NWA World Championship Wrestling, February 15, 1986

Our opening clip shows the end of the time limit draw between Dusty Rhodes & Tully Blanchard from “Superstars on the Superstation”, after which Blanchard delivered a piledriver on Rhodes and J.J. Dillon stole Dusty’s National Heavyweight Title.

Tony Schiavone is our host this week from the TBS Studio. David Crockett is still on special assignment, thankfully. Coming up, Arn Anderson defends the World TV Title vs. Sam Houston in what should be a good match and the Midnight Express will defend the NWA World Tag Team Titles. Also here are the Rock & Roll Express, Magnum T.A., the Russians, Paul Jones will unveil a new charge, and much more.

To the ring, it”s Jimmy Valiant vs. Ron Rossi. Joy. Valiant high fives all the fans, which includes a lot of kids who seem to enjoy the Boogie Woogie Man. They’re the only ones. Valiant approaches Tony, who smartly backs away. To the ring, Valiant tosses Rossi out, rams him into the post, does his typical punch, kick, nervehold, eye rake routine, and drops the elbow for the win. As usual, DUD.

Tully Blanchard & J.J. Dillon join Tony. Dillon says they’ve reduced Jimmy Valiant to a mere shell of what he was and the dominos are falling toward the eventual elimination of Dusty Rhodes. Tully says he proved he’s better than Dusty and wins the Nostradamus of the Week Award, claiming he will be the National Heavyweight champion within four weeks.

After a break, Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express join Tony. Apparently Cornette was fined $5,000 for injuring Ricky Morton or using his tennis racket help the MX win the tag titles. He says 5-grand is nothing and that the world tag team champions make about $500,000 a piece per year. We see some fans in the studio audience with a sign that reads “Cornette is a genius”. He unveils a poster of a chubby woman in a bikini and says that’s one of the pictures of Morton’s fans that kept mailing him. Cornette says they’ll defend the titles tonight vs. Don Kernodle & Ron Bass.

To the ring, Baron von Raschke w/ Paul Jones vs. Kent Glover. The fans chant “USA! USA!” at the East German commie. The Baron stomps and slugs away on Glover. Von Raschke looks really old here, because he is. At 45, he’s in prime shape to headline for the AWA though. He locks in the Iron Claw and Glover is out. 1/2*

After a break, Paul Jones introduces the newest member of his army, Teijho Khan from Singapore. The highlight of Khan’s career was his supporting role in the movie “Body Slam“. Yep, it was the that bad.

To the ring, it’s the Barbarian w/ Paul Jones vs. Paul Garner. Typical power moves from Barbarian. He press slams Garner and tosses him out so Jones can get his licks in with the cane. Barbarian lands repeated headbutts that force Garner out again. He finally ends it with the powerslam and flying headbutt. 3/4*

After a break, Jimmy Valiant returns. Valiant says Blanchard will never be able to take down him and his main man Dusty Rhodes. And then…brings up Paul Jones and his three-man army. And starts talking about “bald-headed geeks”. Thus, we resume the most dreadful feud in NWA history, Valiant vs. Jones.

Things pick up though, because in the ring, it’s Tully Blanchard w/ J.J. Dillon vs. Ray Traylor, the future Big Bubba Rogers/Big Bossman. Tony points out Traylor has the clear weight advantage and he wonders if Tully can execute the slingshot suplex on the big man. Blanchard takes Traylor down and controls early. He lands a knee to the gut and rides Traylor, amateur style.  Traylor tries to use his weight to control Blanchard, but the wily veteran repeatedly takes him down and mat grapples with him. Blanchard delivers a picture perfect slingshot suplex for the win. Wow. A squash, but still a good match because of the way it was handled, taking Traylor’s size into account and Blanchard finding ways to counteract it. This Traylor kid shows some promise. **

Tony mentions the first Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup coming up and says there is a new NWA World Championship belt that has been given to Ric Flair. This would be what we now know as the Big Gold Belt. Jim Crockett Jr. comes out and says he hopes the Crockett Cup will take place in Charlotte or Atlanta. Since he’s the promoter and it’s to honor his dad, shouldn’t that be Crockett’s decision?

To the ring, Ron Garvin vs. Art Pritts. Garvin wears down Pritts with open-hand chops and ties the man up. He stomps on Pritts and kicks him in the face, followed by headbutts. Garvin uses his entire body as a weapon, and finds ways to punish numerous aspects of his opponent’s body. Tony says the new NWA belt is made of gold, silver, diamonds, & rubies and keeps mentioning Garvin is a top contender. Garvin wins with the knockout punch. *

Afterwards, Ronnie Garvin says he and Flair are on a collision course. Garvin says he respects Flair as a wrestler, but not a human being, adding that Flair is the toughest man he’s ever faced.

After a break, Jim Cornette returns. He says it’s his constitutional right to carry the tennis racket. I don’t think our Founding Fathers had tennis rackets in mind when they wrote about the right to bear arms. Cornette says his mom gave him the racket as a security blanket and the NWA is not going to take it from him. A sign in the crowd says “Cornette for President”. Certainly better than our current choices.

To the ring, the Midnight Express vs. Ron Bass & Don Kernodle for the NWA World Tag Team Titles. Kernodle has held the belts in the past with both Sgt. Slaughter and Ivan Koloff. Loverboy Dennis and Ron Bass start with the collar-and-elbow tie up. Dennis gets hiptossed and Bass immediately tries for the claw, but Condrey blocks and ducks outside. Beautiful Bobby tags in and gets overpowered by Bass with shoulderblocks and a slam. Kernodle tags in and delivers an atomic drop. He forearms Condrey on the apron, but Eaton grabs the leg and they doubleteam Kernodle. Dennis takes control. A rollup by Kernodle gets two. Bobby tags in and gets clotheslined. Kernodle tags Bass and we cut to commercial…

After the break, the Midnights doubleteam Bass. They try for a double-pin, but he powers both of them off, which elicits a pop from the fans. A test of strength, and Bass controls but Condrey cheapshots. Bobby tags in and delivers the Alabama Jam, but Bass kicks out. He hits a vertical suplex and reaches Kernodle for the hot tag. Kernodle takes control of Condrey and locks in the abdominal stretch. He tags Bass and slams Dennis on Bass’ knee. Condrey rakes the eyes and tags Eaton who chokes Bass on the ropes and allows Cornette to talk trash in Bass’ face. Eaton misses an elbow off the top rope, Bass tags Kernodle, but he does very little. Kernodle tags Bass back in quickly and all four are in. Bass locks Dennis in the claw and Cornette whacks him in the back with the tennis racket. The MX hold Kernodle and Cornette drills him in the gut with the racket. The Rock & Roll Express come in for the save. Bass & Kernodle win by DQ. **3/4

Ricky Morton tells Tony he doesn’t care about the $5,000 fine, they want to handle the Midnights & Cornette themselves. Dusty Rhodes comes out and showcases “Betty Lou”, a small cage. He suggests putting Cornette in the cage and hang it from the rafters so he can’t interfere in their matches.

After a break, Dusty Rhodes is back out with Baby Doll. Dusty says Tully’s prediction about taking the National Title won’t come true like a lot of what he says, and brags about taking Baby Doll from Blanchard.

To the ring, it’s the Rock & Roll Express vs. Larry Clarke and Bob Owens. The R&R do some mat grappling and doubleteaming. They do the wishbone on Larry Clarke’s legs. Owens, who rivals Ray Traylor & Dusty for chubbiest guy on the far, gets double-dropkicked for the R&R win.*

After a break, the Koloffs are out with the World Six-Man Title trophy. Ivan says Magnum T.A. is a liar and a cheat and claims Nikita is the uncrowned U.S. champion, as Magnum looks on from the ring. Ivan says the Kremlin has orderd Nikita not to wrestle anymore on TV after today until “this coward” Magnum T.A. signs a contract to wrestle him on TV.

To the ring, it’s Magnum T.A. vs. Lee Peek. Magnum hits a dropkick & belly-to-belly for the usual quick squash. *

Magnum joins Tony and says maybe he’d be doing everyone a favor if he never wrestles Nikita Koloff. Magnum says you can tell by looking at him that his battles with Nikita have done a lot of damage to him. His forehead is scarred and there’s a a scar under his right eye as well, but that’s not going to stop him. “I’m not giving that title up and not you or any other commie is going to put me down and take that title back to Russia!” Emphatic.

After a break, it’s Arn Anderson vs. Sam Houston for the World TV Title. 10-minute time limit. Arn bounds off the ropes and sends Houston flying with a big shoulderblock. Arn gets the better of a tie-up and levels Houston with a left hand. Houston tries to get the dozens in attendance fired up. Houston tries a hiptoss, Arn blocks, Houston flips over and gets enough momentum to take Anderson over. Arn takes a powder outside. Houston asks him to share. Back in, Anderson tries a cheap shot in the corner, but Houston blocks and lands some punches of his own. Arn steps outside again. After another feeling out process, Arn goes for a backdrop, but Houston cartwheels past and delivers two dropkicks…

Houston locks in the headlock as the crowd chants “Bulldog”. Thankfully Bob Brown doesn’t hear the chants from Kansas City and he fails to appear. Arn has a hard time escaping the headlock. He finally catches Houston in the mid-section. Arn drops Houston’s arm across the ropes and the youngster cries out in pain. Arn and Tully Blanchard broke that arm not too long ago. Arn continues to work the arm as we go to commercial…

Back live, Arn still has the armbar locks in, but Houston fires back with punches. He puts his head down for the backdrop, but gets elbowed in the back of the head. Anderson goes back to work on the arm. Sunset flip doesn’t work for Houston. He puts Houston in the hammerlock and drops his knee on the arm. Houston keeps trying to escape, and does so momentarily, but Anderson maintains the upper hand. Tony plays up the fact that Houston is a protege of Dusty Rhodes and Arn would love to injure him just to hurt Dusty. Houston is able to get the monkeyflip out of the corner. He goes for it again, but this time Anderson blocks it and lands the reverse atomic drop. Arn gets a two count. Houston leap frogs Anderson, tries to bound off the ropes with the bulldog, but Anderson ducks and Houston flies hard into the ropes. Arn puts him away. ***

Afterwards, Arn tells Tony that Houston was a very formidable opponent, with a lot of guts, and a lot of heart, but a little short on talent. Arn says the TV title is his, and whether Dusty Rhodes, Manny Fernandez, the Rock & Roll Express or anyone else wants it, they have to beat him for it.

After a break, Jim Cornette returns and he is highly upset about “Betty Lou”, the cage that he’s going to be locked in above the ring. Cornette says he’s scared of heights. “I am not an animal! I’m not somebody that oughta be locked in a cage Tony Schiavone!” Cornette calls Dusty Rhodes a big goofy idiot who is nothing but trash. He says the Rock & Roll Express is trying to get him killed and he’ll get his mama’s lawyers working on this. Cornette storms off. Great promo. He put over the cage aspect and his fear of heights extremely well.

To the ring, it’s Nikita Koloff w/ Ivan Koloff vs. Josh Stroud. This will be Nikita’s last TV match until Magnum accepts his challenge, we’re told. Stroud has a good muscular build, but he’s no match for Nikita. Tony mentions Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin & Precious will debut next week. Koloff overpowers Stroud with bodyslams and forearm smashes. He wins with the standing Russian Sickle. The Koloffs doubleteam Stroud afterwards. 1/2*

Magnum T.A. comes in for the save! He takes down Ivan, but Nikita nails him from behind. The Russians doubleteam Magnum. Nikita hits the Russian Sickle from the second rope. Finally, Dusty Rhodes and Ron Garvin come in to rescue Magnum. And that’s a wrap.

Good show this week. Two entertaining title matches and the continued build of the Midnight Express w/ Jim Cornette vs. Rock & Roll Express feud, as well as Nikita vs. Magnum and we hear about the Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament for the first time. Next week, Jimmy Garvin debuts and we get our first look at the Big Gold Belt. Thanks for reading.