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Mid-South Wrestling (2.5.1983) Review

November 16, 2019 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
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Mid-South Wrestling (2.5.1983) Review  

-Originally aired February 5, 1983.

-Your hosts are Boyd Piece and Bill Watts. They have the North American title belt with them. The belt showed up at Grizzly Smith’s office via registered mail, which everyone assumes means that Stagger Lee is forfeiting his championship for some reason. Bill Watts says that the rumor mill is flying that DiBiase found out that Stagger Lee is being monitored by a probation officer right now, and then suddenly as soon as DiBiase learned that, the belt was abandoned. That’s a nice detail that provides some background story about the whole Stagger Lee origin story. JYD really WAS bullied as a kid by someone named Stagger Lee; he was just borrowing that guy’s identity when the need came up.

TIM HORNER vs. SONNY ROGERS
-Rogers tries a waistlock, but Horner slips out and flings him around while Bill Watts briefs us about what happened in WCCW on Christmas night, and he says he knew Michael PS Hayes was full of shit the whole time and he’s not surprised that Hayes would control lazy Buddy Roberts and weak-brained Terry Gordy so they would do his bidding.

-Punches and forearms are traded, and Rogers takes control by going to the throat. Rogers throws a particularly hard shot at the throat, and the referee actually calls for the DQ in a finish you never see. Horner has the win by DQ, but to make a point, he fights back and beats on Rogers until he leaves the ring. Odd booking, but I chalk that up to Bill Watts loving realism, it doesn’t make sense for jobber Tim Horner to suddenly be Bill Goldberg, so he needs to eek out a half-assed victory now and then in the early stages.

HACKSAW DUGGAN vs. JOE STARK

-Fist fight goes Duggan’s way and he clamps on a chinlock. Stark elbows free while Bill Watts mentions that Duggan has gotten himself banned from several Mid-South area bars because of incidents in the parking lot. Drinking game recommended for this match: do a shot every time Bill Watts says “Rugged.”

-Backbreaker by Duggan. Stark shows signs of life with dropkicks, but Duggan dodges a charge and rams him into the turnbuckle, a move that Watts calls “air brakes,” and Duggan stun guns Stark for the win.

KAMALA (with Friday and Skandar Akbar) vs. BUDDY LANDELL

-Landell charges at Kamala in the corner and Kamala just lifts him and throws him across the ring in a great visual. Kamala chokes him out while Watts mentions that a Ugandan student at Oral Roberts University recently called the Mid-South offices because she recognized Kamala. Is it me or is that claim opening a huge can of kayfabe worms? “Okay, you’re 18 years old now, do you want to go to college or do you want to paint your face and let a white guy walk you everywhere because you’re so uncivilized that you can’t handle going to the ring on your own?” Big splash finishes.

“Mr. USA” TONY ATLAS vs. KELLY KINISKI

-Kiniski jaws with the fans, which is really the first time he’s ever shown any personality out here. Atlas wrestles him down and applies a top wristlock. Atlas stays on the arm. Kiniski fights back as Bill Watts suddenly feels the need to address the first match and explains everything that can get you DQed in Mid South.

-Atlas works the arm as Bill Watts announces a doozy of a main event for next week, Ted DiBiase and Matt Borne defending the Tag Team Titles against Tony Atlas and Andre.

-Atlas with flying headscissors and a monkey flip on Kiniski. Dropkicks by Atlas, and a press slam finishes.

HANDICAP MATCH: ANDRE THE GIANT vs. MIKE BOND & TOM RENESTO, JR.

-Typical Andre squash while Watts plays up the inevitable showdown with Kamala. Andre butt-rams Renesto and I can only assume farts heartily on him. Jobbers try ganging up on him, but Andre noggin-knocks them. Jobbers target the legs and get Andre on his back, but Andre monkeyflips both of them at once. They target Andre’s arms, but he’s strong enough that he basically Irish whips them into each other. Andre boots Bond down and press slams Renesto on top, then sits on both of them for the three-count.

-Bill Watts talks to the Rat Pack and they ain’t happy about their title match next week. But the hell with that, Stagger Lee has now no-showed two title matches, so DiBiase is actually making a pretty good point here: If the champion has forfeited two title defenses against him…shouldn’t he be the champion? Also, bringing in Andre out of nowhere for a title match just smacks of Mid-South trying to sabotage his career.

JUNKYARD DOG & MR. WRESTLING II vs. DON BASS & MARTY LUNDE

-But what’s this? The Rat Pack storms into the ring and tells Bass and Lunde to get out. Bass and Lunde initially refuse to get out of the ring because they have a contract, so DiBiase just promises to pay them off if they leave. Surprisingly, the jobbers really don’t want to leave, with Marty Lunde getting mike time for the first time in his career and explaining that wrestling JYD & II is a good chance for him. He hasn’t quite developed the Arn persona yet, and the upper register tone of voice coming from him is jarring and a little bit funny. Rat Pack huddles with the jobbers on the floor, negotiating something with them, and finally the jobbers leave ringside, and Ted DiBiase makes a mental note that just buying whatever he wants in wrestling seems to work well for him.

NON-TITLE: RAT PACK (Tag Team Champions) vs. JUNKYARD DOG & MR. WRESTLING II

-Brawl to start, but the faces clean house, and suddenly the jobbers return to the ring and turn it into a four-on-two battle. Since the jobbers were supposed to be there to begin with, the referee can’t bring himself to ring the bell, so Wrestling II knocks out Bass with a kneelift, and the referee counts the pin and it’s a loss for the Rat Pack!

IRON MIKE SHARPE vs. ART CREWS

-I am absolutely shocked to see Iron Mike here because that loss to Kamala could not have possibly looked more like a write-off. Toehold by Sharpe as Watts AGAIN mentions college football star John Tenta. Did Watts have an eye on him, and if so, how did that never happen?

-Shoulderblocks by Sharpe as Watts announces that they’re going to air the WCCW Flair/Von Erich match in two weeks, which sums up how white hot that angle was. Crews gets a near fall but Sharpe lays him out with a hard clothesline for the three-count.

-We get closing words from Andre and Tony Atlas. They’re ready for the title match next week. Bill Watts is wearing a cowboy hat so damn big that he’s almost Andre’s height.

8.0
The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Still the best hour of '80s wrestling ever.
legend

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Mid-South Wrestling, Adam Nedeff