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 finals as well as a special tag team event that pits the team of WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and Magnum T.A. against NWA World Heavyweight Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
These matches will close the night at New York City’s Madison Square Garden and take place 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 a huge tag team match ahead and Mean Gene is standing by with WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and Magnum T.A.
“Hulk Hogan, Magnum T.A., you gentlemen have to deal with two of wrestling’s biggest villains and ahead of your huge title unification match against NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair at Starrcade.” Mean Gene says. The Hulkster has his arm around Magnum then tells Mean Gene “Well you know Mean Gene, when that no-good Nature Boy Ric Flair challenged me to a tag team bout, I knew he’d find someone as down and dirty as him. No surprise then brother when that skirt-wearing sissy Rowdy Roddy Piper showed up, just like the bad smell he is. However, Flair and Piper didn’t count on the power of Hulkamania or my main man Magnum T.A. offering his help. As far as I’m considered, Mean Gene, there’s only one “Magnum” and that’s this guy here. Sorry, Tom Selleck, but you’re gonna hafta change your name!” “My goodness Hulk Hogan, are you saying CBS have to change the show’s name after tonight’s match?” “Not only that Mean Gene, but Magnum T.A. may be the star of the show himself!” Mean Gene takes a moment with Magnum, who looks like he’s ready to burst out laughing. “Magnum T.A., the Hulkster isn’t the only man facing a big match at Starrcade, I understand you’re facing United States Champion Tully Blanchard in an ‘I Quit’ Match?” “That’s right Gene and it wouldn’t surprise me if Flair and Blanchard are looking to turn this so-called tune-up match into a way to injure one or both of us. Not to worry though because we’ve got the fans watching our backs and I’m telling Flair, Piper, and his bodyguard to watch out because all it takes is a belly-to-belly suplex or a legdrop and it’s game over!” Magnum says. Hulk Hogan rips off his shirt as he shouts “And watcha gonna do, when Hulkamania—and my main man Magnum run wild on you? Grrrr.” Mean Gene says “Back to you Gorilla and Jesse.”
“Who does Hulk Hogan think he is, Gorilla? He’s facing two world-class athletes and he’s talking about his tag team partner heading to Hollywood. I tell you Monsoon, if Hogan and Magnum aren’t careful, they won’t be around for Starrcade!” “Ric Flair and Roddy Piper, two highly dangerous individuals and ‘Lord’ Alfred Hayes is backstage with them” Gorilla says before sending things to the back.
Lord Alfred Hayes is backstage with NWA World Heavyweight Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and Piper’s bodyguard “Cowboy” Bob Orton Jr. Ric Flair grabs the microphone, “’Lord’ Alfred, stand back and witness a gathering of giants—me and my old pal ‘Hot Rod.’ Madison Square Garden, New York City. Bright lights, big city, ‘Nature Boy!’ Wooooo!!!! Ladies, get ready to celebrate as you see me style and profile while Rowdy Roddy and I break Hogan and Magnum’s legs. Hogan, you might be a big man, but we’ll cut you down to size. Magnum, you’ve been a thorn in my side for too long, but no longer! Lord Alfred, don’t let the skirt fool you, Piper can bring it and after the match, the ladies will see he’s all man! Wooooo!” Lord Alfred asks Rowdy Roddy how he and Mr. Flair expect to handle the combined power of Hulkamania and Magnum T.A.” Piper smiles and says, “Combined power? Hogan and Magnum may have muscles, but they’re mental midgets. Let me tell you two clowns something right now, you’re the mental equivalent of a ten-watt bulb! You’re both swimming in shark-infested waters and there’s already blood in the ocean. I told you people before, don’t throw rocks at a guy with a machine gun. Tonight, Hogan and Magnum are going to find out what happens when two small-time wrestlers decide to go big-time.” Lord Alfred asks if Piper’s bodyguard “Ace” Orton will be at ringside. Piper replies, “What are you trying to insinuate Hayes? You want another slap in the face? Of course Bob will be there! He’ll have a ringside seat. I don’t want any shenanigans and “Ace” will make sure of that.” Ric Flair grabs the microphone “Hogan, Magnum, get ready as me and Rowdy Roddy burst your bubble!
Special Exhbition Tag Team Match: Hulk Hogan and Magnum TA
vs. Nature Boy Ric Flair and Rowdy Roddy Piper
A Scottish pipe band leads Piper and Orton to the ring as Piper smiles like a cat that just ate the canary. Piper gets into the ring. “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” plays as Nature Boy Ric Flair makes his way to the ring, his NWA World Heavyweight Championship around his waist. “This looks like an uneasy alliance, Jesse. Two of wrestling’s biggest egos” Gorilla says. “I agree Monsoon, Hogan and Magnum are going to be lucky to get through this match without blowing up against each other.” “Will you stop!” Gorilla says, “I’m talking about Ric Flair and Roddy Piper!” The fans in Madison Square Garden began cheering when Howard Finkel announces “And making his way to the ring, Magnum T.A.—and his partner, from Venice Beach, California, the WWF Champion Hulk Hogan!” The fans erupt into cheers as Hogan comes out to “Real American.” Magnum and the Hulkster roll into the ring as the heels race out. Hogan cups his ear and takes in the fans’ cheers as he rips off his t-shirt. The Hulkster points to Magnum as the fans cheer wildly.
“You can feel the electricity in the air, Jess. The fans are getting to blow the roof off Madison Square Garden in anticipation of this dream match!” Gorilla says. “Four of the top athletes in the world!” “And just think Gorilla, we still have our main event tournament final between Tully Blanchard and Randy “Macho Man” Savage to determine the winner of the Wrestling Classic.”
Your referee for this match is Dick Woehrle. Hogan and Magnum wait for Piper and Flair to get in the ring. Piper takes off his kilt while Flair takes off his ring robe. “Cowboy” Bob Orton is standing in the ring. “What is ‘Ace’ Orton doing in the ring, Jesse?” Gorilla inquires. “He’s obviously making sure Chump Hogan and Magnum T.A. don’t try to Pearl Harbor Piper or Flair before the bell rings.” Dick Woehrle orders Orton out of the ring, much to the fans’ delight. Woehrle instructs all four men on the rules and as he does, Flair points to his world championship then Hogan’s. Flair gets into Hogan’s face and “Wooooo!” Piper gets into Magnum’s face. Hogan punches Flair, knocking him down and as he does, Magnum and Piper began throwing punches. Hogan whips Flair into the ropes and goes for a big boot, but Flair bails out of the ring, as does Piper. Flair and Piper meet outside the ring with “Cowboy” Bob as Dick Woehrle begins a ten-count.
The Hulkster and Magnum confer in their corner. Piper and Flair get on the mat apron. Both men seem to want to start out. Magnum takes in Hogan as Flair tags in Piper. Piper circles around Hogan for a moment. Collar and elbow tie-up as Hogan powers “Hot Rod” into the heels’ corner. Hogan points at Flair and the Hulkster mimes for a tag. Piper goes to tag Flair but pulls his hand back and charges the WWF Champion. Hogan slugs Piper, knocking him down. Piper gets up and Hogan bodyslams him. The Hulkster whips Piper into the babyface corner where Magnum is waiting with a big right hand. Hogan puts Piper in an arm bar, tagging in Magnum. TA takes over with the arm bar and applies the pressure. Tag to the Hulkster who twists Piper’s arm some more. Hogan tags Magnum then whips Rowdy Roddy into the ropes. Magnum and the Hulkster deliver double elbows to Piper’s chest. Magnum covers Piper but only gets a two-count. Piper gets up and fires off a punch to the bread basket. Piper charges Magnum, who lifts him up for a press slam, knocking him into a neutral corner. Magnum moves in as the referee orders him to let Piper out. Piper gets in a cheap shot while Magnum is talking with Woehrle, knocking him down to the mat. Piper grabs Magnum’s leg and drags him to the heel corner. Tag to Flair who drops an elbow on Magnum’s leg while Piper is holding it. Both Piper and Flair stomp away at Magnum. The Hulkster comes in to break up the double-team, but the referee is telling him to get back to his corner. Meanwhile, Piper and Flair continue stomping away at Magnum. Piper and Flair throw Magnum over the top rope towards Cowboy Bob Orton who slams Magnum onto the cement floor. The fans are booing heavily as Hogan is restrained by Dick Woehrle. Jesse Ventura laughs and says Hogan fell right into Piper and Flair’s trap. Hogan finally relents and Woehrle turns around.
Magnum staggers towards the ring and climbs up on the mat apron. Flair suplexes Magnum into the ring. “Tremendous vertical suplex by the NWA World Heavyweight Champion” Gorilla observes. Cover by Flair by Magnum kicks out. “Slick” Ric bounces off the ropes and drops a knee onto Magnum’s head. “Now we go to school!” Flair shouts as he drops an elbow onto Magnum’s right knee. “The champion is taking his opponent apart” Jesse says as Flair drapes Magnum’s right knee on the bottom rope and drops a knee on it. Flair whips Magnum into the heels’ corner and tags in Piper. Piper whips Magnum into the ropes and delivers a double thrust. Magnum goes down as Piper stomps at him. “The Rowdy Scot” picks up Magnum and hits a swinging neckbreaker. Cover by Piper for a near-fall. The fans are chanting “Magnum, Magnum.” “Magnum T.A. in a bad part of town” Gorilla comments, “Flair and Piper have cut off the ring.” Piper tags in Flair who grabs Magnum and whips him into the ropes. Magnum reverses and hits a belly-to-belly suplex out of nowhere. Magnum struggles to make the cover. “Flair may be out Jesse!” Gorilla comments. “I don’t know about that but if Magnum can cover him, he’ll have pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in WWF history since Pat Patterson found gainful employment as a color commentator.”
Magnum crawls and covers Flair. 1, 2… Roddy Piper drops a knee onto Magnum’s head. The Hulkster runs in and slugs Piper. Piper poke to the eye slows Hogan down and “Hot Rod” whips the Hulkster into the ropes where a wily Cowboy Bob lowers the top rope, and Hogan goes boom, all the while Dick Woehrle’s attention is elsewhere. Flair is hollering at the referee as Piper grabs Magnum, whipping him into a waiting Cowboy Bob Orton Jr. However, Magnum reverses things and Piper flies into Cowboy Bob, knocking him off the mat apron. Magnum turns around and knees Piper in the gut. Magnum fires off a series of punches to Piper as Hogan gets up outside the ring. Flair blindsides Magnum with a knee to the back, knocking him into the corner. Flair and Piper begins slugging away at Magnum as Dick Woehrle begins a five-count. Magnum is quickly succumbing to the numbers game but the Hulkster shows up! Hogan slugs Piper. Big punch to Flair. The WWF Champion grabs Flair and Piper and delivers a double noggin-knocker, sending both men down to the mat. “Why doesn’t the referee stop this blatant violation of the rules, Monsoon?” Jesse asks. “You weren’t saying anything when Flair and Piper were mugging Magnum, Jesse” Gorilla responds.
Atomic drop by Hogan sends Piper into the opposite corner. Hogan races over and grabs Piper as Magnum grabs Flair. Irish whip by the babyfaces sends both heels into each other. Hogan cups his hand to his ear then points towards the heels. Hogan goes to his corner as Magnum tags him in. Piper crawls back to his corner. Flair gets down on his knees pleading for mercy. The Hulkster looks to the fans and picks Flair up. Big punch by Hogan. Another punch! Hogan whips “The Nature Boy” into the ropes and delivers a big boot, knocking Flair down. “This is it, Jesse! Could this be a preview of what to expect at Starrcade?” The Hulkster bounces off the ropes and hits the legdrop on Flair. Magnum comes in to keep Piper from breaking the pin but as he does, Cowboy Bob Orton runs in and lowers the boom on Hogan, blasting him in the head with the cast. Orton blindsides Magnum with the cast, sending him through the ropes. Piper races outside and grabs a chair, sliding it into the ring. Flair gets up slowly as Orton holds out one of Hogan’s legs and Piper hits it with a steel chair. “This is a premediated attack Jesse!” Gorilla says as Jesse replies “And so far it looks like it’s working out pretty well!” Piper holds Hogan’s leg as Flair climbs to the top rope. The fans cheer as Dusty Rhodes and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff race out to the ring. Dusty slams Flair off the top rope as Piper and Orton pull him out of the ring. Magnum T.A. slowly gets back into the ring. Hogan tries to get up, but he’s having trouble. The babyfaces help Hogan up and he tries to walk, but he’s clearly hurt.
Winners: Hulk Hogan and Magnum T.A. (by disqualification)
“What a despicable display here, Jesse!” Gorilla says. “All I can say is that if Hogan and Magnum got what they deserved if thought they were wrestling the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Ric Flair and Roddy Piper are mad, bad, and dangerous to know” Jesse responds.
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! Be sure to check back as the WWF Wrestling Classic What If Tournament comes to a colossal conclusion, exclusively at Wrestling Merchandise and Memories.