The Name on the Marquee: WWF Championship Wrestling (05.12.84)
Posted by Adam Nedeff on 09.20.2013
Roddy Piper falls for Captain Lou's lies, time after time.
Originally aired May 12, 1984.
-Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Gene Okerlund.
IVAN PUTSKI vs RENE GOULET
-Putski shoves Goulet into the corner and onto the mat. Boot to the gut by Goulet and he pounds Putski down with his suspicious glove. Putski gets pissed and fires a series of punches. Goulet fights back with a claw. Putski gets free and punches Goulet to the mat. Goulet tries again with biting. Vince declares that this has turned out to be “Not much of a match...in the way of scientific skills.”
-Dropkick by Goulet. He sends Putski into the ropes, and as usual, that's a mistake, because Putski meets him with the Polish hammer and that finishes things.
-Vince profiles the Von Erich family! Vince was really, REALLY high on these guys and even gave them some coverage in the early issues of the WWF Magazine. Vince says that Kerry, Mike, and Kevin are proud to hold up the legacy of their father Fritz and their brother David. And just to make it more surreal, Vince namedrops the Funk family during the segment, too.
B. BRIAN BLAIR vs RON SHAW
-Blair works the arm to start. Shaw elbows free and shoulderblocks him. He charges at Blair again and Blair yanks his arm, grounds him, and turns it into a hammerlock. Looked good, too. Monkeyflip and an armdrag by Shaw. Crowd is SILENT when they aren't yelling “Boring!” at this match. It surprises me that they kept Blair around for an entire year before finally finding something for him to do. Nothing against him, but he's just incredibly bland when he's not wearing black and yellow tights and pretending to sting people.
-Shaw misses a charge and Blair comes off the second rope with an elbow. Second elbow misses. Shaw goes for a slam, but Blair lands on his feet and finishes with the abdominal stretch roll-up for three.
-Vince reads the address for sending mail, and now instead of addressing it to “Wrestling,” he asks that you mail it to “WWF Headquarters.” Hey, somebody's learning about branding! This week's viewer question: “Where is Venice Beach?” Somebody sat down and wrote a letter to the WWF to ask that. Vince notes that “Venice Beach is a beautiful home for a beautiful man.”
SGT. SLAUGHTER vs ISRAEL MATIA
-Okerlund, in much slower-moving times, mentions Slaughter's “newfound popularity.” The turn happened more than three months ago. Hell, today, he'd be teasing his turn back to heeldom by now. (Hi, Ryback!)
-Slaughter pokes Matia with his swagger stick. That pisses Matia off, but he winds up crashing on the arena floor. Back in, he goes to the eyes. Slaughter drops Matia across the top rope, nearly snapping it, and then applies the cobra clutch to get the submission.
-The set is decorated with a collage of Cyndi Lauper photos. Piper's guest again is Captain Lou Albano. Albano shows off articles and photos from USA Today, Life, The Music Paper, and then holds up the “She's So Unusual” gold record. We watch the music video for “Time After Time,” in which Albano has about a three-second cameo. Albano boasts that he made Cyndi Lauper what she is today, and pledges to bring her on Piper's Pit.
“Dr. D” DAVID SCHULTZ vs SALVATORE BELLOMO
-Schultz grounds Bellomo immediately and clamps on a headlock, yelling “Come on, pizza boy!” to taunt Bellomo. Bellomo gets Schultz in a corner and throws punches. Bellomo reverses an Irish whip and connects with a dropkick. Schultz fights back, slams Bellomo into place, and finishes with the second rope elbow.
-Gene Okerlund talks to Dr. D and asks him about his questionable tactics in the ring. Schultz asks Gene to name a questionable tactic, and Gene says coming off the second rope with an elbow is pretty shocking. Seriously. Schultz asks, “You want me to get in the ring and kiss him on the lips?!” Schultz vows to win the world title.
-Most of the match is missing on this copy, but all that matters is that Sheik stacks his opponents on top of each other and finishes with the camel clutch.
The 411: Well, Putski/Goulet was crap, but again, I really enjoyed the short-lived competitive squash match phase they went through. Schultz was great on the mic and Piper's Pit was kind of exciting. What's lost when you're watching these 30 years later is the suspense and curiosity. In the days of no internet and no taping spoilers, the Albano/Piper thing must have been interesting to watch. "What's this leading to?"