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Madison Square Garden Championship Wrestling (9.26.1977) Review

November 30, 2020 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Superstar Billy Graham Madison Square Garden
2.9
The 411 Rating
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Madison Square Garden Championship Wrestling (9.26.1977) Review  

-It’s September 26, 1977.

-Your host is Vince McMahon.

-Aww, dammit, Sleepyhead is the ring announcer again.

2 OUT OF 3 FALLS: COWBOY LANG & HAITI KID vs. LITTLE JOHN & LITTLE TOKYO

-FALL ONE: Vince assures us in Vincely fashion that these kids of matches often have humor in them. Haiti Kid chases Little Tokyo across the ring, and it’s weird to think that these guys are going to be part of a world record-setting show ten years later. Little John tags in and snapmares Haiti. Little John works the arm over. Little Tokyo tags back in and slugs it out with Haiti and makes the tag to Cowboy Lang. Heels bungle a double-team spot and get into a fist fight. Little John punches out Little Tokyo, and Haiti dropkicks him…for two. Oh.

-Little John is tagged in by the partner he just punched out and Haiti “boogaloos” him (flying headscissors that, uh, turn you into an impotent racist, I guess). Lang tags in and takes down both opponents with flying headscissors. He backdrops Little John and Vince’s call of it is so boring that it makes me wonder when exactly he fell in love with calling that move. Little John tries to criss-cross with Haiti, but Haiti does something really slick, tripping over John’s body, hitting the mat and clamping on bodyscissors on his way down, then simply rolling over to make it a pinning combo for three.

FALL TWO: Referee gets sandwiched in the corner between all four guys. Series of butt-butts by Haiti. Lang tags in and gets caught in the wrong corner. Everybody piles on the referee. All four men criss-cross and Little Tokyo doesn’t notice that all the other guys have stopped and just keeps running and running. Lang rides the referee like a horsey. This just keeps GOING until Tokyo botches another double-team and rams his partner out to the floor, and then Tokyo gets rolled up to end this. 0 for 1. All of the spots that you see over and over again in these.

PROFESSOR TORU TANAKA vs. JOHNNY RIVERA
-Vince points out that Mrs. Krieger is in attendance again tonight, but now that MSG has barricades around ringside, what’s the point?

-Chops and chokes by Chanaka, er, Tanaka to start off. Tanaka takes Rivera down with a handful of trunks. Fans are just SILENT until Rivera punches free. Tanaka comes right back with choking and Rivera drives a forearm to the chest. Tanaka resorts to the purple nurple, showing that he’s willing to do anything to win other than break a sweat. Rivera wakes up MSG with a sweet counter of a backdrop and a series of dropkicks, but he goes to the well too many times and crashes, allowing Tanaka to pin him. 0 for 2. Phoned in from bell to bell.

DYNAMITE JACK EVANS vs. BARON MIKEL SCICLUNA

-Evans bounced from territory to territory throughout the ’70s but never really went beyond the mid-card and left the business in 1980. They exchange holds and then Baron goes to the throat to take over. Baron gets caught in the ropes and Evans rams him repeatedly until Baron raises a boot. Knee misses and Evans picks his target, but he can’t quite put Baron away. Baron fights back with clubbing blows and a backdrop for two.

-Baron goes into the tights and uses a weapon, but the brawl goes out to the apron and they trade punches until they’re both counted out. 0 for 3. The shits keep coming.

MR. FUJI (with Fred Blassie) vs. LENNY HURST

-Lenny Hurst is a guy who was long thought to be a very young Haku due to an uncanny resemblance, but it’s definitely a different guy. Heels stall for a good while before we get rolling, with Blassie refusing to go back to the locker room and then Fuji waiting until the bell sounds and THEN insisting on doing the salt ritual.

-Slam and a legdrop by Fuji, but since getting the pin with a legdrop would be utterly ridiculous, Fuji goes to a wristlock, keeping Lenny on the mat by pulling the hair. Purple nurple by Fuji. Hurst gets free and corners Fuji, hammering him and then bringing him to the center of the ring for a headbutt. Nerve hold by Fuji, but Hurst breaks free with another headbutt. He throws dropkicks, but he goes to the well one too many times, allowing Fuji to pin him. They had the tag team partners work singles matches and gave them the same finish. Fabulous. 0 for 4.

BOB BACKLUND vs. LARRY SHARPE

-Vince interviews Backlund on the apron before the match, and how the HELL did anybody see a chance to make money with this guy? Larry Sharpe is a pretty bleached blonde who throws roses to the crowd during his entrance, and we’ll actually revisit that later.

-They get scientific, trading arm wringers until Sharpe goes to the ropes. Backlund gets Sharpe on the mat and they roll around for a bit before Larry gets to the ropes. Backlund keeps working the arm but bounces off the ropes and runs into a hiptoss. Backlund fights back with an armdrag and goes to an armbar. Sharpe escapes but gets caught in a side headlock. Sharpe backs him into the corner and hammers on him hard enough to “put a few daisies in the air” according to Vince, and Vince trying to coin a new phrase and totally crashing and burning on the attempt is the single most interesting part of the entire card up to this point.

-Fist fight erupts, but Backlund ties up Sharpe’s arms and double underhooks him for a one-count. Monkey flip follows, and Backlund atomic drops him to FINISH THE DAMN MATCH. 0 for 5.

WWWF WORLD TITLE: SUPERSTAR BILLY GRAHAM (Champion, with The Grand Wizard) vs. DUSTY RHODES

-A while back I was listening to a podcast where the hosts were talking about how guys would change up their persona slightly from territory to territory, and they specifically used Dusty in the WWWF as an example. More than anything else, he’s just doing a Muhammad Ali impression, on the mic and in the ring.

-Dusty immediately beats down Graham and the champ teases taking the count-out and just going straight back to the locker room. He changes his mind and heads back in. He gets the upper hand with the test of strength, but Dusty comes back and overpowers Graham, which you’d scoff at a little bit but they do this really believably, with Dusty leaning directly into Graham and making it look like he had to work a little harder for this.

-Graham goes to the throat, but that just gets Dusty mad and he drives elbows into the skull. Polish hammer to Graham’s FACE and it lands with an audible thwack. Dusty works the arm, but Graham gets free and applies a suspicious-looking chinlock, but Dusty revives and snapmares out. He bounces off the ropes and trips over Graham, falling out to the floor, and they brawl out there, with Graham getting the upper hand by ramming him into the barricade. They beat the count back in and Graham holds Dusty in the air for a bearhug.

-Dusty clings to life and gets out with big elbows. He sends Graham into the corner but misses a charge, and Graham lifts him for a body vice. Dusty slips out and just keeps going back to the elbow because it keeps working. And then it doesn’t. Graham rolls out of harm’s way and Dusty crashes. Graham heads to the top rope, but Dusty slams him off in what would become a familiar spot for him. He backdrops Graham over the top rope and onto the concrete, and the referee is concerned enough for Graham’s welfare that he goes out and checks on him instead of counting, which has Vince baffled.

-Referee finally starts counting while remaining on the floor with Graham…and Dusty wins by count-out! Post-match gets CRAZY, as a fan hops the barricade to hug Dusty and raise his arms, and the fans that Larry Sharpe threw his roses to earlier throw their roses back in the ring at Dusty. Dusty is so excited about the win, brace yourself, that he grabs the belt and celebrates, thinking that he won the title, but the referee breaks the shocking news to him that while he won the match, he doesn’t win the belt. Dusty is SHOCKED at having the belt taken from him after he clearly thought he won it, and demands that Graham get back in the ring. 1 for 6 because this finally got my attention after a dreadful first half.

CHIEF PETER MAIVIA vs. GEORGE “The Animal” STEELE

-School’s back in session, so George is probably losing.

-Maivia hammers George and George just goes straight back to the locker room before returning to play hide-the-weapon with the referee. George lands a few shots and applies a nerve hold…and holds onto it for five damn minutes. I mean, technically, a sloth is an animal, so the name still applies but dear god. Maivia gets everybody’s attention with a low blow. Steele goes to the floor and heaves a chair into the ring, but the referee puts a stop to that, and Maivia just hammers Steele repeatedly on the apron, causing him to get tangled in the ropes. Maivia won’t let Steele back in the ring and punches him so hard that he hands on the apron with his feet tangled in the ropes, and Steele gets counted out. 1 for 7.

BEST 3 OUT OF 5 FALLS: CHIEF JAY STRONGBOW,LARRY ZBYSZKO, & TONY GAREA vs. KEN PATERA, STAN STASIAK, & CAPTAIN LOU ALBANO

FALL ONE: Garea starts with Stasiak. Stasiak lands some blows to the head that have Garea reeling right away, so naturally Albano happily tags in and connects with a foreign object to take command of the match. Patera tags in to finish him, but Strongbow surprises him and he’s still plenty mad about the whole “partner was injured and forced into retirement” thing. Strongbow chops away until Patera gets out of there. Stasiak takes over with a side headlock and wears down Strongbow enough that Albano tags in to help again. Strongbow fires back and everybody tags again.

-Larry tags in and just starts kicking ass, and before long everyone is in there, except for Albano,m who retreats to the locker room when he sees his partners are getting their asses kicked. Stasiak gets caught in the corner, where the faces remove the tape that Stasiak uses for his heart punch. Larry puts it on, and suddenly nobody wants to tag Stasiak, so he’s caught in the ring while Larry just beats the hell out of him with whatever was hidden inside the tape. Dropkick/chop combo by Larry and the Chief, and that’s enough for the forces of good to get three and take the first fall.

FALL TWO: Garea leapfrogs Patera and dropkicks him. Garea starts targeting the shoulder and just goes crazy with an arm wringer, whipping and swinging the arm back and forth. Patera manages to walk to his corner while Larry is still hanging onto him, and the heels completely exhausted him in the corner with the tag rope. Axehandle by Patera gets the win to even the score.

FALL THREE: Patera misses a charge right away and that allows Larry to go right back to work on his arm. Larry’s still hurting though and Captain Lou bravely steps back in and gently kicks him over and over until Garea tags in, and then Albano runs for his life and brings Stasiak back in. Strongbow eventually heads in and goes on the war path, but he gets caught in the corner as you see fans slowly figuring out where this is going and heading out to the car. Brawl breaks out and referee restores order. Stasiak tries for the heart punch but Larry fights it off and Patera tags back in. The first few rows on camera are totally empty at this point, and yup, curfew. 2 for 7. They were trying out there, at least.

2.9
The final score: review Very Bad
The 411
Yeah, no.
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