Live from Atlanta, GA
Airdate: February 7, 1986 (taped 2/2)
Hosted by Tony Schiavone and David Crockett
This is for those of you that enjoy the opening track to World Championship Wrestling.
Magnum T.A. and Linda Curry welcome us to the show.
Tony and Crockett are at ringside and discuss the matches that the fans want to see. Each match will be for one fall and have a 20-minute time limit with the exception of the main event which will have TV time remaining.
Back in the locker room, Bob Caudle discusses the Rock’n’Roll Express. We revisit Shelby, NC back on 7/9/85 when the Rock’n’Roll Express won their first NWA World tag team titles.
Match 1 for the NWA World tag team titles: The Rock’n’Roll Express (champions) versus the Midnight Express (w/ Jim Cornette)
- In the ring, Cornette introduced his team.
- After ring announcer Tom Miller introduced the champions, both Condrey and Eaton attacked them.
- With Gibson on the apron, Condrey and Eaton brought him in the hard way.
- They attempted the same maneuver with Morton, but Morton brought them over the top rope down to the concrete floor.
- A hip toss by Gibson to Condrey was immediately followed by a monkey flip from Morton to Eaton.
- Simultaneous atomic drops by Morton and Gibson sent Condrey and Eaton into one another.
- Another hip toss followed by a flying headscissors by Gibson had the champions in control.
- Eaton tossed Morton out to the concrete floor but received a back drop on it.
- After Morton tagged back in, he delivered a leg drop to Condrey’s left leg.
- Once Gibson and Morton pulled hard on Condrey’s hamstring muscles, they both leveled Eaton in the opposite corner.
- Knee to the midsection by Condrey, but he further injured his left leg.
- Spinning toe hold by Gibson who tagged in Morton.
- Morton mounted the second turnbuckle and nailed Condrey’s leg.
- After Eaton missed a clothesline, Morton gave him a vertical suplex.
- After Gibson leapfrogged Eaton, he was caught and catapulted into Condrey.
- Another leapfrog by Gibson was followed by a knee lift as Crockett screamed in favor of the champions.
- Swinging neckbreaker by Eaton got 2.
- Sunset flip by Gibson preceded a dropkick by Morton.
- Backbreaker by Condrey was followed by the Rocket Launcher.
- Unfortunately for Eaton, Gibson rolled out-of-the-way.
- Hot tag Morton.
- After whipping Eaton into Condrey, Morton hit a cross body block.
- All four men were in the ring.
- Double dropkick by the champions sent Eaton into referee Pee Wee Anderson who went over the top rope to the concrete floor.
- Another double dropkick sent Condrey to the concrete floor.
- Morton then brought Cornette in the hard way.
- Gibson nailed Eaton with the tennis racquet.
- Morton stalked Cornette as Crockett pleaded with him to “whip him like a dog.” I hope Crockett didn’t have any pets.
- Regardless, Condrey nailed Morton from behind with the racquet then Cornette dragged Eaton atop Morton.
- WE HAVE NEW CHAMPIONS!
Summary: Tag team formula worked beautifully with excellent chemistry here. Cornette, as the X-factor, made the difference in the match.
Between matches, Linda shows off her powerful vernacular by repeating words constantly.
Back in the locker room, Caudle interviews Cornette with the NEW World tag team champions. In the meantime, Eaton is still loopy as Condrey sits him in a chair. Finally, Cornette exclaims “Mama, I did it!”
Magnum has us revisit the confrontation between the Road Warriors and the Soviets from World Championship Wrestling back on 11/30/85. We also revisit the aftermath of a match from 12/3 in Spartanburg, SC between the Soviets and Sam Houston & “Pistol” Pez Whatley as the Soviets used a chain to hang Hawk over the top rope.
Match 2: The Road Warriors (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering) versus Ivan & Nikita Koloff
- Tremendous “U-S-A” chant rang out at the onset.
- Animal reversed a cross-corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
- Nikita then mounted the second turnbuckle but got caught in a bear hug.
- Slam by Nikita, but he missed an elbow drop.
- Slam by Animal, but he missed a leg drop.
- Ivan tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and delivered a double axe handle to Hawk’s back.
- Hawk reversed a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
- Ivan mounted the top turnbuckle but received a shot to the midsection on the way down.
- Shoulder breaker by Hawk was followed by the big boot.
- Gorilla press slam by Animal was immediately followed by a fist drop by Hawk.
- Elbow drop by Animal got 2 as Baron von Raschke was shown at ringside in support of his comrades.
- Nice double-team move as Animal gave Ivan an atomic drop then Hawk, from the second rope, delivered a right hand to the mush.
- Slam by Nikita got 2.
- As Animal distracted referee Tommy Young, Ivan choked Hawk with the Russian chain.
- Ivan tagged in, delivered a leg drop to Hawk, and got 2.
- Swinging neckbreaker got 2 for Ivan.
- Double back elbow preceded an obvious clip.
- Flying shoulder block by Hawk got only 1 on Ivan thanks to a save by Nikita.
- All four men were in the ring.
- Von Raschke came into the ring as Young was distracted by Animal and Nikita.
- Elbow drop by Raschke got 2 for Ivan. The communists are being SNEAKY!
- As Nikita tripped Hawk coming off the ropes, von Raschke re-entered the ring.
- Young called for the bell disqualifying the Soviets.
Summary: This was just a shell of what these two teams could do with one another. The Road Warriors would need a third man to combat the communists. I refer to von Raschke as a communist as he appeared to hail from East Germany. And that’s all the people need to know.
After the match, the communists try to clothesline Ellering with the chain, but the Road Warriors low-bridge them over the top rope to the concrete floor. The Road Warriors then clothesline Ivan with the chain. Raschke eats it too with assistance from Ellering.
Magnum interviews NASCAR driver Benny Parsons who had a role in the movie Stroker Ace starring Burt Reynolds and won the 1975 Daytona 500.
When we return from commercial, Linda hosts the segment that involves fans being interviewed. One fan was a staunch anti-Flair fan as he wants Garvin to kick his butt. On the other hand, another fan was a staunch Flair supporter due to his great interview skills. Yet another fan was proud of her Magnum poster. As Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life” plays, we see some fans in the seats. Woohoo!
When we return from commercial, Magnum discusses the remake of the movie Stagecoach involving the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. A video hosted by Tony involved Rhodes and country singer Willie Nelson. I guess he’s always on someone’s mind.
During the next commercial break, Atlanta Hawks Dominique Wilkins and Spud Webb shill the 1986 Slam Dunk Championship.
When last we saw Blanchard, he was a quivering mass of Jell-O having lost the US title to Magnum T.A. at Starrcade ’85. He has since scrapped Baby Doll as his valet and hired J.J. Dillon as his manager. Check this out from 12/28/85 in Greensboro, NC!
Match 3 for the NWA National title: The “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes (champion w/ Baby Doll) versus Tully Blanchard (w/ J.J. Dillon)
- As Rhodes executed a single-leg takedown, Baby Doll questioned Blanchard’s courage in a bitter tone.
- After working on Blanchard’s leg, Rhodes applied the figure-four leg lock.
- Will Blanchard quit? “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Oops, sorry, wrong match.
- Blanchard made the ropes and exited the ring to regroup.
- Spinning toe hold by Rhodes, but Blanchard grabbed the bottom rope.
- Another spinning toe hold kept Rhodes in control.
- A healthy “Break it” chant emanated from the crowd.
- Rhodes then rammed Blanchard’s leg against the apron.
- Next he rammed it against the ring post.
- After a bionic elbow, Rhodes mounted the top turnbuckle and hit another elbow to Blanchard’s head.
- Upon landing, Rhodes’ left leg gave out on him.
- Minus the protective boot he wore at Starrcade, Rhodes succumbed to Blanchard’s working on his ankle.
- Reverse toe hold by Blanchard got a pair of 2 counts.
- Blanchard applied the figure-four leg lock and received a 2 count.
- Rhodes reversed the hold, but Dillon assisted Blanchard with getting to the ropes.
- Rhodes then reversed a cross-corner whip as Blanchard jumped to the second turnbuckle.
- Rhodes caught him then delivered a backbreaker.
- Belly-to-belly suplex by Rhodes, but Dillon occupied referee Tommy Young’s attention.
- When Rhodes confronted Dillon, Blanchard knocked him out of the ring.
- Five minutes remained in the match.
- Blanchard went to the apron to chase Baby Doll.
- Rhodes caught him and suplexed him back into the ring for the pin.
- Nope! Dillon put Blanchard’s leg on the bottom rope. SNEAKY!
- Rhodes went after Dillon, but Blanchard caught him and rammed him ample-midsection first into the apron.
- Four minutes remained.
- Rhodes countered a snap mare with a backslide for 2.
- Atomic drop by Rhodes as three minutes remained.
- Three-point stance by Rhodes was followed by a tackle.
- Two minutes remained as Rhodes gave Blanchard a pair of bionic elbows.
- Rhodes pushed down Young, so Dillon tripped him and held his leg.
- Blanchard made the cover but only got 2.
- With only one-minute remaining, Rhodes went after Dillon again.
- Boston crab by Rhodes, but the bell rang.
- Rhodes retained.
Summary: Since Rhodes had recently “obtained” the National title thanks to his firing of Landel, a title change here made no sense.
After the match, Blanchard gives Rhodes a piledriver. Dillon takes the title belt as he escorts his protégé backstage. Baby Doll and Teddy Long assist Rhodes to the dressing room.
Magnum interviews promoter Jim Crockett, Jr. Footage of the Bunkhouse Stampede is shown. Crockett announces a tag team tournament called the Jim Crockett, Sr. Memorial Cup and hopes that it will take place in Charlotte. Next, Magnum introduces a video involving the Superdome hosting the Cup in New Orleans. Joel Watts, son to Bill Watts and brother to Erik Watts, speaks with Bob Johnson, executive vice-president of the Superdome about the event. Interestingly, Mid-South Wrestling left the NWA the following month to become the Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF).
Back at ringside, Tony interviews retired pitcher Gaylord Perry formerly of the Atlanta Braves. Speaking of the Braves, Perry wishes them well in 1986. According to Baseball Almanac, they finished 72-89 that year.
Match 4 for the NWA World title: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (champion) versus Ron Garvin
- How did “Miss Atlanta Lively” earn a World title shot? Oh yeah, the fans requested it.
- Dion’s “The Wanderer” played the champion to the ring. Perfectly fitting for the NWA champion no matter who it is considering his hectic schedule.
- After a leapfrog by Flair, Garvin chopped him down to the mat.
- Head butt by Garvin led to a Flair flop.
- As things got a little chippy, Garvin grabbed Flair by the “honker” according to Crockett.
- After giving Flair a cross-corner whip, Garvin delivered a back drop.
- A right hand by Garvin sent Flair through the ropes to the concrete floor.
- Another cross-corner whip by Garvin rammed Flair shoulder-first into the top turnbuckle.
- After a series of chops, a right hand by Garvin sent Flair over the top rope to the concrete floor.
- Back in the ring, Garvin applied a sleeper.
- Flair countered with a belly-to-back suplex.
- Double stomp to the gut took all the wind out of Garvin’s sail.
- Vertical suplex by Flair got 2.
- Knee drop by Flair kept him in control.
- Right hand by Garvin put Flair down for a 2 count.
- After a series of head butts, Garvin gave Flair a cross-corner whip.
- It resulted in a Flair flip, but Flair landed back in the ring.
- Garvin blocked a suplex and gave Flair one of his own for a series of 2 counts.
- Backslide by Garvin only got 2.
- Flair missed a chop, but Garvin hit a cross body block and only got 2.
- Another cross-corner whip by Garvin led to Flair flip #2.
- This time, though, Flair caught himself on the apron, mounted the top turnbuckle, but got caught in the midsection on the way back.
- Inside cradle by Garvin got 2.
- Chop by Flair got 2.
- In trying to roll Flair up against the ropes, Garvin sent Flair into referee Tommy Young who fell out onto the concrete floor.
- Garvin had Flair down for at least a four count.
- He then reversed an Irish whip, nailed Flair with the Hands of Stone, and made another cover.
- Again he could have pinned Flair had Young been in position.
- Garvin tried to bring Young back into the ring so Flair put a knee in the middle of his back.
- Garvin had his foot on the rope, but Flair pulled it back.
Summary: All the drama was in the last few minutes of the match. Fortunately, Garvin and Flair would have better matches in the near future.
After the match, Crockett tries to tell Young that Garvin’s foot was on the rope, but Flair tells Crockett to “shut up.”
Conclusion: This show was definitely the prototype for Clash of the Champions. With that being said, while none of the matches were dull, only one truly delivered. If you’ve never seen the Condrey-Eaton version of the Midnight Express’ only NWA World tag title victory, you owe it to yourself to see it. Otherwise, wait for the Crockett Cup in April.
See you for NWA Battle of the Belts II!
TV Rating: 3.20