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 12/17/84
Run Time: 1:27:09
*** The 12/3/84 episode of TNT was a clip show, so we have skipped ahead to 12/17/84. ***
JT: David Schultz charging the ring and assaulting the Vachons as soon as the ceremony wrapped up. Him slamming the groom made me laugh out loud. He upped it later by fishing through the gifts and taking stuff and then ripping Vince and swearing at him as he says he only wants to toast himself. Then he caps it all off by flipping out at the end, talking shit on everyone and threatening Ophelia before showing a piece of cake in her face and triggering a big food fight.
Brian: David Schultz interrupting the cake-cutting ceremony to see if Vachon’s bride knows how to take care of a man was hilarious, saying she should know how to change a flat tire and gather fire wood if needed. He also was the one who started the giant food fight at the end. Something like this would never be able to make it on air today. His tirade, which was censored, during the toast was something else as was when he started inspecting all of the gifts.
Dan: Let’s be frank.There was nothing redeeming about this episode but if you put a gun to my head, I would take the bullet with a smile on my face. But just for fun, let’s say the closing segment when the Schultz pie faced the bride with her own wedding cake spawning the wrestling tradition of mayhem ensuing during a wrestling wedding. Where the hell did all those pies came from? Why was Mad Dog so angry that he started throwing chairs? How did Mrs. Executioner not fall in those shoes and why was everyone trying to rip her shirt off? Did they think they were off the air by that point? Leave it to Dr. D to start all the chaos!
Scott: It’s very hard to find a good segment with all this annoying Albano floating around, but I will say anything with David Schultz, who honestly had this Stone Cold Steve Austin vibe about him during the wedding reception. It was pretty cool, if you can find it throughout the Albano overload.
JT: I am going with the Fink. He stood in the ring surrounded by this absurdity and did his job with pride and as much of a straight face as he could hold. Then he was one of the most active participants at the reception, really seeming to enjoy himself. Honorable mention to Jesse Ventura for messing with Diamond Lil as she made her way to the ring and then foreshadowing his eventual decent into madness by threatening to sue the US government over his blood clots.
Brian: “Dr. D.” David Schultz was the star here. He was as politically incorrect as you would expect but came across like a top heel in the process. He is someone who was really able to get his character over on “Tuesday Night Titans.” Too bad he would get himself fired from the company a short time later.
Dan: I’m gonna say Vince. He kept character throughout this entire mess but then was willing to have a little fun at the very end. I’m sure he had a blast laughing it up with his talents and being one of the boys for one night. He probably knew this was a throwaway holiday episode and decided to run with all the craziness. Perhaps this is a precursor to his eventual madness as a character in his later life.
Scott: I echo my sentiments above and go with David Schultz. it really is a shame he didn’t stay with the company for at least the first WrestleMania.
JT: I was surprised that Fabulous Moolah didn’t lead Diamond Lil out on a leash before shoving her back in a cage in the back of her car. Also, I was surprised that Lou Albano popped in to discuss the fight against MS. That was weirdly sandwiched in between segments of him being an asshole.
Brian: The biggest surprise was when Albano was acting like an actual human and discussing his involvement in the fight against Multiple Sclerosis. This would begin his babyface turn, that happened less than two weeks after this aired at Madison Square Garden.
Dan: I’m surprised they dedicated an entire show to the wedding of Butcher Vachon and some random, green-tongued woman we hopefully will never see again.
Scott: I’m surprised that they were turning Albano babyface in the middle of this show considering he was acting like such a big heel for the rest of it. He went on the promo about the Multiple Sclerosis Society, and then acts like a drunken asshole for the rest of it. It made no sense.
JT: I was disappointed that we finally got a match to break up the wedding stuff but it was fucking Ivan Putski vs. Jesse Ventura.
Brian: I thought Albano was funny during the ceremony but him continuously running up to burp into Vince’s microphone during the first dance was grating.
Dan: I’m disappointed in me, Dan McGinn, for waiting until the last day of a vacation trip to Mt. Washington to cram in this episode. But seriously what amount of good ever comes out of giving Captain Lou a microphone? I swear him singing will be what I hear if I’m ever sent to Hell.
Scott: About 80% of this episode is a disappointment. Way too much Captain Lou that the novelty of the wedding was ruined and no one else’s characters (with the exception of Jesse Ventura’s debut) were allowed to shine and take part. I understood heel Albano was a rude, drunken slob but he’s already been on about 400 TNT episodes. Did he really need to dominate this one as well?
JT: Vince McMahon reading off a long list of celebrities and political figures that were invited to the wedding was a hell of a start to the episode, as was Fink’s opening announcements; They rolled out an interesting mix of talent to sit in the audience here, including Jesse Ventura in his TNT debut; Mrs. Executioner!; This wedding party is rough to look at; Sky Low Low falling on his ass and losing the ring as Vince does fast paced play-by-play of the search; Reverand Lipschitz was something else; Lou Albano wanting to break up the wedding because Ophelia was a virgin and then being corrected by Butcher upped the ante here; “Padooski”; It was interesting to hear Jesse Ventura discuss his blood clots; Gorilla saying Fuji tossed four pounds of salt is classic Monsoon embellishment; As if we haven’t had enough Lou Albano yet, this whole Samoans tag match is centered around his intentions at ringside; “The Chunger”; Freddie Blassie giving the bride glasses as a gift so she can make sure she really can see her groom and also so she can better spot tiny, cheap diamonds and then planting a sloppy kiss on her cheek; “What’s bad for the goose is bad for the gander”; The toasts weren’t bad and possibly the funniest part of the episode; I have no idea what Sky Low Low was talking about during his toast; Vince’s deadpan stare at Albano after he belched into the microphone was pretty funny; I love Barry Windham but not even he could save this one; Albano’s singing was brutal too as the show spirals to a shit finish
Brian: The wedding ceremony was completely over the top. With heels and faces separated to Mr. & Mrs. Executioner wearing their masks, it was wacky 80s WWF at its finest. It also featured plenty of political incorrectness including Freddie Blassie laughing hysterically at midgets and even abusing them as he hit Sky Low Low with his cane and taking the ring while giving it an inspection. Sky Low Low got abused all show long. Poor Butcher Vachon couldnt even get shown winning a match on his wedding day as JYD squashed him in a match that aired during “Maple Leaf Wrestling.” We got to hear Jesse Ventura talk about getting Agent Orange in Vietnam as they showed a clip of his match against Ivan Putski in St. Louis. We also got to see the 11/26/84 MSG match between Barry Windham and Moondog Spot. It was a really solid bout (I give it **3/4) as Spot was one of the more underappreciated workers of the 1980s. Those two even had the crowd into their match as they had the difficult task of following Piper vs. Tonga Kid. Weird seeing the Wild Samoans and Albano singing together at the reception, seeing how they had a major falling out just a few months prior. You could see Vince’s fingerprints all over this show with the comedy we saw. He couldn’t even control himself towards the end when Hayes got hit with cake.
Dan: Did anyone else start singing “Somebody’s Getting Married” from Muppets Take Manhattan or was that just me? I wish Eddie Murphy or President Reagan for that matter showed up to this piece of crap. Maybe something would actually be funny. My goal should I ever get married is to invite two people wearing lucha masks. Jessie stealing flowers from the flower “girl” was topped only by Blassie tripping the ring bearer in my opinion. Admit it, you were picturing Butcher having sex after Albano’s objection weren’t you? If this ended with Dr. D’s slam on Butcher, I’d be okay and maybe bump this up a few points. On a side note, who invites someone to the reception after they slam you at the ceremony? I love Jesse doing commentary of his own match. I wonder if this was a tryout of some sorts for Ventura. Vince definitely had something here with him in the broadcasting booth. Gorilla on Albano: “He’s the greatest walking advertisement for birth control.” Was Captain Lou serious about stopping MS? Is this a face turn I smell? Look, I know it’s a fun little wrestling show, but no matter how you cut it, belching into microphones is never funny. Blassie: “Hit that midget right in the nose!”
Scott: This wedding is the greatest pile of crap this show has ever seen, from delicious midget abuse to Jesse (in his TNT debut) destroying the flowers; There is truly no better reverend’s name than Meyer Lipshitz; Was Lou Albano supposed to be annoying ON PURPOSE? Because he’s accidentally ruining this wedding segment by being everywhere and not letting other heels shine; If only Dr. D had stuck around, he was one of the most awesome heels ever; Jesse was very rough early on, a full blown heel; So even when he was a wrestler he complained about babyfaces using closed fists; So not only do we have an overabundance of Albano during the wedding, now he has to have his own segment? I am most certainly jumping on the JT bandwagon of hating Lou Albano. At least he was talking about stopping MS and the segment was short. This must have been the beginning of the babyface turn; I think this JYD/Butcher Vachon match has aired on like four different TNT episodes; Albano is pounding Coors, The Banquet Beer at a wedding reception. Quite fitting for 1984 standards; Ugh Albano shut up with the dirty limericks. This is getting brutal; Wow Dr. D is full blown Stone Cold when he was asked for a toast. It did seem very poetic; I’ve come to the realization that Albano is trashed, and probably did a few lines during the taping of this show; This Moondog Rex/Barry Windham match is one of the best TNT matches thus far; And we end the show with the obligatory food fight;
Consensus Best WWE Network Match to Date: Ric Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich (Christmas Star Wars, WCCW 12/28/82)
Consensus Worst WWE Network Match to Date: Ivan Putski vs. Baron Von Rashcke (Madison Square Garden, 6/27/77)
JT: This was easily the worst thing we have had to sit through so far. It may have been funny to people in 1984 but it does not resonate at all today. There weren’t even any good matches to prop it up a bit. There are a couple laughs here and there and David Schultz was on point, but otherwise it was a large aimless waste of time. Final Grade: .5/10
Brian: These two-hour TNT shows are tough to grade because they are all so long. While this had its moments, the longer it went the more grating Albano became. Schultz was great here and the whole concept was just insane to be honest. You’ll never see anything like this again and for that reason alone, along with some of the comedy, I believe its worth checking out at points. Final Grade: 4.5/10
Dan: There really isn’t anything more I can add to this dumpster fire. It was awful. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy (well maybe Steve Corino). If this was simply just an excuse to be silly because it happened during a low ratings period just before Christmas, then it succeeded with flying colors but otherwise it was a tragically horrific wrestling program. Not even a solid Windham/Moondog match where a well-placed bulldog put down the Moondog (see what I did there? Put down? Dog? Aww forget it!) could save this from a failing grade. Glad you had fun Vince. That makes one of us! Final Grade: 1/10
Scott: I want to grade this episode high because of the stellar performances of Jesse Ventura and David Schultz but fat, annoying Captain Lou destroyed any entertainment value this show had. If I could recommend something from the pre-Federation Era on the WWE Network, this would NOT be it. Thankfully 1985 would change the calendar and TNT would shorten to avoid long, drawn out segments. If you can sift out the David Schultz/Jesse Ventura stuff, be my guest. Otherwise, avoid this entire mess. Final Grade: 1.5/10