WWF Madison Square Garden July 25th, 1987

July 25, 1986

Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

Matches tonight include Ricky Steamboat vs. Honky Tonk Man for the Intercontinental Title and the Hart Foundation vs. British Bulldogs for the Tag Team Titles

Brady Boone vs. Dino Bravo w/ Johnny V. 

Bravo overpowers Boone to start. Bravo misses a charge then Boone does a few backflips before connecting with a dropkick. Bravo regroups with his manager then heads back inside and gets caught with an atomic drop. Boone hits another dropkick and fires away in the corner until Bravo catches him with an inverted atomic drop. Bravo grabs a front facelock before hitting a kneelift. Johnny V. joins on commentary and screams about Brutus Beefcake as Bravo stays in control of the match as he puts Boone in a bearhug. Bravo then tosses Boone to the floor a few times where Johnny V. roughs him up. Bravo works the back and neck of Boone, mostly using rest holds, until he misses a charge in the corner. Boone fights back until he misses a corner splash then Bravo gets the win with a side slam (10:46) *1/4.

Thoughts: Boone looked good when on offense but Bravo was a slug. Boone had yet to appear on TV at this point and was a jobber as soon as he appeared.

Tama w/ Haku vs. Rick Martel

Martel still has the Can-Am Connection jacket, despite the fact that Zenk has quit. The Islanders attack Martel before the bell. Martel comes back with a double clothesline as the fans go crazy while the Islanders are outside the ring. Tama finally re-enters the ring and tries to offer a handshake but Martel is not biting. Tama gets caught with a pair of armdrags then heads back outside to regroup. Tama comes back in and hammers away in the corner but misses an elbow drop as Martel now works the leg for a while. Tama pushes Martel through the ropes then shoves him into the post. Tama distracts the ref so Haku can beat on Martel. Back inside, Tama works a nerve hold. Martel fights out but Tama catches him with a knee then goes back to the hold. Martel gets tossed back outside after missing a crossbody where Haku beats him down. Tama suplexes him back inside for a two count then hammers away as the crowd rallies behind Martel, who comes back with a kneelift. Tama fights back and slams him down but misses a top rope splash as both men are down. The crowd rallies behind Martel, who hits a backdrop then fires away. Martel sends Tama to the floor with a back elbow smash. Martel beats on Tama inside then slingshots him into Haku, who was standing on the apron while yelling at fans. Tama then attacks Martel and comes off the top with a crossbody block but Martel uses the momentum and rolls on top of Tama for the win (19:47) **3/4

Thoughts: Fun match, although it had some dead spots. The Martel vs. Islanders feud still worked even with Zenk gone. The crowd was into it as well.

“The Natural” Butch Reed vs. Hillbilly Jim

Reed grabs a side headlock then tries and fails to knock down Jim. Reed jaws away them Jim knocks him down a few times. Reed bails and complains to the referee for a bit then when he comes back inside, Jim toys with him. They engage in a test of strength and battle over that for a while until Jim steps on his fingers as Reed once again heads outside. Reed then sneak attacks Jim then chokes him out on the mat. Reed sends Jim outside then slams him down. Reed stays on the attack until he runs into a big boot. Jim clotheslines Reed then both guys miss elbow drops. Reed connects with a high knee then perches on the top rope as he hits a flying clothesline for the win (10:58) *. After the match, Jim calls Reed back inside but he just heads back to the locker room.

Thoughts: Most of this was stalling but Jim was a limited worker and this type of match suited his talents. It was long for what it was but not too terrible or anything.

WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Honky Tonk Man (Champion) w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

Steamboat immediately fires away on Honky. He chops and slams him down all before taking off his robe. He gets two with a crossbody block as Honky ducks out for a breather. Steamboat chases him around the ring and beats the crap out of him as the action then heads back inside, with Honky begging for mercy. Steamboat hits a few more chops and a backdrop before getting a nearfall with a small package. Honky tries to escape but Steamboat pulls him back in and almost regains the IC Title with a bridging back suplex. Honky finally gets in some offense as he catches Steamboat with a knee. However, Steamboat blocks a turnbuckle smash then takes him down with a snapmare. Honky blocks a suplex and hits one of his own then gets two with a top rope fist drop. Steamboat fights back but gets kicked after ducking his head as Honky beats on him in the corner. Steamboat comes back with an atomic drop and some chops but Honky rakes his eyes. Hart grabs Steamboat’s leg and gets chased around as Hart distracts the ref and that allows Honky to use the megaphone to attack Steamboat. Honky covers but only gets two as he is beside himself. Honky then wins a slugfest but Steamboat gets back up and chops him down. Honky gets his knees up on a splash attempt then puts on an abdominal stretch as the crowd chants like crazy for Steamboat. Honky dumps Steamboat to the floor then follows him out but Steamboat fights back. They are back in the ring where Steamboat hits several mounted punches. Steamboat fires away then sends him to the floor with a flying chop. Steamboat then tries to toss Honky back inside but he grabs a hold of the apron, while his body is in the ring, and the ref counts to ten as Steamboat gets the win via countout as Honky still retains (11:39) ***1/2. After the match, Steamboat beats on Honky then almost grabs a hold of Hart, who retreats with Honky.

Thoughts: Damn good match with a ton of heat. Originally, Jake Roberts was going to face Honky here but was still banged up I believe so Steamboat came back a bit earlier than planned to wrestle against Honky. Steamboat could play the pissed-off fiery babyface just as well as Honky played the chickenshit heel.

Monsoon is now with Steamboat, who is pissed. Steamboat calls out Honky for not being a fighting champion as he vows to get revenge.

Hart and Honky are then with Monsoon. Honky tells us that a win is a win, right or wrong, as he tells us that Steamboat will not get another shot and he will do anything to keep the IC Title.

Nikolai Volkoff vs. Tito Santana

Santana lands a few shots on Volkoff to start. He then works the arm until Volkoff steps between the ropes and cheapshots Santana. Volkoff uses a lifting choke before tossing Santana to the floor. Back inside, Volkoff stomps away then grabs a bearhug that Santana breaks but Volkoff puts him right back in the move as this match has been brutal to watch. Volkoff takes Santana down with a clothesline that looked pathetic then hit his backbreaker but Tito had his foot on the ropes. Volkoff argues with the ref then shortly after that gets hit with the flying forearm as Santana gets the win (8:21) 1/4*. After the match, Santana walks around and slaps hands with the fans until Ron Bass, who is wrestling next, comes out and blindsides him before choking him out with a cable. Outback Jack then comes down for the save.

Thoughts: Holy shit was this terrible. Volkoff was on offense the majority of the match and did nothing as they were protecting him somewhat for reasons I cannot fathom. However, the post-match stuff with Bass and Santana was something as those two finally seem to have a program now.

“The Outlaw” Ron Bass vs. Outback Jack

Jack hits Bass with a clothesline and a slam but Bass gets his knees up on a splash attempt. A few officials prevent Santana from going after Bass, who taunts him then turns around a gets decked. This match is apparently clipped as back from break, Bass is choking out Jack in the corner. Jack fights back and slams Bass down but plays up to the crowd and misses an elbow drop then Bass hits the gourdbuster for the win (6:00) 1/4*.

Thoughts: Jack was getting firmly establishes as nothing more than a lower card guy. He was a bust and could not wrestle, no matter how hard he tried.

Steamboat comes out and tells us how he won the IC Title at WrestleMania III and lost it to a coward like the Honky Tonk Man as he tells the crowd that next month he will face the Honky Tonk Man in a Lumberjack Match. The crowd liked that.

Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/ Johnny V. vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake

Beefcake uses the double noggin-knocker on Valentine and Johnny V. to start the match. Beefcake attacks Valentine then slams him down. Beefcake struts as the crowd applauds then dodges an attack before hammering on Valentine in the corner.Beefcake pulls down Valentine then crotches him against the ring posts repeatedly before booting him in the back of the head. Beefcake hits an atomic drop for a nearfall then shortly after that Valentine pulls Beefcake by the tights and into the ring post. Valentine beats on Beefcake, who is on the apron, as Johnny V. interferes behind the referee’s back. Valentine now has Beefcake in the center of the ring and applies a chinlock. Beefcake powers out but Valentine knees him down then rams him into the corner but Beefcake counters a piledriver with a backdrop as both men are down. They get up and slug it out but Valentine boots him down then follows with a headbutt to the groin. Valentine is now slapping Beefcake around then rams his head off of the mat as Johnny V. is yelling into the face of Beefcake, who is getting choked out by Valentine. The announcers talk about Mr. T as the special enforcer of the WWF as Valentine puts Beefcake in the figure four leg lock. Beefcake eventually makes it to the ropes. Valentine tries it again but Beefcake shoves him into the corner. Valentine then hits Beefcake with mounted punches but Beefcake reverses and hits some of his own. They fight over a suplex as Beefcake wins that battle then he pumps up and fires away. Beefcake takes him down with a clothesline then follows with the sleeper. Johnny V. runs in so Beefcake puts him in the sleeper instead then Dino Bravo runs in and assaults Beefcake for the DQ (13:11) *3/4. Valentine grabs the scissors as Bravo holds up Beefcake and attempts to cut some of his hair but the British Bulldogs run in for the save and chase off the New Dream Team.

Thoughts: Too slow-paced to be any good. The end seems like we are getting six-man matches between these guys and a possible New Dream Team/Bulldogs program. Beefcake’s signature spots got a good reaction but that was just about it here.

Jerry Allen vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude

This is the MSG debut for Rude, who had not even made his TV debut yet at this point. Gorilla notes that Rude is the newest protege of Bobby Heenan, who is not here tonight (Heenan was at the Baltimore show managing Paul Orndorff against Ken Patera in a strap match, a match that started the rift between Orndorff and Heenan). The announcers also note how Rude reminds them of Tom Selleck. Before the match, Rude demands the microphone get lowered as he wants the men to keep the noise down so the ladies can enjoy his body when he takes his robe off. Match finally starts as Rude backs Allen against the ropes then taunts the crowd. He shoves Allen then taunts him by flexing his muscles but Allen responds with a right hand that sends Rude to the floor. However, Rude comes back inside and fires away. Allen gets two with a sunset flip then works the arm until Rude retreats to the corner. Rude then beats on Allen and catches him with a backbreaker, followed by some more flexing. Rude gets two with a flying clothesline as he is stopping to taunt between each move. He hits a fist drop from the middle rope but pulls up on the three count then works a nerve hold as Gorilla notes that Sherri Martel has defeated the Fabulous Moolah for the WWF Women’s Championship in Houston (it occurred the previous day). Rude hits a pair of snap suplexes but Allen comes back with one of his own as both men are down. Allen tries an elbow drop but Rude rolls away. Rude comes back with a dropkick then tries another one that misses in a really bad spot that Allen was seemingly out of position for as Allen mounts a comeback. He tries a second monkey flip but Rude counters that with an inverted atomic drop then puts Allen in the backbreaker as he gets the win via submission (7:12) *1/2.

Thoughts: Far too long for a squash match and Rude did some impressive stuff. Rude tried hard to establish is character but the crowd didn’t care, with a few even chanting “boring.”

Howard Finkel tells us the curfew has been waived for the final match. He then runs down the next MSG show, which occurs on August 22nd. Matches announced are Jose Estrada vs. Chavo Guerrero (never happened as Lanny Poffo subbed for Chavo), Tama vs. Scott Casey, new WWF Women’s Champion Sherri Martel defends the belt against Velvet McIntyre, Ron Bass vs. Tito Santana, Haku vs. Rick Martel, Demolition vs. Junkyard Dog & George Steele, and the Honky Tonk Man vs. Ricky Steamboat in a Lumberjack Match for the IC Title. Also, Butch Reed will take on Superstar Billy Graham.

WWF Tag Team Title Match
Hart Foundation (Champions) w/ Jimmy Hart vs. British Bulldogs

Matilda chases Jimmy Hart out of the ring as Lord Alfred can barely contain his laughter. However, the Hart Foundation immediately attack Davey as the match is now underway. Davey avoids a double-team move as the Hart Foundation collide with each other and is able to make the tag. Dynamite his Bret with a snap suplex then tags back out as Davey comes in and grabs a headlock. Davey then gets two with a crucifix as Dynamite tags in and flattens Bret with a clothesline. Dynamite beats on Bret in the corner until Neidhart runs in to break it up. The Bulldogs regain control and get a few nearfalls until Bret knocks Dynamite down. Neidhart tags and roughs up Dynamite as the Hart Foundation are now in control of the match. Dynamite manages to fall on top of Bret on a slam attempt for two but Bret tags out as Neidhart goes on the attack. Dynamite fights back and tries to make the tag but Bret cuts him off. Dynamite dodges a charging Bret then dumps Neidhart as he makes the tag. Davey runs wild and hits all sorts of suplexes and flying moves on Bret. He then hits the running powerslam but Bret is able to get his foot on the ropes. Davey then presses Bret over his head and runs backwards and dumps him on the top rope. Davey tries to suplex Bret back into the ring but Neidhart sweeps his leg and Bret falls on top and gets the win (10:26) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Fun match, which is expected from these two teams. They had great chemistry. However, their feud with the Bulldogs has just about run its course.

Final Thoughts: This had three good matches and some crap so overall, by 80’s WWF house show standards, it was solid. I’d seek out Steamboat/Honky and the Bulldogs/Harts as well. For historical purposes, you can check out Rude before his TV debut too. If they went with the Honky/Steamboat feud a bit longer, they could have had something there.

Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Thursday: RoH Secrets of the Ring with Dusty Rhodes
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/26/87
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/1/87
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/2/87

WWF Madison Square Garden June 14th, 1987

June 14, 1987

From Madison Square Garden in New York, NY

Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight we have Hulk Hogan defending the World Heavyweight Title against King Harley Race in a Texas Death Match. Plus, Hercules vs. Billy Jack Haynes and Paul Orndorff vs. Junkyard Dog.

The Shadows vs. Can-Am Connection

Bobby Heenan has joined the announcers table. The Shadows were Randy Colley (Moondog Rex) and Jose Luis Rivera wearing masks and bodysuits. They go by #1 and #2 here, respectively. Match starts with Martel using his speed to elude #1. Zenk tags and dropkicks #1 as both teams take a break in their corners. Martel stops Zenk as he gets whipped into the corner then the Shadows take a break due to frustration. Back inside, the heel stall as Heenan and Gorilla go back and forth over Gorilla’s claim that he is not paying his talent well. #2 keeps on complaining about non-existent hair pulls then Zenk grabs a hold of his arm and works on that for a bit. #2 goes low on Martel but ends up getting dropkicked to the floor. Martel dropkicks #1 off of the apron then starts high-stepping and pumping his fist in the air. Back inside, the Can-Ams take turns neutralizing #1, mostly using headlocks. #2 fucks up a leapfrog spot and falls down when he was supposed to bounce off of the ropes, then gets caught with a reverse rollup but #1 makes the save then hits Zenk in the back of the head. The Shadows double-team Zenk behind the ref’s back while Martel is frustrated. #1 puts Zenk in a chinlock as Heenan talks up the Islanders and how much better they are than the Can-Ams. Zenk tries to make the tag and does but the ref did not see it take place. Martel breaks up a pin attempt after #2 interfered then Zenk gets tossed to the floor. #1 suplexes him back inside for a nearfall but misses on a splash attempt as Zenk got his knees up. #2 tags in and knees Zenk in the mid-section. He tries a suplex but that gets blocked and Zenk hits one of his own as both men are down. Zenk finally makes the tag as Martel cleans house by himself. The match breaks down as the heels try a double noggin-knocker but Zenk ducks as Martel flies over him and hits #2 with a crossbody (18:56) *1/2. After the match, Heenan grabs the mic and calls them lucky because the Islanders would have beaten them a long time ago. Martel then tells them that they should bring the Islanders to the ring and wrestle right now. The Islanders come out as the crowd goes nuts but several officials hold them back as Heenan tells them they are lucky.

Thoughts: The match was a bore but the antics afterwards were entertaining as they did a fine job of pushing along the Islanders/Can-Am Connection feud.

Billy Jack Haynes vs. Hercules

Hercules spits at Haynes, who goes nuts and starts hammering away. Hercules ducks outside then re-enters and stalls for a bit, pissing off the crowd in the process. Haynes clotheslines him then hits a vertical suplex and a backbreaker as he is overpowering Hercules. He heads up top but missed a fist drop as Hercules catches his breath in the corner before nailing Haynes with a clothesline. Hercules puts the boots to Haynes then knocks him outside where he hits a forearm smash from the apron. Haynes gets whipped into the guardrail then re-enters the ring and taunts the crowd. The action heads back inside where Hercules chokes out Haynes before working over the neck for a while. Haynes tries to mount a comeback but that is stopped short as Hercules maintains control of the match. Hercules gets nearfalls with a backbreaker and a suplex but is unable to put Haynes away. He chokes out Haynes with his wrist tape for a bit then hammers away as Haynes is fighting back. Hercules wins that slugfest then grabs a bearhug that Haynes easily escapes from with an eye rake as both men are down. Haynes boots down Hercules but is unable to capitalize on that as Hercules takes control then puts on the full nelson. Haynes tries to escape as Hercules does not have his fingers locked. He manages to break free after a struggle then clotheslines Hercules as both men are down. Haynes starts firing away then chokes out Hercules with his wrist tape for a bit. He backdrops Hercules then hits a side slam. Elbow drop gets two. They are now slugging it out, laying into each other with stiff chops, until Haynes hits a back elbow smash. He heads over to Hercules, who is able to pull him by the tights as Haynes crashes to the floor. Both guys are now brawling outside and make it in before the ten count. They slug it out again in the ring until the bell rings, signaling a time-limit draw (22:05) ***.

Thoughts: Good match. These two worked a hard, physical style. The finish also signals that a return bout is looming. Haynes and Hercules had always had solid chemistry together.

Gorilla is with Hulk Hogan, who talks about beating Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III and how he will retire if he loses to King Harley Race tonight in their Texas Death Match. That was the stipulation for Hogan title matches a lot of the time in 1987.

Jim Powers & Paul Roma vs. The Islanders w/ Bobby Heenan

Tama yells at the crowd then struts around the ring before the match. Man, he was an awesome heel. Match starts with Roma working a hammerlock on Tama, who runs to the ropes then complains to the referee. Roma comes back with a slam and a dropkick as Tama ducks outside to huddle with his partner and manager. Tama tries to trick Roma with a handshake but Roma catches his foot after he attempted a kick then hits an atomic drop. Powers tags and works over Haku briefly until Tama tags back into the match. Powers works the arm for a bit then hits a dropkick after Tama believed he had outsmarted him. Roma & Powers take turns working the arm of Tama for a few minutes. Roma gets backed into the Islanders corner as Haku tags and roughs up Roma. He hits a dropkick then hammers away. He misses a move but Tama trips up Roma from outside the ring as the Islanders are in complete control as they work over Roma for a few minutes. Roma reverses a suplex on Tama but was unable to capitalize as the Islanders go back on the attack. Roma tries to make the tag but Tama cuts him off each time. Haku slams Roma down but misses a flipping senton as both men are down. Powers tags and fires away on both members of the Islanders. The match breaks down as Haku goes behind the ref’s back and hits a backbreaker then Tama comes off of the top with a splash for the win (19:02) **1/2.

Thoughts: Solid match. Tama did a fantastic job here getting heat and was the glue here. Too bad he let himself go because he should have been a much bigger star. Roma & Powers got in a healthy amount of offense in the loss as their small push continues.

“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Junkyard Dog

Gorilla says that this match could main event any arena in the country. Two years prior it could have. The size difference between Orndorff’s arms is very noticeable here. Match starts with Orndorff stalling for a bit until they fight over a lockup. Orndorff bails before JYD can hit him with the crawling headbutts. Back inside, JYD works the arm then a headscissors as this match boasts very little action. Orndorff now is in control and hits a few elbow drops. Orndorff now slams JYD’s head off of the mat but that has no effect as JYD fights back. He gets a nearfall with a small package then Heenan trips up JYD, who drags him up on the apron. Orndorff hits JYD from behind but its not enough to put him away. JYD charges but gets caught in one of the most pathetic looking stunguns I have ever seen as that is enough to get Orndorff the win (9:47) 1/4*.

Thoughts: Awful match between two guys whose star power was rapidly fading away. JYD was essentially immobile as Orndorff was far too hurt to be working the match. The biggest highspot of the match was a fucked-up looking hiptoss. Fans were not into this either. As a matter of fact, they were not all that into the show altogether.

Gorilla and Hayes are with Outback Jack, who will be facing Jose Estrada tonight. He says a whole lot of nothing here as his push continues to bomb.

Dave Winfield joins the announcers. He tells them they (Yankees) are three games back and not happy about that. Winfield seemed to be enjoying himself.

WWF World Title
Texas Death Match
King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Hulk Hogan

Race tries to attack Hogan as he entered the ring but ends up getting backdropped to the floor. Hogan beats on Race halfway up the aisle then remains in control as the action heads back into the ring. Hogan is going berserk as he hammers away on Race. He chops him through the middle rope then outside the ring smashes a chair over his head as it ends up around Race’s head. Race finally gets in some offense after a low kick as he hits a piledriver for a nearfall. Race hits a falling headbutt that sends Hogan tumbling across the ring. Gutwrench suplex gets two. Hogan reverses an Irish whip into the corner that sends Race to the floor as he took a wild bump. Hogan then chases after Heenan but that allows Race to attack him from behind. Race rams the end of the chair into Hogan’s throat then hammers away but misses a falling headbutt as his head whacks the concrete. Hogan powers up and takes the action back inside where he hits the big boot. Hogan then hits an atomic drop before taking him to the floor with a running clothesline as Race falls into the chairs set up in front of the guardrail. Hogan chases Race up the aisle but ends up getting piledrived onto the floor. Back in the ring, Heenan hands Race the title belt as he uses it to attack Hogan. He leaves the belt next to him then climbs up top for a diving headbutt but ends up hitting the belt instead. Hogan gets up and grabs the belt and whacks Race in the head and that is good enough for the win (9:56) ***1/4.  After the match, Hogan rids Race from the ring then holds the belt up like a baseball bat, begging Race to re-enter the ring.

Thoughts: Good match. Race sold like a champ here too. He was awesome. Hogan now needs a new opponent for the house show circuit.

Hayes is with the Can-Am Connection tell us that they have signed the contract to face the Islanders at MSG on July 25th. Well, that never took place as Zenk quit the company before it took place. Instead we got Rick Martel vs. Tama. You can tell the WWF really wanted to put over this feud and the Can-Ams.

Jose Estrada vs. Outback Jack

Talk about your crowd-cooling match. Jack gets a backdrop to start the match. Estrada uses an eye rake then they engage in a terrible brawling sequence in which Jack was way out of position. Jack then keeps kicking Estrada away after getting taken down as that happens a few times. Estrada uses another eye rake then hammers away as the crowd looks to be sitting on their hands. Jack fights back and hits a slam then drops an elbow for a nearfall. Estrada headbutts Jack in the groin and heads up top to deliver a forearm smash that gets two. Estrada roughs up Jack a bit more until he gets caught with a slam then Jack hits the Boomerang for the win (4:47) DUD.

Thoughts: Estrada tried but Jack was just terrible. And the crowd did not respond to Jack at all. He was soon-to-be a TV jobber.

Hart Foundation & Danny Davis vs. British Bulldogs & Billy Jack Haynes

Haynes pulls double-duty here as Koko B. Ware, the scheduled partner for the Bulldogs, did not appear. Jimmy Hart was not here for the match as he was with the Honky Tonk Man, who was headlining the “B” show in Tuscon, AZ. The Bulldogs & Haynes attack their opponents before the match as the Hart Foundation and Davis regroup outside for a minute. Hart and Davey start off the match. Hart sells a shoulderblock by rolling all the way to the floor/ Davey then works the arm before tagging Haynes, who uses a bell clap. Dynamite then knocks Hart down from the apron before Haynes grabs a chinlock. Davey tags back in the match but Hart coutners a crucifix with a Samoan Drop. Neidhart tags but misses a fist drop as the faces regain control of the match for a bit until Neidhart rakes the eyes of Dynamite. The heels work over Dynamite for a while, with Davis acting as cocky as ever as he kicks Dynamite while he is down. Davis gets brought in with a slingshot splash but Dynamite got his knees up then makes the tag to Haynes, who runs wild. Haynes hits Davis with a press slam then locks on the full nelson but that gets broken up by the Hart Foundation, who are now in control of the match. Haynes takes a beating but is able to kick out of a few pin attempts. The Hart Foundation and Davis use all sorts of illegal tactics as Haynes takes a beating for several minutes until he comes back with a double clothesline on the Hart Foundation then makes the tag to Davey. who runs wild. He hits Hart with a delayed vertical suplex then gets a small package for two. The match breaks down as the faces clear the ring until only Hart is left. Hart gets whipped into the buckle then Davey launches Dynamite at Bret for a headbutt as that gets the win (18:08) ***. Dynamite appeared in a lot of pain after that.

Thoughts: Fun match to close the show. Hart worked his ass off here too. He was bumping like a maniac for his opponents. 

Final Thoughts: I thought the show was solid for a house show. However, this drew the lowest attendance for a show headlined by Hogan as a champ at MSG at this point. His feud with Race was not selling at the box office and the low attendance can also be attributed to the product, which was ice cold at the time. Still, there were for quality matches but also a few stinkers. I’d recommend this show for the good matches while you can skip over the rest.

Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Thursday: 1989 WCW Timeline as told by Jim Cornette
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 6/20/87
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 6/21/87
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 6/27/87

WWF Madison Square Garden February 23, 1987

February 23, 1987

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

Paul Roma vs. “Italian Stallion” Salvatore Bellomo

Bellomo comes to the ring in a yellow boxing robe and even throws some punches into the air as a fan pelts him with garbage. The stallion on the the back of his robe and attire look more like a donkey if you ask me, which is fitting for Bellomo. His attire is also as pathetic as his wrestling skills. Well Bellomo as a comedy heel is more suitable than a babyface. Lots of stalling and posing from Bellomo to start as Gorilla and Heenan talk about WrestleMania III. They have a fast-paced Irish whip sequence that ends with Roma getting a nearfall off of a reverse rollup. Bellomo then takes down Roma and works the arm for a long time as he screams and laughs. They fight over a key lock that Roma wins as he takes Bellomo down. Roma works  side headlock on the mat as this match is putting everyone to sleep. Bellomo then breaks up an arm wringer with an eye rake before taking Roma down with an European uppercut. Dropkick gets two then Bellomo applies a chinlock. Roma fights out and takes Bellomo down with a hiptoss then goes back to work on the arm. Bellomo fights back and takes Roma down with a snapmare then targets the back. Bellomo slows things down even further with another chinlock as a few fans are crapping on the match as the announcers talk about everything else going on in the company. Roma then hits a backdrop and dropkicks Bellomo, who takes a breather outside. He heads back in as Roma slams him then runs up to the second rope to deliver a fist drop. Roma whiffs on a crossbody attempt but shortly after that Roma gets the win with a powerslam (12:29) *.

Thoughts: Seeing Bellomo as a comedy heel of sorts was certainly something else. This only lasted for a few weeks until he left the company though. Roma was getting a minor singles push at the time and the announcers tried to sell this as an upset win. The match itself was way too slow and the last few minutes where clunky.

The Islanders vs. Demolition

No Johnny V. tonight for Demolition. Tama and Smash start off as Tama is overpowered but Haku comes in and they take him down with a double dropkick as Demolition regroups outside. Back in the ring, Ax and Haku are in and they go back and forth until Haku grabs an arm wringer. The Islanders work over Ax for a it. Ax then beats on Tama and tags out as Smash tosses Tama on the floor. Ax then knocks Tama over the guardrail as Haku brings him back over and helps him get into the ring where Demolition double-teams him. Tama gets tossed back to the floor after a pin attempt as Haku goes to check on him again as this match has slowed down an awful lot. Haku then slugs it out with Smash on the floor as Ax gets two with an elbow smash. Smash tags and drops Tama throat-first onto the top rope. Tama fights out of a bearhug but Smash is able to ground him with a leg lock then tags Ax, who gets kicked when he ducks his head on a backdrop. Tama makes the tag as Haku runs wild. Tama tags back into the match and gets two with a crossbody then the match breaks down and as the ref orders Haku back onto the apron, Demolition hits Tama with the Decapitation for the win (9:13) **1/4.

Thoughts: Decent enough match although it was really slow at the beginning. Demolition was slowly starting to get over as a menacing heel act with the crowd, who were in awe of their entrance gear and presence in the ring. The Islanders were over with the crowd a bit but near the bottom rung of the tag team ladder at the time.

Sika vs. Koko B. Ware

The Wizard is not here tonight. Sika starts by tossing Koko into the corner then he knocks him down. Koko tries to fight back but gets shoved back down then Sika rakes his back. Koko then goes outside and crawls underneath the ring and comes out from the other side to confuse Sika. Koko then dropkicks Sika in the back and rolls him up off of the rebound for the win (4:51) DUD. After the match, Sika attacks Koko and tosses him to the floor.

Thoughts: Sika was quite lazy here and this match was a total bore. The ending also did nothing to elevate either of these guys. Koko was treated like a joke in this match.

“The Natural” Butch Reed w/ Slick vs. Tito Santana

Reed starts the match of by stalling for a couple of minutes, which is the theme of the night so far. Tito hammers away for a bit until Reed ducks outside for a breather. He heads back in but gets sent back out after a pair of dropkicks. Reed then is able to choke out Tito with the middle rope from the apron then heads back into the ring. Tito boots down Reed after he ducked his head then grabs a front facelock as Slick joins on commentary complaining about the referee allowing Tito to cheat. Reed then breaks free and takes control of the match as he targets the throat of Tito. Slick is ecstatic as Reed has Tito in a chinlock for a while. Reed then gets two with a mat slam before he puts on another chinlock. Tito sends Reed into the corner then fires up as he beats on Reed. He uses mounted punches and gets two off of that but gets sent into the corner then clotheslined down. Reed takes Tito down with a kneelift then stomps away. Reed goes for an atomic drop but Tito blocks that and takes Reed down and goes for the figure four leg lock but Reed is able to reach the ropes. Reed then takes Tito down and distracts the referee as Slick heads inside with his cane but Koko B. Ware runs out and stops that as the ref signals for the bell. Koko and Tito then clear the ring as the match is ruled a double disqualification (12:10) *1/2. After the match, Slick struggles to hold Reed back.

Thoughts: Bland match.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Killer Bees vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis

Neidhart and Brunzell start off the match as Jimmy has joined the announcers to talk about Davis being a former Gold Gloves champion and a high school wrestler before leaving. Brett tags and he and Brunzell go back and forth for a bit. The Bees are now working over Brett’ arm then Blair slingshots Brett into Neidhart as the Hart Foundation regroup outside. Back inside, the Bees work over the arm of Brett but that doesnt last long as he knocks Blair into his corner then tags Neidhart. The Hart Foundation double-team Blair then toss him out to the floor. Back in the ring Blair manages a quick rollup but Brett immediately puts him in a front facelock. The Hart Foundation use some solid double-team moves then Blair sends Brett into the corner as both men are down. Blair is up first and manages a small package but Brett escapes then grounds Blair before tagging out. Neidhart put Blair in a bearhug then stops Blair from making the tag when he escapes. Brunzell tags but the ref did not see that then Brett tags in and puts on a chinlock but Blair breaks that up with an electric chair drop then tags Brunzell, who goes nuts on Brett in the corner. Brunzell then connects with a dropkick but Neidhart breaks up the pin as the bell is rung prematurely then Davis attacks Brunzell as he had Brett up for a slam and that gets turned into a small package as the Hart Foundation retains the gold (13:52) **3/4.

Thoughts: Solid match. The heat segment on Blair was the best part. They are establishing Davis as part of the act in order to hype the WrestleMania III match and to give the Hart Foundation an additional outside threat. The Bees were fine here and these two teams worked well together.

Gorilla is with Outback Jack, who will be making his MSG debut. Jack says that the competition is tough in the WWF but thinks he is prepared.

And Gorilla is now with Jake Roberts, who is defying doctor’s orders to face King Kong Bundy tonight. The story is that Roberts was concussed from the guitar shot he took from Honky at the last “Superstars of Wrestling” taping.

Jimmy Hart and the Honky Tonk Man are with Gorilla, who is disgusted over what he did to Jake Roberts. Honky says he feels good and is going to tap dance on the head of Pedro Morales. He also warns Roberts that if he hits him in the head again that he will not get up.

Randy Savage is with Bobby Heenan as Gorilla asks him about the elimination match main event. Savage promises that his team will win 3-0.

Barry O. vs. Outback Jack

Jack overpowers Barry to start. He hits a few slams and a hiptoss that sends Barry outside for a breather. The crowd is completely silent by the way. Back inside, Jack backs Barry into the corner but gets his eye poked as Barry takes control. He catches Jack with a kneelift then rams him into the corner. Jack reverses a whip and catches Barry with a backdrop. Jack gets two off of a splash but Barry yanks him into the corner. Jack ducks a swing and hits an atomic drop before hitting Barry with a boomerang for the win (3:33) 1/2*.

Thoughts: Jack was not over at all and based on this reaction and his TV debut, it was clear that this character was never going to get over to the extent they originally thought.

King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Jimmy Hart is on commentary for Heenan in this match. He is also petrified when the camera shows Damien trying to get out of his bag. Match starts with both guys fighting over a lockup as Jake wins that battle and knocks down Bundy. A loud “Bundy sucks” chant breaks out as he stalls on the apron. They try a test of strength that Bundy wins then but Jake grabs a hold of the ropes after an Irish whip as the crowd applauds. This is a pro-Jake crowd tonight. Jake ducks a clothesline but gets caught with a slam. Bundy gets two with an elbow drop then stops as he adjusts the straps of his singlet, which appear too big for him. Bundy puts Jake in a chinlock as both Heenan and Hart remain scared of the snake at ringside. Jake escapes and tries for a DDT but Bundy blocks that then misses an elbow drop. Jake falls outside as Bundy goes out and roughs him up before tossing him back in as the bell rings with Bundy getting counted out (9:17) 1/2*. After the match, Bundy misses an Avalanche then Jake grabs Damien and chases Bundy, Hart, and Heenan to the back.

Thoughts: Bad match. Bundy had to stop to adjust his straps throughout the match and moved very, very slowly as a result. The crowd liked Jake but this was a poor match with a bad finish.

Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Pedro Morales

Slick has joined on commentary to say that something needs to be done about wrestlers putting their hands on managers then promises that Butch Reed will destroy Koko at WrestleMania III. Honky starts the match by stalling as he keeps on ducking under the ropes then takes a breather outside. Gorilla threatens to grab Slick by the neck if he interferes as Pedro slams Honky twice. Honky heads back outside then goes back in as the crowd is all over him. Honky tries to fight out of an arm wringer but gets caught with an atomic drop instead as Honky yet again goes back outside, which is getting in some heel heat at least. Honky heads back in but Pedro punches him through the ropes as this match is getting quite repetitive. Back inside, Pedro grabs a side headlock but Honky is able to dump him outside and onto the Japanese announce table, which had been mentioned a few times throughout the show. Honky rams Pedro shoulder-first into the post from the apron then targets the back. Honky fires away then stomps on Pedro in the corner until he goes outside. Pedro walks over towards Jimmy Hart, who backs away, then yanks Honky outside where he rams him into the post and the guardrail. They head back in the ring where Honky takes control. Suplex gets two. He slams him down but misses an elbow drop from the second rope as both men are down. Pedro hammers in Honky, who is now begging for mercy in the corner. Pedro gets two with a small package then hits Honky with a backdrop before putting him in a Boston Crab but Hart jumps up on the apron and Pedro goes after him then after that Honky trips up Pedro and rolls him up, with his feet on the ropes for leverage, and gets the win (11:58) **.

Thoughts: Honky did about 90% of the work here and made it entertaining and a lot better than I expected. He really did a fantastic job as a heel, which suited the character a lot better than being a babyface. Morales was about as lazy and useless as you would expect. Pedro is not trying if he is booked to lose.

Elimination Match
“Adorable” Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart & King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan & Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Miss Elizabeth vs. Junkyard Dog & Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat & Roddy Piper

This is being billed as the final MSG appearance for Piper and the crowd goes nuts for him. Piper stares down Adonis but it is Savage who starts off the match for his team. Piper knocks down Race then runs around and tags Steamboat as Savage ducks outside. Savage comes back in to attack Steamboat but gets caught with an armdrag. JYD and Race tag in as Race bumps like a maniac for JYD’s offense. The crowd is jacked right now as Race flips over the top rope after a clothesline from JYD, who looks horrendous here, but Race is doing everything in his power to make him seem good. Slick insults JYD on commentary by saying he is unable to read. Race takes control briefly then tags Savage but JYD beats on him. Steamboat tags but Savage tags in Adonis then after that Piper tags as their is a six-man brawl inside of the ring. The ref finally maintains control then Adonis & Race hit Piper with a double suplex. Adonis catches Piper in a sleeper but gets rammed backwards into the turnbuckle and locks on a sleeper of his own. Savage and JYD are now the legal men as JYD slams him down. Savage takes control and tags Adonis, whose punches have no effect on JYD. Adonis then tackles JYD as they brawl outside then everyone else brawls as well. Piper chases Adonis up the aisle with a chair as JYD and Race duke it out. Back inside, Piper hits Race with a back suplex but the ref does not count as the bell rings as both Adonis and JYD have been counted out and have been eliminated (7:50). Piper gets worked over in the corner by Race and Savage as Slick continues to make fun of JYD on commentary. Piper tries to make a tag but Race stops that with an elbow drop. Savage then chokes out Piper against the ropes then misses a jumping attack but is able to tag Race. Piper counters a suplex with one of his own and makes the tag to Steamboat. He hits Race with a bunch of chops then he and Piper hit a double clothesline. Steamboat gets two off of a flying chop then gets Race in a small package but Savage reverses it behind the referee’s back and Race gets the pin (11:42). Steamboat pumps up Piper before leaving as he is at a 2-1 disadvantage. Piper beats on Race as Savage tries to interfere. He knocks Race outside then takes a chair away from Savage. Piper falls victim to the numbers game as Savage takes and chokes him out. Double axe handle from the top rope gets two. Piper fights off both guys now but Race hits him from behind. Powerslam from Race gets two. Piper reverses a gutwrench suplex with one of his own and get two as Savage breaks that up. Race signals for Savage to climb up top as he holds Piper in place but Piper escapes as Savage accidentally hits Race with a double axe handle then Piper covers and gets the pin (15:43). Piper bulldogs Savage then bites his fingers. Piper chases Savage around but fails to get him over on a sunset flip attempt. Savage clotheslines Piper for two then elbows him in the throat. Piper then fights back and unloads on Savage then both men collide as Savage flies through the ropes. Piper is playing possum in the ring as Savage climbs up top and misses the flying elbow smash then Piper puts Savage in a small package for the win (20:22) ****.

Thoughts: Fantastic match. Piper in particular was awesome here as Race and Savage also had on their working boots. JYD was pathetic but they were smart enough to get him out early. Tremendous fun as these elimination matches would main event house shows for the next few weeks. Also, I must say that Slick and Gorilla on commentary was entertaining. They should have let Slick done more on commentary.

Gorilla is backstage with Piper, congratulating him on his win. Piper says he always gave 110% then talks about the hair vs. hair stipulation match against Adonis at WrestleMania III. The end was Piper being his typical crazy self.

Final Thoughts: The main event was awesome but nothing else was all that great. Some of these matches just flat-out sucked as well. All in all, check out the main event, which was also part of the “WWE Top 50 Superstars of All Time” DVD but other than that, I cannot really recommend anything else that you should go out of your way to see. A majority of these matches were featured on the 3/9/87 edition of Prime Time Wrestling if you were wondering.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Thursday: 2008 WWE Blue Timeline as told by Brian Myers (Curt Hawkins)
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 2/28/87
Saturday: RoH Death Before Dishonor 7/19/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/1/87
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/7/87

WWF Madison Square Garden May 19th, 1986

May 19, 1986
Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

Tiger Chung Lee vs. “Leaping” Lanny Poffo
Lanny works the arm then shows off his agility before hitting a dropkick. Lanny goes back to working the arm for a while as Gorilla is impressed that all sorts of Asians are competing in the WWF. Lee chops down Poffo before hitting him with a pair of gutbusters. Lee lands some awful chops before hitting yet another gutbuster. Poffo fights back as Lee is on his knees begging for mercy. He is gassed too. Poffo hammers away on Lee in the corner for a bit. Lee comes back and beats on Poffo but misses a charge in the corner in a terrible looking spot as Lee paused before bumping. Poffo fights back then grabs a chinlock as the crowd starts to shit on this match. Lee is chopping Poffo against the ropes in the slowest manner possible until Poffo comes back with a mule kick. Lee comes back and beats on Poffo some more. Dropkick gets two. Lee then sends Poffo to the floor then brings him in and roughs him up for a bit. Poffo fights back and sends Lee upside down in the corner. Bcakdrop gets two. Poffo charges and Lee sends him to the floor. Back inside, Lee slams Poffo but ends up getting tossed off of the top rope. Poffo misses a splash but reverses an Irish whip and hits a hurricarana for the win (11:19) ¼*.
Thoughts: Oh, this was one shitty way to start off a show. Lee was blown up a few minutes into the match and everything he did look terrible. Lanny busting out the hurricarana was cool, especially for 1986, and really that was the only thing good about this match.
S.D. Jones vs. Brett “The Hitman” Hart
Gorilla tosses out the “this match can main event anywhere” line right off the bat. Match starts with Hart trying to psych out the referee and S.D. It’s the opposite of thrilling, really. Hart briefly works the arm then catches S.D. with an inverted atomic drop then taunts the crowd, showing some personality for basically the first time in the WWF. Hart then puts SD in a chinlock for a while as a few in the crowd chant “boring.” Hart takes down S.D. then kicks him out of the ring. Back inside, S.D. knocks down Hart with a headbutt but eats boot on a charge in a telegraphed spot. Hart drops an elbow from the second rope and that gets two. S.D. uses an eye poke as Hart begs for mercy in the corner. S.D. dances around before firing away at Hart. He then takes him out of the corner with a hiptoss and hits a shoulderblock. S.D. charges at Hart but gets caught with a backbreaker and Hart covers for the win (10:15) *1/2.
Thoughts: A must-see for fans of restholds. Brett showed a bit of personality here at least. I am almost positive that this was the result of B. Brian Blair’s injury, which had he been healthy would have at least given us the Killer Bees vs. Hart Foundation.
Sivi Afi vs. Hercules Hernandez w/ Freddie Blassie
Hercules shows off his power by shoving around Afi. Herc then stalls after Afi lands a few punches. Herc ducks outside then goes back in to work a headlock as Blassie is yelling to Monsoon. Afi comes back with dropkicks and armdrags but Herc kills him with a back suplex then distracts the ref so Blassie can ram Afi in the back with his cane. Herc drops Afi on the ropes then works a headlock on the mat. Afi fights out but runs into a clothesline and Herc covers for a nearfall then goes right back to the headlock. A loud “boring” chant breaks out then Afi fights out and gets two off of a sunset flip. Herc hammers away then uses a reverse chinlock. Again, Afi fights out then catches Hercules with an atomic drop and I am pretty sure Herc iced his balls immediately backstage due to that move. Afi uses the momentum of Hercules to take him outside then hits him with a crossbody off of the top rope that woke up the crowd and nearly gave Lord Alfred a heart attack. Back inside, Afi gets a nearfall with a falling headbutt as the crowd is still going nuts. Afi heads up top and hits Hercules with a crossbody but Herc rolls through the move and grabs onto the tights for the win (13:07) *1/4.
Thoughts: It picked up a bit at the end but everything else was dreadful. Afi wasn’t bad at all in the ring but he flopped so badly in his TV debut (if you think Adam Rose’s debut sucked, he has nothing on Afi, who was booed out of the building as the fans rejected him as a Snuka knock-off. The crowd went nuts for his crossbody to the floor spot.
The crowd shows New York Yankees stars Dave Winfield and Dave Righetti in the crowd.
Nikolai Volkoff w/ Freddie Blassie vs. Corporal Kirchner
Kirchner wins a slugfest to start. Small package gets two. Kirchner hits a dropkick but Nikolai rakes the eyes then beats on Kirchner in the corner. Blassie rams Kirchner with his cane then Nikolai goes back to work. Nikolai keeps working a bearhug then knocks Kirchner down with a shoulderblock. Kirchner manages a reverse rollup but Nikolai puts him in a bow and arrow lock. Kirchner fights back and hits an atomic drop before putting Nikolai in a Boston Crab. Kirchner whiffs on a dropkick and Nikolai goes right back to work. Double underhook suplex gets two. Gutwrench suplex gets two. Kirchner gets Nikolai over with a sunset flip then goes to work on the knee. The fans start a “USA” chant as the wrestlers stall for a bit, mostly because Nikolai is gassed. Nikolai hits Kirchner with a spin kick then headbutts him down. Kirchner dodges a charge in the corner and tries for a Samoan drop but Nikolai holds on to the ropes and escapes. Back elbow smash gets two for Kirchner. He charges but Nikolai puts up his knees then rolls up Kirchner while holding the ropes for leverage and gets the win (11:30) *1/4. After the match, Kirchner chokes out Nikolai then sends him over the top rope with a dropkick.
Thoughts: Kirchner tried but Nikolai was awful tonight. This feud continued, sadly.
Gorilla Monsoon is backstage with Dave Righetti and Dave Winfield. Righetti notes how Ron Darling is not here tonight as Bundy and Heenan come out, with Heenan joking that it’s Little League camp and forgets Dave Righetti’s name then some guy claiming that he is the manager for the baseball players and this ends with them challenging the American League East. Fun for Yankee’s fans.
Monsoon is with Ricky Steamboat. He says that Roberts taught him a lesson after he turned his back on him but that will be the only mistake that he will make.
Special Guest Referee: Bruno Sammartino
WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Elizabeth (Champion) vs. Tito Santana
The match starts with both guys jockeying for position then Savage bails as the crowd boos. Savage stalls outside then comes back in as Tito gains the upper hand then ducks back outside and uses Elizabeth as a shield. The crowd is jacked as Tito works the arm. Savage gets knocked to the floor with an elbow smash then takes his time getting back in the ring. They trade armdrags then Randy starts yelling at Bruno, who yells right back. Savage snaps Tito’s neck off of the middle rope then hits a double axe handle off of the top rope. Savage takes Tito back down with a running knee smash then covers for two. Tito tries to fight out of a headlock but Savage yanks him down by the hair. Savage gets pissed at Bruno for taking his time counting then puts Tito in a chinlock. Tito fights back but Savage tosses him to the floor and follows him out with a top rope double axe handle. Savage sneaks around the ring to knock and attacks Tito then takes the action back inside of the ring. Bruno takes his time counting as Savage made a pin attempt then both men are down after colliding. Savage is up first and goes for another double axe handle but Tito catches him with a shot in the midsection. He then sends Savage to the floor with a kneelift and shoves him back in the ring to inflict more punishment. Tito backdrops Savage and goes for the figure four but Savage frantically crawls to the ropes. Tito eats boot on a charge but comes back with a small package for two. Tito slugs away and takes him down with a forearm smash. Savage escapes another figure four attempt as this crowd really wants Tito to win this match. Savage comes back with a suplex for two. Tito blocks an atomic drop and turns it into a figure four as the crowd is going out of their minds but Adrian Adonis, wearing a blond wig, runs in and attacks Tito for the DQ (13:25) ***1/2. Adonis knocks down Bruno then goes to beat on Tito but walks into a slam by Bruno. Savage attacks Bruno from behind then he and Adonis attack Bruno until Tito chases them away with a chair.
Thoughts: Fun match. Savage was tremendous in working the crowd too. He put on a clinic and always saved his best stuff for the bigger shows. Tito remains a crowd favorite and MSG nearly erupted when he applied the figure four and would have gone crazier if he won. They even got a way to hype a big match for next month’s show too.
“Mr. USA” Tony Atlas vs. King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan
Atlas is sporting black tights tonight. Bundy shoves Atlas into the corner to start. Bundy then works a side headlock then they have a miscommunication spot as Atlas falls on top of Bundy. Atlas staggers Bundy with a headbutt and goes to work on the arm but ends up running into an elbow smash. Bundy beats on Atlas then slows things down further with a chinlock. Atlas finally escapes then avoids a splash as my tape loses audio. Bundy eats boot on a charge then Atlas takes him down with a flying headbutt. He goes for a splash but Bundy gets his knees up then puts Atlas away with an elbow drop (8:05) DUD.
Thoughts: Awful match. Atlas was just about done with the WWF at this point due to his drug habit and Bundy was really just a generic big guy. These two had zero chemistry together.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
The match starts with a brawl at ringside. Jake catches Steamboat with a kneelift as he enters the ring and goes to work. Steamboat escapes for a DDT attempt and hits a suplex then has to get pulled off of Roberts, which has the crowd and the announcers pissed. Roberts comes back in and catches Steamboat with a shot in the jaw after a fast paced sequence. Jake blocks a sunset flip attempt then hits an inverted atomic drop. Jake is talking to Steamboat as he hits him in the face then tells him to get up. Jake reaches for the snake but notices Steamboat getting up so he runs over and ends up getting his leg kicked out from underneath him. Steamboat hits a pair of swinging neckbreakers but Jake got his knees up on a splash attempt. Jake tosses Steamboat over the top rope, who lands on the apron before getting knocked down. Jake signals that he is going to DDT Steamboat on the floor again but Steamboat rams him into the apron then into the ceiling. In the ring, Steamboat busts open Jake with a flying chop then attacks the cut until the referee stops him. Jake beats on Steamboat in the corner then yells at the ref. Steamboat boots Jake down, who knocks over the ref in the process, and the ref calls for the bell as Steamboat is pounding on Jake (7:36) ***. All of the midcarders in the locker room come out to break up the fight and struggle to keep them separated and the brawling continues all the way to the locker room as the match is announced as a double disqualification. Steamboat then comes back to the ring to show the fans that he is okay and they applaud. 
Thoughts: Good stuff as they have made a hot, new midcard feud. In 1986, Jake looked so good in the ring, moving around fluidly and quick. That was not the case a few years later. Jake was really starting to get over with the crowds too.
Howard Finkel introduces Sammy Hagar to the crowd. He comes into the ring and struggles to roll inside then asks the crowd how they are doing. Sammy looked pretty fucked up here.
“Golden Boy” Danny Spivey vs. Paul Christy
Spivey works a headlock to start the match. They work a criss-cross spot that ends with Spivey stomping Christy. Spivey wrenches Christy’s neck then pie-faces him down. Christy comes back with some basic heel offense before tossing Spivey to the floor. He celebrates that achievement but Spivey comes in and goes to work. Elbow drop gets two then shortly after that, Spivey finishes him off with a bulldog (3:14) 1/4*.
Thoughts: A useless, but quick match. Spivey was floundering here and Christy was just a jobber but with this match, it seemed like they were trying to give Spivey a minor push.
Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart vs. “Jumping” Jim Brunzell
The announcers put over Brunzell’s dropkick. Anvil works a headlock for a bit. Brunzell takes the Anvil down and grapevines the legs. Anvil makes it to the ropes then ducks outside for a breather. He comes back inside and knocks Brunzell through the ropes with a forearm smash then knocks him off of the apron. Lots of “boring” chants in the crowd for this match. Brunzell drags Anvil outside and they slug it out until Brunzell sends him into the post. Back inside, Brunzell works a hammerlock and that does nothing to stop the boring chants. Brunzell hits a crossbody for two then goes back to the hammerlock as the announcers talk about the Anvil’s football career. Anvil catches Brunzell with an inverted atomic drop then starts to bite and gauge Brunzell, who is able to roll outside. Back inside, Brunzell gets a small package but Anvil immediately grabs a chinlock. The crowd is going restless as this is fucking dragging badly. Anvil catches Brunzell with a throat thrust after a leapfrog then goes back to the chinlock as the crowd is getting restless. Brunzell catches Anvil with a sleeper but gets rammed into the corner. Anvil works a front facelock but Brunzell escapes and goes to work on the leg. He rams the Anvil’s knee against the post then locks on a figure four. Brunzell breaks the hold and chokes out the Anvil in the corner but ends up running into a clothesline that gets two. The crowd actually booed when the match didn’t end. Both men collide and are down as the crowd just wants this to end. Brunzell tries to slam the Anvil but fails and Anvil covers for two. Brunzell dropkicks the Anvil and covers but the bell rings as the match has reached the 20 minute time-limit (20:00) ¾*.  
Thoughts: A painful match to watch. Anvil was terrible here and the crowd shit all over the match.
WWF Tag Team Title Match
British Bulldogs (Champions) w/ Capt. Lou Albano vs. The Dream Team w/ Johnny Valiant
Davey and Beefcake start off, with Davey getting the upper hand. He slams Brutus, who asks for time in the corner. Valiant is on commentary as the Bulldogs take turns working the arm of Beefcake. Valentine tags in and hits Davey with an elbow smash. Shoulderbreker gets two. Valentine works the arm then chops Davey in the corner but walks into a clothesline. Dynamite tags and he beats on Valentine for a bit. He tries for a snap suplex but Valentine blocks that and takes control of the match. The Dream Team uses quick tags to isolate Dynamite. Beefcake gets two off of a backbreaker then tags Valentine, who beats on Dynamite in the corner. Dynamite gets cut off as he tries to make the tag then Valentine knocks Davey off of the apron. Beefcake tags and hits a delayed vertical suplex but Beefcake also sells his neck and Dynamite makes the tag to Davey, who cleans house. He powerslams Beefcake but Valentine breaks up the pin then the match breaks down. Valentine tags and hits a suplex but misses a pair of elbow drops then Dynamite tags and unloads on Valentine. He gets nearfalls with a falling headbutt and a clothesline but Valentine shoves him into the corner. He puts Dynamite in the figure four but Davey breaks it up. Valentine drops an elbow and the ref counts to three as Valiant held Dynamite’s legs. The bell rings and Valentine thinks he has won the match then Dynamite rolls him up from behind and the ref counts to three for the win as he apparently waved off the first pin due to interference. (11:54) **1/2.
Thoughts: Solid match. Valentine did most of the work and that is a good thing .The finish was really, really lame though. Other than that, a fun way to send the crowd home happy.
Final Thoughts: A few decent matches but everything else was pretty much terrible. There was not a whole lot of feuds going on at this time but that would luckily change in a couple of months. I would check this out if you were a big fan of Savage but you could probably seek that out individually.

WWE Old School – Madison Square Garden – March 17, 1975

Thought I would try something different. This is the earliest footage on the Network as far as cards go. “Hey, Stranger, that stuff is too old. Most of us weren’t even born when this show happened, and we’re not interested.” SHUT UP! Read it, or GET OFF MY LAWN!

Match #1: Indian Jay Strongbow vs. Paul “Butcher” Vachon.

Our first politically incorrect sighting is the billing of the Chief as “Indian” Jay Strongbow. We start the match with a criss-cross, then Strongbow with some trash-talking. Vachon doesn’t want to lock up, as Strongbow is too much Indian for him, I guess. Finally, they lock up and trade chops. Now the crowd starts to “whoop” like Indians. Strongbow puts Vachon on his ass with a strong chop to the chest. Vachon with a kick to the gut, and a right hand puts Strongbow down. Vachon cinches in the nerve pinch. The crowd rallies behind Strongbow with more whoops. Strongbow powers out and slams Vachon a couple of times. Cover for the one as Vachon gets the ropes. Vachon gets a rear headlock that is bordering on a choke, then Vachon takes him to the corner. Vachon bites the back, then rakes the back. Strongbow trying to rally, he gets kneelifts aplenty, but meets Vachon’s boot in the corner. Vachon kicks him down and gets the 2, as he picks him up. Whip off the ropes, and Strongbow hits the Thesz Press and gets what I would call HOLYCRAPTHATTHREEWASFAST! *

WINNER: INDIAN Jay Strongbow. It’s 1975, what do you expect? Punch-kick-chop offense, with biting and raking thrown in, sprinkled with whoops and raindancing and ugly tights. Did it kill me? NO! I’m still here.

Match #2: Bruno Sammartino (w/ Arnold Skaaland) (c) vs. Spiros Arion (w/ Freddie Blassie) for the WWWF Heavyweight Championship in a Texas Death Match.

The ring announcer declares Blassie and Arion as “two great guys”, but Blassie gets a massive heel reaction from the crowd. In fact, the ring announcer thinks all of these guys are great. A ring announcer with a personality? Take notes Justin Roberts, you stupid mannequin. As was the custom back then, the managers are not permitted at ringside during the match. While the referee is patting down Bruno, Arion attacks! Right hand puts Bruno down, and now Arion gets in some stomps. Bruno comes back with rights and kicks, off the ropes, kick puts Arion down. A slam from Bruno gets 2. Bruno rams Arion into the corner a few times, then slaps on the bearhug. *sigh* Thankfully, Arion rakes the eyes to break the hold. Arion whips Bruno into the buckles hard, and Bruno is down. Arion continues with the stomping. Bruno on the ropes now, and Arion gets in some punches to the back. Stiff uppercut puts Bruno down for 2. Bruno comes back with some knees to the head. Bruno takes control with some rights, and Arion gets dropped to the floor. Bruno rams Arion’s head to the apron. Arion back in the ring now, and regains control. Low blow on a stomp draws boos from the crowd. Arion continues to kick Bruno while he’s down. Arion gets a slam for a 2 count. Bruno comes back again with a headlock and some rights. Arion is knocked to the floor again. Arion finally gets back in the ring after a minute or so, but Bruno continues to take it to him. A big boot puts Arion down. The crowd is hot for Bruno. Bruno slaps on the Camel Clutch, or maybe the Cannoli Clutch in this case. Both men are to their feet and slugging it out. Arion’s entire offense appears to be punch, kick, stomp, repeat. Wait a minute, Arion goes for an abdominal stretch but Bruno hip tosses out of it, and then slams him a couple of times. Bruno slams Arion again, and the referee counts 1…2…3! Arion’s foot was on the rope! *1/2

WINNER: And STILL WWWF Heavyweight Champion, Bruno Sammartino. Replay shows that yes, the referee missed Arions’ foot on the rope. I’ll bet they’ll have a rematch at Payback in June! It’s 1975, what did you expect? Bruno wasn’t flashy, but he always got the crowd into it. Arion was not good with a basic offense of punches and stomps. Vince was on commentary here and he stated that Texas Death meant no holds barred, but there wasn’t much here to see. Disappointing, even by this era’s standards.

(Note: a check of thehistoryofwwe.com shows that they would have rematch at the next MSG show in a Greek Death Match. I’m sure some feta cheese was involved.)

Match #3: Victor Rivera vs. Killer Kowalski (w/ The Grand Wizard).

The ring announcer states that The Grand Wizard needs no introduction, but introduces him anyway. Lock up and to the ropes and Kowalski…breaks clean? A second lock up, but this time Killer slaps Rivera. Then the tape cuts foward to Kowalski working on Rivera’s leg on the mat. A double sledge from Killer misses, and Rivera slaps on the arm lock. Killer manages to roll to the ropes to force a break. Killer goes to work on the leg again. Rivera attempts to come back, but Killer kicks him down. He’s basically applying a claw hold on the calf. Rivera comes back and puts on a wrist lock and takes Killer down with it. Now they trade punches, which Rivera gets the better of, until Killer takes him down again. APPLY THAT CLAW, KOWALSKI! A right hand from Rivera backs Killer off, but AGAIN, he takes Rivera down. Rivera takes Killer by the ears and backs him to the corner. Oh shit, now Killer claws the stomach. Rivera comes back with rights and whips Killer to the corner. A dropkick puts Killer down. Rivera punches the shoulder, but Killer takes him down once again. Some kicks to the gut, but Rivera is avoiding all the fucking claws. An uppercut knocks Killer out of his boots. Rivera jumps on Killer’s back with a sleeperhold. Killer makes the ropes for the break. Killer with a sledge to the back, but Rivera comes back and ties Killer up in the ropes, and he gets to punchin’. Rivera dives at Kowalski in the ropes. The referee helps undo Killer, but Rivera meets him with a right. Now they trade blows, which Rivera wins. But Kowalski bites the head, Rivera bites him back, but Killer bites again, and the referee calls for the bell! 1/2*

WINNER: By disqualification, Victor Rivera. It’s 1975, what did you expect? Clawholds, punching, biting, overselling, and fifteen minutes of that for a DQ finish. I watched the whole thing, and I did not die. I’m still here!

Match #4: Ivan Putski vs. The Wolfman.

The Wolfman is dressed more like a caveman. The ring announcer proclaims “Ladies and gentlemen, here is a classic”. The Wolfman is billed as being from the Wilds of the Canadian Yukon. I’m not from that part of Canada, but I hear strange things happen in them woods. Putski’s MSG debut here, apparently. He’s with a full beard here, ahead of his time. Headlock for Putski, and some rights. Shoulderblocks off the ropes, and the crowd loves the guy. Lock up, and a right for Wolfie. Wolfman tries a choke, but Putski breaks it and headbutts Wolfie down. Wolfman gouges and bites the back of Putski. Wolfie tries it again, but this time Putski counters with biting of his own. Bearhug attempt for Wolfman, which turns into a front facelock for Putski. Double sledge to the back for Putski. Wolfman counters with some biting. Wolfie gouges the face, which fires up Putski who whips him off the ropes and catches him a bearhug. Wolfman gives up! 1/2*

WINNER: Ivan Putski. After the match, he grabs a beer from ringside and shouts POLISH POWER and chugs it! That’s how you win fans. It’s 1975, what did you expect? Biting, gouging, bearhugs and another match that I lived through.

THE POST-GAME OPINION: You know how some classic rock from the 70’s can still stand up today? Well, wrestling is not like that at all. You have to be some nostalgic to appreciate this. The crowds had fun at these shows, showing that some of these guys had charisma, like Sammartino and Putski. It was a different time, and there wasn’t anything groundbreaking here. You younger guys who grew up in the Attitude Era or later would not be able to sit through this. Hell, the same probably holds for a lot of us older fans as well. We’ve just been reconditioned to follow a certain formula. Thanks for reading, now pull up your pants, you punk.

WWF Madison Square Garden: November 25th, 1985

November 25, 1984
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura.

Danny Spivey vs. Terry Gibbs
Spivey had not made his TV debut yet. Jesse is not out at the table yet as he is backstage preparing for his match tonight against Barry O., so Gorilla is solo on commentary. Gibbs hits a shoulder block to start. Spivey comes back with an armdrag and works the arm as Gorilla tells us that he was drafted by the New York Jets at one point. Spivey hits a crossbody for one before going back to the arm. Gibbs escapes and beats on Spivey in the corner until Spivey catches him with an armdarg and goes back to work on the arm. Gibbs gets the upper hand and hits an atomic drop. Backbreaker gets two then he sends Spivey to the floor. Back inside, Spivey fails to get Gibbs over on a sunset flip. Elbow drop by Gibbs gets two then he puts Spivey in a bearhug until it is broken up with a bell clap. Spivey gets kicked in the face after dropping his head on a backdrop attempt then Gibbs gets a nearfall with a neckbreaker. Spivey is able to escape another bearhug but misses an elbow drop and Gibbs covers for two. Backdrop gets two. Spivey now catches Gibbs in a bearhug but that is broken up with an eye rake. Gibbs misses a charge then begs for mercy until Spivey fights back. He slams Gibbs then drops an elbow for two. Leg drop gets two then he hits the bulldog for the win (10:10) *3/4.  The fans popped for the finish.
Thoughts: Gibbs did a good job carrying things here. Spivey was not very good at this point in his career. The match had some slow spots but the crowd was into it a little and the psychology was there. As far as 80’s jobbers go, Gibbs was solid.
Mr. X vs. King Tonga
Mr. X works the arm of Tonga until he gets chopped down. Tonga catches him then sits him on the top turnbuckle and offers a handshake, which gets declined. Tonga gets chopped in the corner but fights back with kicks. Tonga works a nerve hold for a bit, setting it up with one of the worst looking snapmares you will ever see. He hits a slam but misses a senton the Mr. X takes control. He chokes out Tonga then goes for a chinlock. Leg drop gets two and he goes back to the chinlock. Tonga fights out and hits a shoulderblock but ends up running into a knee and X goes back to the chinlock. They end up trading blows as the crowd is absolutely dead. Tonga misses a corner charge as both men are down. Mr. X tries a turnbuckle smash but Tonga no-sells it and rams his own head repeatedly. Tonga takes him down with a headbutt then catches him with a thrust kick before putting him away with the falling headbutt (8:48) ½*.
Thoughts: Oh, this was pretty bad. It took Tonga a few years until people gave a shit about him. He did not have the charisma to pull off this type of babyface role. 
Barry O. vs. Jesse “The Body” Ventura
Jesse gets a face pop before the match. This was set up after the last MSG show, Barry called out Jesse for being a “has-been who hides behind a microphone.” Barry starts the match by working the arm until Jesse shakes him off. Jesse poses as the fans applaud. Weird seeing Jesse as a face. Barry lands a few shots then takes him down with an elbow smash. Kneedrop gets two and Jesse sends Barry to the floor as he kicks out. Jesse kicks Barry from the apron then struts around the ring. Barry snaps Jesse’s neck off of the rope then hits an elbow smash off of the top rope for two. He puts Jesse in a chinlock and Barry works that for a bit. Jesse fights back then rakes Barry’s eyes across the top rope. He hits a reverse atomic drop as the face pops for Jesse have just about disappeared. Barry fights back and hits a clothesline for two. Man, Jesse was basically afraid to bump out there. After the collide, Barry knocks him down and poses to the crowd. He misses a dropkick and Jesse targets the back before making Barry submit to the bodybreaker (10:21) ¼*.
Thoughts: Interesting to see Ventura wrestle as a face. However, he awful in the ring and essentially an announcer at this point. He was clearly hesistant to bump too and it made the match look even worse. 
Hercules Hernandez w/ Freddie Blassie vs. Cousin Junior
Hernandez would make his TV debut on the next episode of “Championship Wrestling.” Hernandez overpowers Junior to start. He jaws at him then pounds away after an Irish whip sequence. He continues to destroy Junior then catches him with a high knee. Hercules puts him in a chinlock then catches a charging Junior with another knee in a spot that actually looked really good. Hercules goes back to the chinlock as the fans start to cheer for Junior. He fights back but Hercules grabs Junior’s overalls and sends him to the floor. Herc gauges his eyes on the apron then kicks him down to the floor. Junior tries to take him over with a sunset flip but fails and Hercules hammers away before going back to the chinlock and it lasts for a long time. Junior gets up and tries a bearhug but Hercules sends him to the mat. Junior takes him down with a shoulder block then hammers away. Hercules catches him with a thrust kick then takes him down, and almost himself down too, with a shoulderblock. He slams Junior then heads up top but the ref stands in front of him. Hercules jumps anyway but misses and Junior fights back. He hits  a backdrop then the match completely falls apart after they badly botch three spots in a row and Hercules rolls up Junior while grabbing his overalls for leverage and gets the win (11:33) -*.
Thoughts: I have no idea who thought of the idea that these two should go this long in a match but they should have been fired on the spot. The first half as alright but the second half was as bad as it gets. 
WWF Women’s Championship Match
Spider Lady vs. Wendi Richter (Champion)
Jesse has arrived to the announcer’s table. Richter drives the Spider into the corner to start. She kicks her down and uses a snapmare before chasing her while the referee was between them. You can hear a “Moolah” chant from those at ringside. Richter tosses Spider back to the floor then chases her around the ring. Back inside, they fuck up a spot badly then Richter works on the leg. Spider escapes and chokes out Richter, who drives to rip off the mask. Richter gets booted to the floor but uses a shoulder thrust as she enters the ring. She hits a dropkick then blows a headscissors spot badly and Spider falls on her and gets two. Spider uses cheap heel tactics on Richter, who fights back. She hits a terrible looking clothesline that gets two. Spider comes back with a small package for what appeared to be a nearfall but both gals get up and the bell rings, with Spider raising her hand. Richter runs over and unmasks Spider, revealing her to be the Fabulous Moolah. She hits her with a backbreaker then tries to pin her as even the announcers are unable to understand what happened. Richter still hammers away then stops as the referee goes to present the belt to Moolah as Richter tries to grab it from him (6:38) -*. Richter grabs the belt then whips Moolah, who leaves and goes up the aisle, with Richter standing in the ring looking irate.
Thoughts: This match was terrible and the ending was all kinds of awful but important for historical purposes as we saw a screwjob take place. Richter stated that she was upset over her payouts but still under her original contract where as other reports state Richter’s deal was up and she refused to sign a new one. Either way, Richter’s departure basically killed the division, except for a few brief revivals in the late 1980’s. 
WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Pedro Morales & Tito Santana vs. The Dream Team w/ “Luscious” Johnny Valiant
Pedro tries to pump up the crowd as the heels stall and yell at the crowd. Valentine gets shoved into the corner to start. Pedro outsmarts Valentine, who accidentally hits Beefcake. Pedro blocks a slam then knocks Valentine down. He hits an atomic drop then tags Santana. Valentine goes after his knee but Tito shakes him off and tries to go after his leg. Tito works the arm as the crowd chants for Tito. Valentine hits a back elbow smash and tags Beefcake, who misses an elbow drop. Tito fires away and hits an atomic drop as Pedro even lands a few shots. The match breaks down as Tito and Pedro take control. Pedro punches Beefcake, who ducks out for a breather as the Dream Team regroup. Valiant seems tanked tonight, which isn’t a surprise, but more noticeable than usual. Back inside, the faces use quick tags to work the arm of Beefcake. Valentine tries to break things up but Tito chases him away. Beefcake ends up backing Pedro into the corner and tags Valentine, who kills him with forearm smashes. He sends Pedro to the floor then stomps him repeatedly when he re-enters. Beefcake tags and pisses off the crowd, who boo him loudly. He chokes Morales out then catches him in a sleeper. Looking back, it was funny to hear Jesse on commentary say that he had no idea Brutus used a sleeper hold. Pedro just beats the three count as the fans go nuts. Pedro crawls over to Tito with Beefcake on his back and makes the tag but Valentine had the referee distracted and Tito is ordered back on the apron. Pedro gets tossed over the top rope but is able to escape a figure-four attempt and make the tag to Tito, who beats on both guys. He hits Valentine with a flying forearm but Beefcake breaks up the pin as all four men are brawling. Tito then puts Brutus in a figure four as Valiant comes in the ring, only to get chased away by Pedro, but that allows Beefcake and Valentine to double-team Tito nonstop as the ref rings the bell for the DQ (15:17) **1/2. The heels escape
Thoughts: Basic stuff but all action and the fans were really into the match. Everyone involved played their role well. The more I watch the Dream Team, the more I appreciate them. They do not get enough recognition, in my opinion.

Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Muraco backs away from Steamboat and his goofy martial arts poses. Steamboat catches him with an enziguiri then chases Muraco outside of the ring. Back inside, Muraco beats on Steamboat in the corner. Steamboat fights back then snaps Muraco’s neck. He sends him to the corner with a bell clap then Muraco ducks outside for a breather. He then pleads for mercy as this match is crawling at a snails pace. Steamboat takes him over with a snapmare then works on the neck. He hits Muraco with a chop, who goes back outside again for a breather. Steamboat hits a few armdrags then applies a chinlock for a few minutes as the crowd is dead. Steamboat then grabs Muraco by the nose before applying a front facelock until Muraco finally breaks the hold with an inverted atomic drop. He works the neck of Steamboat then whips him into the corner as he takes a Slaughter bump on the post and comes up bleeding. Muraco bites the cut as Steamboat is pouring blood from his forehead. Muraco tosses him to the floor then kicks him in the face from the apron. The crowd starts to chant for Steamboat as Muraco slingshots him into the post. Muraco targets the cut but Steamboat fights back with chops. He hammers away on Muraco in the corner but has an Irish whip reversed and runs into a clothesline. Muraco targets the cut as Fuji tries to hit Steamboat with the cane. Steamboat takes it from Fuji then he and Muraco fight over it for a minute then the referee gets accidentally hit in the process. Muraco beats on Steamboat with the cane until Steamboat fights back and hits Muraco but the referee gets up and sees Steamboat use the cane and calls for the DQ (16:37) **. After the match, Steamboat busts open Muraco and drives a piece of the cane into his forehead. They then start to brawl in the ring and all over the floor, with Steamboat winning that battle. The fans are going nuts for Steamboat, who know is pointing at Fuji. Steamboat brings Muraco back in and destroys him as Muraco slides out of the ring.

Thoughts: Muraco was a total slug here as Steamboat did all of the heavy lifting. The match itself was plodding and slow. The post match brawl was awesome and worth checking out but the match itself was not.

Mr. Wrestling II vs. Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart
This match might have meant something in 1975. Mr. Wrestling II was in his 50’s at this point and it showed. Match starts with Mr. Wrestling outsmarting Funk. He takes Funk over with a sunset flip then taunts him as Funk gets pissed. Funk tosses him outside but fails to chase him. Back inside, Funk misses a few elbow drops then gets hit with a kneelift. Hart grabs MWII’s leg and gets chased for a second as this has been all stalling so far. Funk starts beating on MWII but gets caught in a small package for a nearfall. Funk gets pissed and goes over the guardrail as Hart calls him back. In the ring, Funk hammers away on MWII in the corner then tries a piledriver but MWII counters with a backdrop that sends Funk to the floor. MWII beats on Funk, who is hanging onto the ropes from the apron. He slingshots in with a sunset flip but MWII counters that for a nearfall. Funk tosses MWII outside then rams him against the guardrail as Hart cranks up his obnoxiousness to a whole new level on the megaphone. Hart distracts the ref as Funk chokes out MWII. He then puts him in a sleeper but MWII escapes. He takes him down with a kneelift then hits a slam for a nearfall. MWII then goes after Hart, who crawls under the ring. Funk attacks MWII from behind but fails to suplex him back inside and MWII falls on top for two. Suplex gets two and MWII hammers away in the corner but runs into a knee then Funk cradles him for the win (13:54) **1/4. Funk tries to brand MWII but fails and gets chased away by MWII, who grabbed a chair.

Thoughts: Mr. Wrestling II could still go in the ring at his age. Funk kept the match fun and it did not drag, which is more than I can say about every other match on the card. I wonder if he specifically asked to face Mr.Wrestling because he came over when they bought out Georgia Championship Wrestling but stayed on the smaller house shows and rarely ever did TV. 

Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy & Bobby Heenan vs. Hillbilly Jim & Andre the Giant & Capt. Lou Albano

Andre starts by putting Studd in a side headlock. He then chops Studd in the corner before tagging Jim. He headbutts him then goes for the slam but Heenan breaks that up as the $15,000 bodyslam challenge gimmick was still going on at the time. Bundy tags and roughs up Jim until he is able to tag Andre. The crowd goes nuts as Andre chokes Bundy with his straps. Bundy escapes and works a front facelock then Andre gets triple-teamed in the corner. Bundy grounds Andre with a front facelock, who eventually makes it to his feet. He fights back against Studd then tags Jim, who beats on him in the corner. Studd catches him with an elbow then slams him into the corner as he and Bundy neutralize him. Heenan tags and beats on Jim, who fights back and tags Andre, who fights off everyone and drags Heenan back inside then tags Albano. They have a shoving match then Albano gains the advantage and sends Heenan into the corner. Studd and Andre tag in but the referee says that Heenan needs to stay into the ring and make contact before tagging out, which even Gorilla says makes no sense and accuses the ref of making up his own rules. They lure Andre in the corner but he fights them off and rams all three guys at the same time. The match breaks down as Albano whips Heenan at Andre, who takes him down with a boot and gets the win (12:18) *1/4.

Thoughts: Not that bad considering the ability of the guys in the match. The fans loved seeing Heenan get pinned and the bout did a great job of sending the fans home happy. 

Final Thoughts: Not a good show at all but for historical purposes, I would check out the Women’s title match. Beyond that, there is nothing worth checking out. 

WWF Madison Square Garden July 13th, 1985

My copy of this show excluded some of the matches. It cut out half of the Rene Goulet vs. Pedro Morales match, which was awful from what I saw, and also cut out Adrian Adonis vs. Jose Luis Rivera, Junkyard Dog vs. Bob Orton, and Terry Funk vs. Lanny Poffo, which is on the “Best of the WWF Volume 6” tape.
July 13, 1985
Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

Moondog Spot vs. Ivan Putski
Putski works a side headlock for a long time. He keeps going back to the move as Gorilla puts over Putski’s recent tour of Japan. Spot briefly works on Putski in the corner but until he gets backdropped, allowing Putski to go back to the side headlock. Spot counters that with an atomic drop then goes to work. Flying chop gets two. They slug it out until Spot hits an inverted atomic drop. He grabs a chinlock for a bit then takes him down with a forearm smash. Backbreaker gets two. Spot goes back to the chinlock until Putski escapes and hits an atomic drop. He misses an elbow drop then Spot hits another flying chop for two. Spot hits a crescent kick then both men are down after colliding. Putski backs Spot in the corner, who is begging for mercy, then hammers away. Spot gets tied up in the ropes. He is able to escape after kicking Putski low. Spot leaps over Putski and taunts the crowd but ends up walking into the Polish Hammer (12:58) *1/2.
Thoughts: Spot made this watchable but Putski had no business going this long in the ring in 1985. And speaking of Putski, the crowd was less and less into him each time he went out, especially since the crowds got younger as the years went by. Spot is one of the more underrated workers in the history of wrestling, to be honest.
Rick McGraw vs. Missing Link w/Bobby Heenan
Heenan prevents Link from bringing a chair into the ring. McGraw fires away to start. He hits a dropkick but ends up getting elbowed in the head. Link hits another elbow then starts uses a headbutt. He hits a headbutt from the middle rope then goes out to grab the chair but Heenan prevents him again. In the ring, McGraw fights back but Link no-sells a turnbuckle smash then hammers away in the corner. McGraw runs into a headbutt then Link finishes him off with a springboard headbutt (2:25) ¼*. After the match, Link wants to smash his head off of the post but Heenan controls him
Thoughts: Great match for headbutt aficionados but to everyone else, it was a nothing match. At least it was short. Link was a bust in the WWF. His run was less than memorable to say the least.
Gorilla is backstage with Roddy Piper, who jokingly refers to Gorilla as the Good Humor man before mockingly calling him sexy. Piper blames Orndorff for losing the match at WrestleMania and in regards to the $25,000 bounty, Piper said that he would sell his grandma for that much money.
Roddy Piper vs. Paul Orndorff
The fans are going out of their fucking minds at the start of this match. Orndorff slugs away and knocks Piper to the floor. He follows him out then back in the ring, he hits an elbow smash from the top rope then works the arm as the crowd is still going insane. Piper smacks Orndorff and rams his head off of the turnbuckle but he still maintains the hold. Onrdorff runs into a knee on a charge. Piper hammers away but Orndorff manages to get a nearfall with a backslide. Piper rakes the eyes then stomps Orndorff through the ropes. The fans are all over Piper, who gets dragged off of the apron. After a brief slugfest, Piper whips Orndorff into the post. Back in the ring, Piper takes Orndorff down with a side headlock then both men go back and forth on the mat until Orndorff gets two off of a backslide. Orndorff wins a slugfest then drops an elbow. Orndorff goes for a crossbody block but both men spill outside. Orndorff drags Piper back into the ring and heads up top but Bob Orton comes out and shoves Orndorff off of the top rope for the DQ (8:47) ***. Orton and Piper continue to assault Orndorff until the British Bulldogs run out and eventually fight them off, as Orndorff is bloodied.
Thoughts: Good stuff. The brawling was intense and Piper’s selling was great at getting the crowd to react. Running out to aid Orndorff also shows that the WWF was starting to get behind the Bulldogs too, which would be more prevalent throughout the year.
Iron Sheik w/Freddie Blassie vs. Swede Hanson
Sheik attacks Hanson before the bell, choking him out with his headwear. He chokes him out in the corner and stomps away. A loud “U-S-A” chant breaks out as Hanson fights back with horrible looking punches. He slams the Sheik and drops a knee, which gets one. Hanson chops Sheik down and as the ref is distracted, the Sheik loads his boot. He kicks him in the face then puts him away with an elbow drop (2:24) DUD.
Thoughts: At least it was quick. Hanson was one of the worst wrestlers of all-time. He couldn’t move, had no charisma and everything he did looked bad. Again, at least it was short.
Nikolai Volkoff w/Freddie Blassie vs. George “The Animal” Steele w/Capt. Lou Albano
Steele interrupts Volkoff’s rendition of the Soviet National Anthem, to the delight of the crowd. Volkoff retreats and stalls to start things off. Volkoff kicks Steele after he was distracted by Blassie. Steele bites back but gets distracted and Volkoff puts the boots to Steele, who fights back then tears apart the turnbuckle. He throws the stuffing in Volkoff’s face then grabs a headlock. Both men slug it out and it looks terrible but Blassie hits Steele with the cane behind the ref’s back. Albano goes after Blassie but he also gets nailed with the cane. Steele comes out and no-sells a cane shot but ends up getting attacked from behind by Volkoff and this leads to a double countout (4:18) DUD.
Thoughts: Mostly stalling in this match, which was really all you could do against someone with Steele’s gimmick.
George Wells vs. Brutus Beefcake w/Johnny Valiant
Beefcake attacks Wells from behind after he was distracted by Valiant. He chokes him out with his foot then works a side headlock. Wells catches Beefcake with a crescent kick then takes him down with an armdrag. The crowd is silent as Wells has Beefcake in an armbar for a few minutes. Beefcake rakes the eyes then knocks Wells through the ropes. In the ring, Brutus works a front facelock but Wells backs him into the corner. Snapmare gets two then Wells goes back to the arm. Beefcake knocks him over the rope then Wells skins the cat, in the slowest manor possible and ends up taking Beefcake to the floor with a headscissors, drawing a pop from the crowd. Back in the ring,  Wells hits a few tackles but gets distracted by Valiant and that allows Beefcake to hit the jumping knee smash from behind for the win (7:26) ¾*.
Thoughts: Really dull stuff. The crowd still didn’t care enough about Beefcake at this time and unfortunately for Wells, they never connected with him. He was very bland in the ring so you cant really blame them for that.
Brett Hart & Jim Neidhart w/Jimmy Hart vs. British Bulldogs
Brett and Dynamite start things off. Dynamite hits a few armdrags as Hart is screaming on the megaphone. Dynamite sends Brett to the floor then ends up tagging out. The Anvil overpowers him for a bit but Dynamite kicks him down. Anvil gets hit with a double shoulder block then he and Davey use a test of strength. Davey hits a dropkick then Brett tags back as Hayes call him the most improved wrestler of 1985. Davey is getting beat on by both men, even getting hit with the Demolition Decapitation spot. Hart is pissing off the crowd by speaking through a megaphone as Davey continues to get assaulted. Davey flips out of a backbreaker attempt and hits a slam as both men are down. Bret prevents a tag from being made as a “bulldog” chant breaks out. Davey hits a crucifix but the Anvil breaks that up. Davey dodges an attack from Bret that sends Anvil off the apron then he makes the tag to Dynamite, who runs wild. He is going at a lightning quick pace that has the crowd going crazy. He takes out Brett with a missile dropkick then tags Davey, who hits a running powerslam that Neidhart breaks up at two. Small package gets two after the Anivl breaks that up. Davey tries a reverse rollup but Brett ducks and he flies out to the floor. The Anvil roughs him up then rolls him back inside, where Brett applies a Boston Crab that Dynamite breaks up. Neidhart tags and works a chinlock for a bit. Davey escapes and gets a backslide but Brett breaks that up. He and Davey then have a brief pinfall reversal sequence. Davey dropkicks Brett and tries to make the tag but the Anvil drags him into their corner. Davey tries for a sunset flip but the bell sounds, signaling the match has ended due to the curfew draw (13:12) ***1/4.
Thoughts: Good match. Dynamite was so fast and crisp in the ring that it made him stick out. The crowd loved it when he was in the ring. The not-yet-named Hart Foundation looked great and Brett was starting to show a little bit of personality. This match was featured on the “Bret Hart Story” DVD.
Final Thoughts: From what I saw, the show was okay, basically what you would expect from your average house show in this era. Most of the bad matches were kept short. Orndroff vs. Piper and the final tag match were both good. No champions were on this card, oddly enough. The next house show I will review is the August Philadelphia Spectrum show and until then I will post all of the Championship Wrestling shows and a TNT review leading up to that.

WWF Madison Square Garden: June 21st, 1985

June 21, 1985
Your hosts are Gene Okerlund and Gorilla Monsoon

Terry Gibbs vs. “Leaping” Lanny Poffo
The MSG debut for Poffo, who has not even made his TV debut. Gibbs hits a shoulderblock but Poffo kips up then shows off his quickness. He works the arm for a bit then gets two off of a crossbody block before going back to the arm. Gibbs yells at the ref about how Poffo is breaking his arm then backs Poffo into the corner. He misses a corner attack but cheapshots Poffo and stomps away. Elbow drop gets two. He tosses Poffo through the ropes. Gibbs follows him out and slams him on the floor. Back in the ring, Gibbs blocks a sunset flip then gets two off of a suplex. He grabs a bearhug but Poffo manages to take him over. Poffo whiffs on a senton and Gibbs covers for two. Poffo fights back and hip tosses Gibbs out of the corner. He then hits a dropkick before putting him away with the moonsault (6:34) **1/2.
Thoughts: Solid match that was all action and minimal restholds. The crowd popped for the moonsault but were quiet for everything else. Gibbs did a good job as a heel, easily the best I have seen from him. Poffo looked good in his debut and his perm was something else.
Tony Atlas vs. Matt Borne
Borne shoves Atlas off of a lockup then mocks him by flexing his arms. Atlas responds by shoving him away then hitting a few armdrags. He then sends him to the floor with a poor excuse of a dropkick. Borne goes back inside as Atlas outsmarts him before hitting an atomic drop. Borne works the arm the fires away when Atlas tries to power out. He works a chinlock then targets the back. Borne starts to punch Atlas in the face but he no-sells the attack. Borne tries to escape but Atlas drags him back in by his tights, exposing his ass in the process. Atlas beats on Borne then rams his head off all four corners of the ring. Back suplex gets two. Borne lands a few shots in the corner but misses an elbow drop from the middle rope and that allows Atlas to hit a press slam then put him away with a splash (7:03) *1/2. Borne attacks Atlas after the match but ends up getting tossed over the top rope.
Thoughts: Borne looked good and carried the whole thing. The match was designed to make Atlas look good and Borne did everything that he could to make that happen while Atlas basically did poses.
Jose Luis Rivera vs. The Missing Link w/Bobby Heenan
Link takes forever getting into the ring as he kept on running backstage. Heenan eventually gets him to go inside as some of the crowd taunts him but most really do not care. Rivera attacks him before the bell but ends up eating elbow off of a charge. Link then hits a headbutt from the second rope and uses a few more headbutts . Link hits a slam then another headbutt off of the middle rope for the win (1:43) ¼*. After the match, Heenan prevents Link from ramming his own head off of the post.
Thoughts: Fine for what it was I guess. The match probably would have been a lot worse if it had gone any longer. Link just did not get over at all in the WWF and I think that part of that was due to George Steele having the same gimmick.
Moondog Spot vs. “Jumping” Jim Brunzell
This is also the MSG debut for Brunzell, who is sporting the Killer Bees tights. Okerlund said it is about time that Brunzell got into the WWF and they both put over the Killer Bees team with Brian Blair. Spot works a leadlock but Brunzell escapes and uses a flying head scissors. Brunzell works a key lock before working using another head scissors. He works the arm some more as the camera shows a hot blond in the crowd that has Okerlund going out of his mind. Spot begs for mercy after a headbutt then Brunzell goes back to the arm. Brunzell leapfrogs Spot but ends up walking into a forearm. Spot hits a backbreaker then a fist drop. He then lands a kneelift before hammering away in the corner. Brunzell comes back with a bell clap but misses a corner charge and ends up getting booted out of the ring. Spot follows him out and rams his head off of the steps. Brunzell is able to pull Spot’s leg down after he went in the ring and rams it off of the post. Spot comes back with an inverted atomic drop, while selling the leg, then uses a chinlock. Spot kicks him repeatedly and gets two before going back to the chinlock. Brunzell comes back and works the leg but ends up getting clocked in the face.  Both men slug it out then end up colliding, which starts to wake up the crowd. Brunzell is up first and lands an uppercut. Spot begs for mercy in the corner then Brunzell ends up firing away. Atomic drop gets two. He ducks his head for a backdrop and gets elbowed but manages to duck down then plants Spot with a dropkick for the win (12:22) ***.
Thoughts: Really good match that the crowd didn’t seem to care about that much. Despite not being advertised on TV yet, the announcers put over the Killer Bees team on commentary. Okerlund was putting over Brunzell strong, likely due to their connection from the AWA.
Rick McGraw vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage
Before the match, Finkel refers to Savage as “wrestling’s number one free agent.” Savage yells at everyone before the match then orders that the camera lenses get cleaned. The announcers talk about how all of the managers have their eyes on Savage. Macho starts by stalling then both guys jockey for position. Savage ducks outside and picks up a chair then jumps on the guardrail to stir up the fans, getting hit with debris in the process. Savage continues to taunt the crowd, who already hate him. Savage finally goes into the ring and works an armbar. He pulls him back down by the hair then dumps McGraw throat-first onto the top rope after he attempted a head scissor takedown. McGraw manages to put Savage in the airplane spin but Savage is able to put his foot on the ropes. Savage boots him in the face after a backdrop attempt then fires away. McGraw blocks a turnbuckle smash then monkey flips Savage out of the corner. Backslide gets two. Savage ducks outside for a breather and chases the camera man up the aisle. He then yells at an old couple at ringside and taunts the crowd some more then attacks McGraw from the apron. Elbow drop gets two. Suplex gets two. He sends McGraw to the floor with an elbow smash then follows him out with a double axe handle off of the top rope. The crowd was amazed by that spot. He then suplexes McGraw on the floor as the crowd is pelting him with trash. Savage hits him with a running knee smash that sends him flying over the stairs. Back in the ring, Savage hits a flying attack on McGraw, who was hunched over the middle rope , but misses a second attempt. McGraw sends Savage into the corner, who ends up in the tree of woe. He works on Savage but gets clotheslined after he charged at him and that allows Savage to climb up top and hit the flying elbow drop for the win (12:52) ***.
Thoughts: Despite being somewhat of a glorified squash match, Savage put on an absolute clinic on how to be a heel. He went from being an unknown to loathed by the crowd in a matter of minutes. The wrestling was good too.
Adrian Adonis & Big John Studd & Bobby Heenan vs. Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham & George Steele w/Capt. Lou Albano
Adonis is back after five months, carrying more weight in his gut. Match starts with Steele chasing Heenan around the ring, which gets a big pop from the crowd. Adonis enters and Steele goes nuts but Windham calms him down and tags into the match. He takes down Adonis with a few armdrags. He then hits three straight slams as Adonis goes into the wrong corner and Steele rakes his eyes on the ropes. Adonis then tags Studd and heads up the aisle, eventually going back to the apron. Windham slugs away and almost slams Studd, who is able to grab the rope. Windham comes back with a crossbody block as the crowd is going insane. Studd comes back with a few elbow smashes then tosses Windham into the corner. Heenan tags but Windham reverses an Irish whip then beats on him in the corner. Heenan then takes a crazy bump over the rope and Steele catches up to him this time and rams his head against the guardrail as the fans go crazy. Albano settles down Steele then Rotundo and Studd tag into the match. Rotundo works the arm for a bit but gets overpowered. Adonis tags and stomps a mudhole into Rotundo. Adonis hits a jumping DDT and that gets two. The match breaks down after the heels beat on Rotundo in the corner. Steele grabs a chair then chases out the heels before hitting the referee, who then rules the match a DQ (9:59) **1/4.
Thoughts: Even though this had a good amount of stalling, it was still enjoyable. The crowd was more pumped for this match than anything else to be honest.
Desiree Peterson vs. Judy Martin
Okerlund makes a comment about Martin having the biggest set of eyes that he has seen on a woman. Martin uses a hairpull then hammers away. Petersen ducks a chop and hits a sitout atomic drop. Martin ducks outside after a punch to the mid-section then gets caught in an arm wringer when she returns. Petersen continues to work the arm until Martin chops away then throws her out of the ring as she lands awkwardly on the announcers table. Christ that looked painful. Martin then catches her with a reverse Death Valley Driver then throws some chops and kicks before tossing her outside. The bell keeps ringing for some reason. Martin rams Petersen against the post then roughs her up inside the ring. She places her in the tree of woe as the referee tries to intervene. Martin goes outside and pulls her hair then goes back in and places her on the ropes. She uses a mat slam on Petersen then gets two off of a chop before throwing her outside of the ring yet again. Martin stomps Petersen, who landed on the table, then continues to stomp her in and out of the ring as the announcers are yelling for the ref to disqualify Martin. Back inside, Martin powerbombs Petersen and that only gets two. She uses a chinlock for a minute then tosses her back outside. Back inside, Martin works a headlock then puts her between the ropes and kicks her to the floor. Petersen fights back then slams Martin’s head off of the table repeatedly. They go back inside as Petersen fires away. She tries a flying headscissors but Martin counters with a backdrop. Petersen is able to reverse an Irish whip then uses a reverse rollup with a bridge to get the win (16:05) **1/2. The win got a bog pop from the crowd.
Thoughts: A much better match than I ever would have thought. Although it didn’t need to last this long, it was well worked. Martin was really good here and was pretty underrated as a worker in general.
Tony Garea vs. King Kong Bundy w/Tony Garea
Garea bounces off of Bundy a few times. He the punches away at Bundy but it has minimal effect. Bundy catches Garea with an elbow but misses an elbow drop. Garea takes down Bundy and works the leg as Hart is going nuts on the megaphone. Bundy gets back up as Gorilla claims that Bundy is 500 lbs. Bundy chokes out Garea with his foot and the ropes. He pulls him up after an elbow drop then applies a chinlock. Garea comes back with a dropkick and punches away in the corner but Bundy reverses an Irish whip and finishes him with the Avalanche (6:17) ½*.
Thoughts: Dull match and there was no reason on earth for Bundy to sell this much for Garea.
Intercontinental Title Match
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Greg Valentine (Champion) w/Jimmy Hart
This was the first time I have heard Steamboat called “The Dragon” since joining the WWF. Steamboat looks absolutely ripped. Steamboat uses his poses and that angers Valentine. Steamboat takes over Valentine then chops away in the corner. Valentine bails as Hart is screaming “no karate” into his megaphone, with the fans going nuts. Back inside, Steamboat hits a barrage of chops before working on the neck. Steamboat catches him with a heel kick and Valentine retreats to the corner. Steamboat chops him down then uses a chinlock. Crossbody gets two. Valentine backs Steamboat into the corner then kills him with forearm smashes. Steamboat fights back from the apron then hits a chop from the top rope, which gets two. He hits a slam and goes for a splash but Valentine gets his knees up. Valentine stomps away then goes to work on the leg. Steamboat manages a small package but fails on a slam attempt then gets knocked to the floor, where he gets taunted by Hart. Valentine continuously kicks Steamboat off of the apron until both guys have an intense slugfest in the ring. Steamboat wins that as the fans are going crazy. Steamboat uses more of his “martial arts” then heads up top and hits the flying body press but Valentine is able to get his foot on the ropes. Valentine catches him with a back suplex and both men are down as the fans chant for Steamboat. Valentine gets two off of a pair of elbow drops then tries for the figure four but Steamboat sends him into the corner. He sends him to the floor with an enziguiri then the bell rings when Valentine enters the ring but both guys continue to slug it out until Steamboat chops him through the ropes, then it is announced that Steamboat won by countout (14:20) ***1/4.
Thoughts: Good, but certainly not great. Steamboat’s karate gimmick slightly hindered his in-ring work though and just made him look life a goof.
B. Brian Blair vs. Barry O.
Blair is rocking the Killer Bee trunks. Barry attacks him before the bell but Blair reverses an Irish whip and hits a backdrop. Barry bails and gets chased around until he runs into a punch. Blair works the arm then takes Barry down with a shoulder block. Barry catches him with a clothesline then gets two off of a backbreaker. He uses a chinlock then catches Blair with a running knee smash before tossing him outside. Barry attacks Blair then puts on another chinlock. Blair comes back with a crossbody but gets dumped outside. Blair goes back inside and fights back, knocking Barry to the floor. He drags him back inside and hits a clothesline. He then hits a top rope elbow smash and a series of punches but misses a charge in the corner. Blair goes behind Barry then locks on the sleeper and after the ref drops his hand three times, Blair gets the win (8:13) **1/2.
Thoughts: Good action. No one cared though. Blair could work but really had no personality to back it up.
Okerlund interview Don Muraco and Mr.Fuji in the locker room. They promise victory tonight.
Okerlund know interviews B. Brian Blair. He asks him about his new team with Jim Brunzell as Blair says that the Killer Bees were named after the Miami Dolphins defensive line. This interview was quite generic.
Okerlund is now with Hulk Hogan. He says that Hulkamania lives one day at a time and that steel cages are for animals but that this is the only way to win the war. He also says that he doesn’t care about fame, just the WWF title and that he has been training with “Rambo” and does not feel pain.
Steel Cage Match
WWF Heavyweight Title
Don Muraco vs. Hulk Hogan (Champion)
Fuji is not ringside with Muraco. Hogan tosses the belt at Muraco. He picks it up but Hogan ducks the shot then uses it to whip him as the ref grabs it then shuts the cage door. Both guys try to ram each other into the cage. Muraco hits a low blow then stomps away. He hits a kneelift then tries to go out of the door but Hogan stops him. Muraco hits several chops but Hogan hulks up and chops back. He drops an elbow then rams his head into the cage, busting him open. Hogan picks him up and launches him into the cage as Muraco is dripping blood. He charges but Muraco pushes him into the cage. He slingshots Hogan into the cage then tries to climb out but Hogan stops him. They fight on top of the cage as they are both covered in blood. Hogan gets booted down then Muraco slowly comes down and beats on Hogan, who is wearing a crimson mask. Muraco runs into a boot and ends up getting caught in the ropes and Hulk scrambles to the door and tries to go out but Muraco grabs his leg. Hogan manages to fight him off then steps outside for the win (9:05) **1/4.
Thoughts: Bloody match but they really didn’t do a whole lot in the ring. The outcome was never in doubt though and the crowd didn’t react a whole lot.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a very good house show. Most of the matches were fine and the MSG debut of Savage was great. One of the better house shows you will see in this time period.

WWF Madison Square Garden March 17th, 1985

March 17th,

Your hosts are Gene Okerlund and Gorilla Monsoon.

This is the version of the show that was shown on WWE
Classics on Demand. It excludes the Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik vs. George
Wells and Bret Hart match.


Charlie Fulton vs.
Rocky Johnson

The announcers put over Rocky’s physique, which contains a
lot more weight in the mid-section than before. Fulton gets a rollup but Rocky
takes control with a headscissors. The Rock is already breathing heavy. Rocky
hits a few armdrags then Fulton takes a breather. Fulton works on Rocky in the
corner for a bit. Rocky dodges a few clotheslines and comes back with a sunset
flip for the win (3:35) ½*.

Thoughts: Not the most exciting way to start the show. Rocky
would be gone again within a couple of months and Fulton had to retire not too
long after this due to a heart ailment.


Rene Goulet vs. Barry

Barry gets no reaction in his MSG debut. They take it to the
mat to start as the announcers hype WrestleMania. Neither man can gain an
advantage as the announcers talk about the WrestleMania main event. The crowd
is booing as they are bored out of their minds. Barry works the arm until
Goulet catches him with a knee. Goulet bites Barry’s forehead then backs him in
the corner. He now uses the claw for a while but Barry fights back. He hits a
backdrop and a slam, which gets two. Powerslam gets two. Goulet rakes the eyes
and works a side headlock on the mat as the crowd is getting restless, due to
the fact they are bored to death. Goulet hits a slam and drops a knee. Barry
fights back and hits an atomic drop but gets kneed off a charge. Goulet goes
for a suplex but Barry turns it into a small package for the win (8:50) *.

Thoughts: I never remembered Barry O as a face in the WWF.
It didn’t work at all here as he had no personality in the ring at all. No
wonder he remained a jobber. His tights were similar to the ones worn by the
Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. This went on for way too long.


Jim “The Anvil”
Neidhart w/Jimmy Hart vs. S.D. Jones

Okerlund talks about Jimmy Hart’s musical career while
Gorilla talks about Neidhart’s fictional NFL career. S.D. pisses of Neidhart by
pulling on his beard. Gorilla tells us that Andre said he will retire if he
fails to slam Studd at WrestleMania. S.D gets a hiptoss then stomps the Anvil
when he went for a monkey flip. S.D. works the arm until the Anvil drops him
throat-first across the top rope. He roughs up S.D, using a lot of chokes as we
see a row of photographers around the ring that are apparently there in
anticipation of WrsetleMania. Anvil works a chinlock but S.D. escapes and
fights back with a few punches that showed an awful lot of light. He headbutts
the Anvil twice but gets sent into the corner and the Anvil catches him with a
powerslam for the win (6:52) *.

Thoughts: Another match that no one cared about. S.D. was
worse than usual here too. Despite the new manager, Neidhart is not being
pushed as a singles.


Jose Luis Rivera vs.
King Kong Bundy w/Jimmy Hart

Okerlund jokes that Bundy resembles a young Gorilla Monsoon.
Bundy shoves around Rivera then knocks him down with a back elbow smash. He
slams him with one hand then drops a knee. Rivera hits a few dropkicks to
minimal effect then Bundy chops him in the corner and hits the Avalanche
followed by an elbow drop for the win after demanding a five count (2:31) ¾*.

Thoughts: Bundy looked impressive in this squash match,
which was all that needed to happen here.


Mean Gene interviews Mr. T and Hulk Hogan in the locker
room, who are wearing shirts that feature the WrestleMania logo. Hogan said
that people thought it was a joke when he picked Mr. T as a partner but now the
people have seen him train and that he is a bad dude. Mr. T says he feels sorry
for his opponents and that he doesn’t like interviews as he should be training.
Hogan says that they have the “Eye of the tiger” and need to leave in order to


Roddy Piper and Bob Orton come out for their live “Piper’s
Pit” segment. Orton is holding a large briefcase. Piper said that no one wanted
to fight him and now he has to come out and talk. He mocks the Irish in the
crowd and makes fun of the Yankees for their shitty team before bringing out
Paul Orndorff. They all mock Mr. T., complete with Orndorff mimicking a monkey
as Piper calls out Mr. T. He comes out with Jimmy Snuka and Hogan as the crowd
erupts. Piper offers Mr. T a seat but he stands and tosses the chair aside.
Before they talk, they send the others in the corner. Piper said that Mr. T has
won boxing championships and “Tough Man” competitions but Piper will do him the
favor of letting him back out of their WrestleMania match, referring to it as
their “closed-circuit match.” Mr. T said he is not worried and is offering him
a chance to back out. Orton pulls out a picture from the briefcase which
reveals a painting of Mr. T wearing a sling and another one of him with a cast
on his leg. The last one is a painting of him in a body cast. Piper then goes
nuts and puts on a Mr. T wig. Both men then end up getting held back as Piper
leaves and Mr. T gets pissed, saying you don’t mess with his hairstyle. Mr. T
then breaks the paintings before telling the crowd that Piper will pay for what
he just did on March 31st as he ready to fight, using all possible
means. Decent segment that did a solid job hyping the WrestleMania match. Piper
was tremendous as a heel in 1985.


Matt Borne vs. David

Sammartino takes Borne down a few times but gets punched
afterwards. Borne hits a belly-to-belly suplex then grabs a side headlock. The
announcers talk about the buzz surrounding WrestleMania as Borne maintains the
hold. Sammartino fights back and knocks down Borne as the crowd stays silent.
He hits a backdrop then works a side headlock of his own. Borne escapes and
rams Sammartino into the corner. Borne rolls him up for two then grabs a
chinlock. Sammartino escapes by sending Borne into the corner then fires away
but Borne grabs a front facelock. They trade punches in the corner and
Sammartino wins that battle. Borne misses a charge in the corner and Sammartino
hits a suplex. He gets a slam and drops a knee before heading up top. Borne
cuts him off and slams him but that only gets two. Borne goes for a powerslam
but Sammartino hangs on and uses his momentum to reverse it into a cradle for
the win (8:36) **1/4.

Thoughts: Solid match. Borne looked impressive in the ring
and David wasn’t that bad but just lacked charisma and looked like a jobber.


Ken Patera &
Jesse Ventura & Big John Studd w/Bobby Heenan vs. Junkyard Dog & Jimmy
Snuka & Andre the Giant w/Capt. Lou Albano

The crowd is jacked for this. Albano goes towards Heenan but
Studd steps out and protects his manager. JYD and Patera slug it out to start.
JYD hits a backdrop then tags Andre. Studd comes in and Andre gives them a
double noggin-knocker. He boots down Patera and JYD gives him the crawling
headbutts. Patera bails and consoles with Heenan. Patera goes in the corner and
stalls before ducking out after Andre comes after him. Jesse chokes out JYD in
the corner then the match breaks down as Andre goes after Studd & Patera. Jesse
and JYD are the legal men and Jesse goes to work. JYD no-sells a few punches
then rams Ventura off the turnbuckle. Snuka tags and headbutts Jesse. He hits a
slam and hits a fist drop off the second rope. Jesse rakes the eyes and Patera
chokes out Snuka behind the ref’s back. The heels get heat on Snuka, using a
lot of restholds, until he breaks up a bearhug from Studd with a bell clap and
tags Andre. The crowd goes nuts as Andre attacks Studd in the corner. He beats
the shit out of him and goes for the slam but Patera breaks it up. Jesse tags
but Andre gets the upper hand. He boots down Jesse and Snuka hits the Superfly
Splash for the win (11:55) **1/2. After the match, the faces beat on the heels.

Thoughts: Fun match. They stuck to a basic formula and it
worked great. Andre was really laying into Studd with his offense.


Terry Gibbs vs. Ricky

Gibbs knees Steamboat as he offers a handshake. Steamboat
fights back with a backdrop and a slam as Gibbs retreats to the corner. Gibbs
stalls some more until Steamboat chops him down. Gibbs rakes the eyes and
tosses Steamboat to the floor. He pulls him back on the apron and hits him with
forearm strikes across the chest. Gibbs hits a slam and uses cheap heel tactics
to maintain control. Steamboat chops back and takes him down with an elbow
strike. He hits a chop from the second rope then wins the match with a top rope
crossbody block (4:36) ½*.

Thoughts: These two did not click in the ring. The crowd was
completely silent throughout the match too. It didn’t matter as this was before
the main event, which was the match everyone wanted to see.



Lumberjack Match

Greg “The Hammer”
Valentine (Champion) w/Jimmy Hart vs. Tito Santana

The crowd loves Tito. Valentine attacks him from behind to
start. Tito comes back with a clothesline then beats the piss out of Valentine in
the corner. He ducks out and Steamboat tosses him back inside. Tito hits an atomic
drop then follows that with a knee lift. The heels will not touch Valentine as
the faces all toss him back in the ring. Valentine comes back with an inverted
atomic drop then takes control. Tito fights back and stomps on Valentine in the
corner. He ducks out after Tito attempts a figure four then heads up the ramp
but a few of the faces toss him back inside. Tito hits him with a forearm off
the second rope for two. Valentine ducks out and tries to go through the crowd
but gets picked up and tossed back inside as the bell sounds for some reason.
Tito hammers away in the corner but ends up running into a knee and Valentine covers
for two. He gets a few nearfalls as the crowd is chanting for Tito. Valentine
works on the knee that he injured several months ago and attempts a single-leg
crab. Tito breaks away but sells his knee and Valentine knees him down. He goes
back to work on the knee and goes for the figure four but Tito turns that into
a small package. They slug it out until Valentine knocks him down with a
European uppercut. He drags Tito by the hair into the corner but Tito sends him
into the turnbuckle. Tito knocks him down and drags him back inside by his
tights. Suplex gets two as Tito sells the back of his head. Tito hits a few
stomps and goes for the figure four but Valentine kicks out. He attempts to
bail but the faces drag him back inside. Tito knocks him down with a forearm
then locks on the figure four as the building erupts. Hart distracts the ref as
Studd drags Valentine near the roes. Tito goes after Studd but Valentine attacks
from behind. They slug it out then both men end up colliding but Valentine
falls on top of Tito and gets the win (14:59) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Really good match. These two had awesome chemistry
together. The crowd was in love with Tito and really wanted to see him get his
revenge against Valentine. They also put over on commentary how Valentine was going after Steamboat when he was getting tossed back into the ring, which usually signals that they will face off or start to feud together. This match has been featured on multiple DVD’s,
including the “History of the Intercontinental Championship” and “Greatest
Wrestling Stars of the 80’s.”


Final Thoughts: The
show had a really good main event and a fun six-man tag so it wasn’t bad. It
lacked the star power of most MSG cards but with WrestleMania two weeks away,
they were holding back the big matches for that. It was a shorter card than
usual, which doesn’t get any complaints from me as these can last an eternity
at times.

WWF Madison Square Garden December 28th, 1984

December 28, 1984

Unfortunately, my copy of this show froze and I was unable to review the last three matches. Next week, I will be reviewing the debut episode of Primetime Wrestling then after that, I will be back to the Championship Wrestling shows. I should also mention that this is the show in which David Schultz slapped John Stossel backstage in a segment that was filmed for 20/20

Your hosts are Gene Okerlund and Gorilla Monsoon

Brutus Beefcake w/Luscious Johnny Valiant vs. S.D. Jones

Valiant stalls for a few minutes in the ring before the match begins. SD backs Brutus into the ropes, pissing him off. They engage in some chain wrestling as we see the Japanese Media at ringside, looking half asleep. Brutus cheap shots SD after a lockup and chokes him out. He grabs a chinlock then takes him down with a shoulderblock. Beefcake boots SD down and hits him with a poor excuse of a splash for two. Beefcake grabs a headlock as the announcers debate whether or not this is a choke. It lasts for a long time. SD catches Beefcake on a crossbody attempt but couldn’t hold him up. Beefcake struts then chokes him out before going back to another chinlock. Johnny is yelling at the ref as SD hits Brutus with an inverted atomic drop. SD knocks down Brutus after a second headbutt attempt. He gets two after a series of punches. Brutus rakes the eyes then after SD ducks a chop, Brutus hits him with a jumping  knee smash for the win (13:22) ½*.
Thoughts: Man, this was dull. Both guys had limited offense to begin with and couldn’t brawl well so they did a bunch of restholds to fill the match. No way should these guys have gotten this much time.  
Salvatore Bellomo vs. Johnny Rodz
Before the match, Howard Finkel introduces Bellomo’s parents to the audience. Bellomo takes down Rodz with a pair of shoulderblocks then grabs a headlock. Bellomo then cartwheels over Rodz and hits a dropkick. They engage in a brief amount of matwork then Rodz catches him with a knee and takes control. He knocks Bellomo to the floor then hits him with a baseball slide right as he comes back in the ring. Rodz gets two off a top rope elbow smash then complains to the ref about a slow count. He slams Bellomo but gets caught with a punch after coming off the top rope. Bellomo hits a backdrop and snapmare. Dropkick gets two. Rodz hits one awful powerslam but misses a flying headbutt and that allows Bellomo to hit a crossbody block, that came up way short, for the win (5:36) *1/2. The camera shows Mama Bellomo in the crowd on the verge of tears. Bellomo grabs the mic and thanks America before kissing the ground
Thoughts: Fine for what it was. Rodz was a solid worker, perhaps even underrated. Bellomo was his usual self.
“Dr. D” David Schultz vs. Antonio Inoki
Inoki is billed as the “World’s Martial Arts Champion.” Schultz gets into Inoki’s head and the two go right after each other. Schultz grounds him using a headscissor but Inoki escapes. Schultz attacks Inoki in the corner after a cheap shot. Schultz grabs a side headlock then both men trade arm wringers. Inoki backs Schultz against the ropes then chops him down. Schultz complains to the ref then they lockup. After a cheap shot from Schultz, Inoki kicks him down then chokes him out. Schultz hits a suplex then a slam. He goes up top but misses a flying elbow drop and that allows Inoki to hit him with an enziguri after he gets up for the win (5:16) *3/4.
Thoughts: Short, but decent action while it lasted. This would be the last match at MSG for both men. Schultz would get fired the following February for attempting to attack Mr. T.  
Paul Kelly vs. Junkyard Dog
Kelly had been playing the Masked Executioner during this time. JYD slams Kelly, who ducks outside. JYD grabs a chinlock as the announcers discuss philosophy. Kelly fights back but JYD murders him with a clothesline then hits the powerslam  but they messed up the count so the ref counted again and JYD gets the win (3:05) ¼*.
Thoughts: Not much here besides JYD stiffing the shit out of Kelly with a clothesline. The crowd is in love with JYD, as he is getting the best face reaction besides Hogan (Slaughter left the WWF a few weeks before this show over a dispute with Vince McMahon).
WWF Jr. Heavyweight Championship Match
The Cobra vs. Black Tiger
Finkel holds up the title in the ring, which was vacated when the Dynamite Kid jumped to All-Japan. The match starts with both guys trading moves. Tiger hits a clothesline then gets a senton for one. Cobra comes back with a backdrop and then grabs a chinlock. In a really sloppy sequence, Cobra comes off the top but they messed up a crossbody and he came back with a terrible spin kick. Cobra drops the knee then gets two off a suplex. He hits a gutbuster then puts Tiger in the Boston Crab and from that, he puts him in a surfboard. Tiger flips Cobra over and puts on a chinlock. Legdrop gets two. I should not that Gorilla is solo on commentary right now and he keeps talking the whole time. Tiger puts on a chinlock as the crowd is dead. After trading chops, Cobra misses a splash and Tiger works the legs. He gets two off an elbow drop then grabs a front facelock. Senton, called a flying cartwheel by Monsoon, gets two. Cobra fights back and gets two off a legdrop. He sends him to the floor with a dropkick as Okerlund comes back. Tiger slips while climbing the ropes as Cobra tosses him off. He uses a headscissors but Tiger escapes and hits a clothesline. Kneedrop gets two. Swinging neckbreaker gets two. Tiger hits a tombstone piledriver, which gets the crowd to pop, but misses a top rope elbow drop. Cobra gets two off a spinning heel kick as the crowd is now alive. Cobra dropkicks Tiger to the floor then flies out with a tope. In the ring, Tiger knocks down Cobra and hits a top rope splash. Suplex gets two. Tombstone gets two. He tries another tombstone but Cobra reverses and hits one of his own then goes up top and hits a senton for the win and the championship (12:29) **3/4. After the match, Cobra offers a handshake but Tiger attacks him. He tosses him outside but Cobra comes back with a chairshot. Both men return to the ring and the Cobra is handed the title.
Thoughts: The last few minutes were awesome but prior to that, it wasn’t much and really sloppy at points. Still, they did stuff that no one in the WWF was doing at this time and they did a faster pace than usual for the WWF, but it was slower than their Japanese matches.
“Cowboy” Bob Orton & “Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. Tonga Kid & Jimmy Snuka
The crowd goes crazy for Snuka and Piper. They chase of the heels, who then come in and try a sneak attack but that fails. Tonga and Piper are in the ring now. Tonga hits a crossbody for two and works the arm as Snuka is staring down Piper from the apron. Orton tags and Tonga catches him with a powerslam then works the arm. He tags Snuka, who works the arm. Snuka no-sells three punches and takes Orton down with a headbutt. Snuka tries to get Orton to tag Piper but he doesn’t extend his hand. Orton finally tags Piper, who at first refuses to enter. He then charges at Snuka but gets pummeled. Snuka takes out both men until Piper pokes his eye and tags Orton. He beats on Snuka but misses a Vader Bomb. Both men tag out and Tonga runs wild on Piper. Piper gets him in his corner and he and Orton double-team him behind the ref’s back. After a double clothesline, Roddy taunts Snuka then tags Orton. He beats on Tonga and the two make quick tags to neutralize Tonga. Roddy is just a joy to watch out here as he was one of the best heels in wrestling history. Tonga tries to make a tag but Orton runs in and knocks Snuka off the apron. Roddy has Tonga in a chinlock then tags Orton, who hits him with a forearm smash. Tonga manages to get two off a sunset flip but Orton comes back with mounted punches. He tries a cover but Snuka yanks him off. Piper goes in behind the ref’s back. He ducks his head and Tonga kicks him then heads to the wrong corner. Orton tags but Tonga fires away then goes through the legs of Orton and makes a tag. Snuka goes wild then shoves the referee, who was trying to control the match. Snuka sends Orton into the corner and makes the cover but the ref stops before the three count as he sees Tonga and Piper brawling nearby. Piper backdrops Tonga to the floor and Orton sets up Snuka for the superplex but gets shoved off and Snuka hits a crossbody. Piper breaks up the pin at two as Tonga is trying to get back into the ring. They throw Snuka to the floor as the announcers complain about how the referee is doing a terrible job. Orton goes up top but Snuka shoves him off, into Piper. The heels dump their opponents, who while stumbling around the ring, accidentally bump heads, causing them to power up and run back into the ring. All four men are brawling as the ref signals for the bell as he cannot maintain control. Piper accidentally hits Orton and the heels get dumped but then run in for a sneak attack. Tonga grabs a chair and chases away the heels as the ref rules the match as a double disqualification (14:58) ***1/4.
Thoughts: This match had tremendous heat. Tonga looked great and worked most of the match. Snuka didn’t do a whole lot at all but the crowd was jacked the entire time. Sadly, Tonga would only last a few more weeks as he left the promotion. I believe in an interview he said he couldn’t handle the pressure but he allegedly no-showed a bunch of dates and left, only to return 18 months later to form the Islanders with Haku.
Rene Goulet vs. Mike Rotundo
They lockup in the corner and Goulet complains of a hair pull. Goulet gets two off a reverse rollup, while holding the tights. Rotundo grounds Goulet with headscissors. He holds on to the arm after Goulet takes him over with a hiptoss and works the arm. He uses a front facelock for a bit then Goulet escapes and starts biting Rotundo in the corner. He grabs a chinlock as a fan is yelling “boring.” Goulet ends a comeback bid with a knee smash then tosses Rotundo to the floor. He bites Rotundo then gets two off a suplex. He locks on the iron claw as a few more fans join in on the boring chant. Rotundo misses a charge in the corner and Goulet locks on the claw from the top rope. Rotundo tosses him off and fires away as the crowd couldn’t care less. He sends Goulet upside down into the corner then hits him with an atomic drop. Rotundo works the leg but Goulet regains control and puts him in an abdominal stretch as the crowd is showing fans in the crowd wearing masks. Rotundo hits a backdrop then drops an elbow for two. He catches Goulet in an airplane spin then drops him for the win (10:38) ¾*.
Thoughts: Holy shit was this dull. The crowd couldn’t have cared less about either guy. I know it was tough to follow Snuka but this was atrocious.
WWF President Jack Tunney is in the ring. He introduces Wendi Richter and Hulk Hogan, who is carrying a trophy. He then introduces Dick Clark, who flew in from Los Angeles for this presentation. Finally, he introduces Cyndi Lauper, who is accompanied by David Wolfe. Clark awards Lauper with a special achievement award to her contribution to women’s wrestling. Hulk grabs the mic and the crowd goes ballistic as he puts over Lauper. She thanks everyone then presents the WWF a gold and platinum record then brings out Capt. Lou Albano, thanking him for raising four million for multiple sclerosis. Albano thanks everyone and says the award is an honor as Orton and Piper sneak in the ring and grab the mic. Piper grabs the mic, stating that he set up everything, then smashes the record over Albano’s head. Lauper dives at his legs but Piper kicks her off. He slams Wolfe then takes off as Hogan runs back out. The fans are spitting and tossing stuff all over Piper as he walks back up the aisle. Back in the ring, Hogan helps up Albano as Wolfe gets taken out on a stretcher as Lauper is crying. Now, that is how you start a feud. One hell of a segment and among the best in WWF history.
Well, my DVD kept freezing at the start of the tag-title match so I will run down the last three matches.
Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch retained the tag-titles against the Brisco Brothers when the match ended in a double count out. The match went (26:46) and after the bout, the Brisco’s had their opponents in the figure four. This match came to place when the Brisco’s beat the champs on TV after they went on Piper’s Pit, who got them a match with the champs, stating they owed him a favor. The Brisco’s would be gone from the WWF in a month.
Barry Windham beat Mr. Fuji with a bulldog in nineteen seconds. Nothing much to say about this.
Hulk Hogan retained the Heavyweight Title over the Iron Sheik in (3:31) with a legdrop.
Final Thoughts: A memorable show with some good matches, but what was bad really did suck. They turned Albano face after the attack by Piper and that set up the main event at Wrestlemania. The tag-title match was fun too. The undercard stuff was pretty dull and the Jr. Heavyweight match, while faster paced than most WWF stuff, was sloppy at points.

WWF Madison Square Garden: November 26th, 1984

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.

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.