See Also: 1981 Wrestlers list
Angelo Mosca, having regained the Canadian Title on the
last card of 1980 would kick off the year with a defense versus
former WWWF champ Ivan Koloff. The champ would take the loss via dq
but come back on the next card to defeat the Russian in a no dq
Mosca would also appear in the WWF (as
his usual hheel
persona) managing a $10,000 Battle Royale win and a rare match against Andre The Giant before beginning
a program with Bob Backlund.
Mosca would get a dq win over the WWF
champ in May at the famous Madison Square Garden, as well as shots
at Pedro Morales and the I-C Title. Note that Mosca would not defend
(or wear ) the Canadian belt during these appearances. Other notable
opponents included Bruno Sammartino, Dusty Rhodes, and Rick Martel.
Blackjack Mulligan would end his feud
with Bobby Duncum by beating his fellow Texan in what else? A Texas
Death Match. Duncum would enter into a feud with Sweet Ebony Diamond (Rocky Johnson) while
Mulligan would depart the area until December.
Filling out the under-cards would be
familiar names Parisi, Von Hess, Lyons, The Markus Brothers, and
Charlie (aka Gary) Fulton.
Flair would face Valentine again in their long battle around
the US Title. Valentine would find success in the WWF as well,
facing all the top stars in the Northeast.
Mosca would continue his winning ways
successfully defending against Hossein and Duncum on the circuit shows
and would also team with Tony Parisi for a
Niagara Falls match versus Snuka and Hossein.
Veteran Tony Parisi would team with Bruno
Sammartino's son David (billed as Bruno Jr.) and the popular team
was quite a hit with the fans. Somewhat of a wrestling 'family'
connection , Parisi had once been billed as the senior
Bruno's ' cousin ' in the 60's.
The feud between Andre and Hulk Hogan
would make it into Toronto with Andre beating the then hated Hogan.
They took this match up and down the east coast and it made for one
of Andre's best feuds ever. An opponent that was more his size, plus
Hogan as a heel was a different entity than his 'Hulkamania' era.
Jimmy Snuka challenged for Mosca's
Canadian Title but came up short.
Canadian Champ Dino Bravo would be seen on George Cannon's
'Superstars of Wrestling' broadcast out of Windsor, Ontario.
Familiar names appearing included Luis Martinez, Mad Dog Lefebvre,
Gino Brito, Kasavubu, Big Mac, Don Kent and Hartford Love.
Bravo would also be seen up the road
in Montreal, sometimes teaming with the legendary Edouard
Parisi was also a regular visitor to
Quebec over the years (and a long time partner of Gino Brito
aka Louis Cerdan) and a February card saw him team with Jacques
Rougeau versus The Hangman Neil Guay and Mad Dog Lefebvre. Parisi,
the eternal fan favorite actually had a short heel run in the Quebec
area back in 1977. Later in 1985,
Parisi would count a tag victory (with King Tonga) over
the usually unbeatable Road Warriors on a Verdun card.
Mosca would earn a shot at Harley
Race and the NWA Championship. The match would end in a no-contest
after an all out brawl with Mosca getting the better of the champ.
Mosca would have a good couple of years facing all three 'major'
title holders and many of the regional champs.
It was a bit enlightening for the fans
here to see Mosca on WWF TV cracking Pat Patterson's skull open with
a water pitcher- while being cheered here. Seems that
other than Toronto (80's) the only other city/area
he would work as a fan-favorite was the AWA. When his son
Angelo Jr. came into the game, Sr. would finish his career as a
Flair would feud with Piper over the U.S
Title and in May Piper would challenge Mosca for the Canadian Title.
Mr Fuji would interfere and lead-in to the Fuji-Mosca
Canadian Champ Dewey Robertson was teaming with former CFL'er George
Wells. Both would also team with Sweet Ebony Diamond in the
area. Robertson and Wells had previously held the the
Mid-Atlantic Tag Titles back in 1980. As well, Robertson would find
time to team up with veteran Johnny Weaver and regain the M-A Tag
Titles for another run in 1981
Mosca begins his feud
with Fuji with a dq win over the former WWWF Tag champ.
On a previous
TV taping they had Fuji beating two opponents in a handicap
match to make him seem more of a dangerous opponent for Mosca.
Fuji would be denied in his quest for the title but would become a thorn in the side of the Champ
with his under-handed tricks.
Flair would beat Koloff to earn another
shot against U.S. Champ Roddy Piper on the following
card. Parisi would be the special referee but Flair would be
denied after Piper was disqualified.
would finally beat Mosca and gain the coveted Canadian Title. It
would not be a long reign however, with only one known title defense
(Buffalo) before losing it back to Mosca (at MLG) at the end of the
On the Indy circuit, The Sheik would
carry on a feud with the Whipper Watson Jr. the son of longtime
nemesis Whipper Watson. Other regulars would include The Wolfman,
The Kelly Brothers, Danny Johnson and Chris Tolos.
Mosca would regain the Canadian Title
from Fuji in a Texas Death Match on the MLG Sunday show. The
following day in Oshawa, Mosca would have a brawl with veteran Ray
Stevens setting up a re-match on the next Gardens card.
A dream team of sorts evolved when Flair teamed up with
Andre in his on-going feud with
Piper. Roddy would enlist the aid of Crippler Stevens as his partner
in what would be a losing effort. Piper would survive to face Andre
in a singles match in August.
'The American Dream' Dusty Rhodes would
defeat Harley Race for the NWA World Title in Atlanta and despite
his short reign, managed to make a T.O appearance in
Dusty Rhodes would come
in to take on John Studd in an NWA Title defense.
Mosca would make his last two
Canadian Title defenses (this reign) against Ray Stevens and
Greg Valentine before losing the belt to John Studd in
Koloff vs Steamboat
Andersons vs Flair/YB
Studd wins the Cdn title
Flair beats Dusty Rhodes to win the NWA
World Title in Kansas City, beginning his first of many runs with
the title. The Toronto favorite would make a triumphant return for
the 50th Anniversary show in November.
Sgt. Slaughter would make his debut on TV
leading into his MLG debut in October. The Sarge would mow down
Youngblood and Sweet Ebony Diamond before disappearing from the area
until 1982. In October in Charlotte, Slaughter would beat Steamboat
in a tournament final to claim the U.S Title
Killer Kahn, coming off
a successful program with Backlund in the WWF would trounce Johnny
Weaver, Jay Youngblood and Paul Jones in the build-up to his feud
with Andre. The Kahn-Andre feud had been tearing up the east coast
when Kahn had 'broken' the Giant's leg leading to a series of grudge
matches. Andre was still very mobile at this time and made for some
good bouts with the 'Mongolian' giant sometimes under the
stipulations of a Mongolian Stretcher Match.
In NYC, Valentine appeared to win
the WWF title from Backlund when the ref
mistakenly raised his arm after a double cradle. Backlund would
continue to defend the belt until the rematch a month later. This
angle would be used in 1982 when Tunney would 'settle the
controversy' once and for all awarding a re-match at MLG.
Former Canadian Champ Mr. Fuji would team
up with Mr Saito and win the WWF Tag belts in Allentown, PA. Fuji
had previously held a share of the tag belts with Toru Tanaka
throughout the 70's.
Another former Canadian Champ- Dewey
Robertson, would begin a successful run in the St Louis area and
capture the main titles of the region. Again Robertson would mostly
work as a heel and would earn more shots against World Champs Race
An interesting tag match took place in
October '82 in St Louis teaming Robertson and his partner
-former Cdn Champ Greg Valentine versus Hulk Hogan and Dick The
Bruiser. Dewey would spend the majority of the next two years in the
Missouri area facing world class talent including Rick Martel,
Bob Orton Jr., Dory Funk Jr., and the aforementioned World Title
The 50th Anniversary show was a great success with a
near sell-out to witness a great NWA Title match between
and challenger Race.
the card had also wrestled the night before in
Philadelphia. Andre had splashed Kahn for the victory and Mosca
had beaten Dom Denucci. Andre would
continue his winning ways in Toronto while Mosca would be foiled in
his bid to regain the Cdn Title from Studd.
Johnny Weaver and Lord Alfred Hayes would
begin a feud. Both men had a hand in booking the area over the
years, Weaver during the Mid Atlantic years and Hayes during the AWA
affiliation (77-78). The two veterans would seal the feud in a cage match in Jan 1982.
This will be on-going, I will keep adding until the main angles and matches are covered,
If you would like to contribute to the almanac for this or other years, please
Recognized Champions 1981
Race, Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair
Hossein The Arab, Angelo Mosca, Mr Fuji, John
Ric Flair, Roddy Piper
Ole + Gene Anderson
Ray Stevens, Ivan Koloff
Mid Atlantic Tag
Chris Markoff + Nikolai Volkoff
Mid Atlantic TV
Greg Valentine, Ron Bass
*recognized champions based on actual Toronto appearances
Almanac 1977 - 1984
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