Sgt Slaughter has looked back at his Alley Fight with Pat Patterson at Madison Square Garden and revealed he had no idea how a winner would be declared.
Slaughter feuded with Patterson in the early eighties in the WWF with many of their bouts ending in disqualification. The boss of the company at the time Vince McMahon Sr. decided the two icons of the business were going to settle the score in a brutal Alley Fight in the company’s spiritual home of Madison Square Garden.
“In our lingo, we have generals—a ring general. I’m considered a ring general and Pat Patterson was considered a ring general when we had our Alley Fight in Madison Square Garden. That was hardcore before hardcore. It was the first and only time that match has ever been performed. When Vince McMahon’s father said, ‘I want you guys to work up to a match where there’s no referee, I’m going to call it an Alley Fight,’ I thought, ‘Well, it’s going to take place out in the parking lot, or something like that.'”
“As we got closer to it, he said, ‘No, it’s going to be in the ring, but there’s not going to be a referee and you guys battle to one winner,’ because we were doing matches where the referee got knocked down or one of us got disqualified or counted out. We went through this whole time where we couldn’t have a winner. So finally, he said, ‘This is it, Madison Square Garden, you guys are going to have this match and there’s going to be a winner. And that’s what we are going to sell it as that there’s going to be a winner.’”
Flor Slaughter, the closer it got to bell time, the more concerned he grew about one aspect of the match – how were they going to have a winner? Luckily Slaughter’s manager at the time The Grand Wizard was on hand to seek out answers:
“At that time I had The Grand Wizard, Ernie Roth as my manager. We were 45 minutes from going out to the ring and I turned to Ernie and said, ‘Can I ask you a question? How the hell is this match going to end?’ He goes, ‘What do you mean?’ I said, ‘There’s no referee, no time limit, there’s no rules. How does this match end? How does it stop?’ He said, ‘That’s a good question,’ and he left. When he came back he said, ‘Don’t worry about it. It’s all taken care of.’”
The first-ever Intercontinental Champion Pat Patterson emerged victorious from the fight. But according to Slaughter, he had bigger things on his mind once he felt the first trickle of blood during the contest:
“That match was a brutal battle—a bloodbath. I’ll never forget, my wife was coming to Madison Square Garden because Vince’s father wanted me to go to Japan the following week on a tour and I didn’t have a passport, so my wife was flying from Minnesota with my birth certificate. As soon as I hit that damn post in the corner of the ring and I felt the burn of my head, the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the first drop of blood was, ‘Where’s my wife going to find me? What hospital in New York City? Because there’s no way I’m not getting stitched up.’ I thought my head was caved in. It was just that type of a hit. I looked around, I looked around and I wasn’t knocked out or dizzy, I just kept thinking about her, ‘How is she going to find me?’ I didn’t even know where I was in Madison Square Garden, or what part of New York I was in.”