Tagged: Howard Finkel

Has the Barclays Center shoved Madison Square Garden aside for wrestling?

Back in the day, Gorilla Monsoon used to remind us that Madison Square Garden was the “Mecca of professional wrestling.” And for good reason: In the 1970s and ’80s, many of the WWF’s singles titles changed hands in the arena, and some of the biggest bouts of that era occurred there.

But it’s been a long time since MSG hosted any major angle or title change, and this past weekend’s SummerSlam extravaganza at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn — three sold-out nights there — has perhaps cemented that building as the new home base of the WWE in New York City.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. Matches at MSG had a certain aura Continue reading

Requiem for the WWE at the Meadowlands: 1981-2015

As a wrestling fan, it’s been sad to hear about the closing of yet another major arena that played such a big part of the sport’s history in the 1980s.

The New Jersey building currently called the Izod Center, but known by many as the Meadowlands, will close at the end of the March after losing its major tenants to competing, more modern arenas in the New York City area. The WWE had planned to hold this year’s SummerSlam at the Meadowlands, but now is on the search for another arena.

For old-school WWF fans, the arena originally made its mark as the site at which Bruno Sammartino originally retired as a full-timer on October 4, 1981, defeating George “The Animal” Steele.

The high point in the ’80s likely came with Continue reading

My first time on the WWE Network: Watching Backlund, Hansen, Patterson, and Slaughter from MSG in 1981

I finally had a chance to try out the new WWE Network last night — and of course the first stop I made was an old WWF house show from Madison Square Garden in April 1981.

A lot of my inspiration for writing this blog comes from my nostalgia of the ’80s wrestling scene that I grew up on, and the WWE Network is a pipeline back to those halcyon days.

With house shows filed under the “Old School” heading on the website, I have high hopes that an old Boston Garden card may eventually show its face on the network, as the intro mentions the Garden, MSG, and the Spectrum.

For the record, the MSG clip I watched wasn’t actually the full house show, but instead an hour of the featured matches. Many of the prelim bouts that filled out the house show cards in those days were skipped on the network clip. I’m not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, do I really need to see Baron Mikel Scicluna fight S.D. Jones? On the flip side, why not just post the whole show and let the viewer decide what to watch?

According to the History of WWE website, this card drew an incredible Continue reading

Finally, the “mystery” is solved about who the ring announcer was for WWF house shows at the old Boston Garden

Well, it took some time, but thanks to an anonymous person who commented on my post about recent photos of classic WWF stars, I now have the full name of the ring announcer who worked most of the house shows at the old Boston Garden in the 1980s: Frank Chrzanowski.

Many thanks to this anonymous poster, who also included a clip from a 1999 article in the Meridien (CT) Record-Journal about Chrzanowski and his Continue reading

Spiders, screw-jobs, and a classic Howard Finkel line

Legendary WWE ring announcer Howard Finkel, who is also the organization’s resident historian, wrote a great article on WWE.com looking at 10 wrestlers who used alter egos. The list ranged from Dusty Rhodes moonlighting as the Midnight Rider in Florida Championship Wrestling to Mick Foley’s many WWE personas.

One person on Finkel’s list brought back a lot of memories for me: The Fabulous Moolah’s short stint as the masked Spider Lady, which allegedly was part of an in-ring screw-job of Wendi Richter. Continue reading

MSG loudly welcomes back Howard Finkel at the Survivor Series

It was so great to see ring announcing legend Howard Finkel get the spotlight for a fleeting moment this past weekend at the WWE Survivor Series, during which he served as C.M. Punk’s personal ring announcer to offset Alberto Del Rio’s lackey, Ricardo Rodriguez.

The moment was special because the event took place at Madison Square Garden, in which Finkel Continue reading