WWWF From Madison Square Garden – March 17, 1975

Here we go with the next show from the WWF, as we jumped forward almost two full years. Since the last show Pedro Morales has since lost the WWWF World Championship to Stan Stasiak who quickly lost it, nine days later, to Bruno Sammartino. Bruno would then begin his second legendary title reign. The Tag Team Championships changed hands multiple times in the two years between shows, your current champions are the Valiant Brothers, Jimmy and Johnny, who won the gold on May 8, 1974. This episode is not a full show, as it only clocks in under an hour but features Bruno defending the title against Spiros Arion plus appearances from Killer Kowalski and Ivan Putski. Let’s head down to ringside for our opening contest.

1. Chief Jay Strongbow v. Paul Vachon

Our second appearance for Strongbow, who we saw on the previous show. Vachon is from Canada and is the father of Luna, and multiple time tag champion with brother Maurice. Vince is once again on commentary, as he calls Strongbow one of the best athletes. The bell rings and we start with a criss cross, Strongbow stops first and tries to catch Vachon but he holds the ropes. The classic Vince laugh at Strongbow’s weird walk, as Vachon keep stalling. Tie up and they exchange shots, with Strongbow getting the better. Vachon with an uppercut and a shot to the throat of the Indian star, but Vachon caught with a shot from Strongbow. Strongbow unloads in the corner, but gets caught with a knee to the stomach. Vachon now working the neck muscles of Strongbow, but the crowd roars and brings Strongbow to his feet, temporarily. Vachon powers Strongbow back down, but Strongbow fights free and slams Vachon. Another scoop and slam plants the Frenchman, a cover and Vachon gets his foot on the ropes. Strongbow gets caught in a sleeper, but Vachon gets busted choking Strongbow so he breaks the hold and bites him instead. Vachon begins to work the back of Strongbow who tries to fight off the pain, and begins the war dance. A series of high knees stagger Vachon, but Strongbow runs into the boot. A second big boot and Vachon covers, he pulls him up. Strongbow shot in the ropes, and when he comes back he catches Vachon with a Thesz press for the win.

1. Jay Strongbow pinned Paul Vachon with a Thesz Press 2.5/5

A much better match then the last Strongbow match we saw. Both guys worked really hard and put on a good showing. Nothing to complain about as Jay gets a solid win.

2. Spiros Arion v. Bruno Sammartino (Texas Death)

Fred Blassie escorts his man, Arion, to the ring for this huge title match. Spiros has been in the WWWF since the beginning and is a former three time tag champion, once with Bruno! The crowd just despises Arion and Blassie, as expected, no one was more loved in New York then Bruno was. The crowd just explodes as Bruno and Arnold Skaaland make their way to the ring. Spiros attacks early and stomps the back of Sammartino, the ref pulls him back, allowing Bruno to fire back. Sammartino sends him in and boots him hard, forearms followed by a big slam for two. Spiros backed into the corner and Sammartino drives the shoulder in multiple times then locks on the bearhug. Spiros breaks the grip but Sammartino is relentless and both men slugging it out with Sammartino getting the better. Spiros catches the champion and begins working the ribs, and Bruno struggles to his feet and gets knocked back down, Spiros gets a near fall. Sammartino fights back up with a knee to the head and now it’s Spiros who’s in trouble and trying to get away. Spiros hit so hard he flies out of the ring and Bruno goes after him, slamming Spiros into the apron, the hardest part of the ring, multiple times. Sammartino pulled back by the ref to allow Spiros back in the ring, and this allows Spiros to cheap shot the champion. Spiros goes low and the crowd is furious, as Spiros continues to stomp the fallen champion. Sammartino makes it to his feet, but gets slammed in the middle of the ring by Spiros. Sammartino makes a comeback sending Spiros back out of the ring with a big kneelift and then stomps Spiros. Spiros takes a swing at a fan, such a different time, and makes it to the apron and back in. Sammartino continues to unload on the challenger and stomps the face as the crowd erupts. Spiros gets destroyed on the mat and Sammartino locks on a reverse chinlock. Spiros breaks free and shakes the cobwebs loose, but Sammartino is relentless. Sammartino gets caught taking to long in the corner and Spiros takes advantage with stomps and kicks, Sammartino sent into the ropes and eats a fist to the mid-section. Spiros looks proud of himself as he poses over the fallen body of Sammartino, as he goes for an abdominal stretch but Sammartino hiptosses out of it. A big slam gets two for Sammartino, Spiros catches Sammartino with a boot again but then gets caught with one from the champion. Sammartino slams Spiros and pins him, but the ref misses the foot on the ropes. What a miscarriage of justice!

2. Bruno Sammartino pinned Spiros Arion after a slam 3/5

Take into account the era and this was a hotly contested match. The crowd was molten for everything Bruno did, and hated Spiros which brought the match up. Your typical Bruno match but it accomplished it’s purpose of setting up a rematch for the next NYC show. Also, this was your winner for the 1975 match of the year awards!!!

3. Killer Kowalski v. Victor Rivera

Kowalski accompanied by the Grand Wizard, is a multiple time tag champion and trained HHH, Chyna, Kofi, Tomasso Ciampa and many others. We get another appearance from Victor Rivera, hope this is better. The bell rings and they lock up, Kowalski powers him to the ropes and a clean break. A second time doesn’t get a clean break and Kowalski begins working the leg of Rivera. Kowalski with the calf claw but Victor makes the ropes, but Kowalski reapplies the hold. Rivera fights free, but that just angers the much bigger man. Rivera finally takes the big man down with a wristlock, then works the shoulder but gets too cocky as Kowalski takes out the leg again. Victor breaks the hold by grabbing Kowalski’s ears, but Kowalski nails him and goes back to the leg. Rivera back to the ears, but Kowalski kicks him down and now locks on a stomach claw. This has been a boring match of claws and punches so far, as Victor breaks free again and dropkicks Kowalski into the turnbuckle. Rivera unloads on Kowalski, who fires back with one shot to knock down Rivera. Kowalski back to the stomach claw, but gets nailed in the face. Rivera stomps on Kowalski and slams his head into the mat. Kowalski makes it to his feet and Rivera jumps on his back with a sleeper, but Kowalski makes the ropes to break the hold. Rivera continues to work over Kowalski and back to the sleeper, but Kowalski rakes the eyes. Rivera ties Kowalski to the ropes and pummels him, then charges in with a shoulderblock. The ref finally gets Kowalski free, and Kowalski bites the face of Rivera to slow him down. Rivera keeps coming at the man but Kowalski goes back to biting, so Rivera returns the favor. Kowalski pins Rivera in the corner and bites him again so the ref calls for the bell.

3. Victor Rivera over Killer Kowalski by disqualification DUD

Fifteen minutes of stomping, biting and clawholds for a disqualification? That was brutal to sit through, as it felt like nothing happened.

4. Ivan Putski v. The Wolfman

Wolfman was a short lived run from Canada, he had two runs in the WWWF, 1970 and 1975 and didn’t do much on either run. Ivan Putski is the first Polish wrestler in the WWWF, and is making his debut. As the announcer is introducing them Wolfman attacks Putski, who looks a lot like Otis Dozovik of Heavy Machinery. Wolfman looks like a knockoff Bruiser Brody or Berzerker. Putski with a side headlock and shoulderblocks Wolfman down, a second one sends him to the floor. Wolfman back in and unloads on Putski with shots to the throat and chokes Putski who powers out and drives a head into the stomach. Headbutt from Putski sends the Wolfman scurrying, he comes back quick with a bearhug but Putski powers out. Wolfman bites the side of Putski and Putski returns the favor. Wolfman tries to work over the ample mid-section of Putski, but Putski with a front facelock controls the Wolfman. Wolfman bites to break the hold but that just angers Putski who just hammers him and then sends him into the ropes. Wolfman gets caught in a bearhug and that’s the end of the match.

4. Ivan Putski beat Wolfman with the bearhug 1/5

It was short and inoffensive, what more can you ask for. Putski debuted and crushed the wild Wolfman quickly.


1. Jay Strongbow pinned Paul Vachon with a Thesz Press 2.5/5

2. Bruno Sammartino pinned Spiros Arion after a slam 3/5

3. Victor Rivera over Killer Kowalski by disqualification DUD

4. Ivan Putski beat Wolfman with the bearhug 1/5

Overall, the show stated good with two matches, the last two were pretty bad. Especially Rivera/Kowalski, what a waste of fifteen minutes that was. No one can get a crowd behind them quite like Sammartino though, he had them eating out of his had from before he even came down the aisle. Very few guys can do that, Sammartino, Hogan, Austin and Cena are about the only four I can think of. None of the current guys could do that, just takes a special ability. Our next show is one month later as Sammartino and Arion battle one more time. Looking forward to seeing if they can top this match.

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