The Name on the Marquee: WWF TV (2.25.84)
Posted by Adam Nedeff on 08.28.2013
We have a new Intercontinental Champion...
WWF CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING
-Originally aired February 25, 1984.
-Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Gene Okerlund.
-We open the show with highlights from the Boston Garden, where they brought along a single camera with a dying battery to shoot the historic title change. We see highlights of the match, but not the finish, because they missed that. This was before they started televising the Boston house shows, obviously. John McAdam was in attendance for this, and I recall him saying that everybody in the arena figured out there was going to be a title change when a camera showed up out of nowhere for this match.
TITO SANTANA (Intercontinental Champion) vs. GOLDIE ROGERS
-Andre comes to ringside to personally congratulate Tito for winning the title. Howard Finkel announces a house show coming to Boston on St. Patrick's Day.
-Tito outwrestles Goldie pretty easily and finishes with the flying forearm. Vince says it's the same move he used to defeat Don Muraco.
-Gene Okerlund talks to Andre the Giant. Andre says that the best wrestlers in the world are in the WWF right now. He challenges anybody to end his undefeated streak.
“Dr. D” DAVID SCHULTZ (with Rowdy Roddy Piper) vs. RUDY DIAMOND
-Schultz starts with a takedown. He follows with forearms and a side headlock. Diamond makes the ropes and Schultz goes back to the forearms. He slams Diamond into position and finishes with the second-rope elbow.
-We watch home movies of Bob Backlund wrestling in high school.Vince says that Backlund's extraordinary training and skills as a wrestler are sure to make him the #1 contender for the title when he returns to the ring. (Translation: “Please turn heel!”)
WILD SAMOANS (with Captain Lou Albano) vs. SALVATORE BELLOMO, FRANK WILLIAMS, & ROCCO VERONA
-Howard Finkel announces a house show coming to a Town Hall, of all places. Williams does some artful dodging and causes Samula to miss a charge. Bellomo tags in and adds a mule kick. Bellomo tags Williams back in and he gets kicked back down to reality. DDT by Samula and he tags in Afa. “Look at this package!” marvels Gene.
-Verona gets tagged in and they make quick work of him with a Samoan drop for the pin.
MR. FUJI & TIGER CHUNG LEE vs STEVE LOMBARDI & KEN JUGAN
-Buy WWF Magazine! $14.47 for eight issues! That's a weird total!
-Chunger goes to work on Lombardi. Jugan tags in and walks right into a shoulderbreaker for three.
-Piper's guest this week is the Masked Superstar. Piper says he's the only wrestler in history whose mask has never been removed. Superstar says he doesn't need a title; his mask is his title belt, and nobody can take it from him.
EDDIE GILBERT vs IRON SHEIK (with Ayatollah Blassie)
-”We want Slaughter!” chant erupts while Sheik takes advantage with a takedown and slaps Eddie on the back of the head for good measure. Gilbert clamps on a side headlock. Sheik breaks free with punches and comes off the second rope for a crossbody, but Sheik ducks it and Gilbert crashes. Sheik finishes him immediately with the camel clutch and then spits on him. And that's the last we saw of Eddie Gilbert here.
-Sgt. Slaughter shows up super-pissed and gets in a few shots, and Sheik gets the hell out of dodge. Slaughter grabs the mic and cuts an emotional promo about how Americans get knocked down but they always get back up. He finishes by leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.
IVAN PUTSKI vs RON SHAW
-Shaw tries a few basic holds and Putski keeps powering out of them. Putski rams him into the turnbuckle a few times. Flurry of punches by Putski, and the Polish hammer finishes. Shaw actually kicks out right at three and gets up immediately. Good, Ron, make sure they protect you.
JOSE LUIS RIVERA vs BILL DIXON
-Hammerlock by Jose. Dixon gets free and Jose switches to a side headlock. Dixon breaks out again and hammers him down. Rivera comes back with dropkicks and finishes with a sunset flip.
WWF ALL-STAR WRESTLING
-Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Gene Okerlund.
-We look at the Intercontinental Title change again.
TITO SANTANA (Intercontinental Champion) vs RON BUTLER
-Tito reverses an arm wringer, leading Gene to marvel about his complete package. Flying forearm completes his package of victory moments later.
MASKED SUPERSTAR vs FRANK WILLIAMS
-Snapmare by Superstar, followed by an armdrag and a headlock. Williams starts to fight out and Superstar stops him with another snapmare. He chokes Williams over the ropes and clamps on a front facelock before making a quick switch to a chinlock and then a neck vice. Hard clothesline makes audible contact, and Superstar finishes with the neckbreaker.
-We watch Bob Backlund's home movies again.
SALVATORE BELLOMO vs GOLDIE ROGERS
-Armdrag by Bellomo and Goldie complains about hair-pulling.Bellomo rams him into the turnbuckle and follows with flying headscissors. Vince voices a suspicion that blonde hair was how Goldie Rogers got the nickname Goldie.
-Goldie gets some offense, choking Bellomo and dropping an elbow. Another elbow gets two. Bellomo leapfrogs over an attempted backdrop, and a mulekick is enough to put away Goldie.
TIGER JACKSON & HAITI KID vs DANA CARPENTER & PONCHO BOY
-Carpenter gets the early advantage with a press slam. Poncho Boy targets the black head of the Haiti Kid and it doesn't go well, shockingly. Haiti smacks him and smacks him and smacks him some more. Carpenter tags back in and does some...well, technically they'd be dropkicks. I mean, that was the clear intent. Flying mare by Haiti Kid gets the pin, and the crowd is more surprised than delighted because when the hell does that ever finish?
-We go to Championship Wrestling for Tiger Chung Lee & Mister Fuji, Piper's Pit, and this week's chapter in the Sheik/Slaughter saga.
“Dr. D” DAVID SCHULTZ (with Rowdy Roddy Piper) vs. SPECIAL DELIVERY JONES
-Schultz says that SD Jones should be in the cotton field picking cotton. Side headlock by Schultz. Jones breaks out and applies headscissors. Shoulderblock and a snapmare by Schultz to take control back. He applies a nerve hold while Vince reads fan mail for Hulk Hogan. Oh, right, that guy is the champion, isn't he?
-SD breaks out of the nerve hold, but Schultz clamps it right back on. SD breaks free again and shoulderblocks Schultz down. Beel throw sends Schultz across the ring and SD puts the boots to him.Schultz makes a comeback with a forearm, but he can only get two with it. Elbow gets another two. SD turns an attempted slam into a cradle for two. He mounts another comeback with punches and headbutts, and Schultz goes out to the floor. Schultz brings SD out to the floor, and SD just headbutts him and goes back in.
-Schultz makes it in and punches him down, and heads straight to the second rope for the elbow drop to get the pin. Piper looks concerned about all the punishment Schultz took in that match. Surprisingly good.
TONGA KID vs BILL DIXON
-Drop toehold by the Kid and he holds on to Dixon until he makes it to the ropes. Side headlock by Dixon and he snapmares the Kid. Kid counters with headscissors. Camera catches Kid pretty blatantly calling spots before connecting with a HIGH dropkick. High knee and a headlock by Dixon, followed by a backdrop. Kid comes back with a headbutt, and the missile dropkick finishes.
I already reviewed the following week's Championship Wrestling a while back for shiggles, so here that is...
WWF CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING
-Originally aired March 3, 1984
-We’re so early into the new era that Hulk Hogan isn’t even in the opening titles yet, just a crapload of Rocky Johnson and Jimmy Snuka. Who’s that redheaded guy holding up the title belt at the end? He doesn’t seem to fit in.
-Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Gene Okerlund. Your-uhh ring announcerah is Jjjjjjjjjjjoe McHuuuuuuuuuuugh.
“Mister Wonderful” PAUL ORNDORFF (with Rowdy Roddy Piper) vs. ROCCO VERONA
-I’m still not sure what the WWF was thinking, bringing in Piper after the hottest feud of his career in Mid-Atlantic, and then using him as a manager. Howard Finkel jumps in to plug a house show with Hulk Hogan defending the belt against David Schultz.
-Orndorff puts the boots to Verona and tosses him to the floor, and the camera gives a disturbing and way-too-long shot angled between Piper’s legs and facing the prone jobber. Back in the ring, Orndorff does a gourdbuster and the jobber is so afraid to take the bump that he blatantly lands on his knees and the move looks horrible. Orndorff finishes with a piledriver, and again, Verona is so terrified to take the bump that even Vince notes it on commentary.
TITO SANTANA (Intercontinental Champion) vs. ISRAEL MATIA
-It’s weird, you watch the shows from later in the 1980s and you get so accustomed to the pacing that you’re thrown off when you see this, we’re going straight to the next match.
-Israel attacks at the bell and falls right into an armdrag and another one. Weird extended silence from the commentary team; I think it’s supposed to be a break for a house show plug but then they forget to insert it. So yeah, there’s definitely a learning curve in these early days. Flying forearm—and Tito does it from the turnbuckles instead of from the ropes—gets three. The fans throw flowers at Tito for his victory, which clearly didn’t last long and weirdly would have made more sense seven years or so later.
GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE (with Captain Lou Albano) vs. JOSE LUIS RIVERA
-Vince notes that Rivera is putting his undefeated streak on the line in this match. Yeah, good luck, Jose.
-They do some basic mat wrestling to start off here. Greg gets sick of that and switches to hard-hitting elbows and a stomachbreaker. He tosses Rivera to the floor and Albano helpfully tosses him back in. Rivera shows a little fire with punches and a dropkick, but misses a charge in the corner. Greg goes right to work on the leg and finishes with the figure four leglock. Welcome to Jobberton, Jose. Population: You.
-Postmatch, Valentine goes for added humiliation by reapplying the figure four and refusing to let go. Rivera leaves on a stretcher.
-Gene tells us all about the upcoming show at Boston Garden on March 17. Good god, they’re having a house show in Boston on St. Patrick’s Day? They’ll have more fights in the stands than in the ring. Mr. Fuji will step in the ring against “Slaughter-San.” Fuji tells a story about walking on the beach as a child in 1943, seeing a dead Marine, and pilfering his watch. Holy shit. Next we get words from Paul Orndorff, who clearly has an air conditioner blowing directly on him. He talks about how all the people want to touch him and get their hands on his muscles and his hair as we walks down the aisle, and Gene interrupts just long enough to say, “Men?” Andre the Giant says he’s eager to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Boston by ripping off the Masked Superstar’s mask. Superstar retorts that it won’t be as easy as Andre is promising.
TIGER JACKSON & HAITI KID vs. PANCHO BOY & DANA CARPENTER
-We start with Haiti and Pancho. Now this is just careless, we get another voiceover promo from Howard Finkel, and he says, “Everyone in Boston will remember the night that Tito Santana won the Intercontinental Title from Iron—Magnificent Muraco. I had Iron Mike Sharpe on my mind…” I KNOW you had enough time and resources to re-record that, come on.
-Jackson whiffs on flying headscissors and accidentally sits on Pancho Boy’s face. Bodypress off the second rope, which, according to my midget conversion chart, is like jumping off some sort of fifth rope, gets the three-count.
-Piper starts to lash out at Hispanic folks and Tito cuts him off, saying Latinos haven’t had the same opportunities and they’ll start taking over soon. Piper says it’s a shame that they can’t have a gentleman for a champion.
“Dr. D” DAVIS SCHULTZ (with Rowdy Roddy Piper) vs. STEVE LOMBARDI
-Elbows and punches by the good doctor. Lombardi punches back but falls victim to a boot. Series of slams and a neckbreaker by Schultz, and an elbow off the second rope could finish, but Dr. D goes for one more just for fun and gets the pin.
-Gene Okerlund has words with Schultz; he wants Hogan because he’s a dog, and his daddy is a dog, which makes him a son of a dog!
SPECIAL DELIVERY JONES, ROCKY JOHNSON, & TONY ATLAS vs. GOLDIE ROGERS, RON BUTLER, & CHARLIE FULTON
-We start with Johnson and Butler. Butler falls victim to some double-teaming and tags out. Fulton gets some offense on Jones, but Jones hulks up and specially delivers an ass-kicking. Goldie Rogers comes in and gets whipped around while Vince clarifies that Goldie is not related to Buddy Rogers, for the benefit of the zero people who were wondering.
-Rogers gets wishboned by Atlas, and Jones & Atlas keep switching off, ignoring Rocky all together while they have their fun. It’s nice to have tag team champions that secretly hate each other, isn’t it? Johnson finishes with a press slam.
-Mean Gene interviews David Schultz again. He has his title shot on St. Patrick’s Day. He wants to beat up Hulk Hogan in front of all those Irish women because he hopes that for once, one of those Irish women will be worth having, because he hasn’t seen one worth having yet and he feels like going to a party after the show.
-Gene focuses his shilling energies to the Meadowlands Arena, where a $15,000 battle royal headlines the card. Hulk Hogan will be defending his belt against Dr. D there, too. Hulk has words about how his fans are training along with him all over the United States, whether training in the gym, training in the living room, or training in their bedroom. Mean Gene almost breaks up at the last part, but honestly, that’s where I do most of my cardio.
TONY GAREA & BRIAN BLAIR vs. BILL DIXON & FRANKIE WILLIAMS
-Williams goes first, because he don’t run from nobody. Tony whips him and armdrags him. Blair adds an elbow. Williams manages to get in a few punches and then get the hell out. Dixon gets his arm wringered or wrung or whatever and steps out. Frank Williams comes back in and eats a dropkick from Williams. Garea applies an abdominal stretch and gets the submission. Yeah, an abdominal stretch, the move that IRS did for shits and giggles every match, just finished. Weird how wrestling used to be.