Pedro Morales and Magnificent Muraco feuded on and off for nearly two years from 1981 into 1983 over the Intercontinental Title.
Muraco originally beat Morales for the belt in June 20, 1981, at the Philadelphia Spectrum. However, it is Morales’ win over Muraco to regain the title on November 23, 1981, that sticks particuarly in my memory thanks to a great finish in the match.
The scene was Madison Square Garden and a Texas death match. After a solid bout, Muraco attempted to use brass knuckles, but as he swung for Morales, Pedro ducked under, hit the ropes, and came back with a flying headbutt into Muraco’s gut. The knux flew out of Muraco’s hand, and Morales grabbed the brass knuckles, wound up, and punched Muraco with them, leading to the pinfall and title victory.
The implications of this title win have some direct ties to the first pro wrestling card I ever saw live, which occurred on December 5, 1981, in the old Boston Garden. On that day, Muraco fought Bob Backlund for the WWF Heavyweight Title in a steel cage match.
The funny thing was, Muraco was announced as the Intercontinental Champion, while Morales (who fought Greg “The Hammer” Valentine earlier in the card) was not recognized as champ.
That’s because back in the day, the syndicated WWF weekly shows taped several weeks’ worth of episodes during TV nights. So Morales’ win hadn’t been shown yet in Boston at the time of the house show on December 5. Such foolishness would be impossible to pull off these days, with the Internet and other social media making it possible to learn of title switches almost immediately.