(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)
The Wrestling Classic
November 7, 1985
The Rosemont Horizon
Chicago, IL (Rosemont)
Welcome to the first (and last) annual Wrestling Classic, brought to you by Wrestlevision! Wrestlevision? What’s that? Are we on some sort of peyote-induced vision quest to find wrestling?
After watching this event I think the creative team might have been on peyote. The show is in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, IL and features a 16 man tournament as well as a WWF Title Match between Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper. It opens with some knock-off Back to the Future music as we learn about a special contest to give away a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III. The winner will be announced during the event. Vince McMahon greets us and introduces us to Lord Alfred Hayes and Susan Waitkis, who is playing a Vanna White-like role tonight. The three hosts are standing in front of a large board with the tournament brackets printed on it. Vince runs down the opening round match-ups, while Susan points at them with a stick. Vince then introduces some pre-taped footage of the random drawing for first-round pairings.
Ricky Steamboat shows us some fine acting, as he draws Davey Boy Smith’s name from the bowl and says, “Oh wow! Davey Boy Smith…he’s a fine young man.” Next, Randy Savage has Elizabeth draw for him and becomes angry when she selects Ivan Putski. Finally, Mr. Fuji draws for Don Muraco and gets Tito Santana. Fuji laughs and says that Tito is in big trouble.
Then, Mean Gene is backstage with WWF president Jack Tunney. Jack blandly tells us how excited he is to be there. He says that the WWF has outdone themselves with this event. Gene asks him what the rules are for the tournament and Tunney says that the only rule is that winners advance to the next round.
Next, we go to ringside, where our commentators, Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura, welcome us to the show. Gorilla calls it a tremendous happening.
First Round: Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Corporal Kirchner
Adonis and Hart are already in the ring. The first thing that I notice is that this doesn’t look like the normal WWF ring. They’re using cables instead of the usual ropes and the turnbuckles are tiny. Kirchner is out next and comes to the ring to the Army theme song. He’s dressed in all camo and has a rather stern look on his leathery face. Hart helps Adrian out of his jacket, as Kirchner gets in the ring, and Gorilla comments that Adonis has bulked up again.
The two men lock-up and tussle into a corner for a stalemate, but Kirchner soon hits a couple of arm drags. The commentators tell us that there’s a 10-minute time limit for all first-round matches and Jesse says this means that you can’t mess around. Kirchner must not have listened because he locks in a long side headlock. Adrian finally suplexes his way out, but locks in a headlock of his own. Kirchner fights out of the hold and goes for a suplex, but Adrian turns it into a form of a DDT and pins him for a 3 count.
This wasn’t much of a match. It consisted mostly of a couple of rest holds, before a quick finish. I have a bad feeling that I’ll be saying this a lot tonight.
Winner: Adrian Adonis
Gene is backstage with Adonis and Hart. For some reason, Jimmy Hart is the one who is out of breath. Hart calls Adrian a superstar and Adonis says that he wrote the book on wrestling. He then says that it’s up to his opponent to learn what he writes, but it doesn’t matter because he’s going to be rewriting wrestling. Gene finishes by speculating on Adrian’s chances in the rest of the tournament.
First Round: The Dynamite Kid vs. Nikolai Volkoff
Volkoff takes the mic and says he wants to sing the Soviet national anthem. He tries to shoo Dynamite out of the ring, but he doesn’t comply. Volkoff begins singing, as Dynamite whispers something to the ref. I’m guessing that he tells him to move out of the way for what’s coming.
Dynamite has had enough of Volkoff’s singing and climbs to the top rope. He hits a missile dropkick and pins Nikolai for the 3 count. Volkoff is understandably angry after the match.
I decided to count the time of the match and funnily enough this match was actually 9 seconds long. Somewhere, a very angry King Kong Bundy is trashing his living room. Sadly, the commentators don’t point out the time of the match. This wasn’t even a match, so I can’t really give an assessment of it. It was done to keep the tournament short and pop the crowd.
Winner: The Dynamite Kid
Gene is backstage with Randy Savage and Elizabeth. Savage looks like he’s wearing a very shiny bath-robe. Savage says that Putski will be no problem. He then admits to being both ready and nervous, but then he says that he’s also hyper. Gene asks Elizabeth for her thoughts and she says that she’s excited, but she sounds about as believable as Jack Tunney did earlier. Savage then says that he’s in superb condition, but he’s wasting energy being hyper. However, he says that’s okay because he’s got so much energy to burn that no one can touch him. He finishes by saying that Ivan might be strong, but Randy is quick as a cat.
First Round: Randy Savage w/ Miss Elizabeth vs. Ivan Putski
Putski is already in the ring, but Savage comes out to “Pomp and Circumstance”, with Elizabeth trailing behind him. Gorilla and Jesse argue over whether or not Elizabeth should be walking behind or in front of him. Jesse then says that he has been helping Savage to train for the tournament and says that he knows all about “Ivan Peduski”. Gorilla corrects him, but Jesse plays it off like he said the name correctly.
Savage stalls a bit to start and climbs up onto the top rope. Ivan dares him to jump, so Randy climbs back down again. The two lock-up and Savage gets a full nelson, but Putski breaks it and spits at him, before flexing and doing a little pec dance. Ivan uses his power to gain the upper hand for a while. He punches and clubs Savage into a corner, but Randy trips him and pins him with this feet on the ropes. Ivan complains, but Savage and Elizabeth high tail it to the back.
This was another short match that didn’t amount to much. If it had been given more time it might have been a lot better, but it seems like Putski’s offense is mostly punching and kicking. I do like the story they’re telling of Savage being smart enough to not wrestle any longer than he has to.
Winner: Randy Savage
Vince, Alfred, and Susan are updating the brackets when Nikolai Volkoff storms into view and starts complaining about his match. He says that he was robbed. He says that the fans didn’t like his singing, but they loved seeing him be robbed. Vince replies that maybe Volkoff had sung that song one time too many and Volkoff responds with something unintelligible. I think he said something about laughing.
First Round: Ricky Steamboat vs. Davey Boy Smith
Davey Boy is one half of the tag team The British Bulldogs, with Dynamite Kid, but the two men are wrestling solo tonight. There is a funny story surrounding Davey’s name. Davey Boy Smith is his actual given name because apparently his mother mixed up the middle name blank and the gender blank on his birth certificate and wrote “Boy” in the middle name blank. Gorilla says that this will be a great scientific match-up and now I have an image in my head of the two men wrestling in lab coats, with Neil deGrasse Tyson as the special ref.
The match starts with some great reversals and hip tosses from both men. Davey then hits a couple of press slams and keeps going back to a front facelock. Steamboat manages to reverse a suplex, but Davey gets his knees up on an attempted splash. Davey then goes for a running dropkick, but Steamboat moves and Davey crotches himself on the top rope. Apparently, he is injured by the move and the ref calls for the bell. Steamboat is awarded the match due to a stoppage.
What was that? This was shaping up to be a great match and then just ended. I’m going to guess that wasn’t the plan. Davey seemed legitimately hurt because I doubt he’s that good of an actor. Or, perhaps it was simply a way of having Davey lose without actually getting pinned. After all, they have been keeping all of the first round matches short.
Winner: Ricky Steamboat
Gene is backstage with the Junkyard Dog. JYD talks about his upcoming match with the Iron Sheik. He calls him a former “Dubba Dubba Heavyweight Champion” and talks about Sheik’s Olympic history. Gene brings up Chicago and calls it JYD’s kind of town. JYD says its “our town”. He starts to talk about one of the local sports teams, but blanks for a second. There’s an odd edit on the network here, so I don’t know what was said. He then talks about the fans and says they give him the drive to win.
First Round: The Junkyard Dog vs. The Iron Sheik
JYD comes out to “Grab Them Cakes” again on the network version. Sheik is already in the ring, waiting for him. Sheik jumps JYD as he gets into the ring and starts choking him with his robe. Gorilla calls it a “sarong”, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what it is. One could say that Gorilla was sarong that he’s not right. I’m so sorry…that was terrible.
Sheik keeps choking JYD and gives the crowd some rude gestures. JYD ends up hulking up and starts punching and headbutting Sheik. Sheik begs off, but he gets another headbutt and bails to the outside for a breather. He comes in and tries a full nelson, but JYD breaks it. JYD then hits a weak clothesline but misses a falling headbutt. Sheik locks in the Camel Clutch, but JYD is on his knees. He holds it until JYD collapses to the mat. Sheik lets go thinking that JYD has passed out, but JYD recovers. They fight into a corner and the ref keeps trying to stop Sheik from punching him, so Sheik shoves the ref down to the mat. Sheik then turns just in time to catch a headbutt and JYD pins him for a 3 count.
This match had a little more substance than some of the first round matches, but it still wasn’t very good. I’m not sure why Sheik wasn’t disqualified for pushing the ref, but it would have been the same result either way.
Winner: Junkyard Dog
Gene is backstage with a recently unretired Terry Funk and Jimmy Hart. So much for being retired FOREVER! Of course, this is just the first of many returns from retirement for Terry. Terry has a mouthful of tobacco and talks about how he wants a shot at the world champ. He says he also wants a shot at Orndorff, so he can collect the $50,000 bounty. He wants to use the money to face the world champion, which he says is Piper. Gene is too disgusted at getting sprayed with bits of tobacco, so he backs away and Hart takes the mic. Funk then says he’s going to show everyone how smart he is, before spitting tobacco juice into the camera lens.
First Round: Moondog Spot vs. Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart
Moondog Spot is in the ring chewing on a large bone when Funk arrives. Funk gets a mic and says that he doesn’t want to wrestle Spot and he knows Spot doesn’t want to wrestle him. Spot shakes his head to agree, so Funk suggests that they both walk to the back and take a draw. I’m guessing Funk’s horse is sick or something, so he doesn’t have time to wrestle.
Funk holds the ropes for Spot, but Spot insists that Terry go first. The two men start to walk to the back as the ref begins his 10-count but Funk attacks Spot from behind and tries to run back into the ring. Spot catches him and the two fight for a moment, before Spot rolls into the ring just before the referee’s 10-count. Funk is counted out and is livid. Funk runs into the ring and attacks Spot, before chasing the ref away. Meanwhile, Jimmy Hart is laying on the mat throwing a tantrum.
This wasn’t even really a match, but I found the antics amusing. I guess it’s a good way of having Funk lose without having to be pinned or submit. Although, I’d have rather seen Funk advance.
Winner: Moondog Spot (by Count Out)
Gene is backstage with Mr. Fuji and The Magnificent Muraco. Fuji says that Tito has met his match and that he feels sorry for Santana. However, Muraco has a different tone. He says that he’s drawn the main man in Tito Santana because Tito has it all. He then says that you get to the top by beating the best and that’s how he wants it. He finishes by saying that if he can get past Tito then he has the whole thing won.
First Round: Tito Santana vs. The Magnificent Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji
Muraco tears off his t-shirt before the match. Somewhere backstage Hogan sees this and grabs his shovel, brother. Ventura says that Tito made a mistake in entering the tournament because he’s risking getting injured and not being able to defend his Intercontinental Title.
Muraco shows off his power to start by shoving Tito around the ring. However, Tito manages to hit a running cross body for a 2 count. He then tries a sunset flip and a backslide, but neither can score him a pin. Muraco ends up taking a Flair bump into the corner, but not quite as smoothly as Ric does it. Tito then works on Muraco’s arm for a while, but Don takes over with a snake eyes. Muraco ends up hitting a powerslam and seemingly gets a 3 count, but Tito’s foot was on the rope. The bell rings as the ref does a half-hearted attempt to explain what is going on, but Muraco doesn’t hear him. Tito then rolls Muraco up from behind for another 3 count and the win. The fans are understandably confused when Tito is announced as the winner and there are some boos because of this. Jesse calls it a cheap win and he has a point.
The ringing of the bell botched the ending and the ref didn’t do much to make the ending any clearer. It was a messy ending to what was already a mediocre match.
Winner: Tito Santana
Gene is backstage with Bobby the Brain Heenan. Gene points out that none of Heenan’s men are in the tournament, but Bobby says that’s okay. He’s there to scout talent. Gene asks if King Kong Bundy is trying to weasel his way out of the tournament and Heenan takes offense to the use of the word “weasel”. Heenan then talks about how he’s offering $50,000 to anyone who can take out Orndorff.
First Round: Paul Orndorff vs. Bob Orton Jr.
This is the final match of the first round. The commentators point out that Orton still has a cast on his perpetually injured left arm.
Orndorff goes straight for the injured arm to begin. I thought that the whole story was that Orton is faking the injury, but he sells the arm work as if it’s excruciating. Even Gorilla points this out, but Ventura says that the pain on Orton’s face proves the injury is legit. Orton gets his knee up on a charge to the corner and takes over the match for the moment. He goes for a sunset flip, but Orton tries to punch his way out of it. Orndorff reaches up and grabs him by the tights to pull him over and we thankfully get some pixelated censoring on Orton’s crack. The flip isn’t enough and Orton regains control of the match until he misses a flying head scissors and lands on the rope. Thankfully he didn’t injure his groin like Davey Boy. Orton bails to the outside and starts adjusting his cast to use it as a weapon. He clocks Orndorff with it, but the ref sees this and calls for the disqualification. Orndorff tries to attack after the match, but Orton runs to the back.
This was a longer and better match than the rest of the first round, but that’s not saying much. Since they are programming Orndorff with Hogan I get why his match receives more time. The stuff with the cast was pretty good and they had some decent storytelling in the match.
Winner: Paul Orndorff (by DQ)
Next, we go back to Vince, Alfred, and Susan just in time to catch Alfred attempting to grope Susan. It was a creepy little moment. They start recapping the first round and it’s apparent that Alfred wasn’t watching the matches. He calls Steamboat/Davey a great match. They begin to run down the matches for the quarterfinals, but Terry Funk appears and complains about being robbed. He claims that he can beat Hogan, JYD, and even Orndorff and then threatens to slap Alfred. I wish he had actually done it.
Quarterfinals: The Dynamite Kid vs. Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart
The commentators tell us that the second round matches now have a 15-minute time limit. Jesse would leave the announce table mid-match. He claimed that he needed to talk to Savage backstage.
The match starts with a quick exchange and a couple of arm drags. Adrian bails to the outside for a breather and then uses his power to take over when he comes back inside. Dynamite manages to get out of a side headlock with a back suplex, but he misses a splash. Adrian then works over his leg for a bit before locking in a weak looking Sharpshooter. Dynamite manages to get to the ropes for a break. Adrian misses a charge to the corner and Dynamite gets a 2 count off of a tight sunset flip. He also impressively hits a snap suplex on Adrian. The finish comes with Adrian accidentally collides with Hart, who was on the apron, and Dynamite rolls him up for a 3 count. Adrian’s foot was on the ropes, but the ref didn’t see it, so Adrian throws a tantrum in the ring.
Now that was more like it. It was short but really good for the time they were given. I wouldn’t mind seeing a longer match between these two.
Winner: Dynamite Kid
Gene is then backstage with Jesse Ventura. Jesse asks Gene if he’s heard the saying “Two heads are better than one” and Gene says yes. Jesse says that three heads are even better than two and between him, Savage, and Elizabeth they came up with a plan. He says that Savage is ready, but he claims that he will still be an unbiased commentator. Gene calls him on this and says that Jesse is never unbiased, but Jesse denies that.
Quarterfinals: Randy Savage w/ Miss Elizabeth vs. Ricky Steamboat
This is our first time seeing what would eventually be a classic pairing in the ring. Savage comes to the ring in a different outfit, but sadly Elizabeth isn’t matching like she does at WrestleMania IV. Savage gets into Steamboat’s face, but backs away and uses Elizabeth as a shield when Steamboat gets aggressive.
Steamboat manages to knock Savage out of the ring, where Elizabeth helps him take off his robe. Randy then pulls Steamboat out of the ring and they fight for a bit. They end up back in the ring and Steamboat clubs Savage with his leg in the corner to take control. He then head scissors him out of the ring and hits an atomic drop on the outside. Jesse returns to the commentary booth at this point and Gorilla asks him if he got his message across. Jesse says that he did. Steamboat then hits a flying cross body off the top but doesn’t hook the leg on a 2 count. Savage rolls out of the ring and retrieves an object from his tights. He tries to hit Steamboat with it, but Steamboat ducks. Ricky then tries to suplex Savage inside, but Randy hits him in the head with the object and covers for a 3 count. Savage bails out of the ring and heads to the back with Elizabeth as a fan with great aim nails him with a piece of trash. Gorilla asks Jesse if he gave Savage the object, but Jesse denies it.
This was nothing compared to their WrestleMania III match, but it was fun for what it was. You could see shades of what these two were capable of together.
Winner: Randy Savage
Gene is backstage with Moondog Spot. He tries to ask him about his match, but Spot simply grunts and plays with his bone. I mean an actual bone. Get your mind out of the gutter! Gorilla claims that Spot had Gene “discombobulated”.
Quarterfinals: The Junkyard Dog vs. Moondog Spot
It’s the battle of the dogs. I feel like this match could use some sort of gimmick. I’ve got it! Put a cage inside of a bigger cage and surround the ring with dogs! Wait…that’s a terrible idea. Who would do such a match?
Spot attacks JYD immediately but misses a splash off of the second turnbuckle. JYD then hits some crawling headbutts, but there’s no ref in the ring yet. The two men started so quickly that the ref hadn’t even arrived. JYD hits a big headbutt and then counts his own 3-count. For some reason, the bell rings. Gorilla says that it shouldn’t count, but JYD is announced as the winner.
What was that!? Since when can a wrestler count their own 3 counts? That was terrible. What was the reason for the lack of a ref?
Winner: Junkyard Dog??
Gene is with Bobby Heenan again. Gene talks about the upcoming Tito/Orndorff match. He says that he doubts Heenan will have to pay out the $50,000. Wow, way to bury Tito! Gene then asks Heenan for his thoughts on Piper/Hogan. Bobby says that Hogan is tired from all of his title defenses, so he will lose.
Quarterfinals: Tito Santana vs. Paul Orndorff
Tito has his thigh wrapped for some reason. I don’t recall much leg work being done in his last match. The commentators point it out and talk about how you sometimes don’t realize you’re hurt until you relax after a match. Jesse keeps referring to Tito as a taco salesman from Tijuana, but Gorilla corrects him.
Tito starts off with a long headlock. The two then transition into a long struggle over a standing wristlock, but Tito grabs a head scissors, which goes on for a while. Jesse claims that the real Orndorff will come out as this match progresses. Gorilla asks what he means and Jesse says that Orndorff will get frustrated and lose his cool. Orndorff fights out of the hold and spins around into a hammerlock, which Gorilla calls a “great series of maneuvers. I think he’s been hanging around Vince too much. Tito reverses the hold, but Orndorff gets to the ropes. Orndorff then hits an atomic drop and Tito sells that his leg is hurt from the move. Orndorff refrains from attacking as the ref checks on Tito and Jesse doesn’t understand why. Finally, Orndorff goes after the leg. He locks in a single leg grapevine and holds it for awhile as the fans start to boo the lack of action. Orndorff goes for a Figure Four but gets shoved to the outside. The two men end up brawling on the floor and the ref counts out both men. The fans boo the terrible finish and Jesse wants Gorilla to admit that he was right about Orndorff losing his cool.
This was a dreadfully boring match. It was endless holds and the finish was terrible. The fans rightfully hated it.
Winner: Double Count Out
Next, we head back up to Vince and company and see that Alfred is now trying to kiss Susan. Geez, they are doubling down on the creepiness. They talk a little about the only semifinal match and Alfred says that JYD has the luck of the draw due to his bye into the finals.
Then, we go back to Gorilla and Jesse. Jesse says that it’s unfair that JYD gets a bye while Savage has to wrestle another match. He also pesters Gorilla to admit that he was right about Orndorff. Fans start to boo as bagpipe music signals the arrival of Rowdy Roddy Piper.
Gene is backstage with Hulk Hogan. Hogan says that Piper is dangerous. He tells us that he got hyped by sitting back and watching the tournament. I kind of doubt that he was watching and I doubt even more that the action so far would hype anyone. He then says that he’s glad that the whole world gets to witness his wrath on Piper. He claims that the whole world has Hulkamania. Gene says that Piper will have egg on his face if he doesn’t win and Hogan says that he will use everything he’s got to put down Piper and it’s about time.
WWF Title Match: Hulk Hogan (c) vs. Roddy Piper
Hogan comes to the ring and is oddly wearing all white instead of his usual red and yellow. He gets into the ring and has a bit of a tug-of-war over the belt with Piper.
The two men immediately fight to the outside and trade punches. Hogan then whips Piper over the guardrail. They fight inside, where they trade eye rakes, but Piper takes over with some throat chops and an eye poke. Hogan manages to clothesline Piper in the corner and Roddy flops to the mat. They fight into a corner and the ref physically stops Hogan from punching him. Gorilla admonishes the ref for not counting instead, but Jesse claims that Hogan is known for ignoring the refs. Hogan catches Piper coming off the second turnbuckle with a bear hug, but Piper pokes his eyes to get out of it. Piper then grabs a sleeper hold. Hogan gets to the ropes but foolishly lets go before the ref can see it. The ref eventually checks Hogan’s arm, but he comes to life and dives over the rope to break the hold. Piper gets shoved into the ring post and tries to run back into the ring, but Hogan nearly pulls down Piper’s trunks when he stops him. They fight back inside and Piper sends Hogan into the ref, so he takes the opportunity to grab a chair. He weakly hits Hogan in the back with it, but Hogan stops another attempt. Hogan then hits Piper with the chair and gets a sleeper of his own. Orton shows up and clocks Hogan with his cast, but the ref sees it and calls for the bell. Piper then holds Hogan down so that Orton can attack, but Orndorff runs in to stop it. We cut to a shot of the crowd just in time to see a fan flip off the camera and oddly they stay on the shot. Meanwhile, Hogan and Orndorff celebrate together in the ring.
It was the usual schmoz that we get between Hogan and Piper in the WWF. We would never see a clean finish between these two until their WCW days. It was decent for what it was, but it wasn’t really worthy of a PPV title match.
Winner: Hulk Hogan (by DQ)
Gene is backstage with the Junkyard Dog again. JYD says that Hogan/Piper was a hell of a match. I disagree. He then says that he’s dropped some weight and is ready for the finals. Jimmy Hart then interrupts and is whining, but I can’t understand everything that he says. He says something about people making fun of his red underwear. What does that mean!? He then threatens JYD.
Semifinals: Randy Savage w/ Miss Elizabeth vs. The Dynamite Kid
Savage is on his third different outfit. This time he’s wearing a shiny red, white, & blue cape. Elizabeth goes to hold the ropes open for him, but Randy opts to leap over the ropes instead. I’m guessing he was trying to show off for the high flying Dynamite Kid.
They start with a few lock-ups that go nowhere and then do some mat wrestling. Dynamite comes out on top, so Savage bails to the outside for some stalling. Savage jaws with the fans for a bit, while Gorilla says that he doesn’t understand what function Miss Elizabeth serves. Jesse mocks Gorilla for not understanding the birds and the bees. Savage and Dynamite tussle into the corner, where Savage gets a cheap shot, but Dynamite ends up out wrestling him again. Dynamite then hits a high back body drop on Savage and goes for a sunset flip, but Savage windmills his arms around and sits on him. The two men then end up colliding in mid-ring and the ref starts to count. Savage is up and goes to the top rope, but Dynamite drop kicks him and goes for a superplex. Dynamite hits it, but Savage hooks his legs and turns it into a cradle for a 3 count. Savage is so worn out after the match that Elizabeth has to help him to the back.
This was a great but short match. It really made me want to see a longer match between these two. The ending was really good, even though the reversal was slightly shaky.
Winner: Randy Savage
Next, we go back to Vince and Susan, who I am sure is glad that Alfred has left. Wait, I spoke too soon because it’s Vince’s turn to be a creep. Vince asks her if she’s ever ridden inside a Rolls-Royce and she says no. He shows Susan a clip of the Rolls-Royce and asks her if it’s a good looking car. She replies, “It is?? Oh…yeah. I wish I was riding in that right now.”
Then, we go to the ring where it’s time to give-away the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III. Fink introduces Jack Tunney, who talks about the give away and thanks the fans for their great reception. The fans were pretty much quiet, so I don’t know what he’s talking about. Fink then introduces the WWF’s director of promotions, Basil DeVito. Basil says that they received hundreds of thousands of entries. Next, Fink introduces the head of the marketing firm that did the drawing. He says that there were over a quarter of a million entries, which sounds much better than what Basil said. He then gives Lord Alfred the honor of announcing the winner. Alfred opens the envelope and gives us a hearty fake laugh. He then tells us that the winner is Michael Hamley from Batavia, IL. Alfred asks the crowd to give him a good ‘ol Chicago jeer and laughs when they boo.
Gene is then in the locker room to interview Hogan. He tells the cameraman to keep the shots at waist level because people are coming out of the shower. Hogan appears to have jammed his fingers during his match, as he has them taped and they look kinda swollen. Hogan says that everyone expected this and that if Piper wants round 2 then it’s “ring-a-ding-ding”. Orndorff appears and Hogan says that they have each other’s backs. He then says that they can have round 2 any time and any place. Orndorff talks about the bounty on his head and says that he and Hulk will be together because they’re blood. Hogan then finishes by saying that he and Orndorff have a surprise for Piper.
Finals: The Junkyard Dog vs. Randy Savage w/ Miss Elizabeth
It’s time for the finals of the tournament. Savage limps to ringside, wearing a simple tie-dye t-shirt. He rips the shirt before entering the ring. Backstage, Hogan grabs a second shovel, brother! Savage hides behind Elizabeth again when JYD threatens him. Savage then exits the ring and grabs a chair. He throws it at JYD, who catches it and smacks himself in the head a few times to show that it doesn’t hurt him.
Savage stalls a lot to start the match. He keeps bailing out of the ring, so a fan yells “You suck Savage” at him. They finally lock-up and JYD keeps shoving Savage to the mat. Savage tries to slam him but can’t, so JYD headbutts him in the back for his troubles. He then locks Savage in a bear hug, but Randy rakes the eyes to break it. Mean Gene joins the commentary and Jesse asks him if it’s fair that JYD got a bye and Gene says that it is. Meanwhile, JYD keeps headbutting Savage, while Gene admits to being distracted by Miss Elizabeth. Savage finally takes control and hits a flying axehandle to the outside. He’s content to let the ref count JYD out, so he rests in the ring. He continues his attack whenever JYD shows signs of recovering, before going back to letting the ref count. Savage eventually attacks JYD with a chair, which the ref sees. The ref doesn’t do anything, so Gene points out that it should have been a DQ, but the commentators can’t explain it. Savage ends up throwing JYD back into the ring and goes for another flying axehandle, but JYD catches him with a punch to the gut. He then hits some crawling headbutts. Savage ends up tied up in the ropes and JYD continues the attack. Savage gets free, but he gets back body dropped over the top rope and can’t make it back into the ring before a 10 count.
There was a bit too much stalling for my tastes, but within the storyline it makes sense. They did tell a good story with the match, so it wasn’t too bad. I personally would have had Savage win the tournament, but he didn’t look bad in losing. He was certainly the star of the night.
Winner: Junkyard Dog (by Count Out)
Gene tries to interview JYD in the ring, but Ventura enters and starts yelling at him. Ventura claims that it’s unfair that Savage had to wrestle more matches than JYD. Jesse says that Savage is the real winner because he wrestled 3 matches to JYD’s 2. JYD backs Jesse away, but Ventura continues arguing all the way back to the announcer’s table.
One last time they go back to Vince, Alfred, and Susan. Alfred says its the best night he’s ever had. Vince asks Susan if she’s ever seen such action and she says no. Vince then suggests that Alfred could take her on a ride in a Rolls-Royce, but Susan points out that she didn’t win the car. Alfred says, “Oh, you can win something!” I think I might have just thrown up in my mouth a little bit.
We then close with some credits over still images of the event.
This was not a good show. It was the WWF’s first venture into a PPV exclusive, as all of their other shows had primarily been on closed-circuit television. I get that they wanted to do a single night tournament, but it would have been better to do just the quarterfinals through the finals and extend some of the better matches. There were far too many short nothing matches on this show. The Hogan/Piper match was simply another non-finish between the two. This is definitely a show to avoid.
Next up will be Starrcade ‘85, which I already wrote for my old blog. I will probably post it either later today or tomorrow. Thank you for reading.
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