Mid-South Wrestling TV #313 (9.7.85)
September 7, 1985 (taped on August 28, 1985)
We’re in Shreveport, Louisiana at the Irish Boys Club. Hosts are Jim Ross and Joel Watts. The latter is one of the Watts clan responsible for a lot of Mid-South’s production. Speaking of which, it’s cool production. They get good camera shots, and the editing is clean for 1985.
What a lovely clean cut young man Joel Watts looks to be. This being wrestling I imagine he probably collects the skin of his victims or something along those lines. We go to clips from last week (context, I love it) of Al Perez and rookie Wendell Cooley picking up the tag belts. Dr Death was going for the Oklahoma Stampede when Cooley slipped out and Perez finished with a German suplex. Poor Doc didn’t realise who was legal. Bit of a fuck up on his part, kayfabe wise.
Mid-South Tag Team Championship
Al Perez & Wendell Cooley (c) vs. One Man Gang & Kareem Mohammed
Look at these two dorks. Cooley is a relative newcomer, so Perez has to carry that side of things. Mohammed (Ray Candy) stinks so Gang is basically on his own but he’s enormous so that’s ok.
What is it with the south and that rebel flag? The Civil War ended over a hundred years ago! I used to love that flag but because of Dukes of Hazzard. I had no idea what it meant. The finish is so silly. Cooley pulls Perez out of the way of a Gang splash, and he accidentally squishes Kareem instead, who is pinned. Kareem punches Gang out of the ring and the crowd buy into the Gang turning babyface. Or at least two heels having a big old scrap.
Jake Roberts vs. The Nightmare
The Nightmare used to be the Champion but now he’s just some masked jabroni. Oliver Humperdink makes his first appearance on this flashback series here as Nightmare’s manager. We also have Humongous out here as Humperdink’s bodyguard. I thought it was Sid* based on the name, but it clearly isn’t. Jake goes right into fatigue selling. Watts claims it’s a “main event in any arena in the country”. It isn’t even a main event in this arena mate. Jake blades after some ‘loaded’ mask headbutts. Eddie Gilbert comes out here to protest. He used to be the manager of the Nightmare back when he was the Champion. An extremely bloody Jake pulls a DDT out of nowhere and gets the win. Jake looked ok here but only because Moondog Rex was so bad.
*While Sid did work as Lord Humongous, with basically the same gimmick, he didn’t debut until 1987.
Post Match: Right, now the booking kicks in. Jake unmasks the Nightmare to end his run in the company. He’d be back in the WWF at the start of 1986. Quite why is anyone’s guess. Vince just couldn’t get enough Moondogs. Humongous jumps in there, Barbarian (John Nord) jumps in to stop him but turns heel on Jake Roberts. In one segment they changed the whole Mid-South landscape here. It was crazy booking, but it worked and created a monster heel team in Humongous and Barbarian.
Music Video: Humongous. In order to properly introduce Humongous they have him stroll around in a metal shop while heavy metal plays in the background. It’s supposed to be like Mad Max but it’s all too bright. Jeff Van Camp, who played Humongous, was a huge dude but he left the business as quickly as he joined it and was done about a year after this. According to his Cagematch profile his career ended in August 1985 but this is after that.
Humongous vs. Mike Thorn
Total squash. Shin’yō-no-Maki finishes. That’s the Cobra Clutch to us English speakers but they call it that on comms, so we’re going with it. This was so short, I’m not even sure Humongous is any good.
Dutch Mantell & Bill Dundee vs. Jimmy Backlund & Mark Ragin
Jimmy Backlund is the one, the only, Jimmy Del Ray. I’ve always loved Jimmy Del Ray. His 5.98 cagematch rating suggests I’m in the minority but all you people are wrong. Five of you cunts gave him a FOUR. Get all the way fucked. Del Ray tags in and takes a backdrop driver on the neck as the first bump. He wrestles this match with a porn stache, a ginger mullet and a blue doublet. He has hairy legs and armpits. Mantell beats him easily. I had a great time watching Del Ray. He’s about a year in at this point.
Eddie Gilbert vs. El Cosario
We have another masked man. El Cosario, with “incredible martial arts ability”, is none other than Savio Vega.
This is Savio’s first gig in wrestling. His background in tae kwon do explains the bizarre martial arts gimmick. He has some sort of evil foreigner nerve pinch thing that kills off Eddie in a matter of seconds. Gilbert bleeds from the mouth to sell it.
I think Savio Vega is the first guy on this who’s still an active wrestler.
The Fantastics vs. Steve Williams & Bob Sweetan
Sweetan is a couple of months off retirement. He looks decidedly unimpressed with the Fantastics going around hugging everyone at ringside.
I get briefly excited about Doc vs. Fantastics before realising it’s 1985 and Williams is still fairly new to the business. He got good wrestling in Japan. If this was 1991 Doc (and Terry Gordy) vs. Fantastics, we’d be cooking. We get a screwy match with the ref getting bumped out of the ring, Bill Dundee running in and Doc “loads up” the forearm to bash Rogers for the pin. What is it with wrestling “loading up” stuff in 1985? They were all at it!
This was a good introduction to Mid-South. They ran a good turn angle with Jake Roberts bleeding buckets. The show served to introduce an assortment of talent and their strengths and weaknesses, but it didn’t just put on squashes. Despite what you might think from the run time. It was also wild seeing Savio Vega in his first month in the business, along with Jimmy Del Ray very early into his career. I had a blast here, I’ll be back!