February 19, 2006
Issacc Cearc

Championship Wrestling
December 31, 1983

This was the New York episode of the show that aired at midnight on WOR in New York. The show starts off with Vince McMahon and Pat Patterson talking about the upcoming highlights of the show with the Wild Samoans 1st appearance since losing the tag team titles to Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas, and the feature match of Tito Santana vs. Mike Sharpe.

Match #1-Wild Samoans with Lou Albano vs. Tony Garea & S.D. Jones
- The most noteworthy thing during this match is during the opening seconds of the match, Howard Finkel announced the news that the Iron Sheik has won the WWF title ending Bob Backlund’s title reign with more info to come later in the show. The match is a total squash, which is a surprise because Garea and Jones got in almost no offense at all, which is something that never happened. Samoans win with a double headbutt at 3:34 with Afa getting the pin on S.D.

Match #2- Eddie Gilbert vs. Ken Jugan
- Gilbert is still trying get back into top form as he just returned from the neck injury he suffered against the Masked Superstar. Gilbert wins a fairly boring squash with a Lou Thesz press off the second rope to pin Jugan at 2:18.

Match #3- Paul Orndorff vs. Steve Lombardi
- Paul is a new face here in about his 3rd TV appearance. He does a lot of stalling before the match before getting into the ring and simply destroying Lombardi and finishes him off with a great piledriver at 1:57. The best squash of the show.

This is then followed with Orndorff getting interviewed by Pat Patterson. Orndorff tells Patterson he’s in the WWF area for one reason to be the best and doesn’t care how he wins his matches, and simply he’s in the WWF to stay.

This is then usually the point for the house show promos for the Garden, instead it’s Vince at the Garden locker room giving details of the Backlund/Sheik title match, followed by the footage of Sheik winning the title. They then show footage from the same night with the post match interviews from the new champion The Iron Sheik, and former champion Bob Backlund crying while being comforted by his manager Arnold Skaaland. Vince says we have not heard the last of this encounter.

Match #4- Sgt. Slaughter vs. Ted Bailey
- Bailey is a newcomer to the WWF here, and Slaughter is on his own without the Grand Wizard and Vince and Pat put Sarge over constantly mentioning how tough he is. Sarge seems to be much less aggressive than usual here and beats Bailey easily with the Cobra Clutch at 2:15. Slaughter even acknowledges the crowd while walking to the back and seems to be turning face.

Victory’s Corner hosted by Robert Debord is next with Tito Santana top contender to the Intercontinental title. Robert just asks Tito about his huge popularity with female fans as Tito gives a generic answer in a simply terrible segment, as Debord seems to have no charisma whatsoever.

Match #5- Masked Superstar vs. Nick DeCarlo
- DeCarlo surprisingly gets a few bits of offense before quickly falling to the swinging neckbreaker at 1:31.

Match#6- Tito Santana vs. Mike Sharpe
- This is this week’s feature matchup. Match starts off with loud chants of wimp as Sharpe does a lot of stalling. Tito dominates the early part of the match countering every one of Sharpe’s moves, before Sharpe makes a comeback and even catches Tito with a dreaded shot with his illegal forearm padding. He stalls a lot and attempts the move again but Tito hits Sharpe with the flying forearm and Sharpe simply decides to walk away and Tito gains a huge victory by count out. Vince then announced the next week’s feature matchup: Samoans #1 and #3 to go against Bob Backlund and a mystery partner who he would introduce next week.

The show ends with Vince and pretaped clips of various wrestlers wishing everyone a happy 1984 and telling their New Year’s resolutions. Lou Albano was the highlight as he asked for all the young punks to follow the Captain’s example in 1984.

Overall this was a good episode with huge historical significance as for the 1st time in 5 years there was a brand new WWF champion and it was the hated Iron Sheik. The guys who shined the brightest this episode were Tito Santana who proved that he indeed is a top contender to any title in the WWF and Paul Orndorff who looked like a guy who would be a force in the WWF in the upcoming months of 1984.

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