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. 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.”
It’s time for the semifinals as four competitors battle in our tournament’s fourth round. Round Four is taking place at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Monday November 11. 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 tells Jesse we have the next two competitors waiting backstage.
“Mean” Gene Okerlund is outside the heel locker room with United States Champion Tully Blanchard and his manager, Baby Doll. Okerlund says one man stands between Blanchard and The Wrestling Classic finals — The Junkyard Dog. Blanchard tells Okerlund he’s not facing a man — he’s facing a dog. If it walks like a dog and it barks like a dog, it must be a dog. Where he comes from, he doesn’t deal with any mutts, he sends them to the pound and that’s exactly what he’s going to do to that no-good dirty, rotten dog — he’s sending JYD back to the pound where he belongs and taking him out of professional wrestling for good. Blanchard laughs and says if he's in a good mood he may even pay for a flea dip for the Dog. He’s so confident he already bought new leather driving gloves for when he wins the tournament’s Rolls Royce. Tully says he's made it to round four and holds out four fingers and pauses. No way the JYD is keeping me out of round five.
Lord Alfred Hayes is outside the babyface’s locker room with The Junkyard Dog. The Dog’s face is bandaged thanks to the fireball Jerry Lawler threw at him after their match in round three. Lord Alfred asks the Dog how he plans to deal with the nefarious tactics of Tully Blanchard and his “Perfect 10” Baby Doll. “Al, the good thing about bein’ a dog is that I’m ready for any occasion. That no good Jerry Lawler tried torching me but me being a fire dog, I dodged most of his blast or I wouldn’t be here. This time, I’m gonna be a watch dog and chew off a big piece of Tully Blanchard while I keep an eye on that no-good alley cat Baby Doll.”
The Junkyard Dog vs. Tully Blanchard (w/ Baby Doll)
Howard Finkel introduces Tully and Baby Doll as the fans boo them mercilessly. The JYD’s music plays as the fans jump to their feet. The Dog slaps some fans’ hands before hopping into the ring. WWF referee Danny Davis is your official for this one and checks each man for foreign objects.
Collar and elbow tie-up as the JYD powers Blanchard into the corner. The Dog barks at Blanchard as Blanchard rolls out of the ring and confers with Baby Doll. The Dog sits on the middle rope and invites Blanchard into the ring. Danny Davis begins the ten-count as Blanchard roams around the ring, finally rolling in at the nine-count. The Dog and Blanchard lock up again, with Blanchard poking the Dog in the eye. Blanchard tears off one of the bandages on the Junkyard Dog’s face. “I thought the Dog was ugly before, Monsoon, but his new char-broiled look isn’t doing him any favors” Jesse notes.
Tully whips the Dog into the corner and charges in with a series of punches. The Dog responds with a headbutt and Blanchard goes down. The JYD gets down on all fours and headbutts Blanchard. Cover by the Dog but Blanchard kicks out at two. Baby Doll gets on the mat apron and is yelling something at the JYD. Danny Davis tries to get Baby Doll off the mat apron. As he does, Blanchard clips JYD in the knee. The Dog goes down as Blanchard drops a series of elbows on the Dog’s weakened wheel. Blanchard continues working over the Dog’s knee, placing it on the bottom rope then dropping an elbow on it. “Blanchard is a dangerous individual once he targets a weak spot” Gorilla comments. Jesse adds, “You’d think he’d have gone after JYD’s burnt face, but he found a good target with that knee!” Tully grabs the Dog’s leg and twists it before pulling him into the center of the ring. Blanchard goes for the figure four leglock, but the Dog kicks him, sending him out of the ring.
JYD rolls out of the ring and goes after Blanchard as the two begin throwing punches. Tully and the Dog are fighting outside as the referee continues counting. Baby Doll stands in front of Tully as she tries to protect him from the Dog. The Dog goes to move her and she falls to the ground. “Can you believe that Monsoon? The Junkyard Dog is beating up women now!” Jesse says. “That’s not what I saw Jesse. She either fell down or she took a dive. I think Baby Doll may be trying to get an Emmy Award” Gorilla replies. JYD goes to check on Baby Doll and she’s flapping her hands, apparently trying to keep him away. The Dog staggers around blindly as the referee counts to ten. Gorilla says it looks like Baby Doll raked the JYD’s eyes before he could get back in. Jesse says how could she do that when she was on the floor? Besides, even if she did, he’s sure it was an accident.
Winner: Tully Blanchard (via countout)
“A complete miscarriage of justice!” Gorilla says. “Blanchard has cheated his way all through the tournament, Jesse!” Jesse “The Body” replies “And he’s going to the finals. As Alexandre Dumas said, ‘Nothing succeeds like success!’”
Lord Alfred Hayes is backstage with Randy “Macho Man” Savage and the lovely Elizabeth. Alfred Hayes has a befuddled look on his face as “The Macho Man” produces a trash basket. “Randy Savage, what is this?” Hayes asks. “Lord Alfred, I’ve been taking out the trash over the last three rounds and now it’s time to get rid of that piece of garbage Ricky Steamboat. Oh yeah! And when I’m finished with Steamboat, he can cry in this!” Savage says as he throws a towel in Hayes’ face. “Isn’t that right, Elizabeth?” Savage asks as Miss Elizabeth quickly replies, “Why that’s right ‘Macho Man.’” Lord Alfred throws the towel off his face as Savage continues his tirade, “Ricky Steamboat, a guy who knows a lot about nothing. Oooooh yeah. They call him ‘The Dragon,’ but they’ll be calling me the dragon-slayer! Just like Saint George killed the dragon in your homeland, ‘Lord’ Alfred, I’ll be killing this dragon. People will gather around the Macho King’s kingdom—hey, I like the sound of that. Maybe some day… Anyways, people will gather around my kingdom and say, ‘The Macho Man’ slew the dragon. Wasn’t it something, wasn’t it something, wasn’t it something! Steamboat! Look out!” Savage throws the trash basket away as he and Elizabeth exit.
Mean Gene Okerlund is backstage with Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. Steamboat has his ribs taped up and looks a bit beat up. “Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat, you’re facing ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage and from the looks of it, you’re not at 100%” Mean Gene says. “That’s right, Gene. Kamala decided to attack me after the match, but he didn’t get the job done and while I’m facing my toughest opponent yet, I have one thing ‘The Macho Man’ doesn’t have—the fans. There’s something rotten about a guy that treats his woman like Randy Savage does. A real man doesn’t do that and I think Savage’s true colors are going to show when I unleash the fury of the fans and the Dragon strikes.” “Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat’ is ready. ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage had better be prepared!” Mean Gene says.
Jesse tells Gorilla, “What’s Steamboat talking about? I’ve never seen a woman as happy as Elizabeth. Most broads would fight tooth and nail to be at ‘The Macho Man’s’ side. I think Steamboat is like everyone else in the locker room—they’ve got their eyes on Elizabeth!” Gorilla replies, “Does that include you Jess?” Ventura fires back “How dare you insinuate that, Monsoon!”
Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage (w / Miss Elizabeth)
“Pomp and Circumstance” plays as Miss Elizabeth leads Randy Savage to the ring, sitting down on the second rope so he can make his entrance. The Macho Man spins around in the ring, showing off his fabulous robe. The fans boo until they hear the Alan Parsons’ Project “Eye in the Sky” begin playing. The spotlight shines on The Dragon as he makes his way to the ring, pausing to greet the fans and sign a few autographs. Howard Finkel finishes the introductions as WWF referee Gilberto Ramon explains the rules to both men and signals for the bell. Before they can lock up, Savage rakes Steamboat in the eyes then kicks him in the gut. Macho Man throws Steamboat through the ropes and The Dragon crashes down to the floor. Savage rolls out of the ring and wastes no time continuing his assault on the man standing between him and the finals. Savage whips Steamboat into the edge of the ring as Steamboat goes down. Savage knees Ricky in the gut then throws him into the ring. Savage stomps Steamboat in the gut and goes to work unraveling the tape around Ricky’s ribs. Referee Gilberto Ramon starts a five count. Jesse protests “What is Ramon counting for? It looks like Steamboat is having trouble and ‘Macho’ is just loosening up the tape.” “You’ve got to be kidding me, Jesse” Gorilla replies. Savage has some of the tape undone and starts choking Steamboat with it, stopping only when the official reaches a four-count. Lateral press by Savage but Steamboat kicks out. “Damaged ribs or not, you can’t beat an athlete the caliber of Ricky Steamboat without hooking the leg” Gorilla says. Savage picks Steamboat up and bounces off the ropes, dropping a knee on Steamboat’s ribs but Steamboat rolls out of the way. The Dragon gets up gingerly and fires off a chop to Savage. Macho Man fires Steamboat into the corner, but Steamboat reverses!
Savage bounces out and Steamboat catches him with an arm drag takedown and locks in an armbar on Savage. “Looks like The Dragon is keeping Macho Man off balance until he can get his wind back.” Gorilla observes. “Steamboat’s going to need all the time he can get because it’s not easy breathing when your ribs are banged up. Congratulations Gorilla — you brought up a good point. I guess even a broken clock is right twice a day!” Steamboat continues the pressure on Savage as The Macho Man swings wildly at Steamboat. Steamboat ducks out of the way and Gilberto Ramon warns Savage about the closed fist. Finally, Savage manages to jab Steamboat in the ribs, forcing him to break the hold. Savage goes to kick Steamboat but Ricky grabs Savage’s boot and spins him around, picking him up for an atomic drop. Steamboat rams Savage’s head into the turnbuckle and fires off a chop. Tommy Young tells Steamboat to back out of the corner and as he does, Savage knees Steamboat in the gut. Steamboat goes down as Savage drops a knee onto Steamboat’s ribs. The Macho Man follows up with a bodyslam then drops an elbow onto Steamboat’s ribs. Cover but Steamboat kicks out. Macho Man whips Steamboat into the ropes and clotheslines Steamboat.
Things are looking bleak for The Dragon as The Macho Man climbs to the top rope. Savage leaps off with a flying elbowsmash but Steamboat wills himself to roll out of the way! “Nobody home Jess!” Gorilla shouts. “That miscalculation could cost ‘Macho’ the tournament” Jesse replies. Savage gets up slowly as Steamboat chops him in the head. Bodyslam to The Macho Man followed by a kneedrop. Steamboat races to the top rope. “Steamboat’s going to the high rent district now!” Gorilla says. High-cross bodyblock by Steamboat as he flies onto Savage. However, The Macho Man uses the momentum and rolls Steamboat up, grabbing a fistful of trunks for the 1-2-3. “Looks like Steamboat should have softened Macho Man up a bit more” Jesse says as Gorilla answers “And that referee must be blind to have missed the handful of tights!”
Winner: Randy "Macho Man" Savage
Referee Gilberto Ramon raises Savage’s hand in victory as Miss Elizabeth claps for her man.
That’s it for this time fans. Join us next time for the finals as Tully Blanchard and Randy Savage collide in the battle for a Rolls Royce and a world championship match in either the NWA, WWF, AWA, or Japan! That’s not all however as WWF Champion Hulk Hogan teams up with Magnum T.A. to take on NWA World Heavyweight Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Be sure to check back as the WWF Wrestling Classic What If Tournament comes to a colossal conclusion, exclusively at Wrestling Merchandise and Memories.