As many of you are aware, WWE Network is pretty packed with all sorts of content. And as you may also know, we here at Place to Be Nation love long term, in depth projects. So, as part of this initiative, JT Rozzero, Chad Campbell, Jason Greenhouse, Scott Criscuolo & Dan McGinn are starting in 1975 and are planning to watch the entire offering of the WWE Network chronologically. They have plotted their course and after watching each program, they will share their thoughts, notes and recommendations with our readers. So, settle in and enjoy this epic ride through wrestling history!
Tuesday Night Titans 11/13/84
Run Time: 1:34:58
JT: This episode was pretty bereft of entertainment at times, but I will go with the brief bit of Greg Valentine and Lou Albano cutting a promo at ringside while also trashing Gorilla Monsoon and Angelo Mosca as they called the match. I can’t stand Albano, but he was at his best here and Valentine never disappoints.
Brian: Nothing here was even remotely something you could consider as good. And despite the fact he was all over the show and an absolute chore to watch at times, the final segment with him answering questions about women and their unhygienic husbands was at least somewhat amusing.
Jason: As annoying and obnoxious as he is, Lou Albano talking shit while Vince was chatting with Windham and Rotundo was pretty funny. His raspy voice is like running a fork across a chalkboard. He shit all over Brry and Mike’s TNT debut in typical Albano fashion.
Dan: This is like asking someone what their favorite dentist appointment was or their preferred method of being tortured. It’s all bad. I suppose one bright spot was David Sammartino speaking for himself without Bruno by his side. I found it interesting hearing about him keeping his dream alive to become a wrestler despite his dad’s reservations and also that he didn’t really know his father until he was 10 or 11 due to all the traveling. He was articulate and insightful during his time that wasn’t ruined by Albano.
Scott: Almost every segment had Captain Lou Albano in it, so it was really tough to enjoy much of anything. Trying to introduce Windham & Rotundo to the masses was ruined with Albano acting like a dick next to them. Being a heel is one thing, ruining an entire show is something else. Perhaps rewatching the Volkoff/Rocky match was a highlight but otherwise it wasn’t easy to find a segment that didn’t have the sloppy pig all over it.
JT: Again, not much to choose from, so I will go with Barry Windham for both his match against Charlie Fulton and the tag match that followed. The singles tilt had some decent back and forth and good energy for a squash. Windham was a great worker and even matches like this are smooth and effortless on his end. And then the tag bout had great pacing from both Windham and Rotundo and the crowd was quite into it as well. In the studio, I liked Barry’s deadpan responses to Albano’s absurd diet tips too.
Brian: Seeing how Windham looked good in both matches they aired here, I’ll give him the nod for that because no one else deserved it for what actually happened on the show.
Jason: If there’s anything more professional wrestling than Vince McMahon riding a mechanical bull I’d like to see it. Nothing comes closer in this episode than that visual.
Dan: Windham and Rotundo looked great in their match and you can see why they would soon be wearing the tag straps. Vince loved Windham on commentary during his singles bout too. They definitely looked like blue chip prospects, the kinds we gush about while watching NXT, just in 1984.
Scott: I have to say there wasn’t really a strong performance anywhere on this show. I guess Windham and Rotundo handled themselves well but Albano distracted us from actually hearing them speak. Other than that, the show was flat from all talent.
JT: I loved seeing the Piper’s Pit stuff with SD Jones and Blackjack Mulligan. A nice surprise late in the show for a feud I had no idea existed.
Brian: The only thing close to a surprise here was that we randomly saw The Spoiler squashing a jobber from “All-Star Wrestling.”
Jason: I was surprised that Lou Albano didn’t have a heart attack during this episode.
Dan: I’m surprised I didn’t let Basil (my dog) claw my eyes out while watching this. But really, who would have guessed Vince would ever ride a mechanical bull on television?
Scott: There were no real big surprises here. Honestly seeing another David Sammartino interview could be more of a disappointment than surprise. Otherwise, there was nothing.
JT: That we had to sit through a Rocky Johnson vs. Nikolai Volkoff house show match for the second time in three weeks here on the Adventure.
Brian: The world’s oldest fan segment was completely pointless. No need for that to even be considered for television. Why would you follow a half-hour of Albano doing his shtick with this?
Jason: I could have done without having to sit through the Nikolai Volkoff and Rocky Johnson match from a few weeks ago.
Dan: This sounds like a cop out, but this whole episode was a disappointment. Maybe more appropriately, I’m disappointed in myself for sitting through this mess. 44 minutes in and I wanted to hang myself and then I realized there was another 50 minutes to go. Aww Geez Dauber, this was awful! You’re better than this TNT!
Scott: No doubt the biggest disappointment was Captain Lou Albano hijacking the show and ruining every segment. As I said above, this goes beyond just a heel ruining things for babyfaces. The show was getting unwatchable about half an hour into the show.
JT: Vince and Alfred having to sort out how many tag team champions Albano has managed explains everything that is wrong with that slob; I wish Albano choked and passed out in that first minute when he has to stop and catch himself; As much as I hate that Albano locked his claws into Greg Valentine too, watching the Hammer cut a promo in a leather jacket at ringside was pretty cool; I will give Captain credit too for getting over the physics and danger of Spoiler’s claw hold; All of Albano’s goodwill went down the shitter once he trampled all over poor Barry Windham; Why does Albano have a leaf in his pants?; Mike Rotundo’s hat; Albano shitting on Rotundo & Windham’s Caribbean tag title reign was funny; The Lloyd Lynch stuff was pretty stupid, why couldn’t have Albano wrecked this segment instead?; David Sammartino did himself no favors by taking the middle name of Bruno and then they double down by constantly comparing him to his pops; Albano giving diet tips to Sammartino too made me laugh as the gag rolls on; Pretty nice touch to have Barry Windham and Blackjack Mulligan on the same episode; Mulligan looks like Dennis Eckersley with the way his hair and stache are groomed here; Most of what Mulligan said was aimless but it was cool that they finally pushed along a feud between him and Roddy Piper; I am surprised we don’t see more clips of Vince on the bucking bronco surface more often;
Brian: Albano really hammed it up on the show’s opening segment. His manic delivery was even too much for him here, although I did chuckle a bit over his 901.73 IQ. Watching the Spoiler match, that saw Albano & Greg Valentine interrupt the announcers during an episode of “All-Star Wrestling,” we saw a man at the end of his career. In his prime, The Spoiler was ahead of his time and was agile for a man his size. Back from break after that segment, Albano was on the couch with his shirt wide open and a leaf sticking out of his pants. Barry Windham appeared really awkward and I actually didnt mind Albano interrupting because it did not appear this was going anywhere and it made Windham and his partner Mike Rotundo, who came on shortly after, appear more likable by comparison. Note at the end of this how Albano put them both over as a potentially great team. He also put over David Sammartino at the end of his segment as well. Albano was soon on his way to turning babyface. The world’s oldest fan segment was an attempt at comedy that went nowhere. David Sammartino did some generic 80s babyface stuff in his segment then we were shown a bad match he had against Mr. Fuji. We also saw the Nikolai Volkoff vs. Rocky Johnson match from Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens as they used this to hype up Volkoff. Blackjack Mulligan’s segment was completely forgettable and having to hear that shitty band was punishment to my ears. They did show his clip where he stood up to Roddy Piper during “Piper’s Pit” by calling him out for not letting people get to speak. This led to the short-lived “Mulligan’s BBQ” segment that aired on “All-Star Wrestling”. Vince riding the mechanical bull at the slowest speed possible stunk too. Funny, because we saw a lot of clips here from “All-Star Wrestling” and while the commentary team of Jack Reynolds and Angelo Mosca might have been the single worst pairing ever, ring announcer Norm Kimber is fantastic. He’s one of the best ever in that department. Speaking of Reynolds & Mosca, they were actually singing “turn off the lights, the party is over” after Blackjack beat the immortal Ted Grizzly in his match. It was as awful as you would expect.
Jason: Only Vince can rock a tan suit and make it look like a million dollars. thirty seconds in and Lou Albano is screaming like a fat, drunk maniac. Nick DeCarlo looked like he should be selling insurance and not locking up with The Spoiler. Speaking of The Spoiler, Lou Albano managed him too? I love Greg Valentine and the green IC belt. It looks as good as Hogan with the winged eagle WWF title. Albano talking smack when Barry Windham came out with is shirt open, feet kicked up, burping and and plant in his pants was so gross. Barry Windham is one of the few guys the can work singles and tag and shine doing both. The Lloyd Lynch segment was hot garbage. Couldn’t they fill time with another cooking segment or something? Go away, David Sammartino! I dug having Blackjack Mulligan and Barry Windham on the same show. Mulligan is a guy who I haven’t seen much of in the ring, so it was cool that he popped up here. The Piper’s Pit with Mulligan and SD Jones was a nice treat. Hot Rod and Blackjack is a match that I’d be invested in. Seeing Paul Orndorff hit a piledriver is one of my favorite spots to watch.
Dan: Nick DeCarlo definitely would have benefited from a product like Just for Men. Was The Spoiler one of those masked bums I used to hate on during our World Class days? Greg Valentine definitely was a different cat back in 1984. He had cocky swagger in his repertoire. Somewhere along the line, he becomes a mute but I’m enjoying this version so much more. Fun Fact: Nick DeCarlo was driven directly to the nursing home following this match. Can someone please explain to me why Albano talked about squeezing balls after The Spoiler match. Actually, wait, don’t ever explain that to me! I never want to see a segment on this or any other program that begins with a close up of Lou Albano’s crotch. I’ll wake up every morning screaming bloody murder until I die. I bet Rotundo got some serious action in Syracuse being a star in multiple sports (football and wrestling). Mohammad Saad looked like Saddam Hussain with a perm and a porn stash right? Rotundo sticking it to Albano saying he wouldn’t take him on as a manager was great. Gorilla this time gives us the “oriental” reference when he calls Mr. Fuji the “oriental monster.” Oh boy, square dancing. I’m in hell!
Scott: Alfred is back to his odd colored tuxedos in this episode; I had never known that Albano managed Greg Valentine until I started watching these TNTs. So he definitely glommed onto singles and tag team champions to pad his resume; at least Albano is acting the way he should be in this episode: A BIG FAT SLOPPY PIG; For once, the nepotism of Vince pays off with him hiring a great talent in Barry Windham as Vince Senior and Blackjack Mulligan were close; We get another repeat from a previous show, as the Nikolai/Rocky match came from the 10/21 house show at Maple Leaf Gardens; This “World Oldest Fan” segment makes no sense. Cheap comedy? Very strange and random; The problem that David Sammartino had is that unlike Barry Windham, who was his own guy and his own personality, David took his dad’s name as his middle name and even tried to talk like his dad. You can tell they were shoving the gimmick down our throats too hard; The Albano overload is killing this show; Barry’s papa makes an appearance on the show, and looking up close at him, he and Barry look like father and son; Man was Captain Lou the only guy in the building? He’s in almost every segment, and ruining all of them
Consensus Best WWE Network Match to Date: Roddy Piper vs. Greg Valentine (NWA Starrcade 11/24/83)
Consensus Worst WWE Network Match to Date: Ivan Putski vs. Baron Von Raschke (Madison Square Garden, 6/27/77)
JT: There really wasn’t much here to dig into. Lou Albano went bell to bell on this episode and while he had some good moments, he also dragged things down quite a bit at the expense of developing Windham, Rotundo and Sammartino. There wasn’t much going on in ring either and the back end of the episode really dragged with a lot of meandering around with Mulligan. Usually we get at least one worthwhile segment to float these TNTs but this week there was nothing going on. Final Grade: 1/10
Brian: The best stuff here was completely forgettable and the worst was absolute garbage. There was far too much Albano here too and I am someone who enjoyed him during this time. They tried to get over newer acts like Sammartino and Windham & Rotundo but neither of these guys had big personalities and without that you are going to struggle on TNT. However, they did get Windham over a bit by showing a pair of his matches. Final Grade: 2/10
Jason: We’ve watched some stinkers during this TNT run, but this is by far the worst. With all of the talent coming in to the company, the devoted the majority of it to Lou Albano. The debuts of Windham and Rotundo was cool, but of course Lou Albano stole their spotlight. If there’s anything worth checking out, it’s Vince riding the mechanical bull. Besides that, this is an hour and a half that you don’t need in your life. Final Grade: 1/10
Dan: If you’re the type of fan who reads us first and then goes and watches the show based on our witty comments and observations, then you are in the clear and I thank you for joining us. Please proceed to take in a Disney movie or spend time with your children instead of viewing TNT. If, on the other hand, you sit and watch the programs before you read us, I’m so very sorry. This was trash. I’ll see and hear Albano in all my nightmares moving forward and you will too. Final Grade 1/10
Scott: This is without a doubt the worst show of anything I’ve watched so far in this project. Instead of getting to know two very important faces of the promotion throughout 1985 the over the top heel acts of Albano really took away from it. He was all over this show and not in a good way. This was the first time in a while that the 90 minute episode really dragged. I believe it was about this time soon that the show condenses to 60 minutes. There’s very few things on the WWE Network that I vow never to watch again. This TNT is one of them. I give JT a lot of guff about his Albano hate, but for once I actually agree with him. Final Grade: 1/10
You can find every grade and category winner from the entire Excellent WWE Network Adventure by clicking this link!