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Thread: The Life & Times of Bobby Heenan: The WWF Years, '84-'85

  1. #41
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Ray – I’d be happy if there was a manager walking around with $5, because at least then we’d have a manager! But yes, inflation is a bitch, haha. I am so all about managers in the modern day. I deeply want Jericho to bring it back, since he’s one of the greatest characters out there right now. If he can spur that particular revival, I’ll be the happiest guy around. Cheers for the feed, always great to hear from you!

    Mr Thirteen – After seeing them both in the ring, that Rocky/Atlas team must have SUCKED ASS for fans of actual wrestling. They do have a good look, I suppose. In fairness, the fans of this day are so invested that they’d cheer just about any jobber going against a Heenan guy. As for Atlas and his escape, I think comparing it to tender intercourse is probably as good a guess as anything. Missing Link is indeed not scary and not good. By all accounts he was a perfectly nice person, but that will only get you so far! Heenan’s ability to accentuate the positive in all his clients is a rare gift for sure. I’d love for all the young people to be forced to watch Heenan on a daily basis!! Great feed as always man, hope you enjoy this one just as much!

    Merrily we roll along…

    June ‘85
    Match of the Month

    Bobby Heenan vs. David Sammartino
    The Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    June 29th, WWF Philadelphia

    YOU!! Wait, that’s the other blonde guy.

    If you want to watch along, you can do so here:

    Our match starts around 34:00.

    It’s Heenan vs. David! Heenan takes his time getting to the ring, mic in hand. He claims Patera was supposed to wrestle here but he’s “unavailable”. More on that in a little bit. Heenan says he will show David what it is to be in the ring without his old man. Of course, Heenan makes this work the way he always does, with lots of godly body language, lots of fun stalling, and when they make contact, oh god! The bumping!! David has good strikes, too. He lays a pretty impressive beatdown on Heenan, who tries to hug the ropes and beg off, David has none of it. Heenan uses every possible trick he can think of to get ahead and somehow manages to keep the back and forth going for a while before getting backed into a corner. But Heenan has one more ace up his sleeve, or more literally down his trunks, as he produces a nasty looking foreign object and jabs David in the throat behind the refs back! Looks pretty brutal, actually. Heenan takes the opportunity to wisely vacate the area, and is counted out as David tries to recover.

    So this is essentially the conclusion of the forgotten Heenan/Sammartino feud. I’d much rather it were Bruno and Heenan, but as I’ve said many times David really isn’t bad at all, and with Heenan on the other side how can you go wrong? Heenan matches are truly a joy. I never guessed he’d be anywhere near so entertaining in the ring when I started this series. Heenan takes the beating and the loss, but David doesn’t exactly look strong. That wasn’t really a priority for WWF though, so it is what it is. In terms of the match itself, it’s another clinic by Heenan in sneaky underdog heel tactics, and he’s not working with a total dud like SD or Bellomo this time so what we get is a pure pleasure.

    Awesomeness Rating: ****½

    Of course, we do have to talk about Ken Patera for a moment. In early 1984, while he was still in AWA, Patera allegedly through a rock through a window of a closed McDonald’s after being denied service. The case apparently dragged on for quite a long time, but in the end it came back to bite him in the ass as he was sentenced to 2 years in prison for his actions. We will see him a few more times in June, but by the 29th he was behind bars. An unfortunate way for one of my favorite Family members to exit the group. First Orndorff and now Patera? Don’t leave me alone with Missing Link and Big John Studd, goddammit!

    Segment of the Month
    Bobby Heenan and two other stooges
    June 7th, WWF Tuesday Night Titans

    Vince, looking appropriately like a shoulder devil.

    If you want to watch along, you can do so here:

    Heenan, back on TNT! One of my favorite things. This time we’re starting at about 25:00. We’re on a special swanky set because this is a special episode in Las Vegas, with a much noisier crowd to boot. They sound a little directed, if you know what I mean, but what can you do?

    Heenan is wearing an amazing jacket, even more so than usual. Vince brings up the firing again. Heenan scoffs and claims he was about to fire Orndorff anyway! I love how his story changes almost weekly as he decides how he wants to spin it. Meanwhile, Vince is such a colossal dick about all this, he won’t stop rubbing it in. Ooh, they show a clip we have not seen. Heenan tries to rejoin Orndorff in his first match after the firing, and Orndorff makes him leave! That’s excellent, I can just imagine Heenan reasoning to himself that he’d assume Orndorff regretted his actions and thinking he would save Orndorff the trouble of apologizing, and just act like it didn’t happen. No luck though! We also see some clips of Heenan appearing during Orndorff matches and messing with him. Heenan really has it out for him, and why not? Back in the studio, Studd claims the Family put Orndorff in the Wrestlemania main event out of charity and it should have been him! Heenan claims he showed Orndorff everything he knew, including how to comb his hair and dress himself!! Side note, this audience is getting annoying. The way they react is so blatantly inorganic. Oh well. Vince brings up the weasel thing and Heenan goes to great lengths to show he’s not a weasel!

    We take a break, and when we come back it’s a very special segment. Heenan and Studd have set up a gong and they are going to “interview” (i.e. make fun of) audience members with the help of Jesse Ventura and fellow heel manager, “Luscious” Johnny Valiant. There’s a lot of stuff in this segment, so I’ll just mention a few moments. Ventura asks one guy if New York is filthy, and the guy gets stuck trying to deny it but not knowing how. Ventura interrogates a guy from Ohio who says his favorite wrestler is Richard Belzer. Don’t tell me smarks are a modern thing. Heenan makes fun of a bald guy. Ventura talks to a girl from Las Vegas who says she never gambles, and he says she’ll be struck by lightning for lying. Ventura interviews an Air Force Sergeant and makes fun of him for sucking up to his superiors. Heenan gives up and tells Studd to gong the whole audience! Vince asks the audience for their response and they lay the boos on thick, haha. They even sound like they mean it this time.

    This was unique and really fun. Ventura and Heenan carried the segment, as Valiant didn’t have much to add, but those two together is pretty well guaranteed to be fun. I’ve never seen something quite like the second segment here, I recommend checking it out just for the sheer experience and for some good laughs.

    Heenan Quote of the Day:

    That guy? Oh, he’s not really bald, he’s just got a REALLY wide part!

    The Rest of the Month

    Please feel free to click on the bolded headers to watch along with anything that sounds interesting!

    Heenan, on the location of Orndorff’s brains – 6/1/85 WWF

    Patera thinks about going to prison to distract himself from laughing at whatever the hell Ventura is wearing.

    It’s the Body Shop, with Jesse Ventura. I do appreciate how WWF not only mixes these promo segments up between different hosts, but keeps them short too. These guys say more in 30 seconds than a lot of guys do in 15 minutes now. Ventura questions Heenan about the bounty and Heenan is happy to confirm, and he also threatens to put a bounty on anyone who tries to help Orndorff out! It’s total war! Jesse is thinking about getting that bounty himself, which is just fine with Bobby. Patera still wants it too. Orndorff better watch out.

    Ventura: Is it true? Is there $25,000 on his head?

    Heenan: There’s $25,000 on the TAIL of Paul Orndorff, which is like his head because that’s where his brains are!

    Ken Patera (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Hulk Hogan, WWF Championship – 6/1/85 WWF Championship Wrestling

    Eye of the Tiger!! My god, that Hogan pop. It’s overwhelming. This time both Heenan and Studd are at ringside, to hopefully protect Patera from Hogan’s bullying. Patera and Hogan exchange some solid shots and Patera backs off. Patera has good punches. I’m really gonna miss him. Meanwhile, am I… enjoying Hogan more? Maybe a little? He’s just a little less insufferable in general because the crowd is SO hot for him, which is very different than him indulging himself regardless of whether the crowd buys in or not. Patera is hilarious bumping around, meanwhile. This match must be on fast forward or something though, because we get to the hulk up in seemingly no time at all, but the crowd is nuts for it. Studd gets up on the apron, Hogan goes after him and they fight until the ref throws it out.

    Awesomeness Rating: **

    HOLY SHIT, after the match Heenan is coming at Hulk with scissors!! He’s gonna cut his hair!! HOLY SHIT, Orndorff appears like a house of fire and he FUCKS HEENAN UP!! Hogan and Orndorff fight off the Family back to back! The crowd is absolutely bonkers, and so am I!! The heels flee while Orndorff and Hogan consider this new partnership they’ve formed.

    WOW, that was something. The match wasn’t much but that post match was SO HIGH ENERGY, holy crap. I love how Orndorff allied with this former enemy Hogan in a really organic way. He came out for the sole purpose of attacking Heenan, and found himself working with Hogan almost by accident, and Hogan was in a tough spot so he took a chance and didn’t get stabbed in the back. THAT is how you accomplish a character shift! The crowd absolutely loved Orndorff coming out, so he seems incredibly well positioned for this face run. I hope we still get to see him as the Heenan feud continues. Again, this match is really nothing, it was less obnoxious than their previous bout but also very short, really just a way to get to the Orndorff/Hogan team up to happen. Check out this post match segment, for sure.

    Heenan, on arriba! – 6/8/85 WWF

    Heenan is actually hosting Piper’s Pit!! Piper is on vacation. He’s got Tito Santana on and pointedly brings up his loss of the IC title to Randy Savage. He asks him if he needs money! And suggest he take out Orndorff. Tito pointedly brings up Orndorff firing him! He says he doesn’t need the money and he’s betting Heenan and his guys can’t get the job done. Heenan threatens to put a bounty on Tito as well, but Tito says he’d like to team with Orndorff and take it out of Heenan’s hide! Nice segment with a unique interaction we hadn’t seen before. I like Heenan trying to get faces to buy in on the Orndorff bounty.

    Santana: Arriba!

    Heenan: I’m talking!

    Santana: Arriba!

    Heenan: I’M TALKING, pal!! See, he’s not only dumb, he’s rude!

    Paul Orndorff vs. Barry O – 6/9/85 WWF All American

    Kicking off the show is that man everybody is talking about, Paul Orndorff, taking on Randy Orton’s estranged uncle Barry O. Paul is crazy on fire here, throwing out awesome hip tosses and arm drags and dropkicks and wow, lots of great stuff. Barry bumps around pretty well. Heenan appears at ringside! He’s watching and he’s not impressed. Orndorff is momentarily distracted but then blows up Barry’s head with a great piledriver. Orndorff is more than ready to do it to Heenan too but Heenan doesn’t get in the ring.

    Awesomeness Rating: **¼

    Heenan’s Pit, with the Missing Link – 6/15/85 WWF

    Link’s troubled history with chairs continues.

    Brain is hosting the Pit again! He compliments Bob Orton’s watch. His guest is his own client, the Missing Link, who wanders vacantly around the set. Heenan talks him up as a dangerous man(?) and tries to get him to sit down, but he just keeps wandering around. Link tries to walk off with the chair and starts headbutting it. Did a chair kill this guy’s parents or something? Link groans into the mic to close it off. There’s not much to Link but mercifully Heenan does succeed in injecting a little bit of comedy into the gimmick.

    Link, sit down. Sit down. Sit, sit down. Sit down, sit down, sit down, LINK! …Well, it doesn’t matter if he sits or not.

    The Missing Link (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Jose Luis Rivera – 6/21/85 WWF MSG
    Bobby Heenan, Adrian Adonis, & Big John Studd vs. Barry Windham, Mike Rotundo, & George Steele – 6/21/85 WWF MSG

    Link having… some kind of a problem, as Heenan offers a reassuring grope.

    Got Is this the whole Heenan Family on one card? I think that’s a first! Let’s get the Link out of the way by starting around 17:00…

    Link comes out for his match, then wanders back to the locker room. Wandering around is one of this guy’s signature moves! Heenan practically has to drag him to the ring. I honestly wonder if they gave Heenan the Link to manage as a rib. If so I’m sure he passed with flying colors, as he really does make this shtick a little funny, and it could really be bad with the wrong guy trying to pull it off. Meanwhile, Rivera sucker punches the Link! But Link quickly responds with, you guessed it, headbutts. At least Rivera is pretty fun bumping around. Link does a weird bearhug/spinebuster/headbutt… thing. That was unexpected. I should say again in fairness, Link really isn’t the worst guy I’ve seen here by any means. He’s not good, but I was expected absolute dreck. Link keeps beating Rivera up after getting an easy pin. Link almost bashes his head on the ringpost but Heenan forces him away.

    Awesomeness Rating: *¾

    Now this is more like it!! That’s honestly a pretty good line up, potentially. First real look at Adonis too. Jump to about 53:00 for the fun.

    Okerlund says George Steele has been seeing a gynecologist. I… I have no idea what to say about that. That’s not a TNT sketch I feel I need to see. There is some incredibly fun stuff in this between Heenan and George Steele, who certainly has his shtick locked down and is over like rover, as the kid’s say. Heenan does his patented crazy ring escape move, which looks like it should explode both his knees every time, and then he just keeps running! Lots of guys look good in this, actually. Windham looks phenomenal, no surprise there, he’s truly one of the best US guys in this whole era. Adonis seems like a fun personality, at one point Steele takes a bite of Adonis and he flees almost all the way to the back. He’s not yet doing the “gay” gimmick either, just a big guy who moves really well for his weight. He actually reminds me a little of Bray Wyatt in terms of physicality, which is ironic considering Bray’s dad is in this match but is nothing like him.

    Heenan eventually gets back into the action and does one of his awesome corner bumps for Windham, and takes a crazy trip to the floor again. Heenan can’t catch a break either, Steele develops a fascination with him and starts pursuing him all over the place! Adonis sneaks in and hits a sweet DDT, which Monsoon and Okerlund have no idea how to call. Did Roberts officially invent it yet? Things break down! Steele is trying to eat Heenan’s face! Steele gets flustered and pastes the ref with a chair, and it all gets thrown out. The heels flee as Albano tries to calm the Animal down. That was chaotic but extremely fun, I recommend giving it a watch for sure.

    Awesomeness Rating: ****

    The Missing Link (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Tony Garea – 6/22/85 WWF Boston
    Big John Studd (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Hulk Hogan, WWF Championship – 6/22/85 WWF Boston

    Nothing to see here… no, really…

    Damn, Boston really got the short end of this weekend. At least as far as Family members go. We start at 41:00.

    My man, Tony Garea! He’s gonna get his butt kicked by a far inferior wrestler, but still. Gorilla theorizes that Link’s hair is weird because he does too many headbutts. Then why doesn’t SD Jones’ head look like that, huh Monsoon?? Link is even more distracted than usual. For some reason Monsoon loses his shit when Link picks up a chair. Calm down there man. Link headbutts the chair. Link steals the ring steps and knocks them over, and headbutts them. This is wrestling. Garea does what he can, laying in those nice forearm shots of his, and bumps around well too. Monsoon claims Heenan left ringside entirely, and I don’t see him so I guess he might be right. Very strange. Link wins with a splash thing off the 2nd ropes. It was what it was. I wonder how Link will find his way back home without Heenan. Or maybe Heenan will be just as happy if he doesn’t come home?

    Awesomeness Rating: *½

    Big John Studd being, just, like, so freaking big, good grief.

    We start again at 1:44:00, with an interview this time.

    It’s the old gang, Heenan and Okerlund. Heenan takes some shots at the Boston Celtics and promises to show the people an actual winner, Studd. Heenan still says he’s never been slammed! Studd says the challenge is really on Hogan to beat him, not vice versa. Not feeling good about your chances, big guy.

    Okerlund: Great to see you, by the way, in the Boston area.

    Heenan: Oh, you know, hey by the way how did the Celtics do this year?

    GO: …well, I think we know…

    BH: Yeah, let ME show the people here at Boston Gardens a winner.
    We move directly on to the title match, and some EYE OF THE TIGER!!! Hogan is bandaged up from something. Gorilla says he recently had 18 stitches, ouch. Sucks if true. Studd slowly works over Hogan’s bandaged head, and Hogan starts bleeding. Studd chucks him face first into some wooden chairs, which is a pretty decent bump. Hogan also takes a big-ish bump from the apron to the concrete floor. They are making some effort, at least! Studd picks Hogan up and actually walks around with him before slamming him, which is actually quite impressive. After a while Hogan fights back and starts cheating his ass off, good grief. He takes a break from cheating to do a very, very, very long, very boring test of strength, and then cheats some more, biting and raking and using a chair from ringside, which Monsoon assures us is completely justified for some reason. Despite some promise at the start, this gets really, really booooring. Studd lays down some lousy offense. Oh my god, the bearhug. I don’t know how Hogan is surviving, I very nearly went to sleep myself. This. Won’t. End. Ouch, Hogan slams Studd on the floor. I think Studd gets counted out. No money for you Hogan, you cheater. A few good things but mostly very boring. Heenan also left ringside immediately so he couldn’t even add anything. I actually think Boston might have some weird regulation because it’s not the first time this has happened in that arena. Boston, get with the damn program!

    Awesomeness Rating: *

    Heenan’s Pit, with Big John Studd – 6/22/85 WWF

    Heenan is guest hosting the Pit one more time, and he’s having his own man on of course. This time it’s Studd, who claims he forced Andre out of wrestling. Studd demands a match with Orndorff! I’d actually like to see that, considering Orndorff is about 20 times better than Hogan in the ring. Heenan is pleased by Studd’s initiative. Studd says Orndorff was an embarrassment to the Family. Heenan taunts Orndorff and any other babyface and urges anyone, even Fabulous Moolah, to take out Orndorff and collect the bounty. Too bad Orndorff’s not a struggling female wrestler, then Moolah could just pimp him out or blackball him.

    Studd: I have a message for you Orndorff, cause I know you’re out there listening to this… if you EVER lay a hand on MY manager Bobby the Brain Heenan, I’m gonna tear your head OFF!

    Heenan: You hear that, Mr Orndorff? And that goes for Hogan, and any of the likes of you, those kinds of human beings that think they can get away with doing something to me… it can‘t be done!!

    Paul Orndorff vs. Mike Moore – 6/23/85 WWF All American
    The Missing Link (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Aldo Marino – 6/23/85 WWF All American

    We kick off All American with a very hot Paul Orndorff!! He’s showing off some really nice technical ability against his surly jobber opponent. He’s got so much PEP in his step, dammit! Paul does a Side Russian Legsweep and the commentators don’t even know what to call it. Moore is a pretty big guy actually but Orndorff manhandles him. Moore’s actually not bad either, he puts up a fun fight. He rakes the eyes! Crowd breaks out into a big “weasel” chant, and even though we don’t see him on camera, the commentators confirm Heenan has appeared. Nice piledriver puts Moore away in a really fun semi-squash. Orndorff dares Heenan to come to the ring. We finally see Heenan, who has parked himself at the entrance. He shouts at Orndorff before leaving in disgust. Orndorff is unfazed. I like this feud a lot, it’s very heated and feels unpredictable, as Orndorff could get attacked at any time but refuses to back down.

    Awesomeness Rating: ***

    Our second match is at 8:00, and it’s a lot less interesting.

    Missing Link’s shtick doesn’t really change, he’s still weird and wander-y. Lots of headbutts. Link no sells Aldo’s strikes. He headbutts Aldo down. He can only do headbutts I guess, but he’s still better at them than SD Jones, I can’t deny it. Link wins with ease, obviously. Link continues pin Marino after the match and Heenan has to pull him off to get him out of the ring.

    Awesomeness Rating: *

    Heenan, on Canadian football positions – 6/29/85 WWF Philadelphia

    Basically me, all through this series.

    Our segment occurs at about 1:21:00.

    Kal Rudman is interviewing Bobby Heenan about Studd’s upcoming match with George Wells, who apparently played Canadian football. Heenan makes fun of Wells six ways from Sunday and totally cracks up Rudman. He challenges Wells to try to slam Studd and makes fun of him some more. He predicts championship gold for Studd and disaster for Orndorff in the near future. Another fun promo, and Heenan does not actually join Studd for the match, which is fine with me. I’ve had plenty of Studd for one month.

    Wells is the only man who played three positions in Canada. Two of them were end guard and tackle, he sat at the end of the bench, he guarded the water bucket and he tackled anyone who came near it.

    And so we conclude another month, with a better idea of this new Family. Unfortunately two members are Studd and Missing Link, and they aren’t exactly blowing the doors off with their ability. Adonis seems promising but he’s almost a tertiary Family member at this point, the focus is clearly not on him. Perhaps it is this Family disorganization that has left Orndorff largely unharmed up to this point, as he has held his ground against Heenan’s threat and shown sufficient skill to discourage potential bounty hunters. He’s also seemingly found an unlikely ally in Hogan himself, who has once again stymied Heenan in the title picture as well, having disposed of Studd multiple times and the other top Family contenders now out of the picture. Can Heenan rebound from these setbacks? You bet your ass he can, but the question is when and how. I, for one, can’t wait to see it!

    That’s it for today, humanoids. I’ll be back soon with the next entry, until then don’t let the ham-and-eggers get you down, and stay awesome!

  2. #42
    Hey man, your opinions on each of these wrestlers really give this thing life. I really liked the work of Windham and Rotundo as a team in Florida and WWF back then. Adonis in both his gimmicks was a real force in my opinion. Real snug, tough heel. I remember watching an old VHS of Hogan slamming Studd on the floor, seemed iconic back then, knowing Studd's gimmick of not being slammed. But yeah I probably wouldn't want to see that one now. Studd reminds me some of Braun, except Studd is a little more into himself. Reading about Hogan, Orndorf, and Heenen reminds me of how lucky Hogan was to have a great supporting cast and meaningful stories.

    "Orndorff is pile drived and momentarily distracted as Barry blows up with great head ." This was originally how Pat Patterson planned this to go down, but apparently Barry O refused, though we all know what the O stands for in his last name.

    Good read, my man. I really liked this time in WWF, even though it was before my fandom. It still hadn't gotten too cartoony yet.

  3. #43
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Benny Butts – Good to hear from you man! One of my biggest goals is to make sure this isn’t too dry, so I’m glad it’s working out that way. I am a crazy huge fan of Windham in general, his team with Rotundo was a bit of a blank spot for me but it’s cool to see a little bit of them now. I love some love for Adonis, he’s gained a tremendous amount of ground in my mind through the series. He’s a lot more than that guy who worked a super uncomfortable gay gimmick that one time. Braun would eat Studd’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner if it came to it, but yeah there is some physical similarity there. Hogan had HUGE help from those around him in getting to the point he got, lucky for him he was at the top of WWF’s movement to steal all the readymade top guys from across the country. Unbelievable how stacked the company is at times, and they don’t even care that much about the in ring product!

    I’m dying at that line. I legitimately thought I typed that for a second as I rewrote that line a couple times. Barry O indeed!

    It’s so true that WWF is really not cartoonish at all yet, besides guys like Missing Link anyway. It’s way closer to NWA now than it would be 10 years later with clowns and pirates and garbage men. Not that you’d ever confuse the two, but still it feels very “legitimate” a lot of the time, as far as that goes. Love hearing from you, when did you start watching anyway? We’ll probably start getting to your childhood memories at some point in this series!

    And now, back to the show…

    July ‘85
    Segment(s) of the Month

    Bobby Heenan and the quest for Randy Savage
    July 6th, WWF Championship Wrestling

    The stars are all coming out!

    If you want to watch along, you can do so here:

    It’s time for Randy Savage! Awesome news, in my book. Vince says this is Savage’s debut, and he’s taking on Aldo Marino. Thinking this might not be your night, Aldo. As the match gets started, in a super cool moment just about every manager in the company appears at ringside. We’ve got Heenan, Mr Fuji, Freddie Blassie, Jimmy Hart, and Johnny Valiant. I feel compelled to mention it’s the weasel chants that start up when they appear! Less than a year in the company and already essentially the top heel. God, this man is awesome.

    Meanwhile, Savage is just picking apart Marino, and showing off for the managers who are very appreciative and excited about the prospect of him as a company. He not only hits that great elbow drop, but he hits two just because he can. What a man! The managers rush to congratulate Savage and schmooze with him. Savage is so pleased with himself that he beats up Marino some more after the match!

    This is part one of a storyline that seems like it will be incredibly fun. Managers competing over a client is a fantastic story as it provides some unique interactions and instantly skyrockets the stock of the talent. WWF really started off on the right foot here, can’t wait to see what they’ve got. Meanwhile, the squash itself was perfectly fun and a very nice introduction to Savage.

    Awesomeness Rating: **¼

    Segment(s) of the Month
    Bobby Heenan and the quest for Randy Savage
    July 19th, WWF Tuesday Night Titans

    Hey, I’d bid on him.

    If you want to watch along, you can do so here:

    We start at about 26:00.

    In this WONDERFUL segment, Bobby Heenan, Freddie Blassie, and Jimmy Hart have come to TNT to try to procure Savage as a client. Heenan says he’s the most sought after manager and Blassie and Hart laugh at him because Orndorff fired him. Heenan blows off Jimmy and makes fun of Blassie’s men, Sheik & Volkoff, for losing the tag titles. Heenan says he will make Savage rich, shopping every day in Beverly Hills. He wants to sign him before anyone else gets to speak! Jimmy Hart won’t be passed over though, he says he can save Savage money because he’s very cheap!! Jimmy wants him to come shop at K-Mart!! Ok, that was honestly hilarious. Points to you, Jimmy Hart. Heenan makes fun of him and Savage likes Heenan’s sense of humor! Blassie says he’ll make Savage a champion and flashes some cash at him. Heenan says he can get him a credit card instead of cash, haha! Savage shows off his physique for the managers. Blassie says he’ll outbid anybody and says he won’t take any payment until Savage is world champion!!! Heenan presses his card into Savage’s hand, but Savage doesn’t make a decision just yet.

    This was a PHENOMENAL segment, you simply MUST watch it. WWF couched a tremendous amount of talent in their manager’s division, but they rarely got to interact because they were almost all heels. This is a fantastic exception to that rule, and it makes you wish they had way more segments like this. Every manager brought something distinct to the table and showed a ton of charisma in their own way. Obviously we know who Savage ends up with, but the idea of him with any of these guys, especially Heenan, is truly awesome to think of. Why couldn’t Savage have a valet AND a manager? Anyway, WATCH THIS SEGMENT!!

    Heenan Quote of the Day:

    Heenan: Savage, do you wanna go shopping in Beverly Hills, or do you wanna go to K-Mart for the Blue Light Special?

    Jimmy Hart: Go to K-Mart! Save your money, baby!

    Segment(s) of the Month
    Bobby Heenan and the quest for Randy Savage
    July 30th, WWF

    The Big Four (and Johnny Valiant)

    If you want to watch along, you can do so here:

    After a month of build, the big moment is finally here! Savage has gathered the five biggest heel managers in the company in the ring, and it’s quite a line up. I make fun of Johnny V but even he has something to offer. Savage goes down the line and thanks Fuji for his deviousness, Heenan for his wisdom and teachings, Valiant for his training thoughts, Blassie for showing him visions of wealth, and… well Jimmy Hart just freaks him out, haha. Savage says only one person can manage the height of Macho Madness, and calls this a “big moment”. He’s not wrong! He brings out a figure who would become synonymous with his career, the first lady of wrestling, Miss Elizabeth! The commentators are suitable impressed and in fact quite taken with her right off the bat. Jimmy Hart tries to hold the ropes open for her, and Savage won’t let him! That’s a great clue to how their relationship will develop. Meanwhile, Heenan isn’t even mad, he just admires Elizabeth. One of the key parts of Savage’s act is now in place, and I can’t wait to see more of the guy.

    Can I just say, what a great 1 month angle this was? I included the three main parts, and each one of them hit it out of the park. Savage would have impressed regardless because he’s just that good and stands out by a mile in the landscape of the WWF, but this made him out to be a huge deal from day 1 and set up him up with a money character and storyline to play off of for years to come. I still can’t help but dream about a Heenan Family with Savage as the crown jewel, but of course what we do end up getting is nearly as good. Great stuff here, just great.

    Match of the Month
    Adrian Adonis (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Jose Luis Rivera
    Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
    July 13th, WWF MSG

    If you want to watch along, you can do so here:

    We start right around 38:00.

    Our first real look at Adonis in a singles setting! I’ve been looking forward to this. Adrian is dressed in a lot of leather as he comes in, but he’s not yet doing the full on gay gimmick. He also has a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist. The commentators theorize that it holds the Orndorff bounty money, which is a pretty nice touch if so.

    We get into the match, which is much more competitive than a regular TV match since they like to give these guys room to breathe on these arena shows like MSG. Adonis immediately shows himself to be extremely slick, not only does he move fantastically for a big guy, but he’s also extremely technical in a way you don’t see much of in the WWF of this era. As the match rolls on, Heenan invades the commentary booth and basically interviews himself to put over Adonis and the Family!! Awesome. The match is a little slow in places, but for the most part Adonis is really impressing me. He’s got some unique offense, including another very nice DDT, which is referred to as a “brainbuster” on commentary. Adonis methodically pulverizes Rivera until he makes a comeback attempt. They work a nice hope spot before Adonis throws all his weight on the guy to smoosh him back down. NICE looking bulldog/elbow drop thing from Adonis, before he slaps on an interesting sleeper variation and makes Rivera pass.

    As usual in months where Heenan doesn’t wrestle on TV, it was a little tricky to find something really good to feature here. However, I’m pretty happy with this selection. The finish was never in doubt but, like many of the jobbers of this era, Rivera has got plenty of skill and working together they put on something quite enjoyable here. If you’ve never seen Adonis before or only think of him in a bad light, then I recommend checking this out to see a really nice selection of the stuff he could do.

    Awesomeness Rating: ***¼

    The Rest of the Month

    Please feel free to click on the bolded headers to watch along with anything that sounds interesting!

    Heenan visits Parts Unknown! – 7/5/85 WWF TNT

    Parts Unknown. No, really.

    We start at about 25:00.

    Heenan is back on TNT! They sure love to have him on, and with very good cause.

    For some reason a graphic of Ken Patera is on the “up next” advertisement. Patera is now long gone, but Vince talks about him anyway like he was still around. Heenan comes out to boos. Vince gets the band to play “Pop Goes the Weasel” and Alfred Hayes thinks it’s the funniest damn thing he’s ever seen in his whole life. Babyface Vince is still a low key asshole. Heenan says Vince is a troublemaker, and how! They show a clip of Patera massacring some dope while the crowd chants “Orndorff”. Heenan applauds Patera’s skills and says it’s only blind luck that Orndorff is not yet put on the shelf. He wonders if he should put a bounty on the band. He’s really on tonight! This is another one I highly recommend checking out. Heenan talks up the Missing Link and says he “doesn’t need skills”, HAHAHA. Heenan insists he can control Link. They watch a clip of Heenan failing to control Link, and Heenan admits even he sometimes has a little trouble, but says no one can be prepared to face the Link because he’s so unpredictable. Vince claims they have simulated Link’s hometown. We are going to Parts Unknown!!! Guys, I love TNT so much.

    Holy shit, Parts Unknown is a big cheesy looking cave with something roasting over a fake fire. I feel like we’ve stepped onto a real life Scooby Doo set. This has got to be where the Dungeon of Doom set up shop years later. Vince tries to interview Link and asks him how much he pays Heenan. Heenan claims one of his jobs is to “turn his meat” and claims he eats barn owls!!! Vince tries to ask Link about the color of his face but he gets freaked out about a microphone in his face and retreats deeper into the cave. That was tremendously silly and fun.

    They go back to the studio and Vince says next week Ventura will host the program, and Ventura appears to kick Vince out of his desk. They are arguing about whether Ventura wants to steal Vince’s pencil or not, when Heenan appears with a flashlight. He can’t find the Link! As credits roll he hilariously starts turning over furniture and such. TNT is the best thing every you guys.

    Heenan: Oh, so they just all happened to know how to play “Pop Goes the Weasel” all at once?

    McMahon: Well, I think any 5 year old knows how to play “Pop Goes the Weasel”.

    Heenan: I’m not 5, and I don’t know how to play it!

    Heenan, on having fun at parties – 7/7/85 WWF All American

    High five?

    We’ve got Heenan at about 37:00!

    Heenan is backstage, and takes some time to make fun of the interviewer. He was doing it long before the Rock, and dare I say he did it better? He puts over his guys, and also mentions a newly arrived Terry Funk! He makes fun of some of the faces, and then promises a Heenan Family member will be champion by the end of the year! Mostly good for the comedy, some very good lines there. Quick promo that goes down easy!

    You slap around the Missing Link, he’s gonna LIKE that, now he’s a fun guy at parties. He’s like you at a party, but you’re probably the kind of guy who hangs around the room with the coats and memorizes the labels.

    The Missing Link (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Rick McGraw – 7/13/85 WWF MSG


    We jump in at about 17:00.

    Link has a serious chair fetish, I don’t know what it is. He’s fascinated by them, or he hates them, or something? He sure can’t leave them alone, that’s for sure. McGraw actually comes after Link here with some good strikes! He’s actually getting offense! Ohhh, but Link blasts him with a headbutt. To his credit, McGraw is a good bumper too. Link wins with headbutts, of course. Link headbutts a chair like mad after the match. Link wants to bash his head on the ringpost. Monsoon says LET HIM DO IT, which is pretty damn cold, Gorilla.

    Awesomeness Rating: *¾

    The Missing Link (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Jim Young – 7/13/85 WWF Championship Wrestling

    Missing Link, as confused as anyone about why he is being featured so prominently.

    I would complain about having to watch so many Link matches, but in all honestly they are often better than the Studd matches I had to watch before, so I’m just going to count this as a win. Vince tells us not to adjust our sets when looking at the Link. Thanks Vince. Link wins a very short squash with ease, before I even have time to write a comment about how Jim Young looks like Kenny Omega’s estranged father. The fans chant “weasel”. Link beats the guy up a bit more after the match. Vince says Heenan is a favorite for manager of the year! Damn straight, Vince.

    Awesomeness Rating: *

    Adrian Adonis (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Gary Starr – 7/20/85 WWF Championship Wrestling

    The Brain makes a mental note to not be around when that collar explodes from too much neck fat.

    Adonis still has the briefcase on his wrist, but now it says “Relax with Trudi” on the side, so… maybe it isn’t the money? No official explanation is forthcoming just yet, so we’ll see. Heenan helps him remove all his entrance gear, including the briefcase, and we are ready to go. Adonis has this move he does at the start of every match so far, a cool looking leg takedown that I really dig. Adonis is pretty amped up, maybe because he has less time to work in this TV setting. He knocks the guy around a bit and locks him in his sleeper, which is called “The Big Apple”, I think because he’s supposed to be like a New York degenerate or something? It’s over pretty quick but Adonis’ fun offense makes it work well.

    Awesomeness Rating: **

    The Missing Link (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Salvatore Bellomo – 7/27/85 WWF Philadelphia
    Big John Studd (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. George Steele – 7/27/85 WWF Philadelphia


    Double helping of Heenan. Our first course starts at about 26:00.

    I really don’t understand how Bellomo shows up about 10 years later as a centerpiece of very, very, very early ECW. He’s not even good in ’85, which is ostensibly his prime. Anyway, he’s here to fight the Missing Link, and Philly already hates him, because by god this town was never not smark central. If they had held Frank Gotch vs. Georg Hackenschmidt in 1911 in Philly, they probably would have cheered the evil German. Or maybe they are just aware that Bellomo sucks. We do get a nice round of weasel chants, so that’s all good. The bell rings and Link jumps out of the ring immediately and grabs a chair! Heenan wants to stop him and Link thinks about headbutting him for revenge! Heenan tells Link to get going, and he tries to walk into the crowd, which I admit is pretty funny. Finally we get to it, and I immediately wish we hadn’t as Bellomo lays on some pretty shitty strikes. Link works over Bellomo’s… knee, with his head? God this is a weird gimmick. Yeah, Bellomo is pretty bad, and Link mercifully wins. Not good.

    Awesomeness Rating: ¾*

    Our next dose of Heenan is at 1:36:00, but it doesn’t look too promising. Studd vs. Steele, oh boy.

    The ring announcer almost announces Heenan as “The Weasel”, and Heenan is so mad he almost hits him! Steele is running without his manager, Captain Lou Albano, tonight. Too bad, some shtick between him and Heenan might have really lightened this up. Steele is a very hairy man. Heenan counsels Studd to let the ref handle Steele if he tries to go crazy. Steele threatens Heenan so Studd can get a cheap shot in, but Steele bites Studd. Big weasel chants. Steele’s flails around weirdly and eats a turnbuckle. This is wrestling? Steele ignores all the rules but I guess it’s ok, because his character is, what, too dumb to know the rules? I actually don’t have a problem with Steele or his shtick, but this is the blind leading the blind, neither of these guys came to work worth a damn. Heenan puts this match out of it’s misery when Steele goes for a slam, rushing the ring and attacking Steele. Heenan throws turnbuckle stuffing at Steele before the heels retreat. Weird match, and not in a good way. Philly definitely got screwed over as far as Family matches go.

    Awesomeness Rating: ½*

    Heenan & Adonis, on Piper’s Pit – 7/27/85 WWF

    Adonis, not yet “gay” but definitely thinking about the Village People.

    Piper is back in the Pit and he’s waiting for Heenan. He mentions Orndorff is wrestling later on the card and the crowd pops HUGE. Wow, Orndorff is so crazy over as part of this feud. If WWE had someone as good as Heenan for Roman Reigns to turn on, they’d probably have the new Hulk Hogan on their hands. Heenan and Adonis appear! Heenan explains they have a separate case for the bounty money, and Adonis says his case is a “secret”. Hm well then. Piper is very titillated by this secret. Adonis is a good talker, by the way, on top of everything. He’s quickly reinforced my instinct that he is by far the best guy in the Family now that Orndorff and Patera are out. Adonis says everyone misunderstands him and always tries to take advantage of him, possibly hinting at the upcoming “gay” gimmick. He puts over Heenan as a great manager. Piper, for his part, hints he may want to collect that bounty money tonight. I don’t think he succeeded, but I love that these teases are still out there!

    So, in July, Heenan didn’t have a major focus, mainly working to establish his newer clients in Link and Adonis and rebuild the Family, while continuing to scout new prospects like Randy Savage. Perhaps he was relying on getting Savage in the fold to go after Orndorff and Hogan again, perhaps not. Either way, he’s back to square one, as I doubt Link or even Adonis will have a real shot at either of those two heavy hitters. Heenan is clearly in need of a new ace in the hole, but where will he find out? I have a feeling we are going to find out soon…

    That’s it for today, humanoids. I’ll be back soon with the next entry, until then don’t let the ham-and-eggers get you down, and stay awesome!

  4. #44
    Weed General D.O.N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Hey, man. Been really strapped for time lately so I haven't been feeding like I usually do. But don't mistake that for me not following along. His series has Ben tremendous and you are involved in two of my frontrunners for series of the year. Absolutely brilliant work with this Mizzie!

  5. #45
    What else is on? JSR-13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Higher Definition
    Wait- how in the world did I fall so far behind so quickly? You musta snuck in some entries when I wasn't looking!

    Conclusion to Heenan/Sammartino: it's funny- I now think that David may have benefited from WWE's modern approach of changing famous last names and somewhat ignoring generational ties. I agree that David wasn't bad at all, but man looking at what dad accomplished, the boy had a major hill to climb.

    Heenan on Orndoff: Classic heel/Heenan stuff saying he was going to fire him anyway. There's that range on display once again, as he was JUST shown being furious over the firing not too long ago.

    In all the awesomeness that is Heenan, am I allowed to throw praise in the direction of the Fink, who is always "thrilled" to be introducing Heenan and his charges? "Introducing first... the... manager... Bobby... the Brain... Heenan... and ... Big John Studd." Almost forgot how great the Fink was with his announcing that just added so much to the product without us realizing it.

    I dunno man... I think it may have been the hotness of the crowd that convinced you that Hogan was doing something spectacular. Looked like the same old stuff in that Patera match. But old Ken was selling like a rep at a cable company for Hulk, so that helped as well.

    LOL- Monsoon Logic: headbutts causing male pattern baldness. Mystery solved.

    Surprised to see how good of a promo guy Adonis was. I always heard that he was much better than the gay fat guy gimmick WWE gave him.

    Still got some catching up to do, but as long as you don't keep sneaking in entries behind my back, I should be good!
    Don't Touch That Dial!

  6. #46
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Managers hold a special place in my heart, maybe it's because I've had the chance to watch my buddy become one on the indy scene, and I know how hard he's worked at it. Maybe it's just because I think that a good manager really adds to the presentation of their client in a special way. I don't know, but I really miss this era. The idea of managers trying to line up to land Savage sounds like a tremendous thing, it's part of what was missing from the "Superstar Shakeup" recently with WWE. There was no transparency, there was no, this guy was traded for this guy. There was no "he wanted this, but we countered with this". All of that is important, and it makes the stars feel like a bigger deal.

    Hell, just look at the difference that having Maryse has made for The Miz. Now I'll freely admit that the leap he's taken recently has been him going out on more limbs and making more things happen, but at the end of the day, having her by his side gave him an air of credibility that was missing. And Maryse isn't even a great manager. Look at Heyman and Lesnar, they're synonymous with one another. You're telling me that American Alpha couldn't benefit from a mouthpiece? The fact is that managers when deployed properly make their charges feel more important, and it's sorely missing these days.

    It also amazes me how different the climate is in terms of political correctness even just 30 years ago. Some of the things Heenan says about Santana would have him legit suspended nowadays.
    Read my latest. That's not a request.


  7. #47
    I did not grow up on 80's WWF but in the 90's and watched coliseum home videos and traded for videos before the You tube revolution. I've seen the videos with Savage and the managers. Bobby really stole the show there and there was some stiff competetion. Fred Blassie was nothing to sneeze at. Adonis and Piper may have been better if it was pre-gay gimmick when they fought. Though, Adonis did alright as a fat old lady. Adonis could talk. I'd like to watch more of him and Ventura as an AWA team on a rainy day. Well on the mic anyway. Jesse sucked so badly in the ring in comparison to his former partner. I feel for Bobby Heenan keeping track of the missing link. I've had to manage some real morons on the job, ya know the kind of people who walk into the crowd and do weird shit with chairs.

    “Bobby claims one of his jobs is to ‘beat his meat’”

    Hope he got paid well for that. Good series, my man. Great idea, too!

  8. #48
    What else is on? JSR-13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Higher Definition
    HA! Caught up before you got to sneak some more in!

    I watched the Orndoff match and saw a LOT of Bobby Roode in him. I think this is my first time seeing someone in the 80's keep his heel edge as a face, because he was very aggressive in that match.

    Also took time to view the "Parts Unknown" video and my goodness, I was laughing as soon as Heenan appeared. I love how he dissed Alfred before he sat down. His body language alone cuts better promos than most people do verbally. The Missing Link stuff was weird though. Sorry, Brain. Not even YOU can help Missing Link be any more interesting. "He doesn't need skills?" I knew it! I'm going to harass Eva Marie on twitter into letting me manage her. "She doesn't need talent!"

    As always, Mizzie- this is some amazing work. It just doesn't get any better than "vintage" Heenan.
    Don't Touch That Dial!

  9. #49
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Donny – No worries my man, glad you’re able to keep reading!

    Mr Thirteen – Honestly David would have probably been better off hiding his last name from Vince, who was keen to distance himself from their recent past as a mere territory. I think Hogan doing something “spectacular” is a pretty generous reading of what I said. I still think he’s more palatable in some of these matches than he is in most other eras, when he’s not acting like an enormous bully at least. I’m quickly becoming a fan of Adonis myself. No promises about sneaking in entries, I’m hoping to up the pace on this in the near future! Great feedback as always man, appreciate it.

    Ray – Managers are special to me as well! They really are just so awesome. Imagine Heenan running around the WWF offices trying to make deals for his guys to be sent to the same brand as him or something. Could be amazing. And yes, Heenan is not at all afraid to include the stereotypes of the day to get more heat. At least we can say with confidence that he’s only playing the heel, because he spins around and praises a guy to the heavens if they turn heel regardless of race or creed! Thanks for stopping by, always great to have you.

    Benny Butts – You could have fooled me man, I would have bought it if you told me you were a Backlund era guy after that latest LU column. Trading tapes is a world I never got to know, I can only imagine. Freddie Blassie is INDEED nothing to sneeze at! And amen to Ventura sucking ass in the ring, to the point that it’s shocking compared to how good a wrestling mind he obviously had on commentary. Thanks for the feed man, always appreciated.

    Mr Fourteen – Glad to have you caught up! I actually completely agree on the Orndorff/Roode comparison, and it’s not just their taste in robes. Glad you checked out the Parts Unknown vid, that one was particularly hilarious to me. I will now always imagine any guy billed from there squatting in the cave with Missing Link. Thanks for the double feed, awesome stuff!

    August ‘85
    Match of the Month

    Big John Studd (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Andre the Giant
    Maple Leaf Garden, Toronto, Canada
    August 18th, WWF Maple Leaf

    If you want to watch along, you can do so here:

    Our match starts right around 39:00.

    You read that right, the ‘Mania match that I panned the shit out of is now the Match of the Month. Was it just a very slow month? Or did they actually deliver this time? Let’s find out together!

    Andre is back! After a three month break from the ring, Andre has recently made his return. The crowd is pumped to see him, but you know they still make time for a big weasel chant. Andre has some great expressions here, it’s an underrated aspect of his game. Dude really knew what to do with himself, if you take my meaning. Andre is ready to exact a little more vengeance on the men who shaved him!

    And MAN did that time out of the ring do him some good! Andre is looking FAR more energetic here than he did at ‘Mania. So does Studd for that matter, though I have no idea what his excuse is. Studd gets a chance to do some fun heel stuff that he normally can’t, like begging off when he gets overpowered. Andre is really going at him here, laying in with some nice looking chops and pulling at the hair, because you just know he hasn’t forgotten about that. In a wonderful moment, Studd tries to pull Andre’s hair but it’s too short!! Poetic justice at its finest!

    God, Andre really knows what to do with his weight. Think about how “big” he feels compared to, say, Big Show. They really aren’t that different in actual size, but Andre feels so much bigger because of the way he carries himself. Andre is really dominating this one, to the point where Studd has to bail to the (raised!) ramp. Heenan flashes some covert hand signals to Studd, which is a funny little touch. Studd regroups and comes in with some huge elbow shots, and I’m just jaw on the floor shocked at how much better this is than the ‘Mania match. They even end up down on the mat at one oing and do some honest to god technical wrestling!!! What is this??? It’s weird but I totally dig it! So bizarre but I like it?

    Just when I think the match is done shocking me, everything goes to hell! Heenan jumps up on the apron and gives Studd a pair of scissors! Holy shit, what are they planning to cut off this time? Andre blocks Studd’s attack and bites his arm!! Heenan tries to rush in and get his hands on the scissors but Andre knocks the stuffing out of him! ANDRE SLAMS STUDD AS THE CROWD GOES NUTS!!! Andre grabs the scissors!! He’s closing in! KING KONG BUNDY APPEARS OUT OF NOWHERE!!! He clobbers Andre!!! The match is long forgotten at this point. Studd tackles Andre and holds him down as Bundy starts splashing him over and over again!! This is awesome!!! Heenan shows off his vindictive side as he Irish whips Bundy to give him more momentum on his splashes! There’s no way Heenan can make a difference but he just feels the need to do something physical, I love it.

    Eventually a bunch of midcarders appear to save Andre, and holy shit Bundy and Studd start beating the shit out of them too!! Only for a little while though, then the big men fight their way to the ramp and head for the back.

    Holy shit, that was AWESOME. Not only was the match seriously excellent, far beyond what I thought these guys were capable of at this point in their careers, but that post match segment was legitimately amazing. Bundy joins the Family!! This is the ace in the hole Heenan has been looking for! Absolutely amazing storytelling. Andre is able to get back to his feet at long last but he is selling like a goddam champion, he looks like he can barely move without feeling pain. Check this out in full, you will NOT regret it!

    Awesomeness Rating: ****

    Segment of the Month
    Bobby Heenan on iconography
    August ‘85, WWF

    If you want to watch along, you can do so here:

    I’m not sure how much later this is after that last segment, but I think it’s not too long. We see clips of the match and the attack, and then we cut to post attack interviews. Andre is first, and though he’s in a lot of pain he’s still promising to come back and get a fresh round of revenge on Heenan and his men. At least I think that’s what he’s saying? Jesus, he is hard to understand. He’s going to recruit Lou Albano to his team to help deal with Heenan.

    Switch to Okerlund and Heenan. Heenan is in top form, swearing he only brought the scissors as a “symbol of victory” and it was Andre who went crazy and lost all regard for the rules. He claims Andre never slammed Studd, just hip tossed him. Amazing. Heenan brings in Bundy and they have a newspaper article with a picture of Bundy splashing Andre, which they are very proud of. Okerlund objects to their version of the story and Heenan threatens him. They insist on their honesty and laugh about what happened to Andre. Totally fun promo and you can feel the confidence has just seeped back into Heenan now that he has a fresh monster in his back pocket. I am optimistic for Bundy to at least be better than Studd in the ring, and he showed himself to be a perfectly solid promo here. I’m excited about this upgrade to the Family, I want to see more!

    Heenan Quote of the Day:

    Heenan: I jumped on the apron, took a pair of scissors out of my pocket, JUST as a symbol of victory! Just waived them in the air and showed them to Studd!

    Okerlund: Just as a symbol???

    Heenan: OF VICTORY, yes!

    The Rest of the Month

    Please feel free to click on the bolded headers to watch along with anything that sounds interesting!

    The Missing Link (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Jimmy Londos – 8/3/85 WWF Championship Wrestling

    Don’t you give me that green faced look, mister!

    Bah, and of course I’ve got to go back for more Missing Link after that Bundy high. Ah well, at least it’s a TV squash. Heenan has trouble getting Link to the ring again. Londos tries to knock him down with dropkicks, Link throws him into the corner and HOLY SHIT THE ENTIRE TOP ROPE COLLAPSES!! Seriously, holy shit!! Almost as amazingly, Vince barely sells this on commentary, merely comments that Link is “strong”. Holy jesus, Link starts beating Londos to death with the pieces of the turnbuckle. Vince ignores this literal murder while he talks to Hillbilly Jim on commentary. Vince, you hillbilly loving jerk. Link wins and Vince barely notices, jeez. Link is still trying to murder Londos with the loose ropes after the match. I must admit, I did not expect to find the template to the famous Cena/Umaga match on a random ’85 episode of Championship Wrestling. The camera lingers on a fan in a clown wig who makes faces. Link picks up the wooden ring steps and headbutts it until it actually dents, jesus god. You may want to watch this for the sheer insanity of it, although the action itself is still pretty poor.

    Awesomeness Rating: *¼

    Adrian Adonis, Big John Studd, & The Missing Link (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Tony Garea, Joe Mirto, & Matt Samson – 8/10/85 WWF Championship Wrestling

    All that talent and Heenan’s stuck babysitting this guy.

    Hey, the Family is all here! That’s kind of cool, even if it’s far from the best line up they’ve ever fielded. Heenan does the briefcase gimmick with Adonis, and we still don’t know for sure what’s in there. Vince questions teaming Link with anyone, which is fair, but how would you know Vince, you’re too busy talking to hillbillies! We get to the action and once again I am impressed a lot by Tony Garea, who busts out a great running dropkick in the early going. A big weasel chant goes out as Adonis and Garea show themselves to be the clear standouts of the match. Adonis and Studd work together and hint they may actually have a bit of chemistry on top of that. Before long it’s mostly about pulverizing the jobbers in fun ways, but I actually quite enjoy that when it’s done well, and it’s done pretty well here. Studd does a crazy backbreaker submission I’ve never seen him do before and the scrub gives up. Studd holds on a bit while Adonis punches the jobber while he’s upside down! Now I almost want to see an Adonis/Studd team do the rounds for a while. We shall see. Lots of fun here, I recommend it much more than most of these squashes.

    Awesomeness Rating: ***¼

    The Missing Link (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Tony Garea – 8/10/85 WWF MSG
    Big John Studd (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Uncle Elmer – 8/10/85 WWF MSG

    If you pick up another chair, so help me…

    We start at about 35:00.

    Gorilla and Lord Alfred pity Tony Garea. I believe in him! Naturally, the weasel chants come out to play. Garea is a great seller, but also a great striker and he’s giving this his best. Garea gets some offense and Link seems lost! He’s reaching out for Heenan’s help! Garea is really twisting him around, and Link is actually selling a lot, which shocks the commentators. Sadly, Link comes back with two moves and wins. Link looks unhappy that he got beat up. Link looks like he wants to take out Heenan! Heenan barely shouts him down. One of the better Link matches, as far as that goes.

    Awesomeness Rating: **½

    There was real love in the Heenan Family.

    Next we jump to about 50:00.

    Oh god. Why did it have to be Uncle Elmer. Apparently Hillbilly Jim was injured so he is managing his hillbilly relative Elmer for a while. Studd kicks Elmer as he very fatly rolls around the ring. Elmer wrestles like a barrel of molasses. This is awful. Elmer makes a short, terrible comeback, and Heenan puts the match out of its misery with a run in. Thank you, Heenan! Jim jumps in and all four guys brawl. Heenan tries valiantly to bump and sell for Elmer, but there’s only so much you can do. The heels bail in the end and the hillbillies dance to hick music. They are square dancing. Alfred Hayes loses his fucking mind over this. Maybe Ray was right to hate that guy.

    Awesomeness Rating: ½*

    So obviously the big news is BUNDY is now on the scene with Heenan! That’s a partnership that will go a long ways, and I’m excited to see it. Obviously Andre is now on the backfoot, and I can only imagine Hogan and Orndroff will have to watch their backs as well. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

    That’s it for today, humanoids. I’ll be back soon with the next entry, until then don’t let the ham-and-eggers get you down, and stay awesome!

  10. #50
    Sometimes, I hear Hogan speak on podcasts like he didn't have a good cast, back then, like he carried everything. Orndorf, Heenen, Adonis, and Bundy and the stories they were given gave Hogan such life. This really hi-lights the team back then. The announcers; Lord Alfred Hayes, Gorilla Monsoon, Mean Gene, Jesse the Body. Jesus fucking Christ that's a lot of color. Ya know, of all the things to write about Andre, you really nailed it on his expression. I never consciously thought about how damn good they are but after I read that, I could see anger, the squinting, the laughing. He was such a fucking monster and a character. Andre was really able to enhance guys like Studd, Heenen, Patera, and never lose. These years were the ones to really make the Wrestle-Mania 3 main event special. Long live Tony Garea, a real Madison Square Garden guy. To bad he couldn't snag the IC title just once. Guys like Garea, ya Hogan had help. Good read, man. What a colorful but not yet too cartoony time.

  11. #51
    Wet Dream Machine SkitZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Your analysis of Studd/Elmer was great, homie. Something about the term "fatly rolls around the ring" makes me laugh. That's when it helps to have a manager like Heenan step in and prevent the crowd from completely losing all interest. You were generous to give that match any stars!

  12. #52
    Weed General D.O.N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    I didn't check out the 'Mania match, but I checked out this one between Andre and Studd. I must admit, I quite enjoyed it for a super heavyweight match. Not Show/Braun levels of enjoyment, but thoroughly enjoyed. I never thought I could truly enjoy a super heavyweight bout, but then Show/Braun proved me wrong. And this Andre/Studd showed me that it was not a fluke. Still surprised that they didn't work like this at 'Mania, but I digress.

    Ha! I LOVED how Heenan spun the story of Studd not slamming Stud. That was awesome. Hiptoss? Really? I wish he was my manager! I wonder how he would spin all the shit I caught on...

    P.S. - The Missing Link annoys THE SHIT out of me!

  13. #53
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Benny Butts – I find it so hard to get a read on Hogan’s real personality. I honestly don’t believe he’s a bad guy at heart but he has a way of reshaping things to make sure he’s as much the focus as possible. I’m not sure he’s even doing it on purpose, he’s just that kind of guy I think. But yeah, whatever he says he had a ton of help getting where he did. Even in AWA he never would have been as over without Heenan and Bock to play off of.

    HELL YES, the WWF is completely stacked with great personalities. It’s funny, it wasn’t nearly so necessary for every wrestler to have to give 15 minute promos back then because you had these aces on commentary or holding the mic, shaping the story and the character all by themselves. It’s truly a lost art in WWE.

    I love this line “these years were the one to really make the Wrestle-Mania 3 main event special”. You could be excused for thinking that moment just came out of the blue based on the way WWE retells it, but it’s years and years of build in the best way.

    And I love this line even more, “Long live Tony Garea”! He is the man! Too bad the IC roster was so damned stacked at that time.

    Loving the read and feed, you’re a man after my own heart with some of these insights.

    Skitzoid – Everything Elmer did, he did fatly. I guess I can’t take that away from him. I don’t go below ¼* so it was very nearly as low as it could go, thank Heenan for pulling it a tiny bit above the bare minimum! Thanks for the read and feed man, awesome to have you along.

    Donny – You made the right choice when it comes to Andre/Studd matches! I do wonder what a guy like Andre could have done in the modern era, where guys pushed themselves to do more like Strowman does now. Plus, he could have gotten that operation that Big Show got and, you know, probably wouldn’t have died so young. Yeah man, you gotta give some love to hoss wrestling. It’s gotten a bad rap over the years but I feel like it’s coming back. I quite enjoy two giant men ramming into each other. Wait, that didn’t sound quite right…?

    Heenan is the freakin’ master of Spin, with all respect to my partner on the Mysterio project. His blustering excuses are some of the best things in this series.

    And just think how I feel about the damn Missing Link! I’m definitely ready for him to go missing again, haha. Great feed man, awesome to see you swing by.

    And now we are back, so let’s get to it!!

    September ‘85
    Segment of the Month

    Bobby Heenan and the Manager of the Year Award!
    Maple Leaf Garden, Toronto, Canada
    September 21st, WWF Maple Leaf

    The prize goes to it’s rightful owner… or does it?

    If you want to watch along, you can do so here:

    Jump ahead to about 24:00 to see what all the fuss is about.

    It’s the big day! Why in god’s name is this presentation taking place in September? I have no idea! Regardless of the date, Okerlund has gathered Bobby Heenan and Captain Lou Albano in the ring. Hillbilly Jim is in the ring with Albano, while Bundy and Studd lurk at ringside. Damn, that’s an intimidating duo. Heenan has an announcement before the votes are tabulated. He claims that all the other heel managers came together and pledged their votes to him! I think they made the right choice. Okerlund takes this into account and calculates that Heenan has over half a million votes, all put together. Okerlund informs Albano and Hillbilly Jim that they only have about 300,000 each, because… wait, what? Oh, apparently Hillbilly Jim managed some of his inbred family for a couple matches while he was nursing an injury. And supposedly this paltry contribution to the field of management put him on par with Lou Albano, veteran of decades… come on Vince, pull the other one. Well, at any rate neither of the faces can compete with Heenan once he’s gathered all the heel votes, so Heenan wins! There is justice after all!

    …Or is there? Hillbilly Jim gets a bright idea to suddenly pledge all his votes to Albano, putting him ahead! Okerlund wants to give the trophy to Albano! Heenan flips out, not without some cause, and he hits Albano over the head with the trophy! Jim tries to make the save, but Bundy and Studd make my dreams come true by smashing Jim apart as Heenan breaks the trophy into little pieces! More hillbillies come out and the Heenan Family bails, probably wary of diseases. Heenan clutches the pieces of the trophy (that he broke) and claims it’s all his.

    So, unsurprisingly, this was a lot of fun. Heenan sure doesn’t have much luck with receiving these trophies though, does he? One of the first entries of the Series was the great Ray Stevens punching out Heenan and breaking his trophy, almost 10 years prior to this. Circumstances were a little different this time, but you’ve still got a broken trophy and a hell of a beat down. I’m not sure if it adds to the story or not that Heenan does have some element of legitimate beef here. Fair or not, Heenan went through the proper channels and somehow persuaded all the other heels (Fuji, Blassie, Hart, and Valiant) to pledge their votes to him before the votes were revealed, whereas Hillbilly Jim just kind of threw his votes at Albano at the last minute to screw Heenan over. Granted, Albano would have probably creamed Heenan if everyone was just working with their own totals (it was implied that Heenan only got about 10% of the vote by himself, whereas Albano got 30%), but still, those proper channels you know? So Heenan has just a hint of legitimacy to work with, which is often the best place for a heel to work from. I’m sure this is not the last we’ve heard of this, and though I’m not looking forward to a bunch of Hillbilly Jim matches, it’s still a great segment.

    Match of the Month
    Adrian Adonis (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Rick McGraw
    Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
    September 23rd, WWF MSG

    The look of a man with pride in his family.

    If you want to watch along, you can do so here:

    Jump ahead to about 22:00 for this one.

    While I enjoy Bundy being added to the Family and look forward to getting a closer look at him, there’s no doubt in my mind that Adonis is the clear worker of the bunch, so a chance for him to strut his stuff on a longer house show style match is just what the doctor ordered. Let’s check it out!

    Adonis is still carrying the mysterious briefcase, and, holy shit, Ventura makes a pretty blantant reference to the briefcase containing a blow up sex doll! Man, they keep slipping this stuff in here right under the noses of the kids. Something about that didn’t sound right, but let’s leave it alone. Monsoon cautions viewers at home and says Heenan is devious. Damn straight he is!

    And so, we get to the action. Adonis doesn’t rush in swinging like some in this era but goes after his man with a very measured and technical style. Sometimes that can make Adonis matches drag a little, but he’s doing well with it in this one. I also appreciate that Adonis uses his sizable girth to throw a lot of weight into what he does. It reminds me, in a weird way, of some of the better recent Chris Hero stuff. That was not a connection I expected to make. Adonis is really taking time methodically pulling this guy apart, and just for good measure Heenan finds the time to clock McGraw with the case outside the ring! Big weasel chant for that, while he tries to look as innocent as a cherub. McGraw is taking a beating but he’s selling really well and keeps looking for an opening to make some progress. Adonis goes up top, and McGraw sees his chance! He rams into him and knocks him loose, and Adonis ends up crotched on the top in a really painful looking spot. Again, impressive on the part of the big man that he can do what he does at his size. After untangling himself, Adonis tries to regroup but ends up crashing hard into the ringpost! Holy crap, McGraw muscles the much bigger Adonis over for a great suplex! But Adonis smashes him in return with a DDT and ends up getting the win after a phenomenal finishing stretch.

    Wow, that was way better than I expected going into it. Adonis was on top form and McGraw put on a truly great JTTS performance and even seemed to get the audience to buy that he had a chance to get the big upset towards the end. I was very impressed here, and my opinion of both Adonis and McGraw has gone up.

    Awesomeness Rating: ****

    There is a tragic epilogue to this match though. Sadly, only 8 days after this performance McGraw would pass away from a heart attack, rumored to be drug related, at the age of only 30. I always hate to hear about wrestlers dying young, and McGraw was even younger than most. It’s possible he could have had at least a Paul Roma-ish career if not for this tragedy, but we’ll never know now. Don’t do drugs, people.

    The Rest of the Month

    Please feel free to click on the bolded headers to watch along with anything that sounds interesting!

    Adrian Adonis (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Mike Saxton – 9/7/85 WWF Championship Wrestling

    Our match starts at about 9:00.

    Heenan is out there with his man Adonis in the ring, along with the mysterious briefcase. Dino Bravo appears! He’s new to the WWF and billed as the “Canadian Champion”, but Heenan and Adonis disrespect him. He gives them the eye but then leaves. Thanks for coming, Dino. From there we get into the match, with Adonis laying on his nice, heavy offense, as expected. He’s got some very nice chops and elbow drops! Adonis quickly pins Saxton with a slam, which the ref counts despite Saxton’s leg being on the rope. Oops! Everybody just ignores it, so we’ll move right along. Fine squash.

    Awesomeness Rating: **

    Bobby Heenan plays with toys – 9/7/85 WWF Championship Wrestling

    Literally trashing Andre(‘s action figure).

    This one starts right about at 0:00, so don’t touch that dial!

    Heenan is on Piper’s Pit again, and he’s brought Big John Studd with him! Piper puts them both over and, in a serious sign of the times, shows a clip of the Hogan cartoon. Someday I may just have to watch that, because it looks literally insane. Back live, Piper shows off an Andre action figure, from “when he still had hair”. Heenan confirms he brought an action figure of Studd as well! Studd and Piper use the toys to show Studd beating Andre, then throw the Andre toy in the trash. It’s advertising, sure, but it’s also fun!

    Piper: I think to myself, why would they have a doll of Andre and not a doll of the real giant John Studd?

    Heenan: Hey, I ALWAYS have a John Studd doll on me!

    Heenan, on San Francisco

    Heenan schools Gene, as always. Just ask him!

    Okerlund has got Heenan for an interview and talks to him about the Missing Link. Gene thinks he can’t control him! Heenan insists that he can, and says he’ll beat Ivan Putski in the Cow Palace in San Francisco, which he insults for its “animal odor”. He starts yelling at Link off camera to put something down, which is doubly funny because Link probably wasn’t even there. Heenan also mocks George Wells for playing Canadian football and says it’s the same as backyard football, just like the teams in California do! Haha, he’s burning everyone tonight. Okerlund tries to contain his laughter as the interview ends.

    Heenan: I do NOT have “a devil of a time” controlling the Missing Link.

    Okerlund: Sometimes you don’t even get him to the ring!

    BH: Sometimes he takes a wrong turn.

    GO: …It could happen?

    BH: It could happen to anybody!

    Heenan, on the Missing Link’s “wrestling” ability

    A different promo for the same show San Francisco show, with a different interviewer. Heenan mocks Putski for having no wrestling moves besides a “double punch”. Heenan reveals his opinion of Link’s skills, which I’ve quote below! He makes fun of Wells some more, using the “guard the bench” joke again. He says if Wells somehow does slam Studd he won’t even be smart enough to know what to do with the money. Fun stuff, and I respect that he went out there and cut a completely different promo on the same subject when he could have easily phoned it in. Also, at this point I’m pretty much convinced Link’s entire WWF career is a rib on Heenan.

    Heenan: I’ll be flat honest with you. The Link has no wrestling ability.

    Interviewer: What does he have?

    Heenan: He has whatever he wants to have!

    Heenan, on the luck of Paul Orndorff – 9/21/85 WWF

    Heenan is very serious about somebody taking out Paul Orndorff.

    Piper praises Heenan for putting Studd and King Kong Bundy together, and Heenan is very pleased with the team. He brings up the bounty and says Orndorff has been lucky for too long. He says he’s raising the bounty to $50,000!!! That’s well over 100 grand in today’s market. Piper goes ballistic over the money and says he’s gonna claim it. Heenan says don’t knock Orndorff out, PUT him out. Piper praises Heenan and credits him as manager of the year! Heenan is just tickled. He will get his revenge!

    I’ve had a $25,000 bounty on the carcass of Orndorff for quite some time now, and I haven’t been able to pay it. Some people have tried, but Orndorff’s just been a little too lucky!

    King Kong Bundy (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Andre the Giant – 9/23/85 WWF MSG
    The Missing Link (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Lanny Poffo – 9/23/85 WWF MSG

    Jimmy and Bobby are very concerned.

    Jump ahead to about 45:00 for this one.

    Andre vs. Bundy! Now that’s quite a clash. Jimmy Hart, who was Bundy’s first manager in WWF, is with him at the start of the match, but just wait. Lou Albano is with Andre! I love how much stuff overlaps in all this. Very layered storytelling, in it’s own way. What the hell happened to that, you know? Jesus, Andre is so fucking big. AS the action gets going, he shaking Bundy around like a toy. Crazy. Bundy goes after the injured sternum! Very smart. Haha, Bundy is actually great at stooging when he needs to. Unexpected in a big guy like that. This match actually has great psychology with Bundy out matched in almost all departments but able to target the chest that he previously injured to hold the Giant at bay. And I’ll be damned, Andre is down on the mat doing technical wrestling again. You can see the guy is breaking down sadly but he’s got some good days left in him. Match gets a bit slow in the middle but I appreciate a real struggle in holds. When they pick the pace back up, Bundy takes a crazy bump out onto concrete! This match wildly fluctuates between occasionally boring and really awesome. Andre seems to finally have the match well in hand when he sits on Bundy, but Studd appears to attack him! Andre fights him off! Bundy joins in on the attack! Albano tries to help out his man but gets knocked out! Andre bails, NO, he comes back in with a chair! Now Bundy and Studd bail! Wow, Andre needs some better friends. Heenan finally makes his appearance at the end and starts directing the strategic retreat. Albano gets on the house mic and demands that the heels come back and fight! That was pretty fun right there, had a really good time with it.

    Awesomeness Rating: ***¾

    And skip to about 1:44:00 for this one.

    Heenan insists Finkel announce him as the manager of the year! You deserve it, Brain. Lanny is throwing… something to the crowd? …sticks? Frisbees? I have no idea. Savage’s little brother is probably gonna get his ass beat here. Lanny does a cartwheel and the Link is perturbed by this. Lanny keeps avoiding Link and Link doesn’t know what to do, so he wipes some green paint on the turnbuckle. Lanny is pretty damn slippery, I’ll give him credit for that. I think the crowd is pretty much done with the Link though, they are very quiet for this. Can’t really blame them. Poffo tries to do a monkey flip sort of thing out of the corner, but Heenan grabs Link and holds him back while Lanny crashes to the mat! Link gets the win with a headbutt and continues to act weird. Lanny was better than I expected, his reputation is not great but that might just be backlash because of the Hall of Fame thing. I’m curious to see more of him. I’m ready to be done with the Link, though.

    Awesomeness Rating: *½

    Heenan, on jive cab drivers and hicks in barns with brooms – 9/27/85 WWF TNT

    Heenan and his newest client, an entire Hawaiian island.

    It’s TNT! Skip ahead to about 24:00 for our segment.

    Vince brings on Bundy as a guest of the show, but then objects when he shows up with Heenan at his side! Vince complains and says he was supposed to come with Jimmy Hart. Man, you are a rude host Vince. He asks if Jimmy Hart is on vacation. Heenan says don’t worry about it, don’t ask questions about contracts being shifted or money changing hands. He tells the audience to shut up! Vince changes the subject and shows the clip of Andre getting attacked. Vince says Andre will indeed be coming back for revenge but they came close to putting him down. Bundy gets a little promo time and he’s really not a bad talker at all. Bundy says he doesn’t think Andre will actually come back at all. Heenan disagrees and says Andre will come back, but only because he’s too dumb to quit. He insults Hillbilly Jim for good measure, for his action during the manager of the year award ceremony. He says anyone who goes against the Family will end up carried out!! That’s pretty badass.

    The LAST thing that’s going to happen to me is some jive cab driver with rubber bands in his face from New York City, and some hick who spends his whole life in a barn with a broom sleeping behind cows and farm chickens and stuff like that, is gonna humiliate me on national television!

    So, in September not only did Heenan raise the bounty on Orndorff and almost take Andre out of the game AGAIN, he also became the manager of the year (sort of!) and opened up a brand new feud with Captain Lou Albano and a whole mess of hillbillies, and created an alliance with Jimmy Hart to boot. A busy month for the Brain, but time will tell how this talent sharing program with Jimmy Hart will pan out. At this point I certainly wouldn’t mind if Heenan unloaded the Missing Link on Jimmy Hart, but I have a bad feeling it may be Adonis who ends up in the Hart camp. It’ll be a shame to lose him, but Bundy shows a certain amount of promise as a big man. We will have to see what happens next!

    That’s it for today, humanoids. I’ll be back soon with the next entry, until then don’t let the ham-and-eggers get you down, and stay awesome!

  14. #54
    Weed General D.O.N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Heenan got screwed! Surely there was no other manager worthy of the trophy. I wonder how he got those votes from the other heel managers, seeing as he wasn't very popular amongst his peers as he would screw them over in a second. But still, I agree that it adds logic to proceedings that Heenan lobbied for votes. He's a real go-getter, that one.

    Childish advertisement with the action figure segment, but fun nonetheless. I always enjoy when Heenan is on Piper's Pit. Sidenote: Was Piper's Pit the first of it's kind?

    Loved the segments in this entry. I must admit I mostly read this to get your takes on the segments and watch them as Heenan is pure gold on the mic. I mostly only watch the matches you say is must-see and other times I'll watch a match out of curiosity, but the segments is what interests me the most. Heenan can make a simple, straight-forward (even short) segment entertaining. And THAT is awesome. Jeez, Heenan's segments should be like school for today's wrestlers. They should write reports on them! Heenan truly was a master of his craft.

    Keep 'em coming!

  15. #55
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Donnie – Amen, nobody deserves that trophy but Heenan! I’m glad he smashed it rather than lose it to the dastardly machinations of Hillbilly Jim! You know it’s interesting, the heel managers of this era don’t really show any signs of wanting to screw each other. They might compete for the same clients at times, but they make trades, form alliances, and generally coexist because they all hate the same people, i.e. the people sitting in the face locker room. I can buy that Heenan actually swayed the others to pledge their votes on the argument that it was better he won it than Albano (or, god forbid, Hillbilly Jim).

    That’s a real interesting question, about Piper’s Pit. It was already running strong when Heenan arrived but there were also a couple others around that time. I think Piper was still the first, or possibly Jesse Ventura with the Body Shop. Either way, Vince was clearly determined to make the format work, and frankly it was a brilliant tool for getting characters and feuds over, so props to all involved.

    The segments are my favorite part too, so your watching strategy seems like a great one to me! I totally agree, everyone wanting to be a heel in the modern day should be checking out Heenan, and stuff from this era in general. The matches were usually not as good, but the characters and storylines were so good they took the world by storm. Thanks for the feed man, great to hear from you as always!

    And keep ‘em coming, you say? Don’t mind if I do!

    October ‘85
    Segment of the Month

    Bobby Heenan appears on RODDY PIPER’s TNT!
    October 4th, WWF Tuesday Night Titans

    Great criminal minds.

    If you want to watch along, you can do so here:

    Buckle up, because Roddy Piper and Bob Orton have seized control of TNT, and Heenan is their very first guest! My god, it’s gonna be awesome!

    Orton sounds like he ate a pound of gravel or something, his voice is nuts. Piper is acting like a maniac behind the desk, and it’s pretty hilarious. They bring Heenan right out, and Piper calls him the greatest manager and the manager of the year. He’s not wrong! Piper praises him for the way he has handled Andre and Orndorff in recent months. He praises Heenan for his great humility as well, and wants to show a clip of him. Piper screams at the crew when the clip isn’t ready fast enough! Instead we watch a clip of Andre promising to return and get revenge on Heenan and his men. Christ, he is hard to understand. Piper and Heenan are bored to death by Andre’s promo. They mock the idea of Lou Albano managing Andre, and are really having a ball together. We cut to Alfred Hayes doing a plug for the second ever WWF PPV, The Wrestling Classic, and Jesse Ventura cuts a promo with a nice car that a fan could win in a contest, apparently.

    Piper and Heenan brag that they don’t need another Rolls Royce, they are too successful as it is. Piper brings out Jimmy Hart to join the group, and we’re looking at a serious den of thieves right now. Heenan and Hart talk about strategically sharing the talent in their stables. Heenan says he has a master plan to get rid of the bullies in wrestling. He feels comfortable enough in present company to finally reveal the details of his deal with Jimmy Hart. He officially announced he has traded Missing Link and Adrian Adonis for the contract of King Kong Bundy! Losing Adonis hurts me a little because I was just starting to really love his matches, but Bundy is probably a better fit for the Family, plus he is now finally (hopefully) rid of the anchor of the Missing Link. Jimmy Hart is more concerned with the music album he’s working on! Piper volunteers to contribute a track, which would be a song to tell the fans what he really thinks of them. Piper invites Jimmy to sing something from the album and he’s about to do it, but the production crew cuts them off.

    That was not only a really fun segment, but they covered a lot of ground as well. Touching on the Orndorff issue and the Andre feud was good, and revealing the official details of the deal with Jimmy Hart was even better as we now finally know where the Family stands. Heenan and Piper have an interesting chemistry, it’s weird because they are both such big personalities that they kind of bump into each other sometimes, but at the same time they are both so much fun that their segments always end up being a blast to watch. Piper and Orton are just fun heel hosts in general, I kind of wish there was an “evil” TNT on a regular basis!

    Heenan Quote of the Day:

    Piper: So all of a sudden this big, huge Andre the Giant figures he needs to go out and get someone to talk for him, he needs to go out and get someone to think for him, so he gets, HOHOHO, another genius in his own right huh? Captain Lou Albano, HA! I love it!

    Heenan: Some short order cook from New York City is gonna run his life! Would you let Lou Albano do your taxes?

    Piper: HAHA!

    Match of the Month
    King Kong Bundy (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Hulk Hogan – WWF Championship
    Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
    October 12th, WWF Boston

    If you want to watch along, you can do so here:

    Hogan, in the match of the month? I’m as surprised as you are. Jump ahead to 1:46:00 to see for yourself!

    And so Wrestlemania 2 has come early! Almost 6 months early, actually. That’s the benefit of these region-specific shows making tape, I suppose. As Heenan leads Bundy down to the ring, he is literally being pelted with garbage. Now THAT’S a heel. Hogan comes out, and DAMN, he is no longer using Eye of the Tiger. I’m very sad about this. He’s not yet using Real American either, instead using his seldom heard 2nd theme. It’s fine I guess. Nothing can replace Eye of the Tiger in my heart.

    Hogan spits right on Heenan as we get ready to start, which is pretty damn gross there Hulk. How many children went to school the next day and spit on kids they didn’t like, hmm? You’re a terrible role model, Hogan! Bundy punishes him for his crimes with some nice clubbing blows, I mean we’re not talking Vader level but he’s laying his shots in there really good. Hogan actually responds by throwing some hard shots of his own! Actually, through the bulk of this match, Hogan looks like he’s actually really putting in effort for once. The match isn’t nearly as good as, say, his stuff with Bockwinkel, but just in terms of actually attempting to put the work in, this match is maybe as much as I’ve seen Hogan do. He’s fighting hard, selling hard… well, of course as I say that he’s no selling the big corner splash, but at least he held off on his bad tendencies for most of the match.

    At the end of a pretty hard fought match, Hogan hulks up and slams Bundy for the win. Bundy is irate about this outcome, and Ventura is insistent on commentary that Bundy kicked out. As we know, this issue is far from over.

    So this wouldn’t be in contention for any match of the year awards, even just within the WWF, but as far as Hogan matches go I was very pleasantly surprised. I also really dig that Heenan has a new challenger to be a threat to Hogan, and even though he took the loss here he believably took Hogan to the limit, and with Ventura claiming it was a false three count the door is wide open for more matches. Best of all, Bundy seems like a big upgrade from Studd, who is not bad when motivated but rarely gets to that level, whereas so far Bundy has really been reaching for the brass ring in his appearances with Heenan. Looking forward to more of this man!

    Awesomeness Rating: ***¼

    The Rest of the Month

    Please feel free to click on the bolded headers to watch along with anything that sounds interesting!

    King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Andre the Giant & Tony Atlas – 10/5/85 WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event

    Bobby Heenan and Jesse “The Escaped Muppet” Ventura

    This one has to be found on the WWE Network, so my apologies for no link. If you’ve got the Network, jump to about 21:00 to start the fun.

    Heenan and Ventura in the ring together, and Ventura is wearing… something, that sure is something. Ventura asks Heenan to confirm that he has indeed raised the bounty on Orndorff to $50,000, and Heenan does! He says if Orndorff had a brain in his head, he would retire now! Short but sweet. The Orndorff issue rolls on, though Heenan seems happy to wage that particular war from afar, at least for now.

    Jump ahead to about 39:00, and it’s almost time for the big match!

    Heenan, Studd, & Bundy are in the back with Okerlund before entering the arena. Okerlund asks if Heenan was moved by the sight of Uncle Elmer’s wedding, which yes, did take place earlier in the show. Please don’t ask me why, obsession with hillbillies is more Vince McMahon’s thing. Heenan says SOMETHING sure moved. Most likely his bowels, I’d guess. They refocus on Andre and call him the #3 giant in wrestling, and they’ll stop him from running roughshod over the business. They’ve taken him down and cut his hair, now they take him out for good! Nice bravado, but we’ll see.

    I can’t believe Andre couldn’t find a better partner that freakin’ Tony Atlas. Andre really, really needs to get some friends. On the plus side, it really is surreal to watch Andre. You kind of get used to it, and then you really LOOK at him all of a sudden and you’re blown away all over again. Andre uses Atlas as a ram to do damage with his hard head, and that pretty much seems to be all that’s he’s good for. Atlas does very, very little in this match. After being frustrated by Andre’s resilience and power, Bundy and Studd start double teaming and they won’t stop, so the match gets thrown out! Too bad, Atlas aside this was starting to get really good.

    Speaking of Atlas, he is legitimately straight up useless, so in the end Hulk Hogan runs down and helps Andre run off the Family! Finally, Hogan remembered he’s supposed to be Andre’s buddy. Heenan bails at the sight of Hogan, and Bundy and Studd retreat after him! Seriously, too bad about the non-finish but that was some solid fun, and Hogan/Andre has been a fun alliance going back to AWA. I’m interested in seeing it again here, especially in view of what’s going to happen in about 18 months.

    Awesomeness Rating: ***

    King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Paul Roma & Mario Mancini – 10/12/85 WWF All Star

    Go Team Heenan!

    We start the show with Heenan and his men, about 1 minute in. Bundy & Studd are about to beat these two jobbers, one of whom is a future Horseman. Speaking of Roma, he is actually quite impressive in this match. He almost beats Studd in a test of strength that really has the crowd excited, but alas it was not to be. Roma switches up his game and throws out some pretty good offense, including a really nice dropkick. Roma is even able to make a little headway, but unfortunately Mancini is lower on the totem poll and is completely bulldozed by Bundy. Studd and Bundy are actually really fun to watch as they smash apart these little people. In the end, Bundy splashes Mario into a puddle and demands a 5 count, which he easily gets. Pretty enjoyable considering it’s a glorified squash match.

    Awesomeness Rating: ***¼

    Later in the show, at about 42:00, we get a HEenan promo as a bonus!

    Heenan is backstage with a microphone, and he wants us to know he can’t STAND a liar, and he says Okerlund is a liar! He finds Okerlund completely biased, especially in regards to Andre. Well, Heenan will provide some honesty. He says they should have finished off Andre in Toronto, and says the truth is Andre won’t be willing to even get in the ring with his men when all is said and done. He hypes and upcoming Bundy/Andre singles match, and brings in the man himself. Bundy cuts a solid promo on Andre. Heenan keeps making fun of Andre and Okerlund. Something pretty funny happens at the end, I’ve put in the quote below but I really think you should just watch it for the full effect…

    Just think, the 29th of October… two days from that will be Halloween! And just think Andre, you and Gene Okerlund. That’s the only time all year that you two can go out, trick or treating, and you don’t have to wear a costume! [Okerlund walks past the camera in a huff] Hey, I purchased this time pal, get out of here!!!

    King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Andre the Giant & Hillbilly Jim – 10/21/85 WWF MSG

    Ready to work.

    Jump ahead to about 1:09:00 for this one.

    Urgh… Hillbilly Jim? I know I said Andre needed friends, but I’m afraid I’m going to wish this was a handicap match. I like Jim better when he was a mysteriously well travelled wrestling fan.

    Andre comes out to Hillbilly’s music, which is just… no. Everyone brawls at the bell, so at least we’re staring off hot. Albano at ringside. As I feared, Jim is pretty much useless as a wrestler. Heenan’s men try to wear out Andre but he rallies and fends them off, and then Albano passes him scissors and he cuts a little of Studd’s hair! Revenge!! That was a nice moment, but Andre is looking really sluggish in this one. Heenan tries to hold Andre’s foot to mess him up, but Albano grabs him! Heenan fights Albano! The managers spill into the ring, everybody fights crazily as the match gets thrown out. Andre grabs Heenan as Albano attacks him. The Family bails as the match is called a double DQ. That was fun in places but between Hillybilly Jim sucking and Andre moving at about ¼ speed, I’m not going out of my way to recommend the action. Maybe check out the end if you’re interested.

    Awesomeness Rating: **½

    Well, October was a little sparse as far as footage goes, but we still have a good idea of how things are progressing. The Andre issue is heating up as he searches for the right partner to take on Heenan’s men, and I’ve got a feeling Hogan will be the man to step up to that task. That could be a good choice or a bad choice as far as match quality goes, but god knows Hogan has the potential to be a lot better than Atlas or Hillbilly, so if he actually brings his good self to that match I’ll be excited to see it. Hopefully the wear and tear on Andre is not accumulating too quickly either, I know his good performances can’t last too long at this stage in his career but I think he’s got a few more good ones in him yet. Orndorff is on the back burner, and Adonis and Link are nowhere to be seen, with Bundy taking center stage as the new top man in the Family. We shall see what that leads to, I’ll be watching with great interest!

    That’s it for today, humanoids. I’ll be back soon with the next entry, until then don’t let the ham-and-eggers get you down, and stay awesome!

  16. #56
    Weed General D.O.N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    I know longer have WIFI so I can't watch along anymore! Sad days, man. But at least I can still read your entertaining thoughts covering everything. From previous interactions I've watched with Heenan and Piper in this series I have to agree that they really do have great chemistry together. Besides this seeming like a fun promo they really did cover a lot of ground here, like you mentioned. At least now we know why King Kong Bundy had Heenan at his side. But I have to say that Hart got the short-end of the stick with Link. But at least you don't have to cover his shit anymore! That's a blessing.

    Bundy and Studd are a massive tag team, literally. How can Andre get a bunch of jabronis to aid him against those guys? Heenan sure has a lot of firepower at his disposal and if Andre wants to combat that he needs a big star to help him. Too bad Hogan only remembers they are friends every once in a while. Loved that the managers also started fighting, managers of this era love to get involved, don't they? But that's what makes them awesome.

    Loved that Heenan quote. I like that he said he purchased that air time. It gives logic to wrestlers/managers who randomly appear backstage and talk into the camera.

    Another great entry, Miz.

  17. #57
    Your analysis on Heenan, Piper, and Hart compelled me to watch the video. I don't think I've watched too many heel Piper/Heenan segments. Man, that was a lot of color and personality, especially with Hayes and Ventura in between.

    The trade really sold Bundy like a boss. 2 wrestlers and a shitload of money. I always liked the Andre/Hogan connection as well. They were in a lot of battle royals as baby faces together.

    Adonis may be back as even with Hart in his corner, he and Bundy worked together to give Hogan some hell. But knowing that this is when Adonis joined Jimmy Hart, when he returns he may be wearing a dress
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 04-29-2017 at 07:32 PM.

  18. #58
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Donnie – No wifi, and still commenting along! You are awesome in my book man, no doubt about it. It’s funny, I don’t know if I’d actual call Heenan and Piper’s chemistry “great”, and yet I totally agree their segments together are always fun. Heenan is all about give-and-take, whereas Piper just tends to run over everything. Yet, because both of them are so good, it still works. Hart definitely got screwed with the Link, but at least Adonis is a good pick up right? And yes, I’m not sad to see the Link go. He’s not the worst guy I’ve seen but his matches were really starting to grind on me! I should be glad Heenan never managed Tony Atlas, haha.

    I love this line, “Too bad Hogan only remembers they are friends every once in a while.” It perfectly sums up their relationship, and probably will be a good set up for their feud in a couple years here. And heck yeah, I love how these managers aren’t afraid to throw down, with each other and even sometimes with wrestlers! Thanks for the great read and feed as always Don, great to have you along!

    Benny Butts – The amount of personality really explodes off the screen in this era, doesn’t it? Imagine WWE trying to scrape together guys to recreate this now. They might be able to do it, but it’d be tight, whereas this era had tons of guys left over who could have filled these slots. Funny you mentioned that battle royal comment, I watched at least one in the AWA section was that, Hogan and Andre against Heenan and all his goons (and he had plenty then!).

    I love that you linked that Adonis thing. Watching back the guy looks like a goddam crusader for gay rights. If you want to turn it even more on it’s head, you could argue he’s even more progressive because he shows you can be both proudly gay and a jerk, separately. I feel like Adonis is quietly becoming a very layered character, even if the crux of the angle remains the ugly “boo this man because he’s gay and cross-dresses”, though did I not perhaps hear some cheers mixed in with that TNT crowd? In the end I feel like he’ll have all the potential for intelligent social commentary that Muhammad Hassan did, but end up being as offense as Muhammad Hassan was (but at least he’ll be a better wrestler!).

    Love the feed and the link man, stick around as long as you like.

    And now, on with the show…

    November ‘85
    Match of the Month

    Bobby Heenan, King Kong Bundy, & Big John Studd vs. Andre the Giant, Captain Lou Albano, & Hillbilly Jim
    Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
    November 25th, WWF MSG

    Heenan has a premonition of years of aggravation.

    If you want to watch along, and I do recommend that you do, you can do so here:

    That match looks like fun, but first a promo! Jump to about 1:22:00 to get started.

    Gorllia Monsoon is backstage, and he announces a six man tag with Andre, Hillbilly, and Albano against the Family, including Heenan himself! Heenan comes out and says his brains will make the difference in this match. Heenan and Monsoon foreshadow their long future together as they do a really funny back and forth where Monsoon hints Heenan is about to get pulverized and Heenan keeps coming up with different strategies he will use to come out fine. VERY fun promo, please check this one out before the match.

    I got a riddle for you, what has 11 teeth AND an IQ of 11? Andre the Giant, Hillibilly Jim, and Captain Lou Albano!
    Now, the match itself! Head to 2:10:00!

    I’ve got a good feeling about this one! Lots of really big guys in here, the managers look tiny by comparison. Tiny or not though, Heenan makes his presence felt when he keeps running in the ring and interfering every time someone tries to slam Studd. That’s one way to protect your cash! The action here is pretty good fun with almost everyone, but of course it especially picks up when Heenan gets involved. He tries to take advantage when the faces are down, but in the end he ends up doing his crazy bumps and stooging all around the ring. He gets into it with Albano too, and at one point there’s a weird sequence where the referee won’t let him tag out until he makes contact with the opposing team. Even Gorilla Monsoon admits Heenan is right and the referee is wrong on that one, but it does get Heenan a great opportunity to act distraught and terrified. This match is just a lot of fun, and of course things break down in the end. As everyone brawls, Andre gets his huge hands on Heenan and smashes him down for the pin, who was definitely not the legal man but I guess the refs are tired of being turned into paste during Andre matches, so they let it go. Wouldn’t you? As usual, Heenan’s presence in a match turns the dial up to 11. I definitely recommend this one. Man, I love when Heenan wrestles!

    Awesomeness Rating: ****¼

    Segments(s) of the Month
    Bobby Heenan’s Halloween Adventure
    Hersheypark Arena, Hershey, Pennsylvania
    November 2nd, WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event

    If you want to watch along, you’ll have to do so on the WWE Network. Sorry for no link, but I highly recommend seeking these out!

    So I had no idea how to present this, so I’m just gonna do it and hopefully it’s not too hard to follow. This edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event was Halloween themed, and featured a bunch of backstage segments that… well, let’s just get into them. They are funny, don’t get me wrong, but by god are they strange.

    My god. We’re not in Kansas anymore.

    So the show starts, and I’m immediately greeted by the weirdest goddam sight I’ve seen in the whole series so far. A tinny version of the Exorcist theme is playing in the background as Bobby Heenan is bobbing for… pumpkins, or something?? In a huge bucket of… chocolate?? I hope??? Some soupy brown liquid. Best not to ask, maybe. He’s dressed like a frontiersman, in rugged skins and such, and has brown goop all over his face and what looks very much like an entire raccoon sitting on his head. Gene Okerlund is there as well, and this is starting to sound like a crazy dream because he’s dressed like some kind of… pumpkin wizard??? I could barely hear what Heenan was saying, my brain was reeling. I expected some goofy stuff to happen at some point, but we just went from zero to one million without warning. Heenan smashes two pumpkin… things together, and it represents Hogan and Andre getting crushed. It’s gonna be a strange night.

    That shrieking sound is your mind trying to process Abrakong Lincoln and BatSheik

    At about 14:00, the madness continues. A big chunk of the roster is there, and most of them are wearing crazy costumes. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Iron Sheik Batman. Lucky for you, I took a picture. Sweet lord have mercy, this is some kind of faces vs. heels contest, and the first round is Albano vs. Bundy in a pie eating contest. These guys have tried to end each other’s careers, and now they are having a pie eating contest. Not only is this crazy, but it’s fucking gross. Albano wins and still wants more pie. Skip this one if you have a weak stomach.

    Aaaand that’s the look you get when madness finally sets in.

    At 22:00, we descend farther into cartoon insanity. Randy Savage is cutting a promo on the tub of chocolate sauce(???) that we saw earlier. I shit you not. A terrible thing called “Cousin Junior” appears. I’m told he’s one of the billions of spawning hillbillies in the company at this time. Apparently this round is a competition to see who can pull more pumpkins out of the tub with their mouth, between Heenan and this other… person… thing… Cousin Junior. Dammit, this one is gross too! Heenan wins by completely ruining his costume, and laughs MANIACALLY over his pumpkin dunking victory. Savage, who was there for no clear reason at all, poses with chocolate stains on him. I really am kind of stunned by all this coming out of nowhere, but there is a part of me that actually enjoys the silliness. Still… this is kind of weird.

    This is immediately followed by a mysteriously clean Heenan, standing by with Studd and Bundy. They talk about being the unslammable team and putting down Hogan and Andre. Okerlund flusters Heenan about his costume and they storm off.

    And immediately following THAT, Heenan leads his men to the ring. Andre and Hogan cut a promo before coming out for their match. Hogan says Andre is the 8th, 9th, and 10th wonder of the world. Sorry Chyna and… the Pyramids, I guess? Andre says enough talk, let’s FIGHT!

    King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Andre the Giant & Hulk Hogan

    Ok, so this isn’t necessarily part of the “recommended” segments, but it’s too messy to extract from the rest, so I’m just going to go over the match here. Ok? No? Deal with it!

    Well, this is the match we’ve been waiting for. Hogan throws the title on the ground, because he doesn’t want to teach kids to respect their belongings. The crowd pops big for a Hogan/Bundy stand off. This might actually be their first meeting on national TV. Andre comes in and chokes Bundy with his own shoulder straps, and the ref just lets him do it, because babyface privilege is a real thing. Hogan hits with some… very awkward offense. Completely different than the good stuff he was throwing at Bundy the month before. What the hell. Andre KILLS the referee with a wild swing and doesn’t even seem to notice. That might be chaotic fun, but apparently we have to stand around and wait for a replacement referee. That’s a first for me. Andre and Hogan just run roughshod over the heels and honestly it’s kind of boring. Andre tries to fight Studd to the outside but Bundy hits him and he gets caught in the ropes! Andre is trapped while Studd and Bundy splash Hogan! They attack Andre while he’s tangled in the ropes until a DQ is called. Hogan and Andre quickly recover and throw the heels out.

    I’ve got to admit, that was very disappointing. Andre was sluggish, and honestly I don’t know what the hell Hogan was doing. Somehow he managed to be a worse partner than Hillbilly Jim and Tony Atlas. Ok, he wasn’t worse than Atlas, but the match was still worse because of how badly it was structured. Bundy and Studd didn’t look like even mild threats until the very end, which was admittedly good but nowhere near enough to salvage the match yet. Andre gets on the mic and says he’s not finished yet, but this segment is.

    Awesomeness Rating: *½

    At 55:00 we return to that sweet, sweet madness. Insanely, this segment is the actual main event of the show, the final round between the faces and heels. It’s something called a “pumpkin pass”, which I guess is when you have to pass a pumpkin from person to person without using your hands. So, if you ever wanted that uselss info, now you have it, just like I do. Okerlund demonstrates with Miss Elizabeth, and he acts pervy about it. So I guess Okerlund was just always a huge lech? The faces go first in the contest, and Albano drops the pumpkin when he has a weird fucking spasm. I don’t have any time to process what the hell is wrong with Albano though, because sweet lord of mercy, Roddy Piper has appeared dressed as superman and he’s acting even more insane than usual. The heels use their superhero capes to hide their hands and cheat. The pumpkin still drops when Elizabeth tries to pass it to Piper. Piper immediately shrieks that it’s all her fault, and Savage yells at her for fucking it up. It seems the faces win because they got the pumpkin farther. That was, at the very least, not gross.

    So, as you could probably gather, these segments are kind of nuts but they are definitely fun too, once you get over the strangeness and the major tonal shift from a lot of the other stuff we’ve watched. It is kind of cool that WWF has so many colorful characters at this time that they can just throw them haphazardly into a crazy Halloween contest and they still make it work. Not something I need to see every month, but I do recommend this just for the sheer weirdness. Also, we get this fun joke landing on opposite ends of the show:

    Okerlund: What is that, is that Davey Crockett or is that early weasel skin?

    Heenan: Weasel skin?? This happens to be raccoon, the FINEST raccoon!

    [Later in the show…]

    Okerlund: Where’s your beaver hat?

    Heenan: What do you mean beaver, it was a weasel- UH IT WAS A RACCOON HAT!

    The Rest of the Month

    Please feel free to click on the bolded headers to watch along with anything that sounds interesting!

    Heenan, on wanting to pay that damn bounty already! – 11/7/85 WWF Wrestling Classic

    So, it’s the 2nd ever PPV, and Heenan… is not on the card, and neither are his guys. I’m far from crazy about that, but the tournament was weirdly set up between almost all “workrate” guys, so I’m not sure if they were trying to beat the NWA at their own game or what. I’m not sure they succeeded at whatever they were trying either, since this show is notorious for having almost entirely very short matches. Still, I think it was successful enough to not cause an issue with the ever expanding size of the company, so let’s get to our man Bobby and his small contribution.

    In the first segment, which I could not find a clip of but is on the Network at about 48:00, Heenan talks about his guys not being in the tournament. He says the people should not relax, because they are always watching and scouting. He reminds everyone of the bounty on Orndorff, who is in the tournament, and says he feels tonight he’s gonna get to pay out. He would not, sadly.

    Later on in the classic, in the clip linked above, Heenan cuts another short promo with Okerlund. He says again you never know when someone might collect that bounty! He also talks about Hogan, and makes the bold prediction that the champ will wear himself out soon with too many defenses and is ripe for a loss soon. I like the way you think, Heenan, but I’m not sure that one is gonna pan out.

    King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Andre the Giant & Hillbilly Jim – 11/10/85 WWF Maple Leaf

    When you’re #1, and you know it.

    Another one that is on the WWE Network, right at the start of the show no less.

    Heenan gets on the house mic and insists that he is manager of the year! My smile at this statement quickly turns to horror as I realize they are wrestling the Hillbillies. Thanksfully, it’s just Jim teaming with Andre again. That’s marginally better. Andre has had enough, he’s hot and he attacks before the bell even rings! He grabs Studd and he slams the crap out of him!!! That couldn’t have been plainer, yet somehow I feel Heenan will weasel out of it. Another optical delusion, no doubt! The crowd goes absolutely bananas for the spot, by the way. THAT is how you build a move up!

    The heels regroup and manage to isolate Andre for a long period and beat him down, and eventually they get him tied up in the ropes just like at SNME. The big men knock Jim out and then Studd picks up the timekeeper table, and HOLY SHIT, starts slamming it into Andre’s head!!! Wow, that’s pretty crazy. Obviously a DQ follows but the bell can’t even ring, because it’s lying wherever it fell when Studd picked up the whole damn table. They beat Andre down pretty savagely, when he finally gets out of the ropes he’s down with his face on the floor. The Family leaves, very pleased, as they go so far as to bring a stretcher down for Andre. I didn’t think he’d actually use it, but holy crap, they actually wheel him out on the damn thing. That’s a strong stretcher! The match was a definite improvement on their last one, and way better than SNME. Jim is still pretty useless so it could only get so far, but they did a good, especially with the finish which is legitimately great.

    Awesomeness Rating: ***

    Big John Studd (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Hillbilly Jim – 11/22/85 WWF Philadelphia
    King Kong Bundy (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Andre the Giant – 11/22/85 WWF Philadelphia

    Jump ahead to 28:00 for this one.

    Big John Studd vs. Hillbilly Jim. What kind of cruel god would book this match. Heenan is really irate with Hillbilly, probably due to the manager of the year thing. Jim attempts a “hoedown” before the match. Very strong “weasel” chant. Yeah, if you were expecting me to talk about this match in detail, here’s the most you’re gonna get: this match suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. Slow, plodding, devoid of interest. Jim wins via a weird bullshit countout. Awful. Do not watch.

    Awesomeness Rating: ¼*

    Hopefully the next segment can save this poor show! At 1:42:00 we’ve got a promo leading directly into the next match.

    Interviewer and professional turtle impersonator Kal Rudman is weirdly sucking up to Heenan and Bundy, he says they are manager and wrestler of the year. Heenan reiterates that Andre is too dumb to quit wrestling when he should, and says it will be history when Andre has to be carried out of the arena once and for all. Looks like Andre is back in action after being stretchered out a couple weeks ago. Fun promo by Heenan, and includes this little nugget:

    Let me tell you how quick I am. I can go to my room at night, and I can turn off the light and be in bed before the room is dark.
    This leads directly into Andre vs. Bundy! I’ve been looking forward to seeing this again. Andre bullies Bundy, yanking him by the straps again. Andre gets Bundy in a headlock sort of thing, and Bundy tries a little technical action by putting his feet on the ropes to get a leverage counter. Instead Andre simply drops him on the back of his head, damn. Strong weasel chant rings out. Man, they are actually doing a far bit of technical wrestling and it’s still impressive. It’s just not what you expect. The referee gets crushed AGAIN by Andre. That man is a serious referee hazard! Hillbilly appears, damn him, he wants to check on the ref, as if it’s any business of his. Heenan makes my day by absolutely clocking him. Heenan wants to attack Andre but Hillbilly recovers and starts attacking Heenan , who bounces around left and right. Another referee runs down to throw the match out. That was a lot of fun actually. Not quite as good as their MSG bout but close, definitely a good hoss battle.

    Awesomeness Rating: ***½

    King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd (w/Bobby Heenan) vs. Jim Young & Gary Starr – 11/30/85 WWF Championship Wrestling

    The jobbers try to rush Bundy together, which sounds good on paper, but it’s not very effective. Bundy just mauls these guys and it’s actually pretty great fun. Bundy corner splashes them both at once, then elbow drops the living crap out of Starr for the easy win. Studd barely even needed to be there. Heenan is pleased with his Family. Not much in the grand scheme but as a squash it’s pretty enjoyable.

    Awesomeness Rating: **¼

    So, while Heenan has had trouble actually getting wins against his arch enemies Hogan and Andre, he did a pretty damn good job in November of putting Andre in some serious pain. I bet you could count on one hand how many times Andre had to be wheeled out of an arena. Plus, Heenan showed himself completely adept at the sillier aspects of the WWF, as if there was any doubt. I do wonder if segments like those at SNME were in Vince’s mind when he decided to put Heenan on TNT frequently, and later as the co-host of Prime Time, where he would have the chance to flex that muscle even more. Lot’s going on in this month, and as we get close to 1986, Wrestlemania 2 looms! It’s gonna be a fun ride!

    That’s it for today, humanoids. I’ll be back soon with the next entry, until then don’t let the ham-and-eggers get you down, and stay awesome!

  19. #59
    Weed General D.O.N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    I'm happy that Andre get his hands on Heenan. That's a testament to how good he is at being a heel, seeing that these columns are about him yet I still want to see him get his.

    Dude, that sounded weird as fuck! I can only imagine what was going through your mind when you were watching that, especially after looking at those pictures. It's very strange that they went from wanting to kill each to competing in a silly Halloween-themed contest. Very strange.

    In that Bundy/Studd vs Hogan/Andre match, in this day and age after the faces were dominating and the heels finally get an advantage (Andre caught up on the ropes) they would have been able to pin the lone face. But not in Hogan's era. So they went for the DQ instead. Hogan wouldn't have looked weak if he got pinned with Andre incapacitated and it would have been great to Bundy pin him in that situation to have an extra layer going into the Wrestlemania match.

    Some more great work by you, Mizzie. And it felt like you flew through this year.

  20. #60
    What a weird Halloween show to recap, but you gave it justice. A lot of the stuff you put in here, like that, I've never seen before. Legit laughs for the "a horrible thing called cousin junior appears" I've never seen this guy but with Hilbilly Jim and Uncle Elmer hanging around, I can imagine. Long live the Andre getting tied up in the ropes spot. What a great riddle concerning Andre's team having 11 teeth and an IQ of 11. Good stuff, my man!

  21. #61
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Donnie – I love that Heenan’s work can resonate even in written form over 30 years later. That’s just the kind of guy he was! I’m really interested by your thought about letting Bundy pin Hogan in a tag match. It would have been very against the style of booking of the time, and I’m not sure how the crowd would have reacted to it. It’s possible it would have hurt their enthusiasm for the Hulk, which was at a fever pitch at this time. Then again, it might have fanned the flames even higher. Very interesting idea man! ’85 does feel like it flew by, but in a project this big that’s not a bad thing!

    Benny Butts – I mean, on a scale from 1 to House of Horrors, it’s probably not that weird in the whole scope of WWE history. But man, dropping out of the clear blue sky like that sure gave me a start. God, I sure do hate hillbillies at this point though. I think Cousin Junior was doubly horrible, not just from being another dirty, homeless looking member of the roster who probably can’t wrestle wroth a damn, but as a sign that this hillbilly obsession was only growing with time. Everything thinks Vince likes muscles, but his first love was goddam hillbillies. Thanks for the read man, always appreciated.

    And now back to our show…

    December ‘85
    Segment of the Month

    Bobby Heenan, on paranoia
    December ‘85, WWF

    YOU!! (Wait, that’s the other guy)

    If you want to watch along, you can do so here:

    Our man Heenan is getting interviewed by Gene Okerlund. I wonder if Bobby sees Okerlund when he closes his eyes at night? The friendship of Heenan and Monsoon is legendary, and rightly so, but the decades of work these two did together is nothing to sneeze at either.

    They are talking about an upcoming match which will see Heenan and his Family going up against Andre & Hillbilly. Heenan nervously insists he’s not nervous, and admits he does prefer to guide his men from ringside, he doesn’t like to wrestle. He says Andre and Hillbilly want to take him out personally, due to jealousy! Heenan is freaking out, he thinks someone keeps calling him weasel. Okerlund suggests it may be somewhere behind the WWF logo and Heenan charges off to go figure it out! Pretty funny, I suggest you give it a watch for some prime Heenan/Okerlund interaction.

    Heenan Quote of the Day:

    Heenan: My whole life, everybody’s been jealous of me! Everybody’s been worried about me their whole life!

    Okerlund: You’re paranoid.

    BH: They do this to me, they do that to me… And don’t you call me weasel either pal!

    GO: I didn’t say that, I said paranoid!

    BH: You said it, you called me weasel, I heard you!!

    And… that’s basically it. That’s all I can find from this random month. I don’t know if Heenan was on vacation for most of the month or what, but I just haven’t been able to track him down. The only other thing I can put here, and it probably wasn’t even from December but god knows when it was from, is this:

    Heenan PSA

    Heenan tells people not to drink and drive, as only he can.

    I’m Bobby the Brain Heenan. Whether you like me or not, I don’t care. But if you drink and you drive, you’re DUMB, and you’re STUPID.

    Pretty simple month here, mizfan fans! Take it as an opportunity to check out some of the older stuff, if you didn’t have time to watch some of the videos then, now’s the time. Don’t take it as a sign of things to come though, Heenan is set to play a very big role in 1986, which will be coming at you very soon! Stay tuned!

    That’s it for today, humanoids. I’ll be back soon with the next entry, until then don’t let the ham-and-eggers get you down, and stay awesome!

  22. #62
    Wet Dream Machine SkitZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Short but still sweet. Heenan's shooting from the hip in that interview and it's still gold.

    Enjoyed the clip, homie. I've been meaning to backtrack and watch more of them but its been a busy month. Love the new sig!

  23. #63
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Skitzoid! Great to hear from you ‘round these parts. One of things I love about this era is how unscripted everything is. Guys like Heenan could rise to the top based on their ability to bring ideas to life in their own way. Hope you do get a chance to check back some of the old stuff. Thanks for the love on the sig, I was thrilled to find that one!

    New '86 thread, dropping ASAP!

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