The SmarK Rant for World Championship Wrestling – 03.28.87
All the kids are talking about the return of the Crockett Cup this weekend, but back in 1987 we were building up to the real thing. Also all the kids are talking about the return of wrestling to Saturday nights this month, so this is a double whammy of zeitgeist. I’m even more in tune with the youth of today than the Outrunners are!
Taped from Atlanta, GA
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & David Crockett
The Rock N Roll Express v. Chance McQuade & Big Bill Tabb
According to Cagematch, Big Bill was later repackaged as Big Bill Dietcoke. Ricky and Robert switch off on Tabb with headlocks to start and Robert slams him, which is no mean feat given he’s a big sumbitch. Seriously though, it was 1986 and Tabb was a big black guy who looked like the Barbarian with a darker skin tone, how did this dude not get a serious look from anyone? Over to 80s private eye Chance McQuade, straight from the direct-to-video movie series starring Chuck Norris…’s younger brother Larry. Ricky takes him down and works on a wristlock, like Zack Sabre Jr’s great grandpa, while Tony and David hype up the potential opponents for the RNR who are debuting later in the show. Double dropkick finishes McQuade at 3:55, but I’m more interested in these Gladiator fellas who are debuting later. Weird too because I was an avid PWI reader at the time and I had never heard of them but apparently they’re world famous and undefeated.
Rock N Roll Express join Tony after the win, having quickly changed back into their shirts after the win, and clarify to Paul Jones that they’re the only RNR.
Jim Cornette joins us and Big Bubba is the talk of the wrestling world right now, as he’s ready to finish off Dusty Rhodes once and for all in an upcoming cage match. Cornette talks about how Ole Anderson was a legend, but a legend is just a story that gets told over and over until it’s blown out of proportion, just like Ole.
Beautiful Bobby Eaton v. Vern Deaton
Bobby quickly wipes him out with the Alabama Jam and tosses him to the floor while Cornette promises that the Crockett Cup will see the debut of a new and improved Midnight Express. I think that was literally the only time that a wrestling tag team was “New” and ended up exceeding the original. Bobby works on Vern’s arm while Cornette is worried that Precious is going to lose her street corner if she keeps hanging out at ringside. HA. Eaton with a high knee and he goes up again with another Alabama Jam to bookend the squash and finish at 3:42.
Meanwhile on Worldwide Wrestling, Ric Flair is helping commentate a Horsemen squash, but Ole Anderson storms out and beats the shit out of Flair, tearing his $4000 suit apart until the other Horsemen save him. That’s literally supposed to be the entire purpose of the Four Horsemen! Protecting Ric Flair! So Flair flips out and cuts a crazed promo against Ole for “jumping a World champion when he’s conducting himself in a business-like manner!” I gotta say, watching these shows now, they were doing a much better job of making Ole Anderson into a babyface star than I remembered at the time. Maybe because I was fairly limited in the episodes I had access to at the time. Also Flair says that Dusty Rhodes’ broken leg and Nikita Koloff’s “screwed up neck” are going to be nothing compared to the beating that Flair is going to put on Ole, and Ole’s family won’t even recognize his face when he’s done.
Ole Anderson joins us, and he’s facing Tully Blanchard at the Omni next week, and points out that whenever he gets the Horsemen in a one-on-one situation, they suddenly don’t look so tough. Unfortunately we never got to the Ole v. Flair title match, and barely even had any Ole v. Arn matches before Ole left midway through the year.
Ole Anderson v. Kent Glover
Ole works the arm and drops an elbow, then goes up with the knee to the shoulder off the top and finishes with an armbar at 1:16.
Meanwhile, Frances Crockett takes us on a tour of things to do in Baltimore while you’re here for the Crockett Cup. Just don’t cut yourself shaving or the athletic commission will suspend you!
The Kansas Jayhawks v. Randy Barber & Mike Force
The Jayhawks work on the arm of Barber and it’s over to Force, who is definitely all natural and not on steroids at all. Dutch Mantell with a snap suplex on him and Jaggers kind of rips at his face while the announcers again speculate how the Jayhawks would fare in the Cup against the awesome duo of the Gladiators. They’re debuting later in the show, you know! Dutch works a facelock and puts him down with a boot to the gut, and Jaggers drops an elbow for the pin at 5:09. I have no idea how these guys were supposed to be babyfaces. Talk about miscast.
Paul Ellering joins us after a successful tour of the Orient with the Road Warriors, which is usually code for something else, but in this case they probably were in Japan making huge money. And in fact they won the NWA International tag team titles in All Japan, from Jumbo Tsuruta & Tenryu. And Paul finishes with “We earn our money the old fashioned way…we beat people up for it.”
Meanwhile, on NWA Pro, Nikita Koloff wins a squash, but Dick Murdoch returns from suspension and attacks, giving Nikita a brainbuster on the concrete, causing Nikita to wear a neck brace for like a year afterwards and eventually costing him the US title to Lex Luger. Today, that’s a transition spot on Dynamite before a commercial break. Tony and David note that Jim Crockett is promising CONSEQUENCES. So we cut to a promo from Dusty Rhodes & Nikita Koloff, with Nikita debuting his new neck brace, and now their seeding in the Crockett Cup is in question. In retrospect that should have telegraphed who was winning the whole thing. So anyway, poor Nikita has a brace and literally can’t move his neck without excruciating pain, so the dickhead director does a couple of cuts between angles, so that Nikita has to turn his freshly injured neck to follow the camera.
The Armstrongs join us at the desk and Bob says hello to the Southern Boys, Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers, and notes that they’ll be getting reinforcements back in Continental soon. Wait, they were the Southern Boys before their WCW runs? I didn’t even know that! I literally thought WCW put them together.
Wahoo McDaniel & Baron Von Raschke v. Larry Clarke & Rick Sullivan
Sullivan gets double-teamed by the seniors tour and Wahoo chops him down and smashes him into the turnbuckle, managing to bust his eye open in the process. So to show that he’s sympathetic, Wahoo chops the everloving shit out of Sullivan and then lets him tag out. Baron works a headlock on Clarke. Fun fact: The Baron was only 22 years old and Wahoo was 25 here but everyone looked 40 years older back in the 80s due to all the cocaine and styrofoam McDonalds container waste in the water. We take a break for the second hour and return with Wahoo beating on Sullivan again, hitting him with another chop and then finishing with a suplex at 4:55. Were they ribbing this Sullivan kid or something? Wahoo just murdered him for no real reason I can tell.
Mike Rotunda, the Florida Heavyweight champion, does a remote promo from Florida and he’s pretty sure that he and Tim Horner would have been seeded higher if they hadn’t entered so late. They should have teamed him up with Barry Windham instead, they might have had good chemistry together.
Wahoo & The Baron join Tony at the desk and they crave competition and THAT IS ALL THE PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW. Wahoo admits that he was probably being kind of a dick by busting Rick Sullivan open for no reason in that squash, but he wants the money at the Crockett Cup so deal with it.
Big Bubba Rogers v. Cougar Jay
Jay tries to jump on Bubba and gets slammed while Cornette notes that Nikita looks like his head is “sticking out of a toilet seat” with that neck brace on. He’s not wrong! Bubba with a backbreaker and he goes up with a double axehandle and then adds a shoulderbreaker before finishing with a hammerlock at 1:22 to make a point to Ole.
The Dark Superpowers and their drug-dealing sidekick Petrov join us and they’ve got nuclear heat with the crowd. Don Callis heat! Well Koloff and Murdoch do, no one gives a shit about Petrov. The sight of Vladimir Petrov getting to touch the US tag team titles makes me feel icky. Murdoch goes off on Dusty & Nikita and promises that they won’t get to touch the Crockett Cup because they’re SOFT SISSY BOYS, unlike himself. He was probably pretty drunk doing that promo and I had no idea what his point was for most of it, but he sure sounded convincing.
Bill Dundee and the Mod Squad do a remote promo, and you know the Mods are the Florida tag team champions because they have a pair of tag team titles with a picture of Florida on the front. It’s a bit on the nose, innit?
Tully Blanchard & Lex Luger v. Denny Brown & Todd Champion
Young Todd, future leader of the WCW SPECIAL FORCES, works a headlock on Tully to start, but Luger takes him down with an armbar. Champion reverses to his own armbar and it’s over to Denny Brown, who slugs away on Tully and backdrops him out of the corner. Apparently the Gladiators are a major threat to the Horsemen as well in the Crockett Cup, and David clarifies that they’re from the West Coast, which is probably why PWI wasn’t covering them at that point. Tully finishes Denny with a slingshot suplex at 3:51.
Tully & Lex join Tony at the desk, and JJ is bothered by the continued existence of Ole Anderson. Well that just makes him human. It’s not JJ’s fault that Ole has all those kids and can’t feed them! And Lex knows now that Nikita Koloff has a weakness, and now he’s coming after the US title.
Arn Anderson v. Tim Horner
They trade hammerlocks to start and Horner gets a slam and dropkick to send AA to the floor. Back in, Arn gets a cheapshot and works the body, then tosses Horner, but Tim trips him up and wraps the leg around the post. Back in, Horner goes to work on the leg. Arn tries for the spinebuster, but Horner steps away from him and kicks the leg out of his leg before going back to a leglock on the mat. Arn fights out of that, but he goes for a headlock and Horner puts him down with a kneebreaker and goes back to the leg again. Horner with a sunset flip out of the corner for two as he continues frustrating Arn, but AA catches him with a shot to the head and sets up the gourdbuster. But then Horner reverses again, gets the bridging rollup, and finally Tully freaks out and runs in for the DQ at 5:56. Well that is surely the biggest upset we’ll see on this program today!
Arn Anderson joins us after the match, making sure to be drenched in sweat to put over how tough the match with Horner was, but he lies and notes that he had the match clearly won and then moves onto threatening Ole again. JJ slows him down and notes that first they need to win the Cup and then deal with Ole after that’s done. And then JJ throws it to Kevin Sullivan, who will be teaming with Arn in place of Ole. Kevin notes that he used to have a brother like Ole as well, and they had to institutionalize him. Huge if true.
Ric Flair joins us in a brand new sharp suit, and he’s gonna bust Philly WIPE OPEN tonight and then fly down to Charlotte and style and profile down there too.
Barry Windham v. Dave Spearman
Lariat and goodbye at 0:20.
Ravishing Rick Rude and Paul Jones join us, and much like a lawyer in court, they’re gonna be prepared for the Crockett Cup.
Ravishing Ride Rude v. Larry Stevens
Rude quickly hits a clothesline on Larry and finishes him with the Rude Awakening, which was a DDT at this point, at 0:28.
The Garvins join us and Ronnie thinks it’s scary that people are doing stuff for money, like Jim Cornette trying to blind him, and now they’re gonna have a cage match and Jim is gonna be crippled at the end of it. Then Jimmy gets them to move the desk so everyone can see how beautiful he is, and notes that Ric must have taken a “bad bump on the head” because he’s out there going “woo woo woo” and talking trash about Precious. Pretty sure that it’s another guy who goes “woo woo woo”. But Jimmy is just gonna have to be the guy who dethrones Flair, and it’s NOT HIS FAULT that it has to happen.
The Gladiators v. Bill & Randy Mulkey
Yes, it’s the famous West Coast Tag Team champions, making their NWA debut here in advance of the Crockett Cup! So they quickly toss a Mulkey, doesn’t matter which one, and double team the other one with a backbreaker. But then one of them goes to slam Bill, trips over Randy, and falls backwards and gets pinned at 0:45! That was actually a really well done spot and a funny moment. So David declares the dawn of MULKEY-MANIA while the Gladiators freak out because they flew all the way from CALIFORNIA and were promised they weren’t going to lose. For those who don’t know, it was Gary Royal & George South under the masks of the Gladiators.
Another fun episode of World Championship Wrestling, with one of the most legendary angles in the show’s history to close out the episode. Man I wish they’d put the full Crockett Cup 87 up on the Network like they did with 86.