WWF Madison Square Garden: June 16,1984

June 16, 1984
I’d like to thank poster Comdukakis for getting me this show.
Your hosts are Gene Okerlund and Gorilla Monsoon
Magnificent Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Tony Garea

Muraco has been laying low since dropping the IC belt to Santana in February. He has come back with Fuji and a lot of extra weight in his gut. Fans start a “Beach Bum” chant at Muraco, who gets pissed. The announcers try to put over Muraco’s physique and he attacks Garea from behind. He beats on him for a bit until Garea ducks a chop and hits a crossbody. Muraco ducks out then jumps back in only to go back to the floor. He stalls some more before tossing Garea, then ducks out on the apron when Garea charges. Muraco grabs a wristlock then uses the hair as leverage. Garea gives Muraco a taste of his own medicine and the ref steps in between both men. They trade shots and Garea takes the advantage but misses a charge in the corner. Garea floats over on a slam attempt and hits a dropkick and a monkey flip. He comes back with a crossbody but Muraco catches him with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for the win (4:49) ¼*.

Thoughts: Bland match as the out of shape Muraco was reduced to stalling and Garea isn’t able to carry anyone as he is useless. Fuji did nothing as a manager. A mannequin could have done what he did here.
Jose Luis Rivera vs. George “The Animal” Steele w/ Mr. Fuji
Before the match, Howard Finkel leads us in a moment of silence for Vince McMahon Sr. This was the first show held at MSG since his passing. Before he makes his way into the ring, Fuji is shown yelling at Steele to come out of his locker room. Steele has a foreign object that he hides in his trunks. He runs around the ring and flails his arms before no-selling a punch to the head. He knocks Rivera down and removes the padding from the turnbuckle and chews the foam. He rams Rivera into the exposed buckle twice then Fuji yells at him to finish and he makes Rivera tap to the Flying Hammerlock (2:24) DUD. 
Thoughts: A waste of time but at least it was short. Fuji actually interacted with his client here. Still, the crowd was unresponsive to most of the match. Steele’s return as a heel did not go over to well. He would achieve more fanfare by switching to a retarded babyface face character the following year
Two-out-of Three Falls Match
WWF Tag-Team Championship
Wild Samoans vs. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch
Lou Albano is out in the ring before the introductions but leaves before the competitors enter the ring. This is from the angle on TV were the Samoans blamed Albano for costing them the Titles against Johnson & Atlas. The Samoans attack their opponents to start, drawing cheers from the crowd. Afa and Murdoch are now in the ring and Afa no-sells several elbow smashes to the head. They are playing up to the fact that you cannot hurt the Samoans by attacking their heads, which infuriates and confuses their opponents. That goes on for a long time until Murdoch goes to work on the knee of Sika. He and Adonis make quick tags, cutting off the ring and going after the knee. Sika eventually tags and Afa runs wild. He hits Murdoch with a backdrop and a falling headbutt. He misses a second headbutt and Murdoch tags Adonis. They hit the double elbow smash/elbow drop combo and Murdoch holds back Sika, allowing Adonis to get the pin and the first fall (13:02). After the pin, Albano comes out and congratulates the champs, then stays in their corner. Adonis attacks Afa from behind and drops an elbow for two. He grabs a sleeper but Sika comes in and breaks that up. He knocks Adonis out of the ring and the Samoans hit Murdoch with a double headbutt to capture the second fall (15:34). Before the third fall, Albano raises the Samoans hands and they look like they want nothing to do with him. Afa knocks down Murdoch and gets two. The fans are getting loud as Afa hits a diving headbutt but Murdoch gets the ropes. Murdoch is selling like he is unconscious as the fans are going crazy. Murdoch gets beat on some more then finally tags Adonis. Afa beats on him and Adonis gets tangled in the ropes. All four men are in the ring and the ref tries to control the match but gets hit accidentally by Sika and the ref rings the bell for the DQ (19:51) ¾*.
Thoughts: Match was dreadful, especially the first fall, which lasted forever. Sika was really hurting at this time so he was limited in what he could do and Afa was no good either. Adonis and Murdoch did most of the match, which revolved around all of the typical Samoan stuff.
Lord Alfred Hayes is in the locker room with Albano. He tells him that he respects the Samoans and the champs as men but is only loyal to the dollar. Not much of an interview, actually.
S.D. Jones vs. Jesse “The Body” Ventura
Ventura starts with his usual antics (removing earrings, flexing) before getting in a shot to the kidney. He breaks and does it again. SD returns a favor and headbutts him as Jesse yells to the ref about an open fist. The crowd gets on Jesse then he beats on the back of SD. The crowd is chanting “Bozo” at Jesse, in reference to his hair looking like Bozo the Clown, as he has SD in a bearhug. SD escapes from that and headbutts Jesse down. He gets caught in another bearhug and escapes from that quickly. SD lowers his head for a backdrop but Jesse drops an elbow then gets him up in the Body Breaker and SD submits (4:58) ½*.
Thoughts: Jesse’s heel antics worked with the crowd but this match was nothing more than a TV squash.
WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. Tito Santana (Champion)
Albano is not with Valentine tonight. Finkel introduces Tito’s mother to the crowd. Both men lock up and aggressively go after each other. They continue this until Tito goes to work on the arm. The crowd is really into Santana. He hits a few hiptosses then goes back to the arm. Valentine pushes Tito out to the floor and follows him out. They briefly slug it out before going back in the ring. Valentine gets a knee smash then a slam. He misses a fist drop and Tito goes back to the arm. Tito refuses to let go, despite Valentine attempting to run and push him off. Tito gets a shoulder block but is caught with an inverted atomic drop. He beats on Tito for a bit but is shoved into the corner. Tito kicks Greg in the ropes and beats the piss out of him until Valentine stops the onslaught with a poke to the eye. Tito floats over on a slam attempt and tries a reverse rollup into the corner but Valentine ducks and Tito hits the turnbuckle. Valentine tries the Figure-Four but Tito shoves him in the corner then rolls him up for two. Tito counters a piledriver attempt with a backdrop. Second rope elbow smash gets two. Crossbody gets two and Tito goes back to the arm. Greg picks him up and hotshots him onto the turnbuckle. Greg works the arm as the crowd chants for Tito. Greg tries several pinfall attempts but cannot put Tito away. Tito finally escapes and kicks Valentine as the crowd goes bananas. Tito wins a slugfest and the ref tries to pull Tito away. Valentine backdrops Tito to the floor and gets a flying stomp off of the apron. He hits Tito with an atomic drop on the floor and rolls into the ring just before the ten count, getting the win via countout (14:03) ***3/4.
Thoughts: Good stuff. This was all action and both men really laid into each other with their punches. Tito is easily the best babyface worker on the roster.  
Lord Alfred Hayes is in the locker room with Santana, who is grimacing in pain. He has his belt in his hand and demands a rematch. He almost calls Valentine a “son of a bitch” then stops and calls him a coward. He then cuts a furious promo in Spanish before they show us a replay of him working over the arm of Valentine. This is setting up their feud for the IC belt, which brought along several really good matches. Tito did a fine job with his promo.
Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon are in the back putting over the last match.
“Dr. D” David Schultz vs. Andre the Giant
Schultz bails as soon as the bell rings. He continues to avoid Andre until he gets caught when he charges after him. Andre takes him over and stomps on him. He walks on top of him, then works the neck. He has him in a full-nelson like hold but Schultz gets his feet on the top ropes then crashes to the mat after Andre is told to break and just drops him. Andre works the arm now and just toys with Schultz. He backs him in the corner and takes him down with a double underhook move. Schultz gets a kick after Andre ducks his head but Andre chops him right back down. Big boot from Andre and he hits the sitdown splash for the win (7:03) DUD.
Thoughts: The crowd loved Andre but this was a very, very long squash match featuring a guy who can barely move around. Not fun to watch unless you are a diehard Andre fan. Schultz got the total jobber treatment here.
Finkel announces matches for the next MSG show on 7/23, including Mr. Fuji & Tiger Chung Lee vs. Wild Samoans and “Bulldog” Buzz Sawyer vs. Mil Mascaras.
Mad Dog Vachon vs. Steve Lombardi
Vachon is well into his 50’s at this point but Okerlund says watching him will be a treat. He is full of shit, by the way. Vachon comes out to the tossing stuff around and shaking the guardrails. He starts the match by hooking his fingers into the mouth of Lombardi. He hits some chops and rakes the back. He chokes out Lombardi then grabs a front facelock. Lombardi eventually escapes and lands a few punches but eats boot on a charge. Vachon bites the torso of Lombardi then hits one of the ugliest piledrivers you will ever see and pulls him up a few times before pinning him for the win (3:15) ¼*. After the match, Vachon destroys Lombardi and hits him with a chair.
Thoughts: Match was garbage but it was mostly action. Better than the Steele squash anyway. Mad Dog wasn’t around much longer but he was probably the reason that Buzz Sawyer switched his nickname to “Bulldog” as they didn’t want two “Mad Dog’s” on the roster.
Steve Lombardi vs. Paul Orndorff
Before the match, Finkel introduces Bellomo’s two brothers who are in the crowd. Orndorff walks into the ring and immediately attacks Bellomo. He continues to beat the crap out of Bellomo. Bellomo comes back with a sunset flip but Orndorff kicks out at two and goes back to work on Bellomo. He hits a backdrop then several kneedrops, using the ropes for assistance. The crowd starts with the “Paula” chants as Bellomo hits a crossbody, getting two. Orndorff drops an elbow and grabs a front facelock. Sal tries to fight back but is hit with a kneelift. Slam by Orndorff, who misses a kneedrop, which allows Bellomo to go on offense. He kicks the legs out from Orndorff then gets a headbutt to the groin. He goes back to the legs then hits a standing dropkick. He catches Orndorff’s leg on a kick attempt but gets hit with an enziguiri. Sal tries a mule kick but gets tossed to the floor. Bellomo goes back in the ring and jumps on Orndorff, putting him in a sleeper. Orndorff runs into the corner and Bellomo hits the turnbuckle. Bellomo escapes a piledriver attempt by springing his feet off the ropes in an odd spot. He covers and gets two. Orndorff catches him with a slam then kills him with a clothesline, setting up the piledriver for the win (8:57) **1/4.
Thoughts: Decent action here. Bellomo sucks but Orndorff beating on him for a majority of the match can make it watchable. Bellomo could at least take an ass-kicking. It was his one redeemable trait. Orndorff was awesome around this time.  
“Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. Chief Jay Strongbow
The Chief looks ancient here. He grabs a lenghty sleeper hold off a criss-cross spot. Orton ducks out, selling it like he is almost asleep as the Chief slides out and slams Orton’s head off of the apron. Orton eventually goes back to the ring and complains to the ref about an illegal choke. Orton ducks out again and the Chief dances in the ring. Back in, Orton backs the Chief into the corner and delivers some stomps. He sends the Chief to the floor with a punch then brings him back into the ring. He sets him up for the superplex but he gets shoved off and crotched on the top rope. Bob quickly regains control then chokes out the Chief, who starts to hulk up. He dances around, no-selling punches from Orton. He chops down Orton and hits a kneelift. He charges in the corner but gets caught with a knee and Orton hits a corner slingshot splash (Vader Bomb) for the win (8:57) ¼*.
Thoughts: Bad match as Strongbow could barely do anything besides restholds. Then again, he was in his mid 50’s at this point. Strongbow looks completely non-threatening at this point too. He is flabby and deflated. Still, the crowd was into his spots. Orton did all that he could here to make this match work.
Finkel announces more matches for the next MSG show: Chief Jay Strongbow vs. Paul Orndorff, B. Brian Blair vs. Bob Backlund, Bob Orton vs. Tito Santana for the IC title, Sgt. Slaughter & Terry Daniels vs. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch for the Tag-Titles, and Greg Valentine vs. Hulk Hogan for the World Title.
Bootcamp Match
Iron Sheik w/ Freddie Blassie vs. Sgt. Slaughter w/Terry Daniels
The rules for this match are no DQ and pinfalls can happen anywhere. Sarge comes to the ring wearing a field helmet and smashes Sheik with that as soon as he hits the ring. The crowd goes absolutely shithouse, throwing trash at the Sheik, as Sarge beats Sheik with his riding crop. He puts the helmet back on and headbutts the Sheik before sending him into the corner with a slingshot. Sheik reverses an Irish whip and sends Slaughter to the floor. He hits him with a chair and goes back into the ring only to have the crowd pelt him with more trash. He goes back out and covers Sarge, getting two then rolls him in the ring and whips him with his belt. Sarge gets choked out with the belt but charges and pulls up, sending the Sheik flying out of the ring. As the Sheik rolls back into the ring, Slaughter grabs the belt and whips the Sheik. He loads his boot and hits the Sheik, which missed by a mile. Sheik gets tossed to the floor and Sarge follows him out. Backbreaker gets two. Both men roll back in the ring and the Sheik rakes the eyes of Slaughter. Sheik loads the boot but Sarge blocks the smash in the corner. Sheik then bites him then gets loaded boot smash, which clearly hit Sarge in the chest but he sells the face anyway. Sheik spits on Slaughter and Sarge is bleeding profusely. Slaughter was not one who shied away from bleeding. Sheik opens him up some more but Sarge fights back. Sheik boots him in the corner as Sarge is holding himself up by using the ropes. Sarge blocks a gutwrench suplex by hitting Sheik in the ribs and the crowd is nuts. The Sheik gets busted open after Slaughter connects on a top rope stomp. Sarge hits an elbow smash and both men are down. Sarge comes up swinging and gets two after a series of punches. Slam gets two. Sheik gets whipped but comes back with a boot to the gut. Gutwrench suplex gets two. Vertical suplex gets two. Both men are wearing a crimson mask and the canvas is covered in blood. Sheik removes his boot and loads it up on the turnbuckle. Sarge ducks the attempt by Sheik and hits a clothesline in a nice spot. The crowd noise is deafening as both men crawl towards the boot. Sarge grabs it first and loads it up on the ringpost and hits the Sheik then covers for the win as the crowd explodes. (15:58) ***3/4.
Thoughts: Really good match. The loaded boot spots do not hold up well at all today but these guys beat the piss out of each other and it was a bloodbath. The crowd was electric throughout the entire match. This feud was great and Slaughter was as over as anyone in this company.
Final Thoughts: Two damn good matches make this show okay overall. The Bootcamp match and Tito/Valentine are worth seeking out, IMO. The main problem with the company is that they had terrible wrestlers on the face side. The heels are strong but the faces have a lot of terrible workers (Garea, Bellomo, Jones , Atlas) and old wrestlers (Strongbow, Putski). All the faces really have for guys who can go is Santana and Slaughter. Blair can work too but he is completely dull.