January 30, 2011
Justin Rozzero

The Place to Be

World Championship Wrestling
June 1, 1985
Announcers: Tony Schiavone and David Crockett

--We open with a clip of the Russians in action, with Nikita Koloff taking out some stiff with the Russian Sickle.

OPENING ANIMATION

--Tony and David greet us with the usual suspects on tap: Magnum, Flair, Tully, Dusty, etc.

1) Buzz Sawyer and Ron Garvin defeat Randy Barber and Mike Simiani when Sawyer pins Simiani with the Power Slam at 5:58

Garvin starts with Barber, and David points out that Garvin’s hand is taped from last week when he punched his National Title belt thanks to Black Bart. Barber with a headlock, whipped into the ropes and Barber meets a Buzz boot to the face. The crowd is hot early, as Buzz is very over with the crowd. Buzz tags in and he tosses Barber across the ring, and Barber tags Simiani. Buzz into a headlock and Garvin is tagged in. Barber tags in and David points out Garvin is favoring the injured right hand by not using it much. Tag into Sawyer and a double back drop. Sawyer with a suplex into a 2-count. Sawyer throws Barber into his corner and Simani tries to pearl harbor Sawyer, but the Mad Dog lifts him up and tosses him into the other corner. It’s been pretty much a one-sided squash to the biggest degree. The match mostly focuses on Garvin’s taped hand and Buzz’s power moves. After a 1-count on Simiani Buzz pulls him up and some double-teaming before Garvin takes over with another headlock. This match should already be over but the old NWA loved stretching squashes out much more than the WWF used to. Garvin is wrestling a little more vicious than usual, but he continues to use the open hand. Tag into Sawyer and the power slam for the win.

--We’re joined by the US Heavyweight Champion Magnum TA. Magnum states that the World Title is the ultimate goal for anyone who wants to be in professional wrestling. He says Ric Flair used to be a respectful champion, but over the last few weeks has become slightly yellow. Magnum says first Flair refused his challenges, and then when he finally does, last week he resorts to a cheap shot. Magnum says the respect is gone, and now Magnum has one focus, to take out Ric Flair and be the World Heavyweight Champion.

--Our next interview is with Dick Slater and Dusty Rhodes, who comment on last week’s challenge laid down by the Russians to Slater and Big Dust. Rhodes says the match went down, and they go to a clip of the match from a live event where the Russians defend against Rhodes and Slater. Slater hit a back suplex on Ivan Koloff and seemingly won the World Tag Team titles, but a referee technicality put the belts back on the Russians. Rhodes says get 1, 2 or 3 referees, it doesn’t matter. Slater and Rhodes will be the next World Tag Team Champions.

2) US Heavyweight Champion Magnum TA defeats Larry Clarke with the Belly-to-Belly Suplex in :16

This squash starts quick with a slam, a suplex, and the Belly-to-Belly for the win. It’s about :12 quicker than his squash last week. It’s evident that the NWA was grooming this man to be the one to take out the Nature Boy and become the World Champion.

--Speaking of the Nature Boy, Ric Flair joins Tony at the table, and he’s dressed for action in his $11,000 robe. Once again he puts his robes over, that only he can truly make the World Title look good. He says he treats his opponents like his women: He makes a lasting impression. That’s a good line, as always. Flair shows us the 4 greatest highlights of his career: His win over Harley Race at Starrcade ’83, his win over Kerry Von Erich in Japan to regain the World Title in the spring of 1984, his $1,000,000 match win over Dusty Rhodes at Starrcade ‘84 when Joe Frazier stopped the match due to blood loss, and last week’s beatdown of Magnum TA. He says he enjoys teaching the young lions it takes more than good looks to be World Heavyweight Champion. Flair says Magnum has no class, but he can fix that and he brings a new suit for Magnum. He takes his robe off and he heads to the ring.

3) World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair defeats George South with the Figure Four at 4:34

They lock up and Flair with some shoulder blocks into a knee drop. Flair with a reverse headlock, into the corner for some chops. South reverses an Irish Whip into a back drop. Some punches and Flair begs off, but South walks into a boot. They exchange punches and Flair takes over, pitching South outside. Flair brings South in and converts a reverse suplex into a head scissors, he talks to the crowd and drops and elbow. This match seems too long for Naitch. Well now we know why as Magnum TA walks to the table and Tony offers him the $1500 suit that Flair offered him. Magnum says he’s overwhelmed with gratitude over the gift. Flair with the abdominal stretch into a back suplex. Flair struts and locks in the Figure 4 for the win. Magnum walks into the ring with the suit as Flair flashes the belt off. Flair says he would look good in it, and as he says it Magnum rips the suit into pieces. Flair is stunned and he goes for the cheap shot but Magnum is ready and drops the World Champion with a belly-to-belly. Magnum calmly walks back to the table, with the World Title, stating the next time this belt will be in my hands, I’ll own it. Flair finally comes to and his flipping out. He calls Magnum a low-class thief, and to never touch his belt again.

--We’re back with Dusty Rhodes at the table, and he says it looked good to see Flair get what he deserves. Meanwhile he says a rematch has been set between he and Dick Slater against the Russians for the World Tag Team Titles. He also puts over Magnum TA, saying he’s proud of him for putting the Nature Boy in his place. From there Tony does that stupid weekly anniversary. God how cheesy.

4) Black Bart defeats Jim Jeffers with the leg drop off the second rope at 3:34

Bart starts beating down Jeffers as Tony and David comment on the stunning events between Magnum and Ric Flair. Bart goes after the arm as David discusses the issues between Bart and Ron Garvin. They discuss the earlier match when Garvin used an open hand to strike rather than his closed fist. Bart wrenches the arm as the crowd chants “WE WANT GARVIN”. Bart continues on the arm then drops Jeffers on the top rope as the chant continues. Big slam by Bart and he goes to the second rope, dropping the big leg drop for the win. As the bell rings Ron Garvin strolls over to ringside, and Garvin says he still wants his National Heavyweight Title belt back. Bart confronts him and says if he wants his belt back, he can. First Bart challenges Garvin to a “Loser Leaves Town” match next week. Garvin mumbles some nonsense about not leaving, as this guy couldn’t cut a promo to save his life. In any event we have a big match for next week.

5) World Television Champion Tully Blanchard defeats Paul Garner with the Slingshot Suplex at 1:33

Baby Doll decked out in purple takes the belt and goes to ringside. Tully dominates with a series of punches and clothesline, and he hooks the Slingshot and drills it for the quick pin. Blanchard’s matches are usually 5-6 minutes, but since this week’s show is only an hour we’re on the express line.

--Arn Anderson joins Tony at the table, and he says there’s a lot of tough guys walking around saying they can take out the National Tag Champs (He and Ole) but he says no one will ever be that tough. Ole on camera and he says Buzz Sawyer and Ron Garvin were ok in the opening match, but really Mad Dog couldn’t bust a pimple on a hog’s backside. Didn’t think hogs had acne.

6) Alan Martin & Mark Cooper defeat Ole & Arn Anderson by disqualification at 3:31

For only an hour this week it was impressive that they crammed this many matches in. As it starts Buzz Sawyer gets to ringside to jaw with Ole while Arn goes after Martin with some punishment on the left arm. Tag to Ole who continues to beat on the left arm. Sawyer says the Minnesota Wrecking Crew better not bite off more than they can chew. Tag to Arn who continues to work on the arm while Ole still aws with Buzz on the outside. Arn continues to punish Martin, then throws him into the corner. Martin tags to Cooper as Sawyer stalks the outside. Sawyer walks to the ring, pushes Martin aside and takes over in the match. He gets in the ring and takes out Ole and Arn. He power slams Arn and goes for the pin, but Ole hits Buzz with the knee for the DQ. We have some double team action on Buzz until Dick Slater comes in to clear the ring as we go off the air.

DRAMA’S TAKE: A pretty good show considering it was only an hour long (presumably due to the Braves) but a lot went on. The NWA definitely was grooming Magnum TA to be the next big babyface with the Flair incident. They also set up the big “Loser Leaves Town” match for the National Heavyweight Title between Ron Garvin and Black Bart. We also have a future title match for the Russians against Slater and Rhodes, so in the short hour they set up a lot of big future matches. The suit ripping by Magnum is a memorable moment for him and for the NWA in general, and is referenced on the Four Horsemen DVD (even though the Horsemen were not even a thought at this time). It should also be noted that this show was on my birthday, as I turned the ripe "young" age of 12. A really solid show considering it was only an hour. Grade: A-

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