Mid-South Wrestling: June 1980

Here's a look at Mid-South Wrestling in June 1980: one of the biggest angles in Mid-South history as the Junkyard Dog is “blinded” by Michael Hayes & more!

Here are the SPOT Ratings for the month.


COMINGS AND GOINGS

Newcomers to the territory this month are babyfaces Ernie Holmes and Roberto Soto and heels Ron McFarlane and the Grappler.

Ernie Holmes played pro football from 1971 to 1978, mostly with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He wrestled at least one match for Paul Boesch in 1979 and was brought here to team with Buck Robley for several bouts against the Freebirds after JYD’s “injury”. He had a very brief stint in Georgia later in the year and also was one of the football players who participated in the Wrestlemania 2 battle royal in 1986. Soto had been wrestling in Puerto Rico (as Invader #2) but came here for a stint that only lasted a few weeks. He had last been here over four years earlier.

The Grappler (Lynn Denton) came here from Mid-Atlantic. By this point in time he had used the Grappler gimmick in a few territories, but in his only previous stint here two years earlier he worked as Lynn (or Len) Denton. McFarlane came in from Central States.

Leaving the territory during the month was heel Ben Alexander, who went to Mid-Atlantic.

While neither actually left the territory, Junkyard Dog and Michael Hayes were taken off of the “active” roster during the month. In the case of Hayes, he transitioned to a managerial role for Gordy & Roberts while selling an injury at the hands of Robley. And Junkyard Dog was sent home for several weeks to sell his injury.

The injury angle took place on Monday, June 9th at the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans (some sources erroneously list it as happening at the SuperDome on the same date). JYD & Robley were scheduled to defend the Mid-South Tag Team titles against Gordy & Roberts in a no-disqualification match, with the loser of the fall to also lose their hair.

Clipped footage of the match and the angle can be found on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEmIIIfShVo

Instead of using scissors or clippers, Michael Hayes brought “hair removal cream” with him and had it at ringside. This cream had actually been a part of the angle between Ken Mantell and Paul Orndorff. Mantell had been using scissors to cut off a lock of his opponents’ hair after TV matches, but during a tag bout Buck Robley accidentally got stabbed in the arm with the scissors, so they were “banned” and Mantell came up with the cream instead. This built to an angle where Orndorff got the cream away from Mantell and put it on his hair, with Mantell wearing headgear in the following weeks to “cover up” his newly bald head.

During the match, JYD is thrown to the floor and doesn’t see that Robley is pinned. As he comes to, he sees Hayes in the ring with a handful of the hair removal cream while Robley is being held. JYD, thinking the match is still going on, runs in to stop Hayes and as he grabs him and turns him around, the cream goes flying into JYD’s eyes. Bill Watts, doing commentary, questions whether the cream getting in his eyes was accidental or on purpose.

JYD was sent home to sell the injury, reportedly not leaving his house at all (or perhaps on a limited basis, and always wearing an eye patch) and even keeping the blinds drawn so nobody could look in. An additional twist to the angle was that JYD’s wife gave birth to their first child at this time, with the question of if ‘Dog would ever get to actually see his own daughter. He did make at least one appearance at a house show, where the story goes he was confronted by the ‘Birds and a fan famously jumped the rail and pointed a gun at Hayes.

One of the things to note in looking at the SPOT Ratings chart at the top of this post and the house show lineups at the bottom is that JYD was still advertised for house shows the rest of the week following the angle as well as the following week. Where I have results, wrestlers such as Jake Roberts or King Cobra subbed for him. While he WAS being falsely advertised, his bouts were usually positioned slightly lower on the cards than normal (you can see his SPOT Rating is a tad lower those last two weeks) so as not to leave too poor a taste in fans’ mouths when he didn’t appear. It’s also possible that they announced the injury at the beginning of the affected house shows, and in an era where the fans still believed, they viewed it as circumstances beyond the promoter’s control. My place is not to defend or justify, but merely to point out the thought process at the time.

Other wrestlers not listed in the SPOT Ratings: Austin Idol, Steve Hall, Tommy Rich, Tully Blanchard and women wrestlers Ann Casey and Tracy Richards.

Idol and Rich worked each other early in the month on a show in Lafayette; their matches here were often billed as “from Atlanta TV”. Tully was wrestling for Southwest at the time but came in for one shot in Shreveport to wrestle Paul Orndorff.

CH-CH-CHANGES

Title Changes: Gordy & Roberts of course won the Mid-South Tag Team titles in New Orleans. Also, I believe I missed a title swtich last month, as title history sites list JYD as beating Terry Gordy for the Louisiana state title at some point in May, likely May 20th in Baton Rouge. This gave JYD both the Louisiana and the Mississippi titles, though he would vacate both of them following his “injury”. Ted DiBiase was the only champ unaffected by everything that went on during the month, as he held on to the North American title the whole way through.

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Here are the FEUD Scores for the month.


ANATOMY OF A FEUD

This month we'll dissect the feud between Killer Khan and Ted DiBiase, looking at all of the known matches between them with results and stipulations noted where available.

Keep in mind that some newspapers didn't list details, so just because a match isn't specified as a title match we don't necessarily know for a fact that it was non-title and the same can apply for stipulation bouts. Also, "Wrestler A defeated Wrestler B" doesn't necessarily mean it was by pinfall or submission.

May 30 Shreveport LA: Ted DiBiase defeated Killer Khan in a North American title match
June 1 Lafayette LA: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
June 2 Chalmette LA: Ted DiBiase defeated Killer Khan by disqualification
June 3 Baton Rouge LA: Killer Khan defeated Ted DiBiase by disqualification
June 6 Shreveport LA: Ted DiBiase defeated Killer Khan in a non-title match
June 7 Biloxi MS: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase in a grudge match
June 8 Monroe LA: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
June 10 Baton Rouge LA: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
June 11 Jackson MS: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase in a grudge match
June 13 Shreveport LA: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase in a North American title match
June 15 Lake Charles LA: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
June 17 Baton Rouge LA: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase in a lights out match
June 18 Jackson MS: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
June 21 Biloxi MS: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
June 22 Lafayette LA: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase in a no-disqualification match
June 24 Baton Rouge LA: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase in a North American title match
June 28 Alexandria LA: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
June 29 Monroe LA: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase in a no-disqualification match

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Here is the calendar of known house shows:


HOUSE SHOW LINEUPS
(unless stated otherwise, these lineups are from my own personal research)
Stipulations listed when known; keep in mind that some matches not specified as title matches may have actually been title bouts and the same can apply for stipulation matches.

5/26/80 Monroe LA
Louisiana title: Junkyard Dog vs Terry Gordy
Buck Robley & Ted DiBiase vs Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy
Pat Kelly vs Paul Orndorff
Mike Kelly vs Steven Little Bear
Ben Alexander vs Jake Roberts
Frank Dusek vs Terry Orndorff

5/27/80 Baton Rouge LA
Lights out match: Buck Robley vs Terry Gordy
Ann Casey vs Tracy Richards
Buddy Roberts vs Ted DiBiase
Hugo Savinovich vs Terry Orndorff
Jake Roberts vs Mike Miller

5/28/80 Jackson MS
North American title: Ken Mantell vs Ted DiBiase
Mississippi title: Junkyard Dog vs Terry Gordy
Mike Kelly & Pat Kelly vs Paul Orndorff & Terry Orndorff
Frank Dusek vs Steven Little Bear
Buddy Roberts vs Mike Miller
Hugo Savinovich vs Jake Roberts

5/29/80 Greenville MS
Texas death match: Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy vs Junkyard Dog & Terry Orndorff
Hugo Savinovich vs Terry Lathan
Ben Alexander vs Tommy Wright

5/30/80 Shreveport LA
North American title: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy vs Terry Lathan & Terry Orndorff
No disqualification: Stan Stasiak vs Steven Little Bear
Paul Orndorff vs Tully Blanchard
Ken Mantell vs Tommy Wright
Hugo Savinovich vs Mike Miller

5/31/80 Alexandria LA
Winner take all: Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
Louisiana title: Junkyard Dog vs Terry Gordy
Buck Robley & Ted DiBiase vs Killer Khan & Stan Stasiak
Frank Dusek vs Steven Little Bear
Buddy Roberts vs Tommy Wright

5/31/80 Loranger LA
Jake Roberts & Terry Orndorff vs Mike Kelly & Pat Kelly
Ann Casey vs Tracy Richards
Ben Alexander vs Terry Lathan
Hugo Savinovich vs Mike Miller

6/1/80 Houma LA
Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy vs Junkyard Dog & Steven Little Bear
Revenge match: Jake Roberts vs Mike Kelly & Pat Kelly
Ann Casey vs Tracy Richards
Ben Alexander vs Terry Lathan
Mike Miller vs Steve Hall

6/1/80 Lafayette LA
Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
Austin Idol vs Tommy Rich
Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Buck Robley & King Cobra vs Frank Dusek & Stan Stasiak
Mike Kelly vs Terry Orndorff
Hugo Savinovich vs Tommy Wright

6/2/80 Chalmette LA (source: wrestlingdata.com)
Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Stan Stasiak vs Steven Little Bear
Buck Robley & Junkyard Dog vs Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy
Jake Roberts vs Pat Kelly
Mike Kelly vs Mike Miller
Frank Dusek vs Tommy Wright

6/3/80 Baton Rouge LA
Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Buck Robley & Junkyard Dog vs Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy
Stan Stasiak vs Steven Little Bear
Frank Dusek vs Terry Orndorff
Pat Kelly vs Roberto Soto
Mike Kelly vs Terry Lathan

6/4/80 Jackson MS
Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
Stan Stasiak vs Steven Little Bear
Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy vs Junkyard Dog & King Cobra
Frank Dusek vs Roberto Soto
Mike Kelly vs Terry Orndorff
Hugo Savinovich vs Terry Lathan

6/5/80 Greenwood MS
Challenge match: Buddy Roberts vs Junkyard Dog
Jake Roberts & Roberto Soto vs Mike Kelly & Pat Kelly
Mike Miller vs Stan Stasiak
Hugo Savinovich vs Tommy Wright

6/6/80 Shreveport LA
Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
Buck Robley & Junkyard Dog vs Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy
Non-title: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Frank Dusek vs Roberto Soto
Jake Roberts vs Ron McFarlane
Pat Kelly vs Terry Lathan

6/7/80 Alexandria LA
Lights out match: Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
Buck Robley & Junkyard Dog vs Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy
Ann Casey vs Tracy Richards
Frank Dusek vs Terry Lathan
Hugo Savinovich vs Mike Miller

6/7/80 Biloxi MS
Grudge match: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Stan Stasiak vs Steven Little Bear
Jake Roberts & Roberto Soto vs Mike Kelly & Pat Kelly
Ron McFarlane vs Terry Orndorff
Ben Alexander vs Tommy Wright

6/8/80 Houma LA
Steven Little Bear vs Terry Gordy
Junkyard Dog vs Stan Stasiak
Jake Roberts vs Mike Kelly
Pat Kelly vs Roberto Soto
Hugo Savinovich vs Mike Miller

6/8/80 Monroe LA
Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
Buck Robley vs Buddy Roberts
Frank Dusek vs King Cobra
Ron McFarlane vs Terry Orndorff
Terry Lathan vs Tommy Wright

6/9/80 New Orleans LA (source: wrestlingdata.com)
Mid-South Tag Team titles, no disqualification: Buck Robley & Junkyard Dog vs Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy
(plus other bouts)

6/10/80 Baton Rouge LA
Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Stan Stasiak vs Steven Little Bear
Challenge match: Buddy Roberts vs Junkyard Dog
Frank Dusek & Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff & Terry Orndorff
Mike Kelly vs Tommy Wright
Pat Kelly vs Terry Lathan

6/11/80 Jackson MS
Grudge match: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Buck Robley & Junkyard Dog vs Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy
Return grudge match: Stan Stasiak vs Steven Little Bear
Frank Dusek vs Jake Roberts
Pat Kelly vs Roberto Soto
Mike Kelly vs Mike Miller

6/12/80 Greenville MS
Steel cage match: Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy vs Junkyard Dog & Terry Orndorff
Frank Dusek vs Terry Lathan
Ron McFarlane vs Tommy Wright

6/13/80 Shreveport LA
North American title: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Grappler & Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff & Terry Orndorff
Buddy Roberts vs Junkyard Dog
Jake Roberts vs Terry Gordy
Stan Stasiak vs Terry Lathan
Frank Dusek vs Steven Little Bear

6/14/80 Columbia MS
Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy vs Junkyard Dog & King Cobra
Stan Stasiak vs Steven Little Bear
Ron McFarlane vs Terry Orndorff
Hugo Savinovich vs Terry Lathan

6/15/80 Houma LA
Grudge match: Stan Stasiak vs Steven Little Bear
Jake Roberts & Roberto Soto vs Mike Kelly & Pat Kelly
Ron McFarlane vs Terry Orndorff
Hugo Savinovich vs Terry Lathan

6/15/80 Lake Charles LA
Steel cage match: Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy vs Junkyard Dog & King Cobra
Frank Dusek vs Mike Miller
Grappler vs Tommy Wright

6/17/80 Baton Rouge LA
Lights out match: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Loser leaves town: Stan Stasiak vs Steven Little Bear
Grappler & Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff & Terry Orndorff
Frank Dusek vs Roberto Soto
Jake Roberts vs Ron McFarlane
Mike Kelly vs Mike Miller

6/18/80 Jackson MS
Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Loser leaves town: Stan Stasiak vs Steven Little Bear
Frank Dusek & Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff & Terry Orndorff
Mike Kelly vs Roberto Soto
Grappler vs Tommy Wright
Hugo Savinovich vs Jake Roberts

6/19/80 Greenwood MS
Buddy Roberts vs Junkyard Dog
Stan Stasiak vs Steven Little Bear
Jake Roberts & Roberto Soto vs Mike Kelly & Pat Kelly
Grappler vs Tommy Wright

6/20/80 Shreveport LA
Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
Buck Robley & Ernie Holmes vs Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy
Stan Stasiak vs Ted DiBiase
Jake Roberts vs Killer Khan
Grappler vs Terry Lathan
Hugo Savinovich vs Mike Miller

6/21/80 Biloxi MS
Lights out match: Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Stan Stasiak vs Steven Little Bear
Grappler vs Jake Roberts
Ron McFarlane vs Terry Lathan
Hugo Savinovich vs Tommy Wright

6/22/80 Lafayette LA
Lights out match: Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
No disqualification: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy vs Junkyard Dog & King Cobra
Grappler vs Terry Lathan
Ron McFarlane vs Tommy Wright

6/23/80 New Orleans LA (source: wrestlingdata.com)
Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
Buck Robley & Ernie Holmes vs Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy
Frank Dusek vs Ted DiBiase
Grappler vs Steven Little Bear
Jake Roberts vs Mike Kelly
Pat Kelly vs Terry Orndorff

6/24/80 Baton Rouge LA
North American title: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
Buck Robley & Ernie Holmes vs Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy
Grappler vs Terry Lathan
Pat Kelly vs Tommy Wright
Jake Roberts vs Mike Kelly

6/27/80 Shreveport LA
Come as you are: Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
Buck Robley & Ted DiBiase vs Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy
Grappler vs Steven Little Bear
Killer Khan vs Terry Lathan
Jake Roberts vs Mike Kelly
Pat Kelly vs Tommy Wright

6/28/80 Alexandria LA
Steel cage match: Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Stan Stasiak vs Steven Little Bear
Mike Kelly & Pat Kelly vs Terry Lathan & Terry Orndorff
Ron McFarlane vs Tommy Wright

6/29/80 Houma LA
“Fired match” (???): Frank Dusek vs Steven Little Bear
Jake Roberts vs Mike Kelly
Pat Kelly vs Terry Orndorff
Mike Miller vs Ron McFarlane
(plus one other bout)

6/29/80 Monroe LA
Buck Robley & mystery partner vs Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy
No disqualification: Killer Khan vs Ted DiBiase
Ken Mantell vs Paul Orndorff
Grappler vs King Cobra
Hugo Savinovich vs Terry Lathan

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