Monday, April 05, 2021

Crockett Cup '85: Texas Outlaws vs. Shiek & Volkoff

See the Scouting Report on the remaining teams.

Third Round Match #7
(Tournament Match #39)
The Texas Outlaws vs. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff

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.  

Round three’s sixth match saw the Oklahoma Cowboys (Roy and Tex) defeat the team of Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk. Judging from the fans’ enthusiastic response, the Cowboys (whose identities remain a mystery) not only surprised the fans, but also seems to have won them over. The seventh match features the Texas Outlaws (“The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch) taking on the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff.

Pre-Match Interviews
Tony Schiavone is backstage with “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch. Dusty is wearing a black cowboy hat and David Allan Coe t-shirt while “Captain Redneck” is sporting a trucker hat and denim shirt. Dusty says “Tony Schiavone, you know I’m no stranger to adversity and we’ve seen this tournament can be adverse and dangerous. Now, me and “Dirty” Dick are about to face two dangerous men, the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff as well as that lowdown dirty dog Freddie Blassie. Rest assured though that ‘The American Dream’ and ‘Captain Redneck’ are ready to bring the adversity to them. Tell ‘em about it Mr. Murdoch.” “Captain Redneck” grabs the microphone “Let me tell you something Sheik and Volkoff, I didn’t serve my country to see two foreign punks come over and snatch one million dollars outta my hands. And don’t think for a second that I’ve forgotten how your countrymen held our citizens hostages in Iran Mr. Sheik or how your Soviet Union is always up to no good Mr. Volkoff. Me and Dusty are going to make you wish you’d never stepped foot in the United States of America and that’s a promise from ‘Captain Redneck!’”

Johnny Weaver is outside the heel dressing room and he’s interviewing the Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and manager “Classy” Freddie Blassie. Blassie shakes his head as he looks at “The Dean of Professional Wrestling” and says “We’re stuck in this backwater town and now we have to be interviewed by this pencil neck geek. Johnny Weaver, if I wasn’t busy managing, I’d come out of retirement and put you in your place. Take a look at my team. Tag team champeens and ready to squash those two hicks Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch. Those two nincompoops don’t stand a chance against the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff.” Nikolai Volkoff stands by as the Iron Sheik gets on the stick. “Mr. Johnny Weaver, let me tell all the jabronis out there that there’s only one Iron Sheik and only one Nikolai Volkoff. Nikolai is going to squeeze the life out of that no-good cowboy Dick Murdoch and I’m going to break that no-good Dusty Rhodes with my Camel Clutch. Iran, number one! Russia, number one! Camera man zoom!” The Iron Sheik flexes for the camera man while Volkoff glares menacingly at Johnny Weaver before things head back to ringside. 

Bob Caudle and David Crockett welcome WWF announcer and former grappling great Gorilla Monsoon to the announce table. Monsoon says what an event the Crockett Cup is. A capacity crowd on hand to witness history in the making. David Crockett is impressed by Gorilla’s hyperbole and notes “What else can I add to that?” Gorilla casually points out the fans are literally hanging by the rafters. David takes a closer peek at the arena but doesn’t add anything.

The Texas Outlaws (“The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch) vs. The Iron SHiek and Nikolai Volkoff
The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff enter the ring along with manager “Classy” Freddie Blassie with the fans loudly booing. The ring announcer informs the fans that Mr. Volkoff has asked that they rise and be silent while he sings the Soviet national anthem. The booing gets even louder as Volkoff bellows the Soviet anthem. David Crockett says Volkoff’s singing is an insult to every veteran sitting in the stands. Gorilla adds that “If you hung Nikolai Volkoff for being a good singer, you’d be hanging an innocent man!” The fans cheer as Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch run into the ring and attack the Iron Sheik and Nikolai. Dusty begins slugging away at the Sheik while “Captain Redneck” unloads on Volkoff. Freddie Blassie wisely leaves the ring as AWA referee Gary DeRusha signals for the bell and the match begins. The two teams brawl around the ring as Bob Caudle says these two teams are known for their rough and tumble styles and apparently, the referee isn’t doing anything to stop them. The Sheik and Volkoff take a powder, but Rhodes and Murdoch follow them out. Dusty charges at the Iron Sheik, but the wily Iranian gets out of the way and shoves Rhodes into the ring post. Murdoch and Volkoff exchange punches. David Crockett says things are out of control and this match may end in a double count-out.

Outside the ring, the Iron Sheik kicks Dusty in the head with one of his pointed boots, busting “The American Dream” wide open. David Crockett says that should be an automatic disqualification. Bob Caudle adds that the Iron Sheik’s boots have been a source of controversy for years, with some wrestlers claiming the Sheik loads them up with something, turning them into even more of a weapon. Freddie Blassie throws the Iron Sheik his cane and the Sheik sticks it into Dusty’s gut, bowling him over just as he’s trying to get to his feet. Meanwhile, Nikolai Volkoff rakes Murdoch’s eyes then rams “Captain Redneck’s” head into the mat apron. Volkoff goes to do it again, but Murdoch stops him and rams Volkoff’s head into the mat apron. Murdoch throws Volkoff head first into the ring post. Dusty’s face has turned into a crimson mask and the Iron Sheik is choking him with Blassie’s cane. Murdoch attacks the Iron Sheik with a double axe-handle to the back then throws him into the ring. 

It’s Captain Redneck vs. the Iron Sheik while Dusty and Nikolai are trying to get their wits about them outside the ring. The Iron Sheik goes for a test of strength and Murdoch kicks him in the gut. Murdoch bodyslams the Sheik then drops an elbow on him. The ring announcer informs the fans that five minutes have elapsed. Lateral press by Murdoch by the Sheik kicks out at two. 

Bob Caudle asks Gorilla what he thinks of these two teams. Gorilla says the Sheik and Volkoff are the current WWF Tag Team Champions which speaks for itself. Dick Murdoch is a former WWF Tag Team Champion and Dusty was a top contender for the WWF Championship. David says Dusty’s a former NWA World Champion too. Gorilla replies that the Iron Sheik is former WWF Champion. As the fans cheer on the babyfaces, Monsoon says “you can cut the electricity with a knife!” 

Nikolai Volkoff and Dusty have returned to their respective corners. Both men are bleeding but appear ready to rumble. Murdoch whips the Iron Sheik towards Dusty who catches the Iron Sheik with a Bionic Elbow. The Iron Sheik staggers out of the corner only to catch a big right hand by Murdoch. Murdoch drapes the Iron Sheik’s head across the top rope then drops a big forearm to the chest. Tag to Dusty. Bob Caudle says it’s incredible how the Texas Outlaws haven’t lost a step despite not teaming for some time. Gorilla adds that Rhodes and Murdoch are two of the world’s premier athletes. Dusty and Dick whip the Sheik into the ropes and catch him with a double elbow smash to the chest. Dusty covers the Sheik, but the tough Iranian kicks out at two. Gorilla points out that Dusty’s not going to pin a man the caliber of the Iron Sheik without hooking the leg. Ten minutes have elapsed. 

“The American Dream” takes his Iranian foe down with a double leg takedown. Dusty twists one of the Sheik’s legs before dropping an elbow on it. Dusty twists the leg again and drops a second elbow. Bob Caudle observes that Dusty may be wearing the Sheik down for the figure four leglock. David Crockett adds that Dusty has a number of weapons in his arsenal as do all four wrestlers. David says Dusty definitely knows the difference between a wristlock and a wristwatch, a comment which catches Gorilla Monsoon’s attention.

Stardust goes to work the leg some more but when he leans down, the Sheik catches him with an eye gouge. Big knee to the gut on Dusty. The Iron Sheik rakes his fingernails across Dusty’s back then whips him into the heel corner where Nikolai has a boot waiting to greet “The Dream’s” head. Tag to Volkoff who drops a big forearm across Dusty’s back. Volkoff goes to slug Dusty again, but Rhodes blocks the punch. However, he’s too close to the heel corner and the Iron Sheik pulls him back, grabbing his arms. Nikolai drops a big forearm across Dusty’s chest. Referee Gary DeRusha starts a five-count for Nikolai and the Iron Sheik as the two heels continue double-teaming Dusty. Dick Murdoch has had enough and runs in, but DeRusha orders him back to his corner. “Captain Redneck” isn’t having it and starts arguing with DeRusha as the referee does his best to force Murdoch back to his corner. The only problem is that this means it’s open season on Dusty as the Iron Sheik chokes him with the tag rope while Volkoff uses Dusty for a punching bag. 

Fifteen minutes into the match as David tells the referee to turn around as Gorilla Monsoon says “give me a break ref!” The fans are screaming for the referee to turn around. He does and sees that Dusty is getting mugged. Volkoff tags the Iron Sheik and the heels whip Dusty into the ropes, catching him with a double elbow smash to the chest. The Iron Sheik slams Dusty down and covers him for a two count. The Iron Sheik stomps Dusty in the head before lifting him up with a belly-to-back suplex. Cover by Sheiky but Dusty kicks out again. The Iron Sheik argues with the referee. Dusty rolls the Iron Sheik up, but Nikolai comes in and breaks the surprise pin by stomping Dusty in the head. Nikolai gets back to the heel corner as the Iron Sheik rubs Dusty’s face across the top ropes. “That’ll leave a mark!” Gorilla notes as David Crockett says he can’t believe how much the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff are getting away with.

Tag to Nikolai as the Soviet strongman picks up Dusty and drops his neck across the top rope. The referee warns Volkoff not to do that again and Nikolai ignores him, covering Dusty for a near-fall. Volkoff picks Dusty up and whips him into the ropes. Volkoff catches Dusty and applies a bear hug. Nikolai squeezes Rhodes as David Crockett says “Fight, Dusty, fight!” Gorilla Monsoon says “you can see the life oozing out of him” as Dusty begins fading. The referee checks Dusty’s arm and raises it, with Stardust’s arm dropping. Volkoff smiles as he continues applying the pressure. DeRusha lifts Dusty’s arm again and again Dusty’s arm falls. Dick Murdoch looks like he’s going to come in but Dusty digs down deep and punches Volkoff in the face, getting a warning from the referee. Dusty begins juking and jiving as he fights to escape the bear hug. Volkoff squeezes again, but this time Rhodes rakes Volkoff’s eyes, loosening the big Russian’s grip. Dusty hits a big elbow on Volkoff’s head, sending the big man back as he escapes the bear hug, as the ring announcer informs the fans that twenty minutes have passed. 

The damage has been done though and Dusty collapses to the mat. He tries to crawl to make the tag but Volkoff stomps him in the back. Bodyslam on Dusty towards the heel corner as Nikolai tags the Iron Sheik back in. The Iron Sheik stomps Dusty in the back several times then lifts him up for another belly-to-back suplex. Dusty crashes hard onto the mat and the Iron Sheik follows up by stomping Dusty’s lower back. Bob Caudle notes the Iron Sheik is softening up Dusty’s back, no doubt so he can apply the Camel Clutch. Gorilla adds that if the Sheik applies his patented maneuver, that’s all she wrote. Sure enough, the Sheik gets Dusty and locks in the Camel Clutch. Gorilla wonders how long Dusty can hold out.  David Crockett adds that there’s no way Dusty is going to quit and that we don’t stop matches here by throwing in a towel.  The Iron Sheik applies the pressure but Dusty is shaking his head no and fighting to reach the ropes. The fans are cheering for Dusty and chanting his name as “The American Dream” refuses to quit. The only problem is that the Sheik has Dusty trapped in the center of the ring. Dusty makes some headway as the match hits the twenty- five-minute mark. Blood is pouring down Dusty’s head as he struggles to escape. Dick Murdoch runs in and stomps the Sheik in the back of the head. Nikolai Volkoff runs in and starts brawling with Murdoch. The two trade punches with neither man getting the upper hand. The referee tells them to get back to their corner but they ignore him. 

Meanwhile, Dusty is trying to get to his feet. Bob Caudle points out that Dusty has been through the wringer but he’s known for his incredible endurance. Monsoon adds that all four men are highly-conditioned athletes. The Iron Sheik begins kicking one of his pointed boots on the mat apron and as he does, David Crockett shouts “He’s loading up his boot!” “The American Dream” is using the ring ropes to get to his feet as the Iron Sheik approaches, getting ready to boot the Dream into another zip code. Dusty tries to dodge the kick, but it connects—right in the mid-section. Dusty crumbles to the mat. The Sheik covers Dusty for an easy 1-2-3, but the referee is still trying to get Murdoch and Volkoff into their corner and doesn’t even see the pin attempt. The Iron Sheik comes over and starts arguing with DeRusha as Freddie Blassie starts yelling at him from ringside. DeRusha turns his attention to Blassie as the Iron Sheik and Volkoff whip Murdoch into the ropes. However, Murdoch comes off with a double clothesline, knocking both men down to the mat. Murdoch helps the Sheik up then kicks him in the gut, following up with the brainbuster! The Iron Sheik goes down as Murdoch puts Dusty on top of him. Murdoch grabs the referee and DeRusha goes to make the count as Volkoff attacks Murdoch. Gorilla Monsoon questions whether Dusty is even conscious. David Crockett points out that the only thing that matters right now is that “The Dream” has the Iron Sheik down for the cover. A three-count later and Murdoch and Rhodes have won! Gorilla Monsoon exclaims, “Stick a fork in him!” Bob Caudle says the Texas Outlaws are headed to round four.  

Winners: The Texas Outlaws (“The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch)    

Murdoch whips Volkoff into a ring post and rolls back into the ring to check on “The Dream.” DeRusha raises Rhodes and Murdoch’s hands in victory but Bob Caudle says neither man looks like a winner right now after the terrible beating they endured. Dusty is grabbing his mid-section as David Crockett wonders if “The American Dream” has been injured. Bob Caudle says it’s been a privilege calling the match with Gorilla and Monsoon thanks Bob and David for this tremendous opportunity.

Join us next time as the Fantastics (Tommy Rogers and Bobby Fulton) take on the Fabulous Freebirds. Who will advance to round four in the quest for tag team glory and some serious cash?

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


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)
     Funk Brothers vs. Oklahoma Cowboys
Third Round: match #7 (Tournament Match #39)
    Texas Outlaws vs. Iron Sheik/Nikolai Volkoff

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