Thursday, 2 December 2021

NWA Great American Bash Tour July 5th Review!

 



Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that has a worse reputation than WWE right now! It’s NWA’s Great American Bash Tour and we are taking a look at the July 5th edition that consists of 10 wrestling matches that are going to rock our socks off! Headlined by The Nature Boy defending his NWA World Heavyweight Championship against Ricky Morton of The Rock “N” Roll Express! We also have Tully Blanchard taking on Ronnie Garvin and The Koloffs taking on The Road Warriors! At stated at the end of the last review, these shows are really starting to round out with big names and home-run hitters, this should be a breeze to get through so let’s get it on!

 

(NWA Junior Heavyweight Championship Match) Denny Brown © vs Steve Regal

 

No, not the one you are thinking of. Mr. Electricity is a fine moniker though, calling everyone rednecks too is just the icing on the cake. Brown is our babyface champion and hopefully, things have gotten a bit better since the last time I saw him in the ring yet I have a sneaking suspicion that this performance may be very by the books and basic. Brown and Regal trade some words as referee Earl Hebnar provides the rules, hoping for a bit more noise in this one. They lock-up, Regal gives a clean break before they go back at it. Brown teases throwing a monster right but Earl is in there right away. Scoop slam from Regal who struts around the ring, feeling pretty good about himself. Hip-toss from Regal, Brown is not impressed with the strut from Regal.

 

Another toss from the challenger who believes he is the hottest thing since sliced bread. Lock-up, side headlock from Regal. Shoulder block from Regal, hip-toss from Brown and a deep arm-drag followed by a serious of scoop slams. Regal powders, Brown is feeling the energy of the crowd. Regal applies a key-lock, Brown counters for a hammerlock. Snap-mare counter from Brown, Regal claims that Brown pulled his hair. Brown and Regal continue to trade holds with Brown landing a side headlock takedown for two. Regal counters the headlock for a few roll-up attempts with continued twos before the referee gives the competitors a shove. Not exactly my cup of tea, a hot opening match this is not but let’s continue mucking about right?

 

Regal brings down Brown with a key-lock and a pull of the hair, Regal denies pulling the hair. Brown eats a shoulder block and also a clunky looking elbow, Regal throws Brown into the mat over and over. Two for Regal, rear chin-lock from the challenger. Brown elbows his way free and lands a shoulder block before a knee to the ribs shuts that comeback down. Beautiful suplex by Regal for two, Brown sends Regal into the buckle as these two are definitely putting us through the ringer. Brown whips Regal to the buckle, Regal blocks with a knee and rolls-up Brown for two. Snap-mare into a rear-chin-lock, Regal has no bones about making this the most boring affair possible. Uppercuts and rights by Brown before Regal rakes the eyes and lands a scoop slam. Elbow drop for two, Brown dodges the second elbow and Regal is hurt.

 

Regal tries an axe handle but Brown counters with a right hand, Regal is pleading with Brown for mercy. Brown stomps the crap out of Regal, Regal is yanked out of the corner onto his back. Measured right hand and a leg drop for a close two, Regal is being staggered by jabs and the bell rings with both men brawling until they are pulled apart.

 

Hot opening match I think not, desperate is what this match reeked of, two guys doing a whole lot of nothing for 15 minutes, a draw is a terrible way to kick off a hot-show. Shocked that the fans do not seem too pissed about it, I definitely would have been annoyed to sit through this chin-lock clinic by Regal.

 

Time-Limit Draw!

 

Black Bart vs Robert Gibson

 

Black Bart is a big, mean son of a gun who delights in hurting his opponents while Robert Gibson is probably one of the most popular wrestlers in the NWA at this time but Gibson is flying solo as his partner challenges for the richest prize in the game. They lock-up, Bart with the obvious power advantage. Bart can’t hit the quicker Gibson though, Bart catches the fast Gibson with two rights before a press from Gibson gets a quick two. Another lock-up with Bart shoving back Gibson again, gut shots from Bart. Irish whip with Gibson landing a hip-toss and a head-scissors with an added arm-bar for good measure. We just sit in this arm-bar for some time, Bart escapes and clotheslines the head off Gibson. Throat thrusts from Bart, Gibson meets the buckle hard.

 

Eye-rake from Bart, Gibson tries fighting back but Bart is too strong for now. Back body-drop by Bart with a fist drop, choking from Bart. Gibson begins fighting back, kicks and a right hand but a well-placed throat-thrust downs Gibson. Bart tosses Gibson to the floor, forearm shots to the kidneys. Gibson is dropped onto the guardrail, Bart marvels at this handy work in the ring. Bart shoulder blocks Gibson to the mat, close two for Bart. Gibson blocks the right hands of Bart, Gibson unleashes a flurry of right-hands. Bart whips Gibson to the buckle and Gibson jumps to the middle rope and lands a diving crossbody for the win.

 

Decent match, nothing much going on here especially when I have to watch an hour-long head-scissors but I suppose an easy pay-day for both men and no harm done with an average match this early into the card. It wasn’t meant to be anything special and it wasn’t, we shall keep this train rolling.

 

Winner: Robert Gibson over Black Bart via Diving Crossbody!

 

The Minnesota Wrecking Crew (Arn & Ole Anderson) vs Sam Houston & Nelson Royal

 

Nelson looks well let’s just say overcooked in comparison with his tag team partner, been out in the sun just a little too long. Everyone is wearing red in this one, Arn does not take Houston seriously. Shoulder block from a confident Arn, “Are you kidding me?” screams Arn. Royal is hot, not happy with Arn’s insults but we continue, Houston cannot hip-toss Arn at first but the plucky underdog flips out of Arn’s hold and drops the cocky Anderson. Arn takes Houston to the corner, Houston escapes Ole. Ole is pissed, tag to Royal. Grumpy men lock-up, we go to the ropes. Royal unloads with chops and a right hand, Ole is on the ropes. Side headlock from Ole, in comes Arn who eats chops and an uppercut too. Irish whip and knee from Royal, rear chin-lock from Royal.

 

Arn starts working the arm of Royal, Royal kicks off Arn. In comes Ole, we reset with Houston too. Lock-up, Ole is too strong. Houston lands right hands that stagger Ole, Arn eats a shot too before Ole goes low with a boot. Houston meets the knee of Arn, The Andersons are going to work. Arn lands a scoop slam and a knee-drop, two for Arn. Arm-bar from Anderson, Houston batters Arn with his free hand but Arn drop toe-holds Houston and that allows Ole to come in with right hands. Hammerlock throw to the buckle, stomps onto the arm. Arm-bar from Ole, straight left from Arn. Ole continues wrenching the arm, Houston kicks off Ole and in comes Royal. Royal is battering both Andersons, Arn is knocked down before tagging Ole. Royal goes down after a clubbing blow from Ole.

 

Ole works the arm with stomps, Arn continues working Royal’s arm. Royal is in big trouble, Royal decides to use that left hand to pepper Arn. Arn continues his hold and tags in Ole, Ole boots down Houston. Hair-pull to the mat and an arm-bar, Royal kicks away Ole but Ole maintains control as Arn comes into the ring. Standing arm-bar from Arn, hammerlock scoop slam from Arn. Arn decides to climb to the middle rope, Royal hits a big punch and tags Houston. Spinning elbow and right hands, Arn eats a massive bulldog. Ole saves his partner, Royal brawls with Ole. Houston lands an O’Connor roll but Ole clocks Houston in the back of the head for the win as Arn covers the knocked-out Houston.

 

It was fine, nothing breath-taking when it comes to this. Arm-work was entertaining and engaging, fans never really came unglued for this one though and the hot-tag was over before it began in many ways so a decent tag match which was not bad for third match on the card.

 

Winners: The Andersons over Sam Houston & Nelson Royal via Diving Axe Handle!

 

(Bunkhouse Match) Ragin’ Bull Manny Fernandez vs Baron Von Raschke

 

Oh looks it is Manny Fernandez, I predict blading and a hardcore match. Won’t be long before Ragin’ Bull is bleeding, Baron eats chops and elbows from Ragin’ Bull. Baron powders, Baron is wearing his best yellow shirt and boots, they lock-up and Baron shoves back Manny. Clubbing blows from Baron, Manny ducks and lands a spinning elbow, Manny chases Paul Jones before attacking Baron with a flurry of kicks. Manny is fired up for sure, snap-mare into a knee drop from Manny. Baron takes something out and starts stabbing Ragin’ Bull, this will lead to what I am waiting to see. And there is it, Ragin’ Bull’s forehead is full of blood, Baron takes off his belt and starts choking at the face of Manny.

 

Irish whip and clothesline with the belt, whipping commences from the evil Baron. Baron’s jeans are falling down, Ragin’ Bull is firing his way back into the match before Paul Jones gets in a cheap shot. Baron takes off his boot and clocks Manny over and over, Manny kicks back at Baron. Big elbow from Manny, Manny whips Baron with his belt but his pants do not fall down. Irish whip and shoulder tackle, Baron has his shirt over his head and his pants falling down, this is quite the visual. Manny is on the middle rope, diving axe handle with the boot and Baron looks finished. Oh sweet merciful God it is going to continue as the flying burrito misses, Paul Jones gets in a stomp as Baron has decided to blade.

 

His pants are still slipping, Baron’s looks in good shape though. Ragin’ Bull is on the apron, eating right hand after right hand to his big head. Baron decides he wants a scoop slam but Manny counters the scoop slam for a small package and The Ragin’ Bull will walk out of this one victorious as Paul Jones and Baron mope around the ring.

 

Pretty rough around the edges, I feel like once you have seen one Manny Fernandez hardcore match, you have seen them all and boy, do they go way too long every freaking time.

 

Winner: Manny Fernandez over Baron Von Raschke via Small Package!

 

 (Indian Strap Match) Wahoo McDaniel vs Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin W/ Precious

 

Wahoo wallops Garvin with the strap for continued stalling, Precious is being consoled by the villainous Garvin, Garvin gets a good luck kiss and eats a nasty strap shot from Wahoo. Garvin is hesitant to engage with Wahoo, Wahoo whips Garvin again and again. Talking strategy is not a good tactic as Wahoo continues to shorten the strap, Garvin is not a happy camper. Lock-up and eye-rake from Garvin, Wahoo chops back and lands an elbow and a strap shot. Make it three, side headlock from Garvin. Wahoo puts the straps between the legs of Garvin and yanks it up, Garvin is in trouble. Garvin grabs a front chancery to wear down Wahoo. Wahoo trips into the crowd, falling over a railing that was open. The epitome of bad-ass right there, Wahoo is peppered with right hands and a boot by Garvin.

 

Back in the ring, Wahoo is a bloody mess. Garvin tries pinning Wahoo but that’s not how this match works you moron. Garvin lands knee-drops and drags Wahoo to three corners, one more but Wahoo kicks down Garvin. Wahoo chops back at Garvin, Wahoo chokes Garvin. Right hands using the strap from Wahoo, snap-mare and Wahoo begins tying up Garvin who is dragged to the corners. Precious trips up Wahoo, Garvin climbs to the top rope but Wahoo drags down Garvin. Garvin is bleeding now, elbow drop from Wahoo. Wahoo touches all four corners despite Precious’ attacks. Garvin gets his heat back at the end, assaulting Wahoo over and over.

 

Not my cup of tea, they do their best given the gimmick but I have never seen a strap match I have enjoyed other than Rock vs Triple H and that’s purely because the match could end in a pin as opposed to touching all 4 turnbuckles. Serviceable but I needed something more.

 

Winner: Wahoo McDaniel over Jimmy Garvin via Touching All 4 Corners!

 

(Taped Fist Match) Rugged Ronnie Garvin vs Tully Blanchard W/ JJ Dillon

 

Exactly what it says on the tin, Garvin back-drops Blanchard to start the match and nails a massive right. Blanchard is not moving but the bell has not rang yet, the bell rings and Garvin peppers Blanchard who is falling all around the ring. Blanchard goes down hard, JJ Dillon uses some smelling salts to revive Blanchard. Garvin is less than impressed, Blanchard continues to miss and gets decked for his troubles. Body blows and Blanchard is down once more, Blanchard’s bare ass is exposed as Garvin decks Blanchard hard. Eight count and Blanchard is up, Blanchard tries a kick but Garvin catches it and decks him again.

 

Blanchard is in the corner with his fists up, Blanchard is saved by the bell. Blanchard rushes Garvin after the bell but gets decked, this does not count towards the match as it is the rest period. JJ Dillon wants to wake up Blanchard, Blanchard survives at nine. Blanchard is down and decides to blade off a headbutt, oh lord are we going to enter Starrcade 85 territory? Blanchard keeps getting punched and barely surviving the count, no real suspense after the eighth time it happens in a row. They start wrestling with Blanchard getting decked again, Blanchard is saved by the bell again.

 

Where’s the drama I ask until finally, Blanchard sends Garvin into the ring-post and to the floor. Garvin is bleeding now, Blanchard finally starts dishing out some attacks. Garvin is in deep trouble but the round is going to stop, Garvin is now saved by the bell as Blanchard recovers in his corner. Blanchard pounces at the start of round four, knee drops and right hands almost take out Garvin but Garvin is a tough son of a gun. Garvin starts walking down Blanchard, a jab wipes out Blanchard but we have brawling on the floor. Wahoo lands an atomic drop on Blanchard and Garvin lands a big dome shot. Garvin is jabbing now, Blanchard cannot stand on his own. Another massive right to the face, Blanchard is up at nine.

 

Blanchard survives because of the end of the round, Blanchard goes to the top and both men end up clocking one another with massive right hands. No winner? Double count-out? There must be a winner so they say whoever gets up the quickest will win, JJ Dillon starts fanning the shit out of Blanchard which lets Wahoo throw a bucket of water on Garvin and Ronnie Garvin wins the match.

 

If you cut two rounds, it would have been a lot tighter and enjoyable, watching one man punch the other in the head again and again is not what I really want to spend however long this match was watching, no matter how entertaining JJ and Blanchard may be, it’s not something I want to stay watching over and over again.

 

Winner: Ronnie Garvin over Tully Blanchard via Knock-Out!

 

(Double Russian Chain Match) The Road Warriors W/ Paul Ellering vs The Koloffs

 

It’s ass kicking time, Road Warriors strike the first blow with massive right hands and use of the chain, Hawk chokes Nikita as Ivan goes high on Animal. Animal is smothered with attacks by both Koloffs as Hawk bounces around Nikita, Ivan chokes Animal but Animal comes up and fights back. Nikita continues to be rocked by Hawk, low blow takes down Hawk. Lots of chain shots, I think we shall see some blading shortly. Animal attacks Nikita, Ivan is being choked and is bleeding. Clothesline using the chain by Animal for two, Nikita chokes Hawk with the chain. Ivan goes high again, Animal tosses Ivan to the mat for two. Hawk uses the chain to take down Nikita, Nikita is being whipped with the chain before rolling to the floor.

 

Ivan is a bloody mess but a low blow takes down Animal, Nikita and Hawk brawl on the floor. Both men using the chain to their advantage, Animal elbows Ivan. Nikita attacks Animal, The Koloffs get in some great double-teams on The Road Warriors, Nikita boots Animal over and over. More chain-shots from The Koloffs, Hawk takes down Nikita with a diving axe handle. Hawk is pushed into the referee who takes a bump, Hawk falls on top of the referee as Nikita clotheslines Animal in the face with an object. Ivan climbs high but Paul Ellering pushes Ivan onto the top rope and The Road Warriors win the match with the heels getting their heat back following the bell.

 

Good fun match, lots of brawling but it did not overstep its welcome like some of the other matches on this card, will always be a big fan of big nasty bastards beating the piss out of one another.

 

Winners: The Road Warriors over The Koloffs via Roll-Up!

 

(Hair vs Hair Match) Jimmy Valiant vs Shaska Whatley W/ Paul Jones

 

We start with Whatley pummelling Valiant, right hands and lefts. Valiant whips Whatley to the buckle, trip and roll-up for a close two. Big headbutt from Whatley, repeated headbutt from Whatley. Blood who would have guessed? Rear chin-lock from Whatley, Valiant fights out of the chin-lock with an eye-rake but is too weak to take advantage with Paul Jones landing a cheap shot. Whatley gets a two, Valiant blocks being sent to the buckle and rams Whatley into the buckle but it has no effect. Whatley has a big strong head and headbutts Valiant, Valiant lands a series of stomach blows before Whatley lands a headbutt. Elbow to the throat for two, Valiant is in the tree of woe. Paul Jones chokes Valiant behind the referee’s back, foot choke from Whatley. Another headbutt until Valiant goes for a small package for two, Valiant starts hulking up brother.

 

Valiant shakes off the attacks of Whatley before Whatley lands a big right hand, Paul Jones is furious at ringside. Whatley bites at the head of Valiant, Valiant keeps coming back after every attack, Whatley keeps putting him down. Valiant’s blood has dried up we have been doing nothing for so long, Valiant comes back into the match with three massive rights and applies The Sleeper, out comes Baron but Manny Fernandez is hot on his trail and the two brawl which leaves Valiant with the loaded glove and Whatley is knocked out and has his head shaved by Valiant.

 

A boring affair that went far too long, showing the worst of The Boogie Woogie Man. Just punches and headbutts, over and over with no urgency or interest from the fans. I am surprised that they stayed with it for as long as they did, a torturous match when all was said and done. Best part is Whatley’s reaction to his loss of hair and his trash-talk throughout the match.

 

Winner: Jimmy Valiant over Shaska Whatley via Loaded Glove!

 

(Intergender Cage Match) Dusty Rhodes & Magnum T.A & Baby Doll vs The Midnight Express & Jim Cornette

 

Bobby gets arm-dragged by Baby Doll and thrown into the cage, the crowd pops big and this might just be the sleeper match of the night. Magnum and Eaton to start, lock-up and Eaton shoves Magnum to the corner. Magnum blocks the right hand and nails one of his own, Eaton regroups in his corner. Lock-up with a cheap right from Eaton, Magnum reverses the whip and military press slams both members of The Express. More strategy talk from Cornette, Magnum sends Eaton into the cage over and over, Eaton is slapped by Baby Doll. Rhodes is in now, battering both Express members. Rhodes rubs Eaton’s face into the cage, blood is everywhere and in comes Condrey. Tag to Magnum, diving axe handle from Magnum.

 

Condrey is in a side headlock, Magnum sends Condrey into the cage. Eaton thinks about the cheap shot, Magnum says no way. Condrey is bleeding now, Baby Doll shoves Condrey into the cage. Magnum sends Condrey into the cage before a knee from Condrey, Condrey fails at the piledriver which allows Magnum to land some mean rights. Eaton lands a knee and Magnum is down, Cornette comes in and misses an elbow. Baby Doll wants in but Cornette gets out of dodge, Eaton rakes the eyes of Magnum and even Cornette gets in on the action. Magnum meets the steel cage, Eaton lands a big right and climbs the cage for a diving axe handle. Tag to Condrey for a close two, Magnum is a bloody mess now.

 

Magnum meets the knee of Eaton, right hand to the temple. Eaton taunts Rhodes but Eaton continues to hammer Magnum. Eaton climbs high again and Magnum counters with a massive right hand. Sunset flip from Magnum, Rhodes comes in and Baby Doll attacks Cornette. Massive pop from the fans as Baby Doll slaps the taste out of Cornette’s mouth and pins the manager for the win.

 

I thought it might steal the show, I was sadly mistaken but a fun match nonetheless with a mix of comedy and brawling, Baby Doll is over strong in this one with the fans going wild for her anytime she gets her hands on Cornette. Big Bubba looks great here at the end after battering the shite out of Rhodes to set up that little angle down the line.

 

Winners: Team Rhodes over Midnight Express via Slap!

 

(NWA World Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match) Ric Flair © vs Ricky Morton

 

Being one part of the most popular tag team in the territory doesn’t make you the man, being the world champion makes you the man and now, Ric Flair will be taking on Ricky Morton for the richest prize in the sport of professional wrestling. Flair flies to the ring in a helicopter while Morton watches on patiently in the ring, Morton’s face is protected with a mask, thanks to the champion. First appearance on this review for the big gold belt, looks amazing and it is a shame it was ever scrapped.

 

Side headlock from the quicker Morton, Flair begs off after hitting the cage courtesy of Morton. Lock-up and another headlock, Flair grabs at the hair and eats a right hand to the face. Flair pulls the hair once more, Morton climbs to the middle rope and tees off with right hands on Flair’s forehead. Flair’s chop does not have the desired effect and Morton lands a huge right. Flair re-evaluates with a side headlock but Morton counters for the hammerlock and Flair tries escaping but has his ass out and ten punches in the corner for his sins. Flair is rocked, off his game here with Morton showing that this will not be a piece of cake. Knee from Flair, Morton blocks the buckle and lands right hands and a big shot to the nose. Flair begs off, Morton grabs at the nose of the champion.

 

Flair is begging for mercy, knee to the groin from Flair. Massive chop from Flair, Morton fires back and now to the buckle, more right hands from Morton and a headbutt which rocks Flair. Flair begs off again, Morton grabs Flair by the nose. Flair rips off the mask of Morton, O’Connor roll from Morton for two. Morton reapplies the mask and Flair is angry once more, side headlock from Morton. Flair counters the headlock for a shin-breaker but Morton is persistent. Shove off and Flair grabs the mask and hits an elbow to the neck.  Morton ducks the chop and lands a crossbody for two, Flair begs for mercy again. Hip-toss from Flair, Morton lands a right hand for two. Flair chops back at Morton, rips off the mask and sends Morton into the cage.

 

Morton is bleeding now as Flair applies the mask and mocks Morton, Flair rips off the protective plaster on Morton’s nose and hurls Morton into the cage. Morton’s face is raked off the cage and the rope, Morton is weak now and in terrible trouble as Flair drives a knee across the head of Morton. Flair lands a right to the head, Flair continues raking the nose of Morton. Flair continues chopping and raking the nose of Morton, snap-mare and Morton refuses to stay down. Flair lands a vicious back-breaker for two, measured right hands from The Nature Boy. Textbook suplex from the champion and Flair calls for the end, Figure Four Leg-Lock from The Nature Boy. Flair uses the ropes for leverage behind the referee’s back, Morton is in serious danger.

 

Morton cannot even stand as Flair tees off with right hands to the nose of the challenger, Morton is a bloody mess. Morton applies a small package out of nowhere but its only two, chops from Flair but Morton is shaking it off with each hit. Right hands from the challenger with Flair backing up, Flair meets the steel cage. Morton is fired up, Flair meets the steel cage again. Morton is on the top rope, sending Flair into the cage. Axe handle from Morton, measured right hands in the corner from Morton. Morton rakes Flair’s face off the steel cage, Flair begs for mercy once more. Sleeper from Morton, Flair is down in the middle of the ring. Morton lands a diving crossbody for two, Flair tries running away from Morton. The two brawl in the air, Morton punches down Flair. Morton lands an axe handle for two, another knee by Flair who chops and elbows at Morton but Morton smacks down Flair again.

 

Irish whip from Morton, Flair meets the cage wall. Flair is not happy about this, Flair is begging for mercy again. Morton grabs at the nose, Morton continues decking Flair with right hands. Morton lands a missile dropkick but Flair manages to kick out and press Morton onto the referee. Flair crotches Morton onto the top rope, Flair uses the ropes for leverage and pins the valiant Ricky Morton.

 

A fun end to the show with these two putting on a very entertaining match, I didn’t think it hit that sweet spot but I don’t think it was meant to, this feud was a lot of fun on television and the match was good don’t get me wrong but didn’t have what it needed to take it to the next level. I thought Flair seeing the smaller man get the better of him was great stuff, the frustration slowly boiling over in Flair, outraged that this tag team wrestler was giving him a hard time for his championship. I like how Flair took off the mask and started working the ever-loving shite out of Morton’s nose but the thing is I never really bought into how vicious it could be, I thought Flair could have been more cruel and stomped on the nose or did more. Morton’s selling here is fantastic as always and the crowd is sympathetic for sure but it didn’t strike a chord with me, I guess I am not the biggest fan of Flair on offense, it just never feels dominant to me but it is what it is, the crowd loved this match and everyone had a good time!

 

Winner: Ric Flair over Ricky Morton via Roll-Up!

 

This show was a fine show for all in attendance, you got to see the big names mix it up in some fun matches but nothing really note-worthy went down on these shows, glimpses of what was coming is here with The Koloffs and Road Warriors brawling, Midnight Express being involved with Magnum and Rhodes and Flair continuing to shine as champion. Little strange to watch without commentary but I adjusted rather quickly and it was a fun watch when all was said and done, no complaints from me. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

Friday, 19 November 2021

NWA Starrcade 1985 Review!

 



Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that goes longer than a NJPW Main Event! It’s Starrcade 1985! We are getting into the thick of it now, Ric Flair vs Dusty Rhodes inside a steel cage, The Rock N Roll Express taking on The Koloffs and Magnum T.A vs Tully Blanchard. Big names galore all over the card and this might be the best Starrcade yet based off of the matches announced but will it deliver? That’s the key question so let’s get it on!

 

(NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship Match) Sam Houston vs Krusher Krushchev

 

What a name eh? Krusher Krushchev who would later become Smash and Repo Man against very popular babyface Sam Houston competing for a vacant championship. Dusty Rhodes had a dispute with then champion Buzz Tyler over money and thus, we have this situation upon us. Houston has been called young at least 4 times before they have even touched so I think I can tell what way this is going to go based off of that alone but I digress, Krusher throws down Houston with his power advantage.

 

Houston sends Krusher to the floor, right hands from Houston. Krusher begins to use his power to torture Houston, Krusher misses an elbow drop though. Back to square one with both men trading control, knees from Krusher. Houston escapes the scoop slam and pops Krusher in the face twice. Krusher is getting frustrated, side headlock from Houston. Krusher shoves off Houston, leap-frogs and drop-downs follow but Houston cannot toss the big man so Houston uses his legs to nail a headscissors. Krusher grabs at the hair, looking for a way to escape. Krusher puts Houston in the corner, Houston is climbing high to escape and lands a big right before leaping over Krusher and landing a big dropkick into an arm-drag with an arm-bar.

 

Krusher escapes and flapjacks Houston, the crowd is not happy about that at all. Krusher jaw-jacks with the fans, massive right hand for two. Military press slam from Krusher, Houston slides through the legs of Krusher but eats a right hand to the face. To the buckle we go, bearhug from Krusher. Houston escapes and kicks Krusher in the face, scoop slam from Krusher. Krusher climbs to the buckle, Houston lands a dropkick and right hands that have the big Russian in trouble.

 

Ten punches in the corner and an Irish whip to the corner, Running Bulldog from Sam Houston who thinks he has won, he did not see the foot of Krusher on the ropes, Russian Sickle decapitates Houston and the referee misses that Houston’s foot was on the ropes, what a twist!

 

These two will continue to feud it seems, fairly standard stuff though. Nothing particularly amazing here in this opening match and the announcers do not seem to pull any attention to the cheating ways of Krusher.

 

Winner: Krusher Krushchev over Sam Houston via Russian Sickle!

 

(Mexican Death Match) Ragin’ Bull vs Abdullah The Butcher W/ Paul Jones

 

Only way to win the match is climb a pol and grab the hat? Vince Russo be damned, two hardcore brawling specialists though. Hoping that Ragin’ Bull can offer something a little more in terms of story-telling after watching his match the year prior with Black Bart. Abdullah jumps Ragin’ Bull and Ragin’ Bull is bleeding already, fuck yes no messing around. Abdullah scrapes and bites and claws at the face of Ragin’ Bull. Ragin’ Bull starts firing back with boots and a monkey flip to Abdullah. Paul Jones is going insane at ring-side, Ragin’ Bull leaps off the top rope and cracks Abdullah in the head with his boot. Again and again, Ragin’ Bull cracks Abdullah in the head who is bleeding also. Abdullah battles back, catching Ragin’ Bull in the ribs and uses the boot on Ragin’ Bull.

 

Abdullah almost reaches the hat but Ragin’ Bull lands one hell of a low blow, both men are feeling the effects of this war. Ragin’ Bull is battering Abdullah with his other boot, Ragin’ Bull almost makes it to the top rope before Abdullah cracks Ragin’ Bull with the boot. Ragin’ Bull takes off his belt and starts whipping Abdullah, massive belt shot to the face.  Abdullah lands a throat-thrust, boot to the throat. Headbutt and massive elbow drop incoming, Ragin’ Bull musters up the strength to dodge the elbow drop. Flying clothesline from Ragin-Bull, Abdullah is only sitting up thanks to the ropes. Ragin’ Bull suplexes the massive Abdullah The Butcher! Ragin’ Bull was close but Abdullah stabs Ragin’ Bull with a foreign object, headbutt from Abdullah. Flying Burrito from Ragin’ Bull and a middle rope diving clothesline. Ragin’ Bull climbs high once more, Abdullah avoids the diving splash.

 

Abdullah waddles over to Ragin’ Bull, Irish whip to the buckle. Abdullah comes charging in but misses the spear, Ragin’ Bull sprints up that rope and grabs the sombrero, ending this match as Paul Jones freaks out!

 

Well having this sort of stipulation in what was called a Mexican Death Match is odd to me but they give you what you would expect, Ragin’ Bull is a bloody mess within less than 30 seconds, Abdullah and Ragin’ Bull beat the piss out of one another, it’s bloody and sloppy and looks like a train-wreck but I will be damned  if I didn’t enjoy this spectacle.

 

Winner: Ragin’ Bull Manny Fernandez over Abdullah The Butcher via Retrieving The Sombrero!

 

(Texas Bullrope Match) Cowboy Ron Vass vs Black Bart W/ JJ Dillon

 

If Bass wins, it’s five minutes alone with JJ Dillon. Black Bart and Bass are going to brawl, Bart is cracked with the bull-rope ten seconds in, I guess we are getting hardcore back to back. Bart is bleeding already, cowbell to the head does damage as always. Bas chokes Bart with the rope, Bart has been battered the entire match. Bart begins to brawl his way back in, Bass chokes him with his cowbell. Irish whip and a right hand, Bart slugs his way back into cracking Bass in the head. Bass is bleeding, Dillon winces as both men continue to batter one another. More cowbell shots over and over, Bass knocks out Bart with three right hands but somehow Bart kicks out, Bart comes back into the match with throat thrusts. Irish whip with both men banging heads, Bass clocks Bart eventually one more time and wins the match.

 

So we will continue the review as JJ Dillon jumps in immediately to attack Bass as it should be, Dillon takes off his shirt exposing his “physique” as it should be. Cowbell shots to the head over and over, I doubt they even hurt as this stage because I saw Bart and Bass clock each other at least 500 times. Dillon tries choking Bass, Bass powers up and Dillon shits himself. Dillon tries running, Dillon is pleading. Massive cowbell shot to the head, Dillon is bleeding now. Bass chokes Dillon who is on dream street, shot after shot with Dillon rocking back and forth. Bass cracks the referee by mistake though, Black Bart drops Bass with a piledriver and Dillon gets the pin.

 

Well if this is your big show, is this not the time and the place to pay-off your big angles? Would this not be the time for Bass to slaughter both and stand tall? Not that I cared too much, Bass vs Dillon was far more entertaining than the previous match with Bart and Bass just hitting one another time and time again. Don’t get me wrong, it can be done and I just saw it with Manny and Abdullah but I am going to get numb to it if it continues to be like this and unfortunately for Black Bart and Ron Bass, neither of them come close to the level of charisma or fan reaction that Ragin’ Bull Manny Fernandez has which leaves us with a rather boring affair.

 

Winner: Ron Bass over Black Bart via Cowbell To The Head!

 

Winner: JJ Dillon over Ron Bass via Piledriver From Black Bart!

 

The Barbarian W/ Paul Jones vs Superstar Billy Graham

 

No more kung-fu Billy Graham? Disappointing for sure, Barbarian is here and looking like an animal, no surprise there. We have an arm-wrestling contest to kick us off, Graham wins that contest before Paul Jones cracks Graham with his cane. Graham is bleeding, for fuck sake is everyone going to bleed on this card? Barbarian bites at the head of Graham, not a fun time for The Superstar. Graham comes back but Barbarian is too strong, Graham dodges the diving headbutt. Stomps to the head from Graham, Irish whip into the bearhug. Barbarian almost fades but Paul Jones attacks with the cane again. Graham grabs the cane and cracks Paul Jones, Barbarian eventually saves his manager.

 

Goodness gracious can we stop with everyone bleeding? I don’t think it means anything if everyone is bleeding on the card, for the hardcore matches ok I get it, it’s brawling and that is expected but must everyone bleed on this night? Anyways, it was alright, nothing has been awful on this show like the prior years. It has been quite watchable so far and it’s only going to get even better as we get to the more serious matches on the card.

 

Winner: Billy Graham over The Barbarian via DQ!

 

(NWA National Championship Match) Terry Taylor © vs Buddy Landel

 

Madness how I only see The Red Rooster when I look at Taylor but Taylor was quite good inside of that ring and had some very interesting angles during his tenure. Buddy Landel could be mistaken for a Ric Flair rip-off but Landel could work inside of that ring too, his demons would ultimately get the better of him though. Tremendous athletes who are young is the description of this match from Bob Caudle. Lock-up, Landel shoves Taylor to the corner. Taylor is fired up, Landel looks hesitant. The challenger complains about hair-pulling etc, slap from Landel which sees Taylor fire up with a slap. Landel stalls and stalls, lock-up again.

 

Wrist-lock from Landel who works that arm, Landel talks trash as Taylor looks for a way out of the hold. Arm-drag from the champion, Landel pushes Taylor to the ropes. Taylor blocks the punches and decks Landel, Landel has been rocked by this turn of events. Side headlock takedown from Landel, Taylor works the arm before Landel shoves Taylor to the corner. Massive chops and shots before an Irish whip to the opposite buckle, Taylor rocks Landel with a boot. Back body-drop, Taylor lands a knee-drop to the head for one. Wrist-lock from Taylor, Landel spins out and nails Taylor with a brutal forearm. Landel goes to work with stomps, right hand to the jaw. Jabs in the corner and chops from Landel, snap-mare into a rear chin-lock. Landel stops the comeback of Taylor with a massive clothesline, two for Landel.

 

Suplex is countered into a small package for two, Landel pops up and applies a camel clutch. Taylor shoves off Landel, Landel misses a right hand as Taylor fights back once more. Chops and a right hand, snap-mare and a face-walk. Suplex for two, right hand to the jaw from Taylor. Landel is bounced off the turnbuckle, Landel swings back at Taylor and down goes the referee. Referee is wiped out a second time because the first time was not enough, Dillon is on the apron. Landel is whipped into Dillon, forearm from Taylor. Taylor wants the superplex, Landel is not doing too well. Taylor went for the superplex but Dillon tripped his leg and Landel crushes the head of Taylor and secures the victory.

 

Solid match from these two, enjoyed the heelish antics of Landel in this match, had the routine nailed down to a tee while Taylor showed a lot of fire when given the chance, would have benefited from a little more action on the part of Taylor but maybe that’s why Landel is the man who went over, Landel seemed to have more to offer in this one. Finish was good, not sure why referee had to be obliterated twice but it is not all doom and gloom, an entertaining match for sure!

 

Winner: Buddy Landel over Terry Taylor via Shenanigans!

 

(NWA National Tag Team Championship Match) Ole & Arn Anderson © vs Billy Jack Haynes & Wahoo McDaniel

 

The Minnesota Wrecking Crew, Ole and Arn mixing it up against Wahoo and Billy Jack. Billy Jack and Arn to start, Arn is thrown back to the corner. Announcers hype up the full-nelson, nobody can escape it they say. Side headlock from Billy Jack, shoulder block and a military press slam. Arn is retreating, in comes Ole. Lock-up and these two big bears brawl to the ropes, Billy Jack out-fires Ole who is against the ropes. Ole is in the challengers’ corner and is whipped around, in comes Wahoo who chops everything in sight. Ole tags in Arn, Arn is cautious but ready to mix it up with Wahoo. Wahoo ducks the left and slaps on a side headlock, takedown from Wahoo. Arn reverses the hold, dragging Wahoo to his corner. In comes Ole who works the arm, no surprise there.

 

Boots to the ribs, Wahoo chops back at Ole. Ole tags Arn and leg-laces Wahoo who cannot escape, Arn works the arm. Billy Jack is trying to get the crowd involved, Arn continues wrenching the arm and stomping on it repeatedly. Hammerlock from Arn, Wahoo is firing up though. Ole comes in from the tag, more arm work from Ole. Massive stomps to the ribs and arms, scoop slam and elbow drop for two. Knee from Ole, tag to Arn. Billy Jack has had enough but the referee stops Billy Jack from coming in, Wahoo starts chopping with his one good arm. Ole comes in, Ole is trading with Wahoo but Wahoo rolls away and tags in Billy Jack. Rights and lefts, noggin knocker from Billy Jack. Coconut crush from Billy Jack on Arn, Wahoo chops out Ole.

 

Ole grabs Billy Jack illegally, Arn takes control before Billy Jack tags back in Wahoo. Irish whip and massive chop, Ole makes the save for the championships. Billy Jack and Ole might brawl but the referee stops it, Ole trips up Wahoo for a close two, Billy Jack is still in the ring. Wahoo chops at Arn, Ole drops Wahoo near the ropes and Ole holds down the legs of Wahoo allowing Arn to steal the win.

 

That was a little tough around the edges, The Andersons work the tag formula very well but I didn’t get my Billy Jack running wild moment, it seemed a little abrupt which was sad to see, thought we could have had a little more from this match. First time I have been disappointing on this card, a shame but we march on!

 

Winners: The Andersons over Billy Jack Haynes & Wahoo McDaniel via Roll-Up!

 

(NWA United States Championship Steel Cage I Quit Match) Tully Blanchard © vs Magnum T.A.

 

The match boys and girls, the one you are meant to know about when it comes to this card, Tully Blanchard one of the biggest dickheads to ever lace up his boots, a true heel who draws such hatred from every person in that crowd. Never would you ever mistakenly cheer this individual or admire his heel work because he was just that antagonizing while Magnum T.A. is the next big thing in wrestling, nobody has more fire than this man right here.  On top of all that, both men despise one another and it’s a damn steel cage I Quit match. Crowd is rampant before we even ring the bell, this is going to be a war.

 

Lock-up, Blanchard backs Magnum to the corner but Magnum sees the right hand coming, right hand floors Blanchard. Magnum is staring down Blanchard, it’s great stuff. Blanchard goes for the leg twice but Magnum sees the double-leg coming. Tully goes to the eyes and starts laying in the shots, rib shots to Magnum. Magnum fires back though, Tully is not going to win that war. Tully is in between the cage wall and the ropes, Magnum is teeing off now. Clubbing shots to the throat, Tully blocks the cage and a low shot saves the champion from tasting the cage wall. Axe handle from Tully who delivers an elbow to the head, Magnum meets the steel cage hard. Camel clutch from Tully, Magnum is bleeding lightly. Magnum is coming up though, Tully goes to the ribs with a knee.  Irish whip but Magnum drops Tully on the top rope with a military press, massive right from Magnum. Boot and kicks from Tully, the champion is rocked by rights from the challenger. Tully pulls Magnum into the cage, Tully dives onto Magnum with the microphone but Magnum will not quit.  Knees from Tully, Magnum sends Tully into the cage wall. Hammerlock throw from Magnum, Magnum starts going after the arm of Tully which is bleeding. Low headbutt from Tully, both men are on their knees dishing out the shots.

 

Magnum bites the arm of Tully, anything to get his arch-rival to utter those words. Tully bites back at the head of Magnum, kicks from Tully. Tully stabs Magnum with the microphone. Diving axe handle from the champion, Tully has the microphone, pleading with Magnum to quit. Magnum will not quit, Magnum avoids the elbow drop from Tully. Right hand and forearm shot from Magnum, Magnum tries to choke Tully with the microphone but Tully will not quit. Another shot with the microphone, Tully continues to refuse to quit. Tully claws at the eyes of Magnum, Magnum claws at the face of Tully. Tully rakes the eyes, ten punches in the corner before Tully lands the inverted atomic drop and down goes the challenger. Magnum says no, Tully drops more elbows and punishment.

 

Tully has a chair now, Tully breaks apart the chair looking to drive a stake into the head of Magnum but Magnum sees the stake coming, Magnum blocks and fights with all his strength to stop the evil Tully from stabbing him in the head. Magnum kicks off Tully, Magnum dives for it and stabs the head of Tully, Tully screams out in pain and Tully screams I Quit! We have a winner, Magnum T.A. is the new United States Champion, Babydoll looks on in horror as Magnum walks away victorious!

 

Now that’s a hardcore match right here, you can feel the hatred between these two the second the bell rings, these two want to take one another apart in the most brutal ways possible, Tully is so good at being completely unlikeable, the guy is slimy and disgusting and you are on the edge of your seat waiting for him to experience pain at the hands of Magnum, they waste no time in brawling before the cage is introduced, they are stabbing one another, torturing one another and battering one another all around the ring. Magnum’s fire is on full-display here, fans love him and he is a star waiting to happen and that ending is top-notch stuff. Tully who is utterly frustrated by the resilience shown by Magnum snaps and decides I am going to stab this son of a bitch only for Tully to fall victim to the very weapon he introduced and a wonderfully violent moment takes place with Magnum standing over Tully who screams I Quit. Excellent wrestling match, loved it!

 

Winner: Magnum T.A over Tully Blanchard!

 

Jimmy Valiant & Atlanta Lively W/ Big Mama vs The Midnight Express W/ Jim Cornette

 

Jimmy Valiant is over, a fact of life that does not matter what year it is. However, what is going on here at all? Midnight Express all in tuxedos while Ronnie Garvin is dressed in drag as Atlanta Lively, who is Big Mama? I wish I had a bit more context to this one but I am stumped unfortunately, the heels try to jump the babyfaces and it backfires big time as Atlanta batters Bobby, choking and theatrics ensue. Valiant is beating up Loverboy with a chair, Bobby kicks back at Atlanta. Loverboy has got colour brother, I think Bobby is opened up too. Lots of punching going on with both members of Midnight Express bleeding all over the ring, Sleeper from Valiant. Dennis and Bobby pull out powder and a foreign object, Valiant is bleeding now I believe. Lots of powder being thrown, Dennis whips Valiant while Lively is being stripped.

 

What in the Lord’s name am I watching here? Valiant saves Lively, there is more brawling going on, I have never seen so much blood in a comedy match in my life. Beautiful Bobby has been stripped while Lively attacks Dennis. Lively is being attacked now, Cornette cracks Lively in the head. Bobby lands a diving axe handle, Valiant cannot make it into the ring. Valiant cannot make an impact on the match, Big Mama continues to cheer on Valiant. Valiant fires up and goes after Bobby and Dennis, right hands before a double clothesline takes down Valiant. Lively saves Valiant with a huge right hand for the win!

 

Garbage match that probably would have been passable as a buffer to the man event but this positioning was rather poor and the amount of blood for a comedy match like that is just overkill at this point.

 

Winners: Atlanta Lively & Jimmy Valiant over The Midnight Express via Right Hand!

 

(NWA World Tag Team Championship Match) The Koloffs © vs The Rock “N” Roll Express W/ Don Kernodle

 

Can you say popular babyface tag team? The Rock “N” Roll Express challenge The Koloffs, Kernodle is in the corner of the challengers. Another cage match after Magnum vs Tully is a bad idea but it’s important to remember that this event was held in two different cities so not all in the one location on the same card did the people have to see the cage matches.

 

Ricky and Nikita to start, Ricky throws down Ricky with ease. Shoulder block does not work for Ricky but a dropkick sure does, we reset with both men staring one another down. Boot and clubbing blows from Nikita, Ricky meets the cage. Ricky is dragged to the champions’ corner, Ivan is too slow for the quicker Ricky. Flying crossbody from Ricky, Ivan drops Ricky on the top rope for a close two. Robert is in, dropkick from Gibson. Knee drop from Gibson for two, side headlock and a tag to Ricky. Snap-mare into a fist drop from Morton, two for Morton. Another quick tag, schoolboy from Gibson for two. Tag to Morton, tag to Gibson who lands an elbow to the back of the head. Ivan rakes the eyes of Gibson, they go to the ropes.

 

Clubbing blow from Ivan, Gibson shoves Ivan into the cage. Morton climbs high, diving fist-drop by Morton. Ivan meets the cage again, Morton climbs high with a diving axe handle for two. Gibson comes in but has his eyes raked once more, Nikita comes in and clubs Gibson but Gibson trips up the monster. Nikita returns with a mean flapjack into the cage, Ivan is a bloody mess and I imagine now that Gibson has donned the crimson mask. Ivan lands a diving axe handle to the head of Gibson. Gibson meets the cage again, elbow drop from Ivan for two. Nikita comes in and bites the head of Gibson, scoop slam from Nikita. Ivan comes off the top rope again with a fist to the head, Morton saves the match with a boot to the head.

 

Morton has to watch on as the champions torture Gibson, snap-mare into a leg drop for two. Gibson avoids the second leg drop but Nikita is in fast, rear chin-lock from Nikita. Ivan batters Gibson with right hands, both Russians decimate Gibson to cut off the fiery babyface. Morton continues to save his partner, Ivan is dealing out the right hands, Gibson slips through the legs and dropkicks Ivan but the referee is down too. Russian Sickle to the head of Morton, shoulder tackle on Gibson. Ivan is on top but the referee is rocked, Gibson tags in Morton. Ivan back-drops Gibson but Morton comes in with the O’Connor Roll for the win. The heels get their heat back after the match, decimating the new champions.

 

Very good match but very hard to top what I saw previously in the night in that cage, Morton and Gibson are ridiculously popular and make for the perfect foil for the big nasty Russians but nothing inside of that cage was going to come close to Magnum and Tully unfortunately so maybe on a different night, they could have stolen the show but it was not meant to be on this night. Fun tag team match but overshadowed!

 

Winners: Rock “N” Roll Express over The Koloffs via O’Connor Roll!

 

(NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match) Ric Flair © vs Dusty Rhodes

 

These two men main-evented the previous year’s Starrcade and it did not deliver with a finish that had me scratching my head considering it was for excessive blood loss/injury when everyone on the card almost bled, it seemed like overkill. Yet, maybe they needed more time, maybe they wanted to spin a finer story well tonight is the night. Put up or shut up, Nature Boy vs The American Dream II for the richest prize in the game.

 

Intense stare-down to begin, cautious approach from both challenger and champion. Lock-up, Flair has Rhodes in the corner. Flair goes to trade punches, bad ideas as Rhodes jabs his way and knocks down the champion. Elbow and big thrust sends champion to the floor. Flair hops over the guardrail for his breather, re-evaluation time for The Nature Boy. Knees from Flair, right hand to the face but Rhodes lands elbows to get back into the match. Shoulder block and elbow from Rhodes, Flair is begging off and powders once more. Flair steps in for round three, Rhodes is confident at this point. Lock-up and side headlock from Flair, Rhodes counters for a hammerlock. Flair runs around the ring before going to the mat, Flair makes it to the ropes before attacking the leg of Rhodes. Rhodes sells it, a point of weakness for sure.

 

Flair goes low and starts chopping, Rhodes eats a mean right to the head. Snap-mare into that knee-drop which finds the mark, Rhodes is in trouble. Barely one for Flair, Rhodes takes one kick to the leg and jumps over the guardrail, perhaps a little exaggerated but maybe Flair is as deadly as Jose Aldo with those lethal leg-kicks. Flair tries attacking Rhodes who re-entering the ring but Rhodes blocks and delivers massive elbows to the back of the head, Rhodes stomps the leg of Flair. The fans love that, Rhodes giving Flair a taste of his own medicine. Massive elbow to the knee from Flair, Rhodes asks the fans if they want to see and delivers a big elbow to the knee but Flair rakes the eyes. Flair sells the leg, Flair wants a suplex but the leg gives out on the champion.

 

Rhodes suplexes Flair, Rhodes delivers another elbow to the leg. Flair slaps on a sleeper to take out Rhodes but Rhodes runs Flair to the corner. Rhodes slips out of the ring and grabs Flair’s foot, Flair begs for mercy as Rhodes wraps that leg around the ring-post. Elbow to the ankle from Rhodes, Rhodes chops Flair and with a snap-mare, misses a crucial elbow drop. Flair decides to climb to the top rope, bad idea for the champion. Figure four is blocked by Flair, Rhodes is kicked off and clutches his knee. Chop and Figure Four does not connect for Flair, Flair is persistent though and tries again. Flair decides to work the leg first, Rhodes clubs at Flair with a giant headbutt. Irish whip with Flair flip to the floor, Rhodes smacks Flair off the guardrail.

 

Flair is bleeding, all drama from that has been lost on me unfortunately. Flair is dragged into the ring, chops from the challenger. Flair kicks low and sends Rhodes to the floor, Rhodes decides to climb to the top rope. Diving crossbody for two, fans are in uproar as the referee was dealing with something. Rhodes lands right hands to the head of Flair, Flair wriggles free. Bionic Elbow decks Flair, ten punches in the corner from Rhodes. Flair flop to the mat, Rhodes is feeling the energy in the building at this point.  Jabs stagger Flair, Flair is backing away. Flair flip to the apron, Flair tries an axe handle but Rhodes catches Flair with a gut shot. Rhodes tries a kick to the gut, Flair dodges and Rhodes hurts his aggravated knee. Flair begins to work, Flair drops all his weight down on the leg.

 

Knee-drop on the ankle, Flair lands a right-hand to the face. Figure Four in the middle of the ring, Rhodes is in terrible pain. Rhodes fights and fights, reversing the pressure and forcing The Nature Boy to release the hold. Flair chops at Rhodes, Rhodes is firing up now. Right hands and elbows from Rhodes, flying clothesline from Rhodes. Flair kicks out at two, Rhodes pulls Flair into the corner but takes out the referee by mistake. Rhodes and Flair scramble, Bionic Elbow and a figure four from Rhodes. Arn Anderson and Ole Anderson are here, a giant knee flattens Rhodes. 1….2… Rhodes kicks out! Scoop slam attempt by Flair but Rhodes counters into a small package, 1..2….3!

 

Lots of fun here in this main event, it may not be the first time that Rhodes has been champion but you might not hear a louder reaction that this moment right here, two legends at the top of their game. Working the fans and making us believe that wrestling is real ladies and gentlemen. Loved the pacing, loved the intensity they brought and loved the little things like Rhodes tweaking his knee and Rhodes going after Flair’s leg. Thought the ending was a little abrupt but take nothing away from this match, it was a great way to cap off the PPV and it left room for a rematch if need be, quality right here.

 

Winner: Dusty Rhodes over Ric Flair via Small Package!

 

Starrcade 1985 was a fun show with some great matches on the card. It could be the fact that I had watched two prior Starrcades back to back before watching this but this was miles better than both. The only worthwhile match I can pull from the other two for me was Piper vs Valentine, this has a main event that lives up to the hype, a career-defining cage match between Magnum T.A. and Tully Blanchard and the undercard is not all that bad, I think I only groaned when two matches came on and they went too long and had no business on the card all things considered. I also want to note that commentary was bizarre on this show, you had I want to say minutes of silence before Tony or Bob would chime in, really took me out of the experience because I didn’t have those commentators filling in the blanks and providing that extra depth and drama but this was the best Starrcade I have seen thus far and the talent is red-hot, the crowds are red-hot and I can only imagine what is coming next in the year of 1986! Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!



Sunday, 14 November 2021

NWA Starrcade 1984 Review!

 



Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that still wonders if Hogan is the third man! It’s NWA Starrcade 1984 headlined by The Million Dollar Challenge as The Nature Boy Ric Flair defends his NWA World Heavyweight Championship against none other than Dusty Rhodes, we have a number of matches on the card featuring various talent but let’s see if the grudge matches on this card live up to the previous year’s edition. Let’s get it on!

 

(NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship Match) Mike Davis © vs Denny Brown

 

Referee Earl Hebnar checks both competitors, side headlock and shoulder block from Davis, Brown counters with a hip-toss and a headscissors. Arm-drag into an arm-bar, Brown continues out-wrestling Davis with superb arm-work. Davis breaks free, sending Brown to the floor. Brown is in a bad way, Davis helps Brown into the ring, nice piece of showmanship. Brown manages to land a massive forearm to get back into this match, Davis catches Brown for a small package. Two for Davis, Davis goes to work with forearms. Whip to the corner, Brown leaps to the middle rope and lands a diving forearm. Back body drop with Brown showing some fire, dropkick for two. Irish whip and drop-down spot ends with both men banging heads, forearms from Brown. Uppercuts but Davis sends Brown to the buckle and with a beautiful belly to back suplex, this match is over but wait we have a new champion because Denny Brown is the champion as Brown was able to raise his shoulder off the suplex.

 

Seems like this championship means nothing here and then, I guess it is all summed up with the finish as the ring announcer completely messes up the winner, it was very vanilla to be fair. Never heard much about either man so I am having a few flashbacks to the previous year, looks like I am going to be gorging myself on a whole load of nothing to kick us off.

 

Winner: Denny Brown over Mike Davis via Belly To Back Suplex!

 

Mr. Ito vs Brian Adidis

 

How kind to refer to him as Mr. Ito, motherfucker does not even have a first name but the fans loves Brian Adidis, Brian and Ito are trading holds to kick us off, Ito and Adias trade the advantage on more than one occasion. Leapfrogs and a dropkick, side headlock from Adidis. Ito counters and works the arm, down goes Adidis. Adidis goes to the ropes, Ito holds onto the arm. Karate chop to the arm, Adidis reverses and works the arm with his knees and a short leg-drop. Ito goes for a scoop slam but Adidis rolls through, Ito goes to the ribs and chops Adidis in the face. They are brawling, Adidis is winning that war. Adidis spins around for the airplane spin and this is over. Well brief and a couldn’t give a shite about these two, let’s move on!

 

Winner: Brian Adidis over Mr. Ito via Airplane Spin!

 

(NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship Match) Mike Graham vs Jesse Barr

 

Nepotism, thy name is Mike Graham. Never drew a dime man who looks like a grandad against the champion Barr. Mat-work to kick us off, credit to Graham who can work as far as promoter’s sons go, Graham has an Indian Death-lock but Barr grabs the throat and slaps on a rear chin-lock. Graham tries to wriggle free, Graham drops down but Barr uses the hair to regain control. Graham almost breaks free but Barr uses the hair again to break the hold.  Elbow escape and shoulder block from Graham, arm-drag for two but Barr pulls the hair to get back into control. Key-lock from Barr, Graham is starting to get frustrated with Barr’s continued cheating tactics. To the corner, Barr drives in the knees and forearms. Barr uses the ropes to wrench the arm, again and again.

 

Irish whip but Graham reverses, drop toehold and Graham says he is going to break his leg. Graham works the leg again and again, Barr slips out of the figure four. Barr is in the corner, Barr wants a test of strength. Graham is cautious, rightly so with Graham wanting to have the match back in the middle of the ring. Barr has the strength advantage in the tie-up, Graham rallies but Barr uses the ropes for leverage with Earl Hebnar unable to see the cheating ways of Barr. Barr goes low with boots to maintain control before Graham lands a headbutt and we have a fireman’s carry into the arm-bar. Right hand from Graham into the figure four but Barr scrambles to the ropes.

 

Tentative lock-up, Barr and Graham lock-up. Side headlock from Barr, Graham counters the side headlock into a roll-up for two. Twice Graham almost escapes but Barr holds onto the hair before Graham drops Barr with a shin-breaker, more knee-wrenching from the challenger. Repeated knees into Barr’s legs, Figure Four and Barr reaches the ropes. Knee by Barr, Graham lands a sunset flip for two, Graham almost pins Barr off a small package but the referee was down. O’Connor roll for two, Barr reverses and holds the tights for two! Graham is taken down with a double leg near the corner, Barr uses the ropes for leverage and pins Graham.

 

Barr seems a bit vanilla for my liking, Graham works hard and knows what he is doing inside of that ring but Barr seems a little out of his depth, the last minute or so is quite exciting and the heel cheats his way to victory, solid performance and the first watchable match of the night, good stuff.

 

Winner: Jesse Barr over Mike Graham via Roll-Up with Leverage!

 

Zambuie Express W/ Paul Jones vs Assassin 1 & Buzz Tyler

 

A lot of meat in this one and it’s a tag team elimination match, Assassin 1 fails to get a Weasel chant going for Paul Jones, sign of things to come? Bit of brawling and the babyfaces are winning that war, Buzz Tyler outfoxes Kareem who gets decked by The Avalanche. Assassin 1 vs Elijah, Elijah clubs Assassin 1 before Assassin 1 sends Elijah to the corner, the babyfaces pummel Elijah. Kareem and Buzz Tyler are now legal, Kareem pummels Buzz. Buzz eats a headbutt from Elijah, Buzz fires back at Elijah. Everyone is in the ring, can’t this end? Buzz and Elijah are eliminated I believe, they have been counted-out. Assassin 1 and Kareem collide, Buzz pushes Assassin 1 on top of Kareem and this is over? What a load of shite!

 

Winners: Assassin 1 & Buzz Tyler over The Zumbuie Express via Splash!

 

(Brass Knuckles Championship Match) Raging Bull Manny Fernandez  vs Black Bart © W/ JJ Dillon

 

We going to get a little hardcore? FMW be damned as Black Bart takes on Manny Fernandez, lock-up with Manny getting the better of Black Bart. Manny works the ribs with big right hands, Manny continues to jab and chop Black Bart. It is all Manny for now, lock-up with a knee from Black Bart. Shot to the head, Manny fires back with more punches. This really is just punches, Bart and Manny just keep punching each other, punches to the head and punches to the gut. Bart makes a great punching noise though, Manny has decided to blade to make things more interesting. Would be great if I felt there was more to this, Bart bites the head of Manny but Manny comes back with more punches and chops.

 

Manny is firing up, right hands to the head. Bart is dumped to the floor, axe handle off the apron. Bart is in serious trouble, Dillon motivates Bart to get back into the ring. Irish whip and right hand from Manny, another massive right hand from Manny. Low blow from Bart, anything goes so no surprise right there. Bart is a bloody mess, more right hands. Bart shoves the referee and has his rope but Manny catches Bart with an O’Connor roll for the win.

 

Punch and punch and punch and punch, rinse and repeat. Fair play to the fans being interested in it because I certainly didn’t care when it was over, nothing to it when all was said and done.

 

Winner: Manny Fernandez over Black Bart via O’Connor Roll!

 

(Loser Leaves Town Tuxedo Street Fight Match) Paul Jones vs Jimmy Valiant

 

Jimmy Valiant is ridiculously over, has been since the dawn of time it almost seems like. Paul Jones is a hated manager who is going to take a whooping in this match but I have a sneaky feeling that Paul Jones might have something up his sleeve. Valiant chokes and rips at Jones to start, Jones is doing his best anyways. Valiant starts throwing some of the funkiest looking punches I have ever seen, Valiant shoves something down the throat of Jones. Jones is being picked apart, this is very much one-sided. Jones has been stripped, is this not over? Must it end by pin-fall or submission. Jones lands a knee to the back and knees to the heads of Valiant but Valiant is firing up.

 

More funky-ass punches, sleeper from Valiant. Jones has bladed for this, for Christ sake, the Tuxedo match has blading in it. Incredible, the commitment to the Street Fight aspect. Valiant decks the referee trying to hit Kareem or Elijah of the express, JJ Dillon clocks Valiant with some sort of object. 1….2…3! Paul Jones wins! Brief yet successful!

 

Winner: Paul Jones over Jimmy Valiant via Foreign Object To The Head!

 

(Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship Match) Ron Bass © W/ JJ Dillon vs Dick Slater

 

Bass along with Black Bart had taken down Steamboat and Slater in a brutal assault, JJ Dillon is in the corner of the champion while Dick Slater looks for revenge. Slater begins chopping back and knocks down Bass, Slater chases Dillon before Bass covers the behind of his manager. Slater is whipped off the ropes and ducks a chop, escaping Bass and chasing after Dillon. Slater is over like rover, reminds me of Terry Funk a lot at the moment. Slater chops Bass and has a side headlock takedown with Bass trying to roll over the challenger, Bass grabs the hair but Slater has good control. Bass escapes and lands an elbow but misses the elbow drop, headbutt and side headlock takedown from Slater. Bass rakes the eyes but Slater nails an atomic drop, Slater scares Dillon once more.

 

Slater headbutts Bass who was trying to re-enter the ring, snap-mare into the ring and Bass manages to rake the eyes and land a knee-lift. To the buckle, Slater is bounced off the buckle repeatedly. Bass batters Slater who is in the ropes, Dillon cracks Slater behind the referee’s back. Suplex for two, Bass is in control now. Running bulldog out of the corner, Slater is brawling back though with shots to the ribs and a massive jab with a roundhouse right. Snap-mare and Slater rubs his foot across the face of Bass, Bass goes to the eyes and dumps Slater to the floor. JJ Dillon gets in a few boots behind the referee’s back, Slater is battered in the corner with mean rights from Bass. Slater is shaking them off though, Bass runs into the corner and Slater tees off with right hands. The referee is flung to the ground, back suplex from Slater but the referee is down.

 

Dillon comes in and boots Slater, no effect on Slater who lands a scoop slam and a right. Scoop slam for Bass and a leg drop but the referee declares that Bass is the winner as Slater threw the referee to the floor, Slater’s temper cost him the match.

 

Decent match, could have been more if Slater and Bass give us just a little more action but Slater gets his heat back at the end beating the two heels but I would have liked to seen a lot more from these two in this match, had the makings of something fun but just did not click into that next gear.

 

Winner: Cowboy Ron Bass over Dick Slater via DQ!

 

Ole Anderson & Keith Larson W/ Don Kernodle vs The Koloffs (Nikita & Ivan Koloff)

 

Don Kernodle & Ivan were tag team champions earlier in the year before Nikita came in and it was time for Don to bite the dust. Communism is ret hot as a topical issue so you know this one will have lots of fans invested in this one. Nikita looks like a God damn star next to Ivan, always strange to see babyface Ole Anderson but it can be done as evident in the infamous angle with Dusty Rhodes in 1980. Our babyfaces rush The Koloffs, it’s brawling times boys. Ivan is knocked down by Larson who tees off, back body drop and a right hand from Larson. Two for Larson, fists of fury from Larson. Dropkick from Larson, Ivan is battered by both babyfaces, tag to Anderson.

 

Anderson works the arm, over and over before Larson nails an axe handle to the arm. Elbows too, Larson and Anderson exchange quick tags with Ivan in serious trouble, arm-wringer and a short-arms scissors for Anderson. Tag to Larson, knee-drop to the arm. Arm-bar from Larson, Ivan is reaching for the tag but Larson maintains control. Another tag to Anderson who wants and delivers a hammerlock scoop slam. Anderson stomps the arm over and over, right hands to the face. Tag to Larson, elbow drops to the arm. Anderson and Larson continuing working the shit out of the arm of Ivan. Ivan grabs the hair but the hip-toss is from Larson for two, tag to Anderson again.

 

Double elbow to the jaw, elbow drop from Anderson for two. Anderson has Ivan in the ropes, elbows and knees. Hammerlock throw into the buckle, another tag to Larson. Anderson and Larson continue to batter Ivan, I have never seen babyfaces beat up a heel for so long. Larson has an arm-bar on Ivan, Nikita is infuriated on the apron. Nikita wants in badly, Anderson is in the ring and working the arm of Ivan, Ivan rakes the eyes of Anderson and Anderson meets the boot of Nikita.

 

Nikita comes in and chokes Anderson, Ivan distracts the referee. Anderson tries raking the eyes, Nikita lands shoulder thrusts over and over. Anderson throws rights and lefts on Nikita, Nikita takes Anderson to the corner. Bearhug from Nikita, Anderson is in serious trouble. Anderson tries to fight his way out, Anderson begins to fade in this hour-long bearhug. Anderson is moving though, Anderson is digging down deep. Clubbing blows, Nikita tags in Ivan who stops the tag. Elbow from Ivan, Anderson is down and hurt. Nikita comes back in and does that bearhug, large USA chants ring throughout the arena. Anderson clubs at the mammoth Nikita, inverted atomic drop from Anderson. Larson gets the hot-tag, right hands to Nikita and Ivan.

 

Noggin-knocker, Larson is fired up! Big elbow to the jaw of Nikita, Nikita dodges the dropkick by holding the ropes, massive clothesline into a choke-hold. Tag to Ivan, hot-shot onto the ropes. Small package from Larson for two, Nikita and Anderson come in with Nikita being knocked to the floor. Nikita clotheslines down Don Kernodle, Anderson brawls with Nikita. The referee does not see Ivan clock Larson with a chain to the head for the win! The Koloffs steal the win in this match! Don Kernodle gets revenge and saves his brother at the end of the match.

 

Quite a hot match, couldn’t understand why Ivan was worked over for so long until I saw Nikita in the ring, green as goose shit right there. Big and powerful but a long way to go for Nikita here, Anderson did very well in his role as babyface in peril, believed that ass whopping and Anderson did put over how dominant Nikita was, best match of the night so far I would say!

 

Winners: Koloffs over Ole Anderson & Keith Larson via hain to The Head!

 

(NWA World Television Championship Match) Tully Blanchard © W/ JJ Dillon vs Ricky Steamboat

 

Our champion has developed a habit of stalling and going to time-limit draws to protect his beloved championship so a rule has been made for this match that if Tully stalls in this match, Tully will forfeit his championship. Tully oozes overconfidence, the man could not be more cocky if he tried, there is no disqualifications for this one so it seems the champion has been backed into a corner.

 

Steamboat goes in with injured ribs, Tully goes right for the ribs with vicious shots and Steamboat brawls back winning that war with Tully scrambling to run away. Steamboat drops a knee, suplex into the ring. Jumping chop for two, Steamboat and Tully are bringing energy in the first seconds that blows away everything I have seen thus far. Rear-naked choke from Steamboat, Tully comes up and tries to wriggle free but Steamboat is in control. Tully makes it to the ropes, Steamboat lands a knee-lift. Tully cannot slip to the floor though, Steamboat holds his ribs showing a sign of weakness. Tully comes closer, stalking the challenger. Shot right to the ribs, Tully begins working it with big right hands. Back-breaker and elbow to the spine, kick to the ribs from Tully.

 

Elbow to the ribs from Tully, Steamboat battles his way back in but Steamboat is not looking too good in this one. Massive chops from Steamboat, Tully is in trouble. Knee drop to the head, make it two. Two count for Steamboat, rear chin-lock from the challenger. Tully tries diving to the floor to avoid pain, Tully attacks the ribs again. Belly to back suplex from Tully, kidney punch for two. Steamboat escapes the sleeper for a choke-hold, Tully makes it to the ropes. Tully backs away, a reversal of what we saw earlier. Tully begins jabbing and dancing around the ring, Steamboat seems unfazed. Tully spits on Steamboat, Steamboat continues to stay calm because Tully will not lock-up. Leapfrogs and powerslam for two, Tully is scrambling as Steamboat rams Tully into the turnbuckle. Double chop for two, massive right from the challenger. Steamboat lands ten punches in the corner, another knee drop to the head.

 

Massive chop levels Tully, two for the challenger. Tully is rocked, Steamboat looks down on the champion. Tully is bleeding, Steamboat spits on Tully and lands massive corner chops. Swinging neck-breaker for two, slingshot suplex for two and a half! Dropkick levels Tully, two for the challenger. Tully is out on the floor but has some sort of foreign object, Steamboat ducks the first shot but when trying the belly to back suplex, Tully clocks Steamboat in the head. Flying crossbody for two, the champion is in control. Tully wants the superplex, Steamboat counters and nails the top rope splash for two and a half! Tully reverses an Irish whip, Steamboat wants the sunset flip but Tully clocks Steamboat in the face with a foreign object and retains the championship.

 

Damn I wanted more, I thought they could have gone just a few more minutes and I wouldn’t have had a problem, Steamboat is such a great babyface and his selling is tremendous, Tully is the ultimate smug piece of trash and they play their parts to perfection. I would have thought the ribs would have played more into the finish but cracking someone with a foreign object is good protection for The Dragon, great stuff though. Both men were great and I would loved some more!

 

Winner: Tully Blanchard over Ricky Steamboat via Right Hand!

 

(NWA United States Championship Match) Wahoo McDaniel © vs Superstar Billy Graham

 

Superstar Billy Graham is all about the posing right here, Wahoo McDaniel looks pissed so this should be fun? Maybe? Who knows? Both men have seen better days, they are slow to lock-up with Graham wanting to karate kick the head off of Wahoo. Very slow before we have an eye-rake from Wahoo, chops into the chest and back of the head. Hard Irish whip to the corner, Graham reverses and slaps on The Full-Nelson!!! Wahoo makes the ropes, Graham has to break the hold. More clubbing with Graham landing a shoulder block but a stiff chop ends this one. What was that? Seriously? Probably the most inconsistent card I have ever seen!

 

Winner: Wahoo McDaniel over Superstar Billy Graham via Chop!

 

(NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match) Ric Flair © vs Dusty Rhodes

 

Smokin Joe Frazier is here for this match, big fight feel for this main event. The Nature Boy vs The American Dream, the moment we have all been waiting for or at least I hope so. It’s for all the marbles, Rhodes vs Flair. Rhodes and Flair lock-up, Rhodes backs Flair to the corner but we have a clean break. Lock-up, side headlock and shoulder block from Rhodes, elbow to the head decks Flair. Flair is a little shaken, side headlock from Rhodes. Flair wants the leg, Rhodes squeezes hard to avoid a shin-breaker. Flair pushes Rhodes to the ropes, clean break from Nature Boy. Knee to the ribs, chop from Flair. Chop after chop before Rhodes lands stinging jabs, side headlock from Rhodes. Flair escapes and lands a knee drop to the skull, kicks to the ribs from Flair.

 

Right hand to the skull, Rhodes meets the buckle hard. Snap-mare into a knee drop from Flair but it misses, Rhodes applies the figure four on Flair. Flair makes it to the ropes but the effects are clear, the champion is in a bad way as Rhodes begins working that leg. Flair can only grab at the face of Rhodes, the challenger is in control until Flair escapes the hold and punches Rhodes in the face over and over. Flair is in the corner, Rhodes is not happy about the right hands to the dome. Side headlock from Rhodes, Flair applies a massive key-lock before Rhodes reverses the hold. Arm-bar from Rhodes, Flair escapes but runs into a gorilla press slam, chop takes down Flair. Bionic elbows and chops are traded, Rhodes clubs down on Flair. Whip to the buckle with Flair flipping to the floor, Flair climbs high and gets caught from Rhodes. Rhodes misses an elbow drop, Rhodes blocks the right hand and attacks Flair. Flair shoves off Rhodes, sleeper from the champion but Rhodes runs around and sends Flair to the floor.

 

Flair trips up Rhodes, chops and right hands on the floor. Rhodes hits the ring-post hard, Rhodes is bleeding everywhere.  Referee Frazier is checking the eye of Rhodes, Flair wants to go in for the kill. Snap-mare into mounted right-hand punches, Rhodes is up fast though and delivers a massive elbow on Flair. Flair fires back at that cut, Joe Frazier is not happy about the damage done to the eyes. Flair continues brawling with Rhodes, elbows and punches. Joe Frazier is checking the eye, Frazier waves it off?? WHAT?????????????? Flair is the winner??????

 

You cannot be fucking serious, the main event of your big show ends in a finish like that? Rhodes is not even the only person on this card to bleed! What the hell is this? I cannot believe what I am seeing right here? How can Starrcade be considered so iconic when the second event ends like this? Forget about all the action in the ring, that ending has left such a sour taste in my mouth, what garbage!

 

Winner: Ric Flair over Dusty Rhodes via Referee Stoppage!

 

That was NWA’s Starrcade 1984, easily one of the worst shows I had to sit through when reviewing, very little redeeming qualities when it comes to this show. Without context, Steamboat and Tully is a great contest, I wish it was a little longer but when you add in everything they were doing on TV, it would seem that Steamboat winning was the right call especially when Dusty would go onto do what Steamboat could not a little later but large portions of this show was awful and had me asking “Why?” Naturally, a terrible sign if you are looking at something and that’s the word that comes to mind. It seems Starrcade may have some of that early Wrestlemania feel where nothing matters except two matches but sometimes, even those big matches are not hitting that sweet spot. Pretty bad, one of the worst I had to sit through so hopefully, things pick up soon with these Starrcade reviews! Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!