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Georgia Championship Wrestling (12.26.1981) review

-Originally aired December 26, 1981.

-Your hosts are Gordon Solie and Roddy Piper. Gordon is giving off major “woke up ten minutes ago” vibes for some reason. But Gordon and Roddy have a great exchange to start. Roddy insults Gordon because he “didn’t get any Christmas cards yesterday.” Gordon cheerfully replies that he did indeed receive both of Piper’s cards in the mail, and Piper responds humorously.

-The Armstrongs show up and Piper immediately puts down his mic and leaves. They are happy that they held the National Tag Team Titles all the way back to 1982 and that they will keep them all year long.

-Tommy Rich is here. He’s STILL feuding with the Masked Superstar, and a few fans have pointed out that it’s never really the Superstar who harms Tommy; they are the henchmen that Superstar always has with him. So Tommy waves a handful of bills and promises that he now has a mercenary of his own, and that he’ll show up in Georgia soon. Gordon hints that he already knows a specific detail that Tommy didn’t mention in the interview, and that more information will come later.

JIM GARVIN vs. KEN TIMBS

-Garvin is suddenly clean shaven and looking pretty good.

-Piper tries to comment on a microphone that doesn’t work while Garvin Timbs throws around and moves the arm. Garvin whips Timbs and clotheslines him for a three count. Wow, a clothesline for the three count. I’d say Garvin is ready for Survivor Series.

-Masked Superstar is here demanding information on Tommy Rich’s henchman because he doesn’t like surprises and he’s the National Heavyweight Champion, dammit! Gordon says he doesn’t have the freedom to reveal what he knows and throws it in the ring.

KEVIN SULLIVAN vs. DON GILBERT

-Sullivan elbows Gilbert and puts the boots on his back. Sullivan moves the arm as the crowd chants “Go home, Kevin,” so apparently Georgia was so lax about kayfabe at this point that they let the studio audience give the time cues to the wrestlers. Stun gun and an elbow from Sullivan for the win.

-Tommy Rich is back here with Bad Bad Leroy Brown. We flashback to Steve O tricking Super Destroyer into responding to the name “Superstar,” which actually makes everyone look a little stupid now that we know in kayfabe that he isn’t.

-Next we go to the Omni on Thanksgiving night with Rich fighting Superstar. Both men get wiped out and Steve O and Buzz Sawyer suddenly go to the ring and brawl for unexplored reasons. With the referee’s attention diverted, Superstar hits a switcheroo with Destroyer, and Superstar gets a tainted win to capture the National Title.

-So now, on New Year’s Day, Tommy has signed a match for the Omni: a six-man elimination match. Tommy, Leroy and Stan Hansen vs. Super Destroyer, Terry Gordy and Austin Idol.

-We went through the card for the New Year’s Day omni and this is a pretty damn stacked show:
Kabuki vs. Dick Slater
Bob & Brad Armstrong vs. Funk Brothers
Abdullah the Butcher vs Masked Superstar
Andre the Giant vs. The Assassin with the mask on the line
Plus the elimination match.

BOB & BRAD ARMSTRONG (National Tag Team Champions) vs. RICK HUNTER & ED TIMBS
-Armstrong’s double-team Hunter (who isn’t the working Rick Hunter I know) and Piper are immediately disgusted. And while he’s at it, how can Brad ever learn how to become a wrestler on his own when absolutely everything about his career is what his dad tells him to do? It would have been a great payoff to have Brad take the bait and become a running buddy for Piper, but I have a feeling such a twist wouldn’t even have occurred to someone who booked in 1981.

-Timbs comes in and Brad pushes his knees against him. Jobbers catch Brad in the corner, but Dad immediately comes to the rescue. Brad bounces off the ropes and body slams Timbs for a three count.

-Ron Bass is here to remind us that he is, in fact, a heel.

-Masked Superstar is back, and in the span of about a minute he bashes all the babyfaces in the company and explains why he doesn’t like them all, and it’s actually really impressive how he did that from memory.

RON BASS vs. TOM ROGERS

-Bass bashes Rogers as Bob Armstrong storms over to the commentary table and tells Piper that if he has something to say, he’s a big boy and he’d like to say it in person. And of course Piper waits until he walks away before he gives his rebuttal.

-Bass dominates Rogers and finishes him off in no time with the Texas rush.

EL GRAN APOLLO vs. MIKE JACKSON

-Apollo continues his “We have NO idea what to do with this guy” tour in this area. He snaps Jackson down. Jackson gets his bearings and pushes him into the ropes as Piper tells us he eats steak three times a day just because he can. Here’s your fun fact for this week’s episode.

-Jackson takes Apollo down and applies a side headlock. Consecutive moves lead to Apollo grabbing Jackson with a headscissors. Apollo’s German suplay gets the three count out of nowhere. It felt like they were just getting started there.

-We get a great promo from Terry & Dory to hype their title shot on New Year’s Eve. Don’t bother opening other businesses in Atlanta because it will be THE event in town that night. And the Funks promise to be at every Omni show in 1982 because they won’t lose those titles this year.

BUZZ SAWYER vs. KEN HALL

-Sawyer with forearms to start, and he dumps Hall on the concrete. Hall comes to life and slams Sawyer into the ropes, but the dropkick attempt fails. I really want them to stop recording and check the ring, because every time someone hits the ropes, the other side of the ring comes off the floor, and it scares the hell out of me.

-Sawyer ties Hall to the mat and locks in a headlock. Powerslam by Sawyer, and Gordon confirms it was in fact a FULL powerslam for the win.

-Ole Anderson comes to plead on Sawyer’s behalf and wants to know why no REAL competition will sign contracts to face him.

-Let’s start with hour #2!

-Tommy Rich and Leroy Brown are here again, and Tommy is still waving his money and bragging about what he can get done by offering a few bucks to the right person. Superstar and Destroyer object to this and confront Tommy, but when Tommy acts like he’s ready to fight back, the masked boys leave.

PAUL JONES vs. MARVIN TURNER

-Jones shoulder blocks Turner and works Turner’s arm. Fans cheered for Jones when he was introduced, but Piper puts him way, way over the side, so I’m not clear on his heel/face status in this area.

-Jones delivers an aggressive punch and takes Turner down for an armbar. Jones goes after the back again and again, getting out of trouble, but he suddenly calls out Piper and challenges him to be Turner’s partner to make it a handicap match, and the crowd jumps huge as Jones throws down the gauntlet. Jones goes back in and finishes Turner with the Indian deathlock.

-Gordon welcomes Michael Hayes to the commentary table, and they definitely recorded this before letting the crowd in and it’s a weird atmosphere.

MASKED SUPERSTAR & SUPER DESTROYER vs. KEN HALL & TONY VALENTINO

-Masked guys take out Hall and beat him. Valentino comes in and gets knocked over. Hall gets beaten up. Valentino gets beaten up.

-Tommy Rich comes out for guest commentary, and Superstar immediately throws Valentino over the top rope, deliberately disqualifying him to end the match and clear the ring so he can talk to Rich, and Rich is ready for a fight , so we have a brawl in the studio, with Rich holding his own early on, but just as the 2-on-1 advantage becomes an issue, Leroy Brown is there and he beats Destroyer with his helmet as we go to a advertisement.

-Tommy Rich goes outside and shouts, “To the bounty hunter!” i just immediately scribble that angle after teasing it in the first hour so i feel like someone didn’t show the shot. So now his new deal is that he won’t wrestle another match until he signs a match with Superstar AND Super Destroyer.

-Freddie Miller is here. He has made some calls to GCW higher-ups and has been given permission to make the following announcement: The New Year’s Eve card at the Omni has been changed. The elimination tag team match has begun and Tommy Rich and Bad Bad Leroy Brown now face Super Destroyer and Masked Superstar. So SOMETHING happened to the one who was supposed to make a surprise appearance as a bounty hunter.

-And apparently the higher-ups in GCW were feeling really frisky, because Bob Armstrong comes over to quickly announce that the title match against the Funks is now a Texas Tornado match.

-Super Destroyer and Masked Superstar are here, and Superstar is furious that GCW surprised him with a match AGAIN.

JIM GARVIN vs. JACK FULLER

-Garvin works over Fuller with a toe hold, and a shoulder block gets the win. Oh come on, a shoulder block?!

-Buzz Sawyer is still trying to convey the idea that he’s a pretty boy now.

BUZZ SAWYER vs. WAYNE BLALOCK
-Sawyer attacks the ring, rams Blalock, then slams it shut. Sawyer pounds away as Ole Anderson walks by and reveals he’s made a deal with Buzz to “coach” his career. A series of backbreakers from Buzz, and a big elbow gets the three count.

BOB & BRAD ARMSTRONG (National Tag Team Champions) vs. JIM VERTEROSA & DEKE RIVERS
-Armstrong works on Verterosa. I was sitting here gasping for a snarky comment about how much Verterosa looks like a very young Ole Anderson, and finally the light bulb went on. This is ARN under a different name at the start of its career. The funny thing is that he wears Ole-style tights and boots with the stars on them, as if he already knows what his fate is.

-Heels get the upper hand, and Vertarosa pushes him down for a second. Brad applies a side lock to the Vertarosa, and I want to ask Arn if he has any memory of this TV recording, because what stands out to me here is that his left boot is being held together with tape.

-Jobbers get the upper hand on Brad and punch him while Piper rides Bob’s ass for just staying there and letting his son get spanked, the exact opposite of his feud with Bob in their previous match.

-Hot tag to Bob, and all four men brawl in the ring. Bob gets Vertarosa with a bodypress off the second rope for the three count.

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