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 7/4/85
Run Time: 45:16
JT: There were a couple of good ones here, but I have to go with our opening segment featuring Jesse Ventura. He was great in studio as always but any time we get to watch the “Body Rules” music video, that segment becomes instant gold. I liked him calling out Vince McMahon and Gorilla Monsoon for playing favorites while he calls everything down the middle. I got the body!
Brian: I’d say the Bobby Heenan segment was the best. I did like how he accused Vince of setting people up, referencing the last show where he kept badgering Bob Orton on how much Roddy Piper takes away from his pay. The segment where they went to “Parts Unknown” was not the greatest but it was quick and having Heenan looking around for on the set for Link at the end of the show was amusing.
Dan: It’s difficult to choose here because two of our favorites bookend this particular program. I think I’ll give the nod to Heenan though today. Him managing The Missing Link of all people was definitely in my blind spot and I got a kick out of him adding that lunatic to the Orndorff bounty story. I also found it amusing when they visited Link’s lair and The Brain admitted that one of his jobs is to turn his client’s meat for him. Plus him at the very end shouting “Link” while crawling all over the couches was quite the spectacle during the credits.
Scott: Anything with Jesse Ventura is top of the line. That music video was so hideously entertaining I would watch it over and over again. The Bobby Heenan stuff was good too, even with Vince’s ball-busting that almost ruined the segment. I vote for the Body because he’s that damn good.
JT: Bobby Heenan. It is always Bobby Heenan. I loved him getting serious and pissed as McMahon and Alfred mocked him with weasel jokes. He has been on fire in his last few appearances and I like how he attacked Vince for grilling Cowboy Bob about Roddy Piper’s cut last episode. Bobby saying his $25,000 bounty on Orndorff was worth more than the fans make in ten years was an awesome heel line. He then dove into his new charge the Missing Link and how he handles every aspect of his life and says he doesn’t care what Link does as long as he takes out Orndorff and makes Bobby rich. It was all capped by the bizarre visit to Link’s cave and the iconic line: “Yes that is one of my jobs, I turn his meat”.
Brian: Bobby Heenan was great tonight. His main goal was to put over the Missing Link as a monster and tell us about the bounty he has placed on Paul Orndorff. Just a great heel presence that always enhanced his clients.
Dan: I already talked Bobby Heenan up before and he was terrific so now let me go with Jesse Ventura here for carrying the first half of the program. Those stupid blood clots and health issues robbed us of having The Body as the top heel in the company. He more than made up for that though with his stellar work on the mic. With all due respect though, that music video was awful. I did enjoy his match with Garea. He was so evil and devious by taking pleasure in hanging Garea in the ropes and continued to punish him with repeated blows to the throat. He then called out Vince and Alfred for their biased commentary and said he’d do a better job of hosting TNT. I look forward to seeing if The Body indeed rules when sitting in the captain’s chair.
Scott: Just like above, I go with Jesse. He was also settling in as a great heel commentator during matches. Not over the top like he would be by 1986, but here he’s 50/50, yet still pretty arrogant.
JT: I was surprised how enjoyable the Les Thornton segment was as I didn’t expect much when he walked out. Him yukking it up with old countryman Lord Al was entertaining and then watching him stretch some jamoke while Vince cracked jokes was fun. Good filler segment.
Brian: Nothing here was something I would consider a surprise other than maybe Les Thornton receiving a long TNT segment. He was basically TV enhancement talent at this point.
Dan: I have to admit, I was surprised to see The Missing Link on WWF TV and basically given the backend of the show. I remembered him as an eight year old watching ESPN reruns of World Class and him scaring the crap out of me. Now he’s in Heenan’s stable and a likely candidate to collect the bounty on Paul Orndorff. He definitely looked strong against a tomato can like SD Jones but I’m a tad skeptical about this union with Bobby Heenan at the end of the day.
Scott: This show is running out of surprises, so I will say none. It’s become a platform of double entendres and drug jokes.
JT: I am disappointed Vince McMahon didn’t wear those salmon slacks more often.
Brian: I’m disappointed we were subjected to watching Tony Garea wrestle. He was an awful babyface with his miserable looking face and crappy offense. Plus, the guy always had to make himself look good as he couldn’t lose to his opponent’s finisher but only when he made a mistake like missing a charge in the corner then getting pinned. Jesse was getting a big push and he cannot beat a scrub like Garea clean with his own finisher? I just assume Garea was agenting his own matches at this point.
Dan: I’m disappointed in myself for not muting my television when “The Body Rules” played in its entirety.
Scott: I’m disappointed that Les Thornton got treated like crap by the show’s hosts. Vince and Alfred really laid into all of their guests, good or bad. Les Thornton is an old school hooker and while he was going his best to not kill that skinny twirp, Vince and Alfred were pretty much baiting him to hurt the guy. Poor Les. He should hook Vince.
JT: I really like the turn of Jesse Ventura into a rock star as it really adds to his over the top persona; The music video is fantastic 80s nonsense; I love seeing Jesse in studio but could go without seeing a match of his, even if it is with Tony Garea; I enjoyed Vince asking Jesse if he got Hulk Hogan’s approval to use his image in the video; Nice tease for next week with Vince allowing Jesse to take the hosting duties for a week; Les Thornton is jacked up; I liked that Thornton and Lord Al were laughing it up like old buds; Thornton stretching that poor bum was good for a laugh; “Entree music”; Good furthering of the Heenan/Orndorff feud during the Ken Patera feature match; “Barn owl”
Brian: Vince’s salmon suit was a thing of beauty. I wished he saved that for a major show. The show started off with Jesse Ventura as he takes about his music video being poorly received by the Las Vegas crowd due to the fact they were all “middle-aged businessmen.” We then see his video in its entirety as he got in a good line about how musicians cannot be wrestlers but he is a wrestler that can be a musician. I also loved how he told Vince he could do his job better than him and Vince even accepted the challenge. After that, Les Thornton came on and even had some poor schmuck from the crowd volunteer to take his offense. It wasn’t bad and Vince was enjoying this audience member getting stretched. Heenan closed the show and hyped up the Missing Link, who was shown in parts unknown. Vince asking Link how much percentage Heenan took from his paycheck was good continuity from the previous segment. In real life, Heenan said he hated managing Link because Link treated Heenan like he was his personal manager outside of the ring.
Dan: That Jesse music video was so 1980s, the 1980s were embarrassed. Jesse though is such a great self promotor. Not only is his lead guitarist better than Prince, but he also said that the Rolling Stones will be opening for him. Had that video not been so wretched, I may have gone to that show once I discover time travel. I’m not sure he’ll get Prince on TNT tomorrow if he keeps slamming him on the air however. I loved when he told Vince that he put Hogan in his place in those clips from the video and if he were the champ, he would duck The Body too. Alfred with an A-1 vest game tonight and it even matched Jesse’s sunglasses when he was allowed to try them on. I honestly believe Les Thornton was scared that he broke that poor sap’s arm during his submission demonstrations. That segment had “lawsuit” written all over it! Heenan always makes me laugh on this show. When he said he would put a bounty on the band for $11, I nearly spit out my ice coffee!
Scott: I like how Vince had to put a disclaimer on the Jesse video so people wouldn’t leave the show, like it was that offensive; Jesse was a little less heelish in this clip that usual. He even let Alfred wear his sunglasses; I like how they pick a match for Jesse where he gets the tar beat out of him for most of it; Of course the episode with Jesse hosting isn’t on the Network, I would definitely liked to have seen that; More Vince/cocaine jokes and other sorts of double entendres; I think Les Thornton should have snapped Vince and Alfred’s limbs for mocking him while tying up that poor bastard in the audience; Wow Bobby sits down for 15 seconds and gets the Weasel routine, Vince truly is a real creep; When Bobby is in serious mode, his promos are second to none. I almost wanted Orndorff taken out; Haha I love Bobby’s “I turn his meat when I need to”. This show is definitely reaching the end of the line when it’s nothing but double entendres and inside jokes
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 another fine episode of TNT. I mean, as long as you head in with the expectation of nonsense and filler these shorter versions in 1985 have been fine. This week had some story progression with the Heenan and Orndorff stuff and a pretty strong trio of guests in the Brain, Jesse Ventura and, surprisingly enough, Les Thornton. The episode chugged along and I thought it ended well in the Link’s cave as that meat line was fantastic. Again, an easy watch but nothing that adds anything substantial to WWF canon. Final Grade: 4.5/10
Brian: Jesse and Bobby are entertaining and personable as always but its’ really just more of the same from them. How many personality pieces do we need on these two? TNT is starting to outlive its usefulness as the random segments are boring and they stopped pushing the main angles on the show. I will say this particular episode at least breezed by but it was not must-see TV at any point. Final Grade: 4.5/10
Dan: It would be impossible to hate this episode the way I have some of the others because Jesse and Bobby were involved. Yes, Jesse continued to beat us over the head with his wrestler-turned-rockstar gimmick. Yes, Bobby is stilled pissed at Orndorff and salivates at the idea of crippling his former main event star. But at least they both were used to set something up and not just be useless filler. Jesse worked his way into hosting the show next week and Bobby has a new monster to do his bidding of hurting people. I also didn’t tune out the Thornton demonstration and the Link stuff was fun as well. All that won’t get this high marks, but if you’ve followed along with us, you know you have seen much worse than this. This hour will fly by and perhaps it will do the same for you as it did me and fill in more wrestler blind spots. Final Grade: 5/10
Scott: This show is really starting to get tiresome. With Vince and Alfred’s inside jokes and the constant berating of guests, who would want to be on this show? Vince isn’t Johnny Carson and he tried too hard to be. At least he had two great guests in Jesse and Bobby, as well as legit hooker Les Thornton, who was still in pretty awesome shape at this point. The Missing Link was a great addition to the roster and Bobby’s “turning meat” line was funny. Otherwise the show was the usual boring crap. Final Grade: 3/10
You can find every grade and category winner from the entire Excellent WWE Network Adventure by clicking this link!