WWE @ Maple Leaf Garden - October 13, 1985
by Scrooge McSuck
- Originally held on October 13th, 1985, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leaf Garden shows are in their with the Boston Garden card's... I tend to find them lackluster, but a lot of times, there's always one match to look forward to in the sea of garbage. Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse "the Body" Ventura are calling all the action, thank God. We throw it backstage to Vince McMahon and Billy Red Lyons. I guess they'll be conducting interviews between matches.
Opening Match: Scott McGee vs. Barry O:
Main Event in any arena in the world, right? Is Barry O sporting a Clash t-shirt? Barry O is probably most famous for speaking out against Vince McMahon during the sex scandal of the early 90's, accusing certain road agents of trading pushes for sexual favors, or punishing those who refused. McGeee goes for the ankle as we already get some Vintage Flashbacks. Whip to the ropes, McGee with a shoulder block. Barry catches him with a slam, but misses an elbow, allowing McGee to take him over and go to work on the arm. Criss-cross sequence ends with an arm drag from McGee, then back to the armbar. McGee comes off the ropes with a body press for two, then it's more arm work. Criss-cross, and this time Barry O sidesteps McGee, tossing him over the top rope in the process. Back in the ring, Barry connects with a swinging neckbreaker, then slaps on a front facelock. Barry with a slight delayed vertial suplex, but a lazy cover only gets two. McGee counters a facelock with an overhead slam. Whip to the ropes, and a collision puts both men down. McGee goes for a slam, but Barry lands on top for two. McGee with a small package for two. Backslide for two. McGee with a series of uppercuts, followed by a knee across the face for two. Barry counters a suplex with a slingshot version of his own, but that only gets two. Whip to the corner, McGee catches Barry with the powerslam, and that's good enough for a three count at 8:48. Typical opener, but had a nice little end sequence to perk up the crowd.
Tony Parisi vs. Rene Goulet:
Well, I'm not going to look forward to this. Goulet is like Salvatore Bellomo to me... unwatchable. Monsoon questions where Goulet's signature glove is, and draws comparisons to MICHAEL JACKSON? Sorry, Gorilla, but that's whack. In a you wouldn't believe it in today's world fact, Goulet's age at the time of this card was 53, and Parisi was 44. That's just insane to think about now. Goulet works the arm, as I've ignored the match for the first minute or so. Parisi escapes, takes Goulet over with an arm drag, and hooks an armbar. Goulet takes a walk to kill some time, so I'm hoping we don't get a 20-minute marathon. Back inside, Goulet grabs a headlock, and comes off the ropes with a shoulder. Criss-cross, and Parisi with a monkey flip, followed by an arm drag, sending Goulet back to the floor. From a distance, and with squinted eyes, Goulet reminds me of Jeff Daniels... in Dumb and Dumber. He finally takes control, with a knee to the midsection. Parisi gets dumped to the floor, and introduced to the top turnbuckle. Whip to the ropes, Goulet with a clothesline for two. Goulet slaps on the CLAW, and he does use the ropes for leverage. A future version of Mike Rotundo would be proud. Parisi fights free, but runs into the corner like a schmuck. Goulet stomps and bites... he would make a great tag partner for Kamala. There's a subtle boring chant as Goulet goes back to the claw. Parisi blocks a suplex and simply punches Goulet a couple of times. Whip to the corner, flipping Goulet upside down. Parisi meets the knee on another charge. Goulet with a slam, heads to the top rope, and misses a splash. Parisi with a slam and the Whoopie Cushion, I mean Cannonball, finishes it off at 11:38. Slow and dull. Goulet was actually the worker of the match, and that's all you need to know of the quality.
Cpl. Kirchner & George "The Animal" Steele vs. Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik:
Ugh... my favorite team of the two is Volkoff and the Sheik, so pardon my lack of excitement. Volkoff actually sings the long version of his Soviet anthem. How did WWE never team Kirchner and Sivi Afi? It's the cheap knockoff combination of Slaughter and Snuka we never had. Remember when WWF.com falsely reported Kirchner's death? Takes a lot of talent to fuck that up. He prances around with the Canadian flag to suck up to the crowd. Volkoff pulls Steele to the floor for some double-teaming, but Kirchner ruins it by interrupting. Speaking of ages... George Steele? 48. Iron Sheik? 43. Volkoff pushing 40. Is it no wonder, by the turn of the decade, there had to be an extreme youth movement? Lots of stalling... I accidentally restarted my timer, so match time will be off a bit. Sheik works Steele over for a bit, until Kirchner tags in and takes control. He stomps away on the Sheik and takes him over with a delayed suplex for two. Sheik with a boot to the chest, followed by a back drop. Whip to the ropes and he connects with a clothesline. Volkoff in, and Kirchner takes him over with a sunset flip. Volkoff recovers first, though, and continues to punish Kirchner. Kirchner fights out of an abdominal stretch, but Sheik takes him over with a slam. Kirchner is just an uninteresting, unsympathetic face I just don't care. Instead of tagging out, he works a hammerlock spot. Moron. Steele finally tags in, bites a bit, then gets worked over in the corner. Kirchner gets the real "hot" tag, but gets double teams almost immediately. Sheik with a back suplex and it's Camel Clutch time, but Steele breaks it with a steel chair shot, drawing the Disqualification at around the 13-minute mark, giving the victory to the Sheik and Volkoff. To their credit, they did their best to carry this one, but Steele is useless and Kirchner's babyface act just doesn't work for me.
"Special Delivery" Jones vs. Iron Mike Sharpe:
I've seen these two wrestle way too much in my smart days. To my surprise, Jones is actually older than Sharpe, by a considerable difference. They're 40 and 33, for the record. I don't know why I'm obsessed with checking ages on this show... I guess it never really hit me how old the roster was. Jones quickly sends Sharpe to the floor, who will no doubt stall like crazy. Sharpe escapes a hammerlock with an elbow, but misses a dropkick. Jones with a pair of arm drags, sending Sharpe back to the floor. Back in the ring, Sharpe wins a hammerlock battle, then hooks a chinlock. Whip to the ropes, and a criss-cross ends with Jones catching Sharpe with a slam, and back to the floor off an arm drag. Blech... He takes a long walk, but doesn't get counted-out. Sharpe with clubbing blows across the back, with the forearm brace, of course. Sharpe with a snapmare and chinlock applied. Jones quickly fights free with elbows, but takes a knee to the face while attempting a back drop. Another long chinlock spot. Jones goes for a slam, but buckles under the weight, and back to the chinlock we go... Monsoon points out the camera work, a good sign this match is stinking up the arena. Jones no-sells being rammed to the buckle, and it's comeback time. Jones with a body press, but Sharpe rolls through for the three count at 9:31. Thank God that's over... are we done yet with these crappy preliminary matches?
Steve GatorWolf vs. Terry Funk:
This would be a no, but Funk was being pushed into the uppercard programs, so at least it's not a Jobber vs. Jobber Match. Lockup into the ropes, Funk lays into him with a series of chops, followed by elbows to the back of the head. Funk tosses Gatorwolf to the floor, where he continues to punish him. Back in the ring, Funk connects with a neck breaker, then drops a leg across the chest for a two count. Gatorwolf starts no-selling being rammed to the buckle, because non-caucasians have hard heads? Funk dramatically over-sells being rammed into the turnbuckle. Gatorwolf with chops, knocking Funk through the ropes. Funk accidentally kicks Monsoon on his way back in the ring, and gets taken over with a slam. Funk slaps on a sleeper hold, but Gatorwolf slips free. Whip to the ropes, and Gatorwolf slaps on his own version. Funk makes it tot he ropes, spilling over the top, to the floor. Funk brings Gatorwolf over with a suplex, but buckes beneath the weight. Whip to the corner, Gatorwolf meets the knees on a charge. Funk grabs the sleeper hold again, and this time keeps it locked on until putting Gatorwolf out for the victory at 6:19. This one was at least lively the entire way through. Oh, by the way... Terry Funk was a young and spry 41 years old. That's damn near young compared to his run in 1998, when he was pushed as middle-aged and crazy. I never considered Mid 50's as middle aged, but maybe Jim Ross though most people live to 100. I don't know.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
(Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake vs. Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid)
The Dream Team © (w/ Johnny Valiant) vs. The British Bulldogs:
Okay, here's what I'm talking about: an hour-plus of crap, and I'm rewarded with this. Being a wrestling geek is cool, sometimes. These two teams worked a lot together before the title change happend at WrestleMania 2. That would be a whopping 6 months later. Times sure have changed, indeed. Valentine and Dynamite start. Valentine quickly takes DK down with a drop toe hold, but a wristlock is quickly countered. Whip to the ropes, Dynamite slaps on a headlock, and nails an incoming Beefcake with a headbutt. Smith to the top, and he comes down with a sledge. He works the arm a bit, until Beefcake casually hooks the ropes to foce the break. Lockup, Davey Boy with a side headlock, then a shoulder tackle from off the ropes. Criss-cross, Davey with a hip toss, then back to the arm. Dynamite with a headbutt snapmare, and back to the arm. Beefcake pulls the air to escape and tags out to the Hammer. Lockup into the corner, and Valentine pounds away with rights. Snapmare takeover, but a fist drop misses. Dynamite in with his vicious forearms, followed by a jumping headbutt for two. Whip to the ropes, and a shoulder tackle rocks the Hammer. The Bulldogs with a double shoulder tackle to lay him out, but it only gets two. Now it's the Hammer's left arm that gets a working over from the challengers.
Beefcake tags in and quickly starts putting the boots to Smith. He plants him with a slam and stomps down on the face for a two count. Valentine with a headbutt across the midsection, followed by some work on the right leg. Wish-bone action from the Dream Team, followed by choking from Beefcake for two. Whip to the ropes, Beefcake connects with a clothesline. Dynamite comes in to pummel the Hammer, while Beefcake remains in control. Order is restored in the form of showing Dynamite to the outside, allowing the Dream Team to double slam Smith for a two count. Valentine with a double axehandle from the top, followed by a forearm across the face. Valentine with some bitch slapping, but the Figure-Four attempt is booted away. Dynamite tags in, with clubbing blows. He takes Valentine over with the snap suplex for two. DK with a headbutt off the ropes for another two count. Whip to the ropes, and Dynamite hooks a sleeper hold. Beefcake tags in from behind, and stomps DK across the back of the head to break it.
Beefcake suckers Davey Boy in, allowing Valentine to sucker-blow Dynamite. Whip to the corner, and Dynamite takes the chest first bump. Valentine covers, but only gets two. Valentine with an elbow from the second turnbuckle for another two count. Double slams into the turnbuckle from the Champions. Beefcake tags in, and chokes Dynamite down in the corner. Whip to the ropes, and he catches Dynamite in a bearhug. Dynamite tries fighting free, but gets rammed into the corner once again. Someone pay that turnbuckle double for the abuse it's taken. Valentine with a snapmare, but he meets the knees trying to drop his weight across the chest. Double elbow from the Champs gets two. He catches Beefcake with his head down, booting him in the chest. Smith comes in with dropkicks for both opponents, and it's double noggin' knocker time! He scoops up Beefcake and plants him with the powerslam, but he kicks out at two. Smith with the delayed vertical suplex for another two count. Whip to the ropes, Davey Boy with a sunset flip for two. He ducks under a clothesline and comes off the ropes with a body press for two. Dynamite and Valentine get involved, and the champs get rammed together. Beefcake takes the chest first bump in the corner, and Smith press slams Dynamite on top. Chaos continues with the referee singling out the challengers, allowing Valentine to elbow Dynamite, and roll Beefcake on top for the three count at 15:56. The sore loser Bulldogs clean house of the Dream Team afterwards. Not their best, but another good match between these teams, adding the total to about 748.
Dino Bravo vs. Mr. X:
The streak of good matches ends at 1. Dino Bravo is still a babyface and introduced as the Canadian Heavyweight Champion, despite not having a belt. Mr. X is of course best known as evil referee, Dangerous Danny Davis. Mr. X grabs a headlock, and a criss-cross ends with Bravo taking him over with a hip toss. Bravo comes off the ropes with a shoulder, and tosses X around with two more arm drags. Bravo with a press slam, then goes to work on the left arm. X fights free and sends Bravo to the corner. Snapmare takeover and a leg drop gets two. Mr. X is half the size of Bravo, and is supposed to be the heel? Bravo with a knee to the chest, followed by a snapmare and leg drop of his own for a SLOW two count. You know it sucks when you can hear each individual scream of boring. When did it become a rule that people weren't allowed to use leg drops when Hogan was around? X goes for a splash, but meets the knees. Bravo with a running dropkick, followed by an atomic drop. Bravo with a back suplex, and it's over at 3:56. Mostly a squash match for the "Canadian Heavyweight Champion."
WWF Championship Match:
This is definitely one of the earliest matches between these two, with Savage only making his WWF debut about 2 months earlier. Not having the "WWF" bleeped out is so refreshing these days. Hogan actually came out to the theme from Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling cartoon, available on the original Wrestling Album if I recall correctly, but now it's dubbed over with Real American. I don't understand these music licensing issues, at all. Why was it OK to use that theme a few years ago (yes, WWE recycles shows on these Classics on Demand like crazy), but now not? Was there some magic contract with specific years where it ran out? I don't get it...
Hulk Hogan © vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth):
Lockup to start, and Hogan shoves Savage across the ring. Lockup, repeat, and Hogan mocks Savage's finger twirling taunt to really dump gasoline on the fire. Savage attacks with a flurry of jabs and elbows. Hogan fights back, and sends Savage to the floor following a running high knee. Savage hides behind Elizabeth to the best heel heat of the night. Back in the ring, and Savage immediately stalls like crazy. Lockup (finally), and Savage goes to the arm. Hogan quickly counters, and Savage thumbs the eyes to escape. Savage to the top rope, and Hogan catches the body press and turns it into a back breaker for two. Savage to the floor, again. Once again, Savage uses Elizabeth as a shield. Back inside, Hogan works the arm. Savage backs Hogan into the corner, drives a knee to the midsection, then takes him over with a snapmare. Savage with a knee drop, but Hogan kicks out at one. Savage tosses him to the floor, then comes off the top with a double axehandle. Hogan fights his way back into the ring with rights. Whip to the ropes, and he connects with a clothesline. Hogan with a thunderous elbow drop, followed by a suplex. Whip to the ropes again, and the big boot sends Savage to the floor. Liz gets in the way, and moved aside. Hogan tosses Savage back in the ring as Ventura calls Hogan a low-life. Savage with a boot to the chest and the flying elbow, but Hogan kicks out at two. Savage to the top again, but he jumps into a boot, and Hogan covers for three at 10:45. Savage attacks after the bell, and smashes the belt across the back of Hogan. Definitely picked up the last couple of minutes, but damn was there a lot of stalling to get there. A good example though of how much better of a wrestler Hogan was before he became all gimmick and stopped caring about match quality.
Final Thoughts: The definition of a one match show. The Dream Team vs. British Bulldogs, as usual, is a must see, but the rest, not so much. Randy Savage, ever, could be a hit and miss, depending on his mood, and this was mostly a miss. Hogan carried his end of it, but that's not enough. The rest of the card was bottom-feeder pergatory. The only match in the undercard that I would consider watchable would be the opener between McGee and Barry O, but that's not saying much. Take a pass on here, you can find better Hogan/Savage matches elsewhere, and Dream Team/Bulldogs is available in abundance.
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