NWA World Wide Wrestling 11.02.1984
When I first began this attempt to review the NWA TV over the course of 1984, it was this show I was most looking forward to. However, as I’ve moved through the first months of the year, it has rapidly sank to the bottom of my interest list. Outside of the odd wrestler here and there, it seems to showcase a bunch of wrestlers I couldn’t care less about. No wonder that my output for this column slows down when this is the next show I have to review…
There is an interesting start to this show, as we see Mark Youngblood and Wahoo McDaniel fighting my favourite jobber, Tony Russo, and his partner, Bill White. At this time, it seemed that Wahoo McDaniel was moving between the territories with a different Youngblood as partner depending on where he was situated. Mark seems the more high profile of the two, and this match is a showcase for their chop-based offense. Both the Youngbloods look exciting for the time period, though haven’t really been extended in front of the TV cameras. Beautiful bump by Russo for the finish in the GIF below.
Dick Slater is the REAL World Champion! At least, that is what he will still have you believe. We head to the ring to see a young Tim Horner attempting to take on Slater. A short match, made watchable due to the amount of control Slater is willing to give Horner, making this a somewhat competitive match. The commentary adds to this, as Horner is really being sold as an exciting wrestler for the future. Indeed, it takes a Slater reversal and nefarious pin to grab the victory to the shock of the commentators. They seem to be treating Horner the same way Mid-South seemed to be treating wrestlers like Rude and Poffo, named guys who were a step above the standard jobber.
In what could be considered a fairly big match for the TV era, Jimmy Valiant finally gets an opportunity to get his hands on Paul Jones’ Army in a match as he teams with Dory Funk Jr. to battle against The Assassins. Standard heel vs face dynamic, with the face team taking over at the start before a prolonged beatdown by the Assassins. Whether I like him or not, I can’t fault the fact that Valiant is over with the crowd, and a hot tag to him gets the crowd on their feet. Unfortunately, the ending is just not logical and ruins a perfectly acceptable match. The Assassins initially win, an axehandle off the top rope by Fat Assassin allows them to get the pinfall on Valiant.
However, Mark Youngblood hits the ring to explain this to the ref – WHO RESTARTS THE MATCH! Didn’t see anything, no word from any other official, just puts his trust in the friend of one of the losing team. Outrageous. Almost instantaneously, the Assassins are looked in submission holds, forcing Jones to enter the ring and clobber Funk Jr. with his shoe.
I’ve already made my feelings known about Rufus R. Jones, but he is mildly entertaining in his squash victory over Jeff Sword – mainly due to his Freight Train finishing sequence. Guy got some moves.
With TV Title Tournaments the thing de jour at the moment, we head to another match in this particular version as Greg Valentine clashes with Ernie Ladd. In terms of match ‘draw’, this show has been one of the biggest I’ve watched, as this match follows closely on from the Valiant/Funk Jr. vs Assassins in terms of notable occurrences. Valentine and Ladd don’t mess around, and spend their allotted time beating each other up with nary a technical move thrown in. Valentine is even able to jump out of Ladd’s double leg drop, a move that put some other jobbers away in recent weeks. Unfortunately, as would naturally be the way during this era, the decision to have two top guys go at it in the ring meant that you were never going to get a clean finish – and that is the way with this one. Valentine makes his way through in the tournament when an overwhelmed Ladd goes to his trunks to blast Valentine with a foreign object, leaving the referee no choice but to call for the bell. Entertaining for what it was, but Ladd does just look quite awkward in the ring – Taue-esque, without the wrestling ability to overshadow that.
Finally, we get to see the Moscas in action as they take on Hans Schroeder and Gary Royal. The Moscas win the match in short order, but it is interesting to look at the difference between Sr. and Jr. during these tag team matches. Mosca Sr. doesn’t do much, but what he does looks good, with the additional benefit of a charismatic presence in the ring. Jr. just lacks in every department, though I do give him some props for the nice looking crossbody block which wins this match for the father and son team.
A fine show by all accounts, just the usual issue with the wrestlers that are being highlighted. In contrast, all WCCW do is highlight their biggest guys, and they are all worth watching – and we will see them next time on the 1984 Year in Review.