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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Crockett Cup ’86

September 16, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Crockett Cup ’86  

Crockett Cup ’86
by J.D. Dunn

Back in the old days, before the Starrcades and WWF, the Mid-Atlantic region was a tag team region. Much like Lucha Libre organizations and Dragon Gate today, the cards were centered almost entirely on tag team wrestling.

In order to pay tribute to his late father, Jim Crockett Sr., Jim Crockett (and Mama Crockett) announced a tag team tournament in conjunction with Bill Watts’ Mid-South. 24 teams are competing in a tournament for the prestigious Crockett Cup and a princely sum of pesos.

Just a note of clarification, this was held in one day with an afternoon and evening show. Later versions were held over two days.

  • April 19, 1986
  • Live from New Orleans, La.
  • Your hosts are Tony Schiavone and David Crockett.

  • Opening Match, First Round: Wahoo McDaniel & Jay Youngblood vs. Bobby Jaggers & Mike Miller.
    Bobby Jagger is a fine wrestler, but he’s saddled with Mike Miller. Let me tell you something about Mike Miller… I have no clue who Mike Miller is. A little research shows that he and Jaggers were a midcard heel team in the Portland area. We’re JIP to Youngblood elbowing out of a chinlock and tagging Wahoo. Chop and elbow. Goodbye, Mike Miller. We hardly knew you. The “Injuns” move on at 1:50 shown. [1/2*]

  • First Round: Sam Houston & Nelson Royal vs. The Batten Twins.
    Houston is over in the Mid-South region. Everyone else isn’t. Nelson Royal is over 50 years old here, so Houston does most of the heavy lifting. He plays face-in-peril for a while before getting the hot tag to Royal. Royal softens ’em up, and Houston finishes with the bulldog at 1:50 shown. The Battens would actually have their best run right after this, winning the Central States Tag Team titles and feuding with the hot young team of Shawn Michaels and Marty Janetty – the Midnight Rockers. [*]

  • First Round: Jimmy Valiant & Manny Fernandez vs. Baron Von Raschke & The Barbarian (w/Paul Jones & Shaska Whatley).
    Valiant was embroiled in a bitter feud with Paul Jones’ army. It seemed to last fooooooreeeeeeeveeeeer. JIP to the Raging Bull avoiding a Barbarian dropkick. Valiant gets the hot tag and… meh. He cleans house, but it all looks so ridiculous. He gets the sleeper on the Baron, but Barbarian comes in to force a donnybrook. Manny gets dumped in all the chaos, but he sunset flips the Barbarian at 2:30 (shown) for the win. Baron would actually go on to manage the Barbarian and his partner the Warlord when they jumped to the WWF in 1988. 3/4*

  • First Round: Steve Williams & Terry Taylor vs. Buddy Landell & Bill Dundee.
    I believe Landell was back in Memphis at this point. Dundee and Landell were both regulars of Memphis and Mid-South so it’s hard to keep track. Landell literally had like a two week run in the UWF before heading out again. Williams is being groomed as the UWF’s first big singles star while Taylor is comfortably entrenched in the midcard. Landell and Dundee corner Taylor, and Dundee tries to put him out with the sleeper. Taylor jawbreakers his way out and tags Doc who promptly destroys Landell with a shoulderblock. Landell does a Rock-ish sell backflipping and handspringing across the ring to sell the move. The Oklahoma Stampede finishes Landell at 2:00 (shown). I could stand to watch this one intact. [**1/2]

  • First Round: The Sheepherders (w/Jack Victory) vs. Los Guerreros.
    The Guerreros here are Hector and Chavo Sr.. The Sheepherders were tearing it up with the Fantastics at this point, so you’d think the Guerreros would be able to replicate that success. You think wrong. Don’t worry. You’re not alone. The Guerreros aren’t really over, although they do wrestle just fine (from what I can tell). Hector plays face-in-peril but whips the Sheeps into one another. It turns into a pier-six, and the ref tries to put Chavo out. That allows the Sheepherders to finish Hector with a lame double-clothesline at 2:30 (shown). Finishers were not Luke and Butch’s strong suit. The Sheepherders would jump to the WWF as a comedy act known as the Bushwhackers (and Luke still occasionally appears for Ring of Honor under that gimmick). The Whackers were very watered down and goofy compared to the Sheepherders, but they didn’t even get the worst treatment out of everyone in this match. Hector became the Gobbledygooker and Chavo got his ass kicked by Jacqueline. [**]

  • First Round: The Fantastics vs. The Fabulous Ones.
    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? What the fuck?! What are these two doing facing off in the first round? The Fantastics are Tommy Rogers and Bobby Fulton who were one of the best babyface tag teams of all time, but they had the unfortunate luck of following the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. Fulton and Rogers were better individual wrestlers, though. The Fabulous Ones are Steve Keirn (who went on to become Skinner as well as a WWE trainer and agent) and Stan Lane (who went on to replace Dennis Condrey in the Midnight Express). The Fantastics are representing the UWF as their tag champs at this point, while the Fabs are… either in the UWF or representing Florida. Seriously, Watts ran vignettes on them forever, but when they got there, the Fabs only spent a few weeks in the UWF, feuded with the Guerreros, and left. They clip the hell out of this one (the bastards). Lane spits on Rogers and then tosses Fulton over the top while the ref’s back is turned. A double-KO spot leads to a hot tag to Rogers. Dropkicks abound, and he hits a double noggin-knocker. Fulton tags himself back in, and Rogers backflips out of a backdrop suplex. That allows Fulton to finish with the O’Connor Roll at 3:00 (shown). Arrrrghghghgh! I hope they put this on 24/7 uncut. Either that or put out the DVD release of The Best Stuff J.D. Wants to See 5-DVD Set. You know you would buy it. Lane and the Fantastics would renew acquaintances in the late 80s when the Midnights and Fantastics had a tremendous feud. [***+]

  • First Round: Koko Ware & The Italian Stallion vs. Buzz Sawyer & Rick Steiner.
    Steiner had just dropped the “Rob Ricksteiner” moniker that he used during his rookie year. Koko was going back and forth between Memphis and the UWF, but he’d jump to the WWF later in the year. We’re JIP deep into this one as Buzz misses a frogsplash. The Stallion gets the hot tag but gets powerslammed by Sawyer at 2:45 (shown). Sawyer had an awesome powerslam. [**+]

  • First Round: Brett Wayne Sawyer & DJ Peterson vs. Black Bart & Jimmy Garvin (w/Precious).
    Bret is Buzz’s little brother and a fine wrestler in his own right, but he was a light-heavyweight and wrestled in a time when no one wanted to showcase those guys. DJ Peterson was a JTTS (jobber to the stars) in the UWF (as was Brett Sawyer, I guess). Oddly enough, he was trained by midget wrestler Lord Littlebrook, and it looks like Littlebrook did a damned fine job. Garvin was just finishing up in the AWA (where was an associate of the Freebirds but not yet a Freebird – that came later). We’re JIP to Sawyer using a bunch of high-flying quick moves on Bart. Bart catches him and hot shots him, though. Peterson tags in and misses a dropkick, allowing Bart to drop the Compactor (legdrop) on him. Garvin finishes with the brainbuster at 2:30. Peterson would jump to JCP for a while and then briefly to the WWF before heading over to the AWA where he won the AWA Tag Titles along with the Trooper. They’d be the final AWA Tag Team champions ever as the promotion closed down later in the year. Sadly, Peterson died in a motorcycle accident in 1993 at the age of 33. [**1/2]

  • Second Round: The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) vs. Sam Houston & Nelson Royal.
    The Midnights got a bye as the #3 seed. Houston can’t save the team this time. The MX dominate, and the thing turns into a fracas. That leads to Eaton clocking Royal. Condrey covers for the win at 1:50 (shown). That actually looks close to the actual time. *

  • Second Round: Magnum T.A. & Ronnie Garvin vs. Buzz Sawyer & Rick Steiner.
    Magnum plays face-in-peril for this one as the heels show good continuity. Sawyer’s job in the UWF was to show Steiner the ropes, and he did a good job because Steiner got great very quickly. Magnum fires off a few nearfalls to keep the crowd in it and makes the hot tag to Garvin. Garvin unleashes THE HANDS OF STONE~! on the heels and tags Magnum back in. The belly-to-belly finishes Rick at 3:00. This is another one that would be good in full. [**1/2]

  • Second Round: The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering) vs. Wahoo McDaniel & Mark Youngblood.
    The Road Warriors were also just finishing up in the AWA. They sell nothing outside of Wahoo’s chop. Gotta sell that. Mark tags in, which just has bad idea written all over it. The flying clothesline finishes at 2:15 (shown). Wahoo looked disinterested. [*]

  • Second Round: Ivan & Nikita Koloff vs. Johnny Valiant & Manny Fernandez.
    Nikita is just a beast at this point, destroying everything like some evil anti-bourgeoisie Goldberg. Manny misses a dropkick and plays face-in-peril. He yanks Ivan off the top, though, and gets the hot tag to Valiant. Valiant tries to put Ivan out with a sleeper, but Nikita breaks it up and destroys him with the Sickle (clothesline). Ivan covers and eliminates Johnny at 3:07. [*]

  • Second Round: Steve Williams & Terry Taylor vs. Rick Martel & Dino Bravo.
    Sadly, Dino Bravo is having an appendicitis, so the French Canadians have to forfeit. [N/R]

  • Second Round: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express vs. The Sheepherders (w/Jack Victory).
    JIP to a big brawl. The R&R hit Butch with the double dropkick. That would seem to be the finish, but Victory tries to use his flagpole (literal flagpole, not phallus) to break up the pin. Morton grabs it from him and uses it for the DQ at 3:00 (shown). Everyone thinks that sucks, including me because it robs us of the Rock ‘n’ Rolls versus the Fantastics. Silly booking too because Victory was right there in the ring, which should have disqualified the Sheeps. [*]

  • Second Round: Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (w/JJ Dillon) vs. The Fantastics.
    Woo hoo! These two teams were just built to feud. The Fantastics are young and pretty. The Horsemen are rugged and treacherous. We’re JIP to Tully blocking an atomic drop and reversing to his own, but Rogers backflips out and dropkicks him. Clip a little to Arn pounding Rogers into hamburger. Roger dropkicks him to the floor for a breather. Clip again to Fulton getting two off a sunset flip. A pier-six brawl erupts, and Arn hits the Gourdbuster on Rogers. ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Arn goes for a slam on Rogers, but Fulton dropkicks them over for the win at 3:25 (shown). This might seem like a bit of an upset, but the UWF was hosting the tournament, and the Fantastics were the tag champs there and seen on an equal footing with Arn & Tully. Looked about [***]

  • Second Round: Giant Baba & Tiger Mask II vs. Black Bart & Jimmy Garvin.
    Well, this isn’t exactly as celebrated as Misawa’s ROH tour, but at least he’s spry at this point. The fans have funny reactions as Bart and Garvin are heels and they’re wowed by Tiger Mask’s maneuvers, but Baba & TM2 are foreigners and, thus, are hated automatically. Baba doesn’t do much other than chop. Fine by me. He hits the big boot and gets the win at 3:00-ish. The fans don’t like that result. [*]

  • Second Round: The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) vs. The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering).
    The MX were the NWA Tag Champs at this point. We’re JIP to Animal no-selling Condrey’s shoulderblocks and steamrolling him. Clip ahead to Hawk giving Condrey more of the same. Nice spot as the Midnights try the Rocket Launcher but Hawk stands up and catches Eaton in a powerslam. The Roadies continue to dominate until Cornette gets frustrated and blasts Animal with the racket for the DQ at 4:22. Looke about average for the MX & Roadies. Not a big fan of the finish, but it makes sense that the Midnights don’t care about the Crockett Cup because they were the tag champions. [**1/2]

  • Second Round: Ivan & Nikita Koloff vs. Steve Williams & Terry Taylor.
    Hey! We actually get to see some match. The crowd is just in love with hometown boys Williams and Taylor. The Russians… eh, not so much-a. Doc matches power with Ivan, and Terry uses his quickness to escape a wristlock. The faces work over Ivan’s arm, but he tags in Nikita. We get the much-anticipated battle between powerhouses Doc and Nikita. Big heat for that. Nikita doesn’t budge on a shoulderblock, so Doc dropkicks him. The Koloffs control, though, with quick tags and isolate Doc. Williams battles back and powerslams Ivan. HOT TAG TO TAYLOR! Sadly, Terry gets booted and fed to Nikita. Nikita squeezes the life out of Taylor with the bearhug. Taylor fights out and gets the tag, but the ref doesn’t see it. That allows Ivan to waffle Taylor for two. Terry gets one last small package, but the Nikita nails him with the Sickle as time expires at 20:00 (only 9:15 shown). The Russians lay the boots to Dr. Death. Good stuff. [***1/2]

  • Quarterfinals: The Fantastics vs. The Sheepherders (w/Jack Victory).
    This is a pretty famous match, mostly because Dave Meltzer gave it ***** in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. It’s clipped, so it’s hard to tell if Dave was smokin’ the reefer at this point or if it’s really that good. Luke + Butch = 5* is hard to wrap my head around, though. What’s here is really good, though, and the fans are nuclear for the hometown rivalry between the Sheeps and Fans. The Fantastics clean house on several occasions early. Fulton gets tossed into the post and gushes blood. Ewww. They do the false tag spot, and Jack Victory gets his shots in on Fulton. Luke accidentally takes a shot to the face, allowing Rogerts to get the hot tag and clean house. Everyone is busted open at this point. The ref gets bumped, and Jack Victory tosses part of his flagpole to Butch. Butch goes nuts on the Fantastics with it. Fulton takes it away from him, though, and starts stabbing the Sheepherders with it. Jack Victory even takes a shot. The ref finally wakes up and calls for the double DQ. Only 6:50 shown. Wild brawl, and it definitely looks like one of the Sheepherders best. Five Stars… hard to tell. I’ll say [****+].

  • Quarterfinals: Giant Baba & Tiger Mask II vs. Ronnie Garvin & Magnum T.A..
    If you ever wanted to see Misawa take on Ronnie Garvin… well, here it is. Neither team was really made to wrestle the other, and neither team seems to want to adapt. A fracas erupts, and Baba and Tiger Mask collide. Magnum dropkicks Baba into a schoolboy for two. Tiger Mask gets two off a crossbody and hits a running senton. He goes up, but Magnum catches him with the belly-to-belly suplex at 5:29 (shown). Garvin and Magnum move on to the finals. Good finish to an awkward match. [**1/4]

  • North American Title: Jim Duggan vs. Dick Slater.
    Slater won both the North American and Mid-South TV Titles through nefarious means, so he gave the TV Title to Buzz Sawyer as a gift. That angered promoter Bill Watts, who thought titles should be won and lost in the ring. Watts tricked Slater into defending the title against Jim Duggan. Of course, Slater lost, and Sawyer wouldn’t give him back the TV Title, so he was screwed. This may be one of Slater’s last Mid-South appearances as he’s trying to win back the title. Duggan opens a can of the ass-whip but gets dumped and thrown into the railing. Slater runs away and headbutts Duggan on his way back into the ring. Duggan slugs his way back but gets caught with an elbow to the head. Slater drops a flying elbow. ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Duggan backdrops out of a piledriver but gets tied up in the ropes. Slater moves in, but the ref pulls him back, allowing Duggan to extricate himself and finish with the 3-Point Charge at 10:09. Typical Mid-South brawl. Duggan didn’t quite have the chemistry with Slater that Jake Roberts did earlier in the year. **

  • NWA World Heavyweight Title: Ric Flair (w/JJ Dillon) vs. Dusty Rhodes (w/Baby Doll).
    Dusty hits the Flip, Flop and Fly early. Flair gets hit with the Bionic Elbow but knees Dusty to take over. To the floor, Dusty gets tossed to the post and blades. Flair works the cut, but Dusty crotches him on the post. We’re clipped to Flair holding a sleeper and Dusty ramming his head into the corner to counter. Dusty blocks a sunset flip attempt and hits the FFF again. He pummels Flair in the corner, and Flair flips into the tree-of-woe. Dusty gets a clothesline for two as we hit the 15-minute mark. Dusty grabs a sleeper but lets it go to try for a pin and only gets two. Flair starts to comeback, but Dusty applies the figure-four. Flair makes the ropes and begs off, but then he goes low with The Great Equalizer. Flair goes up but gets slammed. No, really. Tommy Young gets bumped in the chaos and misses Dusty small packaging flair. Baby Doll tries to revive the ref, but Flair rips off Rhodes’ protective boot (from the infamous Horsemen attack a year earlier) and waffles him with it. Tommy Young wakes up. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Flair goes after Baby Doll, so Dusty grabs the boot and nails Flair for the DQ at 15:30 (shown). Only about five minutes were cut out. This actually had a little more action than their Starrcade matches. Silly finish, though, because it could have just as easily ended with Flair getting the pin. **3/4

    From my review of the Roadies’ DVD.

  • Crockett Cup Tournament Finals: The Road Warriors vs. Magnum T.A. & Ronnie Garvin.
    Animal and Jim Ross are on commentary here. The Crockett Cup was a $1 million tournament of 24 teams. This is your finals of the original tournament. Both teams are babyfaces here, but the Warriors play heel. The faces do some nice wrestling to start. Garvin gives Hawk a shot in the chest. Hawk goes nuts and stomps a mudhole in Garvin’s chest. The faces isolate Hawk. Animal gets the blind tag and jumps Magnum T.A., working his back. Animal catches him with a bearhug. Hawk works Magnum’s back further with a Canadian Backbreaker. Magnum tries a desperation sunset flip as Ross and Animal talk about Tiger Mask. Magnum reverses a whip and gets his belly-to-belly suplex. Hawk has to make the save. Garvin gets the hot tag and goes for an abdominal stretch. Hawk shrugs his way out of it, so Garvin instinctively hits a punch to his head, re-injuring his hand, which was injured by the Four Horsemen. While Garvin is nursing the hand, Animal runs in and destroys him with a clothesline for the win at 9:49. Good psychology in the finish and a different kind of match lift this above the usual Road Warriors formula. ***
  • The 411: As much as I hate skimming through clipped matches, thank God for the clipping because I can't imagine sitting through 20+ matches at full length. Hopefully, the Fantastics matches wind up in WWE 24/7 Shorties or something. The rest is fairly meaningless unless you're Mama Crockett.

    Mild thumbs down.

    Final Score:  5.5   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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