Mid-South Wrestling (TV #157)
September 11th 1982
Irish McNeil Boys Club: Shreveport, LA.
As we have noted before, the Universal Wrestling Archive has a few missing episodes from the Mid-South collection and last week (MS#156) was unfortunately one of those weeks. Thankfully though, because wrestling companies actually wanted you the fan to follow the weekly storylines, we got a full recap of a big angle they shot on the missing show from last week. Pay attention, because this may get a little complicated.
Boyd Pierce & Bob Roop opened the show and they immediately threw to Bill Watts, who was at ringside with an important announcement. Watts brought up the infamous “double, double-cross” when Bob Roop & Paul Orndorff screwed Ted DiBiase out of the North American title back in March (read the full review of that show here) and called it the most devious plot in Mid-South history. Watts then said that last week, Ted DiBiase & Hacksaw Duggan had an even more dastardly plot to try and shaft JYD & Mr Olympia out of the Tag Team titles in a match with Mr Wrestling II as the special referee.
Watts then threw to an interview he did with Mr Wrestling II last week in the ring; Two was wearing a referee shirt and talked about being an impartial official. Suddenly, the REAL Mr Wrestling II hit the ring and went after the imposter. Two got a few shots in, but his doppelgänger managed to escape. Watts asked the real Mr Wrestling II what was going on and Two told a story about being at the Omni in Atlanta, when some fans told him about an imposter posing as Mr Wrestling II in Mid-South. Two said he bought a plane ticket out of his own pocket to fly down and see the pretender for himself. He then explained that there had once been a phony Mr Wrestling II in Atlanta and he beat him up, unmasked him and ran him out of the business then stated he would do the same to this fraudster as well. Watts played dumb and said he couldn’t tell which one was the real Mr Wrestling II, so Two replied that everybody knew the real Mr Wrestling II would never run away from a fight and the fake Wrestling II had done just that.
Back with Watts at ringside and he said that once he looked into the “cold, steely blue eyes,” he knew who the real Mr Wrestling II was. Watts added that when the real Wrestling II showed up it looked like DiBiase & Duggan’s plan had been foiled, however he explained that the two heels still managed to pull of the “biggest rip-off” he had ever seen during his time in the Mid-South area.
They showed the finish of DiBiase & Duggan vs. JYD & Mr Olympia for the Tag titles with Mr Wrestling II as the special referee. Two got bumped out of the ring and the fake Wrestling II showed up and loaded his boot. On commentary, Watts went crazy and yelled that only one man loaded his boot like that and said it had to be the Grappler. JYD had Duggan pinned after hitting the Thump, however the Grappler kicked Two with his loaded boot and DiBiase once again knocked out JYD with his loaded black glove of doom. Grappler got in the ring and counted the fall for the heels and he presented DiBiase & Duggan with the Mid-South Tag titles.
Back with Watts at ringside again, and this time he said that Grizzly Smith had refused to recognise the title change and would not book DiBiase & Duggan in any matches until kayfabe president of Mid-South, Charlie Lay, made a judgement. Watts declared that Charlie Lay had been contacted via “long distance phone” and he ruled that the decision of the match had been reversed and JYD & Mr Olympia would still be recognised as the Tag Team champions. Watts added that this was the first time in Mid-South history that a decision of a match had been reversed and explained that both Mr Wrestling IIs had refused to reveal their real identities during the investigation. Back with Boyd & Roop at the desk and Roop buried the decision being reversed and accused Mid-South of protecting the Junkyard Dog. Boyd Pierce got hot and yelled at Roop and told him that JYD, “don’t need protecting from anything.” – This may read a little convoluted, but having Bill Watts explain everything and them showing the clips in order made the story easy to follow. You just don’t get angles and storylines like this anymore. Everything made sense and the company actually wanted, and encouraged, fans to pay attention to the minute details of the story.
Dick Murdoch vs. Billy Starr. – Murdoch over in 1:32. Dickie was not in any mood to give this jobber anything at all and he mowed over Starr with ease. Murdoch beat Starr up from the opening bell and won with the Brainbuster. It certainly was effective and made Murdoch look like a really big star.
Mr Olympia (Mid-South Tag Team Champion) vs. Ron Cheatham. – Olympia over in 2:50. Olympia did some basic babyfaces shine stuff: dropkicks, armdrags, drop-downs and leapfrogs etc. He even busted out a Dragon Screw at one point. It was a basic squash for Olympia, who won with the Sleeper. Again, like with Murdoch before, this was a really effective enhancement match.
JYD (Mid-South Tag Team Champion) vs. One Man Gang w/Skandor Akbar. – JYD over in 1:28. This was totally baffling. Gang was built as an unstoppable monster ever since he came in to the territory about six months ago and mostly squashed everyone he faced in under two minutes. He hardly ever took a bump, never mind lost a match clean. So, what happened here? Well, JYD hit the ring and gave Gang a headbutt, which he took an absurdly large bump for. JYD beat up Gang with total ease and gave him the Big Thump. Akbar got on the apron, so the Dog brought him in the ring and gave him a slam. Killer Khan hit the ring, but JYD took him out too with a slam then he gave Gang another Thump and got the clean pin. – This was utterly ridiculous. JYD just completely castrated one of the biggest heels in the entire territory here and seeing him treat Killer Khan like any other geek heel was no good at all.. It was in fact done for a reason, as Gang would be leaving Mid-South for Continental in a few weeks, so I suppose having your top babyface kill the monster heel on his way out was a perfectly logical thing to do. It was still a ludicrous sight to behold though.
At the desk, Boyd & Roop talked about the history between Dick Murdoch & Ted DiBiase and they showed the finish of their match two weeks ago, when DiBiase beat Murdoch after Hacksaw Duggan interfered.
Non-Title Match: Ted DiBiase (North American Heavyweight Champion) vs. Tim Horner. – DiBiase over in 2:19. Horner was very young and very green here. DiBiase was nice enough to give him a spot during this enhancement match, however Horner screwed it up twice and DiBiase had enough and took the match home with his Powerslam & Figure Four.
Mr Wrestling Two vs. Hacksaw Duggan. – Wrestling II over in 6:34. Two went for his Knee Lift early and Duggan rolled outside. Two’s shine consisted of a bunch of holds. He even used a standing Anaconda choke, which Roop called a “Cross Lever.” Duggan got a little heat but Two hit his Knee Lift and Duggan rolled outside again. Ted DiBiase showed up and helped Duggan back in the ring then Dick Murdoch came out and chased DiBiase into the ring. Duggan went for his NFL Flying Headbutt but he nailed his buddy, DiBiase, and Two drilled Duggan with the Knee Lift to get the win. The match itself was a little dull, however the finish was pretty good and was executed very well.
The Grappler vs. Vinnie Romeo. – Grappler over in 2:57. Grappler beat up Romeo with a bunch of heel tactics: raking the eyes on the ropes, closed fists, etc. Romeo got a dropkick in, but Grappler gave him a Powerbomb (!) then used Mr Wrestling II’s Knee Lift as the finish. Wrestling Two ran out and chased the Grappler to the back; on commentary, Roop question which masked man was which. This ruled. I’ve stated my love for the Grappler, and old school masked wrestlers in general, on many occasions, so a Grappler/Wrestling II feud is right up my alley.
Buck Robley vs. Tony Anthony. – Robley over in 2:17. Anthony was actually in decent shape and had a full head of blonde hair here; it was totally bizarre. Roop claimed there were “100 million people” watching Mid-South TV then said Anthony had just come back from a “triumphant run” in South Africa, where he beat the legendary Jan Wilkins. Robley gave Anthony an elbow to the back of the head and Roop called it as, “the back of the thorax!” Robley won a boring enhancement match with his loaded forearm pad elbow drop. Watts must have seen something he liked in Anthony, because he would eventually become Len Denton’s partner as Grappler #2 in a month or so.
Boyd & Roop wrapped up the show from the desk and Boyd hyped Kelly Kiniski for next week’s show; oh goodie.
Another strong show from Mid-South this week. The entire opening segment with the recap of the DiBiase/Duggan & JYD/Olympia Tag title deal was great and kept the DiBiase/JYD feud hot. Also they followed up on the Dick Murdoch story and he is another strong challenger for DiBiase’s title down the line. JYD squashing One Man Gang was something to behold and the Grappler/Mr Wrestling II deal was absolutely classic stuff. Check this show out if you want to see how professional wrestling storytelling used to be done.