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Mr.Dufour’s Wayback Machine: Nov.25th, 1982 Philly Spectrum

February 13, 2016 | Posted by Greg Dufour
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Mr.Dufour’s Wayback Machine: Nov.25th, 1982 Philly Spectrum  

Mr. Dufour’s Wayback Machine: November 25th, 1982

Welcome everyone to another edition of Mr. Dufour’s Wayback Machine where we review classic WWF shows of wrestle-years gone by.

Today we travel back to November 25th, 1982 at the Philly Spectrum where we have an outstanding card this week, headlined by Bob Backlund defending his title against Playboy Buddy Rose.

Before we get started, the wrestling world lost two friends recently with the passing of Iron Mike Sharpe and The Mongolian Stomper Archie Gouldie. I’ve made it no secret that I was a huge fan of Iron Mike Sharpe. Regardless of his position on the card, Sharpe always had a knack for getting the crowd to jeer him. Growing up in Windsor Ontario Canada, if a wrestler was announced from Canada they automatically became a face in my eyes and Sharpe was no different. Especially since he was Canada’s Greatest Athlete! Mike you were a gem and will be sorely missed. Hours before I was about to start reviewing this show, I learned about the passing of Archie Gouldie The Mongolian Stomper. The Stomper was a fixture in Stampede Wrestling from the late 60’s to the mid 80’s where he wrestled as a top heel. He also had a hell of a run in Southeast Championship Wrestling in the Knoxville area where he had a tremendous feud with another personal favourite of mine: Robert Fuller. Gouldie later resurfaced in Smoky Mountain Wrestling, feuding with Kevin Sullivan. Two Canadian legends gone in the span of two weeks. Rest in peace gentlemen and thanks for all the memories.

Your current champions are:

World Title: Bob Backlund
Intercontinental Title: Pedro Morales
Tag Team Titles: The Strongbows

This is sadly the first Spectrum show that wasn’t hosted by Kal Rudman and Dick Graham, so your hosts for tonight’s action are Gorilla Monsoon and Dick Graham. I really need to find that DVD. Kal Rudman literally had me in tears during an interview he did with Tony Atlas. Your ring announcer for tonight’s action is Joooooooooooooe McHugh!

Match #1: WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship Match: (Champion) Tiger Mask vs Eddie Gilbert

Well this is a heck of a way to start the show! Tiger Mask (Satoru Sayama) was a 3 time WWF Junior Heavyweight Champion, and actually held this belt along with the NWA Junior Heavyweight Championship at the same time! He’d hold the title until August of 1983 when he announced his retirement (although it didn’t last long). His opponent tonight is a very young Eddie Gilbert who was only 21 years old at the time of this match. He wrestled in the company from 1982 to 1984 before heading to Mid-South. This match is available on youtube.

Gilbert applies a standing wrist lock to start the match but Tiger rolls through with ridiculous speed and takes down Gilbert, but Eddie kicks Tiger away and two regain their vertical base. Tiger gets Eddie in a side head lock, switches to a go behind and takes Gilbert down with a drop toe hold. Holy cow was that ever fast! Tiger works a combination leg lock/toe hold. Almost a sharpshooter type hold. Gilbert breaks the hold and works a leg lock of his own but Tiger is somehow able to roll through and get back to his feet. Tiger takes down Eddie immediately and works a spinning leg lock, but Eddie powers out of it. The two then engage in an outstanding sequence where Eddie double leap frogs Tiger and attempts a back body drop, but Tiger does a front flip over the back of Eddie and drop kicks Gilbert who tumbles to the outside. Wow! The crowd applauds with approval. Back in the ring, the two engage in a test of strength where Eddie gets the upper hand. Tiger though kicks the right hand of Eddie, spins though and takes down Eddie with a wrist lock. You literally can’t blink when Tiger counters a move. He is that friggen fast. It’s insane. Tiger transitions the hold into a headscissors, but Eddie rolls out of it and puts Tiger in a leg lock. Eddie picks up Tiger and delivers a body slam. Eddie attempts a second, but Tiger hops onto Eddie’s shoulders and victory rolls Eddie for a two count. Eddie works a side head lock for half a minutes and later hip tosses Tiger across the ring and later hits a flying headscissors takedown. Credit to Eddie Gilbert who is more than holding his own with Tiger Mask. Tiger Mask front flips out of it and the two return to a vertical base. Eddie drop toe holds Tiger and works an ankle lock. Dick Graham announces that there will be a Midget match tonight. Lol I can’t imagine the gems that will come out of Graham’s mouth during that match. Gilbert rolls Tiger Mask over and attempts a pin, but gets a two count. Back to their feet, Gilbert throws Tiger towards the corner and attempts a charge, but Tiger does a back flip off the top rope and spin kicks Eddie!!!! I know that might seem tame by today’s standards, but this is 1982! The two have been very sportsmanlike thus far, but this kick seems to anger Eddie. Cooler heads prevail as Eddie works a side head lock on Tiger, but Tiger reverses the hold into a standing wrist lock. Eddie shoots Tiger into the ropes but gets taken down by a flying shoulder tackle. A second shoulder tackle by Tiger misses as Eddie ducks out of the way. A belly to back suplex by Gilbert folds Tiger Mask in half for a two count. A miscue by Eddie regains control for Tiger Mask who hits a friggen tombstone piledriver before heading to the top rope. Tiger Mask leaps off the top turnbuckle but misses a flying splash! Tiger Mask irish whips Eddie into the corner, but Eddie leaps off the second rope with a flying bodypress that Tiger rolls through for a two count. A huge flying forearm by Eddie has Tiger on the ropes! Eddie attempts a vertical suplex and attempts to roll through into a pin, but Tiger hooks Eddie’s legs with his and gets a three count! Fantastic opener!

Result: Tiger Mask @ 11:36 via reversing a float-over suplex
Rating: ****1/4. As good as you’re going to get for an opening match. The crowd really got into the match and the two put on a show. Bravo to both men.

Match #2: Johnny Rodz vs Chin Kobiashi

Johnny Rodz is Johnny Rodz. No explanation needed, although he’s getting a face pop from the Philly crowd tonight. His opponent is better known in Japan as Kuniaki Kobayashi. He had a tremendous feud with Tiger Mask 1 in New Japan and Tiger Mask 2 in All Japan. I’m guessing he changed his name to avoid being confused with Strong Kobayashi who used to wrestle in the WWWF/WWF although I’m probably wrong. He did used to go by Kid Koby in the Los Angeles territory. Kobayashi sort of resembles Bruce Lee and from previous matches that I’ve seen uses quite a bit of martial arts. Anyways, the crowd hates him and he’s supposed to be the face, so this should be a fun match.

The bell rings, and Kobiashi leaps in the air and displays a spin kick. Rodz hilariously tries to demonstrate to the ref what Kobiashi did and that it shouldn’t be legal. Kobiashi does this again and Rodz complains. The two finally lock up and Rodz shoves Kobiashi into the corner and pose with that big shit eating grin that we’ve come to love. Haha the crowd gives Rodz a huge ovation. Apparently one Japanese wrestler was enough for the Philly crowd. Rodz does this again and soaks up the cheers from the Philly crowd. Too funny. Johnny Rodz and Jose Estrada used to form one hilarious JTTS heel team in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Kobiashi takes down Rodz with a couple of arm drags and later locks in an arm bar. Rodz makes it back to his feet and shoots Kobiashi into the ropes, but gets shoulder blocked and later arm dragged into an arm bar. Rodz gets back to his feet and again shoots Kobiashi off the ropes. This time though Rodz catches Kobiashi with a knee to the stomach, to the delight of the Philly crowd. Rodz drops four elbows but only gets a two count. Rodz works his basic offence with a variety of stomps, punches and kicks before getting irish whipped into the corner. Kobiashi follows that up by throwing Rodz into the opposing corner and begins stomping away at Rodz. Kobiashi hits a beautiful spin kick and follows that up with a head butt. Rodz won’t go down, so Kobiashi starts throwing kick after kick at Rodz until he drops. Rodz boots Kobiashi in the stomach while laying on his back and regains control. Rodz catches Kobiashi coming off the ropes with a leaping back elbow, but does not go for the pin. Rodz then catches Kobiashi coming off the ropes with a karate kick to the face, complete with the “ HI YA!”. Hahahaha! Rodz then leaps to the second turnbuckle and misses an elbow. That was an amazing sequence. Kobiashi catches Rodz with a drop kick, but misses the second attempt, so Rodz regains control. Rodz body slams Kobiashi and later misses a big splash. This match has been extremely back and forth. Kobiashi sun set flips Rodz for a two count, but once again Rodz regains control. Rodz then somehow drapes Kobiashi across the top turnbuckle. So basically Kobiashi’s stomach is in the middle of the turnbuckle with his head and legs hanging over each side. Rodz begins punching Kobiashi in the head and then has one of the greatest botches I’ve ever seen. Rodz begins by running from one side of the ring to the other finishing by diving at the hanging head of Kobiashi with his fist with which he connects. Rodz then starts laughing and strutting and attempts this again. This time though he tries to do a running jump kick and not only comes way short, he ends up kicking the second rope! Haha wow that was bad. The determined Rodz though attempts this kick again and connects. What a weird spot. Rodz delivers a final punch to knock Kobiashi out of the ring. Kobiashi charges back into the ring and begins chopping at Rodz. Rodz later get caught with a massive chop to the chest coming off the ropes. Kobiashi then spin kicks Rodz, delivers a sweet looking enziguri and finishes it off with a running cross body for the three count! Very nice!

Result: Chin Kobiashi @ 10:15 via running cross body
Rating: ***1/2. Not quite as good as the opening match, but pretty darn close. Kobiashi had some sweet moves and Rodz was his usual entertaining self. Good stuff.

Match #3: Sky Lo Lo and Butch Cassidy vs Sonny Boy Blue and Little Beaver

Joe McHugh just uttered the phrase “and now presenting those fabulous midgets!” Friggen hilarious! I normally hate watching the midgets wrestle because it’s the same match with the same spots all the time. I wonder who is going to bite the ref in the ass? Dick Graham is especially excited for this match which warms my heart. The midgets would make the rounds from territory to territory just like the women wrestlers. Sky Lo Lo and Little Beaver are pretty well known midget wrestlers and I actually find Sky Lo Lo to be quite entertaining. Butch Cassidy looks like a grown man who stopped growing at age 18. You’ll have to look him up to understand what I’m talking about. He doesn’t have stumpy limbs like the rest do. Does that make him a dwarf? I’m putting way too much thought into this.

Before the match starts, Little Beaver in concerned that Sky Lo Lo has grease on the top of his head, so the ref starts whipping the top of Sky’s head. The look on Sky’s face is pretty funny. The two lock up and Beaver pushes the smaller Sky into the the ropes. Sky expects a clean break, but Beaver slaps Sky in the face with both hands. Sonny Boy and Little Beaver are the face team in this match by the way. The two then exchange rights before Little Beaver monkey flips Sky Lo Lo, which causes Sky to hilariously gingerly slide across the ring to make the tag. Sky Lo Lo, more like Sky Lol Lol! Please don’t stop reading this review. That will never happen again. Cassidy tags in while Sky points to his ass. Sky Lo Lo bends over the bottom rope while Butch Cassidy rubs his sore ass all better. Yup. Sonny Boy Blue tags in and takes Butch Cassidy down with a single leg take down and tries to work a leg lock but Cassidy kicks him off. Monsoon mentions the Cassidy is so tall that he might be considered a dwarf. See, I’m not the only one. Cassidy takes down Sonny and works a leg lock of his own. Cassidy then bites the hamstring of Sonny while the ref isn’t watching. Sonny returns the favour by biting Cassidy in the ass. This is quite the erotic match. Cassidy complains to the ref that Sonny bit him. The ref doesn’t do anything about it so Sky Lo Lo hops in the ring and pulls the back of Cassidy’s tights to show the ref the bite mark. The ref sees the mark and gives Sonny Boy Blue shit. Butch Cassidy then for whatever reason bites the hamstring of the ref. The crowd is eating all this up by the way and Dick Graham seems to be having the time of his life. Sonny and Cassidy lock up and it’s Sonny taking the advantage with a side head lock. Cassidy shoots him into the ropes and gets taken down by a shoulder tackle and later a side head lock take down. A running cross body block by Sonny gets a two count. Sonny attempts a full nelson but Cassidy easily powers out and then flexes. Cassidy is actually quite put together. Sonny then mocks Cassidy by strutting around and flexing. The two repeat the spot a second time with the same result. Little Beaver tags in and puts Cassidy in a full nelson, but this time the bigger Little Beaver is able to lock it in. Cassidy somehow gets his feet on the top rope so the ref orders Beaver to break the hold, so Beaver just lets go and Cassidy falls flat on his back from quite the distance. Sky Lo Lo tags in and gets slapped in the face by Little Beaver. Beaver works a hammerlock on Sky, but Cassidy jumps in the ring to try and break the hold, but gets caught by the ref. While this is happening, Beaver slaps Sky in the back with his other hand. Sky turns around and sees Cassidy still in the ring and thinks he did it and gives him shit. Pretty funny spot. The two repeat the same spot, only this time Sky punches his partner thinking it was he who slapped Sky Lo Lo. Haha! Sonny tags in and puts Sky in a full nelson and drags him over to his corner. From the ring apron, Little Beaver takes off his moccasin and slaps the ever loving shit out of Sky Lo Lo. Haha holy hell was that ever loud! The two attempt the same spot again, but Sky gets out of the way and it’s Sonny who gets slapped in the face by Little Beaver! Cassidy tags into the match while Sonny is giving Little Beaver the business for what just happened. The two lock up and it’s Cassidy driving an elbow to the top of Sonny’s head, followed by a body slam. A leg drop by Cassidy connects, but he does not go for the pin. A second leg drop misses which brings all four men into the ring. The four just starting running the ropes in every which direction. Beaver puts his hands up and yells “stop”, so the three stop. Sonny wallops Sky and Beaver slingshots Cassidy into the top turnbuckle. Beaver makes the cover and that’s all she wrote.

Result: Little Beaver and Sonny Boy Blue @ 8:11 via slingshot into the turnbuckle
Rating: ***. Lol you know, that was pretty darn fun. The four did some pretty funny spots and kept the action going. Sky Lo Lo was especially awesome.

Match #4: Curt Hennig vs Jose Estrada

This should be a pretty even match, although I’d give the slight edge to Estrada at this point. Both were essentially JTTS in 1982, but I love me some Jose Estrada. He has that classic shit eating grin like Johnny Rodz. Curt continues to wear the most hideous jacket I’ve ever seen.

Estrada tries to attack from behind while Curt is taking off his ring jacket but misses badly. Curt beats Estrada from pillar to post which has Estrada begging for mercy. While Curt is laying a beating on Estrada, Monsoon brings up Eddie Gilbert which had me thinking, looking back at Gilbert and Hennig at this point at roughly the same age, I would have picked Gilbert to be the huge star (although he maybe he would have had his life not ended so young). Anyways, Hennig takes Estrada down to the mat with a side headlock takeover. Hennig works the hold for a while before Estrada makes it to his feet and delivers a punch to the ribs of Hennig which breaks the hold. Hennig is able to take Estrada back down with a side headlock and it’s been all Hennig thus far. Graham mentions that Monsoon’s son is in attendance and asks Gorilla when he’ll get into wrestling. Gorilla responds that his son isn’t into wrestling and enjoys baseball. That son would become WWF referee Joey Marella. If you’re wondering why I’m talking about other things than this match, it’s because it’s so dull. I’ve never seen a crowd look so bored. Hennig catches Estrada with a shoulder tackle coming off the ropes and later leap frogs Estrada coming off the ropes and catches Jose with a gorgeous running drop kick. That’s more like it! Hennig then takes Estrada back down with a side head lock. So much for that. Estrada finally fights back and hits a body slam on Curt, but Hennig pops rights back up and body slams Jose! Curt then takes Jose back down with a side head lock. I get what Curt is trying to do (build the crowd up, then bring them down, then build them up etc..), but he’s not building the crowd up at all. Jose gets back to his feet and shoots Hennig off the ropes but gets shoulder tackled. Curt bounces off the ropes again, but is met with a knee to the gut by Estrada. Jose is really selling the effects of the prolonged side head locks, so he is unable to follow up right away. Estrada periodically lays in a boot while he recovers. Estrada goes to work on the mid section of Curt with various punches and kicks. Estrada drops a fist and gets a two count. Curt makes a comeback with a series of right hands and throws Estrada into the corner. He catches Estrada coming out of the corner with an even better drop kick than the one he did earlier in the match. Hennig tosses Estrada into the opposing corner and attempts to catch Jose with a drop kick but misses. Estrada drops an elbow and that’s it. That was abrupt.

Result: Jose Estrada @ 8:47 via elbow drop
Rating: *. That was a bit of a chore to sit through. You could tell Curt had potential, but he was so green back then. Not one of Jose’s better performances either.

Post match we get a pretty hilarious moment. The fans always sat really close to the announcers at the Spectrum to the point the viewers at home can pick up a lot of words from the crowd, and not always nice ones lol. So anyways, some drunk fans starts yelling at Gorilla to the point where Gorilla had to acknowledge him and I can hear it clear as day:

Fan: Hey Gorilla, do you remember seeing me? I spoke to you that night
Gorilla: (as calmly as can be) alright, alright.
Fan: Yeah, what’s happening guys

Match #5: Superstar Billy Graham vs one half of the WWF Tag Team Champions: Chief Jay Strongbow

Oh boy, this should be horrible. We aren’t even getting tie dye Billy Graham whom I adored during his title reign. We’re getting the Karate Master Billy Graham. Billy was upset that Vince Sr wouldn’t turn him babyface in 1978, so he shaved his head, cut off his goatee and wore black karate pants. He also lost a good amount of physique. He sort of resembles Barry Darsow with a tan. His opponent is one half of the World Tag Team Champions and one of my least favourite wrestlers of the era Chief Jay Strongbow. Both are really over with the crowd so that should give this match a little boost, and boy will it ever need it.

Chief Jay breaks into his war dance right away which has Graham backing off. The two eventually lock up and it’s a slug fest with the Chief getting the upper hand., knocking Graham off his feet with a chop to the chest. Chief Jay then begins to go to work on Graham’s arm with a standing arm bar. Say what you will about Graham’s in ring work, he sells very well. His facial expressions are top notch. Graham shoots the Chief off the ropes, but Strongbow baseball slides between Graham’s legs and deliver a big chop to the chest of the Superstar. Strongbow then goes back to work on the arm of Graham for quite a while. Graham shoots Strongbow into the corner but misses a corner charge in slow motion, which allows Jay to go back to work on the arm. Graham shoots Strongbow off the ropes and attempts a clothesline, but Chief Jay ducks under and lay a huge chop to the chest of Graham and goes back to work on the arm. Graham FINALLY breaks the standing arm bar by raking the eyes of Chief Jay. Graham backs Strongbow into the corner and reigns down heavy blows on Chief Jay, dropping him to the mat. With both men back to their feet, Graham whips Strongbow into the ropes and slaps on a bear hug on the Chief. The two have literally done nothing the entire match, but the crowd is eating it up. A chop to the face of Graham breaks the bear hug. Chief Jay is unable to capitalize, so Graham puts Strongbow right back in a bear hug. Jay chops his way out of it and hits the ropes. Strongbow baseball slides between Graham’s legs and puts the Superstar in a sleeper hold! Superstar is able to send Strongbow into the ropes and the two clash heads leaving both men down on the mat. Graham unwraps his wrist tape and begins choking Strongbow out of referee Dick Woherle’s view. Graham eventually lets go, but Chief Jay starts breaking into his war dance! Chief Jay attacks Graham with a series of chops and knee lifts! Chief Jay throws Graham into the corner and attempts a charge but Graham gets a knee up! A karate thrust to the throat sends Chief Jay to the outside, which causes Chief Jay to get counted out. Graham tries to attack Strongbow after the bell but the Chief fends him off.

Result: Superstar Billy Graham @ 9:46 via count out
Rating: *3/4 . Well the two at least met my low expectations for this match. I’ve seen a lot worse, but still this wasn’t very good. Take away the crowd support and we’re approaching dud territory.

Match #6: Swede Hanson vs Tony Garea

So Swede Hanson is waving the Rebel flag in the middle of the ring, and you can see some moron in the second row yelling “U.S.A, U.S.A” at Swede. That’s absolutely hilarious. Garea and Hanson were both gatekeepers at this point, so this match could go either way, although this has the potential to be a snoozer.

It’s really interesting to note how old these crowds were back in the day. I’m looking at a hard camera shot of the crowd and I don’t see anyone under age 30. It’s amazing how drastic the crowd changed come 1984. The two lock up and it’s Hanson pushing Garea towards the ropes and gives him a clean break. We get a great shot of the intense look on Hanson’s face. The two repeat the spot, only this time Hanson slaps Garea in the chest with his frying pan-like hand. Wow did that ever sound painful. Hanson uses various rough house tactics to beat Garea down to the mat. Hanson snap mares and then knee drops Garea. He goes for the pin, but picks Garea’s head up after the count of one. Hanson drops another knee and again picks up Garea’s head at the count of one. Hanson delivers two huge headbutts to Garea and follows it up by throwing Garea into the turnbuckle. It’s all Hanson as he continues the assault on Garea with numerous knees and punches. Garea blocks a punch and begins fighting back. Garea is fired up, but the crowd is completely dead. Garea back drops Hanson coming off the ropes for a one count. Hanson comes off the ropes and catches Garea with a shoulder tackle. Hanson comes off the ropes again, but this time Garea alludes Hanson and victory rolls the big Swede for a two count. Hanson shoots Garea into the ropes and the two clash heads which causes Hanson to tumble to the outside. Hanson actually climbs up the top rope and attempts a splash but Garea rolls out of the way. Garea drops an elbow and gets the three count.

Result: Tony Garea @ 5:26 via elbow drop
Rating: * ¼. Two wrestlers on the wrong side on their careers doesn’t match for a fun match. Hanson is alright when he has the right opponent, but I’ve come to the conclusion after watching countless Tony Garea matches, that Tony is just not a singles wrestler. He’s outstanding in tag teams especially his team with Martel, but man is he ever dull in singles matches.

Match #7: WWF Heavyweight Title match: Bob Backlund with Arnold Skaaland (Champion) vs Playbody Buddy Rose. Special stipulation: Lumberjack Match. Special referee: S.D Jones

The WWF was all about the Lumberjack match in 1981-1982 for whatever reason. S.D Jones was very over in Philly so he gets a big reaction. 1982 was in my opinion Bob’s best year. He faced challengers like Adrian Adonis, Cowboy Bob Orton Jr, Jimmy Snuka and probably his most under-rated feud: Playboy Buddy Rose. Rose was a legend in Don Owens’s Portland territory. He’d go on to form an outstanding tag team in the AWA with Doug Somers, and later return to the WWF in the late 80’s on a “Blow-Away” diet. This should be an outstanding match. Buddy Rose is accompanied to the ring by two lovely ladies. When Rose wrestled at MSG, one of the ladies who would accompany him to the ring would be a 24 year old Sherri Martel. Rose starts yelling at some woman in the crowd. Dick Graham remarks “if she ever fills out she’ll be dynamite”. Monsoon hilariously replies “Oh my God”. Hahaha! Rose takes the mic from Joe McHugh and demands the crowd to rise when he enters the ring. We get a close up shot of the lumberjacks walking down the aisle, and some fan keeps Flair chopping the wrestlers in the chest as they walk by. A couple of them look like they want to throttle the fan. Backlund enters the ring to a very loud ovation.

Buddy Rose looks like a fat Larry Sharpe. Just thought I’d throw that out there. Rose has his ladies slowly take off his robe which draws some good heat. The women later comb Rose’s hair which draws even more heat. Rose yells at Backlund “I’ve got girls, where’s yours”? Good question. Rose follows that up by saying “I’ve got girls, you have fat Arnold Skaaland. Are you gay?”. Oh the 80’s. The match starts with Backlund chasing Rose around the ring. Rose tries to bail outside but notices the lumberjacks and has second thoughts. The two finally lock up and it’s Rose using his weight to push Backlund into the ropes. Backlund blocks a Rose punch, and unloads a series of his own which causes Rose to fall out of the ring. The lumberjacks waste no time in throwing Backlund back into the ring. Bellomo in particular seems to be really having fun, with a giant smile on his face. Rose keeps trying to escape at every angle, but is thrown ring back in by the lumberjacks each time. Backlund throws Rose into the corner and drills Buddy with a forearm to the face. Backlund comes off the ropes and nails Rose with another forearm that sends Buddy over the top rope to the arena floor. Rocky Johnson, Curt Hennig and Sal Bellomo immediately pick up Rose and throw him back into the ring. The crowd is loving this. Backlund start to work on the arm of Rose with a arm ringer, followed by a standing arm bar. Backlund later sits on the mat while holding Rose’s arm and places one of his feet on the face of Buddy and the other on his ribs and just yanks the shit out of the arm. Sort of like a cross armbreaker. Rose nearly gets pinned during all of this. Rose tries to break the hold, but Backlund uses a great counter to bring Rose back to the mat. Outstanding mat work by Backlund so far. Rose finally rolls out of the hold and catches Backlund with a drop kick that sends Backlund to the floor. Now of course he falls on the heel side of the lumberjacks. Graham, Mr. Saito and Rodz immediately throw Backlund back into the ring. Backlund gets caught coming off the ropes with a back elbow that sends him out of the ring again, only this time to the face side. The faces take their time and help Backlund up, so Baron Scicluna walks over and gives the faces shit. Back in the ring, Rose beats down Backlund with a series of punches and kicks. Rose chops Backlund through the ropes and to the outside of the heels who chuck Backlund back into the ring. Rose hits a vertical suplex for a two count and later a backslide for a two count as well. Rose looks like he’s going for a belly to back suplex, but instead turns it into a back breaker which gets another two count. Rose shoots Backlund off the ropes, but gets sunset flipped for a close two count. Rose goes for another vertical suplex, but Backlund blocks it and delivers one of his own for a two count. Rose shoots Backlund off the ropes, but the two clash heads. Rose is able to fall on Backlund for a very close two count. Rose hits Backlund with two knee drops and six elbow drops but doesn’t go for the pin. Rose attempts a back breaker, but Backlund reverses it into a Cross-Face Chicken-wing! Rose tries desperately to break free Backlund has the hold on tight. Rose gives up and Backlund retains!

Result: Bob Backlund @ 13:02 : via Cross-Face Chicken-wing
Rating: ***3/4. Great way to end the show. The crowd was on fire for this match. It was non stop excitement and the two worked the gimmick very well. They’d go on to have a match at MSG that was even better then this.

This show is missing a few matches for whatever reason and it sucks because I would have loved to have seen them. Salvatore Bellomo and WWF I.C Champ Pedro Morales vs Mr. Saito and Riki Choshu in a two out of three falls match where Bellomo actually pins Choshu! Also missing is Buddy Rogers and Jimmy Snuka vs Captain Lou Albano and Ray Stevens and Baron Scicluna vs Jules Strongbow. Ok I’m not sad that I missed that last one.

To close things off, we get a backstage post match interview with Kal Rudman, Bob Backlund and Arnold Skaaland. Backlund thanks the fans for their support tonight and tells them how much it means to him. Kal Rudman asks Backlund to describe his new finishing maneuver the Cross-Face Chicken-wing. Backlund describes how it works and what it does to his opponent. Backlund says Arnie taught him the hold, but Skaaland remarks that it takes a great athlete like Bob to perfect the hold. Rudman really wants to know how Bob locks his fingers during the hold. Skaaland doesn’t want Bob to show him because there’s kids watching on television, but good ole Rudman won’t take no for an answer and badgers the two. Lol! Rudman and Backlund talk about various parts of the match with Bob explaining psychology. The three then talk about Bob’s upcoming match with Don Muraco and how tough Don is. It’s pretty bland until Kal Rudman busts out this gem “ the kids wanted autographs, so as I signed each one I kept asking who their favourite wrestler was they all replied Bob Backlund” O.k. Kal Rudman is tremendous but I can’t imagine being a group of kids hoping to get autographs from Backlund, Strongbow etc… and out comes Kal Rudman.

The final score: review Average
The 411
Amazing start and finish to the show. The middle was pretty bad, but Backlund and Rose brought the crowd back to life. Johnny Rodz continues to put on great performances and it was nice seeing Tiger Mask and Kuniaki Kobayashi make appearance. It's too bad my DVD of the show doesn't have Choshu/Saito vs Morales/Bellomo. All in all, a pretty good show