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WWF Superstars of Wrestling
Format Professional wrestling
Sports entertainment
Created by Vince McMahon
Starring World Wrestling Federation alumni
Country of origin  United States
Production
Running time 46 minutes per episode
Broadcast
Original channel Syndicated (1986 - 1996)
USA Network (1996-2000)
TNN (2000-2001)
Original run 19862001

WWF Superstars of Wrestling was a professional wrestling program that debuted on September 6, 1986 and was aired until 2001. Superstars, as it would later be known, was the flagship of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF)'s syndicated programming from its inception until being eclipsed by Monday Night Raw in 1993.

Contents

History

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Origins

In 1986, Superstars replaced WWF Championship Wrestling. Before that, Superstars was the name of a weekly recap show hosted by Vince McMahon and Lord Alfred Hayes. Superstars was where all the angles began and at times ended and where the majority of title changes took place if not at a pay-per-view (e.g. WrestleMania or SummerSlam). Matches primarily saw top tier and mid-level talent versus jobbers; pre-taped interviews with the WWF's roster of superstars; and promos featuring the wrestlers. At times, there was a "feature" match between main WWF talent. As with all syndicated WWF programming, another major aspect of the show was to promote house shows and TV tapings in each market.

Title changes

Note: Many of these title changes were not aired for up to several weeks after they took place. As these shows were aired in an era before the Internet, the previous title holder sometimes defended his title at house shows as though he were still the champion until the title change was aired on television.

  • The Hart Foundation beating the British Bulldogs for the WWF World Tag Team Championship on February 7, 1987 (taped January 26, 1987).
  • The Honky Tonk Man defeating Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat for the WWF Intercontinental Championship on June 13, 1987 (taped June 2, 1987).
  • Strike Force (Rick Martel and Tito Santana) beating the Hart Foundation for the WWF World Tag Team Championship on October 31, 1987 (taped October 27, 1987).
  • Demolition defeating the Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard) for the WWF World Tag Team Championship on November 4, 1989 (taped October 2, 1989).
  • The Colossal Connection (André the Giant and Haku) beating Demolition for the WWF World Tag Team Championship on December 30, 1989 (taped December 13, 1989).
  • Mr. Perfect defeating Tito Santana for the vacant WWF Intercontinental Championship in May 5, 1990 (taped April 23, 1990).
  • Mr. Perfect beating Kerry Von Erich for the WWF Intercontinental Championship on December 15, 1990 (taped November 19, 1990).
  • Diesel defeating Razor Ramon for the WWF Intercontinental Championship on April 30, 1994 (taped April 13, 1994).

Repackaged

Superstars ended its syndication run in September 1996, moving to the USA Network. At that point, the program mixed recaps of the week's WWF activities with some new matches.

In the late 1990s, Jim Ross was involved in a controversial angle in which he questioned Vince McMahon and the rest of the WWF establishment. To bolster an "uncensored" reputation, the play-by-play calls actually aired live for a few weeks although all the matches were recorded.

When the WWF moved its cable TV contract to TNN (now Spike) in 1999, Superstars moved with it. The show was finally canceled in 2001.

Hosts

The commentary team on Superstars underwent many changes as the years passed. With a few rare exceptions, the team would always consist of one or two commentators who supported the face wrestlers, and one who supported the heels (this presentation is, to a lesser extent, still used today). The hosts of Superstars are listed below in chronological order with the debut episode of the team in parentheses:

  • Vince McMahon, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, and Bruno Sammartino (September 6, 1986)
  • McMahon and Ventura (March 26, 1988)
  • McMahon and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (August 25, 1990)
  • McMahon, Piper, and the Honky Tonk Man (November 8, 1990)
  • McMahon, Piper, and Randy "Macho Man" Savage (March 30, 1991)
  • McMahon and Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig (November 30, 1991)
  • McMahon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan (briefly, after Mr. Perfect's face turn in 1992)
  • McMahon, Heenan and Jerry "the King" Lawler
  • McMahon, Savage, and Lawler (December 11, 1992)
  • McMahon and Lawler
  • McMahon and Reo Rodgers (for one week only)
  • McMahon and Stan Lane
  • McMahon and Johnny Polo
  • McMahon and Dok Hendrix (April 15, 1995)
  • McMahon, Jim Ross, and Lawler
  • McMahon, Ross, and Hennig (December 2, 1995)
  • Ross and Hennig
  • Ross and Jim Cornette

Internationally

Canada

During its syndication run, the program was repackaged and aired in Canada as Maple Leaf Wrestling, despite the fact that it contained almost no Canadian content other than interviews promoting matches that were to be held in Canada, along with occasional program-exclusive matches taped at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario.

United Kingdom

WWF Superstars of Wrestling began airing in 1986 on Saturday nights on The Sky Channel. For a short time, it was shown on Tuesdays on Eurosport. Early in the 90s, it was featured in a Friday night time slot. In the mid-1990s, Superstars was moved to a Sunday morning timeslot. In 1997, WWF Superstars was used as a Raw is War recap show. From 1999 onwards, SmackDown! was also recapped. In January 2003, the UK version of WWE Superstars was replaced by Heat.

References

External links


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