Wrestler of the Day – August 16: Don Muraco

Time for the original Rock: Don Muraco.

Muraco got started back in 1970 but we’ll pick him up in Florida at some point in 1970.

Don Muraco vs. Barry Windham

Dig that rocking beard on Muraco! He hammers Barry down to start and knees him to the mat. Windham is sent out to the floor and into a wooden barricade as this is total domination so far. Back in and the beating continues with Muraco hammering away at the head. Muraco’s Asiatic Spike hold is good for the win.

We’ll head to the WWF now and jump ahead a few years. Muraco would challenge for the Intercontinental Title on January 22, 1983.

Intercontinental Title: Pedro Morales vs. Don Muraco

This is from MSG in January of 83. Morales had taken the title from Muraco over a year ago. See, back then title reigns were VERY different. The title was introduced in 1979 and Ricky Steamboat was the 11th reign in 1987. In 8 years, the title changed hands 10 times. Think about that. Of the first ten reigns, the shortest was five months. Today, that would be a long reign. Back then it was by far the shortest. Three of the first ten lasted over a year. Think about that for a minute and now compare it to today.

As for this match, Muraco jumps the champ in the corner but Morales fights back quickly. Morales rips half of the shirt off Muraco and the challenger is in trouble. Corner sunset flip gets two for Morales. Muraco has a sleeve of his shirt still hanging off his arm. Pedro knocks him to the floor and this is all Morales so far. Muraco does a Flair Flop off the apron to the floor.

Pedro goes up top but doesn’t dive onto him as Don hides under the floor. That was pretty smart. Muraco tries to hide as Morales stalks him. Boot to the back of the head and it’s all Pedro. Gorilla criticizes him for not going for the kill, which is pretty good analysis. And there’s a low blow by Muraco and both guys are down. Still using the t-shirt, Muraco chokes Pedro with it in the corner, only to get low blowed as well.

Ok NOW the t-shirt is finally gone. A running knee in the corner misses for Morales though and he might have blown it out. There’s a lot of blowing in this match. Muraco moves in on it with a leg snap out of the corner. Clipped to a spinning toe hold being countered by Pedro. Morales, ever the genius, tries a backbreaker (despite sending Muraco’s shoulder into the post on the counter) and reinjures his knee. Boston Crab (Pedro’s finisher) is quickly broken by the ropes. Pedro tries a slam but the knee buckles and Muraco falls on top for the pin and the second title change in two matches on this tape.

Rating: C-. Not great or anything but again it’s really cool to see these rarities as you always hear about how these legends held titles but you never see how they won them. Pedro was far better in the 70s than 80s as he was washed up at this point, but he could still put people over, which is what he did here. Decent stuff, although a lot of stalling hurt it.

Off to the most famous match of Muraco’s career. From MSG on October 17, 1983.

Intercontinental Title: Don Muraco vs. Jimmy Snuka

This is in a cage. Sound familiar? You can only win by escape, making this a REAL cage match. A quick slugout is won by Snuka but Muraco pops back up. Snuka chops away as the beating begins. Don tries for the door but Snuka will have none of that. Muraco manages to slingshot him into the cage and Jimmy is busted early. Snuka gets a knee up and climbs the cage, only to come back down and pound away on Muraco some more.

Don manages a slam and goes for the door but Jimmy makes a save, only to take a low blow. Snuka pops up and chops Don’s head open, followed by a middle rope headbutt. He stands Muraco up, and in a semi-famous ending, hits a flying headbutt which knocks Muraco into the door, knocking it open so that the unconscious Muraco can fall out to keep the title.

Rating: D+. The match was intense while it lasted, but the whole thing only runs about seven minutes. There’s nothing of note here at all other than the ending which is pretty creative. I don’t remember a shorter cage match off the top of my head, which is something I think a lot of people forget. I think people think this was a big and epic brawl but it’s really Snuka killing him and then the ending with a run time of 6:46. That’s not much.

Post match Jimmy snaps and throws Muraco back inside. He suplexes Muraco down and goes to the corner. He climbs to the top rope but then goes a step further to the top of the cage, and in the most famous scene in wrestling until Hogan vs. Andre, jumps off the top of the cage with the Superfly Splash, completely crushing Muraco. That still looks great today, and some credit needs to go to Muraco. He was starting to sit up when Jimmy hits him, but after the Splash Muraco is DEAD.

Mick Foley, Sandman, Tommy Dreamer and Bubba Ray Dudley were in attendance that night and all have said this was what made them want to be a wrestler. I can easily see how that would be the case, as there was nothing like this beforehand. Snuka was flying through the air and crushed Muraco, which still looks incredible today. It’s stuff like that which you can only see in wrestling, which is what makes it great.

For some reason on the replays they keep stopping it right before the splash hits.

From MSG on January 23, 1984.

Intercontinental Title: Don Muraco vs. Tito Santana

Tito is challenging and Muraco has Albano with him. Feeling out process to start with Albano wondering around the ring for no apparent reason other than he’s Lou Albano. Tito finally takes over with a headlock before firing off some of those right hands that Jesse would say have guacamole on them. When the headlock stops working, Tito just rams Muraco’s head into the mat. Why over complicate things?

Back to the headlock as Tito cranks away. A big knee drop to Muraco’s head gets two and it’s back to the headlock. Don comes out of the hold with a backbreaker but is immediately slammed right back down into the headlock. This is getting rather repetitive as we’re over eleven minutes into this match and about nine of them have been spent in a headlock. They changes things up slightly by having Tito on his feet where Muraco can break the hold with a kind of Russian legsweep.

Muraco rams Santana’s head into the buckle to take over and adds in a powerslam for two. I’m pretty sure Muraco’s finisher at this point was a tombstone but I’m not sure. The fans cheer for Tito and he starts to Hulk Up a bit. Santana punches Muraco down and stomps away before having to take Albano out. The forearm misses Don though and both guys are down. Muraco goes up top and they slug it out….for a double DQ? Dang this is an old school match. Even Gorilla sounds confused by that.

Rating: D. I LOVE Tito Santana, but man alive this was boring. It’s a sixteen minute match and nearly thirteen minutes of that are spent in a headlock. That isn’t an exaggeration either. I checked to see if I had forgotten something but there’s nothing else there. Tito would win the title from Muraco about three weeks later in Boston.

Time for Muraco to go after a big dog. From May 18, 1985.

Hulk Hogan/Jimmy Snuka vs. Don Muraco/Bob Orton

In Boston which means a hot crowd. Hogan is champion (duh) and Jimmy is probably the second most popular guy in the company. More Mania fallout stuff here. Big brawl to start and the good guys clear the ring. Snuka and Orton officially start and Bob gets his cast beaten on. Well that’s a very slow healing injury after all. They work on the arm for awhile with Hogan even coming in off the middle rope with a shot.

The arm hits the post and at this point it’s still a fresh injury, only having been broken for a month or so. Back to Snuka and the beating continues. The Human Banana comes back in and Orton can’t get anything going. Big atomic drop has Orton in trouble but he manages to trip Hogan to bring in Muraco. Gee Hogan went down quickly there. Clipped to Orton hitting a nice delayed vertical on Hogan.

Back to Muraco with some nice heel double teaming. They collide and there’s the hot tag to Snuka. The camera cuts to a shot of the crowd and a kid pops up right in front of the camera like in a horror movie. Fuji gets up on the apron for a distraction and Orton hits Snuka with the cast. Hogan takes a shot too and Snuka is busted. OH MAN is he cut. Hogan goes into the post on the floor and we’re clipped to more beating on Snuka. He gets a shot in though and it’s off to Hogan finally. Orton pops him with the cast almost immediately and it gets thrown out.

Rating: C+. I liked this one a lot and I’d have loved to see the full version of it. That and a decisive ending instead of the DQ but whatever. This was Hogan 101 back in the day: find some guy to tag with, find a pair of heels, and watch the guy get bigger than he was going to be able to get on his own. They’re trying that with Cena and Ryder at the moment, but it’s not working so well because Ryder looks like a helpless chick (remember Cena holding him?) in the whole thing.

Muraco would be entered into the Wrestling Classic.

First Round: Tito Santana vs. Don Muraco

Tito is IC Champion here, yet he doesn’t get an introduction? That makes a lot of sense. These two had some great matches for the IC belt awhile back. Gorilla and Jesse debate the wisdom of a champion being in the tournament which is a valid point. Santana really is underrated in the ring. I defy you to find a truly bad Santana match where he wasn’t getting squashed. This is just a great old school style of a match here in all its 80s greatness.

They work a very different style than what you would see on TV today but it was great stuff. A lot of the time the more basic you go the better your stuff will be. That’s what should be on Tito’s tombstone as it was how his whole career went. In an ending that I really like, Muraco hits a powerslam for the three, but Santana’s foot is over the rope. Muraco is celebrating and walks into a small package for the real pin. I really like that.

It makes Muraco looks fairly strong as he actually got Santana down for three while at the same time it keeps Santana from looking weak because while he was pinned, it wasn’t legal. Again, creative booking makes things that otherwise would be bad much better. Fun match.

Rating: B. While they only had four minutes, they were a good four minutes. See, you can have matches like JYD and Sheik that are short and suck, and then you can have matches like this that was short and good. These two went out there and went hard for a few minutes and had a fun match. That’s how it’s done guys. Take notes. Santana really was a master in the ring and Muraco was no slouch either.

Here’s a match that can’t possibly be bad. From MSG on November 25, 1985.

Don Muraco vs. Ricky Steamboat

MSG from November of 85. They’re slow to start so I’m assuming this is going to go on for awhile. Steamboat speeds things up and a kick sends Don to the floor. Muraco has some huge man boobs. Back in and Steamboat claps Muraco’s ears to send him right back to the floor. Back in and Muraco walks into a superkick and chops. Steamboat hooks the rare face chinlock (it’s a neck crank but I call them all chinlocks).

Muraco comes back but walks into more shots from Ricky to send him back outside. Back in again and Muraco STILL can’t get anything going. Backdrop sets up some armdrags and off to something resembling an STF. Now into a camel clutch. Steamboat grabs a nose lock before shifting to a front facelock. Clipped to later in the facelock as we hear about how this is a revenge match for the Dragon.

Muraco finally gets in some offense with an atomic drop and a clothesline. Steamboat goes face first into the post and he’s busted. Muraco goes after the wound like an evil man. Now it’s Steamboat on the floor as Gorilla wants a doctor to take a look at Steamboat. A slingshot puts Ricky into the post. Steamboat staggers around on the floor for a bit before getting slingshotted back in. That’s a popular move in this match.

Ricky chops away in the corner and the people get all exciteable. Muraco comes back again and Fuji throws in the cane. They fight over it but Steamboat kicks him off and into the referee. A cane shot misses Ricky so Steamboat kicks him in the back of the head and grabs the cane. The fans are LOSING IT. A cane shot draws the DQ loss for Steamboat though.

Rating: C+. Not a classic or anything but for what it was, this was fine. They let the guys do their thing and they worked the crowd into a frenzy because of it. What else do you really need to do in a place like New York? Steamboat was great and while Muraco was just a step past his prime, he could still go and do 20 minutes like he did here. Fine match.

Muraco would get a WWF World Title shot at SNME V.

WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Don Muraco

Real American is used for the first time here. That’s rather cool. Apparently the music video debuts tonight as well. Muraco is number one contender for some reason. This screams generic Hogan match to me but I’ve been wrong before. This wouldn’t appear to be one of those times though. Actually Hogan is dominating here which isn’t something you often see. Hogan has white kneepads. That’s rather odd.

Muraco takes over and this isn’t anything of note at all, but somehow this is by far and away the best match of the night thus far. Muraco uses a move called the Asian Spike twice. I’d assume it’s a thumb to the chest or something like that. Hulk Up time and Heenan runs in for the DQ after the leg drop.

Rating: C-. Not bad but just a filler match to set up the ending angle. Much like the rest of the stuff around this time, there just wasn’t much here. Hogan did his usual stuff which to be fair was still huge back then. This was fine for what it was, though that wasn’t all that much in the first place.

Muraco would open Wrestlemania II in a match dealing with the post Wrestlemania I fallout.

Paul Orndorff vs. Don Muraco

This is fallout from the main event of Mania last year as Orndorff turned face due to Piper and Orton leaving him behind. Muraco is an associate of Piper so this is kind of a proxy feud for Paul. Muraco has Fuji with him too. Both guys say they’ll win in a voiceover as the match starts. Paul slams Muraco down to start and the crowd is already hot. Orndorff makes a slant eyes face at Fuji which today would get him thrown out of the company. In 1986, he was making $20,000 a week later in the year. It’s funny how times change.

Paul takes him down to the mat with an armbar as Susan St. James clearly has no idea what’s going on. She’s trying but this isn’t something she knows about at all it would seem. Paul cranks on a wristlock before going back down to the armbar. Susan: “He looks like he’s using some ancient Chinese techniques”. Uh…yeah. Muraco finally escapes and sends Paul into the corner, only to have Orndorff go off on him as they brawl to the floor. In something you won’t ever hear again I don’t think, the opening match of Wrestlemania goes to a double countout. The fans chant some expletives.

Rating: D. What do you want here? The match is four minutes long and ends in a double countout. It was hot while it lasted, but the problem is that it didn’t last long enough at all. This was a pretty big feud and it gets a four minute match? That’s all they can spare these guys? Orndorff would have a MEGA heel turn later in the summer which would eventually draw 74,000 people to an outdoor show in Toronto. That’s some drawing power.

Muraco would appear at the Big Event.

King Tonga vs. Don Muraco

Both are heels here and Tonga is more commonly known as Haku/Meng. He looks weird in regular tights too. I think he’s supposed to be a face but he’s just not popular at all. He’s also referred to as both King Tonga and Haku. He works on the arm, like a lot. I mean he works on that thing like there’s no freaking tomorrow.

We’re at about 5 minutes of just arm work. Valiant and Ladd are rather annoying men. And now we hit a two minute nerve hold. I have a bad feeling I know where this is going to go. Good grief this is just boring. Nothing of note happens for the better part of ever and then we have a time limit draw at about seventeen of the twenty minutes. This was a waste of time.

Rating: D+. I hate matches like these. Draws are fine, but dang man this was just freaking boring. Haku using a high cross body was cool though. Either way, this just wasn’t interesting at all and the wrestling wasn’t any good. That makes for a very bad match, especially this early on the show.

Muraco would start hanging out with Adrian Adonis and face Roddy Piper as a result. From November 1, 1986.

Roddy Piper vs. Don Muraco

Muraco is an Adonis crony. Piper jumps him to start and he’s WAY over. He was easily the second most popular guy in the company at this point. Muraco has a beard here which doesn’t work on him at all. They go to the floor and Piper slams him into a chair. Piper bites him coming back in and then gets him tied up in the ropes.

There’s a bulldog for no cover. There are cops walking around in the front row for some reason. Muraco sends him to the floor and Fuji gets in a shot to take Piper down a few pegs. Piper gets sent into the post and is busted. I can’t actually see it but Gorilla said it and Gorilla wouldn’t lie. Back in now and Piper spears him down to take over. Oh yeah it’s dripping off his face. Muraco is busted too.

This is a total brawl now. Muraco swings away but you don’t do that to Piper. He takes over with punches and hits a suplex for two. Fuji pokes Piper with the cane to shift momentum one more time. They’re both bleeding a ton. Fuji tries to interfere again but Muraco accidentally knees him to the floor and Piper rolls up Muraco for the pin.

Rating: B-. Fun brawl here which is what Piper was best at. He could go out there and have a totally wild brawl but his charisma was more than enough to carry him to a good match. Well maybe fun is the better term that good but you get the idea. This of course all culminated with the hair vs. hair match at Mania with Piper vs. Adonis.

Time for a comedy match. From November 24, 1986.

Don Muraco vs. Hillbilly Jim

Muraco is dressed like Piper and Fuji is with him in a tux. Remember that. Muraco is wrestling in the kilt. Jim rips it off quickly and the beating begins. Muraco is sent to the floor and Fuji’s hat got crushed. Muraco hides in the corner and Jim works on the arm. A headbutt puts Don on the floor. Muraco takes him down and it’s off to a nerve hold. Jim comes back and hits a big boot. Bear hug (called a full nelson by Monsoon for some reason) draws in Fuji for the DQ.

Rating: D. Jim was a fun character and this was designed to set up the next match and that’s all. Muraco was definitely on the downside of his career at this point but he still had a few more years on the top level to go. Fuji interfering directly sets up the next match on the tape which is always cool to see.

Muraco would join forces with Bob Orton and open the biggest show ever. From Wrestlemania III.

Can-Am Connection vs. Don Muraco/Bob Orton

No story here as they’re just two teams having a match. The Can-Am Connection is Rick Martel (Can) and Tom Zenk (Am) which would kind of evolve into Strike Force. Martel and Muraco start things off with Rick hitting a quick shoulder to take Don down. A hip block and a kind of monkey flip put Muraco down again and it’s a standoff. Zenk comes in for a double monkey flip and it’s off to Orton who gets armdragged down as well.

Bob gets hit from one corner to the other until Zenk takes him down with an armbar. All Connection so far. They trade full nelsons and Muraco hits Orton by mistake for two. Bob gets his arm cranked on a bit until FINALLY making the tag out to Muraco. The bad luck continues for the heels as Don is slammed down and has his arm worked on as well.

Orton and Muraco finally start cheating with a knee to Zenk’s back and a shot from the middle rope. Zenk and Bob ram heads and it’s a double tag as everything breaks down. The heels are sent into each other and a double dropkick takes Orton down. Muraco gets double teamed and a cross body with a trip from Zenk is enough for Martel to get the pin.

Rating: B-. I’ve called this the best opening match in Wrestlemania history and I don’t think it’s that far off from the truth. There are definitely matches of higher quality, but think about what an opening match is supposed to do. It’s designed to set the tone for a show and this one did that. It’s about five and a half minutes long and the good guys beat the bad guys with some nice continuity. It’s nothing flashy but it wasn’t supposed to be. This is a very nice, basic tag match and the crowd was into it, which is all it was supposed to accomplish. Good stuff here.

After turning face, Muraco would main event the first Survivor Series.

Team Andre the Giant vs. Team Hulk Hogan

Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang, Butch Reed, Rick Rude
Hulk Hogan, Bam Bam Bigelow, Don Muraco, Ken Patera, Paul Orndorff

After Andre’s team comes out, we go to the back for a great late 80s Hogan insane promo. He talks about how hungry all of his team is and apparently he trusts Orndorff again. Muraco is subbing for an injured Billy Graham who would never wrestle again if I remember correctly. To say the place erupts for Hogan is an understatement. Muraco and Rude get things going here. Again there aren’t many feuds going on here other than Hogan vs. Andre. Rude and Orndorff are feuding but other than that I don’t think there were any established programs already.

Rude gets knocked into the corner and quintuple teamed before it’s off to Orndorff for the tag. Paul knocks him around a bit and here’s Hogan to blow the roof off the place again. He drops a bunch of elbows on Rude and here’s Bigelow with a splash for no cover. Bigelow gorilla presses Rude and here’s Patera who never got back to where he was before his jail stint.

Off to Reed who has about as much luck as Rude had earlier. Muraco comes in and dropkicks Reed down as does Orndorff. Paul beats on him for a bit and it’s a double clothesline from Hogan and Orndorff, leading to the big leg and a 5-4 lead for Hogan and company. Andre comes in while Hogan is celebrating, but Joey Marella (Gorilla’s adopted son) says a high five to Patera counted as a tag so the teasing of the crowd continues.

Andre, the Frenchman that he is, thinks Patera is beneath him and tags out to Bundy. Patera clotheslines Bundy down but King tags in Gang to beat on Orndorff. Paul is all like BRING IT ON and punches Gang in the head, only to charge into a knee in the corner to bring him right back down. Off to Rude who gets his own head taken off by a clothesline. It’s been ALL Hulk N Pals so far.

Rude pokes Muraco in the eye and it’s off to Gang, but OMG misses a splash in the corner. Patera gets in and pounds away on Gang even more with right hands and a knee in the corner. Gang goes to the eyes which of course makes Jesse happy. Patera tries to fight back but they clothesline each other and Gang falls on top of him for the pin, making it 4-4. Hogan comes in immediately to take over but quickly brings in Bam Bam for a double big boot.

Bigelow is probably the second most popular guy in the company at this point or third at worst behind only Hogan and Savage. They hit head to head and it’s a double tag to Rude and Orndorff. Paul goes nuts on him but as he loads up the piledriver, Bundy jumps him from behind, giving Rude a quick rollup pin. That would be it for Orndorff in the WWF, at least in major spots.

Bigelow comes in and suplexes Rude down before tagging out to Hogan for a high knee (!). A powerslam from Muraco to take Rude out and it’s Gang, Bundy and Andre vs. Bigelow, Hogan and Muraco. Muraco goes after Bundy’s leg which is pretty good strategy. Granted it doesn’t work but at least it was a good idea. Gang comes in and Muraco can’t slam him because he’s really fat. The splash eliminates Muraco and it’s 3-2.

Gang vs. Bigelow now with Bigelow trying a sunset flip, only to get crushed by the power of fat. Bundy clotheslines Bigelow inside out and Jesse says Hogan is going to run if Bigelow gets eliminated. Gorilla RUNS to Hogan’s defense and Jesse freaks. Gang and Bigelow collide and Hogan looks like he’s about to cry. Andre finally comes in and Bigelow looks TINY compared to him.

Bigelow slides between Andre’s legs and FINALLY it’s Hogan vs. Andre. Hogan pounds away and blocks a headbutt and Andre is in trouble. Hogan decks Bundy and Gang before elbowing Andre in the head. Bundy pulls Hogan to the floor and Hulk has to beat up both of the other monsters. He slams both guys, but he’s outside too long and Hogan is counted out. Hogan, the great sportsman that he is, gets back in anyway and is STUNNED, yes STUNNED I SAY about getting counted out. It takes the referees saying that if Hogan doesn’t leave, his whole team is disqualified.

So it’s Bigelow vs. Andre, Bundy and Gang. Bigelow starts with Bundy and clotheslines him down for two. A shoulder block puts Bundy down again and a headbutt gets two. A dropkick staggers Bundy and the King misses a splash. Bigelow hits his slingshot splash to eliminate Bundy and make it 2-1.

Gang comes in immediately and starts pounding away, hooking something like a front facelock. Bigelow gets rammed into Andre’s boot and Gang goes up. Oh this can’t end well. Gang misses a “splash” and Bigelow pins him to get us down to one on one. Let the pain begin. Andre pounds him down, avoids a charge, fires off a bunch of shoulders to the back, and a kind of single arm butterfly suplex gets the final pin for Andre.

Rating: B-. For a main event, this was perfectly fine. More than anything else, it continues Hogan vs. Andre. They had their first match about eight months ago and something like this needed to happen to extend the feud. That’s the reason for the amount of PPVs going up: you need another place to have major feuds. Andre has now won something in direct competition over Hogan and there’s a reason for a rematch. Maybe on February 5th live on NBC?

Muraco would be entered into the WWF World Title tournament at Wrestlemania IV.

WWF World Title Tournament First Round: Dino Bravo vs. Don Muraco

Bravo shoves him back into the corner to start to win the first power battle of the match. Muraco hammers him down and tries something like a Vader Bomb but basically just lands next to Bravo instead. Dino comes back with an elbow to the face and a gutwrench suplex for no cover. A knee in the corner misses Muraco so he starts hammering on the knee.

A spinning toehold has Bravo in trouble but Don gets kicked away and gets his head caught in the ropes. Dino uses Muraco’s own piledriver to get two but a second attempt is countered with a backdrop. They clothesline each other but it’s Muraco up first. He hits a flying forearm which works so well that he tries it again, but Bravo pulls the referee into Muraco for the DQ.

Rating: D+. this was slow and plodding but it wasn’t horrible. Muraco was far better when he was less muscular and evil and this part of his career never quite worked that well. One very nice thing here is Jesse freaking out when Bravo got disqualified but then saying it was correct when seeing Bravo pull the referee on the replay. It’s very refreshing to see something like that.

WWF World Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Don Muraco vs. Ted DiBiase

The winner goes to the finals because of the double DQ. Ted comes out alone here for the first time tonight. Muraco pulls him into the ring by the hair and we’re ready to go. A quick powerslam gets two and Ted is reeling. There’s a clothesline for another two and Ted tries to bail. DiBiase finally gets to the floor and Billy Graham (Muraco’s manager) tries to hit him with his cane. Back in and Don tries to pull him out of the corner but gets pulled into the corner himself instead. DiBiase finally has some control but misses a falling reverse elbow off the middle rope. Muraco makes a quick comeback but walks into a hotshot for the pin.

Rating: C. Not bad here but yet again the time hurts them a lot. There’s only so much you can do in about five minutes, although it was good to show that DiBiase could get a win on his own which he did here. Muraco would be gone pretty soon if I remember correctly. Not much of a match here but it wasn’t bad.

Muraco would head to the indies for awhile before reappearing at the ECW/WCW show Slamboree 1993.

Dick Murdoch/Don Muraco/Jimmy Snuka vs. Wahoo McDaniel/Blackjack Mulligan/Jim Brunzell

Snuka in WCW is just weird. There are only three Legends matches and they’re all in a row. See, the problem with shows like these is that they have to actually wrestle. The Jims star us off here. Brunzell controls and takes over to start before bringing in Mulligan (Barry Windham’s dad). Mulligan vs. Murdoch now and they look their age. Murdoch gets taken down and goes into the wrong corner which ends badly for him.

Larry actually gets on Schiavone for knowing too much history. Dang Bischoff messed with that guy’s head and style like nothing I’ve ever seen. Murdoch (former big shot in the KKK apparently) runs from Wahoo and it’s off to Muraco. Wahoo slams him a few times and Muraco runs off. It’s weird to see Snuka on the seemingly heel team.

Muraco chops McDaniel a lot as Wahoo is face in peril I guess. Ok never mind as it’s off to Brunzell again who hits that dropkick of his. MURDOCH HITS A FREAKING FLYING HEADSCISSORS!!! I need a minute here. The announcers pop big for that. Not very horrible either if you can believe that (playa). Sleeper doesn’t work that well for Brunzell as Muraco breaks it up and hits a powerslam for no cover.

Wahoo gets a tag but the referee misses it so we’re still not ready to bring someone new in. Heel miscommunication puts Snuka down. Murdoch goes up top and puts his knee in Brunzell’s back to drive him down for two. Back to Muraco who gets caught in a cross body for two. Snuka finally comes in and gets in an argument with Snuka. Everything breaks down into a big brawl and the match gets thrown out.

Rating: C. It’s hard to come down on these matches as they’re not supposed to be good or anything. None of the guys have been active for years other than maybe some work on the indy circuits (Muraco was in ECW sometime around this, as was Snuka) so it’s not like they’ve been in the spotlight recently. The idea is to let them get one last hurrah and that’s fine. Hard to complain if the match is even remotely passable.

Don Muraco is a guy who may not have been the top guy in the promotion but he was a solid hand no matter where they put him on the card. He could wrestle with anyone and could be a good power face or a conniving heel. Muraco was a good guy to bring over from the territory system and he would rarely have a bad match. That’s a very valuable asset to have and Muraco was very good at it.

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