Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Destined to Fight Forever: Santana & Valentine

In professional wrestling sometimes it appears as though two men are destined to fight each other forever, in this series of posts we will look at some of those battles.

Tito Santana vs. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine

When I was a kid I was a big fan of Tito Santana, that flying forearm that he delivered was just amazing to me.  I never saw him as the active Intercontinental Champion, but I watched the coliseum home video releases and his wars with Greg Valentine over that championship are so memorable.  Especially the steel cage matches. 

A few months ago I went down a rabbit hole watching all of their matches on peacock from that feud, that I could find.  I tend to view Valentine as a bit of a lazy worker, but man could he go when he wanted too.  I wrote a blog about these matches back in 2020, you can read it here.

Checking cagematch the first match I can find they competed in against each other was a battle royal at Madison Square Garden June 4, 1979.  Their first singles match was a time limit draw on March 31, 1984 at the Philadelphia Spectrum when then Intercontinental Champion: Tito Santana was defending the title against The Hammer.

They would wrestle a couple dozen times over the next few months until Valentine defeated Santana for the championship on September 24, 1984 in London, Ontario, Canada.  This would mark the first time the championship changed hands outside the United States.

Over the next 10 months the two would wrestle over 100 times across North America competing in standard and specialty matches like Taped First, Lumberjack, No Disqualification, and Steel Cage matches.  

It was in a Steel Cage on July 6, 1985 in Baltimore, Maryland that Santana would defeat Valentine to reclaim the intercontinental championship.  They would have a few return matches over the next couple months however later in 1985 Santana would drop the title to Randy Savage and Valentine with his Dream Team partner Brutus Beefcake would win the Tag Team Championships.

In Late 1985 / early 1986 Santana would team with Pedro Morales and unsuccessfully challenged Beefcake and Valentine for the titles.

In late 1988 they wrestled a series of matches on the house show loops that were either count-out or time limit draw finishes. 

In 1993 they battled each other in Austria and Poland for World Wrestling Superstars, including  a cage match on December 17, 1993.  

In 1994 & 1995 they fought again for the Savoldi's IWCCW: International World Class Championship Wrestling trading the IWCCW Heavyweight Championship.

In 1997 they fought twice in British Columbia, Canada for ECCW: Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling.

Eight years later in 2005 at WrestleReunion 2 & 3 they traded the IWA Heavyweight Championship. They wrestled again in 2006, twice more in 2007, again in 2009, had a steel cage match for JCW: Juggalo Championship Wrestling Legends and Icons PPV on August 12, 2011.

They teamed together with the Honky Tonk Man on March 5, 2016 defeating the trios team of Hollywood's Finest for BCW Night of Legends in Williamsport, PA.

To date their last match was on February 25, 2017 in Totowa, New Jersey for Superstars of Wrestling Federation where they battled to a no-contest.  Valentine wrestled his last match to date in 2019 and Santana in 2022.

Their first singles match to their last singles match was fought 32 years, 5 months, and 1 day apart.  

Thank you for reading, please leave a comment, check out my other posts, and if you want like my blogs Facebook page.  You can also head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of my book Limitless Wrestling: The First Five Years, or any of my other books as well.  

Until next time! 

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