CWA Championship Wrestling – January 1, 1983: Dig That Rookie Jim Cornette!

CWA Championship Wrestling
Date: January 1, 1983
Location: WMC-TV Studios, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Lance Russell, Dave Brown

It’s been awhile since I’ve done anything from this company, but it’s the Memphis company that eventually merged with WCCW into the USWA. I don’t know anything about what’s going on at this point but I’ll go on a limb and say it has something to do with Jerry Lawler. This is one of those time periods I’m not very familiar with so it should be fun to learn. Let’s get to it.

Video on Lawler beating Nick Bockwinkel for the AWA World Title, which was a HUGE deal at the time. The title reign wound up not counting because of some technicality and Bockwinkel got the belt back in a few weeks. Lawler wouldn’t officially get the title in a recognized reign until 1988 when Curt Hennig was heading to the WWF. This video has clips of a lot of Lawler’s title matches as he chased the title for months before winning it two days after Christmas.

Lawler is in a park or on a ranch somewhere and says he’s been hectic since winning the title. He says that this is the culmination of ten years in the ring and about how he came so close so many times. Five days ago he finally won the title and he talks about how his father would love to see it. He never would have made it without the fans being behind him and hopefully it makes them happy. I’ve never heard Lawler so humble, but why doesn’t he have the belt with him here?

This transitions into another music video, this one consisting of Jerry looking over a lake and walking on a hill.

Lawler isn’t here tonight. Someone check the park.

We hear about some house show matches, one of which will include Jim Cornette’s Adrian Street. Where do I begin? Street is one of the most influential wrestlers ever, as he was the inspiration for every over the top, flamboyant, gay, or fashion themed pretty boy wrestler EVER. Here he has what appears to be a clown wig on.

The more interesting thing though is his manager: Jim Freaking Cornette in his first year in the business. If you didn’t know it was him or hear his trademark voice, you never would have guessed it was him. He manages Street as well as the Sheepherders, who are more famous as the Bushwackers but are INSANE here. Also this is when Butch was back in Australia so it’s Luke and a guy named Jonathan Boyd. They talk about a match with the Fabulous Ones on Monday night.

Bill Dundee vs. The Invader

Invader is a generic masked guy but he’s pretty tall. Total squash and a top rope cross body gets the pin in maybe 90 seconds.

We see clips of a very young Terry Taylor/Dundee vs. Apocalypse/Adrian Street. Dundee got the pin but got destroyed by Cornette’s team (Apocalypse and Street) post match. A massive brawl broke out until the Fabulous Ones made the save.

Adrian Street vs. Ira Reese

Total squash that doesn’t even break a minute. Street wins with a sleeper.

House show ads.

Bill Dundee/Jacques Rougeau/King Cobra vs. Adrian Steet/Apocalypse/Jesse Barr

Rougeau stars with Barr, whose son is more famous than he is. Barr is is also known as Jimmy Jack Funk in the WWF. Rougeau slams him to start and we’re moving very slowly to start. Barr gets atomic dropped and Cornette is panicking. Off to Street but Dundee chases him off. Barr comes back in and is dropkicked down almost immediately.

Off to Dundee and Apocalypse who is a masked man in camo pants. Dundee goes to the floor quickly and chases Street and Cornette a bit. Back in and it’s time for arm work. Here’s Cobra and it’s time for another chase on the floor. Barr takes over on Cobra but a gutwrench suplex is countered into a fast rollup for the pin.

Rating: D. This didn’t quite work as I have no idea why Dundee doesn’t like Cornette or Street. That’s one of the things they needed to change as back in the day, the idea of explaining stories wasn’t very strongly pushed. Still though, this wasn’t anything of note as for the most part they were standing around.

So apparently this is 2/3 falls. That helps somewhat. Cobra and Barr start things off again but it’s quickly off to Apocalypse. Cobra is a fairly muscular black guy and it’s Barr in again. Street doesn’t like to do much. Dundee chases after Cornette but gets back up in time to make a tag and take down Apocalypse. Dundee goes for a chair to swing at Street, only to have Barr knock it out of his hands.

Apocalypse takes Dundee down in the corner for some choking but Street runs away, allowing Dundee to make the tag. Street never was even tagged in. Dundee gets beaten up on the floor a bit but the heels let him go and make the tag to Rougeau. A dropkick on Barr gets two and it’s off to Cobra. Off to Apocalypse as Dundee and Barr fight on the floor. Rougeau grabs a rollup for two and Dundee is in the ring now. I have no idea if a tag was made as it’s all over the place so far. Barr holds off Dundee with a chair on the floor and things keep getting messier.

We finally calm down a bit and it’s Apocalypse, who has really dark face paint and not a mask, vs. Rougeau. Apocalypse gets sent into the corner so it’s back to Barr with a chinlock. They go to the floor AGAIN and run around as things somehow break down even further. Street keeps hitting one shot and running. Rougeau hits a good dropkick to take Apocalypse down and it’s off to Cobra vs. Barr. Barr elbows Cobra down for a pin to tie it up out of nowhere. Dundee chases Cornette some more and we take a break.

Between the second and third fall, we get an explanation of Street vs. Dundee in a house show ad: Dundee was poked in the eye by Street’s manager Miss Linda (he had two managers) and her shoe. The Fabs also want the Sheepherders.

There isn’t going to be a third fall due to time constraints.

Rating: D. That’s for the full match. This was more about storyline than wrestling, and because of that the wrestling wasn’t anything to see. They spent way too much time running around on the floor and it was way too confusing to keep up with what was going on. Dundee was good though and having him vs. the Cornette Dynasty would have worked well.

Overall Rating: D. This is the difference between having Lawler and not having Lawler. Without him, the show is kind of a mess. He was moving up in the world for awhile though before coming back to Memphis where he belonged. I’ve got six episodes of this show and I’ll watch all of them, but hopefully they get better than this.

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