February 2, 1984
Your hosts are Boyd Pierce and Bill Watts
This week, the TV Title Tournament starts. We see a sloppily written bracket on a poster board with the names of the ten entrants as Watts says it will take place over the next nine weeks. The first round matches are: Terry Taylor vs. Buddy Landel, Jim Duggan vs. Masao Ito, Junkyard Dog vs. Nikolai Volkoff, Butch Reed vs. Jim Neidhart, and Magnum TA vs. Krusher Darsow. However, we learn that Duggan was removed after wrestling a “Coal Miner’s Match” against Krusher Darsow.
Watts is with Darsow, who is wearing a coal miner’s glove. Watts talks about bullrope matches and that Duggan created a coal miner’s glove match. Darsow said all he cared about was knocking out Duggan then beat Duggan in the match he created. Watts says the match was too brutal to show and we see just a tiny clip of the match. Duggan won the match but was attacked from behind by Nikolai Volkoff then Darsow tears off the glove but we cut away from the assault as Darsow is pissed as Watts refuses to air the footage. Watts then says we do not know the extent of Duggan’s injuries. Good job in teasing this new match stipulation as a brutal concept. And it sets up for Duggan’s return because in reality, Duggan went to Florida and ended up having a feud against Dusty Rhodes.
Krusher Darsow vs. Tommy Heggie
Darsow beats down Heggie to start. He stays in control as Watts talks about Darsow bragging about being the man who took Duggan out of wrestling then uses the backbreaker submission for the win (1:47).
Thoughts: This, along with the prior segment, was used to strongly put over Darsow as a major threat.
Watts mentions Jim Cornette doing whatever it takes to get his Midnight Express Tag Team Title shots then we see clips from last week where the Midnight Express whipped Magnum TA & Mr. Wrestling II with Cornette’s belt during their non-title match.
Tom Lentz & Jerry Gray vs. Mr. Wrestling II & Magnum TA
The champs work over Lentz to start as they look more aggressive than usual. Mr. Wrestling outslugs Gray and the champs use quick tags to maintain control as Watts talks about the TV Title Tournament. Lentz is back in but Mr. Wrestling escapes from the opposing corner and tags out as Magnum runs wild. Mr. Wrestling then hits Lentz with a knee lift and Magnum hits the belly-to-belly for the win (4:04).
Thoughts: Mr. Wrestling II & Magnum TA took out their frustrations on the enhancement talent as they want to get revenge on the Midnight Express.
We are now shown the end of a Reed vs. Neidhart match that took place in Oklahoma City, OK. The match ended as a DQ after Reed put on a football helmet and speared Neidhart. Reed then takes off the helmet and uses it to beat on Neidhart.
Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart vs. Larry Santana
Watts tells us that Neidhart will face Reed in four weeks as part of the TV Title Tournament. Neidhart beats on Santana and tosses him around. Watts talks about his son Micah admiring Neidhart’s weightlifting regime then Neidhart puts Santana out of his misery with the Samoan Drop (1:41).
Thoughts: This match was used to hype the upcoming Reed vs. Neidhart TV Title match.
Masao Ito vs. Mike Jackson
Watts tells us that Lanny Poffo will take Duggan’s place in the Tournament. Ito destroys Jackson as Watts talks about Florida and JJ Dillon’s crew against Dusty Rhodes as Ito puts on the choke hold and refuses to break and gets disqualified (2:27).
Thoughts: They put over Ito once again as a threat while telling us Duggan is being replaced with Poffo. We also heard about the JJ Dillon/Dusty Rhodes feud in Florida.
We see a video package of Terry Taylor set to “Freeze Frame” by the J. Geils Band. It shows us a lot of stuff from his photo shoot as they put him over as a heartthrob. Since Mid-South has never had someone presented in this manner before it ended up getting over.
Nikolai Volkoff vs. Joe Savoldi
Volkoff wears his hangman’s rope around the neck. He then sings the Russian National Anthem as the crowd boos. Volkoff slams Savoldi then beats him down as Watts talks about the United States being one of the few countries still able to boo the Russian Anthem. Volkoff hits a reverse shoulderbreaker then after that uses an overhead backbreaker for the win (2:12).
Thoughts: Watts amped up more of the anti-Russia stuff to get them over as a top heel act.
TV Title Tournament First Round Match: “Nature Boy” Buddy Landel vs. Terry Taylor
Both men fight over a lockup as we learn there are a few standby matches if this match ends before the show goes off the air. They end in another stalemate as Landel complains his tights were pulled. We get a fast-paced Irish whip sequence that ends with Landel bailing. Landel returns and boots Taylor in the gut then chokes him out on the mat. Landel gets two with a knee drop then uses a chinlock. Taylor avoids an elbow drop then comes back with a flying forearm for the win (4:33) **1/2.
Thoughts: Damn good match for they time they had and both guys looked strong in the process too. They are building up Taylor well and Landel has shined since returning.
We get another Rock n’ Roll Video Package set to “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin.
Watts shows us the bracket as Taylor will face the winner of next week’s match between Poffo and Ito. He then runs down the rest of the tournament.
Also for next week we will have Junkyard Dog on commentary.
Thoughts: The TV Title Tournament kicked off as that will be running for the next two months but they pushed the main storylines and those involved plus JYD will be back next week. With Duggan out, look for someone else to get elevated in his absence. These shows are a real blast to watch.