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Mid-South Wrestling House Show (12.25.1983) Review

September 26, 2020 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Mid-South Wrestling Mr Wrestling III
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Mid-South Wrestling House Show (12.25.1983) Review  

-Over in Hidden Gems on WWE Network, you’ll find “Mid-South Tag Titles Defended in a Steel Cage” and that’s what we have for you today It’s only two matches from the card, but in their entirety..

-It’s Christmas night, 1983.

-We’re in the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium.

HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN vs. KRUSHER DARSOW

-Duggan hits the ring Warrior-style and immediately atomic drops Darsow and sets up for the spear. Darsow sees it coming and gets the hell out. Crowd is just going bonkers from the get-go. Darsow demands a lock-up and since he’s learned stuff from Nikolai Volkoff, he actually manages to overpower Duggan, and Duggan is shocked. So Duggan just levels him with forearms and backdrops him because moves that make an impact work better than trying to match power.

-Duggan drops an elbow on Darsow. Darsow tries to roll out of the ring but Duggan dives on top of him and applies a hammerlock to keep him in place. Darsow gets to his feet and Duggan clotheslines him down and applies an armbar, and the crowd is still just totally losing their shit. You know what? If the crowd is reacting like this, by all means, apply the armbar, you’ve got them.

-Duggan hits the ropes but then runs into a kneelift and Darsow takes over with kicking and stomping. Bearhug by Darsow. Duggan breaks free but Darsow cuts off the comeback with more boots. Back to the bearhug, but Duggan breaks out and goes for the Still Relatively New Glory kneedrop, but Darsow rolls out of the way and gets two. Nerve hold by Darsow, but Duggan gets to his feet so Darsow has to take him back down.

-Darsow tries the bearhug one more time, and I’d bitch about that except for the story they’ve built: Darsow has established he’s stronger than Duggan, Duggan can only do moves that make an impact on him, so a bearhug is perfect because Darsow is strong enough for it to have an effect, and it’ll weaken anything Duggan does if he survives it.

-Duggan breaks free again and Darsow crashes on a corner charge, and both men are exhausted and sprawled on the mat. They get to their feet at about the same time, but they collide on a shoulderblock and they’re out again. They get to their feet again and Duggan takes him out with punches. Duggan overpowers him but loses his temper and throws the referee out to the floor. Duggan tries to finish with the spear, but here’s Nikolai to grab his buddy by the leg and bring him out to the floor. Duggan tumbles outside too, and it’s a 2-on-1 assault and leaves Duggan lying in a heap as Darsow heads back inside as the referee revives, and he gets the win by count-out. Crowd is just disgusted by the whole thing. Match surprised me though, as there was a genuine story and even a damn bearhug meant something. Referee is clearly in pain and favoring his arm, which pays off in the next match.

STEEL CAGE, TAG TEAM TITLES vs. MASK: HACKSAW BUTCH REED & JIM “The Anvil” NEIDHART (Champions) vs. MAGNUM T.A. & MR. WRESTLING II

-Mid-South’s steel cage is very similar to the WWF big blue cage, with about three feet of space between the cage and the ring. That’s actually perfect because it’s close enough that you can convincingly run guys into it, but there’s also enough space that you can do stuff outside the ring.

-So there’s some context missing here but fortunately Bill Watts covers it on the next Mid-South Wrestling episode, so for maximum enjoyment, here’s your story: the two referees working this show got injured in previous matches, so neither one of them could officiate this match. Mid-South brought out two jobbers who wrestled earlier in the night and had a coin toss, and as a result, your referee is firmly established heel jobber King Carl Fergie.

-TA and Anvil start. They trade forearms and stare each other down. Magnum throws a dropkick and Anvil retreats, tagging in Reed. II tags in and gets Reed on the mat with a side headlock. Reed gets to his feet and sends II into the ropes, but II immediately pops him with the kneelift, and Reed tumbles out to the floor to avoid the pin. TA tags in and applies a side headlock on Reed, and they do the spot where Reed tries to break by sending him into the ropes but TA just drags him around the ring. I always love the way that looks. Reed continues having the worst night of his life before finally tagging out. Magnum is a house of fire though.

-Reed tags back in and just javelin-pitches him into the wall of the cage, and Magnum falls about eight feet straight down to the concrete floor after that impact. Magnum is good and bloody of course, and the champs double-team him while II protests, and together, they launch him into the wall one more time. Magnum makes it back in the ring and Anvil just beats the hell out of him while II looks concerned about his protege. Magnum gets dumped on the floor one more time, and Anvil picks a fight with II as a cunning rouse while Reed runs outside and beats up Magnum some more.

-Magnum crawls back in the ring and slips straight through Anvil’s legs, tagging II and the crowd loses it all over again, breaking out the airhorns for the hot tag this time. II kicks Anvil’s ass. Reed tags in, and II is like, “So be it, I shall also kick this man’s ass.” II winds up for the kneelift, but Anvil trips him from the floor and Reed chokes II out. Anvil tags in and ties II up in a front facelock.

-II gets free and Irish whips Anvil. Anvil makes the tag without II seeing it, and after II backdrops Anvil, Reed comes off the top rope with a shoulderblock. That looks to finish, but Anvil waves it off and begs Fergie not to finish the count, so Fergie stops at two. Reed doesn’t understand why, so he goes for the pin again, and Anvil tells Reed to pull II up, so Reed breaks the count this time. Reed tags in Anvil, and Anvil does a Samoan drop, so Reed interprets this as his aprtner wanting the winning pin…but instead Anvil tries to rip II’s mask off, even though that’s already a stipulation. He pulls the mask off, but it turns out II is wearing a second mask underneath, and he slips out and tags Magnum in while Reed and Anvil start arguing about Anvil’s stupidity. Magnum with a belly-to-belly suplex on Anvil, and that gets the three-count. Reed absolutely loses his shit at Anvil and leaves in a huff while Magnum and II celebrate in the ring. Another success.

10.0
The final score: review Virtually Perfect
The 411
Context is key. As an example, the first time I ever reviewed the February 1988 Main Event special for this site, I was just watching it as a stand-alone thing, and I didn't much care for it. A few years later, I started watching WWF shows in order week by week from fall 1986 onward, and by the time I reached February 1988, that Main Event special absolutely blew me away. This is kind of the same thing, I think. If you just watch this on its own, you might not be as dazzled as I was by it, but as part of a greater thing, this was an incredible 40 minutes.
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Mid-South Wrestling, Adam Nedeff