The Name on the Marquee: WWF Championship Wrestling (2.2.1985)
Posted by Adam Nedeff on 03.04.2014
The arrival of the Anvil, and some other stuff.
-Originally aired February 2, 1985.
-An Irishman and an Italian walk into a commentary booth.
JUNKYARD DOG vs. THE UNPREDICTABLE JOHNNY RODZ
-JYD gets the advantage early and when Rodz tries to go out for a breather, Dog slingshots him back in. Rodz makes a successful escape before JYD can connect with the headbutts. Rodz cowers in the corner until Dog gets close enough for a cheap shot, but Dog bounces right back and headbutts him out of the ring.
-Back inside, Rodz gets really aggressive, biting the Dog until the Dog bites back. Dog has had enough Mr. Nice Guy and gouges Rodz’s eyes in retaliation for absolutely everything he’s done in this match and Thumps him to finish. Crowd shot post-match sees a happy fan wearing a Barry Windham t-shirt. Wow, really?
-Lord Alfred Hayes says that the WWF now has new information about Roddy Piper’s behavior in a recent incident at MSG. We STILL aren’t told what Piper did, but we go to a backstage report filed by Gene Okerlund. David Wolff is laying on a stretcher and Cyndi Lauper is very convincingly sobbing. Lord Alfred says that the nature and severity of David Wolff’s injuries remain unknown.
“Mister Wonderful” PAUL ORNDORFF (with Bobby Heenan) vs. PETER POMPEII
-This is worth noting just because for a LOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNGGG time, conventional wisdom on the internet was that the feud between Orndorff and Heenan later in the year was silly because “Heenan never managed Orndorff before Orndorff fired him.” But here you go, Heenan is pretty unmistakably managing Orndorff. Before the bell, Heenan frantically inspects the ring apron and won’t let the match start until he finds what he’s looking for: a stretcher that he requested in advance. Oh, that’s some quality heat.
-Orndorff lays an absolute beating on Pompeii and signals for Heenan to get the stretcher ready. Piledriver finishes and Pompeii leaves on the stretcher.
-Gene Okerlund talks to the Dog and the Giant, who are geared up for tonight’s Texas Tornado bout in Boston. They vow to tie up Patera and Studd with JYD’s chain and then have their way with the two of them.
-We go to action in Hartford, Connecticut, where Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch are defending the Tag Team Championship against Mike Rotundo and Barry Windham. Windham and Rotundo drop a bombshell on the champs by showing up with Captain Lou Albano in their corner. Rotundo is the face in peril, Windham gets the tag and cleans house, and it’s a pier sixer until Windham gets a sunset flip out of nowhere to get the three-count and capture the gold. This is WEIRD to see now because Adonis & Murdoch were 100% focused on a feud with the Briscos and Windham & Rotundo weren’t making any noise about chasing the belts. Was there an audible called at some point, I wonder?
-Gene Okerlund talks to the Magnificent Muraco about going to the Boston Garden, a venue that Muraco has a bad history with. Muraco complains about Boston having nothing to offer a main event star and sticking him in the second match against George Wells—who cares? Muraco pledges to make sure they get the curtain opened for the other wrestlers on the card.
MAGNIFICENT MURACO (with Mr. Fuji) vs. ALDO MARINO
-Muraco gets right to work with a slam and a series of knees. Headbutt to the lower abdomen by Muraco and he hangs Marino upside-down in the corner to lay some boots into him. Muraco tries to finish but Marino kicks out. Dropkick b Muraco, and the tombstone finishes.
-This week’s guest is Andre the Giant, who flings a chair across the set to get the ball rolling. One of the running gags of Piper’s heel run was that Andre the Giant was absolutely the ONLY face that he was afraid of, and Piper just completely kisses his ass, shaming Ken Patera and John Studd for their horrendous actions. Andre yells at him for having such a crappy, small chair on the set for him and makes Piper call him “Mr. Giant.” Andre says his piece and walks away, and Piper and Orton very carefully watch him leave to make sure he’s gone. And the moment Andre’s gone, Piper goes off on him for his ugly haircut and his tiny brain.
JIM “The Anvil” NEIDHART (with Mr. Fuji) vs. JOSE LUIS RIVERA
-This is the Anvil’s debut. Neidhart gets right to work with a sneak attack and a slam. He tosses Rivera to the floor “with a splat” says Vince, and it’s not hyperbole because the impact was actually loud and clear and cringeworthy, considering the floor is still exposed concrete at this point. Vicious beel throw by the Anvil gets an audible “Ooooooooh” from the crowd. He sends Rivera into the ropes and meets him with a fist straight into the chest.
-Rivera dodges a clothesline and comes off the ropes with a dropkick, and the crowd pops for Rivera just being able to do anything against this big bastard. The comeback doesn’t last long and Neidhart finishes with a powerslam. Very impressive debut by The Anvil, and he’s instantly a star.
SUPERFLY JIMMY SNUKA vs. JEFF CRANEY
-Vince actually led into the commercial break by promising that Jimmy Snuka was coming up next, which I don’t remember Vince doing for any other star in this era. He didn’t even do it for Hulk on the last episode, and he always hypes Superfly’s appearances as a special attraction.
-Snuka and Craney trade arm wringers as Vince announces that they have finally received clearance to air the controversial footage from Madison Square Garden next week. Mat wrestling by Snuka and Craney ends with Snuka gently nudging Craney against the ropes and patting his face. I have to mention the terrible tights that Snuka is wearing this week, which are predominantly white with a huge streak of brown across the middle.
-Backbreaker by Snuka to put Craney on the mat and keep him there, and the Superfly splash finishes.
-Gene Okerlund has some words with Bobby Heenan & Paul Orndorff, who mention that when Orndorff flies, the airlines give him the entire first class cabin to help boost their business. Whenever Paul Orndorff is in first class, they instantly sell out all the seats in coach. Also, Ivan Putski sucks. He says the WWF will be renamed the Wonderful Wrestling Federation. Heenan brings in Ken Patera and John Studd and screws up his promo, saying that they’re “the biggest thing to hit the Boston Garden since The Kansas.” And then Heenan basically says “Fuck this” and walks off-set while Studd cuts the promo.
The 411: Decent week for historical value and a good back-and-forth battle in the title bout, and it's always neat on these old shows to see the beginning of a career. Thumbs up.