NWA: Big Time Wrestling (02.14.76)
NWA: Big Time Wrestling
February 14, 1976
Your host is Bob Finnegan. Chuck Allen is the ring announcer.
- Gary Fulton vs. El Bracero
El Bracero seems to be a Jose Lothario-type wrestler. You may recognize his opponent as Charlie Fulton from his WWF days. They do the headlock and shoulderblock routine, but El Bracero kicks away Fulton and armdrags him a few times. When Fulton starts to go down during an overhead wristlock, he pulls the hair and yanks El Bracero down to the mat. He controls El Bracero for a little bit with various arm holds. El Bracero does this cool headstand move from a wristlock position and kicks away Fulton. However, Fulton is able to go right back to the armbar though. El Bracero rolls and flips away from the pressure and grabs an armbar of his own. Fulton tries a slam his way out and stays in the armbar. El Bracero really puts the pressure on Fulton as he sits down on his shoulder and pulls back on his arm. He grabs hold of the other arm at the same time, but Fulton is in the ropes. Fulton corners him and smashes his face into the buckle, but El Bracero gets fired up and backdrops him over. El Bracero crashes and burns charging Fulton up against the ropes, but Fulton does the exact same thing. El Bracero whips him from corner to corner and delivers a pump splash (!) for only a one-count. Fulton corners El Bracero again and puts him down with an armbar, but El Bracero fights up and catches Fulton with an O’Connor roll and a bridge for the 1-2-3. (7:50) This is easily one of the better Detroit matches we’ve seen on this series. A real nice prelim match here. **
- Bobo Brazil vs. Michael Angelo
Haha, Michael Angelo. I won’t go as deep into the PBP as I did for the last match as it’s a rinse wash and repeat-style match. Angelo gets in his licks on Bobo and Bobo gets MAD for his comeback. They go through that twice and Brazil hits the COCO BUTT for the pin at 5:11.
The manager and mouthpiece of the Brute (or Brute Bernard as he’s known everywhere else) – Sir Dudley Clements – does his best British accent and puts up $5000 to anybody who can his Brute. Hank James is about to get an opportunity for five grand.
- Brass Knuckles Match: The Brute (w/Sir Dudley Clements) vs. Hank James
Don’t worry — it’s more like a taped fist match. By the way, Hank James is the brother of Bobo Brazil. He certainly resembles Bobo, but he’s smaller than Bobo. Hank punches the Brute back into the ropes where he gets all tied up. Now Hank gives no quarter and punches on him. When Brute gets free, they brawl out to the floor. Back inside, Hank fires back and slams the Brute a few times. The crowd is going nuts. Hank turns around to look at Clements and gets nailed by the Brute. He picks up Hank and hits him again with a straight right. Hank won’t get up from that and he’s down for the ten-count as Brute brings in a chair to attack Hank. (4:36) Bobo Brazil comes down for the save and COCO BUTTS the Brute out of the ring. Well, this was a hot mess. The crowd loved every second of it. ¾*
- Loser Leaves Town: NWA U.S. Heavyweight Champion Mark Lewin vs. The Sheik (w/Eddie Creatchman)
They take turns beating each other up in different corners. Lewin gets his face ripped on the apron and then wobbles through the second or third row of seats scaring people with his bloody face. The people look genuinely afraid. Back to ringside, Sheik does more ripping at Lewin’s cut with his signature foreign object. Lewin goes after Creatchman and gets stabbed again by the Sheik. That just serves to FIRE UP LEWIN as he goes back into the ring and gets the object away from the Sheik to REPEATEDLY use it against him. Now Sheik is bleeding like mad. Lewin covers him for a nearfall. There’s a double-KO spot and once Lewin lays on top of Sheik, Creatchman gets in the ring and pulls Lewin off his man. Lewin pounds Sheik down again and Creatchman again interrupts the pin. Lewin knows he’s coming and jumps up to meet him as Creatchman is scared out of the ring. Sheik punches Lewin in the gut and gets his weapon back. The ref gets the object away while Lewin devastates Sheik in the corner. The SLEEPERHOLD is applied to Sheik. Here comes Creatchman. Now he goes into the SLEEPERHOLD. The ref then gets knocked down so that Sheik can throw a fireball in their faces. Lewin goes flying out of the ring while Creatchman is writhing in pain. The ref counts out Lewin and Sheik wins the match. (10:25) Well, a classic NWA main event, it ain’t. Sheik is announced as the new U.S. champion, but the belt is eventually made vacant and a tournament is started that Bobo Brazil would win. Very dramatic match, but certainly no workrate fest. Lewin does indeed leave town and heads down to Georgia. Perhaps he was looking for a soul to steal. *½
- Two-Ring Battle Royal
Finnegan says this is the first two-ring battle royal EVER. It’s “King of the Hill” rules. You get thrown from one ring to the other and the last two standing in each ring gets to face each other for the big prize. Andre the Giant, Bobo Brazil, the Brute, and many more people are involved. Some of these guys I have no idea who they are, but might find out if Bob Finnegan does his job. The Brute is the first one thrown to the other ring. Michael Angelo is sent into the ring with the Brute and immediately gets punched out. Chris Colt is thrown to the Brute and given the same treatment. This seems to the game plan. Both El Bracero and Dominic DeNucci are thrown out. Kurt Von Hess gets eliminated as well. Some huge white guy named Chris Taylor eliminates himself and goes after Sir Dudley Clements. Chris Markoff is next for the Brute.
FINAL FOUR: The Brute, ???, Bobo Brazil, and Andre the Giant. The Brute throws out the ham-and-egger and waits for Bobo and Andre to eliminate the other. IT’S A SHOWDOWN OF EPIC PROPORTIONS~! After they do some stuff and nobody sells for the other person, the friendly Andre decides to stop fighting and eliminates himself as Bobo Brazil and the Brute win this battle royal. (6:15) Bobo joins the Brute over in the second ring and scares him off as the Brute and Sir Dudley Clements live to fight another day. I’m wondering if they don’t end up having their match promoted as for the vacant U.S. title. *½
Well, THIS is more like it. The crowd was hot, the matches were very Detroit-esque. This felt more like what I thought of Detroit wrestling before going into this project. Nothing here is a MOTYC, but it gives you a better idea than some of these other posts I’ve made of what the promotion was all about.
Only two more Detroit posts to go. Next time though, we’ll revisit early 1979 as we’ll see Don Kent, the Mighty Igor, and highlights from All-Japan Pro Wrestling of the Sheik teaming up with Abdullah the Butcher to take on Dory & Terry Funk!
Posted on August 30, 2016, in Detroit and tagged Andre the Giant, Bobo Brazil, Brute Bernard, Charlie Fulton, Eddie Creatchman, El Bracero, Hank James, Mark Lewin, Michael Angelo, Sir Dudley Clements, The Sheik. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.