PTBN’s Excellent WWE Network Adventure: Mid-South Wrestling 2/1/85

As many of you are aware, WWE Network is pretty packed with all sorts of content. And as you may also know, we here at Place to Be Nation love long term, in depth projects. So, as part of this initiative, JT RozzeroChad CampbellJason GreenhouseScott Criscuolo & Dan McGinn are starting in 1975 and are planning to watch the entire offering of the WWE Network chronologically. They have plotted their course and after watching each program, they will share their thoughts, notes and recommendations with our readers. So, settle in and enjoy this epic ride through wrestling history!

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Mid-South Wrestling 2/1/85
Run Time: 41:48

Card:
Terry Ellis & Golden Terror vs. Rock & Roll Express
Ted DiBiase& Steve Williams vs. Terry Taylor & Jim Duggan
Sheik Hercules Hernandez vs. Richard Dye
Kamala vs. Iceman King Parsons
Jason Walker & Tim Horner vs. Hector & Chavo Guerrero
Jake Roberts vs. Shawn Michaels

Best Match

JT: Our big feature matchup was another installment in the red hot Jim Duggan/Ted DiBiase feud that was setting Mid-South on fire. Coming off a really good promo by Ted DiBiase we got a fun little brawl and a good tag match between four of the key players. Terry Taylor as Duggan’s main event running buddy was a good pairing to counter the locked in heel group. Watts was real good on commentary here too, especially when things broke down late as Buddy Landell showed up. No idea why Duggan was able to pin Landell but whatever, this was a lot of fun.

Brian: The Jim Duggan & Terry Taylor vs. Ted DiBiase & Steve Williams match was easily the best match on this show. It was the most competitive and had the most heat. I really liked how the set up of this match played into the finish.

Dan: I’ll go with the tag match too on points but the ending annoyed me to no end. Landel was taken out early on the cane shot during the prematch brawling. So why is Duggan allowed to pin him and win the match for his team? Furthermore, how come the bell didn’t ring when Landel entered the match and attacked Duggan? Isn’t this Mid South where they are so precious and wonderful because they maintain integrity in the sport by abiding by the rules? Answer me Watts! I’m getting pissed over this as I type. Still better than anything else on this show though so let’s just move on before I put a hand through my wall.

Scott: Most definitely the big tag team match with Duggan & Taylor against Dr. Death & DiBiase. The other stuff was fluff except for Kamala’s upset clean win over Iceman King Parsons. Well an upset to me.

Best Performance

JT: Ted DiBiase was fantastic in his interview and then brought the goods in the ring during his big tag match. I love the black glove gimmick and he utilized it so well. He was in full command at all times and did a great job of staying calm and controlling the chaos during the bout.

Brian: DiBiase was just fantastic as a heel here, both in the ring and on the stick. He carried himself like a star at all times, standing out the most among everyone else on the show.

Dan: Ted Dibiase was wonderful on this night. He speaks of being born with class and how Duggan is a huge slob in his rented tuxedo then proceeds to show a video of him knocking the daylight out everyone with his loaded black glove. He looked so dapper too with his top hat and cane very much the antithesis of the All-American Duggan. It was definitely an added bonus having him join that tag match literally at the last minute and he added so much more heat and prestige to the match poor Buddy Landel had no chance of duplicating.

Scott: Ted DiBiase owned the top heel slot in Mid-South. His promos were great and it was a prelude to what he would be two and a half years later when he arrived in the WWF. My second place vote is for the Guerreros, who knew how to easily make themselves heels, simply by not shaving and wearing strips of bullets over their shoulders like evil gringos.

Biggest Surprise

JT: I was surprised by the high energy in the Kamala/Parsons tilt. Both guys really went at it and cut a good little pace until Kamala surprisingly pinned him clean. This was the second biggest match of the night and didn’t get much hype during the show. Hercules as Friday was a bit confusing but the atmosphere was good here.

Brian: I too was also surprised at how quickly Iceman King Parsons lost in this match. And he lost clean as a sheet. After a strong promo a couple of weeks ago, he did not look like a threat at all here.

Dan: There are two Fridays? Who would have thunk it? It takes loading the deck, as Watts would say, to melt the Iceman if you will. If this were WWE we may never know who the mystery man was but Watts is very quick to solve this case in a mere seconds after the atrocity is committed.

Scott: I was surprised that Kamala beat the fresher Iceman King Parsons clean. That’s just so bizarre. The other surprise was that Shawn Michaels gave Jake Roberts a better match than I thought he would. Shawn didn’t get much offense against Ted DiBiase at all in the previous episode we had, although he’s higher up the card at this time. But #1 for me is that Iceman cuts an impassioned promo a few weeks earlier, then loses clean to Kamala. Weird.

Biggest Disappointment

JT: Not much to be disappointed about here tonight but I guess a minor quibble was the confusing twist of Hercules wearing the Friday gear and pretending to be him. Unless I missed it they didn’t really seem to explain what was going on there. Again, small time beef but it is the only disappointing thing that stood out in any way on this one.

Brian: There wasnt really anything disappointing on the show but I thought having Friday unmasking to reveal Hercules leading to Kamala flipping out and the real Friday coming out did not get over.

Dan: Besides the screwy tag finish and the immediate resolution to the Double Friday fiasco, let’s go ahead and say the lack of push for a guy named “The Golden Terror.” How could that possibly go wrong?

Scott: I echo my surprise as my disappointment because King Parsons was one of my favorite guys when I was younger and then to see him jobbed out to Kamala, who was a good heel but not a great heel in my opinion.

Additional Observations

JT: We get some pretty intense graphics and effects in this new open; Almost intense as Boyd Pierce’s jacket; The Butch Reed video was fucking fantastic; Terry Ellis, quite the look; Golden Terror, very bright look; I always love how Watts puts over how great his production quality is; Ted DiBiase looking dapper in that tux; I love that music videos are such a big thing in Mid South that wrestlers make them about themselves and force the production staff to air them; “Orangutang looking hippie”; Fun brawl between DiBiase’s crew and Duggan and Taylor following the sharp DiBiase interview; I love that Hercules is a Sheik; Friday’s socks get me every time; And Hercules in the Friday socks…; White Lightning!; I dug the new attitude of the Guerreros; Shawn Michaels put up a great fight against Jake Roberts, who showed how to work a showcase match like this while also making your opponent look really strong as well; I always enjoy seeing Jake’s karate style pants; Good hype video for the Dirty White Boys to wrap things up

Brian: The show started off with a music video hyping up Butch Reed. Hearing Bill Watts talk about breakdancing was something else as the video showed some guys breakdancing at the gym while we got clips of Reed beating on wrestlers. Sadly, Reed never reached his full potential. The show started off with the Rock ‘N’ Roll Express against Terry Ellis & Golden Terror. I do not know who was under the mask as the Terror. The Duke of Dorchester himself, Pete Doherty was that character at times as was the late Ben Alexander. Watts referred to the R&R’s as “tag team specialists” and the crowd was nuts for the team. I loved the DiBiase interview and highlight video before the tag match and how they had a brawl in which Landel got “hurt,” leading to DiBiase replacing him as Williams’ partner. DiBiase’s loaded glove and tuxedo would lead to future gimmick matches against Duggan. We got to see the Sheik Hercules Hernandez gimmick as he squashed a jobber in a minute. That gimmick was a stinker, IMO. The Guerreros, Chavo & Hector, had a new look and shined in the ring. Shawn Michaels got to look competitive against Jake Roberts. Odd to see him with short hair wearing generic baby blue trunks but he made an impression here. I liked the video used to hype the Dirty White Boys (Tony Anthony & Len Denton) coming into the territory. The show ended with an angry Jake Roberts at the announcers table saying why he should get a TV Title shot while Watts told him to air his grievances to matchmaker Grizzly Smith. Ah, back in the days of the matchmaker instead of the Authority and GM stuff we get today. Such simpler times back then.

Dan: Between the break dancing, the appearance of a man in a top hat, and a pair of shirtless bikers towards the end, is this the most 1980s show we’ve reviewed so far? My lord Butch Reed was strong. I think I’d rather pump iron with him than drink raw eggs and bear hug tires with Hulk Hogan. Fun Fact: I was once called the Golden Terror during a time when I frosted my hair blonde during the late 1990s. I think tonight was the first time I’ve ever heard anyone call Ricky Morton “powerful.” I’m sad WWE doesn’t have the rights to Joan Jett’s “Reputation” because that video alone would have been good for at least seven points on my final grade scale. Nice Andre cameo getting popped by Dibiase’s loaded glove. I’m glad Ted didn’t challenge Duggan to a Tuxedo match where they try to strip their opponent out of their Sunday best. Hercules is as much a sheik as I am a Jamaican sprinter. Watts’ commentary tonight was awesome. First he points out that Kamala is more than just a savage using his brute strength. He’s very smart and cunning in the ring as he weakened Parsons with his nerve holds and such. Then he spoke of the preliminary talents taking notes and scouting the main eventers which was a unique perspective that hardly ever gets recognized by announcers. Plus… MIDGETS FOR THE KIDS! NEXT WEEK!

Scott: I can’t even explain what this break dancing segment is. Bill Watts talked so fast I couldn’t even catch up with him. It must be a Butch Reed highlight piece. They are really pushing him as a replacement for Junkyard Dog on the babyface side; That tag opener was as sloppy, hot mess; Ted DiBiase was always a great heel, even before his WWF days; I love how Bill Watts fluctuates between “Duggan” and “Doogan” when saying his last name; This is the most loaded of Mid-South episodes on the Network, with all the major players in action; this main event tag match is a fun mess of chaos; If this is the Jim Duggan that everybody told me about pre-WWF, then I’m honestly ok with it. He’s a solid tough guy babyface and not a snot-blowing dope; How does Buddy Landell get pinned when he’s not technically in the match anymore?; I will always contend that Iceman King Parsons was untapped potential that either JCP or the WWF should have jumped on, instead of toiling in these smaller territories; I am very surprised that Parsons ate the pin against Kamala; I would have thought a schmozz for sure in that match; Looks like Shawn Michaels realized he needed to change the spelling of his first name for fear of being confused for the porn star; I will give Mid-South credit for being able to format this many different matches in 42 minutes; Shawn Michaels puts up more of a fight than I think anybody expected in this one

Consensus Best WWE Network Match to Date: Roddy Piper vs. Greg Valentine (NWA Starrcade, 11/24/83)

Consensus Worst WWE Network Match to Date: Ivan Putski vs. Baron Von Rashcke (Madison Square Garden, 6/27/77)

Final Grade

JT: Mid-South always delivers the goods. The shows fly by and we get a ton of stuff jammed into each one. Add in Bill Watts pushing all the angles and characters along on commentary and it really is the perfect hour of wrestling television. We always get a big time match but they do so much other stuff that was meant to draw houses and bring in the crowds that it all balances out. All of the DiBiase/Duggan stuff was well executed on this one and the surrounding squashes chugged along quickly enough to keep the show hot. Toss in a few neat music videos and we got another winner. Final Grade: 7.5/10

Brian: They did a great job with the Duggan/DiBiase feud and strongly put over guys like Butch Reed and the soon-to-be-debuting Dirty White Boys. Mid-South was always great at putting on a quality product that did not insult its audience and presenting its wrestlers as stars. This hour of television flew right by. The only thing dull on this show was the Hercules squash match. Final Grade: 7/10

Dan: This show was okay. I already mentioned what I liked and certainly disliked but these shows do their job in breaking up the string of lousy TNTs if you’re watching the Network like we are. I do enjoy the show for the most part as it moves quickly and they have serious angles that Watts pushes on every broadcast. I just wish our viewing wasn’t so fragmented. Seems we go months and even calendar years between our Mid-South offerings. That’s not the company’s fault per se, but sometimes it’s hard to just dive right into the middle of some of these storylines. It’s like starting a book series in the middle and you have no frame of reference. Still they definitely give you bang for your 41 minute buck so watch this and enjoy the future stars of tomorrow… today! Final Grade: 6/10

Scott: This was the best Mid-South episode to date. It was a loaded show with a lot of matches in a short period of time, and particularly pushed the DiBiase/Duggan main event feud. Iceman King Parsons losing still shocks me and Shawn Michaels putting up a bigger fight than I thought he would. The break dancing segment is bizarre and probably something the promotion should have probably avoided. Of all the Mid-South episodes on the Network right now, I recommend this one the most. It had a little bit of everything and highlighted all the promotion’s biggest players. Final Grade: 8.5/10

You can find every grade and category winner from the entire Excellent WWE Network Adventure by clicking this link!

Author: Place to Be Nation Staff

Place to Be Nation Staff pieces feature any number of our contributors who are multifaceted when it comes to Pop Culture expertise.