Author’s note: In the interest of full transparency this program and article were completed prior to the WWE Network’s move to Peacock. As a result, fans in the United States, including myself, can not access this edition of Mid-South Wrestling on Peacock at this time. For fans outside of the U.S. you may still access this edition of Mid-South Wrestling as usual on the standard WWE Network. Likewise, the links in this article are links to footage found on the standard WWE Network, not Peacock. At the time this article was written edits were not an issue. Given the recent spree of edits to the WWE library, however, that may not be true today or when this edition of Mid-South Wrestling finally appears on Peacock. I apologize in advance for any inconsistencies or inconveniences this may create for readers and/or viewers.
This week Throwback Thursday returns to Bill Watts innovative Mid-South Wrestling territory for another action-packed edition of Mid-South Wrestling, as seen on the WWE Network, that aired 39 years ago this month!
By this time in 1982, Bill Watts had all but consolidated the remains of the former Tri-State territory. Leroy McGuirk, Watts former business partner and promoter of Tri-State, sold the bulk of the territory to Watts in 1979, choosing to run Oklahoma on his own. As the spring of 1982 waned the aging McGurik, in poor health and looking for a way out of the wrestling business, sold the last of the old Tri-State territory to Watts, completing Watts takeover of the territory. At the same time Watts was buying out McGuirk, Watts was also finalizing a deal with Houston promoter Paul Boesch to ally the two popular territories. The deal gave both promoters access to a vast array of talent and allowed Watts to feature his roster on Paul Boesch’s cards at the Sam Houston Coliseum, one of wrestling’s most hallowed grounds. With it’s syndication footprint continuing to grow and the roster only getting better, Mid-South Wrestling was easily one of the most popular and profitable wrestling promotions in the country.
On television the major story at the time had to do with Ernie Ladd’s long-running war with Skandor Akbar and Akbar’s Samoan tag team. This program is the featured story of this week’s edition of Mid-South Wrestling. Away from the ring the top rated television series the week this edition of Mid-South Wrestling aired was CBS’s Dallas while the top grossing film was Porky’s. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts’ classic “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” was the number one song while the top album belonged to the Go-Go’s Beauty and the Beat.
Now lets’ head on over to the WWE Network, hit ‘play’, and see just how well this edition of Mid-South Wrestling holds up in 2021!
Edits, for once, are almost non-existent. Context, meanwhile, is solid. Most of the prior editions Mid-South Wrestling, dating back to December 12, 1981, are available for you to enjoy (as well as a few “Hidden Gems” cards) on the WWE Network right now!
Mid South Wrestling (WATCH)
Date: April 10, 1982 (TAPED: April 7, 1982) – Location: Irish McNeil Boy’s Club, Shreveport, Louisiana
Attendance: N/A – TV Rating: N/A
Commentators: Boyd Pierce & Bill Watts – Interviews: Reesor Bowden
CHAMPIONS AT THE TIME:
NWA World Heavyweight Champion: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (September 17, 1981, Kansas City, Missouri, from “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes)
Mid-South North American Heavyweight Champion: Bob Roop (March 20, 1982, Mid-South Wrestling, taped March 17, 1982, from Ted DiBiase)
Mid-South Tag Team Champions: The Samoans (Afa & Sika) (February 6, 1982, Mid-South Wrestling, taped February 3, 1982, from Mid-South Louisiana Heavyweight Champion Junkyard Dog & Mike George)
Mid-South Louisiana Heavyweight Champion: Junkyard Dog (December 7, 1981, New Orleans, Louisiana, from the Great Kabuki)
Mid-South Mississippi Heavyweight Champion: Mr. Olympia (January 23, 1982, Mid-South Wrestling, taped January 20, 1982, from Bob Orton, Jr.)
After the usual Mid-South Wrestling open we head inside the Irish McNeil Boy’s Club where Boyd Pierce, with Bill Watts, welcome us to the show. Pierce gives us a rundown of the card to come before introducing Bill Watts.
Watts talks about the issues between Skandor Akbar and Ernie Ladd, revisiting the entire history between the two. We see footage of Akbar’s Samoans jumping on Ernie Ladd from the February 6, 1982 edition of Mid-South Wrestling and the debut of the One Man Gang, who helps injure Ladd’s knee. We then see footage of the Samoans winning the Mid-South Tag Team Championship later in that same February 6, 1982 edition of Mid-South Wrestling, injuring Mike George in the process. Bill Watts then talks about the injuries the One Man Gang and the Samoans have been doling out before announcing that on next week’s edition of Mid-South Wrestling Ernie Ladd will face the Samoans with a “mystery partner” by his side. Boyd Pierce hypes an appearance by One Man Gang on this week’s show before tossing to our first break of the hour.
—Singles Match (WATCH – 7:25)
One Man Gang w/Skandor Akbar vs. Mike Boyer
Mike Boyer looks like the real life version of The Simpsons‘s Moe Szyslak. Boyer tries to avoid Gang early but it’s no use. As soon as Gang gets his hands on Boyer it’s over. Gang throttles Boyer until landing the big running splash for the pinfall at 1:35.
WINNER is One Man Gang w/Skandor Akbar (Pin, 1:35)
After the match we head to break with a slow-motion replay of One Man Gang finishing Mike Goyer.
After the break, and the ring introductions for our next tag team bout, General Skandor Akbar all but grabs the microphone, demanding to know who Ernie Ladd’s “mystery partner” will be for next week’s big showdown. Reesor Bowden blows Akbar off and tells the General to talk to Grizzly Smith, the matchmaker, because Smith is the only one who knows.
—“Non-Title Tag Team Match” (WATCH – 9:56)
Mid-South Tag Team Champions The Samoans (Afa & Sika) w/Skandor Akbar vs. “Iron” Mike Sharpe & Buddy Landell
“Iron” Mike Sharpe & Buddy Landell hold their own against the Samoans from the opening bell. Watts talks about some of the big cards coming up in the territory and some of the speeches he’s given to the local amateur wrestlers as the match unfolds. Sika takes the brunt of the punishment until Afa tags in. Sharpe & Landell continue to dominate until Afa jabs Landell in the throat with a chop. “Iron” Mike takes the fight to the Samoans until Sharpe posts himself hard in the corner. Sharpe & Landell try hard to put up a fight but the Samoans are just too much. Landell makes a decent comeback and avoids an Afa clothesline only to run headlong into a vicious lariat from Sika. Afa pounces, finishing off Landell with the Samoan drop for the pinfall at 5:48.
WINNERS are Mid-South Tag Team Champions The Samoans (Afa & Sika) w/Skandor Akbar (Pin, 5:48)
After the match Mike Shapre stands over Buddy Landell and keeps the Samoans at bay before we head to commercial break with a slow-motion replay of the Samoan drop.
Following the break we join Reesor Bowden in the ring with “Big Cat” Ernie Ladd. Bowden says that everyone is curious about who Ladd will pick for his partner next week but Ladd says that’s for him to know and nobody else. Ladd says that for all the wrong that’s been done to him it’s high time he starts fighting back. Suddenly Skandor Akbar comes to the ring, demanding to know who Ladd’s partner is. Ladd tells him it’s none of Akbar’s business before clobbering Akbar with big left hand. All hell breaks loose as the Samoans hit the ring and go after Ladd. As Ladd fights back the Assassin charges the ring and helps Ladd clear the ring, leaving Ernie Ladd and his “mystery partner” the Assassin standing tall in the ring.
Reesor Bowden climbs back in the ring to continue the interview. Ladd says he knew the Samoans would try and pull a stunt like that and was ready for it. Ladd says that the Samoans are going to get a “double dose” the next time they meet. Ladd says he’s tired of talking and had his “little secret” ready for the trap he set up for the Samoans. Ladd leaves the ring as the next match arrives. Assassin tells Bowden that the Samoans have to get up early in the morning to outfox himself and Ernie Ladd. “If they want war,” Assassin says, “that’s exactly what they’ll get!”
—Singles Match (WATCH – 19:59)
Tully Blanchard vs. Coco Samoa
Tully Blanchard, whom Boyd calls the “star of the southwest”, was branching out from his father’s Southwest Championship Wrestling promotion and quickly making a name for himself as one of the bright young stars in wrestling. Momentum swings back and forth throughout this match with neither man able to assert their will on the other. These two tell a great story and put on one helluva good match here. Eventually Tully knocks Coco to the floor but Coco quickly comes back, landing a springboard sunset flip for a near-fall that pops the already hot Boy’s Club faithful. Coco dives at Tully again but eats a stun gun instead. Moments later Tully puts Coco away with a vertical suplex for the 1-2-3 at 5:08.
WINNER is Tully Blanchard (Pin, 5:08)
After the match we head to break with the usual slow-motion replay of the finish.
—“Non-Title Singles Match” (WATCH – 26:04)
Wayne Ferris vs. Mid-South Louisiana Heavyweight Champion The Junkyard Dog
Wayne Ferris is the future Honky Tonk Man. JYD looks tremendous here. Ferris does his all to hold his own against JYD and uses the referee to his advantage. Ferris nearly picks up the win after an elbow drop from the second rope but JYD is far from finished. JYD fires up and takes the fight to Ferris, beating the bejabbers out of Ferris before ending things with big powerslam at 3:07.
WINNER is Mid-South Louisiana Heavyweight Champion The Junkyard Dog (Pin, 3:07)
We head to break next with a replay of JYD’s powerslam.
—“Non-Title Singles Match” (WATCH – 30:36)
Mid-South North American Heavyweight Champion Bob Roop vs. Jesse Barr
Jesse Barr is the future Jimmy Jack Funk in the WWF. This one is a wrestling match to start with Barr nearly putting Roop away with basic leverage wrestling. Roop tries to regroup but Barr seems to have Roop’s ticket on this day. Roop finally resorts to a cheap shot to get the upper hand and uses it to put a hurting in Barr. Barr survives the pounding and an abdominal stretch and makes the comeback, nearly winning with a bridging German suplex. When the referee tries to break the two after a rope break Roop shoves the referee aside and lands a low blow on Barr. Roop drops Barr with a knee lift before dropping Barr throat first across the top rope. Roop then hits the running legdrop for the pinfall at 4:26.
WINNER is Mid-South North American Heavyweight Champion Bob Roop (Pin, 4:26)
Following the match we head to break with a slow-motion replay of Roop finishing off Jesse Barr.
—“Non-Title Singles Match” (WATCH – 35:57)
Ron Cheatam vs. Mid-South Mississippi Heavyweight Champion Mr. Olympia
Despite a few moments late in the bout this one is all Mr. Olympia. Olympia looks fantastic as he batters and dismantles Cheatam. Though the match is a squash it’s a fast-paced, action-packed affair that acts as the perfect cap to this week’s card. During the match Bill Watts talks about scouting Steve Williams from Oklahoma, who would go on to become “Dr. Death”. As the time limit winds down Boyd Pierce and Bill Watts give us a rundown of next week’s action. With mere seconds to go Mr. Olympia picks up the pace, eventually trapping Cheatam in a sleeper hold for the submission win at 4:03 just as the time limit is set to expire.
WINNER is Mid-South Mississippi Heavyweight Champion Mr. Olympia (Submission, 4:03)
As the referee raises Mr. Olympia’s hand the time runs out and Boyd Pierce signs off!
As usual, this is a jam-packed edition of Mid-South Wrestling! This is the kind of show that feels like a two-hour card jammed into a one hour sack. As is the case with so many of the Mid-South shows, this truly is a study in less is more. A two-hour edition of Mid-South wouldn’t have had the urgency or excitement that this one hour contains. The action is great, the angles are great, and the promos are great as every single champion in Mid-South at the time is in action this week. In many ways this edition of Mid-South Wrestling was some 15 years years ahead of its time, feeling more like an early 1996 edition of Monday NITRO than a territory show from 1982. If you’re looking for a great hour of old-school action you can’t go wrong with this one! If it’s been a while since you’ve seen this edition of Mid-South it’s well worth the time to revisit it. If you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for? You won’t be disappointed!
Already subscribed to the WWE Network? Than you can relive this classic edition of Mid-South Wrestling or experience it for the very first time! As always, let us know what you think in the comments section below!
For pre-WNN editions of TBT, click here! I’ve been writing TBT‘s since July of 2015. If you don’t see an event or show that you would like to see covered, check the WDN archives.
Thanks for reading – until next week, see ya at ringside!
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