NWA World Championship Wrestling, March 15, 1986

Tonight we get the seedings for the first Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament, more awesomeness and hilarity from Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express, a good TV Title match, and a major confrontation between Baby Doll & J.J. Dillon. Will others get involved?

There’s a brand new opening montage for the show. They finally ditched the old open, which included guys like Stan Hansen, Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper, who hadn’t been in the area for years.

Tony Schiavone is our host this week. No mention of David Crockett, and really, who cares. Coming up, Magnum T.A., Tully Blanchard, Dusty Rhodes, Nikita Koloff and many more.

To the ring, it’s National Heavyweight Champ Tully Blanchard w/ J.J. Dillon  vs. Don Turner. Tully offers a handshake, which Turner accepts, then gets slapped for his naivete. Tully struts around the ring. He’s great at playing the arrogant heel. Blanchard controls early with a stepover armbar. Nice chain wrestling and Tully takes Turner down again, into a hammerlock. Blanchard puts his hands behinds his back and taunts Turner, while throwing a couple slaps at him. Blanchard ends it with the slingshot suplex. Great heelish display. *1/2

Afterwards, Tully & J.J. join Tony. Blanchard says the jobber in the ring embarrassed himself and his family. He said at least Dusty Rhodes will at least get in there and fight you. J.J. plugs the Crockett Cup and says the Horsemen should be seeded number one.

After a break, it’s Jimmy Valiant vs. Bob Owens. The kids at ringside mob Valiant. I hope they brought hand sanitizer. Valiant yanks Owens by the hair, then plants a prolonged kiss on referee Pee Wee Anderson. Valiant asks the whereabouts of the “weasel” Paul Jones. Valiant tosses Owens outside and rams him into the post. He ends it with the elbowdrop. DUD

Magnum T.A. joins Tony. He says he’s tired of the political negotiations and waiting for Nikita Koloff to get in the ring for the U.S. Title. Magnum says if there weren’t 20 guys pulling them apart a few weeks ago, Nikita might still be laying on the floor, and this issue won’t be settled until Nikita is man enough to get into the ring.

We go to the ring for Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin w/ Precious vs. Bill Mulkey. Garvin’s original music was ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man”. It’s been dubbed over to some generic pap. Garvin astutely notes that the albino-like Mulkey “don’t look like no Wahoo McDaniels to me“. Garvin decimates Mulkey while calling for Wahoo McDaniel throughout the match. Mulkey actually gets in some rare offense, with a few punches, but gets destroyed with a nasty-looking brainbuster. 1/2*

Baby Doll joins Tony. She says Wahoo is a very close personal friend of Dusty Rhodes and tells Garvin that Wahoo is coming.

After a break, Jim Cornette comes out and immediately lands a classic line: “David Crockett is on special assignment today. The Columbia School of Broadcasting is using him today as a bad example.” Cornette adds that he’d be happy if Tony filled in for him permanently. I concur. Cornette says his team should be the #1 seed in the Crockett Cup. He says if the Road Warriors want to challenge the Midnight Express, he suggests they hit the gym, get into shape and build a reputation for themselves because they’re not ready for Loverboy Dennis and Beautiful Bobby…

To the ring, the Midnight Express vs. Phil Brown and Lee Peak. Cornette mockingly says the two opponents in the ring might be the Express’ toughest opponents. Bobby snapmares Brown and Tony, perhaps channeling David Crockett, calls it “a good hip toss”. That spurs Cornette to respond, “A what? That was a flying mare Tony. You don’t know a wristlock from a wrist watch do you?” Bobby lands a flying elbowdrop off the top rope. Cornette says the Road Warriors would need an oxygen tank after 10 minutes in the ring with the Midnight Express. He again claims that Brown and Peak are the toughest opponents they’ve ever had. Meanwhile, Dennis and Bobby humiliate the jobbers…

Bobby helps Brown over to the corner to tag Peak, who he nails with a beautiful over-the-knee backbreaker. Cornette hilariously imitates Dusty Rhodes. I really can’t do this justice in writing. Bobby tosses Peak out of the ring repeatedly, and Dennis keeps helping him back in. We get what I believe is the debut of the Rocket Launcher, with Dennis giving Bobby extra momentum for a splash off the top, and the win. Combined with Cornette’s commentary, it’s another awesome squash for the Midnight Express. **1/4

Time now for the Crockett Cup seedings. The tourney will be held at the New Orleans Superdome on April 19, with the winners receiving $1 million. It will include 24 teams with a day and night session. For some reason, they’re holding a “press conference” in Charlotte for an event in New Orleans. Crockett’s widow, in a prerecorded video, says she hopes Charlotte can host next year. Maybe she should tell that to her son, who runs the promotion. They got Pro Wrestling Illustrated to do the top 10 seeds, and bring out Bill Apter to announce them:

  1. Road Warriors
  2. Dusty Rhodes & Magnum T.A.
  3. Midnight Express
  4. Ric Flair & Arn Anderson
  5. Rick Martel & Dino Bravo (Canadian entry)
  6. Rock & Roll Express
  7. Tiger Mask (Misawa) & Giant Baba (Japanese entry)
  8. Ivan & Nikita Koloff (Eastern Bloc entry, which they misspell as Eastern Block)
  9. Kiwi Sheepherders (New Zealand entry)
  10. Ted Dibiase & Steve Williams (Mid South tag team champions)

Bill Watts is then introduced, announced as the president of the Universal Wrestling Federation. Watts says he’s always had a dream of the Superdome being the site of the NWA World Title changing hands and they’ve put together a lucrative contract for Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes as part of the Crockett Cup card. So they’re pulling Rhodes & Flair out of the tag tournament right after they announce them as part of the second and fourth seeded teams, respectively. Watts brings Apter back up to announce Magnum T.A. has chosen Ronnie Garvin as his partner and Arn Anderson chooses Tully Blanchard. The seedings will remain the same. Watts says there will also be a “surprise main event” for the afternoon session.

Back to the studio, Arn Anderson joins Tony. Arn said the Horsemen discussed this and they all decided that Ric Flair should get a crack at Dusty Rhodes by himself. Arn says the Horsemen should be seeded #1, not fourth, and now he’s going to do something Dusty Rhodes never did, defend the TV Title on television.

To the ring, Arn Anderson vs. Mike Jackson for the NWA World TV Title in what should be a good, fairly competitive match. Shoulderblock by Anderson. Jackson tries a hiptoss that Arn blocks, but Jackson goes to a headscissors to take him down. Arn rolls out of the ring and claims Jackson pulled the hair. Jackson takes Arn down two more times and Arn bails again as the studio audience taunts him. Jackson takes down Arn with a headlock. Arn shoots off, does a leapfrog but gets nailed with a dropkick and another headlock takedown…

After a break, Anderson & Jackson battle for position in a backslide. Jackson flips over, Arn misses a punch and Jackson rolls him in a small package for a one count. Arn bails again. The audience chants “Go Mike, Go!” Arn shuts them up with two nicely-placed left hands. He rakes Jackson across the top rope and chokes him on the middle one. Arn applies Hold #973: ARMBAR! Jackson tries to reverse but Arn hangs on. Jackson kicks him off, but Anderson takes him down again with a nice arm drag. Off the ropes, Jackson tries a leap frog but doesn’t clear him and lands face-forward. Arn goes to the second rope but misses and Jackson starts his comeback. He punches away and hits a backdrop. Jackson tries a charge in the corner, but Anderson nails him, executes the gourdbuster and wins. A little disappointing that it wasn’t better, but it was still decent. **1/2

To ringside, it’s Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll. Dusty apologizes to his mama for taking his clothes off on national TV last week. He promises to break Arn Anderson’s leg before it’s all over, and says Arn and Tully are running away with his titles. Dusty says Baby Doll is the #1 lady in wrestling and Ric Flair will go down in New Orleans, if he even makes it that far with the title.

After a break, it’s Jimmy Garvin & Precious with Tony. Garvin tells the fans not to smoke in the arenas when he’s coming out because it gets in his hair, and he has the only head of hair in wrestling insured by Lloyds of London. I wonder if he ever collected on that. Garvin says he’s really disappointed that Wahoo McDaniel is still nowhere to be found. Tony tells them Wahoo’s not here today, but has this message from him…

We get a highlight video of Wahoo McDaniel, with Native American music in the background, and includes slo-mo clips of him vs. Ric Flair, Bruiser Brody, Rick Rude, and Abdullah the Butcher

Back live, Jimmy Garvin says he’s not afraid of the big Indian, and Wahoo’s mother probably put together that video. Garvin says Wahoo’s days are numbered.

After a break, the Rock & Roll Express hype the Crockett Cup and their upcoming battles with the Midnight Express. Morton says the NWA Tag Titles will be theirs again before they get to New Orleans. Ricky Morton also tells Ric Flair to quit bad mouthing the teeny boppers who cheer for the R&R because they love the teeny boppers. TMI, Ricky.

To the ring, Manny Fernandez vs. Tony Zane. Fernandez with a hiptoss and slam, into a wristlock. An exchange of punches sees Fernandez with the advantage, mixed with a kneedrop to the head. Fernandez lays in some chops and back elbows. He wins with the Flying Burrito. *

Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson and J.J. Dillon join Tony. Dillon says the ratings just took a phenomenal jump in the last 10 seconds. Blanchard says Flair will take down Dusty Rhodes for the last time in New Orleans, and he and Arn should be the #1 seed. Arn says they’ll do whatever they have to do to win $1 million, “because we’ve got expensive habits”. Gee, I wonder what those are…

Baby Doll comes out to confront the Horsemen. Dusty’s woman says she could knock J.J. Dillon into tomorrow and challenges him to step into the ring right now. Baby Doll goes to the ring and J.J. can’t believe it. He excitedly takes off his suit jacket, tie and shoes. Tully tries to calm him down. Arn says “that woman will do anything to get a little affection“. Dillon goes to the apron, but Arn and Tully try to talk him down. Magnum T.A. and Dusty Rhodes jump them…

Dusty elbows Blanchard, but Tully nails Dusty with Dillon’s shoe. Magnum sunset flips Arn in the ring and has him down, but Tully breaks up the pin. Arn & Tully go for a double gourdbuster, but Dusty breaks it up. Dusty throws Tully over the top rope. Magnum hits the belly-to-belly suplex on Arn. Magnum stretches Arn’s leg as Dusty goes to the ropes to try to break it, just like the Horsemen did to him. Dusty comes off the ropes with a stomp on Arn’s leg. Tully tries to save him but keeps getting punched down. They stomp away on Arn. J.J. Dillon finally pulls Anderson out. Magnum takes Tully down and punches away. Dusty stomps on Tully’s leg. The Horsemen vacate the premises as America’s Team and Baby Doll stand tall.

After a break, it’s Jimmy Valiant & Manny Fernandez with Tony. Valiant says he & Fernandez are together no matter what Paul Jones & his army do. Fernandez says he’s not gonna be in the shadow anymore. He’s “coming out“, in a totally non-gay way, which still elicits a big hug from Valiant. Valiant & Fernandez will apparently be a team at the Crockett Cup.

To the ring, Ron Garvin vs. Kent Glover. Garvin laces into Glover with open-hand chops. He suplexes Glover and ties him up. Headbutts, slaps and more chops in the corner have Glover dazed and confused. Garvin ties him up again. More big open-handed chops, followed by raking Glover’s back. Glover is going to be sore tomorrow. Garvin makes it worse with a sugar hold. Garvin mercifully ends it with the knockout punch. A brutal squash. *1/2

The Horsemen, minus Flair, return to the podium and they’re not happy. Dillon says despite the attack from Rhodes & Magnum, they emerged unscathed. Blanchard says Dusty & Magnum are afraid to meet them face-to-face in the ring, so they have to jump them from behind. Arn’s leg is bruised, but not broken. And he notes they’ve still got the belts that Rhodes wants.

After a break, Ivan and Nikita Koloff come to the podium. They say the contract Magnum signed is a joke and they must meet their terms and the Kremlin’s terms for the U.S. Title match before Nikita will sign. Ivan says the time is up for Magnum and the Road Warriors. And they’re going to take the $1 million in the Crockett Cup.

To the ring, it’s Black Bart vs. Carl Styles. Bart executes his usual punch, kick, stomp offense. He slams Styles and flies halfway across the ring for the Texas Trash Compactor and the win. 1/2*

Ronnie Garvin joins Tony at the podium. He still hasn’t given up on taking the NWA Title from Ric Flair and says Flair won’t make it to the Crockett Cup if he can help it. Sorry Ronnie, you can’t help it. Garvin hypes the Crockett Cup and says he has butterflies in his stomach thinking about it and the $1 million. Garvin’s struggling and keeps repeating himself. Magnum T.A. comes out to save the promo and says they’re gonna win it. That ends the show.

Another good program this week. As a fan, I’m fascinated by the Crockett Cup and I think JCP fans are as well. Too bad it’s not being held in JCP territory. Anxious to hear what the other 14 teams will be in the tournament. We’ll find out on next week’s show. Thanks for reading.