Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
WWF House Show
Date: October 19, 1986
Location: The Summit, Houston, Texas
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Ken Resnick
So I’ve been watching a lot of old house shows on the Network as of late so I might as well try throwing some of them on here as well. This is just after The Big Event so Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff is the hottest feud in the history of ever. That’s on the card tonight, so we should be in for a big one. Let’s get to it.
Note that this is NOT the complete show, which was normal for old TV shows. I’ll fill in the gaps of the missing matches.
Also note that this is listed as taking place at the Sam Houston Coliseum but everything else I can find says the Summit.
We’re skipping Mike Rotundo vs. Jim Brunzell going to a time limit draw (at 13:55) and Bret Hart pinning Ray Rougeau.
The Summit holds about 16,000 so that attendance is horrible.
Brutus Beefcake vs. SD Jones
Jones is a perennial jobber, likely because SD stands for Special Delivery. Brutus struts to start and then does it again for a bonus. After being sent outside, Brutus comes right back in and hammers away to take over. Some elbows to the head in the corner have Jones in more trouble and a middle rope elbow to the head gets two. Jones gets in a few right hands but Brutus is back with the jumping knee for the pin at 5:26.
Rating: D. Yeah what were you expecting here? Beefcake really wasn’t very good at this point and it would take a long time before he turned into something worth seeing. Jones was one of those guys who was always around but didn’t do much, aside from getting squashed by King Kong Bundy at the first Wrestlemania. This was a pretty weak match, but the high knee didn’t look bad.
Skipped: Big John Studd beats Big Machine.
Greg Valentine vs. Steve Gatorwolf
Gatorwolf’s gear looks so much like Chief Jay Strongbow that I was surprised to see who it actually was. The announcers immediately compare him to Strongbow so I’m not as crazy as it seems. Valentine starts fast for a change and drops an elbow before starting in on the arm. Gatorwolf finally armdrags his way to freedom but the arm is so banged up that Valentine wraps it around the top rope.
We hit the armbar for a good bit until Gatorwolf starts fighting back with the chops to the head (because stereotypes die hard). With the arm work exhausted, Valentine starts in on the leg and gets the Figure Four, but Gatorwolf is right next to the rope. A middle rope elbow misses so Valentine grabs a suplex instead for the pin at 8:31.
Rating: D-. This was an extended squash and not a very good one. Valentine is only so interesting in these short form matches and then the ending was rather weird. The Figure Four was on and then it was a suplex just a few seconds later. You can’t have STEVE GATORWOLF give up to a former champion? Gatorwolf wasn’t exactly helping things either, but this wasn’t going to be very entertaining given how things were set up.
Iron Sheik vs. British Bulldog
The British Bulldogs are Tag Team Champions here so they need to build up some challengers. A Nikolai Volkoff distraction lets Sheik get in an early cheap shot and Bulldog is sent outside. Back in and Bulldog hits a slam as Volkoff comes over to commentary, where Monsoon calls him a liar. An armdrag into an armbar has Sheik in more trouble but he gets in a kick to the face.
Some spitting makes things a little more personal and there’s a backdrop for two on Bulldog. Sheik is back with a rather hideous abdominal stretch attempt so Bulldog hiptosses out with ease. That means a USA chant because of course but Sheik takes Bulldog down again. The camel clutch goes on but Bulldog is too close to the rope. The running powerslam only gives Bulldog one (!) but Volkoff pulls Bulldog’s leg for the DQ at 6:05.
Rating: D. The abdominal stretch alone set this one back and I’m not sure how much worse it can get. More bad wrestling here as neither was exactly the kind of guy you expect to take control at this point. Bulldog was the power half of a tag team and Sheik was so out there that you wouldn’t likely be able to trust him to do much. Another bad match, which isn’t much of a surprise at this point.
Post match the beatdown is on but Dynamite Kid runs in for the fast save.
WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff
Hogan is defending and can lose the title via DQ. This was the biggest feud in the world at this point and Orndorff, with Bobby Heenan, even stole Real American in an idea that I would love to see used again. Orndorff jumps Hogan (in a dark gray Hulkamania shirt for a change) and they start fast. Hulk fights back with right hands so Orndorff goes for the throat to cut that off in a hurry. With nothing else working, Hogan grabs a VERY early chair but realizes he can’t use it, instead going with a right hand to the face.
The Heenan distraction lets Orndorff get in a knee to the back and Hogan is out on the floor. Back in and Orndorff stomps away, followed by some choking with the leg for a bonus. The backbreaker gets two but it also triggers the Hulk Up as things get serious. A slam sets up the legdrop….for no cover, as Hogan sends him outside instead. The referee again says no chair so they head back inside, where the big boot sends Orndorff to the floor again. Heenan isn’t happy so he yells at the referee, allowing Hogan to hit Orndorff with the chair for the countout win at 6:07.
Rating: D. They even made a Hogan match boring on this show! This was barely anything of note and Hogan was a total villain with the chair stuff. I know he was angry at Orndorff but it was the usual Hogan does bad things and gets cheered anyway. Well as cheered as he can be by such a tiny crowd.
Yelling ensues post match and Hogan gives a rather crude gesture.
We skip Nikolai Volkoff beating Tama and Dynamite Kid pinning Moondog Rex. Those wouldn’t be likely to be the show’s saviors.
Tag Team Battle Royal
Moondogs, Hart Foundation, Iron Sheik/Nikolai Volkoff, Dream Team, King Kong Bundy/Big John Studd, Machines, Rougeau Brothers, Killer Bees, SD Jones/Mike Rotundo, Islanders, Steve Gatorwolf/Chief Jay Strongbow, British Bulldogs
Non-title, the winners get $50,000 and if one member is out, the team is out. Studd is out in less than ten seconds so it’s time for everyone else to brawl. Jones and Rotundo are put out and Jim Brunzell has to save himself. Strongbow and the worthless Gatorwolf are eliminated, followed by the Harts and Rougeaus eliminating each other. The ring is starting to clear out a bit and the Machines follow them out.
Sheik gets rid of the Moon Dogs as the Bulldogs step back to let everyone else brawl (hence them being the champions). The Islanders get rid of the Dream Team and then the Bulldogs put them out as well. So we’re down to the Bulldogs vs. Studd/Sheik, meaning it’s time to pair off. Bulldog hammers away and suplexes Sheik but it’s too early for the elimination. Instead Volkoff gets in a cheap shot to elimination Bulldog for the win at 9:10.
Rating: D-. I’m not a big battle royal guy but this was boring by any standard. It’s like they just threw everyone in there and hoped for the best, even with little time and nothing more than a way to set up a future title match. If nothing else, look at this lineup and tell me how THIS is the best usage of all of these teams.
Overall Rating: F. Wow what a waste of time and this was the hour long version. There was no effort being put in here by anyone and they were having a show because they had to put one on. Maybe it was the tiny crowd, but this was a bunch of nothing matches and then a token Hogan vs. Orndorff match. This was one of the worst house shows I’ve ever seen and given the talent available here, that’s unacceptable.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!