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The Name on the Marquee: NWA World Championship Wrestling (2.21.1987)

May 15, 2017 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
NWA World Championship Wrestling
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The Name on the Marquee: NWA World Championship Wrestling (2.21.1987)  

-Nice cryptic start to this one, as an unseen injured wrestler is carried to the backseat of a car, with a panic-stricken Nikita Koloff and Barry Windham yelling “Get him to the hospital!”

-Originally aired February 21, 1987.

-Your host is Tony Schiavone, who finally has normal person hair. Tony somberly says “Our thoughts are with Ron Garvin.”

-It feels too soon to see this guy in the wake of an apparent national tragedy like Ron Garvin’s injury. Thumb to the throat by Boogie, and he works the arm while declaring “Tony, I love you, baby!” Heelish but funny shtick from Valiant, as he chokes Thunderfoot while arguing with the referee about whether or not he pulled hair. This Thunderfoot wears boots that match, which tells me he didn’t understand the finer nuances of the Thunderfoot gimmick.

-Valiant works the neck over and turns the mask backward to blind Thunderfoot. He applies a sleeperhold, but the referee tells him not to remove the mask for some reason and Valiant declares that there’s no point and just lets go of the hold. Elbow gets three.

-Crowd chants “Give Tony sugar!” Jimmy sort of ignores it before drifting into his plans for the Crockett Cup, and if he wins, he’s giving all the cash to shut-ins and the YWCA. He announces he’s gonna kiss Tony on the mouth, and Tony hastily throws it to commercial.

-Paul Jones says the seedings for the Crockett Cup come out next week, and he’s insulted that Jim Crockett hasn’t called him to guarantee #1 seeding. Rick Rude excitedly hypes the thousand-dollar grand prize until Manny corrects him and explains it’s a million up for grabs. You bet your sweet ass Rude got his start in Memphis.

-Stevens still has a heart on, and I’m sad that they’re wasting him on a guy not managed by Jim Cornette because it was so fun to listen to Cornette rag on this guy’s tights.

-Headscissors by Stevens. Armstrong slithers out and works the arm, and works it and works it. Stevens reverses but can’t hang on. Armstrong stays with the arm and suplexes Stevens. And then he works the arm. And this…well, this match just keeps going. Stevens throws forearms, but Armstrong comes right back at him with a HARD clothesline, and the Russian legsweep gets three.

-Rock & Roll Express is here, with Robert sporting a beautiful Buckwheat t-shirt from the Jesse Ventura collection. Rock & Roll Express is horrified by the disgusting incident that they witnessed involving Ron Garvin and the Midnight Express, and they pledge their support if Ron ever needs them.

-We finally go to the horrible incident that took place last Saturday night in Charlotte, NC. It’s a US Tag Team Title match with Garvin & Barry Windham defending against the Midnight Express, and Windham is your face-in-trouble until he reverses a Dennis Condrey suplex and makes the hot tag. Hands of stone almost finish, but the pin gets broken, and while Bubba provides some distraction, Cornette throws a fireball in Garvin’s face, and all hell breaks loose. A bunch of faces run in to check on the blinded Ron Garvin. Crowd reaction here is pretty great as fireballs were common in Memphis, but THIS audience isn’t used to it, so they’re completely freaking out at the spot.

-All the faces tend to Ron Garvin and then the NWA dusts off some forgotten history out of nowhere, with a panic-stricken Jimmy Garvin and Precious running in to throw a towel on Ron Garvin and tend to him.

-The Armstrongs are here. They’ve seen Ron Garvin hitting the gym even though his vision is incredibly poor now. With Dick Murdoch turning on his friends and Jim Cornette resorting to throwing a fireball, you’re seeing what a million dollar prize will lead some people to stoop to. The Crockett Cup is bringing out the worst in some people.

-We go back to Charlotte. Garvin has collapsed on the floor in the dressing room, and Jimmy Garvin, in a fit of rage, charges into the heel dressing room and tackles Cornette. All the other faces follow him in there and pry him off Cornette. Actually some really nice realism here, as the Russians are in the dressing room but keep their distance, and all the faces get Jimmy Garvin away from Cornette and then leave immediately. Nobody wants to start any trouble with all this shit going on.

-And so that leads us to our clip from the opening. It’s Jimmy Garvin’s car, and Jimmy is so desperate to get Ron to the hospital that he removes a police barricade from the parking lot to speed out of there.

-Bob Caudle has words with Jimmy Garvin, who dusts off the old chestnut that he and Ron are brothers. He’s been taking stock of his career path and Ron’s career path. Ron always plays by the rules, Jimmy always cheats, and Jimmy is just beside himself with guilt because as much as he breaks the rules, he probably deserves to be in the hospital more. He promises revenge for his brother, even if he has to fight Cornette and all three of his men at once. Fantastic promo from Jimmy here.

-Fans get into Murdoch’s head with a “Traitor” chant and Murdoch gets bleeped while complaining about it.

-Koloff starts with Isley, taking him down to the mat, dropping a leg, and throwing him out to the floor. Murdoch just chucks him right into the commentary table while demanding Dusty get his ass out here. Meanwhile, Petrov slams Isley down. Angel tries his luck, but gets strangled by this wall of steroids. Petrov bounces him up and down while strangling him, which is honestly a really good visual, and it’s the first time Petrov has looked like a true badass since he got here.

-Murdoch takes Angel out to the concrete and slams him damn near through it. Sullivan tags in and meets Koloff’s elbows over and over again. Sickle by Petrov (with the jobber taking a sick and scary-looking bump from it), and an elbow by Murdoch is academic. All three men looked like bona-fide murderers here.

-Murdoch says the Russians are so tough that they remind him of Texans. Murdoch demands that Dusty quit hiding behind people and stand face-to-face with him like a REAL Texan.

RAVISHING & RAGING (World Tag Team Champions, with Paul Jones) vs RICK NELSON & ALLEN MARTIN
-Two roommates walk into the room as I’m reviewing this and both of them ask me, “Why doesn’t WWE just use a guy’s WWE theme when they don’t have the rights to whatever their music was here?” Again, I don’t want to be the guy bitching about any downsides of the best deal in professional wrestling, but that’s a damn good question and it would probably be a lot more satisfying than stock music.

-Champs squash the jobbers real fast with the second-rope Hart Attack, and then the Rock & Roll Express comes in to clean house and throw out a challenge. They want a cage match, but Paul Jones has his heels dug in because cages are for animals and his men aren’t animals.

-Ole Anderson and JJ Dillon are here to address all the rumors they’re hearing because Ole has been missing the past few weeks. He allows Ole the chance to say whatever he wants. Ole apologizes for being MIA, but reminds us that he’s the ORIGINAL Horseman. It began with Ole and Gene right here in the WTBS studio. Gene retired and made room for Arn. Ole and Arn brought Ric Flair into the fold, and then they were so impressed with Tully that they expanded the group a little bit. He clarifies, quite insistently, that there are only FOUR Horsemen. Lex is merely an associate and doesn’t count. There will only ever be four.

-Horner takes down Barber with a little bit of pizazz and works the arm. Horner stretches him Garvin-style, as an affectionate tribute, I guess. Barber rakes the eyes, but Horner mows him down with a clothesline. Suplex follows for two. Natural bridge gets three.

-Superpowers are here in tandem, which kinda proves Murdoch’s point completely. Texas is a great state full of great people who don’t give a shit about Dick Murdoch anymore. Dusty loves brown and yellow people, baby, and he stands by the Russian man too!

-JJ Dillon is here, this time with associate Horseman Lex Luger. The Horsemen will be involved in the Crockett Cup because they are a solid unit and everybody has a specific job to do. He says Ole has a spot, but the team needs youth, and Ole doesn’t have that anymore. Arn, Tully, and now Lex provide that young energy that the Horsemen need. Fan who apparently got her hands on a dirtsheet tries to taunt Lex with a “Larry” chant while Luger declares himself the athlete of the next century.

BIG BUBBA ROGERS (with the Midnight Express) vs KENT GLOVER
-Cornette is apparently not in the building for reasons that we’ll get t later. Express stole the US Tag Team Title belts and is wearing them proudly, which Tony promises will be stopped soon.

-Bubba finishes Glover with a Bubbaslam in seconds.

-Tony scolds the Midnight Express for having the belts. Jim Crockett, looking and sounding furious, announces that Jim Cornette is indefinitely suspended from both television and live events. Also, both members of the Midnight Express will be fined $1,000 a day until they return the belts.

-Ron Garvin, with some really gross convincing burn make-up on his face, cuts a promo in another studio. He thanks his brother for coming to his aid, even though they don’t always agree about in-ring tactics. He demands a match with Jim Cornette, enticing him by noting that Cornette has to fight, for the moment, a one-eyed man.

-Mulkey gets tossed to the concrete. Rocket launcher on Smith, and the Midnights pin both opponents.

-Tony Schiavone welcomes Mike Rotundo to the NWA. He’s here because he’s heard talk about the Midnight Express and he wanted to see it for himself. Rotundo is so disgusted by what he saw that he’s in the NWA just to personally help get the Express out of wrestling. He also mentions that it’s no secret that he and Barry Windham held tag team titles elsewhere, and he’s lending his support any time Barry needs it.

DENNY BROWN (Jr. Heavyweight Champion) vs ROCKY KING
-So we’ve decided that this title still exists, I guess. King tosses him all over the place and dropkicks him for two. Meanwhile, the NWA has fined the Midnight Express an extra $5,000 for shoving Jim Crockett when he came out earlier to announce the $1,000-per-day fine.

-King hiptosses and armdrgs Brown a little more, clamping on the armbar. King stays on Brown, backdropping him for another two-count. King stays on the arm until Brown finally gets things going with a kneelift. Double underhook suplex by Brown gets two. Brown targets the notoriously black cranium of Rocky King, and King comes to life with a dropkick for two.
Denny goes for a bodyslam and legit drops King, and this match just falls to pieces as they have a butt-ugly roll-up/reversal sequence that ends with Brown pulling the tights for a three-count. I don’t get that at all. I don’t think I’m talking out of line when I say the NWA treated this as a jobber title, and Rocky King was over and he was a good worker. Why not throw him a bone?

-Tony Schiavone promotes an upcoming house show in Memphis, TN, with a ridiculous bit of cockteasing, saying the NWA will be showcasing “the kingpin of wrestling in Memphis…Bill Dundee.” Dundee issues a challenge to Dusty Rhodes for the upcoming Memphis spectacular.


-Baron hiptosses Chase and snapmares him down into a chinlock. Turnbuckle shots by the Baron, and the claw finishes quickly.

-JJ is back once again, this time with Tully Blanchard. The NWA is nothing without the Horsemen on TV to drive the ratings. Also, Tully is tired of this week’s show being “Poor Ronnie Garvin and his crying brother” all over the place.

-It’s the first eight-man tag in the history of the Superstation!

-Eddie Roberts slams Arn down, and Arn goes to the wrong corner and gets pinballed by all of his opponents. Jobbers wrestle a smart match as Tully gets suchered into their corner, and Jones goes to work with flying headscissors and a dropkick. Luger tags in for a fascinating optical illusion where Armstrong seems to age ten years just by being in the same camera shot.

-Dutch and Bob work Ole’s arm, and Dutch ends up being the poor bastard who gets caught in the Horsemen corner and beaten down. Arn’s having a bad week though, so he immediately gets the advantage on Arn. Roberts tags in and the Horsemen are able to back him into the corner too. This time, they manage to trap their opponent, and Lugar goes to town on Roberts with slams and elbows.

-Tully slugs it out with Dutch Mantell and Armstrong tags in, hammering him with the cast on his arm while JJ dashes over to the commentary table to randomly gush about how great it is to see Ole back in the ring.

-Luger clotheslines Roberts, and Arn finally gets things going his way with a spinebuster. Ole works the arm. Kneedrop from the top rope onto Roberts’ shoulder, and the armbar gets a submission. Ole gets his arm raised, and everybody conspicuously gathers around Ole to give him credit for the win.

The final score: review Good
The 411
I'll tell you, this company's been on a run of awesome angles lately. The Garvin saga was just so different for a lot of reasons. So realistic and so passionate, with all kinds of little snippets of history being dug up as it plays up (yeah, the two guys running around with the same last name ARE brothers, Cornette wants revenge for an angle that played out in 1985, etc.) Great show!