By Dave Newman on 23rd September 2023
This weekend I’m looking at an episode of WWF Wrestling Spotlight from 1987 as well as an episode of a cartoon that aired the same year, Around the World with Willy Fog, plus the usual bits and pieces paying for promotional consideration.
The recognised symbol of excellence in sports entertainment!
The theme tune sounds like a practice session for the Prime Time theme, but at least it’s got reasonably obscure types like Killer Khan and the Shadows in clip form in it.
Hosted by Craig DeGeorge and Lord Alfred Hayes, from the Sports Control Center, with a bit of tinsel in the background over the WWF logo as it’s close to Christmas, just ahead of the Slammy Awards too.
Demolition vs. Jim Evans and Brady Boone
Ax and Smash are very much in ascent and very much over. Vince recalls the last time that Boone faced Demolition that they wiped the floor so badly with him that “cousin” Billy Jack Haynes came to save him and got more of the same. He tries a backflip and then gets launched into space by Smash. He rolls through a clothesline to tag Evans in, who Ax catches with a slam. Inset promo from Billy Jack and Ken Patera. Jesse gets into a pretty shoot conversation about how Haynes is an anti-social nutcase hanging out with an ex-con – stop him when he tells a lie. Smash takes out Evans with a short clothesline and Decapitation finishes him off. Boone comes in to check on his corpse and gets sent flying again, so it’s another one. Boone, the fool, comes back for more and gets caught in a beating, with Fuji offering the cane. Joey Marella pretty effectively blocks Ax from taking a shoot and Haynes and Patera make the save for now. You wouldn’t think a tag team feud including the makeshift pairing of the Oregonians would have heat, but fair play that it did.
Update with Craig DeGeorge!
Ted Dibiase has made his bid to buy the WWF championship, so Craig goes backstage and frantically asks the Hulkster, flanked by Tim White and Jack Lanza of all people, if he’s going to sell out. Hulk does a classic “no answer, but I didn’t say THAT” response to his probing. This would lead into the new year with Hulk’s answer in an underrated interview.
Halls – with pictures of people coughing and sniffling in a vile computer-generated hallway decorated with jumbo-sized tablets. Looks like a Lego house. With vapor action!
Rolaids – even Pat Riley chews them!
STP – the gas treatment that gave Bob Holly his first WWF name!
Skittles – taste the rainbow!
Rolex – so good that Jean Claude Killy (never heard of him!) wears it with confidence and pride!
One Day at a Time – with a weirdly sexed up kid with walnut breath!
Koko B Ware and Junkyard Dog vs. Barry Horowitz and Terry Gibbs
You can tell JYD has slipped down the pecking order when they’re coming out to Piledriver. Dog bounces around Horowitz before Koko comes in with a dropkick. Gibbs in to a hip toss. While Jimmy Hart drops in for an inset to promote the Slammys while Dog hits the Thump and then Koko hits the Ghostbuster for a win. That was like a video game ending with double finishers.
Promo time with Mean Gene telling you 1988 will be a good year, don’t trust what they say at the brokerage. Oliver Humperdink comes in to talk for Bam Bam Bigelow against the One Man Gang. Bammer and his hairy neck walks into shot to talk for himself. I’m not one to accuse someone of being on drugs, but Bigelow looked a bit lively and out of it here.
Clue – or Cluedo if you’re me!
Ouija – a game, NOT a portal to the other side!
Stetson – the aftershave worn by men in a jeep with their dog!
M.L. Ondrey – discover the feeling of REAL gold!
WYTV – kids!
Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Honky Tonk Man
For the IC title, with a feud from earlier in the year revisited. Bruce Prichard, with his annoying announcer voice, along with Craig DeGeorge and NICK BOCKWINKEL on commentary. Jake just punches away to start, with Honky doing his cartoon bumping to sell it. Jake runs into a knee as Nick dips into the dictionary as often as possible. Jake comes back with a kneelift and goes for the DDT, but Honky head for the outside. Jake follows him out and cracks his head into Jimmy’s. All basic stuff, but the crowd are going mad for it. Back in, Jimmy grabs the leg, but it’s to no avail initially until Honky drops a fist and chokes away and dances to let Jimmy get his licks in. Another fistdrop, but the elbow misses. Honky tries for Shake, Rattle and Roll, but Jake backdrops out of it and then Honky does a Ray Stevens bump on a charge that misses. Short clothesline, but Jake goes for more punches rather than the DDT, allowing Honky to grab the megaphone and hit Roberts with it for the DQ. Typical cheap Honky screwjob, but the match was a lot of fun. Honky didn’t keep his title so long with stiff chops! Honky is tied up and Jake goes to throw Damien on him, but Jimmy takes the bullet instead before running off. Not that the python seemed up for much as Nick comments “He seems a little lethargic tonight!”.
Promo time with Gene again. Guests this time are Mr. Fuji and Demolition, who have been running through the sewers to get used to the smell of Peoria. Ax is going for the weirdest, laziest paint this day, with a white nose and one half of his face red and the other silver, with nothing on the chin or forehead.
Aqua Velva – Dick Butkus promotes it!
Vivarin – will wake you up, but don’t be a teacher taking something off your student!
Milk – don’t bully a kid with a Jew-fro, they never forget a name!
Glass – glass!
Benson – he is NOT the president! And old ladies get beaten up with a cane!
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Pete Sanchez
A bit of weirdness here with Duggan using some music here that isn’t his popular music from 1990 onwards, which he’d quickly drop and go back to no music. Jesse comes right out and accuses Duggan of being “mentally retarded”, so Bruno comes back and repeats it by asking “Why don’t YOU ask him if he’s retarded?”. Not helping, Bruno! Bruno actually seems more lively than normal here, having a laugh and doing his take on Duggan’s call. Suplex sets up the slam and three point stance clothesline for the victory.
Podium interview with Craig DeGeorge talking to Brutus Beefcake about being put in the figure four by Greg Valentine recently in another delayed payoff of their breakup at WrestleMania IV.
Stetson – the cowboy’s driving through high water again after he’s shagged some lady on her way home!
Halls – cough, cough! Sniff, sniff!
Rolaids – we did this one earlier too!
Adrianne’s Firs – the latest in fur fashions, be it coyote, raccoon or muskrat! I imagine the latter doesn’t smell too good.
WYZZ Community Bulletin Board – the precursor to a forum!
Back to Craig and Alfred, who can barely get his words out about the Jake/Honky match, as they throw to the awful “If You Only Knew” video. “Land of a Thousand Dances” it wasn’t. At least Jimmy Hart carries it. Who told Slick to wear his blue suit in front a blue screen, though?
Instant Insanity – a Rubik’s Cube times four!
Risk – win the game and you win the world!
Eddie Murphy: Raw – fuck!
STP – Sparky Thurman Plugg!
The Loan Depot – call 800-USA-LOAN!
“Dangerous” Danny Davis vs. Sam Houston
Truly an opening match in any high school gym in the Pennsylvania area! These two actually had a feud going, so it wraps up some time for some lower card guys. Houston and Davis roll around brawling before Sam can even get his chaps off. If not for them being obviously fucked up from day dot the Smith family might’ve gotten it together as a unit in wrestling, but never happened. It’s all energetic punching and matwork, but the crowd get tired of it early. Jimmy Hart tries to get involved on the outside and the ref eats an errant elbow, allowing Davis to hit Houston from behind with the megaphone and then roll back in for the count out victory. I appreciate what they were going for, but nobody was going to get too inflamed at this point by Sam Houston getting screwed and Danny Davis getting away with it.
Promos one more time for the Peoria matinee with Gene. Don Muraco joins him, not with doughnuts, giving away the game on Butch Reed being BRUCE Reed, former NFL linebacker. Gene goes with it.
Princess Rings – selling you the rings Lady Di and Fergie wore for $20! I don’t believe it! They’re more likely to have worn the pearl necklaces!
Celebrate With Care – don’t drink!
Mama’s Family – crap comedy!
Battleship – you sunk my battleship!
First Alert – a flashlight, not a fleshlight!
Edge – shaving gel that doesn’t leave razor irritation!
Dallas – the cologne that plays to win!
Craig and Alfred look forward to next week with all the champions on and the Slammy Awards next weekend before exchanging gifts.
Pretty decent recap show with the IC title match being the best and some feuds being kept alive through the quiet Christmas period.
Finally, here’s a mini-review of episode 9 of Around the World in Eighty Days anthropomorphic adaptation Around the World with Willy Fog. Traipsing through the Indian jungle, Fog and his compatriots Rigadon (Passepartout in the novel), Tico and Brigadier Corn happen across a parade to a temple, specifically for a death cult dedicated to the goddess Kali, who plan to sacrifice the late Rajah’s widow so that he can join her in the afterlife. Corn says they can’t really do anything because of British bureaucracy, but common decency insists, so the heroes plan to rescue her. This cartoon was originally produced in Spain, so it’s dubbed (including by Cam Clarke, who would go on to be blue bandana Turtle Leonardo) and the voice artists get to play with that a little bit, given the difference in vocal speed between Spanish and English. Tico gets to mumble and grumble about being a lookout while Fog SLOWLY tries to make his way into the temple from the back. Guards mistake Tico’s “They’re coming!” code of a bark for the bleats of the Rajah’s poodle in a funny bit. Eventually, it’s actually ex-acrobat Rigadon who makes the rescue and not Fog, almost burning to death as he retrieves Romy from the funeral pyre. This was a very popular show in the UK (less so in the US) and this is one of the pivotal episodes of it as it completes the central cast as Romy later becomes Fog’s wife. But what about Rigadon?!