WWF Championship Wrestling: August 18, 1984

August 18, 1984
Your hosts are Tony Garea and Vince McMahon
The hosts run down the show, which will feature Ken Patera, Kamala, Piper’s Pit with Sgt. Slaughter and Gene Okerlund will present Wendi Richter with the new WWF Women’s Championship Belt.

Ken Patera w/Capt. Lou Albano vs. Billy Travis
As usual, Vince gloats about the physique of his wrestlers, this time slobbering all over Patera. Patera overpowers Travis, who fights back with a dropkick. Travis uses his speed but gets caught with a back elbow smash. Patera sends him over the ropes with a punch and Lou rolls him on the apron. Patera brings him back in with a hiptoss and applies a chinlock. He gets him in a bearhug for a bit then hits a suplex and a clothesline, pulling him up before the three count. He slams Travis a few more times then drops an elbow for the win (4:38).
Thoughts: This was Patera’s return to the WWF after an absence of over three years. They put him over a ton on commentary and Meltzer reported that he was rumored to get the IC strap shortly after his debut. He held the belt in 1980, defeating Pat Patterson to win and lost it to Pedro Morales. As far as the match, it wasn’t much and Patera was in his 40’s, with his best days certainly behind him. Albano did not add much here. Patera was managed by the Grand Wizard in his last WWF run.
Steve Lombardi vs. Kamala w/Freddie Blassie & Friday
This is Kamala’s WWF debut. Before the match, Hulk Hogan is introduced to the crowd and they go bananas. He gives Lombardi a pep-talk then retreats. Kamala chops Lombardi a few times as a “We Want Hogan” chant erupts from the crowd. Kamala knocks him down with a double chop then finishes him off with a splash (0:48). After the match, Kamala attempts to climb to the top rope but Blassie and Friday hold him back.
Thoughts: This played off as a setup for Hogan’s next feud. The match was way too short to mean anything. I have no idea who played Friday. Lombardi played Kimchee later on but no clue as to who played Friday in the WWF. Anyone have an idea?
WWF Review with the song “Dance Hall Days” by Wang Chung. They show clips of JYD’s debut against Max Blue and a squash featuring Don Muraco.
Mean Gene is standing in the ring. He holds the new WWF Women’s Championship belt in his hand, which has a white leather strap. He introduces Richter and the crowd goes nuts. As she enters the ring, known pervert Mel Phillips blatantly looks up her dress. Oh well, beats looking at her face I suppose. She thanks Cyndi Lauper but doesn’t get to say much more as the Fabulous Moolah runs into the ring and assaults her. She even sends Okerlund to the mat with a boot in the ass. Richter regains control and grabs her belt back from Moolah, who leaves the ring. The crowd is going crazy, pelting Moolah with trash. Heated segment.
Mario Mancini vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/Capt Lou Albano
Albano rejoins Valentine this week. Valentine starts with a drop toehold then grounds him for a bit. He backs Mancini in the corner then gets a scoop slam. The camera cuts to Albano, who proclaims Valentine will be the next Intercontinental Champion. For some reason, Vince refers to Mancini as “Dave Barbie,” a wrestler that looks totally different and wrestles later on in the show. That could have been a production error. Valentine hits a shoulderbreaker then an elbow drop, setting up the figure-four leglock for the win (2:08). Valentine keeps the hold on as Albano distracts the ref. He finally breaks and the crowd showers him with boos.
Thoughts: Another strong outing from Valentine, who certainly seems positioned for a shot against Santana. He was one of the best wrestlers in the company at this point.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. This week’s topic is Roddy Piper. They show a clip of Piper talking himself up on his set.
Piper’s Pit with guest Sgt. Slaughter. Piper talks about his time in the service then calls Sarge an idiot and pleads with him to listen as to why that is the case. He goes on about how no one cared about him after he got home from serving in Vietnam and how the people cheering him today all ran across the border to dodge the draft. Sarge shocks the crowd by agreeing with Piper, stating he did serve this country but then says he was wrong about one thing, that he would die for his country then walks off after saying “god bless the USA.” Not much of a segment and it didn’t get heated enough to the point that you would expect a feud to result from this segment. Speaking of the Slaughter character, I have no clue as to why the WWE hasn’t copied this type of patronizing, ultra-patriotic character for today. This gimmick would connect with a lot more people than their other sad attempts at face characters like Sheamus, Miz, and Del Rio.
Dave Barbie vs. Tito Santana
Santana as the word “Arriva” on the back of his jacket. The crowd loves Tito. Barbie was the real-life bodyguard of Andre the Giant. They start by trying to feel each other out as the mysterious man from the Putski match last week struts around the ring. Vince tells us that his name is Brutus Beefcake. Tito knocks Barbie to the floor then slingshots him back into the ring. He works a side headlock for a very long time as this match is dragging. Barbie struggles and eventually fights out but gets taken back down with the same move. One fan starts a “boring” chant as this is really starting to put everyone asleep. Barbie is just a terrible wrestler and is constantly out of position. Barbie lands a few shots but Tito fights back. He gets a slam then hits the flying forearm and gets the pin using a bridge (5:53)
Thoughts: Awful match. Barbie was incompetent in the ring to the point that having the match revolve around a side headlock was probably for the best. At least he could get into position for that. The crowd, which was electric all show long, died during this match.
Final Thoughts: Good show. They planted the seeds for future feuds and continued the Richter/Moolah saga. They debuted a new wrestler and even showed another one in the form of a music video (Junkyard Dog). With several newcomers being introduced, it looks like the old guard is going to be phased out soon.

WWF Championship Wrestling August 11th, 1984

August 11, 1984
Your hosts are Tony Garea and Vince McMahon
This is the first show from the Poughkeepsie tapings. This would be the home for Championship Wrestling until it ended in 1986 and became WWF Superstars. At that point, tapings were done on the road.
Tony and Vince run down the show, which features Ivan Putski, Iron Sheik, Rocky Johnson, and the tag champs, Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch in action. Plus, Piper’s Pit and the WWF Review. They did a bit in which Vince would name someone and Garea would give a brief comment about them afterwards.
WWF Magazine plug, putting over Hogan and Andre mingling with celebrities and also mentioning that Kerry Von Erich beat Ric Flair for the NWA Heavyweight Championship.

Iron Sheik w/Freddy Blassie vs. Jose Luis Rivera
The crowd is quite lively for this taping. Sheik gets some heat by praying as the fans start a “USA” chant. Sheik jumps Rivera from behind then chokes him out with his headdress. Sheik poses to a chorus of boos after a backdrop then hits Rivera with a gutbuster. Sheik takes a break and talks with Blassie before beating on Rivera. He throws him to the floor then bounces a chair off of his head. He pulls Rivera back into the ring and beats on him some more. Rivera leapfrogs Sheik and gets in some punches as the crowd goes apeshit. Rivera ducks his head on a backdrop attempt and Sheik boots him down. Sheik hits a waistlock suplex then makes Rivera submit to the Camel’s Clutch (5:31). After the match, Sheik proclaims that Iran is number one then tosses Rivera to the floor.
Thoughts: The crowd was red-hot all match long. Sheik was getting a strong heel reaction everywhere he went during this time anyway though. No mention of Slaughter on commentary.
Charlie Fulton vs. Rocky Johnson
Johnson has a boxing-style robe and is shuffling his feet more than ever. Vince put over his physique, a trend that would continue throughout the match. Fulton backs him in the corner and gets a few forearm smashes but Rocky reverses a whip and gets a backdrop. He takes Fulton down with a few armdrags, who then ducks outside. He comes back and goes right back outside after escaping from an arm wringer. Back in the ring, they go for a test of strength. Rocky somersaults around and puts Fulton in a wristlock. They do the criss-cross spot and that ends with Rocky getting an armdrag. Fulton gets in a few forearms but Rocky takes him down with a monkeyflip. Rocky goes back to the arm again and does some more somersaults before hitting a dropkick then a sunset flip for the win (6:03).
Thoughts: The crowd remained red-hot throughout the match, which wasn’t much at all. They are really trying to get Rocky over as a singles wrestler, as there was no mentioning of his teaming with Tony Atlas. Rocky did a lot of the feet-shuffling and somersault stuff throughout the entire match. Vince was practically drooling over his physique too.
Jeff Lang & SD Jones vs. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch
The crowd is solidly behind Jones. Adonis starts things off with a shoulderblock but SD takes him down with a hiptoss. He hits a few armdrags on Adonis then on Murdoch, who ran in to help his partner. The tag champs bail as the crowd is going nuts, chanting loudly for SD. Murdoch is now the legal man and gets a knee smash. He misses an elbow in the corner and SD goes to work. SD headbutts both men as the crowd is going crazy. He hits Murdoch with several punches before he goes down. Murdoch catches him with a headlock and punches away. Tag to Adonis and they hit SD with a double elbow smash. Adonis gets two off of an elbow drop and the crowd chants for SD. Adonis goes for an Irish whip but SD reverses it and sends him into the post. He makes the tag to Lang, who gets taken down immediately by Adonis. Tag to Murdoch and he roughs him up for a bit until they hit their finisher, a backsuplex/top rope clothesline combo for the win (5:17).
Thoughts: This crowd was great. They were loud for everything. The match itself wasn’t much at all, the champs sold for most of the match, but the atmosphere for the show is awesome.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. They show a picture of him with model Susan Anton then show a clip of him walking to the ring, with all of the fans going nuts. They did a similar update for Andre a few months back, but they used a different entrance clip and photo. Nothing to see here.
Piper’s Pit with guest B. Brian Blair. The crowd barely reacts to Blair at all. Piper puts over his credentials then asks him why he wanted to become a wrestler. Blair said he dreamed of being in the Olympics and Piper asks why no one wanted to go this year, mentioning that Russia, Poland and the rest of the communist countries did not go. He then says the only way the USA can win was to have the other countries stay home, which prompts Blair to make a skirt joke then call him a jerk before walking off. Piper flips out afterwards. The Piper’s Pit formula is starting to get too formulaic, with the face responding with skirt jokes and Piper yelling at them.
Ron Shaw vs. Ivan Putski
The crowd is going crazy for Putski. Shaw tries to mimic Putski but gets booed. Putski then poses, drawing cheers, then points to Shaw, which gets boos. Just as the match is about to begin, a jacked-up guy (the future Brutus Beefcake) wearing a shiny vest and a bowtie starts to strut around the ring. Vince’s reply to his appearance was “what is that.” This distracts the wrestlers as Vince tells us he does not know who this man is and he has a great physique. Anyway the crowd boos this guy and the camera cuts back to the action and Putski hits Shaw with the Polish Hammer for the win (2:57).
Thoughts: The crowd was crazy for Putski but the focus of the match was on the unknown guy strutting around the ring. They showed about 20 seconds of in-ring action for this segment.
WWF Review. This week’s segment features the song “I’m Free” by Kenny Loggins and features clips of squash matches from The Spoiler and Nikolai Volkoff. Neither guy had been on WWF TV for several years. One would assume they would be back on TV very soon. They show the Spoiler doing the ropewalk, going across the entire rope, during his clip.
Final Thoughts: Decent show with a red-hot crowd. They were going nuts for everything. A good crowd can really make a show seem better. They are putting over Rocky Johnson as a singles wrestler and seem to be introducing new wrestlers, with the packages of The Spoiler and Nikolai Volkoff, along with the unknown man from the Putski match.

Wrestling Heels who shouldn’t be faces, Vice Versa

I see throughout these PG years, there is a group of fans who believe a John Cena heel turn is the way to go, but I think it will actually backfire on him and the WWE, as he is just better as a face and it is their own piss-poor booking and writing of his character and feuds that are at fault.  Which brings me to the question, who do you think are just better heels that shouldn't have turned face, and vice versa?  My picks:


Randy Orton:  I never liked him really, as he just comes off as the biggest doofus in the ring.  BUT at least as a heel he pulled off sneaky bastard quite well and was believable in just being bitter at everything.  As a face, well I don't even know WTF his motivation was for ANYTHING

Chris Jericho:  I would say minus his 2000-2001 run, because it was quite awesome, Jericho as a face is nothing compared to his Heel phases, especially the feuds he gets involved in.  Like he said in his dvd documentary when WCW finally decided to turn him heel after the Lionheart days, "Thank God!!"

Brock Lesnar:  The man is a monster, and should be booked like one, and Faces don't become Monsters, the rise up to take down that Monster.  Lesnar plays that role to a T and anytime he was made to be the good guy and not destroying everything in his path just seemed way off.

As for faces: I want to have more examples but my mind suddenly went blank. 

Absolutely agreed on Lesnar.  The moment he turned babyface I was like "This is gonna be bad" and it was.  
As for babyfaces who should never be heels:
I'm gonna go with Undertaker as my #1 pick.  Yeah, the initial character was creepy and effective, but once he started talking he would frequently take it WAY over the top far too often (Goat beard cult leader Undertaker, Booger Red Undertaker) and would generally swallow up the offense of the babyfaces.  I think it's no coincidence that his renaissance as a worker came with his babyface turn in 2004.  I find him better off selling these days.
AJ Styles is one where he's just such a natural babyface, and playing a heel he's always seeming to be putting a character on for the sake of the show.  
I'm sure there's many opinions on this one.

WWF Championship Wrestling August 4th, 1984

August 4th ,1984
Your hosts are Tony Garea and Vince McMahon

Salvatore Bellomo vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Crowd is all over Orndorff. Garea notes that you do not get a physique like Orndorff’s by drinking beer and eating crackers but rather by going to the gym. Already, he is more informative than Okerlund. After a few lockups, both men take it to the mat. Bellomo works a hammerlock but Orndorff escapes and takes Bellomo down with a kneelift then stomps away. Bellomo comes back with a hiptoss and Orndorff bails. He comes back in then tosses Bellomo through the ropes. He beats the crap out of Bellomo then slams him to the floor. Back in the ring, Orndorff gets a backdrop and a running dropkick. He continues his assault on Bellomo for a bit. Bellomo tries to fight back but Orndorff hits a back suplex. Bellomo comes back with a dropkick but Orndorff catches him and stunguns him off the ropes. He then drops the forearm on the throat of Bellomo for the win (6:12)
Thoughts: I always enjoy Orndorff beating the piss out of Bellomo. As bad as Bellomo was, he could at least sell decently. Orndorff continues to get massive heat, trailing only Piper and the Iron Sheik in that department.
B. Brian Blair vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
Albano is not with Valentine this week. Both men start out with some matwork and neither man can gain the advantage. They trade scoop slams then have a slugfest until Blair goes to work on the arm. Valentine hits an inverted atomic drop then takes control. Kneedrop gets two. Valentine works the arm for a while until Blair breaks the hold by running him into the corner. Blair takes him down with a kneelift then punches away. He drops a few knees and goes back to work with punches. In a terrible looking spot, Valentine ducks a charge and Blair flies out of the ring. The timing of this was way off. Valentine tries to suplex Blair into the ring from the apron but he floats over and gets a small package. The ref gets no the ground to see whose shoulders are down then Valentine uses Blair’s tights for leverage and gets the win (6:18).
Thoughts: Good action, although the last minute was poorly executed, including the finish. The ref was on the ground for far too long before he counted. These are really good workers and one of the better TV matches in a while.
We are shown the last five minutes of the Moolah vs. Richter match from the last MSG show. They  also included the interview with Moolah and Albano that took place prior to their ring entrance.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. This week’s subject is Sgt. Slaughter and his recent visit to West Point. We see a clip of Slaughter looking proudly at the Statute of Liberty from the ferry. Nothing to see here but this corny stuff kinda worked in 1984.
Roddy Piper is by himself and ranting like a lunatic. He shows us a clip of Okerlund interviewing Cyndi Lauper after the MSG show then says that he can prove that Richter did not beat Moolah and invites Richter onto Piper’s Pit next week. Not the best work from Piper.
“Gentleman” Jerry Valiant vs. Hulk Hogan
A rare TV appearance for Hogan. Hulk is wearing the blue tights and still using “Eye of the Tiger” as his theme song. Hogan ducks a punch but Valiant gets him in the corner. Hulk blocks a turnbuckle smash and nails Valiant. He takes him down with a shoulder block then grabs a side headlock. Valiant escapes and briefly works a nerve hold as the crowd is screaming for Hogan. Hulk breaks free and punches away as Valiant gets caught in the ropes. Hulk hits a clothesline then drops an elbow. He slams Valiant then drops the leg for the win (2:56).
Thoughts: Decent squash, actually. Hogan could actually move around in the ring at this time. His moveset wasn’t the most varied but he was better than most of the faces on the roster in terms of in-ring ability.
Final Thoughts: Decent show. Blair/Valentine was good and we got to see Orndorff and Hogan in action. They are still playing up the Piper/Lauper stuff as well. The next show was part of the first TV tapings in Poughkeepsie, which would continue until 1986 when Championship Wrestling became “WWF Superstars” and tapings were done on the road.

WWF Championship Wrestling: July 28, 1984

July 28, 1984
Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Tony Garea
The hosts run down the show, which includes the Iron Sheik, Tito Santana, Piper’s Pit, and the featured bout, Tiger Chung Lee vs. Jimmy Snuka

Tito Santana vs. Rene Goulet

Goulet switches from his sequenced glove to his grungy weight lifting glove. He takes Tito down with a shoulderblock to start things off. Tito comes back with a monkey flip and takes him down with a flying headscissors. He grounds him on the mat with the headscissors until Goulet escapes. Tito takes him back down with an armdrag and grabs a side headlock. Gouelt gets out of that and hits Tito with a knee. Scoop slam by Goulet, who then walks on top of Tito before hitting a suplex. That gets two for Goulet and he goes to the claw. The crowd chants for Tito and he escapes but he then misses a dropkick. Goulet gets two off of an elbow drop and goes back to the claw. Tito breaks free and gets a backdrop before hitting the flying forearm for the win (6:18)
Thoughts: The crowds sure loved Tito. For a guy in his 50’s, Goulet wasn’t that bad.
We are shown a clip of Jesse Ventura and Ivan Putski as they are in the ring for their arm wrestling contest. The crowd is all over Jesse and he is yelling back at them. Jesse stalls repeatedly by getting up just before they start. Putski irritates Jesse by doing the same exact thing. The finally start and Putski almost has Jesse beat until he uses his other hand as leverage to gain the advantage. He does it again, behind the ref’s back, and Putski overcomes that and has Jesse almost beat until he gets pulled over the table. Jesse hits him a few times then gives him several chairshots on the back. Jesse stomps Putski before leaving the ring. Jesse could get a lot of heat as a heel and this segment pissed off the crowd. This was filmed in a different arena than the rest of these matches.
Ron Hutcherson vs. Iron Sheik
This is the same exact match that aired on the debut of WWF on the Superstation. Shiek starts his pro-Iran stuff to piss off the crowd and they respond with an “Iron Sheik sucks” chant that the announcers are afraid to repeat. Sheik takes Hutchinson down with a fireman’s carry to start. Backdrop by Sheik is followed by a gutbuster as the crowd starts a “We Want Slaughter” chant. Sheik hits a back suplex then locks on the Camel Clutch for the win (2:11). After the match, Sheik grabs the mic and refers to Slaughter as a “Fat Soldier” then tosses the jobber over the ropes.
Thoughts: The Sheik was a heat magnet in 1984. He would just show up and the entire arena would be all over him.
WWF Review segment, which is a music video package of various stars and matches set to the song, “Message of Love” by the Pretenders. This segment was designed for the “Rock n’ Wrestling” promotion. 
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. This week’s subject is this past MSG show. They show a brief clip of Cyndi Lauper on Piper’s Pit then Vince promises we will find out more about this show, next week.
Piper’s Pit with Roddy by himself in an empty studio. He refers to himself as a “nice guy” then runs down Lauper, calling her a “wench.” He promises to show us the Richter vs. moolah match from MSG in its entirety next week then reads a fan letter. The letter asks Piper to stop attacking Snuka and to leave him alone, stating that he is no longer able to sleep and is scared. Piper then says that this letter was written by Snuka’s son, which prompts Piper to scream “Fight your own damn fight, Snuka” after he crumbles up and tosses the letter at the camera. Piper was awesome here. They are clearly planning a major feud between Piper and Snuka.
Tiger Chung Lee vs. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka
The crowd goes nuts when Snuka comes to the ring. They lock up and break cleanly to start. Another lockup but Lee hits a chop, pissing off Snuka. Lee ducks outside for a breather before re-entering the ring. Lee takes Snuka down with a side headlock then hits some chops. Snuka fights back and Lee starts to back away. They go back and forth for a bit until Lee gets a chop to the throat. He gets a scoop slam then heads up top. Snuka tgets up and tosses him off the top rope. He drops a fist then goes up top and puts Lee away with the Superfly Headbutt (4:28)
Thoughts: Snuka showed a lot of fire in his come backs. He was more intense than usual too. Vince and Garea kept on putting him over on commentary.
Final Thoughts: A bland show, with the exception being the Piper’s Pit. The matches were your typical stuff, with Goulet and Tiger Chung Lee jobbing. After the big MSG show, it appears that the next major feud will be Snuka vs. Piper.

Japanese Wrestling

Regular reader on the blog


Was wondering your thoughts on Japanese Pro Wrestling. You rarely speak about Puro(aside from the occasional Tanahashi match) More specifically I was wondering your thoughts on Japanese Wrestling in the 1990's. Were you a fan? Did you like AJPW or NJPW better? Or do you think it's overrated?  

Also where would you rank some of the top Japanese stars(Misawa, Kobashi, Kawada, Jumbo, Liger, etc.) in terms of the Greatest Wrestlers ever? I'm not asking a numbered list or anything too crazy, just wondering your opinions on them.

Thanks for (hopefully) answering my question, looking forward to hearing your response on the blog.

My interest in Japan in the 90s was a pretty narrow subset consisting of New Japan Juniors and Michinoku Pro.  I was never a big fan of the AJPW "strong style" stuff, which was generally characterized as guys taking a piledriver and then seemingly hitting three clotheslines before selling the original move like death.  I respect the artform, it just wasn't my bag.   That being said, I've seen tons of Misawa-Kawada-Kobashi combinations and I've loved 99% of them as individual matches.  Not to mention that the style pretty heavily influenced the current WWE "trading a million finishers" style that has permeated the main event for years now.  And of course Muta and Liger are pretty high up on my all-time favorites list.

Ghostwritten Wrestling Biographies

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: <[email protected]>
Date: Feb 8, 2013 2:33 PM
Subject: Ghostwritten Wrestling Biographies
To: <[email protected]>
Cc:

Hi Scott, this is the author of marianosaves.wordpress.com. I wish to thank you for all the plugs you have given me in the last couple of weeks, as it has really "Strapped the rocket" to my fledgling little blog. The last plug you gave, my articles on the best and worst wrestling biographies, seems to have struck a nerve with a good many of the readers of your blog, so, as a followup piece, I have written an article on my personal five favorite wrestling bio's with the aid of a ghostwriter, which can be found here:

http://marianosaves.wordpress.com/2013/02/08/the-5-best-ghostwritten-wrestling-biographies/

I wish to thank you again for the plugs, and I hope this article can stir up similar interest as the last.

WWF Championship Wrestling: July 14, 1984

July 14, 1984
Your hosts are Gene Okerlund and Vince McMahon
Gene and Vince run down the show which includes “Gentleman” Jerry Valiant vs. Ivan Putski as well as Lanny Kean & Rene Goulet against the Wild Samoans. Also, the Iron Sheik is in action as well as action from around the world.

Lanny Kean & Rene Goulet vs. Wild Samoans

Albano is not accompanying the Samoans as they are attempting to turn them face by having them split apart. Goulet stalls forever in an attempt to draw some heat but it fails. Sika attacks Goulet, who was playing around with his glove. As Goulet is getting destroyed, Albano comes out and goes near the ring. Sika gets distracted and that allows Goulet to mount a comeback. Kean tags in and lands a few punches then we see Albano leave in disgust. Sika regains control and tags Afa. He headbutts Kean as Sika is kicking his opponent from the apron. Sika then tags and chokes out Kean. The ref breaks that up, allowing Afa to get in some kicks behind the ref’s back. Kean tries to tag Goulet, but he jumps off the apron and the Samoans rough up Kean some more until Afa puts him away with the Samoan Drop (5:05).
Thoughts: A really dull match. The slow face turn for the Samoans is not going over with this crowd, which makes sense seeing how it has been poorly done and the Samoans were using heel tactics during the match. The announcers spent a lot of time putting them over as a threat to Adonis & Murdoch. The Samoans are also deteriorating in the ring and were hurting really bad at this time. They were gone a few months from here.  
“Gentleman” Jerry Valiant vs. Ivan Putski
Valiant, who was an accomplished wrestler in the 60’s and 70’s, is back in the WWF. He grabs a headlock and backs Putski in the corner. Putski fights back but runs into a knee. Valiant works the arm until Putski gains control. He beats Valiant in a test of strength then stomps his fingers. Putski powers out of a full nelson and goes back to work on the arm. Valiant escapes and knocks down Putski a few times before using a nerve hold. Putski eventually breaks out and reverses an Irish whip then comes back with the Polish Hammer for the win (5:30).
Thoughts: Valiant is now a jobber and the match was filled with a lot of restholds and the trademark Putski spots. The finish looked terrible though. Putski’s usefulness is rapidly declining as the crowds are not reacting like they used to for him.
Billy Travis vs. Iron Sheik w/Freddy Blassie
The camera shows an old lady in the crowd with “USA” written on her headdress who is booing the Sheik. The crowd starts with the USA chants as Travis grabs a headlock after a forearm. He gets whipped but comes back with a dropkick after a leapfrog. He grabs another headlock but Sheik picks him up and hits an atomic drop. Sheik misses an elbow but Travis pulls up after getting whipped and is caught in the ropes. Sheik beats on Travis for a while as the crowd starts chanting for Sgt. Slaughter. Slam by Sheik who then slams the head of Travis repeatedly off the mat. He tosses him to the floor and hits him in the back with a chair. Sheik rolls back in as the ref is counting then rolls out and hits him again with a chair. The crowd chants for Slaughter again as the ref (Danny Davis) apparently does not care about the chair use from the Sheik. He pulls Travis back in the ring by his hair and hits a back suplex, setting him up for the Camel Clutch and the win (5:38).
Thoughts: The Sheik/Slaughter feud is still going strong and is the most over feud in the company. Sheik was a pretty good worker at this time too. His squash matches were usually entertaining. Travis does a good job at taking a beating.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. This week’s subject is Big John Studd. Vince puts over his size and shows us a clip of him destroying two jobbers in a handicapped match with Roddy Piper shown at ringside acting as his manager. Vince then says that he could possibly challenge Hulk Hogan, but that the Hulkster will be ready. They are building up Studd as a challenger to Hogan.
Roddy Piper is by himself and rants about Cyndi Lauper, calling her a wench in the process. This then segues into a training video featuring Lauper and Wendi Richter, as she prepares for her match against the Fabulous Moolah on July 23rd at Madison Square Garden. The video showed them at a gym with several patrons cheering her on. Lauper and Richter then are shown talking outside then chant “Lou’s going down” then refer to Moolah as “Schmoolah.” Not much of a segment but this stuff worked in 1984. Richter comes off like a star just by having Lauper align herself with her.
SD Jones vs. Dick Murdoch
This match is joined in progress. Murdoch is complaining about hairpulls after getting armdragged twice by SD. Murdoch rakes the eyes and lands an elbow smash. SD then no-sells an elbow to the head and knocks Murdoch down with a jumping headbutt. He hits a few more heabutts until Murdoch lands an elbow. He drops an elbow across the throat of SD then kicks him in the face. SD fights back and knocks Murdoch down with after a series of punches. They then start to trade punches until SD gets knocked through the ropes. Murdoch stomps SD from the apron a few times before he re-enters the ring. SD fights back but misses a charge in the corner and Murdoch elbows him down. They fight outside and SD whips Murdoch into the post but Murdoch immediately rolls into the ring and just beats the ten count, scoring the victory by countout. (6:41) was shown of the match.
Thoughts: Fun match. It was all action too. The end of this really shows how much wrestling has changed seeing that they protected a guy like SD Jones with that finish whereas today, the job out the IC champ in five minutes cleanly on TV like it’s a requirement of holding the title.
Final Thoughts: This was not a good show. A lot of dull action and nothing really productive happened, unless you count the build towards Moolah vs. Richter, which has been going on for a month now anyway. Lots of the old guard was featured as well and those matches were not good.   

Wrestling Classic

Hey Scott,


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

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


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

WWF World Championship Wrestling on TBS: July 14th, 1984

July 14, 1984
This is the infamous “Black Saturday” show. In 1984, Georgia Championship Wrestling occupied this exact timeslot on WTBS. Vince bought the stock of the company from the Brisco Brothers (Jack & Gerald). In fact, the Brisco’s briefly teamed together in WWF later in the year. On this date, many fans tuned in expecting their regular NWA action but were shocked when Vince McMahon and his WWF showed up on the screen. Viewers were largely unhappy and I believe around 500 called into WTBS and complained. This was a major move in Vince’s plan to make the WWF a national promotion. In the end, the move to WBTS failed and several months later, NWA programming returned to that timeslot. I wish I knew more about the history behind this but I do not.
Freddie Miller welcomes us to the WTBS studio and then introduces Vince McMahon. He promises us that we will see the greatest superstars in wrestling and then names off the wrestlers we will be seeing tonight, making a point to emphasize how big and muscular they all were. Vince hosted the show from the studio but the matches were not taped here.

Nick DeCarlo & S.D. Jones vs. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch
This match features McMahon and Tony Garea on commentary. Garea is as exciting on color as he is in the ring. This match took place in Canada during the “Maple Leaf Wrestling” tapings. That was what “All-Star Wrestling” became. SD and Murdoch start things off. Murdoch keeps on ducking out as SD approaches to get some cheap heel heat. Murdoch manages to tag out while being placed in a headlock and Adonis comes in and grabs a hammerlock. SD reverses that but Adonis escapes and hits a shoulderblock. Adonis charges but gets caught in a slam. He wanders into the wrong corner and DeCarlo hits him with a forearm. Adonis tags out and SD dances as Murdoch enters. Murdoch misses an elbow in the corner and SD hits a headbutt that Murdoch sells forever before tagging Adonis. SD works the arm before tagging out to DeCarlo, who goes to work on the arm. Adonis yanks him down by the hair and tags Murdoch. DeCarlo hits him with an armdrag but Murdoch gets up and beats him in the corner. He whips him into the boot of Adonis and they double team DeCarlo for a bit. Adonis drops the elbow and gets two. He puts him in an abdominal stretch but SD comes in and breaks that up with a headbutt. Murdoch tags back in and beats on DeCarlo for a while. He eventually fights back and crawls under Murdoch’s legs and makes the tag. The crowd is actually going crazy right now as SD runs wild. Adonis hits him from behind and Murdoch works on SD until he escapes and tags DeCarlo. The crowd goes silent as DeCarlo gets in a few punches before eating an elbow off of a charge. Tag to Adonis and they hit their finisher, which had Murdoch lift DeCarlo up in the back suplex position and Adonis came off the top with an elbow, and they get the win (6:11). If anyone actually knows the name of their finisher and could let me know, that would be great.
Thoughts: Dull match but the crowd was really into SD Jones for some reason. I’m not so sure about showing this off as the first match to the Georgia Championship Wrestling audience though. Adonis is rapidly gaining weight. He is not nearly as big as he was during his “Adorable” phase but heavier than he was before.  
Gene Okerlund is with Mr. Fuji and his newest acquisition, George Steele. Fuji rambles for a bit as George is rubbing his chest and tongue, acting like a savage. Fuji then yells at Okerlund for interrupting him then attempts to get Steele to speak. Steele struggles to speak until he finally blurts out “Fuji,” who then does his maniacal laugh as Okerlund then tries to comprehend what he just witnessed. Fuji was okay here and Okerlund did a great job reacting to the craziness around him. He was so much better in that role than he was at color commentary.
Chris Curtis vs. Jesse “The Body” Ventura
This match is from the show at the Met Centre from June 17th. Before the match, Jesse points and yells at an audience member. Okerlund and Monsoon let us know that he was yelling at Minnesota Viking All-Pro linebacker Scott Studwell. He was never shown on camera. Jesse backs Curtis in the corner then slams him into the turnbuckle. He yells some more at Studwell before knocking Curtis back down. Jesse beats on Curtis some more, stopping to yell some more at Studwell. Slam by Jesse but he misses an elbow drop. Curtis lands a few punches but runs into a knee and Jesse regains control. He knocks him down with a throat thrust and yells at Curtis to get up, referring to him as Studwell. The crowd then starts a “We Want Studwell” chant as Jesse picks up Curtis for the Bodybreaker and he taps out (4:19).
Thoughts: This was more tolerable than most Ventura squash matches. The Scott Studwell stuff was fun. I have no idea if he really was even in attendance but again, the crowd loved it and it gave Jesse a lot of heat.
Gene Okerlund is with B. Brian Blair. Oh boy, this ought to be exciting. He tells Okerlund that he has been teaming with Spike Huber and has his goals set on the tag-titles. Those two havent even been teaming on TV yet and Huber was only briefly with the WWF. He runs down the competition, mentioning the Moondogs twice then Okerlund cuts him off and thanks him for joining. Blair is awful on the mic, as expected and why on earth did they choose him to interview for their debuting show on a new network?
Immediately after that, Alexis Smirnoff joins Okerlund. He was primarily used as a jobber in the WWF but did stuff with Ivan Koloff in the 70’s. Okerlund mentions the Soviet Union not being in the Olympics and Smirnoff says that the Americans can finally win something. He then proceeds to cut a horrendous promo, which I can barely understand. WWF was 0-2 with these back-to-back interview segments.
WWF Magazine Plug
Ron Hutchinson vs. Iron Sheik w/Freddie Blassie
This is also from the Canadian TV tapings. Shiek starts his pro-Iran stuff to piss off the crowd and they respond with an “Iron Sheik sucks” chant that the announcers are afraid to repeat. Sheik takes Hutchinson down with a fireman’s carry to start. Backdrop by Sheik is followed by a gutbuster as the crowd starts a “We Want Slaughter” chant. Sheik hits  aback suplex then locks on the Camel Clutch for the win (2:11). After the match, Sheik grabs the mic and refers to Slaughter as a “Fat Soldier” then tosses the jobber over the ropes.
Thoughts: Decent enough squash match and finally a segment worth showing to a new audience. Sheik was good in the ring and his feud with Slaughter was great and could be over enough with just about every type of wrestling fan.
Big John Studd vs. Bobo Brazil
As ring announcer Mel Phillips lists off Studd’s height and weight, Studd interrupts and says he is seven feet tall and over 400 lbs. This match is from the Philadelphia Spectrum. Bobo is a few months away from his 60th birthday here. They start out by trading punches and it looks horrible. Bobo can barely move and Studd is a terrible wrestler to begin with. Studd gets an elbow smash and puts Bobo in a bearhug. Bobo reverses the bearhug but Studd rakes his eyes. Bobo also rakes the eyes and knocks down Studd with a headbutt. Studd takes a breather and comes back in and chokes out Bobo. They then engage in the single worst shoulderblock spot I have ever seen. It was like two people in slow motion bumping into each other in the hallway. Studd gets a headlock for a bit. They run into each other twice and Bobo gets a jumping headbutt after that. He backs Studd in the corner and takes him down with another headbutt but misses a leg drop and Studd covers for the win (5:44) -***
Thoughts: Oh my, this was the worst match I’ve seen from 1984 WWF so far. There wasn’t a single thing in this match that looked even remotely believable. Having Studd do the work for an immobile Brazil is not a smart move.
Next week, Vince promises that Hulk Hogan will be here.
Final Thoughts: This was about as bad as it gets in terms of introducing a product to a new audience. The show was filled with bad matches and interview segments. They didn’t showcase their top talents and this came off as a “B” show. It wasn’t hard to see how this failed to get over with the NWA audience. The ratings for this show declined sharply when WWF took over.

WWF Championship Wrestling: July 7, 1984

July 7, 1984
Your hosts are Gene Okerlund and Vince McMahon
Gene and Vince run down the show which includes Tito Santana vs. Tiger Chung Lee in a non-title bout, Salvatore Bellomo vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton, and this week’s featured bout, B. Brian Blair vs. Paul Orndorff

 

Tiger Chung Lee vs. Tito Santana
Tiger jumps Tito immediately after the bell. Tito reverses an Irish whip and backdrops Lee. He works the arm for a bit then takes down Tiger with a shoulderblock. He hits a dropkick then gets a scoop slam before going back to work on the arm. Tiger breaks but Tito gets a sunset flip for two then goes back to the arm. Tiger escapes and kicks Tito in the corner. He kicks him some more, targeting the ribs. Tiger picks up Tito for a suplex and drops him across the ropes. Tiger stops a comeback from Tito with a Mongolian Chop then follows with more kicks as the crowd chants for Tito. Tiger puts on the dreaded nerve hold but Tito escapes. Tiger takes him down with a shoulderblock but Tito comes back with an elbow smash in an ugly looking spot. Tito fires away then puts him away with the flying forearm, which looked really bad (5:52).
Thoughts: Match wasn’t much, they had a much better match a few months back, but it got ugly during the last minute or so. They were not on the same page at all during that point. Since Mr. Fuji basically retired from the ring, Tiger is now just a jobber.
Salvatore Bellomo vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton
Orton takes down Bellomo, who is able to escape. They then do a lot of matwork and the crowd starts to get restless as these two are putting everyone to sleep. Bellomo dodges a monkey flip by doing a cartwheel and Orton ducks outside for a breather. He comes back in and nails Bellomo in the face with a forearm then hits him with several more. He follows a backdrop with a kneedrop then applies a chinlock. Bellomo escapes but Orton rakes his eyes then dropkicks him into the ropes as they show a replay of Orton’s backdrop. Bellomo gets kicked to the floor. Orton hits Bellomo with a snapmare as he re-enters the ring. Bellomo escapes from another chinlock and fights back. He ducks his head for a backdrop attempt but Orton hits him with a knee. Orton gets a scoop slam then hits a corner slingshot splash (Vader Bomb) for the win (6:06).
Thoughts: Boring match. The problem with the new trend here of making these matches between 5-6 minutes long is that they drag out way too long. Bellomo is terrible to begin with and no one in the world including his mother would want to see him do a mat-based match. He sucks terribly at that. Orton seemed less than motivated here.
B. Brian Blair vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
This match is joined-in-progress, which was written across the screen. The crowd is all over Orndorff with the “Paula” chants, causing him to go ballistic. Orndorff attacks Blair from behind and yells at the fans. Blair charges but eats a knee. He is able to dodge an elbow drop, then slingshots back in from the apron and gets a sunset flip for a two count. He works the arm of Orndorff as the fans are going ballistic with the “Paula” chants. Orndorff breaks out with a forearm smash and catches Blair with a drop toehold. Blair counters with a hammerlock and grounds Orndorff for a bit. Orndorff hits an elbow smash then a forearm smash. He continues his assault as the crowd picks up the “Paula” chants again. Blair leapfrogs Orndorff then hits a dropkick. He follows that with an atomic drop and knocks him down with a punch. Orndorff ducks outside and Blair follows him out and the two brawl until Orndorff picks him up and drops him throat-first onto the guardrail. Orndorff kicks him down from the apron then hits him with a back suplex when he re-enters the ring. He positions Blair for a backslide but instead picks him up by his chin and holds him up for a bit until Blair floats over. Blair then hits a suplex and the crowd is going shithouse. Both men are down and Orndorff gets up first but misses an elbow drop and Blair gets up and fires away. He hits an elbow smash from the second rope, getting two. Kneelift gets two. Blair charges but Orndorff catches him with a hotshot and gets the pin at (7:54) shown ***.
Thoughts: Great TV match. Orndorff was over like crazy as a heel. They showed dozens of fans wearing “Paula” shirts in the stands. Orndorff was so over that he even made Blair, someone who has been getting zero reaction from the crowds on TV, look like he was over as a face. The match was all action and at this point, the best TV match from Championship Wrestling this year.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. This week’s subject is Greg Valentine, who Vince refers to as the “master of the figure-four leglock.” They show a clip of him putting the hold on Jose Luis Rivera from a TV match as Vince reads off some supposed quote from Valentine about how painful his hold is and that he gets joy from watching people scream in pain. The line he read sounded nothing like how a person would speak.
Roddy Piper introduces us a clip of Captain Lou Albano and the Fabulous Moolah training for her match against Wendi Richter. This was pretty funny, actually. Albano said she was on a high protein, low carb diet as the two were then shown eating giant hotdogs. Albano also said she was drinking “unborn virgin goat’s milk” as part of this diet. They showed Moolah at the gym, with Albano throwing a glass of water on Moolah after she finishes her bench press set, causing Moolah to slap him across the chest. This ends with another tangent from Albano in which he says that Moolah is a lady and that Richter and Lauper are just broads. Albano was great here.  
Plug for WWF Magazine.
Samula vs. Andre the Giant
Samula is billed as “Samoan #3” by the ring announcer but referred to by his name on commentary. Vince mentions that Andre is the only undefeated star in wrestling history as he shoves Samula into the corner with ease. He works the arm for a bit then breaks up a go-behind with ease. He headbutts Samula, who sells overdramatically and flies through the ropes as Okerlund tells us that Andre is “easily hurt by words.” Man, was Okerlund worthless on commentary. Samula comes back in and chops Andre hard against the ropes. He chokes him out but Andre chokes him before getting a kneelift. He thrusts Samula in the corner then whips him into the opposite corner. He punches Samula down then picks him up by the waist of his pants as he falls down. He does that again then puts him in a surfboard. Samula gets his feet on the top ropes but Andre drops him as the ref counts. Andre gets a chop but ducks his head and is gets knocked down by a headbutt. He hits another headbutt then heads up top. He leaps off but Andre gets his boot up then covers Samula for the win (5:54).
Thoughts: Typical Andre squash. He did give Samula a bit more offense than I would have expected. Hell, he gave him just as much, if not more than he did when he faced Davis Schultz on the last MSG show I reviewed.
Final Thoughts: Decent show. You had a really good TV match along with some great stuff from Albano. The longer matches can be a chore to sit through, especially when you factor the complete lack of talent on the face side of the roster. The Lauper stuff seems to be working though. I will be back again next week with the “Black Saturday” show and if I have time, the 7/14/84 edition of Championship Wrestling.

WWF Championship Wrestling: June 30, 1984

June 30, 1984
I had to skip ahead to this show as I do not have a copy of the 6/23 Championship Wrestling show as it was blocked on YouTube. In that show, Piper went to Cyndi Lauper’s recording studio demanding an apology from her over what happened on Piper’s Pit the week before. Lauper refused to apologize and challenged Albano to get a female wrestler to go up against a female wrestler that she will manage. They then showed a clip of Piper at Albano’s home, where Albano accepted the challenge. Thanks to thehistoryofwwe.com for providing that information.
Second thing, the copy I watched of this show is an incomplete version. It does not include the George Steele vs. Jose Luis Rivera match and it does not have the segment in which Cyndi Lauper selected Wendi Richter as her protégé. Also, the collage is gone from this version.
Your hosts are Gene Okerlund and Vince McMahon.
Vince and Gene run down the card, including the featured bout, which is Rene Goulet vs. Rocky Johnson. Also, Jesse Ventura and Greg Valentine will be in action. Plus, Piper’s Pit and Vince promises us a “collage” of WWF action from all around the world.

Rene Goulet vs. Rocky Johnson
Johnson is now sporting purple trunks that include his initials. He backs Goulet in the corner to start things off. Goulet gets a shoulderblock but Rocky comes back with a backdrop, getting two. He then puts Goulet in a bearhug as Vince salivates over Rocky’s physique. Goulet pisses off Rocky by breaking the bearhug with an eyerake, who then gets an armdrag and works on the arm. Goulet gets a knee smash then bites Rocky ni the corner. He tries a snapmare but Rocky cartwheels out of that and whips Goulet in the corner, flipping him upside down. Goulet uses cheap heel tactics in order to gain an advantage but he cannot overcome the strength of Rocky. They do some matwork as Vince refers to Rocky as a “young man.” Rocky was two months away from his 40th birthday at this point by the way. Goulet charges at Rocky in the corner but he turns it into a sunset flip and gets the win (5:00).
Thoughts: Vince and Okerlund spent the majority of this match putting over Johnson’s physique and promoting him as a singles wrestler. There was zero mention of Tony Atlas during the match. I’m pretty sure that Atlas’s substance abuse issues were a major problem around this time too but he did come back to work more matches later in the year. Speaking of the match, it was the usual stuff from Goulet. Johnson did not do anything that stood out. Actually, he was kind of going through the motions here.
Steve Lombardi vs. Jesse “The Body” Ventura
Ventura stalls while taking off his earrings then overpowers Lombardi a few times, stopping to pose after each occasion. The crowd is silent for all of Jesse’s heel antics. He takes down Lombardi and works the leg as the crowd starts to groan as this is really dragging out. He chops down Lombardi then sends him back to the mat with a throat thrust as a select few in the crowd start a “boring” chant. Lombardi fights back as the crowd remains silent. Lombardi’s punches are some of the worst you will ever see. He puts Jesse in a front facelock but gets picked up and placed in the corner. Jesse hits a few elbow smashes then drops an elbow for the win (5:48).
Thoughts: Awful match. Sometimes, Jesse’s antics do not get over with the crowd and this was definitely one of those occasions. These two are not designed to put on a nearly six minute long squash match. Vince and Okerlund also spent a good amount of time putting over Jesse’s physique.
Okerlund is with Jimmy Snuka. Gene brings up the incident on Piper’s Pit and asks Snuka how it has effected him. Snuka, looking very intense, speaks softly and asks the people to stop and think about how they would deal with what happened to him. He then continues to look intense as the segment ends. Snuka did a great job here. He made you want to see him kick Piper’s ass.
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/ Capt. Lou Albano vs. Billy Travis
Travis gets backed into the ropes then Valentine gets a slam and a backbreaker. Okerlund states how he likes Greg’s skin color (He looks more tanned this week) and muscle texture as he works the arm. They are all about putting over physiques this week. Travis dodges an elbow drop and works the arm. He gets a hiptoss as Valentine retreats to the corner for a breather. Travis gets two off of a back elbow smash and Valentine rolls to the floor. The crowd does not care about any of this, by the way. Valentine goes back in and beats on Travis near the ropes. Albano grabs Travis as Valentine hits a guillotine. He works the arm then sends Travis down with a forearm smash. Slam by Valentine but Travis fights back. He leapfrogs Valentine and hits a pair of dropkicks. Travis ducks a chop but ends up getting backdropped to the floor. Albano steps on his hand before Valentine suplexes him back into the ring then puts on the Figure Four and Travis quickly submits (6:47).
Thoughts: Travis did okay but looked a little hesitant at times. Too bad the crowd didn’t get into his comebacks though. Valentine gave him a lot here.
We are shown a clip of the Fabulous Moolah at a bar beating men in arm wrestling contests. She also slaps a drunk that tries to hit on her. Albano is here and asks Moolah to represent him in the feud against Cyndi Lauper, because she is the champ and he always picks the champions. Moolah agrees and promises to hurt whoever Lauper selects. Segment was fine.
Piper is by himself on the interview set. He says that Lauper is loopy for messing with the Hot Rod. He then tells Lauper that she should look for a woman who takes male steroids or for an Orangutan to beat Moolah.
Okerlund plugs the July 14th house show at the Boston Garden.
Final Thoughts: The show did a good job in advancing the Lauper/Albano feud but the matches were subpar as a whole. The Ventura match was especially brutal. The commentary was focused on putting over physiques, which came off as homoerotic by the end of the show. They are trying to build Rocky as a singles wrestler, which is fine since there is no talent in the midcard as far as babyfaces. The show seems to be breaking up the format, including vignettes and showing off Hogan as a national star.

Snake Roberts books Georgia Championship Wrestling

So I'm re-watching the Jake the Snake DVD (because sometimes the holiday season just isn't depressing enough as is) and there's a segment where the Brisco's hire Jake to book Georgia. How did this come about? Was Jake any good at it? Does anything stand out specifically? Was Jake really going to take over for Pat Patterson in the WWF? 

Jake was apparently quite talented when he wasn't stoned out of his mind.  In fact, when he made his comeback to the WWF in 1996, part of his deal was booking Shotgun Saturday Night, so yeah, they were definitely grooming him for bigger things there.  I don't know any specifics of his time in Georgia as far as booking the shows because that was well before my time, but he was supposed to be pretty good.

Free wrestling book download

Hi Scott,


Thank you for the plug last time out, really appreciate it. If you want a physical copy of the book, I would be happy to send you one if you let me know the details.


Was just hoping you could pass onto your readers that a teaser edition of our Complete WWF Video Guide Volume #1 is currently available for FREE kindle download here http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009EG6K96 until January 5th. Many thanks

Done!

WWF Championship Wrestling June 16, 1984

June 16, 1984

 

Your
host is Gene Okerlund. He runs down the show, which includes Tito Santana vs.
“Cowboy” Bob Orton, The Samoans in a 6-man tag match, the featured bout of B.
Brian Blair vs. “Dr. D” David Schultz and Cyndi Lauper on Piper’s Pit.

 

“Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. Tito Santana

This is a non-tile bout. Before
the match, Hulk Hogan is introduced to the crowd. The match starts with both
wreslters trying to feel things out. They do some matwork for a bit as Lord
Alfred Hayes, on commentary replacing Vince, gives Hogan a verbal blow job.
Orton doesn’t break cleanly and hammers on Tito. He covers and gets two after a
barrage of punches. Tito fights back but
Orton boots him in the face. Tito then charges but goes to the floor in a weird
looking spot as he just went by Orton in the corner. Orton tries to set up Tito
for the superplex but that gets stopped. Tito sends Orton to the floor with the
flying forearm but rolls out himself in a contrived looking spot and the match
ends in a double countout (5:34).

 

Thoughts:
Not a lot of action here. This played out like the beginning of a long house
show match. I expected better between these two, honestly. I know they didn’t
have much time but some of this stuff looked a bit ridiculous. It didn’t feel like these two were on the same page.

 

WWF Update with Vince McMahon. The topic this week is the midget
wrestlers, who Vince describes as “colorful and entertaining” then tells us
that they are “good for a few belly laughs.” They show a clip from a tag match
a few months ago. More politically incorrect goodness from the 1980’s WWF.

 

Plug
for WWF Magazine airs.

 

Billy Travis vs. Jesse “The Body”
Ventura

Jesse,
as usual, takes his time removing his earrings. He starts things off by shoving
Travis to the mat then poses for a bit. He overpowers Travis for a while before
chopping him down. He gets a slam and a leg drop, then goes to a chinlock as
Hayes is impressed that he could string together three moves in a row without
stopping to pose. Travis gets chopped down again then shoved to the floor.
Ventura beats on Travis for a while on the apron before bringing him back into
the ring and making him submit to the Body Breaker (5:44).

 

Thoughts:
Long for a squash and the crowd really did not react much to the heel antics of
Ventura. Jesse was a lot better on commentary than he was in the ring, that’s for sure.

 

“Dr. D.” David Schultz vs. B. Brian
Blair

Okerlund
tosses out the “This could main event any arena…” line about this match.
Schultz reaches the ropes after getting backed up. They do some matwork and
Blair shows off his quickness. Schultz grabs a front facelock until Blair
escapes. He declines a handshake from Schultz and grabs a headlock. Schultz
hits Blair with a pair of backbreakers and puts on a neck vice. Blair escapes
from that and runs wild. He hits Schultz with an elbow smash from the second
rope. Schultz takes him down then gets an ugly looking rollup and holds onto
the ropes to score the pin (4:54). After the match, Schultz ducks out of the
ring as an angry Blair wants him to come back into the ring.

 

Thoughts:
A Blair/Schultz feud is something no one wants to see and it is not because of Schultz. However, watching a
lower midcard worker like Blair get protected on TV is something you do not see
today as they job out the secondary title holders on a routine basis.

 

WWF Update with Vince McMahon. Hulk Hogan is the subject as we
see fans go nuts for him and Vince mentions how he has done various commercials
and met up with Brooke Shields at a charity event. They were putting over Hogan
as a national star with this segment.

 

Okerlund
is on the “Piper’s Pit” stage, which is empty. He tells us that Cyndi Lauper
will be on later in the show.

 

Paul Orndorff vs. Rudy Diamond

This
matched was taped a few months prior to the airing of this show. Vince is
commentary here. Paul jaws with the fans about the “Paula” chants. Diamond
leaves the ring and goes back to the locker room. When he comes back, he is
wearing a T-shirt that reads “Paula” on the front and back. Orndorff see this
and goes apeshit, chasing Diamond around. He finally catches up to him and
destroys him in the corner. He gets a back suplex and a clothesline before
hitting the piledriver. He doesn’t cover but instead rips of the “Paula” shirt before
hitting another piledriver. Diamond is convulsing on the mat and Orndorff
covers for the win (1:33). After the match, Okerlund interviews Orndorff, who
flips out and states that anyone who calls him Paula will get their ass kicked.
They bleeped out the word “ass” during that tirade. Orndorff then lists of Santana and
Hogan as people that he will beat with the piledriver.

 

Thoughts:
Awesome segment. The “Paula” chants was such an easy way to get heat and it was a
great decision to have a jobber wear the shirt and get destroyed, so the fans
can chant at him during every show. A simple, yet effective way to elevate a
heel.

 

Piper’s Pit begins. Roddy welcomes Lauper, who in fact appears.
Piper says how they are both at the top of their professions and talks her up a
bit before mentioning Albano, stating how he brought her from nothing to the
top of the world. Lauper refutes that statement and Albano himself comes out.
Lauper asks if this was a joke as Albano tries to pressure her into saying that
he made her the start that she is today. After that doesn’t work, Albano yells
at Lauper, telling her to shut up, and that she is living off of his
reputation. Albano calls Lauper a “broad” and Lauper starts hitting him with
her purse. She hits Piper a few times and Dave Woolf comes out to hold her back
as the show goes off the air.
 
Final Thoughts: One of the most memorable episodes of Championship Wrestling. The Piper’s Pit segment as very well done and the Orndorff squash was awesome. They had some higher profile matches too and nothing was embarrasing. The following show is blocked on YouTube so I will have to skip ahead a week for the next review, unless I miracuolously find a copy of that somewhere.

Ringside viewers during Japanese Wrestling

Hey Scott, I like Puroresu companies (NJPW,AJPW,NOAH,etc) and I have always wondered how the fans keep their shins from being destroyed by the guardrails? Wrestlers are regularly whipped into the steel guardrails at great speeds and smack into them and the rails fly backwards. The fans look like they don't even react to being hit by the rails at all. Am I missing something? Do the rails somehow NOT hit the fans? I know, strange question.


Thanks and great job on the site!

Real e-mails, ladies and gentlemen.

Of all the questions about the somewhat bizarre quirks of Japanese wrestling fans, that's the one I would have the least information about.  

NJPW 2012 10 08 King of Pro Wrestling

Your random great match of the day:  Tanahashi v. Suzuki from the October 2012 NJPW PPV.  What a brutal and great match.  Tanahashi looks and acts like a rock star and Suzuki is this grizzled tough guy and it’s such an awesome dynamic, especially with Suzuki just beating the hell out of Tanahashi with everything he has, and the supposed pretty boy champion coming back with shots to the leg.  Plus there’s this awesome spot where Tanahashi puts him into an abdominal stretch and plays air guitar on him, and Suzuki has a supremely pissed off look and proceeds to just slap the shit out of him.  30 minutes just flies by, an easy ***** match.