The SmarK DVD Rant for Mid South Wrestling: Giants, Midgets, Heroes & Villains (Volume Two) Carrying on with another one that’s been on the review pile for a while, the third DVD I picked up from http://universalwrestling.com/, as they sell off their inventory following the WWE buyout. NWA World title: Ric Flair v. Ted Dibiase This is repeated from the first Mid-South DVD I did, but is still worth watching again. Dick Murdoch turned on Dibiase and bloodied him up good because he’s jealous. Flair is more than happy to take the forfeit win, and we take a break. Back with Bill Watts in the dressing room, who reports that Dibiase is getting his gruesomely scarred face wrapped up in bandages, and he’s still gonna challenge for the belt. So if there’s children watching, parents might want to change the channel. So back to the ring we go, and Flair just kicks the shit out of Dibiase right away, throwing chops in the corner until Dibiase comes back with a backdrop. Fistdrop and Flair backs off, so Dibiase stomps a mudhole, but Flair clips him and goes to work. The bandage gets dislodged and Dibiase is a MESS. Backdrop suplex gets two and Jim Ross is having a heart attack. Now this is the match where you want to have JR on commentary. Flair pounds him in the corner and now Dr. Death comes out because even he is concerned for Dibiase’s well-being. Dibiase comes back and we get the Flair Flip, and a suplex back into the ring gets two. Dibiase wraps him up with an abdominal stretch into a rollup for two, but he’s so weak he can’t even hold the pinfall. Flair tries a piledriver and Dibiase backdrops out and throws down in the corner. Flair Flop, but the ref wants to check the cut. But Watts said they wouldn’t stop it for blood loss! Flair clotheslines him and goes up, but Dibiase slams him off. Powerslam gets two and again Dibiase can’t cover to completion. Dibiase tries a figure-four, but Flair is in the ropes, and he kicks Dibiase right over the top to break. And Dibiase is out due to blood loss, so he gets counted out at 7:20. And then Dick Murdoch returns and kicks Dibiase’s ass AGAIN, including a brainbuster on the concrete! Still one of my favorite matches of all-time, making Dibiase into a giant star and the biggest babyface in the territory. ***1/2 This DVD adds footage of Dibiase getting carted to the back on a piece of table and treated by EMTs. Butch Reed cuts a promo with Jim Ross, showing off his giant swollen eye, which prompts Bill Watts to praise him for not being a “Hollywood actor or overweight pachyderm from Titan Sports”. OUCH. Jake Roberts & The Barbarian v. Paul Brown & Richard Dye The Barbarian would be of the Nordic variety, not the Sionne variety. Can’t say as I like Dye’s chances here. He gets worked over by Jake, and Barbarian comes in with a flying shoulderblock on Brown. A full nelson finishes for Barbarian at 2:44. Bill Dundee & Little Tokyo v. Wendall Cooley & Little Coco. Wildcat Wendall Cooley was a guy with a good look who just never escaped the southern territories for whatever reason. This is supposed to be a mixed match but there appears to be two midgets on the heel side. Usual midget stuff, but the ref is bumped and Dundee drops an elbow on Coco, leading to the Fantastics coming and laying out Dundee to avenge the midget…and Coco pins Dundee at 2:46! That’s pretty great, actually. * Afterwards, Dundee bitches about the Fantastics. Ted Dibiase & King Kong Bundy v. Steve Williams & Magnum TA There are two referees for this to prevent Dibiase from cheating, so you know that’ll just encourage him to try even harder. Dibiase slugs away on TA, but a crossbody gets two. Ted Dibiase with a child molester moustache is not a good look. Over to Bundy, but Magnum evades him and brings in Doc, who overpowers Dibiase and sends him running away. So Bundy comes in and neither guy can get the advantage until Dibiase cheapshots Doc and elbows him down. Middle rope elbow gets two. Bundy drops a knee for two. Another one misses and it’s hot tag TA, the role he was born to play. Sleeper for Dibiase, and it’s BONZO GONZO. Dibiase retrieves his foreign object from Skandor Akbar and puts Magnum down with it, but Jim Duggan steals it, knocks Dibiase out, and TA gets the pin at 6:05. **1/2 The Midnight Express v. Junkyard Dog & Jim Duggan This is just the ending, as Dog collides with Condrey and Duggan gets the hot tag and everyone brawls. Jim Cornette throws powder at Dog’s eyes rather ineffectually, but Dog is nice enough to roll around in the powder to make it look better. Duggan beats on Cornette, but Hercules comes in and puts Duggan down with a loaded glove, allowing Eaton to pin him. Football Helmet Match: Steve Williams v. Jim Duggan Pretty self-explanatory, you’d think. Duggan is nowhere to be found, which brings out Ted Dibiase to explain that Duggan jumped him backstage and thus he had to knock out “that glass jaw Jim Duggan with one punch”. An incredulous Jim Ross recaps this ridiculous story like a good straight man. Ted Dibiase as a slimy heel is just the best. So they take a break and return with Bill Watts having found Duggan, absolutely covered in blood, mud and with a ripped up shirt, barely able to stand but still vowing to fight Williams anyway. I’m really disappointed that they show this stuff out of order and without the blowoffs because I really want to see these storylines through. Art Crews & Mike Jackson v. Kamala & Kendo Nagasaki Quite the freakshow on the heel side. Nagasaki uses his far east martial arts on the jobbers, but Jackson evades Kamala. Crews manages to fight back on Nagasaki and Jackson comes in with a dropkick, but walks into a superkick, allowing Kamala to finish with the splash at 3:02. Nikolai Volkoff v. Mike Jackson & Randy Barber The jobbers wisely double-team Volkoff and dogpile him for two, but Volkoff puts them both on the floor. Volkoff dogpiles the jobbers onto each other and pins them at 1:30. Jim Duggan: The Video Retrospective. He drives trucks, beats people up, and loves America. Jim Duggan v. One Man Gang Gang beats on Duggan and drops him on the railing outside, but Duggan slugs away back in the ring. Gang bearhugs him and pounds away, but Duggan keeps fighting with a clothesline. Shoulderblock gets two, but Akbar gets involved for the DQ at 4:11. *1/2 And now we get the Ric Flair-Kerry Von Erich cage match where the Freebirds turned, which would have aired on Mid-South because Watts does the intro to it. Well there’s two classic angles on this disc for you. Junkyard Dog v. King Kong Bundy Dog tries a slam and gets nowhere, allowing Bundy to work the arm. Dog responds in kind, but Bundy powerslams him and gets…four. Dog kicks out and makes the comeback, but Buzz Sawyer runs in for the DQ at 6:00. * Steve Williams & Jake Roberts v. Terry Daniels & Shawn Michaels Yeah, that Shawn Michaels. Shawn rolls up Doc for two, which has the heels backing off. Daniels puts Jake down with a shoulderblock…and my disc glitches out. Well, shit, there was still another hour to go on the disc. Further attempts to get this thing to play on either the PS3 or Xbox fail, so I guess we’re done. The Pulse Oh well, DVD-R technology ain’t what it’s cracked up to be sometimes, I guess. I still love this stuff anyway.
So UWF'n pumped for this. > First Mid-South Wrestling TV taping under 'UWF' Brand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4L-vByQwaY
> Also, the DVD cover and match list for the WWE produced Legends of Mid-South Wrestling
> Ted DiBiase vs. Paul Ordnorff
> Andre the Giant, Dusty Rhodes & JYD vs. The Wild Samoans & Ernie Ladd (1983)
> Jim Duggan vs. Ted DiBiase (Coal Miner’s Glove, Tuxedo, Loser Leaves Town Match, 3/22/85)
> Storyline: Mr. Wrestling 2 Mentoring Magnum TA
> Storyline: JYD Tarred and Feathered
> JYD vs. Hacksaw Butch Reed (Ghetto Street Fight, 6/17/84)
> Rock ‘n Roll Express vs. Midnight Express (multiple matches)
> Shawn Michaels vs. Ted DiBiase
> Rick Steiner vs. Nick Patrick
> Ric Flair vs. Ted DiBiase (NWA Title, 6/11/85)
> UWF match feat. The Bladerunners, Sting & Rock aka Ultimate Warrior
> Terry Gordy vs. Jim Duggan (UWF Title)
> Ted DiBiase & Dr. Death vs. The Freebirds (Lumberjack Match)
> Terry Gordy vs. Dr. Death (UWF Title)
> Dr. Death vs. Big Bubba Rogers aka Big Bossman (UWF Title)
> One Man Gang vs. Big Bubba Rogers (UWF Title)
> Ted DiBiase talks getting his tires slashed by fans.
> 1982 North American Title bout between JYD & DiBiase.
> Mid South history in the Louisiana Super Dome.
> 1985 Steel Cage match, Ted DiBiase & Dr. Death vs. Jake the Snake & Barbarian.
> The Buzz Sawyer story.
> Jim Duggan vs. Buzz Sawyer 1985.
> Jim Cornette’s Favorite Moment in Mid South.
> 1984 Cornette’s Birthday Party.
> Bill Watts seeks help to battle Midnight Express.
> Bill Watts & Stagger Lee vs. Midnight Express.
> Dusty Rhodes talks Boyd Pierce, evaluating talent and more.
> Cowboy Bill Watts talks about the late Ernie Ladd
> Even though none of the guys are 'names', I wonder how did they could leave off the infamous 'Battle of New Orleans' brawl between Eddie Gilbert, Terry Taylor, Sting and Chris Adams (for some reason, unable to be found on YouTube or Dailymotion).
The SmarK DVD Rant for Mid South Wrestling: Giants, Midgets, Heroes & Villains (Volume One) I found the Mid-South sampler DVD from Universalwrestling.com intriguing enough to continue on, although now that the WWE sale is completed there will soon be no further stuff from that site. However, I grabbed two volumes of this particular series before they went away, and I’m still seriously mulling over taking up a collection to buy the $250 complete UWF TV set that’s there. Not that I’d have time to watch it all, but COME ON. How could I not? I highly encourage fellow lovers of Bill Watts and his wonderful promotion to continue buying these before WWE gets control and buries them in a vault somewhere. We start with the awesome Ric Flair-Ted Dibiase angle and Ted’s gory bladejob. Nikolai Volkoff v. Terry Taylor No dates given for the matches on this DVD, so you’re on your own. Taylor quickly gets a sunset flip for two and works on the arm, but walks into a big boot. Volkoff pounds away with a quick bodypress from Taylor breaking up the heat, until he makes the full comeback. The commentary would place this about 1984. Taylor dropkicks Volkoff over the top, which brings out Krusher Khruschev to protest, and Volkoff attacks during the distraction. Taylor comes back with a rollup, but the Russians do the beatdown for the DQ at 3:13 until Hacksaw Duggan saves FOR AMERICA. King Kong Bundy v. Junkyard Dog JYD is just crazy over here. Dog takes Bundy down with a snapmare and goes to a chinlock, but Bundy fights up and they slug it out. Dog with a clothesline for two and back to the chinlock, but Bundy reverses out to a hammerlock on the mat. This match is not exactly playing up to JYD’s strengths. Bundy hits the BIG FAT SPLASH and gets…four? Yeah, Bundy wants the five count, see, and Dog kicks out at four and makes the comeback. I could have sworn they lifted that spot in the WWF with Bundy and Hogan, but I can’t recall where or when I would have seen it. Dog amazingly finishes with the powerslam at 4:20. *1/2 I’ve now seen him effortlessly slam Bundy and One Man Gang on these DVDs. PCP is a hell of a drug. Kamala v. The Masked Marvel Usual squash from Kamala as the poor masked schmuck gets bulldozed and splashed at 0:45. Jim Duggan storms out and chases him off to prevent further destruction. Paul Orndorff v. Ted Dibiase Dibiase is North American champion at this point, but this is non-title. Ernie Ladd on commentary is like having the match narrated by Morgan Freeman! Now that’s class! Orndorff gets a quick cradle for two and they trade criss-crosses before Dibiase gets his own pinning combo for two. Dibiase to the arm and they get into some chain-wrestling, but Orndorff is the first one to take a cheap shot in the corner, and he drops knees on Dibiase. Dibiase comes back with a dropkick and kneelift, setting up the powerslam and figure-four, which was his finisher at the time. Orndorff had been bragging for a while about how he could break the hold, and indeed he reverses the move. Ernie Ladd is pretty great on commentary here, playing the Jesse Ventura role. Dibiase fights and claws for the ropes with time running out on the show, and he’s saved by the bell at 7:01. Good action here. **1/2 Highlights of Tony Atlas & Andre the Giant v. Ted Dibiase & Matt Borne. Jim Duggan quickly runs in for the DQ and the Rat Pack tries a beatdown on Andre, but he fights them off. Kamala runs out, beats on Andre with a 2×4, and SLAMS HIM. Holy shit! I didn’t even think there was footage of anyone slamming Andre outside of a couple of people. Hacksaw Butch Reed v. Rick Rood Reed quickly hits the high knee and tosses him, as Bill Watts on commentary talks about how young Rick Rood is an inexperienced jobber who is paying his dues right now. Watts predicts that he’ll be tough someday, though. Rood comes back and slugs Reed down in the corner until Reed bails to escape. Back in, Reed chokes away while Watts talks about trying to sign some new team called The Rock N Roll Express. Rood comes back again but Reed clotheslines him onto the top rope and finishes with a press slam at 4:36. Bigger and better things would be afoot for Rood, of course. ** MIDGET MADNESS. I skip forward. Mid-South tag titles: Al Perez & Wendell Cooley v. One Man Gang & Kareem Muhammad Muhammad is like OMG’s black twin. The champs use their speed to evade the big men, but finally Cooley gets caught in the heel corner and gets the heat. The idea is that the champions are hopelessly overmatched and are basically waiting out the TV time limit. Cooley finally escapes and makes the hot tag to Perez, and he’s showing some FIRE. The heels double-team him with a rare “I’ll hold him and you charge at him” move that WORKS. But alas, Gang goes up and splashes his own partner by mistake, and Perez rolls over for the pin at 5:11 to retain. *1/2 And then Gang gets forcibly fired from Devastation Inc, although I don’t know that the smarter money wouldn’t have been to stick with Gang. King Kong Bundy v. Art Crews Bundy totally destroys the poor guy and finishes with the Avalanche and five-count at 3:00. Ted Dibiase & Matt Borne v. Mr. Olympia & Iron Mike Sharpe My brain can’t process Iron Mike as a babyface. Olympia controls the champions with armdrags, and Sharpe comes in to pound the crap out of Dibiase and send him running. Back in, they trade arm wringers and Dibiase loses that battle, bringing Olympia back in to continue controlling with armdrags. Borne comes in and gets overpowered by Sharpe, but a frustrated Dibiase holds him in the corner and allows Borne to get his shots in to take over. Dibiase puts him down with a back elbow and drops an elbow for two. Sharpe comes back with a kneelift and makes the hot tag to Olympia, who runs wild and then collides with Dibiase for the double KO. Sharpe gets suckered in, allowing Borne to hit Olympia with the bombs away buttdrop to give Dibiase the pin at 6:26. Good stuff! **3/4 Highlights of JYD v OMG leads to Dog getting the DQ win, and Barry Darsow turning babyface FOR AMERICA. It’s becoming kind of scary all the stuff that I had thought originated in other places, like Krusher Khruschev in Crockett’s territories, actually came fully formed from Mid-South. It was really was like a giant series of dream matches before we knew they were dream matches. Tully Blanchard v. Paul Orndorff This is a combination I don’t think we’ve ever seen before. They have matching purple tights for some reason. Perhaps it was the in thing at the time, like Zubaz tights and fanny packs, or cocaine. They trade takedowns and Orndorff works on a hammerlock, but Blanchard gets a cheapshot and hits an elbow off the middle rope. Orndorff quickly suplexes him and elbows him down, but Tully gives him another cheap elbow to the head and slaps on a figure-four. Orndorff quickly reverses it, and Bob Roop comes in for the DQ at 4:43. **1/2 Ted Dibiase & Steve Williams v. Brickhouse Brown & Brad Armstrong Aww, man. Of course this had to pop up the day after his death. Dibiase pounds on Brad to start, but gets chased out of the ring with a dropkick. Back in and they do an obvious edit to Dibiase putting Armstrong down with a hotshot. The Rat Pack controls in the corner, but Armstrong makes the hot tag to Brickhouse, and Dibiase quickly dominates him with a middle rope elbow and backbreaker. Doc is bleeding from the eye and it appears to have pissed him off, as he drops vicious elbows on Brown and gets two. Armstrong gets another tag and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA, allowing Doc to nail Armstrong with the loaded arm brace and Dibiase to finish at 4:10. This could have been 10-15 minutes with no problem. **1/2 Mid South Tag title: Jim Neidhart & Butch Reed v. Dusty Rhodes & Hacksaw Jim Duggan Duggan quickly clotheslines Neidhart and goes for the three point stance, but Anvil tags out to Hacksaw. The black one. Reed beats on Rhodes, but walks into an elbow and the babyfaces take over and work the arm. Duggan slams him for two, and a crossbody gets two. LUCHA DUGGAN! Bill Watts notes that Skandor Akbar has been questioning the lifestyle AND personal hygiene of Jim Duggan. Hard to fault him there. Maybe he heard the dildo blender story? Big Dust works a headlock on Neidhart and Duggan is of course dumb enough to get caught in the heel corner and the champions cut off the ring. Duggan and Reed collide, but Neidhart cuts off the tag again before missing an elbow, and it’s hot tag Dusty. Elbows are thrown and a crossbody gets two on Neidhart, but Reed saves and Nikolai Volkoff runs in and sends Dusty into the post for the DQ at 6:39. Dusty is OUT and Magnum TA comes out and kicks ass in retaliation. ** Highlights of Reed & Neidhart v. Magnum TA & Mr. Wrestling II, in a cage match for the tag titles with Wrestling II’s mask on the line. TA gets the shit kicked out of him but makes the hot tag, only to see Reed hit the flying shoulderblock. Neidhart, who has a personal issue with II, tells Reed to let him have the pin, so Reed gives up the sure pin and lets Neidhart hit his finisher. Neidhart picks him up and keeps trying to unmask Wrestling II, but there’s another mask underneath, and TA gets another hot tag and wins the tag titles. I believe that Wrestling II actually turned on TA to end that title reign as well. Iceman Parsons, Little Coco & Cowboy Lang v. Jack Victory, Little Tokyo & Little Littlebrook Usual midget stuff here. Jack Victory gets to take a backdrop from the babyface midgets, and Iceman pins him at 4:00. Boris Zurkhov & King Kong Bundy v. Tim Horner & Bill Rathke Obviously Boris was still working out the kinks in his Russian gimmick. Horner, rocking the porn stache at this point, controls Boris with the headlock and a bodypress for two. Sadly, Bill Rathke tags in, and do I even have to tell you what happens to the non-star who tags into one of these things? Avalanche finishes at 2:00. Steve Williams & Rob Ricksteiner v. Hacksaw Reed & Hacksaw Duggan Pretty sure this one was already on that other Mid-South DVD I just did. So yeah, the Hacksaws finish the future Rick Steiner with a double shoulderblock at 2:50. King Kong Bundy & Ted Dibiase v. Steve Williams & Johnny Rich A very young Williams so we must be back around 82 again. Rich controls Dibiase with armdrags and gets a Thesz Press for two. Doc comes in and Dibiase runs away, but Bundy doesn’t want to tag in yet. Doc bumps Dibiase all over, and Dibiase takes a powder. Over to Bundy, which was the big rivalry at that point, and Williams throws down in the corner and whips Bundy into Dibiase, then finishes with the Oklahoma Stampede at 4:46. That’s crazy, Doc was just freakishly powerful. Well we know how much Bill Watts loved Dr. Death, so it’s not a huge surprise he’d go over Bundy so strong. ** The teams continue brawling after the match and Doc cleans house. Jake The Snake: The Lost Footage! Oh wait, it’s just another DVD ad for a Superdome show. Ed Wiskowski & Bob Orton Jr. v. Ted Dibiase & Mr. Olympia And now Dibiase is on the babyface side again. He and Olympia control Orton and hold onto his arm, and then Wiskowski tags in and gets more of the same. Orton finally hits Dibiase with a kneelift to take over, but Dibiase fights back, only to make a false tag to Olympia. Dibiase still cradles Wisnowski for two in the chaos, and then Olympia dropkicks him onto Wisnowski for two. The ref is distracted AGAIN and Olympia puts Wisnowski in a sleeper this time, leading to Dibiase piledriving him for the pin at 5:03. That was quite the finish. **1/2 Afa, Sika & Ernie Ladd v. Junkyard Dog, Andre the Giant & Dusty Rhodes That’s some impressive star power in there. Dusty wallops on Sika and runs him into JYD’s head, and then Andre rams the Samoan heads together and he’s so powerful that even they have to sell it. Afa tries a headlock on Andre, but runs into his ass and bumps off it. Finally Big Cat comes in and Andre takes him down with a headlock before a double team from the Samoans turns the tide. They try to hold him in the corner, but Andre casually walks to his own corner with the heels dragging behind him in a funny spot, and it’s back to Dusty. He switches off with JYD as they double-team Ladd, and then Andre levels Afa with a big boot for two. The Samoans double-team Andre with a slam while Ladd distracts the ref, but that only gets two. It’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA and Andre goes AIRBORNE with a flying splash on Ladd for the pin at 6:35. Yeah, if Andre the Giant is flying off the top at you, you’re jobbing, just accept it. **1/2 The Pulse I know there’s no classic matches on here because it’s basically taken from the TV shows exclusively, but man, I could watch this stuff ALL DAY. They got over feuds and angles in the span of a few minutes and made you want to see how things got resolved, and all the matches featured here have great star power and hard work. Strongly recommended, but then everyone knows I’m a huge mark for Bill Watts anyway. Next up: Volume 2!