March 27, 1988
Historic Atlantic City Convention Hall
Atlantic City, NJ
That’s right, there was a Rock before Dwayne Johnson. Don Muraco took on former World Champion Superstar Billy Graham as a mentor of sorts. Even with a walking stick, Graham still looks a hundred times more imposing than Bravo’s second, Frenchy Martin.
Both men are lousy with steroids, which leads to power move after power move, and not terribly impressive ones. It only takes a couple of minutes before we move on to a series of rest holds because both men have such minimal cardio that they’re blown up.
The repeated moves come back to haunt the match, as a second consecutive flying forearm from Muraco causes a ref bump. Bravo capitalizes by hitting his finisher, a side slam. You read that right: Dino Bravo’s finisher is a side slam. Bravo covers and, what’s this? The ref simply taps him on the shoulder and we learn that Bravo actually pulled him in to Muraco’s flying forearm leading to the DQ finish, and Muraco moves on from the first round of the World Title Tournament.
The four minutes and 53 seconds this match takes feel like a lifetime in some sort of steroid hell.