2 classic WWF LPs re-released on Record Store Day


I sincerely apologize for the lack of Roman Reigns content in this email.

Dan E.

​I think it's a stretch to call The Wrestling Album a "classic", but Piledriver certainly overperformed.  Not that I don't have enough vinyl as it is.  ​

WWF Wrestling Classic PPV

November 7, 1985
Live from the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago, IL
Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Vince McMahon. Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon are the announcing team.
The 16 man tournament features the following: Ricky Steamboat, Adrian Adonis, Tito Santana, Bob Orton, Ivan Putski, Randy Savage, Junkyard Dog, Paul Orndorff, Terry Funk, Moondog Spot (subbing for Missing Link, who left the company), Corporal Kirchner, Don Muraco, Davey Boy Smith, Dynamite Kid, Nikolai Volkoff, and the Iron Shiek.
Also, the main event features Roddy Piper facing Hulk Hogan for the WWF Heavyweight Championship.
Plus, the winner of the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud Mach 3 is announced.

Vince shows us the brackets, which were drawn at random today. There is some hot chick named Susan who shows us the results and here they are:
Adrian Adonis vs. Corporal Kirchner
Dynamite Kid vs. Nikolai Volkoff
Ivan Putski vs. Randy Savage
Ricky Steamboat vs. Davey Boy Smith
Iron Sheik vs. JYD
Moondog Spot vs. Terry Funk
Tito Santana vs. Don Muraco
Bob Orton vs. Paul Orndorff
Here are some pre-recorded bits from the drawing, including Savage yelling at Elizabeth for selecting Ivan Putski, telling her that she screwed up again.
Vince now takes us to Gene Okerlund, who is with the WWF President, Jack Tunney. He is excited about the show and lets us know that you have to win your match in the tournament in order to go on to the next round.
Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Corporal Kirchner
Adonis and Kircher battle in the corner to start. Kirchner then hits a pair of armdrags before grabbing a side headlock. Adonis counters with a back suplex then hits an elbow smash. Adonis grabs a chinlock but Kirchner fights back. He goes for a suplex but Adonis counters that with a DDT and gets the win (2:35) *.
Thoughts: Decent enough action. They really gave up on Kirchner quickly, who after weeks of vignettes became a lower card worker rather quickly. He really lacked the charisma to make the role work. Adonis could still go in the ring but he was getting really heavy and had bigger tits than Elizabeth at this point.
Dynamite Kid vs. Nikolai Volkoff
As Volkoff sings the Soviet National Anthem, Dynamite climbs the top rope. After the bell rings, Nikolai turns around and gets hit with a missile dropkick and Dynamite scores the pin (0:06).
Thoughts: Man, the crowd popped huge for this. A well-known moment that has been featured on multiple compilations.
Ivan Putski vs. Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth
Jesse tells us that he prepared Savage for this match. Savage stalls to start things off. Putski shows off his power as Savage is pissed. Putski hits Savage with a turnbuckle smash but Savage rakes the eyes and goes to work. Putski shoves off Savage and beats on him in the corner. Savage knocks him down then puts his feet on the ropes for leverage as he scores the pin (2:45) ½*.
Thoughts: Not much happened here but Savage was on top of his game at this time with his heelwork and that made it enjoyable.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Davey Boy Smith
This is billed as a “Scientific Matchup,” which was the term given when two babyfaces went against each other. The match starts at a quick pace with both guys going back and forth. They fight over a bridge and Steamboat gets two off of a backslide. Davey catches him with a press slam for two then works a front facelock before hitting another press slam. He goes back to the front facelock but Steamboat hits a delayed vertical suplex. He goes for a splash but Davey got his knees up. He hits Steamboat with a pair of dropkicks but misses a crossbody and crotches himself on the ropes, causing the ref to ring the bell and award the match to Steamboat as Davey was ruled injured and unable to compete (2:53) **. After the match, Steamboat checks on Davey
Thoughts: Terrible finish aside, this was the best match under three minutes that you will probably ever see. These guys got to show off their skills here and it was a fun bout.
Iron Sheik w/ Freddie Blassie vs. Junkyard Dog
Sheik attacks JYD as he enters the ring, choking him out with his own towel. JYD fights back and knocks down the Sheik with a headbutt. Sheik takes a breather outside after another headbutt then goes back in and puts JYD in a full nelson. JYD overpowers of that then hits a terrible-looking clothesline. He misses a falling headbutt as the Sheik locks in the Camel Clutch. The Sheik then breaks the hold after JYD tried to escape and hammers away in the corner. The Sheik tosses the ref away and JYD hits the Sheik with a heaadbutt and gets the win (3:23) ¼*.
Thoughts: Not much happened here but JYD was one of the more popular wrestlers in the company and it was no surprise that he won.
Moondog Spot vs. Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart
Before the match, Funk grabs the mic and says he doesn’t want to wrestle Spot and asks him if he wants to wrestle him and suggests they leave the ring and settle for a draw. Spot agrees as they go outside. The bell rings then Funk attacks Spot as they head up the aisle. He goes into the ring but Spot catches him. Funk shakes him off and Spot falls into the ring and as Funk climbs in, the bell rings for the countout and Spot wins the match (0:10). Funk assaults Spot until he rolls out of the ring. Funk and Hart are pissed
Thoughts: Not much happening here but it was fun to watch Funk get his comeuppance. He was awesome during this run and it was a shame that he didn’t stay longer.
Tito Santana vs. Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji
Muraco starts by beating on Santana all over the ring. Tito ducks a clothesline and hits a crossbody block for two. He then gets nearfalls off of a sunset flip and a backslide before he starts to unload on Muraco. He sends him into the corner with an Irish whip then stomps away. Tito works the arm until Muraco picks him up and drops him throat-first on the ropes. He then hits a clothesline and drops a knee for two. Muraco then hits a powerslam and the ref counts to three but Tito’s foot was on the ropes (this was not shown on camera). The bell rings anyway then Tito rolls up Muraco with a small package and gets the win (4:13) *1/2. Even the crowd boos the decision of this match.
Thoughts: The match was fine but the ending was awful. These two had a good feud two years earlier too and had solid in-ring chemistry.
“Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Before the match, Heenan cut a promo on Orndorff stating that he believes he will payout the $50,000 bounty tonight. Onrdorff works the arm then sends Orton into the corner with an atomic drop. He goes back to the arm until Orton takes him down with a side headlock. Orndorff regains control and goes back to the arm. Orton gets his knee up on a charge then drops his throat across the top rope. Orndorff takes over Orton with a sunset flip after pulling down his tights but that only gets two. Orton takes control and uses a chinlock then switches to a headscissors. They fight over a bridge and Orton turns that into a backslide for two. Orton whiffs on a flying headscissors then Orndorff fires away in the corner. He hits a back elbow smash before sending Orton to the floor. He walks around dazed as Orndorff follows him out. As the ref talks to Orndorff, Orton adjusts his cast on the apron then smashes it off of Orton’s head and goes for the cover but the referee rings the bell for the DQ (6:29) **. They brawl after the match with Orndorff gaining the upper hand.
Thoughts: Solid match. Not a whole lot more to add to that, really.
Vince and Hayes go over the second round matchups, which include:
Adrian Adonis vs. Dynamite Kid
Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat
JYD vs. Moondog Spot
Tito Santana vs. Paul Orndorff
Dynamite Kid vs. Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart
Adonis starts with a shoulder block but Dynamite has Adonis rolling out for a breather after a pair of armdrags. Back inside, Adonis sends Dynamite into the corner with a slingshot as Jesse leaves the booth to talk with Savage. Adonis gets two off of a suplex then uses a chinlock. Dynamite escapes by using a back suplex but he misses a falling headbutt and Adonis goes to work on the leg. Dynamite manages a sunset flip for two but Adonis goes right back to the leg. Both men are down after Dynamite sends Adonis into the corner. Dynamite comes back with a clothesline then a kneedrop off of the second rope for two. He hits a snap suplex then a falling headbutt before going after Hart, who was on the apron. Adonis gets two off of a reverse rollup then Adonis gets shoved into Hart and Dynamite covers for the win (5:23) **1/4. After the match, Hart and Adonis start to pitch a hissy fit in the ring.
Thoughts: Solid match. The post-match antics from Adonis were new and seemed to be leading to something down the road. The win puts Dynamite in the semi-finals, which is a bit surprising when you consider the rest of the field.
Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage w/Elizabeth
Before the match, Okerlund interviewed Jesse, who stated that he was going to be in the corner of Savage from the announcer’s table. Savage uses Elizabeth as a shield before putting her aside to attack Steamboat from behind. Steamboat slides underneath Savage and comes back with some chops. They fight in the corner until Steamboat takes Savage to the floor with a headscissors. They brawl on the floor until Steamboat hits an atomic drop. Back inside, Steamboat chops him down. Savage ducks under a chop and hits a back suplex as Jesse rejoins the announcers booth. Steamboat catches Savage with a shot to the mid-section as he comes off the top. He suplexes him back in the ring from the apron. Steamboat hits the flying body press but only gets two. He hits a few more chops but Savage reaches into his tights and grabs something then when Steamboat lifts him up for a suplex, Savage hits him in the face and gets the win (3:22) **1/2.
Thoughts: This was all action and really fun while it lasted. This now means that Savage will face Dynamite Kid in the semi-finals. Savage has been the star of the tournament so far.

Moondog Spot vs. Junkyard Dog

Spot attacks JYD as he enters the ring, without a referee present. He misses a knee drop from the decond turnbuckle and JYD hits a pair of crawling headbutts then headbutts him again and covers Spot, counting to three by himself and the bell rings, with JYD getting the win as the ring judge was present an awarded him the match (0:27) DUD.

Thoughts: Another awful finish but it was not like Spot had a chance to begin with and the quick match was probably for the best. At the time, Meltzer gave this match a -***** rating. For me, it was too quick of a match but the god-awful ending deserves a DUD rating.

“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. Tito Santana

Both guy shake hands before the match as Jesse cracks ethnic jokes at the expense of Tito. They lockup and Tito takes Orndorff over with a side headlock. They fight over a wristlock then Tito works a headscissors on the mat until Orndorff counters that with a rollup then they end up in a stand off. Orndorff works a hammerlock until Tito reverses and they end up in another standoff as Jesse constantly talks about Orndorff reverting back to his heel persona. Orndorff hits an atomic drop as Tito is in pain on the mat. Orndorff goes to work on Tito’s leg, which was taped up with the story being that he got hurt in his first round match against Muraco. Tito fights out then Orndorff knocks Tito to the floor with a forearm shot. He follows him out and they brawl on the floor as Orndorff rams Tito into the post and they continue to brawl until the match is ruled a double-countout (8:03) **. They continue to brawl after the match then finally stop as they are both now eliminated from the tournament.

Thoughts: The match was okay but it was mostly restholds. Orndorff, who still wrestled aggressively even as a face, was a bit more so than usual here but his heel turn didnt start until several months after this bout. JYD now has a bye and goes right to the finals.

WWF Championship Match
Roddy Piper vs. Hulk Hogan (Champion)

Piper attacks Hogan before the bell and tosses him outside. Hogan then drags Piper out as they brawl on the floor. Hogan tosses him over the steel rail before bringing him back into the ring. They trade eye rakes as Piper works on Hogan in the corner. Hogan comes back with a clothesline then fires away. He hits a back suplex and a slam before hitting a pair of elbow drops. He punches at Piper in the corner and as the ref steps between them, Piper hits Hogan then takes control of the match. Hogan is able to catch Piper in a bearhug but it is broken up with an eye poke. Piper gets a nearfall then places Hogan in the sleeper. Hogan just raises his arm before the three count then he takes Piper through the ropes with him. They have a stare down as Piper retreats when Hogan no-sells his punch. In the ring, Hogan hits an atomic drop but after that , Piper uses Hogan’s momentum to shove him into the referee. Piper goes outside and grabs a chair and whacks Hogan in the back. Hogan then stops a shot to the throat and they struggle over possession of the chair. Hogan then locks Piper in a sleeper as Orton runs in and decks Hogan with the cast. They double-team Hogan until Orndorff runs out and they take off (7:15) **3/4.

Thoughts: Fun match that could have been even better if it went longer. The post match stuff means that they are continuing with the feud between these four men.


Dynamite Kid vs. Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth

They brush each other off and show off their speed as Savage ducks outside due to frustration. They lockup and go all over the ring until Savage cheap shots Dynamite, who fights back. He hits a shoulder block at rapid speed that has the fans applaud loudly. He hits a backdrop then gets a nearfall with a crossbody. Savage blocks a sunset flip with a sitout splash then ducks a crossbody block. Both men collide at full speed and are on the mat. The camera shows a concerned Elizabeth as Savage heads up top. Dynamite cuts him off with a dropkick then hits a superplex but Savage turns it into a cradle and gets the win (4:50) **1/2.

Thoughts: Both guys went a million miles an hour in this short bout. This could have been a classic if it got more time. Still, it was incredibly fun.

Howard Finkel introduces the Rolls Royce contest but before that, he brings of Jack Tunney and Basil DeVito speak briefly about all of the entries that they received. Hayes then introduces the winner, Michael Hambly from Batavia, IL. This segment was useless.

Mean Gene is with Orndorff & Hogan in the locker room as they challenge Piper & Orton to a match at the next “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”


Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth vs. Junkyard Dog

Savage stalls outside and throws a chair at JYD, who proceeds to catch it then motion for Savage to step inside. JYD shoves away Savage a few times before hitting an atomic drop. He puts Savage in a bearhug until it is broken up with an eye rake. JYD hits Savage with a few forearms and headbutts to the back. Savage gets caught in the ropes as the ref steps between JYD. Savage comes back with a clothesline at a charging JYD then covers and gets two. He knocks JYD outside and hits the double axe handle from the top rope then does it again before choking him out against the guardrail. In the ring, Savage tries another flying axe handle but JYD catches him with a shot to the mid-section. He hits Savage with several headbutts. Savage charges and JYD sends him to the floor with a backdrop and Savage gets counted out as JYD wins the match and the tournament (9:42) **1/4. After the match, Jesse leaves the booth and confronts JYD, stating he is protesting the decision as JYD got a bye in the semi-finals, before leaving.

Thoughts: Another awful finish. The match was fine, as Savage did 90% of the work JYD was blown up two minutes into this match. I guess they thought they could protect Savage with this lost and send the fans home happy with JYD as the winner but they seemed burned out at the end of this long show.

Final Thoughts: There was some good matches here but the show dragged at points and some of these finishes were just plain terrible. Savage was the star of the night though and you can make an argument that he should have won but at the end, it didnt really mean anything either way as the tournament was a stand-alone event and did not factor into then storylines. I would seek out a few matches in this tournament but for the entire show itself, it was too long and I would pass. Also, I believed this show did not do well at all in terms of a buyrate. 

Classic Belts, New Wrestlers

WWE.com upped yet another feature, this time with current superstars posing with Classic Belts. And it's pretty awesome. 
Granted, this draws painful attention to the superiority of previous belt designs to pretty much every title they have now. But it's worth it for the nostalgia boner. Anyhow, keep doing what you're doing, friend.  

I wish they would have expanded it to stuff like the Hogan 86 belt and Attitude Era Gold Eagle, but this was pretty cool.  Cesaro with the European title needs to happen, though.  
Daniel Bryan with the classic winged eagle?  MEANT TO BE.

Classic Show of the Day: Memphis!

Scott, I found this on youtube. It is one of biggest and best angles in memphis. It has Jeff Jarrett debut as a ref. I never watched it until today but always heard about this show. This was my favorite wrestling show i have ever watched. My favorite was the triple title change episode of UWF, but Memphis was always awesome.  This one is of course legendary for the angle with Jarrett. 

Wrestling Classic

Hey Scott,

Watching the 85 Wrestling Classic, and I was struck by Adrian Adonis. I guess I always knew him as the fem-Adrian gimmick. But early in 85, he was in great shape, but by time the Wrestling Classic comes along in November he looks like he's been training with Playboy Buddy Rose. Was this just him getting lazy, or did he get an injury?

Secondly, with the early SNME's, were they just house shows that got filmed, or were they a part of the marathon tapings they used to do?

It was him getting lazy.  It was actually a MAJOR point of contention with Vince, because Adrian was playing this butch New Yorker and getting increasingly fat, so Vince punished him by giving him the Adorable gimmick to shame him into losing weight and/or quitting.  I'm not 100% sure why he suddenly lost all his motivation, but I think it was kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy deal where he gained a bit of weight and Vince freaked out, so he let himself go even more as passive-aggressive reaction and it just got out of his control.  It's too bad because even big fat Adrian was pretty awesome in the ring for someone that size.  
And the SNMEs were part of the giant TV tapings they used to do.  If you think the taping schedule on Tuesday now is brutal that's nothing compared to 5 hours of squash matches broken up by podium interviews and an occasional Main Event taping.

AWA on ESPN Classic, etc.

How is it that ESPN Classic can show reruns of AWA without having to pay WWE any money?  I understand that it aired on their network, but if you use that theory the TNT and TBS can show reruns of Nitro and Thunder without Vince's permission?
Why hasn't ESPN Classic shown WCCW?

Because it's not a "theory"; ESPN signed a very specific deal with the AWA when they aired that show, basically giving them rights to show it in perpetuity because they were taking such a big risk by buying into the company and wanted some way to recoup their money.  I don't know of any other deal structured like that, actually, and TNT definitely can't show reruns of Nitro.  

The SmarK Rant for AWA Classic Championship Wrestling on ESPN Classic (08.17.11)

http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2011/08/20/the-smark-rant-for-awa-championship-wrestling-on-espn-classic-08-17-11/ I’m drawn to this show like a car wreck.  It’s like when you’re walking down the street and see people beating up a ginger kid, and you’re like “Man, I should help that poor freak” but then you stop and take a video for Youtube instead because it’s hilarious.  But you feel bad about it afterwards.  Like that.

The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling on ESPN Classic

The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling on ESPN Classic

Taped from somewhere in Minnesota, I think. The ring announce is Donna Gagne, so that’s what you’re getting into here.

Your hosts are Lee Marshall and Eric Bischoff

This looks to be early 1990, judging by the cast of characters.

DJ Peterson v. Jimmy Magnum

Peterson was a guy who had the look and a pretty good skillset, but ended up being yet another casualty after a motorcycle accident. At least it wasn’t drugs that killed him. DJ with a takedown and he works the leg with a grapevine, but Magnum makes the ropes. Magnum gets his sad jobber offense with a slam, but misses a ridiculous elbowdrop, and Peterson finishes with a sloppy flying clothesline and Scorpion deathlock at 2:53. Kind of funny hearing Marshall yell “Ring the bell, ring the bell!” while Peterson was using that particular hold.

Tommy Jammer v. Tom “Rocky” Stone

Jammer, as all the kids know, is the master of the abdominal stretch. Stone tries to attack him, but Jammer pulls him off the ropes and starts working on the leg. Jammer was a very green kid who looked like a bodybuilder and was supposed to be the teen heartthrob in the absence of, well, everyone else. Was there even anyone under 35 left in the promotion at this point? Jammer rams Stone into the turnbuckles a few times, and finishes with the ABDOMINAL STRETCH OF DEATH at 2:42. Jammer, and I shit you not, is sucking wind after this squash. He kicked around the indies for another couple of years and then thankfully retired.

Yukon John Nord v. The Annihilator

Nord is of course Nord the Barbarian in his pre-Berzerker days, and Annihilator looks like a very young Ahmed Johnson. It wouldn’t be him because he didn’t debut until about three years after this, but the resemblance is uncanny. Nord throws boots and Annihilator no-sells a lot of it, but misses a charge, and that allows Nord to finish with a flying legdrop at 2:17.

The Texas Hangmen v. Tony Leoni & The Cobra

The Hangmen are going by Killer and Psycho. The Hangmen double-team Leoni (who appears to be 80 years old) and hit a double bulldog, which gets two for Killer. The Cobra manages to get a tag and gets nowhere before Psycho hits him with a cheapshot and then comes in with a neckbreaker. DDT gets two. Psycho has an elbowpad, so I’m assuming that’s Mark Canterbury. Demolition Decapitation finishes at 3:22. They could not have been more obvious about ripping off Demolition unless they were managed by “Mr. Fugee” or something.

As a bonus, we take a look at the first meeting of Larry Zbyszko and Nikita Koloff, leading up to our main event tonight. I thought they would show clips, but no, they end up showing an entire 10 minute TV match between them. Larry hits Nikita with the belt to draw a DQ here.

Larry Zbyszko v. Nikita Koloff, 2/3 Falls

Sadly, this is non-title. Koloff pounds away in the corner and hiptosses Larry before tossing him out of the ring, and they brawl outside. Koloff runs him into the shower curtain that keeps fans from rushing into the ring, but Larry comes back and chokes him out with a TV cable. Back in, Larry with more of his patented choking and they slug it out. The announcers spend an inordinate amount of time talking about the referee, who is apparently a former football player. Note to idiot announcers: No one gives a shit about the referee. Koloff pounds away in the corner and gets two, then drops an elbow for two. Larry rolls him up with a handful of tights at 4:09 to win the first fall, however.

Second fall and Koloff runs Larry into the corner and puts him down with a shoulderblock, but Larry takes him down in the corner and gets two. Finally, after 30 seconds with his feet on the ropes, the idiot ref notices that Larry is cheating and breaks it up. Oh lord. Larry with a backbreaker for two, and he goes to the chinlock. Vintage Larry Z! That goes on so long that I have a chance to go read the new Observer while I wait for Koloff to escape. It lasts more than a minute, no joke. Koloff escapes with a backslide for the second fall at 9:10, continuing the cheap finish motif for this match.

Third fall and now the announcers are discussing the career of Zbyszko’s “grandfather” Stanislaus. Did Larry even use that as part of his gimmick? Larry pounds away in the corner, but Koloff shoves him off and finishes with the Sickle at 10:48. A competent but really boring main event, as clearly neither guy gave a shit at this point. They’d both bail for WCW when the AWA folded later that year. **1/4

Yikes. This wasn’t even the kind of bad that was fun to mock. This was a company clearly circling the drain, using the World champion’s wife as the ring announcer.