I’ve been trying like hell to stay ahead of certain websites in reviewing these Mid-South shows but sometimes life gets in the way. If you don’t want to work between Christmas and New Year’s, work for a school or something. Anything but mutual funds with a 12/31 year end. Anyway, we got a new theme for the Mid-South show that’s ok but not as funky as the earlier one. Jim Ross and Joel Watts host with Boyd Pierce channeling his inner Don Cherry in serving as ring announcer. I mean, look at that freaking outfit.
The TV title is now vacant because champion Terry Taylor beat Ted DiBiase is pissed about it, saying he didn’t sign a contract for the match. He thought it was for the TV title only but Jim Ross cites a verbal agreement. Hmmm, I’ll have to see the tape. But I can’t on the network because Shawn Michaels isn’t in the episode. Butch Reed shows up looking dapper in a suit and tells Ted to stop whining, but instead DiBiase gets flustered and leaves. Reed vows to get back into contention, which isn’t exactly the most inspiring promo I’ve ever heard. I may not understand JYD, but I FEEL him. I don’t feel Butch Reed.
Last week the Dirty White Boys started beating the hell out of the Rock and Roll Express and we get raw footage with no commentary. It’s pretty awesome: you hear all these screams from the girls scared for their beloved RnRs. The locker room clears out to break this up but it’s really well done. Lack of commentary really helped this. It takes multiple guys to separate all four parties.
Gen. Skandor Akbar is here to tell you about how great Kamala and the Barbarian are. Which Barbarian? Stay tuned!
Barbarian vs Josh Stroud: This Barbarian wears trunks, not tights like the Barbarian we know and love from the Powers of Pain. He shows off power, throws a bad clothesline and finishes with a full nelson before apparently getting DQ’d for beating out Stroud too long after the bell. Butch Reed is in to save but gets his suit torn off. That’s not a good sign, but he does fight back and the locker room empties. This Barbarian is John Nord, aka the Berzerker, and a man referred to in a recent podcast I listened to as “a guy with a bright future in 1985 who crashed and burned by 1986.” Fake Brody was his ceiling.
Butch Reed tells us he’s mad that his clothes are ruined, and is going to be taking this to the streets. Michael McDonald could not be reached for comment.
Now for the reason why this episode is available: Dr. Death Steve Williams teams with DiBiase to face Pvt. Terry Daniels and this Shawn Michaels dude. The Doc pitches Daniels from a side headlock in a move that looked cool and this prompts JR to list off his football credentials because that’s his thing. Williams has his arm worked over until he’s had enough and lays in a clothesline. DiBiase is in and it’s time for school: double knees, back elbow, double back elbow. Ted puts his head down allowing Michaels to tag in but DiBiase finished with a clothesline-power slam-figure four triad. Shawn sells the knee so well in defeat I am pretty sure he lost his smile.
Kamala vs Terry Taylor for the latter’s newly won North American title: Ross says the belt is “27 lbs of gold and silver” which seems excessive. Taylor dodges everything early but then is caught and tossed around. Lot of choking accompanied by Ross and Watts explain that Kamala doesn’t understand rules. Joel Watts really is like Troy Aikman on commentary. This is a very long heat segmment, as Taylor ducks an elbow, but then misses a dropkick. Kamala hits a splash, but decides to go to the top rope. His handler Friday tries to stop him and while that happens Taylor is outside now and Akbar throws him to the post, busting him open. Ah, for the days of casual blood in TV matches. Kamala bites the wound then misses a charge. An Irish whip reversal sequence sees a ref bump in the corner. Taylor scores with a forearm, but no ref. Jake Roberts comes down and gets suplexed immediately. Kamala goes for a slam but falls backward over Jake and Taylor gets the pin from that. Fun little match. Kamala goes nuts on everyone within his parameter as JR gets very yelly and too excited, the main criticism of him from his earlier days.
Final match is a fatal four way elimination tag, which is a very rare match for this era. The teams: Rock and Roll Express, Tom Prichard/Brad Armstrong, Jake Roberts/Jack Victory, and the Dirty White Boys. One thing you notice right away is the faster pace with all the various parties. Next thing is how when Prichard gets pinned with a Samoan drop, nobody tries to break up the pin. Way to sleep at the switch, Brad Armstrong. Quick tags between the two heel teams lead to them working over Robert Gibson. When he gets a tag to Ricky Morton, Victory eats a double dropkick and is pinned. Sadly, JR tells us there is no time this week for the final fall. Eh, I’m fine with it. I just wish I could see more Mid-South.
But wait, there’s more! Kerry Von Erich is coming in soon, so there’s a video that starts off like the homoerotic stuff from Rocky III montages and ends with highlights of his matches. It all comes off as fantastic.
Summary: Helluva show. Ted DiBiase destroying Shawn Michaels, a terrific David vs Goliath match, and a fast paced tag match. Just start watching Mid-South on WWE Network, ok? Like Abe Simpson with the Super Bowl, we gotta support this thing or it might not make it.