Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Jason Hess
feel as if I have taken a gigantic leap into a “great (un) known.”
While I have written about and have been familiar with Mid-South
Wrestling as a part of the Houston territory, until now, I have never
realized how much ground one can cover when writing about a territory as
unique as Mid-South Wrestling.
have had the fortune of having many come before me as the writer of this
territory. Sean Rowland
re-awakened my interest in a feud that I can’t believe I ever forgot:
Ted DiBiase vs. Dick
Murdoch. Max Levy has such
technical precision in his writing that I can seriously only hope to one
day achieve. And, my good
friend Scott Williams is a virtual treasure chest of Mid-South information
try and imitate these three men would only tarnish what they have written
for us. However, as you and I
get to know each other here in the Mid-South territory, you will indelibly
see the influences of Mssrs. Rowland, Levy and Williams, as I hope to
deliver the same excellence they brought to this territory.
name is Jason Hess, and I have lived in the Southern part of the United
States all of my 30 years on planet Earth.
Born in the city of the Mid-South TV tapings, Shreveport,
Louisiana, in 1973, my family moved to another hot bed of Mid-South
action, Houston, Texas, in 1975. Aside
from a 2.5 year stay in Norfolk, Virginia, I have spent the rest of my
time in Houston. Because of
my residing in Houston, I have had the special privilege of seeing
Mid-South as my first exposure to professional wrestling.
a 9 year old boy whose parents had just divorced and mom had remarried, I
was kind of in a turmoil (well, at least as much of a turmoil that a 9
year old can be in), and was looking for something to take away some of my
pain. I happened to be up
later than usual on a Saturday night, and flipped past KHTV Channel 39.
I was instantly hypnotized by what I saw.
The Junkyard Dog was moving and grooving his way to another
victory, and I was instantly drawn in by what I witnessed.
From that first day, I was hooked….primarily on Mid-South
I became aware of other territories, and their availability on my
television set, I still felt much like Scott Williams did when he voiced
in his introductory Mid-South column, “I have maintained that Mid-South
Wrestling was the best televised professional wrestling of all time.”
I can further echo Williams when he stated,”Mid-South was the
only show I was ever actually afraid to miss, because I knew I’d miss
something big.” Boy,
wasn’t that the truth!! I
would actually count down the minutes before a Saturday night viewing of
Mid-South, especially if we were out…to make sure we “had enough
time” to get home for the entire show!
my parents needed to do to get me to comply, obey, or just do whatever was
threaten to take my beloved Mid-South away from me.
When grades would dip, or chores would slip, a swift reminder of
potential lost privileges on a Saturday night would do the trick to snap
me back into fighting shape.
am quite thankful for tape trading now, as my “Mid-South Memories”
have once again been rekindled. Viewing
that footage made me a kid again. While
we can endlessly debate the line where being a total mark ends and a smart
mark/smark begins, one thing rings true for me personally:
When I began to collect Mid-South tapes, I again became a mark.
A mark for storytelling. A
mark for logic. A mark for
basic, solid ring action. A
mark for the drama that could be squeezed out of a title chase, or a
wrestler coming into his own right before my very eyes.
I became a mark “renewed” due to the privilege of viewing
Mid-South Wrestling again.
So many memories from the glory years of Mid-South flood my mind now, that I am a little unsure as to where to start. From the legendary Freebirds-JYD “hair-cream” angle of 1980 which drew a record crowd to the New Orleans Superdome (one record I believe still stands for pro wrestling), to Hacksaw Duggan costing the babyfaces a victory due to his “gorilla” costume, to the Magnum T.A.-Mr. Wrestling 2 “coach-student saga,” to the “Last Stampede” of Bill Watts, to the bitter feuds involving the Dog with Ted DiBiase, the memories are just as vivid now as they were years ago. More...