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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Thoughts: Muraco was a total slug here as Steamboat did all of the heavy lifting. The match itself was plodding and slow. The post match brawl was awesome and worth checking out but the match itself was not.
Mr. Wrestling II vs. Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart
Thoughts: Mr. Wrestling II could still go in the ring at his age. Funk kept the match fun and it did not drag, which is more than I can say about every other match on the card. I wonder if he specifically asked to face Mr.Wrestling because he came over when they bought out Georgia Championship Wrestling but stayed on the smaller house shows and rarely ever did TV.
Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy & Bobby Heenan vs. Hillbilly Jim & Andre the Giant & Capt. Lou Albano
Andre starts by putting Studd in a side headlock. He then chops Studd in the corner before tagging Jim. He headbutts him then goes for the slam but Heenan breaks that up as the $15,000 bodyslam challenge gimmick was still going on at the time. Bundy tags and roughs up Jim until he is able to tag Andre. The crowd goes nuts as Andre chokes Bundy with his straps. Bundy escapes and works a front facelock then Andre gets triple-teamed in the corner. Bundy grounds Andre with a front facelock, who eventually makes it to his feet. He fights back against Studd then tags Jim, who beats on him in the corner. Studd catches him with an elbow then slams him into the corner as he and Bundy neutralize him. Heenan tags and beats on Jim, who fights back and tags Andre, who fights off everyone and drags Heenan back inside then tags Albano. They have a shoving match then Albano gains the advantage and sends Heenan into the corner. Studd and Andre tag in but the referee says that Heenan needs to stay into the ring and make contact before tagging out, which even Gorilla says makes no sense and accuses the ref of making up his own rules. They lure Andre in the corner but he fights them off and rams all three guys at the same time. The match breaks down as Albano whips Heenan at Andre, who takes him down with a boot and gets the win (12:18) *1/4.
Thoughts: Not that bad considering the ability of the guys in the match. The fans loved seeing Heenan get pinned and the bout did a great job of sending the fans home happy.
Final Thoughts: Not a good show at all but for historical purposes, I would check out the Women’s title match. Beyond that, there is nothing worth checking out.
November 23, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
In action tonight are Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, and Terry Funk. Also in action are Hillbilly Jim & Cousin Junior and the Dream Team. Plus a women’s battle royal and “Piper’s Pit” with guest King Tonga
A.J. Petruzzi & Mr. X vs. Cousin Junior & Hillbilly Jim
Vince goes nuts over Cousin Junior’s jig. Match starts with Junior fucking up a spot when he fell down after a leapfrog over Mr. X. Jim tags and slaps Petruzzi in a headlock. The hillbillies use quick tags to neutralize Petruzzi then Jim makes him submit to the bearhug (3:23).
Thoughts: The match was awful and the crowd didnt care until the finish, which was rare with the Hillbillies but the act was really starting to get old. Uncle Elmer was not present for the match.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes, who shows us a clip of the Rolls Royce winner from the Wrestling Classic PPV. He said that he is going to “tool around” in the car. The winner wasn’t much of a talker.
Mike Saxon vs. Don Muraco
This match is joined in progress. Muraco picks up Saxon and rams him off of the turnbuckle before sending him outside. Muraco got really big since the last TV taping, with the announcer’s even commenting about his weight. The fans boo him as he destroys Saxon and Muraco puts him out of his misery with the tombstone (2:12) shown.
Thoughts: Muraco could still go at this point but he was really getting big and starting to slow down and shortly after this, deteriorated rapidly.
Gene Okerlund is plugging the December 7th Boston Garden show. Piper comes out and cuts a promo on his opponent, Bruno Sammartino, and proceeds to rag on him and the city of Boston. Piper called himself the “legend killer” at one point too. Good stuff by Roddy.
The Dream Team w/ Johnny Valiant vs. Sal Gee & Rick Hunter
Hunter kicks Valentine off of a lockup but that just pisses off the Hammer and he takes him down. Tag to Brutus and he goes to work on the arm. Hunter makes the tag to Gee after a minute but he gets destroyed. Brutus slams him then they hit a double elbow smash before Valentine submits him to the figure four (2:52). Valentine keeps the hold on after the bell for an extra minute or so.
Thoughts: The Dream Team were looking pretty good at this point but with Windham leaving the company, they were without a feud at the moment. Luckily, the WWF was building up the tag ranks at the time.
Okerlund is with Randy Savage, who talks about his match in Boston against Ricky Steamboat. Savage was fucking hilarious at the beginning, asking Okerlund if he referred to Steamboat as the “Steamer.” He then cuts a promo on Steamboat that he is the best and not to be discouraged when he loses and to keep his confidence up and has a better chance crawling through the eye of a sewing needle than beating him as “St. Elmo’s Fire” plays in the background. Great interview by Savage. I tried to find it on YouTube for you guys to see but I was unsuccessful.
The Menace vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Orndorff comes out wearing a cast to mock Bob Orton. He starts smashing it against the turnbuckle when he enters the ring. He starts by working the arm of the Menace then takes him to the mat. The Menace rakes the eyes but fails on a slam attempt and Orndorff hits a back suplex. Orndorff then whips him against the ropes and decks the Menace on the back of the head with his cast for the win (2:06). After the match, Orndorff hits the cast against the turnbuckle some more.
Thoughts: Orndorff was pretty funny in mocking Orton with the cast. Even as a face, Orndorff wrestled exactly like he did as a heel. The crowd dug him though.
Piper’s Pit with guest King Tonga. This took place immediately after the Orndorff bout, with Piper yelling at Orndorff for cheating and for mocking Orton. They go split-screen, with Orndorff in the ring, as Orndorff tells Piper that his arm as just as broke as Orton’s, driving the heels nuts. Piper wants Orndorff to prove that his arm is broke as Orndorff invites him as his “girlfriend to come down to the ring but Piper says people come to them as Orndorff heads in their direction but they abruptly end the interview and flee backstage with Orndorff screaming how he wants both Piper and Orton anytime, any place. Good segment to keep the feud going, which was starting to get a bit stale.
Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Gary Starr
Starr dodges an attack, which makes Funk even angrier. He kills Starr with chops agaisnt the ropes for a minute. Starr hooks the ropes to dodge an attack then makes Funk chase him but he gets destroyed by several headbutts then puts him away with a vertical suplex (2:18). After the match, Funk drags Starr back into the ring and holds him down so Hart can brand him.
Thoughts: Funk squash matches were always awesome because they were different and he would always let his opponent do something in the match.
We now get a clip of “Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” cartoon with JYD creating his own “jiving” robot as Andre the Giant looks on.
Womens Battle Royal
Donna Christiantello, Judy Martin, Jeanne Kirkland, Linda Gonzalez, The Spider Lady, Fabulous Moolah, Wendi Richter
I think it was Leilani Kai as the Spider Lady here. Lots of fugly chicks in this match. Martin and Moolah double-team Richter to start. Not much going on but the action looks competent at least. Christiantello is eliminated first after being dropkicked over the top rope by Kirkland. The Spider Lady eliminates Gonzalez with a monkey flip then she gets tossed by Kirkland. The heels (Moolah & Martin) end up being pushed into each other but regain control shortly after that. Moolah tosses Kirkland but ends up being accidentally dropkicked by Martin. Richter tries to toss Moolah but Martin comes over and dumps them both and the bell rings, but they say that Richter landed on the apron, which was clearly not the case at all. Richter fucked up badly there. Martin stomps here as the kids in the crowd start a chant for Wendi. Moolah holds Wendi as Martin charges but Wendi ends up sending her over the ropes with a backdrop for the win (5:28).
Thoughts: The match fell apart when Richter botched her spot and clearly landed on the floor. The crowd didn’t buy that at all, except for a few kids in the crowd. This was Wendi’s last TV match that she wrestled in too. Overall though, the match was going along fine until the screw-up near the end.
Okerlund is with Steamboat, who calls Savage a fine athlete and thinks that Savage has Elizabeth out there to distract his opponents. He leaves and Bruno comes out and says that he hates Piper and does not care if he makes fun of him but will destroy him after Piper called him a “stupid wop.” Bruno closes by speaking in Italian.
Next week, King Kong Bundy will be here. Also, Ricky Steamboat & King Tonga, British Bulldogs, Corporal Kirchner and Randy Savage plus the debut of Hercules Hernandez.
Final Thoughts: A fun show. The Piper/Orndorff segment was good and we had some decent interviews too. Funk continues to shine as a heel and Muraco and the Dream Team looked good in the ring as well. They are also starting to build up feuds for 1986, which will be nice to see develop. The WWF had an impressive roster at this time, that’s for sure.
November 9, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
Tonight, Hulk Hogan will be in action. Also in action are Uncle Elmer & Hillbilly Jim, The Hart Foundation, The British Bulldogs, Paul Orndorff, and Big John Studd. Plus, “Piper’s Pit” with the Junkyard Dog as the guest.
Darryl Bowlin & Joe Mirto vs. Hillbilly Jim & Uncle Elmer
Mirto and Jim shove each other around until Jim hits an elbow smash. Jim blocks a punch and slams Mirton before tagging Elmer. Bowlin tags and bounces off Elmer a few times. Elmer slams Bowlin then hits a corner splash before tagging Jim, who catches Bowlin in the bearhug for the win (2:06).
Thoughts: Same routine with the Hillbillies. Vince was even more enthusiastic than usual on commentary.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. It is another update for the “Wrestling Album” as they show a clip of the “Land of a 1,000 Dances” video.
Sal Gee vs. Big John Studd w/ Bobby Heenan & King Kong Bundy
Gee gets tossed repeatedly after attempting to slam Studd. The crowd goes nuts as Andre the Giant and Capt. Lou Albano come out and speak with Vince. Andre challenges Bundy & Studd to a match and promises to get even with them then leaves. Studd roughs up Gee as a “weasel” chant breaks out then Studd finishes Gee with an elbow drop (2:37). After the match, Studd holds Gee legs as Bundy delivers a splash.
Thoughts: The feud between Andre and Heenan’s men continues. Andre was incredibly popular at this time. Whenever he appeared to the crowd, they went crazy .
Gene Okerlund is with JYD, who hypes his match against Terry Funk at the Boston Garden. JYD hissing like an “alley cat” was pretty funny but nothing else stood out about the interview.
Mr. X & The Menace vs. British Bulldogs
Before the match, Finkel introduces Capt. Lou Albano as the new manager of the Bulldogs. The Menace is a masked guy and I have no idea who he is. Mr. X hits Dynamite with a shouler block to start. Dynamite comes back with a monkey flip then both men tag out. Davey hits a flying shoulder tackle before applying a chinlock. The Menace comes back with a dropkick but Davey takes control and he and Dynamite take turns beating on him until Dynamite puts him away with a superplex (2:36).
Thoughts: The crowd dug Albano being announced as the manager of the Bulldogs but didnt really seem too much into the match until the finish. With Windham officially gone from the company due to burnout, Albano was paired up with the Bulldogs.
Mean Gene was with Ricky Steamboat, who is irate at Muraco and Fuji for spraying stuff in the eyes. Steamboat cut some ridiculously over-the-top promos in the WWF and this was one of them.
“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. The Gladiator
The Gladiator is jobber Rick Hunter under a mask. Orndorff shoves the Gladiator after they break then dropkicks him out of the ring. Back inside, Orndorff takes him down with a drop toehold then knocks him over the ropes after he tried to rip off his mask. The Gladiator works a side headlock when he re-enters the ring but Orndorff escapes then goes back to the mask. After dodging a corner charge, Orndorff hits an elbow smash from the top rope before putting the Gladiator away with a piledriver (3:36).
Thoughts: I always thought how it was funny that Orndorff essentially wrestled the same way as a heel than a face. Anyway, he was really over here as the fans are digging his alliance with Hogan.
Piper’s Pit with guest the Junkyard Dog. JYD doesnt trust Piper, who asks him to “give him some skin” and refers to him as “Cream” before mocking him about his “Grab Them Cakes” song. JYD sits there and smiles as Piper offers his butt to JYD for a squeeze as he asks who would listen to his song,with the fans going crazy. Good segment by Piper, who got the crowd going.
Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Jimmy Jackson & Steve Gatorwolf
Gatorwolf was a lame Jay Strongbow substitute but actually had a legitimate fighting background. Anyway he briefly works the arm of Neidhart before tagging out. The Anvil whips Jackson towards Bret, who hits him with a dropkick. The Harts take turns beating the shit out of Jackson until they put him away with the Hart Attack (2:20).
Thoughts: Impressive showing, with Jimmy Hart doing a great job at pissing off the crowd too. The Hart’s were starting to build a little bit of momentum.
Rusty Brooks vs. Hulk Hogan
As Hogan enters the ring, Randy Savage appears on the apron and Elizabeth asks Hogan why he does not face anyone with credentials. As this happens, Brooks attacks Hogan from behind. Hogan quickly fights back and hits a clothesline. He then slams Brooks before putting him away with a leg drop (0:36). After the match, Savage attacks Hogan from behind then as Hogan fights back, Savage bails. Hogan then begs Savage to come back inside and when he leaves, he poses before leaving himself.
Thoughts: The potential Hogan/Savage feud was promising and they wrestled at house shows for the next few months.
Terry Funk and Jimmy Hart cut a promo on JYD regarding their match at the Boston Garden. A great promo, not only by Funk but also Jimmy Hart, who threatened to scratch out JYD’s eyeballs.
Next week, JYD & Tony Atlas & Mike Rotundo team up. Also the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Vokoff and Bruno Sammartino will team up with his son, David.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a solid show. Hogan made an extremely rare TV appearance and it set up his feud with Savage. Also, they continued the Andre vs. Heenan Family Feud, aligned Albano with the British Bulldogs, and did a great job hyping the Funk vs. JYD match at the Boston Garden. Plus, they continued to strengthing their tag team division too. The WWF was actually a solid in-ring product at this point, with some really strong heel acts.
November 2, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
Tonight, Ricky Steamboat & King Tonga & Junkyard Dog team up. Also in action are Don Muraco and Randy Savage plus the featured matchup, Rick McGraw vs. Roddy Piper
Mr. X & Jim Haley & Rusty Brooks vs. King Tonga & Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat & Junkyard Dog
Steamboat gets slammed by Brooks after he failed to get him up. Steamboat dodges an elbow drop but Brooks takes him into the corner and tags Mr. X. Steamboat beats on him then tags Tonga, who does the same. Haley tags and JYD enters and headbutts him, with the crowd going nuts. Haley gets destroyed by the faces until Tonga puts him away with a falling headbutt (3:28). After the match, JYD dances prompting Vince to say that he is “juking like he is in the neighborhood.
Thoughts: Decent action and as the first match of the taping, it garnered a good response from the crowd. Tonga got a bit of a rub by aligning with two guys who were over with the crowds.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. He runs down the 16-man “Wrestling Classic” tournament including Tito Santana, JYD, Don Muraco, Terry Funk, Corporal Kirchner, Ricky Steamboat, Adrian Adonis, Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Paul Orndorff, Ivan Putski, Randy Savage, Bob Orton, Missing Link, and the British Bulldogs. Also, Roddy Piper will face Hulk Hogan for the WWF Heavyweight Championship. Hayes also stresses that this can only be seen on PPV.
Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Rick Hunter
Muraco offers Hunter a handshake but he declines. Hunter takes down Muraco with an armdrag but Muraco suckers him into the corner and boots him in the gut. He tosses Hutner through the ropes were Fuji hits him with his cane. Back in the ring, Muraco continues his assault on Hunter as the crowd starts up a loud “Beach Bum” chant with Vince plugging the pie-eating contest on “Saturday Night’s Main event, which would air the same night as the show. Muraco then hits Hunter with the tombstone piledriver for the win (3:05).
Thoughts: Good heel work from Muraco. He was slowing down in the ring but his heel mannerisms and psychology were still top notch.
Gene Okerlund is with Bruno Sammartino, who warns Roddy Piper that if he tries to humiliate and embarrass him in the Boston Garden during “Piper’s Pit,” he will not stand for it at all.
Jerry Adams & Terry Gibbs vs. Pedro Morales & Tito Santana
After a reversal sequence, Morales hits Gibbs with an atomic drop. Tito tags and hits a few armdrags that has Gibbs roll outside for a breather. Adams tags and the faces use quick tags to maintain comtrol of the match until Santana gets the win with a flying forearm (2:50).
Thoughts: The crowd was jacked for Tito but the match was nothing we haven’t seen before.
Gene Okerlund is with Don Muraco and Mr. Fuji. Muraco talks about numbers and how he won the King of the Ring Tournament and will go on to win the Wrestling Classic. Fun stuff from Muraco and Fuji.
Jim Powers vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Miss Elizabeth
Savage backs Powers to the ropes and takes him down with a knee. Powers takes him down with a sunset flip then hits a shoulderblock and a dropkick. Crossbody gets two but Powers runs into a clothesline then Savage puts him away with the flying elbow smash (1:20). After the match, Savage beats on Powers before tossing him to the floor.
Thoughts: Savage was incredible in 1985 and one of the best heels in the entire world. Powers got in some offense and he looked alright but it didnt matter as Savage still came out looking like the man.
Piper’s Pit with guest Jesse Ventura. Piper puts over Jesse’s commentary during Uncle Elmer’s wedding on “Saturday Night’s Main Event” and jokes that they should have aired the honeymoon. Piper plugs his “Piper’s Pit” that will take place tonight on “Saturday Night’s Main Event” then makes a fat joke about Elmer before leaving. This wasn’t bad at all but not memorable or anything.
Killer Bees vs. Steve Lombardi & Joe Mirto
Lombardi grabs Brunzell in a side headlock. Brunzell comes back with a monkey flip and a hiptoss before tagging Blair. Mirto tags and Blair works a hammerlock. He hits a clothesline then the Bees hit Mirto with a double elbow smash. Blair fights off both men until Mirto hits him from behind. Brunzell tags and hits a dropkick then knocks Lombardi off of the apron and tags Blair, who gets the win with a sunset flip off of the top rope (3:25).
Thoughts: Good showing from the Bees, who worked at a much faster pace than the rest of the roster. They were a key addition to the blossoming tag team division.
Rick McGraw vs. Roddy Piper
McGraw is wearing a Piper shirt then tears it off and blows his nose in it before throwing it at Piper. Roddy takes a break outside and teases going into the ring, working the fans into a frenzy in the process. McGraw attacks Piper as he takes his shirt off. He beats on Roddy in the corner until Piper fights back. Piper kicks him right in the face then fucking unloads on McGraw. Outside of the ring, Piper rams McGraw into the guardrail then brings him back inside. McGraw tries a comeback but that is stopped short as Roddy hits him with a back suplex. Piper yells at McGraw then spits at him before chopping the piss out of him. McGraw’s comeback is stopped short as Piper takes him down and fires away before hitting a DDT then slapping him in the face. Piper hits a suplex as Vince thinks they should stop the match then the referee actually signals for the bell as McGraw is ruled unable to continue, giving Piper the match (3:52). Piper is still angry and spits at McGraw.
Thoughts: This was great. Piper looked great and he just beat the piss out of McGraw, who sadly passed away the day before this match aired. One of the most notorious TV squashes in WWF history.
Okerlund is with Piper, who talks about his interview with Bruno Sammartino in the Boston Garden. Piper says that since there is so much garlic coming off of Bruno, he will be safe from vampires then proceeds to call Bruno and his kids idiots. Piper was pretty funny here.
Next week, Hulk Hogan will face a “300lbs” opponent. Plus, Uncle Elmer & Hillbilly Jim, British Bulldogs, Hart Foundation, Big John Studd, and Paul Orndorff.
Final Thoughts: Good show. The Piper squash was awesome and the six-man and Killer Bees tag matches were fun too. They only plugged the Hillbillies for SNME but still put over the PPV and kept heels like Savage and Muraco strong too.
October 26, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
Tonight’s main event is the Hart Foundation & Barry O. vs. Killer Bees & Paul Orndorff. Also, Tito Santana and David Sammartino will be teaming up.
Mr. X & John Rizzo vs. Cousin Junior & Uncle Elmer w/Hillbilly Jim
As the announcers play up the size of Elmer, Junior stomps Mr. X then wiggles his butt at him. X goes for a kick but misses and falls and we all have a good laugh as a result. Rizzo tags in and bounces off of Elmer then Junior tags back in and gets the win with a sitout splash (2:13).
Thoughts: Typical stuff from the Hillbillies, meaning lots of dancing before and after the match and pandering to the crowd.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. Once again, the subject is the upcoming “Wrestling Classic” PPV. He runs down the list of competitors and that was all.
Ron Dee vs. Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart
Dee slams Funk to start the match then decides to chase around Hart until Funk nails him from behind. Funk stomps on the back of Dee’s head then runs over to a fan that threw a drink on him. Funk goes back to assaulting Dee then hits a clothesline before finishing him off with an elbow drop (1:50). After the match, Funk brands Dee then starts beating the shit out of him, prompting the referee to change the decision and award Dee the match. Funk and Hart are irate at the decision
Thoughts: Funk was awesome in the WWF. Just an incredible heel. Too bad he didnt stick around longer though.
Gene Okerlund is with “Leaping” Lanny Poffo. He reads us a poem about Okerlund, who then asks Lanny if he has found a tag-team partner yet and he said he is still looking.
Moondog Spot & Dave Barbie vs. David Sammartino & Tito Santana
The crowd loves Tito. Sammartino backdrops Spot then hits Barbie with a German suplex. They use quick tags to isolate Barbie until he is able to tag out. Spot hits Sammartino with a kneelift then tags Barbie, who gets beat on by Tito and shortly after that, Sammartino catches Barbie with a powerslam for the win (3:02).
Thoughts: Eh, not much happened here but Sammartino looked more animated in the ring than usual. Speaking of Sammartino, he would be gone in a few weeks after the “phantom submission” match in Philadelphia against Ron Shaw.
Okerlund is with the Dream Team. Valiant is obnoxious as usual as the others talk about their fans that follow the around wherever they go because they are the champs.
Paul Roma & Scott McGhee vs. The Dream Team w/ “Luscious” Johnny Valiant
Valentine shoves Roma into the corner then takes him down with a drop toehold. Roma comes back with an armdrag and a dropkick but misses his second attempt. Valentine drops a few elbows then he and Beefcake rough up Roma some more. McGhee tags and hits several European uppercuts but Valentine suplexes him. Both men tag out as Beefcake beats on Roma. They isolate Roma using quick tags then Valentine gets the win with a figure four leg lock (3:22).
Thoughts: The Dream Team worked really well as a team. Roma looked solid too in his brief amount of offense. McGhee just came over at this time from Florida but never made any sort of impact in the WWF and as gone before the end of 1986.
Piper’s Pit with guest Rick McGraw. Piper insults McGraw by calling him a mediocre wrestler as McGraw, looking like a mess, makes a skirt joke, causing Piper to go off by calling McGraw a “loser” and a “geek” before calling him trash. McGraw asks Piper why he doesnt wrestle on TV as Piper sarcastically challenges him to a match then gets slapped by McGraw, causing Piper to flip out and toss chairs saying he will fight him whenever.
Rusty Brooks vs. King Tonga
Tonga bounces off of Brooks before getting hip-tossed. Tonga dodges an elbow drop and comes back with a dropkick and a crossbody block, getting two. They trade shots and Tonga wins that battle. He lays into Brooks with chops and headbutts the hits him with a super kick. He slams Brooks then heads up top and hits a flying body press for the win (2:20).
Thoughts: The fans weren’t that much into King Tonga in the beginning. He moved around quickly at the beginning as he was built like a cruiserweight.
Killer Bees & Paul Orndorff vs. Hart Foundation & Barry O. w/ Jimmy Hart
Hart and Blair start off the match with some mat work. Hart then tags Barry after gettting monkey-flipped out of the corner. Orndorff tags and works the arm of Barry as the fans go nuts. Blair tags and gets two with an elbow smash from the middle rope. Brunzell works the arm but gets caught in the wrong corner. The match then breaks down as Jimmy Hart scurries underneath the ring. The ref regains order as Brunzell is in trouble. Barry is the legal man but Brunzell makes the tag to Orndorff, who runs wild. He holds up Barry as Brunzell hits him with a dropkick and that gets the win (4:20).
Thoughts: Fun match that was all action. I think it was obvious that Barry O. would be the one taking the fall though. Brunzell’s dropkick at the end was awesome too. He got up there pretty damn high.
Okerlund is with Randy Savage, who talks about Tito Santana then brings out a plastic trash container and calls Santana garbage and that he will be lucky to escape with the Intercontinental Title. Funny stuff from Savage.
Next week, Roddy Piper will face Rick McGraw. Also in action include the Junkyard Dog, Randy Savage, and Don Muraco.
Final Thoughts: Not a bad show at all. The six-man match was entertaining and Piper’s Pit was memorable too. Also, the push for the “Wrestling Classic” continues and guys like Terry Funk and Randy Savage continue to entertain whenever they appear on TV.
October 19, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
Tonight, Wendi Richter will defend her Women’s Championship against Judy Martin. Also in action are Ricky Steamboat, Randy Savage, British Bulldogs, Hart Foundation and the return of Hillbilly Jim.
This is Jim’s long awaited in-ring return and the crowd is into the Hillbilly act in a big way. The pre-match dance last for a while. Jim shoves Lombardi through the ropes after they lockup. Lombardi charges but gets caught with a slam as Elmer rings his bell and Junior stands there looking mentally challenged. Jim sends Lombardi into the post after reversing an Irish whip. He knocks him down with a headbutt then catches Lombardi in a bearhug, who immediately submits (2:20). After the match, the Hillbillies dance some more in the ring as Vince goes mental screaming “GET DOWN CUZ” at Junior during his wacky dance.
Thoughts: As goofy as the Hillbilly bullshit was, it was extremely over here. Vince was putting over Jim big time too and his new theme song, “Don’t Go Messin’ with a Country Boy.” Vince was really trying to get over the theme music on commentary when the “Wrestling Album” came out.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This is about the “Wrestling Album” as we see clips of wrestlers singing their songs, such as Hillbilly Jim and Jimmy Hart.
Jose Luis Rivera & S.D. Jones vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart
The fans are starting to respond to the Hart Foundation, instead of being silent as they have been. Bret backs away from S.D. as Jimmy agitates the fans at ringside with his megaphone. S.D. catches Bret with a dropkick then tags out as Rivera works the arm. Bret catches Rivera wth a knee then hits a backbreaker before tagging the Anvil then they put Rivera away with the Hart Attack (2:23).
Thoughts: Nice to see the Hart Foundation starting to get over a bit as a heel act but this match wasnt much and the jobbers were in control for most of the match.
Gene Okerlund is backstage with Hulk Hogan. He runs down a list of challengers for his belt such as Randy Savage, Terry Funk, Big John Studd, and King Kong Bundy. He then said he will give his opponents the “James Brown” treatment after he slams then down in the middle of the ring, whatever the fuck that means.
WWF Women’s Championship Match
Judy Martin w/ Fabulous Moolah vs. Wendi Richter (Champion)
They roll around on the mat then Moolah grabs Richter by the hair. Martin then leads Ricchter around by the hair as the ref yells at Moolah. Martin drops Richter in a reverse Death Valley Driver for two. The crowd breaks out in a loud chant for Wendy as Martin tosses her out to the floor. Moolah kicks Richter as she is down. More hair pulling from Martin as he drags Richter back into the ring. Richter then hits a poor excuse of a crossbody block and a dropkick. She places Martin on the top then tosses her off. Both women are down then Richter leapfrogs Martin and takes her over with a rollup for the win as the crowd goes nuts (3:23). Moolah is irate at what happened.
Thoughts: Match was alright, mostly due to the fact that Martin was in control. She was a really good wrestler and very underrated as far as women wrestlers are concerned. Richter sucked in the ring but connected with the fans and they went nuts for her.
Okerlund is with Bob Orton. He asks him about his cast as Orton said he is the best wrestler in the world and does not need a weapon in the ring.
A plug for the WWF Calendar airs set to a generic 80’s jazz solo.
Ron Shaw vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Shaw roughs up Steamboat for a bit. Steamboat comes back with a dropkick after a dull Irish whip sequence then works the arm. He hits Shaw with a chop before putting him away with the flying body press (2:45).
Thoughts: The crowd went nuts for Steamboat. The match itself was really dull and Shaw looked gassed during the Irish whip sequence and never recovered. No mention of Steamboat’s feud with Muraco and Fuji during the match.
Piper’s Pit with guests Don Muraco and Mr. Fuji. This segments starts off with all of the heels gushing over each other. Piper also said it was “disgusting and distasteful” watching Steamboat use illegal kicks and chops and thinks it should be banned. Muraco calls Piper a genius for recognizing that Steamboat uses illegal martial arts then says that he has the sensei in his corner in Mr. Fuji and can counter anything Steamboat has to offer. Fuji challenges Steamboat to a martial arts match as Piper makes fun of Steamboat for wearing “Ballerina tights.” Good segment that re-sparked the feud.
Mario Mancini vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Miss Elizabeth
Vince gushes over Elizabeth and wonders what she sees in the Macho Man then Bruno lets us know that she is a tough negotiator. Savage catches Mancini with a clothesline then stuns Mancini’s neck off of the ropes. He tosses Mancini outside and follows him out with a double axe handle then rolls him back inside and finishes him off with the flying elbow smash (1:10). After the win, Savage goes up top and hits Mancini with another elbow smash.
Thoughts: Really fun match. Savage looked awesome and went all out in this short match. He was getting over more and more each week and his elbow smash was probably the most impressive finishing move in the company at this time.
Joe Mirto & A.J. Petruzzi vs. British Bulldogs
Davey works on the arm of Petruzzi to start. He then hits a backdrop before tagging out. Dynamite knocks down Mirto with a shoulderblock. He catches him with an armdrag then a missile dropkick before tagging Davey. He gets two off of a slam then puts him in a chinlock. Dynamite nearly kills Mirto with a snap suplex then drops the leg before Petruzzi tags. Petruzzi then fights off a Boston Crab attempt but the Bulldogs take turns tossing him around before Mirto tags. Davey catches him with a running powerslam then Dynamite finishes him off with a flying headbutt after being launched by Davey for the win (4:43).
Thoughts: The announcers were really putting over the ability of the Bulldogs throughout the match. They looked impressive, even if Mirto couldnt take some of their offense. The crowd popped big for the finish.
Okerlund is with Jimmy Hart and the Hart Foundation. He asks them about the Killer Bees as the Anvil mockingly said he is scared of them and talks about how as a kid, he pulled apart the wings of bees and watched them drop, prompting Okerlund to call him a sick indiviual. Bret gets interviewed and promises that they are going to put them away and shows a little bit of personality for once. After they leave, Terry Funk joins the set and tells Okerlund that JYD is a “jackass and yells at Okerlund to shut up after he told him he couldnt say that word. They were referring to the entire Jimmy Hart stable as the “Hart Foundation” at this time.
Next week, Paul Orndorff & Killer Bees take on the Hart Foundation & Barry O. Also in action are Terry Funk, David Sammartino & Tito Santana, King Tonga, The Dream Team, and Cousin Junior & Uncle Elmer. Plus, Piper’s Pit with Rick McGraw.
Final Thoughts: A really fun show with a lot of important segments. Hillbilly Jim made his in ring return and the Women’s Championship was defended. Also, they furthered the Steamboat/Muraco feud and had some good in-ring action as well. There was really something for everyone here. At this time, the WWF started to develop a pretty damn good in-ring product too as well as a blossoming tag-team division. They also continue to decently plug the “Wrestling Classic” PPV.
October 5th, 1985
Your hosts are Jesse Ventura and Vince McMahon
Tonight, Hulk Hogan defends his World Heavyweight Title against Nikolai Volkoff in a Flag Match. Also, Uncle Elmer takes on Jerry Valiant then later on in the show, he will get married. Plus, Roddy Piper vs. Paul Orndorff, The Dream Team against Lanny Poffo & Tony Garea, and Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy vs. Andre the Giant & Tony Atlas
The announcers start by talking about the show, causing Jesse to go off on a rant about Uncle Elmer’s wedding having no place in wrestling.
World Heavyweight Championship
Nikolai Volkoff w/ Freddie Blassie vs. Hulk Hogan
This match came about due to Hogan not wanting Volkoff’s Russian flag or National Anthem played before his match. The match starts with Volkoff attacking Hogan from behind. He slams his head off of the turnbuckle then chokes Hogan out with his own shirt. Hogan fights back and punches away. He clotheslines Volkoff in the corner as the crowd explodes. He hits another clothesline then drops an elbow. Hogan punches him down then boots him through the ropes and onto the timekeepers table. Hogan follows out but Volkoff is able to shove him into the post. Back in the ring, Volkoff stomps away before hitting a double axe handle from the second rope. Volkoff hits his backbreaker but jaws at the crowd before covering and can only get two. Volkoff whips Hogan into the corner and tries a piledriver but Hogan counters that with a backdrop as both men are down. Volkoff stomps on Hogan then hits a slam, getting two. Hogan starts to hulk up and starts hammering away. He dodges a charge in the corner then hits his leg drop for the win (5:17) **1/4. After the match, Hogan takes the Russian flag and uses it to shine his boots, causing Jesse to go off on a rant as to how Hogan is a disgrace. Hogan then tosses the flag and spits on it before grabbing the American flag and waving it around in the ring, to the delight of the crowd.
Thoughts: Good match. It was all action and no dull spots. Volkoff looked quicker than usual and Hogan sold quite a bit for him too. The evil foreigner gimmick still worked well in 1985 and it showed as the fans hated Volkoff.
After his match, Hogan gets interviewed by Gene Okerlund. He is excted about the wedding of Uncle Elmer.
Jerry Valiant vs. Uncle Elmer w/ Hillbilly Jim & Cousin Junior
Valiant charges and gets slammed then Elmer pins him for the win (0:12). After the match, Howard Finkel announces the match at six seconds, breaking the nine second record for the fastest pinfall by King King Bundy over S.D Jones at WrestleMania. They even show the clip of Bundy squashing S.D afterwards.
Thoughts: They are giving Elmer quite the push tonight, even giving him the record of the fastest pinfall. He was such a bad wrestler that the length seemed fine and it was a bullshit record anyway and more of a way to hype his wedding later in the show.
The Body Shop with guest Bobby Heenan. For those who do not know, the “Body Shop” was a segment hosted by Jesse Ventura. Quite frankly, I thought that it was just as good as Piper’s Pit overall. It just lacked the bigger segments. Heenan tells us that the bounty for Paul Orndorff is up to $50,000 and tells Orndorff if he had any brains, he would come out and retire. Just hype for the Orndorff vs. Piper match.
Paul Orndorff vs. Roddy Piper
The match starts with both guys trading haymakers. Orndorff runs into a clothesline then Piper slams his head off of the mat. Orndorff takes him down and starts biting his forehead. They brawl some more until Piper hits a DDT. He puts the boots to Orndorff then they both go outside where Piper hits him with a chair. Orndorff fights back and rolls Piper back in the ring. He hits a double axe handle then a suplex as the crowd goes insane. Piper hits a kneelift after an eye rake then both men collide. Orndorff manages to get his knees up on a splash attempt by Roddy. They both go over the top rope after Orndorff hits a crossbody then they brawl all the way up the aisle and into the locker room, with the camera showing us the action. the match is ruled a double count-out (4:40) **1/2. Piper is able to sneak into a dressing room and lock the door as the segment ends with Orndorff still upset.
Thoughts: Good brawl. These guys still had a hot feud but it was starting to wain a bit at this point. Piper was one of the best ever at working a crowd into a frenzy.
And now, the wedding of Uncle Elmer. Mean Gene is playing the organ for this. Jesse is a riot in trashing this wedding. Even better is Vince yelling at Jesse for laughing over Elmer forgetting the words. Piper comes out and interrupts the ceremony, saying there is no room for weddings in wrestling and says it all stinks as Hogan comes out and points at Piper, who leaves. As they kiss, Jesse gets in a great line about them looking like “two carp in the Mississippi fighting over the same piece of corn.” Funny enough, largely due to Jesse.
Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Tony Atlas & Andre the Giant
Andre chokes out Bundy with the straps off his ring attire. He chops Bundy in the corner then tags atlas after a double team. Bundy misses an elbow drop and gets headbutted. Studd tags as Atlas falls down delivering an Irish whip. Atlas comes back with headbutts and tries to slam Studd but fails. After missing a dropkick, Atlas gets beat down by Studd, who goes after Andre on the apron as Bundy splsahes Atlas. Andre tags as he faces of with Studd, with the crowd going crazy. He chops Studd but Bundy attacks Andre from behind. After slamming Atlas against the ropes, Studd joins Bundy in attacking Andre. The ref rings the bell for the DQ as the heels continue the assault (4:26) 1/2*. Andre fights back but it is not enough. Hogan runs out as the crowd is going out of their minds and he helps Andre clear the ring of the heels, with Jesse stating that Hogan had no business out there. After the match, Okerlund interviews Hogan, Andre, and Atlas as Hogan, who promises us that big news will be revealed soon.
Thoughts: Not bad and it moves Hogan onto a feud, after months of defending the belt against the upper midcard. The match itself was fine for what it was.
Gene Okerlund is at the Detroit zoo with George Steele. The joke here is that Steele is in his natural habitat and as Okerlund points out animals, Steele compares them to wrestlers then he takes off and runs into the bushes. Harmless comedy segment.
Tag Team Championship Match
“Leaping” Lanny Poffo & Tony Garea vs. The Dream Team w/ Johnny Valiant
Valentine takes down Poffo and works a headlock as the camera shows the former champions, Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo in the front row. Valentine slams Poffo but he fights back. He dropkicks Beefcake then gets a nearfall off of a moonsault. Valentine attacks Poffo and that allows Beefcake to gain control of the match. The heels neutralize Poffo until he finally makes the hot tag to Tony Garea. He hits some dropkicks as the crowd doesnt give a fuck. Crossbody gets two but he runs into an elbow smash. Valentine tags then drops the elbow before making Garea submit to the figure four (3:30) *.
Thoughts: The challengers were probably the single worst team to get a shot at the belts. No idea how they came to the conclusion that those two should wrestle on national television. Match was average.
At the wedding reception, Hogan and Orndorff are sitting at the same table as Vince and Jesse, who keeps ranting on and on how weddings have no place in wrestling. Mean Gene interviews Albano, who is teaching Cousin Junior how to eat.He then goes over to Poffo, who recites a poem for the newlyweds. Hillbilly Jim then propose a toast as Tiny Tim comes out with his ukelele and gives it to Elmer. The band plays as Elmer sings “Walk Through This World With Me,” and actually doesnt do that bad of a job. After he finishes, Jesse reads a poem that closes with him bashing the wedding. As Hogan and Orndorff get up and approach him, Jesse backpedals but gets tripped by Jim and falls into the cake, causing everyone to laugh. Entertaining enough but nowhere nearly as funny as the reception for Butcher Vachon’s wedding.
Hogan lets us know that next month on Saturday Night’s Main Event, Hogan & Andre will team up against King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd.
Final Thoughts: Not as eventful as the first SNME but it had its moments. Hogan’s match was solid and Piper/Orndorff was fun. Jesse single-handedly made the Uncle Elmer wedding entertaining. In fact, in his shoot interview with RF Video, Jesse stated that Bill Murray called him after watching the show and congratulated on his performance, especially about the joke he made when they kissed. They also set up the main event for next month’s show.
October 5, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
Tonight, the Tag Team Titles are on the line as Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake defend their titles against the British Bulldogs. Also in action are the Missing Link, Cousin Junior, the Hart Foundation and the team of Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy.
Gino Carabello vs. Cousin Junior w/ Hillbilly Jim & Uncle Elmer
Vince is in all his glory as the Hillbillies dance in the ring before the match. Carabello bounces off of Junior a few times before he gets taken down with a shoulder block. Junior maintains control with some weak looking offense, stopping to take advice from Jim. He works a headlock before catching him with a slam. Junior then hits a mule kick before putting him away with a sitdown splash (2:42). After the match, the Hillbillies dance in the ring.
Thoughts: The crowd gave the Hillbillies a favorable reaction. This was the first of many appearances by the Hillbillies tonight.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. He alerts us that the first ever “Wrestling Classic” sixteen man tournament will take place soon, with the winner receiving a Rolls Royce. A few wrestlers cut promos in front of the car, including Jesse Ventura saying he wont be there as he will be in Hollywood. Hayes then lets us know that this is only available on PPV. This was the major announcement that was promised last week.
Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan vs. S.D. Jones & Jim Powers
Studd works on Jones as the Hillbillies come out to the ring and sit in the front row. Powers tags and drpokicks Studd but fails at a slam attempt and gets hiptossed. Bundy tags and beats on Powers in the corner before putting him away with the Avalanche (2:07). After the match, the heels stare down the Hillbillies.
Thoughts: They are going ahead with the feud between Heenan’s guys and the Hillbillies. Bundy is back from Japan and starting to get a push again.
Gene Okerlund is with Captain Lou Albano. They talk about the “Manager of the Year” award and how he was attacked by Heenan. Albano was not his usual wild self, making it a dull interview.
A.J. Petruzzi vs. King Tonga
Tonga backs AJ into the corner. They then completely botch a hiptoss, with Tonga essentially hiptossing the air. Tonga hits a Samoan drop then beats the shit out of Petruzzi for a bit until he finishes him off with a top rope splash (3:03).
Thoughts: The crowd couldnt have caed less about Tonga. He was pretty emotionless in the ring so he didnt exactly make the best babyface but they were trying to recreate Jimmy Snuka anyway they could at this point. Tonga was not the guy for that role.
Okerlund is with Jimmy Hart, who talks about his new additions, the Missing Link and Adrian Adonis, as well as the rest of his stable. He also supports the goal of Bobby Heenan in ridding the WWF of Paul Orndorff and Andre the Giant.
Salvatore Bellomo & Tony Garea vs. Hart Foundation w/Jimmy Hart
Garea and Bellomo both look completely miserable out there. Hart spills out to the floor after Garea ducked a punch. He runs right back in and gets arm-dragged twice before tagging Neidhart. Hart cheapshots Garea from the apron but he dodges an attack from Neidhart and tags Bellomo. Salvatore hits the Harts with dropkicks but Neidhart attacks him from behind and shortly after that, they hit him with the Hart Attack for the win (2:12).
Thoughts: The faces had control of 85% of the match, which was the norm when Garea was involved. The Harts are starting to get a bit more of a push than before and the tag division as a whole is a million times better than it was a year ago.
Piper’s Pit with guest Rick Derringer. Piper mocks him for a minute as Derringer plugs the WWF album that he helped worked on and has a plan do to a song with Albano, which has Piper wonder why he doesnt have an opportunity to sing. Piper pleads to do a song and Derringer said he can make a jerk out of himself if he wants, which leads to Piper yelling at him until the segment ends. A harmless plug for the new album.
Mike Saxon vs. Missing Link w/ Jimmy Hart
Link attacks Saxon from behind. He beats on Saxon as Hart speaks to him through the megaphone. Link hits a powerslam as the announcers talk about what happened on “Piper’s Pit.” Link beats no Saxon some more until he finishes him off with a headbutt from the second rope (2:20).
Thoughts: Link was a lost cause at this point and would be gone fairly shortly. No one in the crowd cared about him.
Tag Team Championship Match
British Bulldogs vs. Dream Team (Champions) w/ Johnny Valiant
Bruno predicts that the Bulldogs will win the match. Dynamite takes down Valentine with a shoulder block to start. He then tosses Valentine in the corner as both men tag out. Davey works on the arm of Brutus as the fans are getting into the match. Dynamite tags and targets the arm until Brutus rakes his eyes. Davey tags and slams Brutus with Valentine breaking up the pin. He beats on Davey for a little bit but misses an elbow drop and Davey is able to make the tag. Dynamite runs wild, going full speed the entire time. The match breaks down as Dynamite goes up top but Valiant pushes him off and the ref rings the bell for the DQ (4:12).
Thoughts: Good action and it woke the crowd up, which was tough as it was the last match of the taping. This certainly sets up for a rematch down the road and these two teams seemed to work well together.
Okerlund is with the Hillbillies, who are looking glum. They are unhappy because of the attack from the “Manager of the Year” award. Jim is mad at Heenan for trying to steal the award. Junior and Elmer also are upset that Jim got attacked and warn Studd & Bundy that they dont want to start a feud with them.
Next week, Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo will return. Also, Andre the Giant will be here and we will see photos of Uncle Elmer’s wedding.
Final Thoughts: The tag match was really fun but a lot of the show was centered around the Hillbillies. They were in half of the segments that aired. Funny how there was no mention at all of “Saturday Night’s Main Event” which took place the night this show aired. That review will be up on Tuesday by the way.
August 31, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
In action tonight are Ricky Steamboat & Junkyard Dog and Tony Atlas & Ivan Putski. Also, Terry Funk, Nikolai Volkoff and the debut of Corporal Kirchner. Plus, we will be shown a match from the August 18th show at the Maple Leaf Gardens between Big John Studd and Andre the Giant.
Mr. X & Gino Carabello vs. Junkyard Dog & Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Vince is going nuts for JYD as he dances. Match starts with an Irish whip sequence that ends with Steamboat using a hip toss on Mr. X. He works the arm before tagging JYD. He also works the arm and takes over Mr. X with a monkey flip. Carabello tags and lands a few shots on Steamboat as Jimmy Hart comes out for a second to briefly state his case for the “Manager of the Year” award. Steamboat comes back with a chop and tags JYD. He slams Carabello then Steamboat finishes with a flying body press (2:56).
Thoughts: The fans were crazy for JYD, who was probably the third most popular babyface on the roster, behind Andre and Hogan.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. Don Muraco is the focus for this week, who Hayes calls the most dangerous challenger to Hulk Hogan’s belt. They then show a clip of him and Mr. Fuji when they hung Steamboat.
Nikolai Volkoff w/Freddie Blassie & Iron Sheik vs. Rick McGraw
Volkoff beats the tar out of McGraw in the corner. He busts out a cartwheel before continuing his assault. McGraw fights back with a pair of dropkicks but gets caught and dropped throat-first on the ropes then hits the backbreaker for the win (2:01).
Thoughts: McGraw fucked up everything he did on offense and appeared to be juiced to the gills in the process. The poor guy would end up passing away a few months later.
A plug for “Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” cartoon airs
Gene Okerlund informs us that the Tag Team Titles have changed hands and we will see footage of that in the future. JYD comes out and runs down Terry Funk.
John Rizzo & Matt Borne vs. Ivan Putski & Tony Atlas
Putski backs Borne into the corner then hits a back suplex. Rizzo tags and Putski unloads on him. They then take turns beating on Rizzo until Putski gets the win with the Polish Hammer (2:51).
Thoughts: The match was nothing but Putski looked really stiff with Rizzo. He killed him with the Polish Hammer. Atlas is floundering at this point, teaming with any available midcard worker at this point.
Okerlund is with Terry Funk, who compares himself as a gift from above, like Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison. He then slams down his branding iron, with Okerlund selling like it hit him in the leg, and promises that in the Boston Garden, he will choke out George Wells until his tongue turn purple. Great interview by Funk.
Terry Funk w/Jimmy Hart vs. Red Walsh
Walsh is a pasty white, bearded jobber who is billed from Ireland. Just as Funk starts to beat on him, Hart lets him know that ring attendant Mel Phillips is wearing his hat again. He chases him around the ring until Phillips runs behind JYD, who is now standing in the aisle. They go in the ring and JYD headbutts him out then continues to protect Phillips. Hart hangs from Funk’s waist in an attempt to prevent him from going back inside and they end up going back to the locker room as I presume the match was ruled a no-contest.
Thoughts: This was the start of the feud between the two. The fans reacted well to this segment too.
Piper’s Pit with guest Randy Savage, who identifies his new manager as Elizabeth. She comes out and tells us how it is an honor to be with a man like Randy. Decent enough segment and Elizabeth did a fine job
Terry Gibbs vs. Corporal Kirchner
Gibbs attacks Kirchner as soon as he enters the ring. Kirchner fights back and hits a backdrop and an atomic drop. He hits a clothesline but ducks his head on a backdrop attempt and Gibbs takes control. He heads up top but Kirchner slams him then finishes off Gibbs with a Samoan Drop (1:29).
Thoughts: After weeks of buildup, Kirchner did not impress. The crowd was quiet for most of the match too. For those who do not know, they took TV jobber RT Reynolds and cut his hair and shaved his beard then turned him into Kirchner. The real problem with Kirchner is that he spoke like he was reading off of cue cards and lacked charisma.
We are now shown the end of the Studd vs. Andre match from Toronto. Andre takes the scissors from Studd and clears the ring of Heenan. He tries to cut Studd’s hair but King Kong Bundy runs out and attacks Andre. Studd takes Andre down and hold his legs as Bundy hits three consecutive splashes until several lower card guys run off the heels. The crowd was going out of their minds for this.
Now, we see the interview with Andre after the match conducted by Billy Red Lyons. He says that will get Lou Albano in his corner and will be back.
Okerlund is with Bobby Heenan, who is gloating because his men hurt Andre. He then promises that Bundy will walk out of Boston the new Heavyweight Champion on Septemer 7th. Heenan was awesome here.
Final Thoughts: Solid show tonight. The wrestling wasn’t much but the angles were good, as were the interview segments. Kirchner bombed in his debut though. Anyway, Funk/JYD and Andre vs. Heenan’s feuds got off to a great start and the push for Savage continues.