Through the Booking Glass: Year 1 Week 26

Welcome to America. Where common sense is frowned upon. Yeah, it was a long week.

July 1983, Monday, Week 2

Butcher Vachon’s contract has expired and he is officially done with the company.

Andre the Giant worked his agreed upon date with Championship Wrestling from Florida last night, losing to Dusty Rhodes on a match taped for TV.  By all accounts the match was great and Andre was the star of the taping, but I can’t believe they’d have the Giant lose to anybody, and I can’t imagine the WWF doing the same thing to Rhodes when he works Madison Square Garden later this month.

July 1983, Tuesday, Week 2

TV returns to Agricultural Hall in Allentown tonight.

An interesting tag match has been announced for Saturday at the Philadelphia Spectrum, as Mr. Fuji will team with Frankie Williams to take on Invader #2 and Tatsumi Fujinami. Should be a very interesting match.

Championship Wrestling taping (July, Tuesday, Week 2)

In an extremely short match, Don Muraco pinned Rocky Johnson in 2:43 with a surprise cradle to retain the Intercontinental Title.  I assume that takes care of Johnson’s run at the title. After the match, Vince McMahon interviewed Muraco who said he disposed of Johnson, now he’ll take care of that “banana eating savage” Jimmy Snuka.

Tito Santana pinned Buddy Rose in 3:37. These two have no chemistry at all, which shocks me as I was expecting this to be fantastic.

Andre the Giant defeated Bob Bradley and Johnny Rodz in a Handicap match in 3:22 when Andre pinned Rodz with The Bodyslam.

Mr. Fuji pinned Chief Jay Strongbow with a kamikaze clothesline in 1:37.

In an extremely short match, Samu and The Wild Samoans defeated S.D. Jones, Tony Garea & Eddie Gilbert in 4:32 when Samu pinned Gilbert with a Flying Headbutt.

Buddy Rogers’ Corner was next, and if I didn’t know better I’d have thought I was watching a rerun. Here Sgt. Slaughter did an interview saying he would be the next champion as soon as Bob Backlund got the guts to face him.

Ivan Putski defeated Tiger Chung Lee in 2:50 by pinfall with a Polish Hammer.

In an extremely short match, Jimmy Snuka and Invader # 2 defeated Charlie Fulton and Mac Rivera in 4:29 when Invader # 2 pinned Rivera with a Heart Punch.  Snuka looked really good here and he was the only one the crowd wanted to see in this match.  After the match, Pat Patterson interviewed the Invader who said he was looking for a new partner to take the tag team titles from the Samoans, but that Snuka was more concerned with Muraco so he’ll continue the search.

Ivan Koloff pinned Frankie Williams in 2:38 by pinfall with a Russian Sickle.

Pat Patterson interviewed Judy Martin, who said she wanted to get a shot at the Fabulous Moolah’s Women’s Title. Patterson implied the match was a certainty but didn’t say when or where it would take place. She left the interview area and was replaced by Rocky Johnson and Chief Jay Strongbow. Both men offered their services to Invader #2 to be his new partner.

In a bout that featured great action and great heat from the audience, Bob Backlund defeated Adrian Adonis in 9:13 by submission with a Cross Face Chicken Wing to retain his WWF Heavyweight title.  This match was very good.

I’d like to have seen more build to the Spectrum show (George Steele’s the challenger but didn’t make an appearance) but this wasn’t a bad show.

July 1983, Wednesday, Week 2

The match between Don Muraco and Rocky Johnson last night was supposed to go about seven minutes but was cut short because Muraco’s schedule has been insane the past few months and they don’t want to over-extend him. That was the blowoff from the missed matches in May.

Last night’s taping drew a sellout crowd of 1,300.  While they can draw more people at the Hamburg Fieldhouse when the Fieldhouse sells out, the rent at Agricultural Hall is significantly lower and makes it more ideal for television.

July 1983, Thursday, Week 2

Some veterans in the business are high on Bill Anderson.  While hardly a household name at the moment (and really seen as nothing more than a job guy in the WWF), some of the biggest and most respected names in the business are saying he’ll be a breakout star in the next few years. He has a long term deal with the WWF, so he definitely will have time to develop into that guy.

July 1983, Friday, Week 2

Championship Wrestling from Florida made an offer to Jimmy Snuka, but Snuka is set for the biggest push of his career in the WWF so he’s expected to turn it down.

July 1983, Saturday, Week 2

Here’s the preview for tonight’s show at the Philadelphia Spectrum.

Bob Backlund vs. George Steele for the WWF Heavyweight Title:  Steele wasn’t even used on the go-home episode of Championship Wrestling, so I can’t imagine they have any plans for him to win the title tonight.

Don Muraco vs. Jimmy Snuka for the Intercontinental Title:  Neither result would surprise me. All I know for sure is the feud will last at least three months, so if I had to make a prediction I would say Snuka by DQ.

Afa/Sika/Samu/Jules Strongbow vs. Andre the Giant/Rocky Johnson/Ivan Putski/Chief Jay Strongbow in an elimination match:  Andre survives at a minimum. Maybe Johnson goes uneliminated as well.

Sgt. Slaughter vs. S.D. Jones:  Slaughter should win easily here as there are still plans for matches against Backlund.

Ivan Koloff vs. Salvatore Bellomo: Koloff should win easily here.

Mr. Fuji and Frankie Williams vs. Invader #2 and Tatsumi Fujinami: I’ll say Invader and Fujinami if only because I doubt Fujinami’s being flown in to lose.

Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Tony Garea: If Garea gets pushed at this point it will be in a tag team, which leads me to believe Sharpe is going to win.

Don Kernodle vs. Tito Santana: Santana should win but this has a shot of winning the match of the night bonus.

WWF at the Philadelphia Spectrum live coverage (July 1983, Saturday, Week 2)

There are signs on the door saying Don Muraco is not here and refunds are being offered.

Gorilla Monsoon and Howard Finkel are on commentary.

In an extremely poor match, Swede Hanson defeated Johnny Rodz in 7:04 by pinfall. Hanson was visibly tiring toward the end.

In a match that had some good action and average heat, Iron Mike Sharpe defeated Tony Garea in 13:48 by pinfall with a Running Forearm Smash.

In a match that had some good action and average heat, Tito Santana defeated Don Kernodle in 14:36 by submission with a Figure-Four Leglock.  If this had any heat at all I’d put it in Match of the Year balloting.

Vince McMahon made an official announcement that even though Don Muraco would not compete, a deal was made between Muraco and the Grand Wizard that would allow Adrian Adonis to defend the Intercontinental Championship on his behalf.  This brought out Wizard to talk about the deal, which he said made good financial sense for all involved.

In a bout that had great heat and great wrestling action, Adrian Adonis defeated Jimmy Snuka in 7:48 by disqualification when Snuka threw referee Danny Davis to the mat when Davis tried to break a move against the ropes.  The two men continued to brawl until several agents finally came out and pulled them apart.

Sgt. Slaughter defeated S.D. Jones in 8:11 by submission with a Cobra Clutch.

Bob Backlund vs. George Steele-WWF Title by Stinger1981

Bob Backlund retained the WWF Heavyweight Title, pinning George Steele in 58 seconds.  Steele worked on the arm and went for the flying hammerlock, but Backlund countered it and went into an O’Connor roll with a bridge for the pin.  After the match, an angry Steele went after referee Dick Worhele, then tossed some chairs from ringside into the ring out of frustration.  Everybody thought Backlund was winning, but absolutely nobody thought the match would last under a minute. Probably for the best as the chemistry between them wasn’t there.

In a bout that had solid in-ring action but not much in the way of heat, Invader # 2 and Tatsumi Fujinami defeated Mr. Fuji and Frankie Williams in 8:01 when Invader # 2 defeated Frankie Williams by pinfall with a Heart Punch.  Fuji actually looked really good but Williams looked like Williams.

Judy Martin defeated The Fabulous Moolah in 5:48 by pinfall with a Judy Drop to win the WWF Women’s title.  Good chemistry between them but the fans didn’t want to see the women at all.

In an extremely short match, Ivan Koloff defeated Salvatore Bellomo in 3:55 by pinfall with a Russian Sickle.

In a bout that had a good crowd and good action, Andre The Giant, Rocky Johnson, Chief Jay Strongbow and Ivan Putski defeated Afa, Samu, Sika and Jules Strongbow in an Elimination match in 10:05; Samu was eliminated first, then Ivan Putski, then Chief Jay Strongbow, then Jules Strongbow, then Sika, and finally Afa, so Johnson and Andre remained at the end.

July 1983, Sunday, Week 2

Nick DeCarlo was backstage before the show and lifted spirits by doing an impression of Don Muraco to mock the fact he missed yet another major show.

Ingenious idea to have Adonis be Muraco’s surrogate for title defenses, but that only buys a month or two before fans insist on their main events.

Last night was Tatsumi Fujinami’s last show for the foreseeable future.

The crowd at the Spectrum was sparse last night, as only 3,700 paid were in attendance. They need about 5,000 at the Spectrum just to break even.

Pat Patterson was offered a contract with Championship Wrestling from Florida but turned it down.

Vince McMahon asked for the match of the night bonuses to stop due to the financial state of the company, but booker Jared Hawkins has offered to take the bonus money out of his own pocket because he feels the bonuses are good for morale.  He gave the bonuses to all eight guys involved in the elimination match.


Written by JHawk

Jared Hawkins is an indy wrestling referee and a former recapper of WWE Raw and SmackDown for the now-defunct and co-hosts Pro Wrestling Weekend, available through 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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