Sunday, December 13, 2020

Crockett Cup '85 Round Three Begins: Rock & Roll vs. The Russians

ONLY SIXTEEN TEAMS REMAIN! See the Scouting Report on the remaining teams.

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

Third Round Match #1
(Tournament Match #33)
Rock & Roll Express vs. The Russians

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.

Tony Schiavone is outside the babyface locker room interviewing Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson (aka the Rock-n-Roll Express), one of the top teams from Mid-South Wrestling and one that’s now in the third round. Tony asks Robert how he feels. Robert tells Tony he’s excited to be in the area and he loves the Mid-Atlantic fans. He hopes someday he and Ricky can compete here more often but for tonight, they have one thing on their minds, getting past the Russians. Ricky says that’s right, Tony, they’re facing one of the biggest challenges not only in the tournament, but in their career. Ricky says he knows the Russians are strong and he knows they’re mean, but if you want that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you’ve got to stand in the rain. Tonight, the Russians are going to find out why Rock and Roll is here to stay!

Elsewhere, Johnny Weaver has the inestimable task of interviewing the Russian team near the heel dressing room. Johnny asks Ivan what he thinks about their opponents tonight. Uncle Ivan tells Johnny that the Rock-n-Roll Express are two young American pretty boys. Ivan doesn’t like rock-and-roll music and he doesn’t like the Rock-n-Roll Express. Johnny says he doesn’t have to like them, but they’ve made it to the third round which means they’re a formidable team. Ivan shakes his head and says that his team will show why the Soviet Union is the only world’s superpower, including in professional wrestling. Krusher Krushchev stands in the back with the Soviet flag while Nikita poses for the cameraman, flexing and looking as impressive as ever. 


The Rock-n-Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson)
vs. the Russians
Third Round Match #1  (Tournament Match #33)
Referee Tommy Young will be officiating tonight. The Russians are in the ring waiting with Krusher Krushchev holding the Soviet flag, Ivan Koloff holding a coal shovel, and Nikita Koloff wearing a long chain around his shoulders. David Crockett can’t believe the referee is letting them bring in those potential weapons to the match. The crowd erupts as Electric Light Orchestra’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll is King” plays through the Omni. Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton run down to the ring but stop at ringside to high-five fans and hug the many starstruck ladies. Ivan Koloff points to the Rock-n-Roll Express and is shouting something to Tommy Young.

The Rock-n-Roll Express enter the ring as the cheers continue. Bob Caudle asks David Crockett which Russians does he think will work this match. David answers that the Russians can pick any two of the three team members so he wouldn’t be surprised if Krusher Krushchev wrestles since he didn’t wrestle in the first bout. Tommy Young talks to the Russian team and Krusher Krushchev leaves the ring, which means it will be Ivan and Nikita Koloff facing Ricky and Robert. 

The Rock-n-Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) vs. the Russians (Ivan and Nikita Koloff) with Krusher Krushchev: Robert starts the match off against “The Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff. Collar and elbow tie-up that sees Ivan shove Robert into the ropes. Robert locks back up, only for Ivan to shove him again. The two lock up a third time, but Robert catches Uncle Ivan in a side headlock. Ivan whips Robert into the ropes and catches him with a shoulderblock, knocking him down to the ground. Ivan picks up Robert and pushes him into the neutral corner, punching him before whipping him into the ropes. However, Gibson reverses, catching Ivan with a hip toss. Relying on his quickness, Gibson catches Ivan with a flying head scissors just as the veteran Russian gets to his feet. A dropkick knocks Ivan down and Robert puts Ivan in a headlock, dragging him over to the R-n-R’s corner. Tag to Ricky as Robert grabs Ivan’s arm and Ricky comes off the second rope, striking Koloff’s arm. Another quick tag as Robert repeats the maneuver. Nikita and Krusher are shouting at Gibson and Morton. David Crockett says that the Rock-n-Roll Express are utilizing fast and legal tags. Another tag as Gibson and Morton pick Ivan up for a double suplex. Morton covers Ivan, getting just a two count. Reverse chinlock on Ivan as Morton keeps Ivan on the ground. Bob Caudle says that Morton and Gibson must realize they can’t go head-to-head with the Russians and their game plan is solid so far. 

The fans are chanting “Rock and Roll, Rock and Roll” as Morton maintains his grip. Ivan struggles to get to his feet before the chinlock can sap any more of his strength. Ivan gets to his feet and elbows Morton in the gut. The first elbow doesn’t free him but the second does and Ivan escapes. Nikita enters the ring as Tommy Young takes him back to his corner. As this happens, Ivan whips Ricky into the ropes and Morton falls out of the ring, thanks to Krusher Krushchev pulling down the top rope. The arena erupts in boos but Tommy Young didn’t see a thing. David Crockett says the Russians should have been disqualified. Bob Caudle notes it’s difficult enough facing Ivan and Nikita, but the presence of Krusher Krushchev makes this an unofficial handicap match. Krusher throws Ricky back into the ring before Tommy Young turns around or Robert Gibson can help his partner. 

Tag to Nikita who begins showing off his immense power, starting with forearm smashes to Morton’s back that pummel him down to the mat. Nikita bodyslams Ricky then bounces off the ropes, dropping an elbow. Cover by Nikita but Bob Caudle notes it’s a sloppy one and Morton kicks out. Koloff stomps on Morton’s back then lifts him up for an over-the-knee backbreaker. Lateral press by Nikita but Ricky kicks out at two. Nikita lifts Ricky up and drops his neck across the top rope. Tommy Young shouts at Nikita, but Koloff seems to ignore him and whips him into the Russians’ corner. Tag to Ivan who drops a forearm on Morton’s back while Nikita has Ricky trapped in an armbar. 

Robert Gibson is clapping his hands and trying to rally the fans. He doesn’t have to try hard as the fans are cheering for the babyfaces, chanting “Ricky, Ricky.” Ivan whips Ricky into the ropes and applies a bearhug. Ricky is in trouble as Ivan has the move nearly in the center of the ring. Morton starts to fade fast as Tommy Young checks on him. Bob Caudle reminds the fans that a bearhug can quickly sap an opponent’s strength. Young raises Morton’s arm and it falls. Young raises Morton’s arm a second time and it falls again. One more time and the match is over. Morton’s arm starts to sag, but he holds it high, and the fans’ shouts are deafening. Ricky slugs Ivan in the head. Ivan squeezes Morton, but Morton fires off another punch. Tommy Young warns Morton about the punches as Ivan seems to be losing his grip. Ricky rakes Ivan’s eyes, with Koloff finally releasing him. Morton falls to the mat apron, but Ivan isn’t done. He picks Ricky up and whips him into the ropes again. Ivan goes for a back-body drop but Ricky counters with a Sunset Flip. 1-2, no, Nikita has come in to break up the pin. Ricky is moving slow and Ivan charges him, only to get caught with a shot to the breadbasket. Bob notes there doesn’t seem to be a lot of power behind Ricky’s punches. Tommy Young warns Nikita to get back to his corner. As he does, Ivan whips Ricky into the Russians’ corner, accidentally (or is it?) sending Ricky into Tommy Young as the referee goes down.

Krusher Krushchev tries to pull Robert Gibson off the mat apron. Gibson isn’t having it and stomps Krusher in the head. Gibson jumps off the mat apron and starts slugging away at the American turned Soviet sympathizer. Gibson peppers Krushchev with punches then rams his head into the mat apron.

However, Ivan and Nikita are taking advantage of this opportunity and start kicking and stomping at Ricky. Things are looking bleak for Ricky as Ivan grabs Morton’s arms while Nikita climbs to the top rope with the chain. However, Robert Gibson sees what’s going on and rolls into the ring.  Gibson dropkicks Ivan, who releases Ricky and the momentum sends Morton into Nikita, knocking him off the turnbuckle and outside the ring where he takes a nasty bump. Ricky gets up and the Rock-n-Roll Express hit a double dropkick on Uncle Ivan as Krusher tries getting into the ring, only for Gibson and Morton to double dropkick him out of the ring. Robert revives a groggy Tommy Young who makes the 1-2-3 as Ricky covers Ivan. David Crockett yells the Rock-n-Roll Express have beat the Russians and proclaims this is the biggest sports event since the 1980 Winter Olympics’ Miracle on Ice. 

Winners: The Rock-n-Roll Express. 

The Rock and Roll Express celebrate as Tommy Young raises their hands in victory. Ivan is furious and can’t believe what’s happened.

Join us next time as Ole and Arn Anderson battle Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi! Who will advance to round four in the quest for tag team glory and some serious cash!

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Original Tournament Announcement (May 2020)

Seedings and First Round Pairings Announced

THIRD ROUND MATCHES  (Scouting Report)
Third Round: Match 1 (Tournament Match #33)
     The Rock & Roll Express vs. The Russians

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