For most of 1984, this show was usually aired on Tuesdays on USA, but sometimes would get bumped around to Thursdays or Fridays. Plus, I'm typing this on Wednesday night, and you'll probably be reading it on Thursday. Or Saturday or Monday if you're lazy. Confused now? Good..that'll help! But with some much action going on in the WWF, let's get down to ringside, errr... soundstage-side!
Lord Alfred Hayes is playing the Ed McMahon role and welcomes everyone to TNT. Vince McMahon is playing the straight-laced, almost nerdy host and introduces the first guest-- he's not just a wrestler and a color commentator, now he's also a rockstar -- Jesse "The Body" Ventura.
The Body runs down both guys and promotes his new MUSIC VIDEO. In fact, here's a special treat for all you at home -- Jesse Ventura's Music Video! Jesse is actually singing, along with an androgynous band behind him, all playing "air guitar", "air drum" or "air back-up singer". I don't think the band was supposed to be androgynous. But this was 1985, when parachute pants, poofy hair and tiger-striped spandex spanned both genders. The lyrics are hilarious. The chorus is "I got the Body (the Body rules!!)". At one point, Jesse rhymes "castle" with "wrestle". Less than four minutes into the show and I already regret not transcribing this!! At the end of the tune, Jesse freeforms a little and sings "don't mess with me, Mean Gene! I'll knock you down.. Jack!". A "rock song" that threatens Mean Gene Okerlund. Awesome.
Back to the studio for a little more verbal sparring. Jesse plugs himself again and says his music career will be bigger than Prince's. But here, as a special treat for all you at home, are highlights from a recent Madison Square Garden match of...
Studio time again, where Jesse proclaims he can be a better host and offers to run TNT next week. McMahon takes him up on the offer ...and next week can't get here soon enough!
We come back from commercial and our next guest is Les Thornton. Thornton and Al reminisce about jolly old times in England. Thornton narrates a few clips of his submission-style grappling...including the Hungarian Gut-wrench Suplex! Thornton offers to demonsrate his holds on a volunteer from the "audience". A scrawny dude wearing shorts the size of a table napkin enters the scene. Thornton shows how to apply a headlock, and how you can easily break someone's neck with the hold. Then he demonstartes a wristlock, and how you can eaisly break someone's wrist. Same thing with the ankle-lock. The joke gets old quick and McMahon throws it to commercial. Richard Belzer would love this sequence.
Fans, we're back! Next guest is Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. Vince gets the "TNT Band" (aka The Audience "Volunteer" with a Casio Keyboard) to play "Pop Goes the Weasel" to piss off Heenan. Heenan congratulates the band on making a terrible song even more terrible. Heenan seems to be half awake and he's not the mischevious contradicting goofball of the late 80's. He's more "evil manager" mode. Time for another special treat for all you at home-- clips of...
Back in the studio, Heenan talks about the $25,000 bounty he's placed on Paul Orndorff. But we'll be right back with more on Heenan's newest find, the Missing Link!
Heenan plugs the Link, as we cut to another MSG match:
Now it's time for a trip to a simulated version of Link's cave. Note that they deliberately said "simulated". They weren't trying to pass this off a real cave...as some Crappy sites that talk about Wrestling may tell you. Heenan mentions that a simlulated cave set-up is the only way the Missing Link will appear on a talk show. Which is why he hasn't been on Carson and Letterman. Ahhhh.. clever! The cave's your typical bad monster movie set, complete with rubber meat skewered over a "fire". Heenan tries to rotate the meat, but that doesn't work. "I don't know... that's my job: to turn his meat!" Heenan tries to calm down the Link, but everytime Vince asks a question Link moans and wanders away.
Vince ties things up from his desk, when Jesse returns to "test out the chair for next week". Heenan appears behind the set, still looking for the Link as the credits roll.
Why'd You Watch This??
The Thornton and Link-in-the-cave stuff was boring, but Jesse is in prime form in this episode. Plus, it has the rare Jesse Music Video and footage of the Missing Link's short WWF run. Thankfully, no skit or joke carries on too long. I was a little disappointed in Heenan, but this was still early in his WWF run and I don't think he was at his wisecracking best until about 1987 or so. The show's also a tricky way to get you to watch a Ken Patera squash match.