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WWF All-American Wrestling – March 3, 1985

by Scrooge McSuck

- "Mean" Gene Okerlund is our host from the WWF studio.

Greg "The Hammer" Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Joe Mirto:

From the February 23rd episode of Championship Wrestling, taped on February 12th from Poughkeepsie, NY. The Fink makes a point to introduce Hart as Valentine's NEW manager. In the studio segment, Okerlund has the nerve to consider this an Intercontinental Title Match (or his language strongly suggests it), but McMahon calling the action reminds the viewers this ISN'T for the title. Lockup to the corner and Mirto gives a clean break. Mirto with a hammer-lock, but Valentine goes to the ropes. The hot news (according to the commentary of Vince and Bruno) is Wendi Richter losing the Women's Title to Leilani Kai, who had Fabulous Moolah with her. Mirto with a slam, sending the Hammer to the floor for a breather. Back inside, Valentine rakes the eyes and throws Mirto through the ropes. Valentine brings him in from the apron via slam and drops a pair of elbows. Figure-Four finishes at 2:44. You wouldn't think Valentine had unfinished business with Tito Santana based on the commentary from this one.

- Gene Okerlund questions the fall-out in the relationship between Greg Valentine and Captain Lou Albano.

- WWF UPDATE with Lord Alfred Hayes (instrumental of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" accompanies the opening). Today's topic is the Junkyard Dog, who is apparently chasing the Intercontinental Championship, currently held by Greg Valentine. Will Valentine accept the challenge?

David Sammartino vs. Gino Carabello:

From the February 23rd episode of All-Star Wrestling, taped on January 28th from Brantford, Ontario. Even in early 1985, you can tell where the tapings came from, because this arena looks like crap and I instantly thought "Ontario." The referee, John Bonello, was famously busted years later (early 90's) for trying to hire an undercover cop to kill his wife. True story. Sammartino with a quick arm drag and slam. Whip to the ropes and Sammartino with a hip toss. He sweeps the leg of Carabello and works the arm. David is working like his dad... like it's 1973. Carabello eventually makes it to the ropes to force a break. He goes for a full nelson, but Sammartino quickly counters with a GERMAN SUPLEX. Whip and a Power-Slam finishes at 2:52. He has a few good moves, but that made up about 15-seconds of the match.

Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham (w/ Captain Lou Albano) vs. Johnny Rodz & Steve Lombardi:

From the February 23rd episode of Championship Wrestling. Crank up "Born in the USA"! The Champions are still not introduced as the U.S. Express. I'm almost reaching the point where I convince myself we all made that up, but I know they used it. Windham and Rodz start. Rodz picks the leg but can't get much further from there. Windham fights out of another takedown and decks Rodz with a right hand. Rotundo in, sending Rodz to the ropes and hitting an elbow. Considering this was from their "A" Show on TV, there's no hype for a potential opponent for the Champions. They take turns working the arm of Rodz until Lombardi has the chance to tag in. Whip is reversed and Rotundo with the Airplane Spin to finish at 3:04. That was literally the only move Lombardi took. What. A. Scrub.

- Highlights of Hulk Hogan vs. Roddy Piper from the "War to Settle the Score" at Madison Square Garden on February 18th. I unfortunately don't have that full card available to recap, but check out that link. It's basically the match that set the table for some big event scheduled for the end of March. The match doesn't have a real finish, and we get the involvement of Mr. Wonderful and Mr. T on behalf of Piper and Hogan respectively.

WWF Women's Championship Match:
Wendi Richter (c) (w/ Cyndi Lauper) vs. Leilani Kai (w/ The Fabulous Moolah):

Joined in Progress, from the February 18th card held at Madison Square Garden. I hate to downplay someone's role, but without Lauper, Richter had little going for her, with below average wrestling ability and poor promo skills. I'd hate to say it, but maybe being the most attractive option on the roster had something to do with the selection process. Richter is in control, stretching the arms of Leilani before hooking an arm-bar. Whip to the ropes and Leilani boots Richter as she attempts a back drop. Kai with a front face-lock, and possibly an illegal choke, but Richter gets to the ropes. Monsoon and Okerlund bury the efforts of the referee in this match. Richter blocks a kick and sweeps Kai off her feet for a two-count. Richter with a knee lift for two. Whip and a diving body press for two. Big boot and splash, but Leilani gets a foot on the ropes. Richter with a slam near the ropes. Meanwhile, Moolah attacks Lauper at ringside! Richter goes for the save, gets decked for it, and Leilani cradles her for three at 4:00 (shown). Moolah celebrates with the belt as if she won it herself. Not as bad as what I expected, based on my original recap on the Coliseum Video "Best of the WWF Vol. 5."

Roddy Piper, Paul Orndorff, and Bob Orton are on the set of Piper's Pit, making fun of Mr. T and accusing him of robbing Piper the chance of winning the WWF Title. They scoff at the idea of Hogan and Mr. T challenging them to a tag team match. Orndorff drops the phrase "PORCH MONKEYS" on TV and makes MONKEY SOUNDS to make fun of T. Oh my God, this is terrible. Piper, the more subdued of the duo, accepts the challenge, and wants to have the fight at Madison Square Garden.

Hillbilly Jim (w/ Capt. Lou Albano) vs. Goldie Rogers:

From the February 23rd episode of All-Star Wrestling. Goldie looks like Rip Rogers has an out-of-work Uncle. Are they just throwing Albano on TV with EVERYONE at this point? Albano reminds Jim to take off his hat. Was that seriously part of his gimmick? Jim offers a handshake, but Rogers turns him down. Rogers falls on his butt trying to do a shoulder tackle. Ventura says, for all we know, Jim and Albano can be father and son. Jim has a hard time countering a hammer-lock, so he uses BRUTE STRENGTH to escape. Jim "sells" a few blows that somehow look worse than his selling. Rogers goes for a slam, and we all know that isn't working. Jim with a big slam, and the bearhug finishes at 2:55. I've already seen enough Jim matches, and it's only been a month since he debuted.

- Gene Okerlund is standing by with "The Dream Team" of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. Hogan says he's been busted up before at the Garden, but never as bad as he did when he stepped in the ring with Piper and his entourage. He knew he had an ace in the hole, and he had a shining star in Mr. T to take care of business. They need to hit the gym and train, and it's going to be a street fight, guerrilla warfare style! T says they're going to the ghetto to learn how to play rough.

- Oh, and the match will take place on Sunday Afternoon, March 31st at some show called "WrestleMania." What a dumb name, as if that'll get over.

Final Thoughts: The seeds have been planted and it's official: The WWF will present a spectacular called "WrestleMania", headlined by Hulk Hogan and Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. There is other rumblings going on that could fill out the show, such as the unfinished business involving Richter/Lauper and Moolah/Leilani, and there's the Update teasing JYD as a potential challenger to Greg Valentine's Intercontinental Title. As a recap of the syndicated shows, this covered enough ground to make it feel like it was worth sitting through.

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