The fellas at the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast scored a rare interview recently with the Magnificent Muraco, who is on the way to retiring as a longshoreman, a career he took up after his pro wrestling days wound down in the early 1990s.
Muraco, who was one of the hottest heels in wrestling during his 1981 and 1983 runs in the WWF, sounds old now but still has fond memories of performing in the Northeast. He occasionally watches his old matches and said his style back then was to get beaten on for the first seven to eight minutes of a bout to get the crowd riled up.
“All I do is get the shit kicked out of me and the people are popping the whole time,” Muraco said.
He specifically recalled a gargantuan reaction from the crowd at the old Boston Garden when Hulk Hogan and Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka teamed up. He’s likely referring to a May 1985 show in which Hogan and Snuka faced Muraco and Cowboy Bob Orton, which was the first WWF show broadcast from the Garden by NESN.
Muraco was questioned during the podcast about the Nancy Argentino case, which has resurfaced all these years later with Snuka facing charges he allegedly murdered his then-girlfriend in 1983. Muraco didn’t say much about the case other than to acknowledge that he remembered the incident when it happened. “I was right there around it the whole time,” Muraco said.
He lamented the failing health of old foes like Snuka — who has cancer — and Pedro Morales, who is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Morales and Muraco had wild brawls over the Intercontinental Title, trading the belt between each other several times. “We didn’t have to work really hard to get he people up,” Muraco said of Morales. “Pedro was a solid, rugged guy who had mass appeal.”
Muraco was synonymous with the Intercontinental Championship in the early ’80s, establishing it as the belt worn by the worker heels. He isn’t sure he was ever considered for the WWF Heavyweight Title, and from my memories, it’s doubtful he would have been given run because at the time, it was almost always a babyface belt. But Muraco said from a business perspective, the WWF didn’t need him as world champ because he got plenty of heat with the Intercontinental Title.
Muraco worked for both Vince McMahon Sr. and Jr. and was asked about the differences in their personalities. “Vince Sr. was graceful, a gentleman, an honorable, classy-type guy,” he said. “Vince Jr. is the wild man he seems, pushing and taking a chance.”
He also addressed the classic, campy series of skits he did with Mr. Fuji, the most memorable being “Fuji Vice,” a parody of a popular show at the time called Miami Vice. “It’s an easy pairing, and Fuji’s insane anyway,” Muraco recalled. “God, they were so bad … It was kind of fun, I guess. The worse, the better — we pretty much lived up to that.”