Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Crockett Cup '85 Continues - Round Two Rolls On


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 #7 and #8):

Rick Rude/Jesse Barr (w/ Pringle) vs. Kevin and Mike Von Erich
Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura vs. the British Bulldogs

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, Jim Cornette’s Midnight Express (“Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and “Loverboy” Dennis Condrey) defeated Jimmy Hart’s Hart Foundation (Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) while “The High Flyers” triumphed over the PYT Express (Norvell Austin and Koko Ware). As round two continues, bear 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 feature Rick Rude and Jesse Barr battling Kevin and Mike Von Erich while Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura take on the British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid). 

Gordon Solie is backstage with Kevin and Mike Von Erich and Mike’s head has a huge bandage on it. Gordon asks Mike how he’s doing after the post-match attack on him by Tully Blanchard and Abdullah the Butcher during their first-round match. Mike says he had to get stitched up, but he’s ready for action. A few bumps on his head never stopped him before and it’s not going to stop him and Kev from their shot at a million dollars and the prestigious Crockett Cup trophy. Gordon says that’s the fighting spirit the Von Erichs are known for and he then asks Kevin about their opponents. Kevin says Rick Rude and Jesse Barr are two tough competitors, but they’re ready for the challenge. Rude and Barr may have got a first-round bye, but they’re going to have a short stay in this tournament. 

Rick Rude and Jesse Barr (with Percy Pringle III)
vs. Kevin and Mike Von Erich

Bob Caudle and David Crockett are joined by World Class Championship Wrestling Marc Lowrance. Bob and David welcome him to the broadcast booth and Bob notes Marc has called many matches involving the Von Erichs, including Kerry Von Erich’s historic win over “Nature Boy” Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Marc thanks Bob and David for inviting him to sit in on this match and he says the tournament has been exciting from the first match. David Crockett asks Marc what he knows about the extent of Mike Von Erich’s injuries and Marc explains Mike was cut open pretty bad by the Butcher and Blanchard, but he’s had a few days to heal and he hasn’t heard about any problems working the match. Even if he was hurt, he’d be here to support his brother. All-Japan Pro Wrestling referee Joe Higuchi (aka Kanji Higuchi) is officiating tonight’s match. Higuchi does the pre-match preliminaries and the match gets underway with Kevin Von Erich locking up with Rick Rude. Kevin goes for a collar-and-elbow tie-up, but Rude backs up, posing for the fans. Bob Caudle says that Rude is full of himself but this isn’t a bodybuilding contest. David remarks that maybe Rude can always find work if a wrestling promotion ever starts a bodybuilding federation, even though that’ll never happen. Rude turns his back to Kevin and poses for the fans as they boo him and gets a big surprise when Von Erich rolls him up for a surprise pin, 1-2…Rude manages to kick out. Kevin dropkicks the arrogant athlete then whips him into a neutral corner where Rude crashes hard. Von Erich climbs on the second rope and unloads with punches as the fans count to ten. Rude staggers out of the corner and Kevin follows up with an atomic drop. Sadly, social media is still decades away so there won’t be any gifs of this beautiful atomic drop as Rude walks awkwardly, selling the agony inflicted on him. 

Kevin tags in Mike who applies a side headlock on Rude, but Rude has the wherewithal to whip Mike into the ropes, escaping the hold only to get shoulder-blocked by Von Erich when he comes off the ropes. Mike lifts Rude up and slams him down to the mat. Marc Lowrance tells Bob and David that the Von Erichs know how to keep the heat on their opponents. Rude rolls over to his corner and tags in Jesse Barr. David Crockett says he’s surprised Mike didn’t try and prevent the tag. Marc says Mike likely wants to send a message that the Von Erichs are ready for anyone. David says you don’t underestimate Jesse Barr, something Barr demonstrated at Starrcade ’83 when he defeated Mike Graham. Bob goes to say something when Marc tells David, “Wasn’t that Starrcade ’84?” Collar-and-elbow tie-up as Jesse gets the initial advantage, applying a top wristlock. Bob reminds the fans that Jesse Barr is an accomplished amateur wrestler and knows how to bend the rules as needed. Mike looks to be powering his way out of the ring when Jesse grabs Mike’s hair, yanking him down to the mat and applying an arm bar. Kevin Von Erich and a number of fans yell at the referee that Barr had a handful of hair, but Higuchi didn’t see anything. Mike gets up and Jesse still has the arm bar on and pressures Mike into a neutral corner. Mr. Higuchi starts a five-count and tells Barr to break the hold which he does, but the future Jimmy Jack Fun then unloads with a series of forearm smashes to Mike. Jesse backs up then invites Mike to a test of strength, and the two men lock up. Jesse gets the advantage and Mike drops to his knees. Marc Lowrance says Mike may be more hurt than he let on. David Crockett says Abdullah the Butcher and Tully Blanchard did a number on Mike so it wouldn’t surprise him. Mike fights back and starts to get to his feet, but Barr steps on the bottom rope for added leverage, bringing Von Erich back down to his knees. Kevin Von Erich runs in and goes after Barr, but the referee orders him back to his corner. Percy Pringle III gets on the mat apron and tells Higuchi to make sure Kevin doesn’t try anything funny. Meanwhile, Rick Rude runs in and stomps Mike in the head. Rude and Barr whip Mike into the ropes and the two deliver a double clothesline. Rude slaps his own hand like he’s making the tag and drops a fist on Von Erich’s back as the referee turns around. The fans are booing the heels as Rude hits an over-the-knee backbreaker on Mike. Rude whips Mike into the heels corner and Barr restrains Mike’s arms while Rude gets on the second rope and unloads on Mike’s head with punches. Kevin comes in again, but doesn’t get far as Mr. Higuchi escorts him back to his corner. Meanwhile, Rude lifts up Mike and hits a piledriver, driving Mike’s head hard into the mat. Arrogant cover by Rude and it costs him as Mike kicks out at the last moment. Rude yells at Higuchi who holds up two fingers. The fans are cheering the Von Erichs on as Rude unloads with punches to Mike’s forehead. Rude rips off the bandage and it’s clear Von Erich is busted open again. Rude whips Von Erich into the ropes and hits a clothesline, but so does Mike and both men go down! Marc Lowrance says Rude is finding out there’s no quit in the Von Erichs. Both Mike and Rick are slow to get up, but Rude crawls over to his corner and tags in Barr. Mike is dragging himself to his corner when Barr grabs his leg, but Mike kicks him with the other leg, knocking Barr back. Mike somehow dives and makes the tag and Kevin runs in, unloading with punches on Barr. Kevin whips Barr into the ropes and hits a dropkick, knocking him down. Chop to Barr as Kevin follows up with a slam. Kevin bounces off the ropes and drops an elbow on Barr. Barr gets up only for Kevin to kick him in the gut, knocking him into the ropes, where Barr rebounds right into the Von Erich Claw! Marc Lowrance says there’s no escape from this one as Kevin locks in the hold. Rick Rude quickly runs in and knees Kevin in the back, breaking the hold. David Crockett tells Marc it looks like Barr just escaped. Mike staggers in and goes after Rude as the referee tries to get things under control. Percy Pringle III gets on the mat apron and he’s shouting something. Mr. Higuchi goes towards Pringle and as he does, Rude reaches into his tights. Marc says it looks like a pair of brass knuckles. Rude swings at Mike who ducks out of the way, spins Rude around and lands a big atomic drop. Rude’s unexpected chiropractic adjustment is followed by a dropkick by Mike that send Rude through the ropes. Mike goes out after Percy Pringle and slugs him, knocking him off the mat apron before returning to his corner. Back in the ring, Kevin whips Jesse into the ropes and dropkicks him again. Kevin climbs to the top rope and hits a beautiful flying bodypress as the referee dives down to make the count. Cover on Jesse for the 1-2-3.  

Winners: Mike and Kevin Von Erich. 

Bob Caudle says it’s an impressive performance by the Von Erich Brothers and they’re on their way to round three. 

Tony Schiavone is backstage with WWF announcer Gorilla Monsoon and the British Bulldogs. Schiavone welcomes the three representatives from the WWF and congratulates Davey Boy and Dynamite on their impressive first-round win. Gorilla says the Bulldogs are one of the greatest tag teams he’s seen and they have a continuity matched by only a handful of teams. Davey Boy and Dynamite thank Tony and Gorilla and say they have nothing but respect for their next opponents. They’ve been to Japan many times and they know that Fujinami and Kimura are two of the best. Tony asks Gorilla if he’s heard anything about the rumors that Fujinami and Kimura are suffering from the flu. Gorilla says he’s heard the rumors, but if they’re true, they’re not letting anyone know. Gorilla says teams are going to crawl to the ring on their hands and knees if they have to as long as the million bucks are on the line.

Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura
vs. the British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid)

WWF referee Dick Woehrle is officiating tonight’s match. Bob Caudle reminds the fans that each match’s referee has been selected randomly from a pool of referees from many of the promotions who have sent competitors. The two teams shake hands before the bout and the Dynamite Kid starts off against Kengo Kimura as the two begin with a collar and elbow tie-up. Kimura gets Dynamite up against the ropes and gives him a clean break. The two lock up again and this time Kimura applies a side headlock, but Dynamite slips out, whipping Kimura into the ropes. Kimura bounces off the ropes as Dynamite leapfrogs over him and catches the Japanese star off the ropes with a dropkick. Bob Caudle observes the crowd is behind the British Bulldogs. David Crockett adds that the fans are giving the Japanese team a polite reception, but the Bulldogs really impressed the fans with their round one performance against Genichiro Tenryu and Jumbo Tsuruta. Kengo gets up and the Dynamite Kid goes after him, only to catch an arm drag takedown that Kimura turns into an armbar. Kimura takes the Dynamite Kid over to Tatsumi Fujinami and makes the tag. Fujinami chops Dynamite in the chest then delivers a snapmare before applying a chinlock. Bob Caudle remarks that the Japanese star is putting the pressure on and using leverage to tire the dynamic star out, well-aware of Dynamite’s energy and speed. Dynamite moves around the ring, trying to wiggle his way out as Fujinami continues the hold, but Dynamite is able to get his leg on the rope, forcing a break. Fujinami releases Dynamite but quickly whips him into the ropes, hitting a dropkick. Tatsumi then slams Dynamite to the mat before whipping him into the ropes again, locking him in an Octopus Hold in the center of the ring. David Crockett says the Japanese team are showing why they received a first-round bye—they have an incredible combination of experience and technical skill. Bob says that’s exactly right and that the Bulldogs are going to have to dig deep if they want to win this one. Bob says it looks like Tatsumi is trying to position himself so he can choke Dynamite out. When Fujinami goes to do this, Dynamite begins to power out, and somehow manages to escape, hip tossing Fujinami to the mat. Dynamite falls on his back as Tatsumi goes for a rear chinlock but Dynamite spins out applying a Fireman’s Carry takedown. Dynamite hits a forearm smash on Fujinami’s head then slams him to the mat. David Crockett says he can’t believe Dynamite’s recuperative powers. How does he do it? Diving headbutt on Fujinami and Dynamite covers him for about a two count. Dynamite hip tosses Fujinami towards the Bulldogs’ corner and tags in Davey Boy Smith. Smith picks up Fujinami for a scoop slam and drives him down hard onto the mat. Smith lifts Fujinami again and delivers a vertical suplex, holding him up in the air for about 10 seconds. David Crockett says “Shades of Ric Flair, what a great-looking suplex!” Cover on Fujinami, but the Japanese superstar kicks out at two. Side suplex by Davey Boy as he tags in Dynamite. Davey Boy lifts Dynamite up and presses him down onto Fujinami. Cover by Dynamite as Davey Boy runs over to intercept Kimura. 1-2- Fujinami has his foot on the bottom rope but referee Dick Woehrle didn’t see it and he makes the three-count.  Fujinami argues with the referee but Woehrle shrugs his shoulders. 

Winners: The British Bulldogs

David Crockett says the Bulldogs caught quite the break in this match and Bob adds that the referee’s decision is final. 

Join us next time as round two of the tournament continues with Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen taking on Steve “Dr. Death” Williams and Ted Dibiase as well as The Road Warriors (Animal and Hawk) battling Jerry “The King” Lawler and “Superstar” Bill Dundee. Things are headed to the Asheville Civic Center, but you can be certain the action won’t slow down as the quest for tag team immortality and some serious cash 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)
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


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