The SmarK Rant for Mid South Wrestling – 03.03.86

The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling – 03.03.86

I don’t even know where to start with all this new content, so let’s just start here.

Taped from Tulsa, OK

Your hosts are Bill & Joel Watts. Bill immediately announces that in two weeks, they will announce a new name for the promotion, which would eventually be the UWF name that should have made them into a contender for #2 promotion before the oil market collapsed and the territory died. For the moment they would switch to Power Pro Wrestling.

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Mid-South DVD?

Hi Scott, hope you are well.
I recently picked up the Mid-South DVD that was put out a while back, and I was wondering if you ever got around to watching it. Definitely seems to be up your alley, with several fine matches and plenty of old-time MANLY wrasslin’. And Terry Taylor’s story of working with Flair (with the match following) would probably be worth several wooos from you. Anyway, if you haven’t watched it, and have time in between Network shows, it’s defintely worth a look. Take care.

I still have a 12-DVD set of the TV shows that I bought from a guy online and haven’t even cracked that one open yet.  For reference, the following is my current pile of “to do” DVD reviews after one of my ridiculously dedicated fans went on Amazon and bought me a bunch of shit last month:  1.  Best of Sting Blu Ray 2.  Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe Blu Ray 3.  Chris Jericho “The Road is Jericho” Blu Ray 4.  Macho Man’s latest Blu Ray (the one where I reviewed the documentary on the WWE network) 5.  Old stuff like Hulk Hogan’s Ultimate Anthology, the Roddy Piper set, and the Allied Powers tag team DVD set.  Which was not bought for me but I still intend to review someday.  So there you go, if I get through all of THAT, then I might get to the Mid-South set someday.  When I’m 80.

Mid-South DVD and questions

Hello Scott, I have two questions.  Are you planning to review the
Legends of Mid-South dvd that just came out? And also I was wondering
why you think it was that when guys like like Duggan and JYD would go
from a smaller territory to the WWF they would suddenly lose all their
drive? I've been watching this Mid-South dvd and they hard


y seem like
the same people. Anyway thanks in advance for the answers.

a)  Possibly, although I still haven't bought it.  I'll probably wait until it's on sale for cheap and pick it up then.

b)  I don't mean to shatter any illusions you might have here, but the answer is drugs and lots of them.


I'm most of the way through the Mid-South blu-ray, and there are some puzzling moments about it.  First, JR does new commentary on some matches, pretending to be old commentary.  My question is, why wouldn't they do this on the War Games set?  Would've made the matches much better.
Second, some of this stuff is really corny.  JR wandering blind-folded trying to find Stagger Lee being the worst offender.  And Mr. Wrestling II looks way too much like an infant wearing a diaper and a mask to be taken seriously.  They mention that Mr. Wrestling II got a new protege and the protege became Mr. Wrestling II and Mr. Wrestling II became Mr. Wrestling I?  Am I getting that right?  Who was the new Mr. Wrestling II?
I know that JYD came out to Queen, Midnight Express came out to the theme from the movie, Freebirds is obvious and RNR came out to Old Time Rock and Roll.  What did everybody else come out to?  Dibiase?  The Blade Runners?  Speaking of the Blade Runners, how odd is it watching the both of them trying to be Hawk?  Sting is especially weird.  And the Rick Steiner/Nick Patrick match is both awful and bizarre.
You should really check out the set when you get the chance.

Dammit, everyone keeps rubbing it in that I haven't watched this set yet.  
Anyone watch that CM Punk documentary thing on Netflix?  Best In The World?  I watched that today.  It was pretty good too.  SO THERE.

Complete Match Listings For Mid-South DVD


The Beginnings

Ted DiBiase

Ted DiBiase vs. Paul Orndorff
Mid-South Wrestling • December 10, 1981

Junkyard Dog

Andre the Giant, Dusty Rhodes & Junkyard Dog vs. Afa, Sika & Big Cat Ernie Ladd
Mid-South Wrestling • January 14, 1982

Rat Pack – DiBiase & Borne & Duggan

North American & Mid-South Tag Team Championship No Disqualification Match
Junkyard Dog & Mr. Olympia vs. Ted DiBiase & Matt Borne
Mid-South Wrestling • October 28, 1982

Coal Miner’s Glove Steel Cage Tuxedo Loser Leaves Town Match
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Ted DiBiase
Houston, TX • March 22, 1985

Travel of the Territory

Tony Atlas Benches 500 Pounds
Mid-South Wrestling • January 1983

Mid-South Tag Team Championship Match
Ted DiBiase & Matt Borne vs. Andre the Giant & Tony Atlas
Mid-South Wrestling • February 10, 1983

Magnum TA

Announcement of Magnum TA’s Manager
Mid-South Wrestling • November 1983

Mr. Wrestling II Conducts Workouts with Magnum TA
Mid-South Wrestling • December 1983

Magnum TA & Mr. Wrestling II vs. The Midnight Express
Mid-South Wrestling • January 27, 1984

North American Heavyweight Championship Match
Mr. Wrestling II vs. Magnum TA
Mid-South Wrestling • May 17, 1984


“Hacksaw” Butch Reed

A Painted Dog
Mid-South Wrestling • May 1984

A Tar & Feathered Dog
Mid-South Wrestling • May 1984

Ghetto Street Fight
Junkyard Dog vs. “Hacksaw” Butch Reed
Mid-South Wrestling • June 16, 1984

Midnight Express & Rock n Roll Express Rivalry

Mid-South Tag Team Championship No Disqualification Match
The Rock N’ Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express
Mid-South Wrestling • May 24, 1984

Jim Ross Interviews The Rock N’ Roll Express
Mid-South Wrestling • October 1984

The Rock N’ Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express
Jim Cornette in a Straight Jacket

Shawn Michaels Learns from Ted DiBiase

Shawn Michaels vs. Ted DiBiase
Mid-South Wrestling • December 1984

Terry Taylor’s Big Match against Ric Flair

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Ric Flair vs. Terry Taylor
New Orleans, LA • June 1, 1985


Muhammad Ali

Mid-South Television Championship Match
The Snowman vs. Jake Roberts
New Orleans, LA • June 1, 1985

Ted DiBiase Becomes a Good Guy

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Ric Flair vs. Ted DiBiase
Mid-South Wrestling • November 15, 1985

Mid-South Goes National

Rob Ricksteiner vs. Nick Patrick
Power Pro Wrestling • August 3, 1986

The Bladerunners vs. John O’Reilly & Ken Massey
Universal Wrestling Federation • March 1986

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

UWF Heavyweight Championship Match
Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Universal Wrestling Federation • August 6, 1986

The Fabulous Freebirds

Lumberjack Match
Ted DiBiase & Dr. Death Steve Williams vs. Michael PS Hayes & Buddy Roberts
Universal Wrestling Federation • August 31, 1986

Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy

UWF Heavyweight Championship Match
Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy vs. Dr. Death Steve Williams
Universal Wrestling Federation • September 29, 1986

One Man Gang

UWF Heavyweight Championship Match
One Man Gang vs. Big Bubba Rogers
Universal Wrestling Federation • June 1987

Steve “Dr. Death” Williams

UWF Heavyweight Championship Match
Steve “Dr. Death” Williams vs. Big Bubba Rogers
Oklahoma City, OK • July 11, 1987


Mid-South Tag Team Championship Match
The Rock N’ Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express
Mid-South Wrestling • April 19 1984

UWF Heavyweight Championship #1 Contenders Match
Sting vs. Terry Taylor
Universal Wrestling Federation • June 13, 1987

Ted DiBiase gets his tyres slashed

North American Heavyweight Championship
Junkyard Dog vs. Ted DiBiase
Mid-South Wrestling • June 25, 1982


Steel Cage Match
Ted DiBiase & Steve “Dr. Death” Williams vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts & The Barbarian
Mid-South Wrestling • August 9 1985

Buzz Sawyer

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Buzz Sawyer
Mid-South Wrestling • November 11, 1985

Jim Cornette’s Favourite Moment in Mid-South

Cornette Gets Caked
Mid-South Wrestling • March 30 1984

Bill Watts Needs Help
Mid-South Wrestling • March 1984

Last Stampede Match
Bill Watts & Stagger Lee vs. The Midnight Express
Mid-South Wrestling • April 22 1984

Lessons on elevating talent

Dusty Rhodes Travels with Boyd Pierce

Bill Watts tells a story about Ernie Ladd’s Father

The SmarK DVD Rant for Mid-South Wrestling’s Greatest Matches

The SmarK DVD Rant for Mid-South Wrestling’s Greatest Matches I didn’t even KNOW that Micah Watts sold DVDs of the UWF footage, but it’s right there at, and you knew I was gonna be all over that once I found it. It’s all divided into 2-episode discs for $20 a pop, but there’s also this sampler disc available for the same price, and I figured I’d give it a look. The disc presentation isn’t particularly impressive (the case lists such luminaries as “Rick Flair” and “Kerry Von Erik”) but I’ve seen worse, to be honest. Video quality is tremendous, pretty crisp and looking like it was recorded yesterday off 24/7. Hacksaw Jim Duggan v. The Black Ninja (Kendo Nagasaki) From May 1983. Duggan attacks right away, but Ted Dibiase immediately runs in and clobbers him with the LOADED GLOVE OF DEATH. OK then. Afa, Sika & Ernie Ladd v. Junkyard Dog, Andre the Giant & Dusty Rhodes From 1982. 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 MIDGET MADNESS: Little Tokyo & Ivan the Terrible v. Lone Eagle & Cowboy Lang It’s a midget match. You know my feelings already. Ted Dibiase & Steve Williams v. Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Private Terry Daniels January 1985 now. Daniels was one of Sgt. Slaughter’s cadets, and a pretty good worker I seem to recall. Don’t think he ever became anyone notable, as he just kind of disappeared after Slaughter dropped out of the limelight in the 80s. The babyfaces clean house after some cheating from Dibiase, and Duggan hits them both with clotheslines to send them scurrying again. Back in, Duggan pounds away on Dibiase in the corner, and Daniels comes in and then gets killed by Doc. Daniels gets the heat, but Duggan hits Dibiase with a shot from the apron because he just hates him so much. Doc keeps beating on Daniels and it’s BONZO GONZO, and Duggan running wild in a tag match is pretty awesome. Dibiase loads up the glove and knocks out the Private, however, giving Williams the win at 5:17. Fun match. ** One Man Gang v. Junkyard Dog From September 82. Gang has long greasy hair and beard here, very early in his career. Dog quickly dominates and drops a fist for two. Clothesline and the powerslam look to finish, but Akbar runs in for the DQ at 1:00. That powerslam was pretty impressive. Steve Williams & Rob Ricksteiner v. Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Butch Reed From November 85. This is the only teaming of the two Hacksaws that I’ve ever seen. Rob Ricksteiner is of course the real name of the guy you’d expect it to be. He was just a puppy-faced gremlin at this point, almost literally just out of university. Reed overpowers him to start, and Duggan comes in with a clothesline before Doc tags in. They slug it out and a cheapshot from Ricksteiner puts the heat on Duggan, but Doc misses a splash and it’s hot tag Reed. A double shoulderblock finishes Ricksteiner at 2:50. *1/2 Buddy Landell v. Kerry Von Erich From May 1985. Kerry’s name is actually spelled wrong on the original graphic here, so that’s probably where the error on the DVD case came from. Kerry chases Buddy out of the ring and hits him with a nice dropkick, then starts working on the arm. Buddy gets a cheapshot, but Kerry beats on him in the corner and hits the discus punch for two. Blind charge misses and Landell takes over with the corkscrew elbow for two, but Kerry dropkicks him again. Man, why did he stop doing that…oh yeah. The IRON CLAW finishes at 4:00. Fun little match! ** Mid South TV Title: Terry Taylor v. Jake Roberts The title is represented by a gold medal in this case. They trade armdrags and Jake gets a cheap elbow in the corner, but makes the classic heel error of pointing to his head to indicate intelligence, and Taylor dumps him out of the ring. Back in, Taylor goes to work on the arm as this is already the most decompressed match on the entire DVD thus far. Jake tries to slam out of the armbar, but Taylor holds on by cranking on it to keep Jake from doing the move. Jake finally escapes with a jawbreaker, using Taylor’s own hammerlock for leverage against him. That’s pretty great. Jake with a gutbuster and knees to the ribs to take over. Taylor makes the comeback with a kneedrop for two, but he runs into the short clothesline. Taylor escapes the DDT and hits the flying forearm to retain at 6:47, and then Jake DESTROYS him with a DDT on a chair to get some revenge. Like he absolutely planted Taylor on that thing. *** Mid South tag titles: The Midnight Express v. The Rock N Roll Express Those are some busted tag belts. The length of Eaton’s mullet would place this around 1984, since there’s no date here. Eaton gets double-teamed in the corner, but beats on Robert to escape. The RNR go to work on Eaton’s leg, however, and Eaton reverses a toehold on Gibson into a small package for two. Over to Condrey, and he quickly gets trapped in the babyface corner as well. The Midnights regroup and Ricky grabs a headlock on Eaton and gets a powerslam off a long criss-cross, but Condrey gets a cheapshot to take over. And it’s time for the portion of the match we all know and love, as the Midnights double-team Morton until Gibson gets all pissed off and comes in for the brawl. Ricky rolls up Eaton in the chaos, but a conspicuously ugly woman runs in and breaks up the pin at 5:48, drawing a DQ before revealing herself to be Jim Cornette. Usual affair from them. **1/2 NWA World title: Ric Flair v. Ted Dibiase Dick Murdoch is offended that Dibiase is getting an undeserved title shot, so he launches a sneak attack on him and just BLOODIES him after a shot to the post. Oh shit, is this THAT match? AWESOME. So if I’m remembering right, there’s some backstory to this match, because Butch Reed was supposed to be challenging and Dick Murdoch injured him to take him out of contention. So then Murdoch thought he’d get the shot, but top heel Ted Dibiase got it instead. It’s been 30 years since this went down so I’m probably off on the details there. Flair is more than happy to take the forfeit win, and we take a break. Back with Bill Watts in the dressing room, who reports that Dibiase is getting his gruesomely scarred face wrapped up in bandages, and he’s still gonna challenge for the belt. So if there’s children watching, parents might want to change the channel. So back to the ring we go, and Flair just kicks the shit out of Dibiase right away, throwing chops in the corner until Dibiase comes back with a backdrop. Fistdrop and Flair backs off, so Dibiase stomps a mudhole, but Flair clips him and goes to work. The bandage gets dislodged and Dibiase is a MESS. Backdrop suplex gets two and Jim Ross is having a heart attack. Now this is the match where you want to have JR on commentary. Flair pounds him in the corner and now Dr. Death comes out because even he is concerned for Dibiase’s well-being. Dibiase comes back and we get the Flair Flip, and a suplex back into the ring gets two. Dibiase wraps him up with an abdominal stretch into a rollup for two, but he’s so weak he can’t even hold the pinfall. Flair tries a piledriver and Dibiase backdrops out and throws down in the corner. Flair Flop, but the ref wants to check the cut. But Watts said they wouldn’t stop it for blood loss! Flair clotheslines him and goes up, but Dibiase slams him off. Powerslam gets two and again Dibiase can’t cover to completion. Dibiase tries a figure-four, but Flair is in the ropes, and he kicks Dibiase right over the top to break. And Dibiase is out due to blood loss, so he gets counted out at 7:20. And then Dick Murdoch returns and kicks Dibiase’s ass AGAIN, including a brainbuster on the concrete! This was quite the finish to the DVD. ***1/2 The Pulse Kind of an oddly sequenced DVD, with a lot of Jim Duggan and tons of short TV matches, but I like how it built up to the three title matches to end it. This is definitely a fun, if brief, introduction to what Mid-South was about, and hopefully it’ll get more exposure on DVD releases now that WWE owns the library and can take full advantage of it. Check it out at while it’s still around.

Mid-South footage

Probably too little too late, but if it means we finally get Dibiase v. Duggan coal miner's glove tuxedo cage match on DVD, it's worth the money.