Saturday, November 28, 2020

Sixteen Teams Remain! Crockett Cup '85 Update as we head into Round Three


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

Updated brackets!
[Links to previous matches at the bottom of this post.]

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 32 teams competing to advance to round two with 16 teams making it in. Round two followed as these 16 teams battled the 16 top-seeded tag teams that received a first-round bye. Now, round two has finished and just sixteen teams remain as round three begins. 

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 third-round matches have a sixty-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 third-round matches are being held over two nights at the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia. The first four matches will take place on Friday April 19 while the remaining four will take place on Saturday April 20. Your commentators for the matches will be Bob Caudle and David Crockett, but as always, you never know when a special guest will show up. 

Bob Caudle and David Crockett welcome the fans to the Omni on night one and let them know they are in for a special treat. Pro Wrestling Illustrated Senior Editor Bill Apter has put together a special edition of his Scouting Report segment to bring fans up to speed on the tournament. The lights dim as the report airs on closed circuit screens set up in the arena. 

Bill Apter is joined by legendary wrestling commentator Gordon Solie. Bill welcomes Gordon, introducing him as “The Dean of Wresting Announcers.” Gordon thanks him for inviting him here and says as exciting as rounds one and two were, fans are in for history in the making. Bill says he couldn’t agree more. He’s been at ringside covering some of the first two rounds and it’s an all-star assemblage of talent. Apter turns towards round three’s eight matches. 

The Rock-n-Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) vs. the Russians (Ivan and Nikita Koloff and Krusher Krushchev): Bill says the Russians are a powerful team and Mid-South Wrestling’s Rock-n-Roll Express will have to count on their speed and experience as a team if they hope to overcome the Russians. Gordon nods and says the Russian team has the veteran leadership of Ivan Koloff, a former world champion, incredible power, and the advantage that any two of the trio can compete in the match. Gibson and Morton won’t know who they’ll be facing until the match itself, a potential psychological edge for the representatives from the Soviet Union, including American turncoat Krusher Krushchev. 

Ole and Arn Anderson vs. Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi: Bill says the Andersons have shown a willingness to do anything to win, as seen by their pre-match attack in round two on Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda. Gordon agrees and says he’s known Ole Anderson for a long time and his legacy as a member of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew means he knows how to systematically take opponents’ limbs apart. Unfortunately for the veteran Japanese team, Arn Anderson seems to be a quick study. However, Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi have faced a plethora of world-class opponents during their careers and their experience will be difficult to overcome, regardless of what chicanery the Andersons have planned.  

The Midnight Express (“Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and “Loverboy” Dennis Condrey) with Jim Cornette vs. the High Flyers (“Jumping” Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne): Bill talks about how the Midnight Express are one of the most exciting teams in wrestling today and while they’re known for cutting corners, there’s no denying the results they’ve had. Bill notes the team’s impressive round two over the WWF’s Hart Foundation. Gordon adds that the team’s manager Jim Cornette has a keen mind and unfortunately one with a penchant for nefarious tactics. However, former AWA World Tag Team Champions Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne have been wrestling together since the 1970s and their wins in rounds one and two suggest they could go to the finals. 

Kevin and Mike Von Erich vs. the British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid): Bill talks up both teams and shares his admiration for the Von Erich brothers toughing it out through Mike’s injury in round one at the hands of Abdullah the Butcher and Tully Blanchard. Gordon agrees and says the Von Erichs are Texas tough. However, they’re facing a team that has had seasoning in Japan and looks to be on their way to the WWF Championship. Both teams have speed and high-flying moves on their side as well as experience with their teammates. This should be a brilliant battle of four young lions. 

Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen vs. the Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal) with “Precious” Paul Ellering: Bill tells Gordon that he hopes Jim Crockett has reinforced the ring because these two teams could end up destroying it as they battle each other. Gordon says many people are picking the Road Warriors as the odds-on favorite to win the tournament because they’ve been virtually unstoppable wherever they’ve worked. However, the team of Brody and Hansen can take anything Animal and Hawk can dish out and they are probably the team with the best chance of meeting them head-to-head in power with the exception of the Russians. Nevertheless, the presence of manager “Precious” Paul Ellering could tip things in the Road Warriors favor.  

The Oklahoma Cowboys (Tex and Roy) vs. Dory and Terry Funk: Bill Apter says the Oklahoma Cowboys’ biggest strength might be that no one besides Jim Crockett knows who is under the masks. Gordon says that may be true, but we know what the Funk Brothers bring to the table, two former NWA World Heavyweight Champions often considered the best brother tag team in “The Sport of Kings.” Gordon asks Bill if he’s ever met any cowboys from Oklahoma named Tex and Roy. Bill muses for a moment then tells Gordon he hasn’t, now that you mention it. The cameraman extraordinaire says Gordon may have a clue to the team’s identity. 

The Texas Outlaws (Dusty Rhodes and “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch) vs. the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff (with “Classy” Freddie Blassie): Bill Apter turns his attention to the unexpected reunion of the Texas Outlaws, a championship team from the 60s and 70s who branched off into superstardom as singles wrestlers. Apter asks Gordon if the team has been apart for too long to be effective and what he thinks of the current WWF Tag Team Champions, the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff? Gordon says Rhodes and Murdoch are consummate professionals and they’ve already shown they haven’t lost a step. Still, they have two ruthless opponents as well as the crafty mind of Fred Blassie in their corner. All four men are tough as nails and this one could quickly become a pier-six brawl. 

The Fantastics (Tommy Rogers and Bobby Fulton) vs. Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes, Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy, and Buddy Roberts): Bill Apter says the team of the Fantastics have much going for them, but the Freebirds seem too experienced to overcome, regardless of which combination of the trio meet them. Gordon agrees, but says Rogers and Fulton have the speed advantage, which could lead to an upset win. Bill says the fans are the real winners as they’re about to see sixteen of the crème de la crème of professional wrestling show everything they’re capable of as they compete for the Crockett Cup and one million dollars. 

Join us next time as round three of the tournament begins and more teams fall by the wayside in their quest for tag team glory and some serious cash!

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

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
Second Round: Matches 9 & 10 (Tournament 25 & 26)
    Brody/Hansen vs. Williams/DiBiase
    Road Warriros vs. Lawler/Dundee
Second Round: Matches 11 & 12 (Tournament 27 & 28)
    Piper & Orton vs. The Oklahoma Cowboys
    The Funk Brothers vs. The Younglood Brothers
Second Round: Matches 13 & 14 (Tournament 29 & 30)
    Rhodes/Murdoch vs. Adams/Hernandez
    Sheik/Volkoff vs. Steamboat/Snuka
Second Round: Matches 15 & 16 (Tournament 31 & 32)
    Fantastics vs. Fabulous Ones
    Sheepherders vs. Freebirds


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