Thursday, May 13, 2021

Crocket Cup '85: Fantastics vs. Freebirds - - Round Three Concludes!

See the Scouting Report on the remaining teams.

Third Round Match #8
(Tournament Match #40)
The Fantastics vs. The Freebirds 

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 seventh match saw the Texas Outlaws (“The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch) win a hard-fought victory over the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff. Now, round three is about to conclude as the Fantastics (Tommy Rogers and Bobby Fulton) battle the Fabulous Freebirds.

Pre-Match Interviews
Bob Caudle and David Crockett note it’s been a wild ride so far and tonight’s last match should be no exception. Bob says it’s time to send things back to Tony Schiavone who is backstage with the Fabulous Freebirds. Tony has all three Freebirds with him, Michael “P.S.” Hayes, Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy and Buddy Roberts. Michael tells Schiavone it’s great to be back in Hotlanta and he knows all the ladies are waiting for the ‘Birds to knock off the Fantastics so they can hit the clubs. Tony asks Hayes which two Freebirds will be competing tonight thanks to the Freebird Rule which allows them to choose any two of the three members. Gordy laughs and asks Schiavone how many times do you have to ask that question because you’re not going to get an answer. Roberts proclaims it’s time for some Freebird Fantasia as the ‘Birds leave the backstage area. 

Johnny Weaver is backstage with the Fantastics, Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers. Bobby tells Johnny it’s great to be interviewed by “The Dean of Professional Wrestling” and that they’re honored by the cheers they’ve received so far. Tommy adds that they had a tough time with their last opponents, the Fabulous Ones, but that’s nothing compared to the Fabulous Freebirds. Bobby says Grandma is counting on that color television and they know that million-dollar prize could help out a lot of their family members. The Fantastics thank Johnny for his time and promise the fans they’re going to give 110%. 

The Fantastics (Tommy Rodgers and Bobby Fulton)
vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Buddy Roberts and Michael Hayes)

The Fantastics enter the arena as the fans cheer them loudly. Tommy and Bobby take their time getting into the ring, hugging the ladies and slapping fans’ hands. Bob Caudle notes the Mid-Atlantic fans have taken a liking to this young team and that Rogers and Fulton impressed them with their performance. Music fills the arena as David Crockett asks if that’s the Allman Brothers he hears. Bob gently reminds David that it’s Lynyrd Skynyrd playing the song “Freebird.” The Freebirds enter the arena to considerable applause but it seems like the Fantastics are getting more cheers. WWF referee Danny Davis stands by as the announcer introduces both teams. Buddy Roberts and Michael Hayes will compete tonight while Terry Gordy remains at ringside. Davis checks all four men for foreign objects and any signs of shenanigans before signaling for the bell.

Michael Hayes starts the match against Tommy Rogers and Hayes offers his hand. Rogers goes to shake it but Hayes draws it back and does a smooth moonwalk away, laughing as he does and playing to the fans. Hayes turn around as Rogers dropkicks him, knocking him back. Hayes isn’t laughing now David Crockett says. Rogers grabs Hayes and puts him into a side headlock. Hayes escapes, whipping Rogers into the ropes and going for a shoulderblock, but Rogers knocks him down. Arm drag takedown by Rogers on Michael Hayes. Bob Caudle remarks the Fantastics aren’t joking around. Tag to Bobby Fulton who bounces off the ring ropes and hits a legdrop onto Hayes’ arm. Fulton takes over with an arm twist. Hayes is close enough to the ropes that he is able to force a rope break. Fulton lets go and as he does, the Freebird slugs him. Fulton isn’t about to play punching bag and he unloads on Hayes in the corner as Danny Davis starts a five-count. Buddy Roberts comes in and grabs Fulton, kneeing him in the gut. Tommy Rogers jumps into the ring as Roberts grabs him and whips him into the opposite corner. Hayes unloads on Fulton while Roberts exchanges punches with Rogers. The Freebirds go to whip the Fantastics into each other but Rogers and Fulton reverse it, sending the Freebirds into each other. Each Fantastic delivers an atomic drop to their respective foes. David Crockett shouts “This one looks like it’s going to be over fast!” 

Five minutes have elapsed as the Fantastics do a little dance for the fans as the Freebirds roll out of the ring. Michael Hayes and Buddy Roberts pound their hands on the mat apron while Terry Gordy looks concerned. Bobby Fulton lowers a ring rope as Tommy Rogers motions a welcome for the ‘Birds to step back in. After some stalling and a near ten-count from the referee, both Freebirds return to the ring. Hayes locks up with Fulton as both men try to gain control. Knee to the gut by Hayes who drops an elbow to the back of Fulton’s neck. Irish whip by Hayes as Fulton bounces off the ropes, leapfrogging over the Freebird and connecting with a dropkick on the way back. Another arm drag takedown as Bobby tags in Tommy Rogers. Tommy jumps off the top rope as Fulton has the arm bar on Hayes. Big forearm to Hayes’ arm as Bob Caudle observes both men are targeting Hayes’ arm, which could eventually stop him from performing a variety of holds. 

Tommy continues the arm bar until Hayes escapes with an eye rake. Danny Davis warns Hayes about the eye rake as he follows up with a big right hand. Rogers fights back, connecting with his own right hand, knocking Hayes to the mat. Front facelock by Tommy as he wears Michael Hayes down to the mat. Hayes gets up to his feet and somehow manages to leverage Rogers into the ropes, forcing a break. Hayes motions for a clean break then takes a swing at Tommy, only for the Fantastic to block the punch and counter with a punch of his own. Tag to Bobby Fulton as Hayes backs into a neutral corner. Ten minutes in now. Fulton comes in only for Hayes to thumb him in the eye. Hayes kicks Fulton in the gut then hits a snapmare. Bodyslam by Hayes. Fulton crashes down to the mat as Hayes stomps him. Another body slam by Hayes on Fulton. “P.S.” whips Bobby into the Freebirds’ corner where Buddy has a boot outstretched. 

Tag to Buddy Roberts as both Freebirds whip Bobby into the ropes and deliver a double elbow to the chest. Roberts drops a knee across Bobby’s head and covers him, getting a two count. Tag to Hayes who kicks Fulton in the gut while Buddy restrains him. Hayes rams Bobby’s head into the turnbuckle then kicks at him in the corner. Danny Davis tells Hayes to get out of the corner and Hayes starts jawing with him. As he does, Roberts chokes Fulton with the tag rope. David Crockett shouts for the referee to turn around but he doesn’t, instead ordering Tommy Rogers back to his corner as he comes in to make the save. With the referee distracted, Hayes lifts Fulton up for a piledriver as Roberts comes off the second rope and spikes it. Roberts gets the referee as Hayes covers Fulton. However, Tommy Rogers runs in for the save, breaking up what Bob Caudle says would likely have been a three-count. 

Fifteen minutes have elapsed now as Michael Hayes makes the tag and in comes Buddy Roberts. Roberts charges at Fulton, clotheslining him down to the mat. Legdrop on Fulton’s midsection. Roberts bodyslams Bobby and covers him, but Fulton is close enough to the ropes that he somehow gets his leg on the bottom rope. Roberts lifts Bobby up and whips him into the ropes, delivering a big back body drop. Elbow drop on Fulton. Bob Caudle says the Freebirds have kept Fulton away from his corner for too long. Swinging neckbreaker on Fulton as Roberts drags him to a neutral corner. Buddy grabs Fulton and delivers a bulldog, covering him for the pin. 1, 2,…Tommy Rogers runs in and stomps Roberts in the head. Michael Hayes comes in and it’s fist city as he and Rogers trade punches. 

Meanwhile, Buddy whips Fulton into the ropes and goes for another back body drop. However, Fulton counters with a Sunset Flip. 1,2…Roberts kicks out as Bob Caudle speculates Fulton just doesn’t have enough gas left in his tank to keep the Freebird down. The two teams have been fighting for twenty minutes now. Hayes and Rogers are brawling in the Fantastics’ corner and the referee seems oblivious to them. Fulton catches Roberts with a kneelift, knocking him down to the mat. Bobby slowly climbs to the top rope as Terry Gordy watches the referee. David Crockett says Rogers isn’t there to launch Fulton, but it looks like he’s going for a flying bodypress. Fulton dives off the top rope onto Roberts, but Buddy raises his knees. Buddy covers him as Davis counts the 1-2-3.

Winners: The Fabulous Freebirds

Tommy Rogers hears the bell ring and turns around as it’s too late for anything but checking on his fallen partner. The Freebirds celebrate outside the ring as Bob Caudle announces they’re going to round four - the Quarter Finals

Join us next time as our eight remaining teams battle in round four. The pressure is only going to increase as our elite eight battle 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
Third Round: match #8 (Tournament Match #40)

    Fantastics vs. Freebirds

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