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WWF Championship Wrestling: March 23rd, 1985

March 23rd, 1985

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

In action tonight are the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff, David Sammartino, Tito Santana, Brutus Beefcake and the Junkyard Dog. Also, we will see footage from the live “Piper’s Pit” at Madison Square Garden with Mr. T.

Mr. X vs. Junkyard Dog

I have no idea who is playing Mr. X here. JYD lands a few headbutts before Mr. X ducks outside for a breather. Back inside, JYD hits a clothesline then puts him in a bearhug. Mr. X breaks the hold with an eye rake but JYD comes back with an atomic drop then hits the powerslam for the win (2:41). After the match, JYD scouts the crowd for someone to dance with and invites two kids who start to break dance. This has Vince cackling like an idiot the entire time.

Thoughts: At this point, they were putting over JYD as a threat to Valentine’s Intercontinental Title, which makes sense since he was getting the biggest face reactions besides Hogan and Snuka at the time.

WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. He mentions how Andre will retire if he cannot slam John Studd. We see a clip of Andre on TNT being asked by Vince about having a yellow streak for not putting up anything against Studd in their match and Andre responds by yanking Vince up by his tie.

Another video package hyping WrestleMania airs.

Brutus Beefcake w/Luscious Johnny Valiant vs. Joe Mirto

Beefcake attacks Mirto from behind as he was distracted by Valiant. Mirto reverses an Irish whip and hits a slam but runs into a knee in the corner. Beefcake beats on Mirto until he hits him with a running knee smash for the win (2:31).

Thoughts: No one cares about Beefcake after several months but that doesn’t stop Vince from trying to get him over. Bruno, who was useless on commentary, really does refrain from ever talking about his son, David, who will be Beefcake’s opponent at WrestleMania.

Gene Okerlund is with Greg Valentine and Jimmy Hart. They run down Tito Santana and promote their lumberjack match in Boston. Valentine promises to put Santana out of wrestling forever.

Leilani Kai w/Fabulous Moolah vs. Susan Starr

Starr was dressed as a cowgirl. She hits a dropkick but Kai quickly gains the advantage with a few snapmares. Starr uses a hair pull but gets slammed. Kai tosses Starr in the corner and chokes her out with the assist from Moolah, who continues her assault behind the referee’s back. Kai boots down Starr but she comes back with a monkey flip. Starr eats a knee of a charge then Kai scores the win with a feeble attempt at a splash (2:03).

Thoughts: The fans are not really responding to Kai at all. Besides Richter and Moolah, they do not care about the women.

Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan. He asks Hogan about Mr. T being his bodyguard tonight against Don Muraco. He runs down Muraco and promises that he will protect Boston.

Bobby Wade vs. David Sammartino

Sammartino drops Wade on his head with a release German suplex. He hits a press slam and Wade lands on head yet again before Sammartino finishes him off with a powerslam (1:01).

Thoughts: Wade seems like one of those “weekend wrestlers” that Heenan talked about in his shoot interview. Bruno, who was useless on commentary, really does refrain from ever talking about his son, David. You can tell in his voice that he is uncomfortable talking about him in any aspect.

Rick Savage vs. Tito Santana

This match starts immediately after the Sammartino match. Savage lands a few punches before getting killed with a clothesline. Vince calls Tito a “fiery Mexican” as he has Savage on the ropes. Santana the hits the flying forearm then uses the figure four leglock to get the win via submission (1:59).

Thoughts: Tito was aggressive the entire time. Usually, his squash matches put you to sleep so this was an improvement.

We are shown the Piper’s Pit segment from Madison Square Garden. They cut out the Mr. T speech at the end. The WWF did a masterful job promoting that match.

Jim Powers & Tony Garea vs. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Vokoff w/Freddie Blassie

Sheik gets a hiptoss but Garea dodges an elbow drop then takes control with the only three moves he knows how to perform. Powers tags and manages to get a sunset flip before Sheik knocks him down. Volkoff tags and uses a lifting chokehold. He hits a backbreaker then tags the Sheik. He hits a belly-to-belly suplex then makes Powers submit to the Camel Clutch (3:12). After the match, the heels toss their opponents to the floor.

Thoughts: A match to make the challengers look strong. It was nice to see Garea get tossed outside after the match. There are very few wrestlers that have even less charisma than Garea.

Okerlund runs down the WrestleMania card. He is joined by Heenan, who is overly confident in regards to Andre claiming he will retire if he cannot slam Studd. Patera and Studd come out and run down Andre. .

Next week, Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo will be in action. Also, Ricky Steamboat, Don Muraco, King Kong Bundy and Greg Valentine will be in action. We will also see the final training montage between Mr. T and Hulk Hogan plus Piper’s Pit with Paul Orndorff and Bob Orton.

Final Thoughts: This show was built around the promotion of WrestleMania. It did a great job at that and it was a decent show in general. All of the feuds are going along well and the celebrity involvement adds that special feeling to the show. If I was ten years old at this time (I was only 3), I would have begged my parents to let me see the show on closed circuit. With just eight days away until the show, things are looking good.


  1. Nothing's going to "ruin" him. At worst, when Cena comes back and Taker makes his pre-WM reappearance, Bryan could be the No. 4 face in the company behind those two and Punk. He'll still be a main-event player.


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