April 6, 2012
WWF At The Philadelphia Spectrum, November 17, 1979
Commentators: Vince McMahon and Dick Graham
Pat Patterson gets one more shot at Backlundís World Title plus a Battle Royale and more!
Note: Matches that took place on this card but not included in this release:
Johnny Rodz vs Johnny Rivera goes to a 15 minute draw
Larry Zbyszko over Jerry Valiant via pinfall at 4:43
Ivan Putski over Jimmy Valiant via pinfall at 5:42
Match 1: 18 Man Battle Royale
Setup: $10,000 is on the line as 18 1979-era superstars have at it.
Match: Funny how back in those days prior to a Battle Royale all the faces would come from the locker room together and stand in one corner then all the heels would do the same. The Bitch Spot (first man eliminated) goes to Dominic DeNucci and worse, he gets dumped out on his head and is stretchered off. On and on they go: Monsoon tosses Bobby Duncum then gets tossed out by everyone else; the jobber contingent of Rodz, Rivera, and Estrada are escorted over the top next; Strongbow, Brower, Swede Hanson, DiBiase and Moose Monroe all get the bumís rush. Hussein (Iron Sheik) goes out in grand style; which leaves all three Valiant Brothers against Putski, Santana, and Zbyszko, however the boys from NYC quickly dispose of Larry, leaving the tag champs Ivan and Tito against all three brothers Valiant. After some huddling and interplay, Santana tosses Luscious Johnny, but Jerry and Jimmy nail his ass, leaving Putski in there against Gentleman and Handsome. Some back and forth before the Valiants collide heads and Jimmy tumbles out, then Putski handily throws out Jerry and we have a winner.
Result: Putski wins Battle Royale at 12:27
Rating: 2 (Good) While not Wrestlemania 2 by any means, a good spirited way to start things off.
Match 2: Gorilla Monsoon vs Moose Monroe
Setup: Two superheavyweights, one a legend, one who is not, collide in Philly.
Match: Monroe goes for the quick edge by jumping Gorilla in the corner from behind and tries to beat the bryl-cream from his head. A whip to the corner and Gorilla catches him with a boot coming in. From there Monsoon hits a chop and a big splash and thatís it, and Gorilla never even took his ring jacket off.
Result: Monsoon via pinfall at 36 seconds (announced as a record)
Rating: 1 (Okay) Thrilled to finally see a full Monsoon match, albeit an abbreviated one.
Match 3: Hussein Arab vs Jose Estrada
Setup: Help! The Iron Sheik is loose in Philly, and yet another jobber is paired against him.
Match: Sheik humors the crowd by trying an amateur style match against Estrada, and when that fails (because Jose clearly doesnít know what to do), Sheik unleashes his true arsenal of pain, hitting a gut wrench and then a standing suplex for the win.
Result: Arab via pinfall at 3:24
Rating: 1 (Okay) Just another jobber squash as usually seen on TV.
Match 4: Bobby Duncum vs Chief Jay Strongbow
Setup: Itís the Cowboy versus the Indian in the Spectrum.
Match: Strongbow was not that great a wrestler, but Duncum is just flat out bland, as one wishes that Stan Hansen was running around at this point. Not much to speak of, some back and forth before Strongbow starts his no-selling war dance, but Duncum grabs the legs out and uses the ropes for leverage to finish it.
Result: Duncum via pinfall at 6:07
Rating: 1 (Okay) Not much you can do here with workers of this quality.
Match 5: Swede Hansen vs Ted DiBiase
Setup: The North Carolina redneck gets swinging Ted in this uninspired matchup.
Match: The lumbering Swede can only do so much without getting tired, and Ted is hard-pressed to get something going. Predictably, itís size vs technique in this bout, but Hansen is so difficult to work with that DiBiase appears legit frustrated. Finally Hansen slumps in the ropes and Ted runs at him, only for Swede to duck and send Ted over the top and get counted out as Hansen rolls around the ring like heís half-dead.
Result: Hansen via countout at 9:25
Rating: 1 (Okay) A sure sign that DiBiaseís 70s WWF run was coming to an end when he loses to a guy like this.
Match 6: Bob Backlund vs Pat Patterson (WWF World Title Match)
Setup: Patterson gets what may very well be his last opportunity at the World Title. Will he come away with the championship belt, and see new horizons??
Match: Overall, this wasnít too bad. Pat attacks Backlund pre-match, and gets dropped throat first across the top rope. Then ring announcer Gary Cappetta does the formal introductions while Patterson writhes in his corner (an unusual sight). Bell sounds, and Backlund spends the first ten minutes beating the snot out of Patterson, before Pat comes back and works on Backlundís leg extensively, including a protracted figure four leglock. It soon descends into a brawl for it all, before Backlund hits a nice belly to back suplex and both men lay prone on the mat. Referee Dick Woherle does the usual count when both men are down, and Backlund makes it back to his feet, but Woherle continues to count and when he reaches ten rings the bell and declares that Patterson was unable to get up before the count of ten. Uh, this isnít boxing, Dick.
Result: Backlund via KO at 18:02 (Retains Title)
Rating: 2 (Good) Really a very well done bout until the screwy, confusing finish.
Match 7: Tito Santana vs Bulldog Brower
Setup: Can the power of the Bitch Titties bring the Tag Team Champion Tito to his knees??
Match: Sadly we once again get Brower in the ring here, with uninspired brawling, rudimentary mat skills, and lots of grimaces so that we understand that he is a scary villain. In short, the rising star Tito sells WAY too much for this guy. The finish comes when Tito gets tied up in the tree of woe in the corner as Brower stomps away and then shoves the referee down when he tries to break it up, resulting in a disqualification.
Result: Santana via DQ at 7:26
Rating: 1 (Okay) Tito was obviously forced to give too much leeway to a guy he should have squashed in two minutes, because if Brower can be summed up in one word, it would be LAZY.
Overall Rating: 1 (Okay) Kind of a boring, disappointing card, but, if youíre nuts for this shit like I am, be sure to order it from your most trusted online retailer.