November 24, 1983
Your hosts are Boyd Pierce and Bill Watts
We hear from Krusher Darsow in a pre-taped interview with Bill Watts. Darsow is asked about Nikolai Volkoff and Junkyard Dog, the only two men who he has lost too in Mid-South. After we are shown the end of Volkoff vs. Darsow from a couple of weeks ago. Darsow, acting humble and polite, says Volkoff made him feel like a “little baby” and felt helpless when pressed above his head and for that reason, he picks Volkoff over JYD. Darsow then says he wants to learn the strength and athletic ability that Volkoff possesses. Interesting to hear Darsow pick Volkoff over his friend and even more interesting to hear Darsow praise Volkoff’s abilties.
Nikolai Volkoff vs. Joshua Stroud
Jim Ross is the ring announcer tonight. The Russian National Anthem is played before the match. Volkoff beats down Stroud then applies a front facelock. Volkoff tosses Stroud around as Watts says Volkoff sends half of his money back to Russia for war bonds as Volkoff stays in control. Darsow is now shown watching from the background and almost looks enamored with Volkoff then Volkoff uses an overhead backbreaker for the win (1:56).
Thoughts: Its clear there is something planned with Darsow and Volkoff as Darsow is all of a sudden infatuated with Volkoff.
Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart vs. Tony Torres
Torres bounces off of Neidhart a few times then slides through his legs and hits a dropkick. Neidhart boots Torres after a messed up leapfrog spot and follows with a slam. Neidhart beats down Torres as Watts talks about how Neidhart wants to clean up Jim Duggan. Watts now puts over Neidhart’s athletic accomplishments as Torres avoids an elbow drop. Torres fights back but gets clotheslined as Butch Reed is shown in a suit at ringside cheering on his partner then Neidhart uses a Samoan Drop for the win (2:04).
Thoughts: On commentary, Watts mentioned how Neidhart wanted to “clean up” Duggan and what he meant by that is through shaving and washing. Neidhart was pretty bad in the ring during his Mid-South run.
Tonga vs. Junkyard Dog
Tonga is the future Barbarian. Here, he’s sporting an afro and trunks. Watts tells us that Tonga contacted matchmaker Grizzly Smith and asked for the toughest competition. JYD takes control early and works the arm. Watts says we have a new team appearing next then we get a truly awful Irish whip spot that leads to JYD using a hip toss. JYD goes back to the arm then Tonga finally lands some shots. Tonga cranks JYD’s neck then JYD turns that into a cradle for a nearfall. Tonga lands some chops but JYD fights back and slugs Tonga down. JYD eats boot on a charge in the corner then Tonga stuns himself after landing a headbutt. Tonga heads up top and gets punched in midair then after that JYD lands a forearm smash and hits a powerslam for the win (4:16) 1/2*.
Thoughts: Tonga had some shine but he immediately lost in his debut so I cannot imagine the company having long-term plans for him in the territory. JYD can barely do anything in the ring now as he relies on rest holds and his fan reactions have lessened.
Jim Ross introduces Rick Rood & Mike Jackson for the next match. However, he is interrupted by a man in a suit wearing glasses that says he is the only man capable of introducing his team. The man introduces himself as James Cornette and that we have seen him on TV all across the country. He then introduces his team, “Loverboy” Dennis and “Beautiful” Bobby, the Midnight Express. No tennis racket here for Cornette but he came across great with his slick talking and strong heel presence.
Rick Rood & Mike Jackson vs. Midnight Express w/ Jim Cornette
Watts says he saw the Midnight Express in Tennessee and that they are awesome. Condrey and Rood start off by trading arm wringers. Rood hits a pair of arm drags but Condrey is able to take control on the mat. Jackson tags in now and works the arm but Condrey takes him down with a drop toe hold. Eaton is in now and hits a pair of knee smashes. Jackson comes back with a crossbody for two but ducks his head for a back drop and gets elbowed. The Midnight Express beat on Jackson then put him away after Condrey held him up for a back suplex and Eaton came off the top with an elbow (3:28).
Thoughts: Strong debut for the Midnight Express. This was the debut of the Eaton & Condrey version as Watts put the two together, thinking Eaton would pair up well with Condrey. Watts got these men as part of a talent exchange with Memphis. At the time, Condrey was teaming up with Norvell Austin and not really doing much of anything with that as Eaton was teaming with Koko Ware.
Frank LaVert vs. “Dr. Death” Steve Williams
Watts puts over Williams’ football and amateur wrestling career as Williams takes control on the mat. Watts then tells us that Williams hates Russians, especially Nikolai Volkoff and that the two will actually wrestle next week. Williams runs over LaVert then uses the Oklahoma Stampede for the win (1:33).
Thoughts: An easy win for Williams to put him over for next’s week match against Volkoff. Watts also puts him over as being anti-Russia.
Reesor Bowden is shown interviewing Magnum TA & “Leaping” Lanny Poffo, with Mr. Wrestling II. We hear from Mr. Wrestling II as he says you have to study your partner. He then says he wants to see him in singles matches but this is what it has to be. Mr. Wrestling then says Poffo comes from a bad family and his father & brother (Angelo Poffo & Randy Savage) are nasty as Poffo is taking aback. Poffo then calls out Mr. Wrestling for not showing his face as Poffo says he was drafted into his family and did not enlist. Poffo then said he thought he could be champion with Magnum one day then leaves. Magnum says he is unsure of what is going on now but thinks he will be a good team with Poffo. Mr. Wrestling certainly came off as a dick here by going after Poffo. And another thing to think about when seeing this segment: Magnum TA said that booker Bill Dundee created the angle between Mr. Wrestling and himself and Dundee had real life heat with Savage over an altercation that took place outside of a gym (there are multiple versions of what happened floating around) so one can assume Dundee wrote the segment to take a few shots at the Poffo family.
Doug Vines & “King” Carl Fergie vs. Magnum TA & “Leaping” Lanny Poffo w/ Mr. Wrestling II
Mr. Wrestling II is shown watching the match from a chair. Magnum & Poffo work over Fergie to start. Watts talks about Mr. Wrestling coaching Magnum as Watts talks about Angelo Poffo and Randy Savage, who Watts calls a “complete nut.” Magnum & Poffo stay in control as they focus on Fergie’s arm. Vines tags in but Poffo takes him down with an arm drag. Fergie knees Poffo from the apron and follows with a slam. Fergie tags out then Poffo sends Vines into the corner and tags out. Magnum runs wild then soon after that catches Vines with a belly-to-belly suplex for the win (3:50).
Thoughts: Not much to this match as it was an uneventful squash win for Magnum & Poffo.
Watts talks about Jim Duggan beating Ted DiBiase in a loser leaves town match on August 31. He then says DiBiase has been over in Japan and has sent in a video warning to Duggan. DiBiase, with the World Championship Wrestling of Georgia logo in the background, tells Duggan to look at him. Duggan then says he took Duggan from nothing yet still got turned on and suspended across the country so he had to wrestle in Japan. DiBiase says he is back and a “filthy hippie” and “scum” then says he has not forgotten a thing and is coming back for Duggan and JYD. They put over DiBiase as coming back soon but he spent the first half of 1984 in Japan and Georgia for the most part.
Larry Higgens vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Duggan beats on Higgens before the bell. Duggan takes Higgens to the mat then continues to beat him down as Watts tells us Duggan will face Tom Lynch next week. Higgens gets his knees up when Duggan tries a splash then hammers away. Higgens eats boot on a charge then Duggan comes back with a clothesline and a back drop before using a spear for the win after Higgens fell down (2:42).
Thoughts: A win for Duggan to put him on TV I suppose.
Bill Watts is with Tom Lynch. We hear Lynch tell us he is 6’4 and 275 lbs and that he played football himself before saying he has scouted Duggan. That’s the smallest 6’4 and 275 lbs I’ve ever seen. Lynch says Duggan does not know anything about him and believes that gives him an advantage. This seems to be setting up some sort of angle.
Final Thoughts: Instead of lots of time-killing matches between scrubs, this show was all about establishing characters and planting the seeds for feuds and storylines. The Midnight Express debut was fun and it looks like Darsow could possibly align himself with Volkoff. You can really see the Dundee booking influence here with a lot of stuff seemingly going on at once. The Mid-South show needs a jolt in the arm and hopefully we see things get more exciting with each passing week.