The SmarK Rant for TNT – 03.22.85
“Andre the Giant reveals his plans”
Your host is Vince McMahon and it’s time for the HARD SELL for this Wrestlemania deal.
Andre the Giant is our first guest of the evening, and he stops to reminisce about starting out with Lord Alfred Hayes at 17 years old. “Alfred was old even then” quips Vince. So Vince throws it to the footage right away.
Andre the Giant v. Ken Patera
Back to MSG for this one as Patera tries some forearms and Andre cheerfully ignores them before hammering Ken down with chops. Patera rakes the eyes and tries a slam, but Andre is like “Uh, no” and boots him down before sending him flying out with an atomic drop. And then Andre just grabs him by the hair and hauls him back in again before sending him to the apron with a big boot. And Andre STILL hasn’t finished, so he yanks him back in by the hair a third time and steps on him before finally letting the poor guy escape to the floor. And then Andre follows him out and runs him into the railing, so Bobby runs in and hits Andre with brass knuckles from behind, taking out the ref in the process. Patera sneaks in and Andre’s had enough, beating them both up in the corner as the ref calls for the DQ at 3:30. And then Andre just WRECKS the Brain, paintbrushing him in the corner and sending him flying over the top rope as the heels are left crawling away for their lives. So yeah, DON’T FUCK WITH ANDRE THE GIANT.
Back at the studio, Vince has to once again work in “rape your dignity” and he lays out the stips for the bodyslam match at Wrestlemania and points out that Andre isn’t really putting anything on the line against Bobby’s $15,000. “If they want to lose some money, I’ll take their money”. So Vince continues poking the bear, noting that Bobby Heenan said that Andre should retire from wrestling if he loses. “Don’t you think that you should put something up, Andre?” Andre: “I don’t think so.” So Vince keeps pushing, saying that “people” think Andre might be yellow if he doesn’t agree, and Andre suddenly pops up and throttles Vince in terrifying fashion before walking off. What did we just say about not fucking with Andre the Giant?
After the break, Vince clarifies that Andre accepted the challenge to put up his retirement, off-screen. SURE HE DID. What a fucking carney.
Greg Valentine is our next guest, as he introduces his new manager Jimmy Hart from Memphis.
Greg Valentine v. Jim Powers
Back to Championship Wrestling for this one as Valentine works a wristlock, but Powers escapes with an enzuigiri. Powers grabs a headlock, but Greg hits him with a knee crusher and slugs him down before following with a suplex and finishing with the figure-four at 2:35.
So back with Valentine, as Vince keeps stirring the pot, questioning if Jimmy Hart will take the blame when Greg loses the IC title to Junkyard Dog at Wrestlemania. And that ends the interview.
Rowdy Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff cut a promo from Piper’s Pit, as Piper points out that they’re training in the SWAMPS, using chains and bull mastiffs while Hogan and T drink champagne.
So the heel team joins Vince in the studio and Vince immediately points out that Orton has had the broken wrist for a while now. “If it was healed why would he be wearing the cast?” asks Orndorff, thankfully bringing some logic to the proceedings. TAKE THAT, VINCE! So Vince asks about training and wonders if they’re peaking too soon. Meanwhile, Piper has a hole in his shirt and cuts a freaked out promo. “Have you ever peaked? Even in the sack?” And Vince cuts it off immediately and goes to break.
Back with SARA THE SOOTHSAYER, who is of course the resident soothsayer on TNT. Finally she makes a prediction: Hulk Hogan’s shoulders are pinned to the mat! But then she waffles on the prediction and apologizes to Piper, who freaks out and smashes up her soothsaying station. She still had 3 payments left on that cauldron!
Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo are the next guests, really amping up the excitement now. We head back to Championship Wrestling as the champs squash big fat Rusty Brooks and another jobber in short order. Rotundo sounds like he’s been smoking some big fat doobies before the show, as he’s really mellowed out here, man. No wonder they lost. You think the Iron Sheik would put up with that kind of wanton use of illicit drugs?
Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan and Mr. T go shopping at a health food store. You gotta get the raisins and nuts, man! T cuts a promo on the wheatgrass and demands juice (NO MILK! MILK IS FOR BABIES!) T eats a banana and does a whole thing about “gorilla warfare” and swinging through the jungle while Hogan stares at him in disbelief. So they get their juice freshly made and Hogan nearly does a spit take. “JESUS, T, what’s in this?” “It makes you mean, Hulk!” This was wacky as all hell and pretty great.
Back at the studio, Vince clarifies that it’s like a street fight at Wrestlemania. It’s Clubber Lang, but FOR REAL. Did you know that some have already called Wrestlemania the greatest sports entertainment closed circuit spectacular of ALL TIME? Really going out on a limb there with that one.
But most importantly, it’s the GREAT WRESTLING TRIVIA CONTEST. Alfred reads the rules again while Vince literally yawns and rolls his eyes.
And Vince can barely wait to finish off this stupid contest and end the show.
Next time: The hard sell gets EVEN HARDER!