The SmarK 24/7 Rant for WWF Philly Show – October 13 1984
– Taped from the Spectrum
– Your hosts are Dick Graham & Gorilla Monsoon.
Bob Bradley v. Rene Goulet
Truly a main event in any arena in the country. I personally have never seen a match involving Goulet where he actually won, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. He is of course much better known these days as one of the Usual Gang of Idiots who run down to the ring to stop a heel from attacking someone when there’s no wrestlers available. Bradley was one of those guys who they were always trying to find a thing for, but just got him over. His stint as the second Battle Kat came close, but it was too late by then. Bradley grabs an armbar to start and criss-crosses into another one, and Goulet takes a break on the apron. Back in and Bradley holds a headscissors on the mat and follows with a dropkick to send Goulet running again. I should note that Bradley was looking much more roided here, rather than the more natural looking muscle tone he had once he settled into life as a jobber. Goulet uses the classic thumb to the eye and bites him to take over, then chokes away on the ropes. We hit the chinlock and Bradley powers out, but Goulet hits him with what I can only assume is a loaded glove, since he’s a cowardly Frenchman, and an elbowdrop gets two. Back to the chinlock, and he catches Bradley with a knee and backdrops him to stay in control. That gets two. Goulet tosses him, but Bradley comes back and slugs away in the corner, only to run into a knee in the corner. Goulet goes up and comes off the top with the FLYING IRON CLAW~!, and that’s enough to finish at 11:21. Hey, he won a match! Kind of an odd finish in that Bradley never really got a strong comeback, but it was a solid opener with a minimum of resting. **1/4
Steve Lombardi v. Ron Shaw
Shaw is a local jobber, whereas Lombardi is a national jobber. This is like the road agent tribute show or something. The very young Lombardi takes Shaw down with a headlock to start, and Shaw stalls as a result. They trade hammerlocks and Lombardi wrestles him down with another hammerlock and starts working on the arm. Monkey flip and he goes to an armbar to retain control, holding on through Shaw’s slam attempts, but Shaw finally shoulderblocks out of it and tosses him. Back in, Lombardi misses a charge and hits the post, but he comes back and wins a slugfest, then backdrops Shaw into a rather sad elbowdrop that gets two. Shaw comes back with a sunset flip to finish at 9:37. Geez, Lombardi’s doing jobs for jobbers even back then. Poor guy. **
Dave Barbee v. Moondog Rex
Barbee tries a headlock on Rex, but get atomic dropped as a result, and Rex quickly goes to the choking and pounds him down. Barbee catches him with his bone hanging out, so to speak, and fires back, but Rex drops him with a stungun that gets two. Elbowdrop ends it quick at 3:30. No offense for Barbee this week. 1/2*
David Sammartino v. Moondog Spot
David goes with the headlock to start and a sunset flip gets two. He follows with an atomic drop, but doesn’t have any follow-through. Spot is able to recover and slugs away in the corner, but David presses him out of the ring and Spot takes a breather. Back in, David works on the arm, but Spot hits him in the throat on a criss-cross and takes over. Spot goes with the direct approach, pounding away on him, and we hit the chinlock. He goes up and hits quite an impressive flying forearm from halfway across the ring, and David smartly rolls out to regroup. Spot goes right after him on the way in, stomping him all the way in, but David gets a sunset flip for one. David trips him up, but Spot rams him into the turnbuckle. David fires back with a mule kick out of the corner, but again he’s got no follow-through. He just didn’t look like he knew what to do out there. He slugs Spot down and drops a knee for two. Suplex gets two. He puts his head down, however, and Spot drops an elbow, but that misses and David rolls him up for the pin at 11:36. Lemme tell you, boys and girls, Larry Latham is one HELL of a worker, because Sammartino was a total stiff and Spotty got a totally watchable match out of him, timing the spots perfectly to disguise David’s total suckitude. I am just constantly impressed by Spot’s 80s work. **1/2
The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff v. Sgt. Slaughter & Junkyard Dog
Oh, this is some awesome 80s nostalgia shit. Volkoff must have been new at the Russian anthem gag at this point, because it sounds nothing like his more famous rendition in later years. Interestingly, he only ever sang the first verse of the anthem of the Soviet Union, which goes like this:
- Soyuz nerushimy respublik svobodnykh
- Splotila naveki velikaya Rus’!
- Da zdravstvuyet sozdanny voley narodov
- Yediny, moguchy Sovetsky Soyuz!
Catchy tune, no? This would have to be either JYD’s debut or close to it, as he’s still sporting his Buckwheat hairdo from Mid-South. Slaughter starts with Volkoff and overpowers him, and it quickly turns into a donnybrook with Dog biting the evil foreigners to clear the ring. Sheik tries ramming him into the turnbuckles, but that’s just silly, and JYD just kills him with a clothesline to make him pay. Dog dances to celebrate and brings Sarge back in, and he’s right into the biting spirit as well. Sheik tries kicking him with the pointy boot, but Sarge takes him down and stomps him low…FOR AMERICA! I always feel patriotic when someone gets kicked in the junk. Gutbuster gets two and Dog comes in with a falling headbutt to Sheik’s midsection, and he adds more headbutts and brings Slaughter back in. Sarge puts his head down, however, and Sheik gets that loaded kick as a result and takes over. Over to the godless commie Russian, and Sarge does his contractually obligated ringpost bump. OK, who had 6:00 in the pool? Another one for good measure and he oh-so-subtly cuts the living shit out of his forehead, allowing Sheik to go to work on the cut. And WHAT a cut, as Sarge was all about the manly crimson mask to draw sympathy heat. Sheik rams him into the post again just to be a dick, and Volkoff rams him into Sheik’s loaded boot. Sheik gets HANGTIME on a backdrop for two, and then follows with a side salto for two.
He just keeps pounding on the cut, which sadly has dried up already, and now it’s time for Sarge to no-sell the pointed boot and get the red white and blue flowing. He powers out of a surfboard, but Volkoff yanks him down by the hair. Sarge reverses Sheik’s suplex attempt and it’s almost over to his corner, but Sheik tackles him down and the crowd freaks out. Sarge finally catapults Sheik into the corner to get rid of him, and it’s HOT tag to the Dog as the crowd is just losing their shit. I don’t blame them, this match is awesome. Headbutt gets two on Sheik. Another one misses and Volkoff is tagged back in and goes to the Vulcan nerve pinch as Dog is the face-in-peril for a bit now. Dog powers out but gets slugged down, and it’s back to the nerve hold. Sheik comes in and starts working the back before going back to the nerve hold himself, and he again cuts off a tag. Sheik goes to the camel clutch, but Sarge has had ENOUGH of their un-American hijinks, and it’s a donnybrook, which leads to the double DQ at 16:17. These are not the four guys you think of in great match situations, but this was entertaining as all hell and Slaughter was bumping for like 15 guys. ***1/2 Well worth checking out if you like the old school tag action.
Brutus Beefcake v. Salvatore Bellomo
This one’s in the death slot after intermission, so don’t expect anything epic here. Beefcake powers him into the corner off the lockup, but Bellomo grabs a headlock and they work off that on the mat. Beefacake quickly goes to the chinlock, but Bellomo slugs out. Beefcake chokes him out in the corner and steps on his head, showing how limited his offense used to be. Speaking of which, he moves to the choking, but Bellomo takes him down and pounds on him to attempt a comeback. Well, that goes nowhere, as Beefcake goes back to leisurely beating on him. Press slam and fistdrop and Bellomo is done, but Beefcake keeps pounding him in the corner anyway. Bellomo tries another comeback with a dropkick and some clubbing forearms, but runs into the high knee and that’s it at 10:40. Teaming with Valentine was the best thing that ever happened to Brutus. Well, besides getting introduced to Hulk Hogan. *
Ken Patera v. Tony Garea
Garea attacks to start and whips Patera into the corner, then goes for the arm, but Patera elbows him down and hits the chinlock. Garea leapfrogs into an armdrag, however, and goes to the arm again. Patera tosses him and then chokes him out on the way back in, and a backbreaker gets two. He works the back with some nice knees, which sets up a bearhug quite nicely. Garea reverses to the abdominal stretch and a sunset flip for two, then slugs away in the corner. A blind charge misses, however, and Patera rolls him up for the pin at 6:32. Hey, it’s like every Patera match after his comeback, expect he’s actually winning here! *1/2
Greg Valentine v. SD Jones
Valentine is fresh off screwing Tito Santana out of the IC title, but this is non-title. A sign at ringside informs us that “Ric Flair is the Real World Heavyweight Champion” and “The NWA Reigns Supreme”. That’s pretty edgy stuff for 1984. I’m surprised they didn’t throw the guy out. They exchange wristlocks to start and SD works the arm for a bit, but Hammer stomps him down. Jones comes back with a headbutt to send Valentine scurrying, and SD headbutts him into the corner. Valentine comes back with a backbreaker for two. Jones keeps using the head and Valentine is outta here, but Jones follows and Greg is forced to attack him on the apron. Suplex back in gets the fluke pin at 4:44. They must have gotten the go-home signal early. Not much of a match. *1/2
WWF World title: Hulk Hogan v. Big John Studd
“Real American” is clumsily overdubbed on top of what I’m guessing was “Eye of the Tiger”. All white for Hulk. Despite years of fandom and tag matches between the two, I have never seen this particular singles match before that I can recall. Studd quickly pounds him into a chinlock, but Hulk powers out and slugs away in the corner. Corner elbow and Studd hits the floor, so Hogan follows him out and rams him into the post a few times. Hogan is just all over him, ramming into another post and opening up a cut. Man, what did Studd ever do to Hulkamania? Back in, Hogan tries the corner clothesline, but gets caught with one from Studd instead. Studd pounds him down with a middle rope clubbing forearm and goes to work on the back, whipping Hogan into the turnbuckle. He follows with another flying (well, falling) forearm and goes to the bearhug, but Hulk elbows out of it. Studd overpowers him and tries a slam, but Hogan blocks, so Studd pounds the back again before getting it. Hogan of course sells it like death. Studd stalls and gets two, and it’s hulk up time, before he finishes with the Axe Bomber at 8:20. Standard stuff from Hogan, minus the legdrop. *1/2 Hogan tries to slam Studd and claim the $10,000 prize for doing so, but Studd grabs the ropes and escapes. But now Studd presses his luck and challenges Hogan again, and quickly gets chased off. He presses the issue again and this time wants Hogan’s belt on the line in exchange for another slam attempt, but then thinks better of it and leaves. Smart move.
The tag match is well worth checking out, and the rest is all pretty watchable depending on your tastes,so this show is a thumbs up.