#56 – Can Am Connection v Islanders 1987

We take a look at some classic mid-80s WWF tag teams, review Black Cat’s trip to the movie theater to see Bound for Glory, and discuss Dre’s journey to obtain the WCW beach volleyball Sting card!

This episode has been archived in the Season 2 digital box set available for $9.99 at the OSWP Merch Store!


  1. Simply aweful opening theme song. What was that from?

    I remember when Tom Zenk left the WWF someone, maybe Gorilla Monsoon, maybe Rick Martel, explained that Zenk couldn’t handle the competition and took the easy way out. I believe the Islanders/Can-Ams rematch started as a handicap match until Tito Santana came to ringside.

    I used to insist that Rikishi Fatu and Tama were the same guy until I saw the Samoan Swat Team with the Samoan Savage. That’s when I realized the Samoan Savage was Tama/Tonga Kid. Haku used to be called King Tonga before he was Haku so I always would forget which Islander was King Tonga and which one was Tonga Kid. I used to confuse an enhancement talent called Sivi Afi with Tama/Tonga Kid/Samoan Savage during this same time period too.

    The last time I saw a PPV at a movie theatre was No Mercy, October 2005 and I remember really enjoying the atmosphere. The show itself wasn’t too bad either.

    It’s hilarious how bad Jim Brunzell’s promos were. It’s a good thing that snipette at the end of the podcast was a short one. The Rougeaus baby promos were pretty insipid too. Once they turned heel they got much better.

    • Black Cat says:

      You’ll have to ask Dre about the song, he sends them to me. I like it…reminded me of mid 80s WWF. The paragraph about Samoan wrestlers makes me feel dizzy. I included the Bee’s promo because it was so awful. I forgot how bad they were.

  2. Quarex says:

    Thank you for a very nice show 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. RustyBrooksBiggest Fan says:

    Another great podcast.

    You hit the nail on the head. There IS no real tag team wrestling anymore. Most WWE teams are infact just 2 random guys thrown together, and given some half ass lame name… Air Boom… Awesome Truth, anyone. Big Show and Miz… ShowMiz… nuff said.

    I miss REAL teams, with a matching gimmick. Matching outfits. A REAL team!!

    Btw- Bruno was like one of my WOP friends grandpas. I love Bruno. He was the real deal. And a shit announcer.

    • Jeff says:

      Far and away my favorite tag team of all time, and a team that could match up well with ANYONE, Jim Cornette’s Midnight Express 2.0, with Beautiful Bobby Eaton and Sweet Stan Lane.
      One of my first memories of watching wrestling, growing up in NY was watching the Killer Bees. They somehow would always wrestle jobbers and be a good spot with a dominant win on lets say Wrestling Challenge. When they would step in the ring with a team like the Hart Foundation or the Dream Team, they never won. Maybe it was the black and yellow socks with the high top black and yellow converse that had me going. If my memory serves me correctly, I think they pulled a mask stunt to beat Dre’s favorite team, Demolition!!
      Tag team wrestling was a main stay with Crockett and McMahon. Even Verne Gagne was in the fold with the bootleg Midnight Express, the Midnight Rockers, Bad Company and the Destruction Crew?? (Im not sure of the name, but I knew it was Wayne Bloom and Mike Enos).
      So, opening up a question, if anyone dares, What was the downfall of tag team wrestling??? Could be the booking of feuds, easier to make it more personal one on one?? Or is it the selfish attitude of individuals wanting to hog the spotlight and not share it? Like Shawn Michales. Remember he was just a face int he crowd until his breakout?
      I definetly would like to hear from Badass and Rusty on their opinion. Thanks for the forum.

      • Black Cat says:

        I remember hearing something about Vince not liking them for some reason or another. Singles stars sell more t-shirts maybe? I suspect the lack of tag teams has to do with the short sighted nature of most modern booking. It’s too bad as it really does add some variety to the show and some guys just thrive more in tag teams because they can be protected in the ring or on the mic.

      • Dre says:

        there is one true reason why tag teams no longer exist, and it is because of High Voltage.

        • Trak9 says:

          Dre is right you can also blame WCW and later on WWE for breaking up tag teams like the Steiner Brothers, Harlem Heat, etc and focusing on single stars instead of tag teams during the Monday Night wars.

    • Black Cat says:

      FWIW, I really liked the JeriShow team.

      And as far as non-WWE tag teams go, the Kings of Wrestling are one of my favorite teams of all time. I was really bummed when WWE signed them and I assume as long as they’re in WWE we won’t be seeing them team together anytime soon.

      I also appreciate Bruno in the ring but it’s torture listening to him talk. And what’s a “WOP friend”?

  4. Hey guys, still listening. I’ve been writing my second book (an academic one on Shakespeare) and after getting down 70,000 words in a week, this and the Abby show (55) have been a really welcome break. I bloody love this podcast!

    A few things:

    1. I’ve never seen a lot of Abdullah the Butcher, is his fork just a normal fork or a gimmicked “big” fork? If it’s just a normal fork that sounds like the lamest thing I’ve ever heard, ha ha.

    2. At the end of show #55, was that a Kevin Sullivan promo? Pretty amazing.

    3. Loved this show, especially Dre’s Bruno impressions. You forgot to mention a key late member of the Heenan Family: Mr. Perfect. Ric Martel is probably one of the most underrated wrestlers from that time period, fantastic worker really. Tom Zenk on the other hand is probably the most average wrestler ever to have lived — he’s a poor man’s Terry Taylor. How the fuck can anyone be a POOR man’s Terry Taylor? Next to the Z-Man, Mike Rotunda is one of the most charismatic wrestlers ever to have lived. Honest to God, I’d take Paul Roma over Zenk, at least Roma was a cock and had the personality of a cock.

    4. Imagine seeing The Great Muta in 3D, you could have the cheesy spray effect you get at those 3D shows at theme parks when he blows the mist.

    5. Finally, don’t know if they are from the same series, but I had some of those WCW cards! There was this little corner shop in my hometown in Wales which basically just sold miscellaneous crap. He had some obscure stuff in there that I never saw anywhere else. For example, action figures from USWA. Do you think a single kid in all of Britain in the early 90s had even heard of USWA? God knows where this guy got his stock. Anyway, I had a pile of these cards from that shop. Sting, Ron Simmons, Arn Anderson, Rick Rude. They were awesome. Sort of like Top Trumps with stats on them.

    For what it’s worth, I think Blackcat should retain the Sting card. Without doubt, Blackcat is the bigger NWA/ WCW mark, and Dre is the 80s WWF fanboy. Admit it Dre, when Blackcat was cheering for the Stinger again the Horsemen, your hero was the Ultimate Warrior. Admit it! 🙂

    • Dre says:

      Please…. I was cheering for Sting all the way back when you only had 10 words written about Shakespeare.

      • Black Cat says:

        I’m not going to question Dre’s love for Sting. He might’ve been watching more WWF at this time, but (don’t tell anyone) I once found him in the bathroom applying Sting make-up circa Great American Bash ’89.

      • lol, that line was worthy of Flair, Dre. Touche.

    • Black Cat says:

      Abdullah usually has a normal fork wrapped in tape. Not sure the purpose of the tape…better grip for jabbing you in the head?

      Yes, that was a Sullivan promo, it’s been a few weeks so I can’t remember which one.

      I liked Martel in the 80s, but couldn’t stand him during his late mid-late 90s WCW run.

      I’d like to see Norman the Lunatic in 3D.

      I think those USWA toys were only sold in our thrify/dollar stores.

      • On the USWA toys, I’d really like to know the chain of events that got them from wherever they were from (Texas? Memphis?) to a nondescript corner shop in a little seaside town in Wales. I’m guessing there was some sort of overstock broker involved, and thinking about it probably made on the cheap in China. I’m just imagining the conversation between the the shopkeeper and the broker.

        “100 He-man figure. Good quality. Great price. Only 20pence each”

        “He-man? 20p? Give me 100”

        Four years later he’s still got these USWA figures sitting there.

        I think that’s the basic mentality of what you’d call “the thrift store guy”: he just thinks “toys –> kids –> money”. He doesn’t care what the toy is because he assumes the kid is just a kid. For him there is no difference between He-Man, Thundercats, MASK or USWA figures, no differences between Lion-O, Hulk Hogan or Austin Idol. I think kids always always know almost instantly if they’ve been shortchanged or given an ersatz version of the real thing.

  5. Rusty Brooks.. says:

    Best Tag Team ever…

    Mike Enos and Wayne Bloom (AWA)- The Destruction Crew (later would become The Beverly Bros. in WWF)

  6. Re: syndication

    I believe that WWE syndication was different in every market. I know in St. Louis Superstars was on Saturday mornings on KPLR, channel 11, which was an independent channel that would go on to become a WB/CW affiliate.

    KPLR was also the channel that hosted Wrestling at the Chase, the Saint Louis NWA show that is legendary in that part of the country.

    Great show guys…keep it up!

    • Black Cat says:

      Interesting. I really want to see more Wrestling at the Chase, but it’s one of the harder promotions of which to find footage.

      • Trak9 says:

        I know Highspots.com (and I’m sure others) sells a 12 volume set of Wrestling from St. Louis (you can buy them individually). In the past the Fight Network in Canada used to air Wrestling from the Chase.

        I believe the WWE owns the St. Louis library now if I’m not mistaken.

    • Trak9 says:

      I’m sure WWE did this back in the day or at least later on, but a lot of companies will have booths at NATPE (The National Association of Television Program Executive) and sell the shows to either actual radio/tv stations or they will sell the shows to the companies who own the TV stations. For example while walking around you might see a WWE booth, WCW booth, a booth for whatever top broadcast TV show is going into syndication (after either 4 years and or 100 episodes).

      I believe WWF bought time on all of the stations Superstars and Wrestling challenge aired on kind of like infomercials do now.

  7. woooooooooooooooooooo dude says:

    I must say , have not listened to it yet but u must know my reaction to seeing a new show , f- yes. that is all

  8. WrestlekidLA says:

    So excited for a new show! I hardly knew the Islanders. Since I didn’t get into wrestling till 1993, my group was the Headshrinkers, Fatu and Samu. Thanks for another great show!

    • Black Cat says:

      Headshinkers were great. First loved them in WCW as Samoan Swat Team.

  9. Trak9 says:

    Tom Zenk did wrestle in the AWA briefly. The Can-Am connection was started in Montreal when Rick Martel asked Zenk to join him there. They wrestled in Japan before joining the WWF.

    The match was taped on May 12th 1987 and aired on the 30th. Zenk was gone in July due to an alleged contract dispute. Zenk thought Rick Martel had negotiated a contact worth three times the amount that he was being paid.

    If you remember the 1987 WWF Topps card set the picture above is the double dropkick card. http://www.wrestlingtradingcards.com/images/1987_wwf_topps/33.jpg

  10. polonius says:

    Interesting how much animosity some people feel towards Zenk. The Shakespeare guy – who doesn’t know about gimmicks in wrestling!!! – dismisses Zenk as a poor man’s Terry Taylor – in fact both Taylor and Zenk were excellent ring technicians as you can see yourself from their brief feuds in WCW around 1991 – excellent technical and exciting matches – both guys were horribly booked most of their career – Taylor as the career killing Red Rooster, Zenk as the perpetual white meat baby face – and the bookers rarely if ever gave them a long enough run on top to gather momentum.

  11. Jason says:

    Those WWF weekend shows were syndicated to DIFFERENT stations all around the country, regardless of their Network affiliation. When I was growing up the WWF came on our local FOX affiliate.

    Also, if you were watching the Teen Wolf cartoon and Pee Wee’s Playhouse then you must have been watching C.B.S. because that’s the network those shows were on. I didn’t bother looking up what network WPIX shows because I don’t care enough, but Pee Wee was C.B.S. all the way.