Wrestling Observer Flashback–January 1985 Part 4

Previously, on the Edge & Christian Show That Reeks of Awesomeness:  https://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2016/05/03/wrestling-observer-flashback-january-1985-part-3/

Page 37 of 54 now.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We’ve made camp somewhere in the Sierra mountains and hopefully we’ll be headed home in time for Christmas and to see Gerry stopped at the Rhine by our boys on the front lines.  If I don’t make it out of a Meltzer run-on sentence about the UWF alive, tell my family I love them and tell Danimal that he still can’t have posting access.  Ever.

WWF news time.  Let’s do this.  Fingers crossed that I can pull this off in 1000 words and move onto the next month by tomorrow.  GERONIMO!

– First up, Dave reports on whatever the Cyndi Lauper/Lou Albano/Roddy Piper angle at MSG on 12/28 ended up being, in the sense that he doesn’t actually know what happened at the time of writing, but it was probably something notable.  That’s quite the news item.

– So also important this month, Sgt. Slaughter went to Vince with an ultimatum about a bigger piece of the merchandising pie, and you know how Vince LOVES people who give him ultimatums.  So Sarge got fired and is now a free agent and wanted to jump to the NWA, until it was shot down by someone.  “But by Virgil, I can’t figure out why”, notes Dave.  Ho ho, Dusty Rhodes puns.  Dave was like four years ahead of the curve with that one.  Slaughter of course ended up working for Verne again.  Although Slaughter ended up no-showing a bunch of dates, Dave notes that the WWF somehow knew in advance that they needed to have Hulk Hogan there to take his place against Volkoff, which leads Dave to suspect that perhaps Slaughter’s firing wasn’t quite the spur-of-the-moment decision it appeared to be.

– The WWF had their first legit sellout of MSG since June, and Dave gets some funny shots in at Swede Hanson on the undercard.  He notes that Monsoon compared Swede to a wall, but Dave says that’s not fair because the wall isn’t quite as smart as Swede, but has more agility.  Later, when Alfred Hayes comments that the fans know wrestling as well as the wrestlers, Dave retorts that if he means that WWF fans know wrestling as well as WWF wrestlers, then that’s likely accurate.  Well that’s pretty catty.

– Also, Dave debuts negative stars on the review for this show, giving a Dr. D v. Rocky Johnson –*** and then explaining the concept.

– After the show, Rocky Johnson left the promotion (as expected) and the WWF continued advertising him for a week afterwards (also as expected).

– Kamala has also left after doing a bunch of jobs to Andre, in this case because he was tired of constant travel.  Buddy Rose was brought in but he’s already an opening match jobber, and later Dave says that Rose actually goes to trial for tax evasion on 1/27.  What, did he not report income from Blow-Away?

– Dave notes that “everyone who cares about the Jim Morris scenario knows about it so I wouldn’t waste space writing the details”.  What about those of us reading 30 years later who don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, Dave?  WHAT ABOUT US?  A quick check of Wikipedia reminds me that he’s talking about the skits where Hillbilly Jim was sitting in the front row of TV tapings at that point.

– Apparently on 11/23 in Hartford they had advertised a 23-match card with some sort of cage battle royale (I’m not clear on what Dave was trying to say there) but the state commission wouldn’t let them do whatever they wanted to do, so instead they did 19 short cage matches as a series of gauntlet matches, with the winner of each match facing the next guy until Studd beat Rocky Johnson in the finals.  Here’s the full results for those on the edge of their seats:

WWF @ Hartford, CT – Civic Center – November 23, 1984
Steel Cage Turmoil:
WWF IC Champion Greg Valentine defeated SD Jones
WWF IC Champion Greg Valentine defeated Angelo Mosca
Tony Atlas defeated WWF IC Champion Greg Valentine
Tony Atlas defeated Bob Orton
David Schultz defeated Tony Atlas
Tito Santana defeated David Schultz
Tito Santana defeated Moondog Rex
Tito Santana defeated Bobby Heenan
Tito Santana defeated Moondog Spot
Ken Patera defeated Tito Santana
Ken Patera defeated David Sammartino
Ken Patera defeated Swede Hanson
Ken Patera defeated Mario Mancini
Ken Patera defeated Mr. Fuji
Ken Patera defeated Jose Luis Rivera
Chief Jay Strongbow defeated Ken Patera
Big John Studd defeated Chief Jay Strongbow
Big John Studd defeated Salvatore Bellomo
Finals: Big John Studd defeated Rocky Johnson

Sounds like a classic.

– They want the titles off Adonis/Murdoch soon, but the Briscoes don’t want to wrestle full-time so it looks like the new team of Windham & Rotundo are gonna get the belts.

– There’s actually two WWF Junior Heavyweight champions at the moment, as Les Thornton is carrying around the belt on the TBS show and claiming to be champion, and in addition Cobra is going to win the title from Black Tiger on the 12/28 MSG show that Dave hasn’t seen yet.  So what happened there was that Thornton had “won” the NWA version of the title in a phantom title switch, and just kind of pretended that it was a WWF title when they bought TBS, because that would make sense, right?  WWF basically ignored that title and it went away.  Jim Crockett and the NWA then introduced a new version of the Junior heavyweight title in 86, just to confuse things.  The other WWF title, won by the Cobra as promised, went to Japan and was defended in New Japan before getting abandoned by the end of 1985.

– The WWF tried running Dallas and did OK, but got beaten by Fritz due to a weak main event of Mulligan & Andre v. Patera & Heenan.  Titan drew 2500 and Fritz’s show the same night did 4000.

– The WWF will soon be on NBC-owned Sports World, but not on a weekly basis.  However, there are those within NBC who are really hot for wrestling and want to do some sort of show on the network.

– Update:  The 12/28 MSG show, which Dave still hasn’t seen, drew 26,000 for a sellout and apparently Cobra pinned Black Tiger on the show as promised and they had a match that “went over well”.  Yeah, that was pretty much considered a modern classic at the time.

And finally, since the section is short, we’ll finish with Pro Wrestling USA, as the tapings are already pretty much only AWA talent at this point.  They do have a joint Meadowlands show planned for 2/24, but Dave is unsure of the likelihood of Jim Crockett being able to co-exist with Verne Gagne for six weeks without one of them killing the other.  Ole Anderson was also trying to run Pittsburgh on 12/30, but the building was pulled from him at the last minute.  Dave just can’t even hazard a guess as to who might want to do such a thing.

Sorry, that only takes us up to page 41 and we haven’t even made it to Japan yet.  Part five tomorrow!