On This Day: March 15, 1987 – WWF Toronto House Show: Back When Tag Wrestling Was Sweet

Toronto House Show
Date: March 15, 1987
Location: Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Jimmy Hart, Johnny V

Now as anyone that has read my reviews knows, I am obsessed with house shows from the old days, especially the late 80s. This is 2 weeks before Mania III, but it’s not your traditional show. For some reason, what we have here is a one night tag team tournament. Without knowing otherwise, there’s nothing on the line here and it’s just a tournament for the sake of having a tournament. This is the absolute golden era of tag team wrestling though, so this should be great. Let’s get to it.

On further review, this is for the #1 contendership. A word to those of you that might not get how this is possible. Back in the day, there were FAR fewer house shows, but they had bigger cards. For TV, rather than having a show like Raw or Smackdown, a lot of the time you would have guys in a studio who would show matches from house shows with dubbed in commentary.

They would edit some stuff out and air it on TV. Since most fans hadn’t seen the show or didn’t get what was going on, they thought these were matches taped for the TV show rather than recycled house show matches, which is what they were. This is a complete (I think) house show from a WWF stronghold: Toronto. These are the things I’m talking about when I mention the Boston shows on the Superstars reviews.

Here are your brackets.

Demolition
British Bulldogs

Can-Am Connection
Allen/Spivey

Paul Orndorff/King Kong Bundy
Muraco/Orton

Kamala/Sika
Killer Bees

Could be worse. No Harts so maybe this is for a title shot? No Rougeaus either, but that was a tag title feud at this time so that might explain it.

Quite a commentary team there.

First Round: Kamala/Sika vs. Killer Bees

Sika is more famous for being in the Wild Samoans. Has Kamala ever actually won anything? I don’t remember a freaking thing that he actually accomplished. The camera angle is odd at this show as it’s from an angle and the ring is kind of up on a platform if that makes sense. The crowd is kind of small too. The ring looks small too. Valiant isn’t a good talker but he’s very energetic. Sika and Brunzell start. For some reason Kamala starts climbing the ropes. Ok then.

No clue why the heels are teaming together. Oh apparently they’re a semi-regular tag team. As always the idea of them registering for a tag team is very funny. Their manager, the Grand Wizard, would be replaced by Mr. Fuji, who Shawn Michaels LOVES. They get a double slam on Kamala which was kind of cool. We get to the formula stuff here as Blair, the less talented of the faces, gets beaten down a lot.

That ends though due to the first instance of something I’m sure you’ll hear a lot of tonight: heel miscommunication. A hot tag to Brunzell and a quick dropkick gets the win for them. On replay, you can see how awesome that one was. He kicked Sika right in the freaking face.

Rating: C+. Not bad for an opener at all. They used your standard formula here but at an accelerated pace. To be fair though, the heels are pretty much crap here though and that’s hurting things. Bees were their usual solid selves, but they were being held down here by bad opponents.

First Round: Jerry Allen/Dan Spiver vs. Can-Am Connection

This is a very odd choice for a team here. Mike Rotunda had left and Spivey had no partner. Allen on the other hand….was a jobber. He’s kind of like the Carlito of his day, minus the credibility. Yeah think of him like that. Allen and Spivey get no reaction. Can-Ams are the young pretty boys who get big girl pops. Jimmy talks about his clients’ three matches at Mania, including saying that Alice Cooper couldn’t carry a tune if it had handles on it.

That line would be in Honky Tonk Man’s future song, so I wonder who wrote that one. Valiant is REALLY annoying. Allen and Zenk start us off. Wow I’d be so riveted to this match. They botch a leap frog. That’s hard to do. Jimmy lists off some songs his band had. For those of you that don’t know, Hart was in a mainstream band called the Gents and they actually weren’t that bad. They toured with the Beach Boys in the 60s.

We hit the formula stuff so that’s fine. They mention Allen isn’t Spivey’s full time partner. At this time, Valiant is Demolition’s manager. This isn’t very interesting at all. To be fair that could be due to a lack of heel talent. There’s a lot of that going around tonight apparently. This match has been 80% rest holds. Everyone comes in at once and in a pretty weak looking spot, Martel hits Allen with a cross body for the pin.

Rating: D. Just boring as possible here. It was mainly due to the terrible heel team though so I can’t complain much there. The Connection was pretty solid though so I have to give them the benefit of the doubt here. Just a bad match overall though.

First Round: Demolition vs. British Bulldogs

Valiant is at ringside for this. I think Demolition has been around about a month at this point and Smash isn’t the one that he would eventually be. The Bulldogs had just lost the tag belts to the Harts in a screwjob so they have a reason to go after Hart and to win the tournament here. At this point it’s next to impossible to tell Demolition apart as Smash really does look like Axe at this point.

It’s been all Demolition so far but to be fair it’s only been a few minutes. Dynamite is the one getting beaten down. I’m stunned too. Davey gets a hot tag and the fans are INTO it. Valiant trips Smith up so like idiots, Dynamite throws a chair in and Davey hits Axe with it RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE REFEREE. Seriously, that was idiotic. Gorilla says he can’t blame them. Uh, I can.

Rating: D+. This was short but it was intense for what it was. Demolition was fast on the rise at this point so the result doesn’t surprise me at all. This really could have been good if it had gone a few minutes longer.

First Round: Don Muraco/Bob Orton vs. King Kong Bundy/Paul Orndorff

Heel vs. heel here which is really rare to say the least. I don’t think Paul and King teamed together many more times after this. Valiant suggests that these are four of the best wrestlers in the world today. That’s very funny. The announcers call over Mr. Fuji to say a few words. Nothing of note even though I just noted it. And let’s talk about Hogan vs. Andre. Sure why not. Wow the dynamic here is just weird.

I think Orndorff is heel here. He would have been face in the fall but heel late last year. Fuji throws in the cane and it hits Orton in the head. I mean Muraco had it but I figured I’d cut out the middle aspect to save some time. Orndorff gets the pin.

Rating: D. I know I’ve used that a few times but this just hasn’t been that good of a show at all. The screwy finishes aren’t helping things out either so that likely has a lot to do with it. The matchup here wasn’t going to work no matter what though so I’d chalk it up to that.

The Semifinals are now set.

Demolition
Can-Am Connection

Orndorff/Bundy
Killer Bees

I think I know the finals already. We have an hour left and that’s all that’s on the card? Really?

Semi-Finals: Can-Am Connection vs. Demolition

Demolition is kind of popular here, foreshadowing their face turn…a year and a half from now. Ok so it’s not foreshadowing at all. This is apparently a main event in any arena in the entire world. When anyone says that, the first thing that comes to my mind: WHY IS IT NOT MAIN EVENTING THIS SHOW THEN??? Demolition is dominating for the most part here as you would expect them to. What follows is more or less as basic of a match as you could possibly ask for.

This simply isn’t much to talk about but it’s not bad. Demolition dominates for a good while until Martel gets the hot tag. Everyone comes in, the legal guys go to the floor, Zenk hits the post, and there’s your countout to put Demolition in the finals.

Rating: C-. Not as bad, but still not very good whatsoever. The screwy endings continue here which is rapidly getting on my nerves. It’s another formula match here which is fine but it’s getting very repetitive.

Semi-Finals: Killer Bees vs. Paul Orndorff/King Kong Bundy

Bundy says that they should just get the titles now. Thanks for that Mr. Bundy. The Bees have their trademark masks which is a nice face acting heelish move. There’s no way to tell them apart at this point so I’m not going to try. Again, why is Bundy getting cheered? Apparently Brunzell is in the ring at the moment. This is another quick match as the heels beat down one of the Bees but as they brag to the crowd the Bees do the switch. A rollup ends it.

Rating: D+. Again, just nothing to talk about here. This was maybe 3 minutes long and I have no idea how this is going to end up. This wasn’t great or anything at all but the ending sets up the showdown with Demolition I guess.

We have 38 minutes left and Demolition vs. The Killer Bees? That’s it?

Sivi Afi vs. Red Demon

Uh, ok then. Can you spell filler? If you can’t, pay more attention as I just wrote it out for you. WOW the crowd is dead for this. I can’t blame them either. This would be the equivalent of a jobber lower than Santino vs. Santino but without the interesting aspect of it. See what I mean? Demon has some tape or a rope or something to choke him out with. Yeah Idon’t care at all. This is just a waste of four minutes as Afi hits a cross body off the top for the win.

Rating: F+. Uh yeah. Let’s get to the next match please.

Finals: Killer Bees vs. Demolition

So it’s a 32 minute final. Yeah I’m thinking NO on that one. Smash and Brunzell start us off as we’re talking about Elvis for no apparent reason. This is very reminiscent of all the other matches, with nothing of note happening and this just being your standard match that could have been on a regular TV show. And this is the final match right? Got it.

Demolition is dominating of course and here come the masks. Gorilla said those exact words but I typed them first. I BEAT MONSOON!!! And a sunset flip off the top by Brunzell ends it? Ok then.

Rating: C+. A bit better but still nothing at all to write home about, let alone write a review of 23 years after it happened. Oh never mind. Anyway, nothing great here at all but it could have been much worse I guess.

And we have 24 minutes left in the tape.

Hillbilly Jim vs. Dino Bravo

Both guys aren’t anything special but Jim was Hogan’s buddy so he’s of course over as all get out. I wouldn’t go messing with a country boy. He had been around about a year and a half at this point and his biggest feuds were behind him. That sums things up rather well for him. Oh and Bravo has brown hair and is wearing the same tights that Spivey was wearing earlier. Hart mentions his accomplishments in music including the tour with the Beach Boys. He really was a huge asset to Vince.

We’re almost four minutes in and I don’t think anything past a headlock has happened. Ah here we go as Bravo is actually doing some stuff. It’s boring as heck but he’s doing something at least. And there goes the referee. That’s good enough for the DQ. Scratch that. It’s bad enough for the DQ. Nothing good about this match.

Rating: F. Again, this is pure filler and it was bad filler at that. I want this show to end like NOW.

Tag Titles: Killer Bees vs. Hart Foundation

Well ok then. Apparently this is the reward for the win. Better than nothing I guess. The Harts try to walk off since the Bees are wearing their masks but they’re declared legal. This should be a good match if nothing else. The masks are removed and we stall some more. Apparently the match has been signed already. That’s impressive since the other match ended like 8 minutes ago. Those are some fast lawyers.

Danny Davis is with them and isn’t wrestling tonight yet he’s wearing the shorts anyway. Ok then. Anvil and Brunzell start us off. Anvil takes his straps off at the very beginning for no adequately explored reason. These four always had solid chemistry together and this doesn’t seem to be any exception. A fan jumps the railing for reasons of genuine idiocy. Brunzell runs into Anvil and everyone is down.

We get a lot of standard tag stuff, such as the hot tag with the referee not looking and the slam getting dropkicked for a cover for a long two. The masks go back on and we get a double sleeper. Brunzell gets a small package on Hart but Davis turns it over, allowing Hart to get the pin and keep the titles. Post match the Bees beat up Davis to an ERUPTION.

Rating: B-. By far the best match of the night. I think Brunzell once said these two teams wrestled between 300 and 600 times and it shows. This is one of their weaker matches but it’s still pretty decent stuff, given that they had like 8 minutes to do it in. Not great, but good enough.

Overall Rating: D. If you enjoy either 80s tag wrestling or the Killer Bees, GET THIS IMMEDIATELY. Other than that, this is pretty weak to put it mildly. Now to be fair with the apparent total lack of star power and the tournament to hold things together, this wasn’t terrible, but dang it wasn’t anything good either.

I know Mania was coming up, but seriously, the biggest stars on the card were I guess the Harts? This was pretty sad but to be fair it was a house show, so I can’t complain that much about it. Actually I could but I can give it sympathy here.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews

8 comments

  1. Mel Fill-ups says:

    Is this a repost?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    No.

  2. Mel Fill-ups says:

    You seem a little off on this one.

    Are you sick? I will say a prayer.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    This one is years old. I wrote a very different style back then and now that I look at them again, they SUCK.

    Mel Fill-ups Reply:

    That’s what I figured and why I asked if it was a repost. I’m glad you are not sick.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    That bad?

  3. NOT A BAD SHOW IN TORONTO BUT COULD BEEN BETTER I MEAN IT WAS OK FOR WHAT IT WAS BUT THIS WAS 2 WEEKS BEFORE MANIA AND SOME OF THE STUFF THEY HAD ON THERE WAS SO SO TO FAIR AT TIMES AGAIN COULD BEEN BETTER BUT OH WELL THAT BEING SAID COULD BEEN JUST A LITTLE BIT BETTER IF U ASK ME SO THERE ARE MY THOUGHTS ON THIS ONE IF U ASK ME

  4. Mel Fill-Ups says:

    Not bad. You could just tell the difference,