Live from Tampa, FL

Airdate: September 2, 1985

Attendance: 7,600

Hosted by Gordon Solie and Mike Graham

Similar to the WWF with WrestleMania, WCCW with the Parade of Champions, AWA with Superclash, and JCP with Starrcade, Championship Wrestling from Florida (CWF) created Battle of the Belts as their supershow to showcase the best wrestlers of the Sunshine State.

After Gordon and Mike welcome us to the show, Coach John Heath introduces himself from one dressing room while Buddy Colt does the same in the opposite dressing room.

Hurricane Elena wrought havoc on the Gulf coast affecting this show tremendously. Examples of its effects continued throughout the show.

Match 1: Chavo & Hector Guerrero versus the “Crippler” Rip Oliver and the Grappler


Rating: **1/2

Summary: The high-flying by los hermanos Guerrero made this an exciting tag match that followed the tag formula and received a solid reaction from the crowd.

Match 2: Cocoa Samoa (w/ Lady Maxine) versus the “Hustler” Rip Rogers (w/ Miss Brenda)


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Creative finish to a lackluster match.

Match 3 for the NWA Florida title: Jack Hart (champion w/ Percy Pringle III) versus Kendall Windham


Rating: ***

Summary: Hart led Windham to a good match and his first title. On the replay, Windham prematurely stopped his cover, but the referee counted three regardless. I hear that’s common among men his age.

Heath interviews former “seven-time” (actually eight) NWA champion Harley Race. As Race runs down the “road hogs,” the audio cuts out. Race is ready for both the Road Warriors and the NWA title thereafter.

Battle of the Belts is sponsored by Champion TV & Appliance Rentals which still exists today. Good for them. It’s also sponsored by Schlitz Malt Liquor. I’m sure CWF received plenty of street cred for obtaining that endorsement.

Match 4 for the NWA Southern title: “Ravishing” Rick Rude (champion w/ Percy Pringle III) versus Billy Jack Haynes


Rating: ***

Summary: Pretty good match as Rude was making a big name for himself.

After the match, the crowd chants “BULLSHIT!” Nowadays, they’d chant for the hurricane.

Heath interviews the NEW Florida champion Kendall Windham.

Colt interviews Ellering with the Road Warriors. In a funny bit, Hawk makes fun of Colt for being a chatterbox. Ellering illustrates a good point that Race’s focus is off.

Match 5 for the AWA World tag team titles: The Road Warriors (champions w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering) versus Harley Race and Stan “The Lariat” Hansen


Rating: ***

Summary: If you thought this would be a power versus technique match, you’d be wrong. This was hardcore before hardcore became popular.

Colt interviews the NWA World champion. Flair “will take it to (Wahoo) all night long.” Methinks Flair used that pick-up line after a show plenty of times.

Match 6 for the AWA World title: Rick Martel (champion) Frankie Lane versus Nick Bockwinkel


Rating: DUD

Summary: Travel complications are one of the reasons that cards are “subject to change.”

Heath interviews McDaniel who is wearing the US tag team title belt.

This feed was recorded from KRLD-TV channel 33 in Dallas, TX. I believe I watched this back then on WTOG-TV channel 44 based out of Tampa, FL.

Match 7 for the NWA World title (2 out of 3 falls): “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (champion) versus “Chief” Wahoo McDaniel


First fall:

Second fall:

Third fall:

Rating: ****

Summary: Despite a slow and plodding challenger, Flair was able to have a great match with one of his mentors. Parts of this match were rather slow, but none of it was telegraphed to the audience. Bret Hart would borrow this finish against Piper atWrestleMania VIII and against Austin at Survivor Series 1996.

After the match, Heath interviews McDaniel who quickly requests a rematch. Before he leaves the air, Gordon wishes Mike Von Erich a speedy recovery.

Conclusion: With the great main event, the Florida title victory by Windham, and the Rude/Haynes match, this show definitely earns a thumbs-up from me.

See you for WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event II!

TV Rating: N/A

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

Custom Search

web counter
web counter