Airdate: Feb. 15, 1985
Maybe it was Vince McMahon’s orange jacket or the new opening where Dr. D. David Schultz, Sgt. Slaughter and Ivan Putski were dropped in favor of Andre The Giant slapping Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Capt. Lou Albano managing the U.S. Express, and The Junkyard Dog giving a power slam, but TNT felt fresh and new this week.
The show served as a lead-up to Monday’s “War to Settle the Score” in Madison Square Garden, where Hulk Hogan will face “Rowdy” Roddy Piper for the WWF championship.
I don’t know if this match was thrown together on the fly, or if MTV agreed to broadcast the show at the last-minute, but there was no mention of this huge angle the week before. Suddenly, Hogan is no longer goofing off training Hillbilly Jim and is not in a hot feud with Piper.
They mentioned the Monday show several times, without ever saying that it would air on MTV. Perhaps they weren’t allowed to mention a competing network. I guess they know wrestling fans are smart and would figure it out. The show opens with McMahon in a horrendous orange jacket.
We go to Madison Square Garden where Dick Clark is presenting an award to Cyndi Lauper and Capt. Lou Albano for their work on multiple sclerosis.
Albano enters the ring in a suit, followed by Piper in his blue wrestling trunks. Piper grabbed what appeared to be a framed gold record and proceeded to smash it over Albano’s head. It should be noted that Albano sold this like he was Shawn Michaels, falling flat on his back while swinging his arms back. This was awesome.
Lauper then jumped on Piper’s leg and Piper kicked her off of him, in a spot that deserves props considering that Lauper is not a wrestler. Heck even Ronda Rousey wouldn’t sell at WrestleMania.
Piper then body slammed David Wolff, who unlike Albano and Lauper, totally no-sold it. Piper actually struggled to pick Wolff up. Lauper’s boyfriend apparently didn’t know to jump in the air to help Piper because Piper’s slam was slightly better than Hogan’s of Andre at WrestleMania III. The segment had that “this could be real” heat since it involved mainstream celebrities.
Piper and his new bodyguard, Ace Cowboy Bob Orton, were the first official guests on the show. Piper said that a man of his stature needs a bodyguard. You never know, he said, when someone will take a shot at him, “even old suckers,” like Lord Alfred Hayes.
Piper then touched Hayes’ hand and said “you’re ghostly, man,” adding that he only had about two years left.
Piper then did what he did best — ramble on taking jabs at everyone. He told McMahon his voice was “high-pitched,” that MTV was “music to vomit by” and that he scared Dick Clark so badly that he would never be the same. Piper said that he’s a legend killer and that he wants to take Hogan’s title. They cut back and forth between Piper and taped interviews with Hogan and Mean Gene Okerlund, where Hogan was promising to destroy Piper.
Throughout the segment, Piper was infatuated with his chest hair. Every time the camera cut back to him, he lost a button, displaying more and more of his chest hair.
He asked McMahon if he had hair on his chest. He then said Hogan and Wolff don’t have any hair on their chest, but that Cyndi Lauper does.
We go to the ring and see Piper and Orton vs. “Superfly” Snuka and The Tonga Kid. Snuka is suddenly back after disappearing for several months. The match is pretty much a brawl with Snuka hitting a high-cross body block on Piper, but Orton making the save. The referee called for a double disqualification.
Back in the TNT studios Piper is analyzing the match, with Orton standing behind him, when he starts asking “what stinks?” Piper sends Orton to investigate and when Orton returns he says that what stinks is that “Snuka and Albano” are in the building. Piper leaves the set, surprisingly without hitting anyone. In his two other TNT appearances he slapped Hayes and decked Albano. Cowboy Bob Orton leaves with him.
Capt. Lou Albano, who has now surpassed SD Jones as the man who has appeared the most on TNT, is the next guest. Albano is apparently now the manager of Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo, the U.S. Express, who are now the WWF tag team champions.
Albano literally turned overnight, going from a guy who was berating midgets and women at Paul Vachon’s December wedding, to Lauper’s No. 1 defender and spokesman for Multiple Sclerosis awareness. Albano promised not to yell and scream on the show, but he was very upset with Piper’s MSG antics. He said that Albano dislocated the third lumbar in Wolff’s back with the body slam.
Albano said Piper sent wrestling back 20 years with his assault on Lauper and Wolff.
Snuka is not only back in the ring, but he’s back as a guest on TNT. McMahon says, “It’s an honor to have someone of your caliber on TNT.” He cuts to match with Snuka against a very average-looking Bobby Bass. Bass did the typical heel moves, trying to force Snuka into a handshake only to turn on him, but Snuka did not fall for it.
Instead Snuka dominated him with chops, and head butts and pinned him with a tremendous Superfly splash
McMahon seems desperate to push Snuka, saying “no one in professional wrestling can do what you do in the squared circle.” McMahon says that the fans get behind him more than any other WWF superstar. If that’s true, why is Hogan champ? Snuka refuses to comment on Piper, who several months prior hit him over the head with a coconut.
Snuka says he will do all of his talking in the ring.
The final guest this week is Wolff, who seems to enjoy being part of professional wrestling. Wolff said the awards presentation was meant to bring to very good industries together, but that Roddy Piper wiped it out.
“He did a horrible thing to her,” Wolff said of kicking Lauper. Wolf claimed that the slam was so hard that he could not walk for a couple of days because “the muscles on my back were badly bruised.” Wolff made a prediction before the show ended: “Hulk Hogan all the way. I think he is going to destroy this guy.”
McMahon thanked fans for watching and the wrestlers who appeared on the show, including Mr. Fuji and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, both of whom were not on the show, or who were cut off the WWE Network broadcast.