WWWF: Madison Square Garden (10.25.76)

WWWF: Madison Square Garden
October 25, 1976
New York City
Madison Square Garden

Your current WWWF champions are as follows:
WWWF Heavyweight Champion: Bruno Sammartino (12/10/1973)
WWWF World Tag Team Champions: The Executioners (5/11/1976)

Pop Culture #1s of the Time:
#1 Movie of the Week: Burnt Offerings starring Karen Black & Oliver Reed
#1 Song of the Week: If You Leave Me Now by Chicago
#1 TV Show of the 76-77 Season: Happy Days starring Ron Howard & Henry Winkler

Follow along with the WWE Network!

Your host is Vince McMahon.

  • Manuel Soto vs. Johnny Rodz

Loads of stalling to start from Rodz. He eventually gets Soto near the ropes and puts the boots to him like he’s stomping a mudhole and walking it dry. I mean, where is the five count, ref? This of course leads to the crowd getting behind Soto to set up a PUERTO RICAN COMEBACK~! Rodz tries to slow down Soto, but he can’t hit a splash to save his life. We get a double-KO spot here. Soto misses a corner charge and we’re back to square one. Soto gets whipped into the ropes and gets his head caught in the ropes. Once the ref gets his head freed, Rodz hits a backdrop and the kitchen sink knee. Soto then leapfrogs away from a second backdrop and puts Rodz down with a dropkick to set up a crossbody block for the three-count. (11:45) They continue to go at it after the bell. Soto gets the better of Rodz once again and throws him to the floor. Pretty dull affair, but Rodz is a fun low card heel. ¾*

What I can only assume was a wise decision, a 20-minute broadway between Pete Sanchez and Kevin Sullivan gets cut.

  • Bobo Brazil vs. Doug Gilbert

This was a 35 second countout win for Bobo on the last MSG show we watched. They go through some collar and elbow tie-ups with Gilbert actually getting the better of Bobo. Gilbert twists and bars the arm for a bit. The whole time Bobo has his fist clinched and he’s ready to unload on this creepy looking ginger. Gilbert goes back to the arm and then decides to go up top, but he’s slammed down and gets his face driven into the turnbuckle. Gilbert pounds on Bobo some more and punishes him in the ropes. He reminds me a little of heel Finlay in WWE with his roughhousing tactics. Bobo eventually fights his way up from the ropes and COCO BUTTS Gilbert for the win. (8:04) Another slow match. ¾*

  • Jose Gonzalez vs. Tor Kamata

Another heel doing stalling tactics. He does the Mr. Fuji deal where he throws the salt in the corners to ward off evil spirits and shit. Whatever you do though Kamata, DON’T MAKE JOSE GONZALEZ MAD. Gonzalez is all about the armdrags, ducks the killer chop, and hits a dropkick on Kamata. Kamata kicks him back and stomps the crap out of him like all the other heels that have come before him on this card. He goes into King Curtis mode and starts biting and grabbing the traps while looking crazy at the camera. Gonzales tries to get that fiery Puerto Rican comeback going, but Kamata cuts him off with a jumping shoulderblock and a jumping knee drop for the win. (around 10:00 shown) There does appear to be a minute or so of editing here, but that’s fine. Some drunken woman jumps the rail and runs past a policeman to check on Gonzalez, but then Kamata KICKS AT HER. Awesome. The policeman grabs her and takes her back, but man that was amazing. *

  • Ivan Putski vs. Stan Hansen – (Special Referee: Gorilla Monsoon)

Since losing to Sammartino back in August, Hansen has moved down to the #2 babyface in Ivan Putski. Putski goes right after Hansen like a POLISH HOUSE OF POLISH FIRE. Lots of slugging going on between these two. The crowd is absolutely going apeshit for everything. Putski grabs a headlock to slow it down a bit. This continues until Hansen lifts up Putski and crotches him on the top rope for the DQ. (6:26) Yeah, that was not ten minutes, but it was intense with all the heat. This would have been more fun had they kept it a brawl instead of a headlock battle. After the bell, Hansen jumps Monsoon, but he’s quickly ran out of the ring as Gorilla lifts Putski’s arm in victory. ¾*

  • WWWF Heavyweight Championship: Bruno Sammartino (c) (w/Arnold Skaaland) vs. Nikolai Volkoff (w/Captain Lou Albano)

This isn’t the first time Volkoff has met Bruno as he went after the WWWF world title when he was wrestling under the Mongol gimmick in 1970 and 1971. He would return to the WWWF as Nikolai Volkoff three years later in 1974 and received several opportunities at the gold. Even though those matches either ended in a time limit draw or Volkoff coming out on the losing end, he’s back now and he’s more ready than ever for Bruno. Volkoff is in his absolute fricking PEAK here as a power lifter. He looks incredible.

Bruno takes down Volkoff and outwrestles him to start. Next thing we know, Bruno wants a test of strength and Volkoff suckers him in and stomps Bruno to the mat. He grabs an armbar and tries turning Sammartino over for a pinfall, but Bruno won’t let him do it. He hammers Bruno in the corner, delivers the kitchen sink knee, and then follows up with a side buster for two. Even then, Sammartino rolls him over in a small package for a two count of his own. Bruno then suckers Volkoff into a test of strength and kicks the crap out of him. They go at it again and this time Volkoff decides to go for the test of strength, but hey this time Sammartino kicks at Volkoff when he goes down to his knees. Yes, saintly Bruno kicked a guy when he was down. They get into a shoulderblock battle. When Bruno starts to lose, he armdrags Volkoff over. Volkoff fights to his feet with another test of strength. They go back and forth on who has the advantage. After they punch and kick each other around again, Volkoff finds a bearhug to rest in for a while. Bruno reverses the hold, but Volkoff rakes the eyes to break it up. Next, we get a double KO. Sammartino bounces Volkoff’s face off the mat a few times as it appears he has run out of gas. Bruno winds up kicking Volkoff to the floor to kill more of his wind. Back inside, Volkoff takes more of a beating until he headbutts Bruno in the belly and takes back control of the match. Volkoff stomps the crap out of Bruno and sends him flying into a corner for a nearfall. He tries the corner whip again, but Bruno reverses the whip to send Volkoff crashing into the corner. As Volkoff falls backwards, Sammartino rolls him up for the quick three-count. (19:44) Nice tit-for-tat match, but Sammartino outsmarts him in the end. **½

  • Victor Rivera vs. Baron Mikel Scicluna

Scicluna hits his knee on the middle buckle during a corner charge and milks that for what it’s worth. The foreign object comes into play rather quickly. Stomping and kicking and punches ensue. Do any of these heels in this company actually WRESTLE – besides maybe Volkoff? Here comes the Puerto Rican comeback, Rivera gets the foreign object, punches Scicluna, and gets the three-count. (6:15) Good for Victor. ½*

  • 3/5 Falls: Andre the Giant, Chief Jay Strongbow & Billy White Wolf vs. The Executioners & Bruiser Brody

Yes, folks. THREE out of FIVE falls with a TWO HOUR TIME LIMIT. What were they thinking.

FIRST FALL: BWW gets put into the wrong side of town right from the start as Brody and both Executioners take turns whooping on him. Strongbow gets a tag, but he’s caught in a bearhug from Brody. He eventually chops his way out and slides past Brody for a HOT TAG TO ANDRE. He grabs Brody in a bearhug while Strongbow and BWW keep the Executioners at bay. While Andre has Brody cornered, Strongbow runs in and splashes Andre to add to the discomfort for Brody. The Executioners then kick down Andre at the knees, which is certainly sound strategy. Andre eventually kicks away Executioner #2 and tags in BWW. He gets caught on the wrong side of town again and booted down by Executioner #1. A couple of knee drops later and the heels have won the first fall at 10:50.

SECOND FALL: The beatdown of BWW continues until Brody misses his “patented” jumping knee drop. Hot tag to Strongbow, he goes on the WARPATH and tags BWW back in to level Executioner #1 with a big chop to win the second fall at 13:19 total.

THIRD FALL: The Executioners try to pull a fast one on the ref by putting in the fresh guy, but the babyfaces are too smart for that. This fall quickly breaks down and goes crazy as all six guys are in the ring. Regardless of that fact, the ref calls for the bell and DQs the heels at 16:29 total. Yeah, that seems fair. Probably should have just called the whole thing a no-contest and sent everyone home.

FOURTH FALL: Now Strongbow gets cornered on the wrong side of town for a while. Blah blah blah. Eventually, Strongbow gets whipped over towards his pals and Andre tags in to destroy Executioner #2 with a big boot and a splash off the ropes for the win. (20:34 total) Boy, that was kind of a chore to get through. *½

Final Thoughts: Not even Bruno could save this one this month. What a snoozer of an MSG card. Don’t be mesmerized by all the big names on this show, it’s a stinker. Thumbs down for this MSG on October 25 1976.

Posted on February 13, 2019, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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