The SmarK Rant for World Championship Wrestling Vladimir Petrov – 01.10.87
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, and in the back of all of our minds, Vladimir Petrov.
The Rock N Roll Express start us out, but Tony first makes sure to note that VLADIMIR PETROV is going to be here this week. So stay tuned! Anyway, Ricky and Robert are still not the tag team champions, and Robert does a nice bit of acting (for him) by hanging his head in shame when Tony mentions it. Ricky, however, is much more confident in their chances at regaining them in the coming year.
Jimmy Garvin v. Keith Vincent
Couldn’t they at least find generic butt rock that matches the beat of “Sharp Dressed Man” so that Jimmy’s gyrations match the song? Jimmy attacks and pounds on Vincent in the corner, then just stomps the poor guy repeatedly. Did Tony mention that Petrov is coming up? Because he totally is. Garvin backdrops Vincent and grabs a facelock as Tony notes that Garvin demands no smoking in the arenas while he’s wrestling, because it gets in his hair. AHA! So it wasn’t Vince McMahon who ended the era of smoky arenas, it was actually Jimmy Garvin all along! Also, it’s ironic considering that video circulating around YouTube that was shot by Garvin around this time, because there sure was some smoking in the arenas backstage, if you know what I mean. The jobber fights back and Garvin just facelocks him into oblivion again, then finishes with the brainbuster at 3:35.
Bill Dundee is here to gloat about winning the Central States title from Sam Houston. I mean, really, winning the Central States title was somewhere between “second place at a high school science fair” and “getting 4 numbers on the lottery” on the scale of prestige. Like, if it was around today, they’d be putting it on Enzo Amore to teach him a lesson, ya know?
Meanwhile, Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express try to claim victory in the Bunkhouse Stampede race because Big Bubba won the most money despite being tied with Dusty for most wins, but Jim Crockett cuts them off and books a cage match between Bubba and Dusty to settle things. Vladimir Petrov special referee? Could be.
Brad Armstrong v. Tommy Angel.
Hey, you know who has strong arms? Vladimir Petrov. True story. As usual, Brad works a headlock while Tony notes that Brad is a contender for the Central States title. Yes, he’s not quite good enough to be Central States champion, but he’s a contender. Like, OUCH. Brad works a hammerlock on the mat and switches to an armbar, and it’s electrifying movesets like this one that probably kept him from achieving the lofty heights of the Central States title. Anyway, enough about the guy in the match, let’s remind us once again about VLADIMIR PETROV. Everyone in the Kremlin is talking about him! Wait, since when does Tony have connections in the KGB? That’s a tad suspect. Neckbreaker finishes at 6:00. I give this one Petrov out of five.
Barry Windham & Ron Garvin aren’t worried about the Horsemen. So we take a look at last week’s attack on Windham, and Garvin points out that he was “at the airport” and was thus unable to save his partner. HOW CONVENIENT. Barry, of course, blindly believes this ridiculous story. Garvin was probably cheating with Barry’s wife or something. Jerk.
CENTRAL STATES CHAMPION Bill Dundee v. Randy Barber
Bill works the arm, sadly not putting his prestigious championship on the line here, and jaws with the ref and fans while hiding in the ropes. You know who never hides? VLADIMIR PETROV, who is here later tonight. Bill cheats his way to a toehold and now I guess he’s working the knee, so good on him. A pump splash gets two and Dundee finishes with the flying knee at 3:44.
Jim Cornette doesn’t have the Midnights with him today, but fear not, they’ll be ready to toss the Road Warriors off a scaffold in a town near you. As a reminder, things will be settled between Dusty and Bubba on Feb 27 in Pittsburgh.
Dusty Rhodes is dubious about the chances of Bubba actually fitting through the cage door, and he’ll win his second straight Bunkhouse title. Wait, so they did three Bunkhouse championships and Dusty won ALL of them? Guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
Nikita Koloff v. Larry Stephens
Nikita has to know, as we all do, that Vladimir Petrov is here today and could strike at any moment. Sickle finishes at 0:30 before that can happen.
World TV title: Tully Blanchard v. Alan Martin
You sure didn’t see Dusty out there defending the TV title every week against top competition like this. Tully offers a handshake, and then beats on the guy in the corner and slaps him around on the ropes, but Martin fights back, so the slingshot suplex ends it at 3:35. I bet if he was facing Vladimir Petrov it wouldn’t be that easy.
Ric Flair is here to show off yet another stylish suit, and the Horsemen are the “box office babies” who guarantee 10,000 – 15,000 people a night. In fact, a quick check reveals that they did a show in Philly later that night and sold out with 11,000 people. So there you go. Flair points out that just because Nikita can flex at him, doesn’t mean he can win the World title. I bet if Nikita was in the other promotion, he could.
Tully Blanchard still has the $10,000 because no one can beat him, and then he does his impression of Barry Windham getting beat up by the Horsemen after tattling on them for cheating. This show is just fantastic promo after fantastic promo.
The Rock N Roll Express v. Allan West & Eddie Roberts
The Express controls the jobbers with armdrags, but West grabs a headlock on Gibson. Eddie Roberts gets some offense as we take our hourly break, and we return with Ricky chinlocking him. Roberts looks like an actual pushable guy, built like Paul Orndorff without the nerve damage, so I’m kind of surprised he’s being used in the parade of geeks here. The Express works him over with their usual double-team stuff and spend a lot of time on the mat with the leg. Tony notes they’re very happy with their fan club numbers lately. For you millennials reading this, “fan clubs” would be the equivalent of Twitter followers today. Double dropkick finishes at 8:00. Tony declares it a very good match. That’s it, his credibility is shot.
Dick Murdoch wants us to know that, yee haw, there’s a hootenanny in the various cities where the NWA is coming this month. So he’s throwing his cowboy hat in the ring for a shot at Tully Blanchard, and should he win, there will be both a hoedown and a hootenanny in celebration.
The Road Warriors v. Ray Aaron & David Isley
They beat on the jobbers like they’re a pair of Vladimir Petrovs and the jobbers are Nikita Koloff. I’m guessing Hawk was on so much shit that he legit thought the jobbers were Nikita. Animal powerslams Isley at 2:00 to finish.
Hawk would like us to know that he hates slugs, and everyone he wrestles is a slug, so his job satisfaction is not particularly high at the moment. As usual, poor Paul Ellering has to try to sum up the coke-fueled rantings of his team and somehow hit the points that they missed. He finishes by noting that he’s a got a guy who will perform burial service for $22.
Barry Windham & Ron Garvin v. Bill & Randy Mulkey
Never mind this match, VLADIMIR PETROV IS NEXT. Randy gets controlled on the mat with a variety of headlocks from the babyfaces, so clearly we’re going long here. Garvin comes in and he’s mixing it up rough-house style with Bill and I should point out that the Network is BRUTAL tonight, freezing constantly. Windham comes in with a gut wrench as Tony points out that Ivan Koloff and Vladimir Petrov are certainly top contenders to the US tag titles. Despite the fact that Petrov had literally only wrestled ONE MATCH at this point. Dusty must have really thought there was money in Superpowers v. Russians or something. Garvin puts a single-arm guillotine on Bill and basically tortures him for a while, before Windham comes in and finishes with the lariat at 9:00 or so.
Ivan Koloff is here to let us know that if you’re not afraid of Petrov, you’re either lying or stupid. So we get a clip of Petrov beating Tony Zane on Worldwide and putting him in the hospital with a neck injury. The big spot is Petrov trying and failing to do a clothesline. How do you not know how to do a CLOTHESLINE?!?
VLADIMIR PETROV v. Vern Deaton & George South
Finally, the moment we’ve all waited for! Petrov actually does manage to hit a clothesline properly here, but then follows it up by failing spectacularly at a flying shoulderblock off the middle rope, getting the pin regardless at 0:40.
Jim Cornette is back, and he’s got $66 in cash for Ellering’s guy to bury the Warriors and Ellering once they get thrown off the scaffold.
Ivan Koloff v. Zane Smith
Petrov is at ringside, likely blown up from moving from the dressing room and back to the ring again. Like, seriously, he’s supposed to be a scary Russian, but he looks like a guy who gets excited about getting Cabella’s gift cards for Christmas so he can grab some beef jerky and buy a new camo baseball cap before his ice fishing trip. Koloff beats on the jobber and drops the leg a few times. He tosses the guy outside and Petrov just throws him back in. What a monster. Ivan gets a backdrop suplex while the kids at ringside do cheerleader taunts and inform Ivan that he is lacking in an alibi and may be unattractive. Girls can be so mean. Especially to Russians. Ugly Russians need the most love! Also, the man is on live TV that’s broadcast nationally, I’d say he’s got a pretty airtight alibi, as a matter of fact. The Russian Hammer and knee to the back finish at 6:10.
Nikita Koloff has words for his Russian comrades, and invites Petrov to try and hurt him. But DO IT TO HIS FACE. Not from behind. Well, if I was Petrov, I’d attack him from behind just to spite him now. Obviously it would really annoy him.
Dick Murdoch v. Brodie Chase
Murdoch ties up Chase and works a wristlock as this show kind of limps to the finish line. Chase fights back because they’ve still got time to burn, but Murdoch cuts him off and finishes with the brainbuster at 3:50.
And we finish with more words from Uncle Ivan while Vladimir stands there breathing heavily and looking unsure of what emotions to project at the camera. Confusion? Hunger? Pondering whether he set the VCR to tape NASCAR and/or Mama’s Family? We’ll never know.
NEXT WEEK: Screw Petrov, it’s the debut that I’ve been legit waiting for since I started doing these!