Live from Greensboro, NC
Airdate: November 24, 1983
Hosted by Gordon Solie and Bob Caudle
Match 1: Mid-Atlantic champion Rufus R. “Freight Train” Jones and Bugsy McGraw versus the Assassins (w/ Paul Jones)
Summary: Decent tag match to warm up the crowd.
Solie and Caudle welcome us to the show and inform us that “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes is the #1 contender to the NWA World title and wants a shot at the winner of tonight’s main event.
An extremely young Tony Schiavone is back in Flair’s dressing room while Piper and Flair chat in the background.
Match 2: Kevin Sullivan and Mark Lewin (w/ Gary Hart) versus Johnny Weaver and Scott McGhee
Summary: A short tag match showcasing Sullivan and Lewin.
After the match Sullivan and Lewin stomp Weaver until McGhee re-enters the ring and delivers a dropkick to Hart. After Hart removes a foreign object from his boot Lewin takes it and rams it into McGhee’s head busting him WIDE OPEN. Angelo Mosca runs in to aid McGhee but gets nailed by Lewin. After Lewin inflicts more punishment to McGhee Mosca chases the heels away then carries McGhee back to the dressing room.
Barbara Clary is at ringside and interviews a family from Gaffney, SC (home of the big peach). They are all rooting for Flair to win the title tonight.
Meanwhile Tony sits on a couch backstage and interviews seven-time NWA World champion Harley Race who cuts a promo on Flair.
Match 3: Abdullah the Butcher versus Carlos Colon
Summary: Legendary blood feud between these two that wasn’t over by a mile.
Back in the dressing room Tony interviews Angelo Mosca whose triceps muscle was punctured by Lewin earlier. He will be the special referee for the NWA World tag title match later. Angrily he cuts a good promo on Lewin as McGhee sits next to him bleeding profusely.
Barbara interviews a couple of women from “Raleigh, South Carolina.” It’s no wonder why I’ve never heard of this woman. It’d be different if she confused Beaufort, NC with Beaufort, SC, but this was inexcusable. Some of you southern folk out there know I what I mean.
Prior to the next match ring announcer Tom Miller acknowledges “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes with some audio difficulty.
Match 4: “Chief” Wahoo McDaniel and Mark Youngblood versus Dick Slater and Bob Orton, Jr.
Summary: Longer tag match showcasing Orton and Slater.
Afterwards Orton held McDaniel’s arm as Slater leaped from the wooden steps onto it. Originally he had mounted the top turnbuckle, but I believe he was having an issue with balance. Orton was able to carry out the top rope knee drop onto the arm to further injure McDaniel.
Back in the dressing room Tony interviews Flair who hopes Race knows what he’s in for. He then wishes Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood luck in their tag match. Steamboat warns the Brisco brothers that their title reign will end shortly.
Barbara interviews Rhodes with some audio difficulty. Solie apologizes copiously for the audio issues.
Match 5 for the Mid-Atlantic TV title (no DQ, no time-limit): The Great Kabuki (champion w/ Gary Hart) versus Charlie Brown (from outta town)
Summary: Very surprising finish as I thought Brown would lose the mask.
Caudle interviews local radio disc jockey Dude Walker.
Tony is backstage with Race, Orton, and Slater. Orton stated he collected the $25,000 bounty then explained why he attacked McDaniel earlier tonight. Race promises to hurt Flair’s neck.
To make up for the technical difficulties earlier Barbara interviews Rhodes in the broadcast area. Rhodes is ready to challenge the winner of tonight’s match.
Match 6 (dog collar): US champion Greg Valentine versus “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
Summary: Extremely bloody brawl that helped to make both guys’ careers. For that I’ll add an extra ˝*. According to his DVD and book Piper lost 50% of his hearing in his left ear due to this match. Yikes!
After the match Valentine attacks Piper and chokes him with the chain. Referee Stu Schwartz breaks up the melee. Not surprisingly Piper receives a great ovation.
Back in the dressing room Tony interviews Flair again. McDaniel sits beside Flair with his arm bandaged up. Flair thanks McDaniel for his preparation for tonight’s match. McDaniel has the utmost confidence in Flair.
Back to ringside Barbara interviews Don Kernodle.
Match 7 for the NWA World tag team titles: Jack and Gerry Brisco (champions) versus Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood
Summary: That was a superb tag match with quick tags, fluid chain wrestling, and exciting high spots that created positive crowd response. Unfortunately Jay Youngblood died in 1985 supposedly after rupturing his spleen in a match against the Sheepherders in Australia. RIP Jay Romero.
After the match the Briscos toss Steamboat outside the ring and then Mosca shoulder-first into the ring post. While Gerry applies the figure-four leg lock to Youngblood Jack splashes him. Jack attempts to deliver a move from the top turnbuckle, but Mosca catches him in mid-flight. Steamboat and Youngblood recover to chase off the Briscos. That was great!
The credits roll as a significant amount of time is needed to assemble the cage. See, before promotions began hanging the cage above the ring they would bring it to the ring in four segments and then fasten them together.
Back in the dressing room Flair, in his customary robe, paces while waiting for the cage to be erected. Tony then interviews Jimmy Valiant Charlie Brown who is extremely excited. Fortunately he didn’t kiss Tony here. Next Tony interviews Piper who tells Valentine that he beat him and is aiming for the US title. After that Jay Youngblood and Ricky Steamboat revel over their fifth reign as World tag team champions.
Barbara interviews Rhodes with three ladies in his arms. While the ladies choose Flair as the victor Dusty doesn’t care. Gee, do you think Rhodes was craving the spotlight here?
The National Anthem is performed by James “Tiny” Weeks.
Match 8 for the NWA World title (steel cage): Harley Race (champion) versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair
Summary: Fantastic main event that made Flair’s career. I gave an extra ˝* due to the historical value of this match.
After the match Angelo Mosca runs into the cage and lifts Flair in the air with the championship belt. Other babyfaces join him in the ring to celebrate this great moment. Mosca puts Flair on his shoulders for a victory lap within the cage. Flair’s wife, Beth, enters the cage and hugs her glorious husband.
Flair gets on the microphone and thanks the crowd for their support. “This is the greatest night of my life” exclaims the new World champion.
Back in the dressing room Tony interviews the new NWA World champion who thanks his peers, promoter, and fans. Steamboat congratulates him with a handshake as champagne is then poured on Flair’s head. Rhodes interrupts the celebration and congratulates Flair. C’mon, bookerman, if you want the spotlight put yourself in the main event next year. Oh, wait…
Interestingly Caudle contemplates Race’s thinking with respect to being champion for the last time. Yes, Bob, in fact this was the last time Race held the NWA World title.
Backstage Barbara interviews Race who disgruntledly feels that (this event) “was arranged for (Flair).” Race informs us that he’s not going away. We’ll see. According to his shoot interview he asked Crockett for the money up front because he didn’t trust the gate/closed-circuit revenue.
Tony interviews both the World champ and the World tag team champs. Again Flair offers kudos to Steamboat and Youngblood.
Conclusion: With this being the first supershow it’s easy to tear down the poor pacing of the show, the audio issues, and Barbara, but most of these are excusable. Jim Crockett Promotions treated this show like it was a big deal because not only was it a big deal but also a great show.
With that being said the final three matches on this show are must-see matches for every wrestling fan with one caveat. With all the blood and grudge matches involved this is NOT a show for young children. Please put the kiddies to bed before firing up this great show.
Lastly, in spite of his behavior outside the ring Flair was one of the best performers if not the best. This was his crowning moment that made him the king of the mountain, that is, until January 23, 1984. I’ll discuss that next time out.
Stay tuned for MSG 1/23/84.
Buyrate: NONE (PPV didn’t exist yet.)
Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at email@example.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).