Tennessee Wrestling Authority presents: POWER!
Episode 1, held on January 14, 1980 in Nashville, TN!
The first installment would feature the first round of the TWA Heavyweight Title Tournament, as well as a battle royal to crown the first ever Television Champion!
To start the show, Downtown Bruno came to the ring to introduce his newest client: HERCULES! The strong man declared himself to be the future champion, and promised victory in the first round over Ricky Steamboat.
Rick Martel d. Ox Baker (rollup, 11:14) Martel brought speed and cunning to this match, but Ox Baker’s sheer brutality was more than a match. Martel began bleeding midway through the fight! Ox Baker looked to put Martel away with a devastating piledriver, but when he picked Martel up to deliver more punishment, Rick rolled him up for a quick three.
Jake Roberts d. Jay Strongbow (DDT, 10:56) Jake Roberts tried to continue TWA’s youth movement against one of the all-time greats. Strongbow had no intentions of going quietly, making for a hard-fought match that Roberts eventually won with his patented DDT.
Chris Adams wins a Battle Royal (over-the-top elimination, 10:33) to become TWA Television Champion! These men came into the ring with something to prove, and something to fight for–the Television Title. Adams staved off elimination several times and eliminated three participants to claim victory, as well as the championship! Also participating, in order of elimination: Iceman Parsons, Pete Doherty, Tony Garea, Gino Hernandez, B. Brian Blair, Bobby Fulton, and Barry Horowitz.
Our intrepid camera crew caught up with manager Gary Hart, who was sitting in the front row. When asked what he was doing there, he only replied, “Scouting.”
Adrian Adonis d. Tully Blanchard (piledriver, 13:58) Two headstrong, cocksure competitors got it on in this highly-anticipated first round matchup. Heavy blows were traded, major impacts were felt, and yet the two kept fighting. Blanchard’s inexperience caught up with him late in the match, as he taunted Adonis rather than put him away, which led to the piledriver and the victory for Adrian.
Ricky Steamboat d. Hercules (w/ Downtown Bruno) (rollup, 9:15) This speed vs. strength fight saw plenty of action and close finishes–a flying cross body threatened to put Hercules away early, and Steamboat found himself in a torture rack only a few minutes later! Not long after, Hercules delivered a vicious press slam on the outside, and followed with the Full Nelson…but he couldn’t gain victory out there! A quick rollup just a few minutes later was enough to see Steamboat through to the next round, while Bruno threw his hat on the ground in disgust.
Tennessee Wrestling Authority Presents POWER!
Episode 2, held on January 28, 1980 in Nashville, TN!
Once again, Gary Hart was sitting in the front row. When we asked what his plans were, Hart was uncharacteristically tight-lipped. All he would say was, “You’ll see.”
- Jake Roberts d. Rick Martel (jawbreaker, 26:54) The semifinals of the Heavyweight Title Tournament started with a bang, as Roberts and Martel went at it for nearly half an hour! They went from technical wrestling to brawling to high-flying and all points in between! Martel thought he had it won with a cross-body, but Roberts kicked out and took advantage. A double axe handle from the top, followed by a jawbreaker, was enough to put it away.
Iceman Parsons came to the ring, declaring his early exit from the last show’s battle royal to be a fluke. He challenged Chris Adams to a title match, and the Gentleman was more than happy to comply.
Ricky Steamboat d. Adrian Adonis (flying rollup pin, 12:54) Adonis tried early on to ground the high-flying Steamboat, and took a quick lead. But Ricky’s no slouch at the ground game, and was able to level the playing field. The two men were evenly matched from there, trading high-impact moves and impressive technical wrestling. In the end, Steamboat deftly escaped from a suplex attempt, trapped Adonis with a flying rollup pin, and scored the victory.
Iceman Parsons d. Chris Adams to win the TWA Television Title! (jumping piledriver, 11:32) Parsons jumped out to an early lead, using his head both in strategy and as a weapon. Adams hung in tough, but couldn’t seem to take the match over completely. Late in the game, the tied turned after a few miscues from the Iceman, and Adams capitalized with a picture-perfect German Suplex…but Parsons’ feet were in the ropes, and the pin attempt was called off. Adams tried again, only to be fought off. Parsons quickly attacked and drove Adams’ head into the mat with a piledriver, securing the victory and the title.
Blond Bombers (Wayne Ferris/Larry Latham) d. Wild Samoans (Afa/Sika) to win the TWA Tag Team Titles! (muscle bomb press, 9:22) The Samoans were prepared for a couple of bleach-blond pretty boys, and they got…well, half of that. But Larry Latham came out looking like a wild animal, and wrestling like one too! He even chewed on Sika’s face until it was bloody…and then did the same thing to Afa! Once he got into the ring, nobody could stop him–not Afa or Sika, and Wayne certainly wasn’t going to try! Latham finally hit a muscle bomb press on Afa to close out the match and with the titles.
Jake Roberts d. Ricky Steamboat to win the TWA Heavyweight Title! (DDT, 9:49) Finally, we saw the finals of the TWA Heavyweight Title Tournament…and considering that both men had already wrestled in the evening, they put on a hell of a show! This one was a back-and-forth, full tilt affair, with each man knowing full well what was on the line. Ricky gained the advantage with a series of arm drags, then went to the top rope to seal the deal…but he was pushed off by Gary Hart! This interference allowed Jake to quickly hit the DDT and win the match, the tournament, and the top prize in TWA!