Mid-South #6 Page #2

JYD & Mike George actually had a pretty good run as champs. They feuded with The Samoans, and they also had quite a feud with Paul & Terry Orndorff, and their associates Bob Roop and Bob Orton, Jr. But, things got wild in January of 1982 when Ernie Ladd got The Samoans a return match on TV. Ladd was at the announcers desk jawing at Boyd Pierce, when Bill Watts broke in to ask Ladd if he had any association with Skandor Ackbar. Ladd said he didn't, and Watts then asked why Ackbar was in the ring with the Samoans. Ladd headed to the ring and immediately confronted Ackbar. Ackbar said that Ladd had done nothing but cause The Samoans to loose and that Afa & Sika were sick and tired of it. Ackbar then said that he would now be the sole advisor to The Samoans. Ladd went nuts and started attacking Ackbar and company. But The Samoans quickly took over on Ladd, and when The One Man Gang came off the top rope on Ernie's knees, he was out of action and Ackbar demanded that the title match get underway. JYD & Mike George were happy to oblige. The match was a seesaw affair and at one point, Skandor Ackbar's interference became pivotal. Ackbar had tossed a chair in to The Samoans to use. JYD intercepted the chair and used it on The Samoans. Ackbar then climbed into the ring and tried to throw fire at JYD, but The Dog used the chair to block the flame. But, while The Dog was outside brawling with Ackbar and one of The Samoans, the other Samoan got Mike George back in the ring, and delivered a Samoan Drop which ended with George crashing into the metal chair back first. One three count later, and The Samoans were The Mid-South Tag-Team Champs for a third time.

The Samoans had a long run as champs as well. Mike George departed after his back was injured, and JYD went through several partners trying to find the right person for the job. In addition to JYD, The Samoans also defended the belts against the legendary team of Dusty Rhodes & Dick Murdoch, The Texas Outlaws. It was during this match that Afa & Sika injured Dick Murdoch, and left JYD with one less choice. The Dog finally chose Brian Blair as his partner. He and Blair had a TV match against The Samoans. Late in the match, Blair was rammed back first into a steel ringpost and knocked out of the match. The Dog continued to fight, but the superior numbers finally overwhelmed him. Just when it seemed that all was lost, Mr. Olympia hit the ring, as the late, great Boy Pierce enthused, "like a bolt from the blue!" Olympia and The Dog chased off the Samoans, and the crowd reaction showed what was obvious to some fans all along…Mr. Olympia was the perfect partner for The Junkyard Dog. And, in May of 1982, The Junkyard Dog & Mr. Olympia knocked off The Samoans to become the tag-team champions.

JYD & Mr. Olympia were beyond a doubt the two most popular stars in The Mid-South area at the time. At one point, between the two of them, they held every existing title in the area. Olympia was the Mississippi State Champ…The Dog was the Louisiana State Champ and also The North American Champ, and they held the Mid-South tag-titles as well. They also took on and beat Big John Studd & The Super Destroyer, the National Tag Champs out of Atlanta in an inter-promotional match. But, the two became involved in a feud with Ted DiBiase and his associates in The Rat Pack, Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Matt Borne. DiBiase and Duggan had challenged JYD & Olympia on several occasions. Then, in October of 1982, DiBiase & Duggan had a match signed against The Dog & Olympia on Mid-South TV. When Duggan didn't show up, Matt Borne took his spot and Borne & DiBiase took on the Champs. It was a wild and woolly affair that saw both teams going all out. Late in the match, a man in a gorilla suit appeared at ringside. He was going around shaking hands with the kids. It was explained that there was a state fair going on outside the arena, and the gorilla was apparently one of the entertainers there to entertain the kids. But, late in the match, while the ref's attention was diverted, the gorilla delivered a devastating spear to JYD and was revealed to be none other than Hacksaw Duggan. Suddenly, Ted DiBiase & Matt Borne were the Mid-South Tag Champs.

The Rat Pack stirred up all kinds of trouble. They managed to get both JYD and Mr. Olympia suspended from Mid-South for 90-day periods. And they beat some of the top teams in the business including Tony Atlas & André the Giant and The Fabulous Freebirds. So, when they finally dropped the belts to Mr. Wrestling II & Tiger Conway, Jr. in March of 1983, it was a pretty big upset. And, Matt Borne left for Georgia after they dropped the titles. But, DiBiase didn't miss a beat and quickly formed an alliance with Mr. Olympia, who had recently turned heel over his jealousy of Mr. Wrestling II, and the returning Skandor Ackbar. Thus it was the new team of Ted DiBiase & Mr. Olympia who ended the reign of Wrestling II & Tiger Conway, Jr. in April of 1983.

It was at this point that the patriotic Hacksaw Jim Duggan took offense at Ted DiBiase's new alliance with the hated General Skandor Ackbar. Duggan became an overnight fan favorite and went to war with DiBiase and the rest of Ackbar's army. It was during this time that a raw young talent by the name of Magnum T.A. first showed up in the area. Duggan eventually formed a team with T.A., and in July of 1983, Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Magnum T.A. managed to upset DiBiase & Olympia for the belts. And they proved to be an unorthodox, but pretty successful team. They even beat the raw young team of Hawk & Animal, The Road Warriors. However, in October of 1983, the newly formed team of ex-football players, Hacksaw Butch Reed & Jim "the Anvil" Neidhart managed to defeat T.A. & Duggan in a televised showdown. The match was a little revenge for Reed, who had dropped the North American Title to T.A. earlier in the same program.

Reed & Neidhart worked well together for awhile, but on Christmas Night 1983, in New Orleans, Magnum T.A. managed to revenge his loss in October by teaming up with his new "coach", Mr. Wrestling II. And after a hard fought cage match, and some miscommunication between Reed & Neidhart, Mr. Wrestling II & Magnum T.A. were crowned the new champs. Reed & Neidhart broke up that night after a lockeroom brawl and wound up in a bloody "football helmet" feud. And II & T.A. turned their attention to a new team that had come into the area, The Midnight Express.


A legendary feud begins and Ted DiBiase returns.

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