Written By: Matt Peddycord
The 1st Annual Crockett Cup
April 13, 1986
New Orleans, LA
The best of Bill Watts’ UWF and Jim Crockett Promotions come together to compete in a day long 24-tag team tournament with a grand prize of a million dollars! Oh yeah, and to honor the late Jim Crockett Sr. too, of course. It’s wrestling history, BAYBEE!
Your hosts are David Crockett and Tony Schiavone. Hooray.
– Bobby Jaggers & Mike Miller vs. Wahoo McDaniel & Mark Youngblood – First Round Crockett Cup Match
Jaggers looks like a skinnier version of early ‘80s Dusty Rhodes if you gave him a mustache. By skinnier, I don’t actually skinny. Jaggers is overweight, but not quite the flab that Dusty was and is. He and Miller were a mid-card heel team act over in Don Owen’s Pacific Northwest Wrestling at the time. We JIP to Youngblood coming out of a Jaggers chinlock and making a hot tag to Wahoo. A TOMAHAWK CHOP and an elbow drop puts Miller away. (1:50 shown) Didn’t look like a hot match according to the finish.
– Nelson Royal & Sam Houston vs. Bart & Brad Batten – First Round Crockett Cup Match
The Batten Twins look like a couple of Barry Horowitz clones. They’ve wrestled all over the territories. You name an ‘80s territory, they were probably there at some point. For this tournament though, they represent the Central States territory which is where they had their most successful run. Sam Houston is the skinny kid from the ‘80s would be your modern day Matt Hardy. Nelson Royal is nearly 55 years old here. He was actually a light heavyweight champion back in his heyday, but you’d never know it here. Houston plays face-in-peril like he usually does and makes the hot tag to Royal. Once Royal softens up the Battens, he tags Houston back in for the BULLDOG on one of the twins for 1-2-3. (1:48 shown) Crowd actually sounds disappointed. Must be a lot of Kansas City people here tonight.
– Jimmy Valiant & Manny Fernandez vs. The Barbarian & Baron Von Raschke (w/Paul Jones & Shaska Whatley) – First Round Crockett Cup Match
Tony mentions how it’s the first match of the night where a feud surrounds the match with the ongoing Paul Jones/Jimmy Valiant feud that lasted YEARS. JIP to Barbarian totally missing a dropkick on Bull. Hot tag to Valiant, who comes in with the usual ridiculous punches off the ropes. He connects with the SLEEPER on Baron, but Barbarian breaks it up and causes a four-man brawl. Manny gets dumped, but then sunset flips back in on Barbarian for the 1-2-3. (2:28 shown) So far, all babyface wins.
– Terry Taylor & “Dr. Death” Steve Williams vs. “Superstar” Bill Dundee & Buddy Landel – First Round Crockett Cup Match
It’s UWF vs. Memphis. Taylor gets cornered by the heels and they cheat like crazy. Dundee grabs the sleeper, but Taylor escapes with a jawbreaker and makes the hot tag to Doc. He kills Landel with shoulder tackles and puts him away with the OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE for the win. (2:00 shown) The crowd pops huge for their hero.
– The Sheepherders (w/Jack Victory) vs. Hector & Chavo Guerrero – First Round Crockett Cup Match
That’s Chavo Sr. back when he ruled. The Sheepherders are of course the WWF comedy act known as the Bushwhackers, but WAY more violent. I mean, WAYYYYY more violent. Also, this is prior to when Hector was turned into the infamous Lazor-Tron. Hector plays face-in-peril. Hector makes a comeback and applies an ab stretch on Luke, which results in a pier-six brawl. The Guerreros whip the ‘Herders into one another. While the ref is busy getting Chavo out of the ring, the ‘Herders double-team clothesline Hector for the 1-2-3. (2:30 shown) Looked like typical Sheepherders stuff to me.
– The Fantastics vs. The Fabulous Ones – First Round Crockett Cup Match
Now we’ve got UWF vs. Eddie Graham’s CWF. This one has dream match potential. Too bad it’s cut down to nothing. It’s like looking into the future with the Fantastics beating down Stan Lane. JIP to Keirn biting away on Fulton. Keirn delivers a hotshot to Fulton and he thinks its over. We JIP again to another close hot tag, as Keirn nearly pulls Fulton out of his trunks to bring him back to his corner. Lane draws Rogers into the ring with a loogie and Fulton gets dumped over the top rope. He’s fell right into their plan, MUAHAHA! Back in, we get a double-KO. Hot tag to Rogers. He cleans house with dropkicks. Double-Noggin Knocker! Tag in to Fulton, Rogers flips out of a backdrop and Fulton rolls Keirn up off the ropes for the 1-2-3. (3:00 shown) Great finish, and looked to be a great match too.
– Coco Ware & The Italian Stallion vs. Buzz Sawyer & Rick Steiner – First Round Crockett Cup Match
Coco Ware is the same guy as Koko B. Ware. Just clarifying in case anyone’s confused. He’s still working for Jerry Jarrett out in Memphis, but would sign with the WWF by the fall. Italian Stallion is perennial JCP jobber. Buzz Sawyer is best known for his Georgia Championship Wrestling stint, but he’s working for Bill Watts at this point – as is a young Rick Steiner who is just another buff looking wrestler here. Coco plays face-in-peril, but we JIP to him avoiding a Sawyer top-rope splash. Hot tag to Stallion, but he’s caught coming off the ropes with a powerslam by Sawyer for the 1-2-3. (2:45 shown) So THAT’s where Rick Steiner gets that move from: Buzz!
– Brett Sawyer & DJ Peterson vs. Black Bart & Jimmy Garvin (w/Precious) – First Round Crockett Cup Match
We now go over to Buzz’s brother Brett’s match. He wasn’t quite as over in the UWF as his brother, which is a shame. DJ Peterson was oddly enough trained by midget wrestling legend Lord Littlebrook. His biggest days come during the AWA’s finale in the early ‘90s. He tragically died in a motorcycle wreck in ’93 at the young age of 33. Black Bart was a JCP mid-card heel while Jimmy Garvin was working for the AWA as a Freebird. Brett delivers a bunch of headscissors on Bart and then we JIP to him delivering a flying leg drop on Bart’s arm! Bart breaks loose and hotshots Sawyer. Tag to Garvin, but he ducks low off a whip and we get a hot tag to Peterson. He quickly whiffs on a dropkick on Bart. Running legdrop connects and Garvin tags in and hits the BRAINBUSTER for the win. (2:30 shown) SICK brainbuster, by the way.
– The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) vs. Sam Houston & Nelson Royal– Second Round Crockett Cup Match
In case you haven’t been following along, this is still the Condrey-Eaton Midnight Express. They’re also the NWA world tag team champs here. They tag in and out on Houston to start. Condrey ducks low off a whip and Houston catches him with a knee-lift. Tag to Royal, who quickly applies the ABDOMINAL STRETCH. While the ref is busy getting Houston out of the ring, Eaton lowers the boom off the top on Royal and Condrey covers for the three-count. (1:50 shown) That actually seemed like a full match.
– Ronnie Garvin & Magnum TA vs. Buzz Sawyer & Rick Steiner – Second Round Crockett Cup Match
Magnum works the arm of both guys, but then gets caught in the wrong corner for double-team slugging. MAD DOG! MAD DOG! MAD DOG! Magnum elbows out of a chinlock, but Sawyer clips the legs and Steiner cuts off the tag. More face-in-peril stuff. Magnum gets a couple nearfalls and finally makes the hot tag to Garvin. He murders the heels with his stone hands and blind tags Magnum in for the BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX on Steiner for the 1-2-3. (3:00 shown) That definitely ruled.
– The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering) vs. Wahoo McDaniel and Mark Youngblood – Second Round Crockett Cup Match
The Road Warriors were still pretty much AWA stars here, but would become exclusive to JCP around May. They still had to show up at the infamous WrestleRock show. The only thing the Road Warriors sell is Wahoo’s TOMAHAWK CHOP. When Mark tags in, it’s like feeding him to the wolves – or the Road Warriors. Hawk avoids a crossbody and finishes Mark off with a FLYING CLOTHESLINE. (2:15 shown) Amazing just how over the Road Warriors really were back then.
– Ivan & Nikita Koloff vs. Jimmy Valiant & Manny Fernandez – Second Round Crockett Cup Match
The faces control Ivan to start, mainly drawing Nikita into the ring and stomping on Ivan’s crotch. They basically made a sickle out of his nether regions. Manny then whiffs on a dropkick (seems to be a recurring issue for the babyfaces tonight) and Nikita gets a tag. JIP to Ivan in the ring, he catches Ragin’ Bull with a boot in the corner. He heads up top, but Manny brings him down. Hot tag to Valiant. Punches, followed by a SLEEPER of course. Nikita breaks it up and drops Valiant with a SICKLE from the apron while the ref is with Fernandez. Ivan covers for the 1-2-3. (3:07 shown) Nothing special. At least Valiant’s gone! YES!
Doc and Taylor were supposed to face Rick Martel and Dino Bravo, but ring announcer Bruce Pitchard informs us that Bravo is in the hospital with appendicitis. Yeah you probably would not want to wrestle with all that going on. Therefore, Doc and Taylor advance by forfeit to face the Koloffs in the quarterfinals.
– The Sheepherders (w/Jack Victory) vs. The Rock N Roll Express – Second Round Crockett Cup Match
Lots of brawling leads to a DOUBLE DROPKICK on Butch. Victory gets in the ring and tries to break up the pin with his flagpole, but Morton is wise to him and jabs him with it instead. Ref Earl Hebner saw it all and DQ’s the Express. (3:00 shown) The crowd ain’t happy.
– The Fantastics vs. Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (w/JJ Dillon) – Second Round Crockett Cup Match
Rogers punches Tully silly to start. We JIP to a nice little sequence with Tully no-selling an atomic drop, Rogers flips out of a back suplex and then delivers a dropkick. JIP to Arn pounding away on Rogers. He reverses a cross-corner whip and then dropkicks Arn out to the floor. JIP again to Fulton with a sunset flip on Arn for two. Tully tags in and dumps Fulton out to the floor. We JIP AGAIN to a hot tag to Rogers. Pier six erupts, but Arn catches Rogers with the GOURDBUSTER. Will that be all? 1-2-NO! Arn picks Rogers up for a slam, but Fulton dropkicks Rogers to fall on top for the 1-2-3. (3:25 shown) As the UWF tag champs, the Fantastics HAD to go over Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard simply because it was good for the business down in Watts country to show they could compete with huge stars from other territories. From that perspective, it’s hardly an upset win and only by JCP standards. Looked like another great match.
– Giant Baba & Tiger Mask vs. Black Bart & Jimmy Garvin – Second Round Crockett Cup Match
YES! Misawa in the USA! Take that, ROH. JCP had him first! Definitely a “contrast in styles” type match. A baseball slide by Tiger Mask pops the crowd huge, as Garvin goes crashing into the safety rail. We JIP to a Piledriver from Baba to Garvin. Another JIP to Tiger Mask fighting back on Garvin with kicks. Baba tags in and shoulderblocks the heels. They don’t put Bart down, the double-thrust chop does the trick. Flying Crossbody from Tiger Mask gets two. Baba tags in for the Big Boot and gets the 1-2-3. (3:00 shown) Why the crowd would boo the result is beyond me. Give me more Tiger Mask, please.
– The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) vs. The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering) – Crockett Cup Quarterfinals
The Road Warriors NO-SELL virtually everything in this match, which shouldn’t shock anyone. Cool spot comes when the Midnights go for the ROCKET LAUNCHER, but Hawk’s back on his feet and catches Eaton in mid-air for a powerslam. Cornette nails Animal with his tennis racket to get themselves DQ’ed. (4:20 shown, man)Who needs a million bucks when you’re the NWA tag champs? I always enjoyed the Midnights/LOD matches for some reason.
– Ivan & Nikita Koloff vs. Terry Taylor & “Dr. Death” Steve Williams – Crockett Cup Quarterfinals
Tony says everyone in the Superdome want to see Doc and Nikita hook it up. Taylor kips up all over the ring out of an Ivan wristlock and then dropkicks him out to the floor. Back in, Doc tags in and the crowd goes insane. Doc delivers a multiple-rep press slam on Ivan. The faces take turns working on Ivan’s arm for a couple minutes, but then all it takes is a poke to the eyes for Ivan to break free and tag in Nikita. Now we’re getting what everyone wanted to see and they react accordingly. Nikita NO-SELLS some shoulderblocks and then poses, so Doc dropkicks him back and sends him flying out to the floor. The Koloffs trade tags while they control Doc, but Doc manhandles Ivan and comes back at the 15-minute mark with five minutes remaining. Powerslam to Ivan gets two. Hot tag to Taylor, but Ivan kicks him in the head and tags in Nikita. He tosses Taylor out the floor. Back in, Taylor hits a desperation crossbody on Ivan for 1-2-NO! Nikita tags and cranks on a Bearhug with one minute to go. False-tag spot follows and Ivan lowers the boom off the top on Taylor for 1-2-NO! THIRTY SECONDS LEFT! Taylor gets a small package for 1-2-NO! Nikita tags and hits the SICKLE, but the 20-minute time limit has expired. Both teams are now out of the tourney. (9:13 shown) Nikita dumps Taylor to set up a double-team beatdown on Doc, which turns into a triple-team beatdown once another big Russian guy that I’ve never seen before runs in to join on the fun. Look like a pretty decent match.
– The Fantastics vs. The Sheepherders (w/Jack Victory) – Crockett Cup Quarterfinals
I’ve only heard good things about this particular match and now I’m seeing a good chunk of it for the first time. The Fantastics and the Sheepherders were currently involved in a HUGE blood feud over in the UWF at the time for their tag belts, so this works extremely well for the Superdome crowd. The Fantastics send the Sheepherders to the floor to start. JIP to Fulton giving Luke a monkey flip, which leads to more ring-clearing. JIP again to Fulton stuck in a Butch headlock. Fulton gets dumped and that leads to a big brawl on the floor. Fulton meets the post face-first and blades big time. Back in, a false tag spot ensues. While the ref is busy getting Rogers out of the ring, Jack Victory gets up on the apron to do some damage with the flag pole, but Luke takes the blow instead. Hot tag to Rogers, and it’s a pier-six brawl. Everybody’s bleeding at this point. Ref gets tossed to the floor, and Jack Victory makes up for his boo-boo a while ago and baits Fulton around the ring so Butch can blast him from behind. Victory unscrews part of his flagpole and hands it to Butch, which becomes an easy weapon to JAB in Rogers back. They whack Rogers in the face with it too! When Butch winds up for the second shot, Fulton trips him up and Rogers knocks Luke out to the floor. Now the Fantastics have the stick! Butch takes a shot to the head! Victory gets nailed too. Ref Tommy Young runs down to wake up the original ref and now we have a bell. (6:50 shown) Lady Maxine is out to check on her man Jack Victory. The fight continues way after the bell, as the ref rules this match a double-DQ so both teams are eliminated. A wild brawl as I expected. Dave Meltzer gave this five stars, but I’d have to see more of this to be the judge.
– Ron Garvin & Magnum TA vs. Giant Baba & Tiger Mask – Crockett Cup Quarterfinals
Feeling-out process to start on Tiger Mask. Garvin grabs a half-crab, but Tiger Mask makes the ropes. JIP to Baba chopping Magnum as he comes off the ropes. Tag to Tiger Mask, who delivers a dropkick/slam/elbow drop combo for two. Magnum blocks a suplex into one of his own, but then we JIP to a Tiger Mask front headlock. Magnum escapes out with an atomic drop. Desperation sunset flip gets two. Baba tags in for a rollup for a bunch of two-counts, but he can’t keep Magnum down. Garvin gets a tag and starts up with those stone hands of his, so Baba stops all that with a chop to head. Pier-six brawl follows, and Baba collides with Tiger Mask off a double cross-corner whip. Magnum dropkicks Baba into a schoolboy for two. Crossbody by Tiger Mask on Garvin gets another two. Magnum tags in and shoots Tiger Mask into the ropes, but he cartwheels over Magnum and dropkicks him down for a running senton for 1-2-NO! Tiger Mask heads up top, but Magnum catches him on the way down for a BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX for 1-2-3! (5:30 shown) Great finish, but the match seemed awkward at times. Because of the time limit draw and the double-DQ, we go straight to the finals.
– Mid-South North American Heavyweight Champion Jim Duggan vs. “Mr. Unpredictable” Dick Slater
Slater had won the North American title while also being the UWF TV champ, so he gave up the UWF TV belt and gave it to his protégé Buzz Sawyer. Then, Bill Watts tricked Slater into signing a contract that required Sawyer to defend the North American title against Duggan, who of course lost. After all was said and done, Duggan was the North American champ and Sawyer got to keep the TV belt even though Slater hadn’t technically been beaten for either title. Crazy Mid-South and all their shenanigans. Jim Ross is the ring announcer, just in case you care to know. Not much wrestling at all, as you would expect from a Duggan match. He slugs on Slater a lot and then gets dumped and sent THROUGH the safety rail. Back in, Duggan slugs out of a chinlock and chases Slater around the ring only to receive a headbutt on the way in the ring. Another Duggan comeback is cut short with an elbow to the head. Ref gets in the way of the action and Slater hits the Flying Elbow for 1-2-NO! Duggan backdrops out of a piledriver attempt, but then gets tied up in the ropes. Ref Earl Hebner pulls Slater away, which gives Duggan enough time to break loose and deliver the THREE-POINT STANCE for the 1-2-3. (10:09) Pretty uninspired stuff from these two. *
– NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair (w/JJ Dillon) vs. Dusty Rhodes (w/Baby Doll)
This match doesn’t really need any introduction. Dusty powers out of an overhead wristlock to start. He also wins a chop battle and a Flip Flop and Fly puts Flair on the floor. Back in, they run the ropes and Dusty stops that with a Bionic Elbow. Flair buries a knee to take over and then hits a pair of Rolling Knee Drops. Dusty’s gets dumped and eats the ring post to bust him open. Back in, Flair pounds away on the cut, but Dusty NO-SELLS and avoids another knee drop. He then drags Flair over and posts his crotch. We JIP to a Flair sleeper hold. Dusty rams Flair’s head into the corner to escape. JIP to Flair and Dusty on the floor. Flair’s busted open now too after a good ol’ fashioned posting job. Flair sunset flips back in, but Dusty’s TOO BIG and a Flip Flop and Fly stops the pin attempt. Ten-count corner punches follow and a Flair Flip in the corner fails and he gets stuck in the tree of woe. Flair gets loose, but runs into a clothesline for 1-2-NO! 15 minutes gone by, 15 minutes gone by. The ring announcer sounds like Strong Sad, for those of you know are familiar with Homestar Runner. Now Dusty has a sleeper hold on Flair. Once he thinks Flair is KO’ed, he covers, but Flair gets his foot on the bottom rope. Flair mounts a comeback, but Dusty cuts him off with a clothesline and slaps on the Figure-Four. Flair makes the ropes and begs away in the corner, so Dusty stalks him and then stomps on his knee. But then Flair goes low and climbs up top for the inevitable slam to the mat. Football tackle from Dusty sends Flair into ref Tommy Young. Dusty gets an inside cradle, but there’s no ref. Baby Doll tries to wake Tommy up as Flair takes off Dusty’s brace-like boot (it’s lined with steel after the Horsemen broke his ankle last fall) and nails him in the head with it. Tommy Young’s back in and counts 1-2-NO! 20 minutes gone by, 20 minutes gone by. Flair goes over and grabs Baby Doll who is up on the apron. Dusty gets the boot and nails Flair with it when he turns around in plain sight of Tommy Young for the DQ. (15:20 shown) Tommy Young gets blasted with the boot as well! WHAT THE F, DUSTY! Retarded finish, but the match was typical Flair/Rhodes stuff. **½
– The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering) vs. Magnum TA & Ron Garvin – Crockett Cup Finals
Animal sells some arm work to start, but then Hawk comes in and dominates Garvin. He press slams Garvin, but misses something off the middle rope. Small package for Garvin gets two. He pounds Hawk over to his corner with his stone hands and tags in Magnum. Dropkick gets two, but then Hawk powers Magnum over to his corner and tags in Animal. He comes in and stomps Magnum in the corner, then grabs a bearhug. Tag to Hawk for a gutwrench suplex. That gets two. Uh oh, Canadian Backbreaker Drop! Cover, 1-2-NO! Animal hooks a chinlock and when Magnum starts to stand up and Animal brings him down, David and Tony wonder about a hair pull. Blind tag to Hawk keeps things under control. Hawk punches out of a sunset flip attempt and headbutts Magnum down for the fist drop. Animal tags in for a powerslam for 1-2-NO! Then out of nowhere, Magnum hits the BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX for 1-2-NO! Hawk makes the save. Hot tag to Garvin, both men KO each other with headbutts. Line of the night from David Crockett – “You do me, I’ll do you.” Hawk shrugs off an ab stretch, but then gets nailed with the HANDS OF STONE! He used the very hand that Blanchard hurt a while back and that causes Garvin to fall to the mat in agony. Animal gets a tag and nails Garvin with a clothesline for 1-2-3. (10:00 shown) Silly Garvin and his hands of stone. I bet he TOTALLY regrets that decision. Hawk has a hard head! It’s like Hawk has a head of stone up there. LOD become a million bucks richer and oh yeah, they win a big trophy. That is SO ending up in the basement at the Road Warriors house. I liked the finish, but I think the crowd popped more because the night was finally over. **¾
Final Thoughts: Wow, 22 matches! That’s excruciatingly insane! There’s tons of nostalgia, but there’s just too much here. Most of the matches are cut down to the hot tag and the finish, which means it is hard to really get in to anything. With only a few shining moments in the tournament like the Tiger Mask and Giant Baba US appearance and the two Fantastics matches – heck, just seeing Dr. Death at the peak of his popularity was pretty cool for me, it’s hard for me to actually recommend this show. Youtube the good stuff I mentioned above, but skip the rest. Thumbs down for Crockett Cup ‘86.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.