The SmarK 24/7 Rant for MSG Show – November 23 1981
– Taped from New York
– Your host is Mr. McMahon
Mr. Saito v. SD Jones.
I’ve never seen so many SD Jones matches as I have since getting 24/7. He was on a LOT of shows in the 80s. Jones takes him down with a pair of armdrags, but Saito elbows him down. Jones goes back to the armdrags and adds some bowing. Ah, racial sensitivity and the 80s. Saito takes him down with an STO into a top wristlock, but Jones powers out of it and dances some more. SD slugs away and takes Saito on a tour of the turnbuckles, but Saito kicks him down. He gets the boston crab and Vince writes SD off, but he powers out of it and Vince is shocked. The Retro Timeline pop-up notes that on this day in 1953, New York state lifted a ban on tag team wrestling. Really? Was it a particularly slow day in the legislature that they had a law banning it in the first place? Saito rams Jones into the turnbuckles and you know how effective THAT is, but Jones misses a blind charge and Saito finishes with a flying kneedrop at 7:19. Standard opener. **
Rick Martel v. Hans Schroeder
Sounds like a 24 villain. Hans pretty clearly flips off the front row, which is pretty heavy stuff for 1981. Martel quickly takes him down with a top wristlock and works on a headlock, but Hans powers out and hits the chinlock. Martel breaks free but Schroeder somehow convinces the ref that his hair was pulled, which has Martel arguing his case in animated manner. Martel starts working on the arm, but Hans knees him on the ropes to break and gets a cheapshot to take over. Hans slugs away in the corner, but misses a splash. Martel comes back and rams him into the turnbuckle for two, then goes to the chinlock. Hans makes the ropes and again he’s complaining about having his hair pulled. If I’m Martel, I start pulling it now. They do the test of strength and Martel dropkicks out of it, so Schroeder bails to regroup. Back in, Martel charges and runs into the boot, and Hans pounds him in the corner. Martel fights back, but Hans keeps pounding him until Martel gets a surprise rollup (and a fast count) for the pin at 12:10. Good thing I’m heavily caffeinated tonight, because this would have put me to sleep normally. *
No holds barred match, Intercontinental title: Magnificent Muraco v. Pedro Morales
They slug it out to start and Muraco loses that one. He tries it again and Pedro gives him nothing, so he goes to the apron to yell at the fans instead. He finally wins the slugfest by cheating and drops a knee for two, then gives him a thumb to the throat and tosses Pedro. They brawl on the floor and Muraco drops him on the railing before heading back in to celebrate. Morales fights up to the apron, so Muraco rams him into the post and hauls him back in again. He follows with a dropkick (!) and Pedro hits the floor again. However, this time Pedro manages to send Muraco into the post. Back in, Muraco takes over again with a backdrop and stomps him down, then goes to work on the leg. Morales fights up and whips Muraco into the corner, then slugs him to the floor. And this time Muraco meets the railing and the ringpost, and naturally the blood starts to flow. Ah, the days when guys would gig themselves right on camera because fans didn’t know what to watch for. Back in, Muraco gets tied in the ropes and Pedro bites at the cut, but Muraco hits him in the junk to counter. And then blatantly headbutts him there to really show that it’s no DQ. And that gets two. Muraco sets up for the Asiatic spike, but they collide and both go down. And now Muraco pulls out a foreign object, but Pedro headbutts him in the gut to knock it away, then puts him out for the pin and his second title at 13:36. Good old fashioned violence, the way mom used to bake it. ***
Little Boy Blue v. The Haiti Kid
I should point out that Blue is not wearing anything blue. Nor is he a boy. Or particularly little as far as midgets go. Haiti works a headlock to start and gets a slam for two, and they start the midget spots, messing with the ref. They trade leglocks and Kid chops him down for two, then follows with a butterfly suplex, but Blue is in the ropes. Blue takes him down with a fireman’s carry and goes up, but misses a buttdrop. The Kid hits him with a pair of butt-butts and rolls him up to finish at 7:54. Standard stuff. I don’t rate midget matches.
WWF World title: Bob Backlund v. Greg Valentine
Valentine is wearing the WWF title because of a previous match between them that ended in a goofy ref bump controversy (a dazed referee counted the pin for Backlund but mistakenly awarded the win to Valentine or something stupid like that), and Bob is all fired up. He attacks during the intros and pounds away, then sends Greg into both turnbuckles. Valentine whips him right back, but charges and runs his own knee into the corner. Bob goes to work on it and tosses Valentine, but back in Greg also goes for the leg. Backlund is having none of that and keeps hitting him in the leg. They slug it out and Valentine goes down first, so Bob sets up the figure-four, forcing Valentine to fight out of it. And now Valentine starts to work on the leg, hammering away on it, and Bob returns fire himself. Greg wins that battle by wrapping the leg around the post, but Backlund reverses a figure-four attempt into a cradle for two. Bob tries a slam, but Greg falls on top for two. And he’s back on Backlund’s leg, but Bob kicks out of the figure-four. Hammer is nothing if not patient, however, and gets it on the second try. Bob fights out of it, but Valentine goes right back to it, and Backlund reverses the move this time. They trade reversals until they end up in the ropes, where Greg breaks first and snaps Backlund’s leg on the ropes to retain control. Backlund makes the comeback by hitting the leg, but Greg takes him down and tries the figure-four again. Backlund quickly fights it off, but Valentine hits him with a backdrop suplex. They slug it out and Backlund ducks instead of hitting him, allowing him to finish with a german suplex at 14:18 to end the controversy. Really interesting stuff because it was all focused on the leg, kind of ahead of its time in that way. ***
Dusty Rhodes v. King Kong Mosca
This should be interesting. Dusty gestures that Mosca is a monkey. Well his name IS King Kong. They slug it out to start and Dusty evades the fight, so Mosca grabs a headlock instead. Mosca powers him down, but runs into the bionic elbow and ends up on the floor. Back in, Mosca goes with a wristlock, throwing Dusty’s big mouth right back at him. They trade armbars and verbal sparring, but Mosca pounds away in the corner to take over. Dusty comes back with the Flip Flop and Fly and Mosca gets tangled in the ropes as a result. Funny bit as the ref tries to free Mosca, but Dusty lays on the ropes to tighten them up. Mosca escapes and pounds Dusty down again, and they slug it out on the apron. Dusty beats the count back in at 7:38. Bit of a trainwreck, actually. *1/2
Mil Mascaras v. The Masked Executioner
Mil takes him down with a shoulderblock and a rollup for two to start, and the Executioner bails as a result. Back in, they fight for the test of strength and Mil puts him on the mat for two off that. He takes him down again with armdrags and follows with a flying forearm, and a powerslam into a high cross finishes quick at 2:32. Total squash for Mascaras. *1/2
Mr. Fuji v. Tony Atlas
Fuji gets a top wristlock off the lockup, but Atlas easily powers out of it. Fuji tries a full nelson and Atlas is out of that pretty quick as well. Fuji takes over with a chop to the throat and claims innocence about it, then drops a headbutt on him for two. Time for the dread nerve pinch, but Atlas fights out of it. Fuji knees him down and goes back to it. Fuji misses a flying kneedrop and Atlas finishes with a press slam at 8:13. Pretty dull stuff to close out the show. *
Bonus Rant: The Film Room
Here’s a quickie addition to this, as they’ve been doing "The Film Room" segments featuring old classic matches called by Gordon Solie, with current perspective provided by Jim Ross. In this case, the focus is a historic WWWF title v. NWA title match between Superstar Graham and Harley Race from 1978. We get highlights of Dick Murdoch v. Harley Race, a pretty entertaining match in its own right, and Superstar Graham v. Dusty Rhodes, in order to build to the main event. Sadly all we’ve got for the main event is clips. The mostly-empty stadium is pretty sad. Graham wins the first fall 40 minutes in with the bearhug. Race headbutts him down for the pin at 53 minutes, but of course time expires at 60:00. Some neat old clips, but nothing really compelling here otherwise.