The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling – 05.25.85
Taped from Shreveport, LA
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Joel Watts
This one looks like it’s going to be a banger, as the kids say.
Bill Watts does a promo about how a MAN’S MAN like Jim Duggan was injured by Akbar and how disgusted he is by that. Plus “two former draft-dodging bums” attacked Terry Daniels last week and that just pisses him right off as well because Daniels was a MARINE and the other guys didn’t even serve their country! So Bill was looking at a statue of two gladiators in Rome and he had an epiphany. I’m gonna leave that one alone.
OK, sorry, I’m weak. Anyway, Watts is FIRED UP and of course he’s looking within himself to see if he can still come out of retirement and take care of things himself.
Skandor Akbar cuts his own promo in response, promising that what happened to Duggan will happen to Bill Watts, but WORSE, if Bill keeps making threats at him.
Back at the studio, JR reminds us that Bill retired because he wanted to, not because he had to.
Kamala v. Vern Deaton
So as promised, Kamala has indeed evaded the suspension levied by Cowboy Bill and is back on TV again with Akbar. So Kamala superkicks Deaton and chokes him out in various forms, then hits the big splash to finish at 1:00.
THE BRUTE v. Frankie Lane
I’m drawing a blank on The Brute’s identity, although he looks like a fatter and hairier Billy Jack Haynes. But it proves to be a mere McGuffin, as Akbar’s new man is just there for Jim Duggan to run down and destroy with a chair, making his triumphant return from career-ending burns by taking out one of Akbar’s guys. Even if it’s one we just met. The crowd went batshit for this, as you’d expect.
“Rick” Flair v. Wendall Cooley
So this is the Wildcat’s debut in Mid-South, and he starts out with a shot at the champ. Flair grabs a headlock and takes him down, but Cooley reverses out of it and chases Flair with some hiptosses. So Flair takes him to the corner for some punishment with chops and drops the knee. Butterfly suplex gets two. Flair tosses him and sends him into the railing before adding some more chops. Back in, Cooley gets another hope spot with a bodypress for two and Cooley is BOWING UP, but Flair chops him down again and drops an elbow for two. Gut wrench gets two. Cooley dives in with a small package for two, but Flair gets a suplex and NOW WE GO TO SCHOOL with the figure-four at 5:15. Cooley of course looked pretty good here and stuck around the territory for a while with a good push.
Jake Roberts & Nord the Barbarian v. Brickhouse Brown & Brad Armstrong
See now, I was under the impression from last week that Brad & Brickhouse were getting a shot at Dibiase & Doc for the tag titles this week, but I guess plans changed. Brickhouse Brown starts with Crackhouse Jake and works the arm before going to a headlock, but Jake rolls him over for two. Brickhouse slugs away and gets dropkicks on the heels to clean house. Brad and Brickhouse double-team Jake in the corner and Brad works the arm and rolls him up for two. Jake decides to hide in the ropes and then tricks Brad into walking into the heel corner. Barbarian comes in and Brad fires away on him, but misses a blind charge and runs into a boot. Brad was always really good at that spot. Barbarian gets a press slam and drops some legs on him for two. Jake comes in and slugs him down, and Barbarian clotheslines him and stomps away. Jake with the kneelift, but Brad comes back with a clothesline out of the corner and it’s HOT TAG Brickhouse. He gets some impressive dropkicks on Barbarian to send him to the floor, but he tries the flying headbutt and lands on his face. Jake makes sure to point to his head to indicate that he was the smarter person in that situation, and Barbarian comes in with the full nelson. But Brickhouse fights him off and walks the ropes for a hope spot, as Barbarian holds on. Jake comes in to assist, but Brad sneaks in and dropkicks them over to break the hold, bumping the ref in the process. So Jake is like “Well, since I’m here…” and DDTs Brown, then delightedly dances around before pinning him at 8:25. This was a HELL of a TV match with 3 of the guys firing on all cylinders. And Barbarian was there as well. I really loved this one, simple and effective. ***1/2
Terry Taylor v. Eddie Gilbert
Taylor defends the North American title against the Nightmare next week, so Eddie is trying to soften him up. Ric Flair joins us at ringside, because he’s worried about young Terry Taylor’s potential threat to his title. Taylor works a wristlock and then gets a bodypress on Gilbert for two, but Eddie trips him up in the corner after a headbutt to take over. Backdrop gets two. Taylor dropkicks him and slugs away on him, which sets up a kneecrusher and the figure-four to finish at 2:20. See, that’s a message to Ric Flair, kids. So Flair naturally heads into the ring to bitch about the blatant disrespect being shown there by that punk Taylor, and lays him out when Terry’s back is turned. Flair drops a knee on him and shows him the proper way to apply the figure-four, but Taylor reverses the hold as the crowd goes nuts and Flair quits. Eddie Gilbert tries to run in, but Snowman chases him off. But Terry is still selling the knee injury from Flair’s figure-four and I bet that factors into his title defense next week because Bill Watts rules.
Dr. Death & Ted Dibiase v. Mike Simiani & Jim Jeffers
Doc overpowers Jeffers to start and hits him with a deadlift german before dropping a leg on him. Over to Dibiase, who puts him down with the back elbow and drops the fist, and he continues beating on Simiani. Doc & Dibiase double-team Simiani, and Doc hits a sick pilediver and finishes with the Oklahoma Stampede at 1:50. Awesome squash. They just wrecked those poor fuckers.
The Snowman v. Tommy Pritchard
Jim Ross clarifies that Snowman is not just regular tough, he’s DOUBLE tough. Joel Watts notes that he’s got a high threshold of pain and there’s not much you can do to hurt him. GEE, I WONDER WHY THAT IS, JOEL? Snowman with a clothesline and delayed suplex, and a terrible powerslam finishes at 1:18. Fuck the Snowman.
Ric Flair stops by the desk to close things out, and he’s not taking shit from punks like Terry Taylor because this is PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING, not Hollywood. He’s the best and if Taylor isn’t the best when he gets in the ring, he’s in trouble.
Next week: Terry Taylor v. The Nightmare for the North American title! Ric Flair returns!
This episode fucking ruled and made me happy to be a wrestling fan. One of the best ones of the series I’ve seen. Except for Snowman, screw him.