The night is August 25 1984 and the place is the “Mecca” of professional wrestling Madison Square Garden in New York City. Tonight the WWF will be presenting a loaded show featuring one of my favorite feuds of all-time in the main event, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka.
Before I get into the show keep in mind as we are going along that this isn’t just any other WWF house show. This is Madison Square Garden. To put it in perspective, this is probably would have been broadcast on pay per view if the WWE were producing pay per view events at this point in history.
Looking back at WWF results from this day, Hulk Hogan was busy wrestling in the Atlanta Omni defending his WWF championship against David Schultz. So yes, the WWF was running two of arguably the most historic pro wrestling arena in the United States on the same day in 1984. The video incidentally comes via WWE Classics on Demand.
So with no Hogan on the card, the WWF beefed up the show with several matches between headliners. Quite frankly, the New York crowd got a much better “B” show in return for Hogan not appearing on the card. MSG got two WWF title matches, a rematch of a classic series, and arguably the hottest pro wrestling feud in the country during that time period. Not too shabby for a “B” show.
Finally, nothing on the past Madison Square Garden pro wrestling show bled into this card. These were all fresh matches for New York City. The previous event had Hulk Hogan drop the leg on Greg Valentine in the main-event while Tito Santana and Cowboy Bob Orton drew in the semi. And in comparisons to the last show, this event was a huge improvement on paper for MSG.
Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes will handle the announcing duties this evening. Gorilla points out that the building is sold out in addition to a closed circuit telecast in the Felt Forum. Yep, that is how red hot Roddy Piper vs. Jimmy Snuka was in 1984.
On a side note (I am sure there will be plenty more) with all due respect to the dead, I don’t think there was an announcer I couldn’t stand more as a kid than Lord Alfred Hayes. Nothing’s changed over 25 years later.
[adinserter block=”2″]Kamala vs. former WWF tag team champion Chief Jay Strongbow will open the show. Not a bad opener on paper when you look at the usual curtain jerkers back in 1984. I was always a big Kamala fan. As a kid reading the Apter magazines and seeing all of those pictures of this crazy warrior, I got excited to see him finally come to the WWF. Many years later, I still don’t mind watching him, so believe it or not, I am actually a little excited about this opener.
“Classy” Freddie Blassie makes what has to be one of his last appearances as a WWF manager. Blassie and Friday lead Kamala to the ring. The crowd is still piling in so the reaction is very minimal to the site of the Ugandan Warrior. Gorilla on Kamala’s weight, “if he weighs 400 pounds, I weigh 190.”
The crowd does react to Kamala slapping the belly before the match. Yes, a heel could get a reaction from simply slapping his belly in 1984. I miss those days. Lord Al is a little too obsessed with Kamala’s feet at this point. Maybe he should continue the conversation in the back with Mel Phillips.
The match starts off much faster than you’d expect for two guys with big guts in the ring. Strongbow hits all four sides of the ring for momentum and goes for a shoulder tackle. Kamala wobbles. The two trade chops with the crowd going pretty nuts for the action. Strongbow then sends Kamala to the turnbuckle and snatches on his signature sleeper hold which turns into nothing more than a glorified piggy back ride.
Kamala works over the Chief, who lands on the ringside floor. Back in the ring Kamala continues to pound on Strongbow but wait a minute. I smell a war dance! Strongbow starts to come alive as the big man chops the back and the crowd loves it!
The Chief’s war dance this night is pretty pathetic. He doesn’t have a lot effort behind the usual rabid chops and kicks. Kamala comes close to taking his first bump of the night after Chief nails a knee lift. Instead old Sugar Bear falls into the corner and counters a running Strongbow with a big kick to the face.
Strongbow falls forward and he is out cold…from a kick to the face. Now we know where Steven Segal learned that kick he taught Anderson Silva. Kamala hits the ropes and splashes Strongbow, who is laying down belly to mat. It’s over in less than three minutes. As Gorilla says, “you could have counted to fifty.”
Now this is how you get a future main-event WWE superstar over. Kamala would of course go on to challenge Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant in main-events around the country. Call me crazy but my hunch is that they probably wouldn’t have drawn so well if Kamala lost to Tito Santana and Ivan Putski in the next two weeks. It really is that easy Vince.
That may be the hottest house show opener I can remember seeing for that time period. Most of the time you’d get a 20 minute snoozer between Rene Goulet and S.D. Jones or Butcher Vachon and Terry Gibbs. Great start so far!
Iron Mike Sharpe vs. B. Brian Blair is our next match of the night. During ring introductions Iron Mike interrupts my former wedding party announcer Howard Finkel and yells into the microphone, “20 inches of power and steel.” He was pointing to his biceps for the record. B. Brian gets a really big reaction which could only be explained because the crowd is so hot coming off that opener.
A lot of comedy spots early on courtesy of Iron Mike. The guy was really a master of psychology in terms of getting heat. Sharpe is dropkicked out of the ring but winds up getting “caught” in the ropes. Iron Mike now returns to the ring with a chair in hand. This is anything but an expected snoozer so far thanks to the genius of Sharpe.
I didn’t expect to write this but this match is AWESOME! Iron Mike gets some heat on Blair with forearms and kicks. Blair fights back and catches Sharpe with a monkey flip. Blair then gets a flying head scissors on Sharpe and the crowd is going crazy. Sharpe then slides under the ropes and starts to leave THROUGH THE CROWD. The heat for this is tremendous and I think every aspiring pro wrestler should watch this match and study the greatness of Sharpe.
I feel like I am watching a Terry Funk match. Either Terry Funk took a lot from Iron Mike or Sharpe studied Terry but there are way too many similarities here for this to be coincidence.
Gorilla says that a win over Iron Mike would be a “feather in Blair’s cap.” Considering the fact that everyone was beating Sharpe at this time, I think Gorilla may be stretching the truth just…..a tad.
Iron Mike tries to shake hands with Blair who counters with a right hand. Who’s the heel? Well the crowd loves it. Sharpe takes a huge bump off of a punch to the mid section. With Sharpe on his back, Blair starts going to work on Sharpe’s hamstrings. Sharpe counters with a vicious eye rake!
Sharpe holds Blair in a back breaker. Blair eye rakes his way out of it. Gorilla called Sharpe a cheater for using the eye rake earlier, now praises Blair for the same thing. What a homer!
Blair hits his comeback and picks Sharpe up for the slam. But guess what? He falls backwards because you see (John Cena), Sharpe held Blair in a back breaker just a few minutes ago. So Blair’s back is “hurt” and Blair is now “selling” that punishment. A certain WWE superstar who I won’t mention in this sentence could learn a lot about psychology here.
Sharpe and Blair exchange punches, Sharpe gets the better of it by throwing Blair through the ropes to the mat-less floor. Ouch! I should mention that these guys are going at a heck of a pace. The action has been back and forth for the most part throughout the entire match. Talk about two guys earning their money tonight.
Sharpe pounds on Blair every time B. Brian tries to get into the ring. Sharpe now plays to the crowd but wait a second. Blair disappears under the ring. Did the Ultimate Warrior kidnap him? Nope! Blair slides through the other side of the ring and unloads on Sharpe with rights. Again, Sharpe takes the big bump off of the midsection punch. Blair then goes up to the second rope to drop a big elbow to the head. The impact sends Iron Mike to the floor.
Blair follows Iron Mike to the floor and drops another elbow, this time from the apron to the ground on Sharpe. Blair now rams Sharpe’s head repeatedly into the apron. Blair tries to roll in but Sharpe pulls him back out. The bell rings, it is a double count out! Wow, I didn’t see this one coming.
This was a heck of a match. These two guys had the crowd eating out of their hands by the end of the match. Both men wrestled at a real high pace and just laid out a text book match in terms of ring psychology. Sign me up for the rematch!
Magnificent Muraco, wait no it’s Salvatore Bellomo. Sal Bellomo vs. Rick McGraw is up next. Bellomo is a sub for Muraco according to old records. No way!
I apologize but there is no way I am sitting through this one. According to historic results these two guys fought to a time limit draw. I like Rick McGraw but I just have no interest in watching him in a babyface vs. babyface match for 20 minutes with Sal. Sorry readers.
Now to the good stuff. Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch defend the WWF tag team championship against former champions the Wild Samoans WITH special referee Captain Lou Albano (the former manager of the Samoans). The Samoans walk through the corridor and I have to be honest, they don’t look as intimidating as babyfaces. Gorilla proclaims them, “the favorites in this matchup.”
It is a weird deal to watch this now and see the Samoans as babyfaces. They play to the crowd by waiving their fists and acknowledging the cheers, etc. Yet it is just kind of odd with their gimmick to see them playing up the crowd that way. The crowd does love them, although Sika trips and almost falls on his face entering the ring.
Next, we are treated first to a Murdoch and Adonis promo. You’ll get no complaints out of me. Adonis says the cards are stacked against them and he knows that Lou Albano will be in their corner. Good promo, pretty standard stuff, but the idea is there that Adonis and Murdoch feel that they are at a disadvantage with Albano as referee.
Wait a second! Albano is shown talking to Adonis and Murdoch in the corridor. I smell a conspiracy! Albano enters to a chorus of boos. Monsoon alleges that Albano didn’t know the camera was on and ran out in a hurry once he saw the red light. “Like a rat caught in a trap!”
By the way we are in classic Lou mode here, rubber bands, sleeveless vest, and all!
Albano gets a bigger reaction than the challengers or the champions. This has the potential to be a really fun match with Captain Lou refereeing. Albano is already arguing with fans at ringside.
I should also point out that while nothing from the previous MSG show bled over into this one, Adonis and Murdoch did wrestle the Wild Samoans back on June 16 in the Garden in a 2 out of 3 falls match that ended in a draw. During the match Albano reportedly came to ringside and offered his help to the champions after they won the first fall and then the challengers after they won the second, which explains Albano’s storyline here. By the way, that is a great manager gimmick for a 2 of 3 falls match!
Albano is giving out the instructions to all four men. Great stuff as Albano is doing his usual comedy here. Albano tells them that he will call the match down the middle. Hayes and Monsoon debate as to which team that Albano will favor. Monsoon is aghast that the commission would even sanction Albano as a referee.
The action starts out fast with the Samoans cleaning house on Adonis and Murdoch. Murdoch hits the floor as the Samoans go to town on Adonis. Albano just stands there waiving his hands. Adonis now hits the floor and Captain Lou begins a count or as Gorilla says, “Albano just paraded around”.
Adonis tags Murdoch in, who enters slowly. The crowd is just going ape poop for this match! They are stomping their feet and clapping their hands like it is a Game 7 of the World Series.
Great psychology here as Murdoch gets an advantage with kicks and punches but winds up selling an elbow to Sika’s head. The story being here is that the Samoans are known for their hard heads and their head butts. Murdoch loads up and blasts another elbow to Sika’s head and is selling it like a child would a needle. Adonis comes in and now they attempt a double elbow with the same result. Sika grabs both of their heads, smashes them together, and Adonis goes flying.
A brawl breaks out once again the center of the ring between both teams. Adonis flies over the top rope courtesy of an Afa head butt. Adonis flies back in the ring after the Samoans slingshot him in via the top rope. You know, it is a real shame that Adrian put on all of that weight a few years later because he was a bumping machine here. The crowd is just eating out of their hands.
Adonis and Murdoch finally gain a brief advantage. Adonis sinks in “Goodnight Irene”, his signature sleeper hold. Albano checks Afa’s hand but Afa waives his one finger in the air to tell the fans he is okay. Afa-mania is running wild! Afa finally gets out of the hold by sending Adonis into the turnbuckle. Adonis tags out, well actually walks out and Murdoch walks in.
Albano continues walking around the ring throughout the match waiving his fingers at both teams. Murdoch drops an elbow, goes for a cover, and Monsoon points out, “Albano goes down for the count and completely blocks both wrestlers off of our video screens.”
Adonis has Afa down and goes to the top rope. Afa pops up and punches Adonis who crotches himself on the top rope. It is easy to see watching this match how Adonis was able to make so much money selling for babyfaces in his prime. The guy is just great! Adonis hits the floor, leaving Murdoch in the ring with both Samoans.
The Samoans double-team Murdoch, Afa (who is not the legal man) drops a flying head butt on Murdoch, and Albano is out of position to count the cover. Albano takes his sweet time to count the cover, finally drops to one knee, counts super slow, and after two yells stops to yell at Sika for not holding on to the tag rope.
The crowd is going crazy and the Samoans now corner Albano. Afa pushes Albano who calls for the disqualification. Monsoon points out that Murdoch is still out cold in the center of the ring. Albano raises the champ’s hands. The Samoans get ready to attack Albano and are jumped from behind by the champions. Albano punches Sika who is being held by the champions. The Samoans clean house and hold the belts to a standing ovation from the crowd. The Samoans lay the belts down and call back the champions.
Guess what? They actually come back! I don’t recall many heels getting back in the ring with the babyface after a match. The champions come back and another brawl breaks out. Each team has a belt and is using it on the other. People are jumping up and down in the crowd. The champions get their belts and leave for good.
This match was a lot of fun. The Samoans dominated the match, but the underlying storyline of Albano as referee was just great. The crowd was super into this one, which made it seem like a classic. I loved it. For a WWF fan in 1984 it doesn’t get much better than this.
I should point out that these teams would come back to MSG in a six-man tag team match with Albano, Murdoch, and Adonis wrestling the Samoans and Sgt. Slaughter (Adonis and Murdoch beat Slaughter and Terry Daniels the previous month) in September.
Here is an odd match for you. Ken Patera vs. Pat Patterson which wouldn’t be so odd if Patterson wasn’t a commentator at the time, and Patera just came back after a four year absence. I presume that the booking here played off of their previous MSG series four or five years ago. Otherwise it really didn’t make a lot of sense.
Ken Patera is slowly takes off his warm up suit to the sarcastic whistles of the sold out Madison Square Garden crowd. This is actually pretty funny.
Patterson gets an arm bar early on Patera. Patera breaks on the ropes and hits Patterson with a forearm. Patera shoots him to the ropes, Patterson comes back with a flying bodypress, and Patera kicks out of a close call.
They exchange punches in the ring and Patterson gets the advantage. The crowd appears to be having a rough time coming back from the tag team title match. Patera falls into the ropes and is tied up. Monsoon says, “he’s at your mercy now Pat.” Insert joke here.
The action goes back and forth but finally slows down with Patera grabbing a chin lock. The announcers point out Patera’s Pan America Games’ accomplishments. Patera nails Patterson with some kicks and forearms but again goes back to a chin lock. These guys are working this match like it’s an intercontinental title match, but the crowd isn’t buying it.
Patterson makes a fiery comeback. Patterson climbs to the top rope but Patera moves out of the way. Patterson hits the ropes, Patera scoops him up (almost tripping), and drops him throat first along the top rope. Patera is signaling for the full nelson. He’s got it! Patterson fights valiantly to get out of it but winds up succumbing to the submission after about a minute.
This was a great way to re-introduce Patera back to the Madison Square Garden crowd. It seems kind of silly to book someone like him against a guy like Rick McGraw or Sal Bellomo in an opener. Instead they give the old school fans a wink and a nod with this one, yet give Patera a glorified squash win. I like it.
Monsoon sends it to the back for a Jesse “The Body” Ventura promo. Ventura calls Ivan “Puduski” a little wart and tells him that after tonight, Hulk Hogan will be next. They were setting up Hogan vs. Ventura for the September show. Unfortunately the match never happened due to Ventura’s career ending illness he incurred at the time. Hogan got lucky!
Jesse Ventura vs. Ivan Putski in a “clash of the titans” as Gorilla Monsoon calls it. The crowd pops huge for Putski’s appearance. Ventura attacks Putski as he enters the ring. Putski fights back with a shoulder block which sends Ventura to the middle of the ring. Ventura then walks into a bodyslam and an onslaught of punches. Putski sends Ventura to the ropes and nails him with a right hand. Ventura takes one of the most awkward looking bumps I have ever seen and heads to the floor to regroup. We got a barn burner here!
Putski follows him out and rams Ventura’s head into the apron. Putski chases Ventura in and out of the ring. Keep in mind that the WWF shot an angle a few weeks prior to the match where Ventura attacked Putski in the midst of an arm wrestling contest. The crowd is back and stomping away!
They finally lock up. Putski grabs a side headlock. Putski punches Ventura a few times in the headlock and sends Ventura to the mat. Putski is now kicking away at the “The Body.” Ventura slides out of the ring once again. Putski plays to the crowd and they reciprocate. It’s a conspiracy Jesse!
Awesome spot here as Putski grabs a headlock, Ventura goes to shoot him off, but instead Putski hangs on to Ventura’s long beard. Putski releases a number of rapid punches to Ventura’s head. Putski follows up with a series of sledgehammer forearms before Jesse hits the floor once again.
Ventura finally gets his first offense of the match with a standing wristlock. It doesn’t last long. Putski begins to reverse, but Jesse pulls Putski’s hair, and they call to the mat. They both work for the wristlock on the mat. Putski is close to cinching it in before Ventura pulls his hair once again. They go back and forth with this for a few minutes thanks to the ignorance of Dick Kroll. Putski finally reverses and pummels Ventura with punches. Putski is like Stone Cold Steve Austin during this match.
Ventura now unravels his wrist tape to use as a weapon. Ventura now chokes Puduski with it. Ventura puts it in his mouth when Dick Kroll checks to see what he has. Ventura continues to choke Putski with the rope. Referee Kroll knows he has something but can’t find it. Al Hayes says this is Jesse at his worst. Too bad he never got to see that Opie and Anthony appearance.
Putski now has the tape, sends Ventura to the ropes, and clotheslines Ventura with it. The referee sees the tape and is practically begging Putski to give it up. Putski now has Ventura in the corner and is punching him, which Ventura is selling by spinning around 360 degrees with each punch.
Both guys are fighting on the apron. Ventura looks like he is trying to tie his tights but instead grabs a foreign object out of there. It looks like a taped up Popsicle stick. Putski falls to the floor, Ventura falls back into the ring, the referee signals for the bell, and Putski is officially counted out.
This was a hot match but at this point you have screw finishes in both of the top matches. The tag team title match ended on a disqualification and this one ends on a count out. This is kind of weak if you ask me, especially if the idea was to bring Ventura back as a WWF championship challenger next month. However, in all fairness the crowd loves every minute of it and doesn’t appear to be turned off by the non-finishes.
The Fabulous Freebirds make a very rare WWF appearance. The Freebirds are managed by Cyndi Lauper’s manager David Wolff to play off of the Rock and Roll Wrestling Connection. Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, and Buddy Roberts take on the ultimate WWF 1980s jobber team of Butcher Vachon, Ron Shaw, and Pete Doherty in a 2 out of 3 falls match. Are three falls really necessary here?
Michael Hayes starts off the match with a combination chicken and moon walk. That’s a future WWE V.P. right there! Butcher Vachon takes exception to Hayes’ gyrations and refuses to lock up. I can’t say that I blame him. Vachon tags out and in comes Ron Shaw who doesn’t fair much better.
Hayes is really trying to get the crowd going but they aren’t quite ready to welcome him into the WWF family just yet. Something tells me that a guy with long blonde haired gyrating his hips in a pro wrestling match is not going to be too well received as a babyface in New York City.
Buddy Roberts tags in briefly before tagging in the future Executioner. Gordy launches Shaw over his head to the mat. The Duke of Dorchester is in. Yes! Gordy just unloads with his trademark punches on the Duke. Buddy tags back in and the Freebirds are just double and triple teaming everyone at this point.
The butcher tags in and finally gets a brief advantage on Buddy Jack before being sent to the mat with a shoulder tackle. Michael P.S. tags back in but winds up as Gorilla would say, “on the wrong side of town” being triple teamed in the corner. Hayes finally tags in “Bam Bam” who Gorilla calls, “Terry Brody.” Gordy unloads once again on the butcher. Gordy catches Vachon with a flying bodypress and gets a three count. Gorilla reminds the audience that it is a best two of three.
Howard Finkel actually gets back inside the ring to announce the first fall in between falls. Remember, this was before the wireless ringside microphone.
Gordy and Vachon are back at it. Gordy picks up Vachon for a huge bodyslam as Michael Hayes dances on the ring apron outside of the ring. And who is this “Terry Brody” that Gorilla keeps referring to? Is that the hybrid wrestler of Bruiser Brody and Terry Gordy? I wish.
Buddy Roberts tags in and I must say, that Buddy looks like he’d fit in better with a Swing & Wrestling tag team as opposed to a Rock & Wrestling team. Buddy Jack is caught in the heel corner. Pete Doherty is in the ring now, but loses Buddy as he makes a hot tag to Hayes.
Hayes comes in like a house of fire. He nails a big clothesline on Doherty, dances around a bit, and starts punching away at the Duke. Hayes is trying really hard to get a reaction but the crowd still isn’t buying into the birds. Now that I think about it, it probably has a lot to do with the Apter magazines and all of the stories about the Freebirds’ dastardly deeds in World Class. Or they just don’t like Michael Hayes.
A pier six brawl breaks out as everyone is in the ring. Shaw slams Gordy’s head into the turnbuckle, yet Gordy continues to ram his own heard into the turnbuckle. The crowd likes that. Shaw looks at him and says “he’s crazy!” I heard plenty of Gordy stories to corroborate that.
The Freebirds send Doherty into the ropes with the idea of Hayes and Roberts double backdropping Doherty into Gordy who would then powerslam. Well, that was the idea. Instead, Doherty just rolls off their backs and hits the canvas before Gordy has a chance to grab him. Oh man this is ugly and the crowd lets them know it with awkward silence. Roberts immediately drops an elbow to end this massacre.
I don’t think anyone watching this would ever guess that the ring leader of all of this would later go on to become a WWE Vice President. It should also be of no surprise to anyone that The Freebirds were gone right after this match.
Time for the main-event! I will be completely honest and tell you that I am really excited for this match. I have seen in before, but not in years. However, I just loved this feud as a kid. Anytime Snuka and Piper wrestled it was just magic. Let the tricks begin!
Once the crowd notices Jimmy Snuka coming to the ring they give him a standing ovation. Fans are literally screaming for the Superfly. Not so much for Roddy Piper.
Piper walks slowly to the ring and is showered with a chorus of boos by the New York crowd. Snuka stares down Piper with a look of death from the ring. Piper is seething outside of the ring. Snuka goes after him but is held back by referee Dick Kroll.
Piper takes his time getting in the ring and appears to be psyching himself up. Snuka continues to stare at him with eyes of death. If you weren’t aware of their angle at the time and watched this match today, you’d know immediately that this was a huge grudge match. Both guys are treating this as if they are ready to fight as opposed to wrestle. The intensity is tremendous!
Piper finally gets in the ring and the two just stare at each other without saying a word from across the ring. What I love about this is that Piper is acting as if he wants Snuka as bad as Snuka wants him as opposed to the usual heel tactics which see the villain run scared from the babyface. In other words, Piper is “Stone Cold” Steve Austin long before the Rattlesnake did the same thing decades later.
Gorilla says the crowd is on the edge of their seats in anticipation of the explosion they are about to see. Wow, that was actually pretty good and accurate. Piper and Snuka now circle each other like animals. They finally charge each other with Snuka going to town on Piper with punches and karate shots. Snuka sends Piper to the mat quickly as the Rowdy one tries to call a timeout.
They go at it once again in the center of the ring. Piper tries a head butt to no avail. However, Piper does gain a momentary advantage with a poke to the eye. Piper now follows up with punches. Piper takes Snuka down and goes nuts with punches.
Snuka fights back and chops Piper, who falls over the top rope to the floor. Snuka follows up and rams Piper’s head into the apron. Piper is clotheslined on the rope and falls into the ring. Snuka sends Piper to the ropes and catches him with a sleeper, which would ironically go on to be Piper’s finisher. Piper slides out of the ring with Jimmy holding on to him. Piper finally breaks it by ramming Snuka’s back into the ring apron.
Snuka sends Piper’s head into the steel ring post. Piper is now on all fours crawling away from Snuka. Piper grabs a chair but instead it is Jimmy who rams Piper’s head into the chair. Piper is now busted wide open from either the post or the chair. Gorilla thinks it was the post.
Snuka sees Piper all bloody and goes crazy as Piper begs off. Snuka drops down and punches Roddy’s cut, trying to open up the Scotsman even more. Snuka then drops a flying headbutt onto Piper. Snuka goes up top, Piper is on his feet, catches Snuka, and drops him awkwardly on the top rope. Snuka crashes hard to the floor. The referee counts, raises Piper’s hand, and the bell rings. Really?
Piper now grabs a chair and rams the back of the chair into Snuka’s neck on the floor. Monsoon says, “That’s ridiculous.” So is seven minutes and a bogus finish for a main-event! A bloody Piper continues to ram the chair into Snuka. Piper raises the “I love you” sign and walks back to the locker room. Paramedics are now entering the area with a stretcher.
Paramedics wheel Snuka through the back past Professor Tito Santana. Well he looks like a professor standing there in his glasses. Snuka continues selling it for the cameras and isn’t moving an inch.
Terry Daniels vs. Fred Marzino is up next. What a fall for poor Daniels. Last month he was challenging for the WWF tag team championship, now he is wrestling Fred Marzino who looks more like a 70’s porn star than a WWF wrestler.
The cameras go back to the doctor’s office and show the docs working on Snuka as Pat Patterson looks on. Snuka is barely moving. Poor Terry, they won’t even show his match on the MSG network. This is all about the Superfly.
The cameras go back to the ring just long enough to catch the finish. Daniels gets the win with a pretty cool looking sunset flip cover. Okay, back to the Superfly.
Snuka now has an oxygen mask on. Gorilla speculates that the doctor’s are about to give him an I.V. No wonder everyone hated Piper, he practically killed his arch rival.
Lord Al Hayes is now reporting from the locker room before the WWF intercontinental championship match starts. The doctor gives a statement which you can’t hear at all. The audio finally become clear and it appears that Snuka has a concussion. Kind of weird since most of the punishment came from damage to Snuka’s neck, but hey who am I to argue.
Back to the ring, Tito Santana vs. Greg Valentine for the I-C strap closes the show. These guys had some tremendous matches during this time period, hope this is one of them. They start quickly with some chain wrestling. The champion grabs Valentine in a side headlock. Santana then delivers an atomic drop and the Hammer begs off.
I kind of feel sorry for these guys. The crowd has their minds on Jimmy Snuka and really don’t seem to into the match. The guys are trading punches and nobody appears to care. Remember, this is the same crowd that went wild for an Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Brian Blair match earlier in the night.
Valentine catches Santana with an elbow and the tide is turned. Valentine hammers away with punches and elbows. Valentine drops Santana into a shoulder breaker. He now winds up and drops a forearm. Ironically the crowd really appears to be into Valentine. That would make him the first heel cheered all night which is kind of odd.
Santana and Valentine now trading punches and trying to get the fans back into the match…but wait! The cameras shoot to the back again and show Snuka being taken out with a stretcher. Wow, not even the intercontinental championship match can steal time away from this one.
Valentine now has a Sugar Hold on Santana. Oops wait, back to Snuka. Valentine punches away at Santana and drops an elbow onto Tito’s neck from the apron to the floor. Maybe the crowd isn’t so much into Valentine as just hoping to see a decisive finish in one of the main-events they paid $20 to see?
Both guys trade punches back and forth once again, Santana hits the ropes, leap frogs Valentine, and crashes right into the referee. Nope, no clean finishes tonight in the main-events. Valentine knees Santana from behind. Valentine sends Santana into the ropes, Santana ducks, flying forearm! A slow moving Kroll counts the fall but Valentine drapes his leg on the bottom rope.
Valentine pops right back up, smashes Santana from behind, and applies the figure four leg lock in the center of the ring. Sorry Hammer but the match is over. Dick Kroll tells Valentine that the match is over, Santana is screaming in pain, and Valentine finally breaks the hold. So now both of the night’s big babyfaces are leaving injured.
[adinserter block=”1″]Santana is officially announced as the winner. Kroll never saw the foot on the ropes. Okay, so you get one kind of, sort of decisive finish in the co-headliner. Santana lips badly to the back selling the leg lock, as Valentine celebrates in the center of the ring with the title. The fans react by showering Valentine with garbage but to Greg’s credit, he continues to instigate them and stand in the center of the ring.
The main-events were good, but just way too short. Seven minutes for Snuka vs. Piper with such a ridiculous finish is a real killer. The WWF tag team title match was probably my second favorite of the night thanks to Captain Lou’s antics and Adonis’ bumping. Santana vs. Valentine had a ton of potential but again, it was just way too short.
Overall I really liked this show. The crowd was super hot for most of the night which really added to the excitement of most matches. I have to be honest and I never thought I’d say this, but Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Brian Blair was probably my favorite match of the night. I never would have expected it, but it was a lot of fun.
Full WWF New York, NY 08/25/85 results…
Kamala (w/ Freddie Blassie & Friday) pinned Chief Jay Strongbow
B. Brian Blair fought Iron Mike Sharpe to a double count-out
Rick McGraw (sub. for Don Muraco) fought Salvatore Bellomo to a time-limit draw
WWF Tag Team Champions Dick Murdoch & Adrian Adonis defeated the Wild Samoans via disqualification with guest referee Capt. Lou Albano
Ken Patera defeated Pat Patterson
Jesse Ventura defeated Ivan Putski via count-out
Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, & Buddy Roberts (w/ David Wolff) defeated Butcher Vachon, Ron Shaw, & Pete Doherty in a Best 2 out of 3 falls match
Roddy Piper defeated Jimmy Snuka via count-out
Terry Daniels pinned Fred Marzino
WWF IC Champion Tito Santana pinned Greg Valentine