April 9, 2012
Never Hand Over
WWF MSG House Show (03/24/80)
1) Frankie Williams v. Bulldog Brower- 1
Okay,here's the story: Williams is the jobber Piper beat up in his 1st Piper's Pit all those years ago (you know the Mexican dude who's from Columbus, OH and Piper called him out?) and Brower is literally over 300 pounds and can't really do a damn thing. Williams hits a nice dropkick about 6 minutes in but it's mostly all snug armlocks on the ground from Brower. He's just too far gone to come up with anything here. Even Vince says he's 10 years past his prime in the commentary.
2) Jose Estrada v. Kerry Von Erich- 4
Estrada had a nice liar's grin but not much else. After the match he sold him losing pretty well, complaining to the ref but he didn't have any sells that are worth mentioning. Kerry was looking really pre-pubes here, fresh faced with cocaine and self inflicted gun wounds far from his mind. He had a dropkick that he broke out several times in close quarters and worked a lot of armdrags. Sunset flip from the corner finish was unique for this time. Fun match.
3) Tor Kamata v. Mike Masters- 3
Kamata is our 2nd fatty on the show, but he comes in with that Samoan stiffness, although I'm not really sure of his race or creed. Masters is actually announced from our hometown of Cincinnati but he may as well have spit in our Mayor's face because he didn't represent very well. Kamata just ran roughshod all over him in a fairly short match that was enjoyable just because of Kamata's short bursts of offense.
4) Larry Zybyzsko v. Bruno Sammartino- 6
Man, Bruno was a god in MSG! Zybyzsko looked like such a runt here and he did a lot of his trademarked stalling during this. Bruno was rocking the tightest Jew fro of all time and he really knew how to work a side headlock. This was your classic teacher vs. student battle and Sammartino was furious, chasing Zybyzsko all around ringside trying to hurt him. Bruno takes some sick shots into the apron, just throwing his whole head into it. The DQ finish worked here because of how incensed the Living Legend was and both men played their roles to the fullest.
5) Afa v. Dominic DeNucci- 3
DeNucci is frightfully pale and resembles Bela Lugosi way too closely. Afa was working snug here, as those crazy Samoans are known to do and makes a believer out of me when I think about his induction in the WWE Hall of Fame. Just brutal headbutts but DeNucci really doesn't sell them all that well. This was a nice slow meaningless match in the middle of their two main events, about as important as the new Coreys reality show.
6) Bob Backlund v. Sika- 7
This was highlighted by a great lead performance by Backlund during his epic championship run. These two had great chemistry as Backlund pretty much used his technical expertise to ground Sika as long as he could. There are some definite slow spots with long rest holds so if that's not your particular brand of vodka, than move along. But, if you get through it, Sika mounts a comeback and then puts the pressure on Backlund and his comeback is what makes this so good, getting some energy, then doing a big move to Sika's head that hurts both of them until he connects with a great piledriver. The finish works too so all in all this had the feeling of a good title match with Sika playing support and crazed challenger well.
7) Bobby Duncum/ Ken Patera v. Pat Patterson/ Andre the Giant- 5
This was an Andre match for sure. Everytime I watch the guy I see more and more great things. He is of course being the dominant superstar he usually is in the beginning with Patterson riding the coattails while the heels were being pretty boring, Patera bumping moderately well. Andre does give them a section where they work his leg and his sells are so extremely expressive you really believe like he's hurt. He lets the ref give him a cutoff when they are double teaming Patterson (two men at once, his favorite past time along with embroidery). And of course Andre with the finish and then putting Patterson on his shoulders like they were going to play a game of Chicken Fight in a swimming pool. He escalated what would have been a rather by the numbers tag.
8) Rene Goulet v. Baron Mikel Scicluna- 3
Here we have two guys who are virtually the same: broad chested, no real muscle definition bruisers who just swing clubs at each other. I always though Goulet was a sort of high flyer, but he was grounded here. Scicluna had a nice punch that was interesting but this was a pretty bland affair highlighted by two really bad haircuts. It wasn't given much time either to really develop anything.
9) Tito Santana v. Hulk Hogan- 3
Tito looked so scrawny I wondered if he was bulimic, I mean tacos every night on the road has got to catch up to you. Anyways, Hulk exerted his authority fairly quickly with some big clotheslines and power moves. Tito really never got out of the blocks and seemed to not be working Hogan as stiff as he may someone else. Hogan laid on Tito for a while then hit a suplex and held the tights for the pin. Not real impressed with the combination but I'm sure they could have done something better years later.
Overall, this had some bad and some really excellent matches on it. The momentum was so up and down it was a hard show to get into and Vince's montoned commentary really leaves a lot to be desired. I would recommend seeing this one though if you like old school competition.