The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling – 06.15.85
Hey let’s try something different with the review this week.
Taped from Shreveport, LA
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Joel Watts
LAST WEEK: Jim Duggan gets jumped by Dr. Death & Ted Dibiase while trying to avenge his burned face against Akbar’s men, but BY GAWD COWBOY BILL WATTS prevents Akbar from shoving a lit cigar in Duggan’s face.
Skandor Akbar cuts a promo about Duggan’s “handicap”, because he’s got unlimited money and resources and he’ll keep spending them until he destroys Watts and Duggan.
The Bruiser & Tommy Pritchard v. The Rock N Roll Express
To say that the crowd loses their shit for the Rock N Rolls would be an understatement. Robert controls the heels with armdrags, but Bruiser pops Ricky in the mouth and Morton gets pissed and finishes him with the double dropkick at 1:01. Apparently they have earned a tag title rematch with Doc & Dibiase as a result of this impressive win.
The Barbarian v. Frankie Lane
Barbarian literally plays “Hey, what’s that?” with Lane and then clobbers him when he looks away, and goes to a bearhug. Lane comes back with a dropkick, but Barbarian pounds him down with the clubbing forearms and drops the leg, then comes off the middle rope with a NORWEGIAN OUTTA CONTROL flying elbow and finishes with the full nelson at 1:29. That was a pretty damn good elbow, actually. Also now that I can’t unsee him as Vladimir Petrov knowing that he was the first choice.
The Dirty White Boys v. Terry Daniels & Wildcat Wendell Cooley
Denton attacks Daniels and slugs away, but Daniels gets some token offense and brings in Cooley. He gets some shine on Anthony, but puts his head down and gets elbowed and the Boys take over. Denton comes in with a clothesline and chokes away on the ropes and Anthony beats him down with forearms for two. Denton with a backdrop suplex for two. Cooley makes a comeback, but Anthony switches in and clobbers him. Cooley finally makes the hot tag to Daniels, but he misses a dropkick and the DWBs finish him with a double team backbreaker at 4:07. What a geek. YOU’RE A DISGRACE TO THE MARINE CORPS, DANIELS!
The Snowman v. Pat Rose
Snowman backdrops Rose, but runs into a boot in the corner and Rose gets some offense that is cheerfully no-sold by Snowman. Snowman is “255 pounds of bad” according to Jim Ross. I love shoot comments that aren’t supposed to be shoot comments. Snowman with a press slam that goes badly, so he does it again and then falls on his ass delivering a back elbow. Powerslam finishes at 2:00 and even then he looked like he forgot how to do the move halfway through. You PICK HIM UP, and you FALL ON TOP OF HIM. Not rocket surgery.
This brings Dutch Mantel in with the bullwhip, looking for some satisfaction, but the refs break it up and protect the supposed badass Snowman so he doesn’t have to fight his own battle.
Dr. Death Steve Williams & Ted Dibiase v. The Fantastics
Non-title match here and there are literally women SHRIEKING when the Fantastics make their entrance. How did Bill Watts so completely fail to cash in on this? He had both the Fantastics and the Rock N Roll Express at the same time! Make some merchandise and a bunch of posters and you’re literally printing money for months. The Fantastics clear the ring to start as the crowd loses its shit. Back in, Doc misses a blind charge and hits the turnbuckle, and the Fantastics go to work on his shoulder. Doc comes back and tries to use his power, but Rogers reverses to a hiptoss and Fulton comes in with a double-team and stays on the arm. Sunset flip gets two off that. Bodypress gets two. Doc throws him to the floor on the kickout, so Dibiase runs him into the post to take over. Back in, Doc bearhugs Fulton and Dibiase comes in with a backbreaker for two. Backdrop and fistdrop set up the delayed suplex for two. Doc goes to the bearhug again and just hurls him down like an angry bear, and then picks him up delivers three straight backbreakers for two. Back to the bearhug and Dibiase tries a backdrop, but Fulton reverses to a sunset flip, so Dibiase punches him in the face for two. Dibiase goes up and misses the elbow, and it’s hot tag Tommy Rogers. It’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA, but Rogers tries a flying headscissors on Doc and Dibiase knocks him the fuck out with the loaded glove at 8:35. And then Doc knocks out Fulton with his loaded gauntlet to keep him from making the save! That was a badass finish to a hell of a tag team match. ***1/2
Terry Taylor v. Edcar “Boo” Thomas
Thomas gets all up in Taylor’s face, so Terry backdrops him and takes him down with a wristlock. Thomas reverses to his own, but Taylor goes back to his own armbar and Thomas makes the ropes. Next week, Akbar brings in Zambuie, who I think was Ray Candy, showing where Watts’ true priorities were. Big fat heels that he could fight! FOR AMERICA! Taylor continues to outwrestle Thomas and finishes him with the flying forearm at 3:06. I think this was about the point where they just gave up on the Thomas experiment.
The Champion v. Superstar Bill Dundee
As noted, The Nightmare is now known as the Champion since he’s the North American champion. Well that’s stupid. What kind of a moron goes around calling himself “THE CHAMPION”? He’s probably all obsessed with the key demos, too. That’s probably why he became half of DEMO-lition. I dunno, I don’t have much to work with here. Dundee gets some shine on The Champion, but The Champion goes to a facelock to grind Dundee down and follows with a backbreaker for two. Dundee makes a comeback, but the Champion drops elbows on him, and then misses a big splash. Dundee comes back again and gets a sleeper this time, but Champion escapes with a backbreaker. Dundee gets a rollup, but Champion shoves him into Eddie Gilbert while Champion loads up his mask for the pin at 4:41. OK, two loaded gimmick finishes on the same show is a bit much.
NEXT WEEK: Ted Dibiase & Dr. Death v. The Rock N Roll Express for the Mid-South tag team titles!
Hey, you know what? Just for fun let’s switch over to Mid-Atlantic on the same date and see what was going on with Crockett. If this proves interesting we can do this moving forward.
The SmarK Rant for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling – 06.15.85
Taped from Charlotte, NC
Your hosts are Johnny Weaver & Bob Caudle
Paul Jones and the Barbarian have some words for Jimmy Valiant to start. Odd that there would be two different “Barbarian” gimmicks at the same time. The war is far from over! Truer words have never been spoken, since it was still dragging on two years later.
Jimmy Valiant, Magnum TA & Sam Houston v. Ron Rossi, Joel Deaton and some other jobber
Kind of creepy to hear them talking about how Dusty and Magnum are “grooming” Sam Houston in a post-Jeffrey Epstein world. Also what the fuck is with this bizarre six-man team? The babyfaces get various awkward double-teams on Deaton and then Magnum finishes Rossi with the belly to belly at 2:10.
Jim Crockett and the Electrifying Sandy Scott join Caudle to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jim Crockett Promotions. On July 6, we’re having some kind of celebration at a stadium, but Sandy doesn’t announce the location. But there’s FIREWORKS! And DAVID ALLAN COE! Anyway, apparently this show is gonna be called “The Great American Bash”. Hopefully that’ll catch on.
Buddy Landel v. Ricky Reeves
Buddy gets a cheapshot in the corner, but Reeves fires back, so Buddy stomps him down and tosses him to the floor. JJ gets some shots in out there, and Buddy works the arm back in the ring. And Landel drops the elbow and finishes him off with the figure-four at 3:30, as they build to a Nature Boy v. Nature Boy feud that never paid off in any serious manner as far as I can remember.
Meanwhile, on Worldwide, Ric Flair puts up $25,000 and his World title against JJ Dillon’s money if he’ll put Buddy Landel in the ring with him. So back at the studio this week, Dillon tells the story of how he went to the back to cash in his bonds, and had a bunch of people stop him in the street offering to put up their own money on his behalf because Buddy Landel is easy money against Flair, apparently. And indeed, JJ has a briefcase full of money to put his own $25,000 on the line. I checked out of curiosity, and they had a few house show matches for the NWA World title but I don’t know if it was every really followed up beyond that.
The Barbarian v. Manny Fernandez
Barbarian gets a couple of slams, but Fernandez gets a bodypress for two and threatens him with MEXICAN KUNG FU! Barbarian works a headlock, but runs into a back elbow and bails to think it over. Back in, Bull gets some very questionable kneedrops to the upper thigh region and works the leg on the mat. Bull with an Indian deathlock and he stays on the leg. Barbarian escapes with a headbutt and puts Fernandez down with a knee and then follows with a bearhug. Fernandez manages to escape, so Barbarian goes right back to it again and then goes up for the diving headbutt. That one misses and Manny comes back with a clothesline and elbows Barbarian to the floor. And he follows with a TOPE CON HILO! HOLY SHIT! Paul Jones can’t even deal with this and attacks for the DQ at 9:49. Jimmy Valiant picks his spot and goes after Jones, but Barbarian nails him from behind and they hit a spike piledriver on Valiant and leave him laying. OK, I was not expecting a damn dive from Manny Fernandez. This was a perfectly cromulent match otherwise. ***
Magnum TA knows that everyone wants his US title, including guys like Nikita Koloff, but at the moment he’s helping out young Sam Houston in his quest to not be such a fucking loser. They’re gonna take him to their secret training facility and turn him into a wrestling machine. Good luck with that one.
Kendo Nagasaki v. Gene Ligon
Nagasaki chokes Ligon out on the ropes and goes to an armbar on the mat. Sakurada was wise to go with the shaved head as Dragon Master years later, because his male pattern baldness ninja look is pretty questionable here. Ligon gets a headlock, but Kendo kicks him down and gets the pin at 2:22.
Dusty Rhodes is here, despite Abdullah the Butcher trying to break his ribs because Tully Blanchard isn’t man enough to do his own dirty work. Also he wants Baby Doll put on the line! Is anyone gonna ask Baby Doll about that? I think we know the answer.
Abdullah the Butcher v. some geek
They don’t even mention the jobber’s name but Abby tosses him out and then finishes him off with the elbowdrop at 1:00.
Manny Fernandez is here to once again share his angst after FIGHTING IN VIETNAM, which is totally a thing that happened. Even though he would have been, what, 12 years old? I mean if he was enlisted at the very end of the war he would have been about 20, so MAYBE, but we already know it’s bullshit.
Meanwhile, in the secret RUSSIAN DUNGEON, Ivan Koloff puts Nikita through his paces. David Crockett notes that he’s been there for two hours watching him work out. Um, why? Did he not have anything better to do? Did he show up really early and they just awkwardly let him sit in the corner while Nikita did reps? Ivan thinks that Ric Flair should have showed up for a workout with Nikita, but he’s got other commitments, which greatly upsets the Kremlin. And then Nikita does a pretty terrifying promo on Flair for good measure.
Nikita Koloff v. Stoney Burke
Nikita puts him down with an elbow and a slam for two, but he uses one finger and Burke kicks out. Nikita is DISGUSTED that this man would dare kick out of his slam, so he tosses him into the ropes and the jobber ragdolls to the floor off that. Back in, Nikita necks him and Burke takes a crazy bump off the apron and into the railing to really sell the move. Back in, the Russian Hammer sets up a backbreaker, but Burke makes a comeback, so Nikita shrugs him off and drops an elbow on him. Another one-handed cover and the jobber kicks out again, so Nikita disgustedly tosses him into the corner and works him over, then clotheslines him on the top rope and finishes him off with the Sickle at 4:29. And this time the jobber doesn’t kick out of his one-handed cover. This was a very effective squash for young Nikita.
Tully Blanchard and his entourage join us to wrap things up for the week, as his biorhythms are UP. Abdullah just stands there staring at the camera like a robot while Tully hides behind him and cuts his promo, which is pretty transfixing in its own way. Anyway, Magnum TA and Dusty Rhodes had both better look out, and we wrap it up for the week.
I really enjoyed the Fantastics match the most of anything out of the two shows, but Manny Fernandez diving over the ropes like a coked-up missile was a sight to behold as well. Two quality shows this week.