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WWF Championship Wrestling: January 5th, 1985

Since I haven’t done a WWF Syndicated TV show review since the November 17th show, I will recap the major angles that took place between these shows. I do have all of the Championship Wrestling shows from this one until August 1986, when it became Superstars and taped on the road.

On the November 17th episode of All-Star Wrestling, Blackjack Mulligan’s “Mulligan’s BBQ” talk show debuted. This was created in response to him being upset over Piper basically burying the faces on his show. Piper would send jobber Ted Grizzly to challenge Mulligan and he got squashed the following week. Also, a series of vignettes featuring Don Muraco would air, with him in Hawaii on the beach. This was to build him up for his return.  On the November 24th episode of Championship Wrestling, Cowboy Bob Orton debuted as Roddy Piper’s bodyguard on Piper’s Pit. On the December 8th episode of Championship Wrestling, Albano was a guest on Piper’s Pit and was not given a chance to speak as Piper cut him off and ranted about Lauper. The following week, Vince McMahon interviewed both men about Cyndi Lauper receiving an award. Piper trashed her while Albano thought she actually deserved the award. The slow turn for Albano carried into next week as he was shown reading Christmas stories to children. On the December 15th episode of Championship Wrestling, The Hillbilly (Hillbilly Jim) was a guest on Piper’s Pit. He said that he was “Big Jim” as Piper offered him to be his manager. Jim said he had to think about that. The next week on Piper’s Pit, Piper, along with guests Buddy Rose and Bobby Heenan, all made fun of Jim. On the December 29th episode of Championship Wrestling, Hogan asked Big Jim to come out of the crowd and he followed Hogan into the locker room. Later in the show, Jim returned to Pit and told Piper he was making fun of him and decided to go with the best. Piper thought that meant him but Hulk Hogan came out and said that Jim was his man and they left.

January 5th, 1985

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

Charlie Fulton & Rusty Brooks vs. Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo

Windham & Rotundo are using Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” for the first time. Fulton and Rotundo take it to the mat. Rotundo uses a hiptoss and goes to work on the arm. Tag to Windham and all the women scream with delight. Double dropkick and Brooks tags in the match. Windham catches him with a dropkick and a slam. Tag to Rotundo and they hit a double elbow smash. He uses a fireman’s carry takedown but Brooks takes control. He hits a slam and a knee drop then tags in and out quickly but Rotundo fights back and tags Windham, who hits the bulldog for the win (3:13). Crowd goes nuts.

Thoughts: Windham & Rotundo were over big with the crowd. They also connected a lot more with the audience than the Brisco’s did, who were the number one contender’s at the time. The WWF was starting to add to it’s depleted tag-team division around this time and it would start to get much stronger over the course of the year.

WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. He is at Studio 54 as the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation presents an award to Cyndi Lauper and Capt. Lou Albano. Lou puts over Cyndi and David Wolfe as Lauper states she always knew there was a great man inside of Albano. This segment cemented the face turn of Albano. Too bad, as Albano was a lot more entertaining as a heel and appeared subdued as a face.

We are shown a training video between Hulk Hogan and Hillbilly Jim. This was first shown on TNT the day prior. Hogan teaches him how to eat healthy but Hillbilly doesn’t like Hogan’s drink and wants grits and stuff cooked with fatback. They go to the gym and we are shown a montage, complete with Hulk’s “Eye of the Tiger” theme song. They then train in the ring, with Hillbilly embarrassing himself some more. Hogan says he will stick with him all the way as Hillbilly says just wants to wrestle. They would show a few more of these montages over the next couple of weeks.

Mean Gene runs down the card at Boston Garden, which took place on the same date this show aired.

Mario Mancini & Steve Lombardi vs. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff w/Classie Freddie Blassie

The heels piss off the crowd with their evil foreigner act before the match. Sheik takes down Lombardi, who managegs to get a sunset flip. He tags Mancini but Sheik knocks him down then hits a back suplex. Volkoff tags in and stomps Mancini before hitting the backbreaker for the win (1:37). After the match, Sheik tosses Mancini to the floor.

Thoughts: A dominating squash for Sheik & Volkoff. Since Slaughter left the company last month, there was no one really left for them to feud with so they are building them up until they can find new opponents.

Mean Gene is with Blackjack Mulligan, who is facing David Schultz at the Boston Garden. Mulligan is selling the effects of overeating during Christmas and calls out Schultz for his bigotry and promises that they will have a brawl, just like he does back home in Texas. Mulligan was alright on the mic at least.

Paul Roma & Salvatore Bellomo vs. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch

Murdoch takes down Roma and tags Adonis, who drops an elbow. He works a chinlock as Murdoch yells at the crowd. Roma finally makes the tag. Bellomo gets a hiptoss but Adonis tags in and hits Bellomo with a back elbow smash. Adonis holds him over his knee and Murdoch comes off the middle rope with a knee for the win (2:23).

Thoughts: A dominating squash for the champs to help them look strong for their matches against the Brisco Brothers.

Piper’s Pit with Ken Patera, Big John Studd, and Bobby Heenan. Bob Orton stands in the background as Piper’s bodyguard. He had been introduced as Piper’s bodyguard several weeks ago. Heenan says that he planned to attack Andre the Giant as the crowd goes nuts chanting for Andre. Patera said he didn’t realize it would be so easy to knock him out as Studd pulls out a bag containing his hair. They let Piper pick a lock and he is ecstatic and grossed out as he holds it up. An effective segment as Piper was great at making heels look good and Heenan is one of the best managers of all-time.  

Jim Young vs. “Dr. D” David Schultz

They shake hands to start. Schultz takes Young down with a side headlock as the announcers talk about how he is always miserable. Schultz grabs a front facelock then takes him down. Schultz gets a slam then puts him away with an elbow drop from the middle rope. (2:30). After the match, Schultz looks into the camera and says that everyone is running from him.

Thoughts: It looks like they were building up Schultz but he would get fired five weeks after this show aired for attempting to attack Mr. T on two separate occasions at a show in Los Angeles.

A vignette of Don Muraco in Hawaii is shown. He is getting rubbed down by three chicks wearing bikini’s. He calls out Hogan for being a phony, unlike himself, and promises that there will be blood if they fight. They continue to build up Muraco strong for his return. He had been out most of 1984 after losing the IC belt to Tito Santana.

Gino Carabello & Dave Barbie vs. Jack & Jerry Brisco

Jack puts Barbie in a headlock for a bit. The Brisco’s tag in and out, grounding Barbie. Carabello tags and they double team Jack in the corner. Jack gets a kneelift and a snapmare. He tags Jerry after a knee drop, who hits a back suplex, the tags Jack. He gets two off a cradle and hits a scoop slam. Jerry tags and hits a double underhook suplex as Vince puts over the toughness of Carabello. Jerry then puts him in a figure four, getting the win via submission (4:23).

Thoughts: The Brisco’s could still go even though they were in their forties. However, the crowd wasn’t that into the match. They tuned out during the headlock spot at the beginning. The Brisco’s would be gone from this company in a month.

Mean Gene is with Adrian Adonis. He asks him about their match against the Brisco’s. Adonis says their win on TV was a fluke as they both had the flu. Adonis says that the Brisco’s kiss up to the promoters and refs to get what hey want and promises victory tonight.

Mean Gene is now with Junkyard Dog. He cuts a promo about his match with Andre the Giant against Big John Studd & Ken Patera. JYD cuts a promo that is difficult to understand as he just names off people who are on the card.

We were supposed to be shown footage of Roddy Piper smashing the gold record over the head of Lou Albano but Vince says they were not allowed.

Final Thoughts: Not a bad show but it is interesting to see that with the first Wrestlemania less than three months away, most of the wrestlers on this show were gone from the company. Sheik & Volkoff and Windham & Rotundo were the only ones who were on the roster for Wrestlemania. Adonis did come back to the company later in the year. A lot of emphasis on the tag division and they are hyping the return of Muraco, seemingly for a feud against Hulk Hogan.


  1. Hulk Hogan and Hillbilly Jim were kind of like the original Megapowers, except Jim was too good a guy to turn on Hogan so the team has kind of been glossed over due to the lack of an "explosion angle". Still probably one of the most under-rated alliances of all time. It would have been interesting if Hogan had dropped the title to Piper for a few months and the Hillbilly-Maniacs feuded with Sheik and Volkoff while a guy like JYD or Orndorff chased the World title.

  2. Hillbilly slipping and breaking his leg a month after this aired did him in. I wonder what would have happened had that. It taken place?

  3. Was the father/son relationship of Mulligan and Windham ever acknowledged in the WWF universe, or was it just ignored like with Randy Savage and Lanny Poffo?

    Also, why didn't they team Dave Barbie with Ken Patera?

  4. I dont believe their relationship was acknowledge on WWF Television
    Here is an interesting fact about Barbie: He was the real-life bodyguard of Andre the Giant.


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