The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling – 09.14.85
All the talk about Bill Watts in WCW recently made me want to go back and review some Mid-South, although we’re rapidly running out of episodes on the Network anyway. I’ll probably have to loop back to continue 1982 once I run out of 1985 episodes. So let’s HOOK ‘EM UP.
Taped from Shreveport, LA
Your hosts are Boyd Pierce and Bill Watts
Cowboy Bill Watts is hanging out with Jim Dugan, Butch Reed and North American champion Dick Murdoch, and Bill informs us that Ric Flair has decreed that he will only defend the NWA World title against the North American champion, and Bill is none too happy about being told who can challenge for the title. So Bill asks Butch Reed what he thinks about that, but Dick Murdoch quickly interrupts because he’s the champion, and I’m sure it had nothing to do with Butch Reed being black. Nothing at all. Anyway, he stresses to Butch that he’s better. Because he’s the CHAMPION. No other reasons. So Butch is like “Well, I guess I’ll just have to challenge you for that belt and earn the shot at Ric Flair”.
Meanwhile, we get some kind of music video showing what a fancy boy Al Perez is. He likes to work out and has fancy back acne! And eat at fancy restaurants with fancy champagne! And practice his german suplex with what looks like a fancy sex doll! The music is so incredibly generic here that I can’t even guess what Joel Watts originally had in there. Puttin’ On The Ritz, maybe? I know, we’re kind of burying the lede with the inflatable sex doll, but the 80s were a simpler time. Maybe that’s where the guys in Japan got the idea for the matches with the blow-up dolls?
Al Perez & Wendell Cooley v. Bill Dundee & Dutch Mantel
I believe this is non-title and I’m surprised Dundee is still hanging around the territory, I thought he was gone in August. Unless he just stepped down as booker and is working as talent, but I think Dick Slater takes over for him and immediately puts himself over everyone in the territory so we’ll know. The babyfaces work on Dutch’s arm as Perez holds him on the mat with an armbar and then brings in Cooley. Watts notes that Ted Dibiase is back soon and he’s gonna be PISSED that Sweetan and Dr. Death lost the tag titles while he was gone. Maybe he could just try buying the belts back? Cooley gets caught in the heel corner and Mantel drops a knee on him and follows with an elbow for two. Dundee puts him down with a forearm to the face, but misses an elbow and it’s hot tag Perez, and he manages to take out the ref while making his comeback. So Mantel grabs the whip, and nails Perez with it. But Cooley steals it and gets rid of Dundee, and Perez recovers and finishes Dundee with the german suplex at 5:45. Man, they are giving it the old college try with Perez and Cooley, I’ll give ‘em that. 1 for 1.
Last week: The Nightmare busts Jake Roberts open with a loaded mask, but Jake pins with the DDT and then unmasks him as Moondog Rex for good measure, although the announcers completely no-sell his identity. And then Humongous goes for the beatdown on Jake and Barbarian saves, only to turn on Jake and join in with the beating. That was a pretty badass angle.
Oliver Humperdink informs us that “blood is thicker than water” and Humungous and Barbarian are brothers in blood because they both want to win and destroy people. So they’re both with him now.
Barbarian & Humongous v. Jimmy Backlund & Kent Glover
Humongous throws Backlund around and tosses him right away, and then brings in Glover and beats on him as well. Over to Barbarian, who in this case is the worker of the team, and he goes up with the flying knee, and they finish with a bearhug and flying clothesline combo at 1:10, kind of like what the Road Warriors were using at that point. And OF COURSE, now that they’re heated up and going somewhere, John Nord left a week later and we never got the blowoff with Jake after the great setup. There you go, the one time I’m disappointed to see Nord leave a territory. 1 for 2.
Jake Roberts v. Paul Brown
So yeah, Jake is now firmly over as a babyface with the fans and he takes Brown down and drops knees on him before going to a chinlock. And the short clothesline and DDT finish at 1:00 and that gets a HUGE pop. Of course Jake wouldn’t be around the promotion for much longer either as he went onto bigger and better things at the end of the year. 1 for 3.
Last week: El Corsario does a karate exhibition that turns into a vicious beatdown on Eddie Gilbert in behavior that is very unbecoming for a Caribbean legend. This leads to Bill Watts doing a rant against Puerto Rico and how America should CUT THEM OFF and let them try to survive on their own without welfare cheques. Oh, Bill. Thankfully he immediately apologizes for what he said. Were Puerto Rican terrorist organizations that much of a hot button topic in 1985 that Bill felt the need to craft a character opposing them or something? That just seems like such a weirdly specific straw man argument.
El Corsario v. Pat Rose
Corsario puts Rose down with chops as Watts describes the heels as being part of a “terrorist organization”. These days he’d be blaming Antifa. Superkick finishes at 1:20. 1 for 4.
Steve Williams v. Karl Stiles
They do an extended lockup on the ropes to start and Watts announces that next week Dr. Death challenges Murdoch for the North American title. Doc takes Stiles down and rides him on the mat, but Stiles makes the ropes so Doc backdrops him and hits him with running chop blocks before finishing with the Stampede at 1:50. 1 for 5.
The Fantastics v. Larry Clarke & Jerry Grey
The Fantastics double-team Grey’s arm to start and Rogers gets a sunset flip for two. Over to Clarke, who immediately misses an elbow and gets double-teamed as well, and Rogers finishes him off with a flying splash at 1:30. 1 for 6.
And we finish with another look at the mysterious Midnight Rider as that angle continues to go nowhere.
Well after last week’s angle-filled reset show, this was just a bunch of recaps and quick squashes.