Through the Booking Glass: Year 1 Week 15

I promised you that things were going to get interesting.  Before the end of this of edition, some things are going to happen that will alter the entire future of the WWF.  In fact, it starts early.

April 1983, Monday, Week 3

TV ratings held steady this weekend.

Expect some major shakeups in the WWF.  Big John Studd has signed a exclusive deal with World Class Championship Wrestling, so the Capital Centre card on Saturday will wind up being his last show.  Other big names are expected to follow suit.

The schedule appears to be getting to Masked Superstar.  He competed in Kanto, Japan for New Japan Pro Wrestling last night and apparently was having a hard time catching his wind on the way to the locker room. No word at this point how that will affect future bookings.

April 1983, Tuesday, Week 3

Bruno Sammartino has signed a written deal with World Class Championship Wrestling.  While only being used as a road agent for the WWF, he is somewhat of a goodwill ambassador for the company.  From a public relations standpoint, this is going to be a huge blow.

Tony Parisi has signed a contract extension with Maple Leaf Wrestling.

Championship Wrestling taping (April 1983, Tuesday, Week 3)

In an extremely short match, Sgt. Slaughter defeated S.D. Jones in 3:51 by pinfall.

In a non-title match, Don Muraco pinned Bob Bradley in 3:28 with a Tombstone Piledriver.  After the match, Pat Patterson, in his return to the broadcast booth, interviewed Muraco about his upcoming matches in Landover and MSG with Rocky Johnson.

Rocky Johnson pinned Baron Mikel Scicluna in 2:53 with a Johnson Shuffle.

In an awful match that was completely devoid of heat, Swede Hanson defeated Nick DeCarlo in 3:01 by pinfall with a Reverse Neckbreaker.

Big John Studd defeated Barry Hart in 3:24 by submission with a Reverse Bearhug.  After the match, Patterson interviewed Studd, and Studd he was so confident that he couldn’t be slammed that if Andre can do it, he will leave the WWF.

Iron Mike Sharpe was the guest in Buddy Rogers’ Corner, where he vowed to take the WWF Heavyweight Title in Philly next weekend.  He immediately went to the ring for his match, defeating Tony Garea in 4:25 by pinfall with a Running Forearm Smash.  After the match, Sharpe threw Garea over the top rope to the arena floor.

Salvatore Bellomo pinned Tony Parisi in 3:04 with a Pizza Splash. This was the typical Bellomo match we’ve come to know and loathe.

The Strongbows had an interview with Pat Patterson hyping their upcoming tag match with The Wild Samoans.

Vince McMahon then interviewed Superstar Billy Graham and The Grand Wizard. Graham pushed both his Landover match against Bellomo as well as his upcoming MSG match against Jimmy Snuka.

Superstar Billy Graham defeated Tony Atlas in 5:19 by pinfall.

April 1983, Wednesday, Week 3

Allentown did its usual sellout of 1,300 last night.  Mostly good feedback from those in attendance although most felt it was lacking from the past two weeks.

More defections from the WWF to World Class, this time with The Iron Sheik signing an exclusive deal.  Booker Jared Hawkins apparently offered Sheik the highest deal Vince McMahon would allow, but could not offer a written deal for guaranteed money, and that was the difference.

Barry Hart failed another drug test, his second in less than three months.  He has been fined his entire purse from last night’s show and told flat out that if he fails a third test, he’s gone.

All-Star Wrestling taping (April 1983, Wednesday, Week 3)

In a bout that had solid in-ring action and average heat, Ivan Koloff defeated S.D. Jones in 7:28 by pinfall with a Russian Sickle.

Vince McMahon conducted an interview with Ivan Koloff, where he claimed Bob Backlund was scared of him and he will become the new WWF Champion at Madison Square Garden this Monday night.

Rocky Johnson pinned Mac Rivera in 4:21 with a roll up.  After the match, Rocky Johnson cut a promo guaranteeing he would beat Don Muraco for the Intercontinental Title within the next 48 hours, which in TV terms would be by the end of the MSG show.

Superstar Billy Graham defeated Barry Hart in 4:21 by pinfall.  Graham looked good, largely because these two have amazing chemistry.

Intercontinental Champion Don Muraco pinned Salvatore Bellomo in 2:15 with a Tombstone Piledriver.  Muraco looked off his game tonight but the match was still really good while it lasted.

Buddy Rogers’ Corner was next, and he interviewed Eddie Gilbert and Tony Garea, who mentioned they would like to get a shot at the Samoans for the tag team titles.

Big John Studd defeated Bob Bradley in 3:13 by pinfall.  Studd looked really good here. After the match, Pat Patterson interviewed Studd and Don Muraco in a joint interview, and they declared war on Rocky Johnson and Andre the Giant. I’d expect this to get edited off the broadcasts that air on Sunday.

In a Worst Match of the Year candidate, Israel Matia defeated Frankie Williams in 3:28 by pinfall.

Swede Hanson defeated Johnny Rodz in 4:11 by pinfall.

Donna Christenello and Joyce Grable defeated Judy Martin and Penny Mitchell in 6:39 when Grable defeated Mitchell by submission.  The match was fine but they still have done nothing to make the women interesting.

Bob Backlund made his way to the ring, but was first interviewed by Pat Patterson.  Backlund said that no matter what happens, he will defend the title with honor against Ivan Koloff at MSG.

In an extremely short match, WWF Heavyweight Champion Bob Backlund defeated Afa in 4:46 by submission with a Cross Face Chicken Wing.  Afa didn’t sell at all, which killed the match.

April 1983, Thursday, Week 3

Arnold Skaaland was the life of the party in the Hamburg locker room last night, as he told numerous road stories before the show.  Given that he’s been wrestling for about 6,000 years,  I’m sure there’s no shortage of material.

Attendance in Hamburg went up slightly, to 997, but still no walk up crowd to speak of.  Most felt the show was pretty good though.

April 1983, Friday, Week 3

Georgia Championship Wrestling has offered a contract to Rocky Johnson.

Ray Stevens has about a month remaining in his contract, and he is not expected to be resigned.

April 1983, Saturday, Week 3

New Japan has offered Andre the Giant a contract extension.

Here’s a preview for tonight’s card at the Landover, MD Capital Centre.

Andre the Giant vs. Big John Studd:  It’s well known that this is going to be Studd’s last show, so expect Andre to slam Studd and win.

Don Muraco vs. Rocky Johnson for the Intercontinental Title:  I really feel as if they don’t want Johnson to have the title, but if I’m wrong I’d expect it to happen at MSG.  Muraco retains tonight, but I don’t know if he wins.

Superstar Billy Graham vs. Salvatore Bellomo:  They had a surprisingly good match at the Spectrum last month, and Bellomo pulled off a countout win there.  I have to think Graham’s getting his win back.

Jose Estrada vs. Bob Bradley:  It doesn’t matter who wins, this is going to fill time early on the card.

I’d expect at least 4 or 5 more matches to take place.

Live coverage of the WWF at the Capital Centre in Landover, MD (April 1983, Saturday, Week 3)

Gorilla Monsoon is announcing the show alone tonight.  He just announced to the crowd that Andre the Giant is not here as his flight from Japan was delayed (which is legit for the record) and the crowd is livid.  Tony Atlas will be replacing him.

Before the show started, Monsoon interviewed Eddie Gilbert about his match with Baron Mikel Scicluna.

In an extremely poor match, Eddie Gilbert defeated Baron Mikel Scicluna in 6:33 by pinfall with a roll up.  The match was simply too long, so even at under 7 minutes, Scicluna couldn’t keep up.  Both men continued to exchange punches after the match before Scicluna went to the back.

In an awful match that was completely devoid of heat, Charlie Fulton pinned S.D. Jones in 10:26 with a roll up.  Two roll ups in a row, that’s great booking there. Yes, that’s total sarcasm.

In a pretaped promo, Mr. Fuji vowed victory over Swede Hanson.

Swede Hanson pinned Mr. Fuji in 7:32.

Next we saw pretaped interviews with Don Muraco and Rocky Johnson regarding their upcoming Intercontinental Title match.

In a bout that featured great action and a good crowd, Rocky Johnson defeated Don Muraco in 11:19 by count out.  So Muraco cannot pin Johnson but cannot lose the title either. This is doing nobody any favors.  Worst match they’ve had against each other so far.

Johnny Rodz pinned Mac Rivera with a Piledriver in 10:32.  This is an awful show at this point.

Freddie Blassie had an interview hyping the upcoming singles match between his client Big John Studd and Tony Atlas.

In a match that had some good action and average heat, Tony Atlas defeated Big John Studd in 18:34 by pinfall with The Press Slam.  Best match of the show by far so far. Stop laughing! Per prematch stipulation, since Studd was slammed, he’s gone.

Tony Garea pinned Tony Parisi with a high cross body in 11:42.  Too long given who was involved but the match was fine.

Bob Bradley pinned Jose Estrada with a piledriver in 10:43.  That’s two piledriver finishes tonight.  Wow.

Pretaped promo from Superstar Billy Graham, where he tells Salvatore Bellomo that he should eat spaghetti and save himself a beating.

In a match that had some good action and average heat, Salvatore Bellomo defeated Superstar Billy Graham in 10:04 by disqualification.  Either they are super high on Bellomo or really against Graham, and I have no idea which.

Pretty much the definition of an average show.

April 1983, Sunday, Week 3

Attendance for last night’s show was 4,162.  Most thought the show was much better than I did.

Match of the night bonuses went to Big John Studd and Tony Atlas.

Salvatore Bellomo, in a radio interview in Baltimore hyping last night’s show, revealed that he enjoys his first match in a new promotion, as debut excitement means he’s at the top of his game. Of course, his first dozen or so WWF matches completely sucked, so he’s either lying or delusional.



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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