The Magnificent Muraco could have made a lot of money in today’s WWE. He was big guy, even off steroids. He gave great interviews. He presented a heel intensity that made you want to boo him. And he made the Intercontinental Title, which he held twice in the early 1980s, mean something.
You could make a good argument that he was the top heel in the WWF in the ‘80s. He was involved in what may be the most remembered WWF bout of that decade, his steel cage match in Madison Square Garden with Jimmy Snuka – the one where he took Snuka’s “Superfly” splash off the top of the cage. Years later, this match got more notoriety because a young Mick Foley is seen on film in the crowd.
But it’s Muraco’s nuances that win me over. For example:
- In a squash match in 1983, Muraco and manager Capt. Lou Albano brought a sub and soda to the ring. In between smacking his opponent around, Muraco went to the corner and got bites of his sub from Albano. Absolutely hilarious even today.
- Some of his interviews were so fiery. In this clip, Muraco talks about why Tito Santana doesn’t have what it takes to be Intercontinental champ, and Muraco is intense.
- His angles were memorable. Many recall the aforementioned Snuka cage match, which culminated the feud between these two men. But the opening shots of the grudge occurred during a Buddy Rogers’ Corner segment that had it all: harsh words, an attack, a bloody finale complete with the big, red “censored” X — and even Muraco committing fashion suicide by wearing a bandana and sports jacket.
When I reminisce about 1980s WWF wrestling, Muraco always comes to mind.