The Name on the Marquee: WWF Championship Wrestling (5.18.1985)
Posted by Adam Nedeff on 05.15.2014
Bobby Heenan rolls out the bounty.
-Originally aired May 18, 1985.
-Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Bruno Sammartino.
KEN PATERA & BIG JOHN STUDD (with Bobby Heenan) vs. PAUL ROMA & JOSE LUIS RIVERA
-Finkel actually cuts off Vince during the opening to do his announcements, and if you ever listened to Vince & Bruno do an opening rundown, you can understand why. Heenan has a briefcase filled with money, which Bruno presumes to be the prize money for slamming Big John Studd.
-Both jobbers go for the money at the outset and get hammered down quickly. Patera adds a press slam and an elbow. Roma tags in and the crowd pops for it as though it’s a hot tag. Patera & Studd just wail on him and pull him up at two over and over again. Bruno assures us that “Tony Roma” is a tough customer and might be able to fight them off if they keep giving him chances like that. But then they stop giving him chances, and Patera finishes with a swinging full nelson to get the submission.
-After the match, Vince McMahon interviews Bobby Heenan and asks about the briefcase. Heenan has $25,000 in there, and it goes to Ken Patera, Big John Studd, or anybody else who can beat Paul Orndorff severely enough to put him out of wrestling permanently.
-Lord Alfred Hayes profiles the new tag team champions, back in the days when a two-month reign qualified as “new.” Hayes notes that Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff have been widely criticized for their reluctance to sign title matches.
MAGNIFICENT MURACO (with Mr. Fuji) vs. ALDO MARINO
-Muraco looks visibly bored during the introduction, and your commentators speculate that he’s frustrated because this match presents so little of a challenge for him. Weirdness: the referee appears to have an NWA patch on his shirt.
-Muraco takes down Marino and targets the leg. He stays with it throughout, applying a stepover toehold until Marino manages to kick out of it. Muraco goes to the top rope and plants Marino while driving a knee into the chest. Tombstone finishes.
-Gene Okerlund hypes tonight’s big main event at Boston Garden, Hulk Hogan & Superfly Jimmy Snuka vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper & Cowboy Bob Orton. Piper & Orton, sporting Saturday Night’s Main Event t-shirts, excitedly reveal that Roddy isn’t coming to Boston tonight. Piper brings in Mr. Fuji, who drops the bombshell that Don Muraco (also sporting SNME wear) is replacing Piper tonight. No disrespect to Muraco, but this seems particularly shitty after doing a hell of a job hyping a main event that had a lot more appeal just because it was a logical extension of the Wrestlemania main event.
DAVID SAMMARTINO vs. CHARLIE FULTON
-They jockey for position until David takes control and targets the arm. Armdrags by David. Fulton makes a comeback with forearms, but misses a corner charge and walks right into a powerslam to give David the win. Weird comment by Vince after the match, looking at a still frame of David and saying “And there’s the mark…(pause)…of a future champion.” And then he follows that by asking us to stay tuned because Bruce Hart will be in action next.
-Gene Okerlund says he’s still in a daze over the news that the main event for tonight has gone right out the window. He brings in Jimmy Hart & Greg Valentine. Valentine says he’s tired of listening to rock and roll music every time “the nasty black man” walks to the ring and promises Junkyard Dog will bite the dust. He wishes his good friend Brutus Beefcake luck in his bout against Tito Santana before veering back on track and promising to rub Dog’s nasty black face in the mat until there’s a big black stain in the ring.
BRETT “Hit Man” HART & JIM “The Anvil”NEIDHART (with Jimmy Hart) vs. JIM YOUNG & RICK MCGRAW
-Still no team name, still an extra T, and still funny to listen to the commentators and tell that they’re expecting Neidhart to be the big star of this duo.
-McGraw meets Brett with an atomic drop and Bret does an unbelievable sell off of it, bouncing about two feet off the mat on impact. Neidhart sneaks in and offers some help to turn things around. Young tags in and gets tossed straight out to the floor. Neidhart slams him on the concrete, and then acts like a total chickenshit when he sees McGraw come toward him.
-Young winds up on the floor again and McGraw comes after Brett Hart. Brett actually runs away from him, but it turns out the coward act is a clever little ploy because McGraw doesn’t see Neidhart head outside to beat on Young. Hart Attack finishes.
-From “Saturday Night’s Main Event,” we see Paul Orndorff’s face turn one more time.
NIKOLAI VOLKOFF & IRON SHEIK (Tag Team Champions, with Classy Freddy Blassie) vs. SAL G & MARIO MANCINI
-Sheik backdrops and stomps away at Mancini while Bruno predicts that it’s just a matter of time until somebody thrones the champions.
-Volkoff drives a series of knees into Mancini. The commentators have been on a weird tangent the entire match about how Nikolai Volkoff is a really great, skillful wrestler, but he actively chooses not to show his skills because he wants to show everyone how aggressive he is. He rams Mancini into Sheik’s pointed boot. They really should have had guys blade from that once or twice.
-Sal G tags in, gets himself suplexed, and succumbs to a camel clutch.
-Gene Okerlund runs down the final card for tonight and in walks Tito Santana, who is very confident about his chances with Brutus Fruitcake tonight. And in come Hulk Hogan & Jimmy Snuka, who are reeling from the bait & switch tonight. Hulkster admits to being rattled by the switch because they had a strategy all lined up for a specific team tonight. Now they have to face Muraco, who they don’t really have an issue with (and admittedly, after making a guy bleed profusely and splashing him from the top of a 15-foot steel cage, it’s probably hard to be pissed at him about anything). They pledge to take out all their hatred for Piper on Muraco, just to punish the Magnificent One for volunteering for this match.
The 411: Another not-bad week with the Orndorff-Heenan thing really catching fire, and by the standards of 1985, one angle getting rolling is enough to make it worth salvaging.