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/2 September 2000
WCW Classics by Mike Regan




WCW Classics Report
September 2, 2000

We're back, after a one-week preemption due to Braves baseball. And this week, it's all about Austin Idol. Holy Crap! What the hell am I going to write about him. I really don't have much in the way of material on Idol. Thankfully, Dusty gives us a primer on the "Universal Heartthrob." There are two key points about Idol's career.

1) Idol tended to be dismissed as a copycat of Billy Graham and Jesse Ventura. The dyed-blonde hair; the tie-dyed tights; the headband; the posing.

2) Idol was content to stay a big fish in a little pond for most of his career. The matches from (I'm presuming) Georgia Championship Wrestling featured on this show are some of his only appearances on national television. He tended to hang around the Southern territories.

I would add that Idol is usually associated with wrestling in Memphis, as one of the guys who would alternately team with then feud against Jerry Lawler (just like Bill Dundee and Tommy Rich). Idol and Rich had a legendary feud with Lawler in 1987 where they were managed by a young Paul Heyman (then managing under the name Paul Dangerly).

This week we get three Austin Idol matches from early 1982, and there pretty much the same match. All are squashes (two singles, one tag). The jobbers are pretty much anonymous (with one exception). So, to save my sanity here is an all-purpose Austin Idol match review.

Austin Idol squash matches:

Idol would come into the ring wearing a robe, which he would slowly remove. Some armlocks and headlocks to start. After a couple minutes, Idol begins throwing punches. Idol would make sure to put his opponent in a headlock, then punch him. He'd also work in a body slam. The victim would stage a brief rally, but Idol would quickly put an end to that. Idol then went for the kill, first dropping an elbow across the opponents leg, then applying his finisher, the Las Vegas leglock (his version of the figure-four). Now that I've recapped all of Idol's matches, I can cover points of interest in the individual segments.

Squash 1: January 1982
Austin Idol vs. Vinnie Valentino

While Idol takes apart Valentino (who now has more appearances on WCW Classics than Sting), the announces (I believe Bob Caudle and David Crockett) hype the upcoming tournament for the vacant NWA World Tag Titles, which were stripped from Ole and Gene Anderson. Now this is one convoluted tournament. Apparently there would be a whole bunch of mini-tournaments. Then the tournament winners meet in two big regional tournaments. Finally, the two regional winners would meet in a best-of-seven series to determine the new champs. At first I thought this was simply a paper tournament (no real matches), but according the Great Hisa's title history page (and hopefully CRZ will have a nice hyperlink up) they really did do the tournament. I'll let you know who won the belts later in this report. Idol wins (Las Vegas leglock).

Dusty reminisces about Idol starting his career as "The Texan." Then we get an interview clip where Idol rattles off a bunch of names. Then it's on to a match featuring Idol's tag partner for the big tournament.

Squash 2: January 1982
Austin Idol & Ivan Koloff vs. Mike Gilbert & Keith Larsen

Roddy Piper provides commentary for this match and is obsesses with the voting for 1981's best wrestler. Piper is upset that he's in third behind Rick Steamboat and Ric Flair. He also talks about the tag tournament and points out that he would pick a partner that isn't just like himself, as opposed to Idol and Koloff who he feels are too similar. How similar? They both do the same spot where they slam their opponent, but follow up by missing an elbow drop. You wrestlers are discussed, including Terry Taylor and Blackjack Mulligan Jr. (you know him better as Barry Windham). Koloff gets the win with one of those moves you just don't see anymore. He climbs to the top turnbuckle while Gilbert (who now has more appearances on WCW Classics than Lex Luger) is in the corner, then falls with him to the mat, driving his knee into the back of Gilbert's head.

In another clip. Idol goes on about his handsome looks, while wearing an outfit straight out of "Starsky and Hutch."

Squash 3: April 1982
Austin Idol vs. Mike Davis

Davis would go on to cause horrible flashbacks to anyone who remembers the Global Wrestling Federation. As "Maniac" Mike Davis, he would be a part of much of the stupidity the GWF descended to in its last days, leading to the infamous "Moon Shot" angle (don't ask for details. It hurts just thinking about it). Piper once again provides commentary, talking about the fan voting some more, as well as discussing his issues with "Sgt. Bob Slaughter." And what do you know? Idol makes Davis submit to the Las Vegas leglock.

And so Austin Idol squash week is over. Next week, the squash matches of Teijho Khan (I'm kidding. I hope.)


Almost forgot that I promised to reveal the winner of the tag title tournament. It was Ole Anderson and Stan Hansen who won the East regionals then never had to do the best-of-seven final because the other regional winners, Wahoo McDaniel and Don Muraco, had split up (Thanks to the Great Hisa, whose site I got that information from).

Just try and put that paragraph at the end of the report please. What can I say? All those Austin Idol squashes got to me.

Mike Regan
Acworth, GA
[slash] wrestling

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