The SmarK 24/7 Rant for World Championship Wrestling Ã¢â‚¬â€œ November 23 1985
– Your hosts are Tony & David
– Terry Taylor v. Black Cat. Last time seeing Taylor with the National title. Leapfrog over the Cat and he grabs an armbar to start, and we get some WEIRD editing, as they cut out something that came right before, and then edit out comments from Tony relating to Superstar Billy Graham and Barbarian. OK, old school fans, what am I missing here? It can’t be cutting out Starrcade hype, because they’ve been showing ads for it for the past month of shows now. Cat fights back with some forearms in the corner, but Taylor fires away with chops and takes him down with a lazy fivearm, then finishes with the superplex at 2:54. I didn’t realize it until seeing the title switch at Starrcade, but Taylor’s superplex finish actually set up the finish of that match, with JJ hooking his leg in mid-move to give Budro the title.
– Tony and David discuss what a piece of work Ric Flair is, as we review his injury of Pez Whatley last week and his breaking of Dusty Rhodes’ leg before that. Thank god David was there to put ice on it! The hard sell continues with the Flair interview where he’s left yelling at a blank wall. We also get Dusty squashing Mike Davis. I didn’t even know that Davis was dead until recently, actually. This squash apparently marked the first time Dusty starting doing his shitty figure-four, so if you want to know which match to blame, it’s that one.
– STARRCADE UPDATE! I know I’ve harped on this before, but I’m gonna keep harping on it because I know the geeks who program this channel are reading: They need to base their PPV rebroadcast schedule on the TV shows, not the other way around. I don’t care about seeing the RAW from before Summerslam 97 because it’s gonna come up in the Monday night rotation eventually anyway, but watching week after week after Starrcade hype leaves me dying to see Starrcade 85 again because they do such an amazing job of building the matches up and I know that there’s pretty damn good matches that resulted.
– Dusty, from one of the other syndicated shows, cuts a promo on Flair about his new boot and the demon within.
– Don Kernodle v. Don Turner. Kernodle gets a quick small package for two after a slam, and drops an elbow on the kid’s arm. I was gonna ask why they bothered with Kernodle, but then I remembered that he’s in the Rock N Roll’s corner upcoming at Starrcade. Kernodle goes up with a Slaughter Cannon clothesline off the top to finish at 1:01. Nice finish.
– The Barbarian v. Stoney Burke. Another dumb jobber name. The poor guy attacks to start, but runs into a boot, and then eats a high kick. Barbarian follows with a dropkick, about 0.6 Watts, and then chokes him out with his dog collar. The jobber gets tossed and Paul Jones gets his shots in, and when the ref admonishes him Barbarian sneaks out and slams the guy on the floor. Burke tries to fight back in, but gets double-stomped and legdropped. Barbarian headbutts him until he rolls out to recover, and then drags him back in and drops an elbow after evading a dropkick. Powerslam and he finishes with the diving headbutt at 4:16. Seriously, Stoney Burke? He deserved to lose for having that name.
– The champ is HERE. Dusty Rhodes is gonna have to walk that aisle to win the title. Both of them acknowledge that they have the biggest egos in the sport. Well at least they agree on something. He’s the World champion forever and ever. Sure felt like it.
– Another Starrcade rundown.
– Superstar Billy Graham v. Tony Zane. Zane tries a full nelson to start, and that goes as well as you’d expect for him. Graham is gracious and doesn’t destroy him yet, however, and choosing instead to overpower him and show off the guns. Graham whips him into the corner and elbows him down, then grabs the bearhug to finish at 2:16. I swear it’s like watching a tape of post-nWo Hulk Hogan every time I see Graham on these shows, down to the exact same tights Hogan was wearing in 2002 for his WWE comeback.
– Buddy Landel v. Manny Fernandez. Buddy makes a smartass remark towards the desk as we start, and Manny clocks him from behind while he’s jawing. We get the usual Buddy stalling as more commentary gets edited out, but he starts chopping in the corner, and gets hiptossed as a result. Buddy bails and gets consoled by JJ, and he heads back to try it again. Manny grabs a headlock and overpowers Landel, but Buddy stomps him down and they’re at an impasse. So they start again and Buddy alley-oops him in the corner, but Manny actually wanted that and elbows him in the face. That’s pretty slick. Buddy gets some advice on the floor and heads back in, taking Manny down with an armdrag and then quickly backing off because he’s a coward. He gets a slam and this time keeps Fernandez grounded with an armbar, but Manny reverses to an Indian deathlock, forcing JJ to pull Buddy into the ropes. The finish here is pretty obvious, as neither guy can afford the loss so it’s likely to be a draw. We take an abrupt break and return with Manny working on the knee. Buddy slugs him down and tosses him, but surprisingly Dillon stays clear. Back in, Buddy gets two as Fernandez is busted open, and he grabs a chinlock. Landel pounds him down for two and chokes away on the ropes, and of course JJ adds a shot to the cut and Buddy gets two. Manny’s all fired up and throws chops, but a headbutt misses and Landel gets two. Back to the chinlock, but Manny fights up and catches a lariat. Now he’s pissed and he gets a back elbow, and goes up , but misses a kneedrop and that’s clearly time for the figure-four. Manny’s too upset to submit, though, and he reverses it quickly, forcing Buddy to get to the ropes. And that’s where we hit the time limit at 14:18. This was what you’d expect: Two totally competent workers going back and forth with nothing special. **3/4
– Terry Taylor promises that he’s going to knock the wind out of Buddy at Starrcade with his superplex, because Buddy has more wind than anyone. I have a theory on Buddy Landel while I’m thinking of it, because he was in the midst of a big push, winning the National title at Starrcade. But he got caught for a fairly serious drug violation (and keeping in mind what kind of shit you have to do to get caught in WRESTLING…) and mysteriously lost the belt to Dusty Rhodes and disappeared soon after. This left JJ Dillon with no one to manage, and he was moved to Tully Blanchard, which laid the foundation for the Horsemen. So really, the Four Horsemen are thanks to Buddy Landel. Or I could be totally out to lunch, either way.
– Black Bart v. Rocky King. Rocky gets his usual jobber offense in, with a slam and a dropkick, but Bart pounds him with elbows. Rocky gets a crossbody and more dropkicks, but Bart isn’t a subtle guy and just hammers him down again. Stungun ends Rocky’s offense for good, and Bart throws a knee and pounds him in the corner. A SWEET clothesline with A-Plus sell from King follows, and Rocky gets dumped. Bart suplexes him back in and chokes him down, then heads up and finishes with the top rope legdrop at 4:22. Better than most Bart squashes because Rocky King was an A-level jobber and it wasn’t just Bart working the arm for 5 minutes like most of his squashes were.
– Ron Bass hypes his bullrope match against Bart at Starrcade and blames all his troubles on him. Psychiatrists call that projecting. Here’s that match for you, too.
– The Road Warriors (who are facing Black Bart & Thunderfoot next week in the increasingly-misnamed Championship Challenge Series) don’t like the Andersons or Ric Flair, and luckily they enjoy beating on people. Hawk’s verbal jabs are not as refined as they would become, but “you’re gonna look like someone set your face on fire and put it out with an axe” is pretty good.
– Billy Jack Haynes v. Jim Jeffers. I’ve been re-reading Dynamite Kid’s book again while doing prep work for my own new book, and he praises Billy Jack as one of the “hardest” guys in the sport besides himself, as in the guy who takes no crap in the ring and is legit tough. That’s pretty high praise. Jack pounds Jeffers down and drops a pair of legs, then throws him over his shoulder and drops down with a gutbuster. Full nelson finishes at 1:56.
– Billy Jack proclaims that the NWA is #1, as backed up by the NWA lettering on his boots, and he’s NWA 4 Life. Until he jumped to the WWF about a month after this. The Andersons’ days are numbered!
– We get clips of the Russians squashing jobbers to sell the Starrcade title defense.
– Ron Bass, Pez Whatley & Italion Stallion v. Kent Glover, Larry Clark and Carl Styles. The faces clean house and Stallion presses Larry Clark and they trade off on the arm. They haul in another jobber, and really who cares which one is which, and continue to work on his arm too. The missing chunks of commentary are really annoying here. Are they giving out a phone number for closed circuit locations, I wonder? Whatley comes in with a flying clothesline to finish at 2:43. I’m sure this team will be headlining house shows in high school gyms all over the country.
– Denny Brown gets PROMO time?? He’s not even on the Starrcade card, who cares what he has to say? The poor guy has to put over Dusty Rhodes even when he’s not even in the same weight class, and has absolutely nothing to say except “See Starrcade”.
– Sam Houston v. The Golden Terror. Now there’s a jobber name. Mr. Terror pounds on him to start, but gets hiptossed and armbarred. The Terror reverses the move and goes to work on the arm, while Ric Flair does commentary and trashes Houston purely out of spite, because Dusty endorses him. That’s pretty awesome. Flair refers to him as “the human broomstick”, so at least we know that Ric could geta *** match out of him if nothing else. Houston slugs back and looks to finish with the bulldog, but the Terror lands on the ropes and it’s only two. They collide and Houston is knocked silly, and Ric Flair heads over and suplexes him on the floor, costing him the match at 3:31. The Reign of Terror begins now! Can I write catchphrases or what? Sadly, Golden Terror failed to sweep the nation. More’s the pity. Here’s Houston v. Khrusher Khruschev from Starrcade to make you feel better.
Next show should be Starrcade fallout, assuming they tape it in time.