NWA World Wide Wrestling 21.01.1984
Back to NWA World Wide Wrestling, and as per usual, they don’t do the best of jobs of making it obvious who is actually wrestling who – luckily, The History of WWE has the cards for all WCW/JCP TV shows, so that helped me out a great deal. Without that information, I wouldn’t realise that Baron Von Raschke was squashing Gary Royal in the first match of the evening. The Baron is the first wrestler we see crossover between shows, as he appeared at the start of the month in AWA. A short match, little over a minute, which Raschke wins with the claw. The big news here is that Raschke is here to support Jimmy Valiant in his never-ending quest to defeat Paul Jones, accepting a payoff of $1 to come in.
In terms of angles, the next one is one of my favourite ones so far. We see a (heavily clipped) match between NWA Champion Ric Flair and Dick Slater. With Bob Orton Jr at ringside, Flair is up against it, and following a ref bump, Slater actually picks up the victory following an elbowdrop with Orton Jr. holding down Flair’s leg. Unfortunately, we don’t have a new NWA World Champion as another referee hits the ring to reverse the decision and all hell breaks loose. Finally, Jay Youngblood and Wahoo McDaniel come out to stop the carnage in the ring.
What makes this angle so good is the follow-up throughout the show – we see interviews (and have Gary Hart on commentary later on) where Hart and his various minions refer to Slater as the NWA Champion, only for the other announcers/commentators to constantly challenge it. Slater and Hart in particular are great here.
We then get to see the NWA Tag Team Champions as Don Kernodle and Bob Orton Jr. face Brickhouse Brown and Brett Hart (not that one). A fairly comprehensive squash match, Kernodle finishes the match with a top-rope clothesline for the three count. This is the match which has Gary Hart on commentary as he continues to champion Dick Slater as the uncrowned NWA World Champion.
Another one of Gary Hart’s minions is in the next match, as Ernie Ladd goes up against Sam Houston. I’ve never seen Ladd wrestle before and he is just a huge unit, a real presence in the ring. Not surprisingly, this is another squash match, with a big boot followed up by a two-footed leg drop giving Ladd the easy victory.
I feel sorry for Paul Jones. Watching this footage from 1984, he looks so poor in comparison to Jim Cornette and Gary Hart, and this angle with Valiant and Jones is just boring. It is extended through the next match, as Rufus Jones and Dory Funk Jr. (a strange tag team is ever there was one) face off against The Assassins. I don’t like Jones or Funk much (at least in this position), and the Assassins bring nothing to the table really. A competitive short match, it breaks down when Hart attacks Jones outside the ring, bringing Valiant out for the DQ finish. All I know is that this feud is far from over, and it upsets me.
The ‘main event’ of the evening sees the father and son team of Angelo Mosca and Angelo Mosca Jr facing off against Bill White and Tony Russo. Mosca Sr. has a lot of presence, unsurprisingly, and actually makes a match with Mosca Jr. watchable. This is just a showcase for the Mosca team, with Jr. finishing the match with a crossbody block.
Throughout the night, various interviews take place – these include Charley Brown (Jimmy Valiant in a mask) forfeiting the TV title, which will subsequently be put up in a tournament, Ric Flair addressing Dick Slater and hype for Ricky Steamboat’s final ever match.
Considering I expected to enjoy the JCP aspect of this review, I actually find the shows pretty abject. There are some good angles, some good wrestlers on show, but a lot of the showcased wrestlers I just don’t care about. The editing is also really odd, and the whole show suffers as a result.