Starrcade ’85 “The Gathering” is in the books and five new champions were crowned, including a new NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Dusty Rhodes. Two days later, we’re back in the TBS studios for another exciting edition of the Saturday night tradition, NWA World Championship Wrestling.
Continuing the chronological look back at the NWA/Jim Crockett Promotions’ run in the mid-late 80s, it’s time for Starrcade ’85 “The Gathering”. Our main event is a rematch from Starrcade ’84, NWA Champ Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes. However, perhaps the most anticipated match on the card is the I Quit steel cage battle for the U.S. Title between Tully Blanchard and Magnum T.A. Let’s roll…
December 28, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
In action this week are Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy. Also, Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, and the team of Tito Santana & Pedro Morales. Plus, “Piper’s Pit” and much more.
Spivey starts off with Lombardi and grabs a headlock. He and JYD work on the arm for a minute. Lombardi backs JYD into hs corner and he and Carabello double-team him briefly. JYD fights back and takes down Carabello with a clothesline. He puts him in a neck vise before tagging Spivey, who finishes him off with a bulldog (3:19). After the match, JYD invites a little girl with him in the ring to dance.
Thoughts: The really tried to make Spivey appear as a Barry Windham replacement, right down to using the same finishing move. Unfortunately for Spivey, the fans did not react to him at all when he was in the ring. JYD still had the feud with Terry Funk going on but did a ton of tag matches at this time.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. The subject this week was Paul Orndorff as they showed a clip of him beating a jobber.
Gary Starr vs. Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji
Vince and Bruno put over the card for “Saturday Night’s Main Event,” which features Randy Savage vs. George Steele. Muraco tosses Starr to the floor as the crowd starts a “beach bum” chant. He brings Starr back into the ring and roughs him up until he puts him away with the tombstone piledriver (3:03).
Thoughts: Not much happening here as the announcers were more focused on SNME than Muraco, which shows how far he has fallen down the card. It didnt help any that he was getting fatter and lazier, either.
Gene Okerlund is with Don Muraco and asks him about his plans for 1986. He says that people do not know about the injuries he has endured recently and talks about dealing with Hogan, Steamboat, and Uncle Elmer then starts joking around with Okerlund about how he showed him a “few broads,” which nearly has Gene drop his microphone. This leads to some dialogue about that comment until Muraco wishes us a happy new year.
A plug for the “Slammy Awards” ballot airs.
Pedro Morales & Tito Santana vs. Mr. X & Barry O.
Morlaes toys around with Barry as Freddie Blassie and Hercules interrupt the announcers about how everyone is afraid of him. Mr. X works over Tito briefly but gets put in the wrong corner. Pedro tags and catches Mr. X with a shot to the gut then hits a backbreaker. Tito tags and hits a shinbreaker before he makes him tap to the figure four (1:58).
Thoughts: Vince briefly put over the team of Vince & Pedro but most of the focus was on Hercules and how everyone is apparently afraid of him.
Okerlund is with Bruno Sammartino, who runs down Piper. They then show us a taped promo of Orndorff accepting Bruno’s offer to join him as they face Piper & Orton in Boston. That was one hot feud.
Tony Mateo & Sal Gee vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart
Vince lets us know that Corporal Kirchner will face Nikolai Volkoff at SNME to a “peace match.” The Anvil boots Gee to the floor, where he gets slammed by Brett. Mateo tags and the Anvil tosses him around. Brett tags and hits an elbow smash and a leg drop before tagging the Anvil, who hits a powerslam then pulls him up at the one count and shortly after that, they put Mateo away with the Hart Attack (2:46).
Thoughts: They put over the Hart Foundation really strong in the match. Mateo bumped like a motherfucker too.
Piper’s Pit with guest Mad Dog Vachon. Piper hilariously mocks Vachon for being high society and compares him to himself. Piper then asks him who will be the World Heavyweight Champion in 1986 and Vachon tells him that even though he is a good wrestler, he does not see anyone beating Hulk Hogan. Piper gets pissed and walks off the set. Well, Vachon’s prediction was correct.
Butcher Vachon vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Orndorff starts by working the arm as the announcers talk about Orndorff’s cast and if it is really necessary or not. He slams Vachon then hits an elbow smash off of the top rope before putting him away with the piledriver (2:32).
Thoughts: The cast angle was alright but the feud between him and Piper/Orton has been going on since the end of April and has about run it’s course.
“Leaping” Lanny Poffo gives a PSA warning us of the dangers caused by drinking and driving.
Another list of “Slammy Awards” nominees airs.
Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy vs. Jose Luis Rivera & S.D. Jones
S.D. tries and fails to slam Studd. Rivera tags and Studd tosses him in the corner as Vince plugs the SNME card, that will feature a year-end music video and an appearance from Hulk Hogan. Rivera continues to get destroyed as the announcers talk about the team of Studd & Bundy being the most dominate as Vince adds that he would like to see the British Bulldogs go up against them. Bundy tags and puts away Rivera with the Avalanche (3:31).
Thoughts: They are hyping up the giants as a dominate force as they head into the new year.
Okerlund is with Jimmy Hart and Terry Funk, who will be facing Pedro Morales in Boston. Funk talks about sometimes you have to put animals away. They leave as Blassie comes out with Sheik & Volkoff, who will be facing Corporal Kirchner & Junkyard Dog. Sheik cuts his typical rambling promo. Nothing special here.
Next week, Hercules Hernandez will be in action. Also, Terry Funk, Ricky Steamboat, the British Bulldogs, and more information on “Saturday Night’s Main Event” and the “Slammy Awards.”
Final Thoughts: Not much of a show. The main focus was putting over the next episode of SNME (which aired on 1/4/86 but was filmed on 12/19/85) and the Slammy Awards, as they focused little on putting over the wrestlers themselves. They are appearing to be setting up some new feuds as things have gotten stale the past month or so. Soon enough, we will be heading into the hype for WrestleMania 2.
December 21, 1985
Your hosts are Jesse Ventura (subbing for Bruno Sammartino) and Vince McMahon
In action tonight are Ricky Steamboat & King Tonga. Plus, The Dream Team and the in-ring debut of “The World’s Strongest Man” Ted Arcidi.
Butcher Vachon & Terry Gibbs vs. King Tonga & Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Steamboat takes Gibbs over with a hiptoss after a fast-paced Irish whip sequence. Hercules and Freddie Blassie join the booth as Steamboat works on the arm of Gibbs. Tonga tags as Steamboat slingshots him onto Gibbs as Hercules and Blassie complain about no one wanting to fight them. Tonga no-sells a turnbuckle smash then chops down Vachon in slow motion. Tonga hits a thrust kick then tags Steamboat, who puts him away with a flying body press (3:05). The end looked awful as Vachon seemed afraid to catch him.
Thoughts: Vachon had no business being in the ring at this point. The segment was desgined to get over Hercules more than Tonga & Steamboat.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week’s subject are the British Bulldogs and Capt. Lou Albano, who Hayes tells us is the missing piece for the Bulldogs to win the belts.
A commercial airs with Paul Orndorff for the “Hulkamania Workout Set.”
Greg Eberhart vs. Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart
Before the match, Funk gets into the face of a fan. The match starts with Funk chopping Eberhart against the ropes. He yells at him to get up then hits a suplex. He tosses him to the floor as Funk pretends that this is the Junkyard Dog. Back inside, Funk hits a leg drop then a reverse neckbreaker. He stomps him for a bit before making him submit to the sleeper while yelling “JYD” (2:29). After the match, Funk brands Eberhart several times.
Thoughts: Fun squash as Funk prenteding the jobber was JYD made it entertaining. The fans hated Funk with a passion. For those wondering, Eberhart was African-American
Gene Okerlund is with Adrian Adonis. Okerlund is surprised by his new hairstyle and blond color. Adonis says when he changes, he changes completely. Okerlund asks him about his tour of Australia as he jokes about putting a Koala Bear in a microwave. Okerlund then asks him about the “Adorable” name as Adonis says that he is going to the top then leaves after wishing us all a “gay new year.” As the segment ends, Okerlund says that he always wants to make sure that he is behind Adonis. They are very slowly and carefully turning Adonis into the flamboyant “Adorable” character, with him acting a little bit more flamboyant each week. For this interview, he dressed similar to what he always wore at this time.
Another plug for the “Slammy Award” ballot.
Jim Powers & “Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. The Dream Team w/ Johnny Valiant
For the first time on TV, Poffo reads a poem before the match. It was about The Dream Team as Poffo insulted Beefcake a few times. Valentine takes down Poffo, who bridges up and hits a dropkick. Valentine catches him with a clothesline then tags Beefcake, who hammers away. Poffo fights back and tags Powers but he gets attacked immediately then gets pinned with a jumping knee smash (1:11).
Thoughts: Really short match that put over the tag champs strong.
Mean Gene is with Bruno Sammartino, who talks about teaming up with Paul Orndorff against Bob Orton & Roddy Piper in Boston on January 11th. Bruno then promises that both Orton and Piper will be left bloddied in the ring. He closes by speaking in Italian.
Gary Starr vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth
On her way to the ring, someone hands Elizabeth a bouquet of flowers, which sets off Randy. He yells at her then tosses the flowers to the floor. He yells at her for another minute then attacks Starr from behind. He hits a suplex then puts him away with the flying elbow smash (0:22). After the match, he hits two more elbow smashes as Vince calls Savage a “jerk” on commentary.
Thoughts: This was the strongest they have had Savage play the unstable, abusive boyfriend at this point. The fans hated him even more after the match. Man, Savage, Funk, and Piper, they might have had three of the best heels in the business in 1985.
Piper’s Pit with guest Dr. Threwball. Piper asks him about Orton’s arm injury being more than a hairline fracture as Piper completely ignored and misntrepeted what the doctor was saying, which was that the cast should not have been on longer than six weeks. Not a bad segment and it was short enough because any longer, this would have completely died with the crowd.
Mario Mancini vs. “World’s Strongest Man” Ted Arcidi
Arcidi easily overpowers Mancini to start. He hits a slam, which looked awful, then picks him up in a bearhug before tossing him aside. He slams him with one hand then drops an elbow. The fans start a boring chant as Arcidi makes him submit to the bodybreaker (2:07).
Thoughts: A really bad debut for Arcidi, who was just terrible in the ring. He moved way too slow and everything he did looked terrible.
Paul Orndorff gives us a PSA on making sure you start off your day with a good breakfast.
Another plug for the “Slammy Award” ballot.
Mr. X & Joe Mirto vs. Cousin Junior & Hillbilly Jim
Jesse rags on the Hillbillies on commentary. Jim places Mr. X on the turnbuckle then yanks him off by the arm. He tags Junior who works a side headlock on the mat. Mr. X fires away then tags Mirto but Junior fights right back then tags Jim, who runs wild. He boots down Mirto then tags Junior, who puts him away with a sitdown splash (2:09). After the match, Vince gives us instructions on how to dance like Cousin Junior then lets out a loud “YEEEEHAAAAWWWWW” as Junior busts a move.
Thoughts: Another match to put over the Hillbillies, who were still feuding with Jesse and Piper at this time and would meet at the next “Saturday Night’s Main Event” that aired January 4th. No mention of that match here though.
Okerlund is with Freddie Blassie, who is holding a wad of cash that he says is for Sheik & Volkoff’s Christmas presents. He then says that they will put away Corporal Kirchner and the Junkyard Dog in Boston. Randy Savage then comes out and says that he will take the belt from Tito Santana in Boston on January 11th. He says that not just Boston but the entire world is “Macho Man Country” then calls out Elizabeth and has her tell Tito Santana to say goodbye to his belt. Savage was great here.
Vince apologizes on behalf of Savage for how he treated Elizabeth before his match as Jesse refuses to agree with him. In action next week are the Hart Foundation, Paul Orndorff, Danny Spivey & Junkyard Dog, Don Muraco, Paul Orndorff, and King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd.
Final Thoughts: A decent enough show. Savage was easily the star tonight and Funk was solid in his match too. They continued to really push the “Slammy Awards” and continued the evolution of Adonis into his “Adorable” Persona. The lack of a Heavyweight Title feud has been really noticeable as Hogan as not been on TV in a while to promote his house show matches. Hell, they even had Orndorff in the “Hulkamania Workout” commercial instead of Hogan himself. Anyway, the end of the year is always slow in the WWF but they do appear to be setting up some feuds and pushing other talents heading into 1986.
Final Thoughts: Standard show I suppose. There wasnt any major feuds going on at this time. The Piper/Orndorff stuff was starting to really run out of gas as it has been going on for the past several months. Tito vs. Jesse was good out of the ring but their matches sucked, due to Jesse being useless in the ring at this point of his career. No Savage or Funk makes for a much less exciting show.
November 30, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
In action tonight are Ricky Steamboat & King Tonga in tag team action. Also, the British Bulldogs, King Kong Bundy, and the TV debut of Hercules Hernandez.
Ricky Steamboat & King Tonga vs. Joe Mirto & Barry O.
Ricky and Barry work a nice little sequence to start. Steamboat works an armbar until Barry breaks that up with a thumb to the eye. Suplex gets one. Neckbreaker gets one. Steamboat floats over and hits an atomic drop. Mirto tags and they work on his arm. Tonga gets a nearfall on a leg drop then puts him away with a diving headbutt (3:49).
Thoughts: Solid action. Tonga showed more here than at any point of his singles run since his debut. The crowd loves Steamboat.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week, Hayes shows us a clip of JYD winning the “Wrestling Classic” PPV Tournament.
Mario Mancini vs. Hercules Hernandez w/ Freddie Blassie
Hercules overpowers Mancini to start. He then beats on him with forearm smashes while stopping to pose and jaw at the crowd. He drops Mancini throat-first across the top rope then catches him with a backbreaker before making him tap out to the backbreaker rack (2:37).
Thoughts: The commentators put over Hercules strength and physique throughout the match. He was very slow and lumbering but didn’t look too bad in tossing around Mancini, who barely weighed 200 lbs. Not the most electrifying debut I have ever seen.
Gene Okerlund is with Capt. Lou Albano, who says he had seven turkeys for Thanksgiving. Albano puts over his stable, specifically his newest team, the British Bulldogs. Okerlund says that they could be the next champs as Albano puts him over. Albano then talks about his work with Multiple Sclerosis alongside Cyndi Lauper as “St. Elmo’s Fire” plays in the background.
Gino Carabello & Steve Lombardi vs. Corporal Kirchner & “Leaping” Lanny Poffo
Lanny looks very happy coming down the aisle. Bruno works a backhanded compliment aimed at Poffo, stating that his talent in poetry is so much that he shouldn’t even be in wrestling. Lombardi backs Poffo into the corner and bites his head. Poffo takes him out with a hiptoss then goes to work. Kirchner tags and works over both guys until he puts away Carabello with a Samoan Drop (2:07).
Thoughts: The pairing of Carabello & Poffo was quite odd. Anyway, the match was nothing and the crowd didn’t care as Poffo was a nobody and Kirchner never got over.
Mean Gene is now plugging the “Wrestling Holiday Spectacular” on December 26th in Providence, RI. He then brings out Jimmy Hart and Terry Funk, who will be facing Junkyard Dog at the event. Funk is pissed that JYD embarrased him by taking over Hart’s pants then calls Gene a “pervert” who would like to have his pants removed. God, Funk was great in 1985.
Tony Garea vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Elizabeth
Savage attacks Garea after he held the ropes open for Elizabeth when she left the ring. He beats the shit out of him then jumps outside and berates her before going back inside. Garea catches him with a shot to the midsection as he comes off the top ropes then gets a few nearfalls until Savage runs him into the ropes after a reverse rollup attempt then gets the win with a flying elbow smash (1:29). After the match, Savage tears up some fan signs then yells at Elizabeth while they head up the aisle.
Thoughts: Savage was great as a dickhead heel here. He had the crowd seething over the way he treated Elizabeth. Typical Garea squash match in which he gets a majority of the offense and loses only after he made a mistake. He was the worst.
Piper’s Pit with guest Ted Arcidi. Before he comes out, Piper smacks off a Hogan action figure from his chair and replaces it with one of himself. Arcidi is billed as the strongest power lifter ever. Piper runs down his accolades as Arcidi is trying to get over as a heel but is just awful on the mic. He then closes by lifting the table over his head. A waste of time as Arcidi was terrible and had no presence at all on camera.
King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Jim Young & Gary Starr
Bundy brushes off both guys, who try and fail to take down Bundy as Bruno is making fun of their techniques on commentary. Bundy tosses both guys into the corner and hits the avalanche before dropping the elbow on Starr and scoring the pin with a five-count (1:55).
Thoughts: They are building Bundy back up as the indestructible monster, this time with handicapped matches. The crowd reacted more to Heenan than Bundy though.
A clip of “Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestlin'” airs, with Nikolai Volkoff upset over the ballet.
Mr. X & Rusty Brooks vs. British Bulldogs w/ Capt. Lou Albano
The Bulldogs toss Mr. X to the floor then Davey hits Brooks with a powerslam and tags Dynamite, who puts him away with the flying headbutt (0:26).
Thoughts: Extremely short and seeing how they segued right into the next segment, it was designed to make sure they could fit that into the show. It was a bit funny how they plugged the video airing next week right before the match started though. I guess they tried to surprise the fans with a quick match.
The “Land of 1,000 Dances” video airs. I included the video below for those who have not seen this before.
Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Thoughts: Muraco was a total slug here as Steamboat did all of the heavy lifting. The match itself was plodding and slow. The post match brawl was awesome and worth checking out but the match itself was not.
Mr. Wrestling II vs. Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart
Thoughts: Mr. Wrestling II could still go in the ring at his age. Funk kept the match fun and it did not drag, which is more than I can say about every other match on the card. I wonder if he specifically asked to face Mr.Wrestling because he came over when they bought out Georgia Championship Wrestling but stayed on the smaller house shows and rarely ever did TV.
Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy & Bobby Heenan vs. Hillbilly Jim & Andre the Giant & Capt. Lou Albano
Andre starts by putting Studd in a side headlock. He then chops Studd in the corner before tagging Jim. He headbutts him then goes for the slam but Heenan breaks that up as the $15,000 bodyslam challenge gimmick was still going on at the time. Bundy tags and roughs up Jim until he is able to tag Andre. The crowd goes nuts as Andre chokes Bundy with his straps. Bundy escapes and works a front facelock then Andre gets triple-teamed in the corner. Bundy grounds Andre with a front facelock, who eventually makes it to his feet. He fights back against Studd then tags Jim, who beats on him in the corner. Studd catches him with an elbow then slams him into the corner as he and Bundy neutralize him. Heenan tags and beats on Jim, who fights back and tags Andre, who fights off everyone and drags Heenan back inside then tags Albano. They have a shoving match then Albano gains the advantage and sends Heenan into the corner. Studd and Andre tag in but the referee says that Heenan needs to stay into the ring and make contact before tagging out, which even Gorilla says makes no sense and accuses the ref of making up his own rules. They lure Andre in the corner but he fights them off and rams all three guys at the same time. The match breaks down as Albano whips Heenan at Andre, who takes him down with a boot and gets the win (12:18) *1/4.
Thoughts: Not that bad considering the ability of the guys in the match. The fans loved seeing Heenan get pinned and the bout did a great job of sending the fans home happy.
Final Thoughts: Not a good show at all but for historical purposes, I would check out the Women’s title match. Beyond that, there is nothing worth checking out.
November 23, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
In action tonight are Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, and Terry Funk. Also in action are Hillbilly Jim & Cousin Junior and the Dream Team. Plus a women’s battle royal and “Piper’s Pit” with guest King Tonga
A.J. Petruzzi & Mr. X vs. Cousin Junior & Hillbilly Jim
Vince goes nuts over Cousin Junior’s jig. Match starts with Junior fucking up a spot when he fell down after a leapfrog over Mr. X. Jim tags and slaps Petruzzi in a headlock. The hillbillies use quick tags to neutralize Petruzzi then Jim makes him submit to the bearhug (3:23).
Thoughts: The match was awful and the crowd didnt care until the finish, which was rare with the Hillbillies but the act was really starting to get old. Uncle Elmer was not present for the match.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes, who shows us a clip of the Rolls Royce winner from the Wrestling Classic PPV. He said that he is going to “tool around” in the car. The winner wasn’t much of a talker.
Mike Saxon vs. Don Muraco
This match is joined in progress. Muraco picks up Saxon and rams him off of the turnbuckle before sending him outside. Muraco got really big since the last TV taping, with the announcer’s even commenting about his weight. The fans boo him as he destroys Saxon and Muraco puts him out of his misery with the tombstone (2:12) shown.
Thoughts: Muraco could still go at this point but he was really getting big and starting to slow down and shortly after this, deteriorated rapidly.
Gene Okerlund is plugging the December 7th Boston Garden show. Piper comes out and cuts a promo on his opponent, Bruno Sammartino, and proceeds to rag on him and the city of Boston. Piper called himself the “legend killer” at one point too. Good stuff by Roddy.
The Dream Team w/ Johnny Valiant vs. Sal Gee & Rick Hunter
Hunter kicks Valentine off of a lockup but that just pisses off the Hammer and he takes him down. Tag to Brutus and he goes to work on the arm. Hunter makes the tag to Gee after a minute but he gets destroyed. Brutus slams him then they hit a double elbow smash before Valentine submits him to the figure four (2:52). Valentine keeps the hold on after the bell for an extra minute or so.
Thoughts: The Dream Team were looking pretty good at this point but with Windham leaving the company, they were without a feud at the moment. Luckily, the WWF was building up the tag ranks at the time.
Okerlund is with Randy Savage, who talks about his match in Boston against Ricky Steamboat. Savage was fucking hilarious at the beginning, asking Okerlund if he referred to Steamboat as the “Steamer.” He then cuts a promo on Steamboat that he is the best and not to be discouraged when he loses and to keep his confidence up and has a better chance crawling through the eye of a sewing needle than beating him as “St. Elmo’s Fire” plays in the background. Great interview by Savage. I tried to find it on YouTube for you guys to see but I was unsuccessful.
The Menace vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Orndorff comes out wearing a cast to mock Bob Orton. He starts smashing it against the turnbuckle when he enters the ring. He starts by working the arm of the Menace then takes him to the mat. The Menace rakes the eyes but fails on a slam attempt and Orndorff hits a back suplex. Orndorff then whips him against the ropes and decks the Menace on the back of the head with his cast for the win (2:06). After the match, Orndorff hits the cast against the turnbuckle some more.
Thoughts: Orndorff was pretty funny in mocking Orton with the cast. Even as a face, Orndorff wrestled exactly like he did as a heel. The crowd dug him though.
Piper’s Pit with guest King Tonga. This took place immediately after the Orndorff bout, with Piper yelling at Orndorff for cheating and for mocking Orton. They go split-screen, with Orndorff in the ring, as Orndorff tells Piper that his arm as just as broke as Orton’s, driving the heels nuts. Piper wants Orndorff to prove that his arm is broke as Orndorff invites him as his “girlfriend to come down to the ring but Piper says people come to them as Orndorff heads in their direction but they abruptly end the interview and flee backstage with Orndorff screaming how he wants both Piper and Orton anytime, any place. Good segment to keep the feud going, which was starting to get a bit stale.
Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Gary Starr
Starr dodges an attack, which makes Funk even angrier. He kills Starr with chops agaisnt the ropes for a minute. Starr hooks the ropes to dodge an attack then makes Funk chase him but he gets destroyed by several headbutts then puts him away with a vertical suplex (2:18). After the match, Funk drags Starr back into the ring and holds him down so Hart can brand him.
Thoughts: Funk squash matches were always awesome because they were different and he would always let his opponent do something in the match.
We now get a clip of “Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” cartoon with JYD creating his own “jiving” robot as Andre the Giant looks on.
Womens Battle Royal
Donna Christiantello, Judy Martin, Jeanne Kirkland, Linda Gonzalez, The Spider Lady, Fabulous Moolah, Wendi Richter
I think it was Leilani Kai as the Spider Lady here. Lots of fugly chicks in this match. Martin and Moolah double-team Richter to start. Not much going on but the action looks competent at least. Christiantello is eliminated first after being dropkicked over the top rope by Kirkland. The Spider Lady eliminates Gonzalez with a monkey flip then she gets tossed by Kirkland. The heels (Moolah & Martin) end up being pushed into each other but regain control shortly after that. Moolah tosses Kirkland but ends up being accidentally dropkicked by Martin. Richter tries to toss Moolah but Martin comes over and dumps them both and the bell rings, but they say that Richter landed on the apron, which was clearly not the case at all. Richter fucked up badly there. Martin stomps here as the kids in the crowd start a chant for Wendi. Moolah holds Wendi as Martin charges but Wendi ends up sending her over the ropes with a backdrop for the win (5:28).
Thoughts: The match fell apart when Richter botched her spot and clearly landed on the floor. The crowd didn’t buy that at all, except for a few kids in the crowd. This was Wendi’s last TV match that she wrestled in too. Overall though, the match was going along fine until the screw-up near the end.
Okerlund is with Steamboat, who calls Savage a fine athlete and thinks that Savage has Elizabeth out there to distract his opponents. He leaves and Bruno comes out and says that he hates Piper and does not care if he makes fun of him but will destroy him after Piper called him a “stupid wop.” Bruno closes by speaking in Italian.
Next week, King Kong Bundy will be here. Also, Ricky Steamboat & King Tonga, British Bulldogs, Corporal Kirchner and Randy Savage plus the debut of Hercules Hernandez.
Final Thoughts: A fun show. The Piper/Orndorff segment was good and we had some decent interviews too. Funk continues to shine as a heel and Muraco and the Dream Team looked good in the ring as well. They are also starting to build up feuds for 1986, which will be nice to see develop. The WWF had an impressive roster at this time, that’s for sure.
November 9, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
Tonight, Hulk Hogan will be in action. Also in action are Uncle Elmer & Hillbilly Jim, The Hart Foundation, The British Bulldogs, Paul Orndorff, and Big John Studd. Plus, “Piper’s Pit” with the Junkyard Dog as the guest.
Darryl Bowlin & Joe Mirto vs. Hillbilly Jim & Uncle Elmer
Mirto and Jim shove each other around until Jim hits an elbow smash. Jim blocks a punch and slams Mirton before tagging Elmer. Bowlin tags and bounces off Elmer a few times. Elmer slams Bowlin then hits a corner splash before tagging Jim, who catches Bowlin in the bearhug for the win (2:06).
Thoughts: Same routine with the Hillbillies. Vince was even more enthusiastic than usual on commentary.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. It is another update for the “Wrestling Album” as they show a clip of the “Land of a 1,000 Dances” video.
Sal Gee vs. Big John Studd w/ Bobby Heenan & King Kong Bundy
Gee gets tossed repeatedly after attempting to slam Studd. The crowd goes nuts as Andre the Giant and Capt. Lou Albano come out and speak with Vince. Andre challenges Bundy & Studd to a match and promises to get even with them then leaves. Studd roughs up Gee as a “weasel” chant breaks out then Studd finishes Gee with an elbow drop (2:37). After the match, Studd holds Gee legs as Bundy delivers a splash.
Thoughts: The feud between Andre and Heenan’s men continues. Andre was incredibly popular at this time. Whenever he appeared to the crowd, they went crazy .
Gene Okerlund is with JYD, who hypes his match against Terry Funk at the Boston Garden. JYD hissing like an “alley cat” was pretty funny but nothing else stood out about the interview.
Mr. X & The Menace vs. British Bulldogs
Before the match, Finkel introduces Capt. Lou Albano as the new manager of the Bulldogs. The Menace is a masked guy and I have no idea who he is. Mr. X hits Dynamite with a shouler block to start. Dynamite comes back with a monkey flip then both men tag out. Davey hits a flying shoulder tackle before applying a chinlock. The Menace comes back with a dropkick but Davey takes control and he and Dynamite take turns beating on him until Dynamite puts him away with a superplex (2:36).
Thoughts: The crowd dug Albano being announced as the manager of the Bulldogs but didnt really seem too much into the match until the finish. With Windham officially gone from the company due to burnout, Albano was paired up with the Bulldogs.
Mean Gene was with Ricky Steamboat, who is irate at Muraco and Fuji for spraying stuff in the eyes. Steamboat cut some ridiculously over-the-top promos in the WWF and this was one of them.
“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. The Gladiator
The Gladiator is jobber Rick Hunter under a mask. Orndorff shoves the Gladiator after they break then dropkicks him out of the ring. Back inside, Orndorff takes him down with a drop toehold then knocks him over the ropes after he tried to rip off his mask. The Gladiator works a side headlock when he re-enters the ring but Orndorff escapes then goes back to the mask. After dodging a corner charge, Orndorff hits an elbow smash from the top rope before putting the Gladiator away with a piledriver (3:36).
Thoughts: I always thought how it was funny that Orndorff essentially wrestled the same way as a heel than a face. Anyway, he was really over here as the fans are digging his alliance with Hogan.
Piper’s Pit with guest the Junkyard Dog. JYD doesnt trust Piper, who asks him to “give him some skin” and refers to him as “Cream” before mocking him about his “Grab Them Cakes” song. JYD sits there and smiles as Piper offers his butt to JYD for a squeeze as he asks who would listen to his song,with the fans going crazy. Good segment by Piper, who got the crowd going.
Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Jimmy Jackson & Steve Gatorwolf
Gatorwolf was a lame Jay Strongbow substitute but actually had a legitimate fighting background. Anyway he briefly works the arm of Neidhart before tagging out. The Anvil whips Jackson towards Bret, who hits him with a dropkick. The Harts take turns beating the shit out of Jackson until they put him away with the Hart Attack (2:20).
Thoughts: Impressive showing, with Jimmy Hart doing a great job at pissing off the crowd too. The Hart’s were starting to build a little bit of momentum.
Rusty Brooks vs. Hulk Hogan
As Hogan enters the ring, Randy Savage appears on the apron and Elizabeth asks Hogan why he does not face anyone with credentials. As this happens, Brooks attacks Hogan from behind. Hogan quickly fights back and hits a clothesline. He then slams Brooks before putting him away with a leg drop (0:36). After the match, Savage attacks Hogan from behind then as Hogan fights back, Savage bails. Hogan then begs Savage to come back inside and when he leaves, he poses before leaving himself.
Thoughts: The potential Hogan/Savage feud was promising and they wrestled at house shows for the next few months.
Terry Funk and Jimmy Hart cut a promo on JYD regarding their match at the Boston Garden. A great promo, not only by Funk but also Jimmy Hart, who threatened to scratch out JYD’s eyeballs.
Next week, JYD & Tony Atlas & Mike Rotundo team up. Also the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Vokoff and Bruno Sammartino will team up with his son, David.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a solid show. Hogan made an extremely rare TV appearance and it set up his feud with Savage. Also, they continued the Andre vs. Heenan Family Feud, aligned Albano with the British Bulldogs, and did a great job hyping the Funk vs. JYD match at the Boston Garden. Plus, they continued to strengthing their tag team division too. The WWF was actually a solid in-ring product at this point, with some really strong heel acts.