(So for those who may not have been following me during the WWE Classics on Demand era, I actually have a complete run of World Championship Wrestling on TBS done from June ‘85 until the place I left off at the very end of 1986 once the show was on the Network. Anyway, as a companion piece to the Mid-Atlantic show from January 86 we covered yesterday, here’s my review of World Championship Wrestling from the same week, which would have been written 2008-ish.)
The SmarK 24/7 Rant for World Championship Wrestling – January 4 1986
– Your hosts are Tony & David.
– They announce that Dusty Rhodes is the National heavyweight champion just like that.
– Tully Blanchard, with new manager JJ Dillon, starts us off by challenging Dusty yet again. Hey, they said last week that JJ wasn’t gonna manage him. That’s just dishonest.
– The Rock N Roll Express v. Thunderfoot & Jim Jeffers.
Thunderfoot, now without a manager, goes after Ricky to start but gets hiptossed for his troubles. Over to Jeffers, who has even less luck and loses a slugfest to Robert Gibson. Kneelift and Robert goes after the arm, then Ricky grabs a headlock. Cheapshot from the apron puts the jobbers in control and Thunderfoot works Ricky over a bit, and over to Jeffers for a backdrop that gets two. Ricky reverses a suplex from Thunderfoot, but Jeffers keeps pounding him in the corner. However, he misses a blind charge and it’s hot tag Gibson, double dropkick, goodbye at 4:34.
– Tully returns to elaborate on dumping Baby Doll, calling her an ingrate and admitting that Dusty was right — she IS a Jezebel. More on this later, apparently.
– Continuing on, JJ declares that he has fired all his other talent to join with Tully and makes the first mention on this show of “the Four Horsemen of wrestling”, referring to Flair, Tully and the Andersons. He puts forth the domino theory, noting that if you destroy Dusty’s friends then the man will soon fall. His first target: Jimmy Valiant. We go back to Worldwide Wrestling, as JJ double-crosses Baby Doll after buying her a ticket to the Bahamas to get rid of her, and Tully hauls off and SLAPS HER. Holy CRAP. Dusty Rhodes charges in to defend her honor and we have a face turn. That was AWESOME. Tully promises to take the National title from Dusty, and Baby Doll, and “teach her a lesson.” Like Lex Luger taught Elizabeth a lesson, I’d bet.
– Harley Race v. Tony Zane.
Zane grabs a headlock on Harley, but gets suplexed as a result. Gut wrench suplex gets two. A rather stiff lariat out of the corner and an elbowdrop get two. Headbutt puts Zane down and a neckbreaker follows. Slam and shoulderbreaker look to finish, but Race picks the guy up. Nice touch as Zane tries throwing punches and hurts his hand on Race’s head. Race calmly suplexes him and goes up to finish with a falling headbutt at 3:23.
– Ivan Koloff and his six-man trophy are out to proclaim the glory of Mother Russia. Funny story in Bret Hart’s book about meeting Ivan at a young age, where he recognizes “Ivan” as a jobber from Montreal and an embarrassed Ivan politely asks him not to call him by his French name again because all the boys really think he’s Russian.
– Ron Bass v. Bill Tabb.
Bass pounds away in the corner and throws a knee, then slams him into an elbowdrop, then goes to a facelock. Iron Claw finishes at 2:05. Little known fact: Bill Tabb was later repackaged into his much more successful persona, Bill Dietcoke.
– Rebuttal time from Dusty Rhodes, as he brags about breaking Ole Anderson’s leg while Baby Doll holds his new belt. He calls Arn Ole’s “brother,” so I guess that’s the story this week. It generally changed depending on who was doing the interview. Dusty offers total forgiveness to Baby Doll because she was a victim, and we get a clip of Dusty and the Road Warriors returning the leg-breaking favour to Ole, as Dusty comes off the top rope twice onto it and then applies a figure-four.
– Ron Garvin v. Mac Jeffers.
Garvin is all business, slugging Jeffers down and suplexing him, then applying a rear chinlock and slapping him around. I guess he’s still upset about the match with Flair last week. He chokes Jeffers out on the mat and keeps yelling at him to fight back, but then when Jeffers tries it he smacks him around in the corner. Well, what kind of incentive is THAT? Garvin headbutts him back into the corner and tosses him, and then back in for another vicious chop, and the Hands of Stone finish with gusto at 3:42. Now THAT was a squash.
– Harley Race actually gets promo time, and he’s TIRED of having to prove himself, since he’s a seven time World champion and all, and not just “that plastic piece of garbage that everyone else is talking about,” but the real World title. Oh, SNAP. Boy, he’d sure change his tune a couple of months after this.
– The Road Warriors v. Josh Stroud, Gene Ligon & Mark Hawk.
The Warriors storm in and Hawk clotheslines Ligon while Animal clotheslines Mark Hawk, and that finishes.
– Manny Fernandez v. Larry Clark.
Manny goes for the leg to start and wrestles him to the mat, then chops him down and goes back to the leg again with a half-crab. Another chop puts Clark down again and Fernandez uses an anklelock and then finishes with the Flying Burrito at 4:23.
– And now, the champ is here. First topic: Dusty Rhodes, who is only second best as long as Flair has the big belt. He’s spent more money on spilled booze than Dusty made in the last year. Second topic: Tully Blanchard was dumb for trusting a woman in the first place.
– Arn Anderson v. Kent Glover.
Arn goes right for the arm and gets the hammerlock slam, then applies the armbar, then finishes with the gourdbuster at 2:49.
– Tag team interview time, as Flair returns to cut a promo with AA. They point out the hypocrisy of Jim Crockett in not suspending Dusty for doing bad things to Ole, but Baby Doll interrupts. Flair, always a gentleman, starts screaming that “when you get off Space Mountain, you’ll look like this!” and lays down spread-eagled on the ground as I’m shocked that everyone doesn’t crack up completely.
– Jimmy Valiant v. Adrian Bevins.
Valiant chokes him out to start and drops the big elbow to finish at 0:36.
– Jim Cornette cuts a quick promo against the Rock N Roll Express (well, quick by his standards) and once again explains that the Midnights are actually the best team in the world.
– Loverboy Dennis v. Rocky King.
What’s with the singles match? Condrey takes King down and tries for the headlock, then opts to toss him instead. Cornette explains that it’s a singles match because if they showed up as a team than the Rock N Rolls would be too scared to show up, because they’re cowards. More great machine-gun commentary from Cornette as he calls Rocky the most improved in the company, because he used to be horrible and now he’s just pitiful. They trade wrestling on the mat and Condrey cradles for two, then chokes King out on the ropes. Snapmare gets two and he tosses King, then follows with a baseball slide. King fights back with a couple of dropkicks, but Condrey finishes with a dangerous looking brainbuster at 5:00. Well, I’m guessing the afro protected him, but ouch.
– Dusty and Baby Doll return to clarify why Baby Doll left Tully and Flair: Lack of size. Why should she mess with Space Mountain when she can have the whole park?
– US title: Magnum TA v. The Barbarian.
They fight for a wristlock to start and TA powers him out to the floor, then backdrops him on the way in. He works the arm and takes him down with a hammerlock, but stops to chase Paul Jones. Barbarian charges in the chaos, but hits the post and Magnum goes back to the arm again. Barbarian fights up, but Magnum slugs away on the arm and grabs another armbar to subdue him. We take a break and return with Barbarian holding a rear chinlock and dropping a leg, then taking a bearhug into a stungun. Barbarian adds the big boot, and a second one gets two. Kneedrop misses and Magnum makes the comeback with a dropkick for two. Atomic drop bumps the ref and Magnum gets the belly-to-belly suplex off that. Jones hits him with the cane and Harley Race leaves the desk to go count the pin personally at 8:50. Obviously this doesn’t count as a real result and no one even pretends that it does. Match was just a lot of punching and kicking, and not the good kind like last week. ** Race and Barbarian double-team Magnum with headbutts until the Rock N Roll make the save.
– The Road Warriors rage against people double-teaming other people and segue into the Russians again, debuting their new “Weasel Slappers” t-shirt. Sure to be a hot seller, no doubt.
– Sam Houston & Nelson Royal v. Pablo Crenshaw & Don Turner.
Houston hits the jobbers with hiptosses to start and brings in Royal, who drops knees on Turner for one. Double-elbow and they work on the arm and trade kneelifts on Turner. Back elbow gets two for Houston. Bulldog finishes at 1:55. I have no idea what this team was building towards, but I have no desire to watch the match.
– Magnum TA returns from his beating , promising to pay closer attention to Paul Jones from now on. And Harley Race can kiss his ass, more or less. Come and get some!
Not as fabulous as last week, but the Baby Doll stuff was super-hot and we are now officially in the Four Horsemen era.