INDUCTION: Tito Santana’s TNT Fiesta – Learn What a TACO Is!

31 Submitted by on Thu, 22 February 2018, 20:00

WWF, 1984

One of the cool things about the WWE Network is going back and rediscovering wrestlers who I didn’t give a second thought during the time when I was actually following their careers in real time so to speak.  Case in point: Tito Santana.  When I was watching WWF television back in the mid 1980’s, I didn’t give a crap about the guy.  I thought he was kinda bland and had zero interest in any of his feuds.  Today, I watch the random Tito match and am kinda blown away by the guy.  He is crisp as can be in the ring, and has a babyface fire that blows away anyone you’ll see on Raw or Smackdown.  I watch his battles with Randy Savage and holy moly was this dude good.  I’m sorry, Mr. Santana.

Not sorry enough to pass on inducting this farce you were part in, but sorry nevertheless.

So today kids, we are going back to 1984, to the infamous TNT Show.  That particular progrem is no stranger to WrestleCrap, of course, as we’ve covered follies such as Iron Sheik’s petting zoo and Adrian Adonis’ personal florist, Bruce. This one may not have been as ridiculous as those, but…no, I can’t finish that sentence.  It’s absurd in its own special way that later TNT skits (this one aired less than two months into its run) can only dream about.

Prior to the festivities, however, we get a sit down yakfest between Tito and Vince McMahon.  I was ready to go off on Vince for once again wearing a completely ridiculous dark beige suit, then I noticed Tito was also down with the brown.  Maybe it was just the fashion of the day.  Besides, how could I mock Vince when Tito is wearing a shirt with collars so big even it would cause Saturday Night Fever John Travolta to point and laugh?

At the time, Tito would be YOUR Intercontinental champion, back when that title was actually a huge deal in wrestling.  Vince notes that Tito has been defending the title at a rate no prior title holder ever had, which is most likely a true statement.  The schedules the WWF crew had back in the day were absolutely brutal.  I couldn’t find Tito’s, but this is what Greg Valentine was doing 33 years ago this month:

2/1 — Detroit, MI
2/2 — Baltimore, MD
2/3 — Long Island, NY
2/4 — Salisbury, MD
2/6 — Lorain, OH
2/8 — Oklahoma City, OK
2/8 — Pittsburgh, PA (yes, a double shot in Oklahoma and Pittsburgh)
2/9 — Anaheim, CA
2/10 — San Diego, CA
2/11 — Los Angeles, CA
2/12 — Poughkeepsie, NY
2/13 — West Milford, NJ
2/14 — Peoria, IL
2/15 — Chicago, IL
2/17 — St. Louis, MO
2/20 — Brantford, Ontario
2/24 — Atlanta, GA
2/25 — Vancouver, British Columbia
2/26 — Edmonton, AB
2/27 — Calgary, AB
2/28 — Providence, RI


Especially doing a same day double shot in Oklahoma and Pittsburgh, following it up over to California the next day!  Su-crew that.

Back to Tito.  Again, the man was able to drag a decent match out of seemingly anyone, as he proves with today’s foe, Rene Goulet. My point above about the Network causing me to reevaluate certain talent does NOT apply to that guy.

Still, Tito’s fire made at least the finish fun to watch, as he absolutely CLOCKS Goulet with the flying jalepeno.  That’s so beautiful I won’t dare overlay it with the WrestleCrap logo.

I’ll save the logo for Lord Alfred’s powder blue suit and ludicrous hand gestures.  More points for Tito, though, as he appears to seriously contemplating walloping him the same way he did to Goulet.  I wonder if he could get a good match out of his Lordship?

I bet he could!

A far too smug Vince (I mean, look at that tie!) promises us a Mariachi Band and dancers when we return, but that’s a complete lie.

Because they show up as soon as he finishes that sentence and before the commercial!  The band itself is quite good, playing for nearly a full minute before the break, and has me wanting to stop writing this and head over to the best dang Mexican restaurante in all of Naptown, El Azabache.

Another plate of pollo fundido, por favor!

When we come back, Vince, Tito, and Lord Alfred are joined by Debra, who is there to present various Mexican delicacies.  She…wait, no, I have to fix something.  That just won’t do.

There we go, much better.  I mean really, if you are going to go through the trouble of having a straw hat with a smiley face on the top of it (!!!!!), at least put it in a direction we can all enjoy it.

Anyway, Vince tells us it appears we have a little bit of everything on the table tonight, and acts as though he’s never seen any of these items before.  He asks Al to pick up the first plate, then quizzically says to Debra, “Now, what is that called?”

Debra: “That is a BURRITO.

Vince: “And what goes in the burrito?”

Debra: “You can get beef or chicken or beans.”

This causes Vince to nod in deep thought, as the poor girl continued to explain this complicated hispanic dish as though she was talking to a two year old.

Vince then asks Tito if this was his favorite, and Tito sounded as though he too was baffled by the idiocy on display before mumbling, “yes, Mexican food, it’s all my favorite.”

Lord Alfred is asked if he will try it, but he begs off, noting that it doesn’t look too appetizing to him.  In a blatant display of just how much he’s never cared about the feelings of his employees, Vince forces him to take a bite.

Alfred cuts off a millimeter sized sample, sticks it in his pie hole, then makes a face as though he’d just smelled the world’s stinkiest fart.  For her part, Debra looks as though she’s about to bust a gut, so maybe it’s just me thinking this is totally lame.

Vince asks Debra what is right next to the burritos.

Now keep in mind, I am reporting what is said verbatim.  I am not making any of this up.  Just reporting the facts.  So we see the following image and we get…

Debra: “These are TACOS.

Vince (utterly baffled): “These are…TACOS?

Ok, I know I’ve said many, many, many times that I have felt Vince’s goof troop insults my intelligence seemingly every week, but never in the 30+ years I’ve been watching have I felt as stupid as witnessing Vince being baffled by something called a TACO.  I mean, I introduced my best friend Eric to Mexican food at a Zantigo when he was like 14, and I thought that was weird.  Yet here we have Vince at nearly 40 here, a guy who had obviously traveled the world, and we are supposed to believe he had no clue what a freaking taco was?

If this were a Mystery Science Theater episode, I promise you Vince saying “Tacos?” would be the stinger.  Heck, I kinda want to go back and edit all the MST3Ks I have on my Plex so it is the stinger on all of them.


Just when I think this cannot possibly get any dumber, it somehow does, with Alfred eating the taco as though it’s an ear of corn!  As Vince notes he is the official TNT Taco Taster, Alfred is completely speechless in his attempts to describe the minuscule nibble he had just partaken.  Probably just as well, unless he were to herald it in the same voice he used in those old Yipes Stripes bubble gum ads.

Vince completely gushes over the next item, even though he of course has no clue as to what it is.

Debra explains that this is a TAMALE.  It has a thicker dough and has meat inside.

For his part, Vince is gobsmacked as to the fact it has dough on it.

I too am gobsmacked when Debra explains it is covered in chile con carne…”which is chili.”  I can only assume that being around these dingbats has somehow made her dumber as well.

Chalupas and tostadas are the next order of the day, as Vince finally gets in on the act and takes a bite himself.  As he is doing so, Alfred gives the world’s worst “Where’s the Beef?” impersonation.  Actually, it may be the world’s worst impersonation of ANYTHING EVER.

You be the judge.

As Vince notes Tito is the only one who hasn’t had anything to eat yet, we learn what an ENCHILADA is next.  Apparently it can also come with beef, chicken, or beans!  Vince spots a container of something (“salsa verde”, Debra chimes in), and then proceeds to dump it all over the enchilada before telling Tito to gulp it down.  Seriously, that thing looked pretty decent until Vince poured eight ounces of salsa all over it.  What a bag.

Time to wash all this garbage down – with something called a MARGARITA!  Tito notes it’s delicioso, as Debra notes this is made with some foreign substance called…tequila?

Vince questions why there is salt on the glass (“for those of us who don’t know why that would be, myself included”), as Debra notes it’s to kill the taste of the tequila.  This causes Vince to laugh as though he’s looking at fat people while jamming to ZZ Top. A couple shots of sangria brings to an end our fiesta, and also today’s induction.

And with that, I hope this induction has educated you to the ways of hispanic culture.  The next time you are out at your favorite restaurante, now you too will be able to impress your friends by explaining what a TACO is.

And they can look at you like you are a total geek, much as I did at my screen the entire time I wrote this induction.


I hope you enjoyed this new induction.  If so, would you please consider donating to the WrestleCrap Patreon by clicking here?  Your support helps to keep the site alive, and the more support we get, the more inductions we can write!  Gracias!

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31 Responses to "INDUCTION: Tito Santana’s TNT Fiesta – Learn What a TACO Is!"
  1. Sean Bateman says:

    This is the only time I wanted to see Jesse Ventura insult Tito Sanatana

  2. Hulk6785 says:

    Vince McMahon not knowing what a taco is maybe the most unbelievable thing WWE has ever put on one of their television programs.

    • Josh says:

      Apparently Vince once yelled out “BURRITO?! NOBODY KNOWS WHAT A BURRITO IS!” in a staff meeting…while eating a burrito.

      So I can actually see him not knowing what a taco is.

  3. Tempest Fennac says:

    Why the heck was Valentine’s travel schedule set out like that? I can’t see how it would make financial sense to have so many shows which are so far apart (I could understand it if they did several shows in New England and then either worked their way south, west or north or flew to another part of the US to do several shows but this just seems like it’s far more expensive than it had to be). I suppose it could be due to when arenas would be available for shows, but I’m assuming those would be booked way before the events would happen.

    • Kareem Ofweet says:

      Exactly. Never mind the OKC/Pittsburgh double dip, how could they not see that going from Baltimore to Long Island and then back to Maryland was illogical? Or from Anaheim to San Diego and back to LA?

    • RD Reynolds says:

      My guess is when you are running THAT many shows they had to take whatever dates any arena anywhere head. Like I said, totally insane. No wonder so many guys were on so much stuff.

      • Tempest Fennac says:

        I remember reading once that there was one point in the ’80s where they had 800 shows a year so so that theory makes sense.

  4. kmtown says:

    1. Caught the (intentional, unintentional) reference to Santa Claus Conquers the Martians reference. 2.You ought to check out Los Patios in nearby Danville.

    • Bubbafan2 says:

      My wife has been attached to Alcapulco Joe’s in downtown Indy for years. She thinks it’s the best Mexican restaurant ever. I tend to disagree :p

      • RD Reynolds says:

        I used to dig Joe’s. I am about 5 minutes from there but haven’t been in years. Need to correct that. Gotta dig a place that has salsa in squeeze ketchup bottles!

  5. CF says:

    I knew going in this Induction was going to be Offensive[TM], but this takes the taco in both the figurative *and* literal senses….

  6. Arya Witner says:

    Lord Alfred eating his burrito like a corncob reminds me of the Samoa Joe-CM Punk shoot interview where a bunch of drunk guys (and Punk) spent the night at Joe’s apartment and someone made a huge mess by doing the same thing

  7. Art0Donnell says:

    “These right here are TA-kay-ohs.”

    “They’re a thicker DAY-oh shell.”

    Now might be a good time to mention that TNT was filmed in Baltimore.

    • Enhancement Talent 3 Mark II says:

      Hahaha!!! I just revisited The Wire season 5 the last couple of nights, so this comment by Art really made me chuckle.
      Great induction RD – makes me want to re-watch match 1 from WM1. I bet Tito vs Buddy Rose looks much better to us now.

  8. Zac Campbell says:

    The salt is for the wimps who can’t handle the taste of tequila

  9. Gerard says:

    Lol Who doesn’t know what Chili is for example?? Vince’s only excuse for not recognizing any of these foods is that the hugely overpriced restaurants in Greenwich or Beverly Hills don’t have a single Mexicain Restaurant anywhere in the area!! or Vince is one helluva good actor for looking at a taco or a burrito and saying i have no idea what those things are???

  10. RGO says:

    I’m not too surprised at Vince’s ignorance. At a 1974 family gathering our Pittsburgh relatives had never heard of tacos and we could only find one store in St. Augustine, FLA that carried them.

    • Jerry says:

      I tend to agree. From a german perspective mexican food still counts as exotic and is not that commonly known (and what is served as mexican food in speciality restaurants around here alledgedly does not really come close to it). To a traveller like McMahon, it was certainly well known already in the mid-80s, but his referrence is the northwestern USA. And I would not know, if the people, who were around him there had known mexican food 30 years ago.
      The Sesame Street approach of the sketch may go a bit too far, but imagine, how they would introduce their viewership to, let’s say, greek dishes today. Not that far off.
      I assume, when meeting mexican food, I could guess, that it is something mesoamerican. But further details, like if that’s a burrito or a taco… no chance.

  11. Wooly says:

    Where’s my burrito? Where’s my burrito?

  12. El Atomico says:

    I’ve loved Tito Santana ever since I was a kid, he was one of my first favorites and it’s been a blast watching some of his stuff on the new Coliseum Home Video additions to the Network.
    I remember this show, and despite his apparent idiocy regarding Mexican food, he must have known his stuff, as he mockingly tried to get Lord Alfred to eat the corn husk off the tamale.
    Hey, at least this ended up better for Hayes than the Funks’ bbq cookout!

  13. Big Daddy Strong says:

    aint gonna lie……I loved this show and all the wacky skits. If you think this is bad, find the one where JYD and two black church lunchladies try to explain soul food to poor ignorant sheltered Vince.

    Vince getting a hard on over mac and cheese and getting no sold by the two women is hilarious. even being as over the top with the racial stereotypes as the WWE was back then, that is the WWF I know and love.

    And as dumb as Vince acts on these skits, that was the role he was playing. He was the awkward straight man pretending to be a night show host instead of the owner of a company. But something tells me there’s a lot of things Vince doesn’t understand about the common folk as if he was some alien visiting our planet. It’s definitely crap but the good kind IMO.

  14. Christopher Haydu says:

    Where’s my burrito?
    Where’s my burrito?
    Where’s my burrito?….

    Did it really take this long for somebody to reference that?

  15. John C says:

    So what the hell was Debra Whitey’s purpose was for being there anyway? It would be slightly less idiotic for Tito to be introducing his own national cuisine rather than Mrs. Whitey. I was always a big Tito guy and was happy at the 1990 Survivor Series when they had him in for the final match with Hulk and Warrior. TNT: Tacos ‘n Tamales

    • john g. says:

      That’s kinda racist. That’s like saying Hispanics shouldn’t be in pizza commercials, only Italians. The next time I see a black tv cook making souffle, i’m gonna call foul.

  16. Lee W says:

    International relations 10…… oh, wait a minute…

  17. President Clinton Dempsey says:

    Beef-filled burritos, WOW! Take a look at that!

    The most ironic part is that most of the food presented isn’t authentic Mexican food, but a US spin on it. Also, with the high content of corn I’m surprised Vince didn’t summon Tatanka to eat it.

    But like RD said, ¡ARRÍBA!

  18. Hulk Hogan's Glorious And Truly Most Triumphenous Shatneresque Bald Dome (AKA AoGLP) says:

    “Learn what A taco is!”

    OhGodOhGodOhGod, the joke (s) I could make could get me into SOOOOOO much trouble……

  19. MistaMaddog says:

    Still better than Polish wrestler dancing around a friggin’ Kielbasa Tree…

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