Saturday, January 19, 2013

WWWF MSG June 27,1977

Jan Nelson v. Jose Gonzalez

Pretty boring opener here. Nelson worked over Jose's left arm and Jose kept threatening to hit him but pulled back and would get ripped down by his hair or tights, as a result. Finally, Jose had enough and nailed some forearms and an eye rake to escape an arm bar. He was fired up and starting clobbering him in the corner as Nelson begged off. Jose did not stop until some gut shots by Nelson. However, Nelson missed a charging shoulder block in the corner and Gonzalez fired back with four dropkicks and got the win. Nelson only seemed to have worked from 1976 until 1978, for Verne, Vince Sr., Bob Geigel, Mid-Atlantic, and other assorted territories. Jose Gonzalez is better known as Invader I or the guy who killed Bruiser Brody.

Rocky Tomayo v. Larry Zbyszko
This was a short but entertaining match. The story was that Larry was always one step ahead of Rocky and would always be able to out wrestle him. Squash match with a story was what it was. Larry kept taking Rocky down with wrestling but this only stopped when Rocky resorted to strikes. His whole offense was strikes and an eye gouge. Also, he did hit a clothesline but only got a two-count. Then, he tried a back drop but Larry reversed it into a small package and won.

Tony Garea v. George Steele

I was watching the Kayfabe Commentary shoot with Billy Graham and he said Steele could not believe that he got paid to do almost nothing. This match really proves that. In this match, Steele does almost nothing but still has the crowd in the palm of his hand. Before the introductions, Steele runs in after Garea but gets smashed with a right hand and exits the ring. The match official starts and Garea nails some arm drags and a monkey flip and Steele exits the ring again. Steele thought about leaving and chased some fans but ultimately got back in.

Garea was on top until Steele attacked his knee. From here on out, he used strikes and stomps on Garea and the crowd wanted him dead. Steele wanted the ref to raise his hand in victory, the ref said no, and Steele wanted him thrown out. Steele was measuring him with stomps for a couple minutes to build the heat. He tried a bulldog and Garea countered by throwing him into the corner and Steele bumped good. Garea was fired up and the fans were going nuts for him and his comeback. Garea ran at him with a jumping stomp in the corner and some ground shots. He had Steele where he wanted him but got caught with a low kick and Steele rammed a foreign object into his throat and got disqualified. Steele continued to attack him until Garea fought back. The foreign object fell and Garea grabbed it and did a number on Steele until he left the ring. Steele and Garea both wanted five more minutes but they never got it. Both of these guys hardly took any bumps and still had the crowd in a frenzy. Steele is amazing and is starting to grow on me the more I see him as a heel. Entertaining match but nothing scientific or technical, not that every match has to be that way. 

Andre The Giant/Chief Jay Strongbow v. Nikolai Volkoff/Ken Patera-Two out of three falls
Lou Albano was out of this one. Jay got Patera in a full nelson, which was broken as Ken started gloating with his back turned. Andre came in and gave him his own full nelson. 

Andre barely got hurt and would tag in Strongbow, who would almost instantly get taken out. Andre did get hurt and double teamed but he backed Patera into another corner. He held him there as Strongbow came in and avalanched right on to Andre, crushing Patera. 

Jay got Nikolai in and threw him over on to Patera for the same deal, only twice. Then, Andre missed a splash but ended up tagging in a hot Strongbow. Jay got a sleeper on Volkoff but Patera hit him from behind with a knee and the ref called for a DQ. The second fall was very quick as Patera and Volkoff could not get along. Nikolai had Strongbow in a headlock but he got irish whipped as Patera made a blind tag. Jay ducked down and Volkoff collided with Patera. They argued and were ready to fight but Volkoff turned his back and got a double ax handle. Patera left and never came back. Volkoff ate an Andre boot and then a splash for the finish. 
I should point out that I can not stand Strongbow's offense at all but Andre was a nice sight to see. Pretty entertaining match but nothing memorable, just solid, safe stuff.

Stan Stasiak v. Lenny Hurst

This was Hurst's MSG debut but he is quite green and reminds me of Haku. He is often confused with Haku and he worked in Stampede prior to this. Stasiak was the experienced veteran against the young rookie. Stasiak was slow paced and always trying to slow Hurst down, as Hurst was a quick guy. Stasiak gave him some good offense and made Hurst look better than he was. Stan was always knew how to re-gain control. At one point, Hurst had Stasiak in a headscissors that Stan could not kick out of. Stasiak wanted a one-hand test of strength, which Hurst mistakenly obliged him on and it cost him. 

Hurst got some nice little comebacks but nothing special. He hit Stasiak with three straight dropkicks as Stan got caught in the ropes. Hurst ran at him but ate a big boot, followed by the heart punch for the win. Just like with George Steele, the more I watch Stasiak, the more I like him.

Bruno Sammartino w/Arnold Skaaland v. Superstar Billy Graham w/The Grand Wizard-WWWF Championship Match

This was a great match with a ton of heat and it had a big fight feel to it. Vince interviewed Superstar and Graham called him Vinny Junior, which must have made McMahon happy as a clam. He said Bruno can't get the belt back and that he is the greatest and the strongest. Graham gloats with the belt but Bruno goes straight after him on the attack. Graham was holding up the belt and showing it to Bruno like a total douche. The trouble was that Bruno was having none of it and wanted to kill Graham. Graham had to escape three times from Bruno's offense and clubbed him on the third time. He hooked in a full nelson on Bruno, who powered out of it and put his own full nelson on Graham. 

Superstar's selling and facials are amazing. On the full nelson, he was flopping around with his body and legs. He eventually got to the ropes and the hold was broken. Superstar got a waist lock on which was broken but he held on to Bruno's wrist for another submission. Superstar put his knee into Bruno's back but Bruno did reverse the hold on to Graham. 

Superstar got to the ropes again but then he put a headlock on and thrusted his hand right into Bruno's throat. Next came Superstar's bearhug and this wore down Bruno. He delivered some right hands and broke it though and slammed Graham and put him into his own bearhug. 

The pattern here was that Bruno could match/reverse every big submission hold Superstar had. Graham got to the ropes, Bruno broke the hold but ate a quick shot from Superstar. Bruno was outside and could not get back in until he grabbed Superstar's leg. Now, they were slugging it out hard and Graham mistakenly nailed the ref. The ref got back up and tried to break them up and got knocked down again. This happened a third time and the ref threw the match out as they were trying to kill each other. This was a double DQ and a draw and Bruno was pissed. This match was pretty epic and one could feel the animosity between the two competitors. I think this match could have it's own post with how many pictures I have from it. These two were excellent in telling a great story without really doing anything physical, as in bumps, etc.

Baron Von Raschke w/Fred Blassie v. Ivan Putski

This was another match where they did not do a lot of bumping but it was not anywhere near the level of the last match. Actually, it stunk. This was nothing but long submissions, very long. Blassie was escorted out before the match started.  No heat until the end when Putski started firing away with his Polish Hammer. At one point, Baron was in a headscissors forever and Vince said he must be a tough customer not to submit to the hold. Yea, because that is really going to end up being the finish to the match. 

These guys were either slugging it out with strikes or putting each other in long submissions. This ended in a thirty-minute draw and it was a return match! I'm trying to figure out how this was labeled as a return match, as they certainly never fought before in 1977 at MSG. They did wrestle in the Nassau Coliseum on June 20th though and a few other times throughout the year. At least, Baron was fun to watch as he retreated from Ivan's strikes.

Peter Maivia v. Baron Mikel Scicluna
This was Maivia's MSG debut and it was over very quickly in his favor. Scicluna started strong but tried a head ram into the corner and Maivia no sold it and went right after him. Baron tried to use a foreign object but was caught and disarmed by Maivia. Baron tried a rush into the corner, missed, fell, and was rolled up for the win.

Mr. Fuji/Professor Tanaka v. Dominick DeNucci/Haystacks Calhoun-Two out of three falls
Curfew was hit during the second fall and Fuji and Tanaka won in a terrible match. DeNucci was isolated and Fuji hit him with his Kamikaze clothesline for the win in the first fall. For the second fall, DeNucci was getting double-teamed until Calhoun tried to help and distracted the ref. The ref tried pushing him back but had no luck and literally, waved his hands at him as if to say “forget this” and the bell rang for the curfew. Since Fuji and Tanaka won the first and only fall, they were awarded the match.

That's it for now but I'll be back for the next show in August soon.  Contact me at or on Twitter @stevesgraps

Steve Viglio

Friday, January 11, 2013

SHINE 6 iPPV-January 11, 2013

Tina San Antonio v. Miya Yim
This was a decent match to start things off. San Antonio was the heel and a little boring and Mia Yim looked experienced for an indy star. Yim started out fast as she lured Tina outside and ran at her with a knee on the apron. Yim hit four consecutive dropkicks inside the ring but missed a missile dropkick. San Antonio was on offense now with a neckbreaker and a surfboard. Then, they exchanged forearms and Yim got control but tried to go up top and got caught with a powerbomb. Tina hit a torture rack but Yim countered with a German Suplex, followed by a second, some strikes, and finally, a third with a bridge for the win.

Leah Von Dutch v. Santana
Santana was a face but extremely green and her submission offense looked bad. She hooked in two Fujiwara armbars early and had control until Leah pulled her hair and raked her eyes. Dutch went for a cobra clutch (titled the Dutch Clutch) but it didn't work. She put on a camel clutch and the crowd got behind Santana. Leah slapped her and this pissed off Santana who returned the favor and they exchanged strikes. Von Dutch went for a springboard moonsault and missed. This allowed Santana to launch a handspring moonsault called a shining star press, for the win.

Kimber Lee v. Nikki Roxx
Lee was trained by CZW guys and Roxx by Killer Kowalski's school. Roxx apparently has ten years experience and it showed. I think she has the most potential out of the whole Shine roster. Roxx was on top early with some hip tosses and a spinning polish hammer. However, she went for a slam and Lee went behind her and chopblocked her. Lee did some heel moves and a clothesline as Roxx had a hope spot but she got pulled down by the hair during her momentum. Lee hit an enzuguri but immediately Roxx got up and ran at her with a big boot and they were both down. Lee had some offense but tried a dropkick from the top and missed. Roxx hit the Barbie Killer (choke/bearhug into a sitdown slam) for the win. Quick finish here but probably the best match by this point.

Allysin Kay/Taylor Made (Made in Sin) w/April Hunter v. Christina Von Eerie/Mschif (Mseerie)
I thought Kay has the most potential out of all these girls. Made just seems like a generic Kay and Hunter looks like a stripper. Von Eerie is decent and Mschif is good but lacks charisma. This was a mediocre match. Mschif hit a standing moonsault early and Kay nearly made a tag but was pulled back and put in a good pretzel submission in her own corner. For some reason, Von Eerie distracted the ref and allowed the heels to break the hold and gain control. Mschif was in peril for the longest time and it only built to a shitty tag with no heat. Mschif was thrown out and Von Eerie helped her back in and made the tag and that was it. Mschif did sell for the rest of the night though. Kay ate a sunset flip powerbomb from the corner. Hunter got on the apron for a second time to distract the ref and it led to nothing. While the ref was distracted, Mseerie hit the doomsday device on Made for the win. Von Eerie got attacked after the match as Mschif sold. This was a slow beat down with no intensity.

Rain came out for an interview in the ring. She said she should have had a Shimmer title shot and not Jazz, who actually got one. She does not trust Mercedes Martinez and she is sick of playing by Shine's rules. Now, they will play by her rules. Rain is absolutely dreadful on the mic, almost painful.

Ivelisse v. Su Yung
Ivelisse was on the last season of WWE Tough Enough and she was not bad but neither was Yung. Yung has good fire and I like her but if she wants to make it farther in the business she has to lose some weight. I am not trying to tear her apart with that statement, just being honest. This was a pretty solid match. Apparently, Ivelisse is also doing MMA fights and she makes her debut on March 1. Su Yung was in control early with a side slam and a rana in the corner. Ivelisse got some kicks in and gained control as Yung worked from the bottom. Ivelisse missed a rolling elbow in the corner and Yung began her comeback with many punches. She had good fire here. She put on an airplane spin and tried a boot that was countered into a roll-up and then she hit her own roll-up. Ivelisse hit a kick followed by a guillotine choke into a DDT for the win and a solid finish.

Matt Hardy was at ringside for the next match

Reby Sky v. Jessicka Havok
Sky resembles Trish Stratus in her looks but she is very green with her facials and selling. This was a match of the smaller Sky against the bigger Havok. I was not digging Havok initially but she started to grow on me as the match went on. They brawled outside and Sky went for a clothesline but her arm hit the post as Havok went right to work on it. Havok nailed some vicious strikes inside as Hardy looked concerned outside. Havok used a cross arm breaker and Sky screamed in agony but not very well but very grating. Havok hit two straight back breakers without letting go but Sky countered her third with a headscissors but could not follow up. She did start fighting though and hit a cross body and a tornado DDT. They ended up outside and Sky hit a springboard plancha on the floor. They both got back in but Havok caught Sky on the second rope and nailed a fallaway slam but only got a two-count. That nearfall infuriated Havok and put on the rings of saturn arm hold and Hardy threw the towel in for Sky. The story was that the hold was on for a long time and Sky would not quit. She took everything that Havok had to offer and still did not give up. Best match of the night.

Leva Bates v. Kimberly
The story here was that Kimberly has not won a match yet. At the last show, she figured she had a better chance at winning in a tag match but no one wanted to team with her except Bates. Bates got these ridiculous outfits for them to wear but they ended up losing and Kimberly attacked Bates after that match. Kimberly has an AJ look to her and I think she has potential. The match was back-and-forth. Kimberly nailed a spinebuster and ripped off her shirt from their tag match and choked Bates with it. Kimberly's special is the cloverleaf and she tried to put it on Bates twice, who countered each time. They brawled outside and Kimberly hit a spinebuster into the ring. They got back in the ring and Leva ended up missing a kick and got swept up in a cloverleaf and lost. Kimberly could not believe she won and started hugging people. Bates attacked her after the match and they spilled backstage. Kimberly has really goofy facials but she is entertaining about it. The story of the match was great but the actual wrestling was not very good.

Mercedes Martinez v. Amazing Kong
This was a david versus goliath style match that lacked intensity but it was decent. Martinez ate a ton of offense and had some hope spots that got shut down. She also kept going for a fisherman's buster but never actually got it. Kong hit a chokeslam but proceeded to miss a splash from the middle rope. Not much heat until the end for this match. Kong hit a splash in the corner, tried for a pin, got a two-count, and was surprised. She went for a powerbomb that was countered into a face buster but then she went for another fisherman's buster that was blocked and she ate a spinning back fist. Rain came to the apron to distract the ref and April Hunter came in and nailed Kong from behind and Martinez rolled up Kong and used the ropes for the win. Made in Sin and Ivelisse came out to attack Kong. Plenty of faces tried to help out Kong but they got beat down too and even a ref got hurt. Kong sold outside as Rain announced they were a new faction in Shine called Valkyrie and the show ended.

I was generally pleased with the show. The one major problem I found was Daffney being on the show as both a ring announcer and a commentator. She seems to have this habit of taking attention away from the wrestlers and onto herself as she danced during entrances and did and said other wacky things. She was 2010 Michael Cole level annoying and off-putting. Overall, the match progression was good throughout the night as everything built to the main match. Match structure was good and everything was certainly better than most WWE women's matches. Also, I thought the $14.99 initial price point was not good.

You can order a replay of this show and other shows on Also, check out Shine's site at

Please check out the rest of my reviews on my homepage

Contact me on Twitter @stevesgraps and my email is

Steve Viglio

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

AWA History Part 2

 I'm finally back with an update and it's another installment of AWA matches.  Lead-up history for each match is in italics, courtesy of khawk20 from the DVDVR boards.

Nick Bockwinkel w/Bobby Heenan v. Billy Robinson-December 25, 1981, St. Paul Civic Center
This was Bockwinkel’s first major title defense in the Twin Cities after his feud with Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie had dominated the cards in that area in the late summer and fall. Robinson, as noted, was a perennial challenger to Bockwinkel and was an ideal opponent for the big Christmas Night Twin Cities show.
This match started slow with Billy working Bock over with a ton of headlocks. Bock couldn't get a damn thing working. Heenan was in Bock's corner and it was noted that Ken Patera was the newest member of the Heenan Family. Heenan tried to argue with the ref about a hair pull and got on the apron but got shoved back down by the ref. Too bad Gorilla Monsoon wasn't calling this match as he'd have argued that the ref has no business laying his hands on anyone. This thing got going after Bock threw Billy into the ropes, tried a monkey flip that Robinson cart wheeled out of, and fell right into a back drop. 

Then, he tried a hip toss but Bock countered it with his own and Billy hurt his right shoulder. Bockwinkel began working on the shoulder/arm and Billy tried a forearm but hurt himself too much. Bock locked in a mean standing arm bar until Billy finally countered into a double underhook position. However, Nick backed him into the ropes and delivered a stunning right hand that sent Billy flying outside. Billy was mad now and ready to fight as he hit a series of moves and pin attempts. He nailed a hangman's neckbreaker and a suplex into a back breaker on his knee but he tried for a flying kick and missed, landing on the apron. Bock locked in a sleeper and pulled Billy back in over the top rope. Robinson then landed on top of Nick but his shoulders were on the mat and only one of Bock's was. The ref counted three and the place went nuts thinking Billy won and even Heenan thought so. Turns out, the ref counted out Billy for the pin and Bock won as Robinson was quite pissed afterwards. This little gem fired up after a slow build-up and the arena was hot for Billy. The final few minutes were great as Billy had a wonderful comeback.

Hulk Hogan/Baron Von Raschke/Buck Zumhoffe v. Bobby Heenan/Ken Patera/Bobby Duncum-February 28, 1982
In Mid-December of 1981, a TV tag match between Ken Patera & Bobby Duncum and Buck Zumhoffe and Tito Santana ended in chaos with Heenan destroying Buck's Boom-Box Radio and the faces battered and bloodied. Hulk Hogan made the save and as a result it began Hogan's rivalry with The Heenan Family. The aftermath of this match saw Hogan square off with Duncum in January 1982, followed by this 6-man revenge match on the next card. The 6-man match added the Heenan-Zumhoffe rivalry to the mix, which had been off-and-on for a couple of years at this point.
The one thing to be learned from this match is you don't ever want to team with Buck Zumhoffe. Every time this guy came in, he started out on fire but got shut down very quickly! I guess when you have Hulk Hogan on your team, you can afford to make mistakes. Lots of tags in and out with select Heenan spots and lots of weasel chants. One spot I liked was when Zumhoffe tried a cross body on Duncum who basically stood and blocked it as Buck went to the mat hard. Zumhoffe was the only face in peril on two occasions. Baron came in on a hot tag and then Hulk and they did double elbows to Patera and Duncum. 

Later, Buck was hurt again but dodged a Duncum charge in the corner and tagged in Hogan. For some unknown reason, Heenan came running in and Hulk threw Duncum into him. Baron hit the Claw on Duncum but Heenan eye raked him and Zumhoffe came charging in. He went for a middle rope Vader splash and totally missed followed by a pin from Duncum as everyone else was brawling. The brawling continued and Heenan got thrown into a steel post and hit with a chairshot to the head, as he bled. By the end, nothing was really settled and Hulk was just more pissed at Heenan. Lots of heat in this one and Hulk and Heenan were the main draws. Hogan looked like a huge star here.

High Flyers v. Tito Santana/Rick Martel-August 29, 1982
In June of 1982, Santana and Martel won a number #1 Contenders match against Ken Patera and Bobby Duncum to earn a title shot against Gagne and Brunzell. Their first title match, on 7/18/82, was a half-hour scientific affair that ended in a Countout win for the Champions. Brunzell and Martel engaged in a very competitive singles match on the 8/8/82 card, and a rematch of the original tag match was signed for the 8/29 card. The tag division in the AWA was really hot at this point with The High Flyers defending against Santana/Martel, Ray Stevens and Pat Patterson engaged in a series of “#1 contender” matches against Blackwell and Adnan, and Ken Patera and Bobby Duncum (aka “The Black 'n' Blue Express”)  biding their time waiting for a title shot of their own while feuding with Otto Wanz and Baron Von Raschke.
Wow, what a match this was! I'm not easily impressed by matches but this thing was amazing. It was a back-and-forth battle that was built almost perfectly and played out great with a fantastic finish. Martel and Santana were in control in the beginning with headlocks but that all unraveled quickly. They didn't quite dominated as Gagne would fire off counter attempts a lot. Brunzell finally got in and was taken down by Tito going into a commercial break. It resumed and immediately Gagne came in and came off the top with a knee on Tito. He followed that up with an Indian Death Lock that would've made Triple H jealous. The pressure got too much for Greg and Brunzell had to tag in and alleviate him but also went right into a Figure Four to keep work on Tito's knee. Tito rolled him up for a two-count and Brunzell tried again to which Tito kicked him away and tagged in Martel. Martel went to work on Brunzell's kidneys but hurt his own knee on a backbreaker. By this point, it was a complete stand still with Martel and Brunzell both down and they both made tags simultaneously. Tito flew in for a dropkick but Gagne totally saw it coming and dodged it. Santana was going in for the kill on that one. Gagne tried more work on his knee but Tito fought him off and tagged in Martel, who tried another backbreaker but had no problems this time. Tito got a tag and was sent into the ropes. Gagne tried an elbow that Santana ducked and nailed a huge crossbody for a two-count. 
The place was going nuts and Tito was desperate for a win, hitting a dropkick and a slam. He tried a second slam but Gagne got behind him with his sleeper and it was reversed by a mare. Tito was back on offense and hit an atomic drop but Gagne made the tag mid-move and Tito never saw it. Brunzell came in and delivered the hugest dropkick imaginable, right to Tito's head, and got the win. Tito never saw the damn thing coming at all and it was a straight death blow. Tito's facial right before he took the dropkick was priceless and totally oblivious. The announcer said it was like he got hit by a locomotive. Fantastic finish and a fantastic finale that had a couple false finishes that I actually fell for. Go find this match now. 
Dropkick (sorry for the bad pic, it's the best I could do)

Indian Death Lock

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