The SmarK Rant for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling – 09.12.81
So NINETY FIVE EPISODES of this suddenly dropped on the Network today, and I’m like CANCEL MY APPOINTMENTS.
This is the pre-cursor to World Championship Wrestling, promoted by Jim Crockett until the failure of Vince’s takeover of the TBS timeslot suddenly allowed JCP to go national in a big way.
Taped from Charlotte, NC
Your hosts are Bob Caudle & David Crockett
This is all squashes and promos so we’ll go with the Coliseum style point system.
Oh hey! Ron Bass is the new TV champion, and things are gonna change around here, according to David. Plus there’s doin’s a transpirin’ with Roddy Piper and Wahoo and we’ll take a look at that later.
Ron Bass joins us with his newly won TV title, and hopefully we’re all proud of him. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I sure am.
Jake Roberts & Ricky Steamboat v. Mike Miller & Jim Nelson
In your awesome low-tech 80s moment, Caudle’s green jacket bleeds into the green screen. So at this point, Jake was a Texas cowboy, looking more like Sam Eliot in a cigarette commercial than the look he was known for later. Doofus jobber Jim Nelson, very early in his career here, would later shave his head and turn Russian as Boris Zhukov. Jake works on the leg of Miller and Steamboat comes in for some double-teams, trading off to Jake for a slugfest that ends badly for Miller. Steamboat comes in and Jake lifts him up for a double-foot to the chest on Miller, and then back to Jake for a backdrop suplex on Nelson to finish at 5:45. Damn, Snake and Dragon were a hell of a babyface team! 1 for 1.
Ivan Koloff v. Terry Lathan
Koloff, your Mid-Atlantic champion, overpowers Lathan and slams him to escape a hammerlock, then pulls him down by the hair into a chinlock. Amazingly, everyone in the studio with the exception of the referee is able to see this. Man, referees in 1981 sure were terrible! Koloff goes with the test of strength and is on the verge of losing, so he yanks Lathan down by the hair again and adds a backdrop. Double stomp and he goes up with the flying knee for two, but the jobber fights back again until Ivan puts him down with a kneelift and adds a backbreaker. With the guy sufficiently tortured, he puts him away with the knee into the back off the top at 4:04. Ouch. Good squash for Koloff. 2 for 2.
Meanwhile, Wahoo is squashing Rene Goulet last week, but Abdullah the Butcher debuts and absolutely BRUTALIZES Wahoo with an object while Roddy Piper directs traffic. He literally takes a fork and stabs him repeatedly in the forehead, and even shot with a weird negative filter to censor it, it’s pretty squicky.
The Super Destroyer & The Grappler v. Don Kernodle & Scotty McGhee
Super Destroyer is Don Jardine, more famously known as the Spoiler and the guy who trained Undertaker. I’ve talked about McGhee before, but basically he was a really talented guy who unfortunately suffered a stroke near the peak of his career and was forced into retirement. Kernodle was still on the verge of becoming a star, but wasn’t there yet. Kernodle and McGhee take turns work on the arm of the Destroyer, but Grappler comes in and ironically uses striking to put McGhee down. McGhee manages to come back on the masked heels and makes the hot tag to Kernodle, who gets a backdrop on the Grappler for two, but misses an elbow and runs out of steam. Destroyer puts him down with a headbutt and drops some nice elbows, and Grappler gets a suplex for two. Caudle is ASTONISHED by the kickout. Back to McGhee and he runs wild on the heels, for about 2 seconds, and Destroyer finishes him with this new move he calls the “super plex” at 5:33. That move might have a future in this sport! Good fast-paced tag match with lots of offense from the babyfaces. 3 for 3.
Rick Steamboat relates his recent trips to Orient, where he’s been learning new stuff. Jake Roberts, who is literally wearing a cowboy hat at this point in his career, is wondering what the heck is going on around this place lately.
Ron Bass is ready for anyone who wants a piece of him. Jay Youngblood agrees. Well thanks for chiming in.
Sgt. Slaughter v. Mike Davis
Slaughter had mostly been a masked ripoff of the Super Destroyer in the AWA up until this point, and this was his first major singles push on a bigger stage. He quickly elbows Davis down and adds a backbreaker and clothesline, then finishes with the dreaded cobra clutch at 2:03. Nothing much to this one. 3 for 4.
Abdullah the Butcher v. Ron Ritchie
Ritchie was more well known in Stampede Wrestling, I think. Abby tosses him and beats on him at the announce desk, literally ringing his bell in the process, and back in for the big elbow at 1:48. Now that was a squash. 4 for 5.
Ron Bass & Jay Youngblood v. Ricky Harris & Ali Bey
Ricky Harris would soon be repackaged into evil cowboy Black Bart and have much more success. Bass works a headlock on him and pounds the neck with elbows, but Bey comes in and Youngblood works a headlock on him. Bey appears to be just a generic bald fat guy jobber and no one I otherwise recognize. A quick check reveals he was nothing notable and ended his career in 1984. Harris comes in and manages some power moves on the babyfaces, but Youngblood cradles him for two and takes him down with a headlock again. Over to Bass for more of the same, but Bey breaks it up and bearhugs Bass to slow him down. The heels work Bass over in the corner, but Bass (who was seemingly lifting HEAVILY from the Cowboy Bill Watts playbook at this point) slams Harris and Youngblood comes in with an elbow for two. Bass finishes with the running slam at 6:11, which is more evidence that he was doing the Watts Cover Band gimmick. It was pretty blatant here. Bass and Youngblood were a weird combination. I mean, one was a Texan and the other was a Native American, how could you even make a team name from that? 4 for 6.
Austin Idol blows through to put himself over, and then Slaughter comes in to yell at us about respect (which he has trouble spelling). Well, Sarge was working out the kinks on the new gimmick at this point.
Oh yeah, I’m ALL OVER this. This wasn’t quite the wordy promo style of World Championship Wrestling yet, as most of the promos were under 30 seconds and right to the point, but the foundations were being laid.