Chris' Blog


NWA Championship Wrestling – November 2, 1985

NWA Championship Wrestling – November 2, 1985

Moving from the WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event, we go to the NWA’s weekly TV show. This takes place the same day as the SNME we just saw, and will have the build to Starrcade 1985. NWA/WCW shows were never big in Canada, so we didn’t get to see most of this making this new to me. My earliest memories of WCW begins in about 91/92 era, so I’m looking forward to watching something new. With that let’s see what the NWA was like in the mid-80s.

We come on the air with Jimmy Valiant pinning someone and being attacked by Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express, which is Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey. This sends it to the opening video and then over to David Crockett and Tony Schiavone at the desk. The set looks like a TV studio as we get Abdullah the Butcher, Superstar Billy Graham and a Starrcade announcement among many others. They talk about the feud between Tully Blanchard and Magnum TA as we get clips from the Greensboro Colosseum as the match goes to a double knockout after both men collide.

1. Tommy Lane v. Manny Fernandez

They lock up and Tommy takes him down but Manny up quick and Tommy hides in the corner. A criss cross goes poor for Tommy who gets hip tossed, Tommy hides in the the corner again. Tommy gets arm dragged down and Manny works over the arm before chopping down his opponent. Manny shoots his in but reversed, Manny comes back with the flying burrito, a flying forearm, for the easy win. A quick squash match with very little to see, basically hip toss, arm drag, arm bar, chop and the flying forearm.

1. Manny Fernandez pinned Tommy Lane

Over to Crockett with World Champion, Ric Flair, who is told Dusty will be back. Flair says he defends the title everywhere from Tokyo to Chicago and everywhere in between. Flair says he is college educated and knows Dusty will not be medically cleared in time and goes into a football story. Flair tells Dusty if he makes the mistake of thinking he is Ric Flair, he will be right there and laughing and gloating. Back to Tony with Arn and Ole Anderson, the Tag Champions, who says they are proud of Ric Flair. Arn looks no different now then he did thirty years ago, like he has a time machine or something. Arn says they will rebreak Dusty’s leg again and Ole says Dusty has guts but no titles and probably no brains.

2. Buddy Landel v. Tony Zane

A quick lockup and Landel unloads in the corner on Zane. Landel slams Zane and drops the big knee before continuing the offense. Another slam followed by an elbow drop into the figure four and Zane quickly submits. An even quicker squash match then the last one, as Zane didn’t even get a move in.

2. Buddy Landel crushed Tony Zane

Tony and Crockett are joined by Buddy Landel and his manager JJ Dillon, Dillon says he was preoccupied by Flair and issues a challenge to Terry Taylor for his man. JJ says the match needs to take place at Starrcade for the National Title. Buddy says he’s tired of wrestling guys who can’t lace his boots and waits Taylor at Starrcade.

3. Rock & Roll Express v. Mike Davis and George South

Finally a couple jobbers I’ve heard of, I still expect this to be a quick match. R&R come out to music, first time on the show we get entrances. Gibson and South start and Gibson takes out the leg quickly and locks on the grapevine then tags in Morton who drops a leg. Morton still has the same hair style thirty years later as Gibson back in and they maintain working on the leg. Morton back in and they are relentless on this jobber, as they keep doing the quick tags and work the leg. A cheap shot from Davis and all four in the ring, the Express take them both down. A double dropkick on South for the easy win. The other jobber was barely in the ring and it was all leg work but no submission, makes no sense.

3. Rock & Roll Express beat Mike Davis & George South

Tony is joined by Tully Blanchard and Baby Doll, Blanchard says Magnum has no more shots at the United States title. The title is so tiny looking, as Blanchard says Magnum keeps begging for a title shot and Bob Geigel, president of the NWA has an answer. Magnum wants an I Quit match and Bob says he cannot allow the match to take place. Tully looks so proud as he thanks Bob and tells Magnum to go back to the farm, but Tully will be there with a suitable opponent.

4. Billy Jack Haynes v. Black Cat

I didn’t even realize BJH was ever in the NWA, just remember him being boring in the WWF feuding with Hercules in 87. They lockup up and Billy overpowers Cat to the ropes, and a clean break. Billy with a side headlock to wear down the masked man, who makes the ropes and gets a cheap shot in. Billy shrugs it off and snapmares Cat over and applies the rear chinlock then stomps on the Cat. Tony talks about Billy having an unbreakable full nelson as Haynes pounds on Cat, why is this been the longest match so far? It’s been all chinlock and stomps, who was worse Billy Jack or Ted Arcidi? Billy with a suplex and cover, but sadly Cat kicks out and we continue, as Billy hits a vicious clothesline and into the full nelson for the win. A overly long boring squash match with no redeemable qualities.

4. Billy Jack Haynes beat Black Cat

Tony is joined by Dusty Rhodes’ doctor as they talk about if Dusty can come back. The Doctor says he can go and give it a shot, as the Doctor says the plaster cast has been removed and he’s wearing an air cast now. They go over what an air cast is and then talk about Dusty’s boots and how they are made. The gist of this whole thing is that Dusty is back.

5. Magnum T.A. v. Keith Erich

Lockup into the ropes and Magnum shot in, jumps over Keith hits the belly to belly for the win. That’s it, one move is the whole match. That was something I guess.

5. Magnum T.A. crushes Keith Erich

Tony joined by Superstar Billy Graham, who says he gives Barbarian credit for getting in there with him. Billy is interrupted by Paul Jones who says Abdullah the Butcher is in the ring waiting for him. Paul says Billy needs to wrestle Abdullah before he can arm wrestle the Barbarian, and Billy says he wants Barbarian first.

6. Superstar Billy Graham v. Abdullah The Butcher

Our first match to have actual talent, as Abdullah attacks before the bell and slams Billy into the ring post. Generic music over Billy’s entrance as Abdullah works over the arm and shoulder but Billy fights back and chops the Butcher sending him to the floor. Abdullah eats the post and then Billy grabs a cable and chokes Abdullah, they fight back in the ring and Abdullah chokes Billy on the ropes. Abdullah distracts the ref, allowing Paul Jones to hit Billy with the cane, Abdullah quickly goes back to choking Billy but Billy fight back and chokes the Butcher. Billy locks on a bearhug on Abdullah and squeezes, but Abdullah goes for the eyes then misses the big elbow. Billy connects with his elbow and goes back to choking and out of nowhere comes the Barbarian drawing a disqualification. Abdullah holds down Billy as Barbarian drops the diving headbutt on Billy, finally the locker room empties as the faces come to make the save. A fun little brawl, but nothing major, was mostly choking but always good to see Abdullah, one of my favorites.

6. Superstar Billy Graham beat Abdullah the Butcher by disqualification

7. Pez Whatley v. Benny Traylor

Back to the jobber matches as Pez locks on a headlock and then tosses Benny across the ring. Meanwhile Tony is talking about someone having an anniversary and they put up the address of WCW, which is blurred. Benny looks like a skinny JYD, even the tights are the same, as Pez controls him with the hammerlock. This match sucks as nothing is happening, just an arm bar from Pez after an lengthy hammerlock. Pez with a gut wrench suplex for only one, really, then a snapmare into a chinlock as this just drags. Benny makes the ropes and breaks the hold, Pez sends him in and backdrops Benny down. Pez goes back to the hammerlock as they seem to be just killing time here, Pez hits a dropkick and then to a side headlock takeover. This must be where Randy Orton learned his stalling style from, just a series of rest holds. Benny breaks free and gets a side headlock on Pez, who powers out and into a wrist lock. Pez locks on the Boston Crab but Benny makes the ropes to break the hold, Pez sweeps out the leg and then pulls him up. Pez with a headbutt followed by the flying headbutt to end this long boring match. Horrible match that was all rest holds till the end, if I made this match sound exciting, I apologize as it was brutally long and boring.

7. Pez Whatley pinned Benny Traylor

Tony is joined by JJ Dillon and Black Bart, JJ says PWI has their manager of the year poll and being in third right now is an insult. JJ says things will change as he calls out Billy Jack Haynes, Bart interrupts and says he wants Ron Bass and will face him at Starrcade. After the break Tony has Jim Crockett with him, as they announce Thunderfoot v Billy Jack Haynes next week. Also next week we will find out who Ric Flair will face at Starrcade as they go over the matches for Starrcade. We see clips of Magnum kissing Baby Doll who responds by slapping Magnum. He grabs her and rips her shirt, this brings out Tully and we get a vicious brawl. Jim Crockett announces that at Starrcade, Tully Blanchard will face Magnum T.A. in an I Quit match in the cage.

8. Tully Blanchard v. Denny Brown

Tully is at the desk and says he is outraged by Crockett and his announcement. He runs in the ring and clobbers Denny tossing him out of the ring and back in. Denny fires back but Tully takes the eyes then drives a knee in the stomach. Tully slams Denny and tosses him back out of the ring, Tully gets caught bringing Denny in the ring and Denny with a sunset flip almost scores an upset. Denny shoots him in and hits a forearm as Tully is stunned. Tully pulls Denny hard into the turnbuckle and hits a knee to the mid section, but Denny fights back again. Denny sends Tully to the apron and pulls him back in, Tully runs into Denny’s foot. Denny off the top rope but Tully gets the knee up, then follows with the elbows. A slingshot suplex from Blanchard finishes Denny off. A pretty good back and forth battle, better then I expected.

8. Tully Blanchard pinned Denny Brown

Tony is joined by Arn and Ole Anderson and Ole is furious about Crockett making the match with Tully and Magnum. Arn is angry about Dusty and his steel boot as Tony cuts them off for the commercial.

9. Nikita Koloff v. Mac Jeffers

Nikita is with Ivan and Krusher Khruschev, also known as Barry Darsow, they are the six man tag champions. Nikita overpowers Mac and just tosses him around, then drops him neck first on the top rope. Nikita with a back elbow and then tosses Mac across the ring. Nikita sends him in and chokes Mac down before hitting the Russian Sickle for the easy win.

9. Nikita Koloff crushed Mac Jeffers

Tony is joined by Nikita, Ivan and Krusher and Nikita is impossible to understand as he talks. Krusher makes fun of the Road Warriors and says after they beat them the Road Warriors ran away to Japan. Ivan says no matter what kind of match they will take on anyone.

10. Ivan Koloff & Krusher Khrushchev v. Ricky Reeves & Jerry Garmon

More Russian madness, as the other two members of the team get a match. Funny how none of the three Russian are from Russia, as Ivan is actually French Canadian and the other two are from the US. Ivan destroys Ricky quickly with a slam and legdrop before ramming him into the foot of Krusher. Quick tags from the Russians as the tear apart Ricky who has had no offense so far. Ricky has the same tights as Benny Traylor from earlier as this has just been a massacre in the ring. Ivan sends Ricky into the clothesline of Krusher for the easy win.

10. Ivan Koloff & Krusher Khruschev destroy Ricky Reeves & Jerry Garmon

11. Jimmy Valiant v. Jimmy Black

Valiant backdrops the jobber and goes to the trap hold. We see some big lady get in the ring behind him and then kisses Jimmy before leaving the ring and he’s stunned. Black dropkicks him and chokes Valiant on the ropes, she clocks Black with a right hand knocking him out. Valiant covers for the win and goes after the lady who disappeared. Just storyline advancement, not much of a match.

11. Jimmy Valiant pinned Jimmy Black

Jim Cornette joins Tony and says Jimmy claims not to know who the lady is, but he’s lying. Cornette says Valiant is a yellow dog and coward, and this is all a ploy against the Midnight Express. Valiant charges the set and Cornette bails out, Valiant asks about the lady and wants a replay. Valiant kisses Tony, who says he has no idea where that mouth has been. Valiant takes off again and Tony closes the show.

MATCH RECAP

1. Manny Fernandez pinned Tommy Lane

2. Buddy Landel crushed Tony Zane

3. Rock & Roll Express beat Mike Davis & George South

4. Billy Jack Haynes beat Black Cat

5. Magnum T.A. crushes Keith Erich

6. Superstar Billy Graham beat Abdullah the Butcher by disqualification

7. Pez Whatley pinned Benny Traylor

8. Tully Blanchard pinned Denny Brown

9. Nikita Koloff crushed Mac Jeffers

10. Ivan Koloff & Krusher Khruschev destroy Ricky Reeves & Jerry Garmon

11. Jimmy Valiant pinned Jimmy Black

A nice little slice of 1985 NWA as we get some good story advancement and set up Starrcade coming up in four weeks. There’s no point rating the matches as they we’re all squashes other then the Superstar/Abdullah match which was more of a storyline then match. Other then the Pez match they were all kept short and the announcers focused on building the stories. Next week’s show they announce who will face Ric Flair at Starrcade, also we get Terry Taylor and Buddy Landel among others. The show really flew by and was enjoyable for the most part, considering it was just 10 squash matches, but I’m looking forward to the build to Starrcade and the reveal of both Flair’s opponent and who the strange lady is. Coming up next is the next week’s episode of NWA Championship Wrestling as I’m skipping the Wrestling Classic since it’s the Coliseum Video version I’ve already recapped, no point in redoing the same version.

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