January 30, 2011
Justin Rozzero

The Place to Be

World Championship Wrestling
May 25, 1985
Hosts: Tony Schiavone and David Crockett

--We open with a clip of Magnum TA pinning Buddy Landell at a live event.

OPENING ANIMATION

--Tony and David run down the show, including a National Heavyweight Title defense for Ron Garvin, and both US Heavyweight Champ Magnum TA and World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair will be joining us.

1) World Tag Team Champions Ivan Koloff/Krusher Khrushchev defeat Richard Dye/Gerald Finly when Khrushchev makes Dye submit with the Cobra Clutch at 6:44

Nikita Koloff is at ringside, as he is the third member of the Six-Man Tag Team Champions. Koloff and Finly start and Ivan takes over. He tags into Krusher and gets a couple of punches in. Ivan tags in and gets an elbow and a couple of stomps in. Quick tag back to Krusher and he drops Finly with a big body slam. This is really a showcase for Tony and David to put over Krusher as the third member of the team. Krusher throws Finly in the corner and he tags Dye in. The momentum really doesnít change as Krusher and Ivan continue with quick tags. Krusher continues to put over his Russian allegiances by yelling anti-American rhetoric whule pummeling Dye. Ivan gets a tag in and smacks Dye insultingly in the face. Krusherís back in and more power moves. Ivan back in and we get some more working over, including the Russian choke. Krusher back in and he delivers the Russian Sickle and Dye is put out of his misery with the Cobra Clutch and were done. Krusher wonít break the hold and Ivan finally gets him to. Grade: 2

--We get our first Ric Flair promo of the show, and as usual heís dressed to the nines with the World Title belt in tow. Heís a little ornery as he mouths off to some woman in the crowd who wants him to dress down, but he says heís styliní and profiliní. He puts himself and the Russian over as awesome champions. He says heís been all over the world, saying heís beaten the best, and in one of the best Ric Flair line ever states ďItís amazing how so much man could be wrapped in such a good lookiní package.Ē Love that line. Heís the greatest, not Magnum TA or Dusty Rhodes or Dick Slater or anyone else.

--We have a Dusty Rhodes promo, who just lost the World Television Title to Tully Blanchard. He puts over how much money he makes, and who he knows around the world. He lets Tully and Baby Doll know he has to deal with him and his TV Title that was stolen from him. Never a man of fashion, Rhodes has a purple t-shirt, silver jacket, and a black cowboy hat.

2) Italian Stallion defeats Terry Flynn with a Samoan Drop at 5:20

Stallion takes Flynn down with a grapple hold but Flynn gets out. They posture for a few moments, then Stallion irish whips into a hip toss, then another one. Tony and David puts Stallion over as one of the young lions as he puts Flynn into a bear hug, then he charges Flynn into the ropes. The action continues as Tony and David starts talking about the Rhodes/Blanchard feud. Stallion continues to dictate the tempo with two forearms and a elbow to the sternum. He works the leg over and at one point has a one-legged Boston Crab. Cradle for two, Stallion gets a backbreaker for another 2 count. The announcers continue to put Stallion over as someone that could be a player in the future. Two elbows for a 2 count. Flynn has had absolutely no offense in this match so far. Stallion lifts Flynn up and gets another backbreaker for 2. Irish whip to a Samoan drop for the pin. It felt like two jobbers, even though the announcers were trying to get Stallion over. Grade: 1.5

--Tony announces an anniversary announcement, which seemed cheesy, but I guess it tried to make the show seem family oriented. Tony is cut off by the National Tag Team Champions Ole and Arn Anderson, and Ole quickly says he could care less about anyoneís anniversary. He continues to trash Thunderbolt Patterson, who he turned on a couple of months before. He starts to run down a bevy of faces, including Bill Watts, Andre the Giant, Bruno Sammartino and Wahoo McDaniel. Ole says Patterson doesnít belong in this business, and he will be taken out. Arn grabs the mike and says if anyone out there really thinks theyíre tough, try the Minnesota Wrecking Crew on for size.

3) World Television Champion Tully Blanchard defeats Stoney Burke with the Slingshot Suplex at 6:39

Tully looks good as always with Baby Doll and the red title belt. Burke opens with a hip toss and the crowd gets vocal for the first time in the show. Tully gets an arm bar in that Burke reverses, and Tully goes in the ropes. Baby Dollís berating the referee and we re-start. Dusty joins the announcers to add a little spice to the situation. Tully takes control with a few elbows and an arm bar. Dusty continues to bad mouth Baby Doll, calling her a jezebel. Tully keeps the arm bar on as Burke heads to the ropes. Tully takes the arm again and puts pressure on. Tully changes to a chin lock as Dusty says Baby Doll is paid to clean Tullyís laundry, and that if Baby Doll came on to him heíd put more snuff in his mouth. Burke gets a few shots in and an irish whip in the corner but Tully stops him with a knee. We go back and forth, and Tully gets control with a forearm to the jaw. A 2-count and Tully is frustrated. Tully gets a chin lock on as the announcers say Baby Doll is eyeing Dusty in the announce area. Dusty says a day will come where Baby Doll will do what Dusty wants. As Dustyís talking Tully locks in the Slingshot and itís a 3-count. Tully comes over to start something, and Baby Doll tells Dusty to take his hat off in front of a lady. Dusty says he will when he sees one, and that next time Baby Doll touches his hat heíll knock her lips off. Grade: 2

--Weíre joined by US Heavyweight Champion Magnum TA, who says its up to Ric Flair when Magnum gets a World Title shot as heís the number one contender. He says heís defended the US Title just as much as Flairís defended the World Title, and that heís beaten 25-30 men in the past couple of months. His ultimate goal is to face Ric Flair and become World Heavyweight Champion. People are waiting for it, and Flair will have to deal with him.

4) Thunderbolt Patterson defeats Joel Deaton with a double thrust to the throat at 2:12

The announcers continue to put Magnum TA over, and says the anticipated World Title match between Magnum and Ric Flair should happen soon. Thunderbolt gets a right hand in followed by a snap mare and an armbar. Deaton revereses into the ropes. Deaton gets a shot in but Thunderbolt takes over. We get some back and forth action, then Thunderbolt ends it quick with a double thrust to the throat that didnít look that intimidating a finisher. Grade: 1

--Tony interviews Dick Slater. Slater wants to know where the ďunpredictableĒ nickname came from. He was going to wrestle today but changed his mind because he wants to stay unpredictable. His two objectives are either to become World Champion or World Tag Team Champion, or he wants to get a partner to face the Andersons. Slater really didnít know what to say and the promo went nowhere.

5) Black Bart defeats Ricky Reeves with a leg drop off the top rope at 3:02

Bart takes over quick as the announcers continue to talk about Dick Slater. Bart head butts Reeveís shoulder and gets an arm bar. NWA wrestlers love arm bars. David states that the match will be set soon between Black Bart and Ron Garvin for the National Heavyweight Title. Bart continues to manhandle Reeves and drops a big suplex, then back to the armbar. Bart drops the leg off the top and the pin is academic. A nice tight squash match that puts Bart over as a contender to Garvinís title. Grade: 1.5

--Black Bart joins the interview area, and he yells that people will be impressed with him soon. He sees all these superstres giving interviews, but the man he wants is Ronnie Garvin, and that National Heavyweight title. Bart starts slamming his head on the interview table, and calls Garvin a stupid hillbilly. The best interview so far on the show.

6) Ron Garvin defeats Ron Bass to retain National Heavyweight Title by disqualification when Bass puts him over the top rope at 6:30

As we begin itís so weird to see J.J. Dillon manage other guys besides the Horsemen, but in the pre-Horsemen days he had a unique stable of guys (Bass, Buddy Landell). We lock up and Garvin tries an Irish Whip but Bass stops him. Garvin gets a backslide in for 2, and then gets Bass in a headlock. Bass reverses into a reverse elbow. Bass goes for the Claw but Garvin bails. Garvin gets the headlock back and snaps Bass to the canvas. Bass tries to reverse with the tights into a pin multiple times but cannot turn it over. Bass gets a head scissors on Garvin, and he tries to reverse into a pin combo for 2. Bass keeps the pressure on as the crowd gets excited. Garvin gets out of it and snaps a right hand on Bass. They lock up and exchange moves while Black Bart returns to ringside. He takes Garvinís belt and puts in on himself. We go to commercial and come back with Bass in control with a knee to the mid-section. Garvin gets some shots in and puts Bassí head into the turnbuckle. Garvin finally sees him and starts jawing, but Bass gets him from behind and takes control. Bart stalks ringside with the title, JJ gets knocked into the ring and both wrestlers exchange punches, but Bass drops Garvin over the top rope for the DQ. Garvin comes to and Bart has the belt in the ring. Garvin gets some punches in but Garvin punches the belt and hurts his hand. Bart kicks Garvinís hand, grabs the belt and leaves. Garvin is writhing in pain on the canvas. Grade: 2.5

7) National Tag Team Champions Ole/Arn Anderson defeat Joel Deaton/Mike Simani when Ole makes Simani submit with the Arm Bar at 2:21

Even though they call him Vernon, itís the same Joel Deaton that got pinned by Thunderbolt Patterson earlier in the show, and you know this isnít going well either. Ole and Arn get some quick tags in as they go after Deatonís arm. The announcers mention how earlier Dick Slater said in his incoherent promo that he will get a partner to face the Wrecking Crew. Simani comes in and this gets no better for him, as Ole drops a knee from the top rope onto Simaniís shoulder, then wrenches the arm for the submission. Another nice, tight squash. Grade: 2

--Ric Flair returns for his second promo. He says its hard to keep his eyes off the monitor when heís looking that good. I canít argue. Flair says everyone wakes up every day wanting to be something important, and that they all want to be like Ric Flair. Dusty, Magnum, everybody wants to be the champ, wants to be the Man. He decides to stick around to watch the next match.

8) US Heavyweight Champion Magnum TA defeats Paul Garner with the Belly-to-Belly Suplex at :29

Flair sticks around to help on commentary. He does say Magnum is a champion, and he is a good wrestler, heís just not Ric Flair. As he finishes the sentence, Magnum hits the Belly-to-Belly and its over just like that. Talk about an efficient squash. Magnum comes over to the table and Flair says he looks like Jethro from the Beverly Hillbillies, and why heís cutting in on his interview time. Flair says that if he wants to be Ric Flair and wants to be Champion he needs to dress like a champion, and jeans and cowboy boots are not champion materials. Magnum grabs Flair by the tie and says the talking is over, letís fight right now. Magnum heads to the ring and Flair takes his jacket and tie off but walks away. Magnum says youíre not walking away from me again. Flair gets into the ring, and as Magnum gets into the ring Flair jumps him from behind. Flair gets some shots in gets a reverse suplex in. He leaves the ring back to the interview table, says he proves his point, and walks away. Grade: .5

--Tony is with Ron Garvin, whoís hand is wrapped up after punching his own National Heavyweight Title belt thanks to Black Bart. Garvin tells Bart not to worry about his hand, but he wants his belt back, and even though he has the belt itself, Bartís not the champ.

9) Buzz Sawyer defeats Randy Barber with a power slam at 3:16

The crowdís still buzzing after what happened with Flair and Magnum, but this match isnít much. They lock up and Mad Dog gets some forearm shots in. Back drop into a suplex, and Barberís getting killed. Sawyer rubs his face into the mat and then bites Barberís forehead. He gets a headlock into a bodyslam, and another 2 count. Barber gets a shot in and goes to the top rope, but Sawyer catches him in mid-air, drops a power slam and gets the 3 count. Crowd loves it and wow Sawyer has fuzzy boots. Grade: 2

--Tony is with the Russian crew, and Ivan talks first. He says they are the best group of wrestlers in the world, and he even challenges Dusty Rhodes and Dick Slater to come on to the following weekís show and meet in the ring. Nikita talks, and says Ric Flair does nothing but talk, and he should start fighting. Nikita continues to talk as we go off the air.

FINAL WORD: A decent show that spikes two big feuds (Flair/Magnum and Garvin/Bart), and continues another (Blanchard/Rhodes) while also having some effective squashes to put others over. The crowd goes back and forth, as they need something specific to get them going, and in this case the Blanchard/Rhodes interaction woke the crowd up in a hurry. Ric Flair always brings immediate energy to any show, and he didnít disappoint either. This is a solid show that continues some big feuds raging throughout the south. Grade: C+

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