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Pro Wrestling Classics


by: Miguelito Fierro



As scary as it is to believe, this is the classic International Championship Wrestling recap!!!! (June 11, 2000) This show was taped somewhere during the 70s (ESPN Classic isn't nice enough to show what date this episode originally aired). Welcome to wrestling in the 1970s, where men were either heels or faces, women were trampy trailer-trash skanks strung out on alcohol and trying to support five kids at home, ring announcers were even more boring than they are today, and commentators were confused by any move more complex than a hiplock takedown.

Not that this period in wrestling was without its merits. Emphasis was put on the in-ring product. Matches are based on psychology; wrestlers get over by their charisma in the ring, not on the microphone. Commentators actually explain the in-ring match psychology. Mexican wrestlers are allowed to wear masks, and aren't required to make total asses of themselves on television. There's a whole lotta good here, if you just know where to look!

As for me, your daring recapper.... I am Miguelito. Once upon a time I ran a wrestling website called Biffster's Wrestling Pages. That was a LONG time ago! Now I am just your average internet wrestling fan. I watch all of the wrestling I can during the week. I read CRZ's recaps for shows that I miss (and, usually, for shows that I get to see, too). I've been following wrestling since mid-80s NWA. I firmly believe that Ric Flair is the God of pro wrestling, Mick Foley is the Jesus of pro wrestling, and Hulk Hogan is the Antichrist! I tend to favor the WWF, because I have a huge bias against anything that WCW does (which doesn't involve Ric Flair, that is). I can be reached at Feel free to write me anything that you want. I read all email!

Okay, the formalities are out of the way. Let's get to this weeks installment of International Championship Wrestling!

Incredibly cheesey opening highlights the IWA logo, then a whole bunch of wrestlers I've never heard of, as well as a VERY young Dino Bravo, and Ivan Koloff, who has apparently always looked like he is in his 50s. Must be the haircut (or lack of hair), because Koloff looks exactly like he did the last time I saw him (minus a bunch of scars on his forehead).

Our announcers are Jack Reynolds and Tex McKenzie. McKenzie makes me yearn for Mark Madden to do color commentary. This is NOT a compliment for Madden. The card for today is run down quickly. There's a whole lotta title matches on line for tonight, including Mil Mascaras putting the IWA World title up. Since the title match isn't the main event, however, I've gotta assume that it's going to be a squash match.

Hey, we went to commercial before having anything happen! There's PROOF that this show isn't from the 90's or the 00's!!! I'd list the commercials, but who the hell wants to know what commercials are shown during this show? It's bad enough that I have to sit through them! I WILL NOT subject you to that kind of torture!!!

Opening Match: Joe Circo & Frenchie Martin -vs- Argentine Apollo & Luis Martinez

Wow... a 30-something Tommy Young is our referee tonight! Look at Tommy; he's so young! He has long hair, which really messes with my mind! (In case you don't remember, Tommy Young was the head official during the late 80s in the NWA/WCW. Tommy Young is maybe the greatest referee ever. During his time in the NWA, he was clean-cut, both in hair and in the ring. And taking bumps. No referee anywhere could take the bumps that Young took! Wrestlers didn't even need to actually make contact with him. If a wrestler came within a half-foot of hiim, Young would go flying. It was great to watch! Damn, it is good to see him in the ring again. But I digress.

Our ring announcer is apparently stoned out of his mind. He can barely open his eyes wide enough to read the names off of his notecard. As it is easy to tell, this is before the era of drug testing in pro wrestling. The ring announcer manages to be on-par with Lillian Garcia's ring announcing. Again, that isn't a compliment to anybody.

The crowd saves me the embarrassment of not knowing who the faces are by popping for the Mexicans. Since I am Mexican myself, I can dig it. (SHAFT!)

Hey, what's Young doing... he's checking everyone for Foreign Objects! Young is the Man!!!

Chain wrestling to start off. Martin with a waistlock, Martinez with a hiplock takedown. tag to Apollo, collar-and-elbow takedown. Commentators are making fun of Martin's shiny metallic-green tights, which I think look pretty cool. They are kinda sci-fi-ish, though.

Martin tags out; Circo comes in and gets destroyed. Apollo and Martinez are all over Circo. Apollo then proves that sloppy wrestling isn't limited only to 90s wrestlers like Tony Norris and Mike Awesome by almost killing Frenchie Martin with an attempted front drop which ends up with Martin coming down on his head, with his neck bending at a very scary angle. It even gets a replay!

Martin gets up and shakes it off, however. Martin and Apollo do a third criss-cross ropes run, but this one ends in Circo making a run-in and giving the advantage to Martin. Martin can't keep Apollo from making the tag to Martinez. The pace of the match immediately drops.

Martinez working on the fingers, and the commentators put it over! They are explaining how strong Martinez' hands are, and that because of this, it makes it almost impossible for wrestlers to stand the pain. THIS is what is missing in today's ring commentary. No one puts over the action in the ring anymore!

Martinez with the airplane spin on Martin! Apollo gets Circo in Luger's Torture Rack!!!! (Apollo is truly ahead of his time!) Martinez bridges on Martin and gets the pin! A PIN WITH AN AIRPLANE SPIN!!!! WHAT A DEVASTATING MANUEVER!!!!!

So from the commercials that are being shown during this show, the target audience are balding men who like redheads and read the Wall Street Journal. talk about confusing!!!

Some Guy -vs- Dick "Bulldog Bower (IWA North American Champion)

Reynolds calls him the "Unpredictable Bulldog Bower". (ugh) McKenzies says he just calls Bower the Mad Dog (WOOF! WOOF!) I wish that the REAL Mad Dog, Buzz Sawyer, would make a run in on this match.

Bower's offense consists mainly of right hands. Apparently, he studied at the same wrestling school as the Rock! Bower adds a really annoying head twitch after each punch. Talk about someone who doesn't deserve a title! Think of a REALLY FAT Dick Murdoch, and you've got a perfect picture of Bulldog Bower.

The Bulldog takes (is it Richards?) out to the ring floor, then nails him with a chair. Bower pulls him into the ring, then nails a back breaker. Bower covers, but then PULLS HIM UP at a two count! Bower is a heel, in case you couldn't tell.

And the bulldog cinches on the Cobra Clutch!!! Whats-his-name tries to resist, but it is academic from here. Bower with a pretty good "I'm crazy" expression on his face. Referee checks... The ring announcers make me feel much better about myself for not remembering the squashee's name by referring to him as "this guy" and "he" instead of by his name. Whoever he his, he is out, and the referee awards the match to the Bulldog. Bower holds onto the Cobra Clutch until Young gets to a four count, then releases before being disqualified! Tommy Young is the Man!!!

The ring announcer announces the time as 4:39, but it sure seemed shorter than that. They must be editing out a lot of slow spots in these matches, though I really didn't notice any edit points.

Bulldog comes out to the ring announcer position to scream a challenge at..... well, I really haven't the faintest idea of what the Bulldog was screaming. Something along the lines of, "AAAAA RRRRAAAAHHHH BWAAAAAHHHH HUGGGGAAAAAHHHH!!!!" If you can figure it out, then you just may have a career as a Dick Bruiser Translator (tm)!

Tommy Young immediately reminds me that we are watching wrestling from the 60s by insisting that the Bulldog comes into the ring and "revives" his opponent! My head is spinning from this. How can you not love this kind of kayfabe? How can you not love Tommy Young? Bulldog pulls his opponent out to the ring floor, then gives him the worst looking knee drop I've ever seen. The commentators sell it as the most devastating move ever, saying, "This guy is really hurt. Someone needs to come out and help this guy!" And, to their credit, the guy did blade, and is bleeding pretty profusely. So I guess I'll cut them some slack.

Bobby Garcia -vs- Mil Mascaras (IWA World Heavyweight Champion)

Wow... a pop for Mascaras! You know, I always thought that Mascaras was a pretty good wrestler. It surprised the hell out of me when Mick Foley shot all over Mascaras in Foley's book. I'll have to keep an eye out on this match to see if Mascaras sucks as badly as Foley said, or if Foley was just a little bit biased against Mascaras.

Mascaras starts the match with a series of great moves. Armdrag, crucifix. Test of strength, which Mascaras handles easily. Mascaras with a monkey flip out of the test of strength for two. Mascaras with the octopus!!!! Garcia powers out of the move, and finally gets to a neutral position.

Hey, the commentators are explaining why Mascaras wears a mask! And they aren't suggesting that Mascaras should even think about losing a match and having to unmask! This is truly not WCW!!!

Mascaras with a flying head scissors, but then walks into a series of rights by Garcia. Walks into a corner, Mexican Surfboard by Mascaras. Again! Mascaras to the top rope, CORKSCREW PLANCHA!!!!! The crowd goes nuts, as it should. Mascaras is about 20 years ahead of time to use that move in American wrestling! (The commentators, having no idea at all what the move is, call it a "Super Splash". The ring announcer calls it a Flying Splash.) The pinfall is academic.

Marshall Lewis -vs- Col. Von Hess (with Al Costello)
Don't be concerned if you've never heard of Marshall Lewis; none of the fans in the crowd knew who he is either. You could almost hear the crowd say "who?" when Lewis was announced.

Gee, I sure hope that Von Hess uses the claw!

Von Hess with an amazing arsenal of rights to Lewis. Lewis gets tired of selling the punches and grabs Von Hess in an armbar. Von Hess gets out of this by pulling Lewis by the trunks into a chokehold. Lewis and Von Hess exchanging rights and elbowdrops. Lewis takes him down with a legdrop, Von Hess gets up and hits Lewis with a legdrop. Von Hess throws him into the ropes, then hits a pretty strong clothesline (called a Hangman by the commentators) and gets the pin from out of the blue.

Well, at least he didn't use the claw!

Del Starr & Big Jim Wilson -vs- The Love Brothers (with Al Costello)
Costello bursts into xxxx mode, blowing a whistle over and over. Costello confuses the faces by shaking hands with them, then having his team shake hands with them. Costello exits the ring as the commentators put over today's main event (featuring Big Cat Ladd).

Hartford uses standard heel tactics (pulling hair, punches) to take Wilson down. Hartford tags Reginald, then they both work over Wilson. Wilson goes nuts, going off on both Love brothers and getting away from the corner. it only lasts a few seconds, however, before the Love brothers regain control.

the Love brothers pull Wilson back into their corner and work him over, 'til the Love brothers try to shoot Wilson into the corner. Wilson comes out with a flying burrito!!! to Reginals (who is outside the ring), then starts working over Hartford. Wilson taggs Starr (who the commentators refer to as Marshall Lewis, to confuse me and disrespect both Lewis and Starr). The Love brothers are all over Starr. Reginald with a great bodyslam. Hartford follows it up with another big body slam. Reginald back in, and uses a modified form of the powerbomb! This completely confuses the commentators, who simply suck at calling moves.

Starr outside the ring, and gets NAILED by Costello, who uses his boomerang. (Which I assume means that Costello is from Australia.) Starr gets back into the ring, and gets caught by the Love brothers, who nail him with a double-Hot Shot for the pin. (The commentators again confuse the hell out of me by calling this a Double Hangman. That's three different moves in this show that the commentators have dubbed a Hangman. How I long for either Jim Ross or Mike Tenay right now!!!)

The great but confusing part of this show is the lack of angles. There are now 10-15 minute interviews to suck up wrestling time, which is a good thing. But on the down side, it's hard to figure out why these people are wrestling each other. The title matches are easy to understand. But the other matches?

The IWA immediately makes a liar out of me by having a five minute interview with Cowboy Bob Ellis & Tex McKenzie. Cowboy Bob looks to be about 100 years old. They talk about how horrible it is that the Cat turned against Cowboy Bob. Cowboy Bob swears that, if he never does anything else in the sport of pro wrestling (and I think he was right), he will get even with the Evil Cat Ladd.

Ernie "Cat" Ladd & Cowboy Bob Ellis -vs- The Mongols (IWA World Tag Team Champions) (with Bob Cannon)
We are finally ready for the match, which is apparently the match where Ladd turns against Ellis, because they are a tag-team here! HOW CONFUSING!!!! :-) The Mongols actually have a really cool look about them. Each has a fu manchu; one has a Missing Link-style hair style, the other has a straight mohawk.

The Mongols use pure power to deal with Cowboy Bob. Vito Mongol cinches in a bear hug, and holds it for about 15 minutes until Cowboy Bob punches his way out. Bula Mongo gets into the ring and grabs the bear hug again. He only holds it for about 7 minutes before Cowboy Bob makes the tag to Ladd. Ladd is all over both Mongols, until they are smart enough to double team him.

Ladd gets stuck into a headlock, but powers the Mongol over to tag Cowboy Bob. Cowboy Bob holds the Mongol so Ladd can punch him (aren't they faces, though?). Ladd winds up and then nails COWBOY BOB! (By accident, they say. Ladd apologizes, and Cowboy Bob gives him a friend pat on the face in forgiveness.

Cowboy Bob grabs a full nelson, which the commentators say, "You don't see that move very much anymore." Sorry, I thought that was hysterical! Cowboy Bob tries to double-team the Mongol, but accidentally hits Ladd! The two teammates give each other "what is up with that?" looks. Ladd then turns around and starts kicking more Mongol ass.

Cannon (who is about the shape of a cannon ball) sneaks in a shot to Cowboy Bob's back. Cowboy Bob goes straight down to the floor, and does a blade job! Ladd tries to get over to tag, but Bob is on the floor! The Mongols start working over Ladd, while Cannon nails Cowboy Bob with a few more shots. Ladd finally gets free from the Mongols and tries to tag, but Cowboy Bob is stil on the floor!

Can you smell the heel turn coming up here?

Ladd pulls Cowboy Bob into the ring, then nails him with a right hand! Ladd is trying to stomp a mud hole into Cowboy Bob! (Although those are some horribly-weak looking stomps.) Ladd nails Cowboy Bob with a legdrop! The Mongols realize that their tag team titles are safe, so they slip out of the ring and head back to the locker room.

Tommy Young comes over to try to stop Ladd, and Ladd nails Tommy Young!!!! Damn, even back then Young took some great bumps. The ring announcer comes in, and also almost gets nailed! Young tells his decision to the ring announcer...... Ladd and Cowboy Bob are disqualified; I can only guess it is for hitting the referee.

And that's all there is for this week! The show ends by showing the show opening. Which is really odd, but I guess that is what worked in the 70s.

So we have three title matches, the notorious heel turn by Ernie Ladd, and we get to see the Love brothers. I can live with that! (Though I am easily amused.)

'Til next week, everyone!

Miguelito Fierro

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