The date is June 27th, 1988. The venue is the Boston Garden. Mean Gene Okerlund and Gorilla Monsoon are on commentary. I’m your boy, Shawn Puff. And this is Flashback Friday!
Yeah, it’s that time again. We’re taking our weekly ride in the Way-Back Machine and this week’s journey brings us to my city, Boston. I got my green on for this one. Hogan and the Macho Man are going one on one for the World Championship. I’m looking forward to this one. Let’s get to it!!
Les Thornton & Tiger Chung Lee v Danny Spivey & Mike Rotundo – I thought Rotundo teamed with Windham, not Spivey. Apparently, he replaced Windham in the US Express when Windham left. If you like old school wrestling, then you liked this match. If you like action and excitement, you took a nap. Spivey hit a bulldog out of nowhere and pinned Thornton. Kind of fitting with how unexciting this match was to have an unexciting finish. – 2/5
Tony Atlas v Harley Race – This was one of Harley Race’s first matches in the WWF. Atlas was a physical specimen. Race was… handsome? That was his moniker at least. At one point, Atlas ended up in the crowd and the two white women looked like they were trying to decide if they should find out if the rumors about black men are true. Just an observation. Maybe it’s just me misremembering, but I’m pretty sure Race was in better shape later on in his WWF run. Ummm… Race hit a sunset flip for the pin. Really??? Based on my research so far, it seems like 1986 was the year of fuck finishes. – 1.5/5
Pete Doherty v King Tonga – The Duke of Dorchester v Haku before he was Haku and shortly after his debut. Haku was a face here, coming off of body-slamming Big John Studd on Wrestling Challenge and not getting paid the $15,000 Bobby Heenan promised. Clearly Doherty was local talent paid to do the job to the rookie. King Tonga did a little dance, hit a reverse thrust kick followed by a spiral headbutt and it’s over. Not much to see here. I feel like this was the Jimmy Snuka MSG spot on the show. – 1/5
Moondog Spot v Pedro Morales – Holy shit. Now I know why they added comedy wrestling and soap opera writers. Four matches in and I couldn’t be more bored. Why does Monsoon keep calling Moondog Spot, Spotty? Morales reversed a fireman’s carry and hit a reverse sunset roll-up for the win. And it was ugly af. Really? The only finish that wasn’t some kind of fuckery so far was the squash match. The WWF, where nobody uses a finisher to finish a match. SMH. This has been an utter waste of my morning. People actually paid to go see this crap? Give me Yano, Effy & Danhausen, please. I would have said Joey Ryan but he’s been canceled. – 1.5/5
Jake Roberts v Ricky Steamboat – Finally, a good match!!! The crowd got into this one and seemed awake for the first time tonight. The ref kept putting his hands on Jake. What’s up with that. Cheating ass refs. Jake tried to open the snake bag and the ref kept giving him a five-count. I don’t know why. It really didn’t make sense but hey, the fans loved it. Steamboat went to the top and the ref called for the bell. Apparently, the ref counted him out?? Ummm… Ok. Best match of the night and it ends in another fuck finish. Seems legit. Steamboat and Roberts continued fighting even after the match ended. Jake was split open and the Dragon kept on him. The ref tried pulling him off and Steamboat tossed him to the ground. Eventually, Jake grabbed Damien and fled to the back. – 3/5
Randy Savage v Hulk Hogan – The World Title Match in the middle of the show?? What?? Why?? Who booked this shit? Savage attacked Hogan from behind and even hit him with the World Title belt. The bell already rang but I guess no disqualification? Gorilla is calling it a “Pearl Harbor” job, which I’m sure would be offensive to way too many people that aren’t even Japanese today and probably get Monsoon canceled. Now Hogan has on Randy’s glasses and he’s in control. Wow. After a good start, this match got boring and turned into a basic Hogan squash. Body Slam. Big Boot. Leg Drop. Pin. Goddammit. Wait… Adrian Adonis and Savage are attacking Hogan after the match!! … Aaaaand Hogan got the upper hand and sent them both packing… and Adonis was dressed as a woman from the crowd… FFS. … Oh yeah, how could I forget? HOGAN MUST POSE!! I can’t lie though… in 1986 I marked out like a little kid whenever Hogan’s music came on. I mean, mostly because I was a little kid, but whatever. This match wasn’t all I expected it to be is the moral of the story – 2.5/5
Moondog Rex v Billy Jack Haynes – This was before Haynes got his “push” but, I also don’t look at Moondog Rex as a major singles contender either. Plus, this is Hayne’s first WWE show in the Garden. Guessing this is the “go get a beer after Hogan posed” match. The crowd was chanting boring during the match, I think. But that could have just been the voices in my head. Pretty sure it was the former though. I’m fairly positive, Billy Jack Haynes won with the full nelson. I think that’s TWO matched that ended with a finisher in a row. Holy shit!! – 1/5
King Kong Bundy v Junk Yard Dog – So, we start the match with a total ass shot of JYD’s THUMP on his tights. I don’t know why we needed to see that. No Bobby Heenan tonight either. That’s a shame because the Brain is always entertaining. This match is weird. They’re playing him off to be a big man that stands toe to toe with Bundy. Maybe they always did and I just never saw it. I’ll have to look into it. Bundy hit JYD with his own chain in the kidney. Ouch. Refs were pretty liberal in the ’80s apparently. JYD gets the chain and Danny Davis convinces him to put it down. Bundy got the chain again and he and JYD started fighting over it. In the end, the Dog got it and went to swing at Bundy. Davis stopped him and the Dog tossed Davis getting himself disqualified! Holy craziness!! And now Junk Yard Dog is beating the referee up in the ring after the match. Well, that was the most exciting part of the show so far. – 3.5/5
“The Rock” Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji v Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff – Hey, it’s the guy Dwayne Johnson stole his name from. Fuji said that he has mind to mind communication with Muraco, so he’s going to the back. This is also the main event of the broadcast. I feel like I don’t at all remember Paul Orndorff being a face. … aaand somebody just threw an apple core into the ring. Yeah, it’s THAT kind of boring. This is before great technical wrestling was really a thing, so it’s great power wrestling. If that’s your thing. A lot of rest holds and then a burst. At least there’s a 20-minute time limit.
Orndorff has Muraco in an “arm stretcher” … talk about rest holds. Fans are literally throwing shit into the ring. I mean, it’s not at “Hogan is the third man” levels but it’s definitely still happening. This fucking hold has been going on for four minutes. A quick burst of moves and now an armbar. Are they serious right now? The fans are picking up on the amount of debris they’re throwing. I’m more into what’s being tossed than I am in this actual match. Has it been 20 minutes yet? Small package by Orndorff and the ref counted to two and Muraco kicked out. The bell rang. I guess the time limit is finally up. Wait. What?? The ref awarded the match to Paul Orndorff?? How??? This makes no sense. The announce team doesn’t even get it. Really, who booked this shit??? AND it wasn’t even actually 20 minutes. It was more like 15. This might top any other fuck finishes we’ve had so far on this journey. – 1/5
This show made no sense. It was slow and boring and even the Hogan/Savage match was subpar. Boo 1986. And then they had the most abrupt sign off in the history of broadcast. They literally just said so long and that was it. Imagine if I just ended the article without any finishing up of the show or giving you a total bible score and just said, “so long”.