September 17, 2008
Black Saturday - World Championship Wrestling, July 14, 1984
The anniversary of this show passed months ago with little fanfare, but since it’s a nice quick watch I figured it’s as good a time as any to bang off a review. This is the 24/7 version that I have here, so if anything is missing, blame the WWE censors. Kind of funny to hear WWE themselves refer to this as “Black Saturday”, and admit that fans were outraged at the idea of WWF programming replacing the beloved Georgia wrestling, but I guess winning the war in the end has mellowed them to the shots they took at this point making it ok to poke a little fun at themselves. On with the show.
Freddie Miller introduces WTBS viewers to Vince McMahon who runs down what we’re going to see today.
Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch vs. SD Jones & Nick DeCarlo (July 10, 1984, Brantford Civic Centre, Brantford, ON, Announcers: Vince McMahon & Tony Garea)
Adonis and Murdoch are the tag champs here, but this is a non-title match. Murdoch and SD start with a couple lockups where SD backs him to the corner and breaks. He grabs a side headlock and Murdoch makes the blind tag, but SD avoids any shenanigans. Adonis grabs a hammerlock, reversed by SD who then sends Adonis off the ropes. SD catches him in a bodyslam and hits a headbutt before Adonis tags Murdoch. SD gets cocky and dances before they lockup. Murdoch backs him to the corner and tries a cheapshot, but SD avoids it and hits a headbutt. Another tag by that champs brings Adonis back in and SD tags DeCarlo. Wristlock to an armbar by DeCarlo, which Adonis tries to hiptoss out of, but DeCarlo hangs on. Adonis finally escapes ad tags Murdoch who walks into an armdrag. Murdoch is up and backs DeCarlo to the corner where he is able to hammer away. Murdoch whips him to Adonis’ boot and makes the tag. The champs hit a double elbowsmash, followed by Adonis dropping another for 2. Abdominal stretch is hooked, but SD makes the save by headbutting Adonis. Tag to Murdoch who keeps working over DeCarlo, but DeCarlo fights back and is able to make the tag. SD whips Murdoch and Adonis into each other and nails them both with headbutts, but Adonis is able to hit a knee from behind to stop the rally. Adonis gets the tag and they send SD off the ropes so they can hit a double elbow. SD comes back with a headbutt and both guys make the tag. DeCarlo whips Murdoch to the corner but eats elbow on the charge. Tag to Adonis and the champs hit a move somewhat resembling a Doomsday Device for 3 at 6:12. This had a good pace and everyone did a good job making it entertaining. *1/2
Jesse “The Body” Ventura vs. Chris Curtis (June 17, 1984, Met Center, Bloomington, MN, Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon & Mean Gene Okerlund)
Jesse spends the intros and early part of the match issuing challenges to a Minnesota Vikings player in the crowd. Then he argues with the ref for a bit before finally removing his gear and letting us get underway. Jesse nails some forearms and chokes him in the ropes. He keeps working Curtis over, eventually hitting a slam, but misses a legdrop. Curtis gets a couple of shots in, but after sending Jesse to the corner he runs in to the knee. Jesse with some shots to the kidneys and the backbreaker submission finishes at 4:18. Jesse could talk, and was very charismatic, no doubt about it, but he was much, much better suited to being a tag wrestler with a guy like Adonis who could carry the workload in the ring. DUD
I must point out here an awful interview with Alexis Smirnoff, who can barely keep his fake Russian accent going the whole time.
Iron Sheik vs. Ron Hutchinson (July 10, 1984, Brantford Civic Centre, Brantford, ON, Announcers: Vince McMahon & Tony Garea)
The fans are chanting “Iran Sucks”. These early Canadian tapings had pretty good atmosphere from what I’ve seen of them. Sheik gets a fireman’s carry takedown and stomps away. Irish whip and backdrop followed by a stomach breaker are next. Belly to back suplex sets up the camel clutch which gets the submission at 2:10. Just a squash. DUD
Big John Studd vs. Bobo Brazil (July 7, 1984, Philadelphia Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA, Announcer: Vince McMahon)
It’s pretty mind boggling to think that someone got paid good money to decide that a guy pushing 60 against a guy whose best skill was dragging an awful match out of anyone was not only a good idea to execute in the first place, but to put on the debut show in front of a new audience. First couple minutes are nothing but trading punches and a couple headbutts from Bobo. Studd hooks a bearhug to really get things going, and after a minute of fighting it, Bobo reverses. Now they trade eye rakes and Bobo gets another headbutt to send Studd outside. Back in, Studd nails him and chokes away. Irish whip and a bad looking shoulderblock get 2. Rear chinlock by Studd, but Bobo punches out. Off the ropes and they run into each other a couple of times. Another headbutt (Just so you know, all black wrestlers have very hard heads which is why they all use that move), but Studd catches him with a knee. Corner whip, but on the charge Bobo gets the boot up. He takes Studd down with, you guessed it, a headbutt but misses a legdrop. Studd drops an elbow to finish at 5:45. Boring, repetitive, and badly executed would be about the nicest things I could say about this one. -*
Well I can definitely understand what all the complaining was about. If I was a Georgia fan and tuned in on that summer night in 1984 to see this show, I’d have been pretty pissed off too. The opener was quite good as squashes go, but following that we had nothing but slow paced crap. Also, the interview selection was strange. George Steele? Alexis Smirnoff? B. Brian Blair? You’d think they’d want to showcase their stars like Hogan or Slaughter when they’re in front of a new crowd for the first time. Show gets a high recommendation for you to watch based on the historical curiosity of it, but from a quality perspective this is an easy thumbs down.