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 is being held over five nights. The first eight matches of round one took 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. 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 pinned 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. Round three saw some major twists and turns as United States Heavyweight Champion Tully Blanchard scored a controversial win over Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana, the Junkyard Dog defeated Jerry “The King” Lawler, Randy “Macho Man” Savage overcame “The Russian Nightmare” Nikita Koloff, and Ricky Steamboat pinned Kamala The Ugandan Giant. The semifinals in Madison Square Garden saw Tully Blanchard defeat the Junkyard Dog by countout and Randy “Macho Man” Savage defeat Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat by pinfall. Now that Round Four is over, it’s time for the deciding match as United States Heavyweight Champion Tully Blanchard takes on Randy “Macho Man” Savage.
This match will close the night at New York City’s Madison Square Garden and takes place on Monday November 11. The fans are still pumped up from the action-packed tag team match between the team of WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and Magnum T.A. against NWA World Champion Ric Flair and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Now, it’s time for the main event. Your announcers for the show are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Gorilla tells Jesse this is the biggest event since WrestleMania and there’s not a seat to be found. Fortunately, those who couldn’t get tickets can watch it in the comfort of their own homes via pay-per-view. Gorilla says it’s time to hear from the competitors.
Lord Alfred Hayes is backstage with United States Heavyweight Champion Tully Blanchard and his “Perfect 10,” Baby Doll. “You’ve had some impressive performances so far and now, a Rolls Royce and a world championship await you if you can defeat Randy “Macho Man” Savage. Blanchard tells Hayes, Lord Alfred, as nice as the Rolls Royce will be, let’s be honest. If I want a Rolls Royce I go to the dealer’s and buy it with cash. I’m the United States Champion which makes me the number one contender for the NWA World Championship. Winning this tournament is about one thing—proving I’m the very best in the professional wrestling industry. I know it and when this tournament ends, the fans will have to acknowledge it. They won’t be talking about the Dusty Rhodes, the Magnum T.A.’s, the Hulk Hogans, or the Rick Martels, they’ll be talking about me. Randy Savage, he’s a world-class athlete, but where’s his championship? I’ve battled the elite of the elite over the last few nights and every time I’ve learned something new. Tonight, Randy Savage is going to learn something new—when it comes to wrestling, he came up short against Tully Blanchard.”
“Mean” Gene Okerlund is waiting with Randy “Macho Man” Savage and his manager, Miss Elizabeth. Mean Gene asks what it’s going to take to win the Wrestling Classic.” “It’s going to take one thing Mean Gene—me stepping into the ring and proving once again that I’m the cream of the crop!” The Macho Man produces a creamer packet out of nowhere and flicks it aside. “Cream of the crop, that’s what I am!” Once again, The Macho Man has a creamer packet in his hand and he flicks it away as he adds, “Tully Blanchard is gonna find out why I’m the cream of the crop. Just like Hulk Hogan is going to find out when I corner him in the ring. Hulk Hogan can run but he can’t hide. Tully Blanchard, you can run but ‘Macho Madness’ will catch up with you. Tully will be saying Randy Savage is the cream of the crop!” Savage produces another creamer packet, this time placing it in Okerlund’s suit coat pocket. "Macho Man Randy Savage, shouldn’t you stay focused on Tully Blanchard and not worry about WWF Champion Hulk Hogan?” “Uh-uh, Mean Gene, when you’re the cream of the crop, you’ve got eyes in the back of your head so as I drop a flying elbowsmash on Blanchard, I’ll be picturing myself doing the same thing to Hulk Hogan.” Savage takes the creamer container out of Okerlund’s pocket and places it on his head “Cream of the crop! Dig it!” Mean Gene says “Back to you Jesse and Gorilla.”
FINAL ROUND: United States Champion Tully Blanchard (w/ Baby Doll) vs. Randy Macho Man Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth)
Your referee for this match is Joey Marella. Jesse looks at Gorilla and says there’s something familiar about that referee. Gorilla changes subjects and asks if Jesse can stay unbiased when he calls the match since he’s such good friends with The Macho Man. Jesse says he’s the man who “tells it like it is” and he’s going to call this match as he sees it. Ventura adds “It’s good to see two wrestlers competing who don’t care what the fans think and who aren’t phonies like Hulk Hogan who preach fair play while they break the rules.” Gorilla says there’s no question both men here like to break the rules so it should be interesting to see who breaks them the most without getting disqualified. “These two understand what I mean when I say, ‘Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat!’” Jesse adds.
The fans boo as Howard Finkel introduces United States Champion Tully Blanchard and his manager Baby Doll. “Pomp and Circumstance” plays as Randy Savage makes his way to the ring with Miss Elizabeth opening the ropes for him. The two men and their respective managers meet in the ring. The fans aren’t sure who to cheer yet but they seem eager to watch this main event. Gorilla comments, “A capacity crowd on hand tonight Jesse and it’s only fitting that the tournament finals take place at Madison Square Garden, ‘The Mecca of Professional Wrestling.’” Jesse “We started with 32 competitors and now we’ve got Tully Blanchard and Randy Savage, two men who have beat the elite of the elite.”
Collar and elbow tie-up as Blanchard gets Savage into a side headlock. Savage bounces off the ring ropes and whips Blanchard into the ropes. Shoulderblock but neither man goes down. Another collar and elbow tie-up as both men vie for control. Blanchard gets Savage into the ropes and the referee motions for a clean break. Tully raises his hands for a clean break and as he does, Savage slaps him in the face. Blanchard fires off a punch but Savage blocks it, firing off a punch of his own that knocks Tully down. Tully rolls out of the ring and confers with Baby Doll as Savage hops over the top rope and starts chasing Blanchard around the ring. Blanchard grabs Miss Elizabeth and uses her as a shield! Randy Savage pauses and as he does, Blanchard throws the lovely Elizabeth towards him. Savage goes to grab her and as he does, Blanchard hits a cheap shot. The fans boo as Blanchard grabs Savage and rams his head into the mat apron.
Knee to the gut by Blanchard as he follows up, ramming Savage’s head into the steel post, knocking The Macho Man down. Blanchard rolls into the ring and rolls out, breaking up the count. Savage is getting to his feet when Blanchard picks him up and bodyslams him on the floor. Blanchard stomps at Savage before rolling into the ring. Joey Marella is starting a ten-count as Blanchard tries to exit the ring again. Marella orders Blanchard to stay back but he ignores him as Savage tries to get on the mat apron, kicking Savage in the head. Gorilla notes that Randy Savage’s head has been busted open! Jesse adds “Things have not started well for The Macho Man. He’d better get back on track because once you start losing blood, things get difficult.” “That’s right Jesse. Obscured vision, growing weakness. Two things you don’t want to face when you’re going against a dangerous individual like Tully Blanchard.”
Savage goes to get back into the ring and Blanchard tries to intercept him again. Referee Joey Marella motions Blanchard to back off and Savage sees his spot, grabbing Blanchard and dropping his neck across the top rope as Savage jumps off the mat apron. Blanchard falls to the mat and The Macho Man grabs Blanchard, pulling him out of the ring. Savage slugs Blanchard then rakes the eyes. Savage rams Blanchard’s head into the ring post. Joey Marella starts a ten-count as Savage throws Tully into the security barrier. The Macho Man rolls into the ring and rolls back out, breaking the count. Savage takes Blanchard and slams him onto the floor. “Savage has come right back Monsoon. I’m impressed—and it takes a lot to impress the Jess!”
The Macho Man climbs back onto the mat apron and delivers a flying axe-handle to Blanchard as the United States Champion returns to his feet. Savage throws Blanchard into the ring and joins him inside. Cover on Tully but he kicks out at two. “Both men’s faces are now crimson masks, Jesse!” Gorilla comments. Savage grabs Tully and begins unloading on his busted open forehead with a series of rights. Marella counts to four as Savage finally stops with the closed fists.
Savage picks Tully up and whips him into the ropes, hitting Blanchard in the chest with an elbowsmash. “The Macho Man” goes for a body slam but Tully counters, rolling Savage up for a two count. Both men get up and begin exchanging punches. Blanchard rakes the eyes then knees Savage in the gut. They’re in the corner brawling as the referee tries to restore order. Meanwhile, Baby Doll climbs onto the mat apron and begins undoing a top turnbuckle cover in the adjacent corner. The fans are booing and shouting for the referee but he’s too busy trying to get Blanchard and Savage out of the corner. “Looks like Baby Doll isn’t leaving anything to chance” Jesse observes. Blanchard and Savage vie for control as the blood pours down their faces.
Marella finally gets Blanchard and Savage out of the corner but the two are still throwing punches. “This one has turned into a pier-six brawl!” Gorilla notes as the two finalists continue slugging away. Knee to the gut by Blanchard slows Savage down and the U.S. Champion follows up with an elbow to the head. Body slam by Blanchard as he drops several elbows on The Macho Man. Cover but Savage kicks out at two. The two get back up and Blanchard goes to whip Savage into the corner with the exposed turnbuckle pad. However, Savage reverses the Irish whip, sending Blanchard towards the corner and unfortunately, also into the referee. Baby Doll sees her man’s opportunity and slides a steel chair into the ring.
Blanchard goes for the chair but The Macho Man steps on Tully’s hand. Kick to the head as Blanchard falls back towards the corner. Savage picks up the chair and goes to hit a grand slam on Blanchard but Tully dives out of the way and Savage clobbers the turnbuckle, inadvertently hitting himself with the chair. Blanchard grabs the chair and cracks it over Randy’s head. “Excedrin headache number five!” Gorilla says. Cover by Blanchard. 1, 2, 3. Sadly for Tully, there’s no referee to make the count though. Blanchard looks and sees Joey Marella stirring. Blanchard is looking around. He’s yelling something to Baby Doll. She races to the announce table as Gorilla says “Looks like we’ve got an uninvited guest.” “Speak for yourself Monsoon, Baby Doll is welcome here anytime she wants.” Baby Doll grabs a pitcher of water and runs into the ring with it, pouring it over Joey Marella’s head. Marella stirs as he tries to get up.
Meanwhile, Blanchard turns around only to walk into a chair shot to the head from Savage. The Macho Man” kicks the chair out of the ring. Tully Blanchard is down on the mat. The Macho Man climbs towards the top rope. Baby Doll gets on the mat apron and distracts Savage. The referee moves towards her and Baby Doll falls off the mat apron. Miss Elizabeth is standing nearby. “Did Miss Elizabeth pull Baby Doll off the mat apron?” Gorilla asks. Jesse responds, “I couldn’t see but if she did, it’s the first useful thing she’s ever done for The Macho Man.” Savage gets off the turnbuckle and starts arguing with the referee. As he does, Tully reaches into the tights and produces a pair of what looks like brass knuckles. Blanchard is wobbling as he gets to his feet, waiting for Savage to turn around. Blanchard swings at Macho Man but Savage ducks! Savage spins Blanchard around and atomic drops him into the corner with the exposed turnbuckle. “Tully Blanchard just got his clock cleaned, Jess!” Gorilla comments. Savage climbs to the top rope and dives off with a flying elbowsmash. “Stick the fork in him, this one is over!” Gorilla says as referee Joey Marella makes the count, 1-2-3. Randy Savage is winner of the 1985 Wrestling Classic. Gorilla exclaims “The Garden has gone strictly bananas!”
Winner: Randy “Macho Man” Savage
“Tremendous victory by The Macho Man Randy Savage, Jess.” Monsoon tells his broadcast partner. “I think Blanchard’s biggest problem was he wasn’t used to another wrestler who has so many tricks up his sleeve as ‘The Macho Man.” Jesse comments. “So, you’re saying Randy Savage outcheated him?” “I said no such thing Monsoon! Stop trying to put words into my mouth!”
Gorilla laughs and says “Thank you for joining us for the 1985 Wrestling Classic! It’s been a real pleasure, Jesse.” Ventura laughs and says, “The pleasure was all yours Monsoon!”
That’s it for this time fans. We hope you’ve enjoyed this special presentation and if you have, get ready for more in the near future! Thanks so much to Canadian Bulldog for hosting the tournament too! In the meantime, have a look at all the wrestling lists and nostalgia, exclusively here at Wrestling Merchandise and Memories!