WWF @ Kiel Auditorium
by Scrooge McSuck
September 1, 1984
- TV Taping from the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis, MO. The last time the WWF taped from this location was on August 10th, and oh boy, was that a wonderful show [sarcasm alert]. These shows weren't the typical tapings as fans of the 80's and 90's were used to. The stuff taped here was more supplementary, spliced into other programming at what seems like random selections, and only featured less than a dozen matches compared to a 3-4 weeks of taping and dozens of squash matches. Two matches are not featured on this copy: Hulk Hogan defending the WWF Title against George "The Animal" Steele, and B. Brian Blair vs. Bob Orton Jr. The latter might've been decent, but Hogan vs. Steele sounds like a car crash.
Kamala (w/ Fred Blassie & Friday) vs. Brian Madden:
I'm going to predict this will be under two minutes long. I'm assuming Madden is local talent, also popping up on other tapings from the Kiel Auditorium. After some strenuous research, it looks like Kamala's run only lasted through the early days of November, with the house show program with Andre the Giant his one notable feud. I'm sure he wasn't paid nearly as well as Andre was, either. Kamala goes for a lockup(?!), immediately lays into Madden with chops, and throws him through the ropes. Kamala keeps him out of the ring with more chops as my official prediction is already surpassed. Kamala choke lifts Madden back in the ring and slams him down. More chops across the back and a sad attempt at trying to perform a rest-hold. Whip to the ropes and a double chop to the throat. He comes off the ropes with a splash across the back, then does it a second time. Takes him a moment to roll him on his back, and it's finally over at 4:03. It's a Kamala squash. You know what you're getting.
The Spoiler vs. Max Blue:
The Spoiler is introduced as the National Heavyweight Champion. Okay? Max Blue must be another local talent. I don't recall seeing him anywhere else but at these tapings. Lockup into the corner and Spoiler chokes him across the top rope. Spoiler to the top rope, but it's just for show. Blue gets some meager offense in, but the Spoiler isn't selling any of it and comes off the second turnbuckle with a big forearm smash. Blue can't even get up on a slam properly, forcing Spoiler to practically dead-lift his worthless ass. Spoiler with more choking. We're only two matches into the card and there's been a lot of "throw jobber to the floor" spots. Blue hangs Spoiler across the top rope, but his offense stops there, as the Spoiler rebounds and takes him over with a double under-hook suplex. I can't help but stare at Blue's tube socks. Highlight of the match. Spoiler grabs a front face-lock from the middle turnbuckle and comes down with a knee to the face. Guess where Blue's next destination is? Spoiler with a knee to the gut and the claw finally finishes at 6:15. Awful squash. They did the same song-and-dance routines to extend a 2-minute squash into a 6-minute squash.
The Junkyard Dog vs. "Gentleman" Jerry Valiant:
The JYD comes out to Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust", making it the highlight of the match. Valiant looks old and out of shape. He's "only" 43, but he looks like he could be well into his 50's. Lockup into the ropes, JYD no-sells a cheap shot and retaliates with a right. They trade rights, with the Dog again getting the better of things. Valiant with a takedown and a wrist-lock. JYD quickly gets back to his feet, but Valiant keeps pulling him down with a handful of tights. I hate to say this, but JYD having to sell for this slob is a disgrace. JYD escapes and hits his signature headbutt spot. JYD no-sells Valiant's punches and knocks him halfway across the ring with a headbutt. Whip to the ropes and a shoulder tackle. JYD with the Thump, and we're finally finished at 4:22. Another terrible match. 4-minutes feels like 20 when things are moving at such an awful clip.
Sgt. Slaughter vs. Alexis Smirnoff:
No, I'm not sure if this is indeed the founder of Smirnoff Ice, but if he is, I'm sure a handful of 15-year olds across the country are thankful. I'm going to go out on a limb and say this match is going to suck, too. He's probably not even really Russian, either. Smirnoff attacks before the bell. Whip to the ropes and he connects with not just a big boot, but a big RUSSIAN boot. Slaughter quickly rallies and plants him with a slam. Slaughter whips him with his belt and hits him with a clothesline. I guess the referee is loose on calling for disqualifications. Slaughter with a snap mare and knee to the face for two. He dumps Smirnoff to the floor and continues to pound away on him. Slaughter grabs a tiny American flag from a fan and taunts Smirnoff with it. Snap mare and Slaughter with more preaching. Dude, let it go. Smirnoff counters a whip to the corner, giving Slaughter a chance to do his signature bump. Slaughter blocks another big Russian boot and a short clothesline finishes at 3:43. Smirnoff attacks afterwards with his big Russian boot, but Slaughter clears him from the ring. I don't know if I can handle another poor quality match like we've been subjected to.
The Iron Sheik vs. Billy Travis:
Hey, a squash match. Haven't seen one of these lately. Billy Travis had a decent run working the Southern territories, but never really did much outside of that comfort zone, and to my surprise, passed away way back in 2002. Sheik gets some cheap hate by draping the Iranian flag across the top rope and bowing down to it. Lockup, Travis goes for a waist-lock, but the Sheik easily counters with a hip throw. Travis with a side headlock. Whip to the ropes and he connects with a cross body press. Crisscross and the Sheik turns him inside out with a clothesline. To be fair, 99% of the credit for that spot belongs to Travis, with Sheik just barely making contact. Whip to the ropes and Sheik with a back drop. Sheik puts the boots to Travis, moving in slow motion the whole time. Travis mounts a comeback, planting Sheik with a slam. Whip to the corner and Sheik with a back suplex. Camel Clutch finishes at 4:49. Usually the Iron Sheik was good for an entertaining match, but this was mostly posing and standing around doing very little.
Chief Jay Strongbow vs. Brutus Beefcake:
Is it too late to throw in the white towel? Fairly early in the run for Mr. Ed Leslie, having debuted as the arrogant Brutus Beefcake at the July 31st tapings in Poughkeepsie, NY. $20 says Strongbow does the job to a clothesline. Beefcake is introduced from "Parts Unknown." It would be a while before he was introduced from San Francisco, CA, no doubt a rib on his flashy-attired character. Beefcake attacks from behind, a trend we're seeing a lot of today. Whip to the corner and Strongbow takes a decent bump to the floor. That's really the only thing he ever does well. Beefcake keeps him on the floor while slowly removing his entrance gear. Strongbow finally gets in the ring, attacking like a total goof. If you like stalling, this is the match for you. Beefcake rakes the eyes to take control and follows up with mostly punching. Strongbow starts dancing like he hit the liquor cabinet hard. Whip to the ropes and he applies a sleeper hold. Beefcake escapes, hits a clothesline, and covers for three at 5:42. If all it takes to beat Strongbow is a clothesline, then why don't these suckers do it as soon the bell rings? DUD I'll be generous and avoid the negative scale.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
Tito Santana © vs. "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff:
Finally, something that might be considered entertainment. Crowd is hot for this one. Orndorff screams about not being called "Paula", so we can expect chanting. This match was recycled for the Coliseum Video "Best of the WWF Volume 2." I've covered that tape years ago, but we'll give this a second look. Bell rings and Orndorff immediately stalls. Lockup and a clean break. Orndorff with a headlock and shoulder tackle. Santana trips him coming off the ropes, takes him over with a pair of arm drags, and sends him to the floor in frustration. Back inside, Santana works on the arm. Even though they stick with the same moves for extended periods, there's energy being used. Santana with a shoulder tackle and reverse arm drag before going back to the hammer-lock. Orndorff escapes with elbows to the side of the head, but misses an elbow drop and gets caught in an arm-bar this time. If I had a dime for every time the referee yells "how about it, Orndorff?", I'd have a crap load of dimes. Orndorff escapes and catches Santana off the ropes with an inverted atomic drop. Orndorff with knees to the back of the head and a huge knee lift. Orndorff follows him to the floor and greets him with an atomic drop. Orndorff with a snap across the top rope and more boots to the midsection. Santana with a shoulder to the midsection, but Orndorff counters a sunset flip attempt. Santana with rights and Orndorff with a rake of the eyes. He slaps on a chin-lock as the clock continues to tick away. Santana elbows out of a chin-lock and connects with a knee lift. Orndorff recovers and takes him down with a back suplex for a slow two count. Whip to the ropes and Santana with a cross body press for two. Orndorff with a pair of forearms for two. Santana with rights and a knee to the head, but misses an elbow drop. Orndorff to the second rope and a splash meets knees. Santana with a slam and slingshot to the corner for two. Orndorff leap frogs a charge and connects with a clothesline for two. Orndorff gets a knee up on a charge, but the bell rings at 18:28 as he's about to go for a cover, and it's a Time Limit Draw. **1/2 Not as good as I gave credit for last time. Solid start and finish, but the middle wasn't much to brag about.
WWF Women's Championship Match:
Wendi Richter © vs. The Fabulous Moolah:
Final match on the card, and what a match to close it out with: a contender for worst match of the night, on a show with low-rent performances from guys like Jerry Valiant and Alexis Smirnoff. Richter comes out to "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and some obnoxiously large ear-rings, but no Cyndi Lauper. Moolah attacks from behind as the WTBS Superstation logo pops up on the screen. She pounds away and sends Richter to the floor. Every damn match has the same crap: heel attacks, throws opponent outside, tries to keep them from getting back in. Richter in with a dropkick to the ass for a highly contrived spot. Moolah comes in ripping off the Iron Sheik's bowing, but Richter isn't that stupid… or at least not until November of '85. Richter charges and runs right into a knee, a knee that Moolah didn't even bother to LIFT. Moolah with an arm-bar, using a handful of hair every now and then to maintain control. After a few minutes she switches to a short-arm scissors. Richter counters, but the referee breaks because Moolah claimed it was a choke. Richter misses a clothesline but hits a dropkick for two. Moolah pulls a foreign object from her chest and… suddenly a fan hops on the apron and tries to rip it out of the back of her tights. Well, that was more entertaining than the rest of the match. Richter's attempts at a charge continue to suck, followed by the worst slam I've ever seen. Moolah with another slam and she thinks she won without even the referee counting one. Richter cradles Moolah on another slam attempt and gets three at 8:59 to retain. -** Awful. Richter might be worse than most of the barely-trained ladies of GLOW, and Moolah was a disgrace to wrestling besides being 61 years old and having no business being in the ring anymore.
Final Thoughts: One good match on an eight match card. No, this didn't have the luster of a live event like you would see at Madison Square Garden, but this show "highlighted" a lot of the negatives the company had: washed up talent, a shallow depth chart of quality workers, and a lack of match planning. This was just 80-minutes of wasted time.
Comment about this article on Da' Wrestling Boards!
Back to Old School House Show index