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 11/26/84
Run Time: 1:30:30
JT: I will go with the absurdity of Paul Orndorff. I will outline further below, but the shockingly flippant racism brought the holy shit factor and then getting to watch him fat shame fans and beat the piss out of Rick McGraw capped it all off. Oh and his sucker punch to Atlas at the end was tremendous. Plus the rest of the episode sucked.
Brian: The Orndorff segment was easily the best, even if it was nowhere close to being politically correct. The blatant racism, such as referring to Atlas as a “suped-up spider monkey” then comparing him to the gorilla at the Atlanta Zoo was something else but these comments were not as controversial in 1984 as they are in 2016. Orndorff also put down the overweight and just exuded a ton of arrogance here to get over his great heel act. And they set up for a nice feud with Orndorff flipping out after Atlas’ “Paula” drawing and threw a cheap shot that also continued as they closed out the show.
Dan: I honestly think I enjoyed the magic show the best. How in the world did that guy do some of those things? The water in the vase? Turning a hanky into a rabbit? And what became of Petey the bird? If I have to pick a wrestling segment though, I will go with the post-pose down brawl between Orndorff and Atlas. Vince lost complete control of those two and you knew that situation would explode based on the buildup of this feud throughout the program.
Scott: The Paul Orndorff segment was great because it was so ridiculously offensive and it stayed on the show. That may be even funnier.
JT: Paul Orndorff was unreal with his heel arrogance yet again. Despite the latent racism (Spider monkey? Gorilla in the zoo? I guess it was 1984…) his jabs and comments are so on point and delivered with such conviction that he just exudes douchebag. He is ranting against fat people while insulting Tony Atlas and challenging for titles and just being a perfect heel asshole overall. We also got to see him beat the piss out of Rick McGraw for good measure followed by flipping out on Atlas and destroying his portrait and capped by triggering a big brawl to end the show.
Brian: Orndorff came off as the biggest star on the show so he gets the nod. Atlas also did a good job in his segment but nothing could top Orndorff on this show. I wish they had someone sorta copy his act today, minus the racism. He also looked great in destroying Rick McGraw in his match from “Championship Wrestling” as Orndorff was one of the best when it came to beating up enhancement talent.
Dan: Atlas was terrific on this episode showing off his talents and really coming across as a gentle giant of a man and a superior human being. His artwork was top notch as that was a spitting image of Arnold as Conan The Barbarian. His Mr. T was awesome too! Then there is no debate that he had an excellent physique so he shined in his opportunities to pose for the cameras. He was every bit the antithesis of Orndorff in every way on this show and by the end of his interview, you wished he would join you for a coffee.
Scott: I’ll give it to Tony Atlas who seemed very comfortable in front of the camera and was very proud of his talent for art. It would shine even brighter on Legends House years later.
JT: Tony Atlas’ sketching ability and the fact that we never heard about it again, especially considering the financial woes he eventually would suffer. His “Paula” portrait on the spot was really cool, a true talent.
Brian: I was actually surprised that Atlas could draw that well. His sketches all looked good and he did a great caricature of Orndorff as “Paula.” He also more than held his own on his segment on the couch and in everything else tonight.
Dan: I’m surprised how much this episode gave screen time to people the likes of Rene Goulet and The Spoiler. Every week we talk about how deep this roster is and so many precious minutes tonight were spent on these two stiffs. The Cafe Goulet stuff was unique though it did run quite long with the dancers and especially with the magician. Probably more of a disappointment than a surprise given all the filler this show usually makes us sit through.
Scott: I’m surprised that Paul Orndorff’s segment stayed on the show. Maybe back in those day kayfabe was immune to racism, but the Spider Monkey quip and comparing Atlas to Willie B the Gorilla at the Atlanta Zoo is pretty rough stuff.
JT: That so much time was wasted on the dime store magician. The whole segment got nobody over at all, didn’t really showcase Goulet and the humor was weak too. And it just kept going and going. Max from Saved By the Bell was a better magician. Goulet’s featured match wasn’t much better and just extended the boredom. Cafe Goulet needs to be shut down ASAP.
Brian: The Cafe Rene segment was so long and awful. The fact we were subject to a magician act suitable for a retirement home lunch hour for this amount of time was just brutal. It really sucked. Goulet’s match with Nick DeCarlo was awful but at least they had the decency to only show part of the match.
Dan: Anytime the Spoiler is on this adventure, I’m going to take a steaming dump on his air time. This guy is the worst. His match with Billy Freaken Travis was simply wretched and his interview was pointless. No one is writing thousands of letters to this stiff and if they are they certainly aren’t calling him #1. He’s delusional and Vince must have been desperate for guests this week. I mean he flat out fell off the top ropes trying to perform the tight rope routine. I’d say he should go back to Dallas but I don’t want to see his talent-less ass again on the Network!
Scott: I’m disappointed they didn’t have Alfred doing these MSG House shows, as listening to clips with Mean Gene it’s evident he was out of his element calling matches and should have stuck to interview segments.
JT: Tony Atlas is fucking jacked here and his drawings are pretty damn sweet; Vince’s suit is something special this time around; Atlas has some sick ups for a big dude; Atlas posing live on set with his bacne on full display is a Vince dream come true; Paul Orndorff wearing the robe over his suit is straight fire; Vince and Al dining with the Goulets was something… different, especially when the burlesque show started out of nowhere; Perhaps the Goulets are swingers; The first move we see in Goulet’s showcase match is him badly botching a head scissors; We badly needed a hot match late in the show… Rocky Johnson vs. Moondog Spot wasn’t it; Gorilla calling Spot “Mooney” definitely had no chance to catch on; Kind of startling to have a masked guy named Spoiler come out and speak eloquently; Really weird hearing Spoiler announced as the “National Heavyweight Champion”; I love that they used the magician’s stage for the big Orndorff/Atlas posedown at the end of the show
Brian: Atlas was really jacked here. At one point, he was scheduled to win the Intercontinental Title but he ended up self-destructing rather quickly. I loved how Orndorff had his robe over his suit and made some girl come up and take it off. He was the biggest jerk and in 1984, was white hot as a heel. Watch matches around this time period and the “Paula” chants were off the charts. The less said about the Goulet segments, the better. We saw Rocky Johnson get a win over Moondog Spot, one of the more underappreciated talents of the 80s. It seems like Rocky was about to get a singles push but that never ended up happening. I believe he no-showed a bunch of dates too and he was gone soon after WrestleMania They tried to do something with the Spoiler as the lightly pushed him as the National Heavyweight Champion but they never had any plans for the guys that came over when they bought out Georgia Championship Wrestling anyway. The whole segment and interaction with Vince was really odd, with the Spoiler talking about not getting caught when you break the rules. At least we did find out as to why he wore a mask as he wanted to gain a psychological advantage over his opponent.
Dan: Vince cracked up Alfred by calling him “her majesty’s answer to Cabbage Patch Kids.” If you want to hear more about Tony Atlas and his artwork, go to the index at placetobenation.com and relive Scott and my recaps of Legends House where Atlas and his quirky personality is well documented #cheapplug. Atlas draws a well-toned woman and says it reminds him of Paul Orndorff. Even Bruno is impressed with Atlas’ arms from his commentary. Geno Garaballo looks like someone who would sell you tokens for a subway rather than teach you wrestling moves. All music from the pose downs today were provided by the soundtracks to any movies appearing on Skin-A-Max. I wish I had a woman who would take off my robes for me like Paul Orndorff. Please stop calling Tony Atlas a “spider monkey” and comparing him to a gorilla at the Atlanta Zoo. I’m not even the most politically correct on this panel and that made me uncomfortable. Paul can say all that but it’s hard words like “mathematician” that simply baffle him. He also said “most wonderfulest” which made the grammar police out there squirm. Quote of the night: “It’s not the size of the wand that counts but the magic that’s in it.” Poor Nick DeCarlo took a knee straight in the face after that butchered head scissors attempt by Goulet. Gorilla cuts a promo on his domestic situation saying he has many “Honeydew” weekends got a laugh out of me. Get it, honey do this, honey do that? Is this thing on?
Scott: Tony Atlas had a great second talent as an artist. He may not have gotten in the financial straits he would be in if he maybe made a second living off his skills; An appearance from J. Arsenio D’Amato’s favorite jobber, Gino Carabello, from COMMACK, NEW YORK!; One line: “Tony Atlas is a suped-up spider monkey.” I’ll… just leave that out there; That Rene Goulet segment was dreadfully long, as this may have been the breaking point for cutting the show down to an hour from two hours; I understand the wanting to give everyone in the promotion a fair segment for TNT, but to give Rene Goulet almost 1/4 of the show for these stupid magic tricks is a colossal waste. Gorilla and Alfred had pretty good chemistry as commentators, as evidenced during the Moondog Spot/Rocky Johnson match. They should have had Alfred do those MSG house shows instead of the annoying Mean Gene, who should stick to interviews; I liked the claw finisher as a kid, even from the jobber Spoiler; That Orndorff/Atlas brawl was great, as we hadn’t seen that on this show at all during it’s run so far
Consensus Best WWE Network Match to Date: Roddy Piper vs. Greg Valentine (Starrcade, 11/24/83)
Consensus Worst WWE Network Match to Date: Ivan Putski vs. Baron Von Raschke (Madison Square Garden, 6/27/77)
JT: This was a really rough episode to make it through. It started off with a bang thanks to Paul Orndorff’s absurd racism and ranting and raving and was capped with a hot segment, but everything in between was borderline dreadful. The Rene Goulet stuff was insomnia curing and none of the matches this week were really worth watching either. The filler on these episodes is getting tougher and tougher to battle through and I wish they would just recycle appearances if it means better material and higher quality. As they fetter out the bottom end of the roster, these shows just meander on and on and on. Besides the curiosity of Orndorff’s lunacy and a fun brawl to close it out, this was a tough, tough watch. Final Grade: 1.5/10
Brian: The Orndorff/Atlas stuff was great but the rest was not. It’s clear that they do not have the roster to keep pumping out two hours of TNT a week, as evienced by donating almost a half-hour to Rene Goulet. The Cafe Rene segments were absolutely horrible and made me want to shut off the show. The Spoiler segment was just odd and they showed him in a match were he botched a ropewalk spot and they were supposed to be highlighting the guy. Final Grade: 3.5/10
Dan: This show is regressing at an alarming rate. It’s like they started off with a bunch of great ideas, all those ideas were burned earlier in the year, they realized they were screwed because they were signed on for several more episodes, and now we’re left with crappy segments involving Rene Goulet and The Spoiler. Aside from the building rivalry and eventual explosion between Mr. USA and Mr. Wonderful, this show had no other redeeming qualities. The matches they picked were pretty atrocious with several blown spots and I’m not usually the type to notice those sorts of things. Also Orndorff is quite racist and while I’m usually his biggest supporter on this show, I can see why he probably wasn’t the choice to carry the banner for the company once they began expanding. Please watch something better than this afterwards simply to cleanse your pallet after this turd of an episode. P.S. you know it’s bad when a magic show is one of the highlights of the program. Final Grade: 3/10
Scott: This is a historic episode of TNT and not for entirely good reasons. The Rene Goulet segment dragged painfully and as hilariously offensive as Paul Orndorff was, that probably should have been taken out of the show. It’s evident by this point that two hours was too long for this variety show format and it needs to be cut down. Unfortunately there are episodes before the year is out that make that fact even more painfully clear. Final Grade: 5/10
You can find every grade and category winner from the entire Excellent WWE Network Adventure by clicking this link!