Archive for Lou Albano

WWF at Madison Square Garden 4/6/81

Posted in WWE with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2015 by Grappleholic

Vince McMahon is commentary. Howard Finkel is the ring announcer.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Match: Pedro Morales (c) vs. Moondog Rex (w/ Captain Lou Albano). Moondog King failed to unseat Morales last month, so now Rex is taking a shot. Albano is escorted to the back for being crazy or something. Rex holds a headlock for about an hour, then goes to work on the champ’s arm. Vince says that Morales is having more trouble with Rex than he did with King. King beats on Morales for about a week. Morales finally makes a comeback, then gets an inside cradle for the pin in 9:29. 1/2* because it wasn’t completely worthless.

Sergeant Slaughter (w/ The Grand Wizard) vs. Pat Patterson. Patterson is a fiery babyface. He wants some of Slaughter, but Slaughter appears to want none of it. Slaughter sneaks around and tries to jump Patterson from behind, but gets his ass kicked. Patterson fights dirty with chokes, closed fights, and even a bite to Sarge’s hand. Patterson catapults Sarge into the turnbuckles and scores a 2 count. Somebody is blowing a whistle. Is Bill Alfonso around? Patterson applies a crab hold. Back to their feet. Patterson hits a shoulder block and goes for another. Sarge avoids it and sends him crashing to the outside. Slaughter threatens to dive off the top rope to the floor, but thinks better of it and settles for a kick off the apron. Slaughter is trying to win by count out. He covers his ears to drown out the crowd’s boos. Patterson makes it back in and Sarge goes to work on him. Slaughter goes for a diving knee drop, but Patterson avoids it. Patterson locks in a figure-four leglock. Slaughter suffers, but makes the ropes. They brawl outside. Patterson hits Sarge with a chair, which is apparently fine if you’re on the outside. Back inside, Patterson shoves the ref twice. Sarge rakes his eyes. They brawl. Slaughter shoves the ref. Slaughter and Patterson both throw the ref out of the ring. Sarge applies the Cobra Clutch. The ref comes back in and Slaughter immediately kicks him in the groin. Apparently there are rules, as the referee finally calls for the bell. It’s a double DQ in 13:30. Even in 1981, this company hated finishes. Patterson is angry at the ref. Vince assures us that Pat will apologize to the ref once he cools off. **1/2

Steel Cage Match for the WWF Heavyweight Championship: Bob Backlund (c) (w/ Arnold Skaaland) vs. Stan Hansen. Finkel announces that the winner will be the one who successfully runs away. Hansen jumps Backlund immediately, but Backlund throws him into the cage and generally kicks his ass. Back and forth brawl. Backlund hits a piledriver and tries to escape. Hansen hits him the ding ding. Lots of ramming of heads into the cage. Hansen bleeds. Backlund avoids an elbow drop. More brawling. Backlund escapes to win in 8:52. Fun brawl. Hansen is none the worse for wear because a cage match where the objective is to run away is fucking stupid. **1/2

“Pretty Boy” Larry Sharpe & “The Unpredictable” Johnny Rodz vs. Tony Garea & Rick Martel. Martel and Roz start. Both sides tag in and out. The heels, Sharpe & Rodz, cut Martel off and get the heat on him. Garea gets a lukewarm tag. Rodz sucks him and lets him crash into the corner. Now they’re working over Garea. Martel gets a much more lively hot tag and runs wild. Clusterfuck ensues. Martel and Garea send the heels into each other. Martel pins Sharpe with a jackknife hold in 7:05. **1/2

It was way more interesting than the show I watched previously.

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WWWF at Madison Square Garden 6/27/77

Posted in WWE with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2014 by Grappleholic

WWE Old School intro.

Announcer Vince McMahon introduces the show.

Howard Finkel, sporting a powder blue suit and a full head of hair, is the ring announcer.

Jan Nelson vs. Jose Gonzalez.  I assume this is the same Jose Gonzalez who would murder Bruiser Brody in a dirty bathroom 11 years later.  He’s a big babyface here in New York.  An “Old School Flashback” in the bottom right corner informs me that Kanye West was born this month, June 1977.  That’s unfortunate for the world.  But I digress.  Gonzalez is the more experienced grappler, while Vince touts Nelson as a future star.  I don’t know that Nelson ever lived up to that.  Gonzalez makes the heel Nelson look foolish, and you can hear Nelson Muntz guffaw in the crowd more than a decade before The Simpsons debuted.  Lots of good ol’ fashioned arm work in this match. as Nelson works an arm lock for several minutes.  Gonzalez fights back with some arm wrangling of his own.  Nelson quickly cuts him off and then beats him  up.  Gonzalez avoids a charge in the corner and makes his comeback.  Gonzalez hits four dropkicks and scores the pin in 9:46.  *3/4

Rocky Tomayo vs. Larry Zbyszko.  Holy crap, Larry is young here.  I’ve never heard of Rocky Tomayo.  More basic, old fashined grappling.  They actually do a bit of chain wrestling, which always makes me giddy.  This is actually kind of fun.  Larry is a fiery young babyface here, very quick to take Tomayo down and grab a hold.  Of course, this is Larry Zbyszko, so there is some stalling.  Tomayo endures a lot of trauma to his hamstrings.  Larry catches Tomayo with an inside cradle for the pin in 7:30.  Man, this referee counts slow.  **1/4

Tony Garea vs. George “The Animal” Steele.  Fiery young babyface Garea is ready to fight, which befuddles the Animal.  Steele stalls a bit, then gets the advantage on Garea by wrestling heelishly.  Garea makes a fiery comeback.  The referee DQ’s Steele in 7:22 for hitting Garea with a foreign object.  Steele continues to lay the beating on.  Garea rallies and runs the big man off.  **

2/3 Falls: Ken Patera & Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Captain Lou Albano) vs. Andre the Giant & Chief Jay Strongbow.  The babyfaces run Albano off during the introductions.  This seems to be a grudge match.  Patera stalls a long time before getting in the ring to start the match.  Vince calls Strongbow a “fired up redskin.”  The ’70s were a different time.  Strongbow gets Patera in his own hold, the full nelson.  Patera escapes.  Andre tags in and puts Patera in the full nelson.  Patera manages to make the ropes.  Volkoff tags in.  The heels try to cut off Andre in their corner, but Andre is a giant, so he’s like “fuck that.”  Strongbow comes in.  Volkoff puts a hurting on him briefly.  Andre tags in and bear hugs Volkoff.  Volkoff gets free, but Andre punches him the face.  Strongbow tags back in and gets caught on the wrong side of town.  Andre gets a hot tag at point, but the referee didn’t see it.  Heels continue getting the heat on Strongbow.  Andre finally gets the tag and runs… well, he doesn’t really run wild, but he wrecks shit like a destructive giant briefly.  Clusterfuck breaks out, largely involving Strongbow running into Andre, causing him to shoulder block both heels in the corner.  Andre goes for a big splash on Patera, but Patera avoids certain death and makes the tag.  Strongbow comes in with a big babyface flurry and locks Volkoff in a sleeper hold.  Patera saves, but gets his man DQ’d in 13:46.  My stream turns shitty, which is just lovely.  After I get it straightened out, Volkoff and Patera get into it at ringside.  Presumably, Volkoff is pissed that Patera cost them the fall.  Insta-commercials.  Strongbow and Volkoff start the second fall.  Andre hold Volkoff for Strongbow to hit him, which is illegal.  The heels are still not getting along.  Patera shoves Volkoff.  Volkoff takes a swing at him.  Volkoff goes to leave the ring, but Patera clubber his back from behind.  Patera leaves.  Andre gives Volkoff a big boot and a splash for the pin in a little over two minutes.  Finkel gives the total time as 16:25.  Fun match.  **3/4

Lenny Hurst vs. Stan “The Man” Stasiak.  This is Hurst’s MSG debut.  I wonder if he ever made it back.  Stasiak is a former WWWF Champion, and the father of a guy who would someday run into shit in backstage segments.  Stasiak is from Buzzard Creek, Oregon, which is a great name for a wrestling hometown.  Vince touts the 225 lb Hurst as the lightest wrestler in the WWWF.  I’ll bet he wishes that were still the case today.  Anyway, Stasiak is the ornery old heel, Hurst is the fiery young babyface, and they work the match accordingly.  Hurst delivers a dropkick that sends Stasiak to the apron.  Stasiak comes back in and puts a beating on the young man.  Hursts makes his comeback, then eats a boot to the face.  Stasiak lands the heart punch for the pin in 7:55.  **

Vince interviews WWWF Champion “Superstar” Billy Graham (w/ The Grand Wizard) in the ring prior to his match.  I’m almost certain I’ve seen this interview before.  “I am the man of the hour, the man with the power, the man too sweet to be sour.”

WWWF Heavyweight Championship Match: “Superstar” Billy Graham (c) (w/ The Grand Wizard) vs. Bruno Sammartino (w/ Arnold Skaaland).  Bruno has a mustache and a Jew fro here.  I think this is 2 months after Graham took the title from Bruno in Baltimore.  Graham taunts Bruno with the belt, and by god, Bruno wants that belt back.  The beauty of this is that Graham cheated Bruno out of his belt, so Bruno is PISSED OFF and wants it back.  He does not laugh it off and talk about how championships come and go.  Bruno attacks Graham to jumpstart the match and MSG comes UNGLUED.  Graham manages to subdue Bruno with a full nelson.  Vince notes that this hold is attacking Bruno’s neck, which was broken not all that long ago by Stan Hansen.  Bruno reverses it and almost puts the champ down with it.  Graham manages to avoid having his arm drop the third time and gets to his feet, but Bruno keeps the hold.  Graham finally manages to get free and takes a powder.  Graham comes back and manages to get the advantage, putting pressure on Bruno’s back and arms.  Bruno again reverses Graham’s hold and puts the pressure on him.  Graham manages to get some momentum going and puts the boots to Bruno.  They work a bear hug for a bit.  Bruno takes a spill to the outside, and Graham tries to keep him there.  Bruno gets back in and goes on the attack.  Graham begs off to no avail.  Graham rallies, but knocks down the referee in the process.  The guys brawl and the referee tries to break it up, only to get taken down repeatedly.  The ref finally calls for the bell in 18:15.  It’s a double DQ.  Fun strong guy match.  **3/4

Baron Von Raschke (w/ Freddie Blassie) vs. Ivan Putski.  Putski’s beer belly is a little bit less prominent here than on the last show I saw.  Raschke is announced as the “European Heavyweight Champion” 20 years before the WWF actually created a European Championship.  These two went to a 20 minute draw previously, so now we’ve got a 30 minute time limit.  Oh dear.  Blassie is taken to the back before the match starts, for some reason.  Raschke has a gimmick in his hand.  Putski informs the referee of such.  Raschke successfully conceals it on his person.  They finally lock up after a lot of stalling.  They also work the lockup for a long time.  This is going to be a long one.  Raschke with some desultory leg work.  Putski with a rear chin lock, then transitions into some kind of wonky head scissors hold.  Putski finally wakes up and shows some babyface fire.  They go back and forth a bit.  It goes to a 30 minute time limit draw in 19:13.  I don’t care if they lied about the time, I missed some editing, or what.  I don’t need to see these two wrestle for another minute ever.  Putski, that son of a bitch, calls for one more minute.  They brawl a bit.  Raschke takes a powder.  Long and boring.  *3/4

Baron Mikel Scicluna vs. “High Chief” Peter Maivia.  Maivia is making his MSG debut.  His now-five year old grandson would later go on to some success in pro wrestling and Hollywood.  Scicluna gets the jump on him.  Maivia quickly rallies and kicks some ass.  Scicluna tries to use an object, but fails.  Maivia avoids Scicluna in the corner and pins him with a prawn hold in 1:08.  It’s announced at 2:09, which is a lie.  DUD

2/3 Falls: Dominic Denucci & Haystacks Calhoun vs. Mr. Fuji & Professor Toru Tanaka.  Calhoun’s kayfabe hometown is Morgan’s Corner, Arkansas, which endears him to me.  I know of all of these guys, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of them wrestle.  Denucci and Tanaka brawl.  Denucci applies a full nelson and allows Calhoun to hit a lackadaisical punch.  Tanaka beats on Denucci a bit.  Denucci fires back with Mongolian chops.  Fuji tags in and hits a “Kamikazi Necktie” (think Sling Blade) for the pin in 3:06.  Denucci makes a comeback as the second fall starts.  Tanaka and Fuji double team Denucci in the corner.  Calhoun comes in to help out, but only distracts the referee.  We’ve got a curfew draw in 1:00 of the second fall!  Calhoun comes in to beat the heels up for a bit, having never actually tagged in to the match.  Fuji & Tanaka win the match, having won the only fall in a 2/3 falls match.  3/4*

And there’s another 1970s WWWF show from the Network.  There’s one more show from the 70s, then we’ll move into the 80s.

WWF WrestleMania II (Repost)

Posted in WWE with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2010 by Grappleholic

This review was originally written on 12/22/09.

On we march, with WrestleMania II!

WWE open, since this is from the Anthology.  WWF: The Recognized Worldwide Leader in Sports.  WrestleMania II: What The World Has Come To.  I should mention now that for some reason, they decided it would be a good idea to have WrestleMania II from 3 locations: Uniondale, New York, Chicago (Rosemont), Illinois, and Los Angeles, California.

First to New York, where Vince McMahon delivers his famous “Welcome to WrestleMania!” line.  Vince introduces his color commentator for the New York portion, Susan St. James.  I see Howard Finkel is the ring announcer for New York.  Ray Charles sings “America the Beautiful.”

Cut to Mean Gene Okerlund in Chicago for a minute.

Back in New York, some old fat guy interviews Roddy Piper (with “Cowboy” Bob Orton), who will be boxing Mr. T tonight.  Piper cuts a typically great promo, with the awesome line “If Mr. T can knock me out in this fight, I would not only quit professional boxing, I would quit professional wrestling, I would quit tiddlywinks, I would quit dating girls!”  He then turns to Orton and says “I’d stick with you, though.”

Don Muraco (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff.  After the opening bell, they play pre-taped audio comments from both wrestlers.  That strikes me as dumb.  They lock up.  Orndorff gets the better of it at first.  Orndorff gets Muraco on the mat and applies an arm lock.  Susan St. James is horrible on commentary.  Muraco tries to arm drag his way out of it, but Orndorff keeps it clamped on.  Muraco finally hits a Samoan drop to escape the punishment of his arm.  They go out of the ring and brawl to a double count-out at 4:33.  Crowd chants “BULLSHIT!”  It started off good, then went downhill.

Mr. T interviews himself.  During this, Finkel finally makes the announcement that the last match was a double count-out.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Match: Randy Savage (c) (w/ Miss Elizabeth) vs. George “The Animal” Steele.  A pre-taped interview during Savage’s entrance.  This show is so sloppily produced.  Susan likes Steele.  Savage bails as soon as Steele goes after him.  Savage gets back in the ring.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Steele finally gets hold of Savage and bites his leg.  Steele picks up Savage by the neck, chokes him, then drops him.  Steele gets distracted, looking at Elizabeth.  Savage ties him up in the ropes and puts the boots to him.  Savage with a diving crossbody for 2.  Steele throws Savage out of the ring.  Savage crawls under the ring, comes out the other side, and jumps Steele from behind.  Steele bites Savage’s arm.  Steele clubs Savage until Savage gouges his eyes.  Savage slaps Steele with a bouquet of flowers.  Steele bites him again, then hits him with the flowers.  Steele eats the turnbuckle pad.  He feeds some of the stuffing to Savage.  Savage bails.  Who can blame him?  Steele chases him around the ring.  Steele pleads with Elizabeth.  Savage comes off the top with the diving axe handle to the outside.  Back in the ring,  Savage slams Steele and hits the diving elbow, but Steele kicks out at 1.  Steele grabs Savage’s nose, then throws him into the corner.  The ref admonishes Steele.  Savage trips Steele up and gets the Flair pin in the corner at 7:08.  This sucked.  Steele eats another turnbuckle, then chases the referee to the back.

In Chicago, Mean Gene interviews two of the participants in the NFL vs. WWF Battle Royal, Bill Fralic and Big John Studd.  During this, we hear Finkel’s annoucement that Savage was the winner and still the Intercontinental Champion.  Gah.

Vince and Susan talk about snakes.

George Wells vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts.  They trade punches.  Wells with a backdrop.  Snake sends Wells to the outside and they brawl on the floor.  Back inside, Wells hits a shoulder block.  Wells whips Roberts into the corner, then takes him over with a head scissors.  Wells with a knee lift.  Wells with a powerslam for 2.  Snake gouges the eyes, then begs off and bails.  Wells follows him out and back into the ring.  Roberts gets a cheap shot with the knee lift when Wells is still coming through the ropes, then hits the DDT for the pin at 3:05.  Jake puts the snake on Wells after the match.  The match was fine for what it was.

They show an altercation between Roddy Piper and Mr. T that led to tonight’s match, which I believe took place on Saturday Night’s Main Event.

Cut to Los Angeles, where Jesse Ventura interviews the WWF Champion, Hulk Hogan.

Back to Vince and Susan, then to Finkel in the ring to introduce the celebrities for the New York main event.  The guest ring announcer is Joan Rivers.  She introduces the judges: Darryl Dawkins, Cab Calloway, and G. Gordon Liddy.  The special guest timekeeper is Herb.  I don’t know who any of those people are.  The referee is Jack somebody.

Boxing Match: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper (w/ “Cowboy” Bob Orton and the old fat guy) vs. Mr. T (w/ Joe Frazier & the Haiti Kid).  They box.  It sucks.  I’m not a boxing fan anyway, and I really hate lame, worked boxing matches in wrestling.  The first round ends.  They go to their corners.  Round 2 starts.  They box some more.  It still sucks.  I do like Piper’s plaid boxing trunks.  Round 2 ends.  Piper cheap shots T again anyway.  Orton throws a bucket of water on T to boot.  Round 3 starts.  Guess what?  They box!  T punches Piper out of the ring.  He barely makes it back in.  They’re both getting tired.  Round 3 ends.  Just end this shit already.  Piper throws his stool at Mr. T.  Round 4 starts.  They punch each other.  Piper knocks T’s mouthpiece out.  T knocks Piper’s mouthpiece out.  Piper socks the ref, then body slams Mr. T to cause the DQ at 1:17 of the 4th round.  Clusterfuck ensues.  Man, this sucked.

Now on to the Chicago portion of the show.  Gorilla Monsoon and Mean Gene hype the battle royal.  Gorilla introduces their color commentator for this portion, Cathy Lee Crosby.  Never heard of her either.  Curse my lack of knowledge of low level celebrities from before I was born.  Chet Coppock is the ring announcer for Chicago.

WWF Women’s Championship Match: The Fabulous Moolah (c) vs. Velvet McIntyre.  Moolah jumps McIntyre immediately and kicks her ass.  McIntyre fires back with dropkicks and an elbow smash.  McIntyre with a body slam, then comes off the top with a big splash, but Moolah moves out of the way, then covers McIntyre for the pin at the 59 second mark.  Well that was utterly pointless.

Gorilla, Gene, and Crosby hype the battle royal again.

Flag Match: Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Freddie Blassie) vs. Corporal Kirchner.  Volkoff sings the Soviet national anthem before the match.  The winner gets to wave his flag. Volkoff goes on the offensive early.  Kirchner fights back.  Kirchner knocks down the referee.  While he’s down, Kirchner catches Blassie’s cane and nails Volkoff with it for the pin at 1:35, so he gets to hold up Old Glory.  Match was nothing.

Mean Gene is in the ring to explain the rules for a battle royal.  The timekeeper is the “where’s the beef” lady.  The referees are Dick Butkus and Ed “Too Tall” Jones.

Battle Royal featuring Jimbo Covert, Pedro Morales, Tony Atlas, Ted Arcidi, Harvey Martin, Dan Spivey, Hillbilly Jim, King Tonga, The Iron Sheik, Ernie Holmes, The Killer Bees of Brian Blair and Jim Brunzell, Big John Studd, Bill Fralic, The Hart Foundation of Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart, Russ Francis, Bruno Sammartino, William “The Refrigerator” Perry, and Andre the Giant.  There’s no opening bell, but everyone just starts fighting.  “Big Cat” Ernie Ladd joins Gorilla and Crosby at the announce table for whatever reason.  Ah, I guess because he was both a football player and a wrestler.  Tonga and one of the football players eliminate each other.  Holmes gets eliminated, I think by Bruno, or maybe Studd.  Brunzell gets tossed.  Perry eliminates Atlas.  A bunch of guys try to gang up on Andre.  Morales and Marvin eliminate each other.  Arcidi, Jim, and Spivey try to dump Blair, but he slips back in and helps the other guys dump Arcidi.  Sheik dumps Spivey.  Sheik dumps Jim and Blair.  Sheik and Studd dump Fralic.  Sammartino backdrops Sheik out of the ring.  Sammartino beats up Studd.  Harts beat up Perry.  Andre beats up one of the little guys, I think it’s Russ Frances.  Studd eliminates Bruno.  Perry throws the Harts over the top rope, but they both hit the apron and come back in.  Studd dumps Perry.  Perry shakes Studd’s hand, then, poor sport that he is, pulls Studd out of the ring.  It’s down to Andre, the Harts, and Frances.  Andre gets tied up in the ropes.  The Harts dump Frances, then double team Andre.  Andre big boots Hart, then rams Hart and Neidhart’s heads together.  Big boot to Neidhart sends him out of the ring.  Andre press slams Hart out of the ring and onto Neidhart to win it in about 9 minutes.

Cut to New York, where Vince and Susan talk to Roddy Piper.

Back to Chicago, where Jimbo Covert bitches about getting eliminated from behind.  Gene talks to The Iron Sheik.  “Wrestler is better than football player!”  Replays of the battle royal.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match: The Dream Team (c) (w/ Johnny Valiant) vs. The British Bulldogs (w/ Captain Lou Albano & Ozzy Osbourne).  Davey Boy Smith and Greg Valentine start.  Smith shines early.  Valentine hits a hip toss, but Davey Boy avoids an elbow drop.  Tag to Dynamite.  Dynamite kicks Valentine’s ass and snap suplexes him, then tags Davey Boy back in.  Davey Boy hits his stalling suplex for 2.  Valentine bails to take a breather.  Valentine comes back in and hammers Smith, then headbutts him in the groin.  Tag to Beefcake.  Smith with a press slam, then the tag to Dynamite.  Dynamite with an inside cradle for 2.  Tag to Smith, who hits a Fisherman’s suplex for 2.  Tag to Valentine, who comes off the top with a clubbing blow to Smith.  Valentine with a suplex for 2.  Tag to Dynamite.  He and Valentine trade blows.  Bulldogs make quick tags to work over Valentine.  Beefcake comes in to club Dynamite, and is sent out by the ref.  Dynamite with a sunset flip on Valentine for 2.  Dynamite with a backbreaker, but Beefcake pulls him off of the cover.  Dynamite continues to wear down Valentine.  Valentine drops Dynamite with a sick piledriver for 2.  He tries to hold Dynamite’s shoulders down and ends up getting kicked in the balls.  Valentine goes up top and gets thrown across the ring by Dynamite.  Clusterfuck ensues.  Smith tries to press slam Dynamite onto Valentine, but Valentine bails.  Smith tags in and hits the running powerslam on Valentine for a close 2.  Smith with another suplex for 2.  Valentine finally manages to get the advantage on Smith and tags in Beefcake, who puts a beating on Davey Boy.  Tag to Valentine, who comes off the top with another clubbing blow.  Valentine continues working over Davey and drops him with a shoulder breaker, but foolishly picks him up at 2.  Smith throws Valentine into the Bulldog’s corner, where he collides head first with Dynamite.  Smith covers Valentine to get the 3 and capture the tag titles at 12:02.  Finally, a good match!  Ozzy and Captain Lou celebrate while Davey Boy helps up the knocked loopy Dynamite at ringside.  Mean Gene talks to Ozzy and Captain Lou.  He finally manages to talk to Davey Boy.  Replay of the pretty sick finish.

That’s it for Chicago!  Back to Vince and Susan in New York to talk about what’s still to come in the Los Angeles portion of the show.

Jesse Ventura, Lord Alfred Hayes, and Elvira will host the LA portion of the show.  Lee Marshall is the ring announcer.

Hercules Hernandez vs. Ricky Steamboat.  Hercules immediately goes on the attack.  Steamboat fires back with a karate chop and a pair of arm drags.  He attacks Hercules’ arm.  Steamboat leap frogs Herc a bunch and nails him with an elbow.  Steamboat with a suplex, then back to the arm.  Herc blasts Steamboat with a clothesline and hits him with some vicious knees.  Herc hot shots Steamboat into the ropes and beats on him some more.  Steamboat tries to fight back, but almost gets pinned.  Elvira is extremely annoying on commentary.  Herc drops Steamboat with an elbow, then drops a couple more elbows on him.  Cover gets 2.  Steamboat chops Herc.  Herc avoids another chop and drops Steamboat with a discus lariat for 2.  Herc with a press slam.  Herc with another press slam.  Herc comes off the top with a dive, but gets caught by Steamboat’s knees.  Steamboat off the top with a diving crossbody for the pin at 7:33.  It wasn’t bad.

Man, Adrian Adonis sure has changed since we last saw him at The Wrestling Classic.  He was a rough a tough type then… now he’s a cross dresser with bad makeup.

“Adorable” Adrian Adonis (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Uncle Elmer.  Hart sprays Elmer with perfume, so he chases Hart and Adonis out of the ring, where they hug.  Elmer attacks Adonis we gets back into the ring. No opening bell that I heard. Adonis Flair flips in the corner, then falls out of the ring.  He gets back in and Elmer knocks him out of the ring again.  Elmer rips Adonis’ dress, then knocks him into the ropes where he gets tied up.  When Adonis gets untied, he finally goes on the attack.  He takes off the remains of his dress.  Elmer with the Avalanche in the corner, then he goes for a leg drop, but Adonis avoids it.  Adonis off the top with a headbutt/splash for the pin in about 3 minutes.  This sucked.

Lord Alfred interviews Hogan.

The Funk Brothers (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Junkyard Dog & Tito Santana.  Dory has been given the name “Hoss” for whatever reason.  Terry throws chairs in the ring.  The faces throw them out.  Dory and JYD lock up.  JYD slams both of the Funks, then they bail.  Tito and Terry tag in.  Terry throws some vicious sounding chops.  Tito clotheslines him out of the ring.  Dory jumps in and eats a couple of Tito’s dropkicks, then rolls out himself.  Tag to JYD.  He lands some punches on Terry, then rams his head into the turnbuckle repeatedly.  JYD with a headbutt for 2.  JYD throws Terry out of the ring.  I swear, the Funks have spent more time on the outside of the ring than in it during this match.  Tag to Dory.  Tag to Tito.  Tito with a flying jalapeno for 2, as Terry saves.  Dory and Tito run the ropes, but Terry catches Tito with a knee to the back.  Terry tags in and throws Tito to the floor, where Jimmy puts the boots to him.  JYD runs him off.  Funks put the boots to Tito.  JYD runs Hart off again and helps Tito back into the ring.  Terry with a suplex for 2.  He argues with referee Dave Hebner.  Tito counters another suplex attempt with one of his own.  Terry and Tito knock heads.  Tag to Dory.  Dory with the Texas suplex for 2.  Funks continue to work over Tito.  Hot tag to JYD.  JYD cleans house.  Terry chokes JYD with a rope,  JYD backdrops Terry out of the ring.  JYD kicks their asses on the outside.  JYD decks Jimmy Hart.  JYD with an inside cradle on Terry.  Dory saves.  Tito puts Dory in the figure-four.  The referee makes Tito leave the ring.  Jimmy throws Terry the megaphone.  Terry hits JYD in the head with it for the pin at 11:44.  Okay match.

They set up the cage.  It’s a special reinforced cage so King Kong Bundy won’t go through the side, the famous big blue cage.

They show what led up to Hogan/Bundy in a cage, a brutal attack by Bundy and Don Muraco on Saturday Night’s Main Event.  They show Hogan lifting weights with Hillbilly Jim and a doctor, while Gene talks to them about Hogan’s injuries.

Ventura interviews Bundy and Bobby Heenan.

Elvira, who is awful, throws it to New York with Vince and Susan, who is almost as awful.  They talk, then back to LA.

Marshall introduces the guest ring announcer for the main event, Tommy Lasorda.  Lasorda introduces the the guest thimekeeper, Ricky Schroder, and the guest referee, Robert Conrad.  Well, at least I know who Rick Schroder is.

Steel Cage Match for the WWF Championship: Hulk Hogan (c) vs. King Kong Bundy (w/ Bobby Heenan).  Hogan has taped ribs.  They start brawling.  Hogan chokes Bundy with his own singlet.  Elvira says this match resembles a horror movie.  I agree, but probably for different reasons.  Bundy tires of getting beat up by the walrus and attacks Hogan’s ribs.  Bundy tries to escape through the door.  Hogan stops him, so Bundy picks up Hogan and rams his back into the cage.  Bundy takes the bandage off of Hogan’s ribs and chokes him with it.  He ties Hogan to the bottom rope and tries to leave.  Hogan gets free and chokes Bundy with the tag rope.  Hogan rams Bundy head first into the cage.  Hogan beats up Bundy a bit.  Bundy is bleeding.  Hogan tries to slam Bundy, who falls on top of him.  Hogan chokes Bundy with the bandage from earlier.  Bundy fights back.  Avalanche and a big splash by Bundy.  Bundy tries to escape again.  Hogan stops him.  Hogan avoids another avalanche and slams Bundy, then hits the leg drop.  Bundy tries to stop Hogan, but Hogan kicks him off the ropes and to the floor.  Hogan escapes over the top at 10:20.  Bundy goes out through the door a moment later.  Just to show what a role model he is, Hogan throws Heenan into the cage and beats him up after the match, then celebrates.

So that’s WrestleMania II.  Man, it sucked.  The only redeeming thing is the Bulldogs’ title win over the Dream Team.

WWF WrestleMania (Repost)

Posted in WWE with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2010 by Grappleholic

This review was originally written on 12/20/09.

That’s right, the first WrestleMania.  This is the beginning of my endeavor to watch every WWF and WCW PPV ever, possibly with ECW and TNA thrown in.  Oh, and I should mention that most of the WrestleManias I’ll be watching are from the WrestleMania anthology that WWE put out a few years ago.

Which of course means we get the WWE open.  Plain Jane opening video showing the matches on the card tonight, since this is 1985, a year and a half before yours truly was born.

Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura are on commentary.  We are LIVE from Madison Square Garden!  Howard Finkel is the ring announcer.  Mean Gene Okerlund sings the national anthem.

Lord Alfred Hayes talks about the first match.  Cut to Mean Gene’s pre-taped interviews with Tito Santana and The Executioner.

The Executioner vs. Tito Santana.  Lock up, run the ropes, then Tito hits a backdrop and a dropkick that sends The Executioner out of the ring.  They lock up again and Tito grabs a headlock.  He walks up the ropes and uses the leverage to take Executioner down.  Neat.  Executioner attacks Tito’s injured leg, as he promised he would earlier.  Tito turns an attempted leg hold into a nifty cradle for 2.  Executioner looks completely out classed.  He finally manages to backdrop Tito, then hits a bodyslam, then goes up to.  Tito recovers and throws him off, then goes for a big splash, but Executioner gets his knees up.  Executioner goes for the leg again, but Tito sends him out of the ring, then suplex/slams him back in.  Tito hits a flying forearm, then applies the figure-four leglock for the win at 4:49.  See, Tito is chasing Greg Valentine’s Intercontinental Title, so he’s putting the champ on notice by using his own hold.

Lord Alfred throws it to pre-taped interviews for the next match, with S.D. Jones and King Kong Bundy, with Jimmy Hart.

King Kong Bundy (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. S.D. Jones.  Bundy with a bear hug, then rams Jones into the corner.  Avalanche in the corner followed by a big splash for the pin in 24 seconds.  The time is announced as 9 seconds.  Their stop watch is defective.

Mean Gene is back with pre-taped interviews with Matt Borne and Ricky Steamboat.

Matt Borne vs. Ricky Steamboat.  Lock up.  Steamboat leap frogs Borne, then hits some of his karate chops.  Steamboat grabs a headlock.  Borne gets out of it.  Steamboat grabs it again.  Borne fights out and Steamboat gives him an atomic drop.  Borne hits an inverted atomic drop and gets the advantage briefly.  Steamboat hits him with more karate chops.  Steamboat with the headlock again.  Borne backs him into the corner and lands some knees to the gut, then a belly to belly suplex.  Borne lands a vertical suplex for 2.  They trade blows.  Steamboat gets the better of it and drops Borne.  Steamboat hits a backdrop suplex and a swinging neckbreaker, then a pair of knee drops for 2.  Borne comes back and gets dropped with a shoulder block.  Steamboat comes off the top with a diving crossbody for the pin at 4:38.  Good basic wrestling match.

Lord Alfred throws it to Mean Gene again, for interviews with David Sammartino (with his dad) and Brutus Beefcake (with Johnny Valiant).

Brutus Beefcake (w/ Johnny Valiant) vs. David Sammartino (w/ Bruno Sammartino).  Beefcake stalls forever.  They finally lock up.  Beefcake overpowers David, who is extremely short and stocky.  David shoves Brutus on the next lock up, then hits a drop toe hold.  Brutus with an amateur takedown.  They roll around, then Brutus bails for a moment.  More basic stuff back inside.  Brutus claws the eyes and hits a slam, but David turns it into an arm hold.  Nice.  Brutus takes David over with a side headlock.  The match quickens a bit.  Sammartino works Beefcake’s leg.  Sammartino with a spinning toe hold.  Beefcake kicks him away, but Sammartino grabs another leg hold.  Brutus takes over and gets some heat on Sammartino.  David hits a back body drop.  They trade punches.  Sammartino with a suplex for 2.  Valiant attacks David on the outside.  Bruno gets involved.  Clusterfuck ensues.  It’s a double DQ at 11:44.  The Sammartinos get rid of the heels.  Why the fuck does David Sammartino warrant more time than Tito Santana and Ricky Steamboat COMBINED?

Once again, Lord Alfred —> Mean Gene.  Gene interviews the Intercontinental Champion, Greg Valentine, and his challenger, Junkyard Dog.

WWF Intercontinental Title Match: Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (c) (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Junkyard Dog.  Lots of stalling early on.  Valentine drops JYD with an elbow, then misses a knee drop.  JYD headbutts him out of the ring.  The Hammer hammers JYD and attacks his leg, softening him up for the figure-four.  When he goes for it, JYD kicks him away.  JYD with some headbutts that knock the champ loopy and causes him to take Flair face flop.  Jimmy Hart distracts the referee.  JYD grabs him.  Hammer tries to nail JYD, but clocks Hart instead.  JYD beats up Valentine, but Valentine trips him up and gets the Flair pin at 6:00.  Tito Santana comes out to tell the referee that Valentine’s feet were on the ropes.  The referee continues the match.  Valentine refuses to come back in the ring, so JYD wins by count-out at 6:55, but Valentine keeps the title.

Lord Alfred, then Mean Gene for the Tag title match, as the U.S. Express of Barry Windham & Mike Rotunda defend against The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff.

Volkoff sings the Soviet national anthem before the match.  Sheik chimes in with “Russia numbah one, Iran numbah one, USA hack puh!”

WWF Tag Team Championship Match: The U.S. Express (c) (w/ Captain Lou Albano) vs. The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff (w/ “Classy” Freddie Blassie).  Rotunda starts with Sheik.  Sheik gets the better of it at first, until Rotunda hits a hip toss and a dropkick, then a slam, then Windham decks him, then Rotunda takes him over with a side headlock.  Tag to Windham, who comes off the top with an elbow to Sheik’s back.  Sheik accidentally dropkicks Volkoff on the apron.  He apologizes, and tags out.  Rotunda back in.  He takes down Volkoff with a forearm for 2.  The champs make quick tags and work Volkoff’s arm.  Volkoff rams Rotunda into Sheik’s boot, then tags Sheik back in.  Sheik with a back body drop, then an elbow for 2.  Sheik with a side suplex for 2.  Rotunda hits a suplex on Sheik.  Sheik tags out to Volkoff, who prevents Rotunda from tagging out.  Rotunda with a sunset flip for 2.  Volkoff knees Rotunda in the gut, then rams him into Sheik’s boot again.  Sheik tags in and applies an abdominal stretch as Albano and Blassie argue outside.  Rotunda hip tosses his way out of it.  Tag to Volkoff.  Rotunda makes the hot tag to Windham.  Windham hits a bulldog on Volkoff and covers, but Sheik saves.  Rotunda comes in and sends Sheik out of the ring.  Sheik whacks Windham with Blassie’s cane, allowing Volkoff to get the pin at 6:55.  There you have it, the first title change in WrestleMania history.

Mean Gene interviews the new champions.

Lord Alfred, then Mean Gene to interview Big John Studd and Bobby Heenan.  Studd puts up $15,000 against Andre the Giant’s career in a slam match.

$15,000 Slam Match: Big John Studd (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) vs. Andre the Giant.  Studd jumps Andre to start the match.  Andre responds by chopping him with his massive hands.  Studd bails.  When he comes back in, Andre chokes him, then punches him in the gut and knees him in the face.  Andre continues to hammer Studd.  Studd hits a knee and tries to slam him.  Nope.  Andre with a bear hug.  Studd gets out of it.  Andre with a headlock, then a punch to the face.  Andre continues to beat up Studd.  Studd tries a kick, but Andre catches his leg and punches him in the face again.  Andre throws some kicks at Studd, then slams him for the win at 5:54.  Andre starts throwing the money to the crowd.  Heenan sneaks in, steals the bag of money, and runs away.

Mean Gene interviews a victorious Andre.

Lord Alfred, then Mean Gene for the Women’s Title match.

WWF Women’s Championship Match: Leilani Kai (c) (w/ The Fabulous Moolah) vs. Wendi Richter (w/ Cyndi Lauper).  Lock up, cat fight, ridiculous bump by Kai off of a half assed chop from Richter.  Nice bit of chain wrestling as Richter works Kai’s arm.  Kai snapmares out of it and covers for a quick 2.  Kai works Richter’s arm a bit.  Kai chokes Richter.  Richter uses her legs to squeeze Kai’s middle.  Kai picks her up by the hair.  They trade blows.  Richter half asses an inside cradle for 2.  Richter starts making a comeback until Moolah grabs her and pulls her hair.  Lauper stops her.  Kai with a kick to the sternum.  Richter fights back and hits a reverse F-U type move for 2.  Kai with a backbreaker for 2.  Kai slams Richter and comes off the top with a crossbody.  Richter rolls through and gets the pin to regain the title at 6:13.  Moolah face plants trying to get into the ring.  Heh.  Richter and Lauper celebrate.

Mean Gene interviews the new champion.  Richter can’t talk for shit and Lauper’s voice is like nails on a chalkboard.

Finkel introduces the guest ring announcer for the main event, Billy Martin.  Martin introduces the other celebrities involved with the main event.  Liberace, the guest timekeeper, dances with four of the Rockettes.  Muhammed Ali is the special outside referee, while Pat Patterson will be the referee in the ring.

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper & “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff (w/ “Cowboy” Bob Orton) vs. WWF Champion Hulk Hogan & Mr. T (w/ Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka).  Hogan and Orndorff start, but Piper requests the tag before any contact is made.  Mr. T wants Piper, so Hogan makes the tag.  They slap each other, then Piper wrestles him to the ground.  Mr. T escapes.  T picks up Piper into a Fireman’s carry, then drops him.  The heels beat up T.  Match turns into a clusterfuck for a minute until Muhammed Ali restores order.  The heels start to leave.  Hogan won’t let Patterson count them out.  They come back in and get their knoggins knocked by Hogan and Mr. T.  Hogan does a number on them and hits an atomic drop on Piper, then beats his head against the mat.  Tag to T and a double clothesline to Piper.  T slams Piper, then hip tosses Orndorff.  Another slam to Piper, headbutt to Orndorff, and a tag to Hogan.  Hogan big boots Piper ourt of the ring.  Orndorff clotheslines Hogan out of the ring.  Piper hits Hogan with a chair.  The heels work over Hogan.  Mr. T tries to save, but is restrained by Patterson.  Piper and Orndorff with a double atomic drop to Hogan.  Ali to restores order again.  Hogan, oddly, plays face in peril.  Hogan blocks a diving knee drop from Orndorff and makes the hot tag to Mr. T.  The bad guys beat up Mr. T.  Orndorff and T wrestle sloppily to the ground.  Tag to Piper, who locks Mr. T in a front facelock.  T powers out and tags Hogan, who cleans house.  Orndorff hits a backdrop suplex on Hogan.  Orton tries to run in and gets headbutted by Snuka.  Orton comes off the top rope and accidentally nails Orndorff with the cast.  Hogan gets the pin on Orndorff  to win it in 13:33.  Orndorff wakes up to find himself alone with the faces.  T tries to offer him a handshake, but Hogan is like “No.”  The babyfaces celebrate their win.

Mean Gene interviews the victors.

Gorilla and Jesse have some final comments, then the closing credits.

So that was the inaugural WrestleMania.  The WWF was certainly a very different place in 1985.  This show as the biggest thing to ever happen in wrestling at the time, but looking at it through 2009 eyes, it’s hard to see why.  A few of the matches were decent, with Steamboat/Borne being match of the night.