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 - Tim Bland

The 11/78 Madison Square Garden card had a six-man tag team match pitting the Yukon Lumberjacks (managed by Captain Lou Albano) and Spiros Arion from Greece (managed by Freddie Blassie) against Australian Tony Garea, Canadian Dino Bravo and the "Eighth Wonder of the World", Andre the Giant from the French Alps. WWWF champion Bob Backlund faced the newly turned heel "Samoan Paramount High Chief" Peter Maivia (managed by Freddie Blassie) in the main event. Maivia dominated Backlund and won by count-out, setting up a rematch for the holiday spectacular show at the Garden in December.

On 11/25/78, at the Baltimore Civic Center, the ex-WWWF tag team champions, the Yukon Lumberjacks faced the team they beat for the straps just five months earlier, Dino Bravo and Dominic Denucci, the popular Italian. "Superstar" Billy Graham (managed by the Grand Wizard) battled Bruno Sammartino, who was on the comeback trail and also serving as a commentator on the WWWF's weekly televised show along with Vince McMahon, Jr. Bob Backlund defended the WWWF belt against "Russian Bear" Ivan Koloff (managed by Captain Lou Albano), who had beaten Backlund by DQ, when Backlund accidentally hit the referee, the month before in Baltimore, MD.

Also appearing on the undercards through the end of 1978 and the begining of 1979 were: "Polish Power" Ivan Putski, Chief Jay Strongbow, SD Jones, Crusher Blackwell (managed by the Grand Wizard), new WWWF tag team champions Larry Zybysko and Tony Garea, "Big Cat" Ernie Ladd (managed by the Grand Wizard), Baron Miguel Scicluna, Gorilla Monsoon and WWWF Women’s champion Fabulous Moolah.

On 12/18/78, the WWWF held a holiday spectacular at Madison Square Garden, NYC. It was mentioned on TV that this had been the most expensive show ever for the promoters at the Garden. Four title belts would be on the line. Self proclaimed "King of Wrestling" Ernie Ladd was on the undercard, WWWF Jr. Heavyweight champion, Tatsumi Fujinami defeated number one contender Jose Estrada. Harley Race, making the first ever appearance of an NWA titleholder on a MSG card, beat Tony Garea.   More...

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Old School Tape Review 4

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