Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Jason Hess
and welcome to the latest installment of Houston Wrestling here at
this edition of Houston Wrestling memories, we will look back at
one historic night. While
it will take a while to set up, once we have the pieces in place, the
story will come alive for all of us.
Sadly, it was truly one of the “Last” big appearances for
one star….the “Start” for another, and the seeds were planted
for one of the greatest feuds ever seen in Mid-South or Houston.
As we stated last week, by 1984, there weren’t too many
“Houston only” feuds. However,
this one was big enough to capture the attention of an entire
region….and Houston as well!!
Jim Cornette and his Midnight Express vaulted their way to the top of
the tag team rankings in Mid-South, they soon ran across the then
Mid-South tag team champions, Magnum T.A., and Mr. Wrestling II.
At the time, II and T.A. were in the process of going their
separate ways. Once
teacher-to-mentor, II had shown subtle signs and hints of both turning
towards a darker philosophy of wrestling, and being upset with the
“lack of respect” given him by his younger protégé.
The feud between II and T.A. started directly at the hands of
The Midnight Express. One
day after capturing the North American title from Junkyard Dog in New
Orleans in a loser leaves town match (March 12, 1984), II and T.A.
went into a match against the Express for the Mid-South tag team
titles in Lafayette, Louisiana with unique stipulations.
It was a whipping match…with the losers (Cornette included if
his team were beat) getting lashed with a belt.
Not only did II walk out of his half of the Mid-South tag team
titles, he also walked into a feud that would make his young student a
the climax of the match, II walked out on his “pupil,” leaving T.A.
to fend for himself. Not
only did II walk out of his half of the Mid-South tag team titles, he
also walked into a feud that would make his young student a star.
was no match for the Express, and mere minutes later, Jim Cornette and
the Midnight Express had their first of two Mid-South tag team titles.
T.A. would have to serve the punishment for both men….but was
saved from half by friend and recent newcomer Terry Taylor, which
would endear Taylor to Mid-South fans across the territory.
the Mid-South tag team titles in their ownership, Jim Cornette decided
to throw a “victory” party, complete with cake and all.
Cornette made it clear that Jim Ross and the fans at the
Shreveport, Louisiana Irish McNeil Boys Club were “NOT” invited to
his party!!! There
was cake….and even a little champagne.
Cornette was quick to note that he usually didn’t let his men
have cake and champagne…but what the hey…this was a celebration!!
to rub it into the fans at home and in attendance, Cornette sent
Dennis Condrey and Bobby Eaton around the ring to antagonize the fans
by showing them how “they have a good time.”
And as soon as they did… disaster struck for Cornette.
As the Midnights were away from their manager, Ricky Morton and
Robert Gibson came up from behind and ran Cornette’s face into the
cake, causing him to slip and fall to the floor.
The entire place, including Jim Ross, Boyd Pierce, and Bill
Watts himself, came unglued at the sight of Cornette covered in cake
and dripping icing.
After some matches, Watts decided that the incident was so funny that he played it again before the end. And in doing so, Watts set into motion a “Shooting Star” feud that would explode very quickly over Mid-South…and Houston.More...