"Bullet" Bob Armstrong and son Brad Armstrong

"Bullet" Bob Armstrong and son Brad Armstrong

January 3, 1981 Southeastern Championship Wrestling Television Show Review

By: Karl Stern (@dragonkingkarl, @wiwcool, karl@whenitwascool.com)

I grew up on NWA Southeastern Championship Wrestling as promoted by Ron Fuller based out of Pensacola, Florida and presenting shows from the Florida panhandle throughout Alabama up to the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.  1981 was about a year before I started watching wrestling regularly but thanks to the magic of YouTube I can now go back and watch a good chunk of Southeastern Wrestling that I missed.  Here is a look at the January 3, 1981 NWA Southeastern Championship Wrestling television show from the TV studio in Dothan, Alabama.

The show is hosted at this point by Charlie Platt, a Montgomery, Alabama area television personality and former pro wrestler Les Thatcher.  The show starts off with an introduction by Platt and Thatcher telling us what to expect in early 1981 and they note that in February they plan on having the reigning NWA World heavyweight champion Harley Race in the area, as well as, special attraction Andre the Giant.

The show kicks off with Jimmy Golden defeating Frank Levert.  We are told that Jimmy Golden has been out of action for several months due to a back injury.  Back in this era of wrestling that is usually code for "has been working another territory".  I'm not sure but I assume he has been working the northern end of Southeastern wrestling based out of Knoxville which was a separate television show and a different continuity from this one.  Golden defeats Levert with a neck breaker.

The reigning NWA United States Junior heavyweight champion Jerry Stubbs is interviewed about his on going feud with Norvell Austin who is now wrestling under a mask as The Shadow.  Southeastern (and later when it was re-branded as Continental Wrestling) was infamous for having wrestlers in masks for no really good reason.  Norvell Austin was wrestling part of the time (including later in this show) without the mask but in this program with Stubbs under a mask.  The reason being is that Jerry Stubbs said that Austin had used up all his title shots so as a way around the boycott Norvell just puts on a mask.  Ron Fuller wrestled under a mask as the Tennessee Stud during this time and later on Bob Armstrong would become The Bullet.  I suppose you could also say that in a few months in an effort to fool nobody, Jerry Stubbs would become the masked Mr. Olympia.

Jimmy Golden is the interviewed by Les Thatcher about his return to the area and says that he too will be challenging Jerry Stubbs.  Jimmy Golden is really stretching it to be a junior heavyweight and they make note of that during this interview.

Next up is a really good tag team match between the team that will eventually become known as the Midnight Express- Randy Rose & Dennis Condrey against Norvell Austin & Mike Jackson.  In a few months, Austin will turn heel and join Rose & Condrey as the Midnight Express.  Mike Jackson will continue to work many different territories as one of the top tier enhancement workers.  Rose & Condrey win by pinning Mike Jackson.

Les Thatcher then interviews the foursome of Ron Fuller (without a mask), Johnny Valiant, Bob Armstrong, and Brad Armstrong.  They are going to be involved in a Texas Death Match around the circuit this week against Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose & Ron Bass & Mr. Saito.  Actually, I don't think Johnny Valiant ever ended up wrestling a single match in the area.  He already missed one match according to this interview due to a "concussion" and was replaced by Bob Armstrong and I don't think he ended up working the one they are previewing either though we will find out next week I guess.

There is video of Ron Fuller (as the masked Tennessee Stud) & Bob Armstrong (substituting for Johnny Valiant) against Don Carson & the Mongolian Stomper and apparently this was the end for the Stomper and Carson in the area for a little while.  After that match the Stud and Bullet Bob are attacked by Randy Rose, Dennis Condrey, Ron Bass, and Mr. Saito to set up this program.

Then we have a squash match where the NWA Southeastern heavyweight champion Ron Fuller (now under a mask as the Tennessee Stud) destroys The Scorpion (an unknown enhancement wrestler).

Les Thatcher now interviews the bad guys: Ron Bass & Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose & Mr. Saito and they rant and rave about putting the babyfaces out of wrestling.

In the tag team main event, the NWA Southeastern tag team champions Bob & Brad Armstrong defeated Ron Bass & Oki Shikina.  After the match a big brawl erupts between all the main eventers to build up for this week's round of big matches.  Johnny Valiant even stands around and acts like he is going to do something.  A fine start to 1981 and they plug that Paul Orndorff is also on the way into the area.

January 3, 1981 (Television Show): Hosts Charlie Platt & Les Thatcher:  Jimmy Golden defeated Frank Levert... Jerry Stubbs (NWA U.S. Junior Champion) interview about The Shadow (Norvell Austin)... Jimmy Golden interview challenging Jerry Stubbs... Randy Rose & Dennis Condrey defeated Norvell Austin & Mike Jackson...  Les Thatcher interviews Ron Fuller & Johnny Valiant & Bob & Brad Armstrong... Video of Bob Armstrong & Ron Fuller against Don Carson & Mongolian Stomper with run-in by Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose & Mr. Saito & Ron Bass... Tennessee Stud (Ron Fuller) (NWA Southeastern Champion) defeated The Scorpion... Les Thatcher interviews Ron Bass & Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose & Mr. Saito...  Bob & Brad Armstrong (NWA Southeastern tag team champions) defeated Ron Bass & Oki Shikina... Show ends with two different brawls between Bob & Brad Armstrong & Tennessee Stud & Johnny Valiant against Ron Bass & Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose & Mr. Saito.   (Referee: Tommy Weathers)

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