Mid-South Wrestling (TV #152)
August 7th 1982
Irish McNeil Boys Club: Shreveport, LA.
Boyd Pierce & Bill Watts opened the show at the announce desk and Boyd hyped the exciting action to come this week, including Mr Olympia & JYD vs. One Man Gang & Killer Khan. Watts quickly reminded the viewers that JYD had left match maker Grizzly Smith in some “hot water” by refusing to wrestle on Mid-South TV unless it was against Ted DiBiase. Watts explained however, that the Dog was still wrestling and defending the Mid-South Tag Team titles with Mr Olympia throughout the towns in the Mid-South area and making his commitments. He just would not wrestle on television again unless he got his hands on DiBiase. Watts stated that he had known JYD a long time and he was a man of his word and if he said he wasn’t going to be there then he meant it.
Watts then threw to a video sent from Dick Murdoch, who was away on a six month tour of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Murdoch was stood at ringside in the old Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium (now the Bodymaker Colosseum) with former long-time New Japan announcer, Ichiro Furutachi, who introduced himself in English then spoke in Japanese about the 1982 Summer Fight Series and mentioned the “Brainbuster.” Murdoch was the most reserved and polite he had ever been and thanked Furutachi, however noted that he didn’t understand a word he said apart from “Dick Murdoch” and “Brainbuster.” Murdoch said it was 6pm and the building was filling up with fans for the matches. They showed the original Tiger Mask, Satoru Sayama, working out in the ring with some Young Lions and Murdoch talked about the great conditioning of the Japanese wrestlers and how competing against them would serve him well when he returned to Mid-South. Murdoch said he missed all the fans in the Mid-South area and couldn’t wait to get back and see them all then noted he was teaming with Andre the Giant over in Japan and said then fans would probably see Andre back in Mid-South before he came back. Back at the desk with Boyd & Watts, who said we would hear more from Murdoch later in the show. – It was really cool to see Murdoch cut a localised promo for the Mid-South area all the way from Japan and at the time it must have made him seem like a huge international star to the people watching in Biloxi or Baton Rouge. Still, Murdoch came across as a good ‘ol hard-working, humble, country boy, which no doubt endeared him even more to the fans watching on TV. The show the Murdoch video came from was day 17 of the Summer Fight Series on July 6th 1982. For anyone that is interested, it was quite the stacked show, with the top four matches on the card being, Tiger Mask defending the WWF Junior Heavyweight title against Ultraman. Dick Murdoch vs. Tatsumi Fujinami, Andre the Giant vs. Hulk Hogan and Antonio Inoki vs. El Canek.
Non-Title Match: Ted DiBiase (North American Heavyweight Champion) vs. Tommy Saxton. – DiBiase over in 3:35. Basic enhancement win for the champ. DiBiase completely destroyed Saxton and won with his Powerslam and the Figure Four. Watts spent most of the match talking about how DiBiase had made Grizzly Smith’s life difficult by refusing to sign a contract to wrestle JYD and he said that all the promoters around the country wanted to book Junkyard Dog since he was not competing on Mid-South TV, including “Vince McMahon in New York.” – Little did he know. Watts also explained that Dick Murdoch was DiBiase’s mentor and that he was unaware about the situation between DiBiase & JYD when he sent that first video in, however he later learned of DiBiase’s actions.
Buck Robley vs. Bill Starr. – Robley over in 4:45. Match was insensately boring; Robley won with a series of moves, including a Hotshot, Swinging Neckbreaker and the Sleeper hold. Watts spent this match going over the heat between Robley & DiBiase from their run-ins over the last couple of weeks, and Robley’s longer feud with Skandor Akbar’s Army. Watts also stated again that he was certain that JYD would not show up for his scheduled tag match.
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Tony Torres. – Duggan over in 2:55. Duggan beat up Torres with some clubbering forearms and gave him a nice Shoulder-breaker. Watts said he had been informed that Ted DiBiase was willing to wrestle JYD on TV, however it had to be a tag match, with JYD & Mr Olympia defending the Mid-South Tag titles against himself & Duggan. Finish saw Duggan hit his flying NFL-style headbutt and his weird Avalanche Backbreaker. – Match was fine; DiBiase & Duggan both looked super strong in their squash matches here.
Back with Boyd & Watts and they discussed “Iron” Mike Sharpe piledriving Skandor Akbar two weeks in a row. They aired the end of Sharpe vs. One Man Gang from two weeks ago when Akbar ate the first Piledriver then showed the entire Sharpe vs. Killer Khan match from last week, during which Akbar took another Piledriver from Sharpe.
Mr Olympia (Mississippi Heavyweight & Mid-South Tag Team Champion) & Paul Ellering vs. One Man Gang & Killer Khan (Louisiana Heavyweight Champion) w/Skandor Akbar. – Khan & Gang over in 3:33. “Precious” Paul was subbing for JYD, who, just like Watts said, did not show up. Watts said he didn’t condone JYD’s actions but he fully understood his reasons behind them. In a rare continuity oversight on a Bill Watts show, Skandor Akbar was not wearing a neck-brace like last week, despite taking a second Piledriver from Mike Sharpe. Match was decent and when Khan & Olympia worked together it was great, however that didn’t last very long at all. Story of the match was the speedy, athletic babyfaces against the big ugly monster heel’s power. It broke down with all four guys brawling in the ring and the finish saw the heels double team Ellering behind the referee’s back then Khan hit his killer Knee Drop off the second rope to put Ellering away. – The short encounter between Khan & Mr Olympia made me desperately want to see a singles match between the two, but sadly I don’t think we ever get it.
Boyd & Watts were at the desk again and Watts told the story of Dick Murdoch mentoring a young Ted DiBiase like a big brother and claimed he helped him get into West Texas State, despite the fact that Murdoch never actually went to the college. Watts said that Murdoch was there for DiBiase when his dad, “Iron” Mike DiBiase, died from “fatal injuries” in the ring and that he had always looked out for him. They aired another video of Murdoch in Japan and he was still at ringside with Furutachi. Murdoch recapped tutoring DiBiase early on in his career then said all the fans in Japan were excited to learn about DiBiase winning the North American title; what a quaint notion. Murdoch, who was still playing the “By-golly, yes sir” humble babyface, challenged DiBiase to a North American title match when he eventually got back from Japan (which was still 5 months away at this point) and said that “friendship goes out the window” when it comes to the title. Back with Boyd & Watts, and Watts explained that Murdoch had still not learned about how DiBiase won the North American title by turning on JYD when he sent the second video, however Watts claimed that he called Murdoch on the phone later that night and explained the whole situation. Watts never bothered to tell the viewers how Murdoch felt about the situation, although Murdoch himself stated that, “Friendship goes out the window” when titles are involved, so surely he couldn’t have been too upset about it.
Watts then set up Murdoch’s match from Osaka by stating that he was facing one of Japan’s greatest champions, “Fuji-yama.” What we got were the entrances of Dick Murdoch & Tatsumi Fujinami from day 17 of the ’82 Summer Fight Series and the ring introductions for both men. Murdoch kicked the ceremonial flowers into the crowd, which is probably where Kevin Owens got the idea, then tossed over the referee to get his hands on another bouquet of flowers, which again were duly kicked into the crowd. The bell rung and Fujinami immediately caught Murdoch with a dropkick. They traded a few punches then Murdoch took him over with a snapmare and….We were back with Boyd & Watts at the desk because the show had run out of time! They showed exactly 23 second of the match, despite airing the entrances and in-ring introductions in their entirity. Boyd explained that they had run out of time, but he assured viewers that Murdoch “gained the victory in that match”, which was an outright lie. Fujinami won the match via DQ in 11 minutes. Boyd hyped JYD vs. Nick Bockwinkle from the Houston Colosseum on next week’s show and noted that Bob Roop would be back as a guest commentator next week too.
The stuff from Murdoch in Japan was the best thing on this show by far. DiBiase & Duggan were kept as a strong heel force and the storyline with JYD & DiBiase is still on the boil, but it was all about “Captain Redneck” and his exploits in “the Orient.” It’s hard to imagine what viewers in the Mid-South towns made of seeing Murdoch over in Japan back in 1982, but, like I mentioned earlier, they presumably viewed Murdoch as a globe-trotting megastar, who was representing the good ‘ol US of A in strange foreign lands. It was kind of a carny move to show only 23 seconds of the Murodch/Fujinami match and I can’t really come up with a good explanation as to why. Maybe they thought that only showing 23 seconds of the actual match would make it easier for viewers to believe that Murdoch went on to win. Unfortunately for Watts & Co, in 1982, they weren’t banking on databases like cagematch.net and profightdb.com ruining their narrative with comprehensive results from hundreds of thousands of pro wrestling matches over the decades.