The History of the Intercontinental Championship: Part Two
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The History of the Intercontinental Title: Part Two
In the intro, I notice Edge is wearing the WCW U.S. title? Of all the times he won the belt, that’s the best they could come up with for an Intercontinental title show?
Your host is Jack Korpela.
On this edition, we concentrate on the 18-month long Morales/Muraco feud.
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Pedro Morales vs. Don Muraco – (Philadelphia Spectrum, 6/20/81)
Muraco stalls a bit to start. He keeps Morales grounded with headlock and chinlocks while implementing the ASIAN SPIKE~! whenever he can. Morales mounts his comeback when he avoids a charge causing Muraco to run shoulder-first into the post. He beats Muraco out to the floor where he eats the ringpost again. Back in, the ref gets bumped, so Morales delivers the Billy Robinson backbreaker to set up the BOSTON CRAB. Oh what do you know, there’s no ref. While Morales lets go and helps the ref up, Muraco slips on some taped knux and KO’s Morales for the 1-2-3. (14:29) New champ. People at ringside are IRATE! Sound psychology from Muraco, but that doesn’t always make for an interesting match. I’m beginning to see why people say 1980s Pedro Morales is overrated. *½
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Don Muraco vs. Pedro Morales – Texas Death Match (Madison Square Garden, 11/23/81)
A bearded Don Muraco waits FIVE MONTHS to give Morales his rematch. Texas Death match rules just means here that anything goes. It’s not the ‘last man standing’ type rules we’ve seen in other Texas Death matches. Morales beats Muraco six ways to Sunday to start and that really pisses Muraco off. Muraco slows down the pace with stalling and takes over on Morales. Catapult into the bottom rope and a knee drop gets two. To the floor, Muraco keeps Morales out there with an atomic drop on the guardrail. He rams a chair onto Morales and then sends him face-first into the ringpost. He tries to do it again, but Morales shoves him off into the post. Back in, Muraco goes after the knee. Since there’s no rules, Morales rakes the eyes to stop all that. HERE COMES MORALES! He goes nuts on Muraco and takes him to the floor to bash his head into more steel, which busts open Muraco. Back in the ring, Muraco gets tied up in the ropes for some wide-open shots to the cut forehead. Once he breaks free, Muraco low-blows Morales to gain a breather. That seemed to do the trick, so Muraco headbutts Morales in the groin. Double-KO ensues. Muraco pulls out the taped knux that won him the title, but then Morales headbutts him in the stomach. Muraco drops the knux and that allows Morales to use the knux against Muraco for the 1-2-3. (13:36) Pedro Morales becomes the first man to regain the Intercontinental title. Such an overdone finish, and yet such perfect irony at the same time. **
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Pedro Morales vs. Don Muraco – (Madison Square Garden, 1/22/83)
Vince McMahon and Gorilla Monsoon are on commentary. This is a rematch (of course) from the last MSG show in December where no winner was determined. You can check out that match on the IC title DVD, which I believe is still on sale at Best Buy for $13! Steal of a deal. Onto the match, Muraco attacks during the pre-match introductions. Morales fights back and whips Muraco one good time with the IC belt. Morales uses Muraco’s own t-shirt against him by throwing him around by his neck. Muraco tries to get something going with a corner whip reversal, but Morales surprises him with a Jack Brisco rollup for two. Muraco kills some time out on the floor and even hides under the ring apron to prevent any attacks from Pedro Morales. Back inside, Morales continues to dish out the punishment and has Muraco on the run, but never really capitalizes on anything. Muraco’s trick knee acts up to slow down Morales, so Morales returns the favor when Muraco starts choking him with his t-shirt. Morales gets angry and charges Muraco in the corner, but misses and drives his knee into the top turnbuckle. Muraco takes Morales to school working the leg to lead into the Figure-Four. Morales reverses into the ropes. Muraco tries for the hold again, but Morales kicks him off into the ringpost. Morales fires back and delivers the Billy Robinson backbreaker on his bad knee. What a dummy! He tries for the BOSTON CRAB anyway, but then his knee gives out. He continues to unload on Muraco though. Morales goes for a slam, but his knee gives way again and Muraco falls on top for the 1-2-3. (10:55) Now Muraco has became the second man to regain the IC title. Hey, at least Muraco didn’t have to cheat to win here. Probably the best of the three matches here, but still nothing to write home about. **¼
Final Thoughts: Now I see why they put the Morales-Muraco match from 12/83 in MSG on the DVD and not on a program like this – because it’s much better than their other matches. Since all the matches are basically identical, feel free to skip this edition unless you’re an IC title freak like myself and you just have to see every title change ever.