On Rewind-A-Wai #118, we will be traveling back to 1983 to review a WWF card from Madison Square Garden.
This show was selected by Espresso Executive Producer Sean La Vigne.
The full card is available on the WWE Network (account required).
Leave us your feedback and questions.
Rewind-A-Wai will be released next Wednesday for all patrons.
WWF at MSG
Monday, October 17, 1983
Madison Square Garden
*Rene Goulet vs. Tony Garea
*Special Delivery Jones vs. Tiger Chung Lee
*Sgt. Slaughter vs. Ivan Putski
*Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Tito Santana
*WWF Championship: Bob Backlund (c) vs. Masked Superstar
*Mike Graham vs. Bob Bradley
*Intercontinental Championship, Steel Cage: Don Muraco (c) vs. Jimmy Snuka
*Rocky Johnson vs. Sika
*The Invaders vs. Paul Vachon & Israel Matia
*Andre the Giant vs. Afa
Jesse from the 6
At next year’s 'Mania, will we see Rocky vs. Sika: The Next Generation?
But why was Rocky billed from Washington, DC? Such disrespect to Amherst, NS. smh
This was a great pick from Sean La Vigne. I love old reviews and find this era of WWF very interesting. Except, the wrestling itself isn’t very interesting. I think it’s a clear sign of fan expectations at the time when the crowd went insane after SD Jones delivered a–checks notes–headbutt.
I do believe this is the oldest wrestling show you’ve reviewed, though you did review the 1974 film The Wrestler. Going back to your Review-A-Wai days, I think the second oldest show you’ve reviewed was the MSG card just a few months after this one in January '84 when Hogan wins the title. In that review, you awarded the Scott Putski award to Ivan Putski, wondering if that was the first time a father has ever won an award named for his son. If you were to dust off the award today, would Ivan repeat as champion?
Question: Did this card air on the MSG Network? Would it have been live? Do you have an idea of how many viewers these MSG cards had in this era compared to their weekly TV like All-Star Wrestling and Championship Wrestling?
I knew I was going to struggle with the quality of wrestling on this show, and I did. A constant stream of fuck finishes really wore me down, despite the pleasing Ambien-like tones of Gorilla Monsoon in the background. Muraco’s promo was the best part. Cool to know Backlund always was a weirdo on the mic.
Thank you for giving me an excuse to read old wrestling magazines on archive.org. Reading letters from the Observer readership at the time, plenty of folk were furious about the booking and terrible finishes. I assumed non-finishes were a booking strategy across the board, but were the AWA and Mid-South relying more on clean finishes at their shows?
And finally, here’s a wrestling map from a 1983 issue of Wrestling All Stars that i found charming.
Alexander from Portland
When the pandemic hit I spent time watching shows from the 80’s I had never seen before. I’m happy that the pick for this edition of Rewind-A-Wai is so historic, it was an interesting selection.
That said, meh. The cage match was okay, the splash was cool, but there isn’t much else to say. It was great to see such older talent but the work rate on this show doesn’t compare to what we get for free on TV these days. Perhaps my favorite part of this show was hearing Gorilla Monsoon on commentary.
Question: what can you tell us about The Masked Superstar? Did their gimmick have any more depth than a heel in a mask? How did this character get so reviled, and how did such a boring gimmick get put into a world title match at MSG? Thanks.