Skip to main content

WWF Madison Square Garden July 13th, 1985

My copy of this show excluded some of the matches. It cut out half of the Rene Goulet vs. Pedro Morales match, which was awful from what I saw, and also cut out Adrian Adonis vs. Jose Luis Rivera, Junkyard Dog vs. Bob Orton, and Terry Funk vs. Lanny Poffo, which is on the “Best of the WWF Volume 6” tape.

July 13, 1985

Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

Moondog Spot vs. Ivan Putski

Putski works a side headlock for a long time. He keeps going back to the move as Gorilla puts over Putski’s recent tour of Japan. Spot briefly works on Putski in the corner but until he gets backdropped, allowing Putski to go back to the side headlock. Spot counters that with an atomic drop then goes to work. Flying chop gets two. They slug it out until Spot hits an inverted atomic drop. He grabs a chinlock for a bit then takes him down with a forearm smash. Backbreaker gets two. Spot goes back to the chinlock until Putski escapes and hits an atomic drop. He misses an elbow drop then Spot hits another flying chop for two. Spot hits a crescent kick then both men are down after colliding. Putski backs Spot in the corner, who is begging for mercy, then hammers away. Spot gets tied up in the ropes. He is able to escape after kicking Putski low. Spot leaps over Putski and taunts the crowd but ends up walking into the Polish Hammer (12:58) *1/2.

Thoughts: Spot made this watchable but Putski had no business going this long in the ring in 1985. And speaking of Putski, the crowd was less and less into him each time he went out, especially since the crowds got younger as the years went by. Spot is one of the more underrated workers in the history of wrestling, to be honest.

Rick McGraw vs. Missing Link w/Bobby Heenan

Heenan prevents Link from bringing a chair into the ring. McGraw fires away to start. He hits a dropkick but ends up getting elbowed in the head. Link hits another elbow then starts uses a headbutt. He hits a headbutt from the middle rope then goes out to grab the chair but Heenan prevents him again. In the ring, McGraw fights back but Link no-sells a turnbuckle smash then hammers away in the corner. McGraw runs into a headbutt then Link finishes him off with a springboard headbutt (2:25) ¼*. After the match, Link wants to smash his head off of the post but Heenan controls him

Thoughts: Great match for headbutt aficionados but to everyone else, it was a nothing match. At least it was short. Link was a bust in the WWF. His run was less than memorable to say the least.

Gorilla is backstage with Roddy Piper, who jokingly refers to Gorilla as the Good Humor man before mockingly calling him sexy. Piper blames Orndorff for losing the match at WrestleMania and in regards to the $25,000 bounty, Piper said that he would sell his grandma for that much money.

Roddy Piper vs. Paul Orndorff
The fans are going out of their fucking minds at the start of this match. Orndorff slugs away and knocks Piper to the floor. He follows him out then back in the ring, he hits an elbow smash from the top rope then works the arm as the crowd is still going insane. Piper smacks Orndorff and rams his head off of the turnbuckle but he still maintains the hold. Onrdorff runs into a knee on a charge. Piper hammers away but Orndorff manages to get a nearfall with a backslide. Piper rakes the eyes then stomps Orndorff through the ropes. The fans are all over Piper, who gets dragged off of the apron. After a brief slugfest, Piper whips Orndorff into the post. Back in the ring, Piper takes Orndorff down with a side headlock then both men go back and forth on the mat until Orndorff gets two off of a backslide. Orndorff wins a slugfest then drops an elbow. Orndorff goes for a crossbody block but both men spill outside. Orndorff drags Piper back into the ring and heads up top but Bob Orton comes out and shoves Orndorff off of the top rope for the DQ (8:47) ***. Orton and Piper continue to assault Orndorff until the British Bulldogs run out and eventually fight them off, as Orndorff is bloodied.

Thoughts: Good stuff. The brawling was intense and Piper’s selling was great at getting the crowd to react. Running out to aid Orndorff also shows that the WWF was starting to get behind the Bulldogs too, which would be more prevalent throughout the year.

Iron Sheik w/Freddie Blassie vs. Swede Hanson

Sheik attacks Hanson before the bell, choking him out with his headwear. He chokes him out in the corner and stomps away. A loud “U-S-A” chant breaks out as Hanson fights back with horrible looking punches. He slams the Sheik and drops a knee, which gets one. Hanson chops Sheik down and as the ref is distracted, the Sheik loads his boot. He kicks him in the face then puts him away with an elbow drop (2:24) DUD.

Thoughts: At least it was quick. Hanson was one of the worst wrestlers of all-time. He couldn’t move, had no charisma and everything he did looked bad. Again, at least it was short.

Nikolai Volkoff w/Freddie Blassie vs. George “The Animal” Steele w/Capt. Lou Albano

Steele interrupts Volkoff’s rendition of the Soviet National Anthem, to the delight of the crowd. Volkoff retreats and stalls to start things off. Volkoff kicks Steele after he was distracted by Blassie. Steele bites back but gets distracted and Volkoff puts the boots to Steele, who fights back then tears apart the turnbuckle. He throws the stuffing in Volkoff’s face then grabs a headlock. Both men slug it out and it looks terrible but Blassie hits Steele with the cane behind the ref’s back. Albano goes after Blassie but he also gets nailed with the cane. Steele comes out and no-sells a cane shot but ends up getting attacked from behind by Volkoff and this leads to a double countout (4:18) DUD.

Thoughts: Mostly stalling in this match, which was really all you could do against someone with Steele’s gimmick.

George Wells vs. Brutus Beefcake w/Johnny Valiant

Beefcake attacks Wells from behind after he was distracted by Valiant. He chokes him out with his foot then works a side headlock. Wells catches Beefcake with a crescent kick then takes him down with an armdrag. The crowd is silent as Wells has Beefcake in an armbar for a few minutes. Beefcake rakes the eyes then knocks Wells through the ropes. In the ring, Brutus works a front facelock but Wells backs him into the corner. Snapmare gets two then Wells goes back to the arm. Beefcake knocks him over the rope then Wells skins the cat, in the slowest manor possible and ends up taking Beefcake to the floor with a headscissors, drawing a pop from the crowd. Back in the ring,  Wells hits a few tackles but gets distracted by Valiant and that allows Beefcake to hit the jumping knee smash from behind for the win (7:26) ¾*.

Thoughts: Really dull stuff. The crowd still didn’t care enough about Beefcake at this time and unfortunately for Wells, they never connected with him. He was very bland in the ring so you cant really blame them for that.

Brett Hart & Jim Neidhart w/Jimmy Hart vs. British Bulldogs

Brett and Dynamite start things off. Dynamite hits a few armdrags as Hart is screaming on the megaphone. Dynamite sends Brett to the floor then ends up tagging out. The Anvil overpowers him for a bit but Dynamite kicks him down. Anvil gets hit with a double shoulder block then he and Davey use a test of strength. Davey hits a dropkick then Brett tags back as Hayes call him the most improved wrestler of 1985. Davey is getting beat on by both men, even getting hit with the Demolition Decapitation spot. Hart is pissing off the crowd by speaking through a megaphone as Davey continues to get assaulted. Davey flips out of a backbreaker attempt and hits a slam as both men are down. Bret prevents a tag from being made as a “bulldog” chant breaks out. Davey hits a crucifix but the Anvil breaks that up. Davey dodges an attack from Bret that sends Anvil off the apron then he makes the tag to Dynamite, who runs wild. He is going at a lightning quick pace that has the crowd going crazy. He takes out Brett with a missile dropkick then tags Davey, who hits a running powerslam that Neidhart breaks up at two. Small package gets two after the Anivl breaks that up. Davey tries a reverse rollup but Brett ducks and he flies out to the floor. The Anvil roughs him up then rolls him back inside, where Brett applies a Boston Crab that Dynamite breaks up. Neidhart tags and works a chinlock for a bit. Davey escapes and gets a backslide but Brett breaks that up. He and Davey then have a brief pinfall reversal sequence. Davey dropkicks Brett and tries to make the tag but the Anvil drags him into their corner. Davey tries for a sunset flip but the bell sounds, signaling the match has ended due to the curfew draw (13:12) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Good match. Dynamite was so fast and crisp in the ring that it made him stick out. The crowd loved it when he was in the ring. The not-yet-named Hart Foundation looked great and Brett was starting to show a little bit of personality. This match was featured on the "Bret Hart Story" DVD.

Final Thoughts: From what I saw, the show was okay, basically what you would expect from your average house show in this era. Most of the bad matches were kept short. Orndroff vs. Piper and the final tag match were both good. No champions were on this card, oddly enough. The next house show I will review is the August Philadelphia Spectrum show and until then I will post all of the Championship Wrestling shows and a TNT review leading up to that.


  1. Question: How does this 80s stuff compare to more modern day wrestling. Is it less fluid because folks are trying to keep it 'real'? I.E a highspot in one of these is a backdrop or a drop kick or something?

  2. It varied by wrestler, promotion, and matchup/angle. Less big spots as you say. More emphasis on little things - tag teams cut the ring in half, heels would grab onto the rope when the ref wasn't looking (and get a lot of heat). Less 'wildness', but then that did make the crazy brawls get that much more the reaction.

    Lance Storm on his web site went back and reviewed some of the early Crockett shows (I think the first two Clash of the Champions). One common theme he mentioned was that the actual wrestling looked bad by today's standards: but the fans were incredibly into it and just ate up the angles and stories, and even moves that seem basic by today's standard drew a big reaction.

  3. The psychology was more evident in the 80's. That also meant a ton of restholds though and that stuff will not get over today. Some of it was flat-out lazy, especially with the bigger and older guys. The workers today are in much better shape and more athletic. The most important thing that is missing today though is the lack of characters. The 80's had that in spades but today, not so much

  4. I think the story telling and ability to work the crowd was more prominent in the 80s

  5. The territory system going away really hurts wrestling in that aspect today.


Post a Comment