The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling – 03.20.82
Oh yeah, I’m sticking with 1982, baby.
Your hosts are Boyd Pierce and some rodeo announcer from Oklahoma, making his Mid South debut here. Hopefully he sticks around this sport for a while. I didn’t catch his name. Jim something?
TONIGHT! Grizzly Smith has made his decision, and Paul Orndorff will be the one challenging Ted Dibiase for the North American title tonight, which means Bob Roop is barred from ringside. But then Roop stops by the desk and announces that “something bad has happened to Orndorff”, coincidentally after he lost a cage match to Dibiase at the most recent house show. So Roop tells a heartbreaking story about Orndorff coming to Roop and saying how depressed he was about the loss and how he doesn’t think he can ever beat Dibiase, and now Roop is PRETTY sure that Paul isn’t even gonna show up tonight. So clearly he should get the match instead. That’s pretty big of him, offering to the take the place of his best friend like that!
Meanwhile, in Birmingham, Dr. James Andrews operates on the knee of Ernie Ladd, due to an attack by the One Man Gang. Then Ernie does a promo against Skandor Akbar and the Samoans who betrayed him. He might have been a backstabber, but he’s never been a coward! So he’s gonna do some research and find some people who he can trust for real this time and come after Akbar and the Gang. And then we take you back to February 3, when Gang debuted in Mid-South as an unknown mercenary working for Akbar and splashed Ladd’s leg.
Meanwhile, Dick Murdoch and Dusty Rhodes reunite to challenge the Samoans for the tag team titles, but One Man Gang interferes and screws them over before beating on Murdoch as well.
One Man Gang v. Buddy Landell
Buddy goes for a facelock and Gang tosses him across the ring to escape that, then slams him and finishes with the big splash at 1:20. Picture the Gang with long greasy hair and no shirt and you can see why he needed some re-tooling before he got over. 0 for 1.
Bob Roop v. Killer Karl Kox
Roop freaks out before the match, worried that Orndorff might not show up and they might need a replacement, and if he has to wrestle Kox here then he might be able to take over the title shot on behalf of his good friend! I don’t want to call Roop a liar but I think there’s more going on than he’s letting on here. Roop attacks Kox to start, but Kox chokes him out in the corner as JR notes that “he may not have won any gold medals but he’s responsible for a lot of gold teeth”. He just slid right into this job from day one, didn’t he? Kox with a kneelift, but Roop puts him down with a back elbow and ties him up in the ropes. But Kox escapes that easily, hits the brainbuster, and pins Roop at 2:14. That’s probably not gonna help Roop’s case for a title shot. 0 for 2.
The Wild Samoans v. Terry Gibbs & Jesse Barr
They quickly trap Jesse in the corner and double-team him with an elbow before Afa puts him down with a headbutt, and Sika beats on him with chops. Barr finally escapes Sika and brings Gibbs in, but he promptly gets chopped and (Samoan) dropped and pinned at 3:50. The Samoans played mean an scary heels as good as anyone. 1 for 3.
North American title: Ted Dibiase v. Bob Roop
So Bob Roop turned out to be right and Orndoff didn’t show up after all, so he gets the shot. Boyd notes that it’s only fair because he REALLY REALLY REALLY wants the title. Fair enough. They fight for the lockup and quickly clothesline each other for the double down, but Dibiase is fired up already and slugs away on the ropes, putting Roop down for two. Meanwhile Boyd is FLABBERGASTED at the idea of Orndorff missing this title shot. Crazy! Almost like someone who was supposed to be his best friend attacked him and then lied about it to steal his title shot! But that’s crazy talk I’m sure. Dibiase takes him down with a headlock, but Roop frees himself with a cheapsho and rakes the face on the ropes. Dibiase takes him down and tries a figure-four early, but Roop gets to the ropes. Dibiase takes him down for a kneedrop, and that gets two. Roop beats on Ted in the corner and he tries the shoulderbreaker, but Dibiase powerslams him and gets the figure-four in the middle. Roop does turn it over to reverse it, but Dibiase rolls it over again and Roop has to make the ropes. Dibiase tries it again, but Roop shoves him into the ref this time to wipe him out. So One Man Gang hits the ring and wraps Dibiase’s leg around the post a few times to injure it, and Roop puts him in a figure-four of his own to win the North American title at 7:00. Well that worked out pretty well for him. I’m sure Orndorff is cool with it. 2 for 4.
Junkyard Dog & My Olympia v. Tully Blanchard & Mike Boyer
The faces storm the ring and JYD finishes Boyer with the Thump at 0:34. Apparently Tully wasn’t a big deal in the territory as of yet. 2 for 5.
Paul Orndorff finally shows up at the end of the show to explain his absence, claiming that he had to run six blocks to get here because someone sabotaged his car. And he squarely blames…Ted Dibiase. But then he thought about it and checked Roop’s bags while he was in the shower, because all the boys in the locker room said that he was talking smack about Orndorff and somehow knew he disappeared before it happened. And wouldn’t you know, Paul discovered that Roop had his car keys and a piece of the ignition from his car. And now Roop might be the North American champion, but he’s going to pay.
What a fun show! It also sets up two main event feuds, with Orndorff going after Roop for the title now, and One Man Gang against Ted Dibiase after screwing him out of said title.