October 13, 1983
Your hosts are Boyd Pierce and Bill Watts
This week we will see the debut of Lanny Poffo, Nikolai Volkoff, Crusher Darsow vs. King Kong Bundy, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Magnum TA vs. Hacksaw Butch Reed & Jim Neidhart for the Mid-South Tag Team Titles.
Watts talks about the tag title match being signed last week then talks about Reed wanting the audience to select from four competitors (Magnum TA, Duggan, Darsow, and Junkyard Dog) in a North American Heavyweight Title match and do that first and then if time will wrestle for the Tag Team Titles.
We then go to the ring as Bowden introduces the wrestlers where JYD wins the contest and title match. He barely edged out Jim Duggan.
Watts interviews Reed and asks him about his title match. Reed said he knew the people would pick JYD but that JYD does not deserve a title shot because he got beat fair and square at the Superdome. Reed also talks about JYD costing him a match against Duggan then Reed said Duggan does not deserve a title match either as he has beat him all over the country. Reed then said Darsow is excused because he has not spent enough time in the ring or the gym and that just leaves Magnum TA. Watts talks about Reed telling the people to pick his opponent and not living up to his agreement by eliminating three people. Watts mentions how Reed beat Magnum last week but Reed said his contract says he gets the last decision in his defense and if he or the fans do not like that then there will not be any title match. Reed then heads backstage as Watts says its now up to matchmaker Grizzly Smith as to whether or not we get a match.
Art Crews & Tom Stanton vs. George Weingeroff & King Cobra
Cobra takes Stanton down with a fireman’s carry to start. Watts expresses anger over Reed’s decision to only face Magnum as Cobra & Weingeroff take control of the match. Weingeroff gets trapped in the wrong corner as Stanton hammers away. Stanton gets a nearfall with a slam then Crews comes in and lands some blows. Watts wonders if we will get a North American Title match and says Magnum can put anyone away with his belly-to-belly suplex. Weingeroff avoids a dropkick then tags out as Cobra runs wild. The match breaks down then Weingeroff puts Stanton away with an abdominal stretch cradle (3:25) *1/2.
Thoughts: The action was fine but these were bottom card guys so the fans did not get into the action. Since the mixed tag match a few weeks back it appears that Crews is now at least a tweener if not a heel. His offense changed here too as he used mostly strikes.
Reed is in the ring. Ring announcer Reesor Bowden tells us we will have to wait and see if Magnum comes out and he does. However, before the match begins we see JYD come out to the ring dressed as a referee. Watts loves this and said that Orville Richards from the Louisiana State Athletic Commission has sanctioned JYD as the special referee.
North American Heavyweight Title Match: “Hacksaw” Butch Reed (c) vs. Magnum TA
Reed is upset as Watts says with JYD, Magnum will have a fair chance. Magnum works a side headlock for a while as Watts brings up how Magnum will have to defend the Tag Titles against Reed & Neidhart later on in the show. Watts once again says all you need is three seconds to win as Magnum eats boot on a charge in the corner. Reed targets the neck and gets a two count with a fist drop. Reed follows with a back drop then gets a nearfall with a flying knee drop. Reed now uses a reverse chinlock then soon after that hits a press slam for two. Scoop slam gets two as Reed falls on top of JYD on the kick out. Magnum catches Reed in a belly-to-belly for two then Reed whips Magnum into JYD. Reed heads up top as JYD waves him off from one knee. JYD then sacrificed himself and laid across Magnum to absorb the leg drop. Reed hits Magnum with another press slam and goes up top for a flying shoulder tackle but JYD hits him in midair with a forearm smash then Magnum hits a belly-to-belly for the win and the North American Heavyweight Title (6:22) *1/2.
Thoughts: There was little heat for this match and the action was slow-paced. The fans did pop for the finish though. The finish did not look that great as JYD’s forearm smash was not close to Reed but the fans bought it, regardless. Reed’s plan to defend the title has backfired.
Nikolai Volkoff vs. Mike Reid
Reid’s jacket is at least one size to small. Volkoff immediately destroys Reid as Watts says Russia is a communist country that does not believe in god but rather in the state. Volkoff continues his assault while Watts talks about Volkoff making fun of the USA for not showing up at the Olympics then Volkoff uses an overhead backbreaker for the win (2:28).
Thoughts: Another dominant win for Volkoff as Watts was all about his anti-Russian propaganda on commentary.
Doug Vines vs. “Leaping” Lanny Poffo
Poffo kips-up and takes Vines down with an arm drag. Watts talks about Mid-South TV being introduced into other markets before plugging the November Superdome show. Poffo works the arm as Watts talks about Reed’s plan backfiring due to JYD being the special guest referee and possibly foiling a plan to attack Magnum. Poffo stays in control and puts Vines away with a moonsault from the top (2:16). Watts says that is not illegal because he is doing a back flip and not jumping on his opponent. Man, that was a terrible explanation as he landed on top of his opponent.
Thoughts: Poffo looked solid here and more agile than he did two years later in his WWF debut. Anyway, most of the focus on commentary was Watts telling us how Reed’s grand plan has failed. Speaking of Poffo, in his shoot interview with RF Video, Poffo claimed that he was brought in by then booker Ernie Ladd with a plan to turn heel by speaking Spanish and insulting the Mexican fans, which would result in a feud against Magnum TA. However, that never happened as Ladd was fired as a booker and replaced by Bill Dundee. I’ll talk more about that soon.
Mid-South Tag Title Match: Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart & “Hacksaw” Butch Reed vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan & Magnum TA (c)
Reed attacks Magnum before the bell. Magnum fights back and hits a dropkick. Neidhart tags in and clubs away but Magnum strikes back and tags out. Duggan takes Neidhart down with a waist lock. Reed tags in and brawls with Duggan but loses that battle. Duggan takes Reed down with a hip toss then avoids a dropkick before tagging out. Magnum hits a slam then drops a leg for two. Neidhart is back in and attacks Magnum. Neidhart hits a slam as Watts talks about the Dallas Cowboys. Reed now works a front facelock on the mat. Reed & Neidhart cut off the ring then Magnum makes a tag behind the ref’s back but its waved off. Duggan runs in as the match breaks down. Magnum gets tossed over the top rope then Reed and Duggan collide with flying shoulder tackles. Neidhart hits Duggan with a Samoan drop then Magnum crawls back inside. Neidhart has Magnum up for the Samoan drop but Duggan hits his spear. However, Reed comes in and hits Magnum with a flying shoulder tackle from the middle rope and gets the win (6:14) **1/4.
Thoughts: The match itself was decent. Reed lost the North American Heavyweight Title but now is a tag champion. This would be the end of the Duggan & Magnum team.
King Kong Bundy vs. Krusher Darsow
Watts tells us there are only two minutes of TV time left then he recaps today’s title changes. Darsow avoids an elbow drop as Watts tells us to make sure to tell our friends that midgets will be on the show next week. Also next week is JYD vs. Missing Link. Darsow catches Bundy with a slam then drops an elbow for two. Darsow hits an elbow smash for two then fires away in the corner but we have run out of time (2:07).
Thoughts: They made Darsow look strong here by making you believe he could beat Bundy.
Final Thoughts: Seeing two title changes on TV is a rarity no matter what era. However, there was not much heat to what happened and the territory is really feeling stale. Fresh blood is desperately needed, especially in the midcard, and the territory itself was seeing a decrease in TV viewership and house show attendance. A shakeup is needed and will happen soon enough.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Sunday: WWF This Tuesday in Texas
Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/7/91
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 12/8/91
Wednesday: WWF/SWS Super Wrestle 12/12/91
Thursday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/14/91
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 12/15/91
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 10/20/83