We resume where we left off with four clips from 1976. I don’t think any of this is actual matches, as we have segments featuring Greg Valentine, Andre the Giant, The Ortons, and Muhammad Ali. No idea what these are, but let’s go to the ring.
1. Andre the Giant’s Feats of Strength
At under two minutes long I don’t assume this to be much. We start with Andre breaking an Iron Bar. He then uses the bar to left a one ton weight, which he does with ease. We then go to a tug of war with Andre facing eleven men, six on one side and five on the other. Andre slings them all across the ring. Well, that was something I guess.
2. Bob Orton Sr and Jr v. Steve Keirn and Mike Graham
We start with a workout session from the Ortons. This would be Randy Orton’s dad and granddad, as they lift weights before the match. We get video of the future Cowboy jogging as well as playing tennis. We then go the ring for the match, with no commentary. Junior takes down Graham with an armbar and takes in Senior, as Graham back off to his corner. Where is Keirn, as he arrives late, who’s he think he is Brock? Junior gets caught with his head down and Graham with a near fall. Keirn on the apron is still putting on his boots as Junior with an armbar, we jump forward to Keirn in the ring with Junior. Lots of clipping and poor quality video. Senior nails Keirn from behind as Junior takes out Graham. While Junior and Keirn brawl on the floor, Senior hammers on Keirn before hitting a vicious piledriver which gets the Orton family disqualified. Was hard to match and not much action, but interesting to see the father and son duo. First time seeing Senior in action, and he wasn’t bad for his age at this point. Post match the Ortons destroy Graham and try to break his leg but Keirn makes the save.
3. Vince McMahon interviews Muhammad Ali
Buddy Wolfe in the ring with Dick the Bruiser faces off with Muhammad Ali, who’s with Fred Blassie. This was an exhibition to get Ali ready for a match with Antonio Inoki. Ali hammers Wolfe repeatedly n the face. Wolfe gets him in the corner and tries to hold Ali, but Ali peppers him in the midsection to break the hold. Wolfe tries for the leg and finally takes down the boxing legend. This is just bizarre as they even have AWA legend Verne Gagne referee, as Ali unloads on Wolfe but Wolfe gets a hold of Ali and takes him to the mat. It goes on for a while, with four rounds of “action”, as Ali just takes apart Wolfe with punches and Wolfe selling. I can’t believe this aired on ABC TV in the seventies, it’s all so surreal. You can hear Blassie just screaming at Ali to throw punch, which he does as Wolfe tries to cover up. Wolfe takes out the leg and applies the single leg crab but Ali makes the ropes. Finally Bruiser jumps in as does Blassie and we get a brawl between the four. Wolfe is split wide open and Blassie shoves Bruiser away, Verne trying to restore order but it’s a mess. I just can’t decide if this is so bizarre it’s good or just too weird, it’s certainly unusual. Wonder if they can get the rights to the Ali/Inoki match? Nick Bockwinkel enters the ring and mouths off to Ali but leaves before Ali can get a shot on him. Verne is trying to cut a promo, but no one is even looking at him, as all eyes on Ali and Blassie. Vince in the ring gets some words from Ali, who cuts a great heel promo about being the best boxer and wrestler in the world. That was certainly something different and is exactly what the Hidden Gems section is all about.
4. Greg Valentine showcase
Another quick short segment as Greg Valentine is shown dropping his big elbows across boards . Greg breaks multiple boards with his elbow drop as these are taped earlier and Greg is doing commentary with Gordon Solie. Very unique little segment that really showed how devastating the elbow drop was.
Well, 1976 was certainly an unusual series of clips. There was some fun material, all stuff that’s new to me, which made it worth watching. We’re going to deviate from the Hidden Gems now and do the shows from 1976 next as we go to WWF All Star Wrestling which was the WWF’s main show till the early eighties.