The SmarK Rant for World Championship Wrestling – 03.14.87
Well since I jumped ahead and finished off 1989 on the Network, I might as well go back and pick up where I left off in 1987 again.
Taped from Atlanta, GA
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & David Crockett. Did you know we’re less than a month from the Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament?
Barry Windham & Ron Garvin join us to start, and later on in the show they’re facing Dick Murdoch and Ivan Koloff for the US tag team titles.
Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin v. Randy Barber
Garvin quickly gets a slam and tosses Barber around with a snapmare for two before going to a chinlock and declaring how good he feels! Given the amount of coke he was doing in the 80s I should hope he feels good. He tosses Barber and then throws him back in the ring again for more abuse and he SHOOTS THE HALF for two. Apparently the Fabulous Ones have entered the Crockett Cup tournament, although THAT would take a twist no one was expecting before we got there. Also the world-famous Gladiators, who will no doubt have some warmup matches on this show leading up to it. Nothing notable will come of that, I’m sure. Brainbuster finishes at 3:31.
The Superpowers join us, and they’re the #2 seed in the Crockett Cup. There’s a lot of money and a lot of HOW YOU SAY…and then Koloff loses his train of thought and Dusty has to step in and finish the promo and throw some funky like a monkey in there. It’s like a get out of promo jail free card for the Dream.
Meanwhile, Big Bubba and Ole Anderson get into a scrap on Worldwide, setting up their match at the Crockett Cup.
The Barbarian v. Zane Smith
Barbarian quickly boots him down and follows with a sideslam, then threatens to toss the jobber on the floor before Bill Dundee frantically talks him down so he doesn’t get disqualified. So Barbarian hits a big boot instead and chokes him out while Dundee stops by the desk to put over all the exciting CENTRAL STATES action coming up in Daytona! Or I guess that would be Florida then. Whatever, no one gives a shit. Barbarian tosses the geek and Dundee gets some cheapshots. Back in, Barbarian with a leg lariat for two while Crockett clarifies “we have all the respect in the world for that thing in the ring” and Barbarian pulls out a Scorpion Deathlock months before Sting imported it into the US. Barbarian clobbers him with a clothesline and picks him up at one, then spikes him with a tombstone piledriver and finishes him with the diving headbutt at 4:45. Man Barbarian was pulling out some interesting offense for 1987 there.
Meanwhile, we take a tour of Baltimore, leading up to the Crockett Cup next month.
US tag team title: Barry Windham & Ron Garvin v. Dick Murdoch & Ivan Koloff
Yes, it’s the DARK SUPERPOWERS, as Dusty & Nikita united in their love for Magnum TA and then Murdoch & Ivan united in their HATRED for their former partners. Garvin squeezes on Ivan with a facelock, but Uncle Ivan puts him down with a back elbow and drops an elbow for two. Murdoch comes in the crowd calls him a TRAITOR. What, did he take nuclear documents from the White House and store them in his hotel or something? Murdoch continues cranking on a facelock and holding Garvin in the corner, and Koloff comes in with a legdrop for two. They continue trapping Garvin in the corner with the facelock, but Ron powers Ivan over to the babyface side and Koloff cheats and brings him back over to the heel side again. Murdoch comes in and beats on Garvin some more, but Ronnie fights them off and desperately dives for the tag, only for Koloff to tackle him and cut it off. So Garvin fires back and it’s HOT TAG Barry Windham as we have to take a break!
Back with Barry Windham holding a sleeper on Ivan, but Koloff puts him down with an elbow, and then charges and clotheslines himself on the ropes. But Murdoch comes in and puts the boots to Barry before dropping a knee on him for two. Blind charge hits boot in the corner and Barry comes back and slugs Murdoch down, and then Uncle Ivan cuts off the tag again. Barry charges and hits boot in the corner and does a great babyface sympathy sell of that, but he fights back again with a powerslam for two. Back to Murdoch, but he gets all distracted by the “traitor” chants and Barry comes back with an elbowdrop for two. But Garvin is still injured from the burns inflicted by Jim Cornette, and Barry can’t really tag out, so he brawls with Murdoch out to the floor and at the desk, and back in for a sunset flip that gets two. Ivan cuts him off again and sends him back to the corner with a headbutt, but Barry catches a big boot and puts him down with a backdrop suplex. And we have to take another break? What is this, AEW?
Back with Murdoch holding a sleeper on Barry, but Windham fights up and Murdoch catches him with a back elbow to put him down again. Murdoch slugs away in the corner and goes up for the top rope knee to the back of the neck, but that only gets two. So it’s back to Ivan, but Barry rolls him up for two. Koloff cuts him off with a Russian Sickle for two but Barry still won’t stay down. Neckbreaker gets two. Ivan goes up and Barry crotches him on the top rope, but Murdoch nails Barry from the apron and Koloff gets two. Barry comes back with an abdominal stretch, but Murdoch breaks it up and cuts off the tag again with an atomic drop and just stomps on Barry’s face. This is a master class in babyface selling from Barry Windham. Windham comes back one more time with the lariat on Koloff and it’s HOT TAG Ron Garvin, and he’s an all time great hot tag guy. He fires away on the heels and backdrops Koloff to set up HANDS OF STONE, but Murdoch saves. Petrov comes in and takes the ref, and Jim Cornette appears out of nowhere while Bobby Eaton nails Garvin with the tennis racket, and Koloff falls on top for the pin and the titles at 23:41 and David Crockett is HORRIFIED. And yes, those treacherous commies are the tag team champions of the US as the crowd is in abject shock. A fantastic TV match with Barry Windham taking an amazing beating for most of the match. ****1/4
The Midnight Express joins us and Cornette claims that he didn’t see anything that happened because he was busy talking with his mama, and he’s really broken up about them losing the titles. Also he accuses Precious of being a hooker that Jimmy Garvin picked up at a bus station and married, and now she runs a sex line of her own! So he offers her some dog treats, which have the added benefit of cleaning her teeth. And now he has to go send a sympathy card to Ronnie and Barry for losing their belts.
Brad Armstrong v. El Lobo
Brad controls Lobo with armdrags and that goes on for a while. There’s been a lot of people who used the “El Lobo” gimmick but I don’t recognize this guy. Brad just keeps working that arm and we take a break, returning with Brad still holding a hammerlock on the mat. Man Brad was a good worker but he did some godawful boring squashes on TV. Brad with a crossbody out of the corner, but Lobo cuts him off with a clothesline and drops an elbow for two before going to a chinlock. Lobo looks like he’s a guy and he’s clearly a decent worker while David and Tony discuss NCAA football. Good lord, I get enough of that shit on my Twitter timeline as it is. Lobo goes up and Brad slams him off and finishes with the legsweep at 7:45.
Brad and Bob Armstrong are gonna be jacking jaws in the tag team tournament and might even be shucking and jiving.
Ole Anderson joins Tony on NWA Pro Wrestling, and he’s not really sure where he stands with the Four Horsemen at the moment, but he’s pretty sure Lex Luger is making a mistake by putting his trust in JJ Dillon because nothing is more important than family, which is why he’s going to kick some ass for talking shit about his son. Hell of a promo there.
Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard & Lex Luger v. Alan Martin, Bill Mulkey & Larry Stevens
AA mauls Mulkey to start and it’s over to Stevens, as Lex Luger destroys him with a back elbow and press slam and the women in the audience SWOON. That’s why they pushed the shit out of him immediately. Back to Arn for an armbar and Tully comes in with an elbow to the shoulder. They continue destroying the geek in the corner. They finally let him tag out to Martin and Arn immediately powerslams him and follows with the spinebuster and gourdbuster to finish.
JJ Dillon joins us at the desk, talking about how he shifting from managing Tully as a single to managing the entire Four Horsemen, and now he’s got a major announcement before the end of the show.
Back from the break with Tully & Arn, and Arn is disgusted by Ole Anderson going to watch his son in an individual sport. He didn’t need Ole there to watch him! And Ole wasn’t there when Arn was working out and eating in fine restaurants as a Horsemen, but Tully was, because he’s Arn’s real family.
Lazor-Tron v. Tommy Angel
Oh yes, how could I forget about World Junior champion Lazor-Tron, as poor Hector Guerrero just gets saddled with all the legendary gimmicks. Come to think of it he might have been El Lobo earlier working double-duty under a different mask. LT works Angel’s arm on the mat while the announcers note that he’ll be teaming with Jimmy Valiant in the tournament in quite the trainwreck team. He works on Angel’s knee now with a bridging deathlock as I wonder what exactly the gimmick was supposed to be. Was he an alien? Was he from the future like the New Breed? Was he just really into Lazer Tag? Flying forearm finishes at 4:33 before we can further explore it.
The Midnight Express v. Mike Jackson & Dexter Wescott
Jackson gets a rollup on Bobby for one after foiling Bobby’s takedown attempts and Cornette claims that tights were pulled. So Dexter comes in and Bobby immediately tosses him and the Express begin beating on him. “I’m not a man who likes to meddle in other people’s affairs” notes Cornette in a supremely ironic claim while the Express trades slams on Wescott and Bobby hits the flying knee thanks to Cornette having the light standards raised up to avoid hitting them. But then Bobby gets two and pretends to be reversed by Dexter for two, clowning on the guy before Condrey just HURLS him to the floor again. Jackson comes in and Condrey powerslams him and goes to an abdominal stretch while Cornette fans him with the tennis racket. Back to Wescott (who the announcers call “John Todd” for some reason) and the Rocket Launcher finishes as Bobby pins him with one finger at 5:30. And that glorious squash win was the last one ever for this version of the Midnight Express on this show, as they did one more Worldwide taping the week after and then Condrey left the promotion and never teamed with Bobby again.
The Rock N Roll Express v. Randy Mulkey & Darrell Dalton
Randy gets some offense on Robert Gibson in the corner and runs wild for a bit, so Ricky comes in and brings him over to tag Dalton to stop the path of Mulkeymania. And the double dropkick finishes Dalton at 1:38.
Lex Luger joins us, as JJ Dillon makes the official announcement that since Ole Anderson wants to air his dirty laundry in public, he’ll fire Ole in public and announces that Lex Luger is the newest member of the Four Horsemen! So Luger does his first Horsemen promo and kind of gets derailed by the crowd chanting for Ole. So Dillon freaks out on them and threatens to have them all ejected next week when Ric Flair is here!
Rick Rude & Manny Fernandez join us, and they’re the #1 seed in the tournament and Bull is still pretty coked up, daddy.
Mike Rotunda v. Thunderfoot
Rotunda takes him down with a headscissors as the announcers talk about Mike wanting to be the Florida champion. I don’t know what kind of a promotion would be dumb enough to buy up a bunch of smaller groups and then put their belts all over TV and water down their own product like that. Mike with an airplane spin that goes badly, so he regroups and does it again properly this time for the pin at 2:12. And he finishes the show by warning Ed Gantner that he’s coming for the Florida title tomorrow night! Spoiler: He would win it and retire the title by the end of the year.
Well this ended up being quite the historic episode! Kind of snuck up on me, but that US tag title match was GREAT (although Murdoch would quickly be gone and we’d never get a payoff against the Superpowers) and we unexpectedly said goodbye to the classic Midnight Express and introduced Lex Luger as a Horsemen.
Next week: Ric Flair returns!