As mentioned in the last entry, I’ll be reviewing more Mid-South shows since there are plenty to work through on the WWE Network. This episode aired on 08/04/1984 smack dab in the middle of the Los Angeles Summer Olympics. Our hosts are Jim Ross and Joel Watts, son of Bill. Joel did the video packages for Mid-South which are generally excellent and much better than his tepid commentary work. The main event will be Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Junkyard Dog challenging the Midnight Express in a no DQ match for the Mid-South tag team titles.
Bill Watts is with Terry Taylor at ringside and starts blathering about a decision that was reversed in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Olympics between an American and a Canadian. He refers to the 136 lb division, which is really 62 kg but the Cowboy is a man and won’t be taken in by that metric system nonsense. He says that Mid-South will NEVER reverse a decision, which seems like a rash reaction to an Olympic event he saw on TV. Did he watch the 1972 men’s basketball gold medal game?
The footage of Taylor taking on Krusher Kruschev is shown. Taylor was the TV champion but instead of a belt he has a medal, which was stolen by Dr. Death Steve Williams who promised to give it back if he beat Krusher. Taylor gets busted open by Doc on the outside, but scores the win with a reverse rolling cradle. Being a good sport, Williams smacked Taylor with the medal after the match. Watts expresses disappointment in the Oklahoma product and gives the medal back to Taylor, who is pretty much only allowed to say thank you so as not to cut into Bill Watts’ time.
Jim Cornette has something to say before his bodyguard Hercules Hernandez takes on Rocky Smith. He’s upset that he’ll be fined for using his tennis racket because how could that hurt someone as opposed to a 2X4 or chain? Corny promises to be on commentary with Jim Ross for a brief glimpse of the future Clash 10 PBP team. “It’s so nice to have me!” is the way Cornette welcomes himself. They put over Hercules’ finisher the Shinanomachi which is more commonly known now as a cobra clutch or Million Dollar Dream. The move is put over by Cornette as having been used by “Orientals” in guerrilla combat and explains of the move. Hey, I’ll take your word for it. Herc destroys the poor guy in about 2 minutes.
Jim Ross throws it to Bill Watts who will further discuss the rules crackdowns with the injured Sonny King, who has to sit there for what feels like 45 minutes as Watts goes through the history of gimmick matches, including talking about how he invented the Bunkhouse Stampede and all these other things year by year. Hercules has busted up King’s shoulder with Duggan’s 2X4 which was just lying around. King doesn’t say when he’ll be back saying it’s a secret and probably a HIPPA violation. Ok, he didn’t say that last part but he did play to emotion by talking about his 10 year old kid who wondered if his dad would wrestle again.
The Fantastics come out in their finest white hats and jackets to face Bob Owens and Tim Horton. Wait, what? This makes me want a cup of coffee, which accurately describes this match. Owens is monkey flipped and drop kicked before he tags out. Joel Watts finally says something on commentary and reminds me of Troy Aikman on FOX NFL telecasts: perfectly amiable but never says anything memorable. Even has a similar kind of voice.
Dr. Death takes on Rick McCord next and Jim Ross is all too happy to discuss Williams’ college football prowess and strength. The good doctor is still very green at this point at age 24, but he wins with the Oklahoma Stampede power slam in short order.
Main event time: Cornette interrupts ring announcer Boyd Pierce telling him that he “looks like an explosion in a fireworks plant.” He introduces the Midnights as “the number one cause of divorce in the United States” today and Beautiful Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey enter the ring. The chyron has a spelling blooper calling them “Jim Cornett’s Midnight Express”. A funky overdub of “Another One Bites the Dust” plays for JYD and Duggan’s arrival as Ross calls this a main event in any arena in the country, lifting a Monsoon-ism.
Duggan and JYD control early, and Duggan does a spinning bodyslam which is a nice variation on a normal move. JYD can still move alright at this point in time. Eaton finally gets a tag but Condrey is reluctant to enter. He loses a test of strength to JYD and takes a headbutt. Eaton trips up JYD on a whip to give the Midnights control and crowd chants for the Dog. The two men collide and both teams tag and we break down with all four in the ring since hey, it’s no DQ, right? Referee is bumped out of the ring. Cornette takes advantage of the chaos to throw powder in the Dog’s eyes. Duggan starts choking Cornette, but Hercules does his job to guard the body and runs down to wallop Duggan with a coal miner’s glove. Eaton covers for the win. What a shame, but Duggan is still king of the taped fist since there was no tape.
Cornette tells us there is nothing in the rules against a coal miner’s glove which is akin to the “there’s nothing that says you can’t use a sumo wrestler as a goalie” type of thing.
For some reason, that is not the last match as Buddy Landel and Krusher Kruschev will face the Pretty Young Things, named for the fantastic song off Michael Jackson’s Thriller album. The PYTs are Koko B. Ware and Norvell Austin, out of Memphis. Ross and Watts talk about how there is no time remaining and they may reschedule the bout. Landel misses a charge and Austin controls with a side headlock. Under a minute left and Landel hits a stun gun on Austin, but Koko gets in with 30 seconds to go and hits a beautiful dropkick. Jim Ross counts down as the match breaks down with all four in the ring as the bell sounds. I’m cool with this match being at this point in the show as it allowed these guys to cut a fast pace and give us something more worthwhile than a promo to close the show.
Summary: Once you get past the Bill Watts Blather section, this is a mighty fine wrestling program. I just wish they had every week uploaded but there is much more content as they move into 1985/86.