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 2/28/85
Run Time: 46:58
JT: Anytime David Schultz is on, he is generally a lock for this category. His swagger is top notch and he is so wonderfully dismissive of Alfred when he arrives. We get to see a bout where Bobby Heenan was his manager and then head into… Schultz pulling a gun on Vince McMahon? My Lord. This man is fantastic. We then get Dr. D showing off his gun collection as he keeps talking about “coon hunting”. Alfred cowering when Schultz turns toward him with the gun was so good. And then we are capped off with Schultz telling Alfred to shut up and Vince calling Dr. D a “stupid idiot!” There is below zero chance this shit could air today.
Brian: David Schultz showing off his gun collection was something else. You could ever, never get away with something like this today. Schultz pulls a gun out on Vince while on set then terrorized poor Lord Alfred by trying to get him to hold his guns. The segment ended with Schultz firing off a gun he thought was blank while Vince screams and calls him a “stupid idiot!” It was hilarious.
Dan: I liked the new heel tag team threat going into business for themselves and forcing Vince and Alfred to sit in an “Eastern setting.” Blassie is really pushing his new charges and embracing their respective gimmicks of crapping on America and promoting their own superiority. Sheik decimated Rick McGraw and still had time to talk smack with Angelo Mosca at ringside. It was also enjoyable to see the old man Mosca throw down after the bout. Dr. D and his guns may get the headlines, but I’m digging the new foreign powers of the WWF.
Scott: The David Schultz segment was classic. He was Steve Austin before Steve Austin. But that’s his house? Come on, we aren’t that stupid. Firing guns indoors is pretty stupid either way, but sometimes Alfred and Vince need to be humbled. They were very douchy at times on this show.
JT: I really enjoyed Freddie Blassie during his stop by the studio. From demanding a more Eastern setting for his boys to calling Cyndi Lauper a goof and sounding simultaneously both out of touch and completely in touch at the same time, he was a delight. I loved when he was so excited about finding a basket of apples and then on a dime he changed his attitude when they tasted like shit. “Hey Nikolai, look at these pencil neck geeks, they got apples!”
Brian: For me, it was a toss up between Schultz and Freddie Blassie but I’ll give the edge to Schultz as that gun segment was one for the ages. Plus, the guy gave you ever reason to hate him with each appearance. A tremendous heel.
Dan: Sorry boys. It’s Salvatore Bellomo. He spent parts of three years building that masterpiece of a ship. I was in awe of how amazing the boat looked but then to find out it was also a music box and the freaken ship spins? Let’s see Dr. D do that! I’m not even kidding, if you can find me an original Sal Bellomo ship, I’m naming a future child after you!
Scott: It’s a tie between David Schultz and Angelo Mosca. I know Mosca was in the highlight clip but his insanity was fantastic. I’ll give it to Dr. D.
JT: I am always surprised when we get to hear Nikolai Volkoff actually make it all the way through the Russian National Anthem. I was also shocked to see a wild Angelo Mosca crash the ring and beat the shit out of Sheiky and Volkoff after their win. That was a crazy scene. Oh, and I can’t believe Vince and Schultz sat there and talked all about the John Stossel incident. And… DR. D PULLED A FUCKING GUN ON VINCE MCMAHON.
Brian: David Schultz pulling out a gun on the TNT set was certainly a surprise that could not be topped.
Dan: They make wrestling history and MSG history in one night by having a female referee and they burn it on Moondog Spot vs. Black Jack Mulligan? Now that’s breaking down the walls Vince! Stunning decision there.
Scott: I was surprised that we didn’t get more perversion during the female referee segment. Lord Alfred never held back his amped up hormones.
JT: I am disappointed we didn’t get Rita Marie and David Schultz on screen together. That would have been a high quality shitshow. Also, ENOUGH WITH THIS FUCKING VACHON WEDDING!
Brian: I don’t know what was worse: Watching Sal Bellomo talk about making his boats, his wrestling attire, or seeing him wrestle.
Dan: The usual stuff. No real urgency to promote WrestleMania. Guys like Piper, Orndorff, Hogan, Santana and Valentine not present. Oh constantly stuffing that hideous wedding episode from December down our throats!
Scott: Even though the segments weren’t as annoying as the last episode, we still don’t have enough WrestleMania build. Come on Vince, it’s the show that your LIVELIHOOD is banking on, you need to promote the crap out of it.
JT: Freddie Blassie demanding an “Eastern setting” and then redesigning things for Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff was good heel stuff; I always enjoyed how much Blassie bought in to supporting his foreigners; “Russian summer coat”; Blassie calling Cyndi Lauper a “goof”; Good kick off to Sheik & Volkoff’s trek toward the Tag Team Titles; Rita Marie was looking good here tonight and held her own fine enough during the chat; It was funny how Fink specifically called out the debut of a “lady referee” during his introductions, and of course she was booed by the MSG faithful; I didn’t realize Blackjack Mulligan was still milling around here in early 1985; Pretty neat seeing Dr. D with Bobby Heenan; The gun segment was something else; Sal Bellomo’s official WWF model ship showcase with a piano version of “God Bless America” playing was… unique
Brian: They started off the show with Freddie Blassie coming out with the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff and demanded they switch the set to an “Eastern” setting as they lay a carpet on the ground and bring out some pillows. Blassie was his usual politically incorrect self and asked for “Iranian tea” and “Russian vodka” but my favorite part was watching him bite into an apple off of Vince’s desk then spit it out because it tasted awful. We saw Sheik & Volkoff wrestle Rick McGraw & S.D. Jones from “All-Star Wrestling” as Sheik got chased off by lunatic color commentator Angelo Mosca during his post match attack of McGraw. The Rita Marie segment was a downer. She talked about how she got into wrestling because her brother, who passed away, always wanted to be a pro wrestler but died before that could happen. It was interesting to hear but they never really played it up and were more interested in the fact she was the first female referee. We saw her in a clip as she officiated her first match at the 1/21/85 Madison Square Garden show between Blackack Mulligan and Moondog Spot. David Schultz was already fired by the company when this show aired. They also brought up how he smacked reporter John Stossel as the 20/20 segment had just aired. (Schultz was fired for attacking Mr. T at a show in Los Angeles.) The show ended with Sal Bellomo and his model boat. He looked like a total goof in that suit, even more than usual.
Dan: A bundled up Nikolai Volkoff not even breaking a sweat under the hot lights of the TV studio. I enjoyed Vince’s dig on the Russian’s choice in fashion. Speaking of fashion, I think Blassie’s jacket and pants could cause a seizure. Who dressed him, Helen Keller? I adore Nikolai singing. I know I’m a monster. Fans respond with the thoughtless “Russia sucks” chant. No wonder other nations hate us. Here’s a tip for aspiring wrestlers: Don’t talk shit to Angelo Mosca. Continunity error on Blassie. First he hates on the apples on Vince’s desk when they set up the Eastern setting. Then later he wants to eat one before giving Nikolai a chance to make his Russian apple juice. Which is it Blassie? That was an impressive display though. I know I couldn’t crush an apple with my hands. Rita Marie is doing all this crazy stuff to fulfill the dreams of her deceased brother. He must have been quite the character being into wrestling, truck driving and sky diving. Good for her, they must have been very close. Dr. D is a mess. He beats up a reporter on camera, he pulls a gun on Vince, he shoots a live round into the ceiling. Vince screaming “You stupid idiot” was phenomenal.
Scott: You can tell this was pretaped, because Vince is wearing the same suit two episodes in a row; Sheik and Volkoff were a brilliant combination of speed, power and great heel swagger; I love crazed Angelo Mosca. Two years earlier he was cheering Ric Flair in the cage at Starrcade 1983; I wonder how long this female referee lasted in the WWF. Knowing that locker room, probably not very long; I never knew Bobby Heenan managed “Dr. D” David Schultz. What a combo that would have been long term; Dr. D pulls a gun on Vince? Wow that’s over the top heel. Probably many years ahead of its time; Dr. D’s gun collection segment is excellent. Alfred is such a schmuck. He equally treats everybody poorly; Vince yelling and calling Schultz a “stupid idiot” is priceless; Schultz should have come out and started shooting guns around Sal Bellomo
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 episode certainly was a spectacle and one of the better ones in recent weeks. I really enjoyed all of the stuff with Sheik, Volkoff and Blassie and then the Dr. D segment was amazing. I still can’t believe they aired that stuff. Between the discussion about Schultz smacking around Stossel and the gun show with Vince freaking out when the live ammo is fired off this was some tremendous business. Everything else in between was serviceable enough and Rita Marie was actually more decent on the mic than I expected her to be. Sal Bellomo’s model ships is funny running story on these episodes too, and his WWF Tribute Ship was touching. So random and such a dichotomy from the mayhem that preceded it. And such nonsense overall. YOU STUPID IDIOT! Final Grade: 5.5/10
Brian: While not much in terms of storyline development, they did have two thoroughly entertaining segments. With TNT, as long as I can be entertained I’m happy as these shows have tendencies to be a total waste of time without any redeeming value. The Blassie, Sheik & Volkoff and Schultz segments were worth checking out. The rest isnt much but this was a fairly enjoyable show. Final Grade: 5/10
Dan: For the first time in a while, I liked much more than I hated on this show. Yes, I missed some of the big stars but the segments were interesting and kept my attention. The female ref stuff was kind of dry though facinating because I never knew one ever existed prior to watching this show. I love me some Nikolai and the Dr. D stuff was outrageous but picked up the program nicely. I like Sal’s ships and Alfred’s gun phobia and Vince’s over-the-top but G-rated rage he had for Schultz. Again, this wasn’t star heavy, but a fun hour of television that further develops a strong heel tag team, Dr. D’s lack of sanity, and Sal Bellomo’s awesomeness. Ciao! Final Grade: 6/10
Scott: This episode isn’t as aggravating as the last episode, but we are still sorely lacking a WrestleMania build. We kind of know where the feuds were going even though we don’t have any matches yet. If this is the only real national show you have (besides Prime Time) you need to really boost this show or you will be out of business. At least there were no hillbillies and Dr. D is awesome. Sheik and Volkoff were a perfect team to put together at this point and would be a solid heel combo with a great manager. This show was entertaining but still needed more buildup to the big show March 31. Final Grade: 5/10
You can find every grade and category winner from the entire Excellent WWE Network Adventure by clicking this link!