So you either hated the Rich/Atlas segment or it was so boring that it didn't deserve a comment.
I changed the no-show seed to 90 after the show. It's not quite 100, but it should help me out a bit. I still like the angles that the no-shows give me even if it is annoying.
Orndorff and Billy may be having words before long.
The High Flyers have surprised me as they were my least favorite team to write when I started the NWF, and they have quickly become my favorites by turning heel. Who would have known?
I knew nothing of Mighty Igor, but I remembered seeing his name all of the time in TNM. I decided to go about Youtubing some of the names I didn't know that's in our 1980's TNM, and I found him. Seemed like a fun character. I always pictured him more as an evil heel because of the name until I saw a few of his matches.
I almost put the six man on last, but I wanted to give the US Title a little bit more street cred.
A good win for the Dirty Cowboys, they've definetely the number 3 tag team in NWF.
I'm not sure if a win against the Chief is enough to propel the Baron back into main event status, but that may not be the point either.
I don't know how you have done it, but you've managed to put all six tag teams into three separate feuds. A really in-depth tag division to say the least, possibly even more interesting than the singles division at the time.
Heels vs heels for the title? Wonder who will become the de facto faces. Maybe the COwboys? Isn't Kansas Cowboy nation?
Mighty Igor? Evil foreginers always worked wonders.
I agree with Ryan that it's surprising that the six-man didn't come on last. I know you don't bother with star ratings, but if you had, you probably, in hindsight, should have done differently. That said, the heel turn of Rich is pure genius.
The Mighty Igor pinned Buzz Sawyer with the Sitdown Splash in 0:06:43. Rating: 1/4*
“The World’s Strongest Wrestler” Mighty Igor made his debut last month in successful fashion when he faced Jerry Estrada. Tonight he faced a more formidable opponent in “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer. Igor tried his best to fight fairly, but Sawyer isn’t known for his sportsmanship. Sawyer seemed to make the man from Poland angry when he poked him in the eye as Igor returned fire with several headbutts. A powerslam followed by the Sitdown Splash put Sawyer down for good. Igor shook the ref’s hand after the match and even went to the outside to shake the hands of the fans at ringside.
This continued on until Skandor Akbar and Crusher Blackwell made their way to the ring. Igor was still at ringside, but he didn’t seem to mind their arrival. Akbar got on a microphone and said how he was sick and tired of people claiming to be the strongest wrestler like Igor or the biggest wrestler like Andre the Giant. Akbar said that Crusher Blackwell was the biggest, strongest, meanest wrestler in the sport today, and he was not going to put up with the lies any longer. The Mighty Igor reentered the ring at this point to try and talk this over with Akbar. Igor even offered his hand to Akbar, but Akbar looked like he was disgusted by the notion of shaking Igor’s hand. Akbar told Igor if he wanted to lay claim to being the world’s strongest wrestler then he should attempt to do something that no other man has done, bodyslam Crusher Blackwell! Both Crusher and Akbar laughed at Igor, but that came to an end when Igor motioned that he would accept the challenge. The crowd was solidly behind him as Igor went to lift Crusher. The attempt was a complete failure as Igor grabbed his back and stepped away. Akbar laughed at him and told him that Igor was proof nothing good could come out of a rotten country like Poland. That seemed to enrage Igor as he shoved Akbar out of the way and gave it another attempt. This time Igor got both of Crusher’s feet off the mat! Igor had just started to get him a little bit higher so he could turn him and complete the slam when Skandor Akbar kicked the back of his knee! Igor’s knee buckled and Crusher’s full weight landed directly on top of Igor! Crusher Blackwell got back to his feet and started to stomp away at Igor while Akbar cheered him on. Akbar picked up the microphone and told Jerry Lawler to watch very closely because this was what he had to look forward to later on in the evening. Crusher continued to punish Igor with several Big Splashes until Andre the Giant came out to make the save! Crusher Blackwell and Skandor Akbar made their exit before Andre could get his hands on either of them. Several medical staff came out to try and stretcher the Mighty Igor out of the ring, but Igor somehow popped back to his feet, shoved them out of his way, and headed to the back under his own strength. Backstage reports revealed that Igor grabbed his stuff, hopped in a car, and drove away from the arena. No one has heard from him since.
Baron Von Raschke made Ole Anderson submit to the Claw in 0:11:35. Rating: * ¼
Both of these men have had their successes and failures as of late. This match could go a long way to determine who was going to break out of their holding pattern. It looked like it would be Ole when he drilled Raschke with the Spinebuster Slam. As Ole went for the cover, however, Percy Pringle jumped up on the ring apron to distract him. Ole tried to get his hands on Pringle, but Percy was able to hop back down to the floor before he could do so. This gave Raschke all the opening he needed as when Ole turned around he walked right into the Claw. Raschke hooked it on tight, and Ole was forced to submit. Ole Anderson has demanded a rematch and has been granted one next month.
Andre the Giant pinned Mr. Fuji with the Elbowdrop in 0:08:09. Rating: * ¾
Mr. Fuji had the unenviable task of facing Andre the Giant tonight. Andre has not exactly been on friendly terms with Devastation, Inc. since entering the NWF, and Andre was looking to put an end to it here. He was able to do so, at least against Fuji, by manhandling him for several minutes. Fuji tried to strike with his karate kicks, but Andre absorbed the blows and eventually finished off Fuji with his big Elbowdrop. Skandor Akbar entered the ring to check on Fuji after the match, but he made the mistake of hurling a few insults Andre’s way. Andre the Giant stepped towards Akbar and that was all it took to send him running from the ring.
East-West Connection (Adrian Adonis and Jesse Ventura) and Billy Graham defeated The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco and Jack Brisco) and Paul Orndorff when Ventura pinned Jerry Brisco after a gutwrench suplex in 0:14:15. Rating: *** ½
Jack and Jerry Brisco have both been campaigning against the constant cheap victories that teams like the East-West Connection and wrestlers like Billy Graham have been achieving. Paul Orndorff came to their aid last month to save them from a brutal attack, and that’s how we ended up with this six man tag. Graham tried to be friendly with Orndorff to start the match by offering a handshake, but Orndorff would have none of it as he drilled him with a knee to the midsection and tried to put him away early. Graham fought back long enough to escape the ring and from then on avoided Orndorff at all costs. Jack Brisco continued to show a more vicious side of him than we are used to, slapping Adrian Adonis and Jesse Ventura upside the head whenever he was in the ring with them. Things looked like they would go the way of the Brisco Brothers and Orndorff when Jerry Brisco had Ventura pinned. However, due to Jack being a little overzealous, referee Barney Sullivan was busy keeping Jack at bay. This allowed Adonis to come in and drop a leg across the back of Jerry’s neck. Ventura regrouped and dropped Jerry with a gutwrench suplex and Sullivan counted to three when he finally turned around.
Jack finally blew his top after he was cheated out of another match. He grabbed the referee by his shirt and looked like he was going to assault him until Orndorff pulled him away. Jack reared back like he was going to hit Orndorff, but thankfully he caught himself before he did. Jack Brisco grabbed the ringside microphone and said that he was going to put a stop to this once and for all. Jack said the only way to settle this was for somebody to leave. Jack challenged the East-West Connection to meet him and his brother in one last tag team match in Topeka, Kansas, with the loser of the fall being forced to leave the National Wrestling Federation! Jerry Brisco did not appear too happy with Jack’s challenge, but it had already been issued. Later on in the night it was revealed that Ventura and Adonis had accepted the Brisco Brothers’ challenge and were looking forward to putting one of the Brisco’s out to pasture. Also signed is a singles match between Billy Graham and Paul Orndorff. Graham was not too happy with being put in a match with Orndorff, but that’s what he gets for avoiding him in the six man.
Raymond Rougeau pinned Jerry Estrada with the Rougeau Bomb in 0:06:54. Rating: ***
Raymond Rougeau and Jerry Estrada put on a clinic in aerial warfare. The match didn’t last long, and there was no way it could with the amount of energy they were putting forth from the beginning of the match. Rougeau would be the one to walk away with the victory after he nailed Estrada with the Rougeau Bomb (leg lariat) off the top rope.
Before our next match, US Champion “Wildfire” Tommy Rich came to the ring. Rich wanted to apologize for what happened last month in his match against Tony Atlas. Atlas apparently wanted to hear this in person as he came out at this point and joined Rich in the ring. Rich offered his hand to Atlas, but Atlas refused to shake it. He said he wanted to hear Rich’s reasoning before he did anything. Rich admitted that Atlas was a tough challenger, and it was only by the skin of his teeth that he was able to retain his title. Atlas questioned why Rich would cheat to beat the man that had defended him every time someone tried to attack him or said something about Rich behind his back. Rich told Atlas to not be ridiculous and that he would never cheat his way to victory, especially not against his best friend. Rich admitted to grabbing the ropes, but he claimed it was not for leverage but because he was losing his balance. He didn’t think it had made any difference in the result of the match. Atlas appeared to be growing angrier and angrier as he demanded to know what Rich came out here to apologize for since he apparently thought he did nothing wrong. Rich said he wanted to apologize to Atlas for not giving him a title shot earlier on in his reign, but that he was determined to prove himself against the best the NWF had to offer, and now that he had done that, he was finally able to give some people lower on the totem pole, like Atlas, a shot. Rich thanked Atlas for a good fight, but he was ready to move on. Atlas didn’t take too kindly to this as he thought he deserved a rematch. Rich told Atlas that he needed to do a little bit more training before he got back in the ring with the likes of “Wildfire.” Rich told Atlas to keep working on his skills and maybe he would even team up with him on occasion to give him a few tips. Rich patted Atlas on the back as he left the ring while Atlas stood there, fuming.
The High Flyers (Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne) defeated Dirty Cowboys (Bob Orton Jr. and Dick Slater) when G. Gagne pinned Orton after a back suplex in 0:13:11. Rating: ** 1/2 (The High Flyers retained the NWF World Tag Team Titles.)
If you expected a cleanly fought battle to determine who the best tag team is, well, you probably don’t follow the NWF very closely. These two teams wasted little time in breaking the rules to begin the match and it continued until the bell rang to end the match. Referee Alfred Neely decided to let a lot slide early on in the match, and both teams used it to their full advantage. A lot of double teaming occurred in the match, but pinfall attempts were constantly broken up. A key section of the match was when Brunzell was able to lock Orton in a small package. Neely was busy with Gagne at the time and that allowed Slater to enter the ring and pull the men over so that Orton was now the man on top with Brunzell’s shoulders being pinned to the mat. The referee, however, saw Slater leaving the ring and went over to admonish him to make sure he didn’t enter the ring again without being tagged. This allowed Gagne to enter the ring and turn the two men back over to where Brunzell was pinning Orton. When Neely finally tried to count the fall, Orton was able to kick out. A couple of minutes later Slater was in the ring and he pulled out a foreign object that he blasted Gagne with. Gagne fell backwards, but luckily enough for him, he fell right into his corner which allowed Brunzell to tag himself in. Things would continue this way for some time with the fans just booing the heck out of both teams the entire time. It finally came down to Gagne going for his own foreign object out of his trunks just as Orton lifted him from behind for a back suplex. Gagne, while in mid-air, blasted Orton across the eyes with his illegal object and it knocked Orton silly. Gagne was still dropped with the back suplex, but he landed in a way that he still covered Orton. Neely didn’t seem to know what to do so he made the best decision he could, he counted to three and awarded the victory to the High Flyers.
Brunzell quickly grabbed his tag team partner, Greg Gagne, and headed to the back while Slater argued it over with the referee. While in the midst of doing so, the Von Erich Brothers stepped out from the curtain. They both clapped mockingly at the Dirty Cowboys. Once Slater had pulled Orton back to his feet, they both saw that they were being ridiculed by their arch rivals. You could hear David Von Erich shouting towards them that it was nice that the Cowboys showed them how to get the job done. Slater and Orton were furious at losing their shot at the tag titles, and the Von Erich’s were not making it any better. They left the ring and a brawl erupted in the aisle. All four men continued to fire away at one another until several members of the ring crew and security were able to break them up.
Jerry Lawler pinned Crusher Blackwell after a flying fistdrop in 0:12:10. Rating: ** ¾
Jerry Lawler has had absolutely no luck in his battles with Crusher Blackwell. Crusher is always able to find some way to come out on top, but Lawler had a look in his eye that said he was not going to let it happen again. The first thing to note was when a few minutes into the match Crusher tried to claw and pry at Lawler’s bad eye. Lawler would only take so much of this before he sent Crusher flailing back by peppering him with lefts and rights. Lawler proceeded to tear off his eye patch and throw it into the crowd! Lawler then pulled his singlet strap down to show he was ready to fight. A closer view showed that Lawler’s eye looked like it was back to one hundred percent. Crusher looked to Skandor Akbar for some advice, but Akbar had none for him. The rest of the match was just the two men pounding on one another and hoping that the other would eventually not be able to answer the ten count. It looked like Lawler would finally have his day when he blasted Crusher with a double axehandle off the top rope to send Crusher crashing to the mat. Before Lawler could go for the pin, however, Akbar jumped up on the ring apron. Lawler saw him there and grabbed him around the throat. Lawler looked like he wanted break Akbar’s jaw, but he was unable to do so as Crusher had recovered and blasted him from behind. Crusher lifted Lawler up and dropped him with a big powerslam that sent all of his weight crushing into Lawler’s ribs. Crusher looked like he was going to go for his Big Splash, but instead he climbed up to the middle turnbuckle. Akbar cackled as it looked like Crusher was going to squish Jerry “The King” Lawler. All of a sudden Andre the Giant ran down the aisle and blasted Akbar with an overhand chop. Akbar collapsed on the floor and this took Crusher’s attention away from his match. Crusher Blackwell yelled at Andre to get away from Skandor, but Andre simply stood over the fallen manager. Crusher finally jumped off the turnbuckles to crush Lawler, but Lawler moved out of the way! With the wind completely knocked out of him, Lawler climbed up to the middle turnbuckle himself and flew off with a flying fistdrop right between the eyes of Crusher and that was enough to get Lawler the victory. Andre the Giant joined Lawler in the ring and raised his hand while Crusher continued to lie in the center of the ring.
Skandor Akbar was furious after the show, demanding that Crusher Blackwell be allowed to get his hands on Andre the Giant. When contacted Andre said that Crusher could have any match he wanted. Akbar has since agreed to a match that he says Crusher Blackwell cannot lose: A BODYSLAM MATCH! The first person to be slammed will be the loser! What’s amazing is that while Andre is the much taller man, Crusher Blackwell weighs the same or even more than Andre. Neither man has been slammed in their entire career, but one man will not be able to make that claim any longer after December 6th.
Harley Race and Greg Valentine battled to a draw in 0:30:00. Rating: **** 1/4 (Harley Race retained the NWF World Title.)
A lot of people thought that tonight would be the night where Greg Valentine would fulfill his destiny and become the World Heavyweight Champion. He was on his game from the minute the bell rang and was determined to not make the same mistakes that had him on the losing end of his previous match with Race. Race tried to pick up a quick victory over Valentine, angry at Valentine for sending him to the hospital and pinning him last month, but when he realized that Valentine wasn’t going to go down easily, he settled down and started to pace himself. The time seemed to fly by as they tried to wear each other down. But as the time wore on, Valentine started to grow a bit more hectic in trying to keep Race down. No matter what he did, however, Race would not stay down for a three count. Race, meanwhile, started to grow frustrated as well as he pounded away at Valentine. What we ended up with is both men physically and mentally exhausted as it was announced that there was just one minute left. Race knew he had to beat Valentine now or never as he went to nail him with the Piledriver. Valentine saw the attempt coming, however, and pulled Race’s legs out from under him. Valentine quickly locked Race in the Figure-Four Leglock before he knew what was happening. Race was in the center of the ring as Valentine applied all the pressure he could to try and force a submission out of Race. As the seconds counted down Race looked like he might be forced to submit, but he was somehow able to hold on long enough for the bell to ring and signal a time limit draw.
Valentine thought he had won the title when the bell was rung as he got up and dropped to his knees in celebration. He raised his arms and waited for referee Isaac Madilla to hand over the World Title, but he was in for quite a shock when the title went to Harley Race instead. The result was announced over the loud speaker, and Valentine couldn’t believe it. Race left the ring with his title just before Valentine could try and attack him. Race is not one to dodge a challenge, especially one that almost beat him, and so these two will meet again in Topeka, KS in a match with no time limit. Race has promised that he will end things once and for all with Valentine. Valentine, on the other hand, is certain that there is no way Race leaves Kansas with the World Title since the ref won’t be able to save him with some cheap time limit.
Though I know you're pretty pissed that Igor up and left you, but really, that angle to explain his loss was great. It worked well to set up Blackwell as a man who can't be slammed, which works well for the bodyslam match angle you set up later.
Raschke is at least in a feud now. He gets a cheap win over Ole Anderson. I think this will be a signature feud for Ole's singles push.
I love how scared of Andre that Akbar is. And man, Fuji really needs a partner in the worst way. Either yell at Saito until he signs or find someone else. It's getting painful to watch.
Okay, color me surprised about the new development in the Briscos/EW Connection feud. I know Jack Brisco has been pushed to his limit, but I didn't expect him to put his (and by proxy, his brother's) career on the line. I absolutely have no idea where you're going with this, but I'm onboard. The other thing to come from this match was setting up Orndorff vs. Graham. I like what you've been doing by implying that they would have a bond based on Orndorff's past with Luke. This could be Orndorff's first NWF loss.
RAYMOND ROUGEAU! The end.
God, Rich is a dick. What a great promo segment that was. Rich was such a smarmy prick, and the pat on the back at the end really wrapped it all up nicely. Atlas is going to mess him up something fierce.
Knew the Flyers were going to retain, but didn't know the how. A battle of cheating is always fun. The controversial finish seemed to be a bit much for my liking, but it was made up for by the post-match angle. Liked the Von Erichs not hesitating to rub it in, and of course a fight erupted. This has been a great feud. I wonder what the end game is.
Lawler FINALLY gets the win over Blackwell. Sure, it was going to take some shenanigans, but that's the type of win that is big for Lawler's career. And like I mentioned before, Andre/Blackwell is your next big match. I like the first battle being a bodyslam match. Because whoever loses isn't really going to be hurt, but it's a fun gimmick match that was over huge in 1980.
I like the draw finish. Milks you one more match (at least) with Race/Valentine. I like how you've made Race a vulnerable champion. I think a mistake I had made with him as champ for awhile was that it didn't seem like anyone was ever going to beat him, and it took him quitting for me to just shotgun the title off of him with no build. You've set this up now where his successful defenses are hard fought struggles. You've made the former top heel in the universe a very effective top face. Kudos.
Aha, that was very stereotypical of me to think :-) Nice opening segment, classic way to build both wrestlers. Igor left already?
I hope Ole wins the rematch, he had a good thing going after nearly upsetting Billy Graham on several occasions.
Mr. Fuji should be breakfast for Fuji, and apparently he was !
Nice booking in the six-man, let the crowd wait for Graham and Orndorrf to collide. I fear that this will be the end of the Briscos though.
I have told you how I love the Rich turn? Yes, I think I have, but this segment was perhaps one of the best so far.
I recently watched a heel vs heel match in Chikara, and it was actually quite enjoyable with both wrestlers trying to out-cheat the others and going for the same cheat simultaneously (both poked each others eyes at same time, e.g.), and I pictured the Dirty Cowboys vs High Flyers match similiary, specially with the small package bit. Adds a little fun to the match, I think.
Good to see Lawler finally get a win over Crusher. I don't think in a million years that Crusher will win the bodyslam challenge, but that is regardless of whether he had won this match or not.
Good main event, Valentine feels cheated out of the title and wants a rematch without time limit. Your first 5-star match on the horizon, perhaps?
Canadian Air (Lanny Poffo and Raymond Rougeau) defeated Mr. Fuji and Buzz Sawyer when L. Poffo pinned Sawyer with the Crucifix in 0:11:54. Rating: ** ¾
Skandor Akbar has been trying to find a steady tag team partner for Mr. Fuji for some time, and tonight he decided to try and pair him up with “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer against Canadian Air. They had their moments, but they just didn’t seem to mesh very well as team. Canadian Air took full advantage of this as Lanny Poffo was able to secure the victory by surprising Sawyer with his Crucifix pinning maneuver. Akbar was heard later on in the night saying “Thanks, but no thanks.” to the idea of them becoming a regular team. It looks like Akbar is on the hunt once again.
Tommy Rich pinned Jerry Estrada with the Piledriver in 0:06:30. Rating: *** (Tommy Rich retained the NWF United States Title.)
Tommy Rich decided his victory over Tony Atlas back in October was more than enough to prove he was the better wrestler. He told Atlas that he needed to take a step back and train some while he defended his title against other challengers. And so instead of defending his US Title against Atlas here tonight, he put his gold up against Jerry Estrada. Definitely a questionable call on the part of the champion, and the crowd let him know it. He still has some fans that are holding out hope that he turns away from the path he is taking, but a majority of them have decided that he is being rather cowardly. They let rich know it by letting out a “Tony Atlas!” chant during the match. This seemed to frustrate “Wildfire,” and he almost lost his title when Estrada was able to roll him up from behind. He only got a two, however, and Rich came back strong, ending the match with the Piledriver.
After the match, Tony Atlas joined Tommy Rich in the ring and questioned his choice of opponent. Rich said he had been impressed as of late with Estrada’s heart and desire. Atlas told Rich he was through playing his games and if he had any chance of continuing their friendship then he better be thinking about giving him a rematch for the title. He said he didn’t care if he lost fairly, but he knew Rich was a better man than to cheat his way to victory against him. Rich reminded Atlas that he had already beat him once, for the most part cleanly, and Atlas hadn’t done a lot to show he deserved another shot. Rich didn’t want anyone to accuse him of showing favoritism as to who was getting a title shot. Atlas said if that was the case then at least let him choose his next challenger. Rich was hesitant but finally agreed. Atlas told Rich that on December 26th he’d be meeting the winner of the match later on tonight between Thunderbolt Patterson and Chief Jay Strongbow. Rich was not a happy man as he told Atlas that it wasn’t enough time to prepare, but Atlas simply muttered that he was pretty sure one of those two would be more than willing to give him a shot at the US Title. Atlas left the ring while Rich pouted with the US Title on his shoulder.
Ole Anderson pinned Baron Von Raschke with the Spinebuster Slam in 0:10:13. Rating: 1/2*
Ole Anderson had a match stolen away from him last month against Baron Von Raschke when Percy Pringle got involved. Ole wanted this rematch as quickly as possible to try and even the score. He did just that, this time learning from his mistake in their last match. Ole had control of the match when Pringle tried to intervene as he did last month. He hopped up on the ring apron and tried to get Ole’s attention, but this time Anderson was better prepared. Ole caught Raschke sneaking up from behind and ended up throwing Raschke into Pringle. Pringle fell to the floor as Raschke turned around with into the Spinebuster Slam, a move that knocks the wind right out of you. Ole got the win, but this time it was Percy Pringle complaining backstage. There will be a rubber match between the two in Denver, Colorado, but this time Pringle will be banned from ringside. Pringle was not happy with this decision, but Baron Von Raschke is more than capable of handling a match by himself.
The Von Erich Brothers (David Von Erich and Kevin Von Erich) and Dirty Cowboys (Bob Orton Jr. and Dick Slater) battled to a double disqualification in 0:14:00. Rating: *** ½
If there are two teams that despise each other as much as these two, I don’t know who they are. These four men have been feuding for quite some time, but neither one can really get the advantage over the other. We saw a bit of that tonight as the match was evenly fought and both teams desperately looking for a way to put the other down. It finally came down to both Kevin Von Erich and Dick Slater bringing chairs into the ring and swinging them wildly at one another. David Von Erich and Bob Orton Jr. brawled to the outside where David repeatedly rammed Orton’s head into the ringpost. Referee Barney Sullivan had seen enough at this point and disqualified both teams. It didn’t appear that either team wanted to stop their fighting, but several officials were able to tear them apart. The NWF Championship Committee is hoping to finally put an end this bitter feud and since they don’t want to follow the rules then they aren’t going to give them any. They will be meeting up in a street fight where anything goes. It is bound to be a brutal affair.
Before our next match could begin the World Tag Team Champions, the High Flyers, entered the ring. Jim Brunzell said he knew they were booked to compete against a new tag team, but he’d be damned if they were defending the straps against a couple of guys that hadn’t proven themselves. Greg Gagne told them to get to the ring because they didn’t have all day. The High Flyers are busy men apparently. It didn’t take long for the New Wave, a team consisting of “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and Sweet Brown Sugar to show up. They did not look intimidated at all as they stood off against the High Flyers. Brunzell told them to pay attention and they might learn a thing or two about team wrestling.
Non-Title Match: The New Wave (Bobby Eaton and Sweet Brown Sugar) defeated The High Flyers (Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne) when Eaton pinned Brunzell with the Alabama Jam in 0:13:52. Rating: ** ½
The High Flyers were far too cocky going into this match and took for granted that they were going up against a couple of newcomers. Bobby Eaton and Sweet Sugar Brown, however, knew they had the opportunity of a lifetime to begin their NWF careers with a victory over the World Tag Team Champions. Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne were caught off-guard from the beginning as Eaton and Sugar came out swinging. Several close falls made the High Flyers decide to up their game a bit, but they were constantly trying to make a comeback from their lackadaisical start to the match. When they realized that Sugar and Eaton were going all out for the win they decided to resort to their cheating ways that have picked them up so many victories as of late. This time it failed them. Gagne, the illegal man, grabbed Eaton from behind to give Brunzell an open shot, but Eaton moved out of the way of a savate kick. Gagne fell through the ropes and Brown Sugar entered the ring to drop Brunzell with a series of headbutts. This allowed Eaton the time to climb to the top rope and drill Brunzell with the Alabama Jam. A three count later and we had what many might consider the upset of the year.
Eaton and Sugar didn’t stick around too long after the match as they celebrated in the aisle, clapping hands with the fans. Meanwhile, Brunzell and Gagne argued about what had just happened inside the ring. After the show, they refused to discuss the match except for to say that there was no way that the New Wave was getting a title shot because of some fluke win. This might have bit them in the behind as will be revealed later.
Billy Graham pinned Paul Orndorff after a belly-to-back suplex in 0:13:06. Rating: *** ½
It isn’t talked about much, but Paul Orndorff has carried an undefeated streak since entering the NWF back in April. It’s hard enough to remain unbeaten in the wrestling world, let alone doing so in the NWF with the quality of competition there is. It all ended tonight, however, when he went up against “Superstar” Billy Graham. Graham seems to think that Orndorff and he should have some sort of bond since Billy’s brother took a key role in the development of Paul Orndorff. Orndorff doesn’t see that he owes Billy a thing, however, as has been shown by the times they’ve squared off in the ring. Billy Graham once again tried to shake Paul’s hand before the match, but Orndorff would have none of it. Graham became so frustrated with Orndorff that he demanded a microphone. He stated that Orndorff would not be where he is at now without the Graham family, and the lack of respect he was showing “Superstar” Graham was appalling. Orndorff had nothing to say except that it was time to shut up and wrestle. The match could have gone either way, but Orndorff made one error when he missed a diving elbowdrop off the second turnbuckle. Graham capitalized quickly by dropping him with a belly-to-back suplex that kept Orndorff’s shoulders on mat just long enough for Graham to get the win. A tough loss for Orndorff, but it just goes to show you that Billy Graham can still be at the top of his game.
Thunderbolt Patterson pinned Chief Jay Strongbow after a running powerslam in 0:09:44. Rating: * ½
This match was scheduled a couple of weeks ago, but Tony Atlas added a whole other aspect to it when he was able to get Tommy Rich to put a US Title shot up for the winner. Thunderbolt Patterson and Chief Jay Strongbow are pretty good friends with one another outside of the ring, but they put that to the side for one night. After a pre-match handshake these two tore right into one another. You could just tell that Thunderbolt was a little bit more determined to get that title shot, absorbing Strongbow’s offense before putting him away with a running powerslam. After the match, “Wildfire” Tommy Rich slid into the ring with his title and looked like he wanted to clock Thunderbolt upside the head with it, but before he could do a thing Tony Atlas came to the ring as well. This put a stop to Rich’s plans, who instead patted the unsuspecting Thunderbolt on the back. Thunderbolt seemed a little leery of “Wildfire,” but Rich raised his arm in victory. Atlas kept a close eye on Rich as he also went over and helped Strongbow to his feet and shook his hand. Rich said he looked forward to putting his title on the line against Thunderbolt in Denver before applauding both men for a great match. Tony Atlas didn’t look like he was believing any of it.
[Loser of the Fall Leaves NWF]: East-West Connection (Adrian Adonis and Jesse Ventura) defeated The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco and Jack Brisco) when Adonis pinned Jerry Brisco after outside interference in 0:16:50. Rating: *** ¼
Jack Brisco finally hit his boiling point last month when the East-West Connection stole another victory from him and his brother in a six-man tag. Jack issued this challenge to Jesse Ventura and Adrian Adonis where the loser of the fall would have to leave the National Wrestling Federation. Jack thought this would be a way to finally rid the NWF of one of the many wrestlers that like to cheat their way to success, but it didn’t go as he had planned. While the Brisco Brothers are a great tag team, former World Tag Champions in fact, the East-West Connection are no slouches. These two teams have been feuding off and on since the start of the NWF a year and a half ago, and one thing was clear, at the end of the night one team would be no more. Both Jack and Jerry Brisco were determined to not let themselves be cheated out of another match, and they did a good job of avoiding the one fatal blow that would end the match. And at one point it looked like Jerry would score the pin on Adonis to send him packing from the NWF when he nailed him with a beautiful atomic drop. Ventura was there to break it up, however, and this sent Jack into another uproar. Jack tackled Ventura and the two men brawled around on the outside. While the ref went to break that up, the East-West Connection’s ally, Billy Graham, entered the ring and cracked a wooden board across the back of Jerry’s head. Jerry fell in a heap as Adonis crawled over to make the cover. Jack Brisco never even saw his brother being pinned in the ring and thus did not make the save. Jerry Brisco was pinned and is now out of the NWF!
Billy Graham congratulated Adonis and Ventura on the outside as Jack reentered the ring to tend to his younger brother. Paul Orndorff joined Jack in the ring to make sure that the East-West Connection or Graham didn’t decide to do any more damage to the Brisco Brothers, but they had already accomplished their goal. Adonis and Ventura mockingly waved goodbye at Jerry Brisco as they headed to the back. Meanwhile, Jack Brisco and Orndorff helped Jerry to his feet and to the back. Jerry got a rousing ovation from the crowd, but it is sad to see Jerry Brisco’s NWF career end in such a way.
[Bodyslam Match]: Andre the Giant defeated Crusher Blackwell after a bodyslam in 0:07:31. Rating: 3/4*
This match may not be up for any match of the year awards, but there was quite a bit of anticipation as both men went to slam the other several times throughout the match. Neither man could seem to get the other up long enough to complete the slam and no wonder when you consider the size of both men. We did see what many people would have thought impossible in the end, however, when Andre the Giant moved out of the way of an avalanche in the corner from Blackwell. Andre then somehow got all of nearly 500 pounds of Crusher Blackwell up and slammed him to the mat. Skandor Akbar could hardly believe it, and maybe that’s why he decided to enter the ring after the match. Blackwell was still on his back, clearly stunned, and while Andre stood over him Akbar tried to ambush him. This did not go well as Andre grabbed Akbar and delivered a big overhand chop that sent the manager to the mat. Andre waved to the crowd as Crusher tried to get to his feet before falling on his backside.
It was revealed after the show that Andre the Giant will be heading back to Japan for some time, but will give a farewell address in Denver.
No-Time-Limit-Match: Harley Race pinned Greg Valentine with the Piledriver in 0:46:39. Rating: ***** (Harley Race retained the NWF World Title.)
What a great way to end an amazing night of NWF action. These two men put on a match that will be talked about for years to come. Greg Valentine has been close several times to dethroning Harley Race for the World Title, especially last month when he had Race locked in the Figure-Four Leglock before the bell rang to signal a time limit draw. Tonight that could not happen as there was no time limit. There would be a winner, and Valentine was determined that it would be him. Valentine wrestled what many would have to consider a perfect match. He has competed against Race so many times that he knows his strengths and weakness very well, and due to this was close numerous times of finally getting the three count. Somehow Race just wouldn’t stay down, however, and stayed in the match long enough to slowly start picking Valentine apart when there was an opening. Valentine also didn’t do himself any favors when he went to the top rope and missed a kneedrop with his loaded kneepad. This was the same move that put Race in the hospital, but Race was able to avoid it this time and it appeared to cause Valentine some major damage to his own leg. As we went past the 35 minute mark Valentine could see the match slowly starting to slip away. Skandor Akbar must have seen it too as he made his way down to ringside. Akbar has been promised by Valentine that if he wins the title then Crusher Blackwell will get the first title shot, but Valentine has to win the title first. Because of this Akbar has taken a special interest in his matches. Akbar looked a little woozy as he came down the aisle, apparently still suffering the effects of Andre’s right hand. Akbar had something in his hand that looked like a pair of brass knuckles, but he just did not appear to be with it as he tried to toss them into the ring, but they went over Valentine’s head and right into Race’s hands. As referee Isaac Madilla ejected Akbar from ringside, Race wound up and nailed Valentine between the eyes with the foreign object. Valentine dropped to a knee and Race wasted no time in slamming Valentine’s head into the mat with the Piledriver. Madilla turned around upon feeling the impact and made a three count that Valentine had no chance of kicking out from.
Harley Race had once again somehow found a way to retain his World Title. Jerry Lawler and Andre the Giant joined Race in the ring to celebrate his title defense while Valentine was rolled to the outside, clutching at his head and neck in agony. Race grabbed a microphone and thanked the fans for their support. He was ecstatic to finally have beaten Valentine thoroughly and was now ready to face the other great competitors of the NWF like Thunderbolt Patterson, Paul Orndorff, and yes, even Crusher Blackwell. He’ll have to wait for his next title defense, however, as just signed after the show was a match pitting the High Flyers against Harley Race and Jerry Lawler – for the tag team titles! The High Flyers may want to take back their decision to not give the New Wave a title shot because they now have two of the best wrestlers in the world aiming right at them.
Overall, this was a great show. I hate when you force me to pick up my game. I want to be lazy, dammit!
I like the idea of a hunt to find Mr. Fuji a new partner. Will give Fuji something to do other than be made a spot on the mat by Andre. Clearly, Buzz Sawyer is not the answer.
This Tommy Rich angles is one of the best angles I've ever read in a TNM circuit. It just keeps getting better and better. Rich picking Estrada to defend against is a total dick move for starters, as was his justification when Atlas called him out on it. Atlas also showing a surprising amount of cunning by getting Rich to agree to face more difficult competition at the next show with either Patterson or Strongbow (my guess is Thunderbolt).
HUGE win for Ole. Didn't hurt Raschke much either which is nice. Pringle went for too the well one too many times, and Ole showed he learns from his mistakes and capitalizes. I think Ole has to win the rubber match to push him forward, maybe against Rich soon?
Figured you'd wait one more show to (probably) blow off the Von Erichs/Cowboys feud. Streetfight should be absolutely brutal.
When you told me you had hired Eaton and Sugar, I didn't think it was to team them up. Not only that, with how on fire the High Flyers have been this year, I wouldn't have predicted that they'd win in pretty much clean fashion in their debut. This team is instantly credible. Your tag division is so good. I hate you.
No shame in Orndorff losing to Billy Graham. He's a former World champion (two times, if you want to count the entire universe) and a veteran. Plus, a winning streak can be a burden on certain wrestlers, and I think it would have been on Orndorff. Gives this one plenty of legs.
Thunderbolt wins as I predicted. Also loved Rich getting caught red-handed about to smash Thunderbolt with the US Title. The pat on the back made me laugh. Rich keeps digging his hole deeper and deeper. I don't think Thunderbolt beats him, but I do think his heel turn goes full-fledge at the next show.
Jerry Brisco is gone. Not a huge loss, but surprised to see you break up the Briscos. They're getting near the end of their ropes, so you'll survive, but still caught me off guard. I'm curious to see how far you go with Jack Brisco as a singles now.
The bodyslam match was fun. It's not exactly an exciting read, really, but picturing it in the context of the time period and the spectacle of Andre fixed that for me. Andre was of course winning. Good stuff.
You finally got your ***** match! Yay! Not surprised it was these two, and it looks like we have our universe's match of year (unless we have a great one on our year-end shows). Good to see Valentine get what was coming to him. He didn't win the title, but this feud elevates Valentine as a star. Great end to the show.
I'm glad you didn't use that "trial" match by Sawyer to turn it into a feud between Fuji and Sawyer. I think Fuji needs to be a tag wrestler, and Sawyer needs to stay a jobber.
Easy day on the job for Rich. Atlas is the booker now, is he? Patterson should provide Rich with a good challenge, but the issue with Atlas must be far from over.
Nice win for Ole. I think he needs to take home the rubber match. I'm not totally sure, but I reckon the Baron is in his twilight years as a wrestler, while Ole still has his best years ahead of him.
I suspect the next chapter in the Cowboys vs von Erich's saga is going to be the last, but it has been a grand feud and it needed to end in some sort of hardcore environment.
Wow. Didn't see a new team enter the ranks and get a win over the champions. Definitely interesting to see how far they will go. I'm not familiar with Sugar at all, but Eaton I know well.
Really nice cross-over storyline with Orndorff and Graham. I don't mind at all that Graham took his undefeated streak away either. I look forward to more encounters with these two.
No surprise that Patterson took the win. I don't know what Atlas is doing though, doesn't he know that once a turn is in effect, there's no turning back?
Bye-bye Briscos. Not surprised with the result, but we never know if someone has suddenly quit and needs to eat the fall. Oh, only the lose of the fall has to leave? That's terrible. Maybe Jerry comes back to feud with his brother for not coming to his aid.
Andre quit on you? Or simply too difficult to book?
And there's your first five star match! Wohoo! Sounds like an awesome match. Valentine has really grown into a great main event caliber star. I don't think Race and Lawler will win the tag titles, so the question is if this signals the turn for someone. Perhaps Lawler?
Hey, you're the one that keeps pumping out high quality cards at a rapid pace. I'm fighting to just catch up.
Rich has been a blast to write. I had no intentions of turning him heel when he won the title last year, but the more I wrote the "trying to get my respect" bits the more I saw him as a bit of a whiner. It went from there.
The New Wave was an actual team, too, so if I ever lose Brown or Eaton it's a team you can pick up. Reading through DVDVR and some of Cornette's stuff, this team was supposedly one of the more impressive tag teams there was at the time despite them not lasting long.
Jack Brisco still has around 3-4 years, I believe.
I want to push Sawyer, but there just isn't a spot for him yet. And a Fuji/Sawyer feud sounds pretty boring.
Andre the Giant was always supposed to come in for just a 5-7 month run. He's better as a touring act. There is only so much you can do with him since I didn't want to give him the title, but I felt like he needed a run in either the NWF or GCW at some point. At least he has made an appearance now. He might return at some point, but I just didn't feel comfortable jobbing him or giving him the title at this point in his career.
It's Koko B. Ware. Cool to see you knew there were two of them. It'd be fun to see Sweet Brown Sugar catch on and Koko never even make an appearance in the GCW universe, but I doubt it.
The New Wave (Bobby Eaton and Sweet Brown Sugar) defeated Mr. Fuji and Ron Bass when Sugar pinned Fuji with the Headbutt Trio in 0:12:19. Rating: ** ½
The last show of the year for the National Wrestling Federation started out with the return of “Outlaw” Ron Bass. Skandor Akbar was very happy to introduce him as the tag team partner for Mr. Fuji for the evening. What he was not happy with was how impressive the New Wave was. The New Wave are coming off a huge victory over the World Tag Team Champions, the High Flyers, in their debut, and they didn’t want to stop their momentum. Bass still had a bit of ring rust on him, and it looked like he was unsure how much he wanted to do with his right leg since this is first match back from a torn PCL. Thanks to this, Bass decided to stay on the outside for a majority of the match which led up to Sweet Brown Sugar drilling Fuji with three headbutts in a row, the last one being a jumping headbutt, that he calls the Headbutt Trio. Fuji was knocked senseless, and Bass was just too slow in coming in for the save. The New Wave now have to be considered favorites to get a future Tag Team Titles shot. Meanwhile, Akbar was pretty straightforward in saying that Mr. Fuji will not be teaming with Ron Bass again.
Chief Jay Strongbow pinned Adrian Adonis after a backbreaker in 0:11:01. Rating: ****
Chief Jay Strongbow is looking to get his career back on track in 1981, and he wanted to start that process by defeating Adrian Adonis. Adonis is coming off a big win where he and Jesse Ventura forced Jerry Brisco out of the NWF and has left their longtime rival, Jack Brisco, without his partner or his brother. Adonis and Strongbow put on a great match, going back and forth, but Strongbow caught Adonis coming off the ropes with a high crossbody block and dropped him with a backbreaker to get the three count.
Canadian Air (Lanny Poffo and Raymond Rougeau) defeated Crusher Blackwell and Greg Valentine when L. Poffo pinned Valentine with the Crucifix in 0:16:18. Rating: ***
Canadian Air have made great strides in becoming a formidable tag team in the NWF. They had a huge obstacle in front of them tonight, however, as they squared off against Crusher Blackwell and Greg Valentine. Greg Valentine allied himself with Devastation, Inc. to try and win the World Title from Harley Race. Skandor Akbar and Valentine came to an agreement that if Valentine won the title that Crusher Blackwell would be the one to get the first shot. That never happened as Valentine was unable to win the title, his last shot being earlier this month where Akbar’s interference backfired. It seemed like there was a little bit of friction from Valentine towards Akbar and Blackwell from the start of the match. It only continued to get worse as the match wore on, and it finally came to a head when Valentine grabbed Lanny Poffo from behind to give Crusher a free shot. Crusher bounced off the ropes, but Poffo was able to get out of the way which sent Crusher crashing belly first into Valentine. Valentine bounced backwards, into the ropes, and right back into the Crucifix by Poffo. Crusher was caught off-guard by a dropkick from Raymond Rougeau and was thus unable to make the save for his partner.
Canadian Air was ecstatic after the match, realizing they had just pulled out one of the biggest upsets of the year. They quickly headed to the back while Valentine got back to his feet and gave Crusher a shove. He was obviously not happy with Blackwell, but it became even more heated when Akbar tried to talk to him. Valentine gave Akbar a shove of his own and that sent Akbar crashing to the mat. Crusher was having none of that as he nailed Valentine with a double axehandle to the back, but Valentine brushed it off and simply exited the ring. Valentine could be heard saying that he didn’t need any more of Akbar’s crap. Akbar, meanwhile, told everyone in the back that he was aghast at the lack of respect Valentine showed him after he practically made him into a main event star. There is trouble brewing between Valentine and Devastation, Inc., and there is nothing more the crowd would like to see than for them to pound the hell out of each other. It looks like that might happen in Colorado Springs as a match has been signed between Greg Valentine and Crusher Blackwell.
Billy Graham defeated Jack Brisco by disqualification in 0:11:21. Rating: ** ½
Jack Brisco has been furious since the last show where his brother, Jerry, was sent packing out of the NWF by the East-West Connection and their partner in crime, Billy Graham. Brisco has been on a campaign this last year about the frequent use of under handed tactics by certain members of the roster, and he had another example of it when Graham nailed Jerry Brisco with a wooden board which led to Jerry being pinned and kicked out of the NWF. Jack wanted his revenge against Graham, and he was going to get the opportunity to get it here. It was the type of match you would expect out of these two as Brisco tried to wrestle Graham to the mat while Graham used every cheap tactic there is to get the advantage. Finally Jack Brisco had enough as he brought a chair into the ring and crashed it over Graham’s head much to the shock of the crowd. Referee Isaac Madilla was stunned for a second before signaling for the bell. He went to ask Brisco just what exactly he was doing, but Brisco threw the ref through the ropes and to the outside! Jack crashed the chair across Graham’s back as the crowd cheered rather reluctantly. Paul Orndorff entered the ring at this point to the cheers of the crowd. Orndorff whipped Brisco around to question him but Jack leveled him with a chair shot to the head as well! Orndorff fell to the mat as Brisco looked shocked at what he had done. Brisco dropped the chair and headed to the back as Adonis and Ventura came out to check on their friend, Billy Graham, while a couple of officials looked over Orndorff.
Later on in the night when Orndorff and Graham had fully recovered, there was a pull apart brawl in the back between Orndorff, Graham, and Brisco. Nobody knows what has gotten into Brisco’s head, and we all know that Orndorff and Graham don’t have a very good relationship. Hopefully something will be settled between Brisco and Orndorff as they will square off in January.
Andre the Giant came out before our next match to say his farewells to the National Wrestling Federation. Andre claimed that the NWF had the fiercest competition he had seen amongst his travels across the world and it was truly a sad day for him to leave. He hoped the best for his friends, Jerry Lawler and Harley Race, and that they would win the tag titles later on this evening. He promised that he would return and when he did he would be focused on the NWF World Title. He said that Harley Race was the toughest man he had ever stepped into the ring with, and he looked forward to facing him at some point for that title once again. He waved his goodbyes as the crowd gave him a round of applause.
Match with Managers Banned From Ringside: Ole Anderson pinned Baron Von Raschke with the Spinebuster Slam in 0:13:02. Rating: ** ¼
Ole Anderson and Baron Von Raschke have split their last two matches, Percy Pringle being a huge factor in both matches. Tonight they were going to be able to meet up in the deciding bout with Pringle being banned from ringside. Raschke has had a pretty up and down year, going from a World Title contender to suffering from a few surprise losses. Ole Anderson has had the same problems, winning some key matches, but never being able to keep his momentum. It would be Ole, though, going into 1981 with a win as he was able to survive the Claw when Raschke had it locked on, and recovered enough to drill Raschke into the mat with the Spinebuster Slam to get the three count. Raschke will have to go back to the drawing board with Pringle while Ole hopes to take this win and use it to advance up the ladder.
Street Fight: The Von Erich Brothers (David Von Erich and Kevin Von Erich) defeated Dirty Cowboys (Bob Orton Jr. and Dick Slater) when D. Von Erich pinned Orton after a bulldog in 0:18:03. Rating: *****
This feud has to come to an end, and what better way to do it than in a street fight? These two teams have been feuding ever since Bob Orton Jr. cost himself and David Von Erich the Tag Team Titles back in April. With each match the intensity has grown and it completely exploded here. There would be no disqualifications or countouts in this match, and that’s a good thing as otherwise within the first few minutes this match would have had to be thrown out. It didn’t take long before Dick Slater and Kevin Von Erich were busted wide open, brawling around ringside, nailing each other with anything that wasn’t nailed down. David Von Erich and Bob Orton Jr. focused in on one another, and they, too, were soon suffering from bloody wounds. Chairs soon became involved as well as several items they found under the ring including a wooden broom, a wrench, and a steel chain. It began to get to the point where you wondered just how much more punishment any of these men could take. All four men started to slow down as the match wore on, but they were unable to find a way to put the match away. It came down to David Von Erich using a chair that had been left in the ring, bulldogging Orton onto that steel chair, that knocked Orton out just long enough to get the three count.
All four men had to seek out medical attention after one of the most vicious and brutal matches the NWF has ever seen. It’s hard to call either team winners or losers of this feud as both have grown a great deal, but neither team will ever be the same due to the battles they’ve had. After the show while he was being stitched up, Orton was asked if he had found a new respect for the Von Erich Family? Orton replied that he would never respect those damned wannabe cowboys. David Von Erich was a little more respectable, saying that Orton was far tougher than he ever could have expected, but he would never forget the turmoil that he had put himself and his brother through. With this feud coming to an end both teams can put their focus on winning the World Tag Team Titles.
Tommy Rich pinned Thunderbolt Patterson after a flying cross body press in 0:12:20. Rating: * 3/4 (Tommy Rich retained the NWF United States Title.)
“Wildfire” Tommy Rich may have gotten himself into deeper trouble than he expected when he allowed Tony Atlas to decide just who he would be defending his US Title against on tonight’s show. Thunderbolt Patterson won a match against Chief Jay Strongbow to get the shot, and he was determined to take full advantage of it. Rich fell back on his recent strategy of trying to stall as long as possible, but when they finally had to hook up Thunderbolt took control immediately. Thunderbolt thoroughly dominated the match, and it looked like we would see a new champion, but Rich still had a few tricks up his sleeve. Just as it looked like Thunderbolt was going for his Thunderbolt Right, Rich pulled referee Alfred Neely in the way. Thunderbolt connected beautifully but it was to Neely and not Rich. Neely went down like a sack of bricks as Thunderbolt looked on horrified. Rich reached down into his tights and pulled out a small bag which he opened while Patterson was distracted. Patterson finally brought his attention back to Rich, but walked right into an explosion of white powder that Rich threw into his eyes. Referee Barney Sullivan entered the ring just as Patterson was swinging wildly, obviously blinded from Rich throwing the powder into his eyes. Rich flew off the ropes with a cross body press that Patterson had no chance of blocking. Rich held onto the tights as Sullivan counted Patterson’s shoulders to the mat.
Rich had a huge grin on his face as he was handed his US Title. Patterson was still clutching at his eyes while Rich mockingly swung wildly around like he couldn’t see either. This went on for some time as the crowd really started to turn on Rich. Finally Tony Atlas came to the ring and demanded just what the hell was wrong with Rich. Atlas went to check on Patterson, and Rich saw an opportunity to perhaps cheap shot his best friend. Atlas must have sensed him coming, however, as he got to his feet just as Rich looked like he was about to land a blow. Rich put his hands up like there was no way he would have attacked Atlas, but Tony was having none of it as he nailed Rich with a right hand that sent “Wildfire” flailing backwards. Rich left the ring, screaming that Atlas would pay for embarrassing him like that while Atlas continued to check up on Thunderbolt.
The High Flyers (Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne) defeated Jerry Lawler and Harley Race when G. Gagne pinned Race via pinfall in 0:13:04. Rating: *** (The High Flyers retained the NWF World Tag Team Titles.)
The High Flyers have resorted to using every under handed tactic in the book to retain their tag titles over the past six months. Tonight they would need those and quite a bit more if they wanted to beat a team that consisted of World Champion Harley Race and Jerry “The King” Lawler. Or so we thought. Race controlled the majority of the match, keeping both Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne on the ropes throughout the match. Brunzell was finally able to put a stop to Race’s dominance by simply colliding with him head to head in the center of the ring after both men were coming off the ropes. Both men started to slowly crawl to their corners while Lawler apparently pulled something out of his trunks. Brunzell made the tag to Gagne just as Race got to his feet to tag Lawler only to be nailed between the eyes with whatever Lawler pulled out of his tights! What in the world? Race collapsed to the mat as Lawler hopped off the ring apron and made an offensive gesture towards the fans. Gagne hopped on top of Race and referee Isaac Madilla had no choice but to count the three.
The High Flyers celebrated like they had just won the World Series, jumping into one another’s arms and lifting their titles high. Meanwhile, several fans started to jaw with Lawler about his actions. Lawler motioned like he was going to backhand them, but instead he laughed in their faces when they flinched. Race was still unconscious in the center of the ring while Lawler continued to taunt the crowd. Just what has gotten into Jerry Lawler?
Post by snabbit888 on Nov 13, 2011 16:40:57 GMT -5
Looks like you're reshuffling the deck somewhat here. A lot of turns. Rich is officially heel, Brisco looks to be turning hell, Lawler turned, Valentine maybe turning face... I like the shake up.
Ron Bass is back, but not as a good partner for Fuji. New Wave win again... wonder what they'll have to do to get their title shot.
Have to think Strongbow pinning Adonis clean is a bit of an upset. Is it leading to anything?
Canadian Air gets a big win, even if Blackwell and Valentine essentially beat themselves. Not entirely sure Valentine will turn full face, but he'll definitely be the de facto face in this match. Have to think Valentine... he has a far bigger upside.
I kind of saw Brisco losing it coming, but did not see him more or less callously nailing Orndorff with a chair. Sure, it was an accident, but he wasn't exactly sad about it. I think their match is going to get ugly.
Must... sign... Andre...
Huge win for Ole. Good for him. I can see him being the man who beats Rich for the title.
Man, go from having no 5-star matches to getting two in a row. That was the best way to end this feud. A great match. Both teams will move onto something else, but I can see them crossing paths often (at least until David Von Erich's untimely death). Either way, I think this will go down as a legendary feud that will be remembered whenever we get further ahead in this universe.
Yup, that's the official turn of Rich. Now he's about to get his hat rack cracked by Atlas. Hard to believe Rich has held that title for a year. Not sure how much longer he's going to hold it though.
Lawler turn took me completely off guard. It's going to be interesting to see how he justifies it. Is it just business? Frustration over not winning the title he thinks he deserves? Thinks Race is ducking him? Kudos for starting a huge angle going into 1981.
I'm next! Hope to be done in a couple days at the most.
I wonder if you'll find a suitable partner for Fuji. Bass was not the answer, obviously.
Great to see the Chief pick up the win. Great match too.
Did Valentine no-sell Crusher? I smell controversy.
Wonder what's going on with Brisco. Good that Ole picked up the win. 1981 can be good for him I think. A US Title match must be on the horizon.
Looks like one heckuva streetlight. Back to back shows with 5-star matches? Congrats
Turn completed. Brilliant. Now that the turn is in effect, it'll be interesting to see how you'll book his run from here on out.
I called it, didn't I? Heel Lawler may be Race's next contender, and I'm not so sure he won't be winning it either. Lots of double negatives there. Not sure where I ended up thinking about his chances. Oh well.
So 1980 is over for NWF, and soon for GCW. Well, then I have a job to do.
WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: Harley Race TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR: The High Flyers MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Skandor Akbar MATCH OF THE YEAR: World Title - Harley Race (c) vs. Greg Valentine, Topeka, KS - 12/6/80 FEUD OF THE YEAR: Dirty Cowboys vs. The Von Erich Brothers MOST POPULAR: Harley Race MOST HATED: Greg Valentine MOST IMPROVED: Ole Anderson NEWCOMER(s) OF THE YEAR: Canadian Air
The Von Erich Brothers (David Von Erich and Kevin Von Erich) defeated Mr. Fuji and Baron Von Raschke when D. Von Erich made Fuji submit to the Iron Claw in 0:08:26. Rating: *** ¾
The start of the new year began with Skandor Akbar’s quest to find a suitable tag team partner for Mr. Fuji. It looked like he might have found someone to fill that role when he brought out Baron Von Raschke. Percy Pringle was out there as well, and it’s not very often that you see two managers on the same team. There is a reason for that as was shown here. The Von Erich Brothers, coming off a big win over the Dirty Cowboys last month, had their hands full, but were far more in sync with one another than the makeshift team of Fuji and Raschke. Pringle and Akbar got into it as well on the outside as they could not appear to agree on what strategy to use. This led to Pringle becoming so frustrated that he demanded Raschke leave the ring and follow him to the back. The Baron seemed reluctant but soon joined his manager in the locker room. Fuji was left all alone with the Von Erich’s and his downfall was guaranteed. Later on in the evening, a reporter talked to Skandor Akbar who was furious. During their conversation, however, Akbar received a phone call at the arena. Akbar’s temper quickly changed and was rather happy to announce that there may be a solution to the search for Fuji’s partner. Hopefully we will find out about that in Indianapolis, IN.
Chief Jay Strongbow defeated Jerry Estrada when Jerry Estrada passed out in the Indian Deathlock in 0:06:54. Rating: ** ½
Chief Jay Strongbow picked up another win here tonight in easy fashion against Jerry Estrada. Strongbow has surprised quite a few people as of late as he works his way back up the singles ladder. Strongbow has told people in the back that his only regret in his career is that he hasn’t ever won a World Heavyweight Title, and he is determined to win his first World Championship before the year is up. He has promised that 1981 will be his year. He has a long road to haul if plans on making good with his promise.
Harley Race pinned Greg Gagne with the Piledriver in 0:10:02. Rating: *** 1/4 (Harley Race retained the NWF World Title.)
Greg Gagne was granted this World Title shot after his less than impressive pinfall over Harley Race on the last show. Gagne was able to capitalize on Jerry Lawler’s cowardly cheap shot to pin the World Champion, and now he had the shot at adding the most prestigious title in the NWF, the World Title, to the World Tag Team Title that he currently holds. Gagne thought he had it all planned out as he was accompanied to the ring by his partner, Jim Brunzell. What he couldn’t have expected was Harley Race announcing before the match that he figured Brunzell would be here tonight, so he talked to a couple of his own friends, a couple of guys that the High Flyers knew pretty well, and they would be joining him at ringside. Lanny Poffo and Raymond Rougeau, Canadian Air, made their way down to ringside while Brunzell and Gagne threw a fit. It would do them no good as the match began once they hit ringside. Gagne’s game was thrown completely off as he seemed overly pre-occupied with Canadian Air, and you can’t expect to beat a guy like Race when your mind isn’t on the match. Canadian Air kept Brunzell neutralized and that allowed Race to drop Gagne with the Piledriver and get the three count. Brunzell made one last ditch attempt at attacking Race after the bell was rung, but Canadian Air was there to send him and Gagne packing. Canadian Air and the High Flyers have had their battles, and this was just another stick on the fire. The High Flyers were so upset after the match that they agreed to defend their tag titles against Canadian Air on the next show.
After the match, Harley Race was left alone in the ring. He picked up a microphone and demanded that Jerry Lawler make his way to the ring and tell him why he would turn his back on him. Race claimed that there was no bad blood between Lawler and himself until he nailed him between the eyes with a pair of brass knuckles, but there sure as hell was some bad blood now. Race waited for Lawler to appear, knowing that he was in the building, but when he didn’t show his face Race stormed to the back to find him.
The New Wave (Bobby Eaton and Sweet Brown Sugar) defeated East-West Connection (Adrian Adonis and Jesse Ventura) when Eaton defeated Adonis by disqualification in 0:10:32. Rating: *** ½
The New Wave and the East-West Connection have both been on amazing runs in the last few months in the NWF. The New Wave debuted just recently with a non-title victory over the High Flyers while the East-West Connection were victorious in their feud with the Brisco Brothers and in the process sent Jerry Brisco packing. Both teams figured that with a win here they would be next in line for a World Tag Team Title shot. We ended up witnessing a pretty evenly contested contest between the two teams, but Bobby Eaton and Sweet Brown Sugar have really shown an ability to blend mat wrestling with some high risk maneuvers that are bound to be the next generation of wrestling. It looked like they were going to be able to use their extraordinary skillset to overcome Adrian Adonis and Jesse Ventura, but the East-West Connection decided to introduce a chair to the match that led to the disqualification of Adonis. Neither Adonis or Ventura were able to hit either Sugar or Eaton with the chair, but just the fact that they brought it into the ring caused referee Alfred Neely to disqualify them. Eaton and Sugar were not satisfied with their victory and have demanded a rematch with Adonis and Ventura. The East-West Connection realized that they need to beat the New Wave to get back into title contention and have agreed to the match.
Greg Valentine pinned Crusher Blackwell after a kneelift in 0:11:12. Rating: **
These two men have been on the same side for most of 1980, but due to Greg Valentine’s inability to defeat Harley Race for the World Title, thanks in part to botched interference by Skandor Akbar, they have now become enemies. Valentine blames Akbar for costing him his last World Title shot while Akbar seems to think that Valentine is being rather ungrateful for all the help he has given to Valentine throughout his feud with Race. It’s not very often that either of these men are cheered, but both were on the receiving end of cheers from the crowd. To be clear, it wasn’t because they were fans of either man, they just wanted to see both men get their heads bashed in. Valentine and Crusher Blackwell did not disappoint as they viciously beat on one another for the duration of the match. Both men wore down from the beating they were giving each other and it finally came down to Valentine being just one step ahead of Crusher. Valentine was able to catch Crusher off-guard with a perfectly placed kneelift, and with the loaded kneepad for the extra blunt trauma, Blackwell fell to the mat. Valentine hooked the leg and got the three count while Akbar unsuccessfully tried to distract the referee. This is a big win for Valentine, and it might just get him back on track.
Ole Anderson pinned Ron Bass with the Spinebuster Slam in 0:10:21. Rating: **
“Outlaw” Ron Bass looked a lot more mobile than he did last month after he returned from a hiatus due to a torn PCL. The only problem for him was that he was going up against Ole Anderson, a man that has been on quite the hot streak as of late. Bass knocked off some more ring rust, but he fell short of his attempt of a victory when he was nailed with the Spinebuster Slam. If Ole Anderson can continue to hit that move out of nowhere, like he did tonight, there are going to be great things ahead for him.
Bob Orton Jr. pinned Thunderbolt Patterson after a swinging neckbreaker in 0:09:45. Rating: *** ¼
The result of this match has to be considered an upset even with the constant interference by “Dirty” Dick Slater on the outside. Bob Orton Jr. used the constant distractions from his tag team partner to drop Thunderbolt Patterson with a swinging neckbreaker that was just enough to keep his shoulders on the mat. The Dirty Cowboys are on a mission to win the World Tag Team Titles, but this shows that Orton could have a possible future in singles competition. Thunderbolt Patterson, meanwhile, was not happy with the decision. He has demanded that Slater meet him in the ring in Indianapolis.
Before the match could begin, Jack Brisco decided to address the issues that the fans had been bringing up since the show in Denver. Jack said that he had come to the realization that it meant nothing to follow the rules anymore. It didn’t do him or his brother any good for the past year, and it was pretty clear that the only ones that were getting ahead in the NWF were the ones breaking the rules. Jack said he was through following whatever rules and regulations the NWF had because it wasn’t like they were properly enforced anyways. He said he didn’t want any friends or any allies, he was going off on his own, and to hell with everyone else. He said he still owed a beating to Billy Graham for sending his brother packing from the NWF, and Paul Orndorff, well, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Orndorff joined him in the ring at this point and told Jack that he regretted ever coming to the aid of the Briscos since it was obvious that they are just a couple of whiners. Jack Brisco and Paul Orndorff traded insults until it came to fisticuffs which started their scheduled match.
Jack Brisco pinned Paul Orndorff after a backslide in 0:14:54. Rating: * ¾
Just a couple of months ago if you’d told me that these two would be involved in a match with as much intensity as they showed here I would not have believed you. Orndorff and Brisco both upped their game tonight to try and come out the victor. There were numerous near falls from both men, but as the match wore on Brisco decided to start breaking more and more rules. He almost pinned Orndorff when he nailed him with a lariat and used the tights on his pinfall attempt. Orndorff kicked out and was furious when he got back to his feet, nearly decapitating Brisco with a lariat. From that point on it looked like Orndorff would walk away with the win, but that changed when “Superstar” Billy Graham made his way down to ringside. Graham distracted Orndorff just long enough for Brisco to grab him from behind and bring him over with a backslide. Orndorff tried his best to kick out, but Brisco had just enough leverage to hold on for the victory.
After the match, Graham entered the ring and started to admonish Orndorff for ever forfeiting his friendship with the Graham family. Graham told Orndorff that he would have won his match tonight if he had just come under his mentorship. Orndorff made sure that Graham knew he was going to have nothing else to do with the Grahams. Billy Graham just shook his head as if he couldn’t believe that Orndorff would make such a foolish decision when out of nowhere Jack Brisco crashed a chair across the back of Billy Graham. He had never left ringside! Graham collapsed to the mat as Brisco yelled that was payment for his brother. Brisco dropped the chair in the ring as Orndorff looked on, apparently disgusted by the whole ordeal.
Tony Atlas defeated Tommy Rich when Tommy Rich passed out in the Bearhug in 0:14:25. Rating: * 3/4 (Tony Atlas won the NWF United States Title.)
These two men have been best friends since the beginning of the NWF, and it was a sad sight to see them tear into one another like they did tonight. Tommy Rich has slowly been moving out from the underdog role and into the underhanded tactician, and Tony Atlas hasn’t been very supportive of the new wrestling style that Rich has employed. Rich started the match off by offering his hand, but Atlas would have none of it. He had promised the boys in the back that he wouldn’t fall for any of Rich’s tricks, and he apparently thought this was one of them. The match itself was mostly Rich trying to avoid Atlas’ strength. Rich knew that if Atlas ever got ahold of him that the match could be over pretty quickly. Due to this, Rich continued to escape to the outside whenever he looked like he was in trouble. He was very intelligent with his decisions and avoided a lot of mistakes. You can’t be the US Champion for over a year without being a very strategic wrestler, and that’s exactly what Rich showed tonight. Unfortunately for him, he finally made one mistake, and surprisingly enough, it was when he tried to cheat his way to victory. Rich pulled out a small bag from his tights that he opened up to reveal the same type of white powder he used to blind Thunderbolt Patterson in their match last month. It looked like he was going to use it on Atlas, but Atlas saw it coming and was able to kick Rich’s hand which caused the powder to fly into “Wildfire’s” own eyes. Tommy Rich stumbled around the ring, punching at air, but instead of connecting he walked right into the Bearhug! Atlas had it on firmly in the center of the ring, but Rich refused to submit. Atlas continued to apply pressure until Rich’s head dropped and it looked like he lost conscious. Referee Isaac Madilla checked Rich’s arm and didn’t receive a response. Madilla called for the bell and we had a new United States Champion!
Tony Atlas was handed the US Title as the crowd roared their approval. Atlas looked down at the fallen body of Rich before shaking his head in disgust. Atlas took the title to the back as Rich was helped up. Rich looked horrified when he realized he had lost his championship, but there was nothing he could do at that point.
It looked like we were at the end of the show when Jerry “The King” Lawler came down to the ring. Lawler said he wanted to make one thing perfectly clear: World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race is a coward. Lawler said that for the past year he has been living in Race’s shadow but no more. Lawler reminded everyone that he and Greg Valentine had a historical feud a little over a year ago, and he was the one that came out the winner. Lawler wondered why it was Valentine getting all the title shots while Lawler was stuck wrestling Crusher Blackwell, a man that Race never fought once. Lawler also wanted to know where Race was when he was being blinded by Skandor Akbar at the beginning of the year. He thought it rather convenient that Race didn’t lift a finger to stop it, yet when Race was close to suffering the same fate it was he and Andre the Giant, the big goof, who was there to save the day. Lawler wanted to know where were his thanks? Lawler ran down all the times he saved Race from being brutally beat down by Greg Valentine or Crusher Blackwell, but never once did Race say thank you. And when Race had finally defeated Greg Valentine he gave a speech about how he couldn’t wait to defend the World Title against the likes of Thunderbolt Patterson, Paul Orndorff, and Crusher Blackwell, a man Lawler had just beaten. Lawler realized at that point that Race was never going to give him the title shot since his name wasn’t even in the top three challengers Race wanted to face. Lawler knew Race was going to continue to use him as the guy to take care of the real threats to his title while Race was able to sit back and relax.
It looked like Lawler was going to continue his rant when Harley Race stepped out, World Title around his waist. Race told Lawler that if he wanted a World Title shot all he had to do was ask. Race told Lawler to bring his ‘A’ game to Indianapolis because he wanted no excuses when he breaks Lawler’s neck. Lawler was taken aback by Race’s promise of violence, but he nodded his head in agreement. It looks like we have a dynamite main event in just a few weeks!
Post by snabbit888 on Nov 23, 2011 17:54:58 GMT -5
Can't believe it's already 1981... wowzers.
Looks like Fuji finally is going to get a partner. I think that these bridges that Akbar & Fuji have burned though in the search for a new partner might come back to bite them though. I can't imagine Akbar takes this perceived disrespect in stride.
Strongbow vowing to win the World Title, eh? Not a chance in hell that happens, but it's a story I could see the fans getting behind.
Race wasn't losing the title to Greg Gagne, but the match made a lot of sense, and having Canadian Air in his corner added a different element too. Canadian Air is far more seasoned than they were the last time they were challenging for the titles. I'm not sure if this is the time for them to win them, but I wouldn't be shocked if they did.
Race wants to get his hands on Lawler, and understandably so, but it's not going to be that easy.
The New Wave is growing on me already. You're really good at getting these plucky, upstart face teams over. I would think that Adonis/Ventura need to win the next match between the two. I feel like they have lost a lot of momentum since the hot start they had when this circuit began.
Even if it was with the help of the loaded kneepad, Valentine pinning Blackwell is huge. Valentine needs to find something to do while Race/Lawler is going on. Blackwell is going to need better showings than this if he wants a World Title shot.
The Dirty Cowboys need to build some momentum back up after losing to the Von Erichs in that feud, and Thunderbolt is a good foil for that. You impressed me with the little run you gave Patterson to start, but I think Patterson is a lot like Strongbow in that he's a midcard guy best used to elevate heels.
Brisco's explanation makes perfect sense. The ol' "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" heel turn. Any chance that Brisco attacking Orndorff was an accident was thrown out the window with this match and interview. And with the Billy Graham stuff, Orndorff has a lot on his plate. An ally might be useful for him.
Tommy Rich's very impressive US Title reign is over at the hands of Tony Atlas. Atlas will make a great champion, and I think losing the title will help develop Rich's character ever more. With all he did to keep the title over the year, who knows what he'll do to try to get it back.
Lawler's explanation was spot on. Race sounds a bit like a dick after that. Lawler won't win the next match, but he's about to take a huge step toward being a superstar depending on how he is in this feud.
The Von Erich brothers are on the fast track to a tag title reign, I think. Too bad we didn't get to see the battle of the claws.
Wow, is Strongbow following in the footsteps of Gorilla Monsoon? He's got a long way to go before a world title shot though.
You can never win a world title match that isn't the main event, everyone knows that Still, a good way to bring about a new tag title match for Canadian Air. As I still think the Von Erich brothers will win the titles soon, the Canadians will fail.
Oh, so you aren't turning Valentine face after all? At least not so quickly. I like slow turns.
Ole was really close to making the Top 5 Who to Watch list for 1981. Cause I think it will be a good year for him.
Big win for Orton. I wonder if this can lead to Patterson taking up a tag partner? I don't think the Cowboys will go for the titles yet.
I really enjoys the Graham/Orndorrf/Brisco feud. Never thought you could make Jack Brisco an interesting singles character. It was all too easy to just have Jack align himself with Graham, but sometimes, things aren't black and white. Looks like Jack is some sort of tweener right now. He's bound to get cheers when he wrestles Graham.
Rich has been champ for a long time, so it makes sense for Atlas to win the title. I hope Rich's push continue, he surely is an interesting character. And on my "To Watch list"
Wow. When Lawler turned against Race, I didn't really know his motivation. Now I know that you have planned it meticolously and very very well. Kudos to a good start of 1981.
Tonight’s show began with Skandor Akbar walking down to the ring with a special guest, somebody well known in the NWF – Toru Tanaka! Toru Tanaka was the former partner of Mr. Fuji before Jerry Lawler forced him out of wrestling with a brutal neck injury. Akbar let everyone know that ever since Tanaka had gone back to Japan that he had been on the lookout for a tag team partner for his best friend, Mr. Fuji. Akbar had done his best to find one from the United States, but there apparently was no one worthy. And while Akbar said he had failed, Toru Tanaka had not as he had found the right partner for Fuji, a man more vicious and cutthroat than anyone here in the NWF. Akbar was proud to introduce Mr. Fuji and his new tag team partner – Mr. Saito! Saito, nearly six feet and 260 pounds, didn’t look like a guy you wanted to mess with. Akbar thanked Tanaka for his continued service and Tanaka gave him a bow before bowing to Fuji and leaving the ring. Akbar said he was proud to have Fuji and Saito by his side in Devastation, Inc. and he was going to remind everyone why he is the most dangerous man on the planet. He was going to get his revenge on the men that had wanted to be Fuji’s partner only to embarrass themselves and Akbar. Akbar said the punishment starts now since he was able to sign match between Fuji and Saito against Baron Von Raschke and Ron Bass.
Mr. Fuji and Mr. Saito defeated Baron Von Raschke and Ron Bass when Saito pinned Ron Bass with the Saito Suplex in 0:09:46. Rating: ** ½
An unlikely pairing for sure, but apparently Skandor Akbar was somehow able to convince the Championship Committee to get this match signed. Akbar has been outspoken that he felt Ron Bass lied about how healthy he was when he volunteered to try out to be Fuji’s partner a few weeks back. And we all saw Akbar and Percy Pringle, Raschke’s manager, bickering back and forth that led to Raschke abandoning Fuji to be beaten by the Von Erich Brothers. Akbar saw this as revenge, and he made sure his men took this match very seriously. Saito was very impressive in his NWF debut, moving quickly across the ring, and delivering some painful blows and a thrust kick that almost knocked the teeth out of Ron Bass. The crowd was pretty reluctant to cheer either team and decided instead to just watch the skirmish. Pringle and Akbar decided to have words with one another again on the outside, and this time they almost came to blows. This distraction allowed Saito to catch Bass out of nowhere with a move he calls the Saito Suplex. It’s his version of the suplex that almost drops his opponent directly on their head. Bass got the full brunt of it and was unable to kick out.
After the show, it was Pringle’s turn to complain about the match. He said he was a far better manager than Skandor Akbar, and this match was a sham since he had so little time to prepare for it. Next month in Omaha, Nebraska, Pringle is aligning the three men that attempted to be Fuji’s partner, Raschke, Bass, and Buzz Sawyer, to go at it with all three members of Devastation, Inc. Pringle has a steep hill to climb, especially when you add a guy like Crusher Blackwell to the mix.
Chief Jay Strongbow pinned Tommy Rich after a roll up in 0:07:40. Rating: ***
“Wildfire” Tommy Rich is coming off a year long US Title reign, and you’d think that he would be satisfied with the amazing run he had. Instead, he has spent the last couple of weeks complaining to anyone in hearing distance that Tony Atlas had stolen the title from him, and it just proved what a poor friend he was. Rich has promised to win back the title since he has proven himself over the past year to be the only one worthy of holding such a prestigious title. He went up against the recently hot Chief Jay Strongbow tonight, and Strongbow has been on a mission of his own, to become the World Heavyweight Champion before the end of 1981. Strongbow has been impressive lately, but Rich had a fire lit under him that we haven’t seen in quite some time. He stopped using the underhanded tactics and focused on winning the match. It seemed like it was going to work for him, but when Strongbow kicked out of a bulldog it looked like Rich was beginning to get frustrated. Rich reached into his tights and pulled out a small bag of powder, going back to his cheating ways. While referee Alfred Neely checked on Strongbow, Rich prepared to throw it into the eyes of Strongbow. US Champion Tony Atlas, however, refused to stand in the back and watch this happen as he jumped up on the ring apron, turned Rich around, and slapped Rich’s hand which caused the powder to fly into Tommy’s eyes! Tommy Rich staggered around the ring, clutching at his eyes, which allowed Strongbow to come up from behind and roll him up for the three count! This was another huge win for Strongbow while Rich could not believe that he had lost another match. Rich will not be getting his rematch with Atlas in Omaha due to this recent loss and it about caused him to lose it. Rich has promised that this is not over between himself and Atlas.
East-West Connection (Adrian Adonis and Jesse Ventura) defeated The New Wave (Bobby Eaton and Sweet Brown Sugar) when Ventura pinned Eaton after a lariat in 0:11:59. Rating: *** ½
The New Wave have been on fire since entering the NWF, defeating the High Flyers in a non-title match, Mr. Fuji and Ron Bass, and the East-West Connection by disqualification. East-West Connection, on the other hand, has seen their ups and downs since day one. They recently were a major factor in sending Jerry Brisco packing from the NWF, but saw themselves take a step backwards when they had to get themselves disqualified to avoid a pinfall loss to the New Wave a few weeks back. They came into this match refocused, and were able to give “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and Sweet Brown Sugar an evenly fought match. Still, it looked like the New Wave would be on their way to victory once again as the East-West Connection just couldn’t seem to keep up when Ventura caught Eaton out of nowhere with a lariat. Eaton was knocked silly just long enough for Ventura to score the surprise pinfall. Ventura and Adonis narrowly escaped from this one with a victory, but the New Wave will be back looking for a victory over the experienced team. One team that might be just as happy as the East-West Connection with this result was the High Flyers. It looks like they will be able to avoid the New Wave’s rematch for just a little bit longer.
Ole Anderson pinned Greg Valentine with the Spinebuster Slam in 0:09:46. Rating: * ¾
Ole Anderson was able to show just how far he’s coming in singles wrestling when he held his own with Greg Valentine here tonight. Valentine was slightly taken aback when Ole put up as much of a fight as he did. Valentine had to buckle down and focus on this match if he wanted to walk away with a win. It took him some time, but he was finally able to do so and he started to work over Ole’s leg to prepare him for the Figure-Four Leglock. Anderson did a great job of avoiding the hold, however, and even came close to scoring the upset when he rolled Valentine up in a small package after Valentine took too long in trying to lock on the hold. Valentine was able to regroup and go for the hold once more, but this time he was distracted by Crusher Blackwell lumbering down to the ring. Valentine and Blackwell exchanged words which allowed Ole to catch his breath. Valentine turned around and walked right into the Spinebuster Slam from Ole. That move will put any man’s shoulders on the mat and Valentine was no different. Ole Anderson scored perhaps the biggest victory of his career while Crusher Blackwell had to feel good about himself for costing Valentine an important match. These two men are far from done with one another.
Thunderbolt Patterson pinned Dick Slater with the Thunderbolt Right in 0:09:25. Rating: * ¾
Thunderbolt Patterson was not pleased with the result of his match with Bob Orton Jr. back in Colorado Springs, and he planned on taking it out on the man that cost him the match, “Dirty” Dick Slater. It looked like we might see a repeat of the Orton/Patterson match as Orton continued to interfere and give Slater the advantage. Finally referee Barney Sullivan had seen enough and ejected Orton from ringside. Orton threw a fit, but there was nothing that could be done. With just Slater and Thunderbolt in the ring the momentum quickly switched. Patterson was able to connect with his Thunderbolt Right just moments later and score the victory. Within seconds of the bell ringing Orton was back in the ring and stomping away at Thunderolt. Slater soon joined in and the Dirty Cowboys left Patterson lying. Patterson may be getting the winner’s share of the purse, but he probably didn’t feel like much of a winner when he was being checked out by the medical crew after the show.
Paul Orndorff pinned Buzz Sawyer with the Piledriver in 0:06:47. Rating: ** ½
Buzz Sawyer came into the NWF looking to make a name for himself, but so far things just haven’t gone his way. He was hoping to turn things around here against Paul Orndorff, but Orndorff was not going to go into this match and overlook someone with the talent of Sawyer. Orndorff was able to take all Sawyer had to offer before finishing him off with the Piledriver. Billy Graham joined Orndorff in the ring after the match, but Graham let it be known that he came in peace. Graham said it was clear that Orndorff has talent, but he was wasting it by not allowing himself to be trained by the best. Graham told Orndorff to take a close look at what he does to Jack Brisco later on tonight if he wants to see what he could become.
The High Flyers (Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne) defeated Canadian Air (Lanny Poffo and Raymond Rougeau) when Brunzell pinned L. Poffo after a small package in 0:23:18. Rating: *** 1/2 (The High Flyers retained the NWF World Tag Team Titles.)
Canadian Air has really come into their own this past year. When they first started teaming there was some questioning if they would ever be able to compete at a higher level. They have proven their doubters wrong on multiple occasions, and tonight they got their shot at the ultimate goal in the NWF, the World Tag Team Titles. They’ve faced off against the High Flyers before, but never have they been as complete of a tag team as they are now. Lanny Poffo and Raymond Rougeau have transformed themselves from the plucky young team they were into one of the biggest threats to the High Flyers’ title reign. “Jumping” Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne were the mentors of Canadian Air for some time before their violent split, and because of this, this match was overly heated. Numerous close falls occurred during the match including Poffo bringing Brunzell down with the Crucifix and Rougeau nailing Gagne with the Rougeau Bomb at different times. Both times, however, the other member of the High Flyers saved his partner from the three count. It finally came down to Poffo making one mistake, reaching down to pull Brunzell up off the mat, when he was brought down in a small package. Brunzell hooked onto the tights and a flash three count later the match was over. The High Flyers left the ring in a hurry, knowing that they were lucky to have avoided the loss tonight, while Canadian Air wondered just what went wrong . The crowd gave them a nice ovation for their efforts, and this match is proof that Canadian Air is at the top of their game. One thing going their way and they would have been the NWF World Tag Team Champions.
Jack Brisco pinned Billy Graham after hitting him with a foreign object in 0:12:04. Rating: ***
“Superstar” Billy Graham has almost always been known as a backstabbing cheater, but Jack Brisco has just recently turned to the dark side as well. Brisco claims he doesn’t want any friends or allies as he is only out for himself. Brisco blames Graham for his brother being sent packing from the NWF, rightfully so, and in the process has turned his back on Paul Orndorff. That’s why it was interesting when Paul Orndorff came down to ringside to get a closer look in the middle of the match. Brisco ignored him, focusing on the match, while Graham acknowledged Orndorff’s presence by continuing to gloat to Orndorff that this is how you wrestle the correct way. The match went back and forth with it slowly building up steam towards the end. It finally came down to referee Alfred Neely clearing up something with the time keeper and while he was distracted both Graham and Brisco went into their tights to pull out a foreign object. Both men went to nail each other when Orndorff got Neely’s attention and told him that Graham was about to use an illegal object. Neely admonished Graham and tore the item out of his hands. Graham was furious, yelling at Orndorff, but when he turned around he walked right into a right hand by Brisco. The ref never even saw Brisco’s use of the foreign object and Orndorff did not bring it to his attention. Brisco and Orndorff exchanged a few words, but Jack left ringside pretty quickly. Orndorff, meanwhile, stood over the fallen Graham and told him thanks, but no thanks to his continued offer to mentor him. In the back it was revealed that Jack Brisco has earned himself a US Title match against Tony Atlas due to his victory here tonight. That’ll be quite the first title defense for the new champion.
Harley Race defeated Jerry Lawler by disqualification in 0:15:48. Rating: *** 3/4 (Harley Race retained the NWF World Title.)
We realized just how brutal and vicious Jerry “The King” Lawler can be tonight. This match had the feel that something important was going to happen, but nobody could have guessed what would happen. Harley Race and Lawler fought back and forth for the duration of the match, neither man giving an inch. You would have thought that the fans in attendance jeering Lawler for the first time in his NWF career would have had an effect on him, but that wasn’t the case. In fact, Lawler seemed to derive some pleasure from the constant booing. Race, on the other hand, seemed to be a little off his game. Despite his claims earlier in the month, he did not appear to be happy facing his former friend. As the match wore on, however, Lawler started to raise the ire of Race by his tactics and taunting and the World Champion was soon pounding on Lawler with a ferociousness we haven’t seen in quite some time. It looked like Race had worked his way back into control of the match when a flame erupted in Race’s face! Lawler had thrown a fireball directly into Race’s face! Referee Isaac Madilla didn’t even take the time to verbally disqualify Lawler instead calling for help from the back. Several members of the medical crew entered the ring to check on Race who was rolling around the ring in immense pain. Lawler pushed his face right into Race’s and demanded to know how it felt to feel his face burn. The medics tried to push him away, but it took Paul Orndorff, the Von Erich Brothers, and US Champion Tony Atlas entering the ring to get Lawler to leave. Lawler continued to yell that Race now knows how he felt as he slowly made his way to the back.
After the show, Race was rushed to the hospital where he was told that he was suffering from first degree and some second degree burns on his face and neck area. Race has gone against medical advice and demanded that he face Lawler once more and in just two weeks’ time. He promised to shred that sadistic son of a bitch’s skin when he gets him in the ring. That’ll be possible because the match has been signed and there will be no disqualifications!