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[1984-12-28-WWF-MSG, NY] The Cobra vs Black Tiger (Vacant WWF Jr. Heavyweight Championship)


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aired on All American Wrestling - 1/13/85; Japanese TV - 1/4/85

available on CHV Best of the WWF Vol. 1

Never read much about this one so let's give it a shot. This takes place after intermission on a very stacked card, the final MSG show of 1984. Needless to say it's been a hell of a year for WWF and not just in terms of mainstream attention and national expansion. This is comfortably the best in-ring work we'll see out of New York for 15 years. Unfortunately this is mainly due to a handful of guys who won't stick around long enough for the WrestleMania payday (Murdoch, Slaughter) and an insanely over heel gimmick that ran it's course (Iron Sheik). Another big highlight of not just '84, but the early years of the decade as well, is the talent sharing between WWF and NJPW. This match, along with Inoki's performance on the same show, represent the end of that exchange in terms of Japanese talent working the Garden. 

Under the masks are Mark Rocco from England as Black Tiger and George Takano from Japan as The Cobra. Both guys mainly worked New Japan at this point, with Takano spending the Summer in Calgary, usually working the Bulldogs and making for an extremely fun 1984. 

The first noticeable thing is just how spectacular their ring attire looks compared to the usual one-tone trunks and boots to which the NYC was accustom. Both outfits shine and shimmer and the masks look incredibly detailed. They resemble comic book superheroes so closely it's hard not to picture every kid in the audience losing their shit. Very fast tie up to start and into arm-ringers and roll-throughs. Tiger focuses on an armbar but sends him to the ropes for a lariat and follows with a somersault senton. A lot of headlocks and holds as the gather and figure out the next spot. It is what is it. Nice back body drop as the Cobra takes control. Back body drop followed by a Saito suplex. Reverse crusifix pin attempt gets 2. Cool kip up from Tiger out of the headscissors. Cobra lifts Tiger on his shoulders for what seems to be an airplane spin, but instead we get a Roderick Strong-style gut buster! Boston crab doesn't work and Cobra mods it into a surfboard that's too close to the ropes. Dropkick takes Black Tiger outside the ring and Cobra throws him from the top rope back as he tried to climb back in. Another kip up from Tiger, this time off a lariat bump. Swinging neckbreaker gets 2. Cobra hits a nice spinning leg lariat. Clip to a suicide dive. Nice use of the MSG aisle. Huge brainbuster suplex doesn't go home. Black Tiger hits a tombstone but doesn't get it completely so he tries again but the Cobra reverses for his own tombstone. Top rope senton bomb! 1-2-3!

Crowd was really into this, but without any heel-face dynamics, they transformed into a modern indie audience, only popping for the high spots. If these were company guys and one of them goes heel with Blassie as his mouthpiece, I think there could be a pretty strong program here. There was nothing there to this match, though. No heat or struggle, just an exhibition of moves which can sometimes be the perfect thing. As a post intermission warm-up for the Piper-Snuka tag that followed, this was highly enjoyable popcorn rasslin'. **3/4


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  • paul sosnowski changed the title to [1984-12-28-WWF-MSG, NY] The Cobra vs Black Tiger (Vacant WWF Jr. Heavyweight Championship)

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