WWF Philadelphia Spectrum August 24th, 1985

August 24, 1985
Your hosts are Dick Graham and Gorilla Monsoon
My copy of the show omits the first two matches, which were Steve Gatorwolf vs. Terry Gibbs and Corporal Kirchner vs. AJ Petruzzi
Tonight, Bruno Sammartino appears as a special guest referee for a match between Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper plus the Tag Team Titles are on the line when the champions, Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham defend their belts against Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake.

“Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton
The crowd is all over Orton, who starts by backing Poffo into the corner. Lanny comes back and hits a dropkick that has Orton retreat outside. Back in the ring, they engage in a test of strength then take it to the mat where Poffo uses his quickness to his advantage. Poffo hits a pair of armdrags after a criss-cross spot. Poffo kips back up after getting bodyslammed and slams Orton before going back to the arm for a while as the announcers talk about the rest of the card. Orton finally escapes and goes to work in the corner but misses a forearm smash from the top rope. Poffo knocks down Orton and gets two then goes to work on the injured arm. Orton asks for a timeout, selling his arm in the process. He tries to outsmart Lanny but that fails and he gets rolled up for two. Orton walks up the aisle, holding his arm. Back in the ring, Orton takes control. He drives Poffo face-first into the mat then drops him throat-first on the top rope. Poffo is draped over the apron and Orton elbows his throat. Poffo fights back from the apron and slingshots in with a sunset flip that gets two but Orton kicks his ass after that. He hits a slingshot suplex but misses an inverted corner splash. Poffo hits a monkey flip and an atomic drop that has Orton beg for mercy. Poffo hits a dropkick but gets caught with a knee on a charge and Orton hits the superplex for the win (14:10) **1/4
Thoughts: The match was alright, but it had a ton of stalling on the part of Orton. Lanny looked alright and was on offense for a majority of the match. Its been established right off the bat that Lanny was nothing more than a lower card worker. Orton continues to work the angle with the cast and looked okay here but this was the period when he started to get really lazy as a worker.
Special Guest Referee: Bruno Sammartino
Roddy Piper w/ Bob Orton vs. Paul Orndorff
Orndorff comes charging into the ring, nearly falling down in the process. Bruno sends Orton to the locker room and orders each competitor into their corners. Orndorff starts by winning a slugfest. Piper’s foot is stuck in the ropes and Orndorff hammers away, with the crowd going crazy. Piper uses an eye poke to take control but Bruno blocks his punch in the corner and that allows Orndorff to fire away. Piper again cheats to take control then they have a major miscommunication during a neckbreaker spot but Piper just poses afterwards to get the crowd to hate him even more. Piper shoves Bruno then roughs up Orndorff before sending him to the floor. He rams Orndorff’s head off of the table then back inside the ring, he continues his assault. Bruno shoves Piper away after he was stomping Orndorff near the ropes and they go back-and-forth, allowing Orndorff to fight back. He locks Roddy into a sleeper but refuses to break the hold. They spill outside where Roddy throws a drink at his face. He rolls him in the ring then grabs a chair and “hits” Bruno with the chair when he tried to stop him. It was more like a bunt to be honest. Orndorff clotheslines Piper and goes for the piledriver but Orton runs out and attacks him. Bruno gets up and unloads on Orton then the heels retreat as Orndorff wins by DQ (8:09) **1/2.
Thoughts: This match had a ton of heat. It wasn’t a technical masterpiece by any means but the brawling looked solid, if not sloppy at times. Bruno did not do much as a referee but he was really only there to set up the tag match at next month’s show. Piper was awesome as usual here.
Backstage, Gorilla is with Bruno and Piper. Bruno says he is bitter due to Piper and Orton as they have no respect for anyone. Gorilla informs us that Bruno & Orndorff will team against Piper & Orton at the next Spectrum Show, which will be reviewed on the site.
Now, Piper and Orton are with Gorilla. Piper was absolutely hilarious in this segment.
Tony Garea vs. Missing Link
No Heenan tonight. Link retreats after a few punches. He misses a corner charge and Garea works the arm as the crowd is completely silent. Garea works the arm for a bit until Link escapes and takes him outside. He rams Garea into the post twice then tries to bring the ring steps into the ring with him but the ref stops him. Garea fights back outside and basically walks him into the ring post. Back in the ring, Garea rings his bell as the crowd starts to boo as this match is shit. Kneelift gets two. He hits an atomic drop before knocking him down with a forearm smash. He now works on the leg as absolutely no one cares about this match. Crossbody gets two. Garea walks into a headbutt but is able to roll away from the flying headbutt. He gets a few nearfalls but ducks his head and Link hits a headbutt for a win (8:08) -*.
Thoughts: Holy shit was this terrible. Garea’s offense was abysmal and Link just acted like a regular guy here, which was much worse than his character. I have no idea who thought that this should go eight minutes long, with Garea taking 90% of the offense.
Kal Rudman is backstage with Hillbilly Jim and his Cousin Junior (jobber Lanny Kean) who will be facing Big John Studd. The interview runs a little long with Junior playing up that he is a complete moron. The Hillbilly stuff would really go into overdrive in the WWF shortly after this show.
Rudman is with Big John Studd, who runs down all of the Hillbillies and also takes shots at Andre. He calls himself the strongest man in wrestling and issues a challenge to anyone in the WWF.
Big John Studd vs. Cousin Junior w/Hillbilly Jim
Junior had not yet made his debut on television. The Hillbillies start by dancing in the ring. Studd attacks Junior from behind. Junior fights back with a mule kick then hammers away. He sends Studd outside with another mule kick, who teases a confrontation with Hillbilly Jim. Back inside, Studd beats on Junior. He slams him then gets two off of a forearm smash. He then ties Junior’s head in the ropes and the referee signals the bell for the DQ (3:44) DUD. After the match, Jim comes in and knocks down Studd, who retreats to the back.
Thoughts: The match was useless but at least it was short, which is what you want from these guys. Looks like they are also going for a match between Studd and Jim down the road.
WWF Tag Team Championship
Dream Team w/Johnny Valiant vs. Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham w/Capt. Lou Albano (Champions)
The heels jump the champs to start. The faces take control with a double noggin knocker. The match settles down as Valentine and Rotundo are in the ring. Rotundo wins that battle then tags Windham. He hits an elbow smash off of the top rope then uses an arm wringer. Valentine catches him with a knee and makes the tag. Windham dodges an elbow drop and tags Rotundo, who grabs an armbar. The faces take turns working on the arm of Beefcake as Valentine complains to the ref. They hit Beefcake with a double dropkick that gets two. Rotundo puts him in a front facelock but Beefcake makes the tag behind his back and Valentine hits an elbow smash from the top rope. He softens up the leg of Rotundo as the fans start a “USA” chant. The heels isolate Rotundo using sleeper holds, who has the crowd solidly behind him. He finally makes the tag but the ref did not see it happen and orders Windham back to the apron. Rotundo catches Valentine with a punch as he comes off the top rope. Brutus tags in and cuts off Rotundo before applying another front facelock. Valentine tags and goes after Windham, who fires away, but the ref steps in between them. Shoulderbreaker gets two. Rotundo fights off a figure-four attempt but is still not able to make the tag. He collides with Beefcake as both men are down. Valentine outsmarts the ref and Windham by dragging Beefcake on top of Rotundo but that only gets two. He tags but misses a few elbow drops and that allows Rotundo to finally make the tag. The crowd goes nuts as Windham runs wild on the Dream Team. He bulldogs Valentine but that only gets two. He tries it again but Beefcake breaks up the pin. The match breaks down as the ref is distracted, allowing Valiant to slip Beefcake his cigar. He puts it in the eye of Windham then Valentine covers for the win and the belts (19:00) ***. After the match, Windham is rolling around in pain as the crowd is pissed off.
Thoughts: Good match. The second title reign for Windham & Rotundo did not last very long at all. These two were supposed to work a program but Windham quit the company. In his shoot interview, Windham said that he and Rotundo asked for a few days off after being on the road for 96 days and said that after being denied the request, he flipped out on George Scott and Chief Jay Strongbow at a show in Boston and ended up taking a plane back home to Florida. Windham said that the insane travel schedule made them both snap at the time.
Rick McGraw vs. Brett Hart
McGraw looks absolutely ripped here. Hart bails after a hiptoss. McGraw hits a few armdrags and a dropkick before Hart retreats to the corner. He works the arm of McGraw as the crowd starts a loud “boring” chant. McGraw takes control but Hart yanks him down by the hair. Hart takes control after raking the eyes as the boring chants are not stopping. McGraw boots down Hart after he ducked his head then runs his face along the ropes. Suplex gets two. Backslide gets two. Hart holds up on the rope as McGraw attempted a dropkick. Hart hits a backbreaker then drops an elbow from the second rope for the win (5:32) *.
Thoughts: Basic match that the crowd turned on instantly. Bret had no charisma at this point and McGraw never had any to begin with.
Dick Graham, who was awful as an announcer, runs down next month’s card that features Orndorff & Bruno vs. Piper & Orton, Don Muraco vs. Ricky Steamboat, and Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan.
Final Thoughts: The show was memorable for the Tag Title switch and Bruno getting involved with the Piper/Orndorff angle. The rest of the card was completely forgettable but next month’s show looks a lot better at least.