Written By Alfredo Esparza
Championship Wrestling From Florida 1/5/1983
Taped on 1/5/1983 in Tampa, Florida
Gordon Solie on commentary talks about it being Day 14 of Dusty Rhodes having lost a “loser leaves town” match and being gone from Florida. He then hypes up Battle Stars ’83 on January 15th. Angelo Mosca joins Solie as the guest commentator this week. He immediately starts talking about The Midnight Rider and says they all know its Dusty Rhodes.
Ric Flair interrupts Solie. He talks about Barry Windham trying to embarrass him on television. He says that he and Windham are going to get in the ring on this week’s show.
The Fabulous Kangaroos (Don Kent & Johnny Heffernan) (w/ J.J. Dillon) vs. Jerry Grey & Raul Mata
Angelo Mosca praises Dillon and the teamwork by the Kangaroos. Solie calls the Kangaroos by numbers and not by their names. Kangaroo #1 (Heffernan) takes down Raul Mata and goes to work on Mata’s left leg. Double-team work by the Kangaroos as they tag in and out and continue to work on Mata’s left leg. Mata makes a comeback on Kangaroo #1. He gets Heffernan in a side headlock.
Heffernan escapes the headlock by getting Mata near the ropes and punching him in the mid-section. He tosses Mata into his own corner and Mata tags in Grey. Hefferrnan continues his attack on Grey and tags in Kent. Kent gets Grey in a backbreaker over his knee and Heffernan jumps off the ropes with an elbow at Grey and gets the pin.
WINNERS: The Fabulous Kangaroos
Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham
Match has a 10-minute time limit. Flair shoves Windham before the match starts. Solie mentions that Flair wants revenge over Windham having pinned him recently which Mosca said is just Solie’s opinion and didn’t happen. Mosca praises Flair.
Quick action as Windham takes Flair down early as they run the ropes. Windham bodyslams Flair and Flair heads to the outside! Flair gets back in the ring. Crowd cheers on Barry Windham. They lock-up and Flair drives him into the corner and teases that he’s going to break cleanly but gets a knee in and a hard chop! Flair gets whipped into a corner and gets backdropped. Windham gets Flair in a side headlock. Flair grabs the tights to try to pin Windham.
Ric Flair whips Windham into the ropes but Windham reverses and hiptosses him. Flair gets back up on his feet and gets in a few chops. He gets Windham in the corner and lands a series of chops and forearms. Windham fights back! Big uppercut at Flair knocks him back down to the mat! Windham gets in a few more forearms at Flair in the corner. He tries to whip Flair to the corner but Flair tosses him to the outside. Windham gets back in the ring and the two exchange chops and right hands! Flair backs away.
Barry Windham gets in another punch but Flair whips him into the ropes. Windham gets a 2-count with a sunset flip! Windham goes back to a side headlock but Flair uses a back drop suplex to escape. Windham struggles to get back up but he continues to battle Flair. Flair with a hard chop! Flair gets Windham into the corner and drives his shoulder into Windham’s mid-section. Snapmare from Flair but then he misses a kneedrop. They continue to exchange blows until Flair takes him down and lands a knee at Barry’s head. Flair covers Windham but only gets a 2-count.
Flair whips Windham into the ropes but Windham catches him with the lariat and he tries to get a pin on Flair. Flair reaches the ropes! Another forearm on Flair followed by a suplex as the bell rings signaling the end of the match. Angelo Mosca starts screaming about Windham continue to wrestle Flair and demands the ref stop the match. Windham knocks down Flair. They continue to have their match. Flair tosses Windham to the outside. Windham climbs up to the top rope and hits a dropkick on Flair and covers him for the pin! Crowd cheers and Solie yells that Windham pinned Flair again. Mosca brings up that the bell rang two minutes ago.
WINNER: Barry Windham
Flair attacks Windham from behind and tosses him to the outside! They continue to brawl outside the ring and then Angelo Mosca joins Ric Flair and they both beat on Windham! Flair grinds Windham’s face into the concrete floor! Ron Bass and Rufus R. Jones make the save for Windham.
Ric Flair goes over to Solie and screams a bit!
Kevin Sullivan and Jake Roberts join Gordon Solie. They laugh as they talk about Dusty Rhodes being gone from Florida. Sullivan talks about Dusty Rhodes and The Midnight Rider. He reminds everyone that he said that on Christmas night Dusty Rhodes would fall. He also says The Midnight Rider’s time is almost over. J.J. Dillon interrupts Mr. Sullivan. He talks about how Sullivan did something none of his men were able to do and that is put Rhodes’ shoulders on the mat for the pin and not they are all dealing with Rhodes wearing a mask as the Midnight Rider. Dillon went to Kansas City to talk to NWA President Bob Geigel concerning The Midnight Rider.
They show a video featuring Bob Geigel and J.J. Dillon where he talks about the charade being done by Dusty Rhodes wearing a mask and pretending to be The Midnight Rider. Dillon shows video of The Midnight Rider and says that it is “undisputable proof” that Rhodes is under the mask. He wants The Midnight Rider to go to Kansas City and prove to Bob Geigel who he is. Dillon wants the decision to be made that if it is Rhodes under the mask that he be suspended worldwide for the remainder of his career.
Bob Geigel counters this by mentioning the loss Rhodes suffered to Kevin Sullivan was very questionable. He also says that “lights out” matches are not sanctioned by the NWA. Geigel mentioned that Rhodes did not appear at any shows after that loss that he was previously scheduled to be on. He says the committee has no problem with wrestlers wearing masks and if they want to hide their identity that is up to them. Geigel wants Dillon to bring more proof that it is Dusty Rhodes under the mask. Dillon asks what would the NWA do if he brought more proof. Geigel says that they would suspend Rhodes from wrestling in the U.S. for one year. Dillon says he will put up $10,000 for any wrestler who removes The Midnight Rider’s mask and proves that it is Dusty Rhodes.
Kevin Sullivan calls Dillon “cold, calculating and sly” and agrees to join forces with Dillon. Dillon brings out a man that he knows can unmask The Midnight Rider and it is “Bad Bad” Leroy Brown! He’s excited about the $10,000! Jake Roberts and Kevin Sullivan are just as happy about this news.
Leroy Brown vs. Bill Snyder
Brown just gets in the ring and destroys Snyder. He gets in a few forearm smashes on Snyder. He slams him to the mat and then whips him into the ropes and hits an elbow. Leroy Brown slams Snyder and then lands an elbow and gets the pin. Short match.
WINNER: Leroy Brown
SHOW THOUGHTS: Good show. Unfortunately I don’t think it was complete and its probably missing about 14-15 minutes. The Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham match was fun and the post-match attack was great. They had Angelo Mosca on commentary to add to the match and get involved in the attack on Windham. The interview segment with Dillon, Sullivan and Roberts was great with all of them gloating about getting rid of Rhodes and also believing that Rhodes is under The Midnight Rider mask. The reaction to “Bad Bad” Leroy Brown being brought in by Dillon to unmask The Midnight Rider was great with Sullivan and Roberts smiling and there was a better buzz to Brown being here. Fun episode and I only wished it was complete.