February 27, 2007
WWE Madison Square Garden
June 30, 1973
As seen on WWE 24/7
-We go back to an old WWE MSG show that aired as an HBO special. So let’s go back to 1973. I’d like to give a special thanks to WongLee from the message board for a ton of help on the historical aspects of the show. I also gathered information from various other places on the interweb.
From the Mecca of Wrestling- Madison Square Garden
Your host is Vince McMahon
1) Blackjack Lanza vs. Lee Wong
Lanza was one half of the famous Blackjacks tag-team. He was one of the very first proteges of Bobby Heenan in Dick the Brusier’s WWA during the mid 60s. A few years later he got a push in the NWA’s main territory of the time St. Louis. He eventually joined with Bob Windham (as Blackjack Mulligan) to form the Blackjacks. They defeated Dominic Denucci & Pat Barrett for the WWWF Tag-Team Titles in 1975. Lanza went back to the AWA, while Mulligan went down south. In the mid 90s after retirement, Lanza was a road agent for the WWF. He became part of the WWE’s Hall of Fame in the 2006 class (with Mulligan as the Blackjacks), after being inducted by former manager Bobby Heenan.
Billed from Hong Kong, Lee Wong is an interesting case. He debuted in the WWWF in 1970, and there are no records of him working anywhere else. He was part of a jobber crew that included Joe Turco, Bull Pometti, Miguel Feliciano, and Juan Curso who were at the bottom of the barrel of jobbers, but still worked some “A” shows in Boston, NYC, Philly, and Baltimore among other places. He would also appear on “B” shows, but always on his back. There are very few recorded wins for Wong, and he likely won less than a dozen matches in his entire career. He disappeared in the mid 70s, then he came back in 1981 (with hype for his return, falling a little flat). A poster on the message board believes he saw Wong working as a dishwasher in a restaurant near Sunnyside Gardens.
The ring announcer gives a big introduction before the match really making it feel like a sporting event, with the listing of all of the officials, rather than having it be a sports entertainment circus with a bombastic announcer screaming into your ears to open the show after the pyro. The announcer calls Lanza “Lazanza.” Lanza has been known at this time for concealing weapons in his glove. The two men lock up, and Lanza gets Wong against the ropes. Lanza actually gives him a clean break which causes a stir in the crowd. Lanza does it again to another big reaction. Lanza takes down Wong with an armdrag into an arm-bar. Then gives Wong a clean break when he gets to the ropes. Lanza applies a standing hammerlock and then trips Wong, sending the perennial loser face first in to the mat. Wong gets Lanza back into the ropes for a clean break. Lanza gets Wong against the ropes, but this time he rakes the face and viciously attack Wong. He sends Lanza headfirst into the turnbuckle. Wong goes to the mat, where Lanza chokes him with his shin. The referee calls for the break, but Lanza continues his assault on Wong. Lanza then starts raking a SHOE across Wong’s eyes. Geez, I guess this is where WCW got that idea in 1996. Wong gets some chops and makes a small comeback, which makes the crowd go crazy! But quickly Lanza gets back in control. Lanza hits Wong with a thumb to the throat. He continues doing it while having his back to the referee. Lanza rams Wong face first into the turnbuckle again, and this time chokes Wong with the microphone. Wong is then thrown from the ring. Lanza snapmares Wong into the ring. He continues his assault and drops a knee into the throat of Wong. Lanza then locks the clawhold on Wong sending him into the mat. Wong is out, and Lanza is declared the winner. He holds it a little too long after the match to the disapproval of the crowd. This was a pretty okay squash for Lanza. *1/2
WINNER: Blackjack Lanza at 5:05
2) Prof. Toru Tanaka (w/The Grand Wizard of Wrestling) vs. El Olympico
Prof. Toru Tanaka (real name Charlie Kalani) was a stereotypical Japanese heel who was really from Hawaii. When he was 18 years old he was already a US Army Sergeant. He turned pro at age 26 and had three title reigns with Mr. Fuji as WWWF Tag-Team Champions. He eventually went to Hollywood and had a respectable career. His biggest role may have been when he faced off against the almighty Chuck Norris in the 1981 film An Eye for an Eye where, of course, he ends up losing to Norris by being kicked through a large table. He died in August of 2000 due to heart failure.
Ernie Roth is a managing legend of the industry. He started under names like Mr. Kleen and J. Wellington Radcliffe, but rose to fame as Abdullah Farouk, manager of the nefarious Sheik. He would portray that character except in the WWWF where he was billed as The Grand Wizard of Wrestling. He was able to talk even more in the more tongue and cheek WWWF and became a permanent figure of the promotion as one of the “Unholy Trio” of managers with Blassie and Albano. He managed “Superstar” Billy Graham to the longest heel World title reign in the WWWF (beating both Yokozuna and JBL by sixteen days). Unfortunately as an avid smoker he died of lunger cancer at age 54 in October 1983, only months before Vince McMahon’s big expansion really started. It’s only a wonder what the dastardly Grand Wizard of Wrestling could have done to stop the reign of Hulk Hogan.
Olympico was a man by the name of Joaquin 'Joey' Correa. There isn’t a ton of information on him out there. He had a career more in the southern region of the US without a mask. He also worked in PNW as Monte Zuma (again no mask). In the WWWF he was one of the stiffer tests the heel of the month would have to face before going on to challenge Bruno Sammartino or Pedro Morales.
Here he wears a mask with the face cut out. There’s a myth out there that the New York State Athletic Commission wouldn’t allow masked wrestlers in MSG, but according to Crimson Mask of the Wrestling Classics Message Board, no such ban has been ever recorded. It may have it’s roots in 1915 during a World Title tournament at MSG. Mort Henderson entered as the Masked Marvel which may have upset gamblers, as it turned out he was a ringer screwing up all of the betting. It’s odd that the WWWF would have enforced such a rule since Olympico looks like a baby in a smock here. What’s even more confusing is that after Mascaras started wearing a mask in MSG, they STILL enforced it for other wrestlers (Mascaras debut was against an unmasked Spoiler). Maybe Vinnie learned something about illogic promoting from his father.
Before the match can start a woman by the name of Georgette Kreiger motions for Tanaka to kiss her ass. Kreiger is a bit of a story as well. She was a regular ringside character of MSG, and the NY Daily News even did a full-page article on her one time. (Something Hat Guy and Vladmir can aspire to accomplish) She and her sister would make the journey monthly to MSG. She would take the 1PM bus from Baltimore, go to mass at St. Francis of Assisi which is only steps away from MSG. Eat dinner, go to the matches to antagonize those nasty heels, and then take the bus back home.
Whew, enough back story on everyone, let’s get onto the match. Olympico offers Tanaka a handshake to start the match, which Tanaka turns down. Tanaka refuses to lock up before doing his pre match ritual, Ms. Kreiger brushes the salt away and again tells Tanaka to kiss her ass. Then some old man comes to help her. The crowd was popping for her and so was I. They finally lock up in the ring and go into the ropes calling for the break. Another lockup, with Olympico backed up in to the ropes, Tanaka gives him a cheap shot to the stomach. Olympico gets a headlock to a big crowd pop, but they go into the ropes, where again Tanaka gets a cheap shot. Olympico gets a side headlock in the middle of the ring, but Tanaka pushes off. Tanaka is ready for Olympico, but Olympico holds onto the ropes. They reverse hammerlocks, but Tanaka grabs a leg and takes Olympico to the mat. Tanaka uses his feet on the ropes. Olympico locks on a full nelson, but Tanaka powers out and armdrags Olympico to the mat. The referee breaks it up then yells at Tanaka. Olympico takes down Tanaka and gets him in a stepover toe hold. Since he’s not a large wrestler, Vince doesn’t cream his pants at the sight of him doing a step over toe hold. He gets a few near-falls on a struggling pained Tanaka. Tanaka begins to inch himself closer the ropes, but rolls out of the hold anyway. Back up, Tanaka gets the TITTY TWISTER OF TORTURE! Well it’s a pectoral nerve hold Vince says, but it looks like a purple nurple for pete sakes. Olympico freaks out about his nipples getting touched and gets out of it quickly. Tanaka has a hold of his arm, but Olympico puts his FINGER in Tanaka’s ear. That’s what I call strategy. Olympico dropkicks Tanaka to a big pop from the Garden. Tanaka gets an reverse hammerlock afterwards which Olympico reverses. Tanaka is down on his knees, and Olympico gets a headscissors take down. Tanaka though gets on top of him in a pinning position, but Olympico bridges out. Olympico goes back down to the mat, and Tanaka begins to choke him. Tanaka chokes him on the ropes, and this time the referee forcefully breaks it up. The referee does it one more time. This distracts Tanaka long enough from Olympico take over. Olympico hits a drop kick for a near-fall. Olympico telegraphs a move and Tanaka gets a chop to the throat to put Olympico down and out. Tanaka gains victory in an okay match (I was going to up the star rating to five for Mrs. Kreiger, but then decided against it). *1/2
WINNER: Prof. Toru Tanaka at 9:43
3) Gorilla Monsoon vs. Captain Lou Albano
Both these men are fairly well known, so I’ll give abridged rundowns of their careers before the big boom of ‘84. Monsoon, known well to the children of the 80s as the voice of the WWF, was a mainstay of the WWWF. He started as a heel challenger to Bruno Sammartino, but eventually became a fan favorite, usually a test for the heel of the month on their way to challenging the champion. Albano was part of a tag-team called the Sicilians a couple of stereotypical Italians who would say “Mafia” as they went to the ring. This eventually drew the attention of the real life mob, who asked them to tone down their act. As a result, they would still say “Mafia” but not allowed to wear their trademark gloves. Albano made more of a mark as a manager in the WWWF leading many of his proteges to the WWWF Tag-Team titles, and some to WWWF World Title matches.
Albano was already managing at this point, but this steams from Albano busting open Monsoon with a steel chair after Monsoon was picking on one of Albano’s proteges. This will be my first time to see Albano in action, and I’ve rarely seen Monsoon. It’s insane how big he really was and he never seemed that big as a longtime announcer. Albano looks to be in decent shape, well at least compared to the days of 1985, which isn’t saying much. Albano stalls going into the ropes, before he and Monsoon even lock up. They finally do and Monsoon gives a few shots to Alabno in the corner, until Albano rakes the face. A lockup in the middle of the ring sees Albano thrust his thumb into Monsoon’s eyes. He continues doing this off a couple of lockups. This is firustrating Monsoon so much he that he picks up the referee and moves him out of the way to get to Albano. Albano continues cheating but Monsoon fight back and then pokes Albano in the eyes himself. He begins tossing Albano from pillar to post and hitting him with hard punches and chops. He chops Albano on the ropes sending him outside, and Albano bails leaving to the back stage. The referee counts Albano out and gives the match to Monsoon. This was a pretty nothing match that the fans enjoyed, it was fun to see Albano get his comeuppance from the wildly popular Monsoon though. I wish it would have gone on longer. *
WINNER: Gorilla Monsoon at 2:58
4) Black Gordman vs. Victor Rivera
Gordman had a legendary tag-team with The Great Goliath out on the West Coast. They would draw the heat from the Hispanic fans by vehemently denying their heritage. They would taunt fans during their matches especially when they had the upperhand on a babyface. The two eventually split up, with Gordman going face. They battled to a thirty minute draw in a “fight to the finish” match. They reunited and turned face in the late 70s taking on the heel team of the Twin Devils. By that time they were past their primes, and went down with the promotion like many of the top stars who were also past their prime and worn out their welcome in the city.
Victor Rivera was someone who was featured a bit in the wrestling mags of the day. He bounced between babyface and heel, and was not known for his mic skills. When he was a fan favorite he usually was able to play off of his Puerto Rican heritage. He made most of his career in LA, but like most stayed there too long and died with the territory. It’s been rumored he’s been in and out of jail in the last few years, and hasn’t been out for a while.
At this time, Rivera and Gordman were feuding in Mike LeBell’s Los Angeles promotion. By this time New York City had an affiliate of Spanish International Network (which eventually morphed into Univision), which featuring wrestling from LA, so both men were familiar to the fans. Vince notes there will be bowling tournaments from Arizona and New Jersey on HBO later. Wow, they really had top class programming on HBO back in the day. Gordman isn’t anxious to lock up, but Rivera catches him with a series of arm-drags to the approval of the crowd. Rivera does a carwheel for no reason. They lock up, and trade shots with Rivera getting the better of Gordman. Gordman begs off, but Rivera is on him, throwing rights and lefts then whipping him across the ring into the opposite turnbuckle. Gorman again begs off Rivera. He’s very catious and always backing up. Gordman locks on a chokehold, but Rivera takes him down. Rivera has a wristlock on Gordman on the mat. The referee says Rivera pulled the hair and calls for the break. Gordman gets a takedown on Rivera and works on his leg on the mat. Rivera is attempting for a cross arm-breaker which doesn’t work at first. However he gets out of it and gets on top of Gordman for a near-fall. Gordman fights up though as they have double wristlocks. They struggle over it in the proverbial test of stregth. Gordman gets a cheap shot, and then surfboards Rivera from behind. Rivera tries to turn it around, but no such luck. Rivera tries again, but ends up on his knees on the mat. Again, Rivera rises to his feet in an attempt to get out of the hold and finally reverses it as the MSG crowd goes crazy. Rivera then rams Gordman’s head into the turnbuckle. Rivera continues punching him, until Gordman gets a rake to the face. Gordman then sends Rivera into the turnbuckle face first and applies a sleeperhold. On the mat, Rivera is struggling to breathe. Rivera is desperately trying to fight out as the crowd cheers him on. Rivera begins to fight up, but can’t get out. Gordman begins to rock Victor back and forth with the hold. See that’s how not to make a rest hold, simple but effective. Rivera continues to try and get out of it. He finally gets to his feet, but Gordman takes him down. He tries again, and delivers an elbow to the midsection. Rivera then gives Gromdan a couple of dropkicks and flying headscissors takedown. Grodman is definately rocked and confused. Gordman catches him with a kick to the gut and then goes back down to the sleeperhold. Victor again fight up, and Rievera gets him off. Rivera catches Grodman coming off the ropes and bodyslams him. Gordman then pops back up and bodyslams Rivera. Rivera pops up, and Gordman tries to slam him. However Rivera rolls him up in a small package to gain victory. It was a good match, working over the sleeperhold went a little too long though and it didn’t get as much steam going as I hoped. I wonder how their battles on the West Coast were. **½
WINNER: Victor Rivera at 12:39
5) 2/3 Falls: Joyce Grable & Jan Sheridan vs. Peggy Patterson & Dottie Downs
You think women’s wrestling is just bad now? This would be the time when Fabulous Moolah ran women’s wrestling with a stranglehold, owning the championship (literally) and training all the wrestlers (which didn’t produce great results). Then the women would be treated like a sideshow attraction just like the midgets. They’d come through a territory for a special occasion, like maybe a MSG show. In fact, was there ever a time after Mildred Burke retired that North American’s women’s wrestling could be qualified as anywhere above mediocre? Both financially and aesthetically?
Joyce Grable is actually the second Joyce Grable. After the first retired apparently Moolah thought she’d create a new one. She wrestled into the 80s and was probably one of the more successful ladies coming from Moolah. Her most notable match might be teaming with Wendi Richter defending the Women’s Tag-Team titles on the undercard of the Hulk Hogan-Nick Bockwinkel AWA Super Sunday card in 1983. In 2000 she was living in Georgia with her family. Can’t seem to find much info on her partner Jan Sheridan, though I’m pretty sure she’s out of Moolah’s camp. They’re the faces and the cuties of the match.
Not much information is out there on the heels. Downs looks about 20 years older than all others in this match. She wrestled in WWWF, Georgia, Gulf Coast, the Carolinas, Florida, and Toronto. I’m guessing she’s from Moolah’s camp as I saw results of her both tagging and facing Moolah. Patterson is the biggest lady of the four, she wrestled in the WWWF, Georgia, Carolinas, Toronto, and likely the Gulf Coast. So, Patterson was also likely out of Moolah’s camp.
Fall #1: Men were constantly whistling during the introductions. Patterson and Sheridan start off, with Patterson clubbing Sheridan then going in a front face lock. They go to the ropes, and Sherdian gets in a shot. They lock up again, and Patterson tries an elbow in the corner, but Sheridan moves out of the way. Sheridan is against the ropes again, but somehow pushes Patterson back, and it looks like she throws a punch. Patterson gets an arm-bar on Sheridan, and then she goes down to her knees. Patterson delivers a couple of kicks to Sheridan back on the mat. Sheridan is kicking on the mat in pain, but gets up. Sheridan gets dragged down by the hair by Patterson. Grable complains to the referee about it. The referee finally catches Patterson pulling the hair and calls for the break. Sheridan then does a bolo punch like motion, but doesn’t do it. Sheridan puts Patterson in a leghold, then Patterson reverses it on her. Sheridan herself reverses it into a step over toe hold like move. Sheridan finally tags in Grable and she goes into the toe hold herself. Grable & Sheridan then double team Patterson. Patterson uses a hairpull to get out of the situation. Patterson then delivers a slap to the gut. Downs is tagged in and locks on a front face lock like the crazy old lady she is. Grable tries to fight, but Downs and Patterson change in and out without a tag. They make another tag and Down keeps on the front face lock while Grable struggles to get to her corner, but she has the entire ring to go across. Grable gets her in the ropes, but on the break Downs gives a cheap shot and sends Grable down to the mat for a near-fall. Downs then locks on the hold again, and uses her other hand to pull the hair. Sheridan enters the ring to try and help Grable but it distracts the referee so Patterson & Downs can double team her in the corner and choke her with the tag rope. Downs stomps at Grable then gives her a snapmare, but it’s in other corner so Sheridan gets the tag. Sheridan chokes Downs on the ropes, but Patterson delivers a kick to break it up. Sheridan gives Downs a forearm to the back sending her to her knees. She delivers another forearm to send her face down on the mat. She then delivers an awful punch to Downs. Sheridan tags in Grable, and then they go for something, but Patterson runs in and hits her own partner. Downs gets the advantage back and tags in Patterson. Patterson pulls the hair while having Sheridan in a hammerlock. But Sheridan comes back and puts on an arm-bar. Sheridan moves it into a hammerlock sending her down to the mat. Patterson gets into the ropes, and Sheridan keeps the hold on for a little. Both women tag their partners. Downs is stalling against Grable. God Downs looks old, basically like Mae Young today but not an attempt at comedy. Downs gets a toe hold, but Sheridan and Patterson keep on jumping in to reverse the advantage for their partners. Finally, Grable has Downs on her back in the toe hold, but Downs gets into the ropes. Grable gets a takedown and uses the toehold, but she gets too close to the ropes and Patterson shoves her down for Downs to get the advantage. Downs catches Grable coming off the ropes with a kick. Second time around Grable dropkicks Down and pins her.
First Fall Result: Joyce Grable & Jan Sheridan at 13:15
Fall #2: To begin the fall Patterson & Downs argue with the referee. So Grable & Sheridcan pull them into the ring and then slingshot them twice simultaneously. Then Patterson is thrown out of the ring by Jan Sheridan, while in the ring Grable has an arm-bar on Downs. She continues to work over it as Downs struggles on her feet to get to the tag. She finally does, and Patterson applies an arm-bar to Grable and then pull her down by the hair. Grable gets to her feet, but again Patterson pulls her down by the hair. Grable tags in Sheridan. Sheridan and Patterson argue in the ring. Patterson is thrown around by her hair by Sheridan. Patterson yells at the referee to look for her using the hair. Patterson begs her off, but Sheridan gets a kick to the sternum. Patterson goes over and tags in Down. Sheridan locks on a headlock on Downs, but she uses a hairpull to get out of it. Downs gets a takedown then goes into a leglock. She works over Sheridan with the leglock on the mat. Sheridan tries to scoot over to tag her partner, but can’t quiet do it. Patterson enters the ring as Sheridan gets in a pinning position on Downs. Sheridan yells at the referee frustrated. Grable gets into the ring against Downs. Grable tries a dropkick, but Downs goes back. Downs takes advantage and pins her. Patterson gives a couple of cheap shots to Grable and Sheridan.
Second Fall Result: Peggy Patterson & Dottie Downs at 6:22
Fall #3: Sheridan plays possum at the beginning of the fall, then rushes Patterson. However it doesn’t work as she ends up in the wrong corner and is double-teamed by Patterson & Downs. Grable is tagged in and Patterson delivers a snapmare to Grable but she comes back with lefts and rights. Grable then delivers a snamare with a hairpull followed by a monkey flip. Grable then gives Patterson a catapult. Grable then goes up on Patterson shoulders and gives an incredibly sloppy victory roll for the win. This match was made mostly by some of the shouting and body language in the ring, however this had all the cliches of women’s wrestling with hairpulls and only performing the simplest of moves, sometimes even blowing those (like the finish). With all of them likely coming out of Moolah’s camp it should be no surprise. Still better than most WWE Divas matches of today, but to be fair, most of them have little to no formal training. *1/2
Final Fall Result: Joyce Grable & Jan Sheridan at 2:09
WINNERS: Joyce Grable & Jan Sheridan at 23:52
6) WWWF World Champion Pedro Morales vs. George “The Animal” Steele
The two wrestlers of this match are fairly well known even by fans of today. Steele was a teacher who would moonlight in the summer as a wrestler (sounds like a gimmick out of the WWF from 1994). He started in Detroit where he wrestled under a mask as “The Student”, so his family and co-workers wouldn’t knew he wrestled. Then he wrestled more in the WWWF and Pittsburgh. He was known as a wildman, until his later years when he more of a big lug who lusted after Ms. Elizabeth. Morales was in the middle of his two year WWWF World title reign. He traveled to various places because of his World title run, but was mostly a WWWF guy. He had a few runs with secondary titles in the WWWF (the US and IC titles).
This is of course back when Steele was doing his wildman gimmick, before he became generic babyface retard. He asks the crowd “what the hell is wrong with you” as they scream at him. Pedro Morales gets a fairly good pop coming out. Steele isn’t letting him get into the ring, but finally backs off. The referee is jumping as both men are in the ring, knowing the unpredictability of Steele. Steele charges Moragles, but Morales was ready and greets him with a couple of right hands. Morales then whips Steele into the turnbuckle and Steele goes outside. Steele takes his time to get back in the ring. The referee demands Morales gets back to let Steele get in the ring. Morales and Steele circle each other with Morales wanting to lock up badly. Steele is staying back, not being all that aggressive. They finally lock up and Morales gets in a few punches, but then Steele uses a foreign object on Morales’ stomach. He then goes to Morales and rams it in his head into the turnbuckle sending him down and flat on his back. So Steele chokes him while he’s down. Steele picks him up and then whips him into the ropes and follows with a bodyslam. He uses the object again on the throat of Morales. The referee then asks Steele about him using the weapon, and he denies it. It gives time for Morales to regain his composure and he throws a couple of punches that connect. Steele is backing off, while Morales is going towards him, but keeps a distance. Steele charges him and Morales armdrags him. Morales then attacks Steele in the corner, and gets one good shot to the cranium. Steele is going back, and letting Morales come to him. Steele locks a on a headlock quickly and then uses the object on Morales’ throat sending down to the mat. The referee still doesn’t see it and can’t find it on Steele. Steele rams Pedro’s head into the turbuckle a few of times, sending Morales down to the ring apron. Morales is definatley dazed after the attack. Steele tries it again, but Morales delivers a left hand and then rams Steele’s head into the turnbuckle. Then he does it another time and then another one. The referee checks on Steele as he lies on the mat, and block him to the ringside fans as Steele blades. Morales does it a third time and Steele is busted open. Morales keeps on his attack, and Steele begs him off. Morales dives right in and bites Steele on his cut. Morales delivers a left hand sending Steele back into the corner. Morales then gives several more shots as Steel is in headlock. The referee calls the match because of Steele’s bleeding, and Morales retains the title. They continue fighting after the match, and then Morales gets the foreign object so Steele makes a run for it. Morales shakes the fans hands at ringside after the match and holds up a Puerto Rican and American flag. This was an okay and fun match and it served its purpose. **½
WINNER: and still WWWF World Champion Pedro Morales at 8:16 via TKO
7) Chief Jay Strongbow vs. Mr. Fuji
Another match where both men are fairly well known. As mentioned above, Fuji was three time WWWF Tag-Team Champion with Toro Tanaka. He later had a run as a long time manager, consistently winning the “Worst Manager of the Year” award for the WON. Fuji apparently held little respect from his peers as a wrestler and a manager. Strongbow was an Italian who did a Indian gimmick. According to Freddie Blassie’s book, he was a guy who usually met the heel of the month who was on their way down or out of the WWWF.
Fuji throws salt like Tanaka before the match, and again Ms. Kreiger wipes it out of the ring, to Fuji’s confusion. Strongbow remains as firm and stoic as the Rock of Gilbraltar as Fuji does the salt ritual. They start with a criss cross and Strongbow catches Fuji with a JUDO CHOP! Fuji on the apron, so Strongbow then takes Fuji in the ring with a flying headscissors. Strongbow delivers a couple of armdrags on Fuji. Fuji is on his knees in the corner, he begins to look for his salt, but the referee catches him. Fuji is passive in locking up with Strongbow. They almost do another cirss cross, but both stop themselves. Strongbow goes to the ropes and goes under Fuji’s legs and then knocks Fuji down with an elbow. Fuji back up gets his salt out of the trunks and uses it on Strongbow. Then Fuji delivers a JUDO CHOP to the throat. Fuji is on an assualt of Strongbow as the crowd whoops to get behind Strongbow. I’m sure he’d probably be more offended than flattered if he wasn’t really an Italian anyway. Fuji goes up top, but Strongbow catches him. Strongbow bodyslams Fuji. Strongbow gets a back body drop on Fuji. He then rakes Fuji’s face with his own salt to get back. Fuji goes outside, so Strongbow kicks him to the back of the head on the apron. Fuji gets back in the ring and begs off Strongbow, Strongbow mocks him. Fuji then locks on the TITTY TWISTER OF TORTURE! Strongbow gets out, but much like jumper cable attached to a car battery during freaky sex, Fuji keeps on Strongbow’s nipples. Uh, don’t ask. Despite the ridiculousness of the hold, Strongbow goes down to the mat. Man, I don’t think I would sell something that looked like a glorified nipple cripple. Strongbow fights up from it and gives Fuji a chop to the head and then a knee lift to the face. Fuji gets an eye gouge and goes back to Strongbow’s pecs. Strongbow gives a double tomahawk chop to get out. He gets back in it though, and Strongbow tries to fight out again, but Fuji keeps the hold on. The crowd is whooping for Strongbow. Fuji whips Strongbow into the ropes and delivers a chop which gets a nearfall. Fuji rams Strongbow into the turnbuckle. Fuji continues his attack on Strongbow and then does another JUDO CHOP! It’s a near-fall, but Strongbow gets his foot on the ropes. Fuji keeps going after Strongbow and rams his head into the turnbuckle a couple of times. Then whips him to the opposite side, and delivers a shoulder to the mid section. Strongbow is getting up, so Fuji goes up top, because I guess he’s stupid. Strongbow pulls him off the top. He then does his war dance delivering knees to Fuji. He whips him into the ropes, delivers a double tomahawk chop and covers him for the win. This had a good start, but when Fuji went into the titty twister it became pretty feh. *1/2
WINNER: Chief Jay Strongbow at 13:58
8) Haystacks Calhoun vs. Moondog Mayne
Moondog Mayne was a man by the name of Lonnie Mayne. This was during his one run in the WWWF where he was at the top wrestling Bruno and Pedro. However he made a bigger mark on the West Coast in LA, San Francisco, and Portland. He had early babyface catchphrases in Portland as he’d always say “there’s excitement in the air.” Mayne held the US title in San Francisco three times. Unfortunately in August of 1978, Mayne died in a car accident. At that time he was San Francisco’s US Champion.
Haystacks Calhoun at this point was one half of the WWWF Tag-Team Champions with Tony Garea. He traveled around for years as a sideshow attraction, like Andre except a lot less mobile. He had more of a gimmick as a farm boy, always carrying around his lucky horseshoe. He was popular from the 50s until around this time when Andre was becoming popular. He also appeared uncredited in the classic film Requiem for a Heavyweight. He passed away in 1989 due to diabetes in near poverty.
In the ring, Mayne gets on the MSG mic and has this profound statement “AGHHHHH.” I think I learned a little something about myself from that. Calhoun gets a good reaction coming out to the ring. Calhoun goes after Mayne right away with his horseshoe and the referee comically sticks his head in his gut to try and stop him, but it’s not use. Mayne runs. Mayne attacks Calhoun from behind to start the match. Calhoun is down on one knee as Mayne beats on him in the corner, even biting him. Mayne chokes Calhoun in the corner, as he basically sits on his fat ass. Mayne continues choking Calhoun in the corner for a while. Calhoun finally gets up, and Moondog delivers a few right forearms. The referee is trying to get them out of the corner, but to no such luck. Mayne throws Calhoun into the ropes, but Calhoun catches him with a kick to the face when his head is down. Calhoun then delivers right hands as Mayne is backed up on the ropes. Mayne gets tied up, and Calhoun continues his attack. Calhoun gives Mayne a big back body drop. He then puts him in between his knees, and wiggles his ass to accomplish....I don’t know what, but apparently something. Maybe he didn’t wipe, I know Blassie said he had terrible hygiene. It gets a pop out of the crowd I’ll give him that. Calhoun then delviers three terrible punches to Mayne. It has him wobbling, so Calhoun delivers a kick to the gut to send him flat on his back. Calhoun sits on Mayne and then does a few butt drops on him. Mayne gets a lowblow to get Calhoun down. Mayne goes up top because of course he has to bump around for Calhoun, and then right on cue, Calhoun sends him down to the mat. Mayne gives Calhoun an eye gouge and then begins biting him. The referee has the voice of Rizzo from Midnight Cowboy, I swear. Calhoun reverses whip into the corner, and follows an avalanche splash. Then whips Mayne into the opposite corner and another avalanche splash. He whips Mayne into the ropes, delivers a shoulderblock followed by a splash for the win. This one was bordering on negative stars, as Haystacks had zero mobility, but it wasn’t too terribly bad as Mayne carried the thing and they kept it short. DUD
WINNER: Haystack Calhoun at 6:03
Comments: Well an alright MSG show. While the star ratings aren’t all that high this kept my interest more than some *** matches of today, this felt like a legit sport and something I should be paying attention to, not malarkey that is a wrestling in the form of a variety show. Many older fans say WWWF wasn’t exactly high on technical wrestling, as they’d have some great talent come through, but they never seemed to use them to their fullest potential. After this show I tend to agree. But it’s still a fun show that deserves a look. It’s only two hours, so it won’t take up too much of your time.
And of course, this show has Ms. Kreiger, how could it not be a good show?