Live from Charlotte, NC
Airdate: July 6, 1985
Attendance: 27,000 (32,000 was quoted within the video)
Hosted by Gordon Solie and Bill Apter
Match commentary by Tony Schiavone
This would be the Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Ringmasters 60-minute version of the show. Since this show was too big for the Independence Arena, Jim Crockett Promotions held the show at Memorial Stadium.
Prior to the first match, we see Bass’ face turn as Dillon sided with Landel.
Match 1: “Cowboy” Ron Bass versus “Nature Boy” Buddy Landel
- After a chop, Landel tossed Bass outside the ring.
- While Landel occupied referee Sonny Fargo’s attention, Dillon kicked Bass on the grass.
- He then raked Bass’ back. How dastardly!
- Outside the ring, Landel rammed Bass’ head into the ring bell then choked him with an extension cord.
- Landel then made Bass taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Bad Ass Burger at Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar.
- In retaliation, Bass made Landel taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like Nick’s Patty Melt.
- He then rammed Landel’s head into the timekeeper’s table.
- Elbow drop by Bass got a 2 count.
- As Bass prepared to give Landel, the claw, the bell rang.
- Time-limit draw.
Summary: This 20-minute match was clipped down to five. In order to get payback on Dillon, Bass will need more time and/or another member of Dillon’s stable.
After the match, Bass chases Dillon who ends up in the ring. Before Bass can get his hands on him, Dillon runs straight into Landel knocking both men down. Bass applies the claw to Dillon, but Landel pulls him to safety.
Match 2 for the National tag team titles: Ole & Arn Anderson (champions) versus “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer and “Dirty” Dick Slater
- Slater and Sawyer stormed the ring to begin the match.
- Slater tossed Arn outside the ring then delivered an atomic drop.
- After receiving a cross-corner whip, Arn leaped over the incoming Sawyer.
- Sawyer then delivered a forearm to Arn.
- While Ole worked on Slater’s arm, Slater made a comeback. Unfortunately, the comeback was short-lived as Ole tagged out and held Slater for Arn to put the boots to him.
- When Arn tagged out, Ole mounted the top turnbuckle. Slater freed himself from Arn’s grasp and tossed Ole down to the mat.
- Hot tag Sawyer.
- Sawyer delivered a powerslam to Arn, but Ole made the save.
- Another forearm by Sawyer to Arn, but Ole dropped an elbow on him as Fargo dealt with Sawyer.
- Andersons retained their titles.
Summary: Those Andersons are sneaky. I wouldn’t doubt they’ll become an élite force in the NWA soon.
Match 3 (six-man): Superstar Billy Graham, the Barbarian, & Abdullah the Butcher (w/ Paul Jones) versus Sam Houston, “Ragin’ Bull” Manny Fernandez, and “Avalanche” Buzz Tyler
- Barbarian got pinballed in the face corner then received an elbow out of the corner by Fernandez.
- Off a cross-corner whip Fernandez mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a flying body press for 2 on Barbarian.
- Pair of shoulder blocks by Abdullah put the rookie Houston down on the mat.
- Big boot from Barbarian kept Jones’ Army in control.
- Slam and a leg drop by Barbarian, and Houston got triple-teamed in the wrong corner.
- Outside the ring, Abdullah whipped Houston into and over the steel railing.
- Press slam followed by a clothesline from Barbarian to Houston.
- Flying body press from Houston to Graham prompted all six men into the ring.
- As part of the chaos, Houston hooked an inside cradle on Graham and got the pin.
- Upset city!
Summary: Decent tag match with Houston in peril most of the time.
After the match, Tyler and Fernandez congratulate the young rookie on the victory.
Prior to the next match, we see highlights of Jones’ Army triple-teaming Valiant with Jones’ cane.
Match 4 (dog collar): “The Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant (w/ Buzz Tyler) versus #1 Paul Jones (w/ Abdullah the Butcher)
- As evidence of the beating Jones applied to Valiant, the Boogie-Woogie Man was BUSTED OPEN.
- While Jones mounted the second turnbuckle, Valiant pulled the chain sending Jones to the mat.
- With Valiant in the ring and Jones on the outside, Valiant pulled the chain again sending Jones into the ring post.
- Sleeper by Valiant, but Abdullah entered the ring.
- Valiant intercepted him as referee Earl Hebner was distracted by Tyler.
- Jones tried to nail Valiant with the chain but ran into Abdullah instead.
- With Jones down on the mat, Valiant dropped the elbow and got the pin.
Summary: Long ongoing feud fueled the crowd for this match.
After the match, Abdullah takes Valiant down and stabs him with a plastic knife. To aid Valiant, Tyler came into the ring and walloped Abdullah with a chair.
As a preface to the next match, I feel the need to explain the dynamics behind it. As part of a talent exchange, AWA promoter Verne Gagne loaned the Road Warriors to the NWA. In the AWA, the Road Warriors were heels; however, when facing the evil Soviets, by default, they were relentlessly cheered. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
Match 5 for the NWA World tag team titles: Ivan Koloff & Krusher Khruschev (champions) versus AWA World tag team champions the Road Warriors (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering)
- The “Freebird rule” was in effect here as Khruschev took Nikita’s place here.
- Back drop and a powerslam by Hawk to Ivan put the Road Warriors in control.
- After Koloff kicked a charging Hawk in the corner, he mounted the top turnbuckle.
- Hawk caught him and slammed him down to the mat.
- Military press slam from Hawk to Ivan.
- Elbow drop from Animal to Ivan got 2.
- Standing choke from Animal to Ivan, but Khruschev nailed Animal in the back.
- Double clothesline put both Kruschev and Animal down on the mat.
- Hot tag Hawk.
- After beating up both Soviets, Hawk delivered a clothesline to Ivan but only got 2 thanks to the save by Khruschev.
- After Animal sent Khruschev to the grass, he mounted the second turnbuckle.
- Hawk lifted Ivan and put him on Animal’s shoulder.
- Just as Animal attempted a super powerslam, Khruschev hit Animal with a steel chair.
- Hawk grabbed the chair away from Khruschev and walloped both Soviets.
- As Hebner signaled for the bell, Animal whipped Ivan into a chair-wielding Hawk.
- Hebner ruled the match a double-disqualification.
Summary: Hot match that had money feud written all over it. Hopefully this feud will continue.
After the match, all four men brawl in the ring. A double clothesline puts the bloodied Khruschev down. A bloody Ivan takes his NWA World tag team belt and stands in disbelief at the mighty Road Warriors.
Prior to the next match, Apter refers to Magnum as a “future great.” If only that had happened. Three quick highlights of Magnum delivering the belly-to-belly suplex are shown.
Match 6 for the US title: Magnum T.A. (champion) versus Kamala (w/ Skandor Akbar)
- After Kamala missed with a chop, Magnum hit a cross body block knocking Kamala down.
- A chop to the head put Magnum down.
- Kamala then hit the splash and got 2. Whew! That was close.
- Kamala hit a second splash this time to the back of Magnum.
- Kamala missed an avalanche so a bloodied Magnum delivered three dropkicks to earn a 2 count.
- Akbar entered the ring to break up the pin.
- Magnum won by disqualification.
Summary: Terrible finish since Kamala didn’t do the job. On the other hand, the crowd loved Magnum.
After the match, Kamala charges at Magnum but hits Akbar instead. Immediately thereafter, Magnum slams the Ugandan giant. After turning his attention to Akbar, Magnum gets nailed from behind. He then reverses an Irish whip and delivers a belly-to-belly suplex. Impressive!
Prior to the next match, a training video of Nikita Koloff is shown including a punching bag with Flair’s picture on it. Also included is an excerpt from NWA Worldwide where Nikita gave David Crockett the Russian sickle for insulting the Soviet team. Additionally, Flair jumps into the ring during a Nikita squash and tangles with him.
Match 7 for the NWA World title: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (champion) versus Nikita Koloff (w/ Ivan Koloff)
- After Nikita made his entrance, a helicopter landed on the field delivering the three-time NWA World champion. Now THAT’S an entrance.
- The special referee for this match was David Crockett. Sure, he’ll be impartial. I have no doubts.
- As Crockett tried to get Flair off Nikita in the corner, Flair threw shoulder blocks followed by chops.
- As you would expect, the crowd is HEAVILY in Flair’s corner in this match.
- A shoulder block off the ropes did not take Nikita off his feet; however, a second try earned Flair a clothesline.
- An extended bear hug by Nikita was countered with an inverted atomic drop.
- After delivering a belly-to-back suplex, Flair hooked the figure-four leg lock.
- An eye rake by Nikita broke the hold though.
- A cross-corner whip by Nikita resulted in a Flair flip to the grass.
- Nikita subsequently joined him on the grass and rammed Flair head-first to the ring post.
- Flair was BUSTED OPEN!
- Nikita hit the Russian sickle but couldn’t capitalize immediately.
- He crawled toward Flair and got a 2 count.
- Following that, Nikita tried another bear hug, but Flair rang his bell instantly.
- A roll up by Flair got 2.
- A vertical suplex by Flair was followed by an elbow drop.
- While Flair and Nikita were in the corner, Ivan tripped Flair.
- Crockett saw it, and warned Ivan not to interfere.
- As Nikita continued to choke Flair, he pushed Crockett away.
- With Crockett down, Ivan mounted the top turnbuckle to double-team Flair with his nephew.
- Unfortunately for him, he landed on Crockett.
- Holy this-isn’t-in-the script, Batman! A fan jumped into the ring to attack Ivan. He was followed closely by some of Charlotte’s finest.
- After the brief disruption was removed, a second Flair flip occurred. This time Flair landed on the apron and ran to the adjacent turnbuckle.
- He hit a flying body press as Nikita tripped over his uncle who was still down in the middle of the ring.
- Flair continued to work on Nikita even going to the apron to drape Nikita across the top rope to give him an elbow.
- As Nikita picked up Flair to slam him back into the ring, he lost his balance.
- Flair landed on top and got the pin.
- Flair retained the World title.
Summary: During the last few minutes of the match, it was obvious that Nikita was blown up. Regardless, Flair worked his magic and delivered a classic.
After the match, Ivan beats up a helpless Crockett. As the Koloffs double-team Flair, the ring announcer warns the crowd to stay back. Nikita delivers a clothesline from the top rope as Ivan held Flair. Sam Houston runs in to assist Flair but is no match for Nikita. More wrestlers join the fray only to be discarded by Ivan. To add insult to injury, Nikita clotheslined Flair over the top rope to the grass. This match-up is far from over.
Prior to the main event, a highlight where Rhodes was battling Blanchard is shown. A “fan” in a black wig handed something to Blanchard. As Dusty removed the wig revealing Baby Doll, Blanchard tossed a fire-ball in Rhodes’ face. Afterwards, an injured Rhodes cuts a passionate promo on Blanchard.
Match 8 for the World TV title (steel cage): Tully Blanchard (champion w/ Baby Doll) versus the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes
- In addition to the TV title being on the line, Blanchard placed 30 days of Baby Doll’s services also at stake.
- For fourteen out of the last fifteen months, Blanchard had been the TV champion.
- After Blanchard escaped a leg hold, he rammed Rhodes head-first into the cage.
- He then mounted the second turnbuckle and hit an elbow drop.
- Rhodes was BUSTED OPEN!
- Much to Baby Doll’s delight, Blanchard sent Rhodes into the cage again.
- A trio of elbows from Rhodes preceded a trip to the cage by Blanchard.
- Rhodes then rammed Blanchard’s head into the cage numerous times.
- Blanchard was BUSTED OPEN!
- Upon Blanchard’s escape from a vertical suplex, he ate a clothesline. Rhodes earned a 2 count.
- Figure-four leg lock by Rhodes, but Blanchard reversed it.
- Blanchard attempted a piledriver, but Rhodes backdropped him between the ropes and the cage.
- Blanchard tried to exit the cage over the top, but Rhodes caught him.
- After delivering a series of head butts, a bionic elbow sent Blanchard down to the mat.
- Shortly thereafter, Dusty missed a flying elbow drop.
- Blanchard climbed the opposite turnbuckle and received an elbow pad from Baby Doll.
- However, Rhodes caught Blanchard with a piledriver.
- Rhodes became the NEW World TV champion and collected Baby Doll’s services for 30 days.
Summary: Great payoff to a wrestling angle, as a bloody cage match should be.
To say the crowd comes UNGLUED for Rhodes’ victory would tremendously undervalue the expression. A devastated Baby Doll cries at ringside then leaves reluctantly with Rhodes.
Conclusion: Wow! This was an exciting series of matches that blew off some feuds while some continued to simmer into the fall. I would have preferred a three-hour unclipped version of this show, but this version accomplished the mission and was fun to watch.
See you for WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event!
Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202). And check out all my reflections at rockstargary.com.