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Mid-South Wrestling (8.31.1985) Review

November 7, 2022 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Mid-South Wrestling 5-12-1984 Hacksaw Butch Reed Image Credit: WWE/Peacock
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Mid-South Wrestling (8.31.1985) Review  

-Originally aired August 31, 1985.

-Your hosts are a combo we haven’t seen here for a while, Boyd Pierce & Bill Watts. Bill’s 90-day suspension applies to wrestling only, and he’s happy to be back on commentary for the remainder of his time off.

-Also, Bill acknowledges that Mid-South has been getting quite a bit of mail lately about the Rock & Roll Express. He’s proud to be the promoter who brought the Express to national prominence, and he’s thrilled that the Rock & Roll Express are the new Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champions, and they’re going to cooperate with Jim Crockett to bring Rock & Roll back to Mid-South for some special appearances.

-Also, two weeks ago, at a wrestling fan convention in Kansas City, Boyd Pierce was voted Pro Wrestling Commentator of the Year, against “steep competition from Vince McMahon and Gordon Solie.” I have to think Boyd winning is the result of a LOOOOOT of other people splitting the vote. And I say that with a note that I don’t even dislike Boyd, but it’s just that at this stage in his life, he was a part of this show because he had been the commentator on wrestling in this area since pretty much day 1, but by this stage in his career, he was commentator emeritus. He RARELY does commentary anymore since they settled on the Joel/Jim team, and even when he did do commentary, it was pretty much “The bell sounds, they lock up and here we go, Bill what do you think of these two competitors?” And then Bill would take over for the entire match to tell the story exactly the way he needed/wanted it. So…I really have a hard time wrapping my head around how Boyd would have won.

-Also, the mysterious Midnight Rider has sent in another music video, and Joel went ALL OUT for his dad on this one, and you can even tell he got new equipment for this one because he’s doing a lot of dissolve shots that aren’t anything he’s ever done before. The music video also includes clues to the Rider’s identity, as a few scenes establish that whoever he is, he owns a monster truck and a helicopter. And in the midst of all these shots of Obviously-Bill-Watts, there is one laugh-out-loud shot where the Midnight Rider takes his mask off, with his back to the camera, and it’s a stand-in with a full head of hair!


-Since Boyd is back on commentary, we’re doing Crockett-style entrances this week with no ring announcer at all and just a chyron to introduce the matches.

-Tommy Rogers takes on both opponents by himself. Fulton slams Rose down, and Rose looks more like Tony Orlando by the week on these shows. Bill Watts acknowledges that some fans boo the Fantastics, and he explains that when guys hear girls cheering for handsome wrestlers, and the handsome wrestlers turn out to be damn good athletes, it just highlights every personal insecurity that the male fan has and he takes it out on the Fantastics by booing. I mean…what part of that could you even begin to argue with?

-Gray tags in and connects with a GREAT dropkick on Rogers. Rogers fights back with a backdrop and everybody tags. Slam/second-rope splash combo by the Fantastics for the win.


-What’s a bounty match? Simple enough, Akbar acknowledges that he’s paying Gang to get in the ring with Duggan for a specific purpose, so we’re not even bothering with “win” or “lose.” It’s just a matter of stopping the match when one guy is injured, because injury is the only thing Akbar cares about. That’s an interesting way of framing a “no holds barred”/”no rules” match. This is Gang’s first visit to the territory since becoming a full-blown star in WCCW and he has his more famous look by this point, with the mohawk and crossbones.

-Gang knocks Duggan out to the floor and drops him over the barricade. Referee Carl Fergie tells Gang to at least keep it in the ring if he’s going to try to injure the guy. Duggan fights back as they head back in. Bearhug by OMG as Bill Watts suddenly has some THOUGHTS about Puerto Rico, and the United States just needs to cut off all the funding from that territory, let it go independent, and watch them cry about it until they come crawling back and beg for that sweet, sweet American dollar.

-Duggan fights out of the bearhug, but Gang chokes him over the second rope. Avalanche misses and Duggan makes his comeback, whipping Gang and taking him off his feet with a clothesline. SPEAR! Duggan goes to finish, but Akbar gets a hold of him and hangs onto him for dear life until Gang fetches his chain and uses it to hang Duggan over the top rope. Duggan fights his way up to the top rope and connects with a forearm, hard enough for Gang to releases the chain, and Duggan whips Gang and Akbar both with the chain until both heels get the hell out and let Duggan live another day. Duggan is WALKING TALL! Fun brawl.


-But before the match, Jake and Barbarian are here AGAIN, asking why the hell they aren’t getting a title match on TV, because he’s interrupted the champs at least three times and they keep putting it off. Williams’ response: We beat you guys in the Superdome, so go to the back of the line. Jake keeps badgering them and badgering them until the champs finally, finally agree to a match next week after they beat the two scrubs here.

-Perez gets a waistlock takedown on Williams. Williams agrees to stick with amateur if Perez wants amateur, so he does his own waistlock and Watts insists that Williams can WALK TALL when it comes to amateur wrestling. Williams rams him into the turnbuckle as Watts pretty much writes off the challengers as not being ready for a spot like this yet, but thinks that some day, they’ll have a shot at it.

-Cooley manages to tag in without Williams seeing it, and Cooley clears the ring with dropkicks, and we pause for a break…

-Back! Sweetan is caught in an abdominal stretch by Cooley, but hiptosses free. Perez tags in as Watts commends the challengers for being in there and noting that they signed for the match because it’s everything to gain and nothing to lose. They don’t even have much experience as a tag team, but if they lose, they still get some experience as a tag team, and if they win, hey, they’re the champs. Why not sign for a match like that?

-Williams tags in and the challengers target the good arm. Doc goes for a corner charge but misses and misses HARD, and the challengers don’t ignore that, they go right to the shoulder and don’t let up. And we pause for another commercial. The tape machines are rolling!

-We’re back, and Watts tsk-tsks the champions for underpreparing. The old pros figured that the two rookies would be such a walk in the park that they clearly didn’t even do BASIC preparation for the match, and now they’re in an exhausting title defense, knowing that they have even tougher challengers next week.

-Williams locks on a front facelock to keep Cooley on the mat. Bodypress outta nowhere by Cooley gets two. Williams panics and reapplies the front facelock. Sweetan tags in and does his own front facelock. Cooley suplexes out, and Sweetan connects with a forearm before getting out. Champs are starting to freak out. Cooley hits the best clothesline of his entire life using his last ounce of strength, and Sweetan blatantly attacks Cooley in front of the referee to prevent him from tagging, and Watts is aghast that they did something that obvious while facing an inexperienced team. If they don’t even HIDE the cheating from the referee, then they’re desperate.

-Williams finally tries to just end this thing, but he can only get a two-count. Elbow misses, and Perez finally makes the hot tag. Right hands for everyone, now that we’ve established that he throws lethal punches. German suplex by Perez and he holds onto it for a pinning combo, but Sweetan breaks the pin. All four men are in the ring, but all four are exhausted. Perez connects with a big forearm. Williams loses track of who’s the legal man (and they look alike anyway) and goes for a stampede on Cooley, but he’s so tired that he loses his grip and Cooley falls off his shoulder, and when Doc turns around to pick him back up, Perez, the legal man, sneaks behind him with another German suplex, and THIS time it gets the pin, and the underdogs are the new champs! Fabulous TV match and a genuine star-making performance.

TV TITLE: HACKSAW BUTCH REED (Champion) vs. THE NIGHTMARE (with Oliver Humperdink)

-Neat thing from Watts, as he tells us straight-up that the lack of a ring announcer is an experiment, they’ll try it for a few shows and see if they gain any extra TV time for matches from doing that, and he encourages us to write in and tell Mid-South if we like the change or if they should go back to entrances for everybody.

-Nightmare stunguns Reed over the top rope as Watts explains that Dick Murdoch and Butch BOTH want a shot at the NWA World Title, and it seems that Ric Flair is trying to play both men against each other to get himself out of facing either one.

-Fist fight while Bill Watts addresses one other thing: no one in Mid-South has any damn clue WHERE Snowman went, and they just figure he cracked under the pressure, because not everyone handles the pressure of the business as well as Butch Reed does.

-Nightmare loads the mask and headbutts Reed, but Reed has enough left to resist the piledriver and backdrops out. Tackle by Reed gets the win. It’s okay, but you can tell they’re moving beyond Nightmare now.


-So Jake and Barbarian are pissed off in there, and frankly, don’t even feel like wrestling. Jake just hits the DDT and gets the pin in seconds because fuck it, they just lost their title shot.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
A stellar title match with some great storytelling before, during, AND after. Good week!

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Mid-South Wrestling, Adam Nedeff