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WWF Philadelphia Spectrum September 28th,1985

September 28th, 1985

Your hosts are Dick Graham & Gorilla Monsoon

Matches for tonight include Ricky Steamboat vs. Don Muraco, Roddy Piper & Bob Orton vs. Paul Orndorff & Bruno Sammartino, and Hulk Hogan defends his World Heavyweight Title against “Macho Man” Randy Savage (According to Graham Cawthon of, this is the first known match between Hogan and Savage.)

Rick McGraw vs. Moondog Spot

Spot backs McGraw into the corner. He charges but McGraw counters with a sunset flip for two. McGraw goes to work on the arm for a few minutes as Gorilla plugs the WWF Album. He gets two off of a crossbody then goes back to the arm for another couple of minutes as the crowd starts to boo. The announcers talk about the top matches tonight as this is really starting to drag. Spot misses an elbow drop and McGraw slams him before going back to the armbar. He leapfrogs Spot and hits a dropkick before once again going back to the armbar. Spot finally takes control after catching McGraw with a backbreaker. He puts on a chinlock then catches McGraw with a gutbuster when he tried to escape. McGraw failed to get Spot over on a sunset flip then gets hit with a forearm smash from the second rope. Spot puts on another chinlock. McGraw escapes but misses a charge in the corner. Spot tosses him to the floor then kicks him off of the apron. Back in the ring, Spot gets two off of a powerslam. Inverted atomic drop gets two and he goes back to the chinlock. McGraw manages a backdrop but misses an elbow drop. Spot manages a few nearfalls with a kneelift and a clothesline. He heads up top but McGraw slams him off then has Spot beg for mercy in the corner. McGraw slugs away then gets two off of a backslide. After a quick reversal sequence, Spot ducks as McGraw hit his head on the buckle during a reverse rollup attempt and that allows Spot to hit a fist drop for the win (16:24) **1/4.

Thoughts: The first several minutes of the match were brutal but this actually got decent towards the end. I have said it a lot but Spot was a really underrated worker.

Kal Rudman is with Bruno Sammartino. He cuts a good promo, saying that he is not as big as he used to be and not even the wrestle he was a few years ago but that he can brawl and this is the match that they want. He has no respect for Piper, flat out stating that he doesn’t like him. He also says that he does not compare wrestlers to each other, because he believes they are all individuals.

Rudman is now with Orton and Piper. He asks Piper about what Bruno just said as Orton believes that Bruno said this because he is passé and senile. Piper jokes about Bruno running eight miles a day, stating it is because he is trying to get away from his wife then laughs about Bruno losing weight for being old. Not the best work from Piper but entertaining enough.

“Cowboy” Bob Orton & Roddy Piper vs. Paul Orndorff & Bruno Sammartino

Bruno and Orndorff go right after the heels as soon as they enter the ring, with Bruno beating on Orton and Orndorff beating on Piper. They then chase them outside of the ring as they brawl all over the place. They get into the ring as the faces continue the assault as the fans are going out of their minds. Piper then wraps his shirt around the neck of Bruno as he and Orton take control. Orndorff gets dumped outside as Orton chokes out Bruno. Piper tosses Orndorff over the guardrail. In the ring, Piper has Bruno in a sleeper hold but Orndorff breaks that up with an axe handle off of the top rope. Piper tags Orton, who puts on a sleeper. Bruno fights back but Orton tags Piper then cuts off the tag. Piper goes after Bruno but he is able to escape and tag Orndorff, as the building goes crazy. Orndorff uses the double noggin knocker on Piper and Orton then chokes out Piper with a shirt. Bruno is beating on Orton outside of the ring. The action spills outside as Piper sends Orndorff into the post. Sammartino goes after Piper until Orton hits him from behind with a steel chair as the ref signals for the bell (7:52) ***1/4. After the match, Orndorff goes insane and starts throwing chairs and even a table into the ring towards the heels, who manage to escape. The official decision is a double count-out, which has the crowd start a loud “bullshit” chant.

Thoughts: The brawling wasn’t particularly special but the match was all action and it was all very intense. Bruno still looked decent at brawling at this point. The crowd reaction was insanely loud throughout the match.

Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

Steamboat dodges an attack but runs into a knee. Muraco stomps away then chops him against the ropes. Steamboat leapfrogs Muraco then chokes him out with his belt, payback from being hung on TV last month. Steamboat is still wearing his robe as he locks on a sleeper hold. Muraco fights back but Steamboat chokes him out with his ring jacket. He hits a neckbreaker and a fist drop but Muraco reverses an Irish whip in the corner and Steamboat gets hung over the ropes. He falls outside where Fuji hits him in the chest with his cane. Steamboat goes after Fuji but Muraco shoves him into the post from behind. Muraco slingshots Steamboat back into the ring then goes to work on the back and neck. He works a nerve hold for a long time as the fans chant for Steamboat. The Steamer makes it to his feet and hits a few chops but walks right into a clothesline. Steamboat dodges a charge and goes right to work. He kicks Muraco in the corner. Steamboat chops him down. He hits a flying chop off the top rope that gets two. Then, in an incredibly contrived spot, Steamboat enziguiri’s Muraco, who stumbles all the way across the ring and knocks down the referee. Steamboat makes the cover but the referee is not there. Fuji comes in and hits Steamboat with the cane but Steamboat takes it away from him and beats on Fuji then Muraco. The referee tries to intervene but gets shoved down and the bell rings for the DQ on Steamboat (16:20) **. Muraco and Steamboat retreat backstage as Steamboat has the cane.

Thoughts: Dull match. Muraco was really lazy here too. The nerve hold was pathetic and the ref bump looked bad too. Steamboat did most of the work in this match. The feud will continue.

Barry O. vs. King Tonga

Barry attacks Tonga to start but gets chopped hard. Barry bails after getting dropkicked then gets headbutted down when he returns. Tonga puts on a chinlock but Barry escapes then tosses Tonga outside. Barry hits a few elbow smashes but Tonga blocks a suplex attempt and hits one of his own. Barry goes back on offense but misses an elbow smash from the top, allowing Tonga to fight back. He uses a stepover toehold and works that for a minute. Barry rakes the eyes but eats a sidekick then Tonga finishes him with a splash (5:42) *1/4.

Thoughts: Tonga would later go on as Haku. He made his debut on TV a couple of weeks before this show. He was small at this point too and fairly agile. He was a bit green in the ring though.

Mel Phillips plugs the October 26th show at the Spectrum, which includes Tony Garea vs. Masked Superstar, Moondog Spot & Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Cousin Junior & Hillbilly Jim, Terry Funk vs. Junkyard Dog, Don Muraco vs. Tito Santana, and the main event will be Bob Orton & Roddy Piper vs. Paul Orndorff & Bruno Sammartino in a steel cage match.

WWF Heavyweight Championship Match
“Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth vs. Hulk Hogan (Champion)

Hogan shoves Savage off of a lockup to start things out. Savage bails and yells at the fans before going back inside. Hogan works the arm then Savage retreats again. Back inside, Hogan mocks Savage and ducks outside but gets attacked by Savage when he goes back inside. Hogan blocks a turnbuckle smash then fires away. Savage bails and hides behind Elizabeth as Hogan chases after him. Hogan grabs a headlock when they go back into the ring. Savage then winds up in a tree-of-woe as Hogan chokes him with his foot. He hits an atomic drop that sends Savage to the floor where Savage hides behind Elizabeth yet again. Hogan, on the apron, feels out Savage who is standing in the ring. Inside, Hogan misses a charge as Savage chokes him out with the rope. Double axe handle gets two. Savage misses a knee drop but maintains control. Hogan knocks Savage outside again then picks up Elizabeth, gently placing her to the side, in order to get to Savage. Inside the ring, Savage kicks Hogan after he ducked his head for a backdrop. He goes up top but misses a flying elbow smash and Hulk drops the elbow a Joey Marella counts fast to three as Hogan checks if he won and he did (11:17) **1/2. After the Savage, Savage flips out and tosses Hogan and Marella outside. He then grabs the belt and leaps off of the top and hits Hogan with it before going back into the ring, where he puts the belt around his waist and celebrates.

Thoughts: You could see the chemistry right off the bat with these two. The match did not have a lot of action but Savage put on a clinic with his heel work. Savage and Hogan worked the crowd into a frenzy and barely did any "wrestling." This also led to a few more months of Savage vs. Hogan matches at the house show circuit. Watching this also really made you want to see a rematch.

Final Thoughts:  Well, two out of the three matches really delivered, making it a solid card overall. The opening match was long and the Tonga match was a throwaway. I did find it a bit odd that none of the regular tag teams were on the card. Matches that took place that were not on the card include: SD Jones vs. AJ Petruzzi, Steve Gatorwolf vs. King Kong Bundy, and Rene Goulet vs. Scott McGhee.


  1. Looks like a solid show. Nice review.

  2. Thank you.

    It really was a solid show, with two huge matches.

  3. Hot crowds make the show

  4. Bruno's work from 85 to 87 is astoundingly good. I'm not sure if it's the novelty of seeing his style thrown into Rock and Wrestling era or if it's just that he's facing guys who have a lot more energy and can bump more. A combination of both, perhaps. Unlike with Hulk's returns where the heat would die within weeks, fans were usually volcanic for Bruno's returns and never tired of him.

  5. Between having to carry Rick McGraw over 15 minutes and the tag match next time, I'm wondering if Spot pissed someone off, or if they just thought he was the guy with the best chance of making the unwatchable watchable.


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