If you follow the WWE currently, you know CM Punk kicked the wrestling world in the ass with his worked shoot promo on Monday Night Raw this week. When a pro wrestling interview gets mainstream attention, you know someone hit a nerve.
Punk’s promo was reminiscent of mic work we saw nearly every week during the Monday Night Wars between WCW and the WWF in the late 1990s. So what Punk did isn’t new, but it hasn’t been seen in a long, long time.
However, in the WWF of the 1980s, when I first started watching as a kid, you almost never saw promos that pushed the line of a worked shoot.
I remember the occasional shoot interview — the most famous probably being when 20/20 reporter John Stossel told “Dr. D” David Schultz wrestling was fake and then got a nasty smack to the ear in response — but I don’t remember wrestlers of that era coming out and talking as if they had gone against the script.
Demolition debuted as a tag team 25 years ago this month at the old Boston Garden, defeating the Islanders (Haku and Tama, a.k.a. the Tonga Kid).
The face-painted team comprised Ax (Bill Eadie, a.k.a. the Masked Superstar and Super Machine) and Smash (originally Randy Colley, a.k.a. Moondog Rex, but quickly replaced by Barry Darsow, a.k.a. Krusher Krushchev). They were Vince McMahon’s imitation of the Road Warriors, who had taken the NWA and AWA by storm. But Demolition became a good tag team in its own right, because with Continue reading
One of the most predictable—yet still among the best—heel turns was when “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff betrayed Hulk Hogan in 1986, leading to a memorable feud between the two during Hogan’s first reign as WWF Champion.
Orndorff had already wrestled Hogan many times as a heel shortly after Hogan won the title in 1984, including Hogan pinning Orndorff in July 1984 at the old Boston Garden. In 1985, Orndorff went babyface to battle Roddy Piper.
But the heel turn in ’86 was a much bigger deal because Continue reading
Of all the feuds Hulk Hogan had in the WWF and WWE, the best grudge was Hogan’s battles with Randy “Macho Man” Savage.
Savage is very much associated with the WWF’s 1980s period. His high-flying moves, while not as innovative compared to others like Dynamite Kid or Tiger Mask, were nonetheless very new for WWF fans. Remember, Vince McMahon, Sr. built the WWWF and WWF with Continue reading
I ran across one of those corny WWF interviews from 1986 that Mean Gene Okerlund conducted with the Machines, who initially comprised Andre the Giant under a mask and Bill Eadie, the former Masked Superstar (and Bolo Mongol, for those really going back in time).
Giant Machine and Super Machine were part of a fairly short-lived plotline during which Andre the Giant was suspended in the midst Continue reading