Saturday, February 20, 2021

Crockett Cup '85 Continues: Von Erichs vs. British Bulldogs (Round Three)

See the Scouting Report on the remaining teams.

Third Round Match #4
(Tournament Match #36)
Von Erichs vs. 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 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 continues.

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. 

The third match of round three featured Jim Cornette’s Midnight Express (“Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and “Loverboy” Dennis Condrey) battling the High Flyers (“Jumping” Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne, with the Midnights getting the duke. Now, Mike and Kevin Von Erich do battle with the British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid). It’s a bout between two babyface teams, but with one million dollars at stake, will the dough lead a team to the dark side? 

Johnny Weaver is backstage with the Von Erichs. Johnny comments that the team has looked fantastic so far, but fans want to know if Mike Von Erich has recovered from the brutal post-match attack at the hands of Abdullah the Butcher and Tully Blanchard in round one. Mike says he’s good and his dad always told him it’s rare when a wrestler doesn’t work hurt. He’s 100% though and he and his brother are ready for the Bulldogs. They’re a fast team but no one is as fast as his brother Kevin. Kevin takes the microphone and says he’s heard a lot about the British Bulldogs. They’re supposed to be straight shooters but he can’t help but remember how another Englishman betrayed him. He’s going to give the Bulldogs the benefit of the doubt but the first sign of funny business and they’ll be in for a Texas whipping. 

Tony Schiavone is backstage with Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid. Davey Boy tells Tony he and Dynamite have wrestled around the world, but they’ve never had an opportunity to wrestle so many great opponents. It’s an honor to be here and the Bulldogs are looking forward to battling the Von Erichs. The Dynamite Kid says the Von Erichs can expect a tough fight but they plan on keeping the match clean as long as they return the favor.

Mike and Kevin Von Erich vs.
The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid)

The Bulldogs make their way to the ring to cheers. Bob Caudle says the British Bulldogs have really won over the fans here. David Crockett says this is another battle of brother teams, which always makes for an interesting situation. Bob Caudle reminds his broadcast partner that the Bulldogs are cousins, but David says they look like brothers before Bob notes the arrival of Mike and Kevin. The fans give them a rousing welcome as WWF referee Dick Kroll gets ready to officiate. The Von Erichs get into the ring and shake hands with the Bulldogs. Kroll conducts the pre-match formalities then signals for the bell as Kevin Von Erich steps in against Davey Boy Smith.

Both men circle each other as Bob Caudle explains Kevin seems to be sizing up his opponent and looking for an opening. David Crockett welcomes World Class Championship Wrestling’s Fritz Von Erich. Fritz grabs a headset and asks David why a WWF official is refereeing this match involving a WWF tag team. David reminds Fritz that the referees are randomly selected from a pool from all the promotions participating in this tournament. Fritz says that doesn’t sound right then tells Bob and David “You’re looking at two future world champions in the ring against those two Englishmen.” Bob says that could happen as Kerry has already held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship once. Fritz says even son Chris is going to be world champion once he breaks into the sport. Fritz asks David Crockett if he just rolled his eyes and Bob Caudle changes the subject, noting Kevin and Davey Boy have locked up in a collar-and-elbow tie-up. Not for long as Kevin applies an arm bar. Davey Boy reverses though and whips Kevin into the ropes. The two grapplers run the ropes, with Davey Boy leap-frogging over Kevin and Kevin bounces off the ropes, surprising Davey Boy with a cross body block. Cover by Kevin for a two-count. Fritz says it looked awful close as David says the Von Erichs are off to a strong start. Kevin picks up Davey Boy and slams him down to the mat. Kevin bounces off the ropes and drops an elbow but Davey Boy rolls out of the way. Davey Boy whips Kevin into the ropes and hits a big back body-drop. Davey whips Kevin into the Bulldogs’ corner and tags in Dynamite. Dynamite headbutts Kevin, dazing him. The Bulldog throws him into the ropes with incredible speed. Bob Caudle can’t believe how fast these two teams are as Dynamite shoulder-blocks Kevin, but Von Erich shrugs it off. Kevin throws Dynamite into the ropes and shoulder-blocks him, but the Kid stands tall. Hip-toss by Kevin followed by a dropkick that sends Dynamite into the Von Erich corner. Tag to Mike as Kevin holds the Bulldog in an armbar. Mike jumps off the top rope, hitting an elbow to Dynamite’s head, knocking him down. Mike slams his opponent then covers him for just a two count. Dynamite kicks out as Fritz says, “Aren’t my sons amazing?” Mike takes Dynamite and delivers an atomic drop, tagging in Kevin. Kevin whips Dynamite into the corner. Kevin charges in, but Dynamite lifts a knee. Dynamite goes for an arm bar, but Kevin rolls out of hit, hitting the Bulldog with a devastating dropkick. Dynamite gets up only for Von Erich to catch him with a flying head-scissors that knocks him right back down to the mat. Kevin races to the top ropes and goes for a flying bodypress but Dynamite manages to raise his knees. Bob Caudle comments that it might have been early to go for that move so early on. Fritz Von Erich says it’s never too early to win as suddenly his microphone goes out. David Crockett says it seems Fritz is having technical difficulties. Fritz steps away as the match continues, with Dynamite rolling to his corner and tagging in Davey Boy.

Ten minutes into the match as Smith runs in and drops a knee on Von Erich, who is still dazed from his failed flying bodypress. The Bulldog lifts Kevin up for a vertical suplex. Cover on Kevin for a two-count. Smith then picks Kevin up and hits a backbreaker. Tag to Dynamite and the Bulldogs whip Kevin into the ropes, landing a double clothesline. Bob Caudle notes the Bulldogs seem to have bounced right back. Quick tag to Davey, who picks up Kevin and delivers a beautiful vertical suplex, holding Von Erich up and taking his time before dropping him down to the mat. Another cover, but Mike Von Erich breaks it up. The Dynamite Kid comes in and hits Mike with a forearm smash. Mike fires off with a chop then whips Dynamite into the ropes, catching him with a dropkick that knocks him through the ropes and onto the floor. Referee Dick Kroll orders Mike back to his corner. As he does, a groggy Kevin rolls up Davey Boy for a small package. Kroll is out of position however thanks to him ordering Mike back to his corner and this gives Smith at extra seconds to kick out. Smith kicks out at two. David Crockett says that was a close call for Smith. Kevin tags in Mike who can’t wait to get in. Mike slams Davey Boy down to the mat then bounces off the ropes, dropping a knee across Smith’s head. Mike whips Smith into the ropes and delivers a big back body-drop. Bob Caudle notes that Mike Von Erich isn’t giving Davey Boy any time to react. Mike drops an elbow on Davey Boy then throws him into the ropes, applying the Von Erich Claw in the middle of the ring. Dynamite is still outside on the cement floor, and David Crockett says there’s no telling whether the British Bulldog is hurt. 

Fifteen minutes have gone by now and Mike has the Claw on Davey Boy. Davey Boy goes down to one knee as he struggles to break the hold. Bob Caudle says Davey Boy has already taken a beating and it looks like he’s quickly succumbing to the Von Erich Clawhold. Davey Boy rallies but then falls down to both knees, with Mike clamping down further. David Crockett says this one looks like it’s over. Mike continues with the Clawhold as Smith sinks down onto his back, struggling not to have his shoulders counted while trying to escape the Clawhold. Referee Dick Kroll counts to two, but Davey Boy gets a shoulder up. Kroll raises Davey Boy’s arm and it goes down. He raises the Bulldog’s arm again and it goes down. One more time and it’s curtains for the Bulldogs. David Crockett shouts “Look at that!” as the Dynamite Kick hits a missile dropkick off the top rope, sending Mike flying backwards to the mat. Kevin runs in and unloads with fists on Dynamite. Bob Caudle says tempers are flaring and that’s no surprise considering the stakes in this match. Kevin and Dynamite are fighting like two wild men as Dick Kroll tries to separate them, but to no avail. Kevin and Dynamite take their fight outside the ring where they exchange punches. Dick Kroll orders them back to their corners but they ignore him. Headbutt by Dynamite dazes Kevin and the Bulldog follows up by ramming Kevin’s head into the mat apron. Back in the ring, Mike Von Erich is up first, but he’s on rubber legs street. He slowly climbs to the top rope as Davey Boy is laid out in the center of the ring. Dick Kroll ignores the action outside the ring and focuses his attention on the two legal men. Mike climbs to the top rope and seems to be getting his bearings back. He pauses for a moment at the top then dives off the top rope with a high-cross bodyblock. However, Davey Boy uses the momentum and flips Von Erich over, rolling him up for a 1-2-3. Bob Caudle says Davey Boy must have been playing possum or he’d wouldn’t have been able to do that. 

Winners: The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid). 

After the match, David Crockett plugs Fritz’ microphone cord back in and smiles. In the ring, Dick Kroll raises Davey Boy’s arm in victory as Dynamite and Kevin continue brawling.

Join us next time as Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen take on the Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal). Fans had best batten down the hatches for this one. Who will advance to round four as 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

[ Scouting Report ] [ Brackets ]

Third Round: Match 1 (Tournament Match #33)
     The Rock & Roll Express vs. The Russians
Third Round: Match 2 (Tournament Match #34)
     Ole & Arn Anderson vs. Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi
Third Round: Match 3 (Tournament Match #35)
     Midnight Express vs. High Flyers
Third Round: Match 4 (Tournament Match #36)
     Kevin and Mike Von Erich vs. The British Bulldogs

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