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Mid-South Wrestling (2.19.1983) Review

December 9, 2019 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Mid-South Wrestling 2-12-1983
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Mid-South Wrestling (2.19.1983) Review  

-Originally aired February 19, 1983.

-I notice WWE Network now has a “skip intro” button. What kind of jackass would do that?

-Your host is Boyd Pierce.

-And here’s why Boyd’s all alone. Bill Watts is here with KALB-TV sports director Buddy Nichols, who is doing guest commentary for a few matches this week.

-And now we discuss the whole incident during the Tag Team Title match last week. The Rat Pack is pleading ignorance and insisting that Kamala and Skandar Akbar were acting on their own.

-We go to the Rat Pack, who gloat over their “victory” last week. They truly are the best team in the world. Hacksaw Duggan strolls in and says he knows the Rat Pack wasn’t involved in Kamala’s surprise attack last week. DiBiase looks a little puzzled and, hey, just out of curiosity, he asks Duggan why he “knows for sure” that the Rat Pack didn’t orchestrate that attack. So Duggan lays out his logic. #1, The Rat Pack is so great that they don’t need to do any business with a manager. And #2, Skandar Akbar does business with the Iron Sheik, from IRAN. And Hacksaw Duggan knows that the Rat Pack is willing to do a lot of things, but they aren’t going to collaborate with a guy who does business with the Iranians. DiBiase does some GREAT acting here, giving Duggan a tight-lipped smile and awkwardly responding like “Oh, no, of course we wouldn’t do that.”

-The past few weeks have been interesting, as Watts seems to think he needs to refresh the roster and he’s really trying to do it from within.

-Dropkick and an armbar by Crews. Armdrag into another armbar. The guest commentator is actually pretty good. Gordon Solie-style delivery, but he knows every move and even makes an effort to reach out to first-time viewers (“That’s Renesto wearing the Olympic-style tights”).

-Backdrop and a neckbreaker by Crews gets the three-count.

-Bill Watts is here to say that he personally doesn’t believe that the Freebirds “changed.” He believes that they’re opportunists being led around by Michael Hayes.

-That said, we go to the legendary Christmas night cage match between Kerry Von Erich and Ric Flair, NWA Title on the line, with Michael Hayes chosen by fan vote to be the guest referee. Flair is a bloody mess and he’s caught in the iron claw. Hayes demands a break because Flair’s leg twitched and tapped the bottom rope. The other referee, David Manning, won’t break it because he thinks the foot touching the rope was more of a fluke than anything.

-So Hayes yanks Kerry by the hair to break the hold. In the confusion, Flair recovers and takes control again, but Flair picks a fight with Hayes and Hayes knocks out the champ with one punch. He demands that Kerry go for the pin, but Kerry doesn’t want to win that way. Hayes gets fed open and opens the cage door to exit. Flair sneaks up from behind and gives Kerry a knee to the back that causes him to knock Hayes off the apron. The Freebirds think it’s a deliberate attack, so Gordy slams the cage door on Kerry’s head and they walk off…eventually. The crowd is riled up and security has to step in and carve out a path for the Freebirds to leave safely.

-So in the days before YouTube and the Network made it easy to watch every match ever, pretty much everybody remembered this match the wrong way. Everything I just recapped is NOT the finish, amazingly. Kerry hangs in there for a few more minutes, but Flair just keeps beating on him and eventually opens up his forehead. And finally, Kerry just can’t go anymore, so David Manning calls for the bell, and after having every possible card stacked against him and looking virtually certain to get his comeuppance, Flair retains the gold.

-Bill Watts concludes by saying that the reason Mid-South is airing this match is due to a surprising amount of mail from fans saying they heard there was some incident involving the Freebirds but they didn’t know what.


-Side headlock as Watts laments that the person mailing threatening packages to II hasn’t “come out of the closet” yet. Aha! It’s Adrian Street! Watts announces that II is offering $1,000 to anyone who can lead him to the culprit. The culprit responsible for threatening mail in II’s hometown of Atlanta, who hasn’t come out of the closet yet. Police are on the lookout for a middle-aged man with giant glasses who calls everybody “my boy.”

-Lunde breaks free from the side headlock and throws forearms, but II fights back with rights, and the kneelift finishes.

-Bill Watts says that right before the show went on the air this week, Mid-South received another bizarre message in the mail, simply reading, “Junkyard Dog, when you get in the ring, be sure to watch the back door.” That’s amazing. Thank you, Bill.


-II stays at ringside to support his friend the Dog. But just as the match starts, the sound of a revving motor interrupts, and a mysterious man in a ninja costume with a gold mask comes to ringside on a motorcycle. Holy crap, a payoff! An actual payoff! So the guy parks his motorcycle at ringside and runs back to the locker room, and Sonny Rogers hilariously gets out of the ring, like “This is too weird for me.”

-Mystery ninja runs back to ringside with a kendo stick and gets into the ring. JYD gets his chain for defense, but the ninja just waves the kendo stick around the ring, making no apparent effort to actually make contact with the Dog.

-And then he just gets on the motorcycle and leaves.

-Sonny Rogers darts back into the ring and attempts a sneak attack, but JYD just shrugs it off and Thumps him to win right away. Weird stuff like this is much more tolerable when the promotion has a track record of delivering on stuff. If this happened on RAW today, you’d think “What the hell is this crap?” Bill Watts does it? “A’ight, I’ll stick with it…”

RAT PACK (Tag Team Champions) vs. TIM HORNER & TONY TORRES

-Matt Borne has some issues communicating with Torres and they have an awkward sequence before Borne just slams him down. DiBiase tags in as Watts recaps the promo from earlier and is pretty much shouting “Hacksaw’s turning face!” into a bullhorn.

-Jobbers double-team Borne and Horner dropkicks him into the corner, so DiBiase tags back in and takes control back. Powerslam finishes for the Pack.

HACKSAW DUGGAN (Louisiana Champion) vs. TIGER CONWAY, JR.

-Conway tries evasive manuevers, but Duggan connects with a boot and hiptosses him. Duggan works the back over and gives him a backbreaker. Watts abruptly takes a moment to bury Gino Hernandez for no-showing a match with Chavo Guerrero.

-Conway comes back with rights and a backdrop. Conway goes for the pin but Duggan kicks out and presses him on top of the referee. While the referee is dazed, Duggan throws Conway over the top rope. Referee attempts to call for the bell, but Conway dashes back into the ring and attacks Duggan before that can happen. Referee gets knocked out to the floor and Duggan goes to finish Conway. Spear looks to be the end of it, but the referee recovers and calls for the bell without counting the pin first, and yep, Duggan is DQed. Duggan knocks the referee out again after the bell, and Conway, who knows how to fight “ghetto-style,” lights into Duggan. Kind of a curious angle to run right as they’re about to do something big with Duggan.


-Kiniski slams and dropkicks Stark. Stark gets caught in a chinlock. Side suplex by Kiniski, but Stark is too close to the ropes and the referee won’t count. Stark hangs in there, but Kiniski gets another two with a backbreaker. Stark tries a desperate sunset flip, but Kiniski kicks out with ease and the bell sounds for TV time.

The final score: review Average
The 411
Mid-South feels kind of all over the place this week, as Watts seems itchy to make a change but doesn't seem to know what to do, so you have jobbers battling each other in a search for star power, a hunt for a new commentator, and a mystery storyline that's just going on and on. I know Jerry Lawler is brought in at some point in 1983 to do something of an audit on the company and it's easy to see why. Something feels off about the company this week. Still a good show, but it had flopsweat on it.

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Mid-South Wrestling, Adam Nedeff