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Found 10 results

  1. G. Badger

    Spotlight: Starrcade

    I was never what you would call a WCW fan growing up. I liked seeing the matches on Saturday or Sunday but, I never went out of my way to watch Nitro until the Monday Night Wars stuff. It was WCW that grabbed my attention first with Goldberg and his streak. Plus my older cousin thought he was cool and therefore I did too Quickly, I found out that I preferred WWF to WCW in most instances and then ECW came in the picture and I never looked back really. So, with that being said, I never gave a thought to WCW's pay-per-views and although the titles were cooler than WWF's the cards usually sucked. So, here I am all of these years later willing to call bullshit on myself and check out the best of the best PPV that WCW had to offer - Starrcade. The saving grace of this project is that many of the matches on this list (this is the Starrcade Essential Collection set by WWE) are from Jim Crockett Promotions and/or in the early days of WCW. Half are from the 80's and 5 more are between 1990-1993. Anyhow there's 25 matches and I'm going run down (or up?) the list to see just how essential these matches are. I might give impressions for some, others I might have a review, and even more I might have written something up in the match discussion archives. Let's start Roddy Piper vs Hollywood Hogan (1996): Good match with good action that tells the Match of the Decade story well. Intense too which was a big surprise considering Hogan was in the ring...I mean honest-looking intensity and not that hammy crappola. Sting vs Great Muta (1989): Iron Man tournament match which I saw a few months ago during my Great Muta You Might Have Missed post ( https://forums.prowrestlingonly.com/blogs/entry/685-great-muta-you-might-have-missed/). Shit that was almost a year ago!? Anyhow, an under 10 minute banger with Sting and Muta at the height of blending simple wrestling with a fast pace and a few flashy moves. I liked this quite a bit. I'll say a very good match. Barry Windham & Brian Pillman vs Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas (1992): Awesome action packed title match. This Starrcade thing doesn't seem that bad! This also featured Pillman and Douglas ushering a crash-bang style that we would we would see in ECW and the Attitude era. Not that they invented it or anything but, its in contrast to Windham and Ricky's style here. Great match! Goldberg vs Kevin Nash (1998): The match that ended THE STREAK and perhaps was an early sign of things to come. Goldberg and Nash actually wrestle a good match up until the hi-jinks and Hall electrocutes Goldberg. Battlebowl (1991): I don't like Battle Royals. So, I'll make a couple suggestions. Fast forward to when Ricky Morton & Liger are wrestling each other. Then fast forward to when Luger and Vader are in ring #1 by themselves (yes there are two rings). Then fast forward to when it boils down to Steamboat and Sting vs Austin and Rude (Luger is in waiting so to speak). Then watch the rest of the match and you might call this good. This rated higher than the 1992 tag match? horse shit! Dustin Rhodes vs Steve Austin (1993): Starts of pretty good and just sorta ends. I had high hopes for this but, uh yeah it's very much what I expect out of WCW. The last 3 matches don't seem very "essential" to me. I talk more about it in the 1993 match discussion yearbook. I really don't want to do that again here...if that gives you an idea. Road Warriors vs Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (1987): Oh crap the Road Warriors...this is not looking good..let's see. Oh man am I wrong! Maybe it's Arn and Tully but, this is perhaps the best Warriors match I've seen. We see a brains & brawn story unfold despite their early domination, Hawk & Animal don't seem invincible. There are some hi-jinks but, it is pandemonium so it works. I loved this match- it was all about selling and timing and it comes off beautifully! Near classic match...hells yeah! Rey Misterio vs Jushin Liger (1996): Oh Rey vs Liger '96, this should be an easy great match! Nope! It's neat but, just felt clunky and the commentary team bury them. This is a great example of how WCW was out of step with where wrestling was headed. It was a fun exhibition match though. Rock 'n Roll Express vs Midnight Express (1987): I wish they could have put another type of match on here with these teams. It was high risk and whatnot but, is really a novelty that doesn't really show what these guys do best. Nevertheless it was one of the best scaffold matches I've seen. I've seen like 4 so...maybe that's not a recommendation. Sorta goes into the realm of Battle Royal matches to me. Ric Flair vs Lex Luger (1988): Here we have our first classic match of the set! I never would have thought it'd come from Luger. Simple but effective stuff! GO SEE THIS!! 1988 Everything else folder has more gushing if you need it. Eddie Guerrero vs Shinjiro Otani (1995): I've seen this match twice and liked it better the 2nd time. Its what the Rey vs Liger match needed to be. Skip that one and watch Otani and Eddie go! Again, I beat a dead horse in the 1995 December yearbook if you want to see that Very good match. Not sure why this is "ahead" of Flair/Luger '88 at all though...gotta give something to Eddie I suppose. Dusty Rhodes & Sting vs Road Warriors (1988): Hmm can't seem to find my notes on this one...I remember it being good with Sting doing his thing. It was not as good as the Tully/Arn match I can tell you that much. I think it was meant to get Sting over since I really don't remember Dusty or the Warriors doing much but a good match and letting Sting shine. Sting vs Vader (1992): People have called this a classic match but, I disagree. Its great but, not a classic. There are a few too many flaws that screw with my suspension of disbelief to put it in that **** 1/2+ class. Selling and the finish being the two biggest complaints. Nevertheless, it is Sting vs Vader - Go watch it for yourself and then head over to the 1992 December archives and see where your opinion falls. Jack & Jerry Brisco vs Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood (1983): A great action packed match. Maybe people don't think that can happen in 1983 here we have it! There were tons of double team moves from both sides. Angelo Mosca is the ref and played his role perfectly. This felt like a real battle in the unreal realm of pro-wrestling! Dusty Rhodes vs Ric Flair (1985): An entertaining match that was kept even keel for some reason. This lacked the charisma and excitement I expected. It felt very average. Eddie Guerrero vs Dean Malenko (1997): Again, I can't find any notes on this one. From memory it started off well but, I don't think it really set the world on fire. Probably very much like the Dusty/Flair match above. They had to give a nod to the feud I suppose so, here it is... Road Warriors vs Steiner Brothers (1989): Everyone was selling and bumping. There were no miscues or blown spots. They did their power moves and throws. What more can you ask really!!? It was a dream match as your gonna get. I thought it was very good and should be in both teams highlight reels. Certainly so for the Steiners as I thought the quality and style was right around what they would be doing in NJPW in the 90's. Ladder Match (2000): This is the 3 way ladder match that was really a harbinger of early 2000's indy 'let's try anything' wrestling. It sucks that Jamie Noble and Kaz Hiyashi (who I like) are in this thing. Its also on the first WWE Ladder Match DVD set so, I skipped this. Sting vs Ric Flair (1989): I believe this is the Finals of the 1989 Iron Man tourney. Terry Funk and Jim Ross are on commentary (yes!). This was a great match featuring athletic, charismatic wrestling as you'd hope for. Both guys really put on an action filled match despite the previous bouts and you gotta give it to them for that alone. From what I've seen here and above 1989 looked sweet. Roddy Piper vs Greg Valentine (1983): And if '89 looked sweet then '83 was sweeter. Oh man, we get the legendary Dog Collar match between Piper and Valentine and it does not disappoint. It was a madhouse type of match where they're just wailing away on each other with abandon. So many visually remarkable moments involving the chain...man they just did it right. A brutal and bloody affair. A classic match. Road Warriors vs Midnight Express (1986): Another scaffold match. This was remarkably dangerous and Cornette takes a bump off the scaffold (dangling) that seriously injures him. Watch it on fast forward perhaps. Again, these really aren't my thing :/ Sting vs Hogan (1997): Sting's entrance gave me goosebumps. Make no mistake though this is late 90's WCW and they have to fucking slip in some interference in every big match just for the hell of it. Its like having a nice meal at a restaurant and right before you finish, the waiter comes over and drops a fly in it. Like "Why man? Why?" It was a good match even though they dropped a fly in it. For nostalgia sake, watch this big moment in wrestling. I never saw it before and I'm glad I did. Hogan may actually out wrestle Sting too! Ric Flair vs Harley Race (1983): Steel cage NWA world title match. I watched this a couple times in a week about 7 years back and recall it being very good. It was nice and stiff but, a little to methodical if memory serves me correct. I think it was kinda long too...could be wrong. Maybe it just felt long?? I decided to pass but, this is a big time match up so, if you're curious check it out. Tully Blanchard vs Magnum TA (1985): This I Quit match was the #1 reason that I spent the $5 at the used DVD/game store for this DVD set. This was violent from the very start...they looked like they wanted to maim each other. I believed it man. I mean Magnum was digging his fingers into Tully's arm trying to pull Tully's wound apart and he's the babyface!! They had to switch cameras that it was so nasty. Visceral barbaric wrestling...this did not disappoint. An all time classic without a doubt. If this is your thing, go see this match. If you gotta buy this DVD, do it. It's worth the dough. Vader vs Ric Flair (1993): This was Vader's title against Flair's career. I bet you know who wins This was deemed the greatest Starrcade match of all time by someone(s) at WWE. That's arguable but, I understand why they put this over Tully and Magnum. Flair. And it is a great match. It is not without its detractors and I am one of them. I watched this twice in 2 days and my take away is this- it is too slow at the start. Vader wants to pick apart and torture Flair rather than just pin him. I get this but, it is at a turtle's pace. Flair should have had a couple pin attempts in there to show that he had fight rather than getting pummeled. It does get good once Flair makes his successful come-back. However, the pacing and finish are all off to me. The finish required Vader to sell the leg being hurt but, he didn't at all/forgot/etc. so, it seemed like an odd fluke win. Maybe that's what they were going for but, it was clumbsily executed on Vader's part (understandable). But that's a small quibble next to the drawn out first half of the match where Vader beat Flair like a rented mule. Some of the appeal had to be thinking that Flair was going to lose...but, in 2019 that magic has worn away. So, I would say this set was hit or miss with more hits in the end. Ranking the hits Honorable Mention: Eddie Guerrero vs Shinjiro Otani (1995) 10) Sting vs Great Muta (1989) 9) Road Warriors vs Steiner Brothers (1989) 8) Barry Windham & Brian Pillman vs Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas (1992) 7) Sting vs Vader (1992) 6) Sting vs Ric Flair (1989) 5) Jack & Jerry Brisco vs Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood (1983) 4) Road Warriors vs Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (1987) 3) Ric Flair vs Lex Luger (1988) 2) Roddy Piper vs Greg Valentine (1983) 1) Tully Blanchard vs Magnum TA (1985) I'm very glad that I shelled out the 5 bucks for 10 awesome matches. I feel like Race vs Flair should also be an honorable mention as well. So 12 out of 25 matches that are totally worth checking out...not bad. I'm not sure what that says about WCW or maybe it says more about WWE, I suppose. I'd probably thing the latter is the culprit. They probably could have loaded this with great stuff from 83-89 and I would have been pleased as punch. Heck, Starrcade 83-93 would have been more than acceptable. Thanks for reading! At the very least watch the top 3 matches above! I'm so glad that I did. Until next time...
  2. NWA US Champion Wahoo McDaniel vs Magnum TA - Worldwide 3/23/85 Steel Cage Match Watching Mags in Mid-South, it was clear just how good of a babyface he was in terms of selling and just connecting with a crowd. Even with his technical execution being subpar, I thought his charisma overwhelmed any flaws. Once he was put in brawls with DiBiase, he could really shine. Here against Wahoo, his offense has come a long way. He is by no means the best, but it is no longer glaringly bad. Couple this with the babyface charisma and selling, he was a potent force. He has just debuted recently and was given a string of very quick wins with the belly to belly suplex, which has been established as a devastating finisher. Have not seen much of Wahoo in action, here he brought chops and lots of them. He was a good mountain for Magnum to climb. In 1985, the story was about Mags. Wahoo tried to cheat early, but Magnum overcame that and then Wahoo tried to turn it into a slugfest and Mags fought right back. In fact, he was kicking so much ass, he hurt himself on a headbutt and Wahoo was able to pull him into the cage. Wahoo worked an adequate heat segment, but Magnum's selling and how he conveyed the earnestness of his comeback was what carried the day. I loved the finish with Wahoo in control working shoulder tackles only to be caught out of the blue with the vaunted Belly To Belly! New US Champion! A perfect way to build a hot new babyface and a superb finish. Not a great match, but definitely one worth checking out. ***
  3. Mid-South Tag Team Champions Butch Reed & Jim Neidhart vs Mr. Wrestling II & Magnum TA - Mid-South 12/25/83 Steel Cage Mid-South is probably the territory I know the least about in terms of the American Power 6 of the 1980s (WWF, Crockett, AWA, WCCW, Mempho, and Mid-South). I have understood that is generally considered one of the best booked territories and has among the best episodic TV ever produced in pro wrestling all under the helm of Bill Watts. Of course, this presents a problem watching a "Best Of" comp without much context, but hey that's what Kayfabe Memories is for. In 1983, it seems Mid-South had transitioned to having Butch Reed be the co-lead heel of the territory. While DiBiase and Duggan were having a blood feud that carried the territory in terms of sheer hatred. Reed and the ever-popular Junkyard Dog feuded over the North American Championship. Magnum TA was plucked from relative obscurity (Florida mid-card scene, I believe) and was immediately pushed as Duggan's tag partner and tag champion, but with the need to focus Duggan (co-lead face) elsewhere veteran Mr. Wrestling II and all his booty-shaking glory was introduced as TA's mentor. The angle that led to this tag match was two-fold. Mags & Duggan lost the tag titles to Reed & Neidhart (Neidhart was a heel du jour) and they ran a hot TV angle as an off shoot of the JYD and Reed feud. Reed was supposed to defend the title against the Dog, but balked and instead gave the title shot to the young up and comer, Magnum TA, which he thinks would easy pickins. However, when JYD was made special guest ref, it became anything but that and Magnum TA became the North American Champion! A meteoric rise for the newcomer! Due to some technicalities, the title change was reversed and now Magnum TA who had tasted the gold only to have it ripped away from him wanted to prove he could do it again against the arrogant asshole, Butch Reed. Instead of coming after his North American Title, he was going to share his glory with mentor, Mr. Wrestling II. Butch Reed is really fucking good. I have heard it bandied around that he is the greatest black wrestler of all time and having watched a Flair match, I knew he was good, but seeing him here makes me excited to see more Butch Reed. He was a fantastic big bumper for the faces in the beginning. He did a nice Flair Flip and bumped huge for Mr. Wrestling II's famous kneelift. A couple things about presentation in this match, in my smattering of Mid-South watching, it seems most of the footage we have is shot from one hard camera in the corner and sans commentary. I ain't complaining as long as we get to see the action, I'm cool. The steel cage does not rest on the apron, but actually goes to the floor thus there is an area to powder and it makes taking cage bumps a little more difficult. Neidhart tries to slow TA down with an eyerake, but does not consolidate the advantage and TA overwhelms the heels. Reed finally stymies Mags by throwing him into the cage, which I said before is complicated as he goes over the top rope into the cage and then falls the floor in a nasty bump. Mags blades and the heels are content to send him into the cage, The camera zooms in and I think this is going to be the opposite of WCW where they zoom in on the blood, but instead we get a long close up of Mr. Wrestling II. TA uses shoulderblocks and rolls around to avoid Neidhart and tags out to II. II is a great hot tag and as a knee lift mark I think we are going to get along well. Neidhart trips him up. Pretty good heat segment ensues with some impressive power spots from the heels like a Neidhart Samoan Drop and Reed flying shoulderblock. II shows some good underneath fire. The heels get cocky and keep pulling up II. The Anvil goes after the mask and he yanks it off! He is very proud of himself, but II was wearing another mask. Reed is frantic trying to get Neidhart to turn around. II, unphased, tags in Mags, who unloads on the heels. Belly to Belly on the Anvil, cover, II leaps over the cover to hit Reed with a kneelift. WOW! Great finish. There were some parts where they were kind of out of sync and it seems Magnum's strong suit at this time is selling. It is ok because II makes up for it in spades with great offensive fire. Neidhart was a perfectly servicable heel and Reed was badass. I love the cage spots and thought the finish was fantastic. Still needed some more heat or a more interesting hook to take it to an all-time classic level, still a great match! ****
  4. North American Heavyweight Champion Magnum TA vs Ted DiBiase - Mid-South 7/6/84 You know you are over when the crowd is doing the sound effects for your punches. Magnum TA, you are over, brutha. Magnum had 80s babyface down pat. He had all the mannerisms with him shaking his fists, hands over head, raring to go. He is a way better seller than I was expecting. You hear he was going to Hulk Hogan of the NWA and I see where that comes from in terms of look and cool factor. While Hogan sold a lot especially in the late 80s, it was the over the top, comic book style selling as opposed to Magnum's gritty, bloody screams and his anguished countenance. This is much tamer version of their bloody brawls in late May (even though it did get bloody). It almost seemed like the matches were booked backwards chronologically. Though they seem to be in a different town so maybe they were starting the story fresh here. The beginning of the match was pretty common 80s beginning with Magnum besting DiBiase at every turn and DiBiase powdering to break his rhythm while Mags was energized. It was a fun beginning. Really hated the transition to the heel heat segment with DiBiase just hitting some shoulder tackles in the corner and then he just throws TA's back into the apron and post. I would have liked something more devious or a Magnum mistake to transition to the heat segment. It was just way too routine and not a real hook for the match. While the transition sucked, the heat segment proper was awesome because Mags' forte was selling and DiBiase seems like a strong offensive presence. It could have used more Magnum hope spots, but his selling was very good. TA bucked him off to the floor and then DiBiase takes his somersault bump in the follow-up. The crowd is red hot for the Magnum comeback until a collision (80s really liked that spot). DiBiase, out of desperation, sends Magnum head first into the post and busts him open. I liked DiBiase going from the back to the head because he was feeling the match slipped away from him. Mags feels blood on his face and just loses it. He whips DiBiase so hard into the ropes the turnbuckle breaks! I don't think it was a work, but maybe it was. Ted grabs hold of the turnbuckle and cracks him him, but it is only two. Mags bounces off the bottom two ropes with a ref drop down (hmmmmmmm maybe this was planned) and it is a hot shot by Teddy. DiBiase loads the glove, but misses the fist drop into the Belly to Belly! The finish stretch took this from a good match to a great match, but I didn't think it was as good as the bloody brawls from late May. These two are definitely made for each with DiBiase's offense and Mags' selling. The finish was memorable with the turnbuckle breaking and it was a feel good finish. ****
  5. North American Heavyweight Champion Magnum TA vs Ted DiBiase - Mid-South Tulsa 5/27/84 I have to say I was a bit skeptical that on the exact same day albeit different arena they would be able to even match the awesomeness of the earlier OKC match, but boy was I wrong. Not only did they match it, they topped it with an even better blood-soaked brawl. The first match was a great bloody sprint, but this was a dramatic spectacle. They played to Magnum's greatest strength, his selling and it just ensnared you and never let you go. I got to say, I loved the beginning of this, where DiBiase went to pearl harbor Mags, but Magnum was wise to his games and beat him to the punch. Since they were working a different arena, I did not expect them to actually learn from match to match. So I was very impressed. Did they show these matches on TV and thus they needed to show inter-match progression? The early portion of the match is all Magnum, but DiBiase is making him earn it. The match really busts open (pun fully intended) when DiBiase sends Magnum crashing to the floor reopening the cut. DiBiase working the cut on the floor with Magnum's screams of agony and the fans enraged was a perfect confluence of pro wrestling. DiBiase clawing at the cut and Magnum just making you believe this is most painful thing is the difference between the last match being great and this being a classic. In the ring, Ted is on point it is all fist and elbow drops to the head. Magnum is peppering in hope spots, but can string anything together as Ted stymies him immediately. DiBiase applies the sleeper and just when it looks like we will have a new champion, Magnum in a last ditch effort sends DiBiase flying over the ropes. DiBiase tries to rebound with a piledriver, but Mags back drops out of it. He pulls himself by the ropes. I love it, Ted is modulating the strength of his punches with them getting progressively weaker as he is more exhausted! Magnum is coming alive! He sees the blood. Run Ted Run! The collide in the center of the ring. I have this to be a way more common spot in the 80s than in anytime since and it was definitely a clue the finish is coming. DiBiase wants to get this over with and loads the glove. Wild swing and Mags hits the atomic drop and Ted bounces off the ropes into a Belly 2 Belly! I loved that setup for the Belly 2 Belly. Best Mid-South match yet and just everything you want from bloody brawl. Ted was vicious during the heat segment and backpedaling on Magnum's offense. Magnum is a really, really good seller and knows how to connect with audience during a comeback. ****1/2
  6. North American Heavyweight Champion Magnum TA vs Ted DiBiase - Mid-South OKC 5/27/84 Nice, fist throwing bloody sprint as I get my first look at Ted in Mid-South. Watching prime Ted DiBiase for the first time in Mid South is something that really intrigues me. Bockwinkel, Lawler and Von Erichs are known commodities to me, I know what to expect because I have watched a decent amount of footage going in for those wrestlers. DiBiase is someone who is well-known for excellent character work as the Million Dollar Man, but leaves me cold in the ring. In Mid-South, he has a blank slate to really impress me. This match was an excellent start. I thought he was vicious, focused and relentless. There was no jawing and no wasted time. He was in there to win and press his advantage to win that title. From the opening bell, when the wrestlers looked to return to their corners, he jumped Magnum from behind. It established his tone for the match and that was to attack, attack, attack. His strikes looked great as he took to the outside.The ref's admonishing distracted enough that Mags was able to bounce his head off the table. Holy shit, look at Magnum go with those awesome right punches that has DiBiase reeling. I love DiBiase begging off and taking some big bumps. Mags looks way better on offense here by sticking to strikes and brawling with Ted. DiBiase feeling like the match was slipping away and being overwhelmed loads up his glove and blasts Magnum busting him wide open. Around this, Jim Ross magically joins us on commentary and they mute the crowd. JR just calls the moves and does not add much in terms of story so I wish they kept the crowd noise. I loved the crowd visibly expressing to the ref that DiBiase loaded the glove. DiBiase was awesome in his heat segment. Every move was designed to hurt Magnum and take advantage of the cut, fist drops, ring post shots, and strikes. DiBiase hits a nice powerslam to set up the spinning toehold, but Magnums kicks him off. DiBiase goes up top and I have seen enough WWF DiBiase to know how this story ends. He eats the punch to the midsection and somersault flip to a nice visible reaction. Magnum roars and I wish I could hear the crowd. He hits his Belly to Belly to retain the title. It clocks in under 10 minutes, but this is a sprint. It is a just an action-packed brawl between two pros. Magnum is greta at selling and really has gotten firing up down now in a very short time since I last saw him. DiBiase really checks a lot of the boxes as a heel. Definitely looking forward to more! ****1/4
  7. NWA World TV Champion Tully Blanchard vs Don Kernodle - WWW 5/11/85 Tully Blanchard dealt with the dealer the previous week defeating Dusty Rhodes for the TV title, I kinda miss the days of such large egos that finishes like a ref bump, foreign object and foot on the ropes were used to protect someone like Dusty. There is just something so pro wrestling about that. Tully had spent the majority of 1984 being the number 1 heel (an argument could be made for Slater or Wahoo at times) in Mid-Atlantic as Flair would begin to appear more regularly, he would learn to slide into a solid number two heel position. The American Dream entered Crockett full time in late 84 and set up his first major program against the Brat for his TV championship. Magnum TA at this point had just wrapped up his feud with Wahoo over the United States Championship (winning that title) and they were teasing a feud with Flair. Magnum and Dusty as the top two faces had recently developed a bond that would turn into a America's Team. Finally, "The Pride of Carolinas" Don Kernodle just finished his midcard feud with the Russians and was now being shunted down the card. At this point, he was still a relatively big name in the area and the crowd was super hot for this match. The basic layout was Don Kernodle totally overwhelmed Tully Blanchard throughout this match. Within the first minute, he caught Tully coming off the top into a powerslam and the first nearfall got tremendous heat. They worked this in a sprint fashion with lots of babyface offense and a ton of hot nearfalls. Given the TV title time limit stipulation, this is a perfect way to work the stip with a prick champion like Tully. They never overdo the moves. In 1985, each move, the elbow from the top, atomic drop and suplex all feel like hot nearfalls, but also something that is plausible for Tully to kick out of. Tully was on fire here stooging and bumping for Kernodle. The crowd hates Tully. He was pulling out every heel trick in this. Since this was worked with Kernodle on top for the vast majority, I thought Tully timed his heel "hope spots" for lack of a better term perfectly cutting off in a devious manner or taking advantage of a mistake, but never taking too much on top. The goal was clearly to invest in the idea that anyone could beat Tully, but that by hook or by crook he would keep the title. It was by crook as Baby Doll pushed Kernodle off the top. This got Magnum involved, but Tully recovered his heat just like that by nailing the Slingshot Suplex and bloodying Magnum. Tully is able to give an exciting match against a solid midcard talent, but retains his heat by laying out the number two babyface. This is an entertaining TV match with a hot crowd great babyface offense complemented by awesome heel stooging. ***
  8. Mid-South Tag Team Champions Mr. Wrestling II & Magnum TA vs Midnight Express - Mid-South 2/10/84 After exacting some revenge from Butch Reed by taking his tag team titles, fans and Magnum TA thought it would be a sweet honeymoon for the beloved teacher/student partnership. However, as Magnum star grew, the fans clamored for him to get a North American Championship shot and jealousy reared its ugly head. Let me say, green is not a good color on Mr. Wrestling II. In the meantime, a new heel tag team from Memphis burst on the scene and would go down as perhaps the greatest tag team in the history of wrestling, Jim Cornette's Midnight Express and this version is "Loverboy" Dennis Condrey and "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton. Midnight Express matches should be played for those with clinical depression because if you don't smile after one of these then I don't know what could make you happy. The MX is just so awesome at stooging, bumping and generally making the babyfaces look like a million bucks. I think my favorite part of the early match was how every sequence ended with Mr. Wrestling II giving a knee lift to a Midnight Express membrane and then selling it dramatically and fantastically. This is where Mr. Wrestling II has a little Dusty in him with his booty shaking as the heels keep scurrying. After ten minutes of getting their asses kicked, Condrey is rightfully terrified of II's kneelift and backs up in the corner. Condrey is able to lure him into the corner and force II to make a tag, but he prematurely tags out to Eaton. Mags goes after Eaton's injured shoulder (rammed into the post earlier). Mags gets caught running as Eaton ducks and Condrey chops him in the neck. At this early point in his short career, TA is clearly better at selling and the MX go to town with a great revolving door attack on his arm even Corny gets his licks in with his racquet. Mags powers out and desperately gets to Mr. Wrestling II, who fights out of his corner to earn his way into the ring. II's Eaton-seeking knee lift is on target, but the ref is distracted and Condrey throws powder in his face. The ref throws out the match, but MX kicks the ever loving shit of Mr. Wrestling II and Magnum TA especially with a belt. There is some mega heat on MX and Watts is out to lay down the law as MX finally exits. This is a really fun match where MX were just on point working their match with ton of popcorn, fun spots early to feed to the babyfaces. Mr. Wrestling II looked huge in there. Magnum really does not have much in the way of offense and again he was out of place on multiple spots. He is really good at selling, but not much else. It will be interesting to see how he fares in singles matches with Ted DiBiase shortly. The match was mostly a backdrop for the hot angle to set up a tag team title match with the stip of belt lashes for the losers. Mr. Wrestling II completed his heel turn by walking out on Magnum costing them the tag titles and forcing Magnum to take all the belt lashes. Mr. Wrestling II would go to win the North American Championship to set up Magnum TA to get his revenge by beating him for the title. Setting up the major title match between the rising star Magnum TA and lead heel, Ted DiBiase. The match was a really fun Midnight Express match that got to show off their stuff and get in an excellent beatdown. ****
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