Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (and other Dream Matches!)
By Jabroniville on 8th November 2023
Also featuring Chris Benoit vs. Ron Studd!
Welcome back to more Dream Matches! I have a unique one for you today- a full episode of WWF Superstars of Wrestling from Nov. 28th 1987! Mostly because I watched the first match following last weeks’ Brutus Beefcake vs. Danny Davis match and then found the six-man interesting, and just kept watching going “why not?” So come see the Dream Team EXPLODE as Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake takes on Greg “The Hammer” Valentine in a grudge match! Then it’s Koko B. Ware & The Young Stallions taking on the Jobber Dream Team of Terry Gibbs, Dale Wolfe & Barry Horowitz! And squash matches by Jake “The Snake” Roberts, “The Rock” Don Muraco, “The King” Harley Race, and the Hart Foundation! With Leapin’ Lanny Poffo as a jobber!
But I also start it off with a jobber match I’ve been meaning to get to: Chris Benoit vs. Ron Studd in WCW! Come see Ron Reis before his “push” as the Flock’s giant! And more of the Best of Dangerous Danny Davis, as he takes on his counterpart in the company, babyface JTTS Sam Houston, just starting out his run!
CHRIS BENOIT (w/ Woman & Miss Elizabeth) vs. RON STUDD:
(WCW Monday Nitro, 12/8/1996)
* Oh yeah, it’s time for MORE RON STUDD. I apparently was on a big “Ron Studd” kick when I started this column judging from how often his matches appeared on the early ones. I always meant to review this one but never got around to it- it’s only notable because of the finish. Benoit, looking almost nervous as he walks around, is flanked by Woman & Liz, in outfits that very much do not suck, while Studd’s in the ring looking like a giant doofus with his long tights, short T-Rex arms and duck-butt. I do not remember this incarnation of Benoit’s theme (which is like his standard one but with no ’90s style *clap-clap*). Studd is MASSIVE, a legit seven-footer with Benoit coming up under his clavicle.
Benoit just gets in Studd’s face and slaps him to provoke the guy, resulting in him being choked into the corner and smashed around until Studd runs into a boot and gets his knee taken out. Benoit leaps and stomps on Studd’s leg as he just SCREAMS in agony and writhes around, clearly angling for a job (hey- it worked!). Benoit gives him an opening by trying the kneesmasher and gets clubbed down, but Studd actually GOES UP, limping as he does, and gets caught with a dropkick and Benoit hits a SUPERPLEX of all things to pin him at (3:32). Well Studd earned THAT one.
Great little “squash”, as Studd is a behemoth who can’t simply be crushed like most jobbers, so Benoit takes the early bit of offense, then has to use his head to work the knee, then gives Studd a bit of an opening to use more power, but catches him trying something stupid and gets an eye-popping spot out of a random filler match used to discuss the angles of the day. Good on Studd for selling the leg with such aplomb and putting over that it’s preventing him from getting to the top- he obviously knows he has eyes on him for his first match (er, after the “Super Giant Ninja” stuff) and wants to show the back he can do it.
Rating: * (just a squash, but a good one with believable offense from the big guy and a great final move)
SAM HOUSTON vs. DANGEROUS DANNY DAVIS (w/ Jimmy Hart):
(WWF Superstars, Oct. 31st 1987)
* It’s Jobbermania, as the respective bottom-tier wrestlers on the heel & babyface sides collide! Houston is a guy I have very little first-hand footage of, as he was a skinny low-tier guy from the late ’80s who didn’t last that long. He’s Jake the Snake’s brother and aged into a big-time alky who still seems to hero worship his satanic father Grizzly Smith. But here he’s a lanky guy in red trunks and cowboy gear as he does “footwork” around the ring to intimidate Davis, who’s still in his goofy striped ref tights. He’s apparently on an “undefeated streak” at this point, presumably because he keeps getting screwjob wins and never gets much comeuppance.
Houston starts by tossing Davis around and hits the dreaded armpit-hold, then doing basically the same thing again so Davis can get an inset promo. After that, Davis hits his standard eyepoke to take over, throwing a couple shots until Houston reverses an Irish whip and catches him with a dreadful powerslam (holding him way too far back and nearly collapsing) for the pin at (2:19), even though Davis CLEARLY had his foot all the way on the ropes. He & Jimmy chase the ref to the back while Vince COMPLETELY denies this while Ventura freaks out on commentary. Houston squaredances around like a total asswipe to a weird country music theme song while we get a replay- Bruno, senile as usual, says “he deliberately put his foot on the ropes!” like it was somehow unacceptable and of course Jesse ain’t letting that one go (“so what?” “I suppose you guys are pleased with incompetent refs, huh?”).
Rating: 1/2* (Totally forgettable squash- just Davis getting held in generic stuff for the purpose of voiceovers, then his mandatory mini-comeback, then Houston hitting a one-move comeback for the pin)
WWF SUPERSTARS OF WRESTLING:
(Nov. 28th 1987)
BRUTUS “THE BARBER” BEEFCAKE vs. GREG “THE HAMMER” VALENTINE (w/ Jimmy Hart):
* The Dream Team EXPLODES! A week ago, the Barber squashed Jimmy’s client Dangerous Danny Davis and humiliated Jimmy, so here’s the Hammer out for some revenge- he’s just taken on Jimmy as his manager (Johnny V recently left). And of course these two were former tag partners. Hammer’s in black trunks & Beefcake’s in purple tights.
Valentine jumps his ex-partner before the bell, smashing Beefcake with the hammer repeatedly until Brutus fights up and clotheslines him down. Some slams and punches have Valentine on the ropes, but Brutus misses an elbowdrop and earns a running elbow. Man the canned heat is INTENSE here- it’s a hot time for the company, but come on- the fans aren’t roaring that loud. Valentine goes up (!?!) and gets Flair Tossed off as Ventura admonishes the strategy on commentary, and Valentine does the Flair Flop after 10 punches in the corner. Brutus puts his head down and gets drilled again, but boots Valentine off trying his Figure-Four finisher, but gets distracted by Jimmy going for his shears and is clubbed. The same thing happens again and the two just get into a violent slugfest- the referee admonishes them, but gets shoved away, then finally smashed to the ground and he’s out. But Valentine eats a shot and turns around for the Sleeperhold! Jimmy comes in with the shears and Beefcake releases and Jimmy has a heart attack, getting tossed to the floor, but this allows Greg to nail Brutus and hit the Figure-Four! Jesse: “I heard him back here say I quit!”. But Beefcake goes for the shears, causing the heels to panic and the hold to be released. Hebner finally wakes up and calls for the bell at (6:11)- Double Disqualification. Brutus fends Valentine off with the shears but is so badly hurt he can’t even get up, rolling around in agony.
The match was pretty basic, but good for what it was- Brutus gets charged before the bell but beats his ex-partner down, Valentine bumping around and selling his ass off. Then Greg gets his heat, but has his figure-four countered repeatedly to set it up later, while Jimmy distracts Brutus repeatedly for more heat. Brutus gets HIS finisher first, but by then the ref is out so he can’t get the win. Then Valentine gets HIS finisher at last and Brutus nearly dies in it, selling even after the bell where he can’t get up. Solid desperation selling from him, though he’s no superstar at this point.
Rating: **1/4 (basic as can be but well-wrestled and did exactly what it was supposed to- put over both guys)
We get a promo from Ted DiBiase, who brags to Craig DeGeorge (a 16-year old looking dweeb with a Noo Yawk accent) that after all those vignettes and angles about him making people embarrass themselves for money and those prove that “Every man has a price”… he’s going to BUY the WWF World Heavyweight Title! Yes, he says that HULK HOGAN will sell out (to the horror and shock of Dweeby McInterviewer), immediately giving Dibiase a main event angle to end all main event angles. The ultimate rich asshole- the man who’s willing to get an unearned Title without having to do anything for it.
KOKO B. WARE & THE YOUNG STALLIONS (Paul Roma & Jim Powers) vs. TERRY GIBBS, DALE WOLFE & BARRY HOROWITZ:
* Hey, the next match on the show is also kinda weird! It’s a six-man tag but with guys who don’t normally team fighting jobbers! I’ve seen this from time to time in the WWF of this era (like the “Three Islanders” starting off fighting three job guys), and it’s always strange to me. Koko & the Stallions were the bottom end of their respective divisions but still got heated up on TV. Gibbs is in black, Wolfe in pink/purple shorts & Barry in purple trunks, looking doughier than in the ’90s.
Barry does a super-fast series with Powers leapfrogging over him and gets backdropped- over to Gibbs, who gets double-teamed by the Stallions. He comes back on Roma but now HE’S leapfrogged and hiptossed. Koko goes next as Ventura goes on about how the Stallions have improved “and Buckwheat here” gives them experience. Koko gets a schoolboy for two, but Roma gets clobbered from the apron by Barry, who takes over on him after Gibbs hits a neckbreaker. Barry with a gutwrench suplex and Roma kicks out at only “1” and soon leapfrogs chubby jobber Wolfe and punches him, and Koko finishes him off with the missile dropkick into the Ghostbuster (brainbuster) at (2:26) as the crowd LEAPS to its feet in excitement, haha! Over THIS squash?
Pretty basic squash, to the point where every jobber seemed to have the exact same sequence in mind, letting the Stallions leapfrog over them only to get a reversal off the Irish whip. Koko’s finish was pretty hot but the Stallions just seemed as basic and generic as ever.
Rating: 1/2* (every squash you’ve seen, but more dramatically paced than most)
Backstage with DeGeorge and the Honky Tonk Man & Jimmy Hart, going on about an upcoming big Boston Garden show with Jimmy hoisted “500 feet in the air” (CITATION NEEDED) during a match the Macho Man has for Honky’s IC Title. But Honky has a secret weapon, which he emphasizes is NOT Sensational Sherri the Ladies’ Champion, but his girlfriend Peggy Sue (whose smile just happens to match Sherri’s exactly, beneath that curly blonde wig and sunglasses).
“THE KING” HARLEY RACE (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. SCOTT CASEY:
* Now there’s a recap of the Hacksaw/Harley Race feud, where Duggan got distracted by Bobby Heenan on the podium and got murdered with his own 2×4 for it. Race is in purple trunks against a red-trunked jobber with a decent look. Race’s gut is positively HUGE here.
Race does a funny little kingly curtsy as he deals with the jobber- he takes one dropkick, but dodges another and finishes with a fisherman’s suplex (1:04). Race was moving BADLY at this point, but McMahon insists Casey was a “career World Wrestling Federation star” and that this quick win is totally shocking. Well, he did make Survivor Series that one time.
Rating: DUD (too short and mostly just them circling each other)
Jim Duggan comes to talk trash with Mean Gene, and then Oliver Humperdink & Bam Bam Bigelow come in to talk about King Kong Bundy. Oliver cocks up “We’re coming for BAM– we’re coming for KING KONG BUNDY” and Bigelow growls with his typical precise diction.
JAKE “THE SNAKE” ROBERTS vs. RICK RENSLOW:
* Jake gets a simple one against a pretty burly, hairy jobber- Renslow’s in a black singlet.
Renslow actually boots Jake early and armbars him, mussing up his hair. Jake just taunts him to take a free shot and no-sells it, busting the jobber down. Jake bodyslams him 4-5 times and starts wasting time so commentary can discuss the angles of the day, Ventura putting over Ted’s offer to Hogan (“Just think- he’d probably never have to step in the ring again. He’d be able to set up his friends- FAMILY… even his mother-in-law!”). Jake suckers Renslow into the corner and just rushes him with the clothesline (even Jesse is impressed), and the fans go nuts for the DDT at (2:14). The jobber gets the full Damien treatment.
Rating: DUD (another simple nothing one)
Slick, One Man Gang & Butch Reed boast about the crippling of “Superstar” Billy Graham- hey, I covered that one!
“THE ROCK” DON MURACO vs. BRIAN COSTELLO:
* I always forget how long Muraco (kind of a relic at this point) stuck around. Costello has a GREAT jobber look- love the “14-year old trying to grow facial hair” beard. And the pale grey tights on his pasty, no-assed body. Muraco by contrast is on ALL THE STEROIDS, looking like he’s full of balloons, and has purple trunks.
Muraco happily no-sells Costello’s shitty punches and then just gets a nasty look on his face and crushes him with a powerslam, clothesline, neckbreaker, knee-driver off the ropes, and the Tombstone at (0:57). Everyone puts over his intensity and physique here.
Rating: DUD (not fuckin’ around today, I see)
Beefcake’s in the back with an icepack on his knee (DON’T TELL CENA) and cuts a simply horrible promo, sounding like an AI imitating human speech (“the PAIN… that he will feel… the PAIN that he will have on his body… when I get my hands on him!”).
THE HART FOUNDATION (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart, w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. LEAPIN’ LANNY POFFO & JERRY ALLEN:
* Lanny cuts a promo beforehand making fun of how the Harts lost the Tag Titles to Strike Force recently, then tosses his frisbee into the stands. The jobbers are in blue trunks.
Poffo geats beaten down by the Anvil, but dodges an elbow & kips up, but Allen gets beaten on. Jesse gets some choice insults against Bruno, who says NOTHING until after Vince hypes the WWF Magazine’s Strike Force article. Bret hits his overhand elbow, hangs Allen upside-down in the ropes, and they finish with the Hart Attack at (1:51). Well that was quick. Poffo of course just did his kip-up and tag out, the putz.
Rating: DUD (another quick one- just some basic stuff from Neidhart, Bret hits 3 moves, and we’re done)
Last time in, we get Slick with the Bolsheviks- the upcoming big card has them wrestling the British Bulldogs. Then Reed comes in and flexes to taunt Muraco, and we’re gone.
I’m not gonna make these Superstars shows a regular thing, but it’s fun sometimes to take a look at them- the “One Featured Match- then Squashes” set-up was in place already, but at the top of the show and not at the end- most everything else is just to put over guys currently in feuds.