The SmarK Rant for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling- 01.05.85
So I wanted to go back to Mid-Atlantic, but the tag team tournament was boring the pants off me, so let’s jump ahead to the era we’re all more familiar with, starting in early 1985!
We’re now in an arena instead of the studio shows from the earlier run.
Your hosts are Bob Caudle & Johnny Weaver
Joel Deaton v. Steve Casey
OK, now we’ve got some excitement right away! Cough. Casey is apparently the British Empire champion, not to be confused with famous old time wrestler Steve “Crusher” Casey. They trade armdrags to start and Casey takes down with a fireman’s carry into a samoan drop for the pin at 3:00. Nothing to this one. 0 for 1.
Magnum TA, making his debut in the area, is ready to make some noise, despite being dressed like the biker in the Village People. Well, the 80s were a different time. He’s looking for Wahoo’s US title.
THE AMERICAN STARSHIP v. The Infernos
Now here we go! Witness the wrestling world debut of Scott Hall and Dan Spivey as generic tag team wrestlers.
Meltzer was just merciless to them in the early Observers. Hall was “Coyote” and Spivey was “Eagle” by the way. They double-team Inferno #2 and work the arm, then Eagle puts an Inferno in a full nelson for the submission win at 2:15. They looked like a couple of deers staring at headlights for the entire match. Oh man, now I wish we could have seen American Starship v. The Blade Runners because it would have been the most glorious trainwreck ever. 1 for 2.
NWA World Junior title: Denny Brown v. Tommy Lane
Brown takes him down and goes for the toehold, but Lane works the arm. Lane is of course famous to Canadian fans for playing the role of Jeff Gouldie, son of the Mongolian Stomper who got “retired” by Bad News Allen in an amazing angle. Brown works a headlock on Lane, but Tommy gets a dropkick for two and goes back to the arm. Caudle assures us that we can’t really understand the pain of a headlock by watching it on TV. Perhaps if he had Verne Gagne’s start of the art technology? Lane works an armbar for a while and Brown comes back with a suplex and Oklahoma roll for the pin at 5:40. 1 for 3.
Ron Bass & Black Bart are here after some workout time at the ranch, pulling bulls by the horn and stuff. JJ Dillon has decided they’re sick of being nice guys and Bart rants about whatever until they cut him off.
Superstar Graham v. Brian Adidas
Yes, it’s KUNG FU GRAHAM.
What a strange repackage that one was. Graham gets the KARATE THRUST and waves his arms around, as Caudle explains that Superstar went to Japan for, like, a month and came back as an expert in kung fu and karate. Did he get hooked up to the Matrix or something? Adidas fights back, but Graham uses a KUNG FU EYEPOKE and goes to the martial arts chinlock. Adidas fights out and Graham puts him down with the kung fu chop before tossing him to the floor. He runs Adidas into the railing a few times and Paul Jones gets some damage in, but Adidas fights back until the full nelson finishes at 7:44. Two full nelson finishes in the same show? I’m thinking Graham must have left all his talent and charisma in Japan when he learned the martial arts. 1 for 4.
Dusty Rhodes is the man of the hour, the tower of power, and too sweet to be sour. There’s a change coming in 85! Besides making himself booker?
Magnum TA v. Super Destroyer
TA gets an armdrag to control the Destroyer and works on that for a while, and a sunset flip gets two. Back to the arm and he switches to a headscissors and slugs away in the corner, before finishing with the belly to belly at 4:03. Definitely something to be said for keeping things shorter with TA. 1 for 5.
Paul Jones is ready to introduce us to the next World champion, Superstar Graham. Who is also a kung fu master. All will be unable to break his kung fu grip! I know this is a hot take, but Scott Steiner and Hollywood Hogan might as well have been reading this guy’s promos word for word.
Manny Fernandez v. Nikita Koloff
Nikita is of course very young and very green at this point, although he looked like a star. Koloff works a headlock on Manny and powers him down, but Manny gets his own headlock and takes him down with it. He gets a pair of chops and Nikita bails, seemingly unable to figure out what this “selling” thing is. Back in, Nikita pounds away on him and gets a slam, and when he’s on offense he’s a tad less embarrassing. Koloff misses an elbow and Manny fights back with the Mexican Martial Arts and goes to work on the leg. Nikita finally rakes the eyes to escape, but Manny goes back to it. Bull with a stepover toehold and they stay on the mat with that for a while. Why would you make Koloff sell for 10 minutes like this? It’s literally been Fernandez laying in a leg hold for the last 5:00. Koloff finally fights out and Manny clip the knee again and goes to work on it, at which point we run out of time and the leglock is still going on at 11:55. Quite the main event there. 1 for 6.
Doesn’t read great on paper, but I enjoyed this a lot more than the 82 shows, so I’ll probably stick with this one for a while.