Because they were such great singles wrestlers, The Texas Outlaws are somewhat overlooked as one of the great tag teams of the 1970s.
Dick Murdoch and Dusty Rhodes didn't try to be cool bad guys, they just tried to be hated. And succeeded. This program from Jacksonville highlights Dick Murdoch at his boisterous best. The cover article may not have been, ahem, direct quotes from Murdoch but it does capture his personality and why he was such a larger than life personality that drew money everywhere he wrestled.
Here he feuds with a former amateur star from Oklahoma, Dale Lewis. Lewis was a former Olympian who main evented all over the country.
The other half of the Outlaws, Dusty Rhodes, was one of the most hated men in Florida. Here he teams with another blonde monster, the vastly underrated Tarzan Tyler. They face another great amateur from Oklahoma just making his mark in the Sunshine State, a young guy named Jack Brisco. Brisco teams with the Kentuckian, who would become better known as Grizzly Smith.
Check out all the talent on this card that would go on to become superstars elsewhere, including World champions. Dusty Rhodes, Jack Brisco, and Ronnie Garvin combined to win six NWA World heavyweight championships. Masa Saito is a former AWA World heavyweight champion and co-holder of the AWA and WWE World tag team championships. Dick Murdoch is famous for many championships including holding the WWE World tag title with Adrian Adonis. Tarzan Tyler was on the first recognized WWE World tag team champions with Luke Graham. Grizzly Smith would become a legend in the Mid-South territory both as a wrestler and a booker. The Great Mephisto, Danny Miller, and Dick Steinborn all starred in different territories around the country.
Star Wars at Reunion Arena
The Dallas-Ft. Worth promotion was unusual in the sense that it ran weekly cards within 30 miles of each other in both cities.
They would build to the semiannual Super Cards at Reunion Arena, called Star Wars.
The Von Erich brothers were just starting to come into their prime a year before the World Class television show would get national syndication.
The feud between Gary Hart and his wrestlers against the Von Erichs had literally gone on for years. For the past year, the Great Kabuki has taken Texas by storm as he was developing into an international star. Hart teamed Kabuki with a Japanese masked wrestler called Chang Chung. Chung was actually veteran Sakurada. Kabuki and Chung had captured the World Class tag title from the Kevin Von Erich and David Von Erich. After holding off the eldest combination of in rematches, Kabuki and Chung would give a title shot to the combination of Kevin Von Erich and Kerry Von Erich.
In an interesting twist, Kevin Von Erich came to the ring in street clothes, unable to wrestle due to injury. The Von Erichs chose Terry Orndorff to replace Kevin. Orndorff's biggest claim to fame until this point was being Paul Orndorff's younger brother. Terry ended up winning the tag titles with Kerry when he pinned Chung with a body press of the top rope.
Hart blamed the title loss on "Big Daddy" Bundy, who was introduced to Texas as a fan coming out of the stands a few weeks earlier. The 400-pounder from Alaska had asked for an opportunity to wrestle. Hart had agreed to let Bundy to wrestle Chung at Reunion Arena for 10 minutes with Bundy getting $50 for every minute he could last with the experienced Chung. During the match, Bundy injured Chung's ribs, hampering Chung for the title match. "Big Daddy" Bundy would become King Kong Bundy about a year later and would go on to main event Wrestlemania II against Hulk Hogan.
Jack Brisco makes first defense against Dory Funk Jr.
Jack Brisco and Dory Funk Jr. renewed their three-year running feud for the NWA World heavyweight championship with a twist. This time, it would be Brisco defending the title.
In fact, it was Brisco's first defense of the belt in the city he won it.
Houston was also the city where Funk had some of his greatest defenses during his 4-and-a-half year reign as World champion.
Funk has lost the belt to Harley Race in his first match back following a traffic accident and most experts considered him the undisputed number one contender.
To add even more intrigue to the match, it was refereed by another leading contender for the title, Houston favorite Wahoo McDaniel.
Brisco's clean victory over Funk Jr. solidified his reign as NWA World heavyweight champion.
Kevin Von Erich and Gorgeous Gino Hernandez were involved in a brutal feud for the majority of 1980.
Hernandez had been sensational since returning to the Texas rings that Spring, managed by Gary Hart.
Hernandez first won the Texas state heavyweight championship from Mark Lewin and in May upset Kevin Von Erich for the American heavyweight championship.
Von Erich and Hernandez brutalized each other at every possibility but Von Erich was unable to regain the American title.
Hart came on television and said he wanted to humiliate Von Erich and challenged him to wrestle Hernandez in a Hair vs. Hair match, so Hart would have the opportunity to shave Von Erich bald if Hernandez won. Fritz Von Erich came out during the interview and asked Hart if he was so confident why didn't Hart risk his own hair? Hart reluctantly agreed and the match was set.
Boesch's 50th Anniversary Celebration
Paul Boesch celebrated his 50th year in professional wrestling in Texas-size style.
The city of Houston hosted a three-night tournament to honor the venerable promoter.
Stars from around the country showed up for the event including Verne Gagne (making a rare appearance outside the AWA), AWA World heavyweight champion Nick Bockwinkel, Terry Allen (the future Magnum TA), Wahoo McDaniel, Dick Slater, Gene Kiniski, the Sheik, Ken Patera, Tully Blanchard, Gorgeous Gino Hernandez, Hiro Matsuda, Ivan Putski, Ernie Ladd, Mike Graham, Manny Fernandez, and more.
I'm hesitant to say this because Paul Boesch is on the short list of great promoters of all time and he's a personal hero of mine.
But this tournament was one of the goofiest things ever.
Instead of having eliminations, we had a "committee headed by Paul Boesch and AWA President Stanley Blackburn".
It was a tournament where results of the matches meant absolutely nothing. There was a series of matches Friday night and a series of matches Saturday night.
The "committee" then decided who advanced to the finals on Sunday.
Gino Hernandez was pinned Friday and Saturday night. The 0-2 Hernandez advanced to Saturdays finals.
Tom Prichard won both of his matches by pinfall Friday and Saturday night. He didn't make it to Sunday's finals.
Not only did Friday and Saturday results mean nothing, it actually got more ridiculous.
Tito Santana didn't wrestle either Friday or Saturday night, but was still invited to Sunday's finals.
He won the tournament, beating Ken Patera.
And you thought figure skating had a weird judging system.
October 19-November 1
10/22/79 - "Polish Power" Ivan Putski & Tito Santana down Luscious John & Gentleman Jerry Valiant, managed by Captain Lou Albano, in New York's Madison Square Garden to capture the WWF tag-team championship
10/22/81 - Dewey Robertson beats Gene Lewis in Kansas City to win the "NWA" Central States television championship. Robertson would go on to gain fame as The Missing Link.
10/22/91 - In their first-ever meeting, former NWA and WCW World champ Ric Flair defeats Hulk Hogan in Dayton, Ohio.
Flair is included in a gathering of the greatest matches in the history of wrestling’s most coveted prize in Wrestling Classics’ NWA World heavyweight championship matches, available now.
10/22/94 - Toshiaki Kawada downs "Doctor Death" Steve Williams in Tokyo to capture the Triple Crown, consisting of the PWF, "NWA" United National, and "NWA" International heavyweight titles.
10/22/95 - After "beating" an injured Shawn Michaels via forfeit in Winnipeg, Shane Douglas immediately drops the WWF Intercontinental strap to Scott Hall. This gives Douglas the distinction of having the shortest-ever reign as both the WWF Intercontinental champ and NWA World champ.
You can also see Shawn Michaels early in his career in Texas Tape 25.
10/23/56 – Mike & Ben Sharpe capture the “NWA” World tag straps for an amazing 12th time, beating Dr. Bill & Ed Miller in San Francisco. The Sharpes would go on to hold those belts some 17 times in their career.
10/23/81 - Ken Patera beats Jack Brisco in St. Louis to garner the "NWA" Missouri State title.
10/23/89 - The Soul Taker (Charles Wright) downs Jerry Lawler in Memphis to capture the "Unified World title." Wright would go on to find fame as Papa Shango, Kama Mustafa, and The Godfather in the WWF
10/23/92 – Wahoo McDaniel & Jay Eagle down Ivan & Vladimir Koloff in North Wilkesboro, NC to capture the tag titles as recognized by National Championship Wrestling
10/23/94 - With former partner Mr. T as special ref, WCW World champion Hulk Hogan downs Ric Flair in a retirement match in Detroit to close out the Halloween Havoc PPV.
10/23/95 - Alyndra Blaze (Debra "Madusa" Miceli) bests Bertha Faye (Rhonda Singh) in Brandon, Manitoba to regain the WWF women's championship.
10/24/74 - Ray Stevens & Nick Bockwinkel, managed by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, upend Billy Robinson & The Crusher in Winnipeg to take the AWA World tag team championship.
10/24/79 - Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood defeat “Number One” Paul Jones & Baron Von Raschke at WRAL studios in Raleigh, NC (during a taping of “Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling”) to win the Jim Crockett Promotions version of the “NWA” World tag-team championship. The following week, Steamboat relinquishes his “NWA” TV belt.
10/24/84 – “Big Cat” Ernie Ladd beats Magnum T.A. in Shreveport to capture the North American heavyweight title as recognized by Mid-South Sports, Inc.
Don’t miss a moment of the classic action from Bill Watts’ legendary group in Mid-South Tape 1.
10/24/92 - Don Muraco beats “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka in Philadelphia to win the ECW heavyweight championship.
10/24/93 – The Nasty Boys (Jerry Saggs & Brian Knobs) beat Marcus Alexander Bagwell & Too Cold Scorpio in New Orleans to regain the WCW World tag straps.
You can see the Nasty Boys early in their career in the South Atlantic Collection.
10/25/64 – Kinji Shibuya is awarded the U.S. title as recognized in San Francisco.
10/25/82 – “Number One” Paul Jones, managed by Sir Oliver Humperdink, downs former NWA World champ Jack Brisco in Fayetteville, NC to regain the “NWA” Mid-Atlantic crown.
legendary matches from Jim Crockett Promotions in Mid-Atlantic
10/25/92 – In one of the most universally-panned PPVs in wrestling history, Sting beats Jake “The Snake” Roberts in a “Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal”-induced coal miner’s glove match at Halloween Havoc.
10/26/1897 – Dan McLeod beats Farmer Burns in Indianapolis to win the American freestyle championship.
There isn’t any footage available on Dan McLeod or Martin Burns, but you can customize matches by hundreds of other superstars in the Wrestling Classics Video Store.
10/26/76 - Mr. Wrestling II beats the unpredictable Dick Slater in Columbus, Georgia to take the “NWA” Georgia heavyweight title.
10/26/80 - Dusty Rhodes bests Hangman Bobby Jaggers in Fort Lauderdale to win the “NWA” Florida title.
Check out classic action from one of wrestling’s true hotbeds, the Sunshine State, in Florida Tape 1.
10/26/82 – Jules & Jay Strongbow beat Lou Albano’s team of Mr. Fuji & Masa Saito at the “Championship Wrestling” tapings in Allentown, PA to capture the WWF tag belts.
10/26/83 - Junkyard Dog thumps Hacksaw Butch Reed in Shreveport to win the North American title.
10/27/58 – George Becker & Mike Clancy down Fritz & Waldo Von Erich at Park Center in Charlotte, NC to win the “NWA” Southern tag-team championship.
stars from the past in Golden
Age Wrestling Tape 9.
10/27/87 – Strike Force (Rick Martel & Tito Santana) hit The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart), managed by Jimmy Hart, and walk away with the WWF tag belts in Syracuse, NY.
10/27/91 - Brian Pillman beats Ricky Morton in Chattanooga to become the first-ever WCW World light heavyweight champion.
10/28/89 – Special ref “Living Legend” Bruno Sammartino raises the hands of Ric Flair & Sting following their exciting Thundercage victory over Terry Funk & The Great Muta, managed by Gary Hart, in Philly). Between them, the participants in this match (including the ref) account for some 68 World titles, as sanctioned by organizations such as the NWA, WWF, WCW, ECW, WCWI, and IWGP.
Flair’s historic win over Harley Race for the original
“Ten Pounds of Gold” in NWA
World heavyweight championship matches, available now.