NWA Georgia Championship Wrestling 18.02.1984
What I believe is a shortened version of the show at only half an hour, though the way some of these episodes are cut, I could be wrong. I sought out the TV listings, but could only find the listings for the whole show that ran that evening, rather than just the stuff that made it to air. Oh well, it is what it is.
Due to the shortened timing of the show, there are only two matches. However, one of them is due to have big ramifications going forward in Georgia Championship Wrestling.
Outside of the normal spot promos developing feuds and building interest in touring shows (Ted Dibiase/Tommy Rich and King Kong Bundy and Stan Hansen/The Road Warriors being the two big ongoing feuds), we see Ole Anderson and Gordon Solie debating whether it would be necessary to ban Jake Roberts’ DDT as a finisher.
As the conversation continues, Ole introduces Stan Hansen’s lariat as another particularly dangerous finisher, before also showing the fans at home Animal’s clothesline for comparison.
Whilst these types of segment are uncommon in modern wrestling, I do like the way they build up a finishing move, driving home exactly how potentially dangerous it is. The WWE arguably did try and do that with the Punt by Randy Orton and the way that was protected, but generally, finishing moves don’t always carry the same weight anymore. We also see them being implemented in jobber squashes – the perfect opportunity to show the crowd in attendance your big moves. I don’t envy the men standing over the other side of the ring to Hansen or the Road Warriors.
In the big match on tonight’s show, we see the what should be the culmination of an ongoing feud as Ted Dibiase puts his NWA National Heavyweight title up for grabs against Mr R. Dibiase is staunch in his belief that Mr R. is Tommy Rich under a mask, and like a lot of masked man angles, it has been fairly obvious to the fans in attendance that it is Tommy Rich. Finally, Dibiase has a chance to unmask Mr R. once and for all and prove himself right to the world watching at home.
Thus, when he is in control of the match, Dibiase spends all too long jawing with the crowd and attempting to take the mask off of Mr R. This allows R to use his speed to occasionally take the fight to Dibiase, only for the champ to use his wiles to avoid moves, a knee to the face blocking a charge into the corner and holding onto the ropes for R to land hard on an attempted dropkick. Dibiase even gets out the loaded glove, only for R. to block the punch to the face, yet eat a blow to the stomach. A slam allows Dibiase to then attempt to rip the mask off once and for all, only for the man underneath the mask to be revealed as Brad Armstrong! Tommy Rich is out with Gordon Solie, waving to Dibiase, and in the confusion Dibiase gets rolled up for the three count! We have a new NWA National Heavyweight Champion. I’d argue that the hair made it fairly obvious it wasn’t Tommy Rich from the start, but the fans popped huge for the big reveal and title switch.
The other match on the card has the team of Jake Roberts and the Spoiler go against Johnny Rich and Larry Santana. It is one of those odd, extended squashes that I’ve noticed are quite popular on NWA TV shows. Rather than go in there and blast teams out of the ring like the Road Warriors would, Roberts and Spoiler play around with their foes, methodically beating them up over the course of eight minutes. That did give us the opportunity to see another Jake DDT, followed by The Spoiler using the claw hold to get the victory.
Roberts and The Spoiler continued the beat down until Ronny Garvin hit the ring and ran them off.
If you were lucky enough to be in attendance at this show, you’d get a few more matches for your hard earned dollars.
18/02/84 Atlanta, GA @ WTBS Studios(TV)
Mr. R(Brad Armstrong, this one time only) beat Ted DiBiase to win NWA(Georgia) National Title
Jake Roberts & The Spoiler beat Johnny Rich & Larry Santana
Stan Hansen & Pez Whatley beat Roger Bond & Terry Ellis
NWA World Champion Ric Flair beat Jesse Barr
The Road Warriors beat Mike Starbuck & Dale Veasey
Johnny Rich beat Bruno Sammartino, Jr.
An appearance from NWA World Champion Ric Flair at the studio is interesting, especially in a match that, as far as I know (unless it ends up on an episode down the line) wasn’t taped for TV. Nothing else really stands out, outside of the rather odd pairing of Stan Hansen and Pez Whatley. These two men had been feuding around the horn with the Road Warriors, though they did stand out as a bit of a strange mix of wrestlers to have in a tag team.
A short show, but a historic one at least. Be interesting to see the next step in the Tommy Rich vs Ted Dibiase feud going forward at least.