WWF Madison Square Garden: November 25th, 1985

November 25, 1984
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura.

Danny Spivey vs. Terry Gibbs
Spivey had not made his TV debut yet. Jesse is not out at the table yet as he is backstage preparing for his match tonight against Barry O., so Gorilla is solo on commentary. Gibbs hits a shoulder block to start. Spivey comes back with an armdrag and works the arm as Gorilla tells us that he was drafted by the New York Jets at one point. Spivey hits a crossbody for one before going back to the arm. Gibbs escapes and beats on Spivey in the corner until Spivey catches him with an armdarg and goes back to work on the arm. Gibbs gets the upper hand and hits an atomic drop. Backbreaker gets two then he sends Spivey to the floor. Back inside, Spivey fails to get Gibbs over on a sunset flip. Elbow drop by Gibbs gets two then he puts Spivey in a bearhug until it is broken up with a bell clap. Spivey gets kicked in the face after dropping his head on a backdrop attempt then Gibbs gets a nearfall with a neckbreaker. Spivey is able to escape another bearhug but misses an elbow drop and Gibbs covers for two. Backdrop gets two. Spivey now catches Gibbs in a bearhug but that is broken up with an eye rake. Gibbs misses a charge then begs for mercy until Spivey fights back. He slams Gibbs then drops an elbow for two. Leg drop gets two then he hits the bulldog for the win (10:10) *3/4.  The fans popped for the finish.
Thoughts: Gibbs did a good job carrying things here. Spivey was not very good at this point in his career. The match had some slow spots but the crowd was into it a little and the psychology was there. As far as 80’s jobbers go, Gibbs was solid.
Mr. X vs. King Tonga
Mr. X works the arm of Tonga until he gets chopped down. Tonga catches him then sits him on the top turnbuckle and offers a handshake, which gets declined. Tonga gets chopped in the corner but fights back with kicks. Tonga works a nerve hold for a bit, setting it up with one of the worst looking snapmares you will ever see. He hits a slam but misses a senton the Mr. X takes control. He chokes out Tonga then goes for a chinlock. Leg drop gets two and he goes back to the chinlock. Tonga fights out and hits a shoulderblock but ends up running into a knee and X goes back to the chinlock. They end up trading blows as the crowd is absolutely dead. Tonga misses a corner charge as both men are down. Mr. X tries a turnbuckle smash but Tonga no-sells it and rams his own head repeatedly. Tonga takes him down with a headbutt then catches him with a thrust kick before putting him away with the falling headbutt (8:48) ½*.
Thoughts: Oh, this was pretty bad. It took Tonga a few years until people gave a shit about him. He did not have the charisma to pull off this type of babyface role. 
Barry O. vs. Jesse “The Body” Ventura
Jesse gets a face pop before the match. This was set up after the last MSG show, Barry called out Jesse for being a “has-been who hides behind a microphone.” Barry starts the match by working the arm until Jesse shakes him off. Jesse poses as the fans applaud. Weird seeing Jesse as a face. Barry lands a few shots then takes him down with an elbow smash. Kneedrop gets two and Jesse sends Barry to the floor as he kicks out. Jesse kicks Barry from the apron then struts around the ring. Barry snaps Jesse’s neck off of the rope then hits an elbow smash off of the top rope for two. He puts Jesse in a chinlock and Barry works that for a bit. Jesse fights back then rakes Barry’s eyes across the top rope. He hits a reverse atomic drop as the face pops for Jesse have just about disappeared. Barry fights back and hits a clothesline for two. Man, Jesse was basically afraid to bump out there. After the collide, Barry knocks him down and poses to the crowd. He misses a dropkick and Jesse targets the back before making Barry submit to the bodybreaker (10:21) ¼*.
Thoughts: Interesting to see Ventura wrestle as a face. However, he awful in the ring and essentially an announcer at this point. He was clearly hesistant to bump too and it made the match look even worse. 
Hercules Hernandez w/ Freddie Blassie vs. Cousin Junior
Hernandez would make his TV debut on the next episode of “Championship Wrestling.” Hernandez overpowers Junior to start. He jaws at him then pounds away after an Irish whip sequence. He continues to destroy Junior then catches him with a high knee. Hercules puts him in a chinlock then catches a charging Junior with another knee in a spot that actually looked really good. Hercules goes back to the chinlock as the fans start to cheer for Junior. He fights back but Hercules grabs Junior’s overalls and sends him to the floor. Herc gauges his eyes on the apron then kicks him down to the floor. Junior tries to take him over with a sunset flip but fails and Hercules hammers away before going back to the chinlock and it lasts for a long time. Junior gets up and tries a bearhug but Hercules sends him to the mat. Junior takes him down with a shoulder block then hammers away. Hercules catches him with a thrust kick then takes him down, and almost himself down too, with a shoulderblock. He slams Junior then heads up top but the ref stands in front of him. Hercules jumps anyway but misses and Junior fights back. He hits  a backdrop then the match completely falls apart after they badly botch three spots in a row and Hercules rolls up Junior while grabbing his overalls for leverage and gets the win (11:33) -*.
Thoughts: I have no idea who thought of the idea that these two should go this long in a match but they should have been fired on the spot. The first half as alright but the second half was as bad as it gets. 
WWF Women’s Championship Match
Spider Lady vs. Wendi Richter (Champion)
Jesse has arrived to the announcer’s table. Richter drives the Spider into the corner to start. She kicks her down and uses a snapmare before chasing her while the referee was between them. You can hear a “Moolah” chant from those at ringside. Richter tosses Spider back to the floor then chases her around the ring. Back inside, they fuck up a spot badly then Richter works on the leg. Spider escapes and chokes out Richter, who drives to rip off the mask. Richter gets booted to the floor but uses a shoulder thrust as she enters the ring. She hits a dropkick then blows a headscissors spot badly and Spider falls on her and gets two. Spider uses cheap heel tactics on Richter, who fights back. She hits a terrible looking clothesline that gets two. Spider comes back with a small package for what appeared to be a nearfall but both gals get up and the bell rings, with Spider raising her hand. Richter runs over and unmasks Spider, revealing her to be the Fabulous Moolah. She hits her with a backbreaker then tries to pin her as even the announcers are unable to understand what happened. Richter still hammers away then stops as the referee goes to present the belt to Moolah as Richter tries to grab it from him (6:38) -*. Richter grabs the belt then whips Moolah, who leaves and goes up the aisle, with Richter standing in the ring looking irate.
Thoughts: This match was terrible and the ending was all kinds of awful but important for historical purposes as we saw a screwjob take place. Richter stated that she was upset over her payouts but still under her original contract where as other reports state Richter’s deal was up and she refused to sign a new one. Either way, Richter’s departure basically killed the division, except for a few brief revivals in the late 1980’s. 
WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Pedro Morales & Tito Santana vs. The Dream Team w/ “Luscious” Johnny Valiant
Pedro tries to pump up the crowd as the heels stall and yell at the crowd. Valentine gets shoved into the corner to start. Pedro outsmarts Valentine, who accidentally hits Beefcake. Pedro blocks a slam then knocks Valentine down. He hits an atomic drop then tags Santana. Valentine goes after his knee but Tito shakes him off and tries to go after his leg. Tito works the arm as the crowd chants for Tito. Valentine hits a back elbow smash and tags Beefcake, who misses an elbow drop. Tito fires away and hits an atomic drop as Pedro even lands a few shots. The match breaks down as Tito and Pedro take control. Pedro punches Beefcake, who ducks out for a breather as the Dream Team regroup. Valiant seems tanked tonight, which isn’t a surprise, but more noticeable than usual. Back inside, the faces use quick tags to work the arm of Beefcake. Valentine tries to break things up but Tito chases him away. Beefcake ends up backing Pedro into the corner and tags Valentine, who kills him with forearm smashes. He sends Pedro to the floor then stomps him repeatedly when he re-enters. Beefcake tags and pisses off the crowd, who boo him loudly. He chokes Morales out then catches him in a sleeper. Looking back, it was funny to hear Jesse on commentary say that he had no idea Brutus used a sleeper hold. Pedro just beats the three count as the fans go nuts. Pedro crawls over to Tito with Beefcake on his back and makes the tag but Valentine had the referee distracted and Tito is ordered back on the apron. Pedro gets tossed over the top rope but is able to escape a figure-four attempt and make the tag to Tito, who beats on both guys. He hits Valentine with a flying forearm but Beefcake breaks up the pin as all four men are brawling. Tito then puts Brutus in a figure four as Valiant comes in the ring, only to get chased away by Pedro, but that allows Beefcake and Valentine to double-team Tito nonstop as the ref rings the bell for the DQ (15:17) **1/2. The heels escape
Thoughts: Basic stuff but all action and the fans were really into the match. Everyone involved played their role well. The more I watch the Dream Team, the more I appreciate them. They do not get enough recognition, in my opinion.




Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Muraco backs away from Steamboat and his goofy martial arts poses. Steamboat catches him with an enziguiri then chases Muraco outside of the ring. Back inside, Muraco beats on Steamboat in the corner. Steamboat fights back then snaps Muraco’s neck. He sends him to the corner with a bell clap then Muraco ducks outside for a breather. He then pleads for mercy as this match is crawling at a snails pace. Steamboat takes him over with a snapmare then works on the neck. He hits Muraco with a chop, who goes back outside again for a breather. Steamboat hits a few armdrags then applies a chinlock for a few minutes as the crowd is dead. Steamboat then grabs Muraco by the nose before applying a front facelock until Muraco finally breaks the hold with an inverted atomic drop. He works the neck of Steamboat then whips him into the corner as he takes a Slaughter bump on the post and comes up bleeding. Muraco bites the cut as Steamboat is pouring blood from his forehead. Muraco tosses him to the floor then kicks him in the face from the apron. The crowd starts to chant for Steamboat as Muraco slingshots him into the post. Muraco targets the cut but Steamboat fights back with chops. He hammers away on Muraco in the corner but has an Irish whip reversed and runs into a clothesline. Muraco targets the cut as Fuji tries to hit Steamboat with the cane. Steamboat takes it from Fuji then he and Muraco fight over it for a minute then the referee gets accidentally hit in the process. Muraco beats on Steamboat with the cane until Steamboat fights back and hits Muraco but the referee gets up and sees Steamboat use the cane and calls for the DQ (16:37) **. After the match, Steamboat busts open Muraco and drives a piece of the cane into his forehead. They then start to brawl in the ring and all over the floor, with Steamboat winning that battle. The fans are going nuts for Steamboat, who know is pointing at Fuji. Steamboat brings Muraco back in and destroys him as Muraco slides out of the ring.

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
This match might have meant something in 1975. Mr. Wrestling II was in his 50’s at this point and it showed. Match starts with Mr. Wrestling outsmarting Funk. He takes Funk over with a sunset flip then taunts him as Funk gets pissed. Funk tosses him outside but fails to chase him. Back inside, Funk misses a few elbow drops then gets hit with a kneelift. Hart grabs MWII’s leg and gets chased for a second as this has been all stalling so far. Funk starts beating on MWII but gets caught in a small package for a nearfall. Funk gets pissed and goes over the guardrail as Hart calls him back. In the ring, Funk hammers away on MWII in the corner then tries a piledriver but MWII counters with a backdrop that sends Funk to the floor. MWII beats on Funk, who is hanging onto the ropes from the apron. He slingshots in with a sunset flip but MWII counters that for a nearfall. Funk tosses MWII outside then rams him against the guardrail as Hart cranks up his obnoxiousness to a whole new level on the megaphone. Hart distracts the ref as Funk chokes out MWII. He then puts him in a sleeper but MWII escapes. He takes him down with a kneelift then hits a slam for a nearfall. MWII then goes after Hart, who crawls under the ring. Funk attacks MWII from behind but fails to suplex him back inside and MWII falls on top for two. Suplex gets two and MWII hammers away in the corner but runs into a knee then Funk cradles him for the win (13:54) **1/4. Funk tries to brand MWII but fails and gets chased away by MWII, who grabbed a chair.


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.