Old school fans seem to love Mid-South wrestling for their storytelling in the year 1984 so a peek at the 03/30/1984 episode added to WWE Network is needed post haste. Very excited at the top when I see the hosts are Jim Ross and 22 year old Jim Cornette, who is filling in for Bill Watts today in part because Corny has been crossing the Cowboy left and right lately. Cornette is very upset with Ross because he is not talking enough about his Midnight Express and what they have been doing recently.
Footage is shown from an earlier show of the Midnights with a celebratory cake, and when there is cake near a wrestling ring we all know what happens next. As he is cutting the cake, the Rock and Roll Express run out and shove Cornette’s face into the cake and he is none too pleased about it, threatening to sue the world for how he has been wronged. Bill Watts comes out and tells Cornette that he thought the whole thing was funny. Cornette calls him a “washed up cowboy” and suggests that maybe he will buy Mid-South with his mama’s money and is poking at Watts, who keeps calling Cornette a “sissy” which seems like such a 1980s term at this point. Watts gets touched one too many times so he slaps Cornette across the face.
In the interest of equal time, Cornette started taunting Watts as he tried to interview Butch Reed at ringside. The Midnights come out and beat Watts down, busting him open in the process. I enjoyed how Reed kind of slowly walked away from the scene because he wanted nothing to do with any of this.
Because this is his show, we get another Watts promo saying he wants to humiliate Cornette because he already knows he can beat him up. He wants a one time match with the Express but now needs to find a partner, and wants that man to be Junkyard Dog. We see a video of Watts going to visit JYD on some farm, but JYD tells him he had to leave town for a while. I must note that the whipping wind is killing the audio on this and I wish they had filmed this indoors. Despite emotional pleas to JYD, even evoking the famous “blinding cream” angle with the Freebirds, the Dog says no but that he knows someone named Stagger Lee who might be able to help him who lives nearby. At this point they go back to the arena and the crowd cheers that name because JYD had wrestled as the masked Lee several years earlier under similar circumstances.
Instead of going to find Lee himself, Watts sends Jim Ross instead and it is insisted that JR wander through a field looking for Stagger Lee so that Lee’s identity not be given away to anyone. This is pretty funny stuff; it is Jim Ross’ rendition of sorts. I can barely understand Lee as they got airplanes flying overhead drowning out the audio. He says he’ll help Watts, and then we see a video of Lee in action from 1982, easily pinning a very flustered Ted DiBiase.
Because we have not gotten enough Bill Watts today, we get a two minute video of him in action from the 1970s against opponents like Terry Funk and Killer Karl Fox and Watts pinning both of them. They also set up a stipulation as Watts has a woman’s dress behind him: if he wins, Cornette has to wear this, one of his mother’s dresses. Immediately, I wonder how Watts would have gotten the dress, but he also has a large diaper and a baby bottle for Cornette also.
Finally, we get to some actual in-ring wrestling, maybe. Mr. Wrestling II is the North American champion and he tells the ring announcer that he is now “Wrestling I”. His opponent is the homely looking Mike Jackson, who gets loud female cheers for some reason; that is because Magnum TA has come out to challenge Wrestling II, who argues that he defends against who they tell him to and that it’s not TA’s turn. Magnum doesn’t care about the title, he’ll fight non-title and if he loses he’ll leave Mid-South. Wrestling II decided to just leave the ring leaving that battle for another day.
Is this 1987 WWF? You might be fooled since the next match is Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs Nikolai Volkoff. This brawl lasts all of a minute before the other Russians come out to beat down Duggan with a coal miner’s glove. Hacksaw mostly fights out of it, but the other babyfaces including the Rock and Roll Express are out to save him and another brawl ensues. Terry Taylor is there and is ambushed by Butch Reed, but Taylot throws him into the ring post on the outside, hurting him arm. All during this, the damn timekeeper would not stop ringing the bell which would be fine except the noise of it was extremely irritating.
Reed and Taylor are to match up next in the semi-finals of the TV title tournament but Reed’s right arm is in a sling.However, this is all a ruse as Reed lays a whooping on Taylor with the same coal miner’s glove as earlier. He gets DQ’d for tossing the ref which apparently meant he wanted to beat down Taylor more than winning the tournament. JR says he was “expelled” from the tournament which is pretty nice phrasing.
(Idle thought about Taylor: I wonder now if the Red Rooster thing was a rib on the volume of women he had been with. We all know from either science class or that Seinfeld episode that the Rooster has sex with everyone.)
After a quick squash by Masao Ito with the usual stereotype Asian offense, we are shown the EXACT SAME Bill Watts video from earlier in the show. Jeez, were they trying to bury Terry Funk here because he gets pinned with a pretty mild powerslam. Ross wraps by telling us who is in action next week.
Summary: I kind of wish I could see the next week’s show since Butch Reed and Buddy Landel are in tag action and they made a pretty good team. RAW in 2015 can be repetitive, but they usually don’t show the same video package twice in a 20 minute span. They were telling a good story here and there was some good stuff: Magnum TA’s challenge and Cornette being Cornette.