Saturday, August 14, 2021

Crockett Cup 85: The Texas Outlaws vs. The Fabulous Freebirds

by Mike Rickard

Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor 


The Texas Outlaws vs. The Fabulous Freebirds

Quarter Final Match #4
(Tournament Match #44)

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. Round three continued with the remaining 16 teams slugging it out with eight making their way to round four. As round four begins, let’s take a look at what to expect with “The Elite Eight.”

Fourth Round Rules
Here are the rules for the round four 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 fourth-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 fourth-round matches are being held at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The four matches will take place on Friday April 26. Your commentators for the matches are Bob Caudle and David Crockett, but as always, you never know when a special guest will show up.

Round four’s third match saw the Oklahoma Cowboys (Tex and Roy) defeat the tough as nails team of Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen, thus advancing to round five. Now, it’s the Texas Outlaws (Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds.

Pre-Match Interviews
Johnny Weaver has the Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes, Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy, and Buddy Roberts). “The Buzzsaw” asks the ‘Birds if they’re ready for their round four match against the reunited Texas Outlaws. Hayes tells Johnny “Ready? We were born ready Johnny Weaver. Let me ask you a question. What would you do for one million dollars?” Johnny thinks about it but Hayes doesn’t wait for an answer. The Freebirds’ leader says “I’d run over my momma and daddy and back up just to make sure they were done.” “Bam Bam” and “Jack” laugh at Hayes’ remark. Hayes adds “If I’m willin’ to do that, what chance do you two think you have? You’re about to get a lesson on why Badstreet is the baddest block on the planet!”

Murdoch aka the Texas Outlaws. Dusty wastes no time doing what he does best—cutting a promo. “Tony Schiavone, you know when I looked for a tag partner, there were many men who came to mind—Wahoo, Magnum, and “The Raging Bull.” However, when things get down and dirty, I knew only one man for the job— ‘Dirty’ Dick Murdoch. We’re talking big money and the defeating 47 other times for the prestige that is the Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Tag Team Trophy. We’ve defeated the Dynamic Duo, the Sheik and Volkoff, and now we got three of the nastiest men in wrestling—the Fabulous Freebirds. Hayes, Gordy, and that Harpo Marx-lookin’ clown Buddy Roberts may have the numbers advantage, but we’ve got the fans watching our backs. Stardust and the Captain are ready to rumble and we’re gonna dance all over your faces!”

Captain Murdoch adds to Dusty’s words of wisdom, “Boys, you may think you’re tough…you may think Badstreet is bad…but Badstreet ain’t even close to our neighborhood. We’re from the great state of Texas and we’re about to send you packin’ back to mommy and daddy.”

The Texas Outlaws (“The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes and Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy) with Buddy Roberts
The Outlaws come out to the ring to loud cheers followed by the ‘Birds who seem to have their fair share of fans. Some trash-talking between the Freebirds and the Outlaws while referee Joey Marella goes to do a pre-match inspection on Rhodes and Murdoch. Hayes and Gordy get in Dusty’s face and things quickly go downhill as the Freebirds throw punches at “Stardust” and “Dirty” Dick. However, the Outlaws seem to dish it out even better than they’re taking it. “Jack” Roberts tries to get into the fray, but Dusty delivers a Bionic Elbow that sends Roberts through the ropes and outside the ring.

Marella orders a man from each team to get back into their corner, giving them a five count. Bob Caudle says that with one million dollars on the line, you know that no one wants to get disqualified. Murdoch starts off against Hayes, with Hayes going for a collar and elbow tie-up. Murdoch steps in and Hayes slaps him in the face. Murdoch responds with a slap that knocks “P.S.” to the ground. Hayes charges him only for “Captain Redneck” deliver a smooth arm-drag takedown that he follows up with an armbar. Murdoch applies the pressure and with Hayes down on the mat, Murdoch drops a knee onto Hayes’ arm. Murdoch goes back to the arm bar but Hayes is able to get a boot on the rope, forcing a break. Hayes gets up and tries a headlock, but Murdoch slips out, whipping Hayes into the ropes. Murdoch sends Hayes back to the mat with a shoulderblock. Hayes stomps the mat and tags in “Bam Bam.” Dick Murdoch points to Dusty and the fans begin cheering. Tag to Rhodes and in comes “The American Dream.”

Collar and elbow tie-up as both men struggle to gain control. David Crockett says it’s a battle of two bulls in the woods. Bob Caudle says Dusty has always claimed to be the bull of the woods. David Crockett says that Dusty doesn’t have his pencil right now and Bob Caudle’s jaw drops. In the ring, the two big men are now on the ropes. Rake of the eyes by Gordy, who whips Dusty into the ropes. Stardust bounces off the ropes and ducks under a clothesline by Gordy. Dusty bounces off the ropes and Gordy leap frogs over him, pointing to his head, apparently quite proud with himself. He turns around and gets a Bionic Elbow for his trouble, falling to the mat. Side headlock by Dusty who keeps Gordy on the mat. Bob Caudle says this is the best way to keep the big man at bay. David Crockett adds that both men like to brawl, but they also know how to wrestle. Bob Caudle agrees and says this match should be full of plenty of surprises.

Five minutes have now elapsed as “The Dream” keeps Gordy on the mat. However, Gordy scrambles around the mat and gets up, whipping Dusty into the ropes. Shoulderblock knocks Dusty down. “Bam Bam” bounces off the ropes and drops an elbow but no one is home as Dusty rolls out of the way. Dusty bounces off the ropes and hits an elbow on Gordy, covering him for a one-count. Both men get up and Rhodes body slams Gordy, then drops another elbow on the Freebird. The fans are cheering as Dusty whips Gordy into the ropes and hits a big back body drop. Gordy gets to one knee as Dusty looks at the fans, then drops a big elbow onto Terry Gordy. Cover on Gordy for almost a two-count. Dusty drops an elbow on Gordy’s leg. Stardust follows up by dropping a knee on Gordy’s leg. Bob Caudle says it looks like Dusty is setting Gordy up for the figure four leglock. David Crockett says Gordy had better do everything he can to avoid the hold. Dusty changes things up and delivers a fist drop to Gordy’s head. “The American Dream” then grabs the leg he’s been targeting and twists it as Gordy struggles for the ropes. “Bam Bam” gets to the ropes and referee Marella orders Dusty to break the hold. Apparently, Dusty thinks he said break the leg as Dusty places Gordy’s weakened leg on the bottom rope and drops an elbow on it. Marella issues a warning to Rhodes who laughs and plays things up with the fans. Michael Hayes is furious and stomping the mat apron but seems reluctant to get in the ring with “The American Dream.”

The ring announcer notes ten minutes have elapsed. Gordy gets to his feet as he’s on the ropes. Dusty moves in but the referee warns him back. As he does, Gordy sees his opportunity and sucker punches Dusty, knocking him down. Gordy drops an elbow on Dusty then whips him into the ‘Birds’ corner where Michael Hayes has a boot waiting for Dusty’s head. Gordy limps over towards Hayes as Buddy Roberts gets on the mat apron. Hayes grabs the tag rope and decides to test its tensile strength across Rhodes’ neck. Surprised at the rope’s durability, Hayes continues his experiment. “Captain Redneck” isn’t happy and charges in, but Buddy Roberts quickly points out Murdoch’s illegal entry into the ring. The referee orders Murdoch back and as Murdoch argues with the referee, Hayes continues choking Rhodes while Gordy knees Dusty in the gut. Roberts even gets in a shot before returning to the mat apron. Tag to Hayes who stomps at Dusty in the corner. Dusty is on his back as Hayes sticks his boot in Dusty’s throat in a blatant choke. Finally, referee Joey Marella shows up and begins a five-count. Hayes breaks at four and grabs Dusty by a leg, dragging him into the center of the ring. Hayes covers Rhodes. 1, 2, Dusty kicks out. Hayes drops an elbow on Dusty and covers him again, but only gets a two count. Hayes stomps Dusty in the head then begins choking him as the referee begins his five count. Hayes breaks then lifts Dusty up and whips him into the ropes. Hayes delivers a big elbow to Dusty’s head and covers Rhodes as he falls to the mat. Another two count! David Crockett says it looks like Hayes is getting frustrated. “P.S.” whips Dusty into the ropes, but Dusty reverses and tags Hayes with an elbow! Both men are down. Dusty crawls to his corner as Hayes gets to his feet. Hayes closes in on Dusty, but Dusty gets to a knee and slugs Hayes in the bread basket. Hayes throws a punch as Dusty gets up, but Rhodes blocks it, firing off a punch of his own. “Dusty! Dusty!” the fans cheer as Dusty rallies, and it’s time for the flip, flop, and fly! Hayes goes down and Dusty dives to his corner, tagging in Dick Murdoch. Murdoch runs in and whips Hayes into the ropes, hitting a big back body drop. It’s now fifteen minutes into the bout as Murdoch kicks Hayes in the gut; following up with an Irish whip into a neutral corner. Murdoch starts unloading on Hayes with punches as the referee comes in again. Murdoch whips Hayes into the opposite corner and charges in, but Hayes gets out of the way. Hayes goes for a bodyslam on “Captain Redneck” but Murdoch surprises him with a small package. Gordy runs in and stomps Murdoch in the back of the head before he can steal a win. Dusty comes in and brawls with Gordy. Hayes slugs away at Murdoch, getting him into a neutral corner. However, Murdoch is still fresh and he slugs away at Hayes. Murdoch rakes the eyes and elbows him in the head, knocking him down. Murdoch rolls outside the ring. “Captain Redneck” grabs Hayes by his long flowing locks and pulls him out of the ring, elbowing him in the head before dragging Hayes to the floor. Murdoch whips Hayes into the security fence where he crashes hard. Back in the ring, Joey Marella is counting to five on Dusty and “Bam Bam,” his back turned to the outside action. This gives Buddy Roberts the chance to smash a wooden chair over Murdoch’s back. The chair doesn’t break, but Murdoch crumbles to the mat. Roberts and Hayes throw him back into the ring. Hayes slowly slides into the ring and covers “Captain Redneck” for an easy win.

Dusty is getting back to his corner when an opportunistic Gordy points to Michael Hayes, who is covering a semi-conscious Murdoch. 1, 2,…No! The fans’ shouts alerted Dusty and he dove in, dropping a big elbow on Hayes. His work done, Dusty returns to his corner as Hayes fights off the effect of “Stardust’s” elbow. Hayes pauses then covers Murdoch again. “Captain Redneck” has the wherewithal to get a boot on the bottom rope, breaking the count.

The Freebirds are astonished that they haven’t been able to put Murdoch away. Hayes tags in “Bam Bam” who goes for the coup de grace, lifting Murdoch up for a piledriver. However, Murdoch is fighting back and reverses the piledriver into a backdrop. Murdoch collapses to the mat and slowly gets up as does Gordy. Gordy is crawling to his corner as is “Captain Redneck.” Thankfully for Murdoch, he’s closer to Dusty than Gordy is to Hayes and he tags in Dusty! The fans erupt as Dusty runs in, grabbing Gordy and delivering a big chop. Dusty elbows Gordy in the head then picks him up for a big bodyslam. Dusty grabs Gordy’s leg and locks in the figure four leglock. Dusty has the hold in the center of the ring as the timekeeper announces twenty minutes have gone by. Dusty keeps the hold locked in as “Bam Bam” struggles to make it to the ropes while he fights the pain. Bob Caudle says Gordy may not be softened up enough by now, but Dusty is going to deliver some serious damage the longer the hold is applied. Perhaps realizing this, Michael Hayes runs in and stomps Dusty in he head, which leads to Dusty breaking the hold.

Rhodes isn’t wasting any time however as he has Gordy in trouble. “The American Dream” goes to suplex “Doc” when Roberts trips up Dusty while the referee is trying to get Hayes and Murdoch separated. “Stardust” gets up and sticks his head through the ropes trying to get at the Freebird outside the ring. However, Roberts clobbers “The American Dream” with a metal water pitcher he has conveniently purloined from the announce table. David Crockett protests that the pitcher belongs to Jim Crockett Promotions, but no one is listening. Gordy takes the dazed “Dream” and piledrives him onto the mat. Hayes points the referee to the cover and the referee makes the count while Hayes stops Murdoch from making the save. 1-2-3. The Freebirds have done it, defeating the Texas Outlaws in 23 minutes and 3 seconds.

Winners: The Fabulous Freebirds

Buddy Roberts throws the water pitcher back at the announce table, but David Crockett has the wherewithal to duck, as does Bob Caudle. Unfortunately, Pro Wrestling Illustrated photographer Bill Apter isn’t so lucky and he goes down like a sack of potatoes. David Crockett asks Bob Caudle if he thinks this will affect Mr. Apter’s coverage of the tournament.

Round four is complete and it’s time for round five as “The Final Four” battle to see who will compete in the 1985 Jim Crockett Memorial Finals. Things have been heating up every round and you can be sure there will be some big surprises ahead.

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


Original Tournament Announcement (May 2020)

Seedings and First Round Pairings Announced

[ Preview ] [ Brackets ]

Fourth Round: Match 1 (Tournament Match #41)
The Rock & Roll Express vs. Ole and Arn Anderson
Fourth Round: Match 2 (Tournament Match #42)

     Midnight Express vs. British Bulldogs
Fourth Round: Match 3 (Tournament Match #43)
    Brody/Hansen vs. The Oklahoma Cowboys
Fourth Round: Match 4 (Tournament Match #44)
    Rhodes & Murdoch vs. The Fabulous Freebirds

[ 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