Random thoughts on Tuesday Night Titans, Maryse/Yoshi Tatsu, Ted DiBiase Jr./Santino Marella and ‘The True Story of WrestleMania’ DVD
For those of us old enough to remember the early days of the Hulkamania era of the WWF in the 1980s, a number of things immediately come to mind when reflecting on them: The Rock and Wrestling Connection, Saturday Night’s Main Event and Piper’s Pit just to name a few.
It also was the time when one of the most unique shows in televised wrestling history debuted: Tuesday Night Titans.
TNT, which aired weekly on the USA Network in the years before Mondays became “wrestling night” on TV, was pro wrestling’s version of “The Tonight Show.” Vince McMahon played the Johnny Carson role, and Lord Alfred Hayes was cast as the Ed McMahon-like second banana.
Thanks to WWE Classics on Demand, TNT lives on. I watched an episode from June 1984 Wednesday night.
Here are a few observations:
“Superfly” Jimmy Snuka was one of the guests. Let’s just say that a talk show format did not play to the strengths of the star from the Fiji islands. Snuka was known for two things: his Superfly leap off the top rope and his nonsensical promos that were delivered in a voice barely above a whisper.
McMahon remarked that the Superfly splash appears as though it hurts Snuka as much as his opponent.
Snuka repied: “Well, only one thing that I’d just like to just say to you, sir, and to the wonderful people there, here in the United States, which I love so much. And I know that you’re all willing to know individually and one of us, because individual’s feelings is different. And if you’ve got that feeling, then the answers, ladies and gentleman, only you know.
Well, OK, then.
Perhaps even more bizarre that Snuka’s gibberish was the fact that the legendary Lou Thesz was a guest on the program.
Yes, there was the no-nonsense, six-time former NWA world champion sitting between McMahon – the man who had turned wrestlers into cartoon characters (literally) – and Hayes (who was clad in a garish powder-blue tuxedo).
McMahon was very respectful of the classy Thesz, and a brief black and white clip was shown of Thesz wrestling in Japan in the 1950s.
Ivan Putski also was on the show. To celebrate Putski’s Polish heritage, there was a Polka band, Polka dancers and a sampling of Polish cuisine (courtesy of Polock Johnny’s, a storied Baltimore establishment).
Putski sang “My Melody of Love” and did the Polka – as did an animated McMahon.
In addition to these and other guests, there was a vignette with “Mr. Wonderful” going to a beauty shop to get his hair styled and a manicure. He also was getting his shoes shined, despite the fact that he was wearing sneakers.
Orndorff wasn’t happy with the service and began berating the women who were attending to him. It was laugh-out-loud funny.
One other thing I noticed about this show: McMahon used the words “professional wrestling” on numerous occasions. My, how times have changed.
I haven’t been watching the current season of WWE NXT, but I’ve been reading the recaps. On this week’s episode, Maryse dumped Ted DiBiase Jr. and later planted a kiss on Yoshi Tatsu.
I wonder if the French-speaking Maryse used her native tongue with Tatsu.
Being kicked to the curb by Maryse is just the latest in a seemingly endless string of humiliations for DiBiase.
Last week on WWE Superstars, Santino Marella used The Cobra to score a clean win over DiBiase.
Seriously, who did this kid tick off?
I watched the documentary portion of “The True Story of WrestleMania” DVD and thought it was insightful and well done. There also is some great behind-the-scenes footage.
A lot of the more famous WrestleMania matches are included on the three-disc set, but there are no matches from the past four WrestleManias (2007-2010), which means neither of the two classic Shawn Michaels-Undertaker matches are on there (Michaels-Undertaker from WrestleMania XXV is exclusive to the Blu-ray release).