Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mid-South Wrestling 12-12-81

When I became a fan of wrestling in '93, MSW was one of the first companies I saw via tape. I went to a toy store called Toy Liquidators and they had a bunch of VHS tapes with drawings of big '80s WWF guys on them, and a ton of Memphis and Mid-South contained on them. I was exposed to Jerry Lawler for the first time thanks to this, along with JYD and got the King Kong Bundy and I think JYD tapes for the series. In hindsight, I wish I had the entire set because the video quality was pretty good and they're probably not easy to find in great shape now.  The Network finally has a ton of MSW in succession, so let's go with 12-21-81 to start things off.

We start off with the usual intro with '80s video filters all over everything. Boyd Pierce is with Ernie Ladd in an astonishing outfit. He hypes up "the little midget girls" and "The Polish Prince" Ed Wiksoski. I don't recall seeing early DeBeers, so this could be fun. Or very plodding. Ladd's brown leather jacket and gigantic yellow-collared shirt are something else. THE MONK starts the show off against Brian Blair as "Bryan Blair". Takedown by Monk leads to an escape by Blair. Ladd talks about Blair trying to make a name for himself. Blair locks on a headscissor while Ladd talks about how he can beat anyone, including Andre - and he beat him before. I love the heel cheating and Ladd talking about how smart he is. Blair gets 2 off a legdrop. A sloppy dropkick gets 2. An abdominal stretch cradle ends it.

I love the finish is replayed before they hype up the next match's graphic. It takes no more air time, but gets finishers over. Tom Renesto Jr. faces King Cobra. Ladd puts over how tenacious King Cobra is. Cobra hits a backdrop and an armdrag. Cobra locks on an armbar and Tom yells "NO!" that he won't quick, so the fans chant yes. IT'S THE ORIGINAL YES MOVEMENT. A pair of shoulderblocks lead to two awful dropkicks. ANOTHER BACKDROP hits and gets 2. The coco butt wins, because of course it did. Jim Garvin faces Ed Wiskowski next. That's a pretty neat little match.

Ed's gear has two stars on the front and back instead of three. Ed dominates with power. Garvin works him down and drops a knee to the arm and back. Ladd says that Ed played football, and I'm shocked he didn't say he won 55 Super Bowls. He deathlocks the arm and bridges back. Garvin gets a Kimura, but Ed lifts him up and slams him into the buckle with a tree of woe. Boyd puts over Ernie Ladd's many accomplishments. Garvin gets a sleeper, but gets sent outside. A slam is turned into a cradle by Garvin for 2. Garvin gets hit with a snake eyes on the ropes and a sloppy gutbuster ends it. Solid match overall - fine David vs. Goliath tale.The slow motion of the finish shows Garvin break his fall with his hands slowly. Oh well.

JYD is shown facing Terry Orndorff from last week. Paul gives Terry something and a brawl breaks out. Terry loads up the mask and JYD is knocked out. Bob Orton Jr. and Terry Orndorff try a switcheroo, despite BEING IN DIFFERENT COLOR TRUNKS and Terry being pale as a sheet. Somehow, JYD is DQed despite five thousand people coming in. Well, that was really stupid. JYD is in shape here, which is amazing.

Ladd somehow equates the JYD loss to a Lions-Cowboys game. Jerry Novak and Aaron Holt face JYD and Mike George.  JYD's replacement theme is solid, and they show a woman smoking in the crowd next to kids. Novak and George start off. JYD and George hit a sloppy double tackle and a Thump ends it. Iron Sheik is next against Buddy Ryan. "Sheik" is of course, mis-spelled because it's MSW. Ryan is a bearded ginger guy and eats a bunch of kicks and stomps. Sheik wins with a nasty German suplex spiking him on his head.
Diamond Lil teams with Rick Ferrera to face Barbie Doll and Tony Charles. Ferrera has giant man boobs and looks terrified to be on-camera. Lil chops Barbie to start. Lil gets taken down for a series of toeholds, resulting in laughing from the crowd. The guys come in and Charles goes for a lot of mat work, but eats a Boston Crab. Barbie is tagged in, so it's back to more comedy. Barbie wins with a bad backdrop and a vertical splash that misses by a mile.


Ted DiBiase vs. Paul Orndorff is next, and that is actually on one of the tapes I own if it's the same match. Orndorff has a hairy chest, but still looks about the same as ever. Yup, this is the match. Ladd makes it so much better with commentary, calling them the Cadillac and the Lincoln. This is technically outstanding, with a quick cradle getting 2 for Paul. Orndorff lands some slick forearms shots. Ted drops down on a sunset flip for 2. Ladd hypes up the figure four counter that Orndorff hypes up, which I loved years ago and love today. Orndorff hits some sick back elbows in the corner that look great now.

Ted recovers and lands a kneelift. A powerslam sets up the figure four. Ted locks it on and grabs Paul's foot to lock it in tighter, but Paul turns over. This goes on for a while and then time expires. This put over the figure four and the counter especially, which I'm sure led to bigger arena matches and more TV matches. Great show overall.

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