wrestling / Video Reviews

The Name on the Marquee: NWA World Championship Wrestling (4.26.1986)

July 27, 2016 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
NWA World Championship Wrestling
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The Name on the Marquee: NWA World Championship Wrestling (4.26.1986)  

-Sorry for the slow-down in output lately. If you ever thoughtlessly commit to writing three books at the same time, you’ll understand. But the good news is two of them are in the home stretch so hopefully I’ll be able to do a little more here in the near future.

-Cold open: Magnum and Nikita get into a brawl at ringside; the returning and still injured Khrusher Khruschev ends it with a surprise crutch attack.

-Originally aired April 26, 1986.

-Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & David Crockett. Crockett somberly opens the show by announcing that Baby Doll was injured by Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express. Tony declares it the worstest moment in the history of our sport.

-Valiant is right back to his “drunk uncle on July 4th” shtick after teasing us ever so briefly by becoming a three-dimensional character for that one promo.

-Valiant hiptosses Glover around and sends him out of the ring. Glover goes back in and gets backdropped right back out. Back in, Valiant clamps on a nervehold, then gives Glover a thumb to the throat. Valiant chokes him while bragging that he can beat him any time; pretty funny, as even the marks in the crowd find that a bit on the dickish side and don’t pop for it. Valiant lets out a loud side-mouthed “Yay!” to complete his Wrestler Stereotypes bingo card for the week, and finishes with the elbow.

-Manny Fernandez is here to pledge his allegiance to Jimmy Valiant, and challenges any two members of Paul Jones’ Army to a tag team match. Sounds like a solid plan from Jimmy Valiant to me!

-Manny chops down Pritts and works the arm with a wristlock, followed by a second wristlock. Pritts reverses the wristlock, but Fernandez chops him and clamps on a hammerlock…and he STAYYYYYYYS with that wristlock. Like…he really gets comfy down there. Pritts gets to the ropes and breaks the hold, but Fernandez rams him into the turnbuckle. A bit of miscommunication on an Irish whip spot, so Manny just knocks him down and goes back to the wristlock. Flying burrito gets three-to.

-We go to World Wide Wrestling, where Shaska Whatley has decided to take a lock of hair after every one of his victories from now on. We see him getting a win over jobber George South. Jimmy Valiant makes the save, Paul Jones’ Army shows up to gang up on him, but Manny Fernandez and Nighthawk even the score, and the Army runs for cover.

-JJ Dillon shows up to announce that NWA President Bob Giegel has ruled that Ron Garvin may no longer wrestle with tape on his hand, and he refuses to allow the next match to start until Garvin has removed the tape.

-JJ isn’t messing around either. He totally holds up the show until Garvin unravels all of the tape.

-Match finally starts while Dillon gathers all the tape to inspect it. Garvin cradles Garner right away, trying to end the match quickly with his hand still hurt. Garner kicks out, so Garvin does an arm wringer and a kneedrop. This is neat, Garvin’s actually put some thought into this angle and is conspicuously doing moves with minimal impact on the right hand.

-Garvin pretzels him while David Crockett questions the wisdom of the NWA in allowing an injured man to compete without adequate protection. Another neat detail, with Garvin clamping on the side headlock and winding up his hand for a punch, but then changing his mind and then applying an abdominal stretch. Headbutt by Garvin, and a splash gets three. Garvin gets a win without once using a clenched fist.

-Ron Garvin warns Tully Blanchard that if he’s not careful, he’s going to sneak into Tully’s bedroom in the middle of the night. Honestly, that probably gives Blanchard extra incentive to keep re-injuring Garvin’s fist.

-The Crockett Cup winners, the Road Warriors are here. Hawk calls the Russians a bunch of buzzard barf and pledges that unlike last time, he WILL be at the arena with Animal and Paul Ellering tonight.

-We take a look at highlights from the Crockett Cup. Confession time: I was going to review the VHS release of this show, but I tapped out at about the 23-minute mark of the tape. Fact: A six-hour double-card consisting of 693 tag team matches is not a concept adequately accommodated by a two-hour VHS cassette.

-Smith gets tossed to the floor right away, and Mulkey follows, getting absolutely rocketed through the ropes and landing on the concrete with a THUD.

-Smith gets caught in the ring and receives a flying tackle from Hawk. Dropkick by Animal, and Hawk comes off the top with a splash for three.

-David Crockett gives us some neat insight into Flair’s motivation, reminding us that Flair WAS a full-fledged babyface, until Dusty Rhodes arrived and siphoned some of his fans, and then Flair’s a heel. And now fans are going crazy for the Rock & Roll Express and Flair’s an even bigger heel. So what makes Ric Flair tick? There you have it, he’s a heel because he resents anybody who’s more popular than him. That’s some nice storytelling from David, to be honest.

-And that takes us to an elimination tag match at a house show, the Three Horsemen vs. Dusty & The Rock & Roll Express. Dusty gets eliminated somehow and we’re down to Flair vs. Morton. Flair has pretty firm control over the bout until Morton cradles him and gets three out of nowhere.

-The cameras follow the Horsemen back to the dressing rooms, and they go into the Rock & Roll dressing room and just murder both of them. Legendary shot of Flair rubbing Morton’s face into the concrete floor, and Morton’s blood is smeared all over the place.

-Baron goes after Peak’s face and then throws him to the floor. Tabb tags in and Baron rams him into the turnbuckle, and since this isn’t the WWF, that actually hurts Tabb’s head.

-Shaska tags in and stomps away at him. Baron comes in and goes after Tabb’s face. Baron backdrops Peak and lobs him outside. Jones and Shaska both attack, and Jones thankfully remembers to do it behind the referee’s back this week. Gutwrench by Shaska, who insists that they’re not done yet, and Baron proves that point with a bearhug.

-Backbreaker by Baron, and giving these guys their due, they’re getting GREAT heat from the studio audience this week. I’m just not feeling this whole angle. #1, I don’t buy into having to round up an army of henchmen to beat up leathery dadbodied Jimmy Valiant, and #2, I don’t buy into Shaska Whatley being called “Uncle Tom” and sell-out when NOTHING about his behavior as a heel is any different. If you had him acting like Carlton or maybe becoming quiet and soft-spoken, you’d have me, but he’s a rubber-faced clown just like he was as a face.

-We come back from commercial with Shaska beating on Peak. Bill Tabb comes in and mounts some clobbering offense. He tags Peak back in and Baron hammers Peak some more. Backbreaker by Baron and in come Shaska. Superplex by Shaska finally ends this thing after TEN MINUTES. Holy crap, that’s like twelve Junkyard Dog squashes.

-Shaska promises that the Baron is gonna crush some brains, and Paul Jones’ brilliant leadership is gonna lead ‘em to victory.

-Ric Flair is here with his belt, and Dusty Rhodes took such a beating at Crockett Cup that he KNOWS he’s never gonna have to face him in a title match ever again. He asks the fans for a moment of silence for Ricky Morton’s face.

-Wahoo gets Dawson down to the mat for a side headlock. Hard chop off the ropes, and an elbow gets three.

-Gorgeous Jimmy declares Precious “the only 10 in the world” now that Dusty’s wildebeest is out of action. He’s been reading up on Indians and he figured Wahoo will face him in a match if Jimmy trades him some gifts in exchange for a contract. It’s toys and beef jerky. He notes that he doesn’t see the Chief anywhere to accept the challenge, and considering that Wahoo was JUST out here, that’s a damn good point and Wahoo really looks like a wuss this week.

-We go to World Wide, with Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express calling out America’s Team. Dusty and Baby Doll show up and Dusty beats up all three men by himself because of COURSE he does. The tennis racquet gets involved and Dusty is down. Baby Doll comes in to make the save, and Cornette shocks everybody by actually going after her and ramming the tennis racquet into her stomach. Baby Doll collapses and every babyface in the building shows up. Cornette and the Midnights get out of town and David Crockett is so upset that he throws his microphone down and refuses to interview them. Cornette tells Dusty to make sure Magnum TA hears about what happened because they ain’t worried about how he’ll react. Wrestling is no business for a woman, no matter how big and fat and ugly she is.

-We’re back live in the studio with America’s Team. Dusty’s wardrobe this week: black polo shirt. Golf course Dusty. Magnum assures us that Cornette’s message was received. Dusty offers a feminist message, saying this ain’t a man’s world, and any woman who goes out and works for something instead of just asking for it can get whatever she wants. He reveals that, while Baby Doll wasn’t exactly in a rush to start a family, she was hoping to have a baby some day, and now she’s worried that because of Cornette, she won’t be able to. And that, says Dusty Rhodes, is all the incentive America’s Team needs to unleash a good old ass-whippin’.

-Morton’s sporting a huge bandage and has swelling and cuts all over his face, as they really decided to use the Method Acting approach for this angle.

-Morton Irish whips Owens back and forth. Rossi tags in and eats a double dropkick almost immediately to end it.

-Jim Cornette is here and David Crockett refuses to be in the studio with him. Baby Doll’s not here this week because there’s no hitching post or watering trough outside the building. Women don’t belong in wrestling, and that big fat heifer started it anyway, running in and attacking the Midnight Express. And America’s Team showed what they were made of during that attack on Baby Doll. Dusty laid there and watched, and Magnum couldn’t even be bothered to show up. Dusty throws a nice big verbal middle finger at Dusty to close, saying that when you mess with the Midnight Express, “that’s hard times!”

MIDNIGHT EXPRESS (World Tag Team Champions, with Jim Cornette) vs ROCKY KING & GEORGE SOUTH
-Dennis starts with King while Cornette complains about how rude Schiavone has been to his men and promises that Tony WILL high-five somebody during this match.

-South is having a good week, getting some offense in on both members of the Express. King dropkicks Eaton, but he gets greedy and hurts himself on the next dropkick attempt. King tags out and South goes to work with right hands, but like King, he’s undone by his own failed dropkick. Body vice by Condrey, and Eaton axehandles King from that position (is that one of those moves that the Midnights had their own cute name for?) and that’s good for the three-count.

-Ricky Morton says that having a face injury ain’t nothing because he’s still the man that beat Ric Flair!

TULLY BLANCHARD (National Champion, with JJ Dillon) vs MIKE SIMANI
-Rapid fire right hands and a slam by Tully. Series of elbows as Tully is wrestling like he’s had a lot of Jolt cola. Slingshot suplex finishes instantly.

-JJ Dillon says wrestlers are injured all the time, and that’s the risk you take. Baby Doll doesn’t deserve flowers or sympathy, because she didn’t get anything that wouldn’t happen to a man.

-Tony meets with the Koloffs. They mention that Khrusher Khruschev is on his way back, and that the Russian Nightmare is about to become Magnum TA’s worst nightmare. We go to recent house show action, with Magnum vs. Nikita in a Russian chain match, to illustrate that Nikita is the master of the Russian chain match. Uh, given that we just saw that footage and Magnum is still the champion, we can probably dispute that point.

-Anderson works Ligon down and works the arm. He just stays with that through the whole match. He finally releases, only to give Ligon a spinebuster, and the Gourdbuster finishes.

-JJ snatches the microphone from Tony and says the Horsemen can finish the show without him. Arn gets the best line of the group. Most of the world wakes up wishing they were somebody else, but we’re just happy to be us.

The final score: review Average
The 411
I like the Baby Doll/Midnights angle, I like the Flair/Morton angle. I don't like Paul Jones' Army and I don't like Wahoo/Garvin (we have now had the two of them demonstrably in the building at the same time, so Wahoo is really is looking like a pile of shit now). But the week wasn't a disaster by any means, so I can at least give it better-than-middle grading.