Wrestling Observer Flashback–January 1985 Part 2

Previously on your Mom’s street corner:  https://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2016/05/01/wrestling-observer-flashback-january-1985-part-1/

Moving on with the magnum opus that is the 1984 yearbook!

– We’ll skip past the Mr. Mike stuff and get into the main event:  STARRCADE ‘84.

– Dave calls it a very good show overall, and somehow by adding up all the people in Greensboro (16K give or take) plus all the closed circuit locations, comes up with a figure of 42,000 and thus declares it the #2 crowd in North American wrestling history.  So THAT’S where WWE got that trick from!  To the review!  Keep in mind, this is the first PPV that Dave has ever used star ratings with, so things might be hinky.

1.  Denny Brown won the NWA World Jr. title over Mike Davis in 7:00 with the old double suplex spot.  Was it an old spot in 1984?  I feel like it would have come from the 70s.  Good paced action, but Brown’s lack of experience hurt.  **1/2

2.  Brian Adias pinned Masao Ito with an airplane spin in 5:00.  *

3.  Jesse Barr pinned Mike Graham to retain the Florida title in 12:00 using the ropes.  I’m disappointed with all the round times because Dave has since carried a stopwatch with him to every wrestling show he’s ever watched.  Dull beginning, but Barr has improved a lot recently and the match picked up at the end.  **1/2

4.  The Assassin & Buzz Tyler beat “the Zambuie Elephants” in 4:00 when the Assiassin collided with Kareem Muhammad and Tyler pushed him on top for the pin.  All action, albeit bad action.  *

5.  Manny Fernandez pinned Black Bart to win the new Brass Knuckles title in 8:00 with a rolling reverse.  Both guys bled for no reason other than they can’t get heat otherwise.  Just wait until next year’s show!  **

6.  Paul Jones pinned Jimmy Valiant in a loser leaves town tuxedo street fight in 5:00.  All goofy action, with JJ Dillon interfering to hit Boogie with a foreign object so that Jones could pin him.  This obviously sets up the return of Charlie Brown, From Way Downtown.  Dave is ashamed to admit he enjoyed the match a little.  **

7.  Ron Bass beat Dick Slater by DQ when Slater shoved the ref at 9:00.  Lots of stalling to start, but then Slater was excellent and Bass was Bass.  ***

8.  The Koloffs beat Keith Larson & Ole Anderson at 15:00 when Ivan pinned Larson after a chain to the head.  Keith (aka Rocky Kernodle, brother of Don) was going for family revenge, but Dave doesn’t buy him as a top guy.  Considering he would end up as a low level TV jobber soon after, most people didn’t either.  ***

9.  Tully Blanchard pinned Ricky Steamboat with another foreign object finish to retain the TV title in 14:00.  Dave calls it one of the best matches of the year outside of Japan, but I think he was being influenced by the mediocrity of everything else on the show, since this match is generally regarded now as the only worthwhile thing on the card.  Extremely hot pace and Dave thinks it saved the show.  I wouldn’t go that far, but it was a great match.  ****1/4

10.  Wahoo McDaniel retained the US title over Billy Graham with a big chop in 4:00.  1/2*

11.  Ric Flair retained the World title over Dusty Rhodes when special ref Joe Frazier stopped the match due to a cut on Dusty’s eye at 12:00.  How can Dave sit through this epic parade of b------- finishes and call this is a “really good show”?  Dave notes that Dusty “either can’t or won’t move, I’m not sure which” and Flair put on his usual great performance, leaving the match somewhere in the middle.  ***

Most of the reaction in the letters column is that the show was disappointing compared to ‘83.

Next up, Dave talks about his stay in Japan and runs down his experiences with the big three promotions.

– Dave was just blown away by the variety of wrestling merch for sale there, like a whole store of videotapes of old classic Japanese matches, and biographies of all the top stars which are sadly only available in Japanese.  Plus Terry Funk actually put out an album of original songs, arranged by Jimmy Hart, and WHY CAN’T WE BUY THIS TODAY?!?

– The UWF has the hardest style he’s ever seen, with no “selling” to speak of and guys not even going down unless they’re basically knocked out, with a description of the working style that pretty much matches what Pancrase and eventually the UFC would be.  Dave really enjoyed the UWF show, but one like stands out.  In talking about the Super Tiger v. Fujiwara match, he notes that the reason that he loves wrestling so much as compared to boxing is that he can enjoy all the visual violence without ever having to deal with the consequences such as brain damage or permanent injury.  I got bad news for you, 1984 Dave…

– Nothing much notable on the New Japan show aside from Adrian Adonis already starting to balloon in weight and Dave calling Inoki “Egoki”.

– On the All Japan show, we get the first ever full monty from Dave, as he rates Dory & Terry Funk v. Stan Hansen & Bruiser Brody at *****.  Are you surprised?

– With the defection of Riki Choshu to All Japan, he’s now getting babyface reactions that Dave would describe as being in the same league as Hulkamania or Kerry Von Erich’s teenage girl fanbase.

– Apparently American Starship was on the tour but Dave didn’t have a chance to see them.  That would be the future Scott Hall & Danny Spivey, for those keeping track.

So that takes us to page 24, and next time we’ll go over the 1984 Wrestling Observer Year End Awards!