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 - Sean Rowland

After trying to decide what my second column of Mid-South memories would be about, knowing I had already done a quick overview of the promotion, I thought about taking a look at some of the great stars that called the Mid-South area their home over the years. But, after much consideration, I decided to really hit the ground running and talk about the angle that an awful lot of wrestling experts have called the greatest angle ever. I know as the Mid-South expert I'm prejudiced, but I have to admit that it was one of the best angles I've ever seen. I'm referring to Ted DiBiase's incredible 1985 face turn. I think it shows Mid-South at its finest, and it only took 60 minutes to do! First, though, I want to give everyone a little background on what led up to this angle. So, if I can have a little mood music, please...

DiBiase had been Mid-South's biggest heel for almost three years. He had turned on the Junkyard Dog back in 1982 during a North American title match and had never looked back. That heel turn was totally unexpected and worked extremely well. DiBiase was not only the top heel in the Mid-South area, but also had a long run in Georgia as the lead heel there. He had been out of the Mid-South area for close to a year working in Georgia and Japan. When he returned to Mid-South, he picked up right where he left off by beating Brad Armstrong for the North American Title and getting into the tag-team wars with Steve "Dr. Death" Williams as his partner. DiBiase was so despised, he was instrumental in both Jake Roberts and Bob Sweetan's face turns. The fans hated DiBiase, and pretty much anyone who went up against him was okay with the fans.

Dick Murdoch, on the other hand, was one of the more popular guys in the Mid-South area at the time. Murdoch had come back to Mid-South after a good run with the WWF where he and Adrian Adonis had held the tag-team titles. Murdoch had long been an extremely popular wrestler in the Mid-South area, going back to his feud with Killer Karl Kox in the mid-Seventies. Murdoch had perfected his "Captain Redneck" persona in the Mid-South area in 1981, and had been a hit in Georgia, Florida, and a short run in Southwest Championship Wrestling area. He was a two-fisted tough guy, who probably looked more like his fans than most wrestlers. However, that was both a blessing and a curse, because while his appearance helped his fans to relate to him, it also didn't fit in with the "super sleek muscle man" look that was becoming predominate thanks to Hulk Hogan. It is fortunate that his return to Mid-South was well timed since Watts had begun to push his patriotic angles hard. And who better to combat the foreign invaders unleashed by Skandor Akbar than Captain Redneck? Murdoch came in like a house afire and beat the Nightmare for the North American Title, which made Murdoch the Mid-South area's top champion.  More...

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