The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling – 01.01.83
You know, the 82 era of Mid-South is becoming a bit of a drag and I’m sick of Bob Roop and the various child predators on the shows, so let’s jump ahead to 1983 instead and see how that goes.
Taped from Shreveport, LA
Your host is Cowboy Bill Watts, sitting in for Boyd Pierce. And in fact, this episode is going to have a recap of 1982 as we start a new year.
KAMALA is off in the jungles of Louisiana and he’s looking a lot more threatening and less lovable than he soon became.
Andre the Giant, Junkyard Dog & Mil Mascaras v. Killer Khan, Gino Hernandez & Tully Blanchard
This is a six-man match from Houston on October 1 1982, as Khan attacks Andre’s famously injured ankle, carrying on a storyline that ran through various territories and eventually paid off in the WWF. The heels keep on Andre’s ankle and trap him in the corner, but Mascaras manages to get a tag and cleans house on Tully with an inverted abdominal stretch, like he’s going for a Sister Abigail and then holding it there. Gino breaks it up, but Mil comes off the top with a bodypress and Gino saves. So it’s a PIER SIX BRAWL and Andre throws Mil on top of Tully and that gets the pin. Bill is of course disgusted that Houston promoter Paul Boesch allows people to come off the top rope and make saves in tag team matches, and he’ll be having a talk with him about that later.
Gino Hernandez v. Mil Mascaras
Back to Houston on October 15, as Mil gets a bodypress for an apparent pin, with a fan running in to count the pin while the ref is bumped, but the “fan” takes off his wig and reveals himself as Tully Blanchard, and then knocks out Mascaras with a foreign object and puts Gino on top for the pin. HOLY CRAP they got Mascaras to do a JOB? What unholy deal with the devil did they need to strike to make that happen?
Paul Boesch joins Bill on the October 27 82 episode of Mid-South, and they chat with the kids while a gorilla from the state fair is notably sitting in the crowd. Oh man, whenever there’s a gorilla on a wrestling show, you know it’s going to pay off with something awesome! People in gorilla costumes work every time. It’s like how they put gorillas on comic book covers all through the 70s because they always boosted sales. Paul and Bill discuss the upcoming tag team match with Ted Dibiase & Matt Borne against JYD & Mr. Olympia match, with Jim Duggan banned from ringside. Oh you know where this is going!
Junkyard Dog & Mr. Olympia v. Ted Dibiase & Matt Borne
So this is the tag team match we were discussing earlier, and we pick it up with the Rat Pack double-teaming Olympia , and Borne comes off the top rope with the flying buttdrop, which he later turned into the Whoopie Cushion as Doink. JYD makes the save and drags Olympia over to the corner, and then gets the hot tag and cleans house on the heels. Dibiase finds a foreign object, but Dog grabs the loaded glove and then hits Borne with it. But then the GORILLA runs in from the audience and unmasks as Jim Duggan, and HE’S MADE MONKEYS OF US ALL, BY GOD. And Dibiase hits Dog with the loaded glove and pins him to win. So Dibiase and Borne get the tag team titles and JYD has to leave for 90 days.
But then, on November 6…
Ted Dibiase v. Stagger Lee
Yes, Dibiase has to face a mysterious new masked wrestler, who wears a red and green bodysuit and does a suspicious amount of headbutts. And he blitzes Dibiase and finishes with a Thump, but he’s 100% not Junkyard Dog.
Tony Atlas is about to face a jobber, but Jim Duggan interrupts because he’s the Louisiana champion and he’s going to show Atlas what it takes to be a real athlete and see if Atlas can keep up. So he does 20 pushups and then challenges Tony to do the same. So Tony does it, and then does them one-handed to prove a point. So Duggan tries it one-handed and he’s gassed, but Atlas tries it again and Duggan attacks him and I guess we have a match. Duggan tries his spear and Atlas swats him down, leaving Duggan stunned and busted open. Even young Marty Lunde can’t save Duggan from a beating by Atlas!
Louisiana title: Jim Duggan v. Tony Atlas
Duggan and Atlas have an arm-wrestling competition and Atlas flashes him several times, so Duggan beats on him in the corner and puts the boots to him. Atlas fights back and slugs away on Duggan, and Hacksaw bumps to the apron and out to the floor. This brings out Dibiase & Borne to provide Duggan with moral support and a towel, but Atlas kicks their ass, while Duggan puts on a mask of some kind and headbutts Atlas for the pin to retain. Oh man, the Rat Pack were AWESOME. I have definitely picked the right era to pick things up.
From December 18, Mr. Wrestling II confronts Skandor Akbar for sending Kamala after him in a series of attacks, and he puts Kamala out with the famous kneelift and then goes after Friday and nearly unmasks him, but Kamala splashes II and tries for the mask of Wrestling II. Stagger Lee and Olympia make the save.
Later in the same show…
Ted Dibiase & Matt Borne v. Stagger Lee & Mr. Olympia
This is another loser-leaves-town match, with the babyfaces going for their revenge, and this time Duggan hits Olympia with the loaded mask and the Rat Pack triumphs again, sending Olympia out of the area for 90 days. And he can’t even come back with a mask on because he’s already masked! I guess he could come back as Jerry Stubbs instead.
Mr. Wrestling II v. Tully Blanchard
This is the ending of a match from Houston on December 10, with a bloodied Tully getting beaten up by II until the ref calls for the DQ. So II continues beating Tully to the floor and then offers him a chance to continue the fight and beats on him some more while Tully does an awesome sell of the beating.
Stagger Lee, Chavo Guerrero & Tony Atlas v. Matt Borne, Ted Dibiase & Jim Duggan
From Houston on December 10, as Stagger Lee gets triple-teamed by the Rat Pack, but Chavo gets the hot tag and fights them all off on his own, putting Dibiase in a crab, but Gino Hernandez runs in and knocks him out with a chair to draw the DQ in the first fall.
For the second fall, Paul Boesch allows the babyfaces to pick a new partner to replace Chavo due to chair injury, and of course Mr. Wrestling II is the guy. So he fights off the Rat Pack and hits Duggan with the kneelift to chase him to the floor, and they get into a standoff as the TV time runs out.
Yeah! I’m already excited to carry on with 1983 and all the great stuff I remember from that era. This was a tremendous recap of the last couple of months of 82 and you can tell that Bill had some inspired booking working for him thanks to the new partnership with Houston as well.