The SmarK Rant for World Championship Wrestling – 03.07.87
Last week: Tully Blanchard done poked the bear one time too many, and Ole Anderson turned on the Horsemen as a result, then slapped JJ Dillon around for talking about his son, triggering a huge brawl to end the show.
Taped from Atlanta, GA with a brand new opening!
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & David Crockett
Ivan Koloff and Dick Murdoch join us to start, and they’re pretty sure the Superpowers won’t like it when they inflict injury on Nikita and make sure they can’t enter the tournament. And then Murdoch goes on a crazy rant and tells the crowds what to chant in the process, then challenges Dusty to “bring it in the honky tonks!” and then tells all the melon farmers in the crowd to shut up. What a fantastic heel.
Lex Luger v. Rocky King
Lex takes him down with a hammerlock and works on that, then beats on the arm in the corner while Rocky tries to make a comeback. Lex shrugs him off and puts him down with a press slam while fans at ringside offer advice to Lex (“Put dat powerslam on him, Lex!”) and Lex obliges them before finishing with the Human Torture Rack at 2:52.
JJ Dillon joins Tony at the desk and he’s disappointed his relationship with Ole Anderson would take a dark turn like this after all he’s personally done for the Horsemen. And in fact, Lex Luger was there to support JJ in this troubling time, and Lex says he’s ready to step up and be a full fledged Horseman because he’s the Total Package.
Shaska Whatley joins us, and Tony has to call him “One of the top stars in professional wrestling” with a straight face and not a HINT of irony. Anyway, Shaska is headed to Florida because there’s some SUCKA down there who used to play football named Ron Simmons, making his debut there, and Shaska needs to whoop him.
The Mod Squad v. Mitch Snow & George South
So yes, the Jeffers brothers have gone on excursion to Florida and returned as corrupt New Orleans police offers, managed by Bill Dundee. Spike chokes South out on the ropes and Dundee gets his shots in. Over to Basher, who rams South’s head into the mat a few times and stomps him down. Over to Mitch Snow, no relation to Al, and he gets tossed immediately and then sent back in by Dundee. Basher beats on Snow some more and then finishes with a top rope elbow at 3:52. Snow had a good look for a job guy, and I guess he retired young in 1989 after doing some All Japan matches and then died in 2000. Too bad.
Meanwhile, Tony is in Baltimore to shill an Italian restaurant and announce the seedings for the Jim Crockett Memorial Cup Tag Team tournament!
#10 – Ivan Koloff and Vladimir Petrov
#9 – The Mod Squad
#8 – Tully Blanchard & Lex Luger
#7 – Ole & Arn Anderson
#6 – The Midnight Express (at this point Jim Cornette cuts a disgusted promo on Crockett and storms out of the restaurant)
#5 – “The Japanese Entry” (to be determined by a tournament in Japan later on, ended up being Baba & Isao Takagi)
#4 – The Rock N Roll Express
#3 – The Road Warriors
#2 – The Superpowers
#1 – Rick Rude & Manny Fernandez
Also Ric Flair defends against Barry Windham on night 2. Well that should be a good one.
Mike Rotunda v. Thunderfoot #1
Thunderfoot gets a takedown, but Rotundo dropkicks him to take over and escapes an armbar. Mike takes him down and works the arm while the announcers discuss his chase of Florida champion Ed “The Bull” Gantner, who I don’t think ever made it onto this particular show but remains one of the most obvious and tragic cases of steroid related deaths in wrestling. Rotunda finishes him off with the airplane spin at 3:54.
Tim Horner & Mike Rotunda are somehow in the tournament because I guess everyone else called in sick while they were sending out invitations.
The Mod Squad and Bill Dundee aren’t surprised at being seeded #9 in the tournament. I never really understood how Dundee was supposed to fit with them as a manager, but he was certainly a better talker.
Arn Anderson v. Mike Jackson
Yes, it’s the battle of 30 year old guys who look like they’re 50! Jackson catches AA off guard with a takedown, so Arn slugs away in the corner, but Jackson takes him down with a damn RANA and Arn’s got no idea what to make of that shit. Arn’s reaction to this nonsense is great, as he sells that with shock for a bit and then regroups and punches MJ in the gut to take over again. Arn drops knees on him and chokes him out on the ropes while the fans chant “We want Ole”. Now there’s something you don’t hear every day. Arn controls with an armbar and pounds on the arm before choking him out in the corner and then taking him down with a hammerlock this time. Jackson gets all fired up and comes back with forearms and a dropkick while still selling the arm, but he walks into the spinebuster and Arn pins him at 5:00 and flashes the four fingers for good measure. This was a hell of a little match as the Horsemen guys always gave Jackson a ton.
Tully Blanchard makes clear that this is a BUSINESS and they do what they do to make money, and Ole was busy attending to his punk kid when they needed him. Plus he wasn’t holding up his end in the eight man tags. So now when Ole isn’t able to feed his snot-nosed punk kid because he’s out of the Horsemen, maybe he should think about that.
Arn Anderson switches in for the Horsemen after the break, and people have been asking him where he stands on the Ole deal. So he relates how he showed up a few years ago and people thought he couldn’t live up to the Anderson name, but he worked hard to rise to the challenge and made his name synonymous with tag team wrestling. And then he throws Ole under the bus for taking the pin at Starrcade 86, and Arn didn’t see the fire in his eyes when he lost, so that’s how he knew that Ole didn’t have it anymore. And if family is so damn important to Ole, WHAT ABOUT ARN? So now he’s gotta prove himself all over again, and he always stands with the Horsemen, who have washed their hands of Ole Anderson. HOT DAMN WHAT A PROMO!
NWA World Junior title: Denny Brown v. Lazor Tron
Yes, it’s the debut of the mysterious LAZOR TRON, combining the two greatest fads in 80s history: Lazer Tag and Tron. One would not look at poor Hector Guerrero dressed like a man from the Martian gay disco and think that his wrestling gimmick choices could sink any lower, but lord knows he found a way. Now the name is spelled “Lazor Tron”, like Tron is his family name and he’s Lazor of the Connecticut Trons, but they constantly say it as all one word, like he’s an as-seen-on-TV car alarm system: THE LAZERTRON. Sadly he not last long enough in the role to ever meet up with the New Breed. So even though he’s supposed to be futuristic and space-themed, he wrestles like plain old Hector and trades armbars with Brown and we take a break. Back with the match picking up exactly where it left off thanks to the miracle of videotape, and Denny slugs away while the announcers give the backstory we have so far on Lazertron: He loves children and he’s here to protect them. Well they should probably send him to the AWA so he can go after Buck Zumhofe then. Brown slugs him down and follows with a back elbow, but he misses a knee and Lazertron uses a FUTURISTIC figure-four, but Brown makes the ropes. Lazer goes for the legs again and takes Brown a couple of times before hooking him in a Boston crab, but Denny breaks free and we get a criss-cross into a flying forearm from Denny. Brown suplexes him for two, but Lazer gets his own forearm of some kind and pins Brown to win the title at 10:00 in his debut match.
The Midnight Express join us and Cornette complains about being seeded behind “a couple of Japs”, which is bleeped by the Network, and notes that once they beat them they’ll at least be able to get their laundry done. Oh, not cool, Jim. Anyway, it’s all a conspiracy against them and by the way the cage match against Ron Garvin is going to lead to the Garvins taking more fireballs in the face. Also he’ll slap Precious if she gets involved because women have no place in wrestling and should be home cooking and cleaning. Bubba of course doesn’t crack but Bobby isn’t so strong. Also things were about to get much worse for the Midnight Express in about a week, but then much better.
Rick Rude & Manny Fernandez join us, and Paul Jones is DELIGHTED to be seeded #1, just like he told everyone. Has it occurred to anyone that maybe Jim Crockett giving away a million dollars three years in a row wasn’t a good financial investment? I hope Turner did fiduciary diligence on that one before buying the company.
Jimmy Valiant v. Tommy Angel
Jimmy immediately cheats, raking Angel’s eyes and then throwing him out to the floor and sending him to the post. Back in, elbow finishes at 1:10 as Tony notes that we’ve already had one prestigious title change hands earlier in the show, and then waits a few seconds for dramatic effect while I rack my brain thinking about what he could possibly be referring to, before clarifying that it was the Junior title. Oh.
Bill Dundee, this time representing the Barbarian in advance of their team in the Crockett Cup, runs down the various ways that Jimmy Valiant is a terrible person and why Barbarian will destroy him.
The Barbarian v. Randy Mulkey
Mulkey charges and Barbarian casually clotheslines him out of his boots in a funny spot. Randy goes up for a crossbody and Barbarian catches him and slams him, and then follows with a press slam and a flying knee, before putting him in, swear to god, a Scorpion Deathlock. Meanwhile, next week some team from the West Coast is going to tune up for the Crockett Cup, and they’re called The Gladiators. Barbarian finishes him off with the diving headbutt at 2:44. Man, those Gladiators should hope they get to wrestle the Mulkeys next week because it’ll be an easy debut win for them!
The Superpowers join us, and Nikita is feeling a little rough from touring the south and, uh how you say, CHATTANOOGA. I think he did a pretty good job saying it. He’s been defending the US title against various Russians and Russian sympathizers and no one’s beat him for it yet. Meanwhile, Dusty is hopeful that Ivan and Murdoch stick around the tournament long enough to meet them. In fact, this did not happen, as Murdoch was gone for some reason by the time the tournament happened, and the Russians went out in the first round anyway.
Baron Von Raschke & Wahoo McDaniel v. Rick Sullivan & Randy Barber
Tony wishes a happy 69th birthday to Maddie Bivens of Georgia before the match. Heh heh. Wahoo takes Barber down with a sugar hold on the mat and works the arm, and then it’s over to the Baron, who goes to a facelock on Sullivan. Hopefully they speed this up before both babyfaces collapse into a pile of dust. The Baron finishes with the Iron Claw at 3:10. Tony declares this is a great way for them to get tuned up for the tournament. Well they went out to the Mod Squad in the first round in less than 5:00 like a couple of geeks so maybe they should have asked for better competition here to get tuned up.
Baron Von Raschke compares Dick Murdoch to Lee Harvey Oswald and he’ll meet Murdoch in a cage match next Wednesday in Jacksonville because Murdoch is a TRAITOR. Wait, the guy who was a LITERAL NAZI is calling someone else a traitor? Man, that’s just hurtful.
Vladimir Petrov, Dick Murdoch & Ivan Koloff v. Alan Martin, Zane Smith & Cougar Jay
Petrov beats on Martin for a bit and then Ivan comes in and drops a knee on him. Murdoch takes Smith down with a headlock while trashtalking the crowd and they start chanting “Traitor”, so Murdoch stomps around the ring going crazy while Ivan calmly beats on the jobber and somehow doesn’t crack up and lose his shit. So Uncle Ivan throws this geek to the floor and Murdoch beats on him until the crowd’s desire for Dusty distracts him long enough to send the guy back in. Petrov does something resembling a standing guillotine on Smith and Murdoch comes in for more verbal abuse from the crowd while elbowing the jobber in the face. Man they really wasted this Murdoch run. Cougar Jay comes in, but Petrov finishes him with a Sickle at 4:30. Murdoch is like the low-key MVP of these shows this year, which is saying something given the promos around him.
Barry Windham v. Chance McQuade
Apparently the first 3 seasons of Chance McQuade were streaming on the Roku Channel, but got taken off to make room for the new NJPW TV show. That’s a pity. The classic episode where he investigates a murder on the space shuttle will probably never see the light of day again. Windham finishes with the lariat at 1:30.
Barry Windham joins us and he’s fully prepared for Ric Flair at the Cup, and Ric should also be prepared for him.
Brad Armstrong joins us in advance of facing Tully Blanchard for the TV title on the Sunday edition of World Championship Wrestling, and he’s been training and watching films like a son of a gun.
The Garvins v. Larry Stevens & Darryl Dalton
Ron takes Stevens down and bends him like a pretzel, then chops him down and brings in Jimmy for some slams. Ron puts him in the half-crab and just stretches this poor fucker like he’s Jack Evans or something, and then backdrops him out of the corner and rolls him over with a cradle for two. Stevens tries to get going, so Ron chops him down again and rakes the back, and then Jimmy comes in with knees in the corner and Stevens bumps into the babyface corner by mistake, so Ron slugs him down and finally Jimmy just lets the guy tag out. Over to Dalton, and Ron immediately puts his lights out at 3:56.
And we wrap it up with the Garvins doing a promo at the desk, and Jimmy goes to sleep at night dreaming about the cage match between Ron and Cornette that’s upcoming. Ron gives his retort to Cornette’s “Woman are only good for cooking and cleaning” line by noting that Jim’s obviously good at cooking but not so good at cleaning because he SMELLS. Savage. And lawyers or not, the cage match is HAPPENING, and we’re done for the week.
Holy crap that Arn Anderson promo was FIRE. I really want to see the Superpowers v. The Dark Superpowers now and I don’t think it exists anywhere, sadly. Anyway this is all great and we’re about to hit right into the run of shows where I started watching the Crockett product on a weekly basis so I’m primed for nostalgia.