The SmarK 24/7 Rant for World Championship Wrestling – July 19 1986
– Back with another episode filmed on location during the Great American Bash, the happiest time of year for any wrestling geek in the 80s.
– Taped from Columbia, SC
– Your hosts are Tony & David.
Don Kernodle v. The Golden Terror
You know it’s a special night when you’ve got main event caliber matches like this one kicking the show off. JIP with the Terror dropping a knee and slugging away, but Kernodle rolls him up for two. Don takes him down with a headlock and works on that, and a cross body gets two. Atomic drop gets two. Small package gets two. He holds the Terror on the mat while Tony informs us that although July is ending, August will feature the Rock N Roll Express singing in a town near you. I thought I had blocked that out of my mind. Terror beats Kernodle down and chokes away, but Kernodle comes back with a forearm shot and a backbreaker for two. Terror comes back with a big elbow for two. Tommy Young’s facial expressions, selling how that SHOULD have been the pin, darnit, are the best thing about this boring match. Kernodle comes back with a neckbreaker and drops Terror on the top rope. Terror headbutts him, but he gets the worst of it, and Kernodle rams him into the corner and follows with a backdrop suplex for two. Kneedrop gets two. Forearm shot gets two. Backslide gets one. There’s just no flow here, it’s one guy does a move and walks around, then the other guy. Terror comes back with an elbow for two. And we hit the chinlock. If they’re booking a DRAW for this shit I’m gonna be pissed. They slug it out in the corner and thank god, Kernodle gets a powerslam and goes up to finish with the flying clothesline at 9:10.
Jim Cornette & Big Bubba join us with words about America’s Team, who are facing the Midnight Express in our main event. Bubba’s so tough that in his neighborhood, muggers don’t shoot you, they insert the bullets manually. Leaves don’t fall from the trees, they commit suicide! That’s a tough neighborhood.
The Warlord v. Vernon Deaton
The face pop for the Warlord is beyond all measure of sanity. Haven’t these people seen him WRESTLE? Warlord overpowers Deaton with ease and finishes with the powerslam at 0:53. Quicker is better with this guy.
The Andersons are ready for the Rock N Roll Express tonight. Arn even has his boot ready to beat on Ricky. Ole has what appears to be a piece of a stretcher.
Todd Champion v. Khrusher Khruschev
Young Mr. Champion has a haircut and mustache right out of Boogie Nights at this point in the 80s. They fight for the lockup to start and Champion gives the clean break, but Khruschev takes over with a wristlock. Champion reverses into a hammerlock, but Khrusher gets his own armbar, forcing Champion to reverse out. Champion overpowers him and goes back to the arm, and we take a break. Back with Khrusher tossing him and stomping away on the apron. Back in, he goes to the bearhug until Champion slugs out. Dropkick misses, however, and the Minnesota Sickle finishes at 7:56. Champion was a guy who, much like today, looked like a wrestler and would probably still get a developmental deal if he walked into Johnny Ace’s office, but just had nothing past the hair and look.
Dusty Rhodes talks about facing Ric Flair for the World title in the finale of the Bash. Almost forgot about that, although I think the timeframe is such that Flair will have it back by the next episode anyway.
Nelson Royal v. Mitch Snow
Royal gets a pair of armdrags to control, but Snow hiptosses him and controls with a headlock. And that goes on for a surprisingly long period of time, before Royal breaks free and Snow slams him. Royal comes back with a small package to finish at 3:57. Nice little story, although Snow should have attacked him to go heel afterwards.
Tully Blanchard is tired of Ron “Glass Jaw” Garvin and he’s gonna get rid of him at the finale.
The Rock N Roll Express is all fired up (well, at least Morton is, who the fuck knows what Gibson is saying) and ready to sing with David Allen Cole in Atlanta.
National title: Tully Blanchard v. Sam Houston
Houston gets a quick rollup for two and slugs away on Tully, backdropping him out of the corner and following with an elbow. Slam gets two. He grabs a headlock, but Tully rolls him over, so Houston dropkicks him down and goes back to the headlock. Tully bails to escape, but Houston suplexes him back in for two. Tully finally tosses him in frustration and JJ adds his shot on the floor, and we take a break. Back with Tully dropping an elbow for two. Backbreaker and he goes to work on the back with elbows. Houston fights back, but Tully sends him to the floor again and JJ uses the SIZE TWELVE OF DEATH. Back in, and Tully just calmly sends him back to the floor again on the other side of the ring. Houston comes back in with a sunset flip for two, and a backslide for two. Atomic drop and he slugs away in the corner with Tully selling it like nuts, but Tully just absorbs it until he can get an atomic drop. Slingshot suplex finishes at 9:30. Good ending, I really liked the rope-a-dope strategy from Tully there. ***
Khrusher Khruschev harbors much anger against the Road Warriors, but he’s pretty happy that Nikita is up 3-0 against Magnum in the US title series. At least he doesn’t bother trying a Russian accent.
Ron Garvin analyzes the previous match, and notes that he’d do things much differently than Sam Houston did in there.
The Rock N Roll Express v. The Andersons
Robert slugs it out with Ole to start and then ducks out of the ring to prevent any damage to his face. Back in, Arn takes a shot at him, but Robert brings him down with a flying headscissors into a dropkick, and this time AA bails. Back in, it’s over to Ricky, and he wants to break Arn’s nose in return for having his own broke. He takes Arn down and rams his face into the mat, and indeed Arn sells the nose and runs away again. Ole tries to slow it down, but the RNR double-team him and Ricky slugs him down. The Andersons regroup and focus on Robert, as Arn goes for the arm and tosses him into the railing. Back in, he holds the standing armbar and cranks on it, and we switch to Ole. And we take a break. Back with the Horsemen switching off and stomping the shit out of Robert’s arm, but it’s a hot tag to Ricky as the place goes batshit insane. He slugs the Andersons down, and goes to the top with a missile dropkick on Arn. Neckbreaker and it’s over to Ole, but Ricky takes him down right away and starts working on his leg. The Express double-team the leg and Robert works on a leglock, as does Ricky. They even engage in some Horsemen-esque cheating behind the ref’s back, letting Arn get suckered in to save and then torturing Ole in their corner. Ole finally makes the ropes, and then lets Ricky get too far into the heel corner before headbutting him down to take over. Arn adds some shots of his own, but Arn gets dragged back to the other corner and Robert comes with another round of punishment for the leg. Ricky hooks an Indian deathlock and we have to take another break.
We’re back and Ricky is finally getting the shit kicked out of him, as it should be. Nice spot as they put Ricky’s head on the bottom turnbuckle and Ole just stands on his face, drawing one of the biggest shrieks of horror I’ve ever heard from a crowd. Arn goes to a chinlock and goes for the nose, but Ricky headbutts out of it. Ole elbows him down for two, however, and adds a backbreaker for two. Ricky of course plays right to the camera, cringing like his spleen is being ripped out. See, that’s some great camera work there. They slug it out in the corner and Ole gives him in the boot in the face again, then elbows him down into the heel corner for two. Ricky fights out of a knucklelock, sadly not with the shoulder walk spot, but Arn tosses him again. Ricky fights back in with a flying bodypress, but he uses too much energy and Ole cuts off the tag. Ricky gives him a bodypress too, for two, and it’s back to Arn, who cuts off the tag again. Robert has finally had enough and storms in, and it’s BONZO GONZO. The ref allows the tag, I guess, and Robert gets a small package on Arn for two and follows with a suplex. Ricky goes up while Robert rolls up Ole for two, but whatever spot that was gets forgotten about. The Anderson go back to double-teaming Robert in the corner, but he gets a sleeper and they ring the bell at 24:24, which would be a 30-minute draw with commercials. Always a great match with these teams, although the whole thing kind of fell apart at the end and lost the groove. ****
NWA World tag titles: The Midnight Express v. Dusty Rhodes & Magnum TA
And once again we’ve got like a minute of TV time left here. And we’re desperately out of time!
Not as good an episode as last week’s, but you can’t ask for much better than a 30 minute Andersons v. Rock N Roll Express main event on free TV, man.