Vintage Vault Pre-Viewing: WWF at Madison Square Garden 11/24/87

The Glamour Girls (w/ “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart) vs. the Jumping Bomb Angels for the WWF Women’s Tag Team Championships

So it was no secret that by this point in 1987 that the Women’s Division in the WWF was not particularly stellar as we had a solid champion in Sherri Martel, but there were no real solid contenders or depth to the roster. The division has been on the backburner ever since Wendi Richter was screwed out of the title back in 1985 and the Fabulous Moolah dominated since, so I’m sure it was a shock to everyone that the company even had a Women’s Tag Team Championship at this point. The titles were first introduced way back in 1984 when the team of Velvet McIntyre and Princess Victoria were crowned the first champions as they were already the NWA Women’s Tag Team Champions, and they were pretty much the only team until Victoria retired due to injury and Desiree Petersen took her place. They would hold the titles until August 1985 when they lost to the team of Judy Martin and Leilani Kai, and after that the titles had in essence disappeared until now when Martin and Kai returned as the Glamour Girls. At the same time, the WWF happened upon a gem of a team from Japan which were the Jumping Bomb Angels, consisting of Noriyo Tateno and Itzuki Yamazaki and they decided to bring them in as their top face team. The skills of this young team and the experience of the Glamour Girls would breathe some life into these titles even though as of now they were the only two teams feuding for the belts, but for now that’s fine as they can establish them as legit belts.

The feud between these two teams began way back on June 25th in Long Island with the Girls retaining the titles over the Angels, and the next night in Pittsburgh would see the same result and the same happened on 6/29 in Montreal. On 6/30, the Angels would defeat the Girls by countout and the Girls would get their wins back the next two nights, and the Angels would again defeat the Girls by countout the next two nights with the Girls getting the wins back after that. The two teams continued to trade wins throughout the month of July and early August before they were taken off the house shows, and the Girls returned to the house shows in October facing a different team and then the Angels fought the Girls again on 11/23 with the Girls getting the win. It was pretty interesting to see this feud start in the summer, cool off during the fall and get ramped right back up heading into the upcoming new PPV so it would be interesting to see how the MSG crowd takes to this since this will be the first time they see this match.

The Angels get a pretty good pop from the crowd while the Girls had solid heat as heels and it was pretty interesting to see Jimmy Hart as their manager. Yamazaki starts the match with Kai and she offers a handshake only for Kai to get a pair of kicks in and he whips Yamazaki into the corner, and she catches the boots of Yamazaki and slams her to the mat. Yamazaki flips through a clothesline attempt and hits a dropkick on Kai before hitting a flying forearm, and she hits another dropkick as Martin tags in only for Yamazaki to toss her to the mat by her hair. Tateno tags in and stomps on Martin in the corner before hitting a pair of high knees, and she hits a slam on Martin for a one count before stomping on her and she tags Yamazaki. She goes up top as she grabs Martin’s hand and she hits an armdrag off the top rope as Martin retreats to her corner to regroup, and they square off in a test of strength with Yamazaki backing Martin into the corner and tagging Tateno. Martin reverses a whip and kicks Tateno to the mat before hitting a slam only for Tateno to bridge out of the pin, and Tateno leaps over Martin and hooks a sunset flip for a one count before tagging Yamazaki who whips Martin into the corner only to miss a charge. Martin misses a charge in the corner and Yamazaki hits a monkey flip out of the corner, and she climbs over Martin and hooks a sunset flip for a two count who rolls outside to regroup before returning to the ring. Kai tags in and they lock up with Kai backing Yamazaki into the ropes and getting a pair of knees in, and she hoists Yamazaki onto her shoulders only for Yamazaki to escape and she hits a dropkick on Kai. Tateno tags in and goes up top as Yamazaki hits a slam on Kai and Tateno drops a knee on her for a two count, and Tateno stomps on Kai’s knee repeatedly and drops a pair of elbows on it before hooking a submission on. Yamazaki tags in and goes up to the middle rope as Tateno hits a slam on Kai only for Kai to avoid the senton as Yamazaki hits the mat, and Kai stomps on her and hits a snapmare with her hair before tagging Martin. She steps on Yamazaki’s chest and tosses her to the mat by her hair before driving the knee into her twice, and Kai chokes Yamazaki on the rope from the apron and Martin works on the arm before kicking at her. She chokes Yamazaki on the mat with her boot and pounds on her in the corner as Kai again chokes her from the apron, and Martin whips Yamazaki into the corner only for Yamazaki to leap to the middle rope and hit a sunset flip only for Kai to distract the ref which allows Martin to kick out. Martin pounds on Yamazaki who tries to battle back only for Martin to continue to pound on her, and Kai tags in and hits a diving headbutt on Yamazaki who again tries to battle back only for Kai to kick her to the mat. Kai hits a legdrop and hooks a headscissors submission on Yamazaki only to miss a second legdrop, but Martin comes in and kicks at Yamazaki which allows Kai to kick Yamazaki to the mat. She steps on Yamazaki’s throat and hooks another submission on as the ref gets distracted by Tateno, and Martin comes in to switch with Kai and she goes back to the submission on Yamazaki. Yamazaki almost surprises Martin with a high crossbody for a two count and Martin knocks Yamazaki down, but Yamazaki trips her up only for Martin to prevent her from tagging and drag her back to her corner before tagging Kai. She stomps on Yamazaki and hoists her up for a backbreaker only for Yamazaki to escape into a sunset flip for a two count, and Tateno gets the tag only for the ref to not see it and force her out as Kai whips Yamazaki into a pair of double boots from Martin for a two count. Yamazaki bridges out of the pin and hits a headbutt to the ribs only for Kai to knock her down, and Martin tags in as they choke Yamazaki with their boots on the apron and Martin hotshots Yamazaki on the top rope. Yamazaki hits a slingshot sunset flip on Martin for a two count as Kai breaks the pin up and Martin kicks Yamazaki to the mat, and Kai tags in and pounds on Yamazaki before hooking a Sharpshooter on only for Tateno to break the hold up. Martin comes in to switch with Kai only for Yamazaki to again almost surprise her with a sunset flip for a two count, and Martin kicks her to the mat for a two count as Yamazaki again bridges up and Martin tries to force her back to the mat. She drags Yamazaki to her corner and tags Kai as they attempt a double team only for Yamazaki to move and the Girls collide with each other, and Tateno gets the hot tag and hits a double high crossbody on the Girls before hitting a hooking clothesline on Kai, and she hits a dropkick on Kai before shoving her into the corner and pulling Martin over the top into the ring. She hits a high crossbody on Martin for a two count before going up to the middle rope and hitting a clothesline for a two count, and Martin gets a kick in as Kai comes in and stomps on Tateno before kicking at Yamazaki as she comes in. The Girls attempt to whip the Angels into each other only for the Angels to spin around though the Girls avoid the dropkicks before going for pins, but the Angels bridge out and whip the Girls into each other. The Angels go up top and hit stereo missile dropkicks on Kai as Tateno goes for the pin, but Martin distracts the ref briefly before breaking the pin up and Yamazaki kicks at her. The ref forces her out as Martin hits a powerbomb on Tateno which allows Kai to get the three and retain the titles for her team, and after the match the Girls celebrate with Jimmy until the Angels clear them from the ring.

The match itself was pretty good as both teams worked hard and put on a solid title match that you knew was pretty much building towards a big rematch. The Girls had gelled very well as a team and despite looking a bit older and grizzled, they could still go and were a solid veteran team. On the flip side, this was a good showcase for the Angels as they were also a solid team and they were showing things that weren’t always seen from women at the time though it was more common in Japan. You were wondering if these two teams could gel well in a match and if the Girls could keep up with the Angels, but they did a fine job here and I thought 14 minutes was a solid length for the match as they didn’t overstay their welcome though were given good time to work. As I mentioned earlier, it was pretty interesting that Jimmy was brought out to manage the Girls, but I thought it worked since it made the titles seem legit that he would go out of his way to have the Girls in his stable while also adding more gold despite recently losing the men’s tag titles. The crowd was pretty hot for the match and got behind the Angels, but they are clearly not happy when the Girls get the win. The Girls manage to retain the titles over the Angels, but it is clear that this feud is far from over.

Final Grade: ***

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