The Wrestling Classic

Since it’s the first old school review I’m posting here I might as well make it an old school show.  Here you are.

The Wrestling Classic
Date: November 7, 1985
Location: Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, Illinois
Attendance: 14,000
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura

For the sake of reviewing every PPV in the 1980s, I present to you the Wrestling Classic. This is a tournament and that’s about it. There’s also a WWF Title match between Hogan and Piper. This is actually the first ever Pay Per View in WWF history as the first Wrestlemania was only shown on closed circuit. There’s only been one big thing since Mania, and that is the debut of one Randy Savage, who is probably the biggest star in this tournament.

It’s a big deal though as there’s never been a tournament like this before, so this is a completely new concept. The interesting thing is that there wasn’t another one televised until 1988, so take that for what it’s worth. With that, let’s get to it.

This is broadcast on something called Wrestlevision. That’s a new one on me. There’s also a contest where some fan is going to win a Rolls Royce. Vince is your host here, talking to Alfred Hayes and some chick that I’ve never heard of before named Susan. They go over the brackets, which look like this:

Adrian Adonis
Corporal Kirchner

Dynamite Kid
Nikolai Volkoff

Ivan Putski
Randy Savage

Davey Boy Smith
Ricky Steamboat

Iron Sheik
Junkyard Dog

Terry Funk
Moondog Spot

Don Muraco
Tito Santana

Paul Orndorff
Bob Orton Jr.

This is either going to be really interesting or complete and utter crap. I’m not sure which. Steamboat vs. Smith sounds awesome, as does Santana vs. Muraco. We get some highlights of the drawing, which is really kind of pointless. Savage says Liz screwed it up though, continuing his being a jerk.

Gene is with Jack Tunney. Geez has he ever looked young? They go over the rules, which more or less is only the winners advance.

First Round: Adrian Adonis vs. Corporal Kirchner

Wow, so we have two guys that never really did anything of note in the company in the first round. Adonis is a much thinner guy here and a very straight biker. This has a ten minute time limit so I’m guessing there’s not going to be much to talk about. They say that Adonis has bulked up, which is a nice way of saying he’s rapidly becoming fat. In a very interesting thing, Gorilla says that Adonis and Ventura are former world tag team champions.

That’s very true, but they did it in the AWA and not the WWF. That’s most interesting. Jimmy is rocking a tiger striped jacket. You have to love the 80s. Adonis is actually a decent guy as far as technical stuff goes. We’re on our second rest hold in less than two minutes. Come on now guys. The ring sounds very metallic for some reason.

It did that for the only other Kirchner match I’ve ever seen too. The referee is wearing a white collared shirt and blue pants which just looks odd indeed. Kirchner goes for a suplex but Adonis hooks the leg and slams him down into what would later become known as the DDT. That looked really cool actually.

Rating: C-. These ratings are going to be really hard to do with such short matches. In a four minute match we had two rest holds and a cool looking finish. What else can I give it but not that awful? Something tells me I’ll be doing a lot of things like this today.

Adonis is with Gene, and says that he’s got class and charisma and will rewrite wrestling history. He wants to be Vince McMahon? His nickname is the Golden Boy. Ok then.

First Round: Dynamite Kid vs. Nikolai Volkoff

Holy international incident Batman! Volkoff is of course Russian and therefore evil. Dynamite even looks something like Benoit. That’s just flat out scary. Nikolai is oddly thin here. Only in the WWF would a USA chant start up for a match between a Russian wrestler against a British wrestler.

I’ve always wondered if that’s the real song or not. The bell rings during the song and allegedly in six seconds, Dynamite gets up top and hits a dropkick for the pin. I don’t think so but it was less than ten at most. Well the fans are awake now.

Rating: N/A. Although I’d take points off for the second half of the match. It just wasn’t that good.

Gene is with Savage and Liz. During the interview for some reason Fink is talking. I can’t make out what he’s saying though. Savage’s robe is actually tied which just looks odd on him. He admits he’s nervous. I’ve never heard him say something like that.

First Round: Ivan Putski vs. Randy Savage

Putski is a veteran kind of like Hardcore Holly I guess while Savage is the young guy that’s been destroying everyone in sight. Liz gets a huge pop of course, as the idea of a hot valet was born with her. The music sounds a bit odd too. Maybe it’s a different recording or something like that. Savage needs to let that robe hang open like he usually does. He looks like he’s wearing a bathrobe in an indy fed or something. Jesse says he’s been training Savage. Oh dear indeed.

Only Savage could make purple tights look tough. I’d like to know where this weird stigma of Savage being a power guy came from. He’s not a power guy and is average at his absolute best in that area. The basic idea here is Ivan is really, really strong. That’s about it. Hokey smoke Putski can’t do much. Ok the match is over at this point. In summation, Putski used a total of one slam of Randy’s face into the mat, 5 kicks in a row, and the rest was all punching.

In a terrible ending, Savage is getting destroyed in the corner and casually scoops the legs of Ivan out and puts his feet on the ropes for the pin. The stupid part: Putski acts dead. I mean he doesn’t move at all. It looks ridiculously stupid as he’s not even trying to get out. What was the point of that?

Rating: F. This was just pointless crap. Savage runs away for awhile, gets beaten up, and cheats to get a quick win? Who was supposed to be getting the push here? Somehow, Ivan is in the Hall of Fame and Savage isn’t. It’s like a sick joke or something. Does someone find this funny? Vince, even if he screwed your daughter, get over it.

Nikolai runs up to Vince and complains about being robbed. Amazingly I can understand his whole rant. Nikolai looks like he wants to kill Vince which is just amusing.

First Round: Ricky Steamboat vs. Davey Boy Smith

Smith is from Leeds. Rock on Becca. This should be completely awesome. They start with an excellent technical set that had me impressed. They slightly botch a bridge into a backslide, but come on now. That’s one of the hardest moves in the world to do right and it came off ok. I’m fine with that. Davey takes over with a gorilla press as Jesse thinks that Ricky is faster and Davey is stronger.

You have to love that top notch technical knowledge from the Body. Gorilla says he’s not sure on either count. To be fair, this was WAY before Davey became the super strong guy that he’s known as being. Here’s he’s not exactly a cruiserweight, but he’s not a monster either, so maybe there’s a little something to what they’re saying. That makes more sense than I thought it did. Steamboat actually busts out a delayed vertical suplex to steal Smith’s signature.

However, Davey goes for a dropkick with Steamboat against the ropes and misses. He lands weird and the referee stops it. I think that was at least somewhat legit as Davey looks like he’s in agony and is holding his crotch, so I’d be surprised if that was fake. Very good match in the time they had though.

Rating: A-. I want more of this. This is a great matchup as both guys wrestle a similar style but can mix it up when needed. This was easily the only match that I really wanted to see in the first round, and sadly it didn’t last long. Anyway, for what it was, this was excellent stuff. The more I think about it though the more I think that ending was a work. What other way could you end this given the way they were doing things? None that I can think of.

Gene is with JYD, who says that he’s very excited. He’s ok on the mic actually. If he wasn’t as bad of a wrestler as I can ever remember he would have been passable actually.

First Round: Junkyard Dog vs. Iron Sheik

I like JYD’s song. It’s just old school personified. Sheik jumps him as it’s still playing though, which in a bit of a comedic moment is how Sheik’s former partner lost earlier in the night. Sheik is freaking ripped. Somehow, Dog is more limited than Putski was earlier. He hits nothing but punches and headbutts. Eventually he goes down though and Sheik gets the clutch on him. Jesse says no one has ever gotten out of this.

You know, other than Hogan in the match that changed wrestling forever but that didn’t mean as much as this did of course. It’s also the sloppiest camel clutch this side of Sid Vicious. Dang it’s bad. Dog gets out of it kind of as Sheik argues with the referee. In an even dumber ending than before, a headbutt gets the pin. What? He used two of them before and didn’t even knock Sheik down but here that’s enough to get a clean pin? Come on now guys at least give us some consistency!

Why couldn’t one of these two have gotten hurt early? I hate booking like this. It’s more or less saying the lazier you are, the stronger you’ll get pushed. That’s great business wouldn’t you say?

Rating: F-. Where do I begin? Let’s see: the moves were limited and sloppy, the thing lasted three whole minutes which I’ll never get back, and the ending made zero sense. What kind of a grade did you expect here?

Gene is with Terry Funk who sounds as cool as anyone in history. He says he wants Orndorff because of the bounty on him, and then he wants to be world champion. This was around the time of his first retirement. Jimmy says he’s got a big surprise.

First Round: Terry Funk vs. Moondog Spot

Uh, yeah about the Moondogs. How in the world do I put this? More or less they were the Headshrinkers mixed with Mankind. They were the first sort of brawling tag team but they were completely insane. They would beat on people with bones and then chew on them. There was a big rotating cast of Moondogs, with Spot being I guess the most famous of them. They never really did much on the national scene but in Memphis they were considered a big deal.

To be fair though, they did win the WWF Tag Titles back in 1981 so there we are. If nothing else, he has a beard that Santa Claus would be proud of. Anyway, this is another 15 second match as Funk says that neither of them wants to wrestle the other so they should both just go to the floor and have a draw.

Well that’s different if nothing else. Naturally there’s double cross as Funk tries to get back in. After a mix up though, Spot gets back in and advances. Funk beats him down anyway, but whatever. This was a pretty big upset actually.

Rating: C. This would usually be N/A, but since I’ve never seen something like that before, we’ll call it good. That was actually creative booking which I never get tired of seeing.

Gene is with Fuji and Muraco. Fuji says Muraco will beat Santana. Why does it take him 15 seconds to say that?

First Round: Tito Santana vs. Don Muraco

Tito is IC Champion here, yet he doesn’t get an introduction? That makes a lot of sense. These two had some great matches for the IC belt awhile back. Gorilla and Jesse debate the wisdom of a champion being in the tournament which is a valid point. Santana really is underrated in the ring. I defy you to find a truly bad Santana match where he wasn’t getting squashed. This is just a great old school style of a match here in all its 80s greatness.

They work a very different style than what you would see on TV today but it was great stuff. A lot of the time the more basic you go the better your stuff will be. That’s what should be on Tito’s tombstone as it was how his whole career went. In an ending that I really like, Muraco hits a powerslam for the three, but Santana’s foot is over the rope. Muraco is celebrating and walks into a small package for the real pin. I really like that.

It makes Muraco looks fairly strong as he actually got Santana down for three while at the same time it keeps Santana from looking weak because while he was pinned, it wasn’t legal. Again, creative booking makes things that otherwise would be bad much better. Fun match.

Rating: B. While they only had four minutes, they were a good four minutes. See, you can have matches like JYD and Sheik that are short and suck, and then you can have matches like this that was short and good. These two went out there and went hard for a few minutes and had a fun match. That’s how it’s done guys. Take notes. Santana really was a master in the ring and Muraco was no slouch either.

Heenan is with Gene and says that even though none of the Heenan Family is in the tournament, don’t forget about them. This was around the time where Heenan had a bounty on the head of Paul Orndorff of 50,000 dollar to whoever could take him out. It was never claimed as Orndorff turned heel again, despite saying Heenan wrecked his career. Yeah I don’t care either. Paul was just boring for the most part, but when he was a heel, he was a pretty sweet one.

First Round: Bob Orton Jr. vs. Paul Orndorff

This is the final first round match, so if nothing else we can move on to some more interesting stuff, at least in theory. Orton has a sore arm apparently. Doesn’t look serious though so he should be fine soon. The main idea here is that Orton wants the bounty. The arm has been injured about 8 months already and I think it still would be at Mania 3. For a little reference, this is about six months before Mania 2.

In a wise move, Orndorff works on the arm. Well at least he’s smart about it. In a freaking sick looking move, Paul (way too annoying to have to keep typing his last name) hooks his feet around the arm of Orton and more or less uses an Indian Deathlock on it. That looked awesome. There’s your heel comeback but I’m distracted by the hotness of Mickie James on Smackdown.

Ok I’m back now. How did two hours pass in between there??? And why am I all sticky? When did I go to Arby’s??? Oh well at least it tastes good. Orton is the bodyguard of Piper at this point so he’s being constantly called the bodyguard of Piper. He really was technically sound if nothing else so there we are. This is actually a pretty good match just like the previous one. These are two guys that can work a decent match when they have to.

Paul was a good wrestler but a horrible character if that makes sense. He was just so bland. Think about it: name one time where he was interesting other than Hogan. See what I mean? In another kind of dumb ending, a cast shot gets the DQ for Paul. Well, that’s one way to do it I guess. This wound up becoming part of a bigger feud involving Piper and Muraco that would eventually result in Piper’s great heel work turning Orndorff heel again in about a year or less.

Rating: B-. Again, this is a solid example of how you make a decent match. Now to be fair they had a lot more time here than anyone else has had (seven minutes which still isn’t much at all) and they made the most of it. There was a story here or at least something looking like one. Both guys worked fairly hard and while the ending sucked, not much else did. That’s how it’s done again.

In a BIZARRE moment, we go back to the big board where Hayes is more or less groping the girl. She’s kind of laughing, but it just looks strange. Vince stops him as for some reason that comes off as hilarious to me. They go over the brackets, which look like this:

Adrian Adonis
Dynamite Kid

Randy Savage
Ricky Steamboat

Junkyard Dog
Moondog Spot

Tito Santana
Paul Orndorff

Well at least we’re getting closer to this being manageable. The problem here is that the card is too crowded. The second round has 15 minute time limits, which should have been all we had for the whole card. By having only 8 guys you could have had a far longer set of matches and maybe some other non tournament stuff on the card.

Granted they had no way of knowing that though so I’ll let that slide. At the end of this interview segment, Funk runs up saying he was robbed! The girl hasn’t said a word this whole show. Funk says he can beat everyone in the company.

Second Round: Adrian Adonis vs. Dynamite Kid

Remember, we have 15 minutes now so Dynamite can go for 9 seconds here. I like that they mention who the wrestlers beat. It’s a nice little touch that isn’t hard at all to throw in there. Dynamite starts off hot here but then we move into a far slower pace that’s just not great. Jesse actually leaves halfway through this, saying he has to talk to Savage about his match with Steamboat. Well that was weird. Amazingly Gorilla isn’t bad on the mic by himself.

However, this match is pretty bad. It’s Adrian dominating for the most part which means he’s trying to catch Randy Orton for most chinlocks. Why would you have a guy that can go like Dynamite down on the mat for the majority of the match? That’s just bad booking. Adrian puts on a Sharpshooter which makes my eyes get very big. I didn’t think that was something that was even known in this country at that time.

After clearly calling a spot to Dynamite, Adonis gets reversed. However, instead of actually having something interesting happen like Dynamite being in control, it’s right back to the same stuff we’ve been doing all match. Yep that’s just BRILLIANT guys. Ah there we go.

Dynamite Benoit picks things up and if nothing else we’re not just laying around doing nothing. Benoit…I mean Dynamite hits a diving headbutt but Hart messes up the pin. Adrian is shoved into him, resulting in the pin. Dynamite might hurt his knee here but it’s hard to tell. He’s limping a bit but he’s walking so there we are. Adonis has a Jericho and Christian level fit after losing.

Rating: C-. This was a tale of two grades here. When Adrian was in control, I was hoping he would start skipping around the ring in pink as it would have at least been funny. This was just flat out boring. However, when Dynamite was in control, it was very interesting. You can see so much of him in Benoit and that’s a very high compliment in my mind.

Jesse is with Gene and says that he’s got Savage ready. Naturally Jesse says that he’ll remain unbiased the whole time. Gene says that he never stays unbiased but Jesse is cut off and we’re back in the arena for this.

Second Round: Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat

OH YES! Now this literally has to be good. Steamboat gets no introduction and Savage gets a full one. Well ok then. Savage has changed to a sleeveless vest kind of thing which works much better. The hiding behind Liz was about as great of a heel move as there ever has been. Naturally he jumps Steamboat and we’re ready to go now.

Gorilla is still on his own here. Now we’re getting some standard great stuff from Savage so all is right with the world now. These two are a couple of guys that you can just throw out there and tell them to go and you’ll always get a great one. These two could just move so fast out there that it was almost unreal. Jesse is back now. FINALLY we get a counter from the top that looks normal as Steamboat gets a punch to the ribs to stop a double axehandle.

Thank you as I get so tired of the spot where someone jumps into a waiting boot from a guy on the ground, but it’s so painfully clear that the guy wasn’t going for a move at all but just to jump into the boot. What are we supposed to believe he’s trying in that situation anyway? Whatever. Steamboat gets the cross body but Savage kicks out with more or less ease.

In the EXACT same finish that Savage would use to win the IC Title from Santana shortly after this, Savage gets a foreign object from his tights and nails Steamboat with it as he’s getting belly to backed into the ring. Man there were a lot of midcard guys whose last names started with S.

I love how brass knuckles, which I believe are considered a lethal weapon, are apparently as common as apples in wrestling. Anyway, Gorilla says he thinks Jesse might have given them to Savage. That’s very interesting so of course nothing ever really came of it.

Rating: B. Well, they went on to have one of the best matches if not the best match of all time in about 18 months, so there’s nothing they can really do to live up to that. This however was fine I guess, with these two always being great together. This was just thrown together but it’s still one of the best matches of the night. There’s a reason that can happen: it’s called talent. It’s a shame more people don’t have it.

Gene is with Moondog Spot, who is chewing on a bone. He can’t actually talk thought so there we go.

Second Round: Moondog Spot vs. Junkyard Dog

NO YOU IDIOTS DON’T ENCOURAGE DOG! That’s just evil. Why does someone with such great music have to suck so much? WOW. Ok, so this is what happens here: Spot jumps him and misses a splash. Dog hits some headbutts because he doesn’t know how to do anything else, and then we notice something: there’s no referee here.

That’s odd indeed, but I’m sure one will be there soon. Dog hits the big headbutt and actually COUNTS HIS OWN PIN. Now usually this would mean nothing, but of course since it’s JYD it stands. Yes, JYD counts his own pin and it is enough to get him to the semi finals. When the referees don’t care enough about you to even be at ringside, that’s saying a lot.

Rating: N/A. I don’t even think a match happened so of course there’s no grade.

Gene is with Bobby…again, who says nothing of note.

Second Round: Paul Orndorff vs. Tito Santana

After a handshake, Jesse gets into his Tiajuana routine which really is borderline racist. Gorilla bails him out with the great line of Tito being Intercontinental Champion of the World. Tito’s leg is taped here which wasn’t the case in the first match. This starts with a very technical style that works to an extent. Naturally the fans think it’s a bit boring but what do they know? For some reason Jesse makes his second Watergate reference of the night.

It was ten years ago at least at this point but whatever. Tito’s leg is hurt even worse here, and the more I see of it the more I’m sure it’s kayfabe. Again, that’s more creative booking. They needed to have something different for every match I guess so there we are. This is a very technical style that I think I like a lot here. These guys are flowing pretty well out there and that’s all I ask for. We hit the floor and they hammer away and yep it’s a double count out.

What’s the deal with the cheap endings tonight? I guess you can’t put either over here due to their respective pushes but whatever. Jesse called that they would wind up acting heelish and to an extent he’s right. Of course Gorilla won’t admit it but that’s standard operating procedure.

Rating: C+. This was ok but not great at all. The problem was that two faces like this have a hard time having a solid match because you can’t damage either character by having them act evil. The technical stuff was a little boring but not bad at all. They could have done a great match with Paul as a heel and more time, but that’s the nature of the beasts known as tournament matches.

Back to Vince and Alfred and what’s her name for another recap. The final three are like this:

Dynamite Kid
Randy Savage

Junkyard Dog

Alfred says this is the most exciting thing he’s ever seen in wrestling. Was he not at Mania I’m assuming? You knew there was going to be a bye, but this means MORE JYD, so screw it all to. And what does that girl’s voice sound like???

Piper comes out with his bagpipe players which are always cool.

Gene is with Hulk who says that he’s ready. Halfway through this we get a graphic reminding us that he’s world champion. Well that’s good to know. Also his shirt says American Made, and man it that was a good song!

WWF Title: Roddy Piper vs. Hulk Hogan

Hogan, in white tights, is jumped by Piper during the music. This is more or less a token title defense here as it’s pretty much fallout (8 months later) from Mania. It’s of course a brawl from the start as nothing else would work for these two I guess. This reminds me of a UK game as it’s blue and white. That automatically makes this awesome. Hogan is dominating early so all is right with the world.

The referee stops a punch though, allowing Piper to punch Hogan. God bless sensible officiating. In something you don’t see often from Hogan, he uses a bearhug. His weight and size was rarely talked about as he was always against monsters, but he was bigger than about 90% of wrestlers ever. That’s saying a lot. This is about as standard as you can get as I feel like I’m watching a house show.

The sleeper is the submission hold of choice here and there’s the arm popping up on the third try. In a cool spot, Hogan runs at the ropes and dives over to break the hold. Yes you read that right, Hogan jumped. I’ll give you a minute to recover from that. Uh oh we have a ref bump. Piper drills him with a chair and of course being hit by a professional athlete with a large and heavy object made of steel isn’t enough to hurt Hogan at all.

Hogan gets Piper in a sleeper (yes you read that right) but Orton runs in for the DQ in another cheap finish. Orndorff makes the save. Gorilla says that Orton was effective. How? He caused his man to get a DQ and therefore it’s the same result as him getting pinned, but then again what do I know?

Rating: C-. This was generic, but then again it wasn’t bad at all. These two had a great chemistry together as there’s such a perfect natural rivalry that you can’t plan or script here. I always wanted for Piper to win the title, even for a month or two. Can you imagine the money that the rematches would draw? Heck that would have been FAR better as the main event of Mania 2. Anyway, this wasn’t bad or great, but it was more bad than good because of the ending.

Gene is with JYD who says he’s worked hard for this. I’m not even wasting a rant on that piece of garbage. Jimmy Hart runs in and yells at Dog about a bad angle that they did regarding Jimmy’s underwear. Don’t ask.

Semi-Finals: Randy Savage vs. Dynamite Kid

Oh man that sounds really good. Again with the fifteen minutes though. There’s two matches left so they’re cutting it to fifteen minutes. That’s just brilliant isn’t it? They’re in different outfits again which they would do much better in 1988 at Mania 4. Savage is all patriotic in red, white and blue. Savage shows off his muscles which isn’t something that you see that often. Gorilla makes fun of his name and Jesse shuts him up by calling him Orangutan Monsoon. That was just funny.

This just looks awesome. Imagine Benoit against Savage and that’s what you’ve got here. In another great line, Gorilla asks what the point of having Liz out there is. Jesse says look at her and if you can’t figure it out you’re on your own. Jesse and Gorilla are just flat out greatness together. I really do see Benoit when I look at Dynamite. They’re that similar, even down to their muscle masses.

Considering the greatness of Hogan at the top and with great wrestlers like these two and Santana and Steamboat, how in the world could the WWF lose? In short, they simply weren’t going to for a good while. In a GREAT ending, Savage goes up to the top but gets crotched after an amazing dropkick. A perfect top rope superplex puts Savage down but he manages to hook his legs up with Dynamite’s for the pin. AWESOME ending.

Rating: A. Five freaking minutes for this? That’s ALL? I would pay to see more of these two as this was just great stuff. Screw the A-, as more time would make this an A+. Anyone that says neither of these guys were good in the ring, watch this match and if you still say that I’ll smack you with a halibut. That was a great ending and a great match.

We go to Vince and Susan for the Rolls Royce thing. SHE SPOKE! She said all of 20 words in about 2 minutes but she spoke! She did get a tiny jab in by saying she wishes she were in the car right now so there we go. I like her.

In the ring we have the Fink and four guys. Each of them say something.

Tunney says this is a big sweepstakes. He has a fat face.

Some guy named Basil says a lot of people voted.

We hear from the guy that handled the entries. REALLY? You let this guy talk but you couldn’t give freaking DYNAMITE KID AND RANDY FREAKING SAVAGE TWO MORE MINUTES??? Instead we hear a speech about how they freaking picked the entries? Oh give me a break.

We get commentary from Fink that is as follows: He’s giving the envelope to Alfred Hayes to open. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET ON WITH IT! Can’t you just flash the guy’s name on the screen and give the two great wrestlers more time? Nope, we have to give this time to people that we’re never going to hear or see again and that we don’t care about.

After we get a small glitch of hearing Gorilla when we weren’t supposed to, the guy that won is booed out of the freaking building. I mean it was BAD. We actually spent five minutes on that. I hate wrestling.

Gene is with Hogan who is wearing white tights. In the background we hear Fink announcing a return date. Hogan challenges Orton and Piper to a tag match with Orndorff. They say they have a little surprise, which would be Mr. T being back again for Mania 2.

Wrestling Classic Final: Junkyard Dog vs. Randy Savage

Savage is in freaking tye dye and limping badly. Please, make this one quick. Why is a black man from the south wearing chains? Does anyone else find that a bit stupid? Also, what kind of song is Grab Them Cakes? What cakes? I want some cake. Savage immediately gets a chair. I guess he can’t stay awake through the awfulness of a JYD match even if he’s in it. Savage throws it at him and Dog rams himself in the head with it. I already hate this match.

This is already painfully bad. For some reason Gene joins up on commentary. Was he just wandering around and happened to walk up there? Was he offered a plate of cookies or maybe some Rogaine? He can’t even sell a clothesline right. How hard could that possibly be? It’s a freaking clothesline. YOU FALL DOWN! Jesse is upset because JYD had a break. No Jesse, that’s called he has no talent.

In yet another great line, Jesse says that Okerlund has never done anything athletic in life other than tie his shoes and now he’s wearing Velcro’s. That’s just brilliant. Savage is dominating here. Dang it there’s the comeback. I hate this match deeply. No correction, I hate JYD. Savage gets thrown to the floor…and gets counted out. I’ll be right back.


He wins one match with a bad headbutt, then counts another pin on his own, then gets a bye and wins a tournament on a count out??? COME ON. That comes off as one thing: he’s not good enough to wrestle more than one legit match. I’m ticked off over something that happened 25 years ago. That’s sad. Jesse runs in for a protest that gets him nowhere.

Rating: D-. This was just a bad match and the booking is beyond ridiculous. I’m ticked off and Savage got FREAKING ROBBED! Jesse is as right as possible.

Vince and Alfred wrap us up and we’re out. I will never get used to seeing credits on a wrestling show, and the closing theme is the same as to Hulk Hogan’s Rocking Wrestlers, which gets it some bonus points that it desperately needs.

Overall Rating: D. This show was bad, plain and simple. There’s some ok matches, but the booking was dumb, the majority of the matches sucked and there were far too many short matches/nonsense endings. It should have been 8 men with longer matches. That’s still 8 matches on the card and they would have been longer and much better.

Also, Savage should have won, end of story. JYD went on to a stupid tag match at Mania while Savage won the IC belt and held it for over a year. See what I mean here? Anyway, this show was bad and shouldn’t be viewed. That’s why I’m here I guess.


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2 Responses

  1. Mr. Postman says:

    You’re incorrect in saying that Ivan Putski lays dead when he’s pinned. He’s pointing at Savage’s feet on the turnbuckle and telling the referee. That’s why he doesn’t kick out.

  2. Derek Hamel says:

    I have to admit, you had me in stitches with your review, mostly because I remember the first time I ever watched this show so well. I’ve had it on tape for awhile and actually had to watch it a second time just to make sure I didn’t dream it all. One of the strangest, most disjointed broadcasts ever in wrestling, and it’s stunning to realize that this is where it all began for Vince.
    I’m sure every wrestling promoter alive at the time was in shock. The WWF had Randy Savage, Rick Steamboat, Terry Funk, the Bulldogs, Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, Adrian Adonis, Tito Santana all on hand for a single night of elimination wrestling….and THIS was the result. Nothing, not Savage vs Steamboat (both of whom, tho it was before their epic at Mania 3, were widely renowned as two of the very best in the business), not Dynamite Kid vs Adonis, not Kid vs Savage, was going to make Vince deviate from his maximum 5 minute per match format so that no time was taken away from Susan and Lord Al Hays providing Plato-like wisdom backstage, as well as the whole Cadillac giveaway thing. All three of those matches would have been 30 minutes long and 4 and a half stars apiece had they taken place in Japan.
    Now, I know Vince wanted to please his fans, so I guess I can see his viewpoint in having the incomparable Terry Funk lose by countout in a comedy match vs a Moondog. I can even understand, despite the Hall of Fame talent involved in this card, that they’d have Junkyard Dog advance to the final. I lived in Mid-South country, so I knew that no matter how crappy of a match he was likely to give, JYD was still going to be explosively popular. When you don’t even know how, or care to learn, how to put a guy in a hammerlock, yet 20,000 fans sell out arenas for years just to watch you…that’s charisma, folks. As a lifelong heel lover, I never understood it, but that’s how it was. And when Vince nabbed Dog away from Bill Watts in 1984, it was one of his biggest early coups. When The Wrestling “Classic” (I demand they put quote marks around Classic from now on) happened in late ’85, JYD trailed only Hogan and maybe Steamboat in national popularity.
    But there’s literally no excuse, not one, to end the match, the tourney, and the evening by having Dog win by countout. NONE. It certainly didnt help JYD; it’s usually not wise to make your babyface seem as though he took the easy road and didnt deserve his win. Savage at this time was McMahon’s newest superstar, having come from Memphis only a few months before this show. He was instantly booked as a top guy. By everybody except whoever was responsible for this unintelligable mess of a show.
    By miles and miles, the best thing (and at times only thing that allowed me to stomach the show) involved was the great Jesse Ventura. Despite his flamboyant image, which he had long before he went to the WWF, Jesse was the only guy in the company who didn’t toss out all of his principles and turn into a slapsticky buffoon for Vince. He called the matches with intelligence and genuine interest, often getting legitimately riled when having to respond to whatever barking idiocy popped out of the mouths of McMahon, Monsoon, or his Lordship. Thank you, Jesse.
    One last thing: back in these days, I absolutely loathed Lord Al Hays like almost no other. His braying laugh at the most banal one-liners, his attempts at commentary that made even David Crockett look like Howard Cosell….the whole package. But now, thanks to the passage of a few decades, I know realize he was a necessary evil, just a confused little troll placed on Earth by the wrestling gods to remind us all that this weird hobby of ours, this rasslin’ fixation….was like nothing else on the planet, for better or worse.

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