Who is the new National Heavyweight champion? What does Mama Cornette think of Baby Doll now? Did Sam Houston really beat Jerry Lawler? What role did Killer Kowalski play in Hall of Famer Warren Spahn’s baseball career? Can Nikita Koloff withstand Ron Garvin’s knockout punch? Is Mulkey Mania dead? Answers to these questions, plus Ric Flair in a great match, and the Horsemen in a pier six brawl, on this week’s edition of the Saturday night staple…
We open with footage from last week of the Midnight Express & Big Bubba destroying the Mulkey Brothers, including the Bubba Slam and a top-rope splash…
To the TBS Studios we go, with Tony Schiavone, David Crockett & Jim Cornette, as our hosts. Big Bubba, as always, lurks in the background. Cornette asks Crockett, “Is that your head or did your neck throw up?”
To the ring, it’s “Captain Redneck Dick Murdoch vs. Mike Rose. Murdoch opens with mat grappling, while Cornette badmouths him. Murdoch yells that Cornette can take Rose’s place and get in there. Jim declines. They’re pushing Murdoch as a contender for Ric Flair’s NWA World Title. Ugh. Who thoughts that was a good idea? Murdoch wins with the brainbuster. *
New National Heavyweight Champion Wahoo McDaniel joins Tony for an interview. He beat Tully Blanchard for the belt at the L.A. Forum. Wahoo says there were 15,000 people there. TheHistoryofWWE.com says there were 10,000. It was the Jim Crockett Promotions debut at the Forum. And we get no video. Why? Because WCW. Wahoo vows to be a champion for the people. Sounds like gimmick infringement. (Brief tangent: This title change made no sense. Ronnie Garvin had chased Blanchard for the belt for months and never won it. Wahoo was tied up in a feud with Jimmy Garvin. Had Ronnie Garvin won the National Title here, him beating Flair for the NWA World Title a year later wouldn’t have seemed so far-fetched. Kinda like WWE putting the World Title on Jinder Mahal, but not quite as ridiculous…)
Jim Crockett comes out to congratulate Wahoo. Crockett announces there will be a tournament for the former National Tag Team Titles that the Andersons held but lost due to Ole’s injury some time back. They will be renamed the U.S. Tag Team Titles.
After a break, it’s the Kansas Jayhawks vs. Randy Barber & Alan Martin. Jaggers and Mantel utilize quick tags work over Martin with back elbows, body slams and brawling tactics. Jaggers delivers top-rope clothesline for the win. *
The Jayhawks approach Cornette at the podium. Mantel cracks his bull whip and Cornette backs up quickly. Jaggers asks where the Midnight Express are hiding. Cornette tells Jaggers to “shave the fur off this ape you’ve got over here” (Mantel is one hairy dude.) Mantel says they’re hot on the Midnight Express’ trail and they also want the U.S. Tag Titles. Cornette tells them to shut up and get lost as we go to break.
Dick Murdoch joins Tony at the podium to hype his upcoming matches with Ric Flair.
To the ring, new National Champ Wahoo McDaniel vs. Tony Zane. Wahoo lights up Zane’s chest with chops and takes him down. Zane keeps fighting back but that just means more chops and punishment. Wahoo wins with the big chop. *
The Midnight Express come to the podium. Cornette says he and his mama were at a social gathering that Ric Flair and Baby Doll were also attending, and Mama Cornette now loves Baby Doll. So the feud is over. Quite the reversal from just a few weeks ago. Cornette says they’re going to make Dusty Rhodes’ “hard times” seem like a Sunday picnic and vows to get the NWA Tag Titles back from the Rock & Roll Express.
To the ring, it’s Sam Houston vs. Jack Weathers. Tony & David mention Houston is one of the leading contenders for the Central States Title, as that ridiculous and ill-conceived territory takeover begins. Cornette says Houston is one of the fastest men he’s ever seen in the ring. Also one of the goofiest. Houston displays that speed with dropkicks and quick arm drags. Houston wins with the bulldog. *1/2
After a break, “Nature Boy” Buddy Landell & Bill Dundee join Cornette. Dundee claims Sam Houston beat Jerry “the King” Lawler in Kansas City just a few nights ago. (Total BS. Match never happened.) Dundee says they’re not Jerry Lawler, and Houston can’t handle them. Dundee begs for some competition and challenges Dick Murdoch to face the “real Nature Boy”. Landell says Space Mountain is closed down.
To the ring, the NWA World Tag Team Champions Rock & Roll Express vs. Lee Peek & Phil Brown. Cornette compares the R&R to fungus on a shower curtain that you can’t wash away. They work over Peek’s leg, tagging in and out. Brown tags in and gets double-dropkicked and pinned. *3/4
Ric Flair & Baby Doll join Tony. Flair says it’s the Blond Bomber & Blonde Bombshell side-by-side. Flair respond’s to Landell’s Space Mountain comments, talks about the origin of Space Mountain, and refers to Dundee as “that little Tinkerbell”. Flair taunts Dusty Rhodes, Murdoch, Landell, Wahoo, Garvin, etc., and says, “I’ve got the whole world, WHOO, in my arms.”
To the ring, it’s Buddy Landell & Bill Dundee vs. Rocky King & Vernon Deaton. Landell chops King, but Rocky responds with dropkicks and a side headlock. Dundee comes in to interfere, but King back drops him while maintaining the headlock. Cornette & Schiavone put King over on commentary. King fights his way out of the double-team in the corner. He leapfrogs & dropkicks Dundee. Deaton tags in and gets double-teamed immediately. They work over Deaton for awhile. Landell ends with with the corkscrew elbow, followed by Dundee’s weak-ass Bombs Away. *
CNN Sports Craig Sager & baseball Hall of Famer Warren Spahn join Tony. Here’s some trivia: Spahn was actually a high school teammate of Killer Kowalski, and actually moved from 1st baseman to pitcher because Kowalski was already slotted as the team’s first baseman. Fascinating.
After a break, the Russians join Cornette. They vow to enter the U.S. Tag Title Tournament and mention Ronnie Garvin, which segues into a video of Nikita Koloff vs. Sam Houston. Houston dropkicks Nikita into the corner. He tries a monkey flip, but Nikita is too strong and Houston sails across the ring for a big bump. Nikita puts him away with the Russian Sickle. Afterwards, Nikita sickles Houston again. That brings Ronnie Garvin to the ring, to a big pop. Garvin helps Houston out of the ring. Nikita wraps the chain around his arm and goes to sickle Garvin, but Garvin turns around and nails him with the knockout punch. Nikita is out cold…
Back to the studio, Ivan Koloff calls it a sucker punch and it’s not even allowed in professional wrestling. Nikita says Garvin will be good competition and hypes matchups with him over Nikita’s U.S. title. (Another tangent: OK. They just did a nice job setting up a Nikita vs. Ron Garvin feud. But instead of following through on it, very soon they will unify the U.S. & National Titles with Nikita vs. Wahoo. Again, they could’ve finally allowed Garvin to beat Blanchard for the National Title, then segue perfectly into Garvin vs. Nikita and made it a big unification match. But they didn’t. Never understood the rationale here.)
To the ring, it’s “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin w/ Precious vs. Rocky Kernodle. Cornette and David slobber over Precious. She does look good this week. After a takeover, Garvin steps out for a kiss. David claims there were several times Sam Houston had Nikita Koloff beat in the match we saw. Boy, they’re really laying on the Houston hype thick this week. Kernodle takes Garvin down with a wristlock, and hangs on repeatedly while Garvin tries to shake him off with arm drags. Garvin gains the advantage with headscissors. More mat grappling for several minutes. Finally Garvin hits a couple of big back drops and wins it with the brainbuster. *
Afterwards, Jimmy Garvin says he has his sights set on Magnum T.A. He says Magnum used to be a male dancer in San Francisco and he’s got everyone fooled into thinking he’s a real bad ass. Garvin says he doesn’t need $9,000 suits, a $40,000 belt and he’s the best wrestler in the world, and it’s not his fault. Good promo.
After a break, Dusty Rhodes & Magnum T.A. join Tony. Magnum says it’s a long way from being over between him & Nikita. Magnum says Jimmy Garvin should go talk to Tully Blanchard about how bad he can be, and he doesn’t need any excuse to beat people up. Dusty calls Precious a “very loose woman”. Wow. Dusty says Tully Blanchard still has to pay some heavy dues.
To the ring, Jimmy Valiant vs. Art Pritts. Ugh. Valiant high fives and hugs the kids in the crowd, scarring them for life. Cornette, hilariously, says Valiant “as usual, using a lot of expert technique & science”. Valiant wins with the elbowdrop. DUD
Tully Blanchard & J.J. Dillon join Cornette. J.J. says he feels great because Tully was the greatest National champ of all-time and he’s going to win it again. J.J. mocks Dusty Rhodes. Tully says his lifestyle won’t change despite the title loss costing him a little bit of money. Tully says he cost Dusty the NWA Title by beating him half to death with a chair.
After a break, Ole & Arn Anderson join Cornette. Ole says they want a shot at the NWA Tag Titles and tells the Rock & Roll Express to get ready. He also has a message for “Tulsa Tubby”: Look out, because I might be coming your way too. (I assume he’s referring to Bill Watts?) Arn says Tully’s minor setback is a wakeup call and challenges anyone to come try to take the TV Title from him. He ends with, “Let’s go and make an example out of a couple of punks“. Awesome.
Ole & Arn Anderson vs. Italian Stallion & Henry Rutley. Cornette says Rutley should sue his own body for non-support. Stallion gains the early advantage with a headlock, shoulderblock and drop kicks. Stallion slams both men and delivers a crossbody block on Arn. Ole breaks it up, but Stallion pounds away on him too. Meanwhile, Rutley gets dumped outside by Arn and the dissection begins. They work over Rutley in the corner, Minnesota Wrecking Crew-style, and finish him with Ole’s flying knee into the shoulder, followed by the armbar. **
The Road Warriors join Tony. Hawk says there’s been talk of them losing their taste of violence, but they never had hearts to begin with. Hawk says they’re having a hard time finding opponents. Animal hypes upcoming cards in the AWA’s former stronghold. Hawks ends it with saying they get bigger and better every stinking minute.
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair w/ Baby Doll vs. Mike Jackson. This should be excellent. Jackson takes Flair over with a hip toss and flying headscissors. Very quick pace as they run the ropes. Jackson gets a two count with a flying bodypress. Flair takes a powder. Back in, Flair takes Jackson down, but gets reversed into a hammerlock. Flair lifts Jackson into the turnbuckles and laces in a stiff chop. He slugs Jackson and dumps him hard outside the ring. Very loud landing. Jackson looks legit hurt. Flair drags him back in and chops him down. Jackson fires back in the corner with right hands, a backdrop and dropkick. Flair begs off, but Jackson refuses. Jackson uppercuts him and sends Flair backwards over the top rope to the floor. Flair comes off the top rope, but Jackson catches him in the midsection. He follows with a knee lift, snap mare and stomp to the head. Flair is pissed…
Finally, Flair gains the advantage and drapes Jackson across the second rope, allowing Baby Doll to land a slap on Jackson. Flair drops the knee. A back elbow by Flair and Jackson is dumped outside again. Flair locks in a front chancery. They go back to the corner for more chops and clubbing blows. Running the ropes, Jackson gets a drop toehold and locks in the figure-four! Flair’s in trouble. The fans are going nuts. Finally, Flair reaches the ropes to break the hold. Flair goes to the apron and Jackson suplexes him back in. Jackson pounds Flair’s forehead. Side headlock, and Flair catches Jackson off the ropes with an elbow. Jackson keeps firing back and hits a shoulderblock. He goes for a flying crossbody block, but Fair ducks and Jackson goes hard into the ropes. Flair drops the elbow, proclaims “Now, we go to school”, and locks in the figure-four. Jackson submits. That was great. **** Afterwards, Baby Doll comes in and slaps Jackson in the face.
After a break, Nikita Koloff vs. Dave Spencer. Koloff says Spencer should hire a lawyer to sue whoever gave him his haircut, and he’s right. Nikita ends it quickly with two standing Russian Sickles. DUD
Paul Jones’ Army joins Cornette. Jones says they’re going to tour the Central States and leave bald-headed geeks everywhere they go. That should put a lot of butts in seats. Shaska says they’re going to destroy Jimmy Valiant and put him out of wrestling.
Baron von Raschke, Shaska Whatley & Teijho Kahn vs. Johnnie Cook, Charles Freeman, & Mark Cooper. The Army attacks at the bell and manhandle their opponents throughout. Kahn wins with an ugly powerslam. DUD
Dick Murdoch comes back out. He badmouths Baby Doll, which prompts Ric Flair and the rest of the Four Horsemen to come out. Flair warns Murdoch about what happens to people who mess with the Horsemen. Murdoch says he’ll take on any of them one-on-one. They motion for Murdoch to come to the ring. The Horsemen turn around to see Dusty Rhodes, Ron Garvin, & Magnum T.A. in the ring waiting for them. They enter and it’s a pier six brawl! The Horsemen are getting pounded as the credits roll. We’re outta time!
Whew. Lots to cover this week. Thanks for reading!