WWF @ St. Louis- Kiel Auditorium September 1st, 1984

Wendi Richter contends with Moolah and Tito Santana tries to fend off Mr. Wonderful

WWF TV Taping at the Kiel Auditorium
Vince McMahon calls the action.

The Spoiler vs. Max Blue
Blue is a short chunky jabroni. The Spoiler wastes no time attacking Blue, choking him and sending him to the floor with kicks. Blue fires back with punches when he returns to the ring, but the Spoiler knocks him off his feet with a counter blow. Blue dead weights the Spoiler on a slam attempt and the masked man has all sorts of trouble hiking Blue up before managing to drop him on the ropes throat first. The Spoiler stomps away at the hapless chap, then chokes him with his boot and the ropes.

A contrived spot sees the Spoiler choke Blue by lifting him up by the legs and elevating his throat to the bottom rope. The Spoiler knocks Blue to the floor again. The jobber tries a takedown from the apron, but the masked man fends him off and delivers a double underhook suplex. Vince talks about the long career that the Spoiler has enjoyed in the WWF, which at this point has consisted of about four weeks tops.

Spoiler rips at Blue’s face for sport. He drags Blue to the corner and attempts a front facelock while sitting on the top rope for leverage. The Spoiler gives up on that quickly and drives a knee into his opponent’s face. The jobber is dumped to the floor once again. The Spoiler keeps the pressure up and drives home some forearms. Blue throws a few back, as this “squash” has now gone on far too long. The Spoiler drops Blue again and locks on a claw hold. This earns a submission win at 6:15. Way too long for a showcase match, especially since the Spoiler never even really showed any weakness.

Sgt. Slaughter vs. Alexis Smirnoff
“The greatest living American hero today” says Vince about Slaughter. Slaughter’s entrance reveals that Freddy Miller (GCW’s announcer) appears to be at the commentary booth with McMahon, but is not talking. Smirnoff is a lower level Russian heel (by way of Canadian birth). He had a nice run as Ivan Koloff’s partner in the late 70’s, but otherwise he was pretty much just a journeyman. Smirnoff gets annoyed by Slaughter shaking hands with all these capitalistic pigs at ringside and jumps Slaughter. He drives boots into Sarge, each one sapping America of a little bit of it’s freedom. Slaughter mans up and trades blows with the godless commie before downing him with a slam.

Sarge whips the red menace with his belt and delivers shots into the furry chest of this Soviet bear. Slaughter takes him to the gulag of the outer ring and batters Smirnoff’s head into the table. We then lose all subtlety as Sarge grabs a mini-American flag and flashes it in front of the Bolshevik’s eyes. Smirnoff tries to boot Sarge, but Slaughter hits his “cannon” (clothesline) and gets the pin at 3:44.

The pinko attacks Sarge after the match, battering Slaughter with his boot until the spirit of America inspires Sarge to rally and chase off the red menace. Sarge actually bladed from the post-match beat down. This was fine as a representation of politics as theater, but the match itself was shorter than I was expecting and truly nothing special.

Billy Travis vs. The Iron Sheik
Fred Blassie is not with his charge. Sheik does his Muslim prayer for cheap heat. Sheiky delivers a judo throw as Vince takes a politically correct view towards Sheik and the fans having an equal right to express their jingoism. Travis gets in some basic offense, trapping Sheik in a headlock before being dramatically downed with a clothesline that Travis sold with a 360-degree bump. Sheik stomps away in between posing.

Sheik’s laissez faire attitude costs him as Travis is able to catch him with a slam. This only angers the former world champion, and Sheik drives Travis to the mat with a suplex and then breaks his back and makes him humble with a camel clutch submission at 4:49. This was just a squash. Sheik rants on the microphone and attacks Travis after the bout. I assumed this was setting up a Sarge run in, but we just move along to the next segment.

Chief Jay Strongbow vs. Brutus Beefcake
Beefcake had just debuted a few weeks (days?) earlier. Strongbow is jumped before the match and he takes a bump over the top rope. I wasn’t really expecting that from a man who is in his mid-50’s. I’d imagine the St. Louis fans were baffled by the WWF presenting a wrinkled, balding, fat, white guy claiming to be an Indian as someone who should be lauded. Beefcake won’t let Strongbow in the ring, which forces the Chief to drag him to the floor. Beefcake runs away, scurries back in the ring, and then heads back to the floor to avoid Strongbow. Strongbow gives chase.

They stall back in the ring, with Strongbow doing all his poses and taunts that would normally net him a reaction in the WWF’s strongholds. Here it is mostly received with indifference. Beefcake runs to the floor again. Back inside, Beefcake is able to batter the Chief with forearms and punches. This leads to a war dance from Strongbow, who traps Beefcake in a sleeper. Beefcake manages to wiggle free and sends Strongbow to the ropes, meeting him with a clothesline. That is surprisingly enough to end things at 5:42. Absolutely dreadful encounter here between the lack of action and absurd finish.

Intercontinental champion Tito Santana vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Mr. Wonderful stalls to began things. Both men are leery of locking up. When they finally tangle, Santana is able to earn an armdrag. Orndorff heads to the floor in disgust. The crowd is very heated towards Mr. Wonderful. The men work over a hammerlock, which ends with Orndorff being taken down in a head scissors. The men base the next sequence of action around Santana being able to control Mr. Wonderful with armbars and hammerlocks, with the challenger struggling to remove himself from these joint-wrecking submission attempts. Orndorff is eventually able to free himself, but winds up being taken right back down with an armbar. Santana adds a nice little touch by placing his knee on Mr. Wonderful’s skull to help keep him down.

Orndorff struggles but ultimately is able to unbind himself from Santana’s grasp. A nasty atomic drop leaves Tito on the mat writhing in pain. The champion is next sent to the floor and given another atomic drop. Santana tries to return to the ring, but he is driven back down with boots. The crowd distracts Orndorff with cat calls and that allows Santana to make his way back in the ring.

The challenger is able to use dirty tactics to keep the champ from mounting a comeback. A nice back suplex earns a near fall for Mr. Wonderful that Vince totally bought into as the finish. A fan at ringside totally flips out as he’s an ardent Orndorff supporter. Santana runs into a knee and is covered as the time-limit expired at 18:28, which I suppose is 20:00 in Kayfabeland . This had all sorts of rock solid grappling, and both men showed why they were among the limited work horses the WWF had employed who could fit in with the wrestling heavy NWA and AWA.

Women’s Champion Wendi Richter vs. The Fabulous Moolah
This DVD thankfully was made from an original tape, therefore “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” is left in tact, along with the big ovation Richter received. The fans certainly were into her, giving her plenty of high fives on her way to the ring. Moolah sells that she hates the music. The fans chant “Moolah’s going down” to antagonize her. The champ is attacked from behind, then stomped to the mat and  chucked to the floor.

Moolah poses and takes her eyes off Richter, which leads to Wendi delivering a dropkick that sends the 60-something-year-old Moolah flopping over the top rope and to the floor. Moolah recovers and offers the champ a handshake. Richter kicks her instead. They do a horrible looking spot as Moolah raises her knee and Richter charges at half speed towards her. Richter then flops to the mat in pain from nothing as the move basically missed. Moolah works an armbar to keep the champ down.

Richter does a leg pick, which Moolah takes an awkward bump from. I’d wager the angle of that bump was not something Moolah wanted to take at her age. Moolah wraps her legs around Wendi’s arm and holds her on the mat. Richter finally escapes with a head scissors. Moolah heads towards the ropes to try and force Richter to back off. Moolah produces a foreign object from her saggy woman parts. The ref comes to investigate, forcing Moolah to hide it in her trunks. This enrages a fan so much that she charges the ring and almost grabs Moolah before security is able to arrest her! Awesome! Vince even acknowledges the fan’s “attack”.

Moolah slams Richter twice and earns a near fall. A third slam is reversed into a small package and the champ wins at 8:59.  That was a rather sloppy match, but I really enjoyed the ending sequence. Since the ladies had been heavily pushed for the past 10 weeks, this felt like a big deal being shown on TV and I marked out. Nostalgia is a dangerous drug .

Matches that were not included on this DVD include Kamala and JYD squashes, plus Hulk Hogan’s rematch with George Steele and Bob Orton grappling with Brian Blair. 

Final Thoughts: What made this tape was largely garbage, however the Hogan match was probably fun and I bet Blair/Orton was very good, so overall the fans probably went home happy, I was largely underwhelmed though.

 

Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.