NWA World Championship Wrestling, May 24, 1986

A title change, a legendary first encounter between future WWE Hall of Famers and the greatest jobbers ever, and Flair & Arn team up. Plus, why is Baby Doll kissing the Road Warriors, what did the Horsemen do to the Rock & Roll Express, and what is the gestation period for a bull moose? Answers to these questions and more on this week’s show…

We open with footage of a cage match in Baltimore between the Road Warriors & Dusty Rhodes vs. The Koloffs & Baron von Raschke. Dusty ducks a Russian Sickle from Nikita Koloff, and it hits the Baron, who Dusty then pins. The crowd goes banana and we have new NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Champions! Cue the opening montage…

To the TBS Studio. Tony Schiavone and David Crockett are our hosts. David is dressed like he just won the Masters, and it’s brutal. Especially next to Ric Flair, who comes out in a $1,500 custom-made suit from Michaels in Kansas City. Flair congratulates the LOD & Dusty on their six-man title win, but:

“I happen to be, to the dismay of a lot of you out there, the world’s single heavyweight wrestling champion, making $1 million a year, passing through life in jet airplanes, limousines, fine clothes, and any woman in the world I want, just like that. You know why? WHOO! Because I’m the world champion.”

Flair runs down Ricky Morton, Dusty, Magnum T.A. and Road Warrior Hawk, and says none of them can beat him. He says Hawk has the body of a Greek god and the body of Jethro Bodine. Another classic promo from The Man.

To the ring, Steve Regal vs. George South. This is our first look at “Mr. Electricity” Steve Regal, who was an AWA tag champ with Jimmy Garvin. J.J. Dillon comes out and praises Regal, and to scout him. Regal lands a suplex. South misses a charge in the corner. Regal delivers a nice dropkick. Regal applies a chinlock for about a minute, which David Crockett calls “a headlock”. South keeps it competitive, firing back with firsts. Regal lands a flying elbowsmash for the pin. *

Magnum T.A. joins Tony at the podium. Magnum says he’s tired of talking about the big showdown with Nikita Koloff, and it’s time for some action. Press conference next week for the official contract signing…

After a break, Ivan & Nikita Koloff come out. Ivan demands a return match for the Six-Man Titles and it was all a conspiracy to force them into a cage match without their comrade Khrusher Khrushchev. David Crockett interrupts Ivan’s rant about Magnum T.A. and even claims that maybe “Nikita can’t cut it anymore”. He calls Nikita “overweight”. I really wish Nikita would sickle him again, like he did in 1985. Ivan says before the Great American Bash, Nikita will be U.S. champ.

To the ring, it’s Jimmy Garvin w/ Precious vs. Lee Peek. Garvin wins quickly with the brainbuster. 1/2*

Garvin & Precious join Tony at the podium. Garvin says he followed through with everything he said he would do, like dropping Wahoo McDaniel on his head. Garvin promises he will whip Wahoo with a strap like his daddy used to whip him.

To the ring, Nikita Koloff w/ Uncle Ivan vs. Bob Owens. Tony needles David about calling Nikita overweight. Over-jacked would be a better description. Owens attacks Nikita immediately and pounds away in the corner. The crowd goes nuts. Owens whips him across, but Nikita reverses and hits a back elbow. Nikita hits him with the Russian Sickle, picks him up and nails him again, and wins. 1/2*

After hyping the Bash card in Philly, it’s Wahoo McDaniel vs. Maurice Cooper.  Wahoo lights up his opponent with a chops to the chest and puts him away with a double underhook suplex. 1/2*

After a break, Tully Blanchard and J.J. Dillon join Tony. Dillon talks about Ronnie Garvin and the ongoing fight over taping the fists. Garvin wants taped-fist matches for the National Title. Dillon says Blanchard is a wrestler, and shouldn’t be subjected to such a thing.

To the ring, the Rock & Roll Express vs. Randy & Bill Mulkey. MULKEY MANIA!! Morton takes down Bill and starts jawing at Randy, who’s on the apron. Randy grabs and holds Morton, Bill does a big charge and hits his partner when Morton moves. Randy Mulkey takes a big bump to the concrete floor. Randy is hurt, but Bill still tags him in after a suplex. The R&R double-team Randy. Morton hits a big kneelift. Then he makes him do a 360 from a flying dropkick. Mulkey is a bumping machine. Gibson lands a punch to the gut, allowing Morton to execute a backslide for the win. Odd that they didn’t use the double dropkick. **

After a break, it’s Shaska Whatley w/ Paul Jones vs. David Dillinger. Shaska does a lot of strutting, smack talking and referring to Dillinger as a hillbilly. The action is all punching and kicking. Shaska throws Dillinger outside so Jones can land some blows. Shaska wins with the superplex.*

The Road Warriors and Paul Ellering are out with the Six-Man Tag Team Title Trophy they just took from the Russians & the Baron. Baby Doll comes out and interrupts Ellering. She apologizes, then talks about how great the after-party was in Baltimore. She thanks the Warriors and kisses both on the cheek, which they seem to enjoy. She tells Cornette that the three of them represent his doomsday. Hawk says he’s going to end Ric Flair in Philadelphia.

After a break, a very angry Jim Cornette comes out. He mocks Baby Doll wanting to get in the ring with him and says no woman in the world can beat a man in a wrestling match. Cornette has put a $50,000 bounty on the James Boys masks, courtesy of Mama Cornette. Cornette introduces his team…

The Midnight Express vs. Tony Zane & Mike Simani. Zane bodyslams Beautiful Bobby, drops an elbow and locks him in a bearhug. But he misses the blind tag and Loverboy Dennis enters and knees Zane in the back. Cornette mentions Baby Doll having kids and wonders what the gestation period is for the bull moose (243 days) . Simani gets dumped outside, then Bobby drags him over to the podium and slugs him in the face. Cornette keeps ragging on David Crockett and it’s awesome. Bobby suplexes Simani then comes off the top with a knee to the back of the neck while Simani lays prone. Dennis lands the full nelson facebuster for the pin. **

After a break, it’s the Road Warriors vs. Paul Garner & Larry Clarke. Hawk hits a huge diving shoulderblock, followed by a press slam on Clarke. Animal bulldozes Clarke with a shoulderblock. Garner tags in and gets powerslammed. Clarke foolishly tags back in and Hawk puts him into an inverted backbreaker. That finishes it. Usual LOD squash. *1/2

Dusty Rhodes, Magnum T.A. & Baby Doll join Tony. Dusty claims there’s 29-hundred-million people watching the show. Rhodes says Ric Flair has to deal with him, and he can talk all he wants about limousines, but until he deals with Dusty, it’s all talk. “It’s like a woman. When you stand ’em on their head, they all look the same, jack,” Dusty says. Baby Doll blushes, Magnum chuckles and the studio audience pops big. Dusty talks about his “brothers” Animal and Hawk and how they all came from the street. Dusty proclaims himself “the littlest Warrior”. Except he weighs more than both of them. Dusty ends with a mocking “whooo” for Ric Flair.

To the ring for Ron Garvin vs. Thunderfoot. Garvin uses a single-leg takedown and ties up Thunderfoot for almost a standing figure-four leglock. J.J. Dillon comes out. He actually used to manage Thunderfoot not too long ago, but found greener pastures, obviously. Garvin continues to control Thunderfoot. J.J. hypes the feud between Garvin and National Champion Tully Blanchard. Thunderfoot gains a brief advantage, but Garvin fires back. J.J. offers some advice to Thunderfoot. Tony mentions Dillon’s past with the jobber heel. Garvin rolls up Thunderfoot for the win. But Thunderfoot attacks afterwards and exchanges fisticuffs with Garvin. Mistake. Garvin gets the better of him. **

Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. Italian Stallion & Rocky Kernodle. Stallion gets the better of Arn early on. Flair tags in, but Kernodle reverses Flair’s hiptoss attempt, back drops the champ out of the corner and hits a dropkick. Kernodle gets a two count out of a backslide. Arn tags in. Rocky ducks a left hand and delivers an armdrag. He tags in Stallion as they continue to work Arn’s arm. Arn forces Stallion to the corner, tags in Flair and they double-team Stallion. He gets dumped outside and Arn puts the boots to him. Back in, Flair bodyslams the big man and delivers the knee drop. Stallion fires back, but Flair hooks the leg and tags in Arn. Anderson locks in a modified camel clutch. Flair talks about all the women loving the two world champions in the ring together. The Horsemen continue to work over the Stallion. Flair misses an elbowdrop. Stallion tags Kernodle. He changes blows with Flair and gets the better of it. Rocky tags the Italian Stallion back in, who delivers a back drop and hip toss. Stallion tries the monkey flip, but Flair pushes him off and delivers a vertical suplex. Flair locks in the figure-four and the Italian Stallion submits. The Horsemen made the JTTS look good. ***

Afterwards, Flair & Anderson call out the Rock & Roll Express. Ricky & Robert hit the ring and they’re getting the better of the Horsemen. But we have to go to a break! Dammit…

Back live, Ricky Morton is helped away from ringside and Robert Gibson is down in the ring, being tended to by several of the JCP faces. Apparently Flair had him in the figure-four while the Horsemen ganged up on him. They carry Gibson from the ring. Tony & David say we’re going to go to tape of it, but Paul Jones comes out and demands we start the next match. So we go to the ring. For Paul Jones Army instead of a Four Horsemen beat down. Lame.

The Barbarian w/ the Paul Jones Army vs. some jobber. I didn’t catch the opponent’s name and I don’t care enough to rewind. Shaska, Baron Von Raschke & Jones talk trash through the whole boring match, which the Barbarian finally wins with the top rope flying headbutt. DUD

After a break, “Mr. Electricity” Steve Regal joins Tony. Regal puts over the NWA as the best promotion in the world. He says the Rock & Roll Express make him want to throw up and the Road Warriors have to wear paint to hide their faces. He says he’s not afraid of the Warriors. (He shouldn’t be. He and Jimmy Garvin beat them for the AWA titles in September ’85, with help from the Freebirds.) Regal says something about the people up north not being able to talk or something. Thinly veiled shot at Verne and the AWA, methinks.

To the ring, it’s Baron Von Raschke w/ Paul Jones vs. Rocky King. Rocky puts up a, dare I say, valiant effort, but loses as usual. Paul Jones throws a black glove into the ring. Baron puts it on and locks King in the claw and pins him. Baron hides the glove afterwards. Because it’s loaded, apparently. How that helps with the claw, I have no idea. 1/3*

Arn Anderson & Ric Flair join Tony. The Horsemen brag about their world titles and what they’ve done do Dusty, Morton and Gibson. Flair delivers another classic promo:

“A lot of guys try, whoo, to walk the line, and you know what? They get their butt beat because when you go to bed with the big boys, you’re gonna feel some pain in the morning. You understand? Now, Road Warrior Hawk. Let me tell ya something buddy. I’ve walked over better men than you to sidestep a good looking gal on the way to the restroom. What you don’t like about me is that I’m rich. I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. You know where you were born? in the gutter. You’re trash. You grew up lifting weights while I was wining and dining, whoo, beautiful women. And let me tell ya something buddy. Listen real close. You are Chicago gutter trash. I am affluent society. We are the world champions and Hawk, when I see you in Philadelphia, at the 30-minute mark when you’re going (exaggerated gasps for breath), please, please Nature Boy finish me off, I can’t take it anymore. In the words of the Great One, what’s causing all this? WHOOO!”

After a break, Jim Cornette returns. He hypes upcoming bunkhouse matches between the Midnight Express and Dusty & Magnum. Cornette said they trained for the matches by taking on a brahma bull down in San Antonio. The bull was pleading with Cornette to not let them beat him up anymore. Who know they kicked Dwayne Johnson’s ass when he was 14?

Jimmy Valiant vs. Gene Ligon. At least they didn’t start the show with Valiant this week. Instead, they end it. That might be even worse. Quick squash. DUD

And Tony brings Valiant over for an interview. Joy. Valiant says he needs two big eyeballs in the back of his head, four or five arms and four or five legs to take on Jones’ Army. Valiant says there is going to be a haircut and shows off his clipper again.

And that ends the show. So we never get to see what the Horsemen did to Robert Gibson, which is just dumb. Otherwise, great show. My apologies for being slow doing these reviews the past couple weeks. Real world has been keeping me busy. Will try to grind them out more regularly moving forward.