The SmarK DVD Rant for Mid South Wrestling: Giants, Midgets, Heroes & Villains (Volume One) I found the Mid-South sampler DVD from Universalwrestling.com intriguing enough to continue on, although now that the WWE sale is completed there will soon be no further stuff from that site. However, I grabbed two volumes of this particular series before they went away, and I’m still seriously mulling over taking up a collection to buy the $250 complete UWF TV set that’s there. Not that I’d have time to watch it all, but COME ON. How could I not? I highly encourage fellow lovers of Bill Watts and his wonderful promotion to continue buying these before WWE gets control and buries them in a vault somewhere. We start with the awesome Ric Flair-Ted Dibiase angle and Ted’s gory bladejob. Nikolai Volkoff v. Terry Taylor No dates given for the matches on this DVD, so you’re on your own. Taylor quickly gets a sunset flip for two and works on the arm, but walks into a big boot. Volkoff pounds away with a quick bodypress from Taylor breaking up the heat, until he makes the full comeback. The commentary would place this about 1984. Taylor dropkicks Volkoff over the top, which brings out Krusher Khruschev to protest, and Volkoff attacks during the distraction. Taylor comes back with a rollup, but the Russians do the beatdown for the DQ at 3:13 until Hacksaw Duggan saves FOR AMERICA. King Kong Bundy v. Junkyard Dog JYD is just crazy over here. Dog takes Bundy down with a snapmare and goes to a chinlock, but Bundy fights up and they slug it out. Dog with a clothesline for two and back to the chinlock, but Bundy reverses out to a hammerlock on the mat. This match is not exactly playing up to JYD’s strengths. Bundy hits the BIG FAT SPLASH and gets…four? Yeah, Bundy wants the five count, see, and Dog kicks out at four and makes the comeback. I could have sworn they lifted that spot in the WWF with Bundy and Hogan, but I can’t recall where or when I would have seen it. Dog amazingly finishes with the powerslam at 4:20. *1/2 I’ve now seen him effortlessly slam Bundy and One Man Gang on these DVDs. PCP is a hell of a drug. Kamala v. The Masked Marvel Usual squash from Kamala as the poor masked schmuck gets bulldozed and splashed at 0:45. Jim Duggan storms out and chases him off to prevent further destruction. Paul Orndorff v. Ted Dibiase Dibiase is North American champion at this point, but this is non-title. Ernie Ladd on commentary is like having the match narrated by Morgan Freeman! Now that’s class! Orndorff gets a quick cradle for two and they trade criss-crosses before Dibiase gets his own pinning combo for two. Dibiase to the arm and they get into some chain-wrestling, but Orndorff is the first one to take a cheap shot in the corner, and he drops knees on Dibiase. Dibiase comes back with a dropkick and kneelift, setting up the powerslam and figure-four, which was his finisher at the time. Orndorff had been bragging for a while about how he could break the hold, and indeed he reverses the move. Ernie Ladd is pretty great on commentary here, playing the Jesse Ventura role. Dibiase fights and claws for the ropes with time running out on the show, and he’s saved by the bell at 7:01. Good action here. **1/2 Highlights of Tony Atlas & Andre the Giant v. Ted Dibiase & Matt Borne. Jim Duggan quickly runs in for the DQ and the Rat Pack tries a beatdown on Andre, but he fights them off. Kamala runs out, beats on Andre with a 2×4, and SLAMS HIM. Holy shit! I didn’t even think there was footage of anyone slamming Andre outside of a couple of people. Hacksaw Butch Reed v. Rick Rood Reed quickly hits the high knee and tosses him, as Bill Watts on commentary talks about how young Rick Rood is an inexperienced jobber who is paying his dues right now. Watts predicts that he’ll be tough someday, though. Rood comes back and slugs Reed down in the corner until Reed bails to escape. Back in, Reed chokes away while Watts talks about trying to sign some new team called The Rock N Roll Express. Rood comes back again but Reed clotheslines him onto the top rope and finishes with a press slam at 4:36. Bigger and better things would be afoot for Rood, of course. ** MIDGET MADNESS. I skip forward. Mid-South tag titles: Al Perez & Wendell Cooley v. One Man Gang & Kareem Muhammad Muhammad is like OMG’s black twin. The champs use their speed to evade the big men, but finally Cooley gets caught in the heel corner and gets the heat. The idea is that the champions are hopelessly overmatched and are basically waiting out the TV time limit. Cooley finally escapes and makes the hot tag to Perez, and he’s showing some FIRE. The heels double-team him with a rare “I’ll hold him and you charge at him” move that WORKS. But alas, Gang goes up and splashes his own partner by mistake, and Perez rolls over for the pin at 5:11 to retain. *1/2 And then Gang gets forcibly fired from Devastation Inc, although I don’t know that the smarter money wouldn’t have been to stick with Gang. King Kong Bundy v. Art Crews Bundy totally destroys the poor guy and finishes with the Avalanche and five-count at 3:00. Ted Dibiase & Matt Borne v. Mr. Olympia & Iron Mike Sharpe My brain can’t process Iron Mike as a babyface. Olympia controls the champions with armdrags, and Sharpe comes in to pound the crap out of Dibiase and send him running. Back in, they trade arm wringers and Dibiase loses that battle, bringing Olympia back in to continue controlling with armdrags. Borne comes in and gets overpowered by Sharpe, but a frustrated Dibiase holds him in the corner and allows Borne to get his shots in to take over. Dibiase puts him down with a back elbow and drops an elbow for two. Sharpe comes back with a kneelift and makes the hot tag to Olympia, who runs wild and then collides with Dibiase for the double KO. Sharpe gets suckered in, allowing Borne to hit Olympia with the bombs away buttdrop to give Dibiase the pin at 6:26. Good stuff! **3/4 Highlights of JYD v OMG leads to Dog getting the DQ win, and Barry Darsow turning babyface FOR AMERICA. It’s becoming kind of scary all the stuff that I had thought originated in other places, like Krusher Khruschev in Crockett’s territories, actually came fully formed from Mid-South. It was really was like a giant series of dream matches before we knew they were dream matches. Tully Blanchard v. Paul Orndorff This is a combination I don’t think we’ve ever seen before. They have matching purple tights for some reason. Perhaps it was the in thing at the time, like Zubaz tights and fanny packs, or cocaine. They trade takedowns and Orndorff works on a hammerlock, but Blanchard gets a cheapshot and hits an elbow off the middle rope. Orndorff quickly suplexes him and elbows him down, but Tully gives him another cheap elbow to the head and slaps on a figure-four. Orndorff quickly reverses it, and Bob Roop comes in for the DQ at 4:43. **1/2 Ted Dibiase & Steve Williams v. Brickhouse Brown & Brad Armstrong Aww, man. Of course this had to pop up the day after his death. Dibiase pounds on Brad to start, but gets chased out of the ring with a dropkick. Back in and they do an obvious edit to Dibiase putting Armstrong down with a hotshot. The Rat Pack controls in the corner, but Armstrong makes the hot tag to Brickhouse, and Dibiase quickly dominates him with a middle rope elbow and backbreaker. Doc is bleeding from the eye and it appears to have pissed him off, as he drops vicious elbows on Brown and gets two. Armstrong gets another tag and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA, allowing Doc to nail Armstrong with the loaded arm brace and Dibiase to finish at 4:10. This could have been 10-15 minutes with no problem. **1/2 Mid South Tag title: Jim Neidhart & Butch Reed v. Dusty Rhodes & Hacksaw Jim Duggan Duggan quickly clotheslines Neidhart and goes for the three point stance, but Anvil tags out to Hacksaw. The black one. Reed beats on Rhodes, but walks into an elbow and the babyfaces take over and work the arm. Duggan slams him for two, and a crossbody gets two. LUCHA DUGGAN! Bill Watts notes that Skandor Akbar has been questioning the lifestyle AND personal hygiene of Jim Duggan. Hard to fault him there. Maybe he heard the dildo blender story? Big Dust works a headlock on Neidhart and Duggan is of course dumb enough to get caught in the heel corner and the champions cut off the ring. Duggan and Reed collide, but Neidhart cuts off the tag again before missing an elbow, and it’s hot tag Dusty. Elbows are thrown and a crossbody gets two on Neidhart, but Reed saves and Nikolai Volkoff runs in and sends Dusty into the post for the DQ at 6:39. Dusty is OUT and Magnum TA comes out and kicks ass in retaliation. ** Highlights of Reed & Neidhart v. Magnum TA & Mr. Wrestling II, in a cage match for the tag titles with Wrestling II’s mask on the line. TA gets the shit kicked out of him but makes the hot tag, only to see Reed hit the flying shoulderblock. Neidhart, who has a personal issue with II, tells Reed to let him have the pin, so Reed gives up the sure pin and lets Neidhart hit his finisher. Neidhart picks him up and keeps trying to unmask Wrestling II, but there’s another mask underneath, and TA gets another hot tag and wins the tag titles. I believe that Wrestling II actually turned on TA to end that title reign as well. Iceman Parsons, Little Coco & Cowboy Lang v. Jack Victory, Little Tokyo & Little Littlebrook Usual midget stuff here. Jack Victory gets to take a backdrop from the babyface midgets, and Iceman pins him at 4:00. Boris Zurkhov & King Kong Bundy v. Tim Horner & Bill Rathke Obviously Boris was still working out the kinks in his Russian gimmick. Horner, rocking the porn stache at this point, controls Boris with the headlock and a bodypress for two. Sadly, Bill Rathke tags in, and do I even have to tell you what happens to the non-star who tags into one of these things? Avalanche finishes at 2:00. Steve Williams & Rob Ricksteiner v. Hacksaw Reed & Hacksaw Duggan Pretty sure this one was already on that other Mid-South DVD I just did. So yeah, the Hacksaws finish the future Rick Steiner with a double shoulderblock at 2:50. King Kong Bundy & Ted Dibiase v. Steve Williams & Johnny Rich A very young Williams so we must be back around 82 again. Rich controls Dibiase with armdrags and gets a Thesz Press for two. Doc comes in and Dibiase runs away, but Bundy doesn’t want to tag in yet. Doc bumps Dibiase all over, and Dibiase takes a powder. Over to Bundy, which was the big rivalry at that point, and Williams throws down in the corner and whips Bundy into Dibiase, then finishes with the Oklahoma Stampede at 4:46. That’s crazy, Doc was just freakishly powerful. Well we know how much Bill Watts loved Dr. Death, so it’s not a huge surprise he’d go over Bundy so strong. ** The teams continue brawling after the match and Doc cleans house. Jake The Snake: The Lost Footage! Oh wait, it’s just another DVD ad for a Superdome show. Ed Wiskowski & Bob Orton Jr. v. Ted Dibiase & Mr. Olympia And now Dibiase is on the babyface side again. He and Olympia control Orton and hold onto his arm, and then Wiskowski tags in and gets more of the same. Orton finally hits Dibiase with a kneelift to take over, but Dibiase fights back, only to make a false tag to Olympia. Dibiase still cradles Wisnowski for two in the chaos, and then Olympia dropkicks him onto Wisnowski for two. The ref is distracted AGAIN and Olympia puts Wisnowski in a sleeper this time, leading to Dibiase piledriving him for the pin at 5:03. That was quite the finish. **1/2 Afa, Sika & Ernie Ladd v. Junkyard Dog, Andre the Giant & Dusty Rhodes That’s some impressive star power in there. Dusty wallops on Sika and runs him into JYD’s head, and then Andre rams the Samoan heads together and he’s so powerful that even they have to sell it. Afa tries a headlock on Andre, but runs into his ass and bumps off it. Finally Big Cat comes in and Andre takes him down with a headlock before a double team from the Samoans turns the tide. They try to hold him in the corner, but Andre casually walks to his own corner with the heels dragging behind him in a funny spot, and it’s back to Dusty. He switches off with JYD as they double-team Ladd, and then Andre levels Afa with a big boot for two. The Samoans double-team Andre with a slam while Ladd distracts the ref, but that only gets two. It’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA and Andre goes AIRBORNE with a flying splash on Ladd for the pin at 6:35. Yeah, if Andre the Giant is flying off the top at you, you’re jobbing, just accept it. **1/2 The Pulse I know there’s no classic matches on here because it’s basically taken from the TV shows exclusively, but man, I could watch this stuff ALL DAY. They got over feuds and angles in the span of a few minutes and made you want to see how things got resolved, and all the matches featured here have great star power and hard work. Strongly recommended, but then everyone knows I’m a huge mark for Bill Watts anyway. Next up: Volume 2!