Two weeks ago, I reviewed the 12/3/81 show which you can read here
December 10, 1981
Your hosts are Ernie Ladd and Boyd Pierce
In action will be the team of the Junkyard Dog & Mike George, a mixed tag match featuring the “midget” girls, Ted DiBiase vs. Paul Orndorff, and Jimmy Garvin vs. Ed Wiskowski.
The Monk vs. Brian Blair
Ladd puts over how the toughest wrestlers in the world are here in Mid-South as Pierce puts over his amateur wrestling and college football career at Lousiville University. The match starts off with some matwork as they go back-and-forth. Blair starts hammering away then hits a slam and follows with a leg drop for a nearfall. Dropkick gets two. Blair hits a backdrop then catches him with an abdominal stretch and turns that into a cradle for the win (2:58).
Thoughts: Blair looked really good here. He was athletic and smooth in everything he did. Unfortunately, he did not have the charisma to match.
Tom Renesto Jr. vs. King Cobra
Ladd puts over the tenacity of Cobra. They work a criss-cross that ends with Cobra hitting a backdrop. Cobra then works an armbar on the mat as Ladd advises all young wrestlers that want to make a name for themselves to come to Mid-South. Cobra hits a pair of dropkicks before going back to the arm. Ladd talks about hating the Junkyard Dog but cannot deny that he is tough. However, the Wild Samoans are tougher and will be back from their suspension on January 2nd. Renesto avoids a dropkick but runs into an elbow smash. Cobra gets two with a backdrop then puts Renesto away with a headbutt (3:34).
Thoughts: Not much to this and even for this era, a regular headbutt winning a match seemed weak, unless it was your gimmick of course.
“Polish Prince” Ed Wiskowski vs. Jimmy Garvin
Wiskowski works a side headlock to start. Garvin tries to power out but fails at the first attempt. Garvin eventually escapes then takes Wiskowski down and works a hammerlock. Garvin goes back to the arm after a drop toehold. Wiskowski powers out and puts Garvin in the tree-of-woe before stomping him in the corner. Wiskowski continues to hammer away as Pierce puts over Ladd’s football career and how he is now the manager of the Wild Samoans. Garvin comes back with a flying forearm then jumps on Wiskowski’s back for a sleeper. Garvin gets dumped to the floor but is able to catch Wiskowski with a cradle for a nearfall after on a slam attempt. Garvin charges but Wiskowski catches him with a knee smash then drops Garvin throat-first across the top rope before finishing him off with a backbreaker (5:18) *3/4.
Thoughts: Garvin looked good but Wiskowski was never that great in the ring. This was Garvin’s last match with the promotion as he left to work with the NWA.
We are shown a replay from last week when the Junkyard Dog lost to Terry Orndorff due to interference by Paul Orndorff. Mike George also came out to help JYD as we come back to see Ladd laughing, stating JYD had what was coming to him.
Jerry Novak & Aaron Holt vs. Junkyard Dog & Mike George
George and Novak start things off. The match breaks down after that as JYD & George hit Holt with a double shoulder tackle then JYD finishes him off with a powerslam (1:00).
Thoughts: Just a quick match to put over the JYD/George tandem. Holt was not the legal man and I’m surprised Ladd did not point that out on commentary.
Buddy Ryan vs. Iron Sheik w/ Skandor Akbar
Sheik beats down Ryan to start. He then hits a few suplexes but Akbar wants him to inflict more damage. Sheik beats the crap out of Ryan then hits him with more vicious suplexes before hitting a back suplex for the win (2:35).
Thoughts: First off, Ryan weighed about 160 lbs and Sheik absolutely rag-dolled him. He killed the poor guy with his suplexes. And finally, I wonder if the Buddy Ryan name was a rib on the football coach.
Diamond Lil & Rick Ferrara vs. Barbie Doll & Tony Charles
The match starts off with Lil chopping Doll against the ropes. Doll fights back as these two end in a stalemate. Doll works the leg using a step-over toehold until Lil reaches the ropes. Lil fights back and uses a pair of slingshots then tags out as the men are in the ring. They battle for position until Charles uses a flying headscissor takedown. Pierce continues to put over the “Dream Match” contest, where you can write-in matches you want to see with the winners being announced in the new year. Ferrara blocks a dropkick then locks on a Boston Crab. Charles escapes then they tag the girls as they work some comedy spots until Doll pulls up on a monkey flip attempt from Lil by pulling her legs back and standing on her arms to get the win (5:13) *.
Thoughts: This was certainly different. It wasnt terrible but the last segment with the women was not too good. The guys worked hard together. I thought the finish was quite lame.
Paul Orndorff vs. Ted DiBiase
These two feel each other out to start. Last week, Bob Roop was on commentary and kept talking about how Orndorff and himself figured out how to counter DiBiase’s figure-four leg lock. They aggressively jockey for position then Orndorff counters a backdrop attept with a small package for two as he then yells at the referee for counting slow. DiBiase works a headlock but Orndorff catches him with a forearm smash. DiBiase blocks a sunset flip as they end in a stalemate. DiBiase works a hammerlock that Orndorff counters as they continue to go back-and-forth at a fast, aggressive pace. Orndorff runs DiBiase into the turnbuckle after a reversal sequence then starts laying into him with knee smashes. DiBiase comes back with a dropkick after reversing an Irish whip then hammers away. DiBiase hits a powerslam then puts on the figure-four leg lock. Orndorff struggles but eventually reverses the hold as DiBiase is trying to crawl to the ropes as Ladd is screaming about how DiBiase should give up. The crowd is behind DiBiase, who is still refusing to submit. Pierce lets us know there is just one minute left as DiBiase is screaming in pain but inching closer to the ropes. Pierce starts to sign off as the bell rings, with DiBiase right next to the ropes (7:00) ***1/2.
Thoughts: This was awesome. From the excellent story about Orndorff knowing how to counter the figure-four to the fact this looked like an actual fight between the two, it was pro wrestling at its finest. Now, with it known that DiBiase’s figure four can be countered, DiBiase is a marked man between Orndorff and Roop as they both want to get his North American Title.
Final Thoughts: The main event was great. That stuff should be required viewing. The rest of the show was skippable for the most part though. I liked Ladd as a heel color commentator and he pushed the return of the Samoans, who he was pretty much managing at this point.
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/23/88
Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/24/88
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/30/88
Wednesday: PWG All-Star Weekend XII, Night Two 3/5/16
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/31/88
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 12/17/81