The SmarK Rant for World Championship Wrestling – 03.21.87
Had a couple of requests to go back to these again and continue the rise of Lex Luger, and you don’t have to twist MY arm.
Taped from Atlanta, GA, although it’s actually a week old because they did a double shot on 03/14 so they could go touring.
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & David Crockett
Meanwhile, on NWA Pro, Ole Anderson is working a match against Big Bubba, and suddenly gets his ass kicked by Arn Anderson and Ric Flair.
Barry Windham joins us to start, wearing sunglasses that look like snow goggles, and he’s chasing Ric Flair’s World title and it’s going to happen someday. Just like sex with Vince McMahon. You can kick and scream all you want, but it’s gonna happen.
Ivan Koloff & Vladimir Petrov v. Alan Martin & Larry Clarke
BUT WAIT! Koloff and Petrov have the US tag team titles, and David Crockett is confused, since it was Ivan and DICK MURDOCH who won them. But Tony explains, as if to a 3 year old, about what would come to be known as the Freebird Rule in modern times, and David just accepts it. Petrov beats on Clarke and puts him in a facelock before choking him out on the ropes, and Ivan comes in with a neckbreaker and drops a knee on him. Over to Martin and Ivan beats him down as well and rakes the face before dropping him with a suplex. Petrov puts him down with a back elbow while the announcers list off a million legendary S-tier tag teams who are here this week, and meanwhile VLADIMIR PETROV is half of the US tag team champions. Petrov does the one move he’s capable of not screwing up, the Sickle, and that finishes at 4:20.
Ronnie and Jimmy Garvin are here to discuss all the payback coming for Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express, and Jimmy is on ALL OF THE COCAINE this week. Maybe a few Red Bulls as well. He feels REALLY GOOD. And his biggest problem is what he’s gonna buy Precious with the half a million dollars! I know I pull this one out every time I review these shows but inevitably there’s a new reader who doesn’t know it, so again: Ron Garvin and Jimmy Garvin were presented as brothers, but in fact Ron Garvin was Jimmy’s step-father in real life.
Paul Jones and Manny Fernandez are here to remind us that they’re the #1 seeds in the Crockett Cup and they’re still taking on all challengers around the country. Apparently if you want to ride the Bull, it’s a long hard ride. Duly noted.
Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin v. Kent Glover
People who think Tony Khan is coked up should watch more Jimmy Garvin matches from this time. He looks like he’s ready to disassemble a car engine and put it back together again blindfolded. Apparently he’s a commercial pilot now so hopefully he toned it down a bit. Garvin takes the guy down with a facelock and goes to work on the arm before moving to a chinlock and letting us know that “he ain’t going nowhere”. Jimmy with a backdrop and brainbuster to finish at 3:12. Garvin was crazy over at this point and I can see why they took a shot with him in the summer.
JJ Dillon joins us, and he wants to stress that there’s no dissention with the Horsemen. Flair is just back from defending the World title in the Orient and everyone else is going great, so really it’s just Ole Anderson who has the problem. So we show the attack on Ole from the beginning of the show, and JJ notes that it’s just a family issue and no one else’s business but theirs. In fact, they’ve washed their hands of Ole so cleanly that he’s not even a former Horsemen now. JJ also wants to point out that he even put the boots to Ole himself, and he NEVER INTERFERES IN WRESTLING MATCHES. I love how he just delivers that line with a straight face. So then we continue on with the footage, as Ole recovers from the beating and decides to head into the dressing room to continue the fight and confront Flair, and of course that turns into another 4-on-1 gang beating as well. Poor Lex is trying to get in there and give him the goods and just can’t find an opening. Man, just let Tully and Arn do the dirty work, they’re the experts anyway!
Ric Flair joins us now, looking as only he can in a sharp suit, and points out that Ole mentored him back in the day and told him to become a pro wrestler. He was everything that Flair wanted to be, all man and a yard wide, but now time has passed him by and he’s been replaced by three people who put nothing ahead of money and good looking women. They all like telling Ole that they’re the best, and Ole just has to swallow it, because it’s TRUE, and Ole is home wiping the snot off his punk kid’s nose while the Horsemen are taking care of business with their real family. And while Ole used to push him around when he was a kid, now it’s the Horsemen who are gonna be doing the pushing, so stay home or get snuffed out. Oh also he’s gonna eat Barry Windham for lunch at the Crockett Cup, and then Precious is gonna ride Space Mountain as an encore. HOLY HELL WHAT A PROMO. Anyone who can seriously watch this and think almost anyone is better at pro wrestling than Ric Flair is gonna have some explaining to do.
Go ahead, give me a name.
Arn Anderson & Lex Luger v. Larry Stevens & Tommy Angel
I don’t even know how you follow that insanity. Arn beats on both jobbers and tosses Stevens, but JJ tosses him back in for a kneedrop from AA. Arn rips on the guy’s face and it’s over to Lex, who hits Stevens with a press slam and drops an elbow on him. Arn with the spinebuster and that sets up Lex for the Human Torture Rack at 2:00.
Brad Armstrong v. Paul Garner
Brad works the arm until Garner makes the ropes, but Brad pulls him off and continues with the armbar while David Crockett has to seriously list “White Lightning” Tim Horner as one of the best stars of the NWA. They fight over a top wristlock and Garner takes him down by the hair to win that, but Brad immediately reverses him into a hammerlock. Garner fights out of that, but Brad hits him with the legsweep and pins him at 5:02.
Tully Blanchard joins us in what looks like a holdover from ugly Christmas sweater season, and he’s pretty sure Ole’s punk kid won’t want to see Ole on TV beat up by the Horsemen and fighting for air. JJ announces that they’re renting Kevin Sullivan for the Crockett Cup to team with either Tully or Arn as well.
Jim Crockett Jr. joins us to announce a special main event for night one of the Cup: Ole Anderson v. Big Bubba in a cage match. I found it a bit weird that Ole was so deeply into the Horsemen feud but then did a cage match with Bubba on the show. Although I do really wish they had the full show available on the Network like they did with the original.
Tim Horner v. El Lobo
We take a break for the second hour of the show as Tim holds a headlock on El Lobo and return with him still holding it. For some reason “El Lobo” has stars all over his mask instead of something wolf-related. Horner continues working the headlock while Tony puts over that hot new team, the Gladiators, who will be debuting very soon. Lobo breaks free and pounds on Horner in the corner before sharing some air fryer recipes in a chinlock for a bit, and Horner slams out of that for two. They do an awkward reversal bit and then Horner rolls him up for the pin at 4:10. I don’t know why they had so much trouble here.
Tim Horner gets promo time about the Crockett Cup, and Tony is like “Well, you’re not seeded” so Tim talks about other people in the tournament because everyone knows him and Rotunda are going out in the first round anyway. Horner sounds like a cop who asks you to step out of the car, please.
Nikita Koloff joins us for, how you say, a promo. But before he gets to the Crockett Cup, he has to defend the USA Title against Arn Anderson and/or Lex Luger, and he still wants more shots at Ric Flair as well.
Wahoo McDaniel v. Randy Barber
David promises that he’s going to chop Barber in half before the match even starts. SPOILERS! Wahoo immediately talks Barber down and headlocks him on the mat, as he will be teaming up with Baron Von Raschke in the Crockett Cup. David: “Wahoo is like an old car. You can’t wreck him, you just dent him up a little bit.” Thanks, I guess? Wahoo works the arm and there’s none of the chopping promised until he finally pulls one out 3 minutes into the match. And then more armbars and one more chop finishes at 4:00. False advertising, he’s still clearly not chopped “in half”.
Ron Garvin v. Dexter Westcott
Tremendous Crockett jobber name there. Westcott runs Garvin into the turnbuckle to start, so Ron just smacks the shit out of him and puts him in a facelock and then gives him a WEDGIE for a big pop. He throws the geek out of the ring and then hauls him back in for a sleeper while Precious is just cracking up at ringside and David is laughing his ass off on commentary. “He’s killing this guy!” Garvin rakes the back and chokes him on the ropes while pulling on the guy’s kneepad for leverage, and then just beats him into the corner with more chops and wraps him up in a sugar hold on the mat and twists this poor bastard around like a pretzel. The poor guy is literally doing the splits while Ronnie tortures him with all kinds of crazy stuff. The guy looks like he’s begging for mercy, so Ronnie steps on his hands and then puts the boots to him and double stomps him before literally stepping on his throat for two. Tony then checks the format sheet and makes sure he doesn’t have to interview Ronnie because he wants to avoid him. Ronnie chops the guy down again and goes to a camel clutch before backdropping him and setting up HANDS OF STONE to put him out of his misery at 5:51. This was one of the most amazing squash matches you’ll ever see and even that might be underselling it.
Gorgeous Jimmy Cornette joins us doing his impression of Jimmy Garvin while poor Bobby Eaton tries desperately not to break in the background and mostly succeeds. But then Cornette switches to the serious promo and lays out the real threats to the Garvins, promising to destroy Jimmy’s pretty face, and they’re gonna cost the Garvins a lot more than the Crockett Cup.
Beautiful Bobby v. Alan Fox
So even though they were advertising the Midnight Express earlier in the show, seemingly Dennis Condrey made his mysterious exit from the promotion sometime during the taping and so we have a singles match from Bobby instead. He did do a few house shows after this was taped but didn’t appear on TV again until the Original Midnight Express debuted in 1988. Bobby hauls the guy over to the desk for Cornette to get a shot, and then back in for the flying kneedrop for two. Tony and David awkwardly ask Jim Cornette if he actually watched Ron Garvin destroy the jobber before he came out talking shit about the Garvins. Cornette: “I don’t watch low rated stuff.” Bobby hits Fox with a suplex and the jobber completely loses his place, so Bobby gets annoyed and tosses him out of the ring while Cornette explains that if the guy is too groggy to stand up, then they’ll beat him up on the mat. Back in the ring, Bobby takes the guy to the top for a superplex and then Bobby moves him over to the missed mark again and pins him at 4:10. This was a weird squash and obviously the guy was having a bad day or something.
The Rock N Roll Express v. Darrell Dalton & Zane Smith
They work on Zane’s arm and it’s over to Dalton, so Robert takes him down with a headlock for a while, and the double dropkick finishes at 3:00.
Lex Luger joins us to talk about the levels of achievement from the Horsemen, and points out that quality of women in the audience has picked up since he debuted.
The Rock N Roll Express are looking forward to winning the Cup, if I’m translating Robert Gibson properly. You need a special Google Translate plugin for the Network.
Barry Windham v. Bill Tabb
Tabb works a headlock on Barry, but gets taken down and armbarred. Man, Tabb had size and those Road Warrior tights and everything, I still don’t know why he never got a serious look anywhere. Barry drops him with a backdrop suplex and goes to a chinlock, but Tabb slams out of it and then misses a legdrop. Barry with an atomic drop and Tabb takes a nice bump off that and lands in the ropes, before Barry hits him with a suplex and finishes with the lariat at 3:37.
The Four Horsemen join us for the big group promo to end the show, stressing once more all the horrible things that are going to happen to Ole Anderson for daring to cross them. Arn points out that Ole is still tough, but the fire has gone out and he’s got no heart in the business anymore. Also they would have brought his punk kid into the business and made him a champion instead of a runner-up, but Ole wanted to train with him on his own and now he’s a LOSER. The Horsemen don’t care about public opinion and that’s why they’re winners.
Hell of a show this week.