On This Day: April 10, 1982 – Championship Wrestling From Florida 1982: Dory Funk And Not Much Else

Championship Wrestling From Florida
Date: April 10, 1982
Location: Sportatorium, Tampa, Florida
Commentator: Gordon Solie

This is one of the major territories I’ve never touched on which is a shame. Florida was easily one of the most important places as everyone went there at some point. It was owned by Eddie Graham who people claim to be one of the most brilliant bookers ever, as well as one of the most ripped off booker ever. Anyway I don’t know much of anything about the angles going on here so let’s get to it.

Florida TV Title: Dory Funk Jr. vs. Sweet Brown Sugar

Joined in progress as was Florida’s custom. I believe Sugar is defending here but he’s in an armbar as we join things. We have three or four minutes remaining in the fifteen minute time limit. Dory has something called the International Title. Under three minutes. Sugar fights up and dropkicks him to the floor. Tommy Young is referee. Was there ANY other NWA referee in the 80s? Funk comes back with those famous forearms of his but gets cross bodied for two. David Von Erich is here and jumps Sugar. Two minutes left. Dory piledrives him for two. A minute to go. Dory hooks the toe hold but the time runs out.

Rating: N/A. I don’t think it’s fair to grade four and a half minutes of a fifteen minute match. David would win the title in two weeks and then lose it to Dory before the year was over. The title would also be retired by the end of the year. Anyway not much here as the time limit draw was pretty clear the whole time.

Gordon is with some chick named Barbara who is a corespondent I guess. We’ll get some video on Dusty Rhodes later.

Apparently later is now as we see Dusty singing with Willie Nelson in concert. Over in Japan, Dusty says even though Dusty hasn’t been in Florida for six months, no one has risen up to fill his shoes. He’s been chasing Ric Flair around the country but he’s coming home.

We hear from a sheriff about a festival for charity that happened recently. Mike Graham beat up a deputy. Another deputy had a sleeper put on him. They raised over $6000. That’s cool if nothing else. There was a parade too with Eddie Graham as the marshal. Eddie gets the key to the city for his efforts.

We keep up the civic stuff with Eddie getting an honorary membership in the Rotary Club and some other award from them. He gets a third award from them. The charity stuff is cool and all but do we need to spend like ten minutes on this and the Dusty stuff?

Now the sheriff gets awards. GET ON WITH IT. The guy that put the sleeper on the deputy gets an award. Oh that’s Magnum TA. I didn’t recognize him for a bit there. Now the co-chairman is here to present an award to Mike Graham. This just keeps going. Isn’t this supposed to be a wrestling show?

Andre Fillipe vs. Kendo Nagasaki

Nagasaki is called the Black Ninja and is managed by JJ Dillon. The Ninja looks like he’s in gray trousers. The announcer calls the jobber Peltier but Solie says Fillipe. I’ll go with the Dean. Nagasaki chops a lot and wins with a big chop.

Dillon says that’s another body on the pile. He’s challenged Mike Graham for a match today but there’s no response from Mike. Graham pops up in the ring in a suit but he’s ready to go in street clothes. JJ gets in with a kendo stick but gets knocked down and beaten with the stick. Graham slaps on a figure four and JJ is in trouble. Nagasaki makes the save but gets beaten down as well and put in a figure four. JJ saves but is sent to the floor, allowing Nagasaki to choke Graham down. Graham bleeds from the mouth until some wrestlers make the save.

Gordon is at the announce desk and gets a call on the Batphone telling him that Graham is being taken to the hospital.

Wahoo McDaniel vs. Rick Harris

This is from Charlotte. Wahoo kills him with the big chop after about a minute shown.

Video on Flair and his tastes for the finer things in life. I think this is on one of Flair’s DVDs actually. Vignettes like these would do wonders for 99% of the roster today.

Dick Murdoch vs. Iron Sheik

Murdoch beats on Sheik with the flag before the match so Murdoch has a very early advantage. This isn’t in the Florida studios and JJ is on commentary. He seems to be a big Sheik supporter. Murdoch pounds him down and JJ (while still on commentary) jumps in and we cut it away.

Brian Blair vs. Bob Russell

Airplane spin, cobra clutch, done. Blair wins if that wasn’t clearn.

Jimmy Garvin is worried about Mike Graham. This goes on for awhile and he doesn’t have much to say.

Here’s a clip (I guess) of a Butch Reed match. It’s done even faster than the Blair match, maybe lasting 20 seconds before the pin off a cross body.

El Gran Apollo/Terry Allen vs. Don Diamond/Cyclone Negro

Don Diamond was the name of Corporal Reyes on the Zorro series produced by Disney in the 50s. That Diamond would be about 60 at this point so I’m going to assume it’s not him. Allen dropkicks him down anyway and they trade wristlocks. Here’s Apollo and never mind as it’s back to Allen. Negro comes in for literally four seconds before tagging back out. Magnum is beaten down for awhile until the hot tag brings in Apollo. He cleans house and we’re almost out of time. Actually we’re out of time and it’s a draw. Wait the bell rang but they fight through the credits and Magnum gets the pin off a cross body. Ok then.

Rating: D. The ending, assuming it actually was one, wasn’t any good. This was one of those long squashes that they had to have to fill in the rest of the show. You could have had a match in there but we needed to have the awards presentations earlier right? Anyway bad match, but Allen would become a huge star soon enough.

Overall Rating: D. I wasn’t impressed here but to be fair it’s 1982 which isn’t exactly the best time in the world for pro wrestling. Anyway, I have a few other shows from this company that are a few years after this so they should be nice to see as a comparison to this. This company gets great reactions so maybe they were just having a bad day.

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