On This Day: December 8, 1979 – Stapmede Wrestling TV: Middleweights and French Pornography

Stampede Wrestling
Date: December 8, 1979
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Commentator: Ed Whalen

Stampede Wrestling. This is the epitome of the stomping grounds for a ton of guys. What we have here is Stampede TV from the very late 70s. I have never seen a Stampede show before and I know very little about this company aside from how huge it was in Canada and how a lot, and I mean a LOT, of guys came out of there. Let’s see if it’s as good as it was made out to be. Let’s get to it.

Keith Hart vs. Joe Ventura

I have no idea what the other guy’s name is. This is joined in progress with Whalen, the commentator, talking about French pornography and giving us a wrestling Christmas poem. This is going to be out there isn’t it? This is just past the six minute mark apparently as we get to it. Whalen thinks the referee is lovely. Now we’re talking about how much everyone weighs.

Keith is Bret’s tag partner and they’re tag champions apparently. The titles must be defended in the next two weeks or they’ll be stripped. That lets the announcer talk about us having a possible strip show. I like this guy more or less just being dirty and not trying to hide it. You can hear the hecklers in the crowd pretty clearly. The guy’s name is Joe Ventura apparently.

Keith looks like a porn star. Why are they always stars and not just an actor? Apparently Butte, Montana is getting a show soon. Apparently both guys follow the rules. This is a hard style to get into as neither is incredibly interesting. Keith gets the win with an O’Connor Roll to about no reaction. We saw about five minutes out of eleven and a half.

Rating: D+. Based just on what we saw of course. This was a pretty boring match but very old school in its style. Actually considering this is over thirty years old maybe it’s just the time period it’s in. Not a terrible match but Hart was nothing special at all and Ventura was even less interesting. I wasn’t all that impressed.

Post match and post break a fan has a petition to get rid of a crooked referee and has over 60 signatures. Ok then.

Keith says that a month is up in two weeks and Bret is in the middle of a big tour so he might not be able to get back up here for the title match. Keith might hook up with his brother Bruce if he has to compete for forfeited titles. From what I can see the titles did wind up getting forfeited.

The North American Heavyweight Champion (top title in the company) Don Gagne (Frenchy Martin from the late 80s) has a title defense tonight against Sekigawa tonight. Gagne can’t talk incredibly well but he could have been a lot worse.

Bruce Hart vs. Andre Swista

I think that’s how you spell it. It’s Ukrainian so I have no idea how to spell it. This was again joined in progress. Apparently we missed a few minutes of it which is always annoying. The crooked referee is in this match. Andre destroys him for the most part and Bruce hits the floor. Back in and a punch to the ribs gives Bruce control again. Scratch the again aspect as he never was in control in the first place. A knee drop and a clothesline ends this. Nothing match here so no rating.

Post match Bruce talks about how John Foley, the top heel manager, won’t let Bruce have a title shot against the Dynamite Kid for the Middleweight Title. Foley is British apparently and Andre wouldn’t do anything compared to what Dynamite would do. Dynamite says he’s overweight for the title defense so he’s fighting a Japanese guy tonight. Dynamite: “Just because you’re Japanese doesn’t mean you’re good.” PREACH IT BROTHER MAN!

Yong Ki vs. Larry Jones

I wonder if he’s related to Low Ki. This is again joined in progress and Ki is apparently one of Foley’s boys and Jones appears to be a bad cowboy character. Yong has a chinlock on and this isn’t a scheduled match it seems. Ki is Vietnamese which I don’t think I’ve ever heard of. It’s his debut it seems. We take a break….and come back to a different match? What the heck? We saw like a minute of it and now it’s off to a different match. This company is weird man.

LeoBurke/Hubert Gallant vs. Tasumi Oshira/Tommy Stanton

Apparently Ki won the match. Burke is the only guy I’ve ever heard of and is more or less a legend in Stampede. Burke and Gallant seem to have teamed together for awhile as they have solid chemistry. Solid is a stretch probably but I’m too lazy to go back and think of something better. Stanton is in the singlet it seems. We’re fifteen minutes into this apparently. Sweet goodness is it impossible to have a full match shown?

Burke and Gallant are former champions it seems. Oshira hammers away on Gallant as the evildoers are in control. Stanton offers a knee for Oshira to ram Gallant into and gets his own knee hurt as a result. Nice job dude. Bearhug by Stanton which looks like he’s trying to rock Gallant to sleep.

The heels do the knee thing in the corner again and this time it doesn’t result in an injury. A punch finally allows Burke to come in. Really? That’s all it took? A single punch? Burke comes in and beats the tar out of the Japanese guy. A knee drop looks incredibly painful as it collides with the head.

All Burke here as he’s completely dominating. He has an awesome beard too. The referee more or less tells Oshira to come in so Burke beats on him for awhile. Sleeper, Burke’s finisher, goes on but Stanton breaks it up. Gallant botches the heck out of an attempted abdominal stretch and it all breaks down, prompting the announcer to almost sing. Stanton throws Gallant into Oshira to end this with Gallant getting the pin.

Rating: C+. Not a bad match here but seriously this got over 20 minutes in total? This card must have been like three hours long and crammed down into a 45 minute TV broadcast. It’s definitely the best match of the night so far and Burke was fun to see, but this was nothing special at all. Kind of hard hitting though so it has that going for it.

Burke and Gallant say they’d love to get a title shot but at Keith and Bret, not in a tournament.

Dynamite Kid vs. Hiroshi Yagi

Hiroshi is overweight for the Middleweight Title so this is non-title. We’re, say it with me, joined in progress after 15 minutes it seems. Yagi gets two on a small package. The fans boo the count. Dynamite looks awesome. Camel clutch goes on Yagi, giving us one of the funniest faces I’ve ever seen from Dynamite. He looks like he’s not sure if he should be happy or not about this and it’s rather comical.

The hands aren’t locked around the face on the hold so it’s not entirely effective. The camera angles need to go up a bit more as they seem to be tilted down. Yagi takes over and hits a flying headbutt to take Dynamite down. He may want to call that the Flying Strike of Irony. Dynamite gets a butterfly suplex for one.

Yagi goes all Japanese on Dynamite with kicks and martial arts. I guess those stereotypes extend up into Canada too. Indian Deathlock goes on and I don’t feel like making the nationality joke. We hit twenty minutes with both guys on the mat. Dynamite takes over and you would think we were watching in fast forward. Dynamite gets up on the second rope and gets kicked to the floor in a nice bump. Yagi gets a dive to the floor and it’s a double countout.

Rating: C-. Pretty much a boring match until the very ending there. Dynamite turned it on in the end there and it got rather entertaining. Yagi isn’t bad but he was a bit too slow for my tastes. Granted it might be better if we saw him fresh instead of fifteen minutes in, but who knows.

Yagi says he’ll lose five pounds and challenge for the title.

John Foley says that should have been a DQ and a no contest. Dynamite says Yagi is ten pounds overweight so there’s no title shot.

North American Heavyweight Title: Mr. Sekigawa vs. Don Gagne

No DQ here and naturally it’s joined in progress. We’re only five minutes in here though. Gagne is champions. This is more of a brawl than a match. Sekigawa is dominating here with basic power stuff. Middle rope splash gets no count on a cover. Gagne takes a bandage off the wrist of Sekigawa and starts hammering away. I think he’s face here but I really have no idea.

Big knee and legdrop get two. Neckbreaker is one of the first wrestling moves I’ve seen all night long. The audio is getting really annoying with how much you can hear from the audience. Sekigawa fights back with shots to the neck and face. We take a break to more brawling. Back with….Stu Hart. The match was thrown out despite being No DQ during the break. Well of course it was. No rating due to the lack of a start and the lack of a finish.

Hart says he wants to have a rematch with full rules and Leo Burke, who is also in the ring, to be the referee. Burke says he’ll do it and the title is held up otherwise.

Whalen closes us out and seems like he needs the FBI watching him.

Overall Rating: D. WOW. This was one of the weirdest shows I’ve ever seen. We didn’t get a complete match for the entire show and what we saw was rather bad. Dynamite is by far the highlight of the show since Bret wasn’t there. This is a completely different style of wrestling and I’m not sure it’s incredibly entertaining. It would become a breeding ground for awesome later on though so maybe this was just a bad week. Not a good show but I’m kind of intrigued so that’s good I guess.


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