Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Max Levy
Professional wrestling is built on feuds. In fact, there are so many feuds that they often blend together, each one indistinguishable from the last. However, every so often fans are treated to a feud that is not only special, but also legendary. The Magnum TA vs. Mr. Wrestling II feud fits that description to the letter. This feud shows just how important strong psychology and patience are to booking. Nothing was rushed. The story was allowed to unfold at a careful pace. No detail was left unchecked. The classic story of the teacher betraying the student and the student gaining revenge was played to perfection. This epic feud enthralled Mid-South fans in late 1983 and early 1984. Watching the tapes these past weeks, I can testify that this feud still holds up as a compelling, exciting, dramatic action packed story even now, seventeen years later.
1983 Magnum TA and Mr. Wrestling II founded their relationship in the
Mid-South territory. It seemed like a perfect match. For more than a
decade the veteran Mr. Wrestling II had delighted fans in both Georgia
and Mid-South with his combination of fine scientific wrestling and
great honor and sportsmanship. Magnum TA on the other hand was in the
early stages of his far too brief career and already showing enormous
promise. Magnum had a fine run in Florida and was really establishing
himself as a rising star. He already held the Mid-South tag team title
with Hacksaw Jim Duggan and was quickly becoming a big favorite of
Mid-South fans. When Mr. Wrestling II offered to train him for stardom,
the sky seemed to be the limit. For awhile anyway, that was true.
the course of several weeks, video highlights showed viewers first hand
the tough training regimen II had designed for Magnum. Roadwork, mat
work, cardiovascular and weight training all made up the intensive
program. II was definitely a strict taskmaster, but a caring one and the
results showed immediately. Magnum seemed more fluid, more skillful,
more confident in the ring. With II enhancing and refining Magnum’s
natural talent, the TA and Duggan team began to click. They had a
tremendous feud with Butch Reed and Jim Neidhart for the Mid-South Tag
Team Titles, warring throughout the Mid-South area.
feud between the two teams took an interesting turn at a TV taping in
Shreveport on October 12, 1983. With Butch Reed and Jim Neidhart
scheduled to face to face TA and Duggan for the tag titles, Reed
magnanimously offered to defend his North American Title on the very
same TV program. Reed even said he’d let the fans pick his opponent.