Mike Reviews – All Japan Pro Wrestling TV (02/03/1985)

Hello You!

More from All Japan courtesy of Roy Lucier over on YouTube.

Next week is due to be an extended special episode of the show due to the company having a big show in Tokyo that day, so this week would kind of be the go-home show in that case.

The Main Event this week is more of the Riki Choshu and his pals Vs All Japan storyline, with a certain chap known as Bruiser Brody returning for the second match.

So yeah, lots of interesting stuff this week, so let’s get our collective teeth into it!

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Mike Reviews – All Japan Pro Wrestling TV (23/02/1985)

Hello You!

More from the All Japan vaults, courtesy of Roy Lucier over on a little place called YouTube.

Last week we had a great tag match featuring Riki Choshu and Genichiro Tenryu that had an atrocious non-finish but was hot sauce up to that point, followed by a less than stellar Main Event that featured a rare clean finish when Giant Baba submitted Tiger Jeet Singh. However, both feuds are continuing and there’s also the small factor of BRUISER BRODY being on the show this week.

So yeah, that’s going to happen. How’s about we watch some chuffing wrestling?

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Mike Reviews – All Japan Pro Wrestling TV (16/02/1985)

Hello You!

Back again with some All Japan TV, courtesy of Roy Lucier over on the Tube of You.

Last week was the usual All Japan show from 1985, in that we got some good wrestling and some strong storyline advancement, but we also got some terrible finishes to go along with them.

This week we have a singles match between Giant Baba and Tiger Jeet Singh as the Main Event, which has potential to be absolutely horrible. Who knows though, maybe we’ll get lucky and the match might be watchable?

Let’s watch on and find out!

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Mike Reviews – All Japan Pro Wrestling TV (09/02/1985)

Hello You!

Last week we had a really fun Main Event with a lousy finish (Yup, sounds like All Japan from the mid-80’s alright) and ended the show with a tease for The Road Warriors, so we can look forward to seeing them sometime, likely in March.

This week we’ve got a rare singles match between Tiger Mask II and Kuniaki Kobayashi, as well as more of the Choshu Vs Tenryu feud, so let’s waste no further time and watch some chuffing wrestling!

As always, I need to send a big shout out over to Roy Lucier on YouTube for uploading this stuff. Give him and one of his many channels some likes!

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Mike Reviews – All Japan Pro Wrestling TV (02/02/1985)

Hello You!

Time for some more All Japan from 1985!

Last week, Genichiro Tenryu had to sit out a six man tag involving Riki Choshu due to an injury, which led to Choshu heading out of the ring following his victory in a quest to cause some bother. Tenryu is back for this week’s Main Event though, so I’m sure we’re going to enjoy ourselves one heck of a fight as a result!

As usual, thanks to Roy Lucier over on YouTube for uploading this great stuff.

Let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

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Mike Reviews – All Japan Pro Wrestling TV (26/01/1985)

Hello You!

Back with some more All Japan TV from 1985, once again courtesy of Roy Lucier over on YouTube. Give Roy some likes and some subs you filthy animals!

The feud between Genichiro Tenryu and Riki Choshu has been all kinds of fun in the past couple of weeks, although all the non-finishes in their matches has started to get a tad tiresome. Still, I’m pumped whenever I get a chance to see them go at it, so the booking is doing its job I guess.

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Mike Reviews – All Japan Pro Wrestling TV (19/01/1985)

Hello You!

Back with some more All Japan TV from 1985, once again courtesy of Roy Lucier over on YouTube.

Last week the Main Event between Riki Choshu’s crew and the All Japan guys ended in a wild pull apart brawl, so let’s see if that gets followed up during this week’s show.

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Mike Reviews – All Japan Pro Wrestling TV (12/01/1985)

Hello You!

Back with some more All Japan TV from 1985, once again courtesy of Roy Lucier over on YouTube.

Last week, we had some heated conflict between Riki Choshu and Genichiro Tenryu, and wouldn’t you know it they’re butting heads again this week in 6 man tag team action!

I certainly know I’m pumped for that, so let’s quit this jibber-jabbering and watch some chuffing wrestling!!

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Mike Reviews – All Japan Pro Wrestling TV (05/01/1985)

Hello You!

Let’s try these for a while and see if people enjoy them

Big thanks to Roy Lucier over on the YouTube machine for uploading these. Head over and give him some likes if you haven’t already!

I’ve seen some decent chunks of AJPW from the 90’s due to my love of Misawa, Kobashi, Akiyama and Taue (Kawada is a great worker, but I never had the same emotional connection to him as I do the other four) but 80’s All Japan is something I haven’t spent much time watching. To me, All Japan really started with Misawa beating Jumbo in 1990, with everything before that being a mysterious avenue that I haven’t ventured down.

With Hardcore TV now in the bag, I decided to travel back to the mid-80’s to see what was going on in All Japan Pro Wrestling. Lets’ watch some chuffing wrestling!

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NWA World Championship Wrestling, November 30, 1985

Starrcade ’85 “The Gathering” is in the books and five new champions were crowned, including a new NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Dusty Rhodes. Two days later, we’re back in the TBS studios for another exciting edition of the Saturday night tradition, NWA World Championship Wrestling.

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Starrcade ’85 “The Gathering” – November 28, 1985

Continuing the chronological look back at the NWA/Jim Crockett Promotions’ run in the mid-late 80s, it’s time for Starrcade ’85 “The Gathering”. Our main event is a rematch from Starrcade ’84, NWA Champ Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes. However, perhaps the most anticipated match on the card is the I Quit steel cage battle for the U.S. Title between Tully Blanchard and Magnum T.A. Let’s roll…

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WWF Championship Wrestling December 28th, 1985

December 28, 1985

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

In action this week are Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy. Also, Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, and the team of Tito Santana & Pedro Morales. Plus, “Piper’s Pit” and much more.

Gino Carabello & Steve Lombardi vs. Danny Spivey & Junkyard Dog

Spivey starts off with Lombardi and grabs a headlock. He and JYD work on the arm for a minute. Lombardi backs JYD into hs corner and he and Carabello double-team him briefly. JYD fights back and takes down Carabello with a clothesline. He puts him in a neck vise before tagging Spivey, who finishes him off with a bulldog (3:19). After the match, JYD invites a little girl with him in the ring to dance.

Thoughts:  The really tried to make Spivey appear as a Barry Windham replacement, right down to using the same finishing move. Unfortunately for Spivey, the fans did not react to him at all when he was in the ring. JYD still had the feud with Terry Funk going on but did a ton of tag matches at this time.

WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. The subject this week was Paul Orndorff as they showed a clip of him beating a jobber.

Gary Starr vs. Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji

Vince and Bruno put over the card for “Saturday Night’s Main Event,” which features Randy Savage vs. George Steele. Muraco tosses Starr to the floor as the crowd starts a “beach bum” chant. He brings Starr back into the ring and roughs him up until he puts him away with the tombstone piledriver (3:03).

Thoughts: Not much happening here as the announcers were more focused on SNME than Muraco, which shows how far he has fallen down the card. It didnt help any that he was getting fatter and lazier, either.

Gene Okerlund is with Don Muraco and asks him about his plans for 1986. He says that people do not know about the injuries he has endured recently and talks about dealing with Hogan, Steamboat, and Uncle Elmer then starts joking around with Okerlund about how he showed him a “few broads,” which nearly has Gene drop his microphone. This leads to some dialogue about that comment until Muraco wishes us a happy new year.

A plug for the “Slammy Awards” ballot airs.

Pedro Morales & Tito Santana vs. Mr. X & Barry O.

Morlaes toys around with Barry as Freddie Blassie and Hercules interrupt the announcers about how everyone is afraid of him. Mr. X works over Tito briefly but gets put in the wrong corner. Pedro tags and catches Mr. X with a shot to the gut then hits a backbreaker. Tito tags and hits a shinbreaker before he makes him tap to the figure four (1:58).

Thoughts: Vince briefly put over the team of Vince & Pedro but most of the focus was on Hercules and how everyone is apparently afraid of him.

Okerlund is with Bruno Sammartino, who runs down Piper. They then show us a taped promo of Orndorff accepting Bruno’s offer to join him as they face Piper & Orton in Boston. That was one hot feud.

Tony Mateo & Sal Gee vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart

Vince lets us know that Corporal Kirchner will face Nikolai Volkoff at SNME to a “peace match.” The Anvil boots Gee to the floor, where he gets slammed by Brett. Mateo tags and the Anvil tosses him around. Brett tags and hits an elbow smash and a leg drop before tagging the Anvil, who hits a powerslam then pulls him up at the one count and shortly after that, they put Mateo away with the Hart Attack (2:46).

Thoughts: They put over the Hart Foundation really strong in the match. Mateo bumped like a motherfucker too.

Piper’s Pit with guest Mad Dog Vachon. Piper hilariously mocks Vachon for being high society and compares him to himself. Piper then asks him who will be the World Heavyweight Champion in 1986 and Vachon tells him that even though he is a good wrestler, he does not see anyone beating Hulk Hogan. Piper gets pissed and walks off the set. Well, Vachon’s prediction was correct.

Butcher Vachon vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff

Orndorff starts by working the arm as the announcers talk about Orndorff’s cast and if it is really necessary or not. He slams Vachon then hits an elbow smash off of the top rope before putting him away with the piledriver (2:32). 

Thoughts: The cast angle was alright but the feud between him and Piper/Orton has been going on since the end of April and has about run it’s course.

“Leaping” Lanny Poffo gives a PSA warning us of the dangers caused by drinking and driving.

Another list of “Slammy Awards” nominees airs.

Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy vs. Jose Luis Rivera & S.D. Jones

S.D. tries and fails to slam Studd. Rivera tags and Studd tosses him in the corner as Vince plugs the SNME card, that will feature a year-end music video and an appearance from Hulk Hogan. Rivera continues to get destroyed as the announcers talk about the team of Studd & Bundy being the most dominate as Vince adds that he would like to see the British Bulldogs go up against them. Bundy tags and puts away Rivera with the Avalanche (3:31).

Thoughts: They are hyping up the giants as a dominate force as they head into the new year.

Okerlund is with Jimmy Hart and Terry Funk, who will be facing Pedro Morales in Boston. Funk talks about sometimes you have to put animals away. They leave as Blassie comes out with Sheik & Volkoff, who will be facing Corporal Kirchner & Junkyard Dog. Sheik cuts his typical rambling promo. Nothing special here.

Next week, Hercules Hernandez will be in action. Also, Terry Funk, Ricky Steamboat, the British Bulldogs, and more information on “Saturday Night’s Main Event” and the “Slammy Awards.”

Final Thoughts: Not much of a show. The main focus was putting over the next episode of SNME (which aired on 1/4/86 but was filmed on 12/19/85) and the Slammy Awards, as they focused little on putting over the wrestlers themselves. They are appearing to be setting up some new feuds as things have gotten stale the past month or so. Soon enough, we will be heading into the hype for WrestleMania 2.

WWF Championship Wrestling December 21st, 1985

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.

WWF Championship Wrestling December 14th, 1985

December 14, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
This week, Junkyard Dog & George “The Animal” Steele will team up. Also, The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff and “Adorable” Adrian Adonis (The first time Adonis has been called “Adorable” on TV)

Steve Lombardi & Dave Barbie vs. Junkyard Dog & George “The Animal” Steele w/ Capt. Lou Albano
The match starts with all four men going after each other. The action was really slow too. The ref takes control as JYD beats on Lombardi, who tags Barbie. Steele tags and bites Barbie in the corner then tosses him aside so he can bite the turnbuckle then he tags JYD who gets the win with a powerslam (2:58). After the match, JYD and Albano teach Steele to dance as Vince yells at the Animal to “GIT DOWN.”
Thoughts: A really bad match in the ring and the crowd was not into it nearly as much as they usually are for JYD. That is a not a good sign for the first match at the taping.
“Adorable” Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Michael Saxon
They have no begun the “Adorable” gimmick on TV for Adonis. Vince plugs the benefit show for Rick McGraw as they announced his passing for the first time. Adonis beats on Saxon and tosses him outside. He slams Saxon to the floor then brings him back inside and beats him up all over the ring. He hits a neckbreaker before putting him away with a jumping DDT (2:30). After the match, Adonis blows a kiss to the crowd then drops an elbow on Saxon.
Thoughts: Adonis was not very flamboyant at all during the infancy of his new gimmick. His weight was getting out of control at this point and his ring work would deteriorate rapidly.
Gene Okerlund is with Bruno Sammartino, who tells him that he destroyed Piper just like he said in Boston last week. He then says that he and Paul Orndorff are going to destroy both Piper and Orndorff in Boston on January 11th. Bruno could still cut a decent promo.
Vince McMahon plugs the “Slammy Awards” and shows us a clip of “Land of 1,000 Dances” and tells us we can vote for the best personality in the video by sending in a postcard.
The Gladiator & Mr. X vs. Corporal Kirchner & Scott McGhee
Some miscommunication here as Finkel was not given the updated information and announced Tony Atlas as Kirchner’s partner instead of McGhee, which looked even odder because the graphic before going to break read that McGhee was teaming with Kirchner. Match starts with Kirchner working on the arm of Mr. X. Both men tag out as McGhee suplexes The Gladiator then tags Kirchner, who catches him with a Samoan Drop for the win (1:30).
Thoughts: They seem to be pushing Kirchner again, although nowhere nearly as strong as before. McGhee could go in the ring but was never going to amount to anything in the WWF.
Mean Gene is with Lanny Poffo. He recites a poem about Bobby Heenan that Okerlund appreciated.
Ted Grippley & Mr. Wrestling II vs. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff
As Volkoff signs the Russian National Anthem, Kirchner comes out with the American flag as the crowd goes crazy, allowing Grippley and Wrestling II to attack. MWII and Sheik start things out. MWII lands a few shots before tagging out. Sheik destroys Grippley and hits a suplex before putting him away with the Camel Clutch (1:30).
Thoughts: Short match and Volkoff did not tag in once. Now they appear to be setting up a feud between Kirchner and the team of Sheik & Volkoff. I believe had Tony Atlas not been such a major fuck-up around this time, he was going to team with Kirchner to feud with Sheik & Volkoff.
Piper’s Pit with guest Hillbilly Jim. Roddy mocks Jim by speaking very slowly then asks him if he is nervous to face him in the ring. Jim isn’t nervous then when Piper insults Uncle Elmer, he has Jim stand up so Orton can lay down behind him. The segment ends before we can see if Piper pushed Jim down.
Footage of the Fabulous Moolah, as the Spider Lady, beating Wendi Richter for the Women’s Title at Madison Square Garden.
Another Slammy award category is announced. It is for the best single on the “Wrestling Album.”
Moondog Spot & John Rizzo vs. Killer Bees
Blair and Spot start off going back and forth. Brunzell tags and hits a monkey flip before going to work on the arm. Spot catches him with a backbreaker then slams him down before tagging Rizzo. Brunzell gets away and tags Blair who slams Rizzo in an awkward spot. He then hits a clothesline before putting him away with an elbow drop (2:44). I don’t think that was supposed to be the finish as Blair looked pissed afterwards and Vince even said that the move didn’t look like it was enough to put him away.
Thoughts: The end was definitely screwed up as the Bees looked upset at the end. Rizzo was a short, fat jobber who had no skills at all. The Bees are getting over with the TV audience.
Piper cuts a promo starting with a Piper LJN figure on a chair before plopping himself down. Orton is behind him as Piper talks about how he beat on Bruno in Boston, pressing his fingers against his nose to mock Bruno. Piper then goes on a tangent about Bruno & Orndorff not being man enough to approach them for a fight. Piper then says that he is the “Legend Killer” and warns Orndorff to not risk his career by aligning with Bruno. Typical Piper promo but it was still good.
In action next week are Ricky Steamboat & King Tonga, Terry Funk, Randy Savage, The Dream Team, Hillbilly Jim & Cousin Junior, and the World’s Strongest Man, Ted Arcidi.
Final Thoughts: A big show in that it showed the Women’s title change and also announced the “Slammy Awards.” They continued the Piper vs. Sammartino feud, which would last until the beginning of 1986 through the house show circuit. They also debuted the “Adorable” character on TV for the first time too.

WWF Boston Garden December 7th, 1985

December 7, 1985
Your hosts are Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon

Paul Roma vs. Barry O.
The crowd boos Roma and that shocks the announcers. Barry shocks the announcers by breaking cleanly a few times against the ropes. They trade arm wringers then take it to the mat in a decent sequence. The crowd then starts to cheer when Barry cheapshots Roma as he takes control. Roma reverses an Irish whip then hits a backdrop and an arm drag. Barry ducks outside for a breather then comes in as Roma goes back to the arm. They then work a nice Irish whip sequence that ends with Barry whiffing on a clothesline then begging for mercy before rolling back outside. He comes back in and Roma clotheslines him then works a side headlock. Barry uses Roma’s momentum to toss him outside as the fans start a light cheer for Barry, who is posing in the ring. Barry headbutts Roma, hurting himself in the process, but is able to stop Roma’s sunset flip attempt. He heads up top and hits a double axe handle then runs Roma’s face across the top rope. The crowd starts a boring chant as Barry works a chinlock for a few minutes. He then gets two off of a powerslam then starts to hammer away before going back to the chinlock. Roma fights back and hits an atomic drop and a slam then gets two off of a leg drop. He then rams Barry’s shoulder into the post. Powerslam gets two. They collide in the middle of the ring in a clunky looking spot as the fans boo. Barry climbs up top but Roma slams him off. Barry begs for mercy but Roma fires away then hits a dropkick for one. Overhead suplex gets two. Barry comes back with an inverted atomic drop but Roma fights right back with a forearm smash. Vertical suplex gets two. Barry pulls Roma to the floor by his tights but gets pulled down himself and Roma rams his knee against the post. Both men are back in the ring as Roma gets a nearfall off of another powerslam then applies a figure four as the bell rings, signaling that the time-limit has been reached (18:06) **1/4.
Thoughts: The crowd shit on the match, probably because it was against two TV jobbers, but they put together a decent bout. The main drawback was that it went on for too long. Roma looked pretty good in the ring here and I think the only thing that held him back was his height as he could go in the ring. He looked pretty short next to Barry, who was billed at 6’1.
Moondog Spot vs. Tony Atlas
Atlas headbutts Spot and it looked awful. Atlas slams Spot then works the arm for a bit. Spot catches Atlas with a backbreaker then comes off the top with a forearm smash. Spot works a chinlock for a while. He tries to punch Atlas, who no-sells them and then gets hit with an atomic drop. Atlas knocks him down but runs into a knee on a charge. He then ducks underneath Spot and comes back with a flying headscissors then turns it into a cradle for the win (7:25) ½*.
Thoughts: Not much of a match at all. Atlas was abusing cocaine like it was going out of style at this point of his career. If he didn’t, he was in line for a push and at one point going to win the IC title but he ended up self-destructing. Spot was a really good worker that doesn’t get the credit he deserves but was a glorified jobber at this time.
Pedro Morales vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton
Orton runs away from Morales then attacks him on the floor. He slams him down then tries a suplex but Morales reversed it and both men are down. They head back inside as Pedro powers up and slugs away. He knocks Orton to the floor then follows him out and slams him into the guardrail. Orton tries to pick up a barricade and toss it inside but Morales knocks it down onto Orton’s head. Pedro fires away inside of the ring. He gets a nearfall off of a sunset flip then ducks a cast-shot and rolls up Orton with a small package for the win (6:25) ¾*. After the match, Orton attacks Morales with the cast.
Thoughts: Half of this was Orton stalling and running away. He really was not the worker he was at this point but some of that could have been due to his role, which made him a chickenshit heel. Jesse says Pedro’s win was an upset but Gorilla disagrees. Pedro wasn’t that bad here, probably because he was winning the match. He really dogged it when he was losing.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth vs. Ricky Steamboat
Jesse says that these are two of the best wrestlers in the world. Savage sneak attacks Steamboat but he gets sent into the corner then outside. Steamboat rams the arm of Savage into the post then continues to go to work on the arm. He stays on the arm for a long time then they really pick up the pace for a second before Steamboat goes back to work. Steamboat chases Savage outside of the ring and they end up back inside where Steamboat takes him down with a flying hammerlock. Savage outsmarts Steamboat by bailing after initiating a criss-cross then yells at a fan. Steamboat chases him back inside where he works the arm. Steamboat skins the cat but Savage sends him over the ropes with a forearm smash. He hits Steamboat with a double axe handle off of the top rope then sends him over the guardrail with a running knee smash. Back inside, Steamboat chops Savage but is unable to slam him as Savage falls on top. Savage climbs up top but Steamboat rolls away from the flying elbow smash. Steamboat hits Savage with an atomic drop but gets slammed off of the top rope. Savage slams Steamboat but gets caught with a shot to the mid-section as he came off of the top rope. Steamboat gets nearfalls with a suplex and a side kick. He uses his goofy martial arts chops then hits him while he is on the apron. The ref takes him away and Savage pulls a foreign object out of his trunks. Steamboat brings him back in with a suplex but Savage hits him in the head on the way down and Savage covers for the win (11:15) ***. After the match, Steamboat and Savage roll around the ring fighting over the object. Steamboat grabs it and chases Savage away.
Thoughts: Good match but not a classic or anything. It is actually part of the “Ultimate Randy Savage Collection” DVD. Lots of rest holds but that was understandable as they had another show in Philadelphia the same night, with Steamboat working against Don Muraco and Savage taking part of a tag match. A few months later, they used this same finish for when Savage beat Santana for the IC Title.
Bruno Sammartino vs. Roddy Piper
Both guys start brawling before the introductions, with Bruno getting the upper hand. They briefly fight outside then Bruno drags Piper back inside. Piper is bleeding from his forehead as Bruno is hammering away. He shoves the ref and apologizes and that allows Piper to take him down. Bruno’s comeback is stopped short with an eye poke then he takes Bruno outside. He rams his head off of the guardrail and goes back inside. Bruno fights right back and Piper tries to go up the aisle but he gets brought in and they repeat the spot again. Piper begs for mercy inside of the ring then tries to reach over and grab something from the announcers table but Bruno drags him in, showing his ass in the process. Piper complains about a low blow then Orton runs out but gets attacked as the ref calls for the DQ (5:05) **. After the match, they beat on Bruno then Piper decks the ref as he tried to intervene. They tie Bruno up in the ropes and slap him around.
Thoughts: Not much of a match but it was intense while it lasted. Bruno could still do these types of matches well. Piper & Orton did receive some cheers at the end, as there was a bit of a heel section at the Garden on this night.
WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Jesse “The Body” Ventura vs. Tito Santana (Champion)
Jesse cheapshots Tito against the ropes but Tito fights back and Jesse ducks outside. Back inside, Tito works the arm until Jesse breaks out then uses cheap heel tactics on Tito. He then catches him with a bearhug but Tito is able to escape. Tito fires away as Jesse wants to call a timeout. Tito then uses some of Jesse’s heel tactics then puts on the figure four. Jesse reaches for the ropes then yanks Tito to the floor by his tights. He tries to prevent Tito from coming back in but gets knocked down. Tito then flies in with a slingshot splash but the bell rang as Tito was unable to beat the ten count and as a result, Jesse won by countout (8:13) 1/4*. After the match, Jesse gets pissed that he did not win the belt and that vocal heel section was upset.
Thoughts: Typical Ventura match in that it was mostly stalling and other absurd spots. Ventura was really useless in the ring at this point. This crowd was not into Tito at all, which is shocking.
Scott McGhee vs. Hercules Hernandez
Blassie is not with Hercules, who overpowers McGhee to start. McGhee comes back with a few dropkicks and that has Hercules duck outside. Gorilla starts plugging the “Wrestling Album” and how it makes a great stocking stuffer as Hercules hits McGhee with a backbreaker. He tries it again but McGhee takes him down with a headscissors and hits another dropkick. Herc is moving at a snails pace, which has the crowd starting a boring chant. Herc goes back inside and hammers away, knocking McGhee to the floor. Back inside, Herc drops McGhee throat-first on the top rope then continues his assault. He elbows McGhee, who was in midair, then drops the elbow for two. He puts on a chinlock as the crowd is restless. McGhee fights back and gets a nearfall off of a crossbody. McGhee knocks him down then catches him in midair and hits an inverted atomic drop. He hits a top rope knee drop but misses a somersault senton from the top rope then Hercules dropped the elbow for the win (8:22) ½*.
Thoughts: Awful match, due to Hercules, but McGhee tried and looked good whenever he was on offense. He was a solid wrestler but built similarly to David Sammartino and Rick McGraw,and was never going to get much of a push.
“Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. “Adorable” Adrian Adonis
This is the first time I have heard Adonis billed as “Adorable.” He has died his hair blonde but still has his leather jacket. He takes his jacket off after attacking Poffo and is fatter than ever. Poffo fights back but Adonis regains control. He takes him down with an elbow smash but is sent into the corner on a bulldog attempt. Poffo fires away in the corner then hits a monkeyflip. Poffo comes off the top with a moonsault but Adonis got his knees up then he cradles Poffo for the win (2:51) *. After the match, Gorilla questions as to why they are calling Adonis “Adorable.”
Thoughts: Quick match. It was fine. Adonis wrestled the same way that he always had and nothing was different about him, besides the hair.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Killer Bees vs. The Dream Team (Champion)
No Valiant tonight. Jesse rejoins Gorilla at the booth and is unhappy he did not win the belt. Blair starts off against Valentine and takes care of him. Beefcake comes in and Blair goes after him too. The Dream Team regroup outside for a bit as the fans get on Beefcake. Back inside, Blair hits Valentine with a back suplex then tags Brunzell, who goes to work on the leg .The Bees use quick tags to isolate Valentine. Beefcake breaks up a figure four attempt by Blair and that allows Valentine to take control. The Dream Team takes turns beating the shit out of Blair. Valentine gets a nearfall with an elbow smash from the middle rope then softens up the leg. Blair fights back and goes for a slam but Valentine falls on top of him. Valentine then hits him with a gutbuster before tagging Brutus. Blair fights back then makes the tag to Brunzell with the crowd barely giving a shit. He takes care of both guys then gets a nearfall with a dropkick on Beefcake. The match breaks down then as Brunzell has Beefcake in a sleeper, Valentine hits him with a double axe handle from the top rope as the ref was ordering Blair back on the apron then he turns around as Beefcake covers him for the win (9:48) **3/4.
Thoughts: Solid match. Valentine looked great and everything he did to Blair looked like it killed him. The crowd did not like Beefcake but was quiet for this match and just about everything else on this card.
Final Thoughts: I would pass on this show. The card took place at 11:30am and these guys had another show in Philadelphia that evening so they were not going all out for that reason, among others. The early start time also seemed to have an effect on the crowd, who were not easily amused. It was funny to see that there was a heel section in the crowd, an uncommon occurrence for the WWF at this time. Starting the show with a twenty-minute time limit draw between two jobbers was a poor choice too. The first major match between Savage and Steamboat happened and the tag match was good too but you can pretty much pass on everything else.

WWF Championship Wrestling December 7th, 1985

December 7, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
Tonight, Pedro Morales & Tito Santana will be in action. Also, the Hart Foundation, Paul Orndorff & Dan Spivey, and George “The Animal” Steele.

The Gladiator & Steve Lombardi vs. Tito Santana & Pedro Morales
Tito and Lombardi go at it as Bruno talks about Santana’s “Latin temper.” Pedro tags and slams Lombardi a few times until he tags out. Morales dodges an attack as the Gladiator takes Lombardi off of the apron by accident. Tito tags in and gets caught in the wrong corner as Lombardi beats him down. The Gladiator tags as the fans chant for Tito then go silent as he makes the tag to Morales. Tito tags back in and puts the Gladiator in the figure four but Lombardi breaks it up and the match breaks down until Morales gets the pin with a backbreaker (4:32).
Thoughts: This ran for a bit too long. The crowd loves Tito but seems to be pretty indifferent toward Morales, who was old and on the way down the card. Morales would really begin to not give a fuck at all as 1986 approached. Tito with the IC belt though is just not working out as he has been tagging with JYD and Morales for most of this title reign.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week’s subject is the Killer Bees as we see a clip of them beating a pair of jobbers from “Maple Leaf Wrestling.” Hayes believes big things will happen to the Bees in 1986.
Gino Carabello vs. David Sammartino
Sammartino had already left the company by the time this match had aired during the “Phantom Submission” match against Ron Shaw in Philadelphia. Sammartino overpowers Carabello to start. They trade slams then Sammartino gets a nearfall off of a hiptoss. Carabello slaps Sammartino in the face, which pisses him off, then Sammartino lays into him with chops until he gets the win with a powerslam (2:42).
Thoughts: The last TV match for David, who wasnt as bad in the ring as most people make him out to be. His problem was that he had little charisma and being the son of Bruno, could never come close to escaping from his shadow. He was overpushed from the beginning and no one took him too seriously after that. 
Gene Okerlund plugs the December 7th show at the Boston Garden (Which I will review and post on Tuesday for those interested) then interviews Bruno Sammartino, who will be facing Roddy Piper. Sammartino said that he is a “Washed-up old man” but will make Piper pay after he called him a “stupid wop.” Sammartino said there is no room for bigots like Piper in wrestling and is coming into the ring not to wrestle, but to fight. Good interview by Sammartino.
Jim Powers & Scott McGhee vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart
Witty crowd sign of the week: “Brett Hart Has the Hair of a Greaseball.” The Harts are rocking the blue and black tights here for the first time on TV to my knowledge. McGhee sends Hart to the floor with a dropkick to the back. Back inside, Powers works the arm of Hart but gets taken down quickly. Hart hits Powers with a backbreaker then tags Neidhart, who beats on Powers. Hart tags and hits a dropkick then softens him up until they put him away with the Hart Attack (2:49).
Thoughts: The Harts actually got their first push around this time. They were coming into their own and Vince was putting them over on commentary here too. 
Okerlund is with Tito Santana, who will be defending his Intercontinental Title against Jesse Ventura in Boston. Santana cuts a promo on how Ventura has not changed (he was playing a face in the ring at this time in a role that did not last long at all) and that he will not lose the belt.
Rusty Brooks & Terry Gibbs vs. Danny Spivey & Paul Orndorff
This was the TV debut for Spivey. Orndorff is wearing a cast, mocking Bob Orton’s broken arm. Spivey works over Gibbs, which makes sense they worked together at the last MSG show. Spivey hits a crossbody in a bad looking spot then tags out as Orndorff nails Brooks with the cast. Orndorff backdrops Brooks then slams Gibbs before tagging out. Spivey hits a pair of dropkicks then tags Orndorff who whacks Brooks on the back of the head with his cast for the win (2:43).
Thoughts: Spivey was really green when he began but most of this revolved around Orndorff and the cast angle, which overshadowed Danny’s debut. Brooks sold the finish like a pro and have to give him credit for that. 
Piper’s Pit with a slew of guests, including the Dream Team, Hart Foundation, Hercules, and Freddie Blassie. They see Orndorff and Spivey walk back from the ring and they all harass the faces. Piper then mockingly has the heels hold him back from them as he makes fun of Spivey & Orndorff for not having any friends then calls the crowd “peasants and peons” as they are all rich people. Funny stuff.
Joe Mirto vs. George “The Animal” Steele w/ Capt. Lou Albano
Steele beats on Mirto as his tongue is wagging around. He then eats the turnbuckle as he chucks the stuffing in the air then smushes some of it in Mirto’s face. He stomps away before getting the win with a flying hammerlock (2:08). After the match, Steele unknowingly leads the crowd into a chant then gets confused and stops.
Thoughts: The same as any other Steele squash match from the 80’s. He was getting a push here as he had been off of TV for a little bit. 
A clip of “Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” airs which shows the wrestlers in a “Ghostbusters” parody. Man, did Tito sound like the dumbest Mexican stereotype ever in these things.
The Menace & Ron Shaw vs. King Tonga & Ricky Steamboat
Tonga gets the best of Shaw then takes down both men at the same time. The match breaks down as the faces catch the heels with super kicks. They take turns beating on the Menace, with Tonga looking pretty damn good in the process. Steamboat tags and puts on a chinlock before he works the arm. Poor Menace, he is getting the shit kicked out of him in this match from all sorts of moves. Tonga then holds up the Menace as Steamboat comes off of the top with a crossbody for the win. That looked ugly (5:23)
Thoughts: Decent action but way too long for a squash match. The Menace got the shit kicked out of him tonight and bumped around so much that he was gassed at the end. He earned his paycheck for that TV taping. 
Okerlund is with Jesse Ventura, who keeps referring to Tito as “Chico.” Jesse also says that Santana is afraid of him and will also show him what it means to be an athlete. He leaves and Bob Orton enters, making fun of Pedro Morales for wanting another match against him after he beat him the last time. Piper then brings out a cardboard cutout of Whitney Houston, saying that it looks like David Sammartino late on a Saturday night then makes fun of Bruno for being old and that is why there are wrestling in the afternoon. Piper then says Bruno has “garlic ears” before making fun of his nose as the segment ends.
Next week, Adrian Adonis and the Killer Bees will be in action. Also, Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff and the Junkyard Dog will be in action.  

Final Thoughts: Standard show I suppose. There wasnt any major feuds going on at this time. The Piper/Orndorff stuff was starting to really run out of gas as it has been going on for the past several months. Tito vs. Jesse was good out of the ring but their matches sucked, due to Jesse being useless in the ring at this point of his career. No Savage or Funk makes for a much less exciting show. 

WWF Championship Wrestling November 30th, 1985

November 30, 1985

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

In action tonight are Ricky Steamboat & King Tonga in tag team action. Also, the British Bulldogs, King Kong Bundy, and the TV debut of Hercules Hernandez.

Ricky Steamboat & King Tonga vs. Joe Mirto & Barry O.

Ricky and Barry work a nice little sequence to start. Steamboat works an armbar until Barry breaks that up with a thumb to the eye. Suplex gets one. Neckbreaker gets one. Steamboat floats over and hits an atomic drop. Mirto tags and they work on his arm. Tonga gets a nearfall on a leg drop then puts him away with a diving headbutt (3:49).

Thoughts: Solid action. Tonga showed more here than at any point of his singles run since his debut. The crowd loves Steamboat.

WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week, Hayes shows us a clip of JYD winning the “Wrestling Classic” PPV Tournament.

Mario Mancini vs. Hercules Hernandez w/ Freddie Blassie

Hercules overpowers Mancini to start. He then beats on him with forearm smashes while stopping to pose and jaw at the crowd. He drops Mancini throat-first across the top rope then catches him with a backbreaker before making him tap out to the backbreaker rack (2:37).

Thoughts: The commentators put over Hercules strength and physique throughout the match. He was very slow and lumbering but didn’t look too bad in tossing around Mancini, who barely weighed 200 lbs. Not the most electrifying debut I have ever seen.

Gene Okerlund is with Capt. Lou Albano, who says he had seven turkeys for Thanksgiving. Albano puts over his stable, specifically his newest team, the British Bulldogs. Okerlund says that they could be the next champs as Albano puts him over. Albano then talks about his work with Multiple Sclerosis alongside Cyndi Lauper as “St. Elmo’s Fire” plays in the background.

Gino Carabello & Steve Lombardi vs. Corporal Kirchner & “Leaping” Lanny Poffo

Lanny looks very happy coming down the aisle. Bruno works a backhanded compliment aimed at Poffo, stating that his talent in poetry is so much that he shouldn’t even be in wrestling. Lombardi backs Poffo into the corner and bites his head. Poffo takes him out with a hiptoss then goes to work. Kirchner tags and works over both guys until he puts away Carabello with a Samoan Drop (2:07).

Thoughts: The pairing of Carabello & Poffo was quite odd. Anyway, the match was nothing and the crowd didn’t care as Poffo was a nobody and Kirchner never got over.

Mean Gene is now plugging the “Wrestling Holiday Spectacular” on December 26th in Providence, RI. He then brings out Jimmy Hart and Terry Funk, who will be facing Junkyard Dog at the event. Funk is pissed that JYD embarrased him by taking over Hart’s pants then calls Gene a “pervert” who would like to have his pants removed. God, Funk was great in 1985.

Tony Garea vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Elizabeth

Savage attacks Garea after he held the ropes open for Elizabeth when she left the ring. He beats the shit out of him then jumps outside and berates her before going back inside. Garea catches him with a shot to the midsection as he comes off the top ropes then gets a few nearfalls until Savage runs him into the ropes after a reverse rollup attempt then gets the win with a flying elbow smash (1:29). After the match, Savage tears up some fan signs then yells at Elizabeth while they head up the aisle.

Thoughts: Savage was great as a dickhead heel here. He had the crowd seething over the way he treated Elizabeth. Typical Garea squash match in which he gets a majority of the offense and loses only after he made a mistake. He was the worst.

Piper’s Pit with guest Ted Arcidi. Before he comes out, Piper smacks off a Hogan action figure from his chair and replaces it with one of himself. Arcidi is billed as the strongest power lifter ever. Piper runs down his accolades as Arcidi is trying to get over as a heel but is just awful on the mic. He then closes by lifting the table over his head. A waste of time as Arcidi was terrible and had no presence at all on camera.

King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Jim Young & Gary Starr

Bundy brushes off both guys, who try and fail to take down Bundy as Bruno is making fun of their techniques on commentary. Bundy tosses both guys into the corner and hits the avalanche before dropping the elbow on Starr and scoring the pin with a five-count (1:55).

Thoughts: They are building Bundy back up as the indestructible monster, this time with handicapped matches. The crowd reacted more to Heenan than Bundy though.

A clip of “Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestlin'” airs, with Nikolai Volkoff upset over the ballet.

Mr. X & Rusty Brooks vs. British Bulldogs w/ Capt. Lou Albano

The Bulldogs toss Mr. X to the floor then Davey hits Brooks with a powerslam and tags Dynamite, who puts him away with the flying headbutt (0:26).

Thoughts: Extremely short and seeing how they segued right into the next segment, it was designed to make sure they could fit that into the show. It was a bit funny how they plugged the video airing next week right before the match started though. I guess they tried to surprise the fans with a quick match.

The “Land of 1,000 Dances” video airs. I included the video below for those who have not seen this before.

Mean Gene brings out Freddie Blassie, who puts over Sheik & Volkoff for beating everyone around the world and says that with Hercules Hernandez, the Latin people can finally have a wrestler to make them proud. Blassie leaves and Gene brings out Bobby Heenan and they engage in a pretty funny comedy bit in which Heenan cuts Okerlund off after telling him to finish his question. After that, Heenan gets frustrated about the weasel chants then accidentally refers to himself as a weasel a few times until the segment ends. The stuff with Okerlund and Heenan was gold. 
Next week, Paul Orndorff returns to action. Also, David Sammartino and George “The Animal” Steele will be here. Plus, Hart Foundation, Tito Santana & Pedro Morales, Ricky Steamboat & King Tonga, and a edition of “Piper’s Pit.”
Final Thoughts: An uneventful show. No angles were advanced on screen and the matches themselves were forgettable. A lot of filler and two debuts (Hercules and Arcidi) that did not go over well.