INDUCTION: Salvatore Bellomo, Boat Builder – I Guess Everyone Really Does Have to Have a Hobby

39 Submitted by on Thu, 26 February 2015, 20:00

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WWF, 1984

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.

bboats-01By 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.

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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:

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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.

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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!!!)…

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…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:

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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.

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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).

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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!

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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.

Studd didn’t.

Even Big John knew such a masterpiece shouldn’t be destroyed.

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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.

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He may have topped that in this photo above.

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Yeah, you know...the WrestleCrap guy. Been here since before day 1, I have. You can hang out with me on Facebook. (I'm on there quite a bit) or follow my exploits on Twitter (I'm on there not quite so often). Thanks, and Keep on Crappin'!
39 Responses to "INDUCTION: Salvatore Bellomo, Boat Builder – I Guess Everyone Really Does Have to Have a Hobby"
  1. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    POPEYE REFERENCE!!!! YES!

  2. WrestleTrekker says:

    How is this crap? That’s pretty damn impressive! Heck, when I’m a famous manager, all I’ll talk about is my model train hobby!

  3. The Doctor of Style says:

    There should be a “WrestleAwesomeness” subsection of the site holding inductions like this and Double Dare Super-Slop-O-Mania. I don’t see how the WWF didn’t give Bellomo a Steve Lombardi-type lifetime employment over this.

    Speaking of the Double Dare induction, you guys should bring back the color-coded backgrounds.

  4. RD Reynolds says:

    I will admit, it actually is pretty impressive.

  5. Sean Bateman says:

    Regular Popeye reference? Guess that Gay Popeye was sick

  6. Fred says:

    This is kind of why I think since they have their own network now that the WWE should bring back Tuesday Night Titans to show off things like this with todays Superstars. There was Ken Patera’s feats of strengths, Mr. Fuji’s showing off Japanese culture, Ivan Putski’s Polka Party, and of course Don Murraco’s stand up comedy

  7. Greendale says:

    Man, I loved Vince calling him “son”, but I’m pretty sure he’s just referring to him as “Sal”.

  8. C Boz says:

    I agree with the above. The casual racism, sexism, and generally prejudiced material in 80s era WWF broadcasts were bad. But this is not WrestleCrap – man has a hobby he is good at, man shows hobby on nationwide tv, it becomes an angle of sorts.

    Now if Norman the Sailor, still not cured from his mental challenges from previously being Norman the Lunatic, came on saying he had actually sailed one of the boats, that might be WrestleCrap. Or, since this is WWF and not NWA/WCW, perhaps the Shockmast… er, I mean Tugboat could have come on to claim ownership of a boat. Then again, as it would have had to be his debut since he was not on WWF at this time, he would have tripped on the microphone cord that is clearly hanging down from Vince’s desk, thus tumbling into the boats and ruining them.

    Come to think of it, that would have been cool. Fred Ottman storms (get it – typhoon?) the stage to claim one of Sal’s boats, he falls over a wrecks the boat, Sal and Fred get into fisticuffs, and we get a three month angle which culminates in some specialty match like a crew match (nautical themed lumberjack match) or an anchor match (like a strap match, but the cord has an anchor also tied to it which can be used as a weapon). Or they could do that match which closed out Monday Nitro and have the two fight over a pool in Panama City Beach.

    Wow I have too much time on my hands tonight.

    • Billy says:

      I have to agree with the other commenters. This doesn’t seem like crap.

      At least it isn’t crap if Bellomo really did make model boats from magazines. It would be wrestlecrap if the whole thing was fake, because it would be such a weird and silly idea. But if it was really his hobby, and he really made them, then it is actually impressive. Overselling by Lord Alfred and Vince don’t take away from that. This is one of those cases where reality can be weirder than fiction.

  9. Preparation Triple H says:

    These WWF Magazine boats would look splendid sitting next to the Steve Lombardi Trophy on R.D.’s mantelpiece.

  10. John C says:

    “Well Vince sometimes in the hotel room after we’ve plowed our way through a mountain of blow we get creative. One time I see Baron Mikel Scicluna put a sock on his weiner and put on a puppet show for all the boys. It was called Cock Around the Sock.”

  11. Aura says:

    Why did they never make a Captain Mike Rotunda-style shirt of Salvatore Bellomo on a boat?

  12. Drew says:

    The USS Pat Patterson? Oh sure, joke all you want, but I’ll have you know that the aforesaid Mr. Patterson is a Rear Admiral.

  13. Jimbolian says:

    Only if I would have been booker/writer for WWF back then, I would have had Greg Valentine come out with a hammer and bash Salvatore’s boat; thus bringing home Greg’s “The Hammer” nickname.

    LICENSE TO PRINT MONEY

  14. Anthony says:

    Honestly, I am actually impressed by this. If he actually did put those together that is really damn impressive and talented. And heck, even if he didn’t these are still pretty cool.

  15. Joe says:

    RD,
    You have to induct the Butcher Vachon wedding!

  16. KatieVictoriasSecret says:

    Sal would probably make a killing with skills like those on etsy nowadays.

    Prime Time was so weirdly charming back in its heyday. I’m waiting for Vince to try and revive it on the Network somehow.

  17. AK says:

    Like others have already commented, I think his work is actually quite impressive. I also appreciate that Vince and others actually praised it (or just sold it) as being impressive.

    If Sal was doing this during the Attitude Era, I’m pretty sure Vince would have had HBK, HHH and pretty much the entire roster mocking it, since it wouldn’t be considered cool or more specifically “Raw” Considering the most creative thing HBK and HHH have come up with is a gesture where they chop at their crotches, I’d say Sal maybe was a jobber in the ring but certainly not outside of it. Also I imagine someone else came up with the crotch chop, so I don’t think I can give DX credit where it isn’t due.

    This would have been great on Saturday Morning Slam (RIP). It would even surpass Kaitlyn’s DIY Penguin costume if Sal actually provided some hands on instructions how to make one of his boats.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Impressive if he actually made those, but DEFINITELY wrestlecrap and one of my favorite inductions in a while.

  19. Scrooge McSuck says:

    I think some take “wrestlecrap” took seriously. Not everything has to be a Gobbledy Gooker or Bella. “Wreslting promoter hosts a talk-show where a jobber makes boats out of WWF Magazines” is just funny and meant to be a light-hearted induction. Was it “crap”? Probably not in the same context as other things, but on the “would you believe THIS was featured on TV” scale, it hits an 8 or 9 out of 10.

  20. Mister Forth says:

    I actually knew of this hobby. Vince brought it up after making an equally strange announcement of Kerry Von Erich winning the NWA Championship.

  21. The Scanian Maniac says:

    Funny considering the dramatic change his character underwent, when he later turned up in ECW as “Wildman” Salvatore Bellomo:

    http://users.skynet.be/wildmanbellomo/img/life3Parts/lifePart2.jpg

  22. Happy ikeda mark says:

    Vince is wrong proclaiming catch as can more american style sure you some practitions like ed “the strangler” Lewis and the the gotch’ so casually showing up to give off an exhibition of athletic superiority but catch as can can began in Europe England and many other europen countries as such Germany and France dabbled into the world of catch as don’t get America also had catch as can but its a European style vince still though props are in order to him talking about wrestling on a mcmahon product

  23. Alexandru says:

    Yeah got to agree this really wasn’t wrestlecrap as that is a unique skill, assuming he did made the ships.

  24. Ze Frenchie says:

    I just sent him a question in French about this, so we’ll see what he answers.

  25. the14thListener says:

    I’d deeply enjoy say, ten minutes, of present day Vince off on a YouTube shooter mark rant. Bitching about booking and work rate, talking about how awesome footage of the old days. License to mint nickels.

  26. Kev says:

    Yeah I have a hard time calling this Wrestlecrap. It’s actually a pretty sweet hobby.

  27. Thomas Moffatt says:

    Tony Dawson going to get inducted yet?

  28. Surfer Sandman says:

    Gorilla: Brain, what do you think Bellomo’s other hobbies are?
    Brain: Lying down for the pin and watching paint dry
    Gorilla: Will you stop!

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