Mean Gene leads my list of the top five WWF bloopers from the ’80s

Many of us could pick out moments in matches where a move is ill-timed or someone falls out of position. But these slip-ups generally are minor. A true wrestling blooper often doesn’t involve in-ring action at all, whether it’s instead an interview, skit, or even real life. The WWF had some lapses that were doozies in the 1980s, so here are my picks for the top five bloopers of that decade:

5. Salvatore Bellomo rolls pizza dough like the rest of us. On the Tuesday Night Titans talk show, prelim wrestler Bellomo told Vince McMahon that real Italians knead their pizza dough by hand, not with a roller. Bellomo headed over to the makeshift kitchen to whip up some pizza as the house band played. I’m not sure if there was an errant camera direction or a rib on Bellomo, because a quick shot appeared of him flattening the dough with a kitchen roller, followed by McMahon cracking up out of character when he realized what happened. In unrelated humor, this more recent shot of Bellomo and the Undertaker backstage at a WWE event made me a laugh, too.

4. King Kong’s Bundy’s “nine-second” victory. During the original WrestleMania in 1985, you could just imagine McMahon planning every last detail down. No doubt it sounded like a fine idea that newly introduced character Bundy would beat S.D. Jones in just nine seconds to make an impact on the big show. The problem was nine seconds dragged out to 23, and Jones seemed out of position, which didn’t help. The catch is the pinfall was still announced and hyped as a nine-second victory. This type of ridiculous lie would never last in today’s world of Twitter and online wrestling news sites. Besides, doesn’t a 23-second win sound pretty impressive, anyway?

3. Andre the Giant flubs one of his biggest promos in history. After their WrestleMania III match, Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant fought again on a national stage in 1988, this time on NBC in a heavily hyped match that saw Andre win the WWF Championship. Andre was in cahoots with Ted DiBiase Sr. at the time, and in an interview immediately after the match, Andre bequeathed the title to DiBiase. The problem was Andre actually said he was giving DiBiase the “World Tag Team Championship” (about six minutes into this clip), a botch that probably made the executives backstage wince. This angle led to DiBiase being stripped of the title and set the stage for the championship tournament at WrestleMania IV. I previously blogged about seeing DiBiase wrestle in Boston in one of the few matches in which he walked out with the belt as champ.

2. Hacksaw Jim Duggan and the Iron Sheik share a bad, bad ride. In the midst of lackluster feud in 1987, all-American hero Duggan and Iranian sympathizer Sheik were pulled over by police as they drove together in New Jersey. Duggan was allegedly high on weed and the Sheik was allegedly blitzed on coke, which led to both being released by the WWF (Duggan returned shortly after). I fully believe the reason they got fired wasn’t the illegal substances, but because they broke kayfabe so bad and the incident received a lot of national press attention. The drug part was sad, but the carpooling aspect was hilarious back then.

1. Mean Gene Okerlund drops an F-bomb on pay-per-view. SummerSlam ‘89 was headlined by Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake vs. Randy Savage and Zeus, which was based on angles from the ugly No Holds Barred movie. But what people really were interested in was the rematch between Intercontinental Champion Rick Rude and Ultimate Warrior. Okerlund was starting an interview with Rude and Bobby Heenan when a SummerSlam prop fell off the wall behind Okerlund, which shocked Mean Gene enough to yell out, “Fuck it!” before the interview got cut short. I distinctly remember watching this with several friends and we all erupted after Okerlund’s gaffe. I still don’t know whether the interview was being conducted live or if someone inadvertently put the wrong pretaped segment on air, but either way, this was truly one of the funniest moments in wrestling if you saw it when it happened.

Advertisements

12 comments

  1. Pingback: 30 years ago: The prelim matches at the first WrestleMania | Boston Garden Balcony
  2. Pingback: Requiem for the Meadowlands: 1981-2015 | Boston Garden Balcony
  3. Pingback: WWE’s new retro SummerSlam report with Mean Gene is hilarious | Boston Garden Balcony
  4. Pingback: The real main event of SummerSlam ’89: Rick Rude vs. Ultimate Warrior | Boston Garden Balcony
  5. Pingback: Andre beat Hogan for the title – and gave the belt to DiBiase – 25 years ago today | Boston Garden Balcony
  6. Pingback: February 6, 1988: DiBiase walked to the ring with the world title « Boston Garden Balcony
  7. Pingback: Mr. Perfect, Smash, Rude, and others: All from Robbinsdale, MN « Boston Garden Balcony
  8. Jason

    Okerlund said in a shoot interview that indeed the botched interview was taped earlier in the day and someone had put the wrong one on the air. Would be curious to know if that guy was fired afterwards?? Another goof up from that same event was during the 6 man tag between Rockers/Santana vs Rougeaus/Martel. The Rougeaus music was played not once but twice during the match as one of the Rockers was about to be pinned as the sound guy thought that was going to be the end of the match. This obviously gave away the ending to anyone who was paying attention. If you notice almost immediately after Martel finally pins Janetty the Rougeaus music is played!

    • bostongardenbalcony

      Good memory — I hadn’t remembered that until you mentioned it in your comment. The Rougeaus vs. Rockers matches were underrated in my opinion — I saw them fight in a 60-minute iron man match in Boston that was one of my favorite house show bouts ever.

    • Jason

      Okerlund said in a shoot interview that indeed the botched interview was taped earlier in the day and someone had put the wrong one on the air. Would be curious to know if that guy was fired afterwards?? Another goof up from that same event was during the 6 man tag between Rockers/Santana vs Rougeaus/Martel. The Rougeaus music was played not once but twice during the match as one of the Rockers was about to be pinned as the sound guy thought that was going to be the end of the match. This obviously gave away the ending to anyone who was paying attention. If you notice almost immediately after Martel finally pins Janetty the Rougeaus music is played!

  9. Joe

    One of my favorites was at a house show in 1987 when Matilda, the British Bulldogs’ mascot, took a leak in the ring when the Bulldogs came out for a tag team match. I still have a photo of Dynamite and Davey cracking up with a big wet spot in the middle of the ring. I wonder if someone ribbed them by giving her too much water before hand, but the joke was on everyone who had to come out and wrestle on that mat later on!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s