Announcers Ron Strong & Mike Stone are joined by guest announcer Wally George to open the show and preview the matches
The career of the legendary Bruno Sammartino (6'1 260lbs.) is reviewed.
From his WWWF debut in 1959 this extremely popular athlete rose quickly through the ranks until 1963 when he beat Buddy
Rogers to win the WWWF Heavyweight title. Bruno held the title for an incredible 8 years before finally being dethroned by
Ivan Koloff. In 1972 at Shea Stadium Bruno wrestled Pedro Morales, then WWWF champion, to a one-hour draw. Then in 1973 Bruno
once again became the WWWF champ beating Stan Stasiak for the title. He held that title for 3 years until losing that title
to Superstar Billy Graham. Bruno still wrestles occasionally for the WWF in addition to doing color commentary on their TV
broadcasts. He has been reported to have trained as hard as ever for this match against Bob Backlund.
RCW Television Title Match
Ben Bassarab (champion) (/w Jenilee Harrison)
Steve Blackman (/w Uschi Digard)
Bassarab and Blackman had to draw names from a hat backstage as to who their celebrity managers would be for the match.
Blackman at frist seemed happy with his pick of the buxom Uschi but when she draped herself all over the no nonsense
martial arts expert he soon became red faced and embarrased like a teenager on a first date. Bassarab on the other hand seemed
to just ignore his celebrity manager the former co-star of Three's Company; despite her doing her best to gather support from
the fans with cheerleading type antics and routines.
Blackman was his usual awkward self to start the match and Bassarab was able to wrestle him down to the mat and work
a leglock. He tried for a crossface but Blackman was able to get to the ropes. After a second such sequence a frustrated Blackman
left the ring to take a breather and collect his thoughts. But he was accosted by the helpful Uschi, which caused Blackman
to blindly just roll back into the ring to get away from her. He walked right into a German suplex from Bassarab and a 2 count.
Finally the challenger was able to turn the tide with a boot to the gut coming out of the corner. He nailed a few chops and
kicks before working a standing surfboard. He then worked over the traps with a nerve hold.
Bassarab was able to shake off the effects and lift the tempo of the match again, catching Blackman after a criss cross
sequence with a flying elbow. He followed with a slingshot to the corner, monkeyflip, German suplex, and then a snap suplex.
He climbed to the top rope to drop and elbow but Uschi reached in and pulled Blackman out of the way.
This brought Harrison over who jumped on Uschi's back, only to be flipped over to the ground and then sat on by the bigger
woman. Blackman took the chance to bail out of the ring again. While Bassarab was held back by referee Wyatt Hall the challenger
made his way over to get his nonchuks. But before he could grab them, Dan Kroffat ran down from backstage, pushed him away
from behind, grabbed the weapon, and left with it. Blackman got up and stared at Kroffat incredulously.
He made the mistake of taking his eye off Basarab who flew off the apron and bulldoged Blackman to the ground. Back inside
Bassarab hit that elbowdrop from the top rope. Uschi tried to interfere again but this time Harrison managed to pull her off
the ring apron. Bassarab whipped Blackman to the ropes and nailed him with the flying cross body block to pick up the win.
Ben Bassarab defeated Steve Blackman by pinfall after a flying crossbody block at 7:05
[Ben Bassarab retains the RCW Television title]
Lex Lugar (/w Vanity)
Phillip Navarre (/w Weird Al Yankovic)
Again backstage before the match the participants drew celebrity managers. Lugar actually drew Weird Al but was disgusted
calling Weird Al a "nerd". When Navarre drew the lovely Vanity it really drew the ire of Lugar. Lex refused to do the match,
and said he would just leave, unless they could switch managers. Navarre relented and the match would go on.
Navarre and Weird Al went to the ring with the music "Theme From Rocky XIII (Rye or the Kaiser)" from Al's 1984 Album
"Weird Al Yankovic in 3D" set to the tune Eye of the Tiger.
Navarre walked right into a big fist from Lugar who then went after Navarre like a freight train with a pair of running
clotheslines, followed by a gorilla press slam. Lugar was all over Navarre for the first couple of minutes, and Weird Al began
to slap the mat and stomp his feet to get the crowd behind Navarre. It seemed to work as the Frenchman began to fight back.
This pissed off Lugar who left the ring and slapped Weird Al across the face knocking him down. But the delay was costly and
Navarre caught him with a kneelift upon entering the ring. Navarre went to work with a top wrist lock, shoulderblock, fireman's
carry into a slam, and a pair of elbowdrops. Navarre then locked on a move where he sat behind Lugar on the mat, planted his
feet into the shoulders of Lugar and stretched the arms, until Lex was able to get a rope break.
Navarre continued his success with a double leg takedown and then worked the legs of Lugar. But the young stud was so
fit that he was able to shake off most of the offense and then land a couple stinging slaps across the face of Navarre. This
led to a real donnybrook between the two and it looked like referee Kenny Jay might have to throw this one out. But it got
back on track inside the ring and Lugar reversed a whip to the ropes, then caught Navarre with a spinebuster. He dragged him
to his feet by the hair, and then laid in three high knee lifts, holding onto the hair of Navarre to keep his head in position.
Lugar whipped Navarre to the ropes, but as Lugar bounced off the far ropes Weird Al reached in and tripped him up. Navarre
struck back with a wasitlock suplex, then went for the coup de grace, but it was way too early. Lugar slipped out of the hold,
and hoisted Navarre over his shoulders into the torture rack. Within seconds Navarre was forced to submit.
Lex Lugar defeated Phillip Navarre by submission to the torture rack at 9:45
Bob Backlund's career is reviewed. His debut in the WWWF managed by Arnold Skaaland led to his winning the World title
in 1978 from Superstar Billy Graham. But the win did not come without controversy as it later was seen that Graham actually
had his foot on the bottom rope when the pin was made. A couple of Backlund's greatest matches with Antonio Inoki and Ric
Flair are reviewed. Then in 1983 Bob lost the WWWF title to Iron Sheik when in the camel clutch his manager Arnold Skaaland
threw in the towel. Backlund was not happy either about the way that match ended nor about how he did not receive a rematch
against the Sheik, with that opportunity given instead to Hulk Hogan. Backlund disappeared completely from wrestling for over
a year until coming back to wrestle part-time here in River City Wrestling, where he is currently the Heavyweight champion.
Tonight he meets the huge shadow that was cast over his own days as champion, the shadow of Bruno Sammartino. The Heavyweight
title is not on the line tonight.
The Destroyer (/w Christopher Lee)
Steve Disalvo (/w Lynda Wiesmeier)
Christopher Lee did not disapoint the many horror fans in attendence as he came down to the ring complete with cape and
face make-up. Lynda Wiesmeier also did not disapoint anyone as the former Playboy playmate came down to the ring dressed in
daisy dukes and a plaid shirt tied off between her ample bossom.
Destroyer treid to take Disalvo to the mat to neutralize his power advantage but Disalvo was able to thrwart his early
Disalvo lived up to his nickname "Strangler" as he tried to choke out Destroyer on the ropes. He then went to powermoves
like a bodyslam, backbreaker, bearhug, and a full nelson slam. He couldn't put away the former RCW champion though who fought
back with dropkicks, forearm upper cuts, and a Boston crab. But Disalvo was able to power out of the Boston crab. Destroyer
tried to nail a crossbody block but Disalvo caught him and turned it into a powerslam, for a 2 count. Once again though Destroyer
fought back, and again he went for a move too early on the strong opponent. This time he tried for his crucifix finisher,
but Disalvo was able to counter with a Samoan drop. He covered for 1, 2, Kickout. Disalvo though would not be denied. He hit
his running clothesline finisher, for another 2 count. Then a piledriver netted him yet another count of two. Finally though
a running powerslam was enough to get him the impressive duke.
Steve Disalvo defeated the Destroyer by pinfall after a running powerslam at 8:13
Disalvo picked up the Destroyer and was applying the full nelson when the mythical looking Christopher Lee stepped into
the ring and stared down Disalvo, who dropped Destroyer and quietly left the ring.
Clips are shown of the joint G.L.O.W. - RCW project so far, as well as clips of Elvira's Midnight Madness, and Wally
George in "Grunt: The Wrestling Movie".
[end of first hour]
North American Women's Championship Match
Misty Blue Simmes (champion) (/w Elvira)
Hollywood (/w Wally George)
Wally has to leave the announce table to manage for Hollywood during the match. Elvira gets a huge pop from the crowd
as does Misty. Elvira is brought down to the ring by her macabre music but Misty comes down to the ring to "Girls Just Wanna
Have Lunch" by Weird Al, his paradoy to Cyndi Lauper's Girls just want to have fun.
Hollywood attacks Simmes as the bell is ringing. She starts laying in punches in the corner, but Simmes fights right
back, spins Hollywood into the corner and starts to drive her shoulder into the challenger. Biel to the middle of the ring
is followed by a kick to the spine, and a reverse chinlock. Simmes continues with a gutwrench suplex, a pair of dropkicks,
and then a moonsault for 1, 2, Kickout!!
Wally George has made his way over to Elvira and is hitting on her. She looks repulsed and is trying to tactfully back
away. Referee Wyatt Hall sticks his head between the ropes and orders George to his own corner.
Back inside Hollywood is on her knees and Simmes attacks the arm with a series of armbars, and armbreakers. She changes
to a short arm scissors but Hollywood stands her up until her shoulders are pinned on the mat, so Simmes has to roll away.
Hollywood catches Simmes with a clothesline. She then nails a neckbreaker and then puts her in the Hangman. Simmes though
refuses to submit and eventually Hollywood breaks the hold with another neckbreaker, makes the cover and gets a 2 count. Hollywood's
offense is culminated a couple of minutes later by a devastating piledriver. Wyatt Hall counts 1 ,2, Elvira has moved into
position, leaning over the ring apron cheering on Simmes ~ Hall gets an eyefull and forgets his name, never mind to slap the
3rd count. Simmes kicks out.
Frustrated Hollywood protests with Hall, opening up for the roll-up from behind by Simmes and a near fall. They scramble
to their feet, and this time its Simmes nailing the clothesline first. She comes off the ropes with a bulldog, and then drops
a pair of elbows, and then a 3rd from the middle buckle. She climbs to the top for the Superfly, but Hollywood is able to
roll out of the way at the last second. A groggy challenger rolls on top of the champ without hooking the legs. Hall counts
1, 2, looks like Simmes is going to kick out, but no, Wally George reaches in and holds down the legs of Simmes so she can't
kick out, 3 !!! New champion!!
Hollywood defeated Misty Blue Simmes by pinfall with a lateral press and with some outside interference at 9:11
[Hollywood wins the North American Women's Title]
A package is shown as a recap of the Blackjacks Mulligan & Lanza career as a tag team. That
included a run as WWWF World Champions, the managerial services of Bobby Heenan, and a run through the AWA.
Battle of the Mad Dogs
Dog Collar Match
Mad Dog Manny Silva v Mad Dog Maurice Vachon
As referee Kenny Jay hooked up the chain between the two grappler's collar's Silva had other plans. He grabbed the chain
which was attached to him but not Vahcon and swung it at his opponent. He then attacked Vachon with the chain, whipping him
with it. It was a one sided fight and only after Vachon was down, bleeding from the back and the head did Silva relent and
allow Jay to attach the dog collar.
Silva whipped and beat Vachon from pillar to post. Twice he managed to touch 3 of 4 turnbuckles but the Mad Dog still
had a bit of fight to him and stayed alive despite bleeding heavily. Frustrated Silva then tried to hang Vachon over the top
rope, strangling him. But Maurice was able to get footing on the ring apron and smash Silva with the chain. Now it was comeback
time for Vachon as he battered Silva with the chain, then rode his back while strangling him with the chain.
Silva was now busted wide open too.
The doctor came to ringside to keep an eye on proceedings but decided not to stop the fight.
Vachon dragged Silva around the ring but only managed to touch 2 buckles. The Hawaiian battled back against Vachon, yanking
him to the ground and wrapping the chain around his ankle. He worked over the ankle of Vachon trying to bust it, and the original
Mad Dog was now also bleeding from the leg.
Vachon fought back and almost finished off Silva after nailing him with a piledriver onto the chain, but he was very
slow dragging Silva around the ring because of his weakened ankle. Silva fought back again, wrapping the chain around Vachon
and around the top buckle, and then ramming Vachon in and out of the corner. He then bodyslammed him so he landed on the chain,
gave him two fistdrops with his fist wrapped in the chain, and then nailed his wheelbarrow suplex, again with Vachon landing
on the chain. He was then able to drag Vachon around the ring and touch all 4 buckles for the win.
Manny Silva defeated Maurice Vachon by touching all 4 buckles in a dog collar match at 10:04
The Blackjacks: Mulligan & Lanza
The Kiniski Brothers: Kelly & Nick (/w Lisa Caress)
The four men met in the middle of the ring for instructions, and surprisingly the Kiniski brothers extended their hands
for a clean handshake, a show of respect. Then promptly tried to perpetrate an attack from behind when the Blackjacks turned
their backs. But the veterans were too wise for that and were not caught off guard. They battered the brothers and then threw
them out of the ring.
Mulligan controlled Nick to begin in a side headlock, pounding the top of his head with the occasional closed fist when
shielded from the ref. He tagged out to Lanza who went to work with a bodyslam, and a kneedrop to the head. Nick managed to
rollover and tag in Kelly. The older brother faired a bit better, shooting on Lanza with a double leg takedown. He worked
a sideheadlock, getting in his own punches undetected by the ref. Tag in to Nick who continued to punish Lanza, until the
veteran blocked a suplex attempt with a elbow, and then delivered a punishing shoulderbreaker. Kelly came in to help out his
brother and a four man brawl ensued, with the Blackjacks coming out on top. Nick was in trouble for several minutes, saved
from Mulligan's dreaded clawhold by his brother Kelly, and suffering one of Lanza's tremendous piledrivers.
Lanza then took Nick in the middle of the ring and applied his fan favorite Texas brainbuster (like an adult sized noogie)
to the temple of Kiniski. Nick screamed in pain and submission was imminent. But Kelly climbed into the ring, but was unseen
by the ref. This brought in Mulligan, but that was the side of the ring the ref was facing, so young Wyatt Hall went over
and intercepted Mulligan. This allowed Kelly to come in unmolested and take out Lanza by diving hard at the back of his leg,
coming close to blowing out Lanza's knee. Nick shook off the effects of the brainbuster and put Lanza in the figure-four.
Lanza was in incredible pain and told the ref to stop the match.
The Kiniski Brothers defeated the Blackjacks by submission when Nick submitted Lanza with the figure-four at
[end of second hour]
RCW Tag Team Title Match
The Longriders: Wild Bill & Scott Hogg Irwin (champions)
The Road Warriors Hawk & Animal (/w Paul Ellering)
After the Longriders were introduced there was a long pause, almost two minutes, before the Roadies hit the ring, creating
an unsettled and hostile crowd. The Roadies hit the ring swinging and the crowd's allegiance seemed to be pretty much split
down the middle.
It seemed the Warriros expected to bully their way to a fast victory they have done to so many curtain jerker teams in
the past. But this time the Longriders fought them tooth and nail. Pretty hard to describe much of the match as it really
deteriorated into a pier 6 brawl, Texas Tornado style, with referee Kenny Jay apparently ready to just let the teams tear
away at each other.
Paul Ellering had to drop his Wall Street Journal and sully his hands on the Longriders a couple of times to tilt the
otherwsie even playing field in favor of his Road Warriors.
The Warriors went for the doomsday device but Scott Hogg was able to break it up in time to save his brother. Outside
the ring Ellering tried to pass Animal one of the tag belts but Hogg wrestled it away and nailed Animal. This gave the riders
a temporary advantage two on one which they pressed to their favor. Wild Bill came off the top with Hawk, giving him a superplex.
Scott Hogg followed with a legdrop coming off the ropes. He would have got the 3 count but Animal made the save. Animal nailed
Wild Bill with a piledriver and took Scott Hogg down with a flying clothesline. Once again they went for the doomsday device
and once again Hogg made the save for his brother. The Longriders made a comeback and after nailing both opponents with big
backbody drops, Paul Ellering hit the ring with one of the tag belts and nailed Wild Bill from behind. He tried to nail Scott
Hogg, who wrestled the belt away from Ellering, but was then taken down from behind by Hawk. Ellering's blatant interference
was too much for Kenny Jay who finally called for the bell.
The Longriders defeated the Road Warriors by disqualification for outside interference at 10:37
[The Longriders retained the RCW Tag Team Titles]
Analysis of a 1979 story from "Inside Wrestling" magazine; Did Bruno Really Say "Backlund is good...but I am better."
Bruno denied saying it but even the rumor further undermined Backlund's reign and cast the shadow of Sammartino bigger on
the young champion.
"Dream match - former World Champions Collide"
Backlund offered a handshake to start the match. Sammartino accepted, if somewhat reluctantly. Most of the building seemed
to be cheering for Backlund, although Sammartino seemed to have a very noisy minority cheering for him and waving Italian
First collar and elbow was dominated by Sammartino's strength. Second lockup was dominated by Backlund who rode Sammartino
to the mat and the Italian could not shake him off except for a rope break. Backlund worked a top wrist lock, but Sammartino
powered out of it, shoving Backlund to the mat, and then when he got up knocking him back down with a shoulderlock. Bruno
worked a side headlock, and when Backlund got to the corner for a break Bruno vaulted off the middle buckle and took Backlund
down with a sideheadlock. Referee Buddy Lane made Bruno break, a decision unpopular with Sammartino.
As the match progressed Bruno used his power, but was unable to utilize his superior brawling skills, and Backlund out
wrestled him. It was becoming apparent that a scientific match-up was in favor of Backlund, and Sammartino seemed to flirt
with thoughts of bending the rules.
However, instead he withstood the moves of Backlund and around the 8 minute mark began a comeback based on his power.
He worked over the back of Backlund, the neck injury sustained by the RCW champion not coming into play thus far into the
match. Bruno worked Backlund with forearms to the lower back, kneedrops, a backbreaker, and then a back crusher over his shoulder.
This failed to get a submission but he was able to follow up with a sustained bearhug which while Backlund got a ropebreak
really had a toll on the RCW champ.
Bruno tried to send Backlund to the ropes, but Backlund reversed, but it was Bruno coming out ahead knocking Backlund
down with a shoulderblock. Bruno came off the ropes again with a shoulderblock. He then sent Backlund to the buckle and scooped
him up with a bodyslam. Backlund arched up off the mat, grabbing his lower back in obvious pain. Bruno picked up Bob by the
chin and put him into a double armbar. Once again Backlund was able to get a rope break.
Uncharacteristically Backlund stepped between the ropes to the apron looking for a reprieve for his back. Bruno looked
unwilling to give it, and tried to grab at Bob. But Buddy Lane stepped between the two to break them up, but Bob was able
to reach over and grab Bruno into a full nelson. Lane was calling for the break, but Bruno had other ideas dragging Backlund
into the ring, over the top rope.
The gloves were now off with Bruno coming off the ropes and nailing Backlund with a running kick to the gut, followed
by a huge atomic drop. Backlund made a short comeback with a pair of flying armdrags, but when he tried for a third Bruno
reversed it with a flying armdrag of his own. Bruno worked an armbar before going back to his previous strategy with a back
body drop followed by a bearhug.
Backlund tried to break the bearhug by wrenching apart Sammartino's arms, but didn't have the strength. Things looked
grim for Backlund, until he used his great leg strength to suplex Bruno over, causing him to break the hold.
Bruno tried to send Bob to the buckle, but Backlund reversed it, then caught Bruno coming out of the corner with a drop
toehold. He then worked a crossface chickenwing until Bruno was able to get to the ropes.
It was all Backlund now with a backbody drop, vertical suplex, armbreakers, and standing headscissors, twisting his thighs
to wrench on the neck of Bruno. Sammartino was able to back body drop Bob out of this but when he went for a bodyslam Backlund
countered with a small package for a 2 count on the first pin attempt of the match.
It was all Backlund again who dominated Bruno for a couple of minutes, working over the legs. He then applied a figure-four
leglock but Bruno was too close to the ropes and got the break. Backlund was able to get the figure-four on once again, and
this time Bruno suffered for almost a minute in the hold before turning it over to gain a temporary reversal of pressure.
Both men got to their feet, and Bruno knocked Backlund down with three consecutive shoulderblocks. He then went for the
figure-four himself, but Backlund was fighting it. Bruno tried to get it on, Bob would block it,.Bruno would work the leg
then try and get it on again. Finally he was almost successful but at the last second Backlund was able to knee Bruno in the
gut, send him falling backward towards the buckle. Bruno's head bounced off the bottom turnbuckle and then again off the mat.
Bob pulled him two feet into the ring and covered, hooking a leg, for the 1, 2, 3 !!!
Bob Backlund defeated Bruno Sammartino after blocking a figure-four attempt at 23:50
No hard feelings were exhibited after the match. Backlund seemed very worried about Sammartino who was out cold for a
couple minutes after the match while doctors looked after him, and a hush fell over the crowd. Finally he was revived and
Buddy Lane explained what occured. Upset at first Bruno got over it quickly and shook hands with Backlund, and gave a wave
to the appreciative crowd.
That's it for a special edition of River City Wrestling.
See ya next week for a return to our regular RCW show!!!