Thursday, 15 May 2014

WWE All Star Search #9 - 20th May 1985 - Adam Ross

Hello Turnbucklers! It's edition #9 of our All Star Search and the scores are starting to show who's been impressing...and who hasn't. I'll probably post an article looking at the Wrestler Scores before I get to Wrestlemania 2 and we'll delve into them. Until then, we move forwards in 1985 onto this MSG show in May! Last edition we had what was probably the best show I've watched in the series so far. The card for this one looks like sh*t on paper to me unfortunately with a lot of 1984 jobbers getting some time in the ring. We do get a WWE Title match with Don Muraco who is making his blog reappearance. The main event is exactly the match that should've been on the Wrestlemania 1 card but wasn't, in favour of a DUD. Finally we also get another match between the US Express and the tag champs but let's hope that this is the last one.


The Card:


Rocky Johnson vs Rene Goulet

Jim Neidhart vs Ivan Putski

Pedro Morales vs Terry Gibbs

Hulk Hogan (WWE Champ) vs Don Muraco [WWE Title Match]

Bret Hart vs Rick McGraw

Ken Patera vs Tony Atlas

The US Express vs Iron Sheik/Nikolai Volkoff (Tag Team Champs) [Tag Team Title Match]

The Missing Link vs SD Jones

Jesse Ventura vs Tony Garea

David Sammartino/Bruno Sammartino vs Brutus Beefcake/Johnny Valiant


The Show:


Our commentary team for tonight is Gorilla Monsoon and Mean Gene Okerlund.


Rocky Johnson vs Rene Goulet


Another opening contest featuring Rene Goulet? He must really be thought of highly backstage as he's still going strong being given 10+ minute matches. This is Rocky Johnson's final MSG appearance and his last appearance on this blog for now. Once again this is a 10 minute opener and the term 'nothing special' comes to mind. The main focus seems to be Goulet's missing glove? O...K. Johnson actually looks quite good in this one, showing off both strength and speed which I wasn't expecting so much. It's still weird to hear him being referred to as 'The Rock'. Goulet does get some offense in but its mixed in between his heely stalling tactics. I actually like Goulet, he's easy to hate which makes him a good heel. Johnson gets the 3 count in the end with a roll up and we move on. Match Rating: *


Jim Neidhart vs Ivan Putski


Straight into the next match now and on paper this one is self-explanatory as to what to expect. Neidhart is still fairly new to the WWE scene and Putski is coming to the end of his career. Both are pushed as powerhouses. That is exactly what we get in this one and the early goings are spent by both trying to out power the other. Of course it breaks down into restholds and the pace slows down by a hefty amount. The crowd are alive towards the end and really get behind Putski in his final flurry of offence but its no use and Neidhart counters a suplex attempt into a roll up for 3. Impressive way to end considering the size of both men and how smooth the sequence actually was. Neidhart still looks strong going forward but the match was too slow for the majority. Match Rating: 3/4*


Pedro Morales vs Terry Gibbs


This is another match that doesn't exactly make me jump out my seat. This is Morales' first appearance on our blog. His biggest career peaks came before this show but I'm interested to see how he comes off on his return and whether he's another former great who's still stuck in a former decade style-wise. Terry Gibbs is a perennial jobber here. The commentary team say Morales looks great....but he doesn't. This match itself was sinfully boring. So many restholds at such a slow pace, it was just hard for me to care. Unfortunately the timekeeper plays a harsh trick on me and rings the bell halfway through the match...but it wasn't over! Damn him! Eventually Morales gets the win with a Boston Crab to decent crowd noise, so I assume the crowd only watched the last 10 seconds of the match. Match Rating: 1/4*


Hulk Hogan (WWE Champ) vs Don Muraco [WWE Title Match]


The crowd has really lit up for this one and Don Muraco comes out to major heat with Mr Fuji! Eye of the Tiger plays and the crowd goes mental as usual! The ringbell is doing my head in at this point as it won't stop pissing ringing. Action kicks off straight away as Muraco blindsides Hogan before he de-belts. He lays in the boots before choking Hogan with his T-shirt. Muraco's offense doesn't last long as Hogan hulks up quickly and sends Muraco to the outside. He nails an atomic drop on the floor before they both make their way back in the ring. Hogan starts choking Muraco with his T-shirt now and even finds time to gob in his face...lovely. The crowd don't care though as they are unglued. They head back outside where they trade chairshots right in front of the ref but no DQ. It makes even less sense when Hogan rolls in and out of the ring to break the countout. Muraco actually gets busted open via these chairshots. Back in the ring and Hogan hits a back suplex and soon after, a standing suplex. Its not long before he hits the leg drop for the 3 count. However Mr Fuji had put Muraco's foot on the ropes so the 3 count doesn't count. This gives Muraco the chance to blast Hogan in the eyes with a load of salt for the DQ. Stupid, pointless finish to a glorified squash match. The crowd noise made this match much better but Muraco got no offense in after the initial phase and its safe to say his career ain't going higher than this. This match is very similar to Hogan vs Orndorff from the month before. Match Rating: *1/2

Lord Al Hayes replaces Mean Gene on commentary and immediately acts like a lecherous old git.



Bret Hart vs Rick McGraw


Is this our first blog Bret singles match? It could possibly be! Last month he looked extra good in the tag match with the Bulldog's. This time out he's against Rick McGraw who is the definition of...OK. At this point he's still sporting an extra 'T' in his name. He seems less enthusiastic this time around and it shows in his in ring work. The match is slower than I expected with very little to talk about. Bret did show glimpses of good entertainment but that's all they were, glimpses. McGraw was...OK...considering the last time we saw him he was being jobbed out to Ken Patera quite quickly. Strange commentary as Lord Al rants on about Stu Hart but starts getting a bit creepy. Bret eventually got the win via a second rope elbow drop. I'm quite disappointed with this one and Bret honestly came off as well as any other lower card heel in this one. Match Rating: *


Ken Patera vs Tony Atlas


This card is not getting better is it. Out comes out favourite 1970's throwback in Ken Patera and the immensely roided Tony Atlas. Bobby Heenan is out with Patera so maybe he can add something. Before the match even gets under way, both men engage in a posedown with Patera looking old and Atlas looking camper than a picnic basket. Pretty basic start as both men try to out power the other. Patera gains early control using restholds early on. They end up outside where Patera rams Atlas into the apron before getting back in the ring to pose. Patera locks on a bearhug which Atlas wiggles out of into one of his own. That also looked really gay on Atlas' part. Nice cross body followed by a suplex by Atlas into a sleeper that is quickly broken up. Patera tries to stall but Atlas isn't having any of it and nails an atomic drop. They go back and forth until Patera is sent out to the floor. Patera and Heenan suffer a dreaded double noggin knocker before Atlas gets distracted trying to beat up Heenan/ Patera uses that to nail Atlas off the top rope for the 3 count. Better than I was expecting and better than most the crap on the card. Both men still seem very outdated though. Match Rating: *3/4

Into the back with Mean Gene and Bobby Heenan who is representing the Missing Link. Heenan tells us that everyone better have paid their insurance premiums because the Missing Link is going to be piling up the bodies. The Missing Link says nothing and wanders around the background. Its a middle-aged bloke with Einstein hair and a green face. He looks like someone sneezed on him. Thank God that Heenan gave him at least some legitimacy.

Still in the back and Jesse Ventura is now with Mean Gene. Mean Gene is just as shocked as me that Ventura looks somewhat human. Ventura says he's the best on commentary and the best in the ring so watch out Garea!

STILL in the back and this time Mean Gene is with Johnny Valiant and Brutus Beefcake. They talk about San Fransisco and then the Sammartino's. Beefcake doesn't freeze which is an improvement and actually shows off some good confidence. They're ready!

STILL...in the back with Mean Gene and this time he's with the Sammartino's. Bruno's promo's always seem the most real, no yelling and always confident in what he's saying. David on the other hand is a stuttery mofo. Bottom line...they're ready!


The US Express vs Iron Sheik/Nikolai Volkoff (Tag Team Champs) [Tag Team Title Match]


The heels are out first to big heat as per! 1980's xenephobia really was an amazing heat catalyst, I mean, it's hard to take the champs as seriously as I'd like too but the crowd disagree. Of course Volkoff sings before the match to big heat and I love hit! 'Born in the USA' hits and out come the US Express with Captain Lou Albano. The crowd don't seem as into them as they were 2 months ago which is strange. Big USA chant breaks out right on cue. Quick action to start with the faces taking control over Sheik to major crowd noise. Nice double leg drop by the faces and an atomic drop by Rotundo. Sheik misses a Senton splash attempt which was a nice suprise. Sheik eventually tags out to Volkoff just as Windham comes in and the pace slows down slightly. Windham does gets some shots in but misses a dropkick and the tide doth turn. The heels take turns working over Windham. Sheik hits a lovely gutwrench suplex and maintains control until Rotundo gets the hot tag. It doesn't last long as Volkoff pearl harbours him. Windham takes the time to bust Sheik open on the ringpost in the melee. It all breaks down outside the ring and the champs get counted out but keep their belts. Was a decent little match for what it was but I'm hoping thats the last we see between the two. Match Rating: **


The Missing Link vs SD Jones


Before the match starts, Bobby Heenan lists off a load of face wrestlers and tells them to pay attention. He tells them to pay attention to his newest Heenan family member...The Missing Link. For all that build up, this guy better be good! I should mention that in the time between this show and the last, Orndorff cemented his face turn and fired Heenan. Heenan is now offering $25,000 to anyone to take Orndorff out. None the less, Heenan feels the Missing Link is the dude who will get that dollar. Match is a total squash but christ, The Missing Link looks awful. He's slow, weak and very disjointed. He gets the quick 3 with a falling headbutt/punch (?) from the top rope. I would mention SD Jones...but there is literally nothing to mention other than he just got battered. The officials run away from the Missing Link after the match while Heenan tries and fails to control him. Match Rating: DUD


Jesse Ventura vs Tony Garea


Straight into the next match now as we get the in-ring blog return of Jesse Ventura after his blood clot incident last year. His opponent is Tony Garea who is once again solid, but not spectacular. It takes an age for Jesse to take off all his shit and actually start the match. Of course, even then there's a fair amount of stalling. In fact, the first half of this match is a hefty mix of stalling by Jesse and rest holds by Garea. When Garea is on offense, he works over Jesse's arm throwing in some decent psychology but unfortunately its all for nothing as Jesse forgets to sell. The crowd really hate Jesse here so that adds a lot to this one. Garea gets in a sunset flip and tries to abdominal stretch but unfortunately it all goes sloppily wrong. Finish comes when Garea tries to ram Jesse into the turnbuckle but its countered so Garea levels his own head, staggers down to the mat allowing Jesse to hit a weak looking elbow drop for the win. I really, really wish I liked Jesse Ventura's in ring work more than I do but alas, I don't and this match was crap until the final third. Match Rating: 1/2*


David Sammartino/Bruno Sammartino vs Brutus Beefcake/Johnny Valiant


Time for our main event now and it's not quite a Wrestlemania rematch although this is the match that should've been on the card. Out first is Beefcake and Valiant to big boo's. Valiant is another 70's flashback by the look of him. Beefcake looks like a golden ticket allowing you into Wonka's factory. The Sammartino's come out with a Hogan style entrance (without music) and they get a huge pop, granted though, it was mainly for Bruno. Bruno starts and cleans house early while the crowd go mental. It's apparent though he's aged a little too much to be a regular in ring performer. He seems sluggish and clunky although the crowd distracts you from it. Bruno continues to keep control working over both heels. He works over Beefcakes arm and tags in David who keeps working on the arm. Eventually the heels take control and work over David with lots of chokes and strikes. The finish comes out of nowhere as Valiant misses a charge in the corner and David rolls him up for the win. The heels do some damage to Bruno after the match but in my opinion, they should've left this for a Sammartino feelgood moment. Match itself was better than the Wrestlemania match and I maintain this should've been on that card instead. Still a poor, dull match though. Neither David or Beefcake looked great in this which is wrong considering they're the future. Match Rating: *

So there we have it, edition #9 is done and wow, what a hard show to sit and watch. The things I do for my Turnbucklers. Nevertheless, onto the next show! First...let's see the updated Wrestler Scores.

Wrestler Scores:


Rocky Johnson +4 (10)
Rene Goulet +2 (9)
Jim Niedhart +4 (14)
Ivan Putski +2 (6)
Pedro Morales +2 (2)
Terry Gibbs +1 (4)
Hulk Hogan +5 (41)
Don Muraco +3 (9)
Bret Hart +4 (11)
Rick McGraw +3 (8)
Ken Patera +4 (14)
Tony Atlas +3 (7)
Mike Rotundo +6 (16)
Barry Windham +5 (15)
Iron Sheik +4 (23)
Nikolai Volkoff +4 (15)
The Missing Link +2 (2)
SD Jones +1 (7)
Jesse Ventura +3 (10)
Tony Garea +3 (7)
David Sammartino +3 (9)
Bruno Sammartino +3 (3)
Johnny Valiant +3 (3)
Brutus Beefcake +4 (13)

So there we have our updated list after this show. After edition #10, I'll be going through the scores so far and the patterns and reasons behind them. Hopefully you'll see us in edition #10! Please leave a comment, follow us on Twitter @TheWrestlinDork.

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