The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling – 12.12.81
Hey, here’s something I haven’t checked out on the Network in a while! Not to step on Brian’s toes, of course. I don’t have my phone handy because it’s charging, so no stopwatch for this one, sorry.
Your hosts are Boyd Pierce & Ernie Ladd. Ernie is immediately awesome.
The Monk v. Bryan Blair
The Monk resembles someone who might be Erick Rowan’s father. But I mean, the vow of chastity would likely preclude that. Blair uses his wrestling skillz and rides the Monk to the mat, then takes him into a headscissors. Ernie Ladd goes on an amazing rant on commentary about Andre the Giant, as they announced a “dream match” vote at the beginning of the show and it’s 100% clear where they’re pushing fans right away. Monk tries to work the arm, but Blair slugs him down and drops a leg for two. Dropkick gets two, and the abdominal stretch rollup finishes. This was fine. 1 for 1.
Tom Renesto Jr. v. King Cobra
King Cobra was a favorite of Watts, it seemed like, but never got over to the same level as JYD. Funny bit as Cobra works the arm and Renesto yells “No!” when the ref asks him, but the kids in the audience yell back “Yes!” Like that would ever get over. Ladd, on commentary, lets us know how much he hates JYD, but admits that he’s TOUGH. Because that’s his job, to put people over as a commentator, even though he’s a heel. Not just to aimlessly bicker with the play by play guy. King Cobra finishes with a headbutt. 2 for 2 because Ernie Ladd is just great.
Jim Garvin v. Ed Wiskowski
Holy crap, check out the guns on Jimmy Garvin! That dude was RIPPED in 1981, to the point where you wouldn’t even know it was him if the pornstache didn’t give it away. Wiskowski, at this point playing “The Polish Prince”, grabs a headlock to start and grinds on that, but Garvin powers out and turns it into a hammerlock on the mat. He drops a knee on the back and Ladd is like “That’s ILLEGAL! You could sever a man’s spine with knees like that!” Perhaps Ernie ended up on a state athletic commission when they were making the rules for MMA? Garvin works a hammerlock and Ladd is even more offended, because he’s trying to break a man’s arm. Wiskowski hangs him in the corner and kicks him in the face a few times, which of course Ladd is fine with. Because they’re legal blows with the inside of the foot, you see. Ed works the back in the corner, but Garvin fights back with a forearm for two and grabs the sleeper. Ed sends him to the floor to break the “illegal chokehold”, but Garvin reverses a slam into a cradle for two. Wiskowski hits him with a kneelift and drops him on the top rope, then finishes with a backbreaker to the delight of Ladd. Once he became Col. DeBeers, they probably wouldn’t have had such a good relationship. 3 for 3.
Last week, JYD faces young Terry Orndorff in a standby match, but Paul runs I and gives him an object to put in his mask, which results in Dog trying a headbutt and knocking himself out. And then Bob Orton grabs the mask and switches in to give Dog a piledriver, and then the ref awards Orndorff the win because Dog threw him over the top rope. Back in the studio, Ernie Ladd thinks this is HILARIOUS. Ladd is fantastic.
Junkyard Dog & Mike George v. Jerry Novak & Aaron Holt
Now those are some jobberiffic names. George slugs it out with Novak and Dog beats on the other goof, and Dog THUMPS him to finish just like that. 3 for 4.
The Iron Sheik v. Buddy Ryan
Bill Watts apparently shops for jobbers at the same pasty white guy store that Jim Crockett did. Sheik quickly pounds on Ryan and stomps him down, then drops the elbow and a gutwrench suplex gets two. He hurks him over with a belly to belly, into a german suplex to finish. Sheik as a suplex machine is pretty great. 4 for 5.
Diamond Lil & Rick Ferrera v. Barbie Doll & Tony Charles
Weird, you don’t often see midget women wrestlers. So this is a double mixed match, with full sized men teaming with midget women, and of course no mixing allowed. The women trade chops and Barbie (the babyface) takes Lil down and works the leg until Lil tosses her to the apron to break. Over to the men, as Ferrera reverses a dropkick attempt into a Boston crab, and Charles has to power out. Back to the girls, as Lil beats on Barbie, but gets whipped into the corner for two. Criss cross and Barbie hits a butt splash to finish. It was what it was, although they worked it as a straight match without the usual midget stuff. 4 for 6.
Paul Orndorff v. Ted Dibiase
Dibiase is North American champion, not to be confused with the North American title he had on that WWWF show I reviewed earlier this week. They trade lockups and Orndorff gets a small package for two, but if Ladd was referee, it would have been three! Orndorff with a sunset flip, but Dibiase blocks it for two. Dibiase works the arm and pounds it with kneedrops, and Ladd is all about this kind of aggressive action. Orndorff elbows out and reverses Dibiase into the turnbuckles to take over, then goes to work on him with kneedrops. Dibiase fights back with a kneelift and a powerslam, and that sets up the deadly figure-four, but Orndorff had previously promised that he had a counter. And indeed he does, as he turns it over and Dibiase is screaming in pain while Ladd is LOVING IT. Ernie Ladd’s enthusiasm for Dibiase being in excruciating pain is AMAZING. The TV time limit runs out with Dibiase trapped in his own hold, but he doesn’t give up, so it’s a draw. Great action from both guys here. 5 for 7.
Oh yeah, this is going into the rotation along with Mid-Atlantic. The Network has the entire run from here until the end of 1982 and I’m all over it.