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WWWF Championship Wrestling (4.23.1977) Review

November 13, 2020 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Ivan Putski
6.3
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WWWF Championship Wrestling (4.23.1977) Review  

-This one isn’t actually on WWE Network, but we’re approaching the end of an era and I wanted to document the couple of weeks from the spring that I could find elsewhere.

-Originally aired April 23, 1977.

-Your host is Vince McMahon, now flying solo because Antonino Rocca passed away the previous month.

PETER MAIVIA vs. SYLVANO SOUSA

-Maivia’s debut in the territory! Howard Finkel is ring announcer this week, filling in for Jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjoe McHugh. Maivia does a headstand on the top turnbuckle and boogies a little bit to get the fans on his side. Snapmare and a chop by Maivia as Vince tells us the history of all of Maivia’s tattoos. If you’ve never seen Maivia, from a distance, he appears to just be wearing Haku-style tights from a distance but upon closer inspection, he’s wearing regular tights and he’s just totally covered in ink down to the top of the shin.

-Sousa rams Maivia into the turnbuckle and Maivia shakes it off. Sousa tries a headbutt and naturally hurts himself. Tackles and a backbreaker by Maivia, and the stump puller gets the submission. Impressive debut. If Maivia wins five more matches, Vince will pronounce his name correctly.

LARRY ZBYKSZKO & TONY GAREA vs. TOR KAMATA & THE UNPREDICTABLE JOHNNY RODZ

-Heels ambush the faces before the bell, undoing Larry’s game plan of circling the ring for ten minutes before he can even get started. All four men brawl in the ring, with the faces finally clearing everyone out. Heels take over with double-teaming, with Rodz coming off the top with shots to the back. Kamata looks to finish, but Garea breaks the pin. Heels can’t do anything to put away Larry Z, and he finally tags out and Garea goes to work until Rodz unpredictably applies a crossface chicken wing of all moves, and it’s effective.

-Well, until it’s not anymore. Garea punches out. but Rodz hangs onto an arm and manages to do some damage before tagging in Kamata. So the roles are reversed and now Garea’s in peril, and hot diggity we get a blown finish! Rodz holds up Garea by his arms so that Kamata can chop him in the throat, and if you know tag team wrestling, you know what’s going to happen next, right? Okay, so Kamata winds up…and hits Garea square in the throat like he intended. Garea collapses to the mat, and THEN Kamata tries to save the finish by chopping Rodz in the throat for no reason! Garea forgot to duck, and Kamata chopped his partner anyway. Kamata’s reaction is fantastic, as he has a completely legit “Well…shit” look on his face, and you’d swear the theme to Curb Your Enthusiasm is going to start playing.

-So they just do the spot again and this time, Garea ducks like he’s supposed to and Kamata accidentally chops his partner FIRST this time, allowing Garea to get the win.

-Vince talks to Tor Kamata afterward, and Kamata accepts Bob Backlund’s challenge for a Texas death match.

HAITI KID & HILLBILLY PETE vs. LITTLE JOHN & “The Six Million Dollar Midget” BILLY THE KID

-Vince clearly was not expecting that one name and seems completely tickled when he hears the introduction. Hillbilly Pete takes the gimmick as far as he can go, drinking moonshine straight from a jug for his introduction.

-So the shenanigans start early, with the referee getting caught in the bottom of a pile-on and then rolled up for a pin. Double airplane spins by Haiti & Hillbilly, and they pin their opponents at the same time. Billy the Kid is so dizzy that he accidentally beats up his own partner afterward. Lots of that going around this week.

KEN PATERA (with Captain Lou Albano) vs. PETE AUSTIN

-Albano eagerly declares that Patera is a “psycho case” as Patera maniacally…applies a side headlock. Oh yeah, a real loose cannon, this guy. Patera keeps pounding away and does a series of backbreakers without letting go of Austin. Bearhug gets the win for Patera.

IVAN PUTSKI vs. JOJO ANDREWS
-Putski tries to get the crowd riled up by cutting a promo on the house mic before the match, and the fans just categorically do not give a shit.

Putski applies a side headlock on Jojo, who’s a BIG guy and I’ve never heard of him. Turns out it’s kind of a sad story, as he was on track to have a pretty big run in Stampede as Kasavubu, but his body just completely turned on him, to the point that he was doing dialysis between matches. He died of a heart attack while on the operating table when he was only 26.

-Well…on that uplifting note, Putski has a front facelock applied. Jojo punches out, and Putski gets good and riled up and puts him away with a Polish hammer.

STAN STASIAK & BARON VON RASCHKE (with The Grand Wizard & Fred Blassie) vs. JOHNNY RIVERA & SPECIAL DELIVERY JONES

-Baron works Rivera’s arm as Gorilla Monsoon shows up for guest commentary, and Gorilla confirms that WWWF President Willie Gilzenberg and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission have sanctioned a Texas death match between Bob Backlund and Tor Kamata, so next week will be the first Texas death match ever aired on TV. Gorilla is still an active wrestler at this point and it’s weird that they have him doing this

-SD tags in, blocking Stasiak’s heart punch with a big headbutt. Stasiak goes for a bearhug instead, but headbutts work, so SD just does it again and Raschke tags back in and applies his own bearhug because he’s a slow learner. Stasiak heads back in and this time the heart punch makes contact for the victory.

6.3
The final score: review Average
The 411
Well...it had a beat and you could dance to it, at least.
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