dream Team as they face the Rougeau Brothers. Jacques and Ramon get the win and Valiant’s upset about not being at ringside. Like Haynes and Hernandez, these teams will have a rematch at WrestleMania III.

The WWF Heavyweight Championship bout between Champion Hulk Hogan and challenger Paul Orndorff was shaping up to be a quality bout, but the officiating at the end ruins it. Hogan launches Orndorff into the ref. Orndorff gets the advantage and thinks he’s won the match when the ref taps his shoulder three times. Paul is celebrating with the title belt around his waist and that’s when we get the decision announcement of Orndorff being DQ’d for something Hogan basically caused. It seems like these two are headed for much bigger against each other as this had become quite the heated rivalry. WrestleMania III was the next major card and would have made the perfect choice to have all of this culminate. However, Orndorff would disappear in early 1987, leaving the door open for another challenger.

Other fun stuff.

Exhibition Stadium in 1986 was home to MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays and the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts. Over 70k fans attended the event.

Haynes Vs. Hernandez wound up receiving a do over commentary with Monsooon solo, explaining that Valiant and Ladd had momentarily stepped away. I can only wonder what the original commentary was like to cause that decision.

The Machine silliness would continue for a little while longer with Hulk Machine and Piper Machine being introduced at one point. You can probably guess the identities. There was also Super Strong Machine in Japan. By the time the Machines had run their course, Albano would be gone from the WWF, Giant Machine would disappear right when Andre’s suspension was over, Big Machine would go back to being Blackjack Mulligan again and Super Machine would disappear for a brief bit, returning without a mask, but with face paint as Ax of Demolition. At this time in 1986, Ax’s future tag team partner Smash was still Krusher Krushev in NWA Jim Crockett Promotions.

The next major WWF event to take place in Toronto would be WrestleMania VI in 1990 at the Skydome, the building that would replace Exhibition Stadium.

Next up, WWF WrestleMania III. I’m not sure if you know this, but WM3 is kind of a big deal.