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.
It’s time for the first two 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.
“Mean” Gene Okerlund is backstage with Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana. Gene asks Tito how it feels to be stepping into the third round as he draws closer to winning the Rolls Royce and a world championship match in any of the promotions involved in the tournament. Tito says he’s used to the incredible competitors he faces as Intercontinental Champion but this is a little different. He knows Tully Blanchard is a tough man and he knows he likes to break the rules as needed. They go a long way back in fact they played football together at West Texas State. However, that’s not going to stop him from beating Blanchard and advancing to round four. Hola a todas mis fans en Nueva Jersey. Voy a vencer a Tully Blanchard. Arriba!
Lord Alfred Hayes interviews United States Heavyweight Champion Tully Blanchard and his manager Baby Doll. Blanchard tells Hayes it’s his lucky night as he gets to interview the U.S. Champion while his “Perfect 10” stands by. Hayes asks Blanchard about his opponent tonight and how he plans to defeat Santana. Blanchard says he used to carry Tito Santana back when they played football together but Santana won’t be riding on his coattails tonight. Tito Santana is going to find out why there’s a big difference between the United States Champion and the Intercontinental Champion. Blanchard tells Hayes that winning The Wrestling Classic will be his ticket to a world championship match anywhere he chooses. Blanchard says everyone has been ducking him but they won’t be able to after he wins the tournament. Then he and Baby Doll can celebrate his win driving around in the Rolls Royce that is going to the winner!
Tito Santana vs. Tully Blanchard (w/ Baby Doll)
Howard Finkel introduces the wrestlers, with the fans cheering Tito loudly and booing Blanchard equally loud. Referee Dick Kroll is your official for this bout. Collar and elbow tie-up by both men as Santana gets Blanchard into a side headlock. Santana keeps the hold on, applying pressure as Tully tries to get out. The U.S. Champion tries to throw Tito into the ropes but Santana puts on the brakes. Finally, Tully reaches the ropes, forcing a break. Tito hits an arm drag takedown, locking in an armbar. Tito applies pressure as Tully scrambles to get out. Tully reverses the arm bar, but Tito reverses it, then whips Blanchard into the ropes. Shoulder tackle by Santana as Blanchard goes down. Santana goes to the mat and applies a side headlock. Blanchard rolls Santana up but only gets a two-count. Santana continues the headlock. Blanchard gets to his feet while Tito continues the headlock. Blanchard lifts Tito up for a side suplex, driving him into the mat. Incredibly, Santana still has the headlock on! Tully inches towards the ropes and gets a leg on the bottom rope, forcing a break. Tito moves in as Tully drives a thumb to the eye. Tully unloads with lefts and rights, sending Santana into a corner. Dick Kroll warns Blanchard about the fists as Blanchard moves into the corner. Blanchard throws more punches but Santana fires back, getting the better of the exchange. Tito whips Tully into the ropes and delivers a back body-drop. “High elevation!” Gorilla notes.
Tito drops an elbow onto Tully’s knee. Tito starts working over Blanchard’s leg as Gorilla comments, “Looks like he might be softening him up for the figure four leglock, Jess.” “I think you’re right Gorilla” Ventura replies. Another elbow drop by Tito as Blanchard winces in pain. Tito grabs Tully’s boot and applies the figure four leglock. Blanchard is fighting to reach the ropes, but Tito has him almost dead center in the ring. Blanchard struggles to escape, but things are looking dicey. Blanchard goes to flip Santana over. It looks like he’s going to be able to reverse it but Santana stops him. Wait, Baby Doll is on the apron. Dick Kroll orders her to get back onto the floor. Tito releases the hold and goes towards Baby Doll. Blanchard is slow to get up. Baby Doll is arguing with Santana. “Do you think Chico is trying to move in on Tully’s girl, Gorilla?” Jesse asks. “You can’t be serious Jess. Why would Tito want to be with a Jezebel like Baby Doll?” Monsoon replies. Meanwhile, Tully gingerly gets up and manages to knee Santana in the back, sending him through the ropes. Tully takes time to try and walk off the damage he’s taken to his legs. Outside, Tito is slow to get up as the referee begins a ten count. Tito gets on the mat apron but Tully knocks him off with a big right. Dick Kroll orders Tully to get back as Kroll begins a new ten-count.
Santana steps through the ropes as Blanchard runs in and knees him in the head. Hip toss by Blanchard sends Santana into the middle of the ring. Tully unleashes a series of elbow drops on Santana then covers him, getting a two-count. Blanchard stomps Tito in the head. Blanchard drops a knee across Santana’s head. Tully lifts Tito up and piledrives him down hard onto the mat. “That could be it” Gorilla says. Cover by Blanchard 1, 2,… Tito kicks out at 2-and-a-half. Tully complains that the referee’s count was slow. Jesse says Dick Kroll’s count was slow. Tully then holds onto the top rope as he presses his boot into Santana’s throat. The referee starts a five-count. Tully lifts Tito up and whips him into the ropes, going for a back body-drop. However, Santana boots Tully in the head. Both men go down as Dick Kroll begins a ten-count. 1, 2… 3, 4.. Tully gets to his feet as Tito slowly gets up. Tully moves in on Tito and throws a punch but Santana blocks it! Tully rakes the eyes, slowing Tito’s comeback down.
Blanchard goes for a suplex. Monsoon says this could be Blanchard’s finisher, the tremendous move where he suplexes his opponent onto the top rope. If he hits this, it’s all over, Gorilla continues. Santana blocks the suplex by locking his leg onto Blanchard’s. Blanchard lets go and throws a punch but Santana blocks it. Blanchard whips Tito into the ropes but Santana reverses it and bounces off the opposite ropes. Flying forearm by Santana knocks Blanchard senseless! Tito covers Blanchard as the referee counts 1, 2, no! Blanchard’s boot is on the bottom rope, with an apparent assist from Baby Doll. The referee hasn’t seen it, but apparently Tito has and he starts jawing at Tully’s “Perfect 10.” Meanwhile, Tully tries to get his wits back and reaches into his tights. Gorilla shouts “It looks like Blanchard has some sort of foreign object, Jesse!” “When was the last time you had an eye exam Monsoon? Jesse replies. Tito turns around as Tully swings, but the Intercontinental Champion ducks and uses Blanchard’s momentum to swing him around, hitting an atomic drop. The foreign object flies out of Tully’s hand and outside the ring. Roll-up by Tito as he turns it into a bridge. 1,2,3! Tito raises his hand but the referee slaps it down, raising Tully’s instead.
Winner: Tully Blanchard
“What just happened?” Gorilla asks as he and Jesse wait for the replay. Tito’s left shoulder went up at the three count, but it looks like Blanchard’s right shoulder did too. Jesse laughs and says the problem, for Tito is that the referee didn’t see it and saw Blanchard raise his shoulder up. Monsoon says unfortunately the referee’s decision is final. Gorilla Monsoon says this is a complete miscarriage of justice. Jesse laughs and says it’s probably for the better that Santana lost. “The Body” claims he heard Chico was going to let his grandma deliver tacos in the Rolls Royce. Can you imagine Tito’s grandma trying to pay the insurance premiums? Gorilla says “Will you stop!”
Lord Alfred Hayes is backstage with the Junkyard Dog. Hayes tells the JYD he has a crafty opponent in Jerry “The King” Lawler, who has overcome two world-class opponents already. JYD barks then tells Hayes Lawler may be sneaky but he’s going to have to get up early to beat this ‘ol dog. JYD says there’s only one king in Memphis and that’s the “King of Rock and Roll.” JYD says Lawler likes to play with fire, but this ‘ol dog is a fire dog who can put out any fire. When it comes to chains, Lawler’s got an itty bitty one compared to JYD’s and if he wants to get into a chain fight, he’ll arf, arf, wish he were back on his throne in his bathroom.
Jerry Lawler is being interviewed by Mean Gene Okerlund. Okerlund says Lawler has had an auspicious journey through the tournament, advancing by some devious ways that would make the WWF’s own Mr. Fuji proud. Lawler has his crown in one hand as he gives Okerlund the ‘ol hairy eyeball. “Devious?” Lawler asks. “I don’t know who flame-broiled my first opponent and Harley Race should have known better than to try and cheat with a foreign object.” “Don’t be ridiculous!” Gene-o tells Lawler. “How do you intend to beat the Junkyard Dog?” Lawler laughs and says “Beat him? The Junkyard Dog is a crossword puzzle wrestler. He enters vertically and exits horizontally.” Jerry Lawler tells Okerlund “As a baby, The Junkyard Dog was so ugly they had to put tinted windows on his incubator!” In fact, when the JYD was born, his mother saw his face and his rear end and said, “Oh, look—Siamese Twins!”
“Can you believe that, Jesse?” Gorilla asks The Body. “I definitely believe it Gino, JYD is one of the ugliest people I’ve ever seen.” “Give me a break Jesse!” Gorilla says “Let’s take it to our introductions in the ring.
The Junkyard Dog vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler
The Junkyard Dog makes his way to the ring and interacts with the fans at ringside before entering the ring. Jerry “The King” Lawler enters the ring wearing his crown and robe. The Dog whips his chains around as Lawler backs off. Jesse Ventura asks what the Dog is doing with a foreign object? Gorilla says those chains aren’t being used as a foreign object—unlike wrestlers like Nikita Koloff. Howard Finkel introduces the match participants as the fans cheer loudly for the JYD and boo The King. Referee Sonny “Roughhouse” Fargo does a cursory pre-match inspection before signaling for the bell. Lawler and the King go into a collar-and-elbow tie-up as the Dog hip tosses Lawler to the mat. JYD jumps down to the ground and delivers a headbutt on all fours, knocking Lawler out of the ring. Lawler is grabbing at his head. He gets on the mat apron as the Dog suplexes him back in. Another headbutt on all fours as Lawler rolls out of the ring. Lawler gets on the mat apron and the Dog goes to suplex him again. Lawler catches him with a thumb to the eye and knees him in the gut. Lawler gets back into the ring only for the Dog to deliver a standing headbutt. Jesse complains that the only move the Junkyard Dog uses is a headbutt. Gorilla says you can’t argue with success. Cover by the Dog but Lawler kicks out at two.
The JYD whips Lawler into the ropes and goes for a back body-drop, but Lawler stops and catches JYD with a kneelift to the jaw. The Dog is dazed as the referee checks on him. Lawler reaches into his singlet and appears to have something. Side headlock by Lawler. The King slugs JYD in the throat and he falls to the mat, clutching his throat. Lawler puts something away as the fans scream bloody murder. The referee checks Lawler’s hands but finds nothing. Lawler laughs as he pins the Dog, placing his feet on the ropes. However the referee sees it and stops the pin. JYD is still clutching his throat as Lawler slams him down to the mat. The King bounces off the ropes and drops a knee across the Dog’s throat. Lawler picks up the Dog and whips him into the corner. Lawler knees JYD in the gut and pulls down his singlet’s strap, unloading with a series of punches. The referee starts to count. Lawler stops with the punches and slams the Dog to the mat. Lawler climbs to the top rope and comes off with a flying fist. The Dog rolls out of the way though!
JYD hits another four-legged headbutt followed by a second. Lawler is grabbing at his head. Both men begin trading lefts and rights in the corner as the referee orders them to stop with the fisticuffs. The referee orders the Dog out of the corner. As he does, Lawler reaches in for something. Lawler turns around and goes to throw something but the Dog kicks Lawler’s hand as a fistful of powder goes into his eyes. Gorilla asks what just happened. Jesse theorizes that The King was going to use some of that Stanback headache powder that Dusty Rhodes advertises, but the Dog didn’t have the decency to let him get relief from all those headbutts he was throwing. The referee doesn’t know what’s going on but Lawler can’t see. Headbutt by the Dog that sends Lawler into the corner. The Dog lifts Lawler up and delivers the Thump! powerslam. The Dog covers him as the referee counts to three.
Winner: The Junkyard Dog
After the match, the JYD invites several children into the ring to dance with him. As he does, Jerry Lawler decides to show the kids a magic trick and throws a fireball in the Dog’s face. “What a tremendous show of poor sportsmanship!” Gorilla points out. Jesse muses whether Lawler moonlights at kids’ birthday parties.
That’s it for this time fans. Join us next time as round three concludes. “The Russian Nightmare” Nikita Koloff faces Randy “Macho Man” Savage in a heel vs. heel bout while Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat battles Kamala The Ugandan Giant. Be sure to check back as the WWF Wrestling Classic What If Tournament continues, exclusively at Wrestling Merchandise and Memories.