NWA World Championship Wrestling, April 12, 1986

Big developments in the feud between Ric Flair and Ricky Morton, Arn Anderson vs. Sam Houston for the TV Title, Nikita Koloff wrestles on TV for the first time in months, Mulkey Mania runs wild, and the Crockett Cup draws nigh. Exciting stuff this week…

The opening clip is Tully Blanchard attacking Ron Garvin during last week’s matchup with Arn Anderson… Tony Schiavone is our host this week. No David Crockett? Yes! Tony tells us the NWA has ordered the Koloffs to defend their World Six-Man Tag Titles, with Baron von Raschke subbing for Khrusher Khrushchev . So they’ll do so today, which means Nikita Koloff will wrestle on TV for the first time in months.

Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll join Tony. Dusty talks about how beautiful Baby Doll looks and hypes the Crockett Cup and again mentions he’s the top revenue producer in sports today.

To the ring, it’s Manny Fernandez & Hector Guerrero vs. Tony Zane & George South. The Ragin’ Bull opens with a pair of leap frogs, into a dropkick. He and Guerrero work South’s arm. Tony Zane gets much of the same treatment. Guerrero hits a nice display of suplexes, including a vertical suplex on the chunky Zane. He finishes it with a crossbody block off Fernandez’ shoulders onto South for the pin. *1/2

Afterwards, Fernandez & Guerrero speak a bunch of Spanish, which is all gobbledygook to me.

After a break, it’s Black Bart vs. Gene Ligon. Bart is the Mid-Atlantic champ. That used to be the #2 title in the Jim Crockett Promotions territory, after the U.S. Title. It’s basically meaningless at this point. Ligon is a solid veteran and makes it a fairly competitive match. Bart wins with the Texas Trash Compactor. *1/2

National Champ Tully Blanchard joins Tony. Tully talks about injuring Ron Garvin’s hand and tells Garvin to quit whining about it and brags about the “Three Horsemen” holding three singles titles.

To the ring, Ivan Koloff, Nikita Koloff & Baron von Raschke vs. Italian Stallion, Nelson Royal & Denny Brown for the NWA World Six Man Tag Team Titles. Royal looks like he’s 60 years old at this point. (Close. He was 50.) The Baron is 45 and Uncle Ivan is 43. With this many old timers, this match could main event any AWA card in the country. Stallion, Royal (despite his age) and Brown are good face jobbers and they make it competitive for quite a while, especially again Ivan and the Baron. However, Nikita ends that quickly with the Russian Sickle on the Stallion. *3/4

Ron Garvin, with a stupid looking Eastern Airlines hat and his right hand taped up, joins Tony. He claims the Horsemen “committed an act of terror” when they tried to injure him and take away his top weapon. Garvin warns Blanchard that he needs to watch his back everywhere, not just in the ring…

We see video of the end of last week’s TV Title match between Arn Anderson vs. Ron Garvin when Tully Blanchard attacks. The Horsemen deliver a double gourdbuster, wrap Garvin’s hand around the ring post and Blanchard beats on it repeatedly with his cowboy boot…

Back live, Garvin says he’ll show Blanchard how to use a boot.

After a break, the Road Warriors and Paul Ellering join Tony. They’re pissed about something that happened with the Russians in Baltimore. Hawk was injured the night before and he wasn’t able to compete. We go to the video…

It’s Animal & Paul Ellering vs. the Koloffs. Ellering, who is still pretty jacked, is filling in for Hawk. Nikita nails Ellering from behind with the chain and Uncle Ivan makes the pin. After the match, Nikita comes off the second rope with the chain onto Ellering’s back twice. They had to stretcher Ellering out. He says he wasn’t able to feel his legs, but is at least able to stand now. It was a scary moment…

Animal guarantees they’ll “kick those Russians’ tails all over the stinkin’ ring” the next time in Baltimore.

To the ring, it’s Wahoo McDaniel vs. Ron Rossi. Wahoo lights up Rossi’s chest, dumps him outside and finishes him quickly with the tomahawk chops. *

Magnum T.A. joins Tony. He hypes the Russian Chain Matches upcoming with Nikita Koloff. Magnum talks about the freedom of this great country and he’s tired of hearing Koloff put it down. Magnum mentions the legendary I Quit match vs. Tully Blanchard and how Nikita has never experienced anything like that, having someone permanently try to maim his body. Magnum says he’s the man that can do that to Koloff. Magnum adds he’ll do whatever he has to do to defend the U.S. Title, even if that means getting carried out on a stretcher, but Nikita will be on another stretcher going the same way. Once again, Magnum delivers the goods on the mic this week. The long slow build toward the Magnum vs. Nikita U.S. Title match on TV is being done masterfully.

To the ring, it’s Jimmy Garvin w/ Precious vs. Rocky Kernodle. Garvin talks trash on Wahoo McDaniel again. Kernodle gets in some offense on the cocky heel. Better Garvin match than usual, thanks to Kernodle making it competitive. *1/4

World Champ Ric Flair joins Tony. Flair invites the women in New Orleans to the Hyatt Regency after the Crockett Cup. He mocks “little, itty bitty Ricky Morton” and his teeny bopper fans in their training underwear. Flair says he likes his women with “a full sweater and an empty head. I like those double D’s brother, you know what I’m telling ya? I got no time for little girls yelling rock and roll, rock and roll“. Flair’s pissed that Morton ruined his sunglasses and custom made suit last week, and the next time he seems him, he’s got a surprise for him.

After a break, it’s Arn Anderson vs. Sam Houston for the NWA World TV Title. Ric Flair sticks around to offer commentary. Arn dumps Houston outside but the youngster fires back and sends Arn reeling with some right fists. Flair predicts Sam Houston is “going to be a big man in this sport someday“. Nostradamus he’s not. Arn sends Houston for a flip with a shoulder block, but Houston answers with a hip toss and dropkick, despite almost botching a leap frog. Houston goes for the bulldog but Arn shoves him off. Houston tries a crossbody block off the second rope, but only gets a one count. Arn catches Houston with a very nice hotshot. Arn begins the Anderson-style punishment and hits a big spinebuster (his future finisher). Arn hesitates to cover and Houston barely kicks out. Arn calls out to Flair and Houston surprises him with a rollup for a two count, but Arn finishes with the gourdbuster. **1/2

Arn Anderson joins Tony at the podium. He says he’s earned the TV Title and puts it on the line against the best competition every week. Arn vows that he and Tully Blanchard will bring home the Crockett Cup. He also mentions the Four Horsemen (not “Three Horsemen” as Tully said earlier), and vows “Ole Anderson will be back“.

After a break the Rock & Roll Express emerge. Ricky Morton challenges Ric Flair to come out and prove he can beat either one of them.

To the ring, Shaska Whatley & the Barbarian w/ Paul Jones vs. Vernon Deaton & Randy Mulkey. The Barbarian easily press slams Mulkey and levels him with the big boot. Shaska dumps Mulkey outside for an enormous bump to the floor. OUCH! That one had to hurt. But he gets up and back in the ring! Mulkey Mania running wild. Will he Mulk up? No. He’ll get destroyed some more. Vernon Deaton finally tags in and gets put away with the flying headbutt from Whatley. Mulkey’s great bumping pushes the score up one star. *3/4

The Koloffs join Tony. Uncle Ivan says the Road Warriors are going to get hurt. Nephew Nikita says he wrestled on TV because he wanted to. Nobody tells him what to do. They say Magnum T.A. has fallen into their trap with the Russian Chain Match and once they wear him down, they’ll face him on TV and take the U.S. Title.

After a break, the Rock & Roll Express vs. Carl Styles & Ray Traylor. Wait, here comes Ric Flair! The R&R dropkick Styles & Traylor out, Flair says he wants Ricky Morton right now. The fans are going nuts. We’ve got a singles match between Morton & Flair…

NWA World Champion Ric Flair vs. Ricky Morton. Morton drives Flair into the corner and slaps him. He takes down the champ with a single leg and goes for the figure four. Flair kicks him out of the ring. Morton tries the sunset flip. Flair kicks out. Backslide, another count of two. Morton misses the dropkick. Flair misses an elbow. Morton takes him over with a side headlock takedown. Furious pace early on. Arn Anderson comes to ringside. Robert Gibson is in Morton’s corner. Morton blocks the hip toss, into an abdominal stretch. Flair escapes and begs off. Morton answers Flair’s chops with punches, a hiptoss, headscissors, dropkick and victory roll. Morton gets a two count and and Flair takes a powder. Arn has a chat with his cousin on the floor. Back in, Flair takes Morton down, but he sits out and captures a front facelock. Morton blocks Flair’s punch and knocks him down again. Flair uses the tights to try to pin Morton out of the side headlock, but only gets two. Morton dives at Flair on a crossbody block, but Flair ducks and Morton flies into the ropes as we go to break…

Back live, Flair whips Morton into the corner, but the teeny bopper-lover turns it into a crossbody block for a two count. Flair executes a beautiful vertical suplex and gets a two count. Flair and Morton trade chops and punches in the corner. Morton back drops the champ and goes to the top. Flying dropkick sends Flair across the ring. Morton goes for a neckbreaker, but Flair reverses and tries another suplex. Morton blocks and delivers a vertical suplex of his own. Morton crawls over and covers for a two count. Off the ropes, Morton tries a mix of a crossbody/Thesz Press for a two count. Morton tries a backslide, but Flair blocks. Morton flips over and nails Flair with a right hand. Morton rolls up Flair from behind and knocks referee Pee Wee Anderson out of the ring in the process…

Flair throws Morton over the top rope. It should be a DQ, but the ref is down. Flair tries to ram Morton into the ring post, but Morton reverses and sends Flair into the post. Back in, Morton scales to the second rope to pound away on Flair. He rolls Flair into a small package for what would be close to a three count, but there’s still no ref. Flair is bleeding. He does the Flair Flip, runs down the apron and comes off with the crossbody block, but Morton uses the momentum to reverse it into a pin. Arn Anderson tries to interfere but Robert Gibson runs in and dropkicks Arn away and counts the pin! The crowd goes nuts and the R&R walk off as if they’re the victors. Screwy finish, but it was all action. And it was Ric Flair. ****

Afterwards, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll join the Rock & Roll Express at the podium to celebrate. Dusty is pumped. “Ric Flair comes out here week in and week out, talking about what he’s gonna do. Jumping in everybody’s face. This right here is an example, Ric Flair, of what goes down. every time you challenge Dusty Rhodes, the American Dream, Ronnie Garvin, Magnum T.A., Ricky Morton, Robert Gibson, you wind up in the middle of the ring, flat on your ASS!” Morton says he told Flair he’d beat him and he’ll do it again and be the new world’s champion.

After a break, Jim Cornette, in sunglasses, joins Tony. He talks trash on the Road Warriors and introduces his team…

The Midnight Express vs. Bob Owens & Paul Garner. Bobby delivers a beautiful top rope flying kneedrop. The Midnight Express execute the Double Goozle (a clothesline/School Boy combo) which Tony eloquently calls “a double move”.  Quick squash. *

The Paul Jones Army runs down Jimmy Valiant (just verbally, not literally) to end the show.

Great show this week. Thanks for reading.