Stranger’s been watching the Network in chronological order because he’s a big, stupid, nerdy mark. He’s been needing to get back into the swing of doing actual reviews and thought this show would be a good place to jump back in. Stranger’s also picked up the habit of referring to himself in the third person. STRANGER’S GETTING VEXATIOUS!
From the Make Believe Gardens in Toronto – November 10, 1985. Your commentators are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Well, thank God for that, at least.
To place this in context, this show is a few days after the Wrestling Classic PPV. It’s been clipped down to about forty eight minutes. Here was the original card for this show, as found on thehistoryofwwe.com, my go to place for….well, the history of WWE:
Jose Luis Rivera vs. Tiger Chung Lee
Tony Parisi vs. Ron Shaw
King Tonga vs. Terry Gibbs
Ivan Putski & Tony Atlas vs. Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart
Andre the Giant & Hillbilly Jim vs. Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy
Cousin Junior vs. Moondog Spot
Dino Bravo vs. Nikolai Volkoff
They ran three shows on that day. My guess is that this one was the C show.
Match #1. Andre the Giant & Hillbilly Jim vs. Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy (with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan).
Brain tells the crowd that he’s Manager of the Year. Hillbilly Jim’s music here is obviously “Don’t Go Messing with a Country Boy” because you can faintly make it out over the banjo music overdub. Jesse even references the song by saying that Studd & Bundy are definitely going to mess with a country boy. I can’t see someone telling Bundy to squeal like a pig and not get eaten in return. Andre and Studd kick it off with Andre grabbing Studd by the throat and taking it to the corner. Andre’s butt meets Studd’s knee and now Stuff gets to clubbering. Tag to Bundy, who gets some forearms and chops. A Bundy avalanche meets boot, and Bundy tags Studd back in. ANDRE HITS THE BEAR HUG! Studd tries to club his way out, successfully, but Andre slams Studd. Gorilla proclaims Andre $15,000 richer, but Jesse’s not sure that applies here. Bundy tagged in and he gets the FRONT FACELOCK on the mat. Andre manages to tag Jim, who holds Bundy for a chop from Andre. Jim with some rights, backing Bundy to his corner. Lock up and to the corner, where Bundy hits some solid forearms. Jim reverses a whip to the opposite corner, but his boot. Bundy misses and elbowdrop, and Jim makes a wish with a boot to the midsection. Studd tagged in, and he takes over with some clubbing. Whip off the ropes, Jim ducks a clothesline and hits a head butt. Jim with a rear chinlock, and he tags in Andre. Andre clubs Studd with some big rights. Andre turns his back and Studd hits him from behind to take over. Andre down to his knees, Studd tags in Bundy, who lays in the boots. Bundy continues to slug him down, and tags in Studd. Studd with some elbows and forearms. Andre gets a big headbutt in there, and whips him off the ropes and he hits the big boot. Studd rolls out to the floor, Andre goes to the apron to start after him, then Bundy comes in to run interference on Hillbilly Jim, then hits Andre from behind, and Andre is on the apron tied up in the ropes. Studd grabs a ringside table and nails Andre in the head! A second shot to the head with the table! Andre is knocked out on the floor. *1/2
WINNERS: Andre the Giant & Hillbilly Jim by disqualification at 10:35. The match was about what you would expect. You don’t often see Andre the Giant do a sell job like this, as he lay out on the floor for sometime. They take a break and when they come back, Andre is still out on the floor and a stretcher has been brought out. Gorilla leaves the announce table and joins in on the gathering attempting to assist Andre. Jesse proclaims it an awesome display by Studd & Bundy, as the crowd has been brought to silence the longer Andre stays down. They finally wheel Andre out, and this is a sight I have never seen. Good segment there.
Match #2: Cousin Junior vs. Moondog Spot.
It’s HILLBILLY MADNESS! If this was Alberta, they would be into it. I don’t think Toronto cares for hillbillies. Spot tosses Junior to the mat with a handful of hair. Junior comes back and grabs the arm and LOCKS IT IN! He locks it in so much that Gorilla asks Jesse how things are going with the Body Shop. Junior continues to work the arm. Spot whips Junior off the ropes, Junior hits a shoulder block, runs off the ropes and Spot hits an elbow to take him down. Spot comes down off the middle buckle with a forearm. That gets 2. Second rope again, this time with a fist drop, and Junior kicks out at 2. SPOT HITS THE REAR HEADLOCK! Junior breaks out, but Spot catches him with a backbreaker over the knee coming off the ropes. Spot tosses him through the ropes and onto the entrance ramp. Junior comes in with a sunset flip for 1. Spot with the whip and Junior hits a cross bodyblock for 2. Spot takes him down with an elbow to the head. SPOT HITS THE REAR CHINLOCK! The ref raises the arm twice but not thrice. Junior elbows out, hits a shoulderblock, and gets 2. Spot takes over with ANOTHER REAR CHINLOCK! Junior hits the jawbreaker to get out. Spot takes him down with a knee. He tries a headbutt, but we all know that hillbillies have rocks for brains, and it it’s no sold. Junior with an atomic drop. Spot begs off, but Junior lays in with the kicks. Whip to the corner, and Junior hits a shoulderblock to the midsection. Junior drops his head on a whip, and Spot gets in a kick. Spot whips him off the ropes, but Junior reverses a slam into a small package…1…2…3! **
WINNER: Cousin Junior at 10:29. I believe Moondog Spot carried this match to something rather watchable. Kudos to him. Junior is spent on the outside. Gorilla: “Doesn’t look like much of a winner, does he Jess?”. Ventura: ” He NEVER looks like a winner.”
Match #3: Dino Bravo (c) vs. Nikolai Volkoff for the CANADIAN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP.
A main event anywhere in the country, but only if that country is Canada. The history of this championship follows thus: a few months before this show, Vince bought the Montreal-based Lutte Internationale (or International Wrestling, if you’re not cultured). Bravo joined the WWF and was billed as the WWF Canadian Heavyweight Champion on cards promoted in Canada. Bravo would briefly leave the WWF in a dispute over a cancelled show in Montreal where Vince didn’t want Bravo cheered against Hulk Hogan. When Bravo left, they abandoned the title. To the match!
Volkoff sings the Russian national anthem to slightly less boos than in the US. That’s socialism for you. Weird to see Bravo with dark hair after years of the bleached blonde. Volkoff sneak attacks Bravo, but Bravo gets him back in the corner, then hits him with a dropkick coming off the ropes. Volkoff goes low and then pounds away. He rolls Bravo into a 2 count. Volkoff HITS THE CHINLOCK! Bravo attempts to power out, but Volkoff takes him back down. The ref calls for a break due to Volkoff pulling the hair. Bravo wrings the arm, but Volkoff goes to the eyes. Into the corner, but a charge misses. Bravo WRINGS THE ARM! Bravo takes him down and knees the arm. Volkoff pushes him into the ropes and hammers away. In the corner now, Volkoff BITES THE HEAD! Knees in the corner take Bravo down. Whip to the corner, but Volkoff misses a charge and Bravo boots the midesction. Bravo with a whip, and hits him low. Volkoff with a low blow to put Bravo down. Volkoff HITS THE BEAR HUG! Then into an inverted atomic drop. Volkoff off the middle buckle with an axhandle to the back. Volkoff climbs the buckle again, and hits another axhandle to the back. Off the ropes with a clotheline for 2. Whip by Volkoff, Bravo goes under, then over with a leapfrog and hits a sunset flip for 2. Bravo comes back with rights and an atomic drop, but he misses a legdrop. Volkoff with a backbreaker, but Bravo’s foot is in the ropes to break up the pin. Back suplex for a 1….2….3! But wait, both men’s shoulders were down, and Bravo got his shoulder up before the 3! *1/2
WINNER: And STILL YOUR Canadian Heavyweight Champion, Dino Bravo at 8:11. Bravo got his ass kicked by Volkoff and did not show much offense of any varying degree. Volkoff did most of the work, and that’s bad news for this match.
THE POST-GAME REPORT: This show sucked. Seeing Andre the Giant getting stretchered out of the arena was a pretty cool visual, as you did not see that happen much. That was probably the highlight of this show. We had hillbillies and fake Canadian titles all over the place. At least in 1985, you could still get a Tim Horton’s coffee without it smelling like a Whopper.