The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling – 04.24.82
Been a few months since I went back to Bill Watts, so let’s head back there.
Taped from Shreveport, LA
Your hosts are Boyd Pierce and young Jim Ross. His tryout must have gone well.
Paul Orndorff v. Larry Higgins
Higgins goes for a facelock and Orndorff cradles him for two, so Higgins takes a break outside to regroup. You know, I didn’t exactly follow the career of Larry Higgins very closely, but I know that later on he got a push as Hacksaw Higgins, and that’s mystifying because looking at a doughy Watts jobber here you would not think to yourself “Hey, there’s someone who should be nicknamed HACKSAW”. Orndorff gets a dropkick and the world’s most awkward powerslam for two, as Higgins seems like he had no idea how to go up for it. So Orndorff does it again, and Higgins STILL can barely take the damn bump, and that finishes at 2:50. Orndorff gives him a frustrated stomp afterwards, and you can’t blame him. 0 for 1.
Iron Mike Sharpe v. Ron Cheatem
Iron Mike as the virtuous babyface continues to amaze me. Cheatem lives up to his name by attacking Sharpe before the bell, but Mike puts him in the corner and threatens a beating, while Cheatem begs off. Sharpe works an armbar and yanks Cheatem around the ring with it while JR is sure that Sharpe is on the verge of a breakthrough and becoming a true superstar of the wrestling world. Well, no. But he did OK for himself. Cheatem fights out of the armbar, so Sharpe dropkicks him and goes to a bodyscissors on the mat in a fun spot, but Cheatem slugs out of it. So Sharpe beats on him in the corner and goes to the bearhug to finish at 3:00. I continue being entertained by this version of Sharpe. 1 for 2.
Wendi Richter v. Velvet McIntyre
Richter was still the mean cowgirl heel at this point in her career, and Velvet still had boots! The story goes that one of the women stole her gear in the locker room before a show, so she worked barefoot and it become her thing. Richter gets some slams on Velvet, but Velvet ties her up with a leglock on the mat as Boyd struggles to pronounce “Richter”, saying it “RICH-ter” for some reason. Did they not have the Richter Scale in 1982? Meanwhile the referee gets caught up in a hairpulling session and rolls around with Velvet as a result as this turns into a midget match. Wendi boots her down and follows with a slam, but Velvet fights back with dropkicks before missing one. But then she gets a sunset flip to finish at 4:11. It can’t be overstated how drastic of a character change Wendi did when she broke through in the WWF. 2 for 3.
Coco Samoa & Buddy Landell v. Tully Blanchard & Bob Roop
Roop was North American champion at this point, having screwed over Ted Dibiase a few weeks back, for those who need a refresher. Tully is really coming into his asshole heel character here after doing a low key debut in Mid-South. Roop tries hitting Samoa in the head and that doesn’t work for him, and Coco monkey-flips him and cleans house on the heels. Roop tosses Samoa, but comes in with a springboard into a sunset flip in a pretty badass spot for 1982. Over to Tully, but Buddy grabs a headlock and then fights off the heels with slams and cleans house as well. Again, Buddy Landell as the hard-working babyface fighting from underneath was barking up the wrong tree. Coco comes in and Roop beats on him in the corner and drops an elbow for two, and a small package gets two. JR notes that this shows off Roop’s amateur background. I know Roop is a legit amateur star, but since when do they do small packages in college wrestling? Buddy gets an attempt at a hot tag, but Roop hits him with a high knee to cut off that comeback and pins him with a legdrop at 6:13. Roop is not really doing much as champion thus far. A decent match here, though. 3 for 4.
Last week: Ernie Ladd brings out the Assassin as his mystery partner, but the Assassin reveals that Skandor Akbar already paid him off with more money than Ladd, so Ladd can deal with the Samoans himself. His name is LITERALLY THE ASSASSIN! What did Ernie expect?
The Assassin v. Terry Gibbs
Assassin takes Gibbs down with a headlock while Jim Ross notes that not every man has a price. Ted Dibiase would beg to differ. JR notes that Assassin is probably the greatest masked man in the history of wrestling, which I think is very insulting to Jack Victory about 12 different times. Assassin keeps grinding on the headlock, showing the heel skills and top level wrestling excitement he’s known for worldwide, and he puts Gibbs away with a headbutt at 4:50. Yeah that was pretty much the whole match. 3 for 5.
Last week: Dick Murdoch faces Bob Roop in a non-title match and it turns into a brawl, which sends Roop running to the back.
The Samoans & One Man Gang v. Junkyard Dog, Dick Murdoch & Mr. Olympia
We’ve got about a minute left in the show so this won’t last long. Gang and JYD do a power battle to start and JYD slugs him out to the floor and then chokes him out in the ring. And then everyone brawls with time running out, as Murdoch grabs his shovel and that’s a DQ at 1:54 as WE’RE DESPERATELY OUT OF TIME!
Next week: Ted Dibiase returns, and we get a notable debut!