The Name on the Marquee: Tuesday Night Titans (07.24.84)
Posted by Adam Nedeff on 10.12.2013
A little island music and a big Alpine man.
-Greetings from O'Hare International Airport again!
-Originally aired July 24, 1984.
-Your host is Vince McMahon, along with “wrestling's Inspector Clouseau,” Lord Alfred Hayes.
-We have a steel drum band courtesy of Special Delivery Jones.
TIGER CHUNG LEE
-Chunger is wearing a suit and glasses. It's hard for me to articulate a reason, but for some reason, it always bothers me when wrestlers wear glasses. Chunger explains the difference between karate and tae kwon do, saying that tae kwon do is more defense-minded and karate is more offense-minded. At least that's how Vince seems to interpret whatever the hell he just said. We go to the squared circle to see Tiger in action against Steve Lombardi, who surprisingly loses. Tiger's finishing hold: Gene calls it “the inverted Indian deathlock,” but you and I call it a sharpshooter.
-Tiger breaks bricks and pieces of wood with karate chops. Error in showmanship: He breaks the brick before the wood. It's a little nonsensical for Vince to say “Well, you broke the brick, let's see if you can break the board.” There does wind up being a bit of a badassery here. Tiger actually cuts his hand and you can see blood on some of the boards as he breaks them. Vince points it out and Lee replies, “Nothing.”
-We go back to Mr. Fuji & Tiger Chung Lee splitting up at the Philadelphia Spectrum. Back in the studio, Tiger challenges Mr. Fuji to a match to determine once and for all which has superior martial arts: Japan or Korea. Vince finally wraps things up, while I try to wrap my head around Tiger Chung Lee getting a solid 20 minutes of mic time.
FEATURE MATCH: B. BRIAN BLAIR vs “Mister Wonderful” PAUL ORNDORFF
-Orndorff stalls as if getting paid by the minute for this match, then finally sucker punches Blair to get the ball rolling. He stomps Blair with such ferocity that “It'll make you wish you were a jockey” according to the Gorilla. He comes off the top rope with a knee, but Blair moves and Orndorff is injured.
-Blair targets the knee every way that he can, but Orndorff survives the submission holds and gets a cheap shot to the throat. Blair recovers and goes after the ankle. Orndorff gouges him, but Blair kicks his leg out of his leg and goes right back to the ankle. Orndorff fights his way off the mat and hits an enziguiri to shake off Blair. Orndorff takes a series of cheap shots at Blair and uses them to buy some extra time so he can walk around the ring a little bit and “shake off” the injury, and eventually he stops limping. I fucking LOVE that. Merely getting the upper hand is not enough to magically cure an injury.
-Blair gets a bodypress out of nowhere, and the crowd totally flips their shit for the pinfall attempt, but he only gets two. Orndorff whips out a foreign object and attacks with it. Gorilla Monsoon observes that Orndorff is wearing elbowpads and kneepads and doesn't know why a referee would allow a wrestler to wear those kinds of pads. Jesus, because it's 1984, Gorilla.
-Roll-up by Blair and again the crowd goes crazy for merely an attempted pinfall. Orndorff throws him over the top rope, but Blair skins the cat and unleashes a beating on him. Elbow from the second rope by Blair. Slam and a knee. He rolls Orndorff up again but only gets two. He tries a slam, but Orndorff turns it into a small package for the very sudden win. Crowd has a disappoint, but goddamn that was a good match!
-Vince and Alfred discuss referees and agree that it's a thankless job and an extremely difficult one. We go to the Spectrum once more, where George “The Animal” Steele gets the victory over Steve Lombardi, who is having a pretty shitty night. Referee Dick Woehrle tries to stop a post-match assault by Steele, but Steele reacts by KOing him with a foreign object. Then he beats the shit out of Mel Phillips, which I'm more or less okay with.
-The referee explains that George went crazy as soon as he said the word “fine.” Woehrle says that there are a handful of wrestlers that he has to tread lightly around, but he always tries to do his job. Vince says that if wrestlers are known to get violent with referees, it might turn the referees a biased toward them just to avoid an asskicking. Dick assures him that he's not afraid to dish out a few fines.
-We watch a Rocky Johnson-Greg Valentine match with a different referee, with Vince pointing out sloppy mistakes made by the referee and Dick trying to justify it. Dick explains that watching a match on television is a much different experience than being in the ring. Woehrle tells stories about being chased out of the arena and having his car destroyed by irate fans.
SPECIAL DELIVERY JONES
-SD talks about his homeland of Antigua and says he hasn't been home in 15 years because he loves wrestling so much, but he'll get back there some day. SD says that he used to be more muscular, but he was warned that it would affect is coordination so he had to drop some weight recently. We watch a recent bout where SD comes out on the winning end for once.
We go to the band for a few minutes of live music.
-Alfred reads a letter from “Parkersburg, Wyoming.” A quick Google search determines that Parkersburg, Wyoming doesn't exist, which means Alfred was reading a letter from my hometown and he misread the postal abbreviation. Damn.
-Or “Altomare,” if you're the chyron guy. Altimore says he used to watch Lord Alfred Hayes when he was a little boy and that's why he wanted to become a wrestler. We flash back to vintage action pitting Altimore and King Curtis Iaukea against Chief Jay Strongbow and...another guy.
-We finally bring up the Sicilians, and we get an ancient photo of Tony with Captain Lou Albano. Tony mentions that he split up the tag team because Albano became so driven with control and money that they couldn't co-exist.
-More music from the band.
-Alfred Hayes walks onstage wearing Andre the Giant's jacket to give a sense of perspective; it looks like a trenchcoat on Alfred. We get some footage of Andre against Alexis Smirnoff, and it goes badly for Smirnoff.
ANDRE THE GIANT
-Vince talks about Andre's mainstream television appearances, with Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, “The Six Million Dollar Man,” and the film Micki and Maude. Andre talks about being upset about his Micki and Maude role because they made him share a scene with Big John Studd and they even had to pose for photos together.
-Andre talks about traveling to Japan, where the people feed him constantly because they can't believe a man that size can be getting enough to eat. Andre shows off his cowboy boots, custom made in Texas. He says each boot weighs 12 pounds.
-We backtrack to the beginning of Andre's career, and Alfred relays a story about being told by a promoter to give a car ride to a 17-year-old boy who was just starting his career, and Alfred was shocked that the boy was 6'10” and weighed about 300 pounds. For another sense of size, Andre puts his hand on Alfred's face and completely covers him.
-Andre goes to the bandstand and asks them to play a slow beat. He brings a woman identified only as “Betty” onstage and cracks up everybody by doing an impression of a fish in time with the music.
-We close things out with an ass-kicking by Kamala from a recent TV taping. Vince mentions that one of his guests next week will be Crusher Blackwell(!)
The 411: Pacing wasn't as much of a problem; this wasn't anywhere near a strain to sit through the way the first few weeks were. Still, the show is only starting to pick up steam at this point, and this was a solidly so-so episode.