Monday, October 3, 2016

The Legend of Mighty Joe Thunder


A few weeks back on the 6:05 Superpodcast, a wrestler was discussed that I had no prior knowledge of, that being Mighty Joe Thunder. The discussion centered around his debut match and how he came to be in the WWF in 1982 and how he was paired up with Captain Lou Albano. I checked out the History of WWE website and come to find out, Mighty Joe only did two TV tapings in September of 1982. After those tapings, he was gone as quickly as he came in. My curiosity was piqued so I looked up the four matches of his on YouTube and checked them out.

A quick side note, this is the first wrestling review I've written in nearly two years so I might be a bit rusty. Here goes nothing ...

1. Mighty Joe Thunder vs. Steve King (Championship Wrestling 8/7/82)

The ring announcer for this, and all subsequent bouts, is Joe McHugh, who I must admit is incredibly awesome as he's the complete old-school ring announcer package complete with long, drawn out, introductions. Coming to the ring, Thunder has a black fur coat on and an Elvis style hair-do. He grabs poor King in a neck wrench and executes a snap mare and flamboyantly throws King into the corner. Anything that you would usually expect from an early-80s WWF squash match is here. King is entertaining while taking a beating. Thunder finishes this off with a knee drop and jumps on King for the pin like a kid diving onto a wrestling buddy doll.

2. Mighty Joe Thunder vs. Barry Hart (Championship Wrestling 8/14/82)

Barry Hart is the future Barry Horowitz and Thunder looks very awkward from the get-go. Pat Patterson on commentary says that we "haven't seen him go full speed yet". The slow basic offense is about as full speed as it gets I'm afraid. Everything that happened in the previous match, happened here except Thunder got the win via submission after draping Hart over his shoulder for a backbreaker submission.

3. Mighty Joe Thunder vs. Victor Mercado (Championship Wrestling 8/21/82)

The Elvis hair-do is gone in this match, replaced by a slicked-back greaser style hair-do. Mercado rolls out of the ring and Thunder seems at a loss on what to do to Albano just slugs the poor jobber right in the face. Patterson says that he hasn't seen much wrestling ability out of Thunder so far. Nor have I Pat, nor have I. The backbreaker submission finisher returns and Mercado is dispatched in less than two minutes.

4. Mighty Joe Thunder vs. George Rosello (All Star Wrestling 8/21/82)

The final match on the list and this one is from an episode of All Star Wrestling which aired the same day as the previous bout. Joe breaks out some weird uppercuts to the bicep of Rosello while he wrenches the arm at the same time. So far, this has been the worst of the four bouts as Rosello flops around like a dead fish Joe's very limited move set has definitely become stale. Another backbreaker ends this after a horrible knee to the mid-section.

So that's the legend of Mighty Joe Thunder. He came in from nowhere and returned to there just as fast. Watching these was pretty fun as each video was only about 4-5 minutes and it helped me discover a footnote from early-80s WWF. I might have to go find some more obscure stuff like this soon.

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