WWWF From Madison Square Garden – April 14, 1975

Following hot on the heels of the previous house show, we go directly to the next big New York City show. Headlined by a huge rematch between WWWF Champion Bruno Sammartino and Spiros Arion in a Greek Death Match, whatever that is, I assume it involves feta cheese. After Spiros get ripped off, as the ref did not see his foot on the rope during the pin, this rematch was quickly signed. Could this spell the end for the legendary reign of Sammartino or will he finally silence his foe for good? Stay tuned and let’s see what happens!

1. Tony Altimore v. Mike Paidusas

Tony Altimore is the former tag team partner of Lou Albano, with whom he held the Tag Team Championships. Mike Paidusas is a former tag champion as well, and was a huge star in the South in the sixties. The bell rings and Tony stalls by jawing with the ref, and avoids Mike as much as possible. They finally lockup and Mike off the ropes comes back with three straight shoulderblocks, sending Tony to the ropes for safety. Another lockup and into the ropes, we get the clean break from Mike. Tony with a side headlock and rakes the eyes, Mike has the same shape as Stu Hart, just a big burly man. Mike with an armdrag into the armbar to control Tony, as Tony tries to fight free Mike keeps overpowering and throwing him back down. Tony rakes the eyes to break free from the power of Mike, this gives him an opening to begin working over the bigger foe. Every time Mike gets to his feet Tony pulls him back down with a wristlock. Mike finally pops Tony to break the hold, and Tony complains to the ref. Lockup and Tony with a side headlock and bites the nose of Mike, he then hammers the midsection of Mike. Mike slumps in the ropes and Tony unloads a series of shots then slams his face into the buckle. Mike comes back and does the same, but Tony again takes control with a front facelock. A nice reversal from Mike into the hammerlock and now Tony makes the ropes to break the hold. Mike with a snapmare and into the rear chinlock but Tony breaks the hold and pops Mike. Mike tries to fight back but Tony slams his face into the mat. Mike smashes Tony with a series of forearms as they slug it out and Tony sent in, Mike gets caught with his head down and a near fall. Tony misses a dropkick and Mike folds him in half for the victory.

1. Mike Paidusas defeats Tony Altimore with a jackknife pin 1/5

Not an exciting match, lots of restholds and nothing else.

2. El Olympico v. Greg Valentine

We’ve seen Olympico before and I wasn’t overly impressed. This marks the MSG debut of Valentine, who was a very solid worker and a multiple time tag champion. Valentine has shorter hair, but otherwise doesn’t look very different. Olympico has the worst mask in history, as it covers his head but not his face which defeats the point. Valentine with a quick rollup at the start and Olympico works the arm, but Valentine makes the ropes. Olympico right back to the arm, but Greg reverses and begins working the leg. Valentine sets him in the corner and hammers the masked man. Olympico tossed to the apron and Valentine pulls him up for a series of forearms to the chest. Olympico makes it in the ring and nails Valentine before tossing him to the corner multiple times causing Valentine to beg off. Olympico refuses to slow down and works over Valentine, who makes his way to the apron where Olympico nails him again. Valentine gets in the ring and Olympico with a side headlock, Valentine shot in and catches Olympico with a knee. Valentine drops the knees before locking on the armbar, Olympico fights to his feet and nails Valentine but Valentine pulls him back down and continues working the arm. Seems odd for Valentine to work the arm as he was a master of the figure four, but maybe he didn’t use it yet. Olympico breaks the hold and hits a pair of dropkicks and shoulderblocks, but a third try earns him a forearm to the face. Valentine follows with a huge elbow drop and scores the victory.

2. Greg Valentine pins El Olympico with an elbowsmash 1.5/5

A showcase for Greg, but again Olympico got too much offense in. Should’ve been a quick squash win, instead of being the competitive match it was for a debut.

3. Waldo Von Erich v. Chief Jay Strongbow

Waldo was no relation to the Texas Von Erich family, as he was from Canada. He’s a former tag champ with Fritz Von Erich among others, and had been around for a long time. We’ve seen Strongbow before and the NYC fans really loved him, and get into his matches, which make the matches better. Waldo attacks before the bell as Strongbow still has his headdress on, as Waldo throws him over the ropes and Strongbow is down on the cement floor. This brings out the champion Bruno Sammartino to check on his friend, as Strongbow is out cold on the floor. Sammartino helps the doctors get Strongbow to the back as we get no match.

2. Waldo Von Erich over Strongbow via countout NO RATING

No match to speak off, just a quick sneak attack to setup a future match, but the crowd was irate. They really wanted a Strongbow match, and they were not impressed.

3. Little Tokyo & Lord Littlebrook v. Little Louie & Sonny Boy Hayes

The worst thing about old school shows, midget matches. These are always a colossal waste of time and energy. Basically these were done for laughs with the crowd and not taken seriously by anyone and I have no interest in sitting through this, especially with it being two out of three falls, so next match.

3. Little Tokyo & Lord Littlebrook over Little Louie & Sonny Boy Hayes NR

4. Spiros Arion v. Bruno Sammartino (Greek Death Match)

This is the World Championship Title rematch, after the controversy from last months match, and will be contested under Greek Death rules, whatever that is. I assume just a classic death match, with no disqualifications or countouts. The bell rings and Bruno just unloads on Spiros, sending him to the floor as the crowd is just rabid already. Spiros slow to get back in and Bruno just hammers the man repeatedly, throwing him into the buckle and kicking and punching repeatedly sending him back out again. Spiros takes him time getting in the ring, and Bruno is just on fire tonight, driving the knee into his face but Spiros gets a thumb into the throat to slow the champion down. This gives Spiros a chance to work the back of Bruno, but Bruno catches him on the apron and drives a knee to the face. Spiros gets a knee of his own in the midsection of Bruno and goes for a clutch. Bruno powers out and slams Spiros then locks on the bearhug, but Spiros rings the ears to break the hold. Spiros hammers Bruno in the corner with knees and shoots him to the opposite corner, then a big slam stuns the champion. Spiros gets caught by the feet of Bruno, who then drives the challengers face into the mat. Bruno chokes Spiros on the ropes and slams his head into the apron. Spiros staggers to his feet and right back into the bear hug, but Spiros with a headbutt breaks the hold. With Bruno down Spiros begins to work the back and chokes the champion, but chokes back and hammers the challenger. The only thing holding Spiros up is the ropes as the champion is destroying Spiros with boots and punches. Spiros rakes the eyes and then chokes the champion again, and both men wind up on the apron. Bruno sent to the floor and Spiros tries to block his way in, but Bruno removes the tag rope and ties up Spiros. With Spiros tied up Bruno smashes the back with multiple forearms and Spiros crumples to the mat. Bruno with a series of stomps but Bruno gets caught by another headbutt. Spiros making a comeback as he rams Bruno into the buckle and headbutts him again, to which Vince says he’s seen before, even though it’s the third time. Spiros with a atomic drop and ascends the ropes, but misses a diving knee drop. The crowd fires up Bruno who quickly goes to work on the now injured knee of Spiros, as Bruno locks on a single leg crab. Spiros has no choice but to submit and Bruno retains the gold!

4. Bruno Sammartino over Spiros Arion by submission 3/5

A good brawl to end the feud, but wasn’t nearly as vicious as I expected for a Death Match. Surprised there was no blood at all, but a good match anyway.

5. Joe Nova v. Edouard Carpentier

Joe Nova is a very big guy, but from what I can find online was basically a jobber. Carpentier is a legend who has been around since the fifties and is one of the first wrestlers to use the top rope and do all the acrobatic stuff we now know. Joe offers a handshake before the bell, and they lock up with Joe powering Ed to the ropes and a clean break. Powered to the corner and Joe gets a shot in and a side headlock, but can’t pull him down. A test of strength takes Carpentier down, but he flips through locking on a armbar on the much bigger Joe Nova. Carpentier with a nice spin kick sending Joe to the ropes. Carpentier with an armdrag back to the armbar, Joe powers up and sends Carpentier to the ropes and slam him. Carpentier comes back with a kick and back to the armbar, Nova sends him to the corner and tries to nail him but Carpentier no sells the shots. Carpentier back Joe in the corner and spin kicks him knocking Nova to the mat, Nova comes back by grabbing the hair and locking on the full nelson. Carpentier mule kicks his way out and follows with a pair of cartwheel causing the crowd to erupt, and Nova looks flustered. A tie up and Nova nails Carpentier in the throat before tossing him over the ropes, Carpentier pulls a Shawn Michaels to come back and quickly unloads on the big men. Nova sent into the corner and slowly gets to his feet. Nova catches Carpentier in the corner and pops him then shoots Carpentier to the opposite corner, where Carpentier pulls a second rope headstand off, stopping the big guy cold. Nova has gone from flustered to frustrated as he elbows Carpentier in the corner and begins to use his size to slow down the Frenchman. Carpentier catches the leg and Joe holds the ropes, begging for mercy, Carpentier drops the leg and sends Joe to the corner and stands on his chest before flipping back. A double chop sends Joe down, and Carpentier follows with three flipping back splashes for the win.

5. Edouard Carpentier over Joe Nova 2/5

Surprised to see moves like that in the seventies, a good showing for Carpentier near the end of his career. Amazing agility, especially considering his age at this point.

6. Bob Duncum v. Victor Rivera

Duncum is a big brawny cowboy managed by the Wizard, and was a huge star in the Florida area with a son who worked for WCW near the end. This our third appearance for Rivera, and he’s gotten worse each time, so I’m not feeling optimistic. The initial lockup gets Duncum in the ropes and a clean break, the opposite happens and Duncum gets a knee in. Duncum with a side headlock gets tossed in and eats a dropkick sending Duncum to the floor. Duncum slowly gets back in and applies a wristlock, a handful of hair takes Rivera to the mat. Rivera powers up and sends him in, Duncum with a shoulderblock, off the ropes and Duncum eats a pair of dropkicks sending him back outside. Duncum back in the ring and grabs a side headlock then pops Rivera with a foreign object, Duncum repeats the procedure multiple times before stomping the back of his head, then climbs the ropes. Big kneedrop to the back as Duncum takes control with a side backbreaker for two. Rivera sent off the ropes and comes back with a sunset flip and almost steals it, this angers the cowboy who hits him with the object again and applies a rear chinlock. This goes on for a while, as Duncum controls Rivera but Rivera fights free only to get tossed over the top rope and crashing hard on the cement. Rivera very slow to get to the apron but drives an elbow into Duncum then follows with another sunset flip for two. Duncum quickly back to the chinlock to try and wear Rivera down. Rivera powers Duncum to the corner and breaks the hold, following up with forearms and drives Duncum into the mat repeatedly. Duncum powers him off and drops another knee across the chest, but only gets two. A second knee misses and Rivera gets fired up stomping the back, followed by a cannonball, the second misses. Duncum quickly hits Rivera with the foreign object again, then slams Rivera in the middle of the ring. A second slam is reversed into the small package for a near fall for Rivera. Rivera smashes Duncum’s face into the buckle and unloads on the much larger competitor, Rivera locks on the sleeper. Duncum uses the object to break the hold, Rivera goes to an abdominal stretch and squeezes Duncum, Duncum uses an elbow to the face to break the hold. Duncum with a nice belly to back suplex for a near fall. Rivera now with a German suplex, sort of, to get a near fall of his own and follows with the cannonball. Duncum refuses to stay down as Rivera gets caught with a shot to the face from the object. Rivera fires back with forearms and now Duncum is down as the bell rings.

6. Victor Rivera and Bobby Duncum wrestled to a draw 1.5/5

Wasn’t a bad match, but a cheap ending. Seems weird to hear of a curfew draw considering how long shows go now.

MATCH RECAP

1. Mike Paidusas defeats Tony Altimore with a jackknife pin 1/5

2. Greg Valentine pins El Olympico with an elbowsmash 1.5/5

3. Little Tokyo & Lord Littlebrook over Little Louie & Sonny Boy Hayes NR

4. Bruno Sammartino over Spiros Arion by submission 3/5

5. Edouard Carpentier over Joe Nova 2/5

6. Victor Rivera and Bobby Duncum wrestled to a draw 1.5/5

Overall not a great show, but the Death Match was good. Interesting to see Carpentier in action, never seen a match of his before, lots of acrobatic stuff there. The rest was watchable but nothing exciting and almost twenty minutes for the midget match was twenty minutes too long. Next up is an episode of All-Star Wrestling for the fall of 1975.

2 thoughts on “WWWF From Madison Square Garden – April 14, 1975

  1. Hello! This post could not be written any better!

    Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this page to him.

    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you for the kind words. I try and do a post a day, but with the nicer weather finally coming I might drop back to 3-5 a week. Hope you stick around and enjoy my posts, your friend as well. Thanks again. Have a great day!

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