The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling – 12.30.81
Almost caught up to Mid-Atlantic and then I can go back to those again!
Hosted by Bill Watts, with Boyd Pierce off on vacation in Hawaii. This is gonna be a recap of 1981.
Mid-South tag team titles: The Wild Samoans v. Junkyard Dog & Mike George
From Jackson, MS, October 1981. Watts notes that everyone said George would double-cross JYD, but it hasn’t happened yet. Well, give it time, Bill. This is ringside footage from a house show, edited to Dog making his comeback after George gets the heat. Dog hits the Thump on Afa, but Sika knocks out the ref while Ernie Ladd comes in with a chair. He hits Afa by mistake and Dog gets the pin to win the titles. Not much shown here, but the crowd certainly was happy to see it. 1 for 1.
Paul & Terry Orndorff v. Junkyard Dog & Mike George
Watts explains that Terry had lost a match to Dog where the loser had to wear a yellow mask to symbolize COWARDICE, the worst thing possible in Bill Watts World. But then Terry turned it around on him, proudly wearing the mask everywhere and loading it with illegal weapons to get a pinfall victory on Dog and get some revenge. So this one sees Dog tossing Terry to the floor and slugging it out with Paul, as Terry comes back into the ring looking more like Bob Orton for some reason. And indeed, “Terry” hits George with a piledriver after Ernie Ladd interferes, and gets the pin. The announcers immediately suspect chicanery, especially since his tights changed colors while he was on the floor. That’s a pretty great angle. 2 for 2.
Junkyard Dog & Mike George v. Paul Orndorff & Bob Roop
Roop is subbing for Terry Orndorff, who has now left the business after a car accident and never returned to pay off the masked man angle. Joined with the babyfaces making the comeback and WHUPPING the heels, but masked man Bob Orton returns, yanks Dog out of the ring, and tries a piledriver on the floor. Dog escapes from that and unmasks Orton as the false Yellow coward, but Orton joins in on a heel beatdown in the ring and Paul Orndorff puts the horrific yellow mask of cowardice on the Dog instead. Cowboy Bill is aghast at the level of subterfuge and conspiracy happening on our screen. They’re probably a bunch of goddamn commie bastards too, I bet. It’s always the reds behind this shit! 3 for 3.
Onto Dusty Rhodes and his feud with Kabuki, as Bill Watts gives us a brief overview of Japanese feudal society, and Gary Hart cuts a great promo for Kabuki, who knows that Halloween might be over, but the BOOGIEMAN IS STILL HERE. So Dusty sends his own promo in reply, with his face painted up like Goldust during the bad period, because he’s ready for WAR. We know this is the case because he has “WAR” written on a headband in felt pen. Anyway, it is he who is the assassin this time. Dusty wants a bunkhouse match, but it’s so violent that Bill Watts cannot show footage or sanction it with a clear conscience. But he sure as hell can sell tickets for fans to watch it, I imagine. Anyway, the match was so violent that Kabuki was still selling the damage when he defended the Louisiana title against JYD, and ended up losing it as a result. Also, Watts isn’t sure, but that match might have been so violent that Dusty was unable to regain the World title from Ric Flair as well. Now that’s violent! Dusty’s face-painted promo is the stuff of nightmares, but I really want to see that match now. 4 for 4.
North American title: Paul Orndorff v. Ted Dibiase
Back to the Jackson, MS show in October, with edited highlights of what looks like a hell of a match. Watts talks about the heritage of Dibiase, and how sometimes Dibiase takes too much shit from heels sometimes and he should really stand up for himself more. Dibiase makes the comeback and gets the UNBREAKABLE figure-four, but Bob Roop comes in off the top rope for the DQ. Basically Roop had turned heel on Dibiase, blaming him for a loss to Kabuki after a series of miscommunications. Looked good enough for a point. 5 for 5.
Bill writes Terry Orndorff out of the show at this point, by the way, noting that after Terry couldn’t get the job done against Dog, Paul “sent him back to Florida like yesterday’s garbage” and he’s done with wrestling.
Ted Dibiase v. Ed Wiskowski
Back to November for this one, the week before the shows start on the Network in fact. Dibiase is now North American champion, but this is non-title. Dibiase works on the arm while Bob Roop runs him down on commentary, but Wiskowski gets a small package for two. Dibiase makes the comeback with an elbowdrop for two, and the powerslam sets up the figure-four, but Ed sends him into the corner. Wiskowski goes up with a flying bodypress, but Dibiase rolls through for the pin. This was good stuff. 6 for 6.
Ed Wiskowski v. Jim Garvin
And now we’re up to the December shows, as this was on that first show on the Network. Last couple of minutes of this one, with Ed cutting off Garvin’s comeback and hitting the high knee and backbreaker for the pin. Bill Watts is hella impressed with Ed’s perseverance and toughness. He doesn’t say “hella”, but I can tell he feels it.
Ted Dibiase v. Paul Orndorff
This is the main event from that same show, as Orndorff makes good on his threat to reverse the figure-four, with help from Bob Roop, and Dibiase has to hang on in excruciating pain until time expires. This gets another point because I love Ernie Ladd’s delight at Dibiase possibly having his leg snapped in half from the devastating hold.
Bill Watts sums up all the big storylines we covered here, and we’re out.
Next week: DREAM MATCHES! 1982!