Written By Alfredo Esparza
Championship Wrestling From Florida April 21, 1976
Some funky 1970s music to start the show. Really digging it too. In the intro they let us know that the show has been rated #1 in the nation the past four years by the National Wrestling Alliance.
Gordon Solie welcomes us to the show and gives a rundown of what’s scheduled for this week’s show.
Dusty Rhodes joins Gordon Solie at the announcer’s table. Solie talks about Rhodes pinning NWA World Heavyweight champion Terry Funk in a non-title match. Solie talks about Dusty Rhodes suffering an injury in a match and then was rushed to the hospital due to paralysis on the right side of his face. Dusty apologizes for being unable to speak properly and shows the fans that his face is paralyzed. Dusty says doctors told him that given time his face will be fine. Rhodes vows revenge on Rock Hunter, The Missouri Mauler and the Funk family. He says the bounty that Terry Funk placed on him will never be collected.
Tom Jones vs. The Great Mephisto
This is The Great Mephisto first appearance after a long absence from the territory. The Great Mephisto does a prayer before the match. Mephisto takes Jones down by the left leg. Jones escapes and takes down Mephisto with an armbar. The Great Mephisto escapes and drives his knee into Jones head a few times. He puts Jones in a headlock but Jones breaks out with a takedown. Jones takes Mephisto down again with a side headlock. The Great Mephisto gets a near fall as he rolls Jones in a pinning predicament. Jones and Mephisto slug it out for a bit until Mephisto headbutts Jones in the midsection. He then slams Jones into the turnbuckles and slams him down for the pin. Ok match.
WINNER: The Great Mephisto
They air closing seconds of a battle royal featuring Andre The Giant, Bill Watts, Dusty Rhodes and Bob Roop. Watts and Roop try to throw Andre over the top rope but Dusty saves him by dropkicking Watts & Roop out of the ring. Rhodes jumps over the top rope to give Andre the win.
Haystacks Calhoun vs. Jim Dalton & George McCreary in a handicap match.
Dalton & McCreary have to work the match like a tag team so one in the ring and not both at the same time. Dalton tries to take down Calhoun but he can’t get his arms around him. McCreary comes in and Haystacks takes both down. McCreary can’t take Calhoun down. Haystacks whips him into the ropes and McCreary bounces off him. Haystacks carries McCreary to the outside. Dalton runs in to help his tag partner. They throw some elbows and forearms at Calhoun. Haystacks punches and kicks at Dalton. They double team and take down Calhoun. They try to pin him but he throws both off. Haystacks splashes McCreary in the corner. Dalton bounces off Haystacks and he tosses McCreary on top of him and sits on both for the pin. Dalton and McCreary attack Haystacks after match but he tosses both over the top rope. Solie is very impressed.
WINNER: Haystacks Calhoun
The Missouri Mauler (w/ Rock Hunter) vs. Bill Dromo
The Mauler charges at Dromo trying to take him down, but can’t pull it off. Mauler grabs Dromo by the leg, but Dromo kicks him off. He does it again a second time and Dromo kicks him off again. Mauler goes over and gets some advice from Rock Hunter. Mauler kicks at Dromo but Dromo escapes and sends The Mauler into the turnbuckles. Mauler gets thrown to the outside by Dromo. Mauler comes back in and takes Dromo down with a hammerlock, knocks Dromo down and stomps him for a bit before going back to the hammerlock. Dromo gets back on his feet but Mauler keeps hold of his left arm. Mauler yells at Dromo to give up. Mauler keeps attacking Dromo’s left arm and shoulder. Dromo fights back with his right arm. Dromo hits Mauler with a right forearm and tries to carry Mauler, but he’s not able to. Mauler charges and lands a knee on Dromo’s back and gets the pin.
WINNER: The Missouri Mauler
Terry Funk joins Gordon Solie. Funk says he doesn’t feel sorry for Dusty Rhodes having half of his face paralyzed. He then said he does have some concern because it wasn’t worse than it should be. Terry said he called his brother (Dory Jr.) and told him to stop the check because Dusty wasn’t permanently injured. The Missouri Mauler and Rock Hunter join the interview. Terry tells The Missouri Mauler if he understands why he isn’t going to get the money. The Mauler tells Terry that he was promised $10,000 if he stopped Dusty from challenging him for the NWA World Title and he feels he did because he left half of Dusty’s face paralyzed. Mauler says he doesn’t do a job unfinished and if Terry wants all of Dusty’s face paralyzed, he will do that. He won’t quit until he’s completed this job. Terry Funk then tells Mauler and Hunter that the bounty is for any man. Rock Hunter tells Terry Funk that Pak Song will be joining them. Solie mentions that there is a bounty on The Mauler too. The Mauler tells Terry Funk that he’s not worried about the bounty on him, but he’ll finish the bounty on Dusty. Terry Funk yells at him, telling him other people want to collect that bounty on Dusty besides him too!
Terry Funk returns and says that after speaking to the Missouri Mauler privately that he’s decided to give him one more chance to collect the bounty.
Thunderbolt Patterson & Billy Robinson vs. Karl Von Steiger & Roger Kirby
Kirby takes down Patterson to start the match but quickly tags in Steiger. Steiger gets tossed out of the corner by Patterson and Steiger quickly tags Kirby back in. Kirby gets a near fall on Patterson, but he’s near the ropes and tags in Robinson. Robinson uses a cool variation of an armdrag on Kirby. Robinson sweeps Kirby off his feet. Kirby tags in Steiger who gets put into a full nelson by Robinson. Steiger reverses the full nelson but Robinson easily escapes. Robinson uses a cool submission hold to try to pin Steiger. Robinson uses his legs to hit Steiger’s head. Patterson and Kirby both in now. Patterson gets Kirby with a fireman’s carry takedown. Steiger comes in. Thunderbolt with a couple of snap mares on Steiger. Kirby and Robinson back in. Robinson slams Kirby and puts him in an abdominal stretch. Steiger makesthe save. Patterson attacks both Steiger and Kirby. Robinson gets Kirby in a backbreaker and gets the pin.
WINNERS: Thunderbolt Patterson & Billy Robinson
Abe Jacobs & Jerry Brisco vs. Frank Goodish & King Curtis
Brisco and Goodish start the match off. King Curtis can be heard screaming ringside. Brisco takes down Goodish and grabs his legs. Goodish grabs Jerry Brisco’s head to break out of the leglock. He misses a knee drop and Brisco gets back in a leglock submission. Goodish tags in King Curtis. Brisco takes down Curtis and tags in Jacobs. Jacobs goes after Curtis legs. Brisco comes back in and continues the attack on Curtis’ legs. King Curtis escapes and smashes Brisco into the turnbuckle. Frank Goodish comes in and beats on Brisco. Brisco throws a few punches. He tags in Jacobs. Jacobs backdrops Goodish. Goodish sends Jacobs into the corner. All four men brawl in the ring until Goodish sends Jerry Brisco to the outside. King Curtis hits a splash off the ropes on Abe Jacobs for the win.
WINNERS: King Curtis & Frank Goodish
Steve Keirn vs. Bob Orton Jr.
Bob Roop joins Gordon Solie at the announcer’s table. Roop praises his tag team partner, Bob Orton Jr. They lock up but Orton Jr. has Keirn in a bear hug. Keirn with a belly to belly suplex on Orton Jr. to take him down, but Orton Jr. won’t break the bear hug. Roop goes from the announcer’s table to be ringside. Keirn gets Orton Jr. in a side headlock. Orton Jr. drives an elbow into Keirn’s midsection to break out of the hold. Keirn goes for a series of quick near falls on Orton Jr. Orton Jr. throws a big punch that takes Keirn down. Orton Jr. drives a knee into Keirn’s chin. He follows with a suplex and goes for a pin, but Keirn kicks out. Orton Jr. continues to attack Keirn with a few knees and then gets him in a front chancery. More knees at Keirn. Orton Jr. gets tossed into the corner by Keirn. They exchange elbows. Keirn knocks down Orton Jr. and as he charges off the ropes, Bob Roop trips him. Orton Jr. goes for the pin on Keirn but Keirn kicks out! Orton Jr. drops a knee on Keirn and goes for another pin but Keirn kicks out! Orton Jr. goes for a powerslam on Keirn and again breaks the pin. Keirn gets a roll-up on Orton Jr. and as the referee starts the count. Bob Roop charges into the ring. Referee sees Roop and disqualifies Bob Orton Jr. Pretty good short match.
WINNER: Steve Keirn via DQ.
Dusty Rhodes said that he never placed a bounty on The Missouri Mauler but said he’d like to know who placed the bounty on the Mauler. Dusty said that if he can’t get it done on his own, then it’s not worth getting done.
SHOW THOUGHTS: Enjoyable show with the Terry Funk and Dusty Rhodes interviews being the highlight of the show. The last match with Steve Keirn and Bob Orton Jr. was the best match on the show. I enjoyed the Robinson & Patterson tag team match. Thought most of the show was more fun to watch because of it being something I’ve seen for the first time from that territory in the 1970s. Most of my Florida wrestling viewing came more from the mid/late ’80s. Cool seeing a match featuring Frank Goodish before he switched over to being called Bruiser Brody. There’s several wrestlers that I only knew from reading about them or seeing them late in their careers (some retired) like Thunderbolt Patterson, Haystacks Calhoun and King Curtis.