WWF @ Meadowlands Arena
by Scrooge McSuck
December 10, 1984
- Presented on the MSG Network with Gorilla Monsoon and, believe it or not, HOWARD FINKEL calling the action, unless otherwise noted. I don't know if someone no-showed or something, but it wasn't a common occurrence to have The Fink sit in on commentary instead of introduction the wrestlers. Note: This show clocks in at just shy of three hours, excluding commercial breaks. I mention that because for the most part, commercial-free shows typically land in the 2-hou 15-minute mark, and 45-minutes of more undercard crap is something I don't look forward to, so I'll most likely be recapping this over the course of several split viewings.
Jose-Luis Rivera vs. Buddy Rose:
Buddy Rose came back for a short run, got to work under a mask at the 1st WrestleMania, and disappeared until 1990 when he was about twice as fat and an even bigger (no pun intended) jobber. Rose stalls early to remove his robe, and has a ringside fan (maybe a lady friend of his) help him. Lockup and Rose with a slam. Lockup and repeat. Rose does some sad one-armed push-ups to get the crowd going. Rivera retaliates with a pair of slams. Rose exits the ring to play to the crowd some more. Back inside and Rivera ruffles Buddy's hair. The girl from earlier is on hand to help brush his hair. Rose puts the boots to Rivera and tosses him to the floor. Back inside, Rose with a side headlock and shoulder tackle. Crisscross and Rivera with an arm drag into an arm-bar. He transitions that into what almost looks like a cross arm-breaker, except it's more of a leverage hold. For no good reason, the referee kicks Rose's hand off the ropes that should've forced a break of the hold. Rose body rolls out of the hold, but runs right into another arm-bar. Crisscross and Rose surprises him with a back elbow. He gives his best try at a nip up and chokes him across the top rope. Rivera blocks being sent to the turnbuckle and sends Rose to all the corners. Whip across the ring and Rivera with a back drop. He misses a charge to the corner, and Rose finishes him with a neck breaker and DDT at 11:45. * Not much to this one. Rose showed plenty of personality and got the crowd going, but there wasn't a lot of wrestling.
"Luscious" Johnny Valiant vs. Steve Lombardi:
Well this is going to suck. Valiant vs. Lombardi? Am I supposed to assume Lombardi is the babyface of the match? Lockup into the ropes and we get a surprisingly clean break. So much for the "no honor among thieves" phrase. Valiant with a side headlock, and Lombardi counters with a head scissors. Valiant sends him to the corner and pounds away. He tosses Lombardi out of the ring and comes off the apron with a forearm. Valiant with a slam, and he's nice enough not to protect him on the concrete floor. Lombardi pulls Valiant back to the floor, but Valiant shrugs him off and slams him again. Valiant pulls Lombardi back in the ring, then throws him right back out. What the hell was the point of that? Whip to the ropes and Valiant with a back drop. Lombardi reverses a whip to the corner and throws some truly awful strikes. He takes Valiant over with a hip toss, followed by a slam and dropkick. Whip to the ropes and Valiant avoids another dropkick. Whip to the ropes and Valiant with a knee to the midsection. Valiant nearly kills Lombardi by careless dropping him across the top rope, plants him with another hard slam, and finishes with an elbow at 7:02. DUD I don't know who pissed on Valiant's cereal that morning (maybe Mr. Fuji), but his careless and sloppy work wasn't entertaining, no matter how crappy Lombardi is.
George Wells vs. Charlie Fulton:
Wells had a decent career in the Canadian Football League throughout the 70's before turning to pro wrestling full time, but he could probably be classified as a JTTS for the duration of his WWF tenure. He actually made his WWF debut the day before at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens. Lockup and Wells with an arm drag. Fulton grabs a side headlock and comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle. Crisscross, Wells with an arm drag into an arm-bar. Fulton fights free and do the exact same sequence, except Wells throws in a Super-Kick to the midsection before the arm drag. Fulton escapes a hammer-lock with a shoulder to the midsection. Whip to the corner, Wells takes Fulton over with a back drop, followed by a flying head scissors, then back to the arm-bar. Wells comes off the ropes but runs into a knee lift, Fulton's first real offense of the match. He puts the boots to Mr. Wells and tosses him out of the ring. Back inside, Fulton with a snap mare into a chin-lock. Wells fights back to his feet, but Fulton uses the tights to remain in control. Another escape and this time Wells meets an elbow charging to the corner. Fulton with a knee across the eyes, followed by a leg drop for two. Wells with the comeback. Whip to the ropes and a fist to the midsection is sold like a gunshot wound. Wells with a knee lift for two. Fulton rolls through a side headlock and chokes away. Wells with a pair of charging leg clips, and a diving shoulder tackle finishes at 13:09. *1/2 Fine at times, but they were clearly too limited to fill almost 15-minutes without relying on repetitive rest holds and repeated sequences.
Jim Powers vs. Ken Patera:
Under normal circumstances, I'd assume this would be a two-minute squash, but a live event means this will likely go 10-minutes. Patera is managed by Bobby Heenan, but he's not at ringside for reasons we'll know in just a short while. Lockup and Patera throws Powers down like a sack of garbage. Whip to the ropes and Patera with a shoulder tackle, followed by a big slam. Takeover into a cover for two. He lands an elbow, followed by a boot across the eyes. Powers tries to fight out of a chin-lock, but Patera cuts him off with a forearm across the chest. Snap mare into another chin-lock. Powers with some awful elbows to the midsection, followed by even worse punches in the corner. Patera with a knee to the midsection before tossing Powers out of the ring. He follows and plants him with a slam, and thankfully he's safer with it than Valiant was earlier on the card. Patera with choking, followed by more choking. Patera with a gorilla press slam and elbow drop for two. Delayed suplex. He sends Powers into the turnbuckle and the Swinging Full Nelson finishes at 8:08. DUD Just an extended squash match, with Powers only offense being embarrassingly bad strikes.
"Special Delivery" Jones vs. Bobby "The Brain" Heenan:
Two matches on the same card featuring managers in action? Did this card need so much padding?! The graphic actually spells it "Heenann." That has to be a typo. Heenan stalls on the floor and taunts Jones on the house mic. Heenan tries to do a sneak attack, but it fails spectacularly. Heenan tries begging off, but S.D. is having none of that. I don't think a 40-year old man should be taking such ridiculously unsafe bumps. To the floor and Jones sends Heenan into the post. They keep referencing haircuts, and Jones was Andre's partner the night he got the haircut in the ring, so maybe this is some fallout for it? Heenan finally gets some offense, trying to pull out Jones' hair. I've never seen someone go for a cover after a hair-pull. Crisscross and a shoulder tackle sends Heenan taking a giant bump into the corner. Heenan remains in control, and I just can't believe he's only 40 here. I just assumed he was a bit older than that. Jones tries to escape a chin-lock, but Heenan yanks the hair to remain in control. Jones finally escapes with a bear-hug and inverted atomic drop. Jones no-sells being rammed to the turnbuckle and struts. Jones winds up with a big headbutt. They blow a sunset flip as bad as possible. Crisscross, Jones with a high body press, but Heenan rolls through and hooks the tights for three at 11:30. The referee also missed Jones being in the ropes. Did this have to go that long? * This wasn't atrocious (except for the sunset flip botch), but a manager beating a full-time worker is never good booking.
WWF Ladies Tag Team Championship Match:
Velvet McIntyre & Desiree Peterson © vs. Penny Mitchell & Peggy Patterson:
Women's Tag Title action... I'm not going to sugar coat that I'm not looking forward to this. I just now noticed the referee is Gary Michael Cappetta, notable voice for the WCW in the late 80's through early 90's. There seems to be a bit of controversy over the pre-match frisking. Purple is NOT a flattering color for Patterson. McIntyre and Patterson start. Patterson with a blatant pull of the hair. McIntyre with a quick roll up for two. The Champs take turns working the arm. Mitchell with eye rakes and a front face-lock on Peterson. The challengers take turns with head-locks. Mitchell plays a game of "hide the hair pulling" with the referee. McIntyre tries to come in and help, but all that does is allow an illegal switch. We're 9-minutes in, by the way. McIntyre gets the tag, but wouldn't you know it, the referee didn't see it. Mitchell changes it up, working the hand like its Play-Doh. Peterson teases a comeback, but it doesn't last long. McIntyre FINALLY tags in and hits Mitchell with a dropkick and big foot. Whip to the ropes and a spinning heel kick. She goes for a clothesline, but Mitchell casually runs into her. Patterson with hair snap mares. McIntyre with an enzuigiri on Mitchell. Peterson in with a dropkick and slam for two. Peterson gets worked over again. To give you an idea how boring this is, I have a second screen set up and I'm preferring awful local commercials over the "action." Heel miscommunication allows the hot tag to McIntyre (again). She takes Patterson over with a pair of monkey flips. Jumping victory roll on Mitchell gets two. The challengers get rammed into each other, and McIntyre with a sunset flip on Patterson for three at 17:30 despite Mitchell still being the legal woman. ¾* Long and dull. There wasn't much done to really feel like the faces were in serious trouble, and it just felt like filler.
The Junkyard Dog vs. "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff (w/ Bobby Heenan):
Oh God, please spare me any more terrible wrestling on this card! Heenan's first time being in the corner with one of his "Family" members. Orndorff stalls on the floor and gets in Monsoon's face. The crowd's all over him with "Paula" chants. Someone with a sign that not only depicts a SWASTIKA, but suggests Orndorff is "Hittler." Must be the same person who spells it "Bobby Heenann." I wonder if he's friends with Hill Billy Jim. I'm clearly amusing myself since we've had 5-minutes on zero contact. Lockup goes nowhere. JYD grabs a side headlock. Orndorff tries to escape with an over-head wrist-lock, but JYD has Twinkie Power and keeps control. Orndorff takes a breather and hopefully kill 5 more minutes. Orndorff with a knee to the midsection, followed by rights. JYD no-sells being rammed into the turnbuckle and hits his signature headbutts, sending Orndorff out of the ring again. Orndorff counters a headlock with a back suplex. He drops a pair of knees and an elbow for two. Orndorff with a chin-lock to take us home in half-an-hour. JYD no-sells blatant choking and breaks free, but Orndorff quickly puts him back down with a knee lift. Orndorff with a forearm across the back of the neck for two. JYD with another 10-second comeback. Orndorff with a piledriver, and we can see he studied from the same school of selling as Hulk Hogan. Orndorff slams him on the concrete floor. That is one long 10-count. Orndorff slams him back in, but JYD rolls through with a "small package" for three at 17:38. Post-match, Orndorff continues to put a beating on the Dog. -** Matches like this are what makes me, at times, greatly dislike professional wrestling. Just 20-minutes of garbage. It was either the laziest work you'll ever see or offense so comically bad any 3-year old should know it's not just choreographed, but a circus. Them adding a fluke victory would normally be a bad thing to me, but the match was already terrible before that.
- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper with a special edition of Piper's Pit. He interviews a few plants before Salvatore Bellomo comes out to make it all about him. Piper, Orton, and Orndorff threaten to stomp him into a puddle of marinara sauce, but the JYD, with a towel wrapped around his head, comes in to make the save, swinging his dog chain like a head-wounded maniac. This explains why the show is three-hours long without commercial interruption.
"Superfly" Jimmy Snuka vs. Bob Orton Jr.:
I usually never look forward to Snuka matches, but Orton worked a miracle with him at Heroes of Wrestling (it wasn't negative stars), so maybe being barely out of his prime will do more wonders. Orton with a "Pearl Harbor job" but Snuka quickly turns things around. Snap mare out of the corner and Snuka with a fist drop to the forehead. He liked doing it so much, he does the same sequence again. Whip to the ropes and Orton over-sells a big chop. Orton from out of nowhere (it's a family trait) with an inverted atomic drop. They exchange blows, with Snuka getting the better of it. He hits a diving body press, and it takes both men to the floor. They continue to fight on the floor and it's a double Count-Out at 2:34. The crowd disapproves. Wow, we got 20-minutes of the Orndorff/JYD feces-fest, but less than 3-minutes for this? Post-match, Orton tries to give Snuka the Super-Plex, but Snuka fights him off the ropes. Orton rolls away from a Superfly Splash attempt to ensure the crowd doesn't go home happy. Not worth rating a match that went 150 seconds.
Salvatore Bellomo vs. Brutus Beefcake (w/ Johnny Valiant):
Yay, the third match between these two I have the fortune of sitting through. The theme of the night must be stalling like crazy once the bell rings. Bellomo's tights have "Italy" printed across the chest. Damn, and here I thought he's from Uzbekistan. Apparently Mama and Papa Bellomo are ringside to watch their son. Lockup and Beefcake with a slam. Beefcake with a side headlock. Whip to the ropes and Bellomo with a slam, sending Beefcake to the floor for a timeout. Beefcake tries strutting, so Beefcake hits him with a dropkick and throws him over the top rope. Too bad this isn't held under Battle Royal Rules. Bellomo would've won AND the match would be over. I'd give a damn about half of those possibilities. Beefcake attacks with vigor, sticking strictly to punching and kicking. Bellomo sweeps the legs and splashes across the thighs. Whip to the ropes is reversed, and a crisscross ending with Beefcake nailing the running high knee for three at 7:34. ½* Another win for Beefcake over Bellomo. Good for him.
WWF Heavyweight Championship Match:
Hulk Hogan © vs. Big John Studd (w/ Bobby Heenan):
The $15,000 Challenge is still on the table for anyone who can slam Big John Studd in the squared circle. Before the match, Finkel quotes the line "You ain't seen nothing yet" to describe this card leading into the Main Event. Unfortunately, he's right, but not in the way he was suggesting. Lockup and both men attempt slams, unsuccessfully. Whip to the ropes and neither man budges on a shoulder tackle. Hogan with a big boot, but another slam attempt fails. Studd with clubbing forearms across the chest. Hogan comes back with rights and nails him with a clothesline. Studd escapes another slam and goes back to the forearm offense. They take it to the floor after another attempt and Studd rams the Hulkster into the post. He hides perfectly behind the announcers table to blade. Studd continues to do nothing to break a sweat. Hogan tries to pull Studd out of the ring but gets a boot to the face. Studd goes to the top rope and hits a forearm across the back. Whip to the ropes and Studd with an elbow for two. Whip to the ropes and a clothesline for two. Studd with a slam. Hogan pulls Studd to the floor on his second attempt, starts no-selling his offense, and plants him with a slam on the floor before beating the count back in the ring at 10:01. DUD Oh, but the slam didn't happen in the ring, so Hogan, you get nothing. You LOSE! Good day, sir. Yes, I'm so bored by this whole show I'm just quoting whatever movies come to mind.
Final Thoughts: There's nothing good to say about this show. It featured some low quality performances up and down the card, including another piss-poor main event between Hogan and Studd, an absolutely garbage dump between JYD and Orndorff, a 20-minute heatless Women's Tag Title Match, and a poor undercard featuring not one, but two managers not just in action, but going over. Easily the worst WWF card I've had to sit through, and that covers quite a bit of ground.
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