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NWA Crockett Cup 1988

Written By: Matt Peddycord

The 3rd Annual Crockett Cup
April 22-23, 1988
Greenville, SC & Greensboro, NC
Greenville Auditorium & Greensboro Coliseum

So Turner would buy out JCP in the fall, making this the final Crockett Cup. In case you haven’t been following or just don’t know, the winner of this tag team tournament gets a million dollars cash money!

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone

– Jimmy Valiant & Mighty Wilbur vs. Ivan Koloff & Dick Murdoch (w/Paul Jones) – First Round Crockett Cup Match

Oh man, what a terrible match to start with on this tape. Just so you know, Wilbur is a big huge hillbilly in overalls. Remember when those became stylish in the mid-90s? The finish comes when Murdoch catches Valiant with a knee from the apron and Ivan delivers the SICKLE for the 1-2-3. (2:45 shown) There wasn’t a darn thing Wilbur could do about it. CRAP

– “Dr. Death” Steve Williams & Ron Simmons vs. Mike Rotunda & Rick Steiner (w/Kevin Sullivan) – Second Round Crockett Cup Match

You better believe JR’s jock senses will be tingling like crazy in this one. Rotunda was a fairly fresh TV champ at this point, while Doc was still milking his UWF days to get over as a babyface in the NWA. As for Ron Simmons, he’s as green as can be. Umm, what can I say about Rick Steiner? He gets OWNED by Doc to start in this match. Doc delivers a pair of tackles, but Rick avoids the third. Doc NO-SELLS a backdrop and drills Rick with a clothesline. Simmons tags in for a punch! He lets Rick tag in a fresh Rotunda, but Simmons blocks a punch and takes over with power moves. He knocks Rotunda into the heel side of town with a three-point stance and Rick tags in to stomp him. Rotunda tags back in and grabs a chinlock and then we JIP to a pier-six brawl where Sullivan nails Simmons with a foreign object to get him counted out. (5:00 shown) That crafty Kevin Sullivan! ½*

– Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (w/JJ Dillon) vs. Kendall Windham & The Italian Stallion – Second Round Crockett Cup Match

Arn & Tully had just regained the tag titles here after Barry turned heel and joined up with the Horsemen. Those were good times. Believe it or not, perennial jobbers Kendall Windham and Italian Stallion actually defeated a team to get here! That team would be none other than the Green Machine and the Terminator! I guess you can be more jobberiffic than Windham and Stallion. Anderson and Blanchard both take armdrag/armbars to start from Kendall to at least give you the illusion that the underdogs have some sort of chance of winning here. Stallion comes in and takes a shoulderblock to the gut from Arn. Ouch! Stallion fires back on Blanchard and then tags in Kendall. He ducks low off a whip though and Blanchard lowers the boom on him. Arn tags in and hits the Spinebuster. JIP to Kendall punching Arn away and making a HOT TAG TO STALLION! An old lady is ecstatic! Possibly even a tad aroused too. Stallion makes a HUGE mistake though by telegraphing a backdrop out of the corner and Arn KILLS him with a DDT. (3:30 shown) Good stuff. Looked like it would’ve been a decent glorified squash in full.

– The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering) vs. The Jive Tones – Second Round Crockett Cup Match

The Jive Tones are Pez Whatley & Tiger Conway Jr. I’m guessing the reason behind the team was “They’re both black with nothing going on, so let’s make them into a tag team!” Neither Hawk or Animal sell anything at all, which shouldn’t surprise you. Hawk puts Whatley away with a Flying Clothesline. (2:30 shown) LOD keepin’ the black man down! CRAP

– The Fantastics vs. Larry Zbyszko & Al Perez (w/Gary Hart) – Second Round Crockett Cup Match

The ladies LOVE their Fantastics! Hugs all around! Back and forth match to start. Fulton shakes his money maker as he comes off the middle-rope on Z’s arm. Perez tags in and gets a SWEET bridging German suplex off a hammerlock for two. Fulton tries a sunset flip out of the corner, but Perez shrugs it off. Zbyszko tags in for a Shoulderbreaker for two. Reverse kick slows down Fulton’s punching flurry. Perez tags and connects with the Running Forearm. The heels try a double team move, but Fulton cradles up Z. Perez tries to stop it, but Rogers comes in and nails Perez with a dropkick. Fulton gets the pin! (3:40 shown) Another good one. **

– Sting & Lex Luger (w/Magnum TA) vs. Dick Murdoch & Ivan Koloff (w/Paul Jones) – Second Round Crockett Cup Match

The teams for the tournament were originally supposed to be Sting and Ron Garvin and Lex Luger and Barry Windham, but Garvin was injured by Kevin Sullivan when he tried to help his “bro” Jimmy Garvin. As for the Luger/Windham team, Windham turned on Lex days before and so they decided to put the companies’ two biggest babyfaces together because they really had no choice. As they say, the rest is history. Notable match if only to see Luger attempt a dropkick. Luckily he was doing it to someone short like Koloff because any one else would be icing their balls after this match. Sting plays face-in-peril for a while and draws some tremendous heat. Sting comes back with a desperation Stinger Splash on Murdoch. He goes for a figure-four (?!), but Ivan breaks it up. It turns into a pier-six brawl with everybody on the floor. Murdoch tries to slam Sting back in the ring from the apron, but Sting counters with a cradle for 1-2-3. (5:30 shown) Over is hardly the word to describe Luger and Sting here. **¼

– The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) vs. The Sheepherders (w/Rip Morgan) – Second Round Crockett Cup Match

By the way, the Express are just days away from losing the US tag belts to the Fantastics at a TV taping in Chattanooga. Weird heel vs. heel match. They basically do a back-and-forth brawl until Eaton smacks Butch in the back with the tennis racket as Lane covers for the win. (3:15 shown) Nothing to it really. ½*

– Jimmy Garvin (w/Precious) vs. Kevin Sullivan (w/Rick Steiner) – Prince of Darkness Death Match

This is the only non-tournament match on the first night in Greenville. OHH! A “Prince of Darkness” match is just a creepy name for a blindfold match. I couldn’t remember what it was in my Halloween Havoc ’92 “Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal” recap. Anyways, this is just another match in the feud of Garvin/Sullivan over Precious. When they do make contact, it’s a lot of punching and choking. Much like you would see in the Roberts/Martel blindfold match, Garvin uses the crowd to locate Sullivan. The finish comes when Garvin blocks a slam and cradles Sullivan up for the 1-2-3. (2:45 shown) Afterwards, Steiner and Sullivan cover Garvin’s head back up and beat him down until Ronnie Garvin makes the save. Hey wait, I thought he was too injured to compete! Rotunda runs down to make it three-on-two as Ron takes a spike the chest from Sullivan! A bunch of no-name babyfaces finally come in to stop all this. CRAP

– The Bunkhouse Stampede Finals – (Bunkhouse Stampede, 01.24.88, Uniondale, NY)

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I promised myself I would never watch this again after recapping the Bunkhouse Stampede show! Screw it, I’m copy-pasting this mug. The object here is to either throw your opponent out the cage door or send him out via the top of the cage. In other words, a cage match battle royal – it’s like the opposite way to win a WWF cage match back in those days and possibly in Dusty Rhodes’ mind (the man who came up with this ridiculous concept), a way to poke fun at the WWF’s style of cage matches. Whatever the case may be, this match sucks and would get crapped on like it was the end of the world in today’s wrestling. Remember when TNA did that reverse battle royal? Yeah, almost as bad as that. Before this match even begins, there were qualifying matches to get into this thing and the winner gets $500 grand. The participants were Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, Barbarian, Warlord, Dusty Rhodes, Ivan Koloff, Lex Luger and Road Warrior Animal. Nothing interesting happens until around 10-15 minutes in when finally Ivan Koloff gets eliminated over the top of the cage by Animal. Warlord and Animal go out together through the door. Blanchard and Anderson try for several minutes to get Lex Luger to fall out of the cage door and wind up taking themselves out as well. That leaves Dusty vs. Barbarian. They go back and forth for a few minutes. Barb hits the FLYING HEADBUTT, but still can’t put Dusty away. They climb up on the ropes and Dusty gets Barbarian over the top of the cage. Two Bionic Elbows later and Dusty wins his 3rd straight bunkhouse match. (15:00 shown) At least they cut out a little over ten minutes of it, but it’s still inhumane torture beyond belief. I’d rather watch the Prince of Darkness match over and over again instead of this match. Why did they show this anyway? CRAP

– The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering) vs. The Powers of Pain (w/Paul Jones & Ivan Koloff) –Crockett Cup Quarterfinals

From here on out, the matches take place in my area Greensboro NC. Sadly, this is the only quarterfinals match shown. I would’ve loved to have seen Luger and Sting take on the Midnight Express. This match is literally like watching Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome! Only no Tina Turner. Animal and Barbarian start. Powerslam from Animal causes Barb to retreat for a bit. Warlord tags in and the PoP try a double-team clothesline, but Animal ducks and puts them both down with a clothesline . Hawk clotheslines Barbarian out and throws the ring steps at him! Back in, Hawk dropkicks Warlord and nails the jumping fist drop. Barbarian comes in to save a pin with an elbow drop, but hits Warlord instead. Nevertheless, Warlord grabs Hawk’s feet and Barbarian takes advantage with a clothesline. Barbarian dumps Hawk for some double-teaming on the floor while Animal protests to the ref in the ring. Barbarian grabs a chair and PoPs Hawk in the knee! Back in again, Barb hits a powerslam for 1-2-NO! Warlord tags in for a bearhug. Hawk punches out and swings around into a FULL NELSON, but Hawk goes low to escape. Barbarino cuts off the tag and reverts to the bearhug. Warlord tags in again and they go for a “you hold him, I come off the ropes” clothesline, but Hawk ducks and Warlord gets nailed. HOT TAG TO ANIMAL! He hits his usual on Barbarian, but then nails ref Randy Anderson by accident. Pier-six erupts. Barbarian misses the FLYING HEADBUTT and LOD deliver a double-team clothesline as ref Teddy Long runs in to count 1-2-3. (9:04) That Teddy Long is always ready to run in and count when a ref gets decked. Anderson wakes up and tells Teddy Long what happened and they award the match to the Powers of Pain by DQ. Dusty Finish! Decent power match outside of the finish. **½

– The Midnight Rider vs. JJ Dillon – Bull Rope Match

The “Mysterious” Midnight Rider is Dusty Rhodes under a mask. It’s very similar to the more modern Mr. America gimmick that Hogan undertook in 2003. As for the match, if Dillon wins, then Rider has to unmask. JJ actually controls to start, but Dusty goes low and beats and cuts on JJ with the cowbell until he gets the pin. (4:15) A masked man named the Texan (looks like Murdoch) comes in to attack the Rider. Steve Williams attempts to save, but Dillon and the Texan cut him off with the cowbell. What the F? CRAP

– Sting & Lex Luger (w/Magnum TA) vs. The Powers of Pain (w/Paul Jones & Ivan Koloff) – Crockett Cup Semifinals

Warlord NO-SELLS Sting’s offense to start. Barbarian tags in and takes a crossbody out of the corner from Sting. On the floor, Magnum and Paul Jones are screwing around with each other. In the ring, there’s a test of strength with Barb and Sting. Sting drops to his knees while the crowd chants him up to his feet. Dropkick puts Barbarian on the floor. We JIP to a Luger/Barbarian shoulderblock standoff. Luger goes low with it and puts Barbarian down. Sting tags in, but Barb reverses a whip and drills Sting with a powerslam. OUCH! KICK OF FEAR puts Sting on the floor! Back in, Warlord misses an elbow drop and Sting makes a tag to Luger. DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER! We get STEREO TEN-COUNT CORNER PUNCHES from Sting and Lex. Warlord lifts Luger off of him and tries to slam him down, but Sting turns over to him and dropkicks Luger to fall on top for the 1-2-3. (5:30 shown) Trade Warlord for Meng and you’ve got a Nitro match from ‘96.

– Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (w/JJ Dillon) vs. The Fantastics – Crockett Cup Semifinals

I think this might make up for cutting the Sting/Luger vs. Midnight Express match off this tape. Blanchard gets controlled by the Fantastics to start. We JIP to a double-team backdrop on Tully as he slips out to the floor to regroup while the Fantastics tease all the ladies in G-boro by shaking their bon-bons. We then cut to Arn burying a knee in Fulton’s back as he comes off the ropes to give the advantage to Tully. Arn tags in and works over on Fulton’s back. Tully gets a blind tag and dumps Fulton for Arn to work him over. Fulton comes back in with a sunset flip for 1-2-NO! Arn gets the tag, but Fulton fights back with a knee lift and ALMOST makes the tag to Rogers. Arn nails Tommy Rogers off the apron and brings Fulton back over to his corner for a tag to Blanchard. The Horsemen keep Fulton in their corner and cheat like mofos. Arn ducks low off a whip and pays for it with a kick to the face! HOT TAG TO ROGERS! Double-Dropkick to Blanchard! Double-Dropkick to Anderson! They deliver the ROCKET LAUNCHER to Arn, but Tully breaks up the pin at the VERY last moment! While the ref is busy with Tully and Fulton, Arn BLASTS Rogers in the face with JJ’s shoe. Teddy Long finally sees the pin and counts 1-2-3. (7:00 shown) Decent formula match. ***

– NWA World Champion Ric Flair (w/Barry Windham) vs. Nikita Koloff

Barry’s out to show he’s 4 Horsemen 4 LIFE after he turned on Lex a few days earlier. Plus, JJ is all bloody from his match with the head booker. I MEAN, Dusty Rhodes. I MEAN, the Midnight Rider. Windham doesn’t hang around though. Hammerlock exchange to start. JIP to Flair begging off into the corner to set up a ten-count corner punch, but Flair brings Koloff out of the corner with an atomic drop to take over. Rolling Knee Drop follows. He misses a second one, and Koloff makes him pay by crotching him on the ringpost. Back in, Nikita hooks on the FIGURE-FOUR. Flair makes the ropes, but Koloff stays on the knees. He misses a splash on the leg and they go to the floor. Nikita blocks a face-first posting and sends Flair into the steel instead. After some guardrail action, they’re back in the ring. Ten-count corner punch leads to the Flair Flip. Flair charges at Koloff with chops, but he NO-SELLS. More corner punching from Nikita gets Tommy Young accidentally nailed in the face. Flair goes to the eyes and while Tommy Young is dazed, he tosses Nikita over the top rope. But Nikita lands on the apron and comes off the top with a FLYING SICKLE! Young takes forever to come over and count for 1-2-NO! Another SICKLE puts Flair out on the floor. Nikita tries to suplex Flair back in, but he flips out. He tries to roll Koloff up off the ropes, but Nikita grabs hold of the ropes and fires back with another SICKLE. Cover, 1-2-NO!! Nikita goes for another SICKLE with Flair up against the ropes, but he backdrops Nikita out to block it for the DQ. (10:15 shown) That went nearly 30 minutes long according to Kind of a disappointing bout considering what they’ve done in the past. **

– Sting & Lex Luger (w/Magnum TA) vs. Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (w/JJ Dillon) – Crockett Cup Finals

Definitely the best finals match of the three Crockett Cups. Luger cleans house to start. Back in, Luger works a headlock on Arn. He goes from there to a choke lift and then sends Arn walking with a dropkick as JR can’t wait for Magnum to the tights on again. I wonder if he’s still waiting. Back in, Arn rubs Lex’s face in the mat with a headscissors. Tag to Tully, who runs right into a slam. Sting tags in and works over Tully’s arm. JIP to a Military Press Slam from Sting. Magnum sneaks in a back handed chop. JIP to Luger working on AA’s arm. He can’t get off the hammerlock slam, so he just sends Arn into the corner instead. Sting tags in and goes for the Stinger Splash, but there’s nobody home. Tully takes Sting to the floor to get whipped around into the guardrail. Back in, Tully rips away at Sting’s face over in the Horsemen corner. Arn tags in for the BEAUTIFUL Spinebuster for 1-2-NO! Sting powers up out of a knucklelock, but he falls back into the Horsemen corner for Blanchard to tag. He slaps Sting around and then tags Arn again. Sting blocks a stomp and clotheslines Arn down. Tully gets a tag and cuts off Sting to Luger. Sting gets a Stinger Splash out of nowhere and goes for the SCORPION DEATHLOCK, but Arn is right there to tag. DDT! Will that be all? 1-2-NO!! Sting fires back and wobbles over for a HOT TAG TO LUGER! DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER! Arn goes low though and hits the Spinebuster! Cover, 1-2-NO! Arn goes for a slam near the ropes, but Magnum trips him up for 1-2-NO! Arn grabs after Magnum and Lex rolls him up for 1-2-3!! (11:45 shown) Oh, that was awesome. Sting and Lex split the million bucks. ****¼

Final Thoughts: Some awesome matches on this tape. Unlike the year before where the non-tournament matches outshined the tournament, this year included better tag teams and the matches weren’t booked all retarded like the year before. Thumbs up for Crockett Cup ‘88. YouTube it, son! ANIMEJOE PWNS j00!


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Bob Colling Jr. View All

34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.

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