September 8, 2012
WWWF At MSG, Oct. 20, 1980
Commentator: Vince McMahon
The World’s Greatest Arena plays host to three big title bouts, a return grudge match plus more!
Match 1: Terry Taylor vs Jose Estrada
Setup: The Rooster clucks his way into his MSG debut against the reliable Hispanic jobber Estrada.
Match: You know, for all his jobberlicious aura, Estrada could actally put on some good matches from time to time. Here the Rooster comes in with short brown hair, and we get the usual scientific display coupled with Jose’s tendency to throw in a little cheating now and then. After some good action and exchanges, Rooster catches Estrada with an abdominal stretch into a cradle for the pin.
Result: Taylor via pinfall at 9:59
Score: 2 (Good) A fairly egg-citing opening curtain jerk at the Garden.
Match 2: Rene Goulet vs Johnny Rodz
Setup: Two jobbers serve up harsh times for the fans in attendance.
Match: Rodz certainly had some talent, but even he can’t carry the uncharismatic and workmanlike Goulet to a good match. Some mild mixing it up that makes the crowd sit on their hands until Rodz misses a charge to the corner and gets rolled up for the big three.
Result: Goulet via pinfall at 8:41
Score: 1 (Okay) Though not meaning much in the grand scheme of things, it’s pretty obvious that the wrong guy lost.
Match 3: The Hangman vs Rick McGraw
Setup: The overpushed Hangman takes on the drug addled Quick Draw.
Match: Very little of note here, except how ridiculous it is to see a 6 foot 8, 300+lb guy taking on a virtual midget. McGraw lacks the crispness to take the bull by the horns and carry the slow footed Hangman, and soon gets caught in some kind of reverse chinlock / backbreaker that makes his arms go limp. Afterwards, McGraw writhes in pain until a doctor comes in to check him out, but I’m sure we ALL know what he was really after.
Result: Hangman via submission at 7:19
Score: 1 (Okay) Only gets a point for McGraw’s lame but hilarious play for sympathy post-match.
Match 4: Ken Patera vs Pedro Morales (WWF Intercontinental Title Match)
Setup: Kenny gets to put the belt on the line against a former World Champion in front of a hot crowd.
Match: Patera enters, grabs the mic, and yells “No way this belt is going around that fat Puerto Rican’s waist!” Cute. Pedro comes in pissed off and the war is on! The two battle around the ring while the fans are going absolutely apeshit the whole time. Psychology comes into play as Patera bodyslams Morales onto the hard concrete floor (without padding) and then locks on a bearhug as Pedro screams for some respite. Soon Morales escapes and the battle continues, but the referee has an intense desire to restore order, which results in first Patera and then Morales shoving him to the mat! The referee insists nonetheless that they both play nice, which leads to the two combatants stopping what they are doing so they can team up on the ref and chuck him to the outside (haha). Finally the ref figures out the problem and rings the bell while the locker room empties to pull both Kenny and Pedro apart like a couple of wild animals.
Result: Double DQ at 16:19 (Patera Retains Title)
Score: 3 (Great) Awesome atmosphere plus, it had a big match feel to it that very few can bring.
Match 5: Dominic DeNucci vs Larry Sharpe
Setup: The crowd needs to calm down after the last wild brawl, so these two are sent out there to lull them to sleep.
Match: Sharpe shows his sexual insecurity by being disturbed by all the hoots and catcalls sent his way while he disrobes from his jumpsuit, and Dominic is in typical robotic mode. There are virtually no highlghts to speak of here, save when DeNucci catches the pudgy Pretty Boy with an inside cradle for a SLOW three count.
Result: DeNucci via pinfall at 8:38
Score: 1 (Okay) Seems like they wanted to thow DeNucci a bone after his recent ass-kickings, so Sharpe was only too happy to oblige.
Match 6: Bob Backlund vs Sgt. Slaughter (WWF World Title Match)
Setup: The Sarge had smacked around dear Arnold Skaaland at a TV taping, so Backlund gave him a title shot to seek revenge.
Match: Backlund starts off with the heel-like move of attacking Slaughter from behind Pearl Harbor style, and beating him with his riding crop to boot. Slaughter is tough though, and fights from behind to have Backlund on the run before getting his head rammed into the ringpost and getting split open in the process. The Sarge hangs even tougher and shows tremendous heart before he’s able to come back and lock Backlund in the Cobra Clutch (and have him dead to rights) before fatass Skaaland jumps on the apron and hits Slaughter over the head with a steel chair, not only causing the DQ and saving his man’s title, but leaving me wondering about the double standard about him being allowed to stay at ringside and giving Bob an unfair advantage while Slaughter’s manager (The Grand Wizard) is ALWAYS ushered back to the locker room.
Result: Slaughter via DQ at 16:33 (Backlund Retains Title)
Score: 2 (Good) Good match with a bad finish that makes Backlund look weak and more like the heel.
Match 7: Rick Martel vs Baron Mikel Scicluna
Setup: The bumbling Baron serves as a stepping stone for the up and coming young superstar.
Match: Scicluna must be nearing retirement age, as he doesn’t even seem to be trying anymore and doesn’t even whip out the trusty foreign object. Martel is still in wet behind the ears pretty babyface mode, but has little trouble with his aging opponent and takes him out with a sunset flip for the win.
Result: Martel via pinfall at 3:34
Score: 1 (Okay) Basically a straight up job like you’d see on the Saturday morning shows.
Match 8: Tony Garea vs Larry Zbysko
Setup: Rematch time from the previous month between the former tag team championship partners.
Match: The fans still hate Larry with a passion and Garea and his perm are in rare form tonight, as he lays a pretty good asswhipping on Zbysko until Larry scoots to the outside then catches Garea in a choke on the ropes. The referee tries to tell Zbysko that he can’t do that until Larry clocks him one right on the jaw and draws the DQ.
Result: Garea via DQ at 4:58
Score: 1 (Okay) Sadly, unlike the first match, this one never really had the chance to get going.
Match 9: The Wild Samoans vs Dusty Rhodes and Pat Patterson (2/3 Falls For The WWF World Tag Team Titles)
Setup: The rather odd couple of Patty Pat and The Dream get a shot at the crazy Samoans and tag team gold.
Match: Captain Lou comes out with the Samoans and absorbs his usual cheap shots from the babyfaces before scurrying back to the locker room. First Fall sees Patterson take a hellacious beating before making the hot tag to Dusty, who kicks ass and hits the Bionic Elbow for the pin. Second Fall is all the challengers, with Patterson and Rhodes showing great continuity and never letting Afa and Sika get into any kind of a rhythm at all. However, they remain unable to finish them off until the bell rings to signal the curfew, the lights come on, and The Samoans retain because the challengers failed to win two falls on them.
Result: Patterson and Rhodes via 1 Fall To 0 at Curfew (Samoans Retain Titles)
Score: 2 (Good) An entertaining tag bout to close things, though the curfew shit has got to go.
Overall Score: 2 (Good) A highly enjoyable card here, and one which anyone who likes the older stuff should be eager to order from their most trusted online retailer.