The Name on the Marquee: WWF Championship Wrestling (9.7.1985)
Posted by Adam Nedeff on 07.17.2014
The tag team gold changes hands. Again.
-Plug before we get rolling:My publisher and Amazon went ahead and slashed the price on the Kindle versions of my four newest books, $3.49 each from now through August 15. Follow the link for a chance to know way, way, WAY more about the history of game shows than any human being really should, for less than fifteen bucks total. That's 88% off the total you'd pay if you bought them in paperback. How can you say no to that?
-Well...you could...NOT be interested in game shows...I guess you could say no in that situation...
-Originally aired September 7, 1985.
-Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura.
KILLER BEES vs. TIGER CHUNG LEE & JERRY ADAMS
-We open with a brief ad for the WWF Hotline in Los Angeles, 55 cents per minute for a chance to hear the stars of the WWF. I tried calling the number myself and it turned out to be some guy named Corey reading me a list of words that rhyme with Corey. Weird.
-Bees double-team Lee while Jesse gripes about the Bees’ ring attire because they don’t wear fake antennas on their heads during their entrance. Why do I feel like Vince heard that suggestion and then had to be talked out of it?
-Brunzell works the arm of Lee while Classy Freddy Blassie heads in and preemptively declare himself the winner of the Manager of the Year contest and says that attacking that fat slob Lou Albano from behind clinched all the remaining votes for him.
-Back to the ring, where Jerry Adams has a not-particularly-good night before Brunzell finishes him off with a dropkick for three.
-Post-match, a weird segment where Vince and Jesse just sit and chat at the commentary table for a few minutes. They talk about the Manager of the Year contest and Jesse says he deserves votes for being able to manage having to be saddled with a poor co-host like Gorilla Monsoon on “Prime Time Wrestling” week after week. Vince clarifies that Miss Elizabeth is not eligible for the contest, but then can’t think of an answer when Jesse asks why not.
-Lord Alfred Hayes reminds us that the $25,000 bounty is still on Paul Orndorff’s head.
MAGNIFICENT MURACO (with Mr. Fuji) vs. JIMMY JACKSON
-Muraco clubbers and clamps on a front facelock. It starts in a standing position, and Jackson fights it and fights it until he wears himself out and gradually sinks to the mat. Muraco goes in for the kill right away with a tombstone to get the victory.
-We get a promo for “Hulk Hogan’s Rock & Wrestling,” which will feature Mr. Fuji.
-Gene Okerlund hypes the big card at Los Angeles Sports Arena on September 18th. Hulk Hogan will defend the gold against Big John Studd because somehow that much hasn’t been beaten to fucking death in the past 18 months.
COUSIN JUNIOR (with Hillbilly Jim & Uncle Elmer) vs. RON SHAW
-The commentary before the match is more fun than anything else. Jesse observes that all of the Hillbillies have handkerchiefs sticking out of their back pockets and speculates that’s their family “code.” Jesse complains about how bad the Hillbillies smell and Vince, the face announcer, concurs. Vince casually mentions that Uncle Elmer is getting married soon and Jesse, horrified, asks “My God, who would marry him? A sow?” And the wedding will be in one month.
-Cousin Junior clothesline Shaw, and then fires off a mule kick and gets the three-count. Uh…okay, then.
-Freddie Miller hypes the big night at Los Angeles Sports Arena. Junkyard Dog wishes Hulk luck and offers threatening words for Terry Funk.
ADRIAN ADONIS (with Bobby Heenan) vs. MICHAEL SAXTON
-Pre-match, Howard Finkel introduces the new WWF Canadian Heavyweight Champion, Dino Bravo. Dino, all smiles, waves to the people, takes a bow, and shakes hands with Michael Saxon, but when he tries to shake with Adonis and Heenan, they ignore him. A brawl is teased before Dino leaves without incident. And there you have it, the historic first packaging ever for Dino Bravo: smiling crowd-pleasing Canadian hero. Over the next six years, they would also try smiling, crowd-angering Canadian dick, Greg Valentine’s tag team partner, Canadian strongman, fiercely patriotic Quebec native and World’s Strongest Man, and finally guy who hangs out with heavily-pushed fat guy. Commentators look at Adonis’ briefcase and try to figure out what the message “Relax with Trudi” means.
-Saxton gets off to a hot start early with a headbutt. Adonis gets pissed and targets every part of Saxton’s body, one at a time, in relation. Running powerslam by Adonis, and Adonis gets the pin even though Saxton’s foot is on the rope. Adonis’ weight gain is starting to get pretty noticeable.
-Vote for Manager of the Year!
-Piper welcomes Bobby Heenan and Big John Studd. Piper and Studd are both excited about how they’ve both received the ultimate indication of what major stars they are: They’ll be the stars of a brand new cartoon show, starting next week. We get a brief clip. They whip out some action figures of Andre the Giant and Big John Studd, and they act out a match where, naturally, Studd beats the crap out of Andre. They wrap up by tossing Andre in a garbage can.
RANDY “Macho Man” SAVAGE (with Elizabeth) vs. JOE MIRTO
-First week for “Pomp and Circumstance.” More great commentary, with Jesse again asking why Elizabeth isn’t eligible for Manager of the Year, right as the cameras cut to a nice cleavage shot, and Vince says “Well, because…uh, actually, she might be.”
-Mirto gets off to a hot start with a shoulderblock and a slam. He misses a corner charge and hits the post facefirst. Savage tosses him to the floor for the big axehandle. Back in, he slams Mirto into place, and the flying elbow finishes. He does another one after the bell, just to show off.
-Gene Okerlund has a word with Cowboy Bob Orton, who is still wearing his plaster cast. Orton is asked about the injury and says it’s not healing properly. He says his plan is to wear the plaster cast for the rest of his wrestling career, then have major surgery where his arm will be re-broken and then set properly.
TAG TEAM TITLE: BARRY WINDHAM & MIKE ROTUNDO (Champions, with Captain Lou Albano) vs. BRUTUS BEEFCAKE & GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE (with Luscious Johnny Valiant)
-From the Philadelphia Spectrum, joined in progress at a hot tag, and Windham handles both champions without much trouble. He tosses Beefcake to the floor and then bulldogs Valentine, which only gets two, shocking the crowd. Windham punches away at Valentine and brings him to the corner for another bulldog. He connects with it and tries to finish again, but Beefcake breaks the pin.
-Melee erupts; referee clears Rotundo from the ring, and while his back is turned, Valiant hands Beefcake a lit cigar, and Beefcake rubs it into Windham’s eye, blinding him, and Valentine gets the three-count to capture the belts, and believe it or not, this is actually the first appearance of the classic WWF Tag Team Title belts.
-We go to “All-Star Wrestling,” where Gorilla Monsoon has words with the new champions. About half the fans give Valentine & Beefcake a standing ovation. Johnny says there’s nothing controversial about the victory and that they won the belts fairly.
The 411: This is tough because I'm pretty happy as long as things are "active," and in this case, we got new guys, we got a title change, but...the gold went to a tag team that I've never really been into and a 2nd-generation dub of Hillbilly Jim. Pretty meh.