Through The Booking Glass: January 1984 Week 4

Hi everybody!

(Waits for the obligatory “Hi, Dr. Nick” reference).

I took last week off for the holiday but I’m back. Not that any of you missed me.

January 1984, Monday, Week 4

The WWF will have their show at Madison Square Garden tonight.  They’ve had a slow advance and the lineup clearly isn’t MSG quality, but we’ll have a preview anyway.

Ivan Koloff vs. Pat Patterson for the WWF Heavyweight Title:  The rumor was that Hulk Hogan was going to replace the “injured” Patterson here and win the title, but Hogan is bound by his New Japan commitments tonight. I have no idea whether that means Koloff keeps the title until Hogan’s available or if Patterson will regain the belt.  I’d keep it on Koloff until you can sign Hogan full time (or at least can bring in someone who will be available on Monday nights for MSG shows) as Patterson at this stage of his career is not a long term solution.

George Steele vs. The Tonga Kid for the WWF Intercontinental Title: This shows you the depth problem the company has right now, as Tonga Kid is nowhere near ready for this spot.  Steele should win.

Andre the Giant, S.D. Jones and Rocky Johnson vs. The Wild Samoans and Samu (two out of three falls):  These are usually designed for Andre to pin someone to win the third fall. I’d expect Samu to take the sitdown splash and the pin.

Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Jimmy Snuka:  Snuka should go over fairly quickly here.

Live coverage from Madison Square Garden (January 1984, Monday, Week 4)

With Pat Patterson wrestling, it’s Lord Alfred Hayes sitting with Gorilla Monsoon in the booth tonight.

Tony Garea pinned Jose Luis Rivera in 7:48 when Rivera hit a flying bodypress but Garea rolled through it into a cover.  Rivera and Garea both worked as faces.  OK match.

In a bout that had solid in-ring action and average heat, Mr. Fuji & Tiger Chung Lee drew with Nick DeCarlo and Invader # 2 in 20:00 when the time limit expired.

In a match that had an average crowd reaction and some decent in-ring action, The Great Wojo defeated Chief Jay Strongbow in 7:27 by pinfall.  Strongbow simply can’t work that long anymore as he was visibly tired here.

In an upset, Jose Estrada defeated Ivan Putski in 10:37 by count out.  The usual Putski finish where he throws his opponent into the ring at the count of 9 because he’s Polish and thus is too stupid to know that 10 comes next.  Both men continued to brawl after the match until Estrada finally made his way to the back.

Jules Strongbow of all people gets mic time as he hypes his match against Salvatore Bellomo.

Jules Strongbow pinned Salvatore Bellomo in 13:39 with a Powerbomb.  Shockingly, Strongbow is the one who was a few steps off and brought the match down.

In an extremely poor match, George Steele drew with The Tonga Kid in 16:29 following a double disqualification. So Steele retains the Intercontinental Title.

Gorilla Monsoon attempts to interview The Tonga Kid at ringside.  Kid said he wants a rematch. Please God, no!

In a match even worse than the last one, Sky Low Low defeated Haiti Kid in 7:24 by two straight falls, with the final fall happening by pinfall.  It’s pretty sad that neither of these guys can go seven minutes (with a rest period at that) without being blown up.

Monsoon interviewed Ivan Koloff at ringside.  Koloff said he proved once already that he can beat Pat Patterson when it counts, and he’ll do it again tonight.

In a bout that had a good crowd and good action, Pat Patterson defeated Ivan Koloff in 5:40 by pinfall to regain the WWF World Heavyweight title.  Best match of the show so far but still disappointing.

Lord Alfred Hayes attempted to interview the champion backstage, but Andre the Giant and Rocky Johnson poured champagne over the new champion to celebrate.

Jimmy Snuka pinned Iron Mike Sharpe in 3:36 with a Superfly Splash.  This was actually really good, possibly better than the title match.

Monsoon attempted the interview with Patterson this time.  Patterson thanked the fans for their support and said this will be their belt as well as his.

Afa cut a promo in Samoan over the PA. Why are you laughing?

Andre The Giant and Rough and Tumble defeated Samu and The Wild Samoans in 5:19 by two straight falls, with the final fall happening when Andre pinned Samu with a bodyslam.  Andre looked amazing here.

Average show with the final match saving it.

January 1984, Tuesday, Week 4

Nick DeCarlo and Jose Estrada bonded backstage last night as they apparently have a shared love of botany.  Yes, I’m serious.

A disappointing crowd of 3,542 at the Garden last night.  A return date for February of Monday, Week 4 has been announced.

The six man tag team match that closed the show was deemed match of the night so all six guys earned a Match of the Night bonus.

I have yet to receive any sort of word as to whether Pat Patterson’s title reign is going to be long term or short term.  Word is both Vince McMahon and booker Jared Hawkins want the belt on Hulk Hogan but since they can’t get a long term commitment from him due to his New Japan commitments, they’ll run with Patterson and see what happens.  Highlights of the title change will air on TV this weekend.

WWF Championship Wrestling taping (January 1984, Tuesday, Week 4)

Over the course of the show, Howard Finkel announced the following matches for February:  Pat Patterson defending the WWF Heavyweight Title against Samu in Philadelphia, Andre the Giant and Jimmy Snuka vs. The Great Wojo and Don Kent in Philadelphia, Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Brian Blair for Madison Square Garden, and Andre and Tony Garea vs. Mr. Fuji and Rene Goulet for next week.

In an extremely short match, The Tonga Kid pinned Bob Bradley in 1:29 with a Piledriver.

The Wild Samoans defeated Steve Lombardi and S.D. Jones in 4:08 by disqualification.  The Samoans kept picking up Lombardi at a two count instead of completing the pin, leading to Rocky Johnson running in and attacking Afa for the save.  The Samoans recovered and ended up beating the Tag Team Champions down before heading to the locker room.  Once the dust settled, Gene Okerlund interviewed the champions, who vowed revenge.

Samu was Lord Alfred Hayes’ guest on Victory Corner as, with the help of Lou Albano, he discussed wanting to face S.D. Jones in an attempt to weaken the champions before a defense against the Samoans.

Iron Mike Sharpe defeated Frankie Williams in 2:11 by submission with a Bear Hug.

Rene Goulet defeated Tony Garea in 2:50 by pinfall.

Brian Blair defeated Charlie Fulton in 3:20 by pinfall.  Absolutely nobody cared about this one.

In a match that had an average crowd reaction and some decent in-ring action, Jerry Valiant and Jose Estrada drew with Swede Hanson and Eddie Gilbert in 7:58 following a double disqualification when Johnny Rodz ran in and attacked Gilbert, and Ivan Putski also attacked Valiant.

In a non-title match, Intercontinental Champion George Steele defeated Steve Regal in 4:37 by submission.

I’m sure a lot of people will praise this show because some stuff actually happened but I wasn’t a big fan of it.

January 1984, Wednesday, Week 4

Steve Regal pulled what was called a tasteless prank on Rocky Johnson backstage before the show last night.  Booker Jared Hawkins didn’t fine him as he wants Regal back eventually (his contract is due to expire) but did have a long talk with him that led to an apology by Regal.

Road agent Penny Mitchell was the most popular person backstage last night as she brought enough alcohol to float a battleship.

A video pushing George Steele’s Intercontinental Title reign will air on TV this weekend.

As usual, a sell out crowd of 1,300 at the Agricultural Hall in Allentown, PA last night.  There was a good overall reaction for the show last night although some hated it.

January 1984, Thursday, Week 4

Mr. Fuji and Tiger Chung Lee vs. Tony Garea and Eddie Gilbert has been added to the Philadelphia show on February 1984, Saturday, Week 3.  At least they’re announcing some sort of lineup more than two days before the show this time.

January 1984, Friday, Week 4

Bill Anderson and Jerry Valiant have officially left the WWF to begin their commitments to Championship Wrestling from Florida.

January 1984, Saturday, Week 4

Rocky Johnson was given an exclusive contract offer from Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.  The WWF has countered by offering Johnson an extension and a raise.  Booker Jared Hawkins was actually going to make an even higher offer but Vince McMahon gave him a cap that he will not budge on.  The loss of Johnson would decimate an already weak tag team division and take away probably the last of the legitimate future challenges for George Steele’s Intercontinental Title.

January 1984, Sunday, Week 4

Both MACW and the WWF have updated their bids for Rocky Johnson.  The report is that MACW’s deal is for money but the WWF’s deal would give longer job security.

TV ratings held steady this weekend.

Written by JHawk

Jared Hawkins is an indy wrestling referee and a former recapper of WWE Raw and SmackDown for the now-defunct www.thesmartmarks.com and co-hosts Pro Wrestling Weekend, available through smartmarkradio.com every Sunday at 6pm Eastern. When not doing something wrestling-related, he is generally getting higher doses of his anxiety medication due to the aggravation of his Cleveland sports teams.

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