As I’ve completely run through every episode of the greatest wrestling show ever on the WWE Network (that would be Prime Time Wrestling of course), my attention has now turned to good ol’ Tuesday Night Titans, or TNT as it is known to its friends. For the uninitiated, it was a talk show that featured folks who competed in WWF rings in the mid 1980’s. For those of you familiar with it, the “initiated” I suppose you could say, it was a treasure trove of WrestleCrappy goodness.
Every week we got goofball skits, bizarre interviews, and bits so politically incorrect it would make Tom & Jerry’s Mammy Two Shoes look like a sensitive portrayal of African Americans. The fact that these shows air not only complete but with absolutely zero disclaimer (the standard “this is a product of its time and does not reflect our current corporate culture” junk you see plastered on other such releases) is kinda jaw dropping honestly.
But the real fun on these shows isn’t the overt racism (which is never fun come to think of it), it’s the fact that nearly everyone got in on the act. You didn’t need to be a top of the card star or even a manager. Nearly every week some random person just kinda showed up, ranging from Greg Valentine’s wife to some girl who had just started work at WWF Magazine. More often than not, the show just kinda left you scratching your head as to what you just saw…but unlike most episodes of Raw these days, it left you baffled in a good kind of way.
And that’s exactly what we’ll be exploring here today, as we get Salvatore Bellomo explaining his hobby to Vince McMahon and everyone in the videoscope.
By this stage of his career, Bellomo was little more than a jobber. But that didn’t prevent Vince from giving him the utmost respect throughout the interview, discussing how it must have been tough to adapt his European style to the more American catch as catch can techniques.
Really – Vince McMahon used to talk wrestling on his wrestling shows.
I don’t blame you for not believing me, but I am in earnest. Heck, this clip here makes him sound like the markiest of marks around. By the end of it, I was expecting him to drop the term “move set” or at least give us a star rating.
I HEART 1984 VINCE MCMAHON.
Anyway, this initial set up leads to a match with Sal versus fellow jobber Ron Shaw. And sure enough, Sal has the crowd on his side.
For the record, I did not scribble in a drawing of a pizza, nor did I edit in the word “PIZZA!”, on that person’s sign. Again, it was a different time. Where’s my disclaimer?
Back to the studio following Sal’s victory (with a flying body press in three minutes and two seconds according to the ring announcer), Vince wants to turn from his exploits in the ring to his fascinating hobby: ship building!
I remember when Popeye did that. It was great. I wonder if Sal will use the same technique of cutting out the floor of the building like the Sailor Man did.
The answer, of course, is no. For you see, Sal didn’t build boats out of wood…he built them out of this:
That’s right – WWF Magazines!
Really. I’m not joking. We’ve got us here a segment on WWF television showcasing a man making boats out of magazine scraps.
With Elmer’s Glue and everything!
As Sal showcases some tiny cannons he’s made for the ship (while Vince repeatedly hammers us over the head that he made these from the pages of the WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION MAGAZINE!!!)…
…Lord Alfred compares the handiwork on display to works of art he’d seen at the Tate Gallery and the Louvre.
Seriously, THE LOUVRE!
I’ve been blessed to be able to go to The Louvre.
I remember a painting I saw when I went.
It looked like this:
And when I say “it looked like this”, I mean it was, in fact, the original Mona Lisa.
God bless Sal and his paper boats (and I will admit they would take some real skill), but I think that Lord Alfred may be overselling things a bit here.
In fact, I dare say that may be the biggest fib ever told in the history of not only pro wrestling, but the entire world at large.
Somehow it gets even better, as Vince says, and I quote, “Where did you learn this craft, son?” in a fatherly manner. This leads Sal to go into how he was nervous and stuck in hotels and watching TV and I don’t even know what else but it sure was an amazingly long run-on sentence.
Gotta love those sails – it’s the USS Pat Patterson!
Sal then shows us his next boat, which he made during a trip to Memphis where he visited Graceland. This one is made out of papers from an Elvis Presley Magazine (a fact which Vince does not repeat ad nauseum).
If you notice this picture is much larger than others in this article, that is solely due to the fact that I wanted to make sure that the text reading “ONE CASSETTE TAPE CARTRIDGE” was clearly visible.
Oh, and he had bought that one cassette tape cartridge at Graceland too!
Sadly, Sal’s art was not appreciated by all. Big John Studd, for instance was not enamored at all with the magazine dinghies, and came over to smash them right into the ground.
“Don’t touch my boat!” Sal muttered sadly.
Even Big John knew such a masterpiece shouldn’t be destroyed.
Look at that giant smile Vince has as he gazes upon these fine pieces of…paper.
Paper glued together to make model boats.
I’ve always maintained that McMahon’s greatest sell job ever was convincing wrestling fans to pay money to watch an egg hatch.
He may have topped that in this photo above.