The SmarK Rant for World Championship Wrestling – 12.27.86
Your hosts are Tony & David
Dick Murdoch v. Brodie Chase
Murdoch, who is ostensibly a babyface in his reappearance here, takes the jobber down with a headlock and works him over on the mat, then goes to a couple of chinlocks and cranks it in. Chase fights back, but gets backdropped out of the corner and Murdoch drops an elbow for two. Another elbow finishes at 3:10. Murdoch was looking testy this week, like his wife forgot to wash his white hood or something.
Ron Garvin is out with his Mid-Atlantic title, and since he’s already the US tag champion, Jim Crockett forces him to make his choice. So Garvin chooses to represent AMERICA, giving up the Mid-Atlantic title as a result. Jim Crockett promises to update us on the status on the title later. Well, the status is that it was the latest in a series to get put out to pasture with the expansion of Jim Crockett Promotions, and Garvin was the last champion. Too bad, it was a sharp looking belt, too, that Crockett had clearly just redone.
Ivan Koloff is here to warn Nikita that the Russians are again COMPLETE with the addition of the fearsome Vladimir Petrov, whom we still have not met. Would it have been better or worse had John Nord got the part as originally rumored?
US tag team titles: Ron Gavin & Barry Windham v. The Midnight Express
Oh man, that would be a kick in the pants if Garvin gave up the Mid-Atlantic title and then dropped the tag belts right away. Windham takes Condrey down with a headscissors while Cornette stops by the announce desk and manages to insult both Tony & David while cracking them up at the same time. Garvin works on Eaton’s leg for a bit, but he loses his temper and gets distracted enough for Bobby to hook him in a facelock. Wonder if that’s foreshadowing for a DQ finish? Garvin quickly slugs him down, so Condrey comes in and maintains the facelock on him. Garvin with a small package for two, but Eaton cuts off the tag and Garvin pulls a FLYING HEADSCISSORS on him in retaliation. Fun spot as Garvin rubs his face in the mat while in the headscissors, and it’s over to Barry as we take a break. Back with Windham controlling Condrey with slams as David is LOSING. HIS. SHIT. Over bodyslams! Cornette quips that Barry is cheating like a “yellow dog”. Nyuk nyuk. Eaton tries to cheat with a cheapshot, but Garvin comes in with the SUNSET FLIP OF DOOM on him for two. Cornette claims this is an illegal move, by the way. The Express quickly cuts him off and double-teams in the corner, blatantly cheating and using a variety of illegal moves after Cornette whined about a sunset flip, of course. That’s why Jim Cornette was so great. Eaton holds a facelock again and the Express continue dominating Garvin in the corner, and Bobby drops an elbow for two. At this point we must sadly take another break, but as always, a remind that the tape machines are rolling. Whatever “tapes” are. Back with Bobby working a headlock on Windham while Tony makes my point from earlier about how much it would suck to give up one title and then lose the other. Condrey with a suplex on Windham for two while Garvin has had enough of Cornette and goes around to confront him…but Bubba actually backs him down. And then Bubba hits Barry in the ribs while the ref is busy getting Garvin back to his own corner. Awesome. Barry finally fights off Bobby and collapses into a hot tag to Garvin, but the Express cut them off AGAIN and Condrey suplexes him for two. A rollup gets two and Condrey whips Eaton into him with a back elbow for two. Bobby with the abdominal stretch into a cradle for two. Cornette claims that Garvin submitted to that move, and the referee “must come from a family of mongoloids” if he couldn’t tell that. Geez, even by 1986 standards that’s a pretty questionable slur. Bobby cradles for two and then just opts to rip at the eyes of Garvin, which sets up a Rocket Launcher for two. Cornette’s celebration and then horrified disappointment is amazing. Bobby fights to get Garvin’s shoulders down again, but time expires at 20:00 and the babyfaces retain. Timekeeper was about 30 seconds slow there, as Tony had the correct time on commentary and they had to improvise after declaring a draw and then watching the match continue. I could watch these guys do this ALL DAY. ***1/2
The Road Warriors v. The Mulkeys
Wham bam thank you ma’am at 0:15 as Animal finishes one of the geeks with a powerslam off the middle rope.
The Road Warriors head over for a promo, promising destruction for the Midnight Express later tonight in Minnesota. They were seriously flying guys from Atlanta in the morning to Minnesota at night? Was it imperative to have them live on air for a 15 second squash?
Jim Cornette returns to clarify that the US tag titles will be theirs eventually.
Rick Rude & Manny Fernandez v. Pablo Crenshaw & Dave Spencer
The champs are now sporting matching purple tights, so you know they’ve hit the bigtime. They take turns working Pablo’s arm in pretty dull fashion, and Rude gets a suplex for two. Over to Spencer, who doesn’t fare any better, as we actually take a break in the middle of this boring squash. Back with Rude hitting the Rude Awakening DDT for the pin at 7:14. Did that really warrant a commercial break?
Paul Jones promises that the Rock N Roll Express will be unable to capture the tag titles tonight in Norfolk. So they’re doing a TV taping in Atlanta in the morning, then running shows in both Minneapolis AND Norfolk at night? And people were SURPRISED that Crockett lost millions and had to sell? The poor guys working these shows must have been doing all kinds of shit to stay awake.
Barry Windham & Ron Garvin aren’t afraid of going the time limit with the Midnights again, so BRING IT ON.
The Rock N Roll Express v. Kent Glover & Zane Smith
They quickly double-team Glover and finish with the double dropkick at 1:05. “They may have lost the titles, but they haven’t lost their fans” notes David. Well, that still makes them losers.
Bill Apter awards the Rock N Roll Express the “Tag Team of the Year” award, plus “Wrestler of the Year” to Ric Flair. Fun fact: The 1986 in Review issue that he’s holding is the first wrestling magazine I ever got. I was home sick the week it came out, and my mom bought it for me while I was recovering. I ended up getting subscriptions to PWI, the Wrestler, and Inside Wrestling.
Ric Flair is of course humble and magnanimous in his victory speech for winning the award. He clarifies that he has to wrestle 320 days a year, but he makes $4000 a day, so that’s not bad. Tony wants to know when Ric will defend his title on TV, so Ric promises that if Crockett brings him the money, he’s happy to oblige. Unless it’s Dusty Rhodes or Nikita Koloff, because fuck ‘em.
Tully Blanchard v. Pat O’Brian
Slingshot suplex at 0:14 finishes it. How are they this short on time on a 2 hour show where they’re doing multiple promos per person to fill the show?
The Rock N Roll Express lets us know that tonight, in Norfolk, IT’S ALL OVER.
Superstar Bill Dundee v. Clement Fields
The crowd chants for Sam Houston to continue building up that…uh…super hot feud over the Central States title. So keep in mind that Crockett was currently juggling the Mid-Atlantic and Central States regions, with Florida soon to be swallowed up, plus the UWF, and doing double shots every night all over the country. Again, the question is not how he went out of business, but how he stayed in business in the first place. Dundee finishes with whatever at 1:03.
Ole & Arn Anderson v. Bill Tabb & Randy Barber
I still don’t understand why Vladimir Petrov and the Warlord could get pushed for looking like roid monkeys, but Bill Tabb, who looked as impressive as either of them and was at least a decent worker, never got a shot in the NWA. Was it a racial thing? Ole works on Barber’s arm in the corner and Arn pounds him with a forearm to the gut, then pulls him away from tagging his partner so they can torture him some more. Back to Ole with an armbar, and then Arn puts him away with the gourdbuster at 4:11.
Ole Anderson rants about how they’re the uncrowned champions, but JJ Dillion butts in to announce that Arn has a US title shot at Nikita coming up. Nice little subtle bit to set up the impending turn there.
Dick Murdoch does an “aw shucks” promo about having a hoedown in Texas, just before he turns super traitor and goes back to being an awesome heel.
Brad Armstrong v. Mike Jackson
They take it to the mat and Jackson cradles for two, but Brad hits him with a crossbody for two and grabs the armbar. He works the arm for a while, but Jackson starts firing off some damn cool wrestling counters and cradles for two, until Brad finishes with the Russian legsweep at 5:25. Brad really needed a better finisher, but this was a damn fine squash.
Tully Blanchard was impressed with Brad’s performance, but he’s still not TV title material. Also, they’ve got a BIG SURPRISE for all the babyfaces coming soon. I’m pretty sure I know what that surprise is, in fact, and it’s pretty significant.
Jimmy Garvin and Bill Dundee cut a promo together for some reason, announcing that Barbarian has joined their ranks. Well OK.
Jimmy Garvin v. Alan Martin
Precious has some very form-fitting spandex this week and it’s quite effective. And usual this week, Garvin wastes no time destroying him with the brainbuster at 0:25. I guess that’s why Murdoch didn’t use it earlier in the show.
And we finish with the electrifying promo of Brad Armstrong, who wants Ric Flair but understands he’ll have to go through guys like Garvin first. Well good luck there, pal.
Next time: We finally meet VLADIMIR PETROV. God help us all.