Superstars of Wrestling – It’s The Debut Episode And…..That’s About It!

Superstars of Wrestling
Date: September 6, 1986
Location; Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jesse Ventura, Bruno Sammartino

So I was going to do the September 13 episode when I found out that it was the second episode of the series. This would be during Hogan vs. Orndorff in what was an absolutely huge feud and indirectly led into Hogan vs. Andre the following year. I’d expect a lot of squash matches here which is what Superstars was known for as it replaced Championship Wrestling. Let’s get to it.

We open with an opening. There’s a good idea.

The announcers run down the people on the card tonight.

Ricky Steamboat/Sivi Afi vs. Roger Kirby/Terry Gibbs

The heels try to jump Steamboat and Afi but are quickly atomic dropped to the floor. Steamboat starts with Gibbs but it’s quickly off to Kirby. Now it’s quickly back to Ricky. Gibbs manages an elbow to take Afi down and the heels pound on Afi in the corner. A headbutt from Kirby puts him down but gets rolled up for two to stop the momentum. There’s the hot tag to Steamboat and house is cleaned. He suplexes Kirby down and Afi hits a top rope splash for the pin. Short but not half bad.

Video on Billy Graham training, set to Bad to the Bone by George Thorogood and the Destroyers. Graham, with a freaking tarantula crawling over his face, says he’s coming for Studd and Bundy.

Hart Foundation vs. Koko B. Ware/Paul Roma

This is Koko’s debut. It’s also Ventura’s first appearance since Wrestlemania too. Neidhart and Koko start things off and Koko armdrags him down. Off to Roma who doesn’t have as much luck because he isn’t that good. Bret, who is that good, comes in and pounds him down with ease. Ventura praises him and we get an inset promo from Koko who has nothing to say. While he’s talking the Hart Attack pins Roma. Vince calls it bad officiating but it seemed fine to me.

Koko saves Roma from a beating post match.

MSG house show ad. The Machines, including Hulk Machine, are ready for Heenan and his boys. Hogan trying to sound Japanese is borderline offensive and I’m not even Japanese.

Honky Tonk Man is coming and he wants to beat up Paul Orndorff. He was a face when he debuted until the fans were actually asked if they would give him a vote of confidence. In other words, the fans decided if he was a face or a heel. Now there’s something different.

Ron Shaw/Pete Doherty vs. Hillbilly Jim/Cousin Luke

Luke isn’t that good but he furthered the hillbilly gimmick for Jim. Jim and Shaw start us off and the Hillbilly throws him around for a bit before it’s off to Luke. Luke doesn’t do that well so Jim comes in and mauls them both, finishing Doherty with the bearhug. Total squash.

Meadowlands house show ad. Heenan isn’t worried about Steamboat because he has Mr. Wonderful ready. Orndorff knows what a monkey wrench is, and just like Steamboat’s martial arts, that won’t mean a thing.

Kamala vs. Tommy Sharpe

This is Kamala’s return apparently. Kamala’s manager King Curtis tells us about how great Kamala is. Sharpe gets in more offense than you would expect here, but at the end of the day he’s a jobber and Kamala is a returning monster. The big splash ends this in about two minutes.

Time for the Flower Shop with Adrian Adonis which replaced Piper’s Pit and set up a great angle between the hosts. Piper is the guest and he’s still on a cane due to the knee injury he suffered earlier in the knee. He says he’s not here tonight to fight (despite implying Adonis is female) but he does have a letter. They’re the ratings for the segments on WWF TV, and apparently the Flower Shop is killing them. He gives Jimmy Hart another letter which says that the Flower Shop will be canceled next week so that Piper’s Pit can return. Adrian freaks and it’s on next week.

Rougeau Brothers vs. Mike Fever/Bob Bradley

Bradley was in the last show I reviewed and it was the only time I had ever heard of him. I love little things like that. The Rougeaus aren’t fabulous yet but they take Bradley apart to get things going. We listen to some French commentary for no apparent reason. Total dominance again with Ray getting the pin after the Cannonball that the Quebecers would use as their finisher years later.

We get a clip from a previous Flower Shop where Heenan tries to prove that one of the Machines is Andre the Giant but they keep switching places to confuse him.

Big John Studd/King Kong Bundy vs. Corporal Kirschner/SD Jones

The Corporal and Studd start us off with the Corporal hitting and moving. He pounds on Studd and goes for a slam but Bundy breaks it up. Bundy comes in and uses fat man offense but it’s back to Studd quickly. Jones comes in and it’s Wrestlemania all over again. The Avalanche gets the quick pin. Literal squash. Even Vince says this match wasn’t that good.

Another MSG ad. Harley Race says that Tito Santana is in way over his head.

Vince tells us what’s coming next week and we’re out.

Overall Rating: D+. For a debut episode this was pretty forgettable, but back then it wouldn’t have been seen as all that bad. The idea here was to pump up the house shows so on that front, it did pretty well. It’s hard to criticize these shows because they’re not meant to be some masterpiece and a show that’s going to get you to watch next week like Raw is today. It wasn’t that bad and at 45 minutes, how can I really complain?

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