December 7, 1985
Your hosts are Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon
Paul Roma vs. Barry O.
The crowd boos Roma and that shocks the announcers. Barry shocks the announcers by breaking cleanly a few times against the ropes. They trade arm wringers then take it to the mat in a decent sequence. The crowd then starts to cheer when Barry cheapshots Roma as he takes control. Roma reverses an Irish whip then hits a backdrop and an arm drag. Barry ducks outside for a breather then comes in as Roma goes back to the arm. They then work a nice Irish whip sequence that ends with Barry whiffing on a clothesline then begging for mercy before rolling back outside. He comes back in and Roma clotheslines him then works a side headlock. Barry uses Roma’s momentum to toss him outside as the fans start a light cheer for Barry, who is posing in the ring. Barry headbutts Roma, hurting himself in the process, but is able to stop Roma’s sunset flip attempt. He heads up top and hits a double axe handle then runs Roma’s face across the top rope. The crowd starts a boring chant as Barry works a chinlock for a few minutes. He then gets two off of a powerslam then starts to hammer away before going back to the chinlock. Roma fights back and hits an atomic drop and a slam then gets two off of a leg drop. He then rams Barry’s shoulder into the post. Powerslam gets two. They collide in the middle of the ring in a clunky looking spot as the fans boo. Barry climbs up top but Roma slams him off. Barry begs for mercy but Roma fires away then hits a dropkick for one. Overhead suplex gets two. Barry comes back with an inverted atomic drop but Roma fights right back with a forearm smash. Vertical suplex gets two. Barry pulls Roma to the floor by his tights but gets pulled down himself and Roma rams his knee against the post. Both men are back in the ring as Roma gets a nearfall off of another powerslam then applies a figure four as the bell rings, signaling that the time-limit has been reached (18:06) **1/4.
Thoughts: The crowd shit on the match, probably because it was against two TV jobbers, but they put together a decent bout. The main drawback was that it went on for too long. Roma looked pretty good in the ring here and I think the only thing that held him back was his height as he could go in the ring. He looked pretty short next to Barry, who was billed at 6’1.
Moondog Spot vs. Tony Atlas
Atlas headbutts Spot and it looked awful. Atlas slams Spot then works the arm for a bit. Spot catches Atlas with a backbreaker then comes off the top with a forearm smash. Spot works a chinlock for a while. He tries to punch Atlas, who no-sells them and then gets hit with an atomic drop. Atlas knocks him down but runs into a knee on a charge. He then ducks underneath Spot and comes back with a flying headscissors then turns it into a cradle for the win (7:25) ½*.
Thoughts: Not much of a match at all. Atlas was abusing cocaine like it was going out of style at this point of his career. If he didn’t, he was in line for a push and at one point going to win the IC title but he ended up self-destructing. Spot was a really good worker that doesn’t get the credit he deserves but was a glorified jobber at this time.
Pedro Morales vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton
Orton runs away from Morales then attacks him on the floor. He slams him down then tries a suplex but Morales reversed it and both men are down. They head back inside as Pedro powers up and slugs away. He knocks Orton to the floor then follows him out and slams him into the guardrail. Orton tries to pick up a barricade and toss it inside but Morales knocks it down onto Orton’s head. Pedro fires away inside of the ring. He gets a nearfall off of a sunset flip then ducks a cast-shot and rolls up Orton with a small package for the win (6:25) ¾*. After the match, Orton attacks Morales with the cast.
Thoughts: Half of this was Orton stalling and running away. He really was not the worker he was at this point but some of that could have been due to his role, which made him a chickenshit heel. Jesse says Pedro’s win was an upset but Gorilla disagrees. Pedro wasn’t that bad here, probably because he was winning the match. He really dogged it when he was losing.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth vs. Ricky Steamboat
Jesse says that these are two of the best wrestlers in the world. Savage sneak attacks Steamboat but he gets sent into the corner then outside. Steamboat rams the arm of Savage into the post then continues to go to work on the arm. He stays on the arm for a long time then they really pick up the pace for a second before Steamboat goes back to work. Steamboat chases Savage outside of the ring and they end up back inside where Steamboat takes him down with a flying hammerlock. Savage outsmarts Steamboat by bailing after initiating a criss-cross then yells at a fan. Steamboat chases him back inside where he works the arm. Steamboat skins the cat but Savage sends him over the ropes with a forearm smash. He hits Steamboat with a double axe handle off of the top rope then sends him over the guardrail with a running knee smash. Back inside, Steamboat chops Savage but is unable to slam him as Savage falls on top. Savage climbs up top but Steamboat rolls away from the flying elbow smash. Steamboat hits Savage with an atomic drop but gets slammed off of the top rope. Savage slams Steamboat but gets caught with a shot to the mid-section as he came off of the top rope. Steamboat gets nearfalls with a suplex and a side kick. He uses his goofy martial arts chops then hits him while he is on the apron. The ref takes him away and Savage pulls a foreign object out of his trunks. Steamboat brings him back in with a suplex but Savage hits him in the head on the way down and Savage covers for the win (11:15) ***. After the match, Steamboat and Savage roll around the ring fighting over the object. Steamboat grabs it and chases Savage away.
Thoughts: Good match but not a classic or anything. It is actually part of the “Ultimate Randy Savage Collection” DVD. Lots of rest holds but that was understandable as they had another show in Philadelphia the same night, with Steamboat working against Don Muraco and Savage taking part of a tag match. A few months later, they used this same finish for when Savage beat Santana for the IC Title.
Bruno Sammartino vs. Roddy Piper
Both guys start brawling before the introductions, with Bruno getting the upper hand. They briefly fight outside then Bruno drags Piper back inside. Piper is bleeding from his forehead as Bruno is hammering away. He shoves the ref and apologizes and that allows Piper to take him down. Bruno’s comeback is stopped short with an eye poke then he takes Bruno outside. He rams his head off of the guardrail and goes back inside. Bruno fights right back and Piper tries to go up the aisle but he gets brought in and they repeat the spot again. Piper begs for mercy inside of the ring then tries to reach over and grab something from the announcers table but Bruno drags him in, showing his ass in the process. Piper complains about a low blow then Orton runs out but gets attacked as the ref calls for the DQ (5:05) **. After the match, they beat on Bruno then Piper decks the ref as he tried to intervene. They tie Bruno up in the ropes and slap him around.
Thoughts: Not much of a match but it was intense while it lasted. Bruno could still do these types of matches well. Piper & Orton did receive some cheers at the end, as there was a bit of a heel section at the Garden on this night.
WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Jesse “The Body” Ventura vs. Tito Santana (Champion)
Jesse cheapshots Tito against the ropes but Tito fights back and Jesse ducks outside. Back inside, Tito works the arm until Jesse breaks out then uses cheap heel tactics on Tito. He then catches him with a bearhug but Tito is able to escape. Tito fires away as Jesse wants to call a timeout. Tito then uses some of Jesse’s heel tactics then puts on the figure four. Jesse reaches for the ropes then yanks Tito to the floor by his tights. He tries to prevent Tito from coming back in but gets knocked down. Tito then flies in with a slingshot splash but the bell rang as Tito was unable to beat the ten count and as a result, Jesse won by countout (8:13) 1/4*. After the match, Jesse gets pissed that he did not win the belt and that vocal heel section was upset.
Thoughts: Typical Ventura match in that it was mostly stalling and other absurd spots. Ventura was really useless in the ring at this point. This crowd was not into Tito at all, which is shocking.
Scott McGhee vs. Hercules Hernandez
Blassie is not with Hercules, who overpowers McGhee to start. McGhee comes back with a few dropkicks and that has Hercules duck outside. Gorilla starts plugging the “Wrestling Album” and how it makes a great stocking stuffer as Hercules hits McGhee with a backbreaker. He tries it again but McGhee takes him down with a headscissors and hits another dropkick. Herc is moving at a snails pace, which has the crowd starting a boring chant. Herc goes back inside and hammers away, knocking McGhee to the floor. Back inside, Herc drops McGhee throat-first on the top rope then continues his assault. He elbows McGhee, who was in midair, then drops the elbow for two. He puts on a chinlock as the crowd is restless. McGhee fights back and gets a nearfall off of a crossbody. McGhee knocks him down then catches him in midair and hits an inverted atomic drop. He hits a top rope knee drop but misses a somersault senton from the top rope then Hercules dropped the elbow for the win (8:22) ½*.
Thoughts: Awful match, due to Hercules, but McGhee tried and looked good whenever he was on offense. He was a solid wrestler but built similarly to David Sammartino and Rick McGraw,and was never going to get much of a push.
“Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. “Adorable” Adrian Adonis
This is the first time I have heard Adonis billed as “Adorable.” He has died his hair blonde but still has his leather jacket. He takes his jacket off after attacking Poffo and is fatter than ever. Poffo fights back but Adonis regains control. He takes him down with an elbow smash but is sent into the corner on a bulldog attempt. Poffo fires away in the corner then hits a monkeyflip. Poffo comes off the top with a moonsault but Adonis got his knees up then he cradles Poffo for the win (2:51) *. After the match, Gorilla questions as to why they are calling Adonis “Adorable.”
Thoughts: Quick match. It was fine. Adonis wrestled the same way that he always had and nothing was different about him, besides the hair.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Killer Bees vs. The Dream Team (Champion)
No Valiant tonight. Jesse rejoins Gorilla at the booth and is unhappy he did not win the belt. Blair starts off against Valentine and takes care of him. Beefcake comes in and Blair goes after him too. The Dream Team regroup outside for a bit as the fans get on Beefcake. Back inside, Blair hits Valentine with a back suplex then tags Brunzell, who goes to work on the leg .The Bees use quick tags to isolate Valentine. Beefcake breaks up a figure four attempt by Blair and that allows Valentine to take control. The Dream Team takes turns beating the shit out of Blair. Valentine gets a nearfall with an elbow smash from the middle rope then softens up the leg. Blair fights back and goes for a slam but Valentine falls on top of him. Valentine then hits him with a gutbuster before tagging Brutus. Blair fights back then makes the tag to Brunzell with the crowd barely giving a shit. He takes care of both guys then gets a nearfall with a dropkick on Beefcake. The match breaks down then as Brunzell has Beefcake in a sleeper, Valentine hits him with a double axe handle from the top rope as the ref was ordering Blair back on the apron then he turns around as Beefcake covers him for the win (9:48) **3/4.
Thoughts: Solid match. Valentine looked great and everything he did to Blair looked like it killed him. The crowd did not like Beefcake but was quiet for this match and just about everything else on this card.
Final Thoughts: I would pass on this show. The card took place at 11:30am and these guys had another show in Philadelphia that evening so they were not going all out for that reason, among others. The early start time also seemed to have an effect on the crowd, who were not easily amused. It was funny to see that there was a heel section in the crowd, an uncommon occurrence for the WWF at this time. Starting the show with a twenty-minute time limit draw between two jobbers was a poor choice too. The first major match between Savage and Steamboat happened and the tag match was good too but you can pretty much pass on everything else.