SECW #8 Page #2

Anderson & Stubbs’ first tenure as Southeastern tag team champions began in early 1984 under the management of Sonny King. By spring of 1984 Billy Spears would be the man in charge of managing the duo. It was during Stubbs and Anderson's feud with the RAT Patrol in the summer of 1984 that things began to get uneasy for the duo. The longtime ally of Mr. Olympia, Austin Idol, had returned to the area. Idol let it be known from the beginning he didn't care one iota for the Billy Spears family of wrestlers, except one man. Of course that man was none other than friend Jerry Stubbs. Austin just couldn't understand why Stubbs would ally himself with the likes of Spears. Funny that Idol would never refer to Stubbs as Stubbs but rather Olympia. Well as expected Spears and Anderson hated this and were constantly questioning Stubbs on his relationship with Idol. As time went on Stubbs answer would go from non- concern to explaining his friendship with Idol was "personal" and his teaming with Anderson was "business". The "FLAMES" of the Stubbs - Anderson team would go up in fire during a Southeastern tag title defense against Johnny Rich and Tonga Kid in the Houston County Farm Center. The RAT's would win the belts and during the after match melee an argument ensued between Anderson and Stubbs. Idol came down to the ring to help Stubbs who was being beaten down by the Spears family of Anderson, Tommy Gilbert, and Boris Zukov. With Idol tied in the ropes, Anderson held a groggy Stubbs up and Billy Spears threw fire into the face of Jerry. This was the official ending of the team. Idol was the first to stand up for Stubbs, wrestling against Anderson. A few weeks later Mr. Olympia would make his return attacking Anderson during a bout with Idol, rekindling the Stubbs-Anderson feud once again, this time with Mr. Olympia the good guy, and  Anderson the bad guy. There were many great interviews, promos, and angles between the two very good workers for the length of their feud that would last from the summer of 1984 through the early months of 1985. Anderson would come up with the career long nicknames of Stubbs in the area, often calling him "peahead" or "chromedome". Olympia usually referred to Anderson as "pigface". As good as both were in the ring, no need was made of much gimmick matches between the two, however they did have several brutal matches including stretcher matches, whipping matches, Canadian Lumberjack matches, and Southern Street Fights which were the norm. Angles on TV with each man trying to one up the other were a normal weekly occurrence. One great interview was held with Mr. Olympia poolside at his home in Pensacola. Olympia had a large pit barbecue grill burning in the background while promoing on Anderson, throwing a doll in the grill to get his point across on what Anderson had to expect. One of the more memorable matches to take place was a Cage Match in which Anderson claimed that Jerry Stubbs the man not as Mr. Olympia could never beat him in the ring. So what happens, Mr. Olympia comes down to ringside, unmasks, enters the Cage, beats the living hell out of Anderson for nearly twenty minutes, leaves the ring to put the mask back on and strolls back to the dressing rooms. It was also during this feud that Jerry suffered a legit abdominal injury that kept him out of action for several weeks. Arn Anderson would eventually leave the area for good in early 1985 after losing a loser leaves town match with Olympia. Arn would go on to Crockett promotions and began a so-so run in some group that was formed in that area, I think it had something to do with four and Horses or something along those lines. (Please note the sarcasm here). Jerry Stubbs would continue as a force in Southeastern, Continental, and CWF till the area folded in 1989.

The Arn Anderson-Jerry Stubbs story may have been my personal favorite in the area during 1984 but as usual there were other good things happening in the latter half of 1984.

In U.S. Jr. Heavyweight action, 2 men summed up the division:  Bill Ash and Scott Armstrong. These two men swapped the belt back and forth through the latter part of the year several times. Occasionally Armstrong's partners in the RAT Patrol, Johnny Rich and Tonga Kid, would take on the veteran Ash, but as stated the majority of matches were Armstrong and Ash.

Going into the summer of 1984 the feud for the tag titles centered around Arn Anderson and Jerry Stubbs vs. The RAT Patrol consisting of Johnny Rich, Scott Armstrong, and Tonga Kid. After the breakup of the Anderson-Stubbs team, the RAT's began working against a returning to the area heel Mr. Wrestling II and his partner Mr. Wrestling III. II also had visions of the Continental Title held at the time by Bob Armstrong, and Wrestling III began teaming with another returning performer to the area, Randy Rose. When III was unmasked by the RAT's, it was none other than Randy's "cousin", Pat Rose. It was said on TV that Randy had asked his friend Wrestling II to take Rose under his wing to teach him the tag team scene as a favor to Randy. The Roses did form a very good team in fact and did win the tag belts from the RAT's. There was also a change in the RAT Patrol lineup during this time. Tonga Kid left Southeastern Wrestling for the WWF, and in his place stepped up the "Gulf Breeze Giant", newcomer Steve Armstrong. Steve, Bob Armstrong's third son to enter the business and second to the youngest, had begun wrestling just a few weeks earlier joining father Bob in his battles against Wrestling II & III. In what many would deem strange, I've read before that the reason Randy Rose and Arn Anderson left the area was each man's refusal to work with the young and somewhat stiff rookie Armstrong. Hard to believe now.

In action contested over the Alabama Title, as mentioned last month Ric McGraw came into the summer as champ. After coming off a feud with Russian Boris Zukov, "Quick Draw" would lose the title to a new and physically, if not talented, rookie monster, Lord Humongous. Now this was not the same man who had been AWA Southern Champ a few months earlier in Memphis. Nor is this the same man who would don the gimmick in 1988, Sid Eudy. No doubt Humongous was one of the most physical wrestlers to compete in the Southeastern rings in some time, standing 6'6" and weighing in at over 300 lbs. Soon after winning the title from McGraw, Humongous's first real feud would be with newcomer Pork Chop Bobby Cash. Cash was brought into the area under the guise as a long time friend of Austin Idol. Humongous would also have title defenses against Bob Armstrong and Mr. Olympia as the year wound down, although he would not be a loner as he had been when first entering the area, but that comes later.

In last months article I touched on Austin Idol returning to the area in the spring of 1984. Idol would win the Southeastern title his first night back in the promotion, winning the belt with the help of Jimmy Golden from Golden adversary Vic Rain in Panama City, Fl. Rain would not have the chance to regain his lost title as he continued his battles with Golden, the man that was immediately cast as the top challenger for Idol's belt was a man that started in the area as a Jr. Heavyweight but had now worked his way to the top of the card, Hustler Rip Rogers. Rogers had come out on top in feuds with Larry Hamilton, Ken Lucas, Tim Horner, and Jacques Rougeau. Rogers was very entertaining in the feud with Idol as both men were very colorful and flamboyant in the ring personas. The highlight of their battles to me was when Rogers lost a match with a stipulation that had his valet Brenda Britton having her head spray painted rainbow colored. After Rogers left the area, next up for Idol was the kind of feud that fit him naturally, Idol vs. the Russian Boris Zukov. This was a feud that would allow one of the best mic men in the business to really go a blaring on interviews with American patriotism. Idol never lost the Southeastern Title to neither Rogers nor Zukov; he would have no such luck with his next challenger though. After being absent from the promotion for several weeks, one of the top favorites of the fans, Jimmy Golden, made his return to the area. Jimmy's sole purpose and main goal in his return was getting a rematch with Ric Flair. However, being Southeastern Champion meant that Austin Idol got that shot instead. In a match held in the Dothan Civic Center between Idol and Flair, Golden made his way down to ringside to scout the two men. In tow Jimmy also had a camera. With Idol on the floor groggy, Golden would use the camera as a weapon but not as you think. He used the flash of camera right in the eyes of Idol, blinding Austin enough for Flair to get the pinfall, then after the match, attacking Idol with the camera. This instantly put Golden back in the role as the top heel in the area after nearly three years of being one of, if not the top, good guy. As the year ended Golden and Idol were the top headline feud of the area, although I personally liked the Anderson-Stubbs battles better.

The Continental Heavyweight Championship was a title that, just in my opinion, seemed to be one too many. Ron Fuller was the first holder of the belt soon after turning heel on Bob Armstrong, winning it from Michael Hayes. In an interesting development, Fuller was constantly degrading the Southeastern area and its fans, threatening to leave the area for good with the belt, however due to "contract demands" the Continental Title had to be defended in the Southeastern promotion regularly, and seeing how Fuller was champ that meant he had to stay or forfeit the belt. Hence, the Continental Title became the background to the long running Fuller-Armstrong feud. Bob would eventually win the belt from Fuller, who would leave the area, and began a short series of matches with Mr. Wrestling II. Armstrong would continue as Continental Champ through the remainder of 1984 into the New Year, garnering several matches with NWA World Champion Ric Flair during this run.

As 1984 wound down a new manager, although not a new face to Southeastern fans by any means, would come into the area to really light things up with a group of wrestlers that would dominate the storylines of Alabama wrestling for the next 3 years. In October of 1984 Jimmy Golden had requested the cameras of Southeastern TV follow him for a special on location interview. Golden felt that Southeastern and International Sports, Inc. were giving him the shaft in matches against Austin Idol, so he needed a manager. Problem was the NWA only allowed license for one manager in the area, and to Golden's great luck he happened to have that license, but was handing it over to his NEW manager, cousin Tennessee Stud Ron Fuller! Although the interview was pre-taped for TV, Fuller & Golden mentioned they were in California during the taping, Golden indeed had a scheduled match on TV that day against Austin Idol. Instead of returning that night as advertised, the Stud made his mark that day on TV helping Golden destroy Idol on TV in a two-on-one attack. But not only did Fuller have Golden under his management, but suddenly out of nowhere Lord Humongous was doing the bidding of the Tennessee Stud as well. Also joining Fuller's stable was Arn Anderson. Fuller's name for his group, you guessed it, the Tennessee Stud Stable. No students… Robert Fuller WAS NOT the founder of the Stud Stable as some national publications would have you believe. And believe me, Ron Fuller was on top of his game big time in the role of the heel manager. Yelling, screaming, whining, almost akin to a 6'9" version of a Memphis Jimmy Hart is what I could use to best describe Fuller in this role. Of course his main goal was to run Austin Idol, Mr. Olympia, and all the Armstrong's out of wrestling. He also wanted to be the "Triple Crown Manager", he had the Alabama Champ (Humongous) and the Southeastern Champ (Golden) under his control, but he continued week after week to no avail to wrest the Continental Title from Armstrong.


I hope everyone has enjoyed my look back at 1984 in the last two articles. we look at 1985, a bittersweet time for fans of Southeastern Wrestling in Dothan, changes on the horizon, and the birth of Continental Championship Wrestling. 

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