• 06/04/2005 (12:00:00 am)
  • Georgiann Makropoulos

Madison Square Garden on Dec. 15, 1975, and a history of the Garden and more…..

**MADISON SQUARE GARDEN  December 15, 1975
Pete Sanchez over Johnny Rodz in 11:21
Irish Pat Barrett over Manuel Soto in 10:25
Buggsie Mc Graw & Ernie Ladd over Haystacks Calhoun & Kevin Sullivan
Tony Parisi & Louis Cerdan over Baron Scicluna & Spiros Arion
Antonio Inoki over Frank Monte in 8:48
Ivan Putski over Blackjack Lanza in 11:50
Superstar Billy Graham over Dominick DeNucci in 6:09
Bruno Sammartino over Ivan Koloff (BLEEDING) in 11:46 when Bruno walked out the door in a Steel Fence Match  (LOL)

**Madison Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG and sometimes simply called "The Garden" has been the name of four arenas in NYC. The first two were located at Madison Square, thus the name. Subsequently a new 20,000-seat Garden was built at 50th Street and 8th Avenue, and the current Garden is on top of Penn Station @ 33rd Street and 7th Avenue.. The present arena is informally known to some as "The World's Most Famous Arena", and the Mecca of Sports.

The Garden is best known as the home of the New York Knicks (Basketball), New York Rangers (Ice Hockey), Ringling Brothers Circus, the 2004 Republican National Convention, The Dog Show, Virginia Slims Women's Tennis, Major Concerts (such as Elvis Presley - that Frank Amato and I attended many moons ago), Wrestling, Boxing (before it went to Las Vegas and Atlantic City), Roller Derby, Body Building Contest (Mr. Olympia 11/2/76 @ Felt Forum) and more.  While this building, which has been used since 1967, is located on 33rd St. between 7th and 8th Avenues, the first two buildings were located on the block between 26th and 27th Avenue, between Madison and Park Avenues. The third MSG, meanwhile was located on 8th Avenue between 49th and 50th St. Later in years, the Felt Forum became the Paramount and now is called The Theater @ Madison Square Garden. 

In the good old days, MSG would sell out the Main Building and the Felt Forum, with standing room only.  Also back then there were at least 12 shows a year, sometimes as many as 14 or 15.  They ran two shows a month a few times.  Nowadays that is unheard of. 

 We are lucky if we get 3 to 4 shows a year at the Garden now. Only two shows have taken place so far this year.  February 25th, a Raw house show and April 18th, a Super Show.

Bruno Sammartino sold out 22 consecutive MSG shows in his hey day.  He also told me recently that he remembers wrestling Hans Mortier, a standing room only sell out.  The Garden was hounding Vince to run more shows, so ten days later they ran again Bruno vs., Mortier and again a sell out.  The third encounter took place 3 weeks later and again a sell out.. The NY fans back then loved their WRESTLING and came in droves to the shows. 

Now for that fan who asked me last week, "did Bruno wrestle Lou Thesz more than once"?  (I can't find your email now, otherwise I would have answered you personally)  The answer is NO.  Bruno had one match with Thesz on 3/14/63, the night of the show they declared Thesz the winner.  But the following week the commissioner announced both shoulders were on the mat of each man, therefore the match was declared a DRAW.

Hope you enjoyed my walk down Memory Lane, there will be more to come....

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