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 7/19/85
Run Time: 43:24
JT: All of the Randy Savage stuff is the easy choice this week. Between his star performance on set, his big debut win and being wooed by the managers, he was immediately put over as a major player in the company. I also loved when all the managers shook hands and paid their respects to each other. It is like a brotherhood of evil. Of course, that brotherhood was severed during the fun panel segment where Bobby Heenan, Jimmy Hart and Freddie Blassie all buried each other in order to win over the Macho Man. It was an engaging segment across the board.
Brian: The Randy Savage segment was the best on the show. He was new to the company and this show made him look like a major star. Having all of the managers compete to sign him was great stuff.
Dan: From the moment he walked on to the stage, you knew Randy Savage was something special. He was just a different species altogether compared to what we’ve seen on this show in the past. I hung on every word of his interview, enjoyed his match vs. the jobber and the segment with the managers bidding for him was terrific as well. We even got our first listen to one of his insane, yet somehow iconic, rantings that we all will grow to love. I truly believe that 2,000 light years into the future from now, we’ll still consider him among the greatest if not THE greatest wrestler of all-time!
Scott: Randy Savage. Nothing more to say. Finally a superstar that doesn’t allow Vince and Alfred to give him crap. Why? Because he’s great, that’s why.
JT: Randy Savage, easily. He felt like a megastar as he walked through the curtain and it never relented. He just went right into his business, put himself into Hulk Hogan’s orbit and took over the whole show. We also saw him win his debut match and be courted by all the managers. And on top of all of that, Savage’s huge “YEAH” when they returned to studio after his match was great. Can’t top that.
Brian: Savage was incredible here. Both on the set and reacting to the offers from the other managers. Just a once in a lifetime talent.
Dan: Aldo Marino. It was great to see him put over the new superstar. I’m kidding fools! It’s the Macho Man! Dig it?!
Scott: Same as above. The managers sniping over who would manage Savage was tremendous. Macho Man was a different character that changed everything on that roster. Aldo Marino will forever be a trivia answer: Savage’s first WWF opponent. He dropped not one but two elbows, which was pretty awesome as well.
JT: I was surprised how heavily utilized Freddie Blassie was this late in his run. I would have expected Johnny V to be part of that manager panel with Randy Savage but Blassie was active and involved.
Brian: I’m surprised they bothered to bring back Ophelia, the wife of Butcher Vachon. I was also surprised they even gave Rick McGraw, a TV enhancement talent, a segment.
Dan: Pedro Morales was the follow up to Randy Savage? Oh lord what a mismatch! I know Pedro was a wonderful competitor and a loyal soldier in the “old days,” but not even a former Triple Crown winner would look good following the introduction of Macho Madness! It just sucked the life right out of the building once he got introduced. I love you Pedro, but maybe the format of the show should have been tweaked a little.
Scott: I’m surprised we are still clogging up TNT slots with has-beens. Pedro Morales? There’s so many good superstars that are in the main events and upper mid-card. Why a guy who hasn’t been relevant in four years?
JT: Back to the fucking Vachon wedding. Let it go! I will say Ophelia showed way more charisma than Rick McGraw at least.
Brian: Rick McGraw was awful when speaking and this time was no different. It also didnt help that he looked like a trainwreck.
Dan: God rest his soul but Rick McGraw is as dry as Aladdin’s sandals and I might give the edge in charisma to the sandals! The man added nothing to this program. No chuckles or guffaws. He was completely out shined by the recycled bride Ophelia act from last December. Just everything about his segment regarding his upcoming wedding was atrocious to say the least.
Scott: I’m disappointed that this episode aired thirteen days AFTER Tito Santana regained the Intercontinental Championship from Greg Valentine and they’re still saying the Hammer is the champion. Come on guys, where’s the continuity?
JT: Pissed off Freddie Blassie is always a treat; Pretty cool treat to get to see the big Tag Team Title change with Rotundo & Windham regaining the straps; Blassie and Alfred agreeing on the fast count was good stuff; Vince ripping Blassie for wasting time on music videos instead of prepping for a title match was a good touch; Rick McGraw nearly put me to sleep on set but the clips of his match with the Hitman were fine; Ophelia still wearing her fucking wedding gown because Butcher is cheap? Why are we still talking about this?; Ophelia telling McGraw not to get married so he doesn’t make his wife miserable is quite the hot take; Randy Savage’s presence was amazing as soon as he emerged through the curtain; Bruno calling Savage a “mean individual” made me chuckle; All of the heel managers shaking hands and acknowledging each other like mob bosses was great; Jimmy Hart saying he had “funding” was a nice touch and I loved him laughing at Blassie right to his face; Blassie’s huge offer at the end brought that segment to a strong close; Pedro Morales on set was a bland part of a pretty solid episode; I like that Hart is presented as the “discount manager”; Blassie calling Albano a “big fat slob” was a strong way to close the episode
Brian: Freddie Blassie started off the show and is pissed off that his team, Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff lost the Tag Team Titles to the US Express as we saw footage from that. Blassie then blamed the loss on a “Puerto Rican referee who cannot count past two and who should be refereeing women and midgets.” Blassie was never big on political correctness. After that, Rick McGraw came out. The poor guy battled his demons but his jaw was going all over the place here and that’s usually a sign of drug use. You could barely understand what he was saying. They showed a brief clip of him tossing Bret Hart out of the ring from their match at the 5/20/85 Madison Square Garden show then Ophelia came out after that to tell us how horrible it was to be married to Butcher Vachon as she accuses him of being cheap. This segment was death. After that, Randy Savage came out in his TNT debut and declared that he will defeat Hulk Hogan. We see a clip of his debut from the 7/6/85 edition of “Championship Wrestling” as he defeated Aldo Marino as all of the heel managers came out to scout Savage. After that, Blassie, Bobby Heenan, and Jimmy Hart come out and attempt to sign him as they argue with each other. This was a great segment and Blassie was incredible as was Hart talking about being a “cut rate” manager. After that, Pedro Morales came out and briefly spoke as we saw him defeat Mr. X from the 5/25/85 edition of “Championship Wrestling” then discussed the possibility of facing Hulk Hogan for the Heavyweight Title at some point. This segment was designed as filler if you ask me. The show ended with Vince telling us about the “Manager of the Year” award as Blassie & Hart laugh hysterically over the mention of Uncle Elmer and Hillbilly Jim.
Dan: Vince is such a bastard. “Here’s the manager who lost the tag team titles…” What kind of introduction is that? Blassie had a right to be pissed off when he took the stage! It’s like if the priest at the alter said something like, “I now pronounce you, the recently unemployed and inadequate in bed husband and wife.” I’m glad they gave us the televised match of the tag titles to fill in the gaps. I’m very surprised how fast it went considering the length of the feud and their match at Mania. I think we all agree, that was a fast count. The always tolerant Blassie thinks Puerto Ricans can’t count past two. I definitely laughed when Vince poked fun of Blassie and his team doing photo shoots for WWF magazine weeks before their big title match. Is this how you train? Dressing like pirates? So good! Alfred and Gorilla lamented almost that whole segment about Bret Hart and his fortunes now that he’s aligned with Jimmy Hart. Hayes even goes on to say that both Bret and McGraw are “a couple of young lions” who have bright futures. Well, you’re at least half right Alfred! Savage: “I love diamonds” was definitely worth rewinding. I may want that as my text alert sound. I think if I had my choice, I would go with Blassie. There is no doubt I would be “the man” in his stable. With Heenan you’d have to compete with Studd to be the Alpha and with Jimmy, you’d be eating at White Castle all the time! One last thing. If your name is Mr. X, shouldn’t you have an “X” SOMEWHERE on your person?
Scott: Good grief, we have to mention that horrendous wedding episode again? And now they’re divorced? Why am I not surprised?; That was kind of a fast count the referee made when the pin was made, and Alfred actually agreed. Then Freddie says Puerto Ricans can’t count past two; No wonder Rick McGraw never became a star. He has zero charisma; Ophelia was tortured just as much as the rest of us with that wedding. How brutal; Now we are talking. We FINALLY get the first match of one of the greatest ever, the Macho Man Randy Savage; I love that he just dove right in and bashed Hogan and wants to take his title. He doesn’t even give Vince or Alfred a chance to start breaking his balls. He literally took the show over. Why? Because he’s that damn good; I love that all the managers came out to scout his match with Aldo Marino, which is his first match in the WWF. A legendary piece of history right here on TNT; Hearing all the heel managers sniping at each other in front of Savage is classic; I can’t fathom a debut like Savage, where everybody is seeking him out. He clearly had superstar all over him out of the gate; So we go from fresh and awesome Randy Savage to old and washed up Pedro Morales; Mr. X with some backne on him, so even jobbers take steroids. Not that it really helped him any; So this show was taped before Greg Valentine lost the Intercontinental Title to Tito Santana, which was on 7/6
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: TNT has been on a bit of a hot streak lately as they have sorted out the format and are leveraging their more engaging talents on a consistent basis. Randy Savage was the star here and he got a ton of time to be showcased. The manager stuff was really good and sets the stage for a big chase. Freddie Blassie’s opening segment was well done too. The Rick McGraw stuff was nonsense but was at least quick and Ophelia was more on point than I would have expected. Pedro Morales was boring, but again that was kept short, which helped. The final segment was entertaining as well, mainly because Fred Blassie called Lou Albano a “big fat pig”l. A fine effort here and a breezy watch, which is a big win when it comes to this show. Final Grade: 5.5/10
Brian: This show had some good stuff. The Savage segment was an all-timer and we got to see how the US Express won back the Tag Team Titles. The McGraw and Morales stuff was a waste of time at best but the Savage thing was original and memorable and worth seeing. This has been one of the better post-Mania TNT shows. Final Grade: 6.5/10
Dan: This show was a roller coaster with plenty of ups and downs as the metaphor would suggest. Blassie in the aftermath of losing his gold was an up. McGraw and rehashing the hideous Vachon wedding was definitely a down. Introducing us to the next megastar in the company and having all the heel managers falling over themselves to sign him? That’s an up! Pedro Morales talking about curfews and passively saying he’d like to fight Hogan? Down to the darkest depths of the ocean. I would say all the Savage stuff keeps this show from drowning. He’s a legend and the best part about this TNT is, he is only getting started. Buckle up Adventure seekers! Embrace the Madness! Final Grade: 7/10
Scott: This should get a perfect 10 just because Savage was on, and honestly if he took up the entire show I would have definitely have given it a 10. His energy and charisma took this previously mundane bland show over. Otherwise it’s just another episode; Pedro Morales was unnecessary filler, they should have just done more Savage. It rankles me that knowing this episode would air after Greg Valentine lost the IC Title and still acknowledging he’s the champion. This was a better episode than many of the previous ones, and one guy is to be given credit for it. OOOOOH YEEEAAHHHHH! Final Grade: 8/10
You can find every grade and category winner from the entire Excellent WWE Network Adventure by clicking this link!