SECW #7 Page #2

Next up in battles over the Tag Titles for Anderson & Stubbs was a young three-man team that had the fans up in arms. Johnny Rich and Scott Armstrong had been competing in the area, mostly as adversaries to Tommy Gilbert over the US Jr. Title. But their matches were constantly ending up in DQís as a result of either Anderson or Stubbs. So one Saturday a big box was sitting by the TV desk and as usual curiosity got the better of the Anderson-Stubbs combo. During an interview with Rich, the heel team went into the box only to come flying out due to fists of fury by a masked man (Scott Armstrong) and a newly debuting Tonga Kid. The melee ended up in the ring with the young wrestlers injuring manager Sonny King with Tonga Kid flying off the top rope with the big splash onto King. Rich, Armstrong, and Tonga formed a three-man combo called the R.A.T Patrol, a spinoff of the name Ted Dibiase was using in Mid South called Rat Pack. The RATS used the same basic idea as the Midnight Express and Freebirds in that any of the three could defend not only the newly won Southeastern Tag Titles but also the now owned US Jr. Title. It was during this feud with the RATS that saw the breakup of what many around these parts consider the best tag team to hold the Southeastern Tag Titles .. Anderson & Stubbs, however I will get into that a little later in this very article. The RATS would continue to be the focus of the tag team division for the rest of 1984. To start off 1984, the US Jr. Title was being bounced back and forth between Rip Rogers and Ken Lucas. During the height of the feud Ken Lucas suffered career ending injuries in an auto accident in which the van Lucas was traveling in flipped over several times. Luckily Ken would survive the accident but his active wrestling was all but finished. Hustler Rip Rogers, with Brenda Britton, would go on to battle Larry Hamilton, Johnny Rich, Tim Horner, and Scott Armstrong for the US Jr. laurels. After losing the title to Rich, Rogers would move up the card into the heavyweights in a program with Jacques Rougeau. Rougeau would eventually be on the short end of a loser leaves town match with Rogers and would not return to Southeastern the duration of his career. As mentioned before during the time that Rich had won the belt the formation of the R.A.T. Patrol came to be and all three members began defending the belt in matches against Tommy Gilbert and then the returning Bill Ash.

In last monthís edition I talked of Jerry Stubbs holding both the Alabama and Southeastern Titles as 1983 turned to 1984. Stubbs would lose both titles in early January before going on to tag team success. Charlie Cook had returned to the area and immediately gained the Alabama Championship. The big thorn in the side of Cook was Sonny King and his Army. Cook, a former NFL player with the Pittsburgh Steelers, would face off against Kingís men of Stubbs, Killer Karl Krupp, Boris Zuhkov, and Wayne Farris before losing the belt to a new face to the area, Canadian Vic Rain. Now I just donít know what to say about Rain. Iíd never heard of the man before, and havenít heard anything of him since he left the area in late 1984. Vic wasnít much of a classic wrestler, he was more of a punisher in the mold of Mongolian Stomper. The thing about Rain is he was also very intense in interviews, which matched his wrestling style. His finishing maneuver was just a basic big boot kick to the head. Of course the controversy was whether the said boot was loaded or not. After Rain won the title from Cook he became involved in a short program with fellow Canadian Rougeau. The most heated feud Rain was involved in though was with Jimmy Golden. These men fought hard and heavy all over the Southeast with each passing week on television showing the scars and bruises of their battles. All matches possible were played out between the two men including Street Fights, Canadian Lumberjack Matches, Canadian Death Matches, Cage Matches, you name it, they had it. It was during Rainís feud with Golden that he would lose the Alabama Title to North Carolina native Ric McGraw. Rain would continue his battles with Golden and McGraw was cast into a USA vs. Russia feud with Boris Zuhkov.

Shortly after losing the Alabama Title to Charlie Cook, Stubbs was stripped of the Southeastern Heavyweight Championship. The belt was put up in a tournament with the winner being a now popular with the fans Honky Tonk Wayne Farris. Being popular with the fans and now a good guy did not sit well with former manger Sonny King and stable mate Zuhkov. Farris was stripped of the Southeastern Title after an angle in which Zuhkov had broken Honkyís nose and HTM could not defend the belt. Zuhkov would lose in the finals of the tournament to Jimmy Golden, leading to a series of matches between the two. My most memorable angle between Zuhkov and Golden was one in which King was arguing with Jimmy at the TV desk when the cameras go outside showing Boris breaking all the windows in a van Golden had won in a tournament with his Russian Chain. Boris would never gain the title though from Golden who would eventually lose the title to Vic Rain during there heated feud. The Canadianís title reign would be brief, (all of 5 days), as he would lose the title to a returning Austin Idol on the Universal Heartthrobís first night back in the promotion.

During the Spring of Ď84 Southeastern Championship Wrestling and International Sports introduced a new championship into the area. At the big Star Wars Ď84 card in Dothan, Continental Champion Michael Hayes put his title on the line against the challenge of Tennessee Stud Ron Fuller. Funny, the championship belt arrived in the area two weeks ahead of the appearance of Hayes, who was just shown in taped interviews. Naturally Hayes would drop the title to Fuller on that night. Another of the big matches on the Star Wars card was a grudge match between Bullet Bob Armstrong and the man who had "broken" his face, Ted Dibiase. The Continental Championship would be the prize in the rekindled Armstrong Fuller feud. Aside from all this that Iíve written on, another great battle was emerging between 2 excellent wrestlers, Jerry Stubbs and Arn Anderson. Now these men had already had their share of matches when Arn first debuted in the area as the Masked Super Olympia. They had since then formed one of the best tag teams I had ever seen in Southeastern. The tensions began to come out during a Southeastern Tag Title match against the RATS in which Arn & Jerry won when Anderson used the "Supreme Sacrifice" move and rammed Johnny Richís head into a groggy Jerry Stubbsís head. Jerry just couldnít understand why Arn would go to that extreme to win the match. At the same time Billy Spears and Anderson wanted explanations as to why Austin Idol was referring to Stubbs as Mr. Olympia on TV and leaving phone messages for Mr. Olympia at the different hotels and the "offices" of Spears. The official breakup of the team came when during another title defense against the RATS Stubbs was holding Rich when Billy Spears entered the ring and instead of hitting Rich, Spears burned Stubbs with a fireball. Of course, Arn blamed Jerry for the whole incident happening. Jerry Stubbs would not return to Southeastern, however a "good friend" of Stubbs would reappear.

NEXT MONTH:

We look at the second half of the year and the Arn Anderson-Mr. Olympia feud, an Arn Anderson-Pork Chop Cash incident, Austin Idol, Jimmy Golden's heel turn, a new RAT, Lord Humongous, and the formation of the Stud Stable.

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