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 4/18/85
Run Time: 47:00
JT: There were more than enough laughs in the High Tea segment to place it here. I really enjoyed Lord Al and his Gentleman’s Gentleman reviewing the brewing process and planning out the party and talking about everyone present while they all just sat there and listened. “What about the dog, I don’t think he drinks tea?” “Perhaps we can give him a glass of milk or a saucer…” “Pastries and petit fours”. “Coconut Treats”. Vince falling asleep to bury Alfred is always fun too. Fuji flipping out on Spot was funny as was Al calling him “that animal” and chastising him for breaking a “priceless piece of china”. Spot finally going off an destroying the party capped things nicely. This segment far surpassed my expectations.
Brian: The Tea Party segment was the best tonight. The first half of it was really dull but the second half was a fun trainwreck. Lord Alfred was great here in being disgusted at Moondog Spot and Vince blaming Lord Alfred for the chaos because he invited Spot was hilaroious.
Dan: The high tea segment carried this rather dull episode. This was probably the highlight of Moondog Spot’s career. I was getting hungry just hearing about all the tasty morsals like Scottish shortcakes, pork pies and savory tarts. The Butler, or should I say, the Gentleman’s Gentleman did a great job in keeping character. I’m not sure how he kept a straight face with Moondog and Fuji’s antics. Fuji would get angry that the china was cheap and the tea wasn’t from Japan so Dog smashes everything to bits. Thankfully the British Bulldogs didn’t get impaled by a tea cup as hilarity ensued much to the chagrin of Lord Alfred.
Scott: The tea party was a fun train wreck, particularly because I wasn’t sure if Dynamite Kid was going to lose his roided up mind and throw somebody through the tea tray. Bobby Heenan and John Studd were solid but incomplete as Vince didn’t have the correct Mania footage.
JT: I love when heels are delusional and committed to their insanity and we got that immediately with Bobby Heenan and John Studd. Studd being all smiles and toting around Andre’s hair while Heenan said the Mania slam was an “optical illusion” was great heel work. Vince notes that Andre is on vacation but Bobby tells us the Giant is really retired. He also says he still has his $15K as proof of how things shook out as well. Good heel work here that quickly reestablishes Studd and Heenan after the loss.
Brian: Lord Alfred was on fire this episode. From making fun of how Heenan ate at the beginning of the show then his terrific performance in the High Tea segment he was the MVP of the episode.
Dan: Big John Studd continues to impress me on these shows. I couldn’t believe he was still carrying around Andre’s hair in a plastic bag. That’s priceless. Then he wouldn’t admit that he was slammed saying that he ran Andre out of wrestling. Heenan was great too saying his has videotape evidence that Studd wasn’t slammed and called what people saw at WrestleMania a “Optical Delusion.” This bit also served as a way to transition Studd from Andre to Hogan which I am definitely looking forward to seeing after this.
Scott: Clearly it’s AJ Petruzzi. HAR HAR… actually Pat Patterson and his juxtaposition of singular and plural still makes me laugh.
JT: I am surprised they are rebooting Moondog Spot as some sort of legit heel threat by sticking him with Mr. Fuji and having him showcased here. He pretty much was a house show opening match type of guy that didn’t seem to really fit with the direction of Fuji’s stable at this point. Then instead of getting a showcase singles match, we see a Moondogs tag bout with no mention of why Rex is out there but not with Fuji too. I did enjoy Spot actually barking instead of speaking. “A very unusual dog, one of its kind”.
Brian: I was a bit surprised they even bothered given Moondog Spot a segment. Guess since at this point Neidhart was with Jimmy Hart they needed someone else to take his place?
Dan: I didn’t know TV’s Mr. Kotter from Welcome Back Kotter was a wrestler. He took quite a beating at the hands of the Moondogs.
Scott: I’m surprised that Moondog Spot got this much air time for a guy who was going to become high level enhancement talent. I mean really he’s a scrub now, even with Mr. Fuji as his manager.
JT: Why is poor Matt Borne already saddled as part of a jobber tag team that is being fed to the British Bulldogs? Dude had some legit talent, could talk and a solid look and it seems like he was slated for nothing more than job duty.
Brian: Nothing was really disappointing to me but the Pat Patterson segment was dull and would have been better served to put over an active member of the WWF roster.
Dan: I like Patterson as much as the next guy (stop laughing!), I think he still has one of the best matches we’ve seen during this column, but his segments just screamed “filler” to me. WrestleMania was chock full of great angles still yet to be analyzed and developed and here we are, two shows since the mega card, and we’re chatting up the guest referee. I know he’s a longtime loyal McMahon guy, but it felt pretty dead following that tea party.
Scott: I was disappointed that we didn’t see Alfred get thrown through the tray table. He needed a little humbling after trashing all the superstars during their food segments over the history of TNT.
JT: We start strong with Vince trolling Alfred about high tea; I like how we waste no time in getting John Studd and Bobby Heenan out here to continue the WrestleMania fallout; I also enjoyed how Studd is still carrying out Andre’s hair and then claiming he dislikes tea and coffee; “The Honorable Moondog Spot”; “Louisiana Swamp Cologne”; Nice to see the British Bulldogs out here for a visit even though Davey Boy Smith is extremely nervous out there; AJ Petruzzi has a hell of a look but sad to see poor Matt Borne already part of a jobber team; I actually enjoyed Mr. Fuji too as he described and put over Spot as an actual dog; The Bulldogs vs. Borne & Petruzzi match was a fun little squash; The funky version of God Save the Queen was great; Lord Al’s “gentleman’s gentleman” from the embassy was wonderfully random; Pat Patterson looked genuinely excited to be on the TNT set; The Patterson/Orton match was solid but most of this episode felt a bit wasted without the direction of WrestleMania to steer it; I did like Patterson pushing the angle of Orton’s cast
Brian: The show started off with Heenan & Studd talking about how much they dislike tea and coffee. After Heenan and Lord Alfred exchange words, with Lord Alfred calling him an “ill-mannered oaf,” before we saw the clip of Heenan stealing the $15,000 Andre won and running backstage from WrestleMania. This segment was designed to make Studd a challenger to Hogan’s World Heavyweight Title. Moondog Spot came out with Mr. Fuji wearing his “Louisiana Swamp Cologne.” Fuji told us that Moondog Rex was disrespectful and thus had to train down in the swamp, which was code for leaving the company and going to wrestle for Bill Watts in Mid-South. He did return the following year though. We saw the Moondogs in action as they beat Jim Powers & Mohammad Saad from “All-Star Wrestling.” The British Bulldogs came out and spoke briefly before we got to see them beat Matt Borne & AJ Petruzzi from “Championship Wrestling.” The Bulldogs got over instantly with the crowds by doing moves no one else in the company could do or were doing at this point. However, on a talk-show format they struggle to get over. They were here briefly in the Summer of 1984 but left and toured Japan as they did not care for a lousy $75 payoff to work a set of TV tapings. After this we got the Tea Party, which started off dreadful with some “butler” telling us the science behind heating water to use for tea but it became a glorious mess when Moondog Spot went out of control and Fuji even broke a plate over his head, which caused Hayes to lose it. The second half of this was very entertaining. The show ended with Pat Patterson talking about his role as guest referee at WrestleMania before we saw a clip of him wrestling Cowboy Bob Orton. After the match, Patterson talked about Orton’s arm and how he uses his cast as a weapon.
Dan: Studd with a war on coffee and tea while Heenan is no fan of the English. You can just feel the hate from the start of this episode. Dude, Studd, ya got slammed! Just deal with it! We all saw it! Kudos to Alfred for standing up for himself and calling the Brain an “ill-mannered oaf.” Christ, the Moondog is filthy. He must have some sort of bad itch to be scratching himself with a potentially human bone. Fuji definitely tried his best to put Spot over as a legitimate threat. I liked his comments about not knowing the origins of Spot’s bone and when the dog starts to bark, he’s hungry for something. He just got behind the character and ran with it as best he could. The Bulldogs were fun to watch. Their offense was so unlike what we’ve seen before from the other elite tag teams. I popped for Davey Boy’s missile dropkick off the top ropes. Who in their right mind would invite Moondog Spot to a High Tea party? Admit it, you rewound it when Fuji smashed Spot over the head with that tea saucer. I know I did!
Scott: Bobby & Studd’s vehement denial that Andre slammed Studd at WrestleMania is funny, but kind of unoriginal; Bobby has Mania footage, but Vince can’t counter with the match and the bodyslam itself? What a dope; Vince & Alfred are pretty much heels themselves on this show, and I’ve been saying that throughout the run of this show that they are both pretty douchy; Jim Powers drew the short end of the stick in this tag team match and took a pretty good beating against the Moondogs, even though Saad took the pin; I can see why JT hates Mr. Fuji, as his early managing skills are pretty awful; Wow Davey Boy Smith is pleasantly plump in his early babyface run; Our first Bulldogs match on TNT is against veteran wrestler Matt Borne and iconic jobber AJ Petruzzi; Borne must not have been thrilled that we went from semi main-eventer in Don Owen’s promotion and elsewhere to being enhancement here; Knowing that Lord Alfred is running this “High Tea” segment, so you know it will probably die a slow death; With about 18 minutes left in the show I’m just waiting for Dynamite to suplex Moondog Spot through the tea tray; And the Moondog tears everything up, thank God; Ah I’ll never get sick of hearing Pat Patterson and his singular/plural issues; This Patterson/Orton clip was swiped from the match they showed when Orton was on the show about six months prior; That backbreaker Orton delivered on Pat was very impressive, doing it one handed
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: This was an interesting episode of TNT as there was really nothing of note that occurred outside of a bit of continuation with the feud between Bobby Heenan’s Family and Andre the Giant. The rest was pure aimless fill… but it was fairly entertaining fill. I enjoyed everything with Moondog Spot, mainly with how Fuji and Alfred talked about him like he was legitimately a dog. The tea party was nonsense but had some good laughs sprinkled through, especially from Alfred and his Gentleman’s Gentleman. Without WrestleMania looming it is clear this show could quickly fall apart again. Going forward the overall quality will certainly hinge on whether or not the bits land without the heavy storyline focus and selling we saw for all of 1985 thus far. Again, if you missed this one you really wouldn’t miss much at all but if you want a few laughs and have 45 minutes to kill, it was fine enough. Final Grade: 4/10
Brian: They had some wackiness with the High Tea segment but pretty much everything else was filler or a plain waste of time. No hot angles were being showcased but Lord Alfred at least kept things entertaining. Now that WrestleMania has ended, TNT is struggling with its identity as its back to random segments and 80s WWF insanity. Final Grade: 4/10
Dan: This was kind of a step back for this show. It almost felt like a throwback to the bad old days when most of the episode was directionless filler and carried by a wacky food segment. Today it was the tea party but in the past it was polka parties and nightmare weddings. Sure they sprinkled in some Mania talk with Patterson dishing on Ali’s temper and Studd “not” getting slammed. Otherwise, the episode was dominated by its zaniness. Studd challenging Hogan and the Bulldogs stated their claim on the tag titles was a nice bonus. Alfred did his best Hillbilly Jim impersonation by remaining positive despite his party being ruined. Still, we were doing so well there TNT and now I feel like we’re back in 1984. Oh well, time for some crumpets. Cheerio! Final Grade: 3/10
Scott: This was a fun episode with the bizarre Moondog Spot appearance and that tea party nonsense. We got our first look at the British Bulldogs, even though at the time they were a non-descript team on the babyface side. Nice to see Matt Borne doing something other than job to Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania. I do like the Studd/Bobby propaganda mill rolling about Andre at Mania too. Sadly I think the WrestleMania hangover will linger and we may go back to the fluff soon. We will see if that’s true or not. I will grade it slightly higher than average. Final Grade: 6/10
You can find every grade and category winner from the entire Excellent WWE Network Adventure by clicking this link!