The first time WWE went extreme: Inside the infamous Madison Square Garden Alley Fight

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April 07, 2014

With the WWE Universe getting ready for Extreme Rules, I got to thinking about a match that took place a little more than 33 years ago. Although it occurred a decade before the advent of ECW, this battle between two bitter rivals had extreme written all over it.

The match in question was an Alley Fight between Pat Patterson and Sgt. Slaughter that took place on May 4, 1981, in New York’s Madison Square Garden. The encounter was the culmination of a bitter rivalry between these two stalwarts of the squared circle. The rules of the come-as-you-are battle were not complicated at all. In fact, there were no rules. No referee officiated and anything and everything was allowed.

“We were at war with each other,” Sgt. Slaughter told WWEClassics.com about the most grueling encounter of his career. “I was going to fight until the bitter end.”

Photos of the vicious Alley Fight | Pat Patterson highlights

The bad blood between Patterson and Slaughter had been bubbling for a while. It reached the boiling point during another bout at the Garden, in which both men wound up being disqualified for attacking the referee. The stage was set for this one-of-a-kind battle in The World’s Most Famous Arena to settle their animosity once and for all. The New York City faithful certainly echoed positive sentiments for Patterson, when he entered the arena decked out in blue jeans, steel-tipped cowboy boots, an “I Love New York” shirt and a New York Yankees cap, something Patterson vividly remembered.

“I did that for the WWE fans of New York,” Patterson said. “They were behind me and with me all the way, so I wanted to show them I was with them, too. And I also wanted to also get one up on Sgt. Slaughter, from a mind games standpoint.”

Patterson’s getup didn’t faze Slaughter in the slightest. Accompanied by his manager, The Grand Wizard, Sarge, dressed in fatigues, got into the ring and immediately made a beeline for Patterson. The Alley Fight was underway. 

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Sgt. Slaughter Bio, Videos, Photos, and News Articles Pat Patterson Bio, Videos, Photos, and News Articles Howard Finkel Bio, Videos, Photos, and News Articles

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