Mike Reviews – Southwest Championship Wrestling – August 1983

Hello You!

Chael Sonnen’s Coke Dealer suggested giving this a go in the comments section last week, so I had a search over on YouTube and picked a show at random. You can watch along with me if you like by clicking HERE.

Southwest Championship Wrestling was based out of San Antonio and run by Joe Blanchard (The father of Tully and grandfather of Tessa). Southwest was apparently the first ever promotion to get a slot on the USA Network, but Vince McMahon ended up bring an end to that by flashing his nickers at USA and getting Southwest dropped for All American Wrestling.

I have no idea what to expect here, so let’s watch some chuffing wrestling and find out!

This was taped from “The Junction” in San Antonio

Calling the action is Steve Stack

Stack opens up with an interview with Mr. Piledriver Bob Sweetan, who was apparently quite an unsavoury person in real life if his Wikipedia page is to be believed. He was feuding with Tully Blanchard at the time and says Tully is going to have to face him sooner than later.

Opening Match
Cocoa Samoa Vs Armando Guerrero

Funnily enough if you play the Cornellverse version of TEW there’s a guy in the Oceanic region called Armando Guerrero. This version of Armando is a member of the famed Guerrero family and spent time both as a wrestler and as a stuntman. Samoa actually started out with the name Sabu in Memphis, but then went under this name once he left that territory.

They start out quickly here and it’s decent for the most part, although their timing is off a little bit on a few occasions. Guerrero would appear to be the babyface, and the crowd chants for him at certain points whilst Samoa complains about imaginary hair pulling, which is the universally recognised action of a Heel.

Guerrero definitely seems to be the better actual wrestler of the two, with Samoa being a tad sloppy by comparison. This is a pretty competitive match actually, with Guerrero mostly getting the better of things but Samoa isn’t getting squashed and even gets to work a little bit of heat with throat thrusts and whatnot. Eventually Guerrero gets his knees up on a Samoa splash and gets an inside cradle for the win.

WINNER: ARMANDO GUERRERO
RATING: *1/2

Samoa wasn’t really that good and was pretty sloppy both when it came to giving and taking moves, but Guerrero looked decent and held it together as best he could

Guerrero celebrates following that and the crowd seems happy that he won.

Match Two
Tully Blanchard Vs Henry Garcia

Tully was of course an original member of The Four Horsemen faction in JCP and is now a member of The Pinnacle in AEW. Garcia apparently also used to wrestle under the name Billy Two Eagles and was trained by Terry Funk. Tully was the Southwest Champion at this stage.

Tully was a bit a hefty here compared to how he looked in his peak NWA years, but he still has that unmistakable trademark swagger, that his daughter has certainly inherited, like her or loathe her. Tully mostly squashes Garcia here, being an excellent despicable heel in the process. Garcia sells everything well and Tully eventually wins it with a back suplex.

WINNER: TULLY BLANCHARD
RATING: SQUASH

Tully makes sure to give Garcia one additional sly kick to the ribs before heading to an interview, which is just a great bit of Heel behaviour. He says he’s sick of all the people coming after his belt, which leads to Stack thinking he’s avoiding people. Tully is offended at this, and lays out a challenge to Ricky Morton. Hey, I bet those two would have  a good match!

We get a video package for Adrian Street and Miss Linda. Jim Cornette gets to feature in it too seeing as they use footage from Memphis and he was managing Street at the time.

Match Three
Al Perez Vs Randy Hoskins

Perez worked in a lot of the major southern territories before getting a gig in the WWF towards the end of the decade. I can’t find anything on Hoskins, but I’m guessing he isn’t related to the actor Bob. From giving him a Google search it seems like he was regular enhancement talent for Southwest. Perez is the first guy to get some entrance music, and he comes out wearing a cape and looking like a star.

Perez makes pretty easy work of Hoskins, working him over with holds in the early going and easily countering any of Hoskins’ attempts at fighting back. Perez could win it a few times, but keeps pulling Hoskins up and then destroys him with suplexes before finishing him off with a Russian Leg Sweep

WINNER: AL PEREZ
RATING: SQUASH

We get a replay of the finish and it was pretty underwhelming due to Hoskins having little to no snap in any of his bumping

We get some promo time with Sheepherder John Boyd, who puts over how dangerous a chain match is. Boyd says he’s had matches like this in 37 countries, and now he’s bringing it to the USA. The Iron Sheik is on his hit list apparently. This was a really good promo.

Match Four
Bob Sweetan Vs El Santo Negro

I searched El Santo Negro and got the page of a wrestler called Espanto Jr, but it could just be that this is some random dude in the mask and they just happened to give him that name. Santo Negro works pretty well here anyway, with decent execution on his offence and some nice bumping and selling on display too.

Sweetan mostly does punches and stomps, before going to a chin lock for a bit. And then transitions to a front face lock, as it looks like it’s really warm in The Junction as both men are drenched in sweat and they’ve mostly just been sitting in holds thus far. Negro tries a cross body in reply, but Sweetan does the old Samoa Joe trick of just casually moving out of the way and gets the piledriver for the win.

WINNER: BOB SWEETAN
RATING: ½*

Most of that was them sitting in holds and it wasn’t very exciting

We get a replay of the piledriver post-match, which did look good at least.

Match Five
Scott Casey Vs Black Gordman

Casey would have a run as a lower card guy during the Hulkamania Era of the WWF, and would actually manage to make it onto a pay per view when a spate of injuries opened some slots on the 1988 Survivor Series show. Gordman is a Mexico wrestler who seemed to work quite a bit for World Class and WWC in Puerto Rico if CageMatch is anything to go by.

Sweetan joins the desk during this one to complain about Casey, as he was feuding with him at the time. This one is a bit of a slug fest in the early going, with the crowd being into Casey. Casey looks decent here for the most part, and Gordman looks competitive and doesn’t get squashed. Gordman’s work is okay, but he’s a bit bland. Casey at least has that fiery white meat babyface thing going on. Sweetan actually does a decent job as the motor mouth Heel on commentary, and eventually climbs into the ring to attack Casey when it looks like Casey has the match won.

WINNER BY DISQUALIFICATION: SCOTT CASEY
RATING: *

This was an okayish match, if a bit by the numbers, and I don’t mind the DQ finish that much as it was part of an ongoing storyline and sometimes you need a DQ or Count Out in those scenarios

Sweetan tries to piledrive Casey, but Casey puts the sleeper on him instead and the crowd goes nuts as a result. Eventually the rest of the roster runs in to break up the fight. This was a hot angle.

Casey cuts a fired up promo on Sweetan, saying he’s going to put Sweetan in a coma the next time they go at it.

Main Event
Bobby Jaggers and Buddy Moreno Vs Ali Bey and Dusty Woods

A Google search for Ali Bey brought up a Turkish Oil Wrestler who was known for being a Champion in the 40’s, so I don’t think it’s this guy as he would have been in his 70’s by this stage and he looks younger than that. Woods would apparently go on to be a version of Doink at one stage of CageMatch is to be believed. Jaggers worked notably in Florida and the Pacific North West, where he did a Kansas Cowboy gimmick. Moreno is Venezuelan wrestler called Omar Atlas, who had a run as enhancement talent for the WWF later in the decade.

I went to school with a lad whose surname was Jagger and whenever we’d play football/soccer he’d always demand the ball by yelling “Jaggers!”, and now I’m going to be thinking about that for the rest of the day, so thanks for that Southwest Championship Wrestling. Jaggers and Moreno mostly control things, with Bey and Woods not really getting much in the way of offence. Jaggers eventually lariats Woods and that’s enough for three.

WINNERS: JAGGERS & MORENO
RATING: SQUASH

Luke Miller attacks the winners with a chain following the match, as The Sheepherders were feuding with Jaggers and Moreno at the time. Scott Casey comes down and hands Jaggers an axe handle though, which allows Jaggers to fend Miller off before he can do too much damage to Moreno.

We get a promo from Jaggers and Moreno following that, where Jaggers does a pretty good job hyping up the match actually. Jaggers suggests they put the axe handle on a pole when they eventually have the match. Hey, maybe that’s where Vince Russo got the idea for his favourite gimmick match from?

In Conclusion

I enjoyed the promos and angles for the most part but the wrestling wasn’t really up to much. I found the overall show to be a bit flat for the most part actually, but I’ll be willing to give it another go. If you’ve got any other suggestions for territories I should look out for then let me know in the comments or send me a line at [email protected]