The SmarK Rant for TNT – 05.24.85

The SmarK Rant for TNT – 05.24.85

“Hulk Hogan trains Mean Gene Okerlund”

Been a couple of months since I’ve hit one of these, so hey, I’m just keeping everyone on their toes.  Plus we’re getting into the REAL classic wacky nonsense at this point.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Lord Alfred Hayes

Bobby Heenan and Ken Patera join us to start, and Vince immediately twists the knife on Bobby by reminding him that last time he was on the show, he was fired by Paul Orndorff.  Bobby goes on a whole rant about that, so Vince throws to footage of Piper’s Pit, as Roddy interviews Bobby.  And he’s got a HUGE announcement:  Paul Orndorff has fired him, which of course draws a huge pop from the crowd.  So Bobby throws a tantrum at the crowd’s reaction, while Piper calms him down while calling Orndorff a coward.  Back at the studio, Vince wants to know how it feels being fired.  Well Vince is certainly the expert.  Patera’s take on this situation:  Orndorff has a lot of class, but it’s all LOW CLASS.  And before Bobby pulled him up from the muck, Orndorff’s career was just kind of mediocre.  And Heenan is going to have to soak his fists in Epsom salts to bring down the swelling from beating on Orndorff so hard next time they see each other.  Huge if true.

Back from a break, and Bobby puts over the skills of Ken Patera and brags about his undefeated record.  Vince is skeptical about that one but Bobby presses on and notes that Paul was like a cheap watch at Wrestlemania – out every second.  I think Bobby kind of lost his train of thought on that one and botched the joke a bit.

Ken Patera v. Ronnie Dee

From Prime Time Wrestling, original recipe with Jesse Ventura and Jack Reynolds.  Patera takes Dee down and drops him on the top rope, while Jesse notably credits the saying “Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat” to Patera, which is funny because Ventura later took that one for himself.  Patera drops an elbow for two and picks the guy up, then hits a shoulderbreaker for two and picks him up again before finishing with the swinging full nelson.  Dee is out cold, but then Patera waits for the refs to check on him and then heads back in and drops elbows on the guy for good measure.  “What’s he doing?” Reynolds demands, and Jesse notes “Obviously he’s trying to put him in the hospital, Jack.”

Back at the studio, Patera promises to mess up Orndorff’s pretty face, and Vince wonders if Bobby is maybe doubting his own managerial skills, but Bobby is only obsessed with making sure Orndorff is destroyed and living on skid row somewhere and HE’S IN COMPLETE CONTROL.  Clearly.

King Curtis Iaukea joins us next, playing the happy-go-lucky Hawaiian legend instead of his later nutty Dungeon of Doom persona.  Vince asks about his scarred forehead and we get kind of a gross closeup of that, and then we get some film footage of Hawaii, which Curtis talks us through.  So weird to have him speaking in a normal voice and cracking jokes, instead of threatening to carve up Kevin Sullivan or end Hulkamania.  I don’t think I had ever seen him out of character like this before.  I believe next time we saw him on WWF TV he would be repackaged as the Wizard and managing Kamala.

Curtis Iaukea & Baron Mikel Scicluna v. Chief Jay Strongbow & Sonny King

So here we get arena footage from the early 70s, with Vince and Iaukea providing some commentary, but they just cut off the match after a minute or so.

Hulk Hogan gets a video package of highlights of his first year as champion, although they use “Real American” here and that wouldn’t have been his music yet.  And then we take a look at Hogan acting as ringmaster for a special circus put on at MSG for handicapped children.  Well shit I can’t even snark on that.  So then Hulk joins Vince in the studio, and he really likes what he’s been seeing in Paul Orndorff since he left Bobby Heenan.  Maybe they’ll be partners someday?

Back from a break, and speaking of partners, Hulk’s new partner Mean Gene joins us.  But first Vince sets up a blooper tape of Gene interviewing Wendi Richter, as she notes that “she’s not going to lay down on her back and let someone cover her” and Gene breaks up on camera.  So Gene is dressed like a Columbian drug dealer and even Vince wants to know what’s up with the hat.  Gene thinks that they should drag up the dirt on Hulk, but Hayes declines because he’s an English gentleman.  “We took in some beverages and wooed some maidens, but never any wenches” notes Alfred.  Also Gene notes that his socks are part of the Mad Dog Vachon hosiery collection.  And we throw to a training video, as Hulk makes Gene run laps around the park, and then Gene tries to duck out and get a beer and a bratwurst from a street vendor before Hulk drags him back for more running.  Back at the studio, Hulk explains the training as “lining up Gene for seven maidens seven days in a row”.  I guess we’re not talking about the tag team match in Minneapolis that was the actual reason for the training.  Vince asks about the times that Mean Gene and Hulk grab a bass guitar and piano and jam, and Gene is like “Well, it’s too bad there’s no piano here” and Vince reveals that in fact they have one!  Sadly Gene declines, but finally capitulates as the closing credits play so that we can’t actually hear what he’s playing on the piano.

A fun show this week, with the clear highlight being big fat party guy Curtis Iaukea and his Hawaiian shirt.