The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling–10.30.82

The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling – 10.30.82

Wheel of WWE Network turn, turn, turn! Back to Mid-South today, so we might as well go back to the first episode available here.

Taped from Shrieveport, LA

Your host is Boyd Pierce and later Bill Watts.

Bill Watts interviews Paul Boesch in the crowd, amidst a boy’s club who is visiting from Texas and some guy in a gorilla suit who gets a shout-out. Oh man, that has GOTTA be leading to an awesome payoff. You can’t just throw out some guy in a gorilla suit and not shoot an angle.

Junkyard Dog, Andre the Giant & Mil Mascaras v. Killer Khan, Gino Hernandez & Tully Blanchard

Clips of a match from Houston with a weird purple tinge to it, as Andre swats Gino down like a bug and Mascaras pins him for the finish.

Kamala v. Ted Allen

Kamala completely wipes out Allen and finishes him with a splash. Kamala actually looked a lot more mobile here than you expect from him.

Mid-South tag titles, loser leaves town: Junkyard Dog & Mr. Olympia v. Ted Dibiase & Matt Borne

This was booked as Dibiase & Duggan, but Duggan is “detained” somewhere under mysterious circumstances and thus Matt Borne steps in. Big brawl to start and JYD cradles Dibiase for two and hits a legsweep for two. Dog is positively svelte here, before the drugs and the cheeseburgers. No wonder Watts pushed the shit out of him. I’ve never actually seen Mr. Olympia work despite listening to years of Karl Stern gushing over him, but it’s a really fascinating character. Basically Jerry Stubbs was an all-around dickhead, but he wanted to be a hero so he donned a mask and wrestled as a babyface as Mr. Olympia. But if he unmasked, he would turn evil again. Olympia dominates Borne with armdrags as Watts actually declares it to be KATIE BAR THE DOOR during a melee, and the heels wisely run away as we take a break. Back with Olympia pounding on Dibiase and grabbing a headlock, as Watts clarifies that the loser of the fall leaves Mid-South for 90 days, not forever. That’s actually much better because it leaves the door open for a big return and the guy can go work elsewhere for three months. The heels cut Olympia off and double-team him in the corner, doing the old switch with no tag while working on a chinlock. Double slam on Olympia and a double clothesline as Dog gets frustrated, and Borne comes off with the top with a cannonball to set up Dibiase’s powerslam for two. Dog can take NO MORE and comes in to drag Olympia over for the hot tag, and Dog cleans house. Dibiase grabs the dreaded black glove from his tights and Dog steals it, but now the GORILLA attacks Olympia and reveals himself as Jim Duggan, who is here after all. Duggan lays out Dog and Dibiase puts him down for good with the black glove to win the tag titles and send JYD away for 90 days. I KNEW they were going to deliver something with that gorilla! This was great. ***1/4

Tony Atlas v. Grappler #2

Bill Watts just doesn’t know what to believe in anymore, man. That gorilla suit really tied the room together, man! Grappler tries a full nelson and Atlas casually flexes out of it and takes him down with a FLYING HEADSCISSORS. Yes, Tony Atlas. Atlas pounds away while Grappler bumps around for him, and a press slam and splash finishes. These are dark times for Mid-South, according to Watts. He is just selling the shit out of this Dibiase-JYD angle.

Gino Hernandez v. Jesse Barr

Barr is very young here and would go on to somewhat greater fame as Jimmy Jack Funk and older brother to Art Barr. He’s also famous for having his FUCKING EYE RIPPED OUT by Haku. Apparently he got better. Barr uses his science to control Hernandez and then just fires away in the corner, but that enthusiasm backfires and a blind charge misses. Gino finishes him with an elbow off the middle rope.

Paul Boesch interviews the Rat Pack about their devious betrayal of JYD and gorillas everywhere. Heel Jim Duggan was a much different character, closer to Dean Ambrose in attitude, before he became the cartoon character in the WWF. Is Dibiase proud of himself? Yes, yes he is. And now they have all the gold.

Mr. Wrestling II v. Marty Lunde

OH DAMN, SON! Even in 1982 AA looks like he’s 45 and a grizzled veteran. Seriously, young jobber Marty looks exactly the same as the day he retired 15 years later! Wrestling II takes him down and works on the leg, but Lunde pounds him on the ropes in frustration and gets nowhere. Wrestling throws some kneelifts and then finishes with the big running kneelift. Brighter times would be ahead for Mr. Lunde.

Hiro Matsuda & Yoshi Yatsu v. Vinnie Romeo & Tim Horner

Horner of course went on to some smaller fame later in JCW, but I’ve never seen Romeo before, although he looks like Danny from Game Grumps. Hiro Matsuda, trainer of famous wrestlers, you should probably know already. Yoshiaki Yatsu went on to be a giant name in Japan. The Japanese team finishes really quickly with TV time running out, as Yatsu slams and pins Romeo to end the show.

The Pulse

Oh man, now I wanna know what happens next with JYD and Dibiase! They hooked me more in 40 minutes of decades-old regional wrestling than RAW does with 3 hours and 28 writers today! This one is a MUST watch.