October 7, 2012
WWF At MSG, September 21, 1981
Commentator: Vince McMahon
Another 20,000+ pack the Garden for one of the most hard fought title bouts of all time, a Battle Royale, plus more!
Note: At a TV taping in Allentown, PA on July 21, Tony Garea and Rick Martel realized their dream a second time as they defeated The Moondogs to once again become the WWF World Tag Team Champions!
Match 1: The Great Yatsu vs Baron Mikel Scicluna
Setup: The ultra boring Japanese comer takes on the bored Baron to start things off in The Garden.
Match: Looks like eating too much of that rotten American food has caused Yatsu to pack on a few pounds. Scicluna overwhelms him at first with some brawling but Yatsu soon takes over with his growing repertoire of rest holds. A fake out with a missed punch and the sunset flip of doom ensures the finish.
Result: Yatsu via pinfall at 9:37
Score: 0 (Shit) Yatsu fails to capture the imagination, and The Baron sadly just doesn’t have any more juice.
Match 2: 20 Man Battle Royale
Setup: $10,000 is at stake as 20 wrestlers, jobbers and stars alike battle it out for the prize!
Match: The first thing I noted was how incredibly grueling THIS Battle Royale was, compared to others in the past. It takes quite a while before the first elimination (Bulldog Brower) and even then most of the participants still get a lot of ring time. Jobbers like Ron Shaw, Scicluna, and Steve O find their way out, but there’s still a lot of fighting going on. Yatsu goes out to no fanfare. Mascaras is eliminated and I’m surprised, since ol Mil doesn’t even like to sell, much less lose. Mosca and Khan dump Morales hard, then Garea and Martel dropkick them out as well, causing Morales to smile. A couple more jobbers go then it’s Fuji and Saito in a 4 on 2 against Garea, Martel, DeNucci, and Special Delivery Jones. Unbelievably, the two “evil” Japanese stars overcome the odds, last tossing out Martel, then bowing to each other and the fans as they split the prize money.
Result: Fuji and Saito via being the last two in the ring at 18:24
Score: 2 (Good) A nice, drawn out event with a surprising, unconventional ending.
Match 3: Ron Shaw vs Steve O
Setup: Otherwise known as the Abbott and Costello match, because this can definitely be dubbed “Who?” vs “What?”.
Match: Shaw is a big boy, but has little to no charisma, while O (Olsonowski) is best known as a part time referee in the AWA. In other words, they’re pretty evenly matched, which is bad news for the viewer, until the big O channels Randy Savage and hits a flying axehandle off the top rope for the finish.
Result: O via pinfall at 6:52
Score: 1 (Okay) Hey, at least (I think) they tried.
Match 4: Curt Hennig vs Mr. Fuji
Setup: Two future Hall Of Famers meet in what unfortunately is just your regular old squash match.
Match: And what a squash it is! Fuji controls from the onset with lots of karate chops, then locks on his favorite nervehold to pad out the match time. The future Mr. Perfect gets literally ZERO offense here (not even a punch), as Fuji hits a kamikaze slam for the win.
Result: Fuji via pinfall at 7:14
Score: 1 (Okay) Proof positive that even the revered Mr. Perfect had to work his way up the ladder slowly.
Match 5: Killer Khan vs Dominic DeNucci
Setup: The old man who can go no more gets the mammoth Mongolian in MSG.
Match: Things are starting to look a bit ridiculous with the setup of this card, as Khan controls the match from the onset, while Dominic’s one shining bit is to work on the legs a little and apparently fail to pull his punches as he nails Khan in the nose, and Killer seems to sell it like it’s legit. Finish comes when DeNucci misses a charge in the corner and collapses in a tired old heap.
Result: Khan via pinfall at 4:03
Score: 1 (Okay) Khan kept it watchable with his antics, but someone needs to memo McMahon Sr. that it’s time to put DeNucci out to pasture.
Match 6: Mr. Saito vs Roberto Soto
Setup: Roberto who? Nonetheless, former Olympian Saito gets a chance to show his stuff.
Match: Saito certainly had a more multifaceted style than Fuji, using the martial arts but also lots of good mat wrestling basics, mixed in with a mocking bow on Soto after schooling him in the ring. Saito seems to be enjoying himself, but soon all good things must end, and a judo kick to the back of the head ensures it.
Result: Saito via pinfall at 6:54
Score: 1 (Okay) A handy disposal of an unworthy jobber completes a good night for Albano’s Japanese duo.
Match 7: S.D. Jones vs Angelo Mosca
Setup: His Specialness gets a big, mean Canadian football legend to deal with.
Match: After months of wrestling and winning against garbage opponents, here S.D. is starting for the first time to look like his Wrestlemania I self. After showing obvious fear of getting into the ring against the bellowing Mosca, he gets attacked before the bell and beaten down severely. Mosca makes one mistake missing a charge into the corner and hitting his shoulder on the ringpost, but he shakes it off and hits a nasty backbreaker on Jones for the pin.
Result: Mosca via pinfall
Score: 1 (Good) Looked like something we’d see on Saturday morning, a rather disturbing trend with this whole card.
Match 8: Bob Backlund vs Magnificent Muraco (Texas Death Match For The WWF World Title)
Setup: After taking Bobby to a 60 minute draw at the last (untelevised) MSG event, The Magnificent One gets a rematch with no time limit and no holds barred!
Match: Now THIS is what most people no doubt came to see. Backlund and Muraco throw some punches at each other at the onset to test each other’s meddle. From there, Backlund gets the psychological edge by working on Muraco’s arm like a shark. He can’t seem to put Muraco away though, not even with his piledriver, and soon Muraco takes the advantage after falling outside and hitting Backlund in the throat with a steel chair(!) Bob is suffering now, and Muraco goes to work with the Asian spike, a tombstone piledriver, and even a big splash off the top rope, but now it’s Backlund who is miraculously kicking out. Muraco goes for a double axehandle suplex, but Backlund manages to stand up and reverse it, dropping Muraco on his back. Muraco puts his foot on the bottom rope, but the referee still counts three, screwing Muraco even though there weren’t really any rules.
Result: Backlund via pinfall at 31:35 (Retains Title)
Score: 3 (Great) Awesome and epic, like a true main event is supposed to be.
Match 9: Larry Sharpe vs Pedro Morales
Setup: The Pretty Lil Fat Boy gets the former IC Champ in an important bout for him.
Match: Frankly, if this had been the age of bi-annual talent cuts, I wouldn’t like Sharpe’s chances for employment much. Sharpe runs his mouth at Pedro and gets a slap in the face for his efforts, as Pedro won’t take no lip. Sharpe’s offense consists of the most fatigue-inducing armbar ever, even lamely trying to pin Morales with it. Finish comes when Larry makes a mistake and Pedro makes him pay with a backslide.
Result: Morales via pinfall at 6:28
Score: 1 (Okay) Pedro can’t carry em all.
Match 10: Mil Mascaras vs Bulldog Brower
Setup: One of the best conditioned athletes of all time takes on one of the worst.
Match: You know Brower is in a bad spot here, because it’s obvious Mil won’t sell any of his lame offense, and he doesn’t, working right through Brower’s punches and basically doing whatever he wants out there before hitting a flying forearm and a splash for the quick pin.
Result: Mascaras via pinfall at 2:41
Score: 1 (Okay) Laughably lopsided fun!
Match 11: Tony Garea & Rick Martel vs Jose Estrada & Johnny Rodz (WWF World Tag Team Title Match)
Setup: The recently re-christened Tag Team Champs defend against a duo that might as well be dubbed The Latin Connection.
Match: Nice to see Rodz in a match of some importance, and a title shot too. Not much continuity shown by either team, which means we don’t get the standard beatdown on one guy before a hot tag either. Nonetheless, all four guys are gamers, and we get a solid workrate before Martel tags in while in a better mood than usual, and catches Estrada with a sunset flip for the pin.
Result: Garea and Martel via pinfall at 12:15 (Retain Titles)
Score: 2 (Good) Solid little title defense that only helps to raise the legitimacy of the WWF version of those belts.
Overall Score: 1.5 A classic World Title defense, and a pretty good Battle Royale elevate it above the jobber shit, so if you’re a mark for Muraco or Fuji, it’d probably be a home run idea to order this from your most trusted online retailer.