The Chronicles Of WWE (On Video): WWWF @ MSG 6/30/73


WWWF “All-Star Wrestling” from Madison Square Garden 1973-6-30 in New York, NY

Blackjack Lanza vs. Lee Wong
Vince takes a few minutes describing Lanza’s attire and tells us he is known to hide objects from the ref. Bell rings and we are all set for our opening contest. Lanza pushes Lee back into the ropes a few times and surprisingly breaks clean each time. Lanza with a arm drag and he fights clean for about a minute and then just goes heel crazy choking, punching, and raking the face of Lee. Wong wrestlers barefoot but wears shoes to the ring so Lanza goes and gets it out of the corner and uses it as a weapon on Lee. Lanza grabs a mic and wraps it around the neck of Wong. Lanza now tosses him to the floor and waits for Lee to crawl back inside. Lanza locks in the claw and the ref calls for the bell in 5.03

Prof. Toru Tanaka (w/ Grand Wizard of Wrestling) vs. El Olympico
Olympico wants to shake hands before the match but Tanaka wants nothing of that. Tanaka does the salt ritual and some old lady comes to ringside and starts making faces at him and wiping away the salt. Crowd just loves it. Olympico wears some very weird “mask” that covers his head, hair and ears but none of his face. Tanaka works on the arm and then the leg but Olympico cakes back with a drop kick. Tanaka gets back over with some chokes. Tanaka and the ref go at it as the ref keeps pushing Tanaka back. Another drop kick by Olympico gets a 1 count. Again this time getting a 2. Olympico goes for a back drop but Tanaka drops to his knees and thrust Olympico in the throat and gets the pin in 9.42.

(BJack: Just a couple of notes here for this match…

  1. In regards to Olympico… The reason for Olympico’s odd mask was because Masks were banned to use in public per the NY State Athletic Commission (supposedly) for whatever reason (I’ve also heard it was just MSG policy), and therefore masked wrestlers were constantly forced to work MSG without their hoods on or modified hoods (The Spoiler and Rugged Russians for example). I know Mil Mascaras got to use his mask, but there was a lot of money and politics behind that. Olympico simply took a different approach, wearing the mask with the face missing. It looks stupid, but well, it was the early 70’s. Not sure when the ban was completely lifted, but they did work around Mil a couple of times shortly before this show.

2. Also, the little old lady who inserted herself into the match was one of the original WWWF super fans, Miss Georgette Krieger. Long before “Hat Guy” Bailey or even long time superfan Vladimir, there was Georgette, who even got an article done about her in the NY Daily News. She lived just outside Baltimore and frequented both the Baltimore Civic Arena and MSG cards through the 70’s and into the 1980’s. Krieger usually got emotionally involved in the matches, especially in favor of Bruno, and she loved to hate the heels. Many times Miss Krieger would heckle the heels directly to their face, or in this instance wipe away the ceremonial salt of Tanaka. Born around the turn of the century, I believe she visited the shows through the end of 1981 as she died some time in 1982. She was quite a character and added a little extra fun to the matches. She got away with things no other fan could have. Some claim she was a plant, but that wasn’t the case, she was a genuine fan who brought a special something to the Garden for many years.)

Lou Albano vs. Gorilla Monsoon
Albano is a manager at this point but finds himself in a match tonight. The bell rings and Albano goes right to the ropes to hide. Monsoon gets his hands on Albano and gives him a few shots but Albano goes to the eyes. Monsoon quickly fights back grabbing Albano’s foreign object and busting open Albano, and Albano bails straight to the dressing room. The ref raises Monsoon’s hand before making a ten count in 2.19.

Black Gordman vs. Victor Rivera
Gordman stretches the arms of Rivera behind him. Rivera tries to fight out of the hold a few times but Gordman is able to keep it on. The fans cheer louder and louder for Rivera each time. He’s finally able to reverse it but Gordman quickly gets to the ropes. Rivera smashes his face into the buckle but Gordman is able to regain the advantage and lock in a sleeper. Again, Rivera makes a few attempts to break out as the crowd cheers him on. Rivera finally breaks out and hits a pair of dropkicks and two flying head scissor take overs. They square off and Gordman kicks Rivera in the stomach and goes back to the sleeper. Rivera gets up and pushes off Gordman. Gordman with a shoulder block, Rivera back up catches Gordman with a body slam. Gordman hits one of his own slams and goes for a second bodyslam but Rivera counters and rolls him up into a small package to get the win in 12.38.

Joyce Grable & Jan Sheridan vs. Peggy Patterson & Dottie Downs
HAHAHA! Vince says the ref won’t have any objections to checking the ladies for objects. Fans whistle when they take off their ring jackets even though none of them have particularly nice bodies. However, they all do have very big hair. Patterson starts off with Sheridan. Sheridan uses her speed to try and stay away from the much larger Patterson. Patterson gets an arm bar and pulls the hair to bring it down to the mat. The ref finally sees it after a few times and calls for a break. Sheridan with a leg lock now. Sheridan makes the tag and Grable keeps working on the leg. Patterson however again pulls the hair and chokes Grable. Patterson tags and Downs makes her way into the match for the first time. Downs locks in a front face lock. The heel team with some illegal switches behind the refs back and they use the tag rope to choke. Downs makes the mistake of snapmaring Grable right into her corner allowing her to tag. Sheridan now in the ring and she has the advantage. Patterson tries to come from behind but miss fires and hits Downs. It gets a 2 count but then Downs able to get back in control. Sheridan goes to work on the arm of both her opponents. Grable comes back in now with Downs. They go back and forth with their partners reversing a leg lock for them. Grable ends up in control of it but Downs gets to the ropes. Grable with a take down and back to the leg. Grable gets sent into the ropes and comes off with a drop kick winning the first fall for her team in 13.12. Grable and Sheridan pull their opponents into the ring from the apron to start the second fall. Things calm down and Grable and Downs begin the fall. Grable works over the arm. Patterson tags in now and she takes over on the arm of Grable. Sheridan tags in. Sheridan with a handful of hair and she takes Patterson over a few times. Patterson wants a handshake but Sheridan kicks her in the chest instead. Tag to Downs. Grable comes in after some confusion from the ref on who is the legal wrestler. Grable misses a dropkick and Downs covers for the fall in 6.22. Sheridan and Patterson start the final fall and Sheridan is all over Patterson. Sheridan gets up on the shoulders of Patterson and gets a victory roll to pick up the win in 2.06. Total time of the match was 21.40

WWWF World Champion Pedro Morales vs. George “The Animal” Steele
Steele tries to attack before the bell but Morales is ready and he sends Steele running to the floor. In the ring, Steele gets out an object and attacks Morales with it and Pedro quickly looks to be out of it. Steele turns his back and gives Pedro time to recoup. Morales fires back. Pedro with an arm drag and again Steele retreats, this time going to the apron. Steele uses the object he had again and rams Morales’ head into the steel buckle. Pedro now sends George into the steel on the apron. Steele is bleeding from the head now. Pedro fires away at the cut. The ref keeps a close eye on it and eventually calls for the bell ending the match in 8.16 due to excessive bleeding. Steele attacks after the match but Pedro is able to fight him off and send him out of the ring.

Mr. Fuji vs. Chief Jay Strongbow
Fuji does his own ritual similar to Tanaka and the same old lady gets up and cleans the salt from the apron which angers Fuji. I hate Strongbow. Criss cross and Strongbow stops and chops Fuji. Fuji goes to the apron and Chief brings him back into the ring with a head scissor twice. A couple of arm drags from Strongbow. Strongbow hits the ropes and slides between the legs of Fuji then chops him down. Fuji goes to the throat to take over. Fuji comes off the top but Strongbow punches him in the stomach. Slam and big back drop by Strongbow. Fuji tries to throw salt but its blocked and Strongbow sends it into the face of Fuji. Fuji swings wildly and then leaves the ring. Back in Fuji has the double nipple clamp locked in. Strongbow breaks it a few times but Fuji keeps going right back to it. Fuji lets go of the hold and sends Strongbow into the ropes and nails a chop for 2. Fuji sends Strongbow face first to the buckle and again hits a chop but Strongbow gets his foot on the rope before the 3 count. Fuji sends Strongbow to the buckle and then goes up top but the Chief pulls him down, hits a few chops, covers Fuji and gets the win in 12.06.

Moondog Mayne vs. Haystacks Calhoun
Mayne attacks from behind before the bell and gets Haystacks down to a knee. Mayne chokes Haystacks with his foot in the corner. Haystacks back to his feet but Mayne stays on the attack. Haystacks sent into the rope but Mayne drops his head and gets caught with a boot. Mayne gets tied up in the ropes and Haystacks goes to work on him, VERY slowly. Back drop and Mayne is in pain. Haystacks rubs his ass on Mayne’s head. Haystacks sits on Mayne a few times. Mayne goes low and then goes up top but Haystacks is right back up and slams Mayne off the ropes. Haystacks sends Mayne into the corner twice and hits two avalanche charges. After that a big splash finishes things off in 6.03.

HeelsInc’s thoughts on the show…
Pretty decent show. Nothing ground breaking. I really enjoyed the Rivera/Gordman match, the crowd was hot for it. The ladies tag match was exciting but a little long. The crowd really seemed to die down a bit after the Morales match and it took away from the final two matches. I love old wrestling like this as with the limited move sets of the wrestlers they really have to engage with the crowd and it can even make a 12 minute match of mostly rest holds exciting.

BJack’s Thoughts… Pretty much agree with everything Heels said here in his thoughts. This wasn’t a super star-studded show with lots of scores to be settled, but it still featured quite a bit of fun. Lanza made a simple squash match entertaining in full heel mode. I really enjoyed Gordman vs. Rivera (Gordman was so underrated on a national scale). Miss Krieger was fun, the Tanaka and Fuji matches were what I expected and not bad either. While Haystacks was past his prime, he was still quite the attraction, it sucks it was Mayne who was used to put him over, but it was still cool seeing two of my guilty pleasures go at it. The ladies match ran a bit long, as Heels also mentioned. There wasn’t really anything wrong with the ladies match, it just felt like they took a 12 minute match and stretched it to 20. They seemed to do that a lot with the midget and ladies tag matches though. Pedro vs. Steele was fun, they kept it short which kept it from dragging on for me. The psychology and the crowd really added to the shows back then. Nothing special on this card, but it was a fair show throughout. It’s not “must see” material, but I’d recommend the watch on a rainy day, especially for the nostalgia marks like me.