NWA World Championship Wrestling, April 19, 1986

Dusty Rhodes & Ric Flair debate which one will job in front of 70,000 people, Arn Anderson defends the TV Title vs. Manny Fernandez, and Jimmy Valiant returns. All this while the Crockett Cup rolls on in the Superdome…

We open with a video clip of the Road Warriors destroying two jobbers, including a second rope powerslam from Animal, followed by a clip of the Midnight Express executing the Rocket Launcher to get the pin on a another set of jobbers.

To the studio, Tony Schiavone & David Crockett are our hosts. NWA World Champ Ric Flair comes out. His got his Learjet ready to fly to New Orleans for his match tonight with Dusty Rhodes. “Tonight in New Orleans, the joint’s gonna be packed and I don’t do no jobs in front of 70,000 people.” (Shooting. Except for the 70,000 part. Divide it by 70 and you’re closer.) “After I beat up Dusty Rhodes, I’m gonna ease across the street to the Hyatt Regency. And drinks, all the champagne, anything you want is on the world champ. So girls, keep in mind, it’s a la carte, first come, first served.” Awesome.

To the ring, the Road Warriors vs. Bill Tabb & Ray Traylor. Tabb gets tossed out and Animal floors the future Big Bossman with a huge shoulderblock. Traylor fires back, but Animal no sells and takes Traylor down with a dropkick. Hawk tags in and slams Traylor twice, drops the leg, and hammers away. Tabb tags in. Animal tries to press him, but can’t get him up. He goes for it again, and this time presses Big Bill over his head and drops him face first. Animal follows with the powerslam, then a flying clothesline off the top while animal holds Tabb. Hawk almost slipped off the ropes. Sloppy. 1/2*

Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll come out. Dusty says Flair has no right to promise all these drinks all night in New Orleans will be picked up by the world champ, because Dusty will be the champ by the time that tab comes around. Dusty says he “don’t do no jobs in front of 70,000 people either, so where we at now?” Hmm…I’ll guess a Dusty Finish. (Close.)

After a break, Jimmy Valiant returns for the first time since Pistol Pez Whatley turned on him 14 days ago, or so. Valiant says he took care of Whatley at 5 o’clock in the morning a few weeks ago like he was a baby and saved his life at a joint in Philly a few months ago. Valiant calls Whatley a “Judas” and “a Uncle Tom”. Valiant promises Whatley and Paul Jones will be shaved bald by the end of the year.

To the ring, Nighthawk Coltrane vs. Gene Ligon. Coltrane botches his shoulderbreaker finisher, tries it again and gets the pin quickly. DUD

The Rock & Roll Express join Tony. Robert is excited about winning the “World’s Cup”. Ricky is looking forward to partying in New Orleans. Apparently after their soccer match.

To the ring for Wahoo McDaniel vs. Vernon Deaton. Wahoo works Deaton’s arm and lights him up with chops to the chest. A couple of chinlocks followed by the Tomahawk Chops ends it. 3/4*

Shaska Whatley & Paul Jones join Tony. Jones works himself into a frenzy. Whatley correctly points out that Valiant “ain’t got no brains.” Shaska tells Tony to shut up cuz he ain’t through talkin’ yet. They promise to make Valiant a bald headed geek.

J.J. Dillon comes out to hype the feud between Tully Blanchard and Ron Garvin. J.J. says he’s appealing to the NWA to make Ronnie Garvin prove his hand his broken or else remove the taped fist.

To the ring, Magnum T.A. vs. Paul Garner. Usual quick squash with the belly-to-belly suplex. *

After a break, Paul Ellering joins Tony. He promises the Russians that their day is coming and warns Jim Cornette that the L.O.D. wants him, the Midnight Express, & the tag team titles.

To the ring, Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin w/ Precious vs. George South. Garvin has South in an interminably long hammerlock. Garvin offers to shake South’s hand. He wisely declines. They do some mat grappling and South manages to lock Garvin in a headscissors. Garvin escapes and regains control, primping his hair while he has South down. Garvin finally ends it with the brainbuster. 1/2*

Manny Fernandez joins Tony. Manny says no one does it like the Bull, speaks a bunch of Spanish and vows he can beat Arn Anderson tonight for the TV Title.

After a break, Jimmy Garvin & Precious return. Garvin says he’s proved Wahoo McDaniel is a yellow coward and he shouldn’t be wearing that full headdress. He should just have one little feather. Garvin says he’s been searching all the low rent places around to find Wahoo and still can’t find him.

To the ring, Ivan Koloff w/ Nikita Koloff vs. Tony Zane. Zane gets in some early offense and surprises Ivan with a sunset flip for a two count. Ivan responds and dominates for several minutes. Zane catches Ivan in an airplane spin, into the Samoan Drop! However, Ivan catches Zane on the splash attempt, before finally ending it with the Russian Sickle off the second rope. *1/4

The Koloffs join Tony at ringside. Nikita shows off his Russian Chain and vows to hurt Magnum T.A. with it. Ivan compares Magnum to people who still smoke, even though they know their lungs will shrivel up and kill them. Like them, Magnum won’t quit wrestling, and Nikita Koloff will be his cancer. Interesting analogy. Ivan vows to pay back the Road Warriors for injuring Khrusher Khrushchev’s leg and Khrusher will rejoin them to exact revenge soon.

After a break, Dusty Rhodes returns to help commentate the World TV Title Match between Arn Anderson vs. Manny Fernandez. One fall, 20 minutes. Dusty say’s it’s going to be a real donnybrook and predicts we’ll see a new TV champ. Fernandez gets a quick two count off a crossbody block. Arn takes a powder. Tully is jealous Arn has powder, so he’ll probably come out soon. Fernandez with the back elbow as Arn charges him the corner, and Anderson goes outside again. Arn pounds away in the corner. Fernandez fakes Arn out nails him again with the elbow. Another exchange on the ropes sees Fernandez get the better again, and Arn continues his Larry Zbyszko-like stalling as we go to a break…

Back live, Fernandez locks in Hold #932: ARMBAR! Anderson fires back with left hands, but Fernandez answers with the drop toehold. He drives knees into Arn’s thighs and applies an ankle lock. The Bull continues to work the leg for several minutes as we go to another commercial…

Back live, and Fernandez is still working Anderson’s leg. Fernandez locks in the figure four leglock. Dusty is cheering Fernandez on. Arn makes the ropes, forcing the break, but Fernandez continues to work the leg. He locks in a half crab. The Bull goes for the figure four again, but Arn kicks him off, into the turnbuckle. Arn drops a knee on Fernandez. The time limit is closed to running out, they tell us. Arn lifts Fernandez and drops him face-first. Anderson locks in the bodyscissors. He knees Fernandez in the gut, but Arn hurt his own leg, which Manny has worked throughout the match. Fernandez hits a back elbow. Irish Whip and drop kick attempt, but Arn dodges it. Anderson misses an elbow drop. Fernandez nails Anderson off the second rope. He whips him across and hits the Flying Burrito. He goes for the pin, but the bell rings at the count of two. Last couple minutes were good. The rest was boring. **

After the match, J.J. Dillon comes out to distract Dusty Rhodes while Tully Blanchard (as I predicted earlier when Arn took a powder) attacks Manny Fernandez from behind. The Horsemen double-team Fernandez and try to injure his arm. Ron Garvin comes in, with his fist taped, and knocks out Arn Anderson.

After a break, Jim Cornette, in sunglasses, comes out and vows the Midnight Express will win the Crockett Cup & $1 million tonight. He says he received a contract in the mail, from his mom, for the MX to wrestle “America’s Team”, Dusty Rhodes & Magnum T.A. Cornette notes that he’s never seen them team up and Magnum doesn’t know what his opinion is until Dusty tells him. Funny. Cornette says they’re a myth and they’ll beat them just like the Rock & Roll Express and the Road Warriors.

To the ring, the NWA World Tag Team Champions Midnight Express vs. Art Pritts & Bob Pearson. Beautiful Bobby fakes Pritts into trying a double high five, then nails him in the gut. Nice. Bobby drags Pearson over to the podium so Cornette can taunt him to his face. Bobby slugs Pearson in front of Tony & David. Bobby & Dennis toy with Pearson, making quick tags. Cornette says Baby Doll “shops in the junior moose department“. Ouch. Cornette taunts Pritts while Dennis chokes him on the ropes. Cornette recommends Pritts get a safer job. Bobby drops the knee off the top rope. Dennis follows with the full nelson facebuster and scores the pin. *1/2

Tully Blanchard & J. J. Dillon join Tony. J.J. tells the camera to get a closeup of Tully’s face, which is very cut up from the recent bullrope matches with Dusty & Wahoo. Blanchard says Manny Fernandez just got a taste of what happens when you mess with “the Three Horsemen”. Tully says Dusty & none of his friends can take the National Title from him. Tully is fired (coked?) up and refers to Baby Doll as a moose, like Cornette did earlier.

After a break, Ronnie Garvin joins Tony. Garvin says he respects the NWA and JCP, and notes they haven’t asked him to remove the tape. Garvin says he’s in professional wrestling for one thing, then gives us three reasons: to win, make a living, and he likes it.

To the ring, Ronnie Garvin vs. Brodie Chase. David refers to Garvin as “the doomsday machine”. Garvin ties up Chase. He hits a big Mr. Wrestling II-style knee lift and a splash for the win. *

Jimmy Valiant comes out for a second interview. One was more than enough. Valiant says he gave the best of his heart and soul to Shaska Whatley and Whatley will never have a brother like that again. Valiant says Shaska’s head will be shaved and his war with “Mad Dog” Paul Jones will finally end this year. Thank goodness.

That’s it for this episode. Thanks for reading.