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[1979-11-08-NJPW] Pat Patterson vs Seiji Sakaguchi

paul sosnowski

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Do you know the history of the short lived WWF North American Heavyweight Title? Ted DiBiase came to the WWF on February 13, 1979 and was announced as the first champion. Pat Patterson won the title from him at a TV Taping in Allentown PA on June 19, 1979. They feuded over the belt a few times over the summer. Patterson also defended it against Bruno Sammartino and Ivan Putski. On September 1, 1979 Pat Patterson appeared on TV with the new WWF Intercontinental Title, that he unified at a fictitious tournament in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. The North American title was not defended again, until this match in Hokkaido. Patterson comes to the ring with his blue and black glittery jacket. They play the national anthems of both countries before the match. Greg Valentine is in Patterson's corner for this one fall match. Patterson is yelling at his opponent, the referee and the fans.

Patterson starts with a glancing kick to Sakaguchi's thigh, then they lockup and Sakaguchi grabs a headlock and tosses Patterson down to the mat. Sakaguchi hiptosses him and holds on to the left arm. Patterson back to his feet, two big kicks to Sakaguchi's left thigh, but Sakaguchi maintains control of the arm. Patterson kicks him again, Sakaguchi steps over the arm and stretches Pat on the mat with an extended armbar. Patterson gets to his knees and backs Sakaguchi into the corner with a single leg. Instead of a clean break, Patterson starts thrusting his knees into Sakaguchi's inner thighs, four times. Patterson takes him down and drives his knee five times into Sakaguchi's thigh and grinds down on it. Sakaguchi breaks free with three upkicks, Patterson rakes the eyes and pulls Sakaguchi down and wraps his leg around the post twice, punching at his thigh, and he starts tearing off the protective wrap on Saka's leg. Sakaguchi gets Patterson in the ring and starts hammering his back and slams Pat's face into the mat twice. Patterson gets another single leg takedown and continues tearing at the bandage. He drives an elbow into the thigh and clamps on the figure four leglock. Sakaguchi starts to reverse it, but Patterson grabs the ankle and rolls him over, Sakaguchi goes for the ropes twice, but the referee doesn't allow the break. He rolls all the way over and clutches the ropes on the opposite side until Patterson lets him go. Patterson reaches into his tights and pulls something out...brass knuckles. He blasts Sakaguchi in the face with them and goes for the cover, but one of the young Japanese prelim guys jumps on the apron to alert the referee. Valentine also jumps up. Patterson climbs to the top rope and misses the Bombs Away kneedrop!!! Sakaguchi applies the figure four and Patterson submits at 8:40. TITLE CHANGE. Sakaguchi straps on the prestigious WWF North American title and celebrates with the title.

According to cagematch.de, Sakaguchi defended the title against Bad News Allen on 2/2 and 3/28/80, Larry Sharpe on 9/22/80 and The Enforcer (Guillotine Gordon) on 2/9/81. All of those defenses were in Japan, and I do not think they were televised. WWF abandoned the North American title in April of 1981, and that's about it. Weird.

Nothing special about this match, they both looked good while it lasted. 2 1/2 **



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