Hosted by Mean Gene and Gorilla Monsoon
“Dr. D” David Schultz vs. Sal Bellomo
The crowd is giving Schultz a nice chorus of boos as he comes in. Nice to see the WWF upgraded from the jobber vs. jobber prelim matches that made my last few MSG reviews a little painful to sit through. Sal out wrestles Schultz early on with a hammerlock and a beautiful head scissors. Schultz comes back with some knees and an elbow that makes Mean Gene say “That’ll take the fruit out of your mother’s preserves!” A flying elbow by Dr. D gets a surprising 2 count and a simple suplex ends it almost right after. I guess the elbow kick out was just a way to help Sal keep a little credibility.
Afa vs. Dick Murdoch
I can’t wrap my head around Afa and Sika being faces no matter how long its been since I first found that info out. Murdoch in the WWF always seemed like a strange fit for me as well. They get face to face to start and Dick decides yelling at a ring attendant seems like a better plan than messing with Afa. They eventually lock up and Afa corners him Murdoch cowers and flees. They try locking up again and Dirty Dick bails again. Monsoon declares this match a main event in any arena in the world. Afa gets a headlock and Murdoch escapes and tries a cheap shot elbow but misses and hits the turnbuckle, which leads him to cower again. Back to the headlock and Dick again gets him into the corner and Dick sends an elbow into Afa’s head and hurts his own arm in the process! Dick hams it up facially and does the redneck version of the Ali shuffle. His fist to Afa’s head sends Murdoch backing off in pain. He tries to slam Afa’s head to the turnbuckle and that ends about as well as all of the other head themed attacks and Murdoch is sent to the floor from another Afa assault. Murdoch is trapped in an armbar, and tries to HEAD BUTT his way out and takes a dive off that failure. Dick is pissed now and slams his own head into the turnbuckle several times and knocks himself loopy.
Murdoch finally figures out a better plan and pokes Afa’s eyes and sends him to the cement floor where he chokes Afa with a wire. Murdoch chokes Afa with the top rope and the tag rope but some punches to Afa’s head serve to awake the savage. Afa chops away and bites Murdoch’s face. Afa with an atomic drop and Murdoch comically oversells the pain. Afa gets another atomic drop and earns a 2 count. Afa drops a head butt and Murdoch spins in a circle on all four like a dog and walks into another head butt. Dick swings wildly and flops on his face while trying to get at Afa. Afa blasts him again and Murdoch flips out of the ring. Dick finds a bottle of booze or something and smashes Afa with it to take command again. Murdoch stomps away until they collide on a double shoulder block. Afa head butts Murdoch while both are on all fours. Murdoch tries to slam Afa but can barely lift him before Afa falls on top of him. Afa drives Dick’s head into the mat and Murdoch crawls up in a daze and jumps in fear when he sees Afa’s face right next to his. Afa flips him for a pin attempt but the bell sounds signaling the 20 minute time limit expiring. Murdoch wants 5 more minutes and Afa kicks his butt again to send Murdoch fleeing to the locker room. This was AWESOME!!!
Mad Dog Vachon vs. Rick McGraw
Pre-match promo has Vachon put over the WWF as the top wrestling federation and Vachon promises to keep his legend growing after tonight.
McGraw is a jacked up guy but obviously very short as the diminutive Mad Dog is bigger than him. McGraw is most famous for being a pill fiend who became one of the earliest wrestling drug deaths. Vachon doesn’t get much of a reaction coming out and an early (and lenghthy) headlock has the crowd chanting “boring”. Monsoon talks about a prior neck injury McGraw suffered and how he shouldn’t be in the business considering the injuries he endured. Vachon starts to choke, bite and scratch away at McGraw. More choking and choking and choking until McGraw gets a dropkick. Vachon misses a charge and hurts his shoulder. McGraw gets some near falls until he misses a dropkick. That leads to Mad Dog choking some more. Mad Dog gets a piledriver for the 3 count. Crowd was dead and the heel/face dynamic was all weird as I’m 99% sure Vachon was suppose to be the face and yet he cheated and McGraw did babyface comeback spots.
David Sammartino does a promo about his upcoming MSG debut and proves that he shares his Dad’s trademark humility.
David Sammartino vs. Moondog Spot
David looks well put together. Spot does some clubbering (TM Dusty Rhodes) to start, but David rebounds and gets a half ass press slam to send Spot fleeing to the floor. Back in David tosses Spot around by his arm. Hillbilly Jim is at ringside still as a “fan”. Armlocks galore from David. Monsoon claims he once wrestled for over 90 minutes and lost 26 pounds during a match. Then he and Gene talk about boxer Chuck Wepner being in the crowd since they are bored with this match. Spot goes back to slugging away. David yanks his own trunks up more than he sells any punches. David offers Spot free shots and no sells them all. An eye poke by Spot changes that. Sammartino is locked in a headlock as this thing drags on. Spot gets a 2 count off a back breaker and David starts to no sell the Moondog’s blows again. David hits a big uppercut and a suplex. Monsoon goes after David for not hooking the leg. Spot comes back with a boot to the chest but Sammartino small packages Spot out of a body slam attempt for the pin. Blah. Spot attacks him after the bell and David makes the comeback and backs Spot down.
Tito Santana promo – He promises that Greg Valentine will suffer for putting him in the hospital with a broken leg.
Tito Santana vs. Greg Valentine
Santana attacks before the bell and Valentine desperately tries to hit Tito with the IC bet to stop the attack. Greg is rocked and does the Flair flop which allows Tito to drive his face into the mat. Valentine rebounds with some forearms but Tito responds in kind and Valentine is knocked to the floor. Back in the ring they go blow for blow some more until “The Hammer” brings the pain to Tito with some big shots. Tito reverses the momentum by mounting Greg and grinding punches into Valentine’s face. Valentine gets back in control and Tito is driven to the floor where Capt. Lou Albano hits Tito right in front of the ref. They claw at one another and Valentine tries to fling a chair at Tito but Tito gets the chair and hits Valentine in the face with it IN THE RING and IN FRONT OF THE REF. That’s not a DQ somehow!?!?! Greg is bleeding and Tito works over the wound until the ref gets in his way and Tito tosses the ref and that’s finally enough for a DQ. Valentine runs away and Tito is somehow pissed off at the ref for the decision. Good heated match that set up many many many rematches over the next year in both singles and tag team matches.
Rocky Johnson vs. Ken Patera
Patera slowly disrobes to garner heel heat. Rocky has a perm and Mean Gene points out how fashionable his hair is. Sad but true for the 80’s. Patera clubs away to start until he hits the minority in his head, and wrestling rules says that hurts the white guy. Patera gets a shoulder block and gives an Owen Hart-esque “WOOO!” and kisses his biceps. Rocky gets a headscissors and they do a lengthy bit on the mat with Patera trying different methods to escape the hold. Ken finally gets out and locks in a headlock on Rocky for a while. They switch it up to a test of strength with their hands locked together and just as quickly Ken yanks Rocky’s hair and they go back into a headlock. Crowd starts to get restless and call out Patera to show them some action. Rocky does a fiery comeback (including a dropkick that sent Patera crashing down onto Johnson’s leg on the landing.) A missed follow up drop kick sets up a roll up and a handful of tights for a Patera win. Johnson would be gone soon to obscurity and Ken would be sent to jail in within the next 8 months.
Sika vs. Adrian Adonis
They have a lot of work to do if they are going to match their partners’ match from earlier! Armwork from Sika. Adonis misses a big chop, flips in a 360 and is greeted by a head butt. Sika back to the arm. Sika sends him off the ropes but Adonis cartwheels away from him. Sika back to the arm. Adonis sends some shots to Sika’s head and for some reason they actually hurt Sika. Adonis tries to go to the top rope but Sika catches him and Adonis is the worse for wear. Adonis gets a studded glove and the ref takes a bump for the DQ. Sika fends Adonis off afterward. Nothing to see here in the least.
Brutus Beefcake and Johnny Valiant promo – Valiant looks like Napoleon Dynamite plus 30 years. He cuts a wacky, rambling promo about all the places he’s been since his last WWF run. Beefcake just poses and flexes. He’s a brute, he’s beefy and his matches are a piece of cake – hence “Brutus Beefcake”. More rambling. “He’s Mr. Wonderful!” Ok this was bad enough that you should check this promo out. Yeesh.
Sgt. Slaughter promo – Sarge with his usual jingoistic pep talk.
Ken Patera promo – That was Rocky Johnson’s first MSG loss and Ken denies any shenanigans in the finish. Patera shows show scars in his pectoral and bicep and says he was hurt and he doesn’t know who caused it but it might have been a black man or 4 whites. Huh? Can anyone clarify what Patera was going on about?
Sgt. Slaughter vs. Nikoli Volkoff
Tons of heat for the Soviet National Anthem. Lots of trash tossed at him. Gene and Gorilla say Volkoff was scheduled to participate at the ’84 Olympics before the USSR backed out since the events were held in America. They speculate that we should consider this the fight for the Olympic medals that Volkoff was denied. Sarge is beloved every bit as much as Volkoff is hated. Gene dreams that this match could end the Cold War. LOL.
Volkoff stomps away at Sarge and catches him in a bear hug and then modifies it into a backbreaker. Sarge slugs his way free. Volkoff’s strikes look really loose and non-painful. Nikoli sends Sarge into the ring post over the turnbuckle and Sarge is trapped in the Vulcan nerve pinch. Sarge tries to comeback with forearms but Volkoff just blasts him in the guts and sends him belly first into the turnbuckle. Then Volkoff picks him up and drops Sarge onto his belly. A second rope knee drop is missed, which allows Sarge to comeback and sling shot Nikoli into the turnbuckles. The rally is short lived as Sarge is tossed over the ropes and splats hard onto the cement floor. Volkoff scoops Sarge up and drives him kidney first into the ringpost. Sarge’s foot gets caught somehow and I thought that was going to be the BS finish but Sarge frees himself only to be nailed with a back breaker on the floor. Sarge gets back onto the apron and locks the Cobra Clutch onto Nikoli but Sarge is still technically out of the ring so he is counted out. America loses the Cold War. This was watchable and the heat made it really fun to view.
Tony Garea vs. Brutus Beefcake
Beefcake does his best move – the strut – to start. Gene puts over Valiant as guy who always wants to pick up the tab and have fun in the night life. Odd to say about a heel. Headlocks from Garea, Beefcake throws forearms since they require little talent. Beefcake eats a drop kick and is rolled up for 2, but a flying knee wins it out of nowhere for Beefcake. Meh.
Hulk Hogan vs. Big John Studd
Backstory: Jesse Ventura was scheduled to face Hulk Hogan on a prior card, but he developed blood clots in his leg and Studd was a last second replacement. Hogan wasn’t ready for the immense challenger and ended up losing via count out. So tonight’s match has the added stip that a count out can cause a title change. They edit this to Hogan already being in the ring so they can avoid playing “Eye of the Tiger”. I’m sad, I wanted to hear the pop. Hogan beats on Studd and sends him to the floor right away and follows him out. Back in, Studd clubs Hogan down and locks in a standing chinlock. Mini-Hulk up, but a forearm drops Hogan again. Another forearm is delivered- this time from the 2nd rope and Hogan is locked into the standing chinlock again. Hogan tries to escape, so Studd downs him with a knee and dumps him throat first across the top rope. Studd slams Hogan onto the pavement. Shoulderblock earns Studd a 2 count and we get the Hulk up. Punches. Slam blocked. Axe Bomber for 2. Big clothesline gets the 3. That pin was sort of out of nowhere. I was expecting a slam finish. They jaw jack after to set up more rematches. “Real American” is dubbed in to cover for “Eye of the Tiger” and we get some posing without commentary to close out a really fun show.
Final Thoughts: Very little dragged here and the bad stuff was short. I’m in nostalgia heaven!