OK, here’s a real niche one from the vault. It’s the 15th March 1986 and we’re in a basic studio for an episode of Power Pro Wrestling! Your main event tonight: Chavo Guerrero vs Mike Steirn in a Lights Out Match!
So, this can be a bit confusing, because if you look up “Power Pro Wrestling” you’re generally directed to a later promotion that lasted between 1998 and 2001. What this is, is essentially another TV show for Mid-South Wrestling when it was on the verge of becoming the Universal Wrestling Federation. I picked this episode off a RNG, and by sheer chance it’s one from only two weeks after my previous sojourn with Mid-South. So if that was “the end of the road” as I called it, here we have run out of road, and the car is tumbling to a halt.
Old Mid-South synth, basic highlights of some stiff looking wrestling and we are with Good ol’ JR who introduces us to the next “60 minutes” of action, in a show that is 38 minutes on the Network. He runs down some of the matches we will see and plugs the upcoming Crockett Cup.
Korstia Korchenko w/Eddie Gilbert vs Perry Jackson
A really tired sounding commentator introduces us to this one, noting “USA” chants like it’s paint drying. Gilbert introduces Korchenko, but the audio is so bad it’s impossible to understand what he is saying. “The people are…really being patriotic lately”. Hmm. Korchenko beating Jackson down, high chop off a whip, big chop to the chest as Gilbert on the mike again, running down the crowd I think? Korchenko just punching Jackson to the floor, clothesline, shoulder backbreaker and that’s it in just about two.
Winner: The fur-booted Russian.
Verdict: In Soviet Russia, jobber squashes you.
We are briefly back with JR then a sudden cut to a tag match from a different show entirely, that starts almost as soon as we go to it, no intro, no context.
Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) vs Ron Rossi & Nick Busick
I only got the names of the victims from the Network bookmark. Makes sense, seeing as how Animal gives Rossi a press slam and pins him in less than ten seconds.
Winners: The Road Warriors
Back to JR, who reminds us that the Road Warriors are in the Crockett Cup. I guess that was the point of all this?
Koko B. Ware vs Rob Rechsteiner
I swear I thought that said Rob Schneider. I recall Ware was one of the only decent things in Mid-South at this time, so this is a Best Match contender. Ware opens with a hip-toss, whip chains, then another, bigger, hip-toss. And again. Rechsteiner complaining that his tights were being pulled, but I don’t see how that helps you with a hip-toss. Lock-up, Ware with a wrist-lock that has Rechsteiner howling. Complaining to the ref again, lock-up and Rechsteiner gets in some offence with a shoulder-block, then takes another couple of hip-tosses immediately. Rechsteiner takes a brief powder as the commentator asks “What will it take to bring down the bird man?” with a lack of enthusiasm that sentence does not need.
Lock-up, thumb to the eye puts Rechstiener in control. Scoop Slam, mounted punch, Scoop Slam, and Ware gets in his comeback with rapid shots. Neat moment where Ware fakes a moonsault, then hits a second rope missile drop-kick for the win in just under six.
Winner: The only man worth watching here.
Verdict: An actual match, which I didn’t expect, so it gets top marks from me.
After the break, straight into the next match.
The Blade Runners (Flash & Rock) w/Eddie Gilbert vs Brett Sawyer & Sean O’Reilly
Hey, the Blade Runners again! Yes, it is still the future Sting and the future Ultimate Warrior. I couldn’t tell you who their opponents are. Flash shoves Sawyer around, then throws a tantrum when Sawyer dodges a charge. Headlock, Sawyer down off a few shoulder-blocks, but then able to hit a drop-kick, which Flash sells like it was an A-Bomb. In comes Rock, whom the commentator openly states is suffering from “the steroid effect”. Throws Sawyer around for a bit, O’Reilly tagged in, and takes a body slam immediately. Bear hug, Flash in, puts on a bear hug himself. Rock back in, chokes in the corner, the ref doing nothing for some reason. Flash in, bear hug again, and man this is getting dull. Rock in, and there’s a bear hug/clothesline combination to end it in around four.
Verdict: One-sided squash.
JR sings the priases of the Blade Runners, then straight to the next match,
Chavo Guererro vs Steve Keirn (Lights Out Match)
Chavo has a bucket of paint with him because the loser of this match gets painted. It’s also a “Lights Out Match” which in this context, it is explained, is because it’s outside of the regular match card. Keirn best known as “Skinner” in early 90’s WWF, a gator hunter from the Everglades. Exchanging shots in the corner, and Guerrero laying them in stiff, then a rana. Keirn takes a powder “like the coward that he is”. New commentator by the way, and this one has an ounce of personality, so that’s an improvement.
Keirn back in, lock-up, more shots exchanged, and Keirn takes another powder. Back in eventually, looks for a handshake but the future Chavo Classic isn’t falling for it and puts in a few elbow drops on the left knee. Indian Leglock, good for a few counts of one, and Keirn back with a swipe to the eyes, but Chavo keeps the submission locked in for a bit. Keirn out again. Takes a while to get back in this time, Chavo with strikes, and then able to put in a surfboard (the commentator calls it a “Hacksaw Deathlock”) and then transitions to a Camel Clutch as we go to break.
After we’re back it is still Guerrero on top as he gets two off a headlock spot. Suplex for two, Guerrero getting frustrated and puts in a choke for a few seconds. Keirn gets his head smashed off the turnbuckle, then Guerrero hits a bear hug into belly-to-belly facebuster, and that looked ugly as hell. Scoop Slam for two, and Keirn hasn’t got in a lick of offence apart from strikes. Now he gets in a kick, but Guerrero immediately with a hard whip into the corner, Bridging German from there, and that’s the 1, 2, 3 in about seven.
Winner: Latino Mild
Verdict: Strange squash where the face just kept putting in moves way past the time it should have ended.
Someone actually throws rubbish into the ring at the result. Keirn blindsides Guerrero, throws the ref out, as a women in the front row screams bloody murder. Guerrero back to give Keirn a piledriver, to a big pop, before Keirn’s tag team partner Stan Lane comes out. Beatdown on Guerrero, piledriver, and Keirn applies the paint. It spills everywhere, the ref getting plenty. Was expecting some face to come out and make the save, but nothing doing. Back in the studio JR sums up what we have seen, and announces that Keirn and Lane will face the Guerreros – which ones, I don’t know – in a steel cage next week. I’m good.
We close with “archive” footage of the Midnight Express celebrating their winning of the Mid-South Tag Team Championships, with Jim Cornette. Said celebration is party hooters, hand thrown confetti and cake, but host JR isn’t allowed to have any. Cornette doing all the talking of course, hilariously mentioning a congratulations letter from his mother that Ross isn’t allowed to read. Running down the crowd (they aren’t invited), Cornette goes to cut the cake, and of course the Rock N’ Roll Express are here to shove his face in it. The faces then heroically run off, and Cornette is left with cake on his face.
JR runs won the card for next week, which is largely more of the same, and that will be all.
Best Match: I guess Ware/Rechsteiner by default.
Best Wrestler: Um, Chavo? Not many to pick from here.
Worst Match: The Road Warriors tag, which wasn’t even a match really.
Worst Wrestler: Keirn didn’t do much it has to be said.
Overall Verdict: Waste of a TV show, even by the standards of the era. Pointless matches, bad editing, bizarre ending, no wonder they were going to try and do a 180 on this who enterprise within weeks. Avoid.
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