WWF Championship Wrestling
March 31, 1984
Your announcers are Gene Okerlund and Vince McMahon
This week features the return of “Cowboy” Bob Orton. Also, Piper’s Pit with the first inductee of Sgt. Slaughter’s Cobra Corps, Terry Daniels, and the featured bout, which will see Piper go up against SD Jones.
Mike Powers vs. Tito Santana
Apparently, this is the debut of Powers, who has the hair of Buddy Rose and the back hair of A-Train. Tito grounds Powers then works a headlock as Vince reads a fan question wondering where Muraco has been. Like usual, the fan doesn’t get an answer. Powers seems to be messing up his spots and Tito is getting pissed. Tito blocks a turnbuckle smash then kills Powers with the flying forearm (3:37).
Thoughts: Powers was one crappy jobber and the squash itself was boring. Tito really hit him hard with the forearm though. That was vicious.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. The spoltlight is on the Iron Sheik as we see a clip of him destroying a jobber while the crowd is screaming for Sgt. Slaughter. These segments were used to showcase those they were trying to push. Not a bad idea, really. Short and to the point.
Francisco Vasquez vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/Capt. Lou Albano
Never heard of Vasquez before but he has a good physique. Valentine gets an elbow smash to start. Drop toehold by the Hammer and he goes to work on the leg. Vasquez fucks up a small package by falling down so Valentine picks him up and slams him hard. He uses the spinning toe hold to set up the figure-four leglock for the win (2:07). After the match, Valentine destroys the leg some more.
Thoughts: Where did they get the jobbers tonight? The first two have been awful so far. A dominating squash by Valentine, who they seem to be building up strongly.
Tony Russo vs. Bob Backlund
Backlund is still getting some boos. They start out with a handshake then Backlund goes to work using some amateur moves. Russo manages a takedown but Backlund gets up and uses a backslide for the pin (1:58). After the match, the two shake hands as Arnold Skaaland, the man who threw in the towel for Backlund when he lost the title to the Iron Sheik, is introduced as he enters the ring to raise the hand of Backlund, who then proceeds to use his own ab-roller to exercise..
Thoughts: The crowd is not warming up to Backlund’s act at all. This was even too corny for 1984. The overly nice and happy act, along with the boring amateur moves are turning off the crowds. Funny, how later in the year, Hulk Hogan would ride a wave of popularity by pandering to the kids.
Santiago Rios vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff w/Roddy Piper
Crowd is driving Orndorff crazy with the “Paula” chants. He starts by kneeing Rios then throwing him out of the ring. Rios tries to use some shoulder thrusts on the apron but Orndorff yanks him back inside. He hits Rios with a nasty waistlock suplex before nearly taking his head off with a clothesline. After that, he picks him up and nails the piledriver for the win (1:40)
Thoughts: Damn, I love Orndorff squash matches. Poor Rios took a shit-kicking here.
Piper’s Pit with Terry Daniels. He is dressed in his Marine attire. Piper mocks him and then pokes fun of military catchphrases that you see in the movies. Piper then makes fun of Slaughter and puts down the idea of the Cobra Corps before walking off the set. Not bad and Piper was pretty funny but this seems to be setting up to some sort of match down the line.
Lee Wong vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton
The return of Orton, who is met with a few cheers but mostly boos. Orton works the arm of Wong as we see Roddy Piper appear at ringside, seemingly in the corner of Orton. Slam by Orton then a kneedrop as he places Wong up top and hits the Superplex for the win (2:23). After the match, Piper comes in the ring to raise the hand of Orton.
Thoughts: Nice job by Orton as the Superplex was one of the coolest looking finishers in the company at this time. Having Piper align with Orton will add to his heat. Speaking of Piper, he now has Orton, Orndorff, and Schultz. That really could have been a great stable.
SD Jones vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
Piper stalls and takes off his kilt, which had the crowd taunting him loudly. He starts by shaking hands and using clean breaks, in a very insincere manner. It was pretty funny, actually. Piper then clocks SD after teasing another clean break. SD manages a sunset flip for two but Piper goes to work on the neck. SD makes a comeback as the crowd goes crazy. He catches his foot and hits an atomic drop and the crowd is insane right now as Piper is staggering all over the place. SD then ducks his head and Piper hits him with a swinging neckbreaker for the win (4:43).
Thoughts: Not bad at all. The wrestling wasn’t much but Piper really could work the crowd. He had the crowd go nuts for SD Jones.
Frankie Williams vs. Ivan Putski
Putski keeps hitting Williams, who ducks out of the ring each time. The announcers play up how Williams has never beat Putksi. Has he even won a televised match at this point? Vince plugs Tony Garea & B. Brian Blair vs. Wild Samoans as next week’s featured match. Putski slingshots Williams back in the ring then hits the Polish Hammer for the win (2:52).
Thoughts: Dull stuff. Nothing more to add other than Putski continues to get phased out.
Vince and Gene plug next week’s featured bout again as they mention Putski will be a guest on the Piper’s Pit next week.
Final Thoughts: Fun show. They had better and more prolific wrestlers, like Santana, Piper, Orndorff, and the return of Orton. None of the Salvatore Bellomo and Butcher Vachon types were present here. More of the focus is on the new and not on the old.
WWF Championship Wrestling
April 7, 1984
Your announcers are Gene Okerlund and Vince McMahon
They run down the card for tonight’s show, plugging Garea & Blair vs. Samoans and Ivan Putski on the Piper’s Pit.
Tony Colon & Johnny Ringo vs. Tony Atlas & Rocky Johnson
Johnson armdrags Ringo then tags Atlas. Colon tags in as well and punches Atlas to no effect. The tag champs make quick tags until Colon beats on Johnson for a little bit. Johnson escapes and tags Atlas, who gets the press slam and finishes with the splash (3:46).
Thoughts: Boring squash and the tag-champs still don’t seem to mesh well at all.
WWF Update as Vince McMahon tells us that Jimmy Snuka has been named WWF magazine wrestler of the year. They show a clip of him winning a squash with the Superfly Splash.
Jose Luis Rivera vs. “Dr. D.” David Schultz w/Roddy Piper
Rivera’s first match on TV since he did a stretcher job for Valentine last month. Schultz takes him down then sends him out of the ring with a forearm smash. Back in, Rivera lands a few shots but Schultz pokes his eyes. Slam by Schultz, which sets up the middle-rope elbow drop for the win (2:01).
Thoughts: Schultz dominated here and it’s further back down the card for Rivera.
Charlie Fulton vs. Sgt. Slaugher w/Terry Daniels
Daniels is leading Slaughter to the ring, bearing the flag. Sarge is in his red, white, and blue colors. Slaughter starts with a Fireman’s carry then hits Fulton with some forearms. Gutbuster by Slaughter who then works the arm. Fulton escapes but Slaughter comes back with some windmill punches. Clothesline by Slaughter which sets up the Cobra Clutch for the win (1:59). After the match, Slaughter leads the crowd in some “U-S-A” chants.
Thoughts: Nice squash match for Slaughter. The crowd is eating up the patriotic act by Slaughter. They go absolutely crazy whenever he appears.
Tonga Kid vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton w/Roddy Piper
They start with a criss-cross sequence that ends with Tonga getting a crossbody for two. He chops Orton, who then brushes off a dropkick attempt. Crowd is behind Tonga as he is getting pummeled by Orton. Tonga manages a dropkick but Orton thencatches him with a backbreaker, setting him up for the Superplex and the victory (2:02).
Thoughts: Good amount of action for a two minute match. Tonga was very athlectic and Orton was one of the best wrestlers around.
Piper’s Pit with Ivan Putski. Roddy starts by dissing Putski’s Polish heritage then tells him how he is not intimidated by his physique. Piper then tells him he would rather hear Lassie bark and listen to him sing so Putksi grabs the mic and begins to sing, to the disgust of Piper. Piper screams at Putski, who continues to sing. Eventually, Piper walks off and Putski finishes his song. Not much of a segment but the crowd seemed to enjoy Putski here. Then again, Piper could always get the crowd to cheer for his opposition at this point.
Lee Wong vs. Iron Sheik w/Freddie Blassie
Loud “Iran Sucks” chants from the crowd. Sheik stalls for a bit then hits a waistlock suplex and applies the Camel Clutch for the win (1:04).
Thoughts: Very quick and the heat for the Sheik was off the charts. Looks like they are trying to build up the Sheik once again.
B. Brian Blair & Tony Garea vs. Wild Samoans w/Capt. Lou Albano
Blair and Sika start out after some stalling by the heels. They do a bit where Sika tries to hit Blair but he would duck out of the way and Afa got hit by accident. Sika easily escapes from a full nelson. Afa runs in but accidentally hits Sika. Blair grabs a headlock but Sika reaches the ropes and tags out. Blair gets a sunset flip for two then tags Garea. He gets a crossbody for two. Afa knocks him down and applies a chinlock. The Samoans tag behind the referee’s back and double team Garea for a while. After ducking away from a charge, Garea tags Blair. He beats on the Samoans then gets the ab stretch into a cradle but Sika breaks up the pin. All four men are now brawling in the ring and the ref signals for the DQ as he cannot control the match (6:12) *. Albano gathers his team and takes them back to the dressing room.
Thoughts: Basic match that seems to be leading up to a series of matches between the two teams. Blair & Garea don’t really do much for me and the Samoans are getting a little stale.
Israel Matia vs. Johnny Rivera
Rivera is smaller with a receeding hairline. He is best known for being Invader #3. Matia stalls for a bit then grabs an armlock. Rivera escapes and gets a dropkick and an armdrag. He works the arm as Vince breaks the news that Hulk Hogan will wrestle in next week’s featured match against Tiger Chung Lee. Rivera then gets a flying chop for the win (2:39).
Thoughts: Rivera was quick and a good worker but no one cared about the match. It seemed like a heel vs. heel match.
Final Thoughts: Another solid show. You can see that they are taking steps to change the format of the show. They are having the bigger names appear, Piper’s Pit is original and even the WWF Update segments are a nice touch. Also, ring announcer Joe McHugh (who really isn’t that good) has stopped giving the match times before announcing the winner. They are really strong on the heel side of the roster and building them up nicely. The tag-division is weak but there are plenty of challengers for the World and Intercontinental belts.