The Name on the Marquee: Championship Wrestling and All-Star Wrestling (1.28.84)
Posted by Adam Nedeff on 08.09.2013
-So five days ago, you altered the course of wrestling history. Time for you to break the news on your weekend TV shows...
WWF CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING
-Let's not waste time. We open the show with Hogan vs. Shiek, in its entirety.
-We head to the arena, where your hosts are Vince McMahon and Gene Okerlund, with Jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjoe McHugh as your ring announcer.
TITO SANTANA vs BILL DIXON
-A vocal chunk of the crowd boos Tito. Hell, I'm sitting at my laptop booing him myself. Still a little upset at seeing how he stunk up the building on that MSG card. Seriously, you're Tito Santana! How do you let that happen?
-Howard Finkel jumps in to tell us that Hulk Hogan will defend the gold against the Masked Superstar at the LA Sports Arena on February 25. Dixon backs Tito into a corner, but Tito fights him off with a backdrop and a dropkick. Flying forearm finishes quickly.
WILD SAMOANS (with Captain Lou Albano) vs. STEVE LOMBARDI & SPECIAL DELIVERY JONES
-Howard Finkel announces Superfly Jimmy Snuka vs. Adrian Adonis for the February 25 card. In the ring, Afa headbutts and chops away at Lombardi while Vince reads some viewer mail. Awkward.
-Lombardi winds up on the floor and gets rammed into the post, which Vince calls like it's the most hardcore spot he's ever seen. SD tags in and cleans house while Rocky Johnson suddenly shows up at ringside. Samoans pull him in the ring and kick the shit out of him, which draws Tony At las out of the locker room and the Samoans give both tag team champs a beating. Referee DQ's the jobbers while Jones and the tag champs help each other to their feet.
-Gene Okerlund talks to Atlas and Johnson, and they promise to get down with the Samoans.
-Magazine editor Robert Debord announces that Victory Magazine is changing its name to WWF Magazine, and that Victory Corner is being replaced by a new segment called Piper's Pit. Rowdy Roddy Piper rips Debord a new asshole for how awful the Victory Corner segment has been and pledges that he's going to do a better job of interviewing guests.
GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE (with Captain Lou Albano) vs. FRANK WILLIAMS
-Pretty funny to see these two guys following a Roddy Piper-centric segment. This is Valentine's return after a few years. He goes right the work with some hard forearms to Williams' head and then goes to work softening up the leg, and the figure four finishes. Vince notes that Greg's version of the figure four is perfected like no other wrestler's.
“Mister Wonderful” PAUL ORNDORFF (with Rowdy Roddy Piper) vs. TONY GAREA
-Orndorff once again is just shockingly over for a guy who hasn't really done anything yet. An arena-wide “Paula” chant erupts and Orndorff nearly walks out of the building in disgust. Weird crowd shot shows a sign guy and a hat guy sitting side-by-side in the front row, but they aren't Sign Guy and Hat Guy.
-Garea works the arm. Orndorff elbows free and slams him down. Garea rolls out of the way of an elbow drop and the crowd flips their shit for it. Orndorff boots him down while Gene Okerlund reads a telegram from Bob Backlund, congratulating Hulk Hogan on his big victory. In hindsight, you can tell Vince really really wanted him to turn heel and feud with Hogan.
-Piper offers a little help from the outside, and Orndorff finishes with a knee to the back of the head. The 2:40 time announcement actually surprises me because they got a lot crammed in there.
B. BRIAN BLAIR vs. CHARLIE FULTON
-The graphic and the commentators refer to him as Brian Blair, but McHugh introduces him as B. Brian Blair, so...whatever. Finkel hypes the February 25 card again, announcing Tito Santana vs. Don Muraco in a Texas Death Match.
-Blair does some pretty basic mat wrestling to take control. Fulton gets some offense in and Blair gets fired up enough to start throwing punches. Abdominal stretch by Blair, and he holds onto it and falls backward with it to roll Fulton up and pin him. Nice.
Next week: Andre the Giant and Tito Santana in tag team action against the Masked Superstar and Mr. Fuji!
-Again, we go right to MSG to watch the title change.
-We head to the arena, where Vince McMahon and Gene Okerlund are your hosts.
MASKED SUPERSTAR vs STEVE LOMBARDI
-Superstar does some mudhole-stomping and boots Lombardi out of the ring. Of note: Vince and Gene are silent for the first minute of the match to leave some space for Howard Finkel to promote a house show, but with no house show to promote in the area where this aired, we just have ambient noise and nothing more. In another few years, they would upgrade the technology a little bit, with the commentators able to provide commentary through the whole match and then selectively removing that portion of the audio if they wanted to insert local promotions for something. Please tell me I'm not the only one who finds that interesting.
-Oh, uh, some wrestling happens and then Masked Superstar wins with a neckbreaker.
GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE vs. KEN JUGAN
-Valentine sends Jugan out to the floor and Albano sends him right back inside. Valentine mixes things up by targeting the arm. Vince reads some viewer mail from Ironton, Ohio, the city where RVD got arrested immediately following a house show that I attended. Figure four gets the win, meanwhile.
THE TONGA KID vs BILL DIXON
-Dixon was billed as hailing from Steubenville, Ohio on Championship Wrestling, but here they bill him from Pittsburgh. I kind of picture Vince looking at his info sheet like Kent Brockman and going “Stub...stoyb...stobba...France!” in frustration before settling on Pittsburgh.
-Tonga does some pretty basic mat wrestling. Dixon shows some fire with kneelifts and a backdrop. Tonga tumbles through an attempted clothesline and then sunset flips Dixon to get the three-count.
BRIAN BLAIR vs CHARLIE FULTON
-Vince does the ring intros himself, so we're just going with “Brian” this time around. Shoulderblock and a hiptoss by Blair. Fulton fights back with an armdrag, but Blair gets an armdrag of his own, and now all of a sudden, Gene Okerlund calls him “B. Brian.” The hell?
-Another hiptoss by Blair, and the abdominal stretch pinning combo gets the duke again.
-Same segment that we've already seen, with Roddy Piper burying the departing host and turning it into Piper's Pit.
TITO SANTANA vs BOB BRADLEY
-It amazes me how almost every sign in the crowd in this era is made from a mutilated box. Was posterboard really, really hard to find in 1984?
-Tito works the arm. Bradley gets free and just winds up getting himself bodyslammed for the effort. Bradley throws punches, but tries sending Tito into the ropes, and that's just asking for trouble because Tito bounces off with the flying forearm, and that gets three.
MR. FUJI & TIGER CHUNG LEE vs JOSE LUIS RIVERA & FRANK WILLIAMS
-Fuji & Lee cut the ring in the half well and go to work on Rivera. Rivera fights off Lee and makes the tag. Rivera has “the look” and they seemed to give him a little extra attention by job guy standards in early 1984. Wonder if he was a longterm prospect that they just gave up on?
-Lee puts a nerve hold on Williams and that's when Vince & Gene go silent for the local promo, which is pretty funny because it creates the effect that Lee put on the nerve hold and your commentators said “Fuck this, nothing's happening.”
-Backbreaker by the Chunger gets the win.
EDDIE GILBERT vs PAUL VACHON
-Eddie is all of 22 years old here and got a minor push the previous year, being put over as a protege of Bob Backlund. Paul Vachon rakes the back several times and applies a nerve hold, targeting the neck that Gilbert injured a few months ago in a car accident. Gilbert fights back with a slam. Vachon misses a corner charge, and Gilbert pins him immediately, falling ass-backward into victory.