Lee Maughan: Hosted by Gene Okerlund who tells us this cassette is about “some of the more interesting aspects of professional wrestling.” Apart from, you know, the actual wrestling. For the uninitiated, TNT was Tuesday Night Titans, Vince McMahon’s WWF-only late night talk show parody.
A recurring skit on TNT was that of wannabe actors Mr. Fuji and ‘Magnificent’ Muraco attempting to make it as prime time television actors. This parody of Miami Vice is probably their most famous bit.
Some kids playing beach volleyball discover a dead body and call the cops. The lieutenant notices a pearl bracelet that all the Seahawk’s victims are left with, which means the murder is definitely drug-related. The victim’s sister Angelica arrives having not seen her brother in years but the lieutenant rather rudely claims not to see the resemblance. Muraco tells Angelica the lieutenant was way out of line and wants to take Angelica home, but she insists they take her out for a drink.
At the bar, Angelica tells Muraco she doesn’t understand why the lieutenant is acting the way he is. Muraco says he’s seen the lieutenant riding around in a new car and Angelica gets suspicious. Muraco and Fuji decide to set up a sting operation on the Seahawk, and Angelica all but offers Muraco a shag if they catch him.
Muraco calls Matty the Mouth and eventually finds himself down at the docks with a quarter of a million dollars. On the Seahawk’s boat, Fuji demands to deal with the Seahawk personally. And then in the sort of stunning plot twist Vince Russo could only dream about, Angelica points a gun at Muraco and admits to being the Seahawk. And it turns out the lieutenant was right all along as Angelica wasn’t related to Juan (the dead guy) at all. I actually didn’t even suspect that plot twist because despite her ambivalent acting at the lieutenant’s accusation, everyone else’s performance had been so wooden, it was impossible to tell if she meant to appear that way or not.
So, with Muraco and Fuji tied to the front of the Seahawk’s boat, they set sail, only for the lieutenant to arrive on a police boat and arrest Angelica. How anti-climactic. As a news reporter appears on the scene and credits the arrest to the lieutenant, Fuji and Muraco come racing over, demanding to be fairly credited for their part, although they contradict that by saying they’re honest cops and don’t want any rewards.
This was legendarily brutal, but in the classic “so bad it’s good” sense. Hey, nobody who saw it would ever forget it so it obviously had its charm.
Wait a second, how did they untie themselves?
The Brain Meets the Weasel!
Vince McMahon introduces Jamie and the weasel to Bobby Heenan. It turns out to be a young kid with a pet weasel, although for a second I thought it was going to be a cartoon show. The point is to get ‘weasel’ over as an unwanted nickname for Heenan and, well, it did stick.
Funk “Texas Style” Barbecue
Vince and ‘Lord’ Alfred Hayes are on location with Jimmy Hart, Hoss Funk and Jimmy Jack Funk. Jimmy has burnt a slab of some sort of meat and Alfred says they don’t have anything like this for English picnics. Hoss, parked on a horse (how dignified for the former NWA World champion), claims no true Texan is a vegetarian, then gives a shout out to his brother Terry, promising he’ll be back. I bet he wasn’t expecting him to return as Chainsaw Charlie though. Jimmy bastes the meat and Vince talks about how much he “likes the sauce.” And then, sensing the segment dying a horrible death, Vince just takes off and leaves Alfred wrap things up. Jimmy Jack dumps a bunch of barbecue sauce on Alfred, drags him through a fence and then hangs him from a tree while Hoss slaps him around. Well that certainly picked up at the end.
Lou’s Christmas Cookies
Lou Albano (“tosser of the pizza pies and gourmet food lover” according to ‘Mean’ Gene) teaches Alfred and George Steele the old family recipe for Christmas cookies. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a spare chef’s hat for Alfred because he “looks too soft.” Albano mixes the water with “Christmas spirit” and insists things be kept sanitary, all whilst dipping his cigar in the flour mix. George shouts “Cookies!” at random intervals, and then the big gag is Albano dumping the cookie mix all over Alfred as Vince nearly wets himself. It was funny, but it wasn’t THAT funny!
This Is Your Life, Nikolai Volkoff
Freddie Blassie is the first guest. “The first time I met Nikolai Volkoff, he was stuck for an answer when somebody told him ‘Hello.’” Nikolai is upset because he came to play The Dating Game. Blassie claims Volkoff won a gold medal at the Olympics for ‘prize fighting’ and Vince calls bullshit then tries to stir things up by pointing out that Blassie failed to make Nikolai WWF champion as he’d promised to do. Blassie claims that’s down to Hulk Hogan’s refusal to sign a contract to defend the title against him. Next up is Olga Volkoff, Nikolai’s sister from Avangard, but Nikolai (legitimately not clued into the guests) fails to recognise her then misinterprets Avangard to be her name and starts calling her Yvonne. Her Russian accent is amusingly terrible, and she presents Nikolai with his baby picture (a picture of a baby in a nappy with grown-up Nikolai’s head sellotaped on top.) Suddenly, Olga turns on Nikolai and all her previous stories about charming young Nikolai keeping everyone’s spirits raised with jokes and wood carvings become a detriment to their family working 20-hour days (“His wood carvings looked like rocks!”) But the worst thing Nikolai did was steal his parent’s money they were saving to send Olga to ballet school to buy the horrible suit he’s wearing right now. “You’re too fat for ballet!” barks Nikolai. Olga says the people in Avangard want to hang Nikolai, and Vince throws it to a commercial break.
Adrian Gets a Facial
Following clips of pre-flamboyance Adrian Adonis, things get adorable, as Adonis gets a manicure, has his hair done and gets his face powdered. He tells Vince that he “makes the sun shine brighter than Doris Day.” Adonis claims to be a natural blonde despite the obvious dye-job. Jimmy Hart tells Adrian he looks cute. This went nowhere.
Don Muraco gets an oily massage from a couple of girls in bikinis. Fuji squirts oil in the back of Muraco’s hair as Muraco claims “Iran has nothing on us.” Another miss.
Baffle The Brain
Alfred asks Bobby Heenan a series of questions. The first one is a bit of a toughie – “The Intercontinental title changed hands once in 1985. What city?” Heenan correctly guesses Baltimore. Wow, for the days in which there was but one title change per year.
Question two – “Who won the Intercontinental title?” Heenan guesses Tito Santana but Vince points out there hasn’t been a title change since then and Tito’s the current champion, so of course it’s him. He’s got a point.
Questions three and four – “Lou Albano was once a tag team champion himself. What was the name of the team, and who was his partner?” Heenan gets them both right (The Sicilians and Tony Altimore.)
Questions five and six – “Fred Blassie only managed one World champion, who was that person and who beat him for that title?” “The Iron Sheik, and Hulk Hogan.” Two points for The Brain.
Question seven – “Who held all three World Wrestling Federation championships and is still wrestling today?” Heenan mulls it over for a while before correctly guessing Pedro Morales.
Question eight – “Name two current managers who are on the inside of The Wrestling Album.” Heenan gets Jimmy Hart correct and then guesses himself but the answer is Lou Albano. Heenan tries to save face and tells Vince: “Don’t try to make a fool out of me out here, I don’t need you to do that, I can do that without you!” Heenan claims he said Lou Albano, then storms off the set.
Roddy Piper, Jesse Ventura & Cowboy Bob Orton vs. Cousin Junior, Hillbilly Jim & Uncle Elmer
Vince shows Roddy Piper some of Uncle Elmer’s honeymoon photographs at the Tunnel of Love, then asks Piper if he’s even been to Niagara Falls. Piper says no but if he’s got a few moments at the weekend, Vince might get lucky. Back in time to Saturday Night’s Main Event where six-man action is joined in progress with a donnybrook and somewhere amongst all that, a pro wrestling match breaks out, with the heels dominating. A couple of minutes later and it all breaks down again, with Orton clonking Cousin Junior in the back of the head with his cast, and Piper finishes things with a sleeper, drawing a decidedly mixed reaction from the crowd. Back in the studio, Vince asks Piper if he would categorise that as a typical cheap victory. “No, not considering I got paid about three times as much as they did because I won.”
Muraco Speaks on Acting
Short cuts from Fuji and Muraco’s acting careers.
Fuji General: Muraco asks a nurse for a kiss but the nurse tells him to go home and kiss his wife. Muraco makes absolutely no attempt to disguise the fact he’s reading from cue cards here, adding to the naff charm of it all. The director goes apeshit at how poor his performance is and gets into an argument with Fuji.
Fuji Bandido: A cowboy marshal called Ringo demands Muraco hand over his gun belt and tries to shoot him but Muraco (in his very best western-style tennis shoes) pulls his dame Lil (Fabulous Moolah) in the way and she gets shot and dies. Muraco shoots and kills Ringo in retaliation, as a card-playing cow-poke Jimmy Hart cheers wildly.
Fuji Chan: It’s a murder mystery and a precious stone has gone missing. Butler Freddie Blassie presents Inspector Fuji Chan along with his Dr. Watson-like assistant Mel Phillips. Fuji rattles off some odd proverbs – “The clue will speak for themselves, bad alibi like smell of old lunch, cannot stand the taste of time.” Utterly baffling. Sadly, that’s where the clip ends.
Muraco compares himself to Robert Redford. Vince claims Muraco hasn’t had a single offer from Hollywood, but Muraco claims he hasn’t accepted any because he’s too busy wrestling and training, but he has a plan to go out to Hollywood and hire an agent. It’s too bad they didn’t show this stuff uncut, I could have watched an entire tape of these things, they’re that badly brilliant.
Muraco and Fuji Go to Hollywood
At an agency, Fuji breaks out another pearl of wisdom – “Confucius say ‘Man who has patience while fishing will catch more fish’, so we’ll catch the right agent. You understand?” “I’m working on it” replies Muraco. The agent watches their demo tape and calls it the worst piece of trash he’s even seen in his life. Muraco asks who he produces for, “Arnold the Pig?” but the agent tells him to go back to wrestling and throws them both out of his office.
The treacherous twosome go to a movie studio but the guard has never heard of either of them, nor has heard of Vince McMahon or TNT. What a way to put yourselves over as mainstream stars on your own TV show. After failing at Universal, MGM and Paramount, they show up to the independent Raleigh Studios where Fuji attempts to bribe another guard who doesn’t recognise them, but he threatens to call the cops on them. Muraco decides to go to CBS where Hulk Hogan is filming the Hulk Hogan’s Rock N’ Wrestling cartoon show. Boy, he’ll be in for a shock when he shows up and all he gets is Brad Garrett. Fuji likes the idea of “a traditional Japanese sneak attack.”
The next day, Fuji & Muraco show up to the CBS studio but the only guy there is ‘Mean’ Gene. Gene decides to put them on the show because of some fan mail they’ve received for Muraco – a book titled Helpful Hints for Bad Actors.
As you can probably guess, this is a retelling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with Piper in the Ebenezer Scrooge role. Piper’s dead business partner Jacob Marley haunts Piper on Christmas Eve and introduces him to three spirits. The Ghost of Christmas Past shows Piper stealing lunch money as a kid. The Ghost of Christmas Present shows Piper the Cratchit family struggling to wrap their presents due to a lack of Scotch Tape. The Ghost of Christmases to Come shows Piper a rotting grave with no flowers and calls it Piper’s fortune. Piper screams that his bag of money is his fortune and chases Marley’s ghost out of his bedroom and goes back to sleep. This had potential on paper but delivered on absolutely none of it in practice.
The Mating Game
As you can probably guess, this is a parody of The Dating Game/Blind Date with The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart and Jimmy Hart) as the bachelors. Jimmy says the right time to kiss a girl is when his lips start shaking and his feet start moving, and for foreplay, he likes to oil up his megaphone, stick it in the girl’s ear and sing the most beautiful love songs. He tells the contestant to pick him because Neidhart has two bellies and Bret has greasy kids’ hair. Bret says he can last a couple of hours in the ring and all night long in the bedroom, causing Neidhart to break out a hilariously dirty laugh. Bret then calls himself a tongue wrestler and proudly announces that he can lick his own eyebrows, and as the world’s greatest technical wrestler he’d put the girl in a sleeper hold, fireman’s carry her up to the bedroom and ravish her body. I don’t know man, that all sounds a bit like rape to me. The contestant asks Neidhart if he was to compare making love to fireworks, would he be a Roman candle, a sparkler or a wet fuse, but Neidhart calls himself a nuclear crisis and Vince laughs a dirty laugh. Naturally, the contestant refuses to pick any of the three and walks out, so Jimmy calls her a dog. As a back-up, Vince brings out Miss Yolanda Jones, a short, fat, sassy, middle-aged woman who picks Neidhart. Neidhart wants to back out of the date but Jimmy and Bret think it’s hilarious. And thus, Natalya was born. Possibly.
Summary: Yes, it’s another 90 minutes of comedy sketches from the Vince McMahon Cavalcade of Variety, and much like Tuesday Night Titans originally was, it can be extremely hit-and-miss. There’s enough amusement here to keep you satisfied if you’re in the mood for terrible acting and bad comedy, but that’s obviously not for everyone. Be warned – the “good” stuff on offer here is strictly of the “so bad it’s good” vintage.