The SmarK Rant for Supertowns on the Superstation (02.07.87)
(Oh hi. I was actually going to review this show last night because it was next in the World Championship Wresting queue on the Network, and couldn’t figure out why it was nearly two hours long instead of the usual 1:25 on the Network. And then I remembered I had already done it when it was on WWE 24/7. So here’s my original rant from 2007, and then we’ll get back to the weekly ’87 shows again after that.)
The idea here is that it’s a sampling of matches and interviews from various stops on the NWA’s national tour, and that’s about it.
– Your hosts are Tony & David.
Barry Windham v. Arn Anderson
From Philly. Trash talk to start and Arn attacks, but Windham dropkicks him out of the ring and Arn gives everyone a piece of his mind. Back in, Arn wrestles Windham down, but Barry escapes with a backdrop suplex. Arn starts cranking on the arm and gets a cheapshot in the corner, but he misses a blind charge and Windham takes him down with an armbar. Arn takes him down with a drop toehold, but Windham counters out and goes back to the arm as we take a break. Back with a big chunk of the match gone according to the time announcement, and Arn holding a rear chinlock, but Barry runs him into the corner to break and goes up, then misses a flying elbow. He never hits that thing. Arn gets two and goes back to work on the arm, but Barry fires back until Arn puts him out on the floor with a back elbow. Back in, a suplex gets two, and the spinebuster gets two. He tries for the gourdbuster, but Windham reverses out and they slug each other down. Windham elbows him down for two, into the sleeper. Arn dumps him to escape, but Windham slingshots back in with a sunset flip and gets the pin at 10:24. Kind of a slower pace than you’d think, but solid. ***
Brad Armstrong v. Jimmy Garvin
From Washington DC. David intros this one by saying, “Another main event match featuring Brad Armstrong…” and I missed the rest because I was laughing so hard. They fight for the lockup to start and it turns into a shoving match before Garvin takes Armstrong down with a leglock. He works on that for a bit until Brad reverses to his own, and we take a break. We return with Garvin holding a headscissors and Armstrong reversing out as Tony relates the storyline behind this match, something about Bob Armstrong and Bill Dundee and a trash can, which I vaguely remember. Garvin goes to a chinlock as I swear they’re trying to kill this crowd on purpose with as little action as possible. Armstrong fights up and runs into a knee, and Garvin tosses him to allow for more stalling. Back in, Garvin misses a blind charge and takes a bump into the corner so gentle that you’d think the turnbuckle was a Ming Vase, and Brad makes the comeback for the apathetic crowd. Garvin tosses him over the top for the DQ at 8:16 to finish the annoyance with a shitty ending. -*
Central States tag titles: The Mod Squad v. The Batten Twins
Oh fuck, the MOD SQUAD, I forgot about them, the scourge of many a crappy episode of Worldwide. I didn’t make the connection to WCW jobbers Mac and Jim Jeffers on the weekly shows I’ve been reviewing from 1986, but that’s who they are. Except now they’re “Spike” and “Basher” and they’re corrupt cops or something. Spike starts with Bart Batten and gets rolled up for two, and Bart grabs the headlock. The Mod Squad tries the double-team, but the Battens clean house and do a goofy babyface celebration like the Fantastics, except gayer. Back in the ring, the Battens double-team Basher with a backdrop and a double back elbow gets two. The Squad regroups and we take a break. Back with Spike getting a clothesline on a Batten for two and stomping him down. We hit the chinlock and Basher gets a slam on a Batten, but a small package gets two. Hot tag to the other guy, who is apparently Brad, and a rollup in the melee gets two. Bart tries to suplex Basher in, but Spike hooks the leg for the pin at 10:04 to retain. That finish, one of the oldest and easiest in wrestling, was completely messed up here, which shows you the level of talent we’re dealing with here. Total snoozefest. 1/2* If you care, and I know you do, Bart went on to win the Central States tag belts from the Squad later in the month, but with Rick McCord as his partner instead of his brother.
– Meanwhile, Paul Jones and the World tag champs, Rick Rude & Manny Fernandez, let us know that they’re ready for the Crockett Cup and would have won last year had they been a team.
The Rock N Roll Express v. Ivan Koloff & Vladimir Petrov
Oh man, the memories of shitty wrestlers past keep flooding back. Petrov was supposed to be the replacement for Nikita Koloff once he turned face or Barry Darsow once he jumped to the WWF, but he was just unspeakably awful. Like, early Warlord, current Khali terrible. Petrov is another in a long line of Russians from Minnesota, and apparently the role was intended for John “Berzerker” Nord but they couldn’t make it happen. So we get this guy. The RnR evade Petrov to start, but Gibson walks into a bearhug and gets squeezed, and it’s over to Ivan. The Express double-teams him and Robert tries working on the arm as the pace suddenly picks up. Ricky goes to the chinlock and then puts Ivan down with a clothesline off the middle rope for two. Robert comes in with a rollup for two, and sadly Petrov gets tagged back in again. Petrov gets an awful backbreaker on Gibson and pounds him in the corner, and thankfully it’s back to Ivan again. They do a double-elbow on Gibson and Petrov can’t even get the timing on THAT right. Ivan with the bearhug and he switches off with Petrov for a version so bad I’m wishing that they’d blur him out like the WWF logos. Ivan comes back in, and he misses the charge and crotches himself on the ropes. Hot tag Ricky and he gets a cross body for two. Sleeper on Ivan, but Petrov hits him with the chain to draw a DQ at 8:57. Worst RnR match you’ll ever see. 1/4* Al Blake, aka Vladimir Petrov, did the wrestling world a favor by selling drugs a few months later and getting thrown in prison for it, thus ending his wrestling career for good. He couldn’t even do a BEARHUG right. How bad do you have to be not to grasp the basic concept behind HUGGING someone?
World TV title: Tully Blanchard v. Dusty Rhodes
From Los Angeles, CA. This would be a rematch from Starrcade’s crappy First Blood match where Tully won the title. As usual, if Dusty can beat Tully, it’s worth $10,000 cash. It’s kind of weird that two guys with so little chemistry would be booked together so often over the years. Dusty gets a bionic elbow in the corner to start and then puts Tully down with the Flip Flop N Fly. Tully bails, and Dusty grabs the headlock as we take a break. Back with Dusty putting both Tully and JJ down with bionic elbows at the same time, and Tully pleads for mercy from the Almighty Dust. Tully gets a cheapshot to take over and stomps away, then drops an elbow from the middle rope for two. Dusty comes back, but misses a charge and Tully goes up again, but this time Dusty catches him. Hiptoss out of the corner puts the ref down (What? NO! ) and Dusty gets his own version of the slingshot suplex, and that allows Arn Anderson to run in and put Tully on top for two. Barry Windham comes out to protest and counts a Dusty pin on Tully for good measure, although it’s thrown out at 6:30 or so. These finishes are getting worse and worse. 1/2*
Tony Schiavone has a sit-down interview with Magnum TA, his first since the accident, and he’s looking pretty rough although he talks about he’s going to fight back and recover. Unfortunately, the spinal column can only recover so much, and there would be no comeback this time. The shots of his useless right hand are pretty scary stuff.
NWA World title: Ric Flair v. Nikita Koloff
Another Starrcade rematch. This is no-DQ, so I’m giving 3-1 odds on Dusty booking a DQ anyway. Or at the very least, a countout finish. Ric goes with the big psyche-out to start and Nikita threatens him with the Sickle early, but backs off. Flair tries a headlock, but Koloff hiptosses him and then throws him halfway across the ring with a one-armed slam, and Flair bails to regroup. Back in, Nikita with the headlock and he follows with another hiptoss and slam, but misses an elbow. Flair hits him with a piledriver, but Nikita no-sells and cocks the Sickle, so Flair takes a powder again. And we take a break. Back with Nikita working on the leg and getting a figure-four, but Flair makes the ropes. Nikita goes back to it, but misses an elbow and Flair tries to run away. Nikita suplexes him back in for two, but Flair escapes again and pulls Nikita out. Nikita sends him into the post as Flair just can’t catch a break here. Back in, Nikita fires away in the corner and we get a Flair Flip. Ric tries to sunset flip back in, but Nikita pounds on him to block that. Flair fires away with the chops and Nikita won’t sell anything, and he charges with the Sickle off that…and wipes out the ref. Nikita hits another one on Flair with no ref evident, and Tully runs in and nails Nikita, which gives Flair two. Flair tries a bodypress and both guys tumble out, and as I figured it’s a double countout at 14:26. This was almost literally 15 minutes of Flair bouncing off Nikita like a pinball. Flair wrestling himself is pretty decent, but not much more. **1/2
Skywalkers match: The Road Warriors v. The Midnight Express
Mega-stall to start with Cornette talking trash and Condrey appealing to the fans for quiet. Finally it starts and the Express tosses powder at the Warriors in stereo, but as soon as the Warriors make their comeback the Express decides to get down, and the Warriors win in a near repeat of the Starrcade match. Nothing here to even rate.
If you missed it on 24/7, don’t fret, because it’s basically just an extended commercial for the Crockett Cup with a string of shitty finishes.