February 21, 1981 Southeastern Championship Wrestling Television Show Review

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

When It Was Cool continues our series looking at the promotion I grew up watching- Ron Fuller's NWA Southeastern Championship Wrestling (which becomes Continental Wrestling in the summer of 1985).  This episode is February 21, 1981.  If you missed last week then click here.

Hopefully this week we will get some clarification on who the NWA Southeastern heavyweight champion is.  In recent weeks Ron Fuller (AKA: the masked Tennessee Stud) was turned on and injured by his cousin Jimmy Golden so he lost his smile and quit the territory and gave the Southeastern belt to Charlie Platt.  Then, with no explanation, Ron Bass turns up on television as the Southeastern champion.  Last week, Ron Bass was the Southeastern champion but in the middle of the show an interview with Ken Lucas aired where he reveled he had won the Southeastern title from Bass.  The show went off the air with no real explanation of who the real champion was.  I am assuming it is Ken Lucas but let's hit play and see.

Charlie Platt and Les Thatcher introduce the show and tell us we will be seeing Stan Lane (the first time this year) and mention that Southeastern "favorite" Ken Lucas will be on the show with no mention of him as champion.

Our first match is already up:  Stan Lane verses Roy Lee Welch.  This is our first look at Stan Lane in the area and he will be pushed over the coming months as a top junior heavyweight.  So in the area right now we have: Dennis Condrey, Randy Rose, Stan Lane, and Robert Gibson- all of their careers would be forever intertwined in various ways from the Midnight Express to the Rock & Roll Express.  We do learn through commentary that Brad Armstrong is still the NWA U.S. Junior heavyweight champion.  Even this early in his career, Stan Lane is a tremendous wrestler.  Much better than Robert Gibson at this stage and already as good as anyone in the area.  Stan Lane wins by pulling the tights so he is going to start off as a heel.

Bob & Brad Armstrong are out to the desk and we see highlights of Brad Armstrong defending the NWA U.S. Junior heavyweight title against Chick Donovan.  Donovan would, at some point, win the U.S. Junior title.  "Bullet" Bob is all depressed because he's had a lot of trouble recently with Ron Bass and Mr. Saito.  In this clip Bass had the Southeastern belt with him.  

Now we get our first look at the upcoming Monday night's Birmingham, Alabama Boutwell Auditorium card:  Robert Fuller verses Jimmy Golden in a special challenge (Robert returns to the area to avenge his brother Ron), Ken Lucas defends the NWA Southeastern heavyweight title against Ron Bass (the graphic says Jimmy Golden but Les Thatcher said Ron Bass), Six Man Southern Street Fight Match:  Bob & Norvell Austin & Paul Orndorff verses Randy Rose & Dennis Condrey & Mr. Saito, Brad Armstrong defends the NWA U.S. Junior title against Stan Lane, Robert Gibson verses Oki Shikina.  No Jerry Stubbs for this week.

Interviews with Stan Lane and Brad Armstrong.

Charlie Platt sits down with Stan Lane.  Watching these shows back to back Charlie Platt's catch phrase is "A lot of action going down in the Southeastern wrestling area."  He says it at least twice a show.  I never noticed this before.

Split screen interviews with Paul Orndorff & Norvell Austin and Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose.

We get our championship match this week:  Paul Orndorff & Norvell Austin against Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose (NWA Southeastern tag team champions).  Early Paul Orndorff is athletic! I don't know when Orndorff got so slow and plodding but these early years he was quick and dynamic.  The match starts with a great exchange between Orndorff and Rose.  Condrey and Norvell are two different wrestlers from Rose and Orndorff so the action slows down.  This is a heck of a television match so far.  A lot of people really overlook the Midnight Express version of Randy Rose & Dennis Condrey but from 1981 to about 1983 they were as good as any team could be expected to be.

The match slows down with Rose & Condrey working over Norvell Austin for a while as Paul Orndorff waits for the inevitable hot tag.  Orndorff comes in and is a HOUSE OF FIRE.  And Orndorff pins Randy Rose so we have new NWA Southeastern tag team champions- Paul Orndorff & Norvell Austin.

After the match the heels get their heat back by beating up Norvell Austin until Jerry Stubbs hits the ring for the save.  Stubbs was attacked by Rose & Condrey last week so now Jerry Stubbs is a full fledged babyface now.

This has been a really hot show thus far and we are only about half way in.  Will the show die a death now or will this be a really memorable episode?

We have Les Thatcher interviewing Paul Orndorff, Bob Armstrong, and Jerry Stubbs.  We find out that Norvell Austin was injured in the post match attack and that Jerry Stubbs will be filling in for him in the upcoming Six Man Southern Street Fight so Stubbs is on the show after all.

Interview with Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose & Mr. Saito.

Bob Armstrong is wearing white overalls.  I thought that needed pointed out.

Our next match is in the ring:  Mr. Saito (NWA Alabama champion) verses Robert Gibson.  Saito is schooling Gibson with some amateur wrestling.  Stan Lane, who we saw earlier, is so much more advanced than Gibson at this point.  Robert Gibson is clumsy.  He just moves all clunky.  Mr. Saito wins with a brutal suplex.

Jerry Stubbs & Bob Armstrong & Paul Orndorff and Mr. Saito & Randy Rose & Dennis Condrey interview.

Bob Armstrong is bragging about his white overalls again.

We get another match in the ring:  Ken Lucas verses Oki Shikina.  Lucas does not have the Southeastern belt with him.  Shikina attacks him right off the bat but Lucas quickly puts Shikina in the Lucas Sleeper for the win.  In less than a minute, Ken Lucas is the winner. 

Jimmy Golden comes out to the desk for a look at a video clip verses Ken Lucas.  I'm guessing from this interview and the messed up graphic earlier that the original plan for next weeks house shows were supposed to be Lucas against Jimmy Golden.  Ron Slinker comes out and challenges Jimmy Golden to the ring.

We go to the ring for a brawl.  Jimmy Golden slides in to fight Ron Slinker but Ron Bass joins in and assists Golden in beating down Slinker.  Ken Lucas runs in to save Slinker.  

We get the run down of Monday night's Boutwell Auditorium show with corrected graphics this time including Jerry Stubbs replacing Norvell Austin in the six man southern street fight.

Interviews with Jimmy Golden & Don Bass and Bob Armstrong & Ken Lucas.

Charlie Platt and Les Thatcher wrap up the show.

The big take-aways from this week are the injury to Norvell Austin, clarification on the fact that Ken Lucas is the NWA Southeastern champion.  No word on what happened with Andre the Giant at the arenas last week.  No mention of him at all.  And I suppose the biggest thing to happen is Stan Lane is in the area will end up being one of the top junior heavyweight names for a few months.

The YouTube series is pretty erratic after this.  I will fill in the gaps as I can.  I'll be converting my personal collection over in the coming months and it's possible I might be able to fill in a gap or two.

February 21, 1981 (Television Show): ...  Stan Lane defeated Roy Lee Welch...  Bob & Brad Armstrong interview...  Highlights of Brad Armstrong defending the NWA U.S. Junior title against Chick Donovan...  Clips of Bob Armstrong against Ron Bass... Brad Armstrong and Stan Lane interviews...  Charlie Platt sit down interview with Stan Lane...  Interviews with Paul Orndorff & Norvell Austin and Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose... Paul Orndorff & Norvell Austin defeated Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose for the NWA Southeastern tag team titles... Interview with Bob Armstrong & Paul Orndorff & Jerry Stubbs...  Mr. Saito defeated Robert Gibson... Jerry Stubbs & Bob Armstrong & Paul Orndorff and Randy Rose & Dennis Condrey & Mr. Saito interview...  Ken Lucas defeated Oki Shikina...  Jimmy Golden interview turns into brawl against Ron Slinker with run-in by Don Bass and Ken Lucas...   Jimmy Golden & Ron Bass and Bob Armstrong & Ken Lucas interview...  (Referee: Larry Brock)

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