This classic World Wrestling Federation match took place in 1983 in the country of Kuwait. Featuring Ivan Putski, Pedro Morales, and Tony Garea against the heel team of Mr Fuji and the Moondogs.
Recently WWE received a wealth of criticism for holding multiple shows in Saudi Arabia. Money, contracts, women’s rights, dead journalists, all of it factors in but ultimately WWE and all wrestlers involved are getting very substantial pay days for working these shows. None of this is helped by the crowd reactions. The Saudi crowd in their luxurious fainting couches just sit there. It’s akin to being too cool for the strip club. “I’m not even looking at the strippers, how cool am I?” You’re not cool at all, you’re wasting everyone’s time by being in the building. Go take your attitude elsewhere. The crowds for the Super Showdown are present but apathetic.
On the flip side though is this show from Kuwait. No, it’s not the current wrestling style. Slower pace, no flashy moves, more sports and less entertainment. But the entertainment is there and then some. This showcases the universal nature of wrestling. Easily get across who is a good guy or a bad guy. Build the match with the faces in control and get the crowd warmed up. Then take the smaller face and isolate him so the heels can have the advantage. In this case the smallest face is still huge, but it works. Give him one big offensive move to make his way back to the corner. The faces rally back. And the crowd is into it every step. Standing up, cheering, clapping, reacting to every moment. Without character minutia. Hell, without even speaking the same language.
It is a deceptively simple match put on by all time greats. Hulk Hogan won the WWF title for the first time in 1984 and that’s when all of this would change. While he has risen, fallen, risen again and retired – a match like this still holds up over 35 years later. Some sports, some genres have to be explained when they cross borders but the tale of good vs evil, of combat, was and always will be entertaining for all.