January 24, 1981 Southeastern Championship Wrestling Television Show Review

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

I continue my series looking at NWA Southeastern Championship Wrestling from 1981 with the next to last television show of January.  If you missed last weeks episode check it out here.

Judging from the time stamp this looks like a near complete episode so let's find out.

Charlie Platt and Les Thatcher start off the show by telling us that Johnny Valiant has a broken leg and will be out of action for a while.  In kayfabe terms this means he has left the territory.  He came in "injured" with a concussion and left with a "broken leg" all in the course of a month and thus far I've only seen a clip of him wrestling once against the Tennessee Stud (Ron Fuller).

Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose come out and interrupt the opening of the show.  Dennis Condrey challenges Paul Orndorff to an arm wrestling contest.  Orndorff is doing the arm wrestling gimmick here and we have already seen a clip of him beating Ox Baker in the Mid-South area.  They are now calling Paul Orndorff the "Florida state arm wrestling champion".

Time for our first match: Brad Armstrong verses Oki Shikina.  Brad wins the match with a roll up. 

Bob Armstrong is now out for an interview.  We get highlights of Bob & Brad Armstrong against Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose with liberal interference by Mr. Saito.  We get an extended brawl between Saito and Bob Armstrong.

We then get the hype for the coming Monday night's wrestling show at Birmingham, Alabama's Boutwell Auditorium.  The gimmick this week is a two ring battle royal.  Mr. Saito defends the NWA Alabama title against Bob Armstrong, Norvell Austin & Paul Orndorff face Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose, Brad Armstrong verses Jerry Stubbs for the NWA U.S. Junior heavyweight title, Robert Gibson verses Ron Bass, Jimmy Golden verses Jimmy Jones, and Larry Horne verses Oki Shikina.  I guess they needed Jones and Horne to fill out the battle royal.

Les Thatcher interviews Mr. Saito and Jerry Stubbs.  We then go over to Bob and Brad Armstrong to cut promos first.  We get some new information here.  Apparently Brad has won the NWA U.S. Junior title in a tournament we learned about last week after Jerry Stubbs lost the belt to Jimmy Golden and then Golden was stripped of the title.

They are really trying to find something for Brad to do.  They had him and Bob Armstrong briefly as the tag team champions now, in less than a month, they have him as the NWA U.S. Junior champion.

Jimmy Golden is out with Charlie Platt for an interview.  We find out that Jimmy Golden has already turned on Ron Fuller in Mobile, Alabama.  I guess that's why Ron took him back into the family last week was to foreshadow Jimmy Golden's heel turn.  Charlie Platt asks him straight out if he hired Johnny Valiant to turn on Ron Fuller also but Golden doesn't really cop to it.  In fact, he puts Valiant down saying he has left the area because he couldn't take care of business.  Ron Fuller and Jimmy Golden have both buried Valiant post his departure so I'm assuming that in real life Valiant didn't endure himself too much to the Fuller family.

Our next TV match is Mr. Saito (NWA Alabama champion) verses Roy Lee Welch.  Good back and forth match between the two.  Roy Lee Welch is an under rated mat worker and Mr. Saito is a world class wrestler.  Mr. Saito wins with a suplex.

Les Thatcher interviews Norvell Austin, Paul Orndorff, and Ron Fuller about the two ring battle royal.  The rules are complicated as it's a "triple chance" battle royal.  Basically, it's a two ring battle royal that ends in a tag team match with the winning team splitting a sum of money.  

We go to another studio to hear from Ron Bass & Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose & Mr. Saito.  We find out a little new information in this interview.  Either Dennis Condrey or Randy Rose apparently won the 1980 Corvette tournament as Randy Rose made reference to their new car they won.

We come back from break for our next TV match.  Robert Gibson & Frank Levert against Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose (NWA Southeastern tag team champions).  A lot of elements of future Midnight Express verses Rock & Roll Express here.  In a few months Randy Rose & Dennis Condrey will begin calling themselves the Midnight Express.  A couple years later Randy Rose will be replaced by Bobby Eaton in Mid-South.  Robert Gibson will hook up with Ricky Morton and become the Rock & Roll Express.  Frank Levert is the odd man out here.  

Robert Gibson trips over Dennis Condrey.  Robert Gibson is quite clumsy early in his career.  This is the second week in a row that he's tripped and face planted.  Levert tags in and Randy Rose does a drop toe hold to which Levert falls the wrong way so apparently his clumsiness is catching.  Randy Rose pins Levert with a middle rope knee drop.

We get a clip now from the arena of Norvell Austin & Paul Orndorff against Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose.  The claim this is following an 18 man battle royal like the one coming to Birmingham this week and there are two rings in the clip.  Norvell Austin will join Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose later on as part of the Midnight Express.

We get another promo from Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose and we find out from that it was Randy Rose who won the 1980 Corvette.

We now get another TV match as Paul Orndorff wrestles on television for the first time in the area teaming with Norvell Austin against The Superstar & Jimmy Jones.  The Superstar is a generic enhancement gimmick in Southeastern with a variety of people using it.  This appears to be the same person who played The Scorpion last week.

We find out during the match that February is going to be "championship month" with a title defended on television every week.  We also learn again that fan favorite Ken Lucas will be returning to the area.  Orndorff pins Jones with a cradle suplex.

Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose then come into the ring with a table and challenge Paul Orndorff to an arm wrestling match which Orndorff accepts.  The arm wrestling match ends with a fight, of course.

We then get an interview with Robert Gibson and Jimmy Golden and Oki Shikina and Ron Bass hyping the battle royal.

This is a rare month with five Saturday's in it so there is one more show this month on January 31.

January 24, 1981 (Television Show): Hosts Charlie Platt & Les Thatcher:  Randy Rose & Dennis Condrey promo... Brad Armstrong defeated Oki Shikina...  Highlights of Bob & Brad Armstrong against Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose... Interview with Mr. Saito & Jerry Stubbs and Bob & Brad Armstrong.  We find out Brad is the NWA U.S. Junior champion... Jimmy Golden heel turn promo... Mr. Saito (NWA Alabama champion) defeated Roy Lee Welch... Interview with Norvell Austin & Paul Orndorff & Ron Fuller... Interview with Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose & Ron Bass & Mr. Saito...  Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose defeated Robert Gibson & Frank Levert... Clips of Paul Orndorff & Norvell Austin against Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose... Paul Orndorff & Norvell Austin defeated The Superstar & Jimmy Jones...  Dennis Condrey arm wrestling challenge to Paul Orndorff...  Battle royal promos... (Referee: Lou Swartson)

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