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WWF Championship Wrestling February 16th, 1985

Just a quick note, I will now start posting WWF reviews on Sundays, in addition to Tuesdays. This Sunday, I will be reviewing the "War to Settle the Score" MTV special. I will also start adding house shows, Saturday Night Main Event, TNT, Prime-Time Wrestling, PPV's, and the last four TBS shows will be coming up soon as well. Those were the only shows that were actually filmed in the TBS Studios.  

February 16, 1985

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

This week, Jesse Ventura returns to action. Plus, Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik and Piper’s Pit with guest Don Muraco.


Terry Gibbs & Carl Fury vs. Tony Atlas & Junkyard Dog

The camera focuses on those dancing in the crowd. Atlas easily overpowers Gibbs, toying with him in the process. Atlas hiptosses both men then tags JYD. Vince cackles at the antics from JYD then shortly after that, Atlas hits a press lam and finishes him off with a splash (3:11). After the match, Vince promises that we will be seeing more from this team.

Thoughts: The crowd was jacked for these guys. As far as I know, these two never teamed up again. Atlas was gone a few weeks after this aired too. The crowd was in love with JYD in 1985 and if this duo stayed together, they could have had some success.

WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. The focus is on Big John Studd, Ken Patera, and Bobby Heenan as they show a clip of them from TNT dumping all sorts of grooming products onto some volunteer in from the audience.

Mario Mancini vs. Brutus Beefcake w/Luscious Johnny Valiant

Beefcake slams Mancini then pounds away. Beefcake drops a few knees and dominates Mancini until finishing him off with a running knee smash (2:23).

Thoughts: They really tried to put over Brutus as a significant threat here. He completely dominated the match but again, the crowd doesn’t seem to care about him. He needs a feud if they want him to be taken seriously.  

Gene Okerlund plugs the March 2nd show at the Boston Garden and brings out the tag-team champions, Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo. They cut a promo on their opponents, Sheik & Volkoff, and said they will be ready in Boston. Rotundo is very wooden on interviews.

Brett Hart & Ivan Putski vs. Gino Carabello & Charlie Fulton

Putski takes care of both men with slams and hiptosses. Tag to Hart and no one cares. Hart roughs up Caraballo and looks miserable in doing so. Putski uses windmill punches on Caraballo and tags Hart, who locks on a sleeper for the win (3:20).

Thoughts: I guess they were trying to give Hart the rub by teaming with Putski. He was really awful as a face at this point, showing no emotions at all and looking miserable the entire time. Not too long after this match aired, he would find himself a permanent tag partner.

Okerlund runs down the March 2nd show at the Boston Garden

Steve Lombardi vs. Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Before the match, Jesse looks into the camera and challenges Sammartino. McMahon tells us about the commentary of Ventura, who does “All-Star Wrestling” and “Prime Time Wrestling” with Jack Reynolds. Ventura uses cheap heel tactics on Lombardi for a bit. He hits a slam and drops a knee before making him submit to the Bodybreaker (2:42). After the match, Ventura points at Sammartino and says he wants a piece of him.

Thoughts: Ventura looked noticeably worse in the ring, which shouldn’t be unexpected since he was back from a pulmonary embolism. He was settling into his commentator role anyway. The attacks on Bruno were interesting, though.

Piper’s Pit with Piper on the set of the television show, the “A-Team.” He goes over to the star, Mr. T, and taunts him for having his name written on the back of his chair. Piper said he is a bad guy and beats people for a living and asks him what it’s like to impersonate someone like himself. Mr. T calls Piper a wimp as Piper taunts him in hilarious fashion. Mr. T tells Piper that Cyndi Lauper is her friend and this escalates to the point that T shoves Piper and they get separated with Piper telling him that he is putting an “X” on him. A fantastic segment and Piper was great throughout. Man, in 1985, Piper was the best heel in the business.

Jeff Craney vs. Tito Santana w/Hillbilly Jim

Jim is in Tito’s corner for tonight. Craney is a middle-aged guy with no physique. Craney starts off with a few clubbing forearms but gets caught with a flying forearm. Craney rolls out for a breather then gets caught with a side headlock. The crowd chants for Tito and the two have a rough looking sequence that ends with Craney landing a few shots but he misses a leg drop and Tito fires away then puts him away with the figure-four (3:20).

Thoughts: Craney was horrible even by jobber standards. More importantly, they continue to build Tito up as he attempts to regain the Intercontinental Title.

Aldo Marino & Tony Garea vs. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff w/Freddie Blassie

Garea grabs a side headlock on the Sheik. Sunset flip gets two. Garea grabs a few punches then an atomic drop. Tag to Marino who gets to land a few punches before getting kicked after ducking his head. Sheik takes control and tags Volkoff, who stomps away. He hits a piledriver before finishing him off with a backbreaker (3:41).

Thoughts: They are really building up Sheik & Volkoff as a powerhouse team. I must say that it gets tiresome watching Tony Garea, who sucked, always getting in his moves in the squash matches.

Roddy Piper interview. He begins with his back facing the camera and the back of his shirt reading “woman maker.” Piper references the December MSG incident and said he kicked a woman (Lauper) as he is an equal opportunist. He calls Albano a fat slob and makes fun of David Woolf and how he powerslammed him. Piper finishes by calling out Hogan. This was done to plug the February 18th MSG show and their match that aired on MTV during the “War to Settle the Score” special. Great stuff by Piper.

Next week, Hulk Hogan will be here in a non-title match.

Final Thoughts: A very memorable show, mainly due to the great interviews from Roddy Piper. You also cannot forget how big of a deal it was to get Mr. T to appear on WWF television too. With stars like Cyndi Lauper and Mr. T involved in main storylines, you can really tell that the WWF is on the verge of something huge. After the MTV special in a few days, the main event for the first WrestleMania will be born.


  1. When exactly was the Bret heel turn? I remember him wrestling a squash on All-Star Wrestling with a newly-found aggressive streak and Jesse talking about how impressed he was. A week or two later, he had Jimmy Hart with him and the team with Anvil started right after. I don't remember how they transitioned Neidhart from Fuji to Jimmy, but we must be getting near that point in time...

  2. The Hart Foundation made their debut on Championship Wrestling a few weeks after mania. I checked and the singles match you are referring to actually took place at the same taping in which the Hart Foundation wrestled so you were correct.
    Neidhart aligned with Fuji shortly after this show aired. He was with Jimmy before teaming with Bret.

  3. I don't think Bret was a big enough deal that they even felt it was necessary to have him make an 'official' heel turn. They may have just decided to have him work one set of tapings as face, and then the next one as a heel.


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