Story: Greg “The Hammer” Valentine was a fixture of the WWF’s epic 1980s run, always involved in a feud or putting on superb matches, no matter who his opponent might be. Valentine was an Intercontinental champion and a Tag Team champion, but even beyond those accolades, he was respected and praised by his peers for his skills inside the squared circle. With a hard hitting, believable style that always entertained and a masterful grasp of ring psychology, Valentine was consistently one of the best in ring performers of his era. In this episode of Timeline, The Hammer shares his memories of 1985 in the WWF, a time where he was always right in the thick of the action.
Entertainment Value: I am so glad that Greg Valentine was brought in for a Timeline episode. I know shoot interview fans sometimes complain he is too nice, but I think for this series, his straight forward nature and lack of bitterness or drama is a huge boon. This allows him to detail the events being discussed without that bitterness or agenda that some wrestlers still have, though of course, Valentine isn’t shy about his opinions. So he still tells it like it is, but he does so without the venom or making it a personal issue. This is seen with his thoughts on Hillbilly Jim, who he says was very lucky, since his big push did not reflect his mediocre skills as a worker. So Valentine just lays out his perspective and does so in a laid back, chill fashion that is fun to listen to.
I was also impressed with how sharp his memory is here, as he rarely even hesitates and provides some very detailed responses. Even on minor, adjacent topics he seems to have a wealth of memories, in other words, a perfect Timeline guest. I’d much rather have subjects like Valentine in this series, focused on facts, while the more controversial and bitter workers, while entertaining, would be better suited for a YouShoot episode perhaps. He talks about Wrestlemania, the John Stossel incident, how managers were assigned, and even cracks himself (and us) up with his Mel Phillips memories. He covers a wide scope of topics here and as always, Sean Oliver is a great host and knows when to stay out the way, as well as when to prompt for a little more information. I think Timeline is an excellent series and I’d rank this 1985 episode as one of the best in the series.