Someone started a YouTube channel called “Professional Wrestling Preservation Society” and began posting hours and hours of classic, full-episode shows such as “Mid-South Wrestling” from the early 80’s.
There is just months worth of great material with plenty of pretty Babies like Terry Taylor and Tim Horner — I may never get through watching it all (but I am damn sure gonna try!)
In this episode from December 6, 1984, Horner and Taylor are facing these old-timey Heels in coal black trunks: Ted DiBiase and Hercules Hernandez.
What a pleasure this is going to be. If I know my old-school Southern Fried Tag Team Wrasslin, these mean old boys are gonna pick out one of their handsome opponents (probably Horner, everybody’s favorite whipping boy) and just beat the stuffing out of him. This is the exact sort of brutal, beautiful pro wrestling I got off on — Oops, I mean grew up on.
Sure enough, the Men in Black allow Horner to toss them around and Arm Drag them for a few minutes, then DiBiase starts drilling him in the face repeatedly to gain control.
Horner was such a foolish, hapless little toy — that’s what I loved about him. Look how he continues to hold onto DiBiase’s wrist with both hands, trying to maintain his ineffective wristlock, as DiBiase drills him in the face. Wouldn’t it be smarter to release that wrist and put up your dukes?! Not Horner — he just stands there eating multiple Knuckle Sandwiches.
Then it becomes All Heels, All The Time. Hercules tags in and delivers one of those Knees to the Gut As The Jobber Bounces Off The Ropes. This is how the Southern fans seemed to want their cute guys treated: with utter disdain and abuse.
The villains target Horner’s mid-section, delivering multiple knees and shoulders to his ever-exposed stomach. They seem to be emphasizing their cute victim’s softness — the weakness and vulnerability of his belly region.
With that powerful physique, Hercules would soon become a hot commodity. His massive chest and over-sized biceps would earn him entry into the Big Leagues within a year after this match. This was an era when a wrestler had to be swole to succeed.
The commentators point out several times the POWER of this amazing athlete (just in case we didn’t notice). It is the fact that his POWER is being unleashed on soft, pale, white-booted Timmy Horner that gives Hercules his mojo.
Here is a feat of strength by Hercules that really gets the match commentators hot and bothered. He presses Horner over his head, then just lets the Baby-Face drop pathetically onto his soft gut.
Once again, my beloved Horner fails to protect his face, foolishly permitting his chin to slam onto the mat even though he could’ve put his hands down to stop his momentum. Little mistakes and failures like this are what make Horner the star of this match in my view.
We get to enjoy another gut-buster on Horner as Hercules drapes him over one shoulder then drops to his knees to knock the wind out of him. You should hear the pathetic noise Horner makes after this attack — like a cow with a beach towel stuck in its throat that it can neither spit out nor swallow. And check out Herc kneeling over Horner to show us his flexed six-pack abs, contrasting his own powerful mid-section with his victim’s softness.
This was a fun walk down memory lane for me, a return to the days when Heels assumed the right to punish their victims without mercy, and Baby-Faces were utterly helpless buffoons wearing brightly colored, stretchy-ass spandex trunks.
I hope you also enjoy pro wrestling from this era because I am probably going to watch a helluva lot more of these glorious old episodes on the Pro Wrestling Preservation Society and blog about all my favorites here.
Of course, wearing a glove of any kind in those days would render a wrestler’s punches infinitely more devastating and powerful than just a fist alone. Tapped on the shoulder, my poor Horner has no choice but to turn around like a chump, yet again leaving his face wide open to being Cold Cocked.
Then it’s just a matter of laying on top of the dazed pretty-boy, hooking a leg, and waiting for the ref to count him out. That’s another thing I enjoyed about wrestling in these days: oftentimes the cheaters’ dirty tricks would pay off and they’d be rewarded for their cruelty.