January 2, 2009
Maple Leaf Wrestling
September 15, 1984, Taped August 29, 1984, Brantford Civic Centre, Brantford, ON
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Angelo Mosca
We’re at one of the earlier Canadian tapings for a show that will feature the first appearance of a future World Champion.
Opening Match: “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. “Quick Draw” Rick McGraw
They lockup and McGraw goes to a side headlock. He gets fired off but nails a shoulderblock. He gets behind Orndorff and rolls him up for 2 and then uses an armdrag to send Orndorff to the floor. Orndorff regroups and gets back in. He uses his own armdrag, but McGraw gets out with a headscissors and gets Orndorff in a hammerlock. From that hold he rolls Orndorff over a couple of time for 2 counts before Orndorff finally gets out. Next, McGraw uses a flying headscissors and holds it for a bit. Orndorff escapes again, but McGraw gets right back to the hammerlock. Orndorff elbows out and hits a slam, but misses an elbow. McGraw gets an armdrag as Mosca uses the old cliché “This could be a main event anywhere in the country”. This has been a good match thus far, but come on buddy. Why does that always get used in reference to matches that couldn’t main event Billy Kidman’s flea market? It’s just insulting to us. McGraw sends him off, then grabs the arm and takes him back down to the hammerlock. Now Orndorff sends him off, but he nails a shoulderblock. Sent off again, but this time Orndorff finally catches him with a knee. Gutbuster gets 2 and he keeps working McGraw over. Irish whip is reversed and McGraw nails a dropkick. Snapmare then gets 2 as does a backslide. Back suplex gets a third near fall and McGraw mounts him for punches in the corner. Corner whip is reversed and Orndorff follows him in with a clothesline which gets 3 at 7:09. Aw, come on. You mean after all that, Orndorff beats him with a clothesline? Weak finish to what was otherwise a pretty good match. It was anything but a TV squash with McGraw being the guy who came out looking good in spite of the loss. *1/2
Hulk Hogan vs. Moondog Rex
Wow, a rare in ring appearance on television for the WWF Champion. Hogan shoves him off of a lockup to start. They lockup again, and Rex tries a slam but can’t get it. Hogan gets one of his own, but then gets hit with a knee and Rex goes to work. Hogan blocks a shot to the buckle and rams Rex instead. Punches send Rex to the floor with Hogan following and nailing an atomic drop out there. He gets Rex back in, but puts his head down on an Irish whip and gets kicked. Rex drops some elbows and stomps. Double ax handle from the 2nd rope followed by a kneedrop gets 2. He then hits that ax handle again, and then uses a backbreaker for 2. Powerslam and splash only get 1 though as it’s Hulk Up time. Hogan no sells some shots, the hits 3 punches and a clothesline. Slam sets up the legdrop and that gets 3 at 4:29. Another good for TV match here. *
Brett Hart & The Dynamite Kid vs. Iron Mike Sharpe & Troy Alexander
Here we have a historic moment as this is the debut match for future five time WWF Champion Bret Hart, and as usual for his early matches, they’ve misspelled his name with two t’s. It’s also for all intents and purposes the debut of Dynamite, although some would remember him from his 1982 MSG match with Tiger Mask. Odd that they would be brought in as a tag team after being perennial rivals in their Stampede days, but I guess for tryout purposes it was easier than having two separate matches. Kid and Sharpe start out with Sharpe taking a few shots, but missing a charge off a corner whip. Kid goes up and nails a top rope dropkick, followed by a standing one. He tries a bodypress, but gets caught and slammed. Sharpe misses an elbow and Kid tags Bret. Sharpe’s corner whip is reversed and Bret gets a monkey flip out of it. He then uses a backdrop and a dropkick to send Sharpe to the floor. This lets us see a replay of Kid’s impressive top rope dropkick and by all accounts Vince was salivating at the idea of bringing him aboard. Back live now with Sharpe having tagged Alexander. Bret uses a waistlock takedown and then snapmares him to a rear chinlock. Tag to Kid and they hit a double back elbow. Kid controls now with a snap suplex, legdrop and kneedrop for 2. Tag to Bret, who works over Alexander but gets caught in the opponent’s corner. Tag to Sharpe who keeps working Bret over in the corner with Alexander also getting in some shots. Bret ducks off an Irish whip and comes back off with a dropkick. Tag to Kid who uses a clothesline and drops an elbow for 2. He then nails a dropkick and Sharpe begs off. He rams Sharpe to Bret’s boot and tags, but Sharpe is also able to get away and tag. Bret hits a suplex and tags Kid. Bret then slams Alexander into position for Kid to come off the top with a diving headbutt. Back suplex then finishes Alexander off at 5:56. Another really good TV match here. **
Piper’s Pit with Ivan Putski as guest is up now. Pretty lame segment as Piper rants for a bit and then Putski sucks up to the crowd and sings. For every classic Pit that people remember to this day, there’s probably two or more like this one that are completely forgettable.
Sgt. Slaughter vs. Muhammad Saad
Saad takes a shot at him, but Slaughter just no sells it. He then works Saad over with a slam and drop toehold, then he stretches the leg. He keeps having his way with Saad, who gets no chance to do anything until the Cobra Clutch gets the submission at 3:27. Nothing too exciting here. DUD
Well, that was a pretty good show. Only four matches, which is unusually low for a show of this era but for three of them to then do * or better is huge. That quality, along with an appearance by the World champ and a couple of notable debuts make it a big thumbs up.