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by Billy Ingram
John Hitchcock and Steve Byrd

1980's TV Wrestling Greats
1980s TV Wrestling :
Part One: Ric Flair

Part Two: Dusty Rhodes & Tully Blanchard
Part Three: Jim Cornette & Baby Doll
Part Fou: Ric Flair vs Dusty Rhodes
Part Five: Betrayal!

TV Wrestling DVDs

1980's TV Wrestling Greats
TV Wrestling DVDs

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Dusty Rhodes

The Art of the

The cruel crucifixion
of Dusty Rhodes!

By late 1987, J.J. Dillon, Tully Blanchard and their teammates decided that Dusty Rhodes had become too unpredictable and too dangerous for their best interests. Something had to be done about it, with an all-important cage match and Starrcade (the first pay-per-view wrestling event) coming up later in the year.

Dusty Rhodes, who fancied himself an urban cowboy at the time, was on his way to a meeting at Crockett Productions, never knowing that he was walking into a Texas-style ambush. The whole thing was captured on videotape by the perpetrators, who were riding secretly in the car behind Dusty.

Dillon wanted Dusty out of the way for the Starrcade event broadcast live from Greensboro, North Carolina. Tully was already hobbling around on crutches because of Dusty's brutality, he didn't want a live audience to see what he wanted done in revenge.

Conceit led to downfall. Dillon couldn't help but have his buddies videotape the assault so that he could relish the moment forever.

In the rough footage, we see bloodied Dusty hog-tied to the side of a pickup truck and left for dead in the blistering southern sun.

It's a good thing assault charges weren't filed, there wouldn't be much of a trial with the victim found prostrate in the Crockett parking lot and a video tape of the whole seedy affair sitting on his desk.

WCW Wrestling Their plan failed - Dusty made it to Starrcade with a cast on his arm, which he used to crack open James J. Dillon's face. As a result, Dillon will live with those scars for the rest of his life.

Today, Tully Blanchard is a man of the cloth - let he who is without sin, indeed!

Ric Flair 1980's wrestling DVD

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Ric Flair
1980s TV Wrestling : Part One / Part Two / Part Three / Part Four / Part Five

Baby Doll wrestling matchesTV Wrestling 1980s


The Charlotte Coliseum was sold out and the audience was rocking the floorboards for the start of the World Championship match in 1986 between Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair. Way down south in the land of vengeance, Nature Boy was on his home turf, but he would need every advantage against this bull of the woods (if you will).

Dusty was still highly irritated over the craven attacks inflicted upon himself and his beloved Baby Doll and couldn't wait to get his hands on Ric Flair again.

Dusty RhodesHe entered the ring proudly that night in Carolina, with his loyal lady by his side, as she had been through dozens of matches. After all, behind every man . . . Flair was in peak form, but Dusty was a force of nature that night, the match was his to win from the beginning. Within moments of the bell, Flair was reeling, nearly passed out from the blows.

As Dusty went to make an easy pin (and pick up that championship belt he paid a hellish price for), unexpectedly - seemingly out of nowhere - Baby Doll sneaked along the side of the ring, grabbed Ric Flair's limp foot and placed it on the ropes.

Baby Doll wrestling matchAs the rules require, the ref stopped the pin count and Dusty recoiled in confusion. "What had just happened?," he seemed to say. He knew he had Flair pinned!

The audience couldn't believe their eyes as shock and anger pierced the arena. Momentary confusion gave Nature Boy the advantage he needed, knocking the injured legs out from under his opponent, causing Dusty to crumble to the mat.

Dusty Rhodes on TVEven Ric Flair looked confused in the ring, he was obviously as surprised as anyone at what had happened. How could Baby Doll snatch sure victory from her own man's grasp?

With Dusty flailing on the canvas, Flair applied the dreaded Figure Four leg lock, necessity's sharp pinch! Dusty, his fragile leg causing him excruciating pain, was breaking away from Flair's hold when Baby Doll once again gave Flair the leverage he needed to move Dusty back into a position of pain.


Dusty Rhodes & Ric FlairOnce free, Dusty's fury became uncontrollable as he took out his aggressions on Flair, who couldn't take the savage beating and went down, cowering in a corner.

In the confusion, referee Tommy Young was violently bounced from the ring and knocked unconscious as Dusty roared into Flair with wild abandon.

Dusty Rhodes matchesWith the World Champion lying in certain defeat, Baby doll knew that there could be no turning back. The belle from Hell grabbed a metal folding chair, brought it into the ring and began swinging it wildly at Dusty.

The Charlotte harlot missed her target, but Dusty grabbed the chair and used it on Ric Flair - until Referee Young regained consciousness and called a halt to the fiasco.

Confusion reigned both in and out of the ring, but Ric Flair appeared on camera after the match bragging about his 'victory' - and his new love!

Ric Flair & Baby Doll "Diamonds are forever - and so is Baby Doll," Flair boasted to announcer Bob Caudle afterward. "It's now the Four Horsemen and one mare!"

(by Steve Byrd)

1980s wrestlingBefore Ted Turner bought Jim Crockett's Charlotte company out in the late '80s and turned it into WCW, it was the dominant territorial promotion in the NWA. Crockett's syndicated program was called Worldwide Wrestling, which is now known as WCW Worldwide. Oh, the NWA is still around, and it still has territorial franchise promotions. Details and history are at www.nwa-wrestling.com

Ric Flair & Baby DollBaby Doll was played by a lady whose name, I believe, was Nickla Roberts. She was, in my opinion, a pioneer female manager. [I prefer not to use the term "valet"] I forgot who Baby Doll was managing, but I do remember another female named Precious [David Crockett called her "the bodacious Precious"] who was in the corner of Jim Garvin.

WCW WrestlingTwo signature Crockett supercards, Great American Bash and Starrcade, have gone on to become staples in WCW's pay-per-view lineup. Interestingly, WWF [Northeast US, early 1960s], WCW [Carolinas & Atlanta area, late 1980s] and ECW [Philadelphia area, mid 1990s] all had their roots as regional territories in the NWA, but ended up choosing to strike out on their own.

World Championship Wrestling was a Saturday night offering on TBS even before Turner bought Jim Crockett Promotions and renamed it WCW. From 1977-85, it aired on TBS, packaged by Georgia Championship Wrestling and hosted by Gordon Solie, who also did a similar show in the Tampa Bay area and has been described as "Wrestling's most celebrated commentator."

NWA WrestlingWhen GCW closed shop in '85, the WWF bought time on TBS for the WCW show, then pulled them off within weeks, when TBS talked Jim Crockett into packaging WCW.

Tony Schiavone and David Crockett were the original hosts, while Bob Caudle stayed with the syndicated Worldwide Wrestling.

1980's TV Wrestling Greats
1980s TV Wrestling :
Part One: Ric Flair

Part Two: Dusty Rhodes & Tully Blanchard
Part Three: Jim Cornette & Baby Doll
Part Fou: Ric Flair vs Dusty Rhodes
Part Five: Betrayal!

TV Wrestling DVDs

1980's TV Wrestling Greats
TV Wrestling DVDs


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