Taped from Uniondale, NY
Airdate: May 11, 1985 (taped 5/10)
Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura
I would like to apologize to my anal-retentive readership that may have an issue about my skipping this show to reflect upon GAB ’85 first. You can always blame the no longer existent buffering issues.
Please allow me to interject something else before we get started, Saturday Night Live was awesome during this period. Dick Ebersol’s substitution of the WWF in their time slot was a bold move. Let’s see if it pays off.
At the very beginning, Cyndi Lauper and Wendi Richter talk strategy. Next, Hogan and Mr. T, wearing promotional t-shirts for the new show, let us know that Mr. T will be in Hogan’s corner during the title match. Why couldn’t he get the whole A-Team?
Prior to the first match, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews the US Express, Steamboat, and Albano. Check out that perm on Rotundo.
Match 1 (six-man): WWF Tag Team champions the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff and George “The Animal” Steele (w/ “Classy” Freddie Blassie) versus the US Express and Ricky Steamboat (w/ Capt. Lou Albano)
Summary: Fast-paced tag match that warmed up the crowd very well. I wonder what became of Steele though.
After the match, as the crowd jumps to their feet, Steele cries the blues by eating a turnbuckle. Smelling blood, the tag champs re-enter the ring and attack Steele. Despite the odds, the unorthodox Steele fights them off. Albano comes in and tries to calm him down.
In the aisle, Gene tries to interview the tag champs, but Steele nails Sheik from behind. I guess we have a face turn. Turnbuckle stuffing, anyone?
Piper’s Pit featuring “Rowdy Roddy Piper: In the ring, Piper and Orton await “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff. As you recall from WrestleMania, Orndorff was their partner and friend during their main event match. Since he has every right to be cautious, Orndorff stands up and tells Orton to go to the corner. When Orton complies, Piper asks him to sit down. Orndorff retorts with “ladies first.” HA!
Piper calls Orndorff a loser prompting Orndorff to stand up again. Orton comes closer, and Orndorff yells “Stay!” Piper stands up, and Orndorff yells “Sit!” Well, Piper did wear a collar back in November 1983. Piper is beside himself. Orndorff and Piper argue over the aftermath of WrestleMania then Piper threatens to leave. Upon doing so, he tries to sucker-punch Orndorff but gets hit instead. Orton receives the same treatment. As Orndoff sets Piper up for the piledriver, Orton wallops Orndorff with the cast. As Orndorff falls out of the ring onto the concrete floor, Mr. T comes to his aid. While the crowd chants “T”, he pulls Orndorff away from the ring. We have our second face turn of the night!
In the aisle, Gene interviews Hulk Hogan. The champ wants to celebrate Mother’s Day by beating up Orton. Isn’t that the hip thing to do these days?
Match 2 for the WWF title: Hulk Hogan (champion w/ Mr. T) versus Cowboy Bob Orton (w/ “Rowdy” Roddy Piper)
Summary: This match contains portions of what Hogan would use as his formula for future success. While I would have liked to witness Orton superplex Hogan, it would have killed his finisher had Hogan kicked out.
After the match, Piper enters the ring and puts the boots to Hogan. Mr. T comes in to keep Piper away from Hogan. He then hammers Piper’s midsection with fisticuffs before Orton gives T a double axe handle to the back. Piper and Orton then corner Hogan…until Orndorff comes to Hogan’s aid.
Prior to the next match, Gene interviews the Fabulous Moolah. The former champion states that she has paperwork stating that Lauper is banned from ringside. After Moolah makes her way to the ring, Lauper, standing next to David Wolff, runs down Moolah. To my knowledge, no mentions of cement shoes at the bottom of the Long Island Sound are made.
Match 3 for the WWF Women’s title: Wendi Richter (champion w/ Cyndi Lauper) versus the Fabulous Moolah
Summary: Token ½* added completely for the finish.
After the match, Lauper stormed to the ring to congratulate her woman.
After a commercial break, Gene interviews the Junkyard Dog and Bertha Ritter, JYD’s mom.
Match 4: The Junkyard Dog (w/ Bertha Ritter) versus the “Duke of Dorchester” Pete Doherty
Summary: Showcase match for JYD on Mother’s Day. Interestingly, Finkel’s announcement was muted.
After the match, Bertha enters the ring and dances with her son.
“Gene Mean” (© Iron Sheik 1985) is backstage for a Mother’s Day celebration with JYD, Bertha, the Iron Sheik, Volkoff, Blassie (w/ “his mother”, Laura, who looked 32), Albano, Hogan (w/ his mom), Richter, and Lauper (w/ her mom). All of a sudden, Moolah interrupts and runs down Lauper’s mom and her rearing of Cyndi. Moolah calls Lauper’s mom “latrine” but gets pushed (along with Gene) into the cake. Poor Gene gets the worst of it. Lauper then nails Moolah with the top of the cake for insulting her mom.
Conclusion: Due to the heavy influence by Dick Ebersol, a long-time NBC director/vice-president and future president of NBC Sports, the WWF got a huge shot in the arm with this show. In fact, with Ebersol’s influence, the production values of WWF’s programming were enhanced greatly. The result of this show became a long-running series that occasionally pre-empted the highly popular Saturday Night Live starring Billy Crystal and Eddie Murphy.
Despite all of the hoopla, the wrestling on the show was pretty good, but the match quality decreased as the show progressed. Considering the time slot was from 11:30pm to 1am ET, the decrease makes sense. If you’ve never seen this show before, check it out. If you want to relive it, most of it is worthy of your time.
See you for AWA SuperClash!
TV rating: 8.8 (Wow!)
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