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
THAT IS INSANE.
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.
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.