home | wrestling | flashback_reviews | wwe | superstars

WWF Championship Wrestling - January 5, 1985

by Mad Dog

I thought I would give everyone a brief history lesson before we started in with this review. Championship Wrestling was the WWF's main television program and it morphed into Superstars in 1986 when the WWF started their huge syndication push.

The first thing you'll notice is that the WWF is just full of talent they lured away from the AWA just recently. Hulk Hogan, Mean Gene Okerlund, Bobby Heenan, Ken Patera and "Dr. D" David Schultz. Other territory talents that Vince has grabbed so far are the Junkyard Dog, Barry Windham, Blackjack Mulligan and Mike Rotunda.

Some timeline things to keep in mind. The McDonalds incident with Ken Patera has happened, he just hasn't been sentenced yet. When that happens, he'll disappear quickly. The WWF is also still on TBS at this point. They're about 2 months away from losing the World Championship Wrestling show. So if you're actually watching this, you'll see World Championship Wrestling graphics and the opening music will play. It's kind of a sight to behold.

"Thriller" by Michael Jackson is our opening for this show and the video is of Hogan beating the Iron Sheik for the WWF Championship.

Hosts are Vince McMahon and Bruno Sammartino

U.S. Express vs. Charlie Fulton and Rusty Brooks

Rotunda and Windham are still undefeated in the WWF. Brooks is a big fat guy. Rotunda and Fulton do your basic matwork and rope running. Windham tags in and they hit Fulton with a double dropkick. Brooks tags in and eats a dropkick from Windham. Windham gets a pop for doing a bodyslam on Brooks. Rotunda comes in and uses a fireman's carry. Brooks get the advantage and slams Rotunda and hits a nice looking knee drop. Rotunda lays into Fulton and Brooks and tags Windham in. Windham hits the Bulldog on Brooks to get the victory for the Express in quick fashion. Decent little opener as Fulton and Brooks brief control phase made things interesting. Rotunda and Windham looked really good here.
WINNERS: U.S. Express

Lord Alfred Hayes narrates an awards ceremony for Captain Lou Albano and Cyndi Lauper. Lou and Cyndi give brief speeches. Cyndi's voice... KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!

Tonight at the Boston Garden... Greg Valentine defends the Intercontinental Championship against Tito Santana. Andre the Giant and Junkyard Dog take on Big John Studd and Ken Patera. I should mention now that I'm pretty sure all of these episodes are going to be the Boston feed of the show. So a lot of the promos are going to be for Boston Garden matches.

WWF Champion Hulk Hogan is training Hillbilly Jim to be a wrestler. Hogan starts the day off with the raw eggs and Jim finds it to be disgusting. Hogan works with Jim at the gym and continually takes his hat off. This was actually pretty funny as Jim was a disaster on most of the gym equipment and in the ring. "Eye of the Tiger" is your music for this. This was fairly humorous as Hogan and Jim had some really good chemistry.

Local promo time as Mean Gene goes over tonight's Boston Garden show.

Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff w/ Freddie Blassie vs. Mario Mancini and Steve Lombardi

Nikolai Volkoff asks that you rise while he sings the Russian National Anthem. I have to admit, Volkoff's got a set of pipes on him and the crowd is pissed as he sings the whole thing. Yeah, that's some grade A heeling. Sheiky and Lombardi start us off here. Lombardi gets a two count off a sunset flip. Mancini comes in and gets run over by the Sheik. Belly to back suplex by the Sheik and Volkoff comes in. Volkoff hits the backbreaker to pick up the quick win. This was a pretty nothing match but it got the job done.
WINNERS: Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff

Mean Gene has Blackjack Mulligan to talk about his match with "Dr. D" David Schultz tonight in the Garden. Blackjack is suffering from a little acid reflux from eating too much at Christmas. Mulligan says he and Schultz are a lot alike. He says that he's just the man to give Schultz an attitude adjustment. He promises that it's going to be an all out brawl tonight.

WWF Tag Team Champions Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch vs. Paul Roma and Salvatore Bellomo

Murdoch start us off with some crisp matwork on Roma. Adonis comes in with an elbow drop. Snap mare into a headlock for Adonis. Roma tries to power out but Murdoch tags in and pounds on him. Murdoch lets Roma tag in Bellomo. They run the ropes and Bellomo gets the better of Murdoch. Adonis tags in and Bellomo runs into an elbow from Adonis. Adonis hits a backbreaker and Murdoch hits a knee off the ropes to pick up the victory. Solid little squash here as Adonis and Murdoch had a really quick style of offense. This match made the champs look really good.
WINNERS: Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch

Piper's Pit with Bobby Heenan, Big John Studd and Ken Patera. Heenan brags about how they cut the hair of Andre the Giant. He says they did it to demoralize the Giant. Patera calls Andre a big goof. Big John Studd is carrying around Andre's hair and they let Piper pick out a piece of his hair. It's amazing to me that Piper's Pit is so well remembered and the actual segments were so short.

"Dr. D" David Schultz vs. Jim Young

They shake hands and then lock up. They start off with some matwork and then Schultz gets a takedown. They lock up a few times into stalemates. Schultz gets a sort of headlock and uses it to wear down Young. Schultz gets a bodyslam and heads to the second rope. Elbow drop finishes things for Schultz. This was not good. Schultz should have been mauling the guy, not trying to work a scientific holds match. This was all basic headlocks and stuff until he hit the bodyslam for the win. This reminds me of why I never cared much for Schultz as a worker.
WINNER: "Dr. D" David Schultz

We join Magnificent Muraco in Hawaii. He says he isn't fake like Hulk Hogan and that he's coming for the belt.

Jack and Gerry Brisco vs. Dave Barbie and Geno Garballo

Jack starts off and gets the better of Barbie off the mat. Gerry comes in and Barbie trips him up. Gerry takes him down and grabs a headlock. Jack comes back in and takes Barbie down before working a headlock. Geno tags in and they double team Jack in the corner. They hit a double elbow but Jack gets the better of Geno afterwards. Jack hits a knee lift and then a knee drop. Gerry comes in uses the neck snap and then a belly to back suplex. Jack comes in and rolls up Geno for a two count. Jack slams Geno and tags Gerry in. A roll up and a double underhook suplex only get two counts. Jack comes back in and they hit double football tackles off the ropes. Gerry applies the figure four leglock and Geno quickly taps out. Nice match here. The Briscos struggling to get a pinfall at the end was a nice little story. They got a little frustrated and then hit a big move before Gerry locked in his big submission move to get the win. I would say this was probably the match of the show. Just a good pace with crisp execution from the Briscos. I'm pretty sure the Briscos are on their way out after this episode. Don't be surprised if they don't pop up at all after this.
WINNERS: Jack and Gerry Brisco

Mean Gene has WWF Tag Team Champion Adrian Adonis. Tonight he and Dick Murdoch defend the tag team titles against the Briscos. The Briscos recently beat them on television in a non-title bout. Adonis says that Murdoch is doing their taxes and then goes off on the Briscos. He says their win was a fluke because they were suffering from fevers. He says the figure four leglock should be outlawed and calls them butt kissers. He says tonight is survival of the fittest.

Junkyard Dog joins Mean Gene after Adrian Adonis leaves. I have no idea what JYD is trying to say. He must have done a huge pile of coke before coming out or something. Anyways, It's Andre the Giant and Junkyard Dog vs. Big John Studd and Ken Patera later tonight.

Vince and Bruno are at ringside. Vince says they can't show the awards ceremony from Madison Square Garden due to some events that transpired.

Next week we'll see Tito Santana, WWF Tag Team Champions Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch in Piper's Pit, WWF Intercontinental Champion Greg Valentine, U.S. Express and Big John Studd and Ken Patera.

Final Thoughts: This wasn't a bad show at all. The Hogan/Jim segment was good and the matches were inoffensive. And this show is fascinating from a historical point of view. The WWF is just starting their expansion and are failing on TBS. You see a lot of the pieces that are going to be there when the company is red hot a few years later. But it still largely feels like a regional promotion. The show lacks the polish of Superstars and Wrestling Challenge. The wrestlers aren't as cartoony as they will become. And Vince the announcer is pretty low key compared to what he becomes as the product advances through the rest of the 80s.

The main drawback to this show is that Bruno Sammartino is an awful color commentator. He says the right things but his delivery is just awful. He's definately on the list of bad 80s WWF announcers. I understand why they use him, I just don't enjoy it.

This was very 80s. The show goes to commercial with popular 80s music and the wrestlers are using a lot of current pop music. It's really an interesting look into what pop culture was like at the exact moment these episodes were airing.

If you're a fan of the WWF during the 80s. You should check this out. The shows are very different from the Superstars show that takes it's place. It's more like a standard wrestling product than the spectacle that Vince ends up creating. I think it will be interesting to see how the product changes as 1985 progresses.

Wrestling forumSound Off!
Comment about this article on Da' Wrestling Boards!

back to Flashback Index