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 - Scott Williams 

The Kurious Kase of Krusher Khruschev

Krusher Darsow debuted in Mid-South in 1983, without much fanfare. While top stars in the territory were consumed in wars involving various combinations of Ted DiBase, Skandor Akbar, Buzz Sawyer and King Kong Bundy against Hacksaw Duggan and the Junkyard Dog, Darsow quietly began amassing victories.

Darsow was 300 pounds of power, a big, bulky (but not fat) Minnesota native who wore denim shorts in the ring, tied with a rope. His look was one of rugged outdoors that fairly screamed Americana.

In the ring, he displayed many aggressive tendencies, relying on power to bully his preliminary foes into submission. His undefeated streak ended one week on television, when he found himself in the corner opposite the Junkyard Dog, Mid-South’s number-one man, and the closest thing to a super-hero in the entire region. Darsow gave Dog a run for his money, but went down in defeat.

Soon after, the nefarious manager Akbar sought to capitalize on what he hoped was Darsow’s resentment over losing. He offered Darsow $500 to take out JYD, but Darsow surprised Akbar and many fans by turning on the manager of Devastation Inc. and saving JYD from an attack by Akbar’s troops.

For the first time, Darsow heard the cheers of the fans, but the adulation would not last long.

Another powerhouse newcomer was tearing up the competition in Mid-South -- the Soviet warrior Nikolai Volkoff.

The match started quickly, as Darsow attacked Volkoff from behind after the playing of the Russian national anthem (something Volkoff requested before all his matches). He pounded Volkoff early, but Volkoff soon took over. Darsow managed to turn things back his way briefly, trapping Volkoff in a bearhug. Volkoff, however, slid his arms through the Minnesotan’s and reversed the bearhug into one of his own. A few minutes of pounding followed, and the match ended when Volkoff lifted Darsow over his head and put him into an over-the-knee backbreaker.

For the second time, Darsow’s reaction to defeat was not typical of pro wrestlers. The following week, Darsow was asked to pick the winner of an upcoming North American title match between champion Junkyard Dog and challenger Volkoff, speaking as the only man in Mid-South who had faced both in the ring.

Darsow had nothing but praise for the Soviet who had manhandled him the previous week. 

Picking Volkoff to win the match and the title, Darsow said, “Volkoff was the first man that ever made me feel like a little baby. After wrestling both of them, I’d have to say Nikolai Volkoff is a stronger man and the better athlete. He’s just got something I really want to learn -- that’s the strength and the ability of wrestling.”

The week after this shocking prediction, Darsow came out to join the crowd at the Irish-MacNeill’s Boy’s Club in watching Volkoff’s demolition of Josh Stroud.

Soon after, Volkoff found himself in the ring with All-American Steve “Dr. Death” Williams, when the referee was knocked out. Williams was sent out of the ring, met by Darsow. Instead of checking on Williams, as the announcers thought he would, he attacked Dr. Death before sending him back into the ring, where he was easy prey for Volkoff’s backbreaker drop.  More...

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