Friday, May 4, 2012

WWWF Championship Wrestling 5-3-1977 Review

I've been looking at things to watch and write about now and I couldn't figure out what to look at.  I'm not really happy with current WWE and I don't really want to sit through 2-4 hours of cable shows each week of that.  So, I thought I'd start watching more WWE Classics and also go through some of my dvd backlog too in the near future.  I'm starting with Championship Wrestling from 1977, right after "Superstar" Billy Graham won the WWWF Championship from Bruno Sammartino in Baltimore, MD on April 30.  A younger, less miserable Vince McMahon started the show in a fantastic bright yellow sports jacket as he ran down the upcoming matches and went into highlights from the Bruno/Superstar title change.  A small clip was shown from the beginning of the match and Vince promised they would show more each week from the match.  That would something if they did this today and each week they kept reminding you how the current champ won the belt and kept putting it over.

Bob Backlund v. Jan Nelson-Nelson really made Backlund look good the entire match.  Everything Nelson did, Bob managed to have an answer for and he even hit a fantastic monkey flip on Jan.  Backlund used his strength to toss Nelson over his head out of a full nelson and then he hit his Atomic Drop for the win.  I love Bob Backlund so even though this wasn't a great match or anything, it was still fun to see him out there, especially with that monkey flip.  Also, I lost it for the atomic drop but I'm a mark for his old finisher too.  I think he did that at the 2000 Rumble in MSG and it was great.

Professor Toru Tanaka w/Fred Blassie v. Johnny Rivera-Johnny's on the left in the pic above and he got some offense in during this match despite losing.  Tanaka was a wide dude and powerful too but Rivera wasn't afraid of him one bit.  Tanaka got in some choking and hid it from the ref's viewpoint.  Rivera had a couple hope spots and he kept fighting the entire match until Tanaka hit a cobra clutch slam for the win.  This was way more competitive than the Backlund match and more fun too because of it.

Frank Monroe v. Billy Whitewolf-For those that don't know, Billy Whitewolf went on to become Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie in the AWA and General Adnan in the WWF, managing Sgt. Slaughter.  He was also half of the WWWF Tag Team Champions with "Chief" Jay Strongbow, at the time.  Monroe was a tall, ugly, hairy individual with terrible strikes but modern wrestling needs more jobbers like this guy as he just looks like a tough guy.  Monroe tried to keep the match slow but Whitewolf sped things up.  Billy's finisher was him jumping down on Monroe's sternum as Monroe was down and Billy had his legs.  Very short here and not much to it.

Don Serrano v. George Steele w/Lou Albano-It's amazing how long Steele was doing the animal gimmick when you think about it.  He was doing it during this match but he didn't rip apart any turnbuckle pads.  The ref was Dick Woehrle, by the way.  This match was even shorter than the last match as Steele put Serrano in a hammerlock and hoisted him up in the air.

Mike Rivera v. "Superstar" Billy Graham w/The Grand Wizard-Non-Title Match-Superstar was a gigantic man and this match was a complete mis-match actually.  Grahama was way taller and way wider than Rivera and I knew Rivera was going to get hurt in this one.  The Grand Wizard had to oil up Superstar before the match started.  This was dominated by Superstar as he chucked Rivera outside two times and Rivera bounced around for him each time.  The finish was crazy as Superstar used Rivera's momentum as he was running and he hoisted him up for a German Suplex and nearly decapitated him. 

Larry Zbyszko/Tony Garea v. Stan Stasiak/Baron Von Raschke-This was the best match of the show with Garea and Zbyszko on the bottom with a couple hot tags and the crowd loved them.  Later in the match, Larry was down and getting double teamed so Garea came in and evened the odds.  Baron and Stasiak both got hooked into the ropes and Larry and Garea did leaping simultaneous strikes to them both but the ref called for the bell and it was a draw.  Baron and Stan tried to attack them afterwards but Garea and Larry turned the tables and the place went crazy.

I hope you enjoyed my review and shoot me some comments. 

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