It’s time for the WWF Wrestling Classic What If Tournament, the imaginary event that envisions 32 of the world’s greatest wrestlers competing in a titanic tournament to determine the winner. Unlike the WWF Wrestling Classic from 1985, this one features wrestlers from a variety of promotions including the American Wrestling Association (AWA), various territories from the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), Japan, and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It also ups the stakes by awarding the winner a Rolls Royce (much like one lucky fan who ordered the pay-per-view did) along with a title shot against the NWA, WWF, or AWA World Heavyweight Champion. The tournament also features a main event tag team match with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Nature Boy” Ric Flair teaming up to take on Magnum T.A. and WWF Champion Hulk Hogan. Hogan, who is scheduled to meet Flair at Starrcade ’85, will meet Flair in the ring for the first time.
The matches will be held under traditional WWF rules which means you can win by count-out, disqualification, pinfall, or submission. There is no disqualification for throwing your opponent over the top rope, unlike other promotions. The matches in rounds one and two matches have a 20-minute time limit while rounds three and four have a 30-minute time limit. The fifth and final round will be a one-hour time limit. Just as was the case with the 1985 Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup, the tournament will feature randomly selected referees from a pool of referees from every promotion that is sending competitors.
The event will be held over five nights with the first eight matches of round one taking place on Thursday November 7, at the famous Boston Garden. Round One’s first eight matches saw Antonio Inoki, Tito Santana, Larry Zbyszko, Tully Blanchard, Harley Race, Jerry “The King” Lawler, The Junkyard Dog and Bob Backlund enter the winner’s circle. They’re now on their way to the second round. Round One’s final eight matches took place at the fabled Philadelphia Spectrum on Friday November 8, with Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Kerry Von Erich, Nikita Koloff, King Kong Bundy, Ricky Steamboat, Big John Studd, Kamala and Sgt. Slaughter advancing to Round Two. Round Two took place in Canada’s fabled Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario on Saturday November 9. There, fans saw Tito Santana victorious over Antonio Inoki, Tully Blanchard edge out Larry Zbyszko, Jerry “The King” Lawler defeat Harley Race by disqualification, the Junkyard Dog pin Bob Backlund, Randy Savage defeat Kerry Von Erich, Ricky Steamboat pin Big John Studd, Nikita Koloff beat King Kong Bundy by count-out and Kamala pin Sgt. Slaughter. The first two matches of round three saw United States Heavyweight Champion Tully Blanchard score a controversial win over Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana and the Junkyard Dog defeat Jerry “The King” Lawler.
It’s time for the final matches of round three. Round three is taking place at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday November 10. Your announcers for the show are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Gorilla tells Jesse that round three of the Wrestling Classic is the hottest ticket in town. Fortunately, those who couldn’t get tickets can watch it in the comfort of their own homes via pay-per-view.
“Lord” Alfred Hayes is backstage with Nikita Koloff and Krusher Kruschev. Kruschev tells Hayes Ivan would be here, but that no-good American slob “King Kong” Bundy injured him. Lord Alfred gets ready to interview Nikita when Krusher grabs the microphone. “Nikita wants a real man to interview him, not some limey loser like you” Lord Alfred looks miffed but decides to take the high ground and exit stage left. Krusher holds the microphone for Nikita who says “’Macho Man. Be prepared for true savagery when I crush you!”
“Mean" Gene Okerlund is standing backstage with Randy “Macho Man” Savage and his manager Miss Elizabeth. Gene says “Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage,” you’ve made it to round three and now you face the ‘Russian Nightmare.’” Savage stares at Okerlund at points his finger into Okerlund’s chest, “Don’t you be lookin’ at Miss Elizabeth with lustful eyes Okerlund. Elizabeth. I want you stand over there so this creep can interview me without gawking at you.” “Yes Randy” Miss Elizabeth says as she steps off camera, with Savage keeping an eye on her.
“Nikita Koloff, the so-called ‘Russian Nightmare.’ I don’t think he’s all that scary and he won’t be once he gets a taste of ‘Macho Madness.’ Gene, I was laying in bed last night when I saw General George Patton.” “George Patton? ‘Old Blood and Guts?” Gene asks. “That’s right. General George appeared to me and said he’d come from the great beyond to wish me well and congratulate me ahead of time before I crush that no-good Bolshevik. I said General George thanks but you wasted a trip cuz the Macho Man don’t need no help. Oh no. I’m going to beat Nikita on my way to the top then cash in my world championship. I might even let Elizabeth hold the belt after I win it. "
Nikita Koloff (w/ Krusher Kruschev) vs. Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth)
Miss Elizabeth opens the ring ropes for The Macho Man as he enters the ring and spins around, showing off his gorgeous ring robe before pointing at Nikita Koloff and Krusher Kruschev. Gorilla Monsoon notes there are some noticeable cheers for Randy Savage or perhaps for the lovely Elizabeth. “Who are you fooling, Monsoon. The fans have finally come to their senses about what I’ve been saying for weeks, Randy Savage is the best wrestler in the WWF today.”
Championship Wrestling from Florida referee Stu Schwartz checks both men for foreign objects then explains the rules. Collar and elbow tie-up as Nikita shoves Savage into a corner. Nikita flexes and invites Macho to lock up again. “Tremendous display of power, Jess” Gorilla says. Savage rakes the eyes then knees Nikita in the gut. Savage throws Nikita into the ropes but Koloff flattens him with a shoulder block. Nikita picks up Savage and slams him to the mat. Jesse observes, “’Macho’ can’t afford to get into a battle of strength with Koloff. Savage is no 98-pound weakling, but Nikita’s on another level in the power department.”
Koloff drops a knee onto Savage’s head then picks him up and whips him into a corner. Koloff charges in, but Savage lifts both his feet, stunning Koloff. Macho Man delivers an elbow smash to Nikita’s head then quickly climbs to the top rope, coming off with a flying axe-handle. However, Koloff catches him with a punch to the gut. Nikita lifts Savage effortlessly and drops his neck across the top rope. Koloff stomps at Randy’s back then follows up with an over-the-knee backbreaker. Big scoop slam by Nikita as he whips Savage into the ropes, applying a bearhug. Nikita has the hold locked in tight. Savage fights to escape, but is unsuccessful as Koloff lowers his shoulders to the mat, continuing the pressure but going for a pin.
Savage lifts his shoulder up, avoiding the pin, but he’s still in the bearhug. “Sticky situation for the ‘Macho Man’ Jesse. This capacity crowd is on the edge of their seats” Gorilla notes. Savage fights to escape the bearhug as Koloff continues the pressure. Savage elbows Nikita in the head. Another elbow as Koloff squeezes tighter. Savage elbows Koloff again then pokes him in the eye, finally freeing himself from the hold. Savage is wobbly as Nikita tries to adjust his vision. Koloff whips Savage into the ropes and goes for a bearhug but The Macho Man catches him with a clothesline! Nikita doesn’t go down but he’s wobbling. Savage climbs to the top rope and hits a flying axe-handle, knocking Nikita down. Randy climbs the top ropes again, hitting a flying elbowsmash. Savage goes to cover Nikita as he sees Krusher Kruschev walking towards the lovely Elizabeth.
Krusher begins to menace Miss Elizabeth so The Macho Man jumps off the mat apron with a double ax-handle. Krushchev goes down. Savage bodyslams Krushchev on the cement then picks him up. Piledriver on the concrete! However, Nikita knees Savage in the back just as The Macho Man prepares to piledrive Krusher a second time. Koloff rams Savage’s head into the turnbuckle. Nikita picks Savage up and goes to javelin toss him into the steel post. However, Savage slides behind him and shoves Nikita head-first into the post. Savage slides into the ring to break the ten-count then slides out. Savage picks Koloff up for a piledriver, but “The Russian Nightmare” counters with a body-drop that sends Savage down to the floor.
Koloff has been busted open but he's not slowing down. He whips Savage into the security barrier then goes for a chair. Nikita lifts the chair and goes to crush Savage, but “The Macho Man” kicks him in the gut and Koloff drops the chair. Both men slide into the ring. Exchange of punches but neither man is getting the upper hand. Koloff whips Randy into the ropes and goes for the Russian Sickle but Savage ducks and comes off the other rope with an elbowsmash to the chest. Nikita rakes Savage’s eyes then goes to lift him up. However, Savage rolls him up into a small package, grabbing the bottom rope for the insurance package. 1-2-3. The Macho Man has done it! “Another case of brain outwitting brawn, Monsoon! ‘Chump’ Hogan had better watch out when he faces Roddy Piper and Ric Flair” The Body tells Gorilla.
Winner: Randy "Macho Man" Savage
After the match, Koloff grabs the referee and throws him through the ropes. Macho Man heads back to the dressing room with Miss Elizabeth as Koloff’s tantrum continues. Krusher Kruschev is still out on the floor at ringside.
“Mean” Gene Okerlund is backstage with Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. “What a fantastic tournament this is and now it’s time to bring in one of the odds-on favorites, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. “Thanks Gene. It’s great to have received such a warm welcome from the fans in the World Wrestling Federation and I’ve already found out that this is where the elite of the elite compete.” Gene notes Steamboat has had to deal with “The Devious One” Mr. Fuji and The Magnificent Muraco recently. Now he’s facing an even more savage opponent—Kamala “The Ugandan Giant.” Steamboat shakes his head and says Kamala has shown he may not be all there, but he’s no one to take lightly. However, Kamala is going to find out that this dragon breathes fire!
Lord Alfred Hayes is interviewing Kamala and his handler Kim Chee. Lord Alfred Hayes asks Kamala what it’s like to have gotten this far in the tournament. Kamala looks at Lord Hayes then rubs his belly. “Oh my” Hayes says as he asks Kim Chee, “Is he thinking of what I think he’s thinking?” Kim Chee nods his head and Hayes says “Back to you Gorilla and Jesse” before bolting.
Ricky Steamboat vs. Kamala (w / Kim Chee)
Howard Finkel introduces the two competitors as New Japan Pro Wrestling referee Mr. Takahashi prepares to officiate. Ricky Steamboat is taking off his ring jacket when Kamala charges in the corner. However, the fans warn The Dragon and he gets out of the way. “Pearl Harbor job gone awry!” Gorilla comments.
Steamboat unloads with knife edge chops to Kamala in the corner as Kim Chee bails out of the ring. Steamboat goes to whip Kamala into the opposite corner but The Ugandan Giant doesn’t budge. Kamala reverses, sending Steamboat into the corner. Jesse Ventura says Steamboat is going to have to rely on his speed as there’s no way he can match Kamala’s size or strength. Kamala headbutts Steamboat, knocking him down to the mat. Kamala goes for the big bodysplash but The Dragon rolls out of the way at the last moment. “Nobody home!” Gorilla shouts. Jesse notes “Kamala may have hurt himself as much as he would have hurt Steamboat.” Gorilla, “That’s right. I can tell you from personal experience that when a big man misses a move like that, it’s going to hurt a lot.”
Steamboat climbs to the top rope as Kamala struggles to get up and jumps off with a flying chop. “Kamala is on rubber leg street” Jesse observes. Steamboat moves with lightning speed as he climbs back up to the top rope. The Flying Hawaiian soars through the air as he hits a flying cross-bodyblock. Steamboat hooks Kamala’s leg as the referee counts, 1, 2, 3! “Steamboat has done it!” Gorilla Monsoon exclaims.
Winner: Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
The referee raises Steamboat’s hand in victory as Kim Chee gets in Steamboat’s face. Steamboat chops Kim Chee down to the mat as the fans cheer. Oh no! Kamala grabs Steamboat by the back of the head and headbutts him. Kamala chops Steamboat in the throat then whips him into the ropes. Kamala hits a reverse thrust kick as Steamboat goes down. Kamala bounces off the ropes and splashes Steamboat! The referee tries to get in the way but Kamala headbutts him. Kim Chee gets up and directs traffic. Another splash to Steamboat! The fans cheer as several wrestlers run out to help. “Special Delivery” Jones, Jose Luis Rivera, and Aldo Marino try to keep Kamala at bay but he quickly dispatches Rivera and Moreno with chops then kicks Jones. Kamala goes to town, splashing the various preliminary wrestlers.
“The Body” laughs “No go deed goes unpunished, Monsoon!” The fans cheer as the Junkyard Dog, Tito Santana, and Dusty Rhodes run in, chasing Kamala off. The babyfaces check on Steamboat. Two medical personnel bring a stretcher to ringside and look at the carnage in the ring. “We’re going to need a lot more stretchers!” Jesse tells Gorilla.
That’s it for this time fans. Join us next time as round four begins and four men compete to see who will advance to the finals for a Rolls Royce and a world championship match in either the NWA, WWF, AWA, or Japan. Be sure to check back as the WWF Wrestling Classic What If Tournament continues, exclusively at Wrestling Merchandise and Memories.