The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling – 05.29.82
I’m not sure why we’re missing the May 22 episode from the Network, but here we are. And yes I know the remainder of 1982 is all HEAT HEAT HEAT on the heels but dammit I wanna watch the rise of the Rat Pack and mostly I want to spite KrisPLettuce for going off on Twitter about how no one cares about the archives on the Network. I CARE ABOUT THEM, DAMMIT. Plus I don’t have time to review a Clash tonight and this is nice and short.
Taped from Shreveport, LA
Your hosts are Boyd Pierce & Cowboy Bill Watts
Precious Paul Ellering is here to teach a bunch of kids about working out, claiming to work out 24 hours a day. Nope, nothing weird about a muscular oiled up guy in short trunks working out with kids. And then Paul does 4 reps with a 300 pound bar, falling a little short of his 1500 pound goal, but that’s still insanely strong. Hopefully he finds some friends who are into working out as much as he is.
The Grappler v. Ted Dibiase
Grappler takes him down and goes after the leg, but Ted slugs him down with a forearm for two while Bill recounts the backstory between them, as apparently Dibiase’s figure-four injured Grappler’s leg to the point where he needed to start wearing the loaded boot for support. I learned something new today. Dibiase tries a rollup and Grappler blocks it, so Dibiase dropkicks him and goes to work on the arm. Grappler puts him down with a forearm and hangs him in the Tree of Woe before putting the boots to him and following with an elbow for two. Neckbreaker gets two. Grappler misses a kneedrop and Dibiase makes the comeback, slugging away in the corner and putting him down with a dropkick, but he misses an elbow and they collide, putting Grappler on the floor. So the Assassin runs in for the masked man unity and Dibiase beats on him, which allows Ernie Ladd to come out and nail Grappler with a chair behind the ref’s back, putting Dibiase on top for the pin at 6:20. See, in Mid-South the ref didn’t call a DQ because Dibiase was able to fight him off like a real man. Good match to open the show.
Meanwhile, Skandor Akbar introduces his newest bounty hunter: Hangman Ricky Harris.
Hangman Rick Harris v. Dick Murdoch
Murdoch has apparently been promoted to full captain since joining the fake Marines, which is where the Captain Redneck nickname comes from. Harris of course went onto somewhat greater fame as Black Bart, playing essentially the same character. Hangman Harris is actually a hell of a name, not sure why he changed it. Black Bart sounds like the third guy from the top in a outlaw’s gang on a 50s Western. Murdoch slugs Harris down and goes to a chinlock while Bill is VERY VERY excited about the impending debut later tonight of a certain amateur college wrestler you may have heard about before. Harris backdrops Murdoch out of the corner and drops him on the top rope to take over. He goes to a camel clutch and that allows Akbar to steal Murdoch’s backpack of Marine gear, but Murdoch fights back and puts him down with a bionic elbow. Harris pounds on him again and tries for an abdominal stretch, but Akbar takes the ref and accidentally nails Harris with Murdoch’s helmet, allowing Murdoch to finish with the brainbuster at 4:43. So Murdoch goes after Akbar to retrieve his gear, but Hangman Harris lives up to his name and hangs Murdoch on the top rope while One Man Gang holds him. Ah yes, wouldn’t be a Bill Watts show without a good hanging angle now and then.
The One Man Gang v. Coco Samoa
Gang tries to beat on Coco on the ropes, but he can’t catch him and Samoa escapes to the floor to frustrate Gang. Back in the ring, Gang does catch him and beats on him with clubbing forearms and puts him down with a big boot before choking him out. Samoa tries a bodypress and Gang catches him and suplexes him to finish at 3:38. Man Gang was BAD at this point, lacking a lot of the presence he gained just a couple of years later and looking more like a gangly hillbilly who could barely put together a match.
Iron Mike Sharpe & Mike Hudspeth v. Bob Roop & The Assassin
Roop and Assassin double-team Hudspeth, who apparently went on to be a longtime enhancement guy in the WWF as Mike Reed and passed away in 2021, and Assassin suplexes him and finishes with the loaded headbutt at 2:25. Sharpe wasn’t even in the match.
Steve “Dr. Death” Williams v. The Turk
Williams looks the same at 22 years old here as he did for the rest of his life. He takes the Turk down with a chinlock and slams him out of a fireman’s carry for two. Another chinlock as Bill relates the story behind the “Dr. Death” name and you can just hear the pride in his voice as he probably wishes that Steve was his son instead of whats-his-name with the pants. Turk hits him with some chops, but can’t put him down with a shoulderblock, and Williams slams him for two. He backdrops Turk out of the corner and he’s moving so stiffly and clumsily at this point. Oklahoma Stampede finishes at 4:00 as Watts takes credit for teaching him the move. Man Watts would have put the title on him right there if he could, although Doc looked greener than grass in his debut. He was the furthest thing from an instant prodigy.
Randy Base & Jim Starr v. Junkyard Dog & Mr. Olympia
Dog and Olympia are the Mid-South tag team champions, as well as holding the Louisiana and Mississippi singles titles. Dog throws Base around with slams and Olympia comes in with a back elbow, and then Dog finishes with the Thump at 1:35 as the ref just kind of calls it for the babyfaces without anyone getting pinned. Meanwhile Watts goes off on a rant about how guys who can’t take the heat of Mid-South run away and “go to Atlanta” because they’re not tough enough to hack it here. Oh dear, who jumped to Georgia and pissed off the Cowboy in May of 1982? A quick check of Cagematch reveals that it was the Wild Samoans, who dropped the titles to Dog & Olympia on the way out and then DARED to go work for Georgia Championship Wrestling in June. You’d think that Bill would have forged an alliance with Ole Anderson being that they were both miserable sons of bitches most of the time, but Bill ended up doing more business with Jerry Jarrett. Although I do possess an RF shoot interview with Bill and Ole together from years back and THAT’S quite the conversation.
Jesse Barr v. Billy “The Star Child” Starr
Wait, there’s two jobbers named Starr on the same show? This is an expiration of time match and they just do some rasslin’ for 2:00 and then time expires without nothing happening.
NEXT WEEK: Junkyard Dog challenges Bob Roop for the North American title!
With a couple of good feature matches and the debut of Steve Williams, this was a nice breezy show that went by fast.