Friday, August 21, 2020

Crocket Cup '85 Round Two Begins!


Catching up? Here is the background info:
Tournament Announcement
Seedings and First Round Pairings

Updated brackets going into tonight's matches.
[Links to previous matches at the bottom of this post.]

(Second Round Matches #1 and #2):

Blackjack Mulligan/Wahoo McDaniel vs. Ivan & Nikita Koloff
Rock & Roll Express (Morton & Gibson) vs. Maharishi/Nagasaki
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 16 teams competing to advance to round two with eight teams making it in. Now, these eight teams will battle the 16 top-seeded tag teams that received a first-round bye. As we saw in round one, some wrestlers are willing to bend or break the rules in order to get closer to the $1,000,000 prize so expect the unexpected as round two begins.

Second Round Rules:
Here are the rules for the second-round matches. A pool of referees from the NWA, AWA, and WWF have been appointed for the tournament and randomly selected for each match. The second-round matches have a forty-five-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 second-round matches are being held over two nights. The first eight matches will take place at the Richmond Civic Center on Saturday April 13. Bob Caudle and David Crockett are calling the matches tonight. The remaining eight matches in round one take place at the Asheville Civic Center on Sunday April 14. As we head into the first two matches of round two, keep in mind that these titanic teams are battling for more than just bragging rights—they’re competing for the prestigious Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Trophy and a cool one million dollars.

The first two matches in round two feature the Russian Team taking on Blackjack Mulligan and Wahoo McDaniel along with The Rock and Roll Express battling the Mega Maharishi and Kendo Nagasaki. 

Bob Caudle and David Crockett are at a special stage for round two and they’re joined by several colleagues from other promotions including the WWF’s Gorilla Monsoon, CWA’s Lance Russell, and Championship Wrestling from Florida’s Gordon Solie. Bob introduces each announcer to the fans watching the event on closed-circuit television and pay-per-view and asks them what they think so far. Gorilla tells Bob this is one of the biggest nights in professional wrestling and the fans are literally hanging from the rafters. Lance Russell says that he’s tickled pink to be part of such a historic event and that this may be the greatest collection of tag teams the world has ever seen. Gordon Solie says that his esteemed broadcast journalists have said it all but he’d be remiss in not pointing out that the fans are about to see the world’s grandmasters of human chess on display. David Crockett adds that he’s confident the Mid-Atlantic team of Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda will prevail, but Bob Caudle reminds David the U.S. Express are a WWF team now. 

Bob faces the camera and says, “With that, let’s take it to a special video presentation from NWA President Jim Crockett Jr.” 

NWA President Jim Crockett Jr. is sitting in his office and informs the viewers that the NWA board of directors met to discuss a grievance filed by the Fabulous Freebirds in regards to the NWA barring the team from invoking its “Freebird Rule” wherein any two members of the three-man group could wrestle in a match. After careful deliberation and an extremely close vote, the NWA has agreed to honor the Freebird Rule, citing past precedent in other territories. However, the rule will also apply to the Russian Team as it would be unfair to let the Freebirds choose any two wrestlers while the Russians could not. Thus, each team will be allowed to choose two of three wrestlers for each match they are involved in.

Tony Schiavone is backstage with the Russians (Ivan and Nikita Koloff as well as American turncoat Krusher Krushchev). Schiavone asks Ivan who will make up his team now that the Russian team can field any combination. Ivan tells Tony that the Americans tried to cheat him and his comrades out of competing as they normally do, but the Soviet government lodged a diplomatic protest when they learned the Freebirds would be allowed to compete under their no-good capitalist “Freebird Rule.” Ivan says tonight his team is going to crush the Americans and show the world the superiority of Russian training and ideology. Schiavone presses Ivan about who is on their team tonight and Ivan says “That is state secret.” Nikita growls menacingly before the Russians leave.

Gordon Solie is outside the babyface dressing room with Blackjack Mulligan and Wahoo McDaniel. Gordon asks them about their upcoming match against the Russian team and whether their game plan will be affected by not knowing who they’ll be facing. Blackjack Mulligan tells Gordon it doesn’t matter whether it’s those two Russian polecats or that traitor Krusher Krushchev, they’re going to get a king-size whupping courtesy of him and the Chief. Wahoo tells Gordon he’s had his share of battles with Ivan and he knows every one of the Russian team is a force to be reckoned with. McDaniel says in the end it doesn’t matter who they’re facing because they’ll all bleed equally well when he and Mulligan bust them wide open. They got past a tough first-round team in Larry Hennig and Crusher Blackwell and they’re ready for round two.

The Russian Team (Ivan and Nikita Koloff) with Krusher Krushchev vs. Blackjack Mulligan and Wahoo McDaniel
Krusher Krushchev enters the ring and begins waving the Soviet flag as heavy boos fill the arena. Uncle Ivan is shouting something at the fans while Nikita takes his heavy chains and drapes them in the heels’ corner. The boos turn to cheers as Blackjack Mulligan and Wahoo McDaniel make their way to the ring. Bob Caudle says that he hopes referee Scrappy McGowan is ready to officiate this one. David Crockett tells Bob he hates how the Russians mock the United States and its wrestlers. Bob asks David what he thinks of Nikita’s finisher, the Russian Sickle and David says it looks pretty devastating and he’s glad he’ll never have to take it since he’s an announcer. 

Mulligan and McDaniel are in the ring and they’re staring daggers at the Russians. Scrappy tells Krusher Krushchev he wants him out of the ring then checks all four competitors for any foreign objects. Scrappy signals for the bell as Ivan and Wahoo start things off. Collar and elbow tie-up as both men try to dominate. Bob Caudle points out that Wahoo and Ivan have wrestled numerous times before and there’s no love lost between the two. Wahoo manages to get Ivan into a neutral corner and fires off a chop. Uncle Ivan is shouting something at the referee and Bob Caudle says it’s obvious he’s unhappy he didn’t get a clean break. David Crockett says Ivan’s just upset he couldn’t get a cheap shot in first. Scrappy forces Wahoo to back up and as he does, Ivan lands a cheap shot, staggering the big chief. Koloff unloads with a forearm to the back followed by a snapmare. Ivan applies a facelock and goes to wear McDaniel down. Wahoo gets up to his feet so Koloff whips him into the ropes and catches him with an elbow to the chest. Tag to Nikita as the uncle/nephew team whip Wahoo into the ropes and land a double elbow to Wahoo’s chest. Wahoo goes down and Nikita drops an elbow on the former New York Jet. Cover but Wahoo kicks out at two as David Crockett says it’s way too early to expect a cover. Nikita picks up Wahoo by the hair, getting a warning from the referee. Wahoo fires off a chop, knocking Nikita back. Nikita rakes the eyes and rams Wahoo’s head into Ivan’s extended boot. Tag to Uncle Ivan who bodyslams Wahoo, showing the Russian Bear may be getting older, but he's still a powerful foe. Ivan stomps Wahoo in the head then drops an elbow on the big chief. Blackjack is rallying the fans as the crowd cheer “Wahoo! Wahoo!” 

Ivan whips Wahoo into the corner and charges in with a big forearm. Ivan backs up and drives his shoulder into Wahoo’s breadbasket. Bob Caudle says Wahoo needs to make a tag as the Koloffs are dealing out a lot of punishment. Ivan whips Wahoo into the ropes and catches him with a knee to the gut. Ivan wastes no time and applies a bearhug on Wahoo as McDaniel is on one knee. Bob Caudle points out that Koloff has both of McDaniel’s arms pinned, which is only going to make things tougher. The sweat is pouring down McDaniel’s face as Koloff continues the pressure, McDaniel trying to slip an arm free. David Crockett says Koloff has all the leverage which is only going to make escape all the more difficult. Still, McDaniel isn’t giving up and almost gets an arm free when Ivan lifts him up, reapplying the hold. This time though, Wahoo’s arms are free, but Bob Caudle notes it looks like Wahoo’s attempt to escape cost him a lot of gas. Wahoo fires off a punch but Koloff isn’t letting go and that seems to be Wahoo’s last gasp. Referee Scrappy McGowan checks Wahoo’s arm and it goes down. David Crockett asks why Blackjack isn’t coming in for the save. McGowan checks Wahoo whose arm goes limp a second time. Blackjack looks to be getting in the ring, but then Wahoo rakes Koloff’s eyes, with “The Russian Bear” loosening the hold. Wahoo rakes the eyes again and Koloff releases the hold.

Fourteen minutes into the match and Wahoo looks spent. Ivan’s incredible constitution is on full display as he throws McDaniel into the corner and charges, only for Wahoo to somehow raise a boot. Koloff staggers back but comes back in, getting a kick to the gut. David Crockett cheers “C’mon Wahoo, make the tag!” as Wahoo leans against the ropes and fires off a chop, again staggering Koloff. Bob Caudle wonders if Wahoo could even stand if it wasn’t for the ropes. Another chop sends Koloff reeling as Wahoo stumbles to his corner where Mulligan is waiting. 

The big Texan comes in as Uncle Ivan runs to his corner and tags in Nikita. Nikita charges at Blackjack and it’s a battle of two bulls as they start exchanging blows with the referee giving them a wide berth. Nikita finds himself on the losing end of the fisticuffs so he goes for an eyerake, but Mulligan stops him. Knee to the gut on “The Russian Nightmare.” Mulligan whips Koloff into the ropes and lands a jumping elbow. Cover on Nikita for a two count. Ivan comes in as Mulligan slugs him, knocking him down. 

Blackjack bodyslams Nikita then drops a knee across the Russian’s head. Mulligan is on fire and you can beat there’s no love lost between the big Marine and “The Russian Nightmare.” Another whip into the ropes as Mulligan hits a back body-drop on Nikita. Mulligan kicks Koloff in the head and covers him for a two-count. Elbow drop on Nikita as Mulligan picks him up and throws him into the ropes. Bob Caudle points out Mulligan is giving Nikita no time to catch his breath and Koloff’s stamina is something fans have questioned due to how quickly he usually wins his matches. Whatever the case, Mulligan throws Nikita into the ropes, this time applying the clawhold. Blackjack has the hold in the center of the ring and Nikita’s in trouble! Nikita drops to a knee and Ivan runs him, kneeing Blackjack in the back and breaking the hold. Wahoo staggers in and slugs Ivan, knocking him down. Meanwhile, Krusher Krushchev gets on the ring apron, waving the Soviet flag. Wahoo grabs Kruschev and punches him, then pulls him over the top ropes, with the American turncoat landing hard. Scrappy McGowan goes to get Krusher out of the ring as McDaniel stomps at Krushchev. Meanwhile, Nikita and Ivan see the wrestling equivalent of the missile gap and grab Nikita’s chain, joining hands as they hit a double clothesline on Blackjack Mulligan who was busy watching Wahoo and Krusher. A big mistake as Nikita falls on top of Mulligan and Ivan gets the referee. Wahoo is so busy pummeling Krusher he doesn’t realize what’s going on until the match is over. 

Winners: Ivan and Nikita Koloff

David Crockett can’t believe what’s happened and Bob Caudle says opponents are going to have their hands full dealing with the Russian team in round three. 

Tony Schiavone is backstage with the Rock and Roll Express and welcomes Ricky and Robert to the Mid-Atlantic area. Morton says it’s great to be here and while they’ve been tearing things up in Mid-South Wrestling, they’d love to come here someday. Tonight though, they’re here for one reason—to start their journey to the Crockett Cup and the one-million-dollar prize. Ricky says, "There are a lot of tag teams talking about how bad they are and all the things they can do, but you see, everybody knows and everyone who has seen the Rock and Roll Express in action knows they can take poison ivy and turn it into a rose bush, Jack! We are the Rock and Roll Express, and we love ya!"

The Rock and Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) vs. the Mega Maharishi and Kendo Nagasaki
The female fans are screaming with delight as Ricky and Robert slap their hands at ringside. Ricky throws a bandana out to the crowd as does Robert. The Mega Maharishi and Kendo Nagasaki are already in the ring. Bob Caudle points out the team scored a controversial win over Buzz Tyler and “Pistol” Pez Whatley. Ricky Morton starts off against Kendo Nagasaki. Kendo gets in the first blow, chopping Morton in the chest. Nagasaki leverages Ricky into the ropes and chops him again, with referee Tommy Young admonishing him for not giving a clean break. Kendo whips Ricky into the ropes and goes for a chop but Ricky rolls out of the way and bounces off the opposite rope, hitting a high cross body-block. Morton picks up Kendo and suplexes him. The Mega Maharishi comes in, but so does Robert Gibson. David Crockett says he’s amazed by the team’s speed and teamwork as they double-suplex Maharishi. Kendo charges at Ricky but gets a big right hand. Ricky and Robert whip Kendo into the ropes and hit a double dropkick. Robert covers Kendo as Tommy Young makes the 1-2-3. 

Winners: The Rock and Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson)

The Mega Maharishi is furious and is screaming at Tommy Young. He goes to slug Tommy, but the Rock-n-Roll double dropkick him, sending him out of the ring. David Crockett says the Rock-n-Roll Express have made a fantastic first impression. 

Join us next time as round two of the tournament continues with Ole and Arn Anderson battling theU.S. Express (Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda) and “Bulldog” Bob Brown and Marty Jannetty taking on Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi. Stay tuned wrestling fans as the quest for tag team immortality continues!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tournament Announcement
Seedings and First Round Pairings Announced  


Second Round: Matches 1 & 2 (Tournament 17 & 18)
     Mulligan/McDaniel vs. The Russians
    Rock & Roll Express vs. Maharishi/Nagasaki

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