January 30, 2011
Justin Rozzero

The Place to Be

World Championship Wrestling
June 8, 1985
Tony Schiavone and David Crockett

-We open with a clip from a live event involving Manny Fernandez and the Barbarian.


Tony and David join us and remind us that today we have a National Heavyweight Title match between Ron Garvin and Black Bart, which is also a “Loser Leaves Town” match. The usual suspects will be joining us as well, and our first interview is with the US Heavyweight Champion, Magnum TA. He says Ric Flair is afraid of him, and that Flair can’t beat him, and that he will eventually become World Heavyweight Champion. Interesting opening interview in that it was short and seemed out of place, as we go to the ring for our first match.

Manny Fernandez defeats George South with a flying forearm at 6:46

I’m getting used to all the old NWA jobbers doing these recaps, since they’re getting pounded every week. The bell rings and we lock up. Manny pushes South to the corner and a clean break. Manny with a hip toss and South begs off. Another lock up and South with a return hip toss as Tony and David discuss Dusty Rhodes’ cracked ribs. We’ll find out more about that later. South with another hip toss but the Raging Bull is up, and we have a criss-cross that leads to a Manny leap frog into a toe hold that drops South and Manny grabs the arms. Manny pulls on both if South’s arms as Tony reminds us that Manny Fernandez was a Vietnam Vet and played football at West Texas State. Hip toss for Manny into a sloppy suplex for 2. We lock up and South goes for a forearm but Manny with a chop and South goes down, into a Manny knee drop for 2. Manny with a chop and back to the arms. Tony says Manny knows all the styles of fighting, including the Oriental way. That made me laugh for some reason. Both men on their feet and Manny goes for roll-up but South grabs the ropes. Manny with an armbar into some chops. Irish whip into another chop and its back to the arms. Manny locks the arms into a suplex for a 2 count. Manny with an armbar but South tries to fight back with some forearms but Manny fires some of his own, and irish whips South into a big forearm shot that brings the crowd up. Manny picks South up and drops him with a knee lift. Manny with an elbow into a headlock. Oh Jesus end this match already. Manny cranks the neck and brings South to his feet. Another irish whip, South goes for a clothesline, but Manny ducks and hits a big flying forearm for the 3 count. Decent opener, but could have ended about a minute sooner.

-Manny comes to the broadcast desk and says respect is earned, not handed to you. He wrestles like a heavier Tito Santana, and he says Ric Flair is the man to be custom-made from head to toe, and it’s the Raging Bull that will uncustomize him. That was an interesting way to put it, as we go to break.

US Heavyweight Champion Magnum TA defeats Mike Simani with a belly-to-belly suplex in :28

Magnum’s matches have been under a minute the past few weeks, and he opens with 2 snap mares into an armbar into a belly-to-belly for the pin. They were definitely grooming him to be the next stud. We go to break.

-Back to the interview area and we’re with Dusty Rhodes, who says Tully Blanchard put a contract out on Big Dust, and it was Abdullah the Butcher who cracked his ribs. He says Tully’s a coward, Baby Dolls a jezebel and it will take a bigger man to beat the American Dream. Dusty stays for commentary as we go to the ring.

World Television Champion Tully Blanchard defeats Mark Hawk by disqualification at 4:22

Tully’s jawing with Dusty from the ring as Baby Doll takes the belt and we’re ready to go. Dusty says the TV Title means a lot, and he will take it from Tully Blanchard. In the ring Tully pushes off Hawk and they’re glaring. Blanchard with some forearm shots and then some eye gouging ,which the referee stops and pushes Tully off. That gives Baby Doll a chance to smack Hawk across the face. Tully with more forearm shots into an elbow drop, followed by 2 more. A 2 count but Tully pulls Hawk up into a chinlock. Tully’s nastier than normal, probably because Big Dust is watching. Tully with a headlock as he’s jawing with the Dream. Back to his feet and Hawk separates with some shots but Tully takes him down and he’s baiting Dusty into getting in the ring. Tully with some knee drops and back to a chinlock. Hawk goes to his feet with Tully on his back but Tully with an eye gouge. Baby Doll gets in Dusty’s face and the two start jawing. Tully tosses Hawk from the ring and Dusty follows with some stomps. Baby Doll gives the order and Tully with more eye raking. Dusty goes to the ring and gets in Baby Doll’s face. Tully tries a sneak attack but Dusty catches him with an elbow forcing the DQ. Baby Doll rakes Dusty’s eyes and Tully with some knee lifts into Dusty’s injured ribs. Dusty hits the canvas as we quickly go to break.

-Back to the desk and the World Heavyweight Title belt is sitting there, which means only one thing. The Man joins us now, the Nature Boy Ric Flair: WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION. Flair says when you’re talked about every day, you know you’re doing something right. He runs down the usuals, from Dusty to Manny Fernandez. Now he talks Magnum TA. Flair says Magnum claims he took Flair to the limit. He says only one time was Ric Flair taken to the limit and that was Lynda Carter and Bo Derek back to back. Lynda Carter incidentally was Wonder Woman on TV, dating myself and this episode. Flair says he’s the greatest champion of all time, and he even throws a last dig at Buddy Landell. He says the women knock on Landell’s door, but no one’s home. With that we go to the ring.

Buzz Sawyer defeats Randy Beason with a power slam at 4:13

Ol’ fuzzy boots is in the ring and Randy Beason is a big hoss. Buzz with some chops into a snap mare into a snap suplex. Buzz rams Beason’s head into the turnbuckle and he’s down. Buzz takes him down for 2, and both men are gouging eyes, but Buzz’s was injured by the Andersons. Buzz starts biting and throws Beason out of the ring. Beason’s flabby body gets back in and Buzz back with the biting. He grinds Beason’s face into the mat, then picks him up and chops him. Back up and Buzz with a bear hug. Beason starts biting and Buzz lets go. Beason with a right hand but Buzz with a big chop. Buzz with an Irish whip into a right forearm Buzz starts stomping and Beason rolls out of the ring. Buzz keeps favoring the left eye as he chops Beason’s flabby torso. Irish whip into a big power slam for the pin. Impressive move to get this fat guy up for a big power slam as we go to break.

-Back to the desk and Tony is with Buzz Sawyer’s brother Bret, mullet and all. He talks about how Ole and Arn Anderson tried to take his eyes out. Blood is thicker than water and Bret’s here to make sure nothing happens to his brother. Well how ironic as we’re talking about Arn Anderson, Double A is in the ring for our next match.

National Tag Team Champion co-holder Arn Anderson defeats Larry Clarke with a Gourdbuster at 2:24

The Enforcer is ready and Bret says this man is talented but he’s watching Arn after what he did to Buzz. The bell rings and Arn takes Clarke down with punches and stomps. Bret Sawyer says they’re not out there to wrestle, they’re out there to hurt people. Arn with a snap mare into a knee to the mid-section. Arn with a knee to the throat as he glares and Bret Sawyer. Arn snap mares Clarke and stomps on him as he points at Bret. Arn methodical as Bret keeps says any other injuries heal but you can’t get your eyesight back. Arn with the Gourdbuster to finish the match off.

-Arn goes to the desk and jaws with Bret, asking where “One-eyed Buzz” is. Bret says to him twice he’s taking a shower. Arn seems to accept the answer, but as he’s walking away he cheap-shots Bret with a right hand, knocking the desk over. Bret takes his shirt off and challenges Arn. Arn gets in the ring and they’re battling with right hands. Bret’s with back drops and right hands but Arn irish whips him and tosses Bret outside. Then, in a move that is exactly what a man who would be a Horseman would do, Arn Gourdbusts Bret onto the concrete floor, and viciously kicks him in the head. Damn that was sweet. Arn gets back in the ring as Dick Slater tries to help Bret and Arn cheap shots him. Slater throws Arn in the ring, but Buzz Sawyer comes out in his underwear and a towel and Arn bolts. Double-A definitely was getting being a heel down, something that we all know would serve him well later in the year (I chuckle as I type that). Dick Slater goes to the desk and screams that this will come to an end right now. Slater says the Andersons better listen up, because he’ll show you what being nasty is all about as we go to break.

-Back to the desk and we’re joined by the Russians. Ivan Koloff says everyone is America is ignorant. They are the World Tag Team Champions and no one can deny that. He’s also upset that Americans call Krusher Khruschev a traitor. He’s not a traitor to Russia, and that’s all that matters. Ivan say Krusher has Russian blood, and his mother made the mistake of marrying an American. Nikita Koloff is mumbling in his fake Russian, he almost sounds like Great Khali its pretty funny.

World Tag Team Champion co-holder Nikita Koloff defeats Rocky King with the Russian Sickle at 5:57

Every time I see Nikita Koloff I feel the other guy is about to be not just beaten but killed. Incidentally there’s an urban legend that Vince McMahon was trying to get Nikita to be Hulk Hogan’s opponent at Wrestlemania II. That would have been 10 times better than Hogan/Bundy, but alas Nikita’s loyalty was to Crockett. I like the old World Tag belts, all gold. As we begin Tony is joined by “Pistol” Pez Whatley, who says Rocky King will give everything he has in this match and will take King under his wing. The bell rings and Nikita starts with heavy kicks and forearms. Irish whip and Rocky goes for a cross body, but Nikita catches him and hits a backbreaker. Nikita picks Rocky up, drapes him over the turnbuckle and hits some double ax-handles. Rocky fights back with some punches but Nikita takes over and hits a forearm. Into the corner and Nikita with vicious shoulder blocks following by a crazy toss into the other corner. Nikita is killing this guy. Nikita with a front facelock to slow the pace and inflict pain. They both hit the canvas, then Nikita with an Irish whip and he goes for a back drop, but Rocky with a leap frog into a drop kick and Nikita staggers. Rocky with some shots and then tries to whip the Russian into the ropes but Nikita stops him and crushes Rocky with a clothesline. Nikita with a body slam followed by vicious choking back into the facelock. Ivan nods his approval. Rocky tries to fight it but Nikita takes him down with a forearm. Rocky with punches but Nikita brushes them off and tosses Rocky out of the ring. The referee brings Nikita back to the center of the ring, but as Rocky gets back in the ring the Russian Nightmare attacks and back to the front facelock. I thought this match would be over by now. He releases the hold and now chokes Rocky on the top rope. Rocky tries again to fight back but Nikita with a double axe handle. Nikita picks Rocky up and clotheslines him on the top rope. Irish whip into the Russian Sickle for the win. Big time glorified squash. We go to break.

Black Bart defeats Ron Garvin to win the National Heavyweight Title in a “Loser Leaves Town” match when he hits Garvin with a loaded elbow pad at 11:02

This has been brewing for a couple of weeks now, and it all comes to a head. Bell rings and both men are swinging as TV Champion Tully Blanchard joins us. Garvin with some kicks into a 1 count. Garvin’s hand is still taped from punching the belt two weeks ago. Garvin with a head butt for 2, as Garvin fights an arm scissors. Garvin grabs Bart by the hair but Bart goes after the injured hand. Bart with some shots and Garvin goes into the turnbuckle. Bart slams the hand into the turnbuckle and he bails. Blanchard is actually very objective in his analysis as Garvin tries to fight back. Both men go outside and then back inside but Garvin stomps Bart as he’s going in. Bart bails but Garvin still favors the hand. Garvin with a big back suplex for 2. Garvin locks Bart’s arms into a roll-up but Bart reverses into a pin count of his own. Garvin tries to even the score by stomping on Bart’s hand as the crowd is chanting “Garvin”. Never thought I’d hear that. Garvin with an armbar on Bart, who’s been on the defensive the past few minutes. Bart gets a shot in the gut but Garvin bobs and weaves but Bart catches him with a forearm and now he’s going to the injured hand. Bart with a forearm to the chest but Garvin fights back with some chops and now both men are going back and forth. Garvin with a roll-up for 2 ½. Garvin keeps the move on trying to get a 3 count. Tully’s been doing solid commentary here, better than David Crockett anyway. Garvin with a front facelock and stomping on Bart’s hand. Bart pushes Garvin into the corner and some shoulder blocks releases the hold. Bart with a leg drop on Garvin’s arm as Bart goes after the injured hand again. Garvin rebounds and hooks the sleeper on, but breaks the hold himself and goes for the Abdominal Stretch, still favoring the hand, which is the reason the Sleeper was let go. Garvin lets go and gets some stomps in. Bart rebounds with a breadbasket shot and he gets some shots in. Garvin with a forearm, and a whip into the ropes and hits the big right hand which knocks Bart almost out, but it’s the injured hand he uses and Garvin is in big time pain. Garvin goes for the pin and the ref counts three but at two Bart would put his foot on the rope. The referee tells Garvin the pin doesn’t count and he goes off on Bart. Baby Doll goes around the apron to look at Bart and while the ref’s with Garvin she slips what appears to be a loaded elbow pad on. Garvin walks over and Bart catches him square in the jaw with the pad for the 3 count. A rare title change on the show but more important Ron Garvin is gone. Kind of a shock to be honest.

-We go to what appears to be an edit job and we’re back at the desk with the Russians, who puts over Black Bart over as the new National Heavyweight Champions. He says all the Americans look in jealousy at how great he is. Nikita talks like Great Khali again, which I don’t know why as he usually speaks in his fake broken English. Very odd but we go to break.

Dick Slater defeats Paul Garner with an elbow off the top rope at 3:19

I thought they would do the title change last but we have another squash on our plate. We lock up and Slater with a clean break. Slater with a headlock and he breaks free. Crockett recaps that Tully and Baby Doll cost Ron Garvin his title and his job. Slater with an armbar to slow the pace. Slater with an elbow on the arm, and back to the armbar. Slater almost pins him but drops an elbow followed by a head butt and Garner is tossed to the floor. Garner gets back in the ring but Slater drapes him over the top rope and an elbow to the back of the head. Next is a swinging neckbreaker and Garner is down. Slater goes to the top rope and hits an elbow on the staggered Garner for the pin. Pretty straightforward as “The Unpredictable One” gets the win.

-Back to the desk and Dusty Rhodes comments on why Tully and Baby Doll are snakes for what they did to Ron Garvin. Dusty’s eye still bleeding from Baby Doll’s gouge and he says he’ll make Baby Doll a real woman someday. He also challenges Abdullah to stay out of Big Dust’s business. We go to break.

-Back to the desk with the new National Heavyweight Champion Black Bart. Bart says he told everyone what he was going to do and he did it. He’s the champ and no one can change that. Simple and to the point.

Pez Whatley, Thunderbolt Patterson & Italian Stallion defeat the RPM’s (DJ and LP) & Randy Barber when Patterson pins Barber with a double fist at 5:27

I see the names on the screen and I am dreading writing this clusterfuck up. DJ is with Pez and they lock up. DJ with a headlock into an irish whip. Pez with back-to-back leap frogs but then hits the ropes wrong and DJ takes over. Tag to LP and Pez with a wrist lock into a drop kick. Headlock by Pez as he tags into Stallion and he takes the headlock. Irish whip into a snap mare into an armbar. LP reverses an Irish whip but Stallion with a snap mare into a body slam. Tag to Barber but Stallion catches him with a body slam. Barber bails outside and Stallion grabs DJ and tags into Thunderbolt. T-Bolt with some shots as he jukes around the ring. He looks kind of silly juking around at the age of….I don’t know, 50? Barber tags back in and he locks up with T-Bolt. Barber goes for a headlock but T-Bolt slips out as Barber complains that T-Bolt has something slick in his hair. My god this match sucks. Another headlock and another slipout. T-Bolt with a right hand and Barber tags to DJ. Fireman’s carry and T-Bolt with a front facelock. Tag to Pez and he hits a back drop into a headlock. DJ pulls the hair into a head scissor but Pez escapes. DJ pulls the hair again without the ref seeing it and back to the head scissors. Pez in the enemy corner and a tag to LP. Pez escapes and tags to Stallion. He cinches a headlock but LP pulls the hair into his corner and tags DJ. Irish whip but they miss a double clothesline. Stallion tries to cross body both RPM’s but they catch him and drop a backbreaker. Nice move, actually. LP with some shots and he tags to Barber, who gets one right hand but Stallion takes over and hits a back drop. Stallion tags T-Bolt and he jukes again. Whip into the ropes into a double fist for the pin. This match was unncessary as no one cares about any of them.

-Back to the desk and Buzz Sawyer and Dick Slater are with us. Buzz says his brother is fine, but he’s pissed off that Arn Anderson came after his brother knowing Buzz wasn’t around. He says you can do what you want to me, but don’t go after my brother. Buzz is on the verge of tears as he screams at the top of his lungs that first the Anderson’s try to take his eyesight, and then they go after his brother and try to injure him. Buzz is insane and this promo is awesome. Buzz just storms off. Slater says Buzz has a lot of pride and right is right, wrong is wrong, and the Anderson’s are wrong. He challenges all the heels (Flair, Anderson’s, etc). He tells Arn Anderson to watch his back because Buzz is looking for him. With that its back to the ring.

Abdullah the Butcher defeats Mike Nichols with an elbow drop at :46

We know two things right off the bat: Dusty may be lurking somewhere, and this isn’t the Mike Nichols that directed The Graduate. Tully’s with Abdullah and this won’t take long. Abdullah starts biting then drops a clothesline. Nichols with punches that do nothing and Abdullah with a chop and a slam. Butcher drops the elbow for the quick win, then rolls over Nichols and won’t get up trying to crush him. A literal squash as we go to break.

-Back to the desk and its Tully, Baby Doll and Abdullah with Tony. Tully says Dusty can say what he wants about Baby Doll, but she’s a debutante. Tully says he’s smart and Abdullah gets paid to do the dirty work. Tully says if Baby Doll’s simple eye rake takes you out, how will you handle the TV Champion and big Abdullah. Back to the ring.

World Tag Team Champion co-holder Ivan Koloff defeats the Green Shadow at 4:19

This is the 11th match of this show, and 2 of them have been under a minute. More Flair interview time would be better served than this shit. Our 4th look at the Russians today, ring and interview time combined. We lock up and Ivan goes for a quick pin, then a front facelock. Ivan with a hip toss into a reverse elbow. Ivan rakes at the mask and chokes. Low knee lift and Shadow’s tossed out of the ring. Ivan grabs Shadow with a forearm to the chest and Shadow hits the floor again. Ivan goes out and pushes Shadow into the apron, then back into the ring. Big shots to the back into a snapmare. Ivan rubs the knee into the neck into a neckbreaker. Crowd’s actually cheering which is odd. Ivan to the top with a double ax handle into a slam. Couple of stomps and some punches into a 2 count. Ivan’s taunting the Shadow and then a knee lift. Shadow trying to fight back but Ivan lifts the boot into a knee drop off the top rope. Ivan with a stomp to the gut, then a reverse elbow. Ivan back to the top rope as the Shadow gets to his feet and the Russian Sickle ends it. There was cheering for Ivan, which is funny since they were always put over as the biggest heels on the roster.

Back to the desk and Arn Anderson joins Tony. Double-A says Ole is not here today so he’s representing the family. He says Bret Sawyer wants to come down here with his dimples and pretty hair and raise a stink about Buzz getting roughed up. Well speaking of family Ole is very proud of what he did today. Arn runs down all the faces and says if you want a shot at the National Tag Titles, do it fair, not 3-on-1. You’ll get the same treatment Bret Sawyer (affectionately called “Dennis the Menace” by Arn) got a while ago. Tony, the pleasure was all yours.

Buddy Landell defeats Gerald Findley with the Figure Four at :59

My god, a 12th match on the card, and the title change wasn’t last? Don’t understand that philosophy. Wow Buddy’s robe looks cheap. Well he ain’t Ric Flair. Buddy with some chops into a reverse elbow. Body slam into a knee drop, followed by an armbar. Lindley gets free but misses a drop kick. Landell with a big elbow drop, and he cinches on the figure four for the win. Another sub-minute squash and Landell won’t let go. Not a bad squash but now we go to the REAL Nature Boy.

-Back to the desk and thank god another Ric Flair promo. The WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION says Bret Sawyer had no respect for this business and Arn Anderson beat some respect into him. Pro wrestling is for men, and Bret Sawyer is a boy. Dick Slater and Buzz Sawyer cry they’re the best. Well he says he’s the champ, so that pretty much makes him the best. He’s the greatest athlete alive today, and he says Nikita Koloff can be Flair’s gardener. Flair runs the rest of the roster, including Buddy Landell. Flair ran everybody down, faces other heels it didn’t matter. Why? Because he can, that’s why and we go off the air for the week.

DRAMA’S TAKE: A solid show with a lot of matches and a nice title change. One thing about this show is that every player makes the show, from the main eventers to the curtain jerkers. My favorite guys, the pieces that would become the Horsemen (Flair, Tully, and in particular Arn) did their part to become despised, awesome heels. I was surprised that the Koloffs got some face pops during their matches, but the babyfaces in that six-man tag mess didn’t get anything. It would have been nice to see Flair wrestle a match instead of that six-man tag, but a couple of awesome promos were fine for me. A good show that managed time well with 12 matches and a big title change.

MVP: Black Bart
Runner Up: Arn Anderson
Non MVP: Ron Garvin
Runner Up: Six Man Tag match

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