Our match of the week is Tiger Mask vs. Eddie Gilbert, on November 25, 1983, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (WWF).

On Thanksgiving night 1982, 15,644 fans packed the Philadelphia Spectrum to watch Bob Backlund defend the WWF title against Buddy Rose in a Lumberjack Match, with SD Jones as the guest referee.

On an otherwise brutal-looking undercard that featured such dire-looking matches as Tony Garea vs. Swede Hanson, Jules Strongbow vs. Baron Mikel Scicluna, Buddy Rogers & Jimmy Snuka vs. Captain Lou Albano & Ray Stevens, and Chief Jay Strongbow vs. Superstar Billy Graham, fans were treated to a great opening match decades ahead of its time, as Tiger Mask defended the WWF junior title against a 21-year old Eddie Gilbert.

This match isn’t nearly as famous or well regarded as the Tiger Mask vs. Dynamite Kid match from MSG a few months earlier, a now legendary match that was an early tape trading classic, but I prefer the Gilbert bout. Tiger Mask got over much stronger in New York than he did in Philly, perhaps due to the pacing of the respective matches. The Philly fan also didn’t seem to understand the clever finish (which they may have took for a double pin), where Gilbert attempts to roll through a suplex for a pin attempt, but Tiger Mask counters by locking up Gilbert’s legs and trapping him in a pinning position.

Watch & discuss: https://www.patreon.com/posts/match-of-week-8-70573718