Earlier this week, the Wrestling Observer website noted the 40th anniversary of a famous 60-minute draw in St. Louis between Jack Brisco and Dory Funk, Jr., which made me recall hour-long matches that the WWF presented in Boston during the 1980s.
In October 1981, WWF Champion Bob Backlund fought the Magnificent Muraco to a 60-minute draw. Unlike the NWA, it was rare to see a WWF title match go for an hour, so the draw in Boston (and similar results at Madison Square Garden and the Capital Centre in Maryland) established Muraco as a tough challenger for Backlund.
The only other 60-minute match in the old Boston Garden in the ‘80s occurred in October 1989, when Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty (known as the Rockers back then) defeated Jacques and Raymond Rougeau in a marathon match. That type of bout, in which the team with the most falls in 60 minutes won, was a precursor to today’s occasional WWE iron man matches.
Naturally, the marathon match went the full hour with each team tied with falls, so in overtime the Rockers won. I sat at ringside instead of the balcony for this great match, and it was one of the best bouts I ever saw at either the Boston Garden or its replacement arena, the TD Garden.
These days, it’s hard to imagine a WWE crowd sitting through a 60-minute draw, which is too bad. With the right guys fighting, an hour-long match is an enjoyable switch of pace and a legitimate test of endurance for the wrestlers.