The SmarK Rant for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling–12.05.81

– Hosted by Bob Caudle and David Crockett

(This was originally written back in 2009 or whenever it was that my cable company dropped WWE 24/7, as I only got 3 episodes into Mid-Atlantic and then lost it, seemingly for good.  But now it’s back again!  In pog form!) 

Jake Roberts & Blackjack Mulligan Jr. v. Tony Russo & Jerry Slater

Barry “Mulligan Jr.” Windham is built more like brother Kendall at this point, except with a hairdo and moustache from his future gimmick as Blackjack Windham. Jake and Barry work over Slater’s arm to start before Russo comes in. Jake easily overpowers him and takes him down with a headlock, and Windham carries on with that. Back to Slater and Roberts is on the arm again. Windham comes in with a hammerlock slam and kneedrop on the shoulder to finish. Pretty basic stuff here.

– Big John Studd joins us, and he wants to watch the film of him slapping that punk Blackjack Mulligan Jr. again! And since he’s big and holding a belt, that’s what he gets. Studd unfortunately falls into the heel promo trap of yelling and pointing at the camera, which I always hate.

Big John Studd v. Tim Horner

Studd’s green trunks and red boots make him look like a resident of Sherwood Forest. Horner tries to overpower Studd and that goes about as well as you’d expect. Studd chokes him out on the ropes and uses the CLUBBING FOREARMS for two. Backbreaker gets two, as he picks Horner up. Over to the corner for more clubbing, and a body vice finishes at 2:38. That one looked like it hurt, actually.

– Ricky Steamboat, armed with another bag of letters from the fans, joins us to petition Sandy Scott for a rematch with Roddy Piper. So Scott produces the contract and brings out Piper, giving us yet another hilarious coked-up performance as he spazzes out over the simplest things. Sure, drugs are bad and whatever, but you just don’t get quality stuff like that from mellower guys.

Pvt. Jim Nelson v. Tim Horner

Wait, what? Didn’t we just have Tim Horner? This looks way more like the Tim Horner I know, so obviously someone screwed up in the Studd match and told them the wrong name. Anyway, Nelson pounds away in the corner and tosses Horner, then hauls him back in for a slam and kneedrop. Horner makes the comeback, but misses a blind charge and gets elbowed down by Nelson as a result. Elbowdrop gets two. Backdrop gets two. Clothesline finishes at 4:46. Gotta love how you can see him calling the go home spot on slow-mo replay.

– TONIGHT! At the Charlotte Coliseum, it’s battle royale to determine pairings for the tournament for the Cadillac. So the first man out wrestles the second man and so on. That’s kind of Russo-like in its needless complexity.

Jay Youngblood v. Jeff Swords

Swords? Really? Sounds like a glam metal revival lead singer. Mr. Swords looks like the jobber version of Michael Hayes and apparently can only afford one kneepad. Youngblood wrestles him to the mat and fights off a headlock attempt, so Swords pounds away in the corner until Youngblood chops him down and cradles for two. Jay with a headlock, but Swords counters into a backbreaker and pounds away on the back. Another backbreaker gets two. Jay has had ENOUGH and comes back with the tomahawk chops to finish at 3:33. Pretty decent little match.  (Jeff Sword mostly stuck around Memphis and Tennessee in general for the rest of his career, playing various masked heels and such.) 

– Jake Roberts and Barry Windham join us with words for Ole Anderson and Sgt. Slaughter, respectively. Blackjack Mulligan adds his own threats for Sarge as well.

Ole Anderson & Ray Stevens v. Paul Jones & Buddy Landell

Ray Stevens is acting as surrogate tag team champion for Gene Anderson this week. Kind of funny to see Budro in his pre-Nature Boy, pre-blond days as a generic babyface. Buddy takes Ole down with a headscissors, and does the same with Stevens as well. The faces switch off with the headlocks and pinball Stevens in the corner. Landell slams him for two, but Ole breaks it up and controls with an armbar. The heels control him in the corner, but Buddy fight up and makes the hot tag to Jones. He slugs away on Stevens and it’s BONZO GONZO, but Ole rams Buddy into his own partner’s head, thus sacrificing him for the greater good. That’s pretty awesome. Stevens doesn’t quite agree with that philosophy and boots Ole out of the ring before finishing Landell with a high knee at 7:47. Ole demands his half of the tag team titles back, but Ray is keeping it.

Carl Fergie v. Larry Hamilton

Not sure who the star is supposed to be here. Hamilton takes him down with a fireman’s carry, but Fergie controls with an armbar and slams him. Hamilton misses a blind charge and Fergie blocks a rollup, then drops an elbow and finishes with a neckbreaker at 2:25. Fergie doesn’t look familiar.  (He’s another Memphis mainstay, and yet another cousin of Jerry Lawler and Honky Tonk Man!) 

– Ray Stevens finishes the show by letting Ole know that if he wants the tag belt back, he’s gonna have to come and take it.

And we’re done with Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling on 24/7, sadly. This was a show I really wish I had more time to appreciate.  (Well, now I have it, on the WWE Network!  Only $9.99 / month!)