NWA World Championship Wrestling, December 7, 1985

We open with footage from Ric Flair’s Starrcade ’85 entrance. Flair lost the NWA Title to Dusty Rhodes at Starrcade, nine days ago. To the standard open…

Tony Schiavone & David Crockett are our hosts once again this week. They let us know the big Superstation Championship Challenge Series (SCCS) will be a six-man tag: Tully Blanchard & the Andersons vs. Billy Jack Haynes, Magnum T.A. and Sam Houston. They run down all the title changes from Starrcade (five of them). David mentions the new NWA World champion when Tony cuts him off and says we’ll talk about that later on. Sounds like Dusty’s title reign is in doubt…

Tully Blanchard and Baby Doll come out. Tully’s forehead is a mess. He sounds very sullen and claims he did not say, “I quit” at Starrcade. Technically, he’s right. However, he was screaming “YES!!!” over and over when Magnum T.A. asked if he quit, as a wooden spike was being driven into Tully’s forehead. Blanchard says he will reclaim the title in a wrestling match, with emphasis on wrestling.

To the ring, it’s the Rock & Roll Express vs. Jim & Mack Jeffers. The crowd chants “rock & roll” at the new NWA Tag champs. They gain the early advantage with quickness and double-team maneuvers. A double-dropkick and this one is over quickly. *1/2

Our second match is Ron Garvin vs. Tommy Lane. Lane gains an early advantage by yanking Garvin’s hair, taking him down and pounding away. Garvin answers with open-handed chops. A backdrop and the knockout punch, and our first two matches go by swiftly. *1/2

We get a musical video package of some of the Starrcade highlights. Back in the studio, it’s new U.S. Champion Magnum T.A. with Tony. Magnum vows to the put title up against Tully Blanchard, Nikita Koloff, Buddy Landel and anyone else who wants a shot. Tony mentions the ongoing Bunkhouse Stampede matches. We get brief video of a Stampede match with guys like Landel, Sam Houston and Manny Fernandez pounding on each other.

To the ring, it’s Arn Anderson vs. the Italian Stallion. Wait, here come the Russians. David Crockett tells us Arn has given this match to Nikita Koloff w/ Ivan Koloff. I think they’re covering for a typo there in the graphics, since Arn is part of the big six-man match later on. David Crockett basically calls Arn a coward for backing out of this match, once again proving what a terrible announcer he is. Nikita pounds away and tosses the Stallion out of the ring. Back in, Stallion takes more of a beating, but he lands a dropkick that sends Nikita into the corner. “The Russian Nightmare” responds with the Russian Sickle and it’s over. *

After a break, Tony Schiavone tells us a lot of controversy surrounds the NWA Title. David Crockett disagrees and says there is no controversy, because he’s an idiot. David says Dusty Rhodes pinned Ric Flair, 1-2-3. Schiavone nonchalantly informs us that the belt has been returned to Ric Flair! Horrible job setting this huge news up, mainly because David Crockett is clueless. They bring out referee Tommy Young, the best in the business to explain this mess…

Young recounts the match when he got knocked out of the ring, to the floor. He says he saw Arn Anderson in the ring and he was trying to stop the match at that point, but he got hit again and went down. Young’s ruling is that he ruled the match was over at that point, but was unable to relay that to the timekeeper. So, as far as Young is concerned, Ric Flair is disqualified for outside interference. Therefore, Flair is still the champion…

We get video of the match. Rhodes has Flair locked in the figure-four when Arn comes in. You can see in the right corner Young trying to get in the ring when Dusty tosses Arn on top of him. Young says he made the call to disqualify Flair. It’s the classic Dusty Finish, which is used incessantly for the next three years…

Young leaves and Ric Flair comes out, with the NWA Title. The studio audience seems very pro-Flair. Flair tells off David Crockett, who is still claiming Dusty pinned Flair and won the title. Flair says “it’s only just begun” between himself and Dusty Rhodes and although in some people’s eyes, some of the glitter might have worn off, it’s not true…

Flair: “I’m still wearing cashmere. I’m still walking around in alligators. Whoo! I’m still looking at the diamonds on this big ‘ol Rolex. I’m still riding around in a limousine. And I’m still driving the women of this world out of their ever-loving, cotton-picking minds because I am still, whoo, the world’s heavyweight wrestling champion. Do I make myself clear? Whooo!” Awesome.

After a break, it’s the Road Warriors w/ Paul Ellering vs. Paul Garner & Adrian Bivens. I sure do prefer “Iron Man” over this dubbed over drizzle they’re using for the Warriors’ entrance music. They hit the ring and pound away. Animal lands a flying shoulderblock on Bivens and kicks him to the curb. Tony & David point out Ellering is in a neck brace following the attack from the Russians last week…

Hawk says, “Here’s one for Russia” as he pounds and stomps away on Bivens. Garner tags in for his turn to take a beating. He goes face-first into the ropes off the Irish Whip, bounces off and gets hit in the back of the neck with a clothesline. The audience is laughing at him. Animal press slams Garner. Hawk nails the big boot and yells again for the Koloffs. Hawk finally finishes Garner off with the clothesline. Much longer than the usual Road Warrior squash. I think they were trying to display the beating they’re going to put on the Russians. *

After a break, it’s our SCCS match: The Andersons and Tully Blanchard w/ Baby Doll vs. Magnum T.A., Billy Jack Haynes and Sam Houston. Must win by pinfall or submission, Tony reminds us. We start with Arn vs. Haynes. Arn tries to escape Haynes’ headlock but he’s got it on too tight and won’t let go. The fans chant “I quit” at Tully. Magnum tags in and drops the ax handle on Arn’s arm. He’s able to reach Ole, and the elder Anderson grapples with Magnum for an advantage. Magnum forces him into the corner and slugs him with a right hand. Ole tags in Tully, and I guess Starrcade did not end the feud as they whale away on each other…

Magnum gets the better of the exchange then press slams Blanchard. He follows with the atomic drop, but Tully yanks the tights and sends Magnum headfirst into the ring post. However, Tully is still hurting and he backs away and tags Arn Anderson. Magnum tags Sam Houston, who comes off the top with a shot on Arn’s arm. Houston is soon forced into the Horsemen corner and the Andersons punishes the scrawny youngster. Houston fires back and Ole staggers into the wrong corner where Haynes & Magnum slug him and Houston lands a drop kick…

Arn and Ole try to trap Houston in their corner, but he escapes and tags in Magnum, who gets the better of fisticuffs with Arn. Haynes comes in and the match slows down with a rear chin lock. Arn escapes but gets press slammed by Haynes, ditto for Blanchard…and he powers Ole up too! That’s impressive. Ole ain’t no small potatoes…

The Horsemen retreat. Blanchard comes back in and the studio audience starts up with a loud “I quit” chant. Haynes almost locks the full nelson in but Tully is able to tag in Ole. Same deal with the veteran Anderson, but he’s able to reach Arn, who snapmares Haynes and stomps on his face. Tully lands an elbow from behind while the ref is distracted. We go to a break…

Back live, we’ve got a pier six brawl! They’re all in the ring. However, the Horsemen get the advantage on Magnum and he takes the patented Anderson beating for several minutes. He keeps almost escaping, but they do a great job cutting off the ring and keeping Magnum on their side. Blanchard lands a front piledriver, like Col. Debeers used to deliver. The beating continues from all three men. Magnum comes within inches of the tag but just can’t make it. Blanchard goes for a vertical suplex, but it’s reversed and finally Magnum tags in Sam Houston…

He punches away on all three men and hits the bulldog on Ole Anderson. Blanchard comes in for the save and all six men enter the ring. Houston slams Ole and has him pinned. The ref tries to get Billy Jack out of the ring, allowing Arn to come off the top rope and hammer Houston behind the ref’s back. Ole rolls over and pins Houston as Haynes locks in the full nelson on Arn. The Horsemen win. Good match, with Haynes’ involvement kept to a minimum, thankfully. I give it ***.

To the podium, it’s no-longer-NWA-Champ Dusty Rhodes. He won’t badmouth referee Tommy Young, but says he proved Ric Flair can be beaten. Rhodes says he’s gonna live with the decision to give the title back to Flair. Dusty says he feels good because he pinned the world heavyweight champion in front of 100,000 people, jack. If he adds up the Greensboro & Atlanta crowds, plus all the closed circuit fans, I still don’t think he comes close to 100,000, but whatever. He’s certainly not the first to inflate a crowd size. Rhodes says it’s not over between he and Flair. They show us the final minutes of the Starrcade match, where Dusty fights off both Andersons, but still manages to pin Flair.

After a break, the Road Warriors w/ Paul Ellering are at the podium. They show us the video from last week when the Russians beat down Ellering and the Warriors. Ellering is still wearing a neck brace. Animal is pissed as we see him getting triple-teamed and clotheslined with a chain. Hawk says the Russians are so stupid, somebody wrote a song about them called “Brother Can You Spare Me a Brain”. The studio audience liked it at least. Hawk vows to rip the Russians limbs “off their stinkin’ hides” and to kick their tails back to Moscow.

That’s followed by Jimmy Valiant vs. Vernon Deaton. Ugh. Valiant high fives the fans, then talks gibberish at the podium. Valiant lands a thumb to the throat and dedicates it to “Davey Crockett”. Elbowdrop and it’s over, thankfully. As usual with Valiant, DUD.

Jim Crockett comes out to announce next week’s SCCS match. It’ll be Mid-Atlantic Champ Khrusher Khrushchev vs. Pistol Pez Whatley. Quite the step down from the Horsemen vs. Magnum & friends in a six-man tag.

After a break, the Russians are here. Ivan Koloff says they were cheated out of the World Tag Team Titles as Starrcade. He says the Kremlin wants to show the their strength against the Road Warriors. Nikita says the Road Warriors are going down.

To the ring, it’s Terry Taylor vs. Brody Chase. The future Red Rooster works on Chase’s wing arm. Taylor lands the forearm off the ropes, followed by the superplex and that’s it. *

After a break, The Barbarian w/ Paul Jones vs. George South. Barbarian presses South over his head thrice and slams him. He follows with some Greco-Roman biting and a shoulderbreaker. Then the powerslam and the head butt off the top that misses by six inches. That’s it, thankfully. Wisely, they freeze the replay as he’s in mid-flight so we don’t see Barbarian’s botch a second time. -**

To the podium, it’s J.J. Dillon with Tony. He says Bob Geigel made the right decision in returning the NWA Title to Ric Flair, then brags about leading Buddy Landel to the National Title. Dillon says Landel, his “pride and joy”, is now one of the top three challengers to the World Title.

Buddy Landel is in the ring, facing the least creatively named wrestler in history: Jeff Smith. Landel sucker punches Smith and nails him with a dropkick. Landel punishes Smith for his poor moniker and tosses him outside, allowing Dillon to lightly slap him. Landel hits a nice dropkick on the floor, followed by the corkscrew elbow & figure-four and it’s over. Landel looks good here. *1/2

Back at ringside, Paul Jones and The Barbarian come back out to the chants of “weasel”. No mention of Superstar Graham, who Barbarian faced at Starrcade nine days ago and is only used a few more times by JCP. Jones says Barbarian is stronger than Billy Jack Haynes as they continue to lay the groundwork for what would have been one of the worst feuds in history.

We go to the ring. It’s Ivan Koloff and Khrusher Khrushchev w/ Nikita Koloff vs. Mark Cooper and Jim Blackland (and the running gag of getting Backlund’s name wrong continues.) Backlund tries a crossbody block off the second turnbuckle, but misses badly. Koloff tosses him out of the ring. Backlund looks about how Sheamus probably did when he was 12. Khrusher sloppily slams Sheamus Jr. onto the apron head first and he takes a big bump from a back elbow by Ivan. Then Khrusher hip tosses him literally across the ring. Sheamus Jr. would’ve been a good six-man partner with the Mulkeys. Two albinos and a ginger who all take huge bumps. Khrusher hits the Russian Hammer on Mark Cooper, Ivan follows with the Sickle and it’s over. An extra half-point for Backlund’s bumping. *1/2

Tully Blanchard and Baby Doll stand at the podium with Tony, who mentions the NWA Title turmoil. Tully warns his “friend” and “training partner” Ric Flair to be leery of NWA President Bob Geigel because he’s capable of shady dealings. He also says Dusty Rhodes, Magnum T.A. and Jim Crockett aren’t above paying somebody under the table. Tully says they screwed him and they could do it to Flair too. I think Tully screwed Tully.

That’s it for this week. An eventful show for sure, as the NWA Title is returned to Ric Flair, but they didn’t do a great job hyping it up. We also had a good six-man match. Thumbs up, but it could have been better.