NWA World Championship Wrestling -04/13/85
by Mad Dog
Once again here's your Championship Roll Call:
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
World Jr. Heavyweight Champ: Denny Brown
The Russians turn on Don Kernodle in our pre-match segment for this week's show.
Hosts are Tony Schiavone and David Crockett
Buddy Landel w/ JJ Dillon vs. Sam Houston
Lock up and Landel slaps Houston in the corner. Lock up and and Houston grabs a headlock. Landel counters out with a belly to back suplex. Houston lands and fires off a couple of punches. Landel goes for a hiptoss but Landel grabs the ropes. Houston counters an irish whip but charges into an elbow. Landel takes him down with a chop and then applies a neck wrench. Landel sends Houston into the ropes and hits a knee. Landel applies a neck wrench. Houston fights out but Landell takes him down with a chop. Landel hits a forearm and goes back to the neck wrench. Landel pounds on Houston before applying a chin lock. Landel slams Houston's head into the mat a few times while keeping the hold on. Landel backs Houston into the corner and hits a knee and a chop. Landel throws Houston with a hip toss and follows up with a standing dropkick. Landel goes back to the neck with a chin lock. Bodyslam, running elbow drop and figure-four leglock finishes it. *, Landel wasn't giving Houston the offense like Blanchard did last week. Nice energy and a better pace for Landel this week.
NWA United States Champion Magnum TA is out for an interview. He calls out the Barbarian, the Russians, Superstar Billy Graham and Buddy Landel for potential future title matches.
They replay Ric Flair's promo with all the ladies from last week's show.
Michael Hayes vs. Joel Deaton
Lock up and Hayes pushes Deaton. Lock up and Hayes grabs a headlock. Back and forth until Hayes stomps Deaton on the head. Hayes grabs a headlock. They run the ropes until Deaton drops to the mat and Hayes drops an elbow. Hayes goes back the headlock and then gets a headlock takedown. They break in the corner and Hayes rams Deaton into the corner. Hayes hits a chop and goes back to the headlock. Deaton escapes with a couple of shoulder thrusts. Hayes reverses an irish whip and hits Deaton with a kick. Deaton gets a face rake and gets a body slam for two. Hayes fighs back and hits the Bulldog to get the three count and the win. *, nice little squash there. He gave Deaton just enough to make the match worthwhile without making himself look bad. Enjoy it, Hayes is gone after this show.
Video for Manny Fernandez
Thunderbolt Patterson and Manny Fernandez vs. Mike Jackson and Paul Garner
Fernandez and Jackson start. Jackson gets a headlock. Back and forth until Fernandez hits a reverse chop. Garner tags in. Fernandez grabs a wristlock and tags Patterson in. Patterson gets a fireman's carry and applies a front face lock. Patterson grabs a headlock and punches Garner in the face. Patterson rams Garner into an elbow from Fernandez. Fernandez tags in. Fernandez hits a chop and applies a wristlock. Fernandez takes him down with a chop and drops a series of knees. Patterson tags in. Double thrust folloowed by some fists. Fernandez in for the double team. Fernandez hits a chop and a jumping kick. Fernandez hits a few more chops. Patterson tags in. Double thrust again and Fernandez tags in. Flying Burrito finishes it for the good guys. 1/2*, no offense for the jobbers here. Patterson and Fernandez showed a lot of potential here. Though Patterson is pretty old here if I'm not mistaken. I imagine the first big feud will be them vs. the Andersons for the National Tag Team Champions.
The Andersons are out for an interview. Ole says that he should be given Patterson's half of the National Tag Team Titles. They show clips from last week's match and Arn complains about Fernandez using karate in a nice little touch. Ole runs down Patterson in a pretty good promo. Still no say on what will happen with the National Tag Team Titles.
Tully Blanchard w/ Baby Doll vs. Paul Diamond
Lock up and Tully gets an arm drag. Lock up leads to Diamond grabbing a headlock but Tully uses the hair to escape. Tully gets a wristlock and take's Diamond down with a fireman's carry. Tully works the arm on the mat. Diamond gets up and to the ropes and Tully makes the clean break. Diamond gets another headlock but Tully throws him into the ropes and hits a drop toe hold. Tully works the leg on the mat before going back to the arm. Diamond fights to his feet but Tully takes him down by the hair. Diamond gets up angry but gets a knee when he goes in for the lock up. Tully hits a right hand and follows it up with a bodyslam. Tully hits a couple of elbow drops and covers for two. Diamond fights back and throws Tully into the corner. Tully begs off causing Diamond to hesitate for a moment. Diamond starts to pummel Tully but Tully regains control with a thumb to the eye. Tully hits a fist to the gut, drops and elbow and hits the Slingshot Suplex for the win. *1/2, another energetic squash for Tully Blanchard. He seems to give a lot more offense to his jobbers than other guys do. But that fits his character if you ask me.
NWA Television Champion Dusty Rhodes is out for an interview. He runs down the Russians. They'll be defending against Rhodes, Valiant and Sawyer in the near future I guess.
The Andersons vs. Gene Ligon and Rocky King
Arn and Ligon start us off. Arn gets Ligon in the ropes and gets a drop toe hold. They do the amateur wrestling routine on the mat. Arn hits a knee in the ropes and follows it up with a snap mare. Ole tags in and wrenches on the arm. Ole continues to work over the arm until Ligon gets in the ropes. Arn tags in and goes to work on the same arm. Arn works the arm over on the mat. Ole tags in and takes over on the arm. Now this I like. Just good old fashioned picking a body part and destroying it. Ole rams Ligon into Arn's knee. Arn tags in and hits a bodyslam. King tags in but Arn is on him the second he's through the ropes. King starts to fight back but Arn takes him to the mat and tags in Ole. Ole takes him down with a waistlock and goes to the arm. Arn tags in and bodyslams King onto his bad arm. Nice move there. Arn hits the bodyslam again and then goes back to working the arm on the mat. Ole tags in and pummels the arm on the ropes. Ole goes for the arm ringer and King tries to fight back. Arn tags in and rams King into the corner. Arn gets a takedown and works over the arm some more. Ole tags in and continues the arm work. Arn tags in and Ole pummels him. Arn holds him up and Ole hits a knee drop off the top. I guess he tagged in because Arn comes in and gets the submission win with an armbar. *1/4, decent squash there. Nice to see someone actually work the arm over the entire match and then actually finish the match with an arm move. Nice teamwork for the Andersons.
JJ Dillon and Buddy Landel are out for an interview. They continue to talk trash about Magnum TA.
Buzz Sawyer vs. Ivan Koloff w/ Nikita Koloff
The first lock up is a stalemate. Ivan gets a wristlock and bites the hand of Sawyer. Sawyer reverses and returns the favor. Sawyer takes down Ivan with a wristlock and then drops a leg on the arm. Sawyer decides to take a bite out of Ivan's arm. Test of strength sees them exchange kicks and then Sawyer grabbing a wristlock. They break it up cleanly in the ropes. Lock up and Ivan gets a face rake. Ivan chokes Sawyer for a bit but Sawyer regains control and returns the favor. Lock up leads to Sawyer getting some chops in the corner before tossing Ivan across the ring. Sawyer gets some more chops in and then smashes shoulder first into the ringpost after Ivan ducks a charge. Ivan rams Sawyer shoulder first into the turnbuckle and then hits a double axe handle off the middle rope onto the shoulder. Ivan works over the shoulder on the mat. Sawyer fights to his feet and gets Ivan with a bodyslam. Sawyer misses an elbow drop and Ivan goes back to the shoulder. Sawyer escapes the hold by biting Ivan on the leg. Back and forth until Ivan gets a kick. Ivan goes right back to the shoulder to try and get a submission and to slow it down. They go to commercial break since the first hour is over. We're back as Nikita rams Sawyer into the apron on the outside. Ivan snaps the arm on the top rope as Sawyer struggles back in. Ivan hits an elbow after sending Sawyer into the ropes. Ivan goes back to the shoulder. Sawyer fights to his feet and gets Ivan into the ropes. Back and forth until Sawyer hits the Powerslam. He covers but Ivan has a foot on the ropes. Ivan tries to bail to the outside but Sawyer suplexes him back into the ring. Sawyer covers but Ivan gets a foot on the ropes again. Sawyer applues a bearhug. Ivan fights to his feet but Sawyer hits a belly to belly for a two count. Sawyer goes back to the bear hug. Ivan attacks the injured shoulder of Sawyer to break the hold. Ivan goes for a move but Sawyer catches him with a forearm. Sawyer covers for a two count. Sawyer applies the bear hug on the mat but Ivan gets loose. Sawyer sends Ivan into the corner and then charges right into a boot. Ivan heads to the top rope but Sawyer tosses him off for a two count. Back to the bear hug and Ivan escapes again. Sawyer pummels on Ivan and hits a butterfly suplex for a two count. Bearhug again. Ivan gets loose and gets a headbutt on Sawyer. Sawyer no sells and gets a side salto for a two count. Bear hug leads to Ivan pounding on Sawyer in the corner. Reverse irish whip leads to a ref bump. They go back and forth until Sawyer gets the roll up but there's no ref. Jimmy Valiant slides in and counts the three. The Russians seem to have a problem with this and it's a 3 on 1 beatdown on Valiant. They get ready to beat Valiant with it until Dusty Rhodes runs out for the save. Typical screwjob for these name level matches. *1/2, match was way too long. The action portions were good but they fell into a rut at the end with Sawyer doing something and going right back to the bearhug. Decent enough for 80s television though.
Michael Hayes is out for an interview. We get a Freebirds reference as he wonders how the Russians can be the six man tag champs if they never wrestled the Freebirds. He focuses more on Flair and says that someone like him won't chase the Freebirds out of Atlanta, GA.
NWA Television Champion Dusty Rhodes and Buzz Sawyer are out for an interview. Sawyer is still selling the shoulder injury he suffered during his match. Jimmy Valiant joins them. This is just an incoherent mess of a promo. Never give Jimmy Valiant a mic. David Crockett seems oddly skeptical of their chances of taking the Six-Man Tag Titles away from the Russians.
Nikita Koloff w/ Ivan Koloff and Krusher Khrushchev vs. Josh Stroud
Lock up sees Nikita pushing Stroud into the corner. Stroud gets a full nelson but Nikita powers out. Stroud goes for a waistlock but Nikita powers out. They lock up and Nikita pummels Stroud in the ropes. Nikita hits an elbow after throwing Stroud into the ropes. Nikita uses a bodyslam and covers for two. Nikita hits a snap mare and then applies a chinlock. Nikita throws Strod to the outside and then snaps him back into the ring. Nikita gives Stroud a few free shots before leveling him with a forearm. Nikita covers for two. Just so you know, Nikita is stopping these pinfalls so he can continue the beating. Nikita hits a snap mare and goes back to the chinlock. Stroud hits back but Nikita just levels him with a forearm and starts choking him on the mat. Stroud tries to slam Nikita but gets a fist in the face for his troubles. They do the snap mare/chinlock routine again. Stroud finally does some damage with his punches and even manages to take the big man down with a dropkick. Stroud hits some forearms in the corner. He sends Nikita into the corner but charges right into the Russian Sickle. Cobra Hold finishes it for Nikita. 1/4*, slow pace as they drug out what should've been a 1 minute beatdown. It served it's purpose though. Nikita looked like a total monster and they gave you a flash hope that Stroud might make a comeback right before Nikita hit his big moves. It was a squash match though so what can you expect?
Thunderbolt Patterson and Manny Fernandez are out for an interview. Fernandez calls them the Bolt and the Bull. Interesting name. He says they'll take care of business. Thunderbolt says Ole did what everyone said he would do. He says that Ole didn't do anything for him that he didn't do for Ole.
The Barbarian and Superstar Billy Graham w/ Paul Jones vs. Jim and Mack Jeffers
the Barbarian and Mack start. Barbarian bites Mack and rams him into the corner. Barbarian takes him down with a kick. Barbarian sends him into the corner but Mack catches him with an elbow off the middle rope. Abdullah the Butcher appears at ringside right about now. Gragam tags in and rams Mack into the corner a few times. Graham throws him to the outside so Jonesw can beat on him. Barbarian picks him up and slams him into the ringpost and then throws him back in. Graham takes down Mack with a few karate chops. Graham tosses Mack into the corner so Jim can tag in. Graham rams Jim into the corner and pummels him. Barbarian tags in and hits a big boot. Barbarian nails him with a headbutt and follows up with some falling headbutts. Double thrust followed by a choke for Jim. Mack tags in and Barbarian takes him down with a punch. Graham tags in and just abuses Mack with forearms and stomps. Graham sends him into the ropes and gets a karate chop. More of his needless karate chopping as the match continues. Barbarian tags in and hits an overhead slam. The Barbarian hits a Flying Headbutt off the top rope to finish the match. DUD, it was what it was I guess. The Barbarian seems really green here and Graham just sucks as kung fu Graham.
NWA Six Man Tag Team Champions the Russians are out for an interview. Ivan says Buzz Sawyer was nothing before they started tag teaming. They call out Dusty Rhodes and his partners and say they won't win the trophey. I like how Nikita seems to get a little better at speaking English every week. It's a nice subtile touch to his character that doesn't seem to happen in today's wrestling.
Magnum TA vs. George South
They exchange wristlocks. TA reverses an irish whip and the Belly to Belly Suplex finishes it. Yeah, that was all of 13 seconds. DUD, I really like this push for TA. It makes him seem like a big deal to beat guys quickly. It's still hard to believe that he's only been in the business like 2 years at this point.
Pistol Pez Whatley vs. Vernon Deaton
Lock up and Pez gets an arm drag. Pez gets a backbody drop and then a headlock takedown. Pez works the headlock until Deaton throws him into the ropes. Pez hits a shoulder block and then a dropkick. Pez goes back to the headlock takedown and works it on the mat. Deaton gets into the ropes and it's a clean break. Pez gets a wristlock and starts to work on the arm. Clean break in the ropes. Pez gets a single leg takedown and starts to work over the leg a bit. Quick roll up gets two. Pez gets a snap mare and rakes the face with his boots. Side salto gets a two count for Pez. Snap mare and Pez applies a chinlock. They get into the ropes and Deaton starts to pound on Pez with right hands. Pez cuts him off with a headlock and hits a series of punches for a two count. Vertical suplex gets a two count for Pez. Pez works over the arm again and takes Deaton down. Clean break in the ropes. Pez gets a headlock takedown and it's another clean break in the ropes. Flying clothesline finishes it for Pez. 1/2*, decent enough squash I guess. No real offense for Deaton so it was dragging a bit towards the end. Plus Pez was kind of all over the place with just attacking whatever part of the body he felt like.
The Andersons are out for an interview. Pretty much the same interview as last time as they trash talk Thunderbolt Patterson and Manny Fernandez.
Krusher Khrushchev w/ Ivan and Nikita Koloff vs. Mike Simone
Krusher backs Simone into the ropes and pounds on him. Krusher rams Simone into the corner and then the opposite corner. Krusher chokes on him a bit and then does the double handed choke where you lift the guy off the ground. Krusher uses an overhead toss. Simone fights back but Krusher cuts him off with a face rake. Krusher rams Simone into the corner and then works his arm over on the ropes. Krusher gets a snap mare and works over the arm on the mat. Krusher tosses Simone neck first onto the top rope twice. Cobra Hold gets the submission win for Krusher. 1/4*, decent energy and Krusher isn't sloppy like the Barbarian is for this type of match.
Tully Blanchard and Baby Doll are out for an interview. He talks about how he was the longest reigning NWA Television Champion ever. He also talks about how he put up $10,000 for anyone who could beat him and it hurt him to have to write a check to Dusty Rhodes. He says he'll get the belt back because he was born to be a champion and has class.
The angles are starting to develop nicely as they've managed to develop 4 feuds in the span of two weeks. The Andersons/Thunderbolt/Fernandez feud is already becoming a must see feud for me. The wrestling was decent for a squash match show but then some of the guys seem to be giving the jobbers some room to fight back. The show wasn't as good as last week in the ring but it was better in the angle department because they weren't introudcing themselves as much.
The production values also kicked in as it looked like the studio we all know and love from later in 1985.
Join me next time as Dusty Rhodes defends the NWA Television Title against Krusher Khrushchev. Also in action will be the Andersons, Black Bart, Magnum TA, Buddy Landel, Abdullah the Butcher, Tully Blanchard, Thunderbolt Patterson/Manny Fernandez and Ivan Koloff.