This weekend I am going to blast through a lot of Mid-South recaps. I’ll have several throughout the weekend.
August 4, 1983
Your hosts are Boyd Pierce and Bill Watts
This week we will see “Dr. Death” Steve Williams vs. King Kong Bundy, Mr. Wrestling II vs. Boris Zurkhov, Hacksaw Jim & Magnum TA, and Butch Reed
Watts congratulates the people of Baton Rouge for their most successful show to date. We are then shown the Junkyard Dog named an honorary colonel of the New Orleans government.
We hear from Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Magnum TA, who won the Tag Team Titles on 7/24 in Tulsa, OK. Magnum has a band aid over his right eye as Duggan puts over his ability to get “down and dirty.” Duggan then says his mission is to run Ted DiBiase out of Mid-South and wants Skandor Akbar one-on-one. The big news here is learning that Duggan & Magnum TA are the new Tag Team Champions defeating Mr. Olympia & Ted DiBiase. Olympia was already gone from the territory at this point as he went to Southeastern Championship Wrestling.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Magnum TA vs. Bill Rose & Larry Hare
Duggan beats on Rose to start. Rose barely seems capable to even take offense. Magnum is in now and hits a slam and a dropkick before working a side headlock. Watts hypes Williams vs. Bundy as Hare trips up Magnum from the apron. Magnum quickly regains control then takes on both men hits a belly-to-belly suplex on Rose for the win (3:38).
Thoughts: A long squash to establish the new Tag Champs. Rose was horrendous and I think Hare did some enhancement work for Georgia Championship Wrestling. Watts also hyped up the Williams/Bundy match later on in the show.
Boris Zurkhov vs. Mr. Wrestling II
Watts tells us how much Mr. Wrestling loves competition and has been a main-eventer all over the country. Mr. Wrestling works a side headlock on the mat as Watts says Williams vs. Bundy will be next. Watts talks about how Bundy’s shoulders were not down when he got pinned last week as Zurkhov retreats to the corner after an odd spot where he ducked his head for a backdrop. Mr. Wrestling sends Zurkhov outside with a knee lift after a pair of arm drags. Watts says that Missing Link will make his debut today as Mr. Wrestling takes down Zurkhov and works the leg. Zurkhov cheap shots Mr. Wrestling in the corner and lands a few shots but Mr. Wrestling quickly fights back and uses a front facelock. Zurkhov rams Mr. Wrestling in the corner then uses a headlock of his own. Mr. Wrestling misses a charge in the corner but Zurkhov misses a knee drop from the middle rope. Mr. Wrestling runs wild briefly then puts Zurkhov away with a power knee lift (5:46) 1/4*.
Thoughts: Terrible stuff. Zurkhov is awful and Mr. Wrestling is old and far too overpushed. Mr. Wrestling barely sells anything and watching someone with a physique of a guy in his mid 50’s act like Superman is not getting over. The crowd was dead for this match.
Reesor Bowden is with King Kong Bundy, who says its a joke that Dr. Death thinks he beat him. Bundy accuses Dr. Death of cheating and vows revenge today. We are then shown a clip of last week’s tag match where Dr. Death teamed with Johnny Rick and beat Bundy & DiBiase.
King Kong Bundy vs. “Dr. Death” Steve Williams
Both men go at each other to start. Williams takes down Bundy in a messy spot then hammers away. Bundy now lands some shots as Watts says this is the difference between amateur and pro wrestling. Williams fights back but misses a charge in the corner but is able to avoid an avalanche. Bundy rakes the eyes of Williams then hits the Atlantic City Avalanche and gets the three count but demands the ref counts to five and Williams kicks out at four. Williams was really down for about ten seconds, easily. Watts screams about Williams being the first to kick out of that move as Williams takes a breather outside. Bundy tries to slam Williams back into the ring but Williams turns that into a cradle for a nearfall. We now get a slugfest then Williams just barely keeps his balance to hit Bundy with the Oklahoma Stampede but Zurkhov hits the ring. Williams takes care of him but the ref rings the bell for the DQ (4:48) *1/2. Bundy tries a piledriver but Williams counters with a back drop as he cleans house with the crowd cheering and Watts going insane on commentary.
Thoughts: Williams is still extremely green and a lot of this was clunky but they laid it out well and Watts did everything he can to get Williams over on commentary. The fans gave Williams a strong response as they try to rapidly push him up the card.
Missing Link vs. Bill Rathke
I believe this is Link’s Mid-South debut. Rathke is a short, fat guy. Link attacks Rathke before the bell and hammers away. Rathke is dumped outside then Link drags him back in and targets the back. Link taunts the crowd then chops the back and kidneys of Rathke. Link stays in control then stretches out Rathke on the mat before going back to targeting the kidneys then submits Rathke with a clutch (2:04).
Thoughts: An underwhelming debut for Link. He did not do much of anything character wise and wrestled a dated style.
“Hacksaw” Butch Reed vs. Ken Johnson
We end in a stalemate after some mat work as Watts talks about Reed defeating JYD for the North American Heavyweight Title in a tainted manner. Reed hammers away as Watts lists off his accolades then picks up the win with a press slam (2:00).
Thoughts: An easy win to put over Reed, who really was impressive in this time period. He looked like a million bucks too.
Rip Rogers & Doug Vines vs. Art Crews & Tim Horner
Horner shows off his agility while working over Vines. Rogers tags and Horner also works him over before tagging out. Crews works the arm of Rogers as Watts tells us that next week Reed will address us about his title win. Rogers now works over Horner and Vines comes in but is whipped into the corner. Horner tags out as Crews drills Vines with a forearm smash. Crews runs wild the the match breaks down as the show goes off the air (4:04) *1/2.
Thoughts: The action was fine and three of the workers were good (Vines was the exception) but it was aimless. These guys just trade matches near the end of the show and are not advancing up the card.
Final Thoughts: The main goal of the show was to put over Williams as a star. It was a good first step anyway. We also learned that Duggan & Magnum are the new Tag champs but besides that this nothing of note happened and the action was subpar. The top of the card remains solid but man is the midcard in desperate need of new blood and a dated wrestler like Missing Link is not the answer.