NWA World Championship Wrestling, March 22, 1986

The legendary Wahoo McDaniel is back, a title changes hands, and Ray Traylor, the future Big Bubba Rogers/Big Bossman, is verbally brutalized by Jim Cornette while Traylor wrestles against Cornette’s Midnight Express in a hilarious squash. Plus the Horsemen and more…

Tony Schiavone and David Crockett are our hosts from the TBS studio. Coming up on the show is Ric Flair, we have a the new Mid-Atlantic champion, we’ll hear the rest of the seeds for the Crockett Cup, and Wahoo McDaniel is back in the territory.

The Rock & Roll Express come out. Robert Gibson mumbles something that we can’t hear over the cheers from the studio audience. Ricky Morton cracks a lame joke on Ric Flair that the fans eat up.

To the ring, Jimmy Valiant vs. Kent Glover. As usual, he high fives the fans then comes over to talk some nonsense to David & Tony. Valiant rams Glover hard into the post. He gets the crowd fired up with the “weasel” chant directed at Paul Jones. Valiant does the usual kick, punch, thumb to the throat, eye poke, nerve hold crap. “Where’s Baron von Raschko? How ’bout Killer Khan?” He means Teijho Khan, but is probably too high to know the difference. Valiant finally ends it with the elbowdrop. DUD

Ron Garvin joins Tony at the podium. Garvin still isn’t quitting on his pursuit of the NWA Title. He’s cut his ridiculous looking mullet, which is good. Garvin is hyping a cage match vs. Flair, but doesn’t say where. (Looks like Greensboro. Flair won.)

After a break, we see the video of Sam Houston vs. Black Bart for the Mid-Atlantic Title. JIP. Houston signals for the bulldog. Bart blocks it and tries a back suplex, but Houston flips over and dropkicks Bart, who bumps into the referee and knocks him out. Houston uses a flying headscissors to roll Bart into a pinning predicament, but there’s no one to count. Houston nails the bulldog and has Bart pinned again, but the ref is still down. Bart uses Houston’s tights to throw Houston out and the young Mid-Atlantic champ hits hard. Houston tries to crawl back in. Bart hits the Texas Trash Compactor on the back of Houston’s neck as he’s draped over the second rope. That’s enough to secure the pin and Black Bart is the new Mid-Atlantic champ. For what they showed: **

Back live, Jim Cornette comes out. He says it’s “the biggest miscarriage in the history of sports” that the NWA World Tag Team Champions, the Midnight Express, are not the #1 seeds in the Crockett Cup. Cornette said the top seeds, the Road Warriors, have million dollar bodies and 10-cent brains. Cornette says the “stinking, nappy-headed little punks”, the Rock & Roll Express, will never be NWA champs again.

To the ring, the Midnight Express vs. Phil Brown and Ray Traylor. Yep, that’s the soon-to-be Big Bubba Rogers, wearing a singlet instead of a suit, getting ready to job to the team he would soon join. “Look at this, he’s got more lard than the Crisco people. That’s the fattest goof I’ve ever seen in my life,” Cornette says about his future bodyguard. Both Midnight members control Traylor early on and toss him towards Brown for the tag. Bobby bodyslams brown and goes to the top for the flying elbowdrop. He helps Brown up to tag Traylor back in. Bobby nails a nice belly-to-back suplex on Traylor. Cornette says Traylor must weight 575 pounds and questions whether the Road Warriors weight as much as “that fat slob”…

Dennis holds Traylor on the ropes and Cornette comes over to get in his face and taunt the big man. Bobby lets Brown get some free shots in and they’re weak, so Bobby slaps the guy and knocks him down. Hilarious. Cornette taunts Brown now. Bobby drags Brown over to the podium and asks the cameraman to zoom in as he slugs him in the face. He throws Brown back in. Dennis throws him out as Bobby stands there to catch him, but moves at the last second. Bobby then holds his hands out to literally boost Brown back into the ring. Brown accepts Bobby’s help and I’m laughing my ass off. The way they toy with the jobbers is just hilarious. They finally end it with the Rocket Launcher. I loved it. ***

Time to announce the other 14 teams in the Crockett Cup tournament. They announced the top 10 last week. Here are the rest, representing various NWA territories:

  • Wahoo McDaniel & Mark Youngblood
  • Black Bart & Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin
  • Hector & Chavo Guerrero (representing Latin America)
  • The Barbarian & Baron von Raschke
  • “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer & Rick Steiner
  • Jimmy Valiant & Manny Fernandez
  • The Fabulous Ones (Steve Keirn & Stan Lane, representing the Florida)
  • The Fantastics (representing Texas)
  • Nelson Royal & Sam Houston
  • Bill Dundee & Buddy Landell
  • Bobby Jaggers & Mike Miller (from the Pacific Northwest)
  • The Batten Twins (from the Central States)
  • Koko B. Ware & the Italian Stallion
  • Brett Wayne Sawyer & David Peterson

To the ring, Leo Burke vs. Don Graves. Burke opens with punches and stomps. He delivers a Samoan Drop and has his man pinned, but pulls him up. Burke hits a belly-to-back suplex and does the same. Now a Russian Leg Sweep and he pulls him up once more. A piledriver, and he pulls Graves up once more. Bruke finally ends it with a flying knee. 1/2*

Jimmy Garvin & Precious join Tony, who mentions that Garvin has been calling for Wahoo McDaniel and he’s here today. Garvin said he just chased Wahoo down the hall and tried to get him to come to the ring with him, but the “sneaky Indian” ran away. Garvin says Wahoo is the biggest coward he’s seen in his life.

After a break, Tony mentions the piledriver executed by Leo Burke a little earlier. They received a note from the NWA Board of Directors and Burke has been disqualified for using the piledriver, which is banned. So Don Graves picks up the win by DQ.

To the ring, Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin w/ Precious vs. Bill Mulkey. Garvin continues to mock and taunt Wahoo. He applies a modified Camel Clutch. Finally, it’s Mulkey Mania time as Bill mulks up and lands three straight punches. The crowd goes nuts…but Garvin ends the comeback with a hip toss. Garvin lands some open-hand chops, similar to Ronnie Garvin…who just happens to have the same last name. Hmm… Garvin goes back to the Camel Clutch and gets a kiss from Precious while maintaining the hold. Finally, the brain buster ends it. *

After a break, it’s Dusty Rhodes with Tony. He mentions that out of all the ladies that Ric Flair surrounds himself with, the real lady in Ric Flair’s life is the World Heavyweight Title. One morning, Flair’s gonna wake up, feel around for his lady and it’s not there. Call him, because it’s going to be around his waist. He ends by saying Magnum T.A. is probably the most handsome man in the world, besides himself.

To the ring, it’s the return of Wahoo McDaniel vs. Bob Owens. Wahoo was a huge force in JCP throughout the 70s and into the 80s. He turned heel for the first time during his last run in JCP and was in cahoots with Tully Blanchard and had a big feud with Magnum T.A. McDaniel lost the U.S. Title to Magnum about a year ago and McDaniel spent most of the past year wrestling in Florida. They start with some amateur-style grappling for the first minute or two before Wahoo lights up Owens with a chop. A half-dozen more chops and that’s enough to end it with a chop drop for the pin. *

TBS sports analyst Craig Sager and legendary LSU basketball coach Dale Brown join Tony. Brown jokes that there’s a basketball ref he’d like to throw into the ring with Nikita Koloff. Brown mentioned he coached high school wrestling in North Dakota. He tries to tell a few jokes that fall flat, but it only takes a minute or so, so not unbearable.

Paul Jones brings out Baron von Raschke & Teijho Khan. Jones says the Army is still growing and 1986 is going to be the year Jimmy Valiant bites the dust. Jones says he’ll have a big surprise for Valiant next week.

To the ring, it’s the Baron & Khan vs. the Italian Stallion & Tony Zane. I was going to do a full review, but it’s not worth it because Teijho Khan is just awful. The Stallion & Zane put up a fight, but the Baron wins it the claw. Khan stunk it up. DUD

NWA World Champ Ric Flair joins Tony. Flair asks for a moment of silence for all the college coeds on spring break last week in Florida that happened to rendezvous with him, and now “wake up each morning wondering if there’s life after Ric Flair“. Flair says Rhodes gets his last shot at the title in New Orleans at the Crockett Cup. Flair warns Morton to never walk out here with all his teeny boppers cheering for him and dare insult the world champ again.

Tony gives a big introduction for Joe Nighthawk Coltrane. Nighthawk, dressed in a suit and displaying a gentlemanly demeanor, says he’s glad to be out here to represent his race and looks forward to the great competition. Jim Cornette interrupts. Cornette tells him nobody cares what he has to say and this is Cornette’s interview time. Nighthawk apologizes to Schiavone and walks off. That was…weird.

To the ring, the Rock & Roll Express vs. Larry Clarke & Paul Garner. Usual R&R stuff with the quick tags, ending with the double dropkick. *

After a break, Ric Flair is out again with the Big Gold Belt. He hypes up the team that will win the Crockett Cup…

To the ring, it’s Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson w/ J.J. Dillon vs. Mike Simani & Ron Rossi. Flair sticks around for commentary. This is a very early look at what would become one of the best tag teams ever, the Brainbusters. Arn & Tully would not team together regularly until mid-1987 or so. Of course, they’re both singles champions now, but look like a smooth, experienced team here. They tag in and out frequently and work Simani’s leg, in typical Anderson style. Arn hits an over-the-knee backbreaker and holds it while tagging Tully, who comes off the ropes with an elbow. This was very similar to what would become Demolition’s finishing move, the Decapitation, but that’s not the finisher here. Instead, Tully helps lift Simani into a gourdbuster off the second rope by Anderson for the win. *1/2

After a break, Wahoo McDaniel joins Tony. Wahoo says he’s not the biggest or the baddest, but he’s ended a few careers before they got started and if Jimmy Garvin wants him, all he has to do is sign on the dotted line anywhere, anytime.

To the ring, it’s U.S. Champ Magnum T.A. vs. Dave Dellinger. Unwisely, Dellinger gets in Magnum’s face. He gets shoved back, then runs into a big bodyslam, two arm drags, a right hand and the belly-to-belly suplex for the quick squash. *

Magnum joins Wahoo and Tony at the podium. This is interesting. Will their rivalry from a year ago be mentioned? Wahoo says the word is out that Dusty and Magnum needed someone on their side to help with facing the Horsemen, and he’s here if they need him. “I’ve had that belly-to-belly put on me one time and I don’t want it put on me anymore,” Wahoo says. He and Magnum shake hands. Magnum says he can personally attest to Wahoo’s strength and he’s felt the chops that can take anybody apart. Wow. Storyline continuity and recognizing history? What a novel approach.

After a break, Ivan & Nikita Koloff join Tony. They hype an upcoming Russian Chain Match between Nikita and Magnum. Ivan says if Magnum passes that test, he will then have the chance to face Nikita on TV, if he meets the Kremlin’s terms. Ivan says it’s destiny that Nikita will be U.S. champ. They plug upcoming cage matches vs. the Road Warriors as well.

To the ring, Ivan Koloff vs. Rocky Kernodle. Rocky flips over Ivan in a corner charge and rolls him up for a two count. Kernodle reverses an armbar and lands some elbows on Ivan. Koloff responds with boots to the midsection, but misses and elbowdrop. Koloff wins a test of strength and takes control with elbows, kicks and a hip toss. Koloff lands the Russian Hammer chokehold. He punishes Kernodle for a few more minutes, then tosses Kernodle out. Nikita hits the Russian Sickle on Kernodle outside. He tosses him back in and Uncle Ivan gets the pin. *

Jimmy Garvin & Precious rejoin Tony. They can’t believe Wahoo would badmouth them. “Obviously, he’s been eating the wrong kind of a food and a lot of it,” Garvin says. He says there’s nobody in the world that can defeat Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin and it’s not his fault.

After a break, Jim Cornette returns. He says there’s no team in wrestling that can defeat the Midnight Express. Nighthawk Coltrane returns and tells Cornette not to interrupt him again and people are tired of his mouth. The Midnight Express come out to back up their manager, but the Rock & Roll Express come out to chase of Cornette and his men.

To the ring, Ron Garvin vs. Brodie Chase. Garvin ties up Chase “like a pretzel”, slams him, does the double stomp and then a salto suplex. Garvin beats him up a little more and ends it with a knockout punch that Chase sells like he’s Curt Hennig. *

Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard & J.J. Dillon join Tony. They talk about how they should be the #1 seed in the Crockett Cup. Tully says Dusty is living in the past as a former champion, while Tully & Arn are current champions. Arn says Dusty is the #1 contender in the world for every major title, but he’s not a champion of anything. And that’s it for this week.

Not a great show this week, but they continue to build to the Crockett Cup and things do get hotter in the coming weeks. Thanks for reading.