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WWF Championship Wrestling March 16th, 1985

March 16, 1985

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

In action this week are Big John Studd, Ricky Steamboat, and the debut of King Kong Bundy.

  Rusty Brooks & Terry Gibbs vs. Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo w/Capt. Lou Albano

Rotundo takes down Brooks with an armdrag then gets a reverse rollup for one. Windham tags and hits a dropkick. Gibbs tags in and Windham gets two off a sunset flip. He hits a slam then tags Rotundo. Brooks also tags but Rotundo slams him the hits a dropkick before Windham hits the bulldog for the win (2:49).

Thoughts: A fun match for the champs, who wrestles at a faster pace than 90% of the roster.

WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week’s subject is Wendi Richter and her quest to regain the Women’s Championship.

A video hyping WrestleMania airs.

Steve Lombardi vs. Ricky Steamboat

Steamboat gets a decent reaction in his Champinship Wrestling debut. Bruno puts over his athleticism. Both men stare each other down and Steamboat hits a few dropkicks. Crossbody gets two. Steamboat looks faster than anyone else in the company by a mile and the crowd is responding well. Steamboat hits another dropkick before Lombardi rakes the eyes. Lombardi hits a back elbow smash and dumps Steamboat, who skins the cat and hits a few more dropkicks and that sets up for the flying body press and the win (3:14). He does his martial arts poses after the match.

Thoughts: Steamboat wrestles at a faster pace than 99% of the roster and stood out as a result. The crowd was louder for him after the match than at the beginning, which is a great sign for someone starting out in a new territory.

Gene Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan. He says that he has to worry about his other commitments before WrestleMania, including his match with Don Muraco. He also said that he has hired Mr. T on a one-year contract, with an option, to be his bodyguard.

Mario Mancini vs. King Kong Bundy w/Jimmy Hart

Bundy is billed at 458 lbs. He chops Mancini against the ropes for a bit. Bundy runs over Mancini then beats the shit out of him in the corner until he hits the Avalanche (Charging Splash) for the win (2:14). After the match, Bundy drops the elbow and orders the referee to count to five.

Thoughts: An impressive debut for Bundy, who moved fast for a guy his size. You could immediately tell that Bundy would move up the card quickly. He looked as menacing as it gets.

Okerlund is with Don Muraco. He asks him about his match with Hogan and Muraco compares himself to a shark and that Hogan is busy with a lot of things except for being a man. More wacky stuff by Muraco but entertaining enough

Okerlund is shown in a taped segment with Billy Martin, who will be at WrestleMania as the guest ring announcer for the main event. They are doing a great job in making the show seem special.

Big John Studd w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Jim Young

Before the match, Heenan offers Young $15,000 to slam Studd. Young tries and fails then gets clotheslined. Vince tells us that Andre was scheduled to wrestle tonight but no one would sign a contract to face him because he is pissed. Andre then comes into the ring as the fans are going crazy. The bell rings for the DQ (1:18). Andre chops Studd down, who then ducks outside. Heenan orders Studd up the ramp and the fans start to boo.

Thoughts: Good segment that helped add more heat to the feud between both men.

Piper’s Pit with Brutus Beefcake and Johnny Valiant. Piper asks them if they signed a contract to face David Sammartino at WrestleMania. Valiant said that when you hang around Beefcake’s matches, you end up with a broken leg. He is referencing what happened to Hillbilly Jim, who ended up breaking his leg chasing Valiant around the ring during a match, thus ending the biggest push of his career. Beefcake is still not getting over.

Another hype video for WrestleMania airs, stating that Liberace will be the guest timekeeper and Muhammed Ali the guest referee.

Okerlund is shown walking around New York City then shows us a workout session with Piper, Orndroff, and Orton. Okerlund talks to Orton as Piper and Orndorff are meditating. Okerlund tries to talk to Piper, who hisses then groans like a lunatic. The session stops as Piper and Orndorff yell at Gene. Orndorff then cuts another 1980’s WWF-style racist promo at Mr. T, calling him “black and scummy” that has Okerlund yelling at him for speaking like that. Orndroff tells him that its trash-talk and after a minute, they toss Okerlund outside then beat the shit out of a guy asking Okerlund if he was okay. As far as making the heels look completely unlikable, this was effective.

Peggy Lee vs. Wendi Richter

Richter backs Lee into the corner. She then puts her in a single-leg crab and shows her aggressiveness throughout the match. Lee uses a hairpull and hits her with forearms across the chest. Richter fights back and gets a slam. Lee shoves her down and chokes her out with her foot. Richter gets one off a small package but Lee backs her in the corner. She uses a hairpull then Richter returns the favor. They work a few ugly Irish whip sequences which ends up with Richter getting knocked down. Richter gets her knees up on a splash and shortly after that, gets the win with a sunset flip (4:53).

Thoughts: The point of the match was to make Richter seem more aggressive after being cheated out of her belt and it worked to a degree. Richter was really lucky that she was at the right place at the right time because she was horrible on the mic and lousy in the ring but still managed to get aligned with Lauper, probably because she was the only lady they had who didn’t look like she was drinking all day in the members only side of the VFW.

Okerlund is with Mr. T and Hulk Hogan in the same interview they played two weeks ago.

Next week, Piper’s Pit with Mr. T airs from Madison Square Garden. Also, Junkyard Dog, Leilani Kai, Tito Santana, David Sammartino, and Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik are all in action.

Final Thoughts: I thought this show was really good. They made WrestleMania seem like the most important event in wrestling, with all the celebrities and star athletes that were involved, and introduced newer talents in Steamboat and Bundy. They have done a great job with the main feuds too. The WWF was changing the landscape of wrestling at this point in a way that no one else had done ever before.


  1. I love these recaps, please continue them. Between these and Adam Nedeff's similar (in time period) recaps on 411 (honestly the only non-news thing I bother to look at, now that Matthew Scoliosis has stopped doing Ask 411), I really find myself longing for an earlier, simpler, better time.

  2. In 1985 King Kong Bundy was definitely a force to be reckoned with. In addition so was Billy Martin as he was SMASHED during that interview with Mean Gene.

  3. Thanks. I like Adam's recaps. Our writing styles are different but I do like his write-ups. They are a breeze to read. I try to incorporate a lot of history in mine (I have scans of old observers from 1984-1992 and mention stuff that I have heard in shoot interviews) so they can be a bit long-winded at times.

  4. Did Peggy Lee tell Wendi "alright, okay, you win" after the match?

  5. Is this where Bundy had the red robe?

  6. Oh...I swear someone has a pic of him in red too...


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