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Thread: A Country Road Not Taken: Bill Watts vs. Jim Crockett

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    A Country Road Not Taken: Bill Watts vs. Jim Crockett



    A Country Road Not Taken: Bill Watts vs. Jim Crockett

    I’m back with my next BTB, tackling a promotion that is rarely covered, and featuring my own take on what has become a fairly common concept, but that part will only become clear in the fullness of time.

    Even though this BTB is subtitled Bill Watts vs. Jim Crockett, it will focus on the Bill Watts side of things, with Jim Crockett and Jim Crockett Promotions getting mentioned only as and when it is necessary. I did think about writing both promotions but I ultimately decided it against, not only because of the workload involved in writing for two promotions, but also because I’m not against the idea of this turning into a dual project under the right circumstances. And if this were to turn into a dual project, I think it only fair to give the other writer as much of a free reign as possible when it comes to writing for JCP/NWA.

    The primary reason I’m going with Bill Watts and Mid-South Wrestling over Jim Crockett and JCP/the NWA is that I wanted the challenge of using names that were either not as well known or, in some cases, not as highly thought of as those in the NWA. When you’ve got a roster of names as well known and as talented as Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, etc, you’d almost have to intentionally write bad material not to succeed with them. And while using such a loaded roster does have its own problems, such as the weight of expectations, the challenge of using what most would see as a ‘lesser roster’ was one I wanted to take up.

    The BTB will begin with a few entries that detail some of the history that set the stage for Mid-South Wrestling, as well as a listing of the Mid-South roster, the champions, etc, all the usual posts you get at the start of most BTB’s. After that, shows will begin to be posted, as will the story that is the basis for this BTB.

    I would be remiss if I did not alert people to the fact that because this BTB is set in 1985, that it will contain vernacular, slang, and general attitudes that are indicative of the time. That means that this BTB is inevitably going to contain material that some will find questionable or potentially offensive. It is not my intention to offend anybody, merely to accurately represent, as best I can, the time period that this BTB is set in.

    As far as my All Japan BTB is concerned, that remains on hiatus. It has not ended. But the concept for this BTB is something that I have been toying with for a long time and I wanted to tackle it while I have the opportunity.

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    Last edited by EgoFantastico; 01-18-2018 at 04:00 PM.



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    Re: A Country Road Not Taken: Bill Watts vs. Jim Crockett

    Good to have you back, Ego. I was really enjoying your All Japan BTB but I feel like being a little more familiar with the happenings in American wrestling, I'll enjoy this one a lot more.

    Looking forward to the Mid South shows and the actual 'story' behind the BTB. Subscribing to this, I'll be reading for sure. Good luck!









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    Re: A Country Road Not Taken: Bill Watts vs. Jim Crockett


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    A (Very) Brief History of Mid-South Wrestling

    A (Very) Brief History of Mid-South Wrestling

    Mid-South Wrestling was officially formed by Bill Watts at the tail end of 1978. Watts had been the booker and part-owner of Tri-State Wrestling, an NWA territorial promotion that had been run and operated by Leroy McGuirk. McGuirk was a former amateur wrestler turned pro whose career ended in 1950 after a car accident left him blind; McGuirk had been blind in one eye since a swimming accident when he was 12, but the car accident robbed him of the sight in his other eye.

    Watts and McGuirk had a long-time connection, dating back to when McGuirk was a member of the NWA board of directors, who held an annual vote over who was going to hold the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Heading into 1968, the NWA World Heavyweight Champion was Gene Kiniski, and when the voting was held that year over who was going to be the champion, McGuirk had cast his vote in favour of Watts. However, it was only vote Watts received, and the majority of the board voted to put the title on Dory Funk Jr., with Funk winning the championship early the following year.

    The relationship between Watts and McGuirk, however, turned fractious and eventually fell apart, with Watts breaking away from McGuirk to form Mid-South Wrestling. Mid-South Wrestling started out in Louisiana and Mississippi, before growing to encompass Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, as Tri-State Wrestling faded away.

    Mid-South Wrestling was known for a tough and physical style of wrestling. The fans tended to be rabid, notoriously so, and riots and other instances fans getting out of hand were relatively commonplace in certain cities, especially the further south the promotion went. And Bill Watts was a notorious hard-ass, a disciplinarian who ran a very tight ship; kayfabe was strictly maintained and enforced, babyfaces and heels were expected to avoid fraternization away from the ring, fines were levied for breaking any of his rules, and if a wrestler got into a fight with a fan and lost, he was immediately fired.

    To get an idea of Mid-South Wrestling, you can watch either WWE’s Legends of Mid-South documentary or the more raw if less ‘flashy’ release from Kayfabe Commentaries, Back to the Territories: Mid-South Wrestling, where Jim Cornette and Jim Duggan discuss the promotion at length.


    Spoiler:


    Quote Originally Posted by stojy View Post
    Good to have you back, Ego. I was really enjoying your All Japan BTB but I feel like being a little more familiar with the happenings in American wrestling, I'll enjoy this one a lot more.

    Looking forward to the Mid South shows and the actual 'story' behind the BTB. Subscribing to this, I'll be reading for sure. Good luck!
    Thanks. It’s good to have one of my regular readers on board so quickly. The ‘story’ behind this BTB is one that I had a lot of fun in planning out and putting together, and I’m confident it’ll be well received.

    @ Wild Crippler;

    It's good to be back.



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    Re: A Country Road Not Taken: Bill Watts vs. Jim Crockett

    It's not very often you see someone try to see things from the Bill Watts perspective. That certainly peaks some interest from the get go. I may be jumping a head a bit, but do you plan to avoid the UWF re-branding like the plague? That's assuming you plan to book into 1986.

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    Re: A Country Road Not Taken: Bill Watts vs. Jim Crockett

    This is gonna be an awesome read! Imy gutted the AJPW thread stopped cause I adored it, but am sure you'll do a fantastic job with this. Your track record sure as hell suggests that anyway good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smarkslayer View Post
    It's not very often you see someone try to see things from the Bill Watts perspective. That certainly peaks some interest from the get go. I may be jumping a head a bit, but do you plan to avoid the UWF re-branding like the plague? That's assuming you plan to book into 1986.
    It’s true you don’t often see anything involving Bill Watts. Given how far back this section goes, there is bound to have been a Mid-South or UWF-related BTB, but if there has been, it was here before I arrived. As for the UWF aspect, stay tuned

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun Gould View Post
    This is gonna be an awesome read! Imy gutted the AJPW thread stopped cause I adored it, but am sure you'll do a fantastic job with this. Your track record sure as hell suggests that anyway good luck!
    Thanks. My All Japan BTB is one I intend to return to at some point, and I’ve got the top stuff mapped out for several years. But I’ve been sitting on this BTB for a long time and when the chance to run it presented itself I had to go for it.



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    The Beginning

    The Beginning

    This BTB begins at the start of April 1985. On March 30th, Mid-South held one of their ‘Superdome Spectacular’s’ at the New Orleans Superdome; Mid-South ran two or three shows a year at the Superdome, and these were their biggest shows of the year. I’m posting the results because it’s Mid-South history that I will be playing off of, so it’ll help for people to know about it, plus it gives an idea of my starting point in regards to what’s currently going on in Mid-South.

    Mid-South Wrestling ‘Superdome Spectacular’ – March 30th 1985

    Jake Roberts beat Shawn Michaels
    Steve Williams beat Terry Daniels
    Kerry Von Erich beat NWA American Heavyweight Champion Chris Adams by disqualification
    Brad Armstrong, Shawn Michaels and Terry Daniels beat Edgar Thomas, Jack Victory and Thor
    Nord the Barbarian beat Butch Reed in a Ghetto Street Fight
    Michael Hayes beat Paul Ellering by disqualification
    The Rock and Roll Express beat The Road Warriors, The Dirty White Boys and The Fabulous Freebirds in a Four Corners Tag Team match
    Mid-South Wrestling North American Heavyweight Champion Terry Taylor beat Kamala by disqualification
    Jim Duggan beat Ted DiBiase in a Loser Leaves Town Tuxedo Street Fight Coal Miner's Glove Steel Cage match

    The main event looks almost Russo-esque with so many stipulations attached to it, and a Tuxedo stipulation seems especially incongruous to such an important match. But the stipulations all made sense, even the Tuxedo stipulation, which was built up over several weeks so that it made sense that Duggan and DiBiase would fight in tuxedos. The four corners tag team match stands out as well because it’s the type of match that seems like a 90s creation, but here it is being used in 1985.

    Being one of Mid-South’s major shows, outside talent was brought in for the Superdome Spectacular. For this show, the outside talent was Kerry Von Erich, Chris Adams, the Fabulous Freebirds and the Road Warriors. In the case of Adams, the title he defended was from his home promotion, World Class Championship Wrestling, so it will not be part of Mid-South Wrestling.

    As of April 1985, Mid-South Wrestling had a weekly one-hour show that aired in syndication in the various markets the promotion ran in, with those markets being in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.



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    Re: A Country Road Not Taken: Bill Watts vs. Jim Crockett

    Really looking forward to seeing this getting started just based off of those previous super show results. Not so much because of any particular angle that's ongoing, but because there are so many talented guys on the roster who are either in or before their prime. Looking forward to see how you book the guys who went on to have some sort of success in the big leagues so Roberts, Michaels, Taylor, etc.

    So much talent and being able to 'borrow' talent for super cards means we should get some really nice match cards in the future. I can't wait to see how your actual shows look, and as I've mentioned previously, still really excited to read this.









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    Mid-South Wrestling Champions and Roster

    Mid-South Wrestling Champions and Roster

    Mid-South Wrestling Champions

    Spoiler:




    Mid-South Wrestling North American Heavyweight Champion

    Terry Taylor (beat Ted DiBiase on March 13th 1985 in Shreveport, Louisiana



    Mid-South Wrestling Tag Team Champions

    The Rock and Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) (beat Ted DiBiase and Hercules Hernandez on December 25th 1984 in New Orleans, Louisiana)



    Mid-South Wrestling Television Champion

    Vacant (title vacated when Terry Taylor won the Mid-South Wrestling North American Heavyweight Championship)


    Mid-South Wrestling Roster

    Spoiler:





    Brad Armstrong



    Brickhouse Brown



    Butch Reed



    Dutch Mantell



    Edgar Thomas



    Frankie Lane



    Jack Victory



    Jake Roberts



    Jim Duggan



    Kamala



    Len Denton



    Mark Ragin



    Nord the Barbarian



    One Man Gang



    Paul Brown



    Richard Dye



    Ricky Morton



    Robert Gibson



    Shawn Michaels



    Steve Brinson



    Steve Casey



    Steve Williams



    Stoney Burke



    Ted DiBiase



    Terry Daniels



    Terry Taylor



    Tom Prichard



    Tony Anthony



    From Ego:

    Spoiler:

    That should be it for the build; the first TV will be going up on Thursday night.



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    Re: A Country Road Not Taken: Bill Watts vs. Jim Crockett

    LOL I love how young some of these guys look in their photos. Still, after looking at the roster, I think I know about 85% of the talent so REALLY can't wait to actually see a show now. Both sets of champions are pretty epic as well.

    I'll be around on Thursday Night to check this out for sure. Good luck!









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    Mid-South Wrestling TV - April 4th 1985



    Mid-South Wrestling TV – April 4th 1985

    00:00 – 00:02 --- The opening sequence of Mid-South Wrestling Television plays out with clips of various wrestlers in action being shown to the backdrop of southern-style rock music. The clips then dissolve into a shot of the Irish McNeil Boys Club where the bleachers and sides are packed with fans, and the shot then cuts to the commentary table where…



    Jim Ross and ‘Cowboy’ Bill Watts are sat ready to provide the commentary for tonight’s action. Ross and Watts run down the action we’ll be seeing; Butch Reed is in action; Jim Duggan will also be in action, and we’ll be hearing what Duggan had to say shortly after the conclusion of his match against Ted DiBiase at the Superdome; Brad Armstrong takes on Brickhouse Brown; we’ll hear from the Mid-South North American Heavyweight Champion Terry Taylor; Steve Williams is here; as are the Mid-South Tag Team Champion, the Rock and Roll Express.

    00:02 – 00:05 ---



    ‘Hacksaw’ Butch Reed vs. Stoney Burke

    Our first match of the night saw the popular ‘Hacksaw’ Butch Reed in action, the fans in the Irish McNeil Boys Club giving Reed a great reception when he came out. Reed was in fine form tonight, Reed using his power to great effect against his overmatched opponent, and it wasn’t long before Reed was bouncing Stoney Burke around the ring. Burke got in one piece of offense, a rake of the eyes, and his attempted follow up saw him whip Reed into the ropes;

    Spoiler:


    Reed ducked the clothesline and as he rebounded off the ropes, Reed launched himself into the air to nail Burke with a flying shoulder tackle, the blow almost knocking Burke head over hindquarters. Reed quickly covered his opponent and there was only the weakest attempt from Burke to kick out as Reed put him down for the three count.

    Result: Butch Reed pinned Stoney Burke in 2:26 after a flying shoulder tackle


    00:05 – 00:07 --- With the match over, Jim Ross says that Butch Reed is a winner here tonight but things didn’t work out quite so well for him this past Saturday night at the Superdome, and Ross cues up an interview from Reed that was taped after his match this past Saturday, which saw him loss to Nord the Barbarian in a Ghetto Street Fight;



    Butch Reed: “Barbarian, you know you only won because of Akbar; you know you didn’t win on your own, that you didn’t really beat me. Barbarian, Akbar; this isn’t over, not by a long shot. You see, you beat me in a Ghetto Street Fight, my match, and that ‘aint something I’m gonna forget, especially with how you won. So, you two jacks, you sit back and laugh over what you did, but I’m a tell you this; when this is over, when it’s all over, you two clowns won’t be laughing, because I’ll be giving you a whole lot to cry about. Barbarian, you better know that I’m still coming after you ‘cos we’re not done.”

    00:07 – 00:11 ---COMMERCIAL BREAK

    00:11 – 00:12 --- We’re back from the break and Jim Ross and Bill Watts talk about the main event last Saturday night at the Superdome, a match which saw ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan take on Ted DiBiase in the heavily stipulated Loser Leaves Town Tuxedo Street Fight Coal Miner's Glove On A Pole Steel Cage match. Ross and Watts say that it was a classic confrontation, a wild and bloody affair, but when it was all over, it was Jim Duggan left standing tall and he had sent Ted DiBiase packing. We’re then sent to taped interview with Duggan, evidently conducted shortly after Saturday’s night match had concluded;

    00:12 – 00:14 ---



    Jim Duggan: “You see this bloody face, these bandages; well, that’s the price I had to pay, the sacrifice I had to make in order to put Ted DiBiase outta the Mid-South. Ted, I said I would do whatever I had to in order to put you down for the count and send you outta here, and I did that. I did whatever I had to inside that cage tonight and I beat you, I put your shoulders to the mat for the three count and now you’re gone; you’re outta Mid-South. Ted DiBiase, you put me through a lot, put these fans through a lot, but in the end, we’re the ones standing tall and proud while you’re the one slinking off like the beaten man that you are. Ted DiBiase, you’re outta here and it’s good riddance to bad rubbish.”

    00:14 – 00:16 ---



    ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan vs. Richard Dye

    The fans were solidly behind Duggan as he made his way out, Bill Watts noting how the fans in Mid-South had long taken Duggan to their hearts but that they were behind Duggan more than ever now that he’d sent Ted DiBiase out of the Mid-South by virtue of beating DiBiase in the Loser Leaves Town cage match. And coming off his big victory at the Superdome, Duggan was all fired up and he never really gave his opponent much of a chance to get in the match, although it was unlikely anyone would have had a chance against Duggan on this day…

    Spoiler:


    and Duggan didn’t waste any time, putting Richard Dye away after little over a minute after a delivering his now-patented spear clothesline.

    Result:
    ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan pinned Richard Dye in 1:29 after a spear clothesline


    00:16 – 00:17 --- Jim Ross and Bill Watts continue to talk about Duggan’s victory over Ted DiBiase in the Loser Leaves Town match, noting once again that the stipulations mean that DiBiase must leave Mid-South Wrestling. Ross informs us that Ted DiBiase refused to give an interview after the night was over, Ross then saying that we’ve evidently seen and heard the last of DiBiase, but Watts wonders if that is really the case. Watts feels that DiBiase is someone who always seems to land on his feet and that this may be no exception.

    00:17 – 00:21 --- COMMERCIAL BREAK

    00:21 – 00:28 ---



    Brad Armstrong vs. Brickhouse Brown

    We return from the break and go right into our next contest of the evening, a potentially high-octane match between Brad Armstrong and Brickhouse Brown, two fast-rising names in the sport of professional wrestling. The match started out fast and furious, both Jim Ross and Bill Watts making comment of the fight both men were showing and calling it indicative of the action you see in Mid-South. Armstrong and Brown both kept going for quick covers, each man looking to win as soon as possible, and Ross noted that a victory would be very important for both men as far as shooting them up the rankings and making a name for themselves and possibly putting them in line for bigger matches.

    Spoiler:


    Armstrong was the quicker of the two but Brown was more aggressive, getting a couple of warnings from the referee over using the ropes to choke Armstrong, Armstrong gasping for breath as a result of these attacks. Armstrong battled back, however, and Armstrong showed that quickness we mentioned as he slipped behind Brown as Brown went for a bodyslam, Armstrong quickly cinching Brown up for and delivering a fast side-Russian leg sweep, a move which stunned Brown. Armstrong hurriedly covered, hooking the leg and Armstrong was able to hold Brown down to get the three count and score a decisive and popular victory.

    Result:
    Brad Armstrong pinned Brickhouse Brown in 6:13 after a side-Russian leg sweep


    00:28 – 00:31 --- Jim Ross and Bill Watts then talk about the main event this past Saturday night at the Superdome, which saw Terry Taylor defend the Mid-South North American Heavyweight Championship against Kamala. Ross and Watts say that the match ended in a contentious manner and that whilst Taylor retained his title, nothing seemed to be settled, and they say this is shown in what happened when Taylor was interviewed backstage after the match;



    Terry Taylor: “Kamala, you gave me a tough fight and I’d never expect anything less. But I also expected that snake, Skandor Akbar to get involved, and sure enough, he did, and it cost you, Kamala. It cost you the match and it cost you this title, the North American Heavyweight Championship, and now you’ve got nothing to show for your efforts. Well, you lost, now, Kamala and...”

    *suddenly, there is a big commotion as Skandor Akbar has come onto the scene and officials are trying to keep him away from Taylor, but Akbar is screaming loudly enough for us to hear him*



    Skandor Akbar: “Nothing was settled, you hear me; you didn’t beat Kamala, you didn’t pin him, you didn’t make him submit. You didn’t prove anything, Taylor...”



    Terry Taylor: “Hey; it’s not my fault you couldn’t stop yourself from interfering and cost your guy the match. Akbar. If you’d a kept yourself out of things, you wouldn’t have cost Kamala the match; maybe next time, you’ll keep your big nose out of things.”



    Skandor Akbar: “Nothing was settled, you hear...”



    Terry Taylor: “I heard you the first time and I still don’t care. You wanna rematch for your guy? Then earn it and try to stay out of the match next time, you jerk.”

    *Akbar keeps yelling and protests when he was led away, but security make sure Akbar is led off, leaving a perturbed North American Heavyweight Champion to shake his head and wonder aloud why anyone would want ‘that jerk has his manager’*

    00:31 – 00:34 --- COMMERCIAL BREAK

    00:34 – 00:37 ---



    Steve Williams vs. Shawn Michaels

    We return from the break to our next match as the standout from Oklahoma University, former All American Steve Williams took on Shawn Michaels, and it appeared Williams was either in a bad mood or Shawn Michaels had stolen his lunch money, because Williams absolutely battered Michaels. Williams set the tone with his first offensive move of the match, a powerful clothesline that turned Michaels inside out, leaving Michaels a heap on the canvas trying to get up. As Bill Watts talked about the awesome power of ‘Dr Death’, Williams, in one move, hauled Michaels to his feet and then pressed him over his head, Williams actually doing several reps with Michaels before dumping him to the mat

    Michaels tried to get up but Williams kicked him back down, Williams shown no respect at all to his opponent. Williams showed his power again when he whipped Michaels into the ropes and caught him on the rebound and pressed him high into the air before once more dropping him down. Williams took a moment to saunter around the ring and taunt Michaels, who was fighting to get to his feet, Jim Ross calling Michaels someone with tremendous heart for trying to stay in the match.

    Spoiler:


    It didn’t last much longer as Williams again whipped Michaels into the ropes, again pressed him high above his head, but this time, Williams let go of Michaels and caught him, Williams then running Michaels into one turnbuckle and then the opposite one before running across the ring and driving Michaels into the mat with the Oklahoma Stampede and finally putting Shawn Michaels out of his misery.

    Result: Steve Williams pinned Shawn Michaels in 2:07 with the Oklahoma Stampede


    00:37 – 00:38 --- The match is over and Jim Ross joins Steve Williams at ringside to get some words from the wrestling standout from Oklahoma state;



    Steve Williams: “I prefer to do my talking in the ring, so I’ll keep this short and not too sweet. I’m after gold and I don’t care who has it. I don’t care who they are or where they’ve come from or what they’ve done. If anyone has gold in Mid-South, I’m coming for it and I don’t reckon any of you with gold can do anything to stop me.”

    *Williams walks off, and as Jim Ross shakes his head and remarks that it’s going to take a heck of a man to stop a determined Steve Williams, Bill Watts says his colleague is quite correct, and Watts says he doesn’t envy any champion who steps foot into the ring to face Steve Williams*

    00:38 – 00:42 --- COMMERCIAL BREAK

    00:42 – 00:45 --- We’re back from the break and Jim Ross and Bill Watts tell us that the most intense tag team rivalry in Mid-South right now concerns the Mid-South Tag Team Championship, currently held by Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, the Rock and Roll Express. Watts says that Morton and Gibson have been fending off the challenge of the Dirty White Boys, and whilst Morton and Gibson came out of the Superdome on Saturday as still the tag team champions, the Dirty White Boys are not finished yet and they had these comments concerning the Rock and Roll Express and the Mid-South Tag Team Championship;

    *we cut the pre-tape interview area to see the Dirty White Boys in the pre-tape interview area and this rough and tough tag team have some strong words for the current Mid-South Tag Team Champions, the Rock and Roll Express;



    Tony Anthony: “Rock and Roll Express, you escaped from the Superdome with those Mid-South Tag Team Titles, and that’s the key word; escaped. You escaped from the ring, and from the building with our belts; those tag team titles are ours, and you know it. And we’re not just gonna sit back and let that happen, no. We’re gonna do something about it and when we do, I guarantee you and those idiot fans of yours won’t like it one bit.”



    Len Denton: “They’re not gonna like it but there won’t be a damn thing they can do about it. This ‘aint over, Morton and Gibson, not by a long shot, so you keep one eye over your shoulder at all times, ‘cos we’re not resting until those belts, our belts, are around our waists.”

    Tony Anthony: “One eye over your shoulders, boys. Remember that.”

    00:45 – 00:48 --- We then cut to the Irish McNeil Boys Club, and the Rock and Roll Express are coming out for their match, and Bill Watts notes the comments made by the Dirty White Boys, Watts making it clear that things remain heated between the Rock and Roll Express and the Dirty White Boys, and as Watts is saying this, Jim Ross walks over to the ringside area to interview the Rock and Roll Express;



    Ricky Morton: “Jim Ross, people who want these belts can do all the talking they want. They can say what they want, whenever they want, and it don’t matter a bit because talk won’t win you these belts. You wanna win these belts, you gotta get it done in the ring, not behind the microphone. So if any team who wants these belts wants to do more than talk, then you sign on the dotted line and we’ll see if you can wrestle as well as you talk.”



    Robert Gibson: “Ricky just about said it all, Jim Ross. You want these belts, just step up to the plate and try to take them.”

    *Ricky and Robert walk over to the ring and put their title belts on the ring apron before entering the ring, the fans giving them a high-decibel cheer before settling down to see the Mid-South Tag Team Champions in action*

    00:48 – 00:52 ---



    Mid-South Tag Team Champions The Rock and Roll Express © vs. Edgar Thomas and Frankie Lane – non-title

    The reigning Mid-South Tag Team Champions were in fine form tonight, and they gave the fans plenty to cheer about with a clinical display of teamwork. Morton and Gibson made quick tags, and used showed smooth teamwork to show why they are the tag team champions, with Bill Watts saying that it’ll take great tag team to defeat the Rock and Roll Express for those Mid-South Tag Team Titles, Watts putting across the teamwork of the Express, with Jim Ross feeling that no team in Mid-South can match the teamwork of the Express.

    Spoiler:


    Indeed, their opponents tonight provided little trouble, not that they didn’t try, but the Rock and Rolls were on a different level and it didn’t them long to end this affair with Morton pining Frankie Lane after the Rock and Roll’s trademark double dropkick.

    Result: The Rock and Roll Express beat Edgar Thomas and Frankie Lane in 3:17 when Morton pinned Lane after a double dropkick


    00:52 – 00:56 --- The match is over but as the Rock and Roll celebrate their win and take in the adulation of the fans…

    Spoiler:





    The Dirty White Boys!

    the Dirty White Boys come charging out from the back and hit ring, Tony Anthony going after Ricky Morton and Len Denton going for Robert Gibson. With the element of surprise, Anthony and Denton quickly get the upper hand on Morton and Gibson, and the fans boo loudly as the Dirty White Boys lay into the Rock and Roll Express. Morton and Gibson begin fighting back and it soon looks like they’ve recovered enough to fight toe-to-toe with the Dirty White Boys, but Tony Antony sees an opening and charges across the ring and viciously knees Robert Gibson in the back, sending him tumbling through the ropes where he lands in a heap on the floor.

    In the ring, Ricky Morton has slammed Len Denton to the mat and is about to follow up when Anthony grabs Morton from behind in a full nelson and then hooks the leg of Morton before driving him face first into the mat and Tony Anthony has knocked Ricky Morton out cold! Anthony and Denton then begin stomping away on Morton, Jim Ross screaming that Ricky Morton is unconscious and can’t even defend himself; Bill Watts calls it a cowardly act, to attack a man who you know can’t fight back.

    Officials hit the ring, at which point the Dirty White Boys make their escape, leaving a fallen Ricky Morton in the ring, with Robert Gibson only now able to crawl back into the ring and check on his fallen tag team partner, and the program goes off the air with Gibson, still down, checking on the condition of Ricky Morton.


    END CREDITS


    From Ego:

    Spoiler:

    The layout is a familiar one; it’s the one I like the most. The addition of pictures for interviews is an experiment, so that anyone not familiar with the roster knows exactly who is talking. In the case of the Taylor/Akbar segment, I did consider using their pictures just once for each man, above their first statements, but for continuity I decided to have their picture above each individual statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by stojy View Post
    LOL I love how young some of these guys look in their photos. Still, after looking at the roster, I think I know about 85% of the talent so REALLY can't wait to actually see a show now. Both sets of champions are pretty epic as well.

    I'll be around on Thursday Night to check this out for sure. Good luck!
    Some of them look positively cherubic. And good to hear that you’ll be around; I hope I can make you a regular reader.



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    The Fallout of Wrestlemania



    The Fallout of Wrestlemania

    April 5th 1985

    It was supposed to be the highlight of the year, of all time, for the World Wrestling Federation, but the repercussions of a disastrous Wrestlemania continue to be felt by Vince McMahon and a lot of people are expecting the worse. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that some people are even hoping for the worse.

    Of course, it all started to go wrong on the day of the show when Mr T, the big celebrity that everything was built around as part of the main event, got cold feet and pulled out and details are emerging of what went on behind the scenes when this happened.

    When Mr T first said that he was pulling out, Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon went to him and did everything in their power to try and convince T to remain part of the show. But T was adamant and he and his entourage walked out of Madison Square Garden. This left Vince scrambling to put together a new main event on no notice. Vince’s first idea was for Hogan to defend the WWF Title against Roddy Piper, but that fell apart when Piper refused to put Hogan over and Vince wanted a pinfall finish so as to try and quell the expected revolt when the heavily advertised main event was changed.

    Vince then went to Paul Orndorff, who also refused to put Hogan over.

    Vince’s next idea was for Hogan to defend against ‘Dr D’ David Schultz. Schultz had been on thin ice over his attempts to go after T at a houses show in Los Angeles last month and it was felt that he was only being kept around because he was part of the Wrestlemania main event and that he would be fired once Wrestlemania was over. And it was because Schultz was at least connected to the main event that he was next in line to take the spot opposite Hogan in the main event.

    Schultz played his position for all it was worth and agreed to put Hogan over, via pinfall, in return for a written guarantee that he would face no further punishment over his actions towards Mr T. Vince. Not only that, Schultz pretty much booked the finish himself, which saw interference from Roddy Piper, Paul Orndorff and Jimmy Snuka all leading up to a Hogan cradling Schultz for a flash pinfall. It wasn’t a finish that Vince was happy with, and Hogan was furious about the whole situation as well, something that was obvious throughout the match as Hogan made no attempt to hid his frustrations.

    But with Vince’s back against the wall and in desperate need to try and save his biggest gamble, Vince felt backed into a corner and that he had no other option at the time but to go along with Schultz’s plan.

    To say this went over like the proverbial lead balloon would be putting it mildly, and whilst the fans at MSG were somewhat pacified, especially with, as per WWF standards, a fairly bloody main event, the fans at home and around the country were far from happy. This is being shown in the WWF’s post-Wrestlemania business, as the advances for the upcoming house shows across the country range from disappointing to outright disastrous. This all comes on the heels of what was a very disappointing showing for Wrestlemania, with pay-per-view business, such as it is at this stage of the technology, lukewarm at best, and closed-circuit business being ‘well below expectations’.

    What this means for the World Wrestling Federation and Vince McMahon Jr. remains to be seen, but it was heavily rumoured by everyone involved with the Wrestlemania project that this was very much a make-or-break situation for the company, and those close to Vince’s inner circle have conceded that this is being seen as a major blow to Vince’s plans for national expansion and perhaps even to the WWF itself.



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    Re: A Country Road Not Taken: Bill Watts vs. Jim Crockett

    The failure of WrestleMania is very intriguing. Quite excited to see what comes next!

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    Mid-South Wrestling TV - April 11th 1985

    Mid-South Wrestling TV – April 11th 1985

    00:00 – 00:02 --- The opening sequence of Mid-South Wrestling Television plays out with clips of various wrestlers in action being shown to the backdrop of southern-style rock music. The clips then dissolve into a shot of the Irish McNeil Boys Club where the bleachers and sides are packed with fans, and the shot then cuts to the commentary table where Jim Ross and ‘Cowboy’ Bill Watts are sat ready to provide the commentary for tonight’s action. Ross and Watts run down what we’ll be seeing; Nord the Barbarian is here. We’re going to hear from the Rock and Roll Express about what the Dirty White Boys did to them last week, and the White Boys themselves will be action, as well as giving their own comments on what happened. Dutch Mantel is in action. Tom Prichard will be here, and the main event will see the Mid-South North American Heavyweight Champion Terry Taylor in non-title competition.

    00:02 – 00:06 ---



    Nord the Barbarian (with Skandor Akbar) vs. Shawn Michaels

    It seemed pretty obvious early on that Nord the Barbarian could have ended this match at any time. The ease with which he bounced Shawn Michaels around, shoving him across the ring and turning him inside out with a clothesline, made it abundantly clear who the dominant force in the ring was. Jim Ross on commentary put over the awesome power Nord the Barbarian was showing, with Bill Watts noting that with how impressive Nord is looking tonight, it’ll be hard for Butch Reed or anyone to get the better of him

    Spoiler:


    After an extended beating, Skandor Akbar finally signalled for the end and Nord put Michaels down with a whip to the ropes followed by a powerful big boot that sent Michaels head over hindquarters, and Watts called it the most powerful big boot in the sport today.

    Result: Nord the Barbarian pinned Shawn Michaels in 3:28 after a big boot


    00:06 – 00:08 --- The match is over and Jim Ross goes to ringside to get some words from Skandor Akbar, the manager of Nord the Barbarian;



    Skandor Akbar: “I heard what that idiot, Butch Reed had to say, last week and I got something myself to say to him. Butch Reed, you need to know your place. People like you outta know their place and stay in it. My man here, the Barbarian, beat you, and he did it in your kind of match, and now you got sour grapes over that. Lemme tell you something, Reed; you keep running your mouth, you keep making noise, and you don’t wanna know, the people don’t wanna know, what the Barbarian will do to you. Reed, you oughta be grateful that we let you walk out of the Superdome at all.”

    00:08 – 00:12 ---COMMERCIAL BREAK

    00:12 – 00:15 --- We are back from the commercial break and Jim Ross and Bill Watts recap the attack last week that the Dirty White Boys perpetrated on the Rock and Roll Express, as the program was going off the air, and we see extended clips of the assault and the moments proceeding it as the two men speak. Ross says it was a cowardly attack but that whilst the Rock and Roll Express were down, they were not out, and after they had been taken to the back and given medical attention, Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson had these comments for the Dirty White Boys, and we cut to a shot of Morton and Gibson in what looks like a triage room;

    00:15 – 00:17 ---



    Ricky Morton: “You made a big statement, Dirty White Boys. You made a big statement when you attacked us from behind, Robert and I, and beat me up when I was unconscious and couldn’t defend myself. And what that statement was is that you two ‘aint nothing more than gutless cowards, who haven’t got the guts to face me and Robert in a straight up fight. You two clowns want these titles, the Mid-South Tag Team Titles; well, it takes more than jumping us from behind to get these belts. It takes heart, it takes desire, it takes guts; things you two jerks don’t have. You two started a fight last week, but it’s a fight that we’ll be finishing.”



    Robert Gibson: “My partner got it right. Anthony and Denton, you picked the wrong fight with us, and you’ll see that the next time we meet. You’ll get yours; I guarantee it.”

    00:17 – 00:20 ---



    Dutch Mantel vs. Mark Ragin

    The veteran Dutch Mantel was in action next against rookie Mark Ragin, and it was clear from the outset that the experienced Mantel had too much in his bag of tricks for Ragin to deal with. Ragin did try to fight back but Mantel was too wily and sneaky, Mantel maintaining control of the match throughout.

    Spoiler:


    Mantel ended Ragin’s resistance by coming off the middle rope as Ragin was getting to his feet and driving a knee into the back of Ragin, the impact of the blow and the subsequent result of being driving into the mat face-first enough to end the resistance of Ragin and give Mantel the win.

    Result: Dutch Mantel pinned Mark Ragin in 2:48 after a knee to the back off the middle rope


    00:20 – 00:24 ---COMMERCIAL BREAK

    00:24 – 00:26 --- We’re back from the break and Jim Ross and Bill Watts talk about one of the emerging stars in Mid- South, Brad Armstrong. Ross calls him an explosive young man with tremendous potential, something Watts agrees with, Watts saying that Armstrong could give anyone a run for their money, and that you better be on your game if you ever want to beat Armstrong. Ross says that Armstrong is a confident young man and that he had something he wanted to say, so right now, we’re going to hear from Brad Armstrong, and we cut to the pre-tape interview area where Brad Armstrong, dressed in street clothes, is ready to talk;



    Brad Armstrong: “You know, there’s been a lot of talk about gold in recent weeks. People demanding title shots, people wanting gold handed to them, and make no mistake about it; like any professional sport, wrestling revolves around championships and titles. I think it’s about time I had some gold myself; I’m hungry for success and I know I’ve got what it takes to achieve that success. So I’m letting everyone in the Mid-South area know that I’m after titles. Whether it’s singles titles or tag team titles, Brad Armstrong wants gold, he’s gunning for it, and he’s putting Mid-South on notice.”

    00:26 – 00:30 ---



    The Dirty White Boys vs. Steve Brinson and Stoney Burke

    Our next match of the evening saw the Dirty White Boys in action, and Tony Anthony and Len Denton came out looking cocksure and confident. Jim Ross said that Anthony and Denton were confident after their cowardly attack on the Rock and Roll Express last week, and Bill Watts wondered how any real athlete, any real man could be proud of themselves after such an action. In the ring, Anthony and Denton proved to be just as vicious when an actual match was taking place, as they delivered some serious punishment to their opponents, the Dirty White Boy’s really laying into Steve Brinson and Stoney Burke

    Spoiler:


    Despite some fleeting attempts at offence, Brinson and Burke were not up to the task of taking on a top team like the Dirty White Boys, and there was little surprise, but a lot of booing, when Anthony ended this contest just before the four-minute mark, Anthony pinning Brinson after using the move he used last to lay out Ricky Morton, a move which Jim Ross called a full-nelson facebuster.

    Result: The Dirty White Boys beat Steve Brinson and Stoney Burke in 3:42 when Anthony pinned Brinson after a full-nelson facebuster


    00:30 – 00:33 --- The match over, Jim Ross goes to ringside to interview the Dirty White Boys, who are laughing and clearly in a good over what they did last week to the Rock and Roll Express;



    Jim Ross “Gentlemen, you seem to be very happy, very proud of yourselves, after what you did to the Rock and Roll Express, but I don’t know how any real men, which you two purport to be, could be proud of themselves for attacking people from behind and laying them out.”



    Tony Anthony: “You don’t know a lot of things, Ross, and that’s because you’re stupid. You and these people are stupid if you don’t know how we can be happy after last week. We’re happy because we put a beating on those punks and we made it just that little bit easier to claim those Mid-South Tag Team Titles, and that’s what this is about, Morton and Gibson. It’s about the Mid-South Tag Team Titles; you have them, and we want them. We want them and we’re going to take them. We’re going to do whatever we have to take them, but we will take them, Rock and Roll, and there won’t be a damn thing you can do about it.”



    Len Denton: “The man has a way with words, Ross. We’re happy because we were able to do what we want when we wanted to. We wanted to put a beating on the Rock and Roll Express, and we did so. We wanted to put a beating on them when they weren’t looking, and we did so. And we want to take those Mid-South Tag Team Titles, and I don’t see any reason why that won’t also come to pass. Morton and Gibson, we put you down last week, and when those Mid-South Tag Team Titles are on the line, we’ll put you down again. Morton and Gibson, your time as champions is running down and running is about the only way you’ll keep those titles.”

    *Anthony and Denton walk off to the back, Jim Ross again expressing his disgust with what the Dirty White Boys did to the Rock and Roll Express, before telling us not to go away and that when we come back, we’ll be seeing a rising young man in the sport, Tom Prichard in action*

    00:33 – 00:37 ---COMMERCIAL BREAK

    00:37 – 00:42 ---



    Tom Prichard vs. Terry Daniels

    We’re back from the break and the next match sees Tom Prichard, whom Jim Ross called a rising young star in the sport, in action against Terry Daniels. Daniels opened up aggressively against Prichard and was dominating him for the first moments of match, but Prichard was quick to fight back and when Prichard ducked a clothesline and came back off the ropes with a flying dropkick, it really popped the fans. Bill Watts noted the speed and quickness of Prichard, Watts feeling that those qualities are his best assets.

    Spoiler:


    Indeed, Prichard showed that speed and quickness to befuddle Daniels, who didn’t seem to know how to deal with a much quicker opponent. Daniels was caught completely off-guard when Prichard countered a wild clothesline attempt by grabbing the arm of Daniels, Prichard then throwing up his legs to catch the other arm of Daniels to take him down and Prichard held on fast with the crucifix to secure the three count and get the win.

    Result: Tom Prichard pinned Terry Daniels in 4:15 with a crucifix


    00:42 – 00:43 --- The match over, Jim Ross says he is going to ringside to try and get a quick word with a rising young star in the sport;



    Jim Ross “It wasn’t always smooth sailing, Tom, but you came back fighting and you managed the win here tonight. How do you feel?”



    Tom Prichard: “It feels great, Jim. Ya know, the competition is tough here in Mid-South, but that’s why I’m here; to face the best and work on becoming the best, and tonight is just the beginning. I know it’s a long road from here, but I’m willing to walk it and take on whatever comes my way.”



    Jim Ross “Well, you’re certainly off to a good start, and I think you’ve got a bright future. Tom Prichard, ladies and gentlemen.”



    Tom Prichard: “Thanks, Jim.”

    *Prichard walks to the back, and Jim Ross tells us we’re heading into our final commercial break, but when we come back, it’s our main event as the North American Heavyweight Champion Terry Taylor is in action*

    00:43 – 00:47 ---COMMERCIAL BREAK

    00:47 – 00:53 ---



    Mid-South North American Heavyweight Champion Terry Taylor vs. Jack Victory – non-title

    We’re back from our final commercial break and it’s time for the main event of the evening, as Terry Taylor, the Mid-South North American Heavyweight Champion is in action against Jack Victory, in what is a non-title match. Taylor looked good here tonight, the champion looking sharp and crisp in everything he did, with Victory providing minimal resistance as the North American Heavyweight Champion was in top form. Jim Ross and Bill Watts on commentary talked about the form Taylor was in, Ross calling Taylor the pre-eminent singles champion in wrestling today. Watts concurred with that statement, Watts feeling that the calibre and range of opponents that Taylor was defending his title against in the Mid-South region making him a champion without compare.

    Spoiler:


    Indeed, the fans were also in enjoyment of the performance of Taylor, and there was loud applause when Taylor ended the match, Taylor cracking Victory with his trademark flying forearm to put Victory out of commission and score the pinfall victory.

    Result: Terry Taylor pinned Jack Victory in 5:28 after a flying forearm


    00:53 – 00:56 --- Taylor celebrates his victory and takes the North American title belt from the referee and raises it above his head. The fans continue to cheer Taylor, Jim Ross calling him a very popular man in the Mid-South. Suddenly, there is a commotion in the back as Skandor Akbar attempts to lead Kamala the Ugandan Giant to the ring, but he is being blocked by security. Akbar is screaming that he wants Kamala to get a rematch with Taylor, Bill Watts noting that Kamala had unsuccessfully challenged Taylor at the Superdome last month, in part because of the action of Akbar.

    Taylor points at Kamala, Taylor then dropping his title belt and leaving the ring, the fans cheering as Taylor goes towards Kamala. Taylor is also blocked from security, and whilst it’s clear that Taylor wants to fight Kamala, Watts makes the comment that with Kamala having lost in his most recent challenge, that it’s unlikely that the matchmakers for Mid-South will be quick to grant Kamala another title match. Jim Ross wonders if that will matter to either man, who clearly want to get their hands on each other, and the program goes off the air with Taylor and Kamala being kept apart as the fans cheer on.

    END CREDITS

    @ Joey Bananas;

    Spoiler:


    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Bananas View Post
    The failure of WrestleMania is very intriguing. Quite excited to see what comes next!
    Thanks. This aspect of the BTB is something that will be detailed through regular updates over the coming weeks. I don't want to give too much away, but I believe it'll be worth the wait to see how it all unfolds.



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