Texas All Star Wrestling – January 4th, 1986

I’ve been asked in my previous review comments section to look at stuff like WXO (too milquetoast) and WSX (too late for me), but YouTuber Liam Savage has been uploading episodes of Texas All Star Wrestling, the successor of Joe and Tully Blanchard’s Southwest Championship Wrestling with a seasoning of World Class Championship Wrestling, so it’s going to be that today with an old school (for me!) bonus tomorrow.

What is good about these episodes is that Liam makes sure to include the names of some of the more familiar national and international stars in the titles so you know who to look out for.

Hosted by Steve Stack, joined by Miss Fantasy (valet for Golden Boy Mike Golden), pimping her interview segment Upfront. In case you didn’t get that, she’s got a pretty decent rack despite the resting bitch face. Very good nasty girl promo.

Interview with Big Bubba (Fred Ottman) and Scott Casey, who delivers a pretty bad dad joke and bangs the podium like Alex Jones on a rant.

Chris Adams vs. Buddy Moreno

Moreno is WWF jobber Omar Atlas. Adams’ hair is growing back after being shaved months prior. Future GWF announcer Doyle King joins Steve on commentary. He’s actually posted on Facebook in the last few days that he is in possession of the old Sportatorium signage. Moreno dropkicks Adams out of the ring and onto the timekeeper’s table, so he throws chairs in. Stack pimps a “BIG” six man tag team match with a reinforced ring after the previous one broke under the weight of all the super-heavyweights. A part of me wonders whether that was planned or just a legit screw-up. Back in, Adams holds headscissors on the mat. Scott Casey comes out to the interview table to deliver a better promo against Adams (“I smell the blood of an Englishman!”). This gives away as he speaks to Steve and the Spanish language commentator that they had both working at the same time and sometimes bleeding into one another. Moreno stands out of the headscissors for a pinfall attempt, but gets met with a hooking clothesline and a weird legdrop (Adams stretched himself out so he landed on his back and not just his butt, which probably is better for your spine). Light superkick into the ropes for Moreno, which Adams ties him into. He brings a chair in but gets kicked down and slammed onto it. The referee disqualifies him for bringing it in. Match was alright for being background visuals for setting up the show.

Bruiser Brody vs. Rudy Gonzalez

Brody is a heel managed by Gary Hart at this point and billing himself as the Million Dollar Man (that’s how much the Playboy paid for him), making an entrance from an ambulance he’s brought into the arena with a gurney and paramedics, plus a 2×4. Gonzalez is a dumpy guy who went onto greater fame as the head trainer for Shawn Michaels’ Texas Wrestling Academy, which brought the world Bryan Danielson, Paul London and Brian Kendrick. Brody pounds Rudy and throws him outside so he can slam him into an upright table. Referee Manuel Villalobos is a bit more tentative about disqualifying Bruiser than he was Chris Adams! Hart throws a chair in so Brody can piledrive Rudy onto it (and it’s a nasty one!). Villalobos has disqualified him for that, so he counts his own pin. Brody breaks the 2×4 over the side of the ring into two and brings the pieces back in. Doyle King: “He could KILL that man!” He doesn’t, but he rolls Rudy onto the gurney for the trip out. Rudy actually overshoots the gurney and ends up on the floor. Brody was too wild for the WWF, but it would’ve been interesting to see him there around this time as a Hulk Hogan opponent.

Killer Tim Brooks vs. The Hitman David Patterson

Some bits to work through on this one. Brooks is the crusty heel and is almost forty but looks sixty with his big beard and balding head, plus is wearing a quite uncomfortable-looking bondage harness to play to his biker gimmick. He’s managed by former H&H co-head Arman Hussain, who’s one of those wrestler/manager guys who you’d think would have some credentials to get him at least a look in a bigger promotion but never did. David Patterson is DJ Peterson, and he’s managed by the Midnight Cowgirl, who’s a female wrestler all in black like Zorro. Chris Adams joins commentary to call Scott Casey a coward who can’t run out of their upcoming cage match. Patterson and Brooks work a headlock into wristlock, then Brooks pulls the hair to bring him back down. Into an armbar, which Patterson drop toeholds out of into a hammerlock. All perfectly fine wrestling, if not especially exciting. Adams is pretty funny blatantly lying about any previous wrongdoing, such as hitting a referee (“What referee?” “That’s what I thought you’d say.”). A little bit of a slugfest, with the green Patterson being a bit loose with his blows, so Brooks does a “got your nose!” to get the advantage and has to muscle him over with a snapmare into a rear chinlock. Adams goes into a fantastic snobbish rant about how much more cultured the English are (true!) and how America is “no more than 200 years old” and the only thing America has is “cowardly cowboys”, then gives a history lesson on wrestling’s Roman origins – far better than seeing how many times you can say “Stupendous!”. Patterson gets some more loose elbows and knees in the corner, throwing them like Kevin Nash, but when he was Master Blaster Steel, not Diesel. Jacques Rougeau flying elbow for two and Brooks begs off, then rakes the face again. Patterson ducks an elbow off the ropes and gets his own flying clothesline, which Brooks strangely won’t go down for and sells the ear on. Brooks then cradles the legs of Patterson and puts his own legs on the ropes for leverage (held down further by Hussain) for the apparent win. Ring announcer Mark Nulty comes in to stooge the heels off, so the ref reverses the decision. He deserved that slap from Gary Hart that he later go! OK match, Patterson/Peterson was green but Brooks held it together fine.

Closeup interview section with Devastation Incorporated, led as always by General Skandor Akbar, flanked by Kamala, Zambuie Express Kareem Muhammad (Ray Candy) and Hacksaw Higgins (one of these things is not like the other…). Elijah Akeem (Bad Bad Leroy Brown) is explained away as being on a tour of the Caribbean, although later in the year he would be in the UWF as a tag champion alongside Wild Bill Irwin. Akbar puts over the stars of Texas All Star Wrestling, specifically the American Force tag team of a young Shawn Michaels and Paul Diamond, before moving onto the six man tag team championship, which he’s going to put his men forward for. In defense of Zambuie using a metal foreign object to cut opponents open with he says wrestling is not a game for “patsies” and it’s “a game for MEN!”… no wonder Bill Watts loved booking this guy as his lead heel manager so much! He does lose it by claiming that Kamala has beaten Andre the Giant, Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy within a period of ten days… what at, poker?

Interview with Mike Golden and Miss Fantasy. Golden is a blonde heel trying for Nature Boy Ric Flair and ending up with Nature Boy Paul Lee. Fantasy is covered up here, so it’s not as good in the opening. They do have a good dynamic of it being Fantasy being the one that Golden needs to please, not the other way round.

Hacksaw Higgins, Kareem Muhammad and Korstia Korchenko vs. Bobby Duncum, One Man Gang and Big Bubba

Korchenko is absent, already improving the quality of the match. Akbar had called out Gary Hart in the previous interview, hence why OMG is present. Duncum looks surprisingly big next to his massive partners, but it’s partly because he’s really out of shape. Higgins is wearing the Big John Studd tights and look in a strange copycat homage. He and Bubba do a lame headlock routine, although Bubba redeems himself by doing a better snapmare roll forward than DJ Peterson did. Higgins throws Bubba into the ropes (badly), but gets knocked down, however he avoids the big splash and tags in Muhammad. Bubba brings in the Gang, who’s workshopping his look at this point. Standard gear, but only over his ears are shaved at this point and he’s got big mutton chops. They collide and Duncum comes in to get worked over quickly by the heels as they go to the break. Bubba tags in and gets caught with a boot by Kareem. The guys in this would get better (except for Higgins), but at this point are struggling with the basics. There’s a strange change of angle on the cameras that takes the perspective to a different angle. Duncum back in and gets an awful attempt at a backbreaker on Higgins, barely getting him up and dropping him too soon over the knee. Muhammad goes for that silver object, which it looks like he’s giving Duncum a noogie with. Stack makes false claims about it being so shiny that it’s hard to miss, although it looks like a dull plastic spoon he took with him from the canteen after stirring his coffee with it. Duncum is good enough to blade for it, but Gang comes in with a chair and gets his team disqualified in the save. The chair bends impressively over Kareem’s back, doing more work in the match than some of the participants. Pretty awful match with the green guys in there and the dilapidated Duncum not doing enough to hold it together.

Melting it down: A generally fine hour of wrestling, although the rot was setting in with how often they had to reference WWF and AWA stars that were coming in at the expense of fully putting over their own talent. I may watch and review some more to see some of a nascent HBK in action.