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Superstar Sleeze

Sleezin' Through The 80s

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The MartMan wants to watch some wrestling that includes promos & angles. Dont get me wrong I am still gonna watch some great pro wrestling and include that in the match discussion archive, but I just wanna devour some down home 80s cooking.  Of course if I come across anything badass Ill throw in a review. I like to start things in medias res must be the soap opera fan in my me, so lets start this completely randomly on March 9, 1985.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling

Format: Arena matches with interviews by Bob Caudle in front of the Mid-Atlantic Blue Backdrop. The TBS WCW show wouldnt start for another month and a half or so. 

Main Angle: THE CHAMP IS HERE! The World's Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair is here and he is wrestling Chic Donovan. He cuts a very subdued babyface promo on Wahoo McDaniel and that "creep" Tully Blanchard. He says Wahoo is disrespect to this great sport. Very solid Ric Flair promo, for those not familiar with babyface this type of promo would shock people, but this is classic babyface Flair. Wahoo closes the show saying it is bullshit that he put so much of himself into this sport and fuck you for saying I disrespected this show. I am paraphrasing. Wahoo is not a very good promo in my opinion, lots of stumblin', bumblin' and fumblin'. He challenges Flair to an Indian Strap Match

Match of the Night: Ric Flair vs Chic Donovan pretty easily for some reason I feel like I watched this after Loss & I were talking about how Chic Donovan just cant resist to shake his booty. Classic babyface Flair outwrestling Donovan at ease and Donovan cheating to get the advantage. We get a heat segment on Flair, but he is never in real trouble. The finish was interesting a botch but they worked it well. Flair went for a Leapfrog, but either didnt get  high enough or Donovan didnt duck low enough and Donovan ate Flair's knee. Donovan sold it like a KO show and the commentary sold it nicely. Flair slapped for the Figure-4 for the win. Borderline necessary for a review. For those not familiar with babyface Flair really should watch this because babyface Flair is truly novel from heel Flair. 

Dream Match that I am not sure happened or made tape: Tully Blanchard w/"The Perfect Ten" Baby Doll defeated a jabroni to defend his TV Championship with a typical vertical suplex. Every indictment laid against Flair is one thousandfold truly for Tully. Not much offense, lots of bump & run and stooging even for this loser. Dusty cuts a promo and says he can find his own Perfect Ten right here in Greensboro. He brings out a woman in a lavish fur coat to get under the skin of Tully. All I can say did Flair & Dusty vs Wahoo & Tully happen? Did it make tape? And how can I see it?

Silverstarr '85: Never heard of this! Sgt. Slaughter is in Mid-Atlantic?!?!?! The Russians win a squash match in a six-man tag. The Russian Sickle is more like a Running Nodowa at this point. Magnum TA, Don Kernodle and Sgt. Muthafuckin Slaughter have been signed against the The Russians. Uncle Ivan cuts a solid promo, but it brings me great sadness to report he does not say "Pride of Carolinas" when describing Kernodle. Uncle Ivan & Kernodle were a tag team in 1984 and then Kernodle found his patriotism and nephew Nikita came in. Did Silverstarr '85 make tape? Silvestarr is clearly a Dusty name as he loves the word "Starr". 

Other Squashes: Steve Casey, a British babyface scientific wrestler had boring squash. Black Bart had a short squash. Barbarian looked amazing in his squash. Paul Jones cut a yell-y promo that was very ok. He demeaned Barbarian saying dont ever step in front of me. Could have set up a decent Barbie face turn. Boogie Woogie cut a mostly unintelligible promo but his cadence and conviction were so good, it was fucking awesome! Oh Paul Jones shaved off his beard, my bruthas & sistas so fuck him!

Mid-South 3/9/86

Format: Matches in front of the Irish McNeil Boys Club, in between the size of a studio wrestling and a full arena like WWF or JCP was doing. The most disappointing aspect is the lack of promos. This is very wrestling-heavy. I am hankering for some great promos & angles so doesnt scratch that itch like Crockett. Furthermore, I think Crockett's style is better to get heat. You cant beat the wrestlers cutting promos. Jim Ross & Joel Watts can hew & haw all they want, but the best way to build that heat and emotion connection is let the wrestlers rip it on the mic. I think Crockett has it right. 

Match of the Night: Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs Terry Taylor for the Television Championship (a medal worn by Vero's Hero). I am a bugger Terry Taylor fan than most and lower on Jake The Snake than most, sometimes less is just less, brutha. I thought this was very energetic for Jake. It was probably 8-10 minutes but was action-packed. I watched this last night, I might go back and review it because it was a really strong workrate match. There was a really good spot early with Taylor CLOCKING Jake with a right cross and Jake selling it with the slither powder. I recall a pretty clean finish for Taylor. The more important part is the angle after where Jake the Snake drops the Champ with a DDT on the chair busting Taylor open. So that feud is just getting started. JR puts over Joel Watts' video editing ability. We get a video package for Vero's Hero and his forced smile. Taylor should have been a heel from jump, definitely something smarmy about him. 

Commentary: Mid-South fans is it typical for Joel Watts to walk all over JR on commentary. He is always shouting over him and doing the vast majority of play by play. JR was good when he got a chance to talk which was not often. 

Dream Tag Team That Did Happen & I Got To See: Hacksaw Duggan & Kerry Muthafuckin Von Erich! OH HELL YEAH! These are my two favorites from Mid-South & World Class respectively FUCK YEAH! I love Mid-South Duggan he just has this Northern Blue Collar grit to him like a Bruno or a DDP. I just dig that vibe. Huge fan of the Flair vs Kerry series (dont sleep on their Mid-South series, 4/28/85 is a contender for their best match ever). They wrestled Hercules Hernandez (doing a Sheik gimmick) and Gino Hernandez. You know it wouldnt have been half-bad in some promotion they did a Gino & Hercules are brothers or cousins gimmick. Gino as the mouth and Hercules as the heavy. I didnt think the heels added much. This was all about the babyfaces and the fire and charisma they brought. Ted DiBiase came out, OH SHIT THATS RIGHT, the Loser Leaves Town match is still coming up! Duggan has gotten a hold of the Coal Miner's Glove and blasts one of the heels, I think Hercules and Kerry picks up the win . Nice way to build the DiBiase/Duggan program. Kerry cut a typical Kerry promo which a fumblin, stumblin, bumblin promo. It looks like they are setting up Flair vs Kerry in the territory. 

Other Squashes: Kamala crushes a jobber but crushes him so fucking bad he gets DQ'd...Splash off the top rope. Iceman King Parsons short squash, looked good. Dirty White Boys (Tony Anthony & Len Denton) won a squash, underwhelmed. They were not very heelish. There was a "Barbarian" squash, but it was not the real Barbarian. Who is this Mickey Mouse Barbarbian? Seriously? I didnt recognize him at all. 

Match that went too long: Buddy Landell vs Brad Armstrong, Buddy was a great heel, but not too much to this one. It didnt really stick with me. Interesting Mid-South had two competitive matches compared to Mid-Atlantic having zero (yes Flair vs Donovan was a good match but nobody thought Donovan was going to win).

World Class Championship Wrestling 3/9/85

Format: Sportatorium footage with Bill Mercer on commentary. 1985 is not a high water mark for World Class, lets see what they got. No promos. Was Crockett/Georgia/Florida unique for focusing so much on promos?

Main Angle: Before the Kerry Von Erich vs Rip Oliver match, Sunshine announces she is going to bring someone in to clean up World Class

Matches That Went Far Too Long: MX (Condrey & Eaton) w/Jim Cornette vs Adidas & Johnny Mantel and Kerry Von Erich vs "Crippler" Rip Oliver w/Jim Cornette. These are the type of matches you can only get away with in the 80s because the crowds were invested in the characters and simply wanting the babyface to win. Kerry & The Claw (We Want The Claw chants very prevalent) were wicked over, but so were midcard bums like Adidas & Mantel. Nowadays the crowds cares about great matches and who wins from a who should be pushed standpoint? I could see many fans being like MX needs this win going against Fantastics. It is like for fucks sake when did pro wrestling become a giant marketing meeting between promoter/wrestlers/fans. I guess it always has been so let me qualify why is it a self-conscious marketing meeting! Both matches were pretty boring. Eaton was in a putrid, jabroni-looking blue & purple cross patch one arm tarzan singlet. 

Video Package: I enjoyed the MX vs Fantastics matches in World Class (yes the ones in 88 Crockett are better, but these are good too). I really liked the video package to get us up to speed on the "fued". 

Squashes: One Man Gang with Gary Hart squash. OMG never been one of my dudes, but I will keep an open mind. 

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Going to reformat this, the Sunshine mystery man angle hooked me so I started watching World Class week by week. I am going to do months of TV for a single promotion per post. 

 

WORLD CLASS CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING MARCH 1985

3/2/85

TV Match of the Month: I had an inkling I had seen this before specifically when I saw Kevin take two feet to the mush on a missed splash attempt. You know that lame spot in wrestling. When the dude jumps off the top/middle rope and eats a foot, but you have no clue what offensive move he was going to do because he stops a mile short and protects himself on the boot, Kevin Von Erich and goes fucking flying into the double boot of Gino. I was thinking, damn I am pretty sure I have seen this before and I was correct. This match is an absolute fucking CORKER! It finished #26 on the DVDVR Texas set. I am so glad, I didnt remember I had seen it. You knew from jump this was going to be a banger of a wrestling match. Kerry/Adams so a cool criss-cross right into a BANG! Superkick! Popped me huge! It is torrential downpour of kickass pro wrestling. This is Kevin Von Erich at his best just being a total Tasmasian Devil and Kerry is a stud here, nails a really cool Discus Punch at one point. Adams & Gino are great heels! ****1/2, it is the match discussion archive under its tape date of 2/22/85. World Class had the top two matches of the month!

Midnights vs Fantastics: World Class has the thinnest roster but they make the most of it. The Von Erichs vs Dynamic Duo are the main event, but the Midnights & Fantastic anchor the show. We get clips of a great PYTs vs Fantastics match. I need to see what footage we have of those two badass tag teams! First time seeing Bobby Eaton since his death definitely brought a tear to me as he won a squash with a Middle Rope Knee. Thank you, Bobby, rest in peace, brutha. Bobby Fulton vs Jack Victory at like 7-8 minutes was way better than it had any right to be. Fulton is so damn charismatic. Booty-shaking his way into the hearts and minds of anyone who watches him. He wins the match with a crossbody. Jack Victory may have the worst hair cut I have ever seen. It was a Dumb & Dumber mullet. Picture a mullet, but with a bowl cut in the front. Hideous. 

3/9/85

Format: Sportatorium footage with Bill Mercer on commentary. 1985 is not a high water mark for World Class, lets see what they got. No promos. Was Crockett/Georgia/Florida unique for focusing so much on promos?

Main Angle: Before the Kerry Von Erich vs Rip Oliver match, Sunshine announces she is going to bring someone in to clean up World Class

Matches That Went Far Too Long: MX (Condrey & Eaton) w/Jim Cornette vs Adidas & Johnny Mantel and Kerry Von Erich vs "Crippler" Rip Oliver w/Jim Cornette. These are the type of matches you can only get away with in the 80s because the crowds were invested in the characters and simply wanting the babyface to win. Kerry & The Claw (We Want The Claw chants very prevalent) were wicked over, but so were midcard bums like Adidas & Mantel. Nowadays the crowds cares about great matches and who wins from a who should be pushed standpoint? I could see many fans being like MX needs this win going against Fantastics. It is like for fucks sake when did pro wrestling become a giant marketing meeting between promoter/wrestlers/fans. I guess it always has been so let me qualify why is it a self-conscious marketing meeting! Both matches were pretty boring. Eaton was in a putrid, jabroni-looking blue & purple cross patch one arm tarzan singlet. 

Video Package: I enjoyed the MX vs Fantastics matches in World Class (yes the ones in 88 Crockett are better, but these are good too). I really liked the video package to get us up to speed on the "fued". 

Squashes: One Man Gang with Gary Hart squash. OMG never been one of my dudes, but I will keep an open mind. 

3/16/85
 

Format: Seems to be squash up front, one angle, one long midcard match and then a hot main event (last week notwithstanding) 

Main Angle: Chris Adams, the American Heavyweight Champion has fired Gary Hart about quitting for him. Gary Hart pulls the 'ol you cant fire me, I fire you gimmick. The Bill Mercer sitdown with Gary Hart was amazing. Mercer was just asking good, solid questions and Gary would get angrier and angrier. It would be one fist that slammed the table, then two, it would start to knock over their sweet teas and then the table went flying. Gary Hart vows vengeance on Chris Adams using One Man Gang
 

Hot Main Event: Midnight Express vs Fantastics for American tag titles, so hot that I made a review for this in Match Discussion Archive. Just classic, classic stuff from them. Corny gets MX intentionally DQ'd but after the match Manning says three strikes youre out and strips MX of the tag belts. There will be a rematch down the line.

Sunshine Angle: Mercer announces Sunshine's man will be here next week, this is what hooked me. Sunshine is a good promo. 

Midcard Shit: Johnny Mantel & Brian Adidas as friends of the Von Erichs definitely anchor the midcard. Adidas has the better look and I recognized his name. I had never heard of Mantel. Adidas beat El Diablo a masked jobber to get ready for Chris Adams next week and Johnny Mantel had a nice little babyface vs babyface draw with Sweet Brown Sugar Skip Young. I have more of a stomach for babyface vs babyface scientific draws. It was solid. 

3/23/85

Main Angle: Hercules Hernandez is Sunshine's mystery man, kind of a letdown to be honest. Thats more because I am unfamiliar with Herc. He looked like a smaller Brody and was kinda doing the Huss gimmick. Is he known for aping Brody's stuff? Hercules mows down Corny's men...Rip Oliver and Midnight Express. 

Hot Main Event: Chris Adams vs Brian Adidas (non-title). I would give this *** just under what I feel is necessary for a full blown review. Adams was your typical 80s heel champion. It was confusing at first because I figured he would be a babyface based on the Gary Hart angle, but World Class was the pioneer of the three-way feud (see Von Erichs/Birds/Devastation Inc). The idea here was Adams is still a prick and feuding with Von Erichs but is also feuding with Gary Hart & OMG. He was feeding Adidas obstacles that he could quite literally walk through. Lots of bumping and stooging. He reminded me of Tully Blanchard. Good, mean heat segment on Adidas. He looked vicious. I liked the extended comeback of Adidas it was a couple maneuvers where they both got hurt before he took over. The Airplane Spin into the FU popped me. Adams survived. I forget the exact finish but OMG came out and ruined the match. I usually hate this booking, but there is a key exception here. Just do it in the first five minutes of the match, BUT OMG is NOT trying to help either one in fact he wants to squash both. So it makes more sense for him to wait for both men to tucker each other out and then jump both men. Adams nails a wicked Superkick, which stuns OMG long enough for Adams to make his getaway and leave Adidas to the monster. Mercer does a great job explaining this is the first time we have ever even seen OMG stunned and usually the Superkick is a KO blow. It is puts over the Superkick and OMG at the same time. Really hot angle. OMG won the squash match of the week. 

Midcard Mania: Kelly "And Stuff" Kiniski is here and is taking on Johnny Mantel. Kiniski has a shaved head and is wrestling a roughhousing style without heeling too, too much but you can tell he is the heel. I am 99% sure Mantel wins here, but honestly even though I watched this last night I kinda forget. 

3/30/85

Main Angle: No angle this week. Sunshine & Mercer did an interview at ringside which a change of pace for World Class. She is very normal in a good way. She is a natural but seems like she could be your next door neighbor in a good way. She hints at bringing someone else in. My interest is piqued. There should be more mystery man angles in wrestling. Fantastics come out and cut a pretty bland babyface promo. 

Hot Main Event: Kerry & Kevin Von Erichs vs Dynamic Duo in Texas Tornado Match! First time seeing the Von Erichs in a while. Texas Tornado matches can be raucous mayhem, but I thought this didnt reach the highs it could have. *** There seemed like the coordination between the two pairs was not always on. The double dropkick in the shine was great. All the claw work was interesting. It was kinda on the short side and didnt really get as heated as it could have. The Dynamic Duo whip the Von Erichs with their belts (Gino was the Texas Heavyweight Champion) triggering the DQ. Would have liked to see some angle development with OMG &  Gary Hart but oh well. 

Midcard Mania: Kelly "And Stuff" Kiniski is back working some New York jobber and takes way too long to put him away. Oh boy. Iceman Parsons and Rip Oliver have the most Platonic Ideal 80s midcard babyface vs heel draw. Picture a **1/2 average babyface vs heel match from the 80s those two had it.

I will go back and watch 3/2/85 to round this out. 3/16 and 3/23 were the best shows. 3/9 & 3/30 are skippable. I love how each episode is 40-45 minutes. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling March 1985

3/2/85

Main Angle: No big angle, really. They bring up Tully injuring Dusty's ear but they drop that next week. So I guess it is not just 21st Century Vince that loves to drop angles. Tully's promo at the end of the show is pretty good mocking Dusty. Dusty is classic with Magnum. It sounds like Mags is new in the territory and you can tell Dusty saw dollar signs in Magnum. 

Match of the Night: Dory Funk Jr vs Steve Casey fucking ruled! Excellent ten minute scientific draw. Loved this. This is one of my favorite types of wresting. I did a full review on the Match Discussion Archive so check it out there. 

Dad Wrestling: Dont you miss the days when Dad Fights would main event wrestling shows. Ron Bass & Buzz Tyler look like the Dads on the street that hate each other. Ron Bass is the sourpuss alcoholic Dad that no one likes. Buzz Tyler is the Dad that embarrasses  his kids but friends love because he is a total goof. It was pretty boring, formulaic wrestling but once you see it through that lens it is more entertaining. This is for the Mid-Atlantic Title too, which Buzz Tyler would win at Silverstarr '85 I believe. Tyler hits the Avalanche on Bass behind the ref's back, but he nails it on JJ before the double countout finish 

Midcard Mania: Don Kernodle announces the returns of Sgt Slaughter to fight the Russians at Silverstarr '85. Uncle Ivan taunts the babyfaces and the crowd by touting that American Law keeps Sarge and Kernodle from teaming again, great reference to Final Conflict. Barbarian looked fucking killer in his squash. Superstar Graham is the Kung Fu Mater of the Universe BABY! 

3/9/85

Format: Arena matches with interviews by Bob Caudle in front of the Mid-Atlantic Blue Backdrop. The TBS WCW show wouldnt start for another month and a half or so. 

Main Angle: THE CHAMP IS HERE! The World's Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair is here and he is wrestling Chic Donovan. He cuts a very subdued babyface promo on Wahoo McDaniel and that "creep" Tully Blanchard. He says Wahoo is disrespect to this great sport. Very solid Ric Flair promo, for those not familiar with babyface this type of promo would shock people, but this is classic babyface Flair. Wahoo closes the show saying it is bullshit that he put so much of himself into this sport and fuck you for saying I disrespected this show. I am paraphrasing. Wahoo is not a very good promo in my opinion, lots of stumblin', bumblin' and fumblin'. He challenges Flair to an Indian Strap Match

Match of the Night: Ric Flair vs Chic Donovan pretty easily for some reason I feel like I watched this after Loss & I were talking about how Chic Donovan just cant resist to shake his booty. Classic babyface Flair outwrestling Donovan at ease and Donovan cheating to get the advantage. We get a heat segment on Flair, but he is never in real trouble. The finish was interesting a botch but they worked it well. Flair went for a Leapfrog, but either didnt get  high enough or Donovan didnt duck low enough and Donovan ate Flair's knee. Donovan sold it like a KO show and the commentary sold it nicely. Flair slapped for the Figure-4 for the win. Borderline necessary for a review. For those not familiar with babyface Flair really should watch this because babyface Flair is truly novel from heel Flair. 

Dream Match that I am not sure happened or made tape: Tully Blanchard w/"The Perfect Ten" Baby Doll defeated a jabroni to defend his TV Championship with a typical vertical suplex. Every indictment laid against Flair is one thousandfold truly for Tully. Not much offense, lots of bump & run and stooging even for this loser. Dusty cuts a promo and says he can find his own Perfect Ten right here in Greensboro. He brings out a woman in a lavish fur coat to get under the skin of Tully. All I can say did Flair & Dusty vs Wahoo & Tully happen? Did it make tape? And how can I see it?

Silverstarr '85: Never heard of this! Sgt. Slaughter is in Mid-Atlantic?!?!?! The Russians win a squash match in a six-man tag. The Russian Sickle is more like a Running Nodowa at this point. Magnum TA, Don Kernodle and Sgt. Muthafuckin Slaughter have been signed against the The Russians. Uncle Ivan cuts a solid promo, but it brings me great sadness to report he does not say "Pride of Carolinas" when describing Kernodle. Uncle Ivan & Kernodle were a tag team in 1984 and then Kernodle found his patriotism and nephew Nikita came in. Did Silverstarr '85 make tape? Silvestarr is clearly a Dusty name as he loves the word "Starr". 

Other Squashes: Steve Casey, a British babyface scientific wrestler had boring squash. Black Bart had a short squash. Barbarian looked amazing in his squash. Paul Jones cut a yell-y promo that was very ok. He demeaned Barbarian saying dont ever step in front of me. Could have set up a decent Barbie face turn. Boogie Woogie cut a mostly unintelligible promo but his cadence and conviction were so good, it was fucking awesome! Oh Paul Jones shaved off his beard, my bruthas & sistas so fuck him!

3/16.85

Double Hot Bizzaro Angle of The Week: Dusty Rhodes & Magnum TA save Ric Flair from a Tully Blanchard/Baby Doll/Wahoo McDaniel sneak attack with the Indian Strap. Bob Geigel had refused to let the NWA World Title be defended in an Indian Strap Match. Flair cuts a promo that Wahoo is old news and it is time to move onto the other great stars, Wahoo comes out and says Flair got his way with the Cage at Starrcade 83 what the fuck, Geigel? Flair says fuck it you wanna settle this lets go to the ring. They take off their shirts and it is FUCKING ON! They trading the leather and this molten hot. Tully jumps Flair with the Indian Strap. Tully & Baby Doll hold Flair as Wahoo whips. Dusty & Mags saves. Ultra hot angle and Ric Flair cuts one of his beautiful unhinged promos about how he does not give a fuck what Geigel says HE IS DEFENDING THE FUCKING BELT IN AN INDIAN STRAP MATCH AT SILVERSTARR '85 BRUTHA and Jim Crockett is all like Ric, what about what Geigel and Flair is all like Fuck you, Fuck Geigel, Fuck Wahoo and it is fucking glorious! I fucking love Flair. Molten hot angle that puts the heat squarely on the big Silverstarr '85 main event in Greensboro which was on the night this aired, 3/16/85.  

Tasteless Angle of the Year: Dusty slaps Baby Doll. No excuses. No it was a different time. No It was a different place. It was 1985 and everyone knows that was wrong. Dusty gave a half-assed apology. Even worse is the crowd cheered. Less said about this, the better. Embarrassing. 

Debut of the Year: Arn Muthafuckin Anderson looking like an absolute beast stud just ripping the poor arm off that jabroni. Easily the best match of the night and one of the best squashes I have seen since starting this project. Check this one out. This is a clinic. Manny Fernandez comes out to save the jaybrone from more torture but Arn being the stud he is beats the shit out of Manny. Great debut!

Magnum's Push To The Moon Continues: Mags gets two promo segments and does guest commentary. He challenges Wahoo for the US Championship once Flair is done, which makes total sense. Then he pushes the six-man with Sarge & Kernodle vs The Russians at Silverstarr, {EDIT: Chief Jay Historian @Ricky Jackson strikes again pointing out that Wrestling Data does have the match listed as taking place. I was using Caegmatch which did not have it listed. So did Sarge just choose the AWA over Crockett afterwards?). Jimmy Valiant fresh off winning a squash and kissing Tommy Young comes into the screen. Magnum  duck & evades the kiss, but Bob Caudle does not. Jimmy Valiant is coming for who else but Paul Jones, who shaved his beard. 

Other happenings: Buddy Landell debuts in the territory and fucks up the Figure-4, more on him next week. Ron Bass wins a squash and cuts a promo about the Mid-Atlantic Title. Kung Fu Billy Graham is lame as hell. I find out the Rock N Roll RPMs were a heel tag team not a babyface tag team! Learn something new everyday. MId-Atlantic runs a lot more squashes than World Class and I watched 3/16 & 3/23 back to back so I might have missed something, but I captured all the Flair, Dusty, Wahoo, Blanchard and Mags stuff, which is the real hot shit and Arn Anderson's debut ruled!  

3/23/85

Second Bizzaro World Angle: Arn Anderson shits on Ric Flair and calls Buddy Landell the true Nature Boy. Landell gets three promo segments and Arn gets two. They clearly had plans for Arn from jump as he has looked like superstar two weeks in a row. Landell got torpedoed by Flair turning heel. It is as simple as that. Flair stays babyface and there is no doubt Landell is the leader of the Four Horsemen and they run the Battle of the Nature Boys. They did not need Flair babyface. They had Dusty & Magnum as top babyfaces and if Flair was not going to travel as much it made way more sense to turn him heel. The big loser in all of this was Landell. Look I know there are a lot of Buddy marks on here and I really dont mean any insult here, but the big winner were the fans throughout the ages. Flair vs Dusty was where the money was. Anyways, Landell won his squash and properly applied the Figure-4. AA won his squash over Denny Brown, but was not as dominant and showed off his ability to stooge. Great swinging Robinson Backbreaker. The competitive match of the night was Manny Fernandez vs one of the Rock N Roll RPMS who have been renamed DJ & LP instead of Tommy Lane and Mike Davis. A Dusty call and this finish was Dusty as fuck. The RPMs switch places even though they dont look that similar. They both end up in the ring at the same time and Manny sunset flips both to two to a big pop. They redo the spot but with a crossbody for two and Double A Arn Anderson interferes and beats up the Ragin Bull. Arn had his promo skills from fucking jump. He actually feels like a bigger deal in these two weeks than he ever did as a Horsemen. He looks like a main eventer even more than Landell. Arn Anderson the World Champion is an interesting idea. Johnny Weaver was talking about Anderson psychology of isolating a limb and breaking it down. I was thinking did Ole or Gene invent modern day limb psychology because thats a pretty fucking cool feather in their cap. 

LOL Moment of the Week: Johnny Weaver calls The Longriders "Black Bass and Ron Bart" that shit hit me just right and fucking popped me huge!

The Russians Are Back: They Want the Gold, the Tag Team Gold. We find out Dusty & Manny have it! I must have known that from looking Great Hisa's site for years but totally forgot that. Dusty is feuding with Tully over the TV Title and has not mentioned he is a Tag Champion, classic Dusty. No Uncle Ivan. Nephew Nikita's Russian Accent has to go down as the worst fake Russian accent of all time. Thank God Krusher Khrushchev is an American turncoat so he can explain the angle without a bad accent. 

Tully Blanchard Promo: First one on this program, he says Dusty is keeping him off TV so he bought some time. Standard Tully fare, God I wish we got a Flair vs Tully feud proper before the Horsemen. Flair & Dusty vs Wahoo & Tully in a gimmick match is what I need in my life. 

Other shit: Barbarian fucking rules and destroyed jabroni. I love the Barbarian like it is my fucking problem. Jimmy Valiant introduced us to his "old lady". it was a bat, Bob Caudle thought it was an axehandle so maybe I was not playing attention and he is going to break Paul Jones' arm. Turns out Don Kernodle and Keith Larsen are shoot brother and are forming a tag team. No explanation on why they have different last names. I feel like I am missing something. No Flair or Wahoo. I dont remember Dusty. We covered Tully. Oh Magnum, he challenged Wahoo for the US Title which he will win a steel cage and I have definitely seen that match. I think it takes place on Worldwide I thought it was pretty good. 

3/30/85
 

Saw Guns N Roses (Axl, Slash & Duff) last night for first time at "full" strength. I had seen Axl by himself in December 2011 and Slash in like Summer 2013 or 2014 and I am really glad I went saw them together. Slash was so fucking awesome. Slash's solo/Sweet Child O Mine/November Rain maybe the greatest 20 minutes of live music I have ever heard. My memory is Axl sounded better in Dec. 2011 but his mannerisms and energy more than made up for all the wonky vocal effects and zillion backing tracks he used. Go see GNR is they are in your area, 2.5 hours of money & time well-spent. 

Been busy so I havent had time to do one of these, but watched one during lunch today. 

Main Angle: Dusty Rhodes is your new Television Champion defeating Tully Blanchard at Silverstarr '85 two weeks prior  but only being announced on TV now. The finish was Dusty driving Tully head first into a steel chair held by Wahoo McDaniel, Tully's well-intentioned ally. Baby Doll was hanging in Betty Lou. I get naming a car. I get naming a baseball bat. But naming a cage? That's just fucking bizarre. Dusty calls the shark cage that Baby Doll is being imprisoned in, Betty Lou. More on Betty Lou in a second. Tully does not blame Wahoo and the two of them jump Dusty. You can tell how much Dusty loves Betty Lou and he is distraught being slammed into "her" repeatedly. Ric Flair comes out to save, but is overwhelmed. Flair does end up beating Wahoo in the main event of that show in an Indian Strap match. The Flair & Dusty alliance is so weird, man. This is all run down via still clips in the beginning of the show and then a Dusty promo mid-show. Before the Dusty promo, Tully cuts a promo saying he wants to finish this South Texas style with barbed wire. Apparently Texans from Austin arent real Texans. This would all lead to the Barbed Wire match in July 1985. I think I have seen the 1987 version. I will have to check. Sandwiched between these two promos is a Dusty/Manny promo discussing how Dusty & Manny lost the belts to the Russians. The Russians are now the tag team and six-man tag team champions. The closing match is an impromptu match between The Russians and Magnum/Manny/"Pride of the USA" Don Kernodle who has been upgraded from "Pride of Carolinas" to "Pride of USA" pretty big promotion. 

Match of the Night: Tully Blanchard vs Steve Casey. Steve Casey is an English babyface midcarder that won a squash a few weeks back. So this was not going to be a Tully squash. Pleasantly surprised by this match as I am not a Tully guy per se, I think he is more good than great in the ring (awesome promo though). Tully worked on top the majority of the match longer than I have ever seen. He worked the arm, he could have cinched in that armbar better, but he stayed on it and they worked a lot of great highspots around it. Casey bumped & fed for Tully well which you never seen a babyface do. I thought Casey really made Tully look great. Casey sold the arm during the comeback really, really well. It was a hot comeback, great use of the dropkick, nailing it the first time for a big pop and then missing it a second time to his demise. Slingshot suplex for the clean as a sheet win for uber heel Tully was surprising. ***1/4
 

Midcard Mania: Arn Anderson's super push was cooled ever so slightly. No interaction with the Raging Bull. He beat a jobber clean dismantling the arm and winning with a strong armbar (shouldve shown Tully how it is done). Buddy Landell won again. JJ Dillon ran down the history of Buddy Rogers and Ric Flair to give some context to the Buddy Landell, Nature Boy impersonation gimmick. You can tell this was going to be a big angle until they go on TBS next month and Dusty realizes he wants Flair to be his main rival. The Barbarian looked cool as fuck as JJ (subbing for an "injured" Paul Jones) and Superstar Graham cut a promo on Boogie Woogie Man. Barbarian should have been pushed to the moon. 

I am sure the prominence of this show goes drastically down starting next month when they debut on TBS with World Championship Wrestling as this becomes the tertiary show. This was an interesting glimpse into what Crockett was like right before the TBS/Horsemen era. It was very, very different. I really wish we got Flair vs Tully as a feud at some point. Alas, oh well. 


 

 

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 Before all these I was watching some WWF Saturday Night Main Events on Peacock that I thought were wicked fun. I haven’t gotten around to writing about them it has been two weeks or so but I want to get my thoughts down. 
 

WWF Saturday Nights Main Event 1985

Three episodes in the inaugural year and I really enjoyed them. I think the 80s were the height of Vince’s booking and vision. The late 90s was more of his hand being forced, the talent he has and others vision. 
 

5/11/85

Theme: Mothers Day celebration being thrown by Cyndi Lauper on the heels of WrestleMania. Cyndi feels like a huge deal and she’s an earnest promo. The Wendi/Moolah match was nothing but Cyndi lends huge star power. Moolah ends up in the cake. The real standout is Hulk Hogan’s mom is there! Ever want to see what Hulk would look like in drag…look at his mom! It’s uncanny!

Main Angle: Mr. Wonderful babyface turn on Piper’s Pit. Piper & Orndorff were a tag team at the main event of WrestleMania on the losing end. If memory serves me, Piper is normal badgering self and Orndorff has enough of it. Hogan vs Orton is pretty much the match of the night by default. Piper vs Orndorff ‘85 feud is my biggest WWF blind spot pre-2015.

Midcard Mania: Barry Windham in WWF is so weird. George The Animal Steele begins his babyface turn. Hearing Fink say Dorchester without a Boston accent is jarring. JYD is a big deal and comes across as the #2 babyface. If remember correctly the Hillbillies wedding was announced on this show maybe I was wrong. 
 

10/5/85

Theme: Uncle Elmer’s Wedding. Roddy Piper interrupts and is a prick. Jesse The Body rips the wedding. Says when they kiss that it looks like two carp in Mississippi fighting over food. Which popped me. Vince didn’t hear him so Jesse repeated the joke which is never as good. There’s a reception at the end of the show and Jesse has a hilarious poem ripping the two of them. Check that out! I love a wrestling wedding and this was pretty good. The Hillbillies are a great gimmick. There should always be a fun goofy loveable babyface for the heels To bully and then overcome.

Match of the Night: Piper vs Orndorff was a great out of control brawl. I need to watch their house show matches.

Hogan’s Match: Beat Sexy Nikki V in a Flag match. I had seen this before. Volkoff’s backbreaker was the one standout. Otherwise Standard Hogan.

Midcard Mania: Andre & Atlas vs Studd & Bundy was perfect to setup Andre & Hogan vs Studd & Bundy. Studd & Bundy are clearly the top heels and Bobby is being positioned high on the card. Bundy is doing a splash on prone opponents and injure their backs. The Dream Team have become Tag Team Champions (Dream Team vs US Express was awesome) and beat Lanny Poffo & Tony Garea. Valentine rules and Lanny Poffo hits a cool moonsault Too.

11/2/85

 Theme: Halloween, the competitions between babyface and heels are entertaining . The costumes were fun. Macho Man is in the house as Tarzan and Liz is Jane. Cool to see Macho Man in WWF. On the flip side there is an off location video shoot at Roddy Piper’s house. I run hot & cold with Piper. Even in the 80s Piper has shit that doesn’t land. This shit at his house is just batshit insane and it is not funny. It is weird at best and creepy at worst. One of the worst segments I have seen in a while.

Main Angle: Continue building King Kong Bundy up with a tag match with Studd against Hogan & Andre. I remember this being a very fun behemoth match. This would come to head in a couple months. I don’t remember much else.

Hillbillies: Piper has them on the Pit. Hillbilly Jim is fucking yoked. I like the thread they have woven to build to Piper/Orton/The Body vs Hillbillies for next SNME.

Midcard Mania: Terry Funk vs JYD was super fun. Funk is doing a branding gimmick. Of course Jimmy Hart gets de-pants and branded. Steamboat vs Muraco feud makes its first appearance on SNME. They show the hanging angle. Steamboat and Fuji have a Kung fu match. My Dad got a kick out of seeing Fuji wrestle. Macho Man makes his SNME debut against Tito Santana, this is also the debut of Santana & the IC Title on SNME, which was only used once in the first five SNMEs. Sub-five minute double countout, it is Savage vs Santana so it is obviously good, but they had much better in 1986 on the house show loop.

Writing about this makes it seems Like these SNMEs were mediocre but I thought these were entertaining and breezy. You could devour like 2, 3 of these at a time without issue. The characters at this point are just top notch. I love how colorful they are. Really good period. 

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WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 1986

My big takeaway from Saturday Night's Main Event is just how big of a deal Junkyard Dog was. It feels like Tito/IC Championship takes a backseat to him. JYD and Hogan have really good chemistry. It is very interesting how Vince really likes his babyfaces to be "simpletons" for lack of a better word. JYD, George "The Animal" Steele, Hillbillies, and Duggan later are all fun-loving characters that are just simple men with simple pleasures that keep coming across these pricks that ruin their good time. Hogan is not exactly a rocket scientist either. It does fit in with the American ethos that the hard-working, ordinary American can best the high-powered businessman or intellectual. The heroes just need good 'ol fashioned innate American ingenuity, instinct and hard work and they can beat out "smart" people like The Brain or the rich like Ted DiBiase. It fits really well with American ideology of individualistic populism that we are born inherently with the capability to achieve our dreams, we just need to work hard, we dont need to be smart or rich. It also prizes physical attributes like strength, speed and athleticism over other qualities. Which again makes sense as those are more directly under the control of the individual than education or wealth.  I am not just trying to comment whether this is right or wrong. I think Vince's characters fit really well in 80s America and it really interesting to view American ideology through 1980s WWF.   

1/4/86

Theme: "Fun In The Sun" they are at a Florida Water Park. Lots of really fun skits. Jesse The Body & Hot Rod hanging out poolside with the ladies. Hulkster drinking a protein shake with Mean Gene and JYD/Jimmy Hart water slide race. Good craic all around as the Irish would say. 

Match of the Night: Hulk Hogan vs Terry Funk, definitely the best match to take place on SNME thus far. Really interesting to see Jimmy Hart's man get a crack at the Hulkster. Jimmy Hart was feuding with #2 babyface, JYD and The Brain was Hogan's main adversary. Thats really cool. Terry Funk vs Hulk Hogan at the peak of Hulkamania is a dream match that is pretty cool that happened. Terry Funk does not seem like a Vince guy, but I think Vince respected the NWA Champions as he brought all of them post-Dory in and gave them all good runs. I think thats the number one reason Terry Funk got pushed was because Vince respected those Champions. It was the Best of Terry Funk in this match as he squeezed all his favorite 1985 spots in one entertaining blockbuster against the Hulkster. I thought this was the better, more refined match from their Philly outing. A lot of the same spots but better organized and they were on the same page. For instance, late in the Philly match after a clothesline, Hogan was clearly thinking elbow drop for the flex and pop. Funk wanted to sell and feed for another bump. Who's right, probably Hogan, but now they were firing on all cylinders. I loved the Funk throwing in a chair and Hogan sitting down calling him out. Real fun stuff. The Floridian in the Hawaiian shirt was super into this match and I loved it. It was the tape choke into the piledriver for Funk's big spots. They ran a good false finish with Hart jabbing Hogan with the branding iron on a suplex attempt from apron to the ring, but Hogan got his foot on the ropes. AXE-BOMBAH~! Hogan defeats the Man from The Double Cross Ranch. Really tight, strong SNME match. ***1/2

Hillbillies: After a two episode build and here it is Hillbilles vs Piper/Orton/Ventura! I was really excited because I dig anything with a good story build, but outside Piper & Orton there was just too much dead weight to make this good. I wish they went with more gaga. It was very alright. Shame.

Midcard Mania: Randy Savage wrestles George The Animal Steele in his second SNME match (thanks Frankensteiner). The Steele/Elizabeth infatuation is a genius angle. Really good stuff. Perfect way to get Macho Man over as a possessive heel prick. Really good work from a character/angle perspective. Volkoff vs Kirchner in a Peace Match was topical because the Soviet Union was slowly opening up and dissolving so I think this was in reference to some international event. JYD & Steamboat at least according to SNME are ahead of Tito in the pecking order. Since Jimmy Hart's main man is wrestling Hogan. JYD helps Steamboat out against Muraco & Fuji. Not memorable. I am not a Muraco guy at all though.  

3/1/86

Theme: No real theme. It is clearly the Build to WrestleMania show as they shoot all the angles to get you pumped up for WrestleMania II. Also the iconic Hulk Hogan "Real American" video debuts and my Dad had never seen and was just marking out so fucking hard. It is an amazing piece of Americana. Vince is really good at tapping into stuff like that. 

Main Angle: Hulk Hogan is injured by King Kong Bundy to set up the Mania II cage match. This is one of the rare Hogan injury angles of the 80s. He did the celeb match against the loudmouth the year before, he would do two years of Clash of Titans with Andre, romance with Savage & Liz, Clash of Titans with a babyface in Warrior, America vs "Foreigner" in Slaughter. So they didnt run too many injury angles which is probably the most common angle to run so give them credit to not go to that well too much. Made sense here with the size of Bundy. Hogan is defending against Muraco who he did a MSG trilogy with in summer of 1985. Muraco is managed by Fuji, but he is "sick" so The Brain is stepping in tonight. This is just a plot device to get Heenan out there so that the heat stays squarely on the Brain. Nothing match until Bundy runs interference. The three heels beatdown Hogan and Bundy does his Avalanche splashes to injure Hogan which he was doing against other babyfaces in the run up to this angle. This would have been a great spot for Big John Studd, a Heenan family member who was still with the company and actively teaming with Bundy but he is not used here even in the run-in. Odd. 

Match of the Night: Dream Team vs British Bulldogs, one of the best tag feuds of the era. Loved this match. I need to go back and watch this and review it. 

Dont Sleep On: JYD vs Adrian Adonis this was a shit ton of fun! JYD continues his feud with Jimmy Hart. Adrian Adonis bumps like a fucking madman so many great tandem comedy spots with Adonis & Jimmy. Fucking loved this! ***

Bob Orton vs Mr. T: Awesome piece of business to set up Piper vs T at Mania II. Great gaga shit and then Piper whipping him with the belt in the process.

Easily the best SNME so far. Piper/T & Hogan/Bundy ran hot angles. JYD/Adonis was a really fun comedy match. Dream Team vs Bulldogs brought the workrate action. It really has something for everyone. If every wrestling show was like this, I would have no complaints. 

5/3/86

Watched this a while back on some random Saturday morning with my Dad up in the Maine cabin. Lets see what I remember, ok remember the card, but I dont remember there being a theme or a main angle, checked some reviews and thats because there wasnt. Hogan did a promo in an empty arena about overcoming the odds against Bundy at Mania II oh and they show like a good 5 minutes of the end of Hogan & Bundy. They were really putting over Mania and making the event feel really big like you cant ever miss it. This was more of a backwards looking show then a forwards looking show. 

Match of the Night: TIE! Yes I really liked both the Hogan & JYD vs Funks and the Orndorff vs Adonis matches. Hogan locking up with Junior was just a surreal sight. Hogan vs Terry is always super fun. My memories are vague but it was a very enjoyable match. I thought it was ~***. I would give the same rating to Wonderful vs Adonis. This is pre-turn for Orndorff. I am a sucker for the Adonis gimmick. I thought he did well in it and really bumped hard. Great interactions with Jimmy Hart. 

Angle of the Night:  Jake the Snake is supposed to face off against Ricky The Dragon in Jake first big match but instead he DDTs Steamboat out cold on the concrete to set up their big summer program. Definitely check out their Boston 8/9/86 match if you have not! I had that at ****1/2. Hot upper midcard feud.

Worst Match Ever?: King Kong Bundy vs Uncle Elmer was the drizzling shits. Elmer really dragged this down with his lack of charisma and his complete inability to register or sell. One of the worst individual performances I have ever seen.

Tag Team Title Match: British Bulldogs successfully defend against Sheik & Volkoff. This is the match where Dynamite is apparently injured according to Vince and thus you dont see him in action until the 3rd fall. Here is my review: 

What a weird match. We find out in the 3rd fall that Dynamite was injured as up until the final minute Davey Boy wrestled the whole match (EDIT: Vince mentions it earlier than that, but I must have not heard it the first time). First fall sees Volkoff wrangling Smith and dropping him throat first across the ropes. Sheiky Baby comes in with a wicked back suplex and makes him humble old country way.

McMahon goes overboard with how gallant Davey Boy is while wondering why Smith hasn't tagged out. The whole fall is Smith taking heat from the Iranian and Soviet. Sheik hits his sweet gutwrench suplex and Volkoff busts out a nice rolling armbar into a pin, seriously that was the coolest thing I have ever seen Volkoff do. However, "that idiot thinks he won the match" and Bulldog rolls him up from behind to win the second fall.

The third fall sees Davey Boy continue to make his comeback by hitting a running powerslam, but can't negotiate a pinfall. He tags in Dynamite who is immediately bearhugged to death while McMahon says they will go after the legs (someone didn't get a memo). Gutwrench suplex and Sheik is ready to break his back and make him humble, but Davey Boy thwarts him and rolls him up for the victory no tag.

10/4/86

Watched this the same weekend with my Dad memories arent as fuzzy as this has a super hot angle. 

Main Angle: ROWDY RODDY PIPER SAVES HULK HOGAN FROM A BEATDOWN! I didnt even know this happened! I think I remember I watched some Hogan & Piper tag matches from MSG later in the year for Tag Teams Back Again, but either I forgot the angle or I was ignorant. This was fucking wild! I think the biggest thing about watching all these back is realizing how big of a deal Piper is. I always put Piper more in line with a Ricky Steamboat or a Jake Roberts in that second tier of stars, but he was legitimately in that main event class with Hogan, Andre and Savage. It is hard to gauge pre-1988 WWF without watching it because there arent the big four PPVs to help you understand who is a big deal. This felt as molten maybe even moreso than the MegaPowers reunion. Here's the backstory, Mr. Wonderful turns on Hulk Hogan with the famous short-arm clothesline, but the impetus really happened on the Flower Shop where Adonis was dripping poison in the ear of Orndorff. As I have mentioned before Adonis was the straw that stirred the WWF drink in 1986 with his fingers in Savage/Tito, Hogan/Orndorff and his own feud with Piper. Piper made his triumphant return after his hiatus from Mania II and tore down the Flower Shop in a must see angle. Adonis & Orton complete with a pink Cowboy Hat retaliated and injured Piper's leg. So Piper cant technically wrestle tonight, but he is a wild man and cant be stopped. Orndorff has stolen Hogan's theme because he is a REAL American. (somebody should really steal that gimmick) We get ten solid minutes of Hogan vs Orndorff action. Adonis interferes and attacks Hogan. Piper saves! Electric moment. Piper & Hogan standoff...no handshake! I go either way on this. I see people's point that would be too quick for them to become best friends, but at the same time a handshake right then & there would have BLOWN THE ROOF OFF THE PLACE! It is not like Hogan & Piper ended up having that seminal handshake to my knowledge so I think it would be worth the pop. I like that Hogan cuts a promo against Piper later explaining he still doesnt trust Piper. Piper ends up defying the doctor's orders kicks Pedro Morales out of the ring (which popped my Dad as his peak fandom was during the Pedro's years not Bruno's). Piper beats up Sheiky Baby. Awesome ***** Angle!

Match of the Night: British Bulldogs successfully retain against the Dream Team in what is my favorite match between the two teams. I do like this more than Mania II which I like more as a Valentine individual performance and feel-good match. This match feels like a more complete tag match. I went very high ****1/4 when I reviewed, this most recent time I thought it was ****, but this is definitely one of the best tags of the era. 

Midcard Mania: Kamala defeats Lanny Poffo in the late night squash. I am a mark for the Kamala gimmick and the Wizard was great on his promo.  Jake The Snake & Ricky The Dragon wrap up their feud as The Dragon has an alligator with him. I think WCW sprung for a Komodo Dragon, but WWF was going for it apparently. They had better matches at house shows specifically Boston, 8/9/86, but this was still a really fun TV blow off match and it is cool they got this spot to blow off the feud that started on the last Saturday Night's Main Event. I dug the continuity. I went ***3/4 in my original review which surprised me a little as when I watched a couple weeks ago I felt like ***1/2 was more appropriate. 

Conclusion: My favorite Saturday Night's Main Event, massive hot angle that caught me unawares, awesome Hogan & Piper promos, Bulldogs vs Dream Team having the best match of the show's history and a hot blow off to Jake the Snake and Ricky The Dragon. 

11/29/86

This one I started watching on Saturday and finished up today so it is more fresh in my memory. No theme except for some reason Jesse The Body is wearing a toupee. I have no idea why. Vince is openly taking shots at it throughout the night. It is just bizarre.

Main Angle: I would hesitate to say "main" angle, but it was the biggest angle of the show as the Hot Rod goes up against former best friend, "Acey Baby" Bob Orton donning the pink hat as Adrian Adonis' bodyguard. Surprisingly no Adrian though. They show an awesome video package of how Piper and Orton used to be the best of friends. Orton is an underrate promo and says there never any friendship, it was all about the money. Piper says he had to work hard to get Lucy to go out with Orton and utters the iconic line, "I was rowdy before rowdy was cool". Piper was also really hung up on how "cute" and "pretty" he is which I did find pretty humorous. The match starts off red-hot and looks like it on its way to being an awesome out of control brawl, but has a tepid finish with Orton getting distracted and Piper rolling him up. Piper could beat Orton clean in a great street fight and that would have been awesome. Fun stuff, really liked the video package and Piper's promos. 

Hulk Hogan: Hogan, I think is still nominally feuding with Orndorff, but they had been feuding all summer and the Hogan vs Wonderful TV blowoff was scheduled for the next SNME on New Years weekend. We get a throwaway Hogan opponent, Hercules. Herc is never done much for me. He was fine here, I guess. I am a mark for the Torture Rack so that was cool. Hogan formula all the way. Herc just felt like the challenger du jour. The highlight is the promo beforehand which is a classic coked out of his mind Hogan promo about hanging with his main squeeze Eve in the Garden of Eden and bellowing "THIS IS WHERE THE POWER LIES" pointing at his palm. Between Hogan and Piper, a really great promo episode. 

Match of the Night: Randy Savage vs Jake The Snake Roberts heel vs heel barnburner. You can tell how much Vince liked Jake as he has been on three straight SNME's. I really do think this was a test to see which wrestler Vince wanted to turn babyface. Vince openly wonders who the fans would side with. He predicts the Macho Man which is classic Vince red herring knowing the match would be structured to get Jake over. I really do think he was listening. He ended up turning both with Savage going onto bigger success. I really enjoyed watching this one back.  I was higher than my original review upping this to ***3/4

 

Midcard Mania: Koko B. Ware, Dicky Slater and Hart Foundation debut. I used to think as a child the way to pronounce Koko's name was K-O, K-O Beware. Like he was going to knock you out. Little did I know he was a tiny little dude, then only to find out he murders jobbers dead in squash matches. Koko beat Sexxy Nikki V with a distraction rollup, a fucking hate that finish. Koko looked great, some awesome dropkicks. Volkoff is going nowhere, are we just protecting the size differential? Koko felt over, give him a clean win. I really liked the Slick/Volkoff interactions. Slick is someone because of my age I have not seen a lot of, but I can see why he was a favorite. What the fuck was this Dick Slater vs Don Muraco, 2 minute match at the end. Dick Slater is supposed to be a babyface wearing a Confederate flag in a NORTHERN promotion. It is bad enough I have to deal with this shit down South with the Freebirds, but in the North too...Slater worked hard. Threw some good punches, but got tripped up and Muraco kinda hit the Asiatic Spike, but Muraco is a such a lame turd who knows. I do like how Muraco says the reason he took the match is because him & Fuji really like Slater's entrance theme. Fuji sang the theme with a Southern drawl and it popped me huge. I think someone should steal that as a reason for why they want to wrestle someone. I just wanted to hear their theme song; so I am wrestling them. lol. The Hart Foundation promos with the Bee puns were so cringe-inducing. It was fucking terrible. The Bees' masked confusion gimmick was the shits for a babyface team. This being positioned as #1 contenders match for the Bulldogs' titles so I was surprised the Bees won as the Hart Foundation/Bulldogs was going around the loop at this time. Brunzell hit a murder dropkick that was amazing. The Hart Foundation heat segment on Brunzell was fucking awesome. Here's my old review seems harsh as that heat segment was really good even if the shit with masks sucked later:

This is not as good as their MSG match due to time constraints and the focus on getting over gimmicks, but it was a decent match. Bret ate a high knee early from Brunzell, which surprised me. Hart Foundation take over with the blind knee (somebody fucked up and ran the ropes towards the middle and Bret had to leap and slide to bury the knee in his back). Demolition Decapitation and then Anvil hits a freakin dropkick. Brunzell hits his dropkick, but cant capitalize that is a pretty good hope spot having seen it twice now. Both Bees end up on the outside: MASKED CONFUSION~!

Blair with an atomic drop on Hart sending him into Brunzell and now Anvil irish whipped into Bret. It is pandemonium in there, baby. Blair with the sleeper on Anvil, but Brunzell lets Bret hit a double axe-handle from the top that way he can switch with Blair while the ref is admonishing Bret. Bret gets the tag and eats the small package.
 

 

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11 minutes ago, Superstar Sleeze said:

Randy Savage makes his SNME debut against George The Animal Steele. The Steele/Elizabeth infatuation is a genius angle. Really good stuff.

Didn't he debut the previous SNME? I know he had a short match with Tito for the IC Title. Did that get edited out of the Peacock version?

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Mid-South Wrestling March 1985

3/2/85

Main Angle: Bill Watts & Hacksaw Jim Duggan go on anti-gun control rant and relate to wrestling because if Watts takes away the chairs, chains and brass knuckles, the outlaws will still have them. You gotta fight fire with fire! Yee haw! Yippee Ki Kay, Muthafucka! DiBiase vandalized Duggan's car the week prior and Hacksaw has a massive Coal Miner's Glove to get revenge. DiBiase & Doc are wrecking Brad Armstrong & Terry Daniels' shit. BA is such a midcarder. Former North American Champion, but got treated like he was Tom Pritchard here and Watts was saying DiBiase injured his daddy and BA comes out armdraggin him?!? Gimme a break. Daniels whips out the ref. The heels are gonna cheat. Duggan brains Doc with the glove and then CREAMS BA with a Coal Miner's Glove and Armstrong is out like a light. Puts over the gravity of the Glove and with great power comes great responsibility. His friend became collateral damage as he sought revenge. I am very disappointed Watts didnt follow up on this as this would be a great impetus to a Brad Armstrong heel turn. 

TV Title Drama: Terry Taylor defeats Tim Horner in a very short face vs face match never got out of first gear. Jake The Snake comes up before the Gino Hernandez match (Gino won a squash) and says he is tired of Taylor ducking him if he ducks him next week, he ends his career, if he doesnt he takes his title. He doesnt say it that way, but he should have. That was the gist. 

Midcard Mania: Buddy Landell is on his way out as he takes a 5-minute loss to Kerry Von Erich. Kerry looked great, Discus Punch, amazing standing dropkick and Claw for the win. Buddy looked good eating his shit. Watts explains the World Class connection of this show as they are co-promoting a Houston show and we can look forward to more World Class stars. Skandor Akbar's men had squashes. Nord The Barbarian debuted and squashed Shawn Michaels. It is funny watching baby fat Shawn Michaels get squashed. Kamala had a boring match with Iceman Parsons due to his over-reliance on the titty claw. The start and finish were hot, but the heat segment dragged. Hercules attacked Iceman. Kamala was going to Splash them but Butch Reed hurled him off the top rope. Butch Reed rules. Dirty White Boys won a squash. 

3/9/85

Format: Matches in front of the Irish McNeil Boys Club, in between the size of a studio wrestling and a full arena like WWF or JCP was doing. The most disappointing aspect is the lack of promos. This is very wrestling-heavy. I am hankering for some great promos & angles so doesnt scratch that itch like Crockett. Furthermore, I think Crockett's style is better to get heat. You cant beat the wrestlers cutting promos. Jim Ross & Joel Watts can hem & haw all they want, but the best way to build that heat and emotion connection is let the wrestlers rip it on the mic. I think Crockett has it right. 

Match of the Night: Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs Terry Taylor for the Television Championship (a medal worn by Vero's Hero). I am a bugger Terry Taylor fan than most and lower on Jake The Snake than most, sometimes less is just less, brutha. I thought this was very energetic for Jake. It was probably 8-10 minutes but was action-packed. I watched this last night, I might go back and review it because it was a really strong workrate match. There was a really good spot early with Taylor CLOCKING Jake with a right cross and Jake selling it with the slither powder. I recall a pretty clean finish for Taylor. The more important part is the angle after where Jake the Snake drops the Champ with a DDT on the chair busting Taylor open. So that feud is just getting started. JR puts over Joel Watts' video editing ability. We get a video package for Vero's Hero and his forced smile. Taylor should have been a heel from jump, definitely something smarmy about him. 

Commentary: Mid-South fans is it typical for Joel Watts to walk all over JR on commentary. He is always shouting over him and doing the vast majority of play by play. JR was good when he got a chance to talk which was not often. 

Dream Tag Team That Did Happen & I Got To See: Hacksaw Duggan & Kerry Muthafuckin Von Erich! OH HELL YEAH! These are my two favorites from Mid-South & World Class respectively FUCK YEAH! I love Mid-South Duggan he just has this Northern Blue Collar grit to him like a Bruno or a DDP. I just dig that vibe. Huge fan of the Flair vs Kerry series (dont sleep on their Mid-South series, 4/28/85 is a contender for their best match ever). They wrestled Hercules Hernandez (doing a Sheik gimmick) and Gino Hernandez. You know it wouldnt have been half-bad in some promotion they did a Gino & Hercules are brothers or cousins gimmick. Gino as the mouth and Hercules as the heavy. I didnt think the heels added much. This was all about the babyfaces and the fire and charisma they brought. Ted DiBiase came out, OH SHIT THATS RIGHT, the Loser Leaves Town match is still coming up! Duggan has gotten a hold of the Coal Miner's Glove and blasts one of the heels, I think Hercules and Kerry picks up the win . Nice way to build the DiBiase/Duggan program. Kerry cut a typical Kerry promo which a fumblin, stumblin, bumblin promo. It looks like they are setting up Flair vs Kerry in the territory. 

Other Squashes: Kamala crushes a jobber but crushes him so fucking bad he gets DQ'd...Splash off the top rope. Iceman King Parsons short squash, looked good. Dirty White Boys (Tony Anthony & Len Denton) won a squash, underwhelmed. They were not very heelish. There was a "Barbarian" squash, but it was not the real Barbarian. Who is this Mickey Mouse Barbarbian? Seriously? I didnt recognize him at all. 

Match that went too long: Buddy Landell vs Brad Armstrong, Buddy was a great heel, but not too much to this one. It didnt really stick with me. Interesting Mid-South had two competitive matches compared to Mid-Atlantic having zero (yes Flair vs Donovan was a good match but nobody thought Donovan was going to win).

3/16/85

Main Angle: A real doozy! Terry Taylor wins the North American Championship from Terry Taylor in an IMPROMPTU title vs title match! Mid-South is like World Class very few promos. Bill Watts does a recap of last week and the heinous attack from Jake the Snake on Terry Taylor on Taylor post-match after his loss. Boot attack and then a DDT on the steel chair drawing blood. Terry Taylor is out and challenges Jake The Snake to a rematch for the TV Title. Ted DiBiase, North American Champion is out, he says with the Superstation deal, he wants the TV title. If only Ted knew the contract was up next month. Poor Ted. Short match more of an angle than anything else. The action was energetic, but nothing too special. The finish was straight out of the Watts playbook as Jake comes to the ring in a Rod Stewart concert tour shirt. There is so many levels to his interference. Long story short, DiBiase loaded the glove, swang & missed, O'Connor Roll and Taylor took the title. Cool angle! Dont know if Taylor was ready in terms of star power. That being said fucking Brad Armstrong was just a champion so Watts was willing to try young & hungry talent. Taylor vs Flair trilogy is fucking awesome so it helps build Vero's Hero credibility for that. 

Midcard Mania: A shit ton of World Class connections and talent transfer here. Gentleman Chris Adams is here and he has an entertaining little ditty with White Lightning Tim Horner. Adams reminds me of Tully but with more offense. He works some great stooging spots and nails a Superkick. Kerry Von Erich is coming back soon, which makes sense as he & Flair get a run in the territory in April. Skandor Akbar is managing Kamala who is doing a gimmick of splashing jabronis off the top rope and breaking their backs and getting DQ'd for coming off the top. Hercules is on his way out as he is Sunshine's mystery man. His team with Jack Victory loses to Brad Armstrong and a young Tom Pritchard in a weird convoluted way. Herc tagged in, Brad blasted him and Brad rolled up Victory to win. Sort of a strange way to protect the heels. Watts was being too clever for his own good.  RNRs win a match over some jabronis to close out the show jawing with the Dirty White Boys. The Barbarian who I found out it John Nord aka The Bezerker squashed Iceman King Parsons which I was surprised but I think Iceman was headed back to Dallas based on their TV. I definitely like the real Barbarian more, but I have an open mind for Nord. The bearhug was meh, but the Full Nelson I liked because he really made a point to get Iceman off his feet. Looks like they are building to Butch Reed vs Akbar's men which are Kamala and Nord. 

I wish Mid-South had promos. They feel like the mid-market baseball team that has the stars for the Sox and Yankees on their team and also a lot of journeymen that they need to make work with a genius coach/GM. Looking forward to watching more. 

3/23/85

Peacock does not have this episode up, FUCKING PEACOCK :p lol. Peacock hate has definitely been overblown all integrations are tough and I am surprised how much 80s stuff got transferred so quickly. So I am quite please. 

John Nord The Barbarian defeated a jabroni

Ted DiBiase & Dr. Death defeated Terry Daniels & a jabroni named Shawn Michaels I wonder what happened to him

Terry Taylor defeated Kamala which was interesting enough on paper that I went on Youtube to see what I could find. That was a dumbass decision. Found a shitty house show match. If you ever wanted to see a match with armpit psychology, I guess this would be for you. Kamala had Terry Taylor in a titty claw for 8 minutes. Excoriatingly boring. Terrible finish to boot. Kamala comes off the top rope and misses a splash. Kamala had been getting DQ'd on TV for doing that to jaybrones. This made Taylor look like a shit champion. When he looked to get his heat back, Taylor was dumped over top rope. Then Kamala splashed Skandor Akbar, but then Akbar settled him down. Fucking shits. 

Four Way Elimination match RNR Express beat Dirty White Boys, Brad Armstrong & Tom Pritchard and Jake Roberts & Jack Victory. 

Doesnt look like I missed much. 

3/30/85

Format: I have noticed the promo/interview segment usually happens at the beginning of the show to set up the angle. This particular episode had two additional ones in the forms of replays. Ted DiBiase will be back in 30 days after losing the Vince Russo Wet Dream Match to Duggan and brings up just like the Civil War the war will live on. Between this and Watts promoting a non-Denominational Christian magazine and the power of faith, this is a very Southern show. All the important things from last week show end up getting recapped in this week. Nord The Barbarian ripped off Butch Reed's nice suit but Reed fought through the humiliation and made a comeback. Cut a great fired up promo challenging Nord to a Ghetto Street Fight. I might try to find that and  check that out. Nord won another squash against Mike Jackson but no showdown with Reed.

Main Angle Part One: Very Watts episode with a lot of matrix booking and having the wrestlers in a multiple angles. They end up showing the finish of the Kamala vs Terry Taylor match from the previous so I am doubly dumb for wasting 11 minutes on that shitty house show match. TV match looked raucous. Taylor got busted open on the outside. He popped Kamala. Jake The Snake who has been feuding with him came out, swang and missed. Taylor flattened him. Kamala ends up getting table topped and Taylor wins. Kamala loses his shit and attacks Friday and Akbar. Now the House Show finish makes sense. He loses control and attacks his "handlers" when he loses. Jim Ross went way overboard with the "KAMALA IS CONFUSED!" at the top of his lungs which made me laugh. Kamala squashes this little twerp Shawn Michaels who the fuck is that. Terry Taylor saves. Akbar tries to run his head into the post, but Taylor beats him back and piledrives Friday. Now Kamala shows he cares and hoists Friday back to safety. The Friday gimmick is genius really. That is part one of the main angle.

Main Angle Part Two: The second part took place during Kerry Von Erich's defeat of Thor with a Claw pinfall win. So who is Thor, looked like a taller Stunning Steve Austin to the point where I was initially confused. Beautiful blond hair. Thor is the future Nailz. We get out first mention Ric Flair at the top of the show. Watts mentions Kerry is the #1 Contender to the World's title held by Flair. In addition, he said Taylor is vacating the TV Championship because he is now the North American Champion. There will be a TV Title tournament. Jake The Snake bemoans the fact he is not the #1 seed citing the DDT is the most dangerous move and left Taylor laying. Watts said that was after a match. Watts also tells us that they tried to bring the Mid-South area a Chris Adams title defense of the American Championship against Kerry Von Erich citing neutral ground for this World Class feud. Adams forsook the opportunity opting to team with Dr. Death against Pritchard and somebody. Prtichard avoided Death on a criss cross and ran into an Adams Superkick for the loss. Adams looked like a ton of fun early stooging again. Back to the Von Erich match, Jake The Snake dropped the hint that he had a phone conversation with Nature Boy Ric Flair and that he could be bought. Next thing you know Jake The Snake & Chris Adams jump Kerry Von Erich. Jake had a cup of coffee in World Class in late 84 as a Adams/Gino buddy in their feud with the Von Erichs. Terry Taylor saves and Terry & Kerry are called a dream team! I am kinda interested in them. They are two great Flair opponents in the summer. Lots of great shit!

Bizarre Commentary: Boyd Pierce loves letting us know who the ladies love. Bill does most of the talking in general but Boyd lets know the ladies swoon for Kerry's body. You know who else the ladies swoon for Joel Watts...BWHAHAHAHAAHAHA! Those were the most sentences Boyd strung together were extolling Joel Watts as a sex symbol. 

Midcard Mania: There were still three more matches on this show. Brickhouse Brown, a name I have heard before, but never seen beat Jacko Victory. Not very over, not very special and smaller than I expected. Dirty White Boys beat The Lightning Express in a pretty one-sided, borderline squash match. Brad Armstrong was just the North American champion. What a fall from grace! There was NO hot tag! BA Came in when the White Boys double teamed too long and then he flamed out. Horner ate a Samoan Drop and lost. Weird. Steve Casey was the last match and this random British dude who I have never even heard of continues to impress as he puts on a technical clinic against a jobber. I dig me some Steve Casey! 

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Mid-South Wrestling May 1985

Hey doesnt April come after March? I am going to skip around and keep things fresh. I think I wanna hit up the Sweeps Months first and see what action those months have. 

5/4/85

Main Angle/Match of the Night: Steve Casey has come out of fucking nowhere! He is having killer matches with Dory Funk Jr & Tully Blanchard in Mid-Atlantic and now is killing it with Dr. Death in Mid-South. He wins pretty handily over Dr. Death's protege another Boomer Sooner, Edcar Boo Thompson. They play up how green Thompson is when he falls through the ropes. Doc gets overzealous in his cheating and knocks into Boo and Casey crossbodies him for the win. Doc pitches a fit after the match and says he will not be embarrassed like that and challenges Casey to a match. Casey comes out and accepts. I assume it is for next week but it turns out it is for this week! Lo & behold another great Steve Casey match! Casey does some really fun, cute British style stuff like a misdirection hop over and hop back on a dropdown. Great hard-hitting action. Doc was a strong heel. Some great hope spots like the dropkick. Casey takes a big back bump when Doc hooks the ropes on a monkey flip. Doc loads the arm brace nails him and then Oklahoma Stampede for the win. One of the best early Doc matches! ***1/4

Hot House Show Angle: Bill Watts interrupts the main event to show us footage of Hacksaw Duggan vs Kamala where Skandor Akbar throws a FIREBALL in Duggan's face! OH HELL YEAH! I am all for more fireballs in wrestling. When Dr. Death vs Hacksaw was announced for next week as a part of the TV Title, I audibly said "Oh that will be good" but now I am wondering if it will even happen. 

Competitive Matches: Jake The Snake convincingly beat former North American Champion Brad Armstrong who is treated more like a plucky midcard, wet behind the ears babyface than a former champion. Jake is growing on me, good energy from him. DDT was excellent. In the Main Event, Terry Taylor & Bill Dundee convincingly beat The Dirty White Boys which surprised me. I thought they were going to go off the air before the match ended. Dundee was the star of this. Oodles of charisma and so much Memphis charm to this match. Taylor looks more like a star than Armstrong but he does NOT feel like The Man. At this point 2/3rds of the excellent Flair trilogy is over and Duggan & Reed still feel like bigger stars. Taylor got the hot tag and house of fire and then the Figure-4 for the win. 

Midcard Mania: The World Class connection has dried up but here comes the Memphis boys. In addition to Dundee, we have the man from Oil Trough, Texas, Dirty Dutch Mantel who won his squash decisively. The Nightmare (Moondog Rex, had to look it up) who looks like an Assassin won a handicap match because Gen. Eddie "Dont Call Me Hot Stuff" Gilbert was doing commentary. Nightmare looked impressive beat the shit out of two jobbers. Bonus points for ref violence which I love. The ref took the piledrievr better than the jabronis. Brickhouse Brown is a lot more over. He is a shuckin' & jivin' black babyface. Him and Tom Pritchard have a very nice little midcard babyface vs babyface match. Brown's finish looks brutal. Looks like it totally kills him. It is a lunging middle rope diving headbutt. Looks like a great way to jam your neck and paralyze yourself. I hope he does not kill himself on it.  

5/11/85

Best Mid-South Episode of TV thus far. I think this what people mean when they cite Watts as a world class producer of television. 

Main Angle: They really lean into the fireball angle with Akbar burning Duggan's face. Watts is great here really puts this over. He may go a little too far with the "terrorist" stuff and the "Peace of God" and "Christ Jesus", but man he puts over the heavy duty nature of this angle. They announce Akbar has cost Duggan his career and we are saying farewell to Hacksaw.  Duggan is so good in the promo. They have him all bandaged, make up team did a great job, half his beard shaved. Duggan says Big Men arent supposed to be scared well he is. Damn, I got all the feels on that one. Goosebumps, eyes watered a little bit, heart went out to him. What a great emotional promo. This takes up most of the beginning of the show and then they end the show with a tribute to Hacksaw Duggan. Wow! Amazing stuff! 

Ted Is Back!: Ted DiBiase has been wrestling in Japan because of the Loser Leaves Town stipulation but he is back. He is overjoyed that Akbar has taken Duggan out and good riddance. I would have liked more disgust from Watts at these heinous comments. Him & Dr. Death defeated the Rock & Roll Express for the Tag Belts the week prior in Houston in a match I have reviewed, which is a great match. Check that out. 

Tag Team Mania: Lots of great tag team wrestling on the card. The Rock N Roll Express have a great match with Dirty White Boys on this night at a house show, but the TV match is a dandy too. RnRs have a ton of fun in the shine with the row boat spot and other fun shenanigans. Dirty White Boys have not clicked with me yet. They dont seem special. They work a short effective heat segment. The finish is fun as they try to choke Morton with a bandana but he thwarts it and Double Dropkick gets the surprising clean win as the Dirty White Boys were pretty established. *** The last match of the night saw new Tag Champions DiBiase & Doc defeat Casey & a jabroni. Casey looked great, but they didnt follow up at all on the animosity the previous week between Doc & Casey and how Doc cheated to beat him the week before. Heavy sigh. Dropped storylines still a problem even back then. Solid match to get Doc & DiBiase over, DiBiase wins with the glove. Casey was not treated well here, doesnt look good for him. In the hottest match of the night THE FREEBIRDS ARE HERE~! The place erupts for Badstreet USA, people are wearing Freebird shirts and the crowd goes crazy for them. A Freebird chant erupts when they work the heat segment. The original cool heels. Buddy Jack & Hayes work heel but they crowd does not give a shit they love the Birds. Roberts and Hayes do a lot of fun stooging for Armstrong and Mike Jackson. Hayes busts out the moonwalk. What a cool mutha. Liked the transition to heat, Jackson was going for a flying headscissors too close to the Freebirds corner and Hayes popped them. They did a "Breaking Down in Tulsa" melee before the Bulldog picks up the win for the Freebirds. *** I hope they stick around. 

Midcard Mania: TV Title tournament is still ongoing. It was supposed to be Doc vs Duggan in the semis which I was looking forward to, but with Duggan's "retirement" the match is not going to happen, but buck up because Watts has found a replacement. The Snowman! Yes that one that ran the legendary angle with Lawler in Memphis in 1990. Dude is jacked and stacked and green as grass. Let me tell you something brutha, Doc bumped & fed for this dude like a pro. Doc got no offense in and just ate canvas in basically a squash. Think Goldberg but nowhere near as good. Weird Doc is squashed here and then wrestles later in the night with DiBiase and he is not selling it and Watts doesnt mention it. Again a weird loose end. Snowman moves on to face Jake The Snake next week. Speaking of Jake the Snake he made quick work of Mark Ragin using a hang out to dry suplex and DDT. 

Hostile Commentary: In the tag match or the Jake The Snake match, Bill Watts goes off on WWF & Hulk Hogan. He says Mid-South is independent of WWF, AWA and NWA and chose to bring in Flair because he thinks he is the best. Hogan is a fraud and that he would weight 150lbs if it was not for the juice. Ok, Bill tell us how you really feel brutha. 

Two three star matches, the hot return of the Freebirds, DiBiase is back, new tag champs, and the Duggan angle, definitely the best Mid-South show. 

5/18/85

Massive Freebird Chants at the start of the show both before and after they throw to the Duggan video. They are NOT even on the show! What the hell? I have not heard anyone this over in Mid-South. The Von Erichs are wicked over in Texas. Dusty & Flair are very over in Mid-Atlantic. Thats the level I am getting from the Freebirds here. 

Main Angle: Hacksaw Duggan sans beard but with full vision is back BABY! He is a great promo and he is coming for Skandor Akbar and his goons! Sounds like we have our summer angle, baby! This is my first Skandor Akbar promo and he is very ok. Just standard stock 80s foreign heel manager shizit. Talks about using the American judicial system to avoid suspension. Mid-South continues to promote their conservative ideology as Jim Ross goes on a rant about how the American Judicial  System protects the perpetrator and not the victim. It sure does seem to work that way for white males, Jimbo. So we have had "Christ Jesus" invoked, promotion of an Evangelical rag, anti-gun control rant and an anti-American judicial system rant and those were only within 7 episodes. Political shit notwithstanding Duggan is an awesome babyface, love a great fireball angle and am interested in seeing who Skandor uses besides Kamala if anybody. 

TV Title Tournament Final: Snowman defeats Jake The Snake in a pretty monumental upset. Snowman is a fucking stiff if I have ever seen one. Not like he hits stiff, he like is an uncoordinated, unathletic stiff. He looked greener than goose shit and has zero natural athleticism. Jake was just trying to feed for him. Jake was trying to protect himself by getting some offense in but Snowman couldnt even sell OR no-sell probably. It would be one thing if Snowman had Luger or Hogan like No Selling charisma. It is like he did not know how to react. Imagine Goldberg with NONE of the explosivity, power, athleticism or charisma and thats the Snowman. He finishes with the JYD thump. I have not seen Master G yet, but this has to be the worst JYD replacement ever. Then he cuts a promo after and he does not even have a good promo like he is not charismatic like the Dog at all. I forgot to mention that Bill Dundee who just is dripping with charisma ends up brawling with Jake The Snake after the match. That would be tasty feud. I wish Dundee won the TV Title. 

Terry Taylor Figure-4 Demonstration: They are building to Taylor vs Flair at the Superdome on 6/1/85. Did they have another show they really have not mentioned the show? Anyways, Taylor wants to show how he will avoid the Figure-4. Usual shit: kangaroo kick, inside cradle, but he does show off one I have never before converting into a Calf-Slicer, to the point where I want to see someone do that. DiBiase/Doc/Thor come out. Thor for the record would become Nailz but now he looks like a taller Stunning Steve Austin. DiBiase says he is the Master of Figure-4. They have this very nerdy discussion about the finer points of the Figure-4 which makes me chuckle. Long story short, DiBiase's master plan was to beat down Taylor, but instead Taylor applied the Figure-4 on Thor and made him say Uncle. Effective segment. It helped Flair the most probably as they really invested a lot in his Figure-4 and now the Mid-South fans will be really anxious for it when it happens. As shoe would say a good piece of business. 

Midcard Mania: Doc & DiBiase defeated Casey & a jabroni again. Poor Steve Casey. DiBiase & Doc looked better this week. I liked the double football tackle. Standard squash. Eddie Gilbert & The Nightmare had a squash. Nothing special. Hot shot->piledriver finish. Nord The Barbarian is now aligned with Jake The Snake. What happened to Butch Reed? Jake cut a great promo before the Nord match. Decent Nord squash with the Full Nelson. Brickhouse Brown is over like rover with his dancing gimmick and won a tag team match with Brad Armstrong with that ramrod headbutt that looks like he is going to paralyze himself. Joel Watts is very proud of a nightclub video he made of Brickhouse Brown. 

I am enjoying the more angle-driven approach they are taking in May as opposed to March, but Snowman leaves a lot to be desired. We need more Duggan and Reed in front of the crowd! 

5/25/85

Main Angle: COWBOY BILL WATTS WALKING TALL! They continue their anti-bureaucracy, anti-judicial system rants just give Akbar a fucking hearing and then fire his ass, duh. If they just drop all the stupid legal wranglings and have Watts Walk Tall and dispense John Wayne Frontier Justice it would be a badass angle. Basically Watts is going to come back and team with Duggan against Akbar's men. Kamala returned and won a squash. Akbar debuts "a new guy", "The Brute", but it is just an angle to have Duggan return and kick ass! Duggan is over huge. It is nice to have a big babyface star back on TV. Duggan is over huge. I will definitely try to seek out some summer of '85 Duggan matches. 

Match of the Night: THE NATURE BOY ON MID-SOUTH TV!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOO! Nature Boy Up In This House! He is going up against Wendell Cooley. Excellent Flair TV match as he took 75% of the match and really showed why he is The Man. First time seeing Cooley and I liked what I saw. Looked like a mini Marc Mero. Really nice match. ***1/2. Wrote it up. Did a great job building off the Terry Taylor Figure-4 exhibition the previous week. Terry Taylor won a squash over Eddie Gilbert I was shocked how lopsided it was. GIlbert was smoked. Flair attacked after the match and put Taylor in the Figure-4. Only for Taylor to reverse the pressure and have Flair hollering "Uncle". A damn good piece of business to set up the Superdome match. Fucking Snowman, who sucks out loud comes out to save because Eddie Gilbert started attacking again, but even he cant ruin this angle. Here's my review:

 

Midcard Mania: Dr. Death & DiBiase win another squash. They are a solid team, but not a great squash team. Big time midcard match between Jake The Snake & Nord The Barbarian vs. Brickhouse Brown & Brad Armstrong. Jake the Snake & Barbarian did look a notch above these two in star power but they did protect Brickhouse & BA. Nord looked like he was going to finish Brickhouse with the Full Nelson, some good teasing, BA interfered with a dropkick. The ref gets distracted and Jake The Snake DDT'd Brickhouse into oblivion and finishes the match. Snowman beat Tommy Pritchard who according to an off-hand comment from JR has turned heel but you wouldnt know it from this. Snowman is the shits.  

Really great month! The Duggan fireball angle was great! Loved the Flair vs Taylor stuff, which is a great trilogy. Snowman is the shits, but in a way I kinda miss the fact there is such a shitty wrestler because nobody is really that shitty from a mechanical point of view anymore. Doc & DiBiase are very inoffensive, they are just ok. Jake The Snake has really grown on me, I wish he was rewarded with the TV title some great promos and match performances out of him. I need to track down the Freebirds vs Rock N Roll on Power Pro Wrestling which was taped this month. Freebirds were fucking over! It is a shame they went to AWA. 

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World Class Championship Wrestling May 1985

5/4/85

Peacock doesnt have it and I couldnt find results. So carrying on...

5/11/85 & 5/18/85

Footage from the David Von Erich Memorial held on 5/5/85 at Texas Stadium looked like a good crowd. Probably 30,000?

Kerry Von Erich vs One Man Gang: One Man Gang is Gary Hart's main dude and Gary Hart is cuffed to Fritz. If Kerry loses, Gang gets Fritz in the ring. If Kerry wins, Gary Hart is shaved bald. Very underwhelming match. Not enough Claw work or Kerry offense. Pretty plodding. Kerry's Discus Punch woke me up, but this is very disappointing. The finish is dogshit. Gary Hart trips up Kerry on his bodyslam attempt. So Fritz trips Gang and that leads directly to the pin. Thats it? Like no Kerry offensive move to win. The shaving of the hair is always a fun gimmick. Did Gary ever grow his hair back? He was bald in 89 in WCW, so maybe not. 

12-Man Clusterfuck From Hell: How this made the 80s DVDVR set for World Class? It did finish #147 so people agree with me.  I do not know. It was Von Erichs (Mike Version) & Freebirds vs Dynamic Duo, Kamala, Rip Oliver and Dr. Death. It was fucking atrocious. Horrible battle royale-esque brawling. Oh the post-match angle is pretty good. Kevin Von Erich won a Lincoln. Gary Hart orders  OMG to destroy it. The Von Erichs fucking steamroll him in the most energy seen all show. Only for Gino to swoop in, pick up the Chain and smash the windshield in with Chris Adams. That adds some stank on the Dynamic Duo vs Von Erichs so that was a good. 

Rip Oliver vs Mike Von Erich: Formula-based wrestling here which is perfectly fine better than last two matches and thats damning with faint praise. Rip is known as the Crippler and he broke Mike's arm. The whole match is built around Mike trying to slug him with the Cast and when he does. He wins the match. Very basic. Rip Oliver is no great shakes. 

Midnight Express vs Fantastics: Titles are still vacated from March so I guess I have not missed much. Jim Cornette is sitting next to Lil Jon, no not the one that would go skeet skeet all over Jim Cornette's wife, but some dude that you can probably guess is not very little in fact he is wicked tall.  The match is pretty great as would be expected from these two teams. It is Texas Tornado rules in two different rings but it is not an out & out brawl so not my favorite of their matches. Rogers has some nice highspots. Bobby Fulton vs Bobby Eaton was fucking awesome! Bobby Fulton is really damn good. The finish is the shits. The heel cheat to win and after a significant delay a different ref counts a pin for the Fantastics. It is not a draw. David Manning literally says "There were simultaneous pins and Fantastics won" Even if there were simultaneous pins that is fucking stupid logic BUT they were NOT even simultaneous the heel pinned first. Fucking garbage. ***1/4 for very good work though.     

5/25/85

This half-Sportatorium, half-David Von Erich Memorial

Main Angle: Gino & Adams are standing next to a sports car with Bill Mercer and say they drive Sports cars not old duffer's Lincolns. Gino looks like quintessential 80s movie douche. I got to give him that. Great punchable face. 

Midcard Mania: Thor, yes that Thor from Mid-South, the dude that is a taller Stunning Steve Austin but is actually Nailz he is now in World Class and he eats the pinfall loss to Brian Adias via a reverse crossbody. Pretty unceremonious debut. Chris Adams had a very entertaining squash. If Adams was doing this in Mid-Atlantic he would be more fondly remembered. He reminds me of Tully with better offense. 

Saving Grace Main Event: I knew if they were showing footage of the Texas Stadium card there would be one thing to look forward. One of my all-time favorite matches, my pick for the #4 Match on the DVDVR World Class set and just an absolute barnburner as it is Ric Flair vs Kevin Von Erich, ****1/2. Since this was technically shown on TV it will be hard for any TV Match to top this. It is just as good as I remember it. Kevin Von Erich is full Tasmanian Devil-Kevin just constantly moving forward and always attacking and Flair is there to bump & run, but also stand & bang so it is an amazing dynamic. If you have not seen this one, YOU MUST WATCH IT! The dive from one ring to the other in the middle match still POPS ME HUGE! 

If it was not for one of the best Matches of the Year and one of the best matches in the territory's history, I would say World Class May TV was the shits and that is really sad when your matches were all from your biggest show of the year in front of 30,000 fans. I know Kerry & Kevin vs Gino & Adams has some juice left but it is not looking good for World Class. 

 

 

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Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling May 1986

Programming note: The Iconic World Championship Wrestling at 6:05 Eastern on Saturday Night has started. I think Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling quickly became tertiary programming if I am not mistaken. Peacock only has November on of that program. So sticking with MACW TV for now. 

5/4/85

Peacock dropping the ball again with no 5/4/85. 

5/11/85

Main Angle: Tully wins the TV Title from Dusty with some chicanery from Baby Doll. Ref bump, Dusty gets the visual fall. Baby Doll throws in the loaded elbow pad and Tully knocks him out. Dusty even has his feet on the ropes as Tully wins. I dont know I watched all of this out of order. So I have seen the 86 and 87 versions of the feud. It is feud that can feel played out but also with the right angle can feel instantly molten hot. This just didnt have much heat with me. Dusty just won it in March at Silverstarr. The only reason I feel they switched the title was so Dusty could get the big pop again at the Great American Bash. They devoted a ton of program time to it. Dusty and Tully cut good promos but felt lukewarm to me. 

Matches that Went Too long: Buddy Landell & Uncle Ivan's squashes just dragged on and on. The Nikita/Ivan the Road to Moscow will be paved with Gold coming after Flair is a fucking badass storyline. We are going to follow Nikita as he prepares for the big World Championship match. Flair would start to become more heelish as the year wore on but this presents him as a big time babyface. 

Midcard Mania: We are in full swing of US Champion Magnum TA pinning jobbers inside of 30 seconds with the Belly to Belly. I liked this one the Atomic Drop ricochet into the ropes and Belly To Belly for the win. Ron Bass is back, oh joy! Jimmy Valiant cant talk. He has a chalkboard and has surprisingly good penmanship. Like really good. That was unexpected. Superstar Graham & Barbarian win a squash. Barbarian is the MAN! Jimmy Valiant runs them off with Dick Slater that was unexpected! Feels like kind of a waste of Dicky Slater. Magnum could use a dance partner and I think Slater would make a great challenger. 

Mediocre episode at best. 

5/18/85

No major angle. Very unusual 

Match of the Night: Buddy Landell vs Pat Tanaka holy shit this was excellent! Pat Tanaka was born to be a red hot midcard babyface and nobody knew! Awesome shine. That hot shot was fucking gnarly that set up the heat segment. I wish I took better notes. Between work and recording a podcast I think it was been 3-4 days since I watched this. My recollection was that was a corker of a midcard match. Definitely worth a watch. If memory serves me, Landell won with a Figure-4. ***1/2

Match That Went Far Too Long: Tully Blanchard gave some jabroni far too long in their match. Anyone who says Flair was bad, Tully was 10x worse. Those he nails a gnarly dropkick in this along with a Slingshot Suplex. Dusty was on commentary. There was some staredown, showdown nonsense. Tully cut the "Deal with the Dealer" promo and Dusty retorted. The promos were better this week, but the angle is still lukewarm to me.

Road To Moscow Will Be Paved With Gold: Nikita wins his squash in short order. Good hype package. This is definitely my favorite thing about May Crockett. 

Midcard Mania: Mags continues the quick squash gimmick. Don Kernodle as the Pride of USA which is a bold fucking statement continues his semi-push. Jimmy Valiant wins a squash. He has 50% of his voice back. Great fucking character work from him. I like the Boogie Woogie Man. Dick Slater has a busted up eye and it looks gnarly. I totally believe he had someone in the locker room give him a shoot shiner. It was nasty. Superstar Graham is useless in the ring and that showed in his singles squash, but he can still be magic on the mic. I thought it was a really good Graham promo. 

Mid-South is starting to widen the gap between them and Crockett. One more show left for Crockett in this month! 

5/25/85

Main Angle: We have an angle! Tully Blanchard has thrown his lot in with Paul Jones and acquired the services of Abdullah The Butcher to vanquish Dusty Rhodes. Tully Blanchard & The Barbarian are the dream tag team I didnt know I wanted until I saw them. They were at the point in the Tully vs Dusty feud where they needed to start adding people to keep it fresh. For me, personally I felt like Dusty & Tully were slumming it by overlapping with Valiant vs Jones feud. They needed to inject some fresh blood into the feud. This will keep Dusty busy for a month before the big blowoff at Great American Bash. Based on the GAB card, they spin Abby off to fight Magnum TA which is a great use of him to further build Mags. 

Road To Moscow Will Be Paved With Gold: Nikita Sickles a picture of the Nature Boy taped on a heavy bag until it shreds. He wins a tag team squash with Krusher Krushchev. These have been short, but very, very effective. The best part of May. Even without Flair on the show, it feels like a big deal!

Match of the Night: "Patrick" Tanaka vs Denny Brown for the World Junior Heavyweight was a great *** workrate affair with Brown playing the subtle heel. Tons of great highspots and action. Tanaka is wicked over! Caudle & Weaver have been calling Pat Tanaka "Patrick" starting last week which has popped me. Between this and the Buddy Landell matches, there is an alternate universe where Tanaka gets wicked over in Crockett takes the Steamboat mantle. He was really good!

Midcard Mania: Buddy Landell continues to squash and be kinda directionless. Ron Bass now has a black glove on and is using the claw. He beats Houston and puts on the Claw on afterwards. There is an alternate universe where Sam Houston is a massive star and Shawn Michaels is just a plucky white meat JTTS. Buzz Tyler saves and the Neighborhood Dad feud continues. Magnum TA & Manny Fernandez are being linked and ostensibly against the Russians but the Russians are more focused on Flair. The Rock N Rolls will be here in a month. Where were the Andersons?!?! Missed Arn! 

 

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This was super fun, but thats it for now. The Greatest Match Ever voting is three months away and I really need to kick that into high gear. Back to cherry picking great matches but I will be looking to resume this in December. Bye for now! 

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I always enjoy reading your write ups Sleeze! These have been great but looking forward to more of your contributions on Greatest Match Ever. I’ve been in kind of a GME viewing slump and want to pick up the pace on that front myself. 

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Hey thanks brutha! Dude I had been myself since like February/March. Got really into music and reading history books. I just threw on some New Japan World watched a killer Inoki vs Brody match and I am fucking hooked. I need to cross-post a bunch of shit, but I am watch a ton of great 80s Puroresu and documenting it all in the Match Discussion Archives!

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