NWA: Georgia Championship Wrestling (12.08.79)
Georgia Championship Wrestling
December 8, 1979
The current GCW champs are as follows:
NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Harley Race (11/7/1979)
NWA Georgia Heavyweight Champion: The Masked Superstar (12/7/1979)
NWA Georgia Tag Team Champions: Ivan Koloff & Alexis Smirnoff (12/7/1979)
NWA Georgia Television Champion: Austin Idol (12/7/1979)
TIME FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT. That’s right. We need to take a break from the WWF and see what else is happening around the world of wrestling here at the end of 1979 and where better to look than at Georgia Championship Wrestling. While this show is incomplete and jumps around, it’s available here on YouTube for all of us to enjoy and there’s enough action here to warrant a watch.
If you’ll notice the champions listed above, Georgia now has THREE NEW CHAMPIONS all in the span of one evening. I don’t know if that is due to lack of knowledge of when the titles changed hands so the researcher added the date of the title changes and chose the day prior to the airing of this show to list the title changes or what exactly. The Masked Superstar defeated Tommy Rich to regain the Georgia Heavyweight title, the Georgia Tag Team champs Ivan Koloff and Alexis Smirnoff beat Ole Anderson and Jerry Brisco, while Austin Idol pinned Ray Candy to win the Georgia TV title. If all of that happened in the same night, it’s pretty incredible and probably should have been mentioned on the show. MAYBE IT WAS. Since this show is incomplete, it’s not really fair to say for sure, so we’ll just move on.
In other news, there’s some interesting babyfaces and you’ll want to see who they are if you enjoy this era of wrestling. So, check it out.
Your host is Gordon Solie.
The *new* Georgia heavyweight champ Masked Superstar talks with Gordon Solie. He says it took him a while to get the championship back from Tommy Rich, but feels no one could beat him right now with the frame of mind he’s in. He’s looking ahead to Harley Race and the NWA world title.
- “Mr. Excitement” Dick Slater vs. “Yankee” Ken Dillinger
Dillinger checks all the boxes for getting cheap heel heat in a southern territory: nicknamed “yankee” [CHECK], wearing a Union calvary uniform [CHECK], and living in San Francisco, California [CHECK]. Not sure if Slater’s nickname is sarcastic or what. I love Dick Slater, but he doesn’t exactly scream excitement to me. Up to this point in his career, he has remained a staple of Florida and Georgia wrestling circles. Slater does a great job manipulating joints here and Dillinger doesn’t just lie there selling the holds, he tries to get out of them. That’s KEY. Solie – “Dillinger is going to have a mobility problem.” Slater hits an elbow drop out of the corner and a forward rollup pins Dillinger in 4:20, man.
- The Masked Superstar vs. Mike Davis
Is this the same Mike Davis from Starrcade 1984? Because I do not remember him being this scrony. Of course there’s five years in between these matches, but still. Superstar is ready for a shoulderblock, but then he goes down to *TWO* separate dropkicks and bails out. Back in, Superstar takes down Davis with a headlock, but Davis counters with a headscissors. Superstar gets madder and madder as the match progress. He stays on Davis with headlocks. Davis backs Superstar in the ropes, but Superstar absorbs a punch and headbutts the crap out of Davis. A big slam gets two. Now he executes several backbreakers, but he picks up Davis off the mat at the count of two. The SWINGING NECKBREAKER connects, but Superstar picks him up and whips him into the ropes for an epic clothesline. There’s the COBRA CLUTCH down on the mat for the submission victory in 3:15. Another great, aggressive squash. He will not be beaten.
Over to Gordon Solie, he’s standing by with Gorgeous George Jr. who has his stable of Killer Khan and Professor Toru Tanaka. George says Khan and Tanaka are masters of martial arts and will pit them against each other this Friday night at the Atlanta City Auditorium. The winner comes out $1000 richer and the loser will have to find a new manager because Gorgeous George Jr. doesn’t manage losers. The Masked Superstar has been waiting patiently to say something and stands front and center to put over his championship match this Friday night with Dick Slater and labels Slater as a stepping stone to getting a match with Harley Race over the NWA world title.
The tape drops off and comes back to Gordon Solie interviewing the new Georgia tag team champs Ivan Koloff and his cousin Alexis Smirnoff. Koloff promises he and Alexis will be the tag champs for a long time to come while Smirnoff really adds to the conversation by only saying they will destroy everything in their way. They meet Tony Atlas and Ray Candy this Friday night over the Georgia tag titles. Tom Shaft shows up and has words for Thunderbolt Patterson. Some of the words he uses make sense and some of them sound like utter gibberish. Either way, Tom Shaft meets Thunderbolt Patterson this Friday night in a boxing match.
- Ivan Koloff & Alexis Smirnoff vs. Buzz Sawyer & Gerald Finley
Buzz Sawyer is VERY young here. Only 20 years of age and already ridiculously talented. I don’t know much about Gerald Finley other than that he’s a perennial TV jobber. Koloff meets Sawyer to start. He’s all over Koloff to start with headlocks and armbars. Koloff forces Sawyer into his corner to tag out. Smirnoff rolls him around the ring in an armbar. As Sawyer armdrags Smirnoff, Koloff tags in and takes Sawyer to the canvas for a combo headscissors and armbar. Back to Smirnoff, he stays on the arm. Sawyer slams out of the hold, but Smirnoff grabs the foot and tags Koloff to prevent a tag. The Russians will just not let Sawyer get out of their corner. Once Koloff hammerlock slams Sawyer, he’s able to get loose and hot tag Finley. He catches Koloff with a big dropkick and slams him. Koloff kicks Finley down and then throws him into Smirnoff. There’s a double-team move as Smirnoff presses Finley and drops him on Koloff’s knee. NICE. Koloff follows up with a backbreaker, but lifts him up off the mat at the count of two. Smirnoff tags in and double stomps Finley for two. Koloff slams Finley and comes off the ropes, but doesn’t see that Finley has rolled over to Sawyer for a tag. He comes in a house of fire, but misses a jumping knee drop. Tag to Smirnoff, he delivers an atomic drop for two. Smirnoff applies a bearhug, but tags Koloff. Sawyer ear claps out of the hold only to be nailed from behind by Koloff. In comes Finley, but he’s stomped down by Koloff. He delivers a bunch of knee drops and tags Smirnoff who dishes out a slam and applies a Boston crab. Koloff pushes on Smirnoff’s head to add more leverage. Back to Koloff, he gives Finley a bunch of running knee drops to the back. Another double-team move takes care of Finley as Smirnoff slams Finley across Koloff’s knee (!). Koloff picks up Finley off the mat and lets Smirnoff get the pin. (6:53) The Russians really seemed to enjoy beating up Finley. I’m just saying.
“Mr. USA” Tony Atlas stops by to tell everyone to come watch him go for a weightlifting record at the Decatur YMCA.
Another cut in the tape and we come back to see Mr. Wrestling II tell everyone that there’s an imposter in our midst and he wants any kind of match to take care of this guy. I WONDER WHO THE IMPOSTER IS.
Back to the program, Gorgeous George Jr. is back again standing with his men Killer Khan and Professor Toru Tanaka. George sends Killer Khan into the ring to show off his martial arts expertise.
- Killer Khan (w/Gorgeous George Jr.) vs. Mike Davis
Davis gets his ass kicked twice today. He BUM RUSHES THE SHOW on Khan, but that’s just a bad idea. Khan turns the tide on him and stomps the life out of Davis. Ya know, MARTIAL ARTS. There’s a slam as Khan starts using clawholds on Davis. He then throws Davis out to the floor a nasty bump. Back on the apron, Khan elbows Davis in the throat a few times. In the ring, Khan mule kicks Davis down for a two-count. There’s the STOMACH CLAW. Khan slams him down and keeps hold of the belly while sitting on top of him with his butt in Mike’s face for the three-count at 2:10. Khan looks like the kind of guy who would fart in Mike’s face as well, but only Mike Davis knows for sure.
Now Gorgeous George Jr. sends Toru Tanaka into the ring to beat up some poor sap.
- Professor Toru Tanaka (w/Gorgeous George Jr.) vs. Len Owen
Solie points out that Tanaka almost has no neck as the head just joins the shoulders. George goes on and on about how Tanaka knows how to use pressure points. Lots of choking from Tanaka. He applies a Standing Cobra Clutch and jars the neck as Owen falls to the mat for the three-count in 2:11.
Back over to Gordon Solie who stands with Gorgeous George Jr., Killer Khan, and Professor Tanaka as George explains how nun-chucks work while Tanaka gives us a demonstration. George discusses the match again putting over the match between Killer Khan and Professor Tanaka where the winner gets $1000 and gets to remain under his management.
After the break, Gordon Solie talks with Tommy Rich. Tommy calls Austin Idol the “Universal Hemorrhoid” and says he’s coming after his Georgia TV belt and looks to regain the Georgia heavyweight title.
- NWA Georgia TV Championship: Austin Idol (c) vs. Chick Donovan
Donovan looks much better with brown hair. Idol is too busy posing and misses the fact that Donovan is behind him. A nice standing dropkick from Donovan sends Idol to the floor. Back inside, Donovan is all over Idol twisting and cranking on the arm. Idol pushes Donovan off into the ropes, but Donovan gives him a shoulderblock. Back up, Idol catches Donovan coming off the ropes with a knee strike. Idol then sneaks a punch to the throat behind the ref’s back. He slams Donovan and comes off the second rope for an elbow drop, but lifts Donovan up off the mat after a two-count. Idol punches Donovan down with his taped fist. Donovan avoids a slam and tries an O’Connor roll, but Idol hooks the ropes. Donovan avoids a running elbow drop, but whiffs on a dropkick. Idol then applies the LAS VEGAS LEGLOCK (figure-four leglock) for the win in 4:00.
Back over to Gordon Solie, he gives Austin Idol some mic time. He says all of his opponents have one thing in common: they are all losers. No one can escape the Las Vegas Leglock and he defies anyone to try. Solie mentions there’s a guy who has some comments for Austin Idol. The man’s name is RIC FLAIR. We cut to a Ric Flair promo from Mid-Atlantic where he talks about being a young millionaire. He brings a blonde woman by to say he’s often imitated and never duplicated. THERE’S ONLY ONE NATURE BOY! WOO! Back to Georgia, Idol just thinks guys like Ric Flair and Tommy Rich are just jealous. This Friday night, Idol plans to break Rich’s leg. As for Flair, Idol says he wouldn’t be seen in public with a woman who looked that bad. Idol wraps up referring to himself as the NATIONAL TV champ, which is true since they are on cable.
We now cut to an interview done in the Knoxville territory as Les Thatcher interviews Dick Slater who was a big part of the promotion in 1979. They talk about memories wrestling in the Atlanta City Auditorium as the building was sold to Georgia State University. Coincidentally, the university also purchased Turner Field where the Atlanta Braves played until 2016. Of course with the Atlanta City Auditorium no longer available as a public venue, the Omni becomes the premiere building for Georgia Championship Wrestling. Back to the interview, Dick Slater puts over Paul Jones (the promoter, not the wrestler) for being the man behind all the great matches the people of Atlanta had seen in the Atlanta City Auditorium over the years. Slater then discusses the importance of the Georgia heavyweight title as a way to get an NWA world title shot. Thatcher wants to know how Slater would handle the current champ the Masked Superstar. Slater doesn’t like guys who wear masks (except Mr. Wrestling II!). He doesn’t think the people of Georgia want the Superstar as their champion and doesn’t even think the Superstar is that good of a wrestler. All Slater needs is a chance to beat him and he can this Friday night!
“Babyface” Ole Anderson stops by to talk with Gordon Solie. Gotta love the facial hair here. Ole has a “dogfight” match planned where there are no rules. I don’t know who his opponent is but it sounds wild!
After a break, Freddie Miller comes over to tell Gordon Solie that the next match involving Ray Candy can’t happen as there’s no time left. He walks over to Gordon for a talk as he will regain the Georgia TV title. Candy talks about Tony Atlas will be lifting 600 pounds over at the Decatur YMCA. Solie puts them over as an exciting tag team as they close out the show.
This was WORLDS more exciting than the WWF programming. Not that I was going to be surprised.
Until next time, so long for now.
Posted on February 23, 2020, in NWA and tagged Alexis Smirnoff, Austin Idol, Buzz Sawyer, Chick Donovan, Dick Slater, Gorgeous George Jr., Ivan Koloff, Killer Khan, Masked Superstar, Mike Davis, Mr. Wrestling II, Ole Anderson, Professor Tanaka, Ray Candy, Ric Flair, Tommy Rich. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.