St. Petersburg Independent – March 14, 1979
By Gene Taylor
TAMPA – Grudges die hard in professional wrestling, and sometimes the matches arranged to settle them don’t. That was probably the case last night at Fort Homer Hesterly Armory, as an overflow crowd watched Dusty Rhodes and Sonny King attempt to pound out a solution to their differences.
Eddie Graham seconded Dusty, and The Missouri Mauler seconded King for their 15-round, taped-fists match. Before the match was over, both seconds and several other wrestlers were involved.
The first rounds were Dusty’s, but in the middle of the fourth King made his own move and took command of the action. Both men were feeling the pace by then and each, on different occasions, was saved by the bell from a knockout.
In the seventh round Dusty was knocked through the ropes and attacked by The Mauler. This triggered a retaliation by Eddie Graham and a free-for-all broke out. Several other wrestlers appeared from the dressing rooms, and in the confusion Thor the Viking tried to hand Sonny King, who was not faring well, some kind of object. Before King could use the object, Rhodes arm-whipped him across the ring and into Ox Baker, putting King on the mat and an easy pin for Rhodes in 2:47 of the seventh round.
The Mauler was scheduled to wrestle Jim Garvin in the next and final match of the evening, but Pak Song appeared to take his place.
Had Garvin been able to see seven minutes and 47 seconds into the future, he might have objected to the substitution. Despite Garvin’s aggressive attack, which seemed to have Pak Song effectively stopped, the experienced Korean weathered the storm and turned the tide in his favor with his famous claw hold, which spelled finis to Garvin and to the match.
Mike Graham and Steve Keirn won a tag-team match from Ox Baker and Pak Song by using some tricks and a bit of double-teaming.
The action that paid off best for Graham and Keirn was when Keirn, after battling with the towering Baker outside the ring, reached through the ropes and pulled Pak Song down, enabling Mike Graham to pin the Korean in 12:03.
Cyclon Negro lost his match to Bugsy McGraw, who was a last-minute substitution for Mr. Uganda. The match was running about even, until Negro grabbed McGraw, who was coming off the ropes, and put him over the top rope and out of the ring. Negro lost on a disqualification in 10:07.
Killer Karl Kox and Thor the Viking battled to a 20-minute draw, with both inflicting much punishment but neither able to gain decided control.
The huge Ray Candy pinned Herb Calvert in 8:01, and Prince Tonga wrestled Mike Hammer to a draw.