#60 – Hulk Hogan v Paul Orndorff BIG BLUE CAGE, December 14, 1986

We revisit this mid 80s classic steel cage match between two icons of the era, talk about the Christmas show, and play with a bunch of LJN WWF toys (thanks, Alex!).

This episode has been archived in the Season 2 digital box set available for $9.99 at the OSWP Merch Store!

17 Comments

  1. I enjoyed the banter about the attributes of the blue steel cage. I personally hated this cage design as opposed to the ones that looked like chain link fences. Hard to grate someone’s face against the cage when you can stick your head through one of the cage holes, right? I remember this cage match with Hogan and Orndorff well from Saturday Night’s Main Event, particularly the photo finish when they both dropped to the floor at the same time. Orndorff and Savage were the two opponents who really made Hogan shine during his initial run at WWF Champion. I’ve blogged about Orndorff’s turn on Hogan in 1986, especially the phone call that Hogan would not return: http://tinyurl.com/745fjgm

  2. Rusty Brooks Biggest Fan says:

    As an old school fan myself, I have fond memories of the big blue cage. At Wrestlemania 2, Hogan wrestled King Kong Bundy in the big blue cage. Even in 1993, Bret Hart wrestled HBK in the big blue cage… not to mention Owen vs. Bret the year following. The big blue cage was much more pleasing to the eyes than the chain link fence the NWA was using at the time. The NWA cages looked like the old batting cages down at the local little league field where I used to play baseball. That, and a cross between a pen where my old man used to keep 2 rotweilers out in the yard.

    The big blue cage provided a certain warmth to the viewer, and it is certainly missed today.

    • Uncle Soda says:

      I like most cage styles but I will never side with the ones bashing the blue one if the argument is that it isn’t as dangerous as the mesh style. The solid steel of the blue cage should do more damage than a chicken fence imho. I think the old WWF cage’s reputation suffers from the blue colour. The black version from Austin vs. McMahon looked awesome.

      I seem to recall a Meltzer remark in an old Observer going “in untypical fashion the mother of Rusty Brooks Biggest Fan accidentally spoiled the big surprise by actually delivering a cage two days before the big reveal”.

  3. Sergant J says:

    The reason for the blue cage was that is was more made for TV, and Wrestlemania 2, so the action was not blurred by the mesh of the chainlink fence material. I had the toy blue cage before I had the wrestling ring, infact, my mother went to buy me the ring about two days after I got the cage because she thought it came with the ring.

    To the podcast at hand. The most forgotten feud of the Old School era, and Dre and Cat marvelously brought it back to the fore front, the predictable but yet shocking swerve of 1986, Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndoff clotheslining and piledriving Hulk Hogan during a TV Taping of WWF Championship Wrestling on June 24th, which aired July 19th. In the weeks before, starting with Adrian Adonis planting the seed in Orndorff’s head that Hulk Hogan was keeping him as a close friend so he wouldn’t have to defend his title against him, that he wasn’t really Orndorff’s friend. Then not being able to reach Hulk Hogan via telephone because the Hulk was too busy working out, to the match with the Moondogs, to where Paul Orndorff held the spotlight to show a message to Hulk Hogan that he didnt need him as a partner. To stay true to the storyline, The Brain did a great job setting up Hogan by getting to Mr. Wonderful before the matches, and informing him that if he did turn on Hogan, that he might indeed get the shot he deserved. Even at the tender age of 9, I saw this coming, but it was still shocking to me at the time, because I never saw a swerve of this magnitude.

    Let it be known that I was never a Hogan fan, for I was able to think for myself, and thought it was too cliché. Therfore, I always rooted for Heenan and his family. Growing up in New York, I was able to watch Regis and Kathy Lee before they were syndicated. Bobby was a regular on his show with the likes of King Kong Bundy, Mr. Wonderful, and Andre. He was absoultely hysterical, and had the audience laughing harder than any other guest that was on the show. From that point on, I was, and always will be a “Brainiac”.

    Getting back to the great feud, it was awesome to see Orndorff walking off with Heenan and his cronies, to be greeted by Adonis and Jimmy Hart, and being serenated with the “Won-Der-Ful” chant. The reason this feud was lost in time was the immediate blowoff on Saturday Nights Main Event, and then the swerve of Andre. The feud between Hulk and Andre obviously overshadowed that one, and the end result of the spectacular Wrestlemania III had the fans looking in other directions.

    Dre and Black Cat, you have yet ceased to amaze me as you delve into the archives for true forgotten gems, like this. Great choice of match from this fued, the blow off, so we can trace it back to its origins, and see this classic feud unfold once again.

    • Sergant J says:

      Did anoyone else see the 50 minute Ultimate Warrior shoot on Hulk Hogan. It is on You Tube. It was terrible how he bashed Hulk, but yet so true and totally entertining.

  4. Rusty Brooks.. says:

    I remember the feud well. I remember Hogan crying like a twerp, saying something along the lines of, “man, we were supposed to be brothers…. you broke bread at my table, brother”.

  5. Sergeant J says:

    Hey Brooksy, nice to see that you posted again. How have you been, pal! Im not sure if you saw my post on ep 58, but I want to repost so I know everyone can read and hopefully Dre and Cat can comment on this as well. This tag team is my favorite of all time, and some of my best and lengthly work on wrestling history. I dont think they are the best, but Cat, Im sure a little mask trickery would baffle your “Assless Chapped Behemoths”. This is my Killer Bee post v2, with a minor correction in it.

    Dre and Cat,

    I said earlier this week that I would school you two on the Killer Bees, and how they were the best tag team in the WWF from 85-87, but yet ZERO tag team titles during that time. I am going to use historical facts to be a little more objective. My first inclination was to use the measurement that Dr Dead Reckoning used, called “C.R.A.P.P.I.E” and blow it away, but I don’t think I could really sway the jury, so I am going to use the match results from 85-87 vs contemporary tag teams, the British Bulldogs, the Hart Foundation, and the Original Dream Team, Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake, whom all of which held the WWF Tag Team tiles on numerous occasions. The source of my research is the History of the WWE, which has details and results of every card ever held. The Bees debuted on June 17th 1985 in Poughkeepsie, NY with a win against Steve Lombardi and Dave Barbie. So get ready, take your seats, raise the ramp, strap on those helmets and start licking glass, cause I’m driving the bus to the school of most underrated tag teams. Cue Howard Finkel…

    “From Tampa, Florida, and Reno, Nevada, respectfully, with a total combined weight of 469 lbs, B. Brian Blair, Jumpin Jim Brunzel, The Killerrrr Beeeeeeeeees!!!!!!!”

    Killer Bees vs. Greg Valentine/Brutus Beefcake

    Obviously from the jump, you would think second generation wrestler and NWA great Greg Valentine, and a young stud Brutus Beefcake, along with an all time great tag team manager, Johnny Valiant, would be a mismatch against a few bugs, but stop everything….From 1985-1987, the Killer Bees beat Valentine/Beefcake 24-5. Three times, while the Dream Team were the champs, were beat by the original Stingers in non title matches, but never got the title match they most certainly deserved. The bulk of their matches were in the beginning of the Bees history before the Dream Team were the champs, and right before the breakup in 87, but 24-5, no comparison.

    Killer Bees vs. The Hart Foundation

    All I am going to say is SIX times!!!!! Six times while the Hart Foundation were the tag champs, the Killer Bees beat them in non-title matches, and one of them in a cage. Their first match against the Hart Foundation happened on 28 July 1985, in Toronto, Canada, with the Bees coming out on top in Bret Hart’s backyard. Overall record, the bees were 29-18. There were singles matches between them as well, and the annoying buzzers definetly held their own against the pink and black attack. Blair and Hart were a draw, three a peice, but Blair lost to Neidhart 4-3. Brunzel is 1-0 against Hart and 1-1 against Neidhart. Both the Dream Team and Hart Foundation had skilled managers to coach them, but still couldn’t overcome the Sting. Bees take this one as well.

    Killer Bees vs. British Bulldogs

    This one is tough to debate, so you have to look to their one match in the three year span, a time limit draw on September 27, 1986. So a great common opponent would be Valentine/Beefcake. Before the title change at Wrestlemania II, the overall record between Bulldogs/Dream Team was a whopping 16-3 in favor of the Dream Team. Also the Foundation/Bulldog history does not favor in well for the fleabags, with the Foundation taking the lead 28-17.
    Case closed, the most successful Tag Team in that three year span is B. Brian Blair, and Jumpin Jim Brunzell, except for one tiny detail…..

    Killer Bees vs. Demolition

    Demolition debuted in February of 1987, and were an immediate threat to the high topped wonders. I am not going to even go there. 27-4. One of the four wins by the Killer Bees was the SD Jones mask switch. Dead Reckoning, win another one for Demolition.

    Couple fun facts about the Killer Bees. The mask gimmick was first used on October 28, 1986, in a win against Iron Shiek and Nicholi Volkoff. The manifesto of the famous SD Jones/Jim Brunzell Killer Bees was lived for two consecutive dates. On May 31st, 1987, in California PA, in front of 2200 fans, SD Jones pins Ax after the masks were donned. The reason behind it was in 1987, B Brian Blair tested positive for cocaine, so they needed replacements for him during the shows. Other combinations that teamed with the Jumping One during these dates were the Junk Yard Dog, Koko B. Ware and Davey Boy Smith. The one who teamed with him the most during the 60 day suspension was none other than Hillybilly Jim. The Killer Bees were the winners of the one and only Frank Tunney Memorial Tag Team Tournament held March 15th 1987 at the Montreal Gardens, with one of their few wins over Demolition in the finals. The winner received an immediate title match as the main event, but lost that match to the Hart Foundation. The wrestlers who most fell to the Killer Bees were Rusty Brooks, Iron Mike Sharpe, Barry O, Rene Goulet, Steve Lombardi, and the Moondogs, all were commonly stung by the Bees, wrestling them combined over 250 times without a loss.

    Thanks for letting me post this again. Small rebuttal to your Mulleted, Assless Chapped, Powerbombing douchebags with whom you hold in such high regards.

  6. Joshua says:

    This, along of Hogan’s cage matches with Bossman and Bundy, are some of Hogan’s best work.

    The photo-finish ending to these matches has been done to death, but this match is still quite good.

  7. Rusty Brooks.. says:

    Sarge, I am a huge Killer Bees mark. From Jim Brunzell’s early days in the AWA as a member of the High Flyers, to B. Brian Blair’s run from State Congress in Florida in 2010, I am a huge, huge fan, I tell ya.

    My fave match with them was at WM3 when they took on Sheik and Volkoff. The match, IMO was great… until… until… that slobbering knuckle dragger Jim Dugan comes in and gets them DQ’d!

  8. Sergeant J says:

    So, today, as I am making my trek back from Texas to Washington, I have the OSWP on shuffle, and I come across the Goldust Piper match from WM12, and there is a point in the podcast that Dre and Black Cat pose a question. Would Soldiers who have seen combat freak out during a WWE show with the pyrotechnics? The answer, if your a Soldier who has served in a combat zone, you would agree is undoubtably a FU*K YES. I never noticed pyrotechnics during a “Tribute to the Troops” telecast that’s for sure.
    My title as “Sergeant J” is not just a monkier. I have seen it all, and have the bullet scars to prove it. A Soldier who has seen half of what I have knows that your heart goes from zero to stupid when a loud noise/explosion occurs, period. Not out of fear, of course, more like an adrenaline jolt.

  9. Trak9 says:

    First of all I’m sure most people already know that Paul Orndorff and Hulk Hogan were both trained by Hiro Matusda. They also went to competing high schools in the Tampa area around the same time.

    The Paul Orndorff vs. Hogan storyline started after Wretlemania when Bob Orton and Roddy Piper turned on Mr. Wonderful and blamed him for the loss in the match against Hogan and Mr. T. Hogan and Orndorff were “friends” until the piledriver “heard round the world.”

    I have heard that the blue cage was used so bigger guys like Hogan for example could climb out of the cage easier. Of course in those days before Rick Rude vs. Roddy Piper in 1989 the only way to win a cage match in the WWF was to escape.

    I’m sure the other reason it was used was for the look on TV/PPV. I have heard from others who were at the Paul Orndorff vs. Hogan match that Orndorff actually landed first.

    The Blue Bars were also used in the No Holds barred PPV match between Hogan with Brutis Beefcake vs. Zeus and the Macho King Randy Savage along with the Owen vs. Bret Hart match from Summerslam 1994. It was also used in the Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude match at Summerslam 1990 along with the Triple H vs. Mankind match from Summerslam 1997.

    The black bars I know were used at least a couple of other times besides the St. Valentines day Massacre match between Vince McMahon and Steve Austin. They were also used at Rebellion 1999 in a Triple H vs. the Rock match along with the 2001 edition with a match between Dre and Black Cat’s favorite wrestler vs. Christian both events from England.

    I’m know Hulk Hogan did not work 500 days a year, but just remember just like John Cena now he might of only wrestled three days a week, but he went out and promoted the WWF on his other days off. He also of course usually wrestled twice, once at the beginning or the middle of the card so he could fly out and wrestle in the main event of another event.

  10. Rich Thomas says:

    As a little kid the WWF Big Blue cage seems special, in the way the whole WWF seemed special. If fit the who superhero persona of the WWF. There were Chain-link fences in my neighborhood, there were no fences that looked like the Big Blue Cage. In the same way there was no one who looked like Hogan or Orndorff in my neighborhood.

    It is a cage match not a fence match 🙂

  11. I remember watching this match over and over on the video tape of the original airing.

    Everytime someone pulls someone back into ring in a cage match by the hair I think of Jesse Ventura’s memorable quote about Orndorff being the champ if he was bald.

    I am appreciative that no attempts of a Jesse Ventura impression were made. I must add I love the majority of Dre’s impressions.

    Next time I see Stryc-9 I’m asking him if he listens to this podcast. I’ve gotta think he’d enjoy it.

    I’m impressed Hogan preceded the leg drop with a back breaker instead of a big boot or bodyslam.

    Heenan’s cage bumps were legend-ary.

    Dre you had to ruin the “no Ventura impressions” during the discussion about both men’s feet hitting the floor at the same time, didn’t you?

    There’s always the question of which cage do you prefer, the blue bar cage or the fence cage. I sincerely prefer the blue bar cage, probably because it’s what I grew up on. I always thought that since the fence cage had give when you got thrown into it, and the blue bar cage didn’t, the blue bar cage was the more dangerous of the two. Later in life I was introduced to the idea of raking your opponent’s face across the cage, which wouldn’t be comfortable on the blue bar cage, but you get cut up on the barbs of the fence cage.

    I can’t decide if I like this more than Hogan vs. Boss Man in the blue bar cage on a Saturday Night’s Main Event when Hogan superplexed Boss Man back into the ring. That was pretty amazing.

    EXCELLENT ULTIMATE WARRIOR IMPRESSION!!!

    Dre I heard you snicker when Black Cat said he opened the door and the mailman gave him a large package. What was that all about?

    I didn’t know there was an Adrian Adonis and Miss Elizabeth of the big rubber action figures. I always thought I had the complete collection.

    I wish someone today would cut a promo like that Mr. Wonderful promo at the end of the podcast. That was awesome.

    • Dre says:

      Thank you Hardcore. I challenge the fact that you think you have the entire LJN collection. D you have the Rick Rude, Warlord, Big Boss Man, or Andre in the black unitard outfit LJN action figures? Do you edn ave the Bret Hart, Koko B Ware, or the Jumpin Jim Brunzell LJN figures? Do you even have the Million Dollar Man, One Man Gang, or Billy Jack Haynes LJN action figure?

      Hell, I bet you don’t even have the Ultimate Warrior LJN figure.

      • Dre my mind is blown. Not only did I realize my collection was incomplete when I learned there were Adonis and Elizabeth figures, but I had no idea about any of the other ones you mentioned (except Billy Jerk Haynes and Koko Ware, which I had). I certainly had no idea about the Ultimate Warrior one. I am officially humbled.

        Your Jesse Ventura impression still sucks though 🙂

  12. Cross Face Chicken Wing says:

    I can’t remember if it was Memphis or Mid-South (maybe both), but one of them used a cage that literally was chicken wire. There were wooden planks on the top and bottom of the cage and the cage was only a couple feet higher than the ring ropes.

    Not the most intimidating looking cage in the history of wrestling.

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