Category: WWF 1980s angles

Tag team upheaval for Demolition at Survivor Series 1988

With the 2017 WWE Survivor Series coming up, I decided to watch a match I had not seen in a long time: The epic, 10-team Survivor Series elimination contest from 1988.

The bout culminated in a rare double turn, as Mr. Fuji — “the devious one,” said Gorilla Monsoon during commentary — betrayed Tag Team Champions Demolition and instead sided with opponents The Powers of Pain.

 

Ax and Smash of Demolition had been heels since their arrival, but Fuji’s actions made them babyfaces, and the opposite happened when the Powers of Pain — Warlord and Barbarian — lifted Fuji on their shoulders after winning the match.

The other notable thing that many long-time WWF fans remember about the match is Continue reading

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Killer Khan attacks Andre the Giant with his own crutch

Certain angles, for whatever reason, stick with you from youth. Andre the Giant and Killer Khan had a feud in the 1981 that was based in storyline on Khan breaking Andre’s leg. In reality, Andre likely hurt it outside the ring, and the Khan plot was a nice tie-in to his real-life injury.

But what really set the feud on fire was an simple angle on Saturday morning WWF Championship Wrestling in which Khan attacked a recovering Andre with his crutch.

What I remember most about the incident wasn’t the beating (30:02 into this YouTube clip), but announcer Vince McMahon’s reaction.


McMahon was conducting an interview in front of the live audience with Andre about when the giant would return to the ring. Suddenly, Classy Freddie Blassie, Khan’s manager, came out and claimed Andre was washed up, calling him a “palooka,” which was a classic Continue reading

25 years ago this week, one of the WWE’s greatest long builds culminated at WrestleMania V

When the Rock returned to pro wrestling a few years back and challenged John Cena a year ahead of schedule for the WrestleMania XXVII, it was the first time in years that you saw long-term planning on the part of the WWE.

One of the greatest examples of the long, slow build came in 1988 and 1989, when the late Randy “Macho Man” Savage and Hulk Hogan planted the seeds for their main event confrontation at WrestleMania V at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, NJ.

One year prior, Savage won the WWF Heavyweight Title in a one-night tournament at WrestleMania IV. At the time, Savage was a babyface, but there was still tension between him and Hogan due to their prior battles when Hulk wore the belt. These guys spent a year walking on a knife edge, and you knew where the story was going.

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That’s the thing a lot of non-fans don’t get about wrestling. Sure, we know it’s entertainment and we often can correctly guess who will win in the end. But it’s how you get there that is the most intriguing part.

The WrestleMania V match had hints dropped Continue reading

30 years ago this week, the Iron Sheik beat Bob Backlund

I can’t believe it’s been three decades since a moment that until many years later was probably the single most shocking thing I had experienced as a young pro wrestling fan: The Iron Sheik winning the WWF Heavyweight Title from Bob Backlund.

The match took place on December 26, 1983, in Madison Square Garden. The Sheik had attacked Backlund a few weeks earlier on WWF Championship Wrestling and clobbered the champ with a pair of Persian clubs. None of this really indicated a title change, as Backlund was always involved with angles with his challengers on TV.

 

During the match, the Sheik applied his finisher, the camel clutch, to Backlund in the middle of the ring. As Backlund struggled, his manager, Arnold Skaaland, threw Continue reading

With its only 2013 house show coming up, the future of MSG looks bleak for wrestling

I’ve been terrible about updating this blog, due to real life creeping in: new jobs, house renovation loose ends, blah, blah. It doesn’t help that the current WWE product is teetering on boring, too.

The ironic part is I have so much to write about. I keep these little notes on paper or in my email draft folder of topics to post on, and they’ve just been sitting there.

One of the biggest things bothering me these days is Madison Square Garden and just how far this arena has fell in prominence in the WWE. Back in October, we had the 30th anniversary of Jimmy Snuka’s cage match with Magnificent Muraco at MSG, during which Snuka dove off the top of the cage, creating one of the most iconic moments in WWE history.

And now look at Madison Square Garden. As of this writing, the arena has had exactly zero wrestling cards in 2013. There is the annual (albeit routine) Christmas week house show at Madison Square Garden coming up on December 26, and the WWE hosted its 2013 Hall of Fame at the arena. That’s it for wrestling in the house that Bruno Continue reading

Jake the Snake Delivers a Devastating DDT to Steamboat on the Concrete

Back in 1986, the WWF did not have mats around ringside. Actually, few – if any – promotions put in those mats to help wrestlers break their falls doing moves on the floor, which in most cases are concrete or wood.

Those exposed floors had come into play during prior angles with memorable results, such as when Ray Stevens gave Jimmy Snuka two piledrivers on the concrete or Greg Valentine delivered a vertical suplex on the floor to Pedro Morales.

But perhaps no other incident at ringside could match what Jake “The Snake” Roberts did to Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat in May 1986. The two were scheduled to compete on Saturday Night’s Main Event, which was an NBC show that Continue reading

Savage began his first WWF Heavyweight Title reign 25 years ago at WrestleMania IV

It was 25 years ago today in 1988 that the WWF Heavyweight Title tournament took place at WrestleMania IV.

The tournament came about after the infamous title switch during which Andre the Giant pinned Hulk Hogan and then attempted to bequeath the belt to the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. Then-WWF President Jack Tunney ruled that while Andre had indeed won the title, he could not hand it over to someone else, and thus had vacated the belt. Tunney ordered the champion to be determined at Mania IV.

These days, title tournaments are commonplace, but in 1988 in the WWF, there had not been a championship tourney Continue reading