The Name on the Marquee: WWF Championship Wrestling (1.26.1985)
Posted by Adam Nedeff on 02.23.2014
The Hillbilly has arrived!
Originally aired January 26, 1985.
-Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Bruno Sammartino.
AMERICAN EXPRESS vs. GINO CARABELLO & A.J. PETRUZZI
-Vince absolutely insists on billing Windham & Rotundo this way, but The Fink and the onscreen graphics are still calling them their full names. Jobbers look startlingly alike and are wearing coordinated tights.
-Rotundo starts with Petruzzi and throws a nice dropkick to get firm control. Windham adds an elbow for two. Carabello tries his luck and doesn't fare much better. Another good-looking dropkick by Rotundo, but Carabello keeps kicking out. Carabello targets the stomach of Windham and gets some offense that way at long last. Legdrop by Rotundo gets two. Not orange enough.
-Legdrop by Windham, but for good measure, he adds the bulldog, and that finishes.
-Lord Alfred Hayes is back in the studio and says there was a recent incident at MSG involving Hulk Hogan, Cyndi Lauper, David Wolff, Captain Lou Albano, Dick Clark, Jack Tunney, and Rowdy Roddy Piper. We still don’t get the video footage, but we finally get a few stills of the ceremony leading up to the incident. Unfortunately, photos and video of the incident still aren’t available, and they still aren't telling us what actually happened! Lord Alfred asks us to tune in next week for further information and possibly video. Maybe.
SUPERFLY JIMMY SNUKA & TONGA KID vs. DAVE BARBIE & RUSTY BROOKS
-Tonga and Rusty start. Tonga tries a couple of holds but can’t really get anything going. Snuka tags in; Rusty shoves him into the corner and tags out immediately, quitting while he’s ahead. Smart move because Snuka finishes off Barbie in about 30 seconds, getting the win with the Superfly splash.
-Gene Okerlund is getting geared up for next week’s big event at the Boston Garden. Big John Studd, inexplicably wet and carrying his bag of Andre’s hair, says Ken Patera is getting in an extra training session to prepare for next week’s big match, and Bobby Heenan is at a meeting negotiating more money for both of them. Andre is hurt and helpless, and he’s teaming up with JYD and making the match a Texas Tornado match because he needs all the help he can when he’s in the ring with Big John Studd.
NIKOLAI VOLKOFF & IRON SHEIK (with Classy Freddy Blassie) vs. SPECIAL DELIVERY & ALDO MARINO
-Windham and Rotundo disrupt the Soviet anthem by marching around the ring with American flags, but Volkoff carries on with the long-form anthem.
-Sheik is pissed off and gives a beatdown to both jobbers, and Nikolai applies a backbreaker that COULD get the submission, but he lets go just to kick Marino’s ass some more. Big “USA” chants go up as Sheik tags in and finishes the job with the camel clutch.
-Gene Okerlund gets a rebuttal from Andre regarding the Texas Tornado match. The promo is interrupted by a crashing noise and Gene ad-libs around it, saying Andre’s been knocking over chairs because he’s aggravated. That was weird. Andre says he’s been in Texas training with Blackjack Mulligan to prepare for next week’s match.
GEORGE WELLS vs. PAUL KELLY
-Wells is making his WWF debut. He hits a fucking stiff thrust kick and follows it with a HORRIBLE flying headscissors. Kelly gets some offense in but Wells counters with a slightly-less-horrible-but-nonetheless-please-stop-doing-this-particular-move flying headscissors.
-Kelly comes back to life and gets a near-fall, but Wells comes off the ropes with a tackle and gets the win.
-This week’s guest is Blackjack Mulligan, the host of Mulligan’s Barbecue, a similar segment on “All-Star Wrestling.” He offers Piper some chewing tobacco, and Piper declines before asking what makes him qualified to host an interview segment. Piper goes on to mention that Texans need big toilets because they need some way to bathe, and then tells Mulligan he stinks. Well, I gathered that.
-Piper brags that people are scared of him so he has the “Ace,” Bob Orton backing him up. Mulligan says the people should decide which segment is more popular, then spits a gob of chew on the floor and stares Piper down.
MOONDOGS vs. STEVE LOMBARDI & JIM YOUNG
-Vince mentions Moondog King in an uncharacteristic callback. Lombardi gets Lombardied around, with Spot showing a lot of fire in particular with a flying clothesline and a forearm from the second rope. He continues beating on Lombardi and the referee audibly chews out the Moondogs for not ending the match because Lombardi can’t take anymore. Yes, if only there was some independent adjudicator who could stop the match himself.
-Young tags in and the Moondogs finish with the Decapitator to get three.
-We go to Hawaii for words from the Magnificent Muraco & Mr. Fuji. They say that Hawaii’s not a place for phony comic book Hulks, or “retarded Superflies who fall out of trees.” He’s coming back to the WWF to hurt people.
HILLBILLY JIM (with Hulk Hogan) vs. TERRY GIBBS
-Jim’s debut, and the crowd busts a fucking nut for him.
-Referee insists that Jim take off his hat, but Hulk assures the referee that it won’t be a problem and he should be allowed to wear a hat. In perhaps a sign of maturity, Jim takes off the hat on his own. Gibbs starts with a full nelson and Jim thrusts forward to break the hold, giggling as he does it because he can’t believe he’s actually wrestling.
-Front facelock by Gibbs and this time Jim simply stands up straight and props him on the top turnbuckle. Gibbs, getting frustrated, goes off the ropes and charges, and this time, Jim doesn’t even do anything and still manages to knock Gibbs on his ass. Gibbs finally targets the eyes to take control. Crowd cheers for Hillbilly to turn it around, and the more Gibbs beats on Hillbilly Jim, the harder they cheer, until Jim finally makes his big comeback and puts Gibbs away with a bearhug.
-Gene Okerlund talks to Paul Orndorff, who’s facing Ivan Putski next weekend. This one’s on YouTube and it’s worth looking for it. Orndorff is deeply, deeply depressed, knowing all the marriages that come to an end every time his face is seen on TV. Last time he was on a plane, all he wanted to do was relax and the captain wouldn't take off without Mr. Wonderful’s permission. So frustrating. He can’t leave any airport or hotel in the city because limousines always surround the complex fighting for the privilege of giving Paul Orndorff a ride. And he hates wrestling in the Boston Garden because he feels like he’s drawing attention away from all the legendary athletes who complete in the complex. And Orndorff wraps up by causing Gene to break on camera by talking about “turtle heads.”
The 411: REALLY fun week, with baby steps toward finally telling us what Roddy Piper did, some fun promos, and a feel-good match with Hillbilly Jim. Eventually he became just a generic hillbilly, but these early weeks, where his character was "the fan who OH MY GOD ACTUALLY GETS TO DO THIS" were really great.