NWA: Georgia Championship Wrestling (04.26.80)

Georgia Championship Wrestling
April 26, 1980
Atlanta, GA
WTBS-17 Studios

The current GCW champs are as follows:
NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Harley Race (11/7/1979)
NWA Georgia Heavyweight Champion: Austin Idol (3/29/1980)
NWA Georgia Tag Team Champions: Kevin Sullivan & Tony Atlas (4/21/1980)
NWA National Television Champion: Tommy Rich (2/23/1980)

TIME FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT. That’s right. 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.

Your host is Gordon Solie.

  • Iron Mike Sharpe vs. (Genichiro) Tenryu

I know he’s young and they probably don’t have big plans for him yet, but I’m surprised Tenryu never had a mouthpiece over here while he wrestled in the states. Solie mentions at the start of the match that the reason Sharpe isn’t able to dominate Tenryu during the tie-up is due to Tenryu’s background as a sumo. This is a weird matchup where you’re seeing a clearly more talented and smoother wrestler having to put over a clunky, awkward guy in Sharpe. Tenryu chops Sharpe and Sharpe fires back tenfold. Looks like we come to the end of the hour as both guys are taking shots on each other. Sharpe gets the better end of the deal and delivers a PILEDRIVER for the win in 3:49.

Mike Sharpe walks over to Gordon Solie looking for bigger and better competition. He wants the title holders like Tommy Rich and the Russians. To wrap up, Solie points out the welts on Sharpe from the last match with Tenryu. That wraps up the first hour.

We hear from the NWA world champion Harley Race. He says it was once fashionable in this country to loot and riot and burn. Now it has become fashionable to hold people hostage, which is exactly what Georgia Championship Wrestling has done to Race. He doesn’t care – he will not be held hostage by anybody. Race is the world champion and he will show everybody just who he really is when he defends the championship title against Austin Idol. He admits to using Idol like a puppet to do what he needed done because he knew if he had to face him, he could beat him. That’s exactly what will happen NEXT SUNDAY NIGHT IN THE OMNI!

Austin Idol is with Gordon Solie in the studio for a rebuttal. He calls himself the Georgia heavyweight champion (and the crowd cheers a little) *and* the National TV champion, which of course is debatable. Idol calls Race a “fool” and will feel the wrath of his power NEXT SUNDAY NIGHT IN THE OMNI!

What the heck? STAN STASIAK is in Georgia now. He talks with Gordon. They discuss the devastation of the Heart Punch. He’s scheduled to team up with Ox Baker (“THE HEART PUNCHERS”) to battle the Georgia tag champs Tony Atlas and Kevin Sullivan.

  • Stan Stasiak vs. Chick Donovan

Stasiak gets frustrated with Donovan on the mat and so he decides to dominate Donovan with standing moves and holds. He lands a taped fist shot to Donovan’s forehead and Donovan sells it like he’s suffering a serious migraine attack. Donovan is just so stunned by these blows to the head, but surprises Stasiak with a sunset flip from the apron. He telegraphs a backdrop however and gets kicked down by Stasiak. HEART PUNCH, and that’ll do it at 4:20, man.

Chief Jay Strongbow speaks with Gordon Solie now. He talks quiet and serious – similar to the promos after Greg Valentine broke his leg. He wants revenge against Ernie Ladd and he’ll get it – NEXT SUNDAY NIGHT IN THE OMNI!

After the break, Rock Hunter has Ivan Koloff and Alexis Smirnoff behind him as he talks with Gordon. Hunter has put up $25,000 (the largest amount EVER put up by a single person, says Solie) to get a title match with the current Georgia tag champs Kevin Sullivan and Tony Atlas. He doesn’t like taking this big of a chance, but he’s confident the Russians will regain the belts.

We take a look at Kevin Sullivan and Tony Atlas working out in the park set to the song “Going the Distance” off the Rocky soundtrack. Hilarious video as Atlas is always shown outshining Sullivan in the “athlete” department. I’m sorry, but I can’t think of a tag team off the top of my head with LESS chemistry together.

  • Georgia Tag Team Championship: Tony Atlas & Kevin Sullivan (c) vs. Ivan Koloff & Alexis Smirnoff (w/Rock Hunter)

Solie does a great job putting over how important this match is especially for the Russians explaining that not only will they be refused future title matches, but will return to their homeland in absolute DISGRACE. Sullivan and Atlas keep hold of Koloff in front headlocks to start. He gets away and tags in Smirnoff. Atlas gets stuck in a front headlock, but he overpowers Smirnoff and forces him into the corner where he slams him off the top rope. Tag to Sullivan, he puts Smirnoff on the mat with a headlock. As Smirnoff forces his way up, he breaks free with a back suplex. In comes Koloff, he misses a corner charge. Atlas tags in and clamps down on a headlock. The crowd is INTO IT, boy. Koloff sends Atlas into the ropes for a backdrop and tries another, but Atlas leapfrogs him and knocks him over with a jumping dropkick. Tag to Sullivan, he whips Koloff into the corner for a monkey flip for two. Sullivan gives Koloff a pair of slams and catches Koloff with a back elbow for another nearfall. Sullivan has to fight his way out of the Russians corner. Eventually, Atlas has enough and comes into the ring to help out. The tag champs clear the ring and Solie agrees it’s a good time for a commercial break.

When we return, Atlas is giving Smirnoff a vertical suplex for two. Smirnoff kicks back at Atlas and slams him (while selling the back) for two. Atlas returns the favor with a PRESS SLAM. Awesome. He lands an elbow drop and a diving headbutt, but a splash from Atlas hits knees. Tag to Koloff, he puts the boots to Atlas and drops a few knees from the second rope for a two-count. A backbreaker connects, but Atlas kicks out only to stand up into a knee to the face. Koloff applies the RUSSIAN BEARHUG. Smirnoff tags in and comes off the second rope with a shot to the back. An elbow drop follows, but Atlas will not stay down after a two-count. There’s a vertical suplex, but again Atlas kicks out. Atlas punches back making Smirnoff cross-eyed. Koloff tags in and keeps missing elbow drops as Atlas rolls towards Sullivan for a hot tag. He goes SLAM CRAZY AND DROPKICK CRAZY on the Russians. To top off all the babyface work from Sullivan, he even grabs a headlock on Koloff and headscissors Smirnoff to take them both down. Sullivan runs Koloff into Tony’s head for two. The foot is on the ropes. Sullivan looks for the ABDOMINAL STRETCH, but Koloff prevents the hold being applied and backs into Smirnoff for a tag. He breaks up the hold with a knee to the back and starts going to work on Sullivan’s arm. As this Russian team has been known to do, they take turns stomping the arm before applying a hammerlock that has gotten them victory after victory. When it looks like curtains for Sullivan, he runs the Russians into one another. Koloff charges Sullivan for an elbow drop, but Sullivan rolls into a tag to Atlas! While Atlas is going crazy on Koloff, the ref is busy trying to get Smirnoff and Sullivan out of the ring. Atlas applies the sleeperhold on Koloff. Meanwhile, Rock Hunter is seen pouring some sort of liquid onto a towel. Koloff backs Atlas into the ropes, which allows Hunter to wrap the towel around Tony’s mouth and nose! Solie complains about a powerful odor – almost as if the rag has been drowned in some sort of dangerous concoction. As Tony collapses to the mat, Koloff is laying on top of him. Now that Sullivan and Smirnoff are out of the ring, the ref comes over and counts the pinfall on Atlas – thus giving the Georgia tag belts back to Ivan Koloff and Alexis Smirnoff. (12:15 shown) Atlas is completely unconscious. Even the ref thinks there’s something smelly in the state of Denmark. The match was pretty good, but the angle looked like riot potential. This wasn’t just the fan’s favorite wrestler slipping on the banana peel, this created an injustice the fans could literally SMELL. This is some HEAT, ya’ll. **½

After the break, Tony Atlas is still shown being unconscious laying on the apron. While Kevin Sullivan, referees, and other wrestlers are tending to Tony, Solie is asking the marks what they think. They all say it smelled like ether or that the towel did Tony in, but nevertheless TONY ATLAS WAS SCREWED. All Gordon can say is that Ivan Koloff and Alexis Smirnoff have regained the Georgia tag team champions – for the moment. Gordon then claims the lady who is a nurse from Miami Beach seems credible. I don’t know if I would go that far. However, this has been the ETHER RAG ANGLE, folks.

  • Lars Anderson & Chief Jay Strongbow vs. Bob Sweetan & French Angel

Fairly even struggle for the first minute or so. Kevin Sullivan comes out to give us an update how Tony Atlas is doing. He’s now at the hospital and he’s still unconscious. Sullivan is wanting justice for what has gone down. The Angel and Sweetan work on Anderson’s ankle. Solie is still reeling from the ether odor in the studio. Tag to Strongbow, he does everything he always does. Lars tags back in and delivers a backdrop. He grabs an armbar, but the Angel trips up Lars and escapes over to Sweetan. This continues to be an even struggle as time runs out on the program at 3:21 shown.

Next up, there’s a clip of “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers putting over the Figure-Four leglock. They show Buddy instructing Buzz Sawyer how to do the hold at a much slower speed than a wrestler would normally apply the hold. The whole purpose of this is not only to put the hold over, but also allow Rogers to put over Austin Idol – Harley Race’s next challenge – as the biggest threat to Race’s NWA world title if Idol gets the Las Vegas Leglock hold on him.

Over to April 27, the Georgia heavyweight champ Austin Idol talks with Gordon Solie. He still thinks of himself as being the National TV champ. He mentions Baron Von Raschke’s name as being the current titleholder, but I don’t know what’s going on with that belt right now. He has healed from a concussion faster than the normal man because he’s no normal man. Idol meets Mr. Wrestling II in the Cobb County Civic Center – TONIGHT at 8PM!

After the break, Mr. Wrestling II gives his rebuttal to Austin Idol. He claims to be the “champion of champions”, but it sounds like a made-up thing to me.

Freddie Miller sets up the Chief Jay Strongbow-Ernie Ladd incident. Ladd attacks Strongbow with a Halliburton briefcase, but misses and gets put in the SLEEPERHOLD. Strongbow puts Ladd to sleep and the ref gives Chief Jay a hard time about “waking him up”. When Ladd won’t wake up, it appears he’s just playing around because he gets up and beats Strongbow with his shoe. Ladd ties Strongbow up in the ropes, throws away the ref, and rips up Strongbow’s Indian headdress before stuffing it down his throat. It takes half the babyface locker room to save Strongbow. Now over to the studio, Chief Jay Strongbow sends a message to Ernie Ladd that he’s going to hurt him. I mean, dang. Don’t get mad or anything.

After another break, Gordon Solie speaks with Tommy Rich who has been weakened over knee injuries. Sounds like the National TV title has been held up because of Baron Von Raschke. He feels he’ll be 100% very soon. Tonight at the Cobb County Civic Center, Rich takes on the Baron.

Next up, we hear from Baron Von Raschke. HE BEAT TOMMY RICH FAIR AND SQUARE. Apparently not. Raschke says the question now is who has the guts to face him over the vacant NWA National TV title. Tonight, he is going to put the CLAWHOLD on Tommy Rich and never let go.

Posted on April 13, 2020, in NWA and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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