WWF @ MSG 5/23/83

Don Kernodle vs. Baron Mikel Scicluna

Don is coming off a hot run in Mid-Atlantic teaming with Sgt. Slaughter against Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood in a feud that essentially spawned “Starrcade”.  WWF did nothing with him.  He does look super generic so I guess I can understand that somewhat. No muscles and a plain singlet.  Add to that the fact that they are positioning him as a babyface.  He and Ivan Koloff went on to be a decent team in Mid-Atlantic after Don’s WWF run was over. Monsoon amuses me by suggesting that Sal Bellomo vs. Swede Hanson being on the card “sold a number of tickets tonight”. Basic stuff to start and the fans start a “boring” chant. Monsoon puts over Baron far more than Kernodle on the commentary. Back and forth until a sunset flip for a win for Kernodle. Gorilla declares it an upset. Way to put over the new guy. I feel bad for Don getting ignored by Monsoon the whole time in order for the old man jobber to get all the praise. Match was dull stuff. I assume Monsoon spent the afternoon playing cribbage with The Baron and couldn’t dream of not putting him over.


Mac Rivera vs. Pete Doherty

This didn’t make the best of MSG DVD? Jobber vs. Jobber. Pete is usually awesome in his own way, so I kind of dig this.  Pete is acting like a wackjob, erratically jolting about. Monsoon is still talking about what a fluke pin Baron suffered. Jesus! Doherty is yanking hair and making faces at the fans. Pete’s throwing kicks and screaming and Monsoon is burying the ref. Somebody peed in Gorilla’s cereal this morning.  Cranky bastard. This drags on WAY too long and Rivera wins via a big splash. Over 10 minutes for jabronis. Next please!


Ivan Koloff vs. Jules Strongbow

This is Jules’ final MSG match. He says Vince Sr. promised he’d be brought back in 6 months but by then Sr. was dead and Vince Jr. was expanding. Jay Strongbow wasn’t a fan of Jules for whatever reason (Jay’s a cranky bastard too) and another run was not to be. Jules being a bit chunky in a steroid age didn’t help his cause either.  In his shoot Jules claims Sr. watched this match and declared that “You tore the house down!” to him after the bout. We’ll see.

Jules steals Ivan’s chain and chases him off with it. Jules gets a nice pop during the intros. Facing a commie bastard sure helps. Chops aplenty send Ivan bailing again. Jules whips Ivan around in an arm drag.  Ivan pulls hair to try and escape so Jules yanks on Ivan’s beard. Jules works over Ivan’s arm with knees. Monsoon becomes preoccupied by Koloff’s scars from blade jobs. They battle for a suplex and Jules gets more chops. Ivan starts to wear on Jules back and assaults him with a flying knee to the back and a bear hug. Jules escapes and goes back to work on Ivan’s arm by body slamming him on it. War Dance and chops set up a sleeper. Ivan shoves him into the turnbuckle and delivers a flying knee to the back from the top rope for the 3 count at a little over 11 minutes. Good little match. Nice psychology from both guys. Jules says he blew his knee out at some point during the match.


Swede Hanson vs. Sal Bellomo

Swede waves the Confederate flag to a pop?!?!?  Swede looks to be about 200 years old. Armlocks, wristlocks, headlocks and other standard wrestling fare early on. Sal does hit a few nice dropkicks in between.  Sal tries running into the much bigger man and fails several times, so Sal cart wheels past Swede and nails a dropkick. Hanson is tied up in the ropes from the impact and Sal frees him to a polite applause from the crowd. Swede backs him in the corner and lets him go as payback. They grapple to the mat and end up in a double headscissors, which the crowd approves. Another dropkick from Sal draws another crowd applause. They won me over after the slow start. Sal is trapped in an elbow lock and waves the ref over – Sal grabs the ref’s neck and uses him as leverage to spin head over heels out of the move! This is actually some nifty stuff! Swede catches Sal on a leap frog and charges him in the corner, but ends up bouncing off and Sal lands on him for the pin! Wow, this was really way better than it had any right to be. Swede hugs him after.


Chief Jay Strongbow vs. Iron Mike Sharpe

Many remember Sharpe as the world’s loudest jobber, but he was getting a bit of a push around this time. Criss cross to start and Strongbow is still spry enough to slide between Sharpe’s legs. Jay does a mini-war dance and Sharpe bails. Jay hits a chop and a knee lift – neither look very good. Sharpe bails again and grabs a chair. Jay blocks him and slams Sharpe’s head into it. Sharpe bails again. Mike’s had enough and adjusts his arm brace and clobbers Jay with it. Strongbow is dropped to the cement. Another shot with the arm brace sends Jay back down to the floor. Sharpe eats a chop and falls into the ropes and is tangled up. Jay tries to get the arm brace off to a big pop. Jay shoves the ref away and is apparently DQ’d. Sharpe is able to run away before the brace can go off. Lame ending. Match was fine. Turns out both men are DQ’d.

We get clips of Sgt. Slaughter attacking Bob Backlund with his riding crop. Backlund cuts a lousy promo to hype the match.


Bob Backlund vs. Sgt. Slaughter

Backlund attacks before the bell and Sarge bumps all over the place. Sarge escapes to lower ground. Back in, Sarge eats an elbow to the nose and he runs again. Bob steps on Sarge’s head and grinds his face into the mat. Sarge catches Backlund charging in and Bob eats a clothesline. Sarge wears Backlund down with forearms and stomps. Slaughter gets a near fall off a big suplex. He tries another and it’s reversed and both men are down. An exhausted Backlund struggles to hit a really lousy looking piledriver. Sounds like the fans caught that mini-botch. Sarge hangs on to the ropes to avoid a neck breaker. Sarge tags him with a dropkick and tries another suplex. Backlund tries to block it, so Sarge dumps him gut first on the ropes. Sarge misses a charge and his shoulder eats ring post. Bob hacks away at the arm and locks on the cross face chicken wing. Sarge makes it to the ropes twice and the ref doesn’t break the hold and Sarge’s manager The Grand Wizard hands him his riding crop and he whips Bob to free himself. Backlund gets the weapon and chases Sarge out of the ring. Crowd loves it. Good match.


Dusty Rhodes vs. Samula

Samula would eventually become Headshrinker Samu, in case you were unaware. Dusty wants Capt. Lou tossed out on general principal. A quick back drop sends Samu bailing out. Dusty can get the crowd fired up just teasing an elbow. Dusty sells a headbutt with a big twisting flop. Dusty dances and slugs Samu down. Dusty misses an elbow and is trapped in a head lock. Dusty dances his way out and Samu locks it right back on. Big Dust escapes and slaps on his own rest hold as he grabs Samula’s leg. Samu escapes and tries a big splash and misses. Flying crossbody wins it for Dusty. Dusty didn’t do anything here. Fairly dull affair. It’s MSG guys, try and show a little effort! Dusty plugs a match for Florida Championship Wrestling against “Exotic” Adrian Street in his post-match promo. Odd.


Susan Starr vs. Leilani Kai

Kai takes Susan down and chokes her. Then she uses her leg to choke Starr discreetly while keeping her in place with a handful of hair. Then chokes her with the ropes. Starr fights back and Kai bounces in between the ropes while eating punches. Since Kai was hanging on the ropes and pulling herself up, that spot looked contrived. Starr hits some drop kicks and botches a moneky flip attempt. Kai attempts a tilt-a-whirl suplex and Starr falls on top of her for the pin. Nothing to see here.

“You are watching the World Wide Wrestling Federation of Championship Wrestling” Thanks Gorilla.


Jimmy Snuka vs. Afa

Snuka killed his girlfriend less than 2 weeks before this match. ALLEGEDLY. Monsoon puts over Snuka’s character. Gee I wonder why?  They put over Buddy Rogers NWA title reign during the ring intros since he’s Snuka’s manager. Albano tries to go after Rogers so Snuka head butts him and then Rogers slugs Albano and Lou runs to the back. Punch heavy affair and the Superfly Leap ends it quickly. Next please.


Fabulous Moolah vs. Princess Victoria

 Oh good, more women wrestling. Sigh. Moolah is 2 months shy of SIXTY here. Pays to be the booker. It would take another 4 years to stop pushing her in the ring. The Princess is a Native American. Moolah attacks to start and Vic bumps around for the old bag. Victoria gets some offense in, but only briefly. They do a comedy spot where Moolah is kicked on top of the ref and her saggy breasts are shoved in the poor refs face. Victoria jumps on top for some reason and they stay there for a bit. Moolah goes back on offense because she’s too old to bump much. War dance leads to Victoria missing a flying cross body and Moolah gets the pin. Moving on…


Rocky Johnson vs. Don Muraco

Muraco is chewing gum, because he’s not sweating this, bro. Don eats a series of arm drags and bails out of the ring. “Rocky” chants. More arm drags so Muraco starts to cheat to gain control. Extended leg lock by Johnson. Muraco escapes and attempts a piledriver is back dropped out of it and Don falls out of the ring. Muraco plays possum and nails Johnson in his Johnson. Sleeperhold by Don and Rocky returns the favor & low blows him. Muraco misses a charge and almost flips right out of the ring. Muraco fights his way back in and nails a tombstone. Monsoon casually mentions that we are near curfew time. Muraco tries a leap from the top rope and eats knees. Johnson drops him with a big uppercut. Sleeperhold. Johnson hits some poor looking punches and a dropkick and right back to a sleeper. As Muraco goes to sleep the bell rings. Curfew draw.  Crowd seemed to see that coming as they were pretty quiet the final few minutes.  This was fine.


Final Thoughts: This card died a death after the World title match. The first half was pretty good though. Much of this was instantly forgettable though.


Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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