WWF Tuesday Night Titans – June 12, 1984
by Scrooge McSuck
- “They all can’t be winners.” Truer words have never been spoken when it comes to this episode. Way back when WWE 24/7 On Demand launched, this episode of TNT was my first exposure to the product, having missed the debut episode. It didn’t really give me a whole lot of hope for the feature moving forward. Here we are, some seven years or so later, and maybe, hopefully, it won’t be as torturous to sit through as I remember.
- Vince McMahon is your host, with Lord Alfred Hayes as his trusty sidekick. We’re promised a lot of nothing, including Big John Studd and Salvatore Bellomo, a wrestler so bad he makes me regret being a fellow Italian.
“Special Delivery” Jones vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff:
We’re joined immediately after introductions, so that gives us a rare full match. I’m not sure if S.D. was a total scrub at this point, or if he’ll actually get some offense. “Paula” chant before they even lock up. Orndorff with stalling. Even Gene Okerlund is calling him out for it. Cute spot sees the referee “accidentally” call him Paula, cheesing him off. Orndorff pounds away, but Jones quickly comes off the ropes with a body press. He takes Orndorff over with a pair of arm drags, sending Mr. Wonderful to the floor. Back inside, Orndorff with knees and his signature elbow drops. He rams Jones to the buckle, but it has no effect. Thankfully, a punch to the throat does. Whip to the ropes, Jones goes for a sunset flip, but it’s countered. Orndorff with an elbow drop, barely for a one count. Orndorff to the top rope, but Jones knocks him off. He unloads with lefts and a jumping headbutt, completely (and comically) over-sold. Whip to the ropes, Jones sets up too early for a back drop and gets an elbow across the back of the head. Orndorff with the Piledriver, much to Okerlund’s disdain, and that’s more than enough for three at 5:50. ** Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling. Maybe this episode won’t be so bad, after all.
- “Mr. Wonderful” In Training… We throw it to a taped segment of Paul Onrdorff at the local Gym with a few soft bodies and a few no-bodies. “You need to stop eating, and you need to eat more.” The running theme is that nobody does things right, except for Mr. Wonderful. Then he makes fun of the “plus sized” woman, but it’s OK because she’s clearly trying not to laugh at his hamming it up. I thought the whole point of a physical trainer was to be encouraging? …And yes, I’m aware that the whole “joke” is that Orndorff is an arrogant jerk and NOT encouraging of others. This was OK, but really dragged about 5-minutes too long.
Salvatore Bellomo vs. Ron Shaw:
Please God, be short. That’s all I’m asking! This isn’t in Progress, but it’s only scheduled for a 10-Minute Time Limit. Ron Shaw is a lanky scrub… that’s all I got. Shaw immediately takes Bellomo over with a snapmare. He sends him to the buckle, plants him with a slam, but misses an elbow. Whip to the corner and Bellomo with a decent looking dropkick for a soft-body. He takes Shaw over with arm drags, snapmares him back in from the apron, and takes him down with a side headlock. Shaw escapes with a head scissors, but Bellomo quickly escapes. Shaw grabs a side headlock, but Bellomo counters with a back suplex. Shaw with a hip toss and elbow for two. Bellomo sweeps the legs and splashes down across the thighs. Whip to the ropes, Shaw with an elbow. One more time, this time Bellomo comes back with a body press and it’s good for three at 3:03. * It was short and not terrible, just there.
- Guest #1: Salvatore Bellomo: I think McMahon just wanted to say his name in his typical boisterous way. He speaks five languages (Editor's Heenan Note: is one of those English?)... maybe he was the old school version of Cesaro. I feel so dirty even making that comparison, even as a joke. Note to Salvatore: STOP WHISPERING. You’re on a TALK SHOW. TALK. Idiot. Bellomo has a very unusual hobby... ship building. I guess he used to do it with plastic, but now he uses paper. Check out the ELMER’S GLUE on the table. I’d ask if grade school approved glue would be sufficient, but Bellomo seems as educated as a 4th grader. He’s made an entire paper ship out of a copy of WWF Magazine. WWF Magazine, available on New Stands everywhere from 1984 through 2013 (sad face). That’s actually a pretty cool looking paper ship. Do you think this is a shoot? If only this were 6 years later. Toys R’ Us would have an entire aisle dedicated to Sal Bellomo’s Build Your Own Ship Sets, as a cross promotion with WWF Magazine. Read it and Rip It!
Ivan Putski vs. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper:
From Madison Square Garden, and again, it’s the entire match, so maybe it will be short. Piper was still somewhat new to WWF, acting mostly as a manager when he first came along. He comes to the ring with an entourage of bagpipers and drummers, probably the flashiest entrance WWF could muster by 1984 standards. Piper stalls on the apron, so Putski pummels him. In Piper’s defense, the bell never rang, so Putski had no right doing that. They slug it out in the corner. Piper finally decides to run for it after a few moments. He tries a cheap shot, but Putski no-sells and it’s another slugfest until Piper rakes the eyes… then falls on his face, Ric Flair style. Piper takes control as Piper’s entourage resumes playing. Now there’s a mid-match technique to fuck with everyone. Putski finally says screw this and lays out the referee during the melee, drawing a Disqualification at 5:10, and awarding the match to Piper. ˝* From a technical stand point, this was nothing but punching, but Piper’s antics were a must-see at this point of his career. I don’t think he would have nuclear heat at MSG until he tried to break Jimmy Snuka’s neck, a few months later.
- The Mail Bag is thrown at the desk, which means it’s time for fan questions and comments! Question #1: Will Hulk Hogan defend the WWF Title against Don Muraco, who is now managed by Capt. Lou Albano. Vince talks of Muraco taking some time off and having to work his way back up into contention. Question #2: Did Hulk Hogan wrestle in L.A, about 5-years ago and is it true he played guitar in a bad? Yes, he plays bass, but we don’t acknowledge working anywhere else.
- Guest #2: "Classy" Freddie Blassie: Do you think they’ll talk about My Breakfast With Blassie? Probably not. Blassie takes credit for himself over that no name that people refer to as “God.” Well, that’s blasphemy, no wonder I liked the heels more. We throw it to an OLD tape, probably from the late 50’s or early 60’s, of Fred Blassie in action against some guy named Baron Leone. WWe promised you a great Main Event tonight..." is said by the commentator, a sound clip ripped for WWE’s opening to all their programs. By the standards of the era, it’s actually not a bad match. We only get to see the first fall of the match. Blassie claims the match is from 1952, but he could be fayfabing that. Vince throws us to another clip… of Blassie’s man, Iron Sheik, jobbing the WWF Championship to the INCREDIBLE, Hulk Hogan. I can watch that clip all day long. Even in 1984, babyfaces trolled heels with video footage. It’s funny hearing Blassie say “we were jobbed”, in different context, of course. Out of nowhere a “Gong” goes off, and we send it to a break.
- Salvatore Bellomo is still making ships in the corner. Nerd.
Mr. Fuji vs. Nick DeCarlo:
I’m assuming this will be a squash match. Fuji, of course, throws the ceremonial salt before locking up. Fuji tries a cheap shot, but DeCarlo blocks and unloads with rights. Fuji’s insincere smiling is quite creepy. Lockup into the corner, Fuji misses a chop. Whip across the ring. Fuji with a slam and second rope splash for the easy victory at 2:04. Not worth rating, but both guys looked old.
- Guest #3: Mr. Fuji: He makes fun of Bellomo for his ship building. Maybe he’ll find a dog and feed it to him as a rib (prank… hell, maybe as a protein, too). He gloats about squashing his opponent like a bug. Is Fuji sitting on a booster seat? Fuji as an evil foreign menace really doesn’t do much for me. He really doesn’t have any depth beyond that. We cut to a new location (probably a few feet away), with a Geisha doing a “traditional” Japanese dance. If I had to put money on it, I’d say she’s either Hawaiian or Samoan. I guess that explains where the gong came from. Fuji barks at McMahon for not taking his shoes off. Then for not taking his jacket off and putting on a robe. Then for thanking his Geisha, because it’s an honor for her to perform her duties. I think we get the idea. We close with the Geisha spilling Saki, and Fuji pitching a fit over “losing face” and promising to punish her. Someone must LOVE Fuji, because he’s still hanging around and we throw it to a match with the Magnificent Muraco, managed by… you guessed it, Mr. Fuji.
Salvatore Bellomo vs. Big John Studd:
What SICK BASTARD thought one episode of Tuesday Night Titans needed TWO matches with Salvatore Bellomo!?! There is no God! Did someone forget that he was already featured? Or that we’re supposed to be impressed that Studd squashes him, after we just saw Bellomo victorious over another scrub? 50/50 booking! Lockup, and Studd easily throws Bellomo across the ring. Bellomo effortless tries an overhead wristlock, with the same lack of results. Bellomo surprises him with a hammerlock, only to get rammed to the corner. Studd throws Bellomo off and drops an elbow for three at 1:53. DUD Yeah, I break my own rating scale rules, because this was as close to nothing as you could get, with almost zero effort from Studd.
- Guest #4: Big John Studd: Oh, goody. He gloats that nobody can slam him, let alone pin him. Bellomo, who is still sitting nearby working on his stupid boats, takes exception to Studd’s comments taking him lightly. Vince brings up Andre The Giant, a feud that probably ran, on and off, for a good 3-4 years. The one thing that separates Andre from everyone else is that he’s undefeated. Somehow this segues into talking about Hulk Hogan. Studd has one-note and it’s constantly bragging about how big he is. Studd randomly punks Bellomo out as he talks about working hard for his body. I guess injecting HGH technically counts as a physical activity.
- We still have about 7-minutes left of television time, so we pad things out with random clips of Jesse “The Body” Ventura (in a match with Ron Shaw, also making his second appearance of the night), Rocky Johnson (in a match teaming with Atlas against Murdoch and Adonis, probably the title switch match), and Adrian Adonis and Dich Murdoch (in a match against Tony Garea and S.D. Jones). Do they just pick clips at random?
Final Thoughts: If you’re a Salvatore Bellomo enthusiast (and there has to be at least one), this is the show for you! This wasn’t quite as bad of an episode as I remember, but it was certainly tedious, especially the second half. There’s a pattern I’m noticing, and it’s all negative: Taking away the actual wrestling, we’re left with wrestlers doing interview who are mostly void of charisma, or have such a lack of character depth that a 7-10 minute segment with them feels like a chore. If we get a taped segment or special set-up like we saw with Paul Orndorff and Mr. Fuji, even if there’s anything funny about them, they drag on for way too long. TNT definitely fits better as a one hour show, but I’ll stick with these until I finally crack.
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