Wrasslin’ Back in the Day: August 1983

Jim Crockett Promotions

The biggest happening of the month was when Harley Race’s bounty on Ric Flair was collected by Dick Slater and Bob Orton Jr. attacking him and injuring Flair’s neck. This would mark Orton’s heel turn. Prior to his injury, Flair had been getting title shots at Race, as well as teaming with Steamboat to face NWA World tag champs The Brisco Brothers.

Race was also fending off challenges from Orton and Wahoo McDaniel as he traveled through the Mid-Atlantic.

Jimmy Valiant defeated the One Man Gang in a loser leaves town match, this allowed Gang to make some shots in Mid-South before touring Japan. This led to Valiant facing off with Kabuki later in the month in another loser leaves town match. This time it was the Boogie Woogie Man who came up short. This would lead to Valiant returning in a mask as “Charlie Brown”.

Roddy Piper continued his wars with Dick Slater and Greg Valentine, the highlight of which featured Wahoo McDaniel and Piper facing the heels in a dual Indian strap match.

Rufus R. Jones pushed for more challenges to Dory Funk Jr. and Jake Roberts.

World Class 

For the eighth month in a row, the Von Erichs vs. Freebirds feud dominated the focus of this area. Bruiser Brody clashing with Kamala was providing a wild match in many towns. David Von Erich still couldn’t shake his issue with Jimmy Garvin and more matches were scheduled to try and settle things once in for all.


Florida ran a big card in Miami on August 3rd, drawing almost 8,000 fans to see NWA World Champion beat Barry Windham via DQ, Dusty Rhodes and Blackjack Mulligan defeated Elijah Akeem and Kareem Muhammad, JYD came in to face Ron Bass, Angelo Mosca beat Mark Lewin, Mil Mascaras overcame the Masked Texan, Joe LeDuc smashed Scott McGhee, Mike Graham pinned Ox Baker and Les Thornton wrestled to a draw with Charlie Cook.

Harley Race defended the title against several times against Dusty Rhodes and Barry Windham, along with matches with Blackjack Mulligan and Mike Graham during the rest of the month.

Rhodes continued his feud with Ron Bass as well, with Texas Death matches being signed to try and end their conflict.

WWF World Champion Bob Backlund appeared at the end of the month to face Ron Bass in a rematch of their battles the prior month.

St. Louis

St. Louis ran a card on August 5th featuring NWA World Champ Harley Race surviving a defense against Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan partnered up with Dick the Bruiser and Ron Ritchie to defeat Jerry Blackwell, Blackjack Mulligan and Baron Von Raschke, Rick Martel fell short against Bob Orton Jr, Barry Windham beat Tonga John (Konga the Barbarian), plus a mixed tag match and other prelim action.



The Hulk Hogan/Mr. Saito angle from last month lead to a series of matches between the men in August. As you can see from the clip, David Schultz got himself involved and made himself a focus of Hogan’s wrath as well.

Bockwinkel defended his AWA World title against Wahoo McDaniel, Brad Rheinghans, Mad Dog Vachon, and David Schultz in both United States and Canadian based title matches.

Rick Martel found himself teaming with jabroni Tom “Rocky” Stone on AWA TV against AWA World tag champions Jerry Blackwell and Ken Patera. The champs took out Stone quickly and then delivered a serious beatdown to Martel. He would seek his revenge in October with several different partners. More on that in a future article.


I have to note a pair of major retirements that came out of Japan this month. New Japan lost their revolutionary high flyer Tiger Mask to retirement on August 12th. Mask was tired of the backstage politics involved in Pro Wrestling. He would return a year later as part of a group who worked a far stiffer style of wrestling.

Then on August 31st Terry Funk retired after a match in which he teamed with his brother Dory Funk Jr. to face Stan Hansen and Terry Gordy.


Jerry Lawler spent much of the month feuding with Ken Patera over the CWA International title. Lou Thesz was brought in to referee one of their matches. Lawler also teamed with Austin Idol to win this region’s tag titles.

Jerry Blackwell and Jimmy Valiant made special appearances away from JCP and the AWA to work some matches here as well.

Georgia Championship Wrestling 

The big event from the Omni this month saw Larry Zybysko pin Mr. Wrestling II in a match for the National title, Dick Slater lost to Buzz Sawyer via DQ after Slater used brass knux that Sawyer brought to the ring. Paul Ellering and Sawyer delivered a spike piledriver to Sawyer after the match. The National Tag Champions the Road Warriors suffered a count-out loss to the NWA World tag champions the Brisco Brothers in a “no DQ” match,  Tommy Rich beat Bill Irwin – only to be attacked by Kabuki after the match. Kabuki then lost to Pez Whatley after Ole Anderson interfered on his behalf. Bruno Sammartino Jr. won via count-out over Paul Ellering, Brett Wayne Sawyer pinned Bob Roop and Mr. Wrestling I out shined Joe Lightfoot.

The Road Warriors defended their National titles against a wide range of opponents over the month, this included Ron Garvin teaming with Mr. Wrestling II, Garvin also paired with Brett Sawyer, Sammartino Jr., and Rick Rood in failed title bids. Mr. Wrestling II received shots with Mr. Wrestling I and Arn Anderson as partners as well.


Hacksaw Duggan and Ted Dibiase upped the violence in their feud by signing for a series of steel cage matches. North American Champion Butch Reed would also become a focus for Duggan. Reed and Kamala would injure Duggan in a beat down on TV.

Dusty Rhodes made an appearance teaming with JYD to face off with Kamala and Ted Dibiase in a bullrope/dog collar tag match.

Missing Link and Barry “Crusher” Darsow debuted in the area.


At the annual NWA meetings, Vince McMahon Sr. and Vincent K. McMahon announced the WWF’s intention to leave the Alliance and basically warned the rest of the promoters that changes were coming.

Bob Backlund survived more challenges from George Steele, Sgt. Slaughter, Ivan Koloff, Tiger Chung Lee, Mr. Fuji, Afa, “Iron” Mike Sharpe and Big John Studd.

Andre the Giant continued his battles with Big John Studd. Jimmy Snuka chased Don Muraco around the territory but could not secure a pinfall victory or the Intercontinental champ.

The Masked Superstar came into the area, as did Tony Atlas. Samoan #4 aka Tama aka the Tonga Kid started working prelims. I was surprised to see him this early as I remembered the angle going that Roddy Piper injured Jimmy Snuka in early 1984 and that caused Snuka’s…cousin(?) to come in and seek revenge.

Don Kernodle was again used on TV as a job guy. I’m not trying to white knight him, I just find it interesting how he went from headliner to jabroni in a matter of months.

The MSG show for the month saw Backlund beat Animal Steele in under a minute, Andre teamed with Tito Santana, Rocky Johnson and Ivan Putzki to beat Big John Studd, Slaughter, Samu and Sika, Muraco survived a match with Snuka via a count-out victory, Chief Jay Strongbow pinned Butcher Vachon, Mike Sharpe stunned Swede Hanson, Tiger Chung Lee overcame Tony Garea and Ivan Koloff battled Sal Bellomo to a draw.

The WWF made another small tour of California with San Diego fans seeing Andre and Snuka crush Studd and Muraco, Santana pinning Ivan Koloff, Tony Atlas besting Buddy Rose, Ivan Putski smashing Mr. Fuji, plus Pat Patterson, Alexis Smirnoff and Adrian Adonis in prelim action.

Los Angeles fans were able to see Snuka and Muraco duel to a double DQ, Andre slamming Studd in a special challenge match, Santana over Fuji, Adonis being DQ’d against Pat Patterson, Putski hammering Buddy Rose and several local guys in prelim action.

I don’t have any DVDs for this month to review, so we’ll bypass that part of the article for this month. Things are about to get very interesting in the world of wrestling….

Thanks for reading!


Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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