I don’t really associate pro wrestling with Christmas. Boston didn’t have holiday shows the way Dallas or other territories did.
However, having grown up watching WWF wrestling in the 1980s, there are two incidents that I do recall that occurred near Christmas:
- On December 26, 1983, the Iron Sheik pulled off an upset by defeating Bob Backlund for the WWF Heavyweight Championship in Madison Square Garden. In what at the time was a famous ending, the Sheik had Backlund in the camel clutch when Backlund’s manager, Arnold Skaaland, threw in the towel, signaling a forfeit of the belt. The Sheik lost the title to Hulk Hogan about a month later. The old Boston Garden saw one of the Sheik’s few title defenses against Backlund. Interesting, when Backlund returned in 1994 to defeat Bret Hart for the same title, a towel was thrown in on Hart.
- On December 28, 1984, Rowdy Roddy Piper smashed a gold record over the head of Captain Lou Albano, in what was (in hindsight) the first angle leading to the original WrestleMania. All these years later, I still can’t believe MTV aired this attack a few days after it occurred, but this was during the heart of the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Connection.
Happy holidays, everyone.