1/4/86 - Saturday Night Slam Masters - Tampa, FL

1/4/86 - Saturday Night Slam Masters (taped 12/19/85)
LOCATION - SunDome - Tampa, FL

"Obsession" by Animotion brought us in to the phenomenon that is sweeping the nation, Saturday Night Slam Masters! Normally Gorilla Monsoon would be joined by Bobby Heenan on Slam Masters, but since the Brain has himself an extremely busy night, Mark Niemiller is the one at the announce table. Heenan does have a big night ahead of him, managing his wrestlers in three matches tonight. Big John Studd will take on Rick Martel, Tully Blanchard defends the Television Title against Jacques Rougeau, and King Kong Bundy defends the World Title against Bob Backlund! We will also see GCW newcomer Koko B. Ware as the special guest on The Flower Shop, and so much more! Now down to the ring with Howard Finkel.

MATCH #1
Television Title Match
Tully Blanchard (c) (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Jacques Rougeau

The first match of the night was our first of two title matches. Tully Blanchard was defending the Television Title against Jacques Rougeau with tag team partners banned from ringside. A clip was shown of a recent tag team match with the Rougeaus taking on Blanchard & Arn Anderson with Jacques Rougeau getting the pin on Blanchard to start the match. This however was a singles match, something that Jacques does not have a ton of experience in. That being said, Jacques Rougeau was on top of his game, and it was taking Blanchard off his game. When you have a manager like Bobby Heenan though, you rarely leave things to chance. When it looked like Jacques was about to roll Blanchard over into the Boston crab, that's when the video wall turned on. On the video wall was an image of a downed Raymond Rougeau, and standing over him with a chair was ARN ANDERSON. Jacques let go of the hold and was going to leave the ring to go help his brother, but that's when Blanchard clipped his knee from behind. The Slingshot Suplex was next, and we had a successful title defense.

Tully Blanchard pinned Jacques Rougeau with the Slingshot Suplex in 0:12:39.
Rating: *** 1/2
(Tully Blanchard retained the GCW Television Title.)

Monsoon was outraged over what we saw, but Niemiller just said it was smart. He said there's a lot of money in managing the TV champion, and you don't leave that up to chance. You don't have to like it, but Blanchard is still the champ.

MATCH #2
Rick Martel vs. Big John Studd (w/ Bobby Heenan)

Rick Martel's issues with the Heenan Family have cost him a lot. Months of his career, and perhaps even more importantly, he can never challenge for the World Title again. One thing he does still have power over though is getting revenge against the Heenan Family in any way he can. He had a shot to do so against Big John Studd, but that is a feat easier said than done. Martel's heart is strong, and when he is motivated, he is hard to beat. Studd also took Martel lightly, which is never a good idea. Martel used his speed to pepper Studd with punches and dropkicks, almost knocking Studd down. Martel hit the ropes again for some momentum, but this time Studd got a hold of Martel by the throat. And then wouldn't let go. Referee Tommy Young administered the count, but it was clear that Studd had no intentions of letting go, making this one a disqualification.

Rick Martel defeated Big John Studd by disqualification in 0:04:40.
Rating: **

The match was over, but Studd was still keeping the chokehold on. This is dangerous at any time, but with Martel's history of severe neck injuries, this was a particularly scary situation. Martel was trapped in the chokehold for nearly 2 minutes before officials finally managed to pry Studd off of him. Monsoon called the act despicable while Niemiller said this was something Martel brought on himself.

THE FLOWER SHOP W/ GUEST KOKO B. WARE

Back from commercial break, we were at the set of The Flower Shop. "Adorable" Adrian Adonis was looking as flamboyant as ever, and Jimmy Hart even had his Adonis-themed jacket on. The guest on the show was exciting newcomer Koko B. Ware, who shocked the wrestling world with his debut in Madison Square Garden by pinning Bad News Brown. Adonis began by making fun of Koko's short stature, which Koko countered by making fun of Adonis' ridiculous dress. Adonis took offense, telling Koko he was the new kid in town and he shouldn't be running his mouth. Koko actually apologized which surprised a lot of people. Koko said he was out of line and shouldn't be running his mouth, but rather, should let his actions do the talking. This is when Koko slapped Adonis across the face! Koko yelled that he wouldn't be disrespected in GCW. Later on in the broadcast, we would learn the Koko B. Ware and Adrian Adonis will go at it in Boston 7 nights from now.

MATCH #3
The Fabulous Ones vs. The Electric Dream Machine (w/ Precious)

This match never got going. Not because of an injury or someone having car trouble. No, the Fabulous Ones & the Electric Dream Machine never got going because they both couldn't end their entrances. That's right - instead of a wrestling match, we got to watch four grown men not get in the ring because they were so focused on their ring entrances. At one point, both teams were in the aisle doing their entrances, completely oblivious to the fact that their opponents were in the aisle doing their entrance. Eventually referee Joey Marella had to come down and tell them the match was off. Just strange.

The Fabulous Ones (Steve Keirn and Stan Lane) vs. The Electric Dream Machine (Jimmy Garvin and Steve Regal) never took place.
Rating: N/A

We have learned this match is going to take place in Boston, and this time, if the entrances of the Fabulous Ones and the Electric Dream Machine aren't both under 45 seconds each, fines and possible suspensions will be levied.

BLANCHARD & ANDERSON HAVE THEIR CELEBRATION INTERRUPTED

TV champion Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson were seen in the back celebrating Blanchard's dubious title defense over Jacques Rougeau. Gene Okerlund is trying to get an interview. They're being quite disrespectful about the situation when WAHOO MCDANIEL enters and gets in Blanchard's face. The Enforcer looks ready to pounce, but Blanchard holds him back, saying he wants to hear Wahoo out. Wahoo told Blanchard he saw what he did out there and he didn't like it. He also reminded Tully that if it wasn't for an injury, Wahoo would still be the Television champion. Blanchard got even more upset when Wahoo brought up how he was the one responsible for beating the Heenan Family in War Games. Tully interrupted and said he never beat him though, and that if they ever got in the ring, that's exactly what he'd do. Wahoo asked, "How about in Boston then?" Tully tried to back out of it, but Anderson chimed in and said not only does Blanchard accept, but he will take Wahoo out once and for all! Wahoo left smiling while Blanchard looked very unsure of himself.

MATCH #4
World Title Match
Special Referee: Lou Thesz
King Kong Bundy (c) (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Bob Backlund

Already a great show to this point, but this was the big one. Former World champion Lou Thesz was introduced first, and received a nice round of applause from the Tampa crowd. Thesz waved a couple of times, but it was clear that he was focused on the job at hand, and that was to make sure nothing crazy went down in this match. With all of these combustible elements though, that was going to be a difficult task. As soon as the bell rang, Bob Backlund went right after King Kong Bundy's legs, trying to get the champion off his feet. If Bundy has a vertical base, nobody has a chance against him - not even a former 3-time World champion. Backlund almost had Bundy off his feet several times, but the 450 pounder kept cutting him off. Still, Bundy couldn't get any sustained momentum either based on Backlund's speed advantage. Bobby Heenan wanted to get involved throughout the match, but Lou Thesz was not about to let that happen, sternly chastising the Brain. Heenan had a backup plan though, and that plan involved BIG JOHN STUDD strolling down to ringside. This immediately caught the attention of Lou Thesz. Not only him, but RICK MARTEL, who came down to even the odds.

Thesz jumped down to the floor to make sure nothing happened, which then allowed Heenan to sneak in the ring behind Backlund. Heenan grabbed Backlund's arms and held him open for Bundy, but Bundy's punch missed and clocked the Brain instead! Backlund dropkicked Bundy back into the corner. Backlund hit the ropes to get some momentum, but Studd tripped him up. Thesz missed this as he was tied up with Martel, but Martel saw it and he snapped. He got past Thesz and pushed him into the ringpost before hopping in the ring to go after Bundy. Studd wasn't stunned long and he got in the ring, grabbing Martel from behind and tossing him across the ring. Thesz saw four guys in the ring and decided he had seen enough, throwing this match out.

Match with Special Referee Lou Thesz:
King Kong Bundy wrestled Bob Backlund to a no-contest in 0:10:08.
Rating: 3/4*
(King Kong Bundy retained the GCW World Title.)
[Big John Studd interfered against Bob Backlund.]
[Rick Martel interfered against King Kong Bundy.]

The match was over, but the fight was on. Martel & Studd were going at it while Backlund & Bundy were continuing their battle. Bobby Heenan was getting in on it as well, clipping Backlund's knee from behind so Bundy could really attack. Thesz had seen enough at that point, rolling into the ring and clocking Heenan right between the eyes. Thesz didn't get much time before Bundy ran in and crushed him in the corner. Studd tied Martel up in the ropes while Heenan held Backlund's leg prone. Bundy came down with the Big Splash right on Backlund's leg, causing the former champ to scream in pain. Bundy was able to hit a second splash before officials came down to break it up.

Back from commercial, Monsoon was horrified by what he just saw, saying that the Heenan Family went too far. Niemiller said this was a long time coming and that Backlund & Martel got exactly what they deserved. Monsoon hoped that President Tunney does something about this.

SPECIAL INTERVIEW W/ THE NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPS

To end the show, Gene Okerlund had a special interview backstage with the brand new World Tag Team champions, Dusty Rhodes & Jim Duggan. Okerlund congratulated them, and Dusty said that even though he's been a tag team champion before, this one was special. This one was special because nobody thought they could do it. Nobody thought a "past his prime" American Dream and a Hacksaw who's green behind the ears could beat a team of destructive nature like Sgt. Slaughter & Stan Hansen, but that is exactly what they did. Okerlund asked Duggan how it felt, and Hacksaw said this was a dream come true, not only getting to be a tag team champion, but doing it with a guy like Dusty Rhodes. Okerlund brought up how a week from now in Boston, there would be a rematch, but this time it would be in a steel cage. Rhodes said he knew they were in for the fight of their lives, but if there was one thing they didn't do, it's give up. Duggan added that he wouldn't be the same after this match, he would be better.

Match observations:

1/11/86 - BOSTON GARDEN - Boston, MA

WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE CAGE MATCH - Dusty Rhodes/Jim Duggan (c) vs. Sgt. Slaughter/Stan Hansen
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE MATCH - Ted DiBiase (c) vs. Dino Bravo
The Fabulous Ones vs. The Electric Dream Machine
Koko B. Ware vs. Adrian Adonis
Non-Title Match - Tully Blanchard vs. Wahoo McDaniel
Plus, a battle royal!

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