Bill Watts and Stagger Lee vs. Dennis Condrey and Bobby Eaton (4/22/1984)
The heels reluctantly enter the ring. They both walk to Watts who is standing in the middle of the ring, eat punches and sell big for each shot. Watts has a hamstring injury, so he’s largely immobile. Eaton ends this sequence by being placed on the top rope where he is punched off of it to the floor. Watts has a taped fist and he shakes his hand after each blow to sell the pain he’s inflicting on himself from the force of the blows.
The Express regroup and attempt to double up on Watts, but he blasts them both in the face with punches and they fly. Eaton stumbles over to JYD and asks for a tag, so JYD obliges. Eaton steps out of the ring, realizes JYD is standing next to him and eats another punch which sends him wobbly legged across the apron into Watts who slugs him again, which sends Eaton flying into the railing and sends the fans into hysterics.
JYD tags in and he and Watts pinball Eaton around with more punches. Watts comes back in but gets caught in the heel corner. He falls down and both men take turns dropping knees and boots on to him. Eaton lures in the JYD to distract the ref and allow the Express some free double teaming time. Watts ends up in a headlock, but fights to free himself in order to avoid making it look as if he were just sitting there prone and dare I suggest “resting”. Eaton locks on a chinlock to keep wearing out Watts.
Watts fights his way out, but is cut off from making the tag. Watts fights back again, but the Condrey distracts the ref and causes him to miss the tag to JYD. To further outrage the fans, while the Dog argues with the ref, Jim Cornette slips in and gives Watts a cheap shot with his tennis racquet.
JYD has seen enough and just enters the ring to batter the Express. Corny’s racquet finds it’s way into the Dog’s throat. Eaton preps powder to blind Watts, but the Cowboy kicks it in Eaton’s face to a huge pop. Eaton is then given a powerslam for the pin at around the 14-minute mark as the place explodes! Magnum TA runs in and he, Watts and JYD surround Cornette. Watts bitch slaps him and they force him to strip down to his underwear. Watts shoves him down and the men place a large diaper on him as they feed him a baby bottle designed for calves. The crowd eats this all up of course.
Despite the faces being limited in the ring, the Express stooged and sold enough to give the fans the thrill of seeing the righteous asskicking they were salivating for.
Magnum T.A. vs. Ted Dibiase (5/27/1984) – Oklahoma City
This match is under no disqualification rules. Dibiase attacks Magnum from behind to start and quickly sends T.A. to the floor where he is dumped on a table. T.A. battles back and slams him on the floor. Dibiase then begs off and runs, because he’s a heel and heels are cowards at heart. He bumps big for T.A. slugging him and that sets up the action returning to the floor.
Back in the ring, T.A. misses a charge into the turnbuckle and that allows Dibiase to blast him with an elbow from the second rope and a fistdrop. Dibiase loads up his glove and rocks T.A. with it. Dibiase is hiding the object, but it is no DQ, so that’s being overly cautious. T.A. bleeds from the blow, and things then get worse as he’s sent into the ringpost.
A powerslam badly hurts T.A., but Dibiase gloats instead of going in for the kill. Dibiase attempts a leg lock, but is kicked off and falls to the floor. T.A. fires up, nails Dibiase with several punches and hits the belly-to-belly for the win at around the 8:30 mark.
This was a solid match, with some rare (?) brawling into the audience to amp up the grudge aspect of this gimmick match. The blood is always welcome in these hate filled battles. The match was a bit shorter than I expected but that may be because the men had another match later that day…
Magnum T.A. vs. Ted Dibiase (5/27/1984) – Tulsa
THE REMATCH. Only a few hours after the last show. Magnum turns his back at the start again, but this time he is ready for Dibiase’s sneak attack and he knocks around Ted before tossing him to the floor. T.A. chases and pounds on Dibiase both out of and back in the ring. Dibiase manages to dump Magnum on the floor to buy himself some recovery time.
T.A. ends up bloody as Dibiase tears at his forehead. A sleeper hold gives the cameraman a chance to really zoom in on the gore as Magnum has a crimson mask draining down his face and onto his opponent’s arm. T.A. finally breaks the hold by propelling Dibiase to the floor.
Dibiase manages to maintain control on the weakened T.A., but Magnum flips Dibiase over his head during a piledriver attempt in order to retake control. T.A. fiercely drives his knuckles into Dibiase’s head until both men collide and collapse. That break allows Dibiase to load up his glove. He swings and misses, which ends with Dibiase being dropped with a belly to belly suplex for the win after 9:30.
The men put on a different match than their earlier brawl. They continued to have good intensity in their fight and Magnum’s blade job was top notch.
Rock and Roll Express and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Bobby Eaton, Dennis Condrey and Ernie Ladd (6/8/1984)
Corny takes the mic away from the announcer to do his own intros. The announcer signals for him to stick it for that. That was funny since ring announcers are usually complacent when the talent gets bossy. The fans are so rabid for Ricky and Robert that the announcer at ringside has to ask them to return to their seats once the Express hit the ring.
Morton and Eaton start off, with Eaton coming up short in each exchange he tries with Ricky. Condrey tries his luck and is immediately tossed into the faces corner, where all three men lay fists on him. The fans go wild for that and are literally leaping out of their seats at ringside and into the air.
Ernie Ladd comes in and his size immediately proves to be an issue as he easily scoops Morton up into a choke. The women shriek in horror in the stands. Morton bounces off of him while trying other attacks. Ricky finally uses his speed to avoid Ladd and down him with dropkicks and hip tosses. Ladd gains control long enough for both men to tag off,
Eaton ends up in the ring with Duggan, who immediately tosses the smaller man around with ease, then BLASTS Eaton with a flying clothesline! Condrey reluctantly tags in. He manages to get Duggan down (with Eaton’s help) and the Midnights take turns trying to cover him, before both men pile on Duggan. He kicks out and shoves them off anyway.
This finally sets up the meeting of the bulls as Duggan and Ladd square off. Ladd is rocked with punches, takes a big backdrop and winds up being knocked head to head with Condrey.
All this trouble forces Ladd to produce a foreign object, which he hits Duggan with three times to drop him. Duggan is not down for long as he quickly shakes off Eaton’s attempted follow up and rocks him with punches. Robert Gibson makes his first appearance in the match briefly, but Morton winds up tagged back in. Morton is quickly dumped to the floor and smacked with a chair before Hacksaw barrels over to save him.
Morton is systematically taken apart by all three heels back in the ring. The fans are rabid as their hero is mauled and bloodied. Things finally just break down into a six-way brawl, Corny brings ether in the ring, but Morton catches him. Morton sprays it in Eaton’s eyes and scores the roll up pin at about the 19-minute mark. Morton falls victim to the ether after the match, and the heels use Corny’s racquet to batter Gibson and Duggan until some other babyfaces pour in and clear the ring.
They built up to Ladd and Duggan colliding nicely, with each man dominating their smaller opponents to lead to the big man showdown. Ladd bumped around a lot more than I was expecting for a 46-year-old “giant”. The crowd heat was again incredible.
Rock and Roll Express and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Bobby Eaton, Dennis Condrey and Ernie Ladd (7/2/1984)
Crowd is hot for the intros. Morton and Condrey kick things off. Morton gets a cheap shot in on Eaton for fun. The heels try to triple up on him, but Morton outsmarts them and they end up hitting one another. The Rock and Roll Express double up on Eaton for a bit before Ladd comes in to stop their momentum.
Ladd chucks around Gibson with ease before Duggan tags in. The crowd heat has been non-stop so far and they explode at the prospect of the big men going at it. Duggan batters Ladd with relative ease until Eaton sneaks in a cheap shot to turn the tide. Eaton does not do well even a dazed Hacksaw as Duggan quickly regains control and tries to decapitate Eaton with a clothesline.
Condrey has a little better luck, but Duggan shakes off his attack and Morton is tagged back in. Condrey downs Morton, and then allows Ladd to use his size to batter Ricky. The Midnights have fun torturing Morton as well. Corny is loving all of this at ringside.
Gibson finally makes the tag and a six-way brawl breaks down. Gibson manages to roll Eaton up, but the ref is distracted and Ladd uses a foreign object to down Robert for the pin at the 15-minute mark.
The crowd was super hot throughout this match, but I prefered the match layout of the first bout where the Duggan and Ladd encounter was built up to much better, and the action was more diverse, such as the men brawling on the floor.
Magnum T.A. vs. Ted Dibiase (7/6/1984)
The men kick things off with a shoving match. Fisticuffs give Dibiase a brief advantage before he eats a series of dropkicks and has to take a time out. Dibiase uses further roughhouse tactics to gain the advantage. He then sends Magnum to the floor where he is flung into the ring edge, slammed on the floor and driven back first into the post.
Dibiase can’t put T.A. away in spite of several attempts once things get back in the ring. Dibiase continues to focus on Magnum’s back. A bearhug, diving knee and chinlock are used to sap at T.A.’s reserves.
T.A. finally mounts a comeback, sending Dibiase to the floor and unloading with punches back in the ring. Magnum runs into a knee, which is followed by both men colliding and going down soon after.
On the cement floor, Dibiase drives Magnum headfirst into the corner post twice and the railing. Magnum is soaked in blood, but won’t quit. Magnum sees his own blood and starts to fire up. At this point the ropes appear to break, and T.A. uses the metal piece holding it on to whack Dibiase. That does not warrant a DQ, or even net the 3-count. Wrestling is then exposed, as T.A. is thrown into the broken ropes and still bounces off of them. Dibiase downs him with a stun gun.
Dibiase loads up his glove, misses with a fist drop and ultimately walks into a bell to belly which scores the win for Magnum at 15:20. The crowd goes absolutely nuts for the finish.
Magnum got his butt kicked pretty thoroughly, which I was not expecting. T.A. winning at the end just put him over even more as one who can overcome adversity.
More to come….