Monday, May 14, 2018

Hossein vs Flair Nov 2 1980: Sunday Night

'Sunday Night' takes a look at Nov 2 1980.

The feature singles bout was to be Ric Flair challenging Canadian heavyweight champ Hossein The Arab/The Iron Sheik. The feud had planted it's roots earlier in the year when Greg Valentine had turned on the Nature Boy during a Mid Atlantic area match with Hossein and Jimmy Snuka and their manager Gene Anderson. Flair had been beaten bloody and suffered a legit broken nose when Valentine hit him with Anderson's cane.

Flair had previously earned the fans respect (if not actual cheers) during his feud with Ricky Steamboat and had become a popular fan-favorite while gaining revenge against Valentine at MLG.

The buildup had Flair the former U.S Champ, proclaiming he would 'try his best to dethrone the Iron Sheik and send him back to Iran where he belongs.'

Hossein/Iron Sheik was into his second reign here with the Canadian Title. This run, much like his previous with the title would be remembered for constant manager interference and cheating his way to victory. Hossein actually held the M-A title at the same time but lost it to Ricky Steamboat the night before this card.

The two would go after each other before the bell was rung and at one point the hated Arab had Flair in his dreaded camel-clutch hold. Flair fought back and managed to break the hold and go on the offensive.

The future World Champ would batter Hossein with his trademark chops and elbow smashes and looked to be on the verge of winning the title as the match wore on. Hossein in turn would use his curled toe boots to choke Flair in the corner while the fans screamed at the ref to break it.

Flair would earn some revenge but not the title after Hossein retreated to the safety of the dressing room and was counted out.

Hossein would only manage one more defense before losing the belt back to Angelo Mosca at the end of the year. Flair meanwhile would begin the climb to the NWA World Title with a challenge to Harley Race on the next MLG card. Race would eventually lose the belt to Dusty Rhodes in turn losing to Flair who would make a triumphant return on the 50th Anniversary show in Nov 1981.

Gene Anderson's other charges Ray Stevens and Jimmy Snuka defended their NWA Tag belts against
The Masked Superstar and Paul Jones in the last match of the card that ended in a curfew draw.

Other Bouts

New M-A TV Champ Roddy Piper beat veteran Frankie Laine
- This was the first appearance of Piper who had won the title the previous night in Richmond, Virginia. He played his bagpipes prior to the bout earning a healthy round of un-applause from the fans. Much like Flair the fans loved him anyways, an exciting performer who was always a welcome addition to any Toronto card.

Former Canadian Champion Dewey Robertson beat Ben Alexander
The Destroyer beat John Bonello
Tony Parisi beat Bob Marcus in the opener

Also notable was the day prior a note in the business section of the Star listed the new corporation consisting of Frank Tunney Sports Ltd, Jim Crockett Promotions Inc, and 410430 Ontario Ltd (George Scott) combining to to create a new business called Frank Tunney Sports Promotion, 'to stage wrestling events at Maple Leaf Gardens and, in the summer months at other Ontario locations.'

This was the legal culmination of the agreement between Tunney and Crockett that had been in effect since Oct 1978.

The next night Nov 3 Flair teamed with Masked Superstar in Kitchener, ON to beat Snuka and Stevens. Piper and Paul Jones also stayed on while Hossein, Parisi, Marcus, and Frankie Laine filled out the circuit card.