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Holiday Greetings from the 1987
WWF Superstars
December 21, 2001

by Denny Burkholder
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Big Show and his peanut butter cups.  That's what Christmas is all about.

It's about Paul Wight and a sack of Reese's chocolate goodies large enough to send a small rhinoceros into a diabetic seizure. If you missed SmackDown this week, a selection of WWF wrestlers expressed holiday greetings and favorite memories from years past. And that was what Big Show concentrated on - the time his mother gave him a giant-sized supply of his favorite candy. In a Big Show kind of way, that story is a fitting example of one of this season's most prominent traits: the urge to indulge our family and friends with gifts they might not think to buy for themselves, and the desire to reflect on our favorite times gone by.

Circa time.

Let's see what some of the WWF's 1987 roster had to say about the holidays, including their wishes for the New Year.

The following quotes are taken from an episode of WWF Superstars of Wrestling, which aired the weekend of December 1987. If you care, the superstars in action on that particular episode were Randy "Macho Man" Savage (with Elizabeth, versus a pre-Brawler Steve Lombardi), The Hart Foundation (with Jimmy Hart, versus Outback Jack and Omar Atlas), Don "The Rock" Muraco, "Bird Man" Koko B. Ware, Outlaw Ron Bass, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase (with Virgil, and offering to buy the WWF Title from Hulk Hogan), and a replay of a match between "Dangerous" Danny Davis and Sam Houston that aired the previous week on All-American Wrestling.

That's eight matches total. Plus an interview with Hulk Hogan (where he declined to sell DiBiase the belt with an emphatic "HELL NO!"), a WWF Update segment hosted by Craig DeGeorge (Minervini) plugging the Slammy Awards, and a handful of promos, within a one-hour program. Plus commercials.

Those of you who complain that the matches on Raw and Smackdown are too short, go back and do the math on that 1987 Superstars episode, consider that Raw and Smackdown are twice the length of Superstars, and then count your blessings, dammit . 'tis the season to be jolly!

"Mean" Gene Okerlund starts us off:

OKERLUND: "Alright, I want to take this opportunity from all of us here in the World Wrestling Federation to extend a happy holiday season to you and yours. Merry Christmas, and a happy, healthy, and prosperous 1988. 1987 has been absolutely incredible, and we are looking for a great year in 1988."

Gene then calls out the reigning tag team champions, Strike Force - Rick Martel and Tito Santana - who say nothing at all about the holidays until the very end, when Gene reminds them. Even then, it's in Spanish and French, so I'm afraid I can't help you there. It SOUNDED nice, anyway.

Next time around, Gene's got the team that would unseat Strike Force for those titles at Wrestlemania IV, along with Mr. Fuji.

OKERLUND: "Mr. Fuji, Osaka, Japan. What a career this man has had. Now, one of the premier wrestlers (managers?) in the World Wrestling Federation. You and I, sir, have not always seen eye to eye, but at this time of the year, I want to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year."

FUJI: "Heh heh heh . thank you veddy much. But in my country, we do not have 'Merry Christmas.' It's only for you Americans. My Merry Christmas is to make people SUFFAH and think about Mr. Fuji and the Demolition when they demolish every opponent that comes forward. Hah!"

OKERLUND: "At this time of the year, Mr. Fuji, how could you be thinking such feeble thoughts? (Enter Ax and Smash) You are a sick man."

FUJI: "Thank you veddy much."

OKERLUND: "What about it, Smash?"

SMASH: "Well like Master Fuji says, we make people suffer. In fact, the other day, Master Fuji let us get a Christmas tree. It was a big leather . like a coat, with steel balls on! And each ball weighed about 20 pounds apiece! And he says, 'What's gonna make me very happy is when you destroy somebody.' We can throw these steel balls through cars, through buildings . we can do anything we want, and we will."

OKERLUND: "This came off a Christmas tree? You've got to be kidding me, Ax."

AX: "He had to go all the way to San Francisco on special order. Everybody's happy. Everybody's excited about the past year. Everybody's joyous because of prosperity. Well the Demolition's mad. We're upset because everybody's been avoiding us. 1988, Master Fuji said we're gonna get our opportunity. 1988 is gonna be our year. Why? Because we've finally cornered the Strike Force. You're not gonna be able to hide anymore. You can't say we're not worthy opponents. You can't say you're not ready for us. Because you've bragged about holding the championship belts. You've bragged about the fact that you're fighting champions. You're not warring champions. You've been in fights, but you've never been in a war. WE want the tag teams belts! WE want the gold! WE want the recognition! You walk around with them. But polish 'em up, because we're gonna take 'em."


OKERLUND: "Alright, I thank you Mr. Fuji, Ax and Smash from Demolition. You like torture; you're a sick man. This is the holiday season. Stay tuned folks; we're gonna be right back. Thank you gentlemen."

A few things about the Demolition interview:

First, chicks never fall for the "20 lb. balls" pick-up line, Smash . trust me. And even if they do, then you're stuck trying to prove it, and, well, you've painted yourself into a corner.

Second, you say it was black leather with huge metal balls dangling from it, and you bought it in San Francisco? I've got news for you, fellas . that ain't no Christmas tree.

Lastly, where does Fuji get the information that "Merry Christmas" is a strictly American concept? So I guess that means the song "Feliz Navidad" is a bunch of bullshit. Hmm.

Now we visit commentators Vince McMahon, Jesse "The Body" Ventura and Bruno Sammartino, who are also soliciting holiday comments from the crew:

VINCE McMAHON: "We had an occasion to talk with Jimmy Hart earlier on. Mr. Hart wants a little special Christmas present, I think. Matter of fact, we asked him what indeed he wanted for Christmas. Here's what he had to say."

JIMMY HART (inset): "HAHAhahahahaha . for Christmas? There's only one thing I want for Christmas, and that's the world tag team championship. That's right. Strike Force, you don't deserve those championships. And by god, if it's the last thing we do, we're gonna get those championships BACK!"

VINCE McMAHON: "What about that, Bruno? Do you think they don't deserve it?"

JESSE VENTURA: "I don't think he's asking too much for Christmas."

BRUNO SAMMARTINO: "He's not asking for a lot, but let's see if they can get it. They've got quite a team to beat for those belts."

Boy, Strike Force was quite the target back in 1987. Must have been that "Girls in Cars" crap that got everyone calling for their heads.

File the next interview under "What If":

OKERLUND: "Alright, we want to extend happy holiday wishes to everybody. Come on in, Oliver Humperdink. You know, I want to touch on what a fabulous year it has been in the World Wrestling Federation, 1987. We're entering a New Year, and perhaps a new era in professional wrestling. The men seem to get bigger and they seem to get better. I've been in this great sport covering it now for 17 years, and I've never seen anything like the World Wrestling Federation in its present-day form."

HUMPERDINK: "Well, what you said is true Gene, everything is getting bigger and faster now. 1987 was indeed a great year. A great year for me, and a great year for Bam Bam Bigelow. But I'm predicting even bigger and better things in 1988. It's great to look forward to a clean slate. 1988 is gonna be a great year. And here's the man that's going to make it a great year for me. Bam Bam Bigelow. And I don't care who the competition is. I know that they got a lot of big guys around here. One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy . but it doesn't matter to us who they put on the contract against us. We're going to be ready."

A year later, of course, Bigelow was in the NWA, where he worked briefly in the midcard before heading overseas. Bigelow impressed most people that saw him perform in those days, and was largely considered a future big-time player. If only he'd stayed a little bit healthier, and if only they'd kept him around a tiny bit longer in his first WWF run . who knows. Isn't fate a kick in the pants sometimes?

And finally, after the announcement of a rare competitive (meaning non-squash, with no jobbers involved) match for next week between the Islanders and The British Bulldogs, we have a final Christmas greeting:

DAVEY BOY SMITH: "Next week Islanders, you better get ready, because you're facing the British Bulldogs, and we're in the best shape of our lives. And Matilda's getting ready. (Shoves a bone in Matilda's mouth) She's just pretending right now, but that very well could be Bobby "The Brain" Heenan's leg!"

DYNAMITE KID: "That's right. And on behalf of Matilda and The British Bulldogs, we all wish you a Merry Christmas."

And like Big Show with his chocolate, Matilda got her bone, and all was right with the holiday season.

Here's hoping all is well with you and yours, too. Happy Holidays



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