By Josh Molina, WrestlingObserver.com
– Airdate: March 14, 1985
– Runtime: 47:14
Click Here: Geelong Cats Guernsey– Stars of the show: Wendi Richter, Freddie Blassie, WrestleMania
– Quote of the show: “Moolah has seen her day. They couldn’t even put her face on a can of dog food to sell it and she knows it.” – Wendi Richter
No one fills a purple suit like Vince McMahon. No one kisses his own arm like Ken Patera. And certainly, no one hurls an insult at the Fabulous Moolah like Wendi Richter.
The 26th episode of Tuesday Night Titans (on Friday nights) served up a big dose of build-up to WrestleMania, an event that McMahon promised would be watched by 25,000 people inside Madison Square Garden, one million people around the country on closed-circuit TV, and “untold amount of people around the world through satellite television.”
Everyone says that McMahon bet the bank on the first WrestleMania. He certainly did gamble, but he sure did sound confident two weeks before the show.
This week’s show is sponsored by Levi’s 501 Jeans and Castrol Oil and opens up with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan’s first stable, Big John Studd and Ken Patera. He still has a disgusting gash on his forehead. That canyon-like depression hasn’t healed in months. WWF never explained how it happened.
Studd sits in the main chair, Patera on the other end and Heenan in the middle. McMahon tells Heenan that it must feel good to sit “between two of the most impressive athletes in any athletic endeavor.”
“It makes me feel comfortable, financially, spiritually,” Heenan said.
Studd holds up a bag full of Andre The Giant’s hair in one hand and $15,000 in cash in the other. He announces his body slam challenge for WrestleMania. If Andre can slam him, he will get $15,000.
Heenan, one of the best overall performers of his time, went it to sales mode. “This wrestling mania is bigger than the Super Bowl,” Heenan said. “It’s bigger than the World Series. It’s the biggest thing to happen to professional wrestling.”
For the third time in the last two months, McMahon takes us to “The Match,” when Studd and Patera teamed up against Andre The Giant and, wait for it . . . SD Jones. You knew something was up with Andre teamed up with Jones, full-time WWE jobber. This would be like Kane and Seth Rollins teaming up to take on Brock Lesnar and Alex Riley.
We know how this turns out: Jones disappears from his Patera beat-down and Studd proceeds to cut part of Andre’s wild hair from his head. Although this would be comedy in today’s environment, back then it was akin to tying up the Randy “Macho Man” Savage in the ropes letting a snake suck on his arm.
McMahon screamed several times that “they are raping the dignity of the Giant.” Color commentator Bruno Sammartino shouted, “I can’t believe that nothing has happened to stop this. This is ridiculous.” McMahon yelled, “This is one of the most despicable displays of conduct in professional wrestling history.” Not quite as bad as the Montreal Screwjob, but, of course, that hasn’t happened yet.
When they came back to the studio, Studd, Patera and Heenan were laughing and smiling like drunk frat boys drunk at a party. At one point, Patera was kissing his right bicep.
McMahon referred to the three of them as “The Awesome Threesome” before taking us to Piper’s Pit, where the three served as guests. For some reason, Piper asks the trio why they don’t bring the $15,000 to every arena when they make their body slam challenge to other wrestlers. Piper gets carried away with himself and says, “I guarantee you that he will bring the $15,000 in cash every night.”
Heenan gets annoyed with Piper. It was far too early for Piper or Heenan to turn babyface, so this segment seemed off. It was probably all tied together on other WWF programming, but here it seemed out of the blue.
Back in the studio Heenan promises that “once and for all you are going to see who the real giant is.” Heenan said he will be at ringside with Studd and that he is negotiating to have Patera with him at Ringside. Patera never made it to WrestleMania, as a cornerman or wrestler.
Up next is Mr. T, in a training session, with Hulk Hogan. Mean Gene Okerlund walks through the doors of the gym looking for Hogan. In true stooge form, Okerlund takes a swing at the heavy bag and appears to hurt his hand. Okerlund finally finds Hogan and Mr. T (not that far away inside a boxing ring). Shouldn’t Hogan be on the floor rolling with T, rather than having him spar like a boxer?
The story here is that a Mr. T is a street fighter and Hogan is trying to teach him some stand-up skill. Again, Hogan is the also the wrong guy to be teaching stand-up. Hogan freaks out because right as Okerlund arrives Mr. T knocks out a sparring partner.
“I had to search all over LA to find people to work with this guy,” Hogan said. ” He’s knocking them all out. I have gone through 11 guys this week. He keeps knocking them out.” Hogan says Mr. T has “The Eye of the Tiger,” and totally puts him over as some sort of real-fighting bad-ass.”
Back in the studio former women’s champion Wendi Richter is the next guest. Richter comes out with Tammy Faye Baker-like eyeliner and stripper lip gloss. Richter is amped up way more than her last appearance on TNT. She’s less polite and gracious than before. Moolah was on the show last week and McMahon asks Richter what she thought of the interview. Richter suddenly gets into shoot promo mode.
“I watched her on TNT and her interview is just like every other interview,” Richter said. “All she did was knock everyone but herself. It was the same as her wrestling matches. If you have seen one, you have seen them all. All she does is cheat and run.”
Richter is irate that she lost the title to Leilani Kai because of Moolah’s interference. Moolah shocked everyone by managing Leilani that night. When she started choking Cyndi Lauper at ringside, Richter came over to help and Moolah decked her. In a post-fight interview, Lauper promised that Richter would regain the title at WrestleMania. Lauper too seemed worked up more than usual. probably because Madonna was burning her up on the charts while she was hot-shotting a WrestleMania angle.
Richter said she needed to save Lauper because it only takes eight pounds of pressure to break someone’s bone. Richter continued her mini-shoot promo.
“Moolah, I don’t think she loves the sport,” Richter said. “That’s why she is called Moolah. She just wants money.”
Richter said Moolah is just eaten up with envy and jealousy. “Moolah has seen her day,” Richter said. “They couldn’t even put her face on a can of dog food to sell it and she knows it.” Richter appears more confident that she is going to win the belt back than Fabricio Werdum was against Cain Velasquez.
The soothsayer is back, but this week she was even more ridiculous than last week. McMahon can be a genius, but this was an awful segment for the second week in a work. The soothsayer is neither smart nor ridiculous. This week, while stirring the pot, she claimed to see Mr. T put a hammerlock on Piper. She saw some shoulders pinned to the ground, but couldn’t see whose shoulders weren’t being counted.
“Come to me spirits,” she said. McMahon seemed unimpressed:”Sarah, you’ve got to keep on trying.”
Classy Freddie Blassie, The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff are the next guests, there to promote their match at WrestleMania against tag team champions Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo. McMahon must have liked Blassie because and his team were on the show just a couple of months ago. Blassie sits in the main seat wearing a blue, white and silver jacket that he must have stolen out of Liberace’s closet.
He’s not happy because McMahon starts passively aggressively shaming him. McMahon asked how many tag team champion Blassie has managed.
“You are going to start the same thing as before,” Blassie said. McMahon had hassled Blassie in the bast about not managing as many tag team champions as Capt. Lou Albano.
Blassie open up his own can of whoop-as on Albano. “I could care less about that fat pus gut Lou Albano,” Blassie said. McMahon turns his head with the language and asks Blassie to watch his language.
McMahon takes us to a match between the Iron Sheik and Volkoff against Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo. Volkoff sang The Russion national anthem to a chorus of boos. Volkoff was supposed to be this mean communist, but he always appeared to be having fun with the character. As he was singing this time, he cracked a small smile.
It’s a good match with the Sheik and Volkoff playing great heels. Windham and Rotundo were great workers. Rotundo was about to pin the Sheik after an airplane spin, but Volkoff attacked the referee, forcing a disqualification. Back in the TNT studios, Blassie says that a lot of people “are going to be disappointed” when his team meets Windham and Rotundo.
The Iron Sheik starts ranting about being from the oldest country in the world and praying to Muhammad in his native tongue. Volkoff, in the spirit of the show, insults Americans.
“I am not like an American ass who’s going to buy a drink,” Volkoff said. ” I go to the gym. I work out, if I need to seven hours a day, eight ours a day if I need to because I come here to show Americans that we Russians are the best.”
Sheik then bursts up, takes off his robe and starts flexing and beating his chest.
He tells Volkoff to take off his shirt. Volkoff pauses almost like he’s hoping the Iron Sheik is joking. After a few awkward seconds, Volkoff took off his shirt and let the Sheik beat his chest. They took turns hammering each other to the point where McMahon became more uncomfortable, ending the segment.
The show wraps up with Lord Alfred Hayes, who has started a Trivia contest, where the winner gets a trip to New York for four people, $500 cash spending money, four seats to a WWF match in Madison Square Garden and a guest appearance on TNT. The show wraps up with McMahon promises a big show next week, featuring “the most phenomenal athlete of any sport,” Andre The Giant.
McMahon is in full WrestleMania mode. With this episode of TNT he promoted the top four matches on the show, and build them up with great flair and suspense. Hayes, by the way, has all but disappeared from the show.