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 four matches saw Antonio Inoki, Tito Santana, Larry Zbyszko, and Tully Blanchard enter the winner’s circle. They’re now on their way to the second round. Your announcers for the show are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Gorilla says it’s time to send things to the ring for our next match.
Cowboy Bob Orton Jr. vs. Harley Race
Jim Crockett Promotions referee Tommy Young is your official for this match. After the pre-match inspection, Young signals for the bell and both men lock up. To Gorilla’s surprise, both men are wrestling a clean match and showcasing a number of scientific holds. Jesse tells Monsoon with 32 of the world’s best, nobody wants to make a mistake and nobody wants to lose via disqualification.
Orton and Race continue with chain wrestling as they try to wear each other down. Standing
wrist lock by Race as Orton escapes with a fireman’s carry. Orton goes to the mat, applying a
head scissors and attempting to wear Race down. Gorilla says you won’t get a submission with that hold but you will wear your opponent down. Jesse adds that you’re going to have to do more though because while Race is one of the older competitors, he’s well-known for his endurance and resiliency. “Handsome” Harley manages to escape by reaching the ropes but Orton isn’t wasting any time. The second-generation star whips Race into the ropes and dropkicks him.
Orton drops a knee across Race’s head then applies a reverse chinlock. Race ensures the hold until he gets to his feet and escapes by hitting a side suplex. Both men are slow to get up, but Race edges Orton and begins targeting the Cowboy’s neck and back with kneedrops and snapmares as well as bodyslams and a textbook vertical suplex. Orton counters a piledriver attempt that certainly would end the match, hitting a big back body drop. Race moves in towards Orton, who rakes the eyes and follows by throwing Race through the ropes. Orton follows Race outside as Tommy Young begins a ten-count. Orton rams Race’s head into the mat apron then whips him into the ring post. However Race reverses and Orton goes crashing into the unforgiving steel. Orton is seeing stars as Race throws “Cowboy” Bob back into the ring. Race lifts up Orton for a piledriver and plants him into the mat. Harley climbs the second rope and delivers a headbutt to Orton, covering him for the win.
Winner: Harley Race
Jerry "The King" Lawler vs. Jumbo Tsuruta
World Class Championship Wrestling official David Manning is in the ring as the fans wait for the competitors. Howard Finkel introduces Jerry “The King” Lawler but the Memphis wrestling star hasn’t come out yet. Jesse says Lawler is a household name thanks to his feud a couple years back with comedian Andy Kaufman. Gorilla says Jumbo is better-known for his
accomplishments in the land of the rising sun, including a world championship. Gorilla Monsoon says this seems like a case of a big fish in a big pond battling a big fish in a small pond. Jumbo makes his way to ringside and is signing autographs. The Japanese star goes to sign another when a burst of flame engulfs Jumbo’s face. Jesse says it looks like one of the fish just got fried.
Jumbo is rolling around in the entranceway as the referee rushes over to check on him. WWF
officials come out. Two minutes later, Jerry Lawler walks out to the ring and grabs the microphone from Howard Finkel. Lawler gets on the stick and insults Boston, saying the Patriots have never won a Super Bowl and they never will. He calls the Boston Red Sox the Red Sucks and says it’ll be another 100 years before they win a World Series. Lawler continues insulting the fans, saying the Boston fans are losers too so they’re used to losing teams. Jesse Ventura says you can’t argue statistics so we’ll have to see how “The King” can do in the ring. The referee speaks with Howard Finkel. “The Fink” manages to get the microphone from Lawler and proceeds to inform the fans that Jumbo has to answer a ten count or he will forfeit the match.
Jumbo isn’t moving and after a slow ten-count, Lawler’s arm is raised in victory. The fans boo.
Gorilla says something smells fishy and “The Body” tells Gorilla it should because they’re in Boston, which is known for its seafood.
Winner: Jerry "The King" Lawler
The Junkyard Dog vs. Terry Funk (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Paul Morton from Memphis’ Championship Wrestling Association (CWA) is your referee for this match. The fans boo Terry Funk when he is introduced and begin screaming wildly when the Junkyard Dog enters the arena.
The Dog high-fives fans and dishes out a few hugs as Funk’s manager Jimmy “Mouth of the
South” Hart berates the JYD on his megaphone. Gorilla Monsoon says there’s no love lost
between Funk and the Junkyard Dog. Jesse says they’d best not lose sight of the big picture or they could both be out early on. The match starts off with the Junkyard Dog in strong control, headbutting Funk, knocking him down then getting on all fours and headbutting Funk again.
Funk rolls out of the ring as the JYD barks at the air, the fans erupting in cheers. Terry Funk
regroups with Hart before rolling back into the ring. Funk throws a punch at the Dog, but the Dog blocks it and headbutts Funk, again sending him down to the mat. Jesse Ventura asks Gorilla if the headbutt is the only move in the Dog’s arsenal. Gorilla replies the headbutt seems to be all he needs but adds the JYD also has one of the best powerslams in the business. The JYD picks Funk up and whips him into the ropes, delivering a back body-drop. The funs are loving it as the Dog picks Funk up and whips him into a corner.
The Dog runs in to clothesline Funk but Terry gets out of the way. Funk fires off several punches, dazing the JYD. Referee Paul Morton warns Funk about the punches so Funk knees the Dog in the gut. Funk hits a hangman neckbreaker on JYD and covers him. The Dog kicks out before the two count as Gorilla says Funk must be crazy to think he can get a pin this too early. Terry drops an elbow on the JYD then goes for another cover. The Dog kicks out at two as Jesse says it takes effort to kick out of a pin and Funk knows this. If nothing else, he’s wearing the Junkyard Dog down. The Dog gets to one knee so Funk kicks him in the gut, knocking him down. Funk unravels some tape around his wrist then wraps it around the Dog’s throat without Morton seeing it. Funk applies a side headlock as he starts choking the JYD. Gorilla Monsoon protests as Jesse laughs at the Dog’s plight. The Dog is fading fast as the fans chant “JYD, JYD.”
The fans’ chants seem to energize JYD and incredibly, he gets up to one foot then both feet. JYD hits a side suplex, freeing himself. Both men are down and the tape is dangling from Funk’s wrist. Gorilla Monsoon asks why Paul Morton hasn’t disqualified Funk. Jesse says maybe he thinks the suplex loosened the tape. “Gimme a break!” Gorilla shouts as Funk weakly lays an arm on the Dog. 1, 2… the Dog kicks out! Funk gets to his feet first and picks the Dog up for a piledriver. No dice as the JYD counters with a big back body-drop. The Dog delivers a headbutt on all fours followed by a second. Funk rolls into a corner and stands in the corner. The Dog goes after him and Funk is staggering. “Rubber Leg City!” Gorilla comments as Funk throws a weak punch at the Dog and JYD blocks it, headbutting him down to the mat. Jimmy Hart sets Funk’s branding iron on the mat apron then hops up, yelling at JYD. The Dog takes the bait and starts jawing with Hart. Meanwhile, Terry grabs the branding iron. Paul Morton’s back is turned and he’s arguing with Hart and JYD. It’s clobbering time as Funk gets ready to brand the JYD.
The fans scream, alerting the Dog and he gets out of the way, with Funk hitting Hart with the
microphone! The JYD headbutts Funk hits the “Thump” powerslam, covering Funk for the 1-2-
Winner: The Junkyard Dog
Nick Bockwinkel vs. Bob Backlund
WWF referee Dick Kroll starts things off with a pre-match inspection then signals for the bell to ring. Bob Backlund offers his hand to Nick Bockwinkel who shakes it. Collar and elbow tie-up as Nick goes for a go-behind waist lock. Backlund flexes his hips and escapes as he circles around and locks Bockwinkel in a waist lock of his own. Backlund brings Nick down to the mat but the former AWA World Champions escapes using a switch. The two lock up again, with Backlund going for a standing wristlock. This should be a classic Jesse Gorilla comments telling “The Body” that both men are highly skilled technicians. Jesse asks Gorilla “So you’re telling me both men know the difference between a wristwatch and a wristlock?”
Backlund continues the pressure but the wheels are turning and Bockwinkel leverages his way out, applying an arm bar. Counter by Backlund but Bockwinkel reverses, applying a hammerlock. More pressure on Backlund’s arm but the former WWF Champions escapes, hip-tossing Nick to the mat. Nick gets up and Backlund bodyslams him back down.
The two lock up again with Bockwinkel applying a side headlock. With the referee out of position, Bockwinkel drives a chop into Backlund’s throat and Backlund goes down. Bockwinkel whips the former All-American football and wrestling star into the corner. There, Bockwinkel viciously kicks Backlund until he is down in the corner. Monsoon says it’s like someone flipped a switch and Bockwinkel turned into a wild man. Jesse says it’s true and he loves it. There’s a lot at stake and he’s glad Bockwinkel cares about winning. This isn’t NCAA wrestling, it’s the pro ranks. Bockwinkel snapmares Backlund then climbs to the second rope. Bockwinkel dives off with a big knee but Backlund rolls out of the way! Backlund clenches his fists. "He’s had enough!" Gorilla says as Backlund picks Bockwinkel up then lands a belly-to-back suplex. Backlund is just getting warmed up as he lands a double underhook suplex, turning it into a bridge. 1, 2…
Bockwinkel is close enough to the ropes and gets his foot on the ropes, but the referee doesn’t see it and makes the three count! Backlund doesn’t see this either as referee Dick Kroll raises Backlund’s hand in victory. Jesse says this tournament’s integrity has been ruined thanks to this stupid referee.
Winner: Bob Backlund
That’s it for this time fans. Join us next time for matches nine through twelve as the WWF Wrestling Classic What If Tournament continues, exclusively at Wrestling Merchandise and Memories.