LABOR DAY SPECTACULAR, 9/2/85, The Omni in Atlanta
Bob Caudle and Tony Schiavone are your commentators for this special closed-circuit event!
The event begins with a 10-bell salute and moment of silence for Jay Youngblood.
Don Kernodle vs Tom Prichard
Kernodle wanted to see what Prichard is made of and he did just that in this 15-minute opening match. Prichard hangs right with Kernodle in a match that stays on the up and up with both men within the rules. As the match enters the final minute, however, Kernodle pulls Prichard into a side headlock and delivers three quick rabbit punches to the face. He rolls Prichard up, laying on top for a stacking pin… and scores the victory! Kernodle just shakes his head as he leaves a frustrated Prichard in the ring.
El Santo Negro vs Gorgeous Gary Royal (w/ Wild Bill Irwin)
After working together on Worldwide, it’s no great shock to see Wild Bill and Royal on the same side here. The crowd is firmly behind El Santo Negro. He’s really won over the fans in Mid-Atlantic in the past month with his quickness, athletic ability, and high flying lucha libre moves! El Santo busts out more of the same, seemingly finding six different ways to arm drag Royal, who is having fits! Back into the ring and Royal delivers a fist right to the bread basket to gain control… He mounts El Santo in the corner, delivering punches down on him… when the masked man just slides out from under him! He pulls Royal’s legs out from under him, until Gorgerous Gary is straddling the middle turnbuckle! El Santo Negro with a running dropkick to the back! Royal drops. The masked man ascending to the top… looking for his flying cross body… but now Wild Bill is up on the apron. El Santo Negro leaps… big cross body. But the referee is distracted! Finally he turns. 1… 2… kickout! Royal was pinned for at least a 10 count! El Santo Negro is up now and pointing and jawing at Irwin… Royal grabs him from behind and hooks his sleeper, then applies the bodyscissors. The masked man is pulled down to the mat and Royal successfully puts him to sleep! A STUNNING win for the Gorgeous One, and the fans are irate.
Kerry Brown, Mr. Wrestling II & Jack Brisco vs Four Horsemen (Super Destroyer, Ole Anderson & Arn Anderson) (w/ J.J. Dillon)
This match came about when the Horsemen attacked Brown and II during a match at Worldwide, where the winner was going to earn a U.S. Title shot against Super Destroyer on this card. Instead, Jack Brisco made the save! The action starts out hot and heavy with all six man brawling in and around the ring. The Atlanta crowd is loving it! Jack Brisco has his sights set on Ole, still thinking about that bloodbath in Miami where he and Gino defeated Brisco and Thunderbolt Patterson! The referee finally gets the action to settle down, and as he does, the Horsemen are able to gain the advantage on II, working him over on their half of the ring for an extended period of time. The masked man is able to fight off the odds, though, and rocks Arn Anderson with his patented kneelift! II tags Brown—and Arn tags Super Destroyer. Brown steamrolls into the ring. Destroyer tries to clothesline him but Brown charges right through the attempt. Fists of fury from Brown battering the U.S. champ back into the neutral corner, as Brown works over the head and the body! Brown Irish whips the Destroyer HARD into the far corner, then charges in with an avalanche splash! Brown hooks Destroyer for a suplex… bounces him off the top rope and then back to the mat. Slingshot suplex, we haven’t seen that from him before! Brown covers. 1… 2… 3?!? WOW, Brown runs right through Super Destroyer and wins the match for his team before the other Horsemen even have a chance to react!
Television Title Match
Lex Luger defends vs. Kokina (w/ Rip Rogers)
Luger comes out with his ribs and lower back heavily taped after the past two encounters with the Samoans. This leads Rip Rogers to get on the mic and offer Luger the chance to forfeit the title right now, and walk out of Atlanta in one piece. Luger walks up to Rip, unclasps the title belt… and smashes Rip right in the face with it! The fans love it but Kokina waffles Luger with a clubbing blow to the side of the head as the match begins. Luger has plenty of fight but in his injured state he’s no match for Kokina, who throws the Total Package from pillar to post. Luger mounts a brief comeback but a single forearm across the back stops it, followed by a headbutt. Kokina with his leaping legdrop… and engulfs Luger with it! 1… 2… 3! Luger never had a chance… and we have a NEW TV champion…
Mid-Atlantic Tag Title Match
Titles Can Change Hands on a Countout or DQ
Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (w/ Armand Rougeau & Mad Dog Vachon) defend vs. Road Warriors (w/ Paul Ellering)
The stakes here could not be higher. The Rougeaus can lose the belts if they get counted out or disqualified. Meanwhile, if Hawk and Animal lose, they won’t receive any more matches for the MACW Tag Titles for a full year!
The Rougeaus seem nervous as the match begins, and they should be! The challengers come out next and just come sprinting down the aisle. Jacques and Rougeau try to jump them as they enter the ring but get hurled away. Double clotheslines on both champs, who then get hoisted into the air for stereo press slams. A clothesline sends Raymond end over end to the floor, isolating Jacques in the ring. Flying shoulderblock by Hawk! Then a leaping fist drop… he lays in a choke before tagging in Animal, who hits another press slam. Armand is screaming something at Mad Dog Vachon, who’s trying to get a dazed Raymond to his feet. Aninal fires Jacques HARD into the turnbuckles, and he comes crashing to the mat. Another leaping fist drop by Hawk, and the pin. 1… 2… Armand pulls Jacques’ boot under the bottom rope. That brings Ellering around and now the two managers are brawling, with the referee distracted, trying to break them up. On the other side of the ring… Raymond is in the ring, and Vachon throws him a title belt. Animal grabs it out of the air! He blasts Raymond… then blasts Jacques! Animal goes for the pin… the referee turns around! 1… 2… 3NOOOOOO Jacques SOMEHOW gets a shoulder up at the last second. Jacques is bleeding profusely now! Animal signals for the doomsday device… picks up Jacques… who is struggling like mad on Animal’s shoulders. Raymond slides in and delivers a chop block to Animal’s leg, and all three wrestlers drop in a heap. In the resulting collision, referee Tommy Young gets taken out as well! Hawk climbs down to check on his partner, who is clutching at his left knee. Hawk grabs Raymond and throws him out of the ring, hard to the floor. Armand is up on the apron and gets blasted. Ditto for Mad Dog Vachon! Hawk going for Jacques when… is that… Dutch Mantell?!? Wearing a neck brace, the Dirty Dutchman is on the apron with Shoo Baby. Hawk goes toward him when two HUGE muscular men come through the crowd from the other side of the arena and jump Hawk from behind. That’s… Korchenko is one of them! I have no idea who the other one is! Hawk is beaten down by the two men. They then toss Hawk out of the ring. Animal is up now, still hobbling, and also gets obliterated by the muscular duo. They both pick up Animal…. And then drop him across two outstretched knees. A disgusting impact to the ribs and abdomen! Animal is doubled over on the mat! Dutch has Tommy Young up as his two hitmen drape Jacques over Animal and leave the ring. He’s rolling the referee’s carcass in… Not like this! No! 1! 2! 3!
The crowd ERUPTS in boos and hatred. What a miscarriage of justice! Somehow, someway, the Rougeaus are STILL your tag champions.
Bob Caudle tries to chase down Mantell in the aisle for some answers. Dirty Dutch rips off the neck brace.
Mantell: The Road Warriors made a FOOL out of me last month… well how do they like it now? Huh? You’re not the biggest and baddest in this territory anymore. Because I’ve found the new strongest tag team in the area—and they answer solely to ME. Meet Justice and Czar… the Blade Runners. And we’re playing for keeps! C’mon men!
Mantell and his new tag team stalk back up the aisle leaving bodies strewn in their wake in and around the ring. Speaking of, in the squared circle, Jacques is just now realizing the result of the match as a wounded Tommy Young drapes a tag title belt over his carcass. He starts sobbing tears of joy. His brother knee-walks into the ring and they embrace to HUGE boos.
Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title
Gino Hernandez defends vs. Ric Flair (w/ J.J. Dillon)
Flair comes to the ring resplendent in one of his robes, escorted by his manager. Gino stalks to the ring in no jacket, just trunks and boots, the title strapped around his waist. The two men go nose-to-nose during the pre-match introductions, after which Gino headbutts Flair right in the nose! The challenger reels, and the match is on. Gino comes out throwing punches, and Flair quickly takes a powder to the floor, where the beatdown continues. The referee continuing his count, until Gino comes back in the ring and stops him. He asks for a microphone.
Gino: You might as well cut out that crap! I’m not here for a countout! I’m not here for a DQ! I’m here to kick Ric Flair’s ass! [Crowd roars] So you may as well hang back and wait to count the pin and raise my hand!
The crowd is loving it as Gino goes back out to the floor, only to get met by Flair, who rakes his eyes and delivers a devastating back suplex on the concrete. That leaves both men spent, but the referee doesn’t begin a 10 count. Flair is up first and fires Gino into the first row of fans! They’re starting to take their fight into the crowd! Gino is definitely favoring his back, but comes up with a chair and swings it back at Flair in desperation. Nature Boy sidesteps it and stomps Gino right in the spine, then rams his face into a chair vacated by one of the ringside fans. Gino comes up bleeding as Flair drags him back to the ring, and under the bottom rope. “NOW we go to school!” Flair proclaims as he starts rocking Gino with a series of suplexes and slams, all targeting the lower back of the champion. He mixes in several punches to the head, continuing to open up the cut until it’s a real gusher. The referee tries to check on the cut but Gino shoves him away. The champion is bleeding profusely, though! It’s like a faucet! Flair with a back breaker, then turns Gino over into a Boston crab. Gino arches his back and screams in pain, blood dripping down his face and forming a puddle on the mat. Screaming with effort, Gino drags himself forward until he’s able to grab the bottom rope and force a break. Flair moves in, but Gino catches him with a back elbow. Then a chop! Now Flair answers. Both men trading chops! They’re covered in the blood of the champion! Gino now has the upper hand! He’s firing back on Flair with rights and lefts! Flair backpedaling! Gino drives him HARD into the near corner, smashing his head against the top turnbuckle. He whips Flair off, Flair goes up and over and then back down into the ring, landing hard on his hip. He comes up to his knees, begging off from the champ! Gino advances, covered in blood… and suddenly pitches facefirst to the mat. The referee is checking Gino and… he’s waving the match off! It’s over! Just like that it’s over! The fans are astonished as the ring announcer proclaims that Gino Hernandez has passed out from blood loss and is therefore unable to continue. And so, Ric Flair is your winner and the NEW MACW Champion… A surprised but jubilant Flair celebrates as medical personnel sprint to ringside to care for the now FORMER champ.
Starrcade Cup Finals
Winner Challenges for the MACW Title in the Main Event of Starrcade 85
Dick Murdoch vs. Big Daddy Ritter (w/ Sonny King)
This is it—the one for all the marbles! Dick Murdoch had to defeat Arn Anderson to rally in his block and get here, while Big Daddy Ritter ran through everyone he’s faced in his block… and everyone he’s faced since this change of heart.
Murdoch keeps a murderous stare locked on Ritter during the introductions, his mind no doubt focused on Ritter’s destruction of Murdoch’s tag partner Brett Sawyer just a few days ago… The bell rings and Murdoch flings himself right at Ritter, delivering a leaping punch. Ritter staggers, but doesn’t go down. Murdoch runs off the back ropes and hits Ritter with a clothesline with everything he’s got! Ritter leans back against the ropes but still keeps his feet. Murdoch takes another run off the ropes, but before he can do anything, Ritter springs forward with a clothesline of his own that nearly beheads Captain Redneck! Ritter starts to use his size and power to manhandle Murdoch as few have shown the ability to do. He constantly breaks the rules, fish-hooking Murdoch, choking him, and gouging at his eyes but always breaking before the five count. After several of these bends of the rules, Murdoch tags the approaching Ritter with a kick to the gut, and a big uppercut! That rocks Ritter, who Murdoch then hits with a running neckbreaker to FINALLY put down. Murdoch covers and doesn’t even get a one count before Ritter hurls him off. Another clothesline by Ritter puts Murdoch down, and the punishment continues… now Ritter with slams and throws, working over the back of Murdoch… but unable to put him down for the three count. At Sonny King’s urging, Ritter keeps pouring on the punishment, but still can’t put Murdoch down as the match passes the 15… then 20 minute mark. Ritter is huffing and puffing at this point as he delivers yet another slam on Murdoch, then pulls him up into a bearhug. The squeeze doesn’t seem to have its normal intensity, though, as Murdoch is able to pry his arms free and clap Ritter’s ears, followed by a Bionic Elbow right to the head. That rocked Ritter. A second Bionic Elbow! Ritter fires back with a punch that Murdoch avoids with ease. Has Ritter punched himself out?!? Murdoch firing away with jabs on Ritter, Big Daddy’s head snapping back at each one. They’re closed fists but the referee is just letting them go! Murdoch winds up for a big haymaker… when Ritter grabs him by the throat. He flings Murdoch back into the near corner. Ritter charges in with a shoulder block, now grabs Murdoch by the ears and delivering a series of headbutts. Ritter seems furious! Beals Murdoch out of the corner. Ritter comes charging out, Murdoch sidesteps him and executes a drop toehold, then rolls Ritter over and executes a spinning toehold! Murdoch going to work on the leg of the big man… and trying to ensnare him in a figure four. No dice! Instead Murdoch just wrenches on that left leg! Ritter starts kicking at Murdoch! He responds by smashing his elbow down across Ritter’s leg. And again across the knee! And again! Murdoch wrenching on that lower leg until Ritter gets a hand in the ropes. Ritter slow to stand… and definitely showing signs of fatigue now. He takes a wild swing at Murdoch, who avoids it and hits a Russian legsweep! Now a leaping elbow on Ritter. Jumping knee to the head! Murdoch scales to the top rope… flying knee drop! Back to the top… a second flying knee drop! Climbs off and to the top once more… leaping elbow, right into the cold evil heart! 1! 2! 3! THAT’S IT! After 30 minutes of grueling action, Murdoch wins the Starrcade Cup!
Jim Crockett and the referees come to the ring as medical personnel tend to Ritter. They hand Murdoch a large trophy and the contract for the main event of Starrcade. He signs his name on the bottom line and stands, wobble-legged, soaking in the cheers of the crowd…
Until Flair’s music hits. Ric Flair walks out, wearing a suit, the MACW belt over one shoulder. He approaches the ring and locks eyes with Murdoch, then signs the contract himself before retreating, never taking his eyes off his new top challenger.