So we’re still stuck in that post-Superdome mire, however this was the last of the two episodes taped the day before the Thanksgiving extravaganza which means things will pick back up again next week. Boyd Pierce, who once again had his brown sport coat and tie, opened the show and was joined by Bob Roop as the guest colour commentator. Boyd talked about knowing Bill Watts for many years and said the Cowboy always had time for the underprivileged children and “the handicapped.” He threw to a pre-tape of Watts with some representatives from the Shreveport American Legion who had come to make a donation to the Irish McNeil Boys Club.
Resser Bowden was with Watts and the two representatives, whom were identified as Jack Forsyth from the American Legion and Jerry Smith, the president of the board for the Irish McNeil Sports for Boys group. Resser noted that “a portion” of the proceeds from a recent card at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium would be donated to the Sports for Boys program. Watts talked about taping Mid-South TV at the Irish McNeil Boys Club and put over the institution for helping keep kids off the street by providing them with a place to get involved with sports. Watts noted that Forsyth was also the promoter for the Shreveport area (presumably a token position) and handed a cheque for $1,000 over to Jerry Smith.
Back at the announce desk, Boyd said he was grateful that people like Watts existed in their profession and the underhanded heel Roop put aside his bad guy persona for a second as he also praised Watts for helping the underprivileged youngsters.
Stagger Lee vs. Marty Lunde. – Stagger Lee over in 0:54. This was about as squashy as a squash match could be. Stagger Lee utterly dominate Lunde, who used the brief time he had to take as many bumps as possible for the babyface. After a Bodyslam and a big Clothesline, Lee won with the Thump. On commentary, Roop mentioned that Stagger Lee used some of the same holds as the Junkyard Dog and that Ted DiBiase had 45 days left to prove it was in fact JYD. – Once again, there was zero mention of S.Lee beating DiBiase for the North American strap at the Superdome. Every time we see Lunde he bumps his ass off and it is face-slappingly obvious that he was far too talented to be stuck in the role of enhancement talent. He’ll be in and out of Mid-South for a few more months until he heads to Georgia and is given the Arn Anderson name by Ole. Funnily enough, it was the man Lunde faced here who ended up helping him get the gig in Georgia. The story goes that during a meeting with the locker-room Watts said he needed somebody to go Georgia with Matt Borne for a tag team to be managed by Paul Ellering. It was at this moment when the veteran JYD pointed at the youngster Lunde and said something to the effect of, “Lunde’s ready. He looks like Ole anyway, send him and make him an Anderson”.
Kamala w/Skandor Akbar & Friday vs. King Cobra. – Kamala over in 1:48. Boyd actually mentioned Friday by name, which despite being in the territory for months was the first time anybody had actually mentioned the handler’s name. Roop talked about Ted DiBiase being “in collusion” with Skandor Akbar and the two coming up with a plot to unmask as many wrestlers as possible until they got to Stagger Lee. Cobra tried his best to get some stuff in, but Kamala no-sold it all and eventually won with a Bodyslam and two big Splashes to the back. – Typical Kamala squash. Highlight was Roop claiming Kamala was trying to apply a “frontal squeeze”.
After the break, Yoshiaki Yatsu & Mr Wrestling II were introduced for the next match. Two told Resser he had something to say and showed everyone another threatening letter he had been sent. The note read, “Mr Wrestling these are your true colours”, and was sent with a Wrestling II mask that had a yellow stripe painted on it. Two cut a great fiery babyface promo and said he was tired of being messed with and challenged the anonymous coward to come out and face him.
Mr Wrestling II vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu. – Wrestling II over via DQ in 2:00. Two completely dominated proceedings while it lasted. Roop noted Yatsu wrestled at the 1976 Olympics for Japan, which made the sight of the much smaller, 52 year-old, Wrestling II controlling him with ease seem a little outlandish. Although, with the mask, nobody really knew how old Johnny Walker was at this stage. Kamala hit the ring for the DQ and went right after Two, whom the Ugandan Giant took out with his deadly big Splash. Kamala tried to unmask Two, but Stagger Lee ran in to make the save and hit the Thump on the monster which the crowd went nuts for. Kamala no-sold JYD’s finish however, and got back up to put S.Lee down with his Splash. Mr Olympia came down to help his masked brothers; Kamala tried for another Splash on Lee but missed and ate some Dropkicks from Olympia. Two got rid of Yatsu, who tried to jump him from behind, and it came down to a face-off between Kamala and the three masked babyfaces. Skandor Akbar called Kamala back and the monster retreated to leave the faces standing tall in the ring. – This was great. As noted many times throughout our run of covering Mid-South, I’m a sucker for anything involving old-school masked wrestlers, so a storyline built around a monster heel trying to unmasked the top hooded stars in the territory is right up my street. At no point did anyone in the crowd feel sorry for Kamala when it was three-on-one, as the dastardly heel got what he deserved for trying to break one of the unwritten kayfabulous rules of the game: never unmask an opponent, especially a beloved top babyface like Wrestling II.
Non-Title: Ted DiBiase & Matt Borne (Mid-South Tag Team Champions) vs. Mr Olympia (Mississippi Heavyweight Champion) & “Iron” Mike Sharpe. – DiBiase & Borne over in 6:06. DiBiase & Olympia started out with an awesome criss-cross high spot and Olympia took out both heels with some nice Armdrags early. Sharpe continued the shine for the faces and hit two Backdrops on the champs to send them out to the floor. Crowd were going crazy for Olympia & Sharpe, who made a few quick tags to keep the advantage until the heels used some double-team tactics to finally cut off Sharpe for the heat. Sharpe caught DiBiase with a Knee Lift and made the hot tag to Olympia for the comeback. Olympia ran wild on the heels, but ended up bonking heads with DiBiase for a double-down. Borne lured Sharpe into the ring to divert referee Alfred Neely’s attention and he hit the Bomb’s Away off the top rope, which Roop pointed out was an illegal move. DiBiase made the cover and got the win for the champs. – This was a really good, solid, old-school southern tag match that was condensed down for TV. Everything made sense and Olympia eating the fall is a very subtle hint at the change of character he would undergo in the coming weeks. Best match on the show by far.
At the desk, Boyd introduced a match from Houston, courtesy of Channel 39, with the “popular Sheeavo Guerrero” against Bobby Jaggers. Boyd also noted that “the dean” of wrestling commentators, Paul Boesch, would be on the call.
Chavo Guerrero vs. Bobby Jaggers. – Chavo over in 6:12. Match took place on November 19th 1982 at the Sam Houston Coliseum; Boesch noted it was a one-fall, 15 minute time-limit, match. They traded holds early, which Chavo got the better of, but Jaggers used an illegal closed fist to take over. Jaggers used the hair to keep Chavo down in a Chinlock for a largely boring heat segment. Chavo made his comeback, delivering a Monkey Flip, Backdrop, and a series of Dropkicks. For the finish, Chavo used a Hurricanrana and rolled through on top of Jaggers to get the pin. Boesch called the Rana a “Victory Roll.” – Chavo was so obviously in a different league to Jaggers it was almost embarrassing. Little things like the crispness of his movement during the early chain wrestling spots made it clear that he was several levels above poor old Jaggers, who clearly didn’t want to do anything with Chavo besides the most basic of spots. Still, Chavo managed to look impressive while on offense and the Hurricanrana finish was an awesome sight on 1982 Mid-South television.
Princess Victoria vs. Leilani Kai. – Victoria over in 4:32. Roop said that when people used to think about women wrestling they would say “eww”, however things were starting to change due to more women getting involved in other sports like football and boxing. He also talked about the “Women’s Lib” movement and how they wanted to be treated as equals, which Roop claimed they were getting the chance to do by competing in the ring. Match was pretty decent, although the crowd didn’t really care. Kai played the heel and roughed up Victoria for the most part. Victoria got some hope spots in here and there then made a short comeback. Finish saw Kai go up to the second rope (after initially going to the top, but she remembered that would be a DQ under Watts rule) for a Splash. Victoria moved and hit a Cross-body off the middle rope to get the win. The people did pop for the finish, so at least the girls manage to get some kind of reaction. – Even today, you will still see plenty of women’s matches on TV far worse than this. Both girls were relatively solid in the roles – Kai was one of Moolah’s girls and Victoria was trained by Sandy Barr, who also trained Velvet McIntyre – and were proficient enough to be trusted by Watts to have a believable match on TV.
Non-Title: “Hacksaw” Duggan (Louisiana Heavyweight Champion) vs. Mike Bond. – Duggan over in 2:07. Duggan pounded on the beanpole Bond and gave him nothing but a brief flurry in return. Duggan landed a couple of Bodyslams and hit his spearing Headbutt for the finish. Boyd hilariously said since it was “Doogan with two G’s” it could be pronounced either way, “Duggan or Doogan”, which of course is utter nonsense. Duggan walked over to the announce desk and yelled about Tony Atlas not having the guts to show up then challenged Atlas to a match the next time he was in the Mid-South area. Boyd said Atlas would be here next week, but added that he didn’t have the authority to let the people know whether he would actually face Duggan. Boyd wrapped up the show by announcing Chavo Guerrero and Paul Boesch would be in town next week then he thanked Roop for being impartial and not putting himself over while on commentary.
Other than Kamala going after Mr Wrestling II’s mask and the subsequent Stagger Lee & Olympia run-ins, there was little storyline development on this show. As noted many times in the past couple of reviews, the unfortunate taping schedule made it difficult to shoot angles on a show that was taped before the Thanksgiving Superdome event. Next week’s episode will be the first taped after the Superdome, so there will be all the fall-out from Stagger Lee defeating Ted DiBiase for the North American title to look forward to. As a stand-alone show, this was a perfectly solid effort. Three top featured stars (Stagger Lee, Kamala & Duggan) looked really strong in quick squashes, the Rat Pat vs. Olympia & Sharpe match was a lot of fun, and the mere presence of Chavo Guerrero makes any show he is on instantly better.