This was Vince’s McMahon’s first attempt to reach out to a wider audience. As Crockett Promotions was trying to expand, so was the WWF.
- 10,000 people were expected…but 70,000+ showed up.
- Near-freezing temperatures.
- Seats were promised to ticket-holders but were taken when those people got there. Many had to be re-located and several were left in a standing-room-only capacity.
Nevertheless, the event turned out to be a genuine success and paved the way for the WWF to succeed in the future.
Let’s get going…
We open with a shot of Toronto, Canada. Mean Gene is your tour narrator. He says that Toronto is the home of the Blue Jay’s and the NHL’s Maple Leafs. This is interspersed with shots of TBE action that’s already been taped.
We get a nice sky shot of Exhibition Stadium. Mean Gene says they expect a crowd of 60 to 70,000.
So join the WWF (“and Hulkamania” — wonder if that was in Hogan’s contract) as we watch “THE BIG EVENT”!!!
We are LIVE(!!!) from a sold-out Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, Canada!
Gorilla Monsoon, Ernie Ladd and Lucious Johnny Valiant are your announcers.
MATCH #1: Jimmy Jack Funk & Hoss Funk (w/ “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart) vs. The Killer Bees (Jim Brunzell & B. Brian Blair)
Hoss vs. Blair to start and Blair’s all over Hoss with a hip toss and a slam. Jimmy comes in and gets slammed. Hoss gets slammed again. So does Jimmy. So does Hoss. They retreat and Hart sends them back to the ring. Hoss pushes Blair into his corner but Blair beats on both of them and tags Brunzell in who Hoss hits some uppercuts on. Brunzell hits a nice crossbody and two count. Tag to Blair who hits an elbow off a rope run. He puts Hoss into a wristlock but Blair gets out. Blair hits some hip tosses and slams, however, and it’s a tag to Brunzell. He punches at Hoss who tags in Jimmy. Brunzell hits and arm twist and it’s a series of back and forth tags before Brunzell gets a Sleeper but Hoss saves Jimmy when the ref’s back is turned. Hoss tosses Brunzell outside. Hart taunts him and calls him a wimp. The ref comes over and Jimmy beats on Brunzell as well. Blair goes to clear the heels but gets told to go back to his corner. Brunzell continues to get beat so Blair makes the save again…but, this time, pulls their “bee masks” out and they each put one on. The tired Brunzell stays outside to heel a bit and Blair goes in there to wreak havoc on Hoss, knocking him down. Jimmy comes in and Blair tosses him into Hoss, then hits an Atomic Drop. He puts Hoss into an Abdominal Stretch but Jimmy comes in for the save. The ref pushes him back and the Bees switch places again. When Jimmy comes into the ring, he gets hit with a Small Package pin and the Bees win.
WINNER: Killer Bees via pinall.
GRADE: C+. Love the ol’ Switcharoo cheat. The Bellas did that the other night and it made me smile.
- Hoss Funk made a short return to NWA, then wrestled in Japan for a good chunk of time before reappearing again in WCW…
- Ferrin Barr, Jr. (AKA “Jimmy Jack Funk”) left the WWF in 1988. He would wrestle for the WCCW and finish out his career in Portland, doing tag team work.
MATCH #2: King Tonga vs. “Magnificent” Muraco (w/ Mr. Fuji)
Neither guy is liked here. Tonga is, essentially, Haku before he was Haku. He hop tosses Muraco around the ring as Gorilla says Tonga has his “hot Polynesian blood flowing” which, I guess, is supposed to mean that Polynesians are angry all the time and are good in fights. Muraco gets tossed out and then gets back in where Tonga dropkicks him out again. Muraco gets back in and Haki puts him into a wrist lock. Muraco tries to put Tonga into a slingshot but Haku keeps the hold going then goes into an Armbar. Muraco tosses Tonga into the ropes but Mr. Fuji hooks Tonga’s leg going by and Tonga trips and falls. Muraco tosses Tonga out of the ring and then distracts the ref. Fuji whacks Tonga with his cane and jabs Tonga in the ribs. Tonga gets back into the ring. Muraco powerslams him and goes for a nerve hold on Tonga’s neck. After YEARS, Tonga breaks free and the action FINALLY picks up with Tonga hitting kicks and legdrops. He tosses Muraco into the steel post but Muraco reverses and Tonga hits instead, falling down.
Muraco goes outside and slams Tonga’s leg against the ringpost. Back in the ring, Muraco hits a kneebreaker and stretches out Tonga’s leg further as Gorilla calls is straight, Ernie tries to sound smart and Valiant just yells whatever comes into his brain. Muraco hits a falling headbutt to Tonga’s nuts (I’m not making that up) and then goes for the Figure Four. Tonga, however, gets to the bottom rope and Muraco breaks. But Muraco isn’t done with the leg yet. He beats on Tonga some more, then goes to the top rope but Tonga press slams Muraco off the top rope. Tonga hits some chops and then goes to the top rope himself and hits a Cross Body. The ref goes to count and the bell sounds…it’s a draw.
WINNER: No contest.
GRADE: D-. Wow…this sucked. I mean, 20 minutes of slow-moving nothing. I saw 11 minutes of it and was bored as shit.
MATCH #3: Ted Arcidi vs. Tony Garea
Arcidi kinda shoves Garea to start. Then Garea hits some shoulderblocks but Arcidi just takes them. Then he gloats because that was awesome. Garea tries a headlock. Arcidi shoves him, then slams him. He picsk Garea up and hits a back elbow off a run. Then he poses because strong. He tosses Garea into the ropes. Garea comes back with shouldertackles and a dropkick. He runs into Arcidi who Bear Hugs him. Garea submits.
WINNER: Ted Arcidi via Bearhug
GRADE: F. Why was this even on the card?
- Ted Arcidi was a pro weight-lifter before this. He’s also done some acting in TV shows like Law & Order. His wrestling career didn’t amount to much as he went Indie shortly following this and never got back into the spotlight. He was the strength coach for Triple H and Chyna during the Attitude Era.
- Tony Garea was coming to the end of a 15-year-old wrestling career at this point, having been with NWA and the WWF. He was a former Tag Team Champion but ended his in-ring career as a Jobber to the Stars. He retired a few months following this event. He is currently a road agent for the WWE, a position he’s held for over 30 years.
- Slater was practically buried following this match, as the WWF decided to use him as a Jobber to the Stars. He made a brief return to the AWA but was fired for an incident where he used a plastic bag to choke Ric Flair. He would work in Japan for a few years and then moved on, full-time, to WCW. More on him later.
- Sharpe became a Jobber to the Stars for the rest of his career until he retired from the WWF and wrestling in 1995. He ran a pro-wrestling school in New Jersey to make a living but the school closed down years ago.
- Lou Albano would retire from wrestling shortly after this but, then, made a short comeback in the WWF, in 1994, managing The Headshrinkers.
- Robert Jack Mulligan (AKA “Big Machine” & “Blackjack Mulligan”) is part of the famous Rotundo family of wrestlers. He would come back to the WWF as “Blackjack Mulligan” in December of 1986 and wrestle until mid-1987 when he got into trouble with the law for counterfeiting. He served time and turned up in 1993 with WCW for one more run.
- Bill Eadie (AKA “Super Machine”) would wrestle as one of The Machines until their end in October of 1986. Next year, the WWF would re-brand him as a new character: “Ax” of Demolition.
- Andre the Giant (AKA “Giant Machine”) was…Andre the Giant, obviously. He would return in 1987 as part of an angle where Heenan would turn him against Hulk Hogan, leading to Wrestlemania III.
WINNER: Steamboat via pinfall
GRADE: B-. Not bad. Horrible ending, though.
MATCH #8: Billy Jack Haynes vs. Hercules Hernandez
Haynes and Hercules pumps up this match like it’s the next big thing. Monsoon is solo on commentary for this match as Haynes hits a shoulderblock to start then runs into a Hercules clothesline. This prompts Monsoon to chide Valiant for “running off”, saying he’s already missed “some tremendous action”. Hercules continues in that tradition, taking over with punches, elbow drops and a headlock. He tosses Haynes into the corner but Haynes reverses and the two men end up colliding in the corner. Haynes comes back with punches and kicks, then hits a back elbow off an Irish Whip. After a backbreaker, Haynes goes off the turnbuckle and hits a forearm, getting a two count. Haynes tries the Full Nelson but Hercules manages to break it. Hercules tosses Haynes from the ring. Haynes tries to get back on the mat so Herc just pounds on his chest and Haynes hits the floor outside. Haynes gets back on the mat so Herc hits a suplex to put him back in. Two count and then a big clothesline. Another two count. Hercules complains to the ref so Haynes tries to roll him up for a pin. Two count. Herc goes for a neckbreaker but Haynes counters into a backslide pin for the win.
WINNER: Haynes via pinfall
GRADE: D+. Boring.
MATCH #9: The Rougeau Brothers (Jacques & Raymond) vs. The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake & Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
The Dream Team beats on the Rougeaus to start as it’s a big brawl to start. Jacques tosses Beefcake outside and a NEAR fall after Valentine gets rolled up. Jacques drops some knees on Valentine and tags in Ray who hits a mule kick and gets a one-count. Another tag to Jacques who hits an Abdominal Stretch but Valentine counters with a hip toss and tags Beefcake who slams Jacques. Ray is back in and drops his ass on Beefcake’s chest after knocking him down. Beefcake pushes Ray into the corner, hitting some knees, then tags in Hammer who comes down off the ropes. Hammer hits Jacques outside the ropes and slams Ray, getting a two count.Valentine misses a chop and Ray hits a crossbody for two. Tag to Jacques and the boys double-team with a double dropkick. Jacques tries to flip pin Valentine but gets two. Valentine puts Jacques into the heel corner and it’s a bit of double-teaming. Valentine hits an atomic drop and tags Brutus who comes in and struts. Jacques is put in the heel corner and Ray’s had it. He comes in for a brawl. The heels line up headlocks and try for a double headbutt but the Rougeaus reverse and heels collide.
Beefcake and Jacques end up in there together but Beefcake dumps both of them out. Brutus distracts the ref as Valentine beats up on Ray outside. The heels come over to double team Ray and the ref puts Jacques back into his own corner. Ray crawls back into the ring and gets a huge backbreaker from Brutus who gets the slowest, botched two-count I’ve ever seen. Beefcake tags in Valentine who keeps trying to hold Ray’s arms down and it’s another tag to Beefcake, who stomps on Ray. Ray fights back but Brutus hits a suplex and gets another two count. Tag to Valentine again and he hits a Bear Hug. Ray punches at him, fighting back, and breaks free. He tries to make a tag but Valentine drops a fist…then locks up another bear hug. Jacques tries to make a tag but can’t. Beefcake is tagged back in again and the two heels are all over Ray in their corner. Hammer tries to elbow drop Ray but misses twice and FINALLY we get a tag to Jacques who dropkicks and slams the heels.
Valentine attempts to swarm Jacques and the two heels try a double clothesline but Jacques counters and knocks them down. He goes to the top rope and misses a knee. Hammer tries the Figure Four but Jacques quickly kicks out. Hammer goes back again and hits it. Again, another brawl as all four men get back in the ring. Hammer kicks away at Jacques again and tries the Figure Four but Ray runs into the ring and hits a Sunset Flip for the win even though he’s not the legal man.
WINNERS: The Rougeaus via pinfall
GRADE: C+. This match didn’t need to be that long.
Upstairs, Valiant is losing his shit and calls bullshit.
MATCH #10: “Handsome” Harley Race vs. Pedro Morales
Morales starts beating on Race near the corner and Race falls out of the ring. Pedro goes to pull him back in but Race trips him and both men end up outside. Race tosses Morales into the Timekeeper’s Table, then hits a falling headbutt as Valiant starts mocking Morales’s accent in the most offensive way possible. The action finally gets back in the ring. Race tries a suplex but Morales reverses it. Morales tries for a small package pin but only gets two. Race hits an Irish Whip in the corner but Morales comes back with a Sunset Flip. Morales hits punches in the corner. Race grabs Morales’s legs and pins him by putting his feet on the ropes.
WINNER: Race via pinfall
GRADE: F. Another shit match.
- Morales was in the twilight of his career here and would retire a year later. He would go on to work for WCW, as a commentator, in the 1990’s. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1995. He was an icon in the world of wrestling, specifically in the Latino and Puerto Rican communities and is widely regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time.