NWA World Championship Wrestling, December 21, 1985

This week’s show features two historic debuts. Also, NWA World Champion Ric Flair returns. He was sorely missed on the previous week’s program. Plus, there’s blood and an interesting six-man tag…

We open with a slo-mo of “America’s Team”, Dusty Rhodes & Magnum T.A., hitting belly-to-belly suplexes on the Jeffers brothers. Then quickly to the standard show opener.

Tony Schiavone & David Crockett are our hosts in the TBS Studio. Today’s Superstation Championship Challenge Series (SCCS) features Cowboy Ron Bass, Ron Garvin & Manny Fernandez vs. Nature Boy Buddy Landel, Thunderfoot & Black Bart, all managed by J.J. Dillon. They’re also hyping the upcoming 10-man tourney for the NWA World TV Title. Why are their 10 instead of 8, or 16? Because JCP.

To the ring, it’s Ole Anderson vs. Bob Wayne in a rare singles match for the elder Anderson. Arn Anderson is at ringside. Ole works the left arm extensively. He finishes Wayne with a flying knee into the arm, then earns the submission with hold #973: ARMBAR! *

Paul Jones and the Barbarian join Tony at the podium. Jones says nobody in the TV tournament has a chance except for the Barbarian. Jones is not the least bit delusional.

After a break, it’s Nikita Koloff w/ Ivan Koloff vs. Tony Zane. Zane tries a rollup and Nikita’s not going for that. He no sells several punches from Zane, pounds away and tosses him out of the ring twice. Nikita nails the Russian Sickle and Zane is toast. *

Dusty Rhodes & Magnum T.A. are with Schiavone. Magnum says Dusty is a threat to any title because he’s the booker. Ok, I added the booker part. But Magnum was thinking it. Rhodes says the TV Title still belongs to him, but he’s still gunning for Ric Flair and the Andersons, too. “Ole Anderson, Arn Anderson, I’m getting ready to give some pain, blues and agony down on your household,” Dusty says. “You’re gonna pay the dues that are coming to ya, baby, and that’s just a simple fact.”

To the ring, it’s the Barbarian w/ Paul Jones vs. Richard Dunn. Teddy Long is our referee, after spending the last few weeks taking care of the wrestlers’ gear at ringside. That’s how Long got his start, basically being an errand boy, for free. They let Long ref some matches about a month back and Teddy’s back in the ring this week. He might have a future in this biz if he sticks to it. Barbarian uses some Greco-Roman biting to wear his man down. Jones says he taught Barbarian everything he knows. I really wouldn’t brag, Paul. Finally, we get the powerslam and flying headbutt combo to end it. 1/2*

After a break, Tully Blanchard and Baby Doll are at the podium with Tony. Tully again claims he didn’t say “I quit”, although the fans are chanting that at him. Tully says he’ll be in the World TV Title tournament in Greensboro and he’ll win it. Baby Doll chimes in and says she NEEDS either the World Title, World TV Title or the U.S. Title because she is very expensive. I doubt that. Blanchard tells her he’ll take care of it.

To the ring, Khrusher Khruschchev vs. Bill Mulkey. YES!!! One-half of the greatest jobber tag team in history. This is the Saturday night show debut of MulkeyMania. These guys took some of the most hellacious bumps in wrestling history. Mulkey’s got brown hair here, instead of the suicide blond look they would become known for. Khrusher hip tosses Mulkey halfway across the ring. Mulkey collides with Khrusher off the ropes and bumps all the way out of the ring. Khrusher puts him away with the Russian Sickle. *1/2

J.J. Dillon joins Tony at the podium. He hypes up his man, National Champion Buddy Landel and yells at Tony for not mentioning Landel earlier in the show. After Dillon leaves, David Crockett claims they showed Landel at the top of the show, winning  the National Title. Ummm, no they didn’t. Something is amiss here…

To the ring, it’s Tully Blanchard w/ Baby Doll vs. Vernon Deaton. Blanchard dominates and wins with the slingshot suplex. *

Arn Anderson joins Tony at the podium. Arn says they’ve got a series of matches coming up with “a couple of little timid fellas called the Rock & Roll Express”. Arn adds that the TV Title should be his and it will be come tournament time.

Back to the ring, Sam Houston vs. Kent Glover. The protege of Dusty & Magnum works Glover’s arm early on. The slow push of Houston continues at a snail’s pace as they wait for him to build some muscles. I hope he decides to hit the gym sometime this decade. Houston hits a dropkick followed by a running bulldog and wins. *

NWA World Champion Ric Flair joins us. The fans chant “Slick Ric”. Flair says he wakes up in the morning knowing he has to be the best looking man alive, the best dressed man alive, the world champion and a modern-day sex symbol. Flair says he has to fulfill the dreams of women all over this country. Flair hypes a Christmas Day showdown with Dusty Rhodes…

Flair says “many times I have been called a big spender”. No, really? He pulls out some $100 bills. The champ gives Tony $300 to take his wife out to dinner, lays $200 on the podium for Magnum T.A. to buy some new clothes, and $500 for a first class ticket for Dusty Rhodes anywhere out of Atlanta, Georgia.

Now it’s time for the SCCS match, with Ron Garvin & Ragin’ Bull Manny Fernandez vs. Thunderfoot & Black Bart. Wait a minute. They hyped a six-man tag at the open of the show. Where are Ron Bass &  Buddy Landel? Hmmm. J.J. Dillon isn’t out here either, nor did he mention this match in his interview a little earlier. Tony and David make no mention of the no-shows…

Garvin & Bart start off. These two had a feud over the National Title, with Bart winning a Loser Leaves Town match six months ago. Garvin came back, obviously. Garvin works the leg, then tags in Fernandez for more of the same. Thunderfoot comes in for more of the same. Manny tries to take off Thunderfoot’s loaded BOOT OF DOOM, but he crawls out of the ring before that can happen. Garvin and Bart tag back in and tangle with some mat grappling. They exchange chops in the corner. Thunderfoot tags in and gains an advantage over Garvin. We go to a break…

Back from commercial, this one continues to go back and forth. Bart hammers away on Fernandez. The Ragin’ Bull is busted open. Bart bites at the forehead to draw more blood. There’s always blood at JCP house shows, but not often on TBS. Bart misses the Texas Trash Compactor (legdrop off the second rope). Thunderfoot comes in and facelocks Fernandez, who makes a blind tag to Garvin. A sunset flip off the top rope by Garvin catches Thunderfoot by surprise for the pin. Nice move. Wonder if he’ll use that in the future. No mention at all of this originally being a six-man tag or the whereabouts of Bass and Landel. **

Jim Crockett tells us the SCCS ends next week with Magnum T.A. defending the U.S. Title vs. Ole Anderson. Should be a good one…

Ric Flair comes out, with Crockett and Garvin still at the podium. Flair commends Crockett on being the number one wrestling promoter in the world, but tells him he’s disappointed he couldn’t find an opponent that was man enough to get beat by him on nationwide TV. Flair tells Garvin when he’s out here, every else disappears, and he should do the same. Garvin challenges Flair to a match on TV. He tells him to “put your belt where your mouth is. You probably don’t have any money. You probably spent it all.” Whoa. Shooting…

Flair yells that he’ll buy the whole damn hour for their match next week. Garvin shows why he’ll never be world champ, because he ends it with “we’ve got a date, but we ain’t gonna be making love. We’re gonna be wrestling.” Ugh. Good segment. Horrible close by Garvin.

After a break, it’s the Rock & Roll Express vs. Larry Clarke & Randy Mulkey. Our second historic debut, the other half of MulkeyMania! Not sure why they didn’t debut together as a team. The Rock & Roll work over Clarke to start. Mulkey tags in and the R&R work the left arm. The crowd chants “rock and roll”. The jobbers try to doubleteam Morton, but it goes nowhere. Gibson whips Mulkey into the ropes, catches him with a knee, Morton follows with a sunset flip and the 1-2-3. Inauspicious debut for Randy Mulkey. *1/2

After a break, it’s Magnum T.A. vs. George South. Magnum catches South in midair, slams him and follows with a belly-to-belly suplex for the quick squash. *

Back to the ring, it’s Arn Anderson vs. Josh Stroud. Arn works the arm, punishes Stroud for awhile and puts him away with the gourdbuster. *

Back to the podium, Dusty Rhodes is out again. He says nobody is as bad as Dusty Rhodes, the American Dream. He says until you beat “the demon”, until you pin Dusty Rhodes, all you’ve done is talk. Dusty, talking very softly, says again that Flair and the Andersons are going to feel “pain, blues and agony”. Dusty says he’s going to take the TV Title, the World Title, and if he and Magnum T.A. want, the World Tag Team titles too.

After a break, it’s Ivan Koloff w/ Khrusher Khrushchev vs. Dan Turner. Ivan tosses Turner outside and hits him with a kneedrop off the apron. Nice. Koloff chokes Turner repeatedly, then hits a neckbreaker. Turner surprises Koloff with a crossbody block, but Koloff nails the standing Russian Sickle and finishes him. *

Ric Flair is back out to wrap up the show. Flair says his personal secretary has promised 8,000 different women that he’s going to be in their stocking Christmas morning. We see several female fans in the crowd who seem to like the thought of that. Flair says he’s going to beat Ronnie Garvin up so bad, they’re going to compare him to Dusty Rhodes. Flair says Dusty puts his leg on the line when he walks the aisle against him, and the war has just begun. Flair tells the crew not to wrap him up, but the show is ending. He gets in one “whoo” and we’re done.

A much improved show over last week’s snoozefest. No outstanding matches, but some good promos, plenty of Ric Flair in peak form on the mic, the debut of the Mulkeys, and the mysterious disappearance of Buddy Landel. Should be interesting matches next week between Flair and Garvin, plus Magnum vs. Ole.  That review coming soon. Thanks for reading.