Thursday, January 07, 2021

Crockett Cup '85 Continues: Andersons vs. Inoki/Sakaguchi (Round Three)

ONLY SIXTEEN TEAMS REMAIN! See the Scouting Report on the remaining teams.

BRACKETS
Updated brackets coming into tonight's matches.
[Links to all previous matches at the bottom of this post.]
[See the Round Three Scouting Report]

THIS WEEK'S MATCH
Third Round Match #2
(Tournament Match #34)
Andersons vs. Inoki/
Sakaguchi

BACKGROUND
The 1985 Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament is underway. Wait, did you just say 1985? It’s time to take a look at one of wrestling’s biggest events from the mid-80s and see what it might have been like with a few historical alterations. What if Jim Crockett Promotions hosted its tag team tournament the Crockett Cup in 1985 and included teams from promotions outside the National Wrestling Alliance (“NWA”) including the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), the American Wrestling Association (AWA), New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), All Japan Pro Wrestling, and more? In this case, you’d have 48 of the greatest tag teams in the world battling in a winner take all tournament for $1,000,000 and the prestigious Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Trophy. 

The first round saw 32 teams competing to advance to round two with 16 teams making it in. Round two followed as these 16 teams battled the 16 top-seeded tag teams that received a first-round bye. Now, round two has finished and just sixteen teams remain as round three continues. 

THIRD ROUND RULES
Here are the rules for the round two of our tournament. A pool of referees from the NWA, AWA, and WWF have been appointed for the tournament and randomly selected for each match. The third-round matches have a sixty-minute time limit and are sanctioned under NWA rules (throwing an opponent over the top rope is an automatic disqualification). The matches are one fall with a win obtained by a pinfall, submission, count-out, or disqualification. 

The third-round matches are being held over two nights at the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia. The first four matches will take place on Friday April 19 while the remaining four will take place on Saturday April 20. Your commentators for the matches will be Bob Caudle and David Crockett, but as always, you never know when a special guest will show up. 

Last time around the team of the Rock-n-Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) overcame the mighty Russian team of Ivan and Nikita Koloff (who had some unofficial help from Krusher Krushchev as well). Now, the Minnesota Wrecking Crew (Ole and Arn Anderson) lock up with the highly-ranked team from Japan, Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi. 

PRE-MATCH INTEERVIEWS
Tony Schiavone is backstage with the Minnesota Wrecking Crew (Ole and Arn Anderson). Ole is wearing a t-shirt that reads “Damn I Am Good” as Tony introduces the team. Ole asks Tony why he feels the need to introduce them as they’re the Andersons, a team that needs no introduction. Ole says it’s time to make one thing clear, he and Arn know that Jim Crockett has it out for them, otherwise they wouldn’t be putting some of the biggest names in front of them. Tony reminds Ole that the tournament features the biggest stars in the world, but Ole tells Schiavone that first Crockett put them against Windham and Rotunda. Now, they’re facing the best team in Japan—Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi. That’s fine, Crockett can stack the deck but the Andersons will rise to the occasion. Arn Anderson tells Schiavone that there’s no way he and Ole are leaving tonight without having their hands raised in victory. Arn says he doesn’t have Dusty Rhodes’ gift of gab, and he doesn’t have Magnum T.A.’s good looks, but he’s an Anderson and he’s a born winner. Inoki and Sakaguchi are going to discover the difference between being good and being great.
 

Ole and Arn Anderson vs. Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi 
Referee Tommy Gilbert Sr. is calling this match and checks all four wrestlers for foreign objects, signaling for the bell. Arn Anderson starts off against Sakaguchi. Collar and elbow tie-up that sees Anderson try to power Seiji into the corner, only for Seiji to hurl him down to the mat. Arn gets back up, but Seiji is right on top of him and applies a wristlock, turning it into an armbar. Bob Caudle points out that Seiji is a big man, standing 6’5” and he knows how to use his height advantage. Seiji takes Arn down with an arm drag, applying a wristlock and keeping Anderson down on the mat. The fans are cheering the Japanese team, who Bob Caudle points out have been impressive so far in the tournament. David Crockett adds the team overcame the Rougeau Brothers in round one and “Bulldog” Bob Brown and Marty Jannetty in round two. Bob Caudle says now they’re facing one of the roughest teams in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, who aren’t afraid to hurt their opponents or bend the rules to get a “W.”

Arn Anderson shows the fans just what Bob Caudle is talking about as he punches Seiji, escaping the hold. Quick tag to Ole who goes to lock up with Seiji but tries a go-behind, only for Sakaguchi to flip Ole down to the ground. Ole gets up and takes a swing at Seiji, who blocks the punch and chops him in the chest. Seiji whips Ole into the ropes and hits a big back body-drop, sending Anderson down hard. Ole rolls out of the ring and confers with Arn, clearly concerned about how the match has been going so far. David says the Andersons won’t win the match outside the ring, but Bob points out they’re probably hoping to frustrate their opponents. 

Ole gets back in the ring and goes after Seiji again, only for Seiji to catch him with a wristlock and subsequent arm bar. Seiji takes Anderson to the babyface corner and tags in Antonio Inoki who chops Ole then applies an armbar. Ole gets to the ropes and forces a break, raising his arms for a clean break then kneeing Inoki in the gut. Ole drops a forearm across Inoki’s back, knocking him down to one knee. Anderson slugs Inoki with a big right, leading to a warning from the referee. Ole bodyslams Inoki and bounces off the ropes, going to drop a knee, but Inoki rolls out of the way. Inoki applies a cross kneelock. Inoki keeps the pressure up as Ole tries to get out. Arn comes in, but Seiji beats him to the punch, knocking “Double A” down with a knee to the gut. Referee Tommy Gilbert orders both men back to their corners as Inoki lifts Ole up and hits a side suplex. Cover on Anderson for just a two count. Antonio lifts Ole off the mat and bodyslams him towards Seiji. Tag to Seiji who drops a knee onto Anderson. Seiji applies a cross kneelock and David Crockett points out that the Japanese team is taking a page out of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew’s playbook, targeting one body part and working it over throughout the match. Bob Caudle tells David he seems to be right and that Antonio Inoki is known for his Indian Deathlock, a move that could get him a submission win if he and Seiji wear down Anderson enough. 

Anderson can’t get out of the kneelock, but he does make it to the ropes again, forcing a break. He gets up and it’s clear his leg has been weakened as he limps on it. Ole rakes Seiji’s eyes, getting a momentary respite. He unloads with a big right followed by a knee to the gut. Seiji shakes his head as Ole powers him into the heel corner. Ole tags Arn who grabs Seiji’s arms, allowing Ole a free shot on Sakaguchi. Knee to the gut by Ole as Arn comes in and starts punching his opponent. The referee starts a five-count on Arn who seems to ignore him and throws Sakaguchi through the ropes onto the floor. Arn goes out and bodyslams Sakaguchi on the floor. He then stomps on Sakaguchi’s right arm. Tommy Gilbert Sr. is up to a five-count when Arn throws Seiji back in the ring, rolling in after him. Arn tucks Sakaguchi’s right arm behind his back then slams him down to the mat. David Crockett says “Here they go, it’s classic Anderson strategy.” Arn applies an arm bar on Seiji’s right arm and tags in Ole who drops a forearm on Seiji’s arm then applies an arm bar of his own. Ole bodyslams Sakaguchi just as Arn did, making sure to apply the maximum force possible to Sakaguchi’s weakened arm. Anderson stomps Sakaguchi’s arm then tags in Arn, who takes Seiji’s arm and drives it into the top rope. Rake of the eyes on Sakaguchi as Arn throws him into the ropes, hitting a spinebuster. Cover on Sakaguchi but he kicks out right before the three count. 

Anderson is irate and stomps Seiji’s bad arm again. Arn applies an armbar as Bob Caudle says it looks like Anderson thinks he’s got Seiji’s arm weakened enough to go for a submission. However, Sakaguchi refuses to quit, despite Arn cranking away at the arm. Anderson picks up Sakaguchi and whips him into the ropes again, but Seiji counters, bouncing off the other ropes and hitting a knee drop. Both men go down though but Seiji has just enough energy to crawl to his corner and make the hot tag to Inoki. 

Antonio Inoki rushes into the ring as Arn begs off, pleading for mercy. Inoki isn’t having it and attacks Arn, throwing him into the ropes and hitting a big dropkick. He lays into Anderson with more attacks as Sakaguchi lies on the mat, trying to recover from the brutal double-team he suffered. Ole watches intently as Inoki batters Arn. He goes to whip Arn into the corner, but Arn reverses, sending Inoki into the Andersons’ corner. As Inoki flies in, Ole lowers his head and Antonio’s head crashes into Ole’s, knocking both men senseless. Arn covers Inoki as both Ole and Seiji are out of commission. 1-2-3 and the Minnesota Wrecking Crew pull off what has to be seen as an upset over the highly-favored Japanese team. 

Winners; Ole and Arn Anderson 

Join us next time as The Midnight Express (“Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and “Loverboy” Dennis Condrey) with Jim Cornette battle the High Flyers (“Jumping” Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne). Who will advance to round four as in the quest for tag team glory and some serious cash!

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PREVIOUS POSTS IN THE CROCKETT CUP '85 FANTASY SERIES


Original Tournament Announcement (May 2020)

Seedings and First Round Pairings Announced


THIRD ROUND MATCHES  (Scouting Report)
Third Round: Match 1 (Tournament Match #33)
     The Rock & Roll Express vs. The Russians
Third Round: Match 2 (Tournament Match #34)
     Ole & Arn Anderson vs. Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi 

SECOND ROUND MATCHES
Second Round: Matches 1 & 2 (Tournament 17 & 18)

     Mulligan/McDaniel vs. The Russians
    Rock & Roll Express vs. Maharishi/Nagasaki
Second Round: Matches 3 & 4 (Tournament 19 & 20)
    Brown/Jannetty vs. Inoki & Sakaguchi
    Ole & Arn Anderson vs. Windham/Rotunda)
Second Round: Matches 5 & 6 (Tournament 21 & 22)

    Midnight Express vs. Hart Foundation
    PYT Express vs. High Flyers
Second Round: Matches 7 & 8 (Tournament 23 & 24) 
    Rude/Barr (with Percy Pringle III) vs. Kevin and Mike Von Erich
    Fujinami/Kimura vs. British Bulldogs
Second Round: Matches 9 & 10 (Tournament 25 & 26)
    Brody/Hansen vs. Williams/DiBiase
    Road Warriros vs. Lawler/Dundee
Second Round: Matches 11 & 12 (Tournament 27 & 28)
    Piper & Orton vs. The Oklahoma Cowboys
    The Funk Brothers vs. The Younglood Brothers
Second Round: Matches 13 & 14 (Tournament 29 & 30)
    Rhodes/Murdoch vs. Adams/Hernandez
    Sheik/Volkoff vs. Steamboat/Snuka
Second Round: Matches 15 & 16 (Tournament 31 & 32)
    Fantastics vs. Fabulous Ones
    Sheepherders vs. Freebirds


FIRST ROUND MATCHES

First Round: Matches 1 & 2
    Hennig/Blackwell vs. Mulligan/McDaniel
    Tyler/Whatley vs. Maharishi/Nagasaki
First Round: Matches 3 & 4
    Windham/Rotunda vs. Bockwinkel/Saito
    Rougeaus vs. Inoki/Sakaguchi
First Round: Matches 5 &6
    Barbarian/Graham vs. Hart Foundation (Hart/Neidhart)
    High Flyers (Brunzell/Gagne) vs. Savage/Poffo
First Round: Matches 7 & 8:
    The Von Erich vs. Blanchard/Abdullah the Butcher
    Tenryu/Tsuruta vs. The British Bulldogs
First Round: Matches 9 & 10:
    Graham/Blair vs. DiBiase/Williams
    Valiant/McGraw vs. Lawler/Dundee
First Round: Matches 11 & 12:
    Piper/Orton vs. Patterson/Fernandez
    Rock & Roll RPMs vs. Youngblood Brothers
First Round: Matches 13 and 14:
    Dynamic Duo (Gino & Chris) vs. American Starship
    Sawyer Bros. vs. Steamboat/Snuka
First Round: Matches 15 and 16
    Batten Twins vs. Fabulous Ones
    Weaver/Houston vs. Sheepherders