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NWA World Championship Wrestling -04/06/85
by Mad Dog

This was a fairly historical show. This was the first Mid-Atlantic show after the WWF had gotten booted from the Saturday night slot. If you haven't heard before. Vince McMahon briefly had the World Championship Wrestling show and he failed miserably with it. Fans hated the style and promotions such as Mid-South destroyed them in the ratings. If you want to know where the bad blood started with Vince and Turner this is probably a good place to look.

Anyways, Crockett worked out a deal that made them the exclusive promotion on the TBS network. Right now they're pretty much being treated like conquering heroes by the fans as they enter the WTBS Studios.

Here's a brief rundown of who the Champions are in case you were curious:

NWA World Champion: Ric Flair
World Tag Team Champions: the Russians
United States Champion: Magnum TA
National Champion: Ronnie Garvin
National Tag Team Champions: Ole Anderson/Thunderbolt Patterson
Mid-Atlantic Champion: Buzz Tyler
NWA TV Champion: Dusty Rhodes
Six-Man Champions: The Russians
Hosts are Tony Schiavone and David Crockett

The pre-show segment was Ole Anderson telling Thunderbolt Patterson to watch out.

Ivan and Nikita Koloff vs. George South and Greg Stone
Ivan catches South with an elbow and applies a front face lock. South gets a quick arm wrench but Ivan escapes with a snap mare. Ivan drops an elbow and rams him into Nikita's boot. Nikita tags in and they hit a double elbow. Nikita throws South onto the ropes and then gets a punch to the face. Ivan tags in and pummels South. South tries to fight back but Ivan cuts him off with a shot to the throat. Ivan sends South into the ropes and hits a knee. Ivan hits a kick and South manages to tag in Stone. Stone comes in and gets mauled. Ivan hits a snap mare and hits a double chest stomp. Nikita comes in and chokes Stone on the ropes. Nikita hits a snap mare and chokes Stone with a knee. Nikita hits a short arm clothesline and then chokes him with the Russian Hammer. Ivan comes in and hits a slam followed by a knee drop. Ivan hits a backbody drop and tags Nikita. Nikita hits a double axehandle off the middle rope. South tags in and gets a big elbow from Nikita. Russian Sickle finishes it for the Russians. Pretty standard squash and it was lacking Nikita's usual insane roid energy. I'd say it was 1/4* for an inoffensive squash.

NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair joins the announcers for an interview. He apologizes to everyone for his absense from Atlanta. This is pretty much a reintroduction for Flair. I hate that he calls that version of the belt "the 10 lbs. of gold" because it clearly isn't that heavy when they were calling the much larger big gold belt that.

Jimmy Valiant vs. Mark Hill
Valiant starts things off quick by throwing Hill into the corner and hitting a big fist. Valiant gets a punch to the face followed by an arm drag. He works over the arm while calling out Paul Jones, the Barbarian and Superstar Billy Graham. Valiant gets a hairpull takedown and then gets a choke with his knee. Valiant tosses Hill to the outside and rams him into the ring post. Valiant gets another big fist and then whips Hill into the corner. Valiant gets a slam and breaks up his own pinfall. Valiant rams Hill into the corner and then hits another big fist. Valiant breaks up another pin and then pummels Hill on the ropes. Valiant hits an elbow and then hits the big elbow drop for the pin. DUD. I really dislike Boogie Woogie Man Valiant. Just a boring mess as he seemed like he was extra coked out for that match.

Tully Blanchard w/ Baby Doll vs. Sam Houston
Dusty Rhodes has joined as a guest announcer for this match. Lock up and Blanchard gets an arm drag. Houston works over the arm but Blanchard escapes with a hair pull. Blanchard gets a knee and works over Houston. Into the ropes and Houston gets a dropkick. Lock up and Blanchard grabs a headlock and turns it into a wristlock. Blanchard works the mat and tries to get a couple of pinfalls on Houston. Blanchard gets a backslide for two. Blanchard sends Houston into the ropes and hits a fist to the gut. Blanchard tosses Houston to the outside. Back in as Blanchard hits a knee. Snap mare followed up by a missed elbow drop. Houston hits some hard rights but charges into a knee. Blanchard hits a slap and then works him over in the corner. Tree of woe for Houston but he gets out pretty quick. Blanchard gets a quick roll up for two. Houston gets a head scissors until Blanchard escapes with slaps. Houston gets pissed but blunders into a kick from Blanchard. Blanchard hits another kick and hits an elbow drop. Backbreaker gets a two count for Blanchard. Houston fights back but Blanchard cuts him off with a kick. Blanchard uses a bottom rope neck snap and finishes Houston with the Slingshot Suplex. Nice little match there. **. Very good speed and Houston got enough hope spots to keep it interesting. A lot faster paced than WWF matches at the time.

NWA Television Champion Dusty Rhodes has joined Tony Schiavone for an interview. Rhodes challenges the Russians to defend the Six Man Titles against him, Tommy Rich and Jimmy Valiant. He also calls out Ric Flair to give him a title shot. He also takes a shot at Tully Blanchard and Baby Doll.

Superstar Billy Graham vs. Rocky King
This is uber-crappy karate Graham here. Graham hits a few shots to start and rams King into the corners. Graham does some stomps and then hits an elbow. Fists to the face followed by a face rake. Karate chop followed by more stomping. King tries to fight back but Graham just shakes him off. Graham hits a boot and then follows it up with a bodylsma. Another bodyslam leads to more stomps from Graham. Graham chokes King on the ropes and then Paul Jones hits King with the cane. Graham applies a backbreaker and then slams King into the corner. Graham drops a few elbows and stomps more. Full Nelson gets the win. I hate, hate, hate, HATE karate Graham with a passion. DUD. This sucked like everything Graham did while he was trying out this gimmick.

They do a hype video for Magnum TA.

Michael Hayes joins the announcers for an interview. Who cares since Hayes is gone like 3 weeks after this interview? Hayes calls out Flair. Hmm... that would've been a pretty interesting feud if they ever would've tried it.

Ric Flair vs. Gene Ligon
Lock up and Flair gets a drop toe hold. Some mat work that leads to nothing. Single leg takedown for Flair. More matwork. Ligon gets a headlock. Back and forth until Flair rams Ligon into the ropes. Flair hits some chops and follows it up with a butterfly suplex for two. Flair hits some chopes in the corner an then hits a snap mare. Flair hits a knee and then covers for two. Flair hits another snap mare and turns it into a headlock. Ligon gets Flair in the corner. Flair hits a knee and a chop. Now they exchange blows which Ligon gets the better of. They awkwardly met in the middle. Ligon hits a big back body drop but Flair regains control with a knee. Flair takes him down with a chop and sends him into the ropes. Flair hits an elbow and then hits a vertical suplex. Figure-Four Leglock earns him the submission victory. I'd give it 3/4*. Nice energy and it was entertaining. The blown spot keeps it under a * rating though.

Jimmy Valiant joins Tony Schiavone and greets him with a big kiss. He runs down Paul Jones, Superstar Billy Graham and the Barbarian. He talks about how many surgeries Paul Jones has had on his broken arm.

The recap Ole Anderson's heel turn in an interview segment with Thunderbolt Patterson. The last part was shown in the pre-show segment.

Manny Fernandez vs. Arn Anderson
Well, this is a nice little match to show on free tv. Ole joins the announce table for the match. Hopefully it's a good one. They lock up but break it up in the ropes. They lock up again and Fernandez shoves Arn. Lock up and Fernandez gets a headlock. Back and forth until Fernandez gets a forearm in. Lock up and another headlock. Arn rolls Fernandez up for two but Fernandez keeps the hold locked in. Anderson finally escapes with shoulder thrusts in the ropes. Back and forth until Fernandez hits another forearm. Fernandez gets a single leg takedown and works the leg on the mat for a long time. Arn finally escapes with a punch to the head. Arn sends Fernandez into the ropes but Fernandez catches him with a dropkick to the knee. Fernandez applies an Indian deathlock as they go to commercial. As they come back Fernandez is still working the leg on the mat. Arn escapes by kicking Fernandez off on another Indian deathlock attempt. Fernandez falls out of the ring. Arn rams Fernandez into the ring post. Arn works the arm over on the ropes and then attacks it after he's back in the ring. Fernandez fights back with chops in the corner but then charges into a boot from Arn. Arn goes back to working over the arm. Ole is also yelling out advice from the announce table during this match. Fernandez reverses an irish whip and hits a back body drop. Fernandez misses an elbow drop and Arn goes back to the arm. Arn rams Fernandez into the corner and follows it up with a bodyslam. Fernandez ducks a clothesline and comes off the ropes with a flying clothesline. Fernandez hits a series of chops and catches Arn with a forearm. Fernandez hits the Flying Burrito but Ole rightly points out that Arn's leg is under the ropes. Fernandez argues with Ole and gets knocked to the outside by Arn. The double team Fernandez on the outside. Thunderbolt Patterson comes out to talk to Ole but gets blindsided by Arn. Arn and Patterson fight in the ring while they tease who's side Ole is on. Ole gets in the ring and attacks Patterson. It's a 2 on 1 beatdown for Patterson. Finally Magnum TA and some jobbers run in to make the save. **1/2. An ending would've been nice but then you can't have one of your stars taking a loss on television in 1985. Good matwork and the match was building nicely. The angle after the match was really nice too. The beatdown was brutal but not over the top and the final heel turn of Ole on Patterson was handled well.

NWA World Tag Team Champions Ivan and Nikita Koloff join Tony Schiavone for an interview. They run down potential contenders for their titles. Nikita calls out the Road Warriors and Ric Flair and tell them to beware.

Ric Flair is back with several ladies. You typical Flair promo. No real point as they don't have a built up feud for him yet. They're just getting people used to having Flair around on the show again.

Magnum TA vs. Paul Barnett
Barnett works TA over in the corner but TA fights back. Belly to Belly Suplex finishes it in seconds for TA. DUD. This is how they pushed TA though. He just runs through guys in seconds. His push is actually very Goldberg like in the way they used him. It served it's purpose of making him look like a big deal. He also has the ideal finisher for out of nowhere wins.

They run a recap video of Tully Blanchard's search for the Perfect 10.

The Barbarian vs. Joshua Stroud
The Barbarian just overpowers Stroud to start. Stroud goes for a cross body block but gets caught and slammed. The Barbarian just abuses Stroud and then tosses him to the outside. The beating continues on the outside as the Barbarian bodyslams Stroud on the cement. The match pretty much just has the Barbarian no selling and beating on Stroud. The end comes when the Barbarian hits a bodyslam and follows it up with a diving headbutt off the top rope. DUD. Just sloppy work from the Barbarian here. I don't mind the no selling because he is a monster but he just looked bad doing it.

Dusty Rhodes comes out for an interview. He rips on the ladies that Flair had out there earlier. He talks about Ole Anderson beating him down in an Atlanta parking lot a couple of years ago.

Tully Blanchard and Baby Doll are out for an interview. It's pretty much a counter-interview to Dusty Rhodes. He says that he loves being the NWA Television Champion and he plans to win the belt back.

Buddy Landel vs. David Dillinger
Landel gets an arm drag and struts. Landel gets a bodyslam and struts some more. Dillinger tries to get a roll up but Landel tosses him by grabbing the ropes. Landel hits a couple of chops and then works over the arm. Dillinger tries to regain control but Landel hits a forearm. Landel hits a snap mare and works over the arm on the mat. Landel hits a russian leg sweep and goes back to the arm. Landel hits a knee off the ropes and goes back to the arm. Dillinger fights back but charges into a boot. Landel hits an elbow drop and applies the Figure-Four Leglock for the win. 1/2* , pretty slow and boring. I usually enjoy Landel but he seemed to be in slow motion here.

JJ Dillon comes out for an interview. He says he wants to build the greatest wrestling stable in 1985. This is pretty much to introduce him and the fact that he manages Black Bart, Ron Bass and Buddy Landel. He also says that he plans to not work against Paul Jones and his group. He wants to work with them to rule the wrestling world.

Black Bart vs. Ron Bossi
Bart pummels Bossi in the early goes. Bart tosses Bossi onto the top rope neck first. Inbetween moves Bart pretty much just hits stomps and forearms. Bart hits a one armed slam. Bart hits a snap mare and follows it up with a fist drop. Bart hits a knee. Snap mare leads to a reverse chin lock for Bart. Bart chokes Bossi on the ropes and then drops an elbow. Bart chokes Bossi a couple of times. Bart tosses him to the outside and Bossi breaks the middle rope. Bart hits a slam and hits a running leg drop to get the win. DUD, just a lot of stomping and forearms with a move here and there. The middle rope breaking happened because Bossi appeared to trip and land on it wrong.

Arn and Ole Anderson come out for an interview. They announce that they're forming the newest version of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew. Tony asks about the National Tag Team Titles since Ole is co-holder with Thunderbolt Patterson. Ole pretty much says that Thunderbolt was just along for the ride and it was all him. They don't really resolve what will happen with the belts.

They run a video for Jimmy Valiant. It looks like they're just filling time because the ring ropes were broken during the Black Bart match.

They run an interview with Dusty Rhodes right after he beat Tully Blanchard for the NWA Television Title.

Overall Thoughts:
Kind of a boring show but it's understandable. They were more concerned with establishing who the stars were and showing that the WWF was gone for good. The wrestling was kind of slow and boring as the matches went long. They were showcasing their talent more than usual in the ring. The promos also led nowhere as they were letting the guys show off their character.

Now I will say that this show accomplished what it set out to do. All of the players are in place and now they can slowly build their fueds up.

If you've been watching on 24/7 the first thing you'll notice on this show was that the studio was a lot different. It was a lot darker during the matches and there seems to be fewer cameras shooting. It should be interesting to see when the production values get upgraded. Join me next time as Buddy Landel takes on Sam Houston, Buzz Sawyer fights Ivan Koloff.

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