WWF Championship Wrestling October 27th, 1984

October 27, 1984
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
This week’s featured match is the Tonga Kid vs. Roddy Piper. Also, JYD, Paul Orndorff, Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch, and Brutus Beefcake will all be in action.

John Callahan vs. Junkyard Dog
Callahan attacks JYD as he enters but gets knocked down quickly. JYD hits a forearm smash then uses his crawling headbutts. Callahan comically oversells everything as Vince cant get enough of JYD’s taunts. He bites Callahan’s forehead then eventually gets the win with a running forearm smash (3:31). After the match, JYD dances with the fans as Vince talks about how he can boogie in and out of the ring.
Thoughts: Match was pretty bad but JYD was really over with the crowds. They were desperate for faces in the mid-card and JYD was an instant success.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week’s subject is Kamala and his translator Friday. They show a clip of him beating Jose Luis Rivera from a few weeks ago. Kamala would be gone from the WWF in a few weeks.
Rick McGraw vs. Paul Orndorff
The “Paula” chants are in full effect. Orndorff starts by shoving McGraw, which triggers a brawl. Orndorff wins that easily then hits a backdrop. He hits a backbreaker then drops an elbow before grabbing a chinlock. McGraw breaks and starts a comeback. He hits a dropkick and gets two off a sunset flip. He tries a flying headscissors but Orndorff tosses him throat first on the ropes. He hits a swinging neckbreaker then gets the win with a piledriver (2:39).
Thoughts: Orndorff beat the shit out of McGraw. Orndorff squash matches are usually entertaining and this was no exception. Orndorff is another wrestler who needs a feud but the lack of quality faces is the problem.
Gene Okerlund plugs the November 26th show at Madison Square Garden. He brings out Greg Valentine, who talks about his rematch against Tito Santana. He promises to put him in the figure-four leg lock.
David Sammartino vs. Charlie Fulton
Sammartino shoves Fulton away a few times before they lock up. Sammartino hits a backdrop then goes to work on the arm. He ducks a clothesline and hits a scoop slam before going back to the arm. Sammartino hits several forearm smashes before catching him with a powerslam for the win (3:19). Finkle calls him David Bruno Sammartino.
Thoughts: Decent enough but Sammartino is not getting that much of a reaction. He is okay in the ring but lacks the charisma that his father has, to say the least.
Gene Okerlund is with Big John Studd and Bobby Heenan. He wants to put up $15,000 against Hulk Hogan’s title. He is outraged that he lost to Hogan in Los Angeles. Heenan says that they will win the belt in the Battle Royal on the November 27th show in Los Angeles.
Mario Mancini & Tony Garea vs. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch
Garea and Murdoch start out, with Vince mentioning his previous title reigns. Garea ducks an attack and knocks down Murdoch. They do some matwork and Murdoch manages to tag out despite being in a headscissors. Adonis comes in but Garea knocks him out of the ring and cleans house. Murdoch tags in and Garea puts him in an abdominal stretch. Adonis breaks that up and Garea tags out. They rough up Mancini until Adonis gets the win with a top rope elbow drop (3:19).
Thoughts: It’s ridiculous to see how they protect a jobber like Garea. Hell, they protected him then better than the WWE protects their current Intercontinental Champion. Adonis and Murdoch were a good team. Adonis was also packing on the pounds at this point.
Piper’s Pit with Greg Valentine and Capt. Lou Albano. The Captain wants Valentine and Piper to “bury the hatchet,” which was in reference to their feud in the NWA from last year. They shake hands as Piper puts over Albano. It was a love-fest between the heels and a fine segment.
Salvatore Bellomo vs. Brutus Beefcake w/Luscious Johnny Valiant
Vince drools over Beefcake’s physique. Bellomo blocks a punch and grabs a headlock. They then fuck up an armdrag spot and Bellomo uses a hiptoss as Beefcake takes a breather in the corner. Beefcake ducks an attack and hits a flying knee smash for the win (1:49).
Thoughts: Awful match. No one cares about Beefcake as the fans are silent whenever he appears. He was not over at all when he first started, no matter how much Vince talks about his physique. Bellomo was is usual self, which meant he was terrible.
Tonga Kid vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
Piper stalls by slowly walking around the ring. He pulls down Tonga and goes in the ring and beats him down. Tonga somersaults underneath a clothesline attempt and gets a crossbody block. He beats on Piper in the corner and hits a few headbutts. He hits a dropkick and the fans are going nuts. Piper begs for mercy for a bit then uses Tonga’s momentum to toss him over the ropes. Piper rolls Tonga back in the ring and grabs a chair. Tonga ducks a chairshot and knocks Piper down. He hits a top rope headbutt grabs the chair instead of covering and wails on Piper as the ref rings the bell for the DQ (3:40). Hw goes nuts as several heels run in to get him away. Tonga goes back and jumps on Piper, who gets taken out of the ring. Tonga celebrates in the ring.
Thoughts: The match was fine but the finish was wild and it turned the Tonga Kid into a star. Piper was awesome, nailing all of the heel mannerisms to go along with his brilliant selling of Tonga’s offense. Speaking of the Tonga Kid, he did great and showed a ton of fire, especially for someone who was only 19 years old that the time.
Gene Okerlund is with Ken Patera, who states everal magazines wrote about how he  beat Bruno Sammartino in 1979 then runs down his son, David, and says that Lou Albano will be in his corner when he faces Sammartino at MSG on Noember 26th.
Bruno Sammartino holds up the chair from the previous match as the camera closes up on a dent. Vince states that since Piper brought in the chair, Tonga Kid won by disqualification. They plug next week’s featured match, which is Judy Martin vs. Wendi Richter in a non-title match.
Final Thoughts: The featured bout was great. There was some really bad wrestling but the Piper/Tonga feud is really hot and they are continuing to get JYD over as a face act. They need to work on a feud for the tag-champs as the Samoans were about done and they were using JYD & Slaughter to go against Sheik & Volkoff for the house shows.

WWF Championship Wrestling October 20th, 1984

October 20th, 1984
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
This week’s show includes the Tonga Kid vs. The Executioner, Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik, and an update on Tito Santana

Charlie Fulton vs. Sgt. Slaughter
The crowd has tons of Slaughter stuff. He works the arm of Fulton as the crowd starts a “USA” chant. Fulton fights back and lands a few shots but Slaughter fights back and knocks him down. Fulton reverses a whip in the corner and takes him down with a shoulderblock. Sarge ducks a clothesline and hits Fulton with the Slaughter Cannon then gets the win with the Cobra Clutch (2:17).
Thoughts: The Sarge is still insanely over with the crowd but doesn’t have a hot feud at the moment. He was facing Volkoff at house shows and that wasn’t getting anything close to the reaction that he was getting with the Iron Sheik.
WWF update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week’s focus is on Ken Patera as they show a clip of him destroying Billy Travis.
Judy Martin vs. Desiree Peterson
Martin takes down Peterson but she reverses it into a headscissors. She grabs Peterson by the hair to escape but gets knocked down by Peterson after she ducks a few punches. Martin works an armbar, which is reversed by Peterson. Martin escapes and roughs up Peterson for a bit. She side-steps a crossbody and hits a front suplex for the win (3:04). After the match, Martin grabs the mic and demands Wendi Richter come out and face her before tossing Peterson to the floor.
Thoughts: The match was fine for a women’s match. Martin was horrible on the mic. You could barely understand a word she was saying. After Moolah, they had no challengers for Richter.  
Jack Reynolds runs down the MSG show and interviews Big John Studd and Bobby Heenan about the title match against Hulk Hogan. Heenan gloats how Hogan can lose the title by pinfall or by countout. They play up the $15,000 bodyslam challenge and how Hogan will wear himself out by trying to slam him. Good stuff from Heenan.
The Executioner vs. Tonga Kid
This match was made on last week’s Piper’s Pit. They work an Irish whip sequence where they mis-time a leapfrog. Tonga chops down the Executioner then hits a headbutt. The Executioner bails as Tonga is all fired up. Back inside, Tonga hits another headbutt and fires away, while yelling “Piper.” He hits a dropkick then hammers away. He hits a slam but the Executioner rakes the eyes. Tonga reverses an Irish whip and catches him with a slam. He hits a jumping headbutt then finishes him off with a top rope splash (3:07). Nice splash as he went three-fourths across the ring. The crowd is loud, starting a “We want Piper” chant.
Thoughts: Tonga Kid is really gaining some momentum. He was a lower mid-card guy until he went on Piper’s Pit and injected himself into the Piper/Snuka feud. The crowd was solidly behind him in this match.
Jack Reynolds is with Nikolai Volkoff. He runs down Sgt. Slaughter, calling him a liar and says that Russians advised the Vietnam soldiers on how to beat the USA. He then spits on the ground and promises to spit on him after he beats him at MSG. Promos were not Nikolai’s strength, that’s for sure.
Billy Travis vs. Big John Studd w/Bobby Heenan
Studd knocks Travis through the ropes with a shoulder block. Outside, Travis manages to send Studd into the ring post but once they go back in the ring, Studd destroys him. He goes up to the second rope and hits an axe handle. He slams him on the ropes then drops an elbow, then repeats that same sequence for the win (2:30).
Thoughts: They continue to build up Studd for programs with Hogan and Andre.  Giving him Heenan helps him get more heat but he is still a lousy wrestler.
Piper’s Pit with guest David Sammartino. Piper asks him how he can think he can cut it in the WWF by riding on his dad’s fame. Sammartino says that he has worked hard as the Tonga Kid comes out and interrupts, demanding a match. The crowd is going nuts as Piper makes fun of him, saying he is nothing but garbage and demands that he leaves. Sammartino grabs the mic and calls Roddy “chicken” as Piper snaps and says he is not a chicken and will fight the Tonga Kid next week. The crowd went ballistic during this segment, which was well done.
We are shown footage of several jobbers helping Tito Santana on the stretcher after losing the Intercontinental Title to Greg Valentine on All-Star Wrestling the previous week. The crowd chants for Tito as we are shown Tito being wheeled into a hospital to get his knee operation. Tito speaks after the operation, saying that it was a success and promises that he will get better and come after Greg Valentine. Vince promises we will have another update next week. This segment lasted way longer than necessary.
Steve Lombardi & Salvatore Bellomo vs. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff
After Volkoff sings the Russian National Anthem, Bellomo takes the mic and sings “God Bless America” until Volkoff jumps him from behind. Bellomo gets double-teamed in the corner as the crowd starts a “USA” chant. They continue the assault as the fans now chant “Russia Sucks.” Volkoff lifts Bellomo with one hand by the throat then tags the Sheik, who gets a slam. Bellomo kicks the Sheik and tags Lombardi. He throws his terrible punches then Sheik rams in the stomach and tags Volkoff. He stomps him repeatedly until he tags the Sheik, who puts him in the Camel Cltuch for the win (3:51)
Thoughts: The usual stuff from Sheik & Volkoff. Really not much more to say about this match although Lombardi & Bellomo are quite the jobbing duo. God, those two were fucking terrible.
Jack Reynolds is with Hulk Hogan. He tells Reynolds to shut up then goes on a rant about Big John Studd. He tells us that Studd stripped him of his pride after his loss last month. Typical Hulk promo.
Bruno and Vince recap the show, putting over the toughness of Sheik & Piper then plug next week’s featured match, Tonga Kid vs. Roddy Piper.
Final Thoughts: This show just about turned the Tonga Kid from nothing into a star. The crowd was going wild for him and he did a great job with everything. The heat on Piper was off the charts as well. The rest of the show was largely forgettable but next week’s show will have the Tonga Kid vs. Roddy Piper match, which should be crazy.

WWF Maple Leaf Wrestling October 20th, 1984

October 20th, 1984
Your hosts are Angelo Mosca and Jack Reynolds
In action this week are Big John Studd, David Schultz, Junkyard Dog (causing Mosca to howl like a wolf, not bark like a dog), Bob Orton, Moondogs, Piper’s Pit, and Andre the Giant.

Robbie Parliament vs. “Dr. D” David Schultz
Schutlz backs Parliament against the ropes then grabs a front facelock. Schultz pounds away and grabs a chinlock. The announcers run down the rest of the card as Schultz continues his dominance. He hits Parliament with an axe handle then drops an elbow for the win (2:41).
Thoughts: Dominating squash by Schultz, who has been doing nothing as of late. They look to be setting him up for an upcoming feud based on this match and how they put him over on commentary.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week’ subjects are the Moondogs, who are returning to the WWF after a few years. They show a clip of them beating on Spike Huber as Hayes puts them over as a threat to the Tag-Team Titles.
Bubba Hawkins vs. Big John Studd w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Hawkins hits a few dropkicks that have minimal effect. He tries a slam (The $15,000 prize is still in effect for those who can slam Studd) but Studd shoves him away. Studd hip-tosses Hawkins and grabs a chinlock. Studd hits a shoulder block and gets the thumbs up from Heenan. He hits a clothesline and drops an elbow for the win (2:27). After the match, Studd grabs the mic and says this was a piece of cake. He demands competition but Heenan tells us that there is no competition for him.
Thoughts: Studd is pure shit in the ring but Heenan got him a lot of heat as his manager. All signs are pointing to an upcoming feud with Andre.
Billy Red Lyons runs down the November 5th card in Vancouver. He brings in Luscious Johnny Valiant, who is substituting for Freddie Blassie. He brings in Kamala and Friday as he guarantees that Kamala will beat Andre the Giant. Nothing special.
“Gentleman” Jerry Valiant vs. Junkyard Dog
Valiant attempts to go after JYD with his own chains. The ref steps in then JYD lands a few shots. They lockup and Valiant lands a few punches. JYD is upset as Mosca tells us he can smell the excitement in the air. Valiant hammers away but JYD takes him down with a headbutt. After an Irish whip sequence, JYD catches Valiant with a powerslam for the win (2:10). After the match, JYD dances with some kids.
Thoughts: The match was nothing but the crowd was in love with JYD. He has been a hit with the fans ever since his debut two months prior.
Billy Red Lyons is with Capt. Lou Albano, who is now the “Technical Advisor” for Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch. He says that he cut loose the Samoans for not listening to him. He then goes off on one of his drunken rants, which is amusing to say the least. He makes fun of the Samoans the entire time.
Nick DeCarlo vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton
Mosca says that we have to respect Orton because he is a man, then calls him the man of a 1,002 holds. They lockup then engage in some matwork. DeCarlo hits a backdrop after a criss-cross spot then grabs a front facelock. Orton picks him up and places on the top rope. He chops him then rams his head off the mat as they show the Hillbilly in the crowd. The crowd cheers Orton as he destroys DeCarlo. Orton misses a corner charge after a float over but hits an uppercut. He hits DeCarlo with a backbreaker then hits a corner slingshot splash for the win (3:02).
Thoughts: Orton looked fine but I’ve seen much better squash matches from him. Speaking of Orton, he is another guy who is languishing. The lack of midcard faces at the time was glaring and guys like Orton were left without anyone to feud with.
Piper’s Pit with Capt. Lou Albano and Greg Valentine. Piper brings up their problems in the past (They feuded in the NWA before coming to the WWF. I recommend checking out their dog collar match) then congratulate each other over their recent accomplishments. They hug it out as Piper wants to see Valentine’s belt. He kisses it and says they are the two toughest men around. Someone tosses a drink with ice that hits Piper and Albano. Good segment.
Mario Mancini & SD Jones vs. The Moondogs
The Moondogs use quick tags to beat the shit out of Mancini. Mosca says that he has an update on Tito Santana’s injury. The update is that we will have an update next week from his doctor. Spot hits a shoulderbreaker and Rex continues to destroy Mancini. He gets tossed near his partner and Jones makes the hot tag. He takes out the Moondogs with headbutts, as the crowd goes wild, then tags Mancini, which makes the fans and even the announcers groan. Rex hits him with a powerslam then tags Spot, who hits a legdrop off the middle rope for the win (3:10).
Thoughts: Moondogs looked really good, Spot in particular. Those guys could work. They are putting them over strong.
Butcher Vachon vs. Andre the Giant
The crowd goes ballistic for Andre as he makes his way towards the ring. Vachon grabs a front waistlock, which Andre easily breaks out of by using a thump. Vachon chops Andre hard but is has no effect. Vachon offers a handshake but Andre declines and chops him against the ropes. Kamala and Friday make their way towards the ring as Reynolds says that they have no business being out here. Well, what about Andre coming out for Kamala’s matches for the past month? Andre chops down Vachon then hits a backdrop. Friday orders Kamala to the dressing room as Andre backs Vachon in the corner. He hits the big boot and uses the sitdown splash for the win (4:20).
Thoughts: The match was horrendous but the focus was largely on Kamala at ringside. The feud between the two is getting a decent crowd reaction.
David Schultz is with Billy Red Lyons. He bullies Lyons, ordering him to stop talking. He makes fun of Vancouver, stating it’s filled with Canadian punks as well as fatties and skinny people. He tells his opponent, Rick McGraw, that he will quickly defeat him and take the next plane back to America before yelling at Lyons. He then tells him that he is thinking of slapping him and says that he has never been with a woman. Funny stuff by Schultz and a promo that you will never see today.
Final Thoughts: A couple of amusing interviews and a good tag squash was all this show really had. There was a lot of bad wrestling and they really didn’t advance or create any feuds. JYD remains a hit and Mosca is so bad he is funny on commentary but a lot of this was dull.

WWF Championship Wrestling October 13th, 1984

October 13, 1984
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

Charlie Fulton vs. Junkyard Dog
Fulton bails as JYD is dancing towards him. Vince is loving all of this. JYD taunts Fulton some more then escapes a headlock by dancing. Fulton backs JYD against the ropes but JYD punches away and Fulton bails. Back in the ring, JYD shoves down Fulton then takes him down with a hiptoss. Fulton gets an eye rake and lands several punches until JYD fights back. He knocks him down then hits the powerslam for the win (2:33). After the match, a woman goes into the ring and dances with JYD.
Thoughts: The match itself was crap but JYD did a great job of connecting with the fans and was over huge with the audience. The WWF was really weak on the face side at this time so JYD provides some depth in that department.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week’s subject is Mr. Fuji and him becoming a manager, specifically the manager of Don Muraco. He states that Fuji is looking to add more clients.
Billy Travis & Rick McGraw vs. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch
Sadly, all four men in this match are now dead and not one of them made it to the age of 50. McGraw takes down Murdoch with a few armdrags. He tags to Adonis, who takes McGraw down with a shoulderblock. McGraw comes back and hits a few more armdrags before getting slammed. Murdoch tags and gets dropkicked. He works the arm and tags Travis. Murdoch destroys Travis and tags Adonis. They beat on Travis then Adonis hits an elbow drop from the top for the win. (2:44).
Thoughts: Dull match as half of it consisted of McGraw using armdrags. The champs gave their opponents a lot of offense in their TV matches.
Gene Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan, who promotes his match in Los Angeles with Big John Studd. Hulk mentions being friends with Sylvester Stallone and Mr. T and promises to destroy Studd. Not bad.
Rudy Diamond vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Havent seen Diamond since Orndorff destroyed him for wearing a “Paula” shirt a few onths back. Orndorff attacks Diamond from behind then tosses him to the floor. He goes outside and drops Diamond throat-first on the guardrail. Back inside, Orndorff hits a back elbow smash and several knee smashes. The crowd is screaming “Paula” as Orndorff kills Diamond with a back suplex. Orndorff taunts the fans then destroys Diamond some more before hitting the piledriver for the win (2:44). After the match, Orndorff pushes the ref away and raises his own hand in victory. Bruno and Vince also talk about how the piledriver should be banned.
Thoughts: Diamond looked really bad out there. Maybe he was scared because of how Orndorff beat the fuck out of him during their last encounter because he was really hesistant on everything and falling down well before contact was made. Don’t blame him too much as Orndorff is one tough dude.
Gene Okerlund is with Roddy Piper, who is flossing his teeth, promoting his match against Andre the Giant. Piper mentions that people usually fly out of Andre’s mouth when he flosses. He runs down the people from Los Angeles, saying that he does not want to be like them, then switches focus to Andre. Funny stuff.
Robbie Parliament vs. Kamala w/Friday
Kamala chops Parliament as the fans go crazy for Andre, who is making his way to the ring. Kamala is distracted for a bit then goes back to destroying Parliament until he finishes him off with a pair of splashes (1:47). After the match, Kamala hits another splash, which prompts Andre to go into the ring. The fans go shithouse then Kamala and Friday retreat.
Thoughts: The match was nothing but this feud has the fans going nuts. They just love Andre because the build for this hasn’t been particularly exciting.
Piper’s Pit with the Executioner. I believe this is Paul Kelly, a,jobber, playing the Executioner here. Buddy Rose was signed back to the WWF around this time but looking at the physique, you can tell its not him. Anyway, Piper calls him one of the best masked men that he has ever seen. The Tonga Kid appears and wants to talk to Piper, who insults his appearance. Tonga wants a match against Piper now for what he did to his cousin, Jimmy Snuka. Piper calls him garbage, stating that he is a star unlike Tonga then says that if he wants to fight somebody, he can fight the Executioner. Tonga screams how he wants Piper right now as the fans are going crazy.
Replay of Greg Valentine beating Tito Santana for the Intercontinental Title on Maple Leaf Wrestling
Chico Rodriguez vs. Brutus Beefcake
After a few weeks of speculation as to who will manage Beefcake, Luscious Johnny Valiant is announced by Finkle as the manager. Vince is shocked, thinking that Albano would be the choice. Valiant taunts Rodriguez with Beefcake’s vest, allowing Brutus to attack him from behind. He hits a slam and a gutwrench suplex before choking him out on the mat. Beefcake slams him then goes up top and hits a sitdown splash for the win (1:26).
Thoughts: Quick match. No one cares about Beefcake. He doesn’t even draw boos from the crowd, which has been responsive through the entire taping. You can tell Vince loves him though.
Gene Okerlund is with Bobby Heenan. He talks about Studd’s match with Hogan in Los Angeles. They show a clip of Studd beating a ref, which is why this match will feature two referees so that will not happen again. Heenan and Studd then accuse Hogan of using illegal tactics during their last match. 
Final Thoughts: The show wasn’t much but the Piper’s Pit segment kicked off a soon to be red-hot feud that would last all Winter long. With all of the newcomers coming in (and in a lot of cases, leaving right away) it was interesting to see who was over (JYD) and who was not (Beefcake).

WWF Maple Leaf Wrestling October 13th,1984

October 13, 1984

Side Note: I have acquired a few more episodes of Championship Wrestling. I will post the one that aired on this week on Tuesday night. A lot of well known angles and segments took place in the next several weeks so I will be reviewing both shows, with Maple Leaf Wrestling going up on Sunday Nights.  

Your hosts are Jack Reynolds and Angelo Mosca
This week in action are the Dynamite Kid, Kamala, The Samoans, Piper’s Pit, and the main event, Tito Santana defends his Intercontinental Title against Greg Valentine. Mosca says nowhere in North America can you find a title match like this. Well, no shit. Anyway, Mosca says the word “Excitement” a few times in this segment and will continue to do so the entire time. If you drank every time he said the word, you’d be on the floor halfway through the show.
“Gentleman” Jerry Valiant vs. Dynamite Kid
Dynamite eludes Valiant as Mosca tells us that Dynamite reminds him of “Danny Boy Smith.” These two dumb fucks cannot get his name right. Dynamite hits an armdrag then shows off his speed. Valiant knocks down Dynamite then hammers away in the corner. Once again, they show the Hillbilly (Hillbilly Jim) in the crowd as the announcers comment on how he has the size to be a pro wrestler. Dynamite dropkicks Valiant and he gets caught in the ropes. Valiant fights back and tosses Dynamite to the floor. He slingshots him back in the ring but Dynamite hits a pair of flying headscissors then goes up top and hits the flying headbutt then drops an elbow for the win (3:59).
Thoughts: Valiant was far too slow to keep up with Dynamite and there was a major styles clash. Speaking of Dynamite, he is far too quick for the entire roster. There was no one who wrestled like him during this time.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week’s subject are the Tag-Team Champs Dick Murdoch and Adrian Adonis. We see a clip of Murdoch at his ranch wrestling cattle.
“Silent” Brian Mackney vs. Iron Mike Sharpe
Sharpe cuts off the ring announcer and tells him that this match won’t last ten seconds. The crowd starts a “wimp” chant for Sharpe, who goes nuts. Mackney eludes Sharpe, who is getting pissed. Sharpe finally takes control with an eye rake and hits Mackney with several turnbuckle smashes. Sharpe yells at the crowd then goes back to beating Mackney. Sharpe gets an Irish whip reversed and Mackney hits a monkey flip. He dropkicks Sharpe, who rolls outside and hops the guardrail to yell at the fans. Back in the ring, Sharpe hits Mackney with a hangman’s drop then finishes Mackney off with a forearm smash (3:01). After the match, Sharpe proclaims that he is Canada’s greatest athlete.
Thoughts: Sharpe got a lot of heat for this match. He would get fired shortly after this aired as he refused to put over the Tonga Kid in a match.
Billy Red Lyons runs down the November 5th show in Vancouver then interviews Davey Boy Smith, Bret Hart, and the Dynamite Kid. Kid cuts a promo on his opponent, Butcher Vachon. He actually ended up wrestling Bobby Bass in that match. Hart cuts a promo on Ron Shaw, calling him a big boy and promises he will go down bad. Good lord was he awful here. Smith cuts a rhyming promo on his opponent, Rene Goulet. Well, that wasn’t too lame in 1984. Smith showed some personality at least, which is more than I can say for the others. Dynamite and Davey Boy would also be gone from the promotion shortly after this aired but would return in the middle of the following year.
Butcher Vachon & Goldie Rogers vs. The Wild Samoans
The Samoans are now full-fledged faces. The announcers cannot tell these two apart, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. By the way, the Samoans have there names on their tights. Mosca says that riling up people from the South Pacific can result in either a war or a luau. That’s good to know. Afa backdrops Vachon as they show the Hillbilly in the crowd again. That is how they are identifying him too, as “Hillbilly.” Afa slams Rogers and the Samoans double team him for a bit. Capt. Lou Albano comes out and Afa chases him away. Double clothesline to Rogers then Afa hits the Samoan Drop for the win (2:45).
Thoughts: The crowd loved the Samoans. They would also be gone from the company shortly, and wound up in the AWA for a bit. Sika would return to the WWF in 1986 I believe
Billy Red Lyons is with Rick McGraw, who is at least six inches shorter than Billy. He cuts a terrible promo on David Schultz, which was bordering on incoherency. Who knows what drugs he took prior to this.
Mario Mancini vs. Kamala w/Friday
Reynolds acknowledges that Blassie is absent this week. He knocks down Mancini and chops away. The fans go nuts as Andre makes his way to the ring. Kamala sees him then Friday redirects him to his opponent and Kamala hits the splash for the win (1:07). After the match, Friday calms down Kamala and hits him with his riding crop.
Thoughts: The fans are going crazy for Andre whenever he appears. This feud was short-lived as Kamala would leave the WWF shortly. According to Meltzer, he hated the traveling and that was his reason for leaving.
Piper’s Pit with guests Bobby Heenan and Big John Studd. Piper calls Heenan the greatest manager in wrestling. They both call Studd the biggest man in wrestling and both say how he is larger than Andre. Studd says that he will offer $15,000 to anyone who can body slam him. Dave Barbie comes out for a chance as Heenan insults him and says if he wants to lift something, he can carry their luggage. Funny line. This would eventually lead to a feud with Andre the Giant.  
Dave Barbie vs. Michael Hayes
Hayes struts around and gets the crowd to clap. He also came out by himself. The Hillbilly is shown clapping as well. Hayes hits a shoulderblock then grabs a chinlock as Mosca completely botches a sentence about Heenan being new to the WWF, but not to wrestling itself. Barbie shoves Hayes in the corner but Hayes no sells a turnbuckle smash and fires away. He hits a back elbow smash and goes back to the chinlock. Barbie escapes and briefly beats on Hayes in the corner. Hayes comes back and hits a clothesline then drops the elbow from the second rope, which is apparently a “disco” move to Mosca, and gets the win (2:42).
Thoughts: The match itself was terrible and the crowd didn’t really warm up to Hayes. He and the rest of the Freebirds would be gone very shortly as Vince wanted to break up the group and they did not want any part of that.
Intercontinental Title Match
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/Capt. Lou Albano vs. Tito Santana (Champion)
Before Santana enters the ring, Albano distracts him and that allows Valentine to attack him from behind. He goes after the leg of Tito, who is limping around. The bell still hasn’t rang yet but Mosca says that since Tito is a “true Mexican” he will enter the ring. The crowd chants for Tito and the bell rings. Tito fires away on Valentine then whips him in the corner. He hits a few turnbuckle smashes and Valentine goes down. Tito hammers on Valentine as Albano is going nuts. Valentine ducks out for a breather then rolls back in as Mosca calls Tito “Mexican Dynamite.” They trade shots until Valentine goes low then targets the leg. Valentine charges and Tito hits him with the flying foreman. He covers and thinks he won the match but Valentine’s leg was outside the ring. Tito celebrates but Valneitne hits him from behind then pins him while hooking the injured leg and gets the win and the Intercontinental Title (2:56). After the match, Valentine puts Tito in the figure-four and refuses to let go of the hold. Tito is screaming in pain on the mat as Valentine finally releases the hold. After the match, Tito is taking out on a stretcher.
Thoughts: Valentine had been looking great on TV and making Tito comeback from injury and chase him for the title is a good idea. At the time, there was a rumor that Ken Patera was going to get the IC title. Anyway, this was a great way to end the show.
Billy Red Lyons runs down the Vancouver card again, which he says was put together by Stu Hart. Andre comes out and talks with Lyons for what seems like a lifetime. He was wrestling Kamala on the card but just rambled on and on about other stuff on the card.
Reynolds and Mosca runs down next week’s show which includes Big John Studd, Junkyard Dog, David Schultz, and Andre the Giant in action.
Final Thoughts: The IC title change was a great and the rest of the show was decent enough. It was funny to see how many of the wrestlers on this card would be gone in just a month or two. The roster had a heavy turnover during this time, as Vince was trying to snatch up everyone he could and many of them left shortly afterwards. Mosca is so bad he is funny on commentary. He is perfect for people who find Dusty Rhodes too intellectual for them.

Biggest jerk in wrestling?

I’m talking in real life, not kayfabe.

For me, I’d have to go with Triple H. He’s been a prick his entire run and has had NUMEROUS instances of such.


Being the leader against Jericho when he first got there. Saying on
national TV that Jericho can’t work.- The shit with Booker T from WM19
– Insisting he could get a great match out of Steiner and forcing people to watch TWO PPV main events.
– awarding himself the title
– doing certain things like on a live Raw, Chris Masters, who’d come back after battling drug addiction, and getting of the juice, said something like “Maybe one day I’ll write a book” and Triple H says “What? How to lose 45lbs in 6 weeks?” Despite the fact it’s been obvious that Triple H has been
on a ton of PEDs [performance enhancing drugs]
– having himself beat Brock Lesnar at the biggest show of the year
– having his good buddy Kevin Nash headline THREE ppvs with him when there were numerous others would deserved the spot back in 2004.
– turning the Summer of Punk into a match with him and Nash

How say you?

WWF Maple Leaf Wrestling October 6th, 1984

October 6, 1984
Side note: Last week, I said I was going to review Tuesday Night Titans but the version on YouTube was incomplete. I have the next several shows of Maple Leaf Wrestling, which was the Canadian version of All-Star Wrestling, to review. I do not have any Championship Wrestling episodes left for 1984 besides the 10/21 show, but I do have some TNT shows and the November and December MSG shows too. I have all of the Championship Wrestling shows from 1985 and 1986 with all the PPV’s, Saturday Night Main Events, and various house shows and episodes of Prime Time Wrestling to review as well.  
Your hosts are Angelo Mosca and Jack Reynolds, truly a dream combination.

Butcher Vachon vs. Junkyard Dog
The crowd goes nuts for JYD. He shoves Vachon in the corner then knocks him down. Vachon rolls outside as JYD gets on all fours and taunts him. Back inside, Vachon puts JYD in a bearhug then rakes his eyes after JYD reverses. Vachon with some back rakes and punches in the corner. JYD fights back and uses his own back rakes then bites the forehead of Vachon, who rolls outside. Back inside, JYD gets a headbutt then hits the powerslam for the win (3:03).
Thoughts: The match itself was awful but the crowd loved JYD. Mosca was so bad he was funny on commentary, telling corny dog jokes throughout the match.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week’s subject is Hulk Hogan and they show a clip of his entrance.
Mohammed Saad & Rene Goulet vs. Brett Hart & Davey Boy Smith
The WWF TV debut for Smith. Hart backs Goulet in the corner, who complains of a hairpull. Reynolds calls Smith “Danny Boy” as Hart takes Goulet down with an armdrag. Tag to Smith, who gets slammed by Goulet but holds onto the arm. Saad tags and takes Smith over with a headlock. Smith escpaes and hits a suplex and an elbow smash. He hits a slam then goes up top and hits the flying headbutt for the win (2:07).
Thoughts: The crowd was going nuts at the end. Smith was much smaller than he was even a few years after this match. Hart continues to give Garea a run for his money as the most miserable looking face in the company.
A backstage interviewer (I have no clue as to who this was. He had glasses and had gray hair) promotes a show in Vancouver and runs down the entire card. The Iron Sheik comes out alone and cuts a promo on Sgt. Slaughter to promote their match. Not much at all and he ends by spitting on the ground.  
Mario Mancini vs. Brutus Beefcake
Beefcake beats on Mancini as Capt. Lou Albano and Bobby Heenan appear ringside to scout Beefcake. He continues his assault on Mancini as the crowd starts a “weasel” chant. Back suplex by Beefcake who then puts Mancini in an airplane spin, then gets a leg drop for the win (2:30).
Thoughts: Most of the match was spent focusing on the managers scouting Beefcake, who they are pushing hard. The crowd doesn’t care about him yet though.
Another studio interview promoting the Vancouver show, this time with Kamala and Friday. Kamala walks right in front the camera and Friday doesn’t speak English and this goes on for about a minute until they leave.
Dave Barbie vs. Sgt. Slaughter
The Canadian fans love Slaughter too. Barbie hits a forearm smash and that pisses off Slaughter. Barbie grabs a headlock and rakes the eyes. He beats on Slaughter in the rocrner then catches him with a back elbow smash. Sarge coems back with the Slaughter Cannon then puts on the Cobra Clutch for the win (2:08).
Thoughts: A typical Slaughter squash. He flattened Barbie with the Slaughter Cannon. Sarge was insanely over with the crowd but would be gone from the company in two months.
Piper’s Pit with “Dr. D.” David Schultz. Piper makes fun of the crowd, calling them queens. Schultz congratulates Piper for taking out Snuka then they both praise each other as the crowd is throwing trash at them. Not a whole lot happened but Piper has nuclear heat since he took out Snuka.
AJ Petruzzi vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/Capt Lou Albano
Mosca notes that Valentine has been a wrestler for “one dozen years.” Valentine beats the piss out of Petruzzi then grabs a chinlock. He hits a shoulderbreaker then works the arm. He hits some forearm smashes before using a back suplex. The Hammer drops an elbow then goes for the figure-four leg lock and gets the win (2:30).
Thoughts: Impressive squash for Valentine. He beat the shit out of Petruzzi. Valentine is one of the best wrestlers in the company at this point too.  
Nick DeCarlo & Salvatore Bellomo vs. Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik
Volkoff sings the Russian National Anthem before the match and in the crowd, we see a large man in overalls (The future Hillbilly Jim) as Mosca tries to explain world history. Bellomo and Sheik start out as Reynolds plugs next week’s feature match, which is Tito Santana vs. Greg Valentine for the Intercontinental Title. Bellomo uses his quickness against the Shiek and tags DeCarlo. Sheik misses an eblow drop and gets slammed. Bellomo tags back in and catches Sheik’s foot and hits an atomic drop. He dropkicks Sheik, who tags Volkoff. Bellomo runs into Volkoff then takes him down with a dropkick. Volkoff fights back and tags Sheik, who gets kicked down. DeCarlo tags in but Sheik boots him down and hits a gutwrench suplex. Volkoff tags and hits the backbreaker for the win (3:35).
Thoughts: The faces got in a lot of offense. Volkoff and Sheik continue to get massive amount of heat. If Slaughter had a partner, he could feud with this team as the WWF had a massive shortage of babyface teams.
Sgt. Slaughter interview is next. He promotes his match against the Iron Sheik in Vancouver. Sarge sticks up for Canada and tells Sheik they will be on a neutral soil and promises to make Sheik tap to the Cobra Clutch then take him to the hospital so they can remove his boot from his ass.
Mosca and Reynolds run down next week’s card, highlighted by the Intercontinental Title match between Tito Santana and Greg Valentine. Also, Kamala, Dynamite Kid, and Iron Mike Sharpe will be in action.
Final Thoughts: The show went along fine. Mosca and Reynolds are the drizzling shits but the pacing was great. The Intercontinental Title match next week should be awesome and the Dynamite Kid will be a treat to see again.  

Michael Bay says The Rock needs to stop wrestling

http://www.lordsofpain.net/news/wwe/Director_Michael_Bay_Says_The_Rock_Needs_to_Grow_Up_and_Stop_Wrestling.html


He has a point. Rock needs to decide which he wants to do- wrestle, or act.  Pick one, and stick with it. 

I hope he just stays of WWE TV for good and goes back to doing crappy-but-profitable movies. I'm beyond sick to death of his tired, worn-out late-90's/early-2000's mad-libs promos and mediocre in-ring work when we could be seeing younger talent being pushed instead of a part-time novelty act. 

Hogan never learned to just bow out gracefully and apparently The Rock can't either. Just go the fuck away, Dwayne and take your tired schtick with you.
Hey now, let's not say something we can't take back.  Rock's return was disappointing, but a disappointing Rock is still better than 90% of the roster.  That being said, if he's tearing muscles off his bones, he shouldn't be wrestling anymore, and he certainly shouldn't be wrestling Brock Lesnar.  So I agree, he should go enjoy his movie career and move on.  

WWF Championship Wrestling September 29th, 1984

September 29, 1984
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
This week’s feature matchup is Roddy Piper vs. Jimmy Snuka from the 8/25/84 MSG show. Also, newcomers Brett Hart (Yes, it was spelled that way) and the Dynamite Kid will be in action. Kamala and Sgt. Slaughter will also be in action.

Carl Fury vs. Sgt. Slaughter
Sarge goes around ringside and slaps hands with the fans. Vince lets us know that Fury is a newcomer to the WWF. He would job regularly for a few more years. He looked the part of your stereotypical 80’s jobber. The fans go crazy for Slaughter, as usual. Slaughter shoves Fury in the corner then catches him with a scoop slam. Fury backs Sarge in the corner and gets a knee. He then eats knee on a charge and Sarge hits a clothesline from the second rope. He then puts him in the Cobra Clutch for the win (1:54).
Thoughts: Slaughter is really over but since his feud with the Sheik is dying down, he has not found anyone else to feud with. He needs to find someone to start a program with. Based on last week, it might be with Volkoff or he could find a partner to go against both Sheik and Volkoff.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week subjects are the tag-team champions, Dick Murdoch and Adrian Adonis. They show a clip of them at Murdoch’s ranch wrestling cattle. This was shown in its entirety on Tuesday Night Titans. I will be reviewing that episode next week.
WWF Magazine Plug
Jose Luis Rivera vs. Kamala w/Friday
No Blassie this week. Rivera eludes Kamala for a bit until Kamala corners him. He chops Rivera down as the fans are going nuts as Andre the Giant makes his way to the ring. Kamala chops Rivera several more times before hitting the splash for the win (2:08). After the match, Kamala stares down Andre, who is helping Rivera.
Thoughts: This is the start of a program between the two. It didn’t last long because Kamala would be leaving the WWF within the next two months. This match was pretty bad, actually.
Aldo Marino vs. Brett Hart
Yes, it is spelled “Brett” on the screen. Hart is wearing grey trunks with white and black stripes on the sides. Vince mentions that he has five other brothers that are wrestlers and that his dad is Stu Hart.  He takes Marino down with an armdrag and works the arm. Hart ducks a clothesline and gets another armdrag. The fans are silent as Hart continues to work on the arm. Marino gets in a few shots and a scoop slam but ducks his head and gets elbowed. Hart hits a European uppercut and a slam. He gets a legdrop then takes him down with a clothesline before finishing him off with a piledriver (2:38). Vince says we will see more of Hart in the coming weeks and might even see his brothers.
Thoughts: The crowd couldn’t have cared less about this match, which was on the dull side. Hart showed zero personality and despite playing the babyface, looked completely miserable. Hell, he made Tony Garea look like Ben Vereen by comparison. He really looked out of place.  
Sgt.Slaughter tells us to donate to the restoration of the Statue of Liberty
Steve Lombardi vs. Dynamite Kid
Dynamite gets an armdrag and a shoulderblock. Slam gets two. Gutwrench suplex gets two. Double underhook suplex gets two. Backbreaker gets two. Running legdrop gets two. Kid hits a backdrop then hits a missile dropkick, kipping right up afterwards, prompting Vince to channel J.J. Evans and yell “Dy-NO-Mite.” Dynamite hits a snap suplex then goes up top and hits the flying headbutt for the win (2:36).
Thoughts: Dynamite got the crowd into this by the end. He stood out above everyone else in this company with his speed and technical ability. His first stint didn’t last long as he was gone in several weeks but he would return the following year.
Piper’s Pit with Ken Patera and Capt. Lou Albano. Patera accuses guys like Santana, Slaughter and Hogan or cheating then claims that he was jumped and says he will find whoever did this. Meltzer reported at the time that Patera was rumored to win the IC title from Santana but that did not happen.
Joe Mirto & Joe Mascara vs. Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik
Blassie is not with Sheik & Volkoff so I assume that he missed this taping. Sheik takes down Mascara and stomps away. Mascara manages to get a sunset flip for two then both men tag out. Volkoff beats on Mirto as the crowd starts a “We Want Slaughter” chant. Sheik tags and hits a waistlock suplex then tags Volkoff, who hits the backbreaker for the win as Vince goes off about how impressive it was for Volkoff to lift Mirto, who was billed at 280 lbs, above his head. (2:23)
Thoughts: Match wasn’t much but the crowd still hates these foreign heels.
Lord Alfred Hayes introduces the Roddy Piper and Jimmy Snuka match from the MSG show and says that it has a controversial finish.
Roddy Piper vs. Jimmy Snuka
This match is joined in progress. Snuka is mounting a comeback and eventually knocks Piper to the floor. Back inside, Snuka catches Piper with a sleeper. The crowd is going crazy for this match by the way. Piper manages to make the ropes then slides out of the ring but Snuka maintains the hold. Piper rams Snuka against the apron but gets shoved into the post. Piper grabs a chair but Snuka nails him. Piper rolls in the ring and sees that he is busted open. Snuka is punching away as Piper is bleeding. Snuka comes off the top but Piper shoves him in midair and Snuka lands throat first on the rope and h flips outside. Piper wins by countout then grabs a chair and uses it to injure Snuka’s neck. Snuka is selling like he is unconscious as the crowd is booing like crazy. The announcers are acting like Snuka might have broken his neck as the paramedics come down and carry Snuka out on a stretcher.
Thoughts: The match was really good and the ending was awesome. Snuka sold the finish, which looked clunky, like a champ and the crowd was livid with Piper. This furthered along the Piper/Snuka feud and did a mighty fine job at that.
McMahon and Sammartino comment on the last match as they speculate whether or not Snuka’s career might be over. Next week, Andre the Giant, Brutus Beefcake, Fabulous Freebirds and David Sammartino will all be in action.
Final Thoughts: A good show. It featured the Championship Wrestling debuts of Brett Hart and Dynamite Kid but most importantly, showed the Snuka vs. Piper match at MSG. That feud would remain red-hot until the end of the year. They also set up a feud between Andre and Kamala. Dynamite Kid made a really impressive debut too.  

WWF Championship Wrestling September 22, 1984

September 22, 1984
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
We are back in Poughkeepsie for these tapings.
Howard Finkel introduces Bruno, who makes his entrance down the aisle and to the booth. He is now Vince’s new color commentator.

 

Ron Shaw vs. Junkyard Dog
This is JYD’s first appearance on Championship Wrestling. He comes out to “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen. Shaw attacks JYD as he enters the ring but that doesn’t last long as JYD knocks him down. They brawl for a bit outside the ring and JYD rolls inside and plays to the crowd. He hits a half-assed atomic drop, not even bothering to stick his knee out, then grabs a chinlock. Shaw escapes and bites JYD’s forehead but gets taken down with a headutt. JYD picks him up and hits the powerslam for the win (2:46).
Thoughts: JYD sucked in the ring but the fans reacted well enough to him. Vince put him over a lot on commentary.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. He is in the event center for this segment. The topic is Hulk Hogan and him going back to Minnesota. They show the entrance for his match at the Met Centre against David Schultz.
A plug of the WWF Magazine.
Steve Lombardi vs. “Dr. D” David Schultz
Schultz offers a handshake to start things off. They do some matwork and Schultz overpowers Lombardi. Schultz refuses to break cleanly and hits Lombardi with a suplex. He hits a back elbow smash then a slam after Lombardi misses a charge. Schultz goes to the second rope and drops an elbow for the win (2:50).
Thoughts: Nothing new here as Schultz is floundering at this point. He hasn’t been on TV all that much in the past few months.
Gene Okerlund is with Dick Murdoch and Capt. Lou Albano.  They are plugging the six-man tag at MSG against Sgt. Slaughter and the Wild Samoans. Adonis is part of the match but not here during the interview. The MSG card took place the day this show aired. Albano was funny, as usual.
Aldo Marino & Rusty Brooks & Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Fabulous Freebirds w/David Woolf
Sharpe is holding a sign from the crowd that states he is not a wimp. Gordy and Brooks start off as Hayes and Woolf are clapping and circling the ring. Gordy kills Brooks with a clothesline. He hits a slam then slams his own head off the turnbuckle. Roberts tags and hits an eblow smash off the top rope. Marino tags and Roberts beats on him before tagging Hayes. Gordy tags in and catches Marino after a backdrop and hits the piledriver for the win (2:07). After the match, Cyndi Lauper comes into the ring and they all celebrate the victory. Hayes and Lauper then dance up the aisle.
Thoughts: The TV debut for the Freebirds. The crowd wasn’t that into them though. Lauper’s appearance got the loudest reaction of the show. Wolff would get booed out of the building if this was 2013. He looks like the biggest douchebag to ever step into a ring. The focused more on Hayes than anyone else.
Gene Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan. Hulk says that the dumbells were talking to him at the gym and that Jesse Ventura is no match for him. Okerlund did a great job playing off of Hulk’s craziness.
“Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. Joe Mascara
Orton grounds Mascara to start. Mascara takes Orton down and works the arm for a bit. Orton takes control and hits a backbreaker. He stomps him then drags him outside and slams his head off the guardrail. Orton pulls Mascara on the apron and they mess up a suplex spot. Orton then has difficulty placing Mascara on top for the superplex and eventually hits it for the win (3:28).
Thoughts: The last minute fell apart and Orton seemed pissed. Mascara was a longtime WWWF jobber. This match got next to nothing in terms of crowd response.
Piper’s Pit with Iron Mike Sharpe. Piper brings up how people call Sharpe a wimp, which sets him off Piper settles him down and has his producers set up two boards for Sharpe to break. He is about to break the boards then walks off saying he has nothing to prove to the people. Piper was fantastic here and the segment worked well with the crowd.
“Gentleman” Jerry Valiant vs. David Sammartino
This is the debut for Bruno’s son, who is not a tall man either. He puts him over by stating he has wrestling all over the world for the past few years so he could be ready before starting in the WWF. The crowd couldn’t care less about him. Sammartino hits a few armdrags and works the arm. Brutus Beefcake comes out and watches the match as Valiant hits a slam. Sammartino hits another armdrag and goes back to the arm as Vince tells us that all the managers are trying to sign Beefcake. Sammartino hits a few more armdrags and shortly after that, catches Valiant with a powerslam for the win (2:47).
Thoughts: The match was nothing and Sammartino’s debut bombed. All he did was hit a bunch of armdrags. He doesn’t even have one percent of the charisma that his father had in the ring.
Terry Daniels vs. Nikolai Volkoff w/Freddie Blassie
This is from the Canadian TV tapings. Volkoff starts with the Russian National Anthem. Volkoff pummels Daniels to start. He catches him with a knee then drops him throat first on the ropes. Volkoff gets a flying stomp before Daniels makes a comeback. He hits a few dropkicks before Volkoff catches him and drop shim on the top rope. He then hits him with two backbreakers and stomps him repeatedly until Sgt. Slaughter comes out. Volkoff punches him off the apron and rams his head off the ringpost. Volkoff knocks Slaughter down again before beating on Daniels. Sarge goes into the ring and beats on Volkoff, causing the ref to ring the bell for the DQ (3:50). Iron Sheik comes in and both men are stomping Slaughter. The fans are pelting the ring with trash as several jobbers run out to break things up.
Thoughts: This was the end of Terry Daniels in the WWF. He flopped as the Cobra Corps inductee and never connected with the crowd. They just saw him as a nobody and he got his ass kicked the entire match. Slaughter would go on as a singles wrestler until leaving at the end of the year.
Gene Okerlund is with Jesse Ventura. He calls Hulk “Chump Hogan” and says he will lose the belt in the same place that he won it. Hogan stands for good and he stands for evil, according to him. This match never took place due to Jesse suffering a pulmonary embolism. Big John Studd took the place of Ventura in a match that saw Bobby Heenan make his WWF debut by shoving Studd in the ring so he could get the victory by countout. By the way, that MSG show was an awful one. I was going to review it but will instead wait until the one from November, which had a better card.
Vince asks Bruno about his son, who states he was proud. Next week, Roddy Piper vs. Jimmy Snuka from MSG is the featured bout, along with Sgt. Slaughter and Kamala in action.
Final Thoughts: The second taping from Poughkeepsie was nowhere near as loud as the first. The crowd was dead halfway through the show. The matches were back to being a couple of minutes and besides the debuts, nothing else exciting happened.

WWE Lists Top 50 Villains and Good Guys in Wrestling History

Source – Villains

Source – Good Guys

These might be old but it’s the first I’ve heard of them.

Villains:

  1. Roddy Piper
  2. Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen
  3. Mr. McMahon
  4. Ted DiBiase
  5. Hollywood Hogan
  6. HHH
  7. Superstar Billy Graham
  8. Bobby Heenan
  9. Gorgeous George
  10. Jake Roberts
  11. Rick Rude
  12. JBL
  13. The Fabulous Freebirds
  14. The Original Sheik
  15. Chris Jericho
  16. Sherri Martel
  17. Mr. Perfect
  18. Killer Kowalski
  19. Jim Cornette
  20. Edge
  21. Freddie Blassie
  22. Undertaker
  23. Sgt. Slaughter
  24. Harley Race
  25. Vader
  26. Nick Bockwinkel
  27. Paul Orndorff
  28. Fabulous Moolah
  29. Raven
  30. Jerry Lawler
  31. Kevin Sullivan
  32. Randy Orton
  33. Terry Funk
  34. Abdullah the Butcher
  35. Paul Heyman
  36. Ivan Koloff
  37. Ernie Ladd
  38. CM Punk
  39. Dudley Boyz
  40. Don Muraco
  41. Kane
  42. Brock Lesnar
  43. Eddie Guerrero
  44. Eric Bischoff
  45. Andre the Giant
  46. Iron Sheik
  47. Mark Henry
  48. Vickie Guerrero
  49. Randy Savage
  50. Batista

Good guys:

  1. Bruno Sammartino
  2. Hulk Hogan
  3. Steve Austin
  4. John Cena
  5. Sting
  6. Bret Hart
  7. Dusty Rhodes
  8. The Rock
  9. Ricky Steamboat
  10. Rey Mysterio
  11. The Von Erichs
  12. Undertaker
  13. Junkyard Dog
  14. Rock and Roll Express
  15. Andre the Giant
  16. Jeff Hardy
  17. Ultimate Warrior
  18. Magnum TA
  19. Randy Savage
  20. Mankind
  21. Goldberg
  22. Jimmy Snuka
  23. The Crusher and the Bruiser
  24. Shawn Michaels
  25. Bobo Brazil
  26. Road Warriors
  27. Mil Mascaras
  28. Bob Backlund
  29. Jim Duggan
  30. Jack Brisco
  31. Chief Jay Strongbow
  32. Rob Van Dam
  33. Verne Gagne
  34. Tito Santana
  35. Jerry Lawler
  36. Mr. Wrestling II
  37. Antonino Rocca
  38. Eddie Guerrero
  39. Wahoo McDaniel
  40. Lex Luger
  41. Tommy Rich
  42. Ivan Putski
  43. Kofi Kingston
  44. Pedro Morales
  45. Tommy Dreamer
  46. Danny Hodge
  47. Trish Stratus
  48. Bob Armstrong
  49. Rocky Johnson
  50. Diamond Dallas Page

It’s hard to argue with either top five (although I could see Steamboat being a top five good guy ever.  Same with Mysterio), but some of the lower lists are bizarre.  For one thing, where are Jimmy Hart and Shawn Michaels as villains/ Also, Harley Race at #24 and freaking JBL at #12?  Ridiculous.  The top five villains are about as accurate as you’re going to get though.

WWF Championship Wrestling September 15, 1984

September 15, 1984
Your hosts are Angelo Mosca and Vince McMahon. If you haven’t heard Mosca on commentary before, you need to listen to him. Pull this up on YouTube if you must as he comes across as a very simple man.
This show was filmed during the Canadian TV tapings. During these tapings, Bret Hart and the Dynamite Kid made their WWF TV debuts teaming together against two jobbers (The match was only shown on Maple Leaf Wrestling). The next show was filmed from Poughkeepsie.
Tonight’s show includes Salvatore Bellomo vs. Greg Valentine, The WWF Ladies Tag-Team Champions Velvet McIntyre & Princess Victoria vs. Despina Montages & Leilani Kai, and Tito Santana is in action.

Salvatore Bellomo vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/Capt. Lou Albano
Vince puts over Valentine’s physique as he shoves Bellomo away. Bellomo works the arm until Valentine picks him up for a backbreaker. Bellomo fights back and connects on a dropkick before grabbing a chinlock. Bellomo breaks and hits another dropkick, which causes Valentine to consult with Albano. Back inside, Valentine drops Bellomo throat first on the ropes. Bellomo kicks out of a figure four attempt but Valentine delivers several knee smashes. He pushes Bellomo to the floor then drags him back in to continue the assault. Bellomo fights back and hits another dropkick and takes him down. He hits a few headbutts to the groin as the crowd starts to wake up. Crossbody gets two but Valentine catches him with an inverted atomic drop then puts on the figure-four for the win (6:48) *1/2.
Thoughts: Decent enough TV match. They are putting over Valentine’s figure four as a devastating finisher.
Freddie Miller interviews Paul Orndorff about his upcoming match in Boston against Tito Santana for the Intercontinental Title. Orndorff states he is proud of hurting people and that he is undefeated in the WWF. He promises victory.
Despina Montages & Leilani Kai vs. Velvet McIntyre & Princess Victoria
The tag belts are not on the line. Some in the crowd are actually whistling towards the ladies, if you can believe that. Victoria hits Montages with a few armdrags as Mosca is unintentionally hilarious on commentary. Tag to Velvet, who works the arm for a while. Kai tags in and Velvet works over her arm as well. Kai hits a few shoulderblocks but gets caught with a hiptoss. Flying headscissors gets two. Victoria tags and gets taken down by Kai. Montages tags and gets tossed down. The ref falls for Montages false claim of a hair pull and breaks a hold. The ladies work over Kai’s arm until she makes a tag. The heels double team McIntyre in the corner for a bit until she escapes. The match breaks down for a bit until Victoria cleans house. In a terribly botched spot, Montages pulls the hair of Victoria from the apron and she falls, allowing Kai to get a splash for the win (5:59) ¼*.
Thoughts: They tried but this was really rough in spots. The ending looked awful. Looks like these two teams will face off again in the future.
Freddie Miller is with Freddie Blassie and the Iron Sheik. Sheik, along with Nikolai Volkoff, will be facing Sgt. Slaughter and a mystery partner in Boston. Sheik runs down America for winning medals in the Olympics against inferior competition.
Jerry Valiant vs. Tito Santana
Both men trade forearms after a lockup. Valiant fires away but Tito fights right back. They work the double collision spot, which was performed awkwardly. They then battle over a surfboard for a few minutes until Tito wins that battle. He hits a pair of flying headscissors and connects on a dropkick. He leapfrogs over Valiant and hits the flying forearm for the win (5:32).
Thoughts: Man, this was painful. More than half of the match was watching these two fight over a surfboard move.
Gene Okerlund is backstage with “Quick Draw” Rick McGraw. This interview is torture as McGraw speaks in a low, monotone voice and says nothing at all of importance. After reading Hart’s book, he could have just been really fucked up during this. He is also wearing a suit and a tie. Okerlund is taller than him too, which doesn’t make him look good.
Sgt. Slaughter asks us to stand up for America as Vince does a voice over to send a charitable donation and an address appears on screen.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. This week’s spotlight is on Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch. They showed a clip of them walking to the ring.
Piper’s Pit with guest Jack Tunney. Piper asks Tunney if gets all of the praising letters that he gets from his fans. Piper gets upset when Tunney tells him the fan mail for him is negative. Tunney then tells him that Hulk Hogan is the most popular wrestler and Piper gets more upset, asking why Hogan has not giving him a title shot. The interview ends in the middle of Piper ranting. This was to set up the Hogan/Piper feud.
Nick DeCarlo & “Quick Draw” Rick McGraw vs. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff w/Freddie Blassie
Crowd starts an “Iran sucks” chant as Nikolai grabs the mic so he can sing the Russian National anthem. McGraw gets a crossbody on Sheik for one then tags out. DeCarlo grabs a side headlock then hits an atomic drop. McGraw tags back in and hits a terrible looking dropkick. Sheik Tosses him into Volkoff’s foot and tags out. DeCarlo tags and Nikolai punches away. The crowd is dead for this match as Volkoff gets a slam then gets the win with a backbreaker (3:26).
Thoughts: I’m surprised that the crowd was dead for this as they are usually nuts during a Sheik match. There was only a faint chant for Slaughter and they were silent when the faces were on offense.
Final Thoughts: This show was mediocre. They planted the seeds for the Hogan/Piper feud but that is about it. The wrestling was bad and the interviews unmemorable.

WWF Championship Wrestling September 1, 1984

September 1, 1984
Your hosts are Tony Garea and Vince McMahon
On the show this week will be B. Brian Blair, Nikolai Volkoff, Big John Studd, and Piper’s Pit along with other “surprises.”

Nikolai Volkoff w/Freddie Blassie vs. SD Jones
Volkoff pisses off the crowd by singing the Russian National Anthem and they respond with a loud “U-S-A” chant. The crowd is fully behind SD as Volkoff shoves him in the corner. Volkoff overpowers SD and beats him in the corner. He shoves him down and puts on a chinlock. They end up fighting over a wristlock but Volkoff yanks SD down by the hair. SD runs into a knee and Volkoff continues to hammer away. SD manages a few punches but misses a charge in the corner. Volkoff stomps SD for a bit then finishes him off with a backbreaker (4:41).
Thoughts: Volkoff returns to WWF television after a several year absence. The match itself was pretty bad but the foreign heel gimmicked worked very well at this time and they played up on current events as the USSR was boycotting the Olympics at this time so it worked out okay.
Charlie Fulton vs. B. Brian Blair
Blair takes Fulton down with a drop toehold. He does some matwork then grabs an armbar as Brutus Beefcake is strutting around the ring. The fans, which have been into just about everything during this taping, are not reacting to Beefcake at all. Fulton has Blair in a headlock then beats him in the corner. He hits a backbreaker then stretches Blair out as the crowd starts a “Brian” chant. Fulton misses an elbow drop and Blair takes control. He hits an elbow smash from the second rope and a scoop slam before catching him with the abdominal stretch cradle for the win (6:37).
Thoughts: These two have had several TV matches and they are usually boring, despite both guys being solid workers. This was no exception. Blair, who usually gets a poor reaction, was over with this crowd. The Beefcake stuff was a waste of time, especially since the fans were ignoring him.
Billy Travis vs. Jesse “The Body” Ventura
The crowd starts chanting for Ivan Putski. David Woolf, for the second straight show, joins on commentary to talks about the Fabulous Freebirds. Ventura grabs a bearhug as the crowd is still chanting like crazy for Putski. Jesse taunts the crowd and stomps away on Travis as Woolf tells us on commentary that Michael Hayes has received a recording contract from CBS Records. Travis lands a few punches but Ventura chops him back down. Jesse follows a slam with a leg drop then tosses Travis to the floor. Back inside, Ventura applies the Bodybreaker for the win (4:53). After the match, Ventura stomps on the back of Travis.
Thoughts: About what you would expect as far as the match quality. The crowd was hot for Putski, who Ventura was feuding with at this time. Ventura wouldn’t be wrestling much longer as he had a pulmonary embolism a few weeks after this match aired, which ended his career in the ring. 
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. This week’s subject is Paul Orndorff. In a comedy bit, Vince tells us that a woman named Amy MacMullen did some research and found that Orndorff’s real name is “Paul Paula Orndorff Jr.” Lame but inoffensive comedy here that was designed to get more “Paula” chants directed at Orndorff.
Piper’s Pit with guests Nikolai Volkoff and Freddie Blassie. Piper brings up the USSR boycotting the Olympics and how that is the only reason for the USA and Canada winning medals. Piper also said the same type of stuff when Blair was a guest a few weeks back. Volkoff then sings the Russian National Anthem, again, as the crowd boos. A tame installment of the Piper’s Pit. They seem to be pushing Volkoff hard in his return.
Jeff Lang vs. Big John Studd
The crowd chants for Andre the Giant. Lang attempts to slam Studd but fails and gets shoved away. Studd eggs on the fans then taunts Lang. He takes him down with a shoulder block. Clothesline by Studd who then finishes off Lang with an elbow drop (1:27).
Thoughts: The feud between Studd and Andre is over big with this crowd. Studd was awful in the ring and barely had any charisma but luckily for him, he was huge.
WWF Review with this week’s song being “Infatuation” by Rod Stewart. They show clips of the Bob Backlund vs. Salvatore Bellomo match at the Philadelphia Spectrum (which was Backlund’s last match in the WWF until he returned in the early 90’s) and Greg Valentine destroying a jobber in a squash match from a TV taping.
Final Thoughts: This was not that great of a show. This crowd was awesome though as this show was the 4th and final one of this taping cycle and they were loud the entire time. The crowds are into the feuds but nothing really got advanced here and even Piper’s Pit was subpar. Beefcake’s gimmick of strutting around the ring is already old three weeks in and will not get him over.

WWF Championship Wrestling August 25, 1984

August 25, 1984
Your hosts are Tony Garea and Vince McMahon
In action tonight are the Wild Samoans, Sgt. Slaughter, Brutus Beefcake, The Spoiler along with Piper’s Pit.

Robbie Parliament & Rene Goulet vs. Wild Samoans
The fans are solidly behind the Samoans and Vince mentions how they are no longer with Albano, as he cost them the tag-titles when he was the special guest referee at a recent show. That show he was referring to actually took place at MSG the day this show aired. Back to the match as Goulet stalls and complains about hair pulls. Afa chops him down and he tags out to Parliament, who Vince says was the surprise partner of Goulet. Parliament is a big oaf who moves very slowly. Hell, Vince even makes fun of him, referring to him as a “big, bag of blubber” as Afa tosses him down. The Samoans work on Parliament as Goulet interferes a few times with minimal effect. The match then breaks down with all four men in the ring as the Samoans do the double noggin knocker. They hit Parliament with a double clothesline then a double falling headbutt for the win (5:57).
Thoughts: The match itself wasn’t much but the fans really dug the Samoans as faces. Their slow face turn seems to have paid off. Parliament really was awful in the ring and Goulet is hardly worth anything at this point.
Gene Okerlund plugs the September 19th show at the Inglewood Forum. Capt. Lou Albano comes out as Gene mentions his upcoming six-man tag match with the champs, Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch, against the Wild Samoans and Mil Mascaras. Albano goes off on Mascaras, calling him a “little, demented halfwit.” Albano was his usual tangential and hilarious self. The champs come out and cut a basic promo on the Samoans.
Jose Luis Rivera vs. Brutus Beefcake
The fans start a “Fruitcake” chant for Brutus. He takes forever to remove his entrance gear. Brutus tosses Rivera around for a bit then hits him with some forearms. He takes him down with a snapmare and works a neck vise. He then gets a scoop slam and overpowers him some more until he gets the win with a sitdown splash (2:53).
Thoughts: Brutus didn’t show much in the ring, but he was far from horrible. The fans didn’t react all that much to him besides the “Fruticake” chant at the beginning. It’s clear that they are positioning Beefcake to quickly rise up the card.
Okerlund plugs the Wendi Richter vs. Fabulous Moolah match at the September 19th show in California.
Dave Barbie vs. Sgt. Slaughter
The fans go shithouse for Slaughter. He brushes off a forearm smash from Barbie and hits one of his own. He gets a slam and follows that with some knee smashes before working the arm. Barbie gets an eye rake but Sarge fights right back. He then hits the Slaughter Cannon, setting up the Cobra Clutch for the win (3:49).
Thoughts: Slaughter was incredibly over with the crowds, getting just as much of a reaction as Hogan. His program with Sheik was starting to get a bit old and Terry Daniels is failing to get over as his partner and protege so they are trying to start a new feud for him.
Okerlund is now with the Iron Sheik, plugging his match against SD Jones in California. He goes off about how Backlund was supposed to be his opponent the night he lost the belt to Hogan. His shirt shows off all of the medals he has won in his amateur career. Sheik was not ranting and raving here and the result was a dull promo.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. This week’s subject is Hulk Hogan, who was being honored, along with former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Roger Staubach, for a physical fitness award. They showed a clip of him coming to the ring. Your typically useless WWF Update segment.
Piper’s Pit with guests Freddie Blassie, Kamala, and Friday. Piper talks to Blassie about Kamala, who puts him over as being an unstoppable monster. Kamala is pacing around as Friday, who we learned was trained in the missionary, calms him down. Blassie even let us know that Kamala is a cannibal, but not just any cannibal as he apparently eats humans too. The segment was short and it was tough to hear Blassie over the noises that Kamala was making.
Jeff Lang vs. The Spoiler
The Spoiler is billed as the “National Heavyweight Champion,” which was part of Georgia Championship Wrestling. Spoiler attacks Lang to start. He does the ropewalk, going across the entire rope before dropping an elbow on Lang. That put the Undertaker’s version to shame. Speaking of that, Undertaker emulated his moves after him and there are those claiming that he was actually trained by the Spoiler. Back to the match as the Spoiler remains in control, Dave Wolff joins the announcers booth. Spoiler hits a double underhook suplex then shortly after that, he jumps off the ropes and puts on the iron claw, causing Lang to submit (3:24). After the match, Wolff lets us know that the Fabulous Freebirds have joined the WWF.
Thoughts: The crowd was fairly quiet during the match but the Spoiler looked good. He also makes the iron claw look painful as he really wrenches and digs into his opponent. Wolff sucked on commentary and he would get booed out of the building if he was to appear like this on RAW next week but the Freebirds coming to the WWF is a really big announcement. They actually made their debut at a house show that took place at the Philadelphia Spectrum almost three weeks before this show aired, beating three jobbers.
WWF Review with the song this week being “Warrior” by Scandal. The match clips shown are Paul Orndorff vs. Chief Jay Strongbow from June at MSG and Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Jose Luis Rivera at the Spectrum.
Gene Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan, who plugs his match against Jesse Ventura in California. Hogan claims that Jesse is hiding from him then proceeds to cut a borderline incoherhent promo, stumbling all over his words. He says that he heard from his “protein” guy Dave, that Jesse was hiding out in San Diego. I’m beginning to think that Dave also supplies cocaine at this point. He tells Jesse not to go into Gold’s Gym and that after their match, he will be known as “Jesse No Body.” After watching this, I can kind of understand why the WWE wants people to script things for their wrestlers.
Final Thoughts: A solid show. Nothing dragged and they continue to bring new guys into the promotion. They are setting up feuds and look to expand into newer markets, like California and the Southern part of the country. The show long interviews plugging the house shows would become a familiar thing throughout the decade. Its clear from watching that the WWF is trying to become the most popular wrestling promotion in the world.

Book Review: Wrestling Reality: The Life and Mind of Chris Kanyon, Wrestling’s Gay Superstar.

Chris Kanyon was a lot of things. He was a wrestler. He was a physical therapist. He was a wrestling trainer. He was manic depressive. What most remember about him, though, was one distinct fact: Chris Kanyon was gay.

Chris Klucsartis was born to parents of varying Russian descents and spent his childhood living in Sunnyside, Queens, New York. In many ways, he had what you could call a typical childhood: baseball, hockey, all the shenanigans and mischief that lend themselves to young boys, and a growing love of pro wrestling. Indeed, growing up in New York City, Chris gravitated towards wrestling in the form of the WWF. Wrestlers like Superfly Jimmy Snuka captured the attention of the young Chris. Soon, he and his friends were mimicking the very moves they saw on television in their local park. But what really was the tipping point for young Chris Klucsartis was a time when the NWA visited suburban New Jersey. He and his friends attended the event, landing great tickets. His Uncle chaperoned them, and he was your typical “Why do you guys like this? You know its fake, right?” kind of guy. Not one to likely be impressed by any goings-on in the squared circle. Well, on this night, Ric Flair was defending his NWA title against Ricky Steamboat. Steamboat and Flair had their normal great, tight match, and, after 29 intense minutes of action, they had Chris’s Uncle enraptured, not to mention young Chris. It was at this juncture that Chris Kluscartis made up his young mind: He was going to be a pro wrestler, come hell or high water.

All of this reads like a primer in wrestling biographies: Boy falls for wrestling, sees it for the first time live, has epiphany, follows dream. It also reads like a typical childhood. Certainly, pro wrestling is a big part of most male childhoods. Chris Kluscartis, though, was leading anything but a typical male childhood. His world was shot off center by one realization he had at a very young age. From the time he was six or seven years old, when he found himself infatuated with a male friend of his older brother, Chris Kluscartis came to realize that he was gay. Heady stuff for a kid that age in 1970’s New York. Add into this mix that Chris attended Parochial (Catholic) schools throughout his childhood, and it almost seemed an insurmountable cross to bear. Chris dealt with it in probably the best way he could short term, but would essentially ended up crushing any long term enjoyment in his tragic life: he hid it. He denied. He attempted to portray himself as the picture of heterosexual masculinity.

In short, Chris Kluscartis’ life would never be easy.

While Chris was suppressing his natural urges, he found an outlet in professional wrestling. There is a great story in this book in which Chris and his friends attended WrestleMania IV. They witnessed wrestling history (and one of the most boring Mania’s ever) when Randy Savage ascended the WWF ladder and became WWF Champion, beating Ted DiBiase in the finals of a 16 man title tournament. After the event, while staying in a hotel adjacent to the WrestleMania venue that year of Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey, while his friends slept, Chris grew fidgety. He had the wrestling bug, and he had it BAD. He left the comfort of his hotel confines and stumbled back over to Trump Plaza. To his astonishment, he found a door ajar, and wandered the labyrinth of corridors until he found himself gobsmacked with astonishment at the site he had stumbled upon: He had come to the ringside area where the event had been held, and nothing, not the ring, not the ring and rafter bunting, NOTHING had been removed yet. He walked that WrestleMania aisle (which, if you recall, was a very long affair with many steps) and found himself smack dab in the middle of the ring where Savage had just made wrestling history. He bounced around the ring for a few minutes, then came to a realization: He needed a souvenir. Initially, he wanted to take the WrestleMania IV banner. The big one. If you remember WrestleMania IV or V, that Mania banner was massive. There was no way Chris could feasibly escape with that monstrosity. Instead, he formed a better plan. He took the top turnbuckle cover that Macho Man had leaped off of in the Main Event to dismiss The Million Dollar Man. Christ, what a memory, what a fantastic piece of wrestling related memorabilia. He hightailed it back to his hotel room, and, come sunrise, showed off his new bounty to his friends.

All was not sunshine and smiles, though. Chris graduated High School and chose to attend the University of Buffalo. He was still gay, and HEAVILY closeted. The lengths he went to to conceal his homosexuality were nothing short of extraordinary. He rationalized that he needed to have sex with a woman, and he picked a winner. After several aborted attempts with various willing co-eds, which resulted in…um…results varying from straight denials to difficulties trying to use a condom (think we’ve all been there) to premature ejaculation (KNOW every man has been there). Once again, add in the gay dilemma and that period must have been excruciatingly agonizing for a young man. Finally, Chris was turned on (and not in a good way for him) to a willing young co-ed from a different, nearby college. She was, what we call in some circles, a slam pig. I know, not a great term, but, apparently this girl was willing to spread her legs for dudes sight unseen. Chris stumbled through the process, and eventually finished the deed. However, there was an unforeseen side effect. Well, not unforeseen to anyone above college age. The girl who took Chris’s virginity had given him something in return: crabs. The gift that keeps on giving. Understand why I called her a slam pig now?

Chris studied physical therapy while at U of Buff, a major he figured would let him get close to pro wrestling. It was a friend of his, however, that led him to the promised land of wrestling training. Chris wanted to attend either Chris Adams or, I am guessing, the Owens (or Barr’s) camp in Oregon, but was told in no uncertain terms to finish college and stay away from this “Godforsaken business.” Chris was dismayed, but certainly not deterred. One day, though, a friend of Chris’s expressed his desire to acquire an actual wrestling ring. Naturally, huge fan Chris was instantly in on the idea. Chris was a subscriber to the old sports periodical, “The National Sports Daily.” Every Friday, there was a wrestling column authored by a certain gentleman named Dave Meltzer. (Honestly, this little blurb is my favorite part of the book. I have been an avid sports fan since, well, basically, infancy. My dad, no slouch himself with sports, started buying me “The National” daily. I loved it, sopped all the information it provided like a sponge. It was the wrestling stuff I most enjoyed, but I was a total mark at the time this publication was dispensed. It always had great stuff that I used to wow my elementary school friends. One instance had me winning a bet with a 4th grader because I had read that Mr. Perfect had won back the IC title from Kerry Von Erich. Another had me correctly predicting that Mean Mark Callous would be Ted DiBiase’s mystery partner at Survivor Series 1990. No one believed me because Callous’ new character was such a departure from his WCW nom: Undertaker.) But it was a visit to the radio studios of John Arezzi, a New York radio jock who specialized in pro wrestling speculation and rumors, that landed them the opportunity to secure a wrestling ring. A guy, presumably an aspiring wrestler, in Arezzi’s waiting room turned Chris and friend to a man named Pete McKay, who had a wrestling ring available. Chris and his friend found Pete’s gym, Gladiator Gym in Manhattan, but it wasn’t a ring they secured. Seeing Chris’s childlike enthusiasm once he stepped through the ropes, Pete McKay offered to train young Chris Kluscartis. Shit had just gotten real for Chris.

Chris trained with Pete, and seemingly was a natural.  So natural that Pete McKay thought Chris was a plant sent to spy on his school sent my Johnny Rodz. No one, he thought, could be this polished at this stage. Chris assured him he wasn’t, and eventually graduated the school…without paying a single dollar.

Chris soon found himself in North Carolina, right after graduating college. He told his parents he went there to pursue a physical therapist position. While that was certainly a bit of the truth, it was far from the whole truth. North Carolina had a vibrant independent wrestling scene at that point, and that was truly where Chris wanted to be. He worked his day job as a physical therapist, and he loved that job, was gratified by it, especially working with stroke patients. But young Chris, by now renamed Chris Kanyon, was in North Cacalack for one reason: wrestling.

Chris had a few contacts in NC because he had become a subscriber to Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter. He found a contact, and that contact brought a man into Kanyon’s life that would become his best friend: James Mitchell.

James Mitchell. What can you say about this guy? Literally, what can you say about this guy? He is a card carrying Satan worshiper and sexual deviant. I stand corrected. To call him a sexual deviant would be a disservice to sexual deviants. The man is off of his rocker, and PERFECTLY suited to the pro wrestling industry. One cute story in this book was a recounting by Kanyon of Mitchell, in his wrestling manager persona of the time, telling a black wrestler that he “felches” his dog. Mitchell meant fetch, but uttered felch. Felching is a weird sexual subgenre that I will allow the reader to follow up. Suffice to say, Mitchell made a mistake in speech, and was dying in hilarity backstage.

Kanyon and Mitchell worked for a brief time in Smokey Mountain Wrestling, run by Jim Cornette. Kanyon, in this book, pegs Cornette dead on as a total hothead. Supposedly, Rick Rubin, of Beastie Boys, Run-DMC and, more currently, Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” was a financial backer of the promotion and wanted a mummy character. Mitchell managed it, and it was a disaster. Picture a wrestler covered in toilet paper that was rubbed in dirt, and you get the picture. Kanyon, at this point, was nothing more than cannon fodder, enhancement talent for SMW and WWF. Mitchell and Kanyon were eventually let go by SMW because of an altercation between Mitchell and Cornette. Kanyon was a victim of circumstance.

It was at this time Kanyon gave up on wrestling. For a brief time. He decided to take a physical therapist position in Connecticut and would shelve up with a childhood friend. While he was moving in with said friend, a box of his moving materials spilled to the ground, exposing some stag mags. Gay sex magazines. When confronted, Kanyon simply stated that Jim Mitchell put them there as a rib. Kanyon was still closeted, and still very, VERY scared of his secret leaking out. He blamed it on sexual…I don’t know what to call James Mitchell…freak? There are no words for what James Mitchell was, and is. Don’t believe me? YouTube (yeah, I used it as a verb) some of his shoot interviews. Whatever. Kanyon felt compelled to call Mitchell, who was one of the few privy to Kanyon’s gay secret, to explain the situation. Mitchell could have given two fucks. When Kanyon’s friend called Mitchell to confront him, Mitchell was concise: “Yeah, those were mine. I am a huge fag. Total fag.” James Mitchell, ladies and gentleman!

Kanyon soon grew tired of the regular 9-5 grind, and found a nearby wrestling school. A great one. It was Afa the Samoan’s school in Allentown, PA. He kept his ring rust off and met a lifelong friend: Billy Kidman. Together, the two toured Memphis and some other places, but fate would soon smile upon the two.

Fate was WCW. Kanyon, because of his 6’4″ frame, was signed quicker than Kidman. Kanyon soon was settled into a groove as a jobber, while also helping to train lost souls at the WCW Power Plant. Jody Hamilton, the Assassin, Nick Patrick’s father, rather grew to like young Kanyon, his abilities and his ability to train others. That was not the doorway to success for Chris Kanyon, though. The doorway was Diamond Dallas Page. Page, who lived next door to WCW puba Eric Bischoff, had some clout in the company. And Page liked Kanyon. Kanyon was soon pegged for what Bischoff, at the time, considered his greatest coup. Bischoff was hoping to capitalize on the Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter video game craze. He had devoted hours of study and resources into this venture, and had come up with characters mimicking the game. Kanyon initially was to have portrayed a character based on reptiles, but it was changed to a skull. Glacier, Mortis, Ernest Miller, Wrath: BLOOD RUNS COLD everyone. Widely panned as one of the worst wrestling gimmicks ever, there seemed to only be two saving graces: Wrath, due to his look and imposing demeanor, and Mortis, Kanyon, who provided the solid wrestling skills. Their push was hurt by the debut and success of another Bischoff creation of the time, the NWO. Kanyon proved he was a good wrestler with several solid matches facing untrained Glacier and Ernest Miller. With the NWO running wild, there was no hope for a mid card act like this.

This is where the book gets dicey. Kanyon was friends with DDP, and as long as that bond was there, Kanyon was never going to flounder. Granted, the NWO basically crushed the non-cruiserweight mid card of WCW for some years, Kanyon was given a stay of execution. He unmasked, became Kanyon, and came up with a decent catchphrase: “WHO BETTA THAN KANYON?!?”  Eventually, this led to a union with Page and Bam Bam Bigelow, who formed the “Jersey Triad.” I personally loved this angle during the waning years of WCW, and still adore it to this day. I was too young to remember the glory years of the three man Freebirds, so this was as close as an approximation that I was likely to get in my formative years. They won the WCW Tag Team Titles, and any two of the three would be allowed to defend them (the Freebird rule).

Unfortunately, both WCW and Chris Kanyon, at this juncture, were coming apart at the seams. Chris was being torn asunder by both his closeted gayness and his undiagnosed manic depressive disorder. Adding to this toxic mix was the fact WCW was about to fold. Kanyon was dismayed and had no idea of what to do or who he really was. Unfortunately, something major was about to change that.

That something major was 9/11. Any American can tell you what they were doing in the hours leading up to the attack, what they were doing when the second plane hit, and what they did in the aftermath. For me, I used to love scaling tall things. Loved going to the summits of tall places; The Empire State Building, The aforementioned Twin Towers; The John Hancock Buildings, both in Chicago and Boston. Since that day, my asshole puckers everytime I see a view of a building from great height. Kanyon took it even worse than I did. His brother worked near the Trade Centers, and he was mortified (see what I did there) when he heard of the attacks. Luckily, Kanyon and fam were safe from the destruction caused by Al-Queada. Unfortunately, Chris Kanyon never truly recovered.

9/11 shocked Chris Kluscartis. Shocked him to a point he should have reached earlier, but never did. He finally came out of the closet to his family. Not to his wrestling family, just the family that matters. It was a tough moment for him, made even more unbearable when his father asked “Are You the Pitcher or the Catcher?” Woof. Imagine your old man asking that. Chris assured his dad that, with his 6’4″ frame, he was the pitcher.

At that point, Chris was a valuable part of the WCW Alliance angle in WWF. The Alliance “MVP.” Unfortunately, WWF, as the book puts it, and I also happen to believe, did not see his talent. Kanyon, for all the bullshit in his personal life, was better than most of the wrestlers who were retained in the WWF/WCW storyline. Kanyon should have had a bigger role. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury that put him out for a while.

It was during this while that Vince McMahon came up with an idea: an effeminate character for Kanyon. Kanyon did not like it upon his return for injury, but, hey, a guy has to make a living, right? But Vince, Vince McMahon, the promotional genius, the rajah of wrestling, well, he had a dense plan for Kanyon. By this point, Kanyon’s homosexuality, while not announced, was fairly well known. And Vince “Master of Tact” McMahon decided to utilize it. He began with telling Kanyon to accentuate his already lispy voice. Uh. Huh. Kanyon told Vince that he wanted to portray a gay character with laurels, admitting his life to the man. And this is where the book turns towards the darkside.

Vince McMahon is a lot of things: business genius, wrestling guru. But a master at the subtlety of human behavior is not one of the saving graces of the man. MAN LIKE WOMAN, MAN PURSUE MAN, MAN CLUB OVER GIRL HEAD.  That is Vince. Pre mastadonian man. Vince did what Vince does: He fired Kanyon.

Kanyon never truly recovered from this shunning, Why should he of? Pat Patterson was RIGHT THERE. The problem was that Kanyon never came clean to his wrestling breathren. (That word has no spellcheck alternative and as a writer I am keeping it there because spellcheck is not infallible.)

Kanyon eventually came clean to his family. He admitted his true self. You would think that it would have solved all of his problems, but, no. Kanyon was as clear of a case as a manic depressive you are ever likely to see. You see, Kanyon was a mess. With the underlying problem of his homosexuality, he had missed out on the fact that he ALSO had a very hard and very real illness. A psychological illness.

With all that was plaguing Chris Klucsartis, it was a wonder he lived a successful life as long as he did. Chris constantly has suicide attempts throughout his life, which are detailed in the book, but he finally succeeded on April 2, 2010.

This book is more a celebration of a troubled man’s life, but at the same time is a tragic coda. Chris Kanyon was an outstanding professional wrestler. But his demons overcame him, and, unfortunately, he became just another wrestling statistic.

Chris Kanyon was not just another wrestling statistic. He was a MAN. A good man. A homosexual man. And his pain, his process, should not be lost on anyone.

WHO BETTA THAN KANYON????????