Mid-South Wrestling (TV #131)
March 11th 1982
Irish McNeil Boys Club: Shreveport, LA.
The Grappler, Killer Karl Kox, Iron Mike Sharpe, Mr Olympia, Bob Roop. – Boy do they not make wrestlers like they used to. Just hearing those names alone is enough to send you back in time to the dark, dingy, smoke filled arenas of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Well, we’ve got all of them on this episode of Mid-South. As noted before, we’ve skipped ahead two weeks due to the unfortunate gaps in the MS library so just to get you up to speed, here are the main storylines at the moment. Skandor Akbar stole the Samoans away from Ernie Ladd and also brought in the One Man Gang. Akbar’s crew has been putting people out left and right: they “broke” Ladd’s leg, “fractured” Dick Murdoch’s ribs and sent Mike George home with a back injury. Ladd has promised revenge and vowed to get old-school on Akbar by bringing in some people that Ladd could trust. Paul Orndorff & Bob Roop are still working together to try take the North American title away from Ted Dibiase, who was on colour commentary duty this week with Boyd Pierce. Boyd ran down the show as always and Dibiase, in his stylish brown leather jacket, talked about Akbar’s reign of terror and his North American title defence next week against either Bob Roop or Paul Orndorff.
Buddy Landel & Jesse Barr vs. Bill Ash & Jesse Tanner. – Landel & Barr over in 3:45. We’ve only seen Landel a couple of times during the early stages of our look at the run of Mid-South TV and he was mainly an enhancement guy for the bigger stars up to this point. Boyd mentioned that Jesse Barr’s father, Sandy, was a star in the Portland territory in the 60’s. Barr didn’t do much apart for sell, so Landel could run wild and make the comeback. Landel pinned Tanner with a nice Belly-to-Belly suplex. – Match wasn’t much. I suspect Landel getting the win over some even bigger jobbers than him was so he could have a little credibility the next time he puts over a top talent.
Boyd Pierce threw to a replay of the “Living Stardust” Dusty Rhodes vs. Ed Wiskowski (see #MS-128 review last week); Rhodes won with an elbow drop.
The Grappler vs. Frank Monte. –The Grappler over in 3:52. Boyd talked about the Grappler beating Dibiase for the North American title in 1980. Imagine WWE referencing something from two years ago in their storylines. It’s completely unthinkable. The gimmick was the Grappler had to wear an “orthopaedic boot”, which the announcers questioned the validity of and Dibiase said the boot was in fact loaded! Grappler beat up Monte like a geek, tied him in the tree-of-woe and stomped him with the dreaded loaded boot. Grappler got the pin after an inverted shoulder breaker and a totally wacky running Fujiwara armbar. – Grappler looked strong and the loaded boot gimmick is tremendous. In fact, a “loaded” anything is automatically awesome. It is a gimmick that has seemingly been lost to history, but I would love to see it make a return. It’s so simple and easy to get over, plus it never fails to get heat.
Killer Karl Kox vs. Don Serrano. – SQU-IZ-ASH for Kox in 0:55. The little I have seen of Kox, mostly from 70’s All Japan, he was virtually always a monster heel, which he was for the majority of his career, aside from a few stints here and there as a babyface, perhaps most notably for Jim Barnett in 1973 in Australia when Kox joined the People’s Army to fight Big Bad John’s Mercenary Soldiers in an early big NWO-type angle. Kox also worked in the Mid-South area in the 70’s, drawing 17,000 on July 17th 1976 fans to the Super Dome to see a “Jim Bowie Death Match” (essentially a Blindfold match) against his protégé, Dick Murdoch. So, it was a little odd to see him as a babyface, although at this point in his 50’s, I guess it was that nostalgia type of deal. Kox came out to “Here Come the Judge” by Shorty Long, which also wacky. Kox must have forgotten he was a face, because he jumped Serrano at the bell like a total heel; perhaps it was a nod to his past as a top bad guy. Kox won with his brainbuster, which looked pretty decent. – Total JYD booking for Kox, who looked old and out of shape, but the people loved him so I suppose it doesn’t matter.
Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Bob Orton Jr. – Sharpe over in 5:36. Sharpe held the Louisiana and Mississippi titles in 1979, but this is our first look at him here in the 80’s, and at 6’4, 280lbs, he looked huge next to Orton, who was not a small man himself. There was some rare miscommunication early and the match started out a little rough. Sharpe showed off his power with some big slams and Orton played the cowardly heel. Orton raked the eyes to get a little heat, but Sharpe soon came back and Orton took the Shawn Michaels bump in the corner to get Sharpe over as a power guy. Sharpe worked over Orton’s back and got the submission with a Bruno-style backbreaker.
Resser Bowden interviewed Paul Orndorff & Bob Roop in the ring. The heels complained about not being told by Mid-South which one of them would be facing Ted Dibiase next week for the North American title, and whoever wasn’t chosen would be banned from ringside. Roop buried Bill Watts for suggesting that the two face each other to determine who got the shot at Dibiase and Resser said we would have to wait until next week to find out which one of them is chosen by Grizzly Smith. Back at the desk, Dibiase said he would wrestler either man and was looking forward to the challenge.
Paul Orndorff vs. Tony Torres. – Orndorff over in 3:13. Orndorff had grown an awesome manly beard. Match was a basic enhancement affair. Orndorff dominated and worked over the arm; he landed an enzuigiri out of nowhere which was unexpected then got the win with Ted Dibiase’s powerslam. – Orndorff looked strong and using one of Dibiase’s moves was a nice little touch.
Non-Title Match: Mr Olympia (Mississippi Heavyweight Champion) vs. Bob Roop. – TV Time Limit Draw at 8:28. They went back-and-forth with counters early; Olympia moved so damn fast for the time and Roop tried to slow him down with some grappling. Paul Orndorff came out to ringside, but Killer Karl Kox showed up and run him off. Olympia took over and Roop tried to bail, however every time he attempted to leave the ring, Kox was there to stop him, and even the big, tough amateur wrestler, Roop was afraid of the crazy old man, Kox. They did a couple of near-falls as Boyd Pierce noted that the time limit was running out and Boyd hyped Dibiase defending his title next week against either Roop or Orndorff. – Good action from Olympia & Roop. The story with Orndorff winning his match and Roop failing to do the same gave us a hint that Orndorff would be getting the match with Dibiase next week, however they never outright told the viewers, so they would have to tune in next week to find out.
A solid show overall, with a bunch of old-school names and the usual logical episodic storytelling building to next week. Speaking of next week, episode #132 is quite the historic show, not just for Mid-South Wrestling, but for pro-wrestling overall. There is some more fabulous booking during the Orndorff/Roop/Dibiase title match deal, however even bigger than the North American Heavyweight Championship is the debut of the one and only, greatest commentator of all time, Jim Ross. Be sure to check it out!