Mid-South Wrestling (TV #118)
December 10th 1981
Irish McNeil Boys Club: Shreveport, LA.
Roman Reigns vs. Kane on SmackDown? HA! I think not. We’ve got Ted Dibiase vs. Paul Orndorff from 1981 as our TV main event and Orndorff has claimed he knows a counter to Dibase’s Figure Four and will expose the young babyface’s finishing hold! What could be more exciting than that?!
We’re back at the Irish McNeil Boys Club with Boyd Pierce and the guest colour commentator for the week, ERNIE LADD! Awesome. Pierce welcomed us to the Mid-South Wrestling Television Network and ran down the show then hyped the “Dream Match” fan voting gimmick; Mid-South 30+ years ahead of the WWE once again. The deal was that fans had to write in to the TV station and nominate guys they would like to see in a special dream match for the first show of 1982. Not that I am insinuating this was a work, but Boyd made sure to name drop, Andre the Giant, Dusty Rhodes, JYD and the team managed by Ernie Ladd, Afa & Sika, who would be back from a 6 week “suspension.” Ladd also cut a promo on Andre and said he was the only true Giant in pro wrestling. I’m sure you see where this is going.
Brian Blair vs. The Monk. – Blair won a squash with a nice abdominal stretch into a pinning combination at 3:02. The Monk was Steve Miller, a journeyman who worked his way around the Southern territories in the early-mid 80’s, but was pretty much a job guy during this stint in Mid-South. Our first look at Blair was relatively unimpressive; he was just a total mid-card white meat babyface.
King Cobra vs. Tom Renesto Jr. – King Cobra over in 4:46. Cobra was slaughtered by the Iron Sheik last week, so here he had the chance to look good and shine in an enhancement match. First spot they did was a Criss-Cross (!) Fantastic. Cobra worked over the arm and Ladd talked about Afa & Sika returning from their suspension then referred to an armdrag by Cobra as “HIGH RISK OFFENCE!” – You here that AR Fox? In 1981 an armdrag was put over as “high risk.” Cobra used Bobo Brazil’s Coco-Butt for the finish.
Ed Wiskowski vs. Jim Garvin. – Wiskowski over in 5:18. Both these guys lost last week. Wiskowski was downed by North American Heavyweight Champion, Ted Dibiase and Garvin was toppled by Louisiana Heavyweight Champ, Bob Orton Jr. The bigger Wiskowski took most of the match, but the younger Gravin showed a lot of fight and hung in there. Wiskowski tied Garvin up in the Tree of Woe and landed some stomps to start the heat. Garvin went for a Sleeper but Wiskowski dumped him to the outside. Finish saw Wiskowski use the Stun Gun and a Gutbuster. – This was fine. Garvin put up enough of a fight to look competitive and Wiskowski cheated just enough to make it clear he was threatened by Jimmy Jam.
Back with Boyd and Ernie Ladd. Pierce put over JYD and the Big Cat shook his head in disgust. They showed the amazingly wacky yellow mask angle from last week with Terry Orndorff and all the run-ins from Bob Orton Jr and Paul Orndorff. The deal with the mask was that Terry Orndorff challenged JYD to a match where the loser would have to wear a yellow mask, to indicate the cowardice of JYD, for 30 days. However JYD won and Orndorff was still wearing the yellow hood two months later. Ladd said JYD got what he deserved from the sneaky gang of heels.
Non-Title Match: Junk Yard Dog & Mike Geroge (Mid-South Tag Team Champions) vs. Jerry Novak & Aaron Holt. – Complete squash for JYD & George in 1:00. The babyfaces showed their anger after last week’s angle by brawling straight away. George and Novak even did a Frye/Takayama spot. JYD pinned Holt with the Big Thump.
Iron Sheik w/Skandor Akbar vs. Buddy Ryan. – Sheikie killed Ryan in 3:13. Sheik beat the crap out of the poor jobber and hit a Vertical suplex then a Butterfly suplex but refused to go for the pin. Sheikie finally used a gorgeous overhead Belly-to-Belly and a German to put away Ryan. – This was so great. It was like an early Lesnar/Cena only without the main event feel, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
Reeser Bowden excitedly announced it was time for the “LITTLE GIRLS AND THE BIG MEN!” – Something that sounds like it would get you into a lot of trouble in 2015.
Mixed Tag: Diamond Lil & Ric Ferrara vs. Barbie Doll & Tony Charles. – Barbie Doll & Charles via pinfall, at 5:10. Barbie and Charles were the faces. The gals started out and were not particularly great. Lil gave Barbie some catapults which drew giggles from the fans. Charles brought some quality to the match with his British style, however it wasn’t long until the girls were back in stinking the joint out. Barbie Doll got the pin with a John Tenta splash.
Non-Title Match: Ted Dibiase (NWA North American Heavyweight Champion) vs. Paul Orndorff. – Match went to a TV Time Limit Draw at 7:30. Incidentally, this is the first match on the Legends of Mid-South DVD that WWE put out in 2013 and immediately the intensity level was upped from everything else on the show. Both guys were moving fast and each got an early near-fall with a rollup. Ernie Ladd talked about Orndorff’s counter to the Figure Four. Dibiase shone and worked over the arm; Orndorff cut him off by sending his head into the turnbuckle for the heat. Dibiase made his comeback and hit a powerslam before applying the Figure Four. Orndorff turned the pressure over and Ernie Ladd absolutely lost it. “I WOULDN’T HAVE BELIEVED IT IF I HADN’T SEEN IT WITH MY OWN TWO EYES BOYD PIERECE!” He yelled in his inimitable, gravely Southern drawl. Dibiase sold the counter to his finishing hold for all it was worth and held on like Steve Austin for at least 90 seconds as the time ran down. Ladd put the spot over bigger than any man has ever put anything over in history and bellowed, “WHY WON’T HE GIVE UP?!! WHY DON’T THE MAN GIVE UP?!!” The ref called for the bell as the TV time limit expired with Dibiase still refusing to quit. Boyd Pierce thanked us for tuning in then hyped Paul Ellering taking on the Iron Sheik’s Persian clubs challenge next week. – I freaking loved this match. The finish was tremendous and made Dibiase look like the toughest guy on the planet. I can’t tell you if this is the first ever documented reversal of the figure four, probably not as the hold had been around at least 20 years at this point, but still the story of a heel plotting to counter and expose the babyface’s finishing hold is so awesome and simple that it really should be something that is brought back more in modern wrestling.
This show comes highly recommended from me. There wasn’t much on the rest of the show, besides Iron Sheik being booked like a total killer, but the main event was tremendous. If you can’t find the show then check out the Legends of Mid-South DVD from the WWE to see what an amazing job everyone did in the Dibiase/Orndorff match. Next week we get a main event angle involving Paul Ellering and the Iron Sheik!