Wrasslin’ Back in the Day: September 1983

September 1983

Jim Crockett Promotions saw the retirement of one of their young stars as Ric Flair announced that due to his recent neck injury at the hands of Dick Slater and Bob Orton Jr., he was choosing his health over his career. This was only a ruse as two weeks later Flair showed up on TV and chased Slater and Orton out of the arena with a bat. He then promised to take the NWA title from Harley Race.

The big Greensboro cards were headlined by Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood yet again facing off with the NWA tag champions The Brisco Brothers, “Charlie Brown” (Jimmy Valiant) facing Kabuki and Wahoo McDaniel against Dick Slater on the 10th. Then eight days later The Briscos again faced Steamboat and Youngblood, Wahoo faced Greg Valentine in a lumberjack match and Bugsy McGraw joined Charlie Brown to face Slater and Kabuki.

Roddy Piper continued to hound US Champion Greg Valentine as well.

The WWF took over Southwest Championship Wrestling’s time slot on the the USA Network and began airing “All-American Wrestling”, which featured tapes of other territories’ top guys in action.  This gave Vince McMahon an outlet to plug new talent he intended to snag while trying to convince the other promoters he was just helping get their talent over.

Eddie Gilbert came out on TV and spoke of how Bob Backlund inspired him to recover from his neck injury caused by his car accident. A week later the Masked Superstar faced Gilbert and delivered 3 neck breakers to him- sending Gilbert back to the hospital.

Jimmy Snuka continued to chase Intercontinental champion Don Muraco. This included a Buddy Rogers and Snuka vs. Lou Albano and Muraco match.

An angle was also filmed to set up some Pat Patterson vs. Ivan Koloff matches.

Bob Backlund defended his WWF World title against Don Muraco, Tiger Chung Lee, Afa, George Steele, Slaughter, and Mike Sharpe.

Tonga Kid made his TV debut. I’m really surprised to see him show up so early as I always thought he debuted seeking revenge after Roddy Piper had injured Snuka.

They ended the month by making their northern California debut in San Jose with Andre vs. Big John Studd, Snuka beating Muraco by count-out, plus Tito Santana, Buddy Rose, Rocky Johnson, and Pat Patterson on the undercard.

World Class saw 12,000 fans come to Fort Worth to see The Von Erich’s latest battles with the Freebirds. Kerry, David and Mike faced the Birds in both a six-man match as well as singles bouts. Iceman Parsons met Buddy Roberts and Jimmy Garvin squared off with Kevin Von Erich on the undercard, along with Kamala facing Bruiser Brody.

NWA World Champion Harley Race came in to defend the title against Iceman Parsons and Kevin Von Erich.

Andre came in for an intriguing battle with Kamala.

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan temporarily eliminated Ted Dibiase from the area by beating him in a “Loser Leaves Town” match that you can see as part of this video:

Watts presented a number of exciting tag team match ups over the course of the month including Mid-South Tag Champions Magnum TA & Jim Duggan vs. National Tag Champions The Road Warriors, Andre the Giant and Duggan against Kamala and the Missing Link, Duggan and Dr. Death facing One Man Gang and King Kong Bundy, Duggan and Andre squaring off with Butch Reed and Kamala, and Duggan and Junkyard Dog against Reed and One Man Gang.

Crusher Darsow turned face by saving JYD from an attack by Boris Zhukov while Dog was facing the One Man Gang.  JYD was also hounded by “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer, complete with a wacky video of Sawyer crawling around near the edge of a lake on all fours as well as fighting pit bulls. King Kong Bundy was also looking for a piece of the JYD.

JYD scored a big win when AWA champion Nick Bockwinkel came to Houston, only to be soundly thumped by the JYD.

Rick Rood and Jim Neidhart debuted in the area.

Puerto Rico’s WWC held their 10th Anniversary celebration featuring Harley Race defending the NWA title against Carlos Colon, Pedro Morales battling Ric Flair, King Tonga (Haku) squaring off with Dory Funk, Andre the Giant vs. Abdullah the Butcher plus Mil Mascaras, Gorilla Monsoon, and Iron Sheik in other matches.

World Champion Nick Bockwinkel defended his title against Brad Rheinghans, Rick Martel, and Mad Dog Vachon over the course of the month.

Vachon was kept away from Jerry Blackwell, with Blackwell and Patera mostly tied up with tag title defenses against Greg Gagne and Jim Brunzell.

The big news of the month came from Blackjack Lanza turning on the Heenan family. This started a months long series of matches with Bobby Heenan and Lanza.

Hulk Hogan continued his feud with Mr. Saito and David Schultz, beating the men with various partners, as well as in handi-cap bouts.

In Florida Dusty Rhodes tried to finally end Kevin Sullivan’s Army of Darkness once and for all in a series of violent stipulation matches. Rhodes faced Mark Lewin in taped fist, lights out, Texas Death, cage and chain matches. This built up to Dusty vs. Sullivan in a Loser Leaves Town cage match, which Rhodes won. Sullivan returned under a mask as “Lucifer” setting up more Rhodes/Sullivan matches ending with the Midnight Rider facing “Lucifer” in a “Loser Leaves Town” cage match, that the Rider won.

Rhodes spent the rest of the month going after Ron Bass and Abdullah the Butcher. Ric Flair also made some appearances to face off with Rhodes.

NWA Champion Harley Race came in and successfully defended his gold against the American Dream, Mike Graham, Ric Flair, Blackjack Mulligan, Angelo Mosca and Barry Windham in singles matches.  WWF World champion Bob Backlund came in to defend his title against Kareem Mohammed.

St. Louis fans saw a rather weak car with David Von Erich beating Missouri champion Ric Flair by submission, Hulk Hogan over Jerry Blackwell, Barry Windham and Austin Idol against Bob Orton Jr. and the Super Destroyer plus Buck Robley, Blackjack Mulligan and Iceman Parsons in prelim action.

The Central States promotion brought in Ted Dibiase and Harley Race for a NWA title match on September 22nd in Kansas City.

Georgia Championship Wrestling went to the Omni with Tommy Rich and Roddy Piper beating Bill Irwin and King Kong Bundy in a “No DQ” tag match, JYD overcame Buzz Sawyer by DQ, Pez Whatley survived a Texas Death match with Greg Valentine, The Road Warriors beat Mr. Wrestling II and Ron Garvin, Bruno Sammartino Jr. beat Larry Zybysko and Mr. Wrestling I was overcome by Brett Sawyer.

They returned to the Omni a few weeks after with Tommy Rich beating Ted Dibiase by DQ, Pez Whatley over Buzz Sawyer by DQ, King Kong Bundy pinning Ernie Ladd, Bob and Brad Armstrong fell to the Road Warriors, Brett Sawyer beat Larry Zybysko for the National title, Mr. Wrestling II beat Bill Irwin and Mr. Wrestling I and Ron Garvin worked against prelim opponents.

The Road Warriors survived a month worth of challenges from Ron Garvin, Mr. Wrestling II, Sammartino, Brett Sawyer and Tommy Rich in various combinations.

Dusty also made an appearance on TV and was AWESOME:

Jesse Ventura came in to Memphis to chase Jerry Lawler. Bill Dundee also returned to resume his feud with Lawler.

Austin Idol beat Ken Patera to claim the CWA International title, which lead to Stan Hansen coming in and making a run at the gold.

No DVD to review this time around, but I’ll be back for October with the MSG show with the famous Snuka vs. Muraco steel cage match!


Written by Andrew Lutzke

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

Leave a Reply