08 September 2015



Odessa Steps Magazine is pleased to announce publication of issue five of the 

magazine, with a spotlight on Lucha Libre.  The issue will be publicly debuting with 
magazine associates in Mexico for the CMLL 82nd Anniversary show. The new issue 
contains the following: 

· Interviews with luchadors Rey Hechicero, and Marco Corleone and luchadora 
· A detailed breakdown of the August 16 2015 Chilanga Mask. We ask: was it the 
Show of the Year in Mexico? 
· A poignant look at the generation of luchadors from the 1980s nearing the 
twilight of their careers, as personified by Atlantis in the Anniversary Show main 
· A preview of the mascara contra mascara showdown between Atlantis and La 
· A look at the ageless Negro Casas (reprint from 2014 with updates) 
· Examining the role of lucha libre in the Award-winning comic book Love and 
Rockets by Los Hernandez Bros 
· A tribute to friend of lucha libre Eric Caiden, owner of Hollywood Book and Poster, 
who passed away in May 2015. 
· Cover by Mexican cartoonist Kcidis 
· Inside back cover by comic book artist Rhode Montijo 
· Photos courtesy of Black Terry Jr 

Odessa Steps Magazine issue 5 is a 20 page magazine, with color covers and 
black & white interiors. The contents is (c) 2015 Odessa Steps Magazine. 

For ordering information, please email odessastepsmagazine at gmail dot com.


11 January 2015

¡ Feliz Cumpleaños Negro Casas!

In honor of Negro Casas' 55th birthday today (and his great match tonight at Arena Mexico vs Maximo), we are reprinting Doctor Lucha Steve Sims' article about the great luchador from the inaugural issue of RUSSIAN FLAG BURY (issue still for sale). We hope you remembered to vote for Casas in this year's Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards, especially for Best Technical Wrestler, Best Brawler and Feud of the Year vs Rush.

Tonight's match vs Maximo (credit: luchablog)



by Steve Sims

              The day is Friday, August 2, 1996, I, born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, am sitting at a bar in The Keio Plaza Hotel in Skinjuku-ku, To-kyo--to-, Japan, watching the 1996 Summer Olympics, the ones held in Atlanta, Georgia. I am waiting to leave on the JR Yellow Line for Ryokoku Kokugian – the Sumo Place. It is hot and sticky and rush hour trains with their incredible cramped-ness are to be avoided at all costs, so it’s best to leave early and avoid all that.

     The television is showing highlights of Michael Johnson’s then-stunning time in winning the 200 metres gold medal. As I get up to leave, to my utter amazement, so does the only person in the bar at the time – my favorite wrestler of the moment, the Mexican luchador Negro Casas (Jose Casas Ruiz)!

    Amazing coincidence you say? Not so fast, my friend. Casas and I are there for the same reason – The New Japan Pro Wrestling G-1 Climax Series, 5 consecutive nights of professional wrestling at the sacred Sumo Hall. The Series features two tournaments, one for New Japan’s current roster of heavyweight wrestlers to win their annual company singles tournament, the G-1, and a tournament with lighter-weight wrestlers from around the world (okay, Mexico and Japan) in which the winner wins the championships (and associated champion ship belt) of eight separate organizations or classifications.  An octo-champion if you will.

    Let me tell you, brother, nobody in Mid-South ever won EIGHT title belts after winning a title match, that match is for sure. Not Ted DiBiase at The Boys Club, not Junkyard Dog at the Superdome, nor Stagger Lee for that matter, not even Big Cat Ernie Ladd who was about two feel taller and about 150 pounds heavier than the Negro Casas in front of me that moment. No, Casas was after eight belts, and I, with my nickname of Dr. Lucha Jr., was there to cheer him on, traveling halfway around the world to do so.

     Casas inspired that kind of awe and fanatical following, though on a much smaller scale, in his home country, and had for years. The son of a wrestler-turned-wrestling-maestro, Casas first wrestled as a teenager in tiny small shows as a fill-in or to gain experience and appears to have kicked off his official ring career just as he turned in 19 in January 1979.  At the time, the heaviest wrestlers dominated the wrestling business in Mexico, and Casas would have been maybe 5”5” 135 pounds at his debut (35 years later, he’s really not much heavier than that today). But a sea change was coming to Mexican wrestling, as it was to Japan and alert to the US – the smaller and lighter wrestler with quicker action and more daredevil moves was over the next quarter-century to become more and more and more popular with audiences.

     Casas was debuting in a late-1970’s Mexico in which boxing was the number-two sport behind soccer. Boxing carved up its action into weight classes (in 1979 far fewer than in 2014), and Mexicans held world titles and/or were competitive challengers in each of the classes from middleweight on down – and none at the heavier weights. Mexican sports and fight-sports fans accepted those lighter weight divisions and celebrated with national pride their champions. They came to love the greater offense and more action of the lighter-weight fights.  When a wave of very talented lighter-weight wrestlers arrived on the scene from 1979 and on through about 1993 or 1994, the Mexican audience was ready to accept them or their talents.

    Talent was what Casas had (and still does to this day, more on that in a moment). He knew the holds and the counter-holds of the veterans from his first official match, and he worked at a pace and did moves with a speed greater than any of his contemporaries. He debuted under his father’s watchful eye with Francisco Flores’s promotion out of the Mexico city of Naucalpan that promoted its cards and matches under the initials “UWA.” The UWA in January 1979 was full of slower, heavier wrestlers on top, many very talented workers in their field, but their matches were slow, ponderous even; to spice them up, foreign objects and heavy blood starting to become regular parts of the card. Casas’s speed and fluidity in his moves provided such a contrast and such a breath of fresh air.

     On the underground walkway to the train in Tokyo,I introduced* myself in English and bad Spanish to Mr. Casas. Sr. Casas introduces himself back to me, warily as I recall it, in Spanish and bad English. I had introduced myself to hundreds of wrestlers before, from Freebirds to Von Erichs, from Midnight Rockers to Midnight Express, and announcers as well from Jim Ross to Alfonso Morales. With the exception of Ric Flair, none of them had I ever been nervous with. With Casas I was. Can’t tell you why. Maybe I saw him, like Flair, as bigger-than-life, and the others I didn’t? Bigger than life was funny, because as I stood next to him, I got a first-hand clue of the man behind the character. Dressed in shirt and tie (remember it was a typical boiling, humid August day in To-kyo-, where you take a shower, get dressed, walk outside, and by the time you get to the train 5 minutes later you’re drenched and feel like you need another shower, you know, like Memphis in the summer) with expensive-looking dress shoes and designer sunglasses, Casas presented himself as a yuppie businessman on his way to work, which I suppose he was. I tried a conversation, but it didn’t work. We sat next to each other on the train and I thumbed through a Shukan Puroresu magazine as he stared at the women on the train who were taking into their tiny mobile phones. I don’t know to this day was he just staring at the women for the usual reasons or was he as startled as I was in 1996 that someone would take their phone with them from home, on the train, and into work? He got off the train and to this day 18 years later I have not spoken with him since. Oh, about that * above, actually it was not the first time I had spoken with him. Re-introduced might be a better word there.

     Casas was able to exhibit heart and ferocity as well, even with his smaller stature, and started to become a major drawing card. Not often used in the main event, not often used in major feuds, he nonetheless was selling tickets.  He became the one the fans really came to see, the ones that they would nudge their son or wife or cousin or daughter or aunt or uncle or nephew or second cousin or great-nephew sitting there with them and say, “Negro Casas’s match is next!” “Here comes Negro Casas!” I know this to be true because I saw it and heard it for myself on three occasions. The third time was the August 1996 dates referenced above. The first time, well, that was the first time I actually met him.

    That would have been Sunday, October 28, 1990, at the “El Toreo” bullring in Naucalpan, in front of a mostly full house. There were five matches on the card that day. The main event was a match for the UWA World Trios Titles. The third (middle) match had Negro Casas in it.  I mean to tell you, all during the pre-show and the first two matches, you’d have thought The Mid-south Coliseum was just about to bring out from the back all the newly boiled hot dogs to the concession stands. People could not wait for what was about to come. They kept poking each other and saying, oh Negro Casas’s match is about to happen, or, here comes Negro Casas. Casa was a bad guy (rudo) in this match, but he got the most cheers and reaction of anyone on the entire card. He was subtle when he acted hurt, and he was sublime when he accomplished something positive during the match. He had most fun wrestling with Silver King and the two just went through their paces faster than anything I had ever seen before. He exuded evil charm and charisma far beyond what else I saw or experienced that day. Casas and his team lost that match.

            I myself am a rabid lucha libre fan, but there is a man alive more rabid, more knowledgeable, more a fan, more alive, than anyone else I know. His name is Kurt Brown, and he has been following lucha libre in Southern California since the late 1960s. Lucha stars from Mexico have, since the 1940s, worked Los Angeles and environs as if it were just another Mexican marketplace for lucha libre. In the 1980s, after the old Eaton/LeBell promotion had loosened its stranglehold on the LA market, a lucha wave took over the Olympic Auditorium, a major main venue for wrestling in LA. The biggest lucha star ever, El Santo, had died in 1984 and his son, riding a wave of sympathy, was on a hot streak like you wouldn’t believe, selling out 7-10 shows a week most every week for 3 years, including major shows in Tijuana. When the lucha promotion ran the Olympic in LA, Negro Casa was picked to be the man to make the then-ATM for all lucha libre in Mexico, Hijo del Santo, look good. Both men worked their butt off, and eventually Casas and Santo had a match of mascara contra caballera that drew so  many fans they box office had to turn people away – a match that during the early days of VHS tape trading became one of the most sought-after matches to see that a heard-core fan could find.

            You should ask Kurt about that match sometime, via Facebook or Twitter, oh the stories he can tell. Casas made the match like he made the build-up. He was a bigger star after it was over than when it started, even though he lost the match and his hair. Kurt fell in love.

            In 1989, New Japan Pro Wresting needed a new star for its youngest fans, and created a wrestling character based on a Saturday morning cartoon, Ju-shin “Thunder” Liger. Liger got over huge In that day, a common promotional tactic was to bring in famous talented foreigners and have the new start beat them cleanly to get over as bigger stars. I can’t even describe to you the reaction, the look, the yell, the earthquake-like-rattling that came from the condo in Walnut when Kurt Brown found out and then informed us all that Liger’s first foreign opponent would be Negro Casas. It was 1989 right around Christmas and no internet or the like back then, so none of us could wait to go to the local Japanese shopping plaza with its magazine store subsidiary and its video-tape subsidiary and see the match. It was memorable; indeed, Casa came out in a completely new costume, one that Antonio Peña has designed for Casas’s brother, Jorge Luis, who wrestled then and wrestles now under the battle name of El Felino.  Just seeing that costume and highly unexpected matchup of what was considered the two best lighter-weight wrestlers in the world, that was enough to send Kurt and me and our ilk to the moon and back.  The match itself, frankly, was not anything all that great, and Casas, while exhibiting all the charisma you would expect from an award-winning movie or theater actor, lost.

     In fact, Casas lost in the tournament at the Sumo Hall as well. In the first round. Did not win a match. Turns out he did not have a match on the 2nd, but he lost his match on the 3rd.
            Indeed, only once ever in my whole life have I ever attended a Negro Casas match live that he won. It was also the single best match I have ever seen in my life in person. Sunday, October 6, 1991. My travel companion Jody Boyns had just gone back to New England. Mid-South had gone from Tulsa to Atlanta to the grave. My trip would end in the morning. Casas defended the UWA World Middleweight Championship against Lyger (spelled that way in Mexico for phonetic reasons) in a three-fall bout that went about 23 minutes, as I recall, every one of them basically perfect.  It was the first time Casas, in a singles title match, was ever in the main event at the El Toreo bullring for UWA, and the building sold out. Except for a brutal, brutal power bomb, the details of the match have faded in 23 years. I do recall vividly, however, trying to go see him in the wrestler’s underground cave / tunnel that led to El Toreo’s primitive locker room facilities. I got to the door and stopped. I was standing there with Xochitl Hamada.  He was waiting for him, anxiously, as a girlfriend would. Then I remembered that she was married. Not to him. So I waited. Then I remembered he was married too. Not to her. So I left.

           Negro Casas, now 54, wrestles to this day. He may well be right now today at that age the best professional wrestler in Mexico. Not a few hard-core lucha fans would concur. He would too.

     He is still politically involved with work in the front office of his wrestling employer. He still trains younger wrestlers. He’s now married to what is either his second or third wife, a Panamanian woman who also wrestles. He hasn’t wrestled in the US much in the past 18 years, Japan either, they want younger flashier talent now. What was his story, what was his calling card, in the early 1980s – more offense, faster pace, more “high spots” – is the same story that will write him out in the next five years. In the era of video games, shorter attention spans, offense-increasing rules changes in most professional sports, and UFC, the style of work that succeeds in modern lucha libre is not the style of the classic old-school story-tellers like Negro Casas.

      But when you need just the perfect person to get a new talent over, or get a new wrestling story told, or get a few extra fans in the seats, he’s till the man everyone goes to first.
     As for me, now 56, I still watch him from afar, on TV, HD perhaps but still never the same as live. He’s got his eye on standing up to the new kid on the block, Rush, this generation’s version of lucha legend Perro Aguayo. Casas has one more main-event run left in him, I can sense it. Maybe I have one more trip left in me to see him. I know Spanish better than I did then, Maybe I’ll re-introduce myself.

Dr. Lucha Steve Sims writes about Lucha Libre for the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and Figure Four Weekly. He can be reached on twitter at @drluchajr.

07 May 2014

ordering info

If you have heard about the new issue online and want ordering info:

The Mid-South issue, featuring articles by Steve "Dr Lucha" Sims, Chris "Mookieghana" Harrington, Mike "Big Audio Nightmare" Sempervive, Matt D from the DVDVR and WKO boards and more, is only $5 including shipping/handling.

The original Odessa Steps Magazine featuring interviews with Greg Rucka and Dave Meltzer, is also still available for $5 w s/h.

Odessa Steps issue 4 with an interview w Jamie S Rich and cover by Joelle Jones, is only $3.

For more information: email russianflagburial@gmail dot com or tweet us at @russianflagbury.


26 April 2014

[Magazine Exerpt] Matt's article on Dustin Rhodes

Matt wrote a great article on the career renaissance of Dustin Rhodes / Goldust. We ran part one in the magazine that debuted at the Mid-South Fan Fest. Here is an excerpt. If you want the whole thing, why not buy a copy of the magazine? It's only $5 including shipping and handling.

Reconstructed Dreams: the late career resurgence of Dustin Rhodes

2013 WWE is not wanting for talent or the opportunities to present it to the world. Seven-plus hours of television a week, including a three-hour Raw where longer matches are almost a necessity, means that good wrestlers have gotten the chance to shine, even sometimes despite themselves. This has been a year of phenomenal tag team matches, both standard and six-man, a year where Daniel Bryan has been pushed on top, a year where Antonio Cesaro has been possibly the world's greatest gatekeeper in NXT and a standout on the main roster and that the Shield, as a unit, has shined each and every week. It's been a year of CM Punk giving career performances in two of the biggest matches of his life and Mark Henry and the Big Show working as big men as well as anyone the company has ever had. It's been a year of John Cena being John Cena, freakishly returning from injury and wrestling the matches that he's been wrestling without half the credit he's deserved for years. It's almost unbelievable then, that in the face of all the other talent on the roster, the standout story of the back half of 2013 has been the unexpected return of a 44 year old veteran who had been cut from the company multiple times before and who, in his last role for WWE wasn't even an on screen performer? 

Out of the ring, Dustin Runnels (who for the sake of my own personal nostalgia, we are going to call Dustin Rhodes or Goldust throughout the rest of this article) is an awkward presence at best. His social media footprint is stilted and sometimes a little uncomfortable to examine. His autobiography was highly anticipated but poorly received, considered overly slight and disjointed. Moreover, it's been ten years since he was featured in a meaningful way on WWE television, and even then it was while saddled with an unfortunate Tourette Syndrome gimmick. His last run, in late 2010 and mainly against Ted Dibiase, Jr., while technically sound, hardly lit up the world and his character, by it's very nature, is not a natural fit for the PG era. Nevertheless, his return in 2013 has resonated with the crowd, produced top-end matches, and elevated not just himself but his brother Cody as well into prominent positions on the WWE roster.

Dustin's success can be attributed to two major factors. First, he has developed, over the last two decades plus, an emotional connection with many generations of fans. This is arguably his fifth or even sixth major focused run in a prominent United States pro wrestling organization, and there were a number of less major runs scattered throughout that time period. Of the active roster, there is no one with the same amount of US Wrestling Experience and you would have to stretch hard (in the direction of William Regal or the Undertaker on the extended roster) to find anyone with more experience in general. Second, due to that experience and his natural athleticism and work ethic, he is able to work a wrestling match as well as anyone in the company. He's able to connect with live crowds young and old on a visceral level utilizing body language, a combination of iconic moves (some not used regularly in the WWE for years) and newer flashier ones, and a number of old tricks that have been developed through decades of professional wrestlers honing their craft.

Dustin Rhodes stands out as unique not due to his longevity but due to his multiple runs between companies and in and out of the WWF/WWE. It allowed him to create an emotional connection, and often very different emotional connections, with different generations of fans and also to intersect with wrestling history and a variety talent over the years. One can find detailed biographies (and of course his own autobiography) detailing his career, so I'll just move in and out highlighting this emotional connection and historical importance and provide a few matches for context

He is, of course, a second generation wrestler, and more than that, he is the son of one of the biggest stars of the late territory era, Dusty Rhodes. Dustin, following in his father's footsteps, got his start in 1988 during an ill-fated attempt to revive the Graham territory in Florida, teaming with Kendall Windham. They even had a cup of coffee in the NWA at this point:

He then moved on to USWA Texas which was Jarrett attempt to maximize the once wrestling-fan-fertile territory that had been World Class. A decent amount of footage has emerged as of late and while this isn't a great match, it's a good look at where he was heading as a young wrestler:

Unsurprisingly, he was helped along the way by his father, who had been the biggest star of the 70s and 80s in Florida and would, for instance, later reward Matt Borne for helping Dustin in Texas with a role as Big Josh in WCW. That was after he returned to power. In 1988, he had been fired from his executive and booking role in what would become WCW after the sale from Crockett to Turner. 

New Issue Out! and Mid-South Fan Fest

Yes, the new issue is done. We finished it right before leaving for NOLA and the Mid-South Fan Fest.

The convention was great. Thanks to Matt and all his staff for a great show. Thanks to all the Mid-South legends for their time and conversations.

We hope to maybe have some content related to talent at the convention in a future issue and on the website. Our interview with Jim Cornette was not finished at press time, so we hope to have that in next issue, which may be debuting in the fall at a major comics convention. Details in the future.

We are going to put up some content from the magazine up on the website. But not everything, as we would still like to try and sell some copies. Only $5 which includes postage and handling. Write to us as russianflagburial@gmail.com for more information.

07 February 2014

New Content Soon

Just an update...

- The table fee has been paid for the Mid-South Fan Fest, so you can look forward to us being there, selling the Russian Flag Burial magazine, as well as past issues of Odessa Steps Magazine and maybe some other stuff.

- We are in talks to have a contemporary wrestler at our table at the convention.  If so, we will likely have an interview with them in the magazine debuting at the show.

- We are working on lining up some more articles for the issue, including some Mid-South specific articles by some well-known internet wrestling personalities.

- We are still putting the final deal together for the magazine cover. We hoped to have that done by now, but well, you know...

- We attended National Pro Wrestling Day in Easton PA recently, which saw the rebirth of Chikara Pro Wrestling.  While there, we talked to some people about potential magazine articles, as well as advertising the magazine in some high-profile wrestling-related locations.

Thanks for reading. Another update soon. Check out the @russianflagbury twitter for news and blather until the next update.

Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine/Russian Flag Burial

25 January 2014



Odessa Steps Magazine is proud to announce it will debut a special branded issue spotlighting Mid-South Wrestling at the Mid-South Legends Fan Fest being held in New Orleans during Wrestlemania weekend.  The issue will be named after the Odessa Steps Magazine sister site RUSSIAN FLAG BURIAL, which has been devoted to analyzing the 1984 Mid-South Wrestling television product.
Content is still pending at this time but is scheduled to include:

·        An analysis of the 1984 Mid-South Wrestling product, taken from the online content found at The Russian Flag Burial website at www.russianflagburial.com.
·        A statistical examination of Mid-South Wrestling by Indeed Wrestling’s Chris Harrington
·        Interviews with talent who worked the Mid-South territory
·        A career examination of Dustin Rhodes following his career renaissance in 2013 as Goldust teaming with his brother Cody Rhodes.
·        An interview with comics creator Jill Thompson, who has worked with Mick Foley and designed ring gear for WWE wrestler Daniel Bryan
·        An interview with Greg Klein, author of King of New Orleans, about the Junkyard Dog’s era in Mid-South Wrestling
·        Long form articles about various other popular culture subjects from the worlds of film, sports, television and publishing

Issue five of ODESSA STEPS MAGAZINE is scheduled to debut at the Mid-South Legends Fan Fest, April 4, 2014, at the Sigur Center, Chalmette LA (suburban New Orleans).  The issjue will supported by advertising in the wrestling internet media and the launch of the Odessa Steps Magazine podcast (name pending) in February 2014.
Contact info: Mark Coale, editor/publisher, Odessa Steps Magazine. odessastepsmagazine@gmail.com

11 August 2013

Jim Crockett Promotions documentary

It should be a good few weeks to be an old school wrestling fan, with the WWE Mid-South DVD coming soon and the recent release of the Jim Crockett Promotions DVD, "The Good Old Days." 

The Crockett DVD traces the history of the company from Jim Crockett Senior's founding the company through his death and the high and lows of the Jim Crockett Junior era, ending when the company being sold to Turner Broadcasting.

The participation of Jim Crockett Junior was an eleventh-hour addition to the documentary and his inclusion certainly elevates the credibility of the project, considering many of the key figures of the promotion were under WWE contract and not able to take part (Flair, Dusty and Steamboat to name three). 

The breadth of people that are interviewed were a Who's Who of the late Crockett Junior era: David and Jackie Crockett, Tully Blanchard, J.J. Dillon, Ole Anderson, Jim Cornette, the Rock and Roll Express, Ivan Koloff, Paul Jones, Jimmy Valiant, Baby Doll, referee Tommy Young, Ron Garvin and more. Of course, as you watch, you do wonder what happened to some of the others who were not part of the documentary: Nikita Koloff, Tony Schiavone, the Road Warriors and Paul Ellering, Barry Darsow, Manny Fernandez, Greg Valentine, Roddy Piper and more. DId they not want to participate? Are they under WWE Legends contract? Could the filmmakers not make a deal with them? In a podcast interview, the director Michael Elliott said people were paid for their interviews. 

Of course, the documentary is missing footage owned by WWE, which would include all the Mid-Atlantic and TBS television and pay-per-views. Fortunately, there is footage shot at house shows in Virginia shot by George Pantas from the late 1970s and early 1980s that is used as B-roll to play under  voice over footage.

It is great to hear a number of the old-time veterans to tell stories, some well-told tales but some new stories.  It's fun to hear J.J. Dillon to tell the story about the famous "make it good" angle when the Horsemen attacked Dusty Rhodes and explaining all the diegetic plot points that are usually missing from modern wrestling television shows. And would a Jim Crockett documentary be complete without clips of Ole Anderson curmudgeonly talking Vince McMahon and Ric Flair?

Most of all the wrestlers come off well, telling their stories. As someone who really had no great love of Paul Jones, the mid-1980s manager who was the only person to break Mr. Fuji's run as "worst manager" in the Wrestling Observer Awards, it is nice to see him as a down-to-earth guy sitting on a couch telling stories.  It's also a little jarring to not only hear Ivan Koloff speaking without a Russian accent, but also him discussing how he found religion late in life. 

The discussion of the end of Jim Crockett Promotions, simply titled "What Happened,"  is an interesting one, with some people wanting to blame Dusty for the company's downfall, while other seem to want to point the finger of Crockett's overwhelmed accountant.  This is where the absence of a new interview Dusty really would have been welcome (the documentary used footage from a previous shoot interview for Dusty clips), giving him an opportunity to refute his critics.  To his credit, Jim Crockett Junior said the buck stopped with him.

Any wrestling fan wishing to learn about the territory era of the business would be greatly served to pick up a copy of the DVD.  The set is three discs: the first containing the documentary; the other two full of extended interviews and other features.  The DVD can be ordered from Highspots.com.

13 March 2013

Happy Anniversary

from today's Observer

30 years ago - The Midnight Express of Dennis Condrey & Bobby Eaton beat Mr. Wrestling II & Magnum T.A. in a loser gets 10 lashes match to win the Mid South tag team titles when Wrestling II walked out on his partner

22 June 2011

Episode # 2 Recap

Mid-South 1984 TV – Episode 2 (Mid-South 228) – Irish McNeil Boys Club, Shreveport, LA

Hosts: Boyd Pierce and Bill Watts

Ring Announcer: Jim Ross

Boyd is wearing a purple suit. Cowboy runs down the card, including welcoming back Buddy Landell and saying Masao Ito is a new “Japanese Manchurian star.” Bill throws it to a pre-taped interview he did with Jim Cornette.

Pre-Tape: Watts runs down a list of more “manly” managers from the Mid-South past, including Skandar Akbar (a former North American champion), Gary Hart (who is a street guy from Chicago) and Rock Hunter (who managed the Assassins). Watts calls Cornette a “non-athlete” who is arrogant, audacious, flamboyant, rude and a Mama’s boy. Cornette has great smirking facial expressions during this list of insults. Cornette informs us that “people with money don’t have to sweat.” We see a clip of Cornette interrupting an interview Reiser Bowden did with the new tag team champions, Mr. Wrestling II and Magnum II. Cornette is upset the MX was not listed as a top contender. Cornette accuses II of turning Magnum from “a frustrated sex symbol” to a coward. He then calls II and Magnum “chicken.” Magnum says Cornette “would be at home in a hen house and not as a rooster.” Back in the studio, Watts says they didn’t realize that being called chicken would be taken literally and describes the tar and feathering as something once done when the Ku Klux Klan ran roughshod over scared folks. Cornette says he’s heard rumors of that group. Is it coincidence that Cornette just happens to be wearing a white jacket? We then see the clip from last when when Cornette and the MX tar and feather Magnum and hit II with a slapstick. Watts sees the attack as very dishonorable, and real mean settle things face to face. Cornette says seeing Magnum tar and feathered is “the funniest thing I’ve seen in a week or two.” He also says he can match Watts multisyllabic term for multisyllabic term and “that is a masterpiece.” Watts says that is “a man in agony and turmoil.” Watts with a great metaphor: “On a hot night, it only takes a small spark to ignite a whole forest fire and you may have lit something that you can’t put out.” We then see the post-incident interview from last week with II and Magnum. Cornette says the MX are going to play Smokey Bear with II and Magnum. Watts informs Cornette he has been fined $5000 for his actions, but Cornette says it’s just a phone call to Mother. After he leaves, Watts says Cornette is the kind of guy that makes your hands sweaty and that you just want to back hand.

This was an 11-minute (with 3 clips) to start the show, exhibiting just how important Cornette and the MX will be in the near future for Mid-South.

Match 1: Nikolai Volkoff vs Terry Taylor. There is no sign of Volkoff, but Khrusher Darsow is in the ring to let us know that Volkoff hurt his shoulder training and that he will take the match vs. Taylor and “send that tan back to Florida.” Taylor gets jumped by Darsow before he can remove his jacket and the heel has heat to start the match. Watts again tells us that Darsow is more dangerous than Volkoff because he is a traitor to his country. Taylor takes control after a dropkick and then puts him in an abdominal stretch. As some fans walk through the crowd with a giant flag, Volkoff his the ring for the DQ. Volkoff has his hangman’s noose, and tries to hang Taylor. Taylor gets the advantage but then Darsow comes back in the ring for a two-on-one. They put the noose back on Taylor and then hang him over the top rope. After a few minutes of peril, the save is made by Ric Rude and Brian Adias.

Match 2: MX vs Roger Bond and Mike Jackson – II (sports coat) and Magnum (leather jacket and gloves) are out with Boyd to do color commentary. Magnum is very fidgety. Boyd explains that they can say whatever they like, but if they leave the commentary booth to interfere, they will be fined $2500. Magnum says they are going to try and be professional. Cornette has a bag of feathers he is blowing toward II and Magnum. Cornette is taunting II and Magnum, saying the fine would be nothing for him. Bobby comes to the ring flapping like a chicken. Jackson (who might be the best job guy of the 1980s) starts out in control, but a knee to the guy by Dennis puts the MX on top. We see a wonderfully 80s inset of II and Magnum doing commentary as the MX whip up on Roger Bond. Bobby continues to make chicken gestures. Dennis hits a running powerslam on Bond, which probably did not make Watts too happy. II tells Magnum to watch their moves. Bobby gets the pinfall on Bond after a flying clothesline. After the match, the MX gives Jackson a spike piledriver and attempt to repeat the tar and feather on Bond. Magnum can’t take it and hits the ring, while II screams for him to stay back. The four men are brawling in the ring as we go to commercial.

Match 3: Nature Boy Buddy Landell vs Mike Starbuck - This is Buddy’s return to Mid-South, now with bleach-blond hair and Flair/Rogers gimmick. Watts mentions his change in attitude, from reports he has gotten from around the country. Watts continues to discuss how much he wants to slap Cornette. Watts says he’d rather be punched than slapped and matchmaker Grizzly Smith will not give the MX a title shot, as a reward for their action. Buddy does some amateur wrestling on Starbuck, as well as rubbing Starbuck’s face into the mat. Starbuck tries a flying bodypress, but Buddy catches him and gives him an over-the-knee backbreaker. And then the corkscrew elbow for the win.

Match 4: Brian Adias vs Mickey Henry – This is also a return to Mid-South for Adias, who we learned has toured the country since last here and is currently the Texas TV champion. Watts also announces in two weeks, we will see the details on the new Mid-South TV title tournament. Watts says that we will see Adias team with Hacksaw Duggan next week versus the Russians. The big burly Henry has been in control most of the match so far. Adias changes the momentum with a dropkick. And then a very sloppy leapfrog and a botched victory roll. He then does a small package for the win.

Match 5: Masao Ito vs Ric Rude – Ito is billed this week as “from Japan” and Rude is, of course, from Robbinsdale, MN. Watts says this is like Beauty and the Beast. Ito gets the quick win with his jumping throat kick.

Video: Rock and Roll Express – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – “I love Rock and Roll” – The first music video introducing Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson. Notice this is a music video from Memphis, with the R-n-R facing off against people like the Moondogs and the Galaxians (Danny Davis and Ken Wayne).

This episode (volume 54) can be ordered on DVD from Universal Wrestling Archives