Soap Opera, 1985
Guessing I am far from the only person to say this around these parts, but I am a big fan of Scott Keith. He was part of the wrestling scene all the day back to the earliest days of the interwebs, and I have followed his reviews since I first discovered him back in the late 1990s. To this day, I still look forward to just about anything he covers, as he can make even the most mundane events or matches somehow highly entertaining. If you don’t believe me, I suggest you check out his NXT 2.0 reviews which are a staple for me every Wednesday.
Scott has had several homes on the internet over the years, with his current being Scott’s Blog of Doom. Much like I’ve done with WrestleCrap.com, Scott has surrounded himself with other talented writers who cover various areas of the pseudo sport we all love. In the past few months, I’ve started really paying attention to another fellow on the Blog named
In a recent article, JW took at look at the October 1985 issue of WWF Magazine. While you might think I’m here today induction managers who apparently doubled as “dealers” (that Slickster character always seemed kinda shady!), that’s not the case at all. Instead, look just above that and you will find a nugget proclaiming “NBC’s ‘Search for Tomorrow’ Finds Wrestling Today.” Reading further into JW’s article we learn that what was at the time a very popular soap opera had a string of episodes featuring Hulk Hogan, the Magnificent Muraco, and no less than Mr. Fuji.
That foul funk invading your nostrils?
Yep, smells like WrestleCrap to me too!
A bit of backstory is needed I believe for you younger readers.
A soap opera is an ongoing television show (serial) that features all manner of romantic entanglements, family dramas, heroes and nogoodniks. Think of it as pro wrestling for old lady folk and you have the right idea. I am not sure if these even exist anymore as once my favorite soap, Passions (which featured witches and terrible acting and idiotic plots and an honest to goodness orangutan caretaker named Precious) went off the air, I never watched another soap again. After all, what could compare to that?
Regardless, soap operas were incredibly popular in my youth and long before, with one of the longest running shows being Search for Tomorrow. The show originally hit the airwaves in 1951 (!!!!), a time in which television apparently did exist. Despite its intro music sounding like something you’d hear at Aunt Gertrude’s funeral, it attracted a huge following.
Thirty-four years after its debut, it featured Hulk Hogan, The Magnificent Muraco, and Mr. Fuji.
I should put a disclaimer here explaining that despite the incredible history I’ve given of the show (thank you fifty-seven seconds on Google!), I have never seen this show before in my entire life. So if there’s a hardcore Search for Tomorrow junkie reading this and I am not getting even the most basic of premises or characters right, you gotta forgive me. This is a wrestling site covering crap from 37 years ago, not a soap opera site covering crap from 37 years ago.
So Hulk Hogan walks into a bar and…wait, that sounds like a joke. I should probably back up this statement with an animated GIF.
So Hulk Hogan walks into a bar, and as you would imagine, everyone is completely star struck, getting up on their feet as if to give him a standing ovation for gracing their podunk gin mill with his presence. One of the guys at the bar (not the bartender I should note, just some random boozehound) grabs his beer (and his girlfriend’s!) and runs over to give it to the Hulkster as a gift.
“Thank you very much brother, but no poison for the body – this will shrink you up,” the WWF champion explains with the wisdom of 10,000 scholars. The duo introduces themselves as Wendy and Quinn, and they gush over him as Hulk eyeballs Wendy up and down in the creepiest manner possible.
To be fair, it must work – Wendy looks like she’s ready to rip her dress open right there in the middle of the bar.
So the duo give Hulk their brilliant proposition, which is to, now get this, have Hulk and his opponent for this week on their television show…AT THE SAME TIME. Despite Hogan explaining to them that this might wind up in disaster, they convince him to go through with this zany scheme, thanks primarily to Wendy nearly throwing her panties at him.
We then get the following dialogue, which I give you verbatim:
Hulk: “Let me ask you…this guy right here, is he your main squeeze?”
Wendy: “My main squeeze?”
Hulk: “As in…permanent?”
Wendy: “Why oh yes…I guess he is!”
Hulk: “What a pity.”
How this man failed to win an Emmy in the category of “Best Pro Wrestler Attempting to Score a Rat in a Daytime Drama” is beyond me.
We arrive at the television studio, as Muraco and Fuji arrive to go over pre-taping preparations. The Magnificent one mocks the studio audience, all the while asking if Fuj has some hot ladies lined up for him. Fuji, for his part, questions the quality of the set, noting that the furniture is…well…the R word.
Yes, that one.
Even in 1985 that would have been offensive, not to mention making zero sense whatsoever.
Our hero shows up, and takes Quinn to task for booking them on the show at the exact same time. Muraco calls Hogan a has been and attempts to do what Hulk was unable to: pick up Wendy.
And succeeds, I might add.
Quinn explains that the lady is “HANDS OFF!” and that they are going to do this whole thing in a peaceful, reserved manner. Once the interview is over, they can do whatever they want, but first they will answers calls from the viewers and questions from the audience. Muraco continues to growl, no doubt looking to cause trouble.
Hogan contemplates this information exactly as you’d hope:
By thoughtfully stroking his chin.
Only one word for that:
See, he’s THINKING…and letting the audience know this in a very visual manner.
Short of pointing to his head, I don’t know how he could have portrayed it any better.
Wendy pulls Quinn away, wondering if all this is going too far. “You really want me to ask THAT one?” she questions. “There’s going to be a riot in here!”
Quinn smiles, nods, and gleefully agrees.
What was the question?
TUNE IN TOMORROW TO FIND OUT!
And by tomorrow, I mean right now.
(But yes, that was a cliffhanger meant to get you, the viewer, to tune in to the next show.)
The red light goes on, and Hogan and Muraco show up together with heated barbs being exchanged. Wendy pulls Muraco to the side and explains that she knows he is the bigger star, so tells him they will do separate interviews and she will save him – THE BEST – for last.
Muraco: “You know little lady, you’re starting to get over with me.”
Don’t break kayfabe on this sizoap, brother!
Hulk gives an interview to “Wonderful Wendy”, and it’s every Hogan interview you’ve ever heard. Hulkamaniac this, train, prayers, vitamins that. Just as I was just nodding and going “yeah, get on with it brother”, he turns to Wendy and asks her point blank what she’d do with his 302 pounds of muscle on top of her.
Won’t lie, I did not remember Hulk as being a major sex symbol back in the 80’s, but who are we to question Joan Severence and Search for Tomorrow Wendy?
Hogan gives her a smooch as he leaves the stage, then stops by to lambast Quinn one more time. “I don’t think you know what you’re doing,” Hogan bellows, “and if anything happens to that beautiful lady, I’m holding you personally responsible!” He then kicks the doors open and heads out of the studio.
I mean, if he’s that concerned shouldn’t he just stick around?
Fuji and Muraco show up next, and we are introduced to him with this, well, MAGNIFICENT video which is padded by, no joke, the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations”. The lack of WrestleCrap logo on that thing ain’t no accident, trust me.
Muraco chastises all the “snow bound, snow plowing goofs” watching him on TV. “I know how to live,” he explains. “I know how to be magnificent.”
Kinda hard to argue with three women rubbing lotion all over him, right?
Wendy softballs him a few questions before uncorking the one Quinn had given her: what does Muraco think when folks call him a “beach bum”?
Neither Fuji nor Muraco are amused as the studio audience begin to start the chant. This leads to anarchy in Henderson as the vile pair proceed to absolutely demolish the set (and it’s…uh…challenged furniture).
Short of that marathon he ran at WrestleMania V, that legitimately may be the most athletic thing I’ve ever seen Fuji do.
Sadly, this ends our Search for Tomorrow. I guess we’ll never fine it.
Oh and even more ironically, about a year after this, the show itself would end for good after a thirty-five year run.
To quote the immortal Hulk Hogan: “What a pity.”
Thanks for reading another WrestleCrap induction! If you’d like to support us, please pick up some holiday gifts over at Coasty Marshmallow or check out our Patreon. Additionally, I am now doing weekly (!!!) videos with Vince Russo (!!!!!) as we do an episode by episode breakdown of the Batman 66 television show. Join the fun for less than a dollar a week by clicking here!