Mid-South Wrestling – December 12, 1981

We have arrived at a new territory as we head to Mid-South Wrestling for the first time. The Network actually has five years of shows from this territory which is great. The territory was based out of Oklahoma, and also did shows in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. They were a part of the NWA, so that title would get top billing when the champion toured the area. When he wasn’t there the Mid-South North American Heavyweight Championship was the top gold, and at this time was held by Ted DiBiase, for the third time, who defeated Paul Orndorff on November 1st for the gold. The secondary title was the Mid-South Louisiana Heavyweight Championship, which was held by the Junkyard Dog who won the gold on December 7th from the Great Kabuki. The Mid-South Tag Team Champions were Junkyard Dog and Mike George, who won them from the Wild Samoans on October 15th, this was the Dog’s seventh reign as champion! On our first episode we have the North American Champion, Ted DiBiase defending against Paul Orndorff, a great way to start the series. Let’s go to the ring.

Mid-South opens with a montage of stars over an electronic theme, very impressive for the time. We’re welcomes to the show by Lloyd Pierce and Ernie Ladd on commentary. They go over tonight’s card and announce the Dream Match challenge, as people vote on what match they want to see.

1. The Monk v. Bryan Blair

Monk looks like a miniature Erick Rowan, while Blair would go on to greater fame in the WWF as one half of the Killer Bees. The Monk would later be My Olympia portrayed by Jerry Stubbs. Monk takes him down quickly, but Blair fights free, Blair grapples Monk to the mat and Monk able to fight him away. Monk with a side headlock takeover, but Blair uses a headscissors to get the advantage. Meanwhile Ladd talks trash about destroying Andre the Giant if he gets a chance. Blair with a series of rights and a slam followed by a legdrop gets two. Monk off the ropes and Blair with a dropkick gets another near fall. Back drop sends Monk to the mat, and Blair locks on the Abdominal Stretch and rolls him back for three.

1. Bryan Blair over the Monk

2. Tom Renesto Jr v. King Cobra

Cobra was a big name in the nineties in the USWA, Jerry Lawler’s territory. Couldn’t find much about Renesto though, didn’t stick around into the nineties. Cobra with a side headlock and takeover, transitioning into an armbar. Renesto shoots him off and Cobra with a shoulderblock and a series of dropkicks, then back to the armbar. Cobra misses a dropkick and Renesto quickly unloads on him, Renesto gets caught with his head down and now Cobra back in charge. Back drop from Cobra gets a near fall, jumping headbutt scores the win for Cobra.

2. King Cobra defeats Tom Renesto Jr

3. Jim Garvin v. Ed Wiskoski

Jim Garvin is better known for his time with Michael Hayes as the Freebirds in WCW. Ed would later become Col DeBeers in the AWA. At this point Ed is announced from NYC, while Jim Garvin looks more ripped then he would be in WCW. Ed with a side headlock but Jim powers out into a top wristlock, however Ed overpowers him back to the headlock. The referee doing circles around them, which is really distracting, as Garvin reverses into a hammerlock. Ed gets an elbow in and comes off the ropes, but Garvin with a drop toehold and back to the hammerlock. Ed uses his size and power to slam Garvin with ease and ties him upside down in the corner then stomps away on him. Ed all over Jim in the corner with kicks and forearms, Garvin reverses a corner whip and catches Ed with a flying forearm. Garvin locks on the sleeper and Ed makes the ropes, sending Garvin crashing to the cement floor. Ed slams Garvin in from the apron, but Garvin rolls him up for a near fall. Ed with a leaping knee and a hotshot on the top rope stops Garvin dead. Stomachbreaker from Ed scores the win. Good competitive match.

3. Ed Wiskoski pinned Jim Garvin

We get footage of Junkyard Dog versus a masked man, Terry Orndorff and while Dog has him tied up Paul Orndorff gets involved. This leads to a slugfest and a Thump powerslam for Paul. Terry loads the mask and nails Dog who collapses down. George makes the save and he and Paul fight on the floor, while Dog tosses Terry over the top rope drawing the disqualification and Terry wins. Ernie Ladd at commentary looks happy to see Dog lose a match.

4. Junkyard Dog & Mike George v. Jerry Novak & Aaron Holt

Junkyard was one of the biggest stars of this territory and later a huge star in the WWF. Mike was a star in the NWA Florida, Central States, Mid-Atlantic and Mid-South regions in the seventies. Junkyard and Mike are the current tag champions. Jerry Novak was also known as Super Destroyer and the Russian Invader, and a tag champion in the AWA, Tennessee and Gulf Coast territories. Holt I couldn’t find any information on unfortunately. I’m pretty sure Dog’s music is overdubbed, as it just sounds like generic funk, as he comes out with his chain. George and Novak start out and grapple to the ropes, clean break from George. Slugfest ensues early and all four in the ring. The jobbers whipped into each other. Thump from Dog on Holt for the win.

4. Junkyard Dog & Mike George crush Jerry Novak & Aaron Holt

5. The Iron Sheik v. Buddy Ryan

Iron Sheik is a future WWF Champion, while I couldn’t find information on Buddy. Sheik is managed by Skandor Akbar, who waves the Iranian flag during the introduction. Sheik quickly goes after Buddy and just pounds away on him. A perfect vertical suplex from Sheik followed by the big elbow, he pulls Buddy up and nails him with a butterfly suplex, Sheik pulls him up at two. Sheik nails a belly to belly suplex and pulls him up at two again, as it’s been all Sheik. High angle German Suplex plants Buddy and Sheik covers for three. What a showcase for Sheik

5. The Iron Sheik destroyed Buddy Ryan

6. Diamond Lil & Rick Ferrara v. Barbie Doll & Tony Charles

Well this something I’ve never seen, as it’s female midgets teaming with full size men in a mixed tag match. What an odd thing this is. Rick also used the name Ivan Putski, but not the same one from the WWF, that seems confusing. Charles wrestled as Checkmate and was a star in Europe in the seventies. Lil was trained by Moolah and is one of the most well known female midget wrestlers, and no idea on Barbie. They introduce the girls, as little girls teaming with big men, none of this would fly nowadays. I really have nothing to say about this, as I just don’t care for this stuff, it’s just too strange for me. Hard to do hot tags in these matches, as once one person makes a tag the other has to come in, no mixing it up between the genders. The women do some actual wrestling, no comedy spots surprisingly, and finally Barbie makes a tag bringing in the men. They work some impressive British style grappling, as both men were from Europe and knew their stuff. Back to the ladies, who slug it out and Barbie almost wins after Lil hits the turnbuckle. Barbie with a backdrop and Earthquake splash for the win.

6. Barbie Doll & Tony Charles over Diamond Lil & Rick Ferrara

7. Paul Orndorff v. Ted DiBiase

Ted is the North American Champion but this is non-title, as the jockey for position. Paul with a shoulderblock, Ted gets caught with his head down and Paul almost pins him. Lockup and side headlock from Ted, who’s shot in and caught with a sledge to the midsection. Paul off the ropes and shoulderblock again, sunset flip from Paul but Ted sits down and gets two. This has been fast paced so far, as both guys are vastly underappreciated. Clean shaven Ted is just odd though, as he works the arm of Orndorff. Both men evenly matched as neither guy slowing down, Ted keeps working the shoulder and arm. Paul fights free with back elbows but gets sent to the corner, Paul charges so Ted hits the turnbuckle and now Paul stomps on Ted. Ted whips him in and hits a nice dropkick on Paul then a sledge to the midsection and a big knee. Powerslam from Ted and into the figure four leglock, Paul trying to fight the pain as Ted cranks the pressure. Paul reverses the move and now it’s Ted in deep trouble. Ted holding on refusing to give up, as the bell rings for a time limit draw. Great match but lack of ending killed it. ***

7. Paul Orndorff and Ted DiBiase go to a ten minute draw

MATCH RECAP
1. Bryan Blair over the Monk
2. King Cobra defeats Tom Renesto Jr
3. Ed Wiskoski pinned Jim Garvin
4. Junkyard Dog & Mike George crush Jerry Novak & Aaron Holt
5. The Iron Sheik destroyed Buddy Ryan
6. Barbie Doll & Tony Charles over Diamond Lil & Rick Ferrara
7. Paul Orndorff and Ted DiBiase go to a ten minute draw

Overall a very good fast paced hour, like Mid-Atlantic, as everything flew by. Weird not having any promos or interviews or anything. Just match after match, but the matches were solid. Lots of future names like DeBeers, Garvin, Blair plus current names like Dog, DiBiase and Orndorff make for a great territory. Looking forward to the next episode, which will feature Paul Ellering challenging Iron Sheik to a test of strength and Junkyard Dog defends the Louisiana Heavyweight Title.

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