Greg Valentine vs. Bob Backland, Madison Square Garden 1981, Main Event for WWF title.
Comments: One of the best matches I have ever seen with Valentine, no exaggeration. Every move in the match had a purpose and there was no wasted movement by Backland or Valentine. I loved the headbutt spot where both men wobbled around and then fell backwards. I am a huge fan of the working on a body part during a match, and Valentine working on Backland’s leg while setting him up for the figure four was methodical and damn near perfect. Both Backland and Valentine seemed to be striking eachother with authority, every blow was damaging and teeth rattling. The forearm strike exchange near the latter portion of the match was unbeilivably brutal and awesome, it looked like they were trying to see who could hit harder. The variety of reversals used by Backland to thwart off the figure four was exciting and refreshing. I loved the scare of the figure four leg lock throughout the whole match. The almost instant defeat of Valentine via a backslide by Backland at the beginning of the match was awesome considering Backland had just mirrored all of the same moves Valentine had just executed on him seconds earlier. Essentially Backland would have one the match in a minute or so if it hadn’t been for Valentine’s awesome struggling role out of the backslide where he fell onto the ropes to break the count. I also thought it was tremendous when both men were exhausted headbutting eachother on their knees. This match may have also had one of the best finishes I have ever seen in wrestling. Valentine giving Backland an airplane spin which caused Backland to accidentally knock down the referee, and then Backland positioned himself on Valentine in midair to take Valentine down to the ground in a pinning position. Because the ref had just been kicked in the face, he only had the awareness to know that a pinning attempt was taking place, therefore he counted to three. At this point, Valentine did the most awesome thing I have ever seen, he jumped in the air after being pinned and acted victorious as if he was the sole and absolute winner of the match. Because Backland had pinned Valentine, he was furious when the ref raised Valentine’s hand in victory because Valentine had just pretended he had pinned Backland when in fact that was not the case. Ultimatley, the WWF staff came to the decision that the match would end in a no contest, and the title would be held in limbo until other action be taken.