Mid-South Wrestling (TV #160)
October 2nd 1982
Irish McNeil Boys Club: Shreveport, LA.
Boyd Pierce & Bill Watts opened the show and welcomed viewers to another exciting week of action. Boyd hyped the Special Challenge match between Buck Robley & Skandor Akbar, plus Mr Olympia, Mr Wrestling II, Ted DiBiase and the Ugandan Giant Kamala all in action on the show. Watts talked about Kamala coming in with a masked “second” and said nobody knew the identity of Kamala’s mysterious handler. He also added that ring announcer Reeser Bowden had “guesstimated” that Kamala was about 6’7 and over 385lbs and Watts said old Reeser was a reliable source since he had been announcing wrestlers’ height and weight for years. Watts then changed gears and threw to a tape from Paul Boesch’s Houston Wrestling from September 24th 1982 at the Sam Houston Coliseum, with Junkyard Dog taking on Nick Bockwinkel.
Boyd Pierce was the guest ring announcer down in Houston and he thanked all the fans for watching Mid-South Wrestling then introduced both competitors; the fans were literally pounding on the canvas and shaking the ring ropes in anticipation for JYD’s entrance. Boyd added that there would be no time limit for the match, because there had to be a winner.
No Time Limit: JYD vs. Nick Bockwinkel. – JYD over in 3:38. Watts handed the commentary own his own and said that Bockwinkel was the reigning AWA World Heavyweight Champion. In fact, Bockwinkel was not the AWA Champion, which Watts should have noticed by the fact he didn’t have the belt, as he lost the title to Otto Wantz on August 29th in Saint Paul, MN and wouldn’t win it back until October 9th in Chicago, IL. They traded punches for a couple of minutes and Bockwinkel’s selling was tremendous; Dog was in control, so Bockwinkel resorted to choking to cut him off. There was a double-down off a double clothesline then Bockwinkle went after JYD’s throat and necked him over the steel part of the turnbuckle a couple of times. JYD made his comeback and pinned Bockwinkle clean with two Big Thumps; Watts put over the Dog for beating the AWA World champ. – The match didn’t appear to be cut down, however the no time limit stip leads me to believe that they must have just down a really good job of editing the thing. If not, then Bockwinkel is an absolute hero for going out there and letting JYD steam-roll him. Watch the match here and decided for yourself.
Back with Boyd & Watts at the Irish McNeil Boys Club in Shreveport and Boyd hyped the Robley/Akbar Special Challenge match for after the break.
Special Challenge Match: Buck Robley vs. Skandor Akbar. – Robley via DQ at 2:27. Resser Bowden announced that Killer Khan & One Man Gang had been banned from ringside. Considering the finish Robley should have just destroyed Akbar, but that’s not what happened at all. They went back and forth; Akbar probably ended up taking most of the match with some good old heel tactics. Robley put Akbar in the Sleeper but the Mongolian Stomper hit the ring and, fittingly, stomped the hell out of Robley. Stomper hooked Robley in the dreaded Shinni nu Maki while he was in the ropes, which made for a great visual. A crew of jobber babyfaces ran out to help, Jesse Barr, Vinnie Romeo, Mike Bond, but Stomper fought them all off and stood tall in the ring with Akbar. – This was great. Personally, I would have booked the match differently, but who am I to disagree with Watts, Ladd & Grizzly? It actually put a lot of heat on Akbar any time he had a match because he was a competent wrestler – albeit a cheating heel – but he would rather hide behind his Army of monster heels and let them do all the dirty work than get in there and fight himself. The Stomper’s debut was tremendous and he looked like a total savage. This is how you get someone over in exactly one segment.
Kamala w/Friday vs. Tim Horner. – Kamala over in 1:02. Kamala came out to some jungle music with his tribal face mask and spear in tow. Friday accompanied Kamala to the ring and got him ready for the match by taking off all his gimmicks, however he wasn’t mentioned by name and remained anonymous. Kamala went 100mph and could really move for a big guy here; he murdered Horner with some chops then hit a big Tree Slam and won with two Splashes to the back. – A strong debut for Kamala, who seemed to get over with a lot of the people right away; Louisiana 1982, everybody. Some fans even shrieked in terror when Friday removed Kamala’s mask and they saw this Ugandan savage for the first time. Actually, in terms of savagery, the Stomper came off a lot more believable than Kamala, who even at this early stage of his career just looked like a guy playing a gimmick.
The Grapplers vs. Vinnie Romeo & Jesse Barr. – Grapplers over in 3:50. The young faces got some shine in and they hit a pair of dropkicks to send the Graps packing. Graps got the heat on Barr and worked over the shoulder; Watts talked about the feud between the Grappler and Mr Wrestling II. Romeo ran wild off the hot tag and fought off both heels for a while. Grappler #2 cut him off and hit a Shoulder Breaker then the Grappler pinned Romeo with his running Fujiwara Armbar. “What’s more tougher than one Grappler is TWO Grapplers,” stated Boyd Pierce. Awesome. – I love me some Grapplers and this was a fine TV outing. They gave the faces a lot and made them took real good in defeat. I am also still impressed at how well Tony Anthony took to his role as Grappler #2 after not being in the business two years at this point.
Non-Title: Mr Olympia (Mississippi Heavyweight Champion) vs. “Hangman” Harris. – Olympia over in 3:05. Before the match, Resser announced that Olympia had defeated Killer Khan for the Mississippi Championship in Jackson, MS on September 22nd to become a two time holder of the title. Unfortunately I can neither confirm nor deny if the match actually took place or if it was a phantom switch, as I can find no record of a card in Jackson on that date. Watts explained that Akbar got involved in the match and tried to cause a DQ, however the Mississippi State Athletic Commission intervened and declared Olympia the champion. Watts then talked about the angle with Ted DiBiase & Hacksaw Duggan jumping Olympia last week and Dick Murdoch coming out to help; Watts said that they fought for “ten minutes” after the show went off the air. Olympia took the entire match and won with a Missile Dropkick off the second rope and a Sleeper.
Back with Watts & Boyd at the desk and Watts threw to a tape from Channel 39 in Houston, TX, featuring Tony Atlas, “a man that can bench press 600lbs,” Watts said excitedly. A young Tony Atlas, complete with backwards baseball cap, was interviewed by Peter Birkholz in front of the famous Channel 39 set. Atlas actually cut a pretty solid promo about receiving a call from JYD about things getting out of control in Mid-South. He said he heard Mid-South had some of the best wrestlers in the world and stated that he was coming to help his good friend JYD fight those mean, nasty, “bad guys.” Atlas flexed and posed to show off his muscles; he was of course gassed out of his mind. Back with Boyd & Watts again; Watts threw to the final stages of a match between Atlas and El Gran Markus from Houston, which he claimed went “over 30 minutes.” Laughable.
Tony Atlas vs. El Gran Markus. – Atlas over in 1:40 (JIP). Watts put Markus over as one of the toughest luchadors ever then stated that the match had gone nearly FORTY minutes at this point; imagine such a thing. Markus loaded up his mask and landed some headbutts. Atlas came back with some high, but very ugly dropkicks then landed a diving headbutt off the second rope – which he also sold because Markus still had the gimmick in his mask – and won with a standing Splash. Watts said Atlas would be arriving on Mid-South TV very soon. – I’ve never been a big Tony Atlas guy, but his promo here was much better than I expected. His work in the match was horrible, but he was over in Houston and at least Mid-South tried to make him coming in seem like a big deal.
Non-Title: Ted DiBiase (North American Heavyweight Champion) vs. Mike Bond. – DiBiase over in 3:13. Watts questioned whether DiBiase regretted turning on his best friend JYD to win the North American title and asked if Teddy thought it was worth it. Bond kept up with DiBiase throughout the early exchanges; DiBiase got more and more frustrated and eventually took over with some illegal closed fists. Fans chanted, “We want the Dog” and Watts talked about the upcoming Superdome show on Thanksgiving night, while DiBiase worked over Bond. DiBiase hit his Powerslam for the finish. – Basic squash for the top heel in the territory.
After the break, DiBiase was still in the ring with Resser Bowden and he ranted about Mid-South showing favouritism to “certain individuals.” He said that after they went off the air last week that he and Duggan “annihilated” Mr Olympia & Dick Murdoch then complained about being booked against JYD & Olympia despite proving that he was better than them. Mr Wrestling II, who was scheduled for a match, showed up and DiBiase told him that he had nothing to do with the Grappler stealing Two’s famous Knee Lift, however DiBiase noted that the Grappler in fact had a better Knee Lift than Wrestling II. DiBiase vented about Wrestling II trying to cost him and Duggan the Tag titles when he was the special referee for the match with JYD & Mr Olympia then declared that he didn’t care if he or anybody else was disappointed in him for becoming a heel. DiBiase ranted and raved some more then he challenged Wrestling II to a match right then, which Two accepted.
Non-Title: Ted DiBiase (North American Heavyweight Champion) vs. Mr Wrestling II – No Decision. Watts said Two was like “fine wine” and only got better with age. Match started with only 4 minutes of TV time remaining and they stalled forever, as Two would get the better of DiBiase briefly and DiBiase kept rolling outside to the floor. Watts hyped DiBiase & Duggan vs. “Iron” Mike Sharpe & Dick Murdoch next week as the action ground to a halt. DiBiase got back in the ring and they worked a Test of Strength spot for at least a minute. Watts asked producer Oral Link to keep the cameras rolling just in case they had to go off the air and we ended up missing the non-action. Watts said they would do something that had never been done before and instead of having the TV time limit decide the match they would show us the finish of the match next week! The show went off the air with the match still in progress and Boyd promised to show us what happened next week. – Holding off the finish of a big match until the following week is certainly a carny move, however I have no doubt that it was effective and made people tune in next week. I also imagine none of the viewers complained like that time WCW had that Hulk Hogan/Giant match which ran over into The New Adventures of Robin Hood.
There was a lot more going on this week than on your average Mid-South TV show. We had two strong débuts with the Stomper & Kamala; Stomper especially looked great. JYD was shown getting a huge win over “AWA champ” Nick Bockwinkel. There was a promo and footage of Tony Atlas from Houston to hype up his upcoming debut and he immediately was positioned as a big deal and a buddy of JYD. Then there was Ted DiBiase being an awesome heel and a pretty big match for TV when he challenged Mr Wretsling II, plus they pulled the bait and switch on delivering a finish so that was pretty noteworthy. Not to mention, the tag match with the Grapplers! Overall, this was a very interesting and notable episode of Mid-South Wrestling.