The SmarK Rant for World Championship Wrestling – 12.06.86
It’s time for Starrcade fallout! Brought to you by Weider!
I know this is a hot take, but I started watching Rick & Morty on Hulu and holy shit is that a funny show.
Your hosts are Tony & David.
Ivan Koloff & Krusher Khruschev are still US tag team champions after Starrcade, although Krusher is out the door pretty soon here. Man, I forgot how swank the US tag belts were. Probably if I was going to buy a replica belt, that’d be one of them.
World TV title: Tully Blanchard v. Mike Jackson
Tully of course won the TV title from Dusty Rhodes in a stunning upset at Starrcade, crushing the hopes of fans the world over. And he CHEATED. Tully would proceed to hold that title for a bazillion months, however. As usual, senior citizen-looking Mike Jackson gets way more offense than any other jobber, chasing Tully with armdrags and a dropkick before Tully takes him down with a chinlock. Jackson fights out in the corner and slugs away, and he actually potatoes Tully open on the forehead. Tully has finally had enough of this bullshit and elbows him down for two, then just hurtles him to the floor for a painful sounding bump. Back in, Tully pounds away on the back and finishes with the slingshot suplex at 5:05.
The Rock N Roll Express celebrate retaining their title with a promo while the crowd goes nuts for them and Ricky actually has to yell over the cheers. But man, that Roman Reigns, he’s so over. The doctors say Morton should take a few weeks off because of the damage that Arn Anderon did to his arm at Starrcade, but that’s the coward’s way out.
The Midnight Express, minus Jim Cornette due to his grody knee injury in the scaffold match, has to cut their own promo on the Road Warriors and goddamn Dennis Condrey sounds like a stupid hick. Baby Doll is hanging around with them at this point and she’s drunk off her ass. It’s really astonishing how much Cornette elevated their game. And when the hell did Baby Doll turn heel again?
Brad Armstrong v. Vern Deaton
Brad takes him down and works the arm, and finishes with the legsweep at 1:30.
Paul Jones and his team of Manny Fernandez & Rick Rude think that the Rock N Roll Express are just whiny crybabies who are singing the blues.
The Road Warriors will continue to throw the Midnight Express off scaffolds until everyone is 100% sure that they’re the best team in the world and the only real men in the sport.
Arn Anderson v. Alan Martin
Arn quickly chokes this goof down and gives him the ol’ bootlaces on the face before going to work on the arm and then finishes with the spinebuster/gourdbuster combo at 2:15.
The Superpowers, with Dusty Rhodes apparently fresh from a pro-fur rally, are both ready for the Bunkhouse Stampedes upcoming. He actually insinuates that not all of the women that Flair takes home are perfect 10s, because even a “woofer” can look good at 3 in the morning. Dusty, however, always plays it safe and hires top notch hookers. Nikita is my fucking hero for just standing there and scowling instead of breaking character and completely collapsing with laughter.
Paul Jones is out and he’s already tired of chasing the Rock N Roll Express, so he went to Jim Crockett personally and obtained a contract for a tag title match TONIGHT.
The Midnight Express v. Art Pritts & Dave Spearman
The Express quickly destroys Pritts and tosses him in and out of the ring, and then over to Spearman for more of the same. Nobody abused jobbers like the Midnights. Others like Tully may have generously given offense, but the Express was always like “Screw this, you geeks are here to put us over” and they would utilize that to the fullest. Poor Spearman doesn’t even know how to set up for the Rocket Launcher, so Condrey hauls his ass into place and Bobby finishes at 2:38.
Ric Flair is FED UP with all the contracts for bullshit gimmick matches that do not favor the Horsemen, such as bullropes and chains, so either he goes back to the basics of defending his title like a man, or he goes to work elsewhere.
Barry Windham v. Randy Barber
Windham finishes with a lariat and bulldog at 1:00.
The Rock N Roll Express gladly sign the tag title contract, and they’ll be ready in five minutes because they’ve got guts.
Ivan Koloff & Krusher Kruschev v. Randy & Bill Mulkey
Randy gets mauled in the Russian corner and we actually take a break. Back with Krusher tossing Bill around and running him into the corner. Ivan hammers the guy down and drops a knee, and finishes with the sickle at 4:22.
NWA World tag team title: The Rock N Roll Express v. Rick Rude & Manny Fernandez
There’s a shitload of time left in this show, so they’re going LONG. Ricky dominates Fernandez with armdrags and the heels regroup. Over to Rude and Gibson monkey-flips him right out of the ring as well. They continue to double-team Rude with armbars, but Ricky’s arm is heavily bandaged and weak. Manny comes in and misses an elbow on Gibson, and Morton goes to the arm again while selling the injured arm. Even when he’s on OFFENSE he’s the face-in-peril! The storyline is that the RNR are in control, but the moment that Manny gets Ricky’s arm, they’re fucked. They keep double-teaming the heels and we take a break. Back with Morton hitting a bodypress on Manny for two and back to the armbar, but Robert comes in and gets worked over in the corner. The heels go to work on the knee and hold Gibson in the corner with some quality cheating behind the ref’s back while the fans are SCREAMING for blood. Finally (after FIVE MINUTES of the same leg hold), Gibson fights back with an enzuigiri, but alas he gets taken down with the same damn hold again. The crowd is not bored by this one bit, however, chanting like crazy while Robert lays there. Finally Robert escapes with a backdrop that Rude nearly clears the ring on, and it’s a hot tag to Ricky…but Fernandez immediately attacks the arm. They go to work on that, and thankfully Ricky is a lot more interesting while taking a beating than Robert. Seriously though, we’re at 20:00 so far and that whole sequence with Robert Gibson was totally unnecessary. Rude with a hammerlock slam and the top rope fistdrop for two. Manny keeps pounding on the arm and they do the illegal switch behind the ref’s back, but Ricky pounds away in the corner before missing a blind charge and running arm-first into the turnbuckles. The heels just mug Morton in the corner and double-team him and it’s more armbar excitement as we take another break. Back with Ricky STILL in an armbar, and stupid Robert keeps distracting the ref and allowing the double-teams. So now they toss Ricky and run the arm into the post. Seriously, the Andersons would have finished this shit off by now and gone drinking. These two goofs were handed a guy with a broken arm on a silver platter and can’t even submit him? Maybe that’s the storyline, that they’re a team way out of their league who have been given a gift? So yeah, another break, and more armbars. Ricky won’t give up and he’s all fired up again, and an atomic drop for Rude sets up the HOT tag to Robert. Sleeper on Manny, but Rude breaks it up and it’s BONZO GONZO. Robert rolls up Manny, but Rude clotheslines them over behind the ref’s back and the heels win the tag titles at 32:31. Jesus Christ, nearly 35 minutes for THAT finish? Rude and Fernandez would hold the belts until Rude left for the WWF midway through 1987. This was insanely long for an RNR match and not worth sitting through, as optimal length is 10-15 minutes and they weren’t even finished with the kneebars on Robert by that point. **1/2 Rude & Fernandez were kind of an odd choice for champions, as they hadn’t even been teaming that long and weren’t exactly a hot team. Even as champions they weren’t booked particularly strong.
Tony and David are disgusted and wrap things up for the week. So now we’re about two weeks away from the point when I started watching NWA Worldwide Wrestling on a weekly basis, once the Four Horsemen introduce their new associate member shortly after this.
Tags: Ric Flair, Rock N Roll Express v. Rick Rude & Manny Fernandez, SmarK Rants, SmarK WWE Network Rant, The Four Horsemen, The Midnight Express