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Mid-South Wrestling (1.4.1986) Review

March 20, 2023 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Mid-South Wrestling Dr. Death Steve Williams Image Credit: WWE
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Mid-South Wrestling (1.4.1986) Review  

-The first “real show” I have access to since the change in venue. Going forward, we’re now coming to you from the Tulsa Fairgrounds.

-Originally aired January 4, 1986.

-Your hosts are Jim Ross and Joel Watts, now wearing tuxedos and headsets. Also, minor detail, but gold stars to them for coordinating their headsets with how they’re positioned on camera. Jim Ross is on the left side of the screen, so his microphone is on the left side of the headset. Joel Watts is on the right side of the screen, so his microphone is on the right side of the headset…which means nobody’s mouth and jaw are obscured by their microphones. And I’m sure you’re thinking “Who gives a shit?” but watch ANY sport and notice how often your commentators look like Wilson with mouths covered by the headset microphones.


-Ring announcer declares that this is the 11th match in the quarterfinals, and Joel Watts explains that Dr. Death and Buzz Sawyer are still eligible to win even though their match last week ended in a double count-out.

-……..Wwwwwwwwhy, Joel?

-But nevermind that, Slater and Williams begin duking it out over which man in red tights will be the only one allowed to wear red tights after this match, and the loser will be forced to buy a second pair of tights. Russian legsweep by Slater gets two. He follows with a neckbreaker, called a hangman by JR, which I’ve never heard and that’d be a cool name for the move if it wasn’t already in use.

-Slater goes for the kill with a Boston crab, but Williams resists the roll-over and punches his way to sweet freedom. Backdrop by Williams as Joel pretty much spells out that this is heel vs. heel and “the fans will just have to decide who they’re going to cheer for” but they’re taping in Tulsa and Doc is billed “from Oklahoma University” so they’ve decided.

-Slater gets thrown to the floor as we pause for a commercial break and a reminder that we no longer have time limits in TV Title matches.

-We return with Williams backdropping out of an attempted piledriver. Slater applies a sleeper. Williams gets to his feet and snake-eyes Slater to break the hold. Series of three-point stances by Williams, but when he scoops up Slater to try the Stampede, Slater headbutts him. Slater hurts himself doing it, but the important thing is he also hurt Doc.

-Slater recovers first but can’t put Doc away. Doc suplexes Slater and then just goes ape-poopy on him with rapid-fire diving headbutts, over and over and over again. JR says that the rapid-fire diving headbutts look more like something you’d see from Penn State. Yes, because brain trauma was ALSO a terrible thing that was happening but not openly discussed for a long time.

-Stampede by Doc, but Slater gets a foot on the ropes. Doc goes for a Boston crab near the ropes but Dark Journey rakes his eyes and Slater tries to go for the kill. They trade roll-up attempts and Slater comes out on the winning end with a handful of tights to advance in the tournament. I’m guessing Mid-South will have no choice but to give Williams a third quarterfinal match. Seriously though, that was a damn good match with a surprising amount of drama for two guys who didn’t have an issue going into it.

HACKSAW BUTCH REED (North American Champion) vs. MIKE SCOTT

-This match is an instant shitshow, as Reed is wearing a neckbrace to sell his injury at the hands of Dick Murdoch, and Scott manages to remove it with a LOCK-UP. Reed winds him into the ropes for a clothesline, but Scott loses his footing and collapses. And Reed says screw it and just hits the flying tackle immediately…and Scott lands with his head outside the ring, so Reed has to scrape his body into place while pinning him so it looks correct.


-The Gilbert/Nightmare team is SUCH a thing that the WWF would do, where it wouldn’t make any sense if you watched the promotion more than six months ago.

-Cash and Eddie trade shots. Cash gets a good-looking backdrop on Eddie. Headbutt follows, and Eddie’s had enough. Nightmare tags in and Cash slams him with ease, surprising and frustrating the champs. Everybody tags and Eddie is just having a bad night all around, as Boyd backdrops him and drags him to the corner for a free shot from Cash.

-Gilbert finally rakes the eyes. Cash shakes it off but Nightmare interferes from the apron to completely turn the tide. Gilbert and Cash collide on a shoulderblock and both men are out. Hot tag to Boyd, and the heels take a beating. Big splash almost finishes, but Nightmare breaks the pin…and it’s wrestling history, as a team ACTUALLY GETS DISQUALIFIED FOR THAT. Holy crap, recommended viewing just to say you’ve actually seen it happen. Bruise Brothers take the win but not the belts.


-It’s match 12 in the quarterfinals. In previous quarterfinals, Buzz Sawyer won one match and ended up in a double-countout in the other match, and the audible hesitation in JR’s voice as he explains this tells the story. This doesn’t make sense. Why is one guy in three matches in a single round of the tournament?

-Lots of jockeying for position until Jake gets a hiptoss and gets the biggest pop you’ll ever hear for a hiptoss. Jake is just solid gold as a babyface here.

-Jake works the arm for a spell, but Sawyer throws him out to the concrete and it looks like Jake hurt his own arm. Sawyer suplexes him back in and applies a chinlock that appears to turn into a chokehold. Jake breaks it with a stunner. DDT…is blocked by Sawyer. They trade punches near the rope and Sawyer backdrops him over the top rope, getting himself DQed. JR is stunned that Sawyer would do that because it means he eliminated himself from the tournament. This is his third match of the round and he’s already won one! Unless you’re making this up as you go along, or something.

HUMUNGOUS (with Oliver Humperdink) vs. PERRY JACKSON

-Clothesline, slam, legdrop, shinin no maki. Easy win for Humungous.

-Perez wardrobe update: He’s ditched the mandatory sneakers, now just wearing white boots with his Pants of Shame.

-Gibson works Rob’s arm. Rob slams out of the wristlock but Gibson holds onto it. Starr tags in and Gibson makes easy work of him with a stepover toehold roll-up for the three-count.

-We get a great video package from Joel; a simple but effective slow-motion reel of moves like clotheslines and kicks that land convincingly and just look really good and legit even in slo-mo.

The final score: review Average
The 411
The show was fine, mostly, but the TV Title tournament is getting a BIT stupid.

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Mid-South Wrestling, Adam Nedeff