Hey brothers and sisters, it’s your pal skillcrane, back again with another return to 6:05. In our fourth fun installment, we are going back to watch the November 23rd, 1985 episode of NWA Championship Wrestling. This time we are on a tape delay, so consider this the 6:05PM Pacific, West Coast feed.
We kicked off this go round with a clip of an altercation between Dusty Rhodes and Magnum TA (in the ring), the Four Horsemen being interviewed at the same time off to the side. The Horsemen were apparently finished talking to Schiavone, because Ric took off his $10,000 suit and his $40,000 Rolex to join Arn, Ole and Tully. Before the Horsemen could get into the ring, the Road Warriors ran into the ring and the Horsemen retreated like classic heel cowards.
Terry Taylor vs The Black Cat were first up, with Taylor’s National Heavyweight Championship at stake. Taylor worked the arm for most of the match, getting multiple pin attempts early on. With a couple of momentary exceptions, this was all Taylor. Offense in the form of punches from Black Cat were met with chops from Terry, finally getting a superplex off the ropes to finish off Black Cat.
Winner: Terry Taylor
Tony Schiavone and David Crockett were in the studio area next, talking about the superpowers known as Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes, ready to explode at Starrcade. There is so much history between them all. David Crockett spoke with his heart on his sleeve, sounding like he was shaken up talking about the time when Dusty Rhodes’ leg was broken by Flair and the Horsemen. They then show a clip of the interview with Ric Flair from the studio with Bill Apter and Dusty (seen in a TV mounted to the wall) told Flair he was a phony and a pretender, and Flair lost it. We then saw Dusty’s return to the ring, with his bionic cast boot, slapping on a figure four to send a message to Flair. Schiavone made a plea to Flair, saying that he may be the best, but he does not need to go to the extremes he has to win.
Next up, we get a recorded interview with Dusty Rhodes from an arena back area. Rhodes got a huge pop from the live crowd as he was giving the interview, talking about how he was coming back strong and will get that belt again so he can be the People’s Champion. He told Flair that he has a yella streak runnin’ all the way down to his feet, baby! “Now it’s risky bizznezz. Risky bizznezz fo’ you!”
Don Kernoodle vs Don Turner were up next. The hardest thing in this match was trying to figure out which one was supposed to be the jobber. Thankfully it was a short match, with Kernoodle picking up the victory after a lariat off the ropes.
Winner: Don Kernoodle
The Barbarian (with #1 Paul Jones) vs Stoney Burke was up next. Stoney boy came out on fire, charging The Barbarian for about 0.4 seconds before the Barbarian whipped him around, stomped him, did a dropkick and a couple of leg drops. He then bit the side of Stoney’s face before taking off his collar and choking Stoney with it. Jones raked Burke’s eyes when he was sent out then The Barbarian slammed him against the ring apron and sent him crashing with a scoop slam. He kept kicking Burke every time he tried to climb back in, scooping him back in and standing on his sternum. The Barbarian hit another legdrop followed by multiple headbutts a la The Junkyard Dog, and Burke rolled out. Stoney tried to whip Barbarian to the ropes for a dropkick, but The Barbarian had enough ring presence to hold the ropes and have Stoney miss. The Barbarian flew off the ropes for a diving headbutt and we had another one in the books.
Winner: The Barbarian
Ric Flair came out next to speak on how David Crockett, Tony Schiavone and Dusty Rhodes had no right to comment about his actions, and that by being champ he makes his own rules, playing the game however the champ wants to play the game. The build to Starrcade 1985 is real. The whole time Ric was talking, there was a guy screaming “That’s right!” & “you the man!”. Gotta love this stuff.
Superstar Billy Graham vs Tony Zane – Superstar Billy Graham made his first “Return To 6:05” appearance, flexing his muscles and drenched in tie dye. By this point, Superstar was already past his prime, but “The Man With The Pythons” was still so much fun to watch. Tony Zane was no match for “the Supastah!”. David Crockett was in full-on mark mode, saying “look at those muscles ripple.” Every little move Graham did meant something. He would barely turn his arm and Zane would fall to his knees in pain. This was the most economical use of energy I’ve seen in some time, a fine example of “don’t overdo, make everything matter.” Graham tossed Zane to the corner and he flew off to the middle of the ring. Graham grabbed his hair and laid in some punches to the skull and Zane was trying to fight back by punching Graham in his abs, but Graham was too tough. A whip to the corner by Graham that culminated in a back breaker/bear hug to finish off Zane, who tapped out immediately.
Winner: Superstar Billy Graham
Buddy Landel vs “The Raging Bull” Manny Fernandez were on next, as part of the continuing Superstar Championship Challenge Series. Manny & his beautiful mullet were dying to get a hold of Landel after he said “Hey David Crockett, it’s about time and I’m very proud of Jim Crockett and Jim Crockett Promotions for stepping up and almost getting someone who is almost worthy of being in the ring with me. But a Mexican? You gotta be ribbing me.” Manny shoulder blocked Landel to the face for the comment, and Buddy immediately rolled out. He screamed at David Crockett who was over in the interview area, and Crockett had the best goofy expression on his face, saying “I knew that mouth would get him in trouble”. The banter continued when Landel climbed into the ring again, asking “Is this karate or wrestling?” The ref told him it was wrestling, so Landel told him to step in between them and do his damn job. Things were charged between them, whips to the corner and a charge by Manny. The crowd was on fire as well for this. Manny was literally chomping to get to Buddy. Manny hit a headlock and a tackle to take Buddy off his feet, but Landel was able to get a drop toehold hen he saw a small opening, then they were back to their feet to square off again. Manny was again on fire, jumping to the ropes when Landel whipped him to the corner, then he climbed up and jumped backwards over Landel as he charged him. Watching these old Saturday Night shows, I’m really regaining my appreciation for the Raging Bull. Guy was severely underrated. Landel took a breather after getting his ass handed to him, but still had the temerity to tell the ref to “Ask him if he’s had enough.” Armdrag by Fernandez and Landel couldn’t run away enough. When they clashed again, Landel was able to slow things down a bit after getting an arm drag of his own and a armbar on Manny. Manny was whipped to the ropes by Landel, but jumped completely over him and got a leg scissors trip on the way back. Really a beautiful series of moves. Manny dropped knees on the tied up legs of Landel. JJ Dillon made his presence known, trying to distract Manny, dragging Landel’s arm to the rope for the break. Dillon raked the eyes of Manny when the ref was focusing his attentions elsewhere and it gave Landel the chance to go on the offensive. Nanny was thrown out and like clockwork, JJ walked over to stomp him on the outside. Manny started letting things get the better of his emotions and Landel was able to bloody him up when he slipped on his game. Manny was finally able to back body drop Landel, but he couldn’t get to his feet before Buddy, so once again Landel took the reigns. JJ clocked Manny with his cane from outside and we almost got a pin, but Manny kicked out at 2.5. He had no give up despite the odds not being in his favor. Manny tried to drop a knee but missed, and Landel threw on the Figure Four. The crowd was behind Manny and he reversed the move. The bell rang to signal the time limit, but Manny gave no fucks. He hit Buddy with a Flying Burrito and at least beat up Buddy’s ego a bit.
Winner: Tie (20 Minute Time Limit)
Terry Taylor spoke with Tony Schiavone up next, saying that Landel may be tough for making it to 20 minutes against Manny, but he would still take him to his limit and keep his championship at Starrcade.
Next up, Ric Flair spoke to Schiavone, telling Dusty “Sorry, but I’m gonna be the man for a long time.”
Black Bart vs Rocky King – Rocky King was very impressive at first glance. Fully shredded, with giant afro and really great leaping ability. The match started off fast, Rocky hitting a cross-body then leaping over Bart. Bart flung him to the ropes and dropped his throat on the top rope, then pretty much took over from there. He cranked him, landed a series of headbutts to the arm, threw him to the ropes, followed by a massive lariat. Bart chunked Rocky outside the ring and JJ Dillon predictably hit the downed wrestler while the ref argued with Black Brt. Bart pummeled Rocky, then hit him with a big fist and choked him repeatedly. Both men made it to their feet, and Rocky ended up getting Bart to the corner, climbing up on the ropes over Bart and started wailing on him. Bart fought back, pushing him off. The sheer amount of distance Rocky got when being knocked off of Bart….. my gawd. Bart then dropped The Texas Compactor (a big leg off the ropes) onto Rocky.
Winner: Black Bart
Blackjack Mulligan came out to talk to Schiavone, cutting a promo on Black Bart, telling him he is going to tear him apart at Starrcade with his bull rope. No time limits, no stopping until Bart is motionless. he said he was going to get a “double handful of comeback, brother!” Great stuff.
The Road Warriors were then interviewed. Animal screamed the entire time, saying he doesn’t like doing favors, but he’ll help out Dusty since they hate Ric and The Minnesota Wrecking Crew. They then gave a warning to the Russians, saying they’d slap their faces off if they open their mouths again. Cocaine is a hell of a drug.
Billy Jack Haynes vs Jim Jeffers was up now. As with all fo the other Haynes matches we’ve seen, this was just a showcase for him to look like a beast. He beat on Jeffers for a minute, dropped a couple of legs, did a nasty back breaker on Jeffers and threw him into a Full Nelson to finish things off.
Winner: Billy Jack Haynes
Post-match, Billy Jack was interviewed by Schiavone. He gave a shout-out to his dad (who was in a nursery home if you remember from previous episodes), then he told Ole and Arn that he was going to break their legs like they did to Dusty, then apologized to Tony for getting excited. What a guy.
We get a clip of the Russians next, destroying a jobber and Nikita clotheslining him to his death. We get another clip, and another murder by Nikita. And another jobber, this time the incredible decapitation of Lackland from the last episode we watched together.
Ron Bass, Pez Whatley and Italian Stallion vs Carl Styles, Kent Glover and Larry Clark “graced” our screen next. It was a typical garbage six-man, with things breaking down regularly. Nothing really to speak of. Only big points were Pez continuing to be featured and pushed, and Styles was stronk. Match finished up with Pistol Pez getting a whip and a cross-body headbutt.
Winners: Ron Bass, Pez Whatley and Italian Stallion
Schiavone interview World Jr Heavyweight Champion Denny Brown (who?) next. This jabrone could barely get a sentence out with a “Duh” pause. Who the fuck thought it made sense to put a belt on this guy? He looked terrified to have a mic in his face.
Seriously, WHO the fuck is this guy?
Sam Houston vs The Golden Terror were up next. You know the match is important when you have a picture-in-picture inset that goes full-screen at times, cutting the match video off. Ric Flair is speaking to Tony Schiavone the whole time, and he is far more compelling then anything happening in the ring. In the finishing sequence, Houston dropped a bulldog on Terror, almost getting a pin. Both guys hit the ropes, but they end up butting heads and almost knocking themselves out. While the ref is checking on The Golden Terror, Flair DDT’d Houston to the floor. David Crockett ran out and screamed at Flair, while Schiavone told him that he didn’t need to do that. Some of the babyfaces ran out from the locker room to make sure Flair couldn’t inflict any more damage on Houston, and the go-home show to Starrcade ’85 is a wrap!
Programming Note: Next week’s Return To 6:05 will be a very special one, covering the event that the last 4 weeks have been leading to, Starrcade ’85: The Gathering. Anyone who has ever seen Starrcade ’85 is sure to remember it. Join us at 6:05PM Central Correct Time next Saturday for a full breakdown of the huge event. See you then!