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 Posted: Sat Apr 11th, 2020 11:58 pm
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Blazer



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Watts was trying to re-educate the fanbase, but things had changed so much in the five years that he was gone that it was almost a lost cause. That said, he was making headway and his run had a lot of highlights. I didn't agree with the off-the-top-rope or removing the mats. There was behind the scenes stuff that probably did more harm than good for morale (making injured guys travel on the road and show up at the house shows to announce they couldn't work rather than just no-show).

The Midnight Express-Heavenly Bodies angle was great.
Cactus vs. Sting feud
The Jake Roberts return in Baltimore
Simmons beating Vader in Baltimore
The off the charts tag-team booking
Turning Pillman heel
Rude vs Steamboat

1992 WCW was really underappreciated.



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 Posted: Sun Apr 12th, 2020 07:47 am
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Kriss
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I understand the top-rope deal in a way. The idea was to make top rope moves special because you wouldn't see them in every match.

But.... High-flyers are generally faces, but they had to resort to heel tactics by using their top-rope moves behind the referee's back.

In earlier years, top-rope moves were less spectacular, and were more the moves of heels, like knee-drops and fat guys doing splashes. Maybe this influenced Watts' thinking, but modern wrestling had passed him by.



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 Posted: Sun Apr 12th, 2020 02:55 pm
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Arn Anderson says Bill Watts pissed off too much of the talent to survive in WCW. He started cutting down the wrestlers salaries. He cut Arn and Bobby Eatons salaries in half. He got rid of catering, wanted the wrestlers to eat their food out of lunchboxes. He was out of touch with how things had changed.

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 Posted: Sun Apr 12th, 2020 03:56 pm
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Kind of a baseball geek, and every year my bro-in-law and sis-in-law get me the World Series dvd or blu-ray film. Been collecting these for years and never thought I'd get around to watching them. Watched 2010 (Giants), 2017 (Astros), and 2012 (Giants again) this week. May start the 2014 disc today to complete the Giants trifecta.



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"Well, maybe I like the nightlife just a little bit more than I like the damn gym, jack! And when you're makin' $500,000 a year, there ain't no reason to change what you're doing." - Dusty Rhodes, 1/4/1986
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 Posted: Sun Apr 12th, 2020 04:40 pm
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sportatorium roach



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I haven't had the Network in several months, obviously now was a good time to get it again.
I like the recent feature where you can skip ahead to a certain match or interview.
I'm  skimming through Raw 1999 so it's helpful to skip the nonsense, because there's lots of good matches.

Last edited on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 04:41 pm by sportatorium roach

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 Posted: Sun Apr 12th, 2020 04:50 pm
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Spatulapup

 

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Is there a 30 day trial for the network so you can cancel in case you don't like it? I have been tempted to check it out because of boredom

Last edited on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 04:52 pm by Spatulapup

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 Posted: Sun Apr 12th, 2020 05:13 pm
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Heenan Fan
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srossi wrote: Heenan Fan wrote: Anything promoted by Bill Watts is F'N great!!
Not this. He brought in Gordy and Williams and WCW already had the Steiners, Windham and Rhodes, etc. so there were some killer tag matches, but everything else was a mess. Banning off the top rope moves was the stupidest thing ever. 
The banning of top rope moves in WCW was a worked storyline. Watts thought it would mean more if he banned the top rope moves and eventually made it legal again.



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 Posted: Sun Apr 12th, 2020 05:41 pm
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DJP

 

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Heenan Fan wrote: srossi wrote: Heenan Fan wrote: Anything promoted by Bill Watts is F'N great!!
Not this. He brought in Gordy and Williams and WCW already had the Steiners, Windham and Rhodes, etc. so there were some killer tag matches, but everything else was a mess. Banning off the top rope moves was the stupidest thing ever. 
The banning of top rope moves in WCW was a worked storyline. Watts thought it would mean more if he banned the top rope moves and eventually made it legal again.

Yeah. He eventually reinstated moves off the top. Except you couldn't drive your knee into your opponents head or throat while he was laying prone on the mat. That was still a DQ.

A few of those rules carried over for a while after Watts was gone. For example, it was still a DQ If you ran your opponents head into the ringpost or guard rail. They even went back to the Watts well in 1994 with the forgotten "kneedrop off the top rope is illegal" when they stripped Rick Rude of the International title at Slamboree.



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 Posted: Mon Apr 13th, 2020 06:46 am
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Heenan Fan
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I also love Watts for giving the first black man, not to mention a sitting wrestler, the book in 1976. Ernie "The Big Cat" Ladd. Absolutely unheard of back then. Not to mention putting the strap on Ron Simmons. Watts was A great promoter!



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 Posted: Mon Apr 13th, 2020 07:03 pm
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tamalie
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I have gone to WWE Network and started watching all of the Mid-South episodes in order. They begin in late 1981 and I am into mid to late March of 1982. Jim Ross debuted as an announcer on the episode before the most recent one I watched and his talent was very obvious from the start.

Here are a few observations:

- When I started watching, the promotion seemed on the quiet side. There weren't a lot of angles and the TV show surprised me with its lack of interviews. There house show promos that got inserted between the matches that aren't present, but I expected more in the body of the show. However, the mic work has picked up considerably from December of 1981 to almost April of 1982. It makes a difference.

- There is at least one angle per show, sometimes two. Angles from previous shows get rerun, at least in truncated form, so fans never know why one wrestler wants to get the other. There is some heel vs. heel friction at times. JYD teams with Mike George and mention is made of how George was once a bad guy and when he and JYD teamed up, people wondered if JYD could really trust him, but George has proven to be a standup guy.

- For as big of a deal as Junkyard Dog was to this promotion and would be for the next two years plus beyond this time period, he was surprisingly not pushed nearly as much as you'd think. The house show promos are missing, so that takes out the primary way most wrestlers got mic time, but I don't think he's been interviewed once. One thing is for sure though, JYD was in amazing shape back then. He hadn't gotten fat yet and even had abs. He looked like a real star.

- Ted DiBiase is doing his quiet and unassuming babyface gimmick. His heel turn is about two and a half months out, but so far nothing has been teased other than him losing the North American Title to Bob Roop. Getting it back was his primary motivation for turning on JYD once the Dog won the title. I am interested in seeing the turn and how he changes. Ted made a good, white hat babyface but was on the bland side, even by 1982 standards.

- Bob Roop won the North American Title by sabotaging the car of fellow heel Paul Orndorff so Mr. Wonderful would be late to the TV taping and miss his match with DiBiase. Roop was a riot as a smarmy heel, explaining that he didn't know where Paul was but he was ready as the #2 contender to step in. Roop stole the match and beat Ted for the belt. Orndorff then showed up in street clothes, saying his car wouldn't start. He found out about Roop and then effectively turned babyface on him.

- Afa and Sika are the tag team champs. They were managed by Ernie Ladd at first but turned on him to go with Skandor Akbar. Akbar had been managing The Iron Sheik who abruptly left the area. Akbar also has One Man Gang with long hair and no gang gimmick. Ladd became a babyface and the fans were pretty fired up that the long time heel was now a good guy. Ladd was still big but was looking old and his knees were bad. Him needing knee surgery, which the promotion showed a clip of like he was a legit athlete on the evening sports report, was a reason for him being written out as manager of the Samoans.

- Bob Orton Jr. was all over TV when I started watching, but has been gone for the past few episodes and in fact is out of the promotion. Legend has it that he got KO'd in a bar fight and fired by Watts, but he'd been in the promotion for about 8 months by the time he left and had already started going to the WWF for TV tapings ahead of debuting at the house shows as was customary for new talent there. This legend looks like an urban legend.

- Paul Ellering came in as 1981 closed doing a low rent Superstar Billy Graham gimmick but minus the talent and charisma Graham had in the tie dyed outfits with the blonde hair. Ellering was a babyface but I wanted to see some heel kick his ass. He was that obnoxious. Watts must have figured out that this was not someone to push and pulled the plug. After two or three weeks of being all over TV, he disappeared without further mention.

- Killer Karl Kox was one of the biggest babyfaces ever in this region during the 1970s. He came back in early 1982 and despite being bald, looking old, and being 50 which was a much older age physically and psychologically back then, the fans absolutely loved him. He was so over it was amazing and despite the connotations of his initials, the black fans were cheering him like he was JYD. DiBiase was the #2 babyface or even the #1B babyface with JYD as #1 or #1A, but Kox was far more over. He was doing a crazy ex-marine gimmick and my understanding is he left not long after this due to some sort of disagreement with Watts, but the Cowboy loved the gimmick so much he gave it to Dick Murdoch. Murdoch was in and out in between New Japan tours.

- Dusty Rhodes and Andre The Giant have both made guest appearances. They made sure to get Dusty on the mic. The Superdome shows are also treated with great reverence. Having just had Louisiana and Mississippi, this was around when McGuirk folded up and they took Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Ozark Missouri as well. It is made clearly always that Grizzly Smith is the official matchmaker. No one can just set up a match on his own and no champ can decide about who does and doesn't get title shots, not to mention when. It always comes back to Smith who while not seen, is said to make rulings from offscreen.

- Boyd Pierce is nominally the host and play by play man, but Bill Watts announces with him on most shows and is clearly in charge when he does. He gets over the wrestlers, matches, and angles brilliantly. Watts also uses the mic as a bully pulpit of sorts, pushing his political/social views, and for a few weeks noted the resemblance of a heel jobber to a Jackson, MS businessman who apparently screwed him on a deal. The guy was Kat Saboulis and Watts called him a "welsher" on TV several times, even saying that the guy had a lovely wife and great kids who had to be embarrassed by his conduct.

It has gotten a lot better since I began watching and is getting better still.

Last edited on Mon Apr 13th, 2020 07:06 pm by tamalie

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 Posted: Mon Apr 13th, 2020 07:27 pm
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Heenan Fan
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tamalie wrote: I have gone to WWE Network and started watching all of the Mid-South episodes in order. They begin in late 1981 and I am into mid to late March of 1982. Jim Ross debuted as an announcer on the episode before the most recent one I watched and his talent was very obvious from the start.

Here are a few observations:

- When I started watching, the promotion seemed on the quiet side. There weren't a lot of angles and the TV show surprised me with its lack of interviews. There house show promos that got inserted between the matches that aren't present, but I expected more in the body of the show. However, the mic work has picked up considerably from December of 1981 to almost April of 1982. It makes a difference.

- There is at least one angle per show, sometimes two. Angles from previous shows get rerun, at least in truncated form, so fans never know why one wrestler wants to get the other. There is some heel vs. heel friction at times. JYD teams with Mike George and mention is made of how George was once a bad guy and when he and JYD teamed up, people wondered if JYD could really trust him, but George has proven to be a standup guy.

- For as big of a deal as Junkyard Dog was to this promotion and would be for the next two years plus beyond this time period, he was surprisingly not pushed nearly as much as you'd think. The house show promos are missing, so that takes out the primary way most wrestlers got mic time, but I don't think he's been interviewed once. One thing is for sure though, JYD was in amazing shape back then. He hadn't gotten fat yet and even had abs. He looked like a real star.

- Ted DiBiase is doing his quiet and unassuming babyface gimmick. His heel turn is about two and a half months out, but so far nothing has been teased other than him losing the North American Title to Bob Roop. Getting it back was his primary motivation for turning on JYD once the Dog won the title. I am interested in seeing the turn and how he changes. Ted made a good, white hat babyface but was on the bland side, even by 1982 standards.

- Bob Roop won the North American Title by sabotaging the car of fellow heel Paul Orndorff so Mr. Wonderful would be late to the TV taping and miss his match with DiBiase. Roop was a riot as a smarmy heel, explaining that he didn't know where Paul was but he was ready as the #2 contender to step in. Roop stole the match and beat Ted for the belt. Orndorff then showed up in street clothes, saying his car wouldn't start. He found out about Roop and then effectively turned babyface on him.

- Afa and Sika are the tag team champs. They were managed by Ernie Ladd at first but turned on him to go with Skandor Akbar. Akbar had been managing The Iron Sheik who abruptly left the area. Akbar also has One Man Gang with long hair and no gang gimmick. Ladd became a babyface and the fans were pretty fired up that the long time heel was now a good guy. Ladd was still big but was looking old and his knees were bad. Him needing knee surgery, which the promotion showed a clip of like he was a legit athlete on the evening sports report, was a reason for him being written out as manager of the Samoans.

- Bob Orton Jr. was all over TV when I started watching, but has been gone for the past few episodes and in fact is out of the promotion. Legend has it that he got KO'd in a bar fight and fired by Watts, but he'd been in the promotion for about 8 months by the time he left and had already started going to the WWF for TV tapings ahead of debuting at the house shows as was customary for new talent there. This legend looks like an urban legend.

- Paul Ellering came in as 1981 closed doing a low rent Superstar Billy Graham gimmick but minus the talent and charisma Graham had in the tie dyed outfits with the blonde hair. Ellering was a babyface but I wanted to see some heel kick his ass. He was that obnoxious. Watts must have figured out that this was not someone to push and pulled the plug. After two or three weeks of being all over TV, he disappeared without further mention.

- Killer Karl Kox was one of the biggest babyfaces ever in this region during the 1970s. He came back in early 1982 and despite being bald, looking old, and being 50 which was a much older age physically and psychologically back then, the fans absolutely loved him. He was so over it was amazing and despite the connotations of his initials, the black fans were cheering him like he was JYD. DiBiase was the #2 babyface or even the #1B babyface with JYD as #1 or #1A, but Kox was far more over. He was doing a crazy ex-marine gimmick and my understanding is he left not long after this due to some sort of disagreement with Watts, but the Cowboy loved the gimmick so much he gave it to Dick Murdoch. Murdoch was in and out in between New Japan tours.

- Dusty Rhodes and Andre The Giant have both made guest appearances. They made sure to get Dusty on the mic. The Superdome shows are also treated with great reverence. Having just had Louisiana and Mississippi, this was around when McGuirk folded up and they took Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Ozark Missouri as well. It is made clearly always that Grizzly Smith is the official matchmaker. No one can just set up a match on his own and no champ can decide about who does and doesn't get title shots, not to mention when. It always comes back to Smith who while not seen, is said to make rulings from offscreen.

- Boyd Pierce is nominally the host and play by play man, but Bill Watts announces with him on most shows and is clearly in charge when he does. He gets over the wrestlers, matches, and angles brilliantly. Watts also uses the mic as a bully pulpit of sorts, pushing his political/social views, and for a few weeks noted the resemblance of a heel jobber to a Jackson, MS businessman who apparently screwed him on a deal. The guy was Kat Saboulis and Watts called him a "welsher" on TV several times, even saying that the guy had a lovely wife and great kids who had to be embarrassed by his conduct.

It has gotten a lot better since I began watching and is getting better still.
As usual,  great post Tamalie. I really enjoyed reading it. My personal favorite era of Mid-South is early 1984 to late 1986.



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"I'm too smart to be a Democrat and too poor to be a Republican." Me, 2000
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 Posted: Tue Apr 14th, 2020 08:08 am
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The Ultimate Sin
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tamalie wrote: I have gone to WWE Network and started watching all of the Mid-South episodes in order. They begin in late 1981 and I am into mid to late March of 1982. Jim Ross debuted as an announcer on the episode before the most recent one I watched and his talent was very obvious from the start.

Here are a few observations:

- When I started watching, the promotion seemed on the quiet side. There weren't a lot of angles and the TV show surprised me with its lack of interviews. There house show promos that got inserted between the matches that aren't present, but I expected more in the body of the show. However, the mic work has picked up considerably from December of 1981 to almost April of 1982. It makes a difference.

- There is at least one angle per show, sometimes two. Angles from previous shows get rerun, at least in truncated form, so fans never know why one wrestler wants to get the other. There is some heel vs. heel friction at times. JYD teams with Mike George and mention is made of how George was once a bad guy and when he and JYD teamed up, people wondered if JYD could really trust him, but George has proven to be a standup guy.

- For as big of a deal as Junkyard Dog was to this promotion and would be for the next two years plus beyond this time period, he was surprisingly not pushed nearly as much as you'd think. The house show promos are missing, so that takes out the primary way most wrestlers got mic time, but I don't think he's been interviewed once. One thing is for sure though, JYD was in amazing shape back then. He hadn't gotten fat yet and even had abs. He looked like a real star.

- Ted DiBiase is doing his quiet and unassuming babyface gimmick. His heel turn is about two and a half months out, but so far nothing has been teased other than him losing the North American Title to Bob Roop. Getting it back was his primary motivation for turning on JYD once the Dog won the title. I am interested in seeing the turn and how he changes. Ted made a good, white hat babyface but was on the bland side, even by 1982 standards.

- Bob Roop won the North American Title by sabotaging the car of fellow heel Paul Orndorff so Mr. Wonderful would be late to the TV taping and miss his match with DiBiase. Roop was a riot as a smarmy heel, explaining that he didn't know where Paul was but he was ready as the #2 contender to step in. Roop stole the match and beat Ted for the belt. Orndorff then showed up in street clothes, saying his car wouldn't start. He found out about Roop and then effectively turned babyface on him.

- Afa and Sika are the tag team champs. They were managed by Ernie Ladd at first but turned on him to go with Skandor Akbar. Akbar had been managing The Iron Sheik who abruptly left the area. Akbar also has One Man Gang with long hair and no gang gimmick. Ladd became a babyface and the fans were pretty fired up that the long time heel was now a good guy. Ladd was still big but was looking old and his knees were bad. Him needing knee surgery, which the promotion showed a clip of like he was a legit athlete on the evening sports report, was a reason for him being written out as manager of the Samoans.

- Bob Orton Jr. was all over TV when I started watching, but has been gone for the past few episodes and in fact is out of the promotion. Legend has it that he got KO'd in a bar fight and fired by Watts, but he'd been in the promotion for about 8 months by the time he left and had already started going to the WWF for TV tapings ahead of debuting at the house shows as was customary for new talent there. This legend looks like an urban legend.

- Paul Ellering came in as 1981 closed doing a low rent Superstar Billy Graham gimmick but minus the talent and charisma Graham had in the tie dyed outfits with the blonde hair. Ellering was a babyface but I wanted to see some heel kick his ass. He was that obnoxious. Watts must have figured out that this was not someone to push and pulled the plug. After two or three weeks of being all over TV, he disappeared without further mention.

- Killer Karl Kox was one of the biggest babyfaces ever in this region during the 1970s. He came back in early 1982 and despite being bald, looking old, and being 50 which was a much older age physically and psychologically back then, the fans absolutely loved him. He was so over it was amazing and despite the connotations of his initials, the black fans were cheering him like he was JYD. DiBiase was the #2 babyface or even the #1B babyface with JYD as #1 or #1A, but Kox was far more over. He was doing a crazy ex-marine gimmick and my understanding is he left not long after this due to some sort of disagreement with Watts, but the Cowboy loved the gimmick so much he gave it to Dick Murdoch. Murdoch was in and out in between New Japan tours.

- Dusty Rhodes and Andre The Giant have both made guest appearances. They made sure to get Dusty on the mic. The Superdome shows are also treated with great reverence. Having just had Louisiana and Mississippi, this was around when McGuirk folded up and they took Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Ozark Missouri as well. It is made clearly always that Grizzly Smith is the official matchmaker. No one can just set up a match on his own and no champ can decide about who does and doesn't get title shots, not to mention when. It always comes back to Smith who while not seen, is said to make rulings from offscreen.

- Boyd Pierce is nominally the host and play by play man, but Bill Watts announces with him on most shows and is clearly in charge when he does. He gets over the wrestlers, matches, and angles brilliantly. Watts also uses the mic as a bully pulpit of sorts, pushing his political/social views, and for a few weeks noted the resemblance of a heel jobber to a Jackson, MS businessman who apparently screwed him on a deal. The guy was Kat Saboulis and Watts called him a "welsher" on TV several times, even saying that the guy had a lovely wife and great kids who had to be embarrassed by his conduct.

It has gotten a lot better since I began watching and is getting better still.

I've been watching this too.  I'm a little bit a head of you it seems- April of 83.



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 Posted: Tue Apr 14th, 2020 04:25 pm
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tamalie
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Heenan Fan, thank you for the kind words.

A few other Mid-South thoughts.

- TV was taped in Shreveport at the Irish McNeill Boys Club in what appeared to be a gymnasium. The bleachers weren't very deep, so it had something of a TV studio feel to it. The crowd was pretty hot. You can tell visually. However, it wasn't always well mic'd. My recollection is this improves later.

- The WWE has to dub out any copyrighted music. Sometimes it fits. JYD's music is generic, but it has the proper feel to it. However, the theme for Killer Karl Kox was comically bad. It sounded like something JYD would use when he's wearing a fatigued jacket and hat doing an ex marine gimmick as a potbellied, bald 50 year old. That was bad.

- There are a number of talented young wrestlers on the undercard who either lose to stars on TV while getting offense and looking good or get squash wins occasionally. Most of them had at least a midcard push somewhere later and a few had some reasonable success. Brian Blair, Jesse Barr, Buddy Landell, Terry Daniels, Tommy Wright, Ricky Harris (later Black Bart), Cocoa Samoa, and Terry Gibbs have all worked matches in this role.

- Tully Blanchard was already getting a big push in Southwest for the obvious reasons of his father owning the promotion and also being very talented. He was on Mid-South TV in a role similar to the young guns noted above rather than in any sort of pushed or protected role. I am not sure why he did this unless he felt that a part time undercard role in Mid-South was worth taking in order to supplement the often lousy Southwest payoffs and build a rep outside the promotion in the event it ever collapsed.

- The ring announcer and interviewer Reiser Bowden worked as an announcer and personality for KTBS-3, the ABC affiliate in Shreveport. Wrestling was taped at the station's studios before moving to the Boys Club, but their production equipment and facilities were still used. Bowden bears a striking resemblance to my late grandfather due to his height, slender build, mustache, glasses, hair, and even his accent a little (my grandpa was born in Oklahoma and later spent a large part of his early life in Missouri, never losing his accent even after he was long gone from that region). So I look forward to seeing him.

- Bill Watts at one point deviated from a match to send a special thanks to Air Traffic Controllers in Dallas-Fort Worth, where this show didn't even air, because whenever his private plane's transponder came on their radar, they apparently always moved him to the front of the line for landing clearance.

- Apart from getting stuff over, Watts was great at making saves on commentary when a spot occasionally got blown. He always had a reason that made sense like the perspiration caused a wrestler to lose his grip or made it easier for the person in the hold or move to escape. I believe he also attributed another missed move to a wrestler being simply too eager and getting ahead of himself, likening it to a wide receiver failing to catch a pass because he was too busy thinking about running down field after making the reception.

- There was a funny spot at the opening of Jim Ross' second episode at the announcing desk when Boyd Pierce froze and seemed to forget Jim's name. When he went to introduce his colleague, there was an awkward pause that likely didn't last as long as it seemed. Then Boyd called him "Big Jim" before finally getting on track and calling him Jim Ross. They got Ross over as an authority on pro wrestling by noting that he'd been a referee for a few years, something JR did in the Oklahoma/Arkansas/Ozark Missouri promotion that Leroy McGuirk kept after Watts took Louisiana and added Mississippi which had previously broken from McGuirk. Jim announced for McGuirk too and was starting to announce for Bill Watts because Mid-South had taken over McGuirk's territory.

- Bob Roop was a really good heel. There was nothing likeable about him at all. He was a cheater and had sort of an Eddie Haskell thing going on the mic. His gear was atrocious. I suppose it was one more reason to boo the guy, but it also made it harder to take him seriously. He wore a singlet to tie into the fact that he competed at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics in Greco-Roman Wrestling, but it didn't fit right and the cut of it made him look really dumpy instead of a top athlete.

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 Posted: Tue Apr 14th, 2020 04:41 pm
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Spatulapup

 

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tamalie wrote: I have gone to WWE Network and started watching all of the Mid-South episodes in order. They begin in late 1981 and I am into mid to late March of 1982. Jim Ross debuted as an announcer on the episode before the most recent one I watched and his talent was very obvious from the start.

Here are a few observations:

- When I started watching, the promotion seemed on the quiet side. There weren't a lot of angles and the TV show surprised me with its lack of interviews. There house show promos that got inserted between the matches that aren't present, but I expected more in the body of the show. However, the mic work has picked up considerably from December of 1981 to almost April of 1982. It makes a difference.

- There is at least one angle per show, sometimes two. Angles from previous shows get rerun, at least in truncated form, so fans never know why one wrestler wants to get the other. There is some heel vs. heel friction at times. JYD teams with Mike George and mention is made of how George was once a bad guy and when he and JYD teamed up, people wondered if JYD could really trust him, but George has proven to be a standup guy.

- For as big of a deal as Junkyard Dog was to this promotion and would be for the next two years plus beyond this time period, he was surprisingly not pushed nearly as much as you'd think. The house show promos are missing, so that takes out the primary way most wrestlers got mic time, but I don't think he's been interviewed once. One thing is for sure though, JYD was in amazing shape back then. He hadn't gotten fat yet and even had abs. He looked like a real star.

- Ted DiBiase is doing his quiet and unassuming babyface gimmick. His heel turn is about two and a half months out, but so far nothing has been teased other than him losing the North American Title to Bob Roop. Getting it back was his primary motivation for turning on JYD once the Dog won the title. I am interested in seeing the turn and how he changes. Ted made a good, white hat babyface but was on the bland side, even by 1982 standards.

- Bob Roop won the North American Title by sabotaging the car of fellow heel Paul Orndorff so Mr. Wonderful would be late to the TV taping and miss his match with DiBiase. Roop was a riot as a smarmy heel, explaining that he didn't know where Paul was but he was ready as the #2 contender to step in. Roop stole the match and beat Ted for the belt. Orndorff then showed up in street clothes, saying his car wouldn't start. He found out about Roop and then effectively turned babyface on him.

- Afa and Sika are the tag team champs. They were managed by Ernie Ladd at first but turned on him to go with Skandor Akbar. Akbar had been managing The Iron Sheik who abruptly left the area. Akbar also has One Man Gang with long hair and no gang gimmick. Ladd became a babyface and the fans were pretty fired up that the long time heel was now a good guy. Ladd was still big but was looking old and his knees were bad. Him needing knee surgery, which the promotion showed a clip of like he was a legit athlete on the evening sports report, was a reason for him being written out as manager of the Samoans.

- Bob Orton Jr. was all over TV when I started watching, but has been gone for the past few episodes and in fact is out of the promotion. Legend has it that he got KO'd in a bar fight and fired by Watts, but he'd been in the promotion for about 8 months by the time he left and had already started going to the WWF for TV tapings ahead of debuting at the house shows as was customary for new talent there. This legend looks like an urban legend.

- Paul Ellering came in as 1981 closed doing a low rent Superstar Billy Graham gimmick but minus the talent and charisma Graham had in the tie dyed outfits with the blonde hair. Ellering was a babyface but I wanted to see some heel kick his ass. He was that obnoxious. Watts must have figured out that this was not someone to push and pulled the plug. After two or three weeks of being all over TV, he disappeared without further mention.

- Killer Karl Kox was one of the biggest babyfaces ever in this region during the 1970s. He came back in early 1982 and despite being bald, looking old, and being 50 which was a much older age physically and psychologically back then, the fans absolutely loved him. He was so over it was amazing and despite the connotations of his initials, the black fans were cheering him like he was JYD. DiBiase was the #2 babyface or even the #1B babyface with JYD as #1 or #1A, but Kox was far more over. He was doing a crazy ex-marine gimmick and my understanding is he left not long after this due to some sort of disagreement with Watts, but the Cowboy loved the gimmick so much he gave it to Dick Murdoch. Murdoch was in and out in between New Japan tours.

- Dusty Rhodes and Andre The Giant have both made guest appearances. They made sure to get Dusty on the mic. The Superdome shows are also treated with great reverence. Having just had Louisiana and Mississippi, this was around when McGuirk folded up and they took Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Ozark Missouri as well. It is made clearly always that Grizzly Smith is the official matchmaker. No one can just set up a match on his own and no champ can decide about who does and doesn't get title shots, not to mention when. It always comes back to Smith who while not seen, is said to make rulings from offscreen.

- Boyd Pierce is nominally the host and play by play man, but Bill Watts announces with him on most shows and is clearly in charge when he does. He gets over the wrestlers, matches, and angles brilliantly. Watts also uses the mic as a bully pulpit of sorts, pushing his political/social views, and for a few weeks noted the resemblance of a heel jobber to a Jackson, MS businessman who apparently screwed him on a deal. The guy was Kat Saboulis and Watts called him a "welsher" on TV several times, even saying that the guy had a lovely wife and great kids who had to be embarrassed by his conduct.

It has gotten a lot better since I began watching and is getting better still.

Paul Ellering was awful. In Mid South and in Georgia before The Road Warriors came along. Hawk and Animal saved his career.

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 Posted: Tue Apr 14th, 2020 04:54 pm
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cookie32723



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I’ve always wanted to but have never watched mid south tv outside of a match here and there. Reading these has me intrigued and I might just give it a go. I’m guessing the superdome shows are nowhere to be found as tv builds to them??



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