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WWF Tuesday Night Titans episode 3 review: Piper, Snuka and the coconut

Vince McMahon starts the show saying "From Her Majesty's Secret Service, 007-and-three-quarters, Lord Alfred Hayes!" In a light blue ruffled suit, Hayes is beside himself with this introduction, unable to say anything but laugh.

The first guest is Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, whose tan, ample legs are on full display. He is wearing a Hawaiian shirt and shorts, and looks rather uncomfortable sitting on the set. Snuka, quite honestly, looks stoned, and talks like it also. McMahon asks him what goes through his head when he leaps from the top rope and Snuka responds, "There's only one feeling brother and that's the truth."

McMahon seems to be fascinated with Snuka, leaning over his desk to look closely at him. "Only Superfly Snuka would dare to climb the top rope and leap as far as he possibly can onto a prone opponent," McMahon says. McMahon then cuts to the infamous episode of Piper's Pit, but first warns the moms who might be watching the show: "For the benefit of those who have a queasy stomach, we would like to caution you about this piece. It's not a pretty sight at all."

Obviously, everyone wants to watch now.

Piper is out of control. The episode of Piper's Pit is one of the all-time iconic moments in WWE history. Piper was the clear star of the segment, but Snuka, sold this moment well and helped turn it into a memory. Piper says he wants to make Snuka feel at home, so he brings out a pineapple. "You want to feel like a happy person? What do you want? Bananas? You want bananas, here you go. You want to feel like a big shot?" Piper then drops two coconuts on the table.

"The only thing I didn't get was a tree for you to climb up and down like a monkey," Piper says. I am not sure if I realized this was incredibly racist at the time, but I did get the feeling that this was going to end badly for Snuka, who just sat there.

Snuka then musters up the courage to ask if Piper is making fun of him. "No sir!" Piper then leaned down and whacked Snuka in the head with the coconut.

Snuka sold this like he was AJ Styles, running into the set and knocking it down. Piper then proceeded to shove a banana in his face. "Here you go sucker. Have a banana. You ain't nothing, but garbage. Get up, you piece of junk."

Talk about the Attitude Era. This moment was hardcore. Piper then took off his belt and started whipping Snuka, then blowing snot out of one nostril on him. "You ain't nothing but garbage, man."

I don't know if Piper hated Snuka in real life, but this moment had unbelievable realness. Snuka came out of his haze and chased Piper, who ran and locked himself behind a door. Tito Santana, Brian Blair and someone who looked like Chief Jay Strongbow restrained Snuka and pulled him backstage.

Back to the set, the instigator McMahon deadpans, "What was going on in your mind?" Snuka just freaked out, screaming about how the truth will set you free and stormed off the set.

The next guest is the opposite of Snuka in every way: Lou Thesz.

He's dressed in a suit and says that he had his first wrestling match in 1936. McMahon says, "You look like you could walk into the ring ring right now." Thesz is treating the show like a serious talk show. He notes that Ed "The Strangler" Lewis was one of his more formidable opponents. They show a match of Thesz wrestling in Japan, pinning a wrestler with a belly-to-belly suplex. Sadly, we get no "Lou Thesz press!" during the match.

McMahon keeps Thesz around after the match to get his thoughts on the next segment: another misogynistic moment with "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff.

Orndorff, like last week's show where he verbally abused a fat woman at a gym, is again berating the better half. This time, they are women working at a hair salon. It all starts well with Orndorff declaring, "I pay a lot of money to have my hair and nails done and shoes shined. I demand every hair in the right place. I demand my nails to be done perfectly because I am a perfectionist."

After watching Piper smash Snuka, this segment felt too abrasive. Orndorff comes across as a real jerk, but not in a good, wrestling heat sort of way. He's making viewers uncomfortable in the same way Mr. Fuji did in episode 2 with the Geisha girl.

Orndorff tells one woman, "Last time you did my nails, you didn't meet my expectations. They weren't shiny enough." He tells another female, "Shine that show, girl, c'mon, put some elbow grease in there. Spit on it, put a little spit on it, you have to do it faster." Keep in mind that she is shining his white tennis shows.

He then looks at his nails. "This is disgusting."

Unhappy with their work, Orndorff storms out of the studio, promising that these women will be banned when he's through with them. This was the kind of segment that watching as a kid, you just hoped Mom didn't walk into the room and ask what you were watching. This had all the bad stuff about professional wrestling that you've heard about.

We go back to the set and McMahon asks Thesz what he thinks of Orndorff. For an old-school legend like Thesz, that segment must have been terrible to watch, but he offers probably the most insightful wisdom of the night: "I just think he's a young man who has had too much too soon. He's an ostentatious dresser and wants to push his weight around and that's just not the way to go through life."

It's back to wrestling, and we get to see, yep, SD "Special Delivery" Jones. So far, he has appeared in all three episodes of TNT, once twice on one show. He's teaming this time with Mexican legend Mil Mascaras against WWF tag team champions Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch.

I was intrigued with Mascaras here as one of those rare non WWF-made wrestling legends. He was super scientific, acrobatic, and did a lot of cool moves. I didn't know that he worked as a jobber in the WWE, teaming with a guy like Jones. The match was pretty good, mostly because of Mascaras' offense, a couple of hot tags back and forth, and the excellent tag team chemistry displayed by Adonis and Murdoch.

After a brief mailbag segment, McMahon reminds us all why we love him. He won't go down in history as an icon of television, but he should. After playing the subtle antagonist role the entire show, he endears himself to the viewers. He cut to footage of himself accepting an award for his father Vincent J. McMahon, who was being inducted into the Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame. McMahon Sr. died at the age of 69, the same age McMahon Jr. is today.

Teary-eyed, McMahon said, "If ever there was one individual who carried the banner of Madison Square Garden, no one quite did it like my dad." McMahon choked up and tears rolled down his face. They then showed clips of when they tolled the bell 10 times to honor McMahon Sr. at a recent MSG show.

This was probably a boring segment to watch as a kid, but as an adult, this was a great reminder of how much pride McMahon had in his product and how much his father meant to him. This was 1984 and McMahon was about to turn professional wrestling into big-time entertainment, and he was probably fueled by his desire to impress his father.

After a brief and somewhat boring segment with Magnificant Muraco talking about how he likes to humiliate people, the show turned into a party with another one of my childhood favorites, Ivan Putski.

Putski comes out to the chair and McMahon is staring at him like he's a piece of meat. "Ivan Putski, you look better than ever," McMahon says.

In the ring, Putski takes on Ron Shaw and has fun shouting "Polish" while the crowd responds, "Power." Putski is totally over and puts Shaw away with a Polish hammer.

Back on the set, Putski explains to the viewers that he was able to dispose of Shaw because he was under the influence of mind control.

"Polish people are good hearted people," he says. "It takes a lot to get the Polish people mad but you saw when I get mad, I don't know what I am doing in that ring. My mind goes blank and I am just like a machine in that ring. Guess you could say I just go out of control."

But enough of the wrestling, let's have some fun. TNT breaks out into a Polish festival, with food, culture, and dancing. This is exactly the kind of segment McMahon loves. Putski wants to show us some Polish soul food. He walks McMahon over to the lavishly decorated Polish set, where Lord Alfred Hayes is already standing with women, food, and a polka band.

The whole thing feels really stupid, but really entertaining in that professional wrestling sort of way. Putski started rambling in Polish and ate a polish sausage. Rachael Ray has nothing on Putski here. They cut to commercial and McMahon says, "We'll be back with more Polish partying" after this.

When we come back, the dancing and singing begins. Some guy with a weird haircut, who looks like he could have been AWA heavyweight champion if he married Verne Gagne's daughter, shows dances with a woman in what is actually a pretty entertaining display. We get to see early shades of McMahon's "Stand Back" days as he dances with a seemingly excited woman. Putski sings and dances as the segment ends in amazing professional wrestling glory. Hayes, unfortunately, is not dancing.

Of course, you cannot think of Putski without thinking of the next guest: Jesse "The Body" Ventura. Ventura walks out onto the set and the Polish polka band is still there. Ventura insults the band: "You call that music? I am the personal bodyguard to the Rolling Stones. I want to hear some rock music. I have had enough of this Polish music. I want to hear some rock 'n' roll!"

The band does a good job of creating some 80s rock, and Ventura takes his seat between McMahon and Hayes. Ventura refuses to shake either one's hand. Ventura then absolutely stole the show with his wit and charisma. Ventura calls McMahon "Jack McMahon" and Putski, "Puduski". We then watch a match with Ventura against, yep, SD Jones.

Announcers Mean Gene Okerlund and Hayes are talking about how this is Ventura's big return to the World Wrestling Federation. Ventura, with his multi-colored hair, showed some good athleticism in this match. After a legdrop, he pinned Jones with an elbow drop to the chest. Okerlund declares that Ventura is "back in the big time."

Back on the set, McMahon tries to harass Ventura over his pink hair, but Ventura won't have any of it.

"Everything I do is original," he tells McMahon. Ventura again claims to be the personal bodyguard of The Rolling Stones, and then blames the way he is on the fact that he served in Vietnam.

"The people of America created Jesse "The Body."Ventura, the future governor of Minnesota and probably the most successful professional wrestler to cross over into mainstream politics, was getting political even back then.

Ventura then set his sights on one man: "The incredible chump Hogan. He's been running from me. He's been hiding from me for three, four years. Every time it seems that Jesse The Body shows up, the chump Hogan finds his way to the other side of the country. To Japan, to Europe, he just never wants to be where Jesse Ventura is."

Ventura says when he meets Hogan, the match will end before it starts: "When the chump looks into my eyes, I will hypnotize him before the match ever begins."

For good measure, Ventura insults Putski.

"I like to call him Ivan the wart," Ventura says. "He's very ugly and he's short."

The show ends with McMahon showing highlights of some tag team action including The Wild Samoans, Sgt. Slaughter, and some guy named Terry Daniels (whatever happened to that team?) and the Moondogs, Rex and Spot.

McMahon wraps up the show,saying "We'll be back next week," rather then two weeks from now. If the show was moving weekly, the ratings must have already been doing well by now.

This may have been the strongest episode yet, led by the Piper's Pit segment, the Putski nonsense, and Ventura's charisma. This show is building stars to the point where even Jones is getting over as a jobber. McMahon also seems to be taking on a more prominent role and more of a focal point of the show.