View single post by tamalie
 Posted: Wed Oct 21st, 2020 04:31 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 22nd, 2007
Posts: 5134
Superstar wrote: tamalie wrote: The fans seemed to like it and it was treated as the heel getting his comeuppance, but when the WWWF/WWF used babyfaces as special guest referees, that special ref would always favor the babyface, would often play a direct role in the finish, and inevitably fast count the match ending fall.

Regarding the WWF Tag Team Title tourney on TV in 1980 after Backlund and Morales had to give up the belts, the tournament field consisted of The Samoans and a bunch of teams that consisted either of two prelim guys or one star and a prelim guy. The teams were Afa and Sika, Tony Garea and Rene Goulet, Rick Martel and Dom DeNucci, Jonny Rodz and Jose Estrada, The Black Demon and Sylvano Sousa, and Baron Mike Scicluna and Johnny Rodz. Yes, unless there was an explanation on TV about someone's partner being hurt or a mistake being made by results compilers, Johnny Rodz was on two teams in a six team tourney. 

So not only did The Samoans lose the belts at Shea Stadium only for the new champs to immediately vacate them, but The Samoans won them back by beating nobody. It made Afa and Sika look bad for getting the tag belts back on the cheap and it made the WWF look bad for not having even one other team in the tourney that could possibly have won. I'm guessing the WWF didn't want any pushed talent to do a job on TV and didn't want to give away any match that they'd want fans to pay to see, but to not have a good babyface team to make it to the finals was really strange.
Considering the timeline, would it have been a stretch to have Martel and Garea lose to the Samoans with either taking the pinfall? Martel I believe was getting ready to move on - or it was just before Martel and Garea were going to win the belts.  Either way, a loss makes sense...have them job in the tourney if Martel is leaving, or have them get screwed by Albano if they were going to win later on in the year.

Rick Martel was pretty new. He had just debuted on TV a bit less than a month to go before the Shea Stadium card. Tony Garea returned after an absence of more than a year at the same TV taping. The Rick Martel and Tony Garea team debuted on TV about a month after the Samoans won the tag team title back in the tourney final. They quickly beat Afa and Sika for the belts at The Spectrum, with the match airing in syndication only three weeks following their start as a team. 

The Moondogs debuted as a team basically a month after The Wild Samoans won the tag team title tourney final with the taping on 10/21/80 and their match airing the weekend of 10/25/80. It was at this same taping that the Garea and Martel team debuted. The Samoans still had the WWF Tag Team Title and were also at that set of tapings, but departed soon afterwards. The Spectrum loss of the belts was 11/8/80 and it aired in syndication on the weekend of 11/15/80. Afa and Sika last appeared in syndication on the weekend of 11/1/80. They worked house shows into late December and then left. 

Giving the belts back to The Wild Samoans only for them to effectively be gone in two months was quite strange. Why not have Martel and Garea win the tourney? Was the plan for another heel team to come in and somehow it fell through, so Afa and Sika were held over for a quick tag team title run? The WWWF/WWF Tag Team Title was always something of an afterthought. Albano would have a heel team that would feud with a babyface team of what amounted to a pair of singles wrestlers, the belts would change hands, Albano would get a new team, and the process would start over in some fashion. However, this mess took the cake.