Thursday, 24 April 2014

WWE All Star Search #6: 17th March 1985 (ft. The War to Settle the Score) - Adam Ross

Welcome Turnbucklers! Its edition #6 and we are back in MSG for another house show on our road to the very first Wrestlemania. Not going to lie, finding shows between October 1984 and March 1985 was hard, very hard. So to make up for it, I'm adding two HUGE events into this edition. First I'm going to look at an IC Title match, followed by a key match in the Rock 'n' Wrestling era which is the WWE Title match from the War to Settle the Score. Then it's onto the last big show before Wrestlemania 1 and we have a massive list of new faces in this one so let's see how they make their first impressions on the All Star Search. Finally, the main event is a Lumberjack Match so let's hope that turns out to be fun. Would like to add a big thank you and hello to any new readers out there, last edition broke my viewing records by x5 which is overwhelming and very humbling! Shall we begin...?

The Card:


Tito Santana (IC Champ) vs Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine [IC Title Match]
Hulk Hogan (WWE Champ) vs Rowdy Roddy Piper [WWE Title Match]

Rocky Johnson vs Charlie Fulton

Barry O vs Rene Goulet

Jim Neidhart vs SD Jones

King Kong Bundy vs Jose Luis Rivera

David Sammartino vs Matt Borne

Andre The Giant/Jimmy Snuka/Junkyard Dog vs Ken Patera/Jesse Ventura/Big John Studd

Ricky Steamboat vs Terry Gibbs

Greg Valentine (IC Champ) vs Tito Santana [IC Title Match - Lumberjack Match]


The Show:

Let's begin with an IC Title match from September 1984 between the champ, Tito Santana and Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine. They've had a run of good matches each in this series so far with Hammer made to look strong in his contendership. They had a decent match a few months earlier but it was overshadowed by the whole Jimmy Snuka stretcher job going on at the time.

Tito Santana (IC Champ) vs Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine [IC Title Match]

Its September 1984 here and Tito is your defending IC champion. They've had previous interactions and this feud has been simmering nicely. Albano is with Hammer in this one and both are getting solid heat. Tito is nursing a poor leg in this one and Valentine uses it to his advantage in his normal methodical way. Crowd is solidly behind Santana in this one with many a chant. Valentine works over the injured leg but Santana escapes and manages to hit his Flying Burrito for a close two count. He continues on the offense and gets another close two. He thinks he's won though and while his back is turned, Hammer nails him with a knee to the back...and that gets the 3 and we have a new IC Champion! Crowd chant bullshit and everyone seemed slightly confused about the finish. Santana did a great sympathy job and Valentine looked crisp as always. Match Rating: **1/4

Hulk Hogan (WWE Champ) vs Rowdy Roddy Piper [WWE Title Match]

Talk about a money match! This was hyped up beyond another level at this point in time. Hogan being Hogan was riding high as champion but oh boy, Piper was generating unparalleled heat! This was shown live on MTV much like the Brawl to End it All and again, drew HUGE numbers. Piper comes out to major heat accompanyed by his bagpipe players and Cowboy Bob Orton (with a cast on his arm). Piper to generate some extra heat...destroys a nice looking guitar! In the words of a friend...SOME GUY! is our special ring announcer...but being from anywhere that isn't America...no clue who he is. Eye of the Tiger hits to a monstrous pop...as per! You can't even dream of comparing Cena to Hogan watching this. Cyndi Lauper, her fella and Captain Lou Albano are accompanying Hogan. By the way, Albano is a face now after realising the errors of his ways. Crowd is hot as they start off like a house of fire trading shots. We hear Mr T is in the crowd as Hogan takes control in the early going with slams. The crowd is unglued. Piper does take control eventually with boots and gets solid heat. Sleeper by Piper and Hulk...Hulks up...but doesn't get too far with it. Piper with more offense than I was expecting at this point. Orton tries to get involved and fails so Hogan regains control. Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff comes out to support Piper from the outside and the ref gets bumped. Orndorff gets involved and he and Piper double team Hogan. Lauper gets on the apron to do some mouthing off and the heels get sucked in but hold on...crowd pops HUGE...and Mr T of all people gets involved to even the odds. Mr T however ends up getting double teamed until Hogan is up and bails him out. The match itself is thrown out as a no contest. Well, well, well, that was certainly a fun little match. If Piper got the belt here in time for Wrestlemania...the reaction would have been catatonic. The heat for everyone involved was smoldering. Of course, this puts us firmly on the road to Wrestlemania 1! Exciting! Match Rating: **1/2

Onto the MSG House Show now and our commentary team are Gorilla Monsoon and Mean Gene Okerlund once again. At this point its worth me mentioning that their commentary dynamic is a little off. Both play very similar roles and are obviously both face. More balance is definitely needed soon.

Rocky Johnson vs Charlie Fulton

What a way to start us off! Boring, slow paced match with literally nothing to mention. Punches and stalling head scissors is the peak of this one in fact. The crowd were somewhat dead during this one. At one point, Rocky is referred to as 'Rock' which is a fun little precursor. Johnson gets the win with a sunset flip. Match Rating: DUD

Barry O vs Rene Goulet

Into the next match now and we have a first debut of this edition. Barry O is Cowboy Bob's brother and Randy Orton's uncle. Rene Goulet is my 1984 foreign heel of the year...a trophy is on his way to him. 'Who knows what that O could mean' - Gorilla Monsoon. The match itself is as dull as dull can be. The commentary team spend the majority of the match discussing Wrestlemania and its tag team main event. Nice powerslam by Barry for 2. It picks up slightly towards the end of the match and a small package gets the win for Barry O. Dull, simple as. Barry O looked as vanilla as a discount Vienetta. Match Rating: 1/4*

Jim Neidhart vs SD Jones

Its blog debut number 2 and it's Jim 'soon to be Anvil' Neidhart! His appearance instantly makes him stand out from most of the roster in a positive way. His opponent is SD Jones who is slowly becoming more and more of a jobber as months drift by. Neidhart is with Jimmy Hart who I think is also making his blog debut. Fun early goings with both men trading offense. Neidhart shows off the personality we'll become accustomed too over time with his overexaggerations. He does show off his size and power though which is a good thing. They do the scoop slam/reversed into an armbar spot which I've seen numerous times since starting these reviews but I haven't seen it before. SD Jones uses the hard-head gimmick but its all in vain as Neidhart eventually gets the easy win with a crisp Powerslam. Good debut from Neidhart, I found it hard not to be entertained by him. Match Rating: 3/4*

King Kong Bundy vs Jose Luis Rivera

Blog debut number 3 - King Kong Bundy! We're going to be seeing a lot of him over the next year. Jimmy Hart is back out with Bundy. Rivera, much like SD Jones is slipping further into jobber territory. In comparison to everyone but Andre and Big John Studd, Bundy is just ridiculously big. He puts his size to good use, easily overpowering Rivera on a number of occasions. The crowd are quiet but seemingly because their in awe of Bundy. Rivera gets 2 dropkicks in but Bundy is barely phased. Bundy gets the win not long after with a massive elbow drop. Utter squash match but Bundy looked impressive as a beast, if not just for his look. Match Rating: 1/2*

Into the back with Hulk Hogan and Mr T. Hogan says Mr T is the best partner he could've found for Wrestlemania. Mr T says he specialises in work, torture and pain...his words, not mine. Bottom line 'they dead meat!' says T and Hogan says he apologizes for whats the come.

Well, well, well, we're getting a live Piper's Pit! Out comes Piper with 'Cowboy' Bob Orton alongside him to major heat. The microphone is annoying dodgy. Piper says that he's out there talking because no one wanted to fight him. He rips on New York as a heel would...but slightly funnier. He trolls the crowd something fierce by hyping up his next guest making it sound like Mr T...but it's Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff. Big boo's for that one. Orndorff tries talking but just makes sound...I think I heard him say 'outhouse'. Piper tells Mr T to stop snorting Cocaine and come join him in the ring. Which he promptly does to big cheers and he's brought Hogan and Jimmy Snuka with him. Snuka hasn't been mentioned since he was stretchered out months ago which is nice. Piper tells T to sit down and of course, rips into him while still trying to play it friendly and cool. It doesn't last long and tensions soon rise but the crowd eat it up. Piper runs down T's life acheivements and tells him he's giving T the chance to back out the fight to save face and there will be no shame! T fires back and says he ain't quitting. Piper brings out a painting of Mr T with his arm in a sling but T ain't scared! Things start getting physical but no brawl. Heels bail out the ring leaving the faces to soak up mild cheers. Mr T says Piper gonna pay! He promises! Good promo and I am actually hyped for Mania 1! Piper was gold here and Mr T was great in his role too.

David Sammartino vs Matt Borne

Blog debuts number 4 and 5! David Sammartino is the vanilla looking son of Bruno and Matt Borne is the son of 'Tough' Tony Borne...but you'll know him better as Doink the Clown. Borne looks like Charlie Fulton and here's me thinking I'd never get Charlie Fulton in a reference. Slaps and shoves to start before we get into some back and forth. Sammartino shows of some decent greco roman skills and Borne nails a lovely belly to belly suplex. Borne showing good aggression that we'll see later down the road. Of course it breaks down into restholds and strikes before Borne eats a big back body drop. More restholds before Sammartino gets a suplex and takes control. Sammartino goes up top but Borne slams him down for a slow 2 count. He goes for a powerslam but Sammartino rolls through for the 3 count! Sammartino looked...vanilla and Borne looked decent but too many restholds. Match Rating: 1/2*

Andre The Giant/Jimmy Snuka/Junkyard Dog vs Ken Patera/Jesse Ventura/Big John Studd

We have blog debut number 6 in this one and you better grab dem cakes as it's the Junkyard Dog! Lots of big names in this one. Andre and Studd are developing a feud that will lead towards Wrestlemania. Jimmy Snuka makes his first blog appearance since turning one of my previous editions into an episode of Casualty. Jesse Ventura is back from his bloodclot late last year and Patera is enjoying a decent push since his return. Bobby Heenan is with the heels in this one and Cpt Lou Albano is with the faces. Andre wastes no time getting to Studd but Studd bails to the floor. Faces control the early stages with JYD hitting his unique strikes and headbutts and Andre nailing a double noggin knocker on the heels. Everyone brawls with both sides getting a brief advantage. Eventually Snuka comes in and finds himself as face in peril as each of the heels take turns working him over. Eventually Snuka gets the tag to Andre who comes in and nails Studd with strikes. Ventura gets tagged in but realises he's out of his depth. A big boot and a superfly splash get the win for Snuka and his team! I really enjoyed that one, good flow, good balance and everyone played their role well. JYD is already proving popular in the WWE and his brief in ring appearances in this were harmless. Andre and Studd continued their feud towards Wrestlemania and showed good heat between the two. Snuka played a good face in peril, which makes sense as he has the least reason to be protected. Jesse found himself with little to do but that's a good thing considering his recent health issues. Match Rating: **3/4

Ricky Steamboat vs Terry Gibbs

Another debut here as we have Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat making his first blog appearance. He's another performer who was on the 1983 Starrcade card and I think, also the 1984 card too. Terry Gibbs...is also here. Lots of back and forth with Gibbs getting a decent amount of offense in. Steamboat looked as crisp as ever hitting his usual arsenal of moves. He makes Gibbs look great when Gibbs is on the offense. Steamboat shows off his array of chops and strikes. With a couple of poses thrown in for good measure. Steamboat gets the win with a flying cross body! Nothing special, just a way to get Steamboat some ring time. Match Rating: *

Greg Valentine (IC Champ) vs Tito Santana [IC Title Match - Lumberjack Match]

It's the main event! As mentioned earlier, Valentine is now the IC Champ and is now with Jimmy Hart at his side and Tito wants his belt back! This is Lumberjack rules so we have an array of superstars around the ring. Big pop for Tito which is always a good sign. Hammer pearl harbours him to start put to no avail as Hammer quickly ends up outside. The heels seem to protect him but ultimate babyface Ricky Steamboat, calm as you like, walks over and throws him back in. Santana keeps control for a few minutes while Hammer sells like gold but the tide shifts with an atomic drop for Hammer. Santana regains control, Hammer tries to escape but the faces throw him back into the ring. Hammer selling so much like Flair its silly....that includes flops and all. Someone randomly rings the ringbell but its ignored so I have no idea what that was about. Hammer in control now and works over the legs of Tito...good psycology working his way to the figure four and what's even better, Tito sells it! Tito thrown outside and then thrown back in like he's just a corpse. He's thrown back outside to the faces who...protect him...no! That's not your job lads. Hammer goes for the figure four but its countered into a cradle for 2. Tito fights back and Hammer Flair flops again. Suplex by Santana and he goes for his own Figure Four. Hart distracts the ref while the heels help out Hammer. Tito distracts himself with the outside heels but gets pearl harboured by Hammer. They hit a shoulderblock on each other, Hammer falls on top of Santana and that gets the 3! Hammer is completely KO'd too though. Really enjoyed that one and the Lumberjack was a nice tweak to the usual formula between these two. Santana is by far the best at gaining sympathy from the crowd and Valentine is WWE's very own Flair (just not as good). Match Rating: ***

Wrestler Scores:


(I'm taking into consideration the two extra matches reviewed and the live Piper's Pit. Mr T gets a rating therefore as he played a crucial role in a main segment in the show.)
  • Tito Santana +12 (29)
  • Greg Valentine +13 (26)
  • Hulk Hogan +7 (25)
  • Roddy Piper +14 (21)
  • Rocky Johnson +2 (6)
  • Charlie Fulton +1 (4)
  • Barry O +2 (2)
  • Rene Goulet +2 (7)
  • Jim Neidhart +4 (4)
  • SD Jones +2 (4)
  • King Kong Bundy +4 (4)
  • Jose Luis Rivera +1 (4)
  • Mr T +4 (4)
  • David Sammartino +3 (3)
  • Matt Borne +3 (3)
  • Jesse Ventura +5 (7)
  • Ken Patera +5 (10)
  • Big John Studd +5 (8)
  • Andre The Giant +5 (10)
  • Jimmy Snuka +4 (14)
  • Junkyard Dog +4 (4)
  • Ricky Steamboat +3 (3)
  • Terry Gibbs +3 (3) 
Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TheWreslinDork and I shall see you next time...for Wrestlemania 1!!

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