COUSIN JUNIOR (with Uncle Elmer & Hillbilly Jim) vs. GINO CARABELLO
-“Don’t Go Messin’ with a Country Boy” makes its debut. Weird entrance for the Hillbillies, with all three of them looking visibly annoyed by something all the way down the aisle before switching to all smiles, all dancing once they’re in the ring.
-Shoulderblock by Junior, and then he rings the bell, or a skullcracker or whatever the hell you want to call that move. Rear thrust kicks as Junior is looking super-lethargic this week. Geez, Uncle Elmer is getting married this weekend and nobody can muster up a pleasant mood?
-Mule kick by Junior, and a sitdown splash gets three. Elmer and Junior dance to celebrate while Jim stays on the floor and does nothing. Wow, seriously, what got up the Hillbilles’ asses this week?
-Lord Alfred Hayes announces the impending Wrestling Classic tournament in Chicago. A Rolls Royce will be awarded to some lucky fan during the show. We get a funny promo from Jesse Ventura, marveling that the Rolls Royce could be awarded to some loser with a moped or a garbage truck. Lord Alfred steps back in to explain that there will be television coverage of the tournament, but “only in those homes with pay-per-view capabilities.”
BIG JOHN STUDD & KING KONG BUNDY (with Bobby Heenan) vs. SPECIAL DELIVERY JONES & JIM POWERS
-Another weird entrance, with Heenan only showing up after everyone is already in the ring and has been introduced.
-Studd pounds away at SD Jones while the Hillbillies show up to get a better look. Rather than circle the ring, they hop the barricade and force three fans out of their seats to commandeer the front row. God, who moved the switch on the Hillbillies’ backs to “evil”?
-Back in the ring, Jim Powers has a crappy week and gets avalanched by Bundy for the five-count. Bundy and Studd leave without incident, and then after they’ve started to walk away, the Hillbillies also walk away, slowly enough so they don’t actually threaten a confrontation. And the week just keeps getting weirder, with Vince and Bruno’s headsets crapping out post-match.
-Gene Okerlund congratulates Captain Lou Albano on winning Manager of the Year and they recap the whole angle, with Gene having to repeatedly step in and correct Captain Lou on the details. Gene pretty much has to guide the whole promo (“Your family must be proud.” “My family is very proud.” “And you’re not going to complain.” “I’m not going to complain about what happened with Bobby Heenan.”)
KING TONGA vs. A.J. PETRUZZI
-Tonga’s debut, and it seriously looks like they just handed him Jimmy Snuka’s entrance garb and said “Here.”
-Petruzzi rams Tonga into the turnbuckles and Tonga reacts by ramming himself into the turnbuckles, just to prove that he’s an island guy. Badly bungled hiptoss which Vince feels compelled to cover for, for some reason. (His actual call: “EWWW! Uh, nicely executed.”)
-Fireman’s carry slam and a thrust kick by Tonga. Russian legsweep, and a legdrop fini…uh, continues the match. Slam by Tonga, and a Superfly splash gets the win. I like how instantly awkward the “Rock ‘N Wrestling” cartoon made things. Snuka gets to be a character on the cartoon and collect royalties, even as the company is transparently looking for a replacement.
-Gene Okerlund talks to Jimmy Hart, who says he still has big plans for the WWF, and he’s proving it with the business deals he’s closed: Terry Funk, The Missing Link, Adrian Adonis, and the Hart Foundation are all in his stable, and he clarifies that he will continue managing Greg “The Hammer” Valentine in singles matches, while Johnny Valiant will represent him for tag team bouts. Did that ever come up again?
HART FOUNDATION (with Jimmy Hart) vs. SALVATORE BELLOMO & TONY GAREA
- Vince calls them the Hart Foundation, The Fink introduces them by their individual names, and a fan at ringside holds up a sign reading “Hart Express.” Did you get the memo?
-Bellomo cleans house with dropkicks until Neidhart fires back with a hard right hand and a hard slam. Harts keep Bellomo in their corner and take turns beating on him before going to the Hart Attack to get the win. Harts have “Eat Your Heart Out Rick Springfield” as their theme music this week, and it doesn’t fit them any better than it fit Adrian Adonis.
-Piper’s guest is Rick Derringer. Derringer says he’s just laid some tracks recently for a new album featuring the stars of the WWF, including Jimmy Hart and the Junkyard Dog, and Captain Lou Albano has a recording session coming up too. Piper says this is the first he’s heard about this and asks if he can sing a song for the album. Derringer says that if Piper wants to make a jerk of himself, he can go right ahead.
THE MISSING LINK (with Jimmy Hart) vs. MICHAEL SAXON
-Saxon's Michael Jackson impersonator gimmick is so ridiculous that it’s impossible not to laugh when you see him.
-Link pounds on Saxon (whose tights are monogrammed “AC”) and then powerslams him. You can tell Link is kind of starting to lose interest here, and he doesn’t have the chemistry with Jimmy that he had with Bobby Heenan. Bearhug by the Link, and then he powerslams Saxon into place and drives an elbow into Saxon from the second rope for three.
TAG TEAM TITLE: GREG “The Hammer” VALENTINE & BRUTUS BEEFCAKE (Champions, with Luscious Johnny Valiant) vs. BRITISH BULLDOGS
-Well, this isn’t Wrestlemania 2, so, spoiler alert.
-Valentine & Dynamite start off and Dynamite nearly shoulderblocks the Hammer right out of the ring. Valentine tries to get something going again, and Dynamite just shoves him into Beefcake on the apron and tags out.
-Davey Boy wrings the arm of Beefcake and hangs onto it even when Beefcake bodyslams him. Bulldogs go to town on the arm. Davey Boy dropkicks everything that moves and the champs finally decide to try double-teaming, and that works. Valentine goes for an elbow, but that doesn’t work.
-Dynamite tags in and beats the crap out of the champs singlehandedly. Backbreaker on Valentine gets two. Dynamite goes to the top rope, and Valiant shakes the rope in plain sight of the referee, ending the match on a disqualification and allowing Valentine & Beefcake to retain.
-Mean Gene talks to the Hillbillies. Jim feels bad about the injury to Captain Lou and chastises Bobby Heenan for trying to “bogart the contest.”
-Promotional consideration paid for by Stetson cologne, Halls cough tablets, Electronic Battleship, and Campbell’s Chunky Fisherman’s Chowder. So…the chowder is chunky or the fisherman is chunky?
The 411: A fascinating week where absolutely EVERYBODY seems to be out of sync one way or the other. It never really reaches trainwreck status, though, and the title match is pretty decent given how little time they had to work with.