For 50 wonderful years, the wrestling world had come alive in the legendary arena at the corner of Carlton and Church in Toronto.
Frank Tunney had been a part of the festivities since 1931 when Maple Leaf Gardens had first opened.
When his older brother John Tunney passed away suddenly in 1940, Frank would take over the reigns and present world class wrestling throughout
the Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario until his death in 1983.
There would be a buzz in the air in the weeks prior to the card, the TV spots proclaiming a historic card in the making.
Toronto had been the site of many historic matches over the years, and the fans knew anything could happen when the world champion came to town.
There had been an absence of the World Title from the area since August and being a town that was used to seeing the NWA, AWA, and WWF Titles
on a regular basis, the anticipation ran high amongst the Toronto faithful.
Ric Flair would be making his first area defense of his newly won NWA World Title against former champ Harley Race.
In promo's leading up to the bout, the rugged Race would boast of his experience and superiority to the young "Nature Boy" and promise
to regain the belt he had worn on six previous occasions. Harley would also remind fans of his historic Toronto victory over Terry Funk in 1977
when he won the NWA title belt for the second time after beating Funk with an Indian deathlock at the beloved MLG.
Flair was as popular a wrestler as any who had ever graced the ring at the historic arena. From the moment he appeared at the
opening from the backstage area and stepped up on the fabled ramp leading to the ring, the crowd was deafening in it's support for the flamboyant champ.
The match itself would not disappoint, with 16,000 fans seeing the two ring warriors matching each other
hold for hold with Race coming close to pinning Flair on several occasions. Race would use his falling head butt to precision
causing Flair to bleed profusely and would punish the champ with his calculated knee drops and variety of sooplays.
The young Champ would not be denied however and mount a comeback with his own arsenal of moves including his trademark
figure four leg lock. Flair would wear down the former champ and get the pinfall victory after a spirited 24 minute match.
The feud between Canadian Champ "Big" John Studd and former champ Angelo "King Kong" Mosca
was to be settled in a match with 2 referees. Studd had won the belt from the popular former CFL star in September and Mosca
had been foiled so far in his attempts to win it back.
"King Kong" would batter the champ from turnbuckle to turnbuckle and gain a measure of revenge but would fail
to regain the belt after Studd was unable to return to the ring and was counted out
The "Eighth Wonder of The World" Andre The Giant would appear in a revenge match against Killer Kahn who
had "broken" the Giant's leg a few months previous. The fans were hoping Andre would end Kahn's reign of terror throughout
the region which had included a beating on popular veteran Johnny Weaver.
The legendary French Giant who had began his career here as the young "Jean Ferre" would exact his revenge
with an awesome display of strength, handling the massive Kahn like a lightweight. Both wrestlers would be disqualified for
refusing to follow the rules but there was no doubt that the Giant was the clear winner.
In other bouts "Outlaw" Ron Bass would successfully defend his NWA TV Title by pinning Mike Miller.
Johnny Weaver would pin Charlie Fulton, and the team of Tony Parisi and Mike Davis would get the win over Doug Vines and Izzy Slapowitz.
50 Years at MLG
Odds & Ends - Flair vs Race
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