Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tito Santana vs Greg "The Hammer" Valentine - Cage Match

Oh my heck; I was here for this (and several other dates) with friends of mine in college! We were all into pro wrasslin' at the time.

The date was July 6, 1985. Greg Valentine had defeated Tito Santana for the WWF Intercontinental Championship the previous year. Now, at the Baltimore Civic Center (later called the Baltimore Arena, and now the First Mariner Arena), Santana had the chance to get his belt back in a cage match.

Okay, it's all scripted, and blood flows easily from the forehead; just check a wrestler's scar tissue sometime. But it was thrilling to see a title match in person. Gorilla Monsoon narrates after the fact. Note: there are a couple PG-13 moments.

The place went nuts. So did Valentine, who somehow got hold of the IC belt and trashed it against the cage. Santana would later get a new belt, which he would lose to Randy "Macho Man" Savage later on.

I lost interest in wrasslin' a number of years ago, once the action became subservient to the story lines. But I did get to cover the first night that the WWE (its new name after a lawsuit from the World Wildlife Fund) came to Frederick at Harry Grove Stadium back in 2002. One wrestler who was there, the diminuitive Spike Dudley, is a real-life descendant of Harry Grove; he got frog-splashed by Eddie Guerrero.