Looking at the angles and matches from 1977-1984 click on the blue links for the
See Also: 1982 Wrestlers list
with the return of Angelo 'King Kong' Mosca to challenge for 'Big' John
Angelo had requested a cage match with the man who had defeated
him for the title back in September 1981 and was promising a bloody beating on
his hated rival from Los Angeles, California . As he promised, Mosca beat Studd in the
cage (Studd actually pinned Mosca, but ref Yorkston, in a daze awarded the victory to Mosca)
to start his fourth title reign in two years, much to the delight of the fans.
Bob Backlund would come in to defend his WWF belt against Greg Valentine during the belt being
held up angle (New York). After the U.S rematch which Backlund won, Greg protested the decision
and they used the advance billing of 'being unable to garnish a rematch with Backlund in the
United States, Valentine was more than happy to sign the contract when Promoter Frank Tunney said he
would arrange the re-match'. In reality they met the night before in Philadelphia, but
nonetheless was a very exciting match with Backlund getting the pin to solidify his claim
to the WWF Title.
Former Canadian champ Dino Bravo returned to the area in January but left just as abruptly
after only a couple of appearances. We would also see the only area appearance by former
AWA Tag Champs, The East West Connection,
Jesse Ventura and Adrian Adonis.
They cheated their way to victory over local favorites Tony Parisi and
Domenic Denucci much to the chagrin of the crowd.
Jay Youngblood would begin a program with Ninja and his manager Gene Anderson. Youngblood was very popular here,
through his teams with Ricky Steamboat and Johnny Weaver among others. The feud with Ninja was pretty good,
culminating in an Indian Strap Match victory for the popular star.
In February the violent feud between 'Handsome' Jimmy Valiant and
Mid Atlantic TV Champ Ivan Koloff
heats up the rings for the month with Jimmy constantly frustrated in his attempts to win the title belt
from the wily Russian.
In a reprise of their violent feud in 1980, Studd and Blackjack Mulligan would once again go at
each other with incredible emotion. It would also mark the first appearance in the area of Blackjack's
son Blackjack Jr.(Barry Windham) who stole the show with an
after Sr was bloodied by Studd.
After a cancellation because of snow,
The Mid Atlantic Cadillac Tournament would take over the Gardens in
March. Jimmy Valiant, curtailed in his feud with Koloff wins the Cadillac and then offers it
up against Koloff's TV tile on the next card. Valiant wins the match but the pin comes 4 seconds
after the TV time limit of 15 minutes.
John Studd and Blackjack Mulligan would go at each other again with each subsequent match
getting more violent in nature. Mulligan would eventually beat Studd in a Bunkhouse Match to end the feud
In April the feud between Studd and Mosca starts up again with
Studd announcing a mystery opponent he was bringing in to permanently maim the champ.
Studd had hyped it for the two weeks previous to the show but when the time came,
the 'mystery man' was Tarzan Tyler, who was well past his prime and largely
unknown to the younger crowd. Mosca beat him handily in one of the few letdowns
of the Toronto mat wars. Mr. Tunney would more than make up for this by the end of
the month by booking a
double World Title defense for the final card of April.
Mosca, like Robertson before him would also appear in the Mid Atlantic cities wrestling as
while holding the Canadian belt. He would continue to appear throughout the WWF and also in
Florida, even teaming with his arch-enemy Studd. Again, the belt would be mostly left at home
while the champ was wrestling outside the Toronto area.
In a return of their November 1981 classic Ric Flair would defend his NWA crown against former champ
Harley Race. In the previous bout, Harley had pinned Flair and was awarded the prestigious belt
before a second referee came out to explain Flair's foot had been on
the ropes and reversing the decision. Race was by this point a six time former champ
and was a credible threat to Flairs reign but the wild match ended in a double disqualification.
The other World Title match featured AWA kingpin Nick Bockwinkel coming to town to defend against
Canadian Champ Angelo Mosca. Only the AWA belt was on the
line as Mosca battered the champ from pillar to post and looked on his way to winning
the World Title when John Studd ran into the ring and interfered, causing Bockwinkel to be disqualified.
The next evening in Ottawa, Bockwinkel would make a successful defense against Jay Youngblood and Mosca
would continue his feud with Studd on the under-card. Bockwinkel would return at the next MLG show
to team with Studd in a losing cause against Mosca and Jake 'the Snake' Roberts.
This would turn out to be the AWA champ's final appearance in Toronto.
Still frustrated, Valiant gets a special 60 minute time limit to win the TV Title
but after a bloody battle on the ramp, Koloff is disqualified when Don Kernodle comes out
and attacks Valiant with his belt leaving Handsome Jimmy in the middle of the ring battered
and bruised. This leads to a matchup with Valiant enlisting Pork Chop Cash to take on Koloff and
Kernodle on the next card
In a great scientific battle,
Ray 'Crippler' Stevens defeats local legend Tony Parisi
in one of my all time favorite matches. Funny how
years later, it's matches like these that stand out in your mind.
Veteran Johnny Weaver would also be prominent in the area teaming up
with Parisi , Billy Red Lyons and a debuting Kelly Kiniski.
On the smaller circuit, Dave McKigney's shows were in full swing. Action in and around Toronto saw
The Sheik renewing long-time feuds with Luis 'Ariba' Martinez and Tiger Jeet Singh.
Other notable names on these shows would include Cris Colt, Dom Dennuci, and the usual cast of local performers.
Whipper Watson Jr., Ray Yarek, The Wolfman and Frankie Laine would all make appearances.
Mosca teams with Jake Roberts in a wild battle against AWA Champ Nick Bockwinkel and John Studd.
Roberts also beat U.S Champ Sgt Slaughter by dq so the Sarge kept his belt
June saw the creation of a Canadian TV Title with a tournament to decide the inaugural champion.
With entrants including Johnny Weaver and Porkchop Cash,
defeats The Destroyer in the final to gain the strap. The title, however would be pushed to the background
as Youngblood would again team up with former partner Ricky Steamboat and win the
Mid Atlantic Tag Team Titles from The Privates, Don Kernodle and Jim (later Boris Zuchov) Nelson in August.
On the same card former AWA and NWA World Champ
Gene Kiniski took on
Mosca but came up short in his bid for the Canadian Title. Mosca would also make title defenses in
Buffalo, turning back former champ Studd and Ivan Koloff.
Jimmy Snuka and Bob Backlund were tearing up the East coast with their exciting feud.
Snuka would be the talk of the wrestling world after leaping off the top a the steel cage at MSG on the 28th.
They would continue their feud here on three consecutive
cards, Snuka winning the first two by count-out.
Flair vs Brisco
July - August - September
July sees the return of WWF Champ
Backlund in a return defense against Greg Valentine and the continuation of his feud
with Superfly Jimmy Snuka.
Flair reportedly took on Ricky Steamboat in an NWA Title defense in Ottawa, Ontario
playing his usual heel persona (as opposed to the fan-favorite he played here) Still, the T.O fans would have
loved it, having enjoyed their great feud back in 78-79. Here in Toronto, Flair
would not be seen again untill October in a battle vs former champ Dory Funk Jr.
In another 'unification bout' WWF Champion Bob Backlund takes on NWA Champ Ric Flair at
the Omni in Atlanta. As usual the match would end inconclusively in a double disqualification
In their third and final encounter, Snuka and Backlund would repeat the MSG match
where Snuka jumps off the top of the cage. The 'Superfly' would return to MLG in 1983 as a fan-favorite
feuding with his former partner Ray Stevens.
Steamboat and Youngblood beat The Privates for the Mid Atlantic Tag Titles
Slaughter vs Mosca, Andre vs Studd
October - November
October finally saw the end of the feud between Jimmy Valiant and Ivan Koloff over the
Mid Atlantic TV Title. After months of frustration, winning several matches just seconds over the
fifteen minute time limit, Valiant scored an emotional win over 'The Russian Bear' to recapture the belt.
WWF Champ Bob Backlund would face Cowboy Bob Orton Jr. in a fine match-up. Some great wrestling between
these two with Orton able to wrestle with Backlund and the fans were very appreciative.
Orton would return in mid-1983 to challenge Angelo Mosca for the Canadian title and would
be a familiar face in the WWF years as a 'bodyguard' for Piper.
Leo Burke would come into Toronto for an extended run with his North American Heavyweight
Title and would stay until the WWF took over in 1984. Leo was a great wrestler and engaged
in a very entertaining feud with Johnny Weaver. They would trade the belt back
and forth in matches using every move in the book as exhibited by these two masters
of scientific wrestling
Playboy Buddy Rose would begin to challenge WWF Champ Bob Backlund for the title.
The Playboy would make a
accompanied by two beautiful ladies and give Backlund a run for his money, but would come
up short leading to a Texas Death Match in December.
Flair vs Funk Jr.
December would begin with an omen to the future of the
promotion as the Crocketts would supply less of their stars to Tunney,
and the attendances would start to diminish. The coming year would see a slide from the often
full Maple Leaf Gardens to smaller crowds and Mr. Tunney would fill out the cards with WWF and local
workers from the circuits around Ontario.
Backlund would make his final appearance of the era and go out in style.
He would soundly defeat Buddy Rose in a Texas Death Match to end their feud and receive
one final round of applause from the fans.
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 1982
Jay Youngblood, Private Nelson, Terry Kay
MId Atlantic Tag
The Privates, Ricky Steamboat + Jay Youngblood
Mid Atlantic TV
Ivan Koloff, Jimmy Valiant
*recognized champions based on actual Toronto appearances
Almanac 1977 - 1984
Title Histories l TNT Times l
Wrestling Exchange l Ring's Wrestling
Wrestling Revue l World Wide Wrestling News l
Global Wrestling News
History of the WWE
l Ontario Mat Action
Back To Almanac
Back To Home