Mid-South Wrestling (TV #149)
July 17th 1982
Irish McNeil Boys Club: Shreveport, LA.
Bill Watts was back on colour commentary duty this week and he and Boyd Pierce opened the show and ran down all the matches on today’s show, including Mr Olympia defending the Mississippi title against Bob Roop and the Junkyard Dog & Ernie Ladd teaming up for the first time ever on television. Watts talked about Bob Roop always having a plan and questioned if he had a counter to Mr Olympia’s Sleeper hold. Watts put over Grizzly Smith for putting together such a great card then he threw to the ring for the opener.
The Grappler vs. Buck Robley. – Robley over in 5:52. Match was kind of dull until the finish, which was all-kinds of wacky old-school awesomeness. Watts talked about the 10 minute time limit all the TV matches had and said that in the arenas sometimes the wrestlers do battle for an hour but on TV they only have 10 minutes to try and impress the promotors and the fans. Finish saw Grappler neck Robley on the top rope and he loaded up his “orthopaedic” boot. Referee, Alfred Neeley saw what was going on and reprimanded Grappler and this gave Robley the chance to load up his forearm pad, which if you remember protected his “bionic” arm with a steel rod in it. Grappler tried to use his loaded boot but Robley countered and dropped his loaded up forearm pad onto Grappler’s skull for the win.
Non-Title, Ted DiBiase (North American Heavyweight Champion) vs. Buddy Landel. – DiBiase over in 4:31. This was a really effective enhancement match. Now that he is a heel, instead of dominating in an impressive fashion, DiBiase resorted to heel tactics to get the advantage. Landel held his own in the earl exchanges then DiBiase got frustrated and took over after roughing up Landel in the corner. Landel made a short comeback but DiBiase cut him off with a black glove clad straight right hand then hit a powerslam, a fist drop and he finished off an unconscious Landel with the Figure-Four. Watts told a story about DiBiase’s mentor, Dick Murdoch calling him from the “New Japan hotel” and talking about how upset he was with Teddy’s actions. Watts said that Murdoch was there for DiBiase when his father was “killed” and “expired” in the ring then questioned what would happen when Murdoch returned to Mid-South after his tour of Japan.
“Iron” Mike Sharpe vs. Billy Ash. – Sharpe over in 3:30. Typical boring Sharpe squash; he won with the Canadian Backbreaker. During the match, Watts read a question from a fan who wanted to know why Boyd Pierce & Watts never did anything to help when a wrestler was cheating during a match. Watts went on a long diatribe about how they had no “jurisdiction” to do anything and talked about how in amateur wrestling people have complained about there being too much interference from officials and when you become a pro you should be able to take care of yourself without people fighting your battles for you. – I just love the idea of someone going through the Mid-South fan mail looking for kayfabe-busting questions for Watts to debunk on the air. If only this much attention to detail was paid in current wrestling.
Killer Khan (Louisiana Heavyweight Champion) & One Man Gang w/Skandor Akbar vs. Vinny Romeo & Cocoa Samoa. – Khan & Gang over in 2:38. This absolutely ruled. Gang just stood on the apron the entire match while Khan obliterated these two poor guys. Khan killed them with chops, stomps, big forearms and the only time he sold at all was a single bump off a dropkick from Cocoa. Khan quickly came back with more destruction and pinned Cocoa with his Knee Drop of death from the second rope. THIS IS HOW YOU GET A MONSTER OVER!!! During the match, Watts explained the finish of the Killer Khan/JYD match in the Louisiana title tournament in Baton Rouge on July 6th; pay attention, because this gets complicated. JYD & Khan were wrestling in the final of the tourney, when Ted DiBiase came out and challenged JYD to a match. JYD said he would fight DiBiase after his match with Khan was over, but DiBiase insisted on doing it right then or he would walk out and never face JYD again. Dog asked if the North American title would be on the line and, as Watts noted, DiBiase didn’t say anything and just “nodded his head” ambiguously. Khan stepped aside and JYD & DiBiase began to brawl, which no doubt JYD got the better of. One Man Gang showed up and he and Khan jumped JYD which allowed DiBiase to escape. For some reason, the referee said that the original JYD/Khan tournament final match was still going on and Khan pinned JYD after he had been beaten down to win the Louisiana title.
Mississippi Heavyweight Championship: Mr Olympia (Champion & Mid-South Tag Team Champion) vs. Bob Roop. – Olympia retained in 7:10. Really good TV match here between two great workers. Action was fast paced and Olympia controlled early. Roop rolled out side a couple of times and finally Olympia had enough and ended up doing a TOPE SUICIDA through the ropes onto Roop! I almost came out of my seat watching this as it was so unexpected. Roop cut Olympia off with a Harley Race-style jumping knee and worked a chinlock for some heat. Olympia fought from underneath and applied the Sleeper, but Roop countered by grabbing a backbreaker and Watts put Roop over for coming up with another counter to a finishing hold. Roop put Olympia in his own Sleeper and the babyface champion began to fade. With his last bit of energy, Olympia walked up the ropes in the corner and flipped over Roop to escape the hold (kind of like a sliced bread) and hooked Roop in the Sleeper again. This time, Olympia avoided the backbreaker counter and he finally put Roop away with his patented hold. – This is one of the best TV matches I’ve come across during these Mid-South shows. Roop being the master counter wrestler is such a great little touch and it makes him a great foil for the babyfaces because it actually puts them in some believable peril.
“Hacksaw” Duggan vs. Mike Bond. – Total squash for Duggan in 2:58. Duggan looked really good here, or as good as Jim Duggan can look anyway. He killed Bond with a neckbreaker then worked over the neck for a while. Finish saw Duggan win with a wacky flying headbutt and his avalanche backbreaker.
JYD (Mid-South Tag Team Champion) & Ernie Ladd vs. The Assassin & “Hangman” Harris. – JYD & Ladd over in 2:55. Resser Bowden put over during the introductions that this was the first time that JYD & Ladd had ever teamed together on television. DiBiase came out to watch with a notepad and sat at ringside taking notes like Dave Meltzer; it was great. Faces shone early then things quickly escalated into the usual Mid-South crazy madness. JYD got dumped outside and DiBiase yelled at the Dog to get up. JYD dropped DiBiase with one punch and the referee got bumped while Ladd was fighting off the Assassin & Harris. Assassin loaded up his mask and tried to headbutt JYD but Dog countered and took the Assassin down. DiBiase came in and nailed JYD with a chair then Ladd sent DiBiase back to the floor. The Grappler ran down and he loaded up his boot to try and nail the Dog but JYD countered and hit him with the Thump. Ladd fought off the Assassin then the referee came to and counted the fall on the Grappler even though he wasn’t in the match.
Afterwards, JYD & Ladd headed over to the announce table and for a brief interview. JYD said that DiBiase had “stepped onto a pile of bees” by messing with him and Ladd noted that he would not want to be in Ted DiBiase’s shoes with the Dog coming after him. Boyd & Watts wrapped up the show and signed off for another week.
This was a wildly entertaining show with a lot of really good in-ring action. The finish to the Grappler/Robley match ruled, DiBiase/Landel was what it needed to be, Olympia/Roop was a great TV match, Killer Khan killing men is never not fun, and even though the main event finish made little sense, it continued the JYD/DiBiase story, plus all the run-ins and shenanigans were highly entertaining in an outlandish sort of way. This is another episode to check out if this stuff ever ends up on the WWE Network.