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The Furious Flashbacks – NWA Crockett Cup ’86

February 2, 2008 | Posted by Arnold Furious
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The Furious Flashbacks – NWA Crockett Cup ’86  

The Furious Flashbacks – NWA Crockett Cup ’86

Earl Hebner’s hair is strangely fascinating. Oh yeah and there’s this tournament thing.

Ever had one of those days where you just couldn’t get going at all? My day today has basically involved me watching a game of football and eating some pizza. That’s it. That’s the whole fucking day. It’s now 11.45pm. I haven’t read anything. I don’t recall using the Internet. I think I watched a film but I couldn’t tell you one way or the other. When days like this strike and nothing has happened I feel the need to make amends in some small way. Today’s small way would be attempting to do something with a tape review. So here’s the next in a pile of NWA tapes I have lying around. Oddly enough one of my first tape reviews here at 411 was the 1988 version of the Crockett Cup. It was posted back in June 2005 just a short time after I starting writing for the site. From there I went on to review the history of WCW. Something that I’ve not long finished working on. Jesus Christ. That’s depressing. There were some tapes I had that I left off the reviewing schedule because I felt they didn’t apply to the history story I was telling or I simply couldn’t be bothered with them. Crockett Cup ’86 fell a little too far back to fit into my previous reviewing schedule so I waited for this stretch with the early Starrcade’s and chucked it in there instead.

The Crockett Cup was created to honour the memory of Jim Crockett Jr’s dad. Jim Crockett Senior, or Jim Crockett Classic as the WWE would probably say, passed away in 1973. The show came into being in 1986 and ran for 3 years. Not a huge tribute to his father’s legacy but any effort is better than none.

We’re in New Orleans, Louisiana. At the Superdome. Tony Schiavone is on voice-over and introduces the first round of action. He’s joined by David Crockett for the PBP.

Wahoo McDaniel/Mark Youngblood v Bobby Jaggers/Mike Miller

Jaggers held a lot of regional titles and tagged with Dan Kroffat in Puerto Rico. Miller I don’t know but he looks Samoan. Obviously Wahoo & Youngblood are the babyfaces. Crowd is initially quiet. Youngblood gets beaten up a lot before Wahoo gets a hot tag and just steamrollers Miller with chops until he gets the pin. The time is announced as 7 minutes something but it’s barely 2 minutes in clips.

The Batten Twins v Sam Houston/Nelson Royal

Brad & Bart Batten showed up in Smoky in their later years. Houston is the biggest star in this one so he eats up a lengthy heat segment. Much like in the opener that goes on for a while then there’s a hot tag. The Batten’s look decent when they’re working double teams. That’s not for long though as Houston comes back in and hits a bulldog to advance in 8.17. Or about 45 seconds in clips.

Jimmy Valiant/Manny Fernandez v Baron Von Raschke/The Barbarian

Ah, some over guys! Paul Jones seconds the heels. The Baron looks hopefully over the hill. Barbarian is green. Seeing as neither babyface is a miracle worker this isn’t pretty. Valiant mostly just dances and throws the odd punch. Baron nearly loses to a sleeper. Everyone piles in. Manny gets a sneaky sunset flip on Barbarian and despite the weight of numbers being on the heel side the faces pull off the big win. That looked awful even in clips.

Steve Williams/Terry Taylor v Bill Dundee/Buddy Landell

I’m almost sad this one is in clips. I’d quite happily watch this in full. When Bill Dundee is the worst worker in the ring you know you’re onto a winner. Taylor gets isolated and that seems to be a theme this evening. Dundee with the sleeper but Taylor jawbreakers him. Doc gets a hot tag. He’s unstoppable. Shoulderblock for Landell who bumps it HUGE. Just backflipping and rolling around in there. Oklahoma Stampede and that’ll do it in short order. Looked fun and energised.

New Zealand Sheepherders v Hector/Chavo Guerrero

Sheepherders are heel, which is a weird image for any early 90’s WWF fan. Los Guerreros ’86 are predictably good but the crowd really aren’t into them. Jack Victory is at ringside! All those New Zealanders stick together. Pesky Kiwis. Everyone spills in and Sheepherders have a malfunction at the junction. Chavo knocks Jack off the apron. While he’s celebrating the heels run a lame double clothesline on Hector that finishes?? Fucking hell. TERRIBLE finish. Really brutally awful.

The Fantastics v The Fabulous Ones

Why on Earth is this an opening round match? Fantastics and Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers. The latter was years ahead of his time. The Fabs were Steve Keirn and Stan Lane. Basically everyone out there is at least good. Fulton gets caught with a Hot Shot, which leads to heat and the exposing of his buttocks. Wrestling can be so gay sometimes. Lane in with the kicks and Fulton is thrown over the top while the ref is distracted. Hot tag to Rogers, geez guys how many formula tags in one night? Rogers gets a tag out and flips over Keirn to confuse him and Fulton gets a roll up for the pin. Looked really sharp there. Like I say; Rogers should have been wrestling at his peak in the 90’s when he had better guys to work with speed wise.

Koko B. Ware/Italian Stallion v Rick Steiner/Buzz Sawyer

It’s weird there being a time that was pre-Steiners. They’ve been around for so long. Koko is pre-Frankie. Sawyer misses a huge frogsplash/headbutt off the top. Stallion comes in and starts slamming people everywhere. This is already 15 minutes into this one. Sawyer does an amazing catch on Stallion where he jacks him up into a powerslam for the pin. That was awesome. Just sheer power.

Brett Sawyer/Dave Peterson v Jimmy Garvin/Black Bart

Brett is Buzz’s brother, legitimately so. Peterson is a 2-year pro. He jumped to AWA the following year and tragically died in a motorcycle crash in 1993. Bart has the common wrestling surname of Harris. Bart takes a bunch of headscissors takeovers and the nimble faces just take his arm apart. Bart is far too powerful to keep down and doesn’t want to/isn’t able to sell the arm. Garvin comes in to improve matters where Brett clocks him with a flying forearm. Peterson comes in and he is built for a fast guy. Kinda looks like Magnum TA. Garvin gives him a brainbuster and the heels manage to advance.

SECOND ROUND

Midnight Express v Sam Houston/Nelson Royal

MXP are the champs so they got a bye as the #3 seed. Jim Cornette is at ringside. Their opponents look tired from their opening match and the Express are looking extremely useful. Condrey is aggressive while Eaton adds the finesse. While it’s a straight up tag they dominate. Everyone comes in but Eaton uses that to clock Nelson blindside and the champs go forward to the next round.

Magnum TA/Ronnie Garvin v Buzz Sawyer/Rick Steiner

Just how many tag teams did the NWA have? Think about it! Compare that to now. TA is more used to tagging with Dusty. He still dominates here as he was on a huge push and it takes both heels to get him down. Buzz gets a tag and hits a stern looking suplex. Magnum gets a cheeky roll up for 2. Backslide gets 2. Again the heels double up to keep TA in trouble but he boots Rick in the chest and tags Ron in. HANDS OF STONE~! He fakes out Steiner allowing TA to tag in blind and hit the belly to belly for the pin.

Road Warriors v Wahoo McDaniel/Mark Youngblood

The Woyahs are fresh back from a run as AWA tag champs. The Injun team has zero chance. Even so Wahoo pops off some of his patented chops and Animal actually backs off a little. Hawk comes in and he takes some chops as well but sells them even less. Diving lariat gets 3. Wahoo could have easily saved his partner but didn’t bother, which is a REALLY weird looking finish. Did he come in to save then remember it was the finish?

The Koloffs v Jimmy Valiant/Manny Fernandez

The Russians debut in round two. UWF booked Ivan Koloff v Jimmy Valiant 8 years later as a main event. Hahaha, Herb. You crazy sucker. Nikita v Manny I could get behind. Nikita does his Goldberg impression pre-Goldberg existing. He just destroys Manny although he looks green in the progress. Valiant gets a hot tag and cleans house. That formula sure has been used a lot tonight. I guess it worked back then. Which is part of the reason why tag wrestling is less prominent these days. Nikita lays Jimmy out with the Russian Sickle and David is outraged when Ivan pins for the win because Nikita wasn’t legal. Get over it.

Rick Martel/Dino Bravo v Steve Williams/Terry Taylor

The ring announcer tells us Dino has appendicitis so Doc & Terry go through on forfeit. What? Why not just find another guy to tag with Rick? BOOO!

Rock N Roll Express v Sheepherders

Gibson almost gets picked off but he’s too fierce and aggressive and escapes the heel corner. The Rock N Roll’s are huge over here and it’s easy to see why because they’re two or three times faster than every other team in the tournament. The Sheepherders are a joke team by comparison even as heels. Gibson gets run into the buckles and ends up playing Ricky Morton. Erm. The heat is all cut out as we clip to Ricky getting the hot tag. The Sheepherders get dropkicked repeatedly. Jack Victory runs in but Morton steals his stupid New Zealand flag and waffles him with it. The ref mysteriously calls that a DQ the OTHER WAY. Their manager was in the ring ref! That’s just fucking ridiculous. I’ve seen some stupid booking in my time…

Arn Anderson/Tully Blanchard v The Fantastics

Tully starts with Rogers and holy shit is that fast. Tully can pretty much match anyone, which makes you wonder what he could have done with a Randy Savage in singles. Rogers flips all around Tully and dropkicks him out of the ring. Arn comes in to ground him but he gets caught with hip tosses and dropkicks. Rogers is just ON tonight. No one can touch him. Fulton nearly gets Arn with a sunset flip. Tully puts the boots to him. JJ Dillon is stalking around because this is after the Horsemen formation. Rogers takes over from Fulton and he’s doing fine until Arn catches him with the Gourdbuster. Fulton saves. Fulton then dropkicks Rogers on top and the Fantastics score the upset win. Fans go apeshit.

Giant Baba/Tiger Mask v Jimmy Garvin/Black Bart

Check out the mad skills on Team Japan. Garvin has no idea how to deal with Misawa. Dropkicking Garvin through the ropes gets a huge pop. Bart tries to beat up Baba with predictably bad results for him. Piledriver on Garvin and that should do it but we clip ahead to later. Looks like double teaming saved and then put the heels in charge. Baba back in though and he just dominates impressively swatting Bart aside like he’s nothing. The comedy bumping follows as Bart decides to bump everything HUGE regardless of how lame it looks. Bart takes a boot to the face and Baba pins for the duke.

QUARTER FINALS

Roadwarriors v Midnight Express

This could easily be the finals. How did #1 and #3 seed meet in the QFs? Who did THAT draw? Condrey gets knocked about with ease and he complains of an elbow. Erm. Elbows are legal. Animal flattens him again. Loverboy Dennis wants a posedown. Jim Cornette leaps on the apron to complain. MXP both get knocked down with a double clothesline from Hawk. Condrey with a piledriver, which Hawk no sells. Condrey tags out and runs away. Heh. ROCKET LAUNCHER! Hawk catches Eaton and slams him. Oh boy. When your best stuff is just totally no sold you know you’ve got no chance. And these are the tag team champions. That ought to tell you how hard the Woyahs were being pushed. Cornette uses the racket on Animal’s neck. Which he no sells and powerslams Condrey. Cornette resorts to just whacking Animal in the back of the head and that draws the DQ. Heh. Neat finish with the MXP just getting so frustrated with the lack of success that they flat out cheated and then got DQ’d.

The Koloffs v Steve Williams/Terry Taylor

Taylor starts with Ivan and generally has too much for the old timer. The dream match is Doc v Nikita so they hold off on that. Doc manhandles Ivan and presses him. Ivan continues his time in there as the faces work over his arm. Ivan just can’t get a tag and the faces pick him apart. Nikita is getting increasingly frustrated on the apron. Nikita finally gets a tag but Doc doesn’t care and doesn’t back down. That’s even more frustrating for Nikita. In fact Doc just grabs a headlock and stops Nikita’s offence. Nikita poses after Doc fails with a few shoulderblocks so Doc dropkicks him out of the ring. Ivan back in and he’s powerslammed for 2. Time must be ticking away here. Nikita starts throwing Taylor around. He takes a spill into the rail when that was a dangerous thing. This leaves the Koloffs totally in charge. Nikita tries for the BORE-HUG submission. Time is almost up. Ref misses a blind tag to Doc. Taylor won’t stay down for a pin though and the time limit expires before Nikita can hit the Sickle. Both teams are gone!

POST MATCH The Russians put a beating on the faces. Doc takes a chain across the throat.

Sheepherders v The Fantastics

This starts with a huge brawl and I’m reminded that the Fantastics could be working the Rock N Roll’s if the ref didn’t suck last time. That match would have been keen. Fulton gets himself isolated for the now recognised heat segment. We get another brawl, this time on the floor. Fulton manages to get himself knocked out in the process. Lame bladejob from Bobby. He tries to battle back and the ref misses a hot tag. The flag is pulled out but Victory misses his intended target allowing the hot tag. Another bladejob this time from Luke. This one is a gusher. Rogers goes after the cut, which is a little unsporting. Everyone in for more brawling and the ref gets completely wiped out. Clean out of the ring. That’s a BUMP. Timmy White would be proud. The brawl continues unsupervised. Rogers get laid out with the flagpole. Fulton is out of it thanks to blood loss. I see a cop at ringside having to restrain the fans. Everyone is busted open now. Tommy Young comes down here as Victory gets laid out with the pole. The other ref is conscious and this has been thrown out for ceasing to resemble a match. Crowd isn’t happy with the double DQ after the none finish on the last match.

POST MATCH the brawl continues with Luke attacking the referee. Blood everywhere.

Magnum TA/Ronnie Garvin v Giant Baba/Tiger Mask

This is surreal. Garvin grounds TM and hooks a half crab. TA shows no fear with Baba and tries not to put too much comedy into the bumping. TM v TA is pretty neat. TM hooks up a really boring front facelock though and that seems to kill the fun. But then Misawa was pretty young at the time. Because he still wrestles today, and at a decent level, it’s odd to have him crop up in events like this. He’s actually been a wrestler since 1981 making him a 5 year pro by this point. He’s still young though. His breakout years weren’t until the late 80’s. Although he shot up the ranks when he dumped the gimmick in sensational fashion in 1990. Baba is almost impossible to work with but TA does his best showing what a big star he could have become without the car crash. Misawa with his running senton, which he still uses. Misawa up top but he lands into TA’s belly to belly and that’s enough for TA & Garvin to advance, albeit tired, to the finals.

UWF title – Jim Duggan (c) v Dick Slater

This was Bill Watts’ UWF. He was about to try and get ambitious, which ended up killing the company dead. It was formally Mid-South wrestling and got re-introduced as UWF as to not make it a regional promotion. This match sure is fucking ugly but it does have Duggan in it. Slater looks like he can’t be bothered. It’s just not pretty. Duggan gets put through the rail with it collapsing. That just pisses him off but he does come away with a bad back and Slater takes advantage. Earl Hebner has a load of hair here. He looks a bit like Harley Race. Slater uses the ring mic to bash Duggan in the throat. Somehow Earl manages to miss that. Probably thinking about male patent baldness. It looks like a wig in there. A guy could get obsessed with that thing. Duggan takes a beating for most of the match until Slater bumps the ref for his own amusement. Slater elbows Duggan off the top for 2. He wants a piledriver but Duggan backdrops out. Hacksaw gets tied up on the ropes but when the ref cautions Slater for it Duggan gets free and hits the Three Point Stance for the win. He retains. That match was terrible. That’s the longest match on the tape so far too. Thanks for that.

NWA title – Ric Flair (c) v Dusty Rhodes

Flair v Rhodes again? Rhodes is seconded by Baby Doll. I wouldn’t trust a dame in wrestling and neither should Dusty. Baby Doll eventually turned on him and joined Flair. This is tough because Flair is always great but Dusty is always crappy. It’s like two opposite forces colliding and it’s rare that Flair is able to drag Dusty up to his level in terms of workrate. They trade some chops and Dusty looks somewhat more mobile than usual. Flip, flop and fly sends Flair outside. Dusty keeps throwing elbows. That’s about all he’s got. But they look decent so what the hell. Flair does some fine work of positioning Tommy Young so he can get cheap shots in. I like it when cheating is believable. Flair with a few kneedrops. Too much air between target & reality on those. The camera angle, which shows everything, doesn’t help. Outside and Dusty takes a header into the post thus giving us some claret in this one. Dusty is actually bleeding more than at Starrcade with the Joe Frazier finish. We clip ahead to Flair using a sleeper. Then to Flair getting posted. This gives us more blood. Well it might be all chopping and blood but at least both of those are good. Flair does his corner flip into the tree of woe. Never seen that before. Dusty sportingly kicks him in the face. More elbows for 2. 15 minutes gone but this is a 60 minute match so there’s no danger of time being an issue like in the other matches. Dusty gets a revenge sleeper. Both guys are bleeding all over each other. It’s like a haemophiliac shaving party. Flair is out but gets his leg on the rope when Dusty pins. Don’t they check for arm drops three times in 1986? That was tried and tested! Dusty with the Figure Four. He’s not got it on good due to the fatness of his legs. Flair again saves himself with the ropes. Flair goes up top. Sometimes ropes ARE NOT your friends. Tommy Young takes a great bump when Dusty hits the shoulderblock. Flair gets pinned but doesn’t bother kicking out because there’s no ref. Flair pulls off Dusty’s surgical boot and waffles him with it for 2. Flair goes after Baby Doll for some cheap heat. Dusty bashes Flair with the boot but Tommy Young sees it and we have a DQ. Dusty bashes him too. ***. Good stuff. Blood and loaded boots. What more do you want?

POST MATCH Dusty Rhodes, sore loser, walks off with the title belt he just failed to win again.

Crockett Cup – Magnum TA/Ronnie Garvin v Roadwarriors

$1,000,000 on the line for the winners. This show must have taken ALL FUCKIN’ DAY. This is like the 23rd match today. TA and Animal start by trading stuff. TA is slightly more willing to sell. Tags. Ron uses the HANDS OF STONE on Hawk but he even no sells that. I know they got told to no sell everything but there are degrees of no selling. Like there are some things that guys do you just HAVE to sell or it fucks their gimmick. You don’t see people no selling the Undertaker do you? Hawk always struck me as not understanding the difference between no selling a suplex and no selling someone’s signature stuff. Ron chops away regardless in the hopes he’ll figure it out. Garvin resorts to biting thus making him the biggest heel in the match. No one wants to boo TA or the Woyahs so that makes him defacto heel. Not that he’s ever been particularly popular. Hell, when he was a babyface NWA world champion in 1987, he was booed. Animal gets a bearhug on TA. Hawk comes in with a gutwrench suplex for 2. Another one into an Argentine backbreaker DROP, which is tantamount to a modern finisher. That gets 2 despite the shocked crowd reaction. Animal gets a chinlock to make it simple again and Animal pulls the hair. OOOOOH! Blurred lines of heel/face alignment! Powerslam gets 2. TA is pulling the resilience card. He busts the belly to belly out of nowhere but Hawk makes the save. Animal looks stunned at that and crawls over to tag out. Garvin-Hawk and that’s actually getting worse. Garvin tries the Wilbur Snyder but fucks it up and falls off. Garvin punches with his broken hand and that’s him fucked. Animal jumps in and clotheslines him for the win. **1/4. Weird finish with the clipped up tape not detailing Garvin’s hand injury until it was aggravated.

POST MATCH Tony gets in there and the crowd reaction for the Woyahs is mixed. Jim Crockett, Bill Watts and Jim Sr’s widow pop in to hand over the million dollar cheque. Yeah, you’re not getting THAT pay day.

The 411: Can’t say I’m a big fan of clip shows and that’s all this is. The two least clipped matches at the end are kind of fun and does have a smidge of historical importance but during the 80’s the NWA had serious issues with actual decent tape releases. This is no exception. Be prepared for 2 hours of clips. Christ alone knows how long the actual show must have run. I’d imagine upwards of 7 hours. Thumbs down.
 
Final Score:  4.5   [ Poor ]  legend

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