The SmarK Rant for World Championship Wrestling – 01.03.87
(Originally written 12.21.17)
Your hosts are Tony & David, and guest-starring Vladimir Petrov, who is mentioned in every goddamned segment in this entire show.
I don’t have my phone handy because the battery is dead at the moment, so I’m stopwatch-less. You’ll just have to watch the show and time out the squashes yourself.
Last time: Ron Garvin and Barry Windham fought the Midnight Express to a draw, but Garvin got the worst of things afterwards.
The Rock N Roll Express join us to start, and Ricky is offended by anyone who would dare call themselves “The R n R”, so maybe they should come out here and show them. They’re like a bullfrog sittin’ on a stump! Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I don’t speak southern hick.
Brad Armstrong v. Kent Glover
Brad’s throwing dropkicks and taking him down with a headlock right away while Tony is already hyping the Crockett Cup in April. And is Brad still working those headlocks? FUCK YEAH. Meanwhile, everyone’s talking about the man they call THE BIG RED MACHINE, aka Vladimir Petrov. Hey man, I hung out with wrestling nerds at school and we all watched NWA and none of them were talking about Petrov. So I have scientifically valid evidence that they’re full of shit. Brad misses a blind charge and Glover ALMOST gets some offense, but the legsweep finishes instead. Well, maybe next week Glover can hit that slam.
Jim Cornette is darn proud of Big Bubba’s record in the Bunkhouse Stampede and all the money he’s bringing home to the Midnight Express. Also, they beat the hell out of Ron Garvin and he was too stupid to quit, so Cornette’s not letting any bleached blond, nappy-headed goof stand in the way of tag team gold.
The Rock & Roll Express v. Zane Smith & Alan Martin
Ricky is feeling SAUCY this week, bantering with the crowd and cracking jokes while beating on Martin. “Make a wish!” he declares before yanking on the leg. Well, he’s funnier than Dolph Ziggler’s standup act, you have to give him that much. Over to Zane and he immediately gets headlocked by Robert, and the double dropkick ends him.
Barry Windham & Ron Garvin feel like Paul Jones’ team should defend against the Rock & Roll Express again to prove that they’re real champions. Actually, Rude & Fernandez v. Windham & Garvin would have been a hell of a match, and I’m kind of surprised they never went there. Anyway, back to the Midnight Express, as Garvin points out that everyone saw what he did to Big Bubba at Starrcade, or as he calls him, “Big Tub of Manure”. 4/10 for that one.
Tully Blanchard and JJ are surprised that they haven’t seen Dusty Rhodes today, perhaps because he’s hiding from Tully due to his inability to regain the TV title. Also, everyone in the Bunkhouse Stampedes were conspiring against Tully, hoping to hurt him rather than win the match. So they went to the bank and took out $10,000 cash, which they will offer to Tim Horner, should he be able to best Tully in a fair contest on this very show. Also, because they are so fair and magnanimous, they will extend the time limit to 25:00 moving forward.
Ron Garvin v. The White Knight
The Knight is both dark-skinned and wearing leopard print tights, so clearly it’s something of a misnomer. Garvin immediately flings him around the ring with a backdrop suplex and controls him on the mat, but the Knight foolishly tries coming back with a top wristlock. Garvin disposes him with Hands of Stone as a result. For some reason I feel like the White Knight wasn’t bad as a jobber, and I wanted to come to his defense.
Dick Murdoch is still all “aw, shucks, pardner, the NWA is great and so is America.”
Barry Windham v. Randy Barber
Windham continues our trend for the show by working a side headlock, which is especially harsh on poor Barber because the friction might wear off whatever tufts of hair he has left. Barber comes back with a brief flurry of offense and Barry finishes him with the lariat.
Jim Cornette returns with “…and another thing!” as he forgot to mention that the Road Warriors will soon be falling from the scaffold and going to the hospital in a crippled state, and would like to stress that fact now.
The Midnight Express v. George South & Mike Jackson
Amazingly, South is still active to this very day. He manages to get armdrags on both Express members, and then it’s over to Mike Jackson and we get some JOBBER DOUBLE-TEAMS. Cornette notes that Jackson might be Alabama Junior heavyweight champion, but his men aren’t junior heavyweights so he’s screwed. Jackson, however, flies all around Eaton and gets a flying headscissors and biel, but Eaton cuts him off with a hotshot and tosses him. Condrey gets some cheapshots and takes over in the ring, but Jackson makes the JOBBER HOT TAG to South while Cornette reels off conspiracy theories about how his team was screwed out of the Crockett Cup last year. Well, just wait until THIS year, when his team self-destructs in real life just before the show! Eaton cuts off another Jackson comeback and the Express works him over in the corner while Cornette excuses himself from commentary because the light reflecting off Jackson’s bald spot is giving him a headache. Eaton beats on South and drops the knee off the top, and the Express hits him with a Flapjack to finish. Great squash, as Jackson was a really high level job guy who sadly looked like a chemistry teacher and thus was doomed to never get over.
Ric Flair is confident that people know to cheer him, because he walks out with $35,000 of jewels and millions in the bank, so clearly he must be the biggest star on the show and no cue cards are necessary for the crowd. Was that some kind of inside reference, I wonder? Onto other matters, like Ivan Koloff’s new Russian monster, and even Flair is impressed by him. So that means, by proxy, Nikita Koloff is dead meat and thus no longer a contender, so it’s time to move onto other contenders. Such as Barry Windham, and Flair acts out Windham having a heart attack at the 40 minute mark of their hypothetical matches to show his point about being the 60 minute man. Also, he never wore blue jeans or cowboy boots, but the women always called him “Cowboy”.
Ole & Arn Anderson have a list of people they’re after, even though talk is that Ole’s time is running out. THEY JUST MADE OLE’S LIST. A veiled threat to Bill Watts is included in that list, by the way. Arn, meanwhile, is now making it his personal business to end Dusty’s career, and also he’s jealous and angry of the other Horsemen being champions, so he’s gonna win the US title from Nikita to assuage that hunger.
World TV title: Tully Blanchard v. Tim Horner
Horner works the arm to start and color commentator Barry Windham thinks that there’s fear on Tully’s face for his title and $10,000. Also, Barry would also like to know when Flair is going to defend his World title on TV, which would pay off with the famous Worldwide match soon after this. Horner continues working the arm and we take a break for the second hour. Feel free to use this time to go make some nachos or sign a petition to impeach Trump, whatever. Back with Horner still working the arm on the mat, and a backslide gets two. Meanwhile, JJ joins the commentary, offended that Barry is hogging the spotlight from his man. Horner goes back to the arm with a hammerlock on the mat that goes on forever. Tully tosses him to finally escape that damn hammerlock, but Barry is confident that Tim can fight back from this setback. And indeed, he gets a sunset flip into the ring for two. Tully bails and Horner suplexes him back in for two, and a small package gets two. Tully goes with a cheapshot to take over and gets the figure-four, but he uses the ropes in view of the ref and has to break. So now Tully goes to work on the leg, but Horner loses his temper, due to being a spitfire who they call “White Lightning” and such, and he pounds away on Tully and gets two. Rollup gets two. Barry lays out a history of West Texas alumni on commentary, and notes that none of them are proud to call Tully their contemporary. JJ bursts into commentary to note “I HAVEN’T HEARD YOU TALK ABOUT TULLY’S DURABILITY YET!” Tully drops Horner with a hotshot and works on the back while JJ gets updates on the time limit, but he’s unable to get the slingshot suplex and Horner reverses for two. They collide and both are down, but Horner recovers first with a bodypress, and Tully rolls through and holds the tights for the pin. Barry comes in to complain about the cheating on display, and suddenly the Four Horsemen all rush the ring, throw out the ref, and proceed to putting the BEATS on Windham. Average match with not much heat, but that was a quality beatdown.
The Four Horsemen cut a group promo, gloating about putting Windham in his place for daring to stick his nose into their business. But coming up soon, it’s VLADIMIR PETROV!
Rick Rude & Manny Fernandez v. Alan West & Eddie Roberts
Double backbreaker and Rude Awakening finish in about 20 seconds.
Paul Jones cuts a promo on the RNR and he sounds like he’s drunk or something, rambling without a point until Rude finally takes over for him and brings it home to the Road Warriors. And then Manny cuts a coke-fueled promo about whatever the fuck he’s talking about, taking about 15 tries to work “R and R is here to stay and that other one is gone away” into the promo. Finally he hits the catchphrase properly and they wrap it up.
Vladimir Petrov v. The Mulkeys & Bill Tabb
Petrov finishes Tabb with the Russian Hammer in seconds and manages to screw even that short series up. Like, he looks like every other roid monkey from Minnesota and he’s barely taller than Ivan and he’s supposed to be the same terrifying force of nature that Nikita was in 1985? He’s already winded standing there while Ivan does the post-match promo! HE DID ONE MOVE! Also, he’s supposed to be the Big Red Machine, but his gear was black. This was about as disappointing a debut as humanly possible. Swapping him out for Murdoch was 1000% better.
Dick Murdoch v. Henry Rutley
Murdoch takes him down with the hammerlock and works the arm, and follows with a slam and backdrop suplex for two. Rutley bumps to the floor off the elbow, going ragdoll, so Murdoch hauls him back in and finishes with the brainbuster.
Nikita Koloff has many things on his plate, and he’s looking for the World tag titles, or Tully’s $10,000, or Ric Flair’s title. And even Nikita has to spend a big chunk of his promo putting over fucking Vladimir Petrov as “superior Russian athlete” and how he’s a terrifying monster.
Ole & Arn Anderson v. Larry Stevens & David Isley
Arn beats on the arms of both jobbers while the announcers are STILL going on about Petrov. Was he being set up as Dusty’s next big foe or something? Actually, that would make sense, never mind. Ole cranks a top wristlock on Stevens and Arn chokes him out and follows with the spinebuster to finish.
Nikita Koloff v. Chance McQuade
That sounds like the name of a character on the Disney Afternoon. Nikita finishes him with the Sickle faster than I can make that joke.
The Road Warriors are also here to talk about Vladimir Petrov, but they’re confident that Nikita has it under control. Also, Manny Fernandez gives Hawk gas. He’s a burrito, you see.
The Road Warriors v. Dave Spearman & Clement Fields
I pity the people who have to put the time markers on these shows, with the intro and finish coming a nanometer from each other. Flying clothesline ends it quick.
Tony and David talk about Petrov AGAIN, and he’s already got two nicknames: The Russian Assassin, and The Big Red Machine. And then we go back to Petrov’s segment earlier to watch it AGAIN. Like, literally the entire segment, with Ivan’s pre-match promo and the entire Petrov squash.
Well, I was hoping for the debut of a certain other muscle-headed heel this week, but that’ll have to wait until we all know how great Vladimir Petrov is, I guess.