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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Crockett Cup ’87

September 28, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Crockett Cup ’87  

Crockett Cup ’87
by J.D. Dunn

  • April 10 & 11, 1987
  • Live from Baltimore, Md.
  • Your host is Tony Schiavone.

  • First Round: Konga the Barbarian & Bill Dundee vs. Mike Rotundo & Tim Horner.
    Man. Sucks to be Horner. More on why later. JIP to Rotundo being beat up on the outside. Barbarian hits the big kick for two. Barbie goes upstairs and misses his flying headbutt. Horner gets the hot tag and gets two off a bodypress. Dundee nails him with the chain at 2:59 (shown) for the win. Odd seeing Rotundo as a babyface after years of IRS. 3/4*

  • First Round: Jimmy Valiant & Lasertron vs. Teijho Khan & Shaska Whatley (w/Paul Jones).
    Khan is Tom Kasat, an actor/wrestler whose acting career is about as memorable as his wrestling career. After his thrilling stint in the NWA, Khan jumped to the AWA as Soldat Ustinov’s partner. The year before this, he starred in the Roddy Piper movie Body Slam as “Hammer the Cannibal” one-half of a tag team along with Sionne (Konga the Barbarian in the first match) who played “Axe the Cannibal.” Lasertron is current TNA announcer/manager Hector Guerrero. He gets the hot tag from Valiant and cleans house, but he accidentally knocks Shaska over the top for the DQ at 3:10 (shown). 1/4*

  • Second Round: Bob Armstrong & Brad Armstrong vs. Ivan Koloff & Vladimir Petrov.
    Petrov is a guy by the name of Al Blake who was a last-second replacement when Barry Darsow jumped to the WWF to become Demolition Smash. The wrestler Jim Crockett Promotions initially wanted, John Nord (the other Barbarian), also wound up in Titanland a few years later as the Berserker. Blake would get busted for selling drugs and disappear near the end of the year, and he’d come back to the WWF as a jobber in the early 1990s. You know Bob from TNA, and you probably know Brad too as either Buzzkill or the guy who was on ECW for a while. You might also remember that Brad and Tim Horner (who jobbed in the opening round) were a fairly successful tag team called “The Lightning Express.” Why aren’t they entered in the tournament? More on that later too. The Armstrongs, btw, defeated the infinitely more interesting team of Arn Anderson & Kevin Sullivan to get here. We JIP to Brad hitting a lot of dropkicks. Petrov grabs the chain and nails him for another lame DQ at 1:55 (shown). Horrible booking already tonight. 1/2*

  • The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) vs. Ronnie Garvin & Jimmy Garvin (w/Precious).
    This is the debut of the third incarnation of the Midnight Express as Stan Lane replaces Dennis Condrey who left without explanation. Lane had just had a falling out with his regular tag partner in the Fabulous Ones, Steve Keirn (Skinner to all you WWF fans) and needed something to do. Cornette already had a replacement for Condrey lined up named – Tim Horner. They even broke up the Lightning Express to make it happen, which is why you see Armstrong and Horner wrestling with different partners. Anyway, as the story goes, Horner was practically trying on the Midnight Express threads when Lane called JCP and asked if they had anything for him. Corny jumped at the chance and dumped Horner in favor of Lane. The rest is history. So Horner went from possibly being a member of one of the most over tag teams in history and a perennial tag title contender to jobbing in the opening round. Horner and Armstrong would reform and jump to the Universal Wrestling Federation and then become jobbers once JCP gobbled up that territory too. Anyway, this match at least has an angle behind it as the Garvins are pissed because Corny lit a fireball in Ronnie’s face. Jimmy even turned babyface over the whole thing. We JIP to Jimmy getting the beatdown at the hands of Lane and Eaton. Ronnie gets the hot tag, loads up the haymakers and drops the bombs. Eaton gets out of Dodge, leading Ronnie on a chase. Corny sneak attacks Ronnie with the tennis racket, giving the Midnights the COR win at 3:50 (shown). Jeez. No one is going over cleanly tonight. [*1/2]

  • Steel Cage Texas Death Match: Ole Anderson vs. Big Bubba Rogers.
    Lots of punchy and kicky stuff. Ole can have a great match with the right opponent, but Ray Traylor, who was a preliminary jobber only a year before this, is not that guy. Ole hits the piledriver for the win at 5:10 (shown). Not good. Bubba would debut in the UWF a week later and win the UWF Title from his future tag partner the One Man Gang.[1/2*]

  • U.S. Title, Cage Match: Wahoo McDaniel vs. Magnum T.A..
    This is a flashback from March 1985. Wahoo was evil at this point. Wahoo grabs a headlock early and chops Magnum to prevent a comeback. Magnum targets Wahoo’s arm and dropkicks him for two. A fistdrop gets two, but Wahoo desperately tosses him into the cage to break up the momentum. The Wahoo elbow gets two, but Magnum hulks up. Wahoo goes low to cut him off again. Wahoo goes up, but Magnum catches him with a backdrop superplex. Wahoo recovers and goes for a shoulderblock, but Magnum catches him with the belly-to-belly at 10:38. Big pop as Magnum picks up his first U.S. Title. This was a good “young plucky guy vs. stiff, mean old coot” matches, at which Magnum seemed to excel. ***

  • U.S. Title: Magnum T.A. vs. Kamala (w/Skandor Akbar).
    Kamala attacks at the bell, but Magnum ducks a swing and hits a flying crossbody. We’re clipped ahead to Kamala controlling and chopping Magnum in the head. Finally, he just chokes him out. The Big Splash only gets two, though, and the heels can’t believe it. Kamala hits a second Big Splash, but he’s not smart enough to roll Magnum onto his shoulders. Magnum avoids a corner charge and makes the pissed-off babyface comeback. A trio of dropkicks send Kamala down, so Akbar panics and attacks Magnum for the DQ at 3:07 (shown). The usual Kamala match with lots of chopping and splashes and Kamala being too stupid to get the win. Magnum looked like a million bucks, though. 3/4*

  • U.S. Title, “I Quit” Cage Match: Magnum T.A. vs. Tully Blanchard (w/Babydoll).
    In an earlier match for the U.S. Title, Magnum hit the belly-to-belly but knocked out the ref. Babydoll snuck in dressed as a security guard and slipped Tully a foreign object and you can guess the rest. Magnum is introduced as “vastly popular” – which he is. Babydoll is introduced as “a perfect ten” – which she is NOT. Tully backs him into a corner but the larger TA pastes him with a right to send the Horseman sprawling. They catfight on the mat for a moment and you get that Spock vs. Kirk duel to the death feel going. Both guys are bloody. Tully shoves the mic into Magnum’s face. Tully: “SAY IT! SAY IT! SAY IT!” Magnum: “NOOOOOOOOOO!!! AAARRGHGHHGH!!!” Magnum hammerlocks him and tosses him into the cage a couple times cutting Tully’s arm open. Tully: “NOOOO! NOOO! NOOO!” Tully claws Magnum’s eyes and gets the mic. Tully: “SAY IT! SAY IT!”. Magnum: “HELL NOOOO!! AARGHH!” Tully covers him for no good reason other than to show that pinfalls don’t count. Tully: “SAY IT! SAY IT!” Magnum groans, barely conscious. Magnum: “no”. Tully: “WHO IS THE MASTER?!” Posse: “SHO NUFF!” Okay, I made that last part up. Tully tries to drop an elbow but Magnum avoids it. Magnum: “TELL ‘EM, TULLY!” Blanchard: “UGGHHHHGHGH! ARGGHGHGH!” Magnum mounts him in the corner to pound away but Tully counters to an Atomic Drop. Tully: “SAY IT!” Magnum: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” Tully smacks him with the microphone which resounds throughout the arena. Tully tosses the ref and Babydoll throws in a wooden chair. Tully smashes it up real good and fashions a spike out of the shattered wood. Blanchard tries to put his eye out with it but Magnum kicks him away and shoves it into his eye. Tully: “YES! YES! YES!” One of the great, insane, excruciatingly violent matches of the 1980s. Many call it the Match of the Decade. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but it’s still quite a thrill ride. Magnum was supposed to be elevated to the World Title the following year, as Crockett hoped to have a charismatic babyface capable of competing with Hulk Hogan, but it was not to be as Magnum hit something wood very hard, very fast with his car and was never the same again. *****

  • Quarterfinals: The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) vs. The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering).
    The Warriors storm the ring and destroy the Express. Jimmy has to revive Lane in a funny bit. Lane gets stoked and runs right back in for another ass-kicking. A cheapshot allows the Midnights to take over on Hawk, though. They toss him over the top much to the chagrin of the crowd. Stan hits the superkick for two, but Bobby misses a corner charge. Animal gets the hot tag, and the ref gets distracted by the brawl on the floor. That allows Corny to hop up on and prep a fireball. Paul Ellering yanks him back before he can do any damage. Quick thinking. Paul’s level-headedness is short-lived, though, as he steals the tennis racket and beats the heels until the ref turns and disqualifies him at 5:55 (shown). These two teams have great chemistry as the Midnights are just sneaky enough to reasonably cheat the Warriors out of a deserved win. Not a big fan of the finish, especially in light of all of the other screwy finishes. Moderation, people. [**3/4]

  • Quarterfinals: Dusty Rhodes & Nikita Koloff vs. Rick Rude & Manny Fernandez.
    Oh good. This’ll have a clean finish. Ask me how I know. Rude & Fernandez were the tag team champions, and Rude was growing by leaps and bounds as a worker. He didn’t have the Ravishing gimmick yet, so he doesn’t have a lot of ring presence (comparatively speaking). JIP a little over five minutes in to Manny pummeling Rhodes. Rude hits his fist drop, but Dusty fights out of a chinlock. The match turns into a ruction, and Dusty gets the clean pin, rolling through a crossbody attempt at 5:25 (shown). Not surprisingly, the champs losing in the quarterfinals did them no favors. Rude would leave a month later for the WWF, and the NWA created a fake title switch to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. [*1/2]

  • Quarterfinals: Bob Armstrong & Brad Armstrong vs. Tully Blanchard & Lex Luger (w/JJ Dillon).
    It’s funny that it took them so long to stumble upon the combination of Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard considering how linked they are in people’s minds today. Tully the Sneaky Bastard tosses Brad over the top early, and the Horsemen begin wearing him down. A backdrop suplex gets two. Luger gets two more off an elbow and another suplex. Brad comes back with a backslide on Tully and knocks Tully into Lex with an atomic drop. HOT TAG TO… Bob. Bob fights off both Horsemen until JJ trips him from the outside. That sets up a double clothesline at 4:34 (shown). In fairness to Bob, he did know how to pump up a crowd. Brad knew how to take a beating, and the Horsemen knew how to dish one out. Can’t ask for more than that. [**1/2]

  • I’m not sure exactly what the circumstances were, but the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express got a bye all the way to the quarterfinals thanks to a draw in the first round. They actually wound up not participating in the tournament at all other than their names being on the bracket because they would forfeit to Giant Baba and Isao Takagi to send Baba and Takagi straight through to the semi-finals.
  • Semi-Finals: Dusty Rhodes & Nikita Koloff vs. The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette).
    JIP about five minutes in again. The Express is trying to recover from a beating from Rhodes. Koloff overpowers Lane with the power of Glasnost! The MX target Nikita’s injured neck to turn things around, though. Stan delivers a neckbreaker and grabs a chinlock. Eaton even chokes him out with the tennis racket when the ref isn’t looking. Koloff hulks up, though, shoulderblocks Eaton and hits the Sickle for the win at 6:30 (shown). That finish really came out of nowhere. Corny nearly fills up his poop sack in protest. [**]

  • NWA World Heavyweight Title: Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham.
    JIP about 10 minutes in. Windham misses a dropkick and winds up in the figure-four. Flair gets into an argument with Tommy Young after getting caught in the ropes. Windham nails Flair with a flying clothesline. A reverse elbow sends Windham over the top and *hard* into the railing. That was sickening. Flair chases him out and thinks about delivering a piledriver, but Young threatens to disqualify him. Windham surprises Flair with a sunset flip for a nearfall. He chases Flair to the outside and Flair begs off. Back in, Windham gets a series of right hands and covers for 2 and 3/4. Windham goes up, but misses an elbow. Flair tries to capitalize, but gets cradled for two. Flair tries to slap on a sleeper, but gets hung on the top rope. Sucks to be Flair. Windham uses a soupbone to send Flair over the top. Mmmm… soupbone. Flair tries a crossbody, but Windham rolls through for a close two count. Crowd thought that was it. Windham chases Flair to the outside and takes a low blow, which really pisses off some guy in the front row. Flair tries to suplex Windham back in, but Windham reverses to a sleeper. Flair is fading. Flair is fading. Flair is…in the ropes. A Windham splash attempt finds Flair’s knees, which turns the tide again. WICKED chop by Flair puts Barry on his ass. Flair goes up top and jaws with the ringside fans so long that he doesn’t see Windham get to his feet, smoke a cigarette, clip his nails, and slam Flair off. Windham locks in the figure-four. Flair escapes but gets power slammed! ONE, TWO, THRE——-NOOOOO!!! It was >****1/2

  • Tournament Finals: Dusty Rhodes & Nikita Koloff vs. Tully Blanchard & Lex Luger (w/JJ Dillon).
    Magnum T.A., who battled back from his car accident to find the strength to walk again, limps down to Dusty and Nikita’s corner to root them on. Oh Jeez. Imagine having that pressure on you. We’re JIP around 10 minutes in to JJ stealing Nikita’s neck brace. Luger works over Nikita’s injured neck and hits a hotshot. A short clothesline gets two. Tully comes off the second rope with an elbowdrop for two more. Dusty plays Robert Gibson, complaining to the ref and allowing the heels to put the boots to Koloff. Dillon even uses his shoe. Who uses a shoe? Honestly! Koloff blocks an elbow and tags in Dusty. Dusty cleans house with elbows but misses a charge and winds up on the outside. Tully tries to piledrive Nikita, but Dusty comes back in with a flying bodypress for the win at 17:22. Well, the babyfaces really had to go over here (and, in the end, don’t they always?) or else they’d let Magnum down. That would be like letting orphans down. Normally, Nikita is not the guy you want playing face-in-peril, but the storyline surrounding his neck injury really lent him sympathy. ***
  • The 411: If you don't already have Tully vs. Magnum, then this is an easy recommendation. If you don't already have Flair vs. Windham, this is *still* an easy recommend. If you already have both of those, feel free to take a pass on this one.

    Recommended for the non-tournament matches only.

    Final Score:  7.5   [ Good ]  legend

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