WWF Philadelphia Spectrum June 28th, 1986

June 28, 1986

Your hosts are Dick Graham and Gorilla Monsoon

Tonight, Hulk Hogan defends his Heavyweight Championship against King Kong Bundy. Also, Randy Savage defends his Intercontinental Title against Paul Orndorff and Don Muraco faces the Junkyard Dog.

Brickhouse Brown vs. Moondog Rex

This was the WWF debut of Brickhouse, who got booed by the crowd during the ring introductions. Gorilla talks about Brickhouse’s success as a Chippendale’s dancer as Brickhouse uses his speed to elude Rex. Brickhouse hits a dropkick then catches Rex’s foot as the crowd boos as it takes him about a minute to turn him around a hit an atomic drop. Brickhouse escapes from the corner and knocks Rex down as Gorilla refers to Brickhouse as a smaller version of Tony Atlas. Brickhouse grabs a chinlock then gets two off of a falling headbutt. Rex takes control after getting his elbow up on a charge then gets two off of a splash. Rex grabs a chinlock as the crowd seems bored to tears. Brickhouse fights back but gets caught with a backbreaker. He is able to backdrop Rex then lays into Rex with a flurry of rights. Rex reverses an Irish whip but Brickhouse leaps on the second rope and comes back with a flying headbutt for the win (6:29) 1/2*.

Thoughts: Brickhouse had a few athletic spots that looked nice but this match was garbage. Neither guy was on the same page. Brickhouse never did anything of note in the WWF and was gone in several weeks.

Tiger Chung Lee & Hercules Hernandez vs. Danny Spivey & Mike Rotundo

Some kid in the crowd is holding up a “Spivey Sucks” sign. The team of Spivey & Rotundo are now wearing matching trunks. Match starts with Lee getting worked over by Spivey & Rotundo, who are using quick tags and mainly targeting the arm. Hercules tags but Spivey takes him down with an armdrag then grabs an armbar. Hercules breaks the hold but Spivey takes him down after an Irish whip sequence. Rotundo tags an hits an atomic drop but whiffs on a dropkick. Lee tags and targets the back of Rotundo as the heels use quick tags and double teams on Rotundo. None of it looked good by the way. Rotundo tags as Lee missed an elbow drop then Spivey cleans house until he is stopped by Lee. Hercules works on Spivey then distracts the ref so Lee can choke him out. They take down Spivey with a double chop then set him up in a Tree of Woe as a fan almost made it into the ring but got dragged out by security. This is quite the crowd tonight by the way. Spivey and Hercules collide but Lee is tagged in and cuts off Spivey from making the tag. Lee slams Spivey but goes up top and ends up getting slammed. Hot tag to Rotundo who cleans house. Hercules breaks up a cover then Spivey is tagged into the match and hits Lee with a bulldog for the win (12:26) *1/2.

Thoughts: Basic match. Lee looked terrible in the ring but Rotundo was really good here and Spivey is very slowly improving. The matching tights are a sign that they are getting a bit of a serious look as a team.

Tito Santana vs. “Adorable” Adrian Adonis

Adonis is a bloated mess. I think he even has bigger tits than Elizabeth does. Anyway, they take it to the mat to start as Tito works a headscissors for a long time. He then catches Adonis with a few slams and a armdrag for nearfalls. Tito now works a hammerlock on the mat for what seems like an eternity as the crowd starts up a boring chant. Tito then catches Adonis with an abdominal stretch but Adonis ends up sending him to the floor. He follows Tito outside and roughs him up for a bit until Tito catches him with an atomic drop that sends Adonis into the post. Back inside, Tito works yet another hammerlock as the crowd is getting restless. Adonis breaks the hold with an eye rake then hits him low as he takes control of the match. He sends Tito back to the floor then taunts the crowd, who are a less than tolerant group. Tito ends up taking down Adonis from the floor and ramming his leg against the post. Tito goes back inside and hammers away. Tito covers but Adonis was able to get his foot on the bottom rope. Tito gets another nearfall but Adonis blocks a reverse rollup attempt then grabs Tito’s tights for leverage as he gets the win (11:38) *1/2. After the match, Tito gets his revenge on Adonis.

Thoughts: Dull stuff filled with rest holds. Tito was certainly doing nothing of note at all from the time when he dropped the IC title to Savage until he formed Strike Force with Rick Martel. He was just putting over the hot heel, helping them get to a higher profile match, like he did tonight.

Moondog Spot vs. Billy Jack Haynes

Spot bounces off of Haynes then gets thrown down in a terrible looking spot. Billy Jack messed that one up. Haynes works a side headlock on the mat then they trade arm wringers. Haynes goes to work on the arm as the announcers talk about the previous match. Haynes catches Spot with a slam, who then retreats to the corner. Haynes goes back to the arm as the crowd remains unimpressed. Spot rakes the eyes and then rams Haynes’ head off of the turnbuckle. A bunch of fans are shown flipping off Spot, who then tosses Haynes to the floor near the announcers table. Back inside, Spot works a chinlock as we are informed that the next match will be Junkyard Dog vs. Don Muraco. The crowd boos as this match has been painfully dull. Spot beats on Haynes in the corner then hits him with a kneelift. Haynes comes back with kneelift but Spot is able to follow that with an atomic drop for a nearfall. Haynes then gets two off of a sunset flip but runs into a clothesline. Spot misses a splash off of the second rope then begs for mercy in the corner before Haynes chops away. Haynes slams Spot then drops the leg for two. Spot blocks a monkey flip in the corner but misses an elbow drop and that allows Haynes to lock on the full nelson for the win (10:34) *1/4.

Thoughts: Haynes was pretty bad in the ring but he had the look and was starting to get a push. Spot tried to hold things together but the action here was non existent.

Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Junkyard Dog

Muraco starts by continuously retreating outside. JYD his Muraco, who gets pissed and heads to the corner. JYD then grabs a headlock and catches Muraco with a slam, who rolls back outside. Muraco comes back in and lands a few shots but JYD reverses an Irish whip then backdrops Muraco, who yet again rolls outside. Muraco keeps on retreating outside after being attacked by JYD but the crowd is still somewhat interested in this match. Muraco comes back in and rakes the eyes. He hit the Asiatic Spike and follows that with a nee drop for two. JYD fights back then takes down Muraco with a clothesline that gets two. He hits another clothesline then Fuji goes on the apron as Muraco takes his cane and breaks it over JYD’s back for the DQ (6:20) DUD. Muraco continues assaulting JYD after the bell and ends up busting him open but JYD fights back then grabs a piece of the broken cane but the ref stops him, allowing Muraco to escape. JYD then whacks the ref with the cane, who takes a comical bump which makes the crowd happy.

Thoughts: Terrible match but sadly this is about all you could do with JYD at this point. His offense looked as bad as anyone else I have ever seen. Besides all of that, he was still over thus getting somewhat of a push but nowhere near the point he was a year prior. This also seemed to be setting up for a future match.

Kal Rudman is backstage with King Kong Bundy, who thinks people who cheer for Hogan are brain dead then brings out Miss America, who is apparently a Bundy fan.

WWF Heavyweight Championship Match
King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Hulk Hogan (Champion)

Bundy shows off his strength by shoving Hogan into the corner a few times. He tries for an Avalanche but misses and Hogan takes control. Heenan jumps on the apron and Hogan knocks him down. Hogan clotheslines Bundy a few times then tosses him to the floor. Hogan follows him out and they engage in a slugfest. Hogan wins that as the fans are going nuts. Hogan whacks Bundy with a chair then chases Heenan away before going back to the ring. Hogan slugs away at Bundy and picks him up for a slam but Heenan jumps up on the apron and pushes Bundy on top of Hogan. The ref sees this and orders Heenan to the dressing room as Bundy drops an elbow for two. He slams Hogan and follows that with a splash for a nearfall then hammers away. Hogan reverses an Irish whip and catches Bundy with a powerslam but hurt his back and Bundy puts him in a chinlock. Bundy breaks that then hits the Avalanche for two but Hogan hulks up then unloads on Bundy. He hits the big boot then drops the leg but Adrian Adonis, wearing a blond wig and a dress, runs to break up the pin for the DQ (7:05) **1/2. Hogan eventually tosses Bundy to the floor and chases Adonis away but not before grabbing his wig. Hogan then taunts Adonis with his wig and this lasts for a long time ending with Hogan posing to his theme music.

Thoughts: This was a really good match until the last thirty seconds. Bundy and Hogan worked well together and this was all action, with the brawling outside of the ring looking really good too. Hogan could still move around well enough and Bundy was fairly athletic for his size. Fun stuff that sets up the main event for next month’s show.

George Wells vs. “Handsome” Harley Race

Wells, who is really heavy here, starts off by hitting Race with a shoulder block. He runs into a clothesline then Race drops an elbow for two. Wells fights back as the crowd is silent then grabs a side headlock. Monsoon puts over Race’s career as he breaks the hold. Race hits a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Knee drop gets two. Race then drops a knee then tosses Wells to the floor where he lands a falling headbutt. He rams Wells against the railing as the crowd couldn’t care less. Back inside, Wells makes a comeback but clotheslines himself against the ropes after Race side stepped him then puts Wells away with a cradle suplex (6:05) *.

Thoughts: The fans didn’t even care enough to boo or chant boring here. Race could still wrestle well at this point but this was a nothing match and Wells looked awful.

Les Thornton vs. King Tonga

After promising Tonga vs. Studd throughout the show, they give us Les Thornton instead. So much for the bodyslam angle. Thornton grabs a side headlock as Gorilla tells us that Polynesians tan very easily. Tonga grabs a side headlock as the camera pans to a cute girl wearing a Hogan short. Back to the action as they are trading arm wringers until Tonga grabs a side headlock as a fan yells “boring.” Thornton beats on Tonga in the corner but that fails and Tonga goes back to the arm. Thornton breaks and hammers away but Tonga fights back. He hits a back elbow smash then catches him with a slam before drilling him with a side kick for the win (4:04) 1/2*. Christ, he planted him with that.

Thoughts: Talk about bait and switch. Tonga had the angle on TV where he slammed Studd but that push lasted for about two weeks as Studd and Bundy would be feuding with the Machines very shortly.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Match
“Macho Man” Randy Savage (Champion) w/ Elizabeth vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff

The match starts with Savage taunting Orndorff from the top rope then getting pissed when Orndorff takes the belt from the ref and poses with it, causing Savage to duck outside. Savage tries to psych out Orndorff, who is having any of it, then goes back outside where the fans give him all sorts of shit. Savage goes back in and tries a handshake that Orndorff laughs at then grabs the arm until Savage reaches the ropes. Savage grabs a side headlock then hits a shoulder block but bails after Orndorff hits a pair of armdrags. Savage tosses a chair into the ring as the fans continue to harass Savage. As Savage bails, Orndorff gives a bouquet of flowers to Elizabeth, which makes Savage go nuts. He grabs the bouquet and tries to smush it in Orndorff’s face but that fails. Onrdorff hits an elbow drop but eats boot on a charge. Savage takes him down with a clothesline then heads up top and hits a double axe handle for two. Savage chokes Orndorff on the mat but Orndorff comes back with a reverse rollup for two. Savage gets on top of Orndorff then takes him down with a kneelift. Suplex gets two. Savage tries another double axe handle but Orndorff catches him with a shot to the gut then fires away. He knocks Savage outside and follows him out as they brawl. Orndorff floats over on a suplex attempt then clotheslines Savage and goes inside the ring, just beating the ten count as he wins the match via count out (8:20) **1/4. After the match, Orndorff poses similarly to Hogan.

Thoughts: Not a technical masterpiece but fun enough and a nice way to send the home happy. This crowd hated Savage too. Orndorff wrestled as a total face here and was less aggressive than usual with his offense, kinda the opposite of what he was doing on TV.

Gorilla tells us that next month, Hogan will face Adrian Adonis for the title.

Final Thoughts: This was not a good show at all. The two title matches were fun but everything else was a waste of time. I would avoid this show completely unless you are a Hogan fan.

WWF Philadelphia Spectrum September 28th,1985

September 28th, 1985
Your hosts are Dick Graham & Gorilla Monsoon
Matches for tonight include Ricky Steamboat vs. Don Muraco, Roddy Piper & Bob Orton vs. Paul Orndorff & Bruno Sammartino, and Hulk Hogan defends his World Heavyweight Title against “Macho Man” Randy Savage (According to Graham Cawthon of TheHistoryofWWE.com, this is the first known match between Hogan and Savage.)

Rick McGraw vs. Moondog Spot
Spot backs McGraw into the corner. He charges but McGraw counters with a sunset flip for two. McGraw goes to work on the arm for a few minutes as Gorilla plugs the WWF Album. He gets two off of a crossbody then goes back to the arm for another couple of minutes as the crowd starts to boo. The announcers talk about the top matches tonight as this is really starting to drag. Spot misses an elbow drop and McGraw slams him before going back to the armbar. He leapfrogs Spot and hits a dropkick before once again going back to the armbar. Spot finally takes control after catching McGraw with a backbreaker. He puts on a chinlock then catches McGraw with a gutbuster when he tried to escape. McGraw failed to get Spot over on a sunset flip then gets hit with a forearm smash from the second rope. Spot puts on another chinlock. McGraw escapes but misses a charge in the corner. Spot tosses him to the floor then kicks him off of the apron. Back in the ring, Spot gets two off of a powerslam. Inverted atomic drop gets two and he goes back to the chinlock. McGraw manages a backdrop but misses an elbow drop. Spot manages a few nearfalls with a kneelift and a clothesline. He heads up top but McGraw slams him off then has Spot beg for mercy in the corner. McGraw slugs away then gets two off of a backslide. After a quick reversal sequence, Spot ducks as McGraw hit his head on the buckle during a reverse rollup attempt and that allows Spot to hit a fist drop for the win (16:24) **1/4.
Thoughts: The first several minutes of the match were brutal but this actually got decent towards the end. I have said it a lot but Spot was a really underrated worker.
Kal Rudman is with Bruno Sammartino. He cuts a good promo, saying that he is not as big as he used to be and not even the wrestle he was a few years ago but that he can brawl and this is the match that they want. He has no respect for Piper, flat out stating that he doesn’t like him. He also says that he does not compare wrestlers to each other, because he believes they are all individuals.
Rudman is now with Orton and Piper. He asks Piper about what Bruno just said as Orton believes that Bruno said this because he is passé and senile. Piper jokes about Bruno running eight miles a day, stating it is because he is trying to get away from his wife then laughs about Bruno losing weight for being old. Not the best work from Piper but entertaining enough.
“Cowboy” Bob Orton & Roddy Piper vs. Paul Orndorff & Bruno Sammartino
Bruno and Orndorff go right after the heels as soon as they enter the ring, with Bruno beating on Orton and Orndorff beating on Piper. They then chase them outside of the ring as they brawl all over the place. They get into the ring as the faces continue the assault as the fans are going out of their minds. Piper then wraps his shirt around the neck of Bruno as he and Orton take control. Orndorff gets dumped outside as Orton chokes out Bruno. Piper tosses Orndorff over the guardrail. In the ring, Piper has Bruno in a sleeper hold but Orndorff breaks that up with an axe handle off of the top rope. Piper tags Orton, who puts on a sleeper. Bruno fights back but Orton tags Piper then cuts off the tag. Piper goes after Bruno but he is able to escape and tag Orndorff, as the building goes crazy. Orndorff uses the double noggin knocker on Piper and Orton then chokes out Piper with a shirt. Bruno is beating on Orton outside of the ring. The action spills outside as Piper sends Orndorff into the post. Sammartino goes after Piper until Orton hits him from behind with a steel chair as the ref signals for the bell (7:52) ***1/4. After the match, Orndorff goes insane and starts throwing chairs and even a table into the ring towards the heels, who manage to escape. The official decision is a double count-out, which has the crowd start a loud “bullshit” chant.
Thoughts: The brawling wasn’t particularly special but the match was all action and it was all very intense. Bruno still looked decent at brawling at this point. The crowd reaction was insanely loud throughout the match.
Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Steamboat dodges an attack but runs into a knee. Muraco stomps away then chops him against the ropes. Steamboat leapfrogs Muraco then chokes him out with his belt, payback from being hung on TV last month. Steamboat is still wearing his robe as he locks on a sleeper hold. Muraco fights back but Steamboat chokes him out with his ring jacket. He hits a neckbreaker and a fist drop but Muraco reverses an Irish whip in the corner and Steamboat gets hung over the ropes. He falls outside where Fuji hits him in the chest with his cane. Steamboat goes after Fuji but Muraco shoves him into the post from behind. Muraco slingshots Steamboat back into the ring then goes to work on the back and neck. He works a nerve hold for a long time as the fans chant for Steamboat. The Steamer makes it to his feet and hits a few chops but walks right into a clothesline. Steamboat dodges a charge and goes right to work. He kicks Muraco in the corner. Steamboat chops him down. He hits a flying chop off the top rope that gets two. Then, in an incredibly contrived spot, Steamboat enziguiri’s Muraco, who stumbles all the way across the ring and knocks down the referee. Steamboat makes the cover but the referee is not there. Fuji comes in and hits Steamboat with the cane but Steamboat takes it away from him and beats on Fuji then Muraco. The referee tries to intervene but gets shoved down and the bell rings for the DQ on Steamboat (16:20) **. Muraco and Steamboat retreat backstage as Steamboat has the cane.
Thoughts: Dull match. Muraco was really lazy here too. The nerve hold was pathetic and the ref bump looked bad too. Steamboat did most of the work in this match. The feud will continue.
Barry O. vs. King Tonga
Barry attacks Tonga to start but gets chopped hard. Barry bails after getting dropkicked then gets headbutted down when he returns. Tonga puts on a chinlock but Barry escapes then tosses Tonga outside. Barry hits a few elbow smashes but Tonga blocks a suplex attempt and hits one of his own. Barry goes back on offense but misses an elbow smash from the top, allowing Tonga to fight back. He uses a stepover toehold and works that for a minute. Barry rakes the eyes but eats a sidekick then Tonga finishes him with a splash (5:42) *1/4.
Thoughts: Tonga would later go on as Haku. He made his debut on TV a couple of weeks before this show. He was small at this point too and fairly agile. He was a bit green in the ring though.
Mel Phillips plugs the October 26th show at the Spectrum, which includes Tony Garea vs. Masked Superstar, Moondog Spot & Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Cousin Junior & Hillbilly Jim, Terry Funk vs. Junkyard Dog, Don Muraco vs. Tito Santana, and the main event will be Bob Orton & Roddy Piper vs. Paul Orndorff & Bruno Sammartino in a steel cage match.
WWF Heavyweight Championship Match
“Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth vs. Hulk Hogan (Champion)
Hogan shoves Savage off of a lockup to start things out. Savage bails and yells at the fans before going back inside. Hogan works the arm then Savage retreats again. Back inside, Hogan mocks Savage and ducks outside but gets attacked by Savage when he goes back inside. Hogan blocks a turnbuckle smash then fires away. Savage bails and hides behind Elizabeth as Hogan chases after him. Hogan grabs a headlock when they go back into the ring. Savage then winds up in a tree-of-woe as Hogan chokes him with his foot. He hits an atomic drop that sends Savage to the floor where Savage hides behind Elizabeth yet again. Hogan, on the apron, feels out Savage who is standing in the ring. Inside, Hogan misses a charge as Savage chokes him out with the rope. Double axe handle gets two. Savage misses a knee drop but maintains control. Hogan knocks Savage outside again then picks up Elizabeth, gently placing her to the side, in order to get to Savage. Inside the ring, Savage kicks Hogan after he ducked his head for a backdrop. He goes up top but misses a flying elbow smash and Hulk drops the elbow a Joey Marella counts fast to three as Hogan checks if he won and he did (11:17) **1/2. After the Savage, Savage flips out and tosses Hogan and Marella outside. He then grabs the belt and leaps off of the top and hits Hogan with it before going back into the ring, where he puts the belt around his waist and celebrates.
Thoughts: You could see the chemistry right off the bat with these two. The match did not have a lot of action but Savage put on a clinic with his heel work. Savage and Hogan worked the crowd into a frenzy and barely did any “wrestling.” This also led to a few more months of Savage vs. Hogan matches at the house show circuit. Watching this also really made you want to see a rematch.
Final Thoughts:  Well, two out of the three matches really delivered, making it a solid card overall. The opening match was long and the Tonga match was a throwaway. I did find it a bit odd that none of the regular tag teams were on the card. Matches that took place that were not on the card include: SD Jones vs. AJ Petruzzi, Steve Gatorwolf vs. King Kong Bundy, and Rene Goulet vs. Scott McGhee.

WWF Philadelphia Spectrum August 24th, 1985

August 24, 1985
Your hosts are Dick Graham and Gorilla Monsoon
My copy of the show omits the first two matches, which were Steve Gatorwolf vs. Terry Gibbs and Corporal Kirchner vs. AJ Petruzzi
Tonight, Bruno Sammartino appears as a special guest referee for a match between Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper plus the Tag Team Titles are on the line when the champions, Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham defend their belts against Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake.

“Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton
The crowd is all over Orton, who starts by backing Poffo into the corner. Lanny comes back and hits a dropkick that has Orton retreat outside. Back in the ring, they engage in a test of strength then take it to the mat where Poffo uses his quickness to his advantage. Poffo hits a pair of armdrags after a criss-cross spot. Poffo kips back up after getting bodyslammed and slams Orton before going back to the arm for a while as the announcers talk about the rest of the card. Orton finally escapes and goes to work in the corner but misses a forearm smash from the top rope. Poffo knocks down Orton and gets two then goes to work on the injured arm. Orton asks for a timeout, selling his arm in the process. He tries to outsmart Lanny but that fails and he gets rolled up for two. Orton walks up the aisle, holding his arm. Back in the ring, Orton takes control. He drives Poffo face-first into the mat then drops him throat-first on the top rope. Poffo is draped over the apron and Orton elbows his throat. Poffo fights back from the apron and slingshots in with a sunset flip that gets two but Orton kicks his ass after that. He hits a slingshot suplex but misses an inverted corner splash. Poffo hits a monkey flip and an atomic drop that has Orton beg for mercy. Poffo hits a dropkick but gets caught with a knee on a charge and Orton hits the superplex for the win (14:10) **1/4
Thoughts: The match was alright, but it had a ton of stalling on the part of Orton. Lanny looked alright and was on offense for a majority of the match. Its been established right off the bat that Lanny was nothing more than a lower card worker. Orton continues to work the angle with the cast and looked okay here but this was the period when he started to get really lazy as a worker.
Special Guest Referee: Bruno Sammartino
Roddy Piper w/ Bob Orton vs. Paul Orndorff
Orndorff comes charging into the ring, nearly falling down in the process. Bruno sends Orton to the locker room and orders each competitor into their corners. Orndorff starts by winning a slugfest. Piper’s foot is stuck in the ropes and Orndorff hammers away, with the crowd going crazy. Piper uses an eye poke to take control but Bruno blocks his punch in the corner and that allows Orndorff to fire away. Piper again cheats to take control then they have a major miscommunication during a neckbreaker spot but Piper just poses afterwards to get the crowd to hate him even more. Piper shoves Bruno then roughs up Orndorff before sending him to the floor. He rams Orndorff’s head off of the table then back inside the ring, he continues his assault. Bruno shoves Piper away after he was stomping Orndorff near the ropes and they go back-and-forth, allowing Orndorff to fight back. He locks Roddy into a sleeper but refuses to break the hold. They spill outside where Roddy throws a drink at his face. He rolls him in the ring then grabs a chair and “hits” Bruno with the chair when he tried to stop him. It was more like a bunt to be honest. Orndorff clotheslines Piper and goes for the piledriver but Orton runs out and attacks him. Bruno gets up and unloads on Orton then the heels retreat as Orndorff wins by DQ (8:09) **1/2.
Thoughts: This match had a ton of heat. It wasn’t a technical masterpiece by any means but the brawling looked solid, if not sloppy at times. Bruno did not do much as a referee but he was really only there to set up the tag match at next month’s show. Piper was awesome as usual here.
Backstage, Gorilla is with Bruno and Piper. Bruno says he is bitter due to Piper and Orton as they have no respect for anyone. Gorilla informs us that Bruno & Orndorff will team against Piper & Orton at the next Spectrum Show, which will be reviewed on the site.
Now, Piper and Orton are with Gorilla. Piper was absolutely hilarious in this segment.
Tony Garea vs. Missing Link
No Heenan tonight. Link retreats after a few punches. He misses a corner charge and Garea works the arm as the crowd is completely silent. Garea works the arm for a bit until Link escapes and takes him outside. He rams Garea into the post twice then tries to bring the ring steps into the ring with him but the ref stops him. Garea fights back outside and basically walks him into the ring post. Back in the ring, Garea rings his bell as the crowd starts to boo as this match is shit. Kneelift gets two. He hits an atomic drop before knocking him down with a forearm smash. He now works on the leg as absolutely no one cares about this match. Crossbody gets two. Garea walks into a headbutt but is able to roll away from the flying headbutt. He gets a few nearfalls but ducks his head and Link hits a headbutt for a win (8:08) -*.
Thoughts: Holy shit was this terrible. Garea’s offense was abysmal and Link just acted like a regular guy here, which was much worse than his character. I have no idea who thought that this should go eight minutes long, with Garea taking 90% of the offense.
Kal Rudman is backstage with Hillbilly Jim and his Cousin Junior (jobber Lanny Kean) who will be facing Big John Studd. The interview runs a little long with Junior playing up that he is a complete moron. The Hillbilly stuff would really go into overdrive in the WWF shortly after this show.
Rudman is with Big John Studd, who runs down all of the Hillbillies and also takes shots at Andre. He calls himself the strongest man in wrestling and issues a challenge to anyone in the WWF.
Big John Studd vs. Cousin Junior w/Hillbilly Jim
Junior had not yet made his debut on television. The Hillbillies start by dancing in the ring. Studd attacks Junior from behind. Junior fights back with a mule kick then hammers away. He sends Studd outside with another mule kick, who teases a confrontation with Hillbilly Jim. Back inside, Studd beats on Junior. He slams him then gets two off of a forearm smash. He then ties Junior’s head in the ropes and the referee signals the bell for the DQ (3:44) DUD. After the match, Jim comes in and knocks down Studd, who retreats to the back.
Thoughts: The match was useless but at least it was short, which is what you want from these guys. Looks like they are also going for a match between Studd and Jim down the road.
WWF Tag Team Championship
Dream Team w/Johnny Valiant vs. Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham w/Capt. Lou Albano (Champions)
The heels jump the champs to start. The faces take control with a double noggin knocker. The match settles down as Valentine and Rotundo are in the ring. Rotundo wins that battle then tags Windham. He hits an elbow smash off of the top rope then uses an arm wringer. Valentine catches him with a knee and makes the tag. Windham dodges an elbow drop and tags Rotundo, who grabs an armbar. The faces take turns working on the arm of Beefcake as Valentine complains to the ref. They hit Beefcake with a double dropkick that gets two. Rotundo puts him in a front facelock but Beefcake makes the tag behind his back and Valentine hits an elbow smash from the top rope. He softens up the leg of Rotundo as the fans start a “USA” chant. The heels isolate Rotundo using sleeper holds, who has the crowd solidly behind him. He finally makes the tag but the ref did not see it happen and orders Windham back to the apron. Rotundo catches Valentine with a punch as he comes off the top rope. Brutus tags in and cuts off Rotundo before applying another front facelock. Valentine tags and goes after Windham, who fires away, but the ref steps in between them. Shoulderbreaker gets two. Rotundo fights off a figure-four attempt but is still not able to make the tag. He collides with Beefcake as both men are down. Valentine outsmarts the ref and Windham by dragging Beefcake on top of Rotundo but that only gets two. He tags but misses a few elbow drops and that allows Rotundo to finally make the tag. The crowd goes nuts as Windham runs wild on the Dream Team. He bulldogs Valentine but that only gets two. He tries it again but Beefcake breaks up the pin. The match breaks down as the ref is distracted, allowing Valiant to slip Beefcake his cigar. He puts it in the eye of Windham then Valentine covers for the win and the belts (19:00) ***. After the match, Windham is rolling around in pain as the crowd is pissed off.
Thoughts: Good match. The second title reign for Windham & Rotundo did not last very long at all. These two were supposed to work a program but Windham quit the company. In his shoot interview, Windham said that he and Rotundo asked for a few days off after being on the road for 96 days and said that after being denied the request, he flipped out on George Scott and Chief Jay Strongbow at a show in Boston and ended up taking a plane back home to Florida. Windham said that the insane travel schedule made them both snap at the time.
Rick McGraw vs. Brett Hart
McGraw looks absolutely ripped here. Hart bails after a hiptoss. McGraw hits a few armdrags and a dropkick before Hart retreats to the corner. He works the arm of McGraw as the crowd starts a loud “boring” chant. McGraw takes control but Hart yanks him down by the hair. Hart takes control after raking the eyes as the boring chants are not stopping. McGraw boots down Hart after he ducked his head then runs his face along the ropes. Suplex gets two. Backslide gets two. Hart holds up on the rope as McGraw attempted a dropkick. Hart hits a backbreaker then drops an elbow from the second rope for the win (5:32) *.
Thoughts: Basic match that the crowd turned on instantly. Bret had no charisma at this point and McGraw never had any to begin with.
Dick Graham, who was awful as an announcer, runs down next month’s card that features Orndorff & Bruno vs. Piper & Orton, Don Muraco vs. Ricky Steamboat, and Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan.
Final Thoughts: The show was memorable for the Tag Title switch and Bruno getting involved with the Piper/Orndorff angle. The rest of the card was completely forgettable but next month’s show looks a lot better at least.

WWF Philadelphia Spectrum April 27th, 1985

April 27th, 1985

Your hosts are Dick Graham and Gorilla Monsoon

Tonight, Hulk Hogan defends the WWF Heavyweight Championship against Paul Orndorff. Plus, a tag team battle royal featuring ten teams for the chance to win $50,000. This card also features the first tag team match between the Hart Foundation and the British Bulldogs.

Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart & Brett Hart vs. British Bulldogs

Jimmy Hart is not present for this match. The ring announcer also calls refers to Bret as the “Hitman” for the first time I have heard in the WWF. Dynamite and Bret start off with a lockup. Brett complains about a hairpull as Gorilla notes that Bret has had a recent change of attitude and says that the money offered from Jimmy Hart has changed him. Davey tags and Brett works a hammerlock until Davey uses his momentum to send him to the floor. Back in the ring, they have a rollup reversal sequence then Brett tags out. Davey hits the Anvil with a pair of hip tosses then Bret tags. He catches Davey’s foot but gets nailed with an enziguiri and the fans pop as Brett ducks outside. Back in, Dynamite hits a snap suplex but Anvil breaks up the pin. Brett catches Dynamite with a running knee smash then he and the Anvil double-team him. Neidhart works a chinlock for a minute then breaks and spits towards Davey on the apron, which angers the crowd. Dynamite catches Bret with a backslide but that Bret holds him up while Neidhart hits him with a dropkick. Dynamite catches the Anvil with a dropkick and after a struggle is aboe to make the tag but the referee did not see it and Davey goes back to the apron. Bret slams Dynamite on the floor then Anvil works another chinlock in the ring. Brett tags and Dynamite flips out of a side slam attempt and hits Brett with a backbreaker then tags Davey. He runs wild on both men, showing off his power and speed with the crowd going crazy, but gets outnumbered. Brett drops an elbow then beats on Davey in the corner. Anvil tags and pounds away on Davey. The match slows way down as Brett uses a nerve hold on Davey. However, the crowd gets behind Davey and he ducks a clothesline and hits an atomic drop as both men are down. Both guys thenget up only to collide. Brett takes control and Davey is now getting destroyed in the corner. Davey gets tossed outside but he is able to reverse an Irish whip and send Bret into the guardrail. Davey fights Neidhart on the apron and slingshots in with a sunset flip but is unable to get him over. Bret tags and goes up top but gets tossed off and Davey climibs up and hits a missie dropkick before tagging Dynamite. He runs wild on Brett until Neidhart attacks him from behind. After a minute, Dynamite hits Bret with a tombstone but Anivl breaks it up. Davey tags and hits a running powerslam before tagging right back out. The Bulldogs use quick tags to attack Brett but Anvil makes the save and tags himself into the match. Brett comes back in and the bell rings, signaling a time-limit draw (20:00) ***.

Thoughts: Good match but not the best from these two teams. It was slow at times but there was a lot of moves by the Bulldogs that were not usually seen on WWF shows. Brett (Yes, it is spelled like that here) continues to show little personality in the ring. His complaining of a hairpull was the most animated I have seen him in the WWF at this point.

Tito Santana & David Sammartino vs. Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake w/Luscious Johnny Valiant

Sammartino and Beefcake start things out. Sammartino gets a hiptoss and a press slam. Beefcake tries to bail and gets decked by Tito. He is able to regroup outside as David tries to ignite the crowd. Valentine tries to go in but the referee orders Beefcake back into the ring. He hits Samamrtino with a tag before tagging out. Valentine misses an elbow then Tito tags in but Valentine immediately bails. He stalls outside the ring then teases a confrontation with Tito before tagging out. Sammartino tags back in and Beefcake works a headlock. Sammartino catches him with a slam then works the arm. Tito tags and also works the arm but decides to attack Valentine on the apron. Valentine runs in and Tito continues to fire away and the heels briefly regroup. Tito puts Beefcake in a headlock then stomps away. Samamrtino tags and works the arm but Beefcake backs him into the corner and hammers away. Beefcake slams him and tags Valentine, who targets the back. He uses a reverse chinlock as this crowd is surprisngly dead for this match. The heels use quick tags to neutralize Sammartino, who tries to fight back  and finally makes the tag. Tito goes right after Valentine and beats the shit out of him as the crowd slowly awakes. Valentine gets his knee up on a splash attempt then chokes out Tito. Valiant slips something to Valentine and he hits Tito with a back suplex. He tries for the figure four but Tito shoves him into Beefcake, who falls off the apron. Valentine yells at Beefcake to get up then Tito uses a reverse rollup to score the win (11:04) **.

Thoughts: This was really dull at times but the stuff between Tito and Valentine was fun. Tito would really lay into Valentine with his punches.

Roddy Piper & “Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. George Wells & S.D. Jones

Piper and Orton stall to start then attack from behind. The faces come right back and double team Piper briefly but Orton comes off the rope and hits Jones on the back of the neck with his cast and Piper covers for the win (2:24) DUD.

Thoughts: Barely a match and the crowd did not even buy the finish. I did not get the point of making this match so short, especially considering the length of the other matches on the card.

Kal Rudman is backstage with the Tag Team Champions, Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik. Nikolai runs down the United States for inflation as the Sheik rants about winning the prize. Rudman then asks them about Piper & Orton stating their plan of hiding in the corner and waiting until everyone else beats each other up then throwing out the last team. Volkoff then goes on about Russia having more gold medals than any other country. Rudman was pretty good, actually. If you dont know who he is, Rudman was the host of “Friday Morning Quarterback” in Philadelphia and apparently was a huge philanthropist. I know this because BoD commenter Adam B. posted that on a previous review that I wrote. Thank you, Adam.

Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff vs. Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo

This is a non-title match. Windham and Rotundo run down and attack the champs as they sing their national anthems. The crowd pops huge for that. The “U-S-A” chants rain down before Sheik and Windham start the match. Windham ducks a punch and Sheik goes over the top rope. Back inside, Sheik gets double-teamed and the action is all fast-faced. Volkoff holds up Windham but he escapes and Sheik takes him off the apron with a dropkick. Volkoff tags into the match and Windham rolls him up for two. Rotundo tags but Volkoff grabs his hair and backs him ino the corner. Rotundo is able to duck a charge and tags Windham. He works the arm of Nikolai for a minute but Volkoff escapes and targets the knee. Sheik tags and hits a backdrop then puts on an abdominal stretch. Windham takes him over but misses an elbow drop. Sheik gets two off a gutwrench suplex. After a struggle, Windham hits a delayed vertical suplex as both men are down. Both men then collide and are down again. Volkoff tags but so does Rotundo and he runs wild. He hits a dropkick then slams Volkoff for two. They work another collision spot then trade pinfalls. Rotundo jumps on Volkoff’s back and puts on a sleeper. Volkoff shakes him off then climbs up top and hits an axe handle. He works on Rotundo in the corner but Rotundo fights back and covers but Sheik breaks it up then the match breaks down. Volkoff misses a running knee smash in the corner then Rotundo rolls him up for the win (14:07) **3/4.

Thoughts: Solid match. These two teams always had good chemistry too. Its clear that the feud between them will continue.

Kal Rudman is here to introduce us to the new “Rock ‘n’ Roll Connection” music video. Holy shit was this song corny. The odd thing about the video, which was all clips of matches and entrances, is that guys that hadnt been in the WWF for several months, like Buzz Sawyer and the Freebirds, were featured throughout the video. Some of the fans shown are really something else.

Charlie Fulton & Moondog Spot vs. Ricky Steamboat & Jimmy Snuka

Spot and Steamboat start things off. Steamboat hits a bunch of chops on then Fulton tags and gets taken down after trying to land a cheap shot off of a break. Snuka tags and works the arm and Fulton is able to reach for a tag. Gorilla lets us know that Moondog Rex has a knee injury that will keep him on the :injured-disabled list” as Fulton tags back in and works a side headlock. Thwy work a criss-cross and that ends with Snuka landing his trademark chop. Steamboat tags and works the arm for a long time. Steamboat runs into a clothesline but rolls away from an elbow drop and goes back to work on the arm. They work a criss-cross spot and Steamboat tags Sunka, who armdrags Fulton and goes to work on the arm. This match is dragging as Graham notices that Snuka looks “beefed up.” Fulton knocks down Snuka then nearly breaks his neck when it looked like Snuka was supposed to roll away from a knee drop and his back lands on the neck of Snuka. Fulton gets slammed shortly after that then in a cool spot, Snuka tags Steamboat and slingshots him in with a splash that gets two. Fulton hits a poor excuse of an inverted atomic drop then tags Spot. The action picks up as Spot goes to work on Steamboat. Steamboat is able to make the tag but the ref did not see it happen then doesnt see Fulton tag in but allows that. Steamboat gets backdropped then Spot tags and hits a gutbuster. The ref allows another blind tag as Fulton works a headlock as the crowd grows restless. Steamboat get the crowd back into the match a bit by kicking his feet on the mat but ends up getting double-teamed in the corner. Spot and Steamboat collide as both men are down. Steamboat hits a suplex but Spot is still able to tag. The heels use quick tags to neutralize Steamboat in the corner but Steamboat fights back and makes the tag. Snuka headbutts the heels then Steamboat flies of the top witth a bodypress on Fulton for the win (16:09) *1/2.

Thoughts: This was way too long. Fulton, who was usually competent in the ring, had a really bad match. Snuka couldnt move around much either. Spot and Steamboat worked well together at least.

Kal Rudman is with Hulk Hogan. He mentions how Hogan is on the cover of “Sports Illustrated” then suggests that he might even be on the cover of “Rolling Stone” holding his base guitar. Hogan calls Rudman “Killer Kal” then mentions how they both live in the fast-lane as Hogan brings up how Orndorff embarrased himself and his team at WrestleMania. He also brings up how Orndorff fired his manager and that he will beat him up in the middle of the ring by himself. Even the faces are burying Orndorff for choking at WrestleMania.

WWF Heavyweight Championship Match
“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. Hulk Hogan (Champion)

Hogan received a few boos here from the crowd. Orndorff gets right up in the face of the referee after a lockup. Hogan gets the crowd to start a “Paula” chant, which pisses off Orndorff. He attacks Hogan from behind and runs his face aganist the ring rope. Orndorff taunts the fans then Hogan fights back and rams his head off the turnbuckle repeatedly. Orndorff takes a timeout in the corner then ducks outside. He continues to stall, pissing off the crowd in the process. He finally re-enters the ring and Hogan puts him in a headlock. He takes Orndorff down with a shoulderblock then hits a back suplex. He clotheslines Orndorff in the corner then get two off of a backbreaker. He applies a chinlock as the crowd starts another “Paula” chant. Orndorff catches Hogan with a knee then goes to work. He hits a suplex then drops a knee but that only gets two. Hogan hulks up and knocks down Orndorff. He then dodges a charge in the corner then hits the leg drop for the win (10:06) *1/2. After the match, Orndorff extends his hand in a gesture of respect but Hogan looks confused about what to do. The fans are teling him no then Hogan reluctantly shakes his hand and the crowd goes nuts as Hogan is in shock that nothing happened to him. Orndorff leaves as Hogan poses in the ring.

Thoughts: This was mostly stalling but at least it was somewhat entertaining. The handshake deal at the end was unexpected at this time, especially since Orndorff was being portrayed as not trusting anyone since losing at WrestleMania.

Mel Phillips runs down the next card at the Spectrum show, which will take place on May 25th. Matches include Charlie Fulton vs. Swede Hanson, Bob Bradley vs. Johnny Rodz, Spoiler vs. Salvatore Bellomo, Big John Studd vs. Rocky Johnson, Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff vs. Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham for the Tag-Team Championship, and the main event of Hulk Hogan vs. Ken Patera for the WWF Heavyweight Championship.

$50,000 Tag Team Battle Royal
Brett Hart & Jim Neidhart, British Bulldogs, Roddy Piper & Bob Orton, Tito Santana & David Sammartino, George Wells & S.D. Jones, Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik, Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham, Charlie Fulton & Moondog Spot, Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake, Ricky Steamboat & Jimmy Snuka

The rules here are that you and you partner are eliminated if you get tossed over the top rope and land on the floor. During the ring introductions, Sheik & Volkoff and Windham & Rotundo brawled on the floor and continue when the bell rings then the ref disqualifies both teams. Steamboat almost has Piper eliminated but Valentine makes the save. Hart gets double-teamed by Snuka and Steamboat then Beefcake eliminates Santana for the first over the top rope elimination. Piper accidentally hits Orton when Snuka ducks a punch. Snuka goes towards Piper but Orton is able to make the save. Beefcake charges at Snuka then gets dumped to the floor and eliminated. It looked bad as Beefcake’s leg landed on the steps and he easily could have went back into the ring but instead rolled off and landed on the floor. Davey Boy eliminates Brett then Piper eliminates the Dynamite Kid. Orton and Piper thought they eliminated Steamboat but he skinned the cat as Piper and Orton are beside themselves. Snuka eliminates Spot and Orton is able to eliminate S.D. and that leaves Piper & Orton and Steamboat & Snuka as the last two teams. Spot & Fulton beat on Steamboat on the floor, who was tossed through the middle rope. In the ring, Orton and Piper almost have Snuka eliminated but Steamboat makes the save. Piper rolls through the botton rope and runs back in for a sneak attack but Snuka backdrops him to the floor as Snuka & Steamboat win the match (8:37) **. Piper then manages to run away with the winner’s money.

Thoughts: Pretty decent for a battle royal. The pace was quick and the end was a nice way to send the fans home happy.

Final Thoughts: The show was decent. Some of the matches dragged, which was usual back then but there was some good action across the card. The next Spectrum show seems like shit compared to this but I thought this was solid.