Chris' Blog

WWF From Madison Square Gardens – January 23, 1984

Today on the Network we watch one of the most historic night in WWF history, the night Hulkamania was born. Coming into the show, the reigning World Champion is The Iron Sheik who won the gold from Bob Backlund only one month earlier. Bob lost the title when his manager tossed in the towel as Sheik had Bob in the dreaded Camel Clutch, also injuring Bob. Hulk Hogan would be called to take the place of the injured former champion. The World Tag Team Champions are Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson who won the titles back in November from the Wild Samoans. Don Muraco is the Intercontinental Champion and is one day past his one year anniversary as champion having won the gold from Pedro Morales. At this point the WWF was in a major state of change as Vince McMahon Junior was taking the company over from his father and preparing to go national and challenge the other territories, something no one thought would work. It was a major gamble for McMahon and WWF, as failure would have not only destroyed the company but probably blackballed a lot of the talent who worked with Vince. Huge changes were sweeping through the wrestling world, as two months earlier the NWA aired the first major show, Starrcade, which was a success and began the launch of supercards with Wrestlemania to come next year, but we’re getting a head of ourselves. Let’s see what tonight’s show has to offer.

1. Jose Luis Rivera v. Tony Garea

Jose was a part of the WWF for many years, most notably as one of the Conquistadors, and made it to the finals of the tag team Survivor Series match in 1989. Jose also worked a boxing match with Mr T and was one half of the Shadows with Moondog Rex, he then worked for a long time in Puerto Rico. Tony Garea was one half of the tag team champions with Haystacks Calhoun, Dean Ho, Larry Zbysko and Rick Martel twice. After his retirement in 1987 he became a road agent and was frequently seen breaking up fights in the ring. Gorilla Monsoon and Pat Patterson are on commentary for this show as the ref checks over both wrestlers before the match starts and both men shake hands. They lock up and make the ropes, we get a clean break as the crowd applauds and another lockup and they exchange some amateur moves which leads to another stalemate. Tony with a hammerlock, reversed by Jose, reversed again by Tony as Gorilla calls Jose by his real name. Multiple side headlock to scissor reversal sequences as Jose finally gets control of Tony in the side headlock to slow him down. Tony finally powers up and shoots Jose in, Jose with a shoulder block and a crossbody gets only one. Tony armdrags Jose over and into the arm bar, Jose sends him to the ropes and Tony comes back with a pair of shoulderblocks are right back to the arm bar. Jose again sends him in and rolls up Tony for a near fall. Jose goes for a monkey flip but Tony lands on his feet, as Jose gets shot in and does a really bad leapfrog, Tony puts his head down and gets dropkicked, which looked botched as well. Jose sends him to the corner and then again but Tony reverses, Jose bounces off the ropes with a crossbody but Tony rolls through for the win. 4/10 slow paced with a couple botches, but nothing horrible.

1. Tony Garea pinned Jose Luis Rivera 4/10

2. Tiger Chung Lee & Mr Fuji v. The Invaders

Mr Fuji is a multiple time tag champion and later became the manager of many stars of the eighties and nineties including Demolition, Powers of Pain and Yokozuna. Tiger Chung Lee is a former tag champion in the NWA, Puerto Rico and Japan but was never really pushed in the WWF. The Invaders are Jose Gonzalez and Roberto Soto, and were stars in Puerto Rico. Jose is most known for being the man charged in the murder of Bruiser Brody as well. Pat talks about the Invaders are known for doing twin magic to win, which he says is not legal of course. Chung starts for his team and ties up Invader in the ropes, but gives a clean break and a bow. Invader does the same and a clean break, but a third one and Tiger hits a forearm to the chest. Invader shot in and comes back with a sunset flip for one, as Tiger smiles at him. They lock up and Invader makes a tag and they begin to make fast tags to work Tiger’s arm. Invader goes for a hammerlock and Tiger picks up with ease and places him on the ropes. Invader goes back to the arm and Tiger tags in Fuji who laughs at Invader and gets tossed to the ropes, Fuji comes back and gets chopped down. Fuji begs off but Invader nails him anyway. Fuji misses the chop and Invader hits a cross body then back to the arm. Fuji makes a tag and Invaders continue the offense but gets caught in a slam, but they come back with the arm bar and fast tags. Invaders use their speed to keep the Orientals on their toes, but Tiger finally forces an Invader to his corner and distracts the ref, allowing Fuji to choke him with the ropes. Tiger tags Fuji in and he slams Invader then drops a very low headbutt, he then clobbers the other Invader before dropping another headbutt. Tiger tagged back in and sends Invader in, Tiger follows with a karate kick to Invader’s face then backdrops Invader down hard. Fuji tagged in and locks on the shoulder hold into a nice suplex but doesn’t cover him, instead pulls him up for another suplex but Invader blocks and suplexes Fuji instead. Fuji up first climbs the ropes but Invader catches him and tosses Fuji across the ring and both men make tags. Invader tosses Tiger around the ring and unloads on him, as Gorilla again calls Invader by his real name. Tiger with a quick suplex and bring in Fuji who nails Invader with the side suplex and a near fall. Invader has a chance to tag but decides against it and gets chopped down, Tiger back in and locks on the bearhug. Invader fights free but is unable to make the tag as Tiger goes back to the bearhug. The other Invader comes in to break the hold, and this allows Fuji to trade off with Tiger, and the ref allows it. Invader breaks free and makes the hot tag, the other Invader comes in and dropkicks Fuji to his corner, Fuji makes the tag to Tiger. Tiger sends Invader to the corner and then the opposite one, Invader comes off the ropes and Tiger catches him with a vicious atomic drop and follows with snapmare into the headlock. Invader fights free and dropkicks Tiger but misses the corner splash and bounces off the buckle. Tiger covers him and Invader kicks out and barely makes the tag, Invader two unloads on Tiger and hits a nice dropkick. Invader starts to work the the leg and they begin double teaming Tiger’s leg. Fuji looks so odd with long bushy hair, as Tiger luckily tags in Fuji who gets the same treatment as Tiger. Invader shoots Tiger in the ropes and catches Fuji in the abdominal stretch as Pat talks about Fuji owning rice fields, really? Fuji tags in Tiger who gets caught in the abdominal stretch as well, the other Invader comes in and Fuji sneaks in with a “Pearl Harbor job” as Gorilla calls it. Some pretty racist commentary happening here, this would never fly in this day and age. We now have all four men in the ring and the Invaders send the Orientals into each other and we get a bell ringing. 6/10 a pretty solid tag match that was pretty fast paced.

2. The Invaders and Mr Fuji & Tiger Chung Lee battled to a draw 6/10

3. The Masked Superstar v. Chief Jay Strongbow

Masked Superstar was also known as Super Machine and most famously as Ax of Demolition and held multiple tag titles. Chief Jay Strongbow used a Indian gimmick for fifteen years in the WWF and was tag champion on four occasions. The bell rings and Gorilla says this a main event anywhere in the world as they lock up and Superstar pushes him off. Strongbow with a side headlock and Superstar quickly makes the ropes. Another side headlock and Superstar shoots him to the ropes, but misses a chop and Strongbow back to the headlock. Superstar rolls him back and gets a one fall multiple times, Strongbow finally releases the hold and Superstar hides in the ropes. Superstar misses a chop and Strongbow hits one of own and back to the headlock. Well, we see who Randy Orton patterned his move set after. Strongbow with a chop and tries to remove the mask of Superstar, who slides out of the ring. Superstar slowly gets back in the ring and Strongbow does a war dance, which fires up the New York crowd. Strongbow with a series of knee lifts and then goes after the mask again. Superstar fights him off and begins to unload on the Indian star, but he starts to fire up and chops down Superstar. Strongbow sends him to the ropes and catches him in the sleeper, Superstar able to break the hold and sends Strongbow to the ropes. Superstar catches him with a clothesline and scores the pin. 2/10 a boring match with mostly headlocks and Strongbow trying to unmask Superstar.

3. Masked Superstar pinned Chief Jay Strongbow 2/10

4. Ivan Putski v. Sgt Slaughter

Slaughter is a former WWF champion who at this point is still a heel and Putski is the same boring wrestler he was in seventies. Not expecting much of value in this one. Lots of stalling to start as Putski wants to box and Slaughter hides on the apron. More stalling from Slaughter as this match is taking forever to start, as Gorilla mentions it. They finally lockup and Slaughter shoves him off, another lockup and another shove. A third lockup and Putski shoves him, Slaughter charges and Putski slams him down. Putski with a side headlock, Slaughter sends him to the ropes and Putski comes back with a shoulder block sending Slaughter to the apron. Putski with a side headlock drags Slaughter back in the ring. Slaughter breaks the hold with an atomic drop followed by a back breaker, Slaughter gets a near fall. Slaughter pulls him up and drives Putski into the buckle, followed by another back breaker. Slaughter gets sent to corner and hits the ring post, Putski then slams him into the turnbuckle. Putski kicks Slaughter and then into the corner again and he almost hits the ring post again. Putski begins to unload on a now bleeding Slaughter, Putski goes to send him to corner again but Slaughter reverses and catches Putski coming out with a clothesline. Slaughter goes for another back breaker but Putski shifts his weight. Slaughter goes for another clothesline but Putski ducks and comes back with a Polish Hammer, a shoulder block sends Slaughter to the floor. Putski on the apron pulls Slaughter up and they slug it out as the ref counts and Putski chops Slaughter sending him back in the ring as the bell ring. 5/10 started slow but picked up at the end even with a cheesy ending. Putski sends Slaughter out of the ring but Slaughter back in and they continue to brawl.

4. Sgt Slaughter beat Ivan Putski by countout 5/10

We go backstage to Mene Gene who’s with Mr Wonderful, Paul Orndorff who’s making his debut tonight. Paul makes racist comments about Sal Bellomo and says Sal will feel the piledriver tonight and demands real competition.

5. Paul Orndorff v. Sal Bellomo

Paul Orndorff is a former champion in different NWA territories and making his WWF debut tonight. Sal Bellomo was a jobber who was actually used a little in the early days of ECW. Paul makes his way to the ring with manager Roddy Piper! Orndorff and Piper stall as they complain about Sal’s knee brace. Orndorff is screaming that he doesn’t like Gorilla and Pat and then they decide to just leave, as the crowd is all over Piper and Orndorff at this point. The bell rang over three minutes ago and Paul still hasn’t removed his robe, this is reaching Goldust levels of stalling. Piper distracts Sal and Paul attacks from behind, as almost five minutes after the bell rang we finally get action. Paul slams Sal in the middle of the ring then drops the knee across the face of Sal repeatedly. Orndorff chokes Sal as Piper screams at him from outside the ring. Paul sends him to the ropes and backdrops Sal down hard and gets a near fall. Piper complains about the count as Paul goes for a slam but Sal shifts his weight and gets a one count on Paul. Paul fires him in the corner and misses the corner charge, Sal starts to make a comeback as the crowd is behind him. Paul misses an elbow drop and Sal begins to work over the arm of Orndorff. Sal with an arm bar as he cranks back on the arm, Piper is going crazy at ringside about this. Paul gets an elbow in but Sal goes back to the arm bar, as you hear Piper call Sal a sob. Paul flips Sal over, and Sal gets a head scissor and right back to the arm. Paul uses a suplex to break the hold, Sal tossed through the ropes to the cement floor. Piper gets right in Sal’s face as he Sal struggles to get in the ring. Paul catches Sal on the apron with a knee to the face, sending Sal back to the floor. Orndorff goes out after him and slams Sal on the cement floor. Sal slowly gets on the apron and Paul pulls him back in and then hits a stalling suplex for a near fall. Sal tries to make a comeback and Paul rakes the eyes and drives a knee into the midsection. Paul chokes him in the ropes, Sal tries to kick free but Paul grabs the legs and yanks him down. Orndorff slams him and climbs to the top rope and misses the diving knee, this gives Sal the chance to make a comeback as he works over the legs. This has been more competitive then I expected as Sal gets caught in the powerslam and covers, but Paul pulls him up. Paul then hits the piledriver for the victory. 6/10 a much better match then I expected as Sal almost pulled off the upset.

5. Paul Orndorff pinned Sal Bellomo 6/10

Backstage to Gene with Freddie Blassie and World Champion, the Iron Sheik. Blassie is known as the Ayatollah as he dresses like an Arab and says he doesn’t care if it was Backlund or Hogan. Sheik cuts his promo in Persian, and Gene says he speaks English so he repeats in English but it’s still impossible to understand.

6. The Iron Sheik v. Hulk Hogan

Sheik first one in the ring, which is just not right, as the crowd is brutal towards him. We see Hulk Hogan in the hallway of MSG as he makes his way to the ring to Real American and the place explodes. John Cena wishes he could get an ovation like Hogan could in the eighties, MSG is just insane and the match hasn’t even started yet. The bell rings and Hulk attacks Sheik from behind before he can remove his robe. Hulk sends Sheik in and clotheslines him with his own robe then chokes him. This a very vicious Hulk as he screams at Sheik to get at and unloads on him then sends him in and connects with a clothesline. Hulk drops a knee across Sheik’s face, Sheik rakes the eyes to slow Hulk down but nothing doing as Hulk lifts Sheik with a choke. Sheik gets spat on by Hogan who then hits the big boot for a near fall. Hulk again sends him to the ropes and follows with the big elbow and an elbow drop for two. Sheik sent to the corner and Hulk misses the corner charge, this allows the Iranian to begin working over the back of the challenger. Sheik hits a back breaker and covers, but Hulk shoves him off as the crowd is so loud, Sheik loads the boot and kicks Hulk in the back. Sheik locks on the Boston Crab and Hulk powers out of that move with ease, as Sheik quickly hits a nice gut wrench suplex on Hulk for a near fall. The dreaded camel clutch is locked on the Hulk, who powers out by standing up with Sheik on his back, Hulk falls back to the turnbuckle and squishes the Sheik in between. Hulk quickly drops the legdrop and scores the historic pinfall and wins his first ever WWF title. 8/10 a really good match as Sheik made Hulk look like a superstar tonight, plus an extremely electric crowd helped. Sheik even starts to do a stretcher job to really put over how devastating the legdrop is, that’s what you call a class act. Hulk is still in the ring the whole time, just watching as they load up the Sheik, who fights off the stretcher and goes after Hogan, who dumps Sheik over the top rope. Sheik grabs a chair and tries to come in but Hulk gets the chair, as finally security gets Sheik to the back. This crowd is so loud you can’t even hear Gorilla Monsoon on commentary.

6. Hulk Hogan pinned the Iron Sheik 8/10

We go backstage with Gene and the new champion Hulk Hogan. Gene says he proved it to the fans, and Hulk said he just needed the fans to be behind him and give him one chance. Gene says he has arrived, and Hulk says the belt belongs to everyone as Andre dumps a bottle of champagne over Hulk’s head. Andre congratulates him as does Ivan Putski and Rocky Johnson.

7. Rene Goulet v. Jimmy Snuka

Rene is a former tag champion with Karl Gotch, Andre the Giant, Ole Anderson & others. Jimmy Snuka is also a former tag champion through the territories and was involved in the main event of the first Wrestlemania. Rene attacks Snuka from behind and unloads on Snuka, Rene sends him in and hits a back elbow then slams Jimmy down hard. Rene stomps the midsection and continues to hammer Snuka, but Jimmy comes back with chops and then tosses Rene across the ring. Rene hides in the corner and Snuka rams his head into the turnbuckle, but Goulet pokes the eyes and snapmare him over. Rene locks on the clawhold as Gorilla and Pat talk about tonight being the beginning of Hulkamania. Rene sends Snuka in but misses the claw and gets chopped down, Snuka gets caught in the headlock but Snuka sends him in again, Snuka jumps over him twice and hits the double chop. Snuka climbs the ropes and hits a nice crossbody for the win. 5/10 a good match as Rene got more offense in then expected.

7. Jimmy Snuka pinned Rene Goulet 5/10

We again go back to Gene with Hulk Hogan and his parents. Mama Hogan says he is wonderful for the sport and she’s speechless. Papa Hogan says they are proud of Hulk and he’s a professional. Hulk says they made his python and it’s USA and Hulkamania running wild.

8. Andre the Giant, Tony Atlas & Rocky Johnson v. The Wild Samoans

The Samoans are Afa, Sika and Samula. Afa & Sika are three time tag champions, and Afa’s son is Manu who was part of Legacy briefly. Sika is the father of Rosey and Roman Reigns. Samula is Afa’s other son as the Samoan legacy was wide spread at this point. Samula later became Samu and tagged with Fatu, who later became Rikishi, as the Headshrinkers in the WWF in the mid nineties. Rocky and Tony are the tag champions at this point, and Rocky’s son is of course the Rock. Tony and Samula start the match and Tony overpowers Samula with a side headlock, Samula sends him in and Tony jumps over and hits the crossbody. Samula kicks out and goes to his corner as we get a closeup of Sika, that was scary. Samula with a go behind and Tony reverses and tags in Rocky who holds Samula so Andre can chop him. Samula and Rocky do the criss cross and Rocky stops as Samula keeps going, which the crowd enjoys. Rocky and Samula lock up and Samula gets him in the corner, Rocky rams the Samoan’s heads together then tags Tony in. Tony gets caught in a full nelson from Samula, and Tony powers out with ease, then sends him into the right hand of Andre. Andre gets tagged in and goes for a backdrop but Samula headbutts Andre then tags in Sika. Sika unloads on the Giant with headbutts, but Andre just stands up and Sika is confused. Andre with a headbutt sends Sika flying backwards. Afa comes in and Andre rams their heads together. Samula comes in and eats the big boot, Andre drops the vertical splash on Samula for the pin. 6/10 a quick match with limited Andre time, surprised to see the Samoans squashed so quickly though.

8. Andre the Giant, Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas beat the Wild Samoans 6/10

Pat and Gorilla go over the show we’ve seen as the crowd files out of MSG.


1. Tony Garea pinned Jose Luis Rivera 4/10

2. The Invaders and Mr Fuji & Tiger Chung Lee battled to a draw 6/10

3. Masked Superstar pinned Chief Jay Strongbow 2/10

4. Sgt Slaughter beat Ivan Putski by countout 5/10

5. Paul Orndorff pinned Sal Bellomo 6/10

6. Hulk Hogan pinned the Iron Sheik 8/10

7. Jimmy Snuka pinned Rene Goulet 5/10

8. Andre the Giant, Rocky Johnson & Tony Atlas beat the Wild Samoans 6/10

All in all a pretty good little show with a very historic title change and a three other good matches. Much better then the Money in the Bank PPV from Sunday, as this was non stop entertainment. Wish they had left in the Don Muraco versus Tito Santana IC title match, but glad they removed the midget match. Overall a fun show and a great two hours of action.


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