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Whereas the Cheesy Journey focuses on prime post-84 Vince-led WWF TV cheddar, in this thread, I'm going to be watching footage from around the territories from before 84. I'm mainly going to focus on 4 different promotions, what I'd call "the big boys" in the 1970s and early 80s: Georgia Championship Wrestling, Championship Wrestling from Florida, Mid-Atlantic and The AWA. However, I may take in occassional stuff from elsewhere. The aim of this thread it to try to get a real feel for how each promotion presented its product on TV.

 

For my first sitting, I'm going to be watching GCW from November 20th 1982 to January 1st 1983, the footage is a bit jumbled up taken from several shows, but roughly in order.

 

Gordon Solie is our host, he's with Mike Jackson.

 

1. Buzz Sawyer vs. Mike Starbuck

 

Sawyer is wild, Solie calls him "berserk" and a "mad dog". He beats the crap out of Starbuck. SUPERB scoop powerslam for the 3-count.

 

Buzz goes over to Solie, he's ranting and raving and screaming.

 

But no time to waste be we're straight on to the next match ...

 

2. Butch Reed vs. Korista Korchenko

 

Solie mentions that he doesn't know how close Korchnenko is to Ivan Koloff but is his countryman. Reed is dominating him and is fucking stacked here.

 

Korchenko does get some offense in though, but Reed comes back with explosive rights. And slams him for the 3.

 

Buzz Sawyer is still around though going crazy and he wants to fight Reed, but he's restrained by backstage staff. Reed is also escorted out.

 

Back from the break and we continue at BREAK NECK PACE now to the next match:

 

3. Moondogs vs. Randy Barber & Dale Veazy

 

The Moondogs are carrying bones. Scrappy McGowan is our ref. Solie calls this an "Australian Tagteam Event". JJ Dillon is the manager of the Moondogs at this point. Veazy is well-built for a jobber. Solie: "The Moondogs have a practice of tagging in and out with great regularity". Big atomic drop on Veazy. I can't pretend to tell the Moondogs apart and Solie makes no attempt to. Veazy makes a comeback and manages to make a hot tag. Barber is a house of fire! But Moondog #1 cuts him off and tags out to Moondog #2. Powerslam. Gets 2. Headbutt. Can't believe they are working double heat with these guys. Backbreaker! Elbow from the top! That's 3. Moondogs looked good.

 

Sawyer is screaming about The Omni on Thanksgiving Night, he can't wait for it.

 

Wasting absolutely no time at all, Solie is with Ivan Koloff now who is ready for Paul Orndorff. He's going to be taking the national belt away from him because he's a better and smarter wrestler.

 

4. Ivan Koloff vs. Mike Jackson

 

Solie mentions that Mike Jackson is "a young fella with a masters degree, I might add". Arm-drag city from Jackson to start but Koloff cuts him off with a belly-to-back suplay. Solie says that Ivan suffers from "a definite superiority complex".

 

Paul Orndorff is standing there watching the action. I predict a run in!

 

Koloff works over Jackson with punches, knees and kicks. Jackson comes back and hits a head scissors! And a dropkick. Koloff ducks a charge and lays into Jackson in the ropes. Orndorff objects and jaws Ivan. This allows Jackson to dump him outside, but Ivan fiddles with his kneepad and seems to have something in it for the cheap win. Orndorff jumps the ring though and hits a backdrop.

 

Solie is with Buzz Sawyer again and he's going to embarrass Rich Zenfield ...

 

5. Buzz Sawyer vs. Rich Zenfield

 

Solie says that Sawyer is "many times the eye of the hurricane". He is brutal with Zenfield. Stomp on the nose! Scoop powerslam for 3. Post-match he uses repeated elbow drops. This is uncalled for! Sawyer hurtles Scrappy McGowan aside and Butch Reed and Tommy Rich hit the ring to clear him.

 

Sawyer shouts some more now. He's livid. "Rich ... I HATE YOUR GUTS"

 

Koloff is there now and he's not happy about what he's just seen. Ivan says he wants the American dollar and the glory. Still wants Orndorff's belt.

 

6. Ivan Koloff vs. Hamilton

 

Solie says the Koloff's Russian chain is not allowed on television. Hamilton is a muscular and athletic looking chap. On commentarty, they discuss Ivan's continued sneaky usage of the knee. He's got something in his high boots.

 

Hamilton gets quite a lot of this match. But Ivan hits a backbreaker and a series of double knee drops on his back. Painful looking. Koloff with a cool move driving Hamilton to the mat with his knee from the top turnbuckle. That's all she wrote.

 

Buzz Sawyer in a bandana and a basketball top now screams more behind a cage. Ivan Koloff is there too and he's ready for action too.

 

On another show now, Buzz Sawyer has attacked Tommy Rich. Ole Anderson is lurking too, but Butch Reed is there. Ivan Koloff has come out but Paul Orndroff is there! All three of the faces high-five.

 

7. Buzz Sawyer vs. Randy Mulley

 

Sawyer treats This Man Mulley like his bitch and takes him out quickly with his scoop powerslam. They are behind that cage again. He starts screaming about how much he wants to face Tommy Rich. Ole Anderson is here and calls the faces (Reed, Rich and Orndorff) the 3 musketeers. He says they are going to go on tour and beat them all over the place.

 

Next we go over to a video package from JJ Dillon, who says he's the greatest mind in wrestling today. He said that the Moondogs would win the 7th annual tag tournament and they did. Dillon is wearing a nice suit. He says it's nice that he's got such talent that he doesn't have to go to the arenas. He talks about how Sonny King has got to man-manage the Samoans at all times, because otherwise they are going to go rummaging around bins looking for coconuts! Political correctness gone wild here in 1983! He says that the $30,000 he's just won would buy a lot of coconuts. But he wants the National titles for The Moondogs.

 

8. Moondogs vs. Dale Veazy & McKenzie

 

The idea seems to be here that Dillon is doing "long-distance managing" here, because he's not at ringside and Solie says he communicates mainly over the phone. Poor Dale Veazy's back takes a variety of back breakers and slams here. McKenzie is a black guy ... like Hamilton, I wonder if this "single name" black guy was a convention of this time or whether that's just a coincidence.

 

Solie is with The Iron Sheik now. He says that's he's the best wrestler. Says that Paul Orndorff looks like Arnold Schwarznegger but doesn't have the guts to take up his $5,000 club challenge.

 

9. Iron Sheik vs. Dale Veazy

 

Oh boy, bad month for Veazy here. Sheiky baby gets him in what Solie calls "the Iranian crossbow". Veazy hits a dropkick, but goes for a second one. "That's where his youthful virtuosity has served him poorly". Sonny King is on commentary and talks about the Moondogs situation.

 

Abdominal stretch by Iron Sheik. Smashes his face into the apron. Belly-to-back suplex. Side salto suplex. That'll do.

 

Solie with Sawyer and Koloff again. Buzz says he's from Florida and been to Busch Gardens so he's no stranger to cages. He's united with Ivan. Koloff says that Maddog has been very upset by Rich and Reed. Says that this morning he was sitting in the pool, "I said, Buzz, what are you doing in the pool, there's no water in there!" Ha ha ha. He still wants Orndorff's national title at Marietta tomorrow night! Sawyer says him and Ole will take out Butch Reed and Tommy Rich. MARRIETA, tomorrow night!

 

ANOTHER Sawyer promo now. He's wearing a bandana and a t-shirt. He shouts a lot. Koloff cuts another promo too, he's going to crack Orndorff's neck! He says he knows US laws and rules, and he knows justice. Doesn't matter if it's on tour or here in Atlanta, he's going to take that belt. Ole with a promo now talking about "Bruce Reed". He did go by Bruce at this point in his career. Sayer barges in again though, "REED RICH REED RICH THAT'S ALL I EVER HEAR"

 

Another promo now, this is a fun rattle through of the build in this feud. I like the way it's got 6 men involved. We do seem to hear from the heels a lot more than the faces though. Ole and Buzz are here. Ole is in cerebral mode. Says that they are all "great wrestlers", but these two are better "experience and youth". Ole is selling the Marrietta show again.

 

10. Ivan Koloff vs. Dale Veazy

 

Oh boy, more beatings for more Veazy! Solie mentions that Dale is a power and weight-lifting champion. Well I'm glad he's good at something! He gets a shine here. But Koloff slams him and controls with his knees. There's that driving knee move from the top again! What a cool finisher!

 

11. Buzz Sawyer vs. Burhead Jones

 

Solie says that "for a young man, Sawyer is exceptionally cynical and bitter". MASSIVE scoop powerslam for the 3 count. Sawyer's powerslam is very good. I don't know if it's better than DiBiase's but it's certainly "up there".

 

Ivan and Sonny King with Solie now. Solie mentions again how his Russian chain match has been banned from TV. Koloff says that "these Americans make their rules", but he sticks by them. He denies using foreign objects or pulling tights. Orndorff has injured his ribs. An Iranian flag is interfering in the corner of the screen.

 

Iron Sheik is here of course! "This Bruce ... what is his last name? Bruce Reed ..." He says that the likes of Tommy Rich have eaten "too much chilli and hot dog" too take his Iranian club challenge "you American hock".

 

12. Johnny Rich vs. jobber

 

Ric Flair is on commentary celebrating his one-year anniversary as World Champion, He runs through all the people he's beaten and thanks them for proving that he's the greatest wrestler on earth. He's got an open contract and says it "costs a lot of money to wrestle Ric Flair". "If you got the money, I got the time". "Can you imagine a skinny emaciated punk like that runnning his mouth out here?" He's talking about Roddy Piper. Flair says he has no real competition right now.

 

13. Tommy Rich vs. Buzz Sawyer

 

Rich is on commentary here and this is a clip from The Omni. Sawyer has jumped Rich after the match. There's a big brawl and lots of guys are around. The brawl goes into the crowd. And we see it go backstage. More brawling outside now. Trashcan over Sawyer's head!

 

14. Paul Orndorff vs. Ivan Koloff

 

Orndorff is on commentary for this clip from The Omni. Tom Pritchard is on commentary also. Koloff had Orndorff with his knee and is claiming there was something in it. Ivan is here now and he's LIVID. "You coward American there was nothing in my knee!" He's been nothing if not consistant here Koloff, he swears that he's not cheating.

 

15. Iron Sheik vs. Zane Smith

 

Orndorff comes on commentary. He says that he'll have a match on TV TONIGHT with Ivan. He's sick of Ivan running his mouth! He's ready to fight. Solie says, "let's check with the director then". Sonny King joins Solie now and gives his take on what's been going on: the heels are in the right.

 

Meanwhile, Iron Sheik chokes Smith over the second rope.Kneelift. Rubs his face in the mat. Belly-to-back suplex does it for the pinfall. Solie always talks about how the jobbers are young and inexperienced and new to the sport, etc.

 

16. Paul Orndorff vs. Ivan Koloff

 

Ivan has accepted the challenge and they get right to it! Backdrop by Orndorff! This is 100 miles an hour. Headlock by Ivan. Punches by Orndorff. Koloff slows things down and starts to control. Front facelock. Solie says that Ivan HAD to accept the challenge or complete lose face. The headlock each other now. Orndorff works the arm with a series of wrenches. Wraps the arm around his leg and wrenches some more. Bodyslam. Hammerlock. Ivan makes it to the ropes. Armbar by Orndorff.

 

Bodyslam by Orndroff. Elbow drop. Ivan misses a charge. Back to the armbar. Ivan hits an elbow. Snap mare. Kneedrop. Backbreaker. That's a 2-count. Clubbing blows by the Russian Bear now. Orndorff comes back with strikes. His punches are connecting hard.

 

Ivan does something to the kneepad!! He catches Orndorff in the ribs. Ivan throws the ref to one side. Instant DQ. Scrappy McGowan comes in. Throws him out. Dale Veazy comes in! Thrown out! Ha ha ha, Vaezy is the cavalry? LOL

 

Orndorff comes back with punches. Ivan bails.

 

Some hot action here, about *** while it lasted.

 

Sawyer says that he'll wrestle Bruce Reed anywhere and signs the contracy. The guy is completely unstable, unhinged. Tom Pritchard adjusts his tie.

 

Sawyer with another promo and Reed is dragged away from getting into a brawl. Amazing moment as Buzz is in full rant but then stops dead when Ole turns up ... "Mr. Anderson ..." They've played the relationship in an interesting way here, Buzz looks up to Ole and listens to him as the more experienced man. Seems to defer to him and show him respect. Ole says Bruce Reed has to turn up on Christmas day now he's signed the contract.

 

17. Buzz Sawyer vs. Randy Barber

 

These poor jobbers, they've taken some real kickings off Buzz in the past month or so. He takes a leaf out of Iron Sheik's book here and rubs Barber's face in the mat. Ole is on commentary as Sawyer hits a suplex and a frogsplash from the top rope. Nice to see some variation in his squashes here.

 

They are hyping a Huntington card and, of course, The Omni on Christmas night. Ivan Koloff is out and talks about how he had Tommy Rich bleeding in the middle of the ring.

 

18. Ric Flair vs. David Jones

 

Ric Flair is in the middle of the ring and removes his robe to reveal the world belt. He's taking on David Jones who has a reputation as a rugged, fast-moving youngster. Solie says Flair was "born and raised in a jetsetter environment".

 

Abdominal stretch. Guillotine. Backbreaker. Vertical suplay. Elbowdrop. Figurefour. Jobber offense count for Jones: 0 moves.

 

Sawyer and Ivan is out again. They've signed for a tag match with Reed and Rich. Ole comes out and mentions that Flair will be on that card too.

 

19. Wild Samoans vs. Ken Hall and Allen Tupperello

 

The Samoans, the champs are here. Sonny King compains about having to come on TV and wrestle "these people". Kings says that it's because other competitors are scared and know what will happen to them.

 

The Freebirds seem to be on King's radar now. Solie makes no attempt to differentiate between Afa and Sika.Afa hits an Airplane spin into a Samoan drop for 3.

 

20. Paul Orndorff vs. Chick Donovan

 

Very very loud screaming woman in the crowd for this one. Orndorff looked decent.

 

21. Buzz Sawyer vs, Paul Brown

 

Georgia employed a wide variety of jobbers didn't they! I have to say Tom Pritchard's comments are generally rubbish, he adds very little to commentary. Apparently Butch Reed has a box but won't say what's it in.Weird that some people call him "Bruce" and others call him "Butch".

 

Sawyer uses the frog splash again to finish. I think I prefer the scoop powerslam.

 

Sawyer wants to know what's in the box! It's a parcel wrapped up. He tries to get it but a ref tells him he'll face suspension if he touches the box! Sawyer thinks it's a conspiracy! I wonder what's in that box.

 

Solie wants to take another look at The Samoans, the Naional champs and The Moondogs, who won the recent tournament. This appears to be a heel vs. heel feud.

 

22. Samoans vs. Dale Veazy and another jobber

 

Solie calls King a "low key individual". It's come to something where I now recognise Dale Veazy, and he's getting beaten up as usual. Solie says that it seems that Sonny King deliberately planned not to win the tournament because he wanted to see what The Moondogs were made of ... huh? How's that a plan? He didn't want to win $30,000 just to see what another team was like?

 

23. Moondogs vs. McKenzie [?] and Marvin Turner

 

It's interesting that these teams followed each other from New York to Georgia. The Samoans must have arrived first. Solie and Pritchard discuss how it is strange that The Samoans are ALWAYS accompanied by Sonny King, but JJ Dillon is almost never there in person with the Moondogs. Solie says Dillon has an office in Florida with 3 phonelines in it which he uses to communicated with his charges all over the country. Novel.

 

I think one of these two jobbers is McKenzie. Solie mentions the other guy is Marvin Turner. Moondogs hit the backbreaker / elbowdrop move again.

 

24. Tommy Rich vs. jobber

 

Ric Flair is on commentary and calls GCW "one of the most prestigious shows on television today. And he says he always wants to make time for it. Flair says his schedule over the past year is probably unrivalled in professional sport. Says he wants to be a bit more selective in his choice of opponents for the next year now. Says he's not going to get into that ring night after night until these men prove to him he's worthy of a challenge.

 

Rich has his stomach and ribs taped up. Flair says that he's now "an established commodity" and from now on "he's going to be a little harder to deal with".

 

Sawyer now back with that box. He's not allowed to touch it. Sawyer says they are trying to drive him crazy. Ole says they can't outwrestle us so "they have to resort to psychological warfare". Sawyer rants off mic this whole time, he's deranged.

 

Argghhh, what's in that box?!!!

 

I can't resist going onto the next disc. I HAVE to get to that Omni show to see what's in the box.

 

25. Ivan Koloff vs. Mike Jackson

 

Solie calls Jackson a "fleet-footed competitor". Solie mentions Koloff's mysterious knee again. Jackson seems to be more at JTTS level than the pure jobbers we've seen in other matches. He gets a lot of this one. A more competitive match for Ivan. He catches Jackson with a knee and he takes a tumble to the outside. Ivan jaws the crowd. Jackson comes back in with a sunset flip. Backbreaker by Koloff. Doublestomp! Atomic drop. Jackson sells it by stamping his feet and holding his head. Solie says that "Jackson has acquitted himself very well". Jackson makes a comeback but Ivan brings him down with a back leg sweep, that's experience. Turnbuckle. Jackson misses a charge. Koloff is struggling to put this man away! Snapmare by Jackson. Backdrop by Koloff. Backdrop by Jackson. Goes for a splash but catches the knees. Koloff goes up top now, THE KNEEDRIVER! I love that move!

 

A surprisingly compelling match this. As good as the Orndroff one, about ***.

 

Sawyer is losing his shit again now. Christ, he's really riled here.

 

Now it's Flair out in his shades and with his belt. Flair says he's a pro wrestler by choice, and takes a lot of pride in it. He paid his dues, through training and hardwork. Athletes involved with World Championship Wrestling, with Mid Atlantic Wrestling and the Crocketts, with Mid South Wrestling, with South West Wrestling, with World Class Championship Wrestling, with Championship Wrestling in Florida! He says a lot of kids now think all it takes is getting a pair of boots and a set of tights, and that's all it takes. But that's not it. Flair says that you can't do it without a lot of money and time. Flair says that anything you see that isn't associated with wrestling on TV has NOTHING to do with the National Wrestling Alliance! Or Ric Flair who is the World Heavyweight Champion. In other words ... don't watch any shitty indy shows.

 

26, Great Kabuki vs. Zane Smith

 

Kabuki is using chops galore. Hits the jobber with a kick. Gets on a nervehold. I hate the nervehold. Gary Hart is there too. Kabuki with some nasty looking moves on the jobbers legs. Ouch! That looks like it might really hurt. Solie mentions that Hart is the most evil of the managers he knows. Thrust kick by Kabuki. Kick from the top rope for 3. Tom Pritchard was quite good during this segment.

 

27. Buzz Sawyer vs. Zane Smith

 

Bad month for Smith. Solie talks about experience again. I like his narrative that all jobbers are trying to make their way and gaining experience. Sawyer kills Smith. Solie mentions that Sawyer has been competing since he was 4 years old. He's been unnerved by what's happened with Butch Reed, but WHAT HAS happened? What was in the box? Back suplex into a bridge for the 3. Another squash variation for Buzz. Sawyer comes over and Ivan is there. They are still hyping the Christmas Omni card. This card has been weeks coming now. Sawyer is fucking demented here, he has a screw lose that boy. Koloff tells him to take it easy. Sawyer keeps shouting "WHAT'S IN THE BOX?!" I wanna know too.

 

JJ Dillon on video link-up now. He's making fun of the fact that the Samoans don't wear shoes. Says it's because they don't know right from left. Dillon says he'll put the $30k up for the title shot.

 

28. Johnny Rich vs. jobber

 

Rich is on commentary talking over this. Sawyer and Koloff come out and jump Rich here. Sawyer as a hair clippers and shave his head! Why? Just to be dicks.

 

Sawyer promo now. He's STILL talking about the box. Solie: "If you open it sir, you'll be suspended for life". What a ridiculous ruling, I think I'm on Buzz's side here. "I'm sick of you and everyone else trying to run Buzz Sawyer's life". You tell em Sawyer! I notice they've changed the wrapping on the box. Solie says before the hour is over they are going to OPEN the box. HOLY SHIT!

 

29. Buzz Sawyer vs. Bill Smith

 

Ole Anderson comes on commentary. Ole says that Pritchard is so excited about the box that his knees are shaking. I love how grouchy Ole can be. Solie mentions people returning to the area: The Super Destroyer, Masked Superstar, Stan Hansen ... Ole got upset at the name of Hansen because he once cost him $25k in a tournament at the Omni that he had to forgo because Hansen wasn't there. Solie says that it was for $30k. Ole says yeah "25 for me, 5 for him, you don't think he is equal to me do you?!" Awesome. Ole said that when they tagged, Hansen was so helpless he almost had to dress him. SCOOP POWERSLAM, 1, 2. Buzz pulls him up. Solie: "You act like you could buy him off with a glazed donut or something". Ha ha ha. Sawyer pins the jobber after a bridged belly-to-back again. He's used three different finishing moves so far.

 

There's a Koloff and Iron Sheik promo now but the tape is very jumpy. Sort out the tracking! They are still hyping that Omni Xmas card!

 

30. Iron Sheik & Ivan Koloff vs. Mike Jackson and McKenzie

 

So Ivan and Sheiky baby are tagging now? No, seemingly just a one off. Sonny King is on commentary talking about Bruce Reed's box. King says that Sawyer has friends and they have his back.

 

"Gutwrench salto well executed by the Sheik". This team is SO MUCH COOLER than Sheik and Volkoff in 85. King is very laconic on commentary. He's been rambling some shit this whole time talking about seemingly everything apart from The Moondogs. Belly-to-belly by Iron Sheik. Kneedrops by Koloff. Backbreaker! That'll do for 3. Awesome heel team here.

 

It's Stan Hansen! He's REALLY pissed off. "Ole I stood by ya when everyone in the world turned their back on ya, and I stood by ya!" He's wearing an awesome cowboy shirt. I love those southern threads. He warns Ole not to get involved. Hansen is hyping the Omni Xmas card now and calls himself "the law man" of the area now.

 

31. Ivan Koloff vs. King

 

We've had a very good look at Koloff on this footage. He leads a lot with his knees in the offense which is playing into this angle with his alleged loaded kneepad very well. Front facelock. Fucking hell, 35 more minutes in now and we STILL HAVEN'T SEEN WHAT'S IN THE BOX! King is a true jobber's jobber. Classic jobber look. Ivan still wants to win Orndorff's national title. Backbreaker. 1, 2. Pulls him up. Turnbuckle. THE KNEEDRIVER!!! Awesome!! 1, 2, 3. Koloff gets his chain but Orndorff rushes the ring before he can use it. And he runs Koloff off.

 

Iron Sheik and Sonny King are with Solie. Now Ivan. He can't wait for the Russian Chain match at the Omni!! Buzz Sawyer now he's ready for Rich and Reed! "I heard you said the word pain ... I live with pain daddy!" He's a troubled man. "We're talking Christmas night daddy, we're talking shaving Butch Reed's head!"

 

We're over to Best of Championship Wrestling now ... are they going to show us inside this fucking box or not?

 

Iron Sheik cuts a promo, but Ivan is here to hype that chain match some more. He says he's never lost one. He's going to derive great pleasure stomping his face into the back and taking the national title back to Russia with him. Solie runs down some dates and they put the cage in front of him. Why did they do that? Buzz Sawyer rants about the Xmas card.

 

32. Samoans vs. Hamilton and Mullins

 

Sonny King on commentary for some reason talks about Ole Anderson and Stan Hansen. What are they together now? How did that happen? Mullins looks like a mini-Stan Hansen, a skinny milky one -- Stan Hansen as imagined by the Mulkeys. Hansen is on commentary. He tells Sonny King to speak up, who has been mumbling as per usual. We seem to have skipped a beat here, because Hansen and Ole are back together now. That happened very quickly. Sonny King has been really shitty so far on this stuff. Samoans have the jobbers beat but don't pin them. Hansen says that the Samoans are probably one of the hardiest races in the world, but him and Ole can be big and vicious too. Has Ole somehow turned babyface? I don't get what's going on, because Hansen sounds like a face. Ole and Hansen storm the ring for a pier 6. They explode on the Samoans.

 

33. Ivan Koloff vs. Tom Pritchard

 

Seemingly JIP. Pritchard is in control. Springboard from the turnbuckle. Headlock by Pritchard. 52 minutes into this second disc now and still no box!! Koloff grabs the chain but Brad Armstrong jumps out and stops him. Ref stops the match.

 

34. Buzz Sawyer vs. Mike Starbuck

 

Sawyer is pissed off. Ole is on commentary and hyping the Xmas Omni card. I am confused, I think the Ole and Hansen stuff must have come a couple of weeks after this OR Ole was a heel in one feud and a babyface in another one. This seems jumbled up here. I think the most likely thing is that the stuff with Hansen / Ole and the Samoans is from EARLIER in the year when Ole and Hansen were still tagging. Sawyer wins after the scoop powerslam.

 

The Omni show is TONIGHT!! This match took place on Xmas day 1982, before the Omni show! Buzz cuts a promo. He's totally deranged and barely makes sense. Solie says there are still tickets available so buy them. Iron Sheik is going to face Tommy Rich. Ivan Koloff will take on Paul Orndorff. Quick promos one after the other. They need to shift those tickets.

 

35. Masked Superstar vs. Mike Starbuck

 

Starbuck working double duty here bless him. Solie mentions that Masked Superstar uses a hold called the "Japanese Cobra". Nick Patrick the referee here and Solie takes time out to praise him.

 

Now I've just worked out that the unboxing must have taken place on the 12/18/82 show. So where the fuck is it on the footage? HOW ANNOYING. Masked Superstar hits a neckbreaker and Russian legsweep, but he's not ready to pin the man yet. Lariat. Japanese Cobra ... basically a cobra clutch on the mat.

 

Right, that takes us right up to the Omni card. I'm not gonna get to see what's in that box. Argghhhhh!

 

That's going to be pretty annoying, I'm going to pretend that the thing in the box was a pair of head clippers. That would make sense,

 

Here's the Omni Xmas 82 card:

 

GCW @ Atlanta, GA - Omni - December 25, 1982 (13,000)

Terry Gibbs defeated Ken Timbs

Joe Lightfoot fought Les Thornton to a draw

Johnny Rich defeated Chick Donovan

Tommy Rich defeated the Iron Sheik (w/ Sonny King)

Andre the Giant, Tito Santana, & Stan Hansen defeated the Great Kabuki, the Masked Superstar, & the Super Destroyer

The Moondogs (w/ JJ Dillon) fought National Tag Team Champions the Wild Samoans (w/ Sonny King) to a no contest

Ivan Koloff defeated Paul Orndorff in a Russian chain match

Butch Reed defeated Buzz Sawyer in a steel cage hair vs. hair match

 

So Uncle Ivan won the National title! Sawyer got his head shaved. And the big tag match was a no contest. Apparently GCW promised to show the Reed vs. Sawyer match but only showed a few seconds before Sawyer came out and destroyed the tape. What a load of dick teases!

 

--------

 

Thoughts: GCW could be a little repetitive since Sawyer essentially cut the same promo over and over and over again here, but that might also be his inexperience showing. Ivan and Ole varied their promos more. I wonder how much the likes of Dale Vaezy got paid, because in these two months, he was probably on tv more than Tommy Rich and Butch Reed combined!

 

Seems like Georgia were treading water a little bit leading into Christmas because over several Omni shows the Rich / Reed / Orndorff vs. Ivan / Ole / Sawyer situation didn't develop all that much. They were in a holding pattern.

 

One strange thing is that the heels seem to lead all the promos and the angles. We see A LOT more of Sawyer, Koloff and Ole than the faces. Reed didn't get on the mic once.

 

MVP: I think a lot of people would say Buzz Sawyer, but I think he shows his inexperience in the promos and, basically, just shouts too much. He does have moments where he seems genuinely mental, but overall I think the schtick is a bit one-note. For me, the MVP on these shows both in the ring and on the mic was Ivan Koloff. Two matches around the *** mark in this sort of setting is some feat, and he's always controlled and interesting in his promos.

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It would seem as if you and I are watching the same Georgia stuff at the moment. I haven't watched as much as you yet but it's definitely peaked my interest to the detriment of those who are following my Continental thread.

 

Sawyer's powerslam is very good. I don't know if it's better than DiBiase's but it's certainly "up there".

It's better. The height and the way he sometimes seems to just float for so long in the air makes Sawyer's powerslams against Burrhead Jones & Mike Starbuck some of the best I have ever seen

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Heading to Florida now and it's some time in 1973 ...

 

1. Dory Funk Jr. vs. Jerry Brisco

 

Bill Watts is at ringside, as is Jack Brisco. This is a submissions match, pinfalls don't count. Solie is on commentary naturally. Abdominal stretch by Dory. Vertical suplay by Dory. Kneedrop. He's controlling this. Misses an elbow. Dory works on Brisco's knee. Spinning toehold. Dory uses elbows on the leg. His knee looks like it might blow out according to Solie. Dory has this spinning toehold synched in tight. Awesome call by Solie here: "you can see his mouth in a silent scream". Wow. Jack Brisco can't take any more and comes in. DQ! Dory and Jack start brawling now. Jack Brisco is the world champ at this point. Dory with the spinning toehold on Jack now. Bill Watts with a massive TASH comes in now. He has a match with the world champ tonight and with Brisco's knee out, Watts wants the match NOW! Ha ha, awesome.

 

 

The Mongolian Stomper is here with Gary Hart and Bob Roop. And they PEARL HARBOUR the cowboy! Watts is the Flordia heavyweaight champ at this point. Roop, Hart and the Stomper now shake hands for putting Watts out of action for the night ... he won't be getting his world title shot.

 

This was quite entertaining, about a *** from what we see for the match. Dory's work on the leg is extremely focused. Whole segment is more than that.

 

I'm confused about heel / face dynamics here. Solie said that Watts thinks he's "an island unto himself". He seemed heelish and allied with Dory, but Jack Brisco interfered in the match and then Watts got nailed by all those heels, so ... is EVERYONE a heel / tweener? Wasn't easy to make out any obvious babyfaces.

 

2. Raul Mata and Jack Brisco vs. Bobby Shane and Bearcat Wright

 

No commentary on this. Raul Mata? Raul FAT-ter more like. Bearcat Wright is a tall bald black guy who looks like he's wearing a diaper. Bobby Shane is a little weasel. Mata works over Bearcat to start, who stooges for him until Mata misses a charge. Shane comes in, he is vaguely Bobby-Heenan-like. Brisco looks like a million dollars when he comes in. He's so smooth. Bearcat Wright is so gangly and awkward looking, but he is selling his ass off for these guys. This match has some clipping. Heels are extremely weak here, they can't get anything going and are being dominated. Shane can't weigh more than about 150lbs. He manages to get the figure-four on Mata though but Brisco comes in to interrupt it. Some terrific OLD MEN in the crowd. I love an old man in the crowd, or an old woman for that matter. Shane goes for the figure-four again. Mata comes back. Mata is a bit Pedro Morales-ish only fatter and with less fire. Slugfest between him and the Bearcat now. These aren't very good workers it has to be said. Shane gets Mata in a chinlock and ... WHAT THE FUCK? He submitted? Oh god, lameness. Brisco charges the ring and gets caught in the ropes. Shane and Wright have won the Florida Tag Titles! Apparently Wright would retire in 1974 and had an 8-0 record as a pro boxer in the 1950s.

This match happened on March 9th, 1972.

 

Brisco comes back to try to stop a heel beatdown. Shane does a Flair-style strut, he's really weaselly, quite an effective chickenshit-style heel.

 

3. Jack Brisco vs. Buddy Colt

 

JIP, Solie on commentary. Colt has blonde hair, looks like he goes to the same barber as Harley Race. Colt uses the ringpost to smash Brisco's arm on the ring post. The ref declares Brisco the winner. Why? DQ for using the post?

 

4. Paul Jones vs. Tim Woods

 

Brisco had an injured arm so Woods subbed in. Woods not working as Mr. Wrestling here, no mask or anything. I'm assuming it's the same guy. Solie reminds us that "karate is legal". The ref is quite a fat chap. Jones uses an "oriental claw". Some warping and clipping on the tape here. It's been all Jones so far. Ref bump as Jones Irish whips Woods into him. Then Jones hits the ref by accident as Woods jumps. Ref is out. Jones has Woods down for 3 but ref can't see it. Jones goes over to get the ref, Woods recovers, small package. Ref is still out! Another guy comes in to count to three. Sloppy finish.

 

5. Jones vs. Woods [again?]

 

Unlisted match now with no commentary featuring two guys and I'm not sure who they are. One of them looks like it might be a young Wahoo, but it's probably Paul Jones -- looks a bit fat to be Jones, but I think it is him. There's a masked man on the outside who keeps interfering. I am guessing that this is Woods vs. Jones again and this is the July 31st 1973 title swich, but that's a guess and none of the listings seem to include this one. A belt is won by a chap in white tights. That has to be Tim Woods.

 

6. Johnny Valentine vs. Bearcat Wright

 

Another look at Bearcat now against a legend. No commentary again. Bearcat gets Valentine in a front face lock. Slugfest breaks out now. Valentine gets the better of it. Bearcat takes a tumble to the outside. He slugs his way back in, still got those boxing punches. Valentine comes back with clubbing blows, hammers you might say. Stomps from Valentine now. Big elbow to the back of Wright's head. Cover but the tall Bearcat gets a leg on the ropes. Headbutt by Wright sends Valentine down. Ref falls over and Valentine accidently elbow drops him. Wright has a rope and chokes Valentine. HOLY SHIT, Valentine sells this like he's being legit strangled to death. Ref checks to see what's going on but still can't seem to see the rope. Bearcat conceals the rope in his trunks and picks up the very cheap pin. Bearcut celebrates and indicates to the ref that he'd done it all with a headlock. Valentine is pulsating on the mat, DEAD. A guy comes over to try to tell the ref what's happened and Bearcat LAMPS him. Then he tries to come again and Bearcat kicks at him. Too late, the ref reverses the decision: DQ! Wright goes nuts and goes back to choking Valentine who is alreafy OUT COLD. A dude come to try to drag Valentine out of the ring but Wright kicks him off. He punches the ref out. This is some major heeling right here! Crowd loudly bood Bearcat. This was pretty cool shit.

 

7. Wild Samoans vs Eddie Graham & Kevin Sullivan

 

We're in St. Petersburg here. Samoans very young here, and it's weird to see Afa and Sika look closer to The Islanders, though they are still even at this point fatter than Tama and Haku. Footage cuts out in the middle of the match so we don't see it. This seems incredibly early for Kevin Sullivan to have been in a match though, but apparently he was already in his early 20s.

 

8. Jack Brisco and Paul Jones vs. Johnny Valentine and Buddy Colt

 

I can confirm the guy in the earlier match was Jones. Colt works over Brisco. Valentine in with the sledgehammers to Brisco's neck. Elbow. Brisco is able to make the tag, but Valentine cuts him off before any "hotness" can occur. Jones manages to get an Indian deathlock on Valentine though. Brisco bumps into the ref. Colt goes onto the top rope and breaks the deathlock. Colt and Jones slugfest now. Valentine is holding his leg in pain. Jones sneaks the pin on Colt. Ref had lost control of this one a long time ago. The match is over but Colt goes over and smashes Jones's arm into the post. Solie mentions that these were the same tactics that broke Johnny Walker's arm. Florida seemed to be THE PLACE for Mr. Wrestlings to work unmasked.

 

9. Battle Royal

 

Man Mountain Mike. Ron Fuller. Buddy Colt. Yahahari. The Saints. Tim Woods. $8,000 involved. We clip straight to the last two men, Paul Jones and Buddy Colt. No love lost between these two. Jones's face is a crimson mask Solie tells us. Jones is weakened and fatigued, as is Colt. 18 other guys gone. Jones pounds on Colt who charges and gets himself backdropped out of the ring. Jones wins! He gets the $8k!

 

Solie is in the studio now with a man in a suit with white hair. Who is this man? Mr. Glenn Dobbs. He thanks CWF for all their help with the charity golf tournament this past few weeks. Solie talks about Tulsa being responsible for making Tampa a power in football. A lot of talk of "Mr. Jim Herald" here. Over $10,000 at stake in this golf tournament. There's 6 tournaments in one. This dude wouldn't be out of place in Commissioner Gordon's office in Batman 66. He also reminds me a little bit of current US Veep Joe Biden. Solie mentions that the current NWA World Champ, like Dobbs, is from Oklahoma. Dobbs talks about his memories of Leroy McGuirk and Gorgeous George. Dobbs says he saw Lou Thesz wrestle many times and he wanted him to play in defence for him. Solie says, we're going to take a look at Thesz in action now. Great little segment that. Solie's jacket was something else! Obviously I had to pause things to look up who the hell Glenn Dobbs was. The answer is that he's the PERFECT studio guest for Solie to talk to: a 50s football star turned State athletic director. The most Solie person imaginable.

 

10. Lou Thesz vs. Johnny Valentine

 

Solie mentions Thesz has been on a tour of the orient. Valentine tries to choke Thesz who uses a forearm smash to drop him. Hammer across the chest by Valentine. Thesz comes back with forearms. Armdrag takeover by Thesz. Swank counter wrestling now. There's a disputed pinfall that the ref didn't see, and Solie declares Valentine the winner.

 

11. Dusty Rhodes & Buddy Colt & Paul Jones & Eddie Graham (Lights Out Match)

 

Dusty as a heel here. Anything goes in this one. All four men are in. Graham beats on Dusty. The NWA hasn't sanctioned the match according to Solie. Dusty has a "laceration of the head ... 280lbs, a bear of a man". Dusty is bleeding like a stuffed pig. "This has to be like hitting an ox right between te eyes". Jones and Graham are beating the shit out of Dusty here. "He's wearing the crimson mask". Jones pounds on Rhodes. Graham in "with the hardest punch in wrestling history". As Graham pounds on Dusty, he shudders. It's quite unnerving to see. He collapses and tags out. Solie says that the amount Dusty has been beaten is "almost inhuman". Dandy Jack, Colt's manager, trips Graham who goes after him. Dusty throws a chair into the ring. Colt and Jones fight over the chair. Colt has it. Ref is out. Jones smashes Colt over the head. Graham comes back in and covers. Ref is out. Second ref in. Dandy Jack comes in with a cane and kicks. Dusty grabs a chair, he's covered in blood. Graham and Jones win. This was cool as fuck.

 

12. Dory Funk Jr vs. Jerry Brisco [??]

 

Silent footage again. And this one seems unlisted. Pretty sure it's Dory vs. Jerry again. Side headlock by Brisco. Dory uses his bodyweight on him. Spinning toehold? No! Brisco powers out. Stomp! Brisco goes to work disscretating Dory's leg. Figure-four! Dory is able to manouvre out of it. Covers for 2. Dory's leg is injured. Goes for a butterfly suplex, countered into a backslide for 2! Jerry takes a big bump to the outside. As Brisco comes back in he's ready to fight. Series of lefts. Crowd counts them. He grabs Dory's leg. Now more lefts. Shoves the ref down. That's it for the bell. DQ. Figurefour now on Dory whose leg is fucked. Ref raises his arm. This was a pretty good match, around ***3/4.

 

13. Bob Orton Jr. vs. Hiro Matsuda

 

Wow, this is cool to see. I think The Spoiler, Don Jardine is on commentary here with Solie, and he mentions that you can see a lot of Orton's father in his style. Orton with forearms on Matsuda. Solie mentions how Matsuda once defeated Danny Hodge for the Junior heavyweight title. He uses "oriental tactics" according to Solie. Sweet side suplex by Orton. Backbreaker. Running powerslam. Matsuda comes back with a sleeper. He's not wearing any boots. Matsuda picks up the win with a flash pin. Orton demonstrated some of his bombs in this match. Matsuda looks like he was a good worker.

 

14. Danny Hodge vs. Jerry Brisco

 

Hodge signs some autographs while he's getting introduced. No commentary here. Armdrag by Hodge. Answered by Brisco. Another armdrag by Hodge. Headscissors now. This is worked in a very amatuer style as you might imagine. Jerry goes for a quick take over. Hodge back up to a vertical base. Amatuer takeover by Brisco. He's on top of him now. This is a bit like watching Olympic wrestling. Single leg takedown now by Hodge into a leglock into the figurefour. Brisco gets to the ropes. Irish whips Hodge into the turnbuckle. Hodge with a punch now. Brisco hits a big left. Hip toss! Hip toss! Headlock. Hodge with a dropkick. Covers for 2. Snapmare by Hodge. Jerry tries to get him over for a Boston crab. Kneelift by Hodge. Sunset flip by Brisco. This one is a bit too stop-start for my tastes. Whenever they start getting going, they seem to reset. Slightly annoying feature of this "shoot style". Abdominal stretch by Brisco now. Hodge powers out of it. Jerry gets a knee to the gut going in for a crossbody, painful. Backbreaker by Hodge. Covers but he's in the ropes. Brisco gets Hodge up for an airplane spin! Round and round and round. But Jerry makes himself giddy and that gives Hodge scope to cover and that'll do it for 3. He retains the Junior title.

 

Pretty disappointing match from where I'm sitting. I can see some people liking this but it nevers gets out of second gear.

 

15. Jack Brisco vs Buddy Colt

 

There's a chap sitting in the front row wearing a tweed jacket and a bow tie. Awesome! There's also a woman sitting there I think with her knitting. Amazing! There's a ref bump here which seems to be a staple of Eddie Graham's booking. Manager Dandy Jack gets up on the apron and ... it's basically a botched interference finish and Jack Brisco picks up the win. Colt seems angry with Dandy. They have words. Colt considers hitting Dandy Jack, who looks not unlike Mr. Fuji with the hat, cane and suit. He is quite camp also. Whispers in Colts ear. Dandy Jack has something of the 1930s silent-era-film star about him. Looks like he's got away with it today.

 

16. Jack Brisco vs. Dory Funk Jr.

 

Thesz is the ref. This is an hour-long match, but Solie tells us these are just the closing moments (thank god!). This is 52 minutes in. The speed is quite fast. Butterfly suplex by Dory. Covers for 2. Backslide by Brisco for 2. Brisco fires up with lefts. Thesz pulls Brisco from him. Dory has colour. He's dazed and does the drunk punching. Action goes outside. Dory pulls Brisco back in. Jack Brisco is out cold. Dory covers but Thesz won't count it. Dory is pissed off. Spinning toehold. Thesz gets the mic. "This man deserves a 2 minute rest". What the fuck? Thesz calls for a time out. Solie justifies it because the fact Thesz pulled Brisco from Dory when he was punching him caused the situation. Weird.

 

Dory is still on top. Spinning toehold. Brisco comes back with lefts. Dory falls back. Both guys bloodied and shattered. Butterfly suplex by Dory again! Covers for 2. Rights by Dory now. Two count. Laces to the face. Two count. Slugfest now. Right and lefts. The bell has gone, it's a 60-minute time-limit draw. Does that include Thesz's total BS 2-minute time out?

 

This seemed like it was a really good match. Dory has been good on this footage.

 

17. Jack Brisco vs. [bob Orton Jr???]

 

Another unlisted match seemingly. Not sure who the opponent is for Brisco here. Dark hair, black trunks. Looks too muscular to be Paul Jones. I can't get a good look at him, could also be Orton Jr, or someone else entirely. Opponent works over Brisco's leg. Big back suplex by opponent -- this is what makes me think it might be Orton, cos he busted that out vs. Matsuda. 2! Backbreaker by Brisco who picks up the win and he gets or retains a title.

 

18. Jack Brisco vs. Buddy Colt

 

This is the rematch for the Florida TV title. Colt up to his old tricks with the arm on the ring post. Solie reminds us that he injured Brisco before with that. Colt uses his knee to attack the Jack's back. Brisco has been on a tour around the US and Solie suggests that he might be "over wrestled" at this point. Interesting, because Brisco did notoriously get road fatigue. Colt punches Brisco in the throat. Neckbreaker by Colt. Ref bump. Everyone talks about how great Eddie Graham was ... but EVERY MATCH has a ref bump. Colt with a slam ... and Colt manages to get a three count and NEW Florida TV champion! Wow, relatively clean win.

 

19. Jack Brisco vs. Harley Race

 

No commentary again. There's a shot of the crowd that looks like that shot of the crowd you see in Monty Python. Race hits a piledriver. Falling headbutt. Brisco with lefts and rights. Race upside in the ropes. Excellent moustache on Race! Flair flip by Race over the turnbuckle. Butterfly suplex by Brisco. Kneedrop gets him 2. Backdrop. Arm bar by Brisco.Race comes back with a kick. Gutwrench suplex! Gets 2. Vertical suplex by Race. Awesome! Falling headbutt. Two count! Kneedrop by Race. Brisco tries to fire up, just a hope spot. Headlock by Race now, but Brisco gets a big back suplex. Covers. No! Just two. Enjoying this one. Jack goes for the figurefour but Race blocks. Race goes for a suplex but Jack falls on top of him for two. Race goes up top but Brisco catches him and throws him off. Cover ... no cigar. Big backbreaker by Brisco now, Race gets his leg on the rope. Race headbutts Brisco's stomach. Another headbutt. A falling headbutt. Still only two! Backdrop by Race to the outside ... but oh no, that's the end of the footage! Nooo!!! That was looking like a great match! Potentially ****+ I wonder if this is complete anywhere. Excellent bombfest-type Harley match.

 

----------

 

Thoughts: Well obviously this wasn't TV but a best of comp looking at stuff around 73 and 74. The action is not as slow or ponderous as you might expect from this era, in fact, I don't see a discernable difference in the style from what we see for most of the 80s. Solie is a fantastic commentator when he's in his element, and I think Florida is his most natural setting. A lot of this stuff is pretty high quality if you can get past the warped tape and no commentary on half the matches. Florida looks like it had some top workers in the 70s, but I have to wonder about the undercard. That said, Bearcat Wright while not a great-looking worker, did get some serious heat for that brutal choking in his post-match. Oh and there's a ref bump in every single match ... Dusty got it from Eddie Graham.

 

MVP: You'd have to say Jack Brisco really, although Dory Funk Jr. is surprisingly good in a lot of this stuff. Much less Boring Dory than he might be a few years later, although granted I was getting shorter matches or the hot finishes of longer ones rather than the exteneded mat classics. Jack Brisco was a real star here though and in that tag match seems like a wrestler from a different decade than the other guys involved. He was great at fired up comebacks, hope spots, and selling -- almost a prototype for the Steamboat / Martel / Santana type. He also has good execution on his high spots, and keeps things moving.

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At one point I tried to make a blog with my Buddy rose stuff, after PWO went down the first time but before the second. I never got very far in posting it but that was the name I was using too. It's a fine name.

 

EDIT: It was territorial expedition. I was close.

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Images from Nov-Dec 82 GCW:

 

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Ivan and some jobbers restrain Buzz Sawyer from attacking Bruce "Butch" Reed.

 

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One of many Sawyer promos from "behind the cage"

 

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JJ Dillon taunts Sonny King via video link.

 

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Ivan Koloff ... he wants that National title!

 

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"American hock"

 

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The champ drops in for a work out.

 

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WHAT'S IN THE BOX?

 

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Hansen in his spiffy cowboy shirt.

 

Images from 72-4 CWF:

 

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Bearcat Wright lays in a shot on Johnny Valentine

 

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Solie can barely conceal his delight at talking to Mr. Glenn Dobbs.

 

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The legendary Danny Hodge signs an autograph.

 

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Dusty's face is the crimson mask as Paul Jones relentlessly pounds on him

 

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Spinning toehold!

 

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Buddy Colt remonstrates with his manager Dandy Jack

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It IS rather annoying that due to the editing we never find out what's in the box. Also sad that there is never any footage from the Omni match or televised confrontation between The Moondogs and The Samoans because I was getting rather excited by the build up.

 

Into March of 1983 now and I will say that I agree with your assessment of Ivan Koloff. He has the best TV matches by far, and even though he looks past his prime even in early 83 he is still VERY good. It means he had to have been GREAT in the 70s and it's unfortunate he's more known on the internet today for his broken down days in the late 80s.

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Okay, time to jump into this badly labelled AWA stuff.

 

1. The Crusher and Dick the Brusier vs. The Blackjacks

 

Bobby Heenan is managing the Blackjacks. Bob Luce on commentary. This is from September 1st 1972 at the Chicago Soldier field.Luce tells us the referee is Jersey Joe Walcott. Despite not being an official participant in this match, Heenan stands on the apron. Luce goes on about how excited everyone was to be at Soldier Field that day and that he doesn't like this match because it's so bloody.

 

Lanza is bloodied. Bruiser sends Heenan crashing into the cage because he'd been taunting him throughout the match. There is quite heavy clipping so hard to get a sense of the flow of this match, been very back and forth so far.

 

Luce is like a slightly annoying old uncle or something who won't stop talking through a film. The Blackjacks work over The Crusher. Faces regain control. They take every opportunity they can to nail Heenan who takes several cage shots.

 

 

Heenan tries to escape the cage and JERSEY JOE lays him out! Heenan sells the punch like a shot gun. Heels try to escape again.

 

I have to say Crusher and Bruiser have given the Blackjacks NOTHING in this match, totally dominant. They beat the crap out of Heenan who is extremely bloodied. Luce even mentions he felt sorry for Heenan here.

 

We don't get the whole thing, so it would be unfair to be too critical, but this was very AWA structure with the faces guzzling the heels from start to finish. Heenan takes an incredible pounding here which is worth tracking down this footage for.

 

2. Bobby Heenan vs. Pepper Gomez

 

We get a shot of Luce presenting this "Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame presents ... The Classics" show. This is June 1st 1974 and another cage match.

 

Heenan jumps Gomez to start and this is a fight from the start. Gomez immediately sends Bobby into the cage. Cover. 2 count. Another cage blow. Gomez goes for a cover again but only 2. Heenan still has his jacket on. He's "Pretty Boy" here by the way, not "The Brain".

 

Heenan tries to escape again. Can't decide where I stand on Luce's commentary. He's somewhere between Larry Matysik, mid-80s Vince and Rocky Raymond.

 

Heenan is wearing the black Andre-in-87 style single-shoulder strap black tights. He's got a foreign object. Luce coughs. He uses a blatant choke with a rope or chain or something. Gomez acquires the brass knucks from Heenan and pounds on him. Heenan has colour, but he's able to break the momentum with a stomp to the groin. Gomez has colour now too.

 

Pepper still has those brass knucks. Shit, Heenan is SO BLOODIED here. He ties to escape the cage but Gomez pulls him back. They climb up together but Heenan falls down and Gomez jumps on top. Is that it? NO, two count!

 

Heenan has showed some guts and determination here. His face is so bloodied it looks black. His entire face is a dark red. The ref intervenes to restrain Gomez. I think he's stopping the match because Heenan has lost so much blood. That was pretty good.

 

3. Dick the Bruiser vs. Ray Stevens

 

Luce mentions Ed "Strangler" Lewis ... "and for all you youngsters watching at home wondering who is Ed 'Stranlger' Lewis ... look, you've got to get some books on the history of pro wrestling". Ha ha, warming up to Luce now. "Unfortunately, you don't find too many in the book stores around Chicago, but let me tell ya ... go to the library and read up on some of these great pro wrestlers and one of them was Strangler Lewis, a LEGEND".

 

Heenan is there now and Bruiser beats on him. Luce is losing his shit on commentary now. "WHOOOP HA" He's a crazy old man! "And YOU thought wrestling was just starting to be a big thing now, but look at it here, wrestling in the CHICAGO AMPITHEATRE!". Can't fault the guy for enthusiasm.

 

Bruiser wins. We didn't get to see too much of Stevens, it was mostly Heenan getting decked by Bruiser.

 

This disc is following the listing that khawk sent me so far (Luce Classics #3, Part 1).

 

4. Verne Gagne vs. Nick Bockwinkel

 

This is from Fall 1972. Bock has Verne in a half-crab. He punches Gagne's leg. Luce talks up Gagne's amatuer credentials, including his 48 Olympics appearance. Bock is decimating his leg. Smashes it on the apron. Half crab again.

 

Luce mentions Bock's father, Warren Bockwinkel as being a great wrestler. Mentions that Bock broke both his knees during his collegiate year in football. Luce is wildly eccentric, now he's excited, now he's cranky. You get the impression that he thinks life was better in 1948 than it was in 1990 (when he recorded the commentary) and if only kids could appreciate that -- while keeping off his lawn -- the world would be a better place.

 

Gagne hits a knee from the top rope. He covers but the ref has a problem and isn't counting. Verne used the fist! He admonishes Verne and it's all over, because Gagne's been DQ'd! Ha ha, he was DQ'd for punching. I wish they could bring that back on current WWE, no match would go longer than 2 minutes.

 

5. Billy Red Cloud vs. Bobby Heenan

 

June 24th 1972. Luce shills Bill Haggerty Cars, "he was born to sell cars!" Awesome, this is proper old-school American salesmanship, shades of Violet Beauregarde's dad out of Wonka.

 

This is a chain match by the way. Another old man rant by Luce now.

 

"THAT'S RIGHT! All you .... you ... younger fans ... who thought wrestling had only just now blossomed to what it is today ... Oh no! Back in 1972 fans it was wall to wall people. WALL TO WALL PEOPLE at the Ampitheatre!" He runs down all the "big Meccas of wrestling". Runs down all the towns. The guy is out of his fucking tree, but it's pretty entertaining.

 

Heenan lays in a shot on Red Cloud, he's wrapped the chain around his fist. And ... HOLY SHIT Luce is singing now! This is so surreal and so amazing. "Oh brother! Working on the chain gang, chain gang! Working on the chaiiiinnnn gannng all day long! I love it" This guy is amazing!

 

This is a really grissly brawl. Billy Red Cloud has Heenan wrapped up and he's bleeding profusely yet again. Wow did Heenan bleed during these years. Crowd is wild. And what a variety of matches he worked too.

 

6. Andre and Doctor X vs. Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens.

 

Okay, this is October 7th 1972. Young skinny Andre, a younger and closer to his prime Stevens, and a younger Bock. I believe Dr X is The Destroyer aka Dick Beyer and a legendary wrestler. So basically four lock all-time Hall of Fame guys in this match. I'm excited, and so's Bob.

 

Bock and X lock up to start, Bock gets the worst of it and bails. Luce is rambling on some stuff about Andre's weight when he was a baby. Headlock applied by Doctor X. Andre in now. Headbutt. Chinlock, Bock looks tiny next to Andre. Bearhug.

 

Heels take over on Doctor X. Stevens tags in now. Stomps on X. They've injured X's leg and the first fall is over, they got the three count on him.

 

Second fall and Bock is working over that injured leg. The heels have cut the ring in half here. But eventually Andre comes in and clears house. He's pretty agile. Diving elbow drops onto Bock's leg and then one onto Stevens's. The faces take the second fall.

 

Luce keeps mentioning how Bill Haggerty (yes, the car salesman) is very excited by all of this.

 

Big splash by Andre on Stevens. He slaps Bock. Backdrop on Stevens. We don't get the finish! I'm guessing somehow the heels skanked the win.

 

Andre looked very sprightly here. I mean, forgetting he was 7-feet tall and massive for a moment, he moved like a regular worker in many ways, but always got over the special aura of being a giant.

 

7. Baron von Raschke and Hans Schmidt vs. Yukon "Moose" Cholak and Wilbur Snyder

 

June 4th 1971. Luce mentions a time when Schidt was on the Dumont network where he declared his didn't believe in sportsmanship and the channel received hundreds of letters and complaints denouncing the statement! Luce says The Teuton Terror made over $2 milllion that year in appearance fees.

 

Cholak is a stiff-looking brawler. Snyder gives Schmidt a few shots to the head, but he comes back with blows of his own to the mid-section. Schmidt looks pretty good.Snyder gets Schmidt in the cobra twist and that's it for the first fall. He submits.

 

Second fall now. Ref asks Schmidt if he can count his fingers. Heels double team Cholak. I really like the look of Schmidt, his character work is superb, I like the unique way he moves -- better than von Raschke even at this age. Cholak's punches are really good too. Clip and suddenly it's 1-1 and the ref loses control.

 

8. The Vachon Brothers vs. Red Bastien and Hercules Cortez

 

June 26th 1971. Bastien works over Mad Dog's arm. We scarcely glimpse this match, the clip is so short it's almost pointless.

 

9. Dick the Bruiser vs. Sho Zo Kobayashi

 

This is from April 24th 1971. Kobayashi is managed by The Big K. This is Strong Kobayashi by the way, not to be confused with Kuniaki Kobayashi of 80s NJPW, AJPW and Elvis-hair-stylings fame, even though he did work New Japan in the early 80s.

 

Kobayashi is quite big and muscular for a Japanese wrestler of this era. "WHERE WERE YOU, April 24th! 1971! I tell ya, the big pictures were MASH and Patton! WHERE WERE YOU? I'll tell you where I was, I was right here! You missed out!" Luce is fucking nuts.

 

Bruiser is not giving Kobayashi very much. I don't think I like Bruiser, he doesn't sell or anything, he just beats on heels. Bruiser ties to get the claw on but Big K interferes. The police move in. The match is out of control. Bruiser beats on The Big K. Kobayashi bails and raises his arm. Bruiser wants blood. On this evidence, Bruiser was no better in 1971 than he was in 1981 -- a very limited worker who gave basically nothing to his opponent and did little but weak-looking punches.

 

Luce is sitting with Yukon Cholak, who has packed on some pounds since 1990. This is cut though, so we don't get to hear Cholak speak, darn!

 

10. Yukon "Moose" Cholak and Haystacks Calhoun vs. Baron von Raschke and Hans Schmidt

 

May 15th, 1971. I can see we're going to get less than 2 minutes of this. Luce announces Calhoun as being 622lbs, and yes he's fucking MASSIVE. He sleeps in a custom-made bed. "What were YOU doing fans? On May 15th 1971? Well, I was right here at ringside!"

 

Cholak looks good again with stiff punches. I'd like to see Schmidt vs. Cholak in a singles match. Calhoun is in now and he splashes Schmidt. Leg work by Calhoun now. And ... the disc finishes there.

 

Just checking the next one to see if we get any more, but now, it seems to skip to something else.

 

----

 

Ranging forward just to see what sort of thing is on the rest of this AWA footage and it looks like there are several repeat matches, but fuller than what we saw on this one -- I think this one has been badly edited together by a tape trader, from longer episodes of this show Luce was presenting and then some of the later discs are the shows in full unedited. I guess this wasn't a bad taster session though.

 

----

 

Thoughts: This was not so much AWA as Luce's Hall of Fame Classics, and it is quite a ride. With Luce you're kind of in some weird time-warp bizarro world, but it's so surreal that it's almost compulsive viewing. I'd prefer to see the full presentation though, rather than the tape-trader edit and will look forward to some of the weirdness ahead. I may have to go and try to track down some actual AWA TV as well though to give the promotion a fair shake, Luce is such a strong presence that it's quite difficult to see past him and appreciate the action. In terms of style in the ring, however, not a tremendous difference between this stuff and what we saw in the early 80s.

 

MVP: Based on what we saw, it has to be Heenan who bled and bled and bled. Generally this stuff was too clipped to get much of an impression of most of the workers. Hans Schidt and Moose Cholak both looked good to me. Haystacks Calhoun was surprisingly agile. Andre showed glimpses of being a good worker. I thought Crusher and Bruiser both fucking sucked and the Blackjacks didn't look much better.

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Luce AWA randomness pics:

 

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Heenan just a bloody mess vs. Pepper Gomez

 

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Bockwinkel squares off with Doctor X

 

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Andre backdrops Ray "Thunder" Stevens

 

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Hans Schmidt sticks an awesome Nazi boot into Yukon "Moose" Cholak

 

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Haystacks Calhoun: fat as fuck, but had some psychology

 

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Dick The Bruiser, as per usual giving nothing to his opponent

 

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The truly insane Bob Luce (right) with an older Yukon Cholak in 1990

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Time to dive into Mid-Atlantic now, and this show is from October 10th, 1981 ...

 

Bob Caudle and beardless David Crockett host. Coming up later on the show is the NEW World Heavyweight Champion, the Nature Boy, Ric Flair. But who is this now? Banging a bin? It's Roddy Piper! He wants to talk about Wahoo McDaniel. He's riled up. Says something about turning Wahoo's face into a garbage can. "Nothing but a mere morsel of nothingness".

 

1. Ivan Koloff vs Paul Jones

 

Oh yes, what a feature match-up to start off with on MACW! Ole Anderson is in Ivan's corner here. Ole immediately jumps in the ring and we get an almost instant DQ. Steamboat runs in too and clears house. Ole and Ivan shout at the faces.

 

Well, this was disappointing as the match effectively did not take place.Ole is wearing a biege jacket and a pair of jeans, quite smart by his standards.

 

We're told Jake "the Snake" Roberts is on his way, but first it's Ric Flair, the new world champion. He's wearing a checked tweed-looking jacket. Flair is in Minnesotta Flair mode, subdeud, serious, a sportsman. He wants to do what's best.

 

2. Wahoo McDaniel & Jay Youngblood vs Jim Nelson & Charlie Fulton

 

"Both these Indians, the blood of these Indians is just boiling" - Caudle. David keeps calling Wahoo "the Super Chief".

 

This Jim Nelson does not appear to be Boris Zuhkov. Youngblood with a big STIFF chop, Wahoo with a STIFFER one. Wow. "Nobody chops like Wahoo McDaniel!" Wahoo works over Fulton's arm. Youngblood takes over. Dropkick. Back to the arm. Irish whip. Chop. Wahoo back in. Headlock takeover. Top wristlock. David: "HEY! They arm doesn't go that way, he's gonna break it" I feel very at home watching Crockett. Nelson tags back in, MASSIVE chop by Wahoo, and another, and another. I love the way it echoes around the studio. Youngblood back in and now he's working Nelson's arm. Nelson actually makes a comeback here, knee to Youngblood's chest and the jobbers take over on offense.Clubbing blows by Nelson but he puts his head down and Youngblood kicks him in the face. Dropkick. Big chop from Wahoo gets the three.

 

I loved how stiff Wahoo was here.

 

A soft-voice over comes now with this really old and generic looking logo with just "Wrestling" written over it. "Hello everybody, this is Billy Powell to remind you that Monday night at the Greensville Auditorium you'll get to see a newcomer, Sgt. Slaughter, who won the US title in a tournament this past weekend. And Sgt. Slaughter will be meeting Sweet Ebony Diamond, and he will lay his newly won US title on the line Monday night. And in our feature main event, the Mid-Atlantic champion, the Russian Bear will take on Ricky Steamboat in another great match." Wow, I'd LOVE to see Ivan Koloff vs. Ricky Steamboat from this timeframe.

 

3. The Grappler & Super Destroyer vs Frank Monte & Siva Afi

 

The Grappler and Super Destroyer are both, of course, masked. Super Destroyer, I believe, is the legendary Don Jardine aka The Spoiler. The Grappler is Len Denton who was better known in Portland during the 80s. Frank Monte is pretty stacked here and has a good moustache and afro on him.

 

Monte works over the Grappler's arm. Tags in Afi. Headlock takeover. The jobbers seem to be very very competetive in Crockett, more like JTTS. Monte works a headlock on Super Destroyer. Monte looks like a 70s porn star. The masked guys have had nothing so far. Grappler tags in and takes over on offense. Slam on Afi. Chinlock. Super Destoryer tags in, he's a pretty big guy. He gives Afi FIVE elbow drops and covers. Afi gets his foot in the ropes and this PISSES OFF Super Destroyer, who is pretty viscious. He tags out disgruntled and Grappler hits a neckbreaker. Surely, that's it? NO, kick out! Grappler goes for an Atomic drop, REVERSED! Wow, they are working more like midcarders than JTTS, maybe Monte and Afi were higher up the card than I thought. Hot tag to Monte now who is a house of fire. He's taking on all comers. Big backdrop, but Grappler gets a tag as he's coming off the Irish whip. Super Destroyer in, SUPERPLEX! "And you don't get up from that".

 

Wow, this was a pretty good match, about **1/2 and Monte and Afi were surprisingly competitive.

 

Bob Caudle is with Wahoo McDaniel now to talk about Roddy Piper. "He's been telling everyone that I'm a whipped dog. Well do I look like a whipped dog to you? I been laying out in the sun for two weeks, I don't have a scar on me, I'm healed up, and believe me I'm no whipped dog!"

 

Ron Bass comes in now. Bass is the TV champ and a face, he's had the title for a month now.

 

Bad bad Leroy Brown is next in the promo conveyor belt. And he's wearing a construction helmet and a pair of denim dungarees. He looks completely ridiculous. He wants Ole Anderson, Roddy Piper and the big bad himself Ivan Koloff. It seems like Koloff was positioned as the top heel at this point because he's been name checked by every babyface so far.

 

Now it's Dusty Rhodes daddy! He's got a WALKMAN. Ha ha ha. He tells us he's an "electrified funky person daddy". He says that everyone's talking about Ric Flair and he's glad for him, but ... "somewhere down the line, you gotta meet The Dream again daddy". I'm sure he will Dust, I'm sure he will.

 

4. Ricky Harris vs Dusty Rhodes

 

Strange moment now as Bob Caudle is on green screen with video tape of Dusty Rhodes and his opponent behind him.

 

Dusty shucks and jives. He works Harris's arm, they liked armwork in MACW in 1981. Harris comes back with an elbow to the neck. Hard right by Dusty. Headlock takeover which David Crockett calls a "hip toss". Headlock by Dusty, Harris grabs for the tights. Fist to the forehead by Harris. David is calling Dusty "Stardust". Million dollar elbow for the 1, 2, 3. Quick squash.

 

Commercial message for upcoming events now. The guy on the mic goes to the same barber as Frank Monte, they could be brothers, shades of Ron Burgundy too. One of the interesting matches mentioned is Ole Anderson vs. Ric Flair for the world title. And we're taken to a promo from Flair now standing alongside Johnny Weaver and a guy with a thin weaselly moustache in a white suit and nerdy glasses. Ricky Steamboat is out now to talk about his upcoming match with Ivan Koloff. He says that he kept watching Ivan during a lumberjack match he had recently. Pretty good promo from Steamer here, he calls Ivan "my Russian Bear friend" at one point, lol.

 

5. Roddy Piper & Ivan Koloff vs Steve Muslin & Ron Ritchie

 

Ivan has his chain. Piper has his bagpipes and he wants to play a small jig for Wahoo McDaniel. The fans boo as he plays these awful bagpipes, what a racket! Piper is a superb dick heel. Meanwhile Ivan is taunting the jobbers with his chain. So Ivan gets a second match tonight after the Jones one? He starts out with Muslin who ALSO has a sleazy moustache, 81 was a banner year for moustaches in the Carolinas. Caudle and David are amazed to see two guys like Koloff and Piper on the same team, what big stars. Ivan works over Muslin and tags out. Piper shouts at him. "SHUT UP". Musling comes back with some good punches. Hip toss. He tags to Ritchie who misses a dropkick. Piper with some aggressive strikes. Ivan in, double stomp. Atomic drop. Knee drop. Knee lift. Tags to Piper. Snapmare. But Hotrod misses a big knee, just a hope spot. Ivan in. Bodyslam. Elbow drop. But he misses a second. Piper in. Big right. Snapmare. Chinlock. Ole Anderson has just walked in. "It's like the Voice of Doom walking in" says David. Muslin and Piper go for a slugfest now, but Piper hits an atomic drop. Ivan in, KNEEDRIVER! That's all she wrote.

 

Impressive showcase for the heels here. Piper throws Ritchie out and they go to beatdown Muslin. Wahoo runs in. 2 vs 1 slugfest. Ivan bails. Piper vs. Wahoo back and forth now. Steamboat hits the ring. The heels take off, including Ole.

 

Caudle is with Ricky Steamboat now, who says that Piper and his friends can say "all they want about the Indian .. but you've just seen a prime example of what that red man can do once he gets going". Steamboat on about an 8.7 for the 81 political incorrectness scale there. Abdullah the Butcher is mentioned as an ally of Piper's who Wahoo is also thinking about. Jake "the Snake" Roberts is also there, young and skinny and in a cowboy hat with a big tash. He doesn't like the sound of any of these. His voice is reedy and southern, he sounds nothing like the Jake we all know and love. Caudle says "see you next week, and so long for now".

 

A little bonus commerical footage now, Frank Monte's brother is with Paul Jones. He's sick and tired of all this with Ivan Koloff. Jones is stoical on the mic. He's not turning on Flair, Snake, Steamboat or Youngblood. Incredibly bland babyface stuff from Jones.

 

Jake and Steamboat come in now. They talk about the tournament. Roberts wants to know why Ole and Gene Anderson haven't been defending their tag titles. Ole has been claiming Gene is hurt. Jake mentions the 30-day rule.

 

6. Ric Flair vs Billy Starr

 

Flair is wearing "opulent" black and white checkered boots. Bit unusual. Not sure who is on commentary here. I think it's Frank Monte's brother and I *think* Johnny Weaver. They mention that Starr has been having some success recently. Starr takes a bump to the outside and Flair smashes him into the camera stand. Rolls him back in. Atomic drop. Starr comes back a bit, bodyslam. Misses a fistdrop. Barges Flair in the turnbuckle. Flair comes back. Turning into a slugfest. Stalled vertical suplex. Elbow drop. Figure-four and it's all over.

 

I think Flair gave Starr far too much here given that this was meant to be a showcase for the new World Champ. I don't see why he had to give Starr ANYTHING.

 

And now, a GROOVY CAT. What a dude! Who is that? And it's all over.

 

---------

 

Thoughts: Well, the only thing I can make a fair comparison to at this point is GCW given that the AWA and Florida stuff was not actually TV presentations. There is a lot more in-ring focus and action in Mid-Atlantic than in Georgia. The matches, even against apparent jobbers, go on longer, closer to 8 minutes than the typical 3-minute squash you get on GCW. But then the promos are shorter. There is less of a sense of chaos, but we did get a few run ins. This is just a sample size of one, so can't make too many sweeping statements, but so far: more CAVALRY, babyfaces making saves rather than heel beatdowns, and more babyface promos. The strange thing about the GCW stuff was that all the promos were by heels, well here, the majority of promos, with the exception of Piper, were by babyfaces. Could just be chance, but I'll be keeping an eye on that as I continue through the footage. This was a very easy watch, and the presentation is not a million miles away from what we'd see in Techwood after 85. The flags are there, the podium is there. It's a slightly blander show than Georgia, but we see more wrestling. Would I be going to The Omni or Greensville? Probably to the Omni, but only by a hair, and the prospect of Ivan Koloff vs. Ricky Steamboat is mouth-watering.

 

MVP: Probably Piper, he brought a lot of energy to his match and was a pretty effective heel running down Wahoo while being an annoying sod in general. Ivan looked great once again and both Wahoo and Youngblood looked good as well. Flair I think did not wrestle a very smart match against Starr. It's interesting that Ivan and Ole were on top here in Mid-Atlantic and the same pairing was on top in the GCW stuff from 83. I know Ole was booking Crockett around this time and there is a parallel with the way there are THREE main faces and heels with intertwined storylines, only here we also have Flair on top of that.

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I would be careful of making the straight comparisons between Georgia TV and Mid-Atlantic because the Georgia stuff is heavily clipped up to only feature the best parts while it seems like you're watching full episodes of Mid-Atlantic.

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Pics from MACW circa October 1981:

 

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Piper says he's taken Wahoo to the trash.

 

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Generic and dated looking "Wrestling" logo

 

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70s porno star, Frank Monte applies a headlock to Super Destroyer

 

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Extreme idiot Leroy Brown

 

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Dusty is pleased to have a Walkman

 

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Caudle on green screen

 

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Frank Monte's brother

 

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Flair in his "opulent" boots

 

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What a dude!

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BG7A1AY.png

Frank Monte's brother

While trying to find out stuff about Tom Miller, I stumbled upon the identity of this man. It's Rich Landrum. He actually replaced Miller and George Scott as the host of World-Wide in 1978 until early 1982.

 

Interestingly, he would do the ring announcing at the Richmond shows.

 

Really cool and informative interview with him on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway: http://www.midatlanticgateway.com/resourcecenter/interviews/landrum/landrum_01.htm

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One of the things Landrum mentions in that interview that I didn't know before, is that Crockett was already making expansion moves in 1979. They asked him to work shows in Georgia and they'd run Augusta and Savannah regularly. Landrum mentions that he didn't fancy travelling to Georgia and that he didn't want to step on Gordon Solie's toes either.

 

I'm wondering how Crockett got away with that without pissing off the Georgia office?

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Back to Georgia now, picking up at the Jan 1st show where we left off after the Xmas 82 Omni card.

Solie is with Sonny King and Iron Sheik. I've not been too impressed with King on the mic. Iron Sheik talks in Farsi. Now I can speak a bit of Farsi, so let me see if I can work out what he's saying. Nope, can't work it out, seemed like he was saying hi to his wife or something, but his accent is quite thick.

Masked Superstar comes out now and they are already shilling the January 2nd Omni show. Masked Superstar says he's going to come out with "25 big ones". Ole now. There's going to be a battle royal for $25k, he wants that money. Ivan Koloff is out now. He says that for $25k he'd stick his boot even in Ole Anderson's mouth! There are no friends in this battle royal! It's going to be in two rings.

1. Iron Sheik and Ivan Koloff vs. Moore and Brown

Heels work over Moore. King is on commentary, and Solie asks him if Ivan is his new tag partner. King explains that no, he just needs a partner for a couple of weeks, so no this is NOT a new tag team. Interesting. King accuses Solie of being biased towards the faces. Have to say that Sheik and Koloff are a cool team. Sheik hits his high spots with several backbreaker and suplex varations. Koloff works a rougher, more brawling style but ends things with his AWESOME kneedriver from the top. The Russian and the Iranian shake hands after the match and look pleased with themselves.

Ivan is back with Solie and he's STILL going on about taking Paul Ornforff's national title. Dr Tom Pritchard is there and he says very little. Ivan says he's been studying new chain techniques with which he's going to hurt Orndroff and make him beg.

2. Ivan Koloff and Buzz Sawyer vs. Johnny Rich and Randy Barber

This is talked on commentary as Johnny Rich's big chance to settle the score for what they did to him. Which of course, begs the question as to why Rich has got lame bald jobberific Randy Barber in as his partner! Lot of fire from Rich to start and Ivan sells for him like a pro. Eventually Barber is tagged in and Sawyer does a backbreaker over Ivan's knee in a really cool spot. Then Ivan keeps him prone over his knee and Sawyer nails him from the top rope. Great double teaming. Standing powerslam from Sawyer, another backbreaker from Ivan. But Barber gets the hot tag and Rich fires up. Reverses a suplex from Ivan. But it's basically 2 vs 1 at this point. Sawyer with a big suplex. Quick tags from Ivan and Buzz. They are a really formidable looking team. Ivan goes for the KNEEDRIVER. But Orndorff jumps him and the match devolves entirely, Butch Reed comes in. Ole comes in. Classic GCW. Still though: why did Johnny Rich choose Randy Barber as his partner?

Brief clip now of Iron Sheik speaking Farsi. Think he's saying he's going to make all Iranians proud (or something like that).

3. Masked Superstar and Super Destroyer vs. Randy Barber and McKenzie

Masked dreamteam here which would have Kelly marking out. I think Tom Prichard is really rotten on colour commentary, would prefer Solie alone. Solie mentions that Masked Superstar has been credited with slamming Andre the Giant which is some feat. OMG! Solie mentions that Butch Reed still hasn't shown us what's in the box and he's getting a "little antsy" about it himself. THERE IS STILL HOPE PEOPLE. Solie says that it's really piqued his curiosity, you can say that again Gordon. Masked guys win with a powerslam.

4. Ivan Koloff vs. Mike Jackson

Solie is still hyping Koloff vs. Orndorff's upcoming match as Ivan continues his relentless quest to capture the National Titlte. Full arm drag and twise by Koloff but Jackson reverses and escapes. A good period of counter wrestling from Jackson here who seems like he's the top JTTS here in Georgia if we're counting Johnny Rich as a lower midcarder. Headscissors by Jackson. Headlock takeover. It's been strength vs. speed and agility so far. Jackson takes it to Ivan but he resorts to an eye rake and after some basic offense throws him out of the ring. Hip toss on the concrete now. Big "WE WANT PAUL" chant in the studio now. Jackson has been hurt taking that hip toss. Double foot stomp by Ivan. Backbreaker. But Jackson comes back with a monkey flip and a headscissors! Ivan cuts off the comeback and hits the kneedriver. It's all over. Really good tv match and a spirited performance from Jackson.

Buzz Sawyer is wearing a n American-football-style head guard. He's shouting. Ole comes out. They are hyping a Huntington show coming up. Now Ivan and Iron Sheik are out. Koloff gives the 162nd promo about how he's going to take Paul Orndforff's national title. Iron Sheik says he's been in GCW for five months now, so it's time to lay down the $5k Persian Club challenge!

5. Bruiser Brody vs. Randy Barber

Complete mauling by Brody on Randy Barber. He goes over to Solie. "I haven't got all day Solie." He hasn't time to waste watching other matches. Brody says it's going to be a rela bad 1983 for anyone who puts their tights on to face him.

Now a special interview with the NWA World Champion Ric Flair from Florida. Things are going to be a bit different in 1983, says Flair, not because the NWA says so, but because Ric Flair says so. He says he's taken time out of his busy schedule to fly into Florida to say this. His head is cut pretty badly. Flair says that the title doesn't go up unless HE SAYS SO. Nobody is going to tell Ric Flair what to do anymore! "I'm a proven commodity!" He calls Hacksaw Butch Reed a "dandy".

6. Brad Armstrong vs. Buzz Sawyer

Buzz is wearing the head gear because his head was shaved at the Omni so we don't get to see it. Ole is on commentary and mentions that there is a court restraining order on showing the footage from the Omni too. That the tape will never be played. Solie mentiosn that Brad Armstrong is "the rookie of the year". He's been faring well against Sawyer so far. Fireman carry takedown. And works the arm. Leap frog by Armstrong and an armdrag. Works the arm some more. Another armdrag by Armstrong. He's been controlling this one so far. Sawyer comes back with a headbutt. Ole has gone down to ringside. Armstrong goes after the head gear and Ole storms the ring which causes Stan Hansen to charge the ring.

Sawyer cuts a promo about his court injunction about showing "that stupid film" and about how no one is going to take his head gear off him!

Iron Sheik promo now. He wonders why no one has the guts to take the $5k he's offered for the club challenge.

7. Iron Sheik vs. Randy Barber

Poor Randy Barber, he got his ass kicked so often. Sonny King is on commentary, and as per usual I haven't got a clue what he's going on about. But the big news is that he's acquired the contracts of the Moondogs and the Samoans are no more in GCW, they've gone (i.e. back to WWF!) Sheiky Baby works over barber. He's probably about 30 or 40 pounds bigger here than he was in 1979-80, Sheik is quite jacked up at this point, not fat, jacked up. Barber puts up almost no resistance, he is one of the wimpiest jobbers. Abdominal stretch from Sheik. Bodyslam. Bearhug. Turnbuckle shot. Kneelift. He's got Barber well beaten but keeps punishing him, what a bully! Awesome belly to back suplay almost snaps Barber in half and an elbow drop gets the three. Great squash.

Sawyer is hyping a Williamson card and Solie and Ole hype a Marietta card. They are going to Ohio and West Virginia.

Ivan Koloff is pissed off. Apparently Orndroff was wearing a football helmet at their last match. Ivan has a plaster on his head. He is really annoyed and is going to be getting his lawyers to look into this, he says Orndorff WILL NOT get away with this.

8. Moondogs vs. Johnny Rich and Mike Jackson

Wow, JTTS dreamteam right there. Solie explains that the Moondogs have been stripped of the tag titles which have been held up by World Championship Wrestling. Sonny King is managing the Moondogs now. A lot of fire from Mike Jackson to start but is cut off by a big atomic backbreaker. Big bodyslam now. They are kicking the shit out of Jackson now, but he manages to trip up one of them and gets the tag. Rich is a house of fire and slams the Moondogs one by one. But they cut him off with a vertical suplay. Big "let's go Johnny, let's go" chant from the studio crowd. Sonny King has gone on commentary by the way and has been gabbling on about how he's going to cut all the errors out of the Moondog's game. I really don't like King talking, he just seems to be treading water all the time. Big backbreaker on Jackson. Atomic drop. Nose pull! Choking over the middle rope. Bodyslam. But a second hot tag to Rich who makes a dropkick Jackson gets back in and hits a dropkick of his own. Jackson gives everything he's got but takes the pin. Makes me wonder why Johnny Rich tagged him back in.

Buzz Sawyer is talking about his head gear again. He claims that no one in the entire world has EVER defeated Buzz Sawyer. Graham Cawthorn doesn't agree Buzz.

Ric Flair is here! He seems to love Solie, "always a pleasure". He gets GCW TV over by saying that it's viewed probably by more people than any other sporting event in the country. Flair says that he's known Buzz Sawyer a long time and he's telling Rich, Orndroff, Sanatana and Reed that anyone trying to take that helmet off him might as well pack it in right now because Buzz Sawyer is probably more man from his knees down than most of you guys are in your entire body! Wow, Flair giving Sawyer a big rub there. Now he wants to talk about the title. Solie asks him about Butch Reed. Flair is wondering why whereever he goes people are asking him why he isn't putting up the title. Flair points to a woman in the crowd. "Just you shut your mouth honey! ... well what do you expect? She's from Atlanta!" Ha ha ha. Why won't he put up the title against Bruce Reed? Flair says he's going to put up money instead of the title. He has a big wad of $100 bills. Says it's going to be $5k to say that Reed can't beat him. He's waging his own money.

9. Ivan Koloff vs. Butch Reed.

Next disc now and this seems to be a very brief clip from Omni footage. Cage match. Not enough to tell what was going on but Ole and Stan Hansen were both at ringside.

Back to the studio and Buzz Sawyer has the tape reel of the Omni show where his head was shaved, he has the actual tape and he's made it all loose and is ripping it up. He bites into it. I wonder if that was the actual tape.

10. Buzz Sawyer vs. John King

Complete squash ended with a German suplex. Can't go longer than 30 seconds.

Ole Anderson is there and they are hyping an Omni card tomorrow night. It's going to be Buzz Sawyer vs. Tommy Rich!

Bruiser Brody and the Iron Sheik are out now. Sheik has got one of his clubs with him, it's pretty big. Is anyone going to take his challenge? Brody has something in his mouth and doesn't talk. What is that? A dummy? A Hannibal Lector-style mouth retraint?

Wow, some BABYFACES are out now, Butch Reed and Tommy Rich are with Solie, but Ivan Koloff is there too. He thinks there's an American conspiracy against him. Butch Reed is going to pay, but it's also not over between him and Orndorff.

11. Ivan Koloff vs. Butch Reed

Seemingly not in the listings this match and we joiin it in progress. It's from the studio, and Ivan has been on top until Reed hits a forearm. But Ivan hits an uppercut. Backbreaker. Bearhug. But Reed reverses it and gets his own on. Ivan uses an eye rake to break. Sunset flip by Reed. Suplex reversal by Reed. This has been very back and forth. A lot of parity. Solie calls them two giants of the wrestling world. Ivan goes for the kneedriver but Reed slams him off. Super Destroyer runs in and attacks Reed. Now Buzz Sawyer runs out. 3 on 1 heel beatdown now. But Paul Orndorff and Tommy Rich run out to clear house. So typical of Georgia.

12. Bruiser Brody vs. Mike Starbuck

Total destruction from Brody as you'd expect. Hits a big leg drop at one point. Piledriver for three. That's what you call a squash.

We get a rundown of the upcoming Omni card ...

Buzz Sawyer vs. Tommy Rich
Ivan Koloff vs. Butch Reed
Ole Anderson vs. Stan Hansen (no DQ)
Super Destroyer vs. Dick Murdoch
Iron Sheik vs. Paul Orndorff
Bob Roop vs. Brad Armstrong
The Moondogs vs. Tito Santana and Joe Lightfoot
Precious Paul Ellering vs. Tom Prichard
Bruiser Brody vs. Ray Candy

PLUS Captain Redneck Dick Murdoch accepts the Iron Sheik's $5k challenge!

Talk about a stacked card. Take my money! If only I had Doctor Who's TARDIS.

13. Bruiser Brody vs. King

More squashing action. Solie says Brody is the most awesome big man he's seen. A chap on colour commentary (I'm not sure who this is) talks about how Don Leo Jonathan was massive and used to move like a middleweight. Says that Brody is reminiscent of him. Stick a fork in King, he's done.

I'm wondering who this guy is with Solie. He is in a suit and has a small moustache. I thought it might be Tom Renesto but he doesn't look grizzled enough. EDIT FROM THE FUTURE ... okay, so it seems like it is Bob Roop. Weird, I thought Roop had dark curly hair, this guy is fair haired. It is definitely Roop though.Anyway, Brody comes over and moves Sole's lecturn away to show off his body. "Just look at me from here to here" Brody says there are two types of wrestlers, your regular stars and your superstars. He says around here he sees a wholelot of your regular stars, Dick Murdoch, Tommy Rich, guys you see every week, REGULAR STARS. But then there's some of us, that not only look different, not only rassle different, but we THINK a lot different. And we are your SUPERSTARS. And he has got no time for fancy headlocks and your snazzy-looking legholds! He's all about your GOOD OLD FASHIONED BUTTKICKING.

Buzz Sawyer and Ivan are here. Sawyer is boasting about how no one has got to see under his head gear yet. Now, I reckon in the two months since the Xmas Omni card, his hair might have grown back, don't you? Solie informs Sawyer calmly that he's been informed that because of his actions destroying the tape that he's been fined $2,500 by World Championship Wrestling! Sawyer goes fucking nuts now. He's incensed! Wild animal. Ivan goes ater him.

14. Buzz Sawyer and Ivan Koloff vs. Mike Jackson and King

Sawyer is possessed. Destroys King. Tags in Ivan. Backdrop. Jackson in. I have to say that Mike Jackson is a contender for legit best jobber, if he does indeed count as a jobber. Would have to check the Kelly Scale. Sawyer takes the three with a belly-to-belly.

Ole is hyping the Omni card TOMORROW NIGHT. Ole says he's going to wear some studs for his match with Stan Hansen. I wish that match existed on tape.

Sawyer is beyond comprehension he's so pissed. Ivan is also annoying on Buzz's behalf. Ivan says he's going to put Reed out of wrestling for good.

15. Bob Roop vs. Mike Jackson

So the guy from earlier was Bob Roop, although he seems to have died his hair or something here and grown a mustache. Solie gets over Mike Jackson's Masters degree in political science again. Jackson is on top to start but soon Roop takes over. Solie talks about how Roop draws a man in like that. Jackson tries a cross body block but bites the canvas and Roop levels him with a shoulder breaker into a foreward slam for three. Jackson seems like he's really hurt his shoulder.

Roop goes over to Solie. Solie is in a very nice three-piece suit today with a handkerchief in his pocket. Very dapper. Roop says he's been scouting and studying video tape on how to beat people. He likes to make his wins clearcut so no one wants a rematch. Roop wants to face all the top competitors. He's been in Georgia for two weeks now.

And NOW we get some footage from the February 6th Omni card. It's Captain Redneck Dick Murdoch trying to do Iron Sheik's Persian Club challenge. Murdoch picks up the clubs and does 19 rotations on the clubs before Iron Sheik attacks him! What a cheapshot! "Did ya see that Gordon, it reminds me of 1941." Sheik uses the clubs to attack Murdoch now. And Super Destroyer runs in to help with the heel beatdown. Murdoch thorws a punch but he's been injured and Iron Sheik SMASHES him across the midsection with the club. Ouch, that must have really hurt. We also get a clip from his match with Super D who he defeats overcoming the odds after he hits a flying bodypress countering a superplex attempt. Back in the studio, Murdoch thanks the Omni crowd for spurring him on.

We run down the February 27th Omni card now.

Ivan Koloff vs. Butch Reed
Bruiser Brody vs. Abdullah the Butcher
The Superstar vs. Paul Orndroff
Iron Sheik vs. Dick Murdoch
Super Destroyer vs. Stan Hansen
Buzz Sawyer vs. Johnny Rich
The Moondogs vs. Ray Candy and Tito Santana
Bob Roop vs. Tom Prichard
Paul Ellering vs. Joe Lightfoot

A much weaker card on paper than the earlier one. And let's end this sitting there.

-------------

Thoughts: The experience of watching perpetual hype for Omni cards that never come is a bit masochistic on some level. I still think it's a bit strange how we get heel promos but not babyface ones. Butch Reed also STILL hasn't shown us what's in the box after almost 3 months. And it didn't seem to be mentioned in the later shows. If they never do show us what's in the box, I wonder why the angle never went anywhere. Ivan seems to have transitioned from his Orndorff feud into one with Butch Reed now and Sawyer seems to have transitioned to Tommy Rich, so does that mean their former issues are over with? It seems like nothing really got blown off in either of those fueds, and I wonder about how often things got blown off in GCW in general. It feels like a never-ending cycle. They really drag some storylines out. Like, it is absolutely ridiculous that Sawyer is still wearing the headgear over a month removed from having his head shaved, his hair would have grown back. To me, it seems to point to a booker who is running low on ideas. Nothing ever seems to move forward and it's starting to get curiously frustrating.

MVP: Believe it or not, it has to be Mike Jackson. He's one of the best "spirited" JTTS guys who doesn't blow many spots, can move really well, the crowd are with him and he works against a variety of opponents here and is good with all of them. Mike Jackson might be the best jobber of them all.

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Pics for GCW Jan to Feb 83:

 

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Brody's in town!

 

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Iron Sheik is still waiting on someone to accept his challenge, but what's that in Brody's mouth?

 

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Solie in his lovely three-piece suit with Bob Roop

 

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Sawyer destroys the tape of his head shaving.

 

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Sawyer about to burst a blood gasket as Solie tells him he's been fined $2,500 for destroying the tape.

 

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Dick Murdoch doing the club challenge at the Omni

 

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Jobber / JTTS extraordinaire Mike Jackson locks up Ivan's arm

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Frank Monte's brother

While trying to find out stuff about Tom Miller, I stumbled upon the identity of this man. It's Rich Landrum. He actually replaced Miller and George Scott as the host of World-Wide in 1978 until early 1982.

 

Interestingly, he would do the ring announcing at the Richmond shows.

 

Really cool and informative interview with him on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway: http://www.midatlanticgateway.com/resourcecenter/interviews/landrum/landrum_01.htm

Rich Landrum has his own sub-forum on the KM board under the Mid- Atlantic forum. He goes by the username " The Voice". Very receptive to questions from my experience.

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Just a little bonus edition of the territorial explorations, I'm just going to look at three matches from the Texas All Star Battle of the Alamo '85.

 

Hector Gurrerro vs. Dale Vasey (09/29/85)

 

A poster on Classics claimed this was the bloodiest match he'd ever seen, and goc said he was disappointed. However, I couldn't look at this show without taking a look myself. Ted DiBiase joins commentary, and says its an honour to be there to make his first ever appearance in San Antonio. He also says his main goal is to win the World title from Ric Flair and he says he's second only to him right now in the world.

 

Meanwhile, Hector gets Vasey in a sleeper. Side headlock by Hector and a lot of punches. Suplex by Hector. Full twist before a splash shows a bit of flash. Whoever is on commentary with Ted is absolutely awful. We take a break for someone to shill an upcoming card, "Golden Boy" Mike Golden dresses more or less exactly like Ric Flair -- well, if Flair wore cheap suits.

 

Back to the match, and Hector pokes Vasey in the eye. He's a sneaky one. Backdrop. Legdrop. DiBiase isn't happy about Hector cheating, but the commentator defends him. Flashy-looking suplex by Hector. Piledriver.

 

Ted mentions that they've been going for over 20 minutes, but we've not seen even half of that. Blows back and forth now. Both men down. Action goes outside and Hector gets posted. Hector goes to the eyes. Still outside. Back in and we get a ref bump. Apparently 30 minutes have gone.

 

Vasey goes and grabs a chair but misses, three times. Catches a dropkick by Hector. Whacks Vasey with it for an instant DQ. Hector whacks him again. Ted calls Hector a poor loser. Continues to punch out Vasey. Ted says that Hector is acting like a child right now. Vasey posts him. Vasey bites on Hector's head. Both guys are bleeding now. Hector goes to the eyes again. Hector has bled all over the floor. To be fair, he is pretty covered in blood, but our friend from Classics needs to watch more wrestling.

 

Not a bad match from what we saw, but nothing worth seeking out to be honest. We cut back to the commentators with Ted and he's got his classic beard and blonde hair. Definitive Ted look. There is an American commentator and a Spanish one right beside him, talking at the same time. In Spanish. Very weird production values.

 

Chavo Gurrerro vs. Ted DiBiase (9/29/85)

 

So I finally get to see this match I've been after for so long. Ted is the US champion. What belt is that you ask? I can't find any record of it, but it looks like it was a made-up title that Ted just debuted here with for this one-off appearance -- I guess a bit like how he debuted in 1979 in WWF as the North American champion. They claims that Ted beat Harley Race for this title, but that was entirely fictitious.

 

Ted jaws Chavo to start and is poking him in the chest. Chavo tries to grab his hand and then Ted slaps him in the face. DiBiase has the black glove on and is in heel mode. After provoking Chavo's ire with the slap he backs off and bails. Chavo goes after him. He's ready to fight. Back in the ring and Ted begs off.

 

Inside cradle attempt by Chavo leads to our transition and Ted gains control. Sleeper. Chavo seems to fade fast. Eventually he powers up and charges back into the turnbuckle to break. Ted goes for the second rope elbow that never hits and catches a shot to the gut for one of his signiture bumps. But manages to get a shinbreaker to turn back the tide. Goes for the figure four but Chavo kicks him off for a 360 bump over the top to the concrete.

 

This commentator is a contender for all-time worst. I might even take the ROH guys over this dude. Crossbody by Chavo gets two. DiBiase goes to his trunks for the brass knucks but he misses with a swing and that allows Chavo to get in a German suplex for the 3-count. He's the new US champion!

 

This seemed to be incredibly rushed to me. After the shine sequence, they seemed to go straight into the finishing stretch with a sleeper followed closely by a figure-four attempt. Chavo showed some good fire and Ted made him look good, but all-in-all, this probably wasn't worth the wait. Ha ha.

 

I guess it was interesting to see Ted coming into what would have been the equivalent of a local indie promotion to do a one-off appearance as a big star coming in. Not a bad way to establish Chavo as the new US champ. Still, this promotion looks genuinely awful -- a far cry from the Southwest glory days back in 1980.

 

$10,000 2-ring Battle Royale (9/29/85)

 

So All Star were really pushing a guy called Big Bubba at this time. No, not Big Bossman, but Fred Ottman aka Tugboat aka Typhoon. They brought in One Man Gang for a little feud. We get highlights from this battle royale, which is clearly designed to put him over.

 

Some of the stars involved here include DORY FUNK JR! One Man Gang! Chavo! The Hoods! (a featured tagteam) Kamala! Ernie Ladd! And (topical, RIP) Ox Baker! DiBiase!

 

We skip to the closing moments where Dory Funk Jr is eliminate followed by Ox Baker, and then Chavo and Ted together.

 

We're left with Big Bubba, One Man Gang and Killer Tim Brooks. Brooks and OMG beat on Bubba, but he soon dumps Gang But Gang doesn't leave, doesn't matter though cos Bubba backdrops Brooks out of the ring to win the big trophy and $10,000.

 

-------

 

I've spent the best part of a week downloading this All-star stuff and this looks like a truly hideous promotion. If a young Fred Ottman is your best hope, you need to get out of the business. Beyond him, the cards a extremely thin. There's a very young Shawn Michaels knocking about with Paul Diamond. Al Madril seems to be a main eventer.

 

So one might be wondering what the hell guys like Ted DiBiase, Dory Funk Jr, and the Los Gurreros were doing on this card. If you don't know, in 1985 Joe Blanchard was forced to sell his half of the Southwest Championship Wrestling promotion to Fred Behrend, who then changed the name to All-Star.

 

Behrend had some working relationships with Watts and Fritz, which is why guys like Ernie Ladd and Killer Tim Brooks are on this card.

 

Reading between the lines, it seems like Chavo might have been promised a decent main event run by Behrend around the summer of 85. He started working there in July 85 and won the tag titles with Al Madril.

 

Chavo and Hector had spent most of the year working in Mid-South, and Chavo was working All-star at the same time as Mid-South. Hector doesn't look like he worked All-Star except for this one show, he worked Florida a little bit.

 

Seems like Chavo was able to talk Ted into doing him a favour at this San Antonio show. DiBiase went on an All-Japan tour in August of 85, and presumably Dory Funk Jr had booked him on it. Since I suspect that they would have headed back to Texas together, I wonder if this is how Dory ended up working this show as well ... because then, Chavo and Hector end up going to All-Japan, with Ted and Dory in October -- they didn't go in August. Seems like a bit of quid pro quo: "if I come and work this show, you guys come on the next AJPW tour"

 

Whatever the case, Chavo was done with All-Star by the end of the year and missed all of October for the Japan tour. Interestingly, for whatever reason, that was Chavo's last All Japan tour. He didn't go on the November-December one, and doesn't wrestle again in Japan period until 1996 when he has a one-off match with Fujinami for Muga. And after that not again until 2007!

 

After the All Japan tour of October 85, Chavo and Hector stick with Mid-South and have matches with the Sheepherders and the Fabulous Ones. After March, Hector goes to Crockett, tags with Manny Fernandez, and goes on the GAB tour and stayed with them till December ... Chavo sticks with Watts for most of the year.

 

All-Star would go bust in 1986.

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The dual English/Spanish announcers standing beside each other doing the show at the same time was just the way they did things in San Antonio. They were doing that in the Blanchard Southwest days too. And as for the Hector/Veasey match, Hector does bleed a lot but for a match billed as "possibly the bloodiest ever" it wasn't what I expected. Mostly because the blood comes at the very end, almost AFTER the match.

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JVK have you watched any more 1983 Georgia? Things seem to really drop off on the babyface side, I don't know if that's editing or not but we pretty much only hear the names of Tommy Rich & Butch Reed and don't really seem them much any more. But Larry Zybyszko shows up and is immediately the best squash match guy & possibly the best promo there as well. I haven't yet seen the infamous title switch with him buying the title from Killer Brooks (who sucks and seems to have less to offer than even Paul Ellering & The Iron Sheik) but I did see the promo with him offering to buy it if Brooks beats Orndorff at the Omni since Larry claims he's being dodged.

 

There are also some matches from what I would guess is the local GCW TV that wasn't shown nationally that has a very good commentary team of Les Thatcher & Bob Roop that I think you'd like.

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Random Georgia. This is a disc picked at random from a Bob Barnett comp I have. Most of this is from early 1981 I think.

 

1. Kevin Sullivan vs. Steve O

 

Steve O is the TV champ. "Man of 1000" holds Les Thronton joins Solie on commentary. He has a Manchester accent and sounds just like Davey Boy Smith. Why are so many of the British wrestlers from the North West I wonder? Pretty weird watching GCW with a British commentator.

 

This was a pretty technically worked bout considering Sullivan was involved; it was giving Solie a hard on. Pretty competitive match for the TV and a title switch.

 

2. Andre vs Mongolian Stomper

 

This is from The Omni. Pretty lively match between these two. Andre had his working boots on here. Manager Don Carson involved in the finish.

 

3. Les Thornton vs. Mr. Wrestling 2

 

Solie tells us that Wrestling 2 is 6lbs over the junior weight limit, so he can't challenge for Thornton's belt.

 

Exceptionally dry match and the time runs out during it. Wrestling 2 does a headlock.

 

4. Freebirds (Gordy and Roberts) vs. Buck Robley and JYD

 

This is JIP from the Omni with Hayes on commentary with Solie. This is the classic Freebirds vs. JYD blinding angle. They go to get Robley, but JYD tries to make a save and gets a face full of hair cream. I think they replayed the exact same feud in Mid-South later.

 

A Dusty promo now. Starts: "Y'know, I've met some weasels in my time ..." The worst of all the weasels and stooges in his view is Don Carson! The sneakiest and most low-down of all the stooges!

 

Solie interview with Kevin Sullivan now. He claims that the TV title is his "by Divine Right". Who does he think he is, James I? He also won a bodybuilding contest. Solie asks him to do a few poses. And he obliges. "That is what won me the best back Gordon."

 

5. Kevin Sullivan vs. Steve Keirn

 

This was a really really tv good match. Great high spots, violent brawling. At least ***1/2 if not more and probably one of the best matches of Sullivan's career. Really came out of nowhere!

 

6. Charlie Cook vs. Jim Duggan

 

This is pre-Mid-South Duggan. He wants to wear protective headgear. Cook is one of the main-stay GCW jobbers. Duggan is working this match with a football helmet on. Can't believe the ref is letting this go. GCW studio ring is very very close to the floor. Bump Cook takes to the outside for the count out is tiny.

 

Another Dusty promo now after some Ole Anderson business. These duelling promos between Ole and Dusty are great! But who is Dusty's partner gonna be? It's Andre! Ole isn't happy.

 

And now "On the Road Again" music video, with Tommy Rich. Personal promo from him voiced over footage of him in the locker room getting ready. Talks about him coming back to Georgia. The tone is of soul searching. Talks about the time he spent in Memphis. Clips from Memphis. Rich might be the most Southern man ever born.

 

7. The Freebirds vs Steve O and Steve Keirn

 

Gordy and Roberts, Hayes outside. Buddy Roberts is still in quite good physical shape here, and this is the classic version of the Freebirds. Pretty good little match before Gordy tries to piledriver Keirn outside, but Tommy Rich runs in for the save. I thought Roberts looked very good in this match.

 

Post-match we get a promo from Hayes with Freebirds playing in the background. Simply dynamite promo from Hayes, electricity in a bottle.

 

Ole and Gene Anderson now. Gene is old as shit. Ole cuts another awesome promo. Gene talks too! If you've never heard him, he's like a Harley Race-style promo. Says the Wrecking Crew is like a well-oiled machine. Dusty and Andre can look out. If I was a betting man, I'd make Dusty and Andre firm favourites for this.

 

Kevin Sullivan promo now. Tells a story about how his father told him to jump out of a tree into his arms and then pulled his arms away last minute. "Do you see, son: don't trust anybody". Clips back to a match with Keirn at the Omni. Great looking match in these clips. Keira's shoulder breakers look fantastic. This was from March 1st Omni show, 1981. I do like the old trope of heels looking over a loss at an arena show and explaining why they actually won or were screwed. Classic old-school psychology.

 

Keirn comes back with his own promo now, and buries Sullivan's dad calling him a fool "in a long line of fools" for tricking his own son into falling out of a tree.

 

Might as well watch Payback, and finish this disc off later.

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