Billy Graham vs. Dusty Rhodes

Background: In a highly anticipated confrontation, Dusty Rhodes’ challenge to the WWWF Heavyweight champion “Superstar” Billy Graham for a rematch was accepted, but the rules wouldn’t be in effect as the two would clash in a Texas Death Match.


WWWF in Madison Square Garden

New York, NY

October 24, 1977



Billy Graham vs. Dusty Rhodes



As Graham’s manager The Grand Wizard tried to disrobe his client, Dusty didn’t feel like waiting and attacked the champion from behind. Firing off right hands and elbows was the challenger; sending Graham scurrying into the corner while begging for mercy. The fans were going wild as Rhodes demanded the champ to reenter and fight. Refusing to wait any longer, Rhodes gave chase and brought the action back in while motioning for Graham to get up and throw down as if they were in Texas. When Graham finally obliged he blocked a right hand to counter with one of his own. Rhodes wasn’t having any of it; kneeing “Superstar” into the Bionic Elbow. Once again it was Graham begging for mercy until Rhodes neared him. Catching “The American Dream” rather low, Graham sent his challenger to the floor with one shot that was topped by an Irish whip into the steel ring post that split Dusty’s forehead. Taking advantage of the non-existent rules, Graham retrieved a bull rope to choke his opposition. Rhodes refused to give up, but his body wasn’t working with him as he was stuck in a bear hug. Feeling the crowd’s energy, Rhodes Bionic Elbowed his way out of the submission before wrapping the rope around Graham’s neck.

Hanging the champ over the top rope, Rhodes was trying to choke the life out of his opponent. Collapsing to the floor, Graham found himself cut after having his face slammed against a nearby table. Elbow after elbow further lacerated Graham’s head and sent the crowd into a frenzy. The first pin of this one ended with Graham grabbing the bottom rope prior to clawing at Dusty’s face. Trying to cheat his way to victory was the challenger as he put his feet on the ropes for a pin attempt. As the referee reprimanded Rhodes, Graham made a charge for something big. The collision of heads knocked Dusty out for those precious three seconds. Rhodes woke up and started fighting without the knowledge this one was over.


Winner: Billy Graham (9:12)


Is It A Classic: Not the wildest of Texas Death Matches (even for the era), but a nice 2nd chapter in their trilogy. The crowd certainly loved everything and really made it a grander experience than it really was and still is to this day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>