WWF Madison Square Garden July 23, 1984

July 23, 1984
Just wanted to say that I have received some copies of older house shows and TV shows besides Championship Wrestling that I will be incorporating into my reviews.
This show, taking place 6 months after Hogan won the title from the Iron Sheik, is best known for the “Brawl to End it All” special that aired on MTV. That was a special with multiple interviews and clips. They also showed the Moolah vs. Richter match on the show too. The rest of the card was broadcasted on the MSG network. I watched the WWE 24/7 copy of this so Hogan’s and Richter’s themes were replaced.
Your hosts are Gene Okerlund and Gorilla Monsoon

Sika vs. Ron Shaw
Sika got a lot of cheers during the introduction. Maybe the slow face turn for the Samoans is working? The announcers put over the Samoans as single wrestlers as Shaw stalls for a bit. They finally lock up and Sika ducks a punch in the corner. Another lockup and Shaw doesn’t break cleanly but Sika lands a forearm smash. Shaw gets stomped until he rolls outside. Back inside, they lockup again and Shaw breaks that up with an eye rake. He punches away but Sika fights back. He takes him down with a back elbow smash and Shaw begs for mercy. He manages to rake the eyes of Sika again but gets chopped down. Sika with a chinlock, which Shaw breaks with another eye rake. Sika no-sells several chops then dazes him with a headbutt. Snapmare and back to the chinlock for a bit until Sika catches him a chop and gets the win with a falling headbutt (5:12) ½*.
Thoughts: The crowd was either really into Sika or jacked up for the first match. Not much happened here and the outcome was never in doubt.
Tony Garea vs. Iron Sheik w/Freddie Blassie
Crowd starts with a “USA” chant. Both men are from foreign countries, by the way. Sheik continues to get distracted by the crowd and Garea connects with a forearm smash. He slams Sheik after a leapfrog and takes him down with a side headlock. He gets two off of a sunset flip and goes back to the headlock. Garea continues to go back to the headlock then takes Sheik down with a shoulderblock. Sheik comes back with a double chop to the throat and stomps away. He rams Garea’s head into the turnbuckle then taunts the crowd. Garea kicks Sheik after he ducks his head and lands a dropkick. Crossbody barely gets one then Sheik reverses an Irish whip and sends Garea into the corner. He hits a back suplex and gets the win (5:35) *1/2. After the match, Sheik gets on the mic and yells at the crowd.
Thoughts: Decent action. Garea was on offense for a majority of the match and wasn’t as boring as he usually was.
WWF Intercontinental Title Match
“Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. Tito Santana (Champion)
Orton starts things off with a shoulderblock but Tito comes back with a hiptoss and an armdrag. They trade headscissors on the mat until Tito goes to work on the arm. The announcers put over Orton as a great technical wrestler then he ducks outside. Back in, they fight over a wristlock. Orton yanks him down by the hair then punches him in the face. He misses a charge in the corner and Santana goes to work on the arm. He connects with a forearm smash from the second rope then puts on an armbar for a long time until Orton reaches the ropes. Santana leapfrogs Orton but gets punched down. He continues to assault him in the corner then they completely mistime a kneedrop spot as Santana was not in position. Powerslam gets two and the crowd is getting behind Tito. He roughs up Tito then holds him up with one hand before hitting a backbreaker. Kneedrop gets two. Orton stops a comeback with an eye poke then gets two off of a Fisherman’s Suplex. He puts Tito in a headlock as the announcers speculate as to whether or not this is a choke. Tito escapes and hits an armdrag but Orton boots him back down. He gets two off of  forearm smash then gets a scoop slam. Orton goes for the corner slingshot splash but Tito is able to get his knees up. Tito goes nuts and slams Orton’s head off the turnbuckle and mat repeatedly. Tito puts Orton in an abdominal stretch that gets quickly reversed. Tito manages to flip Orton over then hits a bunch of forearms. Orton manages to hit a back suplex, getting two. Tito blocks a suplex attempt with a small package and that gets two. Orton dodges a crossbody attempt then gets two off of a fist drop. Tito reverses an Irish whip into the corner and gets a bridging pin attempt for two. They brawl on their knees for a while then Tito backdrops Orton after a piledriver attempt. Both men are down and Tito gets up first. He gets a kneelift then hits a bunch of mounted punches in the corner until Orton stops that with an inverted atomic drop. He tries an elbow drop but Tito hits him in the face and the match ends with a time-limit draw (20:00) ***1/4. Both men continue to brawl after the bell sounds.
Thoughts: Good match. It took a while to get going though. It started off dull but built nicely towards the end, with both men going back and forth. Santana had a lot of talent on the heel side to work with.
Butcher Vachon vs. Bob Backlund
Backlund has not been on TV for a few months since his return. Okerlund makes fun of Vachon for being fat, telling him he needs to go to a gym. Backlund uses his quickness to elude Vachon. He works a hammerlock then uses a single-leg takedown as the announcers put over his conditioning. Vachon gets a few punches in the corner but Backlund reverses an Irish whip and catches Vachon with a slam before applying the Crossface Chickenwing for the win (2:40) ¼*.
Thoughts: Very brief, which is a good thing seeing as Vachon is deteriorated at this point. They seemed to be putting over Backlund a lot here.
Gene Okerlund is with Greg Valentine. He tells Hogan that he will feel the wrath of the hammer then we see Albano escort him to the ring.
Okerlund is now with Hulk Hogan. He goes on about how New York City can shut off all the power because all of the people will be glowing, presumably with excitement from him winning the match. He then heads to the ring.
WWF World Heavyweight Championship Match
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. Hulk Hogan (Champion)
Hulk is still using “Eye of the Tiger” as his theme song. Also, he is wearing white trunks and has a white tank-top that reads “American Made.” Albano heads to the back after the introductions. Valentine jumps Hogan from behind to start. Hogan fights back and knocks him down with an elbow smash. He hits an atomic drop and a slam before dropping an elbow. He rakes the Hammer’s eyes with his boot then puts him in a chinlock. Valentine escapes then hits a back suplex. He drops some elbows then puts on a chinlock that looks similar to the Camel’s Clutch. Hogan still manages to stand up and rams Valentine in the corner. Valentine fires away and gets two after a forearm drop. He misses a knee drop and sells the injured leg. He still manages a few punches but Hogan blocks a suplex attempt and hits one of his own. He hits a running shoulder breaker then sends him on the apron with a big boot. Hogan follows him out and roughs him up. He rolls him back in the ring and the ref talks with Hogan, allowing Valentine to hit him from behind. Valentine drops a few elbows then grabs a headlock. Hogan fights out and tosses Valentine down but he rolls outside and pulls down Hogan. He rams Hogan’s leg off of the table then hits it with a chair. Back then, the announcers’ table was right up against the ring apron. In the ring, Valentine continues to soften up the leg. He knocks down Hogan with a double axe handle then hits a backbreaker. He goes up to the middle rope and drops the elbow, getting two. He goes back up again but this time Hogan hits him with a clothesline as he lands then hits the leg drop for the win (10:13) **1/4.
Thoughts: Match was okay. The action was decent but these two didn’t seem to have the greatest chemistry. Its interesting to see Hogan here because he moved around quickly and did moves that he stopped doing during the height of his popularity. The crowd was shithouse though as Hogan was extremely over.
Charlie Fulton vs. Antonio Inoki
Inoki is billed as the “Martial Arts Champion.” Monsoon brings up how in 1976, Inoki faced Muhammed Ali in Japan. Inoki starts by getting a single-leg takedown. He easily escpaes from a hammerlock then goes back to work on the leg. He grapevines the leg but Fulton is able to escape. He hits Inoki with a few shoulderthrusts then stomps him. Inoki rolls out for a breather and gets roughed up some more when he re-enters the ring. Fulton gets two off of a snapmare and grabs a headlock as the crowd is ignoring the match and looking at one part of the arena, presumably at a fight in the stands. Inoki kicks Fulton’s leg then murders him with an enziguiri for the win (4:10) *.
Thoughts: Fairly dull match. Fulton was a jobber but was still a solid worker. Inoki looked good on offense though and could still go at age 41. They didn’t exactly put this match in a position to succeed, as it followed the Hogan match and they got less than five minutes.
WWF World Tag-Team Title Match
Sgt. Slaughter & Terry Daniels vs. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch
Murdoch takes Daniels down to start. They trade off arm wringers then Daniels grabs an armbar. Murdoch whips Daniels into the corner and tags Adonis. Sarge tags too but gets punched down. He gets an armdrag and tags Daniels, who works the arm for a while. Adonis chops Daniels viciously against the ropes. Daniels lands on his feet after a monkey flip attempt and gets an armdrag. Adonis goes outside but Sarge puts him back in the ring. Daniels works the arm but Adonis still manages to make the tag. Murdoch gets caught with an armdrag. He catches Daniels with a slam but he kicks out and gets an armdrag. Murdoch uses a foreign object to rake the eyes of Daniels and he goes to work in the corner. Daniels gets his knees up on a charge but Murdoch is able to tag out. Adonis gets hit with an armdrag as the crowd starts a “U-S-A” chant, in a match in which each contestant is American. They do a really fast-paced Irish whip sequence that ends with Daniels eating a back elbow smash. Adonis could still move for a big guy. He roughs up Daniels before tagging out. Murdoch whips Daniels in the corner but Sarge runs over and pays across the top turnbuckle, protecting Daniels. He hits Murdoch with a dropkick and yet another armdrag. He tags Sarge and he goes wild for a bit then tags Daniels. He drops the knee on Murdoch, getting two. Murdoch gets two off of a hiptoss but Daniels comes back with an abdominal stretch. Murdoch flips him over and tags Adonis, who gets two off of a kneedrop. Powerslam gets two. Tag to Murdoch and he lifts up Daniels by the arm in an impressive and painful looking spot. The heels neutralize Daniels and use double-team moves behind the referee’s back. Daniels manages to connect on a dropkick and tags Slaughter. Sarge runs wild and puts Murdoch in the Cobra Clutch. Adonis breaks that up and Sarge tags Daniels. He hits three consecutive dropkicks and gets a nearfall on a crossbody. The match breaks down and behind the referee’s back, Murdoch hits a middle rope knee drop on Daniels, who was draped over the knee of Adonis, for the win (16:52) *1/2. After the match, Slaughter takes out the champs with a double clothesline. Someone in the crowd is screaming the word “Faggot” towards Adonis.
Thoughts: Not much of a match. I think Sarge was injured around this time. That would explain his role in this match. He was barely in and would tag out very quickly. Daniels is a good worker but used about twenty armdrags in this match. His size was exposed here as he looked like a child next to the others in the match. I was expecting a lot better than this, honestly.  
Okerlund is backstage with Captain Lou Albano and the Fabulous Moolah. Not much said here other than Moolah promising a victory and Albano forgetting the amount of years that Moolah has held the title. He said 12 years and she corrected him, stating that it has been 27. They then head out to the ring.
We see David Wolfe, Cyndi Lauper, and Wendi Richter next to the tunnel as they head out to the ring. Richter comes out to Lauper’s hit song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Albano is going mental in the ring, covering his ears while this is going on.
WWF Women’s Title Match
Fabulous Moolah (Champion) w/Capt. Lou Albano vs. Wendi Richter w/Cyndi Lauper & David Wolff
Match starts off with the ladies trading armdrags. Wolff joins the announcers and tells them that he is the real manager of Lauper, not Albano. Richter gets tossed and lands on the table. Moolah yanks her back in from the apron and chokes her out. She gets a kneelift then poses, allowing Richter to fight back. She works the arm but misses a splash. She manages to dodge an attack but Moolah gets a hairpull. She almost punches Richter in the box then goes back to yanking the hair. Moolah stops to flex before choking out Richter. After some more hairpulling, Richter fights back but misses a charge in the corner. Moolah goes back to working on the hair of Richter for a bit. Rihcter fights back then pushes Moolah against the ropes and she gets her feet tangled and is hanging upside down. Albano tries and fails to unhook her and the ref finally gets her down. Albano is hysterical tonight, just ranting on like a lunatic. He was probably sauced. Richter applies a full nelson and Lauper heads up on the apron. Moolah escapes by pulling the hair but Richter is able to re-apply the hold. She goes over near Cyndi and she hits Moolah with her purse. Dropkick gets two. Suplex gets two. Backbreaker gets two. Moolah escapes from a chinlock and goes back to work on the hair. Monkeyflip gets two. Backdrop gets two. Albano is now on the apron and tries to do something but misses a move. Moolah gets a few turnbuckle smashes then gets a bridging belly to back rollup and Richter lifts her shoulder just before the ref counts to three. Both women think they have the match won and Finkel announces that Richter won the match and is the new champion (11:20) *1/2. The faces celebrate in the ring.
Thoughts: The wrestling itself was awful but Richter winning was a huge moment and the whole presentation of the match worked fantastically. The crowd was silent for a good amount of the match but went nuts for the finish.
In the locker room, Okerlund is with Wolff, Lauper, and Richter. Lauper puts over Richter, who states that this is the happiest day of her life. Some writer named Cal Rudman comes out and says how this is a big moment as Sgt Slaughter comes in and congratulates her on behalf of the Cobra Corps before lifting up Lauper. Hogan comes in in jeans and compares Richter to Marilyn Monroe a few times and calls Moolah ugly. Albano wanders in and aimlessly stumbles around before leaving as everyone is yelling at him. A great job in putting this over as a big deal.
Chief Jay Strongbow vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Okerlund is no longer on commentary as Monsoon is doing it solo. Orndorff begins by stalling, taking his time to remove his coat. Chief is getting antsy and chases Orndorff around. He then runs from behind and hits Orndorff with mounted punches. On the mat, Chief uses headscissors to ground Orndorff. He catches Orndorff in a sleeper hold off of a criss-cross spot. Orndorff escapes then both men collide. Strongbow falls outside and accidentally hits the ring bell. Back inside, Orndorff hits a bunch of kneedrops. The Chief powers up and gets some chops and a kneelift. He attacks Orndorff in the corner but gets hits with a clothesline and Orndorff covers for the win (6:05) DUD.
Thoughts: The Chief was ancient and could not do much at all in the ring. This was all stalling and restholds. Not even Orndorff could save this match and having him sell for Strongbow looked ridiculous.
Afa vs. Rene Goulet
Afa attacks to start. He hits a backdrop then catches Goulet in a bearhug. Rene escapes then his shown loading his glove. He punches away in the corner then starts to bite. Afa hits a shoulderblock then headbutts Goulet, who sells the move dramatically and flies into the corner. Goulet stomps on Afa’s toes and gets a snapmare. He uses the claw for a while then gets some chops. More biting from Goulet but he soon gets caught in a Samoan Drop and Afa gets the win (5:26) ¼*.
Thoughts: About what you would expect from these two. This is type of match you would see on Championship Wrestling as the “featured bout.”
20 Man Battle Royal: Sika, Jose Luis Rivera, Butcher Vachon, Antonio Inoki, Tony Garea, Jay Strongbow, Afa, Steve Lombardi, Dick Murdoch, Bob Orton, Adrian Adonis, Rene Goulet, Ron Shaw, Charlie Fulton, Terry Daniels, Iron Sheik, Tito Santana, Paul Orndorff, Sgt. Slaughter, and Samu.

Sarge and Sheik go at each other to start. Afa is seen picking his nose, threatening to wipe it on Orndorff. Lombardi gets eliminated first by Slaughter. The tag champs work on Daniels as Orton ducks outside. Orndorff gets dumped by Tito and Afa. Daniels saves Sarge from the Sheik as Strongbow gets eliminated off-camera. Sarge and Daniels double-team Sheik for a bit then he gets eliminated off-camera as well. Santana dumps Vachon as Gorilla states that he is shocked Rivera is still in the match, despite there just being a few eliminations. Adonis gets knocked on the apron by Santana. Murdoch ducks outside and we see Fulton get eliminated by Daniels and Slaughter. Adonis charges at Slaughter but he pulls the ropes down and gets eliminated. Afa & Sika then eliminate Murdoch and Slaughter. Afa gets eliminated off-camera too then Inoki dumps Santana. Sika gets tossed off-camera then Shaw gets rid of Rivera with a backdrop. Goulet eliminates Daniels then Samula goes over the ropes after Inoki ducks a charge. Inoki then eliminates Orton with an enziguiri. We are now down to the final four: Inoki, Garea, Shaw, and Goulet. Anyone wanna make a bet as to who wins this? Shaw and Goulet quickly dispose of Garea then double team Inoki. Shaw holds up Inoki, who moves out of the way and Goulet sends Shaw over the top rope. Inoki then takes Goulet and tosses him out, winning the battle royal (13:17) 1/2*.

Thoughts: This was terrible, even by Battle Royal standards. The big names all went early too. For the home viewer, several eliminations happened off-camera and it was hard to keep track of things.  

Final Thoughts: While the wrestling itself was not very good overall, the show was a huge success due to the women’s match. The “Brawl to End it All” special on MTV got a 9.0 rating, making it the highest watched program in MTV history (Does this still hold true today?). This really got over the “Rock N’ Wrestling” phase of the WWF too. A lot of starts like Snuka, Piper, Andre, Studd, Johnson, and others were not here tonight but it didn’t matter any as the big matches got over huge with the crowd and they could get away with half of the other matches being filler.

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.

WWF Madison Square Garden: January 23, 1984

In addition to the TNA weekly PPV recaps, I will also be posting reviews of WWF programming starting with this show. I will review all arena shows( shows that I have access to anyway)and episodes of “All-Star Wrestling” and “Championship Wrestling” in chronological order. I was always interested in the transition from the older WWF to the national phenomeon that it became. Anyway, here is the start of this installment.
January 23, 1984
Announcers are Pat Patterson and Gorilla Monsoon.
Howard Finkel is the ring announcer. He uses the MSG microphone that drops from the ceiling. He names off the athletic commission, judges, and medical staff in attendance. This was a common occurence in this era.

Jose Luis Rivera vs. Tony Garea
Patterson states how this will be a “very scientific” match, which is the code they use when two faces go against each other. They also discuss how Garea is looking for a new tag partner, and Gorilla mentions Tito Santana. Thank god Tito didn’t get stuck with him. Speaking of Garea, he was the most unlikely looking babyface I’ve ever seen. He had just one facial expression, which was absolutely fucking  miserable. They shake hands before locking up. They do some counters and work a repetitive spot where Garea counters a headlock takedown with head scissors and the crowd grows restless already. The announcers run down the card as Rivera grabs a side headlock. Garea breaks out but Rivera comes back with a crossbody that gets one. Garea comes back with an armdrag and works the arm. Rivera gets him up and tries a scoop slam but Garea continues to hold the arm and goes back into another armbar. Rivera manages a reverse rollup for two and they go to replay and you can clearly see Garea guiding Rivera through the spot. Garea dodges a monkeyflip with a cartwheel and Rivera barely clears Garea on a leapfrog and then dropkicks Garea while his head was down. A miscommunication spot for sure as the dropkick didn’t even come close to landing but Garea sold it anyway. After another armbar, Rivera gets whipped into the corner and comes back with a crossbody but Garea rolls through and gets the pin (6:46) ¼*.
Thoughts:  Damn, this was boring. These two had no chemistry at all and it was sloppy at points. The crowd was dead during most of this. Rivera was basically a jobber and Garea has the charisma of a blank sheet of paper. A terrible choice for an opener in any decade.
The Invaders vs. Mr Fuji & Tiger Chung Lee
The invaders are the faces. #1 has the hair sticking out the back of his mask so I can tell them apart. I’m not sure if #2 was the one who killed Bruiser Brody as that individual was an Invader during this time. #1 and Tiger start out. Tiger breaks a lockup cleanly and smiles, drawing boos from the crowd. He then lands an elbow but #1 comes back with a sunset flip. The Invaders then make rapid-fire quick tags to work the arm of Tiger. Eventually, Tiger places #2 in the corner and tags Fuji. Fuji gets in then #1 tags in and gets a crossbody for two. Tiger tags back in and gets a scoop slam but #1 goes back to work on the arm. #1 misses a move and Fuji is heard laughing loudly. He chokes out #1 with the tag rope before entering the match. He uses a scoop slam followed by a falling headbutt to the groin, prompting Monsoon to call for a DQ. Fuji knocks #2 off of the apron as the announcers make fun of the referee for his lack of awareness. Fuji with a suplex but has his second attempt reversed. He climbs up top but is tossed off and both men make the tag. #2 gets a backdrop but Tiger comes back with a nice looking back suplex. Fuji tags back in and gets a gutwrench suplex. Tiger tags back in and gets a bearhug before Fuji enters the match behind the ref’s back. The announcers  make fun of  the ref some more as #1 tags in but is caught then hit with an invereted atomic drop. The heels use some more illegal double team moves. #1 makes a brief comeback but misses a corner splash. #2 then tags in and gets a dropkick. The Invaders then make more rapid-fire tags to work the leg of Tiger. Fuji tags in and the same happens to him. #1 gets Fuji in an abdominal stretch. After Fuji breaks, #2 tags in and gets him in the same hold. All four men are in the ring as the Invaders use the rowboat spot as the bell rings for the time-limit draw (20:23) **1/4. The invaders then jump up-and-down like they have accomplished something.
Thoughts: Not a bad match at all but there was no need for this to go twenty minutes. It certainly dragged at points. Still, the Invaders were over with the crowd and worked at a faster pace than a majority of the roster at this time. Fuji was alright and even though Tiger Chung Lee is best recognized as a jobber during the mid-eighties, he held his own in there and was at least a better worker than Fuji’s old partner, Toru Tanaka.  
The Masked Superstar vs. Chief Jay Strongbow
Gorilla throws out the “This could be a main event in any arena in the U.S.” line before the match begins. Strongbow looks absolutely ancient, he was 56 years old at this time. The Masked Superstar is Bill Eadie, who was best known as Ax in Demolition. The Chief grabs a side-headlock as Patterson states how he will eventually go for the mask. Chief keeps on going for headlocks and tries to take off the mask but the Superstar ducks out of the ring. He stalls for a while before re-entering the ring. Back inside, the Chief does his dance, to the delight of the crowd. He hits the Superstar with a bunch of running knee lifts then goes back to work on the mask. Superstar gets an elbow smash and works on the Chief in the corner, who no-sells and does the dance. He locks in a sleeper hold but Superstar breaks out and hits a clothesline for the pin (7:26) DUD.
Thoughts: I know the crowd likes him but Strongbow should not be getting in this much offense on the Superstar. It looked ridiculous.  
Ivan Putski vs. Sgt. Slaughter
Slaughter enters to the ring with the song “Halls of Montezuma.” Putski, according to the announcers, has dropped down to 250lbs. He was 43 years old at this time but looked older. He was only 5‘6 as well. Putski goes after Slaughter, who ducks out each time. Slaughter taunts him by flexing his muscles, prompting Putksi to flex himself as Patterson and Monsoon discuss Putksi’s diet and his excessive garlic consumption. Putski gets a scoop slam and grabs a side headlock. Sarge counters that with an atomic drop. Backbreaker gets two. Putski blocks a turnbuckle smash and rams Sarge into the turnbuckle, causing him to bleed.  Putski hammers away as Sarge oversells everything. He escapes and hits Putski with a clothesline but fails on a slam attempt as Putski falls on top of him, which gets two. Putski gets the Polish Hammer and then shoulderblocks him over the ropes as Sarge’s chin is caught on the bottom rope. Putski follows him and they brawl on the apron. Putksi knocks Sarge back in the ring right before the ten count for the win (11:29) ½*. Putksi beats on him some more and tosses him over the ropes once again. Sarge comes back and hits him from behind.
Thoughts: Poor Sarge. He had to dramatically oversell Putski’s shitty offense. Seriously, Putski was one of the worst wrestlers ever.
Gene Okerlund is with Paul Orndorff. He asks him about his upcoming match with Salvatore Bellomo. Orndorff says he is nothing but a “spaghetti eater” and demands some competition. He is then shown walking to the ring, accompanied by Roddy Piper. At this point in the show, Orndorff comes off as the biggest star by a wide margin.
Salvatore Bellomo vs. Paul Orndorff w/Roddy Piper
Piper and Orndorff have only been in the WWF for a few months at this point. They stall before entering the ring then Piper complains to the referee about Bellomo’s knee brace being a weapon. The two then head up the ramp but eventually come back to the ring. They demand that Bellomo goes into his corner. Outside the ring, Piper distracts Sal, allowing Orndorff to attack. He drops the knee and delivers a slam. He then targets the back as Piper is yelling in Bellomo’s face from the outside. Orndorff gets a two count off of a backdrop and yells at the ref for counting slow. Orndorff gets Bellomo up for a slam but he falls on top of him for two. Orndorff gets a few shots but misses a charge in the corner. Bellomo comes back with a few mule kicks and Orndorff is selling the arm. Bellomo then goes to work on the injured arm. After a bit, Orndorff manages a back suplex then tosses Bellomo through the ropes. Piper is taunting him and yells for him to go back inside the ring. Orondorff knees Bellomo off of the apron then slams him onto the floor.  Back in the ring, Orndroff gets a vertical suplex for two. He heads up top but misses a flying knee drop. Bellomo lands a falling headbutt then a shoulderblock before getting caught in a powerslam. Orndorff then pulls Bellomo up and hits the piledriver for the win (14:11) *3/4. Bellomo eventually gets helped to his feet by the medics.
Thoughts: Match wasn’t bad, considering Bellomo was one of the wrestlers. He also sucked something terrible and throws some of the crappiest punches you will ever see. The heel act of Piper and Orndorff was a bit refreshing here and far more effective than the generic acts we have seen tonight.
WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Tito Santana vs. Don Muraco w/Capt. Lou Albano
Muraco is sporting a beard, somewhat similar to what Bobby Roode looks like today. The two keep locking up but neither man can get the advantage. Gorilla mentions how Hulk Hogan is subbing for Bob Backlund against the Iron Sheik as doctors are prohibiting Backlund from wrestling. Tito works a side headlock for an eternity until he breaks the hold to land a kneedrop, which gets two. He grabs another side headlock until Muraco gets a backbreaker. Tito then takes down Muraco with and slingshots him back into the center of the ring only to put on another side headlock. The crowd is getting restless at this point. Muraco finally breaks the hold and the crowd starts a light cheer. Muraco with an elbow smash to the back then gets a powerslam for two. The crowd gets behind Tito as Muraco is hitting him with elbows. Tito eventually powers up and knocks down Muraco. Albano gets in the ring and Tito slams his head against Muraco’s. Muraco is whipped into the corner but dodges a flying attack by Tito and heads up top. Tito meets him and the two slug it out as the ref rings the bell for the double DQ as the Announcers crap all over the decision (16:03) ¼* . They then brawl outside the ring for a bit as Gorilla states the double DQ was due to the wrestlers not listening to the official.
Thoughts: Wow, this was awful. I was expecting a lot better between these two. 75% of the match revolved a side headlock and the finish was idiotic. Even the announcers made fun of it.
Gene Okerlund is with Tito Santana, who is irate at the referee’s decision. He says he can beat Muraco at anytime and wants a rematch, with Capt. Lou barred from ringside. Tito isn’t the greatest promo but he got the point across. He closed by yelling “arreiba.”
Two out of Three falls match
Haiti Kid & Tiger Jackson vs. Dana Carpenter and Poncho Boy
This is billed as a “very special attraction” by Finkel. It’s a midgets match. Jackson is billed as 82lbs and Poncho Boy is being billed from Canada and I have no clue as to why that is his name. He is a husky white midget. Anyway, the announcers bring up how Jackson and the referee look alike with their bald heads. Tiger messes around with Pancho for a bit. Pancho coems back with a monkeyflip then starts slapping the head of Tiger. Tiger comes back with a dropkick and a flying headscissor takedown. Pancho fighrs out of the headscissors and spins Tiger on his head. Haiti Kid tags in and lands a few dropkicks to Pancho. Dana tags in and poses after landing a leapfrog only to get dropicked to the outside. Both men tag out and Pancho slams Tiger for two. He then charges at Tiger in the corner and hiptosses him across the ring. Tiger dodges another charge and gets a sunsetflip off the second rope for the pin (5:08). Haiti with a thump to Pancho to start the second fall. He no-sells a headbutt and delviers one of his own. Dana tags in and the do a comedy spot where they pile on the referee. It wasn’t very funny. All four men are now in the ring and they do a criss-cross pot ending with Haiti getting Dana in an airplane spin and after laying on him for a half-minute, gets the pin (6:43) ½*.
Thoughts: Typical 80’s midget match, meaning it had comedy spots and they tried to embarrass the referee. The action was fine for what it was.
Gene Okerlund is with Freddy Blassie and the Iron Sheik. Blassie says Hogan’s size menas no difference as Sheik has been training with larger men. Sheik speaks in his native tongue before Okerlund asks him to speak English. Sheik then states Hogan did not deserve this match and that he should be facing Backlund.
Hogan is shown in the back and then makes his way to the ring. His song hits and the place goes crazy.
WWF World Heavyweight Championship Match
Hulk Hogan vs. Iron Sheik (Champion) w/Freddie Blassie
The Fink refers to Blassie as “Ayatollah.” The camera cuts to a kid holding a “Sheik is a Freak” sign in the crowd. Hogan attacks before the bell and clotheslines the Sheik with his own robe. He chokes him on the mat for a bit then hammers away. A clothesline is followed by a kneedrop and the place is shithouse. Lifting chokehold by Hulk and he drops the Sheik down before spitting at him. Big boot by Hulk gets two. He elbows him down and gets an elbow drop for two. Hulk misses a charge in the corner and the Sheik takes the advantage. Backbreaker gets two. He loads the boot, according to Gorilla, and lands a few stomps. Boston Crab is applied but Hulk gets out by pushing up. Sheik then gets a gutwrench suplex for two. He beats on the back of Hogan before applying the Camel Clutch. Hulk eventually gets up and rams Sheik into the corner, who falls down in the middle of the ring. Hogan then hits the legdrop for the win and the title as the place goes fucking insane (5:40) **1/4. The medics work on Sheik but he pops up and goes after Hogan, only to get tossed outside.
Thoughts: The most action-packed match of the night. Hogan’s win is one of the loudest pops you will ever hear from a wrestling crowd. Hogan did a lot of heel antics here, but the crowd didn’t care one bit.
Okerlund is in the locker room with Hogan, who says this was the dream of a lifetime. He then states how Hulkamania is worldwide and that turns him on. Interesting. Andre the Giant comes out to celebrate by pouring champagne on Hulk. Putski and Rocky Johnson also join in on the celebration.
Rene Goulet vs. Jimmy Snuka
The crowd is a lot calmer now. Goulet attacks Snuka from behind. Bodyslam gets two. He stomps the groin of Snuka then hits a few throat thrusts. Snuka eventually fights back and tosses Goulet out of the corner. Goulet gets a throat thrust and applies the claw as Gorilla states how the whole wrestling world will suffer from Hulkamania. Snuka breaks the claw and does the double leapfrog into the chop shot before going up top and hitting the Superfly Splash for the win (3:54) ¾.
Thoughts: Short, inoffensive match that was used to calm the crowd.
Okerlund is with Hogan and his parents, Ruth and Pete. His parents re proud and Hogan praises them for all that they did. Nice segment, actually as it made the belt seem like a huge deal along with the champagne celebration.
Afa & Sika & Samula vs. Tony Atlas & Rocky Johnson & Andre the Giant
Capt. Lou is not with the Samoans tonight. Atlas & Johnson are the tag champs. Samula was brought in as a 3rd Samoan. He was later known in the WWF as Samu as part of the Headshrinkers tag-team along with other stops in WCW and ECW. Atlas and Samula start out. Atlas grabs a side headlock and then gets a crossbody for two. Samula retreats to his corner but Atlas brings him back and tags Rocky. A criss-cross spot ends with Samula running by himself. Rocky is backed into the Samoans corner but ducks a punch, which ends up connecting with Afa. Atlas tags in and quickly powers out of a full nelson. He whips Samula towards Andre, who knocks him down. Andre tags in but ducks his head, allowing Samula to get a heabutt then tag Sika. Sika lands a few headbutts but Andre comes back with one of his own. Afa runs in but Andre smashes him into Samula. Sitdown splash onto Sika finshes the match (4:56) ½*.
Thoughts: Short match that didn’t feature much action. I have no idea why they just didn’t close the show with Hogan vs. Iron Sheik. This match could have easily taken place earlier in the card. I get that Andre was a huge draw, but still.
Final Thoughts: The whole show was quite boring as a whole. It featured a lot of washed-up wrestlers (Strongbow, Putski, Fuji) and the WWF regulars (Bellomo, Garea, Goulet) who generally sucked. This was right around the time that Vince was starting to bring in other talent for his national expansion so we saw guys like Hogan, Orndorff, Piper, and Masked Superstar appear on the shows wthin the past few months. The Hogan title win was huge and the start of the wrestling boom, which would become greater within the next several months.