WWF House Show – September 18, 1987: The Worst Kind Of Show

WWF House Show
Date: September 18, 1987
Location: Philadelphia Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 9,000
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Dick Graham

This is a time when the WWF was in a holding pattern as we were well past Wrestlemania III but we weren’t close enough to Survivor Series yet to talk about it. Therefore the main event tonight is WWF’s bread and butter from the 80s: Hogan vs. the monster of the week, in this case Killer Khan, a guy most famous for a run against Andre the Giant about five years earlier than this. The card looks a bit underwhelming but I’ve been surprised before. Let’s get to it.

We open with a quick rundown of some of the bigger matches, including Beefcake vs. Rude and Race vs. Savage.

Barry Horowitz vs. Lanny Poffo

Oh we’re in for a long night aren’t we? Horowitz would be pretty new at this point and after a quick poem from Poffo we’re ready to go. Horowitz won’t shake hands to start so we have a clear evil one here. He armdrags Lanny down and celebrates like a true villain would. Barry slams him down again so Lanny armdrags him a few times to send Barry to the floor. Back in and Horowitz hides in the ropes. Poffo ducks through them too to laugh at Barry in a funny bit.

We get down to business now with Poffo grabbing an armbar for control. The arm hold stays on for awhile as the announcers talk about the Piledriver Album. They get back up and Barry whips him into the corner, only to be reversed into an armdrag and armbar #3. Into the corner again and Larry headscissors him across the ring. Barry gets in a thumb to the eye and some European uppercuts. A legdrop gets two.

We hit the chinlock from Barry as this match continues to go on way longer than it needs to go. The announcers talk about the most painful submissions ever and Gorilla says by far it’s the bear hug from either Bruno, Graham or Patera. A small package gets two for Lanny but Horowitz pokes him in the eyes to stop the momentum again. Lanny grabs a sunset flip for another two.

Barry goes up but ala Ric Flair is slammed down. Poffo monkey flips him out of the corner in a move that wasn’t as snappy as you would expect from Lanny. There’s a hard elbow in the corner to Barry but a second monkey flip is countered. Barry atomic drops him out of said corner and hits a Russian Leg Sweep for the pin.

Rating: D. It picked up a bit towards the end but it was Barry Horowitz vs. Lanny Poffo for nearly thirteen minutes. I don’t see any situation in which that is something that ever needs to happen. This was basically a battle of future jobbers, which isn’t the right idea to start a show with in Philadelphia of all places.

Frenchy Martin vs. Special Delivery Jones

Another battle of the jobbers. I’m in for an even longer night than I was expecting aren’t I? They fight over a headlock and a top wristlock to start and Jones takes him to the mat. A nearly botched slam puts Martin down and things slow again. Martin’s chinlock is countered by Jones who puts Frenchy on the top for a polite tap on the jaw. Off to another chinlock by Frenchy to keep this match from getting interesting.

The fans aren’t thrilled by this and I can’t say I am either. SD fights up but gets clotheslinedown almost immediately. Off to a nerve hold which is much less boring than a chinlock because….uh…..hey look over there! Jones tries to fight out of it and it’s back to the chinlock. Jones fights up and pounds away, including a punch to the beard. Yes the beard. Martin catches him with a knee to the ribs but ramming Jones’ head into the buckle doesn’t work as well. After Martin bails and comes back in, Jones pounds away with more punches. SD small packages him but Frenchy reverses and grabs the tights for the pin.

Rating: D-. This is the second straight boring match in a row to start things off here. The whole thing is only two hours long and we’re thirty minutes into it already. This can’t be a good sign as the opener with Barry Horowitz in it was the best match of the night after a quarter of the show. Nothing to see here again.

Harley Race vs. Randy Savage

This HAS to be better. The talent in this alone keeps it from being dull. Savage is VERY freshly turned here, not even having had his feud with Honky start off yet. Race is the King but Savage won the untelevised King of the Ring tournament two weeks before this. Savage goes all insane to start and Race isn’t sure what to make of him. Race takes him into the corner but Savage escapes and throws on a sleeper.

Race quickly grabs a rope so Savage clotheslines him over the top and out to the floor. Savage clotheslines him back over the top rope to bring Race back in and Harley is in trouble. Race hits him in the ribs and sends Savage out to the floor, but Macho sends Race head first into the announce table. Well it is Philly after all. Race trips him up and like an idiot, tries a falling headbutt on the floor. The miss gets two for Savage back in the ring.

Harley is busted and Savage goes after it like a….well like a savage actually. Race pulls him into the corner and takes over with some shots to the head. The piledriver gets no cover but an elbow drop gets two for Harley. A belly to belly gets another two count but Savage reverses a vertical suplex to take over.

Savage drops a knee for two but Race punches him down to take over again. Randy wakes up and elbows Race in the head for two. He’s all fired up now and drops the double ax to Harley’s head for another two. The Flying Elbow misses so Race tries another suplex, only to get reversed into an O’Connor Roll to give Savage the pin.

Rating: C+. This was a nice breath of air as Savage was on fire at this point and the fans were rapidly getting behind him. He would feud with Honky for a few more months before entering the world title tournament at Wrestlemania and taking over the company for a year. Good stuff here as Race was still excellent in the ring and can make even someone like Savage, who is already as talented as anyone, look better.

Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Scott Casey

Casey is known for two things: being on Survivor Series 88 due to a ton of injuries and also training Harlem Heat. Feeling out process to start for the first minute or so with nothing going on. Casey crucifixes him down for two and Sharpe heads to the floor. Back in and Sharpe poses a bit and wants a test of strength. Casey goes down to his knees in the grip but he rolls away and takes Sharpe down.

Iron Mike heads to the floor again and walks around a bit longer this time. Actually he’s walking away from the ring and Casey has to stand in the ring. At this point in the show, they couldn’t do anything much worse than that. Thankfully Sharpe comes back in and rakes Casey’s eyes along the top rope ala Arn Anderson. Casey grabs a piledriver out of nowhere but it only gets two.

Sharpe comes back with some chops to the chest but gets sent into the corner and monkey flipped for his troubles. The announcers discuss the brace on Sharpe’s arm which is on the verge of rivaling Orton’s for longest running injuries. A poke to the eye stops Casey and Mike sends him to the floor. As they head back inside, Casey pokes Mike in the eye to get control back in a nice touch. A sleeper slows Sharpe down and a bulldog gets the pin for Casey.

Rating: D+. Another long and dull match here with guys that not many people were interested in seeing. Casey was basically just a house show guy who occasionally would pop up on TV as half of a jobbing tag team but that’s about it. Nothing to see here again though as it was a nine minute match with about two minutes of action in it.

Rick Rude vs. Brutus Beefcake

This is the last match before the intermission. Rude is pretty new here and he hasn’t started his first big feud, which would be with Orndorff. Brutus jumps him before his name graphic can come on and punches him down to the floor. Back in and Rude wants a handshake but Beefcake would rather hit him again and hits a headknocker. Rude slips in a shot to the knee and Brutus is in trouble.

Beefcake will have none of this being on defense thing and suplexes Rude down, followed by an atomic drop. If anything can help a show no matter what, it’s Rude selling an atomic drop. Rude comes back with a knee lift and starts choking a bit. He wasn’t exactly polished at this point. Brutus breaks a nerve hold but Rude pokes him in the eyes to slow him back down again.

Back to the chinlock as the match slows down again. You can tell it’s the 80s when th are this many chinlocks in a match. Beefcake fights up again with right hands but Rude takes him right back down. You may be noticing a pattern here. Beefcake makes comeback #8 or so with a backdrop followed by a slam. He puts the sleeper on but Rude rams Brutus’ head into the buckle to escape.

A shoulder breaker puts Beefcake down again and there’s the over the shoulder body vice, but Rude lets it go early. Rude goes for the scissors but gets caught in the sleeper again. Harley Race runs in for the save and is put in the sleeper as well. Brutus chases both of them off with the scissors before winning by DQ.

Rating: D+. Not a great match again but at least there was some energy in this match and there were some people I might care about for a change. Beefcake would get MUCH better in a few years as would Rude, and with Jake Roberts lurking for Rude, that time would come soon. This was your usual house show punch and kick match though.

Craig DeGeorge has replaced Monsoon on commentary. Great.

Junkyard Dog vs. Ted DiBiase

We have a Mid-South reunion here. DiBiase offers JYD 500 bucks to take the night off but JYD drills him and gives the money to the fans. Ted is relatively new here too, only having been around about four or five months. Ted gets punched down again and it’s time to stall again. DiBiase hides in the ropes more than once as this is going nowhere so far. JYD rams Ted in the buckle a few times and Ted backs off again.

A fan asks DiBiase for more money when he’s on the floor. That made me chuckle. Back in and DiBiase’s boot to the ribs is caught in an atomic drop. We’re almost four minutes into this and almost nothing has happened so far. JYD works over the arm with a wristlock and then gets on all fours for some headbutts. A falling headbutt misses and DiBiase takes over. DiBiase goes up but jumps into an extended fist instead of the extended boot. Well at least it was different. More headbutts keep DiBiase down and Virgil gets one too. Virgil trips JYD up and DiBiase steals a win with a rollup.

Rating: D+. Another punch/kick/headbutt/stall match here which is continues to drag this show down. DiBiase was killing time until he started to go after Hogan and JYD didn’t mean much of anything yet. The match was mainly DiBiase stalling though and it didn’t go anywhere at all, which is a theme tonight.

Tag Titles: Hart Foundation vs. Killer Bees

Again this has to be good based on the chemistry and familiarity between the teams involved. The Harts are defending due to the Bees never having been champions. We get the ritual of Neidhart taking Bret’s glasses off and we’re ready to go. Blair and Neidhart get us going and the big guy shoves Blair around and takes down the straps. The Bees take over on the arm of the Anvil but Brunzell gets caught in a bearhug.

The Bees use the Sting Action to take over and Blair works over the leg. Both Bees work on the leg but Anvil shoves Blair away and brings Bret in. Blair takes the Hitman down by the leg and hooks an Indian Deathlock. Brunzell hooks a quick spinning toehold and it’s back to Blair for a figure four. The Bees were famous for being able to tag in and out very quickly which they’re doing well here.

Bret finally breaks the old and Blair is taken into the corner and choked by Anvil. We get to the face in peril section now as Blair is down on the floor. Actually that may be premature as Blair sunset flips Bret down for two back inside. Neidhart comes back in with a chinlock before bringing Bret back in to pound on Brian some more. A slam and knee drop get two on Blair as does a kick to the ribs. Neidhart slaps on a bearhug which the announcers can’t name for some reason.

Blair elbows out of it but Bret gets a blind tag and comes in, only to get taken down by a double clothesline. Both guys are down now and the fans are getting into this. Blair picks him up for a slam and Neidhart kicks Bret down onto Blair, but Blair rolls through for two. That would have been an awesome way to change the titles if that was what they were doing here.

Blair crawls over to make the tag and Bret is in trouble. Bret gets his foot on the ropes to save the titles twice in a row before grabbing a sleeper to give himself a breath. Everything breaks down and Brunzell dropkicks Bret to the apron. Brunzell tries to suplex him back in but Neidhart trips him up, allowing Bret to fall on top to retain the titles.

Rating: B-. This was one of those matches that you couldn’t screw up. I remember one of these four saying that they wrestled each other roughly four hundred times and it’s pretty easy to see that they know each other very well. The Bees never won the titles but dang they had some fun matches trying to get them on house shows.

Outback Jack vs. Tiger Chung Lee

Outback Jack can really only be described as different. He’s from Humpty Doo, Australia and has a song called Tie Me Kangaroo Down. Lee is your generic evil Asian dude. Feeling out process to start with Jack hitting a few punches. A bulldog out of nowhere gets the pin for Jack. I think that was supposed to be a clothesline to the back of the head but Lee took it like a bulldog. Too short to rate but this was nothing at all.

WWF World Title: Killer Khan vs. Hulk Hogan

As Hogan is being checked for objects, Khan jumps him and chokes Hogan down with his own headband. Khan loads up the Asian Mist but it hits the referee by mistake. A new referee comes out but Hogan is in big trouble. I think I’ll bet on Khan here. I mean, it’s clear Hogan can’t come back from this kind of a beating. A knee drop gets two for Khan and he beats on Hogan for awhile longer. There’s nothing of note happening here as it’s mainly just stomping.

Fuji gets in a cane shot to Hogan’s throat but Khan’s knee drop misses. Hogan enters Kung Fu mode and chops away, but he poses a bit too much and Khan takes him down again with chops. Off to the nerve hold which Asians tend to be proficient at. Hogan is almost out but he holds up the arm on the third drop and the place erupts. He starts running the ropes but a big chop takes him right back down. Khan’s top rope knee drop finisher gets two and it’s Hulk Up, a block of the mist, mist to Khan’s eyes and the legdrop to retain.

Rating: C. It’s Hogan vs. a foreign monster in the 80s. I have no idea what else you’re looking for here. Hogan would go on to feud with DiBiase and Andre in a few months while Khan would disappear, although he was almost never on TV so it wasn’t like it was a big loss. Nothing to see here again but the fans loved it.

Overall Rating: D-. This was the worst kind of show possible: the dull kind. Nothing on here is awful, but there is NOTHING that hasn’t been done better a few dozen times. At the end of the day, this is a dull house show with a lot of standing around to fill in time. This show came and went and I’m never going to think of it again. That’s the worst kind of show to sit through as it’s so boring there’s nothing to care about or get excited about at all. The tag match was ok though.

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