The SmarK 24/7 Rant for World Championship Wrestling – August 3 1985
– For those who care about this sort of thing, the “Territories” and “Primetime” categories have now been merged into “TV Classics”, which is a better fit anyway. And an SMW clip before the show starts has me wondering…where’s the Smoky Mountain footage? God, there’s just so much sitting in their vault that we could be getting every week. It’s scary because this is like the greatest channel ever created as it is, and yet it could be BETTER.
– Hosted by Tony and David.
– We start with US champion Tully Blanchard, who resents the Magnum TA kiss-ass club that the announcers represent. Apparently, a woman who he didn’t know ran down to the ring to kiss him while the ref was out, and Tully was so energized that he popped up and knocked Magnum out with his bare fist. Sounds fishy.
– Manny Fernandez v. Mike Thor. Poor Mike Thor will likely only go down in history as the guy who got to play Medusa during her feud with Paul Heyman in 1992. Manny takes Thor down wtih armdrags and chops him down. Elbow and knee and he goes back to the arm again. He obviously didn’t have anything going on at this point because Tony and David just make generic comments about how tough he is and stuff. Criss-cross and flying burrito finish at 3:58. That, by the way, is the actual name for his finisher, lest you think I can make this stuff up. Dull stuff. 1/2*
– Jim Cornette has another classic rant, hitting machine-gun burns on the Sawyers (“He got interested in dogs as a young boy when his parents took him to a dog show…and he won.”) and Magnum TA (“He looks like he shaved with a weed eater.”) before storming off again. Tremendous.
– Dusty Rhodes joins us to remind us that he’s the tower of power, funky like a monkey and too sweet to be sour. Baby Doll is a jezebel and Tully is a jezebel-lover (ouch!).
– Terry Taylor v. El Geeko. BEST! JOBBER! NAME! EVAH! Picture, if you will, Damian Demento…as a midget. Awesome. You can’t buy entertainment value like this. Taylor controls the arm with a top wristlock as I wonder how Tony and David can call matches featuring “El Geeko” with a straight face and not mock him. Taylor takes him down and pounds the arm, and then grinds the knee into the shoulder. Geeko fights back in the corner with headbutts, but Taylor takes him down with a backbreaker and a rather awesome standing dropkick. Five-arm finishes at 4:03. El Geeko! Awesome! *
– And now, more Dusty, as America’s Team have the Andersons on their mind. They want the National tag titles! Spoiler: They don’t win them. Kind of ruins the suspense when you know everything that’s going to happen in advance. However, Magnum would have better luck against Tully Blanchard when he got that rematch.
– Ivan & Nikita Koloff v. Jimmy Backlund & Steve Blackmon. Jimmy Backlund is a very skinny, very young “Gigalo” Jimmy Del Ray, but Steve Blackmon is not the similarly-named Steve Blackman, who would be debuting in Stampede a couple of years after this. Anyway, Ivan just destroys Backlund and forces the tag to Blackmon, which brings Nikita in to choke him out. Lots and lots of choking. Back to Ivan for a double axehandle and backdrop. Back to Backlund, who gets murdered by Nikita and dropped on the top rope, then tossed out of the corner by the neck. Russian Sickle, complete with 450 sell by Backlund, finishes at 3:49. * for the clothesline sell alone. And he bumped right onto his own head! Sick, dude!
– Woo, the REAL champ is here! Slick Ric lets Dusty know that he can have a title shot whenever he wants, because everything is all about Dusty. Onto Magnum: If you can’t take getting assaulted in the dressing room, then stop crying and find a new job, jack. Onto Nikita: He’s gonna beat him so badly that he’ll begging for a job as Ric’s gardener, so everyone can drive by his house and go “Hey, look at Ric’s Russian gardener!” Now there’s a threat.
– The Italian Stallion v. Kent Glover. Oh my god, could this actually be a match where the Stallion WINS? Stallion works the arm as they talk about how the Stallion is working his way towards a World title shot. Uh, maybe the World Spaghetti Eating title (which Stallion actually did win later in his career) but I don’t think Flair is worrying about the Stallion’s challenge for his belt. Powerslam gets two. We hit the chinlock and Stallion pounds away in the corner and backdrops Glover for two. Suplex gets two. I’m curious what the finisher is going to be, since I’ve never seen him in a position to win before. Boston Crab, but Stallion releases for no good reason. No wonder he never wins. Airplane spin into a samoan drop finishes at 4:51. Hey, not a bad finisher. Too bad he never got to use it again. 1/2*
– Tully is back out to show the video of his totally non-controversial, clean win over Magnum, because he doesn’t want people putting blemishes on his good name. Tony asks if there was a roll of coins involved, but Tully notes that fans were throwing money at him because they wanted him to beat Magnum. Jim Crockett interrupts to announce that next week it’s Tully v. Terry Taylor for the US title, with Baby Doll returning to him.
– The Rock N Roll Express v. Lee Ramsay & Randy Barber. Ricky hiptosses Ramsay to start and grabs a headlock, then atomic drops him into the corner. Barber comes in and gets more of the same, and then Robert comes in and they atomic drop the jobbers into each other. Ah, the 80s. The RNR switch off with headlocks and Ramsay escapes to bring in Barber, the ironically named bald jobber, who barely gets two punches on Gibson before getting hiptossed and taken down with a flying headscissors. Dropkick gets two. Back to Ramsay, who gets double dropkicked and pinned at 2:58. Much better effort than last week. *1/4
– US tag titles (Florida version): Wahoo McDaniel & Billy Jack Haynes v. Jack Hart & Ravishing Rick Rude. The smartasses on the blog already ruined my fun, but then-Florida champion Jack Hart is the guy who would become perennial loser Barry Horowitz. The Florida challengers are managed by Percy Pringle here, by the way. Jack’s actually got a pretty good badass attitude going here. Wahoo controls him on the mat with a hammerlock to start, and Billy Jack comes in and works the arm. Wahoo chops Hart down and goes to the chinlock, but Rude comes in and wants a posedown with Haynes. Rude was super-green at this point and really had nothing in the ring to back it up with yet. Rude tries to overpower Haynes, but gets taken down with an armdrag, and we take a break. Back with Wahoo going to work on the arm, but Rude goes to the eyes. Works every time. Wahoo tries chopping, so Rude slams him, but puts his head down and gets caught. Over to Billy Jack with a nice back elbow and elbowdrop combo, and he presses Rude but misses a fistdrop. Am I crazy, or would Haynes v. Rude been one hell of a feud once Rude got good? Criss-cross and they clothesline each other, showing some real chemistry together, and Jack Hart gets the tag and uses a loaded glove on Haynes. The big punch misses and Haynes tries a full nelson, and then runs Hart into Pringle and rolls him up for the pin at 7:42. Oh, man, this was getting REALLY good before the rather quick finish. **1/2
– The Sawyers have some words for Jim Cornette and the Midnights, and the talking’s over. Good, because they’re not very interesting.
– Back with Tully again (is he buying TV time this week?) with nothing more to say.
– The Midnight Express v. Vern Deaton & Mike Simani. Cornette sarcastically notes that he’s not sure if they’re going to be able to handle the challenge this week. The Express trades off on Simani with elbows and brings in Deaton for some double-teaming in the corner. Bobby chokes him out on the ropes and goes up, hitting a fistdrop from 3/4 of the way across the ring. Condrey takes him down with the STO for the pin at 2:08. Usual high impact squash from the MX. *1/4
– Billy Jack and Wahoo actually get interview time, as Billy explains his name change — it was a tribute to his dad. If you’re interested, and I know you are, Haynes & McDaniel somehow lost the titles after a match with Andersons in November of 85, and the belts disappeared in late 1986 before getting reborn in a totally different form on this show.
– Buddy Landell v. Pablo Crenshaw. Another great jobber name. Buddy gets a quick headlock and chops him in the corner, into a hiptoss. Chinlock and Buddy demands to know who the Nature Boy is, and he keeps getting the wrong answer. Figure-four finishes at 2:08. Usual dull Landell stuff. 1/2*
– Bob Roop v. Jason Walker. Shoulderbreak finishes at 0:41. DUD
– Roop lets us know that he’s got a headache named Kevin Sullivan, and he’s going to get rid of it.
– Next week: Tully Blanchard v. Terry Taylor, and we’re out of here!
I love this show. God bless 24/7 for letting me watch this every week.