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/28 October 2000
Pro Wrestling Classics by Miguelito Fierro




The Golden Age of Wrestling (GAoW) - October 28, 2000
Original date sometime in 1980

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the GAoW recap! I am your daring recapper, Miguelito. It is my pleasure to guide you through the history books of this sport that we love so much. The last two weeks we have actually jumped forward into the Technicolor era of our sport. What does ESPN Classic have in store for us this week?

Before we get to this week's show, first let me let you in on a discovery that I made: LL Cool J is a classic pro wrestling fan! The lyrics from "Fuhgidabowdit", a track of LL's new cd, G.O.A.T., prove this. The lyrics are:

    Because I was down before the hype
    Like Dusty Rhodes and Bob Backlund
    Bruno Sammartino, Stan Stasiak
    Now the Rock and Stone Cold are
    My favorite maniacs

You probably noticed that this recap is coming to you late in the week, instead of on Sunday or Monday. I got my ass kicked by a head cold which took me out the end of last week and over the weekend. Monday evening I had to watch Raw (Christian and Edge are really carrying the show now), then get some more sleep. Last night was Halloween. So tonight, Wednesday, is the first night I've both been coherent enough to write a recap, and actually had time to do this. My apologies on the lateness; this week's show is worth the wait, though!

Speaking of which, let's get on with the show!

We have Bob Orton Jr., Mississippi State title against Jesse Barr in a non-title match. In case you hadn't guessed, our matches this week are out of Mid-South wrestling, and are much more recent. We are talking about late-70s to early-80s (ESPN Classic leaves us to figure out exactly when the matches took place).

Lockup, and Orton takes him over with an arm bar. Barr reverses it, twists, but gets a little too complacent, and falls to a sweet fireman's carry by Orton. Barr holds onto the armbar. Orton tries for an armlock, but Barr reverses it and grabs a hammerlock on Orton. Orton to the ropes, and there's a break.

Instead of letting us know what is happening in the match, the commentators are explaining the main current angle going on in Mid-South. Apparently Paul Orndorff (!) has put a bounty out on babyface Ted Dibiase(!).

Lockup, Orton brings Barr off the ropes with a monkey flip, but Barr reverses a bridge attempt with body scissors. The fans love it, but Orton quickly punches his way out. Back into the ropes, BIG hip toss by Orton. Back to their feet, and Orton grabs a neck stretcher. Elbow to the back of the head. Barr tries to go low, but Orton just rides him out. Orton with a nice butterfly suplex, and floats over for a cover, but only gets 2.

Back into the ropes, Orton attempts a back bodydrop but Barr lands on his feet. Dropkick! Forearms! Into the corner, and Barr goes for a super-quick 10-punch count along. Barr tries to monkeyflip Orton out of the corner, but Bob grabs the ropes and Barr goes down on the mat hard.

Orton with an Irish whip, off the ropes, High Knee! Bob Orton Jr. is The Game! (Is this on?) Orton pulls him up, and nails the piledriver. This is back when a piledriver was the deadliest move in all of pro wrestling: Barr ain't getting out of that. (6:23)

As we head off to commercials, we get a quick replay of the piledriver, along with a teaser for our next match: Buddy Landell -vs- Iron Sheik! Mid-South wrestling was simply THE premier wrestling organization back around 1980. Unfortunately, all the stars from Mid-South left for more money with either the NWA or the WWF. Shame; if Mid-South had had more money, they could've changed to a national force.

Oh, ESPN Classic finally lets us know that the show we are watching was taped in 1980. (Not a bad guess by yours truly!) And now, Mid-South is going to be nice enough to show a promo by none other than that Iranian madman, the Iron Sheik! Will I transcribe it? Only if I can figure out what the Sheik is saying:

"Everybody know Iran, the old name Persia, the new name is Iran. Long, long time ago wrestling come from my country. Everybody know Iran by two thing: oil and wrestling. I come from wrestling country to one of the toughest area, Mid-South Wrestling. We have Bill Watts, we have Ted Dibiase, we have here Junkyard Dog, we have Bob Roop. I just want to know, who have the GUTS to come challenge with me. Wrestling, my club, EVERYTHING! I challenge any human being in the Vorld. That's because they call Iran greatest wrestling country in the Vorld. Mr. Junkyard Dog, I heard you doing 500 bench press. I heard you doing 700 in squat. I want to see if you have the guts to come try my club. That's because I'm Sheik, and you're not. That's because I'm Iranian champion, and you are not. That's because I am European champion, and you are not. Now, I'm going to do demonstration a little bit, for you punk veightlifter, football player, basketball player, anybody if you can do it 10, I'm going to do 20. If I cannot, I'll give you $1,000."

In case you never had the opportunity to see the Iron Sheik's gimmick, he had these clubs that were supposed to be made out of solid metal. These clubs looked a bit like a Cricket club. Each club was supposed to weight 70 pounds. The Sheik would take one in each hand, then basically do behind-the-head curls with these clubs. It was an impressive display, and the Sheik's upper body was just amazingly muscular; it is easy to believe that these clubs were actually as heavy as they claimed. In any case, very few people ever took the Sheik up on his challenge; when someone would, and would get close to meeting the Sheik's challenge, the Sheik would proceed to kick their ass. Standard heel stuff, but excellently done. I had forgotten just how effective a heel he was until I saw this show!

Okay, enough of this non-wrestling stuff. We come back from commercial as introductions are being made for Iron Sheik -vs- Buddy Landell. This is the pre-Nature Boy Landell. He doesn't have blond hair, he isn't 300 pounds, and he isn't hated by the crowd. They actually half-heartedly cheer him!

Lockup, and Sheik shoves Landell away. Another lockup, Sheik goes behind for a hip lock, but Landell slips behind Sheik. Stalemate, we break. Back to a collar-and-elbow. Sheik takes him down with a headlock, but Landell pulls Sheik over with a head scissors. And we break again.

Lockup, Landell grabs a headlock this time. Sheik picks up Landell for a belly-to-back suplex, but Landell falls forward through this, taking Sheik to the mat. Break, both men back up, and Landell secures the headlock again. Into the ropes, criss-cross. Sheik pops up right into a hiptoss by Landell. Landell grabs a headlock and takes Sheik down to the mat.

Break, back to their feet. Into the ropes, Landell with a tackle. Back into the ropes, and Sheik nails Landell with a headbutt right into the stomach (OUCH!). Sheik with a reverse-backbreaker (dropping Landell stomach-first onto his knee). Sheik with a tie-up, go behind, beautiful German suplex! Landell lands right on his head. Sheik covers, and gets the win (2:52). Gotta love that SQUASH!

Wow.. ESPN Classic loaded us up with commercials on that break! We are finally back, after almost five minutes, for a Mid-South Tag Team championship match. We have the champions, Afa and Sika (with Ernie "The Cat" Ladd) defending against Ted Dibiase and Louisiana Heavyweight Champion Bob Roop! Wow... I recognize EVERYONE in the ring here!

Roop and Sika lockup. Roop with an armbar, drops an elbow on it, then tags in Dibiase. Dibiase digs a knee into the shoulder, then tags Roop back in. Roop drags Sika back to his feet, then locks on the arm bar again. Roop trying to put some pressure on. Sika backs Roop into the corner, Irish whip, Roop runs through Sika. Another Irish whip, Roop nails Afa with a forearm, then takes Sika down with a right. Tag back into Dibiase, Dibiase takes Sika down with a headlock.

Sika back up, Irish whip. Sika tries for a backflip, Dibiase leapfrogs over, then comes off the ropes with a dropkick! Sika back up, and immediately back down with a headlock. Back to their feet, into the ropes, Sika nails Dibiase with a cheapshot. Tag to Afa, double-team chop off the ropes. Afa drops a headbutt onto Dibiase!

Afa takes Dibiase back to the ropes, but Dibiase comes out fighting. Not going to do much, though. Afa takes him down with a headbutt. Tag to Sika, double-elbow smash. Sika picks Dibiase up, headbutt! Dibiase with the wobbly-knees, won't go down, so Sika kicks him right in the face. Dibiase is down, and in trouble.

Sika picks Dibiase up, and Dibiase is trying to fight back. Hitting Sika in the head isn't going to do much, though. Sika with a big body slam. Sika tries for a flying headbutt, but Dibiase moves! Sika tags, Dibiase is heading towards the corner... HOT TAG TO ROOP!

Roop with a series of rights to Afa's face. Irish whip, Roop catches Afa coming off the ropes with a right. Roop has Afa up for a shoulderbreaker, but Ernie Ladd is up on the ring apron. While Dibiase and the referee both try and get Ladd off the apron, Sika goes up to the top rope, and comes off with a devastating headbutt to Roop! Roop is in trouble, Sika manages to tag. Afa in, not letting Roop tag to Dibiase.

Afa tags in Sika, double-headbutt! Sika tags in Afa, series of headbutts. Roop falls into his corner and tags Dibiase, but the referee didn't see it! Dibiase is rightfully angered by this, and lets the referee know by slamming the ref into the turnbuckles! Roop is getting back up, and starts working on Sika. Ernie Ladd gets on the apron again, so Dibiase brings Ladd into the ring! Roop nails a shoulderbreaker on Sika while Dibiase back bodydrops Ladd! Roop covers, 1-2-3!!! (6:03) Afa had climbed up to the top rope, so Dibiase beals him into the ring. The crowd is going nuts! Dibiase with a shot to Ladd, then another!

The referee comes into the middle of the ring, and starts saying "no!" Roop grabs the title belts, but the ref takes the belts away, then hands them to the Samoans! Apparently, Dibiase was disqualified for shoving the referee into the corner. Why the ref then counted the pinfall is not explained, but I guess it isn't important. Roop has some angry words for Dibiase in the ring as the Samoans head for the hills. Roop and Dibiase are nose-to-nose, as Ted tries to explain what happened, and Roop yells a lot.

As we go to commercial, we get a replay (I still don't understand why the referee counted), and a teaser of our next match, Mike George -vs- Crazy Luke Graham. Luke Graham is a Moondog Rex-looking guy from Georgia. Before introductions are finished, Crazy Luke attacks George. George (who looks a little like Dino Bravo) quickly fights back. Head to the turnbuckles, but that won't phase Luke. To prove this, Luke hits his own head into the turnbuckle four times! As he comes out of the corner, however, George hits a back bodydrop, then picks him up and hits an Atomic drop. Cover, but he only gets 1.

To the corner, and George is trying the head-to-the-turnbuckle thing again. This time, though, it seems like it works. Luke is dizzy, and falls to a Side Russian Legsweep. Luke covers, and gets the pin (1:22). SQUASH! Apparently, once we come back from commercial, we'll have a Roop/Dibiase promo. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, however.

Or maybe not! We have The Great Kabuiki (with Gary Hart) -vs- Vinnie Romeo. Kabuiki spits the Green Mist of Death! And then Kabuiki gives us a quick nunchuku demonstration. Romeo, proving that he actually does have a brain, attacks Kabuiki while the Great One's back is turned. Forearm. Into the corner, Irish whip into the other corner. Hiptoss out. Flying headscissors! Another! But Romeo is too slow getting up, and catches a stiff sidekick to the chin. Kabuiki with a judo chop to the arm to keep Romeo down.

Romeo trying to fight up, but Kabuiki pulls out the karate moves to take him down. Onto the second rope, Kabuiki walking the second rope, then comes off with a shot to the back. Romeo trying to come back with a forearm. Irish whip, Romeo tries a dropkick, but Kabuiki holds onto the ropes. Kabuiki picks up Romeo, nice fireman's carry takedown. Kabuiki Stomp! Kabuiki covers and gets an easy three count. (1:59) More Squash! Gary Hart has to keep the Great One from attacking his opponent. Damn, no more Mist. What other reason is there to watch a Kabuiki match? (Actually, for an under-2:00 squash, that was a pretty entertaining match.)

And NOW we get our interview with Ted Dibiase. Dibiase says the DQ was caused by him bringing Ladd into the ring. That makes more sense; that explains why the referee counted the pinfall. And that also explains why Roop is really pissed off at Dibiase. As Ted is trying to say more, however, Gary Hart interrupts: "Hey, HEY! I'm talking to you, and when I talk I like somebody to listen. I don't care about your personal problems with you and Bob Roop. Because to me, you are both overpaid, over publicized prima donnas (!!!). Now I have brought Kabuiki into this area, Mid-South, where supposedly the greatest wrestlers known to man live. But we keep getting Romeo!" He's shooting!!! Well, probably not, but this is the way that quasi-shoot interviews should be done! "Why don't a nice, fine boy who wants to prove his point..." Dibiase interjects with, "When do you want me, Hart?" Hart says, "Right now!" which is enough to get Dibiase into the ring.

Dibiase and Kabuiki go at it, and Kabuiki immediately gets the advantage with chops to the head and neck. Kabuiki with a SWEET spinning heel kick. Kabuiki with a double-Vulcan nerve pinch! Dibiase is on the mat, and is starting to convulse! But the crowd cheers, and Ted starts a comeback. Elbows, and Dibiase gets back to this feet. Dibiase with rights and lefts. Into the corner, but Dibiase catches a thrust kick to the throat! Kabuiki comes running out of the corner for another kick, but Ted grabs him and hits a powerslam! Dibiase covers, referee counts.. 1-2-3!!! (2:00) Hart gets into the ring and starts yelling at the referee. The ref wisely gets out of the ring, and helps Dibiase back to the locker room.

WOW! Now that was a pretty intense segment. It was helped along by Hart's excellent heel interview. Then the challenge, and the match. The only bad thing is that the match was so short. It should've lasted for a lot longer than that. But that's just a minor gripe.

We are back from commercial for what should be our last match: Carl Fergie and Bob Orton Jr. -vs- Kerry Von Erich (with Rush' "Tom Sawyer" and the Mid-South American title belt) and Jim Garvin. Wow.. what is Fergie doing in this match with these three future hall-of-famers? We are told that Orton is doing double-duty tonight because this is a standby match. There's only three minutes left, so this'll either be a three minute squash, or a time-limit draw.

Kerry is in to start with Fergie. Kerry with an arm bar, then tags into the future-Gorgeous Jim Garvin. Garvin with a jumping thigh stretcher, then a nice headlock into a cover, but only a 1 count. Garvin and Fergie tie up again, into the corner, Fergie with a cheap shot. Forearms, Garvin reverses the Irish whip into the turnbuckles. Tag to Von Erich, tag to Orton. Orton with a series of rights and elbows. Von Erich starts coming back, and Orton immediately tags back out!

Von Erich immediately slaps the claw on Fergie. Orton tries to jump over the ropes, but his foot gets caught on the top rope and he comes down in a heap. (OUCH!) Von Erich covers, Orton finally gets back to his feet, but Garvin is waiting there. Garvin with a sleeper while Von Erich gets the three count (3:10). Garvin and Von Erich are set to meet up the next week on Mid-South tv, so this is a set-up to that feud.

Wait a minute, the commentators LIED to me! We still have some time left, because there'll be another match after these messages. I HATE when they lie to me! What are they going to do next, give away the finishes to AWA matches?

Our next (maybe last?) match features Ken Mantell -vs- Wild Bill Irwin! WOW! Look how young Irwin looks! It's amazing to see these guys in their prime. It's fun to see what these wrestlers could do when they were actually able to work!

Lockup, into the ropes, Mantell with a cheap forearm to the face. Irish whip, Mantell attempts a back body drop, but Irwin rolls him up for a one count. Back up, Irwin uses a series of forearms to take Mantell down. But Mantell comes back with a hip toss. Cover, one count for Mantell. Mantell with a reverse chinlock. Irwin getting back to his feet, into the ropes, and Irwin hits a cheapshot. Into the ropes, Irwin moves out of the way and Mantell goes to the mat. Mantell decides that he should take a walk around the ring, and heads to the floor.

These Mid-South guys were able to pack a lot of action into a short match, lemme tell you! Back into the ring, Irwin with an armbar. Forearm into the arm, now forcing Mantell to the mat with an armbar. Irwin putting a ton of pressure on the arm. Mantell with a back heel trip to take Irwin down, so Irwin slaps on a rear chinlock. The commentator says there is one minute left of airtime, but I don't buy it!

Irwin sends Mantell hard into the corner. Irwin comes charging after him, but Mantell gets out of the way. Mantell pulls Irwin back up, winds up, elbow smash to the top of the head. Mantell with a Side Russian Legsweep, and that's enough for a three-count! (3:50) And we have just enough time to see that Bill Watts was on commentary tonight (though he didn't make a real impression on me, so I won't say anymore about that). And we are OUT!

That's all for this week's show! All in all, this was a VERY entertaining show. It was kinda weird having so many matches shoved into an hour, but the matches were entertaining. And the incredible segment with Gary Hart, Kabuiki and Ted Dibiase was worth any amount of SQUASH!

Before I leave you for the week (or the next four days, anyway), allow me to point you to my brand-new Wrestling Weblog! Once I have the time, I will be updating this whenever necessary with news, rumors, and opinions on our sport. Check it out today at


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Guest column text copyright (C) 2000 by the individual author and used with permission