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Yes! I was reminded of the previous encounters between Nick Aldis and Cody Rhodes as I sat up in the 200 section of Madison Square Garden, enjoying this fun WWE episode of Smackdown! Seeing Cody and Nick face to face on Friday Night, heated, but not to the point where the two would exchange blows brought back memories of that fantastic series of matches they had against one another for the NWA World's Championship a bunch of years ago. Those were the last of the great title defenses for that championship, as sadly, that title is once again almost meaningless.

But hey, I wanted to share something here about that Smackdown, at MSG, on 6/28- it was an anniversary of sorts- as June 28th, 1982-Bob Backlund defended his World Wrestling Federation (WWF) Championship against the Superfly Jimmy Snuka, exactly 42 years ago to the minute. The bout was contested inside of a steel cage. Late in the match, the Fiji native made the unbelievable Superfly Splash from the top of the cage...albeit, missing his target when the champion rolled out of harms way- rolling all the way out of the steel cage, escaping with his World Wrestling Federation title intact. A fantastic finish!

This was near and dear to my heart, as it was the first real professional wrestling match I'd ever seen. I had been at a friend's house the previous Saturday Morning. I was twelve years old and my friend had "All Star Wrestling" on the television going, on channel 9. I was immediately mesmorized by the pair on the television screen...Captain Lou Albano, along with his charge, the Superfly, Jimmy Snuka. What a finger print Albano left on this 12 year old's imagination. Frightening at the time. My friend informed me that Snuka would be challenging for the WWF World Championship later that week, in a steel cage, and that I should I make sure to watch it. I'll never forget that night, June 28th...as I had completely forgot about the match. Disappointed, thinking I had missed the match, I turned the television channel to our MSG network slightly before, or after 10p and saw that things were just getting underway! The Superfly was walking around the parameter of the structure, inspecting.

It was a great introduction to this wacky business, and I immediatley became a very big fan of Jimmy Snuka.

A few days later, I found the October, 1982 issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated at one of the many bodegas in town that carried newspapers and magazines. I'll never forget that day either, my first introduction to the Nature Boy, as Ric Flair graced the cover, exclaiming "I Hate Being Champion"...I quickly snatched that magazine up, and after getting home, poured over every page...that began a love affair that exists to this very day, as I sit here typing this.

On a side note, the photograph of Snuka, perched high a top of the steel cage that night, 42 years ago- capturing that iconic moment for the pages of PWI, every time I see it, it still reminds me of that night and how I felt watching. This may sound cliche and whatever, but thank goodness Pro Wrestling Illustrated has survived all these years. I wasn't there in 1979 when they opened the joint, but I've been here since June 28th, 1982. Thank you so much for keeping me company!

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