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Mid-South Wrestling (4.2.1983) Review

February 24, 2020 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Mid-South Wrestling 4-2-1983 Cowboy Bill Watts
7
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Mid-South Wrestling (4.2.1983) Review  

-Originally aired April 2, 1983.

-Your host is Bill Watts. This week’s episode revolves around the tournament held last week for the vacant North American Heavyweight Title. We’re treated to a shot of the jankiest title belt of the pre-expansion era. It looks like it was made in one of those kiosks at Wal-Mart where you buy engraved pet tags.

Watts breaks down the 13-man single elimination tournament. That’s four matches in the first round with five byes. And we jump STRAIGHT to the finals.

VACANT NORTH AMERICAN TITLE: JUNKYARD DOG vs. MR. OLYMPIA
-They’re former tag team partners, now facing each other in the finals after it’s been implied that Mr. Olympia is a dastardly heel. To make matters worse, JYD just wrestled in the previous match against Black Ninja, while Mr. Olympia has had stupidly good luck with byes due to other people getting disqualified, so he’s fresh as a daisy. But Dog, sweaty and exhausted as he steps into the ring, offers a handshake to start, and Olympia refuses the handshake.

-Referee prepares to sound the bell, but Olympia tells everyone to hang on and he heads back to the dressing room and if it’s anybody other than Skandar Akbar, I will drop my pants in the middle of the Glendale Galleria and take a big shit while yelling out my own name, address, and social security number.

-And sure enough, Mr. Olympia returns with Skandar Akbar because god forbid we have ONE heel who’s not stapled to Skandar Akbar. Watts lays out the story of how Olympia was frustrated because there was a masked wrestler who was always going to be more popular than him in Mid-South Wrestling. Dog brings Akbar into the ring and knocks him around, but Dog accidentally knocks the referee out of the ring while beating up Olympia and Akbar. A second referee shows up to help, but gets knocked out before he even has both feet in the ring. Black Ninja shows up and kicks JYD right in the throat, and he slumps backwards into Olympia’s sleeper hold as referee #1 revives.

-Olympia lands on top of JYD. Olympia’s body is covering JYD’s entire upper body, and when the referee rolls back in, he counts the three-count. Olympia gets up and releases the hold, revealing to the referee that JYD was face-down, so the pin shouldn’t have been counted…but the referee seems to reason that, well, JYD was in a sleeper and he’s unconscious, so he awards the title to Olympia, and JYD loses to what is essentially a blown call by the referee.

-Mid-South president Charlie Lay held an emergency meeting, and Bill Watts acknowledges that he was invited to that meeting and made a case on JYD’s behalf. When a man is lying down on the mat in pro wrestling, you give him a ten-count. Yes, the referee counted a pinfall, but as soon as he realized what position JYD’s body was in, he should have switched it to a count of ten. And hey, JYD was so battered and beaten that he probably wouldn’t have even gotten up then, but you have to give the man the benefit of the doubt, and besides, rules are rules, and this referee didn’t adhere to the rules.

-Everyone in the meeting agreed with Bill’s argument, he says, so the North American Title has been held up

-We go to an interview taped before the decision was made, and Skandar Akbar and Mr. Olympia gloat about the victory. Mr. Olympia got pushed aside and forgotten about while JYD hung around pretending to be Stagger Lee, and Mr. Olympia says he lost all respect for Dog at that point. “I played by the rules! I took my sixty days! You didn’t!” The man makes a good point.

KING KONG BUNDY vs. RON ELLIS

-Bundy’s first appearance, and he throws a tantrum right away because the Mid-South promoters said they wanted him to wrestle Andre the Giant and he thought they meant right away. He’s insulted that Mid-South wants him to wrestle some jobber. Referee tells him to take the forfeit if that’s the way he feels. Bundy goes to congratulate the jobber on getting a win over King Kong Bundy, and Ellis is dumb enough to take the handshake, and Bundy just mauls him. Bill Watts explains the five-count as Bundy gets the big splash and gets the three-count, and of course, he won’t let the referee call for the bell until he’s counted twice more.

NORTH AMERICAN TITLE TOURNAMENT, FIRST ROUND: TITO SANTANA vs. MATT BORNE

-Bill Watts is in his glory here, rattling off a list of every pro wrestler who attended West Texas State off the top of his head. Also of note here is that Watts mentions several times that the video is shot by Greg Solie, son of Gordon. Referee gets bumped and Borne tries to do the illegal top rope version of Bombs Away, but he crashes, and Tito finishes with a Fuller toehold. Neat!

NORTH AMERICAN TITLE TOURNAMENT, FIRST ROUND: HACKSAW DUGGAN vs. HACKSAW BUTCH REED

-After weeks of hyping Bruce Reed, he’s suddenly rebranded Butch Reed here. Reed surprises everyone by successfully matching power with Duggan. Duggan gets the advantage for a while, but Reed gives a HUGE middle finger to Duggan by connecting with a flying shoulderblock that looks like a better version of Duggan’s spear, and he gets the win.

NORTH AMERICAN TITLE TOURNAMENT, QUARTER FINAL: TITO SANTANA vs. BLACK NINJA

-I have no idea why the episode is structured like this. You opened by showing us the finals. It’s Black Ninja vs. Tito Santana. Bill Watts once again has to emphasize that Black Ninja cuts his hair like that on purpose, even though it just looks like male pattern baldness. And yeah, that’s a problem that should have been dealt with at some point. He just looks like somebody’s uncle who got his face painted at a county fair booth. I have no idea how more than one person in the wrestling business thought this was a good look. Ninja tries to intimidate Tito by doing his kendo stick ritual, and Tito just immediately shows up the Junkyard Dog by doing something really obvious and just attacking Ninja during the ritual. He rams Ninja’s face into the turnbuckle over and over, and Watts points out that since Ninja is still wearing his ceremonial mask, his face is just hitting that metal over and over and over again, so Tito’s got him good and messed up. But eventually Tito makes the ill-advised move of pulling the mask off, at which point Ninja just spits green mist in Tito’s face and takes the win by count-out.

NORTH AMERICAN TITLE TOURNAMENT, QUARTER FINAL: MR. OLYMPIA vs. HACKSAW BUTCH REED
-Watts says this is proof that Olympia is a changed man. The match starts as a face/face encounter. Referee gets bumped (oh, come on!) and Hacksaw Duggan runs in wearing a suspicious knit cap and knocks Butch Reed out with one shot. Olympia sees it but has the unmitigated gall to apply the sleeper and take the victory when the referee wakes up. Of note is that it’s the same referee who officiates the finals, and Watts points out that in this match, he followed the correct protocol for a sleeper hold.

-We close out the hour with replays of the finals and Mr. Olympia’s victory promo. Bill Watts stands firm in his belief that holding up the belt is the right thing to do.

7.0
The final score: review Good
The 411
I was a bit shocked at the way those matches were booked because three ref bumps on a single card seems like exactly the kind of thing Bill Watts would fire you for. Some good stories unfolded during the show, though, so it had that going for it.
legend

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Mid-South Wrestling, Adam Nedeff