Open: Starrcade ’86 is once again multi-venued at the Omni in Atlanta and the Greensboro Colesium in Greensboro, North Carolina. Tom Miller welcomes us to Greensboro, meanhile the scaffold hovers above the ring in Atlanta. Miller then asks everyone to rise for the National Anthem. Tony Schiavone & Rick Stewart are standing by at The Omni, while Bob Caudle & Johnny Weaver open the show in Greensboro, Caudle giving us a rundown of what’s to come before heading to the squared circle.
Match #1: Tim Horner & Nelson Royal vs. Don & Rocky Kernodle
Horner and Rocky start the match. A couple hip tosses and they exchange a variety of wrist and hammer locks. A little chain wrestling including Kernodle missing a dropkick before Rocky gives Horner an arm drag. Don is tagged in. Horner with a bodyslam on Don. He runs the ropes and executes a powerslam. Horner tags in Royal. Don connects with a shoulder tackle before Royal catches him with an abdominal stretch on Don, who reverses to a hip-toss. Don misses a charge to the corner and Royal tags out.
Horner cannot get much going on Don. Royal tags back in and puts a sleeper on Don, but Don is able to walk to the corner for a tag. Rocky enters the ring with a sunset flip from the top rope. 2 count is broken up with a headscissor. Rocky follows with a bodyslam, but misses a cross body. Royal tags Horner. and gives him a powerslam. A small package gets the same. A little brawling in the ring and Don makes the tag, and gives Horner a delayed vertical suplex. 2 count and a kickout. Don gives Horner a backdrop, and tries running into a diving headbutt, but he misses. Horner gives Don a dropkick. 2 count. They run the ropes and Don nails a big clothesline. Rocky tags in again, sends Horner to the ropes and hits a gorilla press slam. Rocky cradles Horner for a pin, but Horner reverses it into a pinfall of his own sitting on his chest and holding his legs. 1-2-3 for the win.
Winners: Tim Horner & Nelson Royal (Pinfall Counter)
- EA’s Take: This was a nothing happening match for me and in retrospect, I’m a little curious as to why it’s on the card. Don Kernodle is the most known of this grouping, but only if you’re familiar with Sgt. Slaughter’s career since they were partners and tag champions. Nelson Royal was a wrestler back in the 1960’s, had retired, then came back in 1983. Meanwhile, Horner is still a bit of an upstart, but neither he or Royal are ever anything more than jobbers. I don’t know why I was supposed to care about this match and unlike in year’s past when the crowd was into seemingly everything, the noise was fairly subdued in this one. Honestly, I had no idea who was even supposed to be the heels until the match was over.
Match #2: Brad Armstrong vs ‘Gorgeous’ Jimmy Garvin w/Precious
Both men lock up and let go. Garvin is taunting the crowd. They lock up again very aggressively. Lots of fast paced, vicious, traditional wrestling. Garvin slows it down with a headlock but Armstrong fights it. The ref finally breaks it up. Garvin applies another headlock but Armstrong attempts to counter with a wristlock. Armstrong wrestles Garvin down into an armbar submission. He continues to work on the arm with his knee and he gets some near falls. Both men are back to their feet fighting for control, trading armbars. Armstrong with a headlock takedown. They trade submissions on the mat until it’s broken by the rope. Back to their feet. Garvin wrestles Armstrong down and locks up his leg. He and Precious both taunt the crowd and camera.
Armstrong struggling to no avail with Garvin really strong on his legs for an extended period. Armstrong is able to get Garvin in a headlock despite the hold, and it’s what ultimately breaks it. Both men to their feet, back and forth on the ropes until Armstrong takes him down with a drop toe hold. Armstrong goes to work with some arm submissions until Precious is up distracting the wrestlers and ref on the apron. Garvin takes advantage of the distraction and works Armstrong down into a headscissor submission by illegally pulling him down by his hair. Armstrong trying to find strength but he’s caught in the grasp. Garvin continues to taunt the crowd. A huge pop when Armstrong escapes. Both men to their feet, they run the ropes and Armstrong delivers a hip toss, followed by a snapmare.
Garvin is quickly up though, and somehow gets Armstrong back down to the mat in the same headscissor submission. Armstrong once again escapes. They’re on their feet and Armstorng takes control, Garvin is caught in a headlock and fighting. Multiple kidney shots and he picks Armstrong up for a side slam, but Armstrong is able to counter. Garvin is still caught in that headlock. Garvin wills Armstrong’s shoulders to the mat for an apparent 3 count, but the ref saw Garvin holding the trunks and pushes them back over. Both men slowly to their feet, Garvin still caught in the headlock. He fights until finally breaking the hold with a side suplex. Both men down, Garvin is first to his feet. Attempts a pin, gets a 2 count. He bashes Armstrong’s head into the turnbuckle and throws him through the middle rope. The crowd boos. Precious approaches Armstrong taunting him.
Garvin kicks him into the rail on his attempt to re-enter the ring and Precious continues to taunt. The same results happens again. The ref backs Garvin off long enough for a drowsy Armstrong to make it back to the ring. Garvin with a snapmare and a 2 count. The crowd is trying to encourage Armstrong but Garvin is in control. Several 2 counts for Garvin after several attacks including a backbreaker. A shoulder tackle for Garvin but it looks like the men bumped heads so they’re both down on the mat. Both are up after a referee 6 count. Garvin attempts a body slam but Armstrong falls on top of him. 2 count. Garvin is frustrated and they exchange blows. Armstrong whips him to the corner but Garvin counters with a knee to the face. 2 count for Garvin. Shiavone explains there is 1 minute left! Garvin attempts a sleeper, but Armstrong with a takedown. They exchange pin attempts to no avail. Schiavone explains they’re at the 15 second mark as Garvin bodyslams Armstrong and heads to the top rope. As he executes an attempted splash, the bell rings and Armstrong moves.
- After The Bell: Armstrong attacks Garvin and sends him to the outside. He’s fired up now, Precious confronts Armstrong in the ring and the crowd is hot. Garvin attempts to get Armstrong from behind, but he’s wise to it and delivers punches until Garvin stumbles back out of the ring. Garvin is upset, but is consoled by telling himself he’s still undefeatedas the crowd boos him out of the arena.
- EA’s Take: Great selling of the aggression at the beginning of the match here by two real pros. Brad comes from the famed Armstrong family of course, arguably the most talented of the bunch. Even his brother ‘Road Dogg’ Jesse James has stated as much. Coming from a pedigree almost makes it inevitable sometimes that you’ll be skilled in the ring and that’s certainly the case with the son of WWE Hall Of Famer Bullet Bob. The flamboyant Jimmy Garvin is a fantastic heel and the kayfabe brother of Ronnie Garvin and Terry, something that was never really brought up much after The Gorgeous One made a name for himself in WCCW. He strikes you as a David Lee Roth-type and Precious added to his rock star aura. My only issue with this contest is having it finish as a draw, but I can understand why they’d want both guys protected at this point in their careers.
Match #3: Hector Guerrero & Baron Von Raschke vs. Shaska Whatley & The Barbarian
Barbarian is looking pretty intense, wrapped in chains. HUGE pop and HUGE sombraro for Hector! The heels both attack Hector. They work each other to corners before Hector and Baron whip their opponents into each other. Hector with a backbody drop on Whatley. Hector in control with a dropkick and a splash. Whatley is able to reverse and make the tag to Barbarian. Whatley holds him while Barbarian delivers a big fist from the 2nd rope. Barbarian takes control and hangs up Hector on the ropes.
Hector moves an attempted clothesline and Barbarian goes over the top rope. Baron rushes over to hold Barbarian as Hector leaps over the top rope for a splash. Whatley goes after Hector and runs him into the post. Barbarian back on the attack with a snakeeyes on the gate. Whatley comes back for a few more cheap shots and rolls him back into the ring. Barbarian with a gorilla press slam and a leg drop. He makes the tag to Whatley who hits a backbody drop before tagging Barbarian again. They double team Guerrero who is in trouble. Barbarian executes a backbreaker followed by a headbutt. Whatley with some dirty play in the corner before Barbarian makes the tag and they deliver a double backbody drop. Attempted pin, 2 count. Whatley foils Hector’s attempt at a tag and drags him back to his corner. While the ref is lecturing Whatley, Barbarian is holding Hector in the corner.
Another tag is made and Barbarian gets off a big boot. 2 backbreakers in a row from Barbarian and another tag is made to Whatley. Whatley with a headbutt followed by spitting on Hector. He whips Hector to the rope for an apparent backbody drop but Hector stops short to the surprise of Whatley. The crowd goes wild as Hector dives to his corner for a tag to Baron. Baron marches around the ring and goes to work. Barbarian attempts to interfere but Baron knocks their heads together. He delivers the claw to Whatley but it’s broken up by Barbarian. All 4 men in the ring going to work. Whatley whips Baron to the corner but Baron moves and Whatley hits the turnbuckle. Baron drops the elbow and gets the pinfall.
Winners: Hector Guerrero & Baron Von Raschke (Von Raschke/Elbow Drop)
- After The Bell: The heels toss Hector over the top and double team Baron. Barbarian to the top rope as Whatley positions him for a diving headbutt. Hector back to the ring, delivers a dropkick and the heels retreat.
- EA’s Take: The Barbarian really seems to be finding himself a bit more in this one. Like I stated, he really seemed to be more intense. His partner, Shaska, might be better remembered as Pez Whatley, who had arrived in JCP in 1985 and initially feuded alongside Jimmy Valiant against Paul Jones’ Army. Now a turncoat, he really felt like just an interchangeable body next to Barbarian. I think we all know who Hector Guerrero is or are at least aware of who The Guerreros are, so you should be familiar with what he can do in the ring. He essentially did the heavy lifting here. Baron is of course a legend in the Minnesota area and is also a turncoat, but going the opposite direction of Pez. In all, this is really just an odd mix, Baron’s best days are long behind him, but Hector can work and Barbarian is getting his footing under him.
Backstage: Johnny Weaver is outside Dusty Rhodes’ locker room. The American Dream hasn’t granted and interview about his match tonight, Weaver pleads for one and Dusty is heard through the door saying to leave him alone.
Match #4 is No Disqualification for the NWA United States Tag Team Championships: The Kansas Jayhawks (Bobby Jaggers & Dutch Mantel) vs. NWA United States Tag Team Champions The Russians (Ivan Koloff & Krusher Kruschev)
Ivan and Mantel start. Ivan using his power but Mantel manages a quick backbody drop and a tag to Jaggers. Ivan is punched to the ground followed by a whip and an elbow. Jaggers delivers more blows and uses Mantel’s boot in the corner and makes the tag. Lots of quick tags as the Jayhawks are in control. Ivan finally makes the tag to Krusher and the crowd boos. Krusher and Mantel lock up. Krusher works him to the corner and bullies him with rights. Ivan holds Mantel on the ropes and Jaggers breaks it up. Mantel rebounds with some offense forcing Krusher to the Jayhawks corner where they use the no DQ rule to their advantage.
More quick tags and double teams from the Jayhawks. Krusher stops short of a drop toe hold attempt and makes the tag to Ivan. Now it’s the Russians’ turn to doubleteam Mantel. Both Ivan and Mantel exchange failed Irish whips and Jaggers is tagged in. After a headlock, Mantel is tagged back in for a double elbow. Ivan wills himself back to the Russian corner. Mantel is fighting but can’t keep up with the two sided attack. Mantel is pulled out of the ring and is dropped knee first on the gate. Krusher rolls him back to Ivan who is waiting in the ring. Shoulder tackle by Ivan. Tag made to Krusher and more double team action ensues. 2 count by Krusher.
Double team work in the corner by The Russians. Jaggers is trying to break it up, but is being led away by the ref. The Russians whip Mantel to the ropes and he counters with a double clothesline. Mantel tags Jaggers who doesn’t discriminate going after both Russians and bashing their heads together. He whips Ivan for a lariat but the pinfall is broken up by Krusher. Now all 4 men are going at it, Jaggers and Krusher in the ring, Mantel and Ivan out. Commentators remind fans that there is no DQ. Ivan gets his trademark chain and climbs to the top rope while Krusher has Jaggers in his patented Bearhug. Before Ivan can jump he is literally whipped by Mantel from the apron. Krusher lets go of Jaggers and is whipped by Mantel, they both stumble out of the ring and brawl on the floor. Jaggers and Ivan are doing battle in the ring, as Jaggers is whipped to the ropes he’s hit from behind by Kruschev with Koloff’s chain. Jaggers falls to the mat and Mantel cannot get back in the ring thanks to Krusher. Pinfall for the win.
Winners and STILL NWA United States Tag Team Champions: The Russians (Kruschev/Foreign Object)
- EA’s Take: Nikita is no longer around with Ivan and Krusher, but we’ll get to that later in the main event. The future Zeb Colter & Bobby Jaggers don’t have a pretty offense, which can also be said about The Russians, so this was basically a slugfest for the secondary tag titles. Boy, if you thought WWE had a lot of titles, they’re surely following the footsteps of the NWA! Absolutely nothing historical about this one, The Kansas Jayhawks were a fairly short-lived duo, Jaggers is most known for feuding with Dusty in Florida, but that’s really it. Obviously, Dutch’s best days are probably coming up when he steps behind the scenes.
Match #5 is an Indian Strap Match: Rick Rude w/Paul Jones vs. Wahoo McDaniel
To win this match, you must touch all 4 corners in succession. Before the bell, Paul Jones takes the strap and demands Wahoo put it on first. Wahoo has no trouble obliging. Rude disropes and flaunts. Wahoo responds by whipping him and gets a big pop. The two bluff at starting a tug of war with the strap. Wahoo delivers a few whips before both men exchange punches. Rude is taken down with a shoulder tackle and Wahoo chokes him on the mat. Rude rolls out of the ring but Wahoo drags him back in. Rude applies a headlock and eventually rolls him to the mat. Both men get back to their feet and Rude’s on the offense beating Wahoo into the corner.
Rude wraps the strap on his feet and beats on Wahoo who is still sitting down in the corner. Rude flaunts to the crowd again and receives a boo. Back on the offense in the corner again. Bodyslam delivered by Rude who then wraps Wahoo’s wrists to restrict his motion and attempts the corners. He gets two before Wahoo gives a boot to the face. Wahoo lands a couple elbows to the head and works Rude into the corner. Paul Jones is demanding the ref break it up when Wahoo wraps the strap on the head of Rude. Wahoo delivers a flurry of whips to the back of Rude. Wahoo whips Rude to the corner and delivers a backhanded clotheline before dragging Rude to the corners. Rude appears to be deadweight as Wahoo gets 3 corners. Rude finally starts fighting back and pushes Wahoo down to the mat with his feet.
With Wahoo still down, Rude goes to the top rope and lands an elbow to the neck. The two fight for control, Rude gains it and he is back to the top rope again. Wahoo rolls to the ropes and uses the strap to throw Rude off the top and to the mat. Wahoo lands an elbow to the forehead and now he’s going for the corners. Paul Jones is going nuts. Wahoo gets 3 corners but Rude appears to be coming back to life. There is a tug of war as Wahoo goes for number 4. Jones is up on the Apron to attempt a stop to Wahoo’s pursuit. Wahoo elbows him back to the floor and dives for the 4th corner successfully.
Winner: Wahoo McDaniel
- After The Bell: Rude is enraged and attacks Wahoo in the corner. Jones is up into the ring to help. They tie Wahoo to the ropes but Hector and the Baron have a run in to save him before any further damage is done. The babyfaces celebrate in the ring.
- EA’s Take: Boy, The Ravishing One surely stands out among anybody you’ll see tonight just because of his look. Now, I’m not obsessed with jacked dudes like Vinnie Mac supposedly is, but Rude just LOOKS like a star. Rude would make a name for himself in Florida and WCCW, hailing from Minnesota, the land of many legends. The relative newcomer would quickly jump into Paul Jones’ Army and join the feud against Wahoo upon his arrival to JCP. The Chief is still hanging on by a thread career-wise and if you remember what Rude was famous for (at least to me), his ability to sell is really the entertaining point of this match. I’ve never really been a fa of the strap match and just the whole concept of having to touch all four corners, not my cup of tea. Of course like many others who did it before him, Rude would leave for greener pastures in the WWF the following April.
Backstage: The Russians are backstage with some words on tonight’s events. Ivan talks about outsmarting the Jayhawks and calls out Dusty Rhodes. He talks about Nikita’s upcoming match with Ric Flair tonight, Krusher demands Nikita do the honorable thing and give him the first title shot if he wins.
Match #6 for the NWA Central States Championship: ‘Superstar’ Bill Dundee vs. NWA Central States Champion Sam Houston
Dundee looks bothered by the crowd’s support for Houston. Dundee works Houston into the corner but Sam ducks a lariat. They lock up again and exchange armbars until Houston works him to the mat and delivers a legdrop. Both men regroup. Dundee has Houston on the mat in a headlock but Houston turns him for a couple near falls. They are back to their feet and to the ropes. The ref breaks it up. The two regroup. Irish whip to the corner and Houston with a headscissor takedown. Houston applies a headscissor submission. Dundee refuses to submit. Back to their feet once again, and Houston with a couple arm drags followed by a dropkick. Dundee is frazzled. They lock up and Dundee manages a takedown.
The ref is questioning if Dundee used Houston’s hair to bring him down. More submission work on the mat and Dundee lands a knee on the neck. 1 count. Houston stumbles to the corner before turning around and landing a punch on the pursuing Dundee. Houston is on the offense and tries for a running bulldog, but Dundee reverses it with a side suplex. Houston counters this with a full backflip and lands on his feet. Dundee runs him into the turnbuckle and pulls him backward for an attempted pin but Dundee pulls the trunks. The ref lectures Dundee on pulling the trunks.
They lock up again and Dundee sends Houston through the middle rope. It appears Houston hits the side of the table, he’s hurting. Dundee tries an attack on the floor, but Houston reverses it with an atomic drop and rolls back in the ring. Dundee is pulled back into the ring for a 2 count. Houston lands a punch but Dundee gets a big boot to Houston’s face. Dundee goes to the top rope and lands his Bombs Away, but he arrogantly delays the pin and only gets a 2 count. Dundee on the attack and appears to have his fingers in Houstons mouth. Dundee applies a front facelock and tells the cheering crowd to shutup. More punches and elbows. 2 Count.
Dundee lands 4 more punches before Houston goes down, and Dundee struts around the ring. He taunts again before a pinfall attempt and only gets 2 with the delay. Dundee applies a Boston crab and Houston screams “NO” when the ref asks him. Houston powers his way out but they’re in the ropes. Houston is once again thrown through the middle ropes. Dundee looks like he was headed for the top rope but the ref stops him from jumping to the floor. Houston crawls back into the ring and this time Dundee can land a big fist from the top rope. 2 count and Dundee is frustrated. Dundee takes Houston down to the mat with an inverted headlock.
Houston pumps the fans up by kicking the mat and slowly gets back up. He drives Houston to the corner and lands several rights. He whips Dundee for an elbow to the jaw. 2 Count. Houston with a knee to the jaw. Bodyslam by Houston, but Dundee moves an attempts knee drop. Dundee goes to work on the affected knee, using the bottom rope to make it vulnerable. Several knee submissions applied by Dundee. When Houston is able to shove Dundee off, he knocks the ref into the corner. This gives Dundee the opportunity to grab Houston’s the boot that fell off when the hold was broken and he clocks him with it. The ref saw it from the mat and calls for the bell. Dundee celebrates but the ref raises Houston’s hand.
Winner and STILL NWA Central States Champion: Sam Houston (Disqualification)
- After The Bell: An enraged Dundee beats Houston with his own boot until he’s able to roll out of the ring. Dundee is showered with boos.
- EA’s Take: Sam Houston moves up the card for this year’s Starrcade after opening the show the year prior. This was a really quick pace for these smaller stars, good job from Dundee to keep up with the young Houston at his age before slowing the pace. Dundee’s biggest exploits were in Memphis where he had a pretty hot feud against WWE Hall Of Famer Jerry Lawler, but by 1986 he was the same age as JJ Dillon. Again, another unusual title in the Central States Championship, which was the primary title of NWA affiliate Central States Wrestling (Kansas City).
Match #7 is Hair vs. Hair: Jimmy Valiant w/Big Mama vs. Paul Jones w/Manny Fernandez
Before the bell, Fernandez argues with the referee about going into the cage saying he’s going to sit ringside. He reluctantly works his way down. Several wrestlers from the back attack Fernandez to get him in the cage. Valiant is on the attack first. Irish whip and lariat to Jones. Valiant with a hiptoss as the crowd goes wild. Valiant rakes the back of Jones and hits another hiptoss. He continues the attack with a facerake.
The ref backs Valiant off Jones as they move to the turnbuckle. Jones goes to his tights and takes out a foreign object. He hits Valiant with it. “Big Mama” is trying to distract from ringside, but Jones is able to land several stomps and punches on a bleeding Valiant. 2 count. Jones is enraged and goes back to work on Valiant. Another pinfall attempt but the leg is on the rope. When Jones sees this he attempts a knee drop on Valiant’s leg, but Jimmy moves. Valiant starts pumping the crowd up “Hulk Style”.
Valiant is once again struck by the foreign object without the refs seeing it. Pinfall attempt by Jones, 2 count. Jones goes for the Indian Deathlock but Valiant pulls his head to the mat. The two are back to their feet and they exchange rights before Valiant takes control. Whips Jones to the ropes and into a sleeper. A desperate and struggling Jones once again reaches for a foreign object. Valiant shoves Jones to the turnbuckle who then falls to his back and the foreign object flies from his hand to the center of the ring. Valiant picks up the foreign object and hits him with it. 1-2-3.
Winner: Jimmy Valiant (Foreign Object)
- After The Bell: Valiant with the clippers shaves a knocked out Jones. Fernandez is slowly lowered to the floor and is demanding to come out. After the shaving is done, Fernandez attacks Valiant from behind and Rick Rude runs in joining the attack. Rude works on Valiant while Fernandez gets a chair. The two piledrive Valiant into the chair and then cover Jones’ head as they exit the ring.
- EA’s Take: The never-ending feud between Valiant and Paul Jones continues on, but would conclude after this one. In years past, the crowd was hot for anything going on between these two. That was not the case tonight as they would really die down almost into a silence during some points before a big pop for the finish. Maybe they were finally catching on that the matches just weren’t that good. I’d argue that Jones was a better worker even at this stage.
Intermission: Like every other year, we have an intermission like this is some kind of house show. Instead of highlights from previous Starrcade shows and interviews, we get a look at the last Jim Crockett Cup to promote the next upcoming tournament.
Match #8 is a Street Fight: Big Bubba Rogers w/Jim Cornette vs. Ronnie Garvin
Prematch, Cornette is on the mic to introduce Rogers. Schiavone explains the rules of the street fight which is the same as a last man standing. Garvin lands a few punches that seem to not effect a towering Rogers. Rogers looks for a traditional test of strength tie up. Garvin bluffs at it and punches Rogers out of the ring. Cornette helps Rogers regroup and he’s back to the ring. Rogers sends Garvin through the middle rope but he lands on his feet. Garvin is back to the ring and the men tie up. You can hear Cornette barking from ringside. The two brawl before Garvin is once again thrown through the middle rope.
Garvin slow to get back to the ring but he does so with a soda from the announce table. He splashes it on Rogers face and takes advantage with some vicious offense. Bubba finally rolls out of the ring and the crowd pops. Cornette gives Bubba a foreign object but Garvin catches Bubba in a chokehold as he enters the ring. Garvin works Bubba to the corner but Rogers out strengths him and gets in some blows. Bubba knocks him into the turnbuckle and nails him with a foreign object which appears to be a roll of nickels. Garvin gets up at an 8 count from the ref and Bubba goes back to work with punches to the mat. Garvin is once again up and an 8 count but is immeditaley bodyslammed by Bubba. 2 count. Bubba is up and the ref goes for another 10 count. Again, up at 8. The two exchange punches but Garvin pulls a rope out of his boot and starts choking Bubba with it.
The two work on the mat and Garvin lands several punches before once again tying Bubba up with the rope. After some exchanges, Rogers is able to take control and gets Garvin in a bear hug. Garvin gradually works the crowd up and is able to counter the bearhug with a headbutt but not for long. Bubba puts him in another. Garvin again counters with headbutt. Garvin lands multiple rights until finally punching him over the top rope to the floor. Cornette is pleading with Bubba to get up. Bubba’s back in the ring at the 6 count. Garvin still on the offense with rights until Bubba falls through the middle rope.
Garvin gives chase to the floor but Bubba counters with a knee to the midsection and rolls him back to the ring. Bubba to the top rope for a “Bubba Slam” but Garvin is to his feet for a gorilla press slam from the top rope. 2 count. When Bubba kicks out, Garvin lands on the referee. Garvin is first to his feet and lands a piledriver while the ref is unconcious. As Garvin stumbles near the ropes for a pin, Cornette hits Garvin on the back of the head with his racket and the referee starts his 10 count for both men who are down for the 10 count. He reaches 10 but explains on the mic that there must be a winner, so the first man to his feet will win. Cornette continues to plead with Bubba and gets in the ring but the ref pushes him back out. Garvin is the first to his knees. The ref is standing near Bubba and is pulled down. Garvin was to his feet but is hit in the knee by Cornette without the ref seeing. Bubba makes his way to his feet and win the match.
Winner: Big Bubba Rogers
- After The Bell: The crowd chants “Bull$#%!“.
- EA’s Take: In the words of Greg DeMarco referring to Big Bubba, “Thank God someone got him a gimmick!”. We know about the exploits of Ronnie Garvin after last year, but Bubba is obviously Ray Traylor, the future Big Bossman. I previously posted a picture of him working under his real name in JCP on The Chairshot’s Instagram and let me tell you, he was as bare bones (character-wise) as it gets. This upstart came into JCP and got pulled from television by Dusty Rhodes, who saw the potential in him and no longer wanted Traylor jobbing out. He was given the Big Bubba name and places alongside Jim Cornette as his bodyguard, looking like Mr. Hughes with a suit and shades (although not permanent shades like Hughes). He would get a good push and end up working opposite Dusty into 1987, but would make his way to the WWF in July of the same year.
Match #9 is First Blood for the NWA World Television Championship: Dusty Rhodes vs. NWA World Television Champion Tully Blanchard w/James J. Dillon
Before the match, they show Rhodes coming to the ring straight from his dressing room. JJ Dillon is putting a piece of headgear on Tully but Dusty is protesting. The ref and JJ get into an argument until finally JJ gives it up. Now JJ is putting some form of grease or oil on Tully’s face. The ref angerly protests this as well and wipes his face with a towel. Meanwhile, Dillon confronts Rhodes and is pushed to the mat. Dusty gives him some kicks and Dillon is bleeding. Tully misses a charge and offers Rhodes a test of strength.
Dusty instead kicks him to the midsection. The two regroup and lock up. Dusty taunts Blanchard by threatening him with his elbow. The two temporarily lock up but protect themselves from getting hit with punches or elbows. They regroup and lockup. Blanchard catches a kick, takes Rhodes to his back but misses an elbow. They lockup, and Rhodes hits a headbutt. Rhodes delivers a snapmare and a stomp to the knee. They tie up in the corner and Dusty works the midsection. The crowd goes wild as Rhodes hits an elbow. Dusty wants Tully checked but there’s no blood. Rhodes with a chop and Blanchard’s on the mat.
Rhodes with an elbow drop to the inside of the knee x2. When Rhodes threatens for the head, Blanchard rolls outside the ring. The two regroup and this time Blanchard takes control. After a snapmare, he rips at Rhodes’ face but is pulled to the mat instead. Rhodes works Blanchard to the corner, but JJ Dillon trips Rhodes from the outside and the big man falls into the ref. Meanwhile, Blanchard climbs the ropes. Dillon tosses Blanchard a shoe, but he can’t use it as Dusty catches his jumping effort. Rhodes with a suplex to Blanchard, but they hit the ref once again. With the ref out, Dusty delivers a barrage of punches to Blanchard’s head and he is bleeding but the referee is unconcious. As Rhodes celebrates, Dillon cleans the blood from Blanchard, puts oil over the cut and gives him a roll of coins. Blanchard hits Rhodes with the coins and he falls to the mat. When the ref comes to, the first thing he sees is a bleeding Dusty Rhodes.
Winner and STILL NWA World Television Champion: Tully Blanchard
- After The Bell: Dusty is enraged, pleading with the ref that Blanchard was bleeding first to no avail.
- EA’s Take: Another bloody brawl at Starrcade for Tully and another screwed finish going against the babyface. The build to this one was much better than the match itself and although I prefer Blanchard’s match against Magnum TA last year, it’s still a good watch and of course the crowd was white-hot. The formation of The Four Horsemen in early 1986 changed everything for pro wrestling’s future and anybody they were put up against seemed to come out the better of it. I stated previously that Dusty’s got the book and while he had put himself in main events in years past, he was starting to move himself down the card a bit and use his name to solidify other talent. Tully didn’t necessarily need it, but it gave him another high-profile match on Starrcade and continued The Horsemen/Rhodes rivalry without going to Dusty vs. Flair for the third year in a row.
Match #10 is a Skywalkers Match: The Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) w/Paul Ellering vs. The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Dennis Condrey) w/ Jim Cornette
To win this contest, you must push your opponents off the scaffold. Condrey starts to climb the ladder to the top of the scaffold but is very hesitant. Cornette encourages him up. As Eaton begins his climb, Cornette is grabbing his leg. Cornette comes to the announce table and proclaims that this match is insane. The Express look very nervous and start by sitting and crawling. Condrey crawls under Hawks legs and begins with Animal while Hawk and Eaton start as well. The Express are down face first early. Pretty slow moving basic stuff until the Express throws powder in the face of both Road Warriors.
Animal dangles off the right side of the scaffold and the Express are in control. Hawk’s legs are dangling. Eaton works Animal over and has one leg over. Bobby is underneith the scaffold trying to pull Animal over. He’s now hanging onto to Animals leg with one arm, the scaffold with another before catching himself on the scaffold. Eaton climbs back up as does Animal. Animal faceplants Eaton on the scaffold. Condrey is bloody from the work of Hawk. Both are bleeding. Condrey to the ladder. It looks like he may be trying to crawl down.
Hawk’s got him by the hair and delivers a right. Another right as Condrey moves down the ladder. A kick to the head as Condreys in a bad spot. Hawk comes down to kick him some more but Eaton stumbles over to save him. Animal is trailing Eaton though and catches him. Hawk delivering a series of punches to Condrey from just below the scaffold. The two continue to exchange blows while Eaton and Animal exchange up top. Animal beats beats Eaton the the lower scaffold but Eaton uses the monkey bars. All 4 men on the monkey bars swinging back and forth. The Roadwarriors kick them down. First Condrey, then Eaton.
Winners: The Road Warriors
- After The Bell: Outside the ring, Paul Ellering steals Jim Cornettes tennis racket and chases him down. Cornette tries to escape up the scaffold. Ellering gives chase. Cornette does realize Animal is still up there. Surrounded, a scared Cornette drops to him belly as Animal pulls on him. Cornette is hanging from the monkey bars and quickly falls to the ring in obvious pain.
- EA’s Take: This is of course the famous spot where Cornette blows out both of his knees and despite his acrophobia (fear of heights), would be willing to do the spot since it was on such a big stage. Big Bubba was supposed to catch him, but obviously that didn’t happen and Corny was seriously hurt. Now, if this isn’t the most dangerous gimmick you’ve seen that didn’t involve barb-wire or explosives, I’m not sure what is. Being so high up in the air leaves you on the edge of your seat, but with such an element of danger, you can imagine how difficult it is to have any sort of match under these circumstances. With two of the greatest tag teams ever, I understand the idea of the gimmick keeping Cornette at bay, but it just wasn’t for me. Waiting to watch somebody DIE is not really something I’m interested in.
Match #11 is a Steel Cage Match for the NWA World Tag Team Championships: The Andersons (Arn & Ole) vs. NWA World Tag Team Champions The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)
Gibson and Ole start. Ole’s aggressive but Gibson dodges a punch and Ole punches the cage. They lock up, Gibson on the offense but they roll to the Anderson’s corner and Ole makes the tag. Morton rushes the ring but is kicked out by the ref. Arn and Gibson working. Arn is driven into the cage multiple times before stumbling to Morton’s corner for some cheap shots. He’s able to stumble to his own corner and make the tag to Ole. Ole and Gibson exchange blows until Gibson is able to make the tag to Morton. Morton on the offense knocking Ole to the mat. They exchange a couple of reversals until Ole is able to tag Arn. Arn and Morton lock up.
Arn attempts to bash Morton to the cage but he puts his boot up. Multiple arm lock reversals before Arn backs off. Regroup. Morton with an armbar and tags Gibson. Gibson with an Irish whip into corner. Arn moves and Gibson is put up to the top rope. Arn works Gibson’s leg into the cage before dragging him off the top rope for a tag to Ole. Ole continues to work the left leg with stombs and leg drops. Another tag to Arn who picks up where Ole left off, working the left leg. Gibson is able to kick him off but before he can tag Morton, another tag is made to Ole. Ole stomps the leg but Gibson tries to fight back. The referee breaks the hold at the ropes.
Ole drags him back toward the Anderson corner but Gibson retalitates with shots to the head. He’s able to keep hold of Gibson’s foot though and makes the tag to Arn who continues submissions and knees shots to the damaged leg. Arn drags him up, Gibson attempts one kick but Arn catches it. From one foot Gibson lands a kick to Arn’s head. Arn is in position to make the tag to Ole but meanwhile, Gibson barrel rolls to his own corner and tags Morton. A huge ovation from the crowd. After brief offense, the Andersons double team Morton and Ole, the legal man, runs Morton into the steel cage twice. Ole punches him into the corner and puts his boot to Morton’s head until the ref calls him off. Snapmare by Ole. 2 count. Ole with a kick to the shoulder followed by an armbar. Morton fights him off and punches him to the ground, but Ole makes the tag along the way.
Arn works Morton into the corner and drags his face along the cage on both sides. Morton is bloody but fighting back. Arn stops the momentum wrapping Morton’s arm around the rope and tagging Ole. Ole goes to work with some stomps. He continues to target the left arm with a submission but it’s broken by the ropes. Ole hurls Morton over the turnbuckle and into the cage. More submission maneuvers and stomps on the left arm. He drives Morton into his own corner and tags Arn. Arn with an Anderson slam and goes to the 2nd rope. Morton reverses the double axe hammer with a shot to the gut and the crowd goes wild. Morton lands a DDT but Ole rushes the ring with stomps to Morton. When Gibson tries to stop this, the ref singles him out and forces him back to the corner while Ole continues to beat on Morton. Despite any official tag, it appears Ole is the legal man and he hits a shoulder drop. 2 count. Morton is fighting back but they’re in the Anderson’s corner again and the tag is made to Arn. A brief double team before Arn takes control and continues working the arm and pounding on his head.
Arn whips Morton to the ropes, he ducks a clothesline and gets Arn on the back of the head on the rebound. Both men are lying on the mat. As both men struggle to get up, Arn holds Morton’s trunks and makes the tag to Ole. Ole with a stomp followed by an arm submission. The ref checks but Morton says no. The two are down on their knees and Morton tries to fight back and respond to Ole’s punches. Ole works him to the ropes near the Anderson corner where Arn holds him and delivers cheap shots. When they lock up again, Morton tries to attack Ole’s leg but despite this, Ole makes the tag to Arn. Morton ducks a clothesline, but Arn lands a spinebuster. 2 count before Gibson saves. As the ref is redirecting Gibson, a tag is made to Ole who goes to the top rope while Arn holds him. Ole delivers a kick to the back of Morton’s head and is immediately to the mat in another armbar submission.
Both men to their feet before Morton drops and kicks Ole in the face. Ole rebounds into another headlock, but a whip to the corner results in both men hitting each other’s head. Both men slow to get up but Ole is first and tags Arn who thwarts Morton’s attempt with a stomp. He applies a front facelock to Morton who refuses to give up. Both men slow to their feet, front facelock in tack. Morton fights back with rights while Arn misses his punches. Both men to the mat. Arn makes the tag. Morton desperately fights Ole off and works him into a small package but Arn makes the save. Gibson rushes Arn and the referees try to get them out of the ring. Meanwhile Ole lifts Morton for a body slam but Gibson dropkicks Morton on top of him and they get the 3 count.
Winners and STILL NWA World Tag Team Champions: The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express (Morton/Assisted Body Slam Counter)
- After The Bell: The Andersons go after the Express as they crawl their way out of the cage.
- EA’s Take: What a loaded tag division JCP has, at least it feels that way with your top four! This was a masterful work of art by two more of the best duos ever, The Andersons dominating the action much like they did last year. I don’t need to delve too much into this one because you should already know what to expect from them and that’s exactly what they gave us. This was everything tag team wrestling should be.
Match #12 for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship: NWA United States Champion Nikita Koloff vs. NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair
Before the match there’s a tribute to Magnum TA. Mixed reaction for Nikita. The two lock up and Koloff powers him down. They lock up again and get the same result. Flair walks out of the ring to regroup. Test of strength and Koloff immediately twists his arm. Flair screams and the crowd cheers. Flair responds with chops that do not effect Koloff. Frustrated, Flair goes for another walk. They finally lock up again, and Flair is once again powered to the mat. You can hear Flair say “OK, Now you get your butt kicked you son of a gun!”. Flair works Koloff to the corner, but Koloff is able to turn and ultimately hiptosses Flair back to the center of the ring. Regroup and lock up.
Nikita powers him to the turnbuckle and hiptosses him once again followed by a couple impressive 1 handed body slams. Flair cowers away on his backside and demands the ref to back Koloff off. They lock up again, run the ropes and Flair tries an unsuccessful shoulder tackle. On attempt number two he is caught in a bear hug. Flair is screaming “No”. Koloff works Flairs shoulders to the mat but he kicks out at 2 several times. He’s pulled up to a full bear hug. Flair walks himself to the ropes to break the hold but Koloff immedaitely with shoulders to the midsection. Flair pulls a reversal on an Irish whip and gets Koloff up for a vertical suplex. But Nikita is right back to his feet and the frustrated Flair leaves the ring and paces outside in pain. He crawls back into the ring begging Koloff to back off for a minute. They lock up and Koloff administers a headlock.
Flair fights back with punches and works him to the corner for shoulders to the midsection and chops. Flair with a punch to the face and a whip to the ropes. After a failed shoulder tackle, Koloff reverses the next run with The Russian Hammer. The ref breaks the hold. Flair pulls himself up by the rope. Koloff attempts a clothesline but Flair moves and Koloff flies over the top rope. Flair starts to work on the knee, running it into the post outside and clipping him inside. Flair taunts Koloff who is struggling to get to his feet. Flair with multiple chops before getting into the Figure Four Leglock. As the ref isn’t looking, Flair takes extra leverage from the rope. Koloff struggles but refuses to give up. Koloff manages to turn the figure four, but Flair is on the ropes and the hold is broken. An angry Flair gets up and runs Koloff’s eyes across the top rope.
Flair with chops in the corner, but it seems to invoke Koloff. Koloff powers him down to the other corner. A begging Flair receives kicks and shoulder shots before a shoulder tackle. On the 2nd attempt, Flair is able to reverse and throw Koloff through the middle rope. Flair follows and leads Koloff around the ring and smashes his head on the scaffold. Koloff is bleeding. Back to the ring, Flair hits a snapmare followed by a knee to the head. 2 count. Side suplex by Flair and another 2 count. Flair is frustrated and delivers a series of punches to the head before the ref backs him off. This seems to have woken Nikita up. Nikita is up and stalking Flair. Koloff on the offense with shoulder blocks and a body slam. Koloff hip tosses Flair who is screaming “NO!”. Koloff whips Flair to the turnbuckle and he tumbles outside the ring. Koloff giving chase, but when he gets there Flair delivers a headbutt to the midsection. He tries to run Koloff into the scaffold again but its blocked and instead Koloff drives Flair’s head into the structure. Koloff back to the ring first as the ref counts. Koloff hits him again from inside the ring. Flair works his way into the ring and Koloff drives him into the turnbuckle.
When Koloff slowly approaches an offensive maneuver, Flair reverses with a kick to the gut and a chop in the corner. Koloff matches chops and punches and Flair falls face first to the mat. Whip to the rope. Koloff hits an awkward shoulder tackle which also hits the referee who is knocked to the floor. Flair with the Irish whip to the corner, but Koloff comes back with a huge lariat. He makes a prolonged cover but there is no referee in the ring. Koloff tries to pull the referee back in (who is being helped by other official) In the meantime, Flair is up and delivers a knee to Koloff’s back. A new official rolls into the ring for a pinfall attempt. 2 count. Koloff blocks a punch and attempts to whip Flair into the ropes. Flair reverses the whip but when Koloff comes back, Flair ducks a clothesline and hits the new referee. Koloff bullies Flair in the corner as the original referee returns to the ring. As he tries to break the hold in the corner x2, Koloff pushes him down. Ref calls for the bell.
Winner: Double Disqualification
- After The Bell: A complete melee as various wrestlers rush the ring to pull them apart.
- EA’s Take: This is very unusual in terms of crowd reaction, Nikita getting a mix of cheers and boos, but Flair’s a Horsemen and they’re heels. After the accident to Magnum TA, booker Dusty Rhodes had to make a change as Magnum was set to be pushed into a main event title match against Flair. The era of the evil Russians was starting to come to a close, so in order to capitalize on the changing political tides, Nikita would side with Rhodes and make the switch. Clearly, not all of the crowd was buying it yet. Nikita is much improved at this point and it allows Flair to do what he does best and that’s sell, sell, sell. This clash put Dusty in an unusual spot however, as Nikita isn’t ready for the World Title, but still needed to be protected to a degree if he was ever to get there. That leaves us with a finish I don’t care for, but again, I understand why it had to be done.
EA’s Finisher: A solid show. I think the gimmick matches were a lot cleaner than last year and made them more enjoyable, but that Skywalkers Match I definitely could have lived without. I applaud JCP for trying something new, but to me it just doesn’t work, it’s far too dangerous and was a wasted opportunity to have a quality match between two all-time great teams. The Andersons and Rock ‘N’ Roll Express put on a tag team clinic, the main event was a better in-ring product than the year before and we continue to see Crockett replenish his roster with young talent (which was really a necessity, but if not for that ability they may have had to sell much sooner). The production value is certainly getting better as well, plus there weren’t really any tech issues that I can recall. If I’m being honest, JCP’s product is really every bit as good as the WWF’s and in cetain aspects, is even better. The difference is WWF is mainstream, JCP was not.
Top Three To Watch
1 – The Andersons vs. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express
2 – Ric Flair vs. Nikita Koloff
3 – Sam Houston vs. Bill Dundee
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Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 12 – Best of the X-Division
This recap is going to be a little different from the usual. Since, at the time this episode was done, TNA was still looking for new investors after Health South withdrew its financial backing of the program, the decision was made to do a clip show of the X-Division for Week 12 to fill the timeslot. This was September 4, 2002, Week 13 wouldn’t air until the 18th due to being preempted by remembrance of the 9/11 attacks, which had happened the year before. So, let’s see what’s going on.
We start off with a RARE Lo-Ki interview with Goldilocks. Lo-Ki says there’s no bigger opportunity than this and that opportunities like him don’t get many shots like this on a national level. We also get some fan interviews stating that they keep coming back for the X-Division matches. A lot of TNA stars like Kid Kash, Ron Killings, Monte Brown, and the Flying Elvises sing the praises of the X-Division and how great it is that anyone can compete in it, despite the fact that the division is pretty much made up of cruiserweight size guys.
Jeremy Borash and Goldylocks, who seems to be in a very good mood, probably because Borash isn’t being a jerk to her. Borash and Goldy discuss how great the X-Division has been and how you never know what to expect. We get the explanation about how the X-Division is open to all kinds of athletes regardless of size or wrestling style. Again, I will point out that except for Sonny Siaki, all of the athletes in the X-Division fall into the Cruiserweight category. Also, Siaki had BARELY competed in the X-Division, at least as far as this episode.
ANYWAY, let’s take a look at the matches TNA has dubbed the best of the X-Division.
The Flying Elvises vs Lo-Ki, AJ Styles, and Jerry Lynn
Comment: I remember being very impressed with this match. It seemed like a good opening match for TNA. These six men are easily the best of the X-Division as they actually WRESTLE and do the high-flying stuff. Sonny Siaki stands out here, not only due to his skills, but because he’s easily the tallest and largest man in the match. This was such a good match that the fact that Styles took the pin doesn’t really seem to matter.
In the backstage interview, Estrada talks about how much pressure they were under because they were the first match. Yang says that his favorites to watch were Amazing Red, Lo-Ki, and AJ Styles. We also learn that Styles and Yang are great friends and started out together, which is a nice tidbit. Estrada talks again about paying their dues and working hard and wanting some changes. Yang talks about his WCW run and how he never felt like he’d be an impact player and that it feel different in TNA.
Tenay talks about how the Elvises were the first winners of TNA but that they’ve had communication issues and issues with Siaki’s ego, which prompts a clip of Siaki saying that he’s the best of the X-Division.
Borash and Goldy talk about the Elvises and Borash comments about Siaki thinking Goldy is sweet on him, to which Goldy says ‘Only in his own mind.’
With that settled, we are turning our attention to Lo-Ki, Styles, and Lynn who, along with Psichosis, competed to be the first X-Division Champion.
Double Elimination Round Robin Match For the X-Division Championship: AJ Styles vs Psichosis vs Lo-Ki vs Jerry Lynn.
Comment: This match is, for me, still the best match, not just X-Division, but overall match that TNA has put on so far. That said, I still think they should’ve had a tournament to decide who would compete for the title and brought it down to Jerry Lynn vs AJ Styles because it felt like Lo-Ki and Psichosis were just there to take the pins, especially Psichosis.
Borash and Goldy discuss Styles and Lynn getting the Tag Team Championship and the issues the two men have had with each other during the show’s run so far.
NWA Tag Team Championship: Jerry Lynn and AJ Style vs Slash and Tempest (with James Mitchell).
Comment: First of all, I’m annoyed that they didn’t show us the Tag Team Championship Final between the Rainbow Express and Lynn/Styles, which is what it looked like they were going to show.
Anyway, I still think this was a pretty good match. Slash and Tempest, like many guys in TNA weren’t totally ready for prime time, but still did a really great job of keeping up with Lynn and Styles.
As I’m watching this, a scroll is going across the screen, announcing that TNA will be back in two weeks, so the partnership with Panda Energy must’ve happened pretty quickly.
Watching this back, I’m not totally buying Jerry Lynn’s excuse about Styles playing mind games and pulling ribs as the reason he turned on him. Lynn is clearly not happy about Styles tagging himself in the get the pinfall. Why not just stick with that instead of ret-conning it to make Lynn more sympathetic instead of a veteran being mad about a kid showing him up?
Borash and Goldy continue their discussion about the issues between Lynn and Styles, which has been the central story of the X-Division and how it was all about respect.
NWA World Tag Team Match: The Flying Elvises vs Jerry Lynn and AJ Styles.
Comment: This was another really great match from these teams. The five guys in this segment are the core of the fledgling X-Division because they consistently put on great matches together, though the Elvises tend to stumble when they work with other teams. I still don’t know who did the blade job on Lynn, but they overdid it for that little bump on the guardrail.
After this match, we get a clip of the Styles/Lynn backstage fight and them trying to work things out so that they can function as tag partners. I find it interesting that for all Lynn’s talk about respect, he goes out of his way to disrespect Styles and what Styles has done in his, then, short career. I guess no one told Lynn that the best way to get respect is to give it in return and that he should earn Styles’ respect instead of demanding it after jumping him from behind and beating him up. I guess this is why they had Lynn come up with the excuse of mind games and ribbing to justify him being the babyface despite being a jerk.
We see Styles and Lynn seeming to want to work things out and have the kinks ironed out, but that didn’t even last the one show.
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Chairshot Classics: WWE Survivor Series 2015
With all signs pointing to The Brothers Of Destruction teaming up at WWE’s Crown Jewel on November 2nd, today we’re looking back at another time The Undertaker partnered up with his brother Kane, Survivor Series 2015! It was a celebration of 25 years of ‘The Deadman’ on this evening, but The Wyatt Family looked to spoil the party. Could ‘The New Face Of Fear’ defeat The Brothers Of Destruction and take his place as WWE’s newest evil?
Kickoff Show Match – Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Miz, Bo Dallas, Stardust & The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) vs. Neville, The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von), Titus O’Neil & Goldust
- Gold & Stardust will kickoff the action, Stardust tries a boot, Goldust catches the foot and they slug it out, The Cosmic One falling back into his corner and tagging out. Viktor hits the ring, charges right into a powerslam, Goldust with the cover and he scores an early elimination. Viktor has been eliminated.
- Konnor steps in and has words for The Bizarre One, Titus calling for the tag and he gets it. Collar & elbow lock-up, Konnor backs O’Neil into the corner, doesn’t break clean and hammers away with right hands before celebrating prematurely, Titus turning the tables and unleashing a series of his won. Konnor reverses a whip across, charges in, O’Neil hops up and over and delivers a slam, following with a leg drop before tagging out. D-Von enters the match, connects with a couple of rights and brings in his brother, Bubba hitting a slam and calling D-Von to the top, hitting the Wazzup Headbutt. Bubba gives the orders for tables, Stardust and Miz charge the ring, only to get clotheslined to the outside. The Man That Gravity Forgot comes in, sees Dallas running in and elevates him out to the floor, hits the ropes and flies to the outside with a moonsault plancha as we go to a break….Konnor whips Bubba into the ropes for a back body drop when we come back, drops a big elbow and covers for 1. Bubba ducks a right hand and plants Konnor with a uranage out of nowhere, hooks the leg and gets a sneaky 3 count. Konnor has been eliminated.
- Stardust rushes the ring and runs into a hiptoss, D-Von tags in and takes a knee to the breadbasket, The Cosmic One tagging out and Miz pummels D-Von in the corner. Bo tags and does more of the same, quickly tags out and Stardust rips at D-Von’s face. The A-Lister re-enters the match, snapmares D-Von over and hits the ropes for a running boot that gets a count of 2. He goes to a front facelock, D-Von battles to his feet, Miz with a kneelift, hits the ropes and D-Von plants him with a spinebuster. Stardust gets a tag, climbs to the top for a double axe handle and catches a right hand to the midsection on the way down. D-Von crawls to a tag, The Man That Gravity Forgot spingboards into the ring over Stardust, takes down Dallas and Miz on the apron, then connects with a flurry of kicks to The Cosmic One. Neville scores with an enzuigiri, shoots him in for a back body drop and Stardust with a kick to the chest. He charges Neville in the corner, The Man That Gravity Forgot side-steps it, Bo makes a blind tag and plants him with the Running Bo-Dog, Miz with a blind tag, follows with the Skull Crushing Finale and finishes Neville off. Neville has been eliminated.
- The A-Lister runs his mouth at The Dudleys on the apron, Goldust slides in from behind with a schoolboy and gets the 1-2-3. The Miz has been eliminated.
- Miz can’t believe it and argues with the referees on his way out, Goldust is distracted and Stardust takes advantage as we go to another break….Bo has Goldust on the floor when we return, rolls him back inside and covers for a 2 count before going to a rear chinlock. The Bizarre One finds his footing, breaks the hold and hits the ropes, running into a dropkick by Dallas for another count of 2. Stardust tags, clobbers away at Goldust on the apron, feigns going for a table and changes his mind, stomping away at his brother in the ring. The Cosmic One grabs a crossface chickenwing, pulls Goldust up for a suplex, The Bizarre One counters to a small package for a count of 2, but gets immediately laid out by a clothesline. Stardust with some early celebration, Goldust takes advantage with a schoolboy for 2, The Cosmic One angrily pounding away and bringing Dallas back in. The Inspirational One continues the onslaught, levels Goldust with a short-arm clothesline for a near fall, then goes back to the rear chinlock to wear him out. Bo slams him to the mat trying to get to his feet, Stardust tags and they split The Bizarre One with a wishbone, then drops The Dudleys & Titus off the apron. The Cosmic One runs at Goldust in the corner, meets a boot to the midsection and The Bizarre One plants him with a sunset flip bomb. Bo gets the tag as Goldust reaches Titus, O’Neil with a shoulder to Dallas, squashes Stardust in the corner, then clotheslines Bo and shoots him in for a back body drop. The Inspirational One sees it coming and hits a kick, but gets dropped by a big boot, Titus turning around and catching Stardust coming off the top into multiple backbreakers. O’Neil stacks them in the corner, squashes them both and Goldust & Bubba enter the ring with synchronized Dusty tributes, Clash Of The Titus to Bo and we’re down to 4 on 1. Bo Dallas has been eliminated.
- Stardust realizes he’s all by himself, drops off the apron and tries to take a walk. O’Neil goes out to meet him, Goldust comes up from behind and catches a back elbow, The Cosmic One tries to run away, slides in the ring and runs into a 3D to finish it.
Winners & Sole Survivors: The Dudley Boyz, Titus O’Neil & Goldust
- EA’s Take: I think Renee Young is overblowing just how ‘good’ this match really was. To me it was just an appetizer, a time-filler, something to get the people in the arena a little more hyped up for the main show. The match was not bad by any means, but it was merely a bunch of thrown-together parts and the only significance was the return of Goldust.
Open: Everyone rises to their feet in the arena, as Lilian Garcia is in the ring to sing our National Anthem.
Video: “Once in a generation there comes a phenom. An individual not measured in seconds, days, weeks or even years, but by the legacy he’s built. A presence that’s risen above all challenges and gone head-first into the unknown. But, when a Phenom joins a Demon from the depths of Hell, only time will tell us what the future will bring.” Tonight marks the 25 year anniversary of The Undertaker in WWE, as he and his brother, Kane, look to cement their spot as the keepers of the darkness over The Wyatt Family. A change is coming, as tonight we crown a brand new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. “History is written, by the survivors.”
Match #1 – WWE Title Tournament Semi-Finals: Roman Reigns vs. WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio w/Zeb Colter
Collar & elbow tie-up to start, Alberto backs Roman into the corner and they break clean. Another lock-up, Reigns with a side headlock, Del Rio pushes him off into the ropes and gets knocked down by a shoulder, re-thinking his strategy. The champion with a leg kick, backs Reigns into the corner for more to the ribs, then fires off right hands from the 2nd rope. Roman powers out of the corner with Alberto on his shoulder, flipping him to the mat, Del Rio coming right back by pulling Reigns to the outside. The Big Dog drags Alberto out by the foot, looks to drive him into the barricade, Del Rio counters and Roman is sent into the wall, then rolled back inside.
Alberto comes off the top with an overhand chop for a count of 2, Roman reversing a whip into the corner, climbs to the 2nd rope with right hands, Del Rio pushes him off, charges in and gets planted by a tilt-a-whirl powerslam for 2. Roman drives the champion into the top turnbuckle, whips him hard into the corner, charges in and gets elevated to the apron, Alberto hanging him across the top rope and dropping him to the floor with an enzuigiri. Del Rio heads out and rams Reigns into the steel steps as Triple H watches from the back. Back in the arena, El Patron tosses Roman inside, heads up top for another overhand chop and goes to a rear chinlock.
The Big Dog battle to a standing position, whips Del Rio into the corner, rushes in and misses, hitting the ring post shoulder-first. The champion keeps the pressure on with kicks and right hands, charges for a running dropkick, Roman avoids it and Alberto flies through the ropes to the outside. Reigns rolls outside, catches Del Rio climbing up the apron with the Drive-By, bashes his head off the apron and announce desk, then rolls him back in the ring. Alberto tries a clothesline, Reigns ducks it and connects with one of his own, then clobbers the champion in the corner with a flurry more before hitting the ropes for a big boot. The Big Dog calls for the Superman Punch, El Patron ducks out of the way and scores with a Backstabber, makes the cover and gets a near fall.
Del Rio goes back to kicks in the corner, spikes Roman with a DDT for another count of 2, arguing with the ref about the count. The champion sets his sights on a superkick, The Big Dog ducks out of the way, plants Alberto with a Samoan Drop and gets 2. Reigns props Del Rio on the top turnbuckle, attempts a superplex, Alberto with headbutts, gets Reigns in the tree of woe and tries the double stomp. Roman avoids it, Del Rio’s knee buckles on the landing, Reigns coming back with a Superman Punch and positioning himself for the Spear, Alberto countering with a superkick for a near fall.
The champion thinks it’s time for the Cross Armbreaker, Reigns counters into a schoolboy powerbomb, Alberto kicking out at 2. Both men struggle to get to their feet, Alberto grabbing a Cross Armbreaker out of nowhere on the canvas, Reigns powers Del Rio up to a vertical base, but the champion hanging onto the hold in the ropes. The referee finally forces the break, El Patron heads to the top, jumps over Roman who’s getting to his feet, turns around and takes a Spear, Reigns covering to advance.
Winner: Roman Reigns (Spear)
- EA’s Take: Del Rio clearly still hasn’t quite gotten his footing back yet, there were some mix-ups at the beginning of the match that were glaring, things were a bit choppy for a bit there. They were able to turn it around towards the end of the match, but I’ve had Roman as a lock for the finals since the tournament was announced. Nothing surprising here in a match that was similar to a Raw main event.
Backstage: Jojo brings in Roman Reigns for some words, Dean Ambrose coming right in and congratulating his friend on the victory. Roman tells Dean that all he has to do is win and it’ll be them for the title, Ambrose walking away. The Big Dog tells Jojo that once Dean’s done, it will be best friends fighting for the championship. Kevin Owens comes in to remind Roman that he’s not eliminated yet, telling Reigns he’s been close before and tonight, he’s the guy that will stop him. KO walks off, Reigns stating that Owens is about to get his ass whooped.
Match #2 – WWE Title Tournament Semi-Finals: Dean Ambrose vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens
Ambrose with a hammerlock to start, switches to a side headlock, Owens fighting out and grabbing one of his own. The Lunatic Fringe pushes KO into the ropes and gets dropped by a shoulder knockdown, Owens back into the ropes and Dean with multiple armdrags. The champion reverses whip into the ropes, Ambrose with a schoolboy for a quick 1, gets a waistlock and Owens with a back elbow, using a schoolboy for a quick 1 of his own. KO with shoulders to the midsection in the corner, shoots Dean across and charges in, The Lunatic Fringe hops up and over, hits the ropes and takes Owens down with a forearm.
He rakes KO’s face on the top rope, clotheslines him to the outside and flies with a slingshot crossbody to the floor. Ambrose sends the champion back inside, charges him in the corner with a forearm, follows with a running bulldog and covers for 1. The Lunatic Fringe heading upstairs, Owens hits the ropes and crotches Dean, dropping him to the mat with right hands and scoring with the Cannonball that gets 1. The Prize Fighter utilizes a rear chinlock, Ambrose gains a vertical base and breaks the hold with jabs and chops, Owens countering a whip into the corner and Dean goes in sternum-first.
The champion plants Dean with a torture rack neckbreaker for a 2 count, hits the ropes for a running senton and gets another count of 2. He chokes Ambrose on the middle rope, levels him with a short-arm clothesline, fires away with heavy rights, sends Dean into the ropes for a back elbow and gets another near fall. KO back to the rear chinlock, again Triple H is watching from the back as The Lunatic Fringe fights to his feet. Owens catches him in a sleeper, Dean counters to a back suplex, then avoids a running senton, hits the ropes and they double down off a double clothesline. The Lunatic Fringe tries Dirty Deeds, KO blocks it, they exchange right hands, Ambrose hits the ropes and Owens hangs him on the top rope.
He splits Dean with a gutbuster, heads up top for a moonsault and misses, The Lunatic Fringe scaling the corner to follow with a diving elbow drop and a near fall. Ambrose props Owens on the top turnbuckle, hooks for a superplex, KO blocks it and drops Dean back to the mat. The Lunatic Fringe fires back up to attempt a superplex, the champion counters and powers him into a 2nd rope fisherman’s buster, but still can’t get a 3 count. Owens yells at Dean to stay down, sends him into the ropes for a Pop-Up Powerbomb, Ambrose rebounds off the middle rope and scores with the Lunatic Lariat, KO rolling to the outside.
Ambrose flies through the ropes with a suicide dive, tosses the champion in, Owens rolls out the other side and Dean tries another suicide dive, but gets caught. KO drops The Lunatic Fringe on the announce table, tosses him back in for a Pop-Up Powerbomb, Dean avoids it and lands on his feet turning around into a superkick. Ambrose rebounds off the ropes for another Lunatic Lariat, walks into another superkick, the champion attempts the Pop-Up Powerbomb again, Dean counters with a hurricanrana, then spikes Owens with Dirty Deeds to head to the finals.
Winner: Dean Ambrose (Dirty Deeds)
- EA’s Take: A better match, a lot cleaner than our first semi-final. I had a hard time believing Ambrose wouldn’t win this, but figured the odds were greater than that of Reigns, so it definitely helped make the match more interesting. I’m hoping for something more interesting to happen in the main event, as everything thus far has been expected.
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Chairshot Classics: WCW Halloween Havoc ’92 – Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal
Open: Tony Schiavone & Bruno Sammartino introduce the show, specifically talking about the “Spin the Wheel – Make the Deal” match between Sting and Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts. WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ron Simmons must be cautious of The Barbarian, and there has been some conflict between Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham. Missy Hyatt is backstage to figure out whether or not Rick Rude has decided who his choice of guest referee will be for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship match. She has no information at this time and sends it off to the commentary team.
Match #1: Arn Anderson, ‘Beautiful’ Bobby Eaton & Michael ‘P.S.’ Hayes vs. ‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk, Johnny Gunn & Shane Douglas
Anderson and Gunn get us going. Collar and elbow tie up, Anderson with position, the veteran with some condescension before beating the young kid down. Irish whip, Gunn puts on the breaks and lands a drop kick. Anderson gets a knee to the midsection after a distraction by his teammate, he goes to the top but the Z-Man takes care of him with a drop kick of his own. Anderson’s team regroups on the floor, Double A comes back to the ring. Collar and elbow, Gunn with a wristlock and a tag to Z-Man. Zenk with an elbow and he grabs the wrist. Anderson with a drop toe hold and he tags in Eaton.
Beautiful Bobby with some rights. Zenk reverses the Irish whip and Eaton digs his heels in giving Z-man a shot. They hit the ropes and Zenk executes a high elevation back body drop. He follows it with a drop kick back to Eaton’s corner and Michael Hayes is tagged in to a big pop. Hayes with a side headlock, Z-Man forces him on the ropes, they run and Zenk delivers a hip toss. Hayes slows it down. Collar and elbow tie p and Zenk makes a quick tag to Douglas. Shane twists the wrist, they hit the ropes and Shane is quick with an arm drag. He hangs on with an arm bar until Hayes gets a knee to the gut and tags in Eaton. Shane greets him with an arm drag and he locks in.
Bobby gets position with a vertical base, he moves to the corner for a break but takes some liberties. Douglas reverses the Irish whip and elevates with the back body drop. Headscissor takedown by Shane followed with a single leg takedown. A tag is made to Zenk and he goes right to work on Bobby’s leg. Eaton is able to crawl his way to his corner and tag in The Enforcer. Arn with a forearm and a side headlock, they hit the ropes, Double A gets a shoulder tackle but he’s caught in a sleeper hold on the comeback. Anderson escapes it with a belly to back suplex. Hayes is tagged in and he hits a quick elbow, followed with a fist to the face before grabbing a reverse chin lock. Z-Man fights out with elbows to the gut, he hits the ropes but Hayes catches him with a kick.
Swinging neckbreaker by Hayes and he gets two. Eaton is tagged back in, Z-Man trying to fight him off. Z-Man lifts Eaton for an atomic drop, unaware Eaton tagged in Anderson. Eaton reverses the Irish whip, Z-Man ducks his clothesline but runs into the elbow of the legal man. Anderson with a lateral press and he gets two. Anderson feeds Z-Man to the corner and he tags in Michael Hayes. The Freebird locks in a modified camel clutch, he breaks it, goes for a vertical suplex but it’s reversed. Hayes tags Anderson while Zenk tags Douglas. Shane goes to work on all of his opponents. A front face lock is placed on Anderson, and Eaton cheap shots him at the knees.
Double A goes to work on the leg that was clipped, Eaton is tagged in and he enters with some flying knee to knee contact. Beautiful Bobby locks in the figure four and he gets some help from Michael Hayes. Douglas tries to roll it over and Eaton smartly tags in Anderson. Arn sends him for an Irish whip, he comes off the ropes and catches Double A with an atomic drop but both men knock heads and they’re down. Anderson crawls and tags in Hayes but Douglas is able to tag is Gunn right after. Johnny sends Hayes for the ride and a back body drop, he’s rushed by Eaton who gets a scoop slam and a melee breaks out. While all six competitors brawl, Johnny Gunn hits a Lou Thesz Press on Michael Hayes and they pick up the win!
Winners: ‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk, Johnny Gunn & Shane Douglas (Gunn/Lou Thesz Press)
- EA’s Take: This match felt like a collection of guys with nothing meaningful to do storyline-wise (which is basically the case), but they still delivered a perfectly fine opening bout. With three grizzled vets on the other side of the ring, I’m not sure who they’re trying to put over here, if anyone. No one on the winning team stood out, but I sincerely enjoyed the match all the same.
Backstage: Missy Hyatt is still outside Rick Rude’s locker room. She can’t get in, but here comes Harley Race. The former World Champion is just here to watch a championship match and he won’t let Hyatt into the locker room.
Match #2: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat vs. ‘Flyin’ Brian Pillman
Collar and elbow tie up, Pillman gets position and chops away. Steamboat retaliates with a chop of his own, they hit the ropes and Ricky takes Pillman down with a shoulder block. He tries another and gets a two count. Pillman tries flipping Steamboat over the top rope but The Dragon hangs on and grabs a victory roll for two. Off the kickout, Steamboat hits the turnbuckle and Pillman scoop slams him. Pillman taunts and Steamboat plays possum, baiting him into an arm bar. Pillman up to a vertical base, they hit the ropes, Steamboat with a shoulder tackle and a hip toss. Deep arm drag by The Dragon and he hangs on.
Steamboat moves to the wrist and he puts a lot of power on it. Pillman reverses with a drop toe hold, he can’t grab the chin lock and Steamboat reverses back into the hammerlock. Steamboat with knees to the kidneys, they’re up to vertical. Pillman fights back with forearms and Steamboat retaliates with chops and a back body drop. Scoop slam by Steamboat, but he’s met with a slow blow, an eye rake and a clothesline. Pillman hangs Steamboat on the ropes and throws him back. Steamboat is sent for the ride, he leap frogs Pillman and catches him in a choke on the comeback. Pillman meets the turnbuckle, Steamboat tries to send him for the ride but Brian drops down. The ref backs Steamboat off and Flyin Brian takes a cheap shot.
Brian rubs Steamboat’s face into the canvass. Steamboat fights back with some chops and sends Pillman into the turnbuckle. They run the ropes and Pillman counters with a head scissor take down. Pillman takes Steamboat to the middle rope, he sends The Dragon for the ride and he counters into a back slide and a two count. Pillman quickly hammers Steamboat’s head into the canvass and chokes him out. Ref breaks it up. Pillman sets Steamboat on the top turn buckle and slaps him in the face. He sets up for a superplex, Steamboat blocks it and throws Pillman to the canvass. Steamboat comes off the turnbuckle but he runs into a drop kick by Flyin Brian.
Pillman says its over, Steamboat gets his shoulder up on multiple covers. Brian checks in with the ref and is victim of a belly to back suplex. The ref starts his 10 count, Steamboat is up first, Pillman reverses the whip to the ropes and catches The Dragon in a sleeper. Steamboat drives into the corner, Pillman hangs on, but not the second time. From the apron, Pillman snaps Steamboat’s neck off the top rope. He climbs the turnbuckles, Steamboat catches him with a gorilla press. Steamboat is fired up, Pillman escapes to the floor. Ricky gives chase and chops him on the outside. Pillman is rolled back in, Brian regains the advantage with a knee to the face and some chops.
Steamboat is sent into the turnbuckle, The Dragon fights back with chops. Steamboat tries to grab him, again Brian rolls to the floor but he’s followed again. Irish whip by Steamboat and he runs into a knee. Pillman with a cross body press from the 2nd rope and he gets a two count. Standing switch into a back breaker by Steamboat who heads for the top rope. A big sunset flip earns him two. Pillman counters the pin, but The Dragon flips him back and he picks up the 3 count.
Winner: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat (Roll-Up)
- EA’s Take: This was exactly what you would expect, Pillman is showing some heel behavior. He’s also taken quite a few losses, albeit to legitimate opponents, you’d hate to see his talent get buried. Unfortunately, this is kind of his road until a partnership that wasn’t fondly remembered until years after Pillman’s early passing.