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Madison Square Garden All-Star Wrestling (1.17.1977) Review

November 7, 2020 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Bruno Sammartino Ken Patera Madison Square Garden All Star Wrestling
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Madison Square Garden All-Star Wrestling (1.17.1977) Review  

-This is an abbreviated form of the card that ran on WWE 24/7 back when that was a thing.

-It’s January 17, 1977.

-Your host is Vince McMahon.

-And it’s history right off the bat, as Howard Finkel makes his MSG debut and we finally get to experience ring introductions with a shit being given.

NON-TITLE: PAT PATTERSON (North American Champion) vs. BARON MIKEL SCICLUNA
-It’s Patterson’s MSG debut, if you can believe it. Vince says that Patterson being North American Champion makes him a top contender for the United States Championship.

-Baron kills some time being sneaky with a weapon before Patterson finally gives him one good right hand that gets Baron tangled in the ropes. Baron gets free and boots Patterson out to the floor, and Baron keeps stopping him from getting back in. Patterson finally gets fed up and just yanks Baron by his legs out to the floor and hammers him, and the crowd loves it.

-So Baron grabs the weapon and uses that to keep control. Patterson rams Baron into the turnbuckle for a comeback, and Baron just falls over dead like a cartoon character before springing back up and using his weapon again. He goes for a backdrop, and Patterson turns it into a sunset flip for three. 0 for 1. Just awful, as Scicluna dragged Patterson down to his level, and the match was 90% stalling and comic strip-faced selling.

WWWF WORLD TITLE: BRUNO SAMMARTINO (with Arnold Skaaland) vs. KEN PATERA (with Captain Lou Albano)

-Finkel introduces a special guest in the ring, an up-and-comer who holds the distinction of being the only wrestler trained by Bruno Sammartino, young Larry Zbyszko. Larry will be debuting in MSG three weeks from tonight.

-Before the bell, Albano attempts a surprise attack, but Bruno punches him and Albano makes a beeline for the locker room. Bell sounds and they get right to work, with Patera leapfrogging Bruno (spit take) and slamming him down. Hiptoss and an armdrag are traded and Patera goes to the apron for a break.

-Patera wins a test of strength and gets Bruno on his back. Bruno gets back to his feet but Patera whips him and focuses on the back with elbows and forearm shots. Bearhug time, and Bruno’s face and messy perm make him a dead ringer for the Lou Ferrigno interpretation of the Incredible Hulk.

-Bruno is in the exact amount of pain necessary to remember that punches exist, so he’s trapped in the hold for a while, but he finally remembers he has a forehead and so he headbutts out.

-Backdrop by Bruno, and he gets aggressive, choking Patera with his boots, which surprises me because Patera was actually keeping this pretty sportsmanlike before now. Bruno starts working the arm, and this is kind of the same story he did with Nikolai Volkoff: Bruno is outmatched in power so he tries destroying the arm to eliminate power moves.

-Patera with a chinlock, and he goes for the full nelson but Bruno simply won’t allow it, slipping away and hammering at him. Match devolves into a fight and both guys just totally wear out and both of them end up on the mat.

-They get back to their feet and criss-cross, and when they collide, Bruno goes tumbling out to the floor. Patera won’t let him back in, and the fight ends up on the floor. Bruno heads back in, but Patera stops him with a chair to the back in full view of the referee, then slides back in. Referee calls to the floor, and the crowd has a shitfit when they learn that Patera is getting the win by count-out. 1 for 2. It was fine if slow. They were still convinced that “main event” was a mandatory 20 minutes at this point, and really this was an outstanding 10 minute match played out at half-speed.

TAG TEAM TITLE, 2 OUT OF 3 FALLS: CHIEF JAY STRONGBOW & BILLY WHITEWOLF (Champions) vs. THE EXECUTIONERS

-So stuff has changed since our last visit to MSG, with the Executioners getting caught using a third man in a title match and being stripped of the belts, and Strongbow & Whitewolf winning the belts in a tournament. So the foot’s on the other hand now and the Executioners are trying to get their belts back.

FALL ONE: Whitewolf gets caught in the wrong corner early and gets his legs worked over. And that’s pretty much the entire story of the first fall, as they just keep the ring cut in half and stay in one corner. And then Whitewolf slips away. ’70s hot tags are so odd; more often than not, the heels don’t do anything wrong, the face just gets lucky and manages to get to the corner.

-So Chief Jay cleans house, and a big chop on #1 gets the win for fall #1.

FALL TWO: #2 applies a bearhug and the Executioners do the old switcheroo with that hold for a bit. They also apply a double bearhug with Vince mentioning “You don’t often see that” but somehow not following that with “…and for damn good reason, because it looks so stupid.”

-So Strongbow stays in the bearhug, with Strongbow going after the mask to try to break it. Strongbow gets free and tags, and again, he pretty much just walks away and makes the tag after building all this drama about him trying to escape. Executioners adapt immediately and just beat up on the fresh man, and a bodyslam is enough to get a three-count on Whitewolf. Wow, the champs look like shit tonight.

FALL THREE: So after a fall dedicated to leg stuff and a fall dedicated to bearhugs, the designated fall three hold is the back claw, or as I call it, the Inept Masseuse Lock. And then an Executioner gets distracted by Strongbow on the apron and Whitewolf schoolboys him for three. The end. 1 for 3. Three consecutive falls of stuff that just made you nod and say “Yep, that’s the whole thing.”

IVAN PUTSKI vs. BRUISER BRODY

-Brawl starts before the bell and Brody teases going back to the locker room immediately. Back in, he gets caught in a side headlock and we get a flashing POLISH POWER chyron across the screen for it. Brody breaks with an atomic drop, but Putski comes back with a shot to the stomach and they flash POLISH POWER across the screen again! Damn that’s irritating.

-So they slug it out in the corner for a while and the referee just gets fed up and DQs both guys, and in the least believable visual of this entire night, Brody runs away from Putski. 1 for 4.

BOBO BRAZIL vs. STAN “The Man” STASIAK (with The Grand Wizard)

-See this just makes it worse, because it carries the implication that we could have had a Grand Wizard promo at some point in the night and they just chose not to give us that.

-Stasiak tries to go for the heart punch as soon as the bell sounds, but Brazil just punches him away. They collide on a shoulderblock, but they get back to their feet and just keep battling until Stasiak ignores a warning to let Bobo out of the corner, and the referee just calls for the bell and ends it right there. 1 for 5.

2.0
The final score: review Very Bad
The 411
Nah.
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