Archive for Spiros Arion

WWWF at the Spectrum 3/25/78

Posted in WWE with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2015 by Grappleholic

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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WWWF at Madison Square Garden 3/17/75

Posted in WWE with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2014 by Grappleholic

“WWE Old School” opening.  This is from the WWE Network.

Straight to the ring introductions for our first match.  A young Vince McMahon is the play-by-play man.  I have know idea who the ring announcer is, but he does the old school “repeat the guy’s last name” thing that Ken Anderson would turn into a gimmick 30 years later.

Paul “Butcher” Vachon vs. “Indian” Jay Strongbow.  Yes, “Indian” Jay Strongbow.  The ’70s were a different time.  Neither of these guys are what you’d call “in shape” by modern standards, but Strongbow is actively flabby.  The match is slow, plodding, and exactly what you’d expect from 1970s WWWF.   Vachon spends an impressive amount of time working a hold on the neck muscles.  Strongbow comes back and slams him around.  Vachon heels on Strongbow some more.  Vachon bites Strongbow, which is about as heelish as you can get.    Vachon gets a near fall, but pulls Strongbow up at 2.  He is immediately shown to have been a fool, as he shoots Strongbow into the ropes, but Strongbow catches him with a Thesz press for the pin in 6:26.  **

Texas Style Match for the WWWF Heavyweight Championship: Bruno Sammartino (c) (w/ Arnold Skaaland) vs. Spiros Arion (w/ Freddie Blassie).  Main event time!  You see, back now, the WWWF always puts the champion on before intermission at MSG, so they can announce the main event for the next card prior to the last match.  This is announced as a “Texas Style Match,” which I assume means it’s a Texas Death Match.  Despite that stipulation, the referee still checks the wrestlers for weapons.  Arion takes advantage of the situation by jumping Bruno before the bell, but Bruno immediately rallies and kicks his ass.  Arion cuts him off and gets the heat briefly.  The style here is pretty realistic, as they largely just kick the shit out of each other.  The momentum swings back and forth.  Maybe I’m imagining this, but there seems to be a lot of emphasis on liver/kidney attacks and blows to the lower back, which I enjoy a lot.  Bruno makes a big comeback with hip tosses and body slams.  Arion cuts him off, but Bruno comes back again with another body slam for the pinfall in 11:52.  Arion’s foot was in the bottom rope, but the referee didn’t see it.  I assume that will lead to a rematch.  I also don’t know what was “Texas” about this match.  The match time is announced as 14:52.  Either they’re lying, or exactly 3 minutes was cut out of this.  **1/2

Killer Kowalski (w/ The Grand Wizard) vs. Victor Rivera.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen Kowalski wrestle.  He’s very lanky.  The original tape here skips and goes wonky at a couple of points early.  Kowalski works the knee.  He’s a rather vicious fellow.  Rivera attacks Kowalski’s shoulder when the match is going in his favor.  At one point, Rivera gets Kowalski tied up in the ropes and beats him up a bit.  Kowalski breaks free and bites Rivera.  They brawl a bit.  Then they bite each other.  Kowalski bites Rivera again, and the ref calls for the DQ (13:04 shown).  So you’re allowed three bites until you get DQ’d?  Rivera is announced as the winner in 15:50-something.  *3/4

The Wolfman vs. Ivan Putski.  I have no idea who the Wolfman is.  Vince refers to Putski as a “one man gang.”  He also states that this is Putski’s wrestling debut.  I cannot confirm for deny.  Putski is 275 lbs., and most of that is his beer gut.  I miss fat wrestlers.  Putski grabs a headlock and hammers Wolfman in the head.  Repeat.  Putski with a shoulder block.  Wolfman cuts him and wins on him briefly.  Putski fights back with punches and headbutts.  Wolfman with bites and claws.  Putski retaliates in kind.  They beat on each other some more.  Putski gets the bear hug for the win in 5:51.  Fun little mean guy match.  **  Wolfman tries to attack Putski after the match, but gets punched in the face.  The match time is announced at 6:45.  Again, I didn’t notice any editing.  Putski drinks beer in the ring 20 years ahead of Steve Austin.

This was interesting.  Obviously, modern WWE is very different from 1975 WWWF, but fundamentally, they are very much alike.  The psychology of the Bruno match was much like a John Cena match today, and as I mentioned before, the show closed with a beer drinking, working man-type babyface.