The Name on the Marquee: WWF at Maple Leaf Gardens (11.10.1985)
Posted by Adam Nedeff on 08.12.2014
The Team that Can't Be Slammed versus The Team That Loves Canned Ham!
-Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura.
-This is from one of the “Old School” broadcasts on the Network, edited down from three hours to 48 minutes.
HILLBILLY JIM & ANDRE THE GIANT vs. THE TEAM THAT CAN’T BE SLAMMED (with Bobby Heenan)
-Studd and Bundy have a collective name! And an awfully clumsy one too!
-It’s a (very lethargic) pier sixer to start, with Andre choking Studd so hard that Studd staggers backward, climbs through the ropes, and walks down the steps to the floor. Back in the ring, Andre butt-rams Big John in the corner. Maple Leaf Gardens is still using an NWA ring for these shows, which kind of amazes me, knowing Vince.
-Bundy attacks with chops and kicks to Andre’s injured sternum. He goes for an avalanche but eats a boot and tags out immediately. Andre applies a bearhug to Studd. Gorilla and Jesse suspect that Andre is using a bearhug because he wants to rest. Mm-hmm.
-Studd, visibly smiling for some reason, punches out of the bearhug, but Andre immediately slams him for $15,000 and a two-count. Bundy tags in and goes on the offensive, but Andre fights back with choking and a kick to the back of Bundy’s head. Not an enziguiri, just legs that are long enough to do that from a laying position.
-Hillbilly Jim finally tags in and Bundy gets double-teamed. Jim and Bundy are pretty evenly matched in their segment of the battle, but Bundy whiffs another avalanche attempt and winds up on his back. Studd tags back in and Jim wants to go for the big money. Heenan dashes over to the commentary table to clarify that there was a pull of the tights, therefore the slam doesn’t count.
-Andre tags back in and gets taken off his feet. Bundy puts the boots to him and the action has drastically slowed at this point, after a surprisingly hot few minutes. Andre grabs Studd by the ears to scare him into not doing anything, then headbutts him out of the ring. Brawl erupts and Andre gets tied in the ropes while hanging on the apron. Studd picks up the entire timekeeper’s table and uses it like a folding chair, just driving it into Andre over and over. Studd attacks Jim in the meantime, and the timekeeper finally retrieves the bell from the floor and rings it to end the carnage. Andre isn’t moving. 1 for 1. Good SNME-style match where everybody was moving and ended with a hot, intense angle. Referees and officials tend to Andre, and there’s so much concern that Jack Tunney shows up to check on him, and Gorilla abandons his post. Andre leaves on a stretcher, totally motionless.
COUSIN JUNIOR vs. MOONDOG SPOT
-Junior actually outsmarts Moondog, turning his back and then sticking his foot out when Spot charges. Junior works the arm, but that leaves Spot with one good arm and he drills Junior with a forearm. Punch with an audible smack by Spot, and fistdrop gets two. Gorilla and Jesse finally point out how similar these guys’ looks are while Spot continues the beating.
-Junior gets tossed out to the Maple Leaf Gardens entrance ramp and sunset flips his way back in for two. Bodypress by Junior gets another two. Jesse goes into an interesting dissertation about Spot, noting that he has some semblance of muscle, yet his whole persona would suggest a guy who doesn’t go to gyms. I love how the commentators would just amuse themselves on the televised house shows by talking about logic flaws. Gorilla’s tagent about guys from “Parts Unknown” not being able to collect their paychecks or get a passport is a favorite of mine.
-Junior jawjacks Spot and demands fisticuffs, but Spot plays coward in the corner and then throws a hard kick the second that Junior lets his guard down. Headbutt by Spot is no-sold (Jesse: “You can’t hurt a vacuum”). Junior “pulls a John L. Sullivan on Spot” and then rams him in the corner. He goes for a powerslam, but Junior holds on during the impact, causing Spot to roll over, and Junior gets the three-count out of nowhere. 2 for 2. Hindsight (and Classics on Demand, and the Network) have demonstrated that Moondog Spot was a VERY underappreciated talent.
CANADIAN TITLE: DINO BRAVO (Champion) vs. NIKOLAI VOLKOFF
-This must be a creditable championship! They don’t even need a belt! Dino’s entrance outfit is a Mountie uniform with WWF logos sewn onto the arms. Well, hell, that’s better than a belt.
-Dino throws a dropkick, knocking Volkoff into the ropes and me out of my chair in shock. Volkoff begins clubbering and rolls Dino over for a two-count. Volkoff clamps onto the headlock, then whips him from corner to corner for a series of charges. Dino ducks and Volkoff hits the turnbuckles shoulder-first, and Dino goes to work on the arm.
-Volkoff fights back and puts the boots to Volkoff, but another corner charge goes horribly wrong and now Volkoff has a hurt knee to deal with. Volkoff gets frustrated and goes to the balls, and Dino goes to the corner gasping for air while Nikolai denies everything. Inverted atomic drop by Volkoff to do further damage to the affected area. Hey, testicle psychology! Nice!
-WEIRD edit takes us from Volkoff climbing the ropes to Volkoff sending Bravo off the ropes. Dino ducks a clothesline and sunset flips Volkoff for two. Dino starts showing fire with a series of fists. Atomic drop by Bravo, and he tries to finish with a legdrop. Volkoff rolls out of the way of the legdrop, which Gorilla attributes to his knowledge. The WORST FINISH EVER wraps things up, with Volkoff rolling up Bravo nd leaving his own shoulders down during the pin, and Bravo gets the win. 3 for 3. I have NEVER seen these two guys this motivated. They never took a breather through the whole thing.
The 411: I can't go full 10 because it's obviously not a historically significant show in any way, but you can do a lot worse than this if you have 48 minutes to kill and you want to watch wrestling.