The SmarK Rant for the Saturday Morning Showdown – 06.22.85
Hey, this was a fun time last time and people seemed to really enjoy my mid-80s Mid-South v. Mid-Atlantic mashup, so let’s give it another go. And once again, we start with some Bill Watts…
The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling – 06.22.85
Taped from Shreveport, LA
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Joel Watts
So I thought that based on last week’s show, the Rock N Roll Express would be facing Doc & Dibiase for the tag team titles, but apparently that’s not the case. Not sure what happened there.
Skandor Akbar introduces us to Kareem Muhammad, his newest protégé. This is apparently the final piece of puzzle to put Bill Watts out on the streets. Is he gonna kill the Oklahoma oil market?
Kareem Muhammad v. Private Terry Daniels
Man, Daniels needs to get out of this territory in the WORST way right now. He’s literally descended all the way to TV jobber at this point. Kareem beats Daniels down and stomps away, at which point Joel accidentally calls him “Ray Candy” and then quickly tries to cover it up. KAYFABE, Joel! He finishes with a headbutt at 2:00.
Captain Redneck Dick Murdoch returns with a promo about how he was “laid up in a honky tonk in Tokyo Japan” and then turned up next in Oklahoma somehow, having flown overseas while blackout drunk, where Bill Watts called him despite being a “turncoat polecat”. But he’s back because he hates Akbar more than Watts and he’s also not fond of people from the Middle East. The bit about passing out in Japan and waking up in Oklahoma was all too common in the 80s, I’d think.
Dick Murdoch v. Karl Stiles
I’m assuming they meant “Carl Styles” and just spelled it as stupidly as they usually do, but regardless Murdoch quickly beats him down and hits a back elbow while JR tells the story of how Murdoch could have “gone back to the WWF and tried to regain the tag team titles” but instead he chose to be here. Brainbuster finishes at 1:38.
Jake Roberts & The Barbarian v. Wendell Cooley & Frankie Lane
You can tell that they’re getting ready to do something with Cooley because he’s always protected in these TV jobs and let’s face it, he looks like a star. Cooley goes for the arm and gets hiptossed by the Barbarian, but he dodges a blind charge and gets a dropkick. Barbarian swats him down again and follows with a legdrop, and it’s over to Jake. Cooley gets a little more shine with a bodypress on Jake for two, but then it’s over to Lane and he’s clearly the job guy here. The heels go to work on him while Joel speaks for his dad on commentary, noting that the days of “ponderous powerhouses” are behind us, and big guys who can’t move won’t be getting pushed for no reason here in Mid-South. Meanwhile, THE SNOWMAN is TV champion and big fat Randy Colley is North American champion. So yeah, nice try. I mean, obviously we know exactly who this little bitter diatribe was aimed towards. DDT finishes Lane at 2:58.
The Snowman v. Randy Beason
Speaking of our beloved ponderous powerhouse, he finishes the guy in 1:00 with a powerslam, so stiff that he’s barely able to even rotate around on the move.
Tommy Pritchard & Pat Rose v. Brickhouse Brown & Mark Ragin
Man, what a waste that Brickhouse has been for Mid-South this year. He came in for the Akbar feud and seemed like he was gonna catch fire and it’s just been meaningless tag team after tag team for him ever since. So JR clarifies that the tag team titles will be on the line NEXT week, and now it’s gonna be either the Rock N Roll Express OR one of three other teams. Ragin and Rose do some basic wrestling stuff and trade armbars for a while. Joel puts over their charitable efforts, noting that Mid-South frequently works with non-profits in small towns. Sounds like the WCW house show tours in the 90s. Brown comes in and they try a simple double-team where Brown drops down and Ragin gets a dropkick on Rose, and somehow that goes SPECTACULARLY wrong and everyone completely goes off the rails, until everyone brawls and Ragin gets a sunset flip on Rose for the pin at 5:00. I’d say keep it simple, but they DID keep it simple and Ragin still managed to fuck up a dropkick. I would have just edited that off the show, honestly.
Brad Armstrong v. Dirty Dutch Mantel
They slug it out to start and Dutch goes for the hair, but Brad grabs a headlock and takes him down with it. Dutch chokes him out on the ropes and goes to a chinlock, but Brad quickly fights out of that, so Dutch goes to the arm instead. They slug it out and Dutch hits him with a knee to the gut and goes back to the arm again, but Brad comes back with a dropkick and puts him down with a hooking clothesline. He tries the sleeper, but Dutch runs him into the corner to break. Brad rolls him up for two, but Dutch sends him into the corner on the kickout and rolls him up with a handful of tights for the pin at 6:22.
The Dirty White Boys v. The Fantastics
Once again this week, the front row is suddenly populated by women who are literally throwing themselves at the Fantastics. They were probably planted but it’s a HELL of a visual and it’s exactly what this dreary territory full of manly dudes doing heavy heat angles needed to lighten things up a bit. We quickly get a pier six brawl, but the Fantastics do a funny double monkey-flip that works well, so the White Boys try the same thing and of course the faces are ahead of them and we get the rowboat spot instead. The White Boys regroup and Tony Anthony gives it a shot, but he gets double-teamed and the Fans work the arm. Fulton monkey-flips him into a Rogers dropkick in some slick double-teaming, but Denton comes in with his own dropkick on Fulton. “Len Denton is a great grappler” notes Joel. I’d normally say that was some clever wordplay but Joel’s not usually a clever announcer. Fulton gets double-teamed in the White Boy corner and Denton gets a high slam for two. Anthony misses a headbutt and it’s hot tag Tommy Rogers as it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA. Tommy misses a dropkick and Denton takes off his boot, but he hits Anthony with it by mistake and Rogers gets a small package for the pin at 6:33. Quite a fun little match. But the show just didn’t feel like it had any particular point or focus this week.
OK, so what did Crockett have to offer at the same time?
The SmarK Rant for Mid-Atlantic Wrestling – 06.22.85
Taped from Charlotte, NC
Your hosts are Bob Caudle & Johnny Weaver
Hopefully the Koloffs let David Crockett out of their dungeon/gym after last week.
So we pick things up with a replay of Manny Fernandez’s bonkers tope onto the Barbarian, because it was pretty awesome.
Manny Fernandez v. Lee Ramsay
The Bull takes Ramsay down with a pair of hiptosses and goes to work on the arm, then takes him down with a nice drop toehold and ties him up with a leglock. Ramsay fights back, but Bull comes out of the corner with a crossbody to finish at 2:05. Ramsay was a lot more animated and emotive than most jobbers for whatever reason.
BREAKING NEWS: Dusty Rhodes was doing a tag team match with Magnum TA against Tully Blanchard & Abdullah at the Greensboro Coliseum, and we’ve got footage. So first up, Baby Doll gets in his face, so Dusty tears off her dress! Man the 80s were a different time. So we cut to later in the match, as Tully is selling and a “fan” comes into the ring and gives him something, which turns out to be a FIREBALL for Dusty. And of course the fan is Baby Doll. So all the babyfaces immediately help him out and load him up into a pickup truck to take him to the hospital. I’m not sure what the problem is, it probably just cauterized all the nasty blading scars on his forehead. Also this is suspiciously close to the Jim Duggan fireball angle we’ve just seen on Mid-South about a month before this. So Dusty joins Caudle with a couple of band-aids on his eye to really sell the injury. Highlight here: Dusty saying that “Two months ago, I said I wished Baby Doll was a man.” TMI, Dusty.
Arn Anderson v. Denny Brown
Arn is rocking the SWEET porkpie hat here, which might be enough for the win by itself, I dunno. Denny Brown was the junior heavyweight champion of the NWA at this point, which makes it odd but not unsurprising that he’d be used as a TV job guy. Brown works the arm and holds an armbar through a slam, but Arn gives him an elbow to the gut to break and follows with a shoulderbreaker to take over. Gutbuster follows and he continues beating on the midsection and follows with a knee to the gut. Brown fights back with a dropkick, but puts his head down and Arn finishes him off with the gourdbuster at 4:23. “The winner…with that particular maneuver….Arn Anderson.” Johnny Weaver really earning his pay there.
Jimmy Valiant joins us via satellite to offer support and help to his good friend Dusty Rhodes, and then we get a flashback to Jimmy literally PICKING UP A HOOKER from the street (complete with in-car camera angle) and that of course is Big Mama, who is then gifted to Dusty Rhodes by Jimmy Valiant as his own “Perfect 10”. For those who have never had the pleasure, picture an 85 pound fitness instructor who happens to have 48DDD implants. OK, we can’t top this, shut it down, I’m calling the win for Mid-Atlantic right here. STOP THE DAMN MATCH, BILL WATTS HAS A FAMILY, BY GAWD!
Ric Flair v. George South
Flair struts and takes South down with a hammerlock, working on the arm, but South actually gets fired up and beats on Flair in the corner. Finally Flair has had enough of that and chops him down before hitting a kneedrop and butterfly suplex for two. Ric follows with a delayed suplex and then hits the strutting elbowdrop and NOW WE GO TO SCHOOL at 4:10 and Johnny Weaver is delighted, probably because Flair was buying the drinks after the tapings.
Manny Fernandez joins us for some words with Caudle, and he’s still suffering from PTSD from Vietnam, and he’s LITERALLY QUOTING RAMBO and acting like it’s his own promo. HE WAS TOTALLY IN VIETNAM YOU GUYS. Did he, like, go see First Blood Part 2 in the theater while doing a bag of coke and come out of it thinking he was actually in the war? Anyway, blah blah Dusty Rhodes. I actually checked and the movie came out at the end of May, so it was definitely fresh in the public mind at that point.
MORE BREAKING NEWS: Dusty Rhodes is facing Tully Blanchard at this Great American Bash deal, in a cage match, for the TV title, with Baby Doll on the line.
Sam Houston v. David Dellinger
Houston takes him down with a dropkick and armdrag, and Johnny Weaver can already see the improvement from Dusty’s training of the young lad from those two moves alone. Can we please go ONE SEGMENT without hearing about Dusty? Look, Cody is a flawed human being in a lot of ways, sure, but those who somehow think he’s anywhere near as egomaniacal as his father was are just completely wrong on every level. Bulldog finishes at 1:13.
Tully Blanchard and Baby Doll join us and it’s the usual threats to, guess who, Dusty Rhodes.
Meanwhile, at the Greensboro show from earlier, Flair successfully defends the World title against an unnamed opponent (who was actually Buddy Landell) and then Nikita Koloff comes out of the audience in a sharp shit and yells some real gangsta shit at him in Russian.
Later on, Nikita cuts a promo from the locker room, and we find out that Ric Flair is DUCKING Nikita! And the Kremlin will not stand for that. Hopefully they don’t get revenge by rigging an election or something.
Nikita Koloff v. Mike Lake
Astonishingly, Koloff is able to slam the giant Lake, and then finishes him off with a Sickle at 1:38. Meanwhile, Flair does an inset promo where he’s like “Well, I appreciate Koloff’s challenge, but I can’t answer the challenge of everyone in the world at the same time, and right now I’m busy with Buddy Landell.” Sounds pretty cowardly to me. Just saying.
Buddy Landell and JJ join us for some words about Ric Flair while Buddy does his hair. JJ is gonna strip Flair of everything he owns and love, but he’ll leave him the big nose.
Ron Bass, Kendo Nagasaki & Buddy Landell v. Ron Rossi, Mark Fleming & David Diamond
So yeah, this is the current JJ Dillon stable in 1985, and that’s quite the motley crew. They beat on Rossi and Fleming comes in for some brief offense before getting elbowed down by Budro, and he follows with a kneedrop. Nagasaki drops a knee and Bass comes in with a standing armbar as the heels take turns working on it. Bass comes in and drops an elbow for two. Fleming actually tries a comeback and that proves to be unwise, but he manages to tag in Diamond and Weaver is really excited about this. And then the heels just casually destroy him and Buddy finishes with a figure-four at 5:33.
Wahoo McDaniel joins us remotely to wrap up the show, and of course HE has to weigh in on Dusty Rhodes and his injury. I should note that Dusty has been on this show, multiple times already, so it’s not even a particularly bad injury. Dusty called him after some bad relationship stuff between them, and Dusty only had two words for him: “I need help”. That’s thr….you know what, never mind, let’s move on. Anyway, when Dusty calls you on the phone, you answer and you help him and do whatever he needs. For all those who think I’m exaggerating when I talk about heels doing promos where they supposedly hate Dusty’s guts but still respect him as the greatest human being alive…there you go.
The Winner: COME ON. Boogie Woogie Man picking up a streetwalker to help Dusty Rhodes fight Baby Doll? Dusty sexually assaulting Baby Doll on national TV? Manny Fernandez having Vietnam flashbacks from a blockbuster summer action movie he saw the month before and then assuming NO ONE ELSE SAW IT and wouldn’t know he was reading movie lines? Dusty Rhodes taking a fireball to the face? SOLD. Wrap it up and put it under the Christmas tree for me. Better luck next time, Cowboy, you can’t compete with this kind of insanity.