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Welcome To The Vault! In This Edition, Sean Carless Goes Back To Yesteryear To Bring Us WWF's Even More Unsual Matches!


Approx running time: 90 min
Approx time period covered: 1986 - 1987
Released: 1987
Traditionally sequels don't live up to their predecessors, and high expectations are usually squashed. Then, once in a while, a sequel somehow surpasses its original, taking what was successful about the first, and taking it to the next level. This is not one of those cases.
Hello Rasslin' nuts, this is your party host Sean Carless, and today  we'll be opening up the Dusty box (coincidentally also the pet name for Dusty Rhodes' wife) and we pulling out this: "WWF's Even More Unusual Matches", which of course is a follow up to Most Unusual Matches. No word on whether further sequels "What, again with the Unusual Matches?!" and "I swear, this is it. No more Unusual matches!" ever hit video shelves. 
Your hosts for this roller coaster ride of emotions are Luscious Johnny V. who was amidst putting over the brand new Barber and pre-Anthrax Brutus Beefcake, along with Craig DeGeorge, who bore an uncanny resemblance to the Karate Kid's Ralph Macchio, only not possessing any of the sweet and not at all unrealistic karate goodness that would ever make me care about him.
Ok, on with the video!
02/07/87 Randy Savage vs. Bruno Sammartino (Lumberjack match)
This was in the midst of Savage's celebrated Intercontinental Title reign. His opponent here is the "Living Legend" Bruno Sammartino, who was returning to the famed Boston Garden, in an effort to prove once and for all that this wasn't your grandpa's wrestling anymore.... this WAS YOUR GRANDPA! No knock on Sammartino though, who surprisingly held up his end of the match, despite having the same stunned look on his face throughout that my Grandad has when you flick his newspaper.
This match was wrestled under "Lumberjack rules" which meant that the ringside area would be surrounded by wrestlers who'd toss a wrestler back into the ring in the case he tried to run away. And once again, not one tree was cut down. What kind of lumberjacks are you people?
All kidding aside, the concept for this match actually really did stem from Lumberjacks, who were said to circle an ongoing fight and make sure issues were settled by preventing anyone from running off. They just had the common decency to wear pants while they did it, unlike these WWF guys...
Anyway, Savage dominated early on, using the dreaded imaginary foreign object of DOOM before eventually hitting an impossibly far double axe-handle half way across the ring which Bruno sells like a trooper (A 1940's storm trooper that is! Did I mention how old Bruno looked here?). Anyway, Bruno starts umm, Brunoing up? and Savage ends up getting tossed outside where arch-rival Ricky Steamboat is waiting. Apparently the Dragon is still sore over the whole "crushed larynx" thing. What a big baby. I crush my larynx ALL the time and you never hear me complain about it. Anyway, Steamboat dishes out some patented Ricky chops and rolls Savage into the waiting arms of Bruno who applies a BEAR HUG, but before the submission, King Kong Bundy breaks it up (I'm convinced he only signed up to be a Lumberjack in hopes that he'd get that world famous Lumberjack breakfast out of the deal) drawing a disqualification! Ohh that Bundy.
Winner by DQ: Bruno Sammartino.
10/20/86 Tag Team Battle Royal;
It's always amused me how well Battle Royals have always gotten over, despite basically being the exact same match every time. By the way, this was a Tagteam Battle Royal for the prize of $50,000, or how much one of the Diva hopefuls today will make for wiping their ass. It's funny, but a cash prize could really  only have gotten over back then, because let's be frank, why would I care that Joe Blow just *Won* 50,000 dollars? How does this benefit me, John Q. Hayseed at ringside?
Some of the Tagteams involved were the then-champions British Bulldogs, The Harts, Bundy & Studd, The Dream Team, Muraco & Orton, The Rougeaus, The Killer Bees, The Machines (Big & Super) and a babyfaced Islanders (Haku & Tama) who were not representing the NHL franchise, but  instead were a couple big bad Samoans. And since "Samoans" had already been taken, I guess "Islanders" was all they could choose from, except maybe the Headshrinkers...but who in their right mind would name a Samoan team that? Hey wait.
The rules here were that no one was allowed to execute an ACTUAL wrestling hold errr I mean once one member of a squad is eliminated, his luckless partner has to follow suit. The Harts & Bulldogs go out simultaneously, probably to mask Dynamite's recent back injury, but I'm not sure. Anyhoo, I could give you blow by blow here, but quite frankly, I don't want to. All you need to know is that it came down to Bundy & Studd and the Islanders(?!).
In any event, Bundy and Studd kick the living shit out of Tama, as Bundy even puts some extra mustard on a big avalanche in the corner. But, ultimately, Heel miscommunication prevails, and Bundy accidentally knocks Studd from the ring on an errant charge so The Islanders win the Battle Royal and the $50,000!... well, until Vince pried the kayfabe check from Haku backstage. Too bad too; that money would have come in handy to pay the crew of people it'd take to give him a haircut years later.
Winners: The Islanders.
06/14/87 Hulk Hogan vs. Harley Race (Texas death match)
This was a WWF Title match featuring the then King, "Handsome" Harley Race. And for the record, Harley was about as 'handsome" as Lita is virtuous, but whatever.
Harley's career was winding down here, but you wouldn't know it. His moves were still crisp and his selling really made the Hulkster look like a million bucks. This was in the hey-day of Vince snatching up every top territory wrestler and brilliantly feeding them to Hulk, to thus put over Hogan as THE one true champion of the day. This is wrestled under Texas Death rules which means... well it means shit. Texas Death rules have varied every time they've been used. And for the record, once again, no one died, despite the match's implications. False advertising!
Anyhoo, this was for all intents and purposes just a no DQ match. Harley was all headbutts here which ultimately would be his undoing, but not before he peeled off a Benoit-esque headbutt from the apron to Hogan who was on the floor. Harley would eventually retrieve the WWF belt and deliver a gut shot to the Hulkster's radiated orange middle that caused him to collapse in pain. Harley then placed the belt under Hulk's head and headed upstairs to the top. I find myself yelling "Noooooooo!" in slow motion like they do in the movies when there is impending danger, as Harley cascades from the top and connects his celebrated "halfro" with the WWF Belt, right after Hulk had rolled clear. Hogan then retrieves said belt and runs into the ropes for extra momentum and grills Harley between the running lights and gets the pin. Good match.
Winner: Hulk Hogan
06/06/87 Hulk Hogan vs. Harley Race (Texas death match)
I thought to myself, this is odd, a rematch with the same stipulation? I then was excited to see how they'd top the previous encounter. And they did top it by doing- ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. This was the EXACT same match bar a few holds! Man, why didn't they just have two dudes walk past holding a huge banner that read "WRESTLING IS FAKE?".
Well, with all the single-handed killing of 100 years of kayfabe aside, this match was at least as good as the first. But, somehow, I suspect Harley would fall for that same headbutt finish yet again, call me crazy.
Winner: Hulk Hogan. ~SURPRISE!
1987: Hercules vs. Billy Jack Haynes (chain match)
"I have the best Full Nelson!... "Nah huh, I do!"..."Na huh!" This was the basic premise for this feud between the two masters of the Full Nelson... well at least while Ken Patera was still a Prisoner of the State for a few more months.
Anyway, this looks to be taken from a WWF TV Taping. No visible Bobby Heenan in sight for the record. The two actually get pretty hardcore for the WWF at the time, and do some pretty solid color off of the chain shots. Not a bad match by any stretch of the imagination though. The finish was actually very creative in retrospect. Being that it was a no disqualification match, Herc hog-tied Bill Jack's feet to the ropes and with Billy unable to free himself, he was left easy prey for a pin (still assisted by the ropes with his feet for good measure by Hercules).
Although Herc gets the last laugh here, one has to wonder why Billy Jack just didn't decapitate Hercules with his bowler ala "Odd-Job" from the Bond movies. Could have saved himself a lot of grief if he had.
Winner: The Mighty Hercules.
11/01/86 Candice Pardue & Penny Mitchell vs. Judy Martin & Lelani Kai
This was of course the pre-glamour "Glamour Girls" here that features the birth of the Powerbomb, called the "drip-dry" by Lord Alfred Hayes. Drip-dry? Ewww, sounds more like the result of an S.T.D or something. Anyway this match was back in the pre-diva days of women's wrestling where the average Woman wrestler was built like a wet bag of laundry. Now adays, thankfully, the only place you'll see shapeless women in floral printed bathing suits running amuck is at the beach.
Judy Martin & Lelani were a very formidable tag team, but wouldn't really come into their own until their matches with the Jumping Bomb Angels in late 1987, early '88. The end in this one though comes when Judy breaks up an attempted pin on Kai and delivers North America's first Powerbomb to pick up the win. It's funny, but this match really was just a setup to see the powerbomb, but whatever.
Winners: The Glamour Girls
-Next up they have a quick feature on "The Animals of the WWF". Featured are Damian, "Frankie the Bird" (just in case you forgot he was in fact a BIRD; I guess, he was after all, so human-like...) and Ricky Steamboat's oft missed Gila Monster. And No, this is not the nickname for Ricky's penis given by Bonny, en route to the spawning of "The Little Dragon"; no sir; it was, in fact, a real Lizard that was brought in to thwart Jake and his various snakes during their 1986 feud, then completely forgotten about forever. Whatever.
WWF 04/23/87 Hulk Hogan & Billy Jack Haynes vs. The Hart Foundation & Danny Davis
This one was unusual because it was a handicap match. Danny Davis is of course the disgraced former Referee that somehow quietly becomes a Referee again, as if nothing ever happened, some two years later. Damn you continuity! It's as if I don't know you!
Davis is adorned in a white tanktop and tights with Referee stripes. Get it? He's a former Referee! Hammer home that subtlety WWF! For the record, being forced to wrestle in a shirt is usually a sign that the office is not too happy with your physical shape. But in Davis' case it was actually because he was in "too good" of shape. They wanted him to seem pathetic, and he looked too much like a real "Wrestler"..even though he was now, *gulp*, a WRESTLER. I don't get it either.
This match of course was the big blowoff of the celebrated Hogan/Billy Jack Haynes Vs. Hart Foundation WARS that lit up the country. What? There was no feud? Not Ever? Then why?..Why damn it! Anyway, this isn't much of a match either as Hogan seems to effortlessly dispatch Jim Neidhart with a leg drop out of nowhere. Ok then. Hulk then gets the big payoff by beating down Davis post-match. And Haynes at least gets the Hogan rub, so much so that he was never really heard from again in the WWF. That's not a rub. That's an Indian burn! I have no idea what that means...
Winners: Hulk Hogan & Billy Jack Haynes
01/03/87 Bunkhouse Battle Royal
Bunkhouse Battle Royal basically meant that you dressed for battle in whatever you felt like. Unfortunately, this stipulation allowed for some real eye-sores. Like Haku in some really unflattering Bicycle shorts. I mean, BICYCLE SHORTS? When was the last time you saw a Savage casually cycling down the street on a ten speed?
King Kong Bundy also looked a lot less imposing than usual in some coveralls; that suggested that when he wasn't callously breaking Hogan's ribs, he was happily repairing your air conditioner. The only other thing that stood out for me was Lanny Poffo adorned in a suit of armor, which I'd assume had a rather easily detachable codpiece.
Anyway, much like EVERY Battle Royal EVER, there is a lot of stalling, complete with the obligatory "I'll appear that I'm trying to push you out, but, really I'm making sure you don't accidentally fall out" spot. The final three are Bundy, The Duke of Dorchester Pete Doherty(?!) who I guess was wearing his patented "really ugly Irishman" costume, and Blackjack Mulligan. Duke gets pitched by Bundy, and is so peeved that he returns with a chair and levels Bundy, allowing Mulligan to throw him out and win. Imagine that, the match WON by the only guy dressed for the occasion? SWEET IRONY! It's as if they booked this match for his benefit or something.
Sure as hell beats having to be a Machine though, right Blackjack? For the record, Blackjack was the BIG machine. He spent the better part of 1986 having the patented swollen Windham features hidden under a black hood. The other Machines were Bill "Demolition AX" Eadie as SUPER machine, and you know, I'm not too sure who that Giant machine was......
Winner: Blackjack Mulligan
02/02/76 Cocoa Kid & Little Louie vs. Billy the Kid & Little John;
Isn't this a nice way to close off the tape. Well, little people do equal HUGE ratings according to Al Snow. Actually, this is a lie to spare their feelings. In reality, Midgets are filthy little creatures, void of any human emotion. Hey, legends of Trolls had to start somewhere, think about it. Anyway, this was your token Midget match with lots of near falls and laughs for all the people with fully functioning pituitary glands in the audience. Cocoa gets the pin here with a rolling leg cradle to end the misery.
For the record, Little Louie would be seen almost twenty years later as one of Jerry Lawler's team members at Survivor Series'94. I think he may have been "Cheesy", I don't know. Sadly, Louie is no longer with us. What? He's not dead? I thought midgets expired young? Maybe I was thinking of mongoloids, I don't know.
Winners: Cocoa Kid & Little Louie
Well, that's it for this "can't hit" prospect. I recommend, if only to see Harley Race Vs. Hulk Hogan. and of course, Harley Race Vs. Hulk Hogan....
I'm Sean

  Sean Carless is a man of many hats. And he wears those hats to cover an ever-increasing bald spot. Sean's various scribblings have been read at Live Audio Wrestling, 411 Mania, Honky Tonk Man.com, The Toronto Star.com, and Lethal Wrestling. He has also cured AIDS.

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November 2006


by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).