Mid-South Wrestling (TV #167)
November 20th 1982
Irish McNeil Boys Club: Shreveport, LA.
It’s Saturday, November 20th, 1982, and we’re five days away from the big Thanksgiving show at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. If we sat down in a New Orleans living-room at 4pm on this day and tuned into WGNO Channel 26, we would have witnessed what would essentially be the go-home show for the holiday mega-extravaganza. There has been mention of the Superdome for weeks on TV, with Bill Watts selling the idea on commentary that everyone in the territory was upping their game heading into the big event. The only issue with the Universal Wrestling Archives Mid-South library (aside from the show dates being incorrect) is that the local market promos are not included on any of the episodes. Meaning, all of the short hard-sell interviews instructing the people of New Orleans to go to the Superdome have been lost to history. Watching these shows nearly 35 years later, you would be forgiven for thinking this was just another week of Mid-South Wrestling that wasn’t building towards a super show in just five days.
Mid-South’s TV taping schedule also played a role in the slightly disjointed time-line. The company would tape two shows every fortnight at the Irish McNeil Boys Club in Shreveport, LA, on a Wednesday and this particular edition was the second of two episodes taped on November 10th. The subsequent TV tapings were held on (Wednesday) November 24th – just one day before the Thanksgiving Superdome card on the 25th – and those shows would air on November 27th and December 4th. Resulting in the next two weeks of TV basically landing in a dead zone and these shows would provide no update whatsoever about what went down at the Thanksgiving night show. The first TV tapings after the Superdome show were held on December 8th, which meant fans would have to wait three weeks for the December 11th episode to find out what happened.
Boyd Pierce & Bill Watts opened the episode at the announce desk and good ol’ Boyd, in his dashing floral sport coat, ran down the line-up for today’s show, including “S. Lee in action.” Watts gave a subtle smirk when he heard S.Lee’s name to let the discerning viewers know he was also in on the joke. In stark contrast to last week’s marathon opening segment, Watts said there was no time to waste and threw to Reeser Bowden for the opening match introductions.
Col. Buck Robley & Mr Wrestling II vs. The Grappler & Kelly Kiniski. – Robley & Wrestling II over in 6:14. Watts said that Wrestling II had received “a hate note or a threat” last week and noted that someone had “discoloured” and vandalised one of his masks. He added that Wrestling II would talk to Resser Bowden about the incident after the match. Robley & Two worked as a team and took the entire match; the heels got virtually no offence in at all. Grappler came in at one stage and tried to turn it into a brawl, trading shots with Two, however Two got the upper hand to continue the shine for the faces. Robley & Two beat up the useless bad guys some more – it almost got to the point of being unnecessary as the heels were so incompetent – then Wrestling II hit his famous Knee Lift to finish off Kiniski. – Match was fine and in terms of making Robley & Two a strong team it was excellent. The sad thing about it was seeing the Grapper used in such a worthless jobber role. We’ve stated many times that Denton will be headed to Georgia in 1983, so it’s no surprise Watts beat him like a drum on the way out. It’s an ignominious end for a great character and one of the best workers we’ve come across during this eleven month run of 1982 TV, however it was obviously the correct thing to do for the business of the territory.
Reeser Bowden pulled Wrestling II aside for his scheduled interview. Reeser showed the fans at home Two’s mask that was vandalised and the note which read, in huge red letters, “II, THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING!!” Wrestling II said some “clown” was evidently trying to destroy him then cut an awesome promo about how he was a quiet man, but whoever sent the note had gone too far and had railed him up. Two said it would be “D-Day” when he found out the identity of the anonymous vandal and stated they would pay dearly for their actions. There was an hilarious moment when Two briefly lost his train of thought during his fiery promo: “I’M A QUIET MAN.” He started. “BUT THIS…” Two pointed his finger at the screen to hammer home his point. “THIS IS BEYOND…” Awkward pause. “..WHAT…” Another awkward pause and Two looked down at the hate mail to try and regain his train of thought. “BEYOND…” Two wagged his finger to present an air of confidence despite the fact he had clearly forgotten what he was going to say. “…WHATEVER IT MAY BE!” – It was amazing. The actual storyline was great too. An anonymous mask vandal, who also sends threatening hate mail?! Yes, please! Mr Wrestling II would actually face the culprit at the Superdome on Thanksgiving night, however the identity of the mystery man would not be revealed on TV for a while; in fact the individual remained a babyface on TV for weeks even after facing Wrestling II at the Superdome. If you want to wait and find out who the anonymous man is until it is revealed on TV then you should probably avoid the Superdome results at the end of the review.
Boyd & Watts were at the desk; they showed the angle from two weeks ago where Hacksaw Duggan challenged Tony Atlas to a push-up contest and the ensuring brawl that followed. Watts said Duggan had finally met a force he could “not spear” and put him over for winning his match even after the brawl with Atlas.
Tony Atlas vs. Marty Lunde. – Atlas over in 3:02. Total squash for Atlas. Lunde worked around the big lug and took a few bumps to get over Tony’s power. Atlas hit a business-exposing Dropkick and some how messed up reversing an Irish Whip. Lunde worked his ass off to try and make Atlas look good, but it was to no avail. Tony won with an ugly Press Slam.
Non-Title: “Hacksaw” Duggan (Louisiana Heavyweight Champion) vs. Ted Allen. – Duggan over in 3:17. Watts noted that it was “Duggan with TWO Gs” and said Hacksaw would make sure to correct anyone who mispronounced his name. Watts of course has been calling him “Doogan” ever since he arrived in the territory. Duggan smashed Allen and gave him nothing. He went for the Spearing Headbutt, but hit the turnbuckle and Allen tried to capitalise. However, Duggan shut him down immediately and hit another Headbutt to get the win. – Strong outing for the Louisiana champ.
Kamala w/Friday vs. Joe Gaines. – Kamala over in 1:00. Gaines was under the phony Stagger Lee outfit last week and here he was destroyed by Kamala, who won with a Tree Slam and a big Splash. Watts said there were “rumblings behind the scenes” and said the man behind Kalama might be revealed soon due to the Ugandan Giant not being booked on the Thanksgiving Superdome show.
Chavo Guerrero vs. Tony Anthony. – Guerrero over in 4:13. Watts put over Chavo’s family heritage and sold the idea that he was an international superstar. He then explained to the fans that event a “220lbs” Chavo would be able to compete with Hacksaw Duggan at “280lbs” and Ted DiBiase at “270lbs,” because he had defeated the 6’9, 300lb Ernie Ladd in Los Angles four years ago. Chavo worked a standing Surfboard type hold and Watts encouraged viewers to try the move out at home to find out how painful it was for themselves. Seriously, he flat out told the fans to grab their “workout partner” and put them in the hold. 1982, everyone! Chavo didn’t get to show off as many flashy moves as last week, as Tony Anthony didn’t quite provide the same solid base as the Grappler. There was an awesome spot that saw Chavo do a primitive 619 to fake-out Anthony from a Tope Suicida then Chavo took him out with a Pescado instead. Chavo got the win with a lovely bridging German Suplex, which Watts called a “Belly-to-Belly Suplay!” – Even against a more limited opponent, Chavo looked great in his second week on TV. He worked more of a mat-based match this time, but that again was likely down to the calibre of opponent he was in there with. The fans were also into him big time and Chavo got a much better reaction than Tony Atlas, the other young newcomer Mid-South were trying to get over. Atlas may have had the jacked up body, however even the fans at the Irish McNeil Boys Club in 1982 could tell he was nowhere near the standard of wrestler they were used to seeing and they sat in silence while Atlas bumbled his way through his match. In contrast, the fans instantly took to Chavo, who was every bit as good as the Mid-South regulars (if not better) and stood out even more due to his unique style.
Back with Boyd & Watts at the desk. Watts said Mid-South Wrestling were taking a “neutral” stance on the JYD/Stagger Lee situation and again used his famous pro-rasslin’ logic to explain that nobody knew the identity of the Grappler or Mr Wrestling II. He reiterated that DiBiase and his crew had to unmask Stagger Lee to prove it was really the Junkyard Dog. They aired the finish of Matt Borne vs. the fake Stagger Lee last week. Watts noted that if DiBiase & Co. could prove it was JYD then Mid-South would have no choice but to suspend the Dog for a full year, however the heels only had 90 days to get it done and there was only about a month left. The strange thing was the fact that nobody mentioned the fact that Ted DiBiase would be defending the North American Heavyweight title against Stagger Lee in the main event of the Superdome. I would imagine the hard-sell was done during the missing localised promos.
Stagger Lee vs. Vladic Smirnoff. – Stagger Lee over in 0:55. Stagger Lee was introduced by Reeser as “approximately 265lbs, from no one knows where.” Awesome. Smirnoff was absolutely terrible, so they just traded punches for the entirety of the match. Lee won with a Clothesline and a Diving Headbutt.
Non-Title: Ted DiBiase & Matt Borne (Mid-South Tag Team Champions) vs. King Cobra & Tim Horner. – DiBiase & Borne over in 5:09. DiBiase & Horner did a nice Criss-Cross early and Horner got a little shine with some snap Armdrags. DiBiase cut him off and Borne went for the Bombs Away off the top, however the referee stopped him as it would have been cause for a DQ. Cobra hit some dropkicks and cleared the ring of the heels; Horner & Cobra held their own against the tag champs and the heels only took control after several attempts at cheating, which eventually paid off. Horner made a fiery comeback on DiBiase, however Ted avoided a Dropkick and Borne came in to get the win with a big Powerslam. – Good match. Horner & Cobra got way more offence than you would have thought and even looked like they had the champs in trouble for a while. The story of the finish was Horner got a little too overzealous and made one rookie mistake which ultimately cost him the match.
Boyd & Watts wrapped things up at the desk. Watts hyped the return of Mr Olympia next week, as well as Gino Hernandez, Hiro Matsuda & Yoshiaki Yatsu. Boyd thanked Watts for his “articulate” analysis and the loyal viewers for watching.
There was some good stuff on this show. Mr Wrestling II’s promo and the start of that angle was great, Chavo Guerrero impressed again, plus all the members of the Rat Pack, as well as Stagger Lee, were kept extremely strong heading into the Superdome. The episode wasn’t quite at the level of the past three weeks, but was still a solid effort as Mid-South geared up for one of their biggest shows of the year.
Here are the results from the Superdome extravaganza:
Mid-South Wrestling, November 25, 1982 – The Superdome, New Orleans, LA
- Tim Horner beat Mike Bond.
- Mike Sharpe beat Marty Lunde.
- Princess Victoria beat Lelani Kai.
- Bob Roop beat King Cobra.
- Mil Mascaras & Chavo Guerrero beat Tully Blanchard & Gino Hernandez.
- Mr. Wrestling II beat Mr. Olympia.
- Mid-South Tag Champs Ted DiBiase & Matt Borne beat Terry Gordy & Buddy Roberts.
- Tony Atlas beat Mid-South Louisiana Champ Jim Duggan via countout.
- Stagger Lee (Junkyard Dog) beat Ted DiBiase to win the Mid-South North American Title.