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.