Sir Bobby Robson won the battle of the former old boys when his Newcastle side came from behind to beat his former side West Brom by the odd goal in three.
But former Newcastle midfielder Gary Megson saw his Baggies side push the Geordies all of the way in the first ever Premiership showdown between these two famous old clubs.
In the end, it was Alan Shearer who was the difference between the two teams, his match-winning double ensuring a third successive Premiership win for Newcastle.
West Brom set out their stall from the off as they packed their defence and looked to catch Newcastle on the break.
And the plan worked a treat when the Premiership new boys stormed in front after 27 minutes through Igor Balis.
Newcastle's much-maligned central defence was again at fault as first Nikos Dabizas and then Andy O'Brien were beaten by Balis whose near-post shot beat Shay Given.
Balis then turned from hero to villain on the stroke of half time in controversial fashion. Nolberto Solano's right-wing cross was played back to keeper Joe Murphy by Balis though the defender argued it was unintentional.
Referee Chris Foy decided otherwise and awarded Newcastle an indirect free-kick three yards from goal. Solano teed up Shearer and he drilled in his fifth goal of the campaign.
Newcastle upped the tempo after the break and Craig Bellamy, unmarked, headed over from five yards.
Neil Clement had a free-kick turned away by Given before Shearer settled the issue after 69 minutes. Gary Speed's deep cross was headed back by Solano and master marksman Shearer swept the ball under Murphy.
Shearer then thought he had claimed his 300th League and Cup goal soon afterwards, but his effort was disallowed for offside