Those of you who ever wondered where Rex, King, and Spot — the Moondogs — got their gimmick from can thank Vince McMahon, Sr., the father of the current Vince and prior owner of the WWE and WWF.
In 1972, McMahon brought in Lonnie Mayne, an established star from the West Coast, to wrestle Pedro Morales, who at the time was the WWWF Heavyweight Champion.
“McMahon, Sr., named him Moondog Mayne, because Continue reading
I recently posted a podcast with John Cena, Sr. — the father of WWE superstar John Cena, who headlines WrestleMania 29 against the Rock — who talked to me about the first WrestleMania in 1985, Bruno Sammartino going into the WWE Hall of Fame, and his memories of the wrestling cards at the old Boston Garden. For those of you who were unable to hear the podcast or didn’t have time, below is the complete transcript of the interview. Continue reading
When I started watching pro wrestling in February 1981 (I can’t believe it’s been 31 years), Captain Lou Albano was known as the WWF manager of tag teams.
The first tandem I saw him guide was Rex and King, the Moondogs (Spot later joined the team after King was stopped at the Canadian border in real life and not allowed into the United States). Most of Albano’s teams, the Moondogs included, held the WWWF or WWF Tag Team Title.
Albano’s start in tag teams happened well before the ‘80s, as he managed several teams in the 1970s. Here is who I can remember Albano managing (and if I’ve got anything or missed a team, let me know): Continue reading
I don’t really associate pro wrestling with Christmas. Boston didn’t have holiday shows the way Dallas or other territories did.
However, having grown up watching WWF wrestling in the 1980s, there are two incidents that I do recall that occurred near Christmas: Continue reading
The CM Punk lie detector performance on Monday Night Raw this week was silly, at least until the end, and reminded me of a long-lost skit involving George “The Animal” Steele.
Filmed for the WWF’s Tuesday Night Titans show (think Vince McMahon acting as Jay Leno), Steele is purportedly subjected to shock treatment as a way to cure his Continue reading
I heard an entertaining whopper of an interview with former WWF Intercontinental Champion Ken Patera on a Minneapolis radio station recently.
Patera was very up front with the hosts about the long-term effect of his ring injuries (“I’m basically an invalid”), but he, like many others, told a dubious Andre the Giant drinking story.
According to Patera, at some point in the 1980s, he, Andre, Dick Murdoch, Dino Bravo, and Captain Lou Albano were in Las Vegas for a WWF show. Thinking about the names involved, I’d have to guess this alleged tale took place around 1984 or 1985, which were the only years I can think of that Murdoch was in the WWF.
Anyway, rather than get breakfast at Caesars Palace, Murdoch challenged Andre to a beer drinking contest that went Continue reading
I stumbled across an interesting six-man tag team match on YouTube, the result of injury and legalities.
The two-out-of-three falls bout took place in May 1981 in Madison Square Garden. On one side, you had Tony Garea and Rick Martel teaming with Gorilla Monsoon, a WWF official behind the scenes at this point who came out retirement for this match. Monsoon replaced Andre the Giant, who suffered a legitimate ankle injury that in the storyline was attributed to an attack by Killer Khan.
That team was opposed by Stan “The Lariat” Hansen, Moondog Rex, and Captain Lou Albano, the latter of whom substituted for Moondog King. It was likely just weeks or even days before this match that King, who Continue reading
If you want to see a small crowd go crazy for a title switch at a TV taping, check out the ending sequence of this match from late 1983, when Tony “Mr. USA” Atlas and Rocky Johnson defeated the Wild Samoans for the WWF Tag Team Title.
The match was big because Atlas and Johnson were the first African-American tag team to win the belts in WWF history. At least one African-American had held gold before in the WWF Continue reading
If you ask someone who was the greatest manager in the WWF, you’ll likely hear names like Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Jimmy Hart, Lou Albano, Fred Blassie, or the Grand Wizard.
But another person you shouldn’t leave off that list is Sensational Sherri Martel.
Martel was a former WWF Women’s Champion who transitioned to the heel manager role when ladies wrestling was phased out for a while. And she was an awesome manager who always played a character who was volatile and generated heat for whomever she accompanied.
She stayed ahead of the game by reinventing herself along the way: She initially got involved managing by briefly seconding the Honky Tonk Man during his feud with Randy “Macho Man” Savage in 1987, when she played Continue reading
It was 27 years ago this week that the WWF shot one of the early angles leading to the original WrestleMania, when Rowdy Roddy Piper smashed a gold record over the head of Captain Lou Albano.
The incident took place in 1984 at Madison Square Garden. Pop star Cyndi Lauper Continue reading