Mid-South Wrestling (TV #158)
September 18th 1982
Irish McNeil Boys Club: Shreveport, LA.
Our usual commentary team of Boyd Pierce & Bill Watts opened the show from the announce desk. Boyd ran down the show then Watts stated that there would be some new stars coming to the Mid-South area. Watts said the first new comer would be the, “Ugandan Warrior,” Kamala and he threw to the famous vignette from Memphis, which urban legend has it was filmed in Jerry Jarrett’s backyard.
Kamala was in his full loincloth and face paint regalia, complete with a spear and rings through his face. An hysterically corny B-movie voice over informed us that Kamala was, “6’9 and 385lbs,” then claimed his arms were, “the length of the longest trees” and was, “as strong as some of the largest animals known to man.” While all this was going on and Kamala traipsed through the long-grass in Jarrett’s backyard, there were stereotypical African-sounding drums and random jungle noises played throughout the vignette. It was, of course, completely racist.
Back with Boyd & Watts, who noted that Kamala was “incredibly strange, but impressive looking,” and Watts announced that Kamala would make his debut in two weeks. – I have no idea what to say about the Kamala vignette. Stuff like this is so hard to take seriously with 2016 eyes, because it is impossible to look past the exploitation and incredibly racist overtones. The sheer campiness is also hard to overlook from a modern perspective. I mean, this guy was running around a garden in Tennessee pretending it was the “Ugandan jungle” and the fans were supposed to believe he was an actual wild savage that was coming to their towns to do battle in professional wrestling contests. I know this was the American Deep South in 1982, but it still incomprehensible to me that this was a 100% serious gimmick that the people were supposed to believe in.
“Hacksaw” Duggan vs. Jesse Barr. – Duggan over in 3:39. Boyd called Duggan a, “foot-stompin’ roughian.” Barr got some shine with a couple of Armdrags and Duggan rolled outside to break the youngster’s momentum. Duggan slowed the pace down and cut Barr off with some forearms then got some heat; Watts talked about DiBiase & Duggan being stripped of the Tag titles last week. Barr made a short comeback and landed a monkey flip, but Duggan cut him off with his NFL spearing headbutt then hit his Avalanche Backbreaker to get the win. – Match was fine, especially for Duggan standards, and Barr looked good, as he usually did if his opponents gave him a lot of stuff to do.
Non-Title: Ted DiBiase (North American Heavyweight Champion) vs. Johnny Rich. – DiBiase over in 4:20. When Boyd Pierce was running down the card at the top of the show, I misheard him and thought he said DiBiase would face, “Tommy Rich,” which I was quite excited to see. So imagine my disappointment when it turned out to be Tommy’s little known cousin, Johnny, instead. Match had exactly the same layout as the previous encounter: the underdog babyface shone for a while, the heel cut him off with a forearm strike and got some heat, the plucky babyface mounted a comeback but the heel cut him off again and got the win. I imagine it was probably done for a reason since DiBiase & Duggan were partners. Rich was nowhere near as polished as Jesse Barr, so this might be one of the only examples of Duggan having a better match on a show than DiBiase. Finish saw DiBiase KO Rich with his loaded black glove of doom.
Back with Boyd & Watts at the desk and Watts said Skandor Akbar would be wrestling for the first time since he was North American champion (1974) and had issued Buck Robley with a wager. They aired a pre-tape from Akbar, who said that Robley was the kind of guy who wasted all of his money at the race track and he offered Robley $1000 if he could defeat his opponent faster than Akbar could beat his. Watts noted that Robley’s opponent would be the son of former World Heavyweight Champion Gene, Kelly Kiniski, so he would have a tougher time than Akbar in getting a quick win. Watts added that Grizzly Smith would be officially keeping time for both matches.
Skandor Akabar vs. Tim Horner. – Akbar over in 2:10. Akbar jumped Horner from behind before the bell and proceeded to beat him up with punched and stomps for two minutes. It was incredibly dull. There was one hilarious moment when Akbar had just hit the ropes and he took the most absurd bump for a punch, which was the highlight of the entire match. Akbar won with the Camel Clutch. – This sucked, although it set up something awesome…
After the break, Buck Robley was in the ring and Akbar was stood next to Kelly Kiniski. Akbar hyped up Kiniski and said he would give him an extra bonus when he downed Robely then he handed over the $1000 to the referee. The time to beat was announced as 2:10 and the referee rang the bell.
Buck Robley vs. Kelly Kiniski w/Skandor Akbar. – Robley over in 0:22. Akbar stalled in the ring to try and waste some time, however Robley dropkicked Kiniski into Akbar, who went flying out of the ring, and Colonel Buck dropped his loaded forearm pad on Kiniski to get the win. Akbar got back in the ring and snatch the money out of referee Alfred Neely’s hand, but Robley gave him an Atomic Drop and the $1000 went flying high into the air for a fantastic visual. Robley picked up the money off the mat and the fans went crazy for this wacky angle.
Mid-South Tag Team Championship: JYD & Mr Olympia (C) vs. One Man Gang & Killer Khan w/Skandor Akbar. – JYD & Olympia retained in 5:15. Really fun TV match. The babyface champs out-wrestled the bigger One Man Gang then Khan cut JYD off for the false-heat with some chops. Gang tried a Piledriver but JYD countered and Olympia made the first comeback with some dropkicks to both heels. Gang cut Olympia off with a big slam for a near-fall and the heat segment. Khan missed his Killer Knee Drop off the second rope and JYD ran wild off the hot tag on both monster heels. For the second week in a row, the Dog hoisted up Gang for the Thump and pinned him clean in the middle again. – Even though they didn’t have a lot of time they still managed to cram the old-school basic tag team psychology into a short match without anything feeling rushed and the people went nuts when JYD pinned One Man Gang again. As noted last week, Gang was on his way out so his role became that of JYD’s personal jobber for his remaining dates.
Mr Wrestling II vs. The Grappler. – Wrestling II over via DQ at 5:48. Watts said that some of the fans had been talking during the commercial break about it not being the real Grappler and there was a, “We want the Grappler” chant when the match started. Watts pointed out that this man had a different physique to the Grappler and stated that, “something was afoot.” Match was pretty dull and consisted of Two working a bunch of holds until it was time for the big spot. Two went after the mask of the imposter Grappler, but the referee got bumped in the process and spilled outside. The real Grappler hit the ring and nailed Wrestling II with his own patented Knee Lifts. Wrestling II countered a third Knee Lift and unloaded on both Grapplers with a bunch of authentic Knee Lifts. The referee came to and called for the DQ and Wrestling II sent the Grapplers packing and stood tall in the ring. – Sadly the match was no good at all, however the angle was great. It is so awesome to see kick-ass babyfaces foil the dastardly heels and not look like total idiots. A novel concept, I know. The second Grappler here was Tony Anthony, whom we got a look at last week without the hood.
Non-Title: “Iron” Mike Sharpe (Louisiana Heavyweight Champion) vs. Larry Clarke. – Sharpe over in 1:43. Typical uneventful Sharpe enhancement match; there was nothing to it whatsoever. Sharpe won with ease and used the Piledriver for the finish.
Back at the desk with Boyd & Watts. Just like at the top of the show, Watts talked about the new talent coming to Mid-South and he threw to a tape of the Mongolian Stomper from Florida TV.
Stomper was wrestling Jim Jones and his manager, Don Carson, was at ringside and he occasionally interrupted Gordon Solie on commentary to talk about how awesome the Stomper was. Stomper beat the hell out of Jones and won with the vaunted Shinni nu maki. Watts put Stomper over big time and said he would be here in two weeks. They wrapped up the show and Watts recapped the Robley/Akbar $1000 angle then hyped Robley vs. One Man Gang in a Lumberjack match for next week.
Once again we got a very strong hour of TV from Mid-South this week. It’s always fun to see tapes from other territories and the Stomper footage certainly made him seem like a big deal. The Kamala vignette was a different story entirely, but it was still an iconic moment in time for the business; even if it was for all the wrong reasons. The continuity between DiBiase & Duggan’s singles matches was a nice touch and although there were some not so good in-ring moments, the Akbar/Robley angle for the $1000 was great and the same goes for the Mr Wrestling II/Grapplers deal. Also, JYD & Olympia vs. One Man Gang & Killer Khan was a really fun TV match and a textbook example of tag team psychology.