NWA World Championship Wrestling, May 31, 1986

The James Boys are unmasked, the contract signing for the U.S. Title results in mayhem, the Four Horsemen break more bones, Tully Blanchard plays mind games with Ronnie Garvin, and a “big” debut! That and much more on an eventful program…

The opening clip shows the Midnight Express attacks the James Boys and trying to take the mask off Frank James. Just as the mask is about to come off, we go to the video montage show open. That’s what is known in the TV biz as a good teaser…

Tony Schiavone & David Crockett are our hosts this week. They bring out Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll. Dusty hypes the Great American Bash and his matchup with Ric Flair for the World Title in Washington, D.C.’s RFK Stadium. Baby Doll promises they will get revenge on Jim Cornette by the end of the Bash shows.

To the ring, it’s Hector Guerrero & Manny Fernandez vs. Thunderfoot & Bob Owens. Hector & Manny come out to mariachi music, with Guerrero wearing a big sombrero, in case any fans were under of the heritage of guys named Guerrero and Fernandez. Manny and Hector work quick tags. Manny holds Thunderfoot’s arm while Guerrero splashes it. Hector does a front roll under Thunderfoot’s clothesline attempt and hits a cross body block for two. Hector hits the butt-butt, setting up Manny for the Flying Burrito and the three count. *1/2

Arn Anderson comes to the podium and challenges Fernandez to try that maneuver on him some time. Arn says he will continue to defend the World TV Title against the top contenders, and mentions Ole Anderson and the Four Horsemen, promising Ole Anderson will show up some time soon for the “rebuttal” on Dusty Rhodes.

We go to video of Ric Flair vs. Ricky Morton. Morton hits the dropkick off the top rope, but the ref gets knocked out in the process. Morton has NWA champ pinned. Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard and J.J. Dillon enter to stomp on Morton. They hold Morton down, with his head facing the mat as Flair climbs the ropes and comes off with a kneedrop right on the back of Morton’s head. Morton’s nose is broken! But that’s not enough. Flair drops another knee on Morton, shattering the nose. The Horsemen strike again! Dusty Rhodes comes in to save Morton’s life…

Back live in the studio, the Rock & Roll Express join Tony and Morton has a brace covering his entire face. Morton’s eyes are black. He says they didn’t just break his nose, they crushed it, but his nose is a long way from his heart.

To the ring, it’s Wahoo McDaniel vs. Vernon Deaton. Steve Regal (not the future William Regal) Jimmy Garvin’s tag team partner, comes out to badmouth Wahoo. McDaniel ends fairly quickly with the chops. 1/2*

We go to the contract signing and press conference for the U.S. Title match between Magnum T.A. vs. Nikita Koloff for June 7 live on WTBS. Magnum brought his mother along for the contract signing. Magnum signs quickly. Ivan Koloff takes his time looking over the contract and then finally tells Nikita it looks good. Nikita signs. Ivan promises Magnum that Nikita will defeat him for the U.S. Title. Nikita asks Magnum why he brought his mother and calls him a mama’s boy. He adds that in the Soviet Union, women know their place, and it’s not in front of TV cameras. So, Magnum proved to Nikita “that Russian woman got much more class than stinking American woman“. That’s enough for Magnum as his jumps over the table and pounds away on Nikita, but Ivan hits him from behind. Ivan then holds Magnum while Nikita stomps him in the midsection and levels Magnum with the Russian Sickle.

Back live in the studio, Jim Crockett says we will have the U.S. Title match next Saturday right here on the Superstation. I can’t wait…

To the ring, Shaska Whatley vs. Bill Mulkey. Surely Shaska is no match for Mulkey Mania. Mulkey tries to punch Shaska in the head, but instead of hurting Shaska, he hurts his hand. (Because all black wrestlers in the 1980s had hard heads.) Shaska levels Mulkey with a head butt. For some reason we have a split screen with Paul Jones & Baron von Raschke talking from the podium, and their window is so large it’s covering most of the action in the ring. Because WCW. Mulkey gets tossed outside for a patented big Mulkey bump to the floor. Back in, he gets suplerplexed by Shaska and pinned. 1/2*

NWA World Champion Ric Flair joins Tony. Flair says “he’s custom made, looking as only the world champion should look” and obviously looking a whole lot better than Ricky Morton. Flair says Morton is half the man Ric Flair is and that this is a man’s sport. “Morton, learn to live with it, punk. You dared to cross the line into no man’s land and that made you fair game for the Four Horsemen.” Flair, like Arn did earlier, promises Ole Anderson will be back real soon. Flair shows off a bikini for a little girl and says that’s for girls that follow Ricky Morton around.

After a break, Tully Blanchard & J.J. Dillon join Tony. We get video of what is supposed taped-fist match from May 23 in Norfolk of Blanchard vs. Ronnie Garvin, but Blanchard’s arm is in a sling, so Leo Burke will fill-in. Tully & J.J. narrate and say this was all part of their master plan. They claim Burke is a former Canadian Golden Gloves champion. The video jumps to Garvin pounding away on a bloody Burke in the corner, when referee Tommy Young goes down from an accidental hit from Garvin. Burke pokes Garvin the eye and holds him for J.J., who enters the ring. Dillon tries to hit Garvin with his shoe, but Garvin ducks and Dillon hits Burke accidentally. Garvin hits the KO punch on Dillon, who bumps in Tully, who was on the apron. The referee counts out Burke, then Tully attacks. The injured arm was obviously a ruse. Blanchard has his fist taped up and he pounds away on Garvin. Garvin is busted open. Then they deliver a piledriver on a steel chair. Tully claims Garvin was saying, “I quit. I quit.”

After a break, Jim Cornette comes out, with a large man in a suit, hat and sunglasses behind him. Cornette introduces his Midnight Express.

Midnight Express vs. Art Pritts & Brodie Chase. David Crockett says, “Who’s Bubba?” I don’t know, moron, because no one mentioned “Bubba”, but you just revealed you already knew who he was. Cornette acknowledges that his new man is named Bubba. In the ring, Beautiful Bobby delivers a beautiful top rope flying leg drop (later known as the Alabama Jam). Later, it’s Bobby with the top rope flying dropkick. Loverboy Dennis attempts a full nelson facebuster, but it’s botched a bit as Chase slips out but still takes the bump. Bobby finishes with his third top rope maneuver, the elbow drop. **

Afterwards, Jim Cornette introduces Bubba Rogers, an old friend of the family from Louisville who does jobs for Mama Cornette from time to time. Funny, he looks just like this guy who was doing a job for the Road Warriors two weeks ago, and who Cornette mocked as a fat slob while jobbing to the Midnight Express about two months ago. Must just be a coincidence. After all, all big fat slobs look alike. Cornette says Bubba is his bodyguard and was sent down by Mama Cornette to protect him from people like the James Boys who keep trying to jump him from behind.

We go to video of the James Boys winning a match, and then getting jumped by the Midnight Express. They double-team Frank James and pull the mask off, and it’s….Tony Zane! Then Dusty Rhodes, Magnum T.A. and Baby Doll come in to scare the Midnight Express off. (Zane was the perfect person to impersonate Dusty/Frank James. Similar body size and he was throwing elbows like Dusty does. Sam Houston played Magnum/Jesse).

Back in the studio, Cornette is having a conniption about the James Boys when Baby Doll comes out and challenges him to matches during the Great American Bash. She says Dusty and Magnum have been teaching her something she’s going to shock the whole world with. “I know exactly what Dusty Rhodes and Magnum T.A. have been teaching her. Baby, there ain’t no woman in the world that can beat a man in a wrestling match. You want me in the ring, you fat hog, you got it!

After a break, Jimmy Garvin & Precious come out. Garvin calls Baby Doll a “loose, loose Jezebel, looking like a cumulonimbus cloud, floating around with every man in the NWA.” Garvin says Wahoo McDaniel has been cruising around his neighborhood and he caught him peaking in his windows the other night. He says if Wahoo doesn’t leave him and his neighbors alone, he’s going to have to answer to the greatest wrestler in the world.

To the ring, the Rock & Roll Express vs. David Dellinger & Paul Garner. Very quick double-dropkick and the win for the soon-to-be WWE  Hall of Famers.*

Ivan & Nikita Koloff tell Tony that Magnum T.A. got what he deserved in the press conference for bringing a woman where she didn’t belong. Ivan rips David Crockett for his remarks about Nikita last week. The Koloffs tell Magnum to enjoy his final seven days with the U.S. Title.

The Barbarian & Baron Von Raschke w/ Paul Jones & Shaska Whatley & the Italian Stallion & Rocky King. King tries to bodyslam the Barbarian, but gets press slammed instead. Later, Barbarian hot shots Italian Stallion. Looks like they botched the first try, which Barbarian turned into a bodyslam. The Baron hits Rocky King with the loaded black glove and the Barbarian wins it with the top-rope flying headbutt. 1/2*

Great American Bash update with NWA President Bob Geigel. He announces Ric Flair will defend the World Title at all 14 Bash shows, over a 30-day span. They hype is as if that’s unprecedented, which it isn’t, but still seems daunting. The first challenger will be Road Warrior Hawk in Philly on July 1.

Ron Garvin vs. Kent Glover. Lasts less than a minute. Garvin wins with the KO punch. *

Jim Cornette comes back out and says the slo-mo replay of the KO punch is exactly what’s going to happen to Baby Doll at the Bash. Cornette says she’s jealous because she’s not a man and not as good looking as he is. Cornette says he’ll send Baby Doll back where and all women belong: the kitchen, like all women. Cornette says the Bob Geigel, the NWA, JCP and everyone is involved in a conspiracy against him.

That ends a very good, eventful show. Thanks for reading.