Mid-South & Tri-State Wrestling: Week of 9/17-9/23 1979

Our coverage of 1979 continues with a look at the week ending September 23rd: North American champ Mike George faces Mr. Wrestling II multiple times, Dick Murdoch makes a cameo appearance, JYD & Ayala move up the cards, two Watts wrestlers work for McGuirk (!!) & more!

Here's a look at the Mid-South (Watts) talent roster along with their SPOT ratings for the week. Information about Tri-State (McGuirk) can be found towards the bottom of this post.

Columns: TW=This week's SPOT rating; LW=Last week's SPOT rating; ME%=Percentage of main events. Babyfaces are in blue on the left-hand side, heels in orange on the right. They are listed in descending order; wrestlers at the top were mostly in main events while wrestlers at the bottom were mostly in preliminary matches.

For new readers, this post and this post will help you understand the SPOT rating and what it means.

I have data for the following house shows this week:
Tuesday - Alexandria, LA
Wednesday - Baton Rouge, LA
Thursday - New Orleans, LA
Friday - Shreveport, LA
Saturday - Lafayette, LA & Loranger, LA
Sunday - Monroe, LA
(New Orleans data comes from wrestlingdata.com)

Notes/Analysis: I've added a new column to the weekly charts that shows how often a wrestler was booked in main events. It's based on all known house shows for a five-week period centered around the given week (so it includes this week, the two weeks prior and the two weeks following). It is calculated by taking the number of times a wrestler was booked in a main event and dividing it by the total number of shows that wrestler was booked on. Note that main events often featured tag team (or six-man, eight-man, etc) matches and that wrestlers were occasionally given days off or were booked outside of the territory. In addition, there were time periods when the territory ran multiple shows per night with different crews.

Both Bill Watts and King Kong Mosca were not booked on any cards this week, so they are not listed in the SPOT ratings chart above. Both return next week. Watts did work the Omni in Atlanta on Friday night for Georgia Championship Wrestling but I have not found any other bookings for him or Mosca anywhere else during the week. Jake Roberts is absent from the cards this week as well, but he will be gone for a few weeks. I have no information on his whereabouts so he may have been injured.

Dick Murdoch came in to work Shreveport, where he beat North American champion Mike George by disqualification. According to Tim Hornbaker in his book Death of the Territories, Murdoch & Blackjack Mulligan had purchased the Amarillo territory from the Funks in October 1978 (it should be noted that some online sources differ on when the sale took place, but Tim's research is generally impeccable). In addition to headlining in his own territory, Murdoch was taking outside dates in East Texas and would continue to show up here occasionally. It's been said that both Bill Watts and Ron Fuller used the payoffs they would get from main eventing shows in other territories (Florida, Georgia and Memphis) to help keep their own territories afloat when they first started up. This may have been a similar situation.

Mike George also defended his title against Mr. Wrestling II on at least three occasions, in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Monroe. A fourth title defense may have also occurred as George faced II in New Orleans, but I'm not sure if that was a title match. George took on Iron Mike Sharpe in a lights out match in Alexandria. Sharpe, the Louisiana state champ, defended against Junkyard Dog in Baton Rouge. Another major match on that card saw Charlie Cook face Pork Chop Cash in a Texas death match. Other notable matches this week saw Sharpe face Mr. Wrestling II in a rare face vs face match in Shreveport, and Sharpe took on Tank Patton in a lights out match in New Orleans.

The two biggest movers on the SPOT ratings chart this week were Hercules Ayala and Junkyard Dog, both of whom moved up over the .60 mark. I use .60 as a cutoff to separate upper mid-carders from mid-carders, so this would indicate both moving to upper mid-card status.

Frequent matches:
Mike George vs Mr Wrestling II
Charlie Cook vs Pork Chop Cash
Charlie Cook & Hercules Ayala vs Junkyard Dog & Pork Chop Cash
Iron Mike Sharpe vs Mike George
Iron Mike Sharpe vs Tank Patton

Frequent tag team combinations:
Junkyard Dog & Pork Chop Cash
Charlie Cook & Hercules Ayala

Leroy McGuirk ran just once this week, on Monday in Tulsa. He will add a second show next week. At that point I will start covering his territory in a separate post and look at SPOT ratings. This week's card was headlined by Sugar Bear Harris (Jim "Kamala" Harris) & Oki Shikina taking on Mike George & Troy Graham. There was also a tournament match for the Junior Heavyweight title between Brian Blair and Pork Chop Cash. Keep in mind that both George and Pork Chop were full-time for Watts, but came in to work this show (and while I don't have full results, I did look up newspaper results from this show and verified that George and Pork Chop did appear). This is similar to the Tulsa card two weeks ago, where it was the Watts crew plus three wrestlers that were going to stay in Tulsa and work for McGuirk (Blair, Graham and Sugar Bear). I really can't speculate as to why this happened, and I don't really want to rehash all the various stories regarding the split. So we'll just note that two of Watts' guys worked for McGuirk this week and leave it at that.

Also booked in Tulsa this week were Frank Dusek and Tom Jones, both of whom came in from East Texas. This was the second week in a row that Fritz Von Erich supplied talent to McGuirk as he tried to get his "new" territory off the ground.

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