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 5/16/85
Run Time: 46:16
JT: Cooking with the Bellomos! Poor Sal takes this shit so seriously and Vince just lands zingers while Al shits on everything. Toss in Sal’s parents and their absurd curtains and there was enough here to make this stand out on a pretty mediocre episode. Plus we got to see Sal win a match for once!
Brian: The only thing amusing on this show was Johnny V running in to interrupt the Bellomo Family cooking segment. Johnny V was actually funny for a change as he made fun of the food. Johnny was a bit politically incorrect here.
Dan: When this column eventually does me in, I hope I can look back at this experience and have fond memories of Mr. Salvatore Bellomo. I adore this man and every time he appears on this program, I can’t help but smile. I think I would weigh 600 pounds if I grew up in the Bellomo household. Everything looked so good! He brings so much passion and excitement in his various projects whether it’s building ships or cooking with Mom. Sure the English isn’t perfect and his charisma isn’t exactly what the company was looking for moving forward, but Vince – and yours truly – definitely have a soft spot for this man and I say keep putting him on!
Scott: Wendi Richter’s interview segment was great because her answers always seem to be honest and from the heart. I can’t say that the match with Peggy Lee was the greatest women’s match ever. In fact it may be one of the worst ever. But unlike the WWF Champion (who’s never on anyway) Wendi seems to be honest and legit.
JT: I enjoyed Brutus Beefcake and Johnny V the most this week. Their heel swagger continues to grow and I thought they looked fantastic out there. Their chemistry is so solid, both in studio and in the arena. Johnny showing up to the Bellomo kitchen and just trashing everything made me laugh too. The Beefcake & Valentine tag match was a nice showcase as well. Beefer and Johnny easily felt like the biggest stars on this episode.
Brian: Johnny V was the only thing with a pulse on this lifeless show. Usually, I find him grating in just about everything he does but tonight he was actually amusing. Maybe it was due to everything else being incredibly boring.
Dan: I’ll be honest. I cannot and will not say anything remotely positive about Johnny Valiant in any of my allotted paragraphs as long as I’m still writing for this website. So by default, and because I loved on Bellomo above, I’m going to with Rocky Johnson here. Brother had some bling on tonight! He had more gold on tonight than Cleopatra. Apparently he robbed Fort Knox before coming on the show. Everyone from Vince to Bruno marveled at the kind of shape he was in. Even old people in the front row couldn’t get enough of “The Rock” on this night!
Scott: I’ll give it to Rocky Johnson and all the bling he was carrying around to the set for his segment. I still love Wendi Richter, but I want to spread the wealth, so I’ll give it to the Soul Man, with second place to Sal Bellomo’s mom for cooking her ass off in a short period of time.
JT: I am surprised how sharp Brutus Beefcake and Johnny V looked out there. Johnny was rocking a bad ass old school Yankees satin jacket and Beefer was decked out in a gleaming black leather wifebeater that designed with a gold lightning bolt and all sorts of studded up and topped off with designer jeans. They looked pretty cool sitting out there during the interview. I was also surprised just how much Beefcake and Greg Valentine teamed up pre-Dream Team and while Hammer was still IC champ.
Brian: I’m surprised they had the show revolve around a cooking segment featuring Salvatore Bellomo, who was at the bottom of the WWF totem pole at this time.
Dan: I’m sure they teamed up much more than I’ve seen prior to this match, but it’s amazing to see how quickly Valentine and Beefcake have gelled as a team so far. You would think they were partners forever like the Samoans with all their quick tags and continuity. Beefcake would lay the pounding and Valentine would continue to work the leg to set up the figure four. We all know where this goes but those two fit like a glove even in the spring of 1985.
Scott: TNT is always known for giving the undercard guys more shine than on the other shows but Sal Bellomo has easily been TNT’s biggest jobber hero. This is probably his fourth appearance and they get longer and longer. Oh and Alfred is an equal opportunity jerk with the food. He hates heels and faces.
JT: I am disappointed that Wendi Richter still can’t be left to get over on her own. I love the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Connection and what Cyndi Lauper has done for the WWF, but at some point you have put over Wendi for Wendi and not just as along for the Lauper ride. Also, her match with Peggy Lee was pretty bad with all sorts of awkward blown spots. It is disappointing that without an overbooked circus, she can’t seem to have a decent match.
Brian: The Peggy Lee vs. Wendi Richter match was an abomination. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but Wendi Richter was incredibly lucky to be in the right place at the right time as she was lousy in the ring and on the stick. Being remotely attractive got her the role with Lauper. And if you told me that Peggy Lee was not trained prior to this match I will probably believe you.
Dan: Any time Johnny Valiant comes on my TV screen, it’s a disappointment to me. I just don’t get the joke I guess. He’s not at all funny. He speaks nothing but nonsense. He makes mixing metaphors into an Olympic sport. He looks like a dad who so wants to fit in with his son that he tries to act and dress like him and winds up looking like a complete jackass. Can’t you picture if these two go to a movie together, Beefcake has to politely ask him to sit in a different row so he can save face with his other buddies. And what’s with the “main squeeze” comments? What kind of relationship do those two have exactly? Plus he wears a ridiculous Yankees jacket. Oh I just want to hit him in his stupid mush-mouthed face!
Scott: As much as Wendi Richter gets so much shine and TV time, her match with Peggy Lee was atrocious. Peggy Lee probably has just as much to blame but that match was a disaster.
JT: Rocky Johnson brought the 70s with him to the TNT set tonight; Vince and Bruno do a nice job putting over Rocky during his match; Vince has a pretty sweet suit on this evening as well; Sal Bellomo’s mother…woof; The curtains in the Bellomo kitchen are atrocious; Vince reached way too far for that cauliflower/Alfred’s brain joke; Johnny V’s old school Yankees jacket is fucking sweet; Johnny saying Beefcake’s wardrobe had to be shipped by FedEx made me laugh; Pretty neat that they discuss Beefcake and Greg Valentine teaming up and we get to check out a squash match with them; “The Lady is a Champ” graphic made me laugh; Wendi was looking a bit of hache mache on this evening; if Peggy Lee was a teacher she looks like she would have definitely slept with one of her students; Sal looks to be a pretty damn good cook; Mrs. Bellomo could rival Vinny’s mom from Jersey Shore
Brian: The show started off with a brief but unenthusiastic segment where Rocky Johnson showed off his jewelry he got while touring the Middle East. Rocky loves his souvenirs. He also beat Steve Lombardi in a squash match from “Championship Wrestling.” He would be gone from the company about a month after this aired. We then get the first Bellomo Family cooking segment. Bellomo, in his suit and glasses, looked just like Bobby Heenan’s sidekick Jameson Winger. The curtains here are the ugliest I’ve ever seen. Anyway, he was also shown beating a jobber from what appeared to be a TV taping. Brutus Beefcake and Johnny V come out and Johnny immediately comments how the studio smells awful due to Bellomo’s cooking. He also says his client eats protein, like fish and skinless chicken and would never eat anything that smelled like this. We then get a clip of the two as they are with Greg Valentine & Jimmy Hart as the “Dream Team” where they defeated Paul Roma & SD Jones in a match from “All-Star Wrestling” as they are pushing the Dream Team as an act. Next, Wendi Richter comes out to tell us how Cyndi Lauper is a great inspiration and manager. We are then shown the awful Peggy Lee vs. Richter match. After that is shown, Vince asks her about whether or not she wants to start a family as Richter remains focused on her career at this time. The show ends with Lord Alfred sampling the Bellomo Family recipes as he continues in his role as Vince’s royal taster. Johnny V.came in here and started ragging on Bellomo and his food. Johnny even referred to garlic as “Italian birth control” then yelled how the food was fatty and crappy for you as Bellomo did nothing to stop this disrespectful behavior.
Dan: Rocky Johnson is still around? He’s been touring in the Middle East apparently and it looks like he walked off with most of some Saudi prince’s gold. That belt buckle of his is bigger than my face! Vince: “Lombardi bites the dust into the buckle.” I like Johnson’s watch that he received from his father that once was a pocket watch that Rocky had made into a wrist watch. I wonder if that still exists somewhere. Sal joking that he’s fat because of his mom’s cooking is just another reason why I’ve been loving the Bellomo era of this adventure. Such a good boy who appreciates mom’s cooking! Everyone can relate to that! Bellomo vs. Frankie Williams? I wonder if that took place in Columbus, Ohio. Beefcake, as always, looks like an afternoon stripper. Probably wasn’t planned this way, but Valentine slaps on the figure four just as the announcers proclaim that Roma and Jones would not be a pushover team. What’s up with Wendi’s face tonight? She had some very odd redness. Either she had a lousy makeup artist back stage, I need a new television or she needs to visit the dermatologist. Good old awkward Alfred making it clear that he won’t object to a smooch from Richter. The champ snubbed him on the way in. Is it me or did every female wrestler back then where trunks that resembled that same old one piece bathing suit your mom used to wear? Holy moley that match with Peggy Lee sucked!
Scott: I wonder why Rocky Johnson wasn’t at WrestleMania. He’s good enough for TNT, but not WrestleMania?; Vince calls Rocky Johnson “Rock”. How fitting; Sal Bellomo vs. Frankie Williams is a main event anywhere in the world of high school gyms. It’s the question of which guy has been abused by Roddy Piper more; Johnny V rocking the old school Yankees Starter jacket; No wonder Brutus needed a manager early on, he can’t talk; Wendi Richter looking extra hot this week, and Lord Alfred extra lecherous as always; I love how they’re making Cyndi Lauper out to be the only thing Wendi had in her career, like she’d be a loser without her. That’s a bit much; This Wendi/Peggy Lee match is atrocious, perhaps worse than our Putski/Von Raschke disaster; They so abuse Sal Bellomo even though his food is clearly the best stuff. On top of the fact that Johnny Valiant comes in and abuses his family
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 pretty much just your standard TNT episode. We had some squash matches, some camp, some interviews, a couple laughs and then closed up shop. I thought Beefcake and Johnny V stood out the most here tonight but I did enjoy the Bellomo stuff too. I love how into this shit he gets, it is quite endearing. Richter and Rocky were fine out there in the studio as well, but there was nothing that stood out enough to carry things this week. That post WrestleMania hangover continues to linger over TNT. Final Grade: 4/10
Brian: This was a bad show. The only thing slightly amusing here was Johnny V and they did little to hype up the product except for the Dream Team and reminding us that Richter is managed by a celebrity. No one really cared about Rocky Johnson or Salvatore Bellomo at this point anyway, making most of this show a waste of time. Final Grade: 3/10
Dan: Yikes guys. Just yikes! When your highlight is Sal Bellomo cooking artichokes, you know you’re in for a long hour of television. And that’s coming from the biggest Sal Bellomo fan at PTBN. I’m glad they brought on Richter because she’s a big name coming off of huge wins at both Mania and Saturday Night’s Main Event. The match they chose to showcase her though was flat out unwatchable. Valiant was just terrible as always and you know he’s only good for bringing the show to new lows. Watch if you must, but don’t forget to utilize the mute button whenever Johnny V. is present. That’s my wisdom for the day. Final Grade: 3/10
Scott:: This was a harmless, well flowed episode of the show. We had guest, match, guest, match, long segment etc. With WrestleMania in the rear view mirror the WWF can focus on other guys and start building new feuds for the syndies and the house shows. Alfred is such a prick on these food segments, even with the babyfaces. I recommend this episode because it flowed well and it had guys we haven’t seen in a while. Final Grade: 7.5/10
You can find every grade and category winner from the entire Excellent WWE Network Adventure by clicking this link!