WWE Tuesday Night Titans episode 19 review: Sky Low Low, The Masked Executioner, Capt. Lou Albano and Mel Phillips (not really)

– Air Date: Jan. 17, 1985
– Air Time: 40:18

We’re less than three months away from the first WrestleMania, but the build so far is something less than spectacular or, shall we say, non-existent.

We’re revisiting every Vince McMahon-outraged-face, Capt. Lou Albano-outburst, and Dr. D David Schultz pie-face, from what was one of television’s most under appreciated variety shows, but one of the WWF’s most influential shows of all-time. TNT allows us to meet the wrestlers and WWF personalities in the form of a late-night talk show parody.

McMahon is our host and Lord Alfred Hayes is his sidekick, in what is a combination of theatre, unscripted commentary and improv. In other words, it’s the WWF in all its glory.

TNT started off great during the first 17 episodes, but has slowed down the last two weeks, cutting town from two hours to one hour, or in this week’s episode, 40 minutes, as it appears on the WWF Network. And for some reason it’s temporarily on Friday nights.

This week’s episode felt thrown together, with two guests who weren’t the most pleasant to look at, and a third who essentially repeated the same shtick he did the week prior.

The show opens with Lord Alfred Hayes doing his typical voiceover announcing the guests, and surprisingly he announces that “Mel Phillips” will appear on the show. Phillips, of course, was banned and wiped out of WWF history as one of the names allegedly involved in a WWF 1990s sex scandal.

Phillips was the African-American ring announcer that any WWE dad who watched it in the 1980s and early 1990s might remember. He never stood out as a great announcer, but a B-team guy behind Howard Finkel. Hayes announces he will appear on the show. Will he? Did the WWF editors forget to take out Hayes introduction. It will all be made clear soon.

The show opens up with Hulk Hogan training Hillbilly Jim. The story here is that Jim was some big dude in the crowd who wants to be a professional wrestler and Hogan has decided to give him a chance by training him.

The training begins in Jim’s kitchen where Jim is willingly drinking some protein drinks. Las week, Jim was grossed when Hogan was drinking raw eggs the week prior, but like any guy who wants to hang with the cool crowd, he’s now given into peer pressure.

“You are just like one of those big oak trees I see out there in the woods,” Hogan tells Jim.

Hillbilly Jim is one of those household WWF names, for reasons no one can really understand, other than he had a great name and a great look. He never did anything in the WWF, but we all remember who he is. Hogan is trying to get him in to shape, which is really funny because Jim is already in really good shape. He’s not cut like Randy Orton, but he clearly shouldn’t be struggling to pull 80s of weights.

Together they lift weights and bounce off the ropes and Jim the whole time is begging Hogan for a match. (Not against Hogan. I am sure he knows Hogan would never wrestle anyone who the fans might cheer more than him). Hogan tells him that he has a lot to learn, but give him “a couple more weeks and I will stick you in the ring.”

Back in the studio, McMahon says, “That is one strong hillbilly.” Lord Alfred Hayes then delivers the line of the night: “Anybody who can have Hulk Hogan as a tutor must show fantastic advance in a short period of time.”
Does he mean, fantastic burial in a short period of time? Anyway, Hillbilly Jim, straight from the mountains, is coming. Brace yourself.

The first guest is midget wrestler Sky Low Low, who appears to be about 100 years old.

McMahon says he is one of the premiere athletes in the WWF and the greatest midget wrestlers of all time. McMahon brings up Paul Vachon’s wedding from two weeks ago, when Sky Low Low allegedly was trying to look up Vachon’s bride Ophelia’s dress. Sky Low Low was the ring bearer, but Freddie Blassie decked him with a cane, sending the ring flying into the air. During the melee, McMahon announced in a disgusted tone, “Sky Low Low is trying to look up the bride’s dress.”

Sky Low Low denied it when McMahon asked this week, and said the only place he was looking was on the floor. We get to see Sky Low Low in the ring in a tag team match. It’s Little Joey and Frenchy Lamont vs. Little Brutus and Sky Low Low.

They announce the match as two out of three falls, with a 45-minute time limit. Wow, that’s a long time. Even though the match was comedy, it was treated a lot more seriously than most WWF divas matches. Midgets are generally good workers and are certainly among the most fascinating characters in the world. We have seen so many documentaries over the years on just about every aspect of the business, but learning what life was like for the midget wresters behind the scenes would be fascinating.

The match is typical midget fare, with lots of comedy. Sky Low Low’s team wins when Little Brutus pins Frenchy Lamond.

Next up is The Masked Executioner. McMahon turns in the interview serious and ask him why he wears the mask, but the Exectioner only says, “That’s nobody’s business why I wear a mask.” The Executioner admits that the mask does cause some peripheral vision problems.

They go to a match with The Masked Executioner vs. Tito Santana, in a WrestleMania match preview. The Executioner in the ring looks a lot bigger than the guy on the TNT set. Once again, Santana is impressive worker, showing a combination of legit toughness and great athleticism. Santana won the match with a bridge, which is no surprise. Not sure why they have The Executioner on the show, only to show him losing.

McMahon made an odd comment that the guy in the ring had blue eyes, but that this Executioner has brown eyes. Strange comment. The Masked Executioner says “you never know’s under there. It could be me. It could be someone else.”

Capt. Lou Albano is the next guest, in what is a total repeat of last week’s episode. Albano is bragging about being named the chairman of the Multiple Sclerosis society, raising more than $4.1 million, along with Cyndi Lauper. Albano turned face from December to January, apparently only because of this Multiple Sclerosis position. Albano got hot when Rowdy Roddy Piper asked Albano if he bought a new house with the money he raises and how much of it went into his back pocket.

Last week Albano was so insulted by this allegation that he told Piper to “buzz off,” and Piper instead punched over the chair on the TNT set. This week, it’s just Albano screaming at the camera: “You are gonna pay, somewhere along the way you are gonna pay. Somewhere you have got to pay. Your day is coming. Watch yourself.”

The 40-minute episode ends with Hayes sitting in a Barber’s chair. Apparently, next week Bobby “The Brain” Heenan will style Hayes’ hair. McMahon insists that Heenan is a hair stylist. This is apparently somehow connected to Heenan’s wrestlers cutting Andre The Giant’s hair, although, they haven’t shown that segment on TNT yet.

It’s not looking good for Hayes.

No Mel Phillips, so apparently, the Network censors took out his appearance, but failed to take out Hayes original introduction of him on the show. Hopefully next week we get a better roster of guests. The midget, masked man and the ring announcer weren’t exactly the highlight of TNT’s run.