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[1976-02-02-WWWF-MSG, NY] Bruno Sammartino vs Billy Graham


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Bruno Sammartino vs. Superstar Billy Graham

WWWF Championship - Madison Square Garden

February 2, 1976


Superstar tries to jump Bruno before the bell, but the Champ blows him off and beats Graham down. Crowd is hot right out of the gate. Graham begs off and waits for his chance to turn the tables with a big boot to Bruno's face. Superstar goes to work on Sammartino's left leg and gets an inverted half crab. Bruno reaches the ropes but pays for it when Graham drags him to the corner and rams his leg into the ring post. Graham misses a big elbow drop for the top rope and then the Champ goes to work on Superstar's leg. Bruno gets revenge with his own leg post spot and continues the damage. Now both guys have a bum leg, with Graham in worse shape. Graham fights back with a bearhug but Sammartino breaks out so Superstar quickly grabs a full nelson. Eventually Sammartino breaks the hold and puts on his own full nelson. Eventually Graham reaches the ropes and complains of hair-pulling. Then we get an intense collar-and-elbow tie-up where both men try to choke the life out of each other. Graham pushes Bruno against the ropes and begins an assault. Right hands land hard. Body slam. Graham whips him into the ropes and hits a back-elbow smash. Then Superstar goes up and misses another top rope elbow drop. Sammartino punches Superstar out onto the apron and then rams his head against the ring post. Graham comes back up and Bruno posts him again for good measure. Graham is busted wide open. This leads to a really heated punch exchange with both guys beating the hell out of each other until the blood loss starts to slow Graham down to the point where it's not an even fight and the ref calls for the bell and awards the match to Bruno Sammartino.


Sort of odd to watch this after their '77 series. I didn't enjoy their '77 MSG match nearly was much as the title change in Baltimore so I'll put this firmly in the middle. Both guys brought strong performances here, with Graham giving a good balance between chickenshit heel and heavyweight brawler. Bruno continues to impress me as well in terms of performance and leading the match. Nice gusher from Superstar as well and the finish brawl was extremely exciting to watch. ***3/4

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  • GSR changed the title to [1976-02-02-WWWF-MSG, NY] Bruno Sammartino vs Billy Graham

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