I thought I would give everyone a brief history lesson before we started in with this review. Championship Wrestling was the WWF's main television program and it morphed into Superstars in 1986 when the WWF started their huge syndication push.
The first thing you'll notice is that the WWF is just full of talent they lured away from the AWA just recently. Hulk Hogan, Mean Gene Okerlund, Bobby Heenan, Ken Patera and "Dr. D" David Schultz. Other territory talents that Vince has grabbed so far are the Junkyard Dog, Barry Windham, Blackjack Mulligan and Mike Rotunda.
Some timeline things to keep in mind. The McDonalds incident with Ken Patera has happened, he just hasn't been sentenced yet. When that happens, he'll disappear quickly. The WWF is also still on TBS at this point. They're about 2 months away from losing the World Championship Wrestling show. So if you're actually watching this, you'll see World Championship Wrestling graphics and the opening music will play. It's kind of a sight to behold.
"Thriller" by Michael Jackson is our opening for this show and the video is of Hogan beating the Iron Sheik for the WWF Championship.
Hosts are Vince McMahon and Bruno Sammartino
Lord Alfred Hayes narrates an awards ceremony for Captain Lou Albano and Cyndi Lauper. Lou and Cyndi give brief speeches. Cyndi's voice... KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!
Tonight at the Boston Garden... Greg Valentine defends the Intercontinental Championship against Tito Santana. Andre the Giant and Junkyard Dog take on Big John Studd and Ken Patera. I should mention now that I'm pretty sure all of these episodes are going to be the Boston feed of the show. So a lot of the promos are going to be for Boston Garden matches.
WWF Champion Hulk Hogan is training Hillbilly Jim to be a wrestler. Hogan starts the day off with the raw eggs and Jim finds it to be disgusting. Hogan works with Jim at the gym and continually takes his hat off. This was actually pretty funny as Jim was a disaster on most of the gym equipment and in the ring. "Eye of the Tiger" is your music for this. This was fairly humorous as Hogan and Jim had some really good chemistry.
Local promo time as Mean Gene goes over tonight's Boston Garden show.
Mean Gene has Blackjack Mulligan to talk about his match with "Dr. D" David Schultz tonight in the Garden. Blackjack is suffering from a little acid reflux from eating too much at Christmas. Mulligan says he and Schultz are a lot alike. He says that he's just the man to give Schultz an attitude adjustment. He promises that it's going to be an all out brawl tonight.
Piper's Pit with Bobby Heenan, Big John Studd and Ken Patera. Heenan brags about how they cut the hair of Andre the Giant. He says they did it to demoralize the Giant. Patera calls Andre a big goof. Big John Studd is carrying around Andre's hair and they let Piper pick out a piece of his hair. It's amazing to me that Piper's Pit is so well remembered and the actual segments were so short.
We join Magnificent Muraco in Hawaii. He says he isn't fake like Hulk Hogan and that he's coming for the belt.
Mean Gene has WWF Tag Team Champion Adrian Adonis. Tonight he and Dick Murdoch defend the tag team titles against the Briscos. The Briscos recently beat them on television in a non-title bout. Adonis says that Murdoch is doing their taxes and then goes off on the Briscos. He says their win was a fluke because they were suffering from fevers. He says the figure four leglock should be outlawed and calls them butt kissers. He says tonight is survival of the fittest.
Junkyard Dog joins Mean Gene after Adrian Adonis leaves. I have no idea what JYD is trying to say. He must have done a huge pile of coke before coming out or something. Anyways, It's Andre the Giant and Junkyard Dog vs. Big John Studd and Ken Patera later tonight.
Vince and Bruno are at ringside. Vince says they can't show the awards ceremony from Madison Square Garden due to some events that transpired.
Next week we'll see Tito Santana, WWF Tag Team Champions Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch in Piper's Pit, WWF Intercontinental Champion Greg Valentine, U.S. Express and Big John Studd and Ken Patera.
Final Thoughts: This wasn't a bad show at all. The Hogan/Jim segment was good and the matches were inoffensive. And this show is fascinating from a historical point of view. The WWF is just starting their expansion and are failing on TBS. You see a lot of the pieces that are going to be there when the company is red hot a few years later. But it still largely feels like a regional promotion. The show lacks the polish of Superstars and Wrestling Challenge. The wrestlers aren't as cartoony as they will become. And Vince the announcer is pretty low key compared to what he becomes as the product advances through the rest of the 80s.
The main drawback to this show is that Bruno Sammartino is an awful color commentator. He says the right things but his delivery is just awful. He's definately on the list of bad 80s WWF announcers. I understand why they use him, I just don't enjoy it.
This was very 80s. The show goes to commercial with popular 80s music and the wrestlers are using a lot of current pop music. It's really an interesting look into what pop culture was like at the exact moment these episodes were airing.
If you're a fan of the WWF during the 80s. You should check this out. The shows are very different from the Superstars show that takes it's place. It's more like a standard wrestling product than the spectacle that Vince ends up creating. I think it will be interesting to see how the product changes as 1985 progresses.