March 21, 1981 Southeastern Championship Wrestling Television Show Review
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). There is a one month jump on YouTube. I haven't seen an episode since February 21 so I'll have to go back and fill in the gap later if possible. So, jumping ahead a month in time for me watching let's see what is going on. A lot can change in a month in the territories.
We find out that the company running the promotion has changed. It really hadn't. Ron Fuller still owned and ran the company but was giving the illusion that a major sports company called "International Sports, Inc." had taken over Southeastern wrestling. They supposedly also promoted rugby and other sports. We join the hosts Charlie Platt and Les Thatcher discussing this.
Both the world champions are supposed to be on today's show. The NWA World heavyweight champion Harley Race and the NWA World Junior heavyweight champion Les Thornton.
The first match is in the ring: Stan Lane verses Robert Gibson. When last I saw Southeastern wrestling, Stan Lane was the NWA U.S. Junior champion but he is without the belt here and not introduced as champion. These two would be paired up for years to come with the Rock & Roll Express verses the Midnight Express feud but in 1981 they were both relatively rookies. Gibson takes much of the first part of the match. Stan Lane comes back and takes the win with his feet on the ropes. Brad Armstrong runs in to protest to the referee.
Stan Lane isn't having any of this and kicks Brad in the ribs. Gibson makes the save and Lane flees the ring.
Next up Charlie Platt introduces us to Ardel Neal, the chairman of the board of International Sports, Inc. I have no idea who this guy is. Money mark? I don't know. Never heard of him before or since. Ardel tells us that International Sports, Inc. also promotes Sumo wrestling, Rugby, Soccer, and Stock Car racing. Yeah, I bet. Charlie is struggling to get through this segment. That was a completely throw away segment.
We now get the hype for this coming Monday night at Birmingham, Alabama's Boutwell Auditorium: Special Challenge Match- Ron Fuller verses Jimmy Golden, Ken Lucas (NWA Southeastern champion) verses Ron Bass... Randy Rose & Dennis Condrey (NWA Southeastern tag team champions) verses Paul Orndorff & Norvell Austin in a lumberjack match, Mr. Saito verses Bob Armstrong for the NWA Alabama title, Stan Lane verses Robert Gibson for the NWA U.S. Junior title, Brad Armstrong verses Chris Markoff.
So, I guess pretty much nothing has changed in the last month that I missed as this was exactly the same set of wrestler here then. Jerry Stubbs is missing from the show, however, and Ron Fuller is returning after leaving for several weeks.
Bob & Brad Armstrong & Robert Gibson interview and Stan Lane & Mr. Saito dueling interviews.
Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose interview. The upcoming Birmingham match will be a lumberjack match. We also hear from Norvell Austin & Paul Orndorff.
Next match is in the ring: Paul Orndorff & Norvell Austin verses Mr. Saito & The Shadow. Try not to get confused. Just a few weeks ago Norvell had been wrestling part of the time for no apparent reason as The Shadow. This guy, however, is a tall white guy and I have no idea who he is nor why they are calling him The Shadow. Charlie Platt says he doesn't know anything about this guy. This may, or may not, be a swerve. The Shadow is pretty clumsy. Paul Orndorff pins him with the cradle suplex.
We find out that Jimmy Golden had recently been the NWA Southeastern champion (I guess this happened during the month I'm missing) and lost the belt back to Ken Lucas when Ron Fuller appeared as a spectator at ringside and distracted Golden.
Our next match is in the ring: Randy Rose verses Jerry Stubbs. Stubbs goes right after Rose. A month ago Rose hit Stubbs upside the head with a 2X4 board so he has reason for revenge here. This time period is about the peak of Randy Rose as a performer. Even though he and Dennis Condrey would win the AWA World tag team titles seven years later, Rose had really declined a lot by then.
When I tell people that Randy Rose was one of my favorite wrestlers they look at me like I'm insane but 1980-1983 Randy Rose was fine up until he was involved in a wreck I understand. That's what I heard Dennis Condrey say one time anyway. Jerry Stubbs has always been one of my favorite, especially over the next few years as Mr. Olympia.
This is actually a really good television match. Very back and forth. We don't get to see Rose very much as a singles wrestler. Rose worked mostly in tag teams during his career, originally with Ron Bass, then with Dennis Condrey, then with Pat Rose.
Referee Larry Brock gets bumped accidentally. Rose throws Stubbs out over the top rope where we get a run in (of course) by Dennis Condrey. Condrey rolls Stubbs in and Randy Rose tries to pin him with what appears to be a slam to the corner but Paul Orndorff runs out and trips him and Stubbs falls on top of Rose for the win.
After a break we get interviews with Ken Lucas and Ron Bass.
Charlie Platt interviews NWA World heavyweight champion Harley Race and NWA World Junior heavyweight champion Les Thornton. There is a noticeable size difference between Thornton and Race. I'd never noticed it being that much before. Neither man said anything of any significance.
Our next match is in the ring: Jimmy Golden verses Ray Harris. Jimmy Golden squashes Harris and pins him with a neck breaker.
We get the run down for Boutwell Auditorium again.
Ron Fuller and Jimmy Golden promos.
March 21, 1981 (Television Show): Charlie Platt & Les Thatcher hosts... Discussion of promotion change to International Sports, Inc... Stan Lane defeated Robert Gibson... Ardel Neil of International Sports interview... Bob & Brad Armstrong & Robert Gibson and Stan Lane & Mr. Saito interviews... Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose and Paul Orndorff & Norvell Austin interviews... Paul Orndorff & Norvell Austin defeated Mr. Saito & The Shadow (enhancement worker)... Interview with Ron Fuller and Ken Lucas ... Jimmy Golden interview... Jerry Stubbs defeated Randy Rose... Ken Lucas and Ron Bass interviews... Interviews with NWA World heavyweight champion Harley Race and NWA World Junior champion Les Thornton... Jimmy Golden defeated Ray Harris... Jimmy Golden and Ron Fuller interviews... (Referee: Larry Brock)
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