The Name on the Marquee: WWF Championship Wrestling (6.8.1985)
Posted by Adam Nedeff on 06.09.2014
And all of a sudden, Ricky Steamboat knows karate.
-Originally aired June 8, 1985.
-Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Bruno Sammartino.
NIKOLAI VOLKOFF & IRON SHEIK (with Classy Freddy Blassie) vs. SAL G & JOSE LUIS RIVERA
-A fan holds up a sign calling them “The Tin Sheik and Nikolai Vulgar.” Always nice to see Alfred E. Neuman at ringside.
-Criss-cross gives Rivera a near-fall on a sunset flip. Sheik gets control without finesse or wrestling technique, to the disgust of Vince McMahon. George Steele suddenly arrives and tries to climb in to pick a fight with Volkoff, but Captain Lou Albano shows up to restrain him. Sheik finishes immediately with the camel clutch on Sal G, while Volkoff bitches out the referee for letting a crazy person almost get in the ring.
-Lord Alfred Hayes profiles Jimmy Hart, manager of King Kong Bundy, Jim Neidhart, and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. Yeah, that fourth guy wasn’t worth mentioning. We go to “TNT,” where Jimmy dumps a bucket of water over Lord Alfred.
GEORGE “The Animal” STEELE (with Captain Lou Albano) vs. MIKE POWERS
-George drags the jobber across the ring by his HAIR, ouch! He tosses Powers to the floor. Powers understandably takes his time getting back in. Powers finally works up the nerve to go back in, and George immediately clamps on the flying hammerlock for the submission. Weird part: He leaves without eating a turnbuckle.
-Gene Okerlund hypes the June 22nd event at Boston Garden. Captain Lou Albano explains that he has George Steele on a thorough regimen of calcium deposit vitamins and shock therapy with Dr. Rodney Pupufnik in preparation for his match against Moondog Spot. George’s input about the bout: “Lou says relax.”
THE SPOILER (with Luscious Johnny Valiant) vs. JOE MIRTO
-Wow, he’s still here?
-Spoiler stands on the middle rope for an elbow drop, then does push-ups on the bottom rope so that his shin chokes Mirto. Spoiler finally goes old school to remind us who he trained. Clawhold gets the win.
-Gene Okerlund talks to “venerate octogenarian” Freddy Blassie. Volkoff & Sheik talk about how many chances Windham & Rotundo keep getting to get their belts back. How many chances does a team deserve when they keep losing? Sheik nearly breaks up Mean Gene with his talk about “Fat Slob Albano” and his preference for looking at the lights in big sissy locker rooms.
DAVID SAMMARTINO vs. THE AX
-Ax gets a slam early on but then gets armdragged here and there. Sammartino works the arm while Bruno explains that David’s armbar is very painful, even though on TV it doesn’t look very painful. Powerslam gets the win.
-Roddy Piper got himself suspended for a few weeks for no-showing a main event in Los Angeles to work for Don Owen in Portland, so we get this. Bobby’s guest is Tito Santana. Bobby casually mentions the $25,000 bounty and says that Tito probably needs the money since he doesn’t have a title belt anymore and the exchange rate will get him a lot of pesos. Tito refuses the bounty, and Heenan tells him that an attitude like that explains why he’s not a champion anymore.
THE MISSING LINK (with Bobby Heenan) vs. ALDO MARINO
-Link no-sells a dropkick and then throws headbutts from every angle all over Marino’s body. Link actually blades himself to put over the force of his own headbutts, and Vince & Bruno are amazed that he doesn’t even seem aware of what he’s done to himself. Powerslam and a diving headbutt from the second rope are enough to put away Marino.
RICKY STEAMBOAT vs. MR. X
-Steamboat is wearing the gi and the long tights for the first time, and Bruno notes that he’s an expert in judo and karate. Hiptoss and a slam by Steamboat. Armdrags all over the place by Steamboat and he holds onto an armbar. X tries to get something going by sending Steamboat over the top rope but winds up on the floor himself.
-X makes the best of it, bringing Steamboat out to the floor and ramming him shoulder-first into the post. Back in, Steamboat manages to make a comeback with elbows and chops, and a top rope bodypress gets the win.
-Gene Okerlund talks to Big John Studd and quite correctly says it’s weird and creepy to be carrying the bag of hair after six months, not to mention losing the subsequent match. Gene even tries to the initiative by snatching the hair out of John’s hand, but John takes it right back and runs down Hulk, vowing to take the belt in Boston.
The 411: Nice, full week, with George Steele getting off to a strong start as a face, a debut, the emerging Steamboat...thumbs up!