Chris' Blog

WWF From Madison Square Gardens – April 6, 1981

   We finally made it out of the 1970s and into the 80s. Although the changes may not be seen for a while, the WWF slowly changed from Sports to Sports Entertainment. This show is from 1981, so it’s still before the advent of Hulkamania, as Bob Backlund is still the WWF World Champion and the Moondogs are about a month into their title reign. We finally have the IC title as Pedro Morales, the third champion, is currently four months into his title reign. This show is also only an hour, so we won’t get a lot but hopefully it’s better then what we had in the 70s.

1. Pedro Morales v. Moondog Rex

   Pedro Morales defends the IC title against one half of the Tag Champions, Moondog Rex, along with manager Captain Lou Albano. The bell rings and they lock up with Pedro using his speed to send Rex into the ropes. Moondog Rex would later become one half of Demolition, briefly, before being replaced by Barry Darsow in 1987. Pedro is the first ever Triple Crown Champion in WWF history. Rex gets a side headlock on the champion and cranks back, Pedro grabs the leg of Rex and slams his leg across his knee breaking the hold. Rex comes back with a wristlock trying to wear out Pedro, and Pedro makes the ropes but doesn’t get a clean break with angers Pedro. Rex continues to work over the left arm and has the hammerlock applied tightly bringing Pedro to the mat, the crowd is getting loud. Pedro was always super over with the NYC crowd, thus the strong pushes he always received. Rex drops a series of knees across the shoulder and continues to crank the arm then sends him crashing hard into the turnbuckle. Pedro nailed with a hammerlock slam and goes back to the shoulder as Pedro is in serious trouble. Rex drops a leg across the back of Pedro’s head as the crowd seems stunned that Pedro is having so much trouble with the Moondog. The ref asks Pedro if he wants to quit and Pedro says no, Rex unloads on Pedro in the ropes sending Pedro crashing to the cement floor. Pedro slowly crawls back in the ring and Rex shoots him and follows with a backdrop for a near fall. Rex gets hit in the face and Pedro begins him comeback on the Moondog as Pedro clobbers Rex down to the mat. Rex is looking for his tag partner as Pedro slams him down and then pulls him up only to snapmare him down. Rex tries to send Pedro in but Pedro comes back with a small package for the win. 6.5/10 a good fast paced match with Moondog controlling the majority.

1. Pedro Morales pinned Moondog Rex to retain the IC Title 6.5/10

2. Pat Patterson v. Sgt Slaughter

   Slaughter is still a heel at this point and managed by The Grand Wizard and Pat Patterson is the first ever IC champion and also known as the man who created the Royal Rumble. Patterson goes right after Sarge as the bell rings and Sarge bails out. Sarge back in and quickly back out he goes which is angering Patterson. Sarge showing great agility jumping over the ropes to avoid Patterson repeatedly, and Pat turns his back so Sarge charges him. Patterson catches him though and quickly unloads on Sarge then sends him into the turnbuckles all around the ring. Patterson chokes Sarge and shoves the ref back, this does not cause a disqualification as Patterson sends Sarge tumbling over the ropes. Sarge back in and gets back dropped in the middle of the ring, Patterson goes for the Boston Crab but Sarge fights him off so he slingshots Sarge into the buckles. Patterson again goes for the crab and this time gets it locked in on Sarge but Sarge makes the ropes saving the match. Patterson refuses to slow down but Sarge rakes the eyes and begins to clobber Patterson, but Patterson comes back with a shoulderblock. A second shoulderblock fails Patterson as Sarge moves and tosses Patterson over the top to the cement. Sarge climbs to the top rope and looks like he’s going to drop onto Patterson but changes his mind and jumps off the apron instead. Every time Pat tries to get back in Sarge stomps him back down, and the fans are getting really agitated, as Pat finally makes his way in the ring and Sarge is all over him. Sarge hits the side backbreaker and covers for the near fall, Sarge pulls him up and bites him then rakes the back. Patterson slammed in the middle of the ring and Sarge climbs the ropes, Sarge misses the kneedrop and now both men are down and hurting. Patterson quickly locks on the figure four in the centre of the ring and Sarge is flailing around but makes the ropes to break the hold. Sarge gets sent over the top and Patterson goes after him, Patterson drives a chair into the midsection and the throws him back in. Sarge begging for mercy and Pat will have none of it, Sarge grabs the ropes and the ref tries to break it so Pat tosses him aside twice. Pat finally pulls Sarge from the ropes but gets his eyes raked and now Sarge unloads and tosses the ref aside. We have a slugfest and both men toss the ref out and continue to fight. Sarge locks on the Cobra Clutch on Patterson who begins to fade. We have the bell as the ref finally pulls the two men apart but Pat goes right after Sarge who bails out. 7/10 a fun brawl which was really vicious for the time.

2. Pat Patterson & Sgt Slaughter went to a double disqualification 7/10

3. Stan Hansen v. Bob Backlund

   This is our main event and is inside the Steel Cage. Bob Backlund is in his fourth year as World Champion and Stan Hansen made a name for himself breaking Bruno Sammartino’s neck years ago. He became a monster star working in Japan and Puerto Rico in the 80s, with a brief stint in WCW in the early 90s. Backlund gets caught coming in the cage by Stan, but he’s able to send Stan into the cage wall repeatedly. For a guy known as a scientific worker Backlund sure did a lot of cage matches during his reign. Hansen tries to leave and Backlund pulls him down to continue beating on him, but Hansen gets a knee in and sends the champ into the cage. Backlund tries to fight back but Stan continues to tear him apart but Bob reverses the whip in and Stan eats cage wall. Bob hits a vicious piledriver in the middle of the ring and starts to climb the cage, but Stan catches him with a low blow sending the champ down. Stan misses the elbowdrop but quickly retains the advantage sending Bob into the cage, Bob blocks and Stan hits the steel. Backlund grinds Stan’s face into the steel cage but eats a kneelift as Vince calls Stan the wrong nickname, calling him Stan the Man which was Stan Stasiak. Hansen is split wide open as they exchange shots and Hansen again misses the big elbow drop allowing Bob to hammer him on the mat. Bob whips Stan in and backdrops him down, but gets caught again and Stan slams him then drops the double knee to the chest. Hansen tries to escape but Bob catches him and pulls him back in as both men fight over the door and Hansen nails Bob then climbs the cage. Bob pulls Hansen’s tights down to get him back in and both men are fighting on the top rope, Bob headbutts Stan sending him back in the ring. Bob also falls with him and Stan gets up first, he tries to leave and Bob pulls him back down causing Stan to crash hard in ring. Bob leaves the cage through the door victorious as Stan slowly gets to his feet. 6.5/10 not a bad cage match just not a lot happened. Hansen snaps after the match and starts running the ropes as the crowd mocks him.

3. Bob Backlund defeated Stan Hansen in the Steel Cage 6.5/10

4. Larry Sharpe & Johnny Rodz v. Tony Garea & Rick Martel

   This is our final match of the night, as we get an odd little tag match. Larry Sharpe is more known for training guys, most notable being Bam Bam Bigelow. Rodz is also best known as the trainer for men like the Dudley Boyz. Garea and Martel are former tag champions. Martel and Rodz start out and Rodz with a side headlock, tagging in Sharpe who nails Martel. Sharpe sends Martel to the corner and unloads on Martel. Martel tries to fight back but Sharpe continues to work him over in the corner. Martel finally fights out of the corner and sends Sharpe into the ropes catching hm with a shot to the midsection before tagging Garea in. Garea with a snapmare into the wristlock, Sharpe breaks free and gets sent in right back to the wristlock. Martel tagged in and goes right back to the arm of Sharpe, as Sharpe powers Martel into his corner and tags in Rodz who comes in from behind. Rodz with a kneelift and starts to work over the Canadian with a series of forearms but Martel comes back with a nice dropkick staggering Rodz. Rodz with a nice judo toss on Martel but misses the elbow drop and Martel fires back with a series of shots and tags in Garea. Garea works over Rodz in the corner but misses the charge and Rodz slams him then drops the knee across the chest. A series of quick tags as the heels double team Garea but Rodz misses a big splash but tags Sharpe back in and Sharpe slams Garea for a near fall. Sharpe sends Garea in and Garea comes back with a kneelift and both men make a tag. Rodz tries to avoid Martel but Rick catches him and all four men in the ring, the heels sent into each other and Martel rolls up Rodz for the win. 6/10 a solid tag team match with nothing major but nothing to complain about.

4. Tony Garea & Rick Martel beat Larry Sharpe & Johnny Rodz 6/10


1. Pedro Morales pinned Moondog Rex to retain the IC Title 6.5/10

2. Pat Patterson & Sgt Slaughter went to a double disqualification 7/10

3. Bob Backlund defeated Stan Hansen in the Steel Cage 6.5/10

4. Tony Garea & Rick Martel beat Larry Sharpe & Johnny Rodz 6/10

   Overall a pretty good start for the 80s with some good solid matches, especially Sarge and Patterson. The cage match and opener were good as well. The tag match was a fine showing for Martel and Garea as they were on their way back to tag team gold. There were a few matches from this show I would have like to have seen included, Killer Khan/Dominic Denucci, Mil Mascaras/Moondog King, and a rare SD Jones victory over Mikel Scicluna. We’ll be leaving the World Wrestling Federation for a little bit next as the network has 20 episodes of WCCW (World Class Championship Wrestling) which I’ve never seen before but with Bundy, Kamala, Kabuki, Ric Flair and the Von Erich family it should be some fun stuff. After those twenty episodes we get the granddaddy of supershows with the first ever NWA Starrcade and then we return to the WWF. Lots of great classic shows coming up.


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