The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems – Mid-South Christmas Night 1983
I wish I would have known this was coming because I would have reviewed it first, before starting Mid-South from 1984. Oh well.
On a website maintenance note, obviously with Christmas rapidly approaching my recent perfect record of one rant per morning is probably going to be in jeopardy, but I’ll do my best to get some stuff done this weekend before I leave town.
Mid-South Christmas Night 83!
We’re in New Orleans for this one, with a weird corner hard camera for an isometric view, and no commentary.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan v. Krusher Darsow
Darsow attacks Duggan and gets chased out of the ring, but manages to overpower him back in the ring. If Rocky IV has taught me anything, it’s that all Russians are on steroids. Even if they’re actually American defectors. Also, montages are awesome. Duggan gets all puffed up and comes back with a slam and drops an elbow, then follows with a clothesline and works the arm. Darsow escapes and goes to a bearhug. A RUSSIAN BEAR-HUG. The most evil and communistic of all hugs. Duggan of course fights out of this with AMERICAN right hands, but Darsow stomps him down again and goes back to it. Holy cow was Comrade Smash a shitty wrestler at this point in his career. Duggan fights back again on Blacktop Bolshoi, but misses a kneedrop, and we go to the chinlock this time. I’ve heard that in Soviet Russia, car repos YOU, but that could just be conjecture. Darsow pounds away in the corner and GOOD FUCKING GOD it’s another bearhug as even the insanely heated New Orleans crowd has to be nearing the end of their patience. Darsow finally misses a blind charge and Duggan makes the comeback with punches and drops a knee for two, busting him open. And of course, he bleeds red, like a typical commie. Duggan keeps hammering the cut and he’s sick of the referee trying to stop the beating, so he tosses the ref, at which point Volkoff runs in for the socialist beatdown on the floor. The ref wakes up, having missed all of these shenanigans, and counts Duggan out at 17:44. Crowd was nuts for everything but it was all chinlocks and bearhugs. Darsow was more green than red. 0 for 1.
Cage match, Mid-South tag titles: Butch Reed & Jim Neidhart v. Mr. Wrestling II & Magnum TA
This is a pretty famous match and I’m glad it’s finally available here in full. TA wins a test of strength with Neidhart and then tosses Reed around the ring and that gets two. The faces work him over in their corner and II comes in with a headlock on Reed. Butch fights out, so II hits him with the kneelift and sends him flying into the ropes and out to the floor. Interestingly, this a Cell-style cage, surrounding the ring on the floor and leaving room to walk around. Back in, TA goes with the headlock on Reed and hangs on tenaciously, even when Reed gives him an atomic drop. And then TA gives Reed his own atomic drop, and it’s back to Neidhart again. Anvil elbows him down, but TA fights back on both heels by himself and hits Reed with shoulderblocks until finally Butch sends him into the cage and out to the floor. That’s quite the man-sized bump! Reed and Neidhart bully him on the apron and won’t let him in, so Wrestling II comes over to give them a piece of his mind and that just allows more abuse behind the ref’s back. Finally Reed hauls Magnum in, all good and bloody now, and the heels go to work on him and Reed runs him into the cage again. TA finally scoots over and makes the hot tag to Wrestling II and he sends Reed FLYING with a backdrop that gets two. II gets a hiptoss on Reed, but Neidhart trips him up and Reed chokes him down to take over again. Reed with a backbreaker for two. Neidhart with a powerslam and he cuts off the ring with a facelock and the heels work him over in the corner. II finally backdrops Anvil to escape, but Reed hits a shoulderblock off the top and that gets two…but he picks him up. RUH ROH. Anvil decides to come in and try to rip the mask off, but II is wearing a second one underneath and he makes the tag to TA while Anvil celebrates. Belly to belly and we have new champions at 16:50. The crowd goes APESHIT for that one, and this one sadly omits Reed turning on Neidhart afterwards. Still, amazingly heated old school tag action here. 1 for 2.
I wouldn’t call the first match “bad” as much as it was “not good”, but the other one is well worth checking out. I just wish there were more matches on this show available!