Thursday, August 06, 2020

Opening Round of the 1985 Crockett Cup Concludes: Matches 15 & 16


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.]

The Fabulous Ones vs. The Batten Twins
Johnny Weaver/Sam Houston vs. The Sheepherders

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.

First Round Rules: Here are the rules for the first-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 first-round matches have a thirty-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 first-round matches are being held over two nights. The first eight matches took place at the Baltimore Civic Center on Thursday April 11. Bob Caudle and David Crockett are calling the matches tonight. The remaining eight matches in round one take place at the Norfolk Scope on Friday April 12. In match thirteen, the Dynamic Duo (“Gorgeous” Gino Hernandez and Chris Adams) scored a quick win against American Starship (American Coyote and American Eagle) after a pre-match ambush. In match fourteen, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat defeated the brother team of Buzz and Brett Sawyer. As we head into the last two matches of round one, 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.

This edition features the talented Central States Wrestling duo the Batten Twins locking up with the AWA’s Fabulous Ones and Mid-Atlantic legend Johnny Weaver teams up with Sam Houston to battle the Sheepherders.

Tony Schiavone is at ringside, interviewing the Fabulous Ones. Tony asks them what they think of the Mid-Atlantic region. Keirn laughs and says there are a lot of pretty ladies and so little time. Stan tells Tony he loves the ladies and nobody knows how to party like the Fabulous Ones. They’re wrestling because they like to have fun and Stan Lane sings a line from Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” Keirn points out the Batten Twins are a capable young team, but with one million dollars on the line, the Batten boys are going down.

The Batten Twins (Bart and Brad Batten) 
vs. the Fabulous Ones (Stan Lane and Steve Keirn): 
The Fabulous Ones come out to ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” and slap the fans hands, with both Keirn and Lane applying lip-locks to a few female fans. The Battens come out and get a polite response, but the fans are favoring the Fabs. CWA referee Paul Morton does his pre-match inspection and signals for the bell. The Fabs shake hands with the Batten Twins before Steve Keirn and Bart Batten start the match.

Collar-and-elbow tie-up as Keirn gets Bart in a side headlock. Bart whips him into the ropes and applies a single-leg takedown. Front facelock by Bart but Keirn slips out and applies a waist-lock on Bart, taking him down to the mat. Bart slips out and hip tosses Keirn, tagging in Brad. The Battens whip Keirn into the ropes and land a big back body-drop on him. Brad drops an elbow on Steve, but no one is home. Steve quickly tags Stan Lane in who locks up with Brad and gets him into a side headlock. Brad escapes and bounces off the ropes as Lane leapfrogs over him, catching Batten with a hip toss on the return trip. Another hip toss sends Brad into the Fabs’ corner and Lane rams Brad’s head into the top turnbuckle. Side kick to Brad’s leg keeps him off balance as Stan tags in Steve Keirn. Keirn hits a Russian leg-sweep on Brad and covers him for a two-count. The future “Skinner” picks up Brad and bodyslams him, covering him again, and once again only getting a count of two. Bob Caudle tells David that Keirn seems a bit surprised at Brad’s resilience. David says one million dollars can make you fight just a bit harder. Another quick tag and in comes Stan Lane. Stan drops another elbow on Brad then whips him into the ropes, going for what looks to be a back body-drop, but Brad surprises him with a Sunset Flip. Cover for just about a two count before Lane kicks out. Lane gets up first and catches Batten in the side of the hide with a roundhouse kick, just as Batten is getting to his feet. Batten crumbles to the mat as Lane covers him. Referee Paul Morton counts the pin as Bart runs in for the save. Steve Keirn punches Bart and the two begin exchanging blows. Morton tells Bart to get back into his corner and Keirn is still trying to get at him. The referee forces Keirn back to his corner as Bart switches places with Brad, who in turn rolls out of the ring. Bart dropkicks Stan then whips him into the ropes, hitting another dropkick. Bart covers Lane but he doesn’t hook the leg and Lane easily kicks out. Bob Caudle says Batten got a little overzealous as David Crockett tries to figure out who is who.

Brad is now back in his corner and Bart continues going after Lane. Bodyslam on Lane but Lane counters rolling him up for a small package, but Bart reverses. Steve runs in and stomps him in the head. Brad comes in as the referee tries to get the extra men out of the ring. Bob Caudle notes that Stan Lane is saying something to the referee and pointing to Brad Batten. David Crockett thinks there’s confusion about who the legal man is. The referee starts talking to Brad and as he does Steve Keirn lifts Bart up and drops his neck across the top rope. Steve yells for the referee as Stan covers Bart for the win.

Winners: The Fabulous Ones

After the match, the Fabulous Ones roll out of the ring as the Batten Twins are still wondering what happened.

Johnny Weaver and Sam Houston vs. 
The Sheepherders (Butch Miller and Luke Williams)
with Rip Morgan (flag bearer):
Before the match begins, Rip Morgan gets into Johnny Weaver’s face and starts talking trash with the highly-decorate veteran grappler. Meanwhile, Luke and Butch double team Sam Houston, throwing him out of the ring. Luke and Butch follow him out as Miller throws Houston head-first into the ring post. Williams follows up by bodyslamming Houston onto the unforgiving concrete floor.

Back in the ring, AWA referee Gary DeRusha is trying to get the match started but Johnny Weaver is beating up Morgan. DeRusha looks around as Bob Caudle notes DeRusha has got to be wondering where the other competitors are. Williams and Miller enter the ring and go after Weaver, but they quickly find out why he’s nicknamed “The Buzzsaw” as Johnny lays into them fighting like a man possessed. Bob Caudle says he doesn’t know if Weaver saw what happened to his tag partner, but he knows the Sheepherders are rotten to the core. David Crockett adds that he’s heard lots of horror stories about the Williams and Miller’s treatment of opponents and they’re already making an impression on him. Bob Caudle asks David if he remembers the Sheepherders’ reign as Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champions to which David says it must have been a short one he overlooked. Bob gently reminds his longtime broadcast partner of the Sheepherders’ 75-day reign with the belts.

As David Crockett says something about forgetting his notes, Bob Caudle says this match has become a handicap match as Johnny Weaver is fighting both Sheepherders on his own. The referee is able to get Luke Williams into his corner and Johnny continues dishing out the punishment to Miller. Powerful forearm smashes send Miller into the corner and “The Dean of Wrestling” rams Miller’s head into the turnbuckle. The referee starts a five-count as Weaver lands another forearm smash on Butch. Bob Caudle says Weaver’s looking to punish Miller for what he did to his partner and we’re seeing a very aggressive side of Johnny Weaver. Crockett says who would blame him after what’s happened as Weaver runs Miller’s face across the top rope. Miller clutches his face in pain as “The Buzzsaw” socks him right in the mush. Irish whip sends Miller into ropes and Weaver hits a big back body-drop. Williams comes in but Weaver blasts him with a forearm smash, knocking him back. David cheers Weaver on as he notes he knows he’s got his hands full tonight.

Not giving his foe any time to recover, Weaver slams Miller then stomps him in the face. Outside the ring, Sam Houston is getting up to his feet when Rip Morgan kicks him in the gut then rams his head into the post, drawing some boos from the fans. Unfortunately for Weaver and Houston, DeRusha is trying to maintain control in the ring and he misses Morgan’s attack on Houston. Back in the ring, Weaver picks up Miller and throws him into the ropes, applying the dreaded Weaver-Lock sleeper. Weaver has Miller in the center of the ring and the villainous wrestlers quickly sinks to one knee. The referee checks on Miller who seems to be losing consciousness fast. Luke Williams comes in and knees Weaver in the back, but Weaver doesn’t let go! Williams finally gets him to break the hold by raking Johnny’s eyes. Johnny wanders around the ring trying to get his bearings back as DeRusha forces Williams back to his corner. As he does, Weaver is near the mat apron and Morgan capitalizes, breaking the flagpole over Weaver’s head. Johnny drops like the proverbial ton of bricks as Miller weakly covers him, getting the 1-2-3.

Winners: The Sheepherders
The fans are booing the heels as they make their way back to the dressing room. Sam Houston is getting to his feet, but he’s busted open. Meanwhile, somewhere in the audience Don Meredith smiles saying that’s what Weaver gets for stealing his song.

Join us next time as we head into round two of the tournament where the first-seeded teams will do battle with the winners of round one. Things are only going to get more heated as the teams get closer to the one-million-dollar prize. Stay tuned wrestling fans!

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

Tournament Announcement
Seedings and First Round Pairings Announced 

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