A 15,100 sell-out crowd witnessed this event, a show that boasted a strong card featuring the Boston debuts of Lanny Poffo, The Missing Link and Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage as well as the tag champions Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff in action as well IC champion Greg Valentine in action and Hogan locking horns with Big John Studd.
WWF at the Boston Gardens June 22 1985
Your hosts Gorilla Monsoon and Mean Gene Okerlund
Championship’s roll call: WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan… Intercontinental Champion: Greg ‘the Hammer’ Valentine… Tag Team Champions: The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff…
Match 1: Steve Lombardi v Wildman Jack Armstrong: Of course, Lombardi is better known as The Brooklyn Brawler whilst Armstrong is so poorly known that he’s announced as “Wildman Jack Savage” by the ring announcer. Nothing much really to this seven minute affair. Big “boring” chant throughout before Lombardi picks up the win with a Boston crab after a backbreaker.
Match 2: George ‘The Animal’ Steele v Moondog Spot: I don’t anticipate a very technical match here… As one half of the Moondogs, Spot is a onetime former WWF Champion and would wrestle until 2003 when he died as a result of a heart attack in the ring. While the in-ring work leaves a lot to be desired, the crowd are super into Steele, who picks up the win after hitting Spot in the throat with a foreign object. Steele celebrates by eating a number of turnbuckle pads.
Interview segment is up next with Okerlund catching up with the number one free agent in wrestling, Randy Savage who is in action next against SD Jones.
Match 3: SD Jones v Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage: Crowd firmly behind Jones in this one as Monsoon and Okerlund inform us that various WWF managers were in attendance tonight to have a look at Savage. By no means a classic but some historical significance with this being Savage’s Boston debut with the WWF. Savage wins after Jones hits turnbuckle post shoulder first before Savage slams him and hits the top rope elbow drop for the three count.
Match 4: Swede Hansen v Adrian Adonis: Both men are former tag team champions – Hanson, with Rip Hawk, in various territories while Adonis held WWF titles with Jesse Ventura and Dick Murdoch. This was just before Adonis adopted the ‘Adorable’ moniker and bleached his hair. Hansen is in control early doors as he overpowers his younger opponent.
Adonis makes his comeback with a boot to Hansen’s nether region. With a combined weight of 600, this was never going to be anything other than a slow paced, but hard hitting, encounter and the brawl takes them to the outside where Hansen hits a couple of chair shots. Adonis takes a turnbuckle bump that’d make Ric Flair proud but Hansen misses a big splash and Adonis takes the win with an elbow drop off the top rope at the six and a half minute mark.
Match 5: The Missing Link (w/ Bobby ‘the Brain’ Heenan) v Tony Garea: The late Dewey ‘Missing Link’ Robertson only had a very short run with the WWF during the 1980s and is perhaps best remembered from his stints with the WCCW while Garea is a five time WWF tag team champion – including stints with Rick Martel (2) and Larry Zybszko. The Missing Link’s gimmick, for those unaware of him, is similar to George ‘the Animal’ Steele and Kamala. Basically a crazy out of control wild man. The Missing Link starts the match by attacking furniture at ringside including the ring steps – an act that bursts him open. Despite Garea getting in some offence, this is basically a squash and The Missing Link gets the win with a splash off the second rope.
Match 6: WWF Intercontinental Champion Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine (w/Jimmy Hart) v The Junkyard Dog: As was the norm at the time, the crowd were hugely behind the JYD. Always quit liked Valentine. A slow and methodical wrestler, for sure, but also entertaining enough and his match with Ronnie Garvin at the Royal Rumble 1990 is a harder hitting match than most were used to in the WWF in 1990.
As was standard, we saw Valentine doing the Flair flop after he and JYD trade a series of hard hitting blows before a double clothesline drops both superstars. A reversal of Valentines figure four sends Jimmy Hart, who had been on the ring apron, to the ground before JYD gets a near fall with a small package. We are treated to a series of JYD headbutts but Hart distracts the challenger and holds down his legs as Valentine gets the pin, or at least thinks he does, before the referee disallows the count and counts Valentine out.
Match 7: Barry O v ‘Leaping’ Lanny Poffo: Poffo is Randy Savage’s brother and wrestled briefly for the WWF before turning to management as The Genius. Poffo gets announced as “Lenny” Poffo. Not that announcer’s finest day at the office. Barry O is of course Barry Orton, ‘Cowboy’ Bob Orton’s brother and the uncle of current WWE superstar Randy Orton. Perhaps best remembered as the man, during the WWF sex scandal of the early 90s, as the man that claimed both Terry Garvin and Pat Patterson molested him.
This show appears to be the evening of Boston debuts as Lanny Poffo is also making his debut in this match. This is perhaps the best match on the card so far with two quite contrasting styles: Poffo’s amateur background versus the brawling style of Barry O. I’m sure Poffo and his brother would have had a series of great great matches. Anyway, Poffo wins this one with a “leaping backflip” or a moonsault to you and I at the 12 minute mark.
Match 8: WWF Tag Team Champions The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff v The U.S. Express (Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo): The champions won the straps from their opponents on this show at Wrestlemania I in what was one of the shocks of the night. Rotundo later gained fame as I.R.S in the early 90s whilst unfortunately the best of Windham’s in-ring action took place in the NWA despite several runs with the WWF. Of course, these guys came to the ring to Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” and were eventually meant to get “Real American” before it was passed to Hogan.
This is a classic 80s match. Anti-American heels against all-American good guys with the crowd firmly behind the faces and this feud would resurface again on Retro Raw in 2008. This was a great back and forth match featuring the heels being in control over Windham before a hot tag to Rotunda and it took Volkoff reversing Rotundo’s small package on the Sheik for the victory. The crowd were at their hottest during this one, firmly behind the challengers but to no avail.
Match 9: Judy Martin v Desiree Peterson: These two had feuded forquite a while, initially in the tag team division where Desiree Peterson was a former co-holder of the women’s tag titles with Velvet McIntyre before The Glamour Girls (Leilani Kai and Judy Martin). Peterson pinned Martin at around nine minutes with a crossbody, moments after Martin had thrown her opponent onto the lap of Gorilla Monsoon at ringside, who then placed Peterson back inside the ring.
Match 10: WWF Champion Hulk Hogan v Big John Studd (w/Bobby ‘the Brain’ Heenan): Hogan hit the ring to ‘Eye of the tiger’ to a great pop. Weird seeing him in blue trunks and blue boots though.
Hogan bleeds a lot after Studd opens the wound on his head. This is a pretty standard Hogan match, nothing you won’t have seen before and we get typical heel esque behaviour too – a chair shot on the outside.
Studd, whose white tights are blood soaked, regains advantage with a clothesline and gets a couple of two counts before he slaps on a bearhug. The fight again goes to the outside where Hogan slams Big John Studd on the concrete floor and wins by countout.
Overall: Pretty standard fare for a show of this kind. A few cool bits here and there –with various debuts, particularly that of Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage. The early encounters left a lot to be desired but the event picked up as it progressed and the crowd was hot for the tag team match and very angry with the finish of that but were able to go away happy with a victory for their hero – and in wrestling terms virtually everyone’s hero in the mid to late eighties – the WWF Champion Hulk Hogan.