WWF: Philadelphia Spectrum (01.12.80)

WWF: Philadelphia Spectrum
January 12, 1980
Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Spectrum

Your current WWF champions are as follows:
WWF Heavyweight Champion: Bob Backlund (2/20/1978)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Pat Patterson (9/1/1979)
WWF World Tag Team Champions: Ivan Putski & Tito Santana (10/22/1979)

Pop Culture #1s of the Time:
#1 Movie of the Week: Kramer vs. Kramer starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep

#1 Song of the Week: Escape (The Piña Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes
#1 TV Show of the 79-80 Season: 60 Minutes hosted by Mike Wallace

Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Dick Graham.

  • Rene Goulet vs. Johnny Rodz

We get a rematch from All Star Wrestling that aired earlier in the day. This is the start of Goulet’s welcome back tour in the WWF. Rodz stalls to start and then cheapshots Goulet, but Goulet quickly regains control of the match. Well, for a few moments anyways. Rodz grabs an armbar and takes Goulet to the mat holding onto a headscissors. Rodz beats the crap out of Goulet in the corner, but then Goulet reverses a whip and elbows Rodz on the top of the head. As Rodz escapes to the apron, Goulet flips him back into the ring not once but twice. Goulet grabs an armbar, but Rodz reverses into one of his own. Goulet breaks free and tries a jumping dropkick, but crashes and burns despite landing the kick. Rodz misses a flying stomp, but doesn’t miss the second one. Goulet takes the Ray Stevens corner bump. Rodz continues to put the hurting on Goulet. Eventually, Goulet comes back and applies a chinlock followed by a headscissors. Double KO ensues. Neither one can slam the other. Next thing you know, Goulet sees a backdrop coming and sunset flips Rodz for the win. (13:57) Rodz complains to the ref just as you would imagine over the fast count. Goulet’s comeback continues to be a snoozer. *

Vince McMahon talks with Kal Rudman about Bob Backlund. Kal says Bob loves to party and loves country music, and yet he’s a shy guy. He picks Backlund to beat Bobby Duncum tonight. Kal even puts over Hulk Hogan who he feels will run over Tito Santana like a ten-ton truck.

  • Davey O’Hannon vs. Jose Estrada

Pretty sure Estrada gets more cheers than O’Hannon or the ref. Even Vince and Dick discuss this reaction. A mild start to this one. O’Hannon wakes up the crowd with an armbar. Estrada eventually has enough of that hold and catches O’Hannon with a kitchen sink knee to turn up the violence. He kicks O’Hannon to the floor and keeps him on the floor as long as he wants. O’Hannon finally comes back in and stalks Estrada for a back drop. A jumping legdrop gets two. Estrada rakes the face to come back and returns to his brawling tactics. O’Hannon fights back with a slam, but misses a flying senton. Estrada catches O’Hannon for a slam of his own, but O’Hannon slips away from a second one and O’Connor rolls Estrada for the three-count. (15:10) O’Hannon still gets boos from the Philly crowd. Maybe it’s the pink tights they don’t exactly care for. *½

  • Bulldog Brower vs. Mike Masters

Masters looks pretty JACKED to me. Brower keeps Masters grounded to start. Masters counters to a hammerlock, but Brower trips him up and punches him right in the balls. He kicks Masters out of the floor and throws a chair over his shoulders. After some more violence on the apron, Brower brings Masters back into the ring for a nasty headbutt. As Brower bites Masters on the nose, Masters gets MAD and bites Brower on the ear and nose. Brower then begs off from corner to corner. Masters whips Brower into a corner, but Brower brings up the foot to block. A flying knee drop from Brower leads to the PILEDRIVER for the win. (14:21) Kind of a mess, but to me Brower is always at least entertaining. **

Vince describes what you’ll see on next month’s Philly card: the Wild Samoans will go after the WWF tag titles and you’ll be able to see some phenomenal MIDGETS~!

  • WWF Heavyweight Championship: Bob Backlund (c) vs. Bobby Duncum

Backlund attacks Duncum at the bell and puts to the boots to him. He goes for the win early with a big slam and a PILEDRIVER. Duncum misses a corner charge and runs into the ringpost as Backlund continues the punishment. Backlund works the arm for a while. Vince mentions a time when Duncum attacked Skaaland, which explains the motivation. Meanwhile, Duncum runs Backlund into the corner and kicks him to the mat while he tries to get the feeling back in his arm. Backbreaker gets two. Backlund headbutts back, so Duncum knees him in the head. Duncum grabs a chinlock and changes over to a nerve hold. Backlund fights to his feet and elbows out. He hits a shoulderblock, but Duncum catches him with a back elbow. Next up, there’s a double KO spot. Duncum dumps out Backlund and keeps him out there until Backlund trips him up and posts the leg. Back in, Backlund applies the figure-four. Duncum makes the ropes and kicks off a second attempt. Looks like Duncum reaches into his tights and nails Backlund with something, but we can’t see what it is. Cover, 1-2-NO! Backlund backdrops out of a piledriver and hits the RUNNING ATOMIC DROP, which sends Duncum through the ropes. Back inside, a running splash from Backlund hits knees. Back suplex from Duncum gets 1-2-NO! To the apron, Duncum runs Backlund into the turnbuckle connector and then grinds on his forehead in the ring. That’s got Backlund busted open. Duncum kicks at his face to make him bleed some more. Just when Backlund gets FIRED UP, the ref calls for the bell. (16:09) Duncum wins the match, but not the title. He’ll get a rematch next month. Good little match, but I would have liked to have seen Duncum act a little more like a crazy Texan. ***

And now the rest of the show can only be seen on tape delay. Set your VCRs for 1:10AM!

  • Tito Santana vs. Hulk Hogan

Kal Rudman and Dick Graham take over for the rest of the show. Tito spends the start of the match ducking and diving away from Hogan. Santana eventually takes him off his feet with a dropkick and a series of armdrags to send Hogan bailing out to the floor. Back in, more armdrags. Hogan goes to the eyes to take control and runs Santana’s shoulder into the corner. Big slam and a LEGDROP follows, but Tito kicks out! OH MY GOSH! Another slam by Hogan, but he misses the LEGDROP! Santana comes back with the FLYING FOREARM! There’s two dropkicks! Cover, 1-2-NO! Tito misses a corner charge and Hogan covers him for the win. (6:10) Hogan’s poses get booed, but it won’t be long before it’s the very thing that gets him cheered. He is just on another level entirely. Fun match! **

  • Pat Patterson vs. Captain Lou Albano

Not sure if the title is on the line here. Either way, Patterson can’t wait to get his hands on Albano. He spends much of the match running away from Patterson, but he goes to the eyes to take over. Patterson takes him to the floor to bounce his head off the announcer’s table. A foreign object helps Albano out as he hides the object from the ref. Of course, Patterson gets the foreign object and beats the shit out of Albano until he rolls out and heads for the exit sign at 3:22.

  • Larry Zbyszko vs. The Great Hussein

This is on the same day Zbyszko made the challenge to Bruno. You should definitely check out the 1/12/80 episode of All Star Wrestling to hear Zbyszko’s promo. They trade headlocks to start. Zbyszko hiptosses Hussein out of the corner and monkey flips him. Hussein misses a charge against the ropes and slingshots himself. Zbyszko takes Hussein to the mat for a headlock. Once Hussein escapes and knocks Larry Z to the floor, we get some ringside violence with Hussein in total control. Back inside, Hussein puts Zbyszko to the mat and applies a chinlock. As Larry Z eventually breaks loose, we get some payback on the floor as Zbyszko whacks him over the head with a chair. Back in the ring, they exchange the abdominal stretch. Hussein whiffs on a dropkick and Zbyszko scores a nearfall. Once Hussein loads up the boot for the head smash, Zbyszko blocks and tries to pull off the boot. Hussein kicks him away and delivers a vertical suplex for a two-count as the time limit expires. (20:00) Instead of calling the match a draw, the ref decides that Larry Zbyszko is the winner. Dick Graham is confused. I’m confused. This match was fine, but nothing crazy special. Lots of chinlockage. *½

  • Gorilla Monsoon vs. Swede Hanson

Believe it or not, this is the only Gorilla Monsoon match I’ve recapped. Hanson doesn’t even want a referee for this match. Monsoon gets Hanson up in the BEARHUG and wins in 1:08.

  • Ivan Putski vs. Ken Patera

Quite the power match, eh? Big slugfest to start. Putski nails Patera with the POLISH HAMMER and knocks him to the floor. Putski goes out after him and grabs a headlock, but Patera shoves him into the ringpost and slides back into the ring to just beat the count at 1:40.

Final Thoughts: Nothing here was must-see, but a FIRED UP Bob Backlund and Hulk Hogan were fun to see and they had some fun matches. I’m a little confused as to why Larry Zbyszko had a twenty minute broadway. Even if it was a draw, he wasn’t booked very strong either. I’d go with ‘thumbs in the middle’ as this show isn’t really any different than most WWF house show cards as they are just padded with a lot of filler surrounding the title matches.


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