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 6/20/85
Run Time: 44:58
JT: I really enjoyed the Jimmy Hart segment, from his confrontation with Junkyard Dog to the Greg Valentine squash to the prank on Lord Al and water dousing payoff, it was the type of segment we don’t always get to see on TNT. I liked that it furthered a storyline and gave us face-to-face interaction.
Brian: The Jimmy Hart segment was by far the best in the show. He was annoying and even played a trick on poor Lord Alfred but ended up getting his comeuppance at the end courtesy of the Junkyard Dog. Hart really excelled in his role as a manager as he was a heat magnet.
Dan: Jimmy Hart and his work tonight definitely stood out in an otherwise lackluster TNT performance. I enjoyed him cowering in fear hiding behind the desk while JYD was in the studio. His fake apology and goofing on Alfred was pretty cool and got his lordship involved for once. JYD coming out and getting the last laugh was satisfying and Jimmy definitely played a good victim throughout his career. All in all, the first half of the show was watchable on this uneven program.
Scott: All the segments were somewhat bland this week, so I’ll go with the Junkyard Dog because he hasn’t been on in a while and is still one of the top babyfaces. The rest of the show was fairly dull.
JT: I really enjoyed Lou Albano and Dr. Ziff during the psychiatrist segment. Albano basically calling George dumb in different ways was funny as was Ziff admitting he needed business and was the “Doctor of Last Resort”. I thought Ziff played off Albano perfectly and the infamous segment just churned along. Steele immediately falling into a hypnotic state after a couple seconds was well done too.
Brian: I’ll give this to Jimmy Hart. He got himself over here more than anyone else and was fantastic on the set. He was on point tonight and no one else was close.
Dan: Jimmy was the man tonight. A few things I didn’t mention in my first paragraph was how slimy of a bad guy he was in his younger days. He humiliates Alfred weeks ago and then just as Hayes lets his guard down, Jimmy sticks it to him again with the exploding powder in the box. Then in the Valentine match, he gets in a jaw-jacking session with an elderly woman in the front row. If that isn’t someone you wouldn’t want to punch in the face, I don’t know what kinds of people you are associating with on a daily basis.
Scott: I will give it to Jimmy Hart for putting over the whole skit with JYD and the water being thrown on him. Even though Bobby Heenan was the big heel manager at the time, Jimmy Hart would have the early successes in the Federation Era. Plus his feud with the Dog would run through 1985 into 1986 with his charges, both those he has now and those that will arrive later in the year.
JT: I was surprised to see another legendary Judy Martin vs. Desire Petersen matchup! After the gem at MSG we discussed on a recent Place to Be Podcast, I was amped to see these ladies tussle again. Also surprised Jack Reynolds and Jesse Ventura kept calling her “Patterson”.
Brian: I was a bit surprised at how brief the trivia contest segment ended up being. Sure, it was for the best but they spent a lot of time hyping up this contest only for a 90 second-long segment about some lady who took the Greyhound to Madison Square Garden and had a lot of pets.
Dan: I can’t believe a woman living in Joliet, IL with six dogs, 10 cats and three horses would actually leave her house. I bet she had paper cut outs of Vince and Alfred set up in her family room. That whole interview just seemed creepy to me. Would it have surprised me if Alfred got kidnapped after that and tied to that lady’s bed before police arrived and rescued him after a long stand off? No, not one bit!
Scott: I’m surprised they didn’t go more extensively into the trivia winner segment since they pimped the shit out of it during the build to the first WrestleMania. I mean the winner wasn’t the most charismatic but back in 1985 it was more organic than it is now.
JT: I was disappointed in the payoff to the trivia contest. We finally find out who won and it’s just a random interview in the tunnel of MSG. Dee also seems like a loser with all those pets, God bless her. She did have some chops though, going toe-to-toe with Vince and Alfred and calling out old TNT segments, so at least she came off like a fan. Hope she enjoyed her 19 hour bus ride back to Joliet, Illinois.
Brian: In her chance to shine and show some personality, poor Desiree Petersen bombed. Vince even appeared to give up on this segment at the end as Petersen sported a nervous smile from the start of this even as Vince tried to get her over as being attractive like Lisa Sliwa. Petersen’s suit was something else too.
Dan: That whole Albano, Animal, Dr. Ziff pile of garbage ruined my night. Oh how I hated every second of that! I’d rather watch more Putski polka or Iron Sheik swinging around those Iranian weights or even Hillbilly Jim singing songs while bear-hugging tires than ever watch anything involving Albano and Steele ever again. That being said, RIP George Steele!
Scott: I’m disappointed we didn’t get a Greg Valentine run-in with JYD to perhaps further the feud with Jimmy Hart. They didn’t book TNT that way, but they probably should have started to as it was the only other real flagship show next to the syndies and the still new Prime Time Wrestling.
JT: Vince calling Alfred the Pillsbury Doughboy made me laugh; JYD has a pretty pimp Georgetown hat in addition to his random leather purse; I like how JYD and Tito Santana work tag squats matches, builds nice unison in that upper mid card; JYD talks about his mom, who we saw back on the first SNME; Cool touch having JYD tease staying on set as Jimmy Hart can out; Hart refusing to sit with him and then the two jabbing back and forth adding some nice confrontation that we don’t always get on TNT; I will never complain about getting to watch a Greg Valentine match; Alfred getting serious and pissed after Hart’s prank we a cool touch and I liked the callback of JYD dumping the water on Jimmy; Desiree Petersen’s suit was quite the scene and Vince saying Desiree has a “model type look” while leering at her was something; Vince loves Lisa Sliwa, mentions her whenever he can; Peterson vs. Martin! Our favorite feud here on PTBN; Drunk Albano crushing beers on set was a scene; Vince calling out Albano for being fat and having put on weight never gets old; Albano’s gut is massive; Nice showcase for George Steele as we see the full face turn from SNME right into a squash match victory; Albano saying Steele had a handicap and speech impediment made me chuckle; “A gynecologist and psychiatrist”; Dr. Ziff thanking Albano for the much needed business was funny; “The Doctor of Last Resort”; George yelling his memories was absurdly great; Poor Alfred having to sit in that powder covered suit
Brian: The show started off with the Junkyard Dog coming out as Vince put him over as someone who can not only wrestle as a singles but also can make a strong tag team wrestler too. They put over his team with Tito Santana as we saw them defeat Matt Borne & Steve Lombardi from “All-Star Wrestling.” Vince also asked JYD about his dancing because he cannot help himself when it comes to that. Jimmy Hart came out next and refused to take a seat unless JYD left. After he hid behind the desk, JYD finally left. Hart’s present for Lord Alfred was a funny bit as he opened up the boxes until powder exploded all over him but then JYD came out with a pitcher of water and dumped it all over Hart. We also got a Greg Valentine match as he destroyed perennial loser Mario Mancini. After that we had the Desiree Petersen come out, nervous as can be. We saw a clip of her match against Judy Martin from “All-Star Wrestling” as it appeared they tried to push her a bit with this segment but it just did not work out too well. Speaking of the match, Judy Martin was an underrated talent at this time. We got the trivia contest winner next as Vince kept making fun of Lord Alfred for having “camel breath.” Capt. Lou Albano & Geroge Steele came out next as he told us about getting Steele help from gynecologist and psychologist Dr. Ziff. The segment where Steele kept saying how the teacher in school always yelled “sit down, dummy” was funny especially since was a school teacher himself. Dr. Ziff came on the set with about a minute left to close out the show where he attempted to hypnotize Lord Alfred.
Dan: Vince rocking the purple suit tonight. He looked like he should have been performing magic tricks for little kids. Does anyone else just cry a little when they see Matt Borne in jobber matches or is that just me? At least that “clown” didn’t eat the pin against Tito and JYD. I loved Jesse’s concerns about the face tag team and their problems communicating saying that JYD is almost illiterate while Tito doesn’t speak good English. JYD’s smile while Hart pleaded to have him removed from the set made me grin. Hart’s jacket looked like a five-year-old finger painted on it before The Mouth of the South walked down the aisle. I think in 1985 I’d pay to see Bundy/JYD. I don’t care how may times Desiree Peterson can be called a model, no one can pull off the mom bathing suit look. I think she aged about 25 years once she put on her wrestling gear. Good Lord Judy Martin was a mean wench. She slammed Peterson on concrete and added insult to injury by stomping her on the ground. Then she shoved a ref three times and had to be pulled off her opponent by her hair. If I didn’t know any better, I would have guessed that match was to showcase Judy Martin and not Desiree Peterson. Finally, no matter how you slice it, George Steele’s body hair was so gross.
Scott: JYD rocking the Georgetown Hoyas hat this week. The epic Patrick Ewing run had just ended and he was on his way to the Knicks; What a tag team there with the future Brooklyn Brawler & Doink; The JYD/Jimmy Hart stuff was great, and actually leads to a over year long feud between the Dog and Jimmy Hart’s guys; Who the hell is Desiree Petersen? I’ve watched a lot of wrestling from the 1980s and I don’t remember her at all. At least I saw a match from her now; Jesse was still sowing his oats as an announcer as he legitimately called Desiree “Patterson” instead of “Petersen”; This trivia contest segment is so awkward, they look like they are hidden in some hallway. The contest winner said she was supposed to be on an episode of TNT, and this is it? She did make it to MSG though, which for some midwesterner is a pretty big deal. But not on an actual episode on the stage? How lame; Lou Albano (fortunately) hasn’t been on in a few episodes, and now he’s back… I don’t miss him. He sounds drunk this week; Extensive highlights of Steele’s babyface turn on Saturday Night’s Main Event, including the backstage interview; I never thought George Steele would win a match by submission. I didn’t think he would know any submission moves; What the hell is Albano doing on that doctor’s desk? God what an asshole
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: I enjoyed this episode of TNT quite a bit. It started well with the back to back JYD and Jimmy Hart segments, bridged and closed by confrontations between the two. It was a good continuation of the issues that began back at WrestleMania. We also got to chat with Desiree Petersen and saw a clip from a match from her legendary feud with Judy Martin. Then, we got to wrap up with the very famous George Steele psychiatrist scene, which allows the Animal to explain his past and showcase his transition to a face. Albano and Ziff had good chemistry and pushed things along well. Most of those TNT segments are whiffs, but I thought this one connected. Add in the fact that we shockingly got a payoff to the brutal trivia contest and there wasn’t really any holes in what ended up being a fun little episode. Final Grade: 4.5/10
Brian: The Hart segment was good as were parts of the Dr. Ziff segment but overall this show was a drag. You can see here that TNT is starting become less and less useful as there are only so many wacky skits you can do and there bigger stars rarely show up. I’ve seen worse from TNT but this was a nothing to really go out of your way and see. Final Grade: 4/10
Dan: This is not hyperbole. I think TNT is slowly killing me. It’s like death by a thousand paper cuts and then once you’re done carving me up, just bathe me in hand sanitizer (P.S. that stings!). The good news is, I see light at the end of the tunnel and we’re almost done so stick with us kids. It should get better from here. Now if you cut this show in half, the first part with Hart vs. Alfred and JYD, the show is looking passable if not downright enjoyable. Then we get boring Desiree Peterson and her five minutes of fame, a pointless trivia contest winner segment and an absolutely brutal appearance by George Steele and Lou Albano. This show is the wrestling equivalent to having a huge lead in the first half of a rather large football game only to lose in the end in horrifying fashion. That’s what we got here. In all honesty, I wish I was picking up the waste of six dogs, 10 cats and three horses than watch this show ever again. Final Grade: 3/10
Scott: This was overall a pretty flat episode of the show. Having Junkyard Dog on was cool (rocking the sweet Hoyas hat and all) and his interaction with Jimmy Hart was fun, but the rest of the show was pretty bland, including that George Steele nonsense. Lou Albano clearly never took any of this stuff seriously as he was jiggling if fat, sloppy gut and spilling beer everywhere. The show still has its annoying qualities, but sometimes they’re shown more than other episodes. This one was one of those. Final Grade: 3/10
You can find every grade and category winner from the entire Excellent WWE Network Adventure by clicking this link!