WWWF at the Spectrum 3/25/78

After the WWE Network opening, it’s straight to the ring for the first match.

Vince McMahon and Dick somebody are commentating.

WWWF Heavyweight Championship Match: Bob Backlund (c) (w/ Arnold Skaaland) vs. “The Golden Greek” Spiros Arion. It’s been a little over a month since Backlund won the title from Superstar Graham. Vince is positively gushing over his new champion. Arion declines to shake hands. Backlund wins the lock up, then they trade waist locks. Arion uses the ropes to escape danger. Backlund keeps going back to his vice-like waist lock. He gets a near fall off a backslide. Arion resorts to a choke hold to get the advantage, then slams the champion and hammers him with punches. Backlund gets an inside cradle for 2. Arion takes a powder. They do a test of strength. Arion throws a kick, but Backlund catches it and drops him. Arion gets the advantage briefly, until Backlund scores a sunset flip for a near fall. Backlund catches another kick and goes to work on the leg. The crowd responds very well to leg work. Stuff meant something back now, kids. Back on their feet, Arion exposes a turnbuckle and sends the champion’s head into it. For some reason, the referee is completely fine with this. Arion kicks Backlund in the balls and Backlund sells it appropriately. Backlund takes a spill outside and barely beats the count in. Arion finally has the initiative. Backlund escapes a backbreaker and horribly botches a backslide. The champ makes his comeback and hits a piledriver for 2. Backlund sort of bulldog-rams Arion’s head into the turnbuckle, then hits the atomic drop. The ref gets knocked out by Arion’s foot in the process, and is unable to make the count. Backlund goes to check on the ref, giving Arion an opening to jump him from behind. They brawl. Chief Jay Strongbow, Peter Maivia, Stan Stasiak, and another wrestler come out to break up the fight. Another referee comes in and calls for the bell. It’s a double DQ in 17:48. The time is announced at 16:28. This timekeeper was the shits. The match was kind of entertaining. **1/2

We’re back now after intermission.

Ken Patera vs. Bruno Sammartino. Patera jumps Sammartino before the bell. Sammartino rallies and Patera bails. Back inside, Patera misses a knee drop and Sammartino goes after the injured body part like a shark. Patera comes back and misses an elbow drop. Sammartino arm drags him, and Patera bails again. More desultory strong guy punch-kick. Sammartino works a head lock. I’m bored. Patera applies a bear hug. Bruno won’t give up, but I’m tempted to. Unfortunately, the keep fighting. This is my life. These are my choices. They brawl outside. They brawl inside. They brawl outside. Somebody throws a chair. The bell rings. They keep brawling. It’s a double count-out in 14:35 of my life I’ll never get back. They announce the time at 16 something. Could have been 14 minutes, 16 minutes, or 3 days. *

Nikolai Volkoff vs. Haystacks Calhoun. Calhoun is a very large man from Morgan’s Corner, Arkansas, so he’s a man after my own heart. The youngest Nikolai Volkoff I’ve ever seen gets the jump on the larger man. They fight a bit. Calhoun squashes Volkoff in the corner. Haystacks falls on Volkoff for the pin in 2:39. DUD. They actually get the time correct.

And that’s the end. Wow. This was a good use of my time.

If anyone actually reads this and thinks I should keep reviewing stuff, leave a comment or tweet me @TheRealChui.

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