The SmarK Rant for Mid-South / World Class – 07.20.85
I think I need a catchier title for this series.
World Class Championship Wrestling – 07.20.85
Taped from Dallas, TX
Your host is Bill Mercer
Scott Casey v. Mike Bond
Sunshine continues her run of managing oddball babyfaces, adding Casey to her stable along with the Great Kabuki. Bond works a headlock to start while we have BREAKING NEWS about two major titles changing in the past week, with the Von Erichs losing the six-man titles to Gary Hart’s team (as promised last week!). Casey takes Bond down with a drop toehold as we learn that Iceman Parsons has unseated Chris Adams as American champion as well. What is not momentous is this match, as Bond holds a headlock on the mat, but Casey reverses to a wristlock and then works the arm. Bond makes the ropes and then takes Casey down with his headlock again as I don’t know how they can maintain this torrid pace. They cut to the electrifying Sunshine, who is standing there watching at ringside. Finally Casey gets a suplex to escape the headlock and then gets a chinlock, but Bond runs him into the corner to escape. Bond takes him down with another headlock, but Casey awkwardly escapes that and hits some forearms while Mercer plugs their syndicated show in the Virgin Islands, but then Casey suplexes out of another headlock and pins him at 8:34. Their TV coverage was INSANE at the time. 0 for 1.
Gary Hart holds a press conference in “Reno NV”, where his team of One Man Gang, Tim Brooks & Mark Lewin won the six-man titles. Mark Lewin literally hasn’t even appeared on the TV yet and he’s already part of the champions! It’s literally just Gary Hart sitting at a table and giving a statement, by the way.
Meanwhile, Mercer meets up with Kevin Von Erich at the airport after the show in “Reno” and wants his reaction to losing the titles. Kevin wants a rematch because they had to leave Mike Von Erich out and Brian Adias wasn’t allowed to take his place. Now, for full clarity here, this title match did not actually happen and there was no show in Reno on 7/7/85, and they basically just needed to get the belts off them with Mike out long-term and so they made up a title change.
Meanwhile, Brian Adias chimes in at the airport, and he had to sit back and watch his best friends lose 3-on-2 against Gary Hart’s team! We of course never see any FOOTAGE of this horrible miscarriage of justice.
Maniac Mark Lewin v. Mike Reed
Lewin immediately tosses Reed and then bites him in the corner before throwing him out again. I should note that Lewin’s whole deal, with the barking and mannerisms and throwing guys over the top, is strangely prescient of Berzerker’s eventual gimmick. Lewin finishes with a sleeper at 1:55. Lewin was wacky enough for this era of TV and had an impressive look, but he was just way past his prime at this point. He debuted in 1953, in fact. Oddly, he managed to have ANOTHER career renaissance a few years later in Florida as a part of Kevin Sullivan’s troop of weirdos as The Purple Haze, and frankly I’m shocked that Sullivan never brought him into WCW as a part of the Dungeon of Doom because he would have fit right in. 0 for 2.
Chicago Death Match: One Man Gang v. Kerry Von Erich
Kerry immediately goes for a sleeper, but Gang throws him off and drops a knee on him. Kerry slugs away and dropkicks him and Gang doesn’t know how to deal with this. Gang misses a charge and Kerry slugs away in the corner and follows with the discus punches, but Gang is up at 5 to beat the count. Kerry tries a bodypress, but Gang puts him down with a backbreaker and stomps on him and Kerry is forced to beat the count while the crowd is shrieking so loud that you can’t even hear the ref anyway. Gang slugs away in the corner and follows with a splash, but Gary Hart throws a chain to the Gang and Kerry catches it. And a chain-assisted Discus punch puts Gang down for the count at 5:18. Well that was right to the point and a pleasant change from the usual WWE-style “Last Man Standing” matches. Gang is still awful, though. 0 for 3.
Chris Adams v. Kevin Von Erich
They trade wristlocks and Kevin hits him with a dropkick, but Adams slugs away in the corner before missing a blind charge. Kevin gets a victory roll off that and goes for the IRON CLAW, but Adams hides in the ropes and escapes to the floor while Adams is somehow busted open already. Back in, Kevin goes for the takedown and Adams beats on him to block it, and they fight to the floor as Adams runs him into the post and stairs in an attempt to draw his own blood. Kevin fights back out there and gets a pretty impressive slam onto the ringside table, so Adams freaks out and throws chairs in the ring until the ref finally talks them both down. Kevin charges and hits the post, and Adams takes over and beats on him in the corner before taking him down with a sleeper. Kevin fights out of that and takes him down with a rana, and a nice one at that, but Adams backdrops him and follows with a headbutt for two. Kevin fights to the ropes and takes him down, but misses a splash and Adams slugs away on him. Adams ties him up in the ropes and then pulls in the rope from ringside, but Kevin grabs it and manages to choke Adams out with it himself. And that’s finally a DQ at 9:55, but Kevin tells him that since he’s already been disqualified, he’s not accountable for any further damage. And so they fight into the back and Kevin emerges victorious from that to stand tall. Really entertaining main event. 1 for 4.
And then Bill Mercer wraps it up with promises of Mike Von Erich making his return against Killer Tim Brooks NEXT WEEK. Well, the match does actually happen, I know that much. I can’t even imagine how bad that match is going to be considering Mike was never particularly good and he’d be working on a blown out shoulder there. But we’ll see next week!
Mid-South Wrestling – 07.20.85
Taped from Shreveport, LA
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Joel Watts
But first, Jim Ross sits down with JERRY REED! Gosh, he enjoys wrestling greatly.
Well that was certainly a thing.
Mike Graham v. Tommy Prichard
Apparently Graham is one of the top athletes in wrestling. Come on, MIKE GRAHAM? Prichard works a headlock after surviving some slams and a hiptoss, but Graham hits him with a dropkick and goes to the armbar. Prichard hits him with a savate kick to take over and follows with an atomic drop, but Graham slugs back and finishes with a figure-four at 3:05. Really, ANOTHER expert practitioner of the figure-four in Mid-South? Aren’t there like 7 of them already there? 0 for 1.
Meanwhile, Sir Oliver Humperdink introduces himself as the new manager for the Nightmare, while Eddie Gilbert gets fired out of nowhere as manager and Nightmare tells him to take a walk. Well that was abrupt.
The Nightmare v. Frank Lane
So yeah, all of a sudden Nightmare is now managed by Oliver Humperdink and Eddie Gilbert is gone. I know that doesn’t last long and they’re back together by the end of the summer, so I’m not sure what exactly happened there. Nightmare quickly elbows Lane down off a chinlock and drops him on the top rope and then finishes with the piledriver at 2:14. Yeah adding Humperdink isn’t exactly a recipe to make me change my mind about the Nightmare. 0 for 2.
Ted Dibiase & Steve Williams v. Brickhouse Brown & Mark Ragin
Huh, new fake music for Brickhouse this week. No idea what it’s replacing. Doc overpowers Brickhouse to start and then we get a TERRIFYING spot as Brown tries a bodyblock and overshoots as Doc tries to catch him, with Brickhouse landing on the top rope and clotheslining himself while Williams also goes down awkwardly. Yikes. Ragin comes in and the champs double-team him and beat on him in the corner as Williams still seems a bit shaken up. So Dibiase does the work and gets a backbreaker for two, and Doc quickly comes in with the Oklahoma Stampede, but he just throws him down instead of powerslamming him and it only gets two. Dibiase goes up and misses an elbow and it’s hot tag Brickhouse, but Dibiase just immediately cuts him off with a clothesline, not even letting him get any offense, before Doc finishes him off with a Stampede with mustard on it at 4:45. Wonder if that was a message about the earlier blown spot? Dibiase and Doc are always fun. 1 for 3.
Dick Murdoch v. Dutch Mantel
Ted Dibiase sticks around after the last match and bitches at Dick Murdoch and tells him to keep his big mouth shut about his college career, so Dutch is like “OK, I’m gonna let you two figure this out” and he leaves. So Murdoch and Dibiase slug it out, but then Dutch changes his mind and clobbers Murdoch from behind, and the Nightmare quickly joins in before Murdoch fights off the heels by himself until Butch Reed makes the save. At least we know that Dibiase v. Murdoch 100% goes somewhere awesome. 2 for 4.
Butch Reed v. Mark Hawk
Apparently Reed is now the #1 contender to the NWA World title. Reed and Flair actually had some pretty smoking title matches together at that point. Even their 1990 one at the Clash, 5 years later, was still pretty awesome. Reed throws Hawk around and works a facelock, but Hawk tries slugging away in the corner and Reed shrugs him off and beats him down with the SOUPBONE RIGHTS and you know JR loves them soupbones. Reed finishes with a shoulderblock at 2:34 and apparently that’s a soupbone as well. Honestly the word is losing all meaning for me at this point. 2 for 5.
The Bounty Hunters v. Mark Nichols & Wendell Cooley
I have no earthly idea who “The Bounty Hunters” are, as they’re a couple of fat bearded guys who appear to be twins. There was another team out of Memphis with the same name, but these guys look nothing like the Novaks. Nicols gets double-teamed with a bunch of generic big fat heel offense and they finish him with a catapult into a clothesline at 1:48. Apparently these two goofs face Jim Duggan and Bill Watts next week, so I guess they just got brought in so the faces could run through them on TV or something. 2 for 6.
Jake Roberts & The Barbarian v. Red Raider & Larry Clarke
Usual stuff from Barbarian as he throws Clarke around, and Jake comes in and finishes with the DDT.
And we finish with another music video about the Fantastics and this time the ripoff of “Sharp Dressed Man” is REALLY obvious. And Joel and JR wrap things up for the week.
Call it a draw this week as World Class had an off-week and Mid-South continues the doldrums of summer with another go-nowhere episode.