WWWF: Championship Wrestling (05.07.77)
WWWF: Championship Wrestling
May 7, 1977
Your current WWWF champions are as follows:
WWWF Heavyweight Champion: Superstar Billy Graham (4/30/1977)
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: Hotel California by the Eagles
#1 TV Show of 76-77 Season: Happy Days starring Ron Howard and Henry Winkler
Your host is Vince McMahon. Gary Michael Capetta is doing the ring announcing this week.
He announces that Superstar Billy Graham has defeated Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF heavyweight title at the Baltimore Civic Center. Vince then sends us over to footage of that match. We get the first few minutes with Graham locking up with Sammartino and pushing him back into corners a couple times. Graham treats Bruno like he’s no big deal until he’s sent off into a corner and armdragged into an armbar. Bruno works a wristlock followed by a hammerlock. Graham makes the ropes and takes a breather. Back in, Graham decides to beg off in a corner. It’s like a perfect example of a Hollywood Hogan match.
Back over to Vince, he tells us we will be seeing segments of this historic match over the next couple weeks.
- Bob Backlund vs. Jan Nelson
I thought Jan Nelson’s name would have the Swedish pronunciation, but nope. Capetta calls him JAN Nelson. I have little information on him, but he was part of the Verne Gagne training camp. Mostly just JTTS work in the 1970s. Anywho, this is the earliest Bob Backlund match I’ve reviewed on the site. Hammerlocks, full nelsons, and knucklelocks are applied. Backlund picks up the action with a nice monkey flip and a series of armdrags. Now Backlund goes back to applying hammerlocks and now an overhead wristlock. VKM tells us you should really meet this Backlund kid. He is a nice fella. Nelson gets a one-count from a backdrop, but that’s all. Backlund reverses a corner whip and backdrops Nelson over. A butterfly suplex sets up Nelson for the ATOMIC DROP for the win at 5:32.
- Professor Toru Tanaka (w/Freddie Blassie) vs. Johnny Rivera
This is the return of Tanaka to the WWWF area since he and Mr. Fuji last ravaged this territory from 1972 into 1974. Tanaka chops Rivera in the kidneys and chokes Rivera outside the referee’s viewpoint. Blassie goes over and bothers Vince telling him he and Tanaka are going all the way to the top this time. Rivera tries being a fiery Puerto Rican every now and then, but Tanaka is just too much for him. He slams Rivera down from a COBRA CLUTCH position to pin him after 5:27.
- Billy White Wolf vs. Moose Monroe
Billy White Wolf is better known as Sheik Adnan El Kaissey. Monroe actually controls to start with body blows and turnbuckle smashes. I feel a pissed off Indian comeback here. He chops Monroe back and delivers a sit down splash for the win at 2:44. Monroe selling the splash falls into Capetta when he stands up. He falls through the ropes and sits on the ring steps – giving the crowd a laugh. Monroe proving to be more entertaining than the talent he’s putting over. What an interesting fella.
- George “The Animal” Steele (w/Captain Lou Albano) vs. Don Serrano
Steele REALLY works over the left arm of this Puerto Rican jobber. Albano is yelling for MORE MORE MORE. The FLYING HAMMERLOCK ends Serrano at 2:08.
- Superstar Billy Graham (w/The Grand Wizard) vs. Mike Madero
While Graham has been announced as the champion, this is obviously not a title match. Another Puerto Rican is about to get OWNED. There’s actually quite a mixed reaction for Graham. Lots of posing for the new WWWF champion. Wizard puts a bunch of baby oil on Graham to accentuate all those muscles. Graham gives Madero a bunch of body blows and slams him down. He then decides to throw Madero over the top rope a few times. Not sure what Graham was trying here, but they flub the finish. Madero comes off the ropes and falls into Graham and they both fall backwards. I don’t know. Graham covers him for the three-count to get out of here at 2:17.
- Tony Garea & Larry Zbyszko vs. Stan Stasiak & Baron Von Raschke
Say what you will, but I’m actually looking forward to this one. Vince tells us both teams are undefeated, so something *has* to give. Stasiak applies a hammerlock on Zbyszko to start. When Zbyszko counters out, Stasiak immediately tags in Von Raschke. More work on the left arm. They must really want that Heart Punch. Zbyszko eventually finds a way to backdrop Von Raschke and reaches Garea for a hot tag. A backdrop and a big slam on Von Raschke gets two. Garea gets caught telegraphing a backdrop and Von Raschke tags Stasiak. He immediately goes for the kill with the Heart Punch, but Garea punches him away. Stasiak still manages to capitalize and works him over some more. He tries the Heart Punch, but Garea ducks and Stasiak punches the turnbuckle. Tag to Von Raschke, he delivers a nice hiptoss. He misses an elbow drop though. HOT TAG TO ZBYSZKO. Both heels get tied up in the ropes. STEREO RUNNING STOMPS ON THE HEELS~! Von Raschke gets loosed and thrown into Stasiak. With all of Zbyszko’s jabs to Stasiak, Stasiak puts him down with a couple straight taped-up right to the head for a nearfall. Zbyszko gets thrown to the floor and Garea helps him back inside the ring. The heels keep Zbyszko on their side of the ring, but then Stasiak misses a fist drop. Zbyszko rolls away from Garea and Stasiak is there to block him from making a tag. Zbyszko starts punching back on Stasiak and sensing he’s in trouble, he reaches Von Raschke for a tag. Now they start doubling up on Zbyszko and that brings Garea inside as the whole thing breaks down. Stasiak and Von Raschke try whipping Garea and Zbyszko into each other, but they do the do-see-do and fire back on the heels just as the curfew bell rings. (8:33) Well, that was a fun little match. It kept building and building to a climax and then boom: the bell rings. **½
Next week, a special ladies match between Kitty Adams and Jan Sheridan, SD Jones meets the World’s Strongest Man Ken Patera, and more of the Bruno-Graham match from Baltimore.
Until next time, so long for now!
Posted on August 27, 2016, in WWE and tagged Baron Von Raschke, Billy White Wolf, Bob Backlund, Bruno Sammartino, Captain Lou Albano, Freddie Blassie, George "The Animal" Steele, Grand Wizard, Larry Zbyszko, Professor Tanaka, Stan Stasiak, Superstar Billy Graham, Tony Garea. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.