Mid-South Wrestling (TV #120)
December 23rd 1981
Irish McNeil Boys Club: Shreveport, LA.
Its Christmas week 1981; “Don’t You Want Me” by rotten new wave band, Human League is top of the UK singles chart, whereas those unlucky Americans were grooving around the Christmas tree to the vomit-inducing, “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John. And, more importantly, Boyd Pierce was joined by Cowboy Bill Watts on colour commentary at the Irish McNeil Boys Club. Boyd ran down the card for the show and told viewers that this was their final chance to send in votes for the Dream Match they wanted to see on the first show of 1982. Sadly, my collection of 1982 Mid-South TV is incomplete and is missing that particular show, however it appears that episode #122 has been completely lost to history because even the Universal Wrestling Archive, with their extortionately priced, ($1,553.22), 101 DVD set, does not have that particular episode. Still, there’s plenty of 1982 we can get stuck into, including an exceptional episode from February 4th (#126) which will be coming up in the next few weeks. As a little tease I will simply say that the booking on the Feb 4th show left me in an amazed state of awe. Speaking of awe, Boyd Pierce outdid himself and upped his brightly coloured sports coat gimmick to a whole new level by appearing in a marshmallow pink 3 piece suit. Rockstar Spud wishes he looked this sharp.
Mike George (Mid-South Tag Team Champion) & Carlos Zapata vs. Jerry Novak & Rick Ferrara. – George & Zapata over in 2:56. Watts explained that George usually teams with JYD, the other half of the Mid-South Tag champs, however Dog had suffered a “knee injury” from the rigors of defending not only the Tag belts but the Louisiana Heavyweight title also. Zapata sold for a little heat and Ferrara bodyslammed him on the floor! George made the comeback on both heels and pinned Ferrara with a dropkick. – Good showcase for George, who was the biggest name in the match.
Iron Sheik vs. Paul Ellering – Persian Clubs Challenge. Watts put over Ellering and they showed the angle from last week with Precious Paul doing 50 reps with the clubs and his wacky babyface dance!
Skandor Akbar said he had increased the purse to $2000 if Sheikie could not beat the 50 set last week and told Ellering he was about to see what a “REAL MAN” could do. Reeser Bowden counted along as Sheik swung the clubs like a pro, however Reeser lost count around 70 and Sheik actually ended up doing about 113 reps, so he smashed the 50 set by Ellering. Precious Paul wanted another shot at it and Akbar agreed, so Ellering swung the clubs again and got to 52 before the Iron Sheik attacked him from behind. Ellering actually broke out of the Camel Clutch(!) and made his own comeback but Akbar hit him in the gut with the Iranian flag then Sheikie laid him out with a couple of nice suplexes. – A strong angle that heaped a lot of heat on the Sheik and Akbar, plus got sympathy on Ellering, who was a nothing heel before he took on the Persian Clubs last week.
Paul Orndorff vs. Brian Blair. – Orndorff via Ref Stoppage at 8:00. Bob Roop came out to watch from ringside and Watts talked about Roop being the mastermind behind Orndorff countering Ted Dibiase’s Figure Four. Blair held his own against one of the top heels in the territory for a while, but Orndorff necked him on the top rope to start the heat then went for the Figure Four. Blair kicked Orndorff off before the pressure was applied and slapped on the hold himself. Roop screamed at Orndorff to counter and he turned the pressure over just like he did to Dibiase 3 weeks ago. Blair sold like his leg was being sawn off but never gave up and held on like Steve Austin. Eventually the referee called for the bell and awarded the match to Orndorff. Watts made sure to note that Blair never gave up. – Finish not only made Blair look strong but it also got over Orndorff & Roop’s counter to the Figure Four!
Non-Title Match: Ted Dibiase (North American Heavyweight Champion) vs. Mike Boyer. – Squash for Dibiase in 2:57. Watts speculated that Bob Roop was using Paul Orndorff to injure Dibiase’s leg and he would be left to pick up the scraps. White meat babyface, Dibiase made sure to sell just enough that it looked like he was coming back from adversity to beat Boyer, who hilariously sandbagged Ted on a powerslam. Dibiase won with the Figure Four.
Bob Roop & Bob Orton Jr (Mississippi Heavyweight Champion) vs. Mike Bond & Frank Monte. – Roop & Orton over in 4:53. There was some amazing wacky 80’s heel/face body language here; Monte was a house-of-fire until the dirty heels cheated behind the ref’s back with a double clothesline. Bond made the comeback for the geek faces: Criss-Cross alert! Finish saw Orton pin Bond with his nice piledriver.
Ed Wiskowski vs. Tom Renesto Jr. – Squash for Wiskowski in 2:15. Wiskowski has been on a win streak since losing to Ted Dibiase on the very first episode of Mid-South we looked at, #117, and he continued that here by killing job-man Renesto with his wacky backsplash and backbreaker.
Iron Sheik w/Skandor Akbar vs. Don Serrano. – Sheik via DQ at 0:21. Sheikie jumped Serrano before Reeser Bowden could finish the introductions. Paul Ellering quickly stormed the ring and attacked the Sheik, and by “attacked” I mean he essentially made a babyface comeback on Sheikie, complete with bodyslams and backdrops. Akbar pulled Sheik to safety and the heel duo ran off.
Unlike last week with the Bob Roop/Mike George clinic, there was no standout match to speak of; all of the matches were virtual squashes, expect for Orndorff/Blair, which I guess was the TV “main event”. This show was all about the Iron Sheik/Paul Ellering Persian Clubs angle which was as simple a deal as they come but worked tremendously well, however my favourite storyline is still Bob Roop & Paul Orndorff conspiring to expose Ted Dibiase’s Figure Four.
Next week is a year-end, best of 1981 episode hosted by Bill Watts and the undoubted highlight of that show is a promo from a black-faced Dusty Rhodes! Indeed, you read that correctly. Dusty Rhodes, the man who already stole Thunderbolt Patterson’s promo style thought it would be a good idea to paint his face black to intimidate the Great Kabuki! Pro Wrestling in the 80’s was amazing.