WWF Championship Wrestling – September 24, 1983 – Eddie Gilbert Can’t Catch A Break

WWF Championship Wrestling
Date: September 24, 1983
Location: Agricultural Hall, Allentown, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Pat Patterson

Another random show for me to do while I wait on a Raw to download. This is from before Hogan debuted again but he was coming quickly. Other than that there isn’t much to say here. My best guess would be a lot of squashes with maybe a slightly more competitive feature match. Let’s get to it.

I’m finding two dates on this. The video I have is labeled August 27, 1983 but every other date I can find says September 24, 1983. We’ll go with the second.

We open with a list of everyone on the athletic commission for tonight’s show.

Butcher Vachon vs. Jimmy Snuka

Butcher is a big name but he’s well past his prime at this point. Snuka slams him down and the Splash ends this in about 45 seconds.

Tito Santana vs. John Callahan

Santana dominates to start as Vince says there’s no challenge here. He takes John to the mat with a long headlock but Callahan rams him into the buckle a few times. Middle rope forearm ends this. I wouldn’t expect a lot of ratings on this show.

Tiger Chung Lee/Mr. Fuji vs. Tony Garea/Bob Clement

Garea and Lee start things off as Garea controls with a dropkick and armdrag. Sunset flip gets one. Fuji gets in a shot to the back of Garea so the evil foreigners can take over on the nicer foreigners. Back to Lee to face the tagged in Clement. Both are tall and in white so this isn’t easy to differentiate. Fuji and his red come in to chop Clement down and it’s back to Lee. Lee hits an enziguri for the pin. Basically a squash.

Rating: D+. Not much to see here as most of the match was spent talking about how the Japanese team would be trouble for the Wild Samoans, the reigning tag champions. I don’t know if they ever had a long feud or anything but the Soul Patrol (Atlas and Johnson) would win the titles in November.

Sgt. Slaughter says he’s ready for Mil Mascaras in Los Angeles. Mascaras tries to put his head in the jar to eat pickles and wears a mask because he stabs himself in the head when trying to use a fork.

Tito says he’s ready for Muraco, who attacked him when he was a guest referee. He says a lot in Spanish and I think he says he’s ready for him and he’ll win in Los Angeles.

Mike Sharpe says that Tony Atlas is skinny.

Muraco, the IC Champion (and about a month from having Snuka dive off a cage onto him) talks about how Tito wanted to become a Mexican hero right when Muraco had Snuka where he wanted him.

Masked Superstar vs. Eddie Gilbert

Masked Superstar is a new top heel and is Ax under a mask. Eddie gets in some offense to start but walks into a HHH knee to the face to take him down. Gilbert is a very small guy but he hammers away, only to walk into the kind of clothesline that Bret would use in the Hart Attack. A swinging neckbreaker puts Gilbert down and a second one gets the pin quick.

Post match he takes Gilbert to the floor and gives him another neckbreaker on the concrete. Dr. George Zahorian (now look HIM up if you want to see a name erased from WWF history) comes out to check on him.

Time for Buddy Rogers’ Corner, which is an interview segment. The guest is Sgt. Slaughter who isn’t worried about Eddie Gilbert at all. He’d love to see Bob Backlund in the same position.

Sgt. Slaughter vs. Dick Tessier

Gilbert is still being attended to. Cobra Clutch and we’re done in about a minute.

Post match Slaughter looks at Gilbert as he’s being taken away. Apparently Gilbert credits Backlund with his comeback. Backlund is out here too. He’s taken out on a stretcher into an ambulance. This takes about ten minutes to get through. The fans boo because this takes so long.

Don Kernodle/Bob Bradley vs. Tony Atlas/Rocky Johnson

Apparently the Soul Patrol is a new team here. Johnson starts with Bradley and throws him around with ease. A sunset flip ends this quickly again.

Overall Rating: C-. The injury angle was at least big and it furthered Slaughter vs. Backlund but it took a lot of the steam out of the show. The matches were all squashes and that’s ok, but it does kind of slow things right to a halt. They had one match during the time when Gilbert was carried out, so why not have more? Eh it’s 1983 so TV wasn’t exactly down to a science yet. Not terrible but fairly dull.

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