Re: Florida Championship Wrestling 89
Saturday morning, first week of April, with the Battle of the Belts show tonight in Orlando.
Pre-opening, we see video of last weeks’ show closing, as Kevin Sullivan threw fire at the face of the Junkyard Dog from close range.
After the show opening, we go straight to a somber Gordon Solie, letting the viewers and audience know the JYD has been severely injured and his status for a return is unknown (Behind the scenes, the JYD has been released only a couple of weeks into his return for again turning to heavy drugs). Gordon says this was one of most horrible things he’s ever seen and of course out comes Kevin Sullivan to gloat. Commentator Eddie Gilbert, surprisingly has little to say.
Solie lets Sullivan know he shouldn’t be so happy as FCW president Buddy Colt was about to call him out to the podium. This should be really interesting, Sullivan says still laughing and grinning. Out comes Colt and he’s not happy.
“If it was up to me I’d have you thrown under the jail,” Colt tells Sullivan. Unfortunately the Junkyard Dog is not pressing charges. He’s told us someday, somewhere, he’ll meet up with you in the ring. “But it’s not going to be a Florida Championship Wrestling ring! Sullivan, I’m ordering you out of this company, you’re fired.” Crowd goes berserk.
Really? Sullivan asks. Yes, get out of here! Colt orders and Sullivan answers, “No, I think I’ll stay awhile. Mr Colt, please go back to the offices and get my contract, read page number four, paragraph two. I’ll be back out when you're ready.”
Fuming, Colt storms off and warns Sullivan this isn’t over. I’m certain it’s not, Mr Colt, Sullivan says, still laughing and he goes off through the opposite curtain.
Gordon asks what’s all that about and Gilbert replies if it’s what he thinks it is, a lot of people in Florida Championship Wrestling are going to keep getting hurt. Gordon moves on to the first match with AWA World Champion Larry Zbyszko coming to the ring.
Larry’s opponent in this non-title match is Brickhouse Brown and Eddie says Brickhouse could move up the ladder quickly with a pin today. He has a lot of skills and athletic ability so Larry should not overlook him. Gilbert is noticeably less rude and loud today.
Larry gets a round of boos after heeling it up during the early moments, stepping outside the ring and insulting the fans, telling the ref to shut them up, etc. Finally after a couple of minutes a dropkick by Brown sends him flying out of the ring and fires up the fans. The match is even until late as Brickhouse misses a dropkick off the top rope and Larry follows that up with a vicious piledriver to finish it.
Larry grabs his championship belt, continues to insult and yell at the fans and heads to the podium where he makes the mistake of mentioning how Barry Windham will be the next wrestler that’s going to LarryLand. Windham comes out to the podium and tells Larry he’s taking that belt tonight in Orlando but if he’s not afraid he can jump in the ring with him and get a taste of it right here and now.
Windham runs to the ring and Larry follows and starts to climb in, then stops, starts again then stops again as Windham is frustrated. Larry stops by the podium and tells Gordon the fans in the Sportatorium were already lucky enough to see him earlier, they don’t deserve a second match. Windham is left in the ring as we go to the break.
Before the commercials we get a rundown of the “Battle of the Belts” show tonight at the stadium in Orlando.
Back from the break and Buddy Colt has joined Gordon and Eddie at the podium. Sullivan is called out again and quickly is at the scene. “Go ahead and tell them what you found Mr Colt”, Sullivan laughs.
Colt explains, somehow, in Sullivan’s contract there is a clause stating he can’t be fired no matter his actions, his contract can only expire and it’s not going to for another 20 months. “I’ll be here longer than that, too,” Sullivan warns.
Colt says he’s upset he can’t fire Sullivan, but he’s not going to make things easy for him-starting tonight. He’s ordering Sullivan to compete in a no-disqualification match at Battle of the Belts, falls count anywhere in the stadium. Sullivan finally loses his smile and asks who he’ll be fighting.
“You like surprises so much you son of a bitch,“ Colt answers, “This’ll be one you’ll always remember!” Sullivan is furious and warns Colt not to send Rocky Johnson or Tony Atlas against him or either one will have his career ended. Colt tells him he almost forgot, Cactus Jack has a replacement opponent in the Florida title tournament tonight-Scott Hall! The crowd of course roars and Sullivan storms off after spouting some nonsense and threats to everyone in FCW.
We go back to the ring and hear a mysterious, Oriental sounding theme and it’s manager Gary Hart leading the Great Muta to the ring. Gordon explains Muta was previously in Florida wrestling three years ago but since then has been receiving secret training, he’s been told and doesn’t know what to expect of him. Today’s opponent is Bill Mulkey who has recovered from his injuries from a couple weeks back. Eddie is again low-key despite his recent past with Mulkey. Muta spits the green fog into the air before the match begins and gets an “ooh” from the fans.
Muta is all over Mulkey from the start with chops, quick elbow drops, a dive straight through the ropes onto a disoriented Mulkey on the floor, and the springboard elbow in the corner. Crowd wants to boo especially with Gary Hart heeling it up but they’re in awe and Muta even gets a few cheers until he starts with the choking and rulebreaking. Gilbert leaves the podium and comes back about a minute later with Doug Gilbert and tells Doug “this is what you have to look forward tonight,” not showing any sympathy at all.
Muta finally puts away Mulkey with a moonsault from the top rope and Eddie tells Doug good luck. Doug goes back through the curtain as Gary Hart and Muta approach.
Hart asks Eddie if there’s going to be any problems right now since Muta is facing Doug tonight, and Muta is more than a match for him, Doug and the Perez brothers. Eddie says no there won’t be. He’s very impressed and says Doug will have the challenge of his young career tonight. Hart agrees and says he’s brought Muta into Florida for one reason, the FCW world championship. He turned down an offer to bring Muta to Georgia, he says because Muta is going to be wherever the competition is toughest and says Doug Gilbert will the first of many to fall. Eddie doesn’t correct him as the Hart and the silent Muta walk away.
(behind the scenes update: Hart was “shooting” as Muta did indeed sign with FCW instead of WCW . The arena attendance, high viewership for the TV show and the February stadium show at the Orange Bowl have allowed the company to bring in new stars and keep others who would have been only temporary due to high salaries. Hart will be working on the booking crew in addition to his on screen manager role. In reality, Hart was at least partly responsible for much of the great early to mid 80s World Class booking).
Commercial break and another Battle of Belts promo, then we come back with Mark Starr and Chris Champion-Wildside-already in the ring. They’re facing the tough brawlers Johnny Ace and the Terminator this morning Gordon says.
Starr and Champions’s tag team maneuvers are reminiscent of the Midnight Express and Champion’s former team, the New Breed, as they’re all over the much slower team. It’s basically a squash to show off Wildside for the stadium show tonight and they end it with a combination suplex/cross body block from the top rope on Johnny Ace.
Champion and Starr come to the podium and say they’re excited about the opportunity tonight to win the AWA world tag team titles. They know they’ve not been around as long as some teams but they’re confident they can get it done. Wildside is about to leave the podium area when they’re attacked from behind by the AWA champs Mike Enos and Wayne Bloom-The Destruction Crew! (later the Beverly Brothers in the WWF)
Enos and Bloom are in their prematch gear with hard hats and sledgehammers and really do a number on Wildside, even busting each open with the sledgehammer blows. Gordon says the Destruction Crew was not even supposed to be here today and they stop the carnage to let Gordon know they go where they want and do what they want and if these punks needed a beating if they thought they had a chance to win THE world tag titles, emphasis on the word THE. Enos and Bloom leave and several preliminary wrestlers come in to help Wildside back to the locker room.
We slow down a bit, going right back to the ring with a six-man match: Doug Gilbert, Al and Lou Perez vs. Tony Atlas, Rocky Johnson and Pistol Pez Whatley. Al and Lou have a big tag team title match tonight against Dustin Rhodes and Kendall Windham, and Gordon says should they win that match Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas will surely be a team they could meet down the line.
Al and Lou hold their own when they’re in the ring but whenever Doug tags in he is totally overwhelmed, even by midcarder Whatley. Part of his problem is paying too much attention to Missy Hyatt, who’s cheering him on despite it doing very little to help him out. A “pier six brawl” breaks out with all men in the ring, then the Perez brothers basically abandon Doug who gives up to the full nelson of the powerful Tony Atlas.
Missy comes into the ring to check on him and Eddie says he’s had enough of this. Eddie goes into the ring and it’s said-in so many words-he caught Doug and Missy together last week. Missy tells Eddie that’s none of his business and Eddie pushes her down! By now Doug has recovered and we have a brother vs. brother fight that goes all over the Sportatorium. The Perez brothers are staying out of it and have headed to the back already and a group of preliminary wrestlers are out to break it up.
Final break of the day and we get another complete rundown of the Battle of the Belts card including Dusty Rhodes defending the FCW world title vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, the Fantastics vs. The Nasty Boys for the FCW world tag titles, Barry Windham vs. Larry Zbyszko for the AWA world title, Wildside challenging the Destruction Crew for the AWA tag belts; Tyree Pride vs. Buzz Sawyer with the TV title on the line; Al and Lou Perez defending the Florida tag titles vs. Kendall and Dustin; Florida heavyweight semifinal matches of Scott Hall vs. Cactus Jack Manson vs. Scott Hall and Dick Slater vs. Eddie Gilbert, with the winners meeting also tonight; The Great Muta defending the (made-up by FCW) Japanese title vs. Doug Gilbert, Kevin Sullivan vs. a Mystery opponent. We come back from the break and Gordon says in addition to these matches, there will be a 20-man battle royal with the winner getting a Florida title match next week on television. Tickets for the 60,000 seat stadium have been sold out, Gordon says, but the show is also available on pay per view and closed circuit television throughout Florida, and in other portions of the Southeast.
Kevin Sullivan has joined us at ringside as Gordon says Eddie and Doug Gilbert have fought their way out of the building. Gordon isn’t happy to have Sullivan around and he knows it, taunting as we go to the final match of the day: Scott Hall and Dick Slater vs. Kareem Muhammad and Teijo Khan, with Sir Oliver Humperdink.
Kareem and Khan start off rule breaking but Slater and Hall are working well together, Gordon notes. Sullivan gives them credit, saying Hall was a former AWA tag champion and Slater has won numerous tag titles, and they know what’s involved in these matches. Massive Kareem gets the upper hand with a low blow on Slater after a distraction on referee Scrappy McGowan.
Gordon says it’s a bit unusual for Hall and Slater to be teaming since they could be in the tournament final tonight and Sullivan says that’s not going to happen, Cactus Jack Manson is going to beat Hall, “and more importantly,” he’s going to injure him. Gordon, as usual, is disgusted and Sullivan knows it.
Back to the ring and Slater gets the hot tag to Hall who cleans house including giving the heels a Hulk Hogan style “noggin knocker”. Kareem and Khan are on the run and out comes Bam Bam Bigelow, drawing the disqualification but the three combine to get the better of the fatigued Slater, then Hall.
Finally after about a minute, Dusty Rhodes comes into the ring and it’s even, until Sullivan yells for Mark Lewin, Buzz Sawyer and Cactus Jack to come out and shortly after it’s a six on three as the fighting spills out of the ring and all over the studio. Then it’s Barry Windham, Blackjack Mulligan, Kendall Windham and Dustin Rhodes, the Perez Brothers, The Fantastics, the Nasty Boys, and then pretty much the whole locker room out brawling wherever they can to the crowd’s delight.
We finally get order restored in the last minutes of the program and Sullivan says for once that was a fight he needed to stay out of, since he has to be ready for anything tonight. Sure enough, he’s attacked from behind by none other than…Abdullah the Butcher! Gary Hart is with him and encourages Abdullah who stabs Sullivan repeatedly in the forehead with his trusty sharp bone, busting him open.
“You thought you’d gotten rid of Abdullah, didn’t you?” Hart yells though Sullivan is in no position to hear it. After more stabbing and beating, Abdullah and Hart leave to a loud roar from the crowd. Gordon says he doesn’t deserve it but we need medical attention for Kevin Sullivan, who suddenly gets to his feet, completely enraged and wearing a crimson mask. He pushes Gordon, kicks over the podium, attacks preliminary wrestlers sent to aid him and tells everyone they’re going to pay, as the show ends.