Saturday, January 28, 2017

Saturday TV: World Wide Wrestling 1/4/86

Tully Blanchard & Baby Doll: The Slap heard 'round the World 
by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

This is one of the great episodes of World Wide Wrestling and was in a transitional time where J.J. Dillon became aligned with Tully Blanchard as part of Tully Blanchard Enterprises, and the Four Horsemen were soon to follow.

In fact, "the bundle of questions" David Crockett quizzes NWA champion Ric Flair about the trouble he and his "family" the Andersons have been causing Dusty and his crew lately, and mentions you almost have to throw Tully Blanchard in with that family. 

And if you want to see David Crockett at his obnoxious best, don't miss the incredible interview he conducts with Tully Blanchard after his split with Baby Doll. We always talk about Ric and Arn as two of the best promos ever. But Tully Blanchard made you believe this stuff was REAL.

The Midnight Express jump the Rock and Roll Express to kick start their feud which would be one of the top programs throughout 1986.

And of course, it features "the slap heard round the world." And Big Dust rides in to save the day. Real heat, brother.

I believe this was taped in Greensboro just before the Crockett's Christmas break in mid-December of 1985, and aired on the syndicated network on 1/4/1986.

The show features Ric Flair, Magnum T.A., Manny Fernandez, Tully Blanchard, James J. Dillon, Baby Doll, Black Bart, the Rock and Roll Express, the Midnight Express and Jim Cornette, George South, Gene Ligon, Ron Bass, the Koloffs and Krusher Khrushchev, Denny Brown, and of course the American Dream Dusty Rhodes. Your hosts are David Crockett and Tony Schiavone.

PS - One beautiful note of continuity: You will notice that Ole Anderson doesn't appear on this show. It was taped in mid-December and the Andersons had appeared earlier in this same evening on a show that was taped for air on 12/28/85. But Ole is not seen or heard from on the 1/4/86 show. The reason is that on 1/1/86 in the Omni in Atlanta, Dusty Rhodes and the Road Warriors "broke the leg" of Ole Anderson that put him out of action until June of that year. Booker Dusty Rhodes knew to keep him off the syndicated tapings that would air on 1/4 because a nationwide audience on WTBS would be shown the Omni footage on 1/4. That's how much they protected kayfabe back then. A beautiful thing.