The SmarK Rant for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling – 12.19.81
Taped from Charlotte, NC
Your hosts are David Crockett & Bob Caudle
Sgt. Slaughter kicks things off, and he’s still got the $1000 ready for anyone who can break his cobra clutch. And that DOESN’T mean going to the ropes or pulling his hair, only legal escapes count. Also, Jay Youngblood doesn’t get any more chances. This gets the automatic Slaughter point because it’s my review. 1 for 1.
Blackjack Mulligan Jr. & Jake Roberts v. Charlie Fulton & Chris Markoff
Young Barry, a dead ringer for Kendall at this point, works on Fulton with armdrags to start, but gets caught briefly in the heel corner and worked over. Jake comes in and throws Markoff around, then works a wristlock on Fulton, but Barry gets worked over by the heels again. Jake comes back in to take care of business with a kneelift on Fulton, and the bulldog from Windham finishes at 4:56. Barry was green and awkward as hell at this point, but you could tell there was something there. 2 for 2.
The Ninja v. Mike Davis
So now Ninja / Kabuki / Mr. Pogo has a totally different look, with short hair and facepaint like Heath Slater’s Joker or Jack the Killer, plus what looks like sweat pants and a wifebeater for gear. Quite the makeover there. He pounds away with various martial arts straight from the Orient and he goes to work on Mike’s arm. Gene Anderson, having been moved into a managerial role again, has replaced whatever goof they had with him last time. Definite upgrade. The Ninja slowly works him over with more generic offense, but Davis fights back and walks into a kick. Diving headbutt finishes for Ninja at 4:20. Could not be any more of a generic foreign bad guy if they took some random Japanese wrestler and named him “The Ninja”. Oh wait, that’s exactly what they did. 2 for 3.
Terry Taylor v. Mike Miller
This is young Rookie of the Year Terry Taylor, so you can actually trace the man’s career from start to finish on the WWE Network. Taylor stays basic with the armdrags while Blackjack Mulligan throws his hat in the ring for Slaughter’s $1000 challenge on commentary. As long as he doesn’t cheat and try it while Sarge is tired. Taylor finishes with the five-arm and some kind of god-awful version of a indian deathlock at 3:00. Was he trying a figure-four and had an aneurism in mid-move? 2 for 4.
Sgt. Slaughter pops in for a local TV spot intended for Ann Arbor, MI, and gets some quality abuse of Jim Nelson in. Another bonus Slaughter point! 3 for 5.
Jimmy Valiant v. Tony Russo
Usual squash with the elbow and elbow at 2:00. 3 for 6.
Paul Jones & Rick Steamboat are out with harsh words for Ole Anderson, as Steamboat appears to be wearing the moustache that Paul Jones eventually grew. So they throw to a World Wide match between Steamboat and a jobber where Steamboat yells insults at Roddy Piper at ringside the whole time and then acts shocked when Piper attacks him. Ray Stevens makes the save, and back in the studio all the babyfaces are totally confident in the word of Stevens and can completely trust him.
Big John Studd wants Blackjack Mulligan, because he had to slap his punk kid around to get his attention. He’s not fond of rednecks or the South in general. Roddy Piper has no sympathy for Ricky Steamboat, either.
Billy Robinson v. Don Kernodle
Billy controls on the mat and they trade full nelsons as David Crockett clarifies that Billy Robinson “can really wrestle.” You don’t say? Billy with a neckbreaker for two and a gut wrench for two, and he actually tries to pull guard on Kernodle, but gets reversed into a Boston crab before making the ropes. So Kernodle takes him down again with a double leg and goes to the crab, but Billy flips him over into a pin for two. Kernodle tries to work the arm and gets taken down with a headlock as a result, but he fights up and they have a HUGE collision mid-ring. That was a crazy bump for a standard double-down spot, as their heads smacked into each other and they both flew backwards. Robinson comes back with forearms to the gut and a slam for two, but Kernodle makes his own comeback with an atomic drop and a slam for two. Robinson suddenly hits him with a back suplex into a backbreaker to finish him at 7:04, however. That’s a crazy finisher for 1981. Really good TV match, but I’ve always been a fan of Robinson from the little I’ve seen of him and he was clearly way ahead of his time and hugely influential on the modern product. 4 for 7.
Sgt. Slaughter once again is here to save the show, demonstrating the cobra clutch on Tony Anthony, and promises to release the move if Anthony taps out because he’s a MAN OF HIS WORD. So he goes through the steps of the moves (“You want to beat the man down before you do the move, but I can also put down a fresh man with it because the master of the hold.”) So he puts it on Anthony and releases it as promised, but then gets all excited by the pain and suffering of the poor guy and puts him in it again for fun, until the babyfaces rush in and make the save. A very effective demonstration! 5 for 8.
Jay Youngblood has no idea when they’re coming to Ann Arbor, but he’s looking forward to it. Lots of Indians up there in Pontiac, you see. Has he EVER cut a coherent promo before? Like, is there video evidence of it?
Ox Baker & Carl Fergie v. Keith Larson & Jay Youngblood
Fergie is now going by “Pretty Boy” Fergie, and as the announcers point out, that is accurate in as much as he’s “Pretty Boy” by comparison to Baker. The heels double-team Larson in the corner and Ox hits Larson with the HEART PUNCH and finish him off at 1:30, before Youngblood can even tag in. 5 for 9.
Paul Jones, who calls the show this week “a very exciting program” in a monotone befitting of C-SPAN, is disgusted with Sgt. Slaughter’s actions. And they made this guy a MANAGER. They had him talk for OTHER PEOPLE. And Jay Youngblood wants another shot at Slaughter. Yeah, you and your jobber partner just lost like a couple of losers, loser. BACK OF THE LINE, MAGGOT.
Sgt. Slaughter rules.