The Name on the Marquee: WWF TV (2.18.84)
Posted by Adam Nedeff on 08.27.2013
Sarge and Sheik battle it out in a match guaranteed to have a clean, decisive finish!
WWF CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING
-Originally aired February 18, 1984.
-Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Gene Okerlund.
-Joe McHugh opens the show by acknowledging the death of David Von Erich, and they toll the bell and have a moment of silence for David. Very classy gesture for a guy who never worked there.
IVAN PUTSKI vs RON BUTLER
-Butler looks like a tall Ole Anderson. Butler gets shoved right down to start off as Gene marvels about his “physical package.” Butler tries shots to the stomach and Putski has abs of steel so that doesn't work. He takes a single shot himself and Butler flies across the ring to sell it. Butler gets Irish whipped and counters it by flying over the turnbuckles and landing feet first. Putski slingshots him back in and finishes with the Polish hammer. Damn, Butler was there to impress SOMEBODY.
“Mr. Wonderful” PAUL ORNDORFF (with Rowdy Roddy Piper) vs. RUDY DIAMOND
-Orndorff mauls Diamond and calls him “boy” a lot before finishing him off with a piledriver in under a minute.
ROCKY JOHNSON, TONY ATLAS, & SPECIAL DELIVERY JONES vs RENE GOULET, BUTCHER VACHON, & GOLDIE ROGERS
-Rene Goulet chases Jjjjjjjjoe McHugh out of the ring to start, which is funny considering Joe is about 173 years old here. Butcher and Rene gang up on “The Rock” (weird to hear Vince calling him that). Atlas tries his luck and doesn't go anywhere. Special Delivery Jones is tagged in to save his team. Wrap your head around that for a minute.
-Vachon tags out immediately, I guess in terror of the Special one, and before you know it all six men are brawling in the ring and Atlas gets the pin out of nowhere. Weird match. “What a package!” Gene Okerlund marvels.
-Joe McHugh introduces Superfly Jimmy Snuka, on the mend from an injury. He limps to the ring and takes a bow. He offers a handshake to Greg Valentine and gets blown off.
GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE (with Captain Lou Albano) vs. FRANK WILLIAMS
-They trade punches to start and Greg gets the early advantage with elbows, then goes straight to the figure four for a fast submission. Everyone's in a hurry this week.
-Piper welcomes Tony Garea. Piper notes that being a 5-time Tag Team Championship co-holder isn't a very impressive accomplishment because it means he's lost five matches. Tony tries to defend himself and Piper keeps cutting him off. Tony Garea fires off the historic first “skirt” joke by a babyface against Roddy Piper, then storms off.
SGT. SLAUGHTER vs. IRON SHEIK (with Ayatollah Blassie)
-Slaughter comes to the ring with the stars & stripes and he and Sheik wave their respective flags while the crowd goes nuts with a “USA” chant. Amazing visual.
-Slaughter hands his flag to a ring attendant so he can salute, and Sheik attacks from behind and puts the boots to him. Sheik loads the boot and gives Slaughter a shot to the head. And then the ultimate insult, he breaks Slaughter's glasses. Sheik whips Slaughter with a belt and then puts more boots to him. And then he just says “Well, my work here is done” and walks away. The match never even officially started.
MASKED SUPERSTAR vs ROCCO VERONA
-Superstar leads off with a takedown and keeps Verona in the mat with facelocks and chinlocks. Vince reads some viewer mail while Superstar tosses Verona to the floor. Back inside, he stomps away and drops a knee. Neckbreaker gets the win.
TONY GAREA & BRIAN BLAIR vs BILL DIXON & CHARLIE FULTON
-Blair and Fulton start and they don't get anywhere. Garea and Dixon both tag in and Garea makes some progress with shoulderblocks and an armdrag. Fulton turns things around for his team with forearms, but Blair finishes with the abdominal stretch/roll-up.
WWF ALL-STAR WRESTLING
-Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Gene Okerlund.
-Gary Capetta kicks off the show with another tribute for David Von Erich.
TONY ATLAS & ROCKY JOHNSON (Tag Team Champions) vs. RON BUTLER & RENE GOULET
-Butler actually does the same shtick with Tony Atlas that he did with Ivan Putski, doing tests of strength and comically failing and flying everywhere. Goulet tags in and gets double-teamed. Butler Irish whips Johnson and he goes over the top rope, lands on his feet, slingshots back in, and sunset flips Butler for the three-count. Slick.
-Drunk fan absolutely berates the referee walking to the ring for the next match.
MASKED SUPERSTAR vs STEVE LOMBARDI
-The wrestlers come to the ring in two aisles from separate dressing rooms. I actually really liked it when wrestling promotions used to do that.
-Masked Superstar dominates. He applies a bearhug and Lombardi breaks it by trying to untie the mask. Lombardi takes advtange with a series of punches, but Superstar fights back and finishes with the neckbreaker.
IVAN PUTSKI vs GOLDIE ROGERS
-Rogers is so blonde that it causes the cameras to “bloom.” Side headlock applied by Goldie. Putski counters it with a backbreaker and wails on Putski. Putski is bleeding hardway from something. Neither guy really seems to make use of it. Putski doesn't even seem to realize it and Rogers doesn't target the wound. Flurry of fists by Putski and he finishes with the Polish hammer.
EDDIE GILBERT vs ISRAEL MATIA
-And on the other hand, you have Israel Matia, whose head is so bald and shiny that it's causing a lens flare. Gilbert takes control with some pretty basic mat wrestling. Matia takes control with a wristlock. And Gilbert suddenly gets fired up with punches and puts him away with a high elbow off the ropes. I actually think it's remarkable the way Gilbert broke loose and became something completely different when he left this company. To be blunt, if I was a promoter in 1984, and I saw this guy's WWF work, I would have thought “He's good but I don't know what to do with him.”
-We go to action from Championship Wrestling, Valentine's match, Piper's Pit, and of course, the Slaughter/Sheik showdown.
“Mister Wonderful” PAUL ORNDORFF (with Rowdy Roddy Piper) vs. KEN JUGAN
-Orndorff and Piper were just a magical pair. They've been here for two months and they haven't really done anything noteworthy, but they were just so unbearably obnoxious and domineering that the fans immediately latched on to them as main eventers.
-Orndorff tosses Jugan to the floor and Piper screams “Get in there and fight!” He makes it back in and Orndorff tosses him to the floor on the other side, and Piper has to dash over and yell “Get in there and fight!” some more. Back inside, the piledriver finishes.
TONY GAREA & BRIAN BLAIR vs RON SHAW AND BUTCHER VACHON
-They wrestle, they wrestle, they wrestle some more. Then Garea clamps on the abdominal stretch and Shaw submits. I can see why this team didn't last. Really really bland, just as the WWF was trying to break free from the Backlund mold for babyfaces.
The 411: Not as good as the previous week, which had stuff going on everywhere. This week was laser-focused on Sarge/Sheik and everything else was kind of on the backburner. I wonder if Sarge was a plan "B" in case Hogan didn't pay off the way they were hoping, because good lord, he's been the undisputed star of February 1984, not Hulk.
Heeeeere's the plug.