Monday, May 1, 2017

The Wrestling Classic: The First WWF Pay-Per-View



Dynamite Kid (photo: writeups.org)

WWF Wrestling Classic – Rosemont (Ill.) Horizon - Nov. 7, 1985

Vince McMahon called this show “The First Annual Wrestling Classic,” but alas, it was the only one. It was the first real WWF pay-per-view, as WrestleMania was largely seen on closed-circuit TV.

The 16-man tournament also included a WWF title defense by Hulk Hogan against Rowdy Roddy Piper.

1. Cpl. Kirchner vs. Adrian Adonis (with Jimmy Hart)
Adonis was still a New York tough guy and hadn’t received his effeminate makeover, although Hart did call him “Adorable” in an interview. Adonis won with a DDT, which was called a “reverse bulldog.” Jake Roberts hadn’t shown up yet in the WWF to popularize the DDT.


2. Dynamite Kid vs. Nikolai Volkoff
Volkoff sang the Russian national anthem and started bad-mouthing the crowd. The bell rang, and Dynamite hit a top-rope dropkick and got the pin in six seconds. This knocked King Kong Bundy out of the record books for his “nine-second” pin of S.D. Jones at WrestleMania.

3. Ivan Putski vs. Randy Savage (with Elizabeth)
Putski was on the downside of his career. Savage used his feet on the ropes to get the pin in less than three minutes.

4. Ricky Steamboat vs. Davey Boy Smith
This tournament gave us some fun babyface vs. babyface and heel vs. heel matches. Davey Boy was unable to continue after crotching himself on the ring ropes.

5. Junkyard Dog vs. Iron Sheik
Sheik prematurely released the Camel Clutch, thinking he had won the match. JYD rallied to win with a headbutt.

6. Moondog Spot vs. Terry Funk (with Jimmy Hart)
Spot subbed for The Missing Link, so this was going to be battle of heels either way. Funk tried to con Spot into walking out of the match together. Funk raced back to the ring, but Spot entered first to get the upset win by countout.

7. Tito Santana vs. Magnificent Muraco (with Mr. Fuji)
Santana was Intercontinental champion, but the belt was not on the line. Muraco thought he had the pin, but Santana’s foot was on the ropes. Santana cradled Muraco for the pin.

8. Paul Orndorff vs. Cowboy Bob Orton
Orndorff was a babyface at this time after splitting up with Piper and Orton after their WrestleMania loss. Orton was disqualified for using his cast as a weapon.

9. Quarterfinal: Dynamite Kid vs. Adrian Adonis
Adonis continued to be ahead of his time by putting Kid in the sharpshooter. Dynamite scored his second win after Adonis collided with Jimmy Hart. Think of how the business could have changed if Dynamite had stayed healthy and had a singles push as a babyface.

10. Quarterfinal: Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage
Don’t get too excited; this match lasted less than four minutes. Savage hit Steamboat with a foreign object as Steamboat was suplexing him into the ring. Three months later, Savage won the IC title from Santana using the same finish. Tito must not have been watching the monitor.

11. Quarterfinal:  Junkyard Dog vs. Moondog Spot
No referee for this match, so JYD hit the “Big Thump” powerslam and counted the pin himself in less than 30 seconds.

12. Quarterfinal:  Tito Santana vs. Paul Orndorff
This battle of babyfaces devolved into a brawl on the floor, and both men were counted out. This result gave Junkyard Dog a bye into the finals.

13. WWF Title: Hulk Hogan (champion) vs. Roddy Piper
Hogan had the sleeper hold on Piper when Orton ran in for the DQ. Paul Orndorff made the save for Hogan, cementing the alliance that would explode in spectacular fashion in the middle of 1986.

14. Semifinal: Dynamite Kid vs. Randy Savage
Dynamite continued his great night in this five-minute mini-dream match. Dynamite hit a superplex, but Savage managed to reverse the pin attempt and reach the finals.

15. Final: Junkyard Dog vs. Randy Savage
The “Macho Man” was wrestling his fourth match, while JYD was much fresher. Savage was counted out after a backdrop to the floor, giving JYD the biggest win of his WWF career. Jesse Ventura entered the ring and complained about how unfair it was that JYD didn’t wrestle as many matches as Savage.

Macho Man wins the MVP award for wrestling four times in one night, just as he would at WrestleMania IV.


Next: WrestleMania 2 

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