The SmarK Rant for TNT – 02.01.85
Your host is Vince McMahon
I figure I might as well catch up with the TNTs leading up to the Rock N Wrestling stuff before I get to the War to Settle the Score.
We get right into Magnificent Muraco and Mr. Fuji as the first guests, complete with the house band playing what sounds like a riff on “You Really Got Me”. Don has brought some footage of surfing in Hawaii, which Vince thinks might reinforce the fans’ chants of “beach bum”. Don notes that it’s not on HIS beach, it’s on a different beach, which is kind of a garbage beach. So we get some footage of him surfing and doing pretty well at it. Back in the studio, Muraco is embarrassed by the low quality of the waves in that footage. That wasn’t even surfing! If the earth’s not rumbling, he’s not really surfing.
Back from a break and Vince questions the training methods of Mr. Fuji and how he’s too quick to interfere. And we have footage for proof.
Magnificent Muraco v. Mario Mancini
Muraco mauls the jobber with knees and hits a backbreaker, then follows with a legsweep and kneedrop and then follows with a questionable headbutt to the lower abdomen. That gets two as Muraco stops the count so he can administer more pain at the request of Master Fuji, and then finishes with the tombstone piledriver at 2:12.
Back at the studio, Fuji has lots of plans for Muraco, training him to be vicious and sadistic, while causing his opponent to scream for mercy. Well, it’s always good to have goals in life.
Next up, Vince and Alfred head to the farm to interview Hillbilly Jim’s Granny Kim. Alfred is offended by the smell of her dogs while Kim puts over her grandson’s powerful physique. So she shares a story about Jim holding up her truck so she could change a tire. I’ve heard PCP also lets you do that. Damn hillbillies and their bath salts and moonshine.
Hillbilly Jim v. Terry Gibbs
So we head to the syndicated show for Jim’s debut, as Gibbs tries to overpower Jim and just bounces off him. Jim slams the guy, but Gibbs rakes the eyes and pounds away to take over. But then he tries a slam and gets reversed, and Jim finishes with the bearhug at 1:22. And then Hogan comes in to congratulate his trainee and Jim finally realizes that he won the match and celebrates.
Back with Granny and the dogs, and Vince is worried about Granny wearing herself out by traveling from city to city and making Jim his “vittles”. Apparently she serves him his “vittles” and he gets big and strong. Is that also code for drugs? Goddamn rednecks.
Back from the break as we’re batting 0.000 thus far and we go back to last week…
Ken Patera & Big John Studd v. Andre the Giant & SD Jones
They didn’t actually show the match last week, just the aftermath, so I guess they’re hitting it hard here. Also, why is SD Jones introduced from Philly? I thought he was always from “Antigua, in the West Indies”? Bruno on commentary is basically like “I mostly respect SD Jones but I really want to see Andre”. Can’t fault him for honesty. Andre and SD double-team the arm on Patera, but SD gets caught in the heel corner and worked over. Studd stomps him down and Patera beats on him with forearms, but SD fights back and brings in Andre. Patera wallops SD on the way out and Jones falls into the railing and knocks himself out like a complete doofus, which leaves Andre alone. So the heels double-team him, brazenly ignoring the ref’s instructions until the DQ at 3:48, but they drop a lot of elbows in the meantime. ½* So with Andre hurt, the Brain pulls out a pair of scissors and Andre gets his famous haircut as the crowd is nearing a riot and tossing garbage in the ring. Now THIS was a heavy heat angle. Sadly, Andre has no friends to come save him. Probably should have picked a better tag team partner, if we’re being honest here.
Back from a break with Bobby the Brain, and Vince is still trying to get “raping the giant’s dignity” over as the catchphrase of 1985. He failed. Bobby explains his master plan to humble Andre after years of the Giant laying waste to people and felt like he needed to be taught a lesson. His only regret is not taking Andre out of wrestling permanently. So we throw it to last week’s “hairstyling” exhibition with Bobby and his guys, and Bobby explains that he was sending a message to anyone who might want to lay hands on him. Vince is disgusted with how unfair the whole situation is, but Bobby is like “Yeah, that’s life. Things aren’t fair.” They’re here to stay, and the Giant’s leaving. That’s definitely a harder edge than Bobby would have later on.
Freddie Blassie is the next guest, and Vince reminisces about Blassie’s career in California, where he was a 5 time Pacific Coast champion. Blassie does admit that his golf game has some holes in it, although he would still rate himself as an all-time great in wrestling.
Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff v. Mario Mancini & Steve Lombardi
We actually get the full long-form Russian anthem from Volkoff, which is something. Sheik beats on Lombardi to start, but Steve gets a sunset flip for two and grabs a headlock on Sheiky baby. Mancini comes in and gets completely destroyed with a suplex, however, and it’s over to Volkoff with a press slam into the backbreaker for the pin at 1:40.
Back at the studio, Blassie shows off his 16 karat pinkie ring and declares that his men will win the tag team titles, GUARANTEED. Well he wasn’t wrong.
Vince and Alfred wrap up this dull dull deathly dull show and guarantee lots of surprises and action next week. I hope so.