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[1984-11-26-WWF-MSG, NY] Greg Valentine vs Tito Santana

Superstar Sleeze

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WWF Intercontinental Champion Greg Valentine vs Tito Santana - WWF MSG 11/26/84

Is this the best of the Valentine vs Santana matches? I really love the June 84 MSG one and the title switch in the Cage in 85, but this is one is a doozy for sure. We were one Tito revenge figure-4 away from me marking out like nuts. Valentine has won the IC Championship after injuring Tito's leg in his vaunted figure-4. Tito is sporting a brace. I dont know if we are at the point in the story where Tito has learned the figure-4 to exact pay back from the Hammer. I would describe Tito as cautiously aggressive at the beginning of the match. Anybody who has watched a lot of Tito knows about his furious temper and that he has a hair trigger and will really let those fists fly. Here, I think due to the bum wheel he is a little more tentative. All his offense are still fists to the face or driving the Hammer's head into hard objects but he is doing so a slower tempo to make sure he does not leave him self open to the Hammer's counterattack. Valentine is definitely playing up the chickenshit. Lots of stalling, bumping and stooging. He is hitting hard, clubbering blows on Tito, but Tito is fighting through those to earn his offense. Ultimately, Valentine has to resort to raking the eyes to get the advantage. How I missed Greg Valentine! Excellent heat segment! Just brutal. Everything looks like to it totally evacuates the air out of Tito's lungs. Good string chinlocks to sap Tito's energy and set up Valentine's clubbing offense. I love that swift kick to the bad knee to open up that part of the heat segment. Everyone knows about the figure-4 and Tito's bad knee so MSG is on the edges of their seats.  I love how Tito kicks out of the figure-4 and his follow up is the Flyin Burrito! It just condenses so much drama into one moment. We go from almost having Valentine apply his finisher to Tito hitting his finish in a matter of seconds! It is really jarring and hypes you up. The momentum of the blow sends Valentine to the ropes so Tito cant follow up with a pinning combination. Protecting the finish! Instead Tito attacks the knee of Valentine! Here we go! Great leg work from Tito very vigorous. He attempts the figure-4, but Valentine yanks him down by the trunks and re-establishes control. Valentine is such a beast on top. What the match does really well is let Tito shine especially through transitions. The Mexican Hammer/Flying Burrito was a great one and then he gets a sort of monkey flip/catapult that sends Valentine hard over the top turnbuckle into the post and he comes out bleeding! Tito is tenacious! He hits another Mexican Hammer! 1-2-NO! Huge false finish! They never did that in 80s and it was insane. I really thought we would get a revenge figure-4 spot, but alas we didnt. Just a great brawl to the end match. Tito punching the hell out of the cut forehead, grabbing hair, trying to wrangle a cover anyway he can. Valentine trying to escape, but always being thwarted either by atomic drop (Tito yanked the trunks into an atomic drop), suplex (outside/inside always a great spot), and just by pulling him back in by the hair. Eventually the bell rings signifying a draw! One of those great physical wars of attrition that these two are known for, I think what elevates this from their usual great match to something extra special are very memorable spots like two Mexican Hammers and the blood. So you get all that brutal physicality you expect from these two and on top of that some real high drama! ****1/2




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