NWA World Championship Wrestling, February 8, 1986

There is a two-week period in between the last show and this one. WWE Network is apparently missing the February 1 show. TBS also aired “Superstars on the Superstation” on February 7, with supposed “dream matches” that the fans voted for. It’s not on the WWE Network either, but Rock Star Gary provides a good review here. The Midnight Express defeated the Rock & Roll Express for the NWA World Tag Team Titles on that show, which brings us to tonight…

We start with footage of the Rock & Roll Express vs. the Midnight Express. The R&R do a simultaneous atomic drop on both MX members who then collide heads and we cut to the show open…

Tony Schiavone is our host this week. No David Crockett? Excellent. He’s on “special assignment” and the show is already looking up. Ron Garvin, the Road Warriors, the Russians and many more are here today…

Just when things are looking up, we start with Jimmy Valiant vs. David Dillinger. Valiant provides a ridiculous nerve hold and his usual choking and eye rakes. “I can beat him anytime, baby”, Valiant says. Then do it and end this crap. Another horrible Valiant match. DUD

Valiant joins Tony at the podium. He sings some nonsense and says he’s looking for a fight with Tully Blanchard and J.J. Dillon. I bet Tully really hates being stuck in this mini-feud.

After a break, the Barbarian and Paul Jones join Tony. Jones blabs about his $10,000 challenge to anyone to take on his man in a test of strength. They’re trying to build a feud with Ron Bass, because when you think power and muscles, Cowboy Ron Bass is at the top of everybody’s list, said no one ever.

These guys are though. The Road Warriors hit the ring to take on Brody Chase & Kent Glover. They hit simultaneous shoulderblocks. Hawk suplexes Glover and could probably pin him, but pulls him up. Chase tags in and tries to attack Hawk, but gets no sold. Animal powerslams Chase and both LOD members punish him some more. Animal presses Chase over his head and just drops him, then we get an atomic drop into a flying clothesline from Hawk for the win. *1/2

The Road Warriors w/ Paul Ellering join Tony. They say that match was a message to the Russians. Animal reminds us they’re PWI Tag Team of the Year the past three years. Ellering mentions coming after the Midnight Express and the tag titles as well.

To the ring, it’s Ron Garvin vs. the Golden Terror. Garvin was pinned by Ric Flair on the “Superstars on the Superstation” show, though Garvin had his foot on the ropes. They’re still pushing that feud. Garvin ties up Terror in some unique, painful-looking holds, and adds some open-hand slaps for good measure. Terror slaps back and Garvin responds with a double eyepoke. He finishes with the knockout punch. *

Afterwards, Garvin says he’s not a quitter and he’s just going to try harder against Ric Flair. Garvin says Flair is slowing down. In 1986, Yep, headed for the retirement home any day now. Garvin says after their next match, Space Mountain’s going to be shut down.

To the ring, Ron Bass vs. Larry Clarke. Bass puts Clarke on the top turnbuckle and hiptosses him off. Bass slams Clarke and Tony claims “the crowd really responded to that”, despite the obvious indifference from the studio audience. Bass finally puts Clarke away with the claw. 1/2*

Afterwards, Bass says nobody has ever accused Paul Jones of being an idiot. He must not read my reviews. Bass says he’ll take the Barbarian on for the $10 grand in any contest they choose, and challenges them to come out right now.

After a break, Baby Doll comes out with the National Heavyweight Title. She claims Dusty Rhodes is out with his pal Willie Nelson shooting a movie or something. She again claims that Arn Anderson is going to end up with hurt just like Ole Anderson, but if she had her way, Tully Blanchard would get hurt first. She also warns the Russians not to mess with “America’s Team”.

To the ring, it’s the Barbarian vs. Tony Zane. This is designed to show off Barbarian’s immense power. Barbarian press slams Zane, which is impressive, because Zane takes his dieting tips from Dusty Rhodes. He follows with a shoulderbreaker. Barbarian tosses Zane outside and Jones nails him with the cane. Barbarian finishes with a powerslam and the flying headbutt.*

Jim Cornette & the Midnight Express come out. They’re our new NWA World Tag Team champions. Cornette says Mama Cornette is elated and she’s going to name two of her racehorses after Bobby and Dennis and run them in the Kentucky Derby, and they’ll win. Cornette says beating the R&R for the belts on national TV was all part of his master plan. He mocks the 12-year-old female fans of the R&R at home crying their eyes out.

To the ring, the Midnight Express vs. Mike Simani & Don Turner. The MX toy with Simani. Bobby holds him up for an extended vertical suplex, walks over to Dennis, who pushes Simani over to finish the move. Bobby comes off the top rope with the flying elbow. Cornette says they need to raise the studio lights so Bobby has more room to fly. Dennis slams Bobby on top of Turner, then chokes Turner on the second rope while Cornette shoves the belt in his face and gloats. Bobby executes the Alabama Jam and Turner is out on his feet. They finish him with a version of the Double Goozle.*3/4

The Koloffs and Baron von Raschke join Tony. Baron says the Axis of Power is going to eliminate the “Road Runners”. We get video of Magnum T.A. vs. Ivan Koloff. Magnum hits the belly-to-belly suplex and Nikita Koloff jumps him from behind. Baron nails Magnum with a chain. They hold him for Nikita’s Russian Sickle and Magnum is down. Nikita wraps the chain around his arm and sickles Magnum a second time, this one from the second rope. Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll come out. Dusty elbows Ivan and the Baron. Baby Doll throws punches and slaps at Nikita. Ivan grabs her and Nikita signals for the Sickle on Baby Doll! Dusty saves her and takes the Sickle himself. The Road Warriors come in and chase the commies away.

To the ring, it’s Ivan Koloff vs. Randy Mulkey. Ivan tosses Mulkey through the second rope and he takes hellacious bump on the floor! I mean, we’re talking Foleyesque. That had to hurt. A lot. Koloff follows with a body slam on the floor. MulkeyMania is in full effect. These guys took some of the biggest bumps ever. It’s really amazing they’re still walking today. Koloff punishes Mulkey in the ring, but he keeps kicking out. I’m hoping he’ll start mulking up. But Ivan dumps Mulkey outside again. Ivan finally, mercifully ends it with the Sickle. Mulkey’s bumping pushes this one up a notch. **

Tully Blanchard & J.J. Dillon join Tony. Tully says he’s going to keep knocking down Jimmy Valiant, and the domino effect toward Dusty Rhodes will continue. Tully snaps at Schiavone and tells him to pay attention and keep the mic where it’s supposed to be. J.J. makes some analogy between Tully’s fists and Venus & Mars that makes no sense.

After a break, Paul Jones is back out and they’re still pushing this stupid $10,000 test of strength with the Barbarian. Ron Bass comes out and says bring the Barbarian out right now. Bass backs Jones up against the set wall, and the manager cowers in fear. Jones says he’ll name the place next week and scampers off.

To the ring, Baron von Raschke w/ Paul Jones vs. George South. Tony mentions that Jones and the Baron were World Tag Team champions together back in the 70s. They actually held the titles twice, in 1979. Von Raschke beats up South for several minutes, does the goose step and the Iron Claw. South is out.*

Tully Blanchard & J.J. Dillon are out again. We get video of Blanchard vs. Dusty Rhodes from the “Superstars on the Superstation” show. Rhodes has Blanchard in the Boston Crab. The bell rings, signaling a time limit draw. J.J. comes in and Dusty goes after Dillon, but Blanchard clips Rhodes’ leg. Blanchard hits a piledriver (!) on Rhodes. I’m amazed he could get him up. The execution looks devastating. J.J. Dillon grabs the National Heavyweight Title and he leaves with Tully. Somehow, Baby Doll & Dusty got it back because she was showing it off earlier in the show.

To the ring, Arn Anderson vs. Bill Mulkey for the NWA World TV Title. Yes! A title match for a Mulkey! Arn powers Mulkey into the ropes twice and breaks clean both times, but Mulkey lands a cheap shot! Arn is not happy. Tony says Mulkey is going to regret this. Mulkey reverses a hiptoss attempt into one of his own. Is this an upset in the making? Uh, no. Arn slams Mulkey and tosses him outside. Not as big a bump as Randy Mulkey had earlier, but he does hit hard. Arn suplexes him back in and mouths off to Schiavone. Arn lays Mulkey across the top turnbuckles and slugs away. Now he goes to work on the arm, hits a powerslam and finishes Mulkey with a stiff gourdbuster.**

Arn says he could’ve beat Mulkey just by mailing him a letter across the dressing room. Arn asks where “America’s Team” is today. No Magnum. No Dusty. No Manny Fernandez either. I hadn’t noticed Fernandez was absent. Arn says the people in the studio today and the ones that buy the tickets will tell you the people that are making it happen in the NWA are the Four Horsemen and the Midnight Express.

After a break, it’s Nikita Koloff w/ Ivan Koloff vs. Bill Tabb. Nikita hammers away on Tabb and yells for the Road Warriors. Nikita methodically works on Tabb and eventually ends this yawner with the Sickle. 1/2*

The Rock & Roll Express join Tony at the podium. Awww. They look sad. Ricky Morton says Cornette’s mother should be the one running in the Kentucky Derby. After a break, we get footage of the match where they lost the title…

JIP, Rock & Roll Express vs. the Midnight Express. Morton pounds on both men and hits Beautiful Bobby with a crossbody block. Double dropkick on both men and referee Pee Wee Anderson gets knocked down. They drag Jim Cornette in and we get the David Crockett classic line: ” COME ON, WHIP HIM! WHIP HIM LIKE A DOG!” Dennis nails Morton from behind with the tennis racket. Cornette drags Bobby over, pushes the ref in to make the count and we have new NWA Tag Team champs. Rock Star Gary says this was ****1/2 match and I don’t doubt it. These two times had some of the best tag matches in history.

Back live, Morton is pissed and says they’re going to get their hands on Cornette and the Midnight Express. They go to the ring: R&R Express vs. Paul Garner & Lee Peck. They make quick work of the jobbers and finish with the double dropkick.*

Cornette and the Midnight Express come out and talk trash on the R&R. “Did you lose something Ricky & Robert? They lost about 18 million teeny bopper fans and they lost the world tag team belts,” Cornette says. “You don’t want no more of these men, you idiots. You goofs. We already beat you up on national TV one time.” They tease a fight between the two as we run out of time.

Another good show. No competitive matches in the studio, but some interesting footage from the “Superstars on the Superstation” program and elsewhere, progression of some major feuds, and the awesomeness of MulkeyMania bumps. 1986 keeps getting better for Jim Crockett Promotions.