Time for another round of matches from the Death Valley Driver Message board’s “Best of Mid-South Wrestling” collection:
JYD and Mr. Olympia vs. Ted Dibiase and Matt Borne (10/27/82)
We see Bill Watts at ringside interviewing fans and promoter Paul Boesch. Watts casually mentions a man in a gorilla costume is at ringside with the kids that had been bussed in for the fair. This match is under “loser leaves town” rules. JYD comes in with his title on backwards, which is a nice little touch to make him stand out. To show the Dog’s cross appeal, the camera shows several black women stand up and cheer as he makes his way to the ring, while the white working class women, some with cigarettes dangling from their lips, rise and cheer as well.
A four-way brawl sees the heels quickly head for lower ground to regroup. Bourne and JYD look to start things formally, then Dibiase makes his way into the ring instead. The Dog quickly owns Dibiase, dropping him with a Russian leg sweep and scoring several near falls. Bourne and Olympia have a go next, with Olympia controlling things. JYD enters to continue his dominance as he entraps Bournes arm. Dibiase and Olympia both charge in and things nearly break down again. Watts mentions the Gorilla is enjoying the action, and that almost should be an angle alert…
Dibiase tries a go at it, but JYD’s headbutts rocks both heels. They head to the cement to form a new plan. JYD continues to dominate once things get back in the ring, rocking Dibiase with headbutts and fists. Olympia tags in and out grapples Dibiase until Ted is able to dump Olympia on his head and neck via a back suplex.
The heels take turns wearing out Olympia – Dibiase via a beauty of a back breaker, and Bourne via a neck vice. JYD crawls in the ring to try and make a tag. Olympia takes a top rope butt splash from Bourne, only to be saved by the Dog, who then drags Olympia to their corner so JYD can be tagged in.
The Dog tears into both heels, then avoids Dibiase trying to sucker punch him with a loaded glove. JYD gets the weapon and rocks the heels with it. Suddenly the gorilla comes from the crowd and slams Olympia on the concrete. The man under the mask is revealed to be “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. Duggan hits JYD with a spear, then Dibiase cracks the Dog with the foreign object to steal the win at 11:46.
The heels cackle in their post-match interview. The trio has 2 singles belts and the tag belts, and appropriately Dibiase talks about how much money he earns by being evil. The match was a fun affair, with the heels being dastardly and only enjoying any success thanks to chicanery.
Stagger Lee and Mr. Olympia vs. Ted Dibiase and Matt Borne (12/18/82)
Lee is of course JYD under a mask avoiding the stipulation that was forced upon him due to the result of the last match. This is suppose to be “Stagger Lee” and Mr. Wrestling II against the champs, but II is hurt. Olympia steps in as the surprise special partner for JYD’s alter ego. This is another “loser leaves town” match. Lee and Dibiase slug it out right away. Bourne tries to get him some, but Lee clears both men out of the ring. Olympia gets a few shots in, but JYD, errr Stagger Lee is back in soon after and dominates once more.
The heels can’t get anything going, and Olympia traps Bourne in a sleeper. Dibiase and Lee brawl on the floor and take the ref’s attention. Duggan runs down and cracks Olympia with a foreign object, knocking him out for the pin at 4:39 or so.
Once again the faces dominate, with only the heels devious ways allowing them any success. However, since the babyfaces fell short, revenge is forthcoming…in other words…wrasslin!
Mr. Wrestling II and JYD vs. Matt Borne and Ted Dibiase (2/16/83)
The faces clear the ring quickly, much like the first two matches so far. Dibiase tries JYD and gets nowhere. Mr, Wrestling II tags in and starts to work Dibiase’s limb. Dibiase finally forces II into the heel corner and they enjoy their first success after several minutes of action. II chucks Bourne into JYD to quickly end any success. A four-way brawl explodes, the ref is bumped and Duggan runs in and spears II. Tiger Conway runs in with a chair, cracking Duggan as he tries to attack JYD. Kamala wanders in to try and add to the mayhem, but JYD gets the chair and the heels scatter. The ref calls for the bell at the 6-minute mark. I marked out for Kamala and the ending felt like the right kind of chaotic overbooking that can work in doses
Butch Reed vs. Iron Sheik (4/8/83)
(The audio in the above video is different than on my DVD, but the match is the same.)
This is from Houston. Sheik tries to attack Reed, misses, and flies to the floor. Watts puts over Sheik hard, talking about his status the man who beat Bob Backlund for the WWF gold. Sheik stalls to avoid Reed’s power. Sheik tries grappling, but Reed reverses free and locks Sheik in a head scissors. Sheik tries several times to work his way out, before flipping on top of Reed.This was apparently shown well over a year after it was taped as Watts goes out of his way to bury the JYD for having “personal problems” that led to him gaining weight and eventually fleeing Mid-South because Reed usurped his abilities. Reed’s power and size had supposedly intimidated the JYD. Watts indicates that Reed is a heel, but the fans go crazy for Reed dominating the seemingly hapless Sheik.
Sheik bumps out of the ring again off of an atomic drop. Reed blocks Sheik’s hip toss attempts via pure strength. Sheik runs into the turnbuckle, and the ropes break and fall. Reed locks on an armbar to give the ring crew the chance to fix things. Watts starts to talk about Reed’s issues with Buddy Landell, which firmly places this as airing in the later part of 1984, well after the date is was taped.
Sheik chokes Reed to try and get some control, but Reed just keeps dominating – delivering a series of dropkicks, a press slam and a flying tackle for the win at 11:30 or so. Reed absolutely dominated. It was interesting to hear Watts bury his former top star in such a gruff manner.
Dusty Rhodes vs. Nick Bockwinkel (5/20/83)
Bockwinkel tries to outwit his opponent by staying near the ropes to avoid taking punishment. Rhodes steps away from Bockwinkel’s grappling hold and Bockwinkel falls on his face. Bockwinkel tries to garner an advantage via cheap shots, but Rhodes drives an elbow into his skull to put an end to that. Dusty delivers some wacky blows from different angles, with wild hand and arm swings, then struts away as Bockwinkel falls.
The announcer talks about how Rhodes is intentionally fat. His size is suppose to deter his opponent from being able to move him around easily, while at the same time Dusty makes sure to maintain his athleticism in spite of being big. Rhodes delivers several more choice blows, strutting and posing after each to the crowd’s approval. Bockwinkel is willingly stooging for Rhodes time and time again, bumping and missing offensive moves in order to give Dusty the shine.
Bockwinkel grows tired of Rhodes owning him and he corners his challenger in order to down Dusty with a series of fists to the mid section. Rhodes is sent to the floor for good measure.
Bockwinkel’s brief flirtation with control ends there as Rhodes comes back in full of fire. Bockwinkel manages to score a cheap shot, but he lands on his knee while trying a follow up diving knee drop and Dusty is able to lock him in the figure-four. The ref was bumped somewhere in this and Ted Dibiase sneaks in and cracks Dusty with a cast. The bloodied Rhodes is pinned at about the 11-minute mark. The fans are NOT happy with that result. Rhodes hit a gusher as his face, head and chest are all covered in blood. This will not be mistaken as an in ring classic, but Rhodes is a performer, full of charisma that can carry him through his wacky offensive efforts.
Mr. Olympia vs. Chavo Guerrero (6/24/83)
We are joined in progress with Olympia being flung across the ring via a Guerrero’s monkey flip. Several more flying attacks send Olympia to the floor. General Skandor Akbar tends to him, as Olympia has turned heel since his earlier match. Guerrero continues to dominate, trapping Olympia in a bow and arrow. Olympia escapes that and uses Chavo’s moment of vulnerability to take control. Chavo does not stay down for long. Guerrero uses flight to rattle Olympia before trapping him in a surfboard, then traps him in a unique move I don’t believe I’ve ever seen where he traps Olympia in some sort of chicken wing variant from the side using his leg.
Chavo misses a somersault move to give Olympia a chance to get some heat. Olympia tries to ground and grind Guerrero, intentionally shutting down Chavo’s greatest strengths – his speed and flying. I can’t hate on a “rest hold” when it plays into the match story like that.
Guerrero fires up and mounts a comeback. Olympia cuts him off by tossing Chavo into the buckle, then delivers an awesome looking backbreaker. Guerrero grabs Olympia by the mask and chucks him to the floor, then delivers a plancha down unto him. Chavo unloads with fist back in the ring. The ref steps in, which allows Olympia to load his boot. Guerrero is rocked with a dropkick and he falls to the floor in a heap. Olympia drags him in the ring and hits a body slam on the dead weight that is Chavo. I was expecting a small package reversal for the surprise win there. Chavo gets his boot on the rope to save himself.
Olympia locks on his trademark sleeper – Chavo won’t quit. Olympia misses a high risk leap and Guerrero is back in control. Chavo nails a bridging German for the pin. He tries to unmask Olympia, but Akbar and Dibiase run in. Guerrero fights off all three men to the thrill of the crowd. Dibiase gets his loaded glove and that stops Chavo dead. The heels deliver a three on one beat down to big heel heat until Mr. Wrestling II and other babyfaces make the save. Great match!
A hot crowd helped, but this was another fun match where the baby face is dominant until the heel can be a cheating bastard to turn the tide. The match itself had one true “high spot” and one move that could be considering a “dangerous” bump, and yet the performers had a tremendous encounter. Smart workers = good matches!
More to come…