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Pro Wrestling

1987

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This is a list of various things that took place in 1987.

Significant events

January

  • 5 and 26 - The series of "Piper's Pit" segments, leading up to and culminating in André the Giant's heel turn, alliance with Bobby Heenan and demand for a match against Hulk Hogan for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship in anticipation of WrestleMania III, are taped. The programs would air the weekends of January 17, 24 and 31; and February 7 and 14, and ended with Hogan accepting André's challenge

February

March

  • Several takes of what was intended to be a new interview segment for the WWF's syndicated television programs, "Missy's Manor" (with Missy Hyatt, to replace "Piper's Pit"), are taped during television tapings at at least three arena shows. These segments never are aired on television, however; reportedly, Hyatt's poor mic and interview skills, poor interaction with her guests (both faces and heels) and overall subpar performance and negative fan reaction were given as reasons, and Hyatt soon departs the WWF. Jake Roberts' "Snake Pit" segment will instead replace "Piper's Pit" until mid-summer, with several of his segments reusing re-written "Missy's Manor" scripts. Afterward, an in-arena podium interview segment (with either Gene Okerlund or Craig DeGeorge) will air on a weekly basis -- usually, after the fourth match of the show -- for the next 15 months
  • 1 - Bruno Sammartino is inducted into the Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame in his hometown of Pittsburgh
  • 29 - WrestleMania III draws an announced record crowd of 93,173 fans to the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. The main event saw Hulk Hogan defeat André the Giant (handing him his first pinfall loss in a WWF ring in 15 years), but one of the undercard matches - Rick Steamboat defeating Randy Savage to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship - steals the show, receives universal critical acclaim and goes on to be cited as one of the greatest matches in professional wrestling history

April

May

  • 26 - Hacksaw Duggan and the Iron Sheik are arrested by New Jersey state police, with Duggan charged with marijuana possession and drinking while driving, while Sheik was charged with marijuana and cocaine possession. Duggan is given a conditional discharge, while Sheik gets one year probation and is released from his WWF contract

July

  • 4 - The inaugural WarGames match is held by Jim Crockett Promotions in Atlanta, Georgia during the Great American Bash tour. The Road Warriors (Animal and Hawk), Dusty Rhodes, Nikita Koloff and Paul Ellering defeat the Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Lex Luger, Arn Anderson and J.J. Dillon) in the main event twin steel cage match when Dillon submitted after he landed awkwardly on his right arm when he was hit by the Warriors' Doomsday Device finisher
  • 15 - During a television taping at the Glens Falls (New York) Civic Center, to help get One Man Gang's monster heel character over, OMG repeatedly delivers his front suplex on his opponent, jobber David Stoudemeier, before doing the same to at least two other jobbers and a referee. Later during the summer, OMG famously attacks midget wrestler Little Beaver during a match against Hillbilly Jim at the Boston Garden, again to get his character over
  • 18 - Dusty Rhodes defeats Tully Blanchard to win $100,000 in a barbed wire ladder match at a Great American Bash tour stop in Charlotte, North Carolina

August

  • 29 - Bruno Sammartino wrestles his last match for the WWF, teaming with Hulk Hogan in a victory over King Kong Bundy and One Man Gang, at a non-televised event in Baltimore, Maryland; his final televised match was taped a day earlier and saw "The Living Legend" defeat Hercules (despite André the Giant being in Hercules' corner). Sammartino would continue as color commentator for the WWF for the roughly the next six months, although his on-camera appearances and comments would gradually diminish until leaving the company -- and not on good terms, as his discontent with the WWF's product of the time was starting to become known -- by the end of February 1988.

September

  • 17 - Piledriver - The Wrestling Album 2, the second album of vocal performances of WWF wrestlers and wrestling entrance themes, is released on Epic Records. Eight videos are recorded and aired on the WWF's syndicated and cable programs, and three of the videos - the title track, performed by Koko B. Ware; "Jive Soul Bro," performed by Slick; and "Girls In Cars" (by Robbie Dupree) - will air on MTV.
  • 23 - The on-screen friendship of Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan forms following Savage's match against The Honky Tonk Man for the WWF Intercontinental Championship (aired October 3 on Saturday Night's Main Event). The friendship formed after Hogan had, at Miss Elizabeth's request, run in to stop a 3-on-1 beatdown of Savage by Honky and The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart), in which Elizabeth was shoved to the canvas by Honky after she tried to stop the attack

October

  • Professional wrestling journalist Wade Keller begins publication of Pro Wrestling Torch, which like the Wrestling Observer Newsletter includes weekly columns, news reporting and analysis, and shoot interviews of professional wrestling personalities.
  • 27 - Superstar Billy Graham wrestles his last television match during a taping at the War Memorial in Syracuse, New York, defeating Butch Reed by disqualification. Due to Graham's deteriorating real-life physical condition (he had recently had hip surgery) no longer allowing him to be an active wrestler, an ending is devised to have One Man Gang run into the match and aid Reed in a two-on-one attack by "injuring" Graham to the point where he was permanently injured. Although Graham and Reed would wrestle at several untelevised house shows into November (the match aired the weekend of November 14 on WWF Superstars of Wrestling), this match is cited as having ended Graham's in-ring wrestling career

November

  • 18 - During a television taping at the Omaha (Nebraska) Civic Center, the genesis of the Hulk Hogan-Ted DiBiase feud takes place with a podium interview, in which DiBiase (who had returned four months earlier to the WWF, after a 7-1/2 year absence) announces his intent to buy the WWF Heavyweight Championship from Hogan. The segment is aired December 13 on WWF Superstars of Wrestling; on the following week's Superstars, taped December 8 at the Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida, Hogan emphatically says "HELL NO!" to DiBiase's offer
  • 19 - Akira Maeda breaks Riki Chōshū's orbital bone when he delivers a shoot kick to Chōshū's face as the latter has Osamu Kido tied up in the Sharpshooter during a New Japan tag team match. Maeda was subsequently fired from New Japan for the incident
  • 26 - Jim Crockett Promotions' presents its inaugural pay-per-view event, Starrcade 1987, at the UIC Pavillion in Chicago, Illinois. The pay-per-view debut of JCP's flagship annual Starrcade event is sabotaged, however, when Vince McMahon creates a new WWF PPV event, the Survivor Series, at the eleventh hour and deliberately schedules its inaugural edition against Starrcade. McMahon then coerces cable companies into dropping Starrcade in favor of the Survivor Series by refusing to allow them to air future WWF PPV events if they aired Starrcade instead of his event; as a result, only a few cable companies chose to air Starrcade as most choose to air the Survivor Series instead

December

  • 8 - Shortly before a WWF Superstars of Wrestling taping in Tampa, Florida, Greg Valentine threatens to resign after he and Dino Bravo were asked to participate in a storyline where they would begin feuding with the British Bulldogs, with heat built for the The New Dream Team after Valentine and Bravo "kidnap" Matilda the Wonder Dog (the Bulldogs' mascot) from ringside during a match. Valentine -- already unhappy with teaming with Bravo, with whom he legitimately did not get along and also felt he had poor chemistry with -- objected to the storyline and walked out of the taping. The Islanders are given the heel role in the storyline, and the storyline plays out as intended (the Islanders taking Matilda to an "unknown location" (in the storyline only; in actuality it was a pre-designated room in the arena). Valentine is back by the next day, participating in television tapings for WWF Wrestling Challenge in Fort Meyers, Florida, with Jimmy Hart as his manager. The New Dream Team is quietly dissolved; Johnny Valiant has departed the WWF (last appearing at theSurvivor Series), and Bravo is now paired with Frenchy Martin
  • 27 - Big Van Vader defeats Antonio Inoki in 2:27 in Vader's Japanese debut at Ryōgoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall) in Tokyo. A riot ensues following the match, leading to New Japan being banned from Sumo Hall for over a year in the aftermath

Births

Unknown Dates

January

February

March

April

May

July

August

September

October

November

December

Deaths

April

August

Debuts

Unknown date

Retirements

Unknown date

Events

April

May

June

July

September

October

November

December

Pay-Per-View Events

March

November

Title changes

January

February

  • 22 - Abdullah the Butcher wins the Canadian International title from Hercules Ayala in Montreal (the title is later retired when Lutte Internationale closes)

March

April

  • 10 - Owen Hart regains the Stampede North American title from Makhan Singh in Calgary
  • 18 - Rip Oliver regains the NWA Pacific Northwest title from Ricky Santana in Portland
  • 27 - Austin Idol wins the AWA Southern Heavyweight Championship from Jerry Lawler in a hair vs. hair steel cage match in Memphis, Tennessee. Tommy Rich interfered in the match on Idol's behalf to cause Lawler to lose the match, the title and his hair, resulting in a fan riot at the Mid-South Coliseum

May

June

  • 2 - The Honky Tonk Man wins the WWF Intercontinental title from Rick Steamboat in Buffalo, New York (this was taped to air on WWF Superstars of Wrestling on the weekend of June 13)
  • 27 - Mike Miller wins the NWA Pacific Northwest title from Rip Oliver in Portland

July

August

  • 15 - The NWA Pacific Northwest title is held up following a match between champion Mike Miller and Rip Oliver
  • 22 - Mike Miller regains the vacant NWA Pacific Northwest title via forfeit over Rip Oliver in Portland

September

October

November

See also

Years
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