The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling – 10.29.83
Might as well continue on with the mighty Mid-South reviews because I’m really digging it. Sadly it jumps from October 82 to October 83, as we totally skip the whole Stagger Lee storyline and a bunch of other great stuff with Ted Dibiase.
Taped from Shreveport, LA
Your hosts are Boyd Pierce and Bill Watts.
Boyd goes on a very proper rant about how he’s worked for “Federations, Alliances and Associations” but only Mid-South has the guts to ENFORCE THE RULES and make sure that fans aren’t cheated. So two weeks back, Butch Reed offers to defend his North American title on TV against Magnum TA, hoping to injure him and allow himself and Jim Neidhart to win the tag titles from him later. However, the matchmakers ran a fan ballot instead, and Junkyard Dog won the vote over TA, but Reed went ahead and gave the shot to Magnum TA against the wishes of Mid-South. So young TA gets the shot with JYD as special ref, with Reed making his own match, and Reed ends up taking out Dog by “accident” at one point. However, Dog attacks him and screws him over, counting the pin for TA and apparently giving Magnum the title. Reed protested, saying that he was SPECIFICALLY trying to get himself DQ’d by attacking Dog in the first place. So the next week, TA defends the title against Nikolai Volkoff on his own, and loses it to Volkoff, but Mid-South decides that all these guys shouldn’t have been making their own matches in the first place, and thus both the TA and Volkoff title reigns are overturned and Butch Reed gets the belt back. So after all that, tonight Butch Reed faces Junkyard Dog in the match that the fans voted for in the first place to determine the true champion. Everything make sense? That’s because Watts actually gave a shit about everything making sense.
North American title: Butch Reed v. Junkyard Dog
And to make sure all is well, Dusty Rhodes is selected as special referee. Dog gets a quick cradle for two and headbutts him in the gut while Watts tells the story of one year ago today, when Dog got screwed by the gorilla and became Stagger Lee for 90 days. They can’t even remember storylines from two weeks ago now. Dog works a chinlock, but misses a falling headbutt and Reed chokes him down to take over. Dog is already noticeably pudgier than his appearance on the 82 show. And now Reed works on a chinlock while stopping to pull the tights and keep Dog down, but Dog escapes and accidentally knocks Dusty out of the ring. Reed goes up and gets slammed off, but now Reed’s buddy Jim Neidhart comes out for the double-team, and Dusty kicks his ass. Dog makes his comeback, hits the Thump, and wins the title at 7:17. So the heel ends up losing clean in the end after all his machinations. Terrible match, though. ½*
The Missing Link v. Magnum TA
Oddly, this was actually Link’s first run with that gimmick, as he had been plain Dewey Robertson all through his career to that point and just decided to completely reinvent himself as a crazy madman. Magnum works the arm for a bit and Link gets a cheapshot to take over, but goes up and lands in the belly-to-belly on the way down at 2:21. Basically a squash for TA.
Nikolai Volkoff v. Jerry Oates
Oates was better known as a tag team wrestler with brother Ted, but actually held the North American title for a couple of months in 1977. Volkoff just destroys him here, pounding away and cutting off Oates’ comeback, then finishing with a high knee and the press backbreaker at 3:00. Total squash.
Iceman Parsons v. Tom Stanton
Parsons’ overdubbed music sounds like a generic version of “Uptown Funk”. According to the commentary he was actually using “We Are Family”. Parsons throws Stanton around while shucking and jiving after every move, and finishes with the dreaded Butt Butt at 2:20. Naomi calls it the Rear View! Or so I hear.
Jim Neidhart & Bobby Duncam v. Marty Oates & Mike Bond
Young Mr. Oates gets slammed around by Neidhart, and Duncam gets a backbreaker on him. Over to Bond, who doesn’t fare any better, as Neidhart pounds away with forearms and Duncam hits a lariat and bulldog before Neidhart finishes with a samoan drop at 2:45. Marty Oates would grow his hair out and change his name shortly after this, heading elsewhere as Marty Jannetty.
King Cobra v. Doug Vines
I don’t recognize Cobra but apparently he’s the star here. Time is running out anyway so he does some generic high-flying stuff and finishes with a flying headscissors rollup at 1:00. Neat finish.
And we’re out until next week! Unfortunately the Network collection jumps ahead another six months after this next, because I really want to just watch the weekly TV show and see what happens. Again, not the strongest in-ring stuff, but Bill Watts understood EXACTLY what story he wanted to tell with the Dog v. Reed storyline and made sure to tell it himself at the beginning of the show, instead of yelling through the earpiece of some other poor goof. Can you even imagine Michael Cole trying to get these kinds of storylines over?