September 23, 2012
WWF At MSG, May 4, 1981
Commentator: Vince McMahon and briefly, Freddie Blassie during The Hangman’s match to talk smack.
Another capacity crowd at The Garden witnesses one of the Greatest Grudge Matches Of All Time plus more!
Note: Prior to the show, it’s announced that Andre The Giant will NOT be competing in the six man tag tonight due to a broken ankle sustained in Rochester, New York against Killer Khan and will be replaced by Gorilla Monsoon coming out of retirement one time only. Also, Moondog King is injured (actually denied reentry to the U.S. from Canada because his visa expired) and will be replaced in the six man by Captain Lou Albano!
Additional Note: A match held on this show but not included on this release saw WWF IC Champion Pedro Morales pin Killer Khan at 4:26 to retain the title.
Match 1: S.D. Jones vs Johnny Rodz
Setup: The brilliant matchmaking skills of Vince McMahon Sr. give us Special Delivery versus The Unpredictable Jobber, again.
Match: I know we’re supposed to think that these two have some kind of undercard rivalry, but the truth is always seeing these two in the ring against each other is just, stale. This bout sees Rodz delivering nearly all the offense, until S.D. unloads a couple of headbutts and hits a sunset flip (his seeming finishing move of choice) for the pinfall.
Result: Jones via pinfall at 15:36
Score: 1 (Okay) An unusually long opening bout that still accomplished basically nothing.
Match 2: Dominic DeNucci vs Baron Mikel Scicluna
Setup: Two veterans meet in what should have been billed as Winner Gets First Open Bed At The Retirement Home.
Match: Well, at least we know one guy won’t outpace the other. Lots of punches and kicks, and a now rare appearance for The Baron’s infamous foreign object make up the action, until Scicluna does his “confused by a leapfrog” routine and gets caught with a backslide for the finish.
Result: DeNucci via pinfall at 6:53
Score: 1 (Okay) Truly a bout to inspire senior citizens everywhere.
Match 3: Peter Miavia vs Rick McGraw
Setup: The High Chief (aka Rock’s Granddad) returns to the Garden to meet the guy who liked to party all the time just a little bit too much.
Match: Maivia is certainly one of the most generous opponents McGraw has ever had, letting Little Quick Draw get in quite a bit of offense while Maivia utilizes every psych-out tactic in the book including the Hand Of Friendship. He even lets McGraw get a little flurry in on him after the match is over, albeit after he’s already pinned McGraw with a backbreaker.
Result: Maivia via pinfall at 7:08
Score: 1 (Okay) It’s strange, the more McGraw matches one has to sit through, the SADDER you become.
Match 4: The Great Yatsu vs The Hangman
Setup: Fortunately, Yatsu appears to be getting a step up in competition. Unfortunately, it’s The Hangman.
Match: What we have here is a guy obsessed with restholds against a guy who can do little more than punch and kick. And punch and kick he does, beating Yatsu within an inch of his life until the Japanese star gets “fired up” and goes to town, whipping Hangman into the corner post, and then hitting a legdrop and elbow smash for the win.
Result: Yatsu via pinfall at 10:31
Score: 1 (Okay) While Yatsu does show a little fire, the end result is still a bit tepid.
Match 5: Bob Backlund vs Angelo Mosca (WWF World Title Match)
Setup: The new number one contender is a large, muscular Canadian guy whose nickname is King Kong.
Match: Obviously a power vs skill matchup, which we’ve seen Backlund do before, as Mosca beats him down before Backlund comes back with his trademark pout. Amazing how Backlund had such a nice piledriver yet his opponents almost always kicked out of it. Eventually Bobbsy flies off the ropes to take a shot but Mosca moves and Backlund decks the referee instead, which draws the DQ and inspires Mosca to take the belt back to the dressing room with him.
Result: Mosca via DQ at 13:51 (Backlund Retains Title)
Score: 2 (Good) A bit of a day at the office feel against a pretty generic opponent.
Match 6: Pat Patterson vs Sgt. Slaughter (Alley Fight)
Setup: The match most fans probably came to see pits Patty Pat in the battle of his life against the undisputed number one heel in the company.
Match: This appears to almost be a bunkhouse style match, and boy is it brutal. Patterson starts by taking his belt and whipping and strangling Slaughter before The Sarge gets it off him and wraps it around his mouth Piper style (better not wear that again). Slaughter rips off Patterson’s I Love NY t-shirt (much to the fans’ chagrin) and strangles him with that as well. Soon Patterson comes back, and whips Slaughter’s head into the ringpost to cause one of the nastiest blade jobs of all time (moreso for the Sarge than the Backlund cage match). Slaughter keeps fighting though, and hits Pat with a shot to the balls before Patterson takes off his steel-toed cowboy boot and starts beating Slaughter in the head relentlessly. Suddenly The Grand Wizard appears and throws in the towel for Slaughter to end the match, but Sarge still wants to fight, and is dragged kicking and screaming back to the locker room while the fans go berserk.
Result: Patterson via throwing in the towel at 14:25
Score: 3 (Great) An awesome brawl, and definitely showed the early signs of Patterson’s creative genius.
Match 7: Tony Garea, Rick Martel, and Gorilla Monsoon vs Stan Hansen, Moondog Rex, and Capt. Lou Albano (2/3 Falls)
Setup: Gorilla comes out of retirement because he must hate that Captain Lou so much!
Match: Hansen starts off against Monsoon and we get some nice brawling before the tag to Martel, and we all know he and Hansen’s history. First Fall comes on a DQ as the heels beat Martel in the corner. Second fall comes when Rex gets trapped in the ring with Gorilla, who chops him down and hits a big splash for the pin. Afterwards, Hansen shows how tough and crazy he is by taking on all three men before being beaten out of the ring.
Result: Garea, Martel, and Monsoon via 2 Falls to 0 at 14:01
Score: 2 (Good) Lots of fun, and it is nice to see Gorilla in the ring one last time.
Match 8: The Catolina Kid and Farmer Jerome vs Sky Low Low and Kid Chocolate
Setup: Four of the “mighty” midget wrestlers take up valuable ring time in order to make all the five year olds happy.
Match: I’m glad I didn’t eat before this show, as Sky Low Low at his advanced age looks like an aborted fetus out there, while Farmer Jerome is disturbingly fat and the two (black) “Kid” wrestlers on opposite sides look like they could be twin brothers. Very little actual wrestling here as most of the spots are comedy bits designed to humiliate the referee (including taking his hairpiece). Once you start to realize that you won’t be watching an athletic contest, all you can do is sit back and wait for one or more of the midgets to tire so the match can be over, and that happens when one Kid puts an airplane spin on the other, which leads to both of them collapsing and the pinfall taking place.
Result: Catalina and Jerome via pinfall
Score: 1 (Okay) All is well in Munchkinland again, since (I think) the babyface dwarfs won.
Overall Score: 1.5 Some shoddy matchmaking early on, but a couple of good bouts and an absolute classic of a Grudge Match make this one that you too can order from your most trusted online retailer.