Saturday, March 13, 2021

The Funks battle the Oklahoma Cowboys in the Crockett Cup '85

See the Scouting Report on the remaining teams.

Third Round Match #6
(Tournament Match #38)
The Oklahoma Cowboys vs. The Funk Brothers

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. 

Third 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 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. 

Note: The wrestling world lost one of the giants when Jim Crockett Jr. passed away on March 4, 2021. As someone who cut his wrestling teeth on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, his work means a great deal to me and his contributions to professional wrestling cannot be overstated.  

Last Week's Controversy with Brody and Hansen
Round three’s fifth match saw Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen defeat the Road Warriors in a bloody bout that saw Animal taken out on a stretcher. In fact, announcers Bob Caudle and David Crockett inform the fans they have an update on the situation including the brutal post-match attack by Brody and Hansen. David Crockett says that as of now, his brother and NWA President Jim Crockett Jr. wants to remove Brody and Hansen from the tournament for their heinous actions. However, the NWA Board of Directors will meet and determine what course of action to take and fans will know in round four what will happen.
Bob Caudle says it’s a difficult situation and now, it seems like the entire tournament has been thrown into disarray. David Crockett adds there’s no telling what will happen. A different team could take Brody and Hansen’s place or the winner of match six could get a bye. Bob Caudle speculates as to what will happen if Brody and Hansen are allowed to compete in round four. What kind of message will that send to the remaining teams?   

Pre-Match Interviews
Johnny Weaver is backstage with the Funks, Terry and Dory Jr. Johnny Weaver looks like he’s about to ask a question but Terry yanks the microphone out of his hand. Terry raises his nose and starts sniffing before he says “What’s that awful smell? It’s not you Weaver—although I think you stink. No, that smell can only mean one thing, we’re here in Atlanta, Georgia. Me and my brother Junior tried to prepare for coming here by going to the Amarillo garbage dump, but there’s just no comparison. It’s a shame we have to wrestle here but for one million dollars, we’ll hold our noses. My big brother and I are ready to crush those two egg-sucking dogs the Oklahoma Cowboys.” Dory takes the microphone and says “I’ve never heard of any cowboys from Oklahoma, least of all ones named Tex and Roy. Terry and I are once again going to prove why we’re the best family in professional wrestling.”

Tony Schiavone is backstage with the masked team known as the Oklahoma Cowboys. Tony tells them they’re facing two former NWA World Heavyweight Champions whose tag skills are exemplary as well. Roy tells Tony he’s right. The Funks are two veteran competitors who aren’t afraid to do whatever it takes to win. Tex adds that we saw what some teams will do for the million dollars when Brody and Hansen injured Road Warrior Hawk. There’s no need for that kind of behavior in professional wrestling. Roy tells Tony that he and his partner have an advantage because they know the Funks, but the Funks don’t know them. Roy says he and Tex are going to win the tournament and unmask as promised. Then the wrestling world will be in for the surprise of the year.

The Oklahoma Cowboys (Tex and Roy)
vs. the Funks (Dory Jr. and Terry
The Oklahoma Cowboys come out to the ring to polite applause and sign autographs for a few fans at ringside before entering the ring. The Funks make their way as the fans boo them. Bob Caudle welcomes Mid-South Wrestling’s Jim Ross to the commentary booth. Ross says it’s a pleasure to be here and he’s thrilled to see some boys from Oklahoma participating in this prestigious tournament. Bob asks Ross if he has any idea who might be under the masks. Ross says he’s mulled things over, but he wants to watch this match before he takes any guesses. David Crockett remarks that he has no idea who the Cowboys are and the only person who knows their identities is his brother Jim Crockett Jr. Ross says he just wanted to say hello, but he’s got to get backstage because he’s hoping to land an interview with the Cowboys after the match. 

Memphis referee Paul Morton checks each team for foreign objects and advises them on the rules. The bell rings and Dory Funk Jr. locks up with Tex. Tex extends a hand and Dory slaps it away. Collar and elbow tie-up as both men vie for control. Tex presses Dory into a neutral corner and gives him a clean break. The two lock up again, this time with Dory putting Tex in a side headlock. The masked man escapes by running into the ropes, but Dory catches him with a hip toss as he bounces off the ropes. Tex gets up and the two men circle each other in the ring, eventually locking up again. Tex twists Dory’s arm and then shifts to a wrist lock, applying the pressure. Tex continues to apply the hold as Dory winces with pain, attempting to reach the ropes for a break. However, Tex is keeping him positioned in the center of the ring. Dory looks like he’s going to throw a punch, but the referee warns him. Finally, Dory catches a break as he makes it to the ropes, and Tex releases the wristlock. 

Tex comes towards Dory for another lock-up, but Funk knees him in the gut. Dory applies a front facelock to his opponent, locking it in tight. Bob Caudle welcomes veteran grappler Ray “The Crippler” Stevens to the announce booth saying Stevens is no stranger to tag team wrestling, having held a trophy case full of tag team championships. Stevens thanks Caudle and says he had to be here to watch the Funks, arguably one of the greatest tag teams in wrestling besides his Blond Bombers team. David Crockett says he remembers the Blond Bombers and how Stevens and his partner Greg Valentine held the NWA World Tag Team Championship. Bob reminds David that the original Blond Bombers were Ray Stevens and Pat Patterson. Stevens says if Pat wasn’t retired, they’d be in the tournament as that million-dollar prize is mighty tempting. 

Five minutes into the match as Dory has the front facelock cinched win with Tex down on the mat. Dory picks up Tex and drags him towards the Funks’ corner, tagging in brother Terry. Terry jumps off the second rope with a forearm to Tex’s back while Dory keeps the facelock applied. Dory releases the hold as Terry unloads with a forearm uppercut followed by a chop. Tag to Dory who comes in and delivers a snapmare to Tex, going for a chinlock. However, Tex lifts him up with a fireman’s carry, applying an arm bar on Dory Jr. 

Stevens points out that fans have had a chance to see a number of different styles of wrestling with the top teams from the world competing here. He doesn’t know much about the Cowboys, but he knows Dory and Terry are skilled technicians, but they’re no punks and they can get down and dirty with the best of them. Bob notes there’s something familiar about the Cowboys, but so far, no one has been able to put the pieces together.

Tex has the armbar securely locked on Dory. Funk goes to escape with a bodyslam but Tex blocks it, taking Dory to the Cowboys’ corner. Tag to Roy. The Cowboys each take an arm and whip Dory into their corner. Roy applies an armbar to Dory, who is stunned from being sent into the corner. Roy continues the pressure on the arm as Funk clinches his fist. Paul Morton warns Funk about the closed fist as Roy continues putting pressure on. Ray Stevens comments that there’s nothing wrong with an arm bar, but if the Cowboys want to win, they should be more aggressive and try and break Funk’s arm. That’s what he would do. Roy twists Dory’s arm, leading to Dory grabbing Roy’s mask and yanking him down to the mat and escaping the hold. The referee admonishes Dory, but he doesn’t seem too concerned as he drops an elbow on Roy. Dory whips Roy into a neutral corner and follows him in, unloading with several forearm uppercuts. Roy responds with a forearm uppercut of his own, knocking Dory back. The referee gets in and tells both men to get out of the corner. Stevens says this is the perfect place for a cheap shot and Dory must have heard him as he slugs Roy while the referee is standing between them. 

Ignoring the referee again, Dory whips Roy into the ropes and catches him with an elbow to the face, sending him down to the mat. David Crockett says Dory better listen to the referee or he’s going to get disqualified. Stevens tells David, “Let me give you a lesson in wrestling David, the Funks know how far to push the referee before they get into hot water.” Crockett says Dory should be disqualified and Stevens laughs, “Disqualified? He just gave him a love tap.”

While things heat up in the announce booth, they heat up in the ring as well, with Dory dropping an elbow on Roy. Ten minutes have elapsed so far. Dory lifts Roy up and slams him back down to the mat. Ten minutes have elapsed as Dory whips Roy towards Terry, who has a boot outstretched. Roy’s head bounces off Terry’s boot as Dory tags in. The Funks lift Roy up, delivering a double suplex to the masked man. Terry covers Roy, but only gets a two-count. Ray Stevens says this masked man beat the three-count, but you can be sure the Funks have lots more to dish out. 

Terry takes Roy as he’s getting up and bodyslams him back down to the mat. Terry drops an elbow on Roy and covers him, again only getting a two count. David Crockett cheers and says it looks too early to be going for the pin. Ray Stevens notes that kicking out always takes something out of you and that Funk is obviously wearing Roy down. Terry whips Roy into the corner and fires off a chop to the chest. However, Roy responds with a forearm uppercut. Terry turns to fisticuffs, but Roy blocks the punches and fires off a series of lefts that stun his opponent. Roy hits a Russian leg-sweep on Terry then picks him up and rams his head into the Oklahoma Cowboys’ corner. Tag to Tex who bodyslams Terry down to the mat. Tex drops an elbow to one of Funk’s legs then targets the same leg with a legdrop. Funk is rolling in pain, but things are just getting started as Tex drops another elbowsmash. Tex grabs the same leg and applies a leg-breaker. The masked man delivers another one as Funk tries to roll out of the ring. However, Tex grabs him by the leg, pulling him into the center of the ring. The ring announcer notes that fifteen minutes have elapsed in the match. Ray Stevens says this is the type of aggressiveness that is essential for any team that wants to win the Crockett Cup. Bob Caudle says the Oklahoma Cowboys aren’t holding back. David Crockett adds that the Cowboys are following the rules, unlike their opponents.

Tex takes Terry and picks him up, delivering a shin-breaker and quickly transitioning into a figure four leglock. David Crockett shouts “Tex has him in the figure four and it’s in the center of the ring!” Crockett is right and things are looking bad for Terry as he’s wincing in pain. Referee Paul Morton asks him if he’s ready to give up, but Funk is shaking his head. Funk sits up and tries an eye-rake on Tex, but Tex ups the pressure and Funk falls back to the mat. The referee counts to two, but Funk raises his shoulders. Funk tries to roll over, but it’s clear he’s in trouble. Finally, Dory runs in and stomps Tex in the head. Dory drops an elbow on Tex’ head for good measure as Roy runs in. Dory rakes Roy’s eyes then throws him through the ropes where he lands on the concrete. The referee begins a five-count for Dory to return to his corner. He stomps Tex in the head for good measure before exiting the ring. 

Terry gets to his feet, using the ring ropes to help raise himself up. He hobbles over to the corner and tags in Dory, who wastes no time going after Tex. Dory picks up Tex and delivers a swinging neckbreaker, covering him for a two count. Dory lifts Tex up again, this time delivering a vertical suplex in the middle of the ring and covering Tex again. Tex kicks out again. Twenty minutes have elapsed but Tex still seems to have some fight left in him. Bob Caudle says Dory is going to have to give Terry time to recover from the figure four leglock. David Crockett says Tex needs to make it back to his corner and that Roy is ready to tag in. Roy begins rallying the crowd, clapping his hands as the crowd cheers for Tex to make the tag.

Dory applies a side headlock as Bob Caudle says Funk looks to be changing gears, perhaps hoping to wear Tex down some more. Stevens says there’s still enough time to sap some of Tex’ strength before putting him away. Dory applies the side headlock, but Tex shows impressive strength by lifting him up for an atomic drop. Dory releases the hold as Tex rolls to his corner and tags in Roy.

Roy hits Dory with a forearm uppercut then whips him into the ropes, delivering a big back body-drop. Roy hits a leg-breaker on Funk followed by another. Roy goes for a figure four, but Dory kicks him, sending the masked man through the ropes. Dory goes over and slaps Tex, leading to him running in after Dory. Referee Paul Morton orders Tex back to his corner. Outside the ring, Terry Funk runs over to Roy and lifts him up for a piledriver. David Crockett notes we saw what happened in our previous match when someone gets piledrived onto the concrete. Fortunately for Roy, history doesn’t repeat itself as he counters with a back body-drop as Terry lands hard on the floor. 

Roy rolls into the ring while Dory is egging on Tex. Roy spins Dory around and delivers a big left followed by an Irish whip. Dory comes off the ropes and Roy applies an abdominal stretch. Dory is struggling to break free, but Roy has the move cinched in. Terry Funk climbs onto the apron, looking to step back into the ring when Tex helps him in with a suplex. Paul Morton turns away from the abdominal stretch to try and get Tex and Terry back to their corners. Terry knees Roy in the back, allowing Dory to escape. The referee warns Funk he’s coming close to being disqualified. Terry gets back into his corner as Dory tags him in. 

Terry drops an elbow on Roy, then gives him a stomp to the head. Terry drops an elbow to one of Roy’s knees then follows up with another one. Terry picks Roy up and delivers a side suplex. Cover on Roy, who kicks out just before three. Funk lifts Roy up and delivers a piledriver. Lateral press on Roy, who gets his leg on the bottom rope, breaking the count. Terry drops an elbow on the outstretched knee as the match passes the 25-minute mark. David Crockett says Roy needs to make the tag as he cheers him on.

However, Funk has no intention of letting up. Terry slams Roy to the mat then goes for a spinning toehold. Somehow, Roy counters, rolling Funk up in a small package as the referee counts. The ever-wily Terry reverses it and holds on to the rope for extra leverage. Unfortunately for Terry, referee Paul Morton sees this and kicks Terry’s hand off the rope. Roy takes advantage of the distraction and rolls Terry back up getting a 1-2-3 as Tex beats Dory to breaking up the pin. David Crockett says it looks like Roy may have grabbed the tights. Bob Caudle says nothing would surprise him at this point as teams seem obsessed with winning the tournament. 

Winners: The Oklahoma Cowboys (Roy and Tex)

After the match, Terry Funk gets in Paul Morton’s face and starts shouting at him. Morton raises the Oklahoma Cowboys’ hands as the Funks shake their heads. Terry and Dory look like they’re going after their Tex and Roy, but they roll out of the ring.

Join us next time as the Texas Outlaws (Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch) tangle with the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff. 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

[ 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
Third Round: Match 5 (Tournament Match #37)
     Road Warriors vs. Brody and Hansen
Third Round: Match 6 (Tournament Match #38)
     Road Warriors vs. Brody and Hansen

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