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 5/9/85
Run Time: 47:09
JT: Any time Roddy Piper graces the TNT studios, he has this slot locked up. From the minute and the Ace saunter onto the set, they command everyone’s attention. Their arrogant entitled arrogance just pours out of every movement and the way they play off each other’s every word and mannerism is tremendous. Orton bragging about his win over Paul Roma was really funny too. And of course, the brilliant visit to the doctor is an all time classic. Piper sizing up the x-rays and claiming that the doctor mixed them up was so good, and then he followed that up with a dig about insurance and quacking noises. And of course, Orton flipping his hat off his foot into his hand and right on to his head was a great way to cap it all off.
Brian: The Piper & Orton segment was an all-time classic. From insulting Orndorff and blaming him for the loss at WrestleMania to yelling at the doctor for telling Orton that his arm has healed significantly, this was entertaining from start to finish.
Dan: Piper and Orton were their usual brilliant selves but I’ll give the nod to “The Living Legend” Bruno Sammartino. During his interview, I was getting excited at the prospect of seeing him back in the ring. Remember how awesome he was in the early installments of this Adventure? In Fantasy Land, I dream that this interview led to a series of matches with the likes of Ventura and Piper before retiring on top as either Tag Champs with David or as the World Champ beating Hogan at MSG. Okay, back to reality, I dug Bruno’s enthusiasm to get back out there and bust a few heads while showing off his speed and stamina with his new physique. Welp, one can always dream.
Scott: No doubt that the Roddy Piper & Bob Orton hijinks with the doctor was the top segment. It’s a legendary TNT performance by two of the greatest personalities of all time. The doctor was hilarious as a schlub while Piper was doing the duck voice, calling him a quack.
JT: Bruno Sammartino speaks with such confidence and ease and comes across as a legend at all times. He carries himself with such class that he is instantly engaging. They did a nice job covering off on a few topics here, all of which point toward Da Brune returning to the ring in the near future. He also got a lot of air time here, sandwiched around a David match. Oh, and Roddy Piper and Bob Orton of course. Brilliance. And a final shout out to Alfred feeding the Polish lady a kielbasa like a cock.
Brian: Piper was so entertaining here he is my pick. The quacking noise aimed at Dr. Stevens when he was discussing Orton’s arm cracked me up and his insane tirade towards Vince at the end of the show were he claimed to have been set up was gold. There was no heel better than Piper from 1984-85, IMO and that goes for all of professional wrestling.
Dan: Bob Orton was terrific on this episode. They have finally taken off the training wheels now we’re finally seeing that this guy is more than just silent muscle who rides Piper’s coattails. Ever since Mania, it’s as if The Ace was given a personality injection. He seriously played up the injured arm angle but also showed some charisma in the ring when he posed after delivering moves on poor Paul Roma. He was the perfect second to Piper and their reactions to the doctor during that humorous segment were outstanding.
Scott: Bruno Sammartino is so matter of fact and concise in his comments, he has that aura of respect that I’ve mentioned in the past is close to Andre the Giant’s aura. For the first time he starts mentioning possibly getting back into the ring.
JT: I am surprised Ivan Putski didn’t have a heart attack on the set, my Lord. He was sitting there all juiced up, barely squeezing into his shirt and his forehead covered in sweat. That poor heart.
Brian: The biggest surprise for me was the fact they aired the Polish Sausage Harvest skit complete with the kielbasa tree. The might have been the single oddest segment ever aired in the history of TNT, which says a lot.
Dan: How did the kielbasa tree segment get green lit for air? Was I the only one who giggled when Putski got all excited to “harvest the sausage?” Holy double entendres Batman! When that crazy woman wanted to share a sausage with Alfred, did it not seem like something we all used to watch “scrambled cable” for? What in God’s name is a weeble and how can mustard keep them off of your sausage tree? Alfred and the rest of the audience will be forever revolted after watching this segment.
Scott: I’m surprised that we STILL haven’t had a Hulk Hogan appearance in over six months. he and Mr. T just won the biggest match to this point in the company’s history and this show is still booked like a one hour stand up act.
JT: I am disappointed we didn’t get to see Goldie Rogers on the jobber episode last week! What a gem. I am also disappointed I don’t own a kielbasa tree.
Brian: Nothing I’d call disappointing but I have no idea what they were trying to accomplish in the Polish Sausage Harvest segment. Putski was phased out by this point and did not fit in with the company anyway.
Dan: Goldie Rogers should have been bigger than just Putski’s cannon fodder. That mustache alone was life-changing.
Scott: Just like my surprise, I’m disappointed we haven’t had a Hulk Hogan appearance since the fall on TNT. He’s the World Champion, just won the main event of WrestleMania and we spend a segment picking sausages off tress and Alfred doing double entendre jokes with a woman and a sausage. Some episodes do really feel like the fallout from a Vince coke binge.
JT: Any time Lord Al mentions Roddy Piper as a guest to open the show, I get excited; We start off hot out of the gate with Bruno Sammartino heading to the couch to open us up, we will see if he gushes over David’s muscles again like he did the last time; Bruno mentions his interest in tagging with his son on occasion, so it looks like the Living Legend may be stepping back in the ring soon; I enjoyed seeing the footage of Jesse Ventura calling out Bruno; We get a nice cameo from Rita Marie in the Sammartino match; RT Reynolds looks like he should be playing drums for Stillwater; Nice to see the footage from The War to Settle the Score, highlighting how Bob Orton busted his forearm; Piper saying “Schnooka” gets me every time, as does “Mr. Blunderful”; Vince’s salmon jacket is a masterpiece; Alfred putting over Ivan’s merry demeanor which Vince attributed to kielbasa was funny; Goldie Rogers, my God; “Padooski”; What the fuck is a kielbasa tree… and why is the Polish government so against it?; Alfred feeding the kielbasa to the Polish lady is next level absurdity; Orton calling Vince the boss was out of left field; “Resident TNT Physician”
Brian: The show started off with Bruno & David Sammartino. Most of this was Bruno talking about his training as it was quite evident he would return to the ring in some aspect. He came off well here but just dwarfed his son when it came to charisma. Poor David never had a chance. Roddy Piper & Bob Orton came out next as they blamed Orndorff for losing at WrestleMania. This was done to give Orndorff a feud when he turned babyface, which happens very shortly after this aired. Vince also grilled Orton about his cast and that his arm did not seem hurt in the squash match they showed from “Maple Leaf Wrestling” against Paul Roma. Orton was a lot funnier than usual here. TNT’s own Dr. Stevens then went over Orton’s injury and x-ray while being mocked by Piper and said it was significantly healed as the two refused to accept the diagnosis. Ivan Putski came out next to tell us he is down to 240 lbs then we saw him beat Goldie Rogers on “All-Star Wrestling.” Jesse was ragging on Putski hard during that match as he has replaced Angelo Mosca as the color commentator. And thank God he did. After this was the bizarre Polish Sausage Harvest. I did laugh at Lord Alfred’s grossed-out reactions regarding the kielbasa tree. The show then ended with Piper & Orton accusing Vince of setting them up with Dr. Stevens.
Dan: I’m glad they addressed Valiant and Beefcake’s actions at WrestleMania. Like most people, the David Sammartino era was quickly forgotten by me as a young wrestling fan. To me he had one match and we never heard that name on TV again. TNT has at least added to the story and it’s good for us to see Bruno speak so highly of his son’s abilities. He comes across as genuine and a proud papa at least on screen anyway. I would have payed good money to see Bruno throw down with Ventura in 1985. This show also filled in a huge gap in my viewing by explaining how Ace hurt his arm in the first place in that match with Jimmy Snuka (R.I.P.). It also tied in nicely with the ongoing Piper/Hogan feud when they took it back to The War to Settle The Score. We get our first taste of Piper and Orton turning on Paul Orndorff, a.k.a Mr. Blunderful. Piper had a great jab saying if Orndorff admits he made a mistake, he’d continue to carry him for another two years. I actually enjoyed the Doctor Stevens segment. I’m amazed he stayed in character the whole time playing opposite of Piper and Ace. Ivan Putski is still around at this point? Christ he was juiced like no one we’ve seen before. So if I got this straight, you can only tell when a kielbasa is ripe, if it’s long and brown and by squeezing it to be sure. Hmmmmm… what kind of show is this??!?!
Scott: I’m glad Vince cut to the chase and went right to Bruno and wasn’t crazy eloquent with words; RT Reynolds is a jobber I’ve never seen before; Watching the Mania highlights I realize Bruno got a crazy pop at MSG at the end of his son’s match with Beefcake. That definitely should have been a tag team match with Bruno and Luscious Johnny V; Excellent footage of the “actual” injury of Bob Orton’s arm and it being aggravated later in the show. That was from WTSTS; Orton really was a great wrestler, one that never really got his due for being a great worker; Piper calling Orndorff “Mr. Blunderful” is a classic dig. We’ve been waiting to see when the face turn would really take effect; Alfred isn’t talking much tonight, maybe he’s not feeling well or has throat issues; I never thought I’d say this about Piper, but even he looks like he took a cycle of ‘roids at that time, as his arms look huge; speaking of steroids, Ivan Putski is overloaded. Where did the 1975 beer gut go? Even Vince says it was so long ago when he weighed 305 lbs.; Putski has a bandage on his arm and swelling from “working out”. SURE it was working out; I love when Jesse says “Padooski” whenever he mentions Putski; A tree with sausages hanging off it. Now I’ve seen everything; “The Warsaw Weeble Dance”, it’s like Balki’s dance on “Perfect Strangers”; Now we are sticking sausage in the polish lady’s mouth. There was definitely lines of coke all over that set I’m sure of it; Orton called Vince “The Boss”. I wonder if that was a slip of the tongue
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 Rashcke (Madison Square Garden, 6/27/77)
JT: If you can find a love like the one between Roddy Piper and Bob Orton you would be doing very well in life. This was a good episode mainly due to the yeoman work of that dynamic duo. They were great on set, awesome in the doctor’s office and somehow even better to close the show. Fabulous heel work. Bruno was really good too, setting the stage for his comeback in that easy, confident demeanor. The Putski stuff was batshit insane, which I will take over boring all day long. Alfred feeding the Polish lady that kielbasa is in image I may be stuck with for a while, sadly. TNT should have Piper & Orton on every week. Final Grade: 6/10
Brian: The Piper & Orton stuff was excellent (and helped advance their conflict with Orndorff) and having Bruno all but say he was going to return to the ring in some aspect was good in terms of storyline progression. The Polish Sausage Harvest stuff was something else but I thought this show did a good job at enhancing the current product along with including the trademark TNT insanity. Final Grade: 6.5/10
Dan: Much like JT and I once carried the Kevin Kelly Show, Piper and Orton carried TNT to above passing grades this week. They had their characters down by this point and we saw significant development in Orton on the mic tonight. The doctor segment was a rare goofy piece that actually delivered the goods and you forget that Orton was extremely talented in the ring as well. Bruno was his usual awesome as we’ve grown to expect. I so wish his run at this point was longer. Ivan Putski is just happy to be here making money and not forced to live under that oppressive Polish government. All in all, not a complete waste of your time. Now if you excuse me, I have a few sausages I need to go harvest! Final Grade: 6/10
Scott: This episode for the most part was a good one with appearances by both Bruno Sammartino and the awesome Piper/Orton combination. If the poster boy for 80’s steroid use wasn’t Ivan Putski I don’t know who was. Sure I know Hulk Hogan was on them but he looked naturally big. We saw Ivan Putski pale and with a big gut in 1975 and ten years later he’s all tanned up and crazy ripped. I mean it’s ridiculous. With WrestleMania in the rear view mirror I’m curious as to what will be the next big event that Vince will push? Nothing like that in this episode but still a lot of fun. Final Grade: 6.5/10
You can find every grade and category winner from the entire Excellent WWE Network Adventure by clicking this link!