Straight Shoot Retro: The Wrestling Classic

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STRAIGHT SHOOT RETRO is back, and this week, the nostalgic wing of The World’s Smartest Rasslin Talk Show takes on the oft-forgotten WWF pay-per-view, The Wrestling Classic!

This Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at 9pmET/6pmPT Jeff Schiller and I will show up ready to yammer about the event, but make sure to submit questions or even retro, Wrestling Classic-specific PRFs on the official event page.

STRAIGHT SHOOT is completely free for you to enjoy, but in the face of rising podcast hosting costs, we need your support! Here are three easy ways to do it:

Ways to watch/listen are below. Scroll down for more information on The Wrestling Classic.

  • Right here, on this very page, live or after-the-fact, through the embedded YouTube video right up above
  • Over at the official Google Hangout event page, where you can watch live and even ask questions for me and my special guest.
  • On my official YouTube channel, where you can check out the video after the fact and of course SUBSCRIBE.
  • The morning after, via audio-only podcast versions of the show embedded above or on iTunesStitcher and PodOmatic.

The Wrestling Classic is fascinating for a few reasons. First, it’s generally brushed over in discussion of WWE’s early days on pay-per-view, despite the fact that it was actually the first pay-per-view event run by WWF – or to my knowledge – any other wrestling promotion. That’s because early events like the first two Starrcades, and even WrestleMania I, were actually shown to those not in attendance via closed-circuit television. The Wrestling Classic was the first event that fans could order and watch in the comfort of their own home, which caused a dramatic shift in the economics of the professional wrestling industry.

Another reason The Wrestling Classic is so interesting is that it’s something that we don’t see too much of these days: A pay-per-view event almost completely given over to a 16-man single-elimination tournament. There was also a WWF Title match between Hulk Hogan and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper on the card, but the main event was actually the tournament finals. What’s even more odd (from a contemporary perspective at least) is that the tournament wasn’t even for anything other than bragging rights.

Normally we like to list out the matches for the shows we cover on STRAIGHT SHOOT RETRO, but as doing so would contain spoilers for the outcome of the tournament, we’re instead going to simply list out the participants, which are fascinating in their own right, as they are a cross-section of some of the most interesting workers of the period.

  • 16-man tournament containing:
    • “Adorable” Adrian Adonis
    • Corporal Kirchner
    • The Dynamite Kid
    • Nikolai Volkoff
    • Ivan Putski
    • “Macho Man” Randy Savage
    • “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith
    • Ricky Steamboat
    • The Iron Sheik
    • The Junkyard Dog
    • Terry Funk
    • Moondog Spot
    • Don Muraco
    • Tito Santana
    • “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
    • “Cowboy” Bob Orton, Jr.
  • WWF Champion Hulk Hogan vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

2 responses to “Straight Shoot Retro: The Wrestling Classic

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