Thursday, 27 March 2014

WWE All Star Search #2 - 23rd January 1984 - Adam Ross

Welcome Turnbucklers! It's edition #2 and we are live at Madison Square Garden. This show you may have heard of before...and we'll get to why later. We have a very similar main event to the last edition as well as two title matches. Lots of jobber matches on the lowcard but hey, might be a few surprises, who knows! We also have a handful of blog debuts. Onwards we go...!

The Card:

Tony Garea vs Jose Luis Rivera

The Invaders vs Mr Fuji/Tiger Chung Lee

The Masked Superstar vs Cheif Jay Strongbow

Sgt. Slaughter vs Ivan Putski

Paul Orndorff vs Salvatore Bellomo

Don Muraco (IC Champ) vs Tito Santana [IC Title Match]

Haiti Kid/Tiger Jackson vs Pancho Boy/Dan Carpenter (2 out of 3 Falls)

Hulk Hogan vs Iron Sheik (WWE Champ) [WWE Title Match]

Jimmy Snuka vs Rene Goulet

Andre the Giant/Rocky Johnson/Tony Atlas vs The Wild Samoans

The Show:

We are live from Madison Square Garden and our commentary team is Gorilla Monsoon and Pat Patterson. Not expecting much from Patterson and his awful, awful English.

Tony Garea vs Jose Luis Rivera
Straight into the first match of the show and Howard Finkel proves how old school we actually are by introducing every official there is to introduce. Its the battle of the soon to be jobbers and someone in the crowd REALLY likes Rivera when he's introduced but Garea gets the bigger reaction by far. Garea is supposedly on the look out for a new tag partner so good luck to him! Chain wrestling and a stand off to start us off. Rivera takes control with a headlock followed by a quick cross body. Garea takes control with an arm drag and then puts on an arm bar. 2 Shoulderblocks followed by another arm drag for Garea who is firmly in control. Nice scoop slam by Rivera but Garea holds onto the armbar in a cool little spot. Rivera gets a close two count with a roll up but to no avail. Rivera goes for a monkey flip but Garea avoids it with a cartwheel. More back and forth until Rivera almost slips on a leapfrog and connects with a crap dropkick to big boos. Rivera goes up top for a cross body but Garea rolls through it for the pin and the win. Fast paced, even but dull. Simple as. Match Rating: 1/2*

The Invaders vs Mr Fuji/Tiger Chung Lee
Decent reaction for The Invaders who impressed me last edition so lets see if it's more of the same. I like Fuji and I can't remember much of Tiger Chung Lee but he's a big guy. Last time out we had three of these four in a similar but here Charlie Fulton is replaced with Lee. Should be a decent swap so let us see! Big reaction for The Invaders and for Fuji/Lee which is good for a throwaway tag match. Fuji throws salt into the front rows while Monsoon analyses which Invader has gone fat. Lock up to start with Lee and Invader 1 with Lee taking very brief control until he's suprised with a nice sunset flip for a 2 count. We get that cool Invader spot where they both jump in and out of the ring with extra quick tags while working on Tiger Chung Lee's arm. This goes on for a while until Lee has enough, picks up an Invader with one arm and casually walks over to the heel corner. He looks like he's about to tag in Fuji...but doesn't. He eventually does tag out to Mr Fuji who comes in with his big, evil smile. He's just so cute! He sells a punch to the midsection embarassingly, but none the less, the crowd eat it up. More strange tag tactics by Invaders who now work over Fuji's arm. In comes Lee who regains control for all of...a second...before the Invader hits some nice scoop slam and some decent chain wrestling. I'm enjoying this one so far! Awkward leapfdrop and snapmare attempts by an Invader that the crowd seems not to appreciate. I don't think it was a botch though but I can see how the crowd did. I love hearing Fuji's evil laugh on the apron. The heels isolate an Invader in their corner and use some mean heely bastard tactics behind a distracted ref's back. Fuji in now who delivers some evil headbutts and Lee comes in to work over the arm some more. Lee with a thrust kick to the face then nails a back drop for a 1 count. Fuji back in who sticks on a nerve hold and then nails a suplex. Patterson calls him a tool for not going for a cover and Invader nails a suplex of his own. Invader apparently gets the worst of it though as he didn't let his man go at the right time according to Monsoon. Clever! Fuji heads up top but classic wrestling 101 says...the Invader stops him halfway and throws him off to the mat. Invader makes a tag to...Invader and the crowd love it as they clean house on the heels. Really BRUTAL back suplex by Lee gets control back for the bad guys. Fuji back in with a side suplex of his own but it only gets a two count. Back to a nerve hold by Fuji but Invader escapes...for a second...before being re-grounded with a chop to the throat. Lee back in who works over the back and then locks in a bearhug. The crowd rally behind him and he escapes...for a second. Another bearhug, but the Invader on the outside gets frustrated and just breaks it up. Heels fake a tag and the crowd don't like that! Another nerve hold by Fuji, but Invader escapes for the hot tag to the other Invader who cleans house. Lee back in and Invader 1 goes for a cross body, gets caught and eats an atomic drop and the heels pose instead of covering. Headlock by Lee and the ref gets distracted by the apron Invader while the heels sneakily double team. Invader escapes the headlock, nails a dropkick, charges at Lee in the corner but misses the splash and eats turnbuckle instead for a 1 count. This match should've ended by now I think. Nice dropkick and bridging pin on Lee but it only gets another 1 count. Match speeds up significantly as the Invaders double team Lee's leg over and over and over and over...again. Crowd loves it and Lee finds himself in a leg lock. Tag out to Fuji who finds himself also being double teamed by the Invaders and their amazing quick tags. Fuji finds himself in a weakly applied abdominal stretch, he escapes and tags in Lee...who ends up in a weak abdominal stretch. Ref is distracted by an apparently stupid Invader so Fuji breaks up the Abdominal Stretch...although its not long before its reapplied. All 4 men end up in the ring and the Invaders whip both heels into each other and then apply one of my favourite forgotten moves...the rowboat! Sadly the bell rings for the Time Limit Draw. The Invaders celebrate afterwards as if they've won and then act peeved when they find out they haven't. Someone should tell them the rules. Anyway, I certainly wasn't expecting to enjoy this one so much but it was a solid 20 old school tag team match. The Invaders are awesome and seem to be 2 years ahead of scheduale for the WWF. Teams wouldn't attempt what the Invaders were upto until the Harts and the Bee's appeared and I can't work out why the Invaders weren't more long term in WWF. The heels were also great in this one. Fuji is just so great at wanting to see him get battered and Tiger Chung Lee is a beast of a man and he has the intensity a more comedic Fuji brings to the table. The match could've done with 5 less minutes and a clean finish but hey, this is 1984 WWF, one can dream. Match Rating: ***1/4

The Masked Superstar vs Chief Jay Strongbow
A main event in any arena according to Gorilla but I think I have to disagree. Chief looks really old and we have a slow start here. More talk than action here but we do get a headlock albeit not for long. Chief takes control with more headlocks. More headlocks until Strongbow intimidates Masked Superstar out of the ring. Even I wouldn't be scared of ol' man Strongbow. Back to more headlocks...until he tries to de-mask the Masked Superstar. He almost gets away with it but he eventually fails and leaves the Masked Superstar growling. Kneelifts by Strongbow and back to the mask. Superstar takes over until Strongbow psychs himself up and locks on a sleeper. Superstar escapes out of it and nails Strongbow with a sloppy clothesline for the three count! So many headlocks! These are the matches I don't enjoy, constant restholds, not submissions but restholds! Yawn. Match Rating: DUD

Sgt Slaughter vs Ivan Putski
Out comes Putski first and oh lord does he look so roid-swollen even I ache. Slaughter comes out to some patriotic tune, I'm not American so fuck knows what it is. To be fair his entrance is pretty cool as the camera follows him from backstage. I wish someone would take the ringbell away from who ever has it as they won't stop ringing it! Lots of stalling to start with Putski shadow boxing and Slaughter making fun of Putski. Putski poses and he is certainly a big roid-ball. According to the commentators, he also stinks of garlic. They finally lock up and Putski overpowers Sarge into the corner and levels him with a scoop slam to big cheers. A Polish Power headlock with added scream followed by a big shoulderblock. Another headlock until Slaughter nails a big atomic drop. Backbreaker by Sarge barely gets a 1 count but is followed by another backbreaker for 2. Putski regains control in the corner and Sarge is busted open via the ringpost. Putski works over Slaughter, whips him into the corners and nails some quick punches on the bloody noodle. Putski goes to the turnbuckles again but Sarge reverses it into a nice clothesline. Gorilla tells us its called the 'Cannon'? Sarge goes for a slam but can't get him up so Putski falls on him for the 2 count. Putski nails the Polish Hammer, which looks crap but gets a big pop. Another shot sends Slaughter out over the top rope but he gets his massive chin stuck under the bottom rope on the way down. Way to use what you've got, son! Both lads trade punches on the apron and the bell rings. Putski power whips Sarge into the turnbuckle and he goes flying out to the floor. The fight continues back in the ring and eventually we find out Putski was counted out and Sarge wins. Crowd was into this one but I wasn't too thrilled. Another bundle of headlocks but both men showed enough character to add some edge. Crowd noise and those few backbreakers keep this one from a dud. Match Rating: 3/4*

We're in the back with Mean Gene and he's joined by 'Mr Wonderful' Paul Orndorff. He's facing Salvatore Bellomo tonight but apparently he's nothing more than a spaghetti eater. Orndorff wants more competition and he's better than everyone else. Mean Gene cuts him off but Orndorff finishes on promising to deliver the Piledriver. God bless you, Mr Wonderful!

'Mr Wonderful' Paul Orndorff vs Salvatore Bellomo
Out comes...Rowdy Roddy Piper! He's accompanying Paul Orndorff and not only is this his MSG debut but it's also Piper's MSG return. The crowd give them steady heat but it's nothing compared with whats to come later in the year. Salvatore Bellomo had a noticable match last time so lets see how this one turns out. Piper wants a handshake, doesn't get one and responds by screaming at Bellomo. The heels complain about Bellomo's knee brace and try walking out. Since the bell has already rung, they should be counted out but they aren't. They get back in the ring but stall for an age, I guess because that's what all 1984 heels do. Orndorff eventually pearl habours Bellomo and works him over with vicious punches and elbow drops. A scoop slam and some vicious stomps to the head follow. Orndorff with knees to the back and then a blatant choke in the ropes while Piper screams on the outside. Orndorff with a Big Back Body Drop for 2, tries for a scoop slam but Bellomo falls on him for 2. Orndorff misses a charge in the corner and Bellomo gets some kicks in, finishing with some dropkick. Orndorff misses an elbow drop and Bellomo works on his arm. They trade punches and armdrags and Bellomo comes out on top still while Piper complains about pulled hair. Nice try, Roddy! Amateur suplex throw by Orndorff but Bellomo catches him in a head scissors. A nasty looking side back suplex by Orndorff and Bellomo takes a nasty bump outside. He tries to get back in but Piper screams in his face and Orndorff nails a cheap shot. Crowd heat for Orndorff but we've heard worse already tonight. Scoop slam by Orndorff outside on the concrete! Back in the ring and Orndorff hits a nice suplex and Bellomo attempts to fight back but to no avail. Another scoop slam by Orndorff but misses a knee drop from the top rope! Bellomo goes to work on Orndorff to big cheers but his momentum is cut short by a nice Powerslam by Orndorff. A Piledriver comes next and Orndorff gets the win! Good introduction and return for Orndorff and Piper. Piper I would of assumed would've done more on the card but oh well. If anyone knows why he was just managing, let me know below! Bellomo was a good sympathetic babyface again but nothing spectacular. Match Rating: *

Don Muraco (IC Champ) vs Tito Santana [IC Title Match]
Out they come to decent reactions each. Muraco is with Captain Lou Albano and Tito is....Tito. They lock up to start but neither man can gain an advantage. Another lock up followed by another stand off as the commentators put both lads over. Tito finally manages to take control with a headlock and nails Muraco with some swift punches. A headlock takedown floors Muraco and Santana drives Muraco face first into the mat. Another headlock follows and I am getting frustrated with how many headlocks I've sat through in this show. Muraco finally hits a nice backbreaker to end the headlock but Santana floors him again, drops him on his back and goes back to the headlock. After a LONG time, Muraco finally ends the headlock with a Side Russian Leg Sweep. Muraco starts to work on the back of the head and neck of Santana then nails a stalling Powerslam for a 2 count. Muraco chokes Santana in the ropes and the crowd starts to liven up with Tito chants. Both men trade punches in the middle of the ring, Santana wins the battle and Captain Lou involves himself but only gets a beating for his trouble. Santana goes for a flying cross body but misses Muraco and nails the bottom turnbuckle! They start fighting outside and the bell starts ringing. Its a double DQ and I don't know really why. Both lads continue beating each other after the match until Muraco makes a hasty escape. Far too many headlocks again in that match and it meant both I and the crowd were drained before the match was even halfway through. The last quarter of the match picked up slightly but not enough to save the match. The end result is a stinker as well. Match Rating: 3/4*

Backstage once more with Mean Gene who's standing by with a somewhat aggrieved Tito Santana. He's annoyed at the double DQ and much like myself, can't understand why the bell was ring. Muraco, Tito is coming for you! Ariba!

Haiti Kid/Tiger Jackson vs Pancho Boy/Dan Carpenter (2 out of 3 Falls)
It's this edition's Midget Match now and this is always uncomfortable viewing for me. Its a rematch from Edtion #1 only this time it is 2/3 falls! Once the introductions are done, the commentators let loose on their jokes and quips. I can't tell if Dan Carpenter is a big midget or a small non-midget. We start off with Tiger Jackson de-pantsing Pancho Boy. Patterson quips 'Ain't he cute' which is creepy. Side headlock by Jackson and Pancho has no hair to pull on to escape, d'oh! A monkey flip by Pancho and we have ourselves a stand off. At least the midgets are patronising themselves and not leaving just for the commentary team to do. Hammerlock for Jackson but he's not in it for long as he nails a dropkick and a flying head scissors. Jackson ends up vertically on his hand and Pancho Boy spins him round on his noodle. In comes the Haiti Kid now who cleans house on the heels and then shenanigans ensues. Carpenter manages a leapfrog, thinks he's outsmarted Haiti Kid but gets dropkicked out to the floor for his troubles. Fun spot with Jackson standing on the ropes but the momentum of the bounce caused by Pancho Boy on the other side of the ring propels him over the top rope into the ring. Once Jackson is the legal man, he nails a sunset flip for a 3 count and the first fall. Straight into the second fall here with Haiti Kid and Pancho Boy in the ring. Haiti's head gets slammed into the turnbuckle...but he no sells it and taunts Pancho. In comes Carpenter but he eats an awkward looking suplex. 4 midget criss-cross now, Carpenter falls for the same trick as last edition and eats an airplane spin for 2. Carpenter hits a slam, goes for a pin but its reversed into the longest pin attempt in history...and it still gets the three! That looked bizarre. Either way, somewhat entertaining but overall still uncomfortable. Match Rating: 1/2*

We're backstage with Mean Gene who's with 'Classy' Freddie Blassie (sporting a lovely arabic head garment) and the Iron Sheik. Blassie complains about Backlund being replaced by Hulk Hogan in the following title match but no matter, Sheiky will have it dealt with nonetheless. Sheiky gets a few words in Iranian but tells us in English that he's the best, Backlund is weak and Hogan has no chance.

Hulk Hogan vs Iron Sheik (WWE Champ) [WWE Title Match]
So here we go, title match time. Sheik is already in the ring and we cut to Hogan backstage. He starts walking as the familiar Real American plays. Out he comes to a big pop and plays with the crowd during the introductions. Crowd is on fire now with big boo's for Sheik too. The bell rings and Hogan pearl harbours Sheik in the corner while he is de-robing. Clothesline on Sheik with his head garment and the crowd is exploding. Another clothesline and a knee to the face by Hogan, followed by an eye rake and a standing double handed choke. Sheik thrown into the ropes and gets a big boot to the mush but it only gets a one count. Elbow drop gets two for Hogan but he misses a charge and Sheik takes control. Crowd is deafening at this point as Sheik nails a backbreaker for 2. Sheik picks him up...and takes him down to apply a Boston Crab. Hogan powers out of it but eats a gutwrench suplex. Sheik locks on the Camel Clutch and the crowd is on fire. Hulk powers up, lifts Sheik on his back and slams him into the corner. Sheik goes down, Hogan runs the ropes, Leg Drop, cover, 1,2,3 and the crowd EXPLODES. Wow! Big celebrations are now underway. The match itself was quick but I actually liked it. Sheik got in some offense which was unexpected and Hogan's obvious flaws were well hidden within the pace and basic maneuvers of the match. Either way, Hulkamania has officially started and wrestling will never be the same again.Match Rating: *1/2

Into the back with Mean Gene and NEW WWF Champion Hulk Hogan. Hogan promised us he'd do it and he did it for us and the USA. Cheers Hulk! Andre the Giant appears and showers the champ with champagne as does Ivan Putski!

Jimmy Snuka vs Rene Goulet
I feel I should mention the crowd are still going insane a good few minutes after Hogan's title win so I don't like the chances of the following matches regarding crowd noise. Rene Goulet is already in the ring and I am ready for some old school heel antics! Big pop for Jimmy Snuka but Goulet pearl harbours him from the off and Snuka eats an elbow and a scoop slam. I just noticed there's only 15 minutes left of the show and 2 matches...hmmm. Heel antics by Goulet but Snuka still starts to dominate although not for long as Goulet locks on the dreaded face claw! Snuka finally regains some offense with some chops and leapfrogs. Up top and a Superfly Splash gets the win! That was crap! Match Rating: DUD

Into the back with Mean Gene who's with the Hogan family...mum, dad and baby Hulk. Mr and Mrs Hogan are very proud of their son. Hogan finishes by cutting a promo on his parents!

Andre the Giant/Rocky Johnson/Tony Atlas vs The Wild Samoans
Main event time and out come the Samoans wearing a lovely pink top. They look like savages, but ones in touch with their sensitive time. Out come the tag champs, Johnson and Atlas, followed by Andre. Crowd are more subdued than expected but I don't blame them after the earlier title match. Samula and Atlas start, albeit slowly although Atlas nails a crossbody. They trade wastelocks until they end up in face corner. Andre looks like he's gonna slap the shit out of Samula's chest, but Johnson comes in instead...then Andre gets to do his chop from the apron. A criss-cross leads to some slight embarassment on Samula's part. They lock up again and Johnson nails the Samoans with a double noggin-knocker. Atlas in now who finds himself in a full nelson but not for long as he powers out of it. In comes Andre but he gets nailed with a headbutt. He starts no selling the headbutts, nails one of his own, another double noggin-knocker, a big boot and Andre gets the 3 count. Last editions was better, this one just had nothing really going for it. Andre and the two main Samoans did very little. Match Rating: 1/2*

Wrestler Scores:

  • Tony Garea +2 (2)
  • Jose Luis Rivera +2 (2)
  • Invader 1 +5 (8)
  • Invader 2 +5 (8)
  • Mr Fuji +5 (7)
  • Tiger Chung Lee +4 (4)
  • The Masked Superstar +2 (3)
  • Cheif Jay Strongbow +1 (1)
  • Sgt Slaughter +2 (4)
  • Ivan Putski +2 (2)
  • Paul Orndorff +5 (5)
  • Salvatore Bellomo +3 (6)
  • Tito Santana +3 (6)
  • Don Muraco +3 (6)
  • Haiti Kid +1 (2)
  • Tiger Jackson +1 (2)
  • Dana Carpenter +1 (2)
  • Pancho Boy +1 (2)
  • Hulk Hogan +6 (6)
  • Iron Sheik +3 (6)
  • Jimmy Snuka +1 (4)
  • Rene Goulet +1 (3)
  • Andre the Giant +2 (6)
  • Rocky Johnson +2 (4)
  • Tony Atlas +2 (4)
  • Afa +1 (3)
  • Sika +1 (3)
  • Samula +2 (4)

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