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Mid-South Wrestling (5.11.1985) Review

June 22, 2022 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Jake Roberts Mid-South Wrestling 5-4-1985 Image Credit: WWE/Peacock
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Mid-South Wrestling (5.11.1985) Review  

-They’ve updated the opening titles to reflect some of the roster turnover from the past few months.

-Originally aired May 11, 1985.

-Your hosts are Boyd Pierce and Bill Watts. Both of them are in a visibly bad mood as Boyd runs down the card, and finally Boyd explains that something terrible has happened, and he’s leaving it to Bill to explain.

-Today was SUPPOSED to be the semi-final for the TV Title tournament, with Hacksaw Duggan vs. Dr. Death. But Hacksaw Duggan will NOT be here due to an incident that happened on May 4…and Watts actually pauses and gets choked up before explaining that Duggan was the the victim of a potentially deadly premeditated attack orchestrated by Skandar Akbar.

-We go to footage of Duggan battling Kamala with Watts providing new commentary, and everything he says about Duggan is past tense, referring to what Duggan stood for and what he meant to professional wrestling. Akbar uses a fireball to burn Duggan’s face, and Watts freaks out, describing how you could smell the burning flesh in the building. Duggan is in a hospital right now, and doctors are hoping to at least save the actual eye, but they’ve already warned that Duggan probably will never have sight in that eye again.

-We go to an interview with Duggan all bandaged up with half his beard shaved off and, to their credit, a pretty decent make-up job. Duggan tearfully acknowledges that he’s been told he won’t wrestle again, and he’s scared because he loves wrestling and he hates the idea of losing his sight. Duggan starts to cry, and JR wraps up the interview.

-Watts announces that as of this moment, Akbar and Kamala’s future contracts for Mid-South Wrestling matches have been cancelled and he fully anticipates litigation because of it, but damn it, it was the right thing to do. I still dislike the entire notion of fireballs in wrestling, but I’m totally onboard with the angle here.

-BREAKING: On May 3, we crowned new Tag Team Champions. Ted DiBiase and Steve Williams are here with their newly-earned belts, and DiBiase goes off on a tangent about how losing a loser-leaves-town Duggan reduced him to “wrestling a bunch of foreigners and eating rice” until he could come back. Bill Watts shows us video footage of the suspicious final moments of the title change.

-We go to Houston, with Paul Boesch and Jim Ross presenting the clearest example of the term “contrast in styles” that you’ll ever hear in a commentary team. DiBiase uses the loaded glove on Robert Gibson for the win. DiBiase continues insisting that he needs the glove and he has a doctor’s note to explain why he needs it for protection, but Watts wants him to explain why he didn’t put the glove on until the middle of the match. DiBiase never addresses this and proudly announces that the Rock & Roll Express is getting a rematch…ONCE. And if the Rock & Rolls don’t win that rematch, they’ll never get another title shot. AND! If the Rock & Rolls don’t defeat the Dirty White Boys later in the show, we won’t even do the rematch!

-The new champs went ahead and signed a tag team match for TV this week since, as we know, Williams is now going to receive a bye in the TV Title tournament so his scheduled match has been called off. But Watts shuts that down immediately and tells him no, he has to wrestle SOMEBODY to advance to the next round, so his new opponent will be some guy called The Snowman, and Williams has just accidentally backed himself into having to wrestle twice in the next hour. The next chapter in The Search for the New JYD continues…

-And now after 18 minutes of setting up the pins, we FINALLY go to the ring for our first match of the hour.


-Winner gets a title shot.

-Express cleans house handily to start, while Dutch Mantell once again walks to ringside for some mysterious reason and just watches the show. Dropkick by Morton misses and Tony Anthony takes over, with Morton taking a hard bump into a turnbuckle, and the crowd is on top of this as soon as Ricky is in the slightest bit of trouble.

-Len Denton stomps a mudhole while Bill Watts mentions out of nowhere that Ricky Morton has “warm blue eyes that melt your heart when you look at him.” Morton goes for a desperation move off the ropes, but Anthony stunguns him. DWBs untie one of Ricky’s bandanas and try to use it to clothesline him, but Ricky dives on top of the bandana, which causes the DWBs to crash together, and a double dropkick gets the pin.

-First look at Snowman in this territory, and Watts gives this backstory: We saw him wrestle a match in Little Rock and asked him to come to Mid-South.

-Snowman with a series of shoulderblocks and a hard Irish whip. Big powerslam by Snowman ends it in seconds. Great showing by Williams in a one-minute squash, as he just threw himself around like a ragdoll on every bump to get the idea across that holy crap, this guy is stronger than Dr. Death.


-We’re only getting two of the three, with Terry Gordy missing in action. This is 100% a Freebird crowd and the commentators don’t even try pretending it’s not.

-Armstrong faceplants Buddy Roberts as Bill Watts says “asks no quarter and gives none” for a record-breaking 118th time in this hour of television. Roberts gets dropkicked out to the floor and he’s had enough and tags in Michael Hayes. Hayes takes a series of rights and tags Buddy back in.

-Jackson dropkicks Roberts and follows with a flying headscissors. He goes for another one, but Hayes knocks him off from the outside. Roberts takes his beatdown while a “Freebirds” chant goes up. Hayes rams Jackson into Roberts for a headbutt and gets the three-count.


-First time in a loooooooong time that we’ve seen Ragin, who looked like he was going to get a mega-push with a Michael Jackson gimmick for one shining week in 1984 and hasn’t had a win since, AND they just immediately stripped him of the gimmick too.

-They trade bodyslams. Ragin gets a bodypress for a one-count as Watts suspects that DiBiase has something to do with the Freebirds showing up in Mid-South.

-They trade forearms and punches for a spell, but Jake blocks a monkey flip, and the DDT ends it.


-Casey is upping AND coming, so this should be a challenge for the champs. Watts is excited about this match because the tag team wrestlers here are ATHLETES, not actors and commentators.

-Casey holds is own but tags Ken Glover in while Watts explains that Mid-South is fully independent and not a branch of the AWA, NWA, or WWF, and whenever they have a World Champion show up in the promotion, it’s the champion that Mid-South considers the best, and that’s why Ric Flair is visiting the Mid-South territory. The WWF Champion will never appear in Mid-South because he’s an unconditioned lunk who couldn’t wrestle for one hour without dropping dead from exhaustion, and he’d only weigh 150 pounds if it wasn’t for all the steroids! Holy SHIT, Bill. Champions beat Glover, who cares how. The commentary was better.

-We close the show with a special tribute to Jim Duggan, who may never wrestle again.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Fantastic angle that carried the show.

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Mid-South Wrestling, Adam Nedeff