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1983: "Am I Steppin into the Twighlight Zone....When the BULLET Hits the Bone" - (Golden Earring)

 - Mike Calloway

Ah, yes. 1983. This was a year of many surprises for Southeastern Wrestling fans in Alabama and Florida. In this month's edition we'll touch on Arn Anderson's real big first break, The Original Midnight Express's feud with Mr. Olympia and Buck Robley, Jimmy Golden, Mongolian Stomper's first ever (?) run as a good guy, and the very entertaining Bullet Bob Armstrong as the lead heel in the area. What!!, you say, Stomper..a good guy! Armstrong..bad guy! Calloway, where you at, the twighlight zone!!!

To start off, let's take a look at the Junior Heavyweight Division. Several men that had been or would become known more for their work in tag teams enjoyed reigns as United States Jr. Heavyweight Champion. As 1983 began the title holder was former Royal Kangaroo and Midnight Express, Inc. member Norman Fredrick Charles III. Charles III had won the title in a tournament, having a short reign before losing the title to future Rock & Roll Express member Robert Gibson. During this time a man would return to the area that would be a fixture in the U.S.Jr. title picture thru 1986, veteran Bill Ash. Ash would feud with future Fantastic Tommy Rogers, plus young stars like Johnny Rich and Tim Horner. Chic Donavon and Rick Gibson also had the title around their waist in 1983, as the year closed out Rip Rogers and Ken Lucas were involved in a heated battle over the title.

In tag team action, the Midnight Express consisting of Dennis Condrey, Randy Rose, and Norvell Austin continued to rule the area in 1983 just as they had since their arrival in late 1982. One thing about the 1983 tag team scene that should be brought up is the Express had no real challenge from what you would call natural tag teams, i.e. the Armstrongs, Fullers and Golden, or such. Much of their efforts seemed to be focused on single wrestlers who would form short lived teams. The teams of Robert Fuller & Jimmy Golden and Bob & Brad Armstrong did have matches against the Express, but nothing like the battles the Sheepherders and Fuller & Golden had in 1982 or the Armstrongs had with Condrey & Rose in 1981. 2 odd pairings did gain the Southeastern belts from the Express in '83 tho. One was the team of Ken Lucas & Dizzy Ed Hogan (Leslie), very strange pairing in hindsight to say the least.   More...

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