Gorilla Monsoon and Red Bastien call the action. Gary Michael Cappetta is your ring announcer. The crowd is a hair under 19,000 strong.
Jose Luis Rivera and Special Delivery Jones vs. Spot and Rex (The Moondogs)
Monsoon name-drops Rick Martel, the current AWA champion, as he puts over the Moondogs winning the WWF tag belts from Tony Garea and Martel. The babyfaces get the shine early as a series of quick tags leaves Spot helplessly trapped in a series of arm bars. Rex is able to get some control with his rugged rough house style, but poor Spot goes right back to being hampered by the baby faces. Cheating turns the tide and Jones finds himself in peril.
Monsoon is referring to the heels as if their last name is “Moondog”. He also claims Jones can bench 500 pounds. The ‘Dogs work a bunch of headlocks and slow the match way down. Rivera makes the tag finally and unloads on Rex with a plethora of punches. Rex weathers the storm and mauls Rivera with fists. The crowd is actually way into this, popping big for a suplex from the heels and exploding when Jones breaks up the following pin attempt.
Jones makes the second hot tag of the match and the crowd goes bonkers for him giving the heels a double noggin knocker. Jones eats a big cheap shot and tags back in the still dazed Rivera. Jose quickly falls into the heel corner and eats a Demolition Decapitation, which leads to him being pinned at 12:13. While the ring work was nothing special, the hot crowd and solid tag team wrestling formula made this very watchable.
Sal Bellomo vs. Tony Colon
Colon is just a jobber. A quick Google search tells me he went on to be a producer on shows like “Crank Yankers” and even worked with Bam Margera. He looks a bit like Al Perez without the proper gym discipline. They work a top standing wristlock to establish that Colon has a leverage advantage. Sal uses some dropkicks to rattle Colon, but collapses under the pressure of Jobber-Fu. Colon takes a silly looking bump off an elbow that was in no way threatening to actually connect as Sal had moved anyway. Bellomo uses a mule kick and a splash for the win at 5:20 right after. Bellomo looked like a goof taking so much punishment from a jabroni.
Brian Blair vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Orndorff stalls for easy heat. The crowd is all over him with “Paula” chants. Orndorff wipes himself down after the ref touches him – a nice little touch of vanity. Orndorff then takes a walk to get some more stalling heat. Orndorff cheats on his opening move, poking Blair in the eye. This leads to a brief beatdown before Mr. Wonderful misses a diving knee drop, setting Blair up to work his leg for the next several minutes. Blair’s leg work actually goes much longer than I expected, and Orndorff has to down Blair with some big fists to buy himself some time to walk off the leg pain.
I just noticed Orndorff has his initials on his tights…but they are backwards? Monsoon bitches about Mr. Wonderful wearing elbow pads without being injured, which seems like an odd complaint. Blair gets a fiery comeback, scoring a near fall on a roll up that the crowd is electric for. Orndorff attempts to toss him out of the ring but Blair skins the cat back in and smacks Mr. Wonderful with some strong strikes. The dazed muscle man has enough wherewithals to turn a Blair slam attempt into a small package and snags the wins at 17:08. Another smartly worked match, where the over matched babyface uses heart and smarts to hang with his superior opponent, only to lose in a fluke manner.
Afa and Sika vs. Mr. Fuji and Tiger Chung Lee
The Asians attack the Samoans before the bell but are quickly repelled. Capt. Lou wanders down to bug the Samoans. The teams exchange overhead and straight on chops. We up the excitement level with nerve holds and headlocks. The heels collide on a miscommunication spot and Chung is pinned at 6:34. This was as lousy as you’d expect. Fuji cracks Lee with a Kendo stick after the match to implode the team.
Ivan Putski vs. Rene Goulet
Fred Blassie is now managing Goulet. Odd choice since Goulet is only on the roster as a vet who puts others over. Putski flexes and poses. Goulet uses several holds early on that are designed to be powered out of by Putski in order to show off Ivan’s brute strength. Goulet uses a foreign object to turn the tide in his favor. This allows him a brief advantage before Putski roars back. A second shot with the foreign object earns Goulet a near fall. Ivan gets real annoyed with the cheating and unloads on Goulet with fists. A butt splash from the second rope finishes it 5:34. This was just a glorified squash designed to make Putski look good.
Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
The men start throwing bombs before the bell can even sound. Snuka takes control and blasts Piper with a diving fist drop from the second rope. Piper claws at Snuka’s eyes to stop the wild man. The ref takes a bump only a few minutes into the match. Piper sends Snuka to the floor and cracks him with a chair. Snuka’s blood covered face shows the aftermath of the assault. Piper smacks him into the steel ring post for good measure. The blood is pouring down Snuka’s chest and arms. Piper drives fists into Snuka’s cut. Piper gnaws at the wound and then wipes Snuka’s blood on his own chest.
Snuka stares at his blood soaked hands as he starts to shake and no sell Piper’s punches. Piper bounces around the ring off of several Snuka chops, then has his head driven into the mat. Snuka teases the Superfly leap but Piper bails out. Snuka runs across the ring and leaps over the top rope and cross bodies Piper on the floor. That spot looked fantastic and the camera caught it perfectly. Snuka chases Piper around the ring, then tosses him in the ring just in time for the official to call for the 10-count at 8:23. The crowd starts a “bullshit!” chant right away. Snuka attacks Piper back in the ring, trying to choke him “to death” according to Gorilla. A bevy of jabronis come in to break up the melee. Piper gets in one final cheap shot as Snuka is being restrained, then runs to the back. This was a tremendous brawl that bypassed any sort of feeling out process and went straight for the hate filled violence. Great stuff!
Haiti Kid vs. Dan Carpenter
Well, it’s a midget match. They do comedy spots including the ref being tied up with the guys, ass biting, rolling around the ring while wrapped in each other’s arms and the ref getting into a physical altercation with the wrestlers. Kid wins at 8:12. You know what you’re getting with these.
Mil Mascaras vs. Pete Doherty
Mascaras ties Doherty in knots at the opening bell. Mil is able to showcase his skills by using head scissors to flip Doherty around. The crowd gave Mascaras a nice ovation, but they are getting a bit restless and letting Mil know that his mat based attack is not thrilling them. Doherty barely even gets in any token offense, and even when he is in control, it is only to set up Mascaras reversing it and looking superior. Mascaras does get a neat win as he uses a “reverse full nelson” with a leg grapevine to cradle Doherty for the pin at 10:18. Mascaras had some unique grappling spots, but the match was too long for being just a showcase for the masked man.
Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant vs. Dick Murdoch, Adrian Adonis and Big John Studd
Sadly, “Eye of the Tiger” is edited out for “Real American”, so the full massive pop the babyfaces received was not audible. Murdoch tries his hand at the World champ. After a few exchanges, he decides to let Studd give it a go. Hogan out muscles Studd in a grapple, so Studd mocks Hogan’s height. This leads to Andre tagging in. Studd is unpleased with this development.
Hogan and Andre take turns cracking on Studd before the big man bails out. Hogan ends up being lured into the heel corner and all three men pounce on the champion. After Hulk sells a bit, Andre tags in and uses Adonis as a ping pong ball, sending him flying all around the ring. Andre then traps all three ruffians in a corner and smashes them all together with his shoulder.
The heels couple together to finally slow Andre down, with the Giant even taking a bump from Murdoch riding him from the top rope. Andre endures a headlock for a bit from Studd before Hogan comes in and gets a bit of shine before falling from the numbers game. All three villains take their turn at abusing Hulk. A donnybrook eventually breaks out, with all five men going at it in the ring. The baby faces clear the place out. Andre chases Studd to the dressing room before returning to ringside. Andre lumbers back in the ring, boots Murdoch in the face and sits on him for the win at 22:21. This actually went way longer than I expected, but as long as Murdoch and Adonis were there to bump and stooge, things were overall pretty well paced and fun to view.
Final thoughts: The main events delivered, which should mean good repeat business. A lot of filler on this show otherwise. The talent roster was stacked enough that another house show went down this same night and had Tito Santana vs. Greg Valentine, Bob Backlund vs. Bob Orton Jr., and Sargent Slaughter vs. the Iron Sheik. That sounds like a hell of a triple feature!