WWF Championship Wrestling
May 19, 1984
Your hosts are Gene Okerlund and Vince McMahon.
Vince and Gene run down the card that features Salvatore Bellomo vs. Paul Orndorff and Bob Orton vs. B. Brian Blair. The featured bout this week is Mr. Fuji vs. Bob Backlund.
Salvatore Bellomo vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
The crowd absolutely hates Orndorff. Piper is not present for this match. He stalls for a bit while taking off his coat then stomps Bellomo in the corner. Slam by Orndorff but he misses an elbow drop. Bellomo gets an armdrag then Orndorff bails. He takes his time before getting back into the ring. Bellomo catches him with another armdrag then grabs a headlock. Bellomo tries a sunset flip but Orndorff won’t go down. Orndorff punches Bellomo then drops an elbow as the crowd is screaming “Paula.” He drops another elbow, which the announcers proclaim landed on Bellomo’s throat, then beats on Bellomo some more. Backdrop by Orndorff, who then slams Bellomo’s face off of the mat. Orndorff stops a brief comeback then stomps on Bellomo in the corner. Orndorff acts nonchalantly and gets shoved into the corner. Bellomo lands a few dropkicks but gets caught with a clothesline and Orndorff finishes him off with an elbow drop for the win (5:53).
Thoughts: They continue to build up Orndorff by having him work his way up the card. His heat with the crowd is nuclear at this point. They hate him with a passion. Bellomo remains useless.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. Hulk Hogan is the subject. Vince tells us how popular Hogan is all over the world and even lets us know that he is referred to as “Ichiban” in Japan, which means “number one.” They show a clip of Hogan entering the ring, with the crowd going crazy. He was still using Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” as his theme song. Decent enough segment putting over Hogan as a major star.
“Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. B. Brian Blair
Vince says that this match is a “pick em,” meaning that it’s 50/50 as to who will win. That’s their way of making people believe that Blair has a chance. The two struggle to gain an advantage to start. Blair gets an armdrag and works the arm. He reverses a hiptoss attempt by Orton and goes back to the arm. Orton escapes then gets a slam followed by an elbow drop. He pounds on Blair in the corner and works a headlock for a bit. Blair eventually breaks out and takes Orton down with a shoulderblock but runs into a boot afterwards. Blair escapes a front facelock and drops Orton with a few punches. Slam by Blair but he misses an elbow drop. Orton goes for a suplex but Blair reverses and hits one of his own. He makes the cover but Orton puts him in a cradle and gets the win (5:52) **.
Thoughts: Solid TV match. Orton was one of the best workers in the WWF at this time and Blair, while dull and about as charismatic as a brick, was at least capable in the ring. They are booking Orton strong in his return. Blair is still in the lower midcard, which is right where he belongs.
“Dr. D” David Schultz vs. Billy Travis
Ring announcer Joe McHugh lets us know that this is the debut for Travis. Piper is not with Schultz tonight. Travis offers a handshake but Schultz slaps that away. Travis gets backed into the ropes and Schultz breaks cleanly. Schultz then gets a hiptoss and a front slam. He grounds Travis then hits him with a forearm smash. Schultz whips him against the ropes and catches him with a hammer that turns Travis inside-out. He convulses on the mat then gets knocked to the floor with a forearm smash when he gets up. Schultz suplexes him back into the ring then punches him in the face. He gets an ugly looking dropkick then chokes out Travis with his foot. Back suplex by Schultz who them picks him up for a slam. He goes to the second rope and drops the elbow for the win (5:27). Schultz yells that the same thing will happen to Hogan.
Thoughts: A very long squash match. Schultz looked good and Travis was a decent worker, despite getting in zero offense. He was short so he had no chance in the WWF but he did wrestle in Memphis for a while, teaming with Jarrett when he first started out. He died of a heart attack in 2002.
Piper’s Pit with Capt. Lou Albano. He reads a letter from Cyndi Lauper’s actual manager David Wolfe, asking Albano to stop stating that he is Lauper’s manager. Albano states that Wolfe is a liar and promises to have Lauper appear on the Pit next week. Another segment furthering along the Lauper/Albano angle. It worked well and is intriguing.
Butcher Vachon vs. Sgt. Slaughter
Terry Daniels, still in his Marine’s uniform, leads Slaughter to the ring. Sarge knocks down Vachon to start things off. Vachon comes back with a punch then rake the back and eyes of Slaughter. Freddie Blassie and the Iron Sheik are in the aisle as Slaughter takes down Vachon with an armdrag. Sarge is distracted and Vachon hits him from behind. Sarge fights back and gets a slam but sees that the Sheik kneed Daniels and ran backstage. Sarge goes out and checks on Daniels but gets counted out and Vachon celebrates the win (2:09). Sarge is pissed about that and runs in the ring and lays out Vachon then puts him in the Cobra Clutch.
Thoughts: Not much to this other than putting over the Sheik/Slaughter feud for the house shows. The crowd loves Slaughter and eats up everything he says. He was probably the second most popular babyface at this time, just behind Hogan.
They show a replay of the Sheik hitting Daniels an Okerlund goes over to interview Slaughter. He calls Sheik “maggot scum.” Okerlund then asks Slaughter the “Big question,” which is if Sheik actually hit Daniels, which is moronic seeing that we just saw the replay showing Daniels getting hit. Hell, he even mentioned it on commentary. I’m telling you, before he was the “Mean Gene” we all know and love, he was one of the worst announcers and interviewers ever. Seriously, he was awful, saying nothing of note besides the same generic phrases over and over again. Sarge closes the interview warning Sheik not to lay a hand on his recruit.
Lanny Kean vs. Bob Backlund
This is Kean’s debut. The announcers ask what happened to Fuji as Backlund is toying with Kean. Fireman’s carry by Backlund as they try to get word on what happened to Fuji. Armdrag by Backlund and Vince reads off a list of Fuji’s ailments including the flu, injured knee, and a groin pull. Kean gets a few knees but Backlund puts on the Chicken Wing for the win (2:40). After the match, Backlund goes over and helps Kean, rubbing his injured arm for him.
Thoughts: A nothing match but the crowd did react well to Backlund, who has been getting some boos since his return several weeks ago. His babyface act is very lame though.
Next week’s featured bout is a match for the tag-team titles with the champions Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas vs. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch. Also, Tito Santana and Jimmy Snuka will be in action.
Final Thoughts: Nice show. You had a good TV match and put over some good workers in squash matches. The Albano/Lauper angle is getting interesting too. Next week has a rare televised title-match, which will be fun to see.