NWA: Big Time Wrestling (1977?)
NWA: Big Time Wrestling
Sometime in 1977
Your host is Bob Finnegan. No studio action this week. He tells us we will be traveling around the country to watch various NWA wrestlers currently part of Detroit wrestling or who will be coming to the area in the near future.
- Dory Funk Jr. vs. Denny Alberts
Finnegan tells us this match comes from the great state of Texas. He is correct as this bout comes from the Amarillo territory owned and operated by the Funk family up to 1978. Probably no way of finding out the precise date of this match or episode air date, but Harley Race is mentioned as the NWA world champion on commentary as the man to beat both Funks for the title. As for Alberts, the most interesting thing about him (and it is interesting; to me at least) is he was the guy who took the bloody beating from the Sheik in the movie “I Like to Hurt People”. Dory wears down Alberts until he delivers the Butterfly Suplex a running elbow drop for the win at 5:02.
- The Sheik (w/Eddie Creatchman) vs. “Sailor” Art Thomas
If I had to guess, I would say this was in Indianapolis in 1974. Sheik’s manager Eddie Creatchman is in the ring messing with Thomas getting him all distracted yelling in his face. He’s a loud mouthed cigar and sunglasses type. Good grief it looks like this man could get some heat. While Sheik is doing Sheik things, Creatchman gets up on the apron arguing with the ref when a FAN comes over and tries to pull him down. The police immediately pounce on the guy and escort him out. Awesome. Once things settle down, Creatchman is back on the apron to bug the ref. Lots of throat jabs and choking using his foreign object from his tights. It’s all he has to do to get people to buy a ticket. Creatchman is mocking and pointing at Art Thomas while he’s writhing in pain. Thomas elbows Sheik back and the crowd explodes just dying for that comeback. Sheik drops the object and Thomas uses it on him. Time for the BEARHUG, but Sheik punches out. Thomas still has the object though. While Creatchman distracts the ref, Sheik THROWS A FIREBALL IN HIS FACE. Cover, 1-2-3. (4:12) Now *that* is a great introduction to the Sheik, brother.
- Ox Baker vs. Blackie Guzman
We’re back in Detroit now. Guzman looks like a Mexican Misawa here. Whenever this match was taped, Ox is in full Ox Baker mode with the bald head, the handlebar mustache, and crazy eyebrows. The commentator tells us that Ox is going after the Sheik and his NWA US title. Assuming this is around the time that Baker is close to winning the title, this would put the match at around the summer of 1977 since he won the title in September. The people are cheering him, but he doesn’t like it. We get the creepy Genesis-era Phil Collins referee again. The HEART PUNCH wins in 4:29.
- Don Kent, Magnificent Zulu & Johnny Davis vs. Luiz Martinez, Nelson Royal & Captain Ed George (w/George Cannon)
More from Detroit. Everyone seems to hate both teams which ruins the face/heel dynamic. Most interestingly, this match features Captain Ed George who is the Sheik Ed Farhat’s son IRL. His wrestling persona was as far, FAR away from his dad as he could be which I’m sure was intentional to make it appear the Sheik would never procreate. He was an everyman type of guy. As is often the case with these promoters sons who try and wrestle too soon, he’s pretty green and they try and hide him here in this six-man. He’s announced as the WWS (“World Wide Sports”) champion which is the kayfabe name of the promotion, I believe. Lots of tagging in and out without anybody gaining any real advantage. No surprise here, but Zulu is a strong and tall black man. He applies bearhugs on guys like it’s a clothesline in 1995. The old timers Nelson Royal and Don Kent bring some order back to the match. Kent escapes a headscissors and slams Royal. He drops him on the top rope, but Royal bounces up and reaches George for a tag. He tries crimping on the headlock because it’s the 1970s and that’s what you do. Nobody seems to care or count along with him though. Let’s move on. Zulu grabs Martinez in a bearhug and gets drilled from on high by Royal. The match completely breaks down as all six guys are beating each other up. Once again, Zulu applies a bearhug this time on Nelson Royal. No submission though as Ed George rakes Zulu’s eyes to break the hold. Once they regain order, Royal hits Davis with a running bulldog and gets the pinfall. (11:49) Way, WAY too many green workers in this match. Nelson Royal can only do so much. ½*
- “Cowboy” Frankie Laine vs. Oscar “The Crusher” Verdu
We are JIP for this one. Kevin Nash seems to have got some of his move set from Verdu as he’s keeping Laine in the corner with KNEES. Gosh, Verdu is one ugly man. He does the Sheik shtick by jabbing Laine in the throat with an object he pulls from his tights. This continues on with Verdu beating the crap out of Laine for a while. After a backdrop, Verdu covers Laine. They do the spot where Laine taps on Verdu’s shoulder at the two-count causing Verdu to think it was the ref signaling to him that he’s won the match, but of course he actually hasn’t. Verdu stands up at the two-count and falls for the oldest trick in the book. Laine mounts his comeback and delivers some flying headscissors moves, but Verdu shrugs one off and dumps Laine on the mat. Verdu applies a bearhug and starts driving Laine into the corner for the win. (7:01 shown) According to the announcer, we only missed about the first twenty seconds. I’M SURE THEY WERE EPIC THOUGH.
- Dick the Bruiser vs. Gary Fargo
Ernie Ladd comes out to talk some awesome trash talk at Dick the Bruiser. Bruiser challenges Ladd to a three-point stance and Ladd takes a GREAT bump when they collide. No word on whether this Gary character is from Memphis or not. This poor ham-and-egger gets made an example of to show what the Bruiser wants to do to Ernie Ladd. He hits Fargo with the Bombs Away and gets him to submit to a Stomach Claw at 3:44. BRING OUT ERNIE LADD AGAIN~!
Before we go, Finnegan puts over how the Sheik has been deemed “too violent” and therefore banned from appearing in the TV studio for Big Time Wrestling until the commission decides his fate. He seems to think the Sheik should be banned from arenas as well but let’s not go crazy, Bob.
Some old man comes on and talks about using wrestling to raise money and he’s the guy to talk to. So there we go.
Until next time, so long for now.
NEXT TIME: We’ll see Austin Idol, Mark Lewin, and Terry Funk. PLUS, The Sheik gets his hands on Stan Stasiak in a tag team match. This should be a good one.
Posted on July 18, 2016, in Detroit and tagged Captain Ed George, Crusher Verdu, Denny Alberts, Dick the Bruiser, Don Kent, Dory Funk Jr., Eddie Creatchman, Ernie Ladd, Frankie Laine, George Cannon, Johnny Davis, Luiz Martinez, Magnificent Zulu, Nelson Royal, Ox Baker, Sailor Art Thomas, The Sheik. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.