The Name on the Marquee: WWF Championship Wrestling (6.29.1985)
Posted by Adam Nedeff on 06.15.2014
You don't tug on Superman's cape and you don't wear Terry Funk's hat.
-Originally aired June 29, 1985.
-Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Bruno Sammartino.
TITO SANTANA & JUNKYARD DOG vs. AJ PETRUZZI & RICK HUNTER
-Man, these guys got paired up a lot for a couple of wrestlers who seemingly got drawn from a hat together. I also want to say I feel like I review a Tito Santana match absolutely every single week with these mid-80s shows, and I find that astounding given that we’re at the height of the cartoon era and Tito’s gimmick was “Wrestling wrestler who wrestles wrestlers in wrestling matches.”
-Tito works AJ’s arm and Dog adds some rolling headbutts to send AJ to the floor. Weird commentary with Vince & Bruno wonder why Rick Hunter won’t tag in, and all of America is thinking “Because his partner is on the floor on the opposite side of the ring.”
-Hunter gets in, takes a couple of bumps, and then leaves Petruzzi to die. Thump gets three.
-Lord Alfred Hayes recaps the Paul Orndorff/Bobby Heenan feud, including the way that Bobby Heenan and Bob Orton walked out on Orndorff at the end of Wrestlemania…which I’m guessing is available as a cut scene on the Wrestlemania DVD.
TERRY FUNK vs. ALDO MARINO
-Funk’s debut and a pretty famous squash match. Funk comes to the ring with an all-out cowboy outfit…chaps, poncho, and hat…and ring attendant Mel Phillips’ hands get pretty full with Terry’s stuff before the match, so to lighten the load, he just puts on Funk’s hat. Funk gets super-pissed and whips Mel into the ring and lays a beating on him.
-Marino tries to help, and Funk just beats him down and tosses him to the floor. He beats the crap out of Phillips some more. Marino tries to help and gets tossed to the floor again. Funk then tosses Phillips to the floor and does a hilarious victory lap to celebrate; it’s his facial expression that makes it. And the fans instantly hate Funk with the fury of a thousand derps.
-Marino reverses an Irish whip and finally gives Funk some of his own medicine with a hard throw to the floor. Funk goes back in and Marino dropkicks him right back out. Crowd goes nuts for Marino’s offense too, showing the utter speed with which this angle worked. Funk gets the momentum back with a back suplex, and a spinning toehold gets the submission.
-Gene Okerlund talks to Hulk Hogan, who is stoked about the King of the Ring tournament. But he’s especially excited about the chance to shut up Nikolai Volkoff, who represents everything that the USA doesn’t stand for. Hulk mentions “going to my friend Sly’s house” to watch a screener copy of First Blood on the big screen TV and saying he feels like that’s what’s going to happen in the ring in Sullivan Stadium. Hulk’s going to have flashbacks, weep uncontrollably, and surrender to Nikolai Volkoff. Book it. Done.
KILLER BEES vs. DAVE BARBIE & STEVE LOMBARDI
-Seriously, I have to sit through six lifetimes of hearing Finkel introduce “Brett Hart and Jim Neidhart” but they managed to hit the ground running with the Killer Bees?
-Blair starts with Lombardi. Brunzell tags in and connects with a high knee. Bees tag in and out quite a bit to keep Lombardi from getting any traction. Lombardi finally targets the eyes of Blair to get away from them. Barbie tags in and jerk slams Blair. Brunzell gets in and we have a pier sixer (for THIS match?) and the jobbers get Irish whipped into each other. Lombardi gets knocked out of the ring and the Bees double-team Barbie.
-Brunzell clamps on a sleeper and Blair just stays in the ring during the sleeper, and even Bruno is a little puzzled that the Bees haven’t been disqualified. Barbie passes out to give the Bees a win in their debut.
-Gene Okerlund shows off the trophy for the King of the Ring winner, and he’s actually shorter than the trophy. Junkyard Dog says after eight months in the WWF, things just keep looking better and better. He looks at the other competitors in the tournament, including Terry Funk, “who’s a disaster,” and Paul Orndorff, who has a flip-flop mind.
MAGNIFICENT MURACO (with Mr. Fuji) vs. RICK MCGRAW
-I think the Japanese would consider this a death match given the amount of needles in that ring.
-Shoulderblocks by McGraw, followed by a slam. AWFUL atomic drop, but Muraco does a super-sell out of spite for it and falls out of the ring. Muraco catches his breath and heads back in. McGraw dodges a dropkick and tries to finish with a Boston crab, but Muraco rolls through to prevent it. They trade punches and McGraw wins that duel and gets a small package for two.
-McGraw tries a dropkick, but this time Muraco ducks, and he finishes with the tombstone as soon as he can. Vince notes how lucky Muraco is to have won this match. So…it was McGraw’s birthday, I guess?
-Piper returns from his “vacation” and tells the fans what a great time he’s had laying on the beach for the past few weeks with “Johnny, Bo, and McMahon.” Hot Rod welcomes Hillbilly Jim, who’s off the crutches but still needs a cast. He tells Piper that he has somebody that he wants to introduce. It’s his massive Uncle Elmer, making his first appearance. Piper sees the size of Elmer and immediately switches ass-kisser mode until Elmer sees through him.
RICKY STEAMBOAT vs. THE AX
-That’s how Finkel introduces him, but then Vince finally notes that “he can breathe fire like a dragon!” So…progress.
-Really sloppy sequence, as Steamboat tries to make this a back-and-forth match, but Ax simply cannot hold up his end of it, so Steamboat just settles for a one-sided squash match. Chop off the top gets three.
-After the match, Vince gives us an address to mail in our votes for the Manager of the Year contest. He rattles off the list of candidates and mentions that Arnold Skaaland is in the running. Skaaland worked one match for a nostalgia pop at MSG in 1985, so yeah, technically he qualifies.
-Hillbilly Jim reminds us to leave the windows rolled down if we leave our dog in the car.
BARRY WINDHAM & MIKE ROTUNDO (with Captain Lou Albano) vs. TERRY GIBBS & RENE GOULET
-Rotundo and Gibbs go at it on the mat. Vince gives us an update on the physical well-being of Mel Phillips. He’s been taken to the hospital and was not in very good condition when he arrived. Hopefully he’ll be back on his feet. And on other people’s feet.
-Rotundo gets trapped in the wrong corner as the jobbers continue to shine this week. HUGE “USA” chant goes up and Rotundo hits a bodypress with his very last ounce of strength, but he can’t make it to the corner in time. Rotundo gets sent into the wrong corner again and gets hammered away. He finally reverses an Irish whip and makes the tag. Windham throws a dropkick, and nearly an entire molecule of his foot touches Gibbs. Airplane spin by Rotundo gets the pin.
-Gene Okerlund talks to Jimmy Hart, who says that Greg Valentine is a lock to win and that he’s promised to let Jimmy keep the trophy. Iron Sheik says that he’s looking forward to the tournament to prove once and for all that he’s the King of the Ring, and he’s been waiting for his opportunity ever since the night in Madison Square Garden when he defended the championship and the referee was Hulk Hogan’s cousin.
-Historic moment to end the show: The first “Promotional Consideration paid for by the following” from Lord Alfred Hayes!
The 411: Great week! Terry Funk's debut is a must-see and the guys were all in rare form on the mic this week. Fun show all around.