Written By Alfredo Esparza
Mid-South Wrestling 3/31/1983
Taped 3/30/1983 at the Irish McNeil’s Boys Club in Shreveport, Louisiana. Aired on 3/31/1983.
“Cowboy” Bill Watts opens the show and says he’s standing in for Boyd Pearce. He talks about the one-night tournament held for the North American Heavyweight title on March 21st in New Orleans.
They air the highlights of the North American Heavyweight title tournament final between Mr. Olympia and The Junkyard Dog.
Mr. Olympia vs. The Junkyard Dog in the Mid-South North American Title Tournament Final match
The Junkyard Dog entered the match and tried to shake hands with Mr. Olympia but he refused. Mr. Olympia then leaves the ring and heads to the back. He then returns to the ring with Gen. Skandor Akbar. The Junkyard Dog is surprised and Mr. Olympia keeps pointing out that he signed a contract to have Akbar manage him.
The Junkyard Dog takes on both Mr. Olympia and Gen. Skandor Akbar. He goes for a slam on Akbar and accidentally hits the referee who ends up falling to the floor. Mr. Olympia and JYD continue to fight. A second referee comes in to restore order. JYD tosses Mr. Olympia into the second referee and knocks him down. Kendo Nagasaki runs in and superkicks JYD! Mr. Olympia puts JYD in a sleeper hold. The first referee gets back up and makes the count with JYD face down on the mat.
Bill Watts points out how the referee is so out of it that he counted the pinfall with JYD face down. Watts mentioned that the referee later said that JYD had loss because he was out due to the sleeper. Mr. Olympia wins the title and continues to attack JYD.
WINNER: Mr. Olympia
Watts said he was called in to talk with the board of directors for Mid-South Wrestling and that he thought they would change the decision. They agreed with Watts and the North American title is now held up.
Gen. Skandor Akbar and Mr. Olympia are interviewed backstage with Akbar congratulating him on winning the title. He tells Mr. Olympia how he’s done a lot for JYD and said he got nothing out of it because he got hurt covering for Mr. Wrestling II and when JYD lost the loser-leaves-town match, he came back as Stagger Lee. Akbar calls the North American Heavyweight title the most important title.
Mr. Olympia said when he lost a loser-leaves-town match, he honored it and left for 60 days. He mentions how when Mr. Wrestling II showed up the fans started cheering “TWO! TWO! TWO!!!” and forgot about him. He says he lost respect for JYD when he returned as Stagger Lee and says Mr. Wrestling II almost ruined his plan when he found the suitcase.
Bill Watts comes back and says Mr. Olympia talks about integrity, he has none and that the Mid-South board of directors have integrity and vacated the title again.
King Kong Bundy vs. Ron Ellis
King Kong Bundy interrupts Reiser Bowden and asks why he’s wrestling Ellis when he thought he was going to wrestle Andre The Giant. He says Devastation Inc. members don’t wrestle “pieces of garbage” and that Mid-South Wrestling promised him that he was going to wrestle Andre The Giant. Bundy then says when he beats a man, he doesn’t want a 3-count but instead wants a 5-count so that there is no doubt that he won.
The referee and Bowden tell Bundy that he has to wrestle Ellis. Referee says if he doesn’t wrestle him, then he can leave and starts a 10-count. Bundy congratulates Ellis on a win over the “Great” King Kong Bundy. He heads over to shake his hand but instead starts to beat on Ellis. Hard chop thrown at Ellis. Watts says matchmaker Grizzly Smith never scheduled Bundy against Andre The Giant.
Bundy whips Ellis into the ropes and kicks him down to the mat. He follows with a slam and a big splash off the ropes for the pin. Referee does a three count and Bundy grabs the referee and tells him to count to five! Bundy wins!
WINNER: King Kong Bundy
Rest of matches airing on the show were from 3/21/1983 at the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans, Louisiana and were all part of the Mid-South North American Title tournament.
Tito Santana vs. Matt Borne in a Mid-South North American Title Tournament First Round match.
They join the match already in progress with Tito Santana holding Matt Borne in a headlock. Borne catches Santana with a knee off the ropes and gets Santana in a headlock but that is quickly reversed by Santana. They tangle on the ropes with Borne using the ropes to break out of the hold. Borne beats on Santana and whips him into the ropes and delivers a kick to the mid-section.
Santana fights back but Borne still keeps the advantage by driving a knee across Santana’s forehead. Top wristlock with Santana trying to escape but Borne pulls him down by the hair and gets him in a headlock again. Santana with some forearms and whips Borne into the ropes but Borne catches him with a knee to the face. Borne climbs to the top rope for the Bombs Away drop but Santana moves out of the way.
Atomic drop by Santana sends Borne into the corner. Santana follows with a spinning toe hold and then goes for a bridge over Borne for the pin.
WINNER: Tito Santana
“Hacksaw” Butch Reed vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan in a Mid-South North American Title Tournament Quarterfinal match.
Wild brawl to start the match with each getting in some punches. Reed catches Duggan with some dropkicks and follows with punches and forearms. Early action controlled by Reed and he whips him into the corner and backdrops him.
They return with Reed continuing with a cool dropkick followed by an armdrag and into an armbar on Duggan. Duggan punches Reed but Butch counters with some punches of his own and gets Duggan back in an armbar. Duggan whips Reed into the ropes by the hair but Reed counters again and kicks Duggan. Suplex by Reed and he goes for the pin but Duggan kicks out.
Duggan with a boot off the ropes at Reed. He stomps on Reed and then whips him into the ropes and elbows him. Pin attempt by Duggan but Reed kicks out. Duggan misses a spear into the corner as Reed gets out of the way. Reed goes for a gorilla press slam on Duggan as the fans cheer loudly. Shoulder tackle by Reed and he gets the pin on Duggan.
WINNER: “Hacksaw” Butch Reed
“The Black Ninja” Kendo Nagasaki vs. Tito Santana in a Mid-South North American Title Tournament Quarterfinal match.
Tito Santana quickly attacks Nagasaki while he’s removing his gear. Nagasaki is still wearing his helmet as Santana continues to beat and slam him. Big knee drops across Nagasaki’s chest. Santana whips Nagasaki and catches him with a dropkick. He pulls off the helmet and as Santana turns back around, Nagasaki kicks Santana and blows the green mist at Santana’s face. Tito Santana falls to the floor and the referee counts out Santana.
WINNER: Kendo Nagasaki via count-out
Mr. Olympia vs. “Hacksaw” Butch Reed in a Mid-South North American Title Tournament Semifinal match.
Butch Reed with an armdrag on Mr. Olympia to start the match. Side headlock by Reed and he then switches over to an armbar but Mr. Olympia counters with a takedown into a leglock. Reed escapes and he goes for a near fall but Mr. Olympia escapes the count. They shake hands to the delight of the fans.
Whip into the ropes and Mr. Olympia knocks down Reed but when he hits the ropes a second time, Reed picks up Mr. Olympia with a gorilla press slam and he goes for the pin but Mr. Olympia reaches the ropes with his foot. Mr. Olympia calls for a timeout. Mr. Olympia then surprises Reed with a roll-up but Reed escapes and while doing to knocks the referee down to the floor. Reed picks up Mr. Olympia for another gorilla press slam. Hacksaw Duggan runs in and spears Reed while also wearing head gear.
Duggan leaves the ring. Mr. Olympia grabs Reed in a sleeper hold. Reed fights back so Mr. Olympia knocks him down and stomps on him. He gets Reed in the sleeper hold again. The referee returns and checks Reed and calls for the bell.
WINNER: Mr. Olympia
Bill Watts recaps the JYD vs. Mr. Olympia final for the North American Heavyweight title and the post-match interview with Gen. Skandor Akbar and Mr. Olympia.
SHOW THOUGHTS: Good episode recapping the North American Heavyweight title tournament. I found it interesting that they opened with highlights of the final and then later they aired some other matches from the tournament but Watts always liked to put the big news early on shows and they went back and recapped it at the end of the show. Good storyline for Mr. Olympia as he was recently revealed as the man trying to drive Mr. Wrestling II crazy just in the previous shows and now he’s gone full heel joining Gen. Skandor Akbar and cheating his way to beat JYD for the North American Heavyweight Title. Watts did a great job telling the story and also letting everyone know that Mid-South wouldn’t stand for this and had vacated the title once again. The King Kong Bundy debut and his promo not wanting to wrestle Ellis but wanting a match with Andre The Giant was pretty great.