Welcome to the 7th installment of “Return To 6:05”, where we take that trip down memory lane and revisit old Saturday night NWA Championship Wrestling shows. Let’s warm up the TV tube and get ready to watch another fun show. Today we are talking about the show dated December 7th, 1985. I’m excited to be here, but not nearly as excited as David Crockett, who was so worked up that he was visibly shaking. He exuded a combination of schoolboy giddiness and pent up sexual energy, which only adds to his charm. If I haven’t mentioned it yet, Crockett is one of the great joys of re-watching these shows. What he lacks in ability to call matches, he more than makes up for in exuberance.
Tully Blanchard, who recently lost his US title to Magnum TA at Starrcade, came out with Baby Doll in a somber state, telling Schiavone and Crockett that he did not say he quit the match and he should have never lost his championship, and the belt would be back where it belonged soon enough. Baby Doll looked like she was staring miles away and had the deadest expression in her eyes that I’ve ever seen. They really did a great job of selling the importance of the US Heavyweight Championship.
Rock N Roll Express vs Jim & Mack Jeffers
The Jeffers Brothers thought they had the RNR’s number, trying some slick stuff, but were soon given a dose of reality when it came to what it takes to be the tag champs. The amount of fluidity and continuity of the Rock N Roll Express is unmistakable, as if they were working through a central control of some sort. The match was quite short, but showcased the talents of Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson well. A double dropkick followed by a rollup by Gibson to Mack Jeffers sealed the deal.
Winners: Rock N Roll Express
Ronnie Garvin vs Tommy Lane
Another one where if you blinked you would have missed it. Lane was smart to attack Garvin’s arm early on because his secret weapon is his big right. He may not be quick to start, but once Ronnie got going, it only took a few seconds. The Hands Of Stone to the dome signaled lights out for one Mr Lane, with Garvin sitting on his chest as the ref made the count.
Winner: Ronnie Garvin
We got highlights from Starrcade ’85: The Gathering throughout the show. Since we already covered that event in detail (see link), I’ll skip the recap of that stuff here.
Magnum joined Tony Schiavone, holding his new US Heavyweight Championship with pride, saying since he has beat Tully, he is now looking forward, ready for any challenge, especially for the Bunkhouse Stampede match with 20 men in the ring and a whopping $20,000 at stake.
Arn Anderson vs The Italian Stallion (or was it?)
Arn was scheduled to take on the lump known as the Italian Stallion, but he couldn’t be bothered, so he told the “Russian Nightmare” Nikita Koloff to step in for him and he walked away. Nikita treated Stallion like a mulleted stepchild, choking him and pressing him to the canvas. Stallion thought he had a chance for a moment, getting about .5 seconds of offense before Koloff got the Russian Sickle lariat to cap his night off in quick succession.
Winner: Nikita Koloff
Tony & David talk about the controversy of the World Heavy weight Championship. Crockett said “What controversy? We saw Dusty got the 1-2-3 on Flair”. Referee Tommy Young was brought in to explain why the belt was taken away from Dusty. He explained that he was smacked around and was out after he was hit “like a freight train” by Ric, saying all he remembers was Arn being in the ring and he had the intention of stopping the match, but he had his “marbles rattled” by Arn, so he couldn’t stop things in time. He explained that while he didn’t get word to the time keeper that the match was through, he made the decision to himself, which was all that mattered. I don’t think it works that way, but of course this is Flair’s world and we all just live in it.
The stylin’ and profilin’ Nature Boy himself came out, telling David Crockett that he needed to “stick to what you do best, signing checks, while I stick to what I do best, which is breaking necks”. He made it clear to Crockett and the rest of us that he was still the champ whether or not we liked it. Whoooooooo!
Road Warriors vs Paul Garner and Adrian Bivens
These poor suckers. “The Legion Of Doom” didn’t even give the jobbers a fighting chance, running into the ring and quickly tossing both men out of the ring before Hawk stomped the ever-lovin’ shit out of Bivens, then once Bivens made the tag, it was “murder murder murder kill kill kill” on Garner. Animal tagged in, held Garner to the sky then dropped him like a sack of potatoes. The next minute was academic, ending in a Clothesline from Hawk to Garner for the 3 count.
Winners: Road Warriors
Magnum TA, Billy Jack Haynes and Sam Houston vs Ole Anderson, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard
(6 Man Tag Team SuperStation Championship Challenge Series)
This was the meat and potatoes of the show. While almost every other match was extremely brief this week, this one went over 20 minutes. Sam Houston started off for his team, but Arn only had eyes for Billy Jack, pointing and calling him out. Haynes obliged, overpowering Arn quickly, but Arn was able to slip out of the headlock, possibly due to Billy Jack’s arms being greased up and dripping baby oil.
Magnum faced off against Tully next, delivering a big Back Breaker and a knee to the spine, but Tully played dirty and didn’t stay down for long. He tagged in Arn again, who sold like a mad man for Magnum and Sam Houston, who was in next. Ole clobbered Houston, but ended up in the wrong corner, getting his ears clapped by Billy Jack. Arn and Magnum had a nice exchange, turning up the heat before Billy Jack came in and Press Slammed all 3 men, much to the pleasure of David Crockett who lost his god damn mind. He was screaming so loudly that he distorted the audio and I thought he may have need oxygen because he was so busy hyperventilating. As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, David Crockett being a giant mark is one of the best parts of these shows.
Billy Jack got Tully in trouble, almost getting the Full Nelson on him, but when he escaped he got the Full Nelson on Ole. If not for Arn running in, Billy Jack would have finished off Ole for sure. Tully dropped an elbow off the ropes to break up a pin then some quick tags put things in the favor of the Horsemen before all hell broke loose and all 6 men were in the ring throwing down.
Eventually the ref was able to restore order and the Horsemen were in control again, with Arn and Ole focusing on Magnum’s arm. Magnum was making his way to his corner when Ole did a sneaky pin to Tully and he blindsided Magnum with a Chop Block. There was a lot of triple teaming in the heel corner and even a couple of non-pins that the ref let slide. Tully got a Piledriver on Magnum and he looked out of it. He showed he had so much fight, never going out and time and time again he tried to make the tag, but the Horsemen were just too good at what they did. All 3 men got a piece of Magnum, but he finally got the tag to Houston, who did a damn fine job of fighting off all 3 before hitting a Bulldog on Ole that was saved by Tully. Sam got at least a 5 count pin while the ref was distracted, but Arn jumped off the top for an Axe Handle and blasted Houston. Magnum was on the outside of the ring and Billy Jack was distracted giving Tully the Full Nelson, so with Houston groggy, Arn slipped Ole over him and the ref counted as soon as he was aware of the pin. That was a hell of a fun match and it was especially enjoyable because it showcased the dastardly nature of the Horsemen while still making the babyfaces come out looking strong.
Winners: Ole Anderson, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard
“Duthty Baby”, The American Dream, came out to give his own take on having the belt stripped off of him. He said he didn’t dispute Tommy Young’s credentials and he was going to “live wid it”, but he still felt fine because he “pinned Ric Flair in front of 100,000 people.” Well, his math may be a little bit off, but who’s going to tell him that?
The Road Warriors and Precious Paul Ellering came out to talk to Tony next. Even after their brief match, their face paint was still perfectly intact, but they were still steaming from what happened to Ellering last week. The Russians better look out because they Road Warriors have them in their sights. Ellering and his neck brace said that this was World War III and the Russians started it. Animal talked about how the Russians were cowards for the 3 on 1 attack, first to Ellering, then to Hawk, then to himself. Hawk said that they did worse than hurt them physically, they hurt their pride. He said he’d fight them anywhere they wanted, and they needed to “get into the artificial limb business” because he was going to rip their arms off. Well, shit, I’d hate to be them about now.
“Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant vs Vernon Deaton
“Boogie Woogie” came out to spread his message of love and also kick a little ass of Vernon Deaton. He dedicated a thumb to the neck of Deaton, saying “This is for you, David Crockett!” Crockett let out a chuckle, uncomfortably contemplating if he meant the thumb as a tribute or a threat. The mystery didn’t take long to solve when he shouted “I’ve got nothing but love for you, David Crockett!”. He screamed to Schiavone “Tony, how’s Grandma Shavonte?” It wasn’t pretty, but it was at least fun. Valiant dropped the elbow and the match was over. Another one that ended before it started.
Winner: Jimmy Valiant
The Russians came out to talk to Tony next, Ivan saying he was proud of his boys but they were robbed by the Rock N Roll Express at Starrcade. He said that he has been in talks with the Kremlin and was told that they needed to show their dominance by taking out the Road Warriors next. Nikita said something in his signature “authentic” Russian accent, but it was more indecipherable than an Ahmed Johnson promo.
Terry Taylor vs Brody Chase
Terry grabbed an arm lock, rolling Brody while still holding on to his arm. Taylor got an awkward roll up then continued to wrench his arm and flip him while still maintaining control. This match was less exciting than watching paint dry. It was more like watching dried paint. The crowd actually went dead silent at a few points, which is crazy considering the number of kids in the building. There was zero heat until the finishing sequence, when Taylor put Chase on the top of the ropes to deliver the Superplex. Thankfully for those of us at home, it was mercifully short like most of the other matches tonight.
Winner: Terry Taylor
Barbarian (with #1 Paul Jones) vs George South
Gratuitous wedding anniversary announcement time, this one goes out to the Martins of Beaver Dam, Kentucky. At least in this one, we got Barbarian being stronk as hell, Press Slamming South, chasing him around the ring with his headbutts, hitting a massive Power Slam, then a Diving Headbutt. This was obviously early in the development of The Barbarian (pre-WWF days), but you could tell he had something.
Winner: The Barbarian
JJ Dillon was interviewed by Schiavone next, saying he thought that the decision of who was the rightful champion between Flair and Dusty was the correct one, and he was proud of the new National Heavyweight Champion, his man Buddy Landel, aka “The Other Nature Boy”. He also got in his barbs on Outlaw Ron Bass about their Starrcade match. Truth be told, I’m still trying to forget that I ever saw that match, so I could do without the reminders thanks very much.
Buddy Landel vs Jeff Smith
Fresh off his win at Starrcade, Landel had a new found confidence. His in-ring banter was top-notch. He screamed out to the crowd “Since I’m the new National Heavyweight Champion, I’m going to start conducting myself like a champion.” He then proceeded to show us how a champion behaves, sucker punching Smith, proclaiming “There’s one born every minute”. Landel dominated throughout, hitting a dropkick on the floor to Smith before dragging his ass back in the ring for a huge Arm Drop followed by a Figure Four that made him tap out in quick order. Landel gave us at home a thumbs up to let us know that he was fully in charge. As a kid the first time around, I never fully appreciated Landel since I always looked at him as a Flair clone, but almost 30 years later I’m finally on board.
Winner: Buddy Landel
#1 Paul Jones and the Barbarian were out to talk to Schiavone next. Jones told the deadbeats in the audience that it was obvious that they got in without paying, but there were “no more free lunches”. I have no idea what he was talking about to be honest, rambling on that “Superstar” Billy Graham shaved his arms and that The Barbarian’s wife blacked out every time he hugged her. I’m pretty sure lots of drugs were involved in the making of that promo.
The Russians (Ivan Koloff and Khrusher Khrushchev) vs Mark Cooper and Jim Blackland
Oh joy! It’s my favorite string bean, pale-skinned, baby blue singlet-wearing, red-headed mullet-having jobber, Jim Blackland! Blessed. Unfortunately for him, he was in the ring with the Russians, specifically Ivan in this case. Blackland had fight, even got in a few seconds of offense with a flurry of big punches before being discarded out of the ring, elbowed by Ivan and picked up and tossed across the ring a couple of times by Nikita. Mark Cooper did not fare any better, getting kicked and kneed to the face, a Back Breaker and the Russian Hammer choke applied to him. Ivan finally hit the Russian Sickle and it was obvious how it would go from there.
Winners: The Russians
In the final segment, Tully and Baby Doll were back out again, less somber but still focused. They discussed the Flair/Dusty situation with Schiavone, telling Ric that he needs to get lawyered up to keep from getting screwed out of his title like he was out of his. And we’re out!
It was a fun yet slightly off episode, due to the fact that almost every match was given zero time because of the 6 man going so long. That said, these classic shows blow by every time. If you aren’t watching at home, you’re missing out. Either way, thanks for joining me this time and see you again next week on Saturday at 6:05PM Central Correct Time here at wrestlingwithwords dot com.