Category: WWF 1980s angles

Jake “The Snake” got hurt for real during his babyface turn

The babyface turn of Jake “The Snake” Roberts in 1987 wasn’t known for a particularly inventive angle or hot feud, but rather for a series of shots that were brutal by even old ECW standards.

And the incident actually legitimately injured Roberts.

At the time, Roberts was hosting an interview segment called the Snake Pit. Original, huh? Typical of wrestling, after the runaway success of Piper’s Pit, the WWF went back to that well over and over. We had the Snake Pit, the Body Shop with Jesse Ventura, the Flower Shop with Adrian Adonis, Blackjack Mulligan’s BBQ Pit, and the Brother Love Show.

Back to my original point: Roberts had the Honky Tonk Man as a guest, and during the skit Continue reading

Lawler has a real heart attack; Fritz and Andre had fake ones

This world of wrestling we watch sure is a weird form of entertainment sometimes.

On Monday Night Raw, Jerry “The King” Lawler was taken out on a stretcher during the live broadcast after suffering a real-life heart attack.

Lawler’s woes are serious health concerns, and Michael Cole’s updates were somber.

But wrestling’s foolishness at times is brought upon by itself, so it’s no wonder that given Lawler’s very real circumstances, I am still thinking about the fake heart attack gimmicks I remember: Continue reading

The day the Islanders kidnapped Matilda, mascot for the British Bulldogs

For a brief period, Brock Lesnar appeared to have kidnapped Shawn Michaels this week on Monday Night Raw, before showing up at ringside with a broken Michaels over his shoulders.

The kidnapping angle brought back memories of perhaps the most famous heist in WWF history in 1988, when Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and the Islanders stole Matilda, the canine mascot of the British Bulldogs.

Heenan is hilarious during the Continue reading

Hacksaw Jim Duggan: Knocking out Andre in ’88 made me a main eventer

In a recent online radio interview on the Wrestling Observer website, Hacksaw Jim Duggan remembered his feud with Andre the Giant in 1988 as the biggest point of his career. The start of the program occurred when Duggan KO’d Andre with his 2×4 on TV.

“Knocking out Andre with a 2×4 Continue reading

One of the most exciting moments from WWF Saturday morning wrestling: When Atlas and Johnson won the tag titles

If you want to see a small crowd go crazy for a title switch at a TV taping, check out the ending sequence of this match from late 1983, when Tony “Mr. USA” Atlas and  Rocky Johnson defeated the Wild Samoans for the WWF Tag Team Title.

The match was big because Atlas and Johnson were the first African-American tag team to win the belts in WWF history. At least one African-American had held gold before in the WWF Continue reading

Before WrestleMania, there was Showdown from Shea

Before the first WrestleMania ever hit Madison Square Garden in 1985, the WWF ran a series of outdoor supershows over an eight-period that were known as Showdown from Shea.

The venue was the old Shea Stadium in Queens, NY (former home of the New York Mets), and in all three events, Bruno Sammartino was the headliner: Continue reading

Jimmy Snuka’s empty arena interview was 10 times better than John Cena’s empty arena interview

Those of you who watched WWE Monday Night Raw this week saw an empty arena promo with John Cena, who sat in the loge section of the TD Garden in Boston talking about his WrestleMania XXVIII match with the Rock.

I couldn’t help but think way, way back to when Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka did a much different, far more effective interview in an empty arena with Vince McMahon. I believe it was Snuka’s first appearance on TV after the Magnificent Muraco busted him open with a microphone in the angle that started their memorable feud in 1983.

The back story is that when Muraco approached the ring, he was yelling stuff at Snuka. Although it was never really explained what was said, it was clear that Snuka took offense to it. Muraco also spit on him before Snuka Continue reading

Big angle in 1981: Greg Valentine suplexes Pedro Morales on the concrete floor

Man, 30 years ago it didn’t take a lot to get an angle over with the audience compared to today. There may be no greater example of that than when Greg “The Hammer” Valentine taunted Intercontinental Champion Pedro Morales into match on TV.

To set the stage, in late 1981 Morales had just regained the Intercontinental belt from the Magnificent Muraco, whom the Grand Wizard managed. The Wizard also tutored Valentine, and after a squash match on Championship Wrestling, Valentine issued a challenge to Morales, including calling the Puerto Rican star a “greaseball.” Yes, those of us who were fans back then occasionally have reasons to hang our heads in shame for real.

Anyway, Morales came out to the accept the challenge as long as he could fight Valentine on free TV so that everyone could see “when I kick your butt, baby!”  To this day, I so distinctly remember Valentine’s reaction Continue reading

Piper breaks a gold record over Captain Lou’s head

It was 27 years ago this week that the WWF shot one of the early angles leading to the original WrestleMania, when Rowdy Roddy Piper smashed a gold record over the head of Captain Lou Albano.

The incident took place in 1984 at Madison Square Garden. Pop star Cyndi Lauper Continue reading