April 27th, 1985
Your hosts are Dick Graham and Gorilla Monsoon
Tonight, Hulk Hogan defends the WWF Heavyweight Championship against Paul Orndorff. Plus, a tag team battle royal featuring ten teams for the chance to win $50,000. This card also features the first tag team match between the Hart Foundation and the British Bulldogs.
Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart & Brett Hart vs. British Bulldogs
Jimmy Hart is not present for this match. The ring announcer also calls refers to Bret as the “Hitman” for the first time I have heard in the WWF. Dynamite and Bret start off with a lockup. Brett complains about a hairpull as Gorilla notes that Bret has had a recent change of attitude and says that the money offered from Jimmy Hart has changed him. Davey tags and Brett works a hammerlock until Davey uses his momentum to send him to the floor. Back in the ring, they have a rollup reversal sequence then Brett tags out. Davey hits the Anvil with a pair of hip tosses then Bret tags. He catches Davey’s foot but gets nailed with an enziguiri and the fans pop as Brett ducks outside. Back in, Dynamite hits a snap suplex but Anvil breaks up the pin. Brett catches Dynamite with a running knee smash then he and the Anvil double-team him. Neidhart works a chinlock for a minute then breaks and spits towards Davey on the apron, which angers the crowd. Dynamite catches Bret with a backslide but that Bret holds him up while Neidhart hits him with a dropkick. Dynamite catches the Anvil with a dropkick and after a struggle is aboe to make the tag but the referee did not see it and Davey goes back to the apron. Bret slams Dynamite on the floor then Anvil works another chinlock in the ring. Brett tags and Dynamite flips out of a side slam attempt and hits Brett with a backbreaker then tags Davey. He runs wild on both men, showing off his power and speed with the crowd going crazy, but gets outnumbered. Brett drops an elbow then beats on Davey in the corner. Anvil tags and pounds away on Davey. The match slows way down as Brett uses a nerve hold on Davey. However, the crowd gets behind Davey and he ducks a clothesline and hits an atomic drop as both men are down. Both guys thenget up only to collide. Brett takes control and Davey is now getting destroyed in the corner. Davey gets tossed outside but he is able to reverse an Irish whip and send Bret into the guardrail. Davey fights Neidhart on the apron and slingshots in with a sunset flip but is unable to get him over. Bret tags and goes up top but gets tossed off and Davey climibs up and hits a missie dropkick before tagging Dynamite. He runs wild on Brett until Neidhart attacks him from behind. After a minute, Dynamite hits Bret with a tombstone but Anivl breaks it up. Davey tags and hits a running powerslam before tagging right back out. The Bulldogs use quick tags to attack Brett but Anvil makes the save and tags himself into the match. Brett comes back in and the bell rings, signaling a time-limit draw (20:00) ***.
Thoughts: Good match but not the best from these two teams. It was slow at times but there was a lot of moves by the Bulldogs that were not usually seen on WWF shows. Brett (Yes, it is spelled like that here) continues to show little personality in the ring. His complaining of a hairpull was the most animated I have seen him in the WWF at this point.
Tito Santana & David Sammartino vs. Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake w/Luscious Johnny Valiant
Sammartino and Beefcake start things out. Sammartino gets a hiptoss and a press slam. Beefcake tries to bail and gets decked by Tito. He is able to regroup outside as David tries to ignite the crowd. Valentine tries to go in but the referee orders Beefcake back into the ring. He hits Samamrtino with a tag before tagging out. Valentine misses an elbow then Tito tags in but Valentine immediately bails. He stalls outside the ring then teases a confrontation with Tito before tagging out. Sammartino tags back in and Beefcake works a headlock. Sammartino catches him with a slam then works the arm. Tito tags and also works the arm but decides to attack Valentine on the apron. Valentine runs in and Tito continues to fire away and the heels briefly regroup. Tito puts Beefcake in a headlock then stomps away. Samamrtino tags and works the arm but Beefcake backs him into the corner and hammers away. Beefcake slams him and tags Valentine, who targets the back. He uses a reverse chinlock as this crowd is surprisngly dead for this match. The heels use quick tags to neutralize Sammartino, who tries to fight back and finally makes the tag. Tito goes right after Valentine and beats the shit out of him as the crowd slowly awakes. Valentine gets his knee up on a splash attempt then chokes out Tito. Valiant slips something to Valentine and he hits Tito with a back suplex. He tries for the figure four but Tito shoves him into Beefcake, who falls off the apron. Valentine yells at Beefcake to get up then Tito uses a reverse rollup to score the win (11:04) **.
Thoughts: This was really dull at times but the stuff between Tito and Valentine was fun. Tito would really lay into Valentine with his punches.
Roddy Piper & “Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. George Wells & S.D. Jones
Piper and Orton stall to start then attack from behind. The faces come right back and double team Piper briefly but Orton comes off the rope and hits Jones on the back of the neck with his cast and Piper covers for the win (2:24) DUD.
Thoughts: Barely a match and the crowd did not even buy the finish. I did not get the point of making this match so short, especially considering the length of the other matches on the card.
Kal Rudman is backstage with the Tag Team Champions, Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik. Nikolai runs down the United States for inflation as the Sheik rants about winning the prize. Rudman then asks them about Piper & Orton stating their plan of hiding in the corner and waiting until everyone else beats each other up then throwing out the last team. Volkoff then goes on about Russia having more gold medals than any other country. Rudman was pretty good, actually. If you dont know who he is, Rudman was the host of “Friday Morning Quarterback” in Philadelphia and apparently was a huge philanthropist. I know this because BoD commenter Adam B. posted that on a previous review that I wrote. Thank you, Adam.
Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff vs. Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo
This is a non-title match. Windham and Rotundo run down and attack the champs as they sing their national anthems. The crowd pops huge for that. The “U-S-A” chants rain down before Sheik and Windham start the match. Windham ducks a punch and Sheik goes over the top rope. Back inside, Sheik gets double-teamed and the action is all fast-faced. Volkoff holds up Windham but he escapes and Sheik takes him off the apron with a dropkick. Volkoff tags into the match and Windham rolls him up for two. Rotundo tags but Volkoff grabs his hair and backs him ino the corner. Rotundo is able to duck a charge and tags Windham. He works the arm of Nikolai for a minute but Volkoff escapes and targets the knee. Sheik tags and hits a backdrop then puts on an abdominal stretch. Windham takes him over but misses an elbow drop. Sheik gets two off a gutwrench suplex. After a struggle, Windham hits a delayed vertical suplex as both men are down. Both men then collide and are down again. Volkoff tags but so does Rotundo and he runs wild. He hits a dropkick then slams Volkoff for two. They work another collision spot then trade pinfalls. Rotundo jumps on Volkoff’s back and puts on a sleeper. Volkoff shakes him off then climbs up top and hits an axe handle. He works on Rotundo in the corner but Rotundo fights back and covers but Sheik breaks it up then the match breaks down. Volkoff misses a running knee smash in the corner then Rotundo rolls him up for the win (14:07) **3/4.
Thoughts: Solid match. These two teams always had good chemistry too. Its clear that the feud between them will continue.
Kal Rudman is here to introduce us to the new “Rock ‘n’ Roll Connection” music video. Holy shit was this song corny. The odd thing about the video, which was all clips of matches and entrances, is that guys that hadnt been in the WWF for several months, like Buzz Sawyer and the Freebirds, were featured throughout the video. Some of the fans shown are really something else.
Charlie Fulton & Moondog Spot vs. Ricky Steamboat & Jimmy Snuka
Spot and Steamboat start things off. Steamboat hits a bunch of chops on then Fulton tags and gets taken down after trying to land a cheap shot off of a break. Snuka tags and works the arm and Fulton is able to reach for a tag. Gorilla lets us know that Moondog Rex has a knee injury that will keep him on the :injured-disabled list” as Fulton tags back in and works a side headlock. Thwy work a criss-cross and that ends with Snuka landing his trademark chop. Steamboat tags and works the arm for a long time. Steamboat runs into a clothesline but rolls away from an elbow drop and goes back to work on the arm. They work a criss-cross spot and Steamboat tags Sunka, who armdrags Fulton and goes to work on the arm. This match is dragging as Graham notices that Snuka looks “beefed up.” Fulton knocks down Snuka then nearly breaks his neck when it looked like Snuka was supposed to roll away from a knee drop and his back lands on the neck of Snuka. Fulton gets slammed shortly after that then in a cool spot, Snuka tags Steamboat and slingshots him in with a splash that gets two. Fulton hits a poor excuse of an inverted atomic drop then tags Spot. The action picks up as Spot goes to work on Steamboat. Steamboat is able to make the tag but the ref did not see it happen then doesnt see Fulton tag in but allows that. Steamboat gets backdropped then Spot tags and hits a gutbuster. The ref allows another blind tag as Fulton works a headlock as the crowd grows restless. Steamboat get the crowd back into the match a bit by kicking his feet on the mat but ends up getting double-teamed in the corner. Spot and Steamboat collide as both men are down. Steamboat hits a suplex but Spot is still able to tag. The heels use quick tags to neutralize Steamboat in the corner but Steamboat fights back and makes the tag. Snuka headbutts the heels then Steamboat flies of the top witth a bodypress on Fulton for the win (16:09) *1/2.
Thoughts: This was way too long. Fulton, who was usually competent in the ring, had a really bad match. Snuka couldnt move around much either. Spot and Steamboat worked well together at least.
Kal Rudman is with Hulk Hogan. He mentions how Hogan is on the cover of “Sports Illustrated” then suggests that he might even be on the cover of “Rolling Stone” holding his base guitar. Hogan calls Rudman “Killer Kal” then mentions how they both live in the fast-lane as Hogan brings up how Orndorff embarrased himself and his team at WrestleMania. He also brings up how Orndorff fired his manager and that he will beat him up in the middle of the ring by himself. Even the faces are burying Orndorff for choking at WrestleMania.
WWF Heavyweight Championship Match
“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. Hulk Hogan (Champion)
Hogan received a few boos here from the crowd. Orndorff gets right up in the face of the referee after a lockup. Hogan gets the crowd to start a “Paula” chant, which pisses off Orndorff. He attacks Hogan from behind and runs his face aganist the ring rope. Orndorff taunts the fans then Hogan fights back and rams his head off the turnbuckle repeatedly. Orndorff takes a timeout in the corner then ducks outside. He continues to stall, pissing off the crowd in the process. He finally re-enters the ring and Hogan puts him in a headlock. He takes Orndorff down with a shoulderblock then hits a back suplex. He clotheslines Orndorff in the corner then get two off of a backbreaker. He applies a chinlock as the crowd starts another “Paula” chant. Orndorff catches Hogan with a knee then goes to work. He hits a suplex then drops a knee but that only gets two. Hogan hulks up and knocks down Orndorff. He then dodges a charge in the corner then hits the leg drop for the win (10:06) *1/2. After the match, Orndorff extends his hand in a gesture of respect but Hogan looks confused about what to do. The fans are teling him no then Hogan reluctantly shakes his hand and the crowd goes nuts as Hogan is in shock that nothing happened to him. Orndorff leaves as Hogan poses in the ring.
Thoughts: This was mostly stalling but at least it was somewhat entertaining. The handshake deal at the end was unexpected at this time, especially since Orndorff was being portrayed as not trusting anyone since losing at WrestleMania.
Mel Phillips runs down the next card at the Spectrum show, which will take place on May 25th. Matches include Charlie Fulton vs. Swede Hanson, Bob Bradley vs. Johnny Rodz, Spoiler vs. Salvatore Bellomo, Big John Studd vs. Rocky Johnson, Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff vs. Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham for the Tag-Team Championship, and the main event of Hulk Hogan vs. Ken Patera for the WWF Heavyweight Championship.
$50,000 Tag Team Battle Royal
Brett Hart & Jim Neidhart, British Bulldogs, Roddy Piper & Bob Orton, Tito Santana & David Sammartino, George Wells & S.D. Jones, Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik, Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham, Charlie Fulton & Moondog Spot, Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake, Ricky Steamboat & Jimmy Snuka
The rules here are that you and you partner are eliminated if you get tossed over the top rope and land on the floor. During the ring introductions, Sheik & Volkoff and Windham & Rotundo brawled on the floor and continue when the bell rings then the ref disqualifies both teams. Steamboat almost has Piper eliminated but Valentine makes the save. Hart gets double-teamed by Snuka and Steamboat then Beefcake eliminates Santana for the first over the top rope elimination. Piper accidentally hits Orton when Snuka ducks a punch. Snuka goes towards Piper but Orton is able to make the save. Beefcake charges at Snuka then gets dumped to the floor and eliminated. It looked bad as Beefcake’s leg landed on the steps and he easily could have went back into the ring but instead rolled off and landed on the floor. Davey Boy eliminates Brett then Piper eliminates the Dynamite Kid. Orton and Piper thought they eliminated Steamboat but he skinned the cat as Piper and Orton are beside themselves. Snuka eliminates Spot and Orton is able to eliminate S.D. and that leaves Piper & Orton and Steamboat & Snuka as the last two teams. Spot & Fulton beat on Steamboat on the floor, who was tossed through the middle rope. In the ring, Orton and Piper almost have Snuka eliminated but Steamboat makes the save. Piper rolls through the botton rope and runs back in for a sneak attack but Snuka backdrops him to the floor as Snuka & Steamboat win the match (8:37) **. Piper then manages to run away with the winner’s money.
Thoughts: Pretty decent for a battle royal. The pace was quick and the end was a nice way to send the fans home happy.
Final Thoughts: The show was decent. Some of the matches dragged, which was usual back then but there was some good action across the card. The next Spectrum show seems like shit compared to this but I thought this was solid.