The Name on the Marquee: NWA World Championship Wrestling (8.23.1986)
-Cold open: Ric Flair has Dusty Rhodes locked in the figure four. Dusty rolls over to reverse it…but Baby Doll reaches through the ropes and rolls Ric back into place. GASP.
-Originally aired August 23, 1986.
-Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, David Crockett, and Jim Cornette. They announce that Baby Doll is now aligned with Ric Flair, there’s a new US Champion, and that the Rock & Roll Express are the new tag team champs. Cornette calls the third announcement a fluke and an injustice, and he promises to have more details later today.
ROCK & ROLL EXPRESS (World Tag Team Champions) vs MIKE ROSE & PHIL BROWN
-Double dropkick finishes in seconds. The Magnum & TA Express?
-Express cuts a promo after the match, and Cornette disappears immediately. Morton says the Rock & Rolls made it a point to keep an eye on Cornette during their title match, and it paid off. It took them six months to come up with THAT strategy?
-And at long last, we’ve reached Match #7 in the best of 7, and the heat is OFF THE CHARTS. Ivan interferes and breaks a pinfall attempt, and Magnum so fed up with this shit that he goes outside, piledrives Ivan on the concrete and goes back in. Belly-to-belly suplex connects, but now Khrusher is on the apron and the commentary team has a heart attack. Magnum goes over and kicks the crap out of Khrusher while Nikita fetches his chain, wraps it around is forearm, and bides his time. Magnum comes over and takes a chain-wrapped sickle, and that gives Nikita the three-count. Nikita Koloff is your new US Champion.
-The Russians are here. Magnum had no control at all. He breaks Uncle Ivan’s neck. Khrusher comes out to get medical attention and gets ruthlessly attacked for it, and Nikita gets the belt in the end. Nikita basically declares Magnum to be a dead issue and throws out a challenge to Ron Garvin. Ivan makes a really funny point in his promo, basically drawing attention to the lack of a Dusty Finish despite the cheating. “Even the referees are intimidated by this man!”
TULLY BLANCHARD & THE ANDERSONS (with JJ Dillon) vs CLEMENT FIELDS, PAUL GARNER, & BILL TABB
-Ole starts with big Bill and boots him into the ground right away. Arn works the arm while Jim Cornette just cannot hide his delight at the name “Clement Fields.” Fields tags in and gets his proper mudhole stompin’.
-Tully tags in and continues helping Fields “get used to shoe leather.” Cornette notes that JJ Dillon is walking around with a supply of completely legal athletic tape, and he only has it in case one of his men is suddenly injured during the bout. Fortunately, Arn hits the gourdbuster and finishes before that can happen.
-So now we go back to Dusty vs Ric Flair. Dusty gets an apparent three-count, but Baby Doll dashes over right at the three-count and drapes Flair’s leg across the bottom rope, so the referee insists that the match continues. This is great; about 95% of the crowd didn’t actually see Baby Doll do that, and meanwhile Bob Caudle and Johnny “Six-Drink Minimum” Weaver on commentary are just in shock over it.
-We go to the spot with the figure four that we saw at the top of the show, and the crowd totally sees it this time. Dusty catches it too and asks Baby Doll what’s happening. We get your federally mandated ref bump for the Dusty title match, and Baby Doll goes after Dusty with the chair. She misses and Dusty grabs the chair and just goes nuts on Flair’s leg with it. The referee wakes up in enough time to catch him in the act, and Flair retains by DQ. Tully runs into the ring and just goes NUTS on Dusty’s leg with the chair, and gets about a 45-degree bend in it by the time the rest of the babyfaces run out to stop the onslaught.
-Bob Caudle is with Ric Flair and Baby Doll. Some GREAT finesse from Flair here, as a fan chucks some garbage at him, and Flair swats it away like a bug and keeps talking without even blinking. Your dirt-simple explanation for this heel turn: Wine, private jets, and limousines are better than Dusty’s lifestyle. Baby Doll confirms that, in fact, she has already gone for a ride on Space Mountain, and Flair is a better ride than Magnum TA. WOO!
MAGNUM TA vs ART PRITTS
-Magnum is so mad that he does extra stuff first and then finishes with the belly-to-belly.
-Paul Ellering is here and basically declares that his team has lost interest in the Russians and now they’re going after the Horsemen.
ROAD WARRIORS vs KENT GLOVER & LEE PEAK
-But before we get to that, legalized jobber murder! Thought: Seeing these guys in the NWA and in the WWF is like a perfect cliff notes version of the differences between the two companies. The WWF, they come to the ring in the full shoulderpad regalia and do a lap around the ring, posing on the middle turnbuckles. In the NWA, they aren’t getting paid by the hour and they steamroll the jobbers with no concern given to looking cool. And by not looking cool, they look cool.
-Press slams and powerslams for everyone, and Hawk beheads Glover with a clothesline for three.
-Dusty Rhodes is here, having traded in his ill-fitting Skoal jacket for a Red Man jacket that not only fits, but has his name embroidered on it. Product placement win for Red Man! Baby Doll ain’t nothin’ but a JEZEBEL! Baby Doll wants to ride Space Mountain, but Dusty says that Baby Doll once saw him naked and asked “Is that your horse?” And Dusty said, “No, it’s my dick, and you’re too fat to ride!” It gets bleeped, but the studio audience absolutely flips their shit for the line.
MIDNIGHT EXPRESS (with Jim Cornette & Big Bubba) vs MULKEY BROTHERS
-Great bit of hypocrisy from Cornette, who complained about the Road Warriors’ “rude entrance” for the last match and is now applauding his men for doing 100% the same thing. Midnights keep their entrance jackets on for the whole match. Bobby comes off the top with a knee. Backdrop by Dennis gets some fantastic air. Bill Mulkey gets tossed outside, which has Cornette complaining about what a coward he is for running away. Rocket launcher finishes.
-After the match, Randy Mulkey, tired of Cornette’s bullshit, just goes over and shoves Cornette on his ass. Cornette is so outraged that he sics Bubba on the poor bastard, and that gives us the first appearance of what would become known as the Bossman slam.
-Back from commercial, the Mulkeys are being scraped off the mat.
-Magnum TA concedes defeat. He knew what type of tactics the Russians stoop too and he knew it was a possibility when he signed the contract. He promises to climb the ladder back to the number-one contender slot and get it back.
WAHOO MCDANIEL vs RANDY BARBER
-Hard chop by Wahoo. And then another one. And then the match is over.
-So now we go to action in Philadelphia, with the Midnights defending the belt against the Rock & Rolls. Cornette says the match was a solid 30-minute beating. Morton is on the apron and Dennis Condrey attempts to slam him back in, but Morton holds on and rolls through to make it an inside cradle for three out of nowhere. “The only fast count the referee made all night!” complains Cornette.
RON GARVIN vs GEORGE SOUTH
-Cornette calls Garvin “the Max Headroom of wrestling” and now I can’t unsee it. South tries to trade chops and that’s a mistake, of course. Headbutts follow, and the hands of stone get the duke.
-Tony is here with Captain Redneck. Nothing of note here.