WWWF: Championship Wrestling (04.23.77)


WWWF: Championship Wrestling
April 23, 1977
Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Arena

Your current WWWF champions are as follows:
WWWF Heavyweight Champion: Bruno Sammartino (12/10/1973)
WWWF World Tag Team Champions: Chief Jay Strongbow & Billy White Wolf (12/7/1976)

Pop Culture #1s:
#1 Movie of the Week: Annie Hall starring Woody Allen and Diane Keaton
#1 Song of the Week: Don’t Leave Me This Way by Thelma Houston
#1 TV Show of 76-77 Season: Happy Days starring Ron Howard and Henry Winkler

Your host is Vince McMahon. Howard Finkel is the ring announcer in a very early appearance. This show aired on the same day John Cena was born.

  • High Chief Peter Maivia vs. Sylvano Sousa

This is the WWWF TV debut of the Samoan “High Chief” Peter Maivia. Debuting in 1953, he’s mostly known for working in Californian and Hawaiian territories before he started making his way eastward around 1975. Our best records indicate he spent some time in Dallas and then went onto the AWA before coming to the WWWF in April 1977. Maivia showboats all around the ring to start showing us his charisma. He sits up in the corner and baits Sousa in only to move at the last second. He does a headstand up on the top turnbuckle and as Sousa charges him, Sousa runs right into a back elbow. Lots of shimmy shaking going on here. Vince describes Maivia’s Samoan tattoos on his legs. They look like tights, but they are indeed tattoos. Sousa can’t hold onto a headlock as Maivia slips out of the hold a few times. Sousa tries a turnbuckle smash and as we all know about Samoans, that doesn’t work. Headbutts don’t either, but why would they when turnbuckle smashes don’t work? Maivia looks to put away Sousa with running headbutts. A nice Billy Robinson-style backbreaker leads to the STUMP PULLER for the submission win in 5:13.

  • Tony Garea & Larry Zbyszko vs. Johnny Rodz & Tor Kamata

Garea and Zbyszko appear to be a VERY popular tag team. Rodz and Kamata BUM RUSH THE SHOW, but Garea and Zbyszko fight back and clean house to a huge reaction. Once they regroup, Rodz gets cornered by Zbyszko and Kamata will come in and nail Larry Z every now and then. Rodz catches Zbyszko when he’s not looking to take control. Over to Kamata, he holds Zbyszko in place for a couple flying shots from Rodz. Kamata and Rodz are all chops and kicks to the face on Zbyszko. A couple nearfalls on Zbyszko here. This leads to the HOT TAG TO GAREA. Oh my gosh, this is one loud crowd. Garea is a HOUSE OF FIRE on the heels. Rodz breaks up the abdominal stretch on Kamata though. Garea comes out of an armbar by Rodz and shoulderblocks him, but then runs into a hiptoss. Back to Kamata, he takes Garea over with a big backdrop for two. Rodz tags in and hits a flying sledge and a running legdrop for another nearfall. He misses a running splash though and staggers into Zbyszko to get drilled. Meanwhile, Kamata is doing the same thing to Garea. How unfortunate! Over in the heel corner, they totally flub a heel miscommunication spot. Vinnie Mac tries to play it off. They do it again and do it right this time. While Zbyszko runs over Kamata, Garea hops on top of Rodz for the three-count. (8:07) Crowd goes BALLISTIC. You can see girls going crazy for those two sexy babyfaces, I tell ya. Afterwards, Tor Kamata attacks Rodz as he goes flying out of the ring.

Tor Kamata meets up with Vince for a word. He just says a bunch of gibberish. McMahon brings up Bob Backlund who has some sort of beef with Kamata. Vince surmises that Kamata will only wrestle Bob Backlund again if it is under Texas Death Match rules.

  • The Haiti Kid & Hillbilly Pete vs. Billy the Kid & Little John

Billy the Kid has the self-proclaimed nickname “Six Million Dollar Midget”. Vince tries to find that amusing. I don’t think he succeeded. These are four really good midget wrestlers. Little John sunset flips the ref at one point for the lulz. Hillbilly Pete gets thrown around a while. Haiti Kid gets the hot tag and butt-butts the heels. He then starts catapulting Little John into Billy the Kid. The match breaks down as Haiti Kid and Hillbilly Pete deliver STEREO AIRPLANE SPINS. They both cover their opponents for the win at 3:00.

  • Ken Patera (w/Captain Lou Albano) vs. Pete Austin

Patera takes his sweet time taking off his jumpsuit. The crowd whistles and cat calls at him when he takes off his pants. Patera gets rough with Austin to start – pounding him on the nose and chest when he’s not putting Austin in a headlock or chinlock. A big slam and a series of elbows. A couple backbreakers and Patera pulls him up off the mat after a two-count. He decides to put Austin away with the BEARHUG instead for the win at 4:19.

  • Ivan Putski vs. JoJo Andrews

JoJo Andrews looks pretty interesting with those furry boots. Andrews is a black man, by the way. He worked the ICW territory once in 1979 as “Ape Andrews”. I don’t even want to know what happened there. Putski has to yell into the mic about Polish Power so that nobody can hear him. He wears down JoJo with his restholds and explodes on him with the POLISH HAMMER to finish things. (4:25) Nice bumping by JoJo though. JoJo Andrews passed away in 1982 due to heart failure at the young age of 26 years old.

  • Stan Stasiak & Baron Von Raschke (w/Freddie Blassie & The Grand Wizard) vs. SD Jones & Johnny Rivera

It seems like it’s hard for me to do a 1970s recap without Stan Stasiak being somewhere on the card. Cool to see both the Grand Wizard and Freddie Blassie in the same match. I’m no expert on the WWWF, but that seems like a rarity to me. Both Stasiak and Von Raschke are a head taller than the Puerto Rican Johnny Rivera. Gorilla Monsoon comes out to explain that the Texas Death Match between Bob Backlund and Tor Kamata will happen next week on Championship Wrestling. I WANT TO SEE THAT INSTEAD OF THIS SHOW. Oh well. SD Jones finally gets a tag and headbutts Stasiak and Raschke around. The heels make him pay with bearhugs though. Stasiak eventually lands the HEART PUNCH and that’s all she wrote at 5:30.

NEXT WEEK: For the first time ever in wrestling history, a TEXAS DEATH MATCH between Bob Backlund and Tor Kamata~!

Unfortunately I do not have that show. However, I will return with more 1977 WWWF Championship Wrestling. When we do, I will head into May 1977 as a *new* WWWF champion has been crowned. We’ll hear all about that. Plus, more Tony Garea and Larry Zbyszko, Stan Stasiak and Baron Von Raschke, George “The Animal” Steele, Bob Backlund,

Until next time, so long for now.


Posted on August 23, 2016, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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