Sunday, August 30, 2020

Round Two of The Crockett Cup Continues!


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 #3 and #4):

“Bulldog” Bob Brown & Marty Jannetty vs. Antonio Inoki & Seiji Sakaguchi
Ole & Arn Anderson vs. The U.S. Express (Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda)

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 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 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 took place at the Richmond Coliseum 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. Last time around, the Russian Team of Ivan and Nikita Koloff defeated Blackjack Mulligan and Chief Wahoo McDaniel, but not without controversy as the Russians got an assist from a steel chain. In match two, the Rock-n-Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) scored a decisive win over the Mega Maharishi and Kendo Nagasaki. As we head into the next 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 next two matches in round two pit four incredible teams. In our first encounter, Ole and Arn Anderson will battle Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda while the second one pits Marty Jannetty and “Bulldog” Bob Brown against Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi.

Gordon Solie is backstage with the U.S. Express, Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda. Solie says he’s followed their careers since their time in Florida and that they look better than ever. There are a lot of teams to watch, but Windham and Rotunda are two young lions who he thinks could go all the way. Barry Windham thanks Gordon for his kind words and he said while it’s good to be back in the Mid-Atlantic area, it’s distressing to see there are still teams like Ole and Arn Anderson taking shortcuts to get ahead. He promises he and Mike are going to remind them you don’t have to cut corners to win. Out of nowhere, Arn Anderson smashes Mike Rotunda in the back with a chair as Ole Anderson clips Barry Windham in the right knee. Gordon stands back as Ole holds Windham’s leg, and Arn comes down hard on it with the chair. Ole grabs the microphone and tells Gordon “That’s not a shortcut, that’s the Anderson way!” Arn and Ole start brawling with Denny Brown, and Rocky and Don Kernodle who run out for the failed save. However, when Johnny Weaver, Jimmy Valiant, Buzz Sawyer, and Sam Houston run out, the Andersons bid a hasty retreat. 

Johnny Weaver talks to Gordon Solie while Mike Rotunda helps Barry Windham to his feet. “The Dean of Wrestling” tells “The Dean of Wrestling Announcers” that this is another example of the carnage being caused by guys like the Andersons and the Koloffs. He says that the wrestlers like Dusty Rhodes and Magnum T.A. have to form their own group to deal with these gang tactics. 

Gordon sends things back to Bob Caudle and David Crockett who are seated at ringside. David says he can’t believe what he just saw. Things keep getting crazier and crazier in this tournament. Bob Caudle tells David they’re going backstage as NWA President Jim Crockett is waiting with an important announcement. 

Gordon Solie interviews Jim Crockett Jr. who tells Gordon he’s trying to keep his composure. He said there are a lot of guests from other promotions and he’s embarrassed by what the Andersons just did to the U.S. Express. Crockett announces that he’s fining the Andersons $10,000 each and he’s waiting for the ringside doctor to examine Windham’s knee. In the meantime, they’ll run the match between “Bulldog” Bob Brown and Marty Jannetty vs. Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi.

“Bulldog” Bob Brown and Marty Jannetty vs. Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi
Referee Jerry Calhoun gives each wrestler a quick look to make sure there’s no funny business like foreign objects then signals for the bell. Jannetty seems eager to get in, but “Bulldog” Brown is holding his hands up and starts the match against Antonio Inoki. Collar and elbow tie-up as Brown gets Inoki in a side headlock. Inoki tries to whip Brown into the ropes, but Brown isn’t going anywhere. Bob Caudle notes that Brown is built like a fire hydrant and he knows how to put the pressure on. Inoki starts to maneuver, moving to Brown’s side and then behind him as Brown finds Inoki slipping out. David Crockett says “What a reversal!” as Inoki escapes, applying a top wrist lock on Brown. Now, the pressure is on the Bulldog as Inoki guides his opponent towards Sakaguchi, tagging him in. Inoki holds Brown as Sakaguchi chops “Bulldog” then applies an armbar. 

Sakaguchi keeps the armbar on as Brown works to escape or reverse it. Bob Caudle says Brown is an experienced wrestler, but so are Inoki and Sakaguchi, and they have the size advantage. Brown continues his efforts to escape, finally reversing the arm bar and turning it into a hammer lock. Brown leverages Seiji into his corner and tags Jannetty. Brown and Jannetty whip Sakaguchi into the ropes and they hit a double back-drop on their foe. Elbow-drop by Brown followed by one by Jannetty as Brown goes to his corner, beating Jerry Calhoun’s five-count. Jannetty drops a knee across Sakaguchi’s head then picks him up, hip tossing him into the corner. Sakaguchi gets up and walks into a dropkick from the future Rocker. Jannetty whips Sakaguchi into the ropes and goes for a back body-drop, but Sakaguchi gives him a boot to the head for his trouble. 

Sakaguchi is looking to regain the momentum and whips Jannetty into the ropes, but Jannetty rolls out of the way of Sakaguchi’s attack and bounces off the ropes with a cross body-block. Cover on Seiji, but he kicks out at two. Jannetty drops an elbow on his opponent, but no one is home. Sakaguchi whips Jannetty into the corner and charges in, but Jannetty raises a knee, Victory roll by Jannetty but once again Sakaguchi kicks out at two. David Crockett says Jannetty is using his speed to keep the pressure on his opponent and if Seiji Sakaguchi slips, he may find himself out of the tournament. 

Jannetty picks Sakaguchi up and whips him towards Bulldog Brown, but Sakaguchi reverses, sending Marty towards Antonio Inoki. Inoki moves quickly as Marty crashes into the corner and Inoki holds Jannetty as Sakaguchi charges in with a running knee. Inoki and Sakaguchi hit a double suplex on Jannetty as Inoki follows up with the Inoki Driver. Things are breaking down fast as Jannetty is on his back. Inoki climbs to the top rope and hits a flying knee on Jannetty, covering him as Bulldog Brown comes in, only to be intercepted by Sakaguchi. While Brown and Sakaguchi exchange blows, Jerry Calhoun counts Jannetty’s shoulders down for the 1-2-3. 

Winners: Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi.

Referee Jerry Calhoun raises Inoki and Sakaguchi’s arms in victory while Bob Brown checks on Marty Jannetty. 

Gordon Solie. is backstage with Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda. Windham’s knee is bandaged up. He says he might be a bit banged up, but the Andersons are going to pay. Rotunda tells Gordon the Minnesota Wrecking Crew tried to put out their fire, but they’ve started an inferno instead. 

Ole and Arn Anderson vs. the U.S. Express (Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda)
Referee Sonny Fargo doesn’t get a chance to do his pre-match preliminaries as Windham and Rotunda charge the Andersons, with Barry slugging away at Ole and Mike laying in to Arn. The U.S. Express start getting the upper hand as Rotunda whips Ole into the ropes and dropkicks him, sending him through the ropes. Windham whips Arn into the ropes and hits an elbow to the chest. Rotunda hip tosses “Double A” into the corner as Barry walks towards the babyface corner. Sonny Fargo motions for the bell to ring, starting the match. 

Rotunda doesn’t waste any time and applies a deep armbar on Arn, but Anderson is close enough to the ropes that he reaches it forcing a break. Ole has made it over to the heels’ corner and looks ready for action. David Crockett says the U.S. Express are hot and looking for revenge. Bob Caudle reminds David they can’t let the Andersons get under their skin and throw off their game plan. Arn throws a punch at Rotunda after he breaks the armbar, but Rotunda fires back, knocking Arn down. Rotunda picks him up and slams him down hard onto the mat before bouncing off the ropes and dropping an elbow. Rotunda picks up Anderson and whips him towards Windham, who is waiting to tag in. Tag to Barry as Rotunda holds out Anderson’s right arm. Windham comes off the second rope with a double axe-handle as Arn writhes in pain. Barry whips Arn into the ropes and hits a shoulderblock, knocking Arn down. Snapmare on “The Enforcer” as Barry applies a chinlock to Anderson. Arn works his way to the ropes again as Bob Caudle points out Anderson’s good ring awareness. David Crockett points out that Windham isn’t slowing down as Windham whips Arn into the ropes, hitting a dropkick. Another whip into the ropes, but this time Arn hangs onto the ropes and Barry dropkicks thin air, crashing to the mat. Arn tags in Ole then drags Barry towards the heel corner. 

It’s time for the Andersons to perform some unwanted ring surgery. Dr. Arn provides an assist by placing Barry’s taped knee on the bottom rope while Dr. Ole drops his own knee onto it. Jerry Calhoun tells Arn to get back to his corner so he does, jumping out of the ring, grabbing Barry’s bum knee, and smashing it onto the ring apron. Calhoun warns Arn to get back to his corner as Ole continues targeting Barry’s tender knee. Ole drops an elbow to Barry’s right leg as David Crockett says this is the classic Anderson strategy—take a body part and make it useless. 

Bob Caudle says David’s got that right as Ole stomps at Barry’s bad leg, tagging in Arn.    
Barry’s woes continue as Ole holds Barry’s right leg down while Arn drops a knee down. David Crockett says you don’t see many uncle and nephew teams in wrestling and Bob Caudle points out that Ole and Arn are cousins. David isn’t so sure and Bob admits there is some confusion about that before reminding David of the uncle and nephew team of Rip Hawk and Ric Flair. David quickly changes the subject and notes what a terrific team the U.S. Express are. 

Arn runs over towards Rotunda and punches him, leading to Mike running in and referee Jerry Calhoun ordering him back to his corner. Rotunda protests and as he does, the Anderson’s double-team Windham, with Ole exiting the ring, grabbing Barry’s right leg, and slamming it into the steel ring post. David Crockett implores the referee to turn around and he does, just as Arn pins Barry. Two-count, but Windham apparently isn’t done yet. Arn goes to bodyslam Barry, but the wily Windham rolls him up for a small package…1, 2, Arn kicks out. 

Barry gets up as Bob Caudle points out Windham seems unable to put any weight on his right leg. Anderson punches Windham but Barry fires back. Barry fights back, slugging away at “Double A,” but Anderson is close enough to Ole to make the tag and Ole comes in, kneeing Windham in the back. The Andersons start stomping away at Barry and Rotunda has enough, entering the ring and dropkicking Ole into the corner then dropkicking Arn out of the ring. Rotunda goes out after Arn, slugging away at his foe. 

Back in the ring, Windham is brawling with Ole, with neither man getting the advantage until Ole kicks Barry in his bad wheel. Ole goes for a suplex, but Windham blocks it, hitting a swinging neckbreaker out of nowhere. David Crockett says that’s a move you don’t see very often from Windham, but Bob Caudle says at this point, Windham needs any weapon available in his arsenal. Cover on Ole, but he kicks out at two. Outside the ring, Rotunda and Arn continue to brawl while Barry continues punishing Ole. Arn gets the upper hand for a moment when he whips Rotunda into the post, but “Double A” is clearly running on fumes and he leans against the mat apron. Back in the ring, Barry lifts Ole up for a suplex but his right knee buckles and Ole falls on top of him hard. Ole covers Barry but Windham gets his leg on the bottom rope. However, “The Enforcer” knocks it off before the referee sees it and Ole gets the 1-2-3.

Winner: Ole and Arn Anderson

Ole rolls out of the ring as he and Arn head to the back. They’re going to round three while the U.S. Express are headed back to the WWF. 

Join us next time as round two of the tournament continues with Jim Cornette’s Midnight Express (“Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and “Loverboy” Dennis Condrey) taking on Jimmy Hart’s Hart Foundation (Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) and the PYT Express (Norvell Austin and Koko Ware) taking on “The High Flyers” (“Jumping” Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne). 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
Second Round: Matches 3 & 4 (Tournament 19 & 20)
    Brown/Jannetty vs. Inoki & Sakaguchi
    Ole & Arn Anderson vs. Windham/Rotunda)

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