WWF World Heavyweight Championship
Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff
August 28, 1986
The Big Event

Reviewed by Kelly Harrass (VOW Author Page / Jumping Bomb Audio)

Gifted by Lee Malone (VOW Author Page / Days of Thunder)

Merry Christmas, everyone, it’s wrestling time!

I’ve never been much of a fan of this era of Vince Jr.’s territory. It has its high points for sure, but most of it falls into the punch punch punch genre. I’ve never seen this match, and I was hoping for something exciting that made it stand out from the other stuff of this era. Unfortunately, it did not. The match was as basic as basic could be. Slow-paced with lots of punching, and it eventually ended in a DQ when Orndorff knocked over the referee. ** maybe? That seems fair.

During the match, I got bored and started googling about the match and the show. I had two questions early on that were not answered by the broadcast:

  1. Why did only Hulk Hogan get his music played?
  2. Where are Bobby Herman’s pants?

Leading into the feud, Orndorff had been teaming with Hogan. Some heels were in Orndorff’s ear, telling him that he was in Hulk’s shadow and calling him Hulk Jr. As you would expect, Orndorff eventually turns on the Hulkster, rehires Bobby Heenan as his manager, and then leans into the Hulk Jr moniker by stealing “Real American.” Come on, Gorilla, why couldn’t you explain that on commentary?

And why was Bobby showing off his gams? Well, it’s because he worked a match earlier in the show. Bobby teamed with King Kong Bundy and John Studd to take on The Machines and Lou Albano. This match also ended in DQ. Looking at the whole card, this show was pretty lackluster outside of the Snake Pit match between Jake Roberts and Ricky Steamboat. The second match on the card saw a 20-minute time-limit draw between Don Muraco and Haku, and the fourth match ended in a count-out. That’s 4 of the 11 matches on the card ending in a non-finish.

The most interesting story about this show is the attendance. The reports on the number of people in the building tends to range between 60,000 and 74,000. No matter what the actual number was, it turns out that it was too much. Some tickets were double sold and some found that their seats didn’t exist at all. Those without seats were allowed to kneel in the aisles. “Paul Bernard, 16, paid $21.40 for his floor seat and came from Mississauga to see the Hulkster. He waited “several hours” to get seventh-row ringside seats when tickets went on sale a month ago, he said. “What a joke,” Bernard said. “They tell me I’m part of wrestling history. I tell you I got no seat and I gave up a night for this when I could have been at the cottage.” He left after only three matches because he couldn’t see kneeling in an aisle.“

That quote comes to us from Maple Leaf Wrestling and I highly recommend going over there to read more about the show.

I can’t imagine paying for a ticket and having to kneel in the aisle to watch this card that ended with a disqualification in the main. Thankfully I was sitting comfortably at home watching on the official Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff YouTube. If I had to guess who gave me this gift, I would have to say Steve Case. I know he likes to gift matches that he thinks people wouldn’t normally watch and I think he has a soft spot for this era.

Whether I’m right or not, thanks Santa!