-Originally aired March 24, 1984.
-Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Gene Okerlund.
TITO SANTANA (Intercontinental Champion) vs TONY RUSSO
-Tito throws a rose to the fans before the bell. Hiptoss by Santana as Howard Finkel steps in to announce that a match between Sgt. Slaughter and Iron Sheik has finally been signed for next month in Boston.
-Hammerlock and a slam by Tito. Side headlock is clamped on. Russo gets free but Tito sweeps the leg and reapplies it. Gene Okerlund is impressed by Tito’s brilliant package. Russo shows some life, applying an armbar and falling forward with it to faceplant Tito. He holds onto the armbar and whips Tito into the corner. Tito blocks a charge and finishes with the flying forearm.
“Mister Wonderful” PAUL ORNDORFF vs JOHNNY RINGO
-Johnny is a big fat guy with a mustache and a cowboy hat, and despite every square inch of him screaming “heel,” they’re using him as cannon fodder for Mister Wonderful. Bell sounds and Orndorff loudly declares that he’s going to wrestle Ringo down to the mat and hold him down there so he can’t get back up, and then does exactly that.
-Orndorff throws Ringo out to the floor, then rings him back in for a clothesline and BARELY gets him in the air for the piledriver and the pin.
-Vince profiles Hulk Hogan notes that fandom for Hulk Hogan is being referred to as Hulkamania. He plays Hulk Hogan’s entrance on the night of the title win to give us a broad understanding of what exactly this Hulkamania thing is.
SGT. SLAUGHTER vs RON SHAW
-Crowd reaction for Slaughter is weirdly lethargic after several weeks of batshit crazy reactions. Slaughter gives his flag to a kid at ringside so that he can salute it before entering the ring.
-Slaughter offers a handshake, and when Shaw refuses, Slaughter boots him in the gut and slams him. Series of punches by Slaughter, followed by a backbreaker. Slaughter cannon from the second rope, and the cobra clutch gets the submission.
TONGA KID vs ANGELO GOMEZ
-Armdrag by Tonga and he holds on with an armbar. Gomez keeps trying to get offense and Tonga just keeps armdragging him. Gene’s mention of the enthusiastic crowd reaction just draws attention to how quiet the fans have been this hour, and a check of The History of WWE would indicate we’re in the last hour of the taping, so that probably solves that mystery.
-Missile dropkick puts Gomez away, and the crowd sorta wakes up for that.
TONY ATLAS & ROCKY JOHNSON (Tag Team Champions) vs ISRAEL MATIA & CHARLIE FULTON
-Matia’s jacket reads “PRO WRESTLING I. MATIA.” But perhaps more interesting than that, After Rocky Johnson’s introduction, the cameras cut to a dead-on close up shot of 14-year-old The Rock sitting in the crowd! They don’t even acknowledge that it’s Rocky’s kid, but it’s obviously him. Pretty amazing.
-Rocky has little trouble with Israel Matia while Vince & Gene read some mail about the Fabulous Moolah, speculating that Velvet McIntyre might be the one to finally get the belt away from her. McIntyre was a weird story, because they really did seem to be pretty high on her for quite a few years, but for some reason, they didn’t give her a run with the belt.
-Atlas shows his stuff, finishing Matia with a press slam.
-Piper welcomes Iron Sheik and Ayatollah Freddy Blassie. Piper addresses Sheik as the World Champion and apologizes on behalf of all wrestling fans for their disrespectful behavior. Sheik is so appreciative of the hospitality that he and Blassie offer Piper a Rolls-Royce, no questions asked, just for being so nice to them.
“Dr. D” DAVID SCHULTZ vs STEVE LOMBARDI
-I guess it’s a really long walk from the Piper’s Pit set to the ring because Schultz is there alone this week. Snapmare and an elbow by Schultz and a “Hogan!” chant goes up. Gene Okerlund thinks the chants just make him meaner. Schultz slams Lombardi into position and finishes with the second-rope elbow.
BOB BACKLUND vs TIGER CHUNG LEE
-The kids from last week’s amateur exhibition are in attendance cheering Bob on, and the weird thing is, they’re sitting on the set of Piper’s Pit. This is Backlund’s return after two months away from the ring. Backlund uses a lot of pretty basic mat wrestling to keep control. Backlune ties up his arms and twists into a wristlock. Arm wringer into an armbar. Lee gets in a few forearms and goes for a pin, but Backlund bridges out to show that his neck is back to 100%, and hooks Lee’s arms to get a roll-up and finish. Backlund does some push-ups post-match to show how strong his neck is and does a completely insane exercise where he lays down, hooks the referee’s legs, and kicks his own legs back and forth while keeping all of his weight pushing down on his neck.
IRON MIKE SHARPE vs VICTOR MERCADO
-Crowd gives what can only be described as a sarcastic pop for Sharpe, letting out a “Yay!” very briefly and then going totally silent. Sharpe beats on Mercado, and when the crowd boos, he demand that somebody get in the ring and do better. Sharpe misses a charge and Mercado capitalizes with a dropkick. Sharpe’s controversial forearm brace comes into play and Sharpe totally drops him with it. He rams Mercado into a table at ringside and puts the boots to him, then steps inside and forces the referee to raise his hand. I love this guy. Clothesline with the armbrace finishes.
FINAL THOUGHT: A returning wrestler and a historical curiosity (Rock’s cameo) made this a mildly interesting week, but nothing that makes it mandatory viewing.