Starrcade ’86

This week’s review is brought to you by Crockett’s Scaffolds! They’re having a special double blow out sale! Order your scaffold now and they guarantee that their road warrior delivery drivers will get your express shipment there by midnight! If you don’t believe me then just look at the face of this satisfied customer!

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)

Starrcade

November 27, 1986 (Thanksgiving)

Greensboro Coliseum & The Omni

Greensboro, NC & Atlanta, GA

Welcome to Starrcade ‘86, The Night of the Skywalkers! I have to express my disappointment that neither Luke, Leia, nor even Anakin made an appearance! We didn’t even get Shmi! False advertising!!

Once again, the show is emanating from both Greensboro and Atlanta. Thankfully Crockett didn’t follow the WWF’s lead and try 3 venues. We open with the generic sounding Starrcade theme and a laser light show on the screens above the ring. The lasers spell out Starrcade ‘86. I would recommend looking away if you have epilepsy. We get a wide shot of the ring, which is surrounded by a tall scaffold for the Skywalker Match.

Next, we have the national anthem being played over the speakers. It’s a nice symphonic rendition of the song. It was quite epic sounding and got me amped for the show…until it began skipping at the end. We are then introduced to the two commentary teams for the night. Tony Schiavone and Rick Stewart will do commentary in Atlanta, while Bob Caudle and Johnny Weaver will handle commentary in Greensboro. Everyone, except for Caudle, will pull double duty helping with the ring announcing and backstage interviews. I’m guessing that running two venues spread their crew thin.

Tim Horner & Nelson Royal vs. Rocky & Don Kernodle

During the introductions, Weaver tells us that the Super Bowl could not be bigger. That is quite a lofty claim. We will see if this show holds up to it. Before the match starts, I notice that time has not been generous to Don Kernodle. He seems to have gained some weight and aged about 10 years since we saw him last. Sadly, it affects this match, somewhat.

Rocky and Tim start and we get some dueling arm drags, followed by quick counters, reversals, and missed move attempts. When Don enters the match, he shows some signs of trouble lifting Tim for a move. Horner and Royal take control early and Tim gets a sleeper, but we get a cool spot where Don tags out and Rocky sunset flips into the ring to break the hold. The two teams fight back and forth until both men are taken down by a jumping nothing into each other. It looked like they attempted a jumping chest bump, but it ended badly. Don manages to tag in and goes for a diving headbutt off of the top that he had no chance of hitting because Horner was way too far away. However, Don does manage to nearly decapitate Tim with a nasty looking clothesline. Unfortunately, Don becomes so gassed that he has to tag back out again. Rocky attempts to roll up Horner, but Tim reverses it and gets a 3 count for the win. For some reason, the fans boo the outcome. I guess they prefer the Kernodles.

It was a decent opener. It’s a shame that Don wasn’t in better shape because he showed signs of still being good. There were a couple of good spots, so it was still enjoyable, for the most part.

Winners: Horner & Royal

Brad Armstrong vs. Jimmy Garvin w/ Precious

We go to Atlanta, for our second match of the night. Garvin makes his way to the ring in a sparkly getup, complete with a fur cloak. He is accompanied by his Precious! He proceeds to tell Armstrong that he can’t have her…filthy Armstrong! Okay, I may have made up that last part. Precious helps Garvin to strip out of his entrance gear and while this is happening I notice that the ref for this match looks exactly like Dauber from the TV show Coach. Apparently, his name is Scrappy McGowan, which is a name that fits him perfectly.

The two men fight for control to start and after a clean break, Garvin tells the fans to “Shut their stinkin’ mouths”. Another lockup leads to angry shoving between the two men and eventually a stalemate. The crowd is absolutely hot for this match. Precious is on the outside, cheering on Jimmy, and I swear that she has a mic because she is loud! The two men fight for control of a standing wristlock and Brad comes out on top. He begins working Jimmy’s arm, which leads to dueling arm wringers. There is lots of back and forth and Garvin keeps using tight pulling to gain an advantage. This leads to Garvin working over Brad’s leg for a while, while yelling “He ain’t going nowhere”. Control shifts back and forth, but Garvin keeps going to the hair and the tights for shortcuts. Garvin keeps going back to a head scissors, which Brad, at one point, does a handstand to escape. Cheating and distractions from Precious allow Garvin to maintain control of the match, until Brad finally fights back. Unfortunately, the cameraman missed his comeback because he was zoomed in on Garvin’s face. Precious begins pouting because Brad is in control. Garvin tries, in vain, to reverse Brad’s moves, but Brad keeps taking him down with a headlock takeover. Brad then locks in a headlock for so long that the ref starts checking Garvin’s arm, but he remains conscious. Eventually, Garvin fights back and sends Brad to the outside. He keeps him at bay, whenever he tries to re-enter the ring, and we are told that there are only 3 minutes left in the match. Garvin ends up hitting a weak looking backbreaker, that makes Tony say “Oooh” in a disappointed sounding voice. The two men then collide and are down for an 8 count, as we reach one minute left. They fight back and forth with a few pin reversals, but neither man can get a 3. Garvin ends up going for a flying splash, off of the top, but it’s too late. The bell rings to signal that time has run out on the match. Afterwards, Precious gets in Brad’s face and the fans get loud. Garvin tries to sucker punch him, but gets knocked out of the ring. Precious holds him back, as he feigns wanting to get back in the ring. He yells “I can beat him” and “You’re lucky she’s holding me back”.

It was a solid match, but it was a bit rest hold heavy for my taste. There was some good stuff in there, but you could tell they were drawing out spots to fill the time. The ending was disappointing. One thing I noticed during the match is that when the wrestlers hit the ropes too hard, they bump into the scaffold. You could hear them hit the metal, which can’t be good.

Winner: Time Limit Draw

Hector Guerrero & Baron von Raschke vs. Shaska Whatley & The Barbarian

This is a match-up of rather strange pairings and equally silly outfits. Hector and Baron come to the ring to some Mariachi music and Hector is wearing a sombrero and some bullet sashes. Shaska and Barbarian are already in the ring. Barbarian is wearing some half-hearted attempt at chain-mail and Shaska looks like the world’s most dapper stripper, in his bow-tie, coat and tails, and a top hat over his ring gear. It is quite the motley crew in the ring.

Barbarian and Shaska jump the other team to start and it becomes a brawl. Hector and Baron finally gain control by whipping Barbarian and Shaska into each other. Hector then shows off his speed, but Barbarian is able to quickly overpower him. The two fight back and forth and Barbarian attempts to tie Hector into the ropes, but can’t. Shaska ends up holding him in place, while Barbarian attempts a running cross body, but Hector moves and Barbarian crashes to the outside. Hector does a running cross body over the top rope and onto Barbarian, which pops both the crowd and the commentators. Shaska jumps Hector on the outside, to regain control for his team. They throw Hector back inside and use frequent tags to keep him subdued. Barbarian works over Hector with some power moves and back body drops. Eventually, Hector tries to fight for a tag, but Baron seems to have developed alligator arms as he reaches out his hand. At one point, a dazed Hector crawls to the wrong corner, in what was a funny little spot. Barbarian then hits Hector with a couple of backbreakers and nearly pulls his tights down in the process. He then tags in Shaska and the crowd chant “Bald headed geek” at him, which annoys him. Hector finally gets a hot tag, by spitting in Shaska’s face and diving for his corner. Baron is in and hits a double noggin’ knocker, some eye pokes, and then locks on the Iron Claw. Barbarian breaks it up and we get another four-man brawl, until Shaska misses a charging shoulder into the corner and Baron hits him with an elbow drop. Baron then covers him for a 3 count and the win. After the match, Barbarian and Shaska attack Baron, but Hector makes the save.

This was a fun little match and thankfully Baron’s involvement was kept to a minimum. Hector Guerrero was absolutely great in this match. He’s the main reason it was entertaining.

Winners: Guerrero & Raschke

Johnny Weaver, who had left the commentary booth mid-match, is backstage. He is standing in front of the door to Dusty Rhodes’ dressing room and says he wants to try and get a word with Dusty. He knocks on the door, as he’s opening it (He went to the Lord Alfred Hayes school of interview etiquette, I see). He asks Dusty for a word, but Rhodes tells him that he doesn’t want to talk and to leave him alone.

No DQ Match for the U.S. Tag Team Titles: Krusher Khruschev & Ivan Koloff (c) vs. The Kansas Jayhawks

The Kansas Jayhawks are Dutch Mantel (Zeb Colter) and Bobby Jaggers. They are wearing matching cowboy outfits. When they take them off, I notice that Dutch seems to be wearing some sort of fur coat. Oh wait…that’s his body hair. For some reason, Dutch has shaved his back hair to fit the openings of his singlet. The two teams are announced and the Russians lift their titles into the air. Krusher gives us a nice grunt of “HAY-YAHHHH” as he lifts his title.

The match starts off hard hitting and the Jayhawks take control. They work over Ivan for awhile and tag in and out, to stay fresh. Ivan does manage to tag out because Dutch does little to stop him, despite holding him in an arm wringer. The commentators then bring up that Dutch has a whip in his corner, which he has named “Shoo Baby”. This ends up being another one of those matches where the ref seems determined to enforce rules, despite it being No DQ. I guess this is simply the NWA style, but it annoys me. The ref looks foolish for trying to warn the wrestlers and the wrestlers look foolish for listening to him, since they cannot be disqualified. The story of the match is that both teams are unafraid to use shortcuts to get an advantage. The Jawhawks use their old dirty tactics to maintain control for a bit and outsmart the Russians. Dutch puts on the brakes, when almost missing an elbow charge into the corner. However, Krusher manages to pull Dutch out of the ring and slam his head into the commentators table. He then slams him knee first across the guardrail. The Russians take over and begin using the Jayhawks own tactics against them, but Dutch manages to fight back and make a hot tag. Bobby comes in and hits a double noggin’ knocker (Is that a mandatory hot tag maneuver?). All four men end up brawling in the ring and Dutch grabs “Shoo Baby”. He begins whipping both of the Russians with it and takes Krusher outside the ring, but Krusher gets a chain. He uses the chain to knock out Dutch and then nails Bobby, so that Ivan can cover for the 3. The crowd boos as the Russians celebrate with their belts.

This was a pretty good match. I liked the story they told with it.

Winners: Khruschev & Koloff

Indian Strap Match: Wahoo McDaniel vs. Rick Rude w/ Paul Jones

The next match is back in Greensboro, where the lights are out and a female voice begins to speak. “Ricky, you’re so ravishing. Where did you come from?” the voice says, before sexy lounge music begins playing. Rick Rude then walks to the ring, with Paul Jones. Wahoo is out next, but he simply has the default Starrcade music, on the network. Tom Miller says that this match is “A fight to the finish” (Aren’t they all?). He then explains the rules of a strap match. As usual, you have to drag your opponent around and touch all four corners. In the ring, Wahoo mimes that he wants to scalp Rude. He then demands that Rude put on the strap first, but Jones throws it down and tells Wahoo to do it. Paul backs off when Wahoo threatens to attack, but Wahoo ends up putting on the strap, followed by Rude. Rude then poses for a second, to cheers from the women, but Wahoo has enough of that and gives him a tap with the strap.

Wahoo shortens the strap, to start, and whips at Rude a few times. Rick tries to bail, but he gets pulled back into the ring. Rude takes control with a few wrestling moves, but it quickly devolves into whipping Wahoo with the strap. He nails Wahoo in the head with it, until he is bleeding a little. He then ties up Wahoo’s hands and begins dragging him around, but he only hits 2 corners before he’s stopped. Wahoo takes control and returns the favor until Rude is bleeding, as well. He then ties Rude’s hands and drags him to 3 corners, while touching them with his back. Rude kicks him down, before the 4th. He hits a fist drop and tries to tie up Wahoo again, but gets pulled down to the mat. Wahoo takes back control and drags Rude to 3 corners. Rude tries to fight off the attempt at the last one and seemingly takes control, but he ends up knocking Wahoo into the 4th corner and Wahoo gets the win. Rude immediately attacks and tries to tie Wahoo into the ropes, but Hector Guerrero and Baron run in to stop him.

I don’t care much for strap matches. It’s hard to get excited about people dragging each other around the ring and slapping turnbuckles. This one was decent, for such a gimmick, but it still fell flat for me.

Winner: Wahoo McDaniel

Rick Stewart is backstage with The Russians. You can barely hear Rick for the first few seconds, before his mic starts working properly. Ivan Koloff talks about how they “outsmarted” and “out beated” the “Jayhawkers”. He then starts talking about the upcoming Bunkhouse Stampede event and how they are looking forward to the thousands of American dollars that they will make. He turns his attention next to Dusty Rhodes. He says that they will beat Dusty for poisoning the mind of Nikita Koloff. He says that he hopes Nikita beats Flair later because it will be a fitting punishment to take the title away from Nikita. Ivan says he trained Nikita and that he’s a stubborn man. Krusher talks next, and still is simply using his American accent. He says that he’s known Nikita for a long time and demands the first title shot, if Nikita wins. He says that if Nikita declines, then he’s a traitor and a coward. He then says that he too will beat Dusty Rhodes, for what he’s done. Ivan then brings up the Bunkhouse Stampede again and repeats his line about wanting to capture thousands of American dollars. The promo ends with Krusher mugging and growling for the camera.

NWA Central States Title Match: Sam Houston (c) vs. Bill Dundee

We are back in Atlanta and the two men are already in the ring. Dundee is wearing a sparkly jacket and has a rather unique body shape. As he’s announced, a small contingent of female fans starts a “Let’s go Bill” chant, which genuinely seems to surprise Dundee. Bill moves around the ring, as the announcements continue, and nearly blocks the camera shot of Sam Houston being announced.

We get an aggressive start and Bill takes Sam down to the mat, by the hair. The ref admonishes him, but Dundee tells him to shut up. Sam takes over and hits a flying head scissors, but he doesn’t get much height and spikes Bill’s head into the mat. Sam uses his quickness to maintain control, until Bill begs off and calls for a timeout. Dundee regains control with some more hair pulling and starts locking in some holds. He keeps telling the ref to ask if Sam gives up, even when he’s barely doing anything to him. Sam goes for a bulldog, but it’s blocked. He tries a roll-up, but Bill blocks it as well, by yanking Sam’s tights right up his crack. He then tosses Sam to the outside, where Houston clips the edge of the commentary table and cries out in legitimate pain. Sam catches Bill on the outside and hits an atomic drop, which sends Dundee tumbling over the guardrail. Bill then gets sling-shotted into the ring and Sam goes for a cover, but gets shoved neck first into the rope. At one point, Sam attempts to reverse a Boston Crab, but gets caught up in the ropes for an awkward spot. Bill later makes up for this botch by doing a short tightrope walk and hitting a flying axehandle, which was pretty cool looking, for him. Sam fights back, but misses a knee drop. Bill begins working the leg, but gets shoved into the ref. Thinking that the ref is down, Bill grabs Sam’s boot and nails him in the head with it, but the ref catches him and calls for a DQ. A furious Bill attempts to hit Sam with the boot again, but the ref stops him.

It was good while it lasted. This was my first time seeing Dundee in action and I was impressed. His moves were crisp and looked good, but that might also be because he was being quite stiff with Sam, at times.

Winner: Sam Houston (By DQ)

Hair vs. Hair Match: Jimmy Valiant w/ Big Mama vs. Paul Jones w/ Manny Fernandez

The entrances seem to have been edited off of the network version. For a brief second music starts, but we then cut to the wrestlers already in the ring. We are told that it is Big Mama’s hair that is on the line against Jones’ hair. Valiant had already lost a hair match against Jones and Mama put her hair on the line to get him another shot at Paul. We are also told that Manny Fernandez will be suspended in a cage, above the ring, during the match. Manny doesn’t want to go into the cage and tries to take a seat at ringside, but the ref insists that he come with him. Some wrestlers show up to force Manny into the cage and he tries to fight them off, but Wahoo McDaniel ends up chopping Manny into the cage. He is then lifted into the air, while Paul Jones protests. As the cage is being raised, someone’s hand enters the camera shot and flips off Manny.

Valiant starts off with some exaggerated punches and a weak looking clothesline. He tosses Jones around the ring and hits him in the throat with his thumb. He then gives Paul a series of front and back rakes, but Jones pulls out a pair of brass knuckles and clocks Valiant with them. He starts beating him down and we see that Jimmy is bleeding. Jones manages to get a 2 count, but Valiant gets his foot on the rope. He then goes for a knee drop and misses, so he goes back to the brass knuckles to maintain control. He attempts an Indian Deathlock on Jimmy, but gets pushed away and Jimmy gets a sleeper hold. Jones tries to use the knucks again, but Valiant pushes him into the corner, causing him to drop them. Jimmy gets a hold of the knucks and uses them on Jones, before covering him for a 3 count, as the fans go crazy. Jimmy wastes no time in grabbing the clippers and going to town on Jones’ hair. His hair comes off quite smoothly, which usually doesn’t happen in these matches. Manny’s cage is slowly lowered and he quickly jumps into the ring to attack Valiant. Rick Rude shows up and helps Manny attack. They get a chair and lift Valiant up, before dropping him head-first onto it, in what was a nasty looking spot. Some wrestlers run in, to stop the attack, so Manny, Rude, and a bald Jones high-tail it to the back.

I was dreading another Valiant outing, but this one ended up being decent enough. They kept it thankfully short and it served its purpose. The post-match antics were good enough to make up for the rest.

Winner: Jimmy Valiant

The show is at an intermission, so Tony throws it to Bob Taylor in the control center. Bob talks about the upcoming Bunkhouse Stampede and then introduces a video of Nelson Royal explaining the Bunkhouse Stampede Match.

Nelson is sitting at a campfire, drinking a cup of coffee. He tells us that he participated in the first Bunkhouse Stampede Match and broke his arm. He then explains the history of the match. He tells of how men, who slept in the bunkhouse, would settle their differences in a brawl. They would step outside, dressed as they were, and have a fight. He tells us that Dory Funk Jr. was the one who invented the match and calls it one of the most dangerous matches. We see clips of a previous Bunkhouse Stampede, as Nelson explains that it is basically a battle royale, where you dress in street clothes, there are no rules, and weapons are allowed. The winner is the last man standing. He then concludes by saying that the winner can call himself the “Bull of the Woods”. It was an amusing video, but the guitar music nearly drowned out Nelson’s talking.

Bob Taylor then talks about last year’s Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup, which was a tag team tournament. We see clips of the Midnight Express winning their match. Bob then says that this year’s Crockett Cup will be extended to two nights. Next, we get more highlights, this time of Tiger Mask & Giant Baba getting a win. Bob plugs the next Crockett Cup, which will take place in Baltimore before we get highlights of The Road Warriors beating Ron Garvin & Magnum T.A. in the finals. They are presented with a trophy by Jim Crockett Jr., Bill Watts, and Crockett Sr.’s widow.

Louisville Street Fight: Big Bubba Rogers w/ Jim Cornette vs. Ron Garvin

Next, we are in Atlanta, for a Louisville Street Fight. I’m just glad to see that Ronnie Garvin is dressed normally this year. Bubba comes out to a knock-off of the Peter Gunn theme. I believe that he originally came out to the real theme, but it’s been edited off of the network version. Tony does the ring announcing, except for Bubba, who is introduced by Cornette. Jim calls Bubba “The Baddest Man in the World”. Tony then explains the rules of the match, telling us that it can only end with a pinfall or a 10 count. On the outside, Cornette exclaims, “We’re gonna have some fun tonight!”

The match starts with Garvin sticking and moving. His punches can’t knock Bubba down, but they do frustrate him, so he turns to Cornette for advice. Bubba calls for a test of strength and Garvin feigns that he’s going to oblige, before punching Bubba down to the mat. Bubba bails to the outside, where Cornette rallies him and sends him back into the ring. Bubba keeps tossing Garvin out of the ring and Ronnie takes the opportunity to chase Cornette, who calls Garvin a coward. On the way back in, Garvin grabs a Coke from the commentator’s table and throws it into Bubba’s face. Bubba eventually bails and Cornette hands him an object, but he doesn’t use it right away. Jim has to remind him to use it and Bubba finally clocks Garvin with a roll of quarters. The roll explodes all over the ring and Garvin is down until a count of 8. Garvin tries to use a rope to tie up Bubba, but he fights back and gets a bear hug. Garvin headbutts his way out and keeps knocking Bubba out of the ring. They fight back inside and Garvin throws Bubba off of the top rope, but when he goes for a cover, Bubba powers out and Garvin lands on referee Tommy Young. Garvin then hits a dangerous looking pulling piledriver, but Cornette hits him with his racket. Both men are out and Young makes a 10 count, but he says there must be a winner. He declares that the first man up to his feet will win. Cornette gets into the ring to rally Bubba, but Young knocks him to the floor. Garvin almost reaches his feet, but Bubba grabs Young to distract him and Cornette knocks out Ronnie. Bubba finally gets up and is declared the winner, as a “Bullshit” chant starts in the crowd.

This was a great fun brawl. I loved the story they told in the match and the ending was creative. Bubba did great, for still being pretty early in his career.

Winner: Big Bubba Rogers

First Blood Match for the NWA TV Title: Tully Blanchard w/ J.J. Dillon vs. Dusty Rhodes (c)

Tully and J.J. make their way to the ring, but Dusty is still in his dressing room. We get a shot of his door for a moment before it opens. Dusty walks out, with a new short haircut. He has the sides of his head, just above the ears, shaved and has painted the words “Tully” in the open space. The camera follows Dusty through the backstage area and to the ring. We get the ring announcements and then see Tully putting on amateur wrestling headgear. Dusty complains so the referee Earl Hebner makes Tully remove it. J.J. then tries to smear Vaseline on Tully’s face, but Hebner uses a towel to wipe off Tully’s face. J.J. has had enough and starts yelling at Dusty, so Dusty hits him with the Bionic Elbow and starts stomping his head. Dillon is bleeding and bails to the outside for help.

The bell rings, but Tully goes outside to check on Dillon. Hebner starts counting, for some reason. You can’t have a count-out in a First Blood Match! Blanchard finally enters the ring and goes for a knee strike, but Dusty moves and beckons him to bring it. Dusty keeps Tully at bay, by threatening him with his elbow repeatedly. Each time, Tully backs away. At one point, Dusty poses in the corner and taunts Tully, but when he goes to Charge, Dusty raises his elbow in the air and Blanchard stops. The crowd is loving it, despite not much happening. Dusty finally gets his hands on him and hits a headbutt, but it seems to daze Dusty, as well. Dusty starts punching him in the corner, but Tully covers up to protect his head. Each time Dusty hits a big move to Tully’s head, he asks the ref to check for bleeding. Dusty then starts working on the legs, to try and make Tully more vulnerable. They end up fighting into a corner, but Tully trips Dusty into Hebner. Earl then catches Tully’s legs on a suplex, and is out cold. J.J. tries to interfere, but Dusty stops him and gets his shoe. He decides that he doesn’t need it and tosses it into the crowd. He uses his fists instead to bust open Tully, but Hebner is still unconscious. J.J. does his best to wipe off the blood and smears Vaseline on the cut, while Dusty tries to revive Earl. When Dusty turns back around, Tully nails him with a roll of coins and Dusty falls down next to Hebner. Earl wakes up, just in time to look into Dusty’s bloody face. He calls for the bell and awards the match to Blanchard, as Tully does his best to hide his own face. Dusty is angry and tries to explain what happened, but it’s too late. He ends up knocking Hebner out of the ring in frustration.

There was a bit too much stalling for my taste, but I loved the ending. There were some great heel tactics in the closing moments.

Winner: Tully Blanchard (New Champion)

Skywalkers Match: The Road Warriors w/ Paul Ellering vs. The Midnight Express w/ Jim Cornette & Big Bubba

We go back to Atlanta, for the scaffold match. There is another laser light show, before the entrances. This time the lasers spell out “Skywalkers” on the screen. After this, the Midnight Express come to the ring, with Cornette and Bubba. The Road Warriors are out next, but their original theme song is edited out of the network version (BOO!). The Road Warriors waste no time in climbing the scaffold and I notice that the railing on top is extremely rickety. Animal and Hawk dare the Midnights to join them, but they are reluctant. Tony then tells us that you win by throwing your opponents off of the scaffold, which doesn’t make the Midnights any more keen to climb. Dennis eventually starts his ascent, but thinks better of it. However, Cornette tells him that he has to go up there. Bobby and Dennis finally make their way to the top, as Cornette tells the commentators that this match is ridiculous and stupid.

Bobby and Dennis reach the top and the match begins. Condrey quickly crawls between Animal’s legs, but he is met by Hawk, who starts beating on him. The two teams begin fighting, but the Midnights are moving quite gingerly around the scaffold. Most of the offense comprises of punching, kicking, and eye raking. Dennis pulls out some powder and throws it into Hawk’s eyes and Bobby does the same to Animal, which gives the Midnights some confidence. They begin punching the Road Warriors and Hawk begins to dangle over the side. Animal recovers and nearly knocks Eaton off the scaffold, but he holds onto both Animal’s leg and the bottom of the walkway. Bobby’s head is slammed into the metal a few times, until he is bleeding. Dennis is busted open as well, much the same way. Condrey decides he has had enough and starts trying to climb down, but Hawk grabs him by the hair and starts punching him. The two teams end up fighting down onto the bars of the scaffold and end up climbing out onto the underside of the walkway, as if they were monkey bars. The two teams engage in a game of chicken, which Bobby and Dennis lose. Dennis is knocked down into the ring first, followed by Bobby, and the Road Warriors win.

After the match, Ellering gets Cornette’s tennis racket and chases him around. Jim begins climbing the scaffold to get away from Paul and Hawk, but he meets Animal at the top. Jim tries to climb down and hang off of the walkway, to get away from Animal, but he can’t keep his grip and falls. Bubba was supposed to catch him, but apparently got lost in the lights and watches Jim fall to the mat. Cornette would legitimately blow out both of his knees in the fall. He can be heard crying out in pain, in a comically high pitched voice, as they help him to the back.

It wasn’t great, but it certainly was a spectacle. For what it was, it was an interesting watch. It is one of those gimmicks that should have been used once, but sadly it would be used multiple times.

Winners: The Road Warriors

Back in the control center, Bob shows us clips of the previous Great American Bash tours. We see footage of The Midnight Express vs. The Rock n’ Roll Express (Man, I would love to have watched that). We see highlights of The Road Warriors & Magnum T.A. vs. The Russians, in a cage. We also see Wahoo vs. Jimmy Garvin in a strap match. Then there are clips of Jimmy Valiant vs. Shaska Whatley in a Hair vs. Hair Match, which Shaska loses. His head is shaved as fans chant “Bald headed geek” at him. There is also footage of Dusty Rhodes winning the NWA Title from Flair in a cage match. Finally, we see footage from a David Allan Coe concert, during the tour, where he brings Dusty Rhodes onto the stage.

Tony then tells us that we have another intermission and takes a moment to show us the credits. I notice that Dusty Rhodes is listed, under his real name Virgil Runnels, as Senior Producer, which basically means he’s the booker.

Cage Match for the NWA World Tag Team Titles: The Rock n’ Roll Express (c) vs. Ole & Arn Anderson

When I saw this on the card, I knew I was in for a treat. The Andersons make their way to the ring and I swear that Ole trips slightly, coming through the entrance. He plays it off so well that I’m not 100% sure. The Rock n’ Roll Express is out next, through a smoke-filled entryway. Tom Miller introduces the Andersons and then tells us to get ready to boogie, before introducing the Express. The women go crazy, but I can hear slight boos underneath, which I’m guessing is from their husbands and boyfriends.

There’s a lock-up and a tussle to start, between Ricky and Ole. Ole goes to punch him, but misses and punches the cage instead. It then devolves into a four-way brawl, before the ref can get control. Robert starts ramming Arn’s head into the cage, but the Andersons end up taking control again. Ole ends up ramming Robert into Arn’s head, but it seems to hurt Arn equally. The Express are able to get back on top, through speed, until Robert misses a knee strike in the corner and hits the cage. The Andersons pounce and start working on his hurt leg. Their offense is crisp and nasty looking (In a good way). They look like they are absolutely destroying Robert’s leg. This goes one for a while, building to the hot tag. Robert finally makes it, but Ricky is surprisingly subdued. Ole starts slamming Ricky into the cage repeatedly, until he is busted open. They grate Ricky’s face against the cage and viciously stomp on his head, while referee Hebner is focused on getting Robert out of the ring. Poor Ricky is stomped into oblivion for awhile and the Andersons then start working over his arm. Ricky tries to mount a comeback, with a running knee, but it’s not enough. Both men end up trading punches, but it’s still not enough for Ricky. Arn manages to hit his awesome spinebuster, but only gets a 2 count, when Robert breaks up the pin. Ole then comes off the top rope with a knee to Ricky’s arm and locks in an armbar. Ricky is able to fight out and both men collide with each other, but it’s still not enough for Ricky to get a hot tag. Eventually, Ole goes for a powerslam on Ricky, but Robert is in the ring and dropkicks them, causing Ricky to fall on top of Ole and get a 3 count, for the win. The Andersons try to attack, after the bell, but the Express escape the cage.

This was an amazing match. It was every bit as good as I expected it to be. I like that they subverted the trope of Robert getting worked over and making the hot tag, by having the hot tag immediately be cut short. I wasn’t expecting that and it made for a much more dramatic match.

Winners: The Rock n’ Roll Express

NWA World Title Match: Ric Flair (c) vs. Nikita Koloff

Then, we head back to Atlanta, for the main event. When I first saw this card, I was a bit confused, so I did some research. This was originally supposed to be Flair vs. Magnum T.A., which would have been amazing. Sadly, Magnum was involved in a car accident, which left him nearly paralyzed. This would end his career. They needed someone new for the main event, so Nikita Koloff was turned babyface, by having him say he respected Magnum and wanted to fight in his place.

Flair enters, to a little bit of pyro. He stands in the entryway and lets the music finish, before heading to the ring. On his way down, a fan calls Flair a “Son of a bitch”, but Flair ignores it. He arrives at the ring, but we cut to a rather odd video package.

We get a video of sunshine and Magnum T.A. running down a beach. A cheesy 80s ballad plays, while we get shots of, what I assume to be, Magnum’s mom. We also get a random shot of a seagull flying in slow motion. Magnum continues running down the beach, while his mom looks pensive. He eventually reaches her and smiles, before the two walk off together. We get one last shot of that seagull, who is the real focus of the video. I tell you, that seagull is a future NWA World Champion!

Back in the arena, Nikita enters to a mixed reaction. There are some “Nikita” chants, but I don’t think the fans know how to react to him. It doesn’t help that he’s still wearing his Soviet gear and is billed from the Soviet Union. We get a shot of Nikita wearing the U.S. Title, but it’s not on the line in this match. More importantly, we finally get the first appearance of the Big Gold Belt on this review. It’s looking pristine, without the stupid bend in the top and the leather is still brown, as opposed to the almost black color it became after years of sweat and who knows what else. The two men come face to face, as the ref tells them the rules. At first, Flair looks him in the eye, but the longer they stare, the less Ric makes eye contact.

Nikita shows off his power to start, by shoving Flair down a few times and winning a test of strength. Flair gets angry and chops him, but Nikita isn’t fazed. Flair bails for a second, but still can’t overpower him when he re-enters the ring. Flair draws a laugh from me, by pointing at Nikita and yelling, “You’re gonna get your butt kicked you son of a gun!” Nikita starts hip tossing and slamming Flair, who begs off into the corner and demands that the ref control him. Nikita grabs a bear hug, and leans him over into a pinning position for a couple of 2 counts. Flair, for some reason, continues selling the bear hug in this position, despite there being no leverage. Flair fights out and Nikita misses a shoulder block, which almost allows Flair the advantage, but he has no luck. Flair tries to use chops and eye rakes, but it’s no use. He finally gets control, when Nikita misses a lariat and goes flying out of the ring, where he hurts his knee. Flair starts working the leg for awhile and gets a Figure Four, before using the ropes for leverage. Nikita reverses it, so Flair goes to the ropes. Flair chops and punches, but Nikita is having none of it, so Ric sends him outside. He slams Nikita headfirst into the scaffold and we get a shot of Nikita obviously blading. However, the blood seems to give Nikita a second wind and he starts powering Flair around the ring again. Flair nearly ends up hitting a cameraman on his flip over the ropes. Nikita then follows him to the outside and returns the favor, by slamming Flair into the scaffold. Flair also visibly blades. The two men trade chops and clubbing forearms, before Flair gets shoulder blocked into referee Tommy Young. Tommy falls to the outside and appears to have injured his leg. Nikita nails Flair with the running lariat, but there’s no ref. He tries to pull Young inside, but Flair hits him with a knee and manages to get a 2 count, when new ref Scrappy McGowan enters the ring. Poor Scrappy gets taken out, when Flair ducks a lariat and it hits McGowan instead. Nikita begins choking Flair in the corner and Young is back in to admonish him. Nikita gets frustrated and shoves Young to the mat. Young calls for the bell and declares the match a Double DQ. After the bell, both men continue fighting, while wrestlers run out to break up the fight. It is chaos, as neither man want to stop.

It was a great match, but the ending fell flat. The brawl after the bell was quite good, but not enough to make up for the ending. On a side note, during the match, there was an amusing moment where Nikita’s…little sickle popped out of his singlet. Tommy Young, trooper that he is, was kind enough to adjust his gear for him so he didn’t have to stop selling. Surprisingly enough it wasn’t edited off of the network version.

Winner: Double Disqualification

Tony Schiavone announces the result of the match, which draws boos from the crowd. The commentators then recap the events of the night and we end with some highlights.

Final Thoughts:

This was a very solid show. I would even say that there wasn’t anything that was actively bad on this. The strap match and the Valiant match weren’t great, but they weren’t horrible either. The scaffold match wasn’t great, but it was definitely an interesting watch. There were a couple of matches on this card that were incredibly good. So, I would give the show, as a whole, a thumbs up. I can only imagine how this show would have been if we had gotten that Flair/Magnum match that was originally scheduled.

Thank you for reading. As I said in my last review, this will be the last double-shot that I do for awhile. This was the last entry that I already had written from my last blog. It’s back to one a week for me. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PaulDMatthews78 and give me your feedback. I’d love to hear from you.

Next up will be WrestleMania III. Look for it next weekend.

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