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WWF Championship Wrestling January 19th, 1985

January 19, 1985

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

Vince immediately lets us know that Hulk Hogan will be in action this week, making a rare TV appearance. Also, the Junkyard Dog, Brutus Beefcake, Blackjack Mulligan, The Spoiler, and Big John Studd & Ken Patera will wrestle tonight. Plus, Piper’s Pit with guest Tito Santana.

R.T. Reynolds vs. Blackjack Mulligan

Blackjack overpowers Reynolds to start. Reynolds is unable to slam Mulligan and ends up getting slammed himself. He gets tossed then rolls outside. Back inside, Mulligan works the leg. Reynolds gets off a few shots but they have no effect and Mulligan boots him down. Mulligan no-sells a few shots then catches Reynolds with a back elbow smash before dropping the elbow for the win (3:36).

Thoughts: Man, this was dull. Blackjack got a bit of a push before flaking out a few months later. He would come back periodically until 1988.

Capt. Lou Albano is with Cyndi Lauper, David Wolfe, and Hulk Hogan. He talks up Hogan and apologizes for his past behavior. This is the final step in turning Albano face.

Jim Powers vs. Brutus Beefcake w/”Luscious” Johnny Valiant

The announcers gloat over the physiques of both men. Beefcake and Valiant stall for a while until they lock up. Valiant distracts Powers, allowing Beefacke to attack from behind. Powers gets a sunset flip and a slam but Beefcake blocks a second slam attempt and knocks him down. Beefcake then catches him with a running knee smash for the win (2:43). After the match, Beefcake stomps Powers.

Thoughts: No matter how hard Vince tries, the crowd doesn’t care about Beefcake.

Gene Okerlund Interviews Andre the Giant about his upcoming tornado tag match with JYD against John Studd & Ken Patera in the Boston Garden. Not much of an interview but Andre and Gene seemed to be having a good time.

Rusty Brooks vs. Junkyard Dog

The crowd goes apeshit for JYD. He grabs an arm wringer then toys with Brooks for a bit. Clothesline gets two then JYD applies a chinlock. Brooks escapes then whiffs on a dropkick, allowing JYD to hit a clothesline for the win (2:09). After the match, JYD helps a stunned Brooks get back up on his feet then leaves to dance at ringside, which has Vince quite excited.

Thoughts: Damn, JYD was over huge. You could tell  that Vince loved is act, especially the ringside dancing, as he would be screaming when he cheered him on. This match was as bad as you would expect but it doesn’t matter when you are over that much.

Okerlund interviews the Iron Sheik about his upcoming match against Mike Rotundo at the Boston Garden. Sheik goes off on another one of his tangents as Gene stops to occasionally correct him.

The Spoiler w/”Luscious” Johnny Valiant vs. Salvatore Bellomo

Spoiler works on Bellomo in the corner. Salvatore fights back but the Spoiler overpowers him. He hits Bellomo with the ropewalk forearm then stomps away. He hits several elbow smashes to the chest before Bellomo comes back with a dropkick. He ends up eating boot on a charge but manages to come back with a headbutt to the mid-section. Bellomo floats over on a slam but fails on a reverse rollup attempt and shortly after that the Spoiler makes Bellomo submit to the iron claw (2:54).

Thoughts: One of the last TV appearances for the Spoiler, who would actually wrestle on house shows, usually in the opening matches, for another several months before leaving. Vince was phasing out the Masked Wrestlers at this time and at age 44 the Spoiler was not in his future plans.

Piper’s Pit with Tito Santana. Piper rips on Tito, saying they usually do not have wash-ups on the Pit. He calls him a former champion as Tito tells him he can make anyone submit to the figure-four leglock, including Piper. Roddy then has Orton take his place and before he can submit, Piper attempts to hit him with a chair.

Ken Patera & Big John Studd w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan vs. Paul Roma & Jim Young

Heenan lets us know that the $15,000 reward is still valid if you can slam Studd. Both men fail to slam Studd. Both men take turns tossing around Roma as the crowd chants for Andre the Giant. Young tags and Patera hits him with a vertical suplex then Studd makes him submit to the backbreaker (2:41). After the match, they rough up their opponents.

Thoughts: These squash matches are fun to watch, mostly due to Patera. He was rough and would just toss around his opponents. Studd was really bad in the ring and had nothing going on for him other than being big.

Another vignette with Don Muraco from Hawaii. He is with Mr. Fuji and tells us that we should be jealous because he is in Hawaii and you are not. These vignettes have just about run out of steam at this point. Its been two months.

Johnny Rodz vs. Hulk Hogan

The fans are going ballistic for Hogan, who is still using “Eye of the Tiger” as his theme song and wearing the baby blue trunks. Rodz stalls then gets taken down with a drop toehold. Hogan grabs a front facelock as Beefcake and Valiant make their way down the ring. Rodz uses an eye rake and works on Hogan, who hulks up and knocks him down. Hogan slams Rodz then works the arm. Rodz gets in a few moves but Hogan powers up and fires away before hitting him with the Axe Bomber then finishing him off with a leg drop. (4:13).

Thoughts: Hogan looked good in the ring and it was interesting seeing him use a variety of moves that he all but abandoned several months later. He had the ability to put on good matches and work at a much faster speed but with his brutal travel schedule and the fact it was dumb to risk injury and miss out on millions, he made the wise choice to switch up his style as he can barely walk now. Anyway, it was a rarity to see the Heavyweight Champion wrestle on TV. The Beefcake stuff was pointless as no one in the world bought him as a threat to Hogan.

Okerlund is with Don Muraco. Okerlund asks about the influence that Mr. Fuji has on him as Muraco wants to know why Okerlund didn’t go party with him in Hawaii. Anyway, this is a pretty funny interview as Muraco lets him know how Fuji is psychic and spiritual.

Vince promises that Hogan will here for the debut of Hillbilly Jim next week. Plus, Mike Rotunda & Barry Windham, Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff, Jimmy Snuka & Tonga Kid, and The Moondogs will all be in action. Also, George Wells will make his Championship Wrestling debut.

Final Thoughts: Besides the appearance of Hogan, this show had nothing else going on. The interviews were fun but did not really factor into anything and the rest of the matches were dull. Nothing much was progressed in terms of feuds. Also, you could tell that the crowd was getting fatigued as this was the 3rd show of this TV taping. They still had one more left.  


  1. Check out Captain Lou Albano in Lauper's famous video:

  2. The first WrestleMania was March 31, 1985. There's nothing on this show building towards it.

  3. Interesting that The Spoiler wouldn't get a shot in the WWF, as he was a big guy(6'10 and 300+ pounds) who was super agile, and was apparently a pretty good worker, according to Dusty Rhodes and Terry Funk.

  4. He was a really good worker but was noticeably slower at this point. He could still do some agile moves, and did a more impressive ropewalk than the Undertaker did, IMO.


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