South Atlantic Pro Wrestling – August 1991

Found another show from 1991 from the independent scene, South Atlantic Pro Wrestling from the Carolinas, taking over some old Jim Crockett timeslots and using a lot of local talent as well as some young stars who would go onto greater fame. Let’s have a look.

No intro on the tape, straight into the first match, my man Bob Caudle on commentary.

The Terminators vs. The TNT Express

The TNT Express are Tommy Angel, who did a lot of jobs for the NWA and the WWF, and Tommy Seabolt, who I don’t really know but has a cool surname but looks like referee Tommy Young with muscles. He armdrags the smaller Terminator around the ring, so the bigger one tags in and gets dropkicked by Angel. Despite the cool name, the Terminators are just two generic guys in black vests, trousers and boots with mullets and moustaches. Bigger one stumbles off the ropes like a man trying to walk with two broken legs. TNT are pretty cohesive with tag team moves but Seabolt gets caught with a double elbow. This match being in a high school gym means the light coming through the high windows can be pretty glaring on some angles. The bigger one, who looks like a heavy Art Barr, holds a pretty loose side headlock, barely able to clasp his hands properly. Seabolt gets two with a press, but back to the rear chinlock. Angel gets the tag and slams Terminator around, then Seabolt teams up with him for a top rope Hart Attack. Bit of a botched three count, out of sync, but it was a decent showcase for the babyfaces.

Stevie Boy Adams vs. Jeff Husker

It’s mulletmania here, with Adams having a short-shaved haircut, especially over the ears, then a trail at the back, while Husker has a blonde flattop with more party at the back. It’s like a smaller P.N. News against Todd Champion with longer hair. Husker works an armbar pretty energetically, because it’s not an exciting match by any means, but he’s moving like crazy to make up for it. Apparently he did do some matches for Herb Abrams’ and Maffew’s UWF. Adams snapmares out and cranks away on a neckvice. Weird transition by Husker out of a backslide into a belly-to-belly for two. He’s got an amateur singlet, so I wonder if he was trying to work that. Pair of three point stance shoulderblocks, then a bridging back suplex into a pinfall for three. Not a great match, but got to be fair to Husker that he brought his working boots with him, will have to look up if he ever worked elsewhere.

Bob interviews the TNT Express at ringside alongside War Eagle Chris Chavis, who would of course go on to become Tatanka. The tag guys sound like they’re doing their best Ricky and Robert impersonations, whereas Chavis is a bit more distinct and muscular, so no shock the WWF gave him a look.

The Skytrooper vs. Manny Fernandez

Not sure what particularly makes him a Skytrooper, but he’s in his Bushwhacker gear. Manny comes out to Crazy Train by Ozzy, which is strangely fitting. Manny may be a b------- artist par excellence, but he’s an equally good worker, throwing chops and elbows with the requisite fire, then hitting the flying burrito out of nowhere and then finishing with a DDT off the top rope of all things. He says Vince McMahon asked him to come in with red makeup and horns to be the Raging Bull, which sounds like b-------, but even if he had a sniff of interest he should’ve gone because he still just about had it.

The Unknown Warrior vs. War Eagle Chris Chavis

You’d think Warrior was some masked guy, but he looks like biker era Adrian Adonis. Chavis comes out to The Power by Snap and has beaten Vince Torelli for the company championship. Chavis chops away and shows the bit of something that he had before he totally lost it with his heel turn in ’94. Suplex, but Warrior pulls the air and drops a flabby white legdrop. Suplex from the Warrior now, who looks like he’s fighting against a wardrobe malfunction at the same time. Looks like his jockstrap keeps popping out. Clothesline and stomps, and he’s sweating away, so either out of shape or it’s hotter than hell in there. Chris comes back with a slam and legdrop, but breaks the flow by going to a front facelock and then a terrible neckbreaker off the ropes, with one going the wrong way and the other going the other way. Powerslam and then the papoose to go for the three count. He definitely had something before he became a lazy f---.

Interview at ringside with manager Frank B Cruel, his tag team the German Stormtroopers, and bodyguard the Wall. It’s not the guy who was later Malice, it’s actually Nelson “Mabel/Viscera” Frazier in an early cameo. The Stormtroopers are Hans and Helmut Hessler and I believe the latter also did some UWF work. Cruel is your typical off-brand manager with bad suit and cheap shades. Bob pretty much laughs at him.

Bill McLoughlin vs. Vince Torelli

So, yes, Torelli is a pre-UFC Ken Shamrock, coming out to Danger Zone and with longer hair slicked back and a heelish scowl. Another guy who already had an awesome look. Roll into a heel hook, which then transitions into a leg grapevine. Torelli was just a haircut away from stardom even at this point. Cross armbreaker transitioned into a three quarter nelson. Bill gets a bit of a rebuttal, but walks into two knees and then a very rare leg lariat for the time. Snap suplex and kneelift then a scary German suplex, with Bill landing on the top of his head. Fisherman suplex looks to finish, but Torelli releases it and goes for a powerbomb instead. Another one hoisted up from the mat. The match loses some flow as Ken stands around for a bit. Belly-to-belly superplex, which Bill really doesn’t look like he wants to go up for, so Vince just muscles him over himself for the win. Shamrock was green and needed a lot of work on putting stuff together, but he looked fantastic and could do anything, hence why he was able to fulfil most of his potential.

Rick Savage vs. Wahoo McDaniel

Rick Savage looks like a mini-UWF Blade Runner. Wahoo, who looked eternally in his fifties, is actually fifty-three here. Back suplex and side headlock. Savage has Mercy on the back of his trunks. That’s either a secret alliance with Dan Spivey or Dude Love. Wahoo whips him into the corner for a bizarre bump, then an OTT flying bump off a chop off the ropes, then the Chief finishes with a dropping tomahawk chop for the win. Didn’t outstay its welcome.

Bob talks to Wahoo after the match about his forever feud with Manny Fernandez, which they play up with AWA footage from when Bull attacked him and ripped up the war bonnet. I would’ve loved to have seen Bob paired up with Larry Nelson! Wahoo acts like it’s no big deal and that he’s 110% while reminding everyone he’s beaten people from Ric Flair on down. Well, true, but cheap.

Melting it down: Good show, all squashes but enough cool stars in there. This was a breeding ground for the likes of the Nasty Boys and the Pitbulls and a place for Matt Borne, Ricky Steamboat and Robert Fuller to hang out, so quality workers and new stars.