NWA World Championship Wrestling, March 8, 1986

We open with video of Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. Dusty Rhodes & Ron Garvin in a tag team match. Rhodes puts Flair in the figure four. Anderson comes in to break it up, but Garvin nails Flair with the knockout punch and Dusty covers the world champ for the pin. The crowd pops huge as Garvin, Rhodes & Baby Doll celebrate.

Tony Schiavone & David Crockett are our hosts and they let us know there has been a “major title change”…

We’ll see video of that title change a little later. Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Tully Blanchard, J.J. Dillon, the Road Warriors and more coming up on the program.

Ron Garvin comes out. He runs through his side jobs again. Garvin has added electrical work to being a truck driver and a carpenter, but he has a hard time saying “electrical” because he’s a terrible talker. Garvin says Flair has been running around like a dictator and like a lot of those around the world lately, he’ll be deposed soon.

To the ring, it’s Garvin vs. Tony Zane, who in the near future will portray Dusty Rhodes under a mask, and in the distant future, will have a chance to portray the Black Scorpion, but blow it when he’s caught rolling doobies in the parking lot. He’s now living in a van down by the river. Garvin pounds away on Zane, then ties him up “like a pretzel”, including stepping on Zane’s head and slapping him. Garvin kicks Zane in the midsection, which David Crockett describes as “a foot right in the mouth”. Worst. Announcer. Ever. Garvin wins with the knockout punch. *

Paul Jones & Baron von Raschke join Tony. Jones says Jimmy Valiant will be gone in 1986. If only he could deliver on that promise. Jones says he’s working on something big and “the army is not complete”. The Baron says the soldiers are coming and that’s all the people need to know.

To the ring, the Barbarian w/ Paul Jones & Teijho Khan vs. Bill Tabb. Two big, muscular guys in this one. The big boot and leg drop from the Barbarian. He press slams Big Bill, then tosses him outside. More kicks and punches set up the powerslam and flying headbutt for the pin. 1/2*

After a break, Jimmy Valiant joins Tony. Valiant says he’s got the heebie jeebies. He says it’s not because his old lady just ran off with his best friend, because he misses him. Good one. Valiant says, regarding Jones’ Army, bigger is better and it’s war. He says bring on all the foreigners. He’s like Audie Murphy and he’ll have a Purple Heart in this one. His promo almost makes sense this week.

To the ring, Canadian Leo Burke vs. George South. This is Burke’s debut on the show and it’s not real impressive. South gets in quite a bit of offense while Burke is slow and deliberate while in control. South switches an Irish Whip, gets a backdrop & dropkick. Burke responds with a Dean Malenko-style dropkick, then a knee drop for the win. A knee drop? Yes, really. 1/2*

They mentioned a “major title change” at the top of the show and now we see: Tully Blanchard is the new National Heavyweight champion, as he and J.J. Dillon foretold the past few weeks. They gloat about knocking off Dusty Rhodes and sending him to the bottom of the ladder. We’ll see the match a little later, we’re told.

To the ring, Pez Whatley vs. Art Pritts. Pez nails Pritts with a headbutt and does some shuckin’ and jivin’. Pez goes to work on the arm. Pritts throws punches that would rival Shawn Michaels & Shane McMahon in their futility. He oversells an atomic drop like Michaels would too. Pritts hurts his hand by hitting Pez in the head, because all black and Samoan wrestlers have hard heads, and it’s not racist at all. Pez wins with, what else, a flying headbutt. 1/2*

Whatley joins Tony at the podium. He says he’s behind Dusty Rhodes 100 percent, and makes some sort of horse & bird analogy that makes no sense.

After a break, it’s Jim Cornette and things are looking up. Jim says they’re going to announce the seedings for the Crockett Cup next week. “For you people who are not sports-minded, for you illiterate idiots out there, I know that takes in 98% of the audience, the seedings mean the rankings.” Awesome. He says the Midnight Express will be the top seed. Cornette sells the matches with the Rock & Roll Express and putting him in a cage above the ring. He adds that the R&R are afraid of him and he’d beat their brains out if he got in the ring with them.

To the ring, Cornette’s Midnight Express vs. Brodie Chase & Mike Simani. Loverboy Dennis chokes Simani on the second rope while Cornette gets in his face and taunts him. Beautiful Bobby lands a beautiful elbowdrop off the rope. Chase gets choked on the ropes and taunted. Bobby tosses him outside, Dennis tosses him back in. And again. They fake like they’re going to do it a third time, but Bobby stops and slugs Chase in the face. Simani gets tossed out and Bobby executes a neckbreaker on the concrete floor. Back in, Bobby dedicates a vertical suplex to Tony, delivers it beautifully, then goes to the podium and forces a high five from Schiavone. More taunting on the ropes from Cornette. To the top again. This time Eaton nails the flying kneedrop to the back of Chase’s head. Dennis finishes it with the full nelson facebuster. Another beautiful squash from the Midnight Express. **

Afterwards, they toss the opponents and the referee out and celebrate in the ring. The Rock & Roll Express attack. They catch Cornette with a backdrop, then hit a double dropkick that sends Cornette flying over the top rope. He sells it very well. The crowd goes nuts.

After a break, Dusty Rhodes vs. Tully Blanchard for the National Heavyweight Title. It’s JIP. Ric Flair is offering commentary at ringside. Blanchard kicks Dusty’s leg and the champion rolls outside. Blanchard stomps away, as Baby Doll comes to check on her man. Blanchard attacks Rhodes from behind and stomps away on the outside. J.J. Dillon gets a kick in as well. The crowd chants for Dusty. Back in, Blanchard continues to work on the leg. Dusty fires back with elbows and escapes the hold. He can’t stand on the hurt leg though, and Blanchard maintains the advantage. Spinning toehold and a two count, a couple of times. Blanchard applies the figure four leglock. Dusty tries to roll over to reverse the hold, but falls back into a two count. Rhodes finally reverses it and the crowd goes nuts…

After a break, Rhodes is up and football tackles Blanchard. He goes for a slam, but can’t handle the weight on his hurt leg. Blanchard goes back to work on the leg. Blanchard delivers the slingshot suplex, his finisher! Goes for the pin…and Dusty kicks out! First time anyone has kicked out of that. Crowd pops huge again. Blanchard tries it again, but Rhodes reverses and bounds off the ropes with a clothesline. Rhodes slugs away and does the Flip Flop and Fly. Rhodes locks in the sleeper. Dillon climbs the apron and Rhodes puts him in the sleeper. The crowd is deafening. Dillon was able to throw an object in the ring. Blanchard grabs the object. He pokes Rhode in the eye and rears back for a punch, but Rhodes backdrops him over the top rope. That should be a disqualification, but referee Tommy Young doesn’t see it…

Ric Flair goes to check on Blanchard. Flair grabs the foreign object, puts it back on Tully’s hand and helps him up. Blanchard misses a punch at Rhodes from the apron. Rhodes tries to back suplex him into the ring, but Blanchard nails Dusty with the foreign object while in the suplex attempt. Blanchard covers Rhodes and pins him. New National Heavyweight champion! Didn’t see all of it, but the insane crowd made what they did show must see TV. The finish is identical to how Randy Savage took the Intercontinental Title from Tito Santana one month earlier. ***1/4

Afterwards, the Four Horsemen come in to celebrate. Baby Doll goes after Ric Flair and slaps and punches at him repeatedly. Dillon grabs her and she wallops J.J. Blanchard and Arn Anderson take her down. Flair climbs to the top rope while the Horsemen hold her down. Magnum T.A., Sam Houston, and the Rock & Roll Express hit the ring for the save. Crowd is still going nuts.

Back to the studio, it’s Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll. Dusty says “hard times” is settling on his house once again. Dusty is pissed. He says they’ve taken his World Title, his National Title, his pride, you might as well have his clothes, too. Dusty starts to strip. No, please, make it stop. And they cut to commercial quickly. Whew. That was close.

After the break, it’s Magnum T.A. with Tony, who says the long awaited match with Nikita Koloff on TV has been signed by Magnum. He tells Nikita he’ll wrestle him anytime for the U.S. Title, all the Russian has to do is sign on the dotted line.

To the ring, it’s the Road Warriors vs. Bill Mulkey & Carl Styles. Styles is tossed outside and Hawk delivers a huge powerslam on Mulkey, followed by a neckbreaker. After a boot, Animal presses Mulkey and drops him face first. Another press slam, this time Mulkey goes flying across the ring. Animal slams Styles, Hawk hits the flying shoulderblock, and we get an early version of the Doomsday Device, except with Animal hold the man up instead of placing him on his shoulders. Total destruction. *1/2

After a break, the Koloffs join Tony. Ivan says they had the Road Warriors defeated in Russian Chain matches, but Paul Ellering kept interfering. He won’t be able to do that in the upcoming cage matches and the Road Warriors are going to get hurt. Ivan says they haven’t seen any contract signed by Magnum T.A. and it’s all hearsay. Nikita shows off many supposed letters from fans saying Magnum doesn’t have the guts to face him.

To he ring, the Rock & Roll Express vs. Bob Owens & Larry Clarke. Ricky Morton has his arm in a cast, supposedly injured by the Midnight Express. David Crockett calls Ricky “a very special person”, as if he used to take the short bus to school. They work on Clarke’s leg while tagging in and out. Clarke finally crawls over to tag in Owens. He gets monkey flipped out of the corner and the R&R nail the double dropkick for the pin. *

After a break, NWA World Champ Ric Flair joins Tony. Flair gloats over Dusty losing the National Title. “Big Dust, you’ve got no belt. You’ve got no life. You’ve got nothing to brag about, nothing to stand on, and when I get to Cincinnati, Dusty Rhodes, we’re gonna finish it off because you not only will be without a belt, you’ll be without a leg. And Baby Doll, if you stick your nose in my business, I’m gonna break your leg too.” Flair plugs his upcoming match with Ronnie Garvin in Atlanta and the partying that will take place afterwards. He takes shots at the Road Warriors, the Rock & Roll Express, and their fans in their training underwear. Another great promo from The Man.

To the ring, for his in-ring debut on the program, Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin w/ Precious vs. Rocky King. Precious sprays the ring with aerosol, then plants a kiss on her man. Garvin struts after a tie up with King. “King’s a good one,” David says. Yep. He’s so good, he’s never won a match. Garvin backdrops King, then drops him throat-first on the top rope. “Where’s Wahoo McDaniel at,” Garvin yells. Umm…we haven’t seen Wahoo in a while, but he’s a legend in JCP and not someone you want to call out. Garvin wins with the brainbuster. *

Afterwards, Jimmy Garvin says everyone already knows he’s the greatest wrestler in the world. He adds that he’s been looking everywhere for Wahoo McDaniel, because he wants to beat the meanest, toughest Indian in the world in the middle of the ring. Garvin calls Wahoo a bum, a yellow coward, the ugliest Indian in the world and uncouth. And a coward, again.

To the ring, Black Bart vs. Dr. X. Bart is apparently chasing Sam Houston and prestigious (ahem) Mid-Atlantic Title. Bart pounds away on X and rams his face into the mat. Bart delivers a nice clothesline. He hits the Texas Trash Compactor as X is draped across the ropes and pins him. 3/4*

The Road Warriors & Paul Ellering join Tony. Animal says they’re going to take home the Crockett Cup. He says they’re a product of society. It’s a violent world, and they’re violent too. Ellering calls out Ivan Koloff, Ric Flair, and the Midnight Express. Hawk says he’s got more women talking about his tongue than Flair does talking about his suits, cars and jewelry. Hawk shows off his tongue technique just in case we’re unsure what he means. They end with Ellering saying, “Jimmy Cornette, we’re looking for ya.”

Magnum T.A. is back out and he’s is pissed. He says he wants Nikita Koloff out here on television and he’s tired of all the talk and crap from the Russians. “You can tell your Kremlin that I’ll wrestle you for nothing. I’ll give you my part of the money. It doesn’t matter. The belt is on the line, the contract is signed. Jim Crockett has seen the contract and if that isn’t good enough for him, I say that’ll never be good enough. We’ll finish this thing Nikita if I’ve gotta jump in your face, jump on your back or wherever it’s gotta be. The belt right here is mine. If you’re man enough to come take it away from me, go for it!” Another really good, fiery promo from Magnum. WWE performers should really watch some old JCP on the WWE Network to see how to sell a feud.

To the ring, Baron von Raschke w/ Paul Jones vs. Mike Jackson. Jackson uses his speed to get the better of the Baron early on. A leapfrog, dropkick and armdrag keep Jackson in control. The Baron finally outsmarts Jackson and catches him with a knee while running the ropes. Baron stomps and slugs away, and chokes Jackson on the ropes. Jones nails Jackson with the cane three times. A backbreaker, three elbowdrops, and finally the claw for the win. *

Tully Blanchard & J.J. Dillon return to the podium. J.J. says Bill Apter and George Napolitano called him and said the National Title match with Dusty Rhodes was “one of the greatest matches of all-time”. J.J. disagrees and says it was THE greatest. Dillon says they are done with Rhodes and he will never again wrestle for the National Title because he doesn’t deserve it. Tully says if Dusty is “the greatest sports attraction of all-time”, as he often claims, what does that make him? Schiavone has no response. And that’s the end.

Another strong show this week. Thanks for reading.