Championship Wrestling from Florida
April 3, 1982
(Taped on 3/31/82)
The NWA & CWF champions were as follows:
NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Ric Flair (9/17/1981)
NWA Southern Heavyweight Champion: David Von Erich (12/26/1981)
NWA Florida Heavyweight Champion: Mr. Wrestling II (12/1981)
NWA Florida Television Champion: Sweet Brown Sugar (3/1982)
NWA North American Tag Team Champions: Dory Funk Jr. & David Von Erich (3/7/1982)
This won’t be a recurring series for me. I’m just trying to clear off my hard drive and recap some of these cool things I’ve received through the interwebs on WWE 24/7.
Your host is Gordon Solie.
- NWA North American Tag Team Champions Dory Funk Jr. & David Von Erich vs. Terry Allen & Brian Blair
Match is JIP. After being so used to seeing David Von Erich as the hero of Dallas, it’s strange seeing him work heel with Dory here. Terry Allen is of course the future Magnum TA working as a mid-card face in Florida. His hair is a lot shorter and I’m not even sure he has the mustache yet. Blair certainly does though. Dory and David try their darnedest to keep Allen on their side of the ring with sitouts, but Dory rolls off Allen’s back and the hot tag to Blair is made. Blair delivers the dropkick to Von Erich and Funk refuses the tag! He’s either scared of Blair or trying to teach David to man up. Awesome. Blair knocks Von Erich down again and so as to not look like a pussy, Dory reluctantly tags in and trades blows. Blair lifts Funk up into an Airplane Spin and wipes out Von Erich as well. With Dory dazed, Blair locks on the Cobra Clutch until Von Erich breaks away from Allen and stomps Blair in the back. It’s Katie bar the door until the 10-minute time limit expires. (4:23 shown) Short, but awesome. **
We go to the Bayfront Center in St. Pete to see Jerry Lawler take on Kendo Nagasaki with JJ Dillon in his corner. Since he’s Japanese, there’s nerve holds and the like. As Lawler starts his comeback and the straps come down, ref Tommy Young gets blasted. With the ref gone, Nagasaki jabs Lawler in the throat which is HIGHLY illegal. Looks like either Brian Blair or Terry Allen comes down to help Jerry Lawler. After JJ Dillon lets go of the ref, he gets pulled off the apron by whoever that mustachioed man is and the match gets thrown out. He may be the King of Wrestling in Memphis, but it always shocks me to see Lawler in different territories.
- Mike Graham & El Gran Apollo vs. Bob Russell & Avalanche Tyler (w/JJ Dillon)
Apollo is a Cuban wrestler who is really just another one of the mid-card babyface guys here. I can’t really find out a whole lot of information about him. Avalanche Tyler you might know better as Buzz Tyler from the Mid-Atlantic territory. He’s much fatter here and doesn’t have any amount of facial hair. Bob Russell looks like the physical inspiration for Bobby Dempsey in ROH. And of course, you probably know who Mike Graham is if you’re reading this recap. He starts out with Tyler. Graham fights out of a headlock and drops Tyler with a powerslam. In comes Russell, the faces work his arm over. Graham whips Russell into a forearm smash from Apollo, who then gives him a suplex for two. Russell rakes the face and tags in Tyler. He punishes Graham with punches and pulls the hair to take Graham down into an armbar. When Graham starts to fight back, Tyler heaves him to the floor for JJ Dillon to give him a good stomping. Meanwhile, Apollo and Russell brawl over by Solie. Back inside, Graham rallies back and applies the FIGURE-FOUR on Russell for the submission. (8:52) Even matches that this one that seems like just another match building to that fever pitch is what makes wrestling exciting. **
Before Gordon Solie awards Sweet Brown Sugar (the one who isn’t Koko B. Ware) with the Florida TV trophy, we get to see the Bayfront Center footage of Sugar beating Ray Stevens to win the championship before he would leave Florida to go to the Mid-Atlantic area. Sugar fights out of a sleeper and catches Stevens by surprise with a high crossbody block to get the win.
In other happenings, Gordon Solie sets up more Bayfront Center footage. This time, it’s Ric Flair defending the NWA world title against Hacksaw Butch Reed in a match that ended when Reed started tossing referees around (including famous maker of championship belts: Reggie Parks) who were trying to stop him from beating up Flair. Eventually, David Von Erich and Dory Funk Jr. came down to beat up Reed with cowboy boots. Once the damage is done, Mr. Wrestling II and Sweet Brown Sugar clean house.
Elsewhere, Barbara Clary introduces a piece where Eddie Graham is awarded with the state flag of Florida by their Lt. Governor Wayne Mixson for his humanitarian efforts. Eddie then gets on the mic and tells a long story about some young guy he helped who was down on his luck. I can’t tell if he’s working me or not. Next up, Barbara Clary tells us that Dusty Rhodes will soon be making his way back to Florida. They then show us footage of one of Dusty’s finest hours when he defeated Harley Race to win the NWA world title for the second time in the Atlanta Omni in 1981.
- NWA Florida Heavyweight Champion Mr. Wrestling II vs. Hiro Matsuda
Kids today will know Matsuda best through the future stars he trained like for example Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger, and many others. Mr. Wrestling II is just a lovable yet tough masked man who was a star in Georgia and Florida for most of his career. Very old-school match even for 1982 as both guys wrestle on the mat. Matsuda turns it into a brawl about five minutes in challenging Wrestling II with chops. Wrestling II fires back on Matsuda and hits the KNEE LIFT, which sends Matsuda to the floor to regroup. Wrestling II tries for a pin back inside and the match continues as we have ran out of TV time. They continue to wrestle as the credits roll, but no sign of a winner. (6:00 shown) These two were GREAT on the mat and showed they could still go in their mid-40s.