Tagged: Magnificent Muraco

Tag team upheaval for Demolition at Survivor Series 1988

With the 2017 WWE Survivor Series coming up, I decided to watch a match I had not seen in a long time: The epic, 10-team Survivor Series elimination contest from 1988.

The bout culminated in a rare double turn, as Mr. Fuji — “the devious one,” said Gorilla Monsoon during commentary — betrayed Tag Team Champions Demolition and instead sided with opponents The Powers of Pain.

 

Ax and Smash of Demolition had been heels since their arrival, but Fuji’s actions made them babyfaces, and the opposite happened when the Powers of Pain — Warlord and Barbarian — lifted Fuji on their shoulders after winning the match.

The other notable thing that many long-time WWF fans remember about the match is Continue reading

Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka — dead at 73 — took us to emotional highs in the ’80s

So, WWF fans from the 1980s, how did the late Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka leave his mark on you? Was it the Superfly off the steel cage or the coconut?

For me, it was that moment in 1984 when Rowdy Roddy Piper smashed the coconut into Snuka’s head, and then mushed a banana in his face and whipped him. It may be the greatest angle in ’80s.

But there is not a more iconic 1980s moment in the WWE’s history than Snuka’s leap from the top of the cage onto the Magnificent Muraco at Madison Square Garden in 1983, a moment that several wrestlers a generation later — including Mick Foley — pegged as an inspiration.

That’s the reason Snuka still resonates with us all these years later: He brought a fiery emotion to his angles and matches. The heels didn’t just attack Snuka. Instead, they humiliated him — remember Muraco spitting on Snuka? — and we as fans felt it. And when Snuka was out for revenge, he was a madman.

Video: Snuka vs. Piper and the famous Piper's Pit angle

You don’t see that type of anger any more, when feuds come and go quickly. You don’t get mad for wrestlers the way we got mad for Snuka.

He will forever be burned into the brains of ’80s fans who remember his feuds with Bob Backlund, Muraco, Captain Lou Albano, Ray “The Crippler” Stevens, Piper and others.

The Superfly died on January 15 after a battle with stomach cancer. Despite his golden years in the WWF — when he was arguably the hottest wrestler in the country — it is bittersweet these days to look back at Snuka’s career because Continue reading

Mr. Fuji, perennial tag champ and star of ‘Fuji Vice,’ dies at 82

Many of us growing up in the Boston area during the 1970s and ’80s will best remember Mr. Fuji as a tag team champion wrestler who held the WWWF and WWF Tag Team Title five times with Professor Toru Tanaka and Mr. Saito.

For me, however, Fuji will stay forever in my mind for his slapstick comedy in skits with Magnificent Muraco, such as “Fuji Vice,” a parody of a hot TV show at the time called Miami Vice. If you’ve never seen “Fuji Vice,” then you must watch it right now below as an homage. I just did.

 

Fuji, whose real name was Harry Fujiwara, died on August 28 at the age of 82.

He had lengthy runs in the WWF as an active wrestler and then became the manager of stars such as Continue reading

Thirty years ago, WrestleMania 2 put people to sleep

This year marks the 30th anniversary of WrestleMania 2, a lousy card that took place on April 7, 1986.

I’m not sure what to say about this show. Having just rewatched it recently on the WWE Network, Mania 2 was just as bad today as I remembered it back in the day. Even by 1980s standards, the matches felt rushed and there was no showstealer that you’d expect to see today.

This may have been the worst WrestleMania ever, with the only possible competition being WrestleMania IX.

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The event — which took place on a Monday night — emanated from three arenas: Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, NY; Rosemont Horizon (now the Allstate Arena) outside of Chicago; and Los Angeles Sports Arena.

Vince McMahon — who clearly believed Continue reading

Magnificent Muraco talks Boston Garden, Superfly Snuka, and Fuji Vice

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.

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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 Continue reading

Iron Mike Sharpe: Loud, lumbering — and memorable

If I asked those of you around for the WWF scene in the 1980s what you remembered most about Iron Mike Sharpe, most of you would say one of two things:

  • His loud yelling throughout the match
  • His odd, leather forearm pad

Sharpe was an interesting character in that as a jobber, he was among the most memorable from the early ’80s, but as a true star, he just never made it. I remember when he first came into the WWF in early 1983 that Captain Lou Albano managed him, which in those days signaled that he would be challenging for both the WWF Heavyweight and Intercontinental Titles. And he did get those championship bouts — for example, losing to IC Champ Tito Santana in the old Boston Garden in March 1984 — but few of the fans took him seriously as a contender, and he was quickly demoted to the squash matches.

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I found an interesting result involving Sharpe from Madison Square Garden in November 1983, at which Magnificent Muraco defeated Sharpe Continue reading

Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka is charged with the 1983 murder of his girlfriend

Time caught up to Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka this week, as more than 30 years after the mysterious death of his girlfriend, Snuka has been charged with her murder.

On Tuesday, Snuka turned himself in to Lehigh County, PA, police officials to face charges of third-degree murder, which essentially means killing with malice. The charges carry a possible 40 years in prison, according to the Morning Call of Allentown, PA, which had aggressively reported on the strange circumstances of this case within recent years, which eventually led to a grand jury re-examining the facts.

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Snuka had long maintained his innocence in the death of Nancy Argentino, who died on May 11, 1983, during the height of Snuka’s popularity with Continue reading

Back in 1983, what would TMZ have done with the death of Jimmy Snuka’s girlfriend?

As we watch the NFL squirm on the heels of allegations against players Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened to wrestlers back during the heydays of the WWE had the Internet been more prominent and TMZ had been on the prowl.

When I saw the video of Ray Rice cold-cocking this then fiance in an elevator, my mind went back to the story of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and his on-the-road-girlfriend, Nancy Argentino. Argentino died in May 1983 under mysterious circumstances, and whether you believe Snuka was involved, there seems to be little doubt that the WWF did its best to keep that incident quiet from the public for a long time.

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Let’s suppose Internet news organizations had existed 30 years ago. When Argentino died while traveling with Snuka, it would have made national news, and it’s likely Continue reading

With its only 2013 house show coming up, the future of MSG looks bleak for wrestling

I’ve been terrible about updating this blog, due to real life creeping in: new jobs, house renovation loose ends, blah, blah. It doesn’t help that the current WWE product is teetering on boring, too.

The ironic part is I have so much to write about. I keep these little notes on paper or in my email draft folder of topics to post on, and they’ve just been sitting there.

One of the biggest things bothering me these days is Madison Square Garden and just how far this arena has fell in prominence in the WWE. Back in October, we had the 30th anniversary of Jimmy Snuka’s cage match with Magnificent Muraco at MSG, during which Snuka dove off the top of the cage, creating one of the most iconic moments in WWE history.

And now look at Madison Square Garden. As of this writing, the arena has had exactly zero wrestling cards in 2013. There is the annual (albeit routine) Christmas week house show at Madison Square Garden coming up on December 26, and the WWE hosted its 2013 Hall of Fame at the arena. That’s it for wrestling in the house that Bruno Continue reading

Glad to be back on the blog, thanks for your patience…

It’s great to be writing again here — I feel like Don Muraco returning to the WWF in 1982 on his way to winning another Intercontinental Championship.

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything on the blog. Between a renovations in my home and a new job in my kayfabe life, I really got behind in adding some memories here from the 1980s.

My friend, Ed, just emailed me about attending a WWE house show at the TD Garden in Boston over Labor Day weekend (I need to get back to Ed with an answer), and it made me realize that it’s been years since I’ve seen a card in Boston. It’s unbelievable how fast the years sped by from the late ’80s and early ’90s, when I would not miss a house show in Boston for anything.  Nowadays, we’re lucky if wrestling comes to Boston three or fours times a year, yet I’m on the fence about attending.

Just like sleeping until noon on the weekends, going to movie theater every week, and eating out whenever I liked, going to live WWF shows was something best played in my youth. Now, 30 years on, I can’t give Ed an automatic “Yes! Yes! Yes!” answer about attending. I still love wrestling, but it doesn’t speak to me like it did when I was a teen.

I think that’s the problem at lot of people from my generation are having these days with the WWE.