The Name on the Marquee: WWF Championship Wrestling (6.22.1985)
Posted by Adam Nedeff on 06.14.2014
Hulk Hogan's fans are getting off, and Terry Funk is getting juiced. Just another wholesome week of wrestling.
-Originally aired June 22, 1985.
-Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Bruno Sammartino. Literally the first thing we hear out of Vince’s mouth is “—to our first match-up!” Have I mentioned that the WWF had a bafflingly inept post-production crew at the time that they were totally taking over the business?
“Mister Wonderful” PAUL ORNDORFF vs. MATT BORNE
-Borne grabs the mic to declare that he’s going for the $25,000 bounty. Orndorff still has entrance music, “I’m a Fighter.” Eh…it fits him and yet it doesn’t.
-Borne goes for every dirty tactic in the book in his quest for the big money, while Howard Finkel jumps in to hype a special WWF card in Sullivan Stadium on July 8, the first King of the Ring.
-Orndorff takes control quickly and finishes with the piledriver without sweating. Bobby Heenan shows up and waves a stack of money to taunt Orndorff. If not Matt Borne, then somebody else…
-Lord Alfred Hayes announces that a major star has signed a WWF contract: Terry Funk. Funk says that Hulk Hogan has bigger legs than him, and Jimmy Snuka has bigger arms, but none of that matters compared to the size of Terry’s extra-large heart. Funk promises that he’s “juicing”(!) and then spits a gob of tobacco.
BRETT “Hit Man” HART & JIM “The Anvil” NEIDHART (with Jimmy Hart) vs. TONY GAREA & JIM POWERS
-STILL no collective name! When are they gonna get to the fireworks factory?! (Whimper)
-Garea starts with Neidhart and applies an arm wringer. Neidhart is so strong that he just walks backward and makes the tag without breaking the hold first. Powers and Garea get Brett in their corner and take full advantage. Powers puts his head down on an attempted backdrop and Brett meets him with a hard kneelift. Hart Attack finishes.
-Freddie Miller talks to a bladed-all-to-hell Hulk Hogan about the upcoming Boston Garden event. He says that he got himself busted up in New York City, but Boston is a city of survivors who “get off on me!” So he promises to step in the ring in Boston as long as the Boston fans are behind him.
THE MISSING LINK (with Bobby Heenan) vs. GARY STARR
-Heenan walks down the aisle alone, realizes he’s alone, and has to run back to the locker room and scream for Link to get the hell out to the ring. I love this gimmick and Heenan is exactly the right manager for it, the wild man being controlled by a guy who clearly is not fit for the responsibility of watching after him.
-Link headbutts the shit out of Starr until most of his facepaint (or slime, according to Vince) wears off AND he busts himself open. He goes off the top rope and connects with a headbutt to the back to get the win.
-Jack Reynolds chats with Big John Studd about his big shot at the WWF Championship tonight. Studd says that now that he’s vanquished Andre the Giant—despite Andre’s lies about supposedly winning at Wrestlemania—Hulk and Studd are the only two giants remaining in wrestling, and tonight at Boston Garden, Studd will be ready.
IVAN PUTSKI & “Mister Universe” TONY ATLAS vs. DOC BUTLER & AJ PETRUZZI
-Finkel announces that Atlas will now be going by “Mister Universe” because he recently won that title. The nickname didn’t stick presumably because they quickly realized that Mister Universe was an actual thing that existed and could be fact-checked.
-Putski sends Petruzzi right out of the ring. Putski dominates with a side headlock until Petruzzi finally tags out. Atlas sends Butler into the ropes so that Putski can connect with the Polish Hammer and get the three-count. And now you know why you never heard of Putski & Atlas as a tag team.
-Bobby’s guest is Big John Studd, who pledges that he will collect the bounty on Paul Orndorff.
RICKY STEAMBOAT vs. THE UNPREDICTABLE JOHNNY RODZ
-Speaking of getting to the fireworks factory…we’ve got the gi and the long tights and Rodz complains about the illegal use of karate…but still not a Dragon.
-Rodz attacks early and tries to strangle Steamboat with his own belt. Steamboat comes back but eats boot on a charge. Rodz tries a charge of his own and crotches himself on the ropes. Steamboat tries to finish with a splash but hits raised knees. Now this is a see-saw-match back-and-forth, but Vince isn’t saying that yet. (And by the way, shouldn’t it be a see-saw-match up-and-down?)
-Steamboat finally makes the once-and-for-all comeback and finishes with a flying bodypress off the top.
-We get a commercial for the Wrestlemania videocassette, two full hours for $39.95. For anyone curious, that’s about 13 hours of minimum wage in 1985.
MIKE ROTUNDO (with Captain Lou Albano) vs. IRON SHEIK (with Classy Freddy Blassie)
-Rotundo gets the early advantage and clamps on a side headlock. Sheik breaks free but gets atomic dropped right over the top rope. Rotundo fires him right back inside and goes for the airplane spin, but Nikolai Volkoff hauls ass to the ring and breaks the pinfall. George “The Animal” Steele, wearing a polo shirt, slacks, and some very nice shoes, makes the save with a folding chair.
-Jimmy Hart angrily reviews a tape of a recent episode of “TNT” where he was in the middle of irritating Lord Alfred Hayes when Junkyard Dog suddenly showed up and dumped a pitcher of water on Jimmy. Jimmy promises that Greg Valentine will get revenge in the Garden tonight.
-Mike Rotundo angrily interrupts Vince’s sign-off, vowing to get the belts back when Barry Windham returns.
The 411: Well, this was nice. Signs of life again after a bit of a lag the past few weeks. Get ready because this show is about to get pretty eventful...