Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Jason Hess
are here…..the dog days of summer.
The days where childhood memories are formed that stay with us long
after the event. The days of
family vacations to “wherever-world,” to grandparents’ houses,
the smell of cookouts and anticipation of family reunions fill our
minds and hearts with remembrance and hopefully……..fondness.
the great city of Houston hosting the 2004 MLB All Star Game this month, I
am taken back in time nearly 20 years to many “all star” cards that
were being presented by Mid-South Sports to fans in the Mid-South
Territory during those hot, “dog” days of the summer of 1984.
Carl Lewis and Mary Lou Retton took not only the literal gold medals in
the Olympic Games, but the gold medals of America’s heart, other gifted
athletes were battling for gold……Mid-South Gold.
the summer went into full swing, more hot weather engulfed the Mid-South
territory, and more hot action accompanied the weather.
In this edition of Kayfabe Memories, we will focus on the third
quarter of 1984, which would see some surprise exits, and surprise
the end of June 1984, the new stars of Mid-South had been firmly
established. Magnum T.A. was
riding high as the North American champion.
Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express seemingly had a death grip on
the tag belts. Terry Taylor
was the TV champion, and the Rock-n-Roll Express had captured the hearts
of every teenage girl in the territory.
Things couldn’t have been better………….or could they?
Your Motor Runnin’
Magnum T.A. ascended to the top of the singles ladder, his persona tweaked
ever so slightly in the eyes of fans.
Already a good looking, rugged babyface, T.A. added the weapon of
confidence in his holster. T.A.
would annihilate opponents quickly with the belly-to-belly suplex, and
positioned his finisher as being able to be applied at anytime.
this confidence, T.A. no longer was the upset kid in our eyes.
He became the “champ.” He
oozed confidence in his abilities, and we in turn believed in him.
When he beat Nikolai Volkoff in 1983 for an aborted run for the N.A.
title, fans were happy because it was an upset.
When he would down Ted DiBiase (more on him in a moment) at the
Superdome in June 1984, it was no upset.
T.A. had arrived.
foes ranged from Mr. Wrestling ‘3” (Hercules Hernandez), to the
aforementioned DiBiase. And
during the summer months of 1984….they all went down.
Years Too Soon….
and Robert. That’s all that
Reeser Bowden would need to say to grab the attention and hearts of
millions of girls in the Mid-South territory.
Did they have last names? Of
course. Morton and Gibson. But to many teenage girls during 1984, Ricky and Robert were
enough to send palpitations to their hearts.
when two other men entered into the Mid-South area named Bobby and Tommy,
both younger, more tan, and more in shape than Morton and Gibson, one
would think that the girls would be in 7th Heaven. One would be wrong.
and Robert had left Mid-South for a short spell, returning to Memphis.
In their place stepped in the Fantastics, ‘Bobby’ Fulton and
‘Tommy’ Rogers. Both men
were athletic, and could work a fast pace, which made them naturals for
the Midnight Express. And
while Ricky and Robert were away, Bobby and Tommy had the unenviable task
of following them in both match quality and in capturing fan support.
For the Fantastics, match quality was not a problem. The problem was that they were either two years too late…..or too early. They failed to get over as well as many would have hoped, and left during the fall for World Class, where they would get over like gangbusters….and continue the feud with the Midnight Express. Two years later, in 1986, they became the most popular tag team in the UWF, winning the tag titles on two different occasions, and enjoying the respect….and the hearts of many fans. More...