September 7th 1985
Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura call the action.
Lanny Poffo vs. “Iron” Mike Sharpe
Sharpe stalls and walks around ringside to get some easy heat. He offers Poffo a handshake, then cheap shots him. Poffo retaliates with a series of dropkicks. Sharpe falls to the floor and wipes out a barricade. Sharpe is feeling it tonight!
The guys work through some basics as they battle over head scissors and a test of strength. Poffo hits an enziguri, which isn’t exactly sold as smoothly as possible by Sharpe. The fight goes to the floor where Sharpe sends Poffo into the barricade. Now with two spots that saw a barricade tip over, I almost have to think that this is a rib on someone complaining backstage about the barricades or something.
Once the fight goes back to the ring Sharpe gets tangled in the ropes. Poffo goes to the other side of the ring and bounces on the ropes, which supposedly causes the tension to hurt Sharpe on the opposite side. They repeat the spot several times as the ref yells at Poffo. I don’t buy it as working myself.
Poffo scores several near falls with cradles. Sharpe misses a dropkick that wouldn’t have connected on Sky Low Low. This allows Poffo to hit a SWANTON BOMB from the top rope. That somehow isn’t the finish. Poffo attempts several more flippy pins, but can’t put Sharpe away. Poffo attempts several more cradles that fail. The time limit expires at 17:40 and the crowd boos lightly. The men brawl afterwards, with Poffo sending Sharpe fleeing.
This was a perfectly acceptable opener, with the best highspot of the evening I would think.
King Tonga vs. Rene Goulet
The WWF had recently taken over booking for the Montreal area, bringing in Dino Bravo, Tonga (Haku) and others. Tonga works a headlock early, leading to the fans getting on him with “boring” chants. Goulet uses a claw and elicits further “boring” chants. More claw holds follow to keep the fans begging for mercy.
Tonga executes a side kick and follows with a crossbody to end this at 9:21. A fairly lousy debut effort for Haku.
Cpl. Kirschner vs. Moondog Spot
I may see Spot wrestle more than anyone else during this month by month project I am undertaking. Kirschner, a newcomer, gets a very good reaction from the crowd.
The opening minutes are mostly all Kirschner taking command by working over Spot’s arm. The armwork goes on long enough that the fans get a little audibly restless. Spot takes over, sending the Corporal to the cement. He then wipes out the barricade with Kirchner’s body. My barricade theory continues to develop.
This goes on and on as Spot uses headlocks, and Kirschner fights back with brawling and basic stuff. Kirschner finally reverses a slam into a cradle to beat Spot in fluky fashion at 14:48. Ventura and Monsoon talk about how exhausting it was for Kirschner to have this war of attrition with Spotty. It kind of buries the new guy to struggle so mightily with a geek in his arena debut.
Swede Hanson vs. The Missing Link
Link is a spry 46 years old. Hanson is six years his senior! The WWF youth movement is on display here.
The announcers annoy me by pointing out Bobby Heenan’s absence. Debating on why the managers are not there on every TV house show is kind of exposing the biz. Link uses lots of head butts. Hanson responds with a stiff sounding chop. Link downs the Swede and batters him with elbows and headbutts.
Hanson tries to slow Link down with some attacks on his legs, but Link fires back with headbutts and forearms. Hanson runs into a headbutt, which downs him. Link hits a diving headbutt for the win at 5:36.
Link looked good physically, but both of these guys were very limited at this point in their respective careers.
WWF champion Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy
Jimmy Hart is still with Bundy here. Bundy is wearing shades and a cape, making him the coolest 500-pound vampire ever. Hogan gets a mega reaction as you would imagine.
The big men have a stare down. Bundy drops Hogan with a shoulder block. Hogan suckers Bundy in, then surprises him with a leaping knee. Hogan hedges his bets too quickly and attempts a slam. Bundy falls down upon Hogan. Bundy batters the champ with forearms and punches to continue his advantage.
Bundy locks Hogan in several headlocks and a bear hug. Hogan’s struggle in the rest holds keep the fans invested. Hogan breaks free, but runs right into a clothesline. Bundy drops a knee drop and follows up with the corner splash and big splash on the mat. Hogan kicks out, but does so weakly and doesn’t “Hulk up”.
Bundy smashes the champ with another corner charge, then drops an elbow. That wakes the Hulk up and we get the comeback. Hogan uses an ATOMIC DROP on this giant human being. Punches rattle Bundy, but Hart slips Bundy the megaphone and he wallops Hogan for the intentional DQ at 8:48. Hogan comes up bloody, but manages to punch Hart and send Bundy into retreat.
This match mostly put Bundy over, and set up rematches for the future. Bundy and Big John Studd would face Hogan and Andre on “Saturday Night’s Main Event” a few months after this, so it may have served to give the guys a chance to work together before hitting the national TV stage.
S.D. Jones vs. Adrian Adonis
WWE Hall of Fame member Jones faces off with one of the more notable absences from that same Hall. Monsoon pushes Ventura to defend Adonis’ obesity. Jones works an armbar for several minutes to start things off.
Adonis dumps Jones to the floor and slams him on the floor. Adonis continues his advantage with a headlock/sleeper once they return to the ring. Jones fights his way out, and manages to knock Adonis into the ropes, where he becomes entangled. Jones takes advantage by firing off some free shots. Jones presses his advantage, but lowers his head for a backdrop and eats the DDT for the win at 9:33. I think that is the same basic finish Adonis has used in every non-squash match I have watched of his from this era.
Desiree Peterson vs. Leilani Kai
Kai is a few months removed from being given a high profile angle as the Fabulous Moolah’s surrogate in the build up to Wrestlemania 1.
The ladies exchange some leg locks, as Monsoon buries women wrestlers for lacking cardio. Kai busts out the hair whips that were a must for a woman’s match during this era. Kai dominates with rough house tactics such as punches, chokes and forearms.
Peterson fights back with an abdominal stretch and Monsoon admits it is locked in! WHOA! My mind is blown. Kai goes back to smashing Peterson after freeing herself with a hair pull.
Peterson gets a token comeback, but attempts a splash and eats knees. Peterson fends off Kai by catching her during a charge, then connects with a flying drop kick from the top rope to score the upset win at 10:10. Nothing wrong with this one, but nothing special either.
George Welles vs. Terry Funk was apparently edited off the WWE 24/7 airing of this card, and thus I can’t review it.
Uncle Elmer, Ivan Putski and Pedro Morales vs. Brutus Beefcake, Greg Valentine and Johnny V
The babyface trio feels about as random as possible. Cousin Junior and Hillbilly Jim join them at ringside. So they won’t fly in Bobby Heenan, but Uncle Elmer needs two family members to come to ringside with him?
Putski flexes, leading to the comedy spot where Elmer offers to pose too. The Hillbillies try and have Ivan dance a jig, but he declines. Jesse points out he was never as cut as Putski because he was not willing to cut carbs to the degree it would take to look like the Polish strongman.
Valentine opens with Elmer, who tosses him around with ease. Beefcake tags in and harasses Jim, who he was credited with injuring prior to Wrestlemania 1. Ivan gets sick of Beefcake stalling and attacks him. Morales comes in next to continue the abuse on Bruti.
Valentine tries to turn the tide, but Morales out guns him and sends him into retreat. The heels finally corner Morales and use their strength in numbers to take control. The Hammer works over Morales’ leg, and tries to lock on the figure-four leg lock, but Elmer and Putski end that situation quickly.
Morales uses the opening to tag in Polish Power and a six-way brawl erupts. Morales pins Johnny V with a cradle in the middle of the chaos to end things at 12:47. Valentine could not carry 5 guys by himself and this was mostly just limited guys trading basic stuff. Junior and Jim dance to end the show as Putski and Morales vanish.
Final thoughts: A stinker of a card with only one real match of note. Hogah helped draw 8,000 fans even with this limited line up.
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