The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling – 01.14.84
OK, so much like I decided to move ahead a couple of years in Mid-Atlantic because 82 was boring me, 82 is also pretty depressing for Mid-South, so let’s magically wind forward 2 years to the beginning of 1984 instead and see what Bill Watts was up to at the dawn of Hulkamania.
Your host is now young Jim Ross, along with Bill Watts.
Last week, Crusher Darsow and Nikolai Volkoff think all Americans are CHICKEN, and speaking of which, Terry Taylor makes his debut and answers their challenge. That’s so perfect. At this point, Darsow was doing an American defector gimmick, and wasn’t actually supposed to be Russian. So Taylor gets in Volkoff’s face and Nikolai pounds him in the corner, but Taylor rolls him up out of the corner for the pin in 0:30 and cleans house on the filthy Russkies with AMERICAN DROPKICKS. Bill Watts is all over that shit.
Terry Taylor v. Doug Vines
Taylor works a headlock and takes Vines down with a hammerlock and Watts notes that the red commie bastards were left with egg on their face last week…AMERICAN EGG on their face. Taylor quickly hits a forearm and cradles for the pin at 1:42, and now the Russians are here for another fight, at which point Jim Duggan and JYD storm the ring and save Taylor. If this was prison, Taylor would have to be their bitch in return. But it’s not. Thank god. 1 for 1.
JYD & Jim Duggan v. Jeff Sword & Larry Higgens
Interesting that longtime team Jeff Sword & Doug Vines are split into separate squashes here. Also of note, Larry Higgens is better known as Hacksaw Higgins as a journeyman NWA guy later on. Duggan quickly slams Higgens and drops an elbow as Bill Watts relates the philosophy of America: God bless America because I have freedom of speech and can do whatever I want. I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work. Unless you’re the President, I guess. Higgens runs away and brings Sword in, but Dog quickly destroys him with a clothesline for two and the faces pinfall Sword in the corner. Duggan drops a knee for two as the announcers talk about the cage match tag title match with TA & Mr. Wrestling v. Reed & Neidhart, so we’re right into the thick of Mid-South now. Duggan finishes Sword with the three point stance at 3:02, but those dirty socialist fucks storm the ring again and brawl with the All American babyfaces and generally get the Stalin beat out of them. 2 for 2.
Magnum TA & Mr. Wrestling II v. Don Ralston & Jeff Garner
Magnum & II are the tag champions at this point, leading up to the awesome angle that would come soon after. Jim Cornette quickly jumps into the ring and calls the champions CHICKENS for not defending against the Midnight Express, and indeed they run into the ring and destroy the champions after Condrey knocks TA out with a BLACKJACK. And then Cornette, swear to god, TARS AND FEATHERS Magnum TA while the Express holds him down. The crowd is irate and ready to riot and I love it. MILLION BILLION STARS. 3 for 3.
The Midnight Express v. George Weingroff & Lanny Poffo
Oh man, I didn’t even know I was jumping in during the early days of the Midnight Express and now I’m so very happy I did. Cornette declares that TA is Mid-South version of the San Diego Chicken. Poffo holds off the Express, but tags in Weingroff and he works the arm of Condrey. He backdrops Eaton out of the corner and Poffo comes in with an Oklahoma roll for two. Eaton catches him with a choke in the corner and slugs him over the top and to the floor, and Condrey throws him right back in, and then slugs Weingroff off the apron and taunts Poffo by letting him go back to his corner where no partner awaits. Poffo desperately crawls for the tag and the Express just tortures him, holding him down and dropping elbows on him before hitting Weingroff off the apron multiple times. Poffo keeps crawling and they keep cutting him off and even Watts has to grudgingly admit what great tag team wrestling this is. Even though he’s disgusted by their actions, you understand. Condrey with a bearhug to keep him away and Eaton keeps knocking Weingroff off the apron, and a powerslam on Poffo gets two. Poor Lanny crawls for the corner again and finally makes a hot tag to Weingroff, and he runs wild and rams them together while Poffo recovers from the beating outside. And the Express quickly cheats and cuts Weingroff’s comeback off short, and finish him with a Condrey body vice into an Eaton top rope elbow at 6:07. MAGNIFICENT. 4 for 4.
So next up, Bill Watts has to interview Wrestling II and Magnum TA with a straight face, and this what TA looks like…
And of course he pulls it off! Wrestling II promises that there’s gonna be some PLUCKING going on for the Express. Magnum thinks some people might this funny (LIKE ME!) but now he’s pissed off. I’m betting Jim Cornette gets feathered before all is said and done.
Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart v. Tom Lentz
Anvil launches himself into the corner and beats on Lentz with shoulderblocks, then slams him as Watts recaps the sad breakup between Anvil and Reed, as Butch turned on him following the title loss to TA & Wrestling II. Neidhart beats on Lentz in the corner again and pounds away with forearms, then puts him away with a samoan drop at 1:52. Nothing to this one, but I needed a breather anyway. 4 for 5.
Steve “Dr. Death” Williams v. Krusher Darsow
Doc just unloads on Darsow as Watts explains that Williams hates Russians and loves the US. He gets a pair of slams and goes up for a splash, but hits the knees and Darsow takes over. Watts is of course disgusted by an American lad like Darsow selfishly turning TRAITOR and falling under the spell of Nikolai Volkoff. Darsow with a chinlock, but Doc powers out eventually and then runs into a knee. Darsow knees him down for two and then slams him right onto the remnants of the feathers, but misses an elbow and Doc makes the comeback with shoulderblocks as Darsow runs away and gets advice from Volkoff outside. That advice? “Hit him with the foreign object I just gave you” and indeed Darsow does just that and gets the pin at 5:20. GODDAMN RUSSKIES. Williams was kind of shitty at this point in his career, to say the least. 4 for 6.
Hacksaw Butch Reed v. Rick Rood
Rood was a young babyface at this point, soon to be part of a famous talent exchange with Jerry Jarrett where he went to Memphis and completely reinvented himself in exchange for the Rock N Roll Express coming to Mid-South. So yeah, that worked out pretty well for everyone. Reed stomps him to the floor and chokes away back in the ring. Reed kind of slips on the feathers and Rood slugs away in the corner, but Reed pounds him down as Watts indeed hypes up this new Rock N Roll Express team that is coming to Mid-South next week. OH BABY. Reed grabs a facelock as we’re running out of airtime and then drops Rood on the top rope and finishes him with a press slam at 4:42. Good little match. 5 for 7.
I picked the right era to start reviewing this show again! Magnum TA gets TARRED AND FEATHERED and we’re about to have the first ever Midnights v. RNR matches! MOTHERFUCKING BILL WATTS, baby!