Rock Star Gary reflects on…NWA Starrcade ’86

Live from both Greensboro, NC & Atlanta, GA

Airdate: November 27, 1986

Attendance:  16,000 in Greensboro, 14,000 in Atlanta

Hosted by Bob Caudle, Johnny Weaver, Tony Schiavone, and Rick Stewart

This reflection is dedicated to the illustrious but shortened career of Magnum T.A.

In Greensboro, ring announcer Tom Miller welcomes us to the show, and the national anthem follows. He then introduces Tony and Rick in Atlanta. For those unaware, Rick Stewart was the play-by-play announcer for the recently-acquired Central States territory. He should add some flavor to the Central States-themed matches on the card.

Bob and Johnny join us from Greensboro to hype the show.

Match 1: Tim Horner & Nelson Royal versus Rocky & Don Kernodle

Highlights:

  • This match took place in Greensboro.
  • Slam by Horner got 2 on Don.
  • Powerslam by Don got 2 on Horner.
  • Abdominal stretch by Royal, but Don gave him a hip toss to counter.
  • Cross-corner whip by Don, but he came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Rollup by Horner got 2 on Don.
  • Sleeper by Royal, but Don tagged out.
  • With Royal on Don’s back, Rocky mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered a sunset flip to Royal for 2.
  • Cross body block by Rocky missed, and Royal got 2.
  • Powerslam by Horner got 2 on Rocky.
  • After each man leap frogged the other, a mid-air collision occurred. Where’s Air Traffic Control when you need them?
  • Delayed vertical suplex by Don got 2 on Horner.
  • After giving Horner a back drop, Don missed a diving head butt.
  • Dropkick by Horner got another 2 count.
  • Don reversed an Irish whip and gave Horner a clothesline.
  • Military press slam by Rocky got 2 on Horner.
  • Horner reversed a rollup by Rocky and got the pin.

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  Great fast-paced opener. Horner looked really good here. It’s too bad that Rocky lost.

Match 2: “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin (w/ Precious) versus Brad Armstrong

Highlights:

  • This match took place in Atlanta.
  • Not only was Tony the play-by-play announcer, but he was also the Atlanta ring announcer.
  • As Armstrong had Jimmy in an arm bar, Precious got up on the apron to distract referee Scrappy McGowan. Having noticed this, Jimmy pulled Armstrong’s hair in order to apply a headscissors.
  • Next, he countered a side headlock with a belly-to-back suplex.
  • A knee drop by Jimmy got 2.
  • He then tossed Armstrong down to the concrete floor.
  • While Jimmy distracted McGowan, Precious badmouthed Armstrong. Perhaps she put a curse on him!
  • Back in the ring, a snap mare by Jimmy got 2.
  • He then guillotined Armstrong using the top rope.
  • That earned Jimmy a pair of 2 counts.
  • Backbreaker by Jimmy got 2.
  • With two minutes remaining, a mid-ring collision put both men down on the mat.
  • Bill Apter was shown as a ringside photographer.
  • Jimmy tried a slam, but Armstrong used momentum to land on top and got 2.
  • Cross-corner whip by Jimmy reversed by Armstrong, but he ate a knee on his follow-through.
  • 1-2-NO!
  • One minute remained.
  • Inside cradle by Jimmy reversed to one by Armstrong only got 2.
  • With fifteen seconds left, Jimmy mounted the top turnbuckle but missed the splash.
  • The bell rang, and the match was declared a draw.

Rating: **

Summary: Lots of scientific mat wrestling that modern fans might not enjoy.

After the match, Precious comes into the ring to cast her spell upon distract Armstrong. It doesn’t work as Armstrong blocks a right by Jimmy then nails him. Precious restrains Jimmy who yells “I can beat him. You’re (Armstrong) lucky.”

Match 3: Shaska Whatley & the Barbarian (w/o Paul Jones) versus Baron von Raschke & Hector Guerrero

Highlights:

  • This match took place in Greensboro.
  • Wait a minute! What happened to Pistol Pez? Why is he a part of Paul Jones’ Army? Well, this happened.
  • Cross-corner whips by Barbarian and Whatley were reversed so that they got rammed together.
  • Whatley reversed another cross-corner whip but fell victim to a Guerrero cross body block for 2.
  • Dropkick by Guerrero barely got a 1 count.
  • Barbarian tagged in, mounted the second turnbuckle, and lowered the boom on Guerrero.
  • After Barbarian missed a mafia kick, Guerrero tried another cross body block.
  • However, Barbarian caught him and then guillotined him using the top rope.
  • With Guerrero up against the ropes, Barbarian charged but sailed over the top rope down to the concrete floor.
  • As von Raschke positioned Barbarian, Guerrero hit a plancha.
  • Shortly afterward, Whatley rammed Guerrero face-first into the ring post.
  • Barbarian then guillotined Guerrero on the steel railing. OUCH!
  • Gorilla press slam by Barbarian was followed by a leg drop.
  • As Whatley delivered a back drop to Guerrero, the fans chanted “bald-headed geek” at him.
  • Backbreaker by Barbarian preceded a springboard head butt.
  • Double back drop only got 2 for Whatley.
  • Mafia kick hit this time for Barbarian and got 2.
  • After backbreakers #2 and #3 by Barbarian, Whatley tagged in and gave Guerrero another head butt.
  • Upon receiving an Irish whip, Guerrero spat at Whatley and made the hot tag.
  • Von Raschke came in and gave his opponents a double noggin knocker.
  • Next, he applied the claw to Whatley, but Barbarian interfered.
  • All four men were in the ring.
  • As Guerrero gave Barbarian the ten-punch count-along, Whatley gave von Raschke a cross-corner whip.
  • Nonetheless, he came up empty on his follow-through hurting his shoulder in the process.
  • Elbow drop by von Raschke got the pin.

Rating: ***

Summary:  Greensboro loved Whatley getting beaten up. In addition, Guerrero did a great job of selling here.

After the match, Barbarian tosses Guerrero over the top rope to the concrete floor. He and Whatley then deliver a double clothesline to von Raschke. After another mafia kick, Barbarian mounts the top turnbuckle and hits the diving head butt. Guerrero returns and clears the heels from the ring.

Backstage, Weaver stands outside Rhodes’ dressing room. He knocks on the door, but Rhodes wants his privacy. Perhaps Cody is saying his first word: “screwjob.”

Match 4 for the NWA US tag team titles (no-DQ): Ivan Koloff & Krusher Khruschev versus the Kansas Jayhawks (w/o Roy Williams)

Highlights:

  • This match took place in Atlanta.
  • No, it’s not the basketball team that made the 1986 Final Four. Instead, it’s Dutch Mantel (a.k.a. Zeb Colter) & Bobby Jaggers.
  • Mantel reversed a cross-corner whip from Ivan and gave him a back drop.
  • Rollup by Ivan to Jaggers got 2.
  • As Ivan distracted referee Scrappy McGowan, Jaggers choked Khruschev with Mantel holding his legs.
  • Another cross-corner whip by Ivan, but he came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Mantel gave him a cross-corner whip, almost came up empty, and then nailed Ivan in the head.
  • Double back elbow by the Jayhawks got 2 for Mantel.
  • Khruschev brought Mantel outside the ring and rammed him face-first into the broadcast table. Stewart almost had a Dutch sandwich on his plate. Ew.
  • Anyways, Khruschev then split the uprights with Mantel using the steel railing. OUCH!
  • Double back elbow by the Soviets got 2 on Mantel.
  • Double axe handle from Ivan to Mantel from the second turnbuckle.
  • The Soviets tried a double clothesline, but Mantel ducked then gave them a taste of their own medicine
  • Hot tag Jaggers who gave the Soviets a double noggin knocker.
  • Clothesline by Jaggers, but Khruschev made the save.
  • All four men were in the ring.
  • Outside the ring, Ivan rammed Mantel face-first again into the broadcast table. Stewart allegedly shouted: “HOLD THE MAYO!”
  • While Khruschev had Jaggers in a bear hug, Ivan mounted the top turnbuckle with the Russian chain.
  • Meanwhile, Mantel brought Shoo Baby (whip) into the ring.
  • Before Ivan could leap, Mantel whipped him HARD sending him down to the mat.
  • Following that, Shoo Baby took Khruschev off his feet immediately.
  • After Jaggers ducked a clothesline from Ivan, Khruschev nailed him with the Russian chain.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The champs retained.

Rating: **

Summary:  NWA Worldwide main event material here.

Match 5 (Indian strap): “Ravishing” Rick Rude (w/ Paul Jones) versus “Chief” Wahoo McDaniel

Highlights:

  • This match took place in Greensboro.
  • Wait a minute! When last I spoke of Rude, he was the reigning WCWA champion. Now’s he’s in the NWA with Paul Jones? How’d that happen? Oh.
  • After Rude took his robe off, McDaniel whipped him with the strap. YEE-OUCH!
  • Rude tried to exit the ring, but McDaniel yanked him back in.
  • Rude pummeled McDaniel in the corner and BUSTED HIM OPEN!
  • After a slam, Rude tied McDaniel’s arms together but only got two corners.
  • McDaniel worked Rude over with the strap in the corner.
  • As Rude emerged, it was apparent that he too was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Chop off the ropes by McDaniel who then tied Rude’s arms together and touched three corners before being stopped.
  • Rude mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, and nailed McDaniel.
  • Again, Rude mounted the top turnbuckle, but McDaniel yanked the strap sending Rude down to the mat.
  • McDaniel made a second attempt to touch all four corners, but Jones got up on the apron.
  • McDaniel chopped him back down to the concrete floor, but Rude nailed McDaniel sending him into the fourth corner.
  • McDaniel won.

Rating: *

Summary: Yuck! If newer fans are seeking a good match to welcome Rude to Jim Crockett Promotions, this match isn’t it. Neither blade job was very traceable as well.

After the match, Rude pummels McDaniel as Jones knocks down referee Sonny Fargo. Fortunately for McDaniel, Guerrero and von Raschke come to his aid.

Backstage in Atlanta, Stewart interviews Krushchev and Ivan. The latter wants to destroy Rhodes for poisoning Nikita’s mind. Should Nikita win the NWA World title tonight, Krushchev requests the first shot.

Match 6 for the NWA Central States title: Sam Houston (champion) versus “Superstar” Bill Dundee

Highlights:

  • This match took place in Atlanta.
  • Houston reversed a cross-corner whip then gave Dundee a flying headscissors.
  • After a pair of arm drags, Houston delivered a dropkick.
  • Interestingly, Dundee tried to exit the ring, but the scaffold got in his way.
  • Houston attempted a bulldog, but Dundee escaped.
  • Quickly, Houston rolled Dundee up and got 2.
  • Dundee then tossed Houston down to the concrete floor.
  • He followed Houston and rammed him face-first into the apron.
  • Houston came back with an atomic drop sending Dundee over the steel railing.
  • As Dundee made his way to the apron, Houston brought him in the hard way and got a 2 count.
  • After giving Houston a boot to the face, Dundee channeled his inner Jerry Lawler, mounted the top turnbuckle and landed a fist drop for 2.
  • Boston crab by Dundee, but Houston powered out.
  • Again Dundee tossed Houston down to the concrete floor.
  • As Houston returned to the ring, Dundee mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a double axe handle earning another 2 count.
  • Back elbow by Houston got 2.
  • After a slam, Houston missed a knee drop.
  • Taking advantage of the injured knee, Dundee hooked a spinning toe hold.
  • As Houston escaped, he kicked Dundee directly into referee Scrappy McGowan.
  • Houston’s boot came off, so Dundee WALLOPED him with it.
  • McGowan called for the bell.
  • Houston retained.

Rating: **1/2

Summary: The wily veteran did an acceptable job of carrying the young Houston here.

After the match, Dundee continues to nail Houston with the boot.

Match 7 (hair) The “Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant (w/ Big Mama) versus Paul Jones

Highlights:

  • This match took place in Greensboro.
  • Amazingly, the stipulations of the match were the hair of Paul Jones versus the hair of Big Mama rather than Valiant. Really?
  • And why is “Raging Bull” Manny Fernandez with Jones? Here’s why.
  • To add even more intrigue to this match, Fernandez will be suspended in a cage above the ring.
  • After the introductions, Fernandez argued with referee Earl Hebner about going into the cage.
  • Nelson Royal, Tim Horner, Baron von Raschke, and a bandaged Wahoo McDaniel came out to assist with jailing Fernandez.
  • After a cross-corner whip by Valiant, he nailed Jones sending him down to the mat.
  • He then reversed an Irish whip and delivered a hip toss. Who knew the Boogie Woogie Man knew how to wrestle?
  • While Valiant distracted Hebner, Jones pulled brass knux out of his trunks and WALLOPED Valiant with them.
  • Valiant was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Knee drop by Jones got 2.
  • Again Jones pulled the brass knux out, nailed Valiant, and got a 2 count.
  • Jones tried an Indian death lock but was thwarted. Valiant allegedly could be overheard: “Take that shit back to the AWA, Jones!”
  • Sleeper by Valiant who released the hold and pushed Jones into the corner.
  • Jones lost his grip on the foreign object, so Valiant retrieved it.
  • After knocking Jones lights out, Valiant pinned him.

Rating: *

Summary: Hopefully this FINALLY puts an end to the elongated feud between Jones and Valiant. During this feud, Valiant lost his hair, Whatley lost his hair, and now Jones will lose his hair.

After the match, Valiant shaves Jones bald as the crowd chants “bald-headed geek.”  Hebner unlocks the cage, and Fernandez bolts to the ring to attack Valiant. A bandaged Rude joins his tag team partner and lifts Valiant. Fernandez mounts the second turnbuckle and gives Valiant a back elbow. Next, Fernandez retrieves a chair and assists Rude with a spike DDT onto the chair. ECW! ECW! ECW! Jones wakes up and realizes he’s bald. To protect their manager, Rude and Fernandez cover his head and take him backstage. Afterwards, McDaniel and von Raschke slowly assist the fallen Valiant out of the ring.

Tony shills the second annual Bunkhouse Stampede coming next month. We then switch to Bob Taylor in the Starrcade Control Center who provides the details. Following that, we see a vignette where Nelson Royal sits by a campfire and relates his experiences in bunkhouse stampedes. For those unaware, it’s a battle royal with weapons. Thereafter, we revisit last year’s event where Rhodes won after eliminating Barbarian.

After the intermission, Tony shills the second annual Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup tag team tournament. He throws it back to Taylor who describes what took place last year in New Orleans. As he mentions the Sheepherders, he mistakenly referred them as Australian. If anyone from down under is reading this, do New Zealanders take offense to being called Australian?

Anyways, come 4/10 and 4/11, the Crockett Cup tournament invades Baltimore, MD. I guess the matinee concept didn’t work last year.

Match 8 (Louisville street fight): “Hands of Stone” Ron Garvin versus Big Bubba Rogers (w/ Jim Cornette)

Highlights:

  • This match took place in Atlanta.
  • So how do you cover up weaknesses with the rookie Ray Traylor? You put him in a street fight.
  • In lieu of Tony introducing Rogers, Cornette did the honors.
  • Winner will be determined either by pin or knockout.
  • Instead of falling for a test of strength, Ron delivered a few shots to Rogers’ head sending him between the ropes to the concrete floor.
  • When he ran away from Ron, Cornette walked under the interior of the scaffold. I wonder if scaffolds have the same karmic powers as ladders.
  • Ron grabbed a cup of coffee from the broadcast table and threw it in Rogers’ face. Needs creamer.
  • He then knocked Rogers silly.
  • Rogers pushed Ron into the corner then gave him an avalanche. Rogers wasn’t very svelte in 1986; thus, an avalanche SQUISHED Ron.
  • Having been given a roll of quarters from Cornette, Rogers WALLOPED Ron with it.
  • Upon collecting enough change to do laundry, Ron got up at 8.
  • After another 8 count, Ron was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Upon slamming Ron, Rogers gave him a slam for 2.
  • Ron got up at 8 again.
  • He then got a green rope and tried to hogtie Rogers.
  • After a knee lift, Rogers applied a bear hug.
  • Ron escaped using a pair of head butts.
  • A second bear hug was met by more head butts.
  • A big right hand by Ron sent Rogers over the top rope down to the floor.
  • After tossing Ron back inside the ring, Rogers mounted the top turnbuckle but got caught.
  • Ron brought him down the hard way and got 2.
  • Rogers’ kick-out launched Ron atop referee Tommy Young.
  • Ron then delivered a piledriver.
  • Cornette then knocked Ron OUT COLD with the tennis racquet.
  • Young counted both men out at ten but told Tony that “there must be a winner.”
  • First man to his feet will win the match.
  • Cornette got into the ring, but Young shoved him back out.
  • Just as Rogers dragged Young down to the mat, Cornette nailed Ron in the knee with the racquet.
  • Rogers got to his feet first and was declared the winner.

Rating: *

Summary: Rogers owed Cornette a big meal for helping him to win this match. Without Cornette, Rogers stood no chance. Better things were on the immediate horizon for Ron.

Match 9 for the NWA World TV title (first blood): The “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes (champion) versus Tully Blanchard (w/ J.J. Dillon)

Highlights:

  • This match took place in Greensboro.
  • Rhodes’ entrance was filmed from his dressing room all the way to the ring. Who does he think he is? Goldberg?
  • Rhodes also wore a Magnum T.A. t-shirt to the ring and wrote “TULLY” on each side of his head.
  • Dillon put headgear on Blanchard, but referee Earl Hebner made Blanchard remove it.
  • Dillon then put Vaseline® on Blanchard’s forehead, but Hebner wiped it off with Dillon’s towel.
  • Dillon then got into Rhodes’ face and ate a bionic elbow. That’ll learn ‘im!
  • Dillon was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Rhodes taunted Blanchard then threatened a bionic elbow.
  • Single leg takedown by Blanchard, but he missed a fist drop.
  • Bionic elbow by Rhodes, but Blanchard wasn’t cut.
  • After a snap mare, Blanchard hit an elbow drop.
  • While both men were in the corner, Dillon tripped Rhodes who fell on top of Hebner.
  • Blanchard mounted the second turnbuckle and was handed a shoe by Dillon.
  • However, when he leaped from the ropes, Rhodes caught him. Consequently, Blanchard dropped the shoe.
  • Vertical suplex by Rhodes knocked Hebner down again.
  • Rhodes grabbed Dillon’s shoe yet tossed it away. Will it cost him later?
  • A bionic elbow followed by a series of punches by Rhodes caused Blanchard to be BUSTED OPEN.
  • Unfortunately for Rhodes, Hebner was still OUT COLD.
  • While Rhodes pled for another official, Dillon wiped the blood from Blanchard’s head with the towel and applied Vaseline®.
  • He then gave Blanchard a roll of quarters which Blanchard used to knock Rhodes into the middle of 1987.
  • Rhodes was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Hebner noticed this and called for the bell.
  • WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!

Rating: *1/2

Summary: The WWF would swipe this finish for King of the Ring 1998 costing Stone Cold Steve Austin the World title.

After the match, an enraged Rhodes tries to point out that Blanchard was bleeding before he was. He then shoves Hebner who exits the ring without haste.

Match 10 (Skywalkers): The Midnight Express (w/ Jim Cornette & Big Bubba Rogers) versus the Road Warriors (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering)

Highlights:

  • On the 9/20 episode of World Championship Wrestling (taped 9/14), Cornette and the Midnight Express attacked the Road Warriors and left them laying.
  • So how did the Road Warriors respond? Check this out.
  • According to Animal on Road Warriors: Life & Death of the Most Dominant Tag-Team in Wrestling History, Hawk had a broken bone in his leg that he suffered on a tour of Japan. Animal cut the cast off and wrapped the leg for Hawk to compete in this match. Now that’s TOUGH.
  • Obviously, this match took place in Atlanta due to the scaffold.
  • As the Warriors made their entrance, Animal climbed to the top of the scaffold and one of the bars just detached! Yikes!
  • Obviously, the Midnight Express were trepidatious about climbing 25 feet in the air.
  • All four men were on the scaffold.
  • Condrey crawled toward Hawk as Animal nailed Eaton.
  • An elbow from Animal to Eaton’s head almost sent him off the scaffold.
  • Condrey tossed powder in Hawk’s face blinding him as Eaton did the same to Animal.
  • Condrey then made Hawk taste the railing. Up that high, it must have tasted like airplane food.
  • Next, he forced Hawk’s legs off the scaffold.
  • While Hawk was hanging on one side of the scaffold, Animal shoved Eaton to the undercarriage.
  • Eaton grabbed both the scaffold and Animal’s leg to keep from falling down to the mat.
  • Fortunately for him, he secured a ladder that led up to the scaffold. This is DANGEROUS!
  • Double axe handle from Hawk to Condrey knocked “Loverboy” silly.
  • Both Eaton and Animal regained their balance atop the scaffold.
  • Condrey was BUSTED OPEN!
  • While Animal nailed Eaton, Tony noted that Eaton was also BUSTED OPEN!
  • Condrey must be dazed because he tried to escape, but if he did, his team would lose.
  • Since Condrey was under the scaffold, Hawk kicked him.
  • Hawk almost fell off as he held onto the scaffold.
  • An elbow from Hawk to Condrey kept the latter dazed, but he kept his balance.
  • Eaton and Animal made their way to the undercarriage.
  • While Eaton tried to kick Hawk off the bottom, Hawk successfully sent Condrey down to the mat.
  • Animal then kicked Eaton down to the mat.
  • The Road Warriors won as the crowd went wild.

Rating: *1/2

Summary: As a wrestling match, this was nothing. However, as a spectacle, it was awesome. I truly hope they keep these scaffold matches to a minimum as the ability to protect oneself is quite limited.

After the match, Ellering snags Cornette’s racquet from him. Cornette then scurries up the scaffold. On the DVD I mentioned earlier, Cornette let us know that he’s acrophobic, so he’s definitely going against the grain here. Ellering climbs up right behind him. As Cornette makes it to the top, Animal is waiting for him. Having been cornered, Cornette crawls down to the undercarriage, hangs there for a bit, and falls down to the mat.

Rogers, who was in the ring, was supposed to catch Cornette, but, due to wearing sunglasses in a dark arena, misjudged where Cornette was and missed him. As a result of the fall, Cornette suffered a severe knee injury. Instant karma got him after all.

Tony shills the upcoming Great American Bash tour coming in the summer of 1987. From the Starrcade control center, Bob Taylor describes the tour as fourteen nights throughout the country to celebrate Independence Day. That’s a LONG time to party.

Scenes from last year’s Bash are shown. The first scene from Philadelphia (7/1) shows Baby Doll, who teamed with the Rock’n’Roll Express, finally getting her hands on Cornette who ultimately receives a double dropkick. Next, the Road Warriors and Magnum T.A. defeat the Soviets in a steel cage at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC (7/3). Following that, we see Wahoo McDaniel defeat Jimmy Garvin in an Indian strap match in Charleston, WV (7/10). Finally, in a hair versus hair match, Jimmy Valiant defeats Shaska Whatley in Charlotte, NC (7/5). Even country recording artist David Allen Coe is featured. Also at the Bash, we see the ending to the steel cage match where Dusty Rhodes captured the NWA World title from Ric Flair in Greensboro, NC (7/26).

After another intermission, Tony gives credit to those who helped to bring Starrcade ’86 to life. The credits roll. Obviously, this was done to secure more time to set up the steel cage.

Match 11 for the NWA World tag team titles (steel cage): The Rock’n’Roll Express (champions) versus Ole & Arn Anderson (w/o JJ Dillon)

Highlights:

  • This was the main event in Greensboro.
  • Didn’t the Midnight Express have the belts when we last spoke about them? How and when did they lose the titles? Back on 8/16 in Philadelphia, the Rock’n’Roll Express defeated the Midnight Express in a two out of three falls match.
  • Gibson reversed a cross-corner whip by Arn, but he came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Arn attempted a spinning toe hold, but Gibson kicked him off sending the “Enforcer” face-first into the cage.
  • While Arn grabbed the left leg, Gibson gave him an enziguri with the right leg.
  • Hot tag Morton.
  • Quickly, Ole turned the tide and rammed Morton face-first into the cage twice.
  • Arn then grated Morton’s face against the cage.
  • As Arn did it a second time, Morton was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Hard cross-corner whip by Ole sent Morton shoulder-first into the opposite turnbuckle.
  • Anderson arm bar by Ole couldn’t get Morton to submit.
  • Anderson slam on Morton by Arn was followed by a knee to the shoulder.
  • Arn then mounted the second turnbuckle but received a shot to the midsection on the way down.
  • Following that, Morton gave Arn a DDT. Hey! That’s HIS move!
  • While Gibson distracted referee Earl Hebner, Ole rammed Morton shoulder-first into the cage.
  • Shoulderbreaker by Ole only got 2.
  • Knee lift by Morton, but both men were down on the mat.
  • Spinning arm hold by Ole couldn’t get Morton to submit.
  • SPINEBUSTER by Arn to Morton only got 2 thanks a save by Gibson.
  • Ole tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and delivered a knee drop to Morton’s shoulder.
  • Arm bar by Ole couldn’t get Morton to submit either.
  • Double shoulder block put both men down on the mat.
  • Attempted hot tag thwarted by Ole who sent Morton between the ropes into the cage.
  • Attempted slam by Ole countered into an inside cradle by Morton for 2 thanks a save by Arn.
  • All four men were in the ring.
  • Ole picked up Morton for a slam, but Gibson dropkicked Morton sending him atop Ole for the pin.
  • The champs retained as the crowd went APESHIT!

Rating: ****

Summary: Awesome tag team match where both teams’ style was fluid. The match was dictated perfectly by the Andersons while the RnR Express sold extremely well.

After the match, Ole sends Morton into the cage yet again as the Express have to crawl to escape the frustrated Horsemen.

Match 12 for the NWA World title: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (champion) versus Magnum T.A. US champion Nikita Koloff

Highlights:

  • On 10/14, Magnum T.A. was in a single car accident in Charlotte, NC that temporarily paralyzed him and ended his wrestling career. Many believe this spot on the card was reserved for him to face Flair for the title.
  • Afterwards, out of respect for Magnum, Nikita turned face and became partners with Dusty Rhodes called the SuperPowers. Like Rhodes, Nikita was on a mission to destroy the Four Horsemen.
  • This match took place in Atlanta.
  • A music video with Gary Morris’ version of “Wind Beneath My Wings” played although the WWE Network overdubbed the music with Matt Santry’s “A Box That’s Always Empty.”
  • Nikita no-sold Flair’s chops causing Flair to exit the ring to regroup.
  • He then blocked a hip toss by Flair then delivered one of his own.
  • A second hip toss was followed by a slam.
  • A second slam by Nikita caused Flair to beg off.
  • Bear hug by Nikita got 2 on Flair.
  • Cross-corner whip by Nikita, but he came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Delayed vertical suplex by Flair, but Nikita no-sold it.
  • Swiftly, referee Tommy Young noticed Nikita’s singlet left him exposed and fixed the wardrobe malfunction.
  • Flair exited the entire ring area to regroup.
  • Russian hammer by Nikita put Flair down on the mat.
  • However, the Russian sickle attempt sent Nikita over the top rope down to the concrete floor.
  • Upon his fall outside the ring, Nikita hurt his left leg.
  • Smelling blood, Flair joined Nikita outside and rammed the leg into the ring post.
  • Back in the ring, Flair delivered a chop block. (whistle) Personal foul. #0 Offense. 15 yards. Still first down.
  • Figure-four leg lock by Flair who used the ropes for leverage.
  • Ultimately, Nikita reversed the hold.
  • Flair changed strategy to work on the upper body of Nikita, but it backfired.
  • Nonetheless, he used Nikita’s momentum to send him through the ropes down to the concrete floor.
  • Flair joined him and rammed him face-first into the scaffold.
  • Nikita was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Back in the ring, Flair hit a knee drop to the head and got 2.
  • He followed with a belly-to-back suplex that got another 2.
  • Nikita came back with some shoulder blocks in the corner followed by a slam.
  • Hip toss by Nikita preceded a cross-corner whip.
  • That resulted in a Flair flip sending the champion down to the concrete floor.
  • Nikita joined him and rammed Flair face-first into the scaffold a few times.
  • Flair was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Back in the ring, Nikita rammed Flair shoulder-first into the top turnbuckle.
  • They traded blows which resulted in a Flair flop.
  • Flying shoulder block by Nikita sent Flair careening into Young who fell down to the concrete floor.
  • With the other Horsemen in Greensboro, this match cannot have the same outcome as last year’s main event. So what happens next?
  • Cross-corner whip by Flair, but Nikita exploded out of the corner with the Russian sickle.
  • He made the cover, but Young was still OUT COLD on the floor.
  • Scrappy McGowan came out to offer Young some assistance.
  • Nikita came over to check on the situation. Seeing the distraction, Flair put a well-placed knee into Nikita’s back.
  • McGowan rolled in and counted 2 for Flair.
  • Flair reversed an Irish whip, and Nikita tried the Russian sickle again then DEMOLISHED McGowan.
  • As Nikita choked Flair in the corner, Young returned but was shoved down by Nikita.
  • Young got shoved down again and called for the bell.
  • The match was ruled a double-disqualification.

Rating: ***

Summary: Although appropriate, his match epitomized the definition of backup plan. Since Flair had regained the title three months prior to this show, it made sense to keep the belt where it belonged.

After the match, officials (including a shirtless Mulkey brother) come out to assist McGowan but get plowed over by Russian sickles from Nikita. Dundee, Rogers, and Jimmy Garvin run in and hold Nikita for Flair to strike. After all, the heels are PISSED he joined the DARK SIDE. Wrestlers from the babyface dressing room run in to even the odds and separate the combatants. Flair and Nikita keep going after one another, so you know this feud will continue.

Conclusion:  It wouldn’t be fair for me to compare this show to Starrcade ’85; therefore, by itself, it’s a good show. Please keep in mind that these twelve matches took almost FOUR HOURS. If you’ve never seen this show, the last three matches are worth your time.

Why do I say that? In spite of the fact that I gave the scaffold match a low rating, It’s worthwhile because it had never been done before and was an experiment that taught everyone involved how dangerous it truly was. The World tag title match was awesome, so there aren’t any questions there. Finally, the main event was Flair’s magic with the latest contender that worked well here. Grab your favorite device, tune into the WWE Network, and enjoy the show.

See you for Saturday Night’s Main Event VIII!

Buyrate: NONE

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