Pro Wrestling on the Phil Donahue Show

Double your retro, double your fun, with two, two, TWO retros in one!

I found this clip on youtube. It’s an episode from the Phil Donahue show from back in 1981. What makes this clip special is the bizarre pairing of Donahue and professional wrestling. Donahue attempts to delve into the phenomenon of wrestling. Both he and his audience interview some wrestlers, ask if it’s real, what the appeal is, how much money they make, what’s up with female wrestling, etc.

What really makes this stand out however is the fact that there’s a wrestling ring in the studio, and they have wrestling matches going on throughout most of the show. What I find terribly amusing though is the fact that most of the audience is made up of old women. A bunch of little old ladies, watching wrestling…. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what they had planned when they got their tickets to the show.

A couple other unique things about this clip is that it has Jesse Ventura actually wrestling, and that it has an early appearance of Hulk Hogan. This version of him stands out from his WWF heyday though, because he acts like a major jerk. I’m certain he’s supposed to be a “heel” at this point, but he’s only on camera for a short time, so it isn’t made clear. This version of his character is much more inline with his “Hollywood” Hogan persona.

My favorite part of this whole clip though is when the two female wrestlers (each of which weighs more than Donahue) both tackle Donahue at the same time.

Click to watch the Video on YouTube (embedding disabled)


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