It’s 6:05 Central Correct time zone on Saturday night, so you know what that means, it time for the third installment of “Return To 6:05”. Time to stroll down memory lane, fire up that old CRT television and watch some good ol’ NWA Championship Wrestling, this show dated November 16th, 1985.
We kick off with a match joined in progress, Nikita Koloff taking the head off of a red-headed jobber (the unnamed Jimmy Backland) with one of his massive Russian Sickle lariats. The guy flips and sells the force of the lariat like he was a mere mortal being hit by the Incredible Hulk.
Schiavone & Crockett don’t even name him in the quick recap/intro to the show, but they do interview the Russians next. Nikita says something undecipherable but I did manage to catch “Road Warriors”, “across country” & “Nikita stronger”, so there’s that at least. Ivan cuts a promo on the Rock N Roll Express, saying they won’t escape the cage at Starrcade & they will walk out still tag team champions.
Boogie Woogie then boogie woogied his way through the audience, much to the delight of the kids and women in the crowd, dancing his way into throwing a shot to the gut of Tony Zinc. Commentary continues to discuss Miss Atlanta Lively, & within seconds, Jimmy Valiant drops an elbow for a cover.
Cornette & his pink jacket and tennis racket comes out to talk to Schiavone and he says that a ring is no place for a woman, saying that the Midnight Express is going to rip the clothes off Miss Atlanta Lively and maybe even Baby Doll, then when they both run off, his boys are going to destroy Valiant two on one.
Billy Jack Haynes takes on Gerald Finley next. As usual, he is all brawn and not a whole lot of finesse. Haynes spent much of the match with a bear hug on Finley, and Crockett screamed about Haynes’ arm being so, so strong. He got Finley up in a standing suplex, then a back drop for a two, despite the ring bell being sounded. It was clearly a mistake, as the ref never called three and both men continued on like it never happened. Billy Jack got Finley in a side suplex ragdoll style and finished Finley off with a full nelson. More importantly, he hit a sweet posedown move after the bell to pop Crockett once again.
Khrusher Khrushev vs Larry Clark was next, with Clark fully knowing his role in the match, taking as much abuse as Khrusher was willing to dish out. He punched, kicked, choked and even twisted Clark. Things made it to the floor, where Khrusher landed a backbreaker on Clark and dropped him to the ground. He continued to smash Clark (pun intended) until finally murdering him with his lariat, the Russian Sickle.
Cowboy Ron Bass is interviewed next by Schiavone, shooting on Black Bart and JJ Dillon. He talks about how in their upcoming bull rope match at Starrcade, he is going to tie one end of his rope to his opponent and the other to himself, and he’s going to inflict pain on Bart with that rope and cut him with the broken and obviously used bell at the end of it. Some real man shit.
Back to the interview area, Boogie Woogie Man came back into the segment with a leather Harley Davidson riding cap ala old school “helmets” pre-fiberglass, screaming some nonsense about how he’s been on double honeymoon, flying around Jupiter and seemingly the rest of the solar system with Big Mama and Miss Atlanta Lively. I’ll take some of what he’s having please. He’s clearly fired up on the thought of the carnage going down at the Atlanta street fight coming at Starrcade… or cocaine. He finishes the interview by promising (or threatening depending on your perspective) that he’s going to kiss Tony Schiavone later, daddy.
Side bar: Boogie Woogie Man had a Boogie Woogie Fan in the arena, with a shirt that said “Boogie’s The Best ______ ______” (blacked out last two words). We know he’s not “The Best Wrestler” or “The Best Promo”, so it is Mad Libs time at home, kids. You tell me what he was the best at, and maybe I’ll include that in the next “Return To 6:05”.
Outlaw Ron Bass vs Paul Gardner was next up. Bass was showing damage from previous exchanges, with a taped up forehead covering up cuts. As expected, Gardner didn’t put up much of a defense against Bass. This was Headlock City, population two. Bass worked him over until Gardner decided to show some gumption and saw the target on the Outlaw’s head, throwing a barrage of punches. This didn’t bode well for Gardner, as it just served to wake up Bass, who was quick to turn the tide with a quick whip to the ropes and locked on the dreaded Claw until Gardner stopped flopping around the ring and the ref calling the match.
The Nature Boy graced us with his presence next, complete with one of his famous sequined robes and his cockiness intact, commanding not only Schiavone but also Crockett, as he is not a normal jabrone and deserves to have not one but two interviewers. Respect the Nature Boy, baby. Ric tells Dusty that if he is man enough, jump on him and prove it at Starrcade. Whoooooo!
The “Ballbearian” aka The Barbarian was up next against a sweet mullet havin’ son of a gun in the form of “Jobber To The Stars” George South. South wanted to get a jump on things, so he tried to land a dropkick, but was no-sold for his troubles by Barbarian, who just swatted him off like so much as a fly. Barbarian then hit him with a lariat and swung him to the ropes, which resulted in a backbreaker. Another shot to the ropes and an attempt at a crossbody also was met with resistance, slamming South down hard. Barbarian landed his very own dropkick on South, which may go down as the lowest I have ever seen someone go to still be considered a dropkick. To add more salt to the wound, Paul Jones got involved as well, popping South with his cane. The welts on South’s body from such a short match were astounding. Barbarian dove off the ropes a lackluster flying headbutt to end the match.
The Championship Challenger Series was on the docket next, a six man tag team match featuring Ric Flair, Ole Anderson and Arn Anderson vs Terry Taylor, “Pistol” Pez Whatley and “Rugged” Ron Garvin. This is the first time in the episodes uploaded to the WWE Network that we got to see Flair in the flesh, so the hype is high. Arn is still holding on to the belt that was never taken from Dusty in the ring, but as we previously talked about, possession is 9/10 of the law.
Arn and Pez started off, with Arn showing his amateur grappling skills on Pez before he got dumped out of the ring. Arn was pissed coming back in and let his temper get the best of him. Arn charged Pez but got one-upped multiple times before Arn tagged in Flair & pez tagged in Garvin. Flair and Garvin had a ton of fire in their exchanges, and we saw that the babyfaces had good tag continuity, tagging in frequently. The Horsemen showed why they were on the top of the game by controlling things in their corner for the triple threat cheating. The match turned into a 3 on 3 pretty quickly. Ric and Ronnie three down a bit more, with Ronnie proving he had the harder of the two heads. Lucky for Ric, Arn and Ole had his back and weren’t afraid to use dastardly tactics to ensure that Garvin had a hard time getting any help from his side. Garvin finally found his opening for a second, hitting Ric with a couple of headbutts that ended up not fazing him. Undaunted, Garvin took to Flair’s style, chopping Ric across the chest in a manner that sounded like gunshots. He chopped and chopped until Ric couldn’t handle any more and planted face first. Flair attempted to regain the advantage by climbing up on the ropes, but Garvin stepped aside and did a roll to get a tag to his corner. Terry Taylor came in with a head of steam, and Arn stepped in for his team to protect Flair. Taylor was a young up and comer at the time, and he was allowed to look great against the Horsemen, even when they triple-teamed him. Taylor ended up getting Flair in a figure four of his own, but interference from Arn stopped him from getting a submission. All six men stormed the ring for a break down, and in all of the hubbaloo Ric tripped Pez Whatley then held his legs as Arn stole a pin.
Tully and Baby Doll were interviewed next, and he made sure to mention that whether or not there was foul play, the record books will reflect that the Horsemen got the 1, 2, 3. Tully continued to build the hype to his final match with Magnum TA, dogging out Magnum’s rusty non-chromed motorcycle, saying if he’s going to try to be a big dog, he should look like a big dog.
The American Dream came out next, saying that Flair needed to pretend that he wasn’t going to dominate him, break his leg, send him home to his mama and cry because he doesn’t have any money left since he is a bad financial planner. He then told him to get ready for a gut check, but we already know he’s yella. Dammmmmmmmn, son.
The Road Warriors came storming to the ring against the Jeffers Brothers, who were this week’s target practice. In a violent and clunky match, The Warriors dominated every second. Hawk tossed Jim Jeffers in a way that clearly told everyone at home that he could care less about protecting him in the ring. He pumphandle slammed Jeffers, passing him off to Animal who press slammed him over his head. The closest thing to a chance that Jeffers had was he was able to stop Animal from pinning him by putting his foot on the rope, which turned out to be a bad idea when Animal pulled him to the center of the ring and dropped him a couple more times before deciding it was finally time to end the match.
Flair and the Anderson’s came out to answer the allegations that he was yella, and he screamed that he would prove Dusty wrong. We shall soon find out at Starrcade ’85 I guess (side note: look for the Starrcade review coming to this very column once we get closer to the event).
Tully was up against Jimmy Backland next (you will remember him as the redheaded jobber from the opening of the show), who got manhandled, thrown out of the ring, thrown back into the ring by Baby Doll, slapped by her once he was back in, and had his leg bent in unnatural ways by Tully. Tully grapevined his leg and even almost got a couple of pins by doing a stepover. Pretty cool move to be honest. He then hit a slingshot suplex for the quick pin.
The Legion Of Doom, the Road Warriors are interviewed next by Tony Schiavone. Funny enough, their face paint is still absolutely immaculate after demolishing the Jeffers Brothers earlier, barely even a drop of sweat on their faces. Paul Ellering is doing his Ebineezer Scrooge routine, counting their money back in Chicago. Hawk and Animal were INTENSE as they told the Russians that they were from the streets, and they were looking forward to bringing the streets to them at Starrcade. If I were the Russians, I’d be shivering like I was in Siberia after that interview.
Mangnum TA faced off next against Joe Malcolm, and I use the term “faced off” lightly. The entire match consisted of a tie up, a shot to the ropes, a dropkick and a belly to belly. Magnum was interviewed by Schiavone post-match, telling Tully he will make him scream “I Quit”. I think the interview actually took longer than the match, and it was only a few seconds.
#1 Paul Jones told us at home that he expected the Barbarian’s cast to be off by the time Starrcade happened, but said the arm wrestling contest before the match at Starrcade would be left handed against “Superstar” Billy Graham since it would still be feeling the effects of being broken. Luckily for the Barbarian, he is ambidextrous, so he shouldn’t have a hard time against Graham. Jones also guaranteed that Superstar wouldn’t be around after their arm wrestling contest to see who got crowned heavyweight champion.
The Koloffs then fought Rocky king and Adrian Bivens. The Russians were mad that the arena had flags from a bunch of countries hanging up, but Mother Russia got the shaft. They held up their flag and told the ref to go hang it, but the ref told them to handle their business in-ring instead of worrying about the décor in the room. Rocky King was eager to get things started, so he came in on fire, but the Nikita stopped him quickly with a Russian Hammer choke. The Koloffs were good at getting quick tags, which led to them getting a ton of double teams in between a ref 5 count. Bivens came in, and he may have immediately regretted this decision. Both Koloffs continued the quick succession of tags, dropping knees and foot stomps on him repeatedly. Ivan jumped off the ropes for a double hammer that looked sloppy as hell, and also more sloppiness in the form of a Russian Sickle lariat. I couldn’t tell if it was due to Bivens being ultra green or if the Koloffs just gave zero fucks that night, but to say it was not a 5 star match would be an understatement.
The last segment of the show was Ric being interviewed for the third time this episode (guess they wanted to make sure to get their money’s worth). The rest of the Horsemen came into the interview area, showing off their gold and making the ladies scream with glee. Dusty and Magnum came into the ring to challenge Ric. All four of the Horsemen teased getting in the ring, but the Road Warriors ran in to even things up, and Ric and company wanted none of a fair fight. Guess we’ll have to wait until Starrcade for the score to be settled.
With that, we wrap up yet another fun-filled, action-packed episode of NWA Championship Wrestling. Join us again next Saturday at 6:05 Central for another installment of “Return To 6:05”. See you then!