A shocking betrayal, the debut of “Ravishing” Rick Rude, the Four Horsemen strike again, and we say bye-bye to Buddy Landell and Bulldog Bob Brown. That and more on this edition of the Saturday night staple..
We open with footage of Dick Murdoch in a ridiculous wig, imitating and mocking Ric Flair. Captain Redneck calls out Flair, which brings out the NWA champ as we go to the opening montage…
Tony Schiavone & David Crockett are our hosts this week. We learn that Manny Fernandez has accepted Paul Jones’ money offer and betrayed Jimmy Valiant. Also, Robert Gibson, one-half of the NWA World Tag Team champs, is injured. That brings out Jim Cornette. Cornette mocks Gibson and says his team misses beating Gibson up.
Midnight Express vs. Paul Garner & Art Pritts. Garner gets dumped outside quickly. Bobby drags Garner over to the podium, where Cornette thumps him on the noie. Cornette tells Tony that Kmart called to let him know his suit is ready. Quick squash that ends with the Rocket Launcher. *
Dusty Rhodes joins Tony. Cue footage from the Central States territory, Kansas City, with Sam Houston vs. Buddy Landell. Houston mounts the ropes and pounds away on him. Landell delivers a knee to the gut, but Houston fires back with several punches. Bill Dundee comes in and Houston takes both men over with a headlock/headscissors combo. Houston dropkicks Dundee then delivers a devastating bulldog on Landell. Dusty says, “That’s the end of Buddy Landell. That’s history. He is history“…
I guess Landell has worn out his welcome again in JCP. That was quick. (Landell was supposed to be JCP’s top heel in the Central States territory, but that obviously didn’t work out.) The footage continues. Central States Champion “Bulldog” Bob Brown comes in and stomps on Houston. That brings out Dusty Rhodes, who trades punches with Brown. Dusty hits an elbow. They go to the outside and we’re barely able to see through the crowd, Dusty piledriving Brown on the concrete floor. Dusty says Brown’s career is in jeopardy. (JCP had purchased Central States from Bob Geigel and it was a huge failure. Geigel bought it back in early 1987. Injuring Bob Brown, who was almost 50 years old at this point, was a way to get the Central States title off him, without using him going forward.)
Back live, Dusty says it’s his birthday and the studio audience sings “Happy Birthday” to him. Dusty talks about how he loves all the people, but the Four Horsemen are going to see him get “mean, bad and ugly the rest of 1986“.
After a break, Tully Blanchard & J.J. Dillon join Tony. J.J. talks about what Dusty did in Kansas City, then we go back to the footage of Dick Murdoch and Ric Flair we saw at the top of the show. Flair:”Murdoch, I’m telling you right now, on the most serious note of your life, that you’re looking face-to-face with the world champion, and what I’m gonna do right now is stretch your country butt because you need to get knocked out of them Reeboks and brought in to the real society that the Four Horsemen live in. Got it?” Flair tells Murdoch to come to the ring…
In the ring, Murdoch reverses a whip from Flair into the ropes and nails him with a big right hand. Another punch, and he drops Flair again. Murdoch sets up for the brainbuster, and that brings out the rest of the Four Horsemen. All four men stomp on Murdoch. The pull him up and hold him as Flair delivers more licks. That brings out Dusty Rhodes, Ronnie Garvin and others to run the Horsemen off…
Back live, Tully says it’s typical Dusty Rhodes, sneaking up from behind with cheap shots. Tully says Dusty has the World TV Championship that belongs to the Four Horsemen, and they’re gonna get it back.
After a break, Ivan Koloff, holding the U.S. Tag Team Title. He and Khrusher Khrushchev won the tournament in the Omni (though we don’t get any footage). Ivan brags about how the Russians now own all the prestigious U.S. titles, including Nikita’s U.S. Title, which was merged with the National Title recently (no footage of that either). Ivan says taking the world title is their next mission.
To the ring, Brad Armstrong vs. Randy Barber. This is Armstrong’s return to the territory. Leapfrogs from Armstrong, followed by a headlock takeover and extended headlock on the mat. Armstrong ends it with the Russian Leg Sweep. *
Mid-Atlantic Champ Ronnie Garvin joins Tony. He says he’s going to use the Mid-Atlantic belt as a stepping stone, and says he will be the NWA World Champion before 1986 is over. (Yeah, that’ll put a lot of butts in seats. This does lend credence to the claims that Garvin was under consideration for the main event at Starrcade ’86.) Terrible promo, btw, as he has a hard time spitting it out.
To the ring, Tim Horner vs. Bill Tabb. Horner takes down his larger opponent with an armbar. Back up, and some chain wrestling leads to a hammerlock and another take down. Irish whip, and Horner lands an elbow. Another whip into the ropes that Tabb reverses. Horner leap frogs, but Tabb presses Horner over his head. However, Horner escapes and rolls up Tabb for the win. *1/2
After a break, the JCP debut of “Ravishing” Rick Rude, w/ Paul Jones vs. Lee Peek. Sade’s “Smooth Operator” is Rude’s theme music at this point (generic redub on WWE Network). Rude comes out with a sequined, purple robe. He flexes for the crowd, and the ladies in the audience voice their approval. Rude lands forearms into Peek’s back. He delivers a stiff back suplex and body slam. Snap suplex from Rude, followed by an elbow to the back of the neck. Rude finishes quickly with a DDT, which he calls the “Rude Awakening”. (Obviously that finisher changed to a neckbreaker when Rude went to WWF seven months later and was in the same territory with the inventor and master of the DDT, Jake Roberts.)
Rude and Jones join Tony at the podium. Jones says Jimmy Valiant might as well say goodbye to wrestling. Rude tells the viewers not to adjust the vertical hold on their TVs. “That’s just my abs bulging out at ya’. And there’s been a couple of other things bulging lately. I’m talking about my pocketbook. Mr. Jones here has paid me a lot of money to take care of business and I didn’t even bother to ask what kind of business it was, because it doesn’t matter.” Rude says it doesn’t matter if it’s Dusty Rhodes, Jimmy Valiant, Ronnie Garvin or whoever…
We go to footage of Manny Fernandez and Jimmy Valiant in the ring with Shaska Whatley and Baron Von Raschke. Paul Jones is on the house mic offering Manny Fernandez another chance to join the Army. Jones says tonight’s the night Manny will make a decision that will change his whole life. He comes in the ring with a briefcase full of money. Jones puts the briefcase at Manny’s feet. Manny inspects the money, and suddenly shuts the case. The fans think that means he will reject it again. Fernandez stands, with the briefcase in hand, and Jones offers a handshake. Manny finally accepts the handshake, and Valiant can’t believe it. Valiant grabs Fernandez to ask what’s he’s doing. Manny whacks him upside the head with the briefcase. The Baron and Shaska then stomp on Valiant as Fernandez leaves with Jones. Jimmy Valiant’s “blood brother” has betrayed him for money…
Back live, Manny Fernandez joins Jones and Rude at the podium. The fans chant “traitor”. Fernandez says he’s sick and tired of carrying losers, and he ain’t no loser.
To the ring, Tully Blanchard w/ J.J. Dillon vs. Tony Zane. J.J. gets in Zane’s face. Zane swings at JJ., who ducks and actually delivers an atomic drop to Zane. Then Tully pounces and ends it quickly with the slingshot suplex.*
Brad Armstrong & Tim Horner join Tony. Horner stumbles over his lines. Armstrong says he’ll bring the Armstrong family name new to new heights, and claims the Horsemen overstepped their bounds.
To the ring, Manny Fernandez w/ Paul Jones and Rick Rude vs. Randy Glover. Fernandez pummels the man from the start. He delivers a big back elbow. Fernandez gets in a three-point stance and delivers a flying tackle to Glover for the pin. *
Ronnie Garvin comes out to confront Fernandez over his traitorous actions. Paul Jones gets in Garvin’s face and gets shoved aside. Garvin and Fernandez get nose-to-nose, and Rick Rude hammers Garvin from behind. Rude and Jones stomp on Garvin as Fernandez watches. They hold Garvin up and Fernandez smacks him with a big back elbow. They leave Garvin laying. And that’s it for this week.
Lots of happenings on this week’s program. The build to Starrcade ’86 has begun as well, but soon, a tragedy occurs that drastically changes the course of Jim Crockett Promotions forever. Thanks for reading.