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 2/14/85
Run Time: 41:22
JT: All of the Roddy Piper stuff. We got to see the clip of him bashing the record over Lou Albano’s head, kicking Cyndi Lauper and powerslamming David Wolff and then he shows up in studio with his new muscle Bob Orton. He runs down Lauper, Albano and Wolff and sets the stage for the upcoming War to Settle the Score plus we get to hear from Hulk Hogan as well. This was a tremendous and important opening segment to kick off a well executed program.
Brian: The Roddy Piper segments were just tremendous. He was the top heel in wrestling at this point and just nailed it tonight. From the clips of smashing the record over Albano’s head at MSG to his own delusional beliefs for explaining his actions, Piper was great. He was the perfect heel to go up against the “Rock n’ Wrestling” movement going on with the WWF.
Dan: Since most of the show was dedicated to him, you almost have to say Piper dominated this program. From the moment he slammed the record over the coconut Lou Albano calls his head, you knew we were in for a treat. Awesome build to the inevitable main event with Hogan from the ruination of the Rock and Wrestling segment, to his chaotic promo where he ran down everyone from Vince to Snuka to poor Dick Clark. MTV wasn’t even safe (“Music to vomit by”) nor was The Fink (shoved during the tag match). If you weren’t excited about the following Monday MSG show after watching this TNT, you would beg, borrow, and steal your way into the building to see Piper get his lunch handed to him.
Scott: The Piper segment was great, with Orton officially debuting as his bodyguard. He was such a piece of shit it was pure gold. TNT really seemed like a new show, with the cleaned up opening and the focus on actual events coming up in the future, as they really pump up the War to Settle the Score show just four days later (at least in broadcast terms). So anything in this episode with Piper is thumbs up for me.
JT: This is Roddy Piper’s award until proven otherwise. He is so smooth and effective in everything he does, effortlessly moving the stories along while also being a confident, rotten piece of shit along the way. The GOAT dickhead heel. Also a shoutout to David Wolff who did a nice job promoting The War to Settle the Score as well as furthering the issue with Piper.
Brian: Again, Piper was on a whole other level with his stuff tonight. When this show ended you really wanted to see him get his comeuppance.
Dan: Piper. Sorry everyone else who decided to show up. This program belonged to the Hot Rod!
Scott: Ditto for my comments above on Piper. He was on fire.
JT: I am surprised at how quickly and effectively Lou Albano turned face, It really happened out of nowhere and suddenly he seems quite important and right in the thick of the company’s top storyline.
Brian: I was surprised at how good a job Wolff did here. He was a fan but seemed right at home on the couch at TNT. He played his role well and sold fear of Piper.
Dan: David Wolff wasn’t a completely useless tool tonight. That is rather surprising to me. Sure he looked goofy in my grandmother’s old sunglasses but he definitely handled his interview well will keeping in character. It’s just natural for a guy to come to the aid of a woman in distressed particularly his meal ticket in Cyndi Lauper. Who cares if you are outweighed by 70 or 100 pounds. If your woman is getting kicked around the mat, somebody has to pay the piper as it were.
Scott: I am surprised at how natural David Wolff was in this setting. Before 1985 this was a guy who probably never watched a minute of professional wrestling in his life. Now he’s chatting it up with Vince about this “big show at MSG” and how he wants to help take out Roddy Piper. He really could have been a decent manager or personality, even better than Cyndi Lauper.
JT: Really a nitpick but the audio quality can be tough on these episodes when certain guys like Piper and Snuka speak softly. It can be difficult to really hear what is going on.
Brian: The Snuka stuff was a let down mainly due to the fact I could barely hear what he was saying. He was never a strong promo guy but lacked his usual intensity on this show.
Dan: Believe me, I’ll never complain about shorter TNT shows ever. But with the quicker format, I almost feel like Alfred is completely lost out there. He didn’t chime in much on this show as he was completely overshadowed by Piper and the other guests. In the early days he’d provide the occasional veteran insight and some cheap laughs. Now he’s giving us less than nothing and it’s kind of sad.
Scott: Lord Alfred has not only gotten a little beefier than his 1984 episodes but the great alternate colored tuxedos have been replaced by the bland black and red waiter tuxedo. Tan and purple were classic, these tuxedos are dull.
JT: I love that Levi’s is still hanging on as a sponsor of TNT, comforting; Really cool to see the recap of the MSG show with Dick Clark and Cyndi Lauper that included Roddy Piper bashing the record over Lou Albano’s dome; It was also neat to hear Vince say “Rock ‘N’ Wrestling”; Orton standing smugly behind Piper during his whole interview was great; Lou Albano’s vest is right out of my grandmother’s closet; Jimmy Snuka always looked old; Bobby Bass should look into hair plugs; The Superfly Splash never gets old; “Hulk Hogan all the way”; Wolff looks like the dad from Family Ties
Brian: The show started off with a clip of Piper smashing a record over Capt. Lou Albano’s head at the MSG 12/28/84 MSG show. Piper coming out to say he did this so kids would not come home looking like Cyndi Lauper or any other punk rock kid was good stuff. Hulk Hogan also cut a prerecorded promo with Gene Okerlund in which he called out Piper for all of the stuff he has been doing to piss everyone off. I did love how they showed Piper with Okerlund after that as he smiled in his chair while proclaiming himself as a “legend killer.” They also gave Cowboy Bob Orton some mic time where he told us he is now Piper’s bodyguard. Albano came out and is over well in his newer and much, much, much calmer role. He talked about seeking revenge on Piper via Hogan beating him in a match. The Snuka talking segments were thankfully brief as they showed him beating Bobby Bass in a match from “All-Star Wrestling.” The show closed with David Wolff as he talked about being afraid of Piper but would not back down.
Dan: Sweet TNT. Thanks for the new graphics featuring guys who actually matter to the company. So long Ivan Putski! Maybe it’s my television but Vince looks completely ridiculous in his Dumb and Dumber tuxedo tonight. I will never not laugh when Albano gets blasted with the gold record. Alfred would put his life on the line for Vince. Piper retorts saying Alfred doesn’t have much of a life to begin with and alludes that he may die soon. Good for David Wolff. He probably didn’t need to take a slam like that put he did all he could to put over this electric angle. Marshall Dillon? You just don’t get many Gunsmoke references on wrestling shows anymore! Poor Dick Clark. He gets compared to the damn Phantom of the Opera twice because WWF doesn’t edit their stuff. Either that or Piper needs more material. Geez Gorilla was irate that the ref allowed so much double teaming in that tag match. This may be in poor taste, but did Jimmy Snuka kill a cheetah and wear its skin before coming up on stage with Vince? Bobby Bass was probably never described by anyone as “handsome.”
Scott: It seems like they’ve snazzed up the opening theme and took the “TUESDAY NIGHT TITANS” words out of the graphic. Looks much better; So Vince mentions “Rock ‘N’ Wrestling” for the first time; The clip where Piper crushed Albano with the record is still iconic; Early-1985 Roddy Piper was awesome. Such a prick. There’s really no other adjective to use; The “War to Settle the Score” WWF Title match is set in this episode, but of course the house show isn’t on the Network; Man those MSG crowds in 1984-86 were so nuclear, they had a specific buzz that no other arena had; Well as much as the show has changed, we can still throw that trash bag Albano in there; Vince’s suits are getting brighter and brighter; David Wolff could have been a great addition to the promotion in a managerial role if he was “taught” the way to do it;
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: They gotten really tight with the overall presentation and usage of this show ever since they shrunk the format. Overnight, TNT went from bland and missable to pretty important in recapping the key storylines. Pretty much all of this episode is dedicated to Rock ‘N’ Wrestling and the War to Settle the Score which was a super smart usage of the time slot. Leveraging this audience and program to really get over the major angles and developments made a lot of sense and makes these shows that much more digestible. Hard to complain about this offering as this was one of the best TNTs we have seen so far with the hard sell and furthering of a great angle. Final Grade: 6.5/10
Brian: I thought this was a good show this week. It was more or less an advertisement for the “War to Settle the Score” show that would air on MTV the following week but it superbly built up the main event of Hogan vs. Piper. Its also a show that, for younger fans, you can catch a nice glimpse of what was going in this era and just how heated and popular the live crowds were for everything. This show really breezed right by too and beats long band segments and whatever Hillbilly Jim’s grandma was doing. A show long focus on a hot feud trumps dopey segments. Final Thoughts: 6.5/10.
Dan: I enjoyed this show a great deal. Piper was money in the first half and the show provided balance giving a voice to some of the parties he has wronged in recent weeks. Albano is hellbent on seeing Piper get mauled by Hogan. Snuka is waiting in the wings to get him some of the Hot Scot. Even David Wolff has an ax to grind. If I have the slightest complaint, it’s why didn’t any of those clowns come out and confront Piper in person on this show? I guess they are leaving it in the hands of the World Heavyweight Champion. Great Hogan usage tonight too. Better to have him entering a blood feud with a legit opponent rather than teaching Hillbilly how to bearhug a Goodrich Tire. All in a all, a great set up to the “War to Settle the Score” and eventually WrestleMania. Final Grade: 7/10
Scott: The fresher open adds a different look to the show and there’s focused feuds and actual shows to be promoting. Sure the taping schedule makes promoting a little wonky but still to actually promote something is better than these hillbilly segments and garbage bag weddings. These episodes need to focus on these growing feuds, in particular the Hogan/Piper title match and all the surrounding mid card feuds. The main players need to start circulating and less dopey character segments. Final Grade: 6.5/10
You can find every grade and category winner from the entire Excellent WWE Network Adventure by clicking this link!