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 411mania » Wrestling » Video Reviews

The Name on the Marquee: WWF Championship Wrestling (7.6.1985)
Posted by Adam Nedeff on 06.27.2014

-Originally aired July 6, 1985.

-Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Bruno Sammartino.

-First time in a while since we’ve seen the Bulldogs; they’re wearing jackets promoting their “1985 USA Tour.”

-Dynamite Kid starts with Barry O, who’s riding a tidal wave of momentum from his one victory ever a few weeks ago. Barry backs Dynamite into his corner but accidentally hits Barbie with a knee. Davey Boy tags in and gets out of an arm wringer with a series of flips while Vince & Bruno elaborate that the Bulldogs spent the past two months in Japan and were undefeated through the whole tour.

-Jobbers double-team Davey Boy. Jerk slam by Barbie, but an elbow misses. Dynamite heads back in and clotheslines Barbie down. Back suplex by Dynamite. He applies a sleeper, but Barry O breaks it with an axehandle off the top rope, and now it’s a melee. Jobbers get Irish whipped into each other, knocking Barry right out of the ring, and Davey Boy press slams Dynamite onto Barbie for the pin.

-Lord Alfred Hayes profiles Rowdy Roddy Piper, who has managed to piss off Hulk Hogan, Mr. T, and Paul Orndorff so far in 1985. Hayes notes that a photograph of Piper in a recent WWF Magazine shows Piper smiling. Fascinating.

,b>KING KONG BUNDY (with Jimmy Hart) vs. SAL G
-Bundy rams Sal into the turnbuckles and drives a knee into the chest. That could finish, but Bundy picks him up and clubs him back down. Chops and kicks by Bundy. Avalanche follows, and a big fat elboe gets three…er, five.

-Don’t forget to vote for Manager of the Year!

-Freddie Miller hypes the giant King of the Ring tournament at Sullivan Stadium. He talks to Greg Valentine. He declares himself “the heart of wrestling” and wishes Nikolai Volkoff luck in his title bout against the Hulkster.

UNCLE ELMER (with Hillbilly Jim) vs. AJ PETRUZZI
-Petruzzi helps Jim with his training to realize his lifelong dream of being a wrestler, so now as a show of gratitude, Jim signs him to a match against his 500-pound uncle. Wow, “No good deed,” huh? Elmer is billed as being from Philadelphia, Mississippi, a town whose greatest claim to fame is the gruesome race-driven murders that inspired the film Mississippi Burning.

-Elmer uses his belly to ram Petruzzi a few times before slamming him and slamming him again. Legdrop gets three.

-Freddie Miller talks to the Iron Sheik. Sheik is excited to see his partner, the Russian man, come to Foxboro, Massachusetts and get that belt from that eddiot Hulk Hogan. He promises that at the King of the Ring tournament, he will defeat Ricky Steamboat, Mexican Santavo, and Paul Androff.

BRUTUS BEEFCAKE & GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE (with Luscious Johnny Valiant & Jimmy Hart) vs. PAUL ROMA & JOSE LUIS RIVERA
-Bruno notes that he’s curious to see how Rivera and Tony Romo gel as a team. Vince opens the match by announcing that Terry Funk has been fined $5,000 for his unthinkable actions last week.

-Forearms by Rivera early on knock Valentine on his ass, but he has the presence of mind to scissor Rivera’s leg on the way down so Rivera trips on impact and Valentine tags out. It took one second for that spot to transpire it but it looks so clever and makes Greg look awesome.

Beefcake tags in and connects with a high knee, and that’s all it takes for a three-count this week.

-Hot Rod meets Terry Funk, “spelled F-U-N-K,” Piper clarifies. Funk says it pisses him off to know how much money Piper makes. Piper is completely freaked out and on the defensive right away, and pointedly tells Funk, “Maybe you’d make more money if you didn’t get fined every time you walk through the door!”

-They watch the attack on Mel Phillips and Funk says you never, ever wear another man’s hat, especially not a panhandlin’, man-handlin’ cowboy like Terry Funk.

-Savage’s debut and a jarringly ordinary intro for him, “currently in the ring” and with no entrance music. Savage had been toiling in the territories for years before making a name for himself as the top star in an outlaw promotion run by his father and getting into a legitimately heated interpromotional feud with Jerry Lawler’s group. The Poffo territory eventually folded and Savage went to Memphis, where he was paired up with the freshly-arrived “Dr. D” David Schultz, who unloaded with a shoot promo one week. Vince McMahon called a local TV station asking for a tape of the promo, and instead got a tape of the full TV hour and was blown away by Savage’s match, and ta-da. The funny thing was that after years of drifting and a hot couple of years as an outlaw, Savage was seen as having already peaked and on the downside of his career when he arrived here.

-Armdrag by Savage, and then an armdrag by Marino. Suddenly Mr. Fuji shows up, along with Bobby Heenan…and then Jimmy Hart, Luscious Johnny Valiant, and Classy Freddy Blassie, and they all surround the ring to get a closer look at Savage.

-Savage tosses Marino to the floor and he connects with his first top-rope axehandle of his WWF run. He brings Marino back in, slams him into position, heads up top, and hits the big elbow. And fuck it, he does another one, just to make a good impression. Three-count for Savage, and the managers all race into the ring to congratulate Savage. Savage tosses Marino out to the concrete and does another axehandle, to a round of applause from the managers. Do you get the feeling this guy will be worth keeping an eye on?

-Ricky Steamboat reminds us that clean air is a good way to stay healthy, so don’t smoke.

-This feud was instigated when Steamboat heard Muraco and Fuji in the locker room extolling the goodness of dirty air.

-Chops and an enziguiri by Steamboat. He goes for a splash to finish right away, but Muraco raises the knees. They trade near-falls rapidly to try to create the illusion of a 20-minute match in only three.

-Steamboat works the arm with a wringer and kicks. Armbar by Steamboat. Muraco gets free and target’s Steamboat’s head. Steamboat comes back with chops and kicks for another two-count. Muraco gets PISSED and rams the back of Steamboat’s head against the edge of the apron repeatedly. Steamboat fights him off with chops, but the fight spills all the way out to the floor. Muraco attempts an atomic drop, but Steamboat lands on his feet behind Muraco and rams him into Fuji, then makes it back inside to just barely beat the count and take the win by count-out.

-Freddie Miller talks to Nikolai Volkoff, who trains for six hours a day and has done so since he was a teenager in preparation for a title match. He finally has the match he’s been training for, and it’ll happen at Sullivan Stadium.

The 411: Company is on fire now, with a solid feature bout, a big debut, a bigger debut, and a tremendous promo from Terry Funk. Best week since I've started reviewing these.
Final Score:  7.2   [ Good ]  legend


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