Category Archives: 1981

Round-Up: February 1981

The new year got off with a bang last month with numerous title changes and feuds exploded across territories. More of the same in February 1981. Let’s start by seeing how the champ got on….

The NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Harley Race flew over to the Land of the Rising Sun this past month to defend the belt against former two-time title holder Giant Baba.  In addition, he was dealt some tough defences stateside by the NWA matchmakers.  Let’s see how he fared in February 1981.

DATEEVENTRESULT
6/2/81St. Louis Wrestling Club – Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, MOTed DiBiase defeated Harley Race (68th defense) by two falls to one in a Best of Three Falls bout. The third fall was via disqualification; therefore, Race retained the NWA World Heavyweight Title.
7/2/81Georgia Championship Wrestling – Memorial Auditorium, Chattanooga, TNMr. Wrestling II defeated Harley Race (69th defense) via DQ. Race retains the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
8/2/81Georgia Championship Wrestling – The Omni, Atlanta, GAHarley Race (70th defense) and Tony Atlas battled to a double count-out.
11/2/81All-Japan Pro Wrestling – Citizen Gymnasium, Nagareyama, Chiba, JapanGiant Baba and Jumbo Tsuruta beat Harley Race and Karl Kox by two falls to one.
12/2/81All-Japan Pro Wrestling – City Gymnasium, Tsu, Mie, JapanHarley Race and Dick Murdoch wrestled to a double count out in a non-title match.
13/2/81All-Japan Pro Wrestling – Wakayama Prefectural Gymnasium, Wakayama, JapanGiant Baba and Jumbo Tsuruta defeated Harley Race and Mario Milano by two falls to one.
14/2/81All-Japan Pro Wrestling – Municipal Sports Park Gymnasium, Omihachiman, Shiga, JapanGiant Baba, Jumbo Tsuruta and Tiger Toguchi defeated Harley Race, Karl Kox and Mario Milano by two falls to one.
15/2/81All-Japan Pro Wrestling – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, JapanGiant Baba defeated Harley Race (71st defense) by two falls to one in a Best of Three Falls bout. The third fall was via disqualification; therefore, Race retained the NWA World Heavyweight Title.
22/2/81Big Time Wrestling Texas – Reunion Arena, Dallas, TXHarley Race (72nd defense) and Kerry Von Erich went to a double count out. Race retained the NWA World Championship.
26/2/81Central States Wrestling – Memorial Hall, Kansas City, KSHarley Race (73rd defense) defeated Dick The Bruiser via count out.  Race retained the NWA World Heavyweight Title.
27/2/81Houston Wrestling – Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, TXHarley Race (74th defense)and Wahoo McDaniel battled to a double count out while the score was 1-1 in a Three Falls match.  Race retains the NWA World Heavyweight Title.

ALL-JAPAN PRO WRESTLING

Giant Baba fell short of becoming a three-time NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion in his 15th February title shot against Harley Race on the Excite Series tourIn the Best Two out of Three Falls contest, Baba pinned Race after delivering a big boot and then flying clothesline after nine minutes and 39 seconds.  The Korakuen Hall crowd erupt after the three count but they were hushed after Race tied the bout just over three minutes later.

The pair brawled outside with Race gaining the advantage with a suplex on the mats, then as Baba climbed back into the ring, Race suplexed the Giant back in and covered him for the pin.  Towards the end of the bout, with both men bleeding from the forehead after numerous altercations on the outside of the ring, Race lifted Baba for another suplex for a near fall.

Race then missed his patented headbutt and the action returned to ringside with Baba slamming Race’s head into the ring-post before throwing back inside the ropes.  Baba dished out another clothesline but failed to capitalize and could gain the win. Race suffered further punishment via an abdominal stretch and his frustrations threw the referee across the ring. The official was ready to disqualify the champion but Baba stopped the ref from ringing the bell and threw him down to the ground.

With the crowd hyped up, Baba caught Race into a sleeperhold and as Race was slipping into a deep sleep, he desperately low-blowed Baba causing the referee to penalize the champion and award the match to Baba.  However, the championship cannot change hands on a disqualification so race walked out of the arena with the belt.

In other matches on the tour, Baba and Race clashed many times in tag team and six-man tag team matches. Three nights prior to Race’s title defense, he battled Dick Murdoch in a non-title bout at the City Gymnasium in Tsu, Mie. It was a wild brawl with lots of outside action and chair shots which eventually the referee lost control of and it ended up as a double count-out after 13 minutes of action.

The Excite Series concludes on the 3rd March and at the end of the month, the 9th annual Champion Carnival begins with Baba and Tsuruta joined by 12 others in the tournament including Bruiser Brody, Abdullah the Butcher, Jack Brisco, Prince Tonga, “Killer” Tim Brooks and youngster from Tennessee, Wayne Ferris.  In the coming weeks, we will have full coverage of the excursion in our Big Tours feature.

BIG TIME WRESTLING (TEXAS)

The hottest feud in Texas is between King Kong (Bruiser) Brody and Gary Hart’s newest client The Great Kabuki.  The Japanese native made his debut last month in the territory defeating Don Diamond in quick fashion using a range of martial arts skills.  Kabuki, who stands at 5ft 11 inches and 240 pounds, will need to use the guidance of Hart and those martial arts skills if he is to win the war against the vicious, wild and massive Brody.

Fritz Von Erich promoted a huge ‘Star Wars 1981’ card at the Reunion Arena in Dallas which also saw him step inside the ropes for the show.  Fritz defeated Kabuki in a Texas Death Match, in a bout which came about after Fritz vowed revenge against the Japanese martial artist for attacking his son, David Von Erich.  David ended up losing teeth that attack so he got involved in this bout helping out his father as soon as Gary Hart began to become involved. David delivered a dropkick to Kabuki’s face then a huge back body drop to allow his father to cover and get the three count.

In other matches, Kerry Von Erich received an NWA World Heavyweight Championship match with Harley Race. This was a back-and-forth match-up with the young Kerry looking to dethrone Race in front of his hometown crowd and he pushed the World champion to the limit but controversially did not win the belt.  At the end of the match, the action spilled to the outside and a brawl broke out at the timekeeper’s table.  Harley slammed Kerry onto the table and measured him for a diving headbutt, but Kerry rolled out of the way while the referee’s count continued.  Kerry tried to climb back into the ring but the champ held onto his leg and the bout was ruled a double count-out.

Also, David and Kevin Von Erich won a match for the World Tag Team titles which was presented to the winner as a giant trophy, instead of the standard gold belts.  The Von Erich boys defeated Hercules Ayala and Ali Mustafa after Kevin hit Mustafa with a sunset flip from the top rope for the win.  A huge celebration broke out with many fans and all the Von Erich family storming the ring to enjoy the win.  In the main event, King Kong Brody took home $5,000 with a battle royal win.

CENTRAL STATES WRESTLING

The Memorial Hall placed host to another big night of action in Kansas City on February 12th, which saw new Central States Tag Team Champions crowned.  Former Stampede Tag Team champions The Kelly Twins (Mike Kelly & Pat Kelly) defeated Bruce Reed and Jerry Roberts to win the Central States tag belts for the first time.

Two weeks later (26/2), Harley Race was in town for a title defense against fellow veteran Dick the Bruiser defeating the Indiana-native via count out to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Title.

Against all odds, Sweet Brown Sugar overcame three men to win the Southern Heavyweight belt.

CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING FROM FLORIDA

In the sunshine state, Eddie Graham’s territory played host to no less than 16 big shows this past month and started with a bang with a Southern Heavyweight Title change on February 3rd at the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory.  Dick Slater beat Mike Graham to regain the title he lost to Graham on January 27th.  However, the next night in Fort Myers, Slater refused to defend the belt, was subsequently stripped of the title, and Sweet Brown Sugar became the new champion defeating The Assassin in one-off encounter for the vacated championship, even though he pinned the wrong Assassin.

The Assassin and Assassin #3’s manager Oliver Humperdink caused a distraction when Brown Sugar was on top of the fight. The Assassin #3 ran in the ring attacked Sugar and removed his tag partner from the ring.  However, the strategy backfired as Brown rolled up the second masked man anyways to claim the gold.

New Florida Tag Team Champions – Dusty Rhodes and Andre the Giant

The biggest show of the month was the “Battle Stars 1981” event from the O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida which also saw a title switch. The team of super team of Dusty Rhodes and Andre the Giant won the Florida Tag straps from the Cowboy Connection (Bobby Jaggers and RT Tyler).

The Dusty Rhodes-Assassin feud has raged on and began the month waging war in a ‘Lights Out’ unsanctioned bout in Miami on February 2nd.  The bout strangely was declared a double count-out and two nights later in Orlando, the pair met again on either side of a ‘Lights Out Tag Team’ match with Dusty team with Sweet Brown Sugar and The Assassin with the Masked Superfly. 

They continued to clash multiples times with Assassin #3 and Dory Funk Jr joining forces with the Assassin and Andre getting involved in tag matches with the good guys coming out on top the majority of the time.  Dusty ended up moving on into a feud with fellow former World Champion Dory Funk Jr, which concluded in a Bunkhouse match at the Eddie Graham Sports Arena on 20th February, with Dusty claiming the victory.  This bout sent Funk packing but he will return to the area in March to try and gather revenge on Rhodes.

Next month, many names have signed on the dotted line to challenge the NWA World Champion Harley Race, who will be touring with the promotion for the majority of March.  Amongst the names, challenging the champion is Mr. Wrestling II, Barry Windham, Mike Graham, Ted DiBiase, Manny Fernandez, Bugsy McGraw and former champion Jack Brisco.

The Fabulous Freebirds are still causing chaos in Georgia.

GEORGIA CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

The Fabulous Freebirds regained the Georgia Tag Team titles on February 2nd at the Bell Auditorium in Augusta defeating Ted DiBiase and Stan Frazier in a one-off bout for the vacated belts.  The championships were held up after the referee threw out a title match between the ‘Birds, DiBiase and Frazier on 31/1 television show.  

The NWA National Television Championship changed hands again this month, actually twice in consecutive weeks.  Bobby Eaton won the title last month, but dropped the belt to Steve O at the Omni on February 8th then Kevin Sullivan claimed the championship (21/2) on television.  Steve Keirn, who ran Eaton and Sullivan close this past month for the title, will get another shot at the gold against Sullivan on the March 1st Omni show.

On the big 8/2 event at Atlanta’s Omni, Georgia Heavyweight champion Tony Atlas received a World Heavyweight title show against Harley Race, but unfortunately for “Mr. USA” the bout ended in a double count out so Race walked out of Georgia with the belt intact.  Atlas gets a rematch inside a Steel Cage next month at the Omni (1/3).

The Junkyard Dog, who debuted last month in the territory, has joined the war against the Freebirds and he was involved in a special tag team match at the Omni.  He was in the corner of Robert Fuller and DiBiase against Buddy Roberts and Terry Gordy in a $15,000 vs. Fuller’s 1979 Lincoln Continental match where JYD was handcuffed to Hayes to stop the third man from interfering.  The ‘Birds gained ownership of Fuller’s car in January but they put the keys back on the line at the Omni show.  Hayes, Roberts and Gordy were in disarray as the team of DiBiase and Fuller grabbed the victory and took all the spoils.  The finish of the match came when Fuller pinned Roberts after Buddy ran into a JYD punch.  The frustrated Freebirds attacked their opponents after the bout.

Also, at the Omni, The Mongolian Stomper managed to escape with his NWA National Heavyweight belt by the skin of his teeth as he took a disqualification loss against Andre the Giant.  Andre looked to be clinching the title until Stomper’s manager Don Carson interfered and attacked the Frenchman with his cane.  Kevin Sullivan defeated Steve Keirn in a wild Boston Streetfight bout and Mr. Wrestling II and Ole Anderson’s feud continues on as Number Two won via DQ.

The promotion has hyped up the biggest Omni show for a long time on March 1st which is headlined by an Atlas vs. Race Cage bout for the World title.  In addition, The Stomper defends his National Heavyweight belt against Dusty Rhodes and the Freebirds defend the National Tag Team titles in a first-time ever bout – the Fantasia Gamble match.  This special stipulation bout is Best of Two out of Three Falls affair with all three ‘Birds going against DiBiase, Fuller and JYD with the belts on the line.

HOUSTON WRESTLING

The one-night four-man single elimination World Title contender tournament took place at the Sam Houston Coliseum on 6th February.  The final four saw Ivan Putski fall to ‘Gorgeous’ Gino Hernandez and Wahoo McDaniel defeat Terry Funk.  In the Funk-Wahoo bout, the Texan jumped McDaniel before the bell and attacked him with a chair when the action spilled to the outside.  However, against all odds after a few minutes of action, Wahoo rolled up Funk for the quick pinfall.

Ever the chancer, Hernandez rushed the ring and attacked Wahoo with Funk initially helping until the referee took control.  The finals of the tournament between Gino and Wahoo took place there and then, with Hernandez having the obvious advantage.

McDaniel was a bloody mess and Hernandez continued to dish out the punishment, delivering blows to the forehead and laying in the boots when Wahoo crumped down for safety. Hernandez dominated until he climbed the top rope allowing Wahoo to catch the ‘Gorgeous One’ coming off the top turnbuckle.  Wahoo then locked in a small package for a quick win and to earn an NWA Worlds Title shot against Harley Race later in the month.

On the 27th, Paul Boesch’s promotion held a huge show of the Coliseum with four title matches with three championships changing hands. Firstly, Evelyn Stevens became the new Texas Womens’ Champion by defeating Susan Green then Tiger Conway Jr. pinned Tank Patton to win the Southwest Brass Knuckles belt.  Gino Hernandez got his hands on some gold, winning the NWA International Junior Heavyweight title from Chavo Guerrero by two falls to one.

In the big one, Wahoo McDaniel failed to uncrown Harley Race but he took the World Champion close. In another three falls contest, Wahoo took the lead before Race leveled the bout up but the third and deciding fall saw both men disqualified so Harley remained the champion.  A rematch has been signed for next month (27/3) at the Coliseum and former champion Pat O’Connor has been nominated the guest referee in a special Indian Strap match.  It is reported that Harley Race is far from pleased.

MAPLE LEAF WRESTLING

After their battle last month, Angelo Mosca and Ivan Koloff resumed their feud in a No Disqualification match on 1st February at the Maple Leaf Gardens but Mosca retained his Canadian Heavyweight title.  By the end of the month, Mosca is still in possession of the belt even though he faced The Great Hossein Arab on two occasions at the Gardens (22/2) and in Kingston (26/2).  Jimmy Snuka got involved in the first encounter and Mosca has vowed to get his hands on the man from the Fiji Islands in the future.

Dewey Robertson and George Wells have lost the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team straps.

MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

New Mid-Atlantic Tag Team champions were crowned early in February at the Greensboro Coliseum on the 7th. The Japanese duo of Mr. Fuji and Tenryu defeated George Wells and Dewey Robertson to claim the belts in front of  capacity crowd in the Coliseum.

The NWA United States Heavyweight champion Roddy Piper vacated the TV title last month and details are yet to be released in how a new titleholder will be declared.  Piper defeated Ric Flair in controversial fashion in January and the pair have been exchanging blows virtually every night in February, either in a singles bout for the U.S. title, or in tag team or six-man bouts.

Gene Anderson has added Ivan Koloff to his Army and split up the team of Jimmy Snuka and Ray Stevens with now Stevens and Koloff tagging up and hey have integrated the old finishing move of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew into their arsenal, the Hammerlock submission.  Meanwhile, Snuka now has tunnel vision on Ricky Steamboat’s Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship.  The pair has met many times over the Carolinas so far, but Steamboat still possesses the gold.

Bruno Sammartino Jr. is making waves in the territory since debuting in December and is undefeated in singles competition since his sole defeat against Kim Duk on 24th January.  Over the past month, the youngster has disposed of Tenryu and Ricky Harris, and possibly more impressively overcoming veterans like Swede Hanson, Charlie Fulton and Jacques Goulet.  Sammartino has also been teaming with Don Kernodle on the circuit with the pair receiving shots at Fuji and Tenryu’s Mid-Atlantic tag belts, but have come up short so far.

Ole and Gene Anderson reunited and made a rare appearance in the territory on February 13th to challenge Paul Jones and the Masked Superstar for their NWA World Tag Team titles. The champions managed to retain against the Minnesota Wrecking Crew sending the crowd at the Richmond Coliseum home happy.

NEW-JAPAN PRO WRESTLING

The New Year Golden Series tour finished up for Antonio Inoki’s promotion with a big Inoki vs. Bobby Duncum bout at Korakuen Hall (12/2) with of course, Inoki grabbing the victory and send the crowd home happy.  The event saw a North American Tag Team title defense as The Samoans challenged the champions Riki Choshu and Seiji Sakaguchi with the Japanese duo winning a convincing two falls without reply in under 15 minutes.

Next month sees the beginning of a special NJPW Big Fight Series tour with the World Wrestling Federation being represented by Hulk Hogan, Don Muraco and Killer Khan and Mexican Lucha starts Fishman, Perro Aguayo and Gran Hamada from the Universal Wrestling Association.  The promotion announced that the Lucha Libre wrestlers with compete with members of the Junior Heavyweight division in a WWF Light-Heavyweight Title tournament, which will be in a round-robin league format.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST WRESTLING

Don Owens’ promotion in Portland has been on fire and it accumulated in a pair of huge Buddy Rose vs. Andre the Giant matches at South Salem High School (26/2) and the Portland Sports Arena (28/2).  Of course, Andre was victorious on both occasions and he has won a series of battle royals while visiting the territory.

Rose has been vying to regain the PNW Heavyweight Title from Jay Youngblood but had to deal with the dynamic young team of Buzz Sawyer and Matt Borne on Portland Television on the 7th.  Rose teamed with fellow Army member The Destroyer but could not defeat Sawyer and Borne and the four wrestled to a draw.  Later that night, ‘The Playboy’ put $2,500 into a $5k pot for the winner of a Youngblood vs. Rip Oliver bout in the main event, with the champion putting up the other half of the purse.

The match ended in wild fashion with Buddy Rose getting involved by throwing Oliver a leather belt which he used by wrapping up his fist and laying punches into Youngblood’s head forcing a cut on his forehead.  Oliver continued to punish the Native American by choking the belt around his neck, but Youngblood finally got the advantage and whipped Oliver’s back which caused him to flee the ring.  The referee Sandy Barr held up the winners purse until a rematch could be held on next week’s TV show – an ‘Indian Strap Match’.

The match did not go without the usual drama in Portland as Rose offered to take Oliver’s place in the match, an offer which pleased Rip as he wanted no part of the Strap Match.  At bell time, special referee Dutch Savage opened the ropes for Rose to enter the ring but Buddy refused.  Oliver was made to take the match and he was fuming with his ‘The Playboy’.  Youngblood emerged the winner after smashing Oliver’s head into the ring post twice causing Rip to bleed profusely then Youngblood dragged Oliver around the four corner turnbuckles for the win.  Later that night, Rose was forced to compete in a bout against face Buzz Sawyer that finished a one fall all draw before the time-limit expired.

Youngster Terry Allen made his in-ring debut last month and he nabbed his first win of his career at the Grand Theatre in Salem on February 12th against namesake Mike Allen.

Father and son duo, Brad and Bob Armstrong.

SOUTHEASTERN CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

Southeastern TV promoted the ‘Championship Month’ which broadcasted a title match on each week of television through the month of February 1981. As part of the campaign, Mr. Saito and Bob Armstrong resumed their feud as the Japanese grappler defended his Alabama State Championship against ‘Bullet’ Bob on the February 7th TV Show.  The referee was knocked down after Armstrong lifted Saito for a slam and the action ended up outside the ring. Dennis Condrey emerged from the locker room and attacked Armstrong with wooden board.  Saito placed Armstrong into a Japanese Sleeperhold but a second referee emerged to stop the bout and held the belt up so this title is now vacated. 

Saito, Condrey and Randy Rose are now identifying themselves as ‘The Terrific Trio’ and Brad and Bob Armstrong are faced them in a big six-man tag team bout in Birmingham (16/2) with the Armstrong’s teaming up with Andre the Giant with the Frenchman and the father and combo getting the duke.

Also, part of the ‘Championship Month’, Brad Armstrong put his United States Junior Heavyweight belt on the line against Jerry Stubbs on 14th February episode of their TV show.  However, once again Condrey got involved in the televised title match and this time tag team partner Rose joined him by attacking Stubbs with a pair of wooden boards.  Brad aimed to stop them attacking his opponent but the bad guys had advantage as Saito came out and helped dish out the punishment. Paul Orndorff and Norvell Austin emerged to chase the heels away.

In the final ‘Championship Month’ bout, Rose and Condrey defended their Southeastern Tag Team belts on 21/2 television show against Paul Orndorff and Norvell Austin. It was a back-and-forth match-up, until the bad guys gained an advantage and punished Austin however, Orndorff eventually clinched the hot tag.  Shortly after, Rose and Condrey collided when they tried to double team Orndorff. 

Orndorff rapidly jumped onto top of Rose to get the quick three count, and the new Tag Team champions were awarded their new belts.  After the bout, the new champions were attacked by Rose and Condrey and they consequently nailed Austin with a stump piledriver onto a wooden chair.  Austin was announced as out of commission after the attack and he and Orndorff decided to vacate the belts with immediate effect. 

A tournament to decide new tag team champions will take place on March 1st at the Municipal Auditorium in Pensacola, Florida.  In addition, another tournament is to be held on March 2nd at the Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham.  Sixteen men will meet in a single elimination tournament to win a World Heavyweight Title shot against Harley Race on 9th March in the same building.

Ken Lucas and ‘The Outlaw’ Ron Bass are currently contesting for the Southeastern Heavyweight Title.  Ron Fuller vacated the title and it unsure how Bass was awarded the championship but by the February 14th T.V. show, Lucas declared that he had recently pinned Bass to become the champion.

ST. LOUIS WRESTLING CLUB

The NWA Missouri Champion Ted DiBiase had a busy month in St. Louis.  Firstly, he challenged NWA Worlds Champion Harley Race and defeated Race by two falls to one, but Harley retained the gold as the deciding fall was via disqualification.

DiBiase then defended the Missouri title twice in the month as he retained the belt against former titleholder Ken Patera at the Kiel Auditorium on February 20th winning 2-1 in a three falls encounter and two days later, he resumed his rivalry Big John Studd.  DiBiase and Studd brawled around the Chase Hotel and the bout ended in a double count-out.

‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair returned to the territory and went to a double count-out against veteran Dick the Bruiser at the Kiel (20/2).

STAMPEDE WRESTLING

The Dynamite Kid and Bret Hart have been tearing up arenas in Calgary and its surrounding areas, with most of the results ending up in a disqualification win for the Englishman.  This is becoming quite the fierce feud in Stu Hart’s territory with David Schultz also becoming a thorn in the side for Bret Hart.

The team of Mike Sharpe and Duke Myers are the new Stampede International Tag Team Champions defeating the Burke Brothers, Bobby and Leo on 14th February in Calgary.  Sharpe and Myers have defended the belts across the territory give the Burkes’ some rematches and the pairing of Jim Neidhart and Kerry Brown.

The month of February was full of ups and downs for Leo Burke, after losing the tag straps, he claimed the Stampede North American Heavyweight title from Schultz on February 21st but sadly he lost it back to his nemesis a week later.  Meanwhile, Bruce Hart is still in possession of the British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight belt despite the numerous attempts by The Cuban Assassin to dethrone the 31-year-old Hart brother.

VANCOUVER ALL STAR WRESTLING

The bitter feud between Buddy Rose and Jay Youngblood travelled up north to Vancouver this month and ‘The Playboy’ suffered a huge defeat on 9th February.  The British Columbia fanbase witnessed Youngblood winning Pacific Coast Heavyweight championship by pinning Rose at the PNE Gardens.

WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION

Sgt. Slaughter has been displaying his Cobra Clutch finisher on many occasions on the Federation’s television programs challenging members of the locker room to a ‘$5,000 Cobra Clutch Challenge’.  Competitors like Johnny Rodz, Jack Carson and Rick McGraw have all attempted to break the hold and claim the cash – but have failed.

Pat Patterson has been vocal on commentary that he was studying the move and when the time was right, he would attempt to get out of the Sergeant’s hold.  As a result of Patterson comments, he had an altercation with Sgt. Slaughter on the 21st February edition of Championship Wrestling where Slaughter upped the challenge to $10,000 to the Canadian, but Patterson refused stating “he was not ready yet”. Slaughter has started to antagonise Patterson calling him a “chicken” for not taking up the challenge.  This one is surely going to blow up sooner, rather than later.

Slaughter has become one of the most hated wrestlers in the minds of promotions fans.  Chants of “Gomer, Gomer”, a reference to a TV character who is an incompetent gentleman that enlist for the Marine Corps, annoys Slaughter and his manager the Grand Wizard.  So much so on the 14/2 edition of All-Star Wrestling, Slaughter walked out of a match with McGraw.  Slaughter began to wear cotton wool in his ears on future matches so that he could not hear the derogatory chants.

Stan Hansen is the latest challenger to Bob Backlund’s WWF Championship.

The company’s first show of the year at Madison Square Garden took place on 16th February with Stan Hansen facing Bob Backlund for the WWF title.  The “Badman” Hansen had driven the Intercontinental titleholder Pedro Morales close just two nights prior at the Philadelphia Spectrum when the match ended in a double disqualification, but the World champion Bob Backlund delivered a different test to the Texan.

It was wild match for the Garden faithful to observe with constant brawling and both men ended up bleeding from the forehead.  The referee lost control and rang for the bell to throw the match out but it took three referees to split them apart and rematch has been signed for March 16th on the return to MSG.

Also, at the Garden (16/2), Morales was booked to defend his Intercontinental title against the hottest bad guy in the Federation, Sgt. Slaughter.  It was close affair but the match ended when Slaughter nailed Morales with brass knuckles and attempted to use them again before the referee caught him and called for a DQ.

Former two-time WWF Champion Bruno Sammartino wrestled a pair of bouts against Stan Hansen at the Boston Garden (7/2) and the Pittsburgh Civic Arena (20/2).  The first bout ended in double count out after the action spilled to the outside and both men failed to make it back in the ring.  The second saw a count out victory for Bruno under controversial circumstances.  Hansen tried to bring a chair into the ring but Bruno halted the man from Borger, Texas and thumped him over the head with it.  Hansen spilled to the outside and was counted out although Bruno should have possibly been disqualification for using a foreign object.

NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONNWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS
HARLEY RACEPAUL JONES & THE MASKED SUPERSTAR
1. Roddy Piper1. Giant Baba/Jumbo Tsuruta
2. Antonio Inoki2. The Fabulous Freebirds
3. Ric Flair3. Dory & Terry Funk
4. Giant Baba4. Ivan Koloff/Ray Stevens
5. Ted DiBiase5. Rick Martel/Tony Garea
6. Tony Atlas6. David & Kevin Von Erich
7. Bob Backlund7. Riki Choshu/Seiji Sakaguchi
8. Mr. Wrestling II8. The Moondogs
9. Andre the Giant9. Robert Fuller/Ted DiBiase
10. Wahoo McDaniel10. Antonio Inoki/Tatsumi Fujinami

This month’s match comes from the Chase Hotel, St. Louis, MO on February 22nd as Ted DiBiase and John Studd clash in the latest match in their rivalry on an episode of Wrestling From The Chase.

All Japan: The 9th Annual 12-Man Champions Carnival tournament begins.

Florida: NWA World Champion Harley Race will be touring with the company with multiple title defenses.

Georgia: March 1st – Atlas vs. Race for the NWA World title inside the confines of a Steel Cage. Should be a good one.

Houston: The Coliseum plays host to Race vs Wahoo in an ‘Indian Strap Match’ on March 27.

New Japan: A WWF and UWA contingent travel to Japan for the NJPW’s Big Fight Series tour.

Southeastern: Two big tournaments take place where new Tag Team champions will be crowned and a number one contender for the World Title.

WWF: The big Backlund vs Hansen WWF title rematch takes place at MSG on March 16th.

As always, thanks for reading…

Will Burns

Sources: Cagematch.netMid-Atlantic Gateway, MapleLeafWrestling.comWrestlingData, Joseph Shedlock Newsletters, Clawmaster Archives.

Round-Up: January 1981

Our journey takes us into the new year of 1981 with Harley Race still in possession of the NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion.  However, he has many contenders across the continent vying for an opportunity to take it way from him. Without further ado, let’s see how Race fared in January 1981.

Harley Race enters the new year with the World Heavyweight Title still around his waist and defended the belt 13 times over the past month.

DATEEVENTRESULT
1/1/81Central States Wrestling – Kansas City, KSHarley Race (55th defense) and Bruiser Brody fought to a double disqualification.  Race retained the NWA World Heavyweight Title.
2/1/81St. Louis Wrestling Club – Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, MOHarley Race (56th defense) defeated Ken Patera by two falls to one in a Best of Three Falls bout to retain his NWA World Heavyweight Championship belt.
8/1/81Mid-Atlantic – Norfolk Scope, Norfolk, VAHarley Race (57th defense) defeated Ric Flair. Race retained the NWA World Title.
9/1/81Mid-Atlantic – Charleston, SCHarley Race (58th defense) and Ric Flair fought to a double disqualification.  Race retained the NWA World Heavyweight Title.
10/1/81Mid-Atlantic – Memorial Auditorium, Spartanburg, SCJohnny Weaver and Ricky Steamboat beat Harley Race and Roddy Piper.
11/1/81Mid-Atlantic – Civic Center, Asheville, NCHarley Race (59th defense) defeated Ric Flair via count out.  Race retained the NWA World Title.
11/1/81Mid-Atlantic – Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NCHarley Race (60th defense) beat Ric Flair to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Title.
12/1/81Georgia Championship Wrestling – Bell Auditorium, Augusta, GAHarley Race (61st defense) defeated Tony Atlas to retain his NWA World Heavyweight Championship belt.
13/1/81Georgia Championship Wrestling – Macon Coliseum, Macon, GAHarley Race (62nd defense) defeated Tony Atlas.  Race retained the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
14/1/81Georgia Championship Wrestling – Municipal Auditorium, Columbus, GAHarley Race (63rd defense) beat Mr. Wrestling II to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Title.
16/1/81Georgia Championship Wrestling – The Omni, Atlanta, GATony Atlas and Dusty Rhodes beat Harley Race and Ole Anderson.
19/1/81Big Time Texas – Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, Fort Worth, TXHarley Race (64th defense) beat Kerry Von Erich to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Title.
22/1/81Central States Wrestling – Memorial Hall, Kansas City, KSHarley Race (65th defense) defeated Bruiser Brody in a No Disqualification match.  Race retained the NWA World Heavyweight Title.
23/1/81Georgia Championship Wrestling – Ohio Center, Columbus, OHHarley Race (66th defense) and Tony Atlas went to a no contest in an NWA World Heavyweight Title match.
24/1/81Big Time San Francisco – Cow Palace, San Francisco, CAPat Patterson defeated Harley Race (67th defense) via count out.  Race remained the NWA World Heavyweight Champion.

ALL-JAPAN PRO WRESTLING

It was a happy new year for Prince Tonga in Korakuen Hall on the first date of AJPW’s New Year Giant Series.  The 21-year-old from the Kingdom of Tonga was victorious in the traditional New Year’s Battle Royal on the 2nd.

The tour featured two title defenses for the NWA United National champion Abdullah the Butcher.  First, he battled long-time rival The Sheik to a double count out on the 3rd at Korakuen.  However, he left the tour empty handed as Jumbo Tsuruta pinned the Man from Sudan in 11:20 on the final day of the tour (22nd) at the City Gymnasium in Nirasaki, Yamanashi.

On the 13th, NWA International Tag Team titles were on the line, as Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta successfully retained against the dastardly duo of Mark Lewin and Abdullah The Butcher in a three-fall encounter at the City Gymnasium in Shimabara, Nagasaki. In a bout that went 20:27, the champions won by two falls to one.

Korakuen Hall played host to a huge title match as the AWA World and PWF Heavyweight belts were up for grabs as Verne Gagne faces Giant Baba on 18th.  Both men left with their titles as the bout finished with a double count out after around 19 minutes of action, with the bout tied at a fall apiece.

Baba will be vying to become a third-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion next month when Harley Race puts the gold on the line at Korakuen on 15/2.

BIG TIME WRESTLING (SAN FRANCISCO)

San Francisco promoter Roy Shire is getting out of the business and ran his final show at the Cow Palace on 24th January.  Pat Patterson returned to the territory to headline the card against World champion Harley Race.  Patterson defeated the champ via count out and also claimed victory in a battle royal on the same night, ousting Dick Slater over the top rope to win.

BIG TIME WRESTLING (TEXAS)

In was a busy month in the Von Erich territory that got underway on the 4th January at the Dallas Sportatorium.  The card was headline by a huge match, literally, as Bruiser Brody and Andre the Giant brawled to a no contest.

Two Tag Team title changes occurred throughout the month also, firstly Gino Hernandez and Gary Young lost their NWA American Tag Team championship to the team of Kerry Von Erich and Bruiser Brody at the Sportatorium on 11th January.  The NWA Texas Tag Team titles were held up late in 1980, the vacated belts were won by Raul Mata and Chief White Cloud, who defeated Raul Castro and Killer Tim Brooks.

Their biggest show of the month was at the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in Fort Worth (19/1) with Kerry Von Erich receiving an NWA Worlds Title bout against champion Harley Race.  Race ran out the winner but the 20-year-old Kerry took the champion to the limit going close to winning the belt.  In other bouts, Gino Hernandez and Kevin Von Erich continued their war in a singles contest with Kevin emerging the victor, and Brody and David Von Erich went to a time-limit draw with The Great Kabuki and Killer Tim Brooks.

Bruiser Brody vs Harley Race 1981 Japan | Bruiser brody, Harley race, Japan
Bruiser Brody came up short against Worlds Champion Harley Race in Kansas.

CENTRAL STATES WRESTLING

Bruiser Brody arrived into the territory to challenge Harley Race for the NWA World Heavyweight Title twice but left empty handed.  After the first bout ended in a double disqualification on the 1st, the rematch a night later was No DQ bout in front of packed house at the Memorial Hall in Kansas City.  The hometown boy Harley defeated Brody to retained the title.

The city of Kansas mourned the death of the first NWA World Champion Orville Brown, who sadly passed away on the 24th January aged 72.  He had been staying in a nursing home since 1979.

CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING FROM FLORIDA

Barry Windham experienced a month of mixed emotions as he and Mike Graham dropped their Florida Tag Team titles to The Cowboy Connection (Bobby Jaggers and RT Tyler) at the Eddie Graham Sports Arena on 2nd January. But he was crowned the new Florida champion when he defeated Dory Funk Jr. at the West Palm Beach Auditorium on the 12th.

Mike Graham gained some gold at the end of the month (27th) by defeating Dick Slater for the Florida Southern Heavyweight belt at the Fort Hesterly Armory.

A war between Assassin and Dusty Rhodes began when the Assassin (dressed in Mexican Lucha legend El Santo’s mask) brutally attacked Rhodes during an interview with Gordon Solie on the 14th January episode of Championship Wrestling from Florida.  See the angle here.  The Assassin recently returned to the area in December losing to Rhodes on his first match back. 

Rhodes came out on top in a non-sanctioned Lights Out contest on the 29th at Stetson University in Deland and the next night in Orlando a big tag team match was signed.  Rhodes and Sweet Brown Sugar defeated The Assassin and Dick Murdoch in a special ‘Whoever is pinned must leave Florida for 30 days’ match.  Rhodes pinned his former long-time tag partner Murdoch to send The Texan out of the territory for a month.  Rhodes and The Assassin are set to clash again at the Armory next month (24/2) with Eddie Graham handcuffed to Assassin #3 to stop the latter interfering.

GEORGIA CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

In a ritual for wrestling in Georgia, January 1st saw a huge Omni show pull in a sold-out crowd, with a main event bout between bitter rivals Dusty Rhodes and Ole Anderson.  In a no-disqualification contest, Rhodes was victorious but the result gave Anderson much to complain about.  After Dusty connected a right hand to the referee accidently.  Georgia Heavyweight champion, Tony Atlas, who was at ringside as cornerman for Dusty, was pulled up to the apron by Ole and they began to brawl. Rhodes surged forward into Ole which caused him to collide into Atlas and Dusty covered for the win.  After the bout, Ole and Alexei Smirnoff attacked Rhodes before Atlas gathered himself and saved Dusty from a serious beating.

Atlas and Anderson continued their feud on television a few days after the Omni show (3/1) and their match escalated into a brawl which ended up outside for a double count out.  The promotion ran the Omni again on the 16th with the pair clashing on either side of a huge tag team match.  The team of Dusty and Atlas overcome Ole and NWA World Heavyweight champion Harley Race with young Tony getting the pin on Race.

The Georgia champion Atlas continued a busy month trying to dethrone Race in Columbus, Ohio (23/1) but the bout ended in a no contest.  Atlas has also been a thorn in Alexei Smirnoff’s side.  On TV, Atlas defeated and unmasked a mysterious wrestler called the Russian Assassin and of course, it was Smirnoff under the hood. Smirnoff was irate and it took many members of the locker room to hold him back after the embarrassment.

In addition, on the 17/1 show at WTBS Studios, Atlas was attacked by NWA National Champion the Mongolian Stomper.  Atlas was displaying his strength in a bench press exercise at ringside which ended up with Don Carson’s man choking Atlas with the barbell.

The Fabulous Freebirds managed to escape with their Georgia Tag Team belts on New Years’ Day after Ted DiBiase and Robert Fuller were awarded the win, but via disqualification.  The team of Buddy Roberts and Terry Gordy were defending the titles and looked defeated when Michael Hayes got involved and caused the DQ. 

In the return match at the Omni, Hayes could not have the same impact as it was signed to be a no disqualification bout.  However, for the ‘Birds to agree to such a bout, Fuller had to put the keys to his 1979 Lincoln Continental online. Hayes ended up getting involved again and with the odds three against two, the Freebirds emerged as winners nailing Fuller with a triple piledriver for the win to retain the titles and gain the keys for the car.

By the end of the month, it would be a happy ending for DiBiase and the man that Freebirds injured last month, Stan Frazier.  DiBiase and Frazier defeated the ‘Birds (Roberts and Hayes) for the Georgia Tag Titles at the Bell Auditorium in Augusta on 26th but the war is far from over.  On the 31st TV show, the new champs put the belts on the line in a return match with the Freebirds and Terry Gordy, after Hayes declared was injured, intervened in the bout to allow the Freebirds to win.  The referee threw the match out and held up the titles and the vacant belts will be decided on 2nd February back at the Bell Auditorium.

The National Television belt changed hands twice in January with Steve O defeating champion Kevin Sullivan on the 16/1 Omni show. Unfortunately for Steve O, by the end of the month, he would lose it to Bobby Eaton on the 31st January edition of Georgia Championship Wrestling.  Eaton caused the studio audience into an outrage as he won the title with his feet on the ropes, and the referee missed the infringement.

In other news, Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan brought their feud to Georgia with the Frenchman coming out on top in a close battle at the Omni on the 1st January.

HOUSTON WRESTLING

Paul Boesch brought in the new year with five of his weekly shows at the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston.  The first show (2/1) saw Andre the Giant beat Tank Patton by two falls to nil in a Best of Three Falls bout after Patton suffered enough punishment and took a count out loss.  The Frenchman also saw victory winning a two-ringed 22-man Battle Royal.

The Funks (Dory and Terry Funk) appeared on two Coliseum shows.  On the 16th, both brothers were in singles competition with Dory going to a 20-minute time-limit draw with English grappler Billy Robinson and Terry defeated by Wahoo McDaniel.  The Funks then challenged the Southwest Championship Wrestling Tag Team Champions Ivan Putski and Wahoo McDaniel but came up short and lost by two falls to one.

Gino Hernandez, one of the most hated men in Boesch’s territory, has started tag teaming with Southwest wrestler Tully Blanchard and the pair were successful in a bout against Tiger Conway Jr. and Scott Casey (16/1).  Speaking of Gino, on the 9th January show, he was pinned by Wahoo McDaniel and they met again on 30/1 in the main event, unfortunately for “Gorgeous” Gino, Wahoo came out on top again.

Both Gino and Wahoo were announced for the one-night four-man tournament to take place on 6th February.  The winner of the competition will receive a Worlds title shot against Harley Race. The other two competitors will be Ivan Putski and Terry Funk.

MAPLE LEAF WRESTLING

The Canadian Heavyweight Champion Angelo Mosca did not have the chance to ease himself into the new year as Ivan Koloff challenge for the title at the Maple Leaf Garden on the 11th January.  Koloff won the bout via disqualification after Mosca punched referee Terry Yorkston at 22:48, and therefore Mosca kept the title around his waist.

On the same event, the Toronto crowd witnessed a brutal Texas Death Match between Bobby Duncum and Blackjack Mulligan.  It was a wild affair with the blood flowing after both grapplers used the spurs on their boots to cut each other open.  Duncum unveiled a horse show towards the end of the bout but Mulligan snatched it away and knocked out the “Bad Boy” for the win.

Flair dropped his US Title to Roddy Piper.

MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

The biggest news coming out of the Carolinas was that Roddy Piper defeated Ric Flair for the United States Heavyweight title on 27th January at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina but in controversial circumstances. The bout itself was a back-and-forth affair with Piper using dirty tactics but Flair looked to be retaining the belt once he had Piper locked into his patented Figure-Four leglock.

Piper grabbed the ropes and Flair kept up the attack but while the referee was trying to gain order, Piper reached into his trunks and used a metal object to smash Flair in the head before throwing it into the crowd. Piper covered the champion for the three count while the Nature Boy was out cold.  After protests from the Raleigh crowd, the referee searched Piper for the object but obviously this was not found.

The next day on Mid-Atlantic TV, an angry Flair was beating himself up stating he had underestimated Piper. Later in the show, Piper wearing his kilt with a shirt, jacket and bow-tie, emerged gloating and stated that “King Richard was dead” and mocking the fans by Woooo-ing down Bob Caudle’s microphone.  Piper called Flair out and gave Flair a present inside an oblong box.  Once Flair opened the box it had the Piper’s NWA TV title inside.

Flair was outraged by Piper for devaluing the TV title and refused the present stating he would not wear a title that he never won.  Flair pulled out the metal object used by Piper at the Dorton Arena that a fan had recovered in the crowd for him.  Flair continued to insult Piper’s attire and said he was wearing a “rented tuxedo”, Flair proceeded to remove his own jacket and tear it apart before leaving the studio.

As a result of that segment on TV, it was declared that the NWA Television belt was vacated and a future tournament would decide the new titleholder.

The Flair-Greg Valentine feud expanded into including Piper and Ricky Steamboat, with Piper and Valentine proclaiming themselves as the new “Dream Team”.  The two duos clashed on a big Greensboro Coliseum show on 24/1 with the good guys coming out on top.

Bruno Sammartino Jr. recently made his debut and Mr. Fuji has also arrived in the Carolinas and formed a tag team with countryman Tenryu.  The Japanese pairing have been challenging the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team champions George Wells and Dewey Robertson.

NEW-JAPAN PRO WRESTLING

Antonio Inoki’s promotion kicked off their New Year Golden Series tour on 9th January with a strong WWF contingent joining the excursion.  The Wild Samoans and Ken Patera represented the Northeast promotion with former Mid-Atlantic talent The Enforcer, impressive youngster Tom Prichard of Houston Wrestling and the vicious Bad News Allen (Stampede) also appearing.

The opening night saw The Samoans fall by two falls to one to the pairing of Inoki and Tatsumi Fujinami and Ken Patera pinned Seiji Sakaguchi.  On 16th at the City Gymnasium in Yokkaichi, Prichard challenged Fujinami for the WWF Junior Heavyweight Title but fell short and was defeated in under six minutes.

The Samoans got a shot at Riki Choshu and Seiji Sakaguchi’s NWA North American Tag Team belts at the Kochi Prefectural Gymnasium but the bout ended in a draw. They will receive a rematch on 12th February at Korakuen Hall on the final day of the 29-day series.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST WRESTLING

The most hated man in Portland, “Playboy” Buddy Rose, aimed to regain the PNW Heavyweight belt on 3rd January at the Portland Sports Arena as he battled Jay Youngblood for the upheld title in a three-falls bout amidst a ton of controversy as usual.

Youngblood punished the Playboy early on working on the arm submitting Rose the first fall. In the second fall, Youngblood continued to work on Rose’s arms slamming it into the ring post on three occasions and while referee Sandy Barr asked Rose if he wished to submit, Buddy punched Barr to have the bout thrown out. Rose continued to attack the official and Jay was unable to remove Rose, until his father Chief Jay Youngblood Sr. emerged to chop Buddy sending him to the back.

However, the belt became a bit of a hot potato as a rematch was held the following night in Pendleton, Oregon, with Youngblood emerging with the title, only to lose to Rose a night later in Longview, Washington.  Rose becoming the four-time champion thanks to the help of stablemate Rip Oliver.  However, Lightfoot claimed the belt again in Seattle on 8th January in a Title vs. Hair bout.

The Youngbloods and Joe Lightfoot faced Rose, Oliver and The Destroyer on the return to the Sports Arena on the 10th, with Jay getting the deciding pinfall with a reverse cradle on the Playboy but during the match, Buddy managed to grab the belt and take it to the back and declared he would throw the title over the Freemont Bridge and into the Willamette River.

Promoter Don Owens ordered Rose to pay $2,500 for a new title belt and suspended the wrestler until the 24th January.  Youngblood demanded that he wanted Buddy to present him the new belt once it had been created before yet another rematch for the championship.  Meanwhile, the war between Rose’s Army and the Native Americans continued as Lightfoot and Jay defended their PNW Tag Team belts against Oliver and The Destroyer on the 17th. At the match tied at one-fall piece, all four men were brawling in the ring and while referee Barr had lost control, Oliver rolled up Lightfoot for a quick pin.

On next weeks TV (24/1), Owens and Youngblood were in the ring awaiting Buddy Rose to appear to present the new PNW Heavyweight title to the young Indian.  Owens threatened Rose with a further two-week suspension if he failed to present the champion with the new $2,500 strap so, to avoid the suspension, the Playboy obliged… but then smashed Jay with a punch and laid the boots into him.  Youngblood Sr. and Lightfoot emerged from the back and chopped Rose until he fled.  This led to Rose getting involved in a Rip Oliver and The Destroyer vs. Lightfoot and Youngblood Sr. tag team title match.  Rose attacked both men during the men to end the bout with a disqualification so his Army retained their gold.

In addition, Jonathan Boyd has declared war on the Army.  Boyd challenged any member of the Army to match a match on TV (24/1) and the Destroyer and Oliver left the Australian grappler a bloody mess.  In other news, the former Mid-Atlantic Tag Team champions Buzz Sawyer and Matt Borne have arrived in the territory.

Brad and “Bullet” Bob Armstrong – the Father and Son tag team.

SOUTHEASTERN CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

Randy Rose and Dennis Condrey won the Southeastern Tag Team belts from Brad and Bob Armstrong (13/1 in Mobile, Alabama) due to interference from Mr. Saito. The team of Paul Orndorff and Norvell Austin are vying to uncrown the new champions but so far to no avail.

Saito vs. Bob Armstrong is the most high-profile feud in the promotion with pair feuding over the Alabama State Heavyweight title.  Saito defeated Bullet Bob for the strap at the Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham.

Brad Armstrong has been crowned the youngest wrestler to ever win the United States Junior Heavyweight belt, after Jerry Stubbs was stripped of the belt and Armstrong won a big one-night tournament at Mobile’s Expo Hall on 20th January in a huge sell-out show.  Other competitors in the tournament were Robert Gibson, Frank Lavertt, Roy Lee Welch and Japanese veteran Oki Shikina.

Stubbs did have gold around his waist shortly after as he beat NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion Les Thornton for his title at the 20/1 Expo Hall show, although the Englishman did reclaim it just four days later in Dothan. 

Additionally, on the 20/1 show, in a brutal double Bullrope match, Jimmy Golden turned heel on his cousin “The Tennessee Stud” Ron Fuller.  Golden and Fuller were battling Ron and Don Bass the Bullrope match and Don Bass suffered a broken leg after Fuller had the Texan locked in a Inside Step Over Toe Hold for a considerable amount of time.  Golden broke the hold and smashed his cousin in the head with the cowbell.  Golden appeared on the television show proclaiming himself to the new “Tennessee Stud”.  A week earlier, Johnny Valiant also suffered a broken leg due to Fuller’s hold, who is a former partner of Johnny’s, and Valiant is set to miss some time.

ST. LOUIS WRESTLING CLUB

Sam Muchnick’s St. Louis Wrestling started with a bang with a sell-out show at the Kiel Auditorium which was headlined with a Harley Race-Ken Patera World title bout.  The champion ran out a two-falls to one winner but Patera showed the packed crowd he was worth every penny of the ticket. In other matches, the Missouri champion Ted DiBiase overcame the big challenge of Ox Baker and King Kong Brody and Pat O’Connor beat Mike Kelly and Big John Studd.

Before the month was out, the promotion returned to the Kiel with the team of Brody and Andre the Giant pairing up for the first time ever. The sheer size of the duo was a sight to behold in a tag match against Dick Murdoch and Ric Flair.  Obviously, the big men ran out winners.  In what has become quite the ritual everywhere he goes, Andre also won a battle royal.

It was announced that DiBiase will get a shot at the NWA World Championship on 6th February at the next Kiel show in a three falls encounter.

STAMPEDE WRESTLING

After returning home to wrestle in England last October, The Dynamite Kid is back in Calgary and has been tag-teaming with David Schultz to battle the Harts (Bruce and Bret Hart).  Bret Hart is still in possession of the Stampede North American title despite the efforts of the 6-foot 6-inch-tall Schultz.

VANCOUVER ALL STAR WRESTLING

Continuing their feud from Portland, Buddy Rose and his army took their feud with Jay Youngblood up to Canada. On the 12th January Rose and Rip Oliver defeated Youngblood and Joe Ventura for the Pacific Coast Tag Team titles.

WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION

The newly crowned Intercontinental Champion Pedro Morales has experienced no shortage of contenders for the belt.  The Puerto Rican has defended against Sgt. Slaughter, The Hangman, Stan Hansen and Killer Khan over the last 31 days and still remains the titleholder.

Ring Posts: Q&A with Sgt. Slaughter - Baltimore Sun
Sgt. Slaughter has been challenging WWF Champion Bob Backlund throughout the month.

Sgt. Slaughter has also been trying to win the WWF Heavyweight belt from Bob Backlund.  The pair have clashed on big shows in the Nassau Coliseum (2nd), Capital Center (3rd and 31st) and the Philadelphia Spectrum (10th), but Backlund has possession of the title.

There was no Madison Square Garden show this month, but the Fed will return to the arena on February 16th with Stan Hansen challenging Backlund for the WWF Title and Slaughter facing Morales for the I.C. strap.

Hansen and former two-time champion Bruno Sammartino have battling across the Northeast this past month.  The wild brawling Texan picked up two count-out victories against the former two-time World Champion at the Boston Garden (10/1) and the Pittsburgh Civic Center (16/1), while the pair went to a double count out on 31/1 in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

Sammartino was lucky to escape the Pittsburgh bout without an injury after a brutal display from Hansen.  The Texan removed his elbow pad while Sammartino was on the outside and as the Italian climbed back up to the apron, Hansen smashed Bruno with his patented Lariat clothesline.  Bruno went tumbling down to the arena floor knocked unconscious and was counted out.

One of the WWF Tag Team Champions, Rick Martel suffered an elbow injury in a successful title defense (16/1 – Pittsburgh) against The Moondogs and partner Tony Garea worked the majority of the bout.  Martel and Garea won the bout when guest referee Special Delivery Jones disqualified the ‘Dogs, after King hit Garea over the head with a bone.  Martel returned to action on 27th at the Civic Center, Portland, Maine in a defeat against The Hangman.

NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONNWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS
HARLEY RACEPAUL JONES & THE MASKED SUPERSTAR
1. Antonio Inoki1. Giant Baba/Jumbo Tsuruta
2. Roddy Piper2. The Fabulous Freebirds
3. Ric Flair3. Dory & Terry Funk
4. Bob Backlund4. Ray Stevens/Jimmy Snuka
5. Tony Atlas5. Tony Garea/Rick Martel
6. Gino Hernandez6. The Wild Samoans
7. Andre the Giant7. Antonio Inoki/Tatsumi Fujinami
8. Giant Baba8. Riki Choshu/Seiji Sakaguchi
9. Bruiser Brody9. David & Kevin Von Erich
10. Ted DiBiase10. Robert Fuller & Ted DiBiase

See Ric Flair talk through his NWA United States Heavyweight Title loss against Roddy Piper here on an episode of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling. No footage of the full match at the Dorton Arena, 27th January 1981 is currently available but this video shows you the finish and listen to Flair’s opinion on the match.

All Japan: Korakuen plays host to a Race-Baba match where the Giant will be aiming to become NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion for a third time.

Big Time Wrestling (Texas): The huge Star Wars show takes place at Reunion Arena in Dallas on 22nd Feb. The full report coming.

Florida: Dusty has sworn that he will get revenge against The Assassin. They meet in a big bout at the Fort Hesterley Armory on 24th Feb.

Georgia: New Georgia Tag Team Champions will be crowned at the Bell Auditorium on 2nd Feb as Dibiase and Fuller meet the Freebirds once again to decide the vacant belts.

Mid-Atlantic: Flair vows to regain the US strap from Piper and with Steamboat and Valentine now involved in the feud, there should be some hot action coming out of the Carolinas.

New Japan: The New Year Golden Series concludes with a big Inoki vs. Bobby Duncum bout.

Southeastern: The promotion host ‘Championship Month’ on their TV show with a title defended on each week of television.

St. Louis: Can Ted DiBiase wrestle away the NWA World Title from champion Harley Race?

WWF: Stan Hansen returns to New York to face Bob Backlund at MSG on 16th Feb. Can the big Texan finally take the belt away from Backlund?

As always, thanks for reading…

Will Burns

Sources: Cagematch.netMid-Atlantic Gateway, MapleLeafWrestling.comWrestlingData, Joseph Shedlock Newsletters