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NWA Worldwide: The Crockett Years 1985-1987 (RF), April 26, 2003
Guest_TSMAdmin_*
post Jun 21 2003, 01:19 AM
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NWA Worldwide: The Crockett Years 1985-1987 (RF Video)

My introduction for this tape was quite long, so I made it into it’s own independent column, which you can read HERE.

I bought this tape way back when. I was interested in doing something old, but I wasn’t in the mood for a long event, so this was the perfect fit. NWA Worldwide was simply one of the NWA’s TV show back in the 80s. WCW kept the show around, but sadly it was relegated to showing two week old Nitro and Thunder recaps. This tape focuses on six feuds/storylines.

1. Magnum T.A. and the United States Title
2. The Four Horsemen vs. Dusty Rhodes
3. Ric Flair vs. The Koloffs
4. Ric Flair vs. Ricky Morton
5. Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express vs. Dusty Rhodes/Magnum T.A and Baby Doll
6. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express

Naturally these storylines are not shown in that exact order, so there is a lot of jumping around, which is why I included that little guide up there. Just so you can all get a picture of what’s going on; Worldwide was essentially Tony Schiavone and David Crockett standing in a studio. They would introduce various matches, which had their own commentary. Sometimes before and after commercial breaks during the matches, the two would sum up what we just saw and make cryptic comments about what is coming up. Like the ones from the old Batman TV series. The format slightly changed from 1985 to 1987. That about sums it up.

WCW United States Title – Cage Match: Wahoo McDaniel vs. Magnum T.A. ~ March 23, 1985
We go to commercial before the match gets under way.

They trade headlocks for a little while. Wahoo with a little hair pulling and a low blow out of referee Tommy Young’s sight. Wahoo hits a hard right and a chop. Magnum fires back and knocks the Chief down. Wahoo blatantly gouges the eyes in the corner. T.A. goes headfirst to the cage. Magnum with a BIG forearm for 2. This guy is MEGA OVER. T.A. works the arm. Wahoo kicks him off. McDaniel atomic drops him into the corner. He covers, but Magnum gets his foot on the rope. We go to a break as Magnum connects with a dropkick.

Magnum gets 2 off a slam. He catches Wahoo with another dropkick. Wahoo counters a suplex with a small package for 2. Wahoo goes face first to the cage. T.A. drops a fist as Crockett screams that he should cover Wahoo. Someone is showing a little bit of favoritism. Magnum knocks himself and Wahoo silly with a headbutt. Wahoo grabs the tights and pulls Magnum into the cage. T.A. goes to the cage again. Wahoo with a chop for 2. Wahoo gets a few more nearfalls. Wahoo with an elbow drop for 2. Wahoo ducks down for a backbody drop and is kicked to the mat. Another small package for 2. Magnum is up first and fights back until Wahoo hits a low headbutt. Magnum comes back with some kicks. McDaniel tries climbing out, but Magnum belly to back suplexes him down to the mat for a looong 2. That’s an amazing bump for an old man like McDaniel to take. Wahoo with a backbreaker for 2. Magnum catches him belly to belly suplex out of nowhere for the win. (11:42) ** The match was alright, but unfortunately most of Magnum’s offense was cut off during the commercial break, so we got stuck mostly seeing McDaniel punch and kick his way through the match. Nonetheless, this was a monumental match for Magnum T.A. and crowd was into it. Also, this match is the perfect illustration of how important second-tier titles were at one point. In my opinion, the NWA United States Title was the most prestigious mid-card title ever. Reason being, whenever someone won it they would be running around the ring celebrating. Compare that to the last few years of the WWF Intercontinental Title, which changed hands every other week.

David Crockett is with Tully Blanchard and Baby Doll. They show a video of Magnum T.A. coming down to the ring during a Blanchard US Title defense. This all took place after Tully had beaten Magnum for the title. He is dressed like a cop and handcuffs Baby Doll to the bottom rope. He gets in the ring and belly to belly suplexes Blanchard. Back in the studio, Blanchard rubs in the fact that T.A. is a FORMER US champion. The Tully-Magnum feud isn’t explored any further on this tape, but we do see another famous United States Title match including Magnum. 0/1

Tony and David talk about a clip of the Koloffs assaulting Ric Flair after a cage match. Meanwhile, Krusher Khrushchev blocked the door into the cage. Dusty runs out and knocks Krusher out of the way. Dusty aids Flair and cleans house. For those of you unfamiliar with the NWA, Ric Flair was not a full-fledged heel yet. His matches with Dusty and Magnum gave subtle hints of who he would become, but officially Flair was not a heel at this point.

From there, the Andersons run in and attack Dusty. Flair locks the gate so no one can save Rhodes. Flair pummels Dusty and applies the figure four. The Rock n’ Roll Express, Sam Houston, Magnum T.A, and Terry Taylor all run out. Magnum snaps the lock and a HUGE ASS brawl breaks out. The Horsemen flee as the faces hover over Dusty.

Tony and David discuss how much time needed to be taken before Dusty could be moved. For whatever reason the people at Worldwide thing we want to sit through the faces icing Dusty’s knee. Based on the look on his face, it seems like Dusty just ate some bad beef. The cage door has to be taken off since the Dream can’t fit through it. Dusty is SOOO FAT that they even had to remove the bottom and middle ropes in order for him to slide out of the ring. The first half of this segment was cruising along fine, especially the double turn, but Dusty being attended to dragged on way too long. The angle itself is very famous because it is what solidified Ric Flair as a heel. Leading up to this he was getting face pops, but by turning on Dusty Rhodes, Flair became the most hated man in the company. In conclusion, although Dusty being dragged out of the ring went on for quite a while, the angles historical significance is enough for a full point. 1/2

Crockett is with Ric Flair in the studio. This segment actually happened before the last one, as Flair was still getting big pops during his interview. Flair rants about Nikita Koloff. A clip is shown of Flair arguing with Ivan. Nikita takes this opportunity to strike the World Champion from the behind. He tears Flair’s suit in half and rolls him into the ring. Flair ducks a clothesline and puts on the figure four. Ivan breaks the hold. Arn Anderson chases the Russians off before they can do any damage. 1.5/3

NWA National Title: Dusty Rhodes w/Baby Doll vs. Tully Blanchard w/J.J. Dillon ~ March 4, 1986
Ric Flair thankfully joins Tony and David on commentary. He and J.J. shake hands, so I would imagine this is all taking place before the Horsemen are officially together. Either way, they seem to hang around with one another, so it’s a moot point. Dusty strikes first with an elbow. Dusty is wearing a white boot in order to protect his ankle, which was previously injured by the Horsemen. Tully attempts to work the leg, but Dusty elbows him all over the ring. Tully gets caught with a military press slam. Dusty twists Tully’s ankle, drops an elbow on leg and stretches it out. Tully applies a chinlock until Dusty finally breaks the hold. Rhodes stomps right on the ankle. J.J. complains to Tommy Young that Dusty’s boot is loaded. Tony and David discuss what we just saw, including Dusty’s legal white boot. Although the boot is legal, it is more “solid” than a regular wrestling boot. It was like Lex Luger’s metal elbow plate of the 80’s.

We get back from a commercial as Tully limps around the ring. Since the match is pre-taped, there was no clipping. The match was simply paused. SmackDown! should try that method during breaks, this way the matches are more intact. Back in, Tully puts on a side headlock. Dusty breaks the hold with a knee breaker. Dusty hooks in the figure four! Tully makes it to the ropes. J.J. tries massaging the leg, but Dusty chops Tully down. Blanchard quickly comes back in. Dusty goes right back to the leg. It’s not too often you see sound psychology from fucking Dusty Rhodes. Tully smashes Dusty with his good leg to no avail. Tully blocks another figure four, but Dusty decides to stomp on his ankle again with the protective boot. It’s strange to see a live crowd so in to a match like this. With proper conditioning I think that the current wrestling crowd could really get into good “wrestling” matches, but Vince doesn’t want to make a conscience effort and commitment to try anything other than what they are doing now. Tully finally mounts some offense with a quick kick to Dusty’s ankle. Dusty rolls out to the floor, where Baby Doll attends to him. Isn’t it funny to compare the woman that was representing the NWA, Baby Doll, to the woman representing the WWF, Miss Elizabeth? I mean Baby Doll was a fucking giant horse, than you have the petite, beautiful Liz. Tully strikes Dusty from behind and works on the bad ankle. J.J. also gets a shot in. Tommy Young is counting as Tully punches Dusty from in the ring. Dusty rolls in and Tully goes right to work on the already injured ankle. Crockett and Tony interrupt the match to nonchalantly mention the supposed excruciating pain Dusty is feeling. Those two really know how to add to a match. We go to another commercial.

Tully gets a few nearfalls while he grapevines the leg. Dusty elbows his way out of the hold. He tries standing up, but collapses. Tully drops a knee on the ankle. A spinning toehold gets a few two counts. Tully turns it into the figure four. IT’S GUT CHECK TIME!! Dusty is ALMOST counted out for three. Dusty reverses the hold. Miraculously Dusty stands up. He nails Tully with a few elbows and hits the three point stance tackle. Dusty lifts Tully for a slam… And Tony and David once again butt in to tell us that that was the turning point of the match. Tony also lets us know that Tully Blanchard is about to become the new National Champion. If they’re gonna tell us what happens, what’s the point in watching the damn match? Honestly, why did I just 15 minutes of my life watching most of this match if I simply could have tuned it with one minute remaining just to have Tony to spoil it for me? Then I could flip back to whatever show I was watching without even seeing the finish of the match. Back to the match. Dusty’s leg gave out and Tully goes back to stomping on his ankle. Tully hits the slingshot suplex, BUT DUSTY KCIKS OUT! In the words of Vince McMahon, “UNBELIEVABLE!” Dusty connects with a BIG TIME clothesline. Look at that, I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it. There I go again. SOMEBODY STOP ME! Ok, enough of that. A little jukin’ and jivin’ follows. Dusty forgets about his leg and grabs a sleeper hold. Dillon jumps on the apron, but is also subdued by a sleeper. Tully finds the knux that J.J. threw in. Dusty ducks a shot and back bodys him to the floor. Flair supplies Tully with another pair of knux. Dusty attempts to belly to back suplex Blanchard back in, but Tully nails him with the knux and falls on the top for 3. (16:38) **3/4 Baby Doll literally assaults Flair and JJ after the match. The Anderson’s run out and Flair teases breaking Baby Doll’s ankle, but all the faces run in for the save. That was long for a TV match. The match was sound and had good psychology. The crowd was eating it up as well. Nonetheless, Dusty sporadically forgetting to sell his leg injury hurt the rating a little, as it kept the match from hitting ***. It also could have used a little more move variety.

Tully and J.J. are in the studio to tell us that Dusty does not deserve a shot at a title. Tully’s main problem with the match was that Dusty was allowed to wear that loaded boot during that match. Either way, Tully overcame all adversaries and the better man won. The two also plug the upcoming Crockett Cup Tournament. Nothing to see here. 1.5/4

David Crockett is with Ron Garvin in the studio. Ron Garvin has to be the least deserving guy to hold the NWA Title in the mid-late 80s. It boggles my mind that anyone actually thought it would be a good idea to push “Hands of Stone” to the top. Does Garvin remind anyone else of Barney Rubble? Or is it just me? Fortunately, Crockett doesn’t really want to talk to Garvin, he just wants to show a clip of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express confronting Ric Flair.

Flair tells Ricky Morton that one of his big girls wanted Ricky to have her bra, this way he could give it to one of his little teenybopper girls. Flair goes on to say that he likes the big women, and Ricky likes the little ones. Morton gets a little hot under the collar and brings up how both he and Flair would be nobody without the fans. Ric counters with the old, “I don’t care if they love me because I love myself.” Morton pulls off Flair’s $250 sunglasses and stomps them on the concrete floor. Flair slaps him across the face and Morton slaps Flair to the floor. A shoving match ensues and the two get in the ring. Flair takes the Flair Flip as David Crockett screams like one of Morton’s fans. The crowd is eating this up. Now THAT is the way to make a mid-carder into a legitimate threat. I always wonder how the Triple H/Stone Cold-Hardy Boyz feud would have been different had it been booked like Flair-Morton. For those of you who are wondering, WHY Ricky Morton? Well, Robert Gibson was injured and Flair was running out of people to feud with. Simple as that. I guess that Jeff Hardy’s feud with the Undertaker was similar to this one in the sense that many people bought Jeff as a credible contender. Don’t bother denying it because I remember hearing a bunch of people saying that Jeff had better NOT win the title. Now if the guy had a snowball’s chance in hell of winning, no one would have bothered to make that statement.

Crockett gets some closing words from Garvin. Normally I wouldn’t include this, but it was funny. “When Ric Flair started something with me he bit off… too much… something… that he will never be able to chew.” Look at that, stupid like Barney Rubble too. 2.5/5

Ricky Morton vs. CNJ
For those of you other than myself, CNJ stands for Chubby Nameless Jobber. It’s the perfect acronym because at least 90% of the nameless jobbers in wrestling are chubby. Morton squashes as CNJ’s man tits bounce around all over the place. Ric Flair strolls down to watch this match and EVERYONE is on their feet. Morton completely ignores Flair, who tries getting CNJ to move out of the way of Morton’s missile dropkick. CNJ gets caught and that’s it. (1:55) DUD Flair gets in the ring and degrades Morton’s fans again. Ricky snaps and DECKS Flair. Morton rips the clothes off the Flair’s back and gets a few mounted punches in. He whips Flair into the ropes and hits the crossbody. Morton counts three as more CNJs run out to break up the brawl. Dusty comes down to restore order as well. I cannot even describe the heat that those two generated. Since Triple H has been hanging around with Flair, I’m surprised he didn’t pick up Ric’s secret. Once in a while you put over the face, because the more over the face is the more heat you will receive after beating him. Fantastic brawl right here. 3.5/6

Crockett is back with Garvin, but once again blows him off to discuss Morton.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and Dusty Rhodes fought Ric Flair and the Andersons in an elimination match. We join as Morton CLEANLY beats Flair with a small package. After the match the Four Horsemen attack Morton and Gibson in the locker room. Flair rubs Morton’s face into the concrete floor, legitimately breaking his nose in the process. Dusty joins in the action and wards off the attack. The brutality featured in this attack from the Horsemen set the tone for a decade worth of future Horsemen beat downs. Breaking Morton’s nose in that fashion was also considered VERY extreme and over the line, so the Horsemen had very quickly built up a lot of heat, especially considering how over Ricky Morton was. This angle was the last straw as Morton and Flair went on fight numerous matches over the next couple of months including a few on the Great American Bash tour of 1986. Most of the matches ended as 60 minute draws. Triple H, snap out of it and take a lesson from THE MAN himself on how to make your opponent look good, but how to make yourself look even better because the fact of the matter is Triple H isn’t helping himself or his opposition by squashing people left and right. 4.5/7

Jim Cornette is in the ring introducing the NWA Tag-Team Champions, the Midnight Express. We are still in 1986, so Stan Lane has not replaced Dennis Condrey yet. The Express immediately throw their opponents and the referee to the floor. Their main objective is to call out America’s Team, but since Magnum T.A. isn’t at the show, they’ll settle for just Dusty Rhodes. The American Cow comes out with the six-foot horse. Dusty gets in Cornette’s face, but is quickly taken down with a few shots from the tennis racquet courtesy of Beautiful Bobby. Once Cornette regains his composure, he lays one in on Baby Doll as well. The usual band of CNJs and faces run out to restore order.

Cornette makes his way to the back and pushes Crockett aside noting, “I could do better without you anyway.” Amen to that Jimmy. Cornette tells Dusty to relay that message to Magnum T.A. He adds that the wrestling ring is no place for a woman, “Even one as big, bad and ugly as you Baby Doll.” Cornette is GOD as far as I’m concerned. No one touches him on the mic. This was an energetic segment. 5.5/8

The Midnight Express w/Jim Cornette vs. Sam Houston & Nelson Royal
We join this match towards the very end. All four men are brawling in the ring. Royal is thrown to the floor, where Cornette bops him with the racquet. Bobby and Dennis are having their way with Houston until James Boys run in and attack the Midnight Express. James Boys are two masked cowboys. I’ll give you a hint, one is FAT with blond hair and the other is muscular with long brown hair. They put Cornette in a noose and pull him to the parking lot. David Crockett is on location outside the arena. THAT MAN HAS BALLS FOLKS! Just as they tie Cornette to the truck and begin to drive off, the MX pull Cornette to safety. Crockett gets a few words with the James Boys and Baby Doll. Supposedly they are outlaws that sleep with lots of women and drink alcohol. This Mickey Mouse, masked man crap is so incredibly lame. The fat one says, “Jim Cornette, last week you put a tennis racquet in Baby Doll’s belly and thought you could get away with it.” Only one man in the NWA has the intelligence to speak like that…. IF YOU WEEEEEL! 5.5/9

Dusty comes out for a squash match and disposes of the guy. The Dream leads the fans with a FLAIR chant. Believe it or not, Naitch actually shows up AND THE TITLE IS ON THE LINE! What is this, ECW?

NWA World Title: Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes w/Baby Doll
Honestly, was naming this woman “Baby Doll” supposed to be some kind of cruel joke? Triple H wishes his matches could get this kind of heat. Dusty tells Flair to “Just bring it” in a way only he knows how. I’m surprised Dusty’s whole flamboyant persona got over so well in the South. I doubt too many wrestlers could pull off the limp wrist while walking around the ring, but Dusty didn’t seem to have any problem with it. Flair connects with some stiff chops, but they do not affect the Dream. Dusty pushes Flair to the mat a few times. Flair goes after Baby Doll from the apron. Dusty rams him face first to the turnbuckle, causing Flair to the fall to the floor. Flair turns the tides in the ring with a snapmare and a knee drop for 2. Flair runs right into a military press slam. Dusty gets 2 off a flying (!) clothesline. Flair goes up top, but gets slammed back down to the mat. Has that guy ever gotten through ONE match without incorporating that spot into it? Tully and Arn run in for the disqualification. (3:51) 1/2* Dusty fends them off until Ole Anderson joins the party. Typical Horsemen beat down until the usual gang breaks it up. This match was pretty much just a snippet of anyone of all of the other Dusty-Flair matches. The heat was there though, so that made it all worthwhile.

Dusty is in the back with Gordon Solie. I believe this clip is not from Worldwide and thus should not be on this tape, but I can forgive and forger. Tully and the Andersons had just competed in a match and were still in the ring. Dusty takes it upon himself to tell Magnum T.A. and Ron Garvin to get their asses in the ring because he wants a little six-man action. Being the idiot that he is, Dusty storms the ring ALONE! It’s 3 on 1 until Magnum and Garvin make the save. I feel bad for Dusty’s friends. Every show they have to run out and save him from getting his ass kicked. Moving right along… 5.5/10

NWA World Tag-Team Titles: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express w/Jim Cornette & Big Bubba Rogers ~ August 17, 1986
This match took place the day after the RnR beat the MX for the titles in Philadelphia. Big Bubba Rogers would later achieve fame as the Big Bossman. He was originally brought into the NWA as Cornette’s bodyguard. Eaton starts the match by running Morton into the corner. Eaton stays on him until Morton gets a monkey flip. Gibson even gets a shot in from ringside. Condrey tags and attempts a piledriver, which is countered into a backbody drop, as we go to commercial.

We rejoin the match with Morton getting dropped shoulder first on to the top turnbuckle courtesy of Beautiful Bobby. Condrey is back and goes right to work on the shoulder, which Morton previously injured. A backbreaker gets 2. Eaton drops a fist off the top as the ref is with Gibson. See that? Even the legendary Tommy Young makes mistakes sometimes. Eaton comes in. He delivers a backbreaker into a powerslam. Quick tag back to Condrey, who drops Morton’s shoulder on to the top rope. Condrey goes at it with Gibson in the corner, giving Cornette the opportunity to hit Morton with his racquet. Condrey covers for 2. He attempts several more pinfalls. Morton hooks a sleeper. That is his first offensive move since before the break. Eaton breaks it up by striking from behind. Gibson goes after Eaton outside the ring. Morton rolls up Condrey for what would be the win, but Cornette runs in and nails him with the tennis racquet. Tommy Young looks up just in time to see Cornette in the act; thus we have yet another DQ. (5:46) *1/2 Cornette is ranting and raving after the match. This wasn’t really up to the caliber of matches these two teams usually have. It seemed a bit rushed, which is understandable since it was on TV. Nonetheless, Gibson didn’t get tagged into the match once and essentially this was squash up until the DQ/cop out finish. I was expecting much better, yet this was alright for such a short encounter.

NWA World Title: Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes w/Baby Doll JIP
Relatively famous match here for reasons you will soon find out. As you all know these two guys fought a countless amount of matches against one another, but this match was a direct rematch from when Flair defeated Dusty for the title on August 9, 1986 in St. Louis. Believe it or not, Naitch was only a four time World Champion at this point in his career. We join this one as Dusty is suplexing Flair into the ring. Dusty covers for 2. He clotheslines Flair to the mat for 2, as Baby Doll puts Flair’s foot on the rope! That was unexpected to say the least. Rhodes is in his natural state of confusion after seeing that. Flair connects with a quick kick to the back of his knee, which as we already went over earlier, was previously injured by the Horsemen. Flair goes to work with the usual, resulting in a Figure Four. Dusty tries turning it around, but Baby Doll provides Flair with the leverage to block the reversal! Flair breaks the hold and DUSTY IS PISSED! Flair clips his knee and goes for a second Figure Four, but is kicked into Tommy Young, who in turn falls to the floor. Dusty mounts a comeback with some clotheslines. Baby Doll enters the ring, STEEL CHAIR in hand. She swings and misses, which is pretty hard to due considering who her target was. C’mon, it’s easier than shooting fish in a barrel. Dusty picks up the chair and drives it into Flair’s knee half a dozen times RIGHT IN FRONT of Tommy Young. (4:10) * Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the NWA, where you will see non-finishes galore. Even though the finish sucked, Baby Doll’s turn was pretty cool. Dusty shouldn’t have been too surprised. I mean originally that little whore was with Tully Blanchard anyway.

Bob Caudle makes his first appearance on this tape for an interview with Flair and Baby Doll. Basically Baby Doll wanted to live the life of the rich and famous, you know, the life of the Horsemen. She also knows that if you want to be a winner you have to hang around with the Champions. I think Baby Doll simply thought that by joining a group called the “HORSEmen”, she would be getting with guys of the same caliber as her. Flair adds that Baby Doll always wanted to ride Space Mountain. Half of this was a Flair interview, so it gets half a point. 6/11

NWA United States Title – Match 7 of 7: Magnum T.A. vs. Nikita Koloff w/Ivan Koloff ~ August 17, 1986
This was the blowoff match of the famous Best of 7 series between these two. The United States Title was vacant because Magnum had attacked NWA Commissioner Bob Giegel back in May. If anyone wanted to know what the right way to book a best of seven series was, look no further than this one. It was booked in a way that made both the winner and loser look good once all was said and done. Koloff took the first three matches, so then once Magnum won the next three matches, it seemed like he overcame the odds. That leads us to this final match. Magnum hits a crossbody out of nowhere for a 1 count. He dropkicks Nikita over the top to the floor. Tommy Young uses his judgment and does not disqualify Magnum. Ivan and Nikita regroup. T.A. goes to work on the arm. By the way, did I mention how much I fucking hate David Crockett? HE is the man that Tony Schiavone got all of his pain in the ass traits from. Magnum hooks in a dragon sleeper of sorts. The two do the old “roll out of the ring without releasing the hold” spot. Nikita sends Magnum to the post. Back in, Magnum gets 2 off an axehandle from the top. He goes right back to work on the arm. Koloff starts to hit a few shoulder blocks in the corner, but misses the blind charge as we go to break.

We’re back as Magnum misses a crossbody and ends up on the floor. Ivan drives Magnum’s back into the ring apron. Nikita chokes T.A. over the top rope and guillotines him. In the ring, Koloff takes out his frustration on Magnum’s back. Nikita with a one-handed slam and an elbow to the back for 2. Nikita catches him with a bearhug, which Magnum escapes. Magnum goes for a sunset flip, but it is blocked for a 2 count. Back to the bearhug. This time T.A. gets out with a hip toss. Magnum is righteously pissed as he just pounds the shit out of the Russian. He connects with a dropkick and covers, but Ivan pulls him out of the ring by his hair. Somehow Tommy Young missed THAT infraction. Magnum piledrives Ivan ON THE FLOOR. Keep in mind, this was before the promotions used safety mats on a regular basis. Krusher Khrushchev runs out and distracts Tommy Young. Meanwhile, Nikita bashes Magnum with the steel chain. Young turns around and registers the fall. (12:05) *** THE NIGHTMARE REIGNS OVER THE NWA!!! Seriously though, since Koloff cheated to win the series and Magnum had garnered MEGA HEAT for overcoming Koloff’s 3-0 lead, both men benefited. Of course in the grand scheme of things Magnum had to lose in screwy fashion because he was being groomed for the World Title. The match itself wasn’t much better than the Dusty-Tully one earlier, but it carried more historical significance and I thought booking the heel to win a blowoff match in the 80s was pretty ballsy. Especially a foreign heel at that.

J.J. and Tully (on crutches) are in the back discussing how Dusty Rhodes injured Blanchard. Long story short Dusty put Tully in the Figure Four for about five minutes and then came crashing off the top rope on Tully’s leg twice. This leads us to a video of the Horsemen getting revenge on the Dream.

We start off with Tully and the Anderson’s in a car. They spot Dusty driving towards Crockett’s office and they follow him. They jump him in the parking lot, tie him to a truck and beat him with a baseball bat. The actual beating is clipped off the video and there is a lot of bleeping. DAMN THOSE CENSORS! Did you ever notice how Dusty makes the most disgusting noises while being beat up? The closing shot is of Dusty drooling all over himself. How nice… 6.5/11

J.J. Dillon, sporting two shiners, and Tully Blanchard are back. They lay down a challenge to Dusty Rhodes for the TV Title at Starrcade. The clause is that if he doesn’t agree to put his title on the line against Tully, all four Horsemen will pull out of the show. Imagine how miserable a NWA event would be without those four. ::shudders:: Crockett shows us the match where Dusty injured Dillon… 7.5/12

Cage Match: Dusty Rhodes & Nikita Koloff vs. Ole Anderson & J.J. Dillon
Dusty usually would have teamed with Magnum T.A. for a match like this, but a few weeks earlier Magnum was in a career ending car accident. The NWA needed another big face, so they billed this match as Dusty and a mystery partner. Then out came Nikita Koloff, THE RUSSIAN NIGHTMARE, and the crowd didn’t know what the fuck was going on. He showed them his true colors by going right after Ole and throwing him out of the ring. The crowd is going CRAZY as Nikita holds Dillon in place for Dusty to bash with his cast. Dusty gets several more shots in and covers for 3. (0:56) 1/4* I had to give this match something just due to Nikita’s surprise face turn. Flair shouts at Koloff from ringside, as the two would meet at Starrcade for the NWA World Title.

J.J. Dillon is ONCE AGAIN in the interview area. This makes three segments in a row. We jump to a clip of World Championship Wrestling on the SuperStation. J.J. calls out Ole Anderson, who didn’t show up last week because he was watching his son wrestle in some tournament. All J.J. wants is an apology. YEAH RIGHT, like that’ll go over. Tony tells J.J. they are running out of time, so J.J. buys more time. Ole comes out, but gets jumped by Tully Blanchard. This was the end of the first incarnation of the Horsemen. 8.5/13

Take a guess who is here for the next interview… J.J. DILLON? That is correct. He congratulates Arn and Tully on winning the NWA World Tag-Team Titles from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. J.J. doesn’t think it is necessary for his team to apologize for being opportunists. He also adds that Cornette is pissed over his team being overlooked for the match. Now the way that Worldwide used to recap an event is first they would talk about it, then they would show all the clips, so the following mini-segments will explain everything that Dillon just said.

We see a clip of Cornette talking trash about Ricky Morton’s dad. Morton came out and attacked Cornette.

Now jump to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express making their way out to the ring for the match against Arn and Tully. The Midnights run out and strike both Morton and Gibson from behind. They severely injure Morton’s shoulder in the process. Jim Crockett was thinking about postponing the match, but Robert Gibson insisted it go on as scheduled.

The match itself is clipped to hell as we see Gibson on the offense for a little while, hitting an enziguri and a drop toehold. The match then cuts to Gibson getting his ass handed to him on a silver platter by Tully and Arn. This goes on for a little while until RICKY MORTON joins the party in a sling. Dusty and Nikita are out for moral support. Morton gets the tag and goes after the Horsemen with just one arm. It doesn’t take too long before Tully and Arn rip off the sling and attack his shoulder. Robert Gibson has seen enough and throws in the towel for his team, which in turn gives Tully and Arn their first run with the titles.

Tully and Arn are now with J.J. in the back. Arn sums up their feelings by saying, “If the Horsemen tell you that a grasshopper will pull a freight train, you better put your money on it.” I love Arn Anderson and all his analogies. I’ll just rate that whole sequence of events as one whole segment. 9.5/14

Jim Cornette is at ringside with Tony. All they say is that the following match shows how the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express got revenge on the Midnights for costing them the titles.

The Midnight Express w/Jim Cornette & Big Bubba Rogers vs. The Texas Cowboys
By now the whole “babyface wears a mask while attacking the heel” shtick is getting a little old. Anyhow, in case you couldn’t figure it out, the Texas Cowboys are the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express with masks. The one thing I never understood about that angle in storyline terms is that the promoter obviously didn’t want the two teams to fight each other before their big match. So, wouldn’t the promoter ask who the Texas Cowboys were before allowing them to fight the Midnight Express? Then once he found they were the Morton and Gibson, why did he allow them to have the match? That doesn’t go for just this feud, but all examples of that angle. And to think people question the current Raw storylines. Ricky and Robert dismantle both Eaton and Stan Lane in and out of the ring. The Midnight Express don’t get one iota of offense. Finally Big Bubba pulls them out and match ends in a countout. (2:59) 1/2* Although the match was all Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, that doesn’t mean it was a complete waste. Tony catches up with Ricky and Robert, who decide to sing us a stirring rendition of “We’re gonna getcha/We’re gonna getcha getcha getcha one way or another.” Now after hearing a grown man sing that song, my life is complete.

Cornette is back to hype the Scaffold match at Starrcade. C’mon it’s CORNETTE and therefore must be good. 10.5/15

I have no idea what possessed RF to include these next two matches on this tape because a) neither of them are from Worldwide and b) they both suck. But, here we go…

$100,000 Barbed Wire Ladder Match: Tully Blanchard w/J.J. Dillon & Dark Journey vs. Dusty Rhodes w/Barry Windham ~ July 18, 1987
This match is also available on the Great American Bash ’87 commercial release, which contains two BRUTAL War Games matches. This match on the other hand is just brutally bad. The barbed wire is only draped over the ropes here, so don’t get too excited. Tony says something about the seconds climbing the ladder if need be, but then again this is Tony “The Fountain of Misinformation” Schiavone, so who truly knows what the fuck is going on. They tease going into the barbed wire for a couple of minutes. Dusty is the first to bleed. Tully focuses on the cut for a little while. Dusty scrapes the barbed wire across Tully’s arm. Blanchard goes face first to it this time. Windham gives Dusty the ladder. Dusty climbs, but Tully kicks his leg to knock him off. Both men are on the ladder at once. Tully is the first to fall off. He pulls Dusty down. Dusty drops a DDT (or Bulldog maneuver as Tony would say). Blanchard once again knocks him off. Dusty returns the favor. TULLY PUTS ON A BLACK GLOVE AND HITS DUSTY WITH IT! E-C-DUB!! E-C-DUB!! Sorry, I got caught up in that extreme moment. J.J. tries to help Tully set up the ladder, but Windham runs in and chokes him out. Dusty hits the most hilariously pathetic dropkick in recent memory to tip the ladder over. Dusty climbs up and takes the money. (7:12) 1/4* I had to give it something because it is always nice to see barbed wire pierce a man’s skin. One down, one to go.

Scaffold Match: Midnight Express w/Jim Cornette & Big Bubba Rogers vs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express JIP ~ November 26, 1987
This match of course took place at Starrcade ‘87, which was also JCP’s first PPV. We join the match as Eaton has possession of the tennis racquet. Eaton and Gibson take turns bashing each other with the racquet. Meanwhile, Morton and Sweet Stan fight from underneath the scaffold. Stan is the first to fall to the mat and Eaton follows shortly thereafter. (3:56) DUD Cornette sends Bubba up the scaffold. Gibson had already climbed down, but not Morton. The two stare at one another. Morton hits Bubba with a low blow and RUNS AWAY! What the fuck was that about? There is, and never was, any place in wrestling for a scaffold match.

THIS IS IT

Those last two matches really leave a bad taste in your mouth, but in reality they only lasted about 10 minutes and the tape itself runs 2 hours and 40 minutes. Now the star ratings may not have seemed high, but take into account that this tape was made up of matches and segments from the NWA’s weekly TV show, not a big event. This tape was good in the sense that it recapped all of the big feuds from 1985-1987 and included several points of interest that many people have heard about, but never actually saw like Nikita Koloff’s face turn and the inception/early years of the Four Horsemen. It’s amazing that a show that featured mostly non-finishes and Dusty Rhodes getting beaten to a bloody pulp week in and week out could have housed so many entertaining storylines. I would definitely recommend this tape, not really for the matches, but for the feuds that it showcased and the memories it brings back for many people.

If you are interested in seeing other matches from this era, I stumbled upon three on Kazaa today. They were all from the Great American Bash Tour of 1986 (Magnum-Nikita Match 4 of 7, Dusty winning the title from Flair in a cage, and Dusty/Magnum/Baby Doll against Cornette/MX), so check those out if you get the chance.

This tape is available at RF Video for a mere $12. They also have other volumes of the Crockett Years on there as well.

I’ll be back tomorrow, or Monday at the latest with Confidential.

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