NWA World Championship Wrestling, July 12, 1986

A bunkhouse match with the Four Horsemen vs. Dusty and the Rock & Roll Express, the Road Warriors vs. the Midnight Express for the tag titles, Tully vs. Wahoo, Great American Bash updates and some of the loudest crowd pops in JCP’s televised history. This is perhaps my favorite WCW Saturday night program ever. Let’s get to it…

The Great American Bash is upon us and the show has moved out of the TBS Studio for the month and into arenas, providing some great, main event matchups on free TV, which was very rare at this point. Plus we have Jim Cornette adding his hilarious color commentary. There is no July 5 show on the WWE Network or that I can find a record of online, Presumably it was preempted due to Atlanta Braves baseball, so we jump ahead to July 12, from the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, NC.

The show opens with clips from some of the pageantry of the outdoor Bash shows, with skydivers, fireworks and country music…

This is a non-Bash show, but still jampacked with huge matches. Tony Schiavone is our host this week. He brings in Jim Crockett Jr. We’re told there’s one new bald-headed geek. We’ll find out who later on. Jim Cornette & Big Bubba Rogers join Tony and they send it to the ring…

The Warlord w/ Baby Doll vs. Gene Ligon. Cornette says he knows a good attorney if the Warlord wants to sue whoever gave him that haircut. Warlord powers Ligon out of a collar-and-elbow tie up. Ditto from a go-behind. Warlord no-sells a dropkick, scoops Ligon and finishes him off with a sort of running powerslam for the quick squash. DUD

NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair joins Cornette. Flair congratulates Cornette on his new announcing gig and says he adds some much needed class to the program. Flair hypes his match with Dusty Rhodes tonight at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville. Flair notes he’s already been through four of the 14 challengers and tonight will make five. Flair says he’s the greatest of all-time, and he’s right. “When it’s all over on August 2, I want Dusty Rhodes to stand on national television and say, ‘Yes, Ric Flair, is the greatest world champion, WHOO, of all-time. WHOO!’

After a break, all of the Four Horsemen and J.J. Dillon join Cornette for an interview. Cornette says he’d like to see all four of them in the ring together for an 8-man tag. Ole once again says 1986 is the year they will get rid of Dusty Rhodes. Tully runs down all the people they’ve injured. Arn notes they still hold all the gold. Flair says they’ve got brains, wealth, brawn, “and ladies, let me assure you, there’s not a gelding in the bunch. We are the studs in professional wrestling. We are the men that get it done. If we tell you we’re gonna be somewhere and we’re gonna beat somebody up, then you know what? Put it in the bank cuz we’re gonna beat there and we’re gonna beat somebody up. WHOO!

To the ring, it’s Ivan Koloff w/ Nikita Koloff vs. Rocky King. King scores an early headscissors takedown, as Ivan does his usual work of getting the jobber over early in the match. King comes off with a crossbody block for a two count that pops the crowd. King locks in the sleeper! But Ivan snap mares him through the ropes and out of the ring. Koloff rams King hard into the ringside barrier. King sunset flips back in for a one-count. Ivan works over King, but the youngster keeps battling. A headbutt by King sends Ivan on his back for another two count. King grazes Ivan with a dropkick for another two…

Ivan Koloff regains the advantage with a stiff shot to King’s throat. He tosses King outside again and distracts the ref, allowing Nikita Koloff to get the cheap shot on King. Cornette says there was a fly on King’s back that Nikita was getting for him. Hilarious. Back in, King dodges Ivan’s kneedrop off the second rope. King kicks Ivan’s leg and delivers a scissors-legdrop on the Russian Bear. King follows with a backdrop. However, Ivan regains the advantage, pounces on King’s back as he’s draped across the second rope and scores the pin. **

Time for our Great American Bash update: We get video of Jimmy Valiant vs. Shaska Whatley from Charlotte on July 3. It’s a hair vs. hair match.  Valiant has Shaska in the sleeper. Baron Von Raschke interferes and nails Valiant. The Baron puts on the loaded black glove, but Manny Fernandez comes in to assist Valiant. Shaska goes over to help the Baron with Fernandez. Somehow the loaded black glove slips free and Valiant puts it on. He nails Shaska with a right hand and scores the pin. The crowd pops big. Ron Garvin, Robert Gibson and Fernandez hold Shaska as Valiant uses an electric razor to shave Whatley bald, who is out cold the entire time.

Magnum T.A. joins Tony, who says Magnum is in a hole in the best-of-seven series with Nikita Koloff for the U.S. Title. Magnum’s forehead is a mess and he says his insides are busted up, but he says he likes insurmountable odds. Magnum says pain for him is inspirational and vows that he’s coming back and the belt is still coming back to him.

To the ring, it’s Ron Garvin vs. Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion Black Bart. Tony says next week’s show will be another special one, coming from the state capital of South Carolina, Columbia. Cornette says he didn’t know South Carolina had a state capital. Good one. Bart slugs Garvin, but Garvin comes back with a big open hand chop that pops the crowd good. These two had pretty significant feud over the National Title in 1985. Bart works on Garvin’s arm, but Garvin yanks Bart’s hair to take him down, showing his willingness to cheat, despite being a face. Bart goes back to working the arm. Garvin fires back with chops, a punch and a headbutt, which results in a nicely done, delayed back bump by Bart. Garvin rolls him up for the two count. Bart returns to working the arm in the corner. Garvin headbutts Bart repeatedly to send him down again. Garvin drops the elbow as Cornette notes he uses his whole body as a weapon. Garvin ties up Bart and locks in an armbar which causes Bart to scream in pain, drawing a good reaction from the crowd, as we go to a commercial break…

Back live, Ron Garvin misses a charge in the corner and is hanging upside down, while Black Bart works him over. Referee Tommy Young helps Garvin get loose. Bart pounds away. Bart delivers a better leg drop than Hulk Hogan ever did, but just gets a two count. Tully Blanchard and J.J. Dillon come to ringside. Remember, Tully is feuding with Garvin over the National Title, and they’re waging taped-fist matches during the Bash shows. Garvin fires back with headbutts. Bart does a double-leg trip and puts his feet on the ropes for leverage. Tommy Young catches the illegal move just before counting three. Bart pours it on, with Tully & J.J.’s encouragement. He whips Garvin into the corner and charges, but Garvin catches him with a double-boot to the face. Now Garvin does the double-leg takedown, puts his feet on the ropes for leverage and the referee counts three. He cheated to win, but the crowd loves it. Tully & J.J are going nuts. Fun match. **3/4

After a break, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll join Tony. Dusty wants to know why every time they come out, “Jim Cornette excuse hisself from the premisees? That’s a fact, jack.” Dusty says he and Ric Flair are the two highest paid athletes in the country today, “bar none”. And repeats it, with emphasis. He has a message for Flair: “The plumber’s son from Austin, Texas. I might not look like a normal athlete’s supposed to look. I might not can run 100 miles without teepin’ (?) a deep breath. I might not be able to leap a tall building in a single bound but I have held the world’s heavyweight title two times. Not once! So you got to go to bed with them other things on your mind and clear it up, because about four o’clock in the mornin’ you start thinkin’ about Dusty Rhodes and it last all day long. And Ole Anderson I’m tired of you comin’ out here and sayin’ in 1986, Dusty gonna pack up his gear, but his wrestlin’ gear away and put it aside. Lemme tell ya summin’ old man: I’m here for ya. Jump on it. And see how tough you really are.

To the ring, it’s Teijho Kahn vs. Mark Fleming. The graphic shows “Tei Jho Kahn”.Kahn’s best claim to fame, if you want to call it that, is teaming with the Barbarian as the main heel tag team in “Body Slam“, the horrid Roddy Piper/Dirk Benedict movie. Fleming controls most of the match. Cornette has the understatement of the year when he notes Kahn doesn’t have the most finesse of any wrestler you’ve seen. Fleming continues to work over Kahn, but the man from Singapore, (by way of Pittsburgh), finally wins with a powerslam. Horrid. -*

Cornette hypes his showdowns with Baby Doll during the Bash shows, saying he’s gonna run her out of pro wrestling. Cornette notes Bubba is with him at all times watching his back and nothing can happen to him while Bubba is around. Perhaps some foreshadowing…

After a break, the Rock & Roll Express join Tony. Cornette is once again nowhere in sight. Robert Gibson notes he’s got his shot at Ric Flair coming up in Fayetteville. They hype their matches with the Midnight Express and say they have Baby Doll’s back. Ricky Morton talks about Flair and their matches upcoming with the Andersons, which should be great.

To the ring, it’s National Heavyweight Champion Tully Blanchard w/ J.J. Dillon vs. Wahoo McDaniel. This is a title match. Wahoo and Tully were partners back in 1984 during Wahoo’s heel run. Tony notes the history. They called themselves “the Awesome Twosome”. Cornette returns and asks again if he missed anything. Wahoo fires off with stiff chops to Tully’s chest, backing him into the corner. Irish Whip and another big chop. Tully takes a powder. Tony calls Wahoo “the greatest Indian wrestler of all-time”. He’s right. But Cornette says that’s like being the nicest guy in prison. Name three. Wahoo and Tully exchanges blows in the ring. Wahoo gets the better of it and lands a chop to the top of Tully’s head. He gets a couple of two counts as we go to break…

Back live, Wahoo has Tully in a rear chinlock. Wahoo tries to stomp on Tully, but Blanchard dodges and steps out of the ring to confer with J.J. They lock up for a test of strength but Tully immediately kicks Wahoo in the gut repeatedly. Wahoo responds with a headbutt to the gut and a wristlock takedown. Tully keeps trying to escape to the ropes but Wahoo refuses to let go, even with the referee trying to force the break. Wahoo laces in more chops and Blanchard is reeling. Snap mare and a chinlock as Wahoo maintains control. Blanchard lands a knee to Wahoo’s head and finally gains control. Blanchard works Wahoo’s ample midsection and pounds away. Wahoo is bleeding now. Tully goes for a suplex, but Wahoo blocks and reverses it. Wahoo drops the chop and gets a two count. Tully ducks out. Wahoo finally decides to give chase. Tully’s running, but he outsmarts McDaniel by reversing course around the ring post and nailing Wahoo. Now he rams Wahoo into the ring post. Back in, Blanchard has the advantage with a chinlock and uses the ropes for leverage. Elbowdrops from Tully, but Wahoo finally dodges one…

Great exchange as Wahoo delivers the atomic drop, Tully bounces into the turnbuckles, then bounces straight into a big chop. Two and a half count. Tully tries to escape again, but Wahoo drags him back. More big chops. Wahoo whips Tully into the ropes and nails a chop. He goes for the pin and he’s got him, but J.J. puts Tully’s foot on the ropes to save the match. Now Dillon hands Tully and he nails Wahoo with it. Tully goes for the pin, but Ronnie Garvin runs in to break up the three count and tells referee Tommy Young about the foreign object. Tully tries to take the object out of his tights and toss to Dillon, but they fumble it, there’s a mad scramble for it and Tommy Young comes up with it as the crowd goes wild. Young disqualifies Blanchard and raises Wahoo’s hand in victory. Dillon nails Wahoo from behind. Garvin grabs J.J., but that allows Blanchard to nail Garvin and deliver the slingshot suplex and leave his arch-rival laying. Fun match, extremely well done scenario with the discovery of the foreign object, and a solid furtherance of the Garvin/Blanchard feud. ***

 The Koloffs join Cornette for an interview. Nikita says he heard Magnum talking about being hurt, but Nikita says he’s not hurt bad yet and he’ll need people to carry him out. Ivan assures Magnum that Nikita will be U.S. champ and there’s nothing he can do to stop it. Uncle Ivan also says they haven’t forgotten the Road Warriors.

To the ring, Sam Houston vs. George South. It’s JTTS vs. jobber. Houston delivers a high backdrop and arm drag. South comes back with a bodyslam, but misses the elbowdrop. Houston lets out a “yee ha” which looks and sounds stupid. South rakes the eyes and gets a brief advantage, but Houston comes off with sort of a flying side-bulldog for a two count. The bulldog is his finisher, but that wasn’t a full one. They continue some mat grappling, with the advantage going back and forth. South controls for a bit, however Houston hits the bulldog to end a competitive matchup. **

NWA World Tag Team Champions The Midnight Express w/ Jim Cornette & Big Bubba Rogers vs. Road Warriors w/ Paul Ellering. This is the Road Warriors first big attempt to win the tag titles. The crowd goes apeshit as the LOD enters the arena. The Midnights duck out of the ring as soon as the LOD step in. We hear Cornette giving his team instructions at ringside, hyping up the huge concern of defending the belts against the most dominant tag team of all-time. It’s Loverboy Dennis vs. Animal first. Dennis tries a shoulder block off the ropes but just bounces off Animal. Another attempt and Animal drops down, does a leap frog and catches Dennis with a big time back elbow. Dennis takes a powder for more coaching from Cornette…

Back in, Animal runs over Dennis. Running the ropes, Dennis goes for a leap frog, but Animal stops and dropkicks him out of the ring. Dennis is furious and Cornette tries to calm him down again. Cornette says they’re stupid, they’re big dumb weightlifters. Outrun them if you have to. Hawk tags in. Lots of stalling from the MX as they try to figure out the Warriors. Dennis drops to his knee for a full bicep pose. The crowd boos. Hawk flexes his massive muscles and the crowd gives another huge pop. Dennis rakes Hawks eyes and delivers a piledriver, which Hawk no sells. He gets up and delivers a huge head butt to floor Dennis. We go to a break…

Back live, Cornette is conferring with his team outside again. The stalling makes sense here from a psychology standpoint because they can’t figure out the Road Warriors and they’re frustrated. The domination in the ring, along with Cornette’s and the MX antics outside, plus a very hot crowd make it fun. Running the ropes, Bobby puts on the brakes when he sees Hawk raise his arm for a clothesline. Bobby ducks out. Animal follows him and press slams him back into the ring, getting him tied up with the camera cord at the same time. Hawk bulldozes Bobby back out of the ring and Animal follows with a massive clothesline on the floor that elicits an enormous, deafening pop from the crowd….

Back in, Dennis & Bobby lock Hawk in armbars, but he powers both off and double clotheslines them, drawing another massive pop. Cornette tells his team he’s done giving suggestions. Obviously frustrated because nothing is working. Hawk press slams Bobby. He goes to the second rope for the clothesline, but Bobby dodges and Hawks momentum carries him outside. Dennis whacks him with Cornette’s tennis racket and rakes the eyes. Finally the MX gains the advantage. Dennis delivers a nice clothesline and gets a two count. They use quick tags and work him over for a while. Cornette adds couple of shots to the ribs and head with the handle of the tennis racket. Hawk shoulderblocks Bobby and gets the hot tag to Animal…

Animal dropkicks both opponents and powerslams Beautiful Bobby. A flying shoulderblock follows. Dennis makes the save on the cover attempt. Hawk plasters Dennis. Animal presses Bobby over his head and Cornette enters, whacking Animal in the back with the tennis racket. The ref sees this one and calls for the DQ. Paul Ellering chases Cornette around the ring. He’s able to get behind bodyguard Big Bubba, but Baby Doll comes up from behind and levels Cornette with a punch to the back of the head. An enormous pop results and Cornette sells it like he got hit with a hammer. It wasn’t an all-action, wrestling classic, but the psychology was perfect. The Warriors’ mystique remains, the Baby Doll getting her revenge angle was tremendous and Cornette is absolutely masterful here. ****

Afterwards, the Road Warriors, Paul Ellering, & Baby Doll join Tony at the interview set. The Warriors claim they’re the real world tag team champs and congratulate Baby Doll on her punching power. Baby Doll gloats about what she did to Cornette.

After a break, Jim Cornette, with a big icepack on his head, & Bubba rejoin Tony. Cornette is convinced Baby Doll had a foreign object in her hand. There’s no other explanation for how hard she hit him. Cornette is furious and runs through a litany of possible explanations for what she hit him with, which runs over into commentary for the next match, including:

JIM CORNETTE’S LIST OF POSSIBLE THINGS BABY DOLL HIT HIM WITH

  • a brick
  • a rock
  • brass knuckles
  • a building brick
  • a piece of masonry stone
  • creek rock
  • a cement block
  • a piece of welding machinery
  • asphalt
  • two full soft drinks cans inside a sock

All the while, Tony Schiavone explains it was just a right hand.

NWA World Champion Ric Flair, Ole Anderson & Arn Anderson vs. Dusty Rhodes & the Rock & Roll Express in a six-man bunkhouse match. Anything goes and this one breaks down quickly with all six men battling at the same time. Ricky Morton pounds away on Ric Flair from the turnbuckles in the corner. Dusty’s throwing elbows and Gibson throws punches at the Andersons. Arn Anderson gains the advantage on Morton and pounds away at his injured face. Morton is still wearing the nose brace. Cornette notes that while the others are in jeans and tee shirts, Ric Flair is still showing class, wearing sansabelt slacks and an Izod shirt…

Flair pulls Dusty out of the ring and chops him. Rhodes fires back and Flair takes off. Rhodes follows the champ, throws him over his shoulder, and carries him back to the ring. As soon as Dusty dumps Flair back inside, Morton nails him with a boot, which he has taken off, right to Flair’s face. Nice spot. Arn, who is busted open, gets levelled by Gibson coming off the second rope with a boot. Dusty has Ole in a wishbone around the ring post and crotches him. He follows with an elbow. Gibson nails Arn again while Morton hits Flair with the boot. The Horsemen start to gain the advantage as we run out of time, ending a great program. Hard to grade an incomplete match, but what there was of it was awesome. I’d give **** to what they showed.

It’s too bad we didn’t get the conclusion, but this was a phenomenal show for the most part, especially the second half. Cornette is absolutely masterful throughout. If you ever want to see JCP at its finest, this is one of the best shows ever to check out. Definitely worth it.