November 26, 1984
Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon
Charlie Fulton vs. SD Jones
According to thehistoryofwwe.com, Fulton replaced Samula in this match. SD backs Fulton into the corner. SD goes for an armdrag but falls, then takes down Fulton. Gorilla mentions how Fulton was in Vietnam as both men counter their moves as the crowd is bored. SD works a side headlock as the announcers talk about tonight’s Tonga Kid vs. Roddy Piper match. Fulton catches SD with a clothesline and grabs a chinlock. He hits a legdrop before going back to the chinlock for a long time. The crowd starts chanting for SD and he catches Fulton but falls down and Fulton goes back to the chinlock. SD picks him up and hits an inverted atomic drop. He hits another atomic drop and punches away. SD kicks him down then gets two off a headbutt. SD hits several more headbutts and knocks him down with a left. They trade punches until Fulton rakes the eyes. He misses a charge in the corner and SD hits a headbutt for the win (10:40) *1/2.
Thoughts: Bland match but pretty much what you expected out of these two. Despite his status, SD was quite over with the crowds. Too bad his offense consisted of headbutts and punches. Fulton was always a solid worker and went on to train guys like Raven, Chris Harris and Johnny Swinger.
Jose Luis Rivera vs. Moondog Spot
Rivera is subbing for Billy Jack, who left before his debut. Gorilla and Hayes talk about how ridiculous it is that someone can be announced from parts unknown. Spot doesn’t break cleanly and Rivera is pissed. He works the arm after Spot misses an elbow drop. They do that spot again as Rivera works the arm forever. He gets two off a sunset flip before going back to the arm. Spot misses a corner charge and Rivera goes back to the armbar, again. God, does Rivera suck. Spot breaks and ducks his head but Rivera kicks him, getting two. Even the announcers make fun of Rivera for going back to the armbar. Rivera charges but Spot kills him with a superkick. He gets a kneesmash then a splash from the second rope. Rivera gets tossed in the corner and Spot destroys him. Shoulderbreaker gets two as Spot pulls him up, so he can put him in a chinlock. Press slam by Spot and he hits the splash from the second rope but pulls him up and tosses him to the floor. Rivera fights back from the apron. He hits a dropkick and attacks Spot in the corner. He eats boot on a charge and Spot hits a clothesline from the middle rope for the win (9:16) *1/2.
Thoughts: Rivera was terrible and this match could have been better if Rivera could do anything besides punching or applying an armbar. Spot was a good worker and the match was better when he was on offense.
Salvatore Bellomo vs. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Both men shake hands to start. Heenan yells at the crowd then both men lockup. Heenan punches Bellomo then ducks between the ropes. Bellomo punches him back and slams his head off the turnbuckle. Heenan gets whipped in the corner and goes upside down. He ducks outside. Back in the ring, they fight over a wristlock. Bellomo dropkciks Heena,n, who is sprawled across the ropes as the crowd is going nuts. Bellomo stomps away and Heenan goes outside. In the ring, Heenan grabs a chinlock. He hits a backdrop then drops the knee. He yells at Bellomo to get up and they proceed to pull of the single worst double collision spot I have ever seen. Bellomo is up first and fires away in the corner, to the delight of the crowd. Heenan dumps Bellomo to the floor then knocks him off the apron. Bellomo tries a sunset flip but Heenan punches him and covers for the win (8:56) *.
Thoughts: Heenan was bad in the ring but at least he knew that the fans were dying to see him get his ass kicked so he put himself in positions that would get them to go nuts when he was attacked. Bellomo was the same as usual
Mr. Fuji vs. Angelo “King Kong” Mosca
Fuji does his pre-match ceremony to start. Fuji asks for a clean break and gets that but chops Mosca, who chops him back. Mosca uses a single leg takedown then fires away. Fuji is pissed off in the corner then loses a test of strength. Fuji kicks down Mosca then headbutts the groin. Mosca chops back but Fuji work a nerve hold. Mosca hulks up and take down Fuji with a shoulder block but gets chopped down. Fuji goes back to the nerve hold and Mosca escapes. He beats on Fuji in the corner and hits a shoulder thrust. Fuji pulls a salt package from his trunks but Mosca takes that and dumps it on the ring. Fuji begs for mercy as Mosca catches him with a sleeper. Fuji reaches down his tights and pulls out another salt package and throws it in Mosca’s face for the DQ (8:01) ½*.
Thoughts: Fuji was really struggling to get around at this point but this wasn’t as bad as you would think. Mosca was a tiny bit better in the ring than he was on commentary.
“Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. Swede Hanson
Swede puts Orton in a bearhug then a wristlock. Swede puts on a headlock as Orton is unable to escape. The announcers put over Orton as the bodyguard for Piper as he takes control. Swede counters a neck vice with a front facelock and headbutts Orton in the corner. He puts Orton in a chinlock as this match is really dragging. Orton fights out and floats over Swede. He punches away in the corner as we see a replay of the float over. Orton continues to punch away but Swede continues to walk towards Orton then chops him in the corner. He gets a scoop slam and goes up top but Orton got a knee up and hits the Vader Bomb for the win (8:51) DUD.
Thoughts: Orton tried hard but wrestling against Swede is like wrestling a wall. Swede would do a few matches here and there but was not with the WWF in a full-time capacity.
Tonga Kid w/Jimmy Snuka vs. Roddy Piper w/Bob Orton
The crowd goes apeshit when Snuka comes out, causing Piper to go mental. He heads towards the locker room then goes back to the ring. Snuka is wearing a shirt that reads “I Want Piper.” Tonga and Piper have a stare down. Tonga no-sells three slaps then hits Piper. Piper calls for time and attempts a cheap shot but Tonga was ready and fires away. The crowd is berserk as Tonga is firing away on Piper, who is on the apron. Tonga drags him back in the ring by the hair and continues his assault. Piper chops Tonga after a leapfrog then taunts Snuka but takes his eyes off Tonga, who fires away. Piper gets a back suplex then tosses him out of the ring a few times. He calls Tonga then gets two off a throat thrust. Kneelift gets two as Piper is using arrogant pin attempts. He catches Tonga in a sleeper and drops him to the ground. Tonga hulks up then elbows out. He sends Piper into the ropes but Piper regains control. Tonga no-sells a few turnbuckle smashes then fires away. He tries a crossbody block but Piper catches him and dumps him over the ropes. Orton runs over and decks Snuka then attacks Tonga. Piper goes out and grabs a chair but Snuka pulls it away. Snuka is getting double teamed by Orton and Piper until Tonga makes the save. The match breaks down as the ref rings the bell for the DQ. The heels get dumped and retreat as the crowd is still going insane as the match is ruled a double disqualification (7:03) ***1/4. After the match, Snuka grabs the mic and challenges Piper.
Thoughts: Good stuff. The crowd was loving the feud between these men. Tonga did great and this looks to set up for a tag match in the future. Its amazing how this feud elevated Tonga from a lower mid-card guy to a star seemingly overnight.
Barry Windham is backstage by himself. He says that Madison Square Garden is the big time and is making his MSG debut against Moondog Rex. He states he will show Rex what its like to be a wrestler.
Moondog Rex vs. Barry Windham
Rex shoves Windham off a lockup. They do it again and Windham gets a hiptoss and a dropkick. The crowd has certainly deflated since the last match. Windham works the arm. Rex comes back and grabs a headlock. Windham catches him with a slam then goes back to working the arm. The announcers are talking about everything else but this match as Windham now works a headlock. Rex goes to the apron but Windham drags him and Rex’s feet are on the ropes. Windham drops him down just before the five count and that actually gets the crowd to make noise. Rex lands a few punches then drops a knee. Rex throws some forearms before catching him with a knee. Windham fights back and punches Rex through the ropes. Rex then fights back then starts biting the forehead. Windham is sent to the floor with a shoulderblock. Back in the ring, Rex drops Windham neck first on the top rope then uses clubbing forearms. Backbreaker gets two. He rams him in the corner then grabs a lengthy bearhug until Windham escapes. Rex sends him down with an elbow smash then picks him up for a body breaker. Windham escapes and backdrops Rex as both men are down. They then trade punches but Rex hooks the ropes on a dropkick attempt. He gets two off an elbow drop but Windhm punches him in midair after an axe handle attempt. Rex shoves Windham in the corner but misses a splash and Windham hits the running bulldog for the win (12:11) **3/4.
Thoughts: This was a really solid match. It was put in a tough spot, following the Piper match, but these guys were able to bring the crowd back into the show. The Moondogs, the Rex & Spot version anyway, were a solid and underappreciated team. Windham looked good too and you could tell right away that he had everything it took to become a star. If Windham was focused for his entire career, he could have been one of the all-time greats.
Tony Atlas vs. The Executioner
The Executioner attacks Atlas before the bell and pounds him in the corner. They then do a slow-motion Irish whip spot that ends with Atlas getting a dropkick. He hits another dropkick and stomps away. Atlas gets the fans going then hits the press slam and finishes him off with the splash (1:48) ¼*. After the match, Atlas tries to take off the mask of the Executioner, who manages to escape.
Thoughts: A quick win to build up Atlas. He was heavily into drugs at this time and wasn’t really around the WWF all that much after this match. There was a rumor that he was going to win the IC title when he came back but that never happened and probably for the best.
Rocky Johnson vs. David Schultz
Schultz tries to bait Rocky with a handshake but he isn’t having that. Schultz then does some more stalling tactics as Rocky is getting pissed. This is starting to really get old as Schultz will gesture towards Rocky then retreat and this spot gets repeated constantly. We are now four minutes into this match and no contact has been made. Finally, the two men lockup and Schultz knocks Rocky down after refusing to break cleanly. Rocky fights back but Schultz retreats. More stalling ensues as the crowd is chanting for Rocky. Schultz boots Rocky after going for a test of strength. Rocky escapes but Schultz retreats and the ref steps between them. Schultz hits Rocky from behind then the ref steps between them again. The fans are throwing trash into the ring at this point. Rocky fights back and knocks Schultz down with a pair of rights. Rocky goes for a slam but Schultz turns it into a rollup for the win (9:25) -***.
Thoughts: One of the worst matches I have seen, unless you are a diehard fan of stalling for the entire match, only to win by rollup. In regards to this match, Meltzer wrote in the observer that you could “burn more calories by sipping coffee” than Schultz did in this match. I felt that to be an accurate statement. It made you never want to see these two wrestle again instead of seeing Rocky getting his revenge, which I assume was the intention.
Bruno Sammartino is backstage, stating it is great to be back at MSG. He will be in the corner of his son, David.
Ken Patera w/Capt. Lou Albano vs. David Sammartino w/Bruno Sammartino
Patera overpowers Sammartino then starts taunting him. Sammartino picks up Patera and places him on the turnbuckle, which as Albano irate. He catches Patera with a press slam, which has the crowd going crazy. Patera ducks outside for a breather then re-enters the ring. Sammartino fires away but Patera backs him into the ropes and chops him across the chest. He chokes out Sammartino in the corner then uses a mix of brawling and matwork but Sammartino fights back. He knocks down Patera and beats on him in the corner. Patera begs for mercy and catches Sammartino off guard. He boots him outside then slams him on the floor. Patera beats on Sammartino, who is on the apron, then targets the back after he crawls into the ring. Patera tosses him halfway across the ring before hitting a suplex. Sammartino escapes from a bearhug but Patera goes right back to work on the back. Sammartino uses a bell clap to get out of another bearhug as the camera shows Bruno watching from ringside. Sammartino starts hammering away but the crowd isn’t responding to the comeback. He hits an atomic drop then gets two after dropping the knee. Sammartino gets nearfalls off a small package and a sunset flip but misses a charge in the corner, allowing Patera to hammer away. Samamrtino catches the foot off Patera but Albano trips him up. Bruno chases Albano into the ring and the ref rings the bell for the DQ, in favor of Sammartino (12:24) ***.
Thoughts: Good match that was all action. Patera was still solid in the ring at this point. He had nothing left after coming out of prison though. David Sammartino really wasn’t bad in the ring at all but he was not clicking with the crowds and lacked any characteristic that could have made him a star. Too bad, because if he even had a decent amount of charisma, he could have been a lot bigger than he was, seeing that he was Bruno’ son.
Finkel plugs the MSG show on December 28th. Announced matches are Cobra vs. Black Tiger, Tony Garea vs. Nikolai Volkoff, David Schultz vs. Antonio Inoki, Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch defend the titles against the Brisco Brothers, and Bob Orton & Roddy Piper vs. Tonga Kid & Jimmy Snuka. Cyndi Lauper will be presented with a special award.
Intercontinental Title Match
Tito Santana vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (Champion)
Albano is not with Valentine. Match starts with Tito chasing after Valentine. After some stalling, they trade shots until Santana takes him down with a clothesline. Tito roughs him up in the corner then grabs a front facelock. He works that for a few minutes then breaks so he can ram his head off the mat. He grabs another front facelock but Valentine escapes then beats on Tito. He drags him outside but Tito fights back and rams Valentine’s head off a chair, prompting Hayes to proclaim that it was “vintage” Santana. Now we know where Michael Cole got that from. Back in the ring, Tito knocks Valenitne down with a forearm and slugs away. He goes for the figure four but Valentine reaches the ropes. He doesn’t break cleanly and takes control. He hits a shoulder breaker then drops a knee. He tries to put away Tito, who keeps kicking out. Valentine drops an elbow and wipes the mat with Tito’s face. He goes to work on the knee for a bit. Gutbuster gets two. Kneedrop gets two. Tito escapes from a figure four attempt then hits a flying forearm. Tito rams Valentine’s leg off the ringpost then uses a chair. The crowd is jacked as Tito goes to work on the leg. He tries a figure-four but Valentine yanks him down and attacks. He hits a suplex and puts on a chinlock as the fans are behind Tito. Valentine rams Tito in the corner but gets sent into the post after a charge. Santana boots him in the face and he is now bleeding from his forehead. Santana rams his head off the mat repeatedly then hits the flying forearm but that only gets two. Valentine tries to duck out but Tito pulls him back and hits an atomic drop. He gets two after a headbutt to the groin then both men brawl on the mat. Tito gets a few nearfalls then works on the leg. Valentine ducks out on the apron but Tito brings him back in with a suplex. He ducks his head but Valentine boots him then goes to work on the leg. He takes off Tito’s kneepad but he fights back and gets two off a small package. Valentine ducks outside and Tito pulls him back in by the hair. He puts on an abdominal stretch but the curfew bell rings and the match is ruled a draw (22:23) ***1/2. After the match, the ref holds Tito back as the fans are tossing garbage at Valentine.
Thoughts: Really good match. There was a fair amount of stalling at the beginning but this built up nicely and the crowd wanted Tito to destroy Valentine. This was not as good as their match from the June show, but it was close. This feud, along with Piper/Snuka, is starting to heat up and have been built up wonderfully. Valentine was one of the best workers in the promotion and Tito was really the only face they had who could contend for the IC belt.
Final Thoughts: The first half of the show was forgettable but the second half was pretty damn good. The tag match between Piper/Orton and Tonga/Snuka next month should be great too. Its weird not seeing Hogan on these shows, as he was the champ, but he was all over the place in 1984 and really didn’t wrestle all that much. I will be reviewing the December show in two weeks and next week, will review the December 18th TNT show, which was the Butcher Vachon wedding.