December 28, 1984
Unfortunately, my copy of this show froze and I was unable to review the last three matches. Next week, I will be reviewing the debut episode of Primetime Wrestling then after that, I will be back to the Championship Wrestling shows. I should also mention that this is the show in which David Schultz slapped John Stossel backstage in a segment that was filmed for 20/20
Brutus Beefcake w/Luscious Johnny Valiant vs. S.D. Jones
Valiant stalls for a few minutes in the ring before the match begins. SD backs Brutus into the ropes, pissing him off. They engage in some chain wrestling as we see the Japanese Media at ringside, looking half asleep. Brutus cheap shots SD after a lockup and chokes him out. He grabs a chinlock then takes him down with a shoulderblock. Beefcake boots SD down and hits him with a poor excuse of a splash for two. Beefcake grabs a headlock as the announcers debate whether or not this is a choke. It lasts for a long time. SD catches Beefcake on a crossbody attempt but couldn’t hold him up. Beefcake struts then chokes him out before going back to another chinlock. Johnny is yelling at the ref as SD hits Brutus with an inverted atomic drop. SD knocks down Brutus after a second headbutt attempt. He gets two after a series of punches. Brutus rakes the eyes then after SD ducks a chop, Brutus hits him with a jumping knee smash for the win (13:22) ½*.
Thoughts: Man, this was dull. Both guys had limited offense to begin with and couldn’t brawl well so they did a bunch of restholds to fill the match. No way should these guys have gotten this much time.
Salvatore Bellomo vs. Johnny Rodz
Before the match, Howard Finkel introduces Bellomo’s parents to the audience. Bellomo takes down Rodz with a pair of shoulderblocks then grabs a headlock. Bellomo then cartwheels over Rodz and hits a dropkick. They engage in a brief amount of matwork then Rodz catches him with a knee and takes control. He knocks Bellomo to the floor then hits him with a baseball slide right as he comes back in the ring. Rodz gets two off a top rope elbow smash then complains to the ref about a slow count. He slams Bellomo but gets caught with a punch after coming off the top rope. Bellomo hits a backdrop and snapmare. Dropkick gets two. Rodz hits one awful powerslam but misses a flying headbutt and that allows Bellomo to hit a crossbody block, that came up way short, for the win (5:36) *1/2. The camera shows Mama Bellomo in the crowd on the verge of tears. Bellomo grabs the mic and thanks America before kissing the ground
Thoughts: Fine for what it was. Rodz was a solid worker, perhaps even underrated. Bellomo was his usual self.
“Dr. D” David Schultz vs. Antonio Inoki
Inoki is billed as the “World’s Martial Arts Champion.” Schultz gets into Inoki’s head and the two go right after each other. Schultz grounds him using a headscissor but Inoki escapes. Schultz attacks Inoki in the corner after a cheap shot. Schultz grabs a side headlock then both men trade arm wringers. Inoki backs Schultz against the ropes then chops him down. Schultz complains to the ref then they lockup. After a cheap shot from Schultz, Inoki kicks him down then chokes him out. Schultz hits a suplex then a slam. He goes up top but misses a flying elbow drop and that allows Inoki to hit him with an enziguri after he gets up for the win (5:16) *3/4.
Thoughts: Short, but decent action while it lasted. This would be the last match at MSG for both men. Schultz would get fired the following February for attempting to attack Mr. T.
Paul Kelly vs. Junkyard Dog
Kelly had been playing the Masked Executioner during this time. JYD slams Kelly, who ducks outside. JYD grabs a chinlock as the announcers discuss philosophy. Kelly fights back but JYD murders him with a clothesline then hits the powerslam but they messed up the count so the ref counted again and JYD gets the win (3:05) ¼*.
Thoughts: Not much here besides JYD stiffing the shit out of Kelly with a clothesline. The crowd is in love with JYD, as he is getting the best face reaction besides Hogan (Slaughter left the WWF a few weeks before this show over a dispute with Vince McMahon).
WWF Jr. Heavyweight Championship Match
The Cobra vs. Black Tiger
Finkel holds up the title in the ring, which was vacated when the Dynamite Kid jumped to All-Japan. The match starts with both guys trading moves. Tiger hits a clothesline then gets a senton for one. Cobra comes back with a backdrop and then grabs a chinlock. In a really sloppy sequence, Cobra comes off the top but they messed up a crossbody and he came back with a terrible spin kick. Cobra drops the knee then gets two off a suplex. He hits a gutbuster then puts Tiger in the Boston Crab and from that, he puts him in a surfboard. Tiger flips Cobra over and puts on a chinlock. Legdrop gets two. I should not that Gorilla is solo on commentary right now and he keeps talking the whole time. Tiger puts on a chinlock as the crowd is dead. After trading chops, Cobra misses a splash and Tiger works the legs. He gets two off an elbow drop then grabs a front facelock. Senton, called a flying cartwheel by Monsoon, gets two. Cobra fights back and gets two off a legdrop. He sends him to the floor with a dropkick as Okerlund comes back. Tiger slips while climbing the ropes as Cobra tosses him off. He uses a headscissors but Tiger escapes and hits a clothesline. Kneedrop gets two. Swinging neckbreaker gets two. Tiger hits a tombstone piledriver, which gets the crowd to pop, but misses a top rope elbow drop. Cobra gets two off a spinning heel kick as the crowd is now alive. Cobra dropkicks Tiger to the floor then flies out with a tope. In the ring, Tiger knocks down Cobra and hits a top rope splash. Suplex gets two. Tombstone gets two. He tries another tombstone but Cobra reverses and hits one of his own then goes up top and hits a senton for the win and the championship (12:29) **3/4. After the match, Cobra offers a handshake but Tiger attacks him. He tosses him outside but Cobra comes back with a chairshot. Both men return to the ring and the Cobra is handed the title.
Thoughts: The last few minutes were awesome but prior to that, it wasn’t much and really sloppy at points. Still, they did stuff that no one in the WWF was doing at this time and they did a faster pace than usual for the WWF, but it was slower than their Japanese matches.
“Cowboy” Bob Orton & “Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. Tonga Kid & Jimmy Snuka
The crowd goes crazy for Snuka and Piper. They chase of the heels, who then come in and try a sneak attack but that fails. Tonga and Piper are in the ring now. Tonga hits a crossbody for two and works the arm as Snuka is staring down Piper from the apron. Orton tags and Tonga catches him with a powerslam then works the arm. He tags Snuka, who works the arm. Snuka no-sells three punches and takes Orton down with a headbutt. Snuka tries to get Orton to tag Piper but he doesn’t extend his hand. Orton finally tags Piper, who at first refuses to enter. He then charges at Snuka but gets pummeled. Snuka takes out both men until Piper pokes his eye and tags Orton. He beats on Snuka but misses a Vader Bomb. Both men tag out and Tonga runs wild on Piper. Piper gets him in his corner and he and Orton double-team him behind the ref’s back. After a double clothesline, Roddy taunts Snuka then tags Orton. He beats on Tonga and the two make quick tags to neutralize Tonga. Roddy is just a joy to watch out here as he was one of the best heels in wrestling history. Tonga tries to make a tag but Orton runs in and knocks Snuka off the apron. Roddy has Tonga in a chinlock then tags Orton, who hits him with a forearm smash. Tonga manages to get two off a sunset flip but Orton comes back with mounted punches. He tries a cover but Snuka yanks him off. Piper goes in behind the ref’s back. He ducks his head and Tonga kicks him then heads to the wrong corner. Orton tags but Tonga fires away then goes through the legs of Orton and makes a tag. Snuka goes wild then shoves the referee, who was trying to control the match. Snuka sends Orton into the corner and makes the cover but the ref stops before the three count as he sees Tonga and Piper brawling nearby. Piper backdrops Tonga to the floor and Orton sets up Snuka for the superplex but gets shoved off and Snuka hits a crossbody. Piper breaks up the pin at two as Tonga is trying to get back into the ring. They throw Snuka to the floor as the announcers complain about how the referee is doing a terrible job. Orton goes up top but Snuka shoves him off, into Piper. The heels dump their opponents, who while stumbling around the ring, accidentally bump heads, causing them to power up and run back into the ring. All four men are brawling as the ref signals for the bell as he cannot maintain control. Piper accidentally hits Orton and the heels get dumped but then run in for a sneak attack. Tonga grabs a chair and chases away the heels as the ref rules the match as a double disqualification (14:58) ***1/4.
Thoughts: This match had tremendous heat. Tonga looked great and worked most of the match. Snuka didn’t do a whole lot at all but the crowd was jacked the entire time. Sadly, Tonga would only last a few more weeks as he left the promotion. I believe in an interview he said he couldn’t handle the pressure but he allegedly no-showed a bunch of dates and left, only to return 18 months later to form the Islanders with Haku.
Rene Goulet vs. Mike Rotundo
They lockup in the corner and Goulet complains of a hair pull. Goulet gets two off a reverse rollup, while holding the tights. Rotundo grounds Goulet with headscissors. He holds on to the arm after Goulet takes him over with a hiptoss and works the arm. He uses a front facelock for a bit then Goulet escapes and starts biting Rotundo in the corner. He grabs a chinlock as a fan is yelling “boring.” Goulet ends a comeback bid with a knee smash then tosses Rotundo to the floor. He bites Rotundo then gets two off a suplex. He locks on the iron claw as a few more fans join in on the boring chant. Rotundo misses a charge in the corner and Goulet locks on the claw from the top rope. Rotundo tosses him off and fires away as the crowd couldn’t care less. He sends Goulet upside down into the corner then hits him with an atomic drop. Rotundo works the leg but Goulet regains control and puts him in an abdominal stretch as the crowd is showing fans in the crowd wearing masks. Rotundo hits a backdrop then drops an elbow for two. He catches Goulet in an airplane spin then drops him for the win (10:38) ¾*.
Thoughts: Holy shit was this dull. The crowd couldn’t have cared less about either guy. I know it was tough to follow Snuka but this was atrocious.
WWF President Jack Tunney is in the ring. He introduces Wendi Richter and Hulk Hogan, who is carrying a trophy. He then introduces Dick Clark, who flew in from Los Angeles for this presentation. Finally, he introduces Cyndi Lauper, who is accompanied by David Wolfe. Clark awards Lauper with a special achievement award to her contribution to women’s wrestling. Hulk grabs the mic and the crowd goes ballistic as he puts over Lauper. She thanks everyone then presents the WWF a gold and platinum record then brings out Capt. Lou Albano, thanking him for raising four million for multiple sclerosis. Albano thanks everyone and says the award is an honor as Orton and Piper sneak in the ring and grab the mic. Piper grabs the mic, stating that he set up everything, then smashes the record over Albano’s head. Lauper dives at his legs but Piper kicks her off. He slams Wolfe then takes off as Hogan runs back out. The fans are spitting and tossing stuff all over Piper as he walks back up the aisle. Back in the ring, Hogan helps up Albano as Wolfe gets taken out on a stretcher as Lauper is crying. Now, that is how you start a feud. One hell of a segment and among the best in WWF history.
Well, my DVD kept freezing at the start of the tag-title match so I will run down the last three matches.
Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch retained the tag-titles against the Brisco Brothers when the match ended in a double count out. The match went (26:46) and after the bout, the Brisco’s had their opponents in the figure four. This match came to place when the Brisco’s beat the champs on TV after they went on Piper’s Pit, who got them a match with the champs, stating they owed him a favor. The Brisco’s would be gone from the WWF in a month.
Barry Windham beat Mr. Fuji with a bulldog in nineteen seconds. Nothing much to say about this.
Hulk Hogan retained the Heavyweight Title over the Iron Sheik in (3:31) with a legdrop.
Final Thoughts: A memorable show with some good matches, but what was bad really did suck. They turned Albano face after the attack by Piper and that set up the main event at Wrestlemania. The tag-title match was fun too. The undercard stuff was pretty dull and the Jr. Heavyweight match, while faster paced than most WWF stuff, was sloppy at points.